Friday, August 27, 2010

A Recurring Dream...

I have this recurring dream...

Well, I have several recurring dreams. It's amazing that you can have the same dream again and again for decades, isn't it?

This one involves a post office box I had in Rochester when I was in college. We had these old fashioned brass and glass post office boxes in the teeny U of R station on campus. It smelled like a library in there and I loved getting the mail. Well, I still love getting the mail. :)

Anyway, the recurring dream is that one day I realize that I have left Rochester, which of course I have, and that I've forgotten to forward my mail. It's this awful feeling of years of mail I haven't gotten, and I can always see through the glass door in my mind and there are letters and packages and I'm filled with anxiety. Then I wake up. I always feel uneasy for the rest of the day after this dream.

(Speaking of dreams - random subject change - have you seen Inception? SPECTACULAR movie.)

Anyway, this week, it was my birthday week, and so every day brought new delights. Boxes, handmade cards (one with an AMAZING cicada on it - I laughed so hard!!!), stamping goodies, jewelry, you name it. Thank you, sweet friends for all the gifts. And thank you to sweet Lynda, who left me a happy on her blog!

You guys rock. Maybe my recurring dream will be replaced by a dream about a mailbox full of birthday gifts!!

I put a few of these cards in my mailbox this week and sent them around the world.

The image is the little kitteh from Long Fellows - a hostess set from the new catty. I decided to have a little fun and wrap the image around the crease on the card. To do this, before I scored or folded my cardstock, I just placed the card against the ruler on grid paper, so that when I stamped the kitteh, I could center him around the 5.5" mark. Then I just colored him and folded the card.
I always cut the greetings off my stamps so I can say whatever I want. I'm sassy like that.
So I finished the card with the Congratulations from Whimsical Words.

Are you guys gonna stamp with me at VSN this weekend? Let's get stampy!


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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Flatterday Saturday!!

ACK! I'm so excited today! The sweet ladies of {Ippity} have done me the HUGE honor of featuring me on the {Ippity} blog today for Flatterday Saturday!

I was fortunate enough to meet the AMAZING Unity and {Ippity} team at CHA, and if you're familiar with their work, I can tell you that they are all even more beautiful and sweet in real life than they are on the interwebz.

I've gotten to know some of them through my work at Splitcoast, like sweet, sweet Kelly, who enabled me into my fave {Ippity} set - Fishy Philosophy.

You guys know how much I love Swimmy, and when I saw this set, I had to have it.
To make this card, I stamped my little fishy in Memento Tuxedo black, and then colored him with pencils. THEN, I blended them with a new product I just bought from England. It's called Zest-It, and it's a pencil blending product that is all natural, and smells like oranges. I really don't like to use stuff that has warning labels about brain tumors, so I was excited when I read about this. I'm super pleased with it. You use it just like you would use mineral spirits, with a paper blending tool. You can read more about it here.

I cut the fishbowl with my circle Sizzix die, and then cut a second circle in Soft Sky. I ran it back through my Big Shot with my Cat's Pajamas wave die to make the water. Fun, eh? I stamped the coral in Sahara Sand, and then used blue stickles to bling it up.

So thank you so much, {Ippity} chicks, and sweet Kelly - you guys have really made my month!! I love your show, babes!

Please head over to this post and leave my sweet girls some lovin!

Have a happy Saturday!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Cat-nanigans, Continued...

I think the heat is getting to the creatures.

I came home the other day and filmed Splotchy for you so you could see what I mean...
(if you don't see a video player above, click here...)

See? Complete insanity.

Having a pet means constant waves of destruction, punctuated by napping. The other day, my sister and I went on an early walk. She returned home to the sound of one of the igniters on her gas stove clicking, the burner on, and a singed Great Pyrenees, who apparently was attempting to make her own breakfast while we were out and about. Her whiskers and a good deal of her furz were crispy. I wonder if she was surprised or annoyed or super excited that she figured out fire... Scary thought, no?

Never underestimate what these creatures are plotting. Never. Be grateful for those days when the furniture is the only casualty.

Stamps: Starving Artistamps Here Kitty Kitty I, Sentiments Here Kitty Kitty,
: Memento Tuxedo Black Paper: October Afternoon Seaside, Stampin' Up! Crumb Cake, X-press It Copic Blender Card
Accessories: Copics (E25, E50, E55, G82, G99, R27, Y23, Y28, T1, T3, T5)
, ovals Sizzix die, Big Shot, Corner Chomper

Happy Friday!!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cat Mail

Maddie Bat got mail today! I keep telling her she has fans far and wide, but she didn't believe me until I went to the mailbox and found THIS sweet card! LOOK - it even has a PORTRAIT of little Maddie on it! And some lovely stickers. It's 100% handmade, and I do believe that little Autumn Cameron, the artist, is a budding papercrafter!!!
At least, that's what Maddie says!! Thanks Autumn! You are a lovely, lovely girl, and little Maddie would purr and chirp at you if you were here. She is very humbled by your gift of your artwork, and believe me - she's hard to humble!!

I had just been playing with a new Starving Artistamps release when I got Autumn's card - and what do you know - it's full of kittehs! This little guy is from Here Kitty Kitty 1.

Stamps: Starving Artistamps Here Kitty Kitty 1 Ink: White Craft Ink
Paper: Stampin' Up! Newsprint, Basic Black, Whisper White Accessories: Copics, Corner Chomper

I love that he's checking out the mewspaper. Heh heh. What's mew with you?

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Monday, August 16, 2010

She Snuggles..

What a fascinating weekend I had!

Saturday, on my walk, I happened upon a little woman who was lost. She approached me at the very farthest point of my walk, but she did not speak a word of English. She kept saying something that sounded like "Second Baby." She gestured down the highway we were at the edge of and said "Second Baby" about four times. It was quite confusing. I finally realized she was lost. Aaah, lost. And I have no idea what she's saying. And she has no idea what I'm saying. We try hand gestures and individual words. Nothing. I pull out the Iphone and show her a map. She can't read the map because she doesn't know the street names. We point some more.


Finally she says something I don't understand except for the word "Vietnamese". AHA! I ask "Vietnamese?" and she says yes. NOW we're getting somewhere.

Luckily, my nail lady is Vietnamese, so I call her and ask her to translate. I hand the phone to lost lady, she tells Le some landmarks near where she lives, and hands the phone back. WHEE! I turn around and get her to walk with me. We walk a mile to where I know she can find her way, in mostly silence, but with an occasional smile and arm squeeze from her :) You don't need to speak Vietnamese to know the universal gratitude expressed by a smile and an arm squeeze. Happy ending.

Then I went to a super fun birthday party for a friend, and I used the Inspiration Challenge on Splitcoast to create the card I brought.

I loved the site she chose for inspiration - Decade Gifts, and I picked this "She Snuggles" image for my card.

How sweet is that?? It meets all my requirements - it has a fuzzy bunny, it has a lovely shade of pink... perfect.

I had JUST gotten this image from the Cat's Pajamas too - I absolutely love this little bunneh. Purrrfffeeccct for the TCP blog hop!

I colored the image with Copics, and the background paper and paper tape is from Basic Grey.
Stamps: Birthday Bunny (The Cat's Pajamas) Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper: Copic Blender from X-press it, Basic Grey
Accessories: Copic, Basic Grey paper tape, Oval Sizzix Die, Corner Chomper

I think I'd toss the pressies and snuggle the bunneh.

Have a great Monday!

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Friday, August 13, 2010

I Has a Sad

I. Has. Such. A. Sad. :(

Today, at 5 PM CST, after 16 years, my Starbucks is closing.

It was the very first Starbucks in south Austin, and only the second one ever in Austin. I have parked under the same light in the parking lot every morning, watched fellow regular Mark go into the store in his wheelchair and do the crossword for year after year after year. A friend and I hired one of the baristas away from this store because we loved her so much. She later married a regular customer there that she fell in love with. Those are my friends Kristin and Ben.

I always joked that if anything ever happened to me, it would be the employees and customers in this store that would call the police first. That's how big and regular a part of our lives this store was. We all loved all the small moments there, especially the American Idol debriefs and the talk about LOST. I can't remember the last time I had to actually say what my drink was.

The last two days, we scrambled to find out where the other customers were going so that we could still be together.

I've never ever been so sad to see a business close. Say what you want about Starbucks being a big chain, or there being one on every corner... This store was our community and our home, and our happy hello to every day. I pulled up every day, parked in "my" spot, and had that joyful, comfortable, "everything is right with the world" feeling.

Here's what it looked like this morning, when everyone was bravely trying not to cry..

Thanks a latte, Brodie Starbucks. You have no idea how much I will miss all of you.


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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When Cicadas Attack

Don't start with all the "they are harmless" stuff either. I have proof they are vicious killers.

This morning I went on my walk as per usual. I stopped for a drink at Starbucks on my way home, at which point I'm assuming I was either a) not under attack yet or b) people in there were so frightened they didn't react TO THE GIANT CICADA ON MY SHIRT.

Yea, that's right. I get home, put my stuff down, pat the kitties - bending over so that the giant cicada had to be right in Maddie's face by the way - grab their food bowls and then DISCOVER IT. Good Lord that was a scary moment. Not thinking clearly, I tried to flick it off. The results of that would have been total chaos - a four pound 120 decibel animal flying around my house. Thank God it didn't work. So I head for the front porch where I smack it with one of the food bowls I'm still holding.

It QUACKS loudly in complete cicada annoyance and flies off into the bushes.

Thanks a lot, Maddie and Splotchy, for being so observant and such great predators. Thanks. A lot. Maybe I should trade those two in for birds. Birds like cicadas. I bet these birds would LOVE em. :)

This is the new Aviary set with the new Cherry Cobbler seam binding - a sneak peek from the Holiday mini. It's SO beautiful. The glitter brad is also a sneak peek.

Off to buy an owl. :)

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Dark and Dreary....

Every year I tell myself I will get cracking on my Halloween cards early, and every year it sneaks up on me.

I adore Halloween imagery. I love all things dark and spooky. For some reason, when I was little, I KNEW that there were witches in the woods at the end of the street. I have yet to meet anyone who can prove there were NOT any, by the way. So whatever you do, do not listen to any propaganda from my family.

I ((((loved)))) Edgar Allen Poe with his ravens and hearts under the floorboards. I especially loved the uber spooky and lesser known story he wrote about a ship full of dead souls.
MWWAHHAAA - I'm all scared just THINKING about all that stuff!!

You can imagine my joy at the new Halloween stuff from the upcoming mini catalog. It's my fave Halloween stuff Stampin' Up! has done EVER!! It's SOOOOO scary and raveny and owly and spooooooookkkkyyyyy! Wait till you see all of it.

So for once, I sat down early and started tinkering with the spooky fun. I started with some less scary images so that you wouldn't run away shrieking. I have to lull you into a false sense of security before I REALLY scare you! heh heh.

And since Halloween is rarely clean & simple, I decided to break that rule and see if I couldn't be BOTH clean & simple AND scary.

Stamps: Dark and Dreary Ink: Basic Black Paper: Whisper White
Accessories: Barely Banana, Basic Black and Real Red Markers, Spooky Night Rubons, Self Adhesive Pearls
All Supplies Stampin' Up!

The greeting is a rub on, as is the line the candelabra sits on. I just quickly swished my Barely Banana marker around the candles to get the flame and colored the spider and the candles with Real Red. I added the self adhesive pearls - the teeniest ones on the sheet - to the candelabra. I drew the spiderweb.Don't be scared... It hasn't even gotten good yet!! :)

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Happy Birfday!

Like most stampers, I do not ever have a birfday card on hand when it is someone's birfday. Like this little panda, for example. I don't have a card for him.

Photo courtesy The Telegraph. And my mother.

Or my friend Sam. Whose actual birfday it is. And who is not a panda.

What I DID have, is this insanely adorable little birfday stamp from PaperWorks Co. It has been making me happy sitting in its package on my desk for weeks, and voila - I now have both a means and a motive for a birfday card. The packaging for this little stamp has the image all beautifully colored in, and I mostly copied the color scheme from that cute image. Actually, the packaging of these stamps is so darn cute I had to email the owner about it. They put as much design talent into it as goes into the stamp, which I thought was super cool.

I colored it with Copics and used my framed scalloped oval die to make the shape and the border. The border is October Afternoon's Seaside collection. The first 200 people in their booth got an 8 x 8 package of this at CHA and I screamed right at them I was so excited.
I'm hoarding it now. :)

The background is a Tim Holtz embossing folder (I think.. Why aren't those things labeled?) on Crumb Cake cardstock.

So happy birfday panda, Sam and whoever else has a birfday today! I hope you get a large colorful cake made of ice and dyed vegetables that you can eat in your birfday suit!

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dream Big!

It's Friday! The day you've all been dreaming of. If Monday is the frog you have to kiss, then Friday is the prince! :D

This week I am playing catchup from my travels, so not much stamping time. But I did get Copic Certified while I was in Chicago by none other than Lori Craig and Debbie Olson! AMAZING CLASS! If you get the opportunity to take one, you need to - I learned so much and the class materials are great. I have tons more to learn, but I was inspired, so I was determined to play with my markers and with my beautiful little girls from the Greeting Farm. I 100% blame Beate for getting me completely addicted to these little sweeties. I fell especially hard for little Ava, who Jessica was kind enough to enable me for...

I colored this little beauty with Copics, and then I sprayed Citrus Tickle Smooch Spritz and also Silver Foil Smooch onto a paper plate, and painted the silver on her hair, and the citrus onto her little froggy prince. See the sparkles in the closeup?

I used glue & Martha Stewart glitter on her crown, collar and shoes, and finished her backdrop with Basic Grey paper tape, K & Company patterned paper (all those clocks ticking away the waiting for her prince to come) and Early Espresso cardstock. I cut the oval with my Oval Scalloped frame Sizzix die.

Happy Friday! What are you working on?

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dear SWA Crew Member, You are in the.....

Dog house.


Yours truly had a quite pooptacular experience with a Southwest Airlines crew member (off duty) on my marathon trek back from Chicago last week. The crew that worked all THREE of my flights that day were angels, as per usual, and got me to my destination safely and on time, without charging me 80 squillion dollars for my bags. I love Southwest Airlines.

But this story must be told.I changed my flight, as I was dying to get home a little earlier after two weeks on the road. My bags made it onto an early afternoon flight on standby, but I, tragically, did not. I waited for the 4:30 to Kansas city. The flight is oversold. The last empty seat is the middle seat in my row. The crew was waiting for an off duty crew member for that last seat. She was late.

She walks onto the plane, and my heart sinks. This person coming to sit in the last four square inches is holding my worst pet peeve in her late hands. A giant bag of stinky McDonald's grub from the airport that I will now be forced to smell. Just what I needed - the stench of a McRib or a Filet of Fish and the sounds of someone eating one micron away from my face.

Oh, but it gets better. She has two giant carry ons. She just sits down, shoves one under the seat and starts moving MY purse under the seat in front of me. I barked at her, and she leaves this giant thing on her lap, sensing through her insensitivity that I might be a woman on the edge of something quite memorable. We have pushed back. An anxious steward comes by and tells her she needs to stow it. She doesn't care. She says - "I don't have anywhere to put it." He says - "we've already pushed back - the bins are full." She says "WELL I'M NOT GOING TO CHECK IT. IT'S FULL OF FOOD". Of course it is. Probably crawdads. He sighs and takes it from her off to the back somewhere.

It gets better.Immediately following takeoff, she reaches THROUGH MY FACE to grab that same steward's arm as he sprints towards the front of the plane. She says "Hey - that bag y'all took from me (what? excuse me?) - that has my headphones in it. Will you bring me my headphones?" I just flat out stared at her with my mouth open, hoping for the steward's suggestions about places she could have put her headphones prior to take off. I was prepared with my own list of places. Sadly, those didn't come. Shockingly, he goes and gets them. I realize that people have forgotten the fine art of devastating, colorfully worded attitude adjustments.

An hour of McRib smell later, we are about to land in Kansas. We are not changing planes, so they tell us to stay in our seats until they count us and then we can move. I'm coiled like a big cat in the jungle ready to spring across thirty rows of seats to get away from this insane person when she stands up and says "I'm gonna move." I look at her, sleep deprived me, with my sore feet and my sore throat, and I said....

"Not as fast as I am, lady."

You, with your cooler full of God knows what and your bag of offensive and your headphones - you, are in the dog house.
Is this too subtle for such an occasion you think? All white on white, punches and embosslits? Perhaps. But she could have used a little subtlety. :)

Anyway - how about those prizes I promised? You guys had some fabulous books!!

Instead of one prize, since I'm so late, I'll choose three!! I have one of the adorable tote bags from convention, your choice of pattern, one collapsible trashcan for your stamp camps or desk, and the Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder.

It's first come first serve for my responders - if you're first, you choose your prize first! If no one claims by Friday, I'll choose again :)

My friends at tells me my winners are:

1colincary, Laurie Ludwig and Beedubya!

Thanks for all the book ideas! Off to enter them in my Amazon Wish List! Loveyameanitbye.

OH - and don't forget - my CHA pics are on the Understand Blue Facebook Page and the Splitcoaststampers Facebook Page - you do NOT have to be a member of Facebook to see them!

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