Saturday, February 28, 2009

Crafty Friends

It so fun to have such crafty friends. One of my circle journal buddies, Patty sent me this along with a super cute birthday card. I love it so much, that I'm going to put it into on of the collage canvas I'm working on. I saw some very inspiring artwork and way cool studio furniture. One piece would be perfect for all my ribbon rolls but the price tag was little steep so I plan to making it from scratch. I'm also getting a new camera. Hubby really wants to get me one, he can't handle how slow my old Sony one is. It's is a great camera but it's now 7 years old and in the digital world that's an antique.

Birthday - My Morning Adventure

This morning my "boy toy" (Hubby has to do want ever I want today) drove me over to Half Moon Bay to check out the shops and see the ocean. We stop in at a kitchen/gourmet shop and chatted with the owner. We got to sample some artichoke honey (from Italy) and lemon/olive oil both of which were so good we brought some home. We then got to talking about honey and bees. Mr D's Bee may soon be on the shelf there. Really it's more for us to spread the word about not killing swarms but to call the Bee Guild to have them relocated. Since the weather turned out to be so warm today, we came home early so Doug come work on the hives before it rains again. This is the season when hives will start to swarm if they have out grown their space. We did manage to have lunch at Gayle's Deli in Capitola and window shop in downtown Los Gatos. We will be off again tonight to go out to dinner as soon I can a make up my mind. :)
Coin toss on Red House in Pacific Grove or Tadish in San Francisco.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Creative Recharging

It's been a pretty draining week for my creative side. Lots of rushing around here and there to get things done for my vintage booth. Today I decided to make it a "creative boost" day". After meeting a good friend for breakfast, I headed over to check out the Anthropologie and Paper Source store in Santana Row. They always have something new and interesting. I picked up several new ideas for projects. None of which will turn into classes but helped get the creative juices flowing. I then headed over to Daiso (the Japanese dollar store) to see what was new. Last night I was working on some cards that I had to sponge a lot of color on - so this morning I had some really inky fingers when I went out to breakfast. I saw these finger guards (in one of my favorite colors) that were too funny to past up. I don't like wear full gloves and these finger guards are heavy duty rubber so they should last a while. Will let you know how the work out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Snowman Birthday

Feburary is what my husband's calls "the month from hell" because so many things happen in this short month. Our daughter's birthday, our anniversary, Valentine's day and my birthday. He has a shopping phobia unless it comes from the hardware store so he becomes very grumpy at the thought of having to go buy a present. I do have one super good friend who always remembers my birthday. I love getting a package in the mail from Anne. The snowman started out as a Christmas gift but she let me know that my Christmas gift, somewhere in December turned into my birthday present. It's the cutest patchwork snowman ever! With all those little squares I can see why it took so long to make. I was going to leave it out all year hanging over one of my living room chairs but my furry babies are showing a little too much interest in the scarf tassels.

Is it Spring yet?

My front yard is always changes with the season. Instead of a lawn we planted a variety of bulb flowers. The first to show up are the daffodil. Soon to be followed by irises. We had some heavy frost so most of my hedge plants have been trimmed back and look like little brown sticks.
When I moved my hubby's office to the back bedroom, he now has a nice view of the daffodils blooming in our vegetable garden. I'm always reminded of the time my daughter decided to play flower girl and went out and cut all the flowers she could find to make one huge bouquet. Now all we have to worry about is the snails.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Moving Day

For the last two solid days, I've been packing and unpacking all my vintage paraphernalia. I've decided to consolidate my antique booths and be only at one place. If you have been following my blog, you know that it's be really hard to get any of the "good stuff" at the auction house so it's been difficult to keep both places well stocked. I had to time the moving of my display cabinets to when it wasn't going to rain and my hubby could help me. It's been a mad dash to get everything done. This is how the last two day went - pack everything up, bring it home, unpack it, re-tag it, pack it back up, pick up display cabinet at store #1, unload display cabinet at store #2, remove everything from current booth space so new cabinets can go in, unpack everything, put booth back together again , load car, come home unload car, unpack boxes to sort out what is going to charity. On the up side to all of this, I lost 2 pounds. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Star Book

I'm going back to my creative roots which started with scrapbooking and simple book binding. I've wanted to learn to make this book for over 7 years - really. A long time ago, I did meet someone who knew how to make it, but she made it sound like it was really hard. I've gotten books on how to make it but they never made any sense if you didn't have a lot of book binding experience. During my craft room cleaning marathon I had "how to" dvds playing on my computer. One of them talked about how to make this book. I think I listened to it about a dozen times before I sat down and watched it. Once you get all 35 pages cut and scored it's pretty easy. I plan on doing this star book for an upcoming class, because it is really fun to make especially if everything has been pre-cut . :)

A Place to Bark - Fundraiser Update

Purrcy and I are working on a fundraiser to help the no kill animal shelter called "A Place to Bark" which also takes in cats. Right now Bernie has a matching grant (foundation will match any donations made) so check out her blog for the details. and check out Suzi Blu's great slide show. As soon as I learn how to post a you tube video on my blog you will be able to see it here too.
We are working extra fast in getting our rubber stamp images done so we can start raising the money to help finish the "cat house". Claudine Hellmuth, Suzi Blu and Lydia Fiedler are all volunteering to design something super special. I'm going to handle all the manufacturing and shipping of the stamps. Purrcy is adding some of his kitty cuteness. I'm sure Maddie and Splotchy (Lydia's fur babies) will be joining in too.

Craft Room Clean Up Part 2

This is my other art studio that I finished cleaning up this morning. First photo was how it looked yesterday before the big clean. My hubby is having a wild juice meeting (Mona Vie) so the room is now set up for that. Right after everyone leaves, it turns back into my studio. Lucy and Purrcy decided the best place to dig their claws in the carpet was right on the seam line. Don't know how they knew it was there but it was the go to spot. When I finally figured out what was going on, I covered it with a gray runner mat. Fur babies were not happy but have stopped trying to pull up the carpet.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Craftroom Clean Up

It's been a tough month and my studio space is showing the signs. I decided since I had today off, I would do a craft room marathon clean up - again! Just don't know how it gets so out of hand! Purrcy was nervously pacing the room while I was throwing out all those scraps of paper I just had to save and tackling mountains of junk. Lucy gave up after of few hours of following me around. One of the things I decided to get rid of most of my Stampin Up stamps. Purrcy was witnessing the packing up of my SU stamps. Can you see the panic in his eyes? If you check out the before and after photos, my May Arts ribbon has now replaced my SU stamps. It's been 6 hours (and counting) of cleaning and I've only got my inner studio done. To help keep me going I've been playing non stop craft videos on my computer. I'm not really watching them but I've heard some good tips and getting ideas for my next round of classes. I'm getting ready to tackle the big studio which shouldn't take as long since it has to get cleaned up every week for my hubby's wild juice parties.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Published - sort of

I've finally been published! Well sort of if you count one of my emails being posted on Creative Leisure News website. I made a comment a few months ago and Mark Hartnett, the publisher ask me for more details, so I sent along a longer version. He did some editing and then posted my comments. Here's the link.
Go to the "Our Consumers Need Community" section.
To help support my theory about good customer service and age, I want to share what happened to me this week. I called Scrapbook Island, a store that isn't close to my house, looking for a specific brand of paper. The other stores in my area haven't received it yet. Lucy (I remember her name because one of my fur babies is named Lucy) answered the phone (live person) and when I explained what I needed, she said she was just checking it in so it should be out on the floor in the morning. Now here is the great customer service part. I walk into the store the following day which was filled with happily chatting customers (they were checking out the new line from Studio 45) most of whom were over 40. The one staff person in the middle of the chatting group, looks up and asked if I needed any help. I'm guessing she is over 40 too. When I said I called last night and was told the paper I wanted was here, she went and found Lucy. She wasn't sure if the paper was put out yet so went to ask Lucy. While Lucy was looking for my paper (this is a big store so it's not as easy as it sounds) I chatted with some people in the clean well lit cropping area. After Lucy showed me where the paper was, she went back to multi -tasking, re-stocking and chatting with the regulars. I'm guessing they were regulars since the conversations were about vacations, their families etc... This is a store that has found the right combination of product, staff and customer service.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Upcoming Fundraiser - A Park To Bark

A CHA I got a chance to talk to Bernie Berlin who runs the no kill animal shelter "A Place To Bark" (see my blog roll for the link) in Tennessee. This is one of the charities that my fur babies and I support. Bernie is raising funds to finish the indoor dog shelters that she started last year. You may be asking why Purrcy and Lucy would be interested in a dog rescue charity. In one of Bernie's YouTube video she showed where she kept the small kittens she had just rescued, which was in her down stairs bathroom. We think the kitties should have a place of their own. Lydia (Understand Blue fame) and her fur babies are joining me in raising the $5,000 needed to finish off the cat house. We will be designing some rubber stamps (several artists are being asked to donate an image to the cause) and 100% of the profit will go to "A Place To Bark". So stay tune and watch for the updates on my blog about the stamp release.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Speedball Printing Press

This is a must have specialty tool if you like to use extra large stamps. It's not something that you would use everyday but when you have a stamp that won't stamp, this is the go to tool. It's also good for people with weak hands or carpal tunnel. It doesn't take much pressure to get it to work. I had to break this puppy out when I was working with my new Hero Arts stamp. Without the press, no one in my class would be able to get a good stamped image.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

On the Edge Card Class

I finally got my samples done for my class this coming Saturday at Cranberry Hill. It's been a whirl wind of activities at my house, so I had to lock myself in my studio this afternoon to get them done. For most of the cards, I used the Cricut machine to show customers how easy and fast it is to use. There isn't a whole lot of stamping but I did use two new stamps from Hero Arts and Memory Box. I mixed it up a little and added a gift card holder and a Wordsworth envelope.
The Hero Arts stamp (it's the green background stamp on the HB card) was a bear to use and I finally had to used my big metal press to get it to work. The rubber is not even and there is too much open space to stamp it rubber side up.

Beginning Bee Keeping Class

If you're interested in learning how to keep bees, the San Mateo Bee Guild will be holding a free bee keeping class on March 7, 2009. Here is the link for more information.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!! I thought I would also remind everyone that bee swarm season will start at the end of this month. If you see or hear of any free range bees, please contact your local bee guild. Don't freak out and start spraying a big bad can a raid on the girls. The guild members are ready to come out and pick up the swarms when you call. The photo is a wild swarm that is on the move. When I saw the heart shape I knew I had to save it for my blog.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Free Make n Take next Friday

I will be doing a free make n take next Friday (2/20/09) in the afternoon at Memories Live On in Cupertino. I was asked to do something with the Zutter machine so customer see how it all works. I also wanted it to be quick and simple. I left the front open so you could add a photo or something of your own when you got home. I don't think make n takes should be overly fussy or hard to do. The paper maybe different since I made the sample with what I had in my stash.
The covers are two 4x4 chip board coasters with 8 blank pages.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Glitter Mist Recipes

I came across this recipe for glimmer mist and thought I would share. It's a fun but messy product. It's not high on my must have list but I plan to give this recipe a try.
Memory Mists are pigment-based and Glimmer Mists are dye-based. Glimmer Mists also have a metallic 'glimmer' to them, Memory Mists do have a few metallic colors, but most are just color, no glitz.
You can make your own at home with stamp pad re-inkers, water, & a spray bottle. The more ink you use, the more intense the color. For the glimmer effect, you can add mica powders - if you use something like Rangers Perfect Pearls, they already contain a binding agent, so you're all set, but if you use something like PearlEx powders, you'll need to add a little Gum Arabic or the mica powder will rub off once it dries. It's a lot of fun to create your own custom colors!
At CHA the demo person at the Tattered Angels booth was telling people to shake the bottle well and spray it like hairspray. Well one woman did what she was told and sprayed the Glimmer Mist over her head and into the eyes of the people standing next to her. I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee in my pants. When she left the table I asked the demo person if she was going to change her description on how to spray the mist as I looked at all the ladies with sparkling raccoon faces.

Part of my CHA order

I didn't buy much at CHA but I did plan on visiting the May Arts booth and place my ribbon order. May Arts was one of the few vendors who had sales people willing to take your order. Seriously, most of the vendors sales staff pretended they didn't see you. If the show was slow for them, it's their own fault. I thanked my sales person for being so helpful and she said she was the owner's sister. It was the same thing with Product Performers and Theresa Collins booth that was staff with family members. They really knew their product and did their best to help retailers place their orders. Maybe CHA should give out an award for best customer service.
I ordered all this ribbon for my up coming classes. I'm always having a hard time find enough ribbon for my classes, so I decided to stock my studio with 31 of my favorites. It was really hard not to got over board and order everything they had. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mini "Bee" book - New 3x3 Class

Just finished my sample for my latest class the "Mini Bee Book". The inside of the book is made from one sheet of 12X12 paper - really it is! I called it a "bee" book because there are bees on the paper I used for the cover. The paper (flower trails) is from the new "imaginisce" line. It's really a fun book and doesn't that long to make. I decided to make three pockets on the inside for tags to add some interest. I'm still deciding if I should add a beaded bee to the center of the flower.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Work in progress - One in a Million

When I went to University Arts (art supply store) to pick up some LiquiTex acrylic inks, I also pick up some deep 12x12 canvas. Using my Cricut Expression machine, I made a 12x12 stencil of small hearts. I added several layers of color to the canvas before I added the stencil work, which is done with alcohol inks. It's not as easy as it looks. The alcohol inks like to bleed under the card stock stencil. When that happened I had to remove the ink by blending it into the background and re-apply the stencil. This is still a work in progress but I wanted to share this first stage.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Birthday Present

Today is my daughter's birthday and she is flying home on Saturday. Instead of mailing her a gift card, I decided to make a green gift - sort of. I found this glass frame with both sides that look the same. Instead of a box, I put one of her baby pictures on one side and the gift card on the other side. No wrapping or box to throw away! She was born with long hair. What you see in the photo is what she was born with. Don't worry, the credit card in the photo is one of those you get in the mail - it's not the real thing. :)

Circle Journal Challenge 2009

My Circle Journal group decided to do a monthly challenge instead of sending out journals. Patti (My Happy Place on my blog roll) picked this month's challenge - green, brown, blue with a red heart. We also have to list all the things we used. I think I used almost every type of paint I have in my stash. :)
12 x 12 deep canvas, Liquitex inks - Phthalocyanine Green, Cadmium Yellow, Iridescent Rich Bronze, Transparent Burnt Sienna. Luna Lights Blue, Stickles Xmas Red, Alcohol Inks - Gold, Pitch Black and Cranberry. Savoir Faire watercolor - Gold and Carmine Red. Golden Gel Medium - Glass Bead Gel. Cricut Expression, copper tape and misc. bird pin. I painted several layers of paint on the canvas then used sponges to rub some of the colors off. I used my Cricut Expression machine to make the stencils and masks for the word HOPE and heart.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Take Out Menus - Mini Book

Sometimes you just have to work with the paper the store has when designing a class. At first I was going to do a recipe book but then I realized home cooking isn't something a lot of people do anymore. Having a stack of take out menus in the kitchen pantry is much more common. :) So I came up with a take out menu holder mini book. It would also make a great welcome to the neighborhood gift.
I'm still looking for a silver charm of a fork, knife and spoon for the center of the flower. I know I've seen them before but heck if I can find it now. Edit - I found a charm at one of the local bead shops which costed $$$. I will have to go online to find a better deal. I do like to support my local stores but I know their mark up is over the top.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hot bag at CHA

This was the hot "had to have" tote bag at CHA for the 30 and under group. I really like the graphics but the shoulder straps were not long enough for us full figure women. :)
I loved the colors they used for their new line but overall it's was pretty boring. Didn't really separate itself from the other companies new lines. Since working at going green, I brought a bag home to use when I make quick trip to the grocery store. It's a heavy plastic type materials so if anything leaks, I should be covered.

Covered Cake Boxes

Something that surprised me at the show was how many of the companies showed their scrapbooking paper being used for non-scrapbooking ideas. Round covered boxes was very popular at the show this year. The Doodlebug booth was all set up like an old fashion ice cream shop decked out in pink - photo on the right. The photo on the left is once again my favorite booth, Graphic 45. They covered everything with their new paper line. I was told that she uses ATG tape to cover her projects since she doesn't like the results with any other type of adhesive.
I have some box ideas in the works for my next round of classes.