Sunday, August 31, 2008

Creepy Crawly



Perfect theme for this post.

We'll start with the giant spiderweb i walked through between our cars in the dark when i headed out for my walk early. It was like walking through the netting on a soccer goal!!! The spider that was on the back of our truck the other day (GAAAACCCKKKK) WAS PROBABLY IN MY HAIR ALL MORNING!! Seriously can anyone identify this spider? Yeeps.

But then, I was treated to a gorgeous sunrise - my pleasant early and too short walk yielded a beautiful sky, some unusually cool air temperatures, TWO of my bunnies - I was early enough that no one had scared them with their dogs yet, and howling coyotes in the woods.

Oh yeah, and a major snake rescue. This itty bitty snake was in grave peril in the bike lane. He didn't particularly enjoy being picked up, but I've seen enough squashed snakes to know he wasn't long for this world if I didn't intervene. So after a couple of tries, I finally grabbed the wiggly little fella and put him safely in the grass. Those of you who have been with me since last year know that I tend to engage with snakes on my walk - last year I nudged a fascinating little baby rattlesnake with my shoe to see if it was dead or just playing and IT WAS JUST PLAYING! He whipped around and tried to bite me, but it was cold and he was slower than me. But I do know the difference between venomous and non venomous snakes so I wouldn't have picked him up!

I know you're worried about my IQ after the mailbox thing, but i do know my snakes and bugs!

I CASEd this cute pumpkin today,from the awesome Zany not Crazy Blog! I used the new Halloween DSP, the edge of the large star for the eye, various circle punches and the new wide oval. I used a gold gel pen for his mouth.

The accent is from Batty For You.

All these papers were so cool I had to use them all at once.

I'm typing this with one hand while one of the stars of the World Kitty Federation sleeps soundly in my other.

There were some crazy kitty smackdowns today, with them meeting each other on the corner of Gibroni and Whoop@$$ for some crazy Vegas style moves.

Here's one of the highlights. My money's on little Madagascar - caught in mid whoop@$$!!

Dont let their fave pink tissue paper lead you into thinking they are soft and fuzzy - BE AFRAID!

Hope you guys had a good Sunday and are safe from the hurricane tomorrow!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

SAY CHEESE!

Today's tutorial is a card for Shelli's Creative Challenge! I'm so excited about these challenges! At some point I'm going to need a secretary to keep up with all the challenge schedules! This one was to make a project that included the word "Celebrate".

The inspiration for this card is an INCREDIBLE birthday card I received from Tisha Copeland, the insanely hilarious, pretty and talented creator of the Say Cheese Blog - link in my sidebar.

And just a warning - this entire project and my post were created with a sleepin kitty in my left paw!!! now THAT is a challenge!!

Start with a piece of your favorite DSP. I chose Georgia Peach - I'm obsessed with the geometry! Yes, I realize its not blue.. :)

Fold the DSP and place it on your Top Note Sizzix die as shown.

Being able to make folded cards from these fun shapes just makes me super happy and makes the dies twice as valuable.

When you are done running it through the sizzix you will have this cool folded top note card.

Then, you are going to cut a single top note from Old Olive. You will cut one edge off so that you can line up the spine of your folded DSP note against the edge.

Then you will take your folded note and cut along the perforations so that it's slightly smaller than the Olive note which is the mat.

I used a ruler and a bone folder to score the top layer of the notecard so that I would have a little spine to make my ribbon hinge.

Now the colors in this DSP are Old Olive, Regal Rose, Pirouette Pink, So Saffron and Whisper White. BUT, the new Kiwi Kiss Satin ribbon looks beautiful with it, so I used that. After tying my bow the first time, I decided I liked the vanilla side of the ribbon so much that I wanted it to show too. So I retied the ribbon so that one half of the bow was flipped, showing that pretty combo of green and white. This is gorgeous ribbon. I can't believe I'm not hoarding it more!!

Maybe my hoarding disorder is in remission.. :)

Next, stamp the little champagne glasses from Cheers to You in Basic Black on Whisper White and on the saffron DSP from Georgia Peach. I chose this pattern because I thought the little dots looked like bubbles.

Then very carefully cut out the contents of the glasses. What's cool about this stamp is that you can cut them out and keep them all in once piece, since they touch. Much easier than cutting the two teeny glasses out separately and adhereing them.

But once I have them all cut out, they look astonishingly like a tiny hiney!! :) Oh my!

How completely scandalous! My card is mooning SHELLI!

Then you stick the paper pieced hiney onto the glasses, and mount the white panel to a Regal Rose and then an Old Olive panel.

Stick this assembly down onto your folded Top Note Card.

The base of the card is a 5.5" x 4.25" Old Olive layer, with a 5.25" x 4" piece of Georgia Peach DSP on top of that. I totally dig those dots.

Stamp the "Let's Celebrate" stamp from On Your Birthday onto the DSP and mount your Top Note focal point onto the card.

Voila! Very quick and easy card.

Now - check out the super sassy inspiration card from Tisha - I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!! LOOK AT HER RHINESTONE BELT!!!!!

She did her top note fold vertically - and even though I was trying to reverse engineer hers I put mine in there sideways and so I got a different shape, which is very fun but an accident. Look how she colored this girl!!! What an adorable card. On the inside it says "On your birthday, remember that big girls don't cry" - then, on the inside of the big card it says "They might drink too many martinis and eat a whole cake, but they don't cry."

Hysterical. THANK YOU TISHA!! Big hug! If you are going to Leadership, we need to hang out!

RUH ROH - do you know what time it is? Time for some shameless kitty cuteness and a story about your ditzy author.

Yesterday morning at 5:15 AM, I stopped at our group mailboxes on my way to work. A note about group mailboxes - you know how I feel about them since the wasp incident. But can I just say again that they are an evil plot by our lazy government to beat us all into mindless submission so that they can go out on their yachts and giggle about how they lure us to communal places to do their jobs for them? I'm positive that's what happens.

Anyway, like a good little dumb animal, I stop there on my way to work and here's where it gets all hairy. First of all it's 5:15 so at this point I'm not really the sharpest tool in the shed anyway, since Starbucks is still 15 minutes in the future. I put my key, which is on a beloved, old alien lanyard I got in Roswell in the door of my way too small stupid communist box and open it. Inside is the equivalent of the Willy Wonka gold wrapped candy bar - A KEY TO YET ANOTHER BOX, WHICH MEANS I HAVE A PACKAGE. Yes, God forbid that they make our mailboxes any larger than a nest containing 11 wasps - we wouldn't want any MAIL to fit in there. Let's tease the citizens we've trained and make them go to yet another, adjacent box, which is large enough to hold, say FORTY wasps. So I trot obediently over, open the second box and THERE ARE FOUR STAMPING RELATED PACKAGES IN THERE!!!

I think you can appreciate that at this point, all other thoughts vanish from my foggy brain. Like, for example, the thought "Hey dummy, your mailbox is open, the key is in the door and all your mail is still in there, including, unbeknownst to you, this gorgeous card from Tisha Copeland."

Instead, I hop happily into my car with my stamping goodies, drive on to Starbucks, and go about my day.

Upon leaving work at lunchtime to get an oil change, I settle into the IMedic massage chair at the BMW dealership - it was tough deciding between that and the recliners in the mini movie theater, or the computer bars where I could have blogged, but I went for the massage chair - and I SHORTLY THEREAFTER REALIZE WITH HORROR WHAT I'VE DONE!!! It totally ruined the rest of my day. I was in a panic. And immediately after work I had a pedicure appointment so I knew it would be a long time before I knew what happened.
Happy that they washed my car at the dealership, I parked in my usual remote spot near the nail place so as not to get a door ding. However, while I was in there, a giant toad strangler, gully washer of a thunderstorm moved in. I had forgotten my flip flops, so I walk outside in those fake flip flops they give you, and discover when I'm suddenly and indelicately doing the splits on the sidewalk, that those are very slippery when wet!!! So the only thing I could do is take em off so as not to crack my skull or break my ankle. So there I am, all Britney Spears'd up, walking barefoot for a good distance through pouring rain and ankle deep water to my very distant and no longer clean car. I was so soaked when I got there - my jeans had absorbed water up to above my knees and the rest of me was just as bad.

I make a beeline, all bedraggled, for the mailbox. The door is closed - no key, no mail. Scared and mad, I go back to my house, get some confetti white cardstock and write a note, stick it in a ziploc and head back to tape it to the front of the box, begging for mercy and the return of my mail. After getting back to my house, which at this point is 15 minutes before our dinner guests were to arrive and behold my glamorous appearance, the world's nicest man rings the doorbell and is beaming at me with mail and key in hand. He said the postman - THANK YOU U.S. GOVERMENT FOR YOUR EXCELLENT SERVICE - just put my new mail in there on top of my old mail and did not bother to close my door or do anything approaching human, caring or falling into his sacred duties to safeguard the US Mail. I'm sure he was late for the yacht party.

Now I freely admit that I am the ding dong who started this hideously embarassing chain of events, but can someone remind me why we pay taxes again?

Signing off for what is going to be a very busy day. I hope you guys have a fun weekend lined up.

L.






Thursday, August 28, 2008

Blue Thanks



Hope you guys are having a good evening!!

A shout out to Micki in Ohio tonight!! Hey girl! Thanks for all the kind words!

I wanted to try a scalloped card with the sizzix tonight.

I took a sheet of cardstock and folded it in half. Then I positioned it on my large scallop die so that the crease was just a bit above the die so that it wouldn't cut the fold.

Oh yeah - I almost forgot - it's Pacific Point Blue. :)

Then I punched holes out of Pacific Point Blue with my 1/4" circle punch and glued those around the scallop.

I cut the smaller scallop into Whisper White cardstock and stamped the flower from Organic Grace. I colored it withiiilk555555555555555555\ (<--- that was Splotchy walking on
my +87777777iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiu k ( <---- KEYBOARD!!)8989898989/-+++++++

He has a lot to say!!!!

Okay - so I colored it with a blender pen and Pacific Point ink. Then I did the shadow in Summer Sun and Tangerine Tango.

Really simple and quick!!

I just love oddly shaped cards!

Now - a consumerism alert!!

Each Christmas, my family sends around a spreadsheet (yes, I'm not the only geek in the family!) with Christmas Lists, and tries to update it as we buy things and resend it.. it works okay, but theres still the one book that we all give two or more times each year! One year it was Jurassic Park, one year it was the Firm, one year it was Blindness.

So, in prepping for my birthday, i created my Amazon wishlist. I've used that for a while and heres how it works.

1. Log into your amazon account.
2. Create your wish list
3. Drag the "Add to Wishlist" icon to your toolbar - this is the magic I'm excited about.

The Add to Wishlist feature lets you go to ANY website - Stampin' Up!, Scor Pal, Blick Art Materials - whatever - and click Add to WishList and this item will go on your list.

You can then email a link to your list to anyone!

THEN - wait for it - you can check a little box that says "Avoid Spoiled Surprises" and the things that people have purchased for you will be hidden!!

I LOVE THIS LIST!!

Get yours today!

:)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How Blog Posts REALLY get written, kitten

video

Did I really just hear this?

"If you or a loved one died while taking the medication Digitek, call 1-800-BAD-DRUG to discuss your rights."

Wow - I'm super amazed at how infrequently people care about content, much less grammar. Forget about marketing and reputation! WOW.


***********************************************************************


Okay, I've been saving the content of this post until I had time to do it justice.

Fairly frequently people ask me if they can buy a card. I usually humor them into thinking they can until I actually give them the card and then I tell them I don't sell my cards. It would be fun to sell cards, and maybe someday I will, but I tell you this so that you will understand exactly what it is that sings the little song I hear with my heart when I sit down to make a card.

1) Art - I've always loved art and created art - since I was teeny. I like looking at other people's art, I like making my own humble version, I like seeing art in things that didn't start out that way. I love color, and organizing the stuff (or putting it in a huge pile the kitties fall asleep in, or pushing it away so that I have a space to work in) I make my cards with.
2) Teaching - I love teaching people. I love what happens the second the "OH - I GET IT" moment happens. I love the hilarious mistakes, the accidental inspirations and the things I learn from the people I teach. People who are teachers know it seems like philanthropic pursuit, but really teachers get the most out of it!
3) I love, love, love the people that art connects me with. I have friends right now I would not have in my life if it were not for Stampin' Up! and the little hurricane of connections that came with it in 2001. If you are reading this, you are one of them, and I am grateful.

For my birthday, you guys made this abundantly clear. Look at some of the cards people took the time to make me!!! It's so cool to get something you've made and parted with, and these are beautiful and made me smile!! So Yolanda, Kathy, Pam, Vicki, Neelam, Jenn - wow. And I haven't even mentioned the gifts - the yummy treats (OMG THAT CHERRY JAM), the UCHI gift card - clear your calendar, girl - you're going with me!!, that crazy cute giant blue clothespin I'm going to display my cards on, and ...




This.

My absolutely favorite card that Michelle Zindorf has ever made.

And that's saying a lot.

And Yvonne got it for me - THE ORIGINAL CARD.

I was completely blown away. I AM completely blown away. I can't believe it's mine.

This really touched me Yvonne. Now everybody knows how sweet you are. I hope you didn't steal it from Michelle - I don't know how you got it, but it's public information now!!! You know she's coming here right??? Is there going to be cuffing and stuffing at my house?? Don't think I won't put that on my blog!

But seriously - I love you guys - thank you!!!

I am off to stamp something for you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birthday Greetings


What a simple card!! So Saffron, pumpkin Pie Old Olive and Bravo Burgundy markers, Upsy Daisy, huffing, and some Washington Apple DSP.

The greeting is stamped in Riding Hood Red and the card base is Very Vanilla. I used the dog tag punch for the greeting and cut a slit in the spine of the card to pull the Tangerine Tango Ribbon through.

The kitties helped a lot - using the bone folder, sponging, knocking things off, punching, and then fell asleep on my desk.

Note the new sponging technique - hold it in your mouth!! And notice that Maddie is about the size of a pocket silhouette!!

Hey - wanna hear something cool? Sweet Lisa, who is coordinating Michelle Zindorf's workshop in Austin (at my house!!!) featured my crazy late birthday card on her awesome blog!! Go check out all her cool stuff!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kitty Watch 2008


Sorry I've been so quiet!! Kitty duty and birthday goings on have taken every spare moment! I haven't even read all my email, which as you know is not like me!! So be patient with me!

I wanted to share a few random things tonight though and wrap up with Kitty Watch. I'm pretty sure Kitty Watch 2K8 would get MUCH higher ratings than the political conventions. I have no idea why this sort of thing isn't televised and stuff like campaigns and weather are, but that's just me.

Okay, so remember I told you I was making a gift set of cards for someone?

Well I had so much fun making the little purse they went in.

This is the new Stampin' Up! DSP - Georgia Peach. The pattern for this bag was brazenly stolen from the lovely and talented Joan on SCS. Thanks Joan!!! Its soooo easy. I used the new bling too - whaddaya think?

Wait - is that a cat ear in the picture? How is that cat ear in between me and my cute bag, you ask??

I urge you to stay tuned for the most ridiculous Kitty Watch Item of the night for an explanation. You really won't believe how complicated things can get.

You have seen a few of the cards that went in this gift, but here are the rest...

First of all, can we just all agree that everyone loves a wabbit? ;)

Well you'd be crazy if you didn't.
So I had to include at least one. And here he is in all his wabbity glory. This is a bit of an intellectual and thoughtful wabbit with lots of things on his mind. He's having a bit of a lie down on a pillow in the study while he works it all out. He's made by Stamp Francisco. (One of my early faves in my stamping career.)

Did I tell you the Memento Ink was my new fave black ink for Copics? Wow - it's awesome. that's what he's stamped in. Then I added some DSP I got at Hobby Lobby and my hoarded Kiwi Kiss satin ribbon. I love that ribbon so much.

Look how adorable and smart he is. Too bad you can't see his hiney. :)

Next - I LOVE THE NEW Sizzix die for the petal card - it's adorable! And it's another one that both scores and cuts. Brilliance.

And a little tip for you. When you're cutting some of the finer shapes for the first time, you will see that it looks like the edges of the shape have black on them. It's not dyed - its teeny little shreds of the foam that encase the blades. These will stop coming off very quickly - but when you see them just brush them off - no worries.

I noticed this the first time I did this little star that's on my petal card, panicked, recovered, giggled, made some more.

For this, you just cut the petal card with the Sizzix, fold the "petals" in, cut a half inch strip for the belly band, which I stuck together with Sticky Strip, and added the cute Sizzix star/asterisk thingy and a green rhinestone. (Color's a little off in this photo)

Hey - just as a side note - Madonna is too old to do the things she's doing right now, FYI. Ick. Just saw her on something dumb on the news. She used to be so cute. Yeeps.


This last card is just brazenly and shamelessly stolen from Steph's Stampin Stuff.

The card base is Chocolate Chip, cut vertically. The stamp is the new Ronald McDonald House stamp set - Say it with Scallops. I stamped it in Kiwi Kiss, punched it with my new Square Scallop Punch, and used the Washington Apple DSP on the bottom, and Riding Hood Red Striped Ribbon where they meet.

The colors are great - the ones in the DSP are So Saffron, Tangerine Tango, Baja Breeze and Riding Hood Red.

KITTY WATCH>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Okay - so..... Maddie is a lot smaller than Splotchy, and much more in need of her mom. :( So she really likes to be held, and particularly likes to burrow in my hair. They both nurse in their sleep. So when she sees me she cries until I pick her up and let her root around on my neck. She falls asleep best when she's all snuggled up under my chin.

Hence the silence the last few days. it's very hard to hold a cat in one hand (or most of the time TWO cats) and stamp, type, blog, etc.

So last night I solved the problem. I took some binder clips and a dishtowel and made a kitty sling. As I type this, I have a teeny sleeping kitty clipped to my shirt. She's happy, I'm happy, and it makes for some hilarious photos. Most of the time they fall asleep so hard their heads hang out backwards alarmingly. See below.

Also, a photo of them discovering the RETIRED River Rock double stitched ribbon -they don't care anything about hoarding!! - and unwinding the whole roll. Notice in the picture, Maddie is slightly smaller than a spool of ribbon. She's so teeny.

I think their eyes may be starting to turn green.

Oh - PS - notice that only a stamper would have a sassy DSP covered binder clip for her kitty front-pack!! Bali Breeze DSP to be exact!!
























I love it when she sleeps with her little feet up like that.

Enjoy the shameless cuteness.

And thanks for all the Birthday wishes - you guys are sweet.



























Saturday, August 23, 2008

Little Blue & Little Yellow

This is for the Virtual Stamp Night Challenge on Splitcoast. This is my first card - I'm way behind. Lots of kitty snuggling, and eating this absolutely blissfully heavenly chocolate dessert my beloved friend Jenn sent me for my birthday. For my fellow Austinites, it's like Miles of Chocolate with a lighter texture, with - wait for it - CHERRIES - in it!!! OMG.

This challenge was to take your favorite book from childhood and be inspired. So let me tell you the story of Little Blue and Little Yellow.

This is little blue. Here he is at home with papa and mama blue. Little blue has many friends but his best friend is little yellow who lives across the street. How they love to play at hide-and-seek and ring-a-ring-O'Roses! In school they sit still in neat rows. After school they run and jump. One day mama blue went shopping. "You stay home" she said to little blue. But little blue went out to look for little yellow. Alas! The house across the street was empty. He looked here and there and everywhere... until suddenly, around a corner there was little yellow! Happily they hugged each other and hugged each other until they were green. Then they went to play in the park. they ran through a tunnel. They chased little orange. They climbed a mountain. When they were tired they went home. But papa and mama blue said: "You are not our little blue - you are green." And papa and mama yellow said "You are not our little yellow - you are green." Little blue and little yellow were very sad. They cried big blue and yellow tears. They cried and cried until they were all tears. When they finally pulled themselves together they said: "will they believe us now?" Mama blue and papa blue were very happy to see their little blue. They hugged and kissed him. And they hugged little yellow too.. but look.. they became green! NOW they knew what had happened and so they went across the street to bring the good news.They all hugged each other with joy and the children played until suppertime. The end.

The card is simple - YoYo Yellow and Tempting Turquoise circles, and a greeting from Full of Life.

Yellow Ribbon, a little star cut with my Sizzix from Vellum and a sticky rhinestone.
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