Monday, August 31, 2009

Do the honey bee

As many of you know, my husband and I are urban bee keeper. A guild member sent me this YouTube video someone in their family put together along with their original rap music. Hope it helps raise awareness of the alarming loss of the honey bees world wide.
Here's the link to the full story

Creative Escape Projects

If finally some photos of the projects I did at Creative Escapes. The layout was from 7 Gypsies designers Paula Cheney and Deb Crouse. The photo section flips up on a hinge and the flower section (can't see the glass bottle) also swings open. Looks simple but there are many parts and some major engineering design involved. This was my favorite project. The small suitcase was Tim Holtz project, which was also a fun and surprisingly, I picked up some great tips on how to work with ink. As always Tim was very entertaining and kept the class moving along. We also received a cool beaded lanyard to hold our name tag. One of the many nice touches of the event.

Creative Escapes 2009 - Helpful Hints

Something I do after all my trips, is make a list of all the things I wish I knew before hand. If you plan to attend (I've already signed up) Creative Escapes 2010 this will be a helpful list.

1) Arrive a few days early so you can shop at all the stores in the area, it's well worth it. You don't have to stay at the Wild Horse during this time since it's out in the middle of no where.

2) Bring a "big mama" of suitcase at least half empty or one packed into another suitcase, you will need it. CE will have boxes avaiable for a $1.00 and will ship your goodies home for you at a very reasonable rate. We shipped 68 pounds home for $23.00.

3) Although most people used those open square bag totes for the supplies in class, I found that things fell out of them (from the number of tools I saw on the floor walking to the classrooms) and there isn't any room on the tables for them either. The large sling type bags looked like they were working out well. I used an old Cropper Hopper zipper bag and just kept in on my lap.

4) Get a seat in the front row, it made a big difference in finishing the project even with all the teachers using Power Point

5) When you sign up for your group, pick the one with the least amount of people. Our group was not full, so we had room to spread out and more time with the teacher.

6) Mix up where and who you sit with at meal times so you can met other crafters.

7) There are no refrigerators in the room, so plan head. Wireless internet is spotty at best unless you want to pay $$$ to hook up to the hotel's service.

8) Although it's hot hot hot outside the conference rooms get chilly.

9) Shop at the conference store early. Some of the sponsors/manufactures are selling off discontinued items at a huge discount.

10) When it's time to check in for the CE event, wait a few hours before checking in so you don't have to stand in line. Remember there are over 625 people checking in.

11) The technique boutique this year only took 15 minutes to go through all the stations, so again go later and you won't have to wait in line.

12) Ask for a room near the elevators, which makes dropping things off in your rooms easier.

13) If there is a rumor going around - it's probably true.

14) Don't keep any open containers of drinks on the tables (which I thought most crafters already knew) some nasty spills happened.

15) If you are crazy enough to plan to be outside at the resort, bring bug spray.... mosquitoes, spiders (that bite) and other crawly creatures will be waiting for you.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Creative Escapes - OMG! $29,000 lamp

Just got back from the Creative Escapes retreat in Phoenix Arizona this afternoon and it lived up to it's name as being the best one around. Every detail to the event was taken care and the teachers were awesome. The Tim Holtz lamp (photo on the left) was auctioned off on the last night and it sold for $29,000 - yes count those zeros. My buddy Nicole (she's part of the Suzy West garage girls rat pack) was the high bidder and 100% of her very generous bid will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma group. There was a lot of screaming and jumping around at our table last night. Tim Holtz and Heidi Swapp were on stage in tears. I think over $50,000 was raised for the charity. Thank you Nicole, you rock!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Michael Strong - Class this weekend

A sneak peek at the cards you will be doing if you were lucky enough to get into Michael Strong's class this weekend at Memories Live On. As always the cards are way too cool. He will also have his some of his sample for his classes in October. I've heard they are almost full, so call asap if you want to sign up - October 9 & 10, 2009

Cornflake Cards August

As I run around getting all the last minute details done for my trip to Arizona tomorrow, I had forgotten about my upcoming Cornflakes Card Swap. I knew I was going to do these card for them, but thinking I had more time (really need to get a bigger day runner) I'm really hustling to get them finished this morning. I think they are too funny in my strange sense of humor way. :)
Since they are so simple, I'm making both cards for everyone.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Creative Escape 2009

I will be heading out to hot hot Arizona on Wednesday morning to attend my first Creative Escape retreat. I've heard only good things about it, other than it's hotter than hot in Phoenix this time of year. There is a large group of crafters from the Bay Area going and we plan to hit all the local stores to check out what they have. I'm really looking forward to 24/7 crafting week. Will post photos and my reviews while I'm there if I can get on a computer.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hi my name is ......

The votes have been counted and our new little kitten now has an official name, Miss Honey Bunny. Hubby thinks the election was rigged (he suffers from talk radio paranoia) and that those who voted for Honey Bunny will be getting free jars of honey. He is still going to call her Scooter but since I feed her the good stuff and play with her, she will come to Honey Bunny in no time. We have also found out that she likes water. For the past week she has taken two shower (and I mean stand under the water and get soaking wet) a day. You know how cats come running when they hear the can opener? Well as soon as the shower starts she's there waiting for her bath. Good thing she is a short hair cat.

Old Pattern Holder?

This was at one time build into a wall and I think it was to hold dress making patterns. It was in the outside junk lots (one step away from being thrown into the dumpster) and way too cool to pass up. I will be cleaning it up and taking into one of my booths this week. I'm sure someone will want to give it a good home.

Great Auction Find

My daughter (after her horrible experience with Ikea) decided to wait until I was able to find a cheap dresser that she could paint black for her new apartment. A pair of tansu cabinets came up for auction this past weekend. I bid on the tansu for her as a congratulations gift for her big promotion at work. No, she can not paint it black since it doesn't fall in the cheap category. I dragged home really old dresser in case she doesn't like this one.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Auction Week

This is auction week, (all the auctions happen in the same week for some strange reason) so it means a lot of running around from one auction house to another. Today I was lucky enough to get to the local auction in time to bid on some cool stuff. (I will post photos when I get everything home.) There is a lot of down time between lots, so I took a book to read. If you are a wannabe urban farmer this is a great book. The author Novella Carpenter lives in Oakland (a city not to far from me) who started a garden/farm in a vacant lot next to her home. I was planning on reading it on the plane ride to Arizona for the Creative Escapes event in two weeks but it's such a fun read I don't want to put it down.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Need Your Vote To Help Pick My Name

Mom and Dad have narrowed down the list of what my forever name will be. Please vote on what name you like best.

Miss Kitty

Honey (Honey Bunny for short)

Honey Harvest Time

Hubby has been busy harvesting our honey and our "girls" once again did a fine job. The honey gets darker and darker as we head into fall. I'm going to be pulling out my garden early this year, since hubby hasn't gotten around to fixing the drip system and I'm tired of having to hand water everything around all the bee hives and bee equipment he has scattered everywhere.
Little Miss No Name was confirmed today to be a girl and got her first round of shots. I had to give her a temporary name for the vet's records so I named her Smith Smith, hubby's last name is Smith. Kitty is very little for being 13 weeks old. She only weights 2.5 pounds. She was the runt of the litter that survived (only 3 out of the 6 survived an emergency C-section) so that could explain her small size. She does eat like a horse and has the energy of an older kitten. She is a very sweet petite kitten but I'm still on the fence about keeping her.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We Have Contact

Houston we have contact. Mr. Purrcy allowed Miss No Name a spot on his favorite chair in my studio. Really I'm sure the little kitty just jumped up there and made herself at home. Mr Purrcy is very easy going and if there isn't any hissing or claw swing going on he's good.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Do You Mind...., I'm just too cute for dry food

We had a friend over today who wanted to check out our bee hives. While he was waiting for my hubby to suit up, he took this cute picture of our new "still no name" kitten along with a funny tag line. "Do you mind...., I'm just to cute for dry food". I left to go teach a round of classes at the store and one person in my "Crazy Cat Lady" card class, talked about how it's a major problem in America for cat's who only eat commercially made food. It's really better for them to eat some natural or real food like chicken, rats, or birds with their meals. After losing Lucy to some type of toxic poisoning, (I think was from her dry food) I've decided to start "no name" and Purrcy on real food along with their organic dry food. It will be harder for me to get Purrcy to eat anything but his dry food but I'm going to try. Thanks Mitch for the great photo! Update: What happens when Hubby's honey over flows on to the floor and a very hyper kitten walks through it? Sticky spots everywhere in your house and a kitten covered in dust bunnies. Emergency bath time and one tired fur baby.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What do you call a striped kitten on a striped rug?

Purrcy has been meowing at me since the loss of Lucy. I took that to mean he was lonely and wanted another fur baby in the house. My hubby also wanted another cat so I checked out all the animal rescue groups but didn't find a kitten that met my list of requirements. I think I'm still too sad about Lucy to really want another cat in the house.
This morning I was checking Craig's list (because I like looking at all the kitten pictures) and saw a posting for a little female kitten. We went over this afternoon to visit and ended up coming home with, well we don't have a name for her yet. I thought I would post a blog contest to help us pick a name. She does have a dozen or so black spots on her tummy and interesting stripes on her back but she doesn't sit still long enough for me to get good shot. So help us out with some suggestions on what we should call her. Prizes awarded to the winning name.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One hour of less card class

I do a lot of one hour or less card classes at the Senior Center. On the way home today, I thought I would so something like that for my regular classes. I know people like fast classes with cards they will really mail out. Not a lot of frills or embellishments but you will be able to get everything done in an hour and the best part you don't have to clean up after yourself. :) You will make five cards (fifth one is not in the photo) under an hour unless you like to talk a lot in class.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Halloween Cards - Group Photo

Group photo of the cards for my Halloween card class in September. I will be doing another class (different cards) in September too but I'm still working on the samples. Most for the stamps are from Hero Arts. I worked at mixing up different techniques for those who are new to stamping.
Paper piecing, sponging, spirelli, Coptic markers and a little chalking.

Ghost Card

A silly card I'm doing for my Happy Halloween class at Cranberry Hill next month. I did half the card last night and when I woke up this morning, I knew I had to add some flying bats. Boo stamp by Hero Arts, Cuttlebug bats and free hand ghost.
I use the Di Vinci method of creative problem solving - sleeping on it. :) I've also found out that Thomas Edison also used sleep to solve difficult problems. He didn't sleep a whole lot, only four hours a day but he could sleep anywhere.
I felt like Ma Kettle (for those of you who remember that old TV show) this morning. Since Purrcy was so kind to wake me up before dawn, I started doing things around the house and out in the backyard in my pajamas, Crocs and work shirt. I figured there wasn't going be to anyone up at 5:30am or they would be to tired to notice their crazy neighbor watering the garden and taking all the recycling out.

Another Halloween Card

Another simple card of my Happy Halloween class coming up next month. It's basic sponging (several layers of color) which looks much brighter in person. You really can't see the nice shading of the colors. The tree is from one of the Cricut cartridges to make things even simpler.
Yes, I'm posting this at 5:30 am. Purrcy wanted to go out and since I'm now awake, I'm going to try and finish my sample boards. One great thing about living here in the Bay Area is no matter how hot it gets during the day, it always cools down after sunset. I spent a few hours last night cleaning up my studio which was so messy every flat surface was covered, even the floor so I didn't get a whole lot of designing done.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Halloween Card 2009

I'm finally getting some studio time to work on my next round of classes. It's been a few weeks since I've been able to sit down and do anything creative. Now with all the family tasks that taken care and hubby is off to Boston for a male bonding week, I should get a lot done, at least I hope so.
The stamps are a new release for Hero Arts. I'm not crazy about how well the clear cling word set is stamping (sort of fuzzy looking) but it does give it that "Halloweeny" look.
It's going to be another hot day here in the Bay Area hitting 100. Yes I'm a weather weenie and can't handle the extreme (in my world) heat or cold. Purrcy and I have started the wise old tradition and practice of the siesta. I'm finding it's easier than turning on my AC in the studio. I can work much later and well into the night with the windows open.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More Auction Finds

Not a lot of creative work being done in my studio right now. The summer months are always slow for classes and I'm still tagging all the stuff I got from My Little Shoe Box.
It is peak season to be at the auction houses. Many of the dealers have big weekend shows or are out of town so you can pick up some great deals. On Thursday I found this small cabinet at the auction in Santa Cruz in the junk lots. I think it would make a great little shrine for those alter art artist type.
The fish in the background was also a great auction find a few years ago. What makes it special (in my world) is that it's a water feature highlighting rock cod (common fish found around here) and not salmon or wide mouth bass. The same artist also did a large wall display for the Monterey Bay Aquarium with these fish. At some point when I remodel my backyard, the fish will be more intergrated into the landscaping.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Julie and Julia - The Movie

I've been a big Julia Child fan since I was five years old. I was sooo excited to go see the movie "Julie and Julia" this morning. Yes, I also have the book "My Life in France" on my book shelf. It's a movie about a woman named Julie (wants to be a writer) who blogs about cooking every recipe in Julia's book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year. I really liked the movie and only wished it had more Julia moments.
The movie had all the things I love, Julia Child, blogging, cats, cooking, based on a true story and a little history. It's what my hubby would call a "chick flick" but it's the first movie I've been to that people applauded after it was over. I would guess that everyone there at 10:00 am on opening day were big Julia fans. Can't wait for it to come out on DVD so I can add it to my collection. I'm also in search of an autographed copy of the cookbook.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tagging Mania

The vintage booth I have at Cottage Crafts on Union Ave in San Jose (a handcrafters store) also has a section they call the "ZZ booth" where crafter's can sell off they unwanted rubber stamps and craft supplies. It's really a great place to find some good deals on crafts supplies. You never know what is there so people stop by everyday to check it out. I picked up the last of the old inventory from My Little Shoebox (she was cleaning out her warehouse) to sell off in the ZZ booth. I think there are over 6,000 items for me to tag!!! I was tagging until 1:00 last night and I will be tagging all day today while babysitting (my printer is in over drive printing out labels) and I hope to have most of the inventory at Cottage Crafts by Friday. Today is also auction night and I really want to drive over and check it out, a very cool cabinet is up for auction. If you follow my blog, you can guess what it looks like. :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Busy weekend

I'm still helping my daughter move into her new apartment in San Francisco. Saturday, starting a 6:00 am, we packed up my car and headed to the City. Evan's new bed was being delivered at 8:00. After many trips up and down a flight of stairs and watching in amazement as one guy carry up the new bed up a very steep flight of stairs, we headed off to Ikea. Three hours later (and some very creative packing) we head back to the apartment with a head and foot board,bed frame, large dresser (two large boxes), butcher block table, several curtains, rods, mirror, plants, lamp shades and various other "must have" household items. It was amazing what my little car could hold. Once we unloaded everything and moved the car (finding parking is not easy on Russian Hill) we discovered that one boxes for the dresser was the wrong color! Small melt down then back down the stairs, into the car and off to Ikea again. So after trips to Ikea (2x), Home Depot, Target and dinner, I finally made it back home at 7:30 pm. Hubby went abalone diving (on Saturday) so today, he's on deck to help install curtain rods, build cabinets and cook at the new apartment. My next project is to make this way cool 36"X 36"type writer key wall hanging. Here's the link to Susie Harris's blog, where she did a great tutorial on how to make a your own Pottery Barn art piece on the cheap.