Saturday, September 29, 2007
When I was asked to teach, they were meeting not far from my house, so I offered that the members could invade my stamp stash.
You have to realize I've been stamping for over 14 years, and about 12 of that has been teaching and submitting projects and BUYING stamps! Since I've been with Ranger, to make samples, teach classes, etc. I have to be current. I can't teach or create samples with outdated stamps or from companies that are not around anymore. So...I need to part with them. It's a difficult thing, as I've got attachments to many of these little wooden and rubber gems! Believe it or not, I remember where I'd purchased them, the companies they're from, when I've used them....they're a part of me...but now it's time to share them with others that have the time to play with them!
I had about 20 women attack my garage with a vengeance, and did they have fun rooting through my old papers and stamps. In the end, another dent was made in my "rubbah", and the ladies were AWESOME because they neatened the stamps back up again and placed them back and my garage. So here's what I still have....mind you, if I had my way, I'd wouldn't give away any of them, but I'm trying to be realistic and lighten my load so I can concentrate on moving forward!
It's such a great day today, windows open, nosy Oliver sitting in the window and it's going to be an artful day of fun and friends. I hope you all have the same!
By the way, anyone want to buy some lovingly used stamps? ;-)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I was going through my pics, and this one I took of an otter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (one of my all time favorite places) just makes me smile and sit back and contemplate the good things...my friends, my family (Yay, my niece Alex...first two Field Hockey Games of the year and she's already scored 4 goals!), a roof over my head, lots of artsy things to do.
In the meantime, I'm going to be teaching on Saturday, and I think I'll go and finish up the sample. Simple is what I'm going for, but effective. Show some fun ways to work with the new Tim Holtz(tm) Distress Crackle Paint(tm) by Ranger. When I get it finished I'll post it.
Finally, my pal Miss Margot was talking about stats...she's got me going on them, and I was so thrilled to see I got a bunch of hits today...when I checked, lo and behold, it was from my buddy Donna Downey...it turns out that she's from my neck of the woods, so we're both "Jersey Shore Babes". I made for her a special soldered sign with her name and "moniker" Inspired...she loved it and I was so happy that it got to her unbroken!
It's almost Friday, my friends, enjoy! I've got something fun planned for next week on this bloggie thing...all technique all the time!
Have an Otterly Great Rest of the Week, Robin
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Distress Bandanna Technique: I absolutely, absolutely love this technique. What I love about this is that this started with Tim Holtz'(tm) http://timholtz.com Wrinkle Free Distress Technique. This is what my take on it is. My rule is, and I stress this when I teach, is to give credit where credit is due. If you take it from there, give yourself credit piggybacked onto what someone else came up with. Thus, here it is. I like to use watercolor paper; refer to my Technique of the Week (TOTW #2) for the paper I love! On the Non-Stick Craft Sheet (Ranger of course http://rangerink.com), "smoosh" various colors of Distress Ink(tm) Dye Stamp Pads next to, but not on top of one another. I most likely used the following colors in this sample: Scattered Straw, Spiced Marmalade, Broken China, Shabby Shutters and Worn Lipstick. Generously spritz with water...I cannot stress this enough-if you don't use enough water, you'll just create blocks-not so hot! Press the paper down and "squeegee" your hand across the paper-don't move the paper, otherwise you will just muddy it up! Turn over and immediately dry with Heatit(tm) Craft Tool. You want to "freeze" the colors in place. When dry, start "hitting" or "tapping" the paper on the remaining ink and dry again. See the cool splotches of color? When you get the to the desired look, STOP! Ink image with Pitch Black Adirondack(r) Acrylic Paint Dabber stamp and speed drying with the Craft Tool. Option: make a paint of Perfect Pearls(tm) Perfect Pearl color and splatter pearly highlights on the paper...it really pops!
Now the fun part....get a nice, white, opaque pen and have fun doodling! Add dots, fill in areas, jot lines, highlights...have fun. I have a whole zippered bag of papers I've made, stamped and doodled that I then use for my jewelry or other projects...it's fun to have a bunch made up and just doodle when traveling. Can you tell I absolutely LOVE this technique!?!?
Painted Perfect Pearls(tm): Another of my favorites. It's sooooo simple and so elegant! This also works with any type of image-surprise yourself. Simply emboss the image with Clear Perfect Medium(tm) Stamp Pad and Clear Embossing Powder and the Craft Tool. Okay...here's my most favorite non-Ranger product...Yasutomo's Niji Waterbrush http://yasutomo.com. It is the best by far! You have such control using it-I use either the small or medium nib. Just fill it with water and make sure the nib is damp. Just dip the nib into the chosen color of Perfect Pearls and mix onto the Non-Stick Craft Sheet. You now have paint-because of the binders mixed into the Perfect Pearls, when it's dry, it is still set. You can create wonderful shades of color by mixing it with like colors (Forever Red-Blush-Interference Red) and to lighten up any color, mix with Perfect Pearl. Have fun painting! I like to emboss a bunch of images and just paint. When you need to use something for a card or other project, you've already spend the time painting, so now you are ready to go! To "fill" in the blank area, splatter with a paint of Perfect Pearl or other chosen color. I ideally like to use Black Linen cardstock-it is great for painting or dusting with Perfect Pearls!
This is the simplest of images, but is so wonderfully versatile with the many different ways that a stamp can be used. Don't limit yourself. Try something you wouldn't "think" would work-you may surprise yourself.
For those that have been sticking to my blog-thanks. I'm learning a lot-have had some wonderful help from my friend Margot Potter (Thanks Miss Margot!) and have been enjoying the fun of sharing!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
But he makes things a lot better with Pearl not being around. He can make a maze of yarn in no time flat and will do whatever he can to get me to pet him, such as burrowing his nose into my hand until I give in and give him some lovin'. While it has been the pits to be home and sick and to deal with the loss of Pearl, it's been nice to have the unconditional love of this crazy furball. Minnie just sits in her little bed on the chair and watches and sleeps from the sidelines.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
This is an ATC that I made this past year which had to do with crowns, and she was definitely the queen and will rule the Land of Kitty Cats. Meowing at them that she wants her food now, nosing in on the pasta and ice cream and showing she's the boss.
I've been dealing with a cold so at the moment I'm more congested then ever! Tomorrow (well, now, today) I will heal my body and my soul.
Good Pearly Thoughts to You All,
Sunday, September 16, 2007
This is one of my most favorite times of the year, except for allergies...I woke up all puffy and ooky....ick! Hopefully I'll be feeling better tomorrow...wishful thinking!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I'm going to show a few of the samples with this stamp and over the next few weeks give other examples of techniques. For you stampers out there...try this! I'd love to see what you come up with...
"3-D" Stamping: This is a VERY simple and effective example of what can be created with monochromatic tones. This is using the Adirondack(r) Dye Lights, Brights and Earthtones Stamp Pads in one of the new color "trios": Salmon/Mountain Rose/Red Pepper. This works great with a stamp like this that is cut close to the edge of the design. I used Starwhite Vicksburg cardstock, http://foxriverpaper.com which is nice and smooth and not too absorbent. I love it for stamping. Stamp the image again and "hunker down" so you can see where the rubber is near the paper and ready to stamp. line up the rubber as close as you can to the first stamped image. It's okay if it doesn't stamp directly on register-in fact you don't want it to! Repeat again with the darkest color. It's as simple as that. It's fun to do this technique with a sentiment to create the funky, 3-D effect! You can repeat this technique for an Andy Warhol-type effect, creating a fun look for a card or scrapbook page.
Distress(tm) Tinted Image: While most only think to use this idea for photos, as Tim has taught it, don't forget to try it with a stamped image! Be sure to stamp the image onto Inkssentials(tm) Gloss Paper with Archival(tm) Jet Black Stamp Pad. This is a dye ink with a formulation that when the ink is dry, it is waterproof. This is key so that the black ink will not rewet when other inks are layered over it. Use the Cut n' Dry(tm) Nibs (if I've not said this before, these are all Ranger Industries' products I'm talking about! http://rangerink.com) to "color" in the image. I believe Tattered Rose and Worn Lipstick Distress was used for the roses, with Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint for the foliage and Broken China and Faded Jeans for the water. The key is that when done with the coloring in (images like this are like using a coloring book for adults!) to use the Cut n' Dry(tm) Foam or the new Inkssentials(tm) Ink Blending Tool and Foam to cover the entire image with Antique Linen Distress, then edging lightly with Vintage Photo. It makes for a subtle effect that is great for any cardmaking or paper crafting project.
Monday, September 10, 2007
This is an emblem for a shirt from a company called Computer Gear http://computergear.com. I've purchased a few shirts for Brian with appropriate verbiage: "No, I will not fix your computer." or "Insufficient Memory Installed." I will be the first to say that while I can type like a wild woman, I am definitely not savvy when it comes to computers. That's where Brian is a computer "God", as he has probably taught me the most regarding my computer and what to do and not to do. He explains things in "human" terms. But that's my home computer. My work computer, well that's another thing. All of a sudden my Microsoft Outlook wasn't working correctly. I rely on a lot of my filed emails for so many things-when I don't have access, UGH! It's almost back to working order now due to our computer tech's work on it this weekend (Thanks, Scott!), abut he has to come back to do more.
I'm a pack rat-I admit it. At home, my office and on my computer. Brian says read it and delete it! I can't do that! Maybe it's lawyer-make-sure-there-is-a-paper-trail in me, or the "CYA" mentality...either way, I needed to clean out my old emails, which I did...I purged, and it did feel good! If I need something, I can always rely on someone else's pack rat mentality...
On the crochet front, I'm almost through my second skein of yarn and realize that I need more. Luckily the stores near me have it (I wiped out Wal-mart of the 3 skeins they had!) and I can get my back-up yarn later this week. It has moved up from snake to scarf; it will soon turn into a "throw" and behold, will soon actually look like a blanket. I crocheted my little heart out Saturday and Sunday nights, watching the Blue Planet series of shows on the "Deep Sea"...unbelievable footage! It's funny when sitting in bed, pillows abounding me to allow me to sit up, how I slowly end up almost supine, suddenly thinking, "How'd I end up like this?", having to readjust again. I'm sure NO ONE knows what I'm talking about! (yeah, right)
Saturday, September 8, 2007
While I was there I could hear this meowing; there was a beautiful gray striped and white tabby named Scooby. He was so friendly-according to the vet, a family just abandoned him at their office and he was looking for a home. People can be so awful. Although I get crazed at times as to the cost of animal care, I just love those "ani-mules" so much, the periodic cost- that's part of the responsibility.
It's so nice to be around home for another weekend. I'm almost lost to figure out what to do first! Just to make my life even more crazy, I've decided that I want to learn to crochet. It's amazing what's on the internet by way of teaching tools. I went to my parent's this afternoon and my mom taught me a stitch that I think I'll actually be able to do to make a baby afghan for my friend Danielle's baby-to-be! There's so much I want to learn and do...I think this will be my "before I go to sleep" project!
Enjoy the weekend!
Friday, September 7, 2007
It's also that damn caffeine. Brian and I make our daily trek for "linner" or "dunch"...that's what I call when we meet up between 4:30 and 5:30. We've both usually not had lunch yet-I'd continue to work as does he, so we have our one proper meal. They have the best darned iced tea-fresh brewed, 3 lemon wedges and 3 Sweet n' Lows. They got to the point that that give us a pitcher. I always, always think, "hey, it's early enough, I'll be okay by the time I go to bed." Now it's freaking 2:00 a.m., I've already watched the new "Mad Men" show and all that's left on my DVR are shows of "Psych" I've not felt like watching yet.
And then it goes...clean the home, what to do with the cat, what to do with my weight, what to do with my job, what to do with my creativity, what to do with my future, what to do with my runaway train of a brain (hey, I can even rhyme at this time of day!?). I went to my favorite, Google(tm), and googled "Runaway Train" and came up with the lyrics to Soul Asylum's song by the same name. I really don't watch videos anymore-but I looked on YouTube and remembered what this song was about-missing kids. Some of the lyrics at this time of the morning are prophetic: "So tired that I couldn't even sleep/...Runaway train never going back/Wrong way on a one way track/Seems like I should be getting somewhere/Somehow I'm neither here nor there..."
Well, watching that video, that does shake me back to reality. That's a serious issue-I just had a stupid itch on my leg! In the end, I know that I'm not missing, I'm not lost (possibly waylaid a bit from time to time), but just need to step back, put something soothing on the tv with the timer and just RELAX and put my mind on the same sleep timer...and hopefully it will switch off, and get ready for another day! Maybe I can replace the switch with a dimmer....
Pleasant Dreams to All,
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Pain in the ass, cute as can be, verbal to the nth degree, escapee, mouse catcher (2 field mice in 2 days...another story for another day)...the Pearly Girl. Then came along Minnie (Minnie...Pearl...get it?) It was only 3 years ago that Oliver came along. But, Pearl was my favorite-she was also Pop's. He taught her about outside, pasta, sharing ice cream and the cellar.
Pop's been gone going on 3 years; Pearl's moved with me back to Pop's house (which I now own) and she runs the show. Meowing on cue in the phone, especially when she's hungry, dealing with Oliver when he was a kitten. Getting older, becoming the barfy cat...especially on my work chair...ugh!
Well, I'm now dealing with my 13-1/2 year old Pearl coming to the end of her road. The vet said she's got a tumor and that it will just be a matter of time. She's been sneezing and having a runny nose of late, but she is still eating like a little pig and meowing at me as much as ever, although not able to jump up onto things...She still has that awesome nose and chin-the picture above was taken yesterday-even at 4 lb, 6 oz., she is still my Pearly Girl-my solace is that I know Pop will have company soon and he can walk her outside and let her run around all she wants, and they can both share as much ice cream as they want. Here's Pearl in 2002:
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Some of the things I've learned so far when working with the Crackle Paint:
1. Don't go too thick with the paint when working on paper. I'm too impatient and like it when the cracks are more evenly distributed than when I get the gloppier ones when I go too thick.
2. This alphabet was painted on Desert Storm cardstock, from Neenah Papers. You don't want to go too thin with the paper as I think it will overtake and warp the paper too much.
3. Be patient. Allow the paint to dry by itself. Put it far away so you're not staring at it, waiting for it to crackle...the "watched pot never boils" thought process is key here.4. To allow the paint to pop more, you can use blending foam and the matching ink over it and then dry it with the Craft Tool.
5. I absolutely love to stamp over the Crackle Paint with the Adirondack(r) Paint Dabbers, then using a white, opaque pen. It's amazing how detailed an image you get and it really pops. The letters on the exemplar are actually from American Crafts, and they transferred flawlessly! http://americancrafts.com/
6. Don't go crazy with too many colors. If you do add some additional color, let the first color start to dry first before adding the other so as to not contaminate the brush.I'm still playing with this paint and will work toward some home decor type items, but one thing at a time!