Friday, July 25, 2014

Mighty Kind of You

In a sort of an #InspireCreateShare2014 miracle, I have actually begun work on some thank you cards.

Yes, you heard me right.

And yes, I mean thank you notes from the Convention that just happened, NOT my first one thirteen years ago.

I said it was a miracle, right?

When I was in Utah, a friend was telling us that at some weddings, you actually pick up your thank you note from the bride & groom on your way out of the wedding, along with a nut cup or some such.

Now that, my friends, is efficiency. I suppose I could try sending out NEXT year's thank you notes right now and then being all smirky when I arrive in Salt Lake - "Oh, hi - I hope you got my pre-thank you cards - thank you so much for whatever nice thing you're about to do to me!"

Except no. I like to have mine be a little more personal, even if they're late.

So at the BEST CLASS EVER at convention - the Stamps, Ink and Paper optional class given by Melody, Donna and Arika, my friend Sue won a stamp set designed by Melody Hyde called Yee-Haw.

It. Is. Awesome.

It won't be released until August, but you're going to love it. It's a photopolymer set of 25 western themed images and phrases and it ROCKS!! Now Sue was kind enough to GIVE me, her favorite Texan, this prize and I've been stamping up a storm with it.

This set is SO AWESOME that it even helped me mend my relationship with Wild Wasabi, which is strained at best. I have a really weird psychological aversion to most greens, with few exceptions, and Wild Wasabi is definitely my least favorite. BUT - I decided to try something and we are back together now!

What I did was cut a mask for this cute lasso image. Then I masked off the lasso and sponged inside it with Wild Wasabi, and then sponged Coastal Cabana on top of that - it makes the most AWESOME sea-foam green. Seriously - looks just like the Crayon of my childhood. THIS is a green I can live with!

Then, while the mask was still in place, I stamped Hardwood over the sponged area and removed the mask - WHEE!! The cowboy hat I colored with the Dark, Medium and Light Daffodil Delight Blendabilities, and then used my Project Life pen to do a little of my addicting stamp etching technique on.

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Now if you can't wait to get your hot little paws on this set, just email me. The day it goes live, I will order you one AND include a sheet of masking paper in your order! Mighty kind of me, I know! Maybe I should pre-thank m'self!! :)

Now I have to scurry off and get ready for my framelits class tomorrow. You comin'?


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Learn The Rules Like a Pro, So You Can Break Them Like an Artist

It's hard to believe that this amazing week of #InspireCreateShare2014 is over.

And it's MORE than a little sad. It was very, very hard to say goodbye to my awesome downline and stampy friends this year. I had the biggest downline group ever go with me and they are FANCY. Many thanks to Bev Gerard, Carla Goodlace, Kelli Hull, Dana Keith, Katherine MacDonald, Christine Orecchio, Ceal Pritchett, and Jen Treadway for an AWESOME team week. Several I had met for the first time and it was SO fun to get to know them, even though I'd seen them each week on our Sunday video calls. There's nothing like real life.

They certainly made the most of the week!

Kelli got a recruiting leadership award and got to hang out in the Recognition Room, where we took a picture with my beloved Sue Farrant.

Ceal was a Stampin' Start achiever and also earned the Recognition Room.

Jen and Kelli BOTH had cards featured on the My Paper Pumpkin boards.

It was a red letter convention for my whole group for a lot of reasons. We arrived on Monday and got two days to just chill and enjoy each other's company and hang out in one of my favorite cities.

The Unwind Retreat we had on Wednesday was amazing - thank you so much to everyone who came - I was so excited to meet so many of my imaginary friends and get to stamp with them in a very leisurely, fun day. My amazing team - the "sherpas" - worked so hard all day (as well as for months before the retreat - thanks Christine, Mel and Melissa and Jen) to make it all run smoothly - thank you ladies!!

The incomparable Melanie Hopes kicked off the retreat with her Zentangling class so that we could REALLY unwind.  Her artwork is unbelievable and she taught us a lot more than Zentangling.

If you attended, I'd love to hear what your favorite class or project was or see links to your own photos. Here are some more of the photos from the retreat:

For those of you who couldn't come to convention this year, I will be having an online version of the retreat as well as a real live version for those of you near Austin. :) So stay tuned if you missed it.

Then on Thursday convention started, and I had the incredible honor of doing a stamping demonstration on main stage as part of a Stamps, Ink and Paper class. I had the stamps section, Michelle Zindorf had the ink section and Michelle Suit had paper. These two women are amazing and it was so cool to get to team up for this event. Stamping in front of nearly 4,000 people is just a LITTLE different from teaching my monthly card class :). The backstage team at Stampin' Up! is absolutely amazing and incredibly professional. Every conceivable detail was planned out, and everyone was so warm and sweet and really took all our nervousness away. It was SO much fun, and I am extremely grateful for this experience.

One of the fun things I learned backstage was that the social media/web marketing manager for Stampin' Up! - Chad Williams - had started a #catvention hashtag the year before with an app that lets you add a cat to photos. So of course I had to get all over that.

While we were waiting between presentations, I had a little fun backstage with a napping Shannon West while Chad looked on approvingly.

And maybe a little fun with some of the on stage presenters.

And even a little fun with our big group dinner.

Aaannnddd maybe in Temple Square

I look forward to the fun energy of this event all year. It really is magic. I SO MUCH love it when you guys find me and say "I've read your blog" - you have no idea how much that means to me. Thank you all so, so much.

I can't wait to see you in Orlando for Leadership - ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU RIDE THE TOWER OF TERROR WITH ME! So excited that we will have the place to ourselves for Manager's Reception.

So want to see what I demonstrated onstage?

The first technique was one I call stamp etching, and it's based on the Edward Gorey books I loved when I was little. I loved his simple, detailed pen and ink illustrations and used that as the inspiration for my first technique.

It's very simple - you just use the fine point of a Basic Black marker and a slight flicking motion to add tapered lines to each petal of Blended Bloom. Completely transforms the image and really makes it look nothing like what it looks like in the catalog, which was my goal.

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Isn't that striking? It's amazing how simple it is. Perfect for people who don't like to color but still want a dramatic effect.

I just love it and I find the process soothing. I used the Lovely Lace embossing folder for the background and added some Sweet Sadie washi tape.

So what do you think?

A poster Melanie made for the retreat really summed up this week for me. We all flock together once a year to learn a squillion techniques and tips. One class I took gave us THIRTY techniques in two hours - it was amazing. You come home home with tired, full brain, but you're just DYING to create something.

My presentation during demonstrator theater was all about finding ways to surprise people with stamps after you've learned the traditional ways to use them.

So it was sort of serendipitous that she hand lettered this sign that Ilina Crouse ended up winning at the retreat as a door prize. I could not love it more.

I hope all my fun arty friends have safe travels and come home to break all the rules.

Thanks for hanging out with me this week. 


Live #InspireCreateShare Coverage - Day 7!

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Live Blog #InspireCreateShare2014 Live Coverage

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Live #InspireCreateShare Coverage - Day 6!

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Live Blog #InspireCreateShare2014 Live Coverage

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Live #InspireCreateShare Coverage - Day 5!

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Live Blog #InspireCreateShare2014 Live Coverage

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Live #InspireCreateShare Coverage - Day 4!

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Live Blog #InspireCreateShare2014 Live Coverage

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Live #InspireCreateShare Coverage - Day 3!

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Live Blog #InspireCreateShare2014 Live Coverage

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Live #InspireCreateShare Coverage - Day 2!

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Live Blog #InspireCreateShare2014 Live Coverage

Sunday, July 13, 2014

LIVE NOW! Adventures of a Wacky Stamper!

It's heeeerrrrreeeee!!! The annual live #InspireCreateShare2014 Convention Coverage! Follow along with my adventures with my friends in Salt Lake City! This is the first year I will be presenting on stage - EEK - so wish me luck!

Also, I leave at zero dark CRANKMASTERGENERAL tomorrow so wish me luck with that as well. I basically have to go to bed at 6 tonight :).

And while I know you guys are more worried about Maddie and Splotch than you are about me, don't fret - the Other always takes vacation so they are not shell shocked by being alone all day. 

So to celebrate my own bon voyage, I made a card today with Calling All Heroes.

I masked off the section behind the buildings - and I know you won't believe me, but that is Daffodil Delight and Melon Mambo - no orange was used. I loved the pink tone in there. After it was stamped, I splattered it with alcohol, to make it seem like you're looking out a rainy window at that skyline.

That AWESOME greeting is so perfect for tomorrow - it's from the Project Life Remember This set.

If you've never joined me for this live convention feed before - you'll hear a little typewriter sound when there is new content and you can leave me comments, ask questions and generally feel like you are coming along with me on this annual adventure! So come on - let's see what kind of trouble we can get into. 

Live Blog #InspireCreateShare2014 Live Coverage

Monday, July 7, 2014

Don't Let The World Define You

I saw the most awesome video yesterday.

It was such a great life lesson about how you shouldn't let the world define you. You should just do whatever you want to do and let the chips fall where they may.

You only get one chance, after all.

And if you want to train a horse, and all you've got is a cow, then by God, train your cow.

I like that girl. She's got moxie.

So yesterday I had a chance (through the gift of procrastinating everything I should have been doing) to play with a product I've had for a month or so but haven't gotten a chance to try. It's called Brusho - and it's a watercolor powder. I blame Dina Kowal for this purchase - she's the one who told me it existed and of course I had to immediately buy it.

It's really a SUPER cool medium. The color is VERY intense, as you'll see, and a little goes a long way. It has a really velvety finish when dry that is so different from any other watercolor I've used. That's not really possible to show you here, but trust me, it's awesome.

It's workable like a BOSS. I went back over some hard lines from where each color pooled a little and was amazed at how it blended out even after it was dry - My Lukas tube watercolor, my Koi, pencils or reinkers - nothing is as workable as this.

Oddly enough, despite that, it's not super reactive with rubbing alcohol or dessicants, like salt. Alcohol had almost no effect.

The crystals are rather large, so sprinkling wasn't as successful as I thought it would be - the pigment is so intense I ended up with dark, dark granular areas I ended up blending out.

It's non-toxic, which I can verify, because the first thing Maddie did was lick my palette like a ninja when I had the powders out. Way to go Maddie.

I wrote the colors on the cap of each container because they all look the same. The colors are unbelievably beautiful. Oddly enough, the green pigments' powder is orange.

I used some of my favorites in a quick experiment while I was testing.

First, I stamped the Dotty Angles stamp in Versamark and clear embossed it. I stamped the greeting from Perfect Pennants in Basic Black.

Then I used Violet, Turquoise, Leaf Green and Yellow Brusho Powders to do a watercolor resist. I loved every minute of it.

I also enjoyed reading the instructions, which are in British English - so funny and different.

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So if life is imperfect and gives you a cow when you wanted a horse - saddle up, cowgirl.

Make the best of it.


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