Thursday, January 28, 2010

Candy Canes Gone Wrong

I'm not much of a baker and I guess I'm not much of a candy maker either.  Lydia (Understand Blue) post a while back about melting two candy canes to make a heart.  So in one of those rare moments with my oven on (cooking a prime rib roast) I thought I would give it a try.  I totally forgot that it didn't take to much time to melt.  When I checked on it 10 minutes later (which is about 8 minutes to late) they had melted in blob.   It wasn't a good night for things coming out of the oven.  I picked up a prime rib roast at Trader Joe's and it smelled a little funny when I opened the bag, first bad sign.  As it was cooking it smelled off, second bad sign. Not that yummy home cooking smell I get when I cook pot roast.  When it came out of the oven it was cooked perfectly but still tasted funny, the third and final sign. So everything went into a zip lock bag and it's going back to the store.  One good thing about TJ is that they take back everything no questions asked.

Crafting Shirt

I use to eat chocolate when I was in a creative slump.  One pound would always do the trick but of course with the changes in my diet, that's a major no no.  I also had a favorite crafting shirt that I would wear all the time.  Always felt creative when I was working in my cat shirt.  I finally had to say good-bye to my ten year old shirt.  It was torn around the collar and all of the applique had come off years ago.  For the last couple of years, I couldn't wear it out in public. I took off all the button and cut it up to use in my rag pile out in the studio. Not sure why this shirt last so long when I got other ones that did last more than a year.  It was still sad to say good-bye to my old favorite shirt.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Amy Flynn - Found Object Dolls

Many moons ago I started going to auction houses to find the weird and unusual objects so I could make dolls like the famed artist Amy Flynn. (I love her cat and bee dolls below) I dragged home a tons of stuff which morphed into the start of Alley Cats Vintage treasures, my antique business.  I started to haunt auction houses for other alter artists, finding the treasures they didn't have time to hunt down themselves.  I remember listening to "Eat That Frog"(very good audio book) and he talked about all the screen writers in Hollywoood who didn't have a finish script ready if the opportunity came up to show it to someone. They didn't make the time to do the thing they said was important to them.  I've felt like a screen writer without a script for a long time so this year with my new word being "focus", I 'm going to make a alter art doll.  I have all the parts, maybe not all the right tools but that's not an excuse. So today I started to gather the parts and worked on the construction of getting the parts to fit together. My final doll may not be a whimsy as Amy Flynn but I would have at least made one.         

Wet mushroom hunters

I've been playing catch up all week.  Thought I would post of photo from my recent mushroom hunt.  Lother on the left and Tina on the right (her husband Thomas was taking the photo) were our fungus guides.  They are also our bee mentors, who helped us when we first started out keeping bees.  It was wet and cold so we all have about four layers under our coats. Yes we look tired because when this photo was taken, we had been hiking for 3 hours up and down the muddy Santa Cruz Mountians. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

March Card Kits 2010

I'm having a great time design with this medallion style folding. I was asked to come up with card kits for customers at Memories Live On who want to do something quick and simple. Many times it's a parent who wants to have a crafting bonding moment with their child. The hardest part is finding thin paper since most of the scrapbooking paper is heavy card stock weight.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mushroom Hunting 2010

We spent all day today hunting for Black Trumpet mushrooms. Before any of you freak out that I will ruin my liver, we went with 3 experienced fungus guides. The mushroom that causes all the deaths here in California (can't remember the name right now) looks very much like ones that grow in Mexico and Vietman that aren't poisious. When people from there see them, they don't know here in the states they can be deadly. Black trumpet really don't have a nasty evil twin so we were pretty safe. We hiked up in the Santa Cruz mountian for 4 hours which was a great work out. We were off trail, so we were either going up or down a muddy hill and climbing over fallen trees. It wasn't quite raining but it was wet. With the recent storms we had the run off looked like waterfalls. We came home with over 7 pounds of mushrooms.

Fabulous Fold Class

Another new class I will be doing in March "Fabulous Folds". Some Iris folding and one easy origami folding card. I'm more focused on doing projects for beginners. Some times teachers forget there are newbies out there. These are easy cards to make once you learn how.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another CAS card

Another card using up some paper from my stash. The stamp is from a new Penny Black set. I will be doing a class with this image in March. It makes a quick and simple card, which is always nice to have around. Penny Black Stamps & Copic Markers

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CAS - scraps

I've been working really hard trying to use up my HUGE stack of vintage scrapbooking paper. The background paper is about 7 years old. In the scrapbooking world, that's greatgrandma paper. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Alter Art Collage Card

My card making group meets tonight. For several months, I've done CAS cards for the group. Since half the ladies can't make it tonight (so I only have to make 5 instead of 10 cards)I decided to make something a little more time consuming. I pulled out some supplies that haven't seen daylight in years. Sheets of metal, shimmering mist, Adirondack color wash and alcohol inks. I'm the only one in the group that does weird stuff like this. It's not a style the ladies like but they appreciate effort. :) I sprayed the mulberry paper and flocked paper by gcd with different colors and used the alcohol inks on the metal heart that I ran through my Cuttlebug. The whole project made a huge mess in my studio but it was fun to get artfully dirty.

Anniversary Mushroom Hunting

Hubby and I can't agree on what to do for our anniversary coming up in a few weeks. He likes to go back to places he's been and I like to go to place I've never seen. February isn't the best month to go places since it's still cold and wet. Something we both agree on is learning to hunt wild mushrooms. It's been on both of our life list and with all the rain we've been getting it's time. Hubby is good a spot things and cooking with local foods. I like hiking off trail and doing something different so it's a good compromise. Our fungus guides said we will be going out for Black Trumpets this weekend. Guess it's going to be a good year for them. My next trip will be to go hiking for mushrooms in Italy or maybe truffle hunting with pigs in France.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It was auction week this past weekend. There wasn't much there I was interested in but I did manage to come home with this carnival glass bowl/vase. It comes in two pieces which is unusual for carnival glass.

Happy Dance - My Computer is Back

It's been almost a week that I've been without my main computer and in my world, that's a really long time. We had to call in the big guns to get rid of this nasty virus when my hubby and regular IT guy could not. One of our neighbors is the software manager for a large international company and I cornered him in his driveway begging him to come over and get my computer up and running. He was a good sport about it and finally was able to come over tonight. So thankful to live in Silicon Valley and computer nerd central. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

FOCUS 2010

I've been looking for my 2010 word for a long time. None of the more traditional ones seem to fit. While I was reading the book "The Power of Less" by Leo Babauta, I decided "Focus" would be my word. I've been out of focus both with my creative work and personal life so the word seems to fit. One of the suggestions from the book is to make public the goals or habits you plan to develop over the course of one year. So I'm off to the library to study, make my list and will start posting them on my blog.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Junk Yard Raider

Yesterday I spent 4 hours going through two storage lockers of old vintage items leftover from another antique dealer's estate. It was a really dirty job but I did get hold of some really cool stuff. I picked up a bunch of old holiday postcards, some postmarked from 1902. It only cost a penny to mail and all you needed was the name,city and state. No home address, street or zip code back then. My main computer had a melt down and I'm waiting for my IT guy to come and work his voodoo magic on it. Since it's not one of my hubby's computers, he doesn't see the urgent need to get it fixed and of course I can't use the new faster laptop he got for Christmas. He's turned back into a couch potatoes with all the "videos" he's downloaded. Wondering if there is a slang term for someone who watches mindless things from his computer? So I'm having computer withdrawals at the moment and waiting by the front door from my IT guy to show up.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Card

Another one of the cards I will be doing for my free class at the Japanese Senior Center this afternoon. I've had these heart button for years and I finally decided I needed to use them up. I also had a lot of washi paper scraps on my work table from my Christmas cards so I used them up too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Valentine's Day CAS Card

My card racks at the various stores I'm in have been getting low and need a much needed infusion of new stock. I've been in the studio fighting creative block to come up with some new ideas. To help break up the procrastination and the blank staring at my work table I did some CAS(clean and simple)cards for my class at the Senior Center. It's a simple card that uses up all those scraps you just can throw away.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Nano Hex Bug

Michelle and Heather (Daisy and Rosie's new moms)find the best cat toys. They brought a present of Haz, Bea and Sunny who had another bad day at the pet fair. Everyone else got adopted but them. After they woke from their naps and had dinner I let this nano bug loose. Have to tell you, if you have over active kittens in the house this little bug will keep them busy. These things move like a wild cockroach and it's a toy any high tech feline should own.

Waiting Kitten

I will be at the Sunnyvale PetSmart (Wolfe and El Camino) today after 1:00 waiting for you to take me to my forever home.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Quick Card - heart

I was asked to do a series of Clean and Simple cards for drop in kits. Something like happy hour but at a craft store. I was inspired by Susan's blog Simplicity (see my blog roll) and came up with this Valentine's Day card, well I guess it could be a "just because" card too.
Two of my foster kittens (Daisy and Rosie) went to their forever home today. It was both a sad and happy day. I know that their new moms will spoil them rotten and give them a great home. I knew it was a good sign when Daisy woke up from her nap and walked right into the cat carrier Michelle and Heather had put on the floor. It was like "OK let's go, I'm ready to be treated like a princess". We still have Bea and Haz with us. Sunny the mommy cat has been at Petco in what I call lock up, the display cases for adoptions. I'm going tommorrow to pick her up so she can have some R&R.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Auction Finds 2010

This weekend was auction week at my local auction house. The photos (taken in my new photo tent - Christmas gift from my kids)of some of the things I was able to drag home. I've decided to start wearing my hiking boots to the auction. During the many long breaks between lots, I started walking around the parking lot. It's been a long time since I've been able to get on the trails so I have to get my hiking in whenever I can. Thinking of hiking in the Swiss Alps.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!!!

To celebrate the New Year we made hot toddies and sat round a nice warm campfire to which the rising moon. I usually don't drink alcohol but I never had a hot toddy. Since it's made with honey (which we have around the house) I gave it a shot. Whiskey isn't too bad if you add enough honey to it. I also used my favorite Marco Polo tea. I've been reading the book "The Sound of Paper" by Julia Cameron (which isn't really a very good book) to see if it would help with my creative slump. So from the book (there are a series of questions you need to answer) here is one of the questions which you have answer ten times.
"A great adventure I'd love to have is..."
As we sat around the fire we made our list. It was interesting to hear what each of us put on our list. Give it a try.