Friday, June 14, 2019

Tequila & Duct Tape + Art From the Kitchen + Great Vegan Online Store

So I'm back from my first CrimeCon, and it was amazing.

Unlike ComicCon and other conferences arranged around a niche interest, at CrimeCon you won't see anyone dressed up like Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer. There are victims' families that attend the sessions and lead the sessions at CrimeCon. I went to a panel with Natalie Wood's sister about her case. I attended a panel with Libby and Abby's families - the victims of the Delphi murders. There were podcasters, members of law enforcement, and the true crime writing and television industry - 48 Hours was there, Dateline, etc.

And every presentation that was there was done with the utmost respect and sensitivity to the victims of crime, and the audience and the panelists did everything in their power to try to crowdsource solutions to unsolved crimes.

In one session, we walked through the re-enacted crime scene of an unsolved case with the victim's family - looking for any little clue that might be the one thing that that was missed. Victims of violent crime have been the beneficiaries of hundreds of thousands of eyes on their cases through podcasts and documentaries that ended up essentially solving some famous cases you've probably heard of - Tara Grinstead from Up & Vanished, the podcast The Teacher's Pet out of Australia, which shone a light so bright on the suspect that he was finally arrested after decades. Public attention matters, and it was very gratifying to see a conference so hell bent on justice, so grateful for the public's help and so respectful and kind at the same time.

On top of that, there were lots of moments of great fun - it was great to get to meet my favorite podcasters, and some of the sessions were really fun. A fellow attendee slipped me a note during the Paul Holes session where we were looking at a crime scene and Paul was asking us what we thought happened - and this guy had the answer - it was obvious after I read it, but was a good lesson in how easy it is to miss the obvious when you are focused on the wrong thing.

When I got home, I was cackling my way through today's new release, because it allowed me to make some crime-themed cards. I love it when the stars align like that.

I have a new Gel Press video for you today - at the bottom of this post - for how to make this fun textured background with items out of your kitchen! But first - the cards.

Okay - so the new Claire stamp and coordinating die is just a single image - the one on the left, and a single die. But, using a Jennifer McGuire trick, I created two little partners in crime.

I put my mirror image stamp in my MISTI, and set the Claire stamp up on it, picking it up with the lid of my MISTI. Then I stamped her in hybrid black ink onto the mirror image stamp. I carefully put a card panel down to pick up the now reversed image. Now note - when you do this, it won't be as crisp as the stamped image, but I cleaned up any fuzzy lines with my Copic Multiliner. Now after she's stamped and cleaned up, you hold the image up to the light, and position the matching die on the BACK of the cardstock to cut her out! Perfectly reversed image and die cutting. One of my favorite tricks.

I used the Cut-Align to draw stripes on their dresses with a pencil, and then filled them in with a multiliner. Then I colored the rest of her with Copics and added the sentiment from this hilarious new set that is so me. This card is basically a picture of me and my friend Kat.
 Next, I took an older Gel Press Print I did with bubble wrap and some cool, margarita-y colors and used the Eclipse Technique. I cut three margarita glasses out of black cardstock with this die, and then cut one out of the Gel Press Print. I glued those all together and then glued the now thicker glass back into the opening. The sentiment is from this set - again, very me. I used my favorite glittery washi as a dividing line. This tape is super sparkly but doesn't actually have glitter, so nothing will come off on your hands. It's like a sparkly little bar for the glass to sit on. So I didn't use duct tape on my card, BUT, I do travel everywhere with a roll of duct tape in my carry-on. I'm that person you want with you if things don't go according to plan, trust me.
 This card I made for Jennifer McGuire for her birthday. It's like a picture of her dog, Foxy. Did you know that Clifford the Big Red Dog was based on a Viszla? No, you didn't - and neither did I. Only a crazy dog lady would know that, and my sweet crazy dog lady friend Jennifer is the one that dropped that knowledge bomb on me! I have a pair of Viszlas I see on my walk and they are the sweetest danged dogs.

So first, I stamped the fun polka dot circle stamp on the card base in Key Lime. I took a card front and lightly brushed Key Lime (it looks yellow, right? But it's the same color) through the new watercolor stencil onto the card front with Life Changing Blender Brushes. Then I cut a circle with my Infinity Dies, and after coloring and fussy cutting this cute dog stamp, I positioned it so that it looked like the dog was popping his head out of the opening. He looks like he wants a treat. The sentiment is from the same set.

Now, probably my favorite of the bunch is this next one. I took a Gel Press Print that looked, well, bloodstained, and I added a bright happy strip created during this video for a horizontal contrast. 

Then I used the new Seriously die, which I'll be using a lot, and the shockingly truthful sentiment from this set below it. Cracked myself up the whole time I was making this. That happens a lot. I'm easily amused.
Isn't that all fun? There are tons of other fun things out today - including CHICKENS and CATS and a GIANT SUCCULENT- and I've included them all in the list below. Then below the list, be sure and watch the video and check out an amazing new food resource I found for my food allergies!

BFF Girl Claire
[ PFS ]
BFF Girl Claire Coordinating Die
[ PFS ]
Litter of Cats
[ PFS ]
Watercolor Brush Strokes Stencil
[ PFS ]
Quilting Market Stencil
[ PFS ]
[ PFS ]
Natural State of Sarcasm
[ PFS ]
Tequila and Duct Tape
[ PFS ]
Dandelion Stencil
[ PFS ]
Lucky Puppy
[ PFS ]
Seriously Word Die
[ PFS ]
Lovely Word Die
[ PFS ]
Desert Succulent
[ PFS ]
Polka Dot Grunge
[ PFS ]
The Hen House
[ PFS ]
The Hen House Coordinating Die
[ PFS ]
One Hot Chick
[ PFS ]
One Hot Chick Coordinating Die
[ PFS ]
Martini Glass Die - Picket Fence Studios
[ PFS ]
Whimsy Stamps MIRROR IMAGE Rubber...
[ SSS ]
Deco Tape Glitter Precious Metals,...
[ XPR ]
Black Hybrid Ink Pad - Picket Fence...
[ PFS ]
GKD Color Companions Ink Pad- Key...
[ GNK ] : Hammermill 102467 Copy...
[ SSS | BLIC ]
Inovart Pro-Roller Brayer
Circle Infinity Dies (H)
[ HA ]
Life Changing Blender Brush 2-Pack -...
[ PFS ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSP | SSS | ELH | MFT | HA | UNT ]
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer...
Sakura CLASSIC WHITE Fine Line 05...
[ SSS ]
Copic Multiliner SP 0.03 BLACK Ink...
[ SSS ]
Art Anthology BIG CRAFT MAT 24x36 311473
[ SSS ]
Heavy Base Weight Card Stock- White
[ GNK ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
LightView 2in1 LED Magnifier for...
[ BRG ]
Mudder 10 Pack White Buffer Sanding...
Teflon Bone Folder - Ellen Hutson LLC
[ ELH | SSS ]
Cut Align
[ MSP | SSS ]
Crafter's Companion GEMINI...
[ SSS ]
Essentials by Ellen Storage...
[ ELH ]
Die Storage - Clear Storage Pockets...
[ CHC ]
XL Stamp Storage Pockets
[ ELH ]
Lawn Fawn STAMP SHAMMY Cleaner LF1045
[ SSS ]
Airtable: Organize your stamps & dies
[ ART ]
Latest Release Archives - Picket...
[ PFS ]

So WAIT until you see what I used to create what I'm calling "Faux Apter" texture with my Gel Press. Seth Apter is one of my favorite teachers ever, and he does amazing texture effects in acrylic paint, and I tried to recreate that with some stuff from the kitchen, actually :). Enjoy and then check out, speaking of the kitchen, an awesome food resource below the video.

So I have food allergies, as you know, and sadly, dairy is one of those allergies. And it's a recent allergy, which is pretty devastating for an Irish girl who loves cheese and butter. Butter and cheese were extremely difficult to get over, until I found this AMAZING company that makes cultured coconut butter that is indistinguishable from European cow butter. Most vegan butter is full of chemicals and gums - she does things differently. They also make phenomenal nut-based cheeses that make great creamy pastas, mac & cheese - all those things I missed. My sister didn't believe me about the butter or the yogurt (also on my list) and then could not stop raving about them when she tried them. Yesterday, I had a quesadilla with the cheddar and refried beans and was indescribably happy.

And, through them, I found this incredible site that carries her product and tons of other vegan foods. It's safest for me to just look for vegan food because I know they don't have dairy in them - I do this shopping and eating out - and so this company has opened up lots of new food doors too me that have been off limits - dressings, ice cream, etc. It just helps me feel less deprived and sort of shunned in social food situations. Their gluten-free tortillas that are on my list there I first had at an allergy friendly restaurant here and they have actually replaced flour tortillas for me, even though I don't have an issue with gluten. They are just that delicious.

They have a bunch of filters on the site on the left hand side that help you narrow your selections by oil-free, yeast-free, soy-free, corn syrup-free, etc. - which is a HUGE help whether or not you have allergies. I actually worked for a start-up here in Austin for a while that built similar filters that were brilliant and so this made me happy to see.

They ship your food on dry ice, very fast, and you get gifts with your first order as well as $10 off. Their packaging is ingenious and attractive, and I just had such a great first interaction with them I thought I'd share. I'll be adding them to my My Favorite Things Page under the foodie section. I created a favorites list on their site that you can see here - either way - check them out. Very happy to have found them - I hope some of you with allergies can use something like this to make life easier. Please tell me in the comments any of your favorite dairy-free foods so I can explore.

Until you have food allergies you don't realize how much anxiety they create around food and social situations. Anything that can help you feel less anxious is a win in my book.



  1. Ok. Wow. Mind blown. I use instant tea and coffee in my art, but never on my gel plate. And I've never even thought of using baking soda. I cannot wait to try this! I guess housework will just have to wait because I'm headed for the studio (which is actually my kitchen, but one must have dreams). Thank you for this awesome inspiration.

  2. Not only are they gorgeous but these are extra fun!

  3. Mercy! So many reasons I love this post! The alibi twins, the amazing backgrounds, the fantastic sentiments, the dog 😍 and the allergy recommendations. I’m gluten and grain intolerant so my choices for breads, crusts, bakery treats area all severely limited. I’m allergic to corn, avocados 😢 and latex. Corn is in just about everything! 👎🏼 I also refuse to eat foods with chemicals and or chem dyes. Learning ingredient lingo is overwhelming but worth it for peace of mind. Knowledge is power that keeps me healthy.

  4. Awesome cards with these new designs! I love that adorable pup and the way you colored him!
    Glad you are finding some alternatives for you food allergies! I have a food allergy too, and I carry an epi pen because of it. I've become a label reader for ingredients in breads and crackers, as my allergy is to buckwheat! At least that one is pretty easy for me to avoid!

  5. These gel prints are amazing. What about trying cinnamon? I bet that would smell amazeballs. I have never done gel printing, but I love watching your videos. The only food allergies I have developed is to carrots and apples, which is sad, I love them both (especially apples).


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