Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happee Fangsgivings!

I remember when my grandfather - my mom's dad - came to Thanksgiving in Texas when I was little. He always wanted to go on a walk.

It's not usually very cold here at Thanksgiving, but this year it is, and one year when he came it was. For some reason that particular walk was very memorable - stomping around our neighborhood, freezing, watching little swirly winds carry the leaves around. Not really anyone around, to speak of.

I was pretty young - maybe the reason it's so memorable is that it was the first time I really remember Texas feeling like autumn. Doesn't happen very often, you know. :)

If it's not 30 squillion below zero where you are today you should take one of these quiet holiday walks. Bring a little stir-crazy human. Maybe they'll blog about it in for- er, twenty something years.
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Ink: Basic Black, Daffodil Delight, Peach Parfait, Pumpkin Pie (see how I did that?)
Paper: Whisper White
Accessories: Birch Drinking Straw, flattened, rhinestones
Oh! And happee fangsgivins <3 me & hand turkey :).


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Glowing Lights

At almost EXACTLY this time last year, I was reading along in the Splitcoast forums  and found a thread where someone was wanting a blurry Christmas light effect on her card.

As always happens, a genius - in this case Gregzgurl (Sue) - popped along a few posts later and figured out how to do it.

So since sometimes Beate leaves the place unlocked, I snuck in and did the tutorial today on just that - glowing lights. As Sue says, it's really pretty simple - just a dot of white gel pen and my pastels, which I've really been neglecting. They are perfect for this technique.

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  And it doesn't have to be Christmas lights either - I think it's adorable for little skyscrapers.
That incredibly perfect greeting is from Feel Goods.

Wanna see a video on how to do it? Sure you do - you're off today right? If not, just watch it at work. :).


Thursday, November 21, 2013

So Two Cats Walk Into a Bar... Naked

I have really weird dreams. Many of them recur, like this one. And we've all had the dream about accidentally going to school or work nekkid, which I really don't understand. How can we all have that one dream in common?

Not too long ago, I was working, and Maddie came and sat next to my arm and just howled in my face until I took a petting break. I made the mistake of putting a soft, flannel leopard scarf that I bought in Central Park in 2001 on my desk next to my keyboard so this poor, deprived animal could be near me during her 16 hours of daily sleep. This scarf is awesome - so heat reflecting that I've actually used it as a coat in the intervening 12 years on those odd cold days, so she loves it. Most days, both kittens are smashed together on it while I work. The advantages of working from home.

But boy, do they dream. I can see them running, they cry sometimes, and very frequently Maddie eats in her dreams, with hilarious little smacking sounds.

Sometimes the dreams are so terrible that one or the other of them will shoot straight up in the air and off my desk and go collect themselves in another room. Poor little things.

So my question is, when animals dream, do they dream impossible things like we do? One time I had a dream that a car I was driving turned to newspaper and fell apart. Do cats dream that they're chasing a mouse, but then that mouse turns into Sherlock Holmes and they help him solve a mystery? What are a cat's imaginary images, I wonder?

These are just the things I think about every day.  Then sometimes I stamp.

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I made this card for a Hope You Can Cling To challenge. I sponged a faint grid onto the background through drywall tape. Then I stamped the tree from Branch Out in black, and made the snow with the stamp in that set and Coastal Cabana ink, which I also sponged around the edges. Then, I took my awesome refillable acrylic marker and made white snow on top.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? I've seen some interesting posts about regional differences in food. I remember the shock and horror of my uncle's oyster stuffing one year when we visited Maryland. No. Just no.

I made a FABULOUS side dish yesterday from my friend Blair that you must try - I think I'll bring it on Thanksgiving.

It's called "paleo" which I always find hilarious. Real paleo people lived to be about 23 years old. Not really sure that's what the paleo diet people are shooting for.

Regardless, it's delicious. Here is the original, and below, with my modifications.

Cauliflower casserole

    2 heads of cauliflower
    4-5 pieces of bacon
    6 green onions
    1 stick of butter
    ¼ cup heavy cream
    6 oz of chèvre (goat cheese)
    2 tsp. salt & pepper to taste

Cut the cauliflower into florets, and boil until soft. Drain.

While cauliflower is cooking, bake bacon in oven on 400 for 15 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towel and then crumble.

Wash & chop up green onions. Saute them with 2TBS butter in saucepan until soft. When finished, add to cauliflower with rest of butter, cream and salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher. Add chèvre, crumbled bacon and put in buttered baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Eat. Whisper my name.

It's like creamy, cosmically delicious grits, sort of. So amazing.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

And the Only Appropriate Response is Gratefulness.

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Stamps: Joy to the World
Paper: Watercolor Paper
Ink: Whisper White, Reinkers
Accessories: Faber-Castell XS Pitt Artist Pen

"And the only appropriate response is gratefulness."

Perhaps the wisest sentence I've ever heard.

This video is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Girl's Got Moxie

I don't remember my life before everything I owned had a smudge of paint on it.

I remember that it existed. I just don't remember the details.

I don't remember when I didn't like sushi.

I don't remember a lot of things.

But I do remember the day I discovered Cath Edvalson and the Moxie Fab blog.

I'm weird about challenges. I'm too right brained for some and too left brained for others.

Her challenges spoke to me. They were the perfect blend of inspiration and flash. Her style is very bold, and her challenges were bold.

My favorite cards I've EVER MADE I made for Cath's challenges.

Here's one. Here's another. Here's another. Here's another.  Here's another.

As I go into mourning that she is leaving Paper Crafts and Moxie Fab World, I feel such a deep sense of gratitude for her that it's hard to feel completely sad.

Cath - you made me a better artist. I love you. I'll miss you, but I hope that whatever is next for you is also a part of my life.

Thank you for being so sweet and gracious in real life - I felt very star-struck when I met you at CHA even though you are the most down-to-earth, humble lady in our industry.

Bless you and wherever your new path brings you. You've got moxie, and little else is required.

I made a card for her and our hop today. (To see the full hop list please click here.) I wanted to send a "just keep swimming" message, as well as  a nod to the orange and blue style path she set me on with her challenges.
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I used an old Stampin' Up! set - Oriental Brushstrokes. I created the background with a credit card and ink and acrylic paint. The turquoise paint was applied with the end of a piece of drywall tape. After I stamped the image in black, I filled in the fish with Crystal Effects - you can sort of see the shine here.

God speed, Cath. :)

If you came here from Shemaine, then your next stop is Jenn.

Thanks for coming by!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Meet Me At The Vanishing Point

I took a drawing class last weekend with Eve Larson.

It was hard. And most excellent.

We spent a lot of time on perspective, which was really cool. One exercise was to work on the vanishing point, and she turned it into a sweet love story.

There are these two little lines.

They love each other, but they are parallel, so they go on and on and on, never to be together.

But in this one magical place, they meet.

They meet out on the horizon, at the vanishing point.

Everything will be okay in the end. If it isn't okay, it isn't the end. :)

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I made this card using today's Northern Lights tutorial on Splitcoast. I was really taken with her sample.

I've seen the northern lights exactly once in my life. It was the summer that I lived in Friendship, Maine.

Maine is an odd place. When I was little, we went camping there and I remember being creeped out by it then too. It's cold, even in the summer, and it was the first place I ever saw leeches and a bullfrog as big as a galvanized trashcan. It was also the first place I ever had a Necco Wafer (gross), given to me by the old guy that fished on the dock near our campsite every day. That was before you weren't supposed to take candy from strangers. I am still transported back to the moment when I tasted that horrid thing on the dock whenever I see them at the store. Who the heck thought they could call that candy and get away with it?

As an adult, I was also a little creeped out by Maine - the landscape there is troubling to me - I don't like water or coastlines, and the trees there are tall so I can't get a good look at the sky. I'm a prairie girl and it's so deep in my psyche that I just get freaked out in places that look like Maine.

But one night, driving home from my job in Camden, I saw the northern lights. An alien spaceship may as well have landed in front of me - that's how bizarre and terrifying it was. The lights weren't colorful like my card - they were just shades of a deep red. It looked like a big theater curtain rippling across the sky. After I processed the sight and realized it wasn't the end of the world and it was a normal phenomenon, I enjoyed it as one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen. Creepy and wonderful.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Oh Deer!

It's opening weekend of deer season this weekend in the Great Republic. The Other has been off hunting all weekend, which means that I have eaten nothing but vegetables and taken art class all weekend. I told Lori I was super excited because this is three days I don't have to eat chicken. The Other loves chicken. I love acorn squash.

Oh, speaking of, you MUST make these Martha Stewart acorn squash that sweet Bev introduced me to. This is one of the best things I've ever eaten.

However, as I do not have any chainsaw wielding servants around the house, let me give you a tip that was not available to me prior to trying this recipe. Stab your squash a few times and then microwave it for a few minutes before cutting it in half. This will keep you from cursing me and/or cutting your hand off. Highly recommend.

Then do this, and whisper my name. :)

AHmazing Martha Stewart Acorn Squash

Preheat oven to 425. After stabbing and nuking your acorn squash, cut it in half as evenly as possible. Slice a wee bit off each end also so that they sit level. Scoop out all the seeds. Gross.

Butter a piece of parchment paper and put it on a cookie sheet with sides, and put the squash cut side down on the buttery paper. Bake for 25 minutes. Pull them out and pierce the insides all over with a fork. I forgot this step, which means I ended up with little buttery brown sugar hot tubs inside my squash - which was fine, but do what I tell you to do please. No back talk. Sprinkle each half with salt and pepper, and then put 1 TBS of butter and 1 TBS of brown sugar in each half. Return to the oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until delightfully soft and squishy.

My friend Rebecca brulees the sugar on top after they come out with a torch, which I thought was brilliant.

I think a tiny dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream on these would be divine, but God knows I can't leave anything without a ton of dairy products alone. 

Best part? No dishes to do!

Original recipe here.

Today is Challenge Chicks challenge day! Sweet Kelly is our hostess today and she gave us this sketch:

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So I made my deer season card by taking a full sheet of labels - I used this kind - and running it through my big shot with my Ovals Framelit to make a mask.

I stamped the deer from Remembering Christmas in black on my card front and then placed the mask over it. I patted the label paper on my jeans a few times to remove some of the tackiness before putting it on my card. You can also pat it on your cat or dog - whatever you have handy.

Then I took a long Post-it™ note and tore it in that mountain shape. Keep both halves of the Post-it - you'll need them. I put the mountain shaped one on the bottom and sprayed the top half of the card with a mixture of Tempting Turquoise and rubbing alcohol. Then I took the negative of the mountains and masked off what I just sprayed. I sprayed the bottom with a mixture of Butterscotch and Terra Cotta Adirondack Color washes.

I removed all masks and pierced the left edge for the vertical sketch element with my piercing tool & mat. 

Wow - just noticed - that's an 11 point buck! And I didn't even have to leave the house!

Hope you're having a good weekend. I'm off to day two of my drawing class which I'll tell you about soon.


Friday, November 1, 2013


We were disenfranchised last night.

You hear a lot about this these days. You know - politicians LOVE to talk about people being disenfranchised. In Texas right now everyone apparently is disenfranchised because they have to show their ID to vote.

Oh - but wait...

I grew up in Bryan, TX. We had to drive to TEMPLE for Chick Fil-A. I UNDERSTAND disenfranchised.

Well, we did have Taco Bell, but that's not quite the same. Oh - wait - a different sort of franchise?

Anyway, last night, we were disenfranchised on the most awesome night of the year - Halloween.

I had oodles of candy, a Grumpy Cat pumpkin, a bright porch light, bat ears and enthusiasm, and yet there was just a trickle of trick-or-treaters.

Why? I could hear voices on the street.

I knew they were out there, so I kept going outside to find out why they weren't coming over.

And then I saw that they weren't coming to any of my immediate neighbors either. Hmm. We ALL had lights on. One of my neighbors was even sitting on her porch enticing them with candies. But nothing.

I walked down to my friend Lee's house - she had the good sense to have drinks and grilled meats in her driveway. Still - no little tots begging for candy.

Standing in her driveway, I looked out at the hordes of people tromping down the opposite side of the street and I found the source of our disenfranchisement.


The other side of the street has a sidewalk.

Our side doesn't.

Those little pantywaists will only visit the houses with a sidewalk.

We were all crushed.

We yelled.

That didn't really help our cause.

Still, they are pantywaists. I hope they got licorice in their bags. Or dental floss.

Anyhoo. I still celebrated Halloween righteously, by making an awesome, glittery sugar skull insert for my Z Becky Brown bag.

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I used a TCW Mexican Skull Stencil I got in Santa Fe and sponged Whisper White Ink through it onto my Ziva Papers insert.

Then I used that as my guide to add glue and glitter!

The background swirls are just Caran D'Ache Pablo pencil on the white.

Next year, I'm going to stage something very scary on the sidewalks across the street to drive the kids over to us.



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