Saturday, January 29, 2011

It is a rare occasion


This layout I completed the morning we left for Lake Tahoe is a rare breed for me. I do not normally use so much from one line on a single layout. If I use the paper, I generally use embellies from other sources and vice versa. Not so with this GCD Studios heavy layout.


The only things NOT part of the Melody Ross for GCD Studios line is the alpha letters, which are of course AC Thickers, the bling which is two Heidi Swapp frames cut up, the red Bazzill card stock, and the one black fabric flower that I have had so long I am not sure who made it. Funny thing about this layout is that it actually started with some pink and red Anna Griffin paper and was going to be mostly yellows, pinks, and reds. Once I started playing with it, this just came together and I still fought it, because I was worried it was too matchy. But when the Voices are happy, they won't take no for an answer and this layout made them very happy. Even with all the matchy pieces. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Home early

So the dear Hubsters and I headed off for three days of snow filled fun in the beautiful Lake Tahoe on Wednesday. I love Tahoe, it is picturesque and I love to ski, though this time we had decided to try snowboarding. Wednesday was great, we took out time, drove up in the mid afternoon, had dinner, played some slots, then headed off to bed to start early in the morning.

Thursday dawned bright and beautiful and my body revolted. I was sitting at breakfast having a total deja vu moment from the previous year. Headache, nausea, cold sweats, body aches, extreme desire to lay down immediately. Nothing helped, not coffee, not toast, nothing. I remembered sitting in almost the exact same position in 2009 and going through these same symptoms, so Hubsters pulls out the trusted iPhone and tries to see what it could possibly be.

Going on the experience of the previous year, I grabbed some Excedrin and went back to the hotel for some sleep. Waking up a few hours later, I felt better, which was much in the same vein as my prior experience. Eh, just a migraine induced by the travel, elevation, oxygen pumped into the casino, etc. Off to the slopes we go. Of course it is too late to schedule a lesson, so much against my better judgement, I allow Hubsters to convince me to rent snowboards and head to the snow covered hills, sans experience. Remember that scene from Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts returns to the store on Rodeo with the really rude sale women and tells them their treatment was a BIG mistake. HUGE. Imagine that scene interjected here.

So, now having ignored the dizzy spells on the conveyor belt ride up the bunny hill, I strap both my feet onto the ice skateboard and gingerly head down the hill.

Note to self: Those puppies move fast and you are not 17 any longer. Falling down on solid snowpack will bring tears to your eyes, hurt to your pride, and a serious pain to your backside.

I now perform this lovely little jerk-hard-grab-something-for-stability movement every time I cough or sneeze because it make my tailbone feel like it is exploding. NOT cool.

To say the least, the snowboarding attempt was at best, a failure. We planned to return the next morning for lessons, but we never made it. Within the hour, I was experiencing the queasiness, cold sweats, want to lay down immediately thing again and was crawling back to the hotel room. I spent 45 minutes in the fetal position in the tub with the hottest water possible pouring on my body, then plowed onto the bed, where I passed out again for hours.

Now, let me continue to make this long story long by pointing out I consider myself a pretty hardy sort. I have lived in some drastic conditions, my home in Oregon is at 3000 feet elevation, I have skied for many years on many different mountains, I have hiked with packs, kayaked the Puget Sound, built platforms for Boy Scout camp tent, and I travel frequently. I do not get motion sickness, even in the most extreme situations and can read a book in a warm car on a mountain road.

So, when the Hubsters suggested I might be suffering from Altitude Sickness, I looked at him like he was crazy. Me? Altitude Sickness? No way.

Then we woke up this morning. I felt good. I was ready to give the slopes an afternoon try. Until about two hours after I woke up and I popped that first bite of croissant in my mouth. It all went downhill from there.

Now, 12 hours later, I am sitting in the comfort of my own home. We called it quits on the trip and brought my wimpy butt back down to sea level where I seem to be doing a lot better. Hopefully tomorrow will dawn with no queasiness and I can take on my impromptu trip to LA for CHA with a clear head.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Creating up a storm!

It has felt SO good, too! I have made four layouts, four cards, and a bracelet in one week. That is a great feeling. I discovered some page kits I had purchased when an online company had closed and I have used the heck out of two of them. I am so sorry that the company is no longer, because obviously, I really like their groupings of products. Some of my new creations I am going to send in for possible publication, so they won't show up here for a while, but here are a few I can share.

First, one of the four cards I made. This is from the papers in one of the kits. The butterfly patterned paper is Melody Ross for GCD Studios and I have to say, they make some of them best products. I have also used this same piece for a layout that turned out great. I paired the butterflies with Co'redinations card stock, which I have also been using a lot of.  It doesn't really show up in the photo, but I watermark and UTEE'd the background with a butterfly stamp. The rosette is one I put together after punching the edge with a Martha Stewart edge punch.

Second is a layout I did featuring a saying I really like. I kind of feel like I came up with this saying myself, but I am sure it has been said before lil ol' me. If not, I am trademarking it. ;)
Jillibean Soup's patterned paper seemed perfect for this. A twig from the yard, some Prima and Maya Road flowers, a little baker's twine, and a K&Company wooden bird grounds the picture of home. There are journaling cards in the envelope talking about the location, the people who live(d) here, and other important tidbits.

A close up shows some K&Company bling that I added to the Maya Road resin flowers. Home really is where your song begins.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Still love ATC's

I know that the ATC craze goes in waves, but I still love these little canvases. I recently(ish) participated in a swap of ATCs on the Memory Makers Forum and I was amazed at the level of talent the artists came up with. It was a first time making them for a number of them and while I knew they were incredibly talented, they all still knocked out of the park.

Everyone made two cards for each player. There were two words that we could use as inspiration for the design if we wanted. One word was "Warm" and the other was "Change." I mulled over these words and came up with some good ideas, but I really wanted to do something different. I knew what first came to mind when I thought of these words, but I wanted to create something from further down the list of association. My first ATC focused on "Warm."
Embossed wood grain on rich red, with an iridescent "crackling" fire, and warm words. I love how if you pinch this pink tissue paper, it will crackle. Also, this is probably one of my all time favorite stamps and I love any reason to use it. The log is actually a real piece of stick covered in Modge Podge.

My second ATC came in a flash of inspiration and is one of my all time favorite creations. I kept laughing while putting them together.
The "quote" I put on Marie is: "A little change is nothing to lose your head over." Hee hee, I am so funny! That cheeky quote alone would be enough to make me love this card, but it also incorporates some of my other favorite things. The glass glitter on the edges is my favorite Champagne color from Stampin' Up! and there is a feather in Marie's hair, attached with a piece of old costume jewelry I had. I also used a bit of the same jewelry to make the necklace. Then we come to the back ground, the part I love the most.

It started like this:
Bright turquoise blue with glitter. Still pretty, but not what I was going for. So I added some Rock Candy Crackle Paint and a little Walnut Stain Distress Ink and we have this:

I LOVE this! The aged patina makes me so happy I want to make a big piece of it and hang it up to look at everyday. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Such a great start to the new year!

I came out with a bang and then fizzled like a dud firecracker. All smoke and no action. I have been preoccupied lately, to say the least. I was sick, (again), and have been trying to rebalance my schedule. Somewhere, my brain has decided that the best time to be fully functional is from 1:00am to 3:00am. Nice, huh?

Anyways, I have been creating when I can. I also put away a pile of stuff in the scrap space AND bought another table for it so now the Cricut and the sewing machine have a place to hang out other than under my desk. I was inspired by the creative geniuses on the Bombshell Stamps design team and had to lift their ideas of taking stamps off the page and onto other mediums. How about stamped UTEE hearts for Valentine's?

Aren't these cool? You can poke a hole in the top to make them charms or add magnets to the back. So many options. The color comes from adding some Perfect Pearls to the melted UTEE. Finally a reason to use those things!
Once you have poured the UTEE into the mold, (I used small metal cookie molds) and it starts to harden just a bit, then push the stamp gently into the surface. I used Brilliance ink. This step takes some practice. I ended up re-melting my first three attempts and almost ruined a stamp because I pushed it into the hot form WAY too soon.

Next there was a how to on adding stamped images to wood bangles. I LOVED this idea and in spite of not being able to find my plain Modge Podge, I ignored the Voices and used the glitter M.P. I used Danita's Alice in Wonderland stamps available from Cresendoh because I had yet to try them and I really wanted to. I totally heart this woman!


I stamped and colored my images before cutting them out and decopauging them onto the surface. On this bracelet I added some rub ons and mini pearls that I used Rock Candy Stickles to adhere.

I loved the outcome so much that I went and bought more M.P. to make a second, non-glittery one, this time featuring Danita's Frida Kahlo stamps. I tried to keep the bracelet more simple and focus on bright colors.

I think it is more fitting to Ms. Kahlo's personality and her culture. I used Glossy Accents to adhere the gems to this one.  Super fun and super cute!

If you would like to see more in depth tutorials for these projects, head over to Alison's blog for the bracelets and to the Bombshell Homepage to find a link to Diana's UTEE hearts.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Another round of Top 10

This time I am looking at the things "off the page" I made this year. I love the unique and using things in new ways. I joke that nothing is safe, nothing is sacred because if I can glue it down, I will use it.
A mini canvas and a handmade flower, two of my favorites. 

A banner, something that I would repeat for many more occasions. 

Another mini canvas, only this time attached to the neck. I have, in fact, worn this from time to time.
A purely happy accident. Over sized Maya Road bottle cap, some feathers, and an old necklace go far.
  Melissa Frances post card book becomes wall art. Lots of vintage yumminess here.
A very proud moment for me. Two canvases all of my own creation, including the drawing. 
Started in 2009 and finished and delivered in 2010. These canvases were made as a gift and were super fun, super grungey, and have to say, super cool.
My first Punky Sprouts album from my first For The Luv Of Art kit. Of course, featuring a really awesome moment in time helped make it more fabulous. And remember I said if I could glue it down, I would use it? Can you say Burger King Kid's Meal Toys?
A Halloween Tussie Mussie for a friend. This project was so fun and every time I see it, I smile.

And last but not least, one of my favorite brain children of the year, my Christmas morning album. 


So, tomorrow is a new beginning for me. I have decided to put everything off until then and start fresh. I am looking forward to more projects, more ideas, more posts, more photos, more friends, more everything in the new decade. Much love to all!