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Monday, December 29, 2014

Why don't you come on over????

I don't know WHY I try the things I try, sometimes.

ESPECIALLY when those 'things' require Flower Soft.

It's no secret that Flower Soft and I are still somewhat estranged...granted, we tried to salvage our friendship after the nasty breakup we had, but we've tried.

I'm the one who called it off after a nasty incident involving Flower Soft and my computer keyboard. When I found it too close for comfort with my electronic ebosser, I knew it was over. But I hoped we could try to at LEAST work together occasionally.

I thought we could...until today.

Once again, I was sliding under the finish line of Impression Obsessions 'gift' challenge. and wanted to submit this snow globe made from a plastic ornament. It was just AWESOME, until I called on my old 'friend' Flower Soft, to give me the gorgeous look of snow.

Well, it gave me 'snow'...EVERYWHERE. On my clothes, in my hair, in my water bottle and in my dinner of hummus and whole wheat pita (no worries...I'm a chubby girl...a little Flower Soft in my diet ain't gonna kill me) AND on the sides of the entire globe.

Needless to say, there's very little I can do at this point to rectify the situation and get a clearer shot. For if there's one thing that Flower Soft loves more than me, it's static cling.

So, I'll enter it anyway and as there's still time to come on over here http://mitrafriant.typepad.com/impression_obsession_news/2014/12/challenge-quick-holiday-gifts.html and join in to win!

If not, then I understand.

Better than your Flower Soft ever will.

Ingredients:

Impression Obsession Winter House Stamp H1745
Impression Obsession Let it Snow Stamp B8145

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Savannah Says Merry Christmas



Look...this is simply a 'quickie card' I made as I sit here waiting for Santa to spread joy and cheer to my children!

And maybe touch up a sister's wine glass while he's at it.

I've been dying to play with this stamp since October and am happy to get the chance to abuse it with my lackluster copic skillz. I used stickles on the ornaments, belt and headband (and a touch in HER wine glass...so pay it forward, Claus!) and topped it off with SU! Merry cut in gold mirror board.

This is going to be a short post because my kids are tearing down the house in their excitement and I've got to put a stop to it immediately.

Now...where DID I put that benadryl????

heh heh

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SCS Holiday Sparkle CAS303 Challenge

Before anyone gets excited, no animal was harmed in the making of this gift card/ty note purse holder thingie.

A kid or two, maybe, but never animals.

I don't know about you, but I believe in karma. You know, the whole 'what you do comes back to you' thing. And I also believe that our Lord is the one who created it and set it in motion, simply because He knew we were such numbskulls that He'd NEVER have time to do anything else if He had to smack us on the back of our heads every time we did something wrong. It was much easier to say, "Verily, I say unto thee, I shall have your actions return unto you and kick you in the rear-end and that should act as a reminder to get your act together."

I'm pretty sure that actual verse is in Corinthians or something.

Personally, I think it's a FABULOUS concept! Most of the time. Sure, I don't like when I get some negative served up to remind me I was a donkey's behind and that I need to make it right, but overall, it's great. Except for one thing. And I've had many a discussion with God AND Jesus over my ideas for improvement. Needless to say, they haven't exactly made overall sweeping changes based on my suggestions, but at least they're not putting me on hold or sending me to voice mail immediately, anymore.

That means something, right????

You see, think about how incredibly effective karma would be if, when it was served RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE PERSON THAT HAD TO SUFFER IN DEALING WITH THE DONKEY'S BEHIND IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Think about it...a driver cuts you off and acts like a jerk. Under the old karmic plan, that person may have someone else cut THEM off several weeks down the road. Even worse, they may have already forgotten that they'd been a donkey's posterior and think that they're the actual victim in all this.

Under my new and improved plan, we would see instant karma take place, bringing a sense of pleasure to the victim and serve not only retribution to the perpetrator, but it would leave no doubt as to what they've done AND have to suffer the embarrassment of having the rest of us pointing and laughing.

How effective would THAT be??

Needless to say, I believe my Father and Savior are finally taking this idea seriously, and I'm hoping for a trial period.

Because I can tell you that, after suffering for YEARS by stepping on my 8 year old's Legos for years, (usually while rushing through the house to grab a ringing phone or deal with something that needed immediate attention) and winding up on the floor, clutching a foot and howling, it did me a WORLD of good to see this kid step on my stamp a ma jig and, while hopping around yelling, stub his other toe on my door.

Don't look at me like that! I made sure he was fine! And by that, I mean I watched him and asked if he was okay BEFORE bursting into laughter. So, see? I'm not THAT terrible a parent!

But let me assure you that I launched into "AHA! THAT'S what you get when you don't pick up your legos like Mommy tells you! Now you know how mommy and daddy feel when they step on an entire series of Legos just trying to get to the bathroom at night! NOW you know why mommy threatens to throw all your legos away! Now, where is your father? If karma is in the house, he's got some payback coming too!"

By that time, he was over it and staring at me in that way that left no doubt as to what a donkey heinie he thought I was, and he left.

So, you see? This isn't such a bad idea! And as long as it doesn't apply to ME, I can't wait to see the ball get rolling on this!

NOW...to the important stuff! This purse template can be found HERE on SCS http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/fo...103-post1.html I scored it and used rhinestones for sparkle, along with a simple gold chain for a handle. I glued the fur trim onto it, and made the little 3x3 cards with embossed white paper mounted with scotch mounting tape over plain white cardstock, with only the 'Peace' diecut attached with glue dots. Great for gift cards or small notecard set!

I'm entering this in CAS303 Holiday Sparkle challenge, as I'm not ONLY working on my CAS presentations, but it's the only badge I haven't gotten yet and my OCD won't give me a moment's peace until I do. heh heh


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Whaaaaa????? It's CHRISTMAS????????


Lots more to this post in a bit, but I NEED to make the challenge deadline! Impression Obsession Challenge CAS Holiday Cards is the FIRST challenge I've made since the last challenge (oddly enough, it was Impression Obsession's as well!) on Oct. 29th. I'll give you all the details, but first, let's go with the important stuff!

I LOVE the Santa Horses stamp from IO! I colored it using my Copics (combos to follow later tonight) and knew from the beginning that I wanted to make it into an ornament. Using a circle die, I cut it out and a larger gold mirror paper circle to back it.

THEN, as I always seem to do, I wondered if it were possible to make it look more like an ornament...you know, like glass...and rounded.

T'hus began my experiment this afternoon that actually worked in my favor...for ONCE. :)

I used 2 layers of mounting tape in the middle, several pieces of single mounting tape around it, and scor tape all around the edges to hold them tight. It's not as rounded as I'd like, but at least I know I can add to that next time. Then, I put a thick coat of glossy accents over the front and VOILA! Not too bad for someone who hasn't held a Copic or made a card for 2 months, huh?

I PROMISE I've got more to add, but need to get this loaded and rush to my hair appointment. I've never had a grey hair in my life....at least not one that any of you will every see. HAH!

Impression Obsession  Santa Horses J7042
Impression Obsession  Pine Branch Die 021-N
Impression Obsession Happy Holidays B8784

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Grand Theft Auto....with Squirrels



Uh-Oh. I lost track of time. I couldn't help myself!!! I just wanted to do ONE more entry into Impression Obsession's challenge "Shades of Fall".   

Not that this will matter to my 8-year-old...he knows I read books to him EVERY night. Without fail. Because I'm too scared to fail. That kid can exact revenge like no other. And he's upstairs now...plotting. The last time I pulled this, he insisted on the same Marley the Dog book for 3 weeks i a row. By the end of it, I knew every word and found myself trying to have conversations with adults in which my voice would shift into the different voices I used for the characters. It wasn't pretty. Neither was the intervention.

So...without further ado, here's my watercolor piece for Impression Obsession. Whom I love, but my fear of my kid and dog books far outweigh my need to write more.

Love ya, mean it, MWAAAH!


Impression Obsession
Pumpkin Pair E9419
Cover A Card Clouds CC091 
We Gather Together CL406
Clouds DIE068-A
Wheat DIE085-X
Classic Truck DIE218-I
Squirrel Set DIE213-D
Grass Border DIE060-I
                                  

Friday, October 24, 2014

IO Challenge Shades of Fall

I feel like it has been awhile since I've done any challenges. I've been uber focused on things that don't need said focus...like Ebola, ISIS and the kids.

Oh, I'm just kidding!  Of COURSE I know to be focused on Ebola!!!

Anyway, this marks the first time I've entered a challenge with a 3D project and I LOVE it! I've not used paper in my tins before...only plastic and other materials. But I wanted to enter IO's "Shades of Fall" challenge so, here it is!

I used alcohol inks to create the colors for the leaves. Butterscotch, Rust, Crimson and green (which didn't quite make it to the party) and cut several sets. Shaped them on the mat with the stylus and let loose with the glossy accents.

I made the tree prior and let air dry for 24 hours. Then painted it brown. I trimmed the tail on the cardinal to make it fit.

I colored the deer with pan pastels, the tree with Distress Paint and cut an additional piece of glossy paper with alcohol ink for the lid area. The sentiment went on with Staz-On and it was DONE.

Now that I've realized the time wasted worrying about Ebola and ISIS (who really should think about dropping by...I'm hot flashing like a nuclear reactor and I would REJOICE at having someone to give me some target practice with my new S&W .380 w/ laser sighting) I'll try to get back in the game.

As for worrying about the kids, that remains pretty useless. See, they're ALWAYS doing something that is worrisome. I'll wait until they stop all of that and settle down to be normal.

THEN I'll start to worry.

IO Products Used:

We Gather Together CL406
Deer Trio DIE080-N
Leaf Cluster DIE066-C
Birch Trees DIE079-U

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

VOGUE II

How I LOVE the advent of the shadowbox! This is the companion piece to the first piece I made for my mother, which has 2 ladies from this 1960's Vogue sewing pattern. I coped the women, fussy cut them, then put lots of crystals, pearls and sparkle. It's a quick project with lots of personality!

Whatever happened to the A-line dress, anyway? For chubby girls, like yours truly, who carries LOTS of fat in her stomach area but still has decent legs, the A-line was a great female equalizer. Why? Because EVERYONE who wore the dang thing LOOKED pregnant!! I could've held my own in the 1960's A-line. Granted, they still make them, but not usually in sizes larger than a 2. Oh, well.

This makes a charming, 'thrifty' gift for friends OR for your own craft room or laundry! Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vietri for IC Challenge

 I have emerged from my self-imposed exile, where I spent days upon days in my 'art studio' (aka 'junky space where I craft') meditating on my first projects as a member of the Dirty Dozen and what I could improve on.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Oh, Lord...I barely got through that one without crying so hard the tears ran down my legs (TY, Susie, for teaching me that one!!)

I've been in the old craft room, yes. But ruminating? Meditating? Only if those words came to mean "Eating ho-ho's while doing some online shopping with the new credit card my DH has no clue exists." If that's the case, then by all means, yes...I was DEFINITELY 'meditating.'

The IC challenge was Vietri. My aunt Ruth owns a shop in Manteo (the Outer Banks) and has sold a few pieces here and there. I've loved this brand for a LONG time. Here's my inspiration piece http://www.vietri.com/natura-acorn-large-oval-platter.

I took espresso paper and translucent embossing paste and a tree stencil and embossed the image on the brown paper. When it was dry, I covered it with 3 coats of acrylic white paint.

My original intent was to sand off the top of the embossing and let the brown peek through. Unfortunately, I learned too late that 3 coats of acrylic paint is a bit too much for my SU! sanding block to handle.

Never fear, though...remember that mama done bought herself a Dremel and that sucker not only has a sanding attachment, it's ELECTRIC!!!

Not ONLY did it make short work of sanding the top layer of paint off the embossed image, it ALSO does wonders on sanding down toenails, gel or acrylic nails and rough paper edges.

Ed. Note: While your paper edges will be smooth if you use the Dremel, there won't be much paper left after the fact. Not to mention the first 2 or 3 layers of skin on your fingers will join the scraps of paper fluff on the floor, as paper is a little too flimsy to be using a Dremel to sand it. If you do this then, like the author of this post, you deserve it for inventing crisis in which to justify your use of power tools. That is all.

At the end of it all, I tied a chocolate cotton (?) ribbon around it and ran a piece of copper through my big shot, over a leaf on the SU! Bigz die. I heated it with my heat gun (it would've been better had my DH approved my request for the acetylene torch I've been begging for, but it was not to be...at least for NOW-evil grin) and attached it with mounting tape.

I'm not sure how I pulled off 6-pretty intense-projects in less than 10 days, when it takes me 2 days to make a card and get it photographed for the IC challenge. But I AM trying to catch up as best I can, you can rest assured. Just be patient with me as I get my groove back.

Besides, you can only work so fast when one hand is constantly holding a ho-ho.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Color Challenge Guest Designer Redux

Oh, boy. What a day.

You know, there's nothing more in this world that irritates me more than a great day being constantly interrupted by need for parenting.

I have three boys. Every day, I leave them food AND water (hey...they have their own bowls!) and I have purchased every game system and handheld electronic ever invented just so I am free from parenting.

Don't look at me like that. You tell me a more thankless job than parenting. Go ahead! See? As a parent, it isn't possible for you to do anything right, understand 'what it's like' because 'it wasn't like that when YOU were my age' and last but not least "you wouldn't REALLY abandon us at Wal-Mart, would you?"

Wait. That one didn't belong there. But, for the record, I assure them that I would NEVER abandon them at Wal-Mart.

I'd make sure it was Target, or somewhere similar.

Every kid needed something 'this second' today. One broke a rule and didn't get to stay after school for one of his activities. He made it a point to skulk around and give me looks as if I had sentenced him to be drawn and quartered. The middle one wanted to show me magic trick after magic trick and every single time I looked for the youngest, I caught him trying to slip outside without pants.

SIDENOTE: The youngest is high functioning Autistic. For a long time, I thought (and was told) that autistic kids had a sensory aversion to clothes and liked to be naked. I don't buy that anymore. Because, if you think about it, who really WANTS to wear pants anyway?

Just as I was getting a handle on the color challenge, the DH calls and asks if I'm ready to go to the PTA meeting.

Needless to say, I was a little...okay...maybe quite a bit late in getting my card in. Which isn't the most polite thing to do since you happened to be asked to appear as a Guest Designer AGAIN by the challenge hostess.

I also might've been a little behind because I spent 2 days trying to figure out how to one-up myself after building a CAROUSEL!! How am I supposed to do that??? Sigh.

The colors were difficult for my card because I went the Christmas/Wreath route. Finally, in desperation, I sponged orange and yellow and a little red and stuck the wreath on 2 pieces of mounting tape and called it a day.

Thanks so much for asking me back this week!!!


Friday, October 3, 2014

Fabrege' Eggs


I found this tutorial here http://artfullymusing.blogspot.com/2...ge-making.html and she has some real beauties. She also made a 3D egg and, although there's no real tutorial, I'm going to try my hand at that as well. Her egg 'design papers' are collages and they can be purchased if you like. The rest was me finding out about (and falling in love with) Dresden gold ornaments and accents, as well as finally playing with changing the colors of metals that I learned here at SCS a long time ago and never did!! But I'm also dabbling in a little bit of mechanics and engineering with mixed media and I have to tell you...I'm simply enthralled.


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’état, 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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A stationary set for Nana...

My mother has two friends, Susan and Better, who have known me since I was 'in utero'. Literally. Their families are as much mine and mine are theirs.

Nana is 91 years old. She still drives herself to the Senior Center and leads a very full and active life. I have only EVER known her as Nana. I think I was in my 20's when I figured out her name was really 'Eleanor'.

Susan, Nana's daughter, had my son Austin visit over the summer. They indulged his love for baseball with several gifts and played ball with him. They treated him so well, I thought I'd never get him to come home! :)

Both Susan and Nana are letter writers. It's becoming a lost art. When I saw this tutorial on Splitcoast, I knew exactly what I wanted to send Susan as a Thank-You gift. It turned out to be the best gift I've ever given.

When Susan and I talked, I asked her if she thought Nana would love one and Susan immediately said yes. So, here's Nana's.

I'm just grateful I can do something for her mom, as she did for my son.

Thank you Susan!!



Color Challenge Guest Designer Week 2



(Note card set of 6 included in the purse)

I have to start by saying that this is probably the ONLY thing that hasn't blown up in my face this week. I found this little purse template (to hold note cards or other gifts) here http://www.creationsbyar.com/HAUTE-TOTE_p_8.html and thought I could make something work with these colors.

I scored the diamond quilt pattern on my SU! scoring thingie. What I think made the biggest different was using my tiny mosaic EF (that I LITERALLY had to order from England...on ebay!) on the handles and bottom, then using clear embossing powder. It gives the appearance of leather! I had an SU! frame and punched the pool party for the front embellishment and also did the leather effect. The flower is technically a Bachelor Button, but I punched all of it in Cajun Craze and used the same ink to give it color variation. The 'coin purse' template is also included and can be made to actually hold something.

Trust me when I say, I NEEDED this to work. As I said before, all of these little things kept going wrong. A sick kid who had to be picked up, making me miss an appt, rain, more rain (which kept the kids indoors this weekend, as well as make my hair transition from spiral curly into a full-on Afro) and other annoying things.

But the last straw was when my Peerless Watercolors arrived 2 days ago.

I was delighted, to say the least. Even though they were really just a bunch of old-looking rectangles, I'd heard EVERYONE rave about how splendid they were and I'd been DYING to get some!! It had taken several weeks of embezzling from the grocery budget, so my expectation were over the top. The first thing I did was begin arranging them in a portfolio. Granted, the colors looked dull, but I knew they would explode when I got them on paper. Imagine my surprise when I barely got any color and the the piece holding the color began to pill up!!! The colors were terrible...weak and not vibrant. I was devastated.

I wrote to the place from where I purchased the Peerless and explained my situation. I even included a short video, showing what was happening as I tried to pick up color-in vain.

This morning, I received a response via email. I thought they would either offer me a refund or exchange...I would've bet they wanted me to ship mine back since they were obviously defective!

I opened the email and here's what it said:

"HI Carmen,
You are using the wrong side of the watercolors. You need to flip the squares over, and use the side the has the pigments on it. The pigmented side doesn’t reflect the color, so it may look a little funny, but that is where all the color is, and why you are having such poor results."

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

To be fair, you'd think that the color would be on the side of, well, the COLOR. But let me be your cautionary tale (for the thousandth time) regarding your Peerless. ;)

Despite everything, I really felt this was a great color challenge...don't you agree??? I included more pics in my gallery. Once again...ty for asking me to be a guest designer!! I'm having a BLAST!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Rainbow Pony for Casey

This week, we're heading to New Zealand to brighten up the day of a little girl named Casey. Casey LOVES Rainbow Ponies (so do I! What a coincidence!) along with My Little Pony, so with that in mind, I allowed myself to indulge in a little whimsy. Which, if interpreted, means I had an excuse to whip out the stickles and use enough of then to cause a national shortage.

But hey!!! SHE WANTED A RAINBOW PONY. SHE IS ALSO 3, WHICH MEANS SHE LIKES PINK AND SPARKLES. SO, YOU TELL ME WHAT TO DO, GENIUS!

Ooops....sorry....got a little defensive there.

I adore doing cards like this. I grew up a tomboy, but then grew into a girlie girl at 40. But I've always been a child at heart. Even my ex-husbands have been known to say that! In a sense. Instead of 'childlike', they actually used the word 'immature'. Meh...semantics.

I had been looking for a reason to order this stamp. I originally saw it here http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/ga...&ppuser=137985
The fabulous Julie made it and I couldn't stop thinking about how much I loved it!

But ordering stamps is getting harder and harder. Not due to lack of money...I'm always broke! That NEVER stopped me! It's actually due to my husband being a lot more aggressive in analyzing our bank acct expenditures. Where it used to be easy to convince him that 'Memory Box' was an online photo storage cloud subscription and that Impression Obsession was a site for job seekers improving their interview skills, it's getting harder and harder to throw him off track.

But until he sits me down and says 'No more' (highly unlikely) or shuts off my credit cards (likely) I'll just keep on working on using a little more self-restraint and resisting impulse buying.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH....oh my.....hahahahaha...oh.....I actually got the whole sentence out before laughing my butt off....hahahahahahahhahaha


Autumnal (Couple's) Therapy

 I almost didn't upload this card. But since I have been sitting here and *&%^& around with this thing since 8 AM THIS MORNING (7 hours ago, mind you) I decided I would put it up here for the sake of having SOMETHING to show for my time. I also felt that since this card and I have had such a long and troubled relationship, we could engage in a little couple's therapy, in hopes we don't make the same mistakes next time.

I cut the leaf out of hot press watercolor paper, so I could drench it time after time with gorgeous color. I'm pretty sure I got carried away with said color, but c'est la vie. I used my air spritzer to hit it with some black soot from my marker and UTEE'd it to death. The I took my Wink of Stella gold pen and traced around the edges. All of this fabulousness took all of a half hour. Seriously. 30 minutes.

The next 6 and a half hours were spend figuring out what to do with it. Granted, I surfed for other projects, paid some bills, etc, but I had no idea how to showcase this fab leaf.

So, I cut the card down, thinking the A2 size was a bit daunting. I went with 4.25 x 3.75. I used the SU! Blackberry Bliss behind the embossed white paper and it was GORGEOUS.

But it wasn't enough...for EITHER of us. There was something missing and we both felt it. Sure...we had everything a relationship between a card a crafter SHOULD have....a beautiful focal point, the perfect sentiment (both in size and relative to the time of year) but the gap was apparent to everyone. The question was, what were we going to do about it?

While the blackberry bliss was fantastic, I had no ribbon that looked quite right. The satin ribbon I had wasn't a match for the paper, so I tore it out. Spotting some gorgeous eggplant ribbon, I tied it on, then created more problems in that I couldn't find the right mat.

We talked...well...I talked for hours. I tried everything I knew. But it wasn't enough...we had run out of answers.

About that time, my DH (who was working from home and deeply disgusted with everything by this point) came stomping down the stairs.

"Here." he said, shoving a scrap of paper at me. "Use this. It'll look good."

I looked down at the pumpkin pie cardstock. "Umm...are you sure?" I said.

He sighed, deeply. "Well, personally I think you need something like a yellow or gold, but I don't see anything here that I particularly like. But the orange holds its own with the leaf and the ribbon works. It's not perfect, but unless you change the ribbon, I don't know what else to tell you."

With that, he left the room.

After that, I almost asked for couples therapy for me and my DH as well...who WAS this man who came into my craft room and made salient points regarding focal points and color balance? Where was the guy who hated glitter and claimed he got nauseous every time I turned on the hot glue gun or teared up every time I started a sentence with "I need...?
Who was this man and what did he do with my football watching, rear-end scratching, former Marine husband? And if this man WAS my husband, did I need to worry about having to become the man of the house???

Sorry...that got away from me a little. Point is, you almost had to deal with BOTH today. But took a step back and realized you would be significantly more helpful (and probably more comfortable) with working out the issues between me and the card.

So, please...by all means...discuss.



My Secret Garden (Altoids) Tin





 I can't believe I finally finished this thing. You have to understand: When I first stumbled on this project, I fell in love. Totally and completely. I knew that I HAD to CASE it...I didn't care what it cost or how much time it took, I WAS IN LOVE AND I DIDN'T CARE WHAT THE WORLD THOUGHT!!!

Let me take care of the important thing first...HERE is the original tin, created by Nichola Battilana. http://blog.pixiehill.com/2014/08/th...iniatures.html Hers is out of this world!! You should also check out her blog...she created a 'Fairy Store', replete with wands and bottles of magic powders and dust...words can't do it justice. Suffice it to say that my CASEing anything of hers is as crazy as someone trying to paint Rembrandt. But I gave it my best.

I ordered the garland and moss from alphastamps. The garden sink is from Prima and it came in white. So, I took some brown alcohol ink and aged it. Using glossy accents, I created the stream from the spigot and used clear and blue microbeads. The rest was just having a good time, putting flowers and tiny butterflies everywhere, while getting completely stoned on E6000. I'm telling you, I don't even know if I can TAKE credit for this project, since I'm not sure I remember doing most of it!

The trellis I created out of coffee stirrers, stained with distress stain. The outside stone was created with....wait for it...wait for it....

egg cartons.

Yep!

Here's the tut I used and it's fabulous. http://kbatsel.blogspot.com/2014/08/...-tutorial.html

That's enough for me tonight...I HAVE to get this craft room in order because my sister is coming to stamp in the morning. I'm looking at a lot of work.

Or, I could just drink some wine, eat chocolate and find lots of stuff to glue.

Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.