Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Let's Talk About Remakes

Okay - we have a serious matter to discuss.


I'm really deeply offended by some remakes, but oddly enough - not others.

For example, I enjoyed the HECK out of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Maybe the reason I loved it was because I'd never seen the original series. I feel the same way about the Secret Life of Walter Mitty and probably for the same reason.

Here are a list of remakes which deeply offend me, and I think we should all show up and protest them.

  • Overboard - ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? IS SOMEONE SERIOUSLY GOING TO TRY TO GET ME TO BUY THAT THAT STORY CAN BE TOLD WITH ANYONE BUT GOLDIE HAWN AND KURT RUSSELL? These people should be shunned from society and set afloat on an iceberg covered with fire ants. No. Just No.
  • Jumanji - WHY?
  • The Birds - Remaking HITCHCOCK?? Why does that dark thought even cross anyone's mind? Is it prescription drugs? Ebola? What could drive a person to think that is an acceptable idea? Profane. It's profane. One clue on what a good idea this is is the director's name: Diederik Van Rooijen < what? No. 
You really have to wonder about the balance of good and evil in this world with this list and which side is winning.

Very disturbing.

But really - you should see the Man from U.N.C.L.E. - it's fantastic. Sorry if anyone's head just came off.

Anyway, one of our Hope You Can Cling To challenges was to remake or renovate one of our older cards. I knew which one I wanted to do, because at the time, I really liked it and I wanted to see if I could like it with a different look. Specifically, not a BLUE look.

Here is the card I chose to renovate.

And here is the renovation.

For this one I used my Zig Clean Color brush markers to color the rose, and then I cut it out and popped it up over the others, instead of coloring the base layer like I did in the original.

I ended up with too bright a pink, and so I softened it with some all over yellow, and that gave it a fun coral glow.

The sentiment is from Cottage Greetings

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I love this type of challenge just because it forces you out of your habits.

But that doesn't mean we should get all crazy and remake Hitchcock movies. That's crazy talk.

Hey - don't forget - we are doing a mini-retreat in Dallas the day before OnStage Live, so come join us for a day of stamping and fun. Register here- first come, first served, and space is limited.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Art Space / Time Continuum

I got to spend some time this weekend with some crafty friends I really admire.

One of them is a phenomenal watercolor artist and an entrepreneur - Dawn Woleslagle, who owns Wplus9.

She said something that really made me think.

A lot of people are in awe of her talent and tell her. Her teaching style is super approachable - and she is a kindred spirit in that she tells people to experiment and stop worrying about perfection in their art.

But she said that for someone first learning to watercolor, she might seem like the absolute best painter in the world. (at this point I was telling her she WAS! :) ). But then she said, in comparison to people who have painted professionally their whole careers, or have work in galleries in Santa Fe, her work would be considered amateur.

As a huge fan, I wanted to disagree with her, but it really was a great moment about the learning cycle that we all go through while we're trying to get better at what we do, and understand that all art exists on a sliding scale.

So I drew out a little art space/time continuum on a Project Life card on the plane home today.

I'm pretty sure my row mates thought I was a terrorist, but I had been up since 3 AM and didn't really care what they thought. After just a few hours of sleep I think everyone feels like a terrorist anyway.

I love her humility and reality check on this. We are all somewhere on that line, and it's important to know that there is both respect and admiration ahead of us, and that there is also respect and admiration behind us. It's up to each of us to pull each other along this line, and make sure that everyone knows there are fans behind us and models in front of us. She's a cool chick.

 Here's a sample of her work.

Now I'm a wee bit late on posting my Hope You Can Cling To cards because I've been gone, but I'm ready to catch up, so get ready for a lot of posts!

This card is for Cathy's challenge called I Am A Warrior. Cathy lost her sister to breast cancer, so this card drive is very meaningful for her and she's a fantastic host. Be sure and play along and give her some encouragement!

I did emboss resist with Lighthearted Leaves and Brusho. Then I made a card base from Fabriano Cold Press Watercolor paper, and did a background wash on it with QOR Payne's Grey - which is my absolute favorite neutral in the world. Perhaps because it has a blue tint.
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To me it looks like Indian Corn and since the challenge said we could use a Native American theme I thought it was perfect.

The sentiment is from the uber fabulous Watercolor Wishes kit. 

So hello. :)

Hope you can join us in the challenges, and remember to admire & respect creative people wherever they might be on the art space/time continuum. 


Monday, October 5, 2015

I Had Grand Plans

I had grand plans for this weekend.

I was going to get half of my Christmas cards done at a crafty retreat with some friends this weekend. I cut up some cardstock, pre-stamped a few things, packed things carefully (including determination) and headed off.

Five days later - the box of supplies still has not been opened. It was just hard to focus with all the giggling and Periscoping and borrowing other people's stamps, and spilling things all over the table, and using InstaKitty to put cats on people.

However, I DID open another box, and that was this adorable Hero Arts kit with a layering poinsettia.

You know I'm a complete freak for layering sets, and this kit was wicked fun. It came with five of the mini ink cubes (perfect for using with the MISTI since it's a layering set), dies, stamps and embellishments.

They have a really good guide in the package in full color to help you line the stamps up and the whole thing comes in a little plastic envelope with a snap that's about the size of a business envelope. There's another smaller envelope inside with a snap too that holds the embellies and the dies. I loved the packaging almost as much as the stamps. (I'm weird like that.)

This fun little bundle was the only thing that enabled me to make a single, finished card in five days of creative chaos and I really enjoyed it, so I am participating in a little hop about it today. Here's a walkthrough that will explain the contents better than I did :).

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Love the teeny leaf dies - I put those down on the cardstock and then popped the two poinsettias up over them. I sponged the edges of the flowers and the leaves withe the darkest red and green of the four with a Fantastix. The sentiment and the rhinestones are from the kit.

 Now you should see what everyone else did with the kit, so please check out their work below. I got to see Kathy's card in real life and it's amazing. The soft pinks she got with her second generation stamping are really beautiful.

Amy Tsuruta
Clare Prezzia
Jayne Nelson
Joan Bardee
Kathy Racoosin
Libby Hickson
Lydia Fiedler
Mariana Grigsby
Sandy Allnock
Suzanne Dahlberg
Wanda Guess
Yana Smakula

Also - I have the winner of the Online Card Classes Class from this post - so see if there is some beautiful watercoloring in your future!

Here's my winner! Please use the link in the sidebar to email me.

Email me with the link in the sidebar and I'll hook you up!

Have a great week.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hope You Can Cling To Kickoff (+ RAIN)

It's October - and you KNOW what that means! It's time for Hope You Can Cling To - the best stamping month of the year!

If you've never heard of this before, Hope You Can Cling To is a month long card drive that we do at Splitcoast for the patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. We send about 4,000 cards to the Volunteer services office there every October, and the patients or their families and caregivers can grab a beautiful handmade card from a basket and connect with their loved ones on their birthdays, special events or just to say hi. It helps keep people connected during a difficult and stressful time, and it's easy and fun for us to do. I hope you join us. There are 40 challenges this year - a minimum of one per day in October, and they are full of creativity and inspiration. We provide the address for you to send your cards to in each challenge post.

To reward you for this act of goodwill towards total strangers, we have some amazing sponsors who are contributing thousands of dollars in crafty prizes for participants. So get inky with us and share some kindness for these patients in Houston!

I get to open and close the challenges, and my challenge today is really a challenge! I found this little poem that I thought was perfect for our event.

Whether the weather be fine 
Or whether the weather be not, 
Whether the weather be cold 
Or whether the weather be hot, 
We'll weather the weather 
Whatever the weather, 
Whether we like it or not. 
                 ~Anonymous British poet

I love the British, stiff-upper-lippiness of this poem.

So my challenge is to make a card depicting your LEAST favorite weather condition.

I know I don't have to tell YOU this, but the answer for me, of course, is RAIN. I despise rain. (Droughtmongers - HUSH).

I actually made two different versions of this card and let my Periscope viewers pick which one would be my challenge sample. This first one is the reject.
 And here's the one they picked.

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I did a video on this after I put it on Periscope so you can see the two different techniques. You can see that here or below.

I really hope to see your ideas for this challenge in our gallery. We really have a lot of fun in October - so join us!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Have You Talked To Your Markers Today?

I hope not - because that would mean you're crazy, and you should be at the hospital instead of here on the Inking Royalty Blog hop.

I'll give you a minute to call the men in white coats.

BUT - if you are sane, and you are here to learn a trick, then you're in the right place, and I hope my trick will be a treat!

Last week, on Periscope, I shared a tip on using the Stampin' Up! Stampin' Write Markers to get nice blending effects.

The most important thing to know about our markers is that they are NOT watercolor markers. They are water-based dye markers, and they behave very differently from watercolor mediums. Understanding this can be the difference between frustration and bliss.

It's important to know the chemical properties of any medium you work with, so that you know what techniques you can and cannot do with them. So I took some time to explain the difference between our markers and true watercolor markers in my little broadcast, which you can watch below.

The best way to use a waterbased dye marker to get good blending is to layer color. These are translucent dyes, and you can get beautiful shading and dimension with them, but the technique you need to use is different than what you would use with a traditional watercolor medium.

So I picked what I thought would be the perfect image to show this technique, which is the beautiful grapes from Market Fresh. Grapes and balloons and other round shapes are a great way to practice light and shadow if you like to color.

What I did is worked one grape at a time, coloring the entire grape with the lightest color - in this case, a retired marker - Lavender Lace (because I wasn't paying attention - use Wisteria Wonder in its place) - and then added a tiny bit of shading with Elegant eggplant on one side, and then layered more Lavender Lace on top of the line where those two colors met.

It's not technically blending, because the dyes in these markers aren't as reactive as either alcohol or watercolor, but it's a layering technique that allows you to achieve a blended look. When you're done, you have a nice gradient that looks like you were using watercolor or alcohol, because of the transparent layering of the dyes.

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Now being on Periscope is fun because you can chat with your viewers, unlike YouTube. It allows me to spontaneously share without the burden of editing, etc. and it's really fun. If you're new to Periscope, come watch a few. If you get the app on your phone, and follow people and watch their broadcasts, be sure and tap the screen while you're watching to give them lots of hearts. Hearts make Periscopers happy. So without further ado, here is the replay, where you can watch me color this entire image.

Karen Barber does a great job with marker layering and actually has a tutorial on it on Splitcoast. She uses a blender pen, which makes the dyes more reactive as well. You can find that tutorial here.

Now it's time for you to hop along and find out whether the next post is a trick or a treat! I'm going to go ahead and guess that even if it's a trick, it will be a treat because I just adore Shawn. He's amazing - so click here to see what he has for you!

Thank you for hopping along with us. If you get stuck during the Blog Hop, please use this line-up as a guide:
  1. Brian King at Stamp with Brian
  2. Candy Ford at StampCandy
  3. Lynn Kolcun at Avery's Owlery
  4. Lydia Fiedler at Understand Blue
  5. Shawn de Oliveira at ShawnStamps
  6. Lisa Pretto at InkBig Academy Stamps
  7. Sharon Walker at Stamp with Sharon W
  8. Jennifer Spiller at Westside Paper Creations
  9. Becky Volpp at Ink Blossom with Becky

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ignoring the World Around You? Or OND? You Tell Me.

I've discovered there are two types of people in this world.

I know that sounds like the introduction to a joke - like "A priest and a rabbi walk into a bar."

But I'm completely serious.

There are two types of people in this world. Dr. Seuss had it right. You either have stars on your belly or you don't.

What fascinates me about the two types, is that in order to group people into two distinct classifications, you need to be alive right now, in 2015. Prior to roughly this time, this subdivision wasn't possible. This fact, in itself, might lead you to question the entire time/space continuum, in which case I say - you are welcome.

Here are the two types.

Type 1: When you see the image below, your brain chemistry changes. Your heart rate elevates, your palms sweat, a teeny bit of adrenaline rushes through your veins. You go into fight or flight mode. You attack with a ferocity that might frighten a hyena, just to remove the red notification icons.

I understand the psychology behind the red notification icon. Red induces panic.

Unless you're me. Which leads me to....

Type 2: What? I've never noticed that before - what is it? Oh - it's how many notifications I have? *Shrug*

I have absolutely ZERO desire to "clear out" notifications from sites which are purely social in nature. They are social. I don't need them. It's bad enough to have the weight of 200 emails an hour bearing down on you - you don't *need* to know that 48 people have posted a blurry picture of their grilled cheese on FB since you took a shower. If you even had time to take a shower in between notifications of some sort.

However, there is a specific gene that enslaves people to these little red notifications. And they are powerless to resist its siren song.

And then there are people like me.

Mine are always at 99 because I never click on them.

I remember the first time my friend Dana looked at my phone years ago and SCREAMED because I had 99 notifications on every app. I was so confused - I had truly never noticed them. I said "what are they?"

And then she explained that they are basically a to-do list. For a social app. At which point I went back to being completely bored with them.

There's even a thing on Facebook business pages now that yells at you about your response time to messages and tells you to answer them faster. No. We need fewer things to do, not more. Don't fall for it!

If you are afflicted with OND - Obsessive Notification Disorder, I am sorry - but I have an idea.

Since every app uses red for its notifications, what if you just got some green glasses? Then everything would look brown and you wouldn't feel anxious and behind all the time. Feel free to invent "OND glasses" and become a zillionaire.

Now the other day on Periscope, I did some image transforming with pointillism. You KNOW I love transforming images! Just so you know what it looked like before, this is the stamp I'm using.

And this is what I did with it.

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If you want to watch the replay of this project from Periscope, you can view it here - I'll delete this after Hope You Can Cling To though - so be sure and watch soon!

This is my card for one of the challenges - but I can't tell you which one. Be sure and join us for these - it's a great cause, and we reward participants with thousands and thousands of dollars in prizes. What could be better than that?

Oh - I know what could be better than that - a new online class! :)

I'm SO excited about this class - it's adorable. It's a very hip, retro-modern holiday class - it can be Christmas, or just general winter themed - and it is SQUEE-worthy. I hope you like it. I offer both a digital-only version as well as a postal version. You can read all about my Santa's Workshop class here.

I know you will love it!

I hope you have something fun planned for World Cardmaking Day this Saturday - and remember - if you make a card - SEND A CARD. :)


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pondering a Wily Raccoon

My mom had a pet raccoon when she was little.

The little thing loved Nilla Wafers, but found them endlessly frustrating, because he would go wash them in water, as raccoons do, and they would dissolve. I think he finally figured it out and stopped washing them.

While in a circumstance like this, I can understand that it might be difficult to be a raccoon, most of the time it's difficult to be a human with a raccoon problem.

I am such a human.

One night, in our old house, I was awakened by the sound of breaking glass near the front of our house. I got up (of course, my husband slept through this part) and realized the sound was coming from the garage. Smash, smash, smash.

Now I don't recommend this, but I was mad, and I opened the door to the garage - and immediately I thought I was hallucinating. Our garage was FULL of raccoons. They were up on the high shelves on the wall, they were on the car, they were on the ground. One of the ones up on a shelf looked right into my eyes and SMASH - pitched a jar off the shelf onto the floor, where it shattered.

Next to the car, this poor stray cat we had been feeding, and the reason we kept the garage door cracked, was being hissed at and terrorized by one of the coons that must have weighed thirty pounds. THAT made me mad. I started smacking them with a broom and chasing them out of the garage, After I vamoosed five of them, I closed the door and tried to comfort this poor kitty and make sure she hadn't been bitten. I left the glass cleanup for the morning. I go back to bed, and had JUST closed my eyes and SMASH! I shot back into the garage and sure enough there was another one in there. I chased him out and went to bed.

Since this incident I have had exactly zero love lost for raccoons.

The other day, I went to take the trash out, and found, as I do most days, that a coon had been in our trashcan, eating our scraps. I call him our composter. But as I looked at the bag torn open and wondered what his dish of choice was that day I realized something horrifying.

The little bugger has to hop up on the recycle bin - he can't hop onto the trashcan or he wouldn't be able to lift the lid - this is one of those giant, grey, city trashcans - lift the lid, which is heavy, hop down in onto the trash and then at at point sit INSIDE the trashcan in the dark with the lid closed and eat trash. Shudder.

Then how the heck does he get out? Does he just jump up so hard he bonks the lid open with his head? It's just slippery plastic so unless he's REALLY a giant, I don't know how he'd reach up there and crawl out.

And yet he does. It makes me want to film it. Maybe I will.

I felt sorry for him when I thought about that. But then I thought about our little kitty Dinah being terrorized by his cousins and that feeling passed. Bunnies are better.

I colored these bunnies on Periscope the other day and I promised everyone I'd make them into a card, so here they are.

I love how insecure they look. I wish I could make them feel better about themselves :).

This is actually a sneak peek of one of the Hope You Can Cling To challenges on Splitcoast. But I'm sworn to secrecy, so I can't tell you which one. What I can tell you is that you should join us for this amazing, month-long card drive for breast cancer patients at MD Anderson. It all kicks off on October 1, and our sponsors have some amazing prizes as a reward for your generosity and kindness.

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The bunnies are from the Made With Love set - I just did stamp surgery to separate them from the sentiment they are attached to.

The sentiment is from the Feel Goods Stamp Set. I colored them with Derwent Inktense pencils.

Don't you just want to hug them?? Make them laugh? I do.

And I want to convince raccoons to be more like them.

And to stop eating my trash. 

I'm having fun in the newest Watercolor for Cardmakers Class - Exploring Mediums - are you in this class with me? The first two days have been AMAZING. I love these classes because they are filled with experts, they make the techniques approachable and tell you ways to use supplies you already have, and you have lifetime access to them.

And guess what? You can win a seat in this amazing class!

All you have to do is leave me a comment with your absolute favorite FALL recipe.

I will draw a winner this weekend!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How Did I Get Here?

My sister and I were talking about a few really odd experiences at retail stores this weekend.

We've noticed a distinct change in the retail experience over the last ten or so years, and not really for the better.

For one thing, we've noticed that no one in any sort of retail store seems to know anything about the products in the store. I mean anything. If you ask a question, a crazy, outlandish question like "do you sell garden hoses," employees will stare at you, slack jawed, and join you in your wondering. "Wow - I don't know - I wonder if we do? I need a garden hose too."

The second thing is even more disturbing. This has happened to me several times when I've traveled lately. The most recent was in Salt Lake.

I was looking for a business, and I asked a person who worked in Starbucks where a particular address was. She walked outside with me and it was like she had just exited the alien spaceship in which she arrived at Starbucks that morning. She looked around like she had never seen any aspect of this environment before in her life. So much so that I asked her if she was from there. She not only said yes, but that she had worked at that Starbucks for five years, and dang it if she had no clue where the address I was looking for was. Now I'll give her that addresses there are stupid, but this was pretty odd. Turns out the address I was looking for was actually IN THE BUILDING THE STARBUCKS WAS IN and not two blocks south of there, which is where she tried to send me.

And she's not alone. This happens nearly every time I travel and ask people for directions. I have no idea how people actually get to work every day.

However, while pondering this I realized that maybe these two things are related. Maybe the reason that the people in Home Depot don't know whether they sell garden hoses or not is because they don't actually WORK at Home Depot. They work at Starbucks, but they didn't know how to get there, so they ended up at Home Depot.

That's my working theory, anyway. We should be kind to these people. They must be frightened and confused constantly.

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I made most of this card on Periscope yesterday. I wanted to show people how to use this ArtGraf water-soluble graphite. I love the sparkle the graphite gives - and you use it just like you use watercolor. Really fun.

I stamped the image from Blended Bloom in Smoky Slate before watercoloring with an Aqua Painter. The stamp and die for the sentiment are the Being Classy bundle from Concord & 9th. The card base is Basic Gray.

Big news about OnStage Live in Dallas if you're going - Bev and I are hosting a mini-retreat the Friday before the event. So if you are going to be in Dallas that weekend, or you just live in Dallas and want to stamp, be sure and register here - space is limited!

Also - my Embellished Ornaments online class is available now and I have the CUTEST Santa's workshop class coming in about a week.

In the meantime, if you go into a retail establishment in the next few weeks, plan on being self-sufficient.


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