Monday, August 31, 2009
Tell me honestly- do I have a disorder? I can NOT go into a home improvement store without checking out (and taking) the paint chips. Like a new color might have been invented since the last time I looked! Yesterday I went to Home Depot with Hayward. He was building a stand for a Rotary banner. I was helping him with some suggestions but he didn't seem so receptive after a while so I wandered off to my favorite area of the store. When I see the neatly arranged and illuminated racks of color choices, I can't wait to go through them. My bedroom needs painting desperately and I can't believe that it's the same horrible color as when we moved in 7 years ago. Although when confronted with so many choices, it's a daunting task to narrow it down to just one or two... Behr had some new colors die cut into leaf shapes with little plastic rings for you to collect the chips on. How cool is that? And the names! "Summer Breeze", "Chili Pepper", "Lemon Chiffon"- don't you want to just go paint something? I was listening to my designer friend Brenda Pinnick and her interview with Tiffany Windsor speaking on how different colors can actually help shape our moods. I was interested to hear that my favorite color, aqua, is actually the color associated with creativity. When my eyes scan the display, my eye automatically targets certain color ranges. My three year old granddaughter Trinity is into pink (or "mink" as she used to call it) and purple. No one taught her that- could it be that our color preferences, as well as taste in food, likes and dislikes are "born" in us? Again I am amazed at the beauty in this world and how much God has given us to enjoy.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Maybe it's just me but... are you noticing a lot interesting things on cards lately that you wouldn't expect to find? Pleats, ruffles, flocking, doilies, lace, texture and dimension are all the rage as I scan through the cards at Target, my source for all things trendy. Letterpress is extremely hot as evidenced by one trip through the Paper Source, a beautiful, high-end paper and gift store. At CHA (big trade show put on by the Craft & Hobby Association) this summer, the latest word on the street was prepare to see sewing and fabric arts crossing over into the craft arena. SEI, a paper company known for their bold graphic style, has partnered with Robert Kaufman fabrics. That makes sense to me. You go to the time and trouble to develop some really cool graphics for paper, why stop there? Midwest Modern, a style spearheaded by the amazing Amy Butler, is here to stay a while. "Green" crafting and up-cycling (formerly re-cycling) is now in and using environmentally safe supplies is preferred, even at a higher cost. Birds, especially owls, scalloped edges and lots of greens seem to be going strong. Stay tuned for another update as soon as I recover from all these "research" trips. Don't tell me YOU can get out of Target for under $50...
Monday, August 24, 2009
The aisles of Target and Wal-Mart are beckoning me this time of year. Yes, it is school supply shopping time. The time that every mother dreads.
Mean Mother (me): What do you mean they are OUT of 5 subject college ruled spiral notebooks with 2 folder pockets in black and red, pink pearl erasers and red marking pencils (package of 3)?
Kid: I HAVE to get them. Mom, I'll be the only one in my class that doesn't have all the stuff on the list!
MM: Stop whining. Let's try Office Depot... but if they don't have it we're going home! This happens every year blah blah blah...
Although my children are now doing their own shopping and I am not required to go, I still feel the pull like a salmon swimming upstream. I must see what new school items have been invented that I might need. Pencil boxes, post it notes, glue sticks, protractors... 24 pack of Crayola crayons for .27? Better get 5...
I have always wanted the set of permanent markers. This year I celebrated and purchased a pack of the 24 Bic Mark-it's while I was down in Florida. The Sharpie's looked good and there were more of them but the Bic's price was better and won out.
I had been thinking about recycling some of my old wallets to present gift cards in. Without further ado, I started doodling all over the flap of a retired wallet. I used some copic markers for the sky and grass because the Bic's were really bright. This is nothing like the professional work I usually do- not a big fan of "messy". I felt like a kid again and it sure was fun.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wish I could give you a big hug today. Kind of hard to do when you are in Iraq. This seems like a good time to tell you how proud I am of you. For being the son, husband and father that you are. For not complaining about missing half of your daughter's life so far. For always sounding upbeat even in 130 degrees. For your kindness and gentleness even though you are a big tough guy soldier. For doing your job, day in and day out without a break. I want you to know that we miss you. Every day I pray you will come back safely and there are many others doing the same. Thanks for being such a great son. I love you.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
My youngest daughter, Maryanne, is getting ready to go back for her junior year at Longwood University. She came downstairs while I was working, scrounging for containers, cool stuff and organizing ideas. This year she's living in an apartment with two other girls and gets her own room. I had a white rolling cart which she appropriated and also a white laminate unit with three shelves. The colors we were working with are ice blue, apple green, yellow and pink. First Mary cleaned them up, then we measured and I cut a matboard piece to fit the bottom so that desk supplies will not fall through the grid. Then I cut piece to fit on the ends so that papers won't go flying out, and then some cute little label tags. Mary punched holes in the matboard with the trusty Crop-a-Dile and used some pretty cable ties to hold everything together. I made some black foamboard dividers since black is her other color in the room.
We didn't do too much to the shelf unit except to clean it and add a blue matboard piece to the top for a little color and then put clear contact paper over it because she plans on using this as her night table.
Then it was on to a duvet cover. We have tons of blankets and I refused to buy another one. However when totalling up the amount spent and time involved on the cover, I could have been wrong there. But it was fun to plan and do it together. Oh wait a minute- she's at work... who's down here sewing??? I haven't done a fun project like this though in a long time and it makes me want to sew more.
I also made some curtains for the RV tonight. Am I on a roll or what? The curtains are placed on a rod up behind the driver/passenger seats and are drawn in case the lights are on in the back. When driving at night the light is very distracting to the driver so this way you can still hear what's going on, but see where you're going in the front. Hayward calls this the "night driving system" :-) like we're in a tank or something...
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I thought it might be fun to give my loyal viewers the first look at a finished ScoreBoard die project! I had a gift card for my niece Kate, who's about to go back for her second year at James Madison University and just had a birthday. I used the business card box die (which also fits a gift card perfectly) some sunny yellow matboard and ribbon. It only took a couple of minutes to do. I ran it through the Big Shot to score and cut, folded the box up and added a couple of brads. I inserted the gift card with a scrap piece of matboard that I stamped Happy Birthday on, tied a length of ribbon around the box lacing it through the flower (included on the die), tied a knot and was out the door. If I had cut this by hand (which I used to do!), it would have taken me forever... I love my niece and she's worth it... but now don't have to :-) Thanks to Stephanie Girard who writes for CraftGossip She reviewed the recycling project of a Dove soap box I had done around Easter time. Stephanie works creating from recycled sweaters- her blog is called Sweater Surgery- love that. Also check out the blog of Carla Schauer, a fellow CHA designer who does some beautiful work and stopped by to see the Sizzix booth while I was there. I will be posting more projects and will also be announcing a preview party in the barn... stay tuned sports fans...
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Does everyone use Google Alerts? They are the best! You just go to Google, enter the URL you'd like to track and every day you will get a message listing referring sites. So just a little while ago, I got an alert. One was from a friend from way back, Korie, who is an amazing designer. She used to manage our local stamp store where I taught calligraphy and mat cutting. I still remember some really neat projects she did- my favorite was an altered Nancy Drew book. Check out her blog for local metro DC events and general cool stuff! Thanks Korie :-) The other alert was from my friend Ann Butler. Ann is a mixed media artist, she works full time and has 5 kids! And if I needed something to get done, I would go to Ann. Her secret must be that she never sleeps. I know when I'm on line at 2 AM, she oftens sends messages. I saw her and adorable 16 year old daughter Callie (yes, I am using adorable and 16 year old in the same sentence!) at CHA. We shared a cab to the hotel and discovered her older daughter was getting married the Saturday after the show which ended on Thursday! I'm telling you, this woman could rule the world... Thanks, Ann, for your nice photo and blog about the Scoreboards!
It's crazy! I was gone for 2 weeks and it is talking me forever to get through everything that accumulated while I was away. Honestly, email does nothing to get my mojo going. I have a bunch of projects to do but can't seem to get in the zone. It could also be that I have given up my very good friend, diet Coke :-( as of Aug.1, the day Chris returned to Iraq. It seems to be a small thing in the grand scheme of life but it's surprising how attached you get to the stuff. I am nervous that the magnet that I always thought was funny, "Without caffeine, I have no personality at all." is true for me. The good thing is no headache which I thought I would get for sure. Guess it's time for another light Minute Maid lemonade with no bubbles or taste...
Monday, August 10, 2009
Here I am in the booth pointing to my logo on the Sizzix sign- such fun! Debbie did an amazing job demonstrating the Scoreboard dies and it was very rewarding to see people's reactions to them. I work alone in my basement studio. I make what I like. But to see my designs in a very cool booth at a major trade show and see other people liking them too is like a dream come true. Thanks, Sizzix, for giving me the chance to work with you all. What a great group of people- you can just feel the excitement and creativity in the air as you walk into the booth. These people love what they do and are very good at it. I can't wait to see what's ahead! So now, back to work! It's good to be home. After CHA, my husband and I were lucky enough to spend another week in Florida with our friends Lorine and Bill at their timeshare a few hours south of Orlando. The condo was beautiful and located right on the golf course, which Hayward and Bill took advantage of several times. We spent hours at the pool, beach and took a trip to Miami Beach, which was cool. But all good things must come to an end... I am ready to get back into life here at home.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
and wow- it was fun! I can finally tell you that my line of Sizzix dies has been released! I'll post photos when I can. The dies are designed to cut and score thick material such as- MATBOARD and chipboard. There are eight designs available and they are called ScoreBoards. They are officially released in December so won't be available for a little while yet. I'll keep you posted :-) The show itself was actually somewhat small compared to other years. However the companies that were there were serious and doing quite a good business. There was a record crowd for the consumer SuperShow which was held immediately following the trade show. The booths were exciting and CROWDED. I didn't even get to walk the whole show- the crowds were crazy. Anyway, more to come on this later... along with photos!