Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Grrr...

Computers are from the devil, I'm pretty sure. My desktop computer still is not fixed of course, and last night there was some inexplicable internet problem that kept me from posting. So here are some things I've been working on.

First, I needed some thank you cards, so I borrowed this layout from skdeleeuw on SCS - she created it for a grey and yellow color challenge. I know you can't tell in my picture, but my bird is actually eggplant, not black. It's really pretty with the celery. I love that little birdie. You do have to be really careful with it though because you have to make sure it's totally inked up or you get little blank spots on him. So make sure your ink pad is not dry, and definitely look at the stamp before stamping. I had to make a bunch of them, so I made more than a few mistakes!!

The flourish is from Inque Boutique, and the bird and the little berries are from Always. Sometimes it is so liberating to make a card with no layers, no hardware, just color and form, you know!

Next, I needed something for a sweet friend - and I needed a tree, because my friend draws the most amazing trees, so I needed to pay a tribute. Trees are something I could never draw - despite numerous expensive art classes over many years. Mine always looked either stupid or scary. So I'm very impressed with these sketched trees.

This is from a Zindorf tutorial called Lake Side Tree. I couldn't quite get the water right, but I do think the composition is beautiful. It's amazing how stamping and then just sponging a little color on the tree really makes it come alive. First, I cut a hill out of post it notes, and masked. Then I brayered soft sky. Then I masked and sponged Bashful Blue for the water, and Old Olive for the hill. I sponged Handsome Hunter at the bottom of the hill, and Ballet Blue at the top of the sky. I sponged a little Certainly Celery onto the tree, after inking just one of the trees from Lovely as a Tree with a Chocolate Chip marker and stamping it. I took her advice and extended the stem a little too. Then I mounted it on three panels of Chocolate Chip with Basic Grey patterned paper on top, and put all that on a Ballet Blue card. Hope you like it!!

Tonight is my customer appreciation event at WineStyles - let me know if you'd like to come! We are going to make a cute little Father's Day project, courtesy of the June issue of Martha Stewart. This is a little men's shirt cuff! You could stick a gift card inside or just use it as a place card, write on the back, etc. I think it's adorable. The patterned paper is 9" x 3.25". Hold the ends together and corner round the top - punch through both at the same time so they are even. Then I punched two .5" circles out of the same paper and stuck them onto Build a Brads to use as "cufflinks". In the magazine, she showed them with buttons and also with little tacks like the silver brads from the new Silver Hodgepodge Hardware kit and she actually made them double sided like real cufflinks - they were adorable. I couldn't figure out how to make the brads work like cufflinks, so I just chose the single Build a Brads. Buttons are super cute though - experiment!!

Lastly, I made this little coffee card after seeing a project on Paper Trufflez that intrigued me. This uses those clear presentation folders from Office Depot, cut down to card size on the folded edge. They have little semicircular holes punched in the spine already, which is perfect for threading the bow through! I know it's hard to see the plastic cover in this photo, but look at the top. Then I just punched little circles out of Basic Grey patterned paper, and Regal Rose and Chocolate Chip cardstock. I stamped the coffee cup from a My Favorite Things set on the inside of the card and colored it with Copics. On the inside it says Thanks a Latte.

I cleaned my studio last night so watch out!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It came to me in a dream!!


Honest, it did!!! I took a sorta nap - just dozing while golf was on (golf is very mind numbing and perfect for napping - no one ever screams and wakes you up) and right when I was waking up for it I dreamed this card. The center part in my photo looks orange, but it's actually a warm sunny yellow - summer sun actually! The center panel is watercolor paper. I dropped a few drops of my summer sun reinker on it and then liberally applied water with my aquapainter. Then, while it was still wet, I added a few drops of green galore and painted them in with the aquapainter. The flower, from Touch of Nature, was colored with copics and cut out. Of all things, with a color called "Holiday Blue" and Aqua. The center is more summer sun reinker. I popped that up with a dimensional. The background paper is Basic Grey from one of my new packs and the card base is Taken with teal. I finished it off with a silver ribbon slider and some turquoise ribbon. Hope you like it.

Want to do something great?

Help me reach my goal for the Dallas/Fort Worth Breast Cancer 3-Day!I did this walk two years ago and it's incredible. I'd estimate that a little over half of the people who started got to finish - it's very difficult even if you are trained to walk 60 miles in three days. We raised a ton of money and met some incredible women. If you'd like to contribute, just click the image and you'll be sent to my fundraising page. If you want to cheer me along until November 7th, I would love that also!! If you want to walk with me that would really be great!!!

Gotta go buy some new shoes. Mine are worn out. :) I'll try to keep track of my miles here with you as I go. Today - 13 miles.

Friday, May 23, 2008

WSC 49 & B Happy!


Okay, so tonight I was feeling - well, BLUE. So I created this first card for Beate's weekend sketch challenge, which called for three horizontal bands of color and a circle element. As if on a mission from God, (or SCS) Zindorf's tutorial used this same concept so I CASED. The cardstock is soft sky, and I brayered more soft sky on. Then I sponged Celery and Ballet Blue over some embossed Stem Silhouette images. I masked th emoon with a 1 3/8 punch and a post it note. My punch doesn't punch cleanly through the post it though. I have to hand cut the top of the circle. Anyone else have that issue? I guess cardstock is the ideal medium for that punch. Speaking of punches, the one I used in the next card - the Boho Blossoms punch - is very hard to punch with .. Anyone? Of course, as you know, I'm old!! :) So maybe it'st just me.

Anyway, old or no, I did make up a card based on a color scheme in the catalog. My sort of vague somewhat
photographic memory tells me it was towards the back. It's Old Olive and Soft Sky. I randomly got the Basic Grey wasp shipment !!! from Tracey this week and it just happened to have a piece of patterned paper with both those colors in it! LOVE it. So I used it for this "Just B" card.

I stamped the B and the "happy" in Versamark and embossed with clear. The rest is easy - the punch and the felt flowers. I cheated and used a Bashful Blue brad because they don't make Soft Sky Brads. Anybody besides me want markers and accessories in the InColors? Maybe that is what they will tell us at convention - that and die cut stamps - PLEASE STAMPIN' UP PLEASE!!!!

Whoa - what just happened?

Okay - wish me luck tomorrow - gonna try to walk 13+ for training for the 3 day walk and it's REALLY hot - been over 100 already a few times this week. I'm about to post a link for my walk if you want to help me. I'm a little behind in my training now because I'm so busy it's hard to walk during the week, so I am just doing the big ones on the weekends. I gotta get with the program though - November will be here before you know it!!

Hope everyone has a relaxing weekend planned. We have a trip to the ranch, editing, stamping and a whole lot of nothing on Monday. Hallelujah!!!


Thursday, May 22, 2008

He wants us to move the island...


You know how the season openers of LOST and other significant episodes begin with a closeup on one of the character's eyes? Well today was a significant day, so appropriately so does this episode of Understand Blue. It's my eye. And it's so completely freaky I had to share it with you. I had an eye exam today because I can't SEE Lost anymore. I used to be able to pause the show and read little Dharma Initiative messages, the titles of books and other critical details of the show. Suddenly a few months ago, I stopped being able to read even the little banners at the bottom of Fox News Channel. I was actually a little nervous! It turns out I am just old!! My left eye randomly changed shape and has an astigmatism. Anyway, she numbed and dilated my eye and now I look like that scary Japanese girl who was crawling around on the ceiling in The RING!! eek. So BOO!!!

Okay - now on to stamping. I know you're getting tired of this same card, but I'm addicted! Today I took my color combo from this issue of Stampin' Success. I love grey and yellow together. I actually even watercolored the Basic Black Marker as well as the grey one and it really worked. I thought since it was "permanent" it wouldn't move around on the watercolor paper but it does! It gets a slight purply tinge to it, but looks great.

I finally found the missing leaf in this vase, thanks to Judie! It's top left. I knew there was no way there was only one unbalanced leaf but I told you I can't see anything!! I get my glasses in a week and then I'll be better!
Coloring with your eyes dilated - really bad idea. I really have no idea what it looks like, so I'm sorry if it's all jacked up!!! If it is, I hope you are all giggling at the poor old blind lady. Thanks for all your kind words about the wasps. My back and arm are still all jacked up, but I have my stamps! The postman did not deliver any packages today I guess because the key is still in that box and my sign is still on there. Very disturbing. Hope my postman isn't dead of killer wasp stings, now that I think about it.
Last, but totally not least, a lovely blue butterfly, Zindorf inspired. I hand wrote some things about butterflies with my Sakura Pigma Micron .005 pen. FYI, these don't smudge at ALL with Copics or sponging! It's a wonderful pen. I love the .005 because if you look at all my "watermarked" cards, you'll see the teeny fine line signature - that's with this pen. It's as thin as a needle!! Sakura makes a bunch of great products.
I stamped the butterfly from Wonderful Wings in Brilliance Graphite Black and colored him with Copics. Then I colored him with my VersaMarker and embossed him with clear. Then I inked up the leaf in VersaMark and then in Green Galore and stamped and embossed it. Then I sponged on Summer sun, and right around the butterfly, Pumpkin Pie. I stamped "It's About Time" in Sahara Sand onto some Basic Grey patterned paper and then layered that onto a Tempting Turquoise card base.
I mounted the butterfly panel with dimensionals.
Hope you guys are having a great Thursday!! I'm soooo sleepy right now - got up insanely early - at 3:45, so I need to hit the hay soon.
L8R

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More Watermarking



Tee hee.. Next thing you know, that will be all over the internet as the term for watercoloring with markers - you heard it here first!!!



I really like this technique. It's very easy and fast.



I also have a confession to make. There are some colors that I just don't like. I have tried to like them, but I just don't. Like Beate and purple. Colors go deep into our brains and evoke some crazy prehistoric response that we can't control. At least that is what I tell myself every time I see Sage Shadow and Blush Blossom and Glorious Green. I can't change it. I'm too old.



And confession #2, sometimes I make things with these colors that make me shudder to give away to the assisted living center I teach classes at sometimes or whatever, just so I can use up the cardstock - I know other people don't feel the same way I do... But it never goes away! I swear I haven't bought sage shadow since 1992 and I still have oodles of it.



However, I see combinations sometimes that make me pause and wonder if I'm too "colorist". One of them is Sage Shadow and Blush Blossom - very pretty and soothing. Tonight I tried to step outside the comfort zone and see if I couldn't make it work. I think I got close anyway. It sure does look pretty with pink.



Hope you're having a good Wednesday. I'm sleepy already and it's only 7:30. I experienced a serious trauma at the mailbox today which might be the problem. I got my order from Starving Artistamps, and that means I got a key to one of the large boxes at my stupid group mailboxes inside my teeny mailbox that nothing fits in. So I stick the key in the big box, open the door, stick my hand it AT WHICH POINT 8000 VERY ANGRY RED WASPS FLY OUT AND TRY TO STING ME!!!!! I completely hurt my elbow twisting away while still holding the key to the box. The key is still in the box, as is my package, so I have to open it and try again. I open it and see that there is a HUGE wasp nest in the upper corner of this box by the door - OMG!!!! I bravely stick my hand in, actually touching a wasp that was crawling on the box, grab the box and run into the bushes, scraping myself all up. Mind you, I'm wearing a dress and inappropriate heels for wasp evasion. Holy cow am I PISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSED at this point.



Luckily, not stung, I drive back to my house and grap a sheet of summer sun, and write in very loud large letters an extremely angry note about the wasps and some thinly veiled suggestions about what to do with the nest on it with a sharpie, grab my packing tape and head back to tape the note on the box.



I'M STILL MAD! My dad broke his shoulder in an almost identical incident at his group mailbox.



IF I AM PAYING NEARLY 50 CENTS FOR YOU PEOPLE TO TAKE A LETTER FROM POINT A TO POINT B, AND YOU CAN'T EVEN BRING IT TO MY HOUSE ANY MORE, WHERE I WOULD BE HAPPY TO MAKE SURE THERE AREN'T ANY POISONOUS ANGRY BEESTS LURKING AROUND THE MAILBOX, THEN YOU D*** SURE BETTER TAKE CARE OF THAT LITTLE PROBLEM IN THE STUPID GROUP MAILBOX BEFORE I TAKE POSTAL TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Oh, I feel so much better now! ;)



One of the things I got in the box from Tracey was a Spica Glitter pen - WOWEEEEE!! It's really fabulous. It has a marker sort of tip like the fine end of the Stampin' Write Marker instead of the roller ball that the Sakura pen has, so it's just different. Gorgeous, very smooth application of super fine sparkle. I think you'll like it.



I also got a ton of new Basic Grey paper and some stamps that maybe I'll use for my Christmas cards - it's almost time to make those, you know!!! :)

Anyway, have a good night. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

H20 + Markers


= fun with watercolors!!

I saw a great blog post the other day about watercoloring with Stampin' Up! markers, and I thought I'd give it a try. Her example used this image from Bloomin' Wonderful, which I have actually never used! I love that poppy so much I never stray from it! But she inspired me to try the technique, and it's so easy I went on to do a few more. I bought a large pad of watercolor paper at Office Depot and cut it up to use for these projects. The floral panel is 4x3. I stamped the image in Brilliance Graphite Black and heat set it. Then I colored the edges of the vase in Eggplant Envy and did the same with just the centers of the flowers with Summer Sun. The leaf was outlined in Old Olive. Then, I took a brand spanking new AquaPainter and just watercolored - blending from dark to light and going over the marker a few times with water where the color was really concentrated. Watercolor paper is perfect for this because it holds up to the multiple applications of water without tearing or pilling. The center of the flowers are accented with my white gel pen. Then I took a Staedtler Micron pen and signed it because I thought it really looked like a little painting! On the eggplant card base I stamped the "blossom" definition from this set over and over again in eggplant ink.
The sweet little bunny and carrots are from "Can Ya Dig It?" by My Favorite Things. Such an adorable set. I took this scene from ebethneu's adorable bunny book on SCS. Her work is amazing. I didn't mount this one or anything - I just wanted to make a little bunny painting. So it's just propped up on my desk. MFT really has great imaged - heads or no heads - they're cute!!! :) (Jenn, that was for you!)
Again, this is just Stampin' Up! Markers, and then an AquaPainter to blend and lighten. What amazes me is how quick this really is. Also a note - your markers do NOT work on wet paper. So scribble first, and then use the A/P - not the other way around.
The next card features that adorable castle image from Doodle Factory Fairy Tale. So cute. I decided to get a little Zindorfy for the background and sort of Markie's Mom around the edges!! I colored the castle and then went over the whole thing with my VersaMarker. Then I embossed it (and the cloud) in clear embossing powder. That left me free to sponge in the hills and sky without ruining my main image. It's funny how the Carmine Copic Marker really coordinates with Real Red - It certainly doesn't look like that on the cap! I used Cool Shadow and the Toner Grays on the castle. The little mushrooms are from the same set, cut out and popped up on the card. The greeting is from Min Positive Words.
Finally, I got my adorable Fresh Cuts notes and stamp set this week - man I love them!!! (Demonstrators can pre-order them - if you're a customer, they're coming!) I just popped the little petals out, stuck some Basic Grey patterned paper on the inside front, and stamped "Thanks"
from this same set on the outside in Ruby Red (which is an amazing match
to this BG paper!) Then I popped one of the Fire rhinestone brads into the center. Really simple cute cards you can make with these. I can't wait until we can order them and bunches of them!!
I hope you guys are having a great Tuesday.

I'm a Queen!!

Well, sort of! I'm a featured blogger on Queen Kat's Blog!! YAY! Check out their blog - link at right! Thanks QKD!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cards from and for friends

Hello everyone! Neelam had her workshop today and she was fabulous!!! She did 3 adorable projects and everyone loved them.

She also introduced me to Welch's frozen passionfruit juice, and WOW. That stuff is good!! Then I went shopping and they were doing samples of Central Market Organics apple and pear soda - shazaaaam!! That stuff is great! Then I went to Target and put together the emergency kit for the BMW - I had to get a smaller one than my own. And just to expose you to this particular dementia of mine, I have to have an emergency kit in my car. It contains: an extensive first aid kit, a pair of tennis shoes and socks (Chriss can appreciate that my normal footwear is completely inappropriate for walking or running long distances), two large bottles of water (I have driven American cars for the last 24 years so if you have too, you know this is for my radiator and not for me), flares, a lighter, jumper cables, one of those emergency power thingies that charges your battery from the cigarette lighter, a flashlight, a large collection of maps and atlases should an electromagnetic pulse bomb destroy my phone and or my Garmin Nuvi, a can of coke (good for cleaning corroded battery terminals OR rescuing someone who has diabetes, a box of antibacterial handwipes, a trashbag, Benadryl fun strips (the kind that melt on your tongue), aspirin (in case someone has a heart attack), a box of latex gloves and a roll of toilet paper. I know, I'm crazy. However, when I'm sewing up your head on the side of the road after an apocalyptic event of some sort, I will accept your apology with grace!! :)

Anyway, my sweet friends have once again sent me wonderful things. First, Bee, who has the most enchanting blog you've ever seen, sent me this lovely BLUE and sunny card - I love it! My photography does not capture the iridescence - it is lovely. And that ribbon is so sassy I can hardly stand it!! The edges are sponged orange and just so intense and lovely. Thanks BEE!!!




Then, speaking of blue, look at this heartstopping blue beauty from my friend Vee - she's been reading the Zindorf tutorials and doing amazing work. My favorite flower really comes to life on this card - look at all the details!!! The symmetrical stamping in the corners and on the border - amazing, as always Vicki!!

I don't know whether the edges are sponged or brayered, but I can tell you that they are the most amazing deep & bright cobalt blue. Just stunning. Hoping my irises bloom this year!
It's year three after the transplant, so it's time.


This one is my card, featuring an Inque Boutique image, I actually made for Kristina Werner, who had a birthday this week! It was really easy to make the background by sponging various blues, and then I just stamped that lovely bird on two separate panels and lined them up. The patterned paper is Basic Grey, and I took Not Quite Navy and sponged the edges of this piece too. It's amazing how cool just sponging background paper is. Why have I never done that before? I distressed the edges of the Bashful Blue piece with my distressing tool.




Then this last card, for a friend, I made this afternoon. I actually took the part of the panel from the card above that I had cut off and used that for the background of the main image, which is a beautiful weeping willow from Impression Obsession. The trees in this set are really nice. This is a sympathy card, so I thought it had both beauty and a serious, reflective note. I used postits to mask and sponge the ground. First, above the post it notes with Always Artichoke, and then below the post its with Chocolate Chip. The tree and the greeting are stamped with Adirondack Pitch Black. Believe it or not, the base of the card is Not Quite Navy, which is horribly distorted in this picture. Sorry about that.
I used the perforating tool from the distressing kit to run a vertical and horizontal perforation line on the card. Then I stamped the other image from Kind Thoughts all over the background in Not Quite Navy.
I'm so excited because my Fresh Cuts notes (OMG THEY ARE SO CUTE) and the stamp set came yesterday. Tomorrow is busy but I'm hoping to create something for you with them!
Hope you're having a great Saturday!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blech


I am sick today. :( Grr. I am never sick so it's annoying. I didn't feel well enough to prepare for my class I have tomorrow. So I will update you on what I'm doing right now. Tomorrow I have a class for my friend Lulu's moms group. That should be a lot of fun. Then, later in the week, I have a charity event that I was invited to by Lulu's Arbonne rep. It benefits a family with young children that lost their mom recently. They will be raffling off prizes, so I donated two prizes - a box of eight cards - two blank, two birthday, two baby cards and two get well soon cards. I also donated a two hour class for 8 people. I hope someone likes the prize!! For the blank cards I used the tree cards. I can't get over these - they're so pretty and easy. The colors I used are Bashful Blue - brayered on. Then I sponged on Taken with Teal and then Ballet Blue at the top. The bottom was brayered with Creamy Caramel, then sponged with Chocolate Chip and Really Rust. The center was sponged with Green Galore. I stamped the tree in Always Artichoke, then sponged on Green Galore and True Thyme. I colored the trunk with Close to Cocoa and outlined with a drafting pen. The swirl was stamped in Chocolate Chip.

The Get Well cards are made with A Little Birdie Told Me. I paper pieced him with my Prints Pack.
I punched three holes in the Almost Amethyst strip and I did this after acting on a tip from another blogger. Take a pair of pliers and pop off the little door that holds the punched out pieces. Voila! You can SEE what you're punching! Simple & revolutionary. The guards pop off without breaking, but just a warning - empty yours first! I did not and shot little confetti everywhere, including directly into my eye! Seriously - right in the old ojo!
Okay, on the inside of the card I stamped the little umbrella and "you're under the weather." It's cute. The card base and the other print piece are Certainly Celery.

The next card is just a direct theft from Kristina Werner's baby card on her blog. I have always loved this card (actually bought the stamp set after seeing her make it) but the second I bought it everyone stopped having babies!!! So I'm really glad to have somewhere to use it! I had to cut a teeny scrap of a dimensional to mount that little pennant with. Labor of love!
I hope whoever wins these cards knows a pregnant lady!
The colors are certainly celery, Bashful Blue and So Saffron. The set is Nursery Necessities. I really do like this set, with the exception of that strange little duck - have you looked at him? He's odd. Not gonna lie. I've seen some cute cards made with him, but he looks like he got smooshed. I tied on some Bliss Blue gingham ribbon. I was copying KW's and I was wishing for some yellow or celery gingham ribbon. God knows I don't have enough STUFF, right?


I went back to Felicia's Scrapbooks and got a piece of the Nestabilities mat to try embossing with. When I'm feeling better I'll give that a shot. Her store is really great and she's so sweet. My Austin readers really need to check her out.

The birthday cards are courtesy of Beate's latest design. I changed very little of what she did - it's gorgeous.
The stamp sets are Baroque Motifs, Simply Circles and Circle of Friendship. The cardstock is Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky, and white in the center (sponged with Soft Sky)
I don't have a Scor Pal, so I scored the center piece with my paper trimmer. The trick to scoring on a diagonal in your paper trimmer is the following. Start by scoring the center of the piece - meaning corner to corner. Position the corners in the scoring track and score. Then move that out to the left and line it up on the edge of the trimmer (that's an inch) and score, and repeat! Rotate it and repeat on the other angle. Very easy and requires no extra spending on your part! :) I suppose some day I will have to get

a Scor-Pal, but right now I don't have a burning scoring project that can't be done with a paper trimmer or a bone folder. Anyway, just be sure you stamp before you score unless you are deliberately looking for little voids in your design. (which can be very cool when done on purpose)

What I loved about Beate's design, aside from the obvious stunning color choices, was all the layers of detail - the piercing, the white gel pen dots (a la Markie's Mom) and the scoring, the ribbon, the punches - it's a very tactile card. When I looked at her photo, it looked like the center piece was soft sky, but that is just a testament to how well the Stampin' Up! ink colors are coordinated with the cardstock. Every time I reach for another company's ink pad I remember that too.. Like "darn, I have nothing that precisely matches that". I am falling in love with the Adirondack pitch black though. Thanks for your comments about that product. Is it my imagination, or does it coat the stamps more evenly than the SU basic black? I'm getting great clean impressions with it, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Now, since we're on the blue section of the post, a few notes on the color. Jenn gave me the heads up that Starbucks was putting their new merchandise out today and that it was BLUE! And oh my, IS IT!! There are beautiful blue mugs that you just HAVE to see. I don't know how they keep coming up with the most beautiful ceramics!! They also have at one store here (our only 24 hour one up by work) something called a "splash stick) which is an ingenious cross between a coffee stirrer and a plug for your cup lid so you don't spill in the car. I love it! Wish my stores that I frequent had them!

Okay a few more updates and then I'll leave you be. First, the TV show is on the schedule!! It will be on starting June 1st, every Tuesday at 1 PM, on channel 11 on Time Warner!! How exciting is that?? It's called Understand Blue Paper Arts for those of you in Austin - set your Tivo! I don't get Time Warner so I need someone to record it for me!!
Second update - if that goes well, I'd like to enter it in Martha's Dreamers contest! Wouldn't that be fun?
Third, I saw on Martha today the Wild Charge - have you seen this thing? What a freaking brilliant idea!!! I can't tell if the Blackberry Curve is compatible yet, but Ipods are! WOW. Thank you Wild Charge!!
Hope you're having a good Tuesday!








Sunday, May 11, 2008

Zippety-Zindorf, Zippety-Yay


My oh my, what a wonderful day!! (now that song is stuck in YOUR head too!!)

It's a GORGEOUS day here in Central Texas. I walked 13 miles this morning in the cool sunny windy loveliness and then stuffed myself like a tamale at Red Robin with my bud Lulu. If I had time for a nap today don't even THINK I wouldn't be doing it right now.

Here are some cards for yesterday that I was too tired to post. I am experimenting with Michelle Zindorf's amazing tutorials, and if I could give you some advice - DON'T BE INTIMIDATED! Her instructions are so good, that once you do one and create a little beauty, you're going to feel sillly for not trying before now. At least that's how I feel. That woman is an incredible teacher.
The first one was probably the easiest. Very simple, three step card that really looks a lot more artistic than it is. There's no brayer, just sponging and masking the horizon with post its a single time and you get a gorgeous result. I didn't have the inks she used, so I used So Saffron, Bashful Blue, Really Rust, Always Artichoke and Chocolate Chip. I promise, this card is EASY!! I won't re-create her awesome tutorial - just visit her blog and type "lovely as a tree" in her search box.
The next card had more steps, but was just as simple. On this one, you start with Barely Banana cardstock instead of white. Then you layer Summer Sun, More Mustard, Really Rust and Bravo Burgundy until you get the shading just right. The images were stamped in Basic Black. Threepieces of advice here. One, invest in a box of latex gloves. At the end of the evening, my hands were totally covered with ink, even under my fingernails, which was pretty gross looking. It was still on there this morning. Second, use something other than Basic Black, which tends to smear during sponging. Third - since you're stamping on colored cardstock, it's not smooth, so the solid images won't always come out totally solid. Just fix it with a fine point marker of some sort. The inky fingers were totally worth it - I love this card and I'm going to try it in BLUE of course. I bought this stamp set for that teeny bird and this is the first time I've ever used it!!

Doesn't he look all peaceful and full of deep thoughts? He's such a deep little birdie...
PS - I'm giggling at your comments about my moth. I got the "flying hamster" comment when I was on my walk and just busted out laughing at my phone until people started staring at me.

For my last Zin card of yesterday, I chose one that my friend Yvonne had done. I'm sad because my blues are not anywhere close to as rich and deep as Yvonne's. Plus, at the last minute I forgot to put the tree off to one side or another. But overall once again I was surprised at the simplicity of the steps it took to produce something that looks like a little painting to me. I hope you like these. I love how the paper gets really saturated with ink after you layer the colors on there - it starts to get a very soft look on the surface, almost a fabric sort of look.
This one isn't even a card - I stopped with the piece after this because I liked it so much I didn't want to mess it up.
I hope your weather is as stunning as it is here in God's country and that you're all having a great Mother's Day!
CU soon.
L.





Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tiny Furry Beests




You know that I love all the strange beasts that cross my path - many in the form of moths. I have no idea why our front door is so conducive to odd moth socializing, but I'm super happy about it. When I got home last night, I found this adorable wooly nano mammoth hanging on for dear life. He was so dang cute!!! Look at his furry little head!! I just love this little guy! He looks like a microscopic flying Pomeranian!
I've been creating little Zindorf cards today but I might be too tired to upload them. So until I do, enjoy my little nanomammoth!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Welcome Yvonne!!!!


Yvonne officially became a demonstrator today!!! This is her second "tour" at Stampin' Up! and she and I are so excited!! She's the one that's been stamping the gorgeous Zindorf creations lately! Yvonne is a renaissance crafter - she did egging for a while, and has some of her gorgeous creations displayed in her house - they are amazing. But she's been stamping with me for years and was one of my very first club members way back in the old days when I started. Her cards are in high demand in mid-town Austin, and she's always done very well at craft shows selling her work. So welcome back Yvonne!!!
Tonight's card is for the MFT Guest Designer challenge on Splitcoast. I was having a little fun here - taking the greeting from Serenity Now and giving my sheep a little "flexibility". Hope everybody gets it. The challenge was to use an animal stamp in a way that would make them say "Wow- that's cool!". Hope it worked.


I colored the sheep and the shadows with Copics and the greeting is on a 3D "wave" strip - hard to see in this pic.
Gotta go - LOST is tonight, of course, and I have to download a bunch of Itunes stuff before then. What did we do before computers???


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Feeling Blue?

Well you know I am!!

Two cards tonight. My friends Yvonne and Vee have been doing AMAZING Zindorf inspired work lately!!! So here's my attempt at a blue Zindorf creation. This has a lot of layers and steps. I stamped the trees in Basic Black, and then custom cut the "hills", masked and sponged them. Then I used the Rock & Roll technique with Summer Sun and Pumpkin Pie to stamp the "sun" with Simply Circles. Then I used the stamp positioner to overstamp the trees and sun with versamark and embossed them. Then I stamped the stars in versamark and embossed them. Then I re-masked the hills, smooshed versmark on them and embossed. Then I used the corner of Real Red, Creamy Caramel and Ballet Blue stampin spots to make the little marks in the sky. Then I sponged Ballet Blue over the whole sky and mounted it! Fun. She is a genius.

The second card is also Zindorf Inspired. I just LOVE these vases made with the oval punch. Amazing. I added some flowers from Embrace Life and I have another product update. I read on someone else's blog that you could use Adirondack Pitch Black with copics because it dries quickly and does not smear. Welll...... I didn't use it with Copics, but it sure as heck smears with a Blender Pen! I'm disappointed. Maybe the "quickly" part was a fib, or you need to heat set it, or it works ONLY with copics and not with other watercoloring - if you know any of this, please leave a comment. For me - back to Brilliance Graphite Black!! Anyway, I carefully used Cool Caribbean and a blender pen to color the flowers. Then I went back with a Sakura glitter pen for the centers. I think it's cool - you? This is for a coworker that broke her wrist this weekend, poor lady. Hey - FYI - Crocs + water - not a good combination. She slipped and fell and caught herself on her left wrist. Ouch.

Finally, a personal note. My new job is far from my house. :( But they let me work 6-3 so I don't sit in traffic for three hours a day! :) But, I drive a Yukon :( So I was spending $150 a week on gas!!! YIKES. So I decided to scale down the old truck and try for something with better gas mileage. I ended up with a used BMW and it was an incredible deal. Did you know that certified pre-owned BMW's come with a 6 year, 100,000 mile warranty? I cannot believe it! I absolutely STOLE that car, and it was an incredible buying and dealership experience. There were two door dings in it and otherwise it look like no one else had ever even sat in it. The dealership said they would repair the dings so that the car was perfect. So I drove it for a week and then took it in. Their service department is like a clean, beautiful little German beehive!! They have lanes of loaners just waiting for customers, so the second I was done I came out and hopped in a car that was waiting for me. It was clean, had Starbucks coffee, and my service advisor has been emailing me every day with updates. I am completely blown away, and if I weren't a good Southern girl and didn't have manners, I'd tell you what I paid for it and then you'd REALLY freak out that I was getting this royal treatment. If you want a used car - get one of these!!! My loaner is the X-5, which I'm not a fan of, but it's a very nice car. I might just have to be a customer for life! Oh yeah, and 20 city/30 hwy mpg doesn't hurt either!! So tonight, BMW goes on the Blue List.

Also joining the blue list, a website I found accidentally while looking for some internet marketing tips at work. It's by a guy who is a marketing genius - it's called the Daily Monster, and every day, this Graphic Design artist - Stefan Bucher, creates a new monster on video with pen and ink. I fell in love hard with this site, the designer and his monsters. I think you will too. I think I'll have to buy his book for everybody for Christmas.
Happy Thursday! (It was Happy Wednesday but Blogger freaked out last night and I couldn't finish)
L.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Whhhaaat??? A Post from me?


I know - it's hard to conceive of, but it's true. Still no computer, and no photoshop, but here I am in all my posting glory!! Lots of things to tell you of course. Sunday was my club, so the four projects are from my club. The first one is from the Chic n Scratch blog - I love her blog and her tutorials are amazing. She is a very very sweet lady too. This project is an envelope card. You take a 3x3 envelope and decorate the outside with designer paper and a ribbon. You do this on the flap side and just tuck the flap in. Then the card is simple - not folded, just one layer. The flowers are punched with the boho blossoms punch that coordinates with the stamp set and accented with a brad. Adorable and very very simple.




The second card is inspired by Atomic Butterfly's blog. Her work is gorgeous. What really caught my eye is the crop a dile embossing on the vellum - why didn't I think of that? Soft sky and Purely Pomegranate are stunning together too. Pomegranate might be my favorite SU red - I love rose red and this the best.

This silver hardware is so much prettier than the other colors! I know I'm biased - I love silver! But look how crisp it looks on this card.
Do you know about machinable and non-machinable cards? If your cards have accents like these on them, they will not go through the postage machines at the USPS. Or, if they're too thick they won't either. I just had a friend send me four photos and they got totally mangled. If you make a card like this, write "Non Machinable" on the envelope and attach an extra 17 cents of postage to it and you will be GTG.

The third card is mine - inspired by this month's chipboard promotion - 20% off chipboard with a qualifying purchase! What a deal! I love these elements. This one I used direct to chipboard with a pumpkin pie stampin' spot and then Crystal Effects, then Dazzling Diamonds Glitter. I saw a card where a lady put white craft ink on the chipboard and then put the dye ink on top to make it brighter, but when I added crystal effects, the dye ink just started running and made a mess. The card base is chocolate chip, stamped with boho backgrounds in chocolate chip. Then I layered Afternoon Tea designer paper.. I stamped the center element and after I put the chipboard on the card with dimensionals, I attached a dimensional to the back of the round element that was punched with a 1 3/8" circle punch. I removed the backing and just pushed the round thing through the front of the chipboard element to stick it to the card. It's a snug and perfect fit and an easy way to attach it.
No lining up skills necessary!
Finally - aaahhh.. a Zindorf card that I did a horrible injustice to. The "vases" are made with the large oval punch. Hold the punched ovals in a tight stack and cut off the tops and the bottoms all at once - less on the bottom than on the top. Then shade the left side of each vase with the same color ink. Then mask a straight line on the card base and sponge grey above it for the shadow. The flowers are punched with.. well, stay tuned. A beautiful, artistic card with no stamping. Quick & elegant!
Now, for AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!!! If you are one of the members of my hostess club, or anyone who attends my monthly class - you are in for a treat.
I am hosting an appreciation event for each of you at the end of this month. We will be having this in the evening. I have rented Wine Styles for this occasion, so you will be able to enjoy an adult bevvie while you make a project I have designed just for you to say thank you for participating in my classes this year and making the first Saturday of every month so much fun for me! Wine Styles has agreed to put together a special discounted wine by the glass menu and we will have the whole place to ourselves! In addition to the project, you will have the opportunity to win door prizes! Mostly, I just want you to relax, make something cute and have a nice night out. I tentatively have the 28th reserved, but this might change. I'll let you know soon. If you are reading this and not currently in my class, I will take additional guests up to my space limits.
I think we will have a lot of fun. Please email me privately if this date works for you!
I hope you're having a great Monday! I will try to squeeze in some stamping tomorrow before my bone in filet at Fleming's tomorrow night!! :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

STILL no computer


I'm not happy. The ding dongs "fixing" my computer did not replace my heat sink. That after installing a processor twice as fast which puts out twice as much heat. So my new board is probably ruined. I'm not happy. Did I say I wasn't happy??? I'm not. Not happy.

Thank God for my laptop. But it's definitely put a kink in my blogging and my graphic design work!!

Anyway, here is some GOOD news!!!

Two GIANT specials from Stampin' Up!!! The most exciting is the new demonstrator special - ready?? 20% off the Starter Kit PLUS free hodgepodge hardware for anyone who signs up in May!! Holy COW!!! If there was ever a time to get a discount on your stamps for the rest of your days, that time is NOW!!! There hasn't been one of these in a while, so this is great news.

THEN, they're running a great chipboard special! This rocks, and one of my club samples features chipboard - stay tuned, I can't show you until after club on Sunday... It's adorable, and I learned something very important.

Check these out here !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm headed out of town tomorrow so I will be quiet for a few days. Have a good one.






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