Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Los Molcajetes in Fossil Creek TX

While we were out in Texas we went to a great restaurant in Fossil Creek TX. The ladies at the front desk said "Los Molecajetes" was REALLY good (it wasn't on the hotel's standard list of restaurants) so we gave it a try. First off, it was packed at 8:45 pm and Fossil Creek doesn't look like a nightlife kind of town. The second thing was the manager (she could have been an owner too) was this very strict looking "don't mess with your momma" kind of woman. So you know she runs a really tight ship. The place was clean and the staff were all working hard. The food (which came out in less than five minutes) was great. They had quail on the menu, which my buddy MJ just went wild over. I did try and stick to my no carb diet so I didn't get the tortillas with my meal but I did have some chips and salsa. The food was so good that we went back next night for dinner. MJ and I joked we would come back for another mega workshop at Ten Second studios just so we could have dinner at Los Molecajetes. I was told they also own two other restaurants in the area. The prices were very reasonable, compared to what we would have had to pay out here in California.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tim Holtz's Texas Project 2009

With all the glass and metal, it wasn't an easy project to take a picture of. Cheryl's part of the workshop was having us make the outside of the picture frame. Since this is going up on my studio wall, I put Flatfishpaperarts, Cheryl Darrow, Tim Holtz and Ten Second Studios on the frame. The collage on the inside was part of Tim's class. We worked on 5 mini canvas which are all covered with embellishments. There is a lot of inking and sanding which doesn't show up to well in the photo but there are many layers to collage. I'm going to add a few more things and do a little airbrushing before putting it up on the wall. This was a great tag team workshop that Cheryl and Tim did. I hope they will be able to take the show on the road soon!

Ten Second Studios Projects 2009

Here are some of the projects I did at the Ten Second Studios workshop this past weekend. (My camera battery died right before my trip so I'm using my hubby's camera and I don't know how to turn off the date stamps) The first part of the all day workshop was how to use the embossing wheels and tools on metal. We practiced embossing and de-embossing and sanding before jumping in and working on the class projects. We made a coffee mug insert and two pages that go into an album. The cover for my album isn't done yet since I changed up the design. It was suppose to be covered with metal but I decided to cut out some metal letter instead. I still have to finish the spine before I can glue down everything. The little cut out heart will have a "puffy" red metal heart when it's finished.

Ten Second Studios & Tim Holtz

Back for my mega workshops with Cheryl Darrow (owner of Ten Second Studios) and Tim Holtz in HOT HOT Richland Hills, Texas. Yes, there was a heat wave going on while we were there.
The workshops were held at the Ten Second Studios which had some amazing art work on the walls. I spent all day Saturday learning all the ways you can emboss on metal with Cheryl. I will post photos of my projects later. It was a great class and the Ten Second Studios team worked really hard to make sure everything ran smoothly.
On Sunday we took a combination class with both Cheryl and Tim. Each taking two hours to do their section of the project. Tim's class was one of the fastest classes I've ever taken. We were moving so fast, you didn't have time to talk or miss a step, otherwise you were toast. Mario and the gang did a great job prepping for the class otherwise we would never have been able to do the project in two hour. Again I will post photos later.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Heading for Texas

I off bright and early in the morning for my certification class at the Ten Second Studios and Tim Holtz workshop in Texas. It's been a long time since I've been on the plane going somewhere fun - can't wait!!!! My camera battery decided to stop recharging today, so I will be without a camera all weekend. Will post when I get back on Monday.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sumi Cat Card

Tonight is my monthly card making get together with the "Cornflakes". I decided to do a simple card inspired by the art of Sumi painting. The stamp is one that I've had for long time. It's so old the manufacture's name has wore away. I stamped it on Sumi paper which is just a little bit thicker than tissue paper and made to work well with ink. I then stitched it onto the spine of my white card stock base since you would see any adhesive used. You can't really tell that there are two layers to the card in the photo. I thought of adding more to it, but Sumi painting is suppose to be simple a design. The red "chop" is my name in Japanese.

Lydia of Understand Blue fame is working on designing some business cards for me and one of my requirements is that a Sumi cat image be used. I can't wait to see what creative ideas Lydia comes up.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ten Second Studio Workshops

I'm heading out for the Ten Second Studio workshops in Texas with Cheryl (on the left) and Tim Hotlz (in the middle) this weekend. My buddy MJ can't make the workshops now because of a death in the family. So if you interested in buying her spot let me know. I would be happy to share my hotel room. Both workshops are all day, so you get some real quality time with both artists.

A Muse A Palooza Make N Takes

I will be doing the make-n-takes at Cranberry Hill for the "A Muse A Palooza" celebration. Not sure on the exact dates yet but I will post them on my side bar when it's all confirmed.
Don't go calling the A Muse watch dogs, these are stamp images from last year. I will be doing these along with the new Christmas images being released. We wanted to mix it up a bit because not everyone is a winter type of person.
I think we should start a campaign to get A Muse to release their Halloween line (like they use to) at the same time they do Christmas. I know the store owners would be a lot happier.
In keeping with A Muse's style, the cards are simple and quick to make.

Monday, June 22, 2009

What happens when kids come home

My daughter graduated from the University of Washington last year. She decided to stay up in Seattle for other year before heading back home. She worked really hard during that year to get a transfer to one of the Marriott divisions here in the Bay Area. She arrive home last week to get ready for her new job in San Francisco and found that her old room had been turned into my junk storage room. Since she is only staying here for a few months (until she gets her own place) I didn't see the need to put cleaning it out on my very long to do list. She came home like a whirlwind and said that the mess with effecting her positive feng shui. So she moved everything into my studio and moved her things in all in one day. Just when I thought I was done sort stuff out - the kids come home. :)

Marathon Clean Up

For the past three weeks we have been remodeling my Dad's 40 year old bathroom. On Father's Day I decided my other siblings (there are 6 of us) and their families should help clean up the whole house which had a nice layer of dust everywhere. So we had 14 people running around the house dusting and cleaning out closets. Several trips to the Goodwill, four huge black garage bags filled with blankets for the animal shelter and the washing machine and dryer running non stop for 8 hours. My Dad was being a good sport about it and all he said was "I'm not dead yet you know". I still have to take a trunk load of clothes to the dry cleaners, go to the laundry mat to wash some bedspreads and have all the leftover construction materials hauled off. We had so much stuff piled up in the living room to sort out, the cleaning crew could only wash the windows. I will have to go back and finish cleaning that room. My Dad was sure happy to see us all leave at the end of the day and get to sleep in his bedroom again.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tire Swing Memories

Happy Father's Day! I'm so looking forward to the end of this weekend. It's been a non stop multi-tasking month for me. Prepping for classes, remodeling my Dad's bathroom, my daughter moving back home from Seattle, the general chaos of things. I'm sure looking forward to some downtime and getting back to designing. This morning, during that time right before you wake up (according to Di Vinci) is when your best creative thoughts kick in. Growing up on a farm back in the day when Silicon Valley was all ranch land and orchards, we had a tire swing hanging from a huge black walnut tree. Having only my cousin as a playmate (all my siblings are much older than me) we would spend all day running around the ranch getting into all sorts of trouble. I can't even imagine children now days having that type of freedom. I think my memories of that tire swing this morning is telling me to get back to the simpler things in life and don't forget to take time to play.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Free Cat Class Today - A Place to Bark and Meow

Whew, this week has gone by super fast. I didn't have time to post the samples sooner. Maybe because I didn't get the cards done until this morning! Had several classes going on this past week, as well as doing a special event set up for a friend and working on getting my Dad's house back in order. Good thing my son came into town for a few days to visit. I've had him move furniture and run about a thousand errands for me.
I will be doing a free cat card class at Memories Live On today at noon and again at 6:00 pm. All you have to bring is the cat stamps you've purchased from the A Place to Bark and Meow fundraiser, I will provide everything else. I had high hopes that Bernie Berlin would be able to fly up and do the class with everyone but she's booked up with meetings for her (we hope) new animal reality T.V. show down in L.A. Call the store to sign up so I make sure to have enough supplies on hand.
(408) 446-9901

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Warning - Max Cat is killing cats

Last night we ran out of cat food, so the first thing on my to do list was go to the pet store. I got there a little early but with a panic look on my face, let me in. Guess I'm not the first person with hungry cats at home. They were still stocking the shelves (pallets and boxes everywhere) as I looked for the brand my cats have been eating since they were kittens. When I couldn't find it, one of the guys went in the back to look. Another employee came up and told me that the Max Cat brand had been recalled AGAIN because is was killing people's pets by causing kidney failure. He said it has been recalled several times to his knowledge and I really should switch to another brand. You can only imagine my horror when I heard about this. Lucy has not been feeling well for the past few months and now I know why. I did a quick Internet search on the recall and all I could find is that there was some cross contamination (with what I don't know) at the plant and or too much of zinc and potassium were added to the mix that is causing the problem. When I look at Lucy and Purrcy I feel so guilty that I was feeding them something that was making them sick. I made sure this was a cat food made in USA locations and not from China. Guess even that wasn't enough.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Great Vintage Finds

It's been slim pickings at the auction houses for the past year. A few weeks ago I met a retired artist/antique dealer who is starting to sell off his collections. He said most of the valuable items have already been sold off or he was saving them to give to his grandchildren. I went over not really thinking I would find anything. Boy was I wrong! I came home with several boxes of great vintage kitchen items. My antique booth with get a much needed boost this week.
Another plus was the depth of his knowledge about antiques and what I was buying. We had a nice chat about what use to be hot 20 years ago and what's hot now. The chicken in the picture is an original one, not a reproduction. The detail in the feathers is amazing. I really liked the medicine bottles. There is one with a giraffe that is for sore throats - too funny. There are many more boxes I didn't have time to go through since I had to get back to my Dad's house to start the long process of moving furniture back into his master bed room but I will be going back as soon as my bank account recovers. :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Abalone Country

This is a photo of abalone country in Northern California. Hubby just got back from his weekend of diving for the San Mateo Buddhist church. They plan a camping trip every year and need to make sure they have enough divers to provide abalone for the evening meals. The guys (there weren't any women divers this year) free dive about 15-30 feet for the abalone.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Busy Week

Flowers in my front hallway. It's been a very busy week, with little time to blog or do anything super creative. My Dad's bathroom remodel is almost done and that has been a very challenging task. My hubby has done the loin share of the work (taking things down to the studs, with some of the studs having to be replaced too) because my Dad just felt better if my hubby did the work. Doing work for your family just adds another layer of stress to things. My hubby walked out on the job at least every other day, swearing at me that he was not going to come back. My Dad (who is now 89) didn't help things because he kept changing he's mind on almost everything. I do have to say my go to general contractor Randy has been a life saver. We call with random questions or in my case in a panic looking for some good sub-contractors. Not only did all the subs do good work, they all showed up early. You know they give you a window of two or three hours of when they would be there but everyone of them showed up a few minutes early. Hubby is off abalone diving (we won't discuss that) this weekend and I have back to back classes at both stores.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Martha Stewart Glitter Contest

This was a group effort at one of the stores I teach at. Memories Live On wanted to enter the Martha Stewart glitter contest. Not sure what you win but you had to only use Big Martha's glitter. I'm not a glitter person at all because of the messy it makes. I made the pinwheels from 12x12 and 8x8 card stock. It was a challenge to get the pinwheels to stick together. Glitter on glitter doesn't stick. I finally had to use some heavy duty brads to hold the centers down. Holly (one of the the other teachers made the sun. Vivian the store owner finished off the rest. I think the store turned out a really nice display.
Even after two weeks I still finding glitter in my studio. No matter how many times I dust and vacuum!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Place to Bark & Meow Cards by E. Shea

Here are some great cards done by Elizabeth Shea using one of the stamps from our fundraiser for "A Place to Bark and Meow". Here is the link to Elizabeth's great blog.
It's great to see how different stampers work with the stamps.
Remember you can still order the stamps from
www.scrapbookingsuppliesrus.com or drop by Memories Live On in Cupertino to pick them up in person.
There will be an article in Craft N Style magazine this coming September about our fundraiser too.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The First Bees - White House Garden

Being an urban bee keeper, I'm always interested in bee news. Today there was an article about the bee keeper who came out of the closet in Washington DC. She had kept her identity a secret for a long time because of "city folks" having a strong fear of insects. Toni is the bee mentor to Charlie who is the bee keeper at the White House. The hive set up (on the left) is unusual (at least out here in CA) but high winds from nature and helicopters made in necessary. I think it's just too cool to see a working hive on the grounds of the White House.
Here's the link to Toni's blog

Friday, June 5, 2009

Reverse Joseph Coat technique

This is what I call a reverse "Joseph Coat" technique" using the Copic airbrush system since the color is added after the embossing not before. It really looks good just as a black and white if you don't have an airbrush system. When I did the image in blues and greens it looked like a 3D photo since more of the shading showed than the color.
This is one of the cards in my "Copic Meets VersaMark class.

Copic Airbrush Meets VersaMark Class

Worked on a new class last night "Copic Airbrush Meets VersMark". I've been working on different techniques that can be taught in a class (very different than doing something for yourself at home) using the Copic airbrush system. Taking a lot of the ideas from what you can do with a sponge or brayer I substituted using the airbrush. It made the projects go faster and you have more control over using lighter color. The only downside is the amount of ink you use when experimenting I had to try each card at least five times before getting the right color combination or shading - that's a lot of ink being sprayed!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June Bee Swarm 2009

Yesterday we finally got a call about a swarm in our area. Hubby went out and did what is called a "capture". It was an easy text book capture. The bees were only about 8 feet high in a wisteria bush. After getting the queen in the box (just a cardboard box) the rest of the girls followed her in. He leaves the box there and after sunset when all the bees are back for the night, he closes up the box and brings everyone home. This is about 4 pounds worth of bees, which is a nice size swarm. It will be combined with one of our hives today.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our Spring Honey is Now Here

Our house has been filled with boxes of bee keeping supplies and for the last week, honey equipment. During the day my hubby is at my Dad's house working on remodeling his bathroom. He then rushes home to work on the hives or getting the honey ready to bottle. This morning the first of the 2009 Spring harvest was bottled. We've add "comb" honey to our line. Some people like to chew it like gum and say it's better that way. I was busy last night making the labels and I will be off this morning delivering them to our store locations.
I'm working on coming up with a front label for the comb honey since I'm guessing a lot people don't know much about it.
This bee season the Bee Guild hasn't gotten many calls for swarms, so we are very concerned about the bee population at large. Swarm season only last a few months in our area and it's almost over. Remember if you see or hear of a swarm, call your local bee guild first.

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Cat-tails" happy hour Thursday June 18, 2009

This is a photo of one of the cats up for adoption at Bernie Berlin's animal shelter "A Place to Bark and Meow".
Starting this month I will host a free one hour class called "cat-tails happy hour" for everyone who has purchased one of the cat stamps. To be able to attend the class you have to bring your stamps in with you, I will supply everything else. Still working on the store's calendar to set the date but it will be this month so keep checking my blog of updates.
We are starting on working on the next round of stamps images and yes, this time it will be dogs.
Update: The free class (must bring your stamps to class) will be on Thursday June 18, 2009 12:00-1:00 or 6:00 - 7:00. Please call Memories Live On to reserve your spot. (408) 446-9901

Penny Black Card #2

The second card in my Penny Black Sticker card class. The stickers really make it super simple and fast. Great way to use up your stash too!

Penny Black Sticker Card Class

I was asked to do a class using the Penny Black watercolor stickers. They are great stickers for those who don't want to spend hours coloring and doing the collage work. There are four stickers on each sheet so you can whip out some cool cards in minutes. Penny Black also has these images in rubber stamps for those who like to make everything from scratch.