Thursday, February 28, 2008

Love it moments

During my marathon garage clean out, I sold an old cedar hope chest I've had for over 30 years. When I emptied it out, I found I had stored this crazy crochet blanket my grandmother made many years ago. She died at the age of 103. Right up to the end she was working in her garden and crocheting. Since her eye sight was getting weaker (until cataract surgery at 90) she would crochet using up her scrap yarn in the brightest colors she had. I think I was the only one in the family at the time that liked it. :) Just to reinforce my word selection, I was boxing up some vintage sheet music I got at an auction months ago When I pulled the first half of the music up, the top photo shows what was on top. Just had to take of photo of it.

The move

If you believe in the "Secert" then you will see it in action here. I didn't think there would be any problems in moving the huge apothecary cabinets I got at a local auction house into my new art studio space. At first Randy (our contractor) didn't think it would fit in his trailer but after we decided only the big one would, he was wondering if we could lift it. Then as we were taking the drawers out to make it lighter, a big semi-truck (from a company I can't name because the driver should not have helped us) pulled in to make a unscheduled delivery. The driver was a big antique lover and couldn't believe what a great deal I on got it. We used dollies to move the cabinets on to his lift gate and then backed the trailer and truck under it. We then pushed the cabinets into the trailer and truck beds. It was so easy. Once we got them to our house we use a car jack and the fact that we have really high curbs to unload them on to dollies.
On the way home I told my husband this was one of the best birthdays I've had in a long time!

Apothecary Cabinet

The cabinet that started it all.
This is the auction find that started the ball rolling, turning my garage into my long dreamed of "Flatfish Paper Arts Studio". Everything just rolled into place once I bid on the cabinet. My garage was the only space it could fit into so it had to be cleaned out and remodeled. My contractor was available to do the work (for this month only) and I had the funds in my bank account to get it all done.

Studio Update

It's been a whirl wind of cleaning and sorting in my garage, which soon will be my new studio space. The bottom photo is of day one when I started. Notice you can't see the floor or the walls. Can you find the three doors? Middle photo is end of day two and the top photo was taken this morning. Tons of stuff was recycled, given away (thank you Debbie for haul the left overs to Goodwill) sold on Craig's list or thrown out. Purrcy was totally exhausted after the first day. He followed me around all day and didn't get his 8 hours of cat napping. He went to bed that night before I did and didn't even ask for a bath.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Flatfish Paper Arts Studio

I'm one more step closer to making my Flatfish Paper Arts Studio dream come true. Met with my favorite contractor Randy today to look at a project he's finishing up to get an idea of what I can do. He of course, had some great ideas that I didn't even think about. Since Randy books up fast and I just happened to catch him at the end of two big jobs, he agreed to work on my small project. That's the reason for the happy cat dance picture. Now the mad rush to get things put into storage and site cleared so he can start work. :) All I need now is to find my red leather sofa, which is something I've wanted in my working studio forever.

Butterfly Card using Copics

I finally broke down and got some Copic pens that everyone has been raving about. Boy, did I had major sticker shock at the check out counter! Once I got them home (that took a few days because of auction hunting) I found out I had pick out the wrong tip style so I had to drive back to the art store to exchange them. The first thing I did was to see if you could do the direct to rubber technique with them. Nope, the ink dries way to fast. I then found out the Copics and India Ink Black (my favorite black ink pad) don't mix either. The Copics makes the India Ink blurry. So I sat there looking at these pens that cost about a week's worth of groceries and starting wondering if I had invested in a fad that was just getting a lot of hype. I decided to try heat embossing an image and see how it turned out. I finally found something the Copics worked well with. Since I don't do major illustrations or a lot of blending, I find the pens too picky for general rubber stamping. I'm still not sure about them and if they are worth the high price tag for stampers.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My New Word - Love It

Inspired by one of my CJ buddies (Patti) I decided I needed a special word to take photos of things that are part of my life, inspire or love. I had a hard time coming up with a word that was short enough to carry around but still have a special meaning to me. As I was passing the sale cart at Cranberry Hill I saw this red metal heart, then the creative moment hit me. My word would be "love it". Many people mispronounce my last name, not knowing the "i" in Japanese names sound like "e". So hearing the word "it" at the start of my last name in very common. Everything fell into place, I like metal things, the color red and the word is both short and has meaning to me.
Purrcy of course is my little shadow and after the big rain storm followed me outside. He just had to get in the picture. Keep checking my blog for more photos of my shield heart.

Alley Cats

It's been a busy week stalking the auction houses. I had a good night at the Santa Cruz auction house. Some really good treasures were found. This is a picture of my booth at Cranberry Hill, which is the bigger of the two I have. Will try and get a picture of my booth at Cottage Crafts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bonus Card - Kimono Class

This will be the bonus project for those taking my Kimono class at Cranberry Hill. I used my new home made photo cube. The real test will be tonight when there is no extra light from outside.
After class I will let customers use my Accucut die and cut out a few extra ones. They can then use any fabric they have at home. It's not one we will make in class since there won't be enough time.

Home Made Photo Tent

Everytime I have to take a picture of my cards for the store's website or my blog, it's a major production to set everything up. Since I finish most of my cards after midnight, lighting becomes a big issue. I've been looking into getting a photo tent, but after doing some reseach, I thought I would try making one. One of my best buddies sent me a package in a square box this week and I saw it as a push to make my own photo tent. I loosely followed the directions from this website. I used tissue paper (yes, I will make sure the hot lights don't touch the paper) instead of fabric (the cats were sleeping on the old sheet I was planning on cutting up) since I wasn't sure it would all work out. It took less than 30 minutes to make. It works great but only for a few cards at a time. I'm now on the look out for a big square box.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Another Great Card from Zindorf

This is another great card made by Michelle Zindorf for Splitcoast Stampers. She now has joined the blogging world, so check my blog links to her site. She has step by step photos on how she makes the interesting background for her cards. If your not a memeber of Splitcoast Stampers, you should join today. It's one of the best card making and rubber stamping site around.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cuttlebug and Memory Box

It's amazing what you can design with enough chocolate in the house! My husband gave me my annual big See's heart box of chocolate last night for Valentine's Day. He saves the box and every year goes into See's and has all my favorite truffles packed in the box.. This year he added a few of his favorites since three pounds is a lot for just me. I worked with the new Cuttlebug embossing folders and some of the new releases from Memory Box. The embossing folders are so easy to use and makes a really quick card. I really like the alter art look (top right corner card) which is more my personal style. I was running around outside this morning looking for little branches for my card. I have a post-it note on our weed pile, not to throw it out until I've pull out want I need. My husband does even ask anymore what I doing with it. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kimono Class

After a heavy dose of chocolate, I made up these kimono cards from my new AccuCut die cut. I had the die made so I could do a class that had an Asian theme but not require a lot of folding or time. All the cards are quick, if you have the die cut. I was going to do a Iris folding card but Anne does such a great job in her classes, I decided to leave it out. The cards on the right are my lazy man's style of iris folding - really it's just one sheet of washi paper. It's hard to tell in the photo that the washi paper is under the cardstock. I've updated my class schedule for the times and place for these cards.

Stampin Up Orphans

I've decided to start a Stampin' Up Orphans support group. A Stampin' Up Orphan is someone who is a active demonstrator who doesn't have a supportive upline in their area. Many times the person we signed up with has moved(like hours away) or stop being a active demostrator. It's really hard to attend meetings when you have drive to different parts of the state. Stampin' Up won't let you join another group that is in your area unless you stop for a year and then you have to go through the whole sign up process again. For many of us orphans, we just like to get together to stamp, swap cards and learn new stuff. So I'm putting a call out to all those SUO who would like to get together in the San Jose area. It will be an informal gathering and the only requirement is that you be an active Stampin' Up dealer with current I.D. number. Doesn't matter if you only buy for yourself and never hold a party. We won't talk business since that's the job of your upline. We will just do all the fun stuff and the card swaps don't even have to use SU stamps. Email me if your interested and check my blog for updates.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

First Flower of 2008

I always look forward to the end of our California winters because then all my daffodils, tulips and irises start to bloom. My front yard changes with the seasons - yes, even here in sunny California. Something is alway coming into bloom. In a few weeks it will change from bright yellow (daffodils) to dark purple (irises) to hot pink and white (tulips) then to dark green. Now that we have a bee hive of our very own, I will be planting lavender beds and borders in both the front and back yard.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cuttlebug & Brass Stencils

I did a demo at the store yesterday and a few people asked if you could use a brass stencil with the Cuttlebug. I really didn't know but a few other customers said yes you could and went on to explain to me how it's done. So, when I got home I did a internet search to get the facts. What I found was a lot of long winded"you tube" videos but none of them really got down to, go buy this and do this. So this is my short verison of what I did at home and hopefully it will work for you.

1) Go to the hardware store and search the plumbing section for something called "Gasket Rubber - repair parts." The one I found is from a company called 'Danco'. There are two sheets in a pack 6x6x1/16. Most men at the hardware store will have no idea what you are talking about. The product is for plumbers to make custom gaskets for hard to fit areas.
2) Use the A, B & C plates in the Cuttlebug.
3) Layer in this order A - B - Rubber -Paper-Stencil-C. If anything has a curl to it (the stencil and plates) put the curl side up.
4) It will be REALLY HARD to turn the handle so go slowly.

Help hints and Warnings:

If you do this, your brass stencil will have a curl to it. If you like to use the paste technique with your stencils then don't run it through your Cuttlebug. It will never lay flat again. You have been warned.

I have no idea if in the long run it will damage your bug. So far my machine is working fine.

The rubber from the package will fit in the Cuttlebug but I found if I trimed one side down a little I didn't have to worry about getting it in the center.

Trim the paper down to as small as you can. The bigger the paper the more chance it will start to wrinkle.

I also found that if there is any printing on the stencil (company name or code) it will also emboss so make sure that is turn away from the paper side

Friday, February 8, 2008

Creative Muse

Lucy decided to come in and help design my latest CJ project. I wasn't sure what color to use - the theme is "inspire me with color". Of course Lucy, my creative muse knew exactly what color (or lack of color) to use - Black and White. How could I have not known that?

Thursday, February 7, 2008


It's our anniversary today and my husband had these beautiful flowers delivered to the house. It's been a long time since I got roses from him. I think the last time was 29 years ago:)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Creative Block

I was having creative block last night and there was no chocolate in the house! I decided to make backgrounds using Twinkling H2O water colors. I randomly paint color on whole sheets of both white cardstock and watercolor paper. This morning I cut everything up and made them into cards. I'm not into sweet sentiments, but I had to make some Valentine's day cards for my card rack. This is my version of heart day and there still is no chocolate in the house!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Cat Cards

Been on a roll with cat images this week. Made some quick cat cards last night as I was trying to avoid doing more pressing things aroung the house. With all the cold and wet weather all the fur babies are inside and fighting over the best spots to nap.
Cat and Butterfly stamps are from Hero Arts and HB stamp is from A Muse. I used Black India Ink (my #1 favorite) and color pencils. I've found the Lyra Polycolor pencils to be best. The color goes on really smooth which makes it easier to work with.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Miss Lucy = Attitude

I was working in my studio and when I turned around Lucy had just woken up - again. I told her to hold that pose and she did until I got my camera out and took a few pictures. I thought it was too funny that she didn't move the whole time. :)

More Quick Cards

Another night of making some quick cards using my overflowing stacks of Stampin Up paper. This time everything on the card is from Stampin Up - this may be a first for me. :) The flower punch matches the stamp for the "Ginormous Flowers" set.

Quick Cards

This is new paper from Flair Designs "What's Cooking Collention" that Cranberry Hill got in a few weeks ago. It's been a long time since I made a card that didn't use a rubber stamp. The paper works really well in making mini collages on cards.