Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blame it on Stefani (aka: I Tried Something New)

That's right - it is all Stefani's fault. If she was not so fabulously talented, I would not have been driven to try this myself. Things like this card ... and this one ... and OMG - THIS one ... See why I want to be like her when I grow up? Well, maybe not, but I thought it would be cool to incorporate a finger-full of that technique into what I already do.

I learned to embroider as a young'un, then graduated to cross-stitch, and eventually moved on to counted cross-stitch. Then I got old and had trouble seeing the patterns in the tiny little squares, so I packed away my every-color-floss (organized by DMC color number) and put it all behind me.

Well, I'm baaaaack! Lookie what I made today

I made the template for punching the holes all by myself! No, they are probably not even, but this is my first try, and it's close enough for me, for now. I poked the holes through the template with my paper piercer onto the top-note die-cut piece...pretty simple.

Here is a close-up of the corner pattern...

... and here is a close-up of the center piece. I did not measure at ALL on this one! I just used a pencil to mark where I wanted the stitch to land in each scallop, then I went back and marked a spot for the in-between stitch, then punched all the holes. At the last second I decided to introduce another color, so I picked an apricot-y one and stitched it before I did the Ecru stitching.

Boring? Maybe. No sentiment? Where would I put it? I am pretty happy with it as a first attempt. I am not too crazy about that center thing ... maybe I should just stitch the corners and stamp the rest. Next time.

On the home front, I did my first pass at my taxes, and once again I get money back from the State which will go towards what I have to pay on Federal. Drat. I hate when this happens, but at least I do not have to pay out for both.

I think I'll go rustle up something for dinner, now, then maybe stamp some more and hopefully figure out card #4 for next weekend. I thought about doing a stitching one, but The Ladies might revolt. Maybe I'll go play with marbles ... those have a pretty high entertainment factor. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!

ETA: Don't forget about my ribbon g-i-v-e-a-w-a-y I posted earlier today!

Ribbon G-I-V-E-A-W-A-Y

You know me by now - everything needs ribbon! For the longest time, I could not bring myself to discard the cuttings, so I saved them. I had to set a limit, though, or I would now be sleeping in a nest of ribbon cuttings, so I decided the piece had to be long enough to USE in order to keep it. Now, 'long enough to use' can have several interpretations: Long enough to tie into a bow? Long enough to tie into a knot? Long enough to tie around another piece of ribbon into a faux knot? Long enough to poke out from under a layer? Long enough to ... you see where I am going with this. I bring up the subject of ribbon scraps because I discovered this in my last effort to clean out a box of stuff:

This is a one-gallon size zip-top bag o'ribbon. Here's one side of it ...

... and here's the other side. LOTS of ribbon. And since, I have decided to give it away! That's right - the WHOLE BAG goes to one lucky person. Who shall that be? Lessee, how about you answer a question I am about to formulate, then I'll use the random number thingie to select a winner. K? K! Here we go .. this is a tough one ...

What is your favorite embellishment?

Real tough, huh? It's okay if you like buttons better than ribbon; you will not hurt my feelings at all - not one little bit!

Please post your answer by Thursday, March 5th, 10:00 pm EST. I will select a winner on Friday so I can mail this out on Saturday and get it out of here before the Clean Sweep. :-)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Another CASE

No, I did not make this up...I CASEd it from this card on SCS. Fresh Cuts is one of those sets I had to have because of a sample card I'd seen, and even though I have tons of the Fresh Cut Notes, too, I have never managed to use the set for a workshop, or even a card, with much success. Until NOW!

Every once in a while I take a few moments to cruise the Splitcoast gallery, and I 'favorite' things I think I can use for workshops. Some months I have better luck on my own, but sometimes, like NOW, I have zero ideas and a workshop looming one short week away.

I liked everything about the original card, but I knew I'd have to use something in place of her Dew Drops (non-SU ... you know how that goes for workshops, though my customers really couldn't care less). I also found I was running low on Taffeta Choc Chip ribbon, so I substituted grosgrain. It's not quite as elegant, but it does the job. I also have issues using dark card stock as my card base, since I'd need to put a piece of white paper inside for writing the message, and I did not feel like dealing with that, so I made the base Whisper White and just made the Choc Chip another layer. This baby is hefty, lemme tell ya!

I have three of my four cards planned and made, so just one more to go. And I did decide to use the Lady Bug card as one of the projects since it was all SU. Sweet!

Yawn, time to hit the hay for me. I need to focus on getting my taxes mostly done this weekend. It's a psychological thing about not waiting until March to get started, so I'd best hop to it on Saturday! :-) Thanks for stopping by!

You Know You're Getting Old When ...

... your decade of birth gets the name: "Mid-Century". I have seen this several times in reference to "period" furniture like this post. To sorta-quote a former co-worker who is 18 years my senior, and who I would endlessly irritate by reminding him he graduated from High School the year I was born: "Just throw some dirt on me as you pass by ..."

I think I'll pick up some Geritol on the way home.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Much-Deserved Thank You Card

When my laptop was limping last week, I took it to a friend's house so he could save the laptop and my few remaining nerves. It took a lot longer than we'd anticipated, so I felt a formal Thank You was in order. Fortunately for me, the card design was easy even though my friend is a guy, because he has one known weakness: coffee. Here's the card:

The coffee cup is A Muse, and I own it now because I finally caved the last time I was at Angela's and it found its way into my shopping basket. I stamped it on some scrap textured SU Very Vanilla (left out from my green-dogs-on-a-chair cards). The dotted paper was also left over, but this time from my cup-cake cards, and the blue bands are pieces of the same paper, just the other side (so they match perfectly). I tell you, this 'not putting stuff away' gig can work wonders on the old inspiration! :-)

The sentiment is one of many in my caffeine collection, and then there's the ribbon. (You know it had to be done.)

On the inside I used my SU Slit punch and stuck in two Starbuck's gift cards. (they are left over from my stash I picked up in December, which explains the motif on the cards ... and no, I do not like Starbuck's much.) And now you should understand the blue bands of c/s on the front of the card - they cover up the backs of the slits. :-)

I think he should be happy, and it's the least I can do for a re-born laptop!

More Cute

I am really sorry, but I laughed out loud this morning when I read my Google Reader ZooBorns post, so I must share. I am so glad I found this site, because how else would I ever see such cute babies! Check it out:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Multi-Challenge Card (aka: Creative Avoidance)

I am supposed to be working on my projects for my March workshops/classes, so what did I do this evening? I checked out a few challenges, largely inspired to do so by Lauren's {gasp} minimalist creation.

So surfing I went, and I found two challenges I decided to combine into one. First is the caardvarks challenge to use Kraft card stock in your card. Check! Second is Laura's Sketch #20 at 2sketches4you:

The first thing that entered my brain when I saw the sketch was 'lady bug'. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Last week I saw 'bustier' when I saw the SCS sketch, and now this. I tell ya, if it happens again, I might have to play the lottery, or something.

So here is my creation du jour. It was very easy and has NO stamping. I feel like I am cheating.

The piece of Kraft was already cut - I found it in the Kraft section In There, so I did not even need to cut it. Sweet!

I broke out my relatively-unused SU Circle Scissor Plus to cut the red circle (also from a scrap), and it was sooooo easy to use, even if it was on the floor. The table is cluttered with other tools of the trade, and there was not a 13" square space available. I wanted flat, and I found flat. The floor was just fiiiine.

The black line started as a dividing line for the lady bug's back, and I just continued it down the card to match the sketch. It has no deep, symbolic meaning whatsoever. The dots on the lady bug's back were made using the SU 1/4" circle punch, and were stuck on with glue dots, some of which you can see peeking out from under their dots. I doodled around the red piece to give it more interest. The eyes, now that I look at them, make the lady bug look drunk. Maybe she is drunk - on Spring! Oh, I can feel Spring in my bones...or wait, maybe that's age... it sure is something...

And the eyebrows? What? Lady bugs do not have eyebrows? Well mine do. Ya wanna know why? Because I did not feel like looking up how to spell 'antennae' when I was naming my file, so I called them eyebrows. Anyway, I punched half of the SU Small Oval punch, then punched the Large Oval over it to make a half-oval, like this:

Then I just cut it in half, flipped over the pieces and glued them down. I added more 1/4" circles to 'round out' the ends.

I still needed to address the two rectangle parts at the bottom of the sketch, so I decided to call it 'grass' and cut a piece of much-misunderstood Glorious Green and made grass. To separate the two rectangles (to match the sketch) I added a Filigree brad.

Well, now I guess I really should work on some ideas for my workshops. Oh, would you look at the time! Yawn! I'll worry about that tomorrow. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cook-Off Results {*burp*}

You guys are in trouble now! I brought my camera to work today. :-) Mostly, we were all distracted by the aromas wafting throughout Cubeville. I mean, there were people wandering around aimlessly just smelling the air and following their noses. By 9:00 am we were out-of-control crazy with hunger pangs, and watching the clocks for 11:30. I will admit the chili in our aisle was taste-tested early. :-)

But before I get to the cook-off, I have a few other things to show you. This was yesterday's calendar page, and it was so clever I thought I'd share it with you. Those cows just crack me up!

This one is for Lydia, who posted this wonderful ditty about phones yesterday. This is my honest-to-gosh desk phone at work. I does have a wall jack, and buttons instead of a dial, but it is still heavy enough to kill a feral hog. See? Some of us still live in the past.

This is an accident waiting to happen, also known as a rat's nest. Good thing the Fire Marshall wasn't around. And yes, the power strip is airborn, because the crock pot cord was too short, but when there's chili to be heated, you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

Here are 4 of the 7 chili offerings, partially obliterated by a hungry person's arm.

Here is the Corn Bread table. Mine is the round stone one with the black knife in it. No, I did not win.

This is a shot of what I call the Presentation Suck-Up. We were NOT told that presentation was part of our score, although having watched so much Food Network lo these many years, you'd think some of us would have thought about it. Obviously, at least one person did. They even colored their number! Hmph. Well, this is one high bar that has been set for future contests ... I'm just sayin'.

This signage won the Numbers Suck-Up Attempt Award (I just made that up). Our boss's boss, who was one of the judges, has a line that we have all taken to heart and say on a daily basis, "It's all about the numbers." (Internet Sales ... how are we doing ... numbers ...) So this guy decided to suck up to the boss by presenting the numbers for his chili entry. He was shot down and not allowed to put it out until after the judging, but I think it was still very clever. And he said they are real calculated nutritional information numbers. Not sure I believe him, but it was still a nice try!

This guy also had no crock pot, so he served his chili in a microwave, and he brought the microwave (actually 'borrowed' it from the break room). I should have taken a photo of the whole table - 2 crock pots, a microwave, the suck-up presentation, and 4 more crock pots - but it was like moths to the flame, and I was crowded out of the way by hungry people.

This is what the winners received. They were instructed to proudly display them outside their cubes until the next contest, at which time they will hand them off to the next set of winners. One of the coordinators picked up the spatulas ...

... and guess who made the signs. ;-) Now people who thought I was kidding when I said I have 'stuff' understand the gravity of my situation.

The winners were asked to share their recipes with the rest of the group, and one of them had already added "Current IBU Sales (Plaza) Cook-Off Champion" to her signature. She also failed to divulge her secret ingredient. Bah!
(By the way, IBU = Internet Business Unit)

So that was my day today. The guy with the rat's nest of wires in his cube had some chili left, and since he could not convince me to take it home, he stowed it in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch. I'm bringing the Tums, but no corn bread.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Evening Ramblings

I have a lot of STUFF rattling around in my brain this evening, and if I do not get it out, I'll never get to sleep tonight. Some of these topics are life lessons, some are stamping, some are ... well, just read on if you'd like to find out. 'Tis quite a variety. To save you some time, I'll number them so you know where to skip to for the next one. ;-)

1. The laptop's death and re-birth was a mixed blessing for me. First, it provided endless frustration, which I do not need in my already scatter-brained lifestyle. BUT, I found that when I felt myself longing to just sit on the couch with the laptop and surf, I couldn't, so I did something else, probably more contructive. And I lived to tell about it! I also learned that Disk 1 of 5 that I burned to back up all my files failed me. It is unreadable on any computer, so in computer-speak, it is "toast". What was on that disk (disc)? Only all my software downloads and desktop files. Sigh ... So poor moi had to re-download all the crap I used to have on the laptop, and ya know what? I do not need it all! This baby boots up way faster now than it used to. Funny how that works, isn't it? And by having to re-download stuff, I got the newer versions, and they rock! I really do need to get out more.

2. My corn bread effort from Sunday was the best of the bunch, so that's what I made this evening to bring in to work tomorrow. BUT, because I was deeply mired in sorting and bagging my just-arrived SU stamp camp orders, I lost track of time and let it sit too long in the oven (read: over-cooked it), so I fear it will be dry. Oh, well, I had no plans to win any medals, anyway. By the way, I was commissioned (well, not really commissioned, as there was no gain of any kind on my part, so let's say I was asked) to make the signage for our cook-off awards. I did, and I will try to remember to take my camera to work tomorrow so you can see one of them proudly displayed in Cubeville. Oh, and if I never, ever, ever see corn bread again, it will be too soon.

For Kristie: This is what corn bread looks like (at least what mine looks like):

Please ignore those dark marks on the pan. I was a bad girl and I put pats of butter in the warmed stoneware pan before I added the batter. This probably permanently damaged the dish, but you know what? That corn bread was y-u-m-m-y. You cannot go wrong with butter.

Also, please ignore the fact that 1/4 of the bread has gone missing. I have no idea what happened.

3. I need a wife. (No offense to those of you who ARE wives, as I used to be one myself, and I know how much I used to do for others.) After I left the office, I stopped to pick up my last pair of reading glasses that they had to adjust for me; then I went to the grocery for a few things I needed, including the Rx that I called in last night and my Dr failed to respond to so the Pharmacy has to re-contact him tomorrow and I get to go back tomorrow and try again; I got home, re-arranged the seats in the car, and took 3 of my Dining Room chairs and stowed them in the car - I need to take them to my handyman (who is home with newborn twins) so they can be repaired so The Ladies do not fall and make a claim against my insurance for injuries sustained; I put a load of laundry in the washer; I made a batch of corn bread; I sorted and bagged my SU orders; and it was 7:45 before I sat down to breathe. I did not vaccuum yet - that will have to wait until tomorrow. And I keep forgetting to call Joann's to see if I can bring in some scissors to be sharpened. Sigh ... see? I need a wife. Or maybe a Personal Assistant! Oooh, I have actually spoken with someone who suggested I might be able to afford to retire if I sold myself as a Personal Assistant. More on that some other time, though.

4. I think if you have a stamping style, you need to try new things to stretch your self-imposed boundaries and to grow as an artist (and we are artists, peeps!) But I also think you should not lose who you are and the style that is 'you'. For example: my stuff is pretty basic. Not too froo-froo, I mostly stamp (as opposed to paper crafting - I like the 3-D stuff, but honestly, it does not sell for me, and I have no where to store it, so it is just easier to not go there), I need to put ribbon on things ... you know: ME. I will be influenced by others, definitely, but I will usually apply their style to what I do and it will be a blend, which is a good thing! Case in point:

This is a 'Leslie' card. It's your basic layered image on a piece of patterned paper (from the Pet Slab I needed to own, thankyouverymuch), and a simple sentiment. Didja notice I snuck in some ribbon, too? That is a piece off one of the spools of 4,000 yards of ribbon I have in The Other Room. Only 3,999.5 to go on that one, now.

Then there is this series. I found two packages of virgin rub-ons I'd bought a while ago because they reminded me of June, and what she'd use on a card. I made a template for the cup cake out of cardboard (hand drawn, yes ...) and traced the pieces on two different patterned papers I thought went well together. I crimped the bottom piece. Did you notice the strip of c/s under the ribbon? That is a piece of the backing from the rub-on packaging!

I carried the theme throughout the cards, just using different sentiments from the rub-ons. This is actually the first one I made, and I totally hacked the corner, so in desperation I cut it off and replaced it with a faux folded corner made out of white, and put in a brad to make it look like I meant to do that.

Then on the next two cards I did it on purpose. :-)

I still do not have the hang of some rub-ons, as they leave a residue behind that I do not like much. I have successfully removed it with an adhesive eraser in the past, but with these it started to rub off the letters, so I stopped. Hopefully, no one will notice. Hopefully. This is why I prefer stamps. Those just come out crooked.

5. Most of you have heard of Michelle Zindorf, right? Well, one of my customers (who is bolder even than I am) emailed Michelle and asked her if she'd do a class in our area, and she said YES (with conditions, of course). The big one is she has a minimum number of people that have to agree to attend, which totally makes sense, as it would need to be worth her time to travel. It would be a 3-hour class. If anyone in the MD/VA/DC area is interested, please email me ( and I'll pass your email along to my customer so she has an idea of a level of interest. My doing this in no way guarantees you a place in the class! I just want one person to be coordinating the thing, and that person will NOT be ME. More deets on this later, but feel free to express an interest now and I'll pass it along.

6. I'd best be starting to formulate some projects for my March workshops/stamp-camps. I think they are really Stamp Camps. No one is quite sure, though. I have a few ideas fighting their way to my frontal lobe, so hopefully they will hit paper some time this week. Wish me luck!

Hey, thanks for reading this far, and thanks for stopping by! I hope to have something of more substance for you soon. ;-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Politically Incorrect

Happy Sunday, my beloved readers! I am doing the Happy Dance here, as my laptop liiiiives! I was so frustrated yesterday, I even tried to format my hard drive, but it wouldn't let me. So I went to my last resort (as if formatting your hard drive isn't bad enough), and called one of my geekier friends and asked for assistance. Bottom line: after 4 hours, a complete format and reinstall, dinner, and verifying I could (at least technically) connect to the Internet, my laptop is aliiiiive! I spent the better part of last night re-installing software and getting things back to what I call 'normal'.

Once again I can crop my pics, and all that other fun stuff. It really does not take much to make me happy.

Let's move on to the Politically Incorrect part of this post. Here is my offering:

And now for the explanation. I already had the donkey stamp (surprise!), but in one of my last trips to Angela's, I caved and got the elephant and sentiment, too (source: Custer's Last Stamp). I, myself, am not political, at least as far as the Party system goes, so this is not *my* statement ... I just thought it was funny!

I was not happy with any of my 12,000 sheets of patterned papers, so I made my own background. Oh, and look: the sentiment panel is crooked! I cannot even get things straight when I have lines to use as a guide! Sigh ....

I am working on the Scrap Heap, pulling various things off of it to use up so I do not have to put it away. So far, it seems to be working. I also have devised a plan for The Other Room to help me get more stuff out of sight. I'll tackle that project next month. So many things to do, but instead, today, I will be making corn bread, again. I am so close, I hope this is my last batch. I'll report back on my success, or not.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Yellow Corn Bread and Green Puppies

I am in Corn Bread h3ll. I volunteered to make corn bread for a Chili & Corn Bread cook-off we are having at work on Tuesday, largely because my chili recipe went missing. I am not a corn bread nut. I'll eat it with chili, but I'd also eat my chili without the corn bread and be quite happy. So in an attempt to get something passable for Tuesday, I have made corn bread every night this week, and once already today. Like I said - corn bread h3ll. I thought the one from Thursday night would be good, because I scooped out an edge piece and it was fine, but then I discovered the center was molten. Not good.

BR #2 has been mentoring me through this process with very helpful suggestions (and a killer recipe, if only I had a cast iron skillet). Today's approach addressed the molten center, and I baked it in a wanna-be bundt pan. Not bad, not bad, but it still needs work. I am going to have some well-fed birds and squirrels around here this week.

To celebrate this most recent "almost there" batch of the fiendish food, plus the completion of my 2008 FSA submission (yay!), I decided to stamp something. I would like to thank my beloved readers for the "green dogs for St. Patty's Day" suggestions, because this is what I made:

Yessir, green dogs! Being of the mind to not paint myself into a corner when I make cards, I tend to not put specific holiday sentiments on them. This increases the chance of them not going into storage for 11 months, because we all know how much storage space I have in here!

The only victim of this effort was the dog's paw barely sticking out next to the chair arm - apparently I cut it off while trimming the chairs the other day. I colored them in with a marker, but in real light they look weird, so I may go back and stamp that part of the stamp on the patterned paper and make real paws for the fellows.

I printed the sentiment on the 'puter (well, actually I generated it on the 'puter, and printed on the printer, but you know what I mean), and I lucked out that it fit perfectly in the SU Word Window punch without having to re-size it.

The clover/shamrock is made from 4 punched hearts from the SU Heart to Heart punch.

Here's one of the other dog cut-outs. Yeah, a little striped, but still pretty cool-looking.

Did you notice: no ribbon! Although I desperatetly tried to find a way to add it, I ended up with the Word Window punch fold-over (not to be confused with a comb-over, but my mind just went there for no reason whatsoever).

What I used (to the best of my recollection): Stamps: from Purrs & Pants; Ink - Memento black; Paper: SU textured Neutrals, SU Artichoke, SU Haiku DS paper, Bazzill green; Other: SU Word Window punch, SU brad, SU Heart to Heart punch, markers.

Well, I suppose I should go make another batch of corn bread. I think this time I'll try a pie plate with a glass or something in the center. I'll let you know how that goes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

More Cuteness

Check out the baby meerkats at Zooborns. My alter-ego is "meerkat3" on SCS, and one of these days I may even explain why. ;-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Crooked Sketch Interpretation

Check out this week's Sketch Challenge on SCS Now look at my card. I took one look at the sketch and my crooked brain saw "bustier". When I got home from the Day Job, I set to work to make it happen.

I cut the heart on my newly-acquired Cricut (jury is still out on that tool in the crooked household) out of some really, really old retired SU DS paper with a lacy/doily pattern I thought would pass as, well, underwear. But nice underwear, you understand.

I used Blush Blossom in an attempt to get a skin tone, and I scored lines (using my Scor-Pal) on a piece of Naturals White to look like a corset. Hey, I tried!!!!!

Then I had a hair-brained idea to add 'ties', and after much poking with the paper piercer, and switching to some waxed thread (I told you I had everything), a bustier was born. But wait! I still needed to add that top layer of the sketch, which would cover up my whole tied thingies ... thingies. So a little light bulb went off and I cut that piece out of acetate. Oh yeah, oh yeah! I added some rub-ons (from my SU 'A Perfect Day' rub-on bulk purchase from way back when) down each side of the acetate so you could see it. Then I cleverly put mini glue dots behind the rub-ons and stuck the acetate down. Then I un-stuck the bottom edge of it, poked some holes in it and tied the bottom bow through the acetate so it was not too bulky under the acetate.

It needed a sentiment, so I went a little bonkers and selected 'oh, baby', I guess because I could. :-)

Did I stretch the bounds of this sketch challenge? Yeah, maybe. But it sure was fun to see it come together!

Time to hit the hay, again. Pesky Day Job. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More "Stinkin' Cute" Critters

I know - two posts in one day....but these guys are too cute not to share:

Gone to the Dogs

Two nights ago I stamped and colored these images, then I sat and looked at them. I do that a lot when an idea I have does not work out like I thought it would. Fortunately for me, I have no life, so I finished these up last night.

First, I stamped the image on white card stock and colored the dogs. Then I decided I was NOT going to color the chairs, so I dug through The Stash and found a cool piece of mottled green paper, and decided to stamp the image again and cut out the chair - 4 times. This was a clever idea until I had to cut around the dogs. Note to self: next time, stamp on the green paper first, stamp the DOGS separately, cut them out and stick them on the chair. (By the way, I have the green cut-out dogs, and I am trying to think what to do with them. Any ideas?)

To get the doily thingie, which was part of the original image, I stamped my Cornish Heritage Farms (CHF) Lace Backgrounder in Sahara Sand on Naturals White and ... cut them out.

And that sentiment? It hides my goof of stamping it directly on the card stock, where it proceeded to become difficult to see. I just stamped it again on white and cut it out with my Nestie, taped it over the original sentiment and anchored it with brads. It is not going anywhere.

Here is a closer look at one of the chairs. (Please ignore that mystery black dot ... dunno what that is...) I think I need to go back and fill in some of that space around the puppies with the Copic, or maybe I should just leave it alone. See why I think cutting out the dogs would be easier?

Here's the other two chairs. You can see where I picked up the different colors of the green paper. And the fact that the doily things stick up actually looks like I meant to get that effect. I love it when a plan comes together. :-)

Ach - off to the Day Job. Ooooh, look at the counter! We are approaching another milestone, peeps! And maybe this time I'll give away something GOOD!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Using Re-discovered Items

When I re-discovered the tree stamp the other day (source: Paper is old), in the same box were a few sheets of 12x12 paper, so in a desperate attempt to not have to put them away, I decided to use them! Crazy, I know! Two of them are cat-themed, so I made four of these out of one of the sheets:

I just LOVE this stamp (source: Eureka Stamps). I originally got him to go with a custom sentiment I had made: "It's all about the attitude!", and I had that made to go with my Red Hat stuff. See? If you have enough stuff, it all eventually goes together. That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it!

I broke open my square Netabilities to cut him out, and I ended up just hand-cutting a Rust layer to set it off a little from the yellow background. The only thing I colored on the cat were his nose and the outline of his body, including the legs.

And the sentiment? Here it is, up close and personal. I think the shades on this guy make the sentiment perfect, don't you agree? (source: Viva Las Vegas Stamps)

Continuing with my use-em-up theme of the day, I also re-discovered a partially-completed card, known in some circles as a UFO (Un-Finished Object). I just added the already-punched hearts (I was experimenting with some of my new DS papers) and the sentiment. DONE! It's kinda plain, but some people like that. I'll put a 1/4 sheet of white linen paper inside so the sender can have a light-colored surface on which to write.

Well, I have another dog stamp out, and I plan to cut into another sheet from my must-have slab of Pet papers. Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Under-Appreciated Holiday Challenge # 5

Happy Monday, everyone! It's the middle of February, so I get to dip into the March holidays for my next Under-Appreciated Holiday Challenge. This time I selected National Poultry Day, March 19th. I suspect this holiday was created by the combined turkey, chicken, and other poultry farmers of our great land, but it just has not made it to the mainstream yet. I am pretty sure Hallmark has not learned of it, though I did find several online card sites that offerred poultry-themed e-cards.

I was accused of selecting holidays for which I already own stamps. NOT SO! Well, maybe another way to look at this is
perhaps you have not yet realized that I own them all?!?!?! I think I might ... So far the only exception was Ferris Wheel Day, and I am still looking forward to September 19th, which is Talk Like A Pirate Day, and I have no pirate stamps. Yet.

So in honor of Poultry Day, I used one of my ... chicken stamps! And no, I did not buy the chicken and the sentiment at the same time, but I did mentally put them together when I saw the chicken! I think I got the sentiment to use with my Best of Cluck set from SU, but then I saw the chicken, and I made him mine.

The patterned papers are left-over pieces of the Basic Grey Sultry papers I used yesterday to make my paper-pieced tree cards. I had all sorts of strips left, so I put them together to make a striped background.

I used more brown ribbon from my stash, and I thought it was stepping out of the old comfort zone for me to use that polka dotted ribbon with all those other patterns. Once I did it though, I liked how they looked together!

Here's two more, and these stand up like tents, just to be different. Almost all the scraps are gone, and I have used half the pack of BG papers. Yay, me! Unfortunately all this means is I am making room for more, which I have on hold at Angela's as I type this. I am weak.

Stamps by Inky Antics.

That's all for today, peeps! Gotta head to the Day Job to pay for all this paper! :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Paper Piecing (outta control)

Several years ago, a fellow stamper loaned me this stamp, which is one of the items I 'discovered' whilst cleaning out a box last week. No, she does not miss it, so not to worry.

She had done some sort of magic with PearlEx or something, and I'd borrowed it to try the technique. Apparently, I had not gotten too far, and the stamp got 'put away someplace safe'. So this weekend, I happened by the pile of stuff I plan to bring back to my friend tomorrow at work, and I thought, "Hmmm ... paper piecing?" So I grabbed one of my many unopened Basic Grey 6x6 packs (this one is Sultry) and got to work.

First I made the one on the left, using pieces I thought looked right - green for the grass, a paler pattern for the tree and background. But then I realized I had all those other parts-is-parts left over, so I decided to throw away convention and do a little Lauren channelling.

After a few minutes, I just settled for putting papers next to each other, trying not to use two of the same pattern too close to each other.

I found that green velvet (faux, to be sure) ribbon in the All The Greens but the Right Color Green Box of Green Ribbons. Did you notice three of the four are at the bottom of the card, and one is sorta in the middle? That is hiding a boo-boo, where the tree trunk was not even close to being aligned, so it had to be cleverly disguised.

Not bad for an afternoon! I have also made my cards for tomorrows Under-Appreciated Holiday post, so make sure to check back tomorrow for that one. Thanks for stopping by!

A Towel's Inspiration

My laptop is still not happy, so I am using my PC with the tempermental mouse, and no cropping of photos is possible. I thank you for bearing with me through this stormy time.

Remember this towel?

It gave me the idea to emboss some leaves on Mellow Moss card stock ...

... and this is what came out. I decided to treat it like a One Sheet Wonder ...

... which resulted in these two cards (with poorly-stamped sentiments) ...

... and this one, which has the pattern on both front and back. Lazy? Maybe, but it is still kinda cool-looking. I used up some of the half-pearls from my Pretties kit, and the sentiment on the last one is a rub-on from SU's Chit Chat pack.

Well, I am off to start my taxes (ugh) and get ready for tomorrow's Under-appreciated Holiday. Y'all come back now, and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Some Stamping, and 30 Seconds of Fame

The laptop is still in a hissy fit and may not be long for this world, so I have been reduced to working on the PC, which has a tempermental mouse. By tempermental, I mean I am unable to use it to copy and paste, or drag anything, or (more importantly for you, my beloved readers) crop a photo. So sad. I tried to take the pics as close as I could so as to reduce the extraneous schtuff.

But first: I HAD THIRTY SECONDS OF FAME! Okay, maybe not actually fame, but I was in the presence of greatness, and my name was kept secret. Today, as I arrived at work looking like I'd thrown on some clothes as an after-thought as it is Casual Friday and we can wear jeans, I finished putting the elastic in my un-dried hair, and guess with whom I walked into the building? The CEO, the CFO, and ... drum-roll please ... WARREN BUFFETT! No kidding!!!! Then I hit the button for the elevator, two of them arrived (we have three at that entrance), and the three suits got on the elevator WITH ME! Warren and the CFO were chatting about Wall Street and the Stock Market, and as I got out on my floor, the CEO leaned over and said, "Have a nice day", to which I muttered something clever, like, "You too!". Thank goodness he knows OF me, but not enough to call me by name. Man, did I look like a rat drug (dragged) in from the rain.

Okay, enough of that. As you can see, I have STAMPED sumptin'. Yeppers, I gave up on the laptop resuscitation effort and dug into my new stash of goodies from my buying spree on Tuesday.

In addition to this cool stamp from Purrs & Pants, I picked up the sentiment from A Muse to go with it. I also got a slab of Pet papers from Mike's, which of course I do not need, and now gets added to my SABLE list. This card was an effort to justify the collective purchase, if only in my little brain. The paper is really busy, so in an uncharacteristic moment, I cut down the white piece to show more 'busy'. It was just so pretty I did not want to hide any of it! The rest of the card is all Stash. I used up the brown ribbon left on one of the wooden clothespins in my Everything Black, White or Brown Box of Ribbons; the card base is from a miscellaneous pile o'card stock; the blue layer barely peeking out around the edge of the patterned paper is from a shopping trip several years back when I was on vacation in FL and in desperate search of anything resembling card stock; and the doggie bone clip is from a partially-used box of them I got at Recollections many, many moons ago, when they were still in existence.

This is pretty much the same card, but with a different section of the 12x12 patterned paper and a different treatment for the ribbon ('different treatment' ... sometimes I crack myself up!) Oh, wait a minute ... let's see ... that should be 'sometimes ... um ... I make myself laugh' ... no, that's not it ... oh, forget it.

ANYway, it's nice to be back in stampin' mode. But guess what I get to do tomorrow? Buy my tax software. Oh, joy. Luckily I managed to copy my just-about-finished 2008 spreadsheet for The Biz off the laptop and onto a CD so I can port it over to the PC and do all the higher mathematics. There will not be much joy in Muddville until I make it through that task, but I'll be stampin' when I can!

Thanks for stopping by and listening to (reading) my whining. :-) And for those of you with sweeties in your lives, have a happy Valentine's Day!

Wanna Name A Gorilla?

Still no stamping here, but the SF Zoo is having a contest to name their new baby Gorilla. They have a preference for an African name. All the details, plus pics and a video can be found here:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Crooked Stamper - Unplugged

Yes, peeps, my laptop is among the dying, and I have been spending much precious stamping time wrassling with the darned thing! You'd thing that being a Computer Professional prepares me for these situations, but let me tell you: when the network connector says "I see your network, and it is good, but I cannot connect to it, so pttttht!", it makes one weary.

Yes, my PC in The Other Room is working. Why, I am typing on it right now! But all my photo editing software and everything else is on the laptop, and I reeeeealy do not want to re-install all of it in here. And what would I post, anyway, since I am so busy futzing with the laptop that I am NOT STAMPING!

Did you know that both Abraham Lincoln (Prez #16) and Charles Darwin were born on this day 200 years ago?!? I am sure someone has figured out some deep meaning there, but I prefer to think it is just a cool coincidence.

Now please excuse me while I look up the weird things I see on the laptop... it may be savable....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Crooked Day Off (Caution: Much Whining)

I took today off from the Day Job to catch up on life, and, well, once again I got about half-way through the list before I ran out of day. At least I checked off a few things. ;-)

Lessee, got up around 6 (why in tarnation do I get out of bed earlier on a day off than I do when I have to go to the Day Job!?!?!), and by 9 am I was still in my jammies, but boy-o-boy did I get stuff done. I emptied (EMPTIED) three (THREE) boxes from The Other Room. It's funny how much stuff you save that eventually becomes trash. (If you are keeping score, that's 5 boxes I've cleared out, and I still cannot reach the table. Just making sure you understand the severity of the situation In There.) Moving on ...

I finally got out of the house and got my eyes examined (not my head, my eyes); had a few heart palpitations over the cost of new glasses; went to Chloe's coffee shop to see about swapping out my Christmas cards for some fresher material (they were closed for renovations all of January, so gimme a break, k?); headed down to Angela's in Virginia to return something and to spend an equal sum on new goods...somehow I managed to exceed that amount, but not by too much; crossed back over the river into Maryland and headed over to a customer's house to, um, pick up a, er, new toy (I shall reveal said toy later this week); stopped at the eye Dr to pick up my new glasses (stayed for the fitting, adjustment, etc.); came home to print off an updated list of cards on hand at Chloe's (the original had been misplaced), then I headed back out (which is something I never, ever, ever do); stopped at Michael's to pick up a card tree thingie for my display at Chloe's; headed back to Chloe's to drop off the list and the card tree thingie (all shall be explained if the Manager and I can figure out a set-up); then finally came home and kicked off my shoes.

Then (OMG yes, there's more), I placed the workshop order I'd forgotten to place this morning, and then there's the ever-present laundry. Man, it's almost bed time! Where did my 'day off' go? How does this happen!?!?!?!?! I did not get either of the cars washed; I did not update my Retired Stamps For Sale list; I did not work on my taxes; I did not call the Time Share people to ask them to please take me off their SPAM list; I did not stop at Sears to get a new filter for my fridge; and most importantly, I DID NOT STAMP ANYTHING!!! Oh, the horror, the injustice of it all! A whole day off and NO STAMPING!

However, all is not lost! Last night I only had one customer, so I got to take my own workshop! Funny how nice (and easy) it is when everything is all planned and all the materials are pre-cut. As usual, I messed up a few things and had to make it look like I'd meant to do it that way all along, but with this card, I kicked it up!

Here's the original card (largely stolen from inspired by Lydia):

It's nice, simple, clean. I did eventually replace the illegal non-SU white brads with SU silver brads layered on white 1/4" circle punches for my customers. I also set out my white Chit Chat rub-ons so they could optionally add a sentiment.

My customer last night thought the bird in the tree looked a bit somber, almost spooky or eerie, so since I had time on my hands, I started playing with the rest of the set, and I added some Kiwi Kiss leaves. That made the bird look more lonely than spooky, so I selected the Miss You sentiment. Oh, and those white brads? I live here, so I can do anything I want. My customer used the silver ones, so it was still legal. ;-)

Criminey, it really is time for bed now. Thanks for stopping by!