Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lucky Charms

I lost my spirit animal ring.It's a beautiful, silver Hopi overlay ring that I bought at Indian Market in Santa Fe three years ago. I love this ring. It fits my finger like it was made for it. The day I saw it, my favorite Navajo artist, Raymond Twinhorse, had told me that morning that my spirit animal was a bear. I can't remember how he knew that. I don't know if he asked me my birthday, or the year I was born - I don't know. But he told me it was bear, and Raymond Twinhorse pretty much knows everything a person needs to know.

I can tell you right now, before I go on, that my parents are laughing at my spirit bear as they read this, because as we drove through (at 90 MPH, DADDY) the wilds of America when I was little I was terrified bears would eat us and frequently yelled this from the back of the Dodge station wagon, much to the amusement of my family.

But anyhow, when I went to the market that night and I found this beautiful ring that fit me like Cinderella's slipper fit her, I had to have it. I wear it a lot, on the middle finger of my right hand. But I lost it. The whole time it was lost, it made me sad. It nagged at me all the time, making me uncomfortable even when I wasn't thinking about it. My bear and I should not have been separated.

And then, the other day, I found it. And I don't think that a person has ever been happier to find anything. And I swear to you, my luck changed. For one thing, it snowed.What the heck? It doesn't snow here! But snow, and snow, and snow it did.

Then, I got a surprise in the mail. I got Take Ten Magazine, which had two of my cards published in it!So all in all, a happy ending when a person finds their spirit animal again.

I felt like singing.

Since it's Virtual Stamp Night on Splitcoast this weekend, and one of the challenges was "I Believe" - with a musical theme, I thought I could put it all together with this little ditty. This is me, singing about finding my lucky bear ring. :)

First, I masked off a little square on a white card with post its. I sponged it with Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore and Orchid Opulence. Before removing the post its, I stamped Musical Score (retired SU) in black on top.

The bird is the Big Shot Sizzix die, and Graphic 45 Communique paper, which was a gift from my beloved Paper Grace. I sponged the edges with Really Rust. So, do you feel lucky?

Maybe you should watch this video. (Via Daniel Whittington)

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Handmade Careers

If I asked each of you crafty peeps what your dream job would be, I'm pretty sure you would all say something that involved your art, yes?

Me too. But anyone who has ever looked for a job knows how difficult this process is - the spam, the identity thieves masquerading as recruiters, the recruiters, for that matter. Forget about trying to find your "dream job" on Seriously. It's a needle in a haystack.

Nobody wants to be a needle in a haystack.
So I just decided that the best thing to do about all those people with dreams was to create a place where people could find those jobs and those companies they dreamed about. And nothing else. Period.

So I did.

It's a little place called Handmade Careers, and I kinda like it. Arty, crafty jobs in arty, crafty companies. And nothing else. Check it out. (Note - It's optimized for Firefox - you will not see everything in other browsers for a few days)
Oh, and after that, head on over to Project Reanimate for a video tutorial on a recycled mystery!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Rare Texas Snow Hood Ornaments!!
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Who Lost Summer?

And by summer, I mean that season which normally starts in Texas in early February, and is accompanied by sunshine and warm weather. Who broke it??

Went for a stomp this morning. Mad. It was raining. It's always raining now. It's like freaking Blade Runner around here.

Luckily, I didn't quit. And I dreamed up this card. And as you can see - there was a spot of color or two. :) I used the A to Z stamp to make that texture on the ground. I thought it looked cool.
Stamps: Lovely as a Tree, A to Z Ink: Basic Grey, Vintage Violet, Bordering Blue
Paper: Watercolor Paper, Vintage Violet
Accessories: Aqua Painter, Basic Grey Ribbon

(All Supplies Stampin' Up!)

By the end, the sun was coming back. Hopefully to stay.

Now, some kitty candy, since everyone is always amazed at how inseparable the beasts are and I always post such sweet pictures of them. Well, there's a dark side. And I'm not just talking about Maddie.

My hulking desk is the worst decision I made when we moved into this house. It's a very nice piece of office furniture, and it was not cheap. But it's all attached together, and it's right up against the wall, so if something goes back there, it's not coming out till we move. Dumb.

It also creates a 4 inch space directly in front of where I stamp and between me and a window.

When the beasts are feeling particularly evil, they rush into my room, suffering from what I call "Crazy Brain", knock everything on my desk down into this void where I can't get it, and then proceed to whack the stuffing out of each other violently.

I had to capture this on film for you. You will notice at one point that Maddie Bat has a little punch out from a stamp set on her hiney. God knows what else is down there.

But I did want you to know that it's not all Peace & Love around here, people. Oh yeah, and that Splotchy fights like a girl. :) If you don't see a video player where you are reading right now, click here to view the following...

Hope it's not raining where you are.. :)

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

The REAL Scott Baio

As you know, Monday was President's Day.

I graduated from high school in.. well, that doesn't really matter, now does it, you nosy beasts! :D

But, um, the 80s were a great time in my life. The music was lighthearted and sweet, MTV was still music and not all p-o-r-n and politics (hey - that would make a great band name) and I just remember that decade fondly.

Ronald Reagan was larger than life to all us children of the 80s. A lifeguard, a man who looked a would be assassin in the eye, the guy who stared down the Russians our parents terrified us with when we were little, and oh yeah, the guy who knocked the Berlin Wall down. I actually thought Ronald Reagan was my grandfather on my mom's side, because they reminded me of each other in their mythic-ness.

So on President's day, my friend Kim was giving our American presidents props on Twitter and we started tagging our posts #teamreagan. At one point, we all wished out loud that Scott Baio - another 80's icon (for all you youngsters), would join #teamreagan for President's Day. We could reunite Journey, Charles in Charge, the version 1.0 of Madonna who actually used to eat and not scare us. It would be great. A couple of 80s girls can dream, right?

Over the course of the evening, we repeatedly asked Scott to join our team before midnight, and in a President's Day Miracle - HE DID.
Look at that second tweet! EEEEEEEEEEEKKK!!! We feel complete, the Twitter #teamreagan.

I went and looked at his profile, and found out that he and his wife have done an incredible thing, born from a difficult situation they faced with their beautiful daughter. Please go look at their foundation's site, and share it. What a nice guy.

After I came down from my 80's buzz, I saw this week's tutorial on Splitcoast for Scherenschnitte, or German scissor cutting. The card samples were beautiful! The tutorial gives you two options for creating silhouettes, cutting, or stamping and filling in.

I chose the coloring method, and since I had just completed a product review on the Creative Stamping kit of the month - I used the beautiful little bird stamp that was included to get this...

Stamps: Nature's Beauty(Creative Stamping) Paper: Kraft, Basic Black Ink: Basic Black
Accessories: Scallop Border Punch, Satin Ribbon, Basic Black Marker
All supplies Stampin' Up! except where noted

Now I feel like busting out some shoulder pads, poofing my hair and watching Charles in Charge. Click here and then tell me - who's with me?

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Do I Have to Do Everything?

I mean, I will, but I'm kind of busy!! *sigh*

Here's the deal. Every time I go to the grocery store, I fear it will be my last moments spent on earth. This is because the parking is designed seemingly SPECIFICALLY to kill me and the assorted moms and babies that are there with me. Who came UP with this stupid arrangement where we have to walk BEHIND cars, most of which are very quiet, terrified, with our wills written in Sharpie on our arms? It makes NO sense. Here's what we have now. LOOK AT THE CARNAGE.

This is not a hard problem to solve.

I would spend 100% of my grocery dollars at a store that put little CURBED sidewalks in between the rows of cars, where we LIVE humans can frolic along, not picking license plate shards out of our teeth!

I assure you, grocery industry - I will spend MUCH more money as an ALIVE person.


Look what I've been making!Little tags to go as a free gift to my latest card customer. How cute are these images? This is the Picture This stamp set (Hostess Level 1 from the Occasions Mini), stamped on Kraft and colored. I used some retired Fancy Fibers to embellish. Hope she likes em! :)

What are you up to?

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

I see a Kraft Card and I Want to Paint it.... White

Click here if you want a little of my inspiration music while you read...

After my computer disasters and post-disaster perestroika, I had to rebuild my Itunes playlists, so I've been strolling through playlists past while I stamp, and Paint it Black actually made me get my acrylic paint out and paint this card!

The house image was so teeny that it was getting overwhelmed by the vivid background paper in the circles. So after I put the whole card together, I just painted it - with Delta white acrylic paint that I had left over from painting my pumpkins at Halloween.
Stamps: Good Neighbor, Tiny Tags Ink: Basic Black, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip
Paper: Kraft, Sweet Pea DSP, Whisper White Accessories: Chocolate Chip Marker, Tag punch, 1" circle punch, white paint
All supplies (except paint) Stampin' Up!

You can do this with Gesso too, but Gesso is wetter, so it makes the cardstock curl a little more than a thin coat of white acrylic does. Not fatal, but for the impatient, too long a wait while we flatten it out.

Oh - and I made the clouds with a scalloped circle I punched, a sponge, and tempting turquoise ink - just moved it around and sponged.

Now speaking of music, I came across this video yesterday and it was so sweet and cute, I had to share... Hope you enjoy it.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Hope There's More Where That Came From

Yay! Ice cream!!

This is the Sweet Scoops set, that you guys won't see till the Summer Mini, but we had an incentive to earn at Leadership, which I did, thank goodness, because it's so cute.

Today - I took a walk. I heard the ice cream truck. I was super happy - but then, I thought that every time I think of ice cream I have this apprehension of the worst ice cream fear. We lose one. AAAAAHHHH!!

It stinks. Even another scoop doesn't fix that disappointment.

Stamps: Sweet Scoops, Vintage Vogue
: Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, Sahara Sand, Pirouette Pink, Basic Black Paper: Whisper White, Kraft
: Dimensionals, Two Way Glue Pen, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter

All Supplies Stampin' Up!

Only a friend does that. :)

Hopefully there's more where that came from.


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Friday, February 5, 2010

How to Stand Out

Actually, I don't know how. :) If you find out, let me know.

But I was lucky enough this week to be invited to speak to a journalism class at Texas Lutheran University about blogging. And it made me think about standing out, and blending in.

My sweet friend from Twitter, a little stripey orange cat named Cheshire Kitten, got his mom, Robin to invite me. Robin is a wise and sweet lady.

The class was fascinating. The students have been working on a blog this semester, and I fell in love with their subject matter. They were so purposeful. There was one boy who was going to write about his little brother and his accomplishments. One was going to attempt several world records, and chronicle them. A girl was writing about being a young girl dealing with Crohn's disease. One was writing about Asperger's Syndrome. Another was going to blog the goings-on in Marion, her hometown. A young man was writing about fitness techniques. A girl was writing about the death penalty, one about philanthropy. And more.

The subjects were fascinating. I wanted to know more about each of them. I showed the group this graphic, because I had seen it that morning. It says that only 7% of bloggers are in their age group, which represents a giant blogportunity for them! No one is speaking in the voice of 18-24 year olds, and boy do I wish I could. That's a big audience, and all of them are online.

Their questions for me were fascinating. Several asked legal questions, which shows they operate in a different world than I did at their age. One asked if it was ok to curse. :) Most wanted to know how to get people to read their content.

I have had plenty of time to ponder how to stand out, and how to blend in, both of which I think you need to do, to be a successful blogger. So this, in a nutshell, is what I tried to tell the class.
  • Don't be mean. Mean never got anyone anywhere except to the warm place under our feet. In art, I feel particularly strongly about this. Never disparage another artist on your blog.
  • Be positive. We all have challenges every day, some harder than others. Most of us come to the online community for inspiration and relief from the struggles of the day. Providing that to people is a gift that will return to you in spades.
  • Be yourself. Your unique voice is what makes you interesting. Don't stifle it. If you're quirky, be quirky. Never compare your blog to anyone else's - it doesn't matter.
  • Share. Not everyone has seen what you've seen. Many times I've posted a video I thought I was the last one to see, only to amuse and delight people who thanked me for sharing it.
  • Teach. People love to learn. Teach what you know.
Oh - and never post pictures of stitches or bruises!! :D

On the way home, I almost drowned going through a low water crossing. TWICE, since I had to turn around on an impassable road. I, of course, wondered - why do they call it a low water crossing if the problem is high water?

Anyway, at the end of the day, assuming you've lived through your poor decision to drive through rushing water, you need to both stand out and be yourself, but you also need to exist in peace with the blogging community, by being nice and kind and generous and obeying the Golden Rule.

So, as is my custom, I made a card to illustrate my theme. I hope you like it.Cardstock: Basic Black, Tempting Turquoise, Security Envelopes Accessories: Small Heart Punch, Dimensionals
All supplies Stampin' Up!

Tell me stories! I miss you guys. It's not Make Me Laugh Monday, but tell me what's up with you!

I gotta go re-watch the season opener of LOST and figure out this whole black smoke thing!

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's it Gonna Be?

I hesitate to say this for fear no one will ever want to sign up as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator with me after I tell you...

But TWO of my downline are pregnant! It must have happened at one of my stamp camps because they just inexplicably became simultaneously pregnant! Seriously! It was prior to the Occasions Mini though, so I think you're all safe!

So a big congrats to Neelam and Emily on their little bundles!

I made this card for this week's Color Throwdown, which called for pink, blue and kraft. I instantly thought of Neelam, whose baby will be a surprise when he/she is born. I love that. Like WHEEEEE - here I am, your little surprise boy/girl. How fun is that?

So when he or she is revealed, I expect it to be just this dramatic! :)
Stamps: Starving Artistamps Oh Baby Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black Paper: Kraft, Whisper White
Accessories: SU! Brads, oval punch, Petals a Plenty Embossing folder, Big Shot, Copics

If you do want a baby, feel free to join my little Understand Blue Group!!! Password is "understandblue". It's an awesome, pretty fertile bunch of gals!! Heheh.

Also, I created some new pet sympathy cards if you want to see em.

Hope you're having a great week!

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Monday, February 1, 2010

To a Girl I've Never Met

I adore her. She's funny, she's sweet, she's beautiful and she calls me things like Honey Bunches of Oats. She sends me crafty presents from her favorite stampy store in California. She sends me caramel apples. She cusses in a most ladylike and familiar way :) She tells the truth. She is a patriot, having served us all honorably in the Air Force and she fiercely loves America. Her soft little heart loves the furry beasts, notably the two floofy toed beasts above - Penny and Gracie. She also loves Tim Holtz and my friend Moeneeke, neither of whom, as far as I know, have floofy toes, but both of whom were lucky enough to meet her and are also pictured above. She makes the most beautiful art and is insanely humble about it.

Her name is Lisa. You might know her as @papergrace. I know her as my friend, my Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and today, as the birthday girl.

Happy birthday Lisa!!!! If you were here I'd buy you cupcakes and cheese and wine and we would giggle for hours. Someday. :) xoxoxox.

Here's a sneak peek of your birthday card. Click here to see the full birthday card on Project Reanimate.

Which, of course, will get to you late. :) No blog card before its time, right?? loveyameanitbye.

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