Friday, January 24, 2014

Impression Obsession Challenge I {HEART} You!

Impression Obsession Heart Flourish  DIE126-U
Impression Obsession DK Designs Helen Keller Stamp
SU! Whisper White Cardstock
SU! Rich Razzleberry Ink

I began by playing around...literally! I fell in love with the IO Heart Flourish die and ran it through my Big Shot just to see what it looked like. Of course, it was gorgeous! But so was the cut out! So, I took the paper and ran it through with Spellbinders rectangle. The die is large and it cut through the right side, so I cut a second Spellbinders frame to hide that part as best I could. Then, I took the die cut and mounted it just off its cutout to add dimension. I used mounting tape to mount both frames and the heart and sentiment, I also used rolled glue dots and attached them to the die cut to add even more dimension. I took the heart that was cut from the middle and embossed it using a hot pink. Here was the interesting part...I didn't have an IO stamp that would fit!!! They were too big or didn't fit, etc. I noticed my DK Designs rubber stamp with a quote from Helen Keller, saying that the most beautiful things can't be touched, the must be felt with the heart. I LOVED the way the word "Heart" looked, so I used VersaMark on the word heart and cleaned off the words around it. I stamped and embossed it and used a Spellbinders die to cut it out and mount it.. Lastly, I found one of my Breast Cancer ribbon brad and hung it on the end of the Impression Obsession flourish. 

The Impression Obsession Challenge this week was something I was originally going to skip. Nothing personal, I was just absorbed in several other projects and didn't think I'd have the time. Let's face it...when you have a 7-year-old high-functioning autistic kid, who is known to every police officer in the two small towns my house straddles, finishing ANYTHING becomes a big deal.

Today was 'hugging' day at the grocery store. That's when the Kid decides he's going to hug EVERYONE in sight.

"How cute!", you say, wondering how that can be all bad. In answer to your unspoken question, perhaps we should give an idea of HOW the Kid goes about hugging.

Imagine you're pondering which flank steak piece you want to purchase so that you can prepare, oh, stir fry or something. As you're reaching for that steak, a 70 pound 7-year-old throws his arms around you screaming "You're adorable," which you probably didn't hear because the momentum put you headfirst into the entire meat display.

As the Kid is being dragged off you and you begin to hear a panicked voice apologizing and explaining how the Kid is autistic and blah, blah, blah. You say it's alright-and it's not really because now you're embarrassed because there's a crowd of people wanting to hug the kid and thinking it's adorable and you're just wondering how to get the obvious impression of flank steak on your forehead, off for good.

Sigh. was THAT kind of day.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Delicious Doodles "Pegasus"

This project almost caused me to have a nervous breakdown. Why? You would think it's because the Delicious Doodle's Pegasus image is perfect...just gorgeous. But the way it's shaded, it's as if the image is finished! But that wasn't the issue...what threw me for a loop was what in the world I was going to use to accent the Pegasus, without overshadowing him! I couldn't go pastel so-at the last minute-I took the primary color route and didn't look back.

I use mounting tape on most all my layers on most every card I make. I love the dimension. I don't think you can go wrong with it. So, I took my image and printed him on Bella's BEST Paper in White and used gold detail EP to accent his mane, tail and forelock, as well as the tops of his wings. Then, I colored him with my Copics, using my low number BV's and R81 and R83. I used a VERY light coating of Elizabeth Craft Designs Silk Microfine Glitter in Warm Diamond on some of his body, legs and the curve of his jaw. I fussy cut and mounted him on a piece of cardstock I had covered with foil and run through my Big Shot with a Tim Holtz die, then colored it with alcohol inks in plum and pink. Then I used Rub and Buff gilding wax in Antique Gold to add some gold to the purples and pick up the gold on the image. I mounted that on SU! Elegant Eggplant cardstock and took a gold mirrored piece and mounted it on the Eggplant and made sure only the two sides showed. I think that had I gone the traditional route and matted it with all four sides showing, it would've ceased to be an accent and become a distraction.

Because I can't seem to leave anything alone, it was at THAT point I thought "Hey...I want to use ribbon and pearls! And let's see how much I can complicate that by deciding to use my hot glue gun on a card that's almost finished and I'll have to remake if I screw it up!!!! Great idea, Carmen!! NOT!!" came out alright, I guess. A strip of pink ribbon with dark pink and bronze strings of pears hot glued to it. My OCD caught a little crooked part on the right side so I refuse to look at it any longer or I'll tear it to pieces and remake it and have a nervous breakdown and be drug off into the night with my kids being told "Mommy's just overly tired! She's going to a sleep clinic! Why is she yelling? She's just telling me what to bring her in the good ol' sleep clinic."

Then, several weeks (months) later, I'll come out looking like a zombie from all the Thorazine they pumped into me and I'll find we have a new, 21-year-old 'housekeeper' and I probably won't care because I'll have decided to take up quilting, or something like that.

You know...someone should PAY me for the crazy I come up with on a daily basis!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Diary of a Desperate Housewife part 2

“Happy VD day!” the Kid yells across the school parking lot.
            I gazed off into the distance, gauging whether or not I had the room to drive off and leave him in the parking lot. Sure, it would cost me a visit from Social Services but at least I’d have a few hours of relative peace in Starbucks before the first social worker arrived. I ignored the other mothers’ dirty looks as they hastily ushered their bundles of innocents into their SUV’s.
            “Listen, Kid. Let’s just stick with the tried and true way of wishing someone a Happy Valentine’s Day. There’re times when acronyms just aren’t the best way to express yourself.”
            “Whatever.” The Kid shrugged and began tearing open his valentines. “Yuck.”
            “What’s up?”
            “Carrie sent me a valentine with a heart on it. It says Love.” He began crumpling it up.
            “Why’re you doing that?” I said.
            “Oops. Wait. It’s okay.” He began straightening it out. “It has candy in it.”
            Another Valentine’s Day was upon us and since I’d received no love from the company that fired me months earlier, I was somewhat jaded to the whole experience. I wasn’t finding any romance in my current position as a stay at home mom and had a feeling I was in for the worst ‘VD’ day in my life.
            In the past, my romantically underachieving husband had been spared any responsibility because, as I was gainfully employed, I found it easier to purchase my own jewelry and perfume. He, in return, wasn’t allowed to complain about the cost so we were able to enjoy, on that day, the traits we originally considered the others character defects. Mine being a spendthrift and his being inherent laziness.
            I was somewhat curious as to how he was going to handle this Valentine’s Day. With no extra money, not only was he going to have to get creative, he was also going to have to do what he disliked the most…make the effort to be romantic.
            He called as soon as we arrived home. The Kid was ensuring a marathon vomiting session by methodically wolfing down the mountains of candy he’d received and I was intentionally refraining from defrosting anything for dinner.
            “What’s for dinner?” he said.
            We’d dispensed with the niceties on or around our second Valentine’s Day.
            “I didn’t plan anything. I thought maybe we’d…well, you know…eat out since it’s a special occasion?” I hinted.
            “Eat out? That’s not in the budget.” At that moment, the rest of my sentence obviously caught up with him. “Special occasion? It’s not your birthday. Is it?”
            I mentally counted to ten before I answered. “What’s the date today?”
            “The fourteenth. It’s not our anniversary. At least I don’t think it is. Is it?” Now he was starting to sound a little nervous.
            “February the fourteenth. Hmmm. Any significance to that date?” I tried one last time.
            “Oh! Oh yeah. Valentine’s Day. Uh…right?”
            “That would be correct. What time should I have the babysitter here?” I said, firmly.
            “Well…I…I guess seven would be good.” He finished lamely.
            “Done. It’s dinner and a movie then?”
            “Uh…yeah. That would be great. I’ve…I’ve got to go. See you at six.” He quickly hung up.
            By seven, our twelve-year-old babysitter arrived and tried to conceal her delight that the Kid had already slipped into a sugar coma.
            “Can I check my email?” Her speech was somewhat muffled due to the wad of gum in her mouth.
            “Yes, but this time stay off my screen name. The last time you were here, I was inundated with IM’s from prepubescent boys wanting to play the Internet version of ‘Spin the Bottle.’ That’s tough to explain to the husband.” I said, spraying myself with a knock off Chanel perfume.
            She mumbled her assent.
            My husband waiting until we were on the interstate and I was unable to do him any physical harm before breaking the news to me. “Well, I tried to get reservations at a couple of restaurants but they were full.”
            “Unable to get a reservation when it’s actually Valentine’s Day? That’s a shocker.” I said, much too calmly for his liking.
            He shifted uncomfortably but pressed on. “So, I thought we’d go somewhere we could have steak and seafood and all the stuff you like.”
            “Really?” I said, brightening noticeably. “That sounds great!”
            He smiled, relived. “See? I’m not that bad!”
            “Not at all.” I patted his hand. “Why’re we pulling in here?” I said, looking around in confusion.
            “The restaurant’s here.” He said, pointing.
            It was Golden Corral.

            As I made my second trip to the dessert bar, I considered the best way to exhibit my displeasure. I was deep in thought when my husband, on his second helping of fried shrimp and mashed potatoes, said, “Have you thought about what movie you’d like to rent?”
            I slurped my chocolate pudding and gave him a winning smile. “Rent?” Now we’re renting a movie?”
            “Yeah! We can like do that thing you always want to do when we have our dates.”
            “What…sleep?” I said.
            “No! Like snuggling on the couch and stuff!” he said, then stuffed a huge slab of meatloaf into his mouth to keep from talking again.
“Sounds lovely. And I’ve been thinking about what to rent. Lots of choices since we haven’t gone to a movie in over a decade, but I’ve got it!”
            He swallowed the chunk of meat in record time. “Great! What’s it about?”
            “Well, I thought we’d rent one that we’d both enjoy. Action for you, love story for me.”
            “Sounds good. War movie?”
            “No, it’s actually sort of an Old West kind of movie.”
            “I love cowboy movies! That old rough riding kind of movie.” he said, enthusiastically.
            “You’ll have plenty of that to look forward to.” I smiled.
            “What’s the name of it?”
            I stood and took his hand. “Brokeback Mountain.”

            Another Valentine’s Day had passed and although it had disappointed me in several areas, I reminded myself that love isn’t all about jewelry or dinners at expensive restaurants. Valentine’s Day was the one time a year we remembered why we made the commitments to that special person in the first place. I turned off the bedroom lamp and reached over to kiss the cheek of my special man that, unfortunately, was still curled up in a fetal position.
            “I love you.” I whispered.
            “I think I need therapy.” He whimpered.
            Ah. Love.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Going MANGA with Through the Purple Haze and Crafty Sentiments!

This is my first Manga on my first showing as a Design Team member for Through the Purple Haze and I am STOKED!! I've stayed away from Manga be truthful...I'm 45 years old. WTF would I do with Manga??? Right??? But this was really kind of cool and I really like how it turned out.

This is a 'digi' image...another first for me...and I have to admit it's nice to be able to print something out without waiting for a stamp. Not that I'll be making a change but being an old fogey and NOT liking anything new, I can def. say I'll be okay with doing this...a little...for, bring my bedroom shoes, you whippersnapper you, and a blanket and leave me alone! Maury's on...

I spent about an hour on the card, then spent TWO hours trying to figure out how to put a sentiment on it without destroying the effect. I was cussing so hard I'm surprised the damn thing didn't burst into flames! I simply couldn't make it happen! You KNOW how frustrating that is, right? Finally, Tim Holtz to the rescue!

I'd purchased a block die which was labeled 'Small Easel'. You can use it like I did and scor-tape it to the back of a project to make decor in lieu of a card! TA-FREAKIN-DA!!!

I'm sure it will please you to no end to know how I created this card-and I'm not talking about materials...I'm talking about the all-important THEME!

Having 4 boys and no girls, I have an imaginary niece in my head that I make things for. HEY! Don't you judge me! I don't even have a name for her. Today, I got this email from American Idol, telling of some sneak preview. So, my 'niece' was going to audition and I colored the Crafty Sentiments Digi named 'Eve' to look like her and pretended I was going to give it to her to put on her dresser. Then, she would spend the night with me and we'd stay up ALL night eating crap-chips, dips, cookies-and we'd stamp. We may even go out to Steak and Shake a 3am if we damn well feel like it!!

Wow. I really need to start making some friends. 

As promised...more blog candy coming Monday and it will be a Gift Certificate of MY choice!! HA HA I LOVE POWER!!

I've also got the next segment of 'Diary of a Desperate Housewife coming this weekend so check back often! Yes!! Both of you!!!! are the deets for the decor:

Eve Digi from Crafty Sentiments
Spellbinders Majestic Elements Radiant Rectangles
Bella's BEST Paper in White
Mounting Tape
Glimmer Paper
Paper Flowers
Tim Holtz Small Easel Die
Stampin' Up Vanilla Cardstock

After coloring the image with Copics, I cut her out with a Spellbinders frame from the Radiant Rectangles set. I used hot pink metallic paper and embossed, then attached the image using mounting tape. I used silver glimmer paper, cut with another frame from the set, and used mounting tape to attach that to the back. I cut an identical piece of vanilla cardstock from Stampin' Up! and used my ATG to adhere it to the back of the glimmer paper. At that point, I could have used it for a card and stamped and written on the back, but I wanted it to be a piece of decor, so I stuck the small easel on the back and added some small paper flowers on the front.  The image and frame are so gorgeous, I wanted to be careful not to overdo it. Eve is a PHENOMENAL Digi...easy to color and very fun! Take a look at all the other images Crafty Sentiments has to'll love it and Digi images are IMMEDIATE! No waiting on the mail! Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Speedy TV Faux Labels Tutorial

Speedy TV's tutorial challenge is every Friday morning and this Friday it was Faux Labels. Very easy and a nice way to add a little eye candy! I colored my Wild West stamp with Copics...EVERY brown copic I own, apparently. Then, I added an SCS tutorial for the wonderful backing paper and I really dig the effect. Although, next time I WILL distress the edges a bit. I'll also try to make the cow not so 'pink' looking. I'll also try to wait until I can find a Mosaic EF on eBay that does NOT have to be shipped from the UK. I'll also try to not fall in love with a color from SU!-like Really Rust-such that when they don't replace it with something remotely similar, I won't go nuts trying to find it. Dang. This OCD thing is REALLY flaring up they medicate you for it? If so, are they the fun meds or the boring ones? Just askin...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Back on the challenge trail!!

I wish I had basic photography skills. Even with the iphone, most of my pictures just suck. Sigh. I'm entering the Simple Salutations Challenge at Mark's Finest Papers and this card, in person, is HOT! The photo is leaving me with the urge to GAK.

It took 13 months of stamping challenges before I had my FIRST win! It was with Mark's. My husband congratulated me on winning with such a fine card. I didn't have the heart to tell him it was all randomly generated.

I'm not posting blog candy tonight. I have a lot of things to deal with this week so I honestly can't begin to think of what game I want to play, etc. Chances are later this week or Monday, at the latest...I hope.

Thanks for your patience!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Lunchables and Downers: The Birth of a SAHM.

While I'm trying to NOT HYPERVENTILATE over one of the challenges, I give you my beginning article of a series that was published in a SMALL (read: no pay) magazine. Enjoy. :)

                        I was the one that proposed the luncheon, so I had no one to blame but myself.
                        “My dearest friends,” I announced to the three women at my table, “It’s with great pleasure that you’ll be the first to hear of my next HUGE career move!”
My three friends gasped with delight.
                        “I’m trading in my Manolo Blahniks and Palm Pilot for sensible shoes and low maintenance hair as I head into the challenging world of full-time motherhood!”
                        A hush fell over the table. The two stockbrokers looked away while the attorney patted me on the hand and said quietly, “It’s okay, honey. We’ve all been fired before. It’s just the Valium talking.”

                         Okay, so I HAD been fired but no one had been thoughtful enough to throw in any downers.

                       When the ax fell, I’d thought about hitting the streets to look for another job. The only thing was, I couldn’t take some carbohydrate free, multi-highlighted ‘it’ girl (that was barely old enough to serve hard time, but somehow made it to middle management) wondering if I was qualified for the job at hand. I decided that the Kid was overdue for a full-time mommy.
                        Bring it on.
                        He woke me on the first day with an insubordinate poke in the eye. When I could make out light and shadows again, I asked what he wanted.                                                                     
                        “I need breakfast and I have to go to school.”
                        That was pretty astute for a six-year-old.
                        “Okay,” I mentally stepped into my Super Mom suit, “What would you like for breakfast?”
                        “A Pop Tart.”
                        “Sure. Uh, do you know where they are?”
                        “In the top of the cabinet. Daddy always puts them there.”
                        “Why?” I said, hoisting my chubby leg onto the counter in an attempt to scale the cabinets.
                        “Because I’m not supposed to have them for breakfast.”
                        “Why?” The counter creaked in protest as I pulled myself to a kneeling position.
                        “Because they make me hyper and Miss Parisi says I bounce off the walls.”
                        “Is Miss Parisi the one that called Mommy in for a conference that day?”
                        “Here, have two.”

                        I felt pretty smug as I crawled back into bed. When I’d been working, all of this had been my husband’s duty and he’d complained vociferously.
                        This isn’t so bad
                        There was another poke. This time, thankfully, on the arm.
                        “You have to make me lunch.”
                        “There are Lunchables in the fridge.” I said, flipping my pillow.
                        “Lunchables are when Daddy fixes lunch. You’re the Mommy.”
                        I pondered this double standard for a moment.
                        “Why is it okay for Daddies to pack Lunchables and not Mommies?”
                        “Because Daddies work and they don’t know how to fix stuff so it’s okay. But even if Mommies work, they fix the stuff you’re supposed to eat and it’s never really good but you’re supposed to eat it anyway unless it makes you want to throw up, then you just throw it away.”
                        His litany winded him.
                        “What do Mommies make for lunch, then?”
                        “Sandwiches and fruit and stuff.”
                        “So how does anyone know who packed your lunch?”
                        “Because they know you got fired and that you’ll be fixing the lunches.”
                        A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a baggie of fresh strawberries later, the Kid gave his blessing. I grabbed my car keys.
                        “Wait a second Mommy…you forgot my hair.”
                        “What about it? It looks cool in a misdirected eighties sort of way.” I ruffled his sleep induced Mohawk.
                        “Daddy puts conditioner in it and brushes it down.” The Kid was relentless.
                        “Fine.” I slathered Aveda on his head. He took the brush from me and styled it himself.
                        “Are we ready now?” I whined.
                        He sighed. “Yeah. I guess.”
                        “What do you mean ‘you guess’? What now?”
                        “Well, Daddy never makes me wear this sweater. He doesn’t like it.”
                        “It’s Nautica. It was expensive and you’ve never worn it. There’s nothing wrong with it.” My left eye was starting to twitch.
                        “He said I look like a pansy in it. Do I really look like a flower?”
                        “Do you honestly think your Father’s the last Scion of fashion? He thinks poly blends are one of the seven wonders. He makes his fashion statement in flannel shirts and thinkshis collection of belt buckles shows everyone what an art connoisseur he is. This is the man you take fashion advice from?”
                        He must’ve seen the twitch. “It’s fine. We gotta go.”
                        It took forty-five minutes in rush hour traffic to make it to school.
                        “Why, hello there!” It was a cheerful greeting from my arch nemesis, Miss. Parisi. “Only ten minutes late. Not bad for a first time stay at home mom on her first day!” She grinned evilly.
                        “I have strawberries!” the Kid said.
             I smiled smugly.
                        “Wonderful! They were dipped weren’t they?”
                        The Kid and I looked at each other, confused. I felt my already sagging self-confidence go fetal in the corner.
                        “Dipped?” the Kid said, soberly.
                        “Why yes!” she exclaimed, “There’s a special wash we advise parents to use on fruits and vegetables. It removes all pesticides and other carcinogens.”
                        The Kid looked at me accusingly.
                        “Give me the strawberries. I’ll go to Starbucks and get you a scone.”
                        Miss. Parisi clucked sympathetically. “Refined sugar.”
                        I wondered if the Kid’s testimony would be admitted in my manslaughter trial.
                        “Just eat the sandwich, Kid.”
                        I was exhausted and couldn’t wait to get home. I tossed my purse, keys, mace and rape horn on the kitchen table and glared in the vicinity of my husband. He was drinking coffee and proving his golf mastery to the world by beating Tiger Woods on the Playstation. It took several loud sighs, stifled groans, an accidental blast of the horn and three partial swoons before he noticed I’d returned.                                      
                        “What’s wrong with you?” He said, not taking his eyes off the TV.
                        “I’m going to bed.” I snapped. “I had a terrible morning.” I waited for him to ask me to elaborate, but he was too busy bogeying the fifth hole. “Don’t forget Loretta’s coming at ten.”
                        He paused and looked at me. “Loretta?”
                        “The cleaning lady.” I said, exasperated.
                        “I know who she is. I called her yesterday and cancelled. I figured since you’re not really working anymore, you’d take care of it.”
                        Bring on the Valium.