Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another Lame Blog Post

Hi, remember me? The Olympics are killing my craftiness, so I am a little glad they are almost over. I wanted to start out today's post with this photo, so show you I actually DID put ink to paper this week. This is one of the stamps from the set I won from the Fiskateers giveaway on Twitter, and my plan for using the stamp came together quite niceyl:

Okay, it's not actually part of a card, yet, but I'm working on that. That part seems to actually be tougher than the inky part. I think my mojo took a long, long, looooong vacation.

Anyway, I stamped the image with Versamark on glossy card stock and embossed it with black EP. I originally used white on white, but I didn't like the look - way too tame (read: boring), so I went with black instead, and I really, really, REALLY like it! I used the same reinker-on-a-wipe technique I used on this card to apply the three colors of ink over the image. Me likey!

Okay, that's it ... KIDDING! As any good stamper knows, there is nothing better to jump-start the mojo than some NEW STUFF, am I right? So I called BR#2 yesterday and told her I was headed to Angela's and did she want to come along. An hour later we were on the road, over the river into VA.

I must tell you that our dear Angela is an enabler of the first degree. It's not that she talks you into anything (as if that would even be necessary), but she fails to talk you out of it, which can actually be worse. I once asked her if I really needed to take the Copic plunge, and she said she was the wrong person to ask, as she was in pretty deep. See what I mean? Sigh.

The other thing about Angela and her staff is they are fantastic shoppers, and they really know how to stock the shelves so when you see something, you need one in every color. Case in point: the new Graphic 45 papers. Let's take a look, shall we?

Here is the 12x12 pack of Le Romantique:

I mostly got this one because it reminded me of my dear Pea (@BrownEyedPea on Twitter). As most of you know, I am not a vintage-y gal, so why do I buy this stuff? Dunno.

Next we have A Proper Gentleman:

... and last we have On The Boardwalk:

Oh, did you know it comes in both 12x12 and 8x8? And guess what? I couldn't decide, so I got both:

The thing I like about the paper companies' smaller paper pads (not just Graphic 45, but Basic Grey, SU, DaisyD, all of them, really) is the smaller papers are not just pieces of the larger papers; rather they are the exact same papers, but on a smaller scale.

I like the 12x12 size for cutting the pages apart to use the individual images. Here you can see the different scale of the two. Check out the back of the pages, just peeking out at the top of the photo. I like the smaller scaled patterns for background layers. And heck, since I have BOTH now, I am set, probably for a second lifetime.

Here is a sample of the 'guy' papers:

Okay, enough with the Graphic 45. This next paper pack was the fault of MaryDawn over at MyPinkMexico. Once I saw it on her blog, you just know I had to have it.

Then I saw a pack of Road Trip papers by KaiserKraft:

Do I scrapbook? No. Have I taken a road trip lately? No. Do I ever do anything travel-related with my cards? What's your point? I ask you: are these not my colors?!?! I had to have them for that reason ALONE!

I only got three stamps this trip - seriously! This one spoke to me because the flamingos have attitude:

hee hee

Then I saw these two and walked past them, but when BR#2 stopped and mentioned them to me, I sighed heavily and went back to grab them.

I immediately started to recite from AA Milne: Christopher Robin had sneezles and wheezles, they bundled him into his bed; they gave him what goes with a cold in the nose, and some more for a cold in the head. Yes, I am weird.

Lastly, I got some "cute" papers that have shimmer and are very fun colors:

The end.

In other news, I actually had my camera with me and loaded the other night when Koshka was doing her "I need to be in your lap" routine.

First, she climbs between me and the laptop to check out the lay of the land (my lap):

Then she half-way lays down:

And finally wraps herself around the laptop:

When she finally settles in, she faces more to the left, and my left arm, in an attempt to actually reach the keyboard, is under her neck, and she has either both front feet on my forearm, or she rests her head on my forearm. It's really quite sweet, though it makes it tough to type, plus the keyboard is once again full of cat hair.

Okay, I really, really need to became a productive member of society today. There's cards to make and laundry to do and I may even clean the bathroom if I get really desperate. Or not.

I hope to have something crafty to show you one of these days. Until then, I do thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Random Wednesday

Yeah, I know, I've been pretty random lately. Between my Stamp Camps and the Olympics, I haven't been very crafty the past few weeks, but just so you know I am still alive, I thought I'd bring you another installment of randomness from my life. Lots of little things, none of which is blog-worthy by itself, but all together, they have promise.

Let us begin.

1. Remember this card?

It was one of the four projects at this past weekend's Stamp Camps, and I did make some major Demo points by supplying the non-latex gloves so people didn't get inky fingers. As usual, a couple of The Ladies changed things up, and here's one of their versions of this card:

They had so much fun being inky, they added all that color to the card base, too! What a fun look!

2. This next card (of which you are all probably SICK by now) was a hit, too:

This time we had a SAVE situation. Someone finished her card and then managed to get brown ink on the upper left corner, where we had no opportunity to embellish it for the save. Enter: the corner punch. I punched the corner of a scrap of the blue, and she trimmed it to fit over the boo-boo:

Ta-da! Nice save! (I hope you can see it - my photography skills are pretty awful these days.)

3. When I posted this pic from our last big snow:

(yes, that's snow built up inside my front door), one of my tweeps sent me this:

I thought it was very clever. God help me if I ever get that much snow, as my door is the front door!

4. Remember these:

I killed them. One of The Ladies offered to take it home and try to save it, if only I would decapitate it. By that time, all the fleurs were droopy and sickly, which she said was actually draining the plant of any remaining strength. It was done, and the headless plant is now in her home, where it will be resuscitated and hopefully planted outside in a few months. Note to self: Don't buy these things any more ... just look at them in the store.

5. I played. I was enabled by one of my crafty tweeps to buy some wool felt, and I took out a much-neglected set of Cuttlebug dies and made this:

Is it not very cool? It took only a few minutes, and I think it will be a fabulous addition to my embellishment collection. Oh, yeah, like I need more stuff. But do I at least get points for cutting into it already?

6. I shopped. One of my tweeps (Do you see a pattern here? tweep = expenditure? I thought so.) makes jewelry, and when she announced she had a new batch of fresh-water pearls, I asked her to make this:

As most of you know, I am not into glam. I skip most jewelry counters and don't even stop to look in the windows ... it's just not my thing. Seriously, I wear polo shirts, or a sweater (or baggy sweatshirt) over a polo shirt, and that doesn't lend itself to being dressed up. However, THIS little piece was just perfect for me! It is understated and just right, and I wanted to show it off to you, my captive audience.

7. I stamped. Okay, you've seen this one before, too, but I had printed the images and I wanted to use them:

Oh, look, I attached the sentiment crooked. Surprise (not). The big news here is I made four of these AND that's a piece of card stock that is no longer in my UFO pile AND I used up the remainder of that piece of blue & brown patterned paper. YAY! Baby steps.

That's it. Lots of randomness and not a lot of substance, but that's how I've been rolling lately.

I hope to get cracking on some cards for my April show. Oh, did I tell you my March show was cancelled? Not enough people signed up. Oh, well. I'll focus on April. And my markets start the first Saturday in May, so, yeah, I need to focus. Seriously focus.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pop Quiz - The Reveal

I posted a Pop Quiz about 3:00 pm today. Now, as promised, I bring you The Reveal (the answer).

First, I must tell you this is a binary clock, so it works on powers of two. And I know of several different versions of binary clocks, but I can only speak for my own, so here we go ...

The clock:

This clock is divided into three sections, each with two rows of lights. Left to right, the left-most two rows represent the hour, the middle rows represent the minutes, and the right-most two rows represent the seconds.

On my binary clock, reading from bottom up, the lights represent 1 (2 to the zero power), 2 (2 to the 1st power), 4 (2 to the 2nd power), and 8 (2 to the 3rd power). So we have 1,2,4 and 8 to work with (with which to work).

The hours columns of lights have the 2 and the 1 lit up, which equals 03.

The minutes columns have no lights on, so it's :00. So far we have 03:00.

The seconds columns have 2 & 1 on the left, and 2 on the right, which represents :32, giving us 03:00:32.

So Anonymous & Lisa - Papergrace were indeed correct with their guesses! Congratulations!
Unfortunately, you win nothing but the knowledge that you are very, very, smart. :-)

Thanks for playing, everyone!

Pop Quiz

What time is it according to this clock?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Glimpse Into My Crafty World

Today I bring you a repeat, since, once again, I have stamped nothing. NOTHING! But I am preparing for my Stamp Camps, so I thought I'd talk about that, partly because I don't want you to think I've fallen off the earth, and partly because I've done it to myself, again. Yes, I am my own worst enemy.

Remember this card?

It's CASEd right out of the catalog, with a minor modification, and is one of the four cards The Ladies will make and I thought I'd show you how I dug my hole, once again.

Here is my Mis En Place, just like every month:

We have 4 cards, all the supplies needed to make them, and the card stock I've cut for each of them. The next step for me is to do the collating thing, one of each of everything goes into a pile and into a bag.

Let's look closely at this card:

We have three pieces that need the Big Shot: the white piece, the leaf, and the blue strip. There is no way I can set up space to have The Ladies do all three of these pieces themselves without at least one (and probably more) head exploding. So in a Good Demo moment, I decided to cut the white pieces for them. I also die-cut the green leaves, but left them in the card stock for them to punch out on their own.

Here's the bunny card pile of parts-is-parts:

Once I assembled all the kits, I realized I still had no place to set up the Big Shot, so I had two choices. (1) Have The Ladies traipse into the Captain's Quarters and use the Big Shot in its home, or (2) make them myself. I chose option (2):

... and since I'd already assembled the kits, the embossed pieces are now sitting at the station. Now all The Ladies need to do is stamp and emboss the bunny and assemble the card. I am so good at making work for myself, I think I deserve an award, or something.

Speaking of the Captain's Quarters, I have reached a milestone. Yes, I am officially unable to work at my Captain's Table, which may account for my non-craftiness this past week. Let's take a look. Oh, if you are a neatnik, or a non-stamper who knows no stampers, please just look away.

Yes, this is bad, even in my world. Let's do the numbers:

(1) The Avalanch. To the left is my usual pile of stuff that took an unfortunate tumble the other night, but I tried to persevere and continue on my creative path.
(2) The Work Space. It is now so small, I cannot even fit a card on my paper... it's hanging over the edge of the table.
(3) The UFO Pile. My pile of started but stalled project attempts, and my endless source of inspiration. LOTS of crafty goodness in there.

But it doesn't stop there. Oh, NO, for I AM A PROFESSIONAL, and it all overfloweth onto the floor:

You can see several stamp sets piled up here. This is really just another staging area, because none of this will fit onto the table.

Behind the stack of stamps to the left is a canvas waste basket with only card stock scraps in it. I am a major recycler, and since I generate so much s-crap, it's only right that I separate as I go.

But wait, there's more! In the name of full disclosure, let's look at the floor to the right side of the table:

Here we have my smaller paper trimmer, my ATG, my SU markers, and a miscellaneous punch I'm playing with (with which I am playing). Behind that, from left to right: a bag of stuff from Mike's, my non-card-stock trash receptacle, and a box that holds most of my recent acquisitions, yet untouched, because, well, where exactly would I use them? So they sit there, in what I call another staging area, for a future date.

There you have it: my full reveal of the mess that is my stampin' area. My work here is done.

In other news, I have joined and have started looking for music to share with the world. I have a very eclectic collection of music, a lot of it by artists most people would not recognize. I experimented last week with importing a CD into iTunes, and it was crazy-easy, so I'm well on the road to filling up my iPod, but this thing lets me play music while I'm on my laptop, without getting off the couch. Sweet.

So while I've been working on that, and not stamping, I have been fighting with Koshka for lap space. She sees the laptop and insists on being between the keyboard and me, which makes typing difficult. Plus, I blew about 4 pounds of cat hair out of my keyboard the other day. Some of my Tweeps find it difficult to believe, but my cat listens to me. She does! I tell her to stay back, and after 6 or 8 times, she gets disgusted with me and ends up doing what I wanted her to do in the first place. In this case, she lays next to me on the couch instead of on top of me. See?

Yes, she is giving me a cold shoulder, or a cold butt, but she gets to 'touch' me and sleep and my typing doesn't bug her because she is not laying across my wrists so my every movement jiggles her bones. I say it's a win-win!

After two full sessions tomorrow, then the Day Job on Monday followed by my third of three sessions Monday night, I hope to come up for air on Tuesday. Once I visit and hopefully survive the Montgomery County, MD, Finance Office to dispute my late fees, I hope to get inky! After I clear some space on the Captain's Table, that is.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Ramblings

It's been an Olympic Week for me - staying up too late watching whatever the powers-that-be feel free to feed us on delayed tape.

This means I needed to turn ON my TV, which is in the Living Room, and since I've set up the Captain's Quarters and working in there, let's just say my craft has been sorely neglected this week. So I've decided to do a Random Friday, filled with weird things about my life in the past few days.

1. Last week, one of my peeps asked to ride into work with me on Thursday & Friday of this week. She planned to pick up the Metro by my office and head into DC from there. This was a super idea, not because I could be nice or anything, but because I could yap on the way in and kindof forget the stoopidity on the roads.

I did warn her, though, to remind me not to forget her, cuz as most of you commuters know, the bod goes into auto-pilot some mornings. So Wednesday night, I get an email entitled: "Please don't forget me!" I, of course, HAD forgotten, so I ran to the Kitchen and taped this to my front door:

And it worked! Both days! So Suzanne - it was a blast, and if you ever want to spend time with me instead of your hubby, you just let me know. :-) I can make a new sign.

2. Olympic FEVER is here! Several of my Tweeps are in Canada (one is in VANCOUVER!) and as soon as we all saw pics of the very cool Olympic mittens, we HAD TO HAVE THEM. Several shopping trips later, packages were mailed and lookie what arrived chez moi tonight:

Aside from the fact that they are out of focus, aren't they adorable? And sooooo comfy. I feel so special now. :-)

3. I am not a chain letter person. I am always the one to break the chain, and look, I've lived! Now on Twitter, there is a much faster version of a chain letter called a ReTweet (RT for short). It's where you re-send something someone sent to you. A lot of companies use this as contest entries and they give away stuff, but you know me, I don't need anything! Lordy, where would I put it? I already don't use most of the s-crap I have!

Enter the Fiskateers, ambassadors for Fiskars. They had a RT thing for a chance to win cool Fiskars stuff (and who can't use Fiskars stuff?!), and you needed to RT their message AND mention your favorite crafty Tweep. We started Retweeting each other, and guess what - I WON! Seriously! My loot arrived this week - check it out!

Is this not a VERY nice stamp set? Oh, yes. I know exactly what I'll be doing with this! Stay tuned for that.

Also included in the box was all this crafty goodness:

I love Heidi Grace stuff. I hoard Heidi Grace stuff. And now I have even MORE Heidi Grace stuff. So thank you Fiskateers!

4. I was weak. I placed an order with Ellen Hutson and bought some Lockhart stamps, some bling, a bunch of Graphic 45 papers, and a mystery MS punch. I must have hit the wrong button to add to my cart. Hmph. I haven't decided if I'll try to exchange it or maybe even use it. I'll be sure to note the use of said goodies when they see ink. Some day.

5. I'm back to my annual decision of "should I go to Convention in SLC this year or not?" Aside from the expense, and the fact that I am not a Career Business Demo, it's the getting there that's a problem.

You see, I detest flying. It's not the actual being in a metal tube 5 miles up in the air that bothers me, it's the crowds and cell phones and rudeness that is everywhere. I have a very short fuse when it comes to all of these things, and it's just easier for all involved for me to stay home.

Or I could drive! I love a good road trip, but the last time I went to Utah it took us 3 days "balls-to-the-wall" as my traveling companion referred to it. And that was to Eastern Utah, and SLC is way West of that, so figure 4 days. Each way. Plus 5 days in SLC. I'm looking at three weeks here, people! Because if I'm taking that many days to drive, I'm stopping along the way!!!

Someone suggested this was crazy talk, and I needed to figure out how to survive a flight. Enter: the iPod! I got an iPod! YES, I DID! I've just started to play with it - buying songs online and loading my plethora of CDs. I figure by July I'll have enough music to last me the whole flight, and then some. I could do this!

Enough for you? Yeah, it's been a crazy week. I have my Stamp Camps this Sunday and Monday, and after that I hope to get inky again. Real inky.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Two Easter Cards

Today, in between downloading tax software to attempt to amend my 2007 & 2008 taxes so I can start on my 2009 taxes, I actually stamped something! And, on top of that, both of the cards are Easter cards!

The first card is one I've shown you before as a mock-up:

I trimmed the bottom edge of the white layer with my Fiskars edger/cutter thingy because the ribbon hole punch left indentations on the bottom edge of the card stock. Nice save, huh? I used my craft knife to cut the ribbon holes through the blue layer.

The next card is the result of a lot of futzing. I wanted to use the Eggcoutrements stamp set; I wanted to use the Eggcellent Eggs Kit; so naturally (ever distracted by pretty things) the first thing I got out was the Forest Friends stamp set so I could use the stinkin' cute bunny. He reminds me of Thumper, and I just needed to use his image. I mean, c'mon, look at this:

Now with that in mind, check out card #2:

(Doesn't he look like Thumper?) Eventually I did manage to incorporate all of the Easter stuff AND the bunny into this card, so there's a lot going on here. For starters, I colored the tree with Soft Suede and Certainly Celery markers, and the bunny is stamped in Going Grey.

The green strip is from the Eggcellent Eggs Kit. The top of it is straight across and cut like grass, but as you can see, mine is not straight across. This was a happy accident, because I stamped the bunny a little bit too low, and he was buried by the grass, so I trimmed it and cut new slits for grass. I like the slope!

The flowers and bling are from the Eggcellent Eggs Kit, too. SU bling! YAY!!!!

The sky. Ah, the sky. For ever and ever I've been wanting to try making my own clouds, and today I did it! I punched a scallop circle out of a scrap, then sponged Bashful Blue ink around the top of it, moved it, sponged some more ... it was really easy and I love the look!

The birds? I had a speck of who-knows-what on the sky, so I drew in some birds. Missed covering the speck, but I have birds now. Sigh ...

Wow, that's two Easter cards done! I have a few more ideas in the pipeline, and one of them incorporates an old cut-up Scrapin' Kit that I hope to show you tomorrow. Love using up the old stuff!

Back to the Olympics (yes, I actually turned on my TV). Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

As The Scrap Heaplet Dwindles

How about that Olympic Opening Ceremony, eh? I think KD Lang stole the show, seriously. Or maybe the fiddle segment. No, I think KD took it. Man, she was something else.

I've been stampin' some more today, still working on the Scrap Heaplet. I'm really trying to disappear it like I did last Winter, and with March & April shows this year, I need to get crackin' on making cards to sell. First, I made some more CRS cards, since I SOLD 4 OF THEM ALREADY! I KNOW! It's been a banner etsy sales week, and I couldn't be happier. Here are the ones I made today:

I made four of these from a scrap of SU DSP. And it's just about time for a SYFY tip. Check out my ribbon placement malfunction:

That ribbon was too short on one side to tie. Carp. Then a light bulb went off - just turn the card upside down so the short end is on the other side. That let me tie it without having to contort myself, and it was juuuuust right. Okay, maybe that was just a regular run-of-the-mill screw-up and not a full-fledged SYFY, but it's all I've got, people.

I also made a CRS card with this scrap:

... and I rather like it! There is a very subtle green in the background that is nearly impossible to see with my current photographer's skills.

Moving on, I had another "should I or shouldn't I" moment, wherein I debated with myself whether to toss some small strips of paper or try to re-purpose them. Seriously, I do not need to keep small strips of paper, but I was cleaning* (I KNOW) next to my paper cutter and I ended up with a stack of narrow strips of card stock, and I loved the colors together. The following steps actually occurred over a 4-week period.

First, I merely gathered the strips of card stock and admired them:

Eventually, I stuck them to a piece of printer paper:

I love the random sizes! After I'd stuck them all down, just for grins I folded the paper in about thirds, and I figured I could get three 'layers' out of it.

Then I set it aside in the unfinished projects area of the Captain's Table and forgot about it for a while. Until today. TODAY, I was determined to actually use the darned thing. Here is what came out:

Did you notice I am once again using even more of the Scrap Heaplet by using the Sahara Sand and Turquoise pre-cut-but-never-used card stock? Yes, I am very proud.

The process: First, I chose a die that would yield the most stripe. Then I put the cut piece on top of the turquoise and I hated intensly disliked it. It needed contrast. I decided not only did it need contrast, it needed to be toned down, too. What to do, what to do.

I went with another piece of Sahara Sand for an under-layer and chose a die that just barely showed out from under the striped piece. I knew I wanted to put a sentiment in a pinking circle, so I opened, mounted and used one of my new-to-me PTI sets. And to further break some rules, I stamped it on scraps of Sahara Sand instead of Vanilla or White. I can get really crazy sometimes.

Ribbon. I wanted ribbon, and I wanted it to be horizontal. I went through my Box Of Every Color Of Neutral Ribbon But The One I Need, thinking I wanted something twill-y or maybe grosgrain, when I spied this piece of slippery stripey ribbon, and I liked. I really liked.

Then, the turquoise layer. Too too. I couldn't decide if it was too big, or too plain, so the first thing I did was emboss it with a Cuttlebug folder, then I stuck the striped panel to it off-center with the plan to trim down the turquoise piece. I still wasn't sure, so before I trimmed it, I rounded three of the corners. Yep, only three. Why? Because I'd already stuck down the striped piece and the corner chomper didn't fit. And here you thought I'd gone all artsy-fartsy on you. Not a chance.

Sticking with the three-rounded-corners on the blue layer, I rounded the same three corners on the card base. DONE! And I like it just the way it is.

As with most of my forced projects, I futz and futz until I either stop or just throw it away. I made three of these, so I must think it has merit on some level. The BEST part is that piece of striped paper is gone, gone, GONE!

In other news, I actually left the house today to run some errands. I hit the PO and mailed the 4 (FOUR!) etsy orders I had. I went to PetSmart to inquire about the cat grass I ordered two weeks ago... seems it never got communicated, so I re-ordered it and bought everything they had on the shelf while I was there. Kitty needs her cat grass. I went to Chloe's to check on sales, and I've sold 5 cards in as many weeks. Not bad, not bad. I also re-stocked the basket with a few newer models. Lastly I went to Whole Foods and picked up a few items that resemble food. And I got home by 10:30 am. The End.

I plan to continue work on the Scrap Heaplet, because heaven knows I don't want it to become a full-fledged Scrap Heap. I think I'm making pretty good progress, too. One of these days I may even make some Easter cards for my March show.

For those of you local to me, check out my show schedule. I'm also posting some of the cards I show here to my etsy store. (Link is also in my side bar.)

That's it for now. I plan to stamp some more in between watching the Olympics. Have a good rest of the weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

*Cleaning. Cleaning cuts into stamping time, so I clean when things get desperate. Desperate = dishwasher is full of clean dishes so the sink is full of dirty dishes, so I have to empty the dishwasher to fill it up again. Desperate = I am out of clean underwear, so I need to do a load of wash so I can go to work the next day. (I've tried just buying more, but I have no room to put them away, so I have to do a wash.) And in craft-land, Desperate = there are so many scraps next to the paper cutter, I have to angle the paper under the blade from a mostly-vertical direction, and it won't lay flat to cut. I'm sure some of you know of which I speak.