Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hello, My Friend. I Don't Care if You Look Like a Sour Pop.

Remember those sweet and sour pops from a few decades back? They were red and yellow and crazy delicious.

I can't remember what they were called, but they were pretty iconic. I always liked sour candy because I don't really like sweet stuff as much as I like, say, cheese. Or a good bone in filet, Lori Lou Whoo.

But that candy did make me happy in the old days.

I procrastinated a lot this weekend. I really needed some lazy days and I did that up right today. I took a little break from Dare to Get Dirty and peeked at my badly neglected Google Reader, where I found this. I love her blog. Everything she does is magic.

I thought I'd attempt a copy with my floofy fat friends. Here's what they're saying.

"Hi sour pop colored... fox? Coon? What are you?" "Oh hello there my chubby, lemon lime porcupine? Hedgehog? What are you?"

"It doesn't matter. Hello, friend."
Stamps: Furry Folk, My Friend Ink: Basic Black, Lucky Limeade, Daffodil Delight, Poppy Parade, Wisteria Wonder 
Paper: Watercolor, Whisper White Accessories: Aqua Painter, Dimensionals

At least, that's what I THINK they're saying.

A friend is a friend.

Have a great week!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Everybunny Wants to Travel Like This

Okay I've decided what my solution to the seahorse/groping/general TSA offensiveness is. Next time I travel, I'm hiring one of those hot air balloon companies that is run by bunnies. Haven't heard of them? Keep reading!

I don't know why I never thought of it before. I will miss Southwest Airlines, but I will NOT miss the combo pelvic exam/seahorse interrogation I've become accustomed to.

This weekend is jam packed with stampy goodness! Friday night we had our Virtual Stamp Night mini, which was a blast. You still have time to participate in these six mojo enhancing challenges. Leslie - of Crooked Stamper fame - got them all done right along with me, while tweeting and juggling flaming bowls of cherries jubilee. Okay that was lie. But she was tweeting.

Then, this morning, we kicked off Dare to Get Dirty - a WEEK of challenges hosted by the Dirty Dozen Design Team and alumni. It's SO FUN!

This is one of my cards for Julie Lacey's challenge and I whipped out my new air chauffeur from the new catalog - Everybunny. Lynne Hurlburt correctly guessed that this was my favorite set from the new catalog!

I completely forgot that I even had gotten this set as it was buried under the post-convention, pre-CHA madness on my desk, and so when I got home it was like Christmas morning finding this little guy.
It's okay to scream about how cute he is.

I stamped him in Basic Black on Crumb Cake, that I had embossed with the Framed Tulips Embossing Folder and rubbed with White Craft Ink. Then I just quickly colored him in with pencils and added some Dazzling Diamonds Glitter to the flowers he's scattering.

Bunny transportation - sprinkled glittery flowers all over the earth.

TSA regulated transportation - groping, stupid qustions and people eating airport burritos while using your armrest.

You make the call.

Hope you're having a fabby weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is That a Seahorse In Your Pocket, or....?

So I am finally back from all my travels, and trying to catch up with myself.

I had so much fun catching up with all my stampy friends and seeing all the fantastic new things that everyone *NEEDS* right this very second.

But two weeks is a long, long time to be gone, and I was ready to come home when I got to the airport Sunday night. Midway airport, to be exact.

If you've never been through Midway, you can't know the special circle of hell that its security lines occupy. I have never been there when it wasn't a tangled, cranky sea of humanity in a knot of confusing and slow moving lines. Sunday was no different. It was a hot mess.

I finally get to the point where I'm waiting for my carryons to exit the conveyor when I see, with dread, that a TSA agent is walking towards me with one of my carryon bags.

It's a woman. She seemed nice enough, and it wasn't immediately apparent that she had clearly consumed a large quantity of a hallucinogenic mushrooms, had a head injury or arrived from another dimension shortly before asking me this:

ma'am - do you have any type of little seahorse in your bag?

I was dumbfounded. I hadn't eaten since the previous night and was completely exhausted, but I never expected a question about a seahorse. I was too shocked for my normal reaction, which would have been to fall down on the floor convulsed with hysterical laughter.

I just stared at her. I wanted to ask her "are seahorses prohibited? I mean, if I HAD a seahorse in my bag, would I be in some sort of trouble?" And since she said "any type of little seahorse" did that mean one type was more dangerous than another?

I didn't ask. I said "no, I do not have a little seahorse in my bag." She paws through my bag. She finds several things that apparently set off the seahorse alarm, like a bracelet and my car keys, and removed them to run them and my suitcase separately. She comes back. Some of my dies are now out of my suitcase and bouncing around on the conveyer belt.

She brings back the suitcase. She says there's still a problem. Something looks like a crown. Again, I'm not aware that seahorses or crowns are prohibited. Are seaMONKEYS also prohibited? A friend reminded me that they have crowns - could she have seen a seamonkey in my bag? If I missed my ONE OPPORTUNITY to see a real live seamonkey, the TSA is going to pay!!

She paws some more. She retrieves a border punch with a knowing look, puts it in a bowl and takes my suitcase away again. Thank God we are all safe from my border punch and my bracelet. She comes back and paws some more. She takes out my airport compliant ziploc bag full of makeup, leaves with my suitcase and the bag and comes back, calling over her shoulder for me to "keep an eye on my property" as she disappears around a corner with it. A guy next to me starts giggling. I thought about injuring him with my weaponized, royal seahorse, but resist. A person should reserve their deadly crowned seahorse for more perilous situations.

Stamps: Aquaria (retired), Happy Harmony (retired) Paper: Whisper White, Just Add Cake DSP, Pool Party Ink: Basic Black Accessories: Pool Party Marker, Lucky Limeade Marker, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Rhinestones

Yeah, there's a card for that.:)

Hey - don't forget - the $99 starter kit deal is only good through Sunday! Check it out in my sidebar.

And keep those seahorses at home where they belong. America is safer without them.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Come Stamp With Me!

What a week! I'm home from Salt Lake for a few days and then I head to CHA for a week. July is a crazy month. but full of stampy goodness.

Thank you for hanging out with me during convention! It was a blast. We got so many cool stamp sets I'm itching to play with. They got me a long way down my extensive wish list. The things I think I'm most excited about are:
  • The stocking die
  • The stocking punch
  • The new Halloween line
  • The incentive trip to Fiji
I got to meet some of you there which was incredibly fun, and always my favorite part of crafty events.

As if thousands of crazy stampers under one roof wasn't already more than Salt Lake could handle, we had a full moon while we were there. I had to grab a pic from my room.

How cool are those mountains in the background? Salt Lake is such a beautiful city.

When I got home, I thought I should make a card for all of you that were so sweet to hang out on my live feed and leave me your sweet comments. I really wish that all of you could come stamp with me...

Stamps: Furry Folk, Workshop Words (Free set from convention)
Paper: Whisper White, Patterns Pack III, Basic Black  
Ink: Basic Black, Daffodil Delight, Calypso Coral, Cajun Craze, Pool Party, Island Indigo, 
Lucky Limeade, Real Red, Pink Pirouette  
Accessories: Flower Punch, Rhinestones, Blender Pen, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Two-Way Glue Pen, 3/4" Circle Punch

So will ya? Come stamp with me? :)


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Live Convention Coverage Starts.... NOW!

Monday, July 11, 2011

You Win Some, You Lose Some...

I've been in a lot of contests in my life.

I remember being the almost winner of a spelling bee in fourth grade. Palms sweating, I spelled the word that would mean I won or I lost.

I lost. I had a dearth of spelling mojo. So I spelled it dirth.

I left that contest with nothing. You COULD say I left with a knowledge of how to actually spell dearth, but let's be real. I don't care. I have a dearth of caring about the word dearth.

But what's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious about art contests is that you don't leave with nothing. You leave with a piece of art. And probably one that you like, since you entered it in a contest.

So when you lose an art contest, it never really feels like losing. At least to me.

Here's the piece I entered in the Austin Art Boards contest. This is a contest with Reagan Outdoor to create art that will be used for billboards around town that aren't under contract. Great idea for beautifying our spaces.

I just expanded my convention swap. << Click for supplies/technique. The size was 6 x 24 so they could scale it properly for a billboard. Interesting size for a cardmaker to work in. But with a little help from Inspired by Nature, it was a good canvas composition.

It doesn't feel like I lost. It feels like I have something pretty to put on the wall. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Terrible Beauty is Born...

So we have this super duper gardening radio show here. I don't consider myself a gardener even in the loosest sense of the word, but I LOVE this show. I learn so much and I try to be out running around in the car when it's on on Saturday mornings.

Yesterday, I sat in the car in the parking lot at Staples, delaying my 75% off envelopes coupon purchase I was so excited about to listen to a story about a horrible bug.

It's called a sparrow wasp.

You know you hate it.

It's called a sparrow wasp because it's the SIZE OF A SPARROW.

Its mission in life is to destroy Japanese beehives, killing the bees and stealing their honey and their babies to feed to ITS babies. Awful.

However, listen to THIS.

The bees know that this hellacious beastie sends a scout before the other beasties come destroy their hives. When they sniff the little sparrow wasp pheromone, they run out to the door of their hive and wait for it to come in.

When it comes in, about 500 little teeny honey bees surround it and flap their wings. A bee wing flap creates so much energy that they heat the wasp up to 116 degrees and generate just enough carbon dioxide that the combination is EXACTLY what it takes to kill that little you know what. Can you bee-lieve that??? Real life David and Goliath! That might not be what Yeats had in mind, but it is definitely a terrible beauty!

Isn't nature incredible?? I was cheering for the little bees at the end of the story.

Go bees!!

I felt very nature-y after that so I decided to play with my fun little Nesting set from The Cat's Pajamas.
I played around with the nest in a few different colors and then settled on clear embossing it and rubbing Crumb Cake ink all over it for a resist.

The bird is stamped in Poppy Parade, and the eggs are that delicious Pool Party. I went with dots all over, with Crumb Cake prints pack paper and polka dotted Real Red ribbon.

Don't forget to stay tuned here next week for live convention coverage, prizes, contests, cookies & kittens! :)

Hope you're having an un-bee-lievable weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Where Have All the Summers Gone?

One of the nice things about telecommuting is that you have nearly no distractions. So on a crazy busy week and a crazy busy day, you can realize 6 hours in that you haven't gotten up from your chair at all. And it's only noon. It's good for your productivity, but it's not good for your back! Today was such a day. So 6 hours in I decided to walk to the mailbox so that my joints remembered what moving was like.

It's hot right now. Triple digits for more days in a row than in many previous years. But it's really nice out. Dry, sunny and still. That's how I like it. I'm thinking the drought might have inhibited the cicadas this year, which is fine by me, because as I set off for the mailbox I noticed it was really quiet.

Then I noticed it was really quiet.

Then I got a little freaked out.

What in the world do kids do in the summer now?

When I was little, I hung out every single day, rain or shine, with my friend David from two doors down. We watched Jason and the Argonauts 80 squillion times, we played kickball, we stole our neighbor's vegetables (I think the statute of limitations has expired), we dug a large hole in the yard for an underground cave that we discovered led to grounding, we caught crawdads, we watched tadpoles and fish in the pond down the street, we played hide and seek, we found puppies and kittens we brought home to dismayed parental units.We were outside ALL the time.

There were GINORMOUS football games with all the kids in the hood - twenty or more kids, ranging from 5 years old to 15. I remember establishing the endzones in David's yard EVERY time even though they never changed. Our hide and seek games were just as big, with sort of nebulous endings, as people got called in for the night towards the end of them when it got dark. The mom yell at sundown was heard all up and down our street.

We walked to the 7-Eleven for Slurpees when we could get away with it, even though we were forbidden to cross the street. (Sorry Mom - I know you're reading - but as usual, I was right :) we lived. Plus, it was very hot.).

But now - I see no kids outside anymore. We have tons of kids in our neighborhood but what in the world are they doing in the summers? Why aren't they out catching lightning bugs and stealing my vegetables and playing hide and seek? I've not heard a mom yell yet at sundown. Did we forget to transfer hide and seek and kickball to the next generation?

I sure hope not.

Here's a picture of some of our gang on Easter. 

Notice that I am dressed for church and yet felt the need for a box of animal crackers. Notice that David, who was Catholic and apparently went to a later service than Lutherans, has no shoes, but he does have a pearl-handled gun. Notice I'm all HOLD MY HAND and he's all I HAVE SOMETHING IN MY EYE.

I don't remember everyone, but I do remember that these friends filled my days with play, and imagined worlds, and games and competitions and joy. I remember being outside - all summer long.
Accessories: Corner Rounder, White Gel Pen, Miscellaneous gel pens from Costco, Scalloped Oval Punch, Oval Punch

Go outside tomorrow. Take your kids with you. There's cool stuff out there.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Furry thoughts...

I think I know what is so amazing about having an animal.

What you can do when you rescue a little creature is guarantee an entire life on this planet without one harsh word. An entire life with only kind and affectionate hands. And entire life with no worries about predators or the next meal or anxiety about the future. An entire life with no fear, only love.

Even the best parent in the world can't keep their child from experiencing fear or worry or injury.

No human on earth will ever have a life like that. But you can give that life to a furry. :) I say this of course, as an inveterate and unapologetic critter spoiler.

Since I stamp with a little beast draped across my work surface most days, I ponder these things whenever I get creative. They just go hand in hand.

I got some good crafty time in this weekend and stayed relatively unplugged with the exception of Angry Birds, of course.

I did do some live crafting on Ustream, and Leslie helped me make this card with a set I had not inked up before this session. She suggested that I use the Waltzingmouse sketch and it fit my idea perfectly.

You know I love to make cards where cats are thinking about birds and mice. :) So I thought I'd use the greeting in a smart alecky way for this one. I have a bird feeder right outside my stamp room for the entertainment of my deskmate, and this is basically what she does all day long.

I stamped the stems on the card base, and then stamped the flower image on Calypso Coral and Daffodil Delight and cut them out. You can use the Scallop Punch, but then you'll have a little border around the flower and I didn't want that. After I stamped and colored the images, I punched them out with the 1.25" circle punch. (Note - you will want to stamp these upside down and near the edge of your cardstock to frame them like I've done.) I glued them to the flowers and popped them both off the card with dimensionals.

Here's the rest of this set - Touch of Kindness - it's so cute!

I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. I hope that your first day back at work doesn't go like this! (Click here if you don't see the video).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Oh My - The Parade has Gone Rogue!

I'm so glad I was born an American child.

I wonder if there are people who don't feel their country in their bones.

I feel my country in my bones.

It's my primary identity, before girl, or Irish or Texan, or girl, or anything in between. I think if I were only allowed one word to describe myself, American is the word I'd choose.

God bless America. :)

I look forward to my Fourth card as much as I do my Christmas card, and I try to really have a different style each year. This year, I decided to use the Star Spangled Banner as my inspiration and make a worn, but vivid flag with direct to paper and a little inspiration from one of my stampy idols - Michelle Zindorf. I used Island Indigo and Poppy Parade for the flag, and then distressed the edges and sponged them with Basic Black. I stamped the image from Courage and Honor (retired) on it and then colored it in in black to make it a silhouette. The sentiment is from one of my favorite stamps of all time - the God Bless America stamp that benefited the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

I added some First Edition paper, distressed, and then the card base is Poppy Parade.

We are free. 

Freedom does not guarantee a smooth ride, you know.

We are in a really pretty eye-popping drought down here, but what that means is absolutely beautiful days. Hotter than the 4th of July, but gorgeous, sunny and dry.

This morning, I went for a righteous stomp, timed to end at the beginning of our neighborhood parade, which begins right by my house. Well, it's supposed to.

I show up and stake out a good spot for photos right near the beginning of the parade route. The fire truck passes me on the way to the starting point.

People and children and dogs begin to arrive, all decorated, at what I estimate is about 10 times the normal attendance for our parade so I'm stoked.
I run out of tea. It's hot.

The start time comes and goes. We wait.

Suddenly, the news goes through the assembled crowd that the parade has gone rogue - the rebels have left from the other side of the school and is heading away from us!! How can this be? The parade goes the same way every year!

We give chase. We're no pantywaists. This is no commie parade. We are Americans, and we will HAVE A PARADE.

We head around the school and sprint in a crowd towards the renegade parade. At the first street we see a sign that says "Parade this way ------>" so we rest. BUT HOLY FIRECRACKER IF THOSE REBELS DON'T CROSS TWO STREETS DOWN AND VANISH!

What the heck? Assisted by the police, they are completely off the reservation. We are confounded. There's revolution in the air.

We head down a street parallel to theirs and sprint about a half a mile. Along the way, we see tons of families who *thought* they were on the parade route sitting in their yards, playing music and waving flags.
At this point, it actually becomes quite hilarious. We had to explain while we were running by that the fire trucks and patriotic dogs and kids and bikes weren't coming. We were the 2011 Paul Revere's of the rogue parade. This pretty much sums up the reaction to the news.

It was like a chase scene in a Lethal Weapon movie, except with more dogs and crazy hats and giggling.

We finally get to an intersection - all 200 of us. We decide this is where we're staying, come hell or high water. If they wanted to keep going without us, we'd have our own parade.

And then, around the corner, we hear the fire truck.

Aaaah.... now we can join up with our fellow citizens amicably and head to the park. A peaceful reunion of the rebels with the main forces.

All is right with man and dog. Man and patriotic dog, that is.

I love those Statue of Liberty hats.

Is there anything better than a fired up boy scout on the Fourth of July??
Maybe wagon wheels are cooler.
Here's the video if you want to get the sights and sounds. Click here to watch if you don't see a video player below.
I hope you've had a safe, happy, if somewhat rebellious 4th.

Here in America, that's just how we roll.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Giving Away a Date With Colin Firth!

Can you BELIEVE all that great news??? I bet you never thought that stamping would win you a date with Colin Firth!!

Probably because it won't. But if it DID, it would really be cool.

However, it will get you all kinds of cool other stuff :). Like, for example, the new catalog!

It's live, and you can get your paws on one by contacting me. Then, there's the starter kit special, with $225 worth of stampy goodness for $99 in July! The kit contents are a $185 value, but if you join in July guess what? You get this $40 project kit bonus!

PLUS - I GET ONE TOO!!! You know you want to buy me a present :) 

To join the fun, click here.

Since I'm traveling for most of July and won't be able to have classes, I have my own special to add. Any customer that places a $50 or higher order on my website during the month of July will be entered into a drawing (1 entry for each $50 spent) to win the sassy new Pennant Parade Stamp Set and matching punch! Whee!!! :)

Now speaking of joining the fun, I decided this weekend I should get cracking on at least a few swaps for convention. Uncharacteristically early for me, I know. But I did an experiment almost a month ago that I really loved, so I thought I'd share it in Salt Lake.

Thanks to my weekly executive session on Friday mornings at St. Arbucks with Kim, I'm able to actually stamp things in a nice uninterrupted stretch, and this week I knocked out a bunch of my experiments for swaps.

Here's how it worked. I took full sheets of cardstock and sponged Daffodil Delight ink all over the whole sheet. Then I went back in spots and sponged Calypso Coral randomly all over the whole sheet. I cut up the sheet into panels, sponged the edges of each rectangle with Soft Suede and added Tempting Turquoise Craft Ink with a foam paintbrush.

Do these colors not look phenomenal together??

I just can't stop looking at them. I stamped the images from the new hostess set - Faith in Nature - over the panels in Basic Black and stuck them on white card bases. To show you how attentive and focused I am, if you look closely, you'll see that I have the leaf upside down - the script is upside down, so clearly I have the leaf in the wrong orientation. Oh well. They'll be collectors items. :)

Now I liked this technique so much that I did it on a larger scale for the Austin Art Boards Contest for Reagan Outdoor. This contest was to create a piece of art that was 6" x 24" for Reagan to use on billboards around town.

The winners haven't been announced yet, so I can't show it to you, but I will soon, I promise!

I've added a few things to my Crazy Bargains page out of my retired stash, so check here for some great $7 stamp sets.

Also, for all you scrappers out there, by popular demand, I added a scrapper's version of my Keep Calm Shirt to the store!

I'll be back tomorrow with some patriotic goodness for you. I was thrilled this morning when Google emailed me and said "You have no events today." Aaaahhh... a day of stamping!

Happy Caturday!

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