Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Quick Birthday Card 2015

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI've been thinking of challenging myself to post something on my public blog everyday for the year 2016, unless I'm on vacation. While I mull that over here's a card I made with a really old stamp. I have the new watercolor makers by ZIG, Clean Color and thought I would give it a try. There is a learn curve which I have not mastered yet so I went back to using my Copics. I remember when I first got my Copics, it took awhile to get use to all that they can do. I haven't given up hope with the Clean Color watercolor markers just yet. :)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015 Wreath

Related Posts with ThumbnailsA friend of mine asked me to put together some wreaths with all her left over Christmas picks. All of this stuff has been tucked away for years. I used Christmas picks I would have never selected myself but I think the wreath turned out pretty nice.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Paper Weaving

Related Posts with ThumbnailsBeen working on new classes for 2016. Paper weaving is a very slow process but a great way to use up scraps, which I happened to have all over my work table.
I've been cleaning up my work space and trying to finish up all the UFOs which required a lot of trimming. Always amazing at how many cards I can get done when I really focus on clearing the deck!

Misti Rubber Stamping Tool

Related Posts with ThumbnailsSo this new stamping tool came out this year (maybe last year) and it was all the rage with the big name stampers. At the price point of $60.00, I had to think about it. I asked my hard core stamping buddies what they thought about it and well, they didn't think it was worth the high price tag. I finally borrowed one from a friend (who buys anything new that hits the market) to test it out. 
1) I applaud the developer of the MISTI for being able to bring it to market. It takes a lot of hard work!
2) It does work most of the time. I'm sure there is a user error on my part. When I went to restamp over an image that wasn't clear, I got some blurry lines, but again I was probably doing something wrong.
3) Unless you are doing massive amounts of cards with the same image or a lot of over lays that are not clear clings, I don't see the need for the tool.
4) The price point is just to high for me to add it to the my go to tools. I'm guessing (and this is just IMO) MISTI has to cash in as fast as they can because we all know one of the big companies will rip this idea off ASAP, which is sad. 
5) It is a very well made product and if taken care will last forever. I know when the knock offs come out, the quality won't be as good.  
So over all, if you have the spare change to buy it or have shaky hands, I say go for it. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Annie's Birthday

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI still remember the day I picked Annie up when she was just 8 weeks old and only 15 pounds. She fit into a cat carrier and didn't make a sound all the way home. Now 6 years later she's a good 80 pounds but still that sweet totally ball crazy dog. In all the ups and downs in my life, Annie has always been the loving companion by my side. Happy Birthday Annie!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Washi Pendant Class - MeetUp

Washi Pendants
Related Posts with ThumbnailsWorking on getting my holiday class schedule set up both for my Meet Up group and at Cranberry Hill. Hard to get in the Christmas sitting in a heat wave but we do have to plan ahead.
The washi paper pendants will be a class for my Meet Up group. It's a super easy class and the results are amazing. The only hard thing is tracking down all the parts. There isn't a date yet for the class, so I will post once it's confirmed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Camp We Will Go!

Related Posts with ThumbnailsIt's been many many years since I've been camping using a tent and sleeping on the ground. We did a lot of tent camping when my kids where little and then moved up to a vintage trailer, Miss Pinkie. I didn't get the camping gear in the divorce but overall never really missed it.
This weekend I will be joining my son and his friends on a camping trip to go abalone diving. Sadly Annie has to stay home with her favorite babysitter. Looking forward to being back outdoors and sitting around the campfire.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Simple Cards - July 2015

 Last night was a marathon of card designing and prepping. I usually don't wait until the last minute to put my card kits together for my class down here at the Senior Center. I had my stretches done and sort of knew what I was going to do.  I decided  to have "Witches of East End" season 2 playing in the background for little noise. So I was all set.
The cards have to be simple enough to do in an hour. The wreath card took over 2 hours  to prep because the die wasn't cutting right. I used every trick in the book to make it work (wax paper, dryer sheets, shims) but only 1 out of 5 cut cleanly. 
I started at 5:30 and finished everything at 11:30. My reward was to be able to clean up the kitchen (really bugs me to have a sink full of dirty dishes) which I wasn't letting distract me from my card prep. 
Annie of course missed her evening walk but she did get to go out and bark at something that was to close to the property line for several minutes which always makes her happy.
For Obon 2015
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Friday, July 17, 2015

Santa Fe International Folk Art Market 2015

Ukrainian Eggs, Gourds - Peru & Mexico, Oil drum art - Africa
Some of the things I got at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market this past weekend. I think you can tell I really like gourd art. The detail of the work always amazes me! I picked up a gourd made into a purse that looks like an owl. My buddy Patty said "that's going to be one of the things when your kids are clean out your house after you die and wonder, what the hell were you thinking?" I plan to use it as a storage piece and not as a purse. I think it's cute.
The  pysanky Ukrainian eggs are totally amazing  too!
I picked up a few for Christmas gifts for my super crafty friends. 
Overall the market was fun and I'm glad I went. Since I've traveled a lot to third world countries, I've seen most of the folk art that was there but it was still great to be able to support the work of these artists and the mission of the Folk Art Market.

Santa Fe 2015

My trip to Santa Fe this past weekend was sort of a spur of the moment trip. There were some things done ahead of time since I was meeting one of my good buddies from Portland there. Hotel, airfare and event tickets were all done months ago but everything else was decided when we got there. Back in the day I would plan everything out to the minute but now that I'm older and travel more, it doesn't bug me not to know what the day plans are.
Shopping is a big thing in Santa Fe, a really big thing! The photos above are just the things I got in town before I even set foot in the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, which we flew out to visit. My big splurge was buying a  silver pendent and cuff bracelet made by Alexander Sanchez, a young Navajo artist. The turquoise beads are from the Sleeping Beauty turquoise mine that closes two years ago. All the symbols on the pendent mean something, but heck if I can remember them all. :)
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Monday, July 13, 2015

International Folk Art Market - Santa Fe 2015 -Tips

I just got back from the 2015 International Folk Art market in Santa Fe New Mexico. If you're like me, you search the internet for insider tips on what to do when going to someplace new. While sitting in the airport for days  because of flight delays forcing an extra over night stay.Who knew NM had a monsoon season! I was able to jot down some helpful tips while things were still fresh in my mind. 
1) I did the early bird (ticket was $75) which was a good idea. The market gets packed along with getting hot - not a good combo. That extra 2 hours makes a big difference. There is a Friday night event ($200) if you really want to make sure you get to the good stuff before anyone else. Plan to be there late (11:00 pm?), because the check out will take a long time.
2) Get your hands on a program ahead of time. I was told it was in the local paper on Wednesday. We weren't able to find one, so we went in blind. It's helpful if there is something specific you want to see. The artists are all mixed together, so if you like Mexican art you have to know where that artist is. 
3) Sun screen and a hat is a must. All the vendors are under  tents but you do spend a lot of time in the sun walking from section to section.
4) If you see something you like, buy it! Don't even think you will go back to get it. In less than two hours the place will be packed tighter than a can of sardines!
5) The artists are on the inside of the tents and their handlers were on the outside - volunteers who help the artists handle their sales.
6) When you want to buy something you take it to the volunteers opposite the artist's booth. They will write a receipt (triplicate copies) and bag the item to keep there until you've paid.
7) You take the receipt up to the central cashiers (they are located at the end of each section) and pay for the item,then go back to the artist to pick it up. I found walking along the outside of the tents behind the volunteers made it easier to pick up my stuff.
8) I  also found it faster to pay for everything I wanted in one section before going on the next one. This year there was a 3 hour time limit to pick up your stuff other wise it was put back out.  Doing it our way, we were able to get through the whole place under 3 hours. Yes you will have a lot of credit card charges but it's worth it, trust me!
9) They have write your name on your receipt so I started using a easy name to spell "Smith" which saved a lot of time.
Since they file everything they bag by your last name, use an easy to spell last name that starts with "A" or "Z". The volunteers will be able to find your bag faster. Always give them your correct cell phone number. They had to call us on one item they forgot to list the price on the receipt.
10) Bathrooms in the museums are much nicer than the portapottys. The Mexican museum bathrooms up the hill wasn't too busy.
11)Remember everyone working there is a volunteer so be patience. All the volunteers were very happy and always had a smile on their faces.
12) This isn't a market where your going to find any "deals". All the items are at current US retail prices, if not higher but 90% is going directly to the artists, which I liked. If you had a chance to read the program a head of time, you will know what the money is supporting and how.
13) I would skip eating lunch there, the food was just OK. At lunch time the lines got crazy long and again you're standing out in the full sun.
14) Be prepared to stand in the sun for a long time waiting for the shuttle bus to take you back.
15) This is no place for young children, strollers or husbands who don't really want to be there. It's a very safe place to shop. I believe there is a sitting area for the husbands to sit. If you really have to bring you children, Sunday is family day it's not as crowded and it's cheaper to get in.
16) I was told on Sunday afternoon, things may get marked down but I would guess it's only the big bulky items. 

I think you would find it fun and interesting if you haven't traveled much around the world. Seeing everything in one place if great! I also like mission of this group and the artists they're helping. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bird of Paradise - Mom

Related Posts with ThumbnailsThe bird of paradise was my mom's favorite flower. I had hopes of getting a cutting from the one at my parent's home (planted 45 years ago) before it was sold. Sadly the plant was ripped out before I could get there. The clean up crew who worked on my parent's backyard were really good and super fast. Still when I see this flower, I always think of my mom.

Annie and I ran errands this morning with one of the stops being the pet store. It's a mom and pop place and it welcomes big dogs. As we drove up I saw a lot of people with cat carriers walking in. Today was bunny toe nail clipping day. Along with all the bunnies, the Bunny Haven rescue group was outside doing a fundraiser selling items bunny volunteers had made.
I picked up these potholders for a friend who loves bunnies. I've always been a sucker for Redwork, something I hope one day learn to do. 
It was a super quick trip into the store as Annie only knows about the wild bunnies around our house. She does like a good bunny chase.
Fundraiser for Bunny Haven Rescue

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Black and White Test Shots - Miss Annie

Related Posts with ThumbnailsAs our new ED is settling in at work, there are a whole lot of changes going on! One of the changes the big boss is making, is to reformat our newsletter. I do have to say it's very old school looking not to mention it costs a ton to print and mail. 
We have to reduce the number of random candid shots, which are always hard to see. This should help to reduce the number of pages printed. To help make things clearer, I have to learn to take more pics in black and white. It's been over 10 years since I used a real camera. I do everything with my cell phone now. I have no idea what mono, toner and noir mean on my iPhone. I did some practice shots with Annie, who for once sat still. I may be force to start using a digital camera (meaning I have to buy a new one) if I can't good shots with my phone. I'm pretty good at staging a shot so it matches the story, no learning curve there.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Kuretake Water Color Markers are the bomb!

Kuretake Water Color Pens
Related Posts with ThumbnailsI've been rubber stamping for over  30 years and after a while, I knew what to buy and what was just a flash in the pan. Even when I had two art studios, I was very selective. Some things I had to buy in order to teach classes like Copic markers. When Copics were discovered by rubber stampers (they had been around and used by graphic artists) they were reasonable and being able to refill them made them a good deal. Now the demand has gotten so high, the prices (IMO) have gone through the roof, making them too costly for the beginner stamper. I like Copics, but I was also very happy with my plain old markers.
One of my card making buddies is passionate about rubber stamping. Instead of traveling, she prefers to spend her money on crafting supplies. Last week she shared something she thought was worthy of our notice. If you haven't seen or heard of the Kuretake watercolor pens by ZIG, well you just have to go out and get a set! It makes blending color so easy and you don't have the hassle of having to add water to everything. I was very impressed, so impressed I ordered a 48 piece set. I now have a firm rule that if I bring anything new in, something has to go. I have a month to decide what I will be giving away since the pens are being shipped from Japan.
Can't wait to post my first project!
Card by Charlene

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Auction June 2015

I'm an auction rat. Hanging out at dirty, dusty auction houses is something I really enjoy. The hunt is the most fun because you never know what you will find and the icing on the cake is getting something super cool for pennies on the dollar! Sitting through a whole auction is the not so fun part since most auction houses don't have AC or heat. This weekend was auction week and I scored on this metal junk lot. Junk lots are just boxes of random stuff and usually don't go for much. The upside is they go cheap but the downside is you have to deal getting rid of what you don't want. One of the reason I went into the antique business was to have an outlet for the leftovers. It's rare for German Shepherd items to come to the auction house. Saw these GS bookends and just had to have them. Overall the lot wasn't bad, most can be sold off at my consignment booth at Cranberry Hill in Sunnyvale.
I also picked up a vintage quilt. Everything on it was hand stitched. Such a shame these beautiful quilts get over looked. It does have some staining on it but overall in great condition for it's age. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

watermarking - a skill still in process

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI've been posting photos of my cards for years now and friends have been telling me to watermark everything. A friend sent me a link to a washi paper site she said had some cool cards posted. Sure enough, it was my cards but with no watermark who would know?
So I was challenged (by my writing group) to learn how to do the whole watermark thingy. 
I was told Pic Monkey was super easy to use. I don't know what their definition of "easy" means but it took me awhile to figure things out. Really, the photo above (my test subject)isn't really a watermark,but text add to the photo. It's close enough for me and I think it will work if anyone is looking to pirate a photo of a toddler with a halibut on her toy jeep.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Abalone Diving Sea Ranch 2015

Abalone Diving at Sea Ranch 2015 - Pebble Beach
 I love to travel and I usually plan a trip to some far flung place in the world. Trips that are very much off the beaten path and not for the faint of heart. I realized my children (who are now adults) are at the age when getting married and starting a family is possible. Time with mom (especially being divorced from their father) will be limited with the demands of parenthood and their spouse's family. As a family we use to camp all the time up at Salt Point State park to abalone dive when my children were little. It's been at least 5 years since I've been up ab diving. I didn't get the camping gear in the divorce so I decide to rent a house at Sea Ranch this past weekend. I still love the idea of camping but I have to say it is nice to have a warm bed, shower and flushing toilets. Both my son and daughter love to cook so it was nice to have a full kitchen to work in. My son came up with Uni Crostini (that's sea urchin on toast) with a honey wasabi glaze. I know it sounds yucky but it was really very tasty. 

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June Card Class 2015

Related Posts with ThumbnailsCrazy start to the day today! Woke up to the sound of rain, which we have not had in a LONG time. Annie gets up at 5:00 a.m. every morning for breakfast, which today was a good thing. I had left a some of my car windows open because of the heat wave we've been having. Mad dash out to the driveway in my PJs.
Another card class down at the senior center today. I usually do simple cards (less than 10 minutes to make) but I was running short on time so I pulled some kits from my upcoming craft-a-thon in August.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ever Changing Patio

Adding the patio 2012
I've  been at my little studio for almost 3 years now. Scaling down as fast as I had to after my divorce was definitely an eye opening. Going from a big house to a little 450sq studio, well things had to change. One of the great things about where I am now, is all the open space. The property is just under 2 acres and the landlord (in the big house) doesn't water anything - well because there isn't anything to water. He also doesn't care what I do around the yard. By adding the patio area I almost doubled my living space.

 When I first finished the patio, I went very traditional but as time went on my personality took over. Plants were moved in, an orange umbrella replaced the white one and now a vintage 1050's kitchen table instead of the round glass table.
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Patio 2012 - table moved to the vegetable garden
The Vintage table was something I picked up at an auction for daughter 6 years ago when she moved to San Francisco. She is upgrading her furniture, so the table came back home to me. The patio now feels much more inviting and a little more like me - eclectic. ;)
Patio 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

May Card Class 2015

I'm getting ready for my ALZ walk craft-a-thon next month and my class for the seniors here at work. It's always a challenge to design cards that people will like but still easy to make. The first craft-a-thon (Saturday June 27th)will be an Asian inspired theme, which is always popular. 
The second craft-a-thon  (Saturday, August 29th) will be a holiday theme or at least that is what I'm thinking. I've been having a lot of fun doing alter art on canvas but it's really too hard to teach in a short period of time. I love making backgrounds too but again people want to see a finished product so it's never a popular class.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April Cards 2015 - Penny Black

Related Posts with ThumbnailsWorking on cleaning up all the random class kits I have left over from my classes.
I've had the Penny Black chicken stamps for years and never really did anything with it until now. It sat on my desk for months before  I thought it would make a funny baby card. For all of us who've had children, you know the feeling and the thoughts you have when you first see what just passed through your body. The other three cards show how to use up your scraps to make backgrounds and use up your stash.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Up coming classes at Cranberry Hill

I've been asked to do some beginner rubber stamp classes. Most teachers like to do the super fancy cool cards, which more people sign up for. Doing a beginner class takes about the same amount of time to prep for but we don't get as many people. It really helps the other teachers if people come in, knowing the basics.
So I did one board with a CAS (clean and simple) cards. Direct to rubber, stamping off, using solid stamps and masking.

The Cows Have It class Sunday July 26, noon -2:00
Related Posts with ThumbnailsMy mom's lucky charm was a brown spotted cow. I always think of her when I see these Penny Black line of stamps. This beginner class will have everyone working with Copic markers. The store doesn't really carry any other type of markers, so if your new to the craft, the cost for each marker may scare you away.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Garden and Crafting Time

Related Posts with ThumbnailsLiving in the hills, I had to battle deer and gophers for the first couple of years. Annie has kept the deer away now for almost a year and having trapped all the gophers that were under the studio, my garden has a chance. I also started planting things (in the ground) like horseradish and tulips to fill in the hillside. I know horseradish is like a weed, but it doesn't need water and has a nice big green leaf. Working out in the garden during the day and crafting at night made for a perfect weekend!