Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blast from the Past: Cigar Box ATC Armoire January 2015

This is the 3rd installment of my 'Blast from the Past" series. From October 2014-April 2015, I was chosen to be on the Splitcoast Stampers "Dirty Dozen Design Team". We did 6 projects a month. Needless to say, those were ONLY projects I did in each of those months. Since I average a project in a 7 day week, you can imagine how difficult it was to produce a project EVERY FIVE DAYS. 
These haven't been published on the blog, yet. So enjoy. Saturday and Sunday were such great days for me! Out at the barn with my histrionic mare, Coco, the weather was gorgeous! Then on Monday and Tuesday, good ol' Dercums flared up and last night, my lower back spasmed. I don't know if you've ever experienced a lower back spasm, but that's good for a 9 on the ol' pain scale. So, here's hoping for a better rest of the week, huh? Without further ado....

I have always counted myself lucky in the friends I’ve made over the years. I have been so very lucky to meet and forge relationships with some of the coolest women I’ve ever-and probably WILL ever-know. In return, I try my best to be a good friend. I’m not high-maintenance (except to the Lord and my husband-but one created me and the other married me…so, they’re pretty much stuck) and my good friends know that despite my MANY faults, I am ever loyal and will be there when I’m wanted or needed.

OR, if there happens to be really good food and wine involved. I’m absolutely ‘there’.

Or wine…just wine. And I’ll never leave.

It’s important you take the time to talk and share with friends. It’s one of the things I’m particularly good at. You see, I have NO problem totally ignoring the kids while chatting with an actual grown-up. Because a grown-up USUALLY isn't constantly complaining about lack of food, perceived lack of quality of available food, dissatisfaction with current regime and unhappiness with their current status in the hierarchy.

Of course, I do take time to communicate with my children. I admit it takes everything I have, at times, to keep the proper straight face. It's important because it convinces the little snot-noses that I’m actually concerned with their opinions regarding my parenting skills (or lack, thereof) and whether or not ‘everyone else has this game/video system/sneakers/clothing/etc. and I don’t!!!’

But I have to say, they’re ADORABLE when they’re delusional like this!

I have 3 boys at home. One is 16 and, you may not have heard…and I certainly DON’T want to brag…but he’s a genius. That’s right, I’m totally serious when I say he knows EVERYTHING. And if you doubt me, then by all means….just ASK him.
He’ll be glad to tell you how he is repressed in speech and action, as well as how he is worked to the point of exhaustion by the repressive Communist regime he is ruled by. He’s right, you know…taking out the trash, and being made to dig the dirty underwear he has hidden in his closet (and apparently, by the look of them, they’ve been there since the good ol’ days of family dinners and representative government) is completely and totally irrational on our part. Not to mention his being forced to do his homework and having one of his parental units checking his grades and whether he completes assignments…DAILY! 

The next child we have made into an indentured servant, is all of 11. He doesn’t understand why he isn’t given an allowance like all his friends. I have explained-NUMEROUS times-that one must WORK to receive money. He usually counters with the pointing out of that the government GIVES you money if you just ask them. He says that all you have to do is say you can’t work and fill out about “10 or 15 pieces of paper and explain that you can’t work because you’re too tired, then they give you a card for food AND they buy you a house and you can stay home and watch TV and play games. I know it’s the truth because my friend Tim told me and even a lot of our family do it. You know, the ones that live in the trailers over in McLeansville.”

I don’t know what bothers me more…the fact he thinks the government actually MAKES money or the fact that out of over 200 years of Conservatives, some wild and crazy gene mix-up has caused me to somehow produce a Progressive.

The last kid is 8. He’s my little high-functioning autistic minion and HIS attitude regarding his living situation is…well…to be honest, as long as he has a supply of Nerds candy and Legos, he really doesn’t have an opinion about the trifling domestic matters the rest of us deal with on a daily basis. He plays his WII, lines up his 30 plus stuffed animals in weird places. Case in point, last week, I ran into the house from the grocery store, needing to make use of the ‘WC’, if you will. I flung the door open and almost had a heart attack…there were at least 20 stuffed animals gathered around a small, fluorescent Christmas tree, with each one holding some sort of food item. Zombo the Zombie had a slice of cheese covering his face and Mario’s head had been stuffed into a Ramen Noodle cup. If that wasn’t scenic enough, he had completely ringed them in with about 10 wine bottles, arranged by size and label color.

I mean, really….where DID he get so many wine bottles?? **cough, cough**

**NOTE** I DO want to take a moment and clarify that we MUCH prefer this type of tableau to the very public ramifications his stuffed animals suffer when their disobedience elicits his disapproval. The punishments for that disobedience or non-conformity (or just when the Dictator is overstimulated) are harsh and we wouldn’t mind so much if Justice was served inside…and NOT in the FRONT YARD.

Do you have any idea what it’s like to back out of the driveway and see a stuffed animal in the middle of a thorny rose bush with a piece of packing tape over its mouth and hands tied to feet??? Or…MY personal favorite…Woody from ‘A Toy Story’ hanging upside down with an electrical cord by his feet? At the TOP of a 20 foot Maple?????

No WONDER the neighbors cross the street when they walk by our house!


I know what you’re saying…you’re speaking in that soothing voice and saying, “Now Carmen…ALL teens and pre-teens are pretty much like that! We totally understand! We’ve been through all of it, too! Well, except for the weird stuff your 8 year old does…I mean, we’ve TOTALLY never seen that in our LIVES.”

And I want you to know I appreciate those kind words of support and encouragement. But I really have most of it under control. I simply remind the 2 older kids that if I DIDN”T somewhat like them, that I would’ve already commandeered their rooms for a paint studio and sewing room, respectively. That seems to really get my point across.

I know, I know…I’ve gone even more off-topic than usual. But I DO think it’s important we share our experiences. That way, we can support one another and then, at the end of the day, have some great gossip to share with our other friends.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I believe there’s some sort of celebration I’m interested in attending, that should be well underway, and I don’t want to be late. Fortunately, I hear the party is close by.

In the downstairs bathroom, I believe.

Once again, my thanks to Laura Carson at Artfully Musing! She has great tutorials and though I’ve made a ton of stuff using them, I don’t even think I’ve scratched the surface of all the things she has done! I’ve totally been on a cigar box kick. In fact, 3 of my projects this month use them. And there might be another one…who knows?? But the ATC Armoire was something I loved because it was different, practical and downright GORGEOUS!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Blast from the Past-March 2015-Cigar Box Purse

Bringing some blasts from the past during my Splitcoast Dirty Dozen stint from October 2014-April 2015. I tell you, those were the days! Now that I can put these on my blog, and it happily coincides with several days of miserable back and Dercum's pain (former Dercum's post HERE). This way, I continue to look busy while lying around on the sofa reading the Outlander series. Again. Cheers!

Now, before you start thinking you're getting deja vu with this Cigar Box purse, let me reassure you that you're NOT. This IS the second one I've done during my stint on the dirt pile. But I've got a pretty good reason...I think. If it's not, tough'll have to suffice. 

ESPECIALLY since it ties into our theme!

There has been only ONE project out of the 36 (holy Mary...can I just say I honestly can't believe I pulled that off??? What a testament to better living through wine and medications!) that I downright HATED. I thought it was terrible and I swear to you that if I could pull it out of my gallery and toss it into the abyss that is the internet, I'd do it without a thought. Even my beloved Nancy (stiz) who is the most supportive person in my LIFE couldn't convince me it was even remotely not GAK inducing.

The project? The OTHER cigar box purse I made.

So, I'm behind ANYWAY this month and I'm sitting around thinking about what to do and how to tie it into the Keys of Happiness thing, when it hit me: 

One of the main keys to MY happiness is having the opportunity to make things right. Whether it's an apology, a repair, a repayment, or merely the chance to atone for a GAK inducing project, one of the keys to my happiness is not stopping until I make it RIGHT. we are. And DANG if I'm not happy with this!! 

I'd had this SU! fabric I bought probably 2 years ago just floating around the craft room. So, I took some tacky spray and placed it on the front and back of the box. Then, I adhered the lace to the front...I wanted it to look like a sweater over a shirt or something like that, and the bling to be the necklaces. 

I pulled a lot of small brass charms and some jump rings and...what is the jewelry craft word for 'put them there suckers on a little circle and clipped it to another circle on that chain right there'? 

Last month, I bought 4 different lots of broken jewelry...about 5 bucks a lot...and these pearls were in there. Never mind they were broken...they were perfect for this! So, using E6000, I attached all of the bling. 

I used a lace trim on the side, along with this white embossed dp that I found lying around and VOILA! it was done!

I used another piece of fabric from the same collection for the inside.

So, project done...theme met and ONE more on the way...the last one EVAH for the DD. Is the suspense driving you crazy???

I know! Me too! I have NO idea what's going to happen either!! ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blasts from the Past-December 2014 Cigar Box Clock

In September 2014, I was asked to be one of the Dirty Dozen Design Team Members at Splitcoast. We created 6 projects a month and served a 6 month term. A part of our agreement was that we would not publish any of our work until 6 months past our end date. Mine was up 6 months ago in October 2015. It's my pleasure to share with you some of my favorite entries over the next few months. Mostly because it makes this blog look busier than it is. Just sayin'...

I'm going to start by saying that yes...I'm a little worried.

You see, ever since I decided that 'Mixed Media is for Me', I've spent about 2 thousand dollars on bags of brass miscellany, a thousand on random collage papers and about 17 thousand on E600 glue. 

And no...that's not the problem. See, I took the whole "money has to be kept circulating if you want it to return to you" wisdom to heart, and have done my best to keep those suckers circulating as fast as possible. To be fair, they don't seem to circulate BACK as fast as I put them out, but I feel confident those back bills will catch up one day. I was assured of this by the financial gurus that provided me this wisdom years ago.

Jim and Tammy Faye Baker.

Anyway, I don't worry about the cash. Before art, I was spending like the devil was behind me and trying to snatch it out of my hands on home improvements. 

Art, my husband finds, may cost the same, but doesn't involve people messing with our wiring and knocking out his computing and golf watching activities. And, instead of big chunks of money being spent at once, this is more like a slow bleed of cash, which he finds more palatable.

But I digress.

What REALLY concerns me is the products I've been using in my mixed media obsession. Spray paint, E6000, resin, alcohol, primer paints and gasoline. 

Wait...strike the's only the kids who play around with that.

SO...what do all those things have in common? BESIDES the ability to make the most godforsaken, permanent messes on the planet??


It's because of the vapors! Or drift! Or what the freak ever you call it! It's the stuff that can cause brain damage!!! 

***Note*** I DID consider the state of my mind before I began all this, to the state of my mind now. I'm loathe to admit this but, if anything, my memory is no worse, if not a bit better for the experience. Hmmmmm. HEY....what if it's against the law to abuse inhalants because they, in truth, give us superpowers and the government is terrified of that!?!?!?!?!?! 

***NOTE ON THE NOTE*** I have a feeling I just shot myself in the proverbial foot with that last sentence. Sigh. Must I ALWAYS be SOMEONE'S cautionary tale?????

I'm sharing all of this with you, because I take my responsibility as an artist (and by artist, I mean 'cautionary tale') very seriously and, on that note, will tell you this: wear a face mask. And, when reading the usage instructions, merely opening a window in your craft room does not count as a 'well-ventilated area'. It will STILL permeate your entire house and, as a result, your kids will forget their names for a couple of days, and you'll find your dog standing in the corner, thumping his head on the wall for hours. 

There. I feel I've done's the word?

Oh yeah...'duty'. Not 'doodie'....hahahahahahaha...I'm such a card! So glad you could join me today....whoever you people may be. 

Alright, down to business. THIS is a cigar box. Once again, I owe huge thanks to the Laura Carson tutorials at I covered it both inside and out with G45 Couture paper. On the front, I drilled a hole in the middle, then set about decorating with brass and collage pieces. Quick note...I'm always doing things 'bass ackwards', as they say...if you do this, complete the INSIDE first. 

For the inside, more collage pieces that I fussy cut..the scene outside the window is attached using 4 layers of mounting tape for depth. I added tiny rose buds to cover the roses on her dress and used silver mirror paper in a small brass frame for a mirror. Using a brass column and a piece I colored black with copics to serve as a 'vase', I arranged more paper flowers. 

Back to the front...I took several head pins and glued tiny butterflies to them and I think it's one of my favorite embellishments I've ever made. I've found that if I don't edit the pics to size, people will be able to enlarge them if they like, so one inside and one outside pic isn't edited for size, so you can enlarge for detail if you like.

For the theme, blue is about as 'Calm, cool and collected' as you'll find on the color wheel. And I made the deadline! AND I'm starting to remember my name! Most of it, that is...but that's good enough for me! Mission Accomplished!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mello Yello Lovin'

Well, looka here.

SOMEONE has been a busy bee!! 

If making a card and an ATC over the course of three days can constitute being 'busy', that is. 

This is the 3rd and final ATC for the Mello Yello theme at blissfulatcswap and now everything is packed and heading for Bev in the UK. I'm really curious to know if it'll get checked. Chances are, it will. Based on my facebook posts alone, I am a subversive, and potential anarchist.

But to be fair, those ARE my facebook posts. And, as we all know, neither facebook NOR pinterest translates to 'real life'. 

As much as I 'think' I can make the things I pin on my pinterest, and as much revolutionary talk that I do on facebook, the fact of the matter is that if we were REALLY going to accomplish something, we wouldn't be spending time talking about it or pinning it. We'd be DOING it.

The great thing about these sites, though, is that it allows us to believe we are actually accomplishing something. 

Of course, we're not, and we all know it. But it FEELS like I'm being productive when I share a news item, or pin a new recipe. I'm almost convinced I'm doing my part for humanity and the family. And I have to tell you, the older I get, the more easily I can convince myself that I have, in fact, made a difference. 

God bless the internet. If it weren't for that, I'd probably not even be capable of these totally imaginary positive changes I make every single day. The internet has given us the gift of delusion...and I think I can speak for all of us when I say "thank you."

Now to this ATC: 

Using alcohol inks which I dropped at random on paper coated with the blending solution, I came up with a psychedelic background. Using a great photo of Janis, a picture of the album 'Mellow Yellow' by Donovan, and various other 60's stuff (the ban the bomb and peace circles are coated with glossy accents to resemble 'buttons') I attached the woodstock at the top and decided to leave a nice amount of the paper uncovered. Mostly because I couldn't believe I actually tried a technique and accomplished it in ONE TRY. It was a miracle, people. A miracle, I tell you.

Now, it's headed out to the UK. As for me, I'm headed to bed.

Even a tireless, facebook revolutionary needs a break sometimes.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Impression Obsession Birthday Challenge

Let me begin by saying that I am DELIGHTED to be back into the Impression Obsession challenges. As most of you know, IO was the company from which I purchased my FIRST DIE! 

470 dies later, and I'm STILL going strong! 

Unfortunately for my husband, that number is less an exaggeration and more of a ballpark. Oh well.

I wanted to bring this up because it makes this next admission one that I simply cannot believe I have to make. Don't get me wrong....I make all sorts of mistakes and gaffes. Constantly. But rarely do I find myself in the predicament I found myself in the IO challenge.

You see, this challenge was titled "Birthday Wishes". And I knew EXACTLY what I was going to do.

I'd gotten this awesome wedding cake die from IO and have been DYING to use it. So, I cut the layers in pink patterned paper, cut the ropes in white, then added liquid applique to give it a puffy, 'icing' look. I altered the stand to make it shorter and hid the adjustment with the little bow that comes with the die. I used some paper roses and leaves from another IO die and was simply thrilled with the outcome.

But it was then I realized what I truly thought was something not EVEN possible. Not the with amount of things I've purchased from Impression Obsession. Can you guess what it is???

That's right! I own 75% of their dies and while I don't own as many stamps, I made sure to buy a few sheets of sentiments for each holiday. The one I missed? That's right. I didn't have the words Happy Birthday from IO ANYWHERE.

I don't believe it either. Suffice it to say the first thing I will purchase with any gift certificate I may win, is a Happy Birthday sentiment. you KNOW how much anxiety I suffered from? And I had to suffer silently! Because my husband certainly can't commiserate when I sob that I have no birthday sentiments to use on my IO challenge cards! 

To be fair, it really doesn't seem that terrible in print. But it was terrible. You'll have to trust me.

So, we're going to hope it looks enough like a birthday cake that the judges over there will just totally forget to look for a sentiment. Hopefully. Sigh.

There's still time to enter the challenge...go here and good luck.

I've got to do a little shopping. 

Card Recipe

Wedding Cake Die DIE243-W
Leaf Cluster Die DIE066-C
Spellbinders Frame

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mellow Yellow Groovin'

As you all know, I have very little patience for the 'norm'.

I always feel like I need to push past any traditional rules and stretch my creativity.

Which really just translates into I had no clue as to what to do and I stumbled on this little template and swore I'd make it work.

This little van is the size of an ATC..3.5 x 2.5.  Actually, it's a bit shy on the 2.5 side but let's not dwell on that. I went a little crazy with crystals and stickles, as you can see, but what a blast!

On each side of the van, I glued a Tim Holtz band, both with sayings about journeys. The van ties in with the Mellow Yellow theme because the song, by Donovan, was a huge hit in the 60's. It was speculated the song was about getting high on banana peels. Which sounds like the person who came up with that was high in order to invent something like that to begin with. But when you think about the 60's, hippies, vans, peace, love, rock n roll and all the different things rumored to get you stoned , works. And since I really can't do much with any of the aforementioned items (this IS going to the UK, mind you...I'd hate to start an international incident. Although, I DO feel like I'm on quite a few watch lists, I did think the van was a nice twist on the theme AND on the traditional ATC.

I hate that you can't see the tie-dye effect that's on the word bands. Using alcohol inks and 6 bright colors, I was able to make them perfectly tie-dyed. They're really cute. 

I really hate to do this to you guys, but I've got to make this a quick one! Family is flying in tomorrow and I've got to do some heavy-duty cleaning/sterilizing/burning before they get here. I also have to bite the bullet and color my hair, which is something I hate. I'd rather clean a horse's hoof with my tongue than brush out all these curls into an afro (that would fit right in with this theme!) and struggle with color that ends up all over my body, as much as on my hair. I always reach a point when I look in the mirror and, between the afro, subtle red skin coloring and chubby mid-section, I see I distinctly resemble an ancient fertility charm, or something to that effect.

I'm one away from completing this month's theme for BlissfulATCswap so I'll see you shortly!

Hopefully, sans gray hair, afro and red body tint. 


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Trauma, Tears, Tension and Titillation

<Deep breathing. In count of four, Out count of four>

Okay. First things first. Mermaid. The last of my three for the Mermaid theme for VPI. Alcohol ink background, G45 image and sentiment, brass findings, more ferro molding paste for sand and-thanks to Laura Carson at I clipped small pieces off my juniper bush, sealed them with acrylic spray and used stickles and micro beads to turn them into sea weed/plants. Some encrusted jewel frantage and we're done.

I hate being so brief, but I am just vibrating with suppressed anxiety as I write this. In the past hour and a half, I've cried four times, almost hyperventilated twice and found myself committing SERIOUS adultery in my head. 

No count on that last one...I'm just going to say I never stopped.

And yes...the reason for ALL of this is because I JUST saw the first episode of Outlander. Season 2. (whimper)

If you haven't watched or read Outlander, I am empty your life must be.

What's that? You don't believe me? Ok. Let me just make my point. This should sum up Outlander and why your life is much the emptier without it.

I was actually going to follow this up with a shirtless picture of Jaime Fraser, but the next thing I knew, I'd been looking at Sam Heughan in various stages of undress and realized that I was never going to get this post finished...or feed my kids....OR move forward with my life, unless I put a block on my OWN searches for this type of material.

I had to. The last time I went looking at Sam Heughan in various stages of deshabille, I ended up somehow losing two whole days. I started on Monday and the next thing I knew, it was Wednesday, and Sam's abs were burned into my retinas.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

For the sake of getting this post done, I'll stop looking for pictures to post here. Instead, I'm going to go watch the first episode of season 2 Outlander just one more time. You know, just to make sure I'm solid on the plot. Not for any other reason than to examine continuity and consider character integrity and....

oh, to heck with it. 

I'm going to mute it and just watch Jaime. In slo-mo.

See you in a month or so...

Friday, April 8, 2016

More Mermaids and a Birthday

Let me go ahead and get the self-serving part out of the way:

My birthday is April 16th. I will be 48. I would appreciate money or gift cards.  Don't worry about what gift card I would enjoy because any will do. If I don't like it, I'll sell it on 
That is all. 

I've never been one of those girls who cared about their age. In fact, I've always been quite happy to tell it, because I've worked hard not to SHOW it. 

The same thing with my weight. I swore I'd never be one of those girls who professed to be 130 pounds when the scale read 40 lbs higher. By the same token, I swore to never be the chubby girl who would sit and say "I don't hardly eat ANYTHING!" or "I'm starved! I haven't eaten all day! I usually only eat once a day anyway!"

That totally drives me crazy. There's no way a chubby girl stays chubby by not eating. If she's not eating all day, then she's consuming at least 3k calories in one meal to maintain her figure. Bottom line: metabolism plays a huge part in our ability to gain or lose weight. My metabolism is virtually non-existent. But I'm chubby because I eat a lot of grilled cheese, ice cream and snack cakes. A little more honesty, people. Just a little.

Anyway, back to whatever it was I was rambling about. Oh...age. That's it. 
The main reason I managed to keep a decent complexion over the years was due to sheer coincidence. And that would be my chronic underexposure to sunlight. I'd love to say that I knew the dangers of UV damage and went out of my way to protect myself, etc. But the fact is, I had no clue about UV rays or sun-related aging, or any of the other dangers that make up the lifeblood of the billion dollar cosmetics industry. Nor would I have cared. There was one reason, and only one reason that I stayed out of the sun and preserved my skin.

 I was too chubby to wear a bathing suit, so I spent most of my time indoors reading. 

And yes...that's is absolutely the truth.

Besides, I'm not white...I'm translucent. The sun and I never quite got along. In fact, while I was in my 20's, I went through this stage where I really hoped there were such things as vampires, because I wanted desperately to be one. Why not? Thanks to Anne Rice's Lestat, vampires were hot, immortal and could lay down some serious vengeance when they wanted to. 

What's not to like???

Sorry. I can't believe I just told you that. But since I already went there, I might as well admit that I used to physically LONG to go to Hogwarts, when I discovered Harry Potter at 30. And I mean I LONGED to go. 

Side note: I saw this on pinterest: "That awkward moment when you turn 11 and don't get a letter from Hogwarts." My kids actually admitted to hoping that would happen and being a little disappointed when it didn't. I didn't have the heart to tell them that, even if it did, if I couldn't get into Hogwarts at 30, they certainly wouldn't be allowed to go without me, so it was a moot point either way.

Before this goes completely off the rails, let's get back to my birthday. Because THAT'S what's important, here, people.

I realize I should be a little more modest and act like the day isn't that big a deal. But the truth is, the entire MONTH of April is a time for celebration. For me. Mostly because I have managed to survive this long. That's all birthdays really become after 40, you know. 

Survival celebrations.

So, as I sit here and revel in my survival (and hopefully money and/or gift cards...see above), I figure it's a good time to move on to the 2nd most important part of this post.

The second of my Mermaid themed ATC's.

Once again, I decided to indulge in the abuse of polymer clay. That's really the only word for it. Since I clearly have no idea what I'm doing, I can't call it "working with clay"'s actually taking some poor, innocent lump of clay and subjecting it to numerous trips through the pasta roller, while verbally abusing it, and its inability to read my mind, over several grueling days. This was the first time I tried what is called the "Skinner" method of creating a kind of gradient in clay color. Like this

I achieved a muted gradient that was completely irrelevant by the time I slopped everything else on it. But the base, the red coral and the coral opposite, along with the seaweed is made from clay. The fish and seahorse are brass elements, and the mermaid is pieced together from collage images. Desperately needing some sparkle in my life, especially since I was all but banned from using glitter by the Y chromosome inhabitants of this house, I MIGHT have gone a little cray-cray with the glitter.

Side note dos: Ban on glitter notwithstanding, I have a hidden stash that could light up the entire city of Burlington, NC, if not including Greensboro and McLeansville. They can ban all they want...but they'll have to pry the glitter out of my cold, dead, glue-tacky hands.

I glued a shell with a glass pearl at the bottom and filled in with Ferro Special Effects Paste in Amber Gold. It looks like sand and I promise that you'd have an easier time convincing a superdelegate to vote for Sanders than scraping that stuff off your project.

heh heh.

I used gold liquid gilt around the edges and sealed it with acrylic spray. 

Now, I believe I've spent enough time on you people. I have another 22 days of celebrating my survival and I need to get to it. 

The danged ice cream and cake isn't going to eat itself.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tim's Tags April


This was a FUN Tim's Tags. I've never done the mosaic thing, and it really was incredibly easy...not to mention it's an AWESOME effect! 

The best part, other than the excuse to buy Tim's Distress Paper Mosaic kit, complete with grout, glue and glaze, is that you really CAN'T screw it up. It's foolproof. Seriously. Because if anyone can screw something up, it's me. As my grandpa would say, "You could mess up a two car funeral."

Of course, this was the same man who, in complimenting a specific food dish, would say "This is so good, that if'n I put in on the top of my head, my tongue would beat my brains out trying to git at it."

We're a very descriptive people down here in the South.

But back to the tag. Using a bunch of green distress paint, I inked the base tag. Then, using Tim's resist paper, I brayered it lightly with antique linen distress paint, dried it, then used various stains over it. When you dry it, the paint is an additional resist. For the mosaic piece, I had the bird in a cage die, so I cut off the stem on the bottom, used the grout, then glued the little pieces of vellum from another one of Tim's paper collections then glazed the top. I used a light coat of wilted violet on the group. Very light.

Heated copper strips became the roof, a dowel piece-colored with walnut stain-serves at the post. I used garland and flowers and moss to accent and, lastly, a word band that I changed to copper with alcohol inks and colored the words in white with Tim's new crayons.

Considering my abject failure last month, suffice it to say that I'm as happy as a pig in...umm..his #2 stuff. And while I don't want you to think I'm putting on more airs than an Episcopalian, it's so nice to sit down and have something come together, instead of a project that makes me feel like I'm trying to put socks on a rooster. Even if it means buying more craft supplies, which I need about as much as a tomcat needs a trousseau. In the end, it's nice to see something completed and done well. 

I tell you, if I were any happier, I'd drop my harp plumb through that cloud.

That's it for me...time to put out the fire and call in the dogs.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Mello Yello Yee Haw

I totally understand that you may be confused. 

Mello Yello Yee-Haw??  "What the Front Door does that mean??"

Dang. It just doesn't work, does it?

I was SO excited the moment I first heard someone say "Shut the front door".

I THRILLED in the cleverness and that tiny little electric shock you felt for a second, until you realized they said "front door" and not "f.....

Errrr...never mind. You get my drift.

It used to be so easy to learn new lingo and work them into conversation. Youth gives you a certain tongue dexterity and inherent knowledge of how to work popular words and sayings. I remember laughing with my high school friends saying things like "That was so CLUTCH!" and delivering it in a way that A: you knew we were NOT talking about a car part and B: we were authentically young and cool.

One of the saddest parts in a human's life is the day we attempt to use a popular word or phrase in the vernacular, and all conversation STOPS. Then, you hear the sound that just turns you to ice.

Teenagers laughing at you.

I actually remembered when it happened to me. 

I was still in radio and doing a morning show in Minneapolis. I was 31 or 32 and one of the hot songs at the time was a song by Jay Z. called "H to tha' Izzo"

And yes. Spelled that way, exactly.

Being someone who has always been convinced there's a hip hop artist underneath her translucent skin, I was enamoured with the song and spent about a month learning it.

NOTE: That really should've told me something right there. When you start having trouble making out lyrics, and you can't memorize a song after hearing it only 3 times or so, you're ALREADY too old to be engaging in the tomfoolery that I was engaging in.

But ignorance is bliss, as they say.

After a month, I had the song down and had managed to look up any words I was confused about. For example, Jay Z says "if they was short of cheese I would work with them." Purveyor of rap lingo that I was (cough cough) I KNEW we weren't talking about real cheese. In this sense, it meant money. So, having this wonderful song deciphered and memorized (can you just imagine my rocking out to this song as I was driving? VOLVO???) I was ready to casually throw out some well-timed and casual slang words, that would prove I was still young and impress my co-workers and listeners.

My co-host was talking about a local news story and asked what I thought. "Oh puh-leeze." I said, looking down at a paper so they wouldn't see how excited I was to use some hip lingo. "I mean, I'm with you, John. Totally fo shizzle my nizzle!" 

In radio, there's a term called "dead air". It's as scary as it sounds. It's usually when we run to the bathroom and a song stops in the middle. Or a song runs out quicker than we expect it to and we're not ready for it...most of the time not even in the control room. So there is absolute silence on the channel. Nothing in the world could generate a butt chewing like dead air. But I assure you that there was complete silence for a few seconds. Looking up, I see my co-host staring at me with mouth open. 

"What??" I said. "What're you looking at me like that for??? I agreed with you!!"

My co-host, closed his eyes, faked a laugh, and said "You sure did! We'll be back after this break."

Off air, I said "Really, John. I'll be more than happy to give you a definition to the modern lingo and euphemisms if you need it." 

"No need," he said with a sigh. "I got it, alright. I was just taken aback because I don't think anyone has ever referred to me as the N-word."

Oh yes. THAT N-word.

You see, the line in question goes "Fo' shizzle my nizzle as we dribble down in V-A" The word 'for' is obvious, as is 'shizzle'. You can tell it's a derivative of 'sure'. So, we have the first part of the phrase and it's pretty clear. "Fo' shizzle" means "For sure". 

But, as seems to happen with MOST of my endeavors, the rest fell apart quickly. 

Where I was thinking "my nizzle" was a term of endearment-like 'friend'-that Jay Z just made up to rhyme with 'shizzle', just wasn't. Turns out the word 'nizzle' is a word that Jay Z can use all day long. 

But for a chubby, translucent girl in her early 30's? Not so much.


Well, I've wasted most of the evening for BOTH of us. So let me at least explain the danged ATC.

The second ATC swap group I'm a part of is Blissful ATC Swap (whose owner, Wendy, allowed me to join and yes...I'm pretty sure alcohol was involved) and our April theme is "Mellow Yellow'. Now, most of us know that Mello Yello is a drink and that it's also the name of a song by Scottish hottie Donovan.

Butt (pun'll see!) did you know that is was a phrase "mellow yellow" appears towards the end of James Joyce's novel Ulysses, where it is used to refer to Mrs. Marion Bloom's buttocks??

HAH! NOW you get it, right??? 

I used kraft paper and distressed and inked the edges. Then, I put a piece of inked kraft into my mosaic embossing folder, rubbed Versa Mark on top and embossed with clear embossing powder, which makes it look like leather. Another woodgrain embossed piece of paper, a leather lariat and a barbed wire fence (cut from a die from MFT My Favorite Things) completes it. LOVE that die!!

So, now you know. 

I'm going to sign off now and make a pledge to just say no to using slang. I'm neither convincing NOR authentic when I use it and I need to embrace my age in a mature manner and leave the hip hop, rap and its lingo to the kids.

Until I'm in the Volvo. Alone. With the windows rolled up. And me. 

WORD to ya MOTHA!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mermaids, Horses and Lie Bumps

First of all, I can assure you that every one of the elements in this title will make this blog post. Some how, some way.

Lets begin with the easy one: Mermaids

This ATC is one of the 3 I'm making for the swap at VintagePhotoImageATC's. This is one of the two ATC swap groups that I was DYING to join. Your work had to be judged by a group and, once selected, you had to fight others to the death in hand to hand combat. Where, thanks to my mad skills with a bow and arrow...



I totally get my life mixed up with movie plots, sometimes. Because you can see where there would be confusion between a hot, young bow and arrow ace who was fighting to deliver her world from oppression, and a 47 year old woman whose only skills are fitting a half a carton of ice cream in a regular sized bowl and who thinks the way to deliver her world from oppression is through open communication and vodka. 

In tandem, mind you.

Like it or not, you have to admit it's a close as anyone else has gotten.

Moving on...

The swap I'm signed up for at the present is Mermaids. 

I found this pin-up mermaid on a collage sheet from etsy and the background is a print out of a tile sample. I printed it a couple of times and popped it up here and there for depth. The coral piece is from Alpha Stamps, as well as another mermaid collage set, Mermaid Garden, designed by Laura Carson.

The sentiment is from a T.S. Eliot poem, hence the title of this ATC "Eliot's Muse".

I have two more to work on and I'd actually planned to do it tonight. In fact, I was PLANNING on it. Except I had two instances over the past three hours where I bit the back of my tongue. In the same place. Now, there's a horrid bump on the back of my tongue that hurts so badly I tracked each child down, along with the husband, and warned them (through clenched teeth) that if they did ANYTHING to make me yell at them and I bit my tongue doing it, they would WISH they were in a dark forest filled with half animal/dead humans monsters and psycho children wanting to cut their throats, a la Hunger Games. 

Maybe it was the delivery, or maybe they knew there was a bit of truth to that warning, but all four fled. As they pulled out of the driveway, the 17 year old (who THINKS he's immortal, apparently) leaned out and said "Isn't that what you used to tell us were 'Lie Bumps' when WE got them?"

Good thing they were in the Beemer and could outrun the force of my fury. 


Actually, that's what my grandmother used to call them. If you told a lie, you got a nasty, sore in your mouth. Now, of course I didn't believe her after I reached 7 or 8. Mostly because I figured out that if it were true, my entire face would've been a festering sore.

Since all I can do is swish salt water and sulk over not being able to eat anything worthwhile, I decided to upload this ATC and head out to the barn to spend time with another family member. My 11 year old beautiful quarter-horse Coco. Seriously...she's one of my children. And like my kids, she has totally got the 'ignoring me' thing down pat. Not to mention trying to bite me when I try to clean her up and refusing to acknowledge me unless I bribe her with treats.

I TOLD you she was just like my kids.

Well, it looks like my job here is done. I worked in the title, displayed my ATC and now I'm going to take my lie bump and attempt to soothe it with an obscene amount of ice cream. 

Or maybe vodka. 

I'm not picky.