Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Grumpy McGrumpypants Thinks I Can't Read

I just got back from Charlotte, NC.

If you ever need a new urban vacation destination to put on your list, might I recommend Charlotte?

Incredibly clean downtown - no graffiti, no homeless people, very safe, very beautiful. Amazing food. The world's sweetest people - who I used to think lived in Memphis - live in Charlotte. Seriously, the world's sweetest.

Well, except one.

The first morning of the show, we were walking to the convention center, which is right across the street from this giant Nascar Hall of Fame.

We were on the sidewalk in front of the convention center, and this grumpy old bat and her friend were in front of the Nascar Hall of Fame. Specifically, they were standing right next to this sidewalk sign outside the parking garage.

We paused for a second, looking for the door into the convention center, giving Grumpypants the opportunity to scream at us from across the street.

"WHERE IS THE NASCAR HALL OF FAME???" Crabby McCrabberson screams at us. I'm CERTAIN all of her emails are in all caps with multiple punctuation marks.

Like this: "WHY CAN'T I LOG IN?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?"

Anyway, I say (because we're only 20 feet apart and I didn't need to bellow) "You're standing right in front of it - it's the building behind you."

Now normally when you help someone with directions, orienteering and the like, they thank you and proceed along their new route, grateful for the assistance.

This was not the case with Crankybutt. Nooooo - instead, she yells at me:

CAN'T YOU READ?????!!?!?!?"


Excuse me?

First of all, I'm not just in the south, I'm in the deep south. We don't behave like this, you obvious foreigner.

Secondly - it's 7:30 in the morning - how in the world are you this much of a beast already today?

Third - NASCAR is not for bitter, yelly people like you. You should go find a UFC fight. You beast. You cranky, cranky, ungrateful beast.

As a bubbly, ENTJ type person, I'm always really taken aback by people who are mean when I am trying to help them. But because I have a J in my ENTJ, I also really want to poke those people with a cattle prod.

I didn't.

But I wanted to. Gah. Mean old bat.

As if the universe wanted to get us back to even Steven, we met these AMAZING people once safely inside the show.

This sweet girl makes these AMAZING dioramas inside antique watch cases, and necklaces out of fun things like door latches she finds at estate sales.

The ladies below are the Neko sisters. Not just the sweetest three generation crafters in the world, but Megumi (left) was teacher of the year!!

We had so much fun getting to know them and experiencing their art. I bought a print from them of some original artwork by the Empress of Japan. Very cool. They had these stunning collage kits with beautiful Japanese paper, handmade origami dolls and much more. Even if nothing else had been awesome about this trip, meeting these ladies would have been worth it.

I made this card for grumpypants, to try to encourage her to live in the sunshine. :)

The ric rac is a gift from my friend Melanie at convention.So cute and delicate.

The stamp is Regarding Dahlias and I just did the frosted watercolor technique on it.

Pin It
Thanks for stopping by.

Please don't yell at me.

And if you come across some of these grumpy people, just taser them and save yourself some time.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Snow Queen

Paula's challenge today is to make a card inspired by a fairytale.

On its surface, this sounds so playful and fun.

But as we, and by we, I mean I, know, fairytales are dark, horrid little nightmares.

I know that the purpose of these awful stories is to keep kids from toddling off into the woods. But really? Telling them a witch is going to cook and eat them? Melodramatic, your table is ready!

I'm scarred by every fairytale my parents ever read to me.

Most of the books that they read to me I went on to read to myself many times. But not these hideous stories. Those books belong in the freezer where they can't get me.

One in particular terrified me. Correction - terrifies me.

It's by that sick, twisted freak Hans Christian Andersen. What in the world happened to this psychopath when he was little?

Anyhoo... I hate to even type the name of it and infect you with its terror, but in order to explain my card, I must.

It's called The Snow Queen. I will not pay for your therapy should you choose to read this. Also, I'm sorry.

The only positive thing I can say about this story is that it had very beautiful and haunting imagery. I pictured the entire book in that deep blue light you get at night in snowy places.

So that's what I used as my inspiration.

Pin It

The glittery xoxo is NOT for Mr. Andersen. It's because the Snow Queen's kiss is her weapon. *shudder*

I made the background by scraping little pools of yellow, turquoise and white paint around some Whisper White Cardstock with a credit card. Then I stamped the snowflakes from Snowflake Soiree in Versamark and heat embossed them with white embossing powder. I used silver glimmer paper and the Labels Thinlits for the greeting. I thought about using "Yay" and then writing "Mr. Anderson is dead" but I thought that might be a little over the top. :)

Please don't read that story.



Friday, October 18, 2013

Fixing the World With an Angry Russian Fox

I was walking to Starbucks the other day, and in front of me on the covered walkway was this little toddler.
In the body language book I just read, this is the most relaxed, open and receptive posture possible for a human being. Arms wide open, belly exposed, nothing hidden, nothing feared - ready for anything. It was such a joyful little trot. Now look at the arms on his dad. While I doubt that his dad felt that he was going to be eaten by a shark at that particular moment, he has been taught that adults don't run down to Starbucks with their arms wide open, experiencing everything sort of recklessly.  So he holds his arms close to his body, guarding all the soft spots, not drawing attention to himself unnecessarily.

When does that switch get flipped, I wonder?

Then, my sister told me to watch the NOVA show - Dogs Decoded. This is a must watch if you have never seen it. They just reveal some incredible things about dogs and the dog-human relationship. It was absolutely fascinating.

During a sequence at the end, where a woman in Russia was studying some very angry foxes to see if they could develop a similar relationship with humans, she made a very profound statement that reminded me of this little boy.

In discussing selecting and breeding foxes specifically for gentle personalities, she said:

When you select against aggression, you're selecting juvenile traits.

Unless your baby is Damien from the Omen, he's not aggressive. Same with puppies and kittens and foxes. Babies are fun. Little things tend to be more fun, more relaxed, less bitey than big things.

When you're having just a howler of a good time, laughing until you're about to pass out, odds are you're feeling a little juvenile, no?

I thought it was a very interesting statement.

I bet if we all ran through the world with our bellies exposed and our arms in the air, it would be a more peaceful place. A sillier place.

I made you a juvenile card today to illustrate my point. Today's Mix-Ability challenge is to do a CAS mixed media card.

So I thought since I was thinking about childlike attitudes, I would use only primary colors.

All three panels are watercolor paper.

The red panel I sprayed with rubbing alcohol and dropped Adirondack Watermelon and Sunset Orange alcohol inks onto.

The yellow panel I painted with Golden Fluid Acrylic in Hansa Yellow Medium and Liquitex Cadmium Orange.

The blue panel is watercolor - Tempting Turquoise, Bermuda Bay and Orchid Opulence reinkers.

Pin It

Joy to the world. :)


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Serenity Now!

I really did relax on vacation in Santa Fe.

I just sat in a chair and did art more than I've done in previous years. Normally, I feel like I have to DO something - go walk, do the galleries, hike, geocache - anything but sit still.

But this year, I sat still.

And it was amazeballs.

Well, I'm not really all that good at sitting still. So while I was sitting still, I started zentangling.

And O. M. G.

I have done this before, but something about being on vacation and away from work and just my normal daily insanity really made it a completely different experience.

I loved it.

I got hooked.

I did a million tangles.

This one is my favorite.

I took my Ziva papers for my purse from Z Becky Brown, and this fun round protractor I got from Artisan Santa Fe, some Faber Castell Pitt Pens and I .... relaxed.

Pin It

Is that fun or WHAT???? Why didn't anyone tell me that protractors could be used for something besides math? I would have used mine a lot more had I known that!

Now, I have to say - I'm not a tangle nazi. Apparently there are rules you're supposed to follow when you do this. At least, that's what I hear.

As you know - I'm not really big on rules. Especially when it comes to art.

Put me in zentangle D-Hall. I don't mind. I've spent a good portion of my life in D-Hall - all of it earned and not regretted. :)

I have to say - I needed some instruction, though. I bought this book

and this book 

 at my favorite stamp store ever in Santa Fe and that's what inspired me.

This is going to be my new favorite purse and my new favorite TV watching activity.

God forbid a person do one thing at a time, am I right?


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Panther Fit!

I'm writing a new book that I hope you'll all buy. It's called Panther Fit, and it's an easy weight loss and strength building program that everyone can do without changing one thing about their diet.

It's after countless hours of research that I can bring you this amazing regimen. I actually can't believe that I'm the first person to market this groundbreaking program.

I can't reveal ALL of the elements of the regimen, but I can give you the high points and there's no way we all can't fit this into our lives.

To get the sleek, toned body of a panther (not a cougar, because that's gross) - here's all you need to do:

  • Sleep 16 hours per day
  • Run around the house twice per day at TOP SPEED, preferably knocking things off surfaces as you do so. Parkour during the circuit is completely optional.
  • Do exactly FOUR extreme cat stretches - these should be done during your sleeping period, and should be followed by spinning around but ending up in the exact same position you were in before you stretched. 
  • Spend one hour per day eating. This can be broken into multiple eating sessions during the time you're awake. 
  • Spend at least 45 minutes crying each day. Preferably at 4 AM
  • Spend no less than half an hour of your awake time batting small, preferably breakable or liquid filled objects off surfaces in your home. 
  • Spend no less than ten minutes staring at things no one else can see.
  • Bathe ten times during waking hours.
You are going to be AMAZED at how you look after this regimen.

Toned muscles. Shiny hair. 1% body fat. People who don't even know you will stop you and pat you from head to tail.

You can thank me later.

Here's a composite of what you're going to look like when you've done this for several weeks. 

Pin It

I made this card from October's My Paper Pumpkin kit, and I added the little cat from Bite Me, as well as some Witches' Brew Washi Tape.

I used the Washi Tape actually to cover up the green accents on the bottom of that cute little index card die cut from the kit. The reason I did this was because today's Challenge Chicks challenge is to make a Halloween card with no orange, green or purple on it - harder than you think! It's also my sample for Kathy's Hope You Can Cling To challenge. Don't forget to come play with us - we have more than $5,000 in prizes to give away! :)

I can't wait to see all your before and after pictures after you buy my awesome Panther Fit program.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Throw Caution To the Wind!

I'm so excited about a book that I got at Artisan in Santa Fe.

Normally when I go to Santa Fe, I buy Navajo jewelry. They do such incredible work.

But this year, I decided to focus on art. I had a $150 Visa Gift Card that I earned from Stampin' Up! and I took it to the happiest place on earth - Artisan. Here's a video tour of the store.

This place is to artists what Cabelas and Bass Pro are to hunters. They have an unbelievable assortment of awesomeness.

I find new things there every year that I just can't wait to try.

This year, I poked around in the book section, and I found this AWESOME BOOK!!

The most nerdtastic thing about it is that it has a spiral binding, so I can have it open when I'm painting. I can't WAIT to use this for the next MIX-Ability challenge on Splitcoast!

I didn't have time to explore it before today's challenge, but I did play! Dina was easy on us today and the challenge was "anything goes" - just make a mixed media project that you love.

I LOVE the card I made!! This was also for Bridget's Hope You Can Cling To Challenge which was a PINKterest Inspiration challenge - she assembled some gorgeous pink photos from Pinterest for us to choose from. I picked one that looked like fingerpainting so that I had a completely legit reason to fingerpaint some more little clouds.

First, I used direct to paper with Summer Sun and Apricot Appeal to create the sky. I sponged the edges with Soft Suede. Then I used Liquitex White Paint and Delta Pink Paint and fingerpainted the clouds and hills. I used Pyrrole Red Golden Fluid Acrylics to stamp the horse. The little horse is from a retired set called Wanted. The greeting is from Spread the Joy.

Pin It

So hopefully this weekend, I'm going to have time to throw caution (translation:laundry) to the wind and create some of these fun textures.

Hope you get to do the same!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

It's Tiny, Unintentional Roller Skate Season!

This is a very important PSA for all my readers.

This is an extremely dangerous time of year.

In the spring, it's floods. In the summer, it's the heat, the snakes, the bugs.

In the winter, wait - what am I talking about? We don't have winter!

But that leaves the season of peril - fall.

Now mind you, the temperature doesn't really change here, just the calendar. But we are imperiled none the less. By what, you ask?

By tiny, unintentional roller skates, known in some parts of the world as acorns.

They rain down and cover the earth in a dangerous, slippery carpet of death here in the land of oaks.

We have a month or so where we all look like this:

It's like having an evil, outdoor child who lays out marbles every night.

It's added fun if you have a sloping driveway, where, by some acorn magic, the carpet of acorns can cling to the concrete long enough for you to step on them, at which point they start their rolling madness.

Be careful out there, people.

I'd prefer to skip this stage and go straight to winter, which of course we don't have.

If we did, it would look like this card I made for Lori's Hope You Can Cling To challenge - Courage & Strength. We had to use orange or red on a CAS card, so I CASED a card from my friend Chriss - who used these adorable birch drinking straws as trees on a card at our last meeting.

The Merry is from the awesome Expressions Thinlits set. The little birdie is a Martha Stewart punch.

Pin It
Lucky little bird. Doesn't have to worry about tiny, unintentional roller skates!

Watch your step, peeps - we just have to make it to winter!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's Not the Millenials, It's Their Parents

We just finished our annual pilgrimage to Santa Fe, and squeaked home just in time to see the EPIC finale of Breaking Bad. I love you, Vince Gilligan. Well played, my friend. Well played.

One of the things I love about going to Santa Fe this time of year, in addition to the general magic of the place, is that it's very empty downtown. However, since we stayed through Sunday, the hoards of New Yorkers descended on the square beginning Friday and sort of ruined the vibe.

Disclaimer - I was born in New York, and went to college there, and am allowed to make these observations. The people who come to Santa Fe from New York are completely unbearable. I think I know what Europeans must think about American tourists when I see what happens here every year.

Friday night we were having dinner at Pasqual's. It's a teeny tiny place and you're very close to - touching, actually - other diners so there is no hiding your attitude there. This greatly enhances the pain of badly behaved people, four of whom were sitting practically in our laps.

Observing these people, I realized that we may have misplaced our "entitlement" label on the millenial generation. I think it's their parents who are the problem.

As the waiter was placing our steak knives ONTO OUR TABLE, this diner YELLED at him - "HEY - WE NEED SOME TEA OVER HERE!" I was completely mortified. This man had no decorum whatsoever, and clearly the world revolved around him. I stared at him in total disbelief. Santa Fe is a lot like Austin - it's a very low key, laid back place. People yelling and snapping their fingers are a complete oddity. Not that it would have been polite behavior anywhere else.

The boorishness continued throughout the meal. Shocking.

But then on Saturday, my opinion of the millenials' parents guilt was confirmed. We went to have lunch at a casual restaurant where a lot of people were watching a football game. In walk some older folk in about the same age range. Before they even sit down, the woman grabs the waiter by the arm, which was a shocker all in itself - and tells him she needs the remote control to the TV so that she can change the channel. Nevermind the 20 people watching the game with their friends - she was here now and those TVs needed to be changed to suit her.

He went away. When their waiter came, again, she loudly proclaimed that she needed the remote control. He said he would talk to the manager. She grumbled after he left. She ordered tortilla soup and her husband ordered fish and chips. This is how loud they were. In a room where people were yelling at the TV, if that tells you anything. Their food comes and she's so agitated by the TV she isn't watching that she can barely focus. The manager comes over and tells her he can't change the channel because everyone is watching the game. She growls and hmphs for a while and then proceeds to eat her poor husband's fish and chips. Two glasses of wine did help her attitude some. They should make a wine breakfast cereal, really.

So next time you see an entitled, trophy-seeking millennial behaving badly, take a look at their parents. I believe we've found the source.

Today, Hope You Can Cling To kicked off on Splitcoast! I got to host the first challenge, which is called Inner Strength. I challenged people to include a dimensional image on the inside of the card which shows through an opening in the front.

I chose the Best of Butterflies set with the matching punch for mine - and popped it up on a dimensional. The wing is over the side of the circle I punched, so it actually holds the card closed, and the wings flap when you open the card.

The panel on the front is watercolor paper, that I watercolored with a Coastal Cabana reinker. When that was dry, I fingerpainted the clouds with white and grey acrylic paint. I colored the butterfly with Tombow markers. The greeting is from Express Yourself.

Pin It

I hope you can come play in the Hope You Can Cling To challenges - we have more than $5,000 in prizes to give away, and all of our cards go to the MD Anderson Cancer Center breast cancer unit.

And check this out - starting on October 7th, you can sign up to be a demonstrator and join my group for only $25! Yes, you read that right.

Lots going on this month - hang onto your hats! Loveyameanitbye.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...