Tuesday, August 31, 2010

For The Boys

As most stampers know, one of the biggest challenges of our craft is making cards for little boys, or teen boys, or tweens, or men (who are just bigger boys). Most stamp sets that target that segment of our population usually contain bears or trees or fishing poles or tents or golf clubs ... I don't know about you, but my Dad doesn't do any of those things, though he used to golf.

So how do you fill that void in your inventory when people ask for cards for guys? We struggle. We do.

We made a guy-ish Birthday card at this month's Stamp Camps (can't find it now to link you), and last week someone bought them all. ALL. She wished I'd had more, too. See - high demand, low inspiration.

So tonight I made some "guy" cards. First, for the younger set:

I opened and used my OMG I MUST HAVE THIS AND I MUST EXPEDITE IT SO I GET IT IN TWO DAYS Celebrations DSP from SU. Yes, I've had it since July 6th or 7th. This is about as easy as it gets in card-making. First, the colors are selected for me. Second, that paper is so busy, there's not much you can add to it. DONE!

Next up - for the older guys:

This is some retired Parisian Spring DSP (I think - please correct me if I'm wrong), and it tends to the feminine color-wise, and half the designs are flower-y, but these two pieces I declared "manly". I cut them in half, put them on a Kraft base, added a piece of Early Espresso to hide the seam, and stamped the same Happy Birthday sentiment I used above, only in Espresso.

It's okay. It's not froo-froo. There's NO RIBBON! One thing Jennifer McGuire told us was you should never have a floating sentiment ... it should always be anchored, either by a ribbon (see? SEE?!) or an embellishment like a flower or brad. I am a bad student, because this sentiment is floating. Sigh.

I couldn't decide which of those papers I wanted on top, so I decided not to decide, and made another one with the papers switched:

And I like them both! I'll make 12 of these. Or maybe only 6. I might get bored.

When I went to photograph these cards, look who was in the way:

She was meowing and meowing, and when I came out to the Photo Studio, there she sat. Smart cat. As soon as I knelt down to her level, she came after me, which is when I snapped this pic. ;)

Still left to do this week: golf cards (by request), guitar cards (by request), and make the rest of those guy cards. Eh, it'll keep me off the streets.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jennifer McGuire Class Projects

As I mentioned in previous posts, I took a class yesterday at Angela's Happy Stamper (my LSS) given by the FAMOUS Jennifer McGuire. She just oozes talent, she does! So without divulging EVERYthing we learned, I thought I'd show you a few of the cards we made (not necessarily in the order we made them).

For this one we used Memento markers to color on the stamp. That's a Tim Holtz die cut. And I need to point out that *I* stamped both the text background AND the "hello", and they are both pretty much straight. First time for everything. I have a few more pearls I need to apply ... I forgot to do them with the rest of my homework last night.


This is where we got really messy. We were basically finger-painting, and it was so fun! We used Ranger Distress inks + pearlized water, I think. And Distress Stickles! This one is very sparkly.


For this one we painted the butterfly with Ranger Distress ink + Liquid Pearls. We also dragged the background piece through the remaining ink. The sample had solid stripes of color, and my first attempt was actually perfect since Jennifer used my paper for the demonstration at our table. Then *I* touched it, and had to start over. As you can see, mine came out not solid, but I decided I really, REALLY liked it this way.


For this one we applied Ranger Distress inks and sprayed it with pearlized water until it was drippy, then set it aside to dry. Once dry, it is A-MA-ZING! But as much as I love EVERYthing about this card, check out the center:

I apply pearls to cards, but I never think to stack them like this. In fact, once we started applying the outer circle of pearls, everything just seemed right with the world. Part of our homework was to fill the center of the circle with [I used Crystal Effects] and set that top pearl in place and let dry. Stunning! You can also sortof see the shimmer in the orange & yellow. SO pretty!


This one was 100% homework, and I'm not quite done, yet - you can still see the white dots through the pencil. That Jennifer is very clever! She stamped this for us and all we had to do when we got home was color the poppy with pencils. I used my SU pencils I'd forgotten I owned. ;/ She did one like this on her blog (practicing for us, no doubt!) :-)

There are three other cards for a total of 8, but one of them is very, very crooked (my fault) and the other two still need some work.

All I can say is: this class was worth every penny, and I'm sorta sad I didn't sign up for the second class in the afternoon. If you EVER get a chance to take one of Jennifer McGuire's classes - DO IT! You will not be sorry!

So yeah, these are pretty artsy for something out of my craft room, but you just never know. I might actually USE some of that Ranger stuff I already own. Whaaat ... it could happen.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wherein Crook Gets Inky then Buys Kettle Korn

Today was a very exciting day for me. Why? Because Angela's Happy Stamper, my LSS, scored a weekend of classes given by none other than Jennifer McGuire:

Sorry this is so blurry (I need a better phone), but it's all I've got. She is SO sweet and generous and fun, and we got really inky, too. And I won one of the door prizes! Yay!

Part of the fun of taking this class is my friend June attended the same session, so we got to catch up! I haven't see her in forever, and it was great to have a chance to chat before and after class.

Just an aside: I don't mean to be a downer, but people, when you take a class, please have enough respect for the other paying students and (more importantly) the instructor, and SHUT UP when she is talking. I swear, there was shushing going on the whole time. AND, when the instructor says, "DO NOT do this right now, I want you to look up here so I can show you ...", please don't pick up the ink and start working. I am an instructor, and I can tell you this is totally annoying, especially when those are the same people who then ask for something to be repeated because they weren't paying attention. Okay, I'm done now.

As part of this trip over the river into Virginia, I'd planned to take the long way home to stop by our Kettle Corn stand and take photos for one of my Tweeps who knows not of the joys of Kettle Corn.

The adventure begins when you see signs like this along that 2-lane back road:

These were in the pull-off area. There were yellow Kettle Korn signs for about a mile before this. My pulse quickened with anticipation.

This is the stand:

Those panels are to protect the guys from the heat of the day. It's in the 90s, and no clouds, so it's HOT HOT HOT today. Plus, they're standing over this:

This, my friends, is the Kettle part of Kettle Korn. That thing on the left is the cooker. They pour kernels in there and stir them around with that wooden stick until it's all popped. Then they tip the kettle over and it all pours into that big copper bowl.

When you order some, the guy just scoops it into a bag for you:

That guy in the back, sitting, exhausted, in a chair, just got done dumping that popped corn into the copper bowl. I think he's sitting in the sun to cool off. Not kidding.

Here is my bag of corn (korn):

Part of the fun for ME, besides taking the scenic way home, is my car now smells of Kettle Korn. This place is near Point Of Rocks, MD, just north of Lucketts, VA. You pick up the corn, cross the bridge over the Potomac River, and you're in MD. This is what some people refer to as BFE, or "way far away". (look it up) It is FAR. The roads all the way back are two lanes through farm country and tiny towns with speed traps.

This was not a problem for me today, because I spent a LOT of time behind this:

Average speed: 15-20 mph. I stayed in 1st or 2nd gear, depending on if we went down a hill and he sped up a little. See that solid line down the center of the road? No passing. Too many blind curves, anyway, and I didn't want to die today, so I just enjoyed the scenery.

Finally, he found a place to pull over, and the rest of my drive looked like this:

Pretty, huh? I love that you can drive 5 minutes out of civilization and be here. Okay. maybe now it's 10 minutes - there's been a lot of development going on. But happily, I saw a HUGE new equestrian center being developed with riding trails and everything, so a lot of this area will stay wild for quite some time to come. I like that.

So, I got inky, but none of my cards have been assembled or finished. I did NOT buy more Basic Grey papers because they aren't coming in until next week (drat!), so to celebrate the fact that I used a few pieces of my current BG paper last week, I enabled myself to buy some other stuff instead. I'm generous like that.

Also, Jennifer gave me a FABBY idea to use for my Stamp Camps, which I'll share if I ever manage to put that idea to paper.

That is all I have for you today. Thanks for stopping by!

Market Update

It was a perfectly GORGEOUS day yesterday, and our little farmers' market was hopping!

Before I leave the house every morning, I open the door to check out the weather, and Kitty gets some fresh air at the same time. It was soooo nice out yesterday that I just let her bask for a while:

But then I had to leave her and do my Saturday market thing. Once I got set up, it was photo time! Most of these were taken before a lot of shoppers got there ... that way I don't get in their way.

First up - maters:

(You can sorta see my card rack over there on the left.) By the way, I'm convinced these maters are strategically placed. I mean, what human being can walk past such yummy goodness and not at least stop and drool a little (hopefully not on the maters)?

Next up - something new and different (Farmer Mike likes to keep us a little off-balance):

These are Winter Wax Asian Melons, and they have a unique feature (as melons go, anyway):

Spiky hairs! These things are pointy, too! Ouch!

Next we have Squash:

Acorn, Butternut and Spaghetti.


... more eggplant:

... and some eggplant of the Asian varieties:

Bell peppers:

... more sweet peppers:

... poblanos:

... jalapenos:

... and our very colorful, yet deadly, hot peppers:

Later in the day I took this artsy-fartsy shot, because I loved this one pepper so:

And dear God, we still have okra:

Killing frost. We need a killing frost.

Next up - basil:

ALL of this sold. Every.last.one, and I got to smell it all day long. Mmmmmm.

We had leeks:

... and Farmer Mike had two huge Hibiscus plants:

I don't think I've ever seen one up close and personal like this. Look at these flowers:

He said they only bloom once, for a day, then fall off. But all those other buds are flowers, too, so the plant constantly blooms.

Farmer Margie had some more corn:

... and Farmer Katie had some beans:
... and tons of fruit:

... and cut flowers:

Over in the floral tent, my fave:

.. and then this sunflower:

... and some zinnias:

Here is my arrangement this week:

Oh, and I set up my second card display rack on the table this week:

It REALLY is working out quite well. My cards are much more visible, and from further away! I think it's actually a drawing-in factor! Yay! And don't worry - I did eventually move those flowers away from in front of the display. :)

Next up, to satisfy some people who can't get over my decision to stop taking photos of all the dogs that come through, here is the obligatory dog photo:

He's a Shih Tzu, and belongs to MB and her family. He came to help her break down her tent and stuff. Just look at that sweet face:

He reminds me of my former dogs, which were Lhasa Apsos. I miss my poopers. ;(

Ready for mutant veggies? I arrived to zero mutants waiting for me yesterday, and I had to do this myself. Can you believe those guys didn't take care of it for me? Here we go:

That's it! No more pics.

Today will be a busy day for me. This morning I 'm taking a class given by Jennifer McGuire. I KNOW! She is SO FAMOUS! Then I'll take the long way home so I can photograph the Kettle Corn stand (and buy some to eat, what the heck), and rounding out my day will be the traditional laundry, so I can go to work tomorrow.

Have a good Sunday, and thanks for stopping by!