Thursday, December 17, 2009
First I found a cute cheesecake pinup figure that I liked and used her as a template. Then I played around with different ideas: a naughty sleigh-girl, skimpy ice-skater, slutty snow-bunny etc. I ended up designing a cute elf outfit with stockings, boots and a short dress and liked it best! Here is the clean pencil design after a few rough drafts:
I debated about coloring her with marker or colored pencil, but decided to stick with my medium of choice: watercolor. After I painted her, I went over her with black ink to really make her stand out. I supported the back of the doll with some really cute red & green patchwork christmas cardstock paper from DCWV to give her some structure. Then I "laminated" her with some packing tape so that the watercolor wouldn't smudge or fade with moisture. I have to say that I LOVE the way this doll turned out. She is one of my better dolls as of late. I think using the watercolor and then inking in the outline gives it a crisp, air-brushed look. Here is the doll with her cute outfit (PLEASE click the picture to get a bigger view):
Last, but not least, I packaged her up. I REALLY didn't want to make a trip to the post office so I figured out a cute way to fit her into an envelope. I was going to use some dark green cardstock to stiffen the envelope so it wouldn't bend and made it a tri-fold. I slipped the doll inside and it looked so darn cute that I sewed her (with her outfit on top) into place. I found a silver gel pen and wrote a quick note to my swap partner inside. I folded the whole thing up and put a holiday sticker on the front to seal it closed then put it into an envelope! Here's a pic of the inside:
Before I end this post, I have to show you what was sent to me in return. I'm not really bagging on the sender, but this is an example of why I'm not doing many public swaps on swap bot anymore. It looked like someone printed out a template, glued it to some cardstock, did a bad job cutting it out, glued some embellishments on top, inked over some of the features and mailed it out to me. I understand not having a good quality printer, not having tracing paper or a light box, but there are SEVERAL ways to create art using practically nothing. I can't fault the doll, it's not her fault she was poorly made and she really does have a personality, but the artist should have taken more than 5 minutes to put her together. The saddest thing is that on the artist's flikr page, she has made some really cute stuff. I was really disappointed, but am not going to linger on it. The main reason I joined this swap was to create something pretty for someone else to enjoy. Oh, here is a picture of the doll I was given (click the image for a closer look):
I can't wait for my partner (also the swap host) to get her paper doll! I hope she enjoys it and doesn't think the partial nudity is offensive. I doubt she will, but you never know....
Anyways....I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas. I will try to find time to keep my blog updated more often. I've been taking pictures off all my recent crafting so I'll be sure to post everything soon!!!!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
This is a photo from the door way looking left. That's Buster, my parent's "Rag Doll" breed cat. Under the quilt piece on the hutch (to the right) are binders full of magazine articles that my mother has pulled for templates, ideas and inspiration. Sharing Buster's napping place is mom's state of the art (circa 1999ish) sewing machine, a computer with internet access and lots of tools. Under the desk are racks of beads, bins of fabric and many more fun supplies. Outside the window is my mother's garden where she grows fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers (a whole other blog for another day, seriously, it puts better homes and gardens to shame). On the back fence (outside in the garden) my mom set up a trellis and hung various suns and moons she has collected. Everything from stained glass and terra-cotta, to ceramics and wooden pieces. I'm seriously bummed I didn't take a picture to show you.
this is the corner to the right of the window (see other picture above). The Egyptian quilt is one of my mother's original designs. Her whale quilt is my very favorite, but it's currently on display elsewhere. Notice the spice rack (there are a few throughout her studio). She buys old spice racks from yard sales, dumps the spices (spices are only good for 6 months before they NEED to be tossed. Seriously people dump your old spices) and she fills them with craft supplies, in this case: beads.
Who says hutches are only for the dining room to display wedding china? This is one of my mom's dumpster diving treasures. Isn't it awesome? Further more, who says canning jars are only for preserves? My mom fills them with buttons, beads, stones, funky tidbits, dried herbs and more!
These are only a FEW of my mom's helpers: Golden Retriever brothers: Jack and Bear, Molly the cow dog and Buster the cat. Not pictured are: Patience the desert tortoise (ok, she's so freakin cute she's pictured below taking a "swim" to cool off) , Shadow the other "rag doll" kitty, the fresh water fish aquarium (against the wall in my mom's studio), a lizard thing in my brother's room and the coy pond in the front yard!
I hope you enjoyed taking a peek. There is SO MUCH MORE that I didn't picture, but I thought I would give you a small taste. My "studio" (aka: area of my room takin over by projects) isn't nearly as impressive, but I like to think that I see alot of her in my room.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I know it’s a different twist on the story. It’s a few years after Alice’s visit and she ends up following the rabbit down the hole again, except she doesn’t remember. I think Burton is also combining both Alice books (Alice’s adventures in wonderland and what she found there and Alice through the looking glass) so that various characters will show up. Traditionally the first book has a “playing card” theme, whereas the second dealt with chess. Since characters like Tweedle dee & Tweedle dum, the mad hatter, the white queen, the queen of hearts, the talking flowers etc are all showing up, it should make for a great Burton twist!
Here’s the official website with more concept art, pictures and other fun stuff!
Here's the trailer to get you all excited!!!!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I was stoked when they finally announced The Princess and the Frog, but am saddened it has a New Orleans’s twist to it. I wanted something even more traditional like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to finally see hand drawn art again (the first feature length since Home on the Range), but am so pissed at all the drama surrounding this movie. It has been so delayed in coming by the black community who wanted everything to be so damn politically correct. I really don’t want to get into it here, but the main thing was that Disney had to bend over backwards to quell the disputes over the movie. Originally the character’s name was Maddy (short for the French Madeline), but I guess it sounded too much like “mammy”. She was supposed to be a handmaid in the house (like Snow White or Cinderella), but that was considered racist. There was tons of other out cries like the prince not being black (I guess he’s Latin) and why isn’t a black princess good enough to have a black prince…..blah, blah, blah.
Needless to say, it really turned me off to the movie. I just wanted to see something new and beautiful with hand drawn art and a loving fairytale that pulls on your hear with out the fear of ogres ruining the moment with belches. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to see it, but I’m a little let down by the PC patrol.
All in all, I'm excited for movie; new songs, a new pretty princess and old fashioned art work. I'm sort of hopping we'll finally get to see a princess roaming around New Orleans's square in Disneyland. Fat chance I'm sure, as they shove all the princesses behind a partition in the back of Fantasy Land where you have to wait an hour to see them. Gone are the days when characters roamed the park where you would randomly encounter them. I wonder if they'll revamp "Splash mountain". Right now the theme is about Brier Rabbit from the Movie Songs of the South. Doesn't sound familiar? That's because Disney avoided VHS release in the USA because (once again) the black community thought it too racist. ANYWAYS..... I know Splash Mountain is a classic, but no one knows the story (unless you've seen the movie or read the book) and I just wonder if they'll change out some of the characters for the upcoming movie. Yeah, I'm doubtful too....but you just know they'll have something there to promote the new movie in New Orleans's square.....and they should! The only recent changes have been the seasonal "Nightmare before Christmas" at the Haunted Mansion during the holidays.
Also coming out (scheduled for the holidays in 2010) is Rapunzel!!!!!! Although it’s not hand drawn like the Princess and the frog, the art director is working hard to bring the warmth and romance into the art work. They are also taking a traditional approach (see the castle & forest pics) to the tale keeping with the original story line. I heard they wanted to modernize it, but am excited they’re focusing on tradition. I’m stoked and cannot wait!!!!
I'm a little surprised that she looks just like Enchanted's Giselle (which started out as a traditional fairy tale, but turned modern). I know Rapunzel has blonde hair and perhaps a more deversified wardrobe (I'm hoping for soft blues and sage greens like The Princess and the Frog), but If you look at the concept art of Rapunzel on the left vs. Giselle on the right both with chipmunks, you can see where I'm coming from, but hey I'll take what I can get. Hooray for Princesses!!!!!!
If you want some more concept art, cruise to Walt Disney’s Animated Studios website. They don’t have a whole lot, but they do give you a taste of their latest works in progress when you click through the tabs. You can also google image search the movie titles too. Just make sure you include "Disney" somewhere in there or you might get a "Barbie" rendition.
Monday, August 17, 2009
One of the things that really stuck out was Claire's completed "wreck this journal". I've heard of it before, but never really got the concept. After contacting her about a private swap, we struck up a little friendship. We decided to make our own altered journals using the "wreck this journal" as inspiration. Since the journals would take a while to create, craft, magically happen etc. we decided to swap sweets & munchies in the mean time!!! Claire apparently LOVES unique filled Oreo cookies, so I found a bunch to ship to her. Since Oreos have so many varieties ( I found at least 5, not including the oreo straws and handi-snacks) I picked out the 3 best ones to send to her. I would have sent more, but international shipping is OUTRAGEOUS (even using a flat rate box). She also mentioned that she would like some Lucky Charms as they are a wee bit pricey over in Northern Ireland. So I crammed the large flat rate box FULL to the brim with fun local treats!
In return I received this fantastic box full of yummy goodness!!!! It had: Jameson Irish Whisky fudge, Jameson Milk chocolate truffles, Bushmills whiskey dark chocolate truffle bar (OMG), Guiness dark chocolate Caramel bar, Guinness Fudge bar, O'Neills all butter shortbread cookies (is your mouth watering yet?), a bag of "proper" tea (Tetley), Irish flag colored candy stick, and 2 BEAUTIFUL postcards! I had no idea that booze companies made candies too?! What's a girl to do? Brew some tea!!
I know you all think I dove for the chocolate first, but the words "all butter shortbread" almost gave me a heart attack. I tore open the box immediately. Luckily the cookies were wrapped in 2's so it helped me to ration what I have (sorry mom, I'm not sharing). Since the cookies were so rich, I needed something to wash them down with and my eyes flew to the bag of tea. I opened the bag and was greeted with the most wonderful aroma. It just wafted out and made my mouth water even more. I don't know what kind of crap we have here in America, but it ain't tea! Granted I grew up on mint sweet tea (a southern thing), but this tea was different......it was just richer.
Per Claire's instructions, I made some tea with one sugar and milk. I wasn't sure what "one sugar" meant as I don't have cubes or packets, so I just used one spoon full. People, I cannot tell you how amazing this tea was. It was smooth, strong and yet subtle at the same time....a perfect compliment to my cookie (the last of which was just gobbled up as I type this).
All I have to say is: Thank you, thank you Claire! I love everything. I'm excited that I have tons of chocolate that will (hopefully) last a while, but I can assure you the tea and the rest of the cookies will be gone by the end of the week!
As for the journal, it's coming along great! I'm finding inspiration everywhere. I haven't devoted 100% to it as I have my Mermaid's Trousseau project being wrapped up, but when it's finished I'll post a bunch of pictures of it! It's going to be fabulous people!!!!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
I’m sorry for being such a Debbie downer on a Friday; I know everyone is getting excited about the weekend, but I can’t help the way I feel. I suppose I could “fake it until I make it” and in some ways I am, but mostly I just feel hollow.
It all started 9 months ago when I met an amazing guy. He was a local bartender who was trying to get a permanent teaching position (if you read my older posts, he’s referred to as “Teach”). Anyways we started dating and from the start he said that he didn’t want anything serious as he might possibly move away depending on where he got a job. Fast forward 8 months, and that’s just what happened. He got a job in Northern California as a sophomore world history teacher. We had both discussed that neither of us wanted a long distance relationship (they are utterly impractical in every way) and so as the weeks kept counting down we both avoided the final goodbye.
Last night was the final goodbye. I told him how sick I was of people saying mean things about him. Surprisingly my friends aren’t as understanding about this amazing opportunity for Teach as I am. I guess I’ve always been a more realistic and rational person (and more like a guy in terms of my emotions) because all my female friends just talk trash: “I can’t believe he would just dump you like this” and “what do you mean he doesn’t want you to move up with him because you guys aren’t engaged?” the list goes on and on. Yeah, it’s shitty that I got left in the dust, but you know what? I’m proud of a guy who had a plan and stuck by it.
Teach told me how sick he was of everyone giving him shit for moving so far away or over congratulating him and telling him how awesome it will be. Of course he’s not looking forward to moving away from all his friends and family to a place he’s never lived before and not knowing anyone. Plus, as he is a recent addition to the staff and he doesn’t even get his own classroom; he has to share. He’s not moving because he loved the job, he’s moving because it was the only position he could get in this crappy economy. He doesn’t want to bar tend another year and hold off, he would rather move to BFE to get a year’s worth of experience and start a new job search next year to get his dream job. If I had the guts to do it, I would, wouldn’t you?
I call that hard work and ambition: doing what is necessary to reach your goals even if it’s not what you want now, it’ll help you reach your dream. I guess no one else sees it that way, or maybe I’m just uber supportive. I didn’t spend the last month moping around and being whiny, I was by his side picking out sheets and throw pillows. I helped him figure out what he needed to bring by sorting through all the crap in his room. I was there with a beer in my hand for him when he was stressed about having to move his life 500 miles away. If I felt emotional, I would save it for when he wasn’t around. I found it odd that while being sad that sometimes when I wanted to have a good cry, I couldn’t, but when I didn’t want to cry, I would. In the end I saved my tears for him in person the very last day at the very last hour with him.
Last night I met him for happy hour at our favorite place after work. Then, I went home to shower and drove over to his place. I spent a few hours cleaning out the rest of his room and organizing the crap he was leaving at his folk’s house. Then (because his mom was being a mom) we went back to my house. We cuddled for a while and then the tears started. They were slow tears at first and then trickled into a steady flow until I was bawling. He was sweet and held me and no he wasn’t made of stone because when I pulled away he had red rimmed eyes and tears too.
We talked about the things we would miss most and how it would be hard, but that we were doing the right thing and how on the 31st (today) we would both be single people again. I know that if we had fallen madly in love with each other things would be different and I would probably be on the open road just passing Fresno on our way up north. But I didn’t fall in love and neither did he as we kept our hearts well guarded in order to make this transition easier.
For the most part it did. I remember being more broken up about a guy, but this just feels different. Maybe because I’m more mature now and because it was a sad and mutual break up. Sure it will make seeing him when he comes down to visit around the holidays hard knowing I can’t walk up and pepper him with kisses, knowing that the only reason we broke up with distance and nothing else, but that’s life folks.
So now I sit here at work in my bright red shirt greeting people and phone calls with a smile. I get progress texts from him letting me know where he’s passing through on the road and even though it’s bitter sweet it’s nice to know he’s still thinking of me. I will be thinking of him too.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wouldn't it be fantastic if I could add this on the sidebar of my blog? I have yet to find a way to do this as Blogger only allows you to use their gadgets. You can add your own but it doesn't allow you to enter in code for the gadget; it only allows you to paste in a URL. How the hell can you get something to work just based on a URL?! It needs code to function!!!
Can you tell that I'm frustrated with this?! If you know how to make this work on Blogger, please let me know how!
*Update: Thanks to Debbie, I was able to add this on!
I made an honest effort, found some super cute stuff online, but I got frustrated with various programs. It takes so much time to do what you want (to cut shapes and manipulate objects etc) whereas when I have actual paper it’s fast and easy to cut what I want quickly. Obviously, cropping, matting and creating actual layouts overall take less time and sure the typing instead of handwriting looks neater, but it just seems to lack the heart.
I like paper scrap books; I always have! Even when I was 14 and elected the historian in our Explorer Post (now currently called “venturing”) I got really into it. Normally people would slap pictures into clear plastic sheets and be done with it, but my mom and I would go down to the stationary store and find cute paper and stickers for the “album”. Back then scrapbooking wasn’t really the “in” thing to do and so I was excited to find themed coordinating paper.
Now scrapbooking ultra hip and trendy and you can find supplies everywhere. Not that I’m complaining, but I think a log of people out there focus more on the layouts then the actual “scraps” that go into scrapbooking. Sure your page is huge and glittery and has 50 different design elements, but where’s your picture? Oh wait…there it is. It’s a wallet size! I know you know what I’m talking about. I wouldn’t classify myself as a scrapping snob, but I’ve been doing this for 12+ years and consider myself a true artist in this form.
Plus my embellishments aren’t all store bought and faux. A lot of what I put into my albums are ACTUAL memorabilia! The program and ticket stub from “the Vagina monologues”, the feather and pretty leaf I found on our last camping trip, The pressed flower from the first bouquet of flowers my boyfriend bought along with the ribbon that was tied around the vase. In a recent baby book I made, I found found a picture of the baby in her mom's favorite one-sie and put it into the scrapbook along with a fabric swatch from the actual one-se shown in the picture. You can't do that with digital scrapbooks.
A few years back I was helping my mom sort through my great aunt’s stuff. We found her old diary that had old newspaper clippings, cards and other wonderful things! It was like living history to see the old soap ad on the other side of some magazine article, marvel at the date on the newspaper and so on. If you have digital, your future possessors of your album, won’t feel the heart and soul of the album. They can’t feel the paper or pick up actual items you’ve pasted in.
I guess it’s the same principles of working with your hands like carpenters. Maybe I’m old fashioned. Even at a younger age (before I knew what scrapbooking was) I had an old spiral bound cardboard book I used to keep cartoon clippings of fairy tales from the newspaper in along with other stuff I thought was cool at the time, some original artwork, birthday cards (from now deceased realitives) and other odds and ends. Once again, you can’t do that with digital! Sure you can scan all that stuff in, but it’s not the same. It’s not an original, just a boring digital copy. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for digital scrapbooking, but it just seems so impersonal.
For now, I’m going to stick with my mounds of paper, spools of ribbon, faux flowers, brads, tags and everything else that makes a scrapbook homemade! Sure it's messier, costs more overall, and takes more time, but that's half the fun!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
It became a quick dumping zone for scraps and other papers I wanted off my desk while I was working and I rarely went back to properly place papers into their correct folders. After a few months, I took out all the paper stacks (themed paper bound together) and piled them on top of tubs because I used these coordinated papers more than the individual ones. Soon the file bin became a home for lost and loose papers (that didn’t belong to a stack or theme) and it became jammed packed. I rarely got into it and since I couldn’t reach papers I had previously put in there, I just forgot about them.
Seeing that this wasn’t working out and was becoming an eyesore, I decided that I will clean out this monstrosity and devise another plan. At first I thought of using a type of upright rack that you use to sort mail. I figured that if I laid my paper flat I wouldn’t be able to thumb through to find what I wanted and it would get messy. So I got a rack, but the coil rack proved too small to use for this purpose. I went back to the craft store and found what I wanted, but the price was outrageous!!! $20 for one metal rack was absurd! It’s like paying $7 for a tiny bottle of flowers just because it’s labeled for “scrap booking”, when you can get a bunch for a buck from a Hawaiian lei! Since I was determined to find something, I went to Staples Office Supplies on a whim. Wouldn’t you know it? They had what I wanted, but bigger and better, but best of all on sale for $3!!!! I bought two. You can get a better visual here.
When I got them home they proved so sturdy that I used them sort the massive amounts of paperstacks I had from DCWV and K&Company (among others)! I used these the most anyways and the racks were so handy that I could pull out what I needed and easily put back whatever was left when I was done. I’m not sure these racks would have the same effect on the loose papers as the other and so I’m at a loss what to do with them.
The good news is that as I sort through these papers however I find stuff that I bought 5 years ago and never used. Some of these are wonderful papers that can be used on multiple projects and some I know I’ll never use and can be passed on to a new home in a swap or to a friend. I think that once I condense the amount of paper, I’ll be able to fit it all back into the metal folder system with ease. Since I hardly ever use it anyways, it won’t become congested if I move it away from my desk to find a new home in my room.
Another thing I have done recently was to sort my projects and store them in one place. I used to work on a project (for example: my Camping album) and when I was finished I would put all the papers, embellishments, flowers, ribbons etc. back to their rightful places, but when I wanted to work on it again the next day I had to start all over and pull everything again. After a while I would just heap everything in a stack and put it on my floor. Imagine having various piles of craft supplies on your floor! Needless to say, this wasn’t working. So, on a trip to the Dollar Tree with my mom we found these 12x12 wide, clear plastic envelopes that expanded to an 1 deep! They were perfect for storing my work-in-progress projects. The best thing was they tie closed and are clear so I can see at a glance what’s in them!!!! I ended up buying 10 of them and they are now neatly stacked (filled with projects) in my metal racks. The best part is seeing something similar at my local scrap book store for like $4 each!
The next task was to get rid of my blue tubs on the left against the wall. I thought at first that these would be great to store stuff I don’t use very often, but soon they turned into another place to dump stuff I wanted out of the way. I started cleaning them out and found that half the stuff in there was stuff I didn’t want and I found other homes for them. Since I needed a place to set my racks on, but that would still be accessible I figured that a small bookshelf (like the one my TV is sitting on) would be the way to go. I started shopping around nearly fainted at how expensive these things were. The cheapest one I found was $50 and it was ugly and black. I’m more of a wood kind of gal when it comes to home décor. So I went home and tired to picture the perfect wood shelf thing. A few days later I was able to get one from work! Read the full story here
With the blue tubs gone and the new shelf in place, my room is starting to look less cluttered. I know that this will take time, but so far the small improvements have had big results to the overall feel and practicality of the space. As I go I continually sort items into their own bins: faux flowers, tags, brads, embellishments etc. It’s taking some time, but everything is starting to come together.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Some might say that it is just a form of prayer and that it’s really God who provides (I believe this also) however, prayers are when you ask for something, and the law of attraction is where you believe you already have it (in order to get it). It’s a more proactive approach (if you will) to prayer. With the law of attraction if you ask for something, you’ll always be asking and wanting it, but if you believe you have it, you will have it. Therefore I’ve altered my prayers in more of a matter of fact tone thanking God for all the things he WILL provide for me, instead of asking. I may sound arrogant, but try if for a few days if you don’t believe me. Start with something small and see what happens. As with prayers, it may not happen right away, but eventually you’ll find things coming to you from the oddest places (read my side story below). Some may say that it’s purely coincidence, but it’s worked for me too many times to count. Like I said, try it for yourself, what have you got to lose?
Anyways, I hadn’t really thought about that in a while, and the other day I was thinking of how badly I needed a small bookcase/shelf for my room to replace these plastic tubs. I was visualizing the color of the wood and where it would go and what it would look like. I didn’t focus on trying to get one, just on what it would look like and such. I didn’t realize how hard I was focusing on having it, but I just knew that it was something I thought about during the day and right before bed.
Guess what? 2 days later I was sitting at work when the facility guys were wheeling out the exact book case I had envisioned. One guy said to the other that they needed to get rid of it and asked if he knew of anyone who wanted it. I spoke up and said I would take it off there hands. Imagine that! So now I have this really nice and sturdy bookcase just like I wanted in my room. It makes my room look so neat and tidy that it’s inspired me to organize and purge more stuff!
Last December, my mom was using the law of attraction to get money. Her mantra was “Money comes easily and frequently” and she was focusing on how awesome it was to have money and the feeling associated with it. About a week went by and nothing happened. Since it was around the holidays she wanted to cook up some family dishes and borrowed my Grandma’s old recipe box from my Grandpa (my Grandma died a few years back). My mom took the box home and began sorting through it. When she reached the “seafood” tab, she noticed something stuffed down in the bottom and pulled out an envelope. When she opened it, there was $400 in cash!!!!!!! When my mom called my Grandpa, he said that must have been a secret stash from decades ago, and that my mom could keep it! With the extra money, my mom was able to get the gifts she wanted for our family! Pretty cool huh?!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
My boyfriend got a job way up north and will be leaving in 12 days. Aside from helping him pack and get stuff for his new place, it's been heart wrenching. Thus, I have been spending much of my free time with him and not crafting.
I have several projects I was using to distract me, but then I got a job call for a temp to perm position. Add that onto my BF leaving and birthdays and I've had virtually no free time whatsoever. I'm so glad that I got this job (it looks like it will go perm), but I feel like I've been behind in my projects.
Right now I have these going on (please note I've listed the project along with the supplies I'm using) :
Natalie's baby album - various paper lines: K&Company "wild Saffron", and other primary colored paper themes. Further details can be found here.
Chrissa's 1st year scrapbook - which has more memorabilia than pictures (baptism cap, first finger painting, ultra sounds, announcements etc.)
Camping Album - Colorbok "Friendly Forest" - DCWV "Green" - K&Company "Wild Saffron"
Renaissance Faire Album - DCWV "Once upon a time and other fairy tale mediums
Disneyland Ablum - Jolee Any land/princess/character embellishments
Altered book with the theme "predictions" - Anything dealing with fortune telling like: gypsies, crystal balls, elements: sun/moon/earth/fire/air/water, tarot cards, zodiac, palm reading etc. - I like sepia and bold jewel tones (think Gypsy colors!)
The Mermaid's Trousseau - SO EXCITED about this swap. My friend is hosting this exclusive swap and I was lucky enough to be invited! The details are found here. This swap has become my top priority and I have some lovely projects in the works. I'd post details here, but I'm afraid my partner for this swap might see what I have in store for her! Don't worry, I'll post pictures later.
I know this entry is short and without pictures, but please realize that I have A LOT going on. I promise that I will be up and writing soon. August is just around the corner and by then I feel that I'll have a firm grip on my new schedule. Until then.... please be patient with me and enjoy your summer!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Another project I worked on was a creative Matte frame for my best friend's little girl's first birthday. Her baby room is done in a jungle theme so I thought (since I'm poorer than a church mouse) that I would make her something for her room that would last through the years. I first bought two mattes. The bottom one I lined with DCWV glitter stack paper and the top one I chalked with various yellows and greens for the back ground of the "jungle". On watercolor paper I painted bright animals and added glitter. I used really cute tropical letter stickers to add in her first name and birthday. This picture doesn't do it justice!!! I figured that mom could put in a family picture from the party, or a picture of baby Paige eating a messy cupcake! The frame was a HUGE hit at the party. Little Paige liked it and I love this picture of her pointing to a lion. I know that this frame will be on the wall for a long time as it has her baby theme and hopefully a cute 1st birthday picture! Oh, and for those of you wondering, yes Paige is really 1 year old, but is the size of an average 2 year old. She got her dad's genes and he's built like a linebacker!
I think my favorite new project has been Matchbox fills! I really had no idea what they were until swap-bot had a bunch of listings for them. Basically, you take an empty matchbox, decorate it, and fill it with tiny items. You can make different size matchboxes depending on what you want to fill it with. I found that making the matchboxes from scratch using the template on swap-bot found here: http://blog.swap-bot.com/rachels-matchbox-template/was way easier than trying to cover up an old one. The one shown here, was for a summer themed 32 count matchbox fill swap (BTW 32 count means that the matchbox holds 32 matches). I think anything "sun" colored reminds me of summer so I stuffed this matchbox full of yellow, pink, orange and white items. Some Disney, spongebob and hula hello-kitty stickers were added to represent various destination vacations (beach, Disneyland etc.). I have seen a few pictures where people had only filled their matchboxes with a few items, but I stuffed mine as full as I could get it! I hope my swap partner likes it! Since I had a lot of fun with this project, I whipped out a few more in different colors and themes! when things slow down, I'll host a matchbox fill swap myself! I love brads and tiny embellishments to use in my projects so the more the merrier! I also find myself saving small odd items for future fills.
Those are just a few things I've been working on lately (outside of regular scrapbook projects). I've had a lot of fun experimenting around with different projects. I've been getting so much inspiration lately that I've been full of ideas!!!!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Being the crafty person I am I offered to re-do her book and I went over to her house and sat down with her, her mom and sister and took apart her album. Each picture was numbered and had a brief description written down. This way I could re-piece the album in the same order. Since her folks thought she was going to be a boy, her baby colors where mainly primary and had a train theme. Since Nat was a tom-boy in her youth, I've honored the album with the same themes: Primary colors and trains. Granted there is a splash of pink and secondary colors (green, purple and orange) through out, but I think she'll be happy with the look. To keep the baby album personal, I've kept the detailed picture list and left spaces for her mom to go back and "journal" who was in the pictures and the events. This way the baby book will be written in her mother's hand and have a more personalized touch.
This task was given to me about a year ago and I'm nearing the end of my journey (well mostly). I feel like I've gotten to know baby Natalie very well through her little smiles and gestures only a beautiful baby could display. Although her album is mostly complete, I'm having a hard time wrapping up the rest of the book. There are several pictures still waiting to be placed. These are pictures I wanted to do a special layout with, but can't seem to commit to paper. I'm sure Natalie would say that she doesn't really care and that she REALLY wants her baby book back (and I would to after a year), but I'm starting to feel the pressure. In some ways, I feel like I slacked off on this project, but then again I've put a lot of time into it. I told her I would have it for her Spiffy Graduation party, but now I'm not sure I can deliver on the deadline. Every day I go over it adding little embellishments here and there and I've even re-done a few layouts I'm unhappy with. I'm normally not this much of a perfectionist, but this gal is someone I consider a best friend and "okay" is not good enough. I'm not hoping to inspire tears, but in the years to come when she shares this book with others, I want it to shine!
I'm frustrated because each time I open her album, I see a design flaw or realize that one layout isn't as detailed as another. I'm hoping I can kick it into gear, but I don't think I'll have it finished by next weekend. I know that I have all the time in the world, but being creative is like writing and sometimes I get "writer's block" in the creative sense. Some days are better than others. UGH! Well, for now, I keep adding to it and hope she'll end up loving it anyways! I'll keep you guys posted....
Monday, May 11, 2009
The view after folding out the center; with the 2 side panels closed and the center opened
The view with the 2 side panels open
Saturday, April 11, 2009
For my partner's doll, I used "Basic Grey: Scarlet's letter" paper for her skin and the fins/tail/hair from "DCWV: All dressed up" paper line. I kick myself for not taking a picture before I mailed her out as she turned out so beautiful. Her tail was the black/white/silver/pink large polka-dots and her fins and clam-shells were the same colors, but in stripe form. I found some cute pink and black mini polka-dot ribbon given to me by my "Ro-Bot" friend and used it in her "hair" which I made out of black and pink polka-dot paper. The brad in her tail had a silver rhine-stone and the mermaid was so cute! I hope my swap partner likes her!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Why can't these simple minded folk see that they're perpetuating the cycle? Maybe that words are too big for them to understand. I find it interesting that such childish behavior comes from those trying to retaliate or get that one last jibe in. For instance a situation where you were stuck with someone and got all your anger and terse words out while in the situation and once it was over had moved on. Then perhaps 2-3 months after all is over and done with, you get a harsh letter. At first you're wondering what it's all about and then realize they were still upset and couldn't let it go after you had moved on. Sorry too little too late. You are so over with everything, but sadly realized that they weren't. They have NOTHING going on and have to track you down and jump through hoops to deliver some message as if to say "see I got the final word"? I suppose it means more to them, than it does to you. After all, if you had cut ties and communication lines to wipe your hands of a mess, you would think it would be enough to deter these childish antics.
I guess it just goads me how people who had their every movement stalked online (every blog, profile, website visited) and hated every second of it, do the same thing to someone else. I think they like the drama and attention. If they don't have something or someone to worry about they are bored and unhappy. I couldn't give two shits about who they monitor. It just shows they're vain hoping to find something on themselves to document and discuss.
I guess the moral to this odd little blog is, no matter who gets the "last word" in, you can tell who really won or who is the bigger person by their actions. If someone has already moved on from a situation why dredge it up again WAY after the fact? It shows cowerdise and childishness. Move on people..... because even if you say you have, obviously you haven't.
And this will be the last I will speak on the subject.....
Monday, March 30, 2009
10. People asking how I'm making ends meet: I hate to say it, but yes; I'm on unemployment. It's not the proudest moment of my life. In fact it's degrading to tell people that this is how I'm getting by, but you know what? This program was created for people like me, people who really want to work and stop mooching from the system. No I don't have a kid to feed and I'm not treating this as a vacation and I pay my taxes so I have EVERY right to this money. Probably more so than someone who likes the free ride. Do I enjoy the time off? Sure, to an extent, but when every day is the weekend, what do you have to look forward too? I'm going stir crazy here and chances are you can relate. Maybe you got reduced hours at your work, are temping or even unemployed. If not and you have a steady job, I'll stand by you and celebrate a promotion you got at work. I'm not going to pout about my situation because you may have a better one or gloat that I'm bettter off than you I'm not like that. I'm just trying to get by the best way I can.
9. Temp Agencies and Staffing firms: If you've never been to one then you have no idea how degrading it is. You show up and are asked to take competency tests in basic math and computer skills. They then evaluate your typing and software skills. After that you get interviewed and fork over your resume and are told "we'll call you". First of all, due to everyone and their brother being laid off, the temp agencies are flooded with people. This means instead of having 50 people to choose from to send out on interviews or job assignments, they now have 200+. Secondly, when you actually get an interview, you don't hear back from them if you don't get the job. Seriously, they don't call you. EVER. In fact, if you try to get a hold of your agent, you're blown off and avoided. It is in most of employment/temp policies to keep you motivated and positive and they feel being honest with you will de-motivate you. Instead of giving you the news, they wait until they can line up a temp assignment (even if it's only for a few hours) so that they can justify "sorry you didn't get the job, here's some work to tide you over". I'm not a 5 year old people, don't treat me like one.
8. People telling me to sign up with as many staffing firms as possible: Do you really think I haven 't thought of this? A close friend of mine signed up for 5 agencies and did it double her chances of interviews or send her on more jobs? No. She may have gotten 1 or 2 more interviews a month, but a lot of them were interviews for the same job. 2 different agencies telling her they had an interview lined up for her only to find out it was for the same job. Then she has to tell one agency that she's interviewing through the other one. There are so many people looking that jobs (even temp jobs) are few and far between. I know, because I call my agent a few times a week and now she's fielding my calls because she's tired of giving me the same crappy answer.
7. Hypocrites in my situation: I understand that there's a ton of people in my boat riding the wave of unemployment, but don't bitch to me about how you have no money to go do anything and how you're struggling to make ends meet and then go out and drop a wad of cash on something that is a luxury not a necessity. I understand if the water heater explodes and ruined your bed so you have to get a new one and yeah, it's probably a hell of a lot nicer than the old one, but don't decide that you suddenly need a new bed because there's a lump in the mattress. I'm sure you can wait it out and sleep with the damn lump for a few until you find something stable. Same goes for other major purchases. I have no sympathy for you because there are things I would like too. LIKE, not need and I choose to wait until I have a steady income to get them. So should you. If you have to have that major purchase, great! buy the bed or couch or whatever, but don't bitch to me how money is tight. Obviously it's not that tight if you're dropping the cash for luxury living.
6. People who ask why I don't get a job at Target or other minimum wage job: Again, you think I haven't looked into this? Look, I'm not a desperate person (not yet at least). I make more on unemployment than I would working some 40+ hour a week hard labor shitty job. I know it sounds tacky, but I would rather have some free time and play domestic goddess, than slave all day at a place that smells like the back of some soccer mom's mini-van to make less money. Wouldn't you? I know my worth and I have damn good skills that I'm not going to waste folding clothes or flipping burgers.
5. The job hunting websites: Monster.com, indeed.com you name it, I've searched it. What you people don't understand is that most of the jobs out there ARE NOT posted directly by the company, they now use staffing firms and temp agencies. Go ahead, go to www.indeed.com and search "receptionist" under "orange county". Look in the lower left corner of the listing to see who posted it. I'm sure you'll see LA recruiter, SOS staffing, AppleOne employment agency, etc. .......see a trend? That's because in order to get to the jobs, you have to sign up with the employment agency or staffing firm, then realize that the ad listing was a generic one sent to lure you in.
4. Persistent people wanting to talk to me about my job search: I know you're concerned I can tell, really. You're trying to be a good friend, but you know what? If I politely tell you that I do not wish to talk about it or change the subject, TAKE THE HINT. I'm frustrated and I know you're trying to help, but guess what? you're stressing me out by reminding me how shitty it really is out there right now. Yes I'm unemployed, but I have other stuff going on in my life besides a job search.
3. People asking if I have a good resume: Thanks for asking, no I have the shittiest resume that was ever applied to paper. In fact I haven't bothered to spell check it, get awesome references or have top industry people look it over to help me revise it so that it's amazing. Again, thanks for asking.
2. Everyone giving advice on where to look for jobs: Thanks, but no thanks. REALLY, stop telling me. You don't think I haven't already looked there? Unless you have an inside person who is directly looking to hire or have the inside scoop, don't bother me with another website. I know you think you have the answer to solve all my problems, but you don't. People in my boat understand this and all their friends thought they had the answer too. Funny how we're still unemployed. I know you're trying to help, but you're really not so please stop the broken record, because I'm 99% sure I've tried it before and don't think you're the 1% who has a new perspective on it.
1. People who get offended when I give them any one of the answers above to one of their questions: If you're offended, then I'm offended that you're offended. I know you mean well, I don't know how many times I can tell you thanks, but I'm frustrated with the same questions and advice. I try to put on a smile and be really patient through my situation, but understand that if I give you realistic feedback to a suggestion you make, don't act like a hurt bunny if I'm not bending over backwards thanking you for your advice (unless it lands me a job). Please don't get huffy at me.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The entire album is done in 12x12 which is great to add in a bunch of pictures or extras, but I'm a little rusty as I have been working with 6x6 and 8x8 albums lately. I blew up the group photo, but forgot to crop it, so I used the extra space in the photo to cut out a title and I really like how it turned out.
The paper and large tag are from my current favorite paper line called "Wild Saffron" by K& Company and the beaver tag (and other critter paper used in the rest of the album) are from DCWV's new environmentally friendly paper titled "Green". The Green paper is hysterical and I was lucky enough to find a small 12x12 paper stack with matching stickers and tags all together in a kit at Target. It's odd, because I couldn't find the "kit" (or any of the other ones I saw at Target) on DCWV's website. While on the website I found out that the "kit" I got didn't include all the paper in the "Green" line, but it did have the cutest ones so it all worked out. I guess Green came out in January, but I have yet to see it at Michael's or Tall Mouse. I'm just glad that I was able to grab a hold of it when I did!
So I combined the Wild Saffron and Green line to create the 2008 layouts. Since every year in the album is done in different coordinating paper, I'm not sure which line I'll be using for the 2007 chapter. I think all the companies are stocking the stores with the newest lines, so I'm hoping to find something soon (well, before June).
Another project I did was 2 small postcard collages. They were for a 'make your own postcard swap' on swap-bot. They aren't my best work, but I had fun making them and thought they came out cute. It has been a while since I have done any collaging so I was rusty. I used some different paper scraps and pulled from my Big ass sticker collection (and by big I mean 4 binders FULL of stickers). Not bad work for 20 minutes right?
One was for a gal that liked antique/vintage stuff so I found some old looking paper and cute Victorian stickers to add around as different borders. I sought inspiration from my salt jar and ripped off the label and cut it down as I think the little Morton's salt girl is cute. The Kwepie is from My "Ro-Bot" friend. The other post card was for a spunky person who likes bright colors. I found a really neat paper scrap that looked like a water color with random ink blots. I used a mini-dictionary cut-out and highlighted words and created them in the post card (for example: "Host" is represented by the moon "hosting" a small audience. Just different things like that. There is a lot to see and look at on this bright post card, so I'm hopping that it was fun for postal workers to handle as well.
I've also been making "Thank You" and other cards to have on hand. Most of them are blank themes and fully decorated, but have a few open spaces to add in a themed sticker to easily adapt the card for whatever event it's for. I have not posted pics as I didn't feel they were super noteworthy to post. Maybe one day I'll take a group picture so you guys can see them.
The project that I was frustrated with and gave up on was my crocheted scarf. It started out pretty good, but for whatever reason began shrinking width wise. I wanted something kind of mind numbing to do in front of the TV, but it was something I had to focus on too hard to make sure I didn't skip any rows. The whole thing looked like a warped mess and I thought I could salvage it by going back and adding rows sidways, but it still looked like ass. I ended up unraveling the whole thing and found out how to crochet balls (to make into animals) and used the yarn as a template. I was going to make an owl to surprise my "ro-bot" friend, but it looked like ass and is now sitting on my book case. I really feel sorry for the critter, but I'm hoping I'll get the bug again and bust out some cute yellow baby chicks for Easter. We shall see....
That is it for now. I'll try to be more regular with my posts on here. I've been busy as of late, but it's important for me to keep up my blog. I like sharing my projects and didn't realize how fun it was to post what I've been working on. Until next time, have a great one!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
to drink from you, I wish I were able.
Your owner keeps you in odd rows;
why doesn't he drink? No one knows.
Sadly you sit collecting dust;
your paranoid owner with no trust,
displays a collection that is not used;
leaving everyone else totally confused.
Perhaps your owner thinks you will
make him seem a lot more chill.
So while he pretends to be a boozer,
We all know he's just a big fake loser.
(As you can see it's all caked with dust)
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Here is my latest creation: a 16 page, paperbag album made for my new "robot" friend, PolkaDotParliament, in a private swap on swap-bot.com! The colors and shape kind of took off on their own. I figured PolkaDot could fill it with pictures of her family and pets! This is the largest paperbag album I have created and I have to thank Miss PolkaDot for all her encouraging words and inspiration she has provided me these last few weeks :)
For those of you who don't know, paperbag albums are mini scrapbooks made from standard lunch size brown paper bags. They can be bound in a variety of different ways (like with ribbon, metal rings etc) and usually have a ton of embellishments (flowers, stickers, brads, tags etc). They come in a variety of shapes and forms (this style is also called a chunky book by some, but typically includes a different base other than a paperbag) and are small enough to be set out anywhere. Although they are small, they are far from quick to make. They require a lot of thought and design and adding pull outs and tags takes extra thought and time.
At first I wasn't sure what type of colors I should use as Miss PolkaDot has a wide variety of flavors and interests, but then I saw the Gypsy paper collection and used it as a base to get things rolling. When I started adding the flowers it looked more Hawaiian to me and I just went with it. I thought the fairy stickers fit right in and the pages just sort of created themselves! I have to say that this is probably my favorite paperbag album that I have created. I hope that Miss PolkaDotParliament likes it as much as I liked making it!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
- Ralph; A Christmas Story
I have discovered in the past few months, that my roommate has a passive-aggressive style about him when it comes to dealing with any sort of confrontation. The passive-aggressive style can be very useful when dealing in protests, hunger strikes or in Randy's case (from A Christmas Story) fading into the background hoping that being out of site and out of mind will aid in defense.
My roommate, however, uses it as a way to shut down, not unlike a typical sit-com husband zoning out his nagging wife. What kills me is that he has no idea that it makes him look like an utter schmuck! You see kids, my roommate thinks he is really intense and is Mr. Cool. He has all these idols like Jack Bauer and John Cena and fills his DVD racks with The Matrix trilogy and really crappy anime (granted the only redeeming pieces are Cowboy Beebop and Akria, the rest is dribble). I think the best way to describe him would be like the leader of the nerds (think Anthony Michael Hall from 16 candles). Nerd leaders are typically the best looking out of the group, a little brighter at hatching plans and usually has some sort of pull with the ladies (well, ones that have issues). Despite all of this, my roommate still thinks that his "tall, silent" type of exterior translates into mysterious or what he likes to classify himself: "intense".
Yeah, well....not so much. Trying to have a conversation with my roommate usually involves him standing there, looking around and not responding. As in not saying anything at all. At first I thought it was a passive-aggressive approach and that he would later blow off the steam, or come and talk to me when he's had a chance to mull over whatever topic we (or more appropriately, I was talking about). Now, I think he's just a weak pussy.
The only time he has ever responded back during these little one sided discussions, was when he thought he had some pull. This has lead me to believe that the reason he shuts down is because he knows I'm right and has nothing to say about it. Mr. Intense is more like Mr. Powerless.....
The whole point of bringing this up is that "Mr. Powerless" and his group of toadys go out to a local restaurant/bar where my boy-toy (for lack of a better alias): "Teach" works. We have known (based on their previous visits) that they are cheap tippers. Once they tipped "Teach" around 10% on a bill after he had hooked them up with free drinks and other stuff he could have easily charged for.
Two nights ago, Mr. Powerless and his toadys once again went out to our local spot and racked up a bill around $150 which they split 3 ways. Each party tipped under $5. If you have ever worked the food industry, you know that this is a major no-no. After they left, their server was talking to Teach about this party who shafted him and after he realized who it was, he felt bad for not warning the server about them when they walked in. Feeling it was his duty, Teach decided to educate Mr. Powerless and his wanna-be-girlfriend about how to tip.
After Teach got off of work he came over, opened a beer and asked if he could talk about their visits to our local spot. Teach was really nice and friendly stating things like "I know you guys come in a lot and I want you guys to continue to get great service, but you need to know that you're getting a bad wrap for not tipping up to par". He then goes into examples of the past few times they've come in and how they get complaints from the staff for skimping out even after free stuff and good service. Teach kept the topic light and more like and FYI than anything else.
And you know what? Mr. Powerless just sat there the whole time not saying anything and not making any eye-contact. He had no participation whatsoever in the whole conversation. He was down right rude and a total flaccid lump wearing his bony ass deeper in my couch cushions. The wanna-be-girlfriend on the other hand tried to justify EVERYTHING that was brought up against them. Teach was trying to be nice and give them a heads up because no one wants to serve them, but they acted like children. Instead of saying, "oh- sorry about that man" or "thanks for the heads up", she deflected his words as if it were a personal attack and Mr. Powerless just stared vacant matching his flimsy demeanor. After seeing that this wasn't going anywhere, Teach retreated into my room to hang out.
For all the times Mr. Powerless has ever tried to seem intense or mysterious, he has failed. I know some of you might refer to good old Abe Lincoln's quote: "Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." but in this case, he is clearly the lesser for being silent.
I can't wait for him to move him and his wanna-be-girlfriend (who is illegally living with us) to leave! Only 12 days to go!