Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Not Just Friends, Friends with KITTENS!!

Stampy people amaze me. I got two cards in the mail this week that reminded me of just how nice crafty people are. Both of these are cards I fell in love with when I saw them online, and then POOF - they arrived at my door, like some glitter covered stamping fairy is in charge of the universe.

Perhaps that is the case.

First I received this card from the completely amazing Crafty Frugalista - she is the one who created the sketchbook I told you about here. She was kind enough to send me this hilarious card I loved so much! I laugh every time I walk past it on the Shelf of Fame in my room. Thank you Cindy!

Then today I opened the mail and I see THIS beautiful, yummy and perfect card and bookmark from my pretty, pretty princess, Jimmi Mayo!! Can you believe it??? It's making me happy next to my monitor right now.

I'm feeling like a very lucky girl. I feel like my friends are actually from Dairy Queen, where everything is just better, as you can see from this new hilarious commercial. (Thanks Kim!)

(If you don't see a video player, click here for the amazing kitteny goodness.)

When you stop wishing you really DID have a bottle of bubbles like that, it'll be time for me to say see ya later... :)
This was a card I made for a Free For All Friday On Edge challenge to give a card a fun edge. I decided to give mine GATOR TEEF to match my gator from Long Fellows. The little sunburst behind him is from A Little Somethin', and the edge is a strip of Cherry Cobbler I cut with my Tasteful Trim die.

Hope you're having a fabby, Dairy Queen style week!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Birthday JJ!

Today is a very special day for all critter lovers. It's John James Audubon's birthday.

When I was little, my parents had all sorts of wondrous books, like those Time-Life series about nature, with beautiful pictures and all sorts of trivia that fills my head to this day. And while I loved the photos, I loved the illustrations, like Audubon's, even more. I loved the combo of nature and art. And I love birds.

My apologies to anyone with bird phobias (David, cover your eyes). But I love their coloredy, feathery goodness. I liked how he made them just a teeny bit more dramatic than they were in real life. He wasn't fooling me. He added some bird bling to some of those birds. And it rocked.

I bought a little book of birds with his illustrations in it for a dollar at Half Price books and have had a lot of fun making cards with it. 

The CAS challenge this week was for the Artist's Rule of Three. I didn't even have to do anything, because Audubon took care of it for me - the two birds and those berries are the perfect balance for this rule. Perhaps because he actually WAS an artist!

Stamps: Artistic Etchings, You're a Gem Ink: Basic Black 
Paper: Very Vanilla, Basic Black, First Edition DSP Accessories: Curly Label Punch, Black Jewels, Audubon book

I, on the other hand... I need to confess that the card is entirely backwards. It opens on the left, so for those of you who inhabit a strange mirror world - this would make a great gift. I did not discover this until I was TOTALLY finished with the card!! This is how things end up in the trash. And perhaps also why you should not craft at 5 AM. :)

Anyway, maybe JJ would understand. After all, nature isn't perfect either.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Queen For Way More Than A Day

The days are just packed, as Calvin & Hobbes says.

For one thing, we've got a royal wedding this week. I find this amusing for a few reasons. First, the horror of people who have to get up at 4 AM to watch it tickles me. I'm awake at 4 most days, and so it does not provoke screaming or fainting.

Back in the days before Tivo, there was another royal wedding.

I went over to my BFF Mary's house to spend the night, so that we could get up and watch it. Mary was obsessed with the royals, which I didn't understand, but it was going to be a fun night of brownies and TV watching, and we didn't have a TV. So off I went.

When the alarm went off, we bounded out of our racks to begin the ooh-ing and aahing over what I remember as a completely out of control poofy dress. It was poofy even for the 80's, people - trust me. I heard on the news this week that the wedding was delayed because they hadn't considered the logistics of getting that poor woman and the 87 squillion yards of fabric into her Cinderella carriage. It was about the point at which we got our first poofy glimpse that Mary started barfing.

Yep. Barfing. She was one of six, so there were a lot of germs to be had. And trooper that she was, she was content to watch the wedding while barfing into a trashcan.

I, on the other hand, have no such devotion, and went promptly home. I hope this one goes better. :)

I made this little royal bird for the Teapot Tuesday challenge this week - how in the world could I resist a blue bird?

Paper: First Edition, Retired DSP, Whisper White, Ballet Blue 
Accessories: Pearls, Doily Triple Layer Punch (upcoming mini), 2.5" Circle Punch, Curly Label Punch

Now that, my friends, is some Royal Blue!!

Clear your calendars and fluff your PJs for Friday night - we'll be having a Virtual Stamp Night Mini with 5 challenges! The theme is a Pirate Party, and it's going to be a blast! I hope to see you there!

I will also have a MAJOR prize post later in the week, so stay tuned :).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Earth with heaven above rejoices...

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices...  ~Charles Kingsley

Stamps: Nature Walk 
Paper: Pink Pirouette, Whisper White, Botanical Gazette, Karen Foster Designs Old Fashioned Eggs
Ink: Basic Black, River Rock, Pink Pirouette, Peach Parfait
Accessories: Recollections bling, Trinket Crowns, Pear Pizazz Seam Binding, Corner Rounder, Blender Pen

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Orange You Glad You Have a Crockpot?

I am. I'm also glad there are nice people on the Interwebz that will share fabby recipes with me. If only I had had a crockpot and the Interwebz in college - just THINK of all the MSG I could have avoided consuming! The endless packages of 11 cent Ramen I cooked in a hot pot just make me shudder now.

Well thanks to Ali Edwards and A Year of Slow Cooking, I have a new crockpot recipe for you that I have to say rivals the Mac & Geez! It's Sundried Tomato Risotto, with a few modifications to the original recipe.

First of all, I have one of those crockpots large enough to put a baby in - not that I would ever put a baby in my crockpot - babies are dirty! :) Because of the size, I had to double the recipe so that it wouldn't turn into risotto brittle in a thin layer on the bottom of the crockpot. Second, the recipe needs a little salt. Third, I happen to think Swiss Cheese tastes like a dead ferret, so I substituted. All these things came together into one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten! And it's even better left over! So get the babies and the dead ferrets out of the room and give this a try.


8 oz. Mezzetta Sundried Tomatoes in oil
3 C. Arborio rice (I used Vigo)
8 C. Chicken broth (I used Central Market Organics)
8 oz. Shredded Asiago cheese
1 tsp. Salt

Pour oil from the tomatoes into the bottom of the crockpot. Finely dice the tomatoes, and add them with any remaining oil. Add rice and stir all this together in the crockpot until the rice is coated with oil. Add the chicken broth and turn the crockpot on high. Cooking time depends on your machine - check it at about 2.5 hours. Mine took about 3.5 hours, so at 3 hours, I added the cheese, stirred it and let it go another half hour. Feel free to reverently whisper my name when you have that first bite :).

So speaking of orange, I made an orange card as a late entry in the Free For All Friday "Orange You Glad" challenge.

It was really easy! I inked up a flower from Fabulous Florets (upcoming Summer Mini Catalog) in Peach Parfait, and then shaded it with a Poppy Parade marker, huffed and stamped. The strip behind the main panel is Poppy Parade, and the greeting is from Happy Greetings (upcoming summer mini).

Orange you glad you stopped by today?

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I've taken a million personality tests. They are so fascinating and so fun. I love that shock you get when you see the results. The "oh my - that IS me" moment. Much more revealing than looking in the mirror.

The Myers-Briggs is my favorite and to me, just dead solid perfect. I read a great book about that test that described the different types of personalities it defines, and one of those types is a person most often described as a connector.

A connector is that person in your circle who just seems to know not just everyone, but who knows everyone you really need to know. They are magnetic, and they are universally liked. People describe this person as someone who makes them feel energized and happy. Very frequently, they make people laugh.

Fortunately, I know more than a few connectors. And they've connected me to wonderful people and fun experiences. One of these people has a birthday today.

If I had to describe her in one word, I'd pick smiley. :)

She bounces into an online conversation like Tigger, with joy and warmth and exuberance and you just can't help but love her.

Her name is Lee.

And this is what I think of her.

Stamps: Unity March & April kit of the month Ink: Basic Black, Melon Mambo, Versamark  
Paper: Retired DSP, Melon Mambo Textured Cardstock, Whisper White  
Accessories: Ribbon, Bling, MFT Doily Die, Corner Rounder, SU Label Punch

That's right. Sassy, pink, hipster little Lee is growing up! She's probably at LEAST 21. :)

We are having a little LuvLee blog hop in her honor, so check out some of my homegirls' birthday cards for the sweetest, kindest little connector I know!!

Here are my friends' cards in no particular order:

Crafty Math Chick

Have fun hopping around, and count your blessings for all the sweet friends that stamping has brought you!

Happy birthday sweet Lee. You are a treasure!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Old Fashioned Shaving Bunnies!

I thought it was time to bring you some Easter fun, since we are getting close. In addition to all the regular fun of Easter, like pastel Easter dresses for church, Peeps, Cadbury Eggs and pink jellybeans, Dairy Queen was nice enough to bring back Old Fashioned Shaving Bunnies for Easter 2011.

If you, like me, are suffering through income tax prep at the last minute, you definitely need to take a look at these Dairy Queen bunnies.

It sort of has the feel of those Old Spice Commercials. I love and appreciate that companies as big as Dairy Queen still have a sense of humor.

Now I sort of want a mini-blizzard and an old fashioned shaving bunneh.

Anyway - remember my Smooch Spritz Resist tutorial? Well I used that for a WAY non-traditional Easter card for the last Virtual Stamp Night. And by non-traditional, of course I mean BLUE :).

The challenge was a mashup challenge - to use multiple techniques. So in addition to my smooch technique, I added dry embossing and Scherenschnitte - say THAT three times fast!!

The little girl is from Easter Blossoms, and she is stamped in Pacific Point Blue. The embossing folder is Perfect Polka Dots, the background stamp is French Filigree and I used Gold Glow Smooch Spritz and Pacific Point for the background.

I hope you get some old fashioned shaving bunnies in your Easter basket!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shift Happens....

It's true. The whole earth shifted with the earthquake in Japan.

And smaller shifts happen too. I'm listening to a fascinating book right now on my walks. In this book, there are all sorts of interesting behavioral studies.

For example, there was a study done with rats about empathy. Rats could press a lever and get food, and they were trained to do that. Then, the experiment was changed, so that sometimes, when they pressed the lever, a rat in an adjacent cage got a jolt of electricity. So the rats ate much less, to avoid causing their little furry friends pain. Don't underestimate the feelings of our furry friends.

The one I heard this morning on my walk really surprised me. They studied people typing, by monitoring the brain activity associated with each letter strike on a keyboard. They found that when people misspell a word, the pressure they apply to the WRONG key in the word is significantly less than the pressure applied to the correct letters. And their brain activity level is completely different at that moment. So your brain is trying to stop you from typing "teh" instead of "the", but it can't always get to your fingers in time...

It happens. :)

But I did get a chance to play with some new toys this week, and do some organizing with the card catalog. To those of you who commented that you want to see the finished product, I promise I will post pics. In the mean time - check out the fun new Flower Garden embossing folder and the three step punches from the soon to be revealed Summer Mini Catalog! I inked the Embossing Folder in Crumb Cake before embossing. Did I use some hoarded Soft Sky? PERHAPS. :)

You know what IS absolutely perfect in every way?

Nature. Behold some 100% unretouched photos from my flowerbeds. Amaryllis, American Beauty and Clytemenestra.

Have a happy Friday, peeps!!!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Cleaning Products and How to Avoid Cleaning With Them!

I hear from people who are PROBABLY telling the truth that products like bleach actually have a housekeeping purpose. But as every stamper worth her colored pencils knows, that kind of talk is just a crazy waste of air.

I can guaran-dang-tee you that no toilet is ever going to be as pretty as what I'm about to show you!

When I saw Beate's video for Bleached out images on Splitcoast, I knew exactly what I was going to do with my BELOVED new Fabulous Florets set. These flowers were perfect for this technique! I have bleached stamped images before, but always on colored cardstock, not Crumb Cake and it's stunning! It turns the cardstock this yummy buttery color and provides a great base for coloring

Now I did not emboss my images first - I just stamped them in black. If you do this, just paint the bleach inside the lines so you don't bleach the outlines of the images. If you do get bleach on them, after it dries, just use a marker to put the lines back in. I used colored pencils for my flowers, because I wanted a bright, intense blue. I put some uncolored bleached flowers on top of these after curling them with my bone folder, and I added fine black glitter to the flower centers.

The greeting is also a summer mini set - Happy Greetings. I love that font.

Now on to important stampy matters. I was lucky enough after a lifetime of searching to find a 72 drawer card catalog! I have wanted one of these for SOOOOO long, I can't tell you how excited I am to have found one.

It needed a little work, so after a sweet friend helped us with that, we moved it into the house this weekend.

Before I could get all the drawers back in, I discovered how a card CATalog gets its name.

Betcha didn't know that either...


Friday, April 8, 2011

Quilt Me!

Yesterday I did make & takes at Scrapology for quilters on the Bluebbonet Quilt Shop Hop in Lakeway.

I don't know if it's just that I think of quilts as a more historical craft with longer roots or what, but as I was sitting there with the quilters yesterday I realized something shocking.

I didn't have a cellphone in college.

It's true. I'm that old.

I really can't imagine not having one, or even describing this to a college student now and being believed, but not only did I not have one then, I didn't have one for much longer than that. I thought back to my first ginormous cell phone and I thought it would be fun to share with you my personal cellular evolution. This is a picture of every cell phone I've ever owned, at pretty much their relative sizes. I think someone could make a quilt out of this!

Whoa. That first one gives me a brain tumor just looking at it.

Well at least you could make a call on the old ones. The new ones - not so much! :)

I decided to do a quilty make & take for my quilters, so I took a fabulous design from Scrappykat on Splitcoast and came up with this clean & simple number using Clearly for You. It was really fun & quick!
Are you Ting G I F? :)

I hope you have a fun & crafty weekend! I might live craft some Easter fun on my Ustream channel - watch the Understand Blue Facebook or blue tweets for times!

PS - don't forget to click my "Crazy Bargains" tab to help me de-stash my stamp room at amazing prices!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Buds and the Bees

I'm a world renowned expert in growing roses. I know you didn't know this about me but it's true.

Now - by "world renowned" - I mean that I know this, and maybe two other people know it. But isn't everyone always saying it's a small world?? So there.

Anyway - here's the deal. At our first house, we had a nice, expansive yard. And by nice, I mean expansive. It was a very tiny house with a very large yard. And by yard, I mean a big limestone rock with 1/16" of dirt covering it. It was not exactly a gardener's paradise. There was not one green thing there when we moved in. When we left, it was a sea of beautiful St. Augustine, 12 feet of irises, a stunning clematis along the fence, and my true pride and joy - incredible roses.

I'm only indirectly responsible for these gorgeous life forms. I am at best a lucky gardener - it is not one of my spiritual gifts, although I enjoy growing things. Stamping makes you forget that there are living things around you, yes?

However, I do listen to the radio. A lot. And one day in 1998 I was listening to a gardening show and heard a tip that has served my rose friends well, and that was to put a banana peel in the hole before you put your rosebush in. This person said it creates a slow feed to a traumatized rose and has all the right stuff.

My 4H brain rebelled. I thought - SUGAR?? Won't that rot, draw bugs, grow mold? But I did it, because I didn't know any better. And in an absolutely impossible growing environment, I grew the most beautiful, healthy roses I've ever seen.

So I just did it again. And lo and behold - in one week - what do I see?
A rose.


I can't wait.

In other garden news - my 600 pounds of poop was apparently full of dandelion seeds. The battle begins. And apparently, this little fella didn't get the memo that bugs aren't supposed to like rosemary.

Look how pretty he is though with his fur and his beautiful sky blue stripe! (click him for a closeup)

So after all that nature, I thought I ought to reflect that in a little art, so I busted out some bees for today's Splitcoast tutorial for a pentagon treat tube. I made this one live on UStream, with a little help from my friends - Bunny and Mary Dawn and Leslie. They are actually the ones that suggested what I consider to be the crowning glory of this project, which is the pom pom trim around the back of the tab. Those ladies are SMART. And a little smart-alecky, but that's a topic for another day.:)
It really was quick and easy and fun to do. I used Nature Walk and Botanical Gazette paper. Go check out the tutorial. Completely adorable pressie that's totally do-able if you're in a hurry and have some cute candy to give away.

Like Bit O Honey, for example.


Happy Wednesday.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Earth IS Flat and we are Somewhere Else!

I didn't really know how to bring this news to you. But I found something quite terrifying today on my walk.

I found.... Earth.

Yep. And guess what? It IS flat.

And we're not on it.

That's a heck of a thing for a girl to find out on a Sunday morning, don't you think?

I guess old T.S. wasn't kidding when he said April was the cruellest month. Well, that and taxes.

Thankfully, we stamp on whatever planet we live on. I had my monthly class yesterday and we had a little fun with the petal cone die, thanks to some people on Splitcoast giving me ideas.

We made little carrot shaped gift boxes with the Petal Cone Die - these are SO fun and easy! I got this particular design from sweet Heather Summers - I just loved her little topper. What I did was cut two petal cones from Pumpkin Pie cardstock. I stamped those in Pumpkin Pie ink with the Woodgrain background - it TOTALLY looks like a carrot when you do that!

I punched the top from Old Olive cardstock with the Bird Punch and the 2 3/8" Scallop Punch. After you punch the scalloped circle out, you will want to cut to the center with your scissors and then cut a little hole in the middle for the floof to come out of.

Then just overlap the cut sides of the scallop so it becomes a 3D top and punch with your 1/8" circle punch through both layers. This is where you will attach your tag - I stamped mine with Easter Blossoms and punched with a Decorative Label Punch. Stick the leaves through the little hole and adhere the stems on the underside of the top. After you put the cone together, stick a single dimensional on the edge of the scallop and stick it to one of the petals on top of the box so that your lucky carrot candy giftee can still open the box.

Since we're all obviously Martians or Neptunians, you may want to consider filling the box with anti-matter. Or a flux capacitor. Or a ray gun.

Just sayin'.

Friday, April 1, 2011

No Foolin'!

I won't trick you. I promise.

But I will let some other people trick you, because it's fun as HECK.

Here are a few of my fave jokes from today.

First, just type "Helvetica" into Google and hit search. HILARIOUS, especially for typography geeks like me!

Next, check out the new version of Gmail - my wrists feel better just watching this!

Then, this fun glimpse of the top viral pictures of 1911 from YouTube.

Or this email I received today from the Soup Peddler - I'm really excited about deep fried soup on a stick dropped from a helicopter!

I hope at least one person has tricked you today! :)

The card I have for you today is one I made for one of Gina K's sketch challenges. I had just gotten this gorgeous paper - Paisley Petals - that the sketch gave me the perfect real estate for! This paper reminds me of that beautiful gold accented Italian stationery from Crane. Yes, I'm hoarding it. :) If you want some, check out the Spring is Blossoming special here - you can get it in your hot little paws from today till the 30th.

Stamps: Sale-A-Bration Set  Ink: Basic Black, Rose Red, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight  
Paper: Rose Red, Paisley Petals, Whisper White Accessories: Ribbon, Rhinestones, punches, dies, Blender Pen

If you are reading in a reader, click over for a second to my blog - I've changed it up a bit, and hopefully you will enjoy it!

What are your plans for the weekend? If you're still having snow - come on down - it's sunny and hot in the Great Republic!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...