Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Breaking Bokeh

Seriously? Only one more Breaking Bad? I might die of a broken heart!

It's amazing I had the strength to type this much already, really. If only you could see how sad my posture is.

While we wait for the end together, do you remember this card?

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I do - it's one of my fave cards I've ever made. And today, my Bokeh background technique is the tutorial on Splitcoast - SQUEE! Click over for the step by step instructions. It's really super simple. You just need a new pencil.

For my second sample for the technique, I decided to use a punched image for the focal point instead of a stamped one.
Do you see all the love flying off the heart? That's the little pieces it's breaking into with the exit stage left of Heisenberg and Pinkman.


You better watch my tutorial video to cheer me up so I don't die.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Fingerpainting Friday

Sometimes I wonder what people in public think about the way my hands look when I go shopping or to Starbucks.

I don't think about it, because to me, it's normal to have my fingertips a deep blue, or black, or yellow. It's normal to have paint or alcohol ink under my fingernails that doesn't come off for weeks.

But I'm pretty sure that people who don't paint or stamp probably don't think it's normal. They might just think I'm dirty.

I wonder if I should just play into their fears by growling and making clawing motions at them with my blue/red/yellow claws. I bet I'd get my coffee faster, anyway.


Today is Mix-Ability Friday, and I have to say, this is one of my favorite cards I've ever made for this challenge.

The challenge is to use two different kinds of paint. That's it. Simple!

I knew I'd do watercolor and acrylic, but I didn't know what I'd do until I picked up what I didn't know was an open ink pad and had to clean my fingers on my paper mat. Then I knew - it was going to be fingerpainting Friday!

Jeanne taught me her simple, fingerpainted cloud technique, so I thought I would use that.

First, I watercolored the background with Tempting Turquoise and Pacific Point reinkers and an aquapainter. In a random moment of experimenty-ness, I closed up my aquapainter while the painted paper was still wet and I scratched the wet pigment with the lid of the aquapainter - and I LIKED IT!! Those are the scratches you see in the sky. To me it gives sort of an old world look.

But then again, I'm the sort of crazy person you see at Starbucks growling and clawing you with blue hands.

The clouds were the most fun. I put white and black acrylic paint on my little silicone mat. My friend Lisa bought me a giant set of these teeny tubes of acrylics at Dick Blick in California - we don't have Dick Blick here, so it was awesome to get tiny tubes of tons of colors for really cheap. I mixed a little dark grey up, and finger painted the bottom part of the clouds by just swooshing in a circular motion. Then I came back and swooshed with white for the top of the clouds. I love how real they look. I took a Bob Ross class where we learned to paint realistic clouds and I loved that technique, but this is faster! Also, I don't remember how to do the Bob Ross technique.

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The ground was made with Golden Fluid Acrylic - Green Gold. I fingerpainted it on under the tree, and then mixed a bit of it with black, and went back over it.

I stamped the fir in black, but since I was using watercolor paper, I had to fill it in with a marker. Then I added white paint for snow. I'm not sure if I was too impatient and didn't wait until everything was dry to add the white paint, but I ended up liking how it soaked into the tree and wasn't so stark white.

The greeting is from Pursuit of Happiness.

Which we are all entitled to.

Dirty paws and all.



Monday, September 16, 2013

Isn't EVERYTHING made from scratch?

I was idly reading a pizza box the other day, and noticed that the company claimed that their pizza dough is made from scratch.

As opposed to what?

Another pizza company whose crusts appear fully formed on the rare pizza crust tree found at the 38th parallel?

Saying their pizza dough is made from scratch does not mean it is not made from scratch from any number of mixes and preform combo ingredients, then frozen and put on shipping containers from China.


At some point, someone has to make the danged dough, no matter what state the company gets it in.

And I know of no other way to make something than from scratch.

You could say brownie mix is made from scratch. So are lifesavers and hand sanitizer.

So are Doritos and Tater Tots and Circus Peanuts, none of which really evoke that made from scratch feeling.

Hmph. It's been marketing all along.

The pizza was excellent. Scratch or no.

I made this card from scratch.

Out of paper and ink that was - you guessed it - made from scratch!

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Stamps: Best of Butterflies, Express Yourself
Paper: Crafter's Companion Marker Paper
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Touch Twin Markers: GY48, G46, BG79, B67, Y35, YR33, YR24, Imagine Crafts Vintage Creative Medium
Techniques: Coloring


Friday, September 13, 2013

The Old Masters (and a Little Breaking Bad)

Boy howdy did I have fun yesterday!

Procrastinating makes every day so exciting, because you're constantly discovering that you have something that you're supposed to do like right this second. Procrastinators are never bored. I'm certainly not.

So yesterday I realized it was my turn to host today's Mix-Ability challenge, and my challenge idea was to glaze the focal image in the style of the Old Masters.

I have a painting that a friend painted on my mantel that is glazed in this style, and the colors are so rich and deep under the glaze. It's really pretty cool. So I thought I'd challenge people to translate that style to a stamped image.

I used a product that is new to me - Vintage Creative Medium by Imagine Crafts. It looks like caramel in the jar, but it's transparent - it just adds a warm gold tone to your images. I'm so in love with it. And it's less than $2 on Amazon right now.

I took an old Stampin' Up! set that I bought from someone on Splitcoast, and stamped it on watercolor paper.

Then I colored it in really pretty bright colors with my Aquapainter and Derwent Inktense Pencils. Love those pencils.

Then I applied the medium with these itty bitty squeegees. What was so cool is how the medium aged the image and warmed and toned down the colors underneath. The hardest part was waiting for it to dry.

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I really love how it brought the warm tones into the blue background. It also adds a shine, which you can see better here:

Look at that shiny gold glaze.

I'm in love. This will be my fave technique for a while.

Aside from making Breaking Bad stamps from Undefined of course. I made a full set to complement Heisenberg - adding Hector's bell and the bounder. What do you think?


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I AM the Danger

I may run away to a South American country in a few weeks.

I don't know why South America is the place people always run away to, but who am I to break with tradition?

Anyway, the reason I'm fleeing is because my heart is breaking.

Don't go, Jesse Pinkman.

Don't go, Walter White.

I could even put up with you for a little longer, Skylar, you annoying broad. Marie - not so much. Sorry.

Just please, Vince Gilligan - PLEASE - don't let Breaking Bad end.

I had to preserve Heisenberg in my stamp room for perpetuity, knowing the end was near. So I got out my Undefined Stamp Carving Kit and I WAS the danger!

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I made about 40 zillion of these.

If you want to come to an awesome class and learn how to do this, just click here.

If you want one of these cards, they're for sale in my Zibbet shop.

That's how I'm getting to South America. So please, buy my cards.

Look at me Hector.

This is your last chance to look at me.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm in Love ... With Mr. Peanut

When I was little, I had a crush on two, and only two, animated "men."

Speed Racer and Mr. Peanut.

Speed Racer was just CUTE. Even though his lips didn't really move in concert with his speech, and DESPITE the fact that he wore a lot of super girly white pants, I thought he would make an excellent and really fun boyfriend.

My other boyfriend was more sophisticated. For whatever reason, I overlooked the fact that he was completely naked except for a top hat, spats, gloves and a monocle.

He's just that classy.

I collected oodles of Mr. Peanut memorabilia, as our house was usually full of nuts. Yes, in addition to us, you smart alecks!

I LOVE peanuts. I love most nuts actually, but I love peanuts the most. I love them at ball games, in and out of the shell, in sweet and savory dishes, and of course, on Southwest.

I still remember vividly the first time I had a honey roasted peanut, as a matter of fact, and the moment glows in my mind.

To me, all other nuts are a snack, but peanuts and peanut butter are FOOD. I even made a card to prove it.

Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Watercolor Paper, Crumb Cake, DSP
Accessories: Deco Framelits, Lukas Aquarell Studio Watercolors, Aquapainter, Burlap, Lace Trim

I was super excited to be invited to talk about my beloved peanuts as a guest contributor to Fabio Viviani's online magazine. I met Fabio at his event here in Austin, which I wrote about here. If you EVER get a chance to meet this man in real life, you need to grab it - he is hysterically funny, in addition to his culinary talents.

I have several favorite peanut recipes I thought about for this post, but I just made a new one last night that I HAVE to share with you.

I was pining for peanuts one day on Facebook, and my sweet Virginia friend Jimmi just up and sent me a DELICIOUS can of incredible Whitley's Virginia Peanuts and a peanut cookbook! THIS COOKBOOK HAS A RECIPE FOR PEANUT BUTTER AND BACON COOKIES! Those are next on my things to try list.

But since I had some Confituras Strawberry and Vanilla Bean Jam calling my name, I decided to try out the Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies. And here's what happened right before I ate them.

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Oh. My. Word.

If there was ever a spiritual home for my beloved peanut, this creation is it.

I don't have a very big sweet tooth, and this dessert is perfect for me. It's not very sweet, but the peanut butter and jelly combo is SO satisfying, and I added Jimmi's peanuts to the top for a yummy, salty crunch. The choice of jam could not have been better. I bet it would be spectacular with tart cherry jam as well.

This is the easiest dessert I've ever made. You need to drop what you're doing and make it right now. I'm not kidding. Listen to me.

Here are the deets.
(Adapted from 24 Hours of Peanuts, by the National Peanut Board - thanks Jimmi!)


1 stick butter, melted
1/4 C. Creamy Planters Peanut Butter
1 C. (packed) light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour (Gluten free? substitute peanut flour)
1/4 tsp salt


1/3 C. Creamy Planters Peanut Butter
1/3 C. Jam (I used Confituras strawberry vanilla bean)

Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8x8 glass pan with foil. (Bonus of this recipe - clean pan!) Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine the melted butter with peanut butter and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add the brown sugar and salt. Add the egg and vanilla, stirring just to combine. Gently add flour and stir just until combined - do not overmix, or you will make tough blondies, and no one wants that. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

On top of this, put 4 or 5 dollops of your peanut butter (I recommend softening it in the microwave) and 4 or 5 dollops of jam. Marble them back and forth with a knife to make a fun pattern.

Bake for 23-17 minutes - just until the center is set and the edges pull away from the sides just a bit. If you are strong like bull, let them cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Otherwise, eat them immediately. Garnish with chopped, salted peanuts.

Whisper my name. You may whisper "Mrs. Peanut" if you like. :)


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Battle of the Sexes!

I had my monthly stamp class today, and I have to say, it was a hoot.

I stayed up WAY too late last night. Yes, I was procrastinating prepping, but shut up - that's not the point.

Procrastinating would have been fine.

The problem was that the first project I was prepping involved this AWESOME FREAKING BOW!!

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Yeah, well after I made my sample, then I made 10 squillion other bows with a bunch of different pretty paper and totally forgot I was supposed to be prepping. Until about 11 PM, when my exhaustion reminded me, and I moved on to the other two.

You can surely understand what happened.

The magic is from the Bigz Gift Bow Die, with more die cutting magic for the "merry" - which is the Expressions Thinlits set. The paper is Winter Frost. Hard to see here, but that stripey paper has silver foil in it - really beautiful.

SUCH an easy card, no stamping, just easy crazy pretty.

I made this for the Virtual Stamp Weekend challenge I'm hosting - RIGHT FRACKING NOW. :)

I named the challenge for my parents' wedding anniversary, which is today. They got married in 1957!

Happy anniversary M&D!

The name of my challenge is Battle of the Sexes, and if you want to see a HILARIOUS video about the difference between men and women, come check out the full challenge details here. I hope you can make time to make a card for it!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Local Witch Doctor Show

So we are driving home from my parents' house yesterday and we just happened to be in the car during the local witch doctor radio talk show.

Yes, witch doctor.

Well, they don't MARKET it as a witch doctor show, because people probably wouldn't listen. They market it as sort of a hippy dippy homeopathy show, which is much more acceptable.

But, the real witch doctor show is actually very dangerous, because it could lead to you laughing so hard while driving 70 MPH that you veer into a guardrail and die.

Like yesterday. Well, I didn't veer into a guardrail and die, but I was laughing hard enough to.

So we catch the tail end of the "guest" for the show, who said that the reason people are unhealthy now is because they wear shoes. Specifically because the shoes keep their feet from touching the earth. Because your feet touching dirt can cure cancer and paralysis.

Go ahead. Laugh. I'll wait.

You done? He actually gave an example of a boy who couldn't walk due to some unknown affliction, and after they took his shoes off and let his feet get dirty, he could run and frolic like a little baby muskox. Which, by the way, is the cutest animal in the world. Look at him. He's touching the earth, and he's insanely cute. The only conclusion we can draw here is that letting your feet touch the earth turns you into an adorable baby muskox.

I told you how cute he was. Don't get mad at me if you want one now.


Anyway, it will surprise you to NO END to learn that this shyster was selling a product right? What might that product be?

No less than the miraculous healing Earthing Mat!! It gives you free electrons! (I've never paid for electrons before, I don't know about you.) It conducts the earth's energy!

Now I have to just observe that it's very odd that these witch doctors think that being in contact with the earth is healing, and that they're selling something to put between you and the earth. To make the earth even BETTER. Through cash.

Through cash, all things are possible.

Check out this incredibly professional video with the baby squeaking the whole time if you don't believe in the healing power of the earthing mat.

Wait - don't believe this guy? Check out these adorable cartoon people and pets reclaiming their lives by earthing!!

Here's an idea.

Go outside. You can't hear the radio out there!

Actually these and the crazy late night radio shows are my favorites. I love hearing all the nutballs come out and practice their own awesome version of capitalism.

Speaking of capitalism, would you spend $995 on a retired stamp set? You're in luck! There's one for sale here! A lot of people think this is crazy, but I think it's brilliant! She's brought a ton of people to her Ebay store over this controversial listing and probably made a killing! Also, what if it sells? Bravo, lady. Bravo.

I had my frosted watercolor class yesterday, and we had tons of fun. I love this technique, which I first saw from Sandi McIver.

This is one of the cards we made.

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I couldn't figure out why everyone kept asking me why the bird was backwards.

I guess people wanted the bird to be facing away from that giant egg.

But I told them, that if you were that size bird and had popped out an egg that big, you'd be staring it down too. And plotting revenge.

Anyway, the stamps are Backyard Basics, with matching framelits, Dictionary, Regarding Dahlias. The ink is Baked Brown Sugar, and we used Coastal Cabana and Whisper White reinkers. My BELOVED frosted finishes charms were the star of the show for sure.

I bet if that bird had been earthing, she wouldn't have had such a ridiculously large egg baby. Just sayin'.


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