Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Favorite Sound - Hubby Cooking

One of my favorite happy sounds is my hubby cooking. :) While camping Doug saute up some vegetables to go with our Turkey sandwich slices, gravy (from Trader Joe's which was terrible) and rice - hey I'm Asian. I think of rice as mini potatoes anyways. On the last dive on our camping trip Doug picked a bag full of mussels. For dinner when we got home he saute/streamed the mussels in garlic and chicken broth. Very tasty dinner.

Sea Urchins - Uni

OK before you get all grossed out about eating raw sea urchin when it's fresh it's really good. The divers got two dive bags full of sea urchins which at a sushi bar would be called "Uni". It really should only be eaten when "fresh fresh", (in my opinion) and if your not near the ocean then it's not going to be fresh. It's very much like butter, very rich and can't be eaten alone. Would you take a big bite out of a stick of butter? The top photo is Uni in the shell with some vinegar and soy sauce and sake. Photo on the left is what the uni looks like when package for shipping.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Great Catch of The Day

Here are some random shots from our camping trip. The top photo is our camping water heater. A dive buddy, Mike made this for us from a stock pot with a custom valve fitted into the bottom. It's made so you always have hot water ready for whatever you need. The really catch of the day was my hand cart. Jeff (another diver from Monday) brought along this hand cart thinking it would help carry his gear back and forth from dive on "Ball Buster" hill. It didn't work out as he planned so he said who ever hauled it back up the hill, could have it! Well, I've been looking at getting one of these for months so I dragged it up the hill - all by myself and I have the sore arms to prove it. :)

Ab Diving on Monday

On day one we went to a new dive spot Mike (aka "the diver" in some circles) found and wanted us to try. It was a great dive spot but the climb
backup the hill to the trucks was what the guys called a "ball buster". Just imagine walking up a steep sand dune for 30 minutes carrying weight belts (about 11% of your body weight) bags of abalone (3-5 pounds each) plus all you dive gear. What a work out! It was one of those rare clear visibility days, 20- 30 feet. The divers were able to see from the top of the water all the way down to the bottom. I took the top photo to show how far the diver have to climb down to get into the water and climb back up with bags of "abs" and then make the hike back up to the trucks.

Pre-Thanksgiving Camping Trip

Just got back from our pre-Thanksgiving day camping trip up to Salt Point State Park. We go up this time every year to free dive for abalone to take to my family's get together on Thursday.
I want to share a first in our whole 30 years of camping at Salt Point. This is a very popular camp ground because of the boat launch and protective coves for diving. On Tuesday for the very first time, we were the only people in the park for several hours. I had to take a photo since it's a rare sight. Later in the evening the big RV's started coming in and the Ranger told us by Wednesday night it would be full. The weather forecast rain so we were guessing that the tent campers decided to stay home. Miss Pinkie was by far the smallest travel trailer, but I think she has much more personality than all those big boys. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Abalone Diving

I will be going up north this week to go camping and abalone diving with my hubby. My family gets together for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's a big potluck food fest (we average about 60 people) and we bring abalone when we can get it. Hubby also makes his family's favorite "squash rolls". We like to camp during the off season now that we don't have kids at home. I've been told it's going to rain one of the days we are there, so I'm happy to be taking up Miss Pinkie - our vintage travel trailer. The ocean will be rough, so there won't be a lot of divers in the water either. We've been abalone diving for over 30 years now (boy does that make us sound old!) so the divers know the spots that are more protected from the breaking waves.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Elephant Punch

Some quick and simply cards using my new Martha Stewart punches. I was going to do some Happy New Year's cards using pink elephants but I thought the younger generation would mistake them for baby cards instead of over indulgence. :)
Memory Box stamps, Adirondack inks, SU corner punch

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Back to card making

Yes, I'm working on some Valentine's Day cards now. I hope to have enough made to sent out to our troops overseas. The cards have to be shipped out early so they have time to mail them back home. The heart is punched out from Fiber Mark paper with has a texture to it. The little gold wings came from a store that had repackaged them, so I have no idea who the company is, but I know it's imported. Background paper is from the Basic Grey line. I add crushed glass glitter (it's made from real glass) from Art Glitter. I was going for a tame tattoo look. :)

Retail Therapy or Economy Stimulus Plan

What do you do when you are having a creative slump? I decided to multi-task and do some retail therapy and stimulate the economy at the same time. I've been checking out these punches from the Martha Stewart line for a long time so with coupons (you can download 50% coupons) in hand I went in a got all of them. We all know how to play the coupon game so no need for me to explain how I got all of them in one day. The holiday ones on the right are 30% off right now and they still had all of them in stock. I did have a little sticker shock with the elephant punch (retails for $12.99) but once I punched it out and saw was it did - a card idea popped in my head. Retail therapy really does work!
Another craft world trivia update. Cuttlebug didn't make it clear to all the store owners that the holiday embossing folders (Halloween and Christmas) was a limited run and are now discontinued. So if you've been holding off getting any of them, better buy them when you see them. And if anyone from Cuttlebug is reading this - Are you nuts to discontinue your holiday line one month before Thanksgiving? You are so on Santa's naughty list this year!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Auction Finds

It's been slim pickings at the auction houses lately. Not sure why, but there hasn't been anything really cool (in my world) to bid on for a long time. Yesterday, I went to the auction house in Santa Cruz. Someone's collections of cat items were on the auction block so I figured I had nothing to lose by checking it out. While I was there, I was going head to head with another dealer for the kitty in the center of the top photo. Which was the best out of all the lots. I didn't stay for the whole auction, so I left some silent bids on everything else. It's always a surprise when I go back the next day and see what I've won.

Purrcy on the attack

I've told people that Purrcy does this "cowabunga" thing when we are out in the front yard. He hides behind these small bushes (as in the first photo you can see his tail and ear) and does what I can only call a "cannon ball" dive at me and lands on the top of the bush. I wasn't able to get my camera set on video in time for you to see the whole series of events happening. I think it's just too funny!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sweet Tooth

I do have sweet tooth but really could you eat a cake that looks like this? Just looking at all that black frosting makes my stomach hurt. :) Now the little cake bites on a stick look good. It's little pieces of cake dipped in chocolate then topped with frosting to look like a cupcake. Bakerella does some really creative stuff cake, she must be on a constant sugar high! I'm going to give it a try (using brownies instead of cake) when my kids coming home for the holidays. I'll leave the turkey cake for a my cousin to try making. Here's the link to the recipe.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday Challenge

I wasn't a Domestic Diva this week - way too many classes going on and it's that time of year to make sure my antique booths are well stocked. Moving things out to make room for the Christmas items coming in. It's been slim pickings at the auction houses for the past 6 months. I don't think I've gone this long without loading up my truck and dragging boxes and boxes of good junk.
I did want to post my Tuesday Creative Challenge, which I will give some blog candy to the winner. Just create a card inspired by the this photo and link it to my blog by next week. Sorry but I lost track of who took the shot, but it wasn't me. I'm still searching for the person and will post as soon as I find my notes.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another Card for Holiday Cats Class

This is the third card for my "Holiday Cats" card class. I've used this stamp by Paper Salon many times for the different holidays. The cat just has that look of getting into something. The arrow does move so you can point to what fits the person (or cat) receiving the card. "Naughty and Nice" is a computer generated font. I know there is a stamp out there, but I couldn't find it in my stash of stamps.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Full Moon

I was planning on going camping by the beach during this "full moon"phase but Doug is out of town and Purrcy is still on antibiotics after his run in with the neighborhood bully. Didn't want Purrcy to not trust his favorite cat sitters anymore. He really dislikes taking his medicine.
So I thought I would update you with some trivia crafting news. Micheal's has been sold to two equity firms for 4 billion dollars (I double check to make sure it wasn't a typo) and now the new owners expect the 1,000 plus stores to service the debt. I think we are already seeing the changes happening in the stores. Walmart is getting out of the fabric business which will help the smaller stores and they are reducing their craft section in favor of more electronic items. Again a positive thing for the small craft store owners.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stardreams on sale

One of my very favorite card stock papers to use is Stardream Antique Gold and Bronze. It's a nice heavy weight card stock with a shimmer to it. One of my students emailed me and told me that Kelly Papers in Palo Alto (and it's only at this store location, I called to double check) has their Stardreams paper on sale for 25% off - what a deal!!! Kelly Papers is located on Middlefield Road. I would call ahead and make sure they still have the colors you want in stock. I know when I go in to stock up, I buy up everything they have. :) If you can't find any in your area, Marco's Paper in Ohio (headquarters for the Zindorfians) has it in stock too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Andy Warhol Inspired Card

Another card for my cat card series inspired by Andy Warhol. The stamp is from Inkadinkado. I was having a hard time coming up with something using these small inchies stamps, when I thought this image looked like something Andy Warhol would have used. Used Copic markers (which was tricky not to get it to smear) for the background color.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another Holiday Cat

Another card for my Holiday Cat series. Really can't tell the cat is cut out and pop dotted up in the photo. I need Michelle Zindorf's input in how to make the cat not looking like he's floating down the hill. I just couldn't get it right. I'm using more blue (thank you Lydia) as I try and work outside my box.

Cat Christams Card

Working on stocking my card rack at the store with Christmas cards. I didn't realize how low my inventory had gotten. The cat image by Stampendous is pop dotted up which you can't really see in the photo.

Emerency Room Visit for Purrcy

In our neighborhood all the cats get along. Most of them even stop by our house for a little snack everyday. There must be a new cat in town. Purrcy came in this morning and I knew something was wrong. Doug at first said he didn't think anything was wrong when I held Purrcy up to get a closer look under his neck. Doug didn't have his glasses on (which should have told me to have him hold Purrcy while I looked for any wounds) and said it looked like Purrcy just rolled in mud. While I was getting the cat carrier ready to go to our vet on Monday, I kept an eye on Purrcy who was sleeping in his favorite chair. When I walked out of the studio, Purrcy jumped down to follow me and he had a really bad limp and was meowing that "I'm not feeling well" meow all cats do. I loaded him up and took him to the veterinary emergency hospital. It was a long wait at the hospital, since they take the more serious cases first. From the amount of blood being cleaned up in the waiting room, there was some poor animal in much worse shape. After a exam and taking of vital signs, they shaved Purrcy's leg to make sure there wasn't anymore damage and sent us home with antibiotics. Lucy of course had to check Purrcy out when he came home.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy Birthday or 'tis the season?

Another one of those what title should I use for class polls. It's for the ladies at the Senior Center and maybe for the store, but I can't decided if I should post Happy Birthday or stay with the holiday theme - 'tis the season. What's your vote?

Another Quickie Card

The second card for the ladies at the Senior Center. Blue is not a color I use all the time, so I thought I would work outside of my box this afternoon. Used the Cuttlebug embossing folder again along with the snowman accessories from Quickutz, which fit the snowman. Really a very simple card but fun to make!

Card for the Senior Center

This will be one of the cards the ladies at the Senior Center will be making next week. Once a month I volunteer to teach a free class to Yu Ai Kai members. It's a really fast and simple card if you have all the parts cut and ready to go.

Bonus Holiday card

This is the bonus cards for my holiday iris folding card class. I CASE the reindeer card from Lydia (see my blog roll) who comes up with the funniest stories and cards. One way to use up all those googly eyes you have left over from Halloween. I may add another bonus card if I have time. The iris folding cards are easy but they are not fast cards.

Holiday Iris Folding Card

Another class project in the works. I plan to do at least three iris folding cards for my holiday class. The third one is in the works - design done and just waiting for me to put it together. On Tuesday and Wednesday I lose my studio space for my husband's Mona Vie meetings (I'm the Mona Vie widow) so I have to clean up everything, which is a good thing and bad thing. At least the studio gets picked up every week but I it takes me a long time to get everything back out to start designing again. There will be one bonus card with this class, which will not have any iris folding. Got the idea from Lydia (see my blog roll) who comes up with the funniest cards. Will post photo later today - glue still drying.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day at the beach or Mona Vie widow

Sometimes there are days when you just need to rejuvenate your creative spirit. I've been thinking for months now about just driving over to the beach (which is less than an hour away) and walking on the beach. I kept thinking I would go with Doug but he's way too busy now with his Mona Vie (Acai berry juice) business to take the time to just hang out anymore. I call myself a "Mona Vie" widow since I'm on my own 24/7 most of the time. This is also the week my mother passed away seven years ago. When she told me her cancer had returned and this time there was no help, she said she could face death, because she had no regrets in her life. So when I don't do something like take a walk on the beach to help find my balance, I think about living a life with no regrets. I made the drive and it was a beautiful day. Sunny skies, big crashing waves and not another person in sight. I stopped at all the state beaches (I think there were about 10) that didn't have a car in the parking lot and checked it out. On one beach someone had collected large pieces of driftwood and made sculpture. It was a great day!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Lucy - Little Miss Sassy

I read on a professional blogger's site that you should not write about your cat. Since it was a guy, I'm deciding to ignore it.
On Sunday, Lucy did something none of my other cats (or dogs) have every done. Doug was in his office working and Lucy jumped on his desk (in front of the his computer) to get her tail scratched. Now she does this all the time so that's not new. This time Doug was really busy doing the bills so he didn't scratch the require amount of time in Lucy's world. When he stopped she turned around and bit him on the arm! Cat discipline happened immediately. Later when Doug was showing me the bite marks, he just called her sassy. Now you can tell which cat can get away with being naughty at our house?

It's DDD (Domestic Diva Day) Again

It's still raining so can't do the garden clean up that is on my to do list. I do have a lot of errands to run and one is to the post office. One big box of snacks for my son, who is over in the Middle East. Never sure where his is, since no one is suppose to know, but I do know it's hot, so no chocolate. The 100 cards I made this weekend are going into the mail too. There is a call out for blank Valentine's day cards, which will be shipped out in January 2009 if you have the time to make some that would be great. I'm also sending out some RAK packages to some of my buddies. My kitchen sinks are clean, the washer and dryer are running and I'm ready to go tackle the rest of the house! :)
Great photo of an old abandoned post office by J.Todd.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How to scare your cats or Flower Arranging in the Rain

We finally have some rain out here in California and it's also the end of the growing season in my vegetable garden. The mums are the only things left blooming. Since I can't see the garden from the main part of the house, I don't get to enjoy the flowers. I can't bring them into the house because of the aphids (I keep an all organic garden) so what to do? I decided to cut the flowers and put them near the patio door, still outside but I can see them every time I walk into the kitchen. Here's were Purrcy and Lucy come in. Purrcy always goes outside with me to work in the garden. He was sitting in the house staring at me wondering why was I in a tank top (hot flashes - ladies you know what I mean) and arranging flower in the rain? Purrcy thinks rain drops violate his personal space, so rarely goes out when it's wet. I could see he was torn about being attacked by the rain drops, but wanting to come out and help me. When I turned around again, Lucy was sitting next to Purrcy (very rare moment and I didn't have my camera) watching me. I'm sure they thought mom had gone off the deep end. Purrcy finally came out and sat under the table meowing at me to get back into the house. Really, as weird as it all sounds, the flowers do look nice and no, arranging flowers in the rain isn't on my list of 101 things to do in my life. :)