Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Note to Self: Never Move to England!

I went on a crazy walk this morning.

I mean it was a regular walk, but there was CRAZY wind. We've been having windpocalypse here lately and this morning was brutal.

But I saw some really neat stuff in the sky. I love being outside.

First, I saw one little cloud that decided to make a break for it. RUN cloud!!! Escape the evil cloud dictator and save us all!

Then, I saw what one of my friends on Facebook identified as a fire rainbow - it was a crazy cool little cloud rainbow. Neat.

When she told me the name of it, I looked up fire rainbows and found this horrifying fact:

" in London, England the sun is only high enough for 140 hours between mid-May and late July. Contrast that with Los Angeles, with the sun higher than 58 degrees for 670 hours between late March and late September."

Um. No to 140 hours of high sun.


I bring you today my last class project from last weekend. I saw a sample at Regionals with our two tone ribbon as a skirt for the dress die and SQUEE - it's so cute! I paired it with Feel Goods for a simple but super foofy and fun card for my students. Like?

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Speaking of the dress die, I made a quick video for you on the Pop 'n Cuts dress form die because I got a few comments from people confused about how to put their cards together with it. This video should clear up any confusion!


Monday, February 25, 2013

An Imposter!

We have a great local radio station here that I listen to most of the day at work, so that means I listen to a lot of ads.

But this morning I was shocked and outraged to hear an ad in which a man is IMPERSONATING my beloved Paul Harvey to sell cars.

I am NOT impressed.

They broke the mold when they made Paul Harvey, and I'm not amused at a cheap use of such a great man's likeness.


Good thing I'm not in the market for a car I wouldn't buy from them! :)

Here's card #2 from my Dress Up Bundle class yesterday. I SQUEED at the little coat hanger paper clips in the Spring Mini and I had to hang one of our dresses on them.

This is also the first time I have used the Primrose Petals Ink and I love it - bold & fun.

Paper: Whisper White

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I should really use this greeting on every birthday card, because my cards are always late.

Fashionably late. :)


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Washing Clothes in the Dishwasher

Thanks to the previous owners of my house, I have an AWESOME dishwasher. It's a Bosch.

Next time your dishwasher breaks, get a Bosch. They are powerful machines and COMPLETELY silent.

Your dishes are completely dry after they come out too - they get baked after they get washed.

Which lead me to wonder why our washing machines don't work the same way. Why don't we have one single machine that both washes and dries our clothes?

Think about how cool that would be.

And to whoever invents it after reading this, please send me commission checks.

Today I had my All Dressed Up Bundle Class and it was a BLAST. I'll be showing you the projects over the next few days.

This one was the one I saved for the last project in the class because it's such a WOW when you use the Pop 'n Cuts die that matches the framelits.

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I'd seen the doilies as a skirt for this die on so many blogs and I thought it was BRILLIANT!!

I used the Natural Composition Specialty paper for a little warmth - I love the embossed floral designs.

This is my card for today's Love Fest Challenge by The Greeting Farm - the challenge is to use dies on a love themed card. You can do that! Come play!

Now I'm off to do a load of laundry in my dishwasher!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Hiney Gazette

I have a rather indelicate subject to bring you today. But it's so hysterical I can't keep it to myself.

My two little felines, who love each other dearly, love to chase each other around the house sometimes and get in little spats.

It keeps their skills sharp. It's hard work staying at the top of the food chain.

Unfortunately, I let Splotchy's claws get a little too long last week, and during one of these little play fights, he stuck his claw in Maddie's head, just in front of her ear. For a day or two it just looked like a war wound, but then it got out of control and I had to take her to the vet. Poor Maddie. She wasn't happy about that.

But my vet, who is the best vet I've ever had, was so sweet to her. He built a little cave with his arms and chest and just let her hide in there for ten minutes or so while he patted her to calm her down. He is such a loving and kind person to all the creatures he sees. Unfortunately he had to give her a shot of cortisone and pencillin, and although she would never bite or scratch anyone, she struggled, and so some got onto her fur.

For this reason, when I got home, I took her in the bathroom before I opened her carrier so that I could clean her fur right away so Splotchy didn't start bathing her and get some on his tongue.

Well I didn't have to worry about that, thanks to what I call the Hiney Gazette.

If you've ever wondered why pets insist on sniffing each other's hineys, this little episode will remove any questions you might have.

Splotchy ran in the bathroom to see Maddie, hopped up on the sink, took one sniff and SHOT under the bed like a ROCKET!!! He didn't come out for an hour. This is what I imagine was transmitted:

That, my friends, is how the Hiney Gazette works.

It's probably the most effective form of communication I have ever seen. Of course my reaction was to get the giggles because it was so shocking and funny.

Glad we get to type instead. That's a rough way to have to get the daily news.

Splotch, by the way, has recovered and apparently the Gazette is back to reporting things like cardinals in the backyard and the location of sunbeams to lie in.

In stamping news, I've had a strip of some very old DSP hanging around that I love and couldn't get rid of. It has Green Galore, Pink Passion and Only Orange, which were some of the very first color combos I used when I first started out with Stampin' Up! and still one of my faves. So bright and happy. And yes, I still have Pink Passion and Green Galore cardstock. So I took some matching liberty and paired this beloved DSP with some of the Tangerine Tango Sale-A-Bration ribbon. I used my Only Orange and Pink Passion markers to ink up a retired sentiment from Phrases for a Friend and used the Honeycomb Embossing folder.

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Now I'm off to prep for my fun Dress Up bundle class this coming weekend (let me know if you'd like to come) and clear my evening for Downton Abbey, after which I'll have to go into mourning until the next season. Why are they so short??


Sunday, February 10, 2013

It's Not Appropriate To Disturb Someone Else's Balls

So last night we went bowling.

Bowling is like most sports for me. I simultaneously love it and could not care less about it.

By that I mean I really enjoy bowling, but I could give a flip about my score. It's one of the few things you can go physically do with people that really has a fun social aspect to it. And by that I mean the standing around catching up, giggling, having popcorn and beer.

We had the dad of the year in the lane next to us. He was alone with his three boys, and he was clearly suffering from a cold, a mold allergy or the flu, but man, did he make the evening fun for his boys. It was fun to watch.

We were with two friends of ours who we haven't seen in a while, and I'm glad we fixed that.

Now you know that I have read everything Richard Preston has ever written and that I know EXACTLY how Ebola gets transmitted, and that one of the primary routes of transmission is bowling balls.

Well, maybe not, but I feel pretty dramatic about how germy bowling balls and shoes are, so I have my own bowling ball and my own shoes.

You'd think this would cut down on the insanity a bit.

However, last night, about two hours into our extremely enjoyable experience with our friends, some big old boy (while I'm throwing a strike - or a three - I don't remember) saunters into our little lane lounge and starts TOUCHING ALL OUR BALLS AND SHOPPING ON OUR CAROUSEL.




Had I seen this I would have been a tad bit more vocal and outlandish than what he got, which was "hey - what the heck are you doing - those are our balls!"

To which said ding dong replied "Well I would have ASKED before I took them."


It has to be divine intervention that I missed this exchange because truly it would have been quite dramatic if he said that to me.

However, by the time I was done and turned around, he was skulking off to his own lane and everyone was frozen in astonishment.

I still want to find him and yell "WHO RAISED YOU???" at him.


I wonder what story he's telling today? Is he saying: "Man, I went and rooted around in someone else's balls last night and can you believe they yelled at me?"

You gotta wonder.

Anyhoo, I watched a preview of a colored pencil tutorial that just blew me away. The woman was amazing, and I'm so NOT amazing with pencils, but she did inspire me to color on black while I was watching some of my fave Food Network shows today.
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Stamps: Cherish Friendship Ink: Whisper White Paper: Basic Black, Whisper White 

Color looks so cool on black.

I rubbed white ink on the embossed background.

Really this was a very quick and simple card. Maybe someday I'll learn to color like a grownup.

In the meantime, I'll defend my bowling ball from interlopers. :)


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Writing Love Letters With Strangers

I had the opportunity to help people write love letters this week.

Strangers, mostly, although I had a few friends there.

I know it sounds weird, helping strangers write love letters, but it's one of those things that sounds completely normal to an Austinite.

My beautiful and talented friend, Jennie Chen, one of my earliest Twitter friends, chef, goat bringer and cupcake cannon inventor, organized the event in conjunction with TEDx Austin - the most incredible, inspirational day of awesome that we have in this town. And we have a lot of incredible, inspirational days.

She hatched the idea of having people write love letters to the people and companies that make TEDx happen every year, and I was lucky enough to be the one she picked to make the love letters pretty. Then our friends at Outbox - an awesome startup here in town that is eliminating junk mail for the world - would work their Outbox magic on them and turn them into digital art.

So I set up my table, with some pre-stamped cards, and some blank ones for people who wanted to stamp their own, and I waited for people to arrive.

I wasn't sure what to expect. Our guests were some of the brightest, most successful people in the country. Would they want to write a love letter? Would they rather just have a beer and some cheese?

Well it took about 30 seconds to take off.

People LOVED telling these companies how much they loved them and why. One young man came up to me and told me about how Whole Foods (one of the sponsors) had radically changed the quality of his life because he had what he described as a "crazy" diet that required lots of special items that no one else had.

Tons of people (and the crowd was mostly men) used the word "love" more than once or drew little hearts. The men were the ones most likely to stamp their own cards.

At one point, spontaneous group hugs broke out at my table and each new person that came up got one of these awesome group hugs.

It was insanely fun and rewarding.

People love to thank people.

People love to love people, and companies, and experiences. It was, as my friend Jennie says - oxytocin filled. And that's a good thing.

It reinforced what we already know. Making cards and giving them to people is heartwarming for the people on both ends. Do it more. I know I keep saying that. But you know I'm right.

I made a little time today to send a love letter of my own. This is for my Stampin' Up! Business Development Advisor - Ann Maxwell, who is made of cupcakes and kittens. I adore her. I thought I should tell her.

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Stamps: Sent with Love, Oh Whale Ink: Real Red Paper: Whisper White 
Accessories: Bermuda Bay & Real Red Markers, twine

You're freaking out over these stamps aren't you?

I know you so, so well.

You should be freaking out because they are awesome. And the bundle is only around for a month or two, so you should get it now. You can do that here.

After you do that, you should watch this awesome video that Outbox made with the love letters everyone wrote. It will warm your heart.

Thanks, Jennie, for an awesome experience. You make Austin infinitely more fun.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Resistance is Futile

I don't know how Amazon knows me so well. You know how they track what you look at and then for days you see obscure suggestions when you visit the site that are all related to your search?

Well every now and then there's a bit of delightful randomness thrown in. Like this one I got this week:

That's right - the world's largest cup of coffee.

I was tempted.

Or this one, which is even more me!

Sometimes they get it right. And when they do, resistance is futile!

Now speaking of resistance, today is the second MIX-Ability challenge and the technique is emboss resist!

Now I told you that my goal is to make CAS mixed media cards, and so that's what I did for today's challenge.

I actually did TWO kinds of resist - acrylic resist and ink resist over clear embossing.

First, I stamped the larged heart from Hearts a Flutter with Versamark on Whisper White and then I heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. Then I rubbed it with an Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber in Willow, and then wiped the paint off the embossed portions. Then I took a sponge and rubbed Bermuda Bay Ink on top of that and again cleaned the embossed parts.

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I used the paint to give it a little variegated look, since one color is so... well, one color, and also to add  a hint of yellow to match the Summer Starfruit I used on the rest.  The paint is almost identical to Summer Starfruit.

Then I cut out the hearts with the Hearts a Flutter framelits, added some linen thread and boom - resistance is futile!

Oh - and if you want to sign up for my Dress Up! class at the end of the month (long distance is welcome - you'll get all product and instructions!) please do so here!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Definitive Proof That Cats Rule

Okay dog people - settle down.

It's been decided. Your pets lose. Ours win.

Yes, cat videos rule the internet.

Yes, the first big Twitter sensation and the first account to reach a million followers was a cat.

Yes, the Egyptians worshiped them, and they can shoot lasers out of their paws.

And yet some of you remained unconvinced.

Well lay down your milk bones and admit defeat because today, Monopoly has replaced the iron in their board game with....

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That is one sassy cat. I can't wait to beat someone with my awesome Monopoly cat!

In other news, I had my class this weekend, and we made a ton of fun projects, including a BOX made from the Simply Sent kit in the Sale-A-Bration catalog. I saw this box on Barb Mullikin's blog and it was so easy and fun! Thank you Barb for sharing this adorable project! (Her instructions are here)

Fun, eh? All from a card!

And everything you need is inside that kit - so you can make 8 of these plus have 8 pretty envelopes left over.

To get the kit, you just need to place a $50 order and the kit is free. Go shop!

I'm going to go tell Maddie and Splotchy how awesome they are.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why is One Mahi Not Enough?

Whole Foods is right next to where I have my stamping class.

So I always find an excuse to pop in and randomly spend $100 when all I wanted was a cucumber.

They're so NICE though. They're always giving you samples of things and smiling and when you've tasted their samples, you feel like you've had that divinity that that evil wench gave the kids in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - pleasantly sleepy and open to suggestion. Everything is suddenly pretty and sparkly and time stands still.

During one such sampling, when I was looking for my favorite smoked black cod, I noticed the Mahi Mahi in the fish case. Under the influence of the Narnia candy, I started giggling.

Seriously - MAHI MAHI? Why isn't just MAHI okay? Talk about a fish with branding insecurity.

Hi - I'm from Texas-Texas. My name is Lydia-Lydia and I want you to remember-remember me.

Showoffy fish.

Anyway, my mom commissioned some valentines from me this week, so I combined them with a class sample. My class was today and it was awesome! There were 25 fun, giggly ladies there stamping and we had a blast. Oh - I mean my CLASS-CLASS.

So here's the valentine I made for my mom and my class - I outright stole this design from my friend Kathy. I loved those pennants.

PS - you can cut three of these at a time with the Hearts a Flutter Framelit. They're just 4 x 2.25" pieces of First Edition DSP, folded in half. Just place the top of the die slightly above the fold to cut a folded pennant.

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I embellished with the heart punch, red glimmer paper, Print Poetry DSP, the ticket punch and the That's the Ticket stamp set.

This is the card for today's Challenge Chick's challenge to make a Valentine's card - want to play along?

Love-love ya-ya mean-mean it-it bye-bye << hey that last bit works :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

[Closed Captioning] - Maybe not for Texans

I had the most hilarious experience this week.

I have a friend who is hearing impaired, and she pointed out to me that most video tutorials are sort of useless to her because people are narrating the most important info for techniques, and so if you can't hear the video, you're out of luck.

So I poked around on YouTube, and lo and behold, if your narration is in English, ,YouTube can actually add closed captioning to your video for you automatically.

Hallelujah, right?

Well, here's where the hilarious comes in.

In this very cool system, it transcribes your narration, and arranges it so the captions are at the right time in the video and they're only shown at that correct time.

But technology has its limits.

And apparently those limits include the Red River, the Sabine River and the Rio Grande. Because YouTube doesn't know how the HECK to interpret a Texas accent.

I clicked play and the captions came up for me to edit, and at first I was confused at what they thought my words were. Then I almost fell on the floor laughing at this phonetic interpretation of my Texas twang!!

By two minutes in, I was laughing so hard I was crying! So it took me a LOT longer than 15 minutes to giggle my way through editing YouTube's drawn out version of my speech, but I sure had a good time. The result is below.

I made this card for a SUPER exciting new challenge we kicked off at Splitcoast today. It's a mixed media challenge, called Mix-Ability, designed to make mixed media fun and approachable for everyone - whether your style is clean and simple, elegant, vintage, grunge or retro - or even if you have a Texas accent.

So for today's challenge, our first one, I chose "Yin Yang" - I want you to mix a matte textured medium on your card with a shiny medium. Challenge details are here.

I chose the Swallowtail stamp for my challenge card. I'm in love with this bold image.

 I used Gesso over First Edition Specialty paper for the matte texture, and embossing for my shiny texture.

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See? mixed media can be clean and simple. :) Even with an ACKSCENT.

Here's the video of the technique - enjoy, y'all! :)

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