Thursday, February 28, 2013


The main reason I haven't been blogging as much as I used to is because I'm taking a class that is consuming all my time, my remaining braincells, and my sanity.  When people hear that I'm taking a class they ask, "What class are you taking?" So I answer honestly, "Economics."

And to that the reply always is, "Oh."     

That's it.  Just "oh."

And I can't say I blame them because where do you go from there?  You can't have a lively discussion about economics because that's an oxymoron and who the heck knows anything about economics except for, you know, those people.  And who wants to be associated with those people?!

Sorry folks but my job, the one that pays the bills and buys the stamps, won't give me a raise for taking a class in stair-step cut cards or fanciful folds for fanciful cards.  And such a shame too, because I'd be a much better employee if those were on the menu.  But alas, I get to take dull classes like economics that put me into a stupor and ruins any creativity I may have.

Since all work and no play make something something I do sneak away once in awhile to play.  Luckily for me I know some Stampin' Up consultants who will think up the card and do most of the prep work for me so all I can do is create (and buy.  lots.  which stimulates the economy.  which is a good thing.  maybe.  actually this has not been discussed in my class.  and now you know why it is so boring.).
The Fine Print: Yep, since I made these at a Stampin' Up workshop I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that every last thing on these cards is by Stampin' Up.  Yep.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Oh and that paper that looks like a page from a book?  It is patterned paper by SU. I know that because I asked.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What the Hell, Man?!

I don't seem to know where I put my camera off the top of my head and with the 32 seconds I had to look for it, so today you'll have to settle for a card made by my friend.
Yep, that's it right there.  She said she was trying to copy a design she saw in a magazine and didn't know if I'd much like this card.  Are you kidding me?! I love it! I love the happy spring colors and all the funky designs and the border punches are nice too.  When it is not squished flat to scan the butterfly is two layers and the wings stick up. It is very cool and I give it two thumbs up because I have thumbs.

You know who doesn't have thumbs?  My cat, Charles!  He is also lacking some whiskers because he irresponsibly put them inside my paper cutter when I was cutting paper.  Now that he has blunt cut whiskers he likes to come up and lean against me and poke them into me.  It is almost like he blames me for his putting his own whiskers in the paper cutter.  I mean, what the hell, man?!

The Fine Print: Thanks to HR for the great card.  The butterfly and border punches are by Martha Stewart.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gettin' Down and Dirty

Hey!  It is my week to host the A Muse Studio Challenge.  I admit that I find these challenges um.... challenging sometimes.  You know, you have to think up something that people can relate to and want to partake in, yet they should be new and exciting.  Maybe I fulfilled that, maybe I didn't.  Either way it is a go now and my challenge is to get down and dirty, grungy and messy, sloppy and tattered, whatever it takes.

I confess that I am a clean stamper.  I don't end up with ink and glue all over the stamp, the desk, my fingers, my clothes, etc.  When people look at my stamps and mounts they often say they look new.  Nope, I'm just not that kind of messy.  I like the look of cards with lots of dyes, sprays, and fussy things all over them.  I don't tend to make them because they sound so messy.  However, that is what this challenge is all about.
I know Tim Holtz is laughing at my idea of grunge, but bear with me!  I distressed the layered edges on this card.  Since I rarely know where I left my distressing tool at (see, I'm that kind of messy) I just use my metal ruler instead.  You scrape it along the edge like you are trying to scrape the burnt off toast and it works just fine.  It makes a huge fuzzy mess all over your lap and the floor.

I also used Splash spray on the top layer of the card.  I used blush, which is a light and subtle color so it doesn't show up too much in my photo.  That stuff is fun to use but beware that you can dye fabric with it so you probably shouldn't be using it inside unless you are looking for speckled decor.  I thought the twine with its natural fuzziness and unevenness helped the overall messy look of this card.

 For this card I increased the amount of distressed edges and crinkly-ness.    In the end I thought the card was a bit bulky with too many roughed up surfaces so I may have crossed a line somewhere.  However, I did like the various patterns as I felt it helped make things look sloppy.

This card features a lot of new product that will be available in the new catalog that goes live on March 1st (coming real soon!)  This is a new color called Mermaid.  There is not a new baker's cording in this color though.  There is a new Splash spray in it so you can use that to dye your existing cording and any kind of dying counts as messy in my book!

I hope you liked my tattered sloppiness and can come join us in the challenge.  I'm giving away a prize of chevron patterned cardstock in the new color, Mermaid.

The Fine Print: All things A Muse Studio.  Cardstock used: kraft, grass, sugar, mermaid, mermaid chevron, mermaid petite pinstripe; inks used: currant, grass, mermaid, memento black and cocoa; stamps used: Sunny Side of Life, Script background, and You're too Kind (new); dies used: butterfly trio, you're too kind matching dies, scallop bordered and Spellbinders circle; Splash spray used: blush and mermaid.  Other supplies: metal brads, onyx pearls, toffee twine, blush baker's cording (blush part removed and white part dyed).

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hey Man!

It is time for another A Muse Studio Challenge!  Actually, it is past time as there was a new one last Monday, but hey, better late than never.  Consider this a mid-challenge wake up call.

As some of y'all know, there are things that are retiring from the current A Muse catalog so that a new one can come out March 1.  I am sad to see these things go as I am rather partial to things.  The challenge this time around is to use some of the things from the retiring list.
I decided to use the Hey Man set to make a couple of quick and easy manly note cards.  Hey Man is one of those sets that make you think of classic A Muse from the wood mounted days.  It has some great masculine themed stamps and I'll be sad to see this set go.
Not only did I use a retiring stamp set, but I used a retiring paper.  That's right, folks, if you didn't already know it you should sit down before reading the next sentence.  A Muse is retiring the gingham paper!

I know!  I know!  It is completely tragic! They will be doing something called pinstripe instead.  Hmmm.... Curious.

Anyway!  If you have some retiring A Muse products we would love to see you play along with the latest challenge.  You can check it out here.

The Fine Print:  Retiring A Muse products only available until sold out or February 28 (want something? get it now) .  Stamp set used Hey Man, cardstocks used navy, cocoa, berry gingham, French roast gingham, and white eyelet.  Everything by A Muse (who even sells Copic markers used to color these image).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Better than Motley Crue

One day back in the hair metal band 80's my mom opened the refrigerator and asked, "Who put a banana in the refrigerator?"  Well, it just so happens that I was going to eat a banana but it mysteriously disappeared, so I confessed that it was me.

"You know what happens when you put a banana in the refrigerator, don't you?"  my mom asked.  "It gets cold," was my answer.  But no, she told me that they turn black and went on to ask me, "Didn't you ever hear that song about how you can't put your bananas in the refrigerator or they turn black?"

Um.... no, mom, I never did.  I listen to Motley Crue, Def Leppard, and other hair metal bands and I'm pretty sure they didn't do that song nor was it on the top 40 radio.  In hindsight, such a song would probably be great for a thrash or punk band.  It sounds like a topic you could milk the appropriate 45-seconds worth of material.
Even better than Motley Crue or a song about black bananas was my mother singing to me when I was a child.  My mom is no singer, but she is my mom and that counts for something.  Her voice was soothing and calm.  Although her song material was a bit dark.  She would sing about how we had to tell Aunt Rhodie that the old grey goose was dead because of a toothache.  I loved that song and have great memories of her singing it to me.  Next time I get sick maybe I'll call her up and have her sing it to me.  Or not.  She may insist on driving all the way to my house if I'm sick so she can sing it in person.  Hey, that might not be bad, I could probably wrangle some of her homemade chicken soup out of the deal.  That stuff is awesome.
Here's an updated photo of my room so you can compare it to yesterday's disaster photo.  Is it looking any better?  I confess that it still looks pretty bad, but the carpets have been vacuumed and shampooed. I know it is odd to stop in the middle of picking up to vacuum and shampoo the carpets but that is a job that works best when I'm home alone and I had the house to myself last night.*

*Minus the cats, who don't usually complain about about the vacuum cleaner. 

The Fine Print: Another card from a Basic Grey card kit, perhaps even the same card kit as yesterday's card, who can say for sure?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hello Operator?

This morning this story randomly popped into my head so I decided to share because it is a lovely example of my family who put the 'fun' in dysfunctional.

In grade school I had a friend named Rachael B.  Noteworthy things about Rachael are that she was an only child and had no middle name.  Rachael’s claim to fame was that she sometimes rode actual horses, which is a big deal when you are a little girl.

One day for unknown reasons I decided to call my friend Rachael on the telephone and talk to her.  When I was a kid people didn’t go around with phones growing out of their ears like they do now so calling people on the phone was a rare event.  I opted to use the phone upstairs in the master bedroom since my other option was to use the phone in the kitchen, but the kitchen was next to the dining room where my mom camped out.  

I sat on the floor of the master bedroom and called Rachael.  We had barely started talking when my mother snuck up on me.  “There you are! Let’s see how you like it!”

“What?” I asked innocently, not aware of the madness that was yet to come.

My mother walked over to where I was bent way down near me and yelled, “Shit!  Goddamn it!  Bastard!”  Then she started to walk off, “There!  Do you like it?  Do you like it when I bother you when you are on the phone?!” and she left.

What?! What?! WHAT?!  I was shocked.  I was shocked more by the swear words than her interrupting my call.  Rachael heard it all so I had to tell her that my mom was trying to be funny by interrupting my call.  Rachael said she probably should go and hung up.

As bizarre and devastating as that was, the damage wasn’t over yet.  See, Rachael dutifully relayed what had happened to her mother and her mother had a swift response.  The next day at school, Rachael came to me and told me she wasn’t allowed to be my friend anymore.  I should never call or talk to her again.  That was a big blow to me because I was always the weird kid. I was weird enough without this story getting out and making me the pariah.  
Just for you

The Fine Print: card made from a Basic Gray card kit. Hey I just realized that this may the root reason I hate, hate, despise talking on the phone.  I wouldn’t even own a phone except a girl needs to order pizza once and awhile. I would ask my therapist about it but I don’t have one.  Instead, you’re it!  Feel the pressure now?!  How do you like it? Shit! Goddamn! Bastard!  Oh, and the room, that's my disaster area, but look how neat the punch shelf is!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Queen of Excess

Last night I was sitting around the rubble of my living room, which is also my craft room, and I got to thinking...  which is always a dangerous thing for me to do. 

I was leafing though some magazines and deciding which ones to add to the 'for sale' pile and which ones to keep.  I found a lot of them that could go but held onto some real favorites and got to thinking about how much I used to look forward to getting the newest edition of an overseas magazine.  I would devour the magazine from front to back. I couldn't wait to try out whatever free gift came along that month. I would pull out the sample papers from the middle and make cards using them.  I often tried out whatever technique or idea they were featuring that month.  I really enjoyed the magazine and got my monies worth out of it.  I enjoyed it so much that I went and subscribed to another overseas magazine.  And then a domestic one.  Then another domestic one. And I would pick up yet a different overseas magazine whenever I encountered it locally.
After all, I enjoyed the one so much I should get FIVE TIMES the enjoyment out of five magazines a month!!  But, no, I didn't.  I was overwhelmed. I didn't have the time to dedicate to five of them that I did with one of them.  In fact, after that, I didn't have the time for the first magazine anymore.  I had enough time to glance at all of them.  Somehow it just wasn't that fun anymore.
And that describes my life as I do that a lot. I had so much fun with that one paper pack that I bought twenty more and had too much paper.  I loved that one daisy stamp so much I got three more daisy stamps and never used any of them again.  I enjoyed the company of that one cat so much I got two more.  The Princess is the Queen of Excess.  So what I was wondering as I sat in the rubble of my living room last night was, "How come I've never died of an overdose?!"  After all if that one pill makes you feel so much better, think how awesome you'll be after the whole bottle!!!!

The Fine Print: More Serenade kit stuff from Simon Says Stamp.  Good thing I never wanted to have kids, huh?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Making Messes

Ooh, yeah.  I haven't updated my blog in over a week.  I haven't made anything new during the last week because I trashed my crafting area in the name of getting better organized and currently there is no room to play (or sit, or walk, or exist actually).  Luckily for you all I still have photos of cards I made over the holiday break to share.
Have you ever started a project that you thought would be no big deal and it turned out to be way more extensive than you could have ever imagined?  Yeah, that is what happened in my craft area.  I demanded some more shelves for my punch shelf and the Shelf Fairy immediately delivered (something about having extra shelves in the closet that I had forgotten about).  That wasn't a big deal, right? Take all the punches and stamps out, rehang the shelves including the new extra ones, and then put all the stamps and punches back right?  Well, no I decided to make that complicated as well, finding more punches hidden throughout the house to add into the mix and deciding on others to purge.  The end result was nice with nothing but punches on the shelves, all nicely organized and not piled up.
However, that made me decide to do something similar to the large bookcase behind my desk that houses stamps and piles of junk.  The end result is supposed to be nicely organized and labeled containers of stamps with minimal stuff.  I had some new containers to add into the mix to help ward off dust and curious cats.  However, the new containers didn't fit.  However, there was way more miscellaneous stuff on those shelves than I realized.  However, it was all just way more than I imagined.  It is all just piled and heaped in random places in my living room.

I did manage to purge a large pile of wood mounted stamps.  By purge I mean toss them into a box that they then overflowed.  I wondered what I should do with them to actually get rid of them.  Then yesterday, the answered arrived via email.  A group of women who teach paper crafting classes is hosting a crafting yard sale on February 16th. I purchased a slot and I'll be there with my large box of stamps, my even larger box of paper, my medium sized box of punches, and miscellaneous plastic containers to sell.  If you'll be in the 'hood that Saturday, stop by the VFW on Roger Road and buy my shit!

The Fine Print: More Simon Says Stamp Stuff from the "Serenade" kit.  I promise that one of these days I'll have cards from some other kit on this blog.  There were many kits hidden in the random stuff on that bookshelf.  And have I mentioned that the bookshelf is but one small part of my crafting area?  There are lots more areas to make messes with!