Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WOYWW - I forgot something

Ooops, I forgot to send you over to Julia's at the Stamping Ground to visit other creative souls' studios. Please leave a comment when you visit. They truly appreciate your visit and value feedback. Taa

WOYWW - almost clean

WOYWW - almost clean

Yesterday was spent cleaning the atelier aka, room of stash, aka furnace room. Stash had flown helter skelter about the room from Monday's flurry of activity. Bits and pieces were found in places that only a mouse could fit. lol  My craft sheet now has some empty space around the edges. See for yourself.
Don't get all antsy when you see the holiday cards here. None of them are my own design. They are from classes that I took at Buffalo Stamps and Stuff owned by the kind, generous and funny Sharon. some people think we look alike. We do share the same taste in antiques and clothing. Her patience with people (slow workers like me) is admirable. She plans the most wonderful variety of classes with a highly talented group of ladies, for whom I am most grateful.

Back to the cards - I plan to send one to my mom everyday in December - she gets a kick out of it and I enjoy it too. I'll also make one a day for my 90 year old friend Charlie, it cheers her up as the days pass slowly by in the nursing home. She is a dear and shares many funny and naughty stories. She worked over 60 (yeah 60) years in the same school district and retired on her own terms. My kinda gal. 

 As for my desk, I love the Mary Englebreit poster behind all my scissors. can you ever have too many scissors? I put it on my desk to remind me of the the need to simplify life I'm such a pack rat lol and appreciate all that is around us. 

Which brings me to Thanksgiving. Tomorrow morning is the Turkey Trot in Buffalo, NY. I'll go with my friend Margaret to serve beer at 9 am at the Convention Center. Can you imagine? Beer at that hour? I'll let you know more after the experience. It's going to be a trip with people in costumes, a second coming of Halloween. rofl

This holiday weekend is a huge celebration in town with all the expats returning to their roots for one long party of food, drink and friends. Wednesday night at the bars, Thursday morning Trot followed by beverages, followed by family dinner which includes more imbibing. Friday and Saturday are hockey games Buffalo Sabres and Sunday is Buffalo Bills football. Almost makes me wish I was young and stupid again to partake in the festivities. rofl Glad I'm not, though
St. Donald and I will be joining friends for turkey, good wine and laughter. I'll raise a glass to you all.

Now to brag some more about The Saint. He just finished printing out our Christmas card labels. He is much more techno savvy than I am and spent all of yesterday helping a friend set up her new computer. Maybe I'll get to the store bought cards on Friday. To tell the truth it will take me a couple weeks before they go out, so don't be jealous.

 Okay, I've blathered on long enough, this was supposed to be a short post, but I've got a captive audience if you haven't logged off just yet. Wishing you a good weekend and hope you have time to make something fun.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Not to panic .. CCC #23

Ok, so this is my first official entry to Linda's CC Challenge of Double Distress. Sounds like a panic attack to me. lol  As I made this project there were moments of distressing fun, fun distressing and panic when the distressing didn't work. Confused? So was I, all day. 
As usual I made it more complicated than it had to be, but that's only because I kept going until I got the look just right. And I used a few more techniques to play catch up with some of the other challenges.  Here is the thingy that I made. It's not a tag, it's not a card, it's just a thing. A pretty pinky-red-greeny thing. Are you ready for the pics ... They look totally different when scanned (the top one with black background) and photographed (on the bottom with dark pink paper.) Anyhow, I thought I'd let you see both.
The top third of the card is a separate piece of grungepaper glued to the lower portion. If I had to do it over I'd still make this one first to work out the kinks and make a second one better. Sorta like cooking a good dinner, but since I don't cook, well, it is what it is.

The embossed bingo board is colored with crushed olive and aged mahogany distressed inks. The red in the mahogany turned out great, even if I say so myself. The snow flurries from the On the Edge die cut off the bottom portion of the bingo board. So I covered the snow flakes' DI's with snow cap pigment ink. Instead of the ink pad I used the re-inker on a cut & dry foam pad to keep the "real" ink pad from turning green and red. (hope that makes sense) Finally I used Ranger's Enchanted Gold embossing powder to give the snowflakes a yellowy-sparkley feel. No jokes from the peanut gallery about yellow snow! rofl

Next I made an extra #25 from the bingo embossing folder and inked it with snow cap pigment ink and black soot DI, then topped it off with Tuxedo vintage glass glitter. It looks totally different, a rich, deep black. Try it sometime.

Then I turned my attention span (sometimes very short. lol) to the holiday greetings with, let's say it together, more snow cap pigment ink. Love that stuff! Used the blending tool with more aged mahogany, topped it with perfect medium & perfect pearls interference red, a quick spritz of water and...the DI ran! Panic again. forgot to heat set it. Wash it off, start again, turn off the water works, chin up and keep moving. By some magical happenstance the second time gave the effect I wanted - deep rose pearl shimmer.

Finally I used alcohol ink to color the bird, crown (lemonade) and heart (cranberry). I just love the alcohol ink pens, they make it so much easier to control the placement of the ink. The leaves and mini fleur are chipped enamel with the Enchanted Gold EP, but that didn't turn out right the first time around. Panic. Success on the second try. Phew. 

This is all a very long-winded explanation. I probably should have just listed the supplies and said, Here it is. Go at it. But I didn't, now I will ...DI aged mahogany, crushed olive, black soot; snow cap pigment ink; blending tool and cut & dry foam pads; embossing powder, glass glitter; perfect pearls & perfect medium; grungepaper; on the edge die; bingo embossing folder; and alcohol ink. 

Hope there is something in this post for you that will take the fear out of a mistake in technique. I used to tell my students that we should allow ourselves 25 mistakes per day (for teenagers this makes lots of sense) so we can learn from them and move forward. For me today's panicked moments are finished. Later I'll go make another something fun. Hope you do, too.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I wish, I wish ...

Some of you have asked if this background is my home. Don't I wish! It was one of the choices from blogspot(Travel) when I set up this blog. So, I thought I'd try to tease you with some pics of my guest bedrooms (anyone going to be in the area to visit Niagara Falls or Toronto? lol)
This is the French boudoir. I had to have red walls with the slanted ceilings for a cozy feel. The dresser was mine when I was a kid. East Lake style with oak leaf and acorn carvings for the handles. Believe it or not, the mirror and its little drawer are a separate piece of furniture. They go together rather well, I think. The ceiling isn't tall enough for the mirror so you can glimpse the iron bed in the reflection.
The two chairs are also East Lake, but I bought them at an auction in Shipshewanna (an Amish community in north central Indiana) about 5 years ago. They were in horrible shape, torn covering, horsehair stuffing falling out, etc. My mom (and St. Donald) thought I was stark raving mad about the purchase. Well, of course I knew what they could be -gorgeous! They are comfy and nicely stuffed so one doesn't have to have a concave derrière to sit upon them. lol  Oh, yes, the little alabaster night lamp on the left side of the dresser is also from Shipshe. It originated in a Cleveland, OH estate. Got it dirt cheap at the auction. Ya gotta love it! (auctions, bargoons et al.)
This walnut cabinet is from my great-grandma Campisi. She had it in Chicago, then gave it to my grandma. It, too, was in awful condition and I had it redone by my magical antique refinisher. It contains all my little French collectibles-dominoes from the 18th century, faience (painted pottery) from the 19th c., and the Little Prince stuff from the 20th c.. Can you believe we are living the 21st century?? All in all, I am a collector of stuff. Stuff that strikes my fancy and makes me smile or chuckle, okay, it can also make me laugh out loud, too. Tell the truth and shame the devil. (I can't recall where this expression comes from, but it has always stuck with me.)
This lamp is a garage sale trophy-hand-painted Italian, and the goose with the removable neck & head is from a trip to Massachusetts in 1992. The table is made of sewing machine drawers. Yikes, it's true.I like to be surrounds by old, funky stuff that would tell stories if only they could. There now. You have a peak at one of the corners of my world.

Just want you to know that I am very thankful for you and send you all hugs of Thanksgiving. Until next time, go make something fun.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It it's not one thing ...

"Well y'know, it's always something, if it's not one thin' then it's another." I quote from the character of Roseann Roseannadanna done by Gilda Radner of Saturday Night Live fame (late 70's, early 80's.) Gosh, she was one funny lady. But she's right.
Here I've been griping to myself (since there's nobody else around who cares) that I'd better get moving on several big projects and my creativity has been overpowered by gravity, as in laying around and watching tv. I'm not a tv addict, I swear (yes I am), but I do mark my programs in the tv guide in pink pen when the Sunday paper shows up. rofl. What a dork.rofl again. (can you say gravity) Anyhow, that's the "it's always something part."

But I do have interruptions in my schedule that I really like. Ya see, St Donald and I go to the nursing home every day to see a ninety year old friend who has no family. It's cool that she tells us stories of her life, like growing up without running water or electricity, and and outhouse out back. She cracks me up with her candor and expressions. The "fairies" as she calls the staff, have now started to call her Charlie, so that's what I use here. More about her another time.

Three big projects and a pant-load of gravity, just not in the stash and trash room. Okay, so I wanted to do something for the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge as chosen by the lovely Linda, alchohol ink splatter. Go check it out on her blog Studio L3 if you haven't already. And  look in your copy of Tim Holtz's book for the directions as I can't divulge the details according to the rules of the game. Here are my attempts, the befores (the one on the left reminds me of a blue dinosaur).....
See wha'd I tell ya? Kind cool how I had Tim Holtz's elephant stamp ;-) Almost looks like the dino is getting ready to eat his descendant! The second splats gave me fits about what to do with it. It just didn't speak to me (well duh.) It's always somethin'. Tada (add music here.) A potted flower in the purple sun.
Okay so now this last splat (I'm such an over achiever, 3 tags really? three???) I fell in love with the rivers and tributaries of ink. Again I didn't know what to do, but I was overjoyed (heh heh) at the effect of the ink.Whad'ya think? I've been dying to use the new Tim toys to make the ornament, too.
Okay, so now another thing...Today I will go to my LSS (local...well 21 miles is local) and meet with our 'card' club. There are officially 8 of us, me being the newbie. The others are highly experienced and have more patience for detail. So this fall we decided to do 4 techniques per month from Tim's Compendium of Curiosities, and for November we could choose a personal theme. Check your CC on pages 37-40 for the techs. Do ya know how hard it is to come up with a theme with 4 totally different approaches? Here is my attempt for the holidays with.inking grunge and double distress with Adirondack snowcap pigment ink.

And my third huge project...Thanksgiving cards for the fam in Indiana. I'll probably get to those on Saturday. So there you have it, an not in a nutshell. If it''s not one thin', it's another. But then again, it's always something. Until next time, make something fun even if it's a little somethin' for yourself!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Things have been busy around here and it's not even the holidays yet.  I work very slowly on my tags and projects and am very messy so I thought I would shame the devil and tell the truth. lol  Here's a peek at my stash space. It looks organized until you get a view from a distance ... here.  (note the sign on the far right "I'm not ready" rofl)

I took the pic this morning before I went to a class at my LSS to make a Christmas Configurations box. Boy is it cute! It took me lots longer than everyone else, so what else is new, art takes time and careful thought.  Here's my creation. (Notice the HO3 on the right side? Hope you can guess what it means, and no, it is not a chemical formula. teehee)

I love the little bird that Sharon, owner of the LSS (Buffalo Stamps and Stuff, Amherst NY) and today's instructor, found at Pottery Barn. (Did I say the name of the store out loud, for crying out loud?)
The bird goes so well with that darling little cage that gave me conniptions. No matter how hard I tried to attach the jump ring between the hook and the cage I couldn't do it. Fat fingers and bad nails. Thanks to Sharon's skill with tools and patience with teeny tiny little metal findings, the cage now hangs in it's proper place.
Here are the other gals who were in the class today... lovely Linda

sweet Alison

and the very happy Pam playing with the mica flakes.

While we worked we hummed along with the radio and played name that tune, munched on chocolate treats (but, of course) and got covered with glittering mica and other such sparkly goodness. Can you imagine 90 people doing this project at the same time with Tim at Absolutely Everything a few weeks back?! That's where Sharon made hers - and it is spectacular - in just 4 hours. I am awed by this feat.

Well, we enjoyed the creative process and the inspiration we got from sharing with one another. Personally, every time I read a blog I find inspiration and delight in the creations of others. Thanks to all who share and read this blog, and a big thanks to Sharon for her wonderful class. Until next time, enjoy the experience!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Busy Weekend

Okay, okay, so I didn't blog for 3 days and I have no really good reason other than fun and fatigue.  Friday I went to the local high school and substituted in a Spanish class. It reminded me that 1) I still love teaching, 2) I miss my colleagues and 3) it is good to be retired, lol. After a day of subbing I was wiped out since I'm not used to getting up at the ungodly hour of 5:45 a.m.. Of course getting out at 2 pm is nice, but didn't leave any energy for much other than lying about like Cleopatra on the couch!

Saturday morning I went to my LSS for a class with the very talented Debby who taught us to use prismacolor pencils and Copic markers together. There is so much to learn. I am very good at coloring inside the lines, but I need to learn how to shade using both types of markers. After two and a half hours I was wiped out again, but this time out of sheer frustration. We were supposed to complete 3 cards and I only managed to finish 2. The third one will have to wait for another day. I don't know the maker of this stamp but wanted to share the results of my first attempt at these techniques. This little girl is a sweetie.

That afternoon I went to a gallery showing of this season's jewelry by Sheila Petrocy Green in East Aurora, NY. Her style is funky and chunky necklaces. Though I didn't buy anything this year (all my cash is invested in stash) I wanted to share a great piece that I bought last year. The large piece is a 2 inch bauble of carved coral. Each side is a slightly different shade, but I like this one the best. I wore it to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Pops concert on Saturday evening and kept checking it to make sure this side was showing! When you select one of her creations you have to flaunt it or the fashion statement just won't work. As with everything else, I try to go with the flow.
Sunday the Buffalo Bills football game was blacked out here. Not surprising since the team was 0 and 8. Who wants to see the hometown team lose again? The stadium is less than 5 miles from our house. Not a traffic problem to speak of. We decided to watch any football game on tv with friends and eat some comfort food of sloppy joes, carrot & celery sticks and a delicious apple pie made by my dear friend Sue. It was an early evening since I was still tired from Friday and Saturday. This is for the birds! I'm supposed to have more energy than this!

Today is sunny so I'll get outside for some vitamin D and a bit of garden cleanup. The s-word is in the forecast for later this week, but that can easily change with the winds of Lake Erie. After time in the garden I'm headed to the atelier (French for stash room) to make a little something fun. Hope you do the same today. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

CCC #21 - Country roads, yeehaw!

This week's Challenge technique #21 from Tim Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities has been fun. Check out the details at Studio L3, the lovely Linda will fill you in on the details. Also, go check out what Lori did with her tags, they are fabulous, totally awesome in every sense of the word!  Since this is my first attempt at the CCC it took me a few tries before I could get the result that I liked. It took me a while to get the hang of it

The background is inked with weathered wood distress ink. The farm and pick up truck stamps are from Artistic Outpost. I thought they were kind cool to use for fall. They were inked in my favorite DI aged mahogany. The small flowers are from Wendy Vecchi's Botanical Art and stamped in pine needle. Isn't this shimmer cool? It reallly turned out better than I could've hoped. The technique adds so much to the stamping. Next time I try this I'll add some embellishments, like maybe a cornstalk or a bale of hay! lol!

Thanks for stopping by today. Feel free to let me know what you think and what I could add to give it more dimension. Until later, go make something fun!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The plunge

Well, this is it. After holding my breath long enough, I've taken the plunge and started this blog. The idea has been percolating for little while now and after having followed other blogs over the past year I decided that I needed a place to share random thoughts and pictures of my *art* (read crafting)

The title pretty much reflects that I have a little inkling about lots of things - gardening, travel, my former career (30 years of teaching HS French - more than just an inkling!), and my hobby of paper crafting. This pastime came about after I broke my ankle over a year ago and couldn't get out of the house for weeks. I needed to occupy myself with more than tv, books and off I went to the computer and found some nifty blogs to follow. My favorites were Tim Holtz, Wendy Vecchi and I've been thinkin' 'bout inkin'. When I could finally get out first in a wheelchair and then on crutches to go to my LSS (Buffalo Stamps and Stuff) I happened upon Ranger's line of Tim's products. Little by little I started accumulating stash. The rest, as any rubber stamper/paper-holic knows all too well, is a commonly known truth: art. I swore I would never make this or that, but now I'm learning never to say never. Learning is the key word here since I'm stubborn and as life unfolds, I usually find out that I should never have said never!  When it comes to starting a blog I can honestly say Well, I never! as in i never thought I'd be doing this ;-)  

I know this sound hokey. So be it. I look forward to rambling on about stuff, to sharing what I do in my life and to showing off my latest attempt at art. A big thanks to those who have inspired me to blog - you don't know how much your examples means to me. I'll drop you a note and let you know who you are.

Thanks for stopping by my inaugural post! Enjoy the day,