Monday, August 27, 2012

a day off ... and: CKC / Tulsa purchases!!!

The show that I'm stage managing opens THIS Friday night!!!  We had a technical rehearsal that lasted until a little past 11pm, last night.  What's a technical rehearsal?  In English, "technical rehearsal" translates to "pure living hell."  Want to punish a misbehaving child?  Send them to me, I'll make them sit next to me as we run light cues while stopping and starting a rehearsal FOR TEN HOURS.  They will never misbehave again...

But TODAY - ladies and gentlemen - I have had a day off...

It's been so so nice.

How did I manage a day off when the show opens on FRIDAY?  Because the rented sound system is being delivered, installed and tested.  And I don't know nothin' bout installing or testing no sound systems!

SO:  I thought I would use this moment to share with you MY CKC / TULSA SHOPPING HAUL!

I know you've been holding your breath.  Haha.

But I love seeing what people buy.  Why?  No idea.  And I love sharing.  Because you never know, I might be stuck and ask for advice and one of you lovely people with good memories might say, "Kory! Grab those classy embellishments you scored at CKC!"

Take a look at these classy alpha stickers and ... other sticker-y fun!

Classy embellishments- lots of the hit "9 to 5" collection from October Afternoon, the kickass wood cameras from Studio Calico that everybody and their mom are stickin' on stuff AND those very cool letter tiles...

A plastic bag of Tim Holtz 'singles,' and other randomness AND some fun brads- sock monkeys, robots, gears, taxi cabs.  Sock monkey ribbon and mustache ribbon!  (The sock monkey brads and the matching ribbon and mustache ribbon were gifts from Darla!)

Can't forget the PAPER!  Tons of papers!  Most of it from Studio Calico and My Mind's Eye...for a quarter a sheet!  You couldn't beat that deal with one of Joan's wire hangers!  A couple of small pads.  Some neato twill chevron ribbon.

And OF COURSE: the TAPE!  I had to fight myself to keep from buying one of every roll that I stumbled upon... and when I say fight, I mean fight.  Even the ugly rolls tried to jump into my hand.

And the best part about CKC?  Apart from buying all the cool stuff?  I got in for FREE!  Yes!  For FREE- mynsecond favorite four letter 'F' word.  When I approached the woman selling tickets, she glanced at me, handed me a wristband and said, 'Oh, you don't hafta pay, honey.'   I guess she assumed me to be an uninterested man who was there against me will.   Sadly, somdid many ofmthe women inside the convention- as they pushed past me, grabbed things I was reaching for as if my uninterested was keeping them from picking the item up and made annoying noises as if I was the one taking up valuable space.  I almost said something rather rude to one nasty person who kept hitting me with a giant bag- but then I realized it was her ass.   Not every person was nasty, tho- one fun lady that started talking with me as we dug thru a mountain of paper began declaring, to the crowd, that she was taking me home to marry her daughter.

So that's it for my CKC shopping excitement.  I loved it.  And Tanya and Darla made the best CKCompanions.  It better be a tradition from now on, ladies!

See you soon with MORE Halloween excitement!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Halloween Cards!

I found myself with a spare ninety minutes, yesterday!

An entire hour and a half all to myself, before I had to head back downtown for more rehearsal.  That's right- we open the first show of the season IN ONE WEEK.  Two days ago, the director fell ten feet to the stage floor.  Why was he on top of the set and how did he fall to the ground?  I don't know.  What I do know is that he must be part cat, as he somehold tucked and rolled and walked away.  Six more days of rehearsal and the show opens and I'll have a little more time to myself!  Hurray! 

Sooooo- what did I do with my ninety minutes, last night?  I made Halloween cards!  Yeahp.  Continuing with my love for all things Halloween, I grabbed my brand new 6X6 paper pad from MY MIND'S EYE and my new Tim Holtz stamps and had some fun.

I love to emboss.  The 'Happy Halloween' up there was embossed using Martha Stewart's embossing powder- which seems to work the 'best' for me- it melts so smooth and gives such a professional touch.  It's a wonder I made another card, after this one- I spent about fifteen minutes running my finger over the embossing.

I made this one with a stamped scrap of tissue paper (left over from a project that I've yet to show you!).  I used two strips of My Mind's Eye paper which was left over from the next card I'ma show you, a strip of Mr. Holtz's Halloween tissue tape, two little staples- all on a base made from a dark silvery-gray cardstock which I stamped a 'screen' background onto with Archival Ink.

My last card is my favorite.  I stamped a tag cut from Mr. Holtz's 'Tiny Tabs and Tags' die with an image from the new My Mind's Eye Halloween stamp set.  I cut a strip off the My Mind's Eye paper and flipped it over and covered the seam with a bit of black ribbon.  I tied the jute cord around and into a bow onto the tag and a button from Prima (which I colored black with a Distress Marker- it was blue). 

Where did I get that classy jute cord, you ask?  FROM THE DOLLAR TREE! 

Yeahp- that's right.  I found yet more craft supplies down at Da Dee Tee.  It seems, lately, that I'm finding more craft supplies at non-craft stores.  In fact, I'm working up a blog idea post all about that- but until then, if you're in need of some classy jute cord- perfect for Halloween AND Christmas- head down to the DT, fight through the crowd of humanity and grab some craft supplies.



Sunday, August 19, 2012

my Dina Wakley class layout

I'm sure I won't have to work too hard to remind you of the freakin' amazing time that I had at Dina Wakley's Encaustic Tag Book Class.  F'realz, still one of the best times ever.  Yeah, I know- it was only a month and two days ago- but really- it was a damned good time.

How good was it?

It was so good that I'm experimenting with encaustic-esque goodness on my own (more on that, soon) and:  a few of her techniques and brief lesson on composition have stayed with me-  they've 'persevered' as you might say...

Before we get too far, I'm gonna level with you:  I've been drinking.  It was my birthday last Thursday. I'm just getting around to celebrating.  Get off my back.

Around 3:37pm, I woke up from a nap and thought, "Hell, I'm gonna make a page and fix myself a cocktail before my birthday party starts."

Now, let's back up a few days.

Wednesday:  I was excited to be off of work for a few days.  Somehow, I ended up deciding that the perfect way to spend a "night of unlimited possibilities" (that's what I call a night with no work the next day) was to experiment with watercolors.

I've had some watercolors for quite some time- my Mom gave me a very classy "art box" for Christmas one year.  It's filled with pastels, colored pencils, drawing pencils, tools... and:  watercolors.

Now, previously, the only time I'd tried to paint with watercolors was a few weeks ago, at work.  I was trying to complete my "Make Someone Smile" doodle-  I created a stunning (haha) beach scene, and thought I'd be really cool and use watercolors, from the "art box," to color the ocean.  It didn't work out  so well.  But, I was using my finger and spit- so that was kind of expected.

With my inspiration propelled by my copy of The Journal Junkies Workshop and my failed finger-and-spit watercolor technique, I decided to give it another go-  and while I watercolored away, (more 'bout this later, too) I ended up splattering a brand new sheet of 12X12 kraft cardstock.  I thought I pushed it far enough away- but you know how that goes...

Today, as I tried (in vain) to clean up in preparation for my "birthday party night," I noticed how much I liked the splatters on the corner of cardstock.  It reminded me, somewhat, of the Encaust Tag Book Class.  So:  I pulled three of the pictures I had printed out (thanks, Walgreens and Instagram!) and got to work.

I thought I'd take some pictures of my process.  But then the "process" stretched out hours and hours, as I placed things....replaced things...moved things...arranged things... well, you get the idea.  So, I've whittled the entire ordeal down to just a few pictures...

At first, I wanted to used the entire piece of kraft as the background.  While digging through my ever-breeding box of papers, a couple of pages from BasicGrey's WANDER collection just jumped out and bit me on the ass.  After an hour or so of moving things around and around, I ended up with the above square glued to the classy distress-y blue B-side of one of BasicGrey's lil' works of art.  The square up there is made from two pieces of the same piece of paper- strips cut, flipped around and glued together.

Dat right there is a piece of the inspiring cardstock.  Hope it isn't too underwhelming.

Above, I added another strip of paper pieced together with part of its own "B-side."
I cut strips from another piece of paper from BasicGrey's WANDER collection and pieced them together, at an angle, with strips of kraft and the border piece that resulted from the background page when I cut the "tag" off.  This is what it looked like from behind:

Kinda cool, seeing things from behind, right?  I thought so...

After another excruciating amount of moving, changing and rearranging, I ended up thinking I needed two little strips of kraft- so I added them.  As you can see up there.

All I had left to do was to glue "the strip" down and figure out how I wanted my pictures!  Luckily, my friend, (and one of my roommates) Pete, happened by to say:  "WHAT YOU BEEN DOIN' FOR FIVE HOURS?!  COME OUT TO THE PATIO AND DRINK WITH US!  AND HEY- Why don't you put that picture there, cuz that's the main picture, right?  And then put that one like this- and there you go..."

And he was right-  I loved the way that looked.  Normally, I would strongly advise AGAINST taking scrapbooking advice from someone who spends most of their time playing "Modern Warfare 3" and shouting over an earpiece at people to "GET THE @#$% OUTTA THE BUNKER!"  But, I gotta say, you gotta keep your mind and ears open to suggestions.

Here's what I ended up with:

The pic to the left is my tag book in progress.  The center pic is, of course, me with the genius goddess Ms. Dina.  The last pic, on the right, is a shot of my proudly ink and paint stained hands.

There was heaps more washi, before I snapped the picture.  I remembered Coco Chanel's advice about removing accessories before you leave the house (or in this case, finish the layout) and removed an accessory.  It made all the difference in the world.

A closer close-up of my beloved center picture.

Look at those layers!

Aaaand my parting shot.  It's too late for me to be awake.  I have a crazy week ahead of me.  Beginning tomorrow with a long long day of rehearsal for a new show.  I don't know if I'll survive the next three months.  We'll see.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Layout Time!

Today's my birthday.  No, don't get excited.  I'm not.  I'm just... older.  I am excited that I had the day off of work.  What did I do to celebrate?  I slept until 10am.  I went to Paper Crown.  Bought a couple pages of classy papers.  Bought some new tape.  Bought some new letter stickers.  I came home and MADE A LAYOUT!

I don't know if I'm too happy about it- but I'm happy enough...  There was a change of title/theme ideas halfway through.  There was a tried title placement accident/ordeal which caused quite a panic.  I calmed myself down, 'fixed' the mistake and kept moving.

I took the photo at the production meeting on 5AUG, when the actors and designers met to sign their contracts - that's what led to the title.  There is so much 'business' in show business!   The title is also inspired by a line from the show we met to sign contracts for:  "...the very business we call SHOW!"

I used a few different lines of papers-  Crate, Tim Holtz, Authenqique, BasicGrey.  There's some 7gypsies paper tape, some unknown washi- when I thought a touch of bright color would be nice, a clock rub-on from KaiserCraft, some Distress Ink rubbed thru some mesh tape and three different kinds of alpha stickers- the brown ones are Glitz, the cursive are Authentique and the big black ones are some 'Black on Kraft' stickers from Colorbok.  I know, I make a few jokes about Colorbok being the lonely kid at the prom.  But every once in awhile, they have something semi-nice, like these letters.

I love the look of date stamps.  I don't know what the hell I'm doing wrong, tho- I have the hardest time trying to use them.  That's why they're always stamped onto something else THEN added to my layout.  It takes me about twenty tries to get a usable date stamped...

Another angle.  I like the 'Documented' card that I cut from a larger piece of Crate's somethin'er nuffin set- can't remember.  Portrait?  Hell, I don't know.

Well, that's it for NEW LAYOUT EXCITEMENT!

Am I partying tonight, to celebrate my birthday?  No.  Because I promised Miss Tanya that I'll be sober, clean, dressed and ready to go at 8AM, tomorrow morning.  Why?  Cause we'll be picking up Darla and heading to TULSA, for the Creating Keepsake scrapbook convention!  Whooo!  If you're there, keep an eye out for us- I'm sure it won't be hard to find me in a crowd of ladies.  I probably won't shave.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Talking About Shopping

Doesn't it suck, wandering around a store where you know the inventory like the back of your hand? I hate knowing both every item in a store AND how long it's been there...  

But I LOVE to be surprised when new product shows up!  It's such a good feeling- kinda like a sneeze.  Surprising and feels great.  Did you know that I love to sneeze?  It feels so good.

Yesterday, I had ninety minutes to kill before I had to be at the theatre, downtown, for a production meeting.  And you know what goes through my head when I have more than 25 minutes but less than three hours to kill:  CRAFT SUPPLY SHOPPING!

I headed to 'Good Michaels' on the South side of Oklahoma City.  Why didn't I go to the one closest to me and why do I call the South Michaels location 'the good Michaels?'  Cuz its shelves are usually stocked (more and better) and they put out new product FASTER.  The location nearest me, on North May Avenue, the one I usually call 'Lunch Michaels,' goes through long periods of blank space on shelves and hooks.  Also, they either don't get new product as fast as 'Good Michaels,' or they just take their sweet time putting it out on a hook.  And that makes me crazy.  If one of my friends tells me about the kick-A new thing they just bought at Michaels- and I go- and it isn't out-  I can have a near meltdown.  Yes, that obviously tells you about the problems I clearly have with my mental state.

So, I headed down to 'Good Michaels.'  Used the time on the interstate to honk at people who don't know how to merge from the on-ramp and called my dear sweet MOM!  My nephew answered the phone.  I didn't recognize his voice- he's only just turned 13, but puberty must've hit him like a cartoon sledgehammer.  I immediately thought, "Okay, Mom either got a new cell phone number and forgot to tell me (again) or she's left my Stepfather and has run off with this new man."  No, it's just my nephew. He tells me that my Mom is upstairs.


"Yeah, she's upstairs."


Kids.  They get lazier every day.

What the hell am I talking about?!   Oh yeah.  The hap-haps at Michaels.

First up:  The famous Michaels photo boxes.  On sale for 2.39 each.  Bargain!  I am addicted to these- I have the plain kraft ones for most of my supply storage.  I try to keep things I don't use as often in them- as it's just so much trouble for me to pull a lid off of a box.  But they look great, stacked on a shelf!  Especially if you type labels up on your computer, print them out, cut them to the right size and slide them into the label-holder-thingy.

As I said, I have about eight of the plain kraft ones- as I love kraft and the patterned or colored ones irritated me.  But these caught my eye:

Aren't those classy?  Yeah, I know.  While I am usually against 'travel decor' that depicts places I haven't actually BEEN- I love how Elizabeth Tower looks (read Wikipedia! it be getting/got a name change!).  I love the simple graphic beauty of these boxes!  You know I'd rather walk on my lips than say somethin' mean- but my first thought was, "I'm surprised they didn't screw up the cool simpleness of the design with some neon bubble writing declaring "BIG BEN BIG BEN BIG BEN" all over the sides and background."  Because that so often happens- usually with the dollar stamps.  There will be a stamp with a nice sentiment but "ruined" with a little bee dotting an 'i.'  I always imagine this happens because a designer drew up a nice little stamp and then a dippy executive enters and says, "Hmmm. Too plain.  Add a bee kissing a heart."

But why do I dislike travel themed decor depicting places I've never been?  I think it's because of that huge Eiffel tower trend-  it's mostly died out, from what I can tell, but I still see it gasping for breath amongst Hobby Lobby's decor aisles and discount stores.  It just screamed 'annoying person who can't decorate, buying an Eiffel Tower lamp at Target, then forcing all their friends to come over and see it, while exclaiming nonstop about how they've ALWAYS. LOVED. PARIS. -which, they probably even pronounce as PAIR-EEE."

Anyways- I love these boxes and think they'd even look great standing up on their sides, on a shelf-  just as I posed the boxes for the picture.

I wonder what employees think when they see me rearranging things for photos?  I know they appreciate it when I re-order their shelves and/or move things back to their correct hooks- they've told me thank you a few times.

Next UP!

From about 100 feet, I spot new product.  I don't know if 'spot' is correct, as it's more a sensation-  yes, I SENSE NEW PRODUCT.


I can't remember if I ever told y'all about my sadness over the premiere of the Fiskars FUSE.  I love how the thing looks.  I love the options/ways it can be used.  But the design of their first round of embossing plates and dies just breaks my heart.  Seriously.  It was a sadness much like when the musical SIDE SHOW closed on Broadway.  It's that sad, ladies and gentlemen.  Here is to hoping the next round of designs is much better.  Call me, Fiskars.

So, what was it that made my day?

I finally got Mr. Holtz's TATTERED LEAVES die.  Sometime shortly after 2AM on Sunday morning, I got a 'wild hair up my ass,' as we say in Oklahoma, and wanted the Tattered Leaves die.  I had an idea.  I cursed myself for not buying it ten hours earlier when I glanced at it- then I cursed Michaels for not being open 24 hours, seven days a week.  I forgave them, as they're open on Sundays.  Then, I cursed Hobby Lobby for not being open on Sundays.

Just as I was happy enough to be buying my new die and just as I was finished 'testing' pens out on the roll of paper they have hanging there to do so- I dropped a pen.  When I reached down to get it- a little plastic box of brass heaven caught my eye.

Clearly, I'm not on my knees amongst the brads on a regular basis.  I had never seen these!!!

A little plastic box full of these beautiful brads.  Globes and airplanes.  My day was made, and I swear- I smiled all the way to the cashier- who turned out to be a nice lady I worked with, once long ago!  She let me use the 25% off complete purchase coupon that wasn't supposed to be valid until 4pm AND hugged me.  Now that's service!  I kept on smiling all the way to my meeting.  And that's a story leading to the layout that I'm gonna get to work on- right as soon as I hit 'publish' and pull myself back downstairs.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Crafting Binge: Day Two. Experimenting with canvas and my beloved Daniel Torrente stamps.

Inspired by the beautiful Dina Wakley's OUT OF THE JOURNAL 2012, I did a couple of canvases.  Doesn't that sound classy?  "I did a couple of canvases."

It just doesn't as civilized if you phrase it as:  "I wandered through the aisles of the Dollar Tree, wondering if I could paint or emboss or otherwise de-cheapen their plastic chess pieces, then went home and got drunk and painted and glued stuff to a canvas I found in someone's trash can on the next street over..."  

So, yeah,  "I did a couple canvases, this evening."

Do you follow Miss Dina's blog?  It's as purty and classy as she is- so, you should.  She's doing this thing-  wow, I hate the sound of that, 'doing this thing.'  That sounds demeaning, to me.  "She's currently running this promotion," doesn't sound right-  how can I say this?  Oh well, you get what I mean.  It's "OUT OF THE JOURNAL 2012" time at Ms. Dina's blog of beauty!

But, Kory, what IS it?!

Her royal inkiness describes it as:

The idea is to stretch yourself out of your journal by working on canvas and exercise your creative muscle.

I don't have a journal.  Unless you count the insanely large stack of Post-It-Notes-To-Self that I write to myself every stinking day as a journal.  But it definitely isn't the art journal that I religiously keep in my daydreams.

But I love canvas.  It has a beautiful texture.  Like a brand new blank notebook- one of my number one all time addictions- a blank, brand new canvas feels like pure possibility.  Hell, I think they're beautiful just left white.

And did y'all know that, once, I wanted to be a 'real-life' artist?  I did.  I even had (and sold, believe it or not!) paintings in an art gallery.  The hit of that opening night was a gigantic mixed-media piece entitled, "Hard Copy Makes Me Hard."  It sold.

And:  Just like I mentioned above-  I recently found a brand-new, crisply white canvas in someone's trash- so why not give it a go?!

(Yes, it is true that I cannot drive past a pile of trash without pulling over to dig for buried treasure.)

Not only was I inspired by Ms. Dina's work, and even more so by her class, that I recently took- I used stamps.  Ink, stamps, paint, paper, collage- I had a great time!  Thank you, Dina!

This was done on a nicely sized 16X24 canvas.  Acrylic paints, mostly applied with my fingers and a corner of t-shirt.  Part of an old dictionary page.  A Picket Fence Distress Marker.  Anything within reach seemed to make its way to the canvas.  I worked fast and furious and felt great.  I loved making this...

The stamp is one of my favorites by Daniel Torrente.  I love these little critters.  I like the creepy factor, but what I love most is the sweet innocence the little creatures have-  remember how I said I'm still inspired by Dina's Encaustic Tag Book class?  No, there's not encausticality going on here- but I did stamp the little critter on tissue paper- one of the techniques I learned.  I ModPodge'd him on and the tissue paper just faded away.

This wasn't my first canvas, today, though-

Early in the morning, I spotted a little stack of tiny 4X4 canvases that I picked up at Micheals, on clearance for 25 cents each.  They weren't primed or anything- so I did coat it with some gesso, first.

While I waited for the gesso to dry, I stamped and cut out another of my favorite Torrente critters.  I colored him with Distress Inks.  I touched up his teeth with my Picket Fence Distress Marker and did his shoes with the Tea Dye marker- but the rest of him was colored with regular Distress Inks.

I sprayed the tiny canvas with my other favorite 'discovery' from Ms. Dina's class-  DYLUSIONS Ink Spray.  Really?  How great is this ink spray?!  I used the colors of, 'London Blue' and 'Postbox Red.'  This is also when I learned something:  let the first color of spray dry before spraying the next color, otherwise, it just doesn't look as pretty.  That's why it's so dark up there in a few spots.  Luckily, I liked it- so, nothing to cry about.  I did touch up/blend a few spots with Barn Door and Tumbled Glass Distress Inks.  I picked a word at random from Mr. Holtz's ChitChat stickers, glued on the Torrente critter, and stamped some random letters with a white pigment ink.  The word seemed to kinda float there of its own accord.  It didn't look right.  So I drew a 'cord' to it with a silver metallic marker and drew a circle around it with the Picket Fence Distress Marker.  Not happy with how that turned out- but I do like it more than a random floating word.

So that's it for my inspired pieces for Dina Wakley's OUT OF THE JOURNAL.  Look at me, I sprang right out from a journal that I wasn't even in!  But, art journalling is the number two thing I want to do next.  What's number one?  I'm a gentleman.  I don't name names.


On Shopping: New Tim Holtz Stamps and Other Fun-ness.

I'd planned to share my shopping spree recap with you, on my previous post about making the treasure boxes.  But I forgot ALL about it by the end of the post and wandered off to try to take a nap.  Luckily, the sharp eyes of Bella caught it- and, so-  I'm back!

Week after week, there's a moment during the mid-morning on Fridays when a voice of reason and clarity tries to speak loudly amongst the crazy voices in my head.

"Don't buy more supplies!  Why don't you use what you have?!"

Then, one of my favorite stores (My Heart's Fancy) will post that they have new products.

Well, screw that saving money and living like a monk thang!  I work hard and I'm not serving any prison sentences- so why shouldn't I have all the fun I want?!  

The 'shopping weekend' began at my lunch hour on Friday.  With Holly Busch.  We went to Basket Market- where, EXCITEMENT- we ran into Tanya, of Creative Endeavors.  Do you know Miss Tanya?  She's beautiful, fun, funny, and TALENTED!  Lady can Silhouette!  I didn't find anything earth shattering cool, this time, at Basket Market.  It wasn't the Studio Calico jackpot that it was a couple of weeks ago.  But I did score some great (name brand, too!) 6X6 paper pads and some very nifty American Crafts metallic pens.

As soon as I was able to drag myself out of the house, this morning, I staggered up to 165th and Penn, to check out the new stuff at My Heart's Fancy.  I got some of the new Tim Holtz Halloween stamps as well as the My Mind's Eye Halloween stamps.  I also got their 6X6 Halloween paper pad.  It looks great!

Aren't they great?!  I also bought that little bee stamp.  Why?  No idea.  I *really* wanted the other Tim Holtz stamps, too- especially the cemetery headstone blueprint one- but for some reason, decided to show some restraint.  I *am* going to CK/Tulsa next weekend.

After leaving My Heart's Fancy, I decided to stop in at Tuesday Morning.

Imagine that- a little score!

I found these Tim Holtz ideology thingies-  for 2.99 each!  And that corner rounder with a hole punch thing, too.  I LOVE these metal numbers.  I know I should've bought one more package of them...  The tassels, I don't know what I'll ever use those for... but, just in case: 2.99.

Now, I'm really, for real, super seriously gonna try for that nap.  I need it.  Especially if I'm going to stay up all night again!  Also, this is my last period of 'free time' for what could be a long while.  I start rehearsals for the next show I'm working on- as well as production managing the show following it-  it's gonna be work work and work for ... well, until the theatre season ends!


On Crafting And Insomnia...

Yeah.  In trying to come up with a title for this post, I started to ramble.*  I do that.  In real life, too.  I'll just talk and talk and talk.  My Mom says it's because I love the sound of my own voice.  And that's true.  I also love the sound of typing.  You do the math.

*I've edited the title of the post, as it was pointed out to me so pointedly that I forgot to talk about my new stamps.  So see the next post. :-)

Really, I do love the sound of typing.  When I was a beautiful child, I didn't play outdoors.  I stayed inside.  Playing office.  I had a manual typewriter.  Before I knew how to type, I just rhythmically banged on the keys.

About insomnia:  I work all the time.  It feels like all the time, anyways.  I'm also rarely alone.  The past few weekends, the quiet peaceful loneliness of the late late nights has proved too attractive.  Before I know it, it's 5:30am and I'm starting to panic because PEOPLE WILL START WAKING UP.

Last night, I started a crafting spree while enjoying a couple of vodkas- (with a splash of cranberry juice, for the color).  I'm taking a break from my craftomania to post a couple of the things which sprung from my tired hands and wired mind.

I got a wild hair to make an engagement gift for two friends.  They got their wedding rings yesterday.  I  decided they needed jewelry boxes.  As the boxes aren't lined with anything, they're really not 'right' for jewelry, so I am presenting them as 'nightstand boxes.'  You know, little boxes for their nightstands.  They can use them to store spare change...or a watch...or a key ring... or birth control devices... or their favorite pharmaceuticals.  You get the idea.

Probably one of (not THE, but one of) the cheapest gifts ever...

I got the wooden boxes at Dollar Tree.  You know, Da Dee Tee.  The happiest place on earth.  (Get lost, Disneyland.)

I used some 7gypsies papers from the 'Paddington' 6x6 pad.  I found the 6x6 pad at Tuesday Morning, for 1.99.  As much as I love black and white, I couldn't ever think of a way I wanted to use this paper.  Well, I finally did!  And I love how it looks on these boxes.

The sides of the boxes, I painted with glossy white paint.  Not a fancy kind- just some of the very inexpensive kind in the little bottles at all the stores.  After the white dried (not on its own, I got impatient and whipped out the heat gun) I used a scrap of cut up tshirt to rub/smear some camel colored paint over it- kinda like a glaze, I guess you'd call it...  It wasn't any plan, it just occurred to me and I loved the way it looked.  I ModPodged the paper to the top of the boxes, trimmed away the excess,  then sanded the edges just slightly.  I rubbed some Frayed Burlap Distress Ink around the edges and randomly around the top, then edged the boxes with Walnut Stain.  What would we do without Walnut Stain Distress Ink?  What would we do without Mr. Holtz?!  I raised my cocktail and toasted to Mr. Holtz.  Then, I got to work on the initials.  I dug out all my chipboard letters.  After trying out many, many different fonts, I settled on the one that I felt looked similar to the font on the papers.  I painted them white and rubbed Distress Inks on the edges and around randomly.  Lastly, I embossed the letters three times with clear embossing powder.  I Glossy Accented those offers on the top of the boxes and threw my hands into the air- DONE!

Here's a close up of the "R" box.  I love the look clear embossing powder gives- can you believe that's just a little cardboard letter?!  I can't!  You might, because you aren't as easily impressed/entertained as me.

The inside is just painted black.  I did think about lining the boxes with flannel, but I didn't have a black plaid flannel shirt to cut up...  I thought about using the rest of the flannel shirt I cut up to make the Goblin's shirt, and coloring the fabric with Black Soot Distress Stain, but ...  you know.  It was time to freshen my drink.

A parting shot.  It looks like I took the picture all tilt, doesn't it?  No, kids, that's the magic of the 'straighten' option in iPhoto.  I think they should rename it, and call it 'TILTY."  Cuz I've NEVER used it to straighten a photo, I just use it to make them tilty.  Why?  I don't know.  I guess a part of my brain thinks tilty=classy picture.

Alright, back to my worktable!  By way of the bed.  Kory need a nap.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

a present for a friend

My friend and co-worker, Bev, keeps me sane.  She listens (or reads the emails) when I'm stressed out to the point of exploding.  And she's obsessed with the band Foster The People.  So I made her a little charm to hang on something or wear on something, or whatever she comes up with:

I stamped the band's initials on a blank Vintaj blank.  They were half-price at Jo-Ann last week, so I bought a few packages.  I love metal stamping, lately.  It's fast and makes cute things.  After stamping the letters, I decided it still looked a little too plain.  So I smacked it a few times with my Tim Holtz Texture Hammer- you know- the crazily cute little hammer with the changeable texture tips?  One of my favorite buys EVER.  Well, after that- it just looked too beat up.  Oh! Wire!  So I wrapped it a few times with some wire.  Done!

Well.  Now, I hafta make a card, right?  Right.

I looked up, and my newest Daniel Torrente stamp was staring at me.  Staring at me with many eyes.

I colored one of the little critter's faces with a Tumbled Glass Distress Marker and stamped the asterix and 'hello' in the corner.  

But now, what do I put the charm in- the envelope?  It looks stupid just stuck in there...

Oh!  I'll make a little tiny card to go in the card, that the charm's chain can be wrapped around!

Have any of you ever seen or do you have the Tonic Studio Duo Corner Ticket/Tag Punch?  It's so cool.  You can make any old square or rectangular piece of cardstock into a tag or ticket.  I first saw it and used it at a card making class at My Heart's Fancy and had to buy one for myself.  

After punching the corners to make the card into a ticket, I stamped it with a woodgrain background stamp using Antique Linen Distress Ink.  The 'Best of the Best' sentiment is from one of the new BasicGrey 'Clippings' stamp sets from Hero Arts.  

I wrapped the charm around the ticket.  Now it looks more proper when stuck into the envelope, right?

While I was making this, I was thinking how great it is to have what is looking more and more like an entire Hobby Lobby store INSIDE my house.  If the need appears to make a little gift for someone, all I need to do is sit down and do it!

And now I'm done.  I can rest.  Watch True Blood.  And enjoy a benadryl... something is bothering my allergies and I need to sleep all night.  

Have a good start to the week, everyone!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Happy Early Halloween! Yes! It's already HALLOWEEN PROJECT TIME in da SCRAPiVERSE!

What a week!  Summer is killing me in all its 112 degree weather, the air conditioner in my house broke, I found out my drivers license has been expired for two months, and to just top it all off- the hotel I ran away to, during the air conditioning tragedy, had a little surprise in store for me, as well.  Not seconds after they took the payment, I learned they were hosting some kind of national drag queen beauty pageant.  And I don't know if you know this or not- but drag queens are LOUD.  I am pretty sure that I'm suffering a form of PTSD.

Enough of my hardships-  HELLO! How ya doin'?!  I bet you thought I'd never ask!  Where were my manners?!  Oh, that's right.  They were destroyed in the soul crushing reality that hinders my every move.  Just kidding.  I love my life.  Without it, I'd be dead.

What's all this talk about evil death on a lovely Saturday?  HELLO!  Really?  You don't know?  I'll tell you:  It is now less than two months until Halloween.

Halloween has been my favorite holiday since I bought my first plastic skeleton at TG&Y.  (For you young people, that was like our Wal-Mart.)  I love everything about Halloween:  The costumes.  The decorations.  The wild, drunken parties where you can convince a few of the least intelligent 'Sexy Nurses' to help you steal all the beer out of the host's bathtub and take it with you to the next party.  You know, all the great Halloween traditions.

Of all the Halloween-inspired activities that thrill me, Halloween crafts will always be the thing I look forward to the most...  So tear open that fresh box of wine you picked up on the way home from work yesterday, pop in a set of plastic vampire teeth, and have a look at my Little Goblin.

That's my Little Goblin.

I was at Wal-Mart about a week ago.  I hate that place- as would anyone who hates fighting loud, pushy people with seven kids who are holding up the line while they try to convince the cashier that YES YOU CAN BUY BEER WITH FOOD STAMPS NOW.  Just as I wanted to scream, 'GIVE IT UP, LADY, YOU WON'T FOOL HER- SO LET ME  CUT AHEAD OF YOU IN LINE AND I'LL HOOK YOU UP WITH THIS CRAZY LADY I SORTA KNOW WHO TRADES FOOD STAMPS ON THE BLACK MARKET!,' - yeah- just as I was about to scream that- something caught my eye.  No, it definitely wasn't Ms. Food Stamp 2012 *OR* her husband with the always classy Confederate flag tank top.  It was one of those fly-by-night Halloween Craft/Decor magazines.

Now, I say 'fly-by-night,' but I don't mean it in the traditional sense of the phrase- this was a Better Homes and Gardens publication.  I mean 'fly by night' as: it isn't a regularly published thing, and most of the projects seem to be gathered from past regular issues and/or hurriedly commissioned.  However, take no offense, Better Homes.  Kory loves you, he ain't talkin' no smack.

I PROMISE to return, find the issue (and probably buy it, too- it does have some cool stuff) and tell you the actual name of it and the name of the designer who inspired my Little Goblin.  In the magazine, there's a cute pair of little creatures- created from wire and clay, on top of those little papier-mâché (thanks, spellchecker!) boxes that you can always find for a dollar at the big craft stores.  The project looked so fun that I knew I had to run home and create my own version.  Well, I had to run to Jo-Ann, first- of course- papier-mâché boxes don't materialize out of thin air!

Just in case you're tempted to get right to work at creating a Little Goblin of your own, here's the supply list:

  • Little papier-mâché box.  
  • A very lightweight, air-drying modeling clay.  I used FIMOair and give it my highest recommendation.
  • Some kind of bendy wire.  I used some kraft paper-wrapped floral wire.  I forget what the article said to use- but I'm pretty sure she used some kind of floral wire, too- but it wasn't paper wrapped.
  • White floral tape (to wrap your wire- but if you use paper-wrapped, you could just as easily paint it or use some Distress Stain.  Believe me:  there will be much more about the magnificent multi-functional amazements that are Mr. Holtz's products later!  
  • Wire cutters.
  • A selection of 'colors.'  Paints (especially watercolor), gelatos, pastels - whatever you have and want to use for your colors, gather up a nice Halloweeny selection. 
  • A small piece of cardstock, for the flag.  (This should be easy- if you don't have any cardstock laying around, I have no idea why you're here or where you came from.)
  • A 'Happy Halloween' stamp, or if you have lovely handwriting- a nice pen.
  • Some scraps of fabric, to create a charming little ensemble for the little critter.  Unless you're creating a little nudist goblin.  Well, in that case- you'll still need a bit of some fabric.  From what I understand, they always carry a towel in case they need to sit down.
  • A small styrofoam ball- in whatever size you want for your goblin's head.  The ball I used was just a bit bigger than a golf ball.

A little note about the 'colors,' mentioned up there:

I used quite an assortment of Distress Inks, Distress Markers and Distress Stains-  and even some of Dyan Reaveley's jaw-droppingly amazing 'Dylusions' ink spray.  (Yes, I'm full of praise for the genius of Mr. Tim Holtz's products and for Ms. Reaveley's Dylusions, but trust me- the praise is deserved.  So, so effing deserved.)  Yeah, so - forget what I said about using anything else.  If you don't have any of Mr. Holtz's colors, go buy them all right now.  I'll wait.  Are you back?  Sorry, I forgot to tell you to buy all of Ms. Reaveley's ink sprays.  You'll hafta run right back out.  Go ahead and buy every color, up front.  Trust.

Okay, then?  Okay, then!

I had planned on painting the papier-mâché box a plain, flat black.  But after running around the city in 100+ degree weather for most of the day, I was tired.  All of my bottles of craft paint were on a shelf, ten feet away, safely nestled in a box.  Yes.  I was TOO LAZY to get up and get a little bottle of black paint which was BARELY TEN FEET AWAY.

However, it turns out that my laziness is a good and beneficial trait.  How so?  Instead of painting the little box with plain old black paint, I used things within reach!  I rubbed some Rusty Hinge Distress Ink all over the box and inked some edges with a combination of Frayed Burlap and Walnut Stain.  It didn't seem to be bright enough- I wanted a bit more orange.  And there it was- my brand new bottle of Dylusions, in 'Squeezed Orange.'  The bright and translucent Dylusions over the darker (and definitely more Halloweeny) Rusty Hinge and Frayed Burlap combined to give me the look that I didn't even know I wanted:

Except for cutting two little holes in the box's lid to stick the little goblin's feet through so's he can stand up proper, that's it for the base!  How easy is that?!  

Next, take the wire and form it into a goblin skeleton.  I love this kraft paper covered wire- as I played with it, I kept coming up with all kinds of ideas for projects to use it on- I picked it up in the floral supply section at Jo-Ann.   

See how the wires extend at the tip of the 'foot?'  Kinda like those monkeys with the long toenails?  No, I don't know what I'm talking about, either.  Anyways- stick those through the little holes you cut through the box's lid and bend them over to secure your little goblin's skeleton to the base.  Now, it's nothing but PURE fun from here on out!  It was at this point I was still trying to decide: color the kraft paper or leave it kraft-y?  I went ahead with the white floral tape.  Pulled the skeleton off of the base, wrapped his little limbs with the white tape and liked it- looked very skeletal!  Now: time for the head!

Push a styrofoam ball onto the neck.  Tear off a big enough lookin' piece of the FIMOair clay.  Warning: here's where my instructions get VERY technical.  Take the piece of clay and like you did with Play-Doh, smoosh and flatten it into a fairly thin 'pizza crust.'  Lay it over the styrofoam ball and squish it into place.  Pinch a nose on, make some eyes and TA-DA!  

Your goblin is almost alive.  He's still somewhat fetal, so be gentle, dammit.  Put him somewhere safe while his head dries out and get to work on the rest of him.

The minute I saw how the wire arms looked, I knew he needed to be carrying a little flag!  I used the "Tattered Banners" die from Tim Holtz to make the flag.  I ran the die through my BigKick with a piece of manila cardstock, stamped it, colored the letters in with Distress Markers and inked the edges.  I used one of the biggest banners, so cut it in half to fold the cut edge over another piece of that wrapped wire.

I dug up a few pieces of scrap bits of fabric.  Found a bit of burlap that I thought would make a nice scarf.  Found some dense canvas like stuff for his pants.  For his shirt, I found a sleeve I'd cut away from a flannel shirt - no,  I wasn't getting dressed up for a monster truck rally.  It was part of my zombie costume from a few years ago.  I knew I'd need the sleeve one day!  Sometimes, hoarding does pay off!

Now, don't get all scared and think you'll need sewing skills.  Cuz ya don't.  He's a goblin, who probably makes his own clothes.  They're supposed to look a little raggedy, a little crazy.  He's a goblin, not a contestant on the new season of Project Runway.

The pants were the trickiest part- and they were still very easy.  Just cut out two 'pants shapes, like I did up there-    No!  Put the needle down!  You don't need it!

Yeahp!  I used the Tiny Attacher!  I did one seam inside out and flipped it- kinda like real sewing- but I wanted some of the staples to show, so I did the other seam on the right side.

Goblins might be a little trashy, but they still don't wear white pants after Labor Day.  I misted them with a bit of water and rubbed some Black Soot and Vintage Photo Distress Stain all over them, added a belt, and- yeah, I didn't think this skeleton bit through all the way- so I had to disconnect him from the base yet again, to get him into his pants.

There they are, with a bit of twine for a belt, too.  The shirt was so easy and fast, I forgot to take a pictue of the moment I made it-  just a long rectangle with a 'neck hole,' which I cut a slit from one side (to dress him, without popping his head off).

Time to paint his face!

Again, I used Distress Inks.  How great are these products?!  Stamping, embossing, distressing, aging, painting- you can do ANYthing with Distress Inks.  I tapped the pad against the craft sheet and used my water-brush.  Love those things!  I didn't have any pre-planned ideas as to how to decorate my goblin's head.  I just went at it:

And from behind:

I really like how the shades of Distress Inks blended together.  Looks like old bone, doesn't it?  I wrapped his little burlap scarf around his neck, put the flag in his hand- and I was done.

Wow.  If you made it this far through this overly long, rambling, poorly written and unedited post-  give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy two more pictures of my goblin!

I've got another fun Halloween project coming soon!  Hope to see you back!