Monday, December 31, 2012

'Tis the Season of Giving And All Through The Blogs

Can you believe 2012 is in the history books already? It FLEW by for me. One of my many resolutions for my lucky 2013 is to spend more time creating than I got to spend in 2012. That means a few things have to change - I have to say no a little more often - that's harder than it sounds - and I have to manage my space so that it's always ready for me to create in. 

One of the things I've started doing to create space is giving things away. I remember when I first started with Stampin' Up! way back in 2001, I was astonished at how much stuff more senior demonstrators just gave away! They'd bring TONS of stuff to meetings and swaps and just gift it to people. Since I was still in massive acquisition mode, I couldn't believe it. 

But 12 years later, I get it. You acquire a lot of things, and not all of them get used. Or you buy two by accident. Or you know someone will love it SO, so much more than you do, that it's just a joy to give it away.

That's what today is about. A beautiful, sweet friend, Latisha Yoast, came up with the idea to just... give. We will end the year and start the new one with a gift. So every single blogger on the Seasons Givings Blog Hop is giving something of their own away. Every. Single. One. No sponsors, no one knows what other bloggers are doing - we all are just choosing a gift from our hearts to yours and doing this thing!

So grab your favorite Happy New Year beverage and settle in for some beautiful art, and tons of chances to get a gift to make your New Year brighter. 

For my gift today, I chose this stamp set because every girl should kick off her year with some fabby footwear!

Every person who leaves me a comment - and, if you want to - I'd love to see your wishes or plans for 2013 - will have a chance to win this set, plus a fun little mystery accessories package. Be sure when you leave your comment, if you don't have a blogger profile with an email address attached, you need to leave me an email address to contact you with. You must leave your comment by Friday, January 4th to be eligible.

So here's my card for today with my favorite stamp from this set - that gorgeous rain boot. I'm incapable of doing this boot in anything but Pool Party - it's SO pretty!

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I made the sun out of a scrap of Polka Dot Parade DSP that I cut with my circle die, cut the circle in half,  and then hand cut the rays. I punched a half circle out of the remaining half with the 2.5" circle punch for the center. I stamped the boot in Basic Black on Pool Party and then highlighted the clouds with my white gel pen. The greeting is from Feel Goods from the new Spring Mini - click here if you need one.

I hope this awesome blog hop brings some sunshine into your life today. Enjoy the journey and Happy New Year! :)

Kim Hughes/Paper Smooches
>>>>>>>>>>>>>Lydia Fiedler<<<<<<<<<<<<<


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Show Me Your Papers, Radio Edition

Okay so this morning I had to head out early for celery.

See - the 22 pound turkey in my fridge made it go berserk and freeze everything. My fridge goes into fight or flight zombie apocalypse mode when it's full and tries to overperform. So my existing celery was frozen. And tonight we're having our un-New Year's meal with my sister and her husband - turkey, stuffing, broccoli rice casserole, mashed potatoes with Full Quiver Farms Farmstead chive cheese and butter... jealous yet?

So anyway, as I pull into the parking lot, I'm listening to my favorite gardening show by John Dromgoole and I hear my sister call in, so I sit in the car for a bit to listen to her call.

That's when I found out that she was a beet murderer. Well, she wasn't BEFORE she called, but the solution to her tiny beet problem, John said, was that she wasn't murdering enough of her baby beets while they slept.

It's true. Apparently, each beet seed actually makes five or six little beets and you have to murder, or "thin" (nice try at a nice word, John!) a lot of them to let the other ones grow to their full potential. A moment of silence for the beet babies, please.

Imagine finding out this way that you're related to a beet murderer.

Anyway, right after that call I heard reason # 2,452,403,898,909,877,625,113,234 that the government is stupid.

It was a really cute ad by a local plumbing company that really does funny marketing. But at the end of their ad, they are forced by law to say TACL0928347938 or whatever their license number is. REALLY?? Seriously? What the heck does that do for consumers? NOTHING. It's a stupid law made by stupid people that probably cost the state of Texas 84 billion dollars of my money to implement and ruined a perfectly good ad. When have you ever been sitting in your car and written down that number and looked it up? Never. And you never will. No one ever will. It is 5 wasted marketing seconds brought to you by a group of people with the collective intelligence of bellybutton lint.

After that, I needed coffee. Thank God Starbucks was across the street.

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Stamps & Dies: Scentsational Season Bundle Ink: Poppy Parade, Crumb Cake, Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White Accessories: Rhinestone, Itty Bitty Banners Stamp & Dies 


Friday, December 28, 2012

I Hereby Resolve...

I resolve to CRAFT MORE in 2013.

2012 got away from me. In a HUGE way. It was a very busy year at work, and I felt physically unorganized in my space, which I'm slowly fixing. That, more than anything else, keeps me from spontaneous crafting and playing in challenges.

So here I am in front of God, Grumpy Cat and everyone saying that I won't let that happen in lucky 13.

I actually started today.

I did something I've SO wanted to do for so long - Trudy's Eggshell Mosaic technique. It's so beautiful and vivid and I eat a lot of eggs, so it's sort of the perfect craft storm.

I will say - you need to have patience cleaning the eggs. It's not a Cinderella moment that goes quickly with the help of bluebirds - but it's SO worth it!

I created this little panel for an exhibit for the Austin Fiber Artists Challenge Group - our challenge was to create ANYTHING that had a little dash of indigo in it.

Hello - have you met me?

But before I put it in its final home for the exhibit, I had to see what it looked like on a card!

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That awesome greeting is from Feel Goods - which you should see in your Spring Mini by now. I LOVE that set. Holla if you NEED it. :)

The panel contains three things I love: blue, orange, and a signature - the one shell I left white, in the Navajo "flaw" style that lets the bad spirits out of your art. I've always been fascinated by that, since humans aren't perfect - and neither is our art.

The Navajos believe in the Greek maxim "Nothing to excess " believing that overdoing a thing brings bad luck as an offense to the spirits. For the same reason nothing must be too perfect. A rug or basket design with a solid border must have a break in it or flaw to let the spirit of the maker, who has spent so much time and energy, escape. It is natural that things which bring one a livelihood should also have some restrictions.  (Source)

So I composed the mosaic on Basic Black cardstock with white eggshells and gloss Mod Podge.  Then after the Mod Podge was dry, I dropped Sail Boat Blue and Terra Cotta Adirondack Alcohol Inks where I wanted them. Be cautious - the ink travels, and you'll get used to how far it will go without getting muddy.

After that dried, I spritzed it with Gold Glow Smooch Spritz - my fave spray ever - and sealed it with more Mod Podge.

OH - and the most important step. Before doing any of this, I glued the Basic Black panel to a piece of SU chipboard that comes with our Designer Series Papers - this kept the piece from warping while I was applying all the wet mediums to it - it was perfectly straight the whole time.

For the final exhibit piece, I constructed a frame using black chopsticks - remember my chopstick book? - and black twine. Then I wrapped that with a piece of black waffle paper and attached the mosaic.

If I get a pic of all of our pieces put together - they'll all be mounted to a big strip of fabric - I'll share it with you!

But now, in the spirit of this week's Ways To Use It challenge that inspired me - tell me what YOU hereby resolve!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Star of Wonder, Star of Light

Star of wonder,

Star of light...

Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Treats, Treats and MORE Treats!

Merry Christmas Eve! I have a lot of my Christmas treats to show you but first, I interrupt this post for a Ho Ho Ho! from your friend, Maddie Bat.

She doesn't look like she's filled with the holiday spirit, but she is.

She helped me make ornaments for the stapling on the treat bags for my neighbors by eating some Cherry Cobble tulle.

She also really enjoyed playing with the pom poms that I used to decorate the little nugget snowmen I made for my Starbucks peeps.

Splotchy would like to interrupt me to sing PAWrum-pa-pum-pummmmm!! Look at that adorable Splotchy paw.

He is very much feeling the holiday spirit, as he is existing on a diet of ribbon and pine needles!

Now I stepped out of my paper box to make some cute little snowmen that I saw on Etsy! I just guessed on the beads the original artist used and they came out PERFECT! The little collar is a Swarovski bead, and there's a little Swarovski crystal on the bottom of the pin they're on. Then I just popped three of them on a kilt pin for a cute stocking stuffer!


I made some cream cheese mints for my neighbors, which are my new fave food on earth. They are creamy and pepperminty and oh so pure white. They are just gorgeous and so easy to make. 

I used my Kitchen Aid mixer. Because I chose poorly when I asked for one, mine does NOT look like this one

But anyway, into the boring white Kitchen Aid, put 1 tsp of Peppermint Extract. Add 3 oz of cream cheese and beat until smooth. Slowly add three cups of powdered sugar until the dough has a sort of shortbread consistency. When you go to roll them into balls, they shouldn't stick to your hands. You should be able to roll them into a smooth ball easily. I used a 1/4 tsp to scoop them out and ball them up - you don't want them too big. Put them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet that you've dusted with a little powdered sugar. Gently press a fork into the tops in a crosshatch pattern and set aside to dry for at least 24 hours - flipping them over every few hours. Do not put them in containers until they are dry and hard or they will stick together. 

They are cool, creamy and delicious - truly some of my fave treats ever.
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 To prepare them for your neighbors, take your brand spanking new Pool Party Embossing Powder from the upcoming Spring Mini and ribbon from the Sale-A-Bration catalog and make an adorable Friendship Preserves Tag with the Friendships Preserve stamp set and die bundle! Isn't that embossing powder beautiful on Crumb Cake? I just low how they turned out.

Can you believe how many things I have to show you? Finally, a little snowman tealight with a light up nose! We made these at my monthly class for December and they are so easy and fun! I saw the idea on Splitcoast and could not resist making them. Just use circle and oval punches for the face and hat and embellish with Cherry Cobbler Sweater Trim!
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It was so fun to do all these things - it really makes me wonder why don't don't bake treats and make fun little things for each other all year.

Maybe we should!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Best Things in Life Aren't Things

I saw the coolest thing happen on the Geocaching forum tonight.

A newbie was asking a question about some features of the premium site membership. A young person, to whom $30 was a little out of reach for a recreational site.

Suddenly in the middle of his conversation, he or she noticed that their title had changed to a Premium Member.

A sweet, anonymous gift. :)

Other users just suggested that he/she pay it forward somehow.

I think I will too. Someone was nice enough to gift me a membership, and I've had days and weeks and months of fun with it.

That's the holiday spirit. Anonymous gifts are a blast. Wanna try it with me?

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I think I'll also send a card or two. Start practicing for the new year. Maybe I'll start with this one.

Yes - this is sneak peek goodness from the upcoming Spring Mini! I LOVE the flower trim, the lace trim, the resin flower - SQUEE!!! The stamp set is called Feel Goods. If you are on my mailing list you probably already have this beautiful catty in your hot little hands! If so, what do you think?

Best. Catalog. Ever.

Oh - and to answer a question from SL from the last post - I used a Sizzix Texture Fade plate to get the blank spot on my card with an embossing folder.

But if you don't have the texture fade plate - we actually have a tutorial called Double Embossing on Splitcoast to teach you how to get this look yourself.


Monday, December 17, 2012

I Just Invented the Austin Shower Head

I've spent my Sunday inventing something.

Well, really, sneezing. Which caused me to invent something. I call it the Austin Shower Head.

This shower head is very much like a regular shower head, with the exception of a slot between the water source and the little holes the water comes out of.

This slot is designed to fit specially designed self vaporizing tablets in the following varieties: Vicks Vapo-Rub, Benadryl, Visine AC, and Cort-Aid.

Let's say you're just congested and haven't been sneezing for twelve hours. Pop in the Vicks tab and shower yourself with sinus-clearing menthol vapors.

Been sneezing for 48 hours straight and can't see or speak? Pop in the Benadryl tablet and inhale the delightful antihistamine fumes right into your inflamed lungs and nasal passages.

Just encountered a furry dog? Add a Visine tab AND a Cort-Aid tab and feel soothed from head to toe.

As one of the countless victims of Austin's wet and dry mold colonies and cedar plague, I feel I have a duty to my fellow sufferers to try to make God's country a better place.

I can see other applications as well - maybe a champagne tablet for just a fine misting of bubbly before brunch. An espresso tablet for when morning coffee just can't come fast enough. Maybe an Advil mist for after those grueling workouts.

Or how about a few just for men - a wide variety of deer pee tablets or whatever they need for hunting. I tend not to pay too much attention to things like this, but I'll hire a man to figure that out. Deer pee is probably close enough. I don't think men read my blog, so I bet deer pee is fine in theory.

It's important that we continue to make technological advances in America and remain the home of innovation.

And it's also important to stop sneezing. For the entire month of December. Seriously.

Now that I'm a potential billionaire, I'd like to share the card that will accompany my Forbes cover story.

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Stamps: Feel Goods (sneak peek - let me know if you need a catalog) Ink: Crumb Cake 
Paper: Whisper White, Real Red C'oredinations, Newsprint, Crumb Cake Accessories: Label Framelits, Linen Thread, Time for Tea Trinkets, 
Honeycomb Embossing Folder, Refillable Sanding Block, Real Red Marker

Seriously - how perfect is that?? I LOVE THAT STAMP! Nearly everything on this card is a sneak peek from the Spring Mini, which will make you SQUEE!

Provided you're not sneezing, that is.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Happy Cool Color Caturday

Happy Caturday!

I haven't celebrated Caturday with you in a while, and Maddie was protesting, so I had better comply before she does something completely wicked. Which wouldn't even really make today any different from any other day of the week, truly. But it's good to be careful.

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The little kitteh is a Prima image from the Yuki line and I colored him with Touch Twin Markers - just two greens - GY48 and F124 with the palette blending method - my fave blending technique. Then I made him a little kitteh shadow with CG 0.5. There's a heart in the stamp image, but I decided to punch one out of DSP with my itty bitty heart punch to put where the heart image is in the stamp because I wanted those cute polka dots.

I used a Sixxix Texture Fade to get the blank spot in my embossing folder and some of that awesome Summer Smooches DSP.

I know - most cats aren't green. But mine is. And I love him. :)

I'm presenting you with this adorable lime green kitteh for Dina's VSN challenge to use cool colors, and also for the Marker Pop blog hop today - if you comment on all the posts in the hop you can win oodles of markers, so be sure and visit my fellow hoppers today for fame, fortune and prizes! :) And possibly more kittens.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Taking a Break

Every now and then you just have to take a break.

Thankfully, I've never had the urge to take a break from stamping - it's what I DO when I take a break.

But I find when things get chaotic and hectic and busy, what I need to do to get back on track is organize. You've done this I'm sure - especially in your crafty workspace - just let all your stuff pile up and work around it until it becomes unbearable.

But why? I feel so much better when things are put away. Getting a Scrapbox has really helped me manage some of my biggest piles - which are primarily paper and embellishments. Now I know where everything is and can go straight to it - so I have a drawer for glimmer paper instead of a three foot tall pile of DSP that I'm SURE had some glimmer paper in it.

You know what I'm talking about.

One of the other things that always runs away and hides is my favorite adhesives collection - the things I use every day - Mono Multi, Mini Glue Dots and tapes. I do a lot of masking with artist's tape. For a while I tried a paper towel holder on my desk that I stacked the tapes on, but because they were all different sizes, the mini glue dots and Sticky Strip would always get lost under the artist's tape and I got annoyed.

So, while I was working on the Weekly Inkling this week, I saw an ad and  realized that I already had the perfect solution right in front of me - my Ribbon Roll Control! So I dumped out all my ribbon and added all my tapes and I am SO happy!

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Now I need two more to put my ribbon back into! Okay - maybe 50 more. I love these because they are acrylic so the container itself takes up nearly no space. You snap them together - no instructions necessary - and they can be desktop or wall mounted, in case you have naughty, ribbon eating cats :).

The best part? They're made in the USA. There's a few more bucks not going to China. That always gets my stamp of approval!

If you want to see them, the ad I saw was here, and it says free shipping until 12/31.

Now onto a little clean and simple now that I took an organizing break.

I made an all white version of the Christmas ornament that's on the cover of the Holiday Mini Catalog, with a little help from the awesome filter paper that's a sneak peek from the upcoming Spring Mini, which is completely amazeballs.

So easy and fun. I used the dies from the Ornament Keepsakes Bundle, the Rosette die, a Vintage Faceted Designer Button, and one of the new extra large sparkly rhinestones from the Spring Mini. I bet you can't wait to see it :).

So make a little space for yourself and see if it doesn't make the holidays feel less crazy. You deserve a break.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Doctor WHOop. :)

It's weird, I know - blogging about a show I've never seen.

But Dr. Who is swirling around among all my friends, tempting me into being lazy over the holidays and trying to start watching it.

There are so many friends posting about it that I'm actually familiar with some of the terms and the iconography, like the TARDIS, which fascinates me.

Mostly it fascinates me because I keep calling it a phone booth when it's not - apparently it's a police box, whatever that means. But even MORE fascinating is that it is a deep, beautiful blue.

So how, when I got to pre-order Feeling Sentimental from the Sale-A-Bration catalog, was I supposed to resist turning this stamp into a Who-fest card????
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I do not have the strength to resist things like this, my people!

Also, I can already tell I have to send this card to my friend Laurie, who is more than a little bit of the inspiration for it.

I stamped the TARDIS on watercolor paper and then watercolored it with Brilliant Blue and Pacific Point. After it was dry, I covered it with Crystal Effects. I printed the sentiment :). The super fancy and sassy cloud embossing folder in the background is also from the upcoming spring mini.

I noticed on a google image search that the sassy blue box is always flying through space so clouds seemed appropriate.

I guess I have a few weeks I could try to get addicted to this show.

But when Downton Abbey starts back up it's all over, no matter what.

So please, in the meantime, keep calm and who on. Because John Bates is going to preempt your police box, I assure you.


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