Monday, April 14, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches Challenge #131







BOY!! Talk about getting this in by the skin of my teeth!!!

T minus 5-1/2 hours to get your entries in right HERE

If you don't make today's sketch, the new sketch will be out tomorrow. Even if you don't want to play, check out their DT. Talk about inspiring...those gals know how to rock a sketch like nobody's business!

I stamped the lily in Archival Ink, on Mixed Media paper. I colored the center, then used Flower Soft to add a little texture. Using Distress Inks, I watercolored it and then cut it into 3 pieces. I mounted each on black cardstock and placed over 3 Memory Box Tessatina Diecuts, with a few pieces left in for interest. 

I can't explain why I offset the middle piece of the lily. It just seemed like the right thing to do. One thing I've learned from FMS is that interest can be created by doing just little things. I can't say I make it work all the time, but since playing with FMS, I DO know that I need to trust myself and experiment when it feels right. 

Wish me luck!! Hopefully, it's my week to win, place or show! Come on over and play! Winning notwithstanding, I've learned more here from a comprehensive standpoint than any other blog. Check them out!!


Ink: Ranger Archival and Distress Inks. Victorian Velvet, Worn Lipstick, Spun Sugar
Paper: PTI Rustic White, SU! Certainly Celery
Stamps: SU! From the Garden
Impression Obsession Sentiment
Memory Box Tessatina Die
Citrus Ultra-Fine Flower Soft

 



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Copper tidings, Insomnia and Mexicans



The first question that needs to be asked is WHY, in the name of all that is holy, am I making cards and posting them at 3:35 in the morning? My eyes hurt, my brain is fuzzy and I just want to sleep. Which I can't do. No...it's not insomnia. The reason is much more insidious than that. The reason I'm being pushed to the brink of sanity and my body is officially sleep starved, is due to only one reason: I was kicked out of bed by a chubby 7-1/2-year-old, who sleeps like the dead and somehow manages to double his actual weight when he sleeps...making it impossible to push him to the middle of the bed and make an attempt to claim a paltry 6 inches or so.
I know, I know...and you're absolutely right; I DON'T blame him. Liam is merely taking advantage of sleeping with us which, though unwanted, hasn't been dealt with in this home. So, Liam is innocent. Who SHOULD shoulder all the blame? 


That's right: His father.
 

You see, when Liam was born, I was 38. At that age, I was mostly too tired to even THINK of procreating...much less actually DOING it and have it result in adding to our family of 5. 

PAM: (pre-adderall moment)  It bears to mention that I am Caucasian (not just white...more like 'translucent') and my husband is 'Chicano'. That means he's 2nd generation American from a Spanish/Mexican set of grandparents. Needless to say, after our many years of marriage, we occasionally experience a bit of culture clash. For example, he's STILL mentioning how much he wished we could've had a couple more kids. He says it doesn't seem like home until you have 30 people in a 3 bedroom house. 

I don't take him seriously, though. My beloved husband is quite non-traditional in every other way. He's a Marine (inactive) and served in dual branches. While waiting to re-up in the Corps (he wanted to change his MOS to computers and had to wait for an opening...he was convinced they were the next big thing back in 1982 ;) he was accosted by an Army Recruiter who gave him his desired MOS, sent him to OCS and the Pentagon. He left years later as a 1st Lt. with a degree in Mainframe Software Architect. Rolling on down the list of non-traditional, my DH is an avid golfer (with a club championship under his belt. You GO, baby!!!) and a man who isn't afraid to critique his wife's crafts, help her when needed and be a competent handyman. All of this WHEN he's not on the links. 

The only real downside is that he's either working or on the golf course. This he does while I'm at home gardening and taking care of the yard. It would figure I'd marry the only man of Mexican descent who hates yard work. I can't seem to get anything right. Sigh.

Anyhoo...along came Liam, my high-functioning, Autistic, little mixed race bundle of love. 

And he's been stuck in our bed ever since.

Several times, I've TRIED to get that kid out, to no avail. It inadvertently ends with his little ham fist smacking me in the mouth or I'm awakened by him breathing heavily or coughing in my face. Sometimes, I think it's cute. MOST of the time, however, I consider asking my husband to move into Liam's room. Not because it would improve my sleep by freeing up an additional 6 inches or so, but because it would make me feel better to think he's stuck in a loft bed where Legos lay like snipers, ready to lodge themselves into places you'd rather them not, and in a room in which we always seem to find a new species of bug or weevil, every spring and summer. 

At the end of it all, I keep the complaining to a minimum and try to grab snatches of rest when I can. As so many have mentioned, it ends all too soon and I'll miss it. I truly believe that. So, while it can make me temporarily insane, I DO admit to many nights of lying in bed with my husband, Liam wedged firmly in-between, and with the bathroom light on but dimmed by the door we've left cracked, we watch him snoring away and talk about our joys, worries and hopes for our youngest one, and vow to work as hard as it takes to prepare him for an independent life as a man with Autism.

Of course, this discussion doesn't take place in whispers...we can pretty much carry on normal conversation as this kid can sleep through anything. Afterwards, we shut off the light and try to claim a few inches of bed space, as my little chunky monkey is stretched out the width of the bed and who is quick to our efforts of attempting to move him with a fist to the eye, or a foot to the solarplexus. 

All of which we consider some of the biggest blessings of all.


Ingredients: 

SU! Whisper White and Perfect Plum 
Perfect Plum Ink
Copper
Heat Gun
Sentiment "Let Your Soul" by DK Designs
Memory Box Poppy Die

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches #130


http://freshlymadesketches.blogspot.ca/2014/04/freshly-made-sketches-130-sketch-by.html

Just in time for Freshly Made Sketches #130, here's my entry. This sketch was a tough one. The layout confounded me. But, I'd just purchased this stamp set and figured I'd give it a shot. I stamped the image and colored the skirt and shoes with pencils. I coated the shoes with glossy accents to give them a satin shine, then put a touch of the same glitter I used for her top. I layered it over Pink Pirouette and embossed mat. Three handmade roses and a sentiment from Carte Postale complete the sketch. You still have time to enter FMS130!

Stampin Up' En Pointe and Carte Postale
Stampin Up' Pink Pirouette, Whisper White
Memento Black Ink
Handmade roses in white and pink

Entered into
Freshly Made Sketches #130

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Impression Obsession Challenge-GREEN

This IO challenge is one I hadn't done in awhile and I'm not sure if the fact I chose to do this one will end up a good or bad thing.

I cut the frame but left the top attached. I painted the front with crackle paint, embossed a soft yellow mat, cut my Impression Obsession vase, hollyhocks and branches using white, pear pizzazz and garden green. I colored the hollyhocks with copics. The idea I had in mind was the little chotchkies that my grandmother always had sitting on little what-not shelves throughout her house. 

Thanks for the challenge, IO. Glad to be back!!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

CASEd Mother's Day Mini

Yeah...the pink is very...um...pinky???? Actually, I sprayed ONE coat of Tattered Angels Party Pink Glimmer Mist and boy howdy, it was one HELL of a party! A Pepto Bismol party, but party nonetheless. I put THREE coats of white acrylic paint over the ONE coat of pink. Can you imagine what it looked like? I hope not. This is my first mixed media attempt and I used the walkthrough from butterfly kisses. I also CASEd her book. The walkthroughs are here

One thing I learned is that if you purchase the G45 12x12, 2 8x8's, the 6x6 and all the chipboard, stickers, pocket tags and banners, you'll have one AWESOME mini book! Never mind that it'll cost you about 50 bucks per book!! It'll make you look like the crafting goddess everyone thinks I am!! (They DO think that...right?)  Thanks G45...thanks for creating all of this with only a crafter's happiness in mind, and not for filthy profit like the rest!! GAK!







This book was pretty easy...the entire thing isn't here, just in case mamacita decides to check out my blog. It was time consuming but I case a lot from butterfly kisses because she uses lots of accessories and her projects don't require the heavy artistic talent like xannero and myautumnsunset
and for that, I'm TOTALLY appreciative!!

INCREDIBLE DEAL ALERT!!!!


I got 5 pocket pages, cut from G45 new lightweight chipboard and, with shipping, it was just over 4 bucks!!!! Becky of Becky's craft room (beckyscraftroom@yahoo.com) does custom work for regular prices. She's got more Accucut stuff than...well...Accucut! Custom dies, etc. Also has a Pazzles and tons of items on hand or custom made, most with same-day shipping. I have not been compensated for this endorsement, btw. I'm just sharing the deals, baby! It's heaven for me because I have no intention of purchasing an Accucut or their dies for the occasional minis I do. But it's cheaper to order from her than doing it myself. How? Because you dull your cutting blades, find it impossible to cut AND score on chipboard, etc. She also has supplies. Send her an email and tell her Carmen-your personal icon and cult personality for the new millineum-suggested you purchase from her. You can also tell her that pretty much anything your idol (me) says to do, you find yourself compelled to do it. Well, you get the drift.

That's it for this project...I'll post the rest of the pics after Mother's Day.


Remember, I love YOU! If you love ME, please subscribe to my blog!! I'll return the favor!! If not, I'll hunt you down and go all Katniss Everdeen on your a**. That's right...a la' Hunger Games. So don't take chances...subscribe today! Mwaaah!


Diary of A Desperate Housewife-Easter Greetings



Spring.
It’s a time of rebirth and renewal.
That is, unless you happen to be me and stuck with your Kid’s first grade spring recital.
It began with a phone call.
“I’m so glad I caught you at home.” The familiar, patronizing voice oozed from the receiver. 
“No habla ingles.” I said, desperately.
“You are so funny.” Ms. Parisi said in a voice that let me know I was in no way amusing to her.
Ms. Parisi was the Kid’s teacher and had been for the last two years. She loathed me and was so professional in making me feel incompetent, I knew her management position would be safe even if the Devil did decide to downsize Hell.
“We need a parent to coordinate the spring recital.”
“Uh, I really don’t know anything about stuff like that. Really.” I tried to keep the panic out of my voice.
Ms. Parisi ignored me. “We need you to put together the play. The other volunteers will meet you this afternoon at three.”

When I arrived, the other parents were staring at me accusingly.
“Hi, any ideas for the play?” I said, in what I hoped was a calm voice.
There was a mutinous muttering but I made sure not to look them directly in the eyes so certain tragedy, probably involving dismemberment, was temporarily avoided.
One mother finally spoke up. “There’s this cute play about an Easter egg trying to find a basket he belongs to. He’s all sorts of colors so the blue eggs don’t want him and neither do the red. In the end, he realizes how unique he is and how much he has in common with everyone. It’s all about learning to be happy in your own skin.”
One of the other mothers threw her a disgusted look. “Is that skin botoxed? If so, some people here should be awfully comfortable already.”
“Okay, ladies.” I tried to sound firm but friendly. “We have to get a recital going here. It’s the Easter Egg with the identity issues play. Is everyone in agreement?”
I took their heavy silence as an affirmative.
“I think it would be cute to have someone dress up as the Easter bunny and hand out treats before the show.” A woman spoke up from the back. “I’d be glad to do it!”
I jumped on her offer at once, completely ignoring the wide eyes and slight head shakes of the other parents.
“Terrific. Rehearsal starts tomorrow at three.”
I managed to walk nonchalantly to the door, feeling the weight of their glares. Once outside, I broke into a run.


The opening night of the play found me struggling to refrain from mayhem directed onto my own offspring.
“Mommy, this play is really stupid.” The Kid tried to put his hands on his hips but was prevented from doing so by the egg costume he wore.
“Look, Kid. Eddie the Egg is a great play. Well, maybe not great but the dance routine that Karen’s two daddies put together really gives it a spark.” I said, trying to stuff more newspaper through the Kid’s armpit holes.
“The dance routine is dumb too. What’re jazz hands, anyway?” He sulked.
“Look, I don’t like it anymore than you do and if I’d known my karma would involve my being roped into this, I certainly would’ve done things a little differently like donate a kidney or eyeball just for the heck of it. Both would be less painful than this.”
I pushed the Kid toward his basket and took a final look around. The play was done and I felt confident I’d finally shown Ms. Parisi that I wasn’t a total waste of atmosphere. Feeling pretty good about myself in general, I watched as the Easter Bunny came hopping through the back of the auditorium doors to the delight of the children in the audience. I had to say the volunteer mom was doing a great job. She was really getting into it. She hopped, then danced a bit, tossing candy to the kids as she worked the crowd.
“She’s great!” I said enthusiastically to two other mothers nearby.
They raised their eyebrows in unison and stared over my shoulder.
The Easter Bunny was now gyrating and slinging candy at everyone. The candies were hard and the people who were getting pelted were crying out in pain.
“My eye!” someone yelled.
As if that were her cue, the Easter Bunny stopped and removed her costume head. Several children screamed in horror. The screams were followed by moans of disgust as the Bunny threw up in her basket. Then she replaced her costume head, stumbled to the nearest seat and collapsed. I could hear her snores from backstage.
“That’s MaryAnn.” One mother said. “She’s supposed to be in rehab but skipped out.”
“We tried to tell you.” The other mother said, accusingly.
Mercifully, the parent acting as stage director was on top of things and sprung into action. The lights went out and the kids took the stage. Half of them spent the entire play trying to either stuff newspaper back into their costumes or remove it entirely. The dance number was hit but only because the kids refused to dance and Karen’s two daddies performed the entire routine on the floor in front of the stage, jazz hands and all.
Eddie the Egg decided to join up with the blue eggs instead of the multi-colored ones and, halfway through the play, the Bunny woke up and started to sing Barbara Streisand’s ‘People’.
The audience sat, frozen. The chaos on stage ground to a halt.
“Hey, we’re through. You need to clap.” An angry, red egg yelled at the crowd.
I’m sure that, at some point, Ms. Parisi took the stage and ‘thanked’ me for my efforts; I wouldn’t have known. I dragged the Kid out the emergency exit and sped home where I tossed the Kid, egg costume and all, into bed.
“But Mommy, how am I supposed to sleep like this?”
“The same way I deal with going to sleep with the same man who promised to love and cherish me forever, then took away my call waiting, which is why I’m in this state of humiliation. You’ll find a way to cope.”
When my husband came home, I was curled up on the couch in a fetal position and unable to speak.
He stared for a moment, sighed and handed me a bag. “I figured. That’s why I brought you this.”
Inside, there was a chocolate bunny and a bottle of vodka.
I might make it through Easter, after all. 

(Do you love me? I love you!! I'll love you even more if you subscribe to my blog!!! I'll even return the favor!! MWAAAAH!)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pink-Eye, Nits and the Joys of Crafting

Yeah, yeah...I know. It's been over a month! I gave so many people hope!! Hope that the silliness I regurgitate on this blog, might somehow be on permanent hiatus!

But how could I do that to you?

We ALL need aggravating people in our lives. Think about it...if there were suddenly no irritating people, you wouldn't appreciate the wonderful things in your life! Like hot baths, clean clothes and anti-anxiety meds!!

People like me are your own personal silver polish rag! You hate you have to use the filthy thing, but BOY...does that silver shiiiiine?!?!?!?!?!?!

Wait...did I really just compare myself to a silver polishing rag? Crap. Apparently, this break made me a little rusty with my metaphors. My bad. Sorry.

I have a wedding coming up and, as a special request, the Bride requested a handmade card from me! She didn't give me an invitation to the wedding, but at LEAST she likes my work, even if she doesn't like me!



Kidding...I told her I couldn't come due to having pink-eye. I love pink-eye...between it and lice, there's no better way to get out of pretty much any function if people think your kids have been exposed. But that's another instructional and inspirational story for another day.

The past month, I became (re)addicted to mini albums. I made 3: One with my Sizzix Ornate Tri-Fold Card die, with a tie binding, one with the hidden hinge system and pocket pages, and one with the Cinch binding system.

Ok...the Cinch SHOULD'VE been used but it turned out that my husband had to DRILL HOLES BY HAND along the edge of the book. This was a lesson in punching holes before decorating your chipboard pages. Sigh.

I CASEd (and when I say 'copy', I mean COPY-Hey-it's how I learn, homies!) from youtube tutorials by a girl, mybutterflykisses, who works for Graphic 45. I'll put her link at the bottom. Her work is mostly papercrafting and decorating....it's not heavy duty artistic like another girl from the design team whom I adore (xannero?) but find CASEing her impossible. She's untouchable. But butterfly kisses girl is more my style...the more stuff you put on there, the better it looks, and we ALL know I'm all about heaping as many accoutrements as possible on any given work. Here's a look-see at my work this past month:

Graphic 45 Easter Shadowbox

  (CASEd from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orSypfrFCgw)




I used Graphic 45 Sweet Sentiments paper. The large, white flower is one of my 'scunch' flowers, the tiny white ones are punches, the rest are a' la Michaels. I used flocking and stickles to bring out the inside (btw...found the little clay planting pots at Michaels and painted with Tim Holtz white crackle paint. The miniature flowers I took and arranged, sticking them into some clay at the bottom and filling up the pot with glossy accents) and used about 14 pounds of Mod Podge on everything. I'm not sure if I like Mod Podge because it works or because the smell is a bit attractive. Hmmm.

Bird Song album with hidden hinge. CASEd from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMLmeM97lNM

Here's the album cover and the top to the paper mache' box I covered with paper and decorated to put the book in.



NOW...I've got to include this link because this girl blows me away. ALL of her stuff is done WITHOUT the expensive G45 stuff. This video is the one I saw first and desperately wanted to CASE. She is phenomenal. Her name is Paveenah. Here's her video re: Bird Song. Do yourself a favor and check her out. Btw...she doesn't bother with chipboard! She takes old BOOKS and makes her albums!! Wait until you see!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8mBk2xWp4o&list=UUw8JT5cnKNNELWH0or4gPzg


 Next, my sister's album. Made from a pad of tea party paper and the idea for using the die and the tie hinge system came from butterfly kisses. I stumbled on it one day and now can't find it. She has over 600 videos. Give me a break!!! BUT, I DID happen to stumble on THIS video and any time someone b*tches that you have too much stuff, here ya go!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yzfyUAkgN0  You and I will never have to be worried about overkill after seeing this. HAH!








I'll save the other mini album until I give it to my mom. I don't want to blow the surprise. :)

That's all for today...you people have worn my a** OUT! Because of your demands, I have to eat some cake and take a nap. I hope you're happy with the way you've pushed me to the brink!

WAIT! I thought I was talking to my husband for a sec!! Wrong script!! Let me try again.

Thanks for stopping by today! See you soon!