Friday, July 31, 2009

Another Step Back In Time

Hi. Remember me? I have been deeply mired in technobabble all week. It only took me three days to get the help I needed from Verisonwireless to finally get my Blackberry phone, and then it took another day or so to get it working. But it is sweet. Instant Web access - oh, yeah, baby. As one of my 20-something co-workers so eloquently pointed out yesterday, I have been pulled, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

So let's take a moment to step back in time. The other day I mentioned something to someone, somewhere (all my days and locales run together any more) about when phone numbers had letters in them (mine was CR4-6809, which later turned into 274- ); when the USPS told us all the state abbreviations on letters (yes, we wrote letters) were going to be only two letters instead of any other shortening method (Pennsylvania used to be Penn, Florida was Fla, Mississippi was Miss, Ohio was ... er, Ohio); and instead of the city code thingie, we were going to have 5-digit ZIP Codes. [Did you now that the ZIP in ZIP Code stands for Zone Improvement Plan? I am not making this up - look here. Yes, I am full of useless trivia.]

What is this city code thing of which I speak!?!?! I lived in Dayton 6, Ohio. With the blind-siding of both the ZIP Code and the State abbreviation changes, this became Dayton, OH 45406. See? It was HARD growing up back then. Kids have it so EASY today...

Here is some photo evidence. I took this in the bathroom at work the other day. Never let it be said I missed a photo op.

The first thing I'd like you to notice is how old this shelf is. It is yellowed with age! My building was built back in what I now understand to be "mid-century", and this is a relic of those times. Still attached to the wall and everything.

But what I really want you to notice is this:

Check out the city: Indianapolis 4, Ind. Yep, this is ooooooold. And I had 'a moment' in the ladies' room to record it all for posterity. Please do not mention that to anyone, okay?

And last, but not least, I STAMPED SOMETHING! I did! It is little, but it serves a purpose. You see, I had my first etsy sale a few weeks ago, and I failed to exercise the proper protocol. Etsy, being a hand-made stuff site, encourages us to enclose a personal note when we ship an order, if only to emphasize the whole 'hand-made' aspect of the site. Well, in my glee over the actual SALE, I neglected to do this. So tonight I went through my Cache Of Things Purchased In A Good Demo Moment But Never Used items and pulled out a package of scalloped notes. They are little notes with one scalloped edge, with envelopes, and they are too small to mail. Soooo, I decided to open the package and make little thank you notes to enclose with what I hope will be future sales.

It is very difficult to see, as this is a totally horrid photograph, but the bottom edge of the top part of the card is scalloped. I actually used a 1/4" punch to make a notch in the side of the card to keep the ribbon from sliding off. Not bad, not bad.

Alright, then, I have managed to waste another 5 minutes or so of your time talking about nothing at all! Back to finish programming my phone with actual phone numbers. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Spot The Mistake - We Have A Winner!

Thank you ALL for playing my last round of Spot The Mistake. As much as I revel in the fact that Spellchecker finds almost NO mistakes when I run it against my posts prior to publication, it is not smart enough to tell me I've used the wrong word. If the wrong word is spelled correctly, I am not alerted. That is why I need YOU! I really hate it when I read something I've posted and see all the boo-boos.
So without further ado, I am pleased to pronounce the winner of this round of Spot The Mistake is ... drum-roll, please ... our very own Mary Dawn! Yay! Woo-hoo! The crowd goes wild!

Mary Dawn, one of my first beloved three (maybe four) readers, has won this NOT because she has stuck with me all this time, but because she is a freakin' over-achiever! I thought I had one error, but she found FOUR! FOUR! I am so embarrassed.

Here they are (I just had to copy her comment - she is THAT good!):

--> This immediately set of the "this sounds like work" alarm in my brain, and I stopped. (set OFF...alarm) ~ yep, got me there

--> I opted for no image on this one, because the paper is pretty, and busy, so why bother. (should end with a ?) ~ yes, it should have

--> I this version, I did a particularly poor job attaching the papers to the card base, and I am out of alignment. (IN this version....) ~ this is the one I had in mind

--> ... which I ever so cleverly disguised by sponging on some more of the Dusty Durango ink to make it look like I meant to do that. (should be ever-so-cleverly, but that's just nit picking, isn't it?) ~ Nope, not nit picking at all! I actually thought about adding the hyphens, but, well, I did not.

So Mary Dawn, I shall rummage in The Other Room this evening and select some goodies for you.

Thanks, again, for playing, everyone! Now, my laptop wants to install updates and re-boot, and I need to leave for The Day Job. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's All About Perspective

I am old. I say that a lot, but sometimes, with the speed at which things change these days, I sure feel old.

When I was a kid, we only had Black & White TV, with a knob on it to change the station or the volume. Cable had not yet been invented. We had a manual typewriter. We wrote letters. We called each other on the phone. We played outside, a lot. We went to friends' houses to play or just hang out after school. We had dinner with the whole family, every night. We called our friends' parents Mr. or Mrs.

We rode our bikes somewhere if our parents could not take us. The Mall was new, and it was a special treat to go there. We walked to school. We stayed in school. School started at 8:30 am and we did not get out until 3:00 pm. 30 minutes for lunch. No after-school care needed.

When I was in High School, my boyfriend had a job and a car. For a date, we could go to Arby's OR a movie, but not both, because he also needed to pay for gas for us to get there. And this was okay.

A computer was a conglomeration of tubes in a big room at IBM. Actually, I think they had to build the building around the beast.

No, I did not walk to school barefoot, in the snow, uphill, both ways, but my parents did. They used to tell us they did not travel across country in a covered wagon.

My kids are college-age now, and they grew up with computers. I knew this, but when my youngest was 6 and he pulled out his Dad's cast-off Palm Pilot-type device to get a phone number, I knew I was out of my element. One year I got him a video (VHS, remember those?) of the top 15 Super Bowl moments. When he thanked me for it, he asked why some of them were filmed in Black & White. ... ... Um, because they were? It's all about perspective.

I have a cell phone, and have had one for many years. I use it mostly for emergencies, and it is more likely to be out of juice than usable. I almost never use it. There is no one I need to talk to so badly that it cannot wait until I get home. Or I can email them and they can get back to me whenever. I cannot understand who all these people on cell phones all day long are talking to.

So apparently in the last two weeks I have entered the 21st century, or so I have been told by the 20-somethings with whom I slave all day. I tweet. I have a Facebook page, though all I post to it are links to my etsy postings. My Google Reader is exploding with all the new blogs I now read because of the tweeple I have met. I am learning new things, and seeing other peoples' art. My Blackberry is in-transit... currently being held hostage by the FedEx guys. Sigh. It is all moving so fast!

What happened to my little world? I was so happy in my little cocoon of no television, no technology (relatively speaking), no noise! I liked being unplugged!

I read this post today, and it got me thinking about all things relative. I remember we were all sent home from school the day President Kennedy was shot, and I have always wondered why, after 40 years, we still remember that day, and not his birthday. I was at summer camp when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon for the first time. (I also served Mr. Armstrong dinner when I was a waitress back in my college days, but that's another story for another time.)

So once I get my hands on my new toy, I'll read the manual (yes, Lydia, I will), figure out how to turn on the dang thing, make sure I can get the phone part working, then hopefully get to the Interwebz before I go to the Market on Saturday. I'll report back on if I survive all this technology, or if I need to be pulled back into the dark ages.

I think I need to go stamp something. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Let's Try This Again

Given the fun I had last night making a card I had in my head actually come out on paper, tonight I decided to try cutting the vanilla piece down first before sewing along the edges.

What? You do not see a vanilla piece on this card? That is because I totally messed up and it is now in the trash. I gave up. The DMC floss won that battle.

I moved on to Plan C, which turned into this card. I am working valiantly to use up those pieces of pre-cut papers; I taped them to a scrap and cut them out with the Top Note die, then turned the piece 90 degrees and cut it again to make a square. I did the same thing with a piece of Not Quite Navy, trimmed the paper piece and layered them together. Niiice.

Without the vanilla layer, this card looked nekkid, so I did something that turned out to be a very expensive venture: I tried to use one of the SU embossing plates in my Cuttlebug. I tried a few different sandwiches, then gave up and I ordered the Big Shot. Yes, I did. Then I listed my Day Bed on Craig's List so I'll have room for a cabinet to hold the BS when it arrives chez moi.

Since I failed with the embossing plate, I ended up using my relatively new made-for-the-Cuttlebug Argyle embossing folder to add some texture to the Kraft card front. I added some ribbon from the Every Color But The One I Need box of Neutrals ribbons, and I used one of my irreverent sentiments for the center. I have a really difficult time making a normal card. Really!

Without the sewing, though, this will be much easier to replicate. :-)

In other news, Twitter, though it may be free, has cost me a bundle this week. First, I caved and ordered a Blackberry phone. Why? Two words: Internet Access. I plan to wile away my market hours (when I am not selling anything) and keep up with my Google Reader reading. This should keep my running total of unread posts under the 500-level I hit this weekend.

I have also just caved and bought ... the Big Shot. Yes, I did. In order to get a cabinet in which to store the BS, I have listed my Day Bed on Craig's List to free up the wall space. I told you it was a tiny condo!

Okay, off to do some laundry and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Maybe.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Episode 47.2 of "What Was I Thinking?!"

Welcome to this edition of "What Was I Thinking?!?!?", brought to you by your host, The Crooked Stamper.

In this episode, we see a perfectly good plan fall to pieces, but in her usual manner, having had much experience with The Save, she pulls it out in the end. Let's take a look, shall we?

It all started innocently enough, as it usually does with card-making. An idea is thunk, then the exercise to transfer said idea to paper is attempted. Sometimes things go very, very badly.

The original idea here was to have the plain vanilla layer under the patterned piece for contrast. It is too big for the card base, so it was to be cut to fit, then stitched.

Alas, our fair stamper got ahead of herself and stitched the darned piece before she cut it. This is the sorry result. It slops over the edges of the card base, and since it is already stitched, it cannot be trimmed. What to do, what to do.

Ever resourceful, having been in similar predicaments a gazillion times in the past, our fair stamper realized a larger card base would take care of that little slopping-over problem, and it did! A new piece of Kraft card stock had to be sacrificed in the process, but sometimes ye gotta do what ye gotta do.

Our saga continues with the traditional, "Now what" funk that sets in once the pretty papers are put together and look nekkid and wanting. Ah, ha! This could be transformed into a birthday card. For a man. And, as luck would have it, our fair stamper's brother is having a birthday next week. How cornvenient!

Bling. It needed bling. Big bling. Big, manly bling. She reached into her cache of neglected hardware and selected two really big silver brads - with flowers. Hmph. Silver. Not gonna match. Ah, ha #2 - change their color! Our stamper went in search of her Vanilla Craft ink pad and some clear EP. A dip in the ink pool, a dip in the EP, a little heat, and voila - vanilla flower brads. Only two additional brads gave their lives for the two that survived the process. Card-making can be such a cruel endeavor.

Sentiment. A sentiment was needed. Snarky? Of course! What else should a big sister do for her baby brother? But in the vast collection of snarky, insulting and embarrassing sentiments, not one was the right size or shape for the available space, so she went in search of a {shudder} normal sentiment.

Some ink here, a re-stamp because of a fatal error in the inking process, a cut with the Nestie, and a sentiment of appropriate size was born. A little tape, a few dozen Dimensionals, and a CARD was born:

This, dear readers, is the result of our fair stamper's labors this evening. And what a handsome specimen it is! Nothing girly, nothing shiny, no ribbon. Quite manly, actually.

Here is a close-up of her work. There was trimming and cutting and poking and stitching and dipping and heating and ... and ... it is done.

Our fair stamper has put down her playthings for this evening, and has gone in search of Web-based wisdom, aka: trolling for good sentiments to steal for future cards. I think she's earned it.

Thus ends this episode of "What Was I Thinking?!". Considering the source, there should be a new episode very, very soon.

(PS: Do not forget to enter the Spot the Mistake contest! Don't miss the chance to win something from In There!)

Another Scrappy Card

Still working on the Scrap Heap. I have my quarter of the pack of papers I cut into for my Blogiversary giveaway, and it sits on top of the heap and taunts me. I used some of it on a card at the bottom of yesterday's post, and I used two more of the patterns for this card:

One of my fellow crafters at the market asked me to make a really pretty card for each of her sisters, but she wants something snarky on the inside. (I like how she thinks!) This is one of the possible designs, and we have chosen the sentiment for the inside. I'll make a different outside for the second card.

The outline of the designs on the top piece is dark purple (well, if it really isn't, it is now), so I grabbed some Elegant Eggplant from my purple pile to use as a layer. I had a minor crafting crisis when I realized after about 20 minutes of searching that I must have sold my wide organza dark purple ribbon. What was I thinking?! Didn't I know back then that I'd eventually need that very ribbon?! I suspect this is why we hoard - you just never know when you might need something.

I was forced to come up with Plan B, and being the Queen of the Save, I used a strip of the purple card stock as a band across the seam of the two pieces of paper, and I tied a white ribbon over that. Definitely okay, if I do say so myself, and I just did!

The whole thing is mounted on a 5 1/4" pale green base. I re-discovered a bunch of 12x12 card stock, and I have added it to the pile of things I want to use up so I do not need to find them homes in The Other Room. I managed to use 2 pieces of it yesterday. Yay!

At the last second, I decided to add the sentiment, and I stamped it in Elegant Eggplant Craft ink and embossed it with clear embossing powder. Done!

I actually started another stash card last night before I began to nod off, and I hope to finish that tonight. I'll be sure to show it off when I do!

Don't forget to enter my Spot The Mistake contest. The prize will be from my stash, and it might even be something good this time!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Spot The Mistake - Round 5

That's right! I am putting myself out there again and asking you to find the mistake in this morning's post. The winner will get something from my stash of unused and neglected craft supplies. Maybe even some ribbon (like I'd miss it).

So go on back here and see if you can find it. I only spotted one, so as usual, there will be bonus points granted for anyone who spots more than one!

I will pick a name at random from all the correct responses (I make up these rules as I go, you know). All entries must be posted as a reply to this post. You may enter more than once, but your name will only be counted once. Deadline for entering is Wednesday 9 pm Eastern time. I'll pick a winner and announce it on Thursday.

Thanks in advance for playing! Let the games begin!

Sunday Irreverence

It is Sunday morning, and I am in stampin' mode. Well, I'd LIKE to be, but the brain is not cooperating. Kitty compensates for my madness by doing this. Me? I baked Banana-Blueberry bread, because that's what I do with bananas that are taking on personalities. They must be baked into something good!

I thought I'd start by mounting my new SU Ronald McDonald stamp set and using it. My 50% rule does also apply to this set, even though it is for a good cause. If I do not like the stamp set, I'd rather throw some loose change into the bin at McDonald's. [I have no room, people.]

So anyway, this stamp from the set is (I hope) a peacock, or at least a pheasant, and they have colorful tails. I thought it would be fun to use this to make a set of Thank You notes, which seem to actually be popular at this year's market. So I started coloring the stamps with my SU In Color markers.

After about 30 seconds, I realized this is NOT easy to do if you want to make more than one of them. I ended up coloring the bird in Bermuda Bay, then I used my Blender Pen to remove the ink from the circles in the tail, then went back with the Crushed Curry marker to color them back in. This immediately set of the "this sounds like work" alarm in my brain, and I stopped.

Then I moved on to the second stamp in the set I thought would work for Thank You notes. This was a bit easier to color, but still tedious. At least I did not have to line up the sentiment and row of flower thingies - it is all one stamp! If for only that reason, I love it. I only made two of these, and set them aside. Not gonna happen today.

Moving on ...

Another lofty goal of mine on any given day is to use some of my stash (aka: Scrap Heap) and make it disappear a tiny bit more. To this end, I selected these two papers and put them on a Bashful Blue square base. SQUARE! Yes, I know! But the papers were too pretty to cut down, and then I'd be left with more scraps, so using a 6" piece of paper on a 5 1/4 card was a good option for me.

The sentiment is another one overheard in Twitter-land. I just write them down for later. I opted for no image on this one, because the paper is pretty, and busy, so why bother. It does mean this is a stamp-less card, as the sentiment was computer-generated, but I made four of them, which equates to a whole 12 x 12 sheet of paper! Yay, me!

And lest you non-stampers think that mass-production is easy, allow me to show you why we stampers need to always be on our toes with minds alert and churning. The following two images bring to life the adage that "there are no mistakes in stamping - only opportunities for embellishment".

I this version, I did a particularly poor job attaching the papers to the card base, and I am out of alignment. A single wrap of that ribbon would not begin to cover my error, so I went for two. Yes, I wrapped this ribbon around the card twice, then spread out the ribbon in an attempt to disguise the flaw, or to at least draw attention away from the flaw.

In this example of a quick recovery, I had an unfortunate finger print smudge between the words "for" and "global", which I ever so cleverly disguised by sponging on some more of the Dusty Durango ink to make it look like I meant to do that.

And if you think that twice-wrapped ribbon is wasteful, here is why it is not (at least in my house).

This is one (ONE) spool of ribbon I picked up on my Ribbon Outlet Adventure over a year ago. It has 100 yards of the stuff on one spool. (Point of reference: the ribbon spools at craft stores have from 2 to 10 yards, and SU has either 10 or 15 yards.) Why did I buy it? It was $1.25, that's why!

Just look at all that satin-y goodness! So if I wrap it twice, it's not like I'll run out any time soon.

Okay, I'm off to do some more damage to that Scrap Heap. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dog Day Market Day

It was a bit warm today at the market. A bit, like STINKIN' HOT! I crafted a 'sun block' for my tent out of a length of muslin I picked up at the fabric store, and it did keep the direct sun off of my cards, and there was a breeze, but out in the sun it was HOT. Okay, not AUSTIN hot, but hot all the same. And me without my frozen towels... next week I'll be more prepared.

First up today is the mock-up skirt Mary Beth made for my tent weights. [Uh-oh. MB, was I supposed to give this back to you? Sorry!] I'd asked her to craft some skirts to hide my handsome cat litter bottles (though they do generate lots of conversation!) Isn't it nice? It slips over the bottle and my rope feeds up through the hole. Very clever! She made it like the little skirts she makes for kids, but (obviously) the 'waist' is a lot smaller.

Check out the detail. That arrow points to a seam! This is not just a gathered piece of fabric! Color me impressed! I have no idea what color (or colors) the final version will be, but I think they are great!

Speaking of colors, here are today's color inspirations. First is this darling little girl with the cutest top! It is pink and dark brown. VERY cute.

And our resident Sketch Artist wore this. What decade does this bring to mind? 60s? I'll bet he was nice and cool, though!

Time for today's dog parade. First we have what I believe is a Whippet. They look (to me) like miniature Greyhounds, but I know they are not.

This is a Samoyed. HUGE dog, and very pretty/handsome.

I thought this was a small Samoyed, but nope. I think she said it was an American Husky, but then I looked it up online and it looks more like an American Eskimo Dog (which may be an American Husky, for all I know). Side by each, though, these dogs looked like cousins.

Here is a better look at the Eskimo Dog. She is checking out the Spaniel. They were both quite well-behaved.

Did I mention it was hot?

Here is what I call a mini-dog. I believe it is a Chihuahua, and she said it would not get any bigger. I'd step on it, fer sure. Oh, and that white dog is Molly, who is a regular. A second before I took this photo, they were doing the butt-sniffing thang, so I thought I'd not get that on film digits.

Even the Rock lady had dogs today! Actually, since I have banished myself to a tent outside the pavilion, I was unaware this is not a new creation of hers. I am such a bad fellow crafter.

Just to show you I did stamp something today, this is a shot of my work space as I finished assembling five cards. These are more copies of this card I mocked up last week. Card-making is such a messy, clutter-y endeavor....

I hope to do some REAL stamping on Sunday and have something new to show you. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Something Vintage

In the early days of my parents' adult lives, my mom was a Skinny Minnie. I have pictures! In fact, one of my favorite pics of my parents is a shot of them when they were either still engaged, or just married, with both sets of my Grandparents. It is sepia-tone and old-looking and wonderful. The dress my Mom is wearing in the picture is (I am sure) hand-made, either by her or by my Grandmother.

When my Mom passed away several years ago, my brothers and I helped my Dad go through some of the stuff in the closets. I had the pleasure of discovering a cache of her old dresses, including the one she was wearing in that picture. The dress, plus several others and a coat or two, are now mine, and sadly in storage.

I do not want to give them to someone who will cut them up for the fabric. I want them to go to someone who would actually wear them! I took some really bad photos of them, and I wanted to share them somewhere online, so why not here? It's not a card, but it is something near and dear to my heart, and this is MY blog, so there!

My Mom was a private person, so I have no plans to show the whole photo (no faces), but this is her wearing the dress I will show you in the following photos. The photo was taken around 1950, I think at a cousin's wedding. BTW, I measured the dress' waistline - 24".

This is the front of the dress. It has been on that hanger for over 50 years. It is in fantastic shape, considering. Square neckline, off-the-shoulder shoulders.

It is a deep blue, heavy-weight satin-y fabric. Luscious to the touch.

The back.

The sleeves. Check out that detail! You will see some more of this in a sec.

The zipper is on the side of the dress, and runs from a few inches under the arm to the waist. I have two other dresses of hers with zippers in the same location.

Here is some more of that shirring. It is on both sides. You may have noticed it next to the top of the zipper in the above photo.

Pleats. OMG, the pleats! They run down both sides, front and back, from the waistline to the bottom of the dress. You may need to click on the pic to get a better look.

This is a pic taken with the flash, and it is too bright, but you can see the pleats better. Isn't that fabric beautiful?!

There is no belt, but there are belt loops, so you could wear pretty much any skinny belt you want to!

If I could wear this dress, I would. But I have not been this size since I was 12, so no can do.

I have had this dress for over 7 years, and it has been in storage the whole time. I took it out tonight, and I am again in love with the thing. Every time I think I can give it away or sell it, I have second thoughts, but if I can find someone who loves vintage-y clothing and might actually wear it, that would be perfect.

I have no idea if this is worth anything, but I know some people are really into period dresses. If you know any of them, please send them my way. Meanwhile, I'll troll the Internet looking for similar items so I can get an idea of its worth. Emotionally, it is priceless.

Thanks for letting me share this evening.

I've Been Featured!

Just a quick note: I've been featured!

Yes, my friends, one of the cards in my esty store has been featured on someone's blog! Check it out: I am so tickled!

Gotta run to the Day Job. I hope to have an actual card to post tonight.

Thanks for listening to me brag. ;-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's All About the Cat

This, my friends, is why my SU workshop order has not yet been triaged. She really hates the stampin' stuff, because it keeps me from paying attention to HER. And as every cat owner knows ... well, check out the card I just threw together:

This was CASEd from Lydia's card here. (While you are there, please admire and ooh and aah over her hobo kitties.) I was going to outright steal it, but I decided instead to just be inspired by it and change things up a bit. I used my SU C is for Cat set, and the new SU Nouveau Chic DS paper with Basic Gray, Vanilla and Sage Shadow (the whole reason I even know about SU!)

This card is SU-only, and even though this is just a rough draft, a version of this card may make it to my August list of projects. We shall see.

Thanks for stopping by! [Wha?! She's done?! No blathering?! Is she okay?!]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days where you cannot do anything right? Or maybe no one else can do anything right and you feel like you are living in the wrong dimension of time and space? Where no amount of medication or alcohol can fix things? Yeah, one of those days. Sometime I just feel like this:

YOU know what I'm talking about, ladies, right? Did you ever just feel like maybe you ARE a bwitch?

Me? I just come home and make a snarky card and I feel aaaaaaall better.

I liked the Sassy Susie SU set when I first saw it, and though I have not gone back to her much, I like that she is not one of my old crones and I can have a more modern-looking lady making a statement.

This is also a total stash card. (Woo-hoo!) No virgin card stock was sacrificed in the making of this card - even the base is from The Heap. The patterned paper is from my 1/4 of the Blogiversary papers I gave away.

Now about those colors ... at the time, the Celery seemed right with that paper, and hopefully with the brown in between it helps the Celery to look more matchy. I am pretty sure the Chocolate grosgrain ribbon was a poor choice, but whatever. It's all about the sentiment, right!?!?! I may rummage through my Every Color Brown But The One I Need box of ribbons tomorrow, or maybe I won't. Sally and I are both feeling a bit sassy this evening.

I'm off to try and make a dent in my Google Reader ... as I type I can see the numbers changing.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Snarky, Whiney Monday

Wanna know one of my deep, dark secrets? When I post to the blog, I write the whole thing before I give it a title. Yup. Because my brain is so weird, I have no idea where my blathering will take me until I finish typing. Then, and only then, do I name the post. Well, except for the UHC posts, which are numbered and require no thinking. Other than that? As I type this, the title is blank

My plans for this evening were thwarted by grocery shopping. I needed to get chipotle peppers and some pectin, and while I was there, I picked up a few other things. I thought because I live in a pretty diverse area that I'd have no problem finding chipotles in adobo sauce, but noooooooo. I went to three stores, and finally found them at Whole Foods. (Yay, Whole Foods!)

Then I got home to an infestation of ants in the kitchen (I live in a lower level, so it comes with the territory), but what a total pain in the arse. Spray, wipe, shoo the cat, shoo the cat again, spray, wipe, shoo the cat... Finally, I had it taken care of enough to start in on the blackberry jam.

Ah, the jam. The recipe makes 9 cups of the stuff. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! So it is cooling on the stove, all the clean-up is done, it is 8:15 pm and I am just now sitting down to unwind so I can go to bed in an hour.

Luckily for you, if you came here for something besides the whining, I did stamp a card last night, and I'll share that with you now:

This is one of my go-to ladies. She has attitude, and I can make her say anything I want, so she has been pretty snarky since we've met. Except for the base of the card, this is all from The Heap - even the pieces of ribbon that I thought to save from when I made my Velveeta cards. I made three or four of the ladies, because I kept coloring her ears pink along with the curlers, and I needed to start over each time. Did you know a Copic 0 marker will not remove pink ink if it is dye ink? Ask me how I know that....

The gray layer under the sentiment is a Nestie that I trimmed so it was not three times the size of the vanilla piece. I just hacked off the outer edge of the top and bottom.

In case you do not want to click on the photo to read the teeny tiny sentiment, it says: Do I look like a freakin' people person? Funny, because I am a people person, but then *I* am not buying this card. :-) And do NOT ask me on what occasion you would send this to someone, because I have no clue. But I have sold some, which is why I made some more. I'll make a note to ask the next person who buys one what they plan to do with it. Could be interesting.

In other news, I am wrestling with the decision of whether or not to purchase an ATG for myself. I go through double-sided tape like water through a sieve, and it is pretty pricey stuff. I am looking for a source where I can buy the size I need in bulk. As of the moment, I plan to stick with (HAHAHAHAH, how punny) Staples as my source for tape to use for workshops, and just use the ATG for myself. If I can figure out where to put it .... But that's another post for another night.

Now, let me see, what shall I call this post ... hmmmm... some whining, more whining, a card, and an out-of-left-field comment about ATGs and tape sources. Okay, got it! (And you already know the answer.)

Thanks for stopping by!

UHC # 14

Today's card celebrates Thread The Needle Day, which is celebrated on July 25th. (Oh, look: a whole [a little out of date] blog called "Threading the Needle"!) I chose to interpret this in a sewing sense, but I suppose 'threading the needle' could also be interpreted as 'something difficult'. I'm going with the sewing angle today.

I used this Under-Appreciated Holiday to force myself to blow the dust off my PTI Quilters Sampler stamp set. (Yes, I also have the second quilting set they released...leave me alone.) I used all PTI here except for the yellow patterned paper, but I'll get back to that in a sec.

I had this idea to use the needle, which is part of the "Hand stamped by ..." image together with the spool of thread. Clear stamps, no problem, right? I almost made it, too! I used my Memento black marker to ink up only the part of the needle image I wanted, then I squinted and stamped.

I lovelovelove their Ocean Tides color, and I thought it would look good with the Lemon Tart. I think the contrast might be a bit too much, so I added some white layers.

To make this card, I needed to open my pack of polka dotted papers as well as the yellow satin ribbon. I hoard well, but using stuff is another matter.

Now, about that SU paper that snuck into the project. We all know I have issues with white space and bright colors. So when this Lemon Tart card base stared back at me, all I saw was "ACK! BRIGHT!", and it needed to be subdued. I had a scrap of SU Razzleberry Lemonade out, and this piece with Crushed Curry was just the ticket to save me.

I added the buttons at the last sec - thought the card needed something. I had to open a dusty pack of Bazzill buttons to find these.

I also made this other version, mostly so I did not have to put away the other cut half of the Lemon Tart card stock. I am so freakin' efficient lazy.

On a related note, I actually have a recipient selected for this card. Sadly, yet another of my coworkers has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I think we have contributed more than our fair share of victims, so someone, please make it stop!!! (I wonder if it is in the water .... ) She comes back to work tomorrow, post-surgery but pre-anything-else, so I thought I'd leave this on her desk for her.

Off to the Day Job! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Finally, She STAMPED Something!

I tell you, Life sure gets in the way of stampin' sometimes. Take this past week, for example. This is the first week I have not brought new cards to my market. Well, actually, this turned out to be a good thing, since no one was buying anything, but still. For me to have a week with no real production is strange.

To what to I attribute this? Let's see ... I found Twitter, and I am still trying to balance that with my already-too-full calendar; I try to keep up with Google Reader, but Twitter has made me add oh so many more blogs, and I find I can no longer keep up; I took a most-excellent Blogger Webinar Thursday night from Understandblue (HIGHLY recommended, by the way); the Webinar sent me down several paths to Blog Improvement and much reading and tweaking ensued (and will continue until I get it where I want it); Saturday's market was so slow I went through my cards and pulled a few to post in my Etsy store, and then I had to photograph them and post them; the Day Job was draining this week and I had no creative juices flowing; I bought food, and it needed to be cooked; ... enough excuses for you? :-)

I have so many ideas that I want to put to paper, that I bit the bullet this morning, and instead of getting dressed and going to the grocery to purchase chipotles in adobo and pectin, I stayed in my jammies and made some cards. CRAZY, I KNOW!

Today I bring you the card inspired by this sticker:

Not sure if they {heart} DC or what, but the whale immediately brought to mind the SU Animal Stories stamp set I thought I had to own, and now do. It's a kids' set, so what was I thinking? I broke the 50% rule to buy it for the cute owl, but THIS ... this simple sticker made me believe the set could be used for non-kiddie cards.

Ta-Da! A not-a-kiddie card, with a whale on it!

My idea started out with the phrase "had a whale of a good time". Then I thought, "Do I say 'We' or 'I' had a whale of a good time?" Sigh, all these tough decisions a stamper needs to make. Really! I had some "we've moved" cards and someone asked if I had any that said "i've moved". You cannot please everyone. So, faced with this mind-boggling dilemma, I opted for neither! By using the simple ellipsis (that ... thing) in place of the pronoun, I avoid the whole sticky wicket!

Since I had the 'puter powered up to print something, I carefully thought out (not) then printed off the sentiment. Several times, I might add, as I cut up the first batch and failed to leave enough room for the thanks. I am an idiot sometimes, and it's a good thing I buy this card stock from myself.

I used the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig to get the whale and the sentiment placed almost centered and almost straight. Even with the right tools, I am challenged with the concept of 'straight'. But I think I am getting better.

The blue card stock and ink are SU retired Buckeroo Blue, and the patterned paper is also retired - Western Sky. I love it, and I should have hoarded more. The ribbon is from one of my 1200-yard spools from my Ribbon Outlet trip over two years ago. A little bling in the holes from the Threading Water punch, and I call it DONE.

I'll add this to my Thanks section and move on to something else. I think I'll work on tomorrow's UHC card. Yes, I'm really going to do one!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Twittery Update

Remember last week when I told you I'd dipped my toe into the Twitter pool? Well, it's been a whole week, and I thought I'd give you a crooked-type review of how it's going. Notice I did not say "gone", past tense; I'm still there.

So this twitter thing? While I can see how addicting it could be, I do agree that (as with any controlled substance) if used carefully, it can be entertaining and a GREAT way to meet people with common interests.

Case in point: Since the beginning of my adventure last Sunday, my blog comments have increased several-fold (and we know it is ALL about the comments, right?), and I made an etsy sale! My first! More people are following me, and it really is a lot of fun.

I love the people connection, and that the varied interests across the group lead to an expanded exposure to things I normally would not have seen. But you know what? I am going to stop now, because one of my first Twitter friends posted about this very topic the same day I was drafting this post, so instead of repeating what she said (though she did a MUCH better job than *I* could have done), I'll just send you over to
her post. It is really quite eloquent!

In conclusion, I think in moderation, Twitter is a fine (and fun) diversion. I will not stop stamping to twitter on Twitter! Nononono! In fact, I am getting all sorts of ideas for cards from the things people say, so it is really another source of inspiration, and some days I can really use that!

Tonight, well, tonight my printer and Cuttlebug and Nesties all decided to throw fits, so I put them to bed early without dessert. Too early for ME to turn in, so I am doing a little catching up on my Google Reader and some tweets. Harmless, it is.

Tomorrow, it's back to stamping. I plan to wrassle with the printer & Cuttlebug & Nesties until I win! I WILL WIN! Wish me luck.

Thanks for stopping by!

Market Update (and Some Fashion Statements)

'Twas a slooooooow day at the market today. Lots of people out, but not a lot of sales. I did not take in $20. Lucky for me I got to people watch a bunch, and take pics of veggies and fruit that are in season right now.

First up we have some HOT hot peppers. None of these came home with me, and Farmer Mike called me a wimp. But then he always calls me that.

Today's blackberries. Mmmmm... 2 quarts of these came home with me, and I plan to make some jam with chipotle. From what I understand, I need to follow the jam recipe on the back of the pectin box, and just add a few peppers to the mix. This means I will have to leave the house tomorrow to buy pectin and chipotle. Drat.

Okra. Blech. Even though I have lived South of the Mason-Dixon line for 24 years, now, I will never embrace Sweet Tea (gotta be unsweetened, with lemon), I will never knowingly eat Scrapple (every part of the pig but the oink), and I will never ingest Okra. Yes, I have seen Alton Brown's Okra shows, and I know it can be cooked and not come out slimy, but I am not willing to work that hard, especially when there are so many non-slimy vegetables available to me.

Now let's move on to the Fashion portion of our show. There is one photo not taken, but a woman came through wearing very thin white slacks and it was pretty obvious to anyone who looked in her direction that she was wearing thong undies. I think (and this may just be me) that if you are going to wear see-through pants, you should not wear dark or brightly-patterned undies. I'm just sayin'.

Then this woman walked through. I am not sure where she works, but this is not your standard Farmers Market attire. We mostly see shorts and t-shirts and flip-flops. Or a sun-dress. But this was black and long-sleeved and off-the-shoulder and on the front it had lotsa bling and rhinestones. Do you think maybe she is from Texas? (Sorry, Lydia.) And do those shoes look comfortable to anyone?

Lastly I bring you "not Farmers Market shoes". Look at those heels!

Okay, while sitting here editing and uploading these photos, I think my body temperature has dropped back down into the 'normal' range, so I can go about my bizness this afternoon. On my list of things to do was to make my tomatillo salsa, finally, but in order to do that, I first need to clear the dishwasher. Yes, in my world this makes perfect sense. You see, my kitchen is as tiny as the rest of this place, so counter space is at a premium, and most of my farmers market purchases languish in bags on the floor until I can get to them. So to make the salsa I need to first wash the veggies, then take out the food processor. To wash the veggies I need the sink, which is full of dishes, because the dishwasher is full of clean dishes and I have not cleared them out yet. Once I clear the dishwasher, I can wash the dishes in the sink and on the counter and fill the dishwasher, so then I can wash and cut the veggies and have room on the counter for the food processor, too. Do you see why nothing ever gets done around here? If I had just not purchased those blasted tomatillos, I could go stamp something! Sigh ...

Ah, well, guess I'll go cook something, instead. I hope to stamp later this evening and maybe get to my UHC card for next week. Maybe. Thanks for stopping by!