Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Midnight Card

This is my take on a Michelle Zindorf inspired card. She posts great tutorials on her blog site, see my blog roll for the link. I'm still "brayer" challenged so I sponged all the color on. I also don't clear emboss everything like Michelle does but instead mask off everything. I think it's faster but really you have to work a lot slower when using a mask.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Girl In Town Drama

Our new Queen bee and her groupies arrived today and of course you can never have this many females together and not have a little drama. This may be a long story so get some snacks ready.

My husband ordered three Queen bees for some newbie bee keeper friends. Fritz (newbie bee keeper in training) came over to watch Doug transfer them into their new hive. It's a slow process that the bees really don't like. They get misted with water, then again with sugar water, dumped out of their box and then brushed into their hive box. It make them a little upset.
Another bee keeper in training, Lynn came over to pick up her Queen. While we were out there she got stung on the top of her head. At first I thought she was having a panic attack but it turns out she is allergic to bee stings. So, in order of how things happened and how lucky Lynn was as it turns out.
1) Everyone but Lynn was wearing a hat, o.k. she wasn't lucky at this point. I had been cleaning out the storage Pod all day so I was wearing one, which I never do. The bees were really mad at Doug for knocking them around so one flew up into Lynn's face (their way of saying get out of our space) and got caught in her hair - why it's helpful to wear a hat.
2) Doug and Fritz (who is a doctor) removed the stinger but Lynn said she was not feeling well.
3) I keep a Epi-pen handy just in case because our Bee Guild told us we should
4) After watching Lynn get more and more upset (not sure if she was having a panic attack or a reaction to the bee sting) Fritz gave her the shot. It was good he was here, because I would have probably done it wrong.
5) Fritz then called his wife (who is an anesthesiologist) and asked if there was anything else we could do for her. She suggested that we given her some Tagamet which my son (who is home on leave) just happened to have in the house.
6) I took her to the emergency room and because she had all the symptoms they had listed on the board (you know, can't breath, dizziness etc...) they took her right away and she got the last bed left.
7) The nurse was very impressed that we had done all the things we did before we got there. The worse was already over and they just wanted us to wait to make sure.
8) Lynn now knows she is allergic to bee stings and it was good it happened with others around.
9) Her queen and hive will be going to Fritz's house now to join he's other hive.
10) I know many of you are wondering why we didn't "suit" up while we were handling the bees. We don't ever have a problem with them. When they fly up into my face, I get the hint and leave them alone. Doug and I have been stung before with no reaction, so we don't worry about it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spots and Dots Class Board

My sample board of the cards for my Spots and Dots class. Sorry for the glare, I didn't take them out of the protective bags. I tentatively have the class schedule for Saturday May, 17 and 31. Once I get the green light I will post on my class schedule section. It was a fun class to put together and went much faster than it normally takes me.

Spots and Dots with a Spin

I thought this was too funny as I was making the card this morning - stamper's humor. Toni (see my blog roll) posted a challenge to make a spinner card. I had to make one more card for my Spots and Dots class using some Penny Black stamps. As I was looking through my stamps to see if I had a front and back stamp (I don't) I saw my A Muse "aloha" stamp. Well if I remember correctly aloha means hello and good-bye. The Penny Black flower stamp look like a Hawaiian flower so I put the two together. I didn't even need my chocolate fix to figure it all out. Thanks for the inspiration Toni.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spots and Dots Class

Another card for my "Spots and Dots" class. I used some of my new Copic pens. I know a lot of people just love them, but I'm still not sure if they are worth the price. They do work well but I also get good results with my SU and Marvy markers.

Spots and Dots Class

I've started designing for a new class - "Spots and Dots" last night during a creative slump.
I love Michelle Zindorf's work, but I'm so brayer challenged that I just can't get it right. I practice every night but I still get those darn lines in my background. I may have to have Michelle fly out here and do a therapy workshop on how to get over fear of brayer use. :)
I went back to using sponges for this card.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Cat Class

Sample board of my Inkadinkado clear stamp cat class for Cranberry Hill in May. I think I will add a seventh card to the board.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New CuttleBug Class

My sample board for the new Cuttlebug class I will be teaching in May at Cranberry Hill. They look much better in person. :)

Hero Arts Background Stamps

My sample board of the cards you will make in my Hero Arts background stamps class at Cranberry Hill. It feels like a long time since I've done a class! I made the cards on the simple side but really worked at adding different techniques to each of them. It was a little hard not to over embellish them, since I wanted to make sure you could still see the background stamps. I think I did all the card "rubber side" up which for beginners will be something new to try.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Storage Addict

To answer some of the questions I'm getting about my cabinets. Yes, I'm a storage addict and like anything with more than 20 drawers.
All the cabinets you have seen on my blog came from local auction houses in my area. Large printer cabinets are much harder to find intact due to the fact that many people took them apart to just sell the drawers. People buy them to hang their tiny collectibles on the walls. A dealer would make 10x the amount of money on just the drawers than if they just sold the cabinet as one unit. I was luck to get the apothecary cabinet (the really big two piece cabinets) that is in good shape considering all that has happened to it. One side has been cut (will a skill saw right in half) and we can only guess that was the pass through (door that flipped up) for the pharmacist. Those parts are long gone. The people who sent the cabinet to the auction house would have made more money selling off the cast iron hardware, brass rails and carved paneling than they did selling the whole unit. Lucky for me they didn't realize that or didn't want to. The smaller cabinet (under the green hutch) is an old store wooden thread display unit. The back has some minor damage and the inside dividers have been removed. I use it to hold all my vintage jewelry that I someday plan to use in my alter art projects. Collecting is much more fun! The top photo is four drawers from an old Singer sewing machine. I liked the metal pulls (most you see are small wooden knobs) that I found in a junk lot at an auction. The sewing machine was gone and the cabinet was beyond repair. I paid $5.00 for the lot. There has been only one printers cabinet that I have not bid on at the auction house. It was HUGE and at the time I didn't have space in my house. Now if the cabinet comes up to auction again - it may find a new home at my place. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cornflakes Meeting

My very first guests into my new studio space were the "Cornflakes" - my card making group! It was a little chilly outside but once we got all the lights turned on it got very toasty. I now have to think of how I will cool the room down during the summer. No, I can't add AC - zoning issues. I did learn that I can't hear the door bell when I'm in the studio. I will have to fix that problem.
Since I was running around trying to get my house put back together before the meeting, I didn't have a lot of time to work on my cards for the swap. Once again I made a 3 minute card. The flakes have been really patience with me and my quickies. I promise (unless the meeting is at my house again) to make something with a little more detail.
Stamps are from A Muse, paper from Memory Box that I cut on my AccuCut machine with a large circle die. I didn't cut the very top, so it makes a nice folding card.

Finally done

This is the last thing Randy had to do for my studio. He custom made two steps out of oak (to match the flooring I have in my house) for the doors that lead out to the studio. We made them a little wider than normal to make a landing area. Randy said that he did all this "trick" wood working stuff and I didn't really appreciate all the detail that went into them when I started whine about going over budget. They had to be custom made since the floor and walls are not even. They did turn out really well and yes, Randy they are worth every penny.

Bull Dog aka Lucy

Lucy has been acting like a bull dog when Randy and his crew were here working on my studio. She would stomp around yelling and stalking them. Randy installed the steps this morning and Lucy never took her eyes off him, even with the power tool going. She was so worked up that she wanted to roll Purrcy. Hopefully she will calm down now that my studio is done.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Studio Finishing Touches - Almost Done

My sink is now in and working. We had several issues of finding the right size drain. Since it's from Germany, the hole is bigger than what it standard in the U.S. After that was done, Randy made a shelf for my mantle mirror. It's solid cast iron and made to sit on a fireplace mantel - it weighs a ton! There is a big bolt at the top to keep it from falling forward. At some point I will stain the shelf but I wanted to get the mirror up off the floor. Only thing left to install are my two door steps. Randy custom made them at his workshop but with the cooler weather it's taking longer for each vanish coat to dry. Hope to have them install in the morning.

Fur Babies Favorite Spot

This is Purrcy's favorite spot when I'm working in my inner studio. It's high enough he can see what's going on, not get stepped on and anyone passing by always gives him a ear rub. It's also right under one of the full spectrum lights so both Purry and Lucy like faux sunlight.

Inner Studio - Stamp Storage

Since my inner studio is clean, I thought I would share some photos. Who knows when it will be this clean again! The large printer's cabinet holds all my loose stamps. People ask how I know where everything is. I work with my stamps everyday, so I just know what drawer to open. I got this printer's cabinet many years ago at a local auction house down in Pacific Grove. I haven't seen another this large since. Right across from that is my work table, were I design all my classes. After I have design the class, I go out to my new larger studio space and prep for the class. You can tell that I don't have many Stampin' Up sets for being a SU demo person. I sell off the old ones as soon as they are discontinued, since people can not longer purchase them. The only ones I keep are current. One of the best things I did was to mount two DVD holders from Ikea to the legs of my table to hold all my SU ink pads. I don't have any wall space in my inner studio so in creative moment I got out the drill. It has worked out great!

Studio Invasion

My son Chad is home on leave (currently serving in the Navy as an air flight crewman) for a month, before his squadron takes another tour of duty in the Middle East. This will be his fifth deployment and fourth time to the Middle East. We had planned to install a flat screen at some point out in the studio, so my husband could also use the room for his training session videos. Well, the boys went out and got one of those Play Station unit things and took over the studio space. The flat screen we ordered hasn't arrived yet, so one of Chad's buddies (Jon, a friend since kindergarten) had an extra high tech photo projector at home. Only in Silicon Valley do people have extra stuff like this sitting around. It's sort of what an over head/film projector use to do but now you can plug in your computer or in this case Play Station. You can make the screen as big as you want. Chad came bouncing into my inner studio space and said he was a really happy camper now. I asked that he stop "chewing" and I would be a happy camper too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another Hero Arts Background Card

One more of the card I will do for my up coming classes at Cranberry Hill. It's a really simple design but it does take some time to make. All the Printwork images are cut out and pop dotted up. I love pop dots! It looks much better in person.

Alter Hero Arts Card

Another card for my upcoming Hero Arts Class. This is a really tame alter art look. Didn't want to make to "out there" and scare people away :) Bird is from AccuCuts.

Hero Arts Background

One of the cards I will be doing for my next round of cards. Hero Arts came out with XL background stamps. This one is done on glossy paper with various inks rub on to make the background. I'm always inspired by Michelle Zindorf's use of this technique (multiple use of inks and shading) so I decided to include a card in one of my classes.

Studio Update - Almost Done

My studio is 99% done! There is a problem with the sink that I have (it's from Germany) not having all the hardware when I brought it. So, now I have to special order the parts. It's not a big deal and doesn't effect me from getting things moved in and filling up the drawers. Lucy and Purrcy thought it was their new play room and decided to play cat and mouse while I was moving things in last night. I have lots of nice comfy chairs for classes and crops. I still have the tables in the storage Pod, so they won't be in for another week or two. I did go over budget but it wasn't a total sticker shock. I told Randy (the contractor) that this remodel is my new car. :)

Wild Time At Our House

It's been a wild time at my house this week. We are finishing up the work (remodel) of my art studio and it's bee swarm season. We are on the call list for our local Bee Keepers Guild. When someone has a unscheduled bee swarm arrive in their yard, hopefully they call the Bee Guild to have them removed. Urban bee keepers (volunteers) come out and if it's a easy catch, will remove the bees and located them in a new beehive or a hive that needs more girls. The hive in the picture will be relocated to a new home up in the hills that has a wonderful lavender.
So remember if you and anyone you knows gets a swarm, call your local Bee Guild first. The sooner the swarm in spotted the easier the removal.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Class in the works

I haven't done a lot of design work for my classes since the start of my studio remodel. Now that we are down to the last week and just the finishing work has to be done on the studio I can focus on my classes again. I'm planning on doing a "beyond the basics" class with the Cuttlebug embossing folders so I start playing around with different technique. I rubbed the ink several times over the whole embossing folder and when it came out of the machine, I was thrilled to see this alter art look. I didn't want to cover up the embossing so I picked the smallest sentiment I had.

Friday, April 11, 2008

House Lust

I was given a GC to Borders a while back and I finally managed to get to the store last week. I thought I was going to just run in and pick up a copy the Take Ten magazine. I didn't find this issue all that interesting, so I wandered around the store. I ended up coming home with three books. Another cookbook on using slow cookers, a "what to do after college" book for my daughter and this book "House Lust". I was very surprised to find it to be a really entertaining read. It starts out a little slow but once I started I really didn't what to put it down. If you live in Silicon Valley you will totally relate to the book.

End of Week 4

These are photos at the end of week 4 of my studio make over. There was a little drama over the floor but that issue has now been taken care of. During a weak moment at the beginning of this week, I said yes to having crown moulding put in. Randy (the contractor) said that this was the first time he ever put crown moulding in a garage. He had some left over from another job and wasn't charging me much to install it. It does look nice but after what I had to pay to get the new flooring in, I should saved my money. From the pictures of the floor, you can tell I have to do something!!! The lights, outlets and most of the trim work is done. Just a little more painting, finishing off the baseboards, installing the sink and I think we are done. Because my garage slants toward the street (they all do that), Randy will be building a base for my apothecary cabinet so it will be level in the garage. He will also make a valance to cover up the cables to the garage door.

Flooring? End of week 4

I've done enough remodeling jobs to know that at some point something will come up not in the game plan. As Randy (the contractor) was getting ready to start prepping the floor, he noticed that it had been painted before. Now I know we talked about it and it didn't seem to be a problem at the start of the project. After some serious hours of research, I found out you can't epoxy over old paint. You have to start with a clean slat or in this case, clean cement. To do that now with 90% of the project done, I run the risk of messing up my walls. It could add another month to the project and could mean having to paint the walls again. O.K. I'm stressing and telling myself this was not a good time to cut back on my chocolate binges. At first I was going to just get porch paint and make big paint splash on the floor. That turned out to have some issues too, so I started looking for a flooring place that had something in stock and could be installed next week. After a long search I finally found a carpet store who will edge bind a low pile indoor/outdoor carpet to the size of my studio in the short time frame I'm working with.
It would not be my first choice to have my sink and cabinets sitting on carpet but it will have to do. I'm staying in my color palette(light yellow, gray and dark red) and using the gray carpet.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Painting the Studio

This is the start of week 4. The final paint is going on the walls and the finish work will be done on Wednesday. I went with Home & Hearth for the walls and Shredded Wheat for the ceiling and skylights. I was told many years ago (during a very stressful remodeling project) that if I want the ceiling to look the same color but not make the sky light wells look too dark, to use half the amount of base color in the paint. Same color but just a lighter tone. From the pictures and in person you can't tell (unless you look really hard) that the walls and ceiling are two different color. Makes the room look like there is a lot of natural sunlight coming in from somewhere. The floor will be a light gray epoxy finish and hopefully be done by the end of the week. The weather has been a little on the cool side so it will take a little longer to dry.

Friday, April 4, 2008

SU Swap

This month my Stampin Up group (5 levels of upline people) will meet. We swap out card fronts at this meeting. The rules are that everything has to be from SU and something a customer can make in less than 5 minutes. Since I will be swapping with everyone (over 40 people) I go for a simple basic card. Not all the ladies follow the 5 minute rule, which is too bad. This card only takes a few minutes make, which would make a nice quick demo. Yes, I would have added rhinestones and a little touch from a Stardust pen, but SU doesn't carry those products.

End of Week Three

It's now the end of week three for the work being done on my studio. The drywall guys just finished putting on the last texture coat - I can't remember what they call it and I don't speak Italian. Since most of the walls will be covered with art or display boards, it wasn't a big issue with me. Once I found out I couldn't get the texture I wanted in the time frame we are working with, I let them do what they thought was close. Overall it came out looking pretty good. I went with the light yellow tones - "Home & Hearth" for the walls, "Shredded Wheat" for the ceiling and skylights. I know most of the votes were for light green, but I had a dream of a barn made out of straw before I knew the lighter yellow was called shredded wheat. Since I will someday have a studio/loft in a converted barn, I took it as a sign to go with the soft yellow tones. Randy will start the painting and finish work on the walls, then the floor will get done. After that the sink and floor trim goes in. So far things are right on schedule.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Studio Update

Happy Dance time! The dry wall guys are back and started taping the walls this afternoon. We had high hopes that it would be done by now but I'm just happy it will be done by the end of the week. Once the taping is done the texture stuff will be put on by hand. The guys are so funny when I show them what I wanted done to the walls. They are Italian (first language) and they gave my contractor the look of "you've got a crazy lady here". Since most of the walls will be covered with art, I gave in and went with a normal light texture coat. Hopefully the painting will get started on Friday.

Quick Card

Visiting Michelle Zindorf's blog everyday, I'm getting inspired to try more background color blending. I had to make some sympathy cards for my card rack this morning and I wanted them to be quick. I added the thin paper curl to make the front a little more interesting. My Genesis paper cutter can cut just a hair off card stock so I started to use those shavings like ribbon on the other cards. It's surprising how strong the paper ribbon is. If I get time I will post those photos.