Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween! Wonder Woman to Wednesday...Whoa!

Hello, Halloween-ies! This is such a fun holiday. I enjoy seeing my nieces dressed up each year. It's harder to catch up with my older niece, 13, who's going to be Tinkerbell this year, but I am going to do my best to catch the Halloween Parade to see my 7 year old niece. Last year, Madison was the cutest Wonder Woman. This year, whoa Nelly! What a difference a year makes. Miss Madison is going to be Wednesday from the Addams Family. I love this commercial with the M&M Wednesday with the Peanut M&M's "head" cut off.
I also wanted to share some wild pics from a neighbor that has been decorating his yard for Halloween for years. It started out with a few things, but then just got bigger and bigger. What I like is that he usually adds a few political "up yours" to "the man." It's pretty "crafty" the things he puts together. If you have a squeamish tummy, don't scroll down. The gentleman is Joel Van Hauwe; the tombstone that says, "I told you I was sick" was his first lawn "ornament", which led to many others. I'll try and take some better pics (I'll have to take one from across the street to see "everything." He's also got a butler that is to "die" for!
Have a fun day, everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2007

TOTW #6 Last of the Flowers...or not?!

Hello and Happy Monday! I had a good weekend. I was making Bandanna Backgrounds until the cows come home, but that's because I've got a lot of soldered sign thingies that I want to make...I'm determined, though, to finish up some of the "series" of things that I've been showing...so here goes!

Monoprint Background with Adirondack(r) Alcohol Inks: I have so much fun with this technique because you never know what you're going to get. No surprise, this is a Tim Holtz technique, but "Robin-ized". I tend to like the bolder colors and use less Blending Solution. On the infamous Non-Stick Craft Sheet, squiggle or shake out various colors (don't go crazy with the shaking, it can be permanent on your clothes if you don't get it after with the Blending Solution!). Add JUST a dot of Metallic Mixatives-this is the step that people many times do overkill on. This is a very, very (did I say very!?) concentrated pigmented alcohol ink and a little goes a lonnnnnng way! Then do the squiggle of Blending Solution, which will help to blend and even lighten colors to get different gradations of color. Take Gloss Paper and with Gloss side down, place onto your "mixture" and spin or swipe and lift. It's okay if every area of the paper doesn't get covered...This sample was done on a postcard size piece of paper (1/4 of 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper, or 4-1/4" x 5-1/2"), so I used the part that had the most ink coverage. Then just stamp with Archival(tm) Jet Black Ink Stamp Pad. Let air dry or speed drying with Craft Tool. you get the best backgrounds and can create wonderfully easy backgrounds for cards, scrapbook embellishments (great for die cuts).

Okay, a small aside....using a waterproof dye ink pad versus a solvent-based ink pad, such as Staz-on or even Ranger's Decor-it ink. The latter is overkill, and remember that solvent can remove solvent, so your stamped solvent based image may become blurry or "bleed" slightly because it is reacting with the solvent in the Alcohol Inks. Use the solvent-based inks for your non-porous surfaces where you need the permanency. and are not mixing it with another solvent based ink. Archival Ink or a competitor's waterproof dye ink is great for Gloss Paper!

Adirondack(r) Embossing Powders: These embossing powders are so much fun. They are different from other embossing powders in that they have a white resin core, and are coated in color. What that means is that when you emboss them, sometimes the "white" core comes out and you get a neat effect. When you mix different colors together and emboss, each granule retains its shape, so you get a true speckled effect! For Christmas, it's fun to mix even amounts of Red Pepper or Cranberry and Bottle or Lettuce (or all 4!) and use that new Holiday "Party Mix" to emboss an image. What I did here was to "color" the image stamped with Embossing Ink and then with my fingers, just sprinkled where I wanted color. it's really not that hard. I then just gently tapped off the excess and embossed. What a neat way to color in and create some dimension!
Adirondack(r) Color Wash Encaustic Resist:
Last, but not least, another Tim technique-stamp image with Embossing Ink and use Clear Embossing Powder (use regular, not
UTEE or Super Fine Detail) and emboss with Craft Tool on GLOSS PAPER...this is a must! Carefully spray various Color Wash onto the Non-Stick Craft Sheet; again, make sure you're wearing protective clothing! Then turn over and press (don't do the smoosh technique like with the Monoprint!). Turn over and "fill in" the blank areas by pressing down again. Sometimes I use a little mist of water from the Mini Mister(tm) to "cajole" the ink to the blank areas! Use the Craft Tool to dry the Color Wash, but don't overdo it because you don't want to
reheat the embossing powder. The Color Wash seems to "matte" the paper, creating the Encaustic effect that is made with wax.
Feel free to give these a try. It's a good idea to just play with one stamp and create a reference book of sorts so that you know what you get when you want to use a certain product. That's the whole idea behind Ranger U!
Well, I hope you enjoyed the various samples created with this stamp. I've still got some more pages of the "Meow" book and Ranger U frames!
Have a great evening!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friday Play Date and the Weekly Links

I played hooky on Friday, and it was a wonderful respite. I went to deliver Pitch Black Adirondack(r) Paint Dabbers for my dear friend, Jen Starr. She lives up in Bumf*#& northwest New Jersey, so I made the trek up to see her and her funny, funny kids Ryan and Maya and wonderful dinner made by her husband, Mike. Jen is so talented and fun. It was so much fun to tease and curse at each other. Maya is an absolute pistol and kept asking why I was here to visit (I think she just wanted me to visit her!) her mommy and we, and later Mike, kept saying that Mommy deserves to have a Play Date with one of her friends sometimes! That's what it was and I was able to help her work through her last few layout designs for an unbelievably ambitious 6 hour class where 10 layouts will be created, all with various Ranger techniques. She's teaching tomorrow at The Crop Room in Hatfield, PA. I actually was intrigued to attend, but she said I'd make her too nervous because it was the first time she was teaching this class, so I'll show up another time at another place. I think this will be a GREAT class.

Jen is great because she's a definite scrapbooker; I'm a definite stamper, so we look to the other as to my "scrapbooking by fire" that I do and her (so she thinks) lacking stamping skills...Jen-get over it, you're a scrapbooker that can stamp! Anyway, it was fun, and after I go pick up my new glasses today I'm headed back home to finish Bandanna-ing my zillion Wrinkle Free Distress postcards and then solder, solder, solder!

I've also been really trying to work on my Photoshop Elements skills, so Jen, don't kill me, but consider these examples of a learning experience.

Without further adieu, check out this week's wonderful links from the Beadblogger gals!

Art Bead Scene Virginia Miska shows a step by step, easy and inexpensive way to remove tarnish from your silver beads and components, with common materials found right in your kitchen!

Bead Arts There are lots of great lampwork and hot glass forums out there! Can you think of any to add to Cyndi's list?

Jewelry and Beading Blog Tammy at the Jewelry and Beading Blog has spotted some adorable wire pumpkins from Wig Jig.

Katie's Beading Blog Beading Daily spotlighted Katie's book, Hip to Bead, this week. Read her post for links to a fun Q&A and free project download and a sneak peek into Katie's crafty organic farming lifestyle.

Naughty Secretary Club Have you taken the Handmade Pledge? Jen chats about how her girl gang the Austin Craft Mafia joined forces with the likes of Etsy, The American Craft Council, Interweave Press, Design Sponge and more to bring you Buy Handmade!

PearlEsq. Are you a Perfectionist? Robin's got a quiz for you and some thoughts on not sweating the small stuff and to embrace imperfection in your art!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! A stunning Geisha polymer focal bead by Janet Farris was dressed up using lustrous coin pearls and tiny multi hued spinels to express classic Japanese beauty. Take a look at Jean's latest offering in Beadwork Magazine!

The Impatient Blogger Are you tired of playing by the rules and itching to break free? Guess what, you can! Check out this inspired post by Margot Potter that gives you the kick in the pants you need to follow your bliss.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tag, I'm IT! and John Cusack

Terri Conrad, a lovely designer, tagged me today! Here's the rules...

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself (on your blog, we all want to know them).

3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs
4. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are 7 random/weird/silly things about me...

1. I can't sleep if my closet door is open.
2. I've got 20
Webkinz(r) (yes, it's true; as my friend Diana Kovacs says, "they're like crack"!
3. One of the best movie scenes of someone declaring their love to another is Ben Affleck to Joey Lauren Adams in Chasing Amy; Ben Affleck's character, Holden, says:
I love you. And not, not in a friendly way, although I think we're great friends. And not in a misplaced affection, puppy-dog way, although I'm sure that's what you'll call it. I love you. Very, very simple, very truly. You are the epitome of everything I have ever looked for in another human being. And I know that you think of me as just a friend, and crossing that line is the furthest thing from an option you would ever consider. But I had to say it. I just, I can't take this anymore. I can't stand next to you without wanting to hold you. I can't, I can't look into your eyes without feeling that, that longing you only read about in trashy romance novels. I can't talk to you without wanting to express my love for everything you are. And I know this will probably queer our friendship - no pun intended - but I had to say it, because I've never felt this way before, and I don't care. I like who I am because of it. And if bringing this to light means we can't hang out anymore, then that hurts me. But God, I just, I couldn't allow another day to go by without just getting it out there, regardless of the outcome, which by the look on your face is to be the inevitable shoot-down. And, you know, I'll accept that. But I know... I know that some part of you is hesitating for a moment, and if there is a moment of hesitation, then that means you feel something too. All I ask, please, is that you just, you just not dismiss that - and try to dwell in it for just ten seconds. Alyssa, there isn't another soul on this fucking planet who has ever made me half the person I am when I'm with you, and I would risk this friendship for the chance to take it to the next plateau. Because it is there between you and me. You can't deny that. Even if, you know, even if we never talk again after tonight, please know that I'm forever changed because of who you are and what you've meant to me, which - while I do appreciate it - I'd never need a painting of birds bought at a diner to remind me of.

4. I collect Robert Sabuda Pop-Up Books.
5. I go crazy if anyone puts anything on my car dashboard (the reflection...yikes!).

6. I have a "thing" for Coach Patchwork Bags.
7. John Cusack is one of my favorite actors.
Need I say more? :-)
Okay, the following are tagged!
Hopefully these lovely ladies won't curse me out for tagging them, but it was fun thinking of things!
Tag Hugs, Robin

Are you a Perfectionist!?

Good Morning! I'm doing my daily going through my emails and other things and I couldn't help but throw this up to "y'all". I saw this "perfection" questionnaire on a wonderful blog, Stampin' When I Can-I don't think Allison ever sleeps! I'm happy to report that I'm only 59% Perfectionist, as you can see below. Allison is 69%. The morale of the story is sometimes it's okay to say, "it is what it is" (right, Tim!?).
Embrace imperfection when you can. I always think about the needlepoint I made for my mom, that's in her kitchen still, of seashells. As many times as I looked to make sure I didn't miss any stitches, it turns out that when I got it framed, there were a few. When we would go to my parent's house, my ex would point out the missing stitches...Um, can you guess? There's a good example of why he's an "ex"! But, in the end, I know no one would see those missing stitches unless I took a magnifying glass and pointed it out!

There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.
Conrad Hall
Embrace the day! Robin
You Are 59% Perfectionist

No one would call you a perfectionist, but you definitely have a side of you that strives to be perfect.
Try to see your mistakes as learning experiences, and don't be so hard on yourself when you screw up!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Framed! Part Deux

Here's some more frames from this weekend's Ranger U Group. First in this line-up is Carol Clements who owns the stamp company Stampattack in the UK. She did an awesome job with Tim's Wrinkle Free Distress, using brighter Distress Ink(tm) colors such as Spiced Marmalade, Worn Lipstick, Shabby Shutters and I think I even see some Fade Jeans! She then stamped over with images "inked" with Pitch Black Adirondack(r) Acrylic Paint Dabber. She glued them onto the Bazzill Chips and then onto the frame which was also painted with the dabbers. I love it!
Next is Pat Miller, who also, with her husband, owns Rubbernecker and will be training her son and husband on how to even more effectively demo with Ranger products when they go to the shows without her...she's a school principal! Way to go, Pat! She created a fun montage of images incorporating many of the techniques learned, including Shabby Chic, use of Adirondack(r) Dimensional Pearls(tm)...if you look carefully, the top right hand corner? That's the actual Cut n' Dry Foam square she used for one of the techniques. We all said how cool the colors looked, she included it on her frame!
Here is another Miller's, but Eileen, not Pat! Eileen is from Ireland and I've known for quite a few years from my trips to the UK and doing education for the company that she reps for in Ireland, Personal Impressions. She's quite a wonderful decorative painter. She did a great job using the Distress Inks on the raw wood background and then did some dry brushing with the Distress Crackle Paint. You'll notice the coppery flourish in the upper-left hand corner? Grungeboard(tm)....mmmmmmmmm! Oh, yeah...they got to play with some, but sorry, it's not available until mid/end November! Eileen was also such a sport. With her rich Irish brogue, Tim wanted her to say, "It's magically delicious!" I, being the devil incarnate at times, wrote a note to Eileen and asked if she'd whisper that in his ear. She did and they both blushed. Needless to say, when she saw the "magical" embellishment, it HAD to be part of her frame!
Well, I'm going to take a shot at attacking my work area. It's quite the disaster. The final episode of Damages is on tonight...can't wait!
Magical Hugs,

Monday, October 22, 2007

Relax, Clean, Rest, Craft, Veg...Repeat

Happy Monday! We made it through the last Ranger U of the year! I got home about 1:30ish, crashed until 5. Of course I then couldn't get back to sleep last night, but I knew I was taking today off, so it was all okay!

I detest, hate, loath (fill in the blank) cleaning. I like things clean, but I just hate doing it. Today, though, I was determined to really get on my hands and knees and work on my bathroom, always the top of every one's list. When I was practicing law and took depositions (as many as 3-5 a week sometimes!), there were always the personal injury defense questions that asked about how some one's life was altered from being hurt; I always asked about cleaning the house and always included the "did you clean the toilet" question, there was always the universal "ugh" face. So I know I'm not alone! but I do feel a sense of accomplishment of getting that done. So I thought I'd take a "break" and post, then back to vacuuming, laundry, with the hopes of getting in some soldering. One can only hope!

October 2007 Ranger U was the best. I say that every time, but it really was such a wonderful group. We had a blast with the international inclusion of people from England, Ireland, United Kingdom and Sweden! I got to taste Scottish Tablet which was interesting, but also some wonderful Swedish "Dark Milk" chocolate...cool! Thanks so much to everyone. I must now get back on my better eating habits, but it was worth it!

After the Ink/Embossing/Paint Education overload, Tim and I provided one of the mirror frames we love to use from Ikea and a bag full of Bazzill Chips. I love this part of the event, as everyone just does their own thing. As Tim says, they're all in their "zone". It's a great way to confirm what they've learned for the previous 2 days.

Here's a few frames from the attendees. I had some fun last night with Photoshop Elements and took the pictures of the attendees and centered them in the area where the mirror was...neat, huh!? The first is from Aleida Thomas, a wonderfully talented woman from Texas. She also has created some wonderful "Bandanna Collection" stamps based on her learning the Bandanna Technique from me at Perfect Pearls Ranger U. She created some wonderful effects. The second is from Julie Eaves of the UK; she loves purple, can you tell!? Next is from Nancy Parker, teacher and designer of everything and anything. She did an awesome job with Tim's Shabby Chic technique. Finally, Michele Dougherty, the Dean of College of Crafting with A.C. Moore. She's extremely talented and excited to bring in new educational programs into A.C.Moore, which I think in the end will result in new paper crafters who will then seek out the independent stores!

What was great about seeing every one's frames is that many times the ladies worked what they termed to be "outside of their comfort level." I think that's the fun and the challenge and what makes you grow as an artist! You never know what you may end up with!

I've got a lot to show to everyone....more frames from Ranger U, more techniques with the "same stamp" series I showed a few weeks ago and more from my "Meow" book! Everyone enjoy your day, I know I am!

Inky Hugs, Robin

Friday, October 19, 2007

Links of the Week

Check out these wonderful artists' links of this week! They've got great insight and info for all of your creative needs!

Art Bead Scene Several of the editors at Art Bead Scene have been collaborating on exciting challenges with other artists. Check out what happens when three sets of art beads artists are given to three different artists.

Bead Arts Cyndi explores how to use wire crochet to give new life to some moonstone nuggets.

Jewelry and Beading Even more fun than growing your pumpkin, you can make your own pumpkin beads with a little know-how from the Jewelry and Beading Blog.

Katie's Beading Blog Have you heard about the public television show Beads, Baubles & Jewels? Now you can watch Katie's segments on your computer anytime.

Naughty Secretary Club Look for a bracelet by Jen in a new series of Holiday Ads by Michaels. Can’t wait until then? Check out the Naughty Secretary Club blog to get a sneak peak at the Twinkle Charm Bracelet and how-to instructions.

PearlEsq. Robin talks about what it is to work with Tim Holtz in prepping for Ranger U and she provides his fun link for Grungeboard(tm).

Snap out of it Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean's third shot at spiral seed beading is fun!, with its butterfly clasp and its colorful Swarovski bicones sparkling like crazy on a deep background of emerald and sapphire!

The Impatient Blogger Sometimes we make wonderful things and sometimes we make a whole lot of crap. Fret not! Join Margot as she shares her crafty mishaps and encourages you to make glorious mistakes! (Warning: This post is rated P for Potty Mouth Syndrome!)

Creativity Overload!?

Happy Weekend! I can't believe that Ranger U is almost over already, and it just started! Every time another Ranger U comes around I feel like I'm getting ready for a wedding. Prep, prep, prep-it's over! A wonderful group, too! We've got attendees from: United Kingdom (3), Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Canada (2) as well as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Texas and California! And all for the love of Ranger! I always get so pumped with all of the excitement and energy in the room. And the creativity! OMG!

I also wanted to share the talent of one of the attendees, Wendy Vecchi. If you haven't heard of her, watch out. I think you will know who she is, soon!!! The wonderful alphabet exemplar is from Rachel Greig and, of course, Maya Road chipboard, oh, and no surprise...Distress Ink!

Well, I'm absolutely exhausted, so I'm going to crash. I just wanted to share the "creative love"!



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thank Goodness for Teamwork!

Sorry I've not been online, it's been non-stop prepping for the last Ranger U of the year. It's the Ink & Embossing one, which is really the Ink, Embossing and Paint one now, with the addition of Distress Crackle Paint(tm) and Adirondack(r) Acrylic Paint Dabbers. What makes it the best is that I get to work with Tim. Considering he works on the road and out of Arizona, it's amazing how we get the work done that we do.

There's just some people in the world that you can laugh, cry, bitch and laugh with some more. And to be able to say they are a friend and co-worker? That makes it even better. While everyone always seems to say not to make your life your job, how can you not help it when you spend the majority of your time in the office? I know I can't. It's just reality.

It's important to have someone in your life that you can rely on. Brian is that person in my everyday life, but it's Tim that's my rock when it comes to the projects that we work on together on with Ranger. We all handle different aspects of Ranger U, Ranger on the Road, Education for trade shows, etc.-most of it over the phone and via emails! He's definitely much, much, much more organized than I am in most things, but when it comes to instructions and curriculum, I'm a crazy, nitpicky person. It all evens out one way or the other.

I'm so glad that as I'm here tonight, ready to crash with 100% of set up of Ranger U curriculum done! Tomorrow morning I do the running around to get the last minute food and odds and ends together, and Tim will finish up the physical set up.

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." Andrew Carnegie

Thanks, Tim!

Also, check out Tim's new video on his website on Grungeboard(tm). Enjoy!

Inky Hugs to all, Robin

Monday, October 15, 2007

Drumroll, please! Oh, and Marmalade

Happy Monday, everyone...and look, it's almost over! Sorry I didn't get a chance to post sooner. It's been non-stop since Tim came into town. Running around, getting ready for Ranger U, figuring out the 2008 education schedule. Always an adventure.
I had such a fun weekend with Nadine and Moxie; Sunday we headed out to Newark Liberty Airport to pick up Mr. Tim. He was right on time (yay!) and it was off to NYC! Nadine lived in "the City" at one time and I've been there enough times to know that when in NYC, drive like you mean it and with attitude! We wandered around the Upper East Side (I think!?). I had the best time taking pictures of the architecture around. And it was such a beautiful day to be outside!
I definitely want to go back again to just take pictures. I have bunches more I'll share again. I just love the workmanship that went into these clocks, griffins, gargoyles...whatever they are. I adore the Art Deco nature of the Chrysler Building and the inside lobby of the Empire State Building. The pride they took in their work; I think that's why I like this industry so much, because of the pride my artful friends take in their work. It's such a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Most of all...fun!
I was also so proud to receive a wonderful little "blogger award" from Jean Yates, beader and writer extraordinaire. She gave me a Thinking Blogger Award which is now posted on my blog. Coolio!
Oh, yeah....there was a contest, huh!? I want to thank everyone for participating. I hope ya'll come back for more...I am really enjoying creating this monster! I plan on having more contests and to also set up some challenges for people to post their artwork, etc. There's so much rattling around in my head!
The winner of the contest is........(listen to the drumroll)...................
Rachel Greig!
Those Aussies knew how to comment and do those referrals for my friend! You MUST check out the darkroom. She is also so talented as a stamper, too (brat!). If you ever meet her, please ask her to say, "marmalade". That whole thing is Tim's fault, but I love to call her that anyway. If you also ever meet her, or maybe she'll note it on her blog (unless she has already!?)...ask her about the "That's so Easy" button. It's a scream.
Okay, Miss Marmalade, email me...I'll be sure to send the stamps to you and use fun postage stamps for your kids. Inquiring minds want to know: Traditional or Non-Traditional!?
Thanks again to everyone! This is going to be a crazy week and late nights, so I may not be able to post as much this week, but I've got so many things to share! Enjoy!
Marmalade Hugs,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Puppy Love

Puppy Kisses to all...that's what I've been getting this weekend from Nadine's Pupper Upper Moxie, a.k.a. Foofie Toes. I've gotten quite the exfoliation, with some egging on by Nadine ("Thanks!"). We're off to pick up The Tm Man from the airport and then we're hitting NYC for dinner. It's not going to be a late night because we've got TOOOOO much to do this week. Nadine was a saint in helping me finish up the stuff for the kitting, so just one more thing to put together other than the curriculum. It never stops! But we had some fun in between. I've got my camera at the ready and it's an absolutely beautiful day!

When I get home tonight Minnie and Oliver are going to be sniffing everything, wanting to know what I was doing with my puppy friend again...thinking, "Traitor!", but 2 seconds later, "OOOH, Food! What Dog?" Ahhh, to have that kind of thought process in life would make things so less complicated, huh!?

Well, tonight or tomorrow I will announce the winner of the contest! Thanks to everyone who participated and there will be more, because I've got LOTS of stuff!!!!!

Puppy Hugs,

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It's Finally Fallen Fall!

Hello Everyone! Just a quick post. Boy, does it feel like the season already. I'm already running late making my way up (finally) to my friend Nadine's. Soldering fun and playing with her pup Moxie's foofie toes!

Here's the frame I created last weekend when I was at Rubberbuggy last weekend. I demonstrated the Tim Holtz(tm) Distress Crackle Paint(tm) using Maya Road's Chipboard. Who'd a thunk that her store's name would fit perfectly with the addition of the #5 for her store's anniversary?! As you can tell, I love teaching the Bandanna technique!

Everyone have a great weekend. I'm off to NY...keep on posting your comments and I'll let ya know the winner of the stamps by Monday!

Inky Hugs,

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Share the Fun! Share the Art! Share, share alike!

Happy Thursday/Friday! I wanted to welcome you to a new addition to my blog! I'm tickled pink (Worn Lipstick Distress Ink Color to be exact) to be added to a wonderful group of jewelry makers, crafters and all-around talented people! You've got to check them out. Whether you consider yourself "just" a Scrapbooker, Rubber Stamper or Jewelry Maker, the insight and information they offer crosses over to everything!

Before you scroll down to the list, I just wanted to remind you that Saturday is the last day to check out my blog and post who sent ya! Sunday, the latest Monday I'll have them tallied and the stamps awarded! Craft on! I've so enjoyed hearing from people I've not had contact with in a while-I'm so glad you enjoying the blog! I'm having a blast!
  • The Impatient Beader: The Big Apple is a veritable beader's paradise! Margot went to judge the Create Your Style Swarovski competition and scored some fantastic new beads and bits. Go see!

  • Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean shows a bracelet with lots and lots of cheery Earthenwood Studio pumpkins. She entered it in the Art Bead Scene challenge for October. Pumpkins surely can be Boo-tiful!

  • Savvy Crafter Beads, beads, beads! They’re everywhere. Candie pokes around her apartment taking pictures of all things lovely and beadafied.

  • PearlEsq. Robin provides some fun ideas for how to create "under pressure!" She shows how to have some fun with techniques on your down time, so when in a rush, you're ready to go! Also check in on her fun Stamp Giveaway Contest!

  • Katie's Beading Blog Get a sneak peek at one of Katie's projects in the new issue of Easy Wire magazine. Subtle fall colors and lots of texture combine for a fresh, organic look.

  • Jewelry and Beading Blog How about some low-cal candy corn this Halloween? How about zero calories in fact? That's what you'll get with this eye-candy elastic bead bracelet at the Jewelry and Beading Blog.

  • Bead Arts Here is Cyndi's list of the best metal bead suppliers. Do you have any you'd like to nominate?

  • Art Bead Scene Stop by and see the variety of art beads we found recently, all based on the idea of "spooky trees", and inspired by the current change of season and upcoming holiday.

I also wanted to tell you to check out Suze Weinberg's site and her videos! She and her husband, Lenny, work together to prep, film and edit some great techniques with the Melting Pot and other great products!

Everyone have a wonderful weekend...next week's going to be busy work week. Catching up with Tim to prepare for next year and to finalize prep for next weekend's Ranger U!

Linky Hugs,


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pressure, Continued-How to Create under It!

I've been teaching rubberstamping, jewelry making and all things in between for about 12 years now. There really does seem to be a "pre" stamp and "post" stamp life! One of the things that I've droned on about from time to time when it comes to making a card or something else "under pressure" , as in, "We've been invited to a birthday party, can you make a card in the next 10 minutes?". Well, that's usually not happened to me, I usually do that to myself ("Oh, crap! I forgot to make the card!" Once you've made cards for people, they expect that to continue! ("Hallmark-you sold out!" Although, I must caveat, their Song Cards are pretty cool!). Anyway, I've always got a box of varied papers cut up to postcard size (4-1/2" x 5-1/4") in a box. My standard cardstock is Watercolor Paper, Starwhite Vicksburg, Classic(r) Linen in Black and some manila tags.
When I'm not in the mood to make "something", I'll just work on a bunch of one technique. For example, the Bandanna Technique with Tim Holtz(tm)' Wrinkle Free Distress Technique. I've shown this previously, but then just stamped over it. In this case, the next step is to stamp images (flourishes are great for this!) with the Pitch Black Adirondack(r) Acrylic Paint Dabbers. the key with the dabbers is to dab the paint on, but then swipe the dabber across the stamp so that it is evenly across the stamp. Then, at my leisure, while relaxing or watching TV, I doodle...by highlighting with a white, opaque pen.

Finally, when I "need" to make something or "want" to make something, I can then add on the additional embellishments or stamps and voila! Here's a name plaque I just finished for Brian's cousin's baby Lily Rose for her first birthday. I've made a bunch of these. If any one's interested, email me and I can talk about making custom for presents!
The key to doing the "creative" stuff when you have the time and can just have fun...that's what it's all about. Then, you've got what you need to put it all together when the pressure's on! Homework assignment: try this with a technique...whether just doing this technique, watercolor, painting with Perfect Pearls(tm), enjoy and experiment! Let me know how you do!

I'm still tallying for the contest...make sure you have your online friends email and tell me who sent them!
Wrinkle Free Hugs,


Monday, October 8, 2007

Pressure, what Pressure!?

Wowee kazowee!!! What a difference a day and some stamps make! I'm so pleased about the new visitors to the blog...now what the heck do I do? Oh, yeah, that's right! Show some more, fun stuff!
I had a great day...one of my good friends and former co-workers, Danielle and her husband, Dan just added to their 3 dog family with a 2 legged wonderful, baby boy! Kieran Lorien-cute as a button, just like his parents! I got to hold him and we had quite the talk...not even a day old and he was pipping and squeaking along. It makes you truly appreciate how precious life is and to appreciate what you have. Which is something I try to do everyday, in one way or another. Coming home to all of these wonderful comments makes me appreciate what I do more everyday.
Just a reminder, for the contest: Just have all of your friends check the site and COMMENT everyday and make sure they tell me who sent them! I'm tallying the points, and the lucky winner will receive this stash of stamps. I've got tons more to give away, so this is the start of what will likely be some fun contests in the future.
Miss Wendy, my new buddy, whom I cannot wait to meet in, as she has noted on her countdown, (10 days until Ranger U), has asked me to show some of my recent soldered jewelry. It's funny how things come around again. About 10 years ago a very talented woman by the name of Kristen Powers taught a class called, "The Glass Myth", where she cut glass and put art underneath it and soldered around it. I took the class and she gave me permission to be able to teach it. As is no surprise, I just loved it and actually took an "official" stained glass class and made some fun pieces, including a glass box, a frame and a window hanging. It was such a blast. Now, years later, with Ranger's Memory Glass, (which at the moment Ranger is not shipping due to overseas issues, but it'll be back soon!), I got back into the soldering groove. With some guidance on what updated equipment to buy (Thanks, Kate!), I was off to the races again. There are some very talented people out there. Check out Josie Cirincione's site and her classes if you're in the AZ area. I've also been starting to teach again and can be contacted regarding same. Here's some of my newest pieces, which one of these days I'm going sell on Etsy.
This is just a simple 1" square with Crackle Paint and my Bandanna Technique. The stamps are from Maya Road and the "remember decades" are Tim's Distressables. Of course, nothing's better than adding Swarovksi Crystals! Since this is hanging from a chain, it can flip to the opposite side, so the trick is to have a design on the other side-then you don't have to worry about it being on the "wrong" side!

Here's another one. Again with the Crackle Bandanna Technique, but I used the wavy tape. I love the Distress Faded Jeans color...just like jeans, it goes with just about anything! I soldered these on a diagonal with two chains...these won't "spin"!

What counts is to have fun in what you create. I can never say that enough. My favorite thing to say is that if you make something for someone and they say something about it, such as "that's crooked", well, then they just don't get another one! :-) It's all about the journey-"The Journey is the reward" (Chinese Proverb).

Well, ladies and gentlemen (I know there are some out there reading, I hope!), thanks for the thoughtful comments. I'll do my best to keep you laughing or at least smiling!

Journey on!

A Potpourri Monday

Hello, everyone! Here's a bunch of fun and different things today.

1. THE CONTEST: I think I may have freaked out some people with my collection of stamps, so I'm going to offer a choice of two collections-I call one (that I posted yesterday) the non-traditional set, and the one I put together tonight, traditional. You'll see I've got some fun Holiday ones as well as some fun images that have an "open" space which is perfect to include a picture or photo. Some of the companies are Effie Glitzfinger's (an oldie but a goodie), Magenta, Impression Obsession. SO, the winner will have the CHOICE! I've only had a few comments posted! No one wants stamps!?

2. Here is a great sample Caroline Lau shared with me. She's one of the owners of one of my favorite companies, Maya Road. She made a pumpkin by using one of her foundation circles and a chipboard comma from Heidi Swapp. clever or what!? See how much fun this looks with the Tim Holtz(tm) Distress Crackle Paint? She then added a bit of matching Distress Ink over it. This helps make the cracks become more prevalent and "pop"! I love, love, love their chipboard. I'm going to continue you through the journey of the Cat Book through the week. I've also not forgotten about the Ink Techniques with the roses in vase stamp!

3. Last, but not least, I was psyched to get an email from Joan Miller today. My knotted necklace with her bead is posted on one of her pages. She also has an awesome bunch of birds that I MUST HAVE. The Robin, of course...duh!

Well, off to do more soldering. I'm on a bit of a roll. Enjoy the evening!



Sunday, October 7, 2007

Bonus Post and Contest! Stampy Self-Promotion!

Well, here it is! I've got tons of stamps...and tons of information I want to share. So why not work on promotion of the site and give out some coolio, vintage-y stamps!? Here it goes:

1. Contest starts today, and ends next Saturday, October 13, 2007.
2. Tell those that may be interested to take a look at my site (take a shot at those that may not even be interested...who knows!?)
3. Have them post to my blog and say who referred you. I will be sure to post EVERY DAY this coming week, so if they come back each day and post, that will be a point each day for you!
4. If the person you referred wants to get in on the action, go for it!
5. I will then post the winner on Sunday (Monday the latest) and they will get this lovely assortment of fun (and in some cases from companies no longer around!) stamps:

Some of these stamps are from: Rubber Stamps of America, The Great American Stamp Store, Ducks in a Row, Silver Fox Stamps, Emerald City Stamps (the Posterior Post), 100 Proof Press (Book, "True Confessions of a Celery Stalker"), Stampinks, and much more! 18 stamps in all. Note: The one of the person with the boobs is NOT a man...to tell you the truth, I think it's of Julie Andrews from Victor Victoria!

I hope this will be a fun contest and your friends will enjoy the blog!

Stampingly yours, Robin

Hesitation, and not the good kind

1. indecision in speech or action
2. a certain degree of unwillingness; "a reluctance to commit himself"; "his hesitancy revealed his basic indisposition"; "after some hesitation he agreed" [syn:
3. the act of pausing uncertainly; "there was a hesitation in is "speech."

This can be a good thing if you have to make a decision as to spending a lot of money for a frivolous item, or whether to wear that certain pair of jeans that may be a little too tight...but hesitation in a car? Not a good thing. I drove almost 300 miles yesterday I my lovely POS car, which has done well for me over the years, but I know deep down that it's probably "time." Ugh. Another car payment, higher insurance, blah, blah, blah. You know the deal.

So this morning, bright and early, I was on my way to see Moxie (oh, yeah, and Nadine, too!) to finish our project, but every stop light...hesitation. Did it want to stall out, or not? I'm not going to drive 1-1/2 hours away to stall. So, hesitantly, I had to cancel. :-(...but again, that's the "okay" kind of hesitation. So off to the car doctor tomorrow to see how much longer I can keep my Honda going...

But, on a positive note, I had a blast at Rubberbuggy. Kris had a steady, busy day! I had fun demoing the Distress Crackle Paint and creating a frame for Kris at the same time (she's going to send me pictures!) I also helped with some fun MITIs. The day was topped off by the very talented MaryJo McGraw. I've known MaryJo from when I first started stamping and teaching; I've not seen her in a few years, so it was a blast to catch up. Little did I realize how much of Ranger product she used! She used the Non-Stick Craft Sheet like no one I've ever seen...a mixed medium paint palette of extraordinary proportions as well as Color Wash and Adirondack(r) Acrylic Paint Dabbers and Reinkers. And all with no apron! I was extremely impressed.
I also got two pumpkins on my way home...if you're in the Lancaster, PA, you've got to get at least something there. So, being it's fall, pumpkins!

So, it's going to be a day home to work on my projects and to keep my fingers crossed that the car is not going to be too much!

Happy Sunday to all!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

TOTW #5-"Dab it, Dab it Good!" (Think DEVO)

Hello, my painty friends! Onward and upward with the world of Ranger Adirondack(r) Acrylic Paint Dabbers and some fun ways to work with them. Here's a picture of Minnie...I've not yet shown a picture of her, but doesn't she look like a Holstein? The background is painted Watermelon (Brights), and what is better to do with a dabber shaped in a circle? Make circles!!! "Load" the dabber with paint and then just press...don't worry if the circles are not exact...they're not supposed to be! Again, I've used Maya Road Chipboard Book and Letters. They've been painted with Pitch Black and the spots were from Teresa Collin's foam stamps from Junkitz loaded with Snow Cap White. See how great it works and pops? I absolutely love using the Black and White dabbers because of the contrast it provides. I also like to cut out the detail of at least one image, as the background really allows the image to stand out!

This next page is really one of my favorites, as it shows how great the paint dabbers are with any type of stamps, whether clear, foam or rubber! I worked with Stream as the background, highlighted with
Brights Pool and edged with Lights Aqua...can't beat it. The "window" is created with Maya Road's Foundations chipboard and the flowers from Technique Tuesday. When working with a detailed stamp, dab on the paint, then just lightly swipe to evenly distribute the paint on the stamp so it's not blobby...some images have been loaded with one color and edged with darker tones...it all works!

Last, but not least for the evening are the cats...the best! These are FUN stamps from Movable Parts...there's a head, body, tail, legs...you use them in different ways and can have the front or back of a cat in unlimited numbers of positions. I loaded the "Minnie" cat with White, then created her moo-ey splotches in Pitch Black. Don't worry about messing up the dabber...it's okay! You can just dab or wipe it off. For the "Oliver" cat, I used Pebble, then swiped with the matching tones of Mushroom and Lake Mist. I love this one so much because not a picture was used, but it's still a "picture" of two of the cats!

This weekend is going to be busy. I'm have fun with my friend Kris Hoffer at her store Rubberbuggy and help her with demos to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of her store. She's also going to have the wonderfully talented MaryJo McGraw there! I also have a bunch of stained glass frames to do! So much to do, not enough time, but still aways fun!

Have a wonderful Friday! Robin