Saturday, January 31, 2009

CASE Du Jour

Ya know how you read certain blogs, then those bloggers link to other people's blogs, and then you love them, too (of course) and then, if you are like me, you forget how you got there? Fortunately for me, that did not happen this time! :-)

The other day, June posted about several bloggers, so I followed the links and one of them gave me an idea for a card for my upcoming workshops. Woo-hoo! The blog belongs to Sue Hyer, and this is the post in question. I liked this card so much, I stole was inspired by it and made it my own. Check it out:

I already have two red cards planned, so I went with a non-red color I have in abundance: Baja Breeze. Fortunately, my customers like it, too. :-) I am sure this will be the color I will hoard in the coming months.

So ANYway, this is the first version of the card I made. I even used 1" strips of the Baja Breeze DS paper I had left over from a prior workshop to punch out the hearts, so no virgin sheets were sacrificed at all!

I like the Baja Breeze ribbon, but it is pretty thick/wide, so I just stuck it on either side of the punched square. An alternative to the ribbon could be pieces of the striped DS paper, but then I'd have a project sans ribbon, and we know that cannot happen! The jury is still out on that.

Then I realized - OMG, this set is retired! Crap. And here I was so proud I'd dug it out of one of my "All My Word Stamps" drawers. Sigh. So I went with version 2, which was my back-up plan, anyway, since I almost always leave out multiple sets of words when I make cards like this, just to give people options:

I think I actually like this one better! And I even got the ribbon on straight(er) this time.

Here is a close-up of the Fluffy Heart. Sue has excellent instructions on her post if you want to make one yourself.

One unfortunate thing about these close-up shots is you can see how badly my punches really need to be sharpened. Please ignore.

Now I need to go work on my project for my Monday UHC (Under-Appreciated Holiday Challenge). I should probably also write and mail my remaining January belated birthday cards so they are at least postmarked in the right month. I am pathetic.

Friday, January 30, 2009

5 Minutes In The Post Office

I love my Post Office, and the Postal Service in general. I think they are one of the most efficient systems we have in this country. I mean, where else can you get a piece of paper from one coast to the other - 3000+ miles away - in two days, and for under a buck? And since my local PO is also one of the Suburban Central PO's, if I go there after work, local mail is delivered the next day, and out-of-town mail gets there in two days. I love them even more because they are open until 8 pm M-F. So you see, this is not a rant about the USPS. In fact, it is not a rant at all, or I'd put it on my other blog.

No, this is a Life Observation post...what I experienced in 5 short minutes this evening. I think I'll just list things as they happened.

* As I parked, I noticed a long line, so since all I wanted was a few stamps, I went to the vending machines in the lobby.
* The vending machines only take cash.
* I have $4 on me, and stamps are $8+.
* To my left is an ATM machine - how convenient. Out of order.
* I got in line.
* Three people ahead of me is a man with a car tire, as in 'automobile' tire. It was clean and new, but mailing a tire? I could not make this up.
* Two people ahead of me is a woman on her cell phone. "Blah blah blah I have not seen him all week blah blah blah the weather here has been horrible... we had an ice storm, and then it rained, and I have not been able to leave the house all week...I just got out ... have not mailed so-and-so-'s present since I have been housebound blah blah blah ... it has been miserable have no idea blah blah blah oh wait, it's my turn now, gotta go"

[Just a note: yes, we had an ice storm, and the next day most people went to work. That was Tuesday; today is Friday. Drama? Ya think?]

* The woman on the cell phone stopped to select a box just before she went to her window, since she had not bothered to wrap her items yet.
* The woman in front of me turns and looks at me with a WTF quizical expression on her face. We both shook our heads and laughed.
* A woman comes in, walks past the entire line and stands next to me, then walks past me and gets behind the person at the first window.
* The woman behind me says, out loud, "Man, I guess she's too good to stand in line." I laugh and say, "Yeah, some people are amazing, aren't they?" We both shake our heads and laugh. She agreed with me that this series of events was blog-worthy.
* My turn. The guy addressing his label for his automobile tire was asked to move over so I could get to the clerk. I bought 2 stamps and left.

Five minutes of pure, unadulterated entertainment at the Post Office. For free!

Don't forget to read the cell phone story I linked to in my earlier post. OMG, it is funny. Okay, I am off to stamp now! Thanks for stopping by!

Gotta Love It

I have added several blogs to my Google Reader over the past several weeks, and today's post on one of them is definitely worth sharing. And based on the number of comments she has already, an awful lot of people feel the same way I do: Justice has been served!!!!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

For Miz Kitt

Monday was the birthday of Eartha Kitt, known as, among other things, Catwoman. I used to love watching Batman when I was a kid. [Mmmmm, Adam West. Can I get an Amen? Yes, I am old.] Here is a little clip of one episode, in which you can get the full silliness of the show, but in the first 2 minutes you can hear Catwoman's purrrrrrrrrr-ing statements that hooked a generation (my apologies to Julie Newmar.)

In honor of this momentous occasion, I felt compelled to make a cat card, so here ya go:

I knew exactly which stamp I was going to use, and I also knew that somewhere, somewhere, In There, I would find it, and (eventually) I did!

Then I dug through my stash of 12x12 papers, looking for the stack I just knew I'd bought at Recollections when I was looking for 'something with black in it, but not too much'. What? You say this is brown, not black? Well, yeah, you got me there. So, I switched to Choc Chip card stock, and it was perfect. I even used a piece of hoarded Soft Sky card stock and some Soft Sky ribbon.

Aaaaand, I inked up that sentiment for the first time, too. Yay, me! The cat and the sentiment are both embossed, and I went back over the cat's eyes with a Copic marker. Lucky for me, it dried. ;-)

So go on, make a cat card! What better excuse could you possibly need than Eartha Kitt's birthday?!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

21st Birthday Card - Redux

What is this, you ask? This is the perfect example of why I do not take landscape photographs, or at least why I do not take dramatic landscape photos. Okay, okay, no doubt I was 180 degrees off on my camera settings, but still. It has been raining for 24+ hours, and on the way home this evening, the sky was amazing. There were those dark clouds to which we have all become grudgingly accustomed, but then there were breaks in the clouds with slashes of the most gorgeous oranges against the blue sky...

So when I got home, I ran to the end of the block and took this... this ... blech. No, that is not the moon; it is a street light. And except for the power lines, and the lights from the strip mall across the street, and the, well, the everything in my way, it could have been a dramatic shot. Right? Maybe? I know I am supposed to focus on the sky, but it is nearly impossible to do that when there are friggin' street lights in the way!!!!!!! I need to be on a prairie, not in suburbia!!!!! Sigh.

After my utter failure in the Night Sky arena, I came in and re-thunk my boy's b'day card, and decided against the glitter fest, so he gets this:

Plain old embossed numbers. Nice and tame and non-embarassing. And he won't be washing glitter out of his clothing for weeks and weeks.

I stole the chipboard letters off of the last card iteration, and they did not come off without a fight, so they are a little thinner than they started out. Then I got this hair-brained idea to color them with the burgundy marker to get them the exact same color as the numbers, but I opted not to sand them first. Big mistake. The marker ink just sort of sat on top of glossy chipboard letters. I tried to heat dry it, and the darn stuff had the nerve to evaporate! Well, only parts of it evaporated, leaving behind the mottled letters you see here. (Go ahead and click on the picture to get a really good look at what 'mottled' looks like. Go on, I'll wait... ... ... Are you back? Okay, let us continue.) But wait, there's more! I was not sure it was dry, so I touched it and the durn stuff came off on my fingers: not dry. So I stuck the pesky letters in Versamark and clear-embossed them to seal in the mottle-ness. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Now I need to go make another cat card for tomorrow's planned post. You'll see why tomorrow. ;-) Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A 3-Fer

Today I have a three-fer for you.

First, I got this cool blog award from Kristie, who I thought had fallen off the planet, but instead she just had a LIFE. Thanks, so much!

Now I am supposed to pass it along to 5 other bloggers, but the people I thought of already had it, so pooh. Again, we'd all go to the same Tupperware parties, too, I am sure. So like chain letters, this one stops here. ;-( But I am touched that people like me, you really like me!

Okay, moving on. I had A Moment today and this is what I said:

Yes, I did say this, so I thought it appropriate to make it into a card. I had the chipboard letters out, so why not? The ribbon is closer in color to the red-ish letters in real life, really....

The reason I said this? Because my second son ... will be 21 years old next week! Okay, all together now ... HOLY CRAP! And not only am I a bad Demo, I am a bad Mom, since I just thought to make his card. I have much redeeming to do, here.

This evening, I made three or four total messes before this came out:

It was a real glitter fest, I tell you! For cardboard backing and stability, I stuck the sticky numbers to a frozen dinner box that gave its life for the craft. I actually put the numbers on two layers of the box, so I cut each number out twice, which explains all the white that is showing around the edges of the glittered numbers. The rest of the card is also covered in glitter since I think the glue won out over my attempts to contain it under the numbers and letters. It is everywhere. I have glittery pj's, too. Quite sparkly, actually.

I am VERY proud of the embossed happy and birthday words. I stamped them in Versamark, then in Burgundy, then onto the paper, then embossed them with clear EP. Too easy! And the paper is from a retired pack - Treehouse, I think. And the card stock is from my stash of textured every-color card stock. And yeah, the words are a little cock-eyed, but so what!?

I do not think this will pass muster as the final version, as there is simply too much glitter in places it should not be. But as far as the design goes, it might accomplish my main goal of not totally embarassing the bajeebers out of my boy if he is around any fellow Fraternity members when he opens the envelope from his Mom.

Okay, I'm off to make version #5 and then try to clean up some of this glitter...

ETA: My co-worker is on the mend; thanks for your concern. Still hospitalized, and being watched, but her Mom is with her and she should be able to go home soon. They think it was a low sodium level and too much water, which can be a deadly combination. You can read about a similar condition here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Little Word Play

This will not be a crafty post, as I am not in a crafty mood today. One of my co-workers decided to liven things up for us at work this afternoon, so she had herself a little seizure. Have I told you I love the people with whom I work? We all thought she had slammed her hand in her drawer again, and we were laughing at her dramatics, until we realized she was not acting. My cube neighbor jumped right up and went into what seemed like a rote routine, asking for things, and taking charge. She knew exactly what to do. Then about 10 of us scattered to get the company doctor and to stand by the various entrances of the building to direct the ambulance that someone had the presence of mind to order. She was carted off to the local hospital where she is in the Emergency Room still, and several other co-workers are spelling each other so she is not alone until her Mom arrives later tonight. After things calmed down, we were unable to get back into work mode. The woman who had sprung into action earlier decided to break down herself and went home. After we got the last few rotations of sitters lined up, it was quitting time anyway, so we all left. Right now I am just numb.

So to break this most somber mood, my Brother, the recipient of some very clever emails, has forwarded me one that should lighten this mood immensely. So enjoy, and I hope to be in a better mood tomorrow.

Mensa Invitational

Here are the winners of this year's Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, Which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj.. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n.. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

News Flash: Black Hole Discovered in Suburban Maryland ...

Yeah, that black hole is in my condo, peeps. I had a few organizational moments today wherein I completed my photo inventory of all the stuff I made in 2008, stuck all the inventory stickers on them, filed the book away, and started my 2009 inventory book. Somewhere along the way, one of the gift set boxes went missing. I am pretty sure I did not sell it back in December. In fact, it is in the store, so it must be here somewhere, or I would not have included it. I have looked in every box of cards I have out, and even in the box of Christmas cards I have in The Other Room - nada. See, a black hole is the only plausible explanation.

Then I cleaned out a box of stuff in my Living Room. No kidding, I did! I found a ton of cards from like four years ago, that I thought were Da Bomb when I made them and now they are in the trash. Just not worth keeping around. I also found that half the box was scraps. More scraps that I never got to use. I think I'll offer them up when I have my Free For All in February, so other people can use them.

Then as I continued in my weekend routine of laundry, I thought I'd document why everything (EVERYthing) in my possession is covered in cat hair. When I do laundry, it is in a teeny tiny closet of a laundry room behind my teeny tiny bathroom. The only space I have in there to place folded laundry is on top of the washer, so I fold the big stuff, and leave the socks, etc, in a heap to be addressed later. Then I take all of that and dump it onto my bed so I can then open the washer to put the next load of stuff into the dryer. Earlier, when I walked back into the bedroom, this is what I saw:

I think she has little kitty radar and she knows when a fresh pile of socks is available for nesting. She did not even open one eye when I took that photo. We're talking comotose.

And you know when I say she is getting squishy? This is what I mean by 'squishy'. Stuck to me like glue. Here she is on one of my legs as I sit on the couch.

And this is what I complain about when she needs to be in my lap. It makes it a bit tough to type. I had to slide my right hand out from under her behind so I could snap that photo. And yeah, there's cat hair in the keyboard, too. All you cat owners out there get what I am talking about. All the non-cat owners, who are shaking their heads, will never 'get' it. It's a cat thing, and there is no training in the world to make it better. We just learn to live with the furry beasts.

Now on to some stampin'. When the winners of my last Spot The Mistake contest receive their goody packages this week, it should be readily apparent what box of stuff I raided to fill the envelopes. But also in that box was a sheet of 12x12 paper that screamed 'origami kimono' to me, and I finally got to them last night.

Whenever I make these, I have to go back to the Kindergarten-level sheet of instructions I printed off a few years ago. That, combined with an origami book I have had since High School, usually gets me back on track. I make a modified version from the instruction sets, because, well, I am never quite happy with something until I futz with it, ya know? So I made three of these kimonos last night, then set them aside until today so I could figure out what to DO with them.

This is what I ended up with:

Yawn. So I pulled out my trusty SU Bamboo background stamp, inked it up with Versamark, and and stamped the blue pieces with it.

Much better, doncha think? The charm is from a stash I have from Custer's Last Stamp. The 'coin' on the belt is a stamp of a coin that I stamped in Versamark on Gold Metalic paper, then embossed with Detail Gold EP, and cut out. The bamboo is a piece of a skewer. Somewhere, In There, I actually have bags of real coinage, but it is buried under the heap of scraps.

Now I have wasted another perfectly good weekend being basically a slug, and it was soooo worth it. When my massaaaaage therapist says how much easier it is to get deep on a Saturday (as in Deep Tissue), I chalk it up to having just gotten out of bed, instead of having just gotten out of the car after 45 minutes on the beltway. See? Sometimes being a slug is good for the soul. :-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Paperwork, And Some Stampin' To Celebrate Completion of Same

The dreaded year-end paperwork continues in The Crooked Stamper household. I finally added in all my December activity, and darn it if I did not end up in the black again. I could not handle making a profit. After a few nights' lost sleep over this matter, I remembered I had not added in any all! Well, my dear readers, at 50.5 cents per mile, even those 5-mile round trips to the local Farmers Markets added up, so I am now safely in the red again. Phew! That was close!

I am not quite done, yet, as a few stray receipts remain, but I did stamp something to celebrate.

Okay, so there's not a lotta stampin' here, but I did slave over the layout for an hour or so. I really wanted to end up with one of my Basic Grey-esque cards, but it was not to be. Instead, I ended up with a muted, nicely layered, b-o-r-i-n-g card. But I did use three different patterns from the same paper pack (Candy Lane), plus I broke into my bulk buy hardware, so all was not lost.

I may swap out the Very Vanilla grosgrain ribbon with a wider Vanilla ribbon. I might actually have to break down and buy some, since I think I am out. Oh, darn. :-) While I am at it, I may have to buy something else, too. You know... to justify the shipping.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Got An Award!

We interrupt this program to bring you this special bulletin:

Look what June gave me! My first-ever blog award! I feel so special. ;-) Thanks, June!

"This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!"

Isn't that a neat idea? Now I am supposed to pass it on to another 8 people who demonstrate this spirit. Unfortunately, I do not read 8 other blogs that have not already received this award. Pooh! It's kinda like a group of friends who want to have Tupperware parties, but they keep inviting each other. So (taking a cue from Kristie) I just want to say how much I enjoy all the wonderful and talented people I have met, virtually or otherwise, through blogging. This, coming from someone who said she'd never have a blog, because what's the point? I get it now. :-)

Okay, Group Hug!!!!

Now back to your regular program.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Valentine's Day Offering

Among the holidays I do not 'do' is Valentine's Day. However, in a Good Demo moment I did order the Love You Much Bundle, and I decided to introduce it to some ink this evening. In a Bad Demo moment, I did not order it early enough to have it for my January workshops, so no one will actually be able to fall in love with it and buy it in time for V-Day. This card is a lame attempt on my part to redeem myself in the eyes of my customers. At least they will have one card to give to a loved one this year.

This card is largely CASEd (speaking of lame ....the CASE, not the card) from this card on SCS. I added the scallop circle, used a different brad, and did not use ribbon! I'm still thinking about that last one, though. I may work it in yet...

Here is the inside of the card. The Vanilla c/s was cut to 5 1/4 x 8, then folded in half to 5 1/4 x 4. The Pink is 5 1/2 x 4 1/4. I punched the circle first through the top layer, then closed the card and used the first hole as my guide to punch the second circle. Then I lined it up on the pink piece and made light pencil marks where the opening was, and used the marks to know where to stamp the birds. I also stamped the birds again on the red patterned paper and cut them out.

The largest SU circle punch I own is the 1 3/8" which was not quite large enough to go around the birds (but it did allow me to use the scallop!), so both pairs of legs and their tails do not fit inside of the opening. So I did this:

I put the Vanilla card stock on first and stuck it down real good. Then, when I stuck on their little patterned paper bodies, I had the tails overlap the Vanilla so it looks like I meant to do that. So clever, I know.

Okay, maybe it's not my best work, but at least (1) I have a V-Day offering mocked up already, and (2) BR#2 is not having palpitations and offering to come over with beeswax and canvas so we can collage. :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Ferris Wheel (Inspired) Card

Here is my entry for my Ferris Wheel Day card challenge. Now before you cry FOUL, hear me out.

When I first thought about being just inspired by a Ferris Wheel, I thought about a large scallop. I have seen several card sketches that incorporated partial circles, some scalloped, so that's where this all started. Of course, it totally morphed from that point into something completely different...

I started with another pack of Basic Grey 6x6 papers - this time it was the Bittersweet pack, with lots of pinks and reds and hearts and stuff. I traced a Stampin' Up! Carousel Note onto the back of the wildest piece, and being too lazy to cut it out, I figured out the retired SU corner rounder was just about the right size to punch out most of it, so all I needed to do was trim the points where every two humps meet. Huh? I cut it out, okay?

Over the next two days I added the gray layer under the scallops; the two layers of ribbon over the paper seams (that is lace ribbon, and I have a lot of it...think: ribbon outlet...); the cat, which was free-floating until the very end.

Then tonight the rest of it all came together in about 5 minutes. The busy scallop piece was really bugging me, so I cut a partial circle out of one of the neutral Basic Grey pieces to cover up most of the 'busy', then it all fell into place. Suddenly I had a place to put a sentiment! When exiting The Other Room, I stopped by my Box Of Miscellaneous Ribbons and grabbed a length of some fun yarn, and there you have it. I even stamped the sentiment crooked, just for old time's sake. ;-)

And now that I have spent my last grain of energy posting this little ditty, I need to go take a shot of something strong and hit the hay to rest up for another round of The Day Job tomorrow. I bid you g'nite.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Under-Appreciated Holiday Challenge #3

[Note: Yeah, I know, it is still January, but since I use these challenges as an excuse to make up projects for my workshops, and since my workshops are in the first half of the month, I need to start two weeks out. K? K.]

When most people think about February, they think of the major holidays. You know: Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, President's Day. But those are appreciated and celebrated holidays, and that's not what this challenge addresses. (Did you notice the way I avoided ending that sentence with a preposition? I was going to say "what this challenge is about", but that would be soooo wrong.) This challenge is all about under-appreciated holidays, so today I bring you National Ferris Wheel Day, which is celebrated on February 14th.

Now do not be alarmed. I am not suggesting anyone make a ferris wheel card. Au contraire! *I* certainly have no plans to do that, but if you are so inclined, please be my guest. I am sure we would all love to see your ferris wheel card. But you can use the theme of the day to be inspired to create your card. Think "circle", maybe even nested circles. Or maybe a circle with "things" hanging off of it. Use your imaginations, peeps!

PS: Thanks to Merry in NJ for mentioning this holiday to me. I really like that it shares a day with another more-celebrated holiday. ;-)

PPS: I will post my card when I find the energy to leave my sick bed and stamp again. ;-(

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Because I Feel Poopy

Earlier this month I posted a Birthday card I made for The Pioneer Woman. In that post I mentioned the inside of the card included the image of a pooping bull, which amazingly enough, several people actually asked to see.

So here you go. Today, this is how I feel: poopy. I am fighting what I believe to be my annual sinus infection, and this year it has settled in my chest, so I have coughed so much my throat is raw. And I am feverish. And, most importantly, I am too weak to stamp. I have tried, but failed to produce. All I want to do is go horizontal on the couch, so that is what I think I'll do. Until it is time for bed, which last night was 8:30. See? These are desparate times.

Hopefully I'll be able to see the Doctor tomorrow and get some good drugs medicine so I can shake this thing. Oh, you'll know when I'm back. ;-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Art Imitates Life

I think the saying is "Life imitates Art", but not around the Crooked Stamper household. Case in point:

Here we have Kitty, in her usual position. That chair is formed to her body like the couch is formed to my back side.

Ergo, when I saw this image at Viva Las Vegas Stamps, I had to make it mine. I used my Copics to color the image, but left the kitty in the image white, not because my kitty is mostly white, but because every time I try to color cats, they come out looking like they had just rolled in something dead. So white it was.

The sentiment was generated on the 'puter, since my stamp with the same sentiment is here somewhere, but at the moment is missing in action. In fact, it has been missing in action since I put everything away. See? I used to know where everything lived ...

The ribbon is from my stash, as is the little birdie image, which I think has never seen ink until now.

I also kinda like the little tufts of fabric sticking up off the couch in the image. Just like in real life. :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spot The Mistake - The Reveal (Addendum)

I have one minor correction from my Spot The Mistake - The Reveal post. I gave Liz extra points for identifying the following: (I made 2). should be (I made 2.) My response to this was: "Absolutely true. The punctuation should be inside the parentheses at the end of a sentence." which is wrong, wrong, wrong. The punctuation goes inside the closing parenthesis only if the entire sentence is enclosed in parentheses. If it is just a portion of the sentence or a few words at the end of the sentence, then the punctuation goes outside the closing parenthesis.

I just got a new book and daily calendar called "Common Errors in English Usage". You people are in trouble now!

And Liz, don't worry. You'll get to keep your bonus points. ;-)

If you played Spot The Mistake, make sure to send me your mailing address. I am filling up a chair with loot to be divvied up, and I hope to get to the PO tomorrow. Send your address to (do NOT post it in a comment, please!)


I'd Like To Thank The Basic Grey Academy ...

I have terrible struggles putting different patterned papers together, unless they come that way, so when I use my 6x6 packs of Basic Grey, things are sooooo much easier! You've gotta love that someone else does all that work for us!

This card is a loose interpretation of CPS 99 on the Card Positioning Systems blog, which I found via this post on Marie's blog. See what happens when I have time on my hands? I just amble around from one blog to another until I totally lose track of where I am or how I got there, but along the way I find all sorts of cool stuff!

Here is the original sketch for the challenge, so you can see when I said 'loose interpretation' I really meant loose! Let's just say it inspired me.

I used the still-out-on-my-table Basic Grey Ambrosia paper scraps from my Mr. Hancock card, so no new papers were even sacrificed for this one! Well, except for the base, which is SU Going Grey, and some SU Basic Gray for the layers. I used even more of that funky ribbon I've been using all week, plus I dragged out two retired SU sets for the stampin'.

I had a minor challenge with the SU Jumbo Brads...I wanted to use three of them, but the Crop-O-Dile does not reach to the center, so the one in the center is through only the gray layer, while the two closer to the edges go all the way through the top layers. Saved!

That flutterby punch is a Martha punch. Yeah, I caved and bought a few. One of these days I'll reveal what has become of my punch storage system ... that will a post unto itself.

Ach, time to head to the Day Job. At least it is Friday. ;-) A new batch of irreverent sentiments arrived from Viva Las Vegas Stamps last night, so hopefully I'll slip back into my old skin and make a few 'old style' crooked cards this weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How To Make A Custom-Size Scalloped Layer*

Remember this card? When I posted it, I said it was Stampin' Up! only. So, what's with that Kiwi Kiss scalloped rectangle? Let me show you, in painful step-by-step detail, how it was done.

Step one: I punched four scallops with the SU Square Scallop punch. (I got lucky and it fit perfectly, which you will see here momentarily, but you could do this for almost any square or rectangle size. Just keep reading and it will all be revealed.) I also put tape on the back of my top piece at this point.

Step two: Stick one end of the sentiment (top piece) to one of the scallops.

Step three: stick the other end of the sentiment to another scallop. See how easy this is?

Step four: Turn the sentiment over and hold the third scallop where I have mine ever-so-lightly set down on the back of the piece. I needed two hands to hold the camera...sorry.

See those red arrows? You want to overlap the two scallops so the top and bottom corners of the scallop pieces align. See the next photo for what it looks like.

Here are the two scallops overlapped and aligned, to the best of my ability, anyway. Go ahead and press down on it so it sticks reeeeal good.

Oh, I forgot to take a photograph of what would be Step 4b: The next thing to do is make sure to put a piece of tape on the inside edge of each of the two scalloped pieces, as this will hold the final piece in place. I trust you to figure that out all by yourselves.

Step five: Turn the piece over so the sentiment is face up. You want to align the top with the top and the bottom with the bottom again. I did this by picking up the whole sentiment piece and hovering over the last scallop to line up the corners. You can only do this really well on one side; the other side will be, well, you get what you get.

Those red and blue arrows identify the sides of the last piece we just attached to the back to fill in that gap. You can see they are not perfect, but they are pretty darn close.

TaDa! Here is the finished sentiment.

Here are some more of those pesky red arrows, to show you the overlaps that maybe you did not catch the first time around.

And one more time: the finished card. Easy Peasy, non? See how easy it would be to make just about any size square or rectangle? The only thing I'd say to watch out for is to make sure you alternate the layers; that's why I put both end pieces on first, then worked my way to the inside. That way both ends were 'flat' and the overlaps were in the center. Now that I think about it, maybe that was not such a good idea. But I have to ask you: how many of you noticed all those overlaps before I pointed them out to you?

Now go forth and layer to your lil' ole heart's content, ya hear? I think I need to go stamp some birds or something ....

* Disclaimer: I did not invent this. I have seen it several other places in Blogville.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

For Mr. Hancock

Here is my card for the Under-Appreciated Holiday Challenge #2a (BONUS!). I think it is just a little weird and over-the-top, at least for me, but I am all about stretching my wings and trying new things these days.

The base card is SU Naturals White, and all the patterned papers are Basic Grey Ambrosia. I chose them because they were flourish-y, or I thought so at first, anyway. When I saw the orange piece, I thought it would look good with black, and then I saw the b&w piece ... and then it got really crazy when I saw the flutterby page ... and then I thought that funky ribbon from the other day (which was put away during the Clean Sweep, thankyouverymuch) would go well color-wise ... and then I went searching for a flourishy-y sentiment ... and then ... and then ... Things can quickly go out of control around here.

I orginally had the sentiment on top of the flutterby piece, but then I liked it better up above, so the flutterby piece was nekkid. Thus began the task of how to balance the card without covering up those pretty images. I grabbed a Really Rust left-over Photo Corner from the workshops and decided to use red brads for both the corner and the sentiment. I felt the left side of the panel still needed something, so I punched a 3/4" circle, then a 1" circle over that to get the ring to place over the red butterfly. Didja notice the one just to the left of the red one is green? Sweeeeet!

I think I might go try some birds with this paper. Or maybe not. ;-)

Edited to add: If you played Spot The Mistake Round 4 the other day, remember to check out the answers and send your mailing address to me at if you want your loot. Thanks!

Spot The Mistake Round 4 - The Reveal

Okay, peeps, you are very, very good at finding mistakes. And you are ALL WINNERS! Don't you just love it?!

Here's the low-down on the mistakes in this post that count, as identified by The Committee (that would be Kitty and me, but she cannot read, so then that would be just me):

1. ...lined up those puppies to cover the front of the cards (I made 2). I do believe that should have been ...lined up those puppies to cover the fronts of the cards (I made 2).
2. They were 4" long. which left... that '.' should have been a ','
3. I aslo scalloped should have been I also scalloped
4. ... well, I don't know why. That one really does not make a whole lot of sense, does it? It should have been well, I don't know what. or well, I don't know why I did it.

And now to review the reported errors that were not errors (in my mind, anyway):

1. "Whatthe" was one word vs. two. Nice try, but I did that on purpose. Sorry.
2. side-by-side. Eh. Judges? NAAAAAH! I am a crowd of one who mourns the demise of the hyphen. I read about and study these things, just to make sure they have not changed the rules since I learned punctuation. So no, I hyphenated those three words to make them stick together. I kinda like how they look when I do that.
3. there are many words capitalize in sentences that don't need to unless you wanted them highlighted. You are correct; I wanted them capitalized for emPHAsis, so no, this was not an error.
4. getting pretty bad in There... it should be there. Per my previous response, I like to capitalize things for emPAHsis, and The Other Room is "In There", so sorry, that one was on purpose, too.
5. I think a few of the sentences are kind of run on sentences. Well, you've got me there. Call it a stream-of-consciousness thing, but sometimes my brain just takes off on its own, so this is not really a typo. (Was that a run-on sentence, too?) Sorry.
6. I don't think you need a comma after C'mon Yes, I do. :-) If you would pause while speaking at that point, or to take a breath, then it gets a comma.
7. side-by-each isn't a phrase. Yes it is, if you lived next door to the young lady I did my Freshman year of college. Also see this definition. It's regional slang. Not *my* region, but still ....
8. does Archaic need to be capitalized? Yes, it does, because it is a proper name. In this case, it is the name of the Basic Grey paper collection. Okay, maybe Basic Grey does not capitalize their paper pack names, but they don't capitalize anything. Since writing in all lower-case makes me itchy (except back in the days of reading e e cummings), I refuse to do it, and it's my blog, so there.

Bonus point go to:

1. Rachel, for saying: I read typo fluently.
2. Everyone who caught that double-paragraph in two different fonts. (I accidentally selected the WebDings font instead of Verdana, and I kinda liked it, so I left it there.)
3. Kandy, for identifying the Webdings font specifically. [For those of you who said "the same paragraph twice", I'd like to know (1) if you read fluent WebDings, or (2) what were you smoking?]
4. Liz S, who caught: (I made 2). should be (I made 2.) Absolutely true. The punctuation should be inside the parentheses at the end of a sentence.

For everyone who responded and wants something from my stash, please send your mailing address to me at Please DO NOT include it in a comment on my blog (or any blog, for that matter), unless you want stalkers stalking you. Can you tell I used to be in computer security? Am I annoying you yet?

Okay, I am done. Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Crooked Stamper's Most Excellent Day

[Warning: long, rambling post.]

I took today off from work to catch up on life. Everyone needs these days once in a while, and when, like me, you spend your weekends preparing for and hosting several workshops, it's not like anything ELSE gets done, ya know? So I took today off, and I actually got some of the stuff done that I'd planned. Amazing.

First, since I was up until after midnight last night, even though my body woke up before 6 am today out of sheer habit, I put it back to bed and slept in a bit. After I got up, I cleaned up from the workshops, put away everything including the table, went to the MVA Express office to renew my driver's license (more on that in a sec), stopped at the quilt store to see about getting some scissors sharpened (more on that in a sec), got some petrol for the vehicle, got the vehicle washed (it is a different color now than I remember ...), got lunch at Checker's (never been, always wanted to go, finally did), and then ... are you ready for this? ... I made ... my January birthday cards! No kidding!!!! Well, I made one of them, and the rest are all cut up and ready to assemble.

About the MVA driver's license experience. I was in and out in under 10 minutes, I kid you not. I don't know how I timed that one, but there are no complaints here! I am now the proud owner of a hideous photo of myself that I'll have to show people for another 5 years.

Based on a suggestion from one of my customers last night, I stopped at the quilt store today to see about getting my scissors sharpened. I put all of my scissors into a bag (I have 13 pair of snips and 4 pair of the larger versions. Yeah, that's a lot.) The guy esimated two weeks from .... uh, no thanks. I suppose I should have left a few pair behind. I just thought it would be easier to buy some more snips and designate them as ribbon-only snips. I am so lazy.

Checker's. I have never been to Checker's, as I rarely eat out, and when I do it is rarely fast food. But I had nowhere to be today, so I gave it a shot. When I pulled up to the drive-through (your only options are drive-through or stand outside to order and take away - no eat in) the place to order was a human being! NO KIDDING! I was so excited, and he was really nice, and it was the most pleasant drive-through and/or fast food experience I have had in many, many, many years. I will probably need to go back. And if everyone on the planet knew about that human being ordering person thing, it only serves to show you that I really do need to get out more.

On to my workshops. I have a few fun moments to share with you. Let me begin again by saying - again - that I love my customers. I love being a Demo and hosting these classes for people to come over and play. I love being the place people come to get away from life for a few hours. And I love that I can give them the opportunity to use their creativity and help each other and share and ... and ... I am going to get blubbery here in a moment, so I'll get to my point.

The fun moments I am going to mention were all with this card:

This was my sample, but I always leave the sets out to let people not only see what else comes in the set, but to also give them the chance to use a different stamp than I did. It's all about enabling the creative juices. I do not expect everyone to like every card I make, but if it gets them started thinking about what they could change to make it something they'd be willing to try, then my work is done.

The funny story. We were all moving right along and creating Sunday afternoon, when we heard, "Whoops, I've decapitated the deer." What a hoot! I suggested she just stamp and cut out another one, but she said, "I am not going to cut out those antlers again!", and really, who can blame her?! I thought we could piece him together, but the wound was still visible. So I got a piece of red twine from The Other Room, and we fashioned him a scarf, a-blowin' in the wind, and stuck it on with a rolled-up glue dot. Perfect!

And just to show you I do have real people who come over to play, you can see someone behind kitty over there on the left. Yes, kitty assumed her position as the resident coat warmer as soon as that coat hit the chair.

Back to the card. The person who made this version wanted to use the moose stamp instead of the deer, so she futzed around with the pieces and got them to fit. I think she liked the moose because the antlers were more scissor-friendly. Plus, she could pop up the antlers so the moose looked to be in front of the tree. But then in all the excitement, I offerred to get her the now-retired flocking to make the antlers fuzzy. Now before you turn me in for having a Bad Demo moment, let me say that this person, this person using a retired SU product, this person who has never in her entire lifetime purchased a set from Stampin' Up!, this person that was giddy with glee with the flocking and the moose, ordered the set on her way out. I rest my case. (Isn't her version of the card ever-so-much cuter than mine?)

Oh, but it gets better! This person, having overheard the moose glee at the other table, decided she needed to make a Woodland Creatures card, and she did BOTH the deer and the moose. Then she took it further by flocking the deer's antlers as well as the moose's antlers; aaaaaaaand, she flipped the paper over to the more muted pattern side so you focus more on the critters; aaaand, she went back to the penguin station and used the glitter on her snow; AND added the falling snow with the white gel pen. I think this is STINKIN' cute, and suitable for publication, even. I am just in love with it!

And lastly, if I have not already lost you, this is the January birthday card I made this afternoon. It's all Pacific Point blue except for the Kiwi scallops and Old Olive ribbon. I'll explain how I did those scallops in a separate post in a day or so.

Don't forget: you have until midnight tonight to Spot the Mistake and win something out of my stash!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Under-Appreciated Holiday Challenge #2a (BONUS!)

Today is the birthday of John Hancock, born on this date in 1737. As a bonus challenge, I think we need to create cards in honor of Mr. Hancock. Think about maybe writing something on your card; in BIG LETTERS; or using fancy flourish-y letters; or just using flourishes (since that's what that kind of writing reminds me of); or read the link under his name and go with something new you've learned about him; or maybe go with the 'john' angle. Oooh, this could get dicey!

Play on!!!!!

Spot The Mistake - Round 4

It has been quite a while since I've had one of these little soul-wrenching contests, as I have been more than anal about proof-reading my posts so as not to embarrass myself publicly. But last night, with much consternation and finger twitching, I decided to leave a few typos in my post so I could host another round of Spot The Mistake. Yep - this is another pitiful attempt to increase my readership from 3 (maybe 4) loyal, beloved readers, but more truthfully I need to get rid of stuff!

So go on, read last night's post, find the typos (there is/are more than one), and post back here with your findings. Each poster will win something from my stash. It's getting pretty bad In There, so I should be able to pull things off the top of the pile fairly easily.

Da rules:
One win per person, no matter how many mistakes you find or how many times you post.
I might be overcome with emotion and include a little extra something if you do find all the mistakes.
Extra points for finding mistakes I have not yet identified.
I reserve the right to REMOVE items from your winnings if you point out mistakes I have left in previous posts, but was too lazy to go back and correct, so don't even go there.
Extra points for identifying what just happened here:
Bonus: Since I am typing this pre-caffeine, and only doing a cursory review of the spelling (I have already corrected 6 mistakes), you'll get a bonus stash item for identifying typos in THIS post. ;-)
Bonus: Since I am typing this pre-caffeine, and only doing a cursory review of the spelling (I have already corrected 6 mistakes), you'll get a bonus stash item for identifying typos in THIS post. ;-)
Contest ends at midnight Wednesday/Thursday.

Let the games begin!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More Archaic Stuff

It's not that I don't know when to stop, it's just that these papers were OUT and IN PLAIN VIEW, and I NEEDED TO CLEAN so I could GO TO BED last night. As I sat at the table and fondled the remaining scraps of my Basic Grey Archaic papers, I noticed they were all (ALL) 4" long. Whatthe??? Then I started laying them next to each other, admiring how they were each so very busy, but they still worked together side-by-each. Then the lightbulb went off over my head, and it was blinding.

I grabbed a piece of Mellow Moss (from the next-to-the-cutter pile, so it counted as cleaning) and lined up those puppies to cover the front of the cards (I made 2).

They were 4" long. which left a 1/4" of Mellow Moss peeking out at the bottom. And when I say they were all 4" long, that is a relative statement. They were all about 4" long. C'mon, peeps, look who cut them! So I needed to deal with not only the 1/4" edge, but also the ends of the papers.

What to do, what to do. I tried putting a strip of dark brown along the bottom: blech. Then I thought about scalloping the bottom edge to shorten it and even it up at the same time. After I did that, it looked boring so I put a brown strip on the inside!

See? I do some of my best work under pressure. We Professional Procrastinators are good at that pressure thing. I aslo scalloped the top edge of the brown piece to make it look more, well, I don't know why. Maybe because the scallop punch was out... maybe. I also added that line of rub-on dots from my stack o'SAB rub-ons. Man, do I have a ton of those things left. Thank goodness we do not have rub-ons in this year's SAB catalog. No, this year I'll be stock-piling ribbon and DS paper instead.

Since the papers are so busy, I tried to cut it a little with ribbon (surprise!), but it was not happenin' for me. Then I realized it needed something horizontal, but not too bold, so I used a piece of ribbon from the 400+ yards of the Outlet stuff I still have, because it is neutral and very subtle. For the sentiments, I used two more of the SU Chit Chat rub-ons, and I put them on a piece of orange from the same Archaic pack. One of these days I may even use up that paper.

When I was done with these two cards, I actually put away the pack of paper and finished the Clean Sweep, after which I crashed. Today's workshops/classes went well. There was no whining and the much-anticipated riot did not materialize. Between the cutting and the PunchFest projects, I thought for sure there'd be an uprising, but all the projects were well-received. I am always pleased when that happens.

Well, no stampin' tonight, or else I'll have to clean up after myself. Knowing the likelihood of that happening, 'tis best to just not start. I think I know me pretty well. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More #*$&#$ Birds {or What I Did When I Should Have Been Cleaning}

I have interesting conversations with myself. Actually, I have interesting silent arguments in my brain. I could probably have a full-scale debate and never even open my mouth! You see, my parents were children of the Great Depression, and as a result, I was instilled at a very young age with the idea of saving, reusing, not wasting. This probably explains why I so eagerly embraced recycling when it became the thing to do. Anyway, I have an ongoing battle with myself every time I touch a scrap of paper. My first thought is usually, "Hmm, I could use this for ....". However, the realist in me says, "Just THROW IT AWAY!" Why am I telling you this? Because today, after my massaaaaage, I started The Clean Sweep and got distracted by some left-over stamped birds. Instead of just throwing them away, I made these:

The good news is I now have three more cards I can sell in the coffee shop when it reopens in February. I also used up some more of my Basic Grey Archaic papers. I also opened and used some funky fibers I have had forever.

These are still largely "typical" cards for me, though the mix of patterns is a little different, and they are growing on me, too!

I thought these might pass as non-traditional Valentine's Day cards. I do not have a lot of Heart sets as I have no markets in February, so I do not bother. And it is tough to justify all that expense on heart stamps or kissy birds for one workshop a year that might fall conveniently enough for me to have a Valentine's Day card offering. So I spend my money elsewhere.

I did order the Love You Much bundle from SU, but it did not make it here in time for me to use it for the workshops. {grumble ...} So since I have this non-traditional holiday thing going, why not make non-traditional Valentine's Day cards?

The sentiments are rub-ons from the SU Chit Chat pack. I really should have paid more attention to these when I first got them, as I really like them! They come in white and brown, and they were perfect for these cards.

Ah, well, I need to go actually clean something now. Thanks for stopping by!