Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pink Revisited!

Howdy! I am back home and wanted to post the full card shot of the pink Christmas card that Blogger ate in this post - only the closeup made it.

So here is the full card.

I hope everyone had a great holiday - and that you're ready for work tomorrow! :)

Google Webinar - A few Spots Left!!

Don't forget - my next Google Webinar on Google Reader is on Tuesday!!!

You can still sign up by clicking the title of this post or clicking HERE.

Got questions? No problem!

What is a webinar?

It's an online class where you click a link and see everything I'm doing on my computer screen live, and hear me talking on your computer speakers or on the telephone, whichever you prefer. You can ask questions via an instant chat right on your screen, and I will answer each one as we go.

What is Google Reader?

It's one of many free services that allows you to organize and retrieve content from your favorite blogs and non-blog websites.

Why do I care?

Well would you like to quickly access card ideas you've seen on blogs with a single click and without taking up space on your hard drive?

Would you like to stop receiving all those email blog subscriptions in your email inbox, and be able to access them instead when you have time, and retrieve them instantly if you like them, and never see them again if you don't?

Well then this is for you!!!

It costs $5, and you need to pay via PayPal. When your payment is complete, you will receive instructions for the webinar, and you will just click to join at 7 PM Central Standard Time, Tuesday, December 2.


When you click the link to register, you will see what the participants in the last webinar said about the class!


Gotta say goodbye to Santa Fe today. :(

But I have some nice photos! Oh, and to answer a question - my camera (which I love so much) is a digital SLR, hence the great detail - it's a Canon Rebel XT. Man do I love it.

Today was sunny and gorgeous so I took lots of pics. That crazy deep blue returned to the sky with a bang and it snowed just a little last night.

The SF graffiti was fun - love the nerdy ninja.

Great dramatic clouds. And you can wrap my cathedral in plastic, but its soul still shines out on a sunny day, now doesn't it?

And hey - nothing says Happy Holidays like a ten foot tall gold grenade, eh?

One thing I just love about this adobe is the way shadows stick to it. The combination of the magical high altitude light and that particular surface is magic.

Oh - and remember when you used to make little shadow rabbits with your hands when you were little?

You still can you know. :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008


funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

You can Sleep When You're Dead!

Sorry - Blogger ate the full card photo of the pink card! I'll post it when I get home. Maybe the scheduled post thing is a wee bit buggy.

In the meantime, enjoy these sentiments about coffee courtesy of Santa Fe.

I couldn't agree more!!

Happy Saturday!!

I'm dreaming of a PINK Christmas...

What?? Have I lost my mind??

Nope, but I did see this, and I really liked it!!

Pixie Pink for the card base, with white, Pacific Point Blue, Summer Sun and Gable Green accents.

The deer is a Martha Punch - the other punch is that Marvy Tree Punch I had to stand on to punch with it the first time I used it.. It's not the most user friendly.

The leftmost tree is the actual shape it punches - the right one is hand trimmed to make it look a little different.

Then a little glue & dazzling diamonds glitter for the snow and BAM - a pink Christmas!

Try a different color combo if I can have blue pumpkins then I don't think a pink Christmas is out of order!! :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ma'am - Can I Ask You What You're Taking a Picture of?

It was going to come out sooner or later. I have inherited my dad's tendency to trespass. One time, when we were in California visiting the studios, he just waved at the guys at the guard shack and drove into the movie stars parking area. Then, he made ME park in Johnny Carson's parking spot while he ran in to do something - probably walk onto the set of the Tonight Show or start rifling through the props from Gone With the Wind, and a security guard came up and asked me what I was doing. I told the truth. "I'm just waiting for my dad." I was probably about 16 at the time. The guard assumed I was Johnny's daughter I guess, despite the rented Buick, and went on about his business. This type of adventure was repeated numerous times when I was growing up. He always got away with it with his whole confused math professor routine. Well I don't have the confused math professor vibe going for me, but I do have the urge to get closer to intriguing things and take pictures of them. Like that time - well, I better not say. :)

Anyway, since Austin is a movie filming town, I recognize movie signs when I see them. Film productions put up these cryptic signs directing cast members to shoot locations. If you've seen one, you've seen em all. Well I saw one here, so I knew there had to be a film crew somewhere. So I bopped down the road a bit and found the parking lot with all of their trailers and equipment. Jackpot. I immediately hopped the little chain fence - I mean it wasn't even really a fence - to snap a picture. I'm just doing this for you, you know! Almost immediately, a guard materialized and wanted to know what I was taking a picture of. I told the truth and told him it was for my blog. He didn't know what a blog was, so he was okay with it. We chatted for a bit about Austin and New Mexican cuisine and he sent me on my way without confiscating my camera, thank goodness.

So I zipped back to the casa, where I discovered that the movie is The Spy Next Door, starring Jackie Chan - I would love to see him! I'm a huge fan.

Then, I went on my jewelry quest. There are only two places here that I will buy jewelry from, other than directly from the Indians who make it - one is Keshi, a Zuni collector's shop, and the other is Trader's Collection - formerly Shush Yaz. These two places consign from the artists or sell Indian Pawn only, and so it's all authentic, unlike the stores on the square that are filled with foreign ripoffs of native jewelry and opals and other stones from Afghanistan. No thank you. I much prefer stores with warm westerners who do things like put little signs like this one on their jewelry cases.

The art of Indian jewelers is incredible. Hopi and Zuni inlay, Navajo silver work - it's all amazing.

Check out this Zuni ring - I took the color out of everything in the photo but the beautiful turquoise. Most Indian jewelry is for people with bigger hands and wrists than I have, but every now and then I stumble upon things that fit like a glass slipper on the night of the ball!!

While in Keshi, which is owned by the most wonderful and sweet lady, I saw these medicine bears and she told me the story of the bears. Their shape is meant to evoke the opening of their cave, and so they symbolize a safe return home, and are often carried by travelers. This one i thought was so beautiful and such a perfect use of that stone, which is a heavily matrixed turquoise. The Zuni believe there are six sacred directions - North, South, East, West, Above and Below. They each have colors associated with them. The bear is associated with West, Blue, Courage, Strength and Adaptability. No wonder I was drawn to him.

Look how beautiful he is. He has to stay there though - he is very expensive. Bye, little blue western bear.

Speaking of beautiful, a few random photos from today.

First, I went down to Pasquale's by myself for breakfast today. It's only the greatest restaurant in the world.

I was seated at a table with a nice couple from North Carolina, but was distracted by this pretty bottlecap garland over our table. I particularly like that blue SB one that was perfectly turned toward me. Funny how those things happen.

Then, on my stomp I came across this vivid and pretty mural on a teeny building. It's really nicely done. I was tempted to push that loading zone sign over to get it out of the shot. My dad would have! :)

Then just off the square, I saw this giant crow squawking over the Spirit sign. It all had a very Edgar Allen Poe feel to it.

Back here, Maddie keeps trying to teach this raccoon sculpture in one of the bedrooms how to curve his tail over his back like she does.

Finally, one of my biggest phobias was staring me in the face on Canyon Road this morning.

Yes, it's true.

The scary pair of pants from Dr. Seuss' terrifying story - What was I Scared Of? - ARE HERE AND THEY ARE STILL TRYING TO GET ME!!!! I'LL TELL YOU WHAT I'M SCARED OF - I'M SCARED OF THE EMPTY PAIR OF PANTS IN THE SNIDE PATCH!!!

Hope you're enjoying your leftovers today!!

Back with a card tomorrow!


Anatomy of a Christmas Card

Just for grins, since Father Time has tipped us onto the downhill slope that spans from today till Christmas, I thought I would share a few things with you about my Christmas card, as well as a few sneak peeks at the construction.

I have made my Christmas cards for as long as I can remember - long before I was an art instructor, that's for sure.

I, like you, love creating art for people. I agonize over the design every year. Sometimes my cards are cute, sometimes funny, sometimes patriotic and sometimes very elegant and traditional. But they're always something I take very seriously. Looking back at some of the ones I've done that seems hard to believe Smiley from, but it is true!!

This year, I went with a few themes:

Blue & White (the ultimate Christmas color scheme, if I do say so myself. Mary wore blue, after all - the star was white)
The Gospel (as an actual physical component of my card)
Me (I think you'll see what I mean when you see the card)

If you have never made your Christmas cards, I'd ask you to think about a few things before you say you can't, you don't have time, you're not creative.

1) Making your cards forces you to carve out time in the busy holiday season for a creative endeavor, which by itself brings peace. Everybody should have a little peace at the holidays.

2) It is a gift, as well as a card, to the people you can't be with. A gift of both your time (priceless) and your art (precious)

3) It is extraordinarily economical (see below)

4) It teaches you to expand your scale - which will make you more efficient, and will change your design based on the ease of repetition - always for the better, in my humble opinion

Here's what it took in consumables to make my 120 (Hope that's enough, might not be) cards. Everything else I used was something that wasn't diminished in the effort - ink pads, my sizzix, a pen etc.

1) 73 sheets white cardstock ($10.95)
2) 6 sheets Pacific Point Blue Cardstock ($1.10)
3) 240 Stampin dimensionals ($2.53)
4) A few teaspoons Diamond Dust (50 cents, maybe)
5) Glue (50 cents, maybe)

So my total cost for my cards is $15.58.

Good luck finding 120 cards for $15.58 ($18.70 if you're not a demonstrator).

Much less the peaceful artistic few hours I will spend. Or the gift of handmade.

Think about it. There's still time.

Oh yeah - and no peeking.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

One More Thing Before Dinner

It rained today so I couldn't walk as much as I wanted. So I did some work on a few cyber things I was behind on and then entertained myself with Google Analytics.

This tells me statistics about my blog - is my feed working, are people visiting, etc.

One of the pages I really like is the keywords page. This tells me what keywords people type into search engines which lead to them landing on my site. They never fail to crack me up. Some are obvious, like my name or "Understand Blue" or "Stampin' Up!" or "Starving Artistamps."

But then, there are these (exactly as people typed them):

  • art print with blue bunnie and tv 'i know i should be asleep...'
  • fuzzy chick
  • blue fuzzy insects flying
  • bunnies show teeth
  • flying tiny furry insects
  • hitwoman silencer
  • how to fish the booya
  • zombie cardstock
  • why it's important to laugh at yourself
  • sock monkey rap
  • show me some blue things
  • really blue things
  • birdie wink
  • allrighty

Well allrighty.

Only the Fireborn...

Understand blue.

Which explains the farolitas.

And the warm adobe.

So some Thanksgiving pictures for you from today. An early start. An email (or two).

A storm coming.

Who wrapped my beloved St. Francis cathedral in plastic?? (Preparations for the upcoming 400th Anniversary apparently. I'm sad. I love this place).

St. Francis would not approve of the sign in the courtyard of cathedral. He looks at it, puzzled, with his dog by his side.

Forget drunk driving. In Santa Fe, we've got other issues.

Before the snow, some rain.

Deep thoughts on tea.

Speaking of tea, wasn't mine served ingeniously?

A perfect still life, Inn of the Anasazi.

My friend loves photographing his own shadow. (I think because it makes him larger than life). I snapped this one for him.

Ulla Darni hand painted light fixtures. She paints them in reverse on the inside of the glass.

Fall. :)
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