Monday, September 29, 2014

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, adieu


Oh, how I hate this is the last challenge in which I am a Color Challenge Goddess!

Sorry...not 'Goddess'. I meant "Guest Designer". Got a little mixed up. They both have the letter 'G' and some vowels.

For my final project, I bring you the Color Challenge Christmas Carousel! At just over 12 inches, this sucker is the largest project I've ever papercrafted.

For now. heh heh

Remember last week's challenge? Of course you don't!! That was my PLAN!! I had to do something to erase the shame and failure I felt after throwing a tantrum (and then my project!) and having only a couple of hours to come up with an ornament. I'd appreciate if you'd believe that I did all that on purpose, and that I really didn't produce something that lackluster...that it was only to lower your expectations so I could spring THIS on you. It would REALLY make things easier for me if you'd be so kind as to believe that bull hockey.

Now, for those of you who saw my "Ibuprofen in a Pez Dispenser" listed as one of my techniques, I'll have you know that I was making a joke. I would NEVER keep something like Ibuprofen in a Pez Dispenser!

It's my anti-anxiety meds that go in the Pez.

Before you start yelling at me about safety issues, I'll have you know that my children are never at risk for accidentally taking any meds from said Pez. My children go pale and threaten to apply for a foster parent if I so much as TRY to make them take a VITAMIN. So, no danger there. Besides, keeping my meds in this way actually HELPS the medicine work more effectively! I mean, really..,how anxious can you really be when you go to take your meds and you have to tilt the head of Homer Simpson and have him regurgitate a pill through his neck? It's downright hilarious!

Keeping a med-filled Pez Dispenser is also convenient. Just ask my Mother-in-Law. No, really...you'll have to ask her. She's not really speaking to me. But hey...had SHE kept her 'nerve pills' in a Pez Dispenser instead of sewn into her bra lining (which I-trying to be helpful-put into the washing machine) then she would've had her pills and we would still have our twice a year visits!

What? I'm a little choked up! I am NOT laughing! You're imagining things.

I also maintain it's much safer to keep my meds stored in my PD. It's not like anyone would think to steal it...they're looking for cash and ACTUAL medicine bottles! In fact, I don't think ANYONE would EVER steal a Pez Dispenser. What would they want with it? The candy?? Those little brick-like (in shape AND consistency!) pellets that look like what a chipmunk would eat and a rabbit would poop? GAK!

Well, my friends, it looks like I've not only come to the end of the challenge, but the end of this story. Which I had no intention of telling. But the strangest things happen when I drink wine and then decide to spray paint random embellishments metallic gold!!

In closing, I've got to thank the Color Challenge Coordinator, Hostesses and DT. Barbara, Margaret, Karen, Becky, Vicki and Mary, I will NEVER forget this experience and the fact you asked me means more than you'll ever know. I want to send all of you big hugs and MUCH love! This is the FIRST time I've been selected to do anything like this and it meant the world to me. Love also to Pat, the other Guest Designer, and one fine artist! Today, Pat and I will bask in the glow of glory. Tomorrow, we'll be sobbing on each others shoulder.

Not for long, though. I've got my Pez Dispenser and I'm NOT afraid to use it.


By the way, THIS is my craft room after being hunkered down for 3 days with this project and a few smaller ones going on. Welcome to MY world! LOL

The DARK side of crafting...


 


My Last Resort

So, I'm sitting here today and I called out for my husband's help. I try NEVER to do that. Mostly, with marriage being pretty much a game of 'one up', unless I'm really far ahead (which is usually the case) I try to not tap into that credit line by allowing myself to get indebted to him. But I finally had to break down and ask for his help in fixing my webcam so I can produce my FIRST crafting video (which will probably make me insufferable...well, more insufferable than usual...) and I knew that to make this happen, I’d have to tap into the reserves to get a little technical help.

I’d like to point out how incredibly desperate I am to do a video. The last time I cashed out all of my ‘one-up’ balance was when I broke down and finally begged him to install a program on my computer that would make it possible to unzip that 772 vintage collage files I’ve been collecting for when I’m brave enough to venture into mixed media. I’m telling you, it hurt.

I’d JUST come off a stellar week of hitting the jackpot of ‘one up’ points almost daily. There was the speaker in the attic that fell and punched a hole in the ceiling (I’d TOLD him just two days before that he should go check the attic because I heard some thumps) and then the meeting he missed with our insurance agent and, the coup d’├ętat, he forgot to pick up one of the kids from school.

I’m telling you people I could’ve opened my own CRAFT store with the bonus points from THAT week!

Sigh.

Now, I’m waiting for him to come solve all my webcam and software problems. I could hear the unbridled joy in his voice as he called to me to wait and that he’d be there to help me and that he’d also hang out edit the video for me.

If I weren’t so anxious to show everyone how marvelous I am on video, I’d be sick. SICK, I tell you.

So, flash forward to Monday afternoon.

It has been a downer of a week up to this point; the unzip program crashed, my video software isn’t handling marvelous-ness, apparently, and my children are still plotting against me. When they’re not asking for a ride somewhere or money or contacts that make their eyes red. Seriously. Red eyes. Santa is totally you-know-what this year.

But despite all that, I had ONE thing going for me. I kept thinking, “I’ve got this awesome card that I can’t WAIT to preview at the color challenge!”
I’d been working on it Friday and Saturday. It was 2 stairstep card with an entire 5 and ½ inch flat panel in the back. It sported a staircase with evergreen branches and poinsettias running down the railing, a window with greenery on top that looked out to a winter blue snowy skies and evergreen trees topped with snow (thank you, liquid applique!) and I’d just assembled the huge fireplace (with evergreen, Christmas ornament garlands, etc.) to take up the wall under the staircase on the second stair, when tragedy struck.

Side note: Ok. It wasn’t like an ‘Act of God’ or anything. I had a massive glue incident and I overreacted.

The first mistake I made was to panic and start pulling things apart. Of course, this would be the FIRST time that Glossy Accents completely dried in 2.5 seconds instead of the usual 7-10 and when the first rip occurred, I MIGHT have lost my temper and it COULD be that I ended up throwing my challenge entry against the wall at 7pm on Monday night when said entry is due in 3 hours. It’s POSSIBLE that I used words that were so bad that my own grandma would’ve been motivated to rise from the dead just to cut a switch and beat my tail.

PERHAPS it resulted in me (while still spewing a litany of profanities) having to pull together a chipboard ornament in 2 and ½ hours when something like this takes me a day of thinking about it and a couple of days to put it together.

Whatever the case MAY have been, I now present you with this ornament that is CASEd because I saw it a long time ago but have no idea who did it and, if I may be so blunt, I don’t care at this point.

In short, it’s been a long, long, LONG week. I NEED to go to bed, then arise in the morning to see the promise of a new day (as long as I see said promise after I have sufficiently caffeinated myself and taken the meds that that are pretty good about preventing me from tearing up challenge products..well, for the MOST part.) The bottom line is, I have to stop being an overachiever. I can’t do everything for everyone. I need to take better care of ME.

I see now that I really shouldn’t have pushed myself so hard.
That’s right…there was NO reason to force myself to get through an entire week completely sober. I certainly won’t make THAT mistake again!!


Just So's Y'all Know I WASN'T KIDDING!!!




 I want to start by thanking Mary and Peggy for not subjecting me to the Rack, expulsion or...even worse...a terse email, as the chaos (which is my life!) impinges on their running of the color challenge.

I love Mary and Peggy. I love all the girls at the CC. I'm sure that NONE of them expected the 'crazy' that seems to accompany me everywhere I go. Suffice it to say, however, that since next week is my last as a guest designer on CC, I am now working on TWO projects (with blank spaces for designated colors...and yes...I CAN do that! heh heh) and will not subject anyone (including ME) to last minute accidents that force me to look at a sentiment stamped askew for the rest of my life. Not to mention subject my OCD to said sentiment and work IT up into such a frenzy that I want to go fetal in the corner-with wine and chocolate (or bypass all the niceties and go straight to the Xanax) and rock myself to sleep.

I'm posting this because....(furtively looking around and lowering voice) I wanted you to know that I MAY, once and a while, exaggerate...um...things. SHHHHHHHH. Keep your voice down!

However, while I may 'take comedic license' (show biz and media word for 'lie like a rug') with the events of my life, I want you to know that there IS a bit of truth behind it.

Here lies the (unfinished) wreckage of my CC project for today. It's STILL lying on the table to my right, where I flung it in frustration before barreling down the path of the CASEd Christmas Ornament from a person I don't remember. I snapped this shot and as I began writing this, my DH walked in and said, "So. That's it? You know...it really doesn't look bad at all in the picture. You can't tell anything's wrong with it. You can't even tell those fold things (the first two stairsteps) are torn off and that you just pushed them together for the shot. You know, you could've just thrown some other stuff on it and faked it. It's not like you have to send it in to have anyone authenticate it."

With that, he walked out.

Sometimes, I wonder if he feels the homicidal vibes that are directed right at him...usually following moments such as these...and then I realize that he can't possibly sense them.

Because if he did, his A** would be running out of the house AND state, faster than you could blink.

I hope you appreciate this little peek into the 'cray-cray' that is my world. Don't get me wrong...I love it. I wouldn't survive in a traditional household. The DH says HE would and, as always, I encourage him to find one as quickly as he can. But for some reason, he stays.

Probably because HE'S the one with the big 'one-up' account balance, now. ;)

**NOTE**The sentiment that drove me (and my OCD) to distraction HAD to go. I ripped the flower and lace off and put new Honey paper (which turns to peach when you damped down the color with vanilla, it seems) on it. I have no idea what to fill the space with, but better a blank space than subjecting the two of us to that sentiment which brought neither 'Peace' nor 'Joy'. :)



Friday, September 19, 2014

Secret Garden #2-Nancy's Place





My very good friend Nancy is one of the people who keeps me crafting and I love her for that!

Even if I'm feeling a little burned out or frustrated because NO ONE is reading this blog, or like my MOJO ran off and filed a restraining order on me or the times when I look around at all the craft stuff I've accumulated and never figured out how to use and I don't know how to smuggle it OUT of the house now that DH is working from home, Nancy is ALWAYS there with a pat on the back and a sweet comment.

She really seems to like my work alot. Which IS troubling at times. Because, let's face it...my work is certainly not THAT stellar or groundbreaking. I wonder if Nancy's support is due to her having terrible taste in art or is due to her feeling sorry for me? Or both?

Like I REALLY care which one it is...she LOVES ME! HAH!

In all seriousness, I adore her and she IS one of the most supportive friends I've got. So, when I asked her what she would have in her Secret Garden, she said, "A swing and a brook".

Done!

Nancy's tree was made from clay, as was the swing bottom. Both were painted with different browns of distress stain. The brook is made of glossy accents and microbeads, the moss surrounding it is real. I LOVE the little turtle and frog playing around there! The book is Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights and, if you look closely at the leaves on the upper left, you MIGHT see a tiny Fairy flitting about.

Thank you to Nancy for this inspiration! And an even BIGGER thank you for your support!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jewely Box Guest Designer Color Challenge...Island Indigo, Cherry Cobbler, Soft Sky



I have to tell you this...I'm NEVER late for any challenge in which I'm a guest designer, and my projects are completed no later than a day in advance. For some reason, I had the WORST time trying to figure out what to do for this challenge!

I ended up uploading this 4 MINUTES before the final deadline. Holy crap. Talk about a mental block or what???

I think was did me in was 'Pinterest'. Seriously. I tend to stay away from Pinterest because it sucks my life away. I sat playing around on that thing for EIGHT...that's right....8 hours on Sat trying to come up with ideas!!!!

The moral of this story is this....*&*&% Pinterest! Stay away! Far, far away.

Oh! And do what makes you happy.

True dat.

MWAAAAAHHHH!

The Brocade Jewelry Box template is available HERE www.stampndesign.blogspot.com  Not only does she have amazing and VERY reasonably priced templates, Lynn is a professional, prize-winning artist and an advocate for Juvenile Diabetes Research.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

For the Hero in all of US.

 This is my 4th attempt at egg carton stone and my first on paper. I absolutely adore this technique! In fact, I have YET to do a video and I do believe THIS may have to be it! Especially when there's only one youtube video available and it's, well, different from my style. Ahem.

My Aunt lives about 20 minutes from me in an incredibly small town. Climax, North Carolina, is VERY rural. The gentle, rolling hills of the Uwharrie Mountains, happen one of the most special places in the world, to me. My Aunt and I are avid horseback riders and we have ridden over those hills, in the shadow of those mountains, and it truly is paradise.

My Aunt lives in an old, white farmhouse. It's REALLY in the middle of nowhere, it seems, and it's perfect. If you take your coffee and stroll out to sit on the front porch, you'll be amazed by how quiet it is. There isn't anyone in sight. It's just the sun, the quiet and the hills. If you look hard enough, you'll see something in the distance...it's actually a house. It can be easy to miss, but it's there. It is the home of Pat and John Waugh.

Pat and John Waugh may not be familiar names to you, and that's normal. Their daughter, Sandy Waugh, probably will not ring a bell either. Sandy grew up on their 90 acre farm, across from my Aunt, and would go on to marry Phil Bradshaw, a US Airways Pilot, and they would go on to set up their home in Greensboro, NC.

Sandy dreamed of being a Flight Attendant and would become one; first, for US Airways and then for United Airlines.

It's starting to sound familiar now, isn't it?

On September 11, 2001, Sandy Bradshaw was a stewardess on United Flight 93. She called her husband and told him that the plane was being hijacked and that some passengers had devised a plan to rush the hijackers, while she and another stewardess boiled water to throw on the hijackers.

I loved Michelle's challenge and found it absolutely appropriate and incredibly creative!! KUDOS, Michelle! I also found it allowed me to pay tribute to Sandy, and all the heroes who have lived and died among us.

Winston Churchill was a fascinating and brilliant man. The US owes much to him. I wanted to create this 'granite' wall, with his quote from the SU! set Courage. Which took me forever to find and that I paid WAY too much for, so that I could have this quote.

It was worth every penny.

I don't feel sad or somber, today. It's a day I remind my children that we can all be heroes by taking a stand for what is right. It doesn't have to be in a moment of duress, it can be the quiet strength to stand alone in truth, while the majority stands against you.

If we lean on our Faith, and the strength of each other, we can perform heroics every day and in many ways.

I genuinely feel that all of you here are sisters, and I stand with you now and always will. Here's to the heroes and the lessons they taught us. Here's to us and the lessons we will teach our children.

God Bless America.
America, Bless God.

Peace out. ;)



Impression Obsession Challenge "Beautiful, Stamped Backgrounds"


IO's new challenge is Beautiful Stamped Backgrounds. I began with using sticky canvas...yes...we're STILL having a fling, and I couldn't be happier! There's a lot to be said for consistency, and when I get this kind of fab consistency with sticky canvas, well, this could end up being a long term love affair.

I used by mini blenders and sponged Peeled Paint, Barn Door Red, Rusty Hinge and Wild Honey. The, I misted it until the colors blended then heat dried it. Then, using archival ink, I stamped IO Cover A Card stamp French Script

I cut the wheat out of watercolor paper that I'd used yellow ochre, a little red and lemon yellow on and adhered it with a glue dot. The sentiment is from IO and since the background was so saturated, I thought I'd stamp the sentiment on acetate. In person, it looks great! On camera, it looks like vellum. But it looks much better than having any solid color breaking up the flow of color or the script

A neutral ribbon finishes it off! More later...I've got 2 more big projects to knock out tonight!!!

Recipe:
Impression Obsession Cover A Card French Text CC151
Impression Obsession Wheat Die Die085-X 
Impression Obsession Sentiment We Gather Together CL406