Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not my Mind on my Money

How would you draw a mood? I've been trying, but in the time it takes me to get something onto paper, my mood changes ~.^

I realized tonight that the "stroganoff" that I have been making is really no different from my mom's S.O.S. Ground beef, peas, cream of mushroom soup, onions, over noodles. Okay, I put Worcestershire sauce in, and a little sour cream at the end, but, really not different. The slop does not fall far from the tree, I suppose.

I really think that I could rule the world, with enough caffeine.

Do I have it in me to ever complete a crochet project? I'm trying to remember one that I have finished, and I am having a very hard time =X

How can a person be addicted to gambling, when true addiction is a chemical dependency? Does gambling release certain chemicals already present in the brain? I imagine that we probably have chemicals in our heads that cause us to ignore logic, but then, why do only some people become addicted to gambling, while for others it remains a fun vacation activity? Are some people just genetically lacking common sense?

How many friends does a child need to have before they are considered "socially mature" or "socially successful"?

I have a lot of things on my mind lately. I think I will go carve some stamps. And try to draw my mood O_o

Friday, October 24, 2008

Black and white and read all over!





I love black and white animals! Almost as much as I love giraffes ;) I carved the zebra, orca, and sleeping panda stamps after sketching out their main shapes from wildlife photos found on the 'net. Identifying basic shapes and patterns in nature is the focus of the next art class I am teaching ;) And I wanted these stamps for a swap I am in...stay tuned for ATCs!

The horse and flower stamps were carved from a piece of paper that I found while cleaning my creative space! I had drawn them a while ago, when I first started carving stamps; I do not remember if they were drawn from a source, or if I actually drew them (I'm sure I didn't draw the horse....but doesn't it have a lovely Mary Poppins feel to it? =)

Last, and probably least, is a felt mini-stocking, created for a swap. I think it's adorable! It is stuffed with a tiny baggie of colourful buttons, ready to be sent off to it's new home in Mission Viejo (I used to live there, in a past life).


Ooooh, it's a jolly holiday with Mary...no wonder that it's Mary that we love...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We're all mad here

What do you do when your 8 year old son steals from you, gets caught red-handed, and then persists in denying the whole thing? Really, I wish I had more visitors to my blog right now, because I am just at a loss!

He took a Ring Pop off of my nightstand, crawled into his closet, and ate it. I don't really eat candy (except for gummy grapefruit slices - YUM!), but this particular piece of candy was a gift from my husband. He gave it to me after a long schpiel about how he was looking to buy me some jewelry, but couldn't afford anything else, yadda yadda. It was cute, and funny, and sweet, and my boy took it, and ate it =[

The kids knew that it was mine; I had carried it around for several weeks in my purse, and they always asked for it, and I explained that it was too special to eat (and why, tho I don't expect first and third graders to understand sentimental value).

My daughter came to me, saying that she had seen Isaac in the closet next to my Ring Pop wrapper. I called him out, his face was BRIGHT BLUE (Blue Raspberry, my least favorite candy flavor). And he stood there in a tiny sad voice repeating over and over, "I swear I didn't do it. I didn't eat it. I swear I didn't do anything." Riiiight. I asked him to explain why his face was blue. "I swear I didn't do it."

I sent him to his room for the rest of the night. Now, I'm not anti-spanking when it comes to major things, and I think that stealing, and continually LYING about it, is pretty major. But, at the same time, I don't think it is effective for teaching my son anything. Grounding him has never worked, either, though. I'm just at a complete loss as to what I should do here. It's rare that when my kids screw up, it actually hurts my feelings. I wish I knew how to communicate that to him in a way that he would really understand.

Chili Cheese Fridas

Am I the only one that doesn't like Frida Kahlo? I mean, I like the colors....but that's about where it ends for me. Maybe I've lived in Santa Cruz for too long, maybe I really am just a horrid person, but every time I see her work, I just think, "Damn hippies, always trying to make a statement."

Of course, it also reminds me of a conversation I recently had with my ex-husband, regarding art. We were at Blue Ball Park*, and he was talking about how the artwork shouldn't even be called art. Said anyone can paint a large cement sphere, and that it wasn't even very attractive. I pointed out that he had been going on, talking about the things for a good 10 minutes, and that I had considered art to be something that made people think, talk, or feel. It got into his head, whether he liked it or not. I guess Frida is like that for me. Her work does not make me happy, but it certainly affects my mood, or emotions, or whatever.

*Blue Ball Park is what people that live here call Anna Jean Cummings Park. It's a huge park, with four VERY large blue cement balls trailing down the hill. The balls comprise a piece of artwork called Skyballs, by Steve Gillman and Katherine Keefer, 2001.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Baby come back

Ugh, my computer was in the shop forever! I still need to take it to the Apple store to get the battery replaced (before my warranty expires on Nov 4!).

I've been really busy lately! Working in my daughter's classroom twice a week, and also teaching art classes in my son's class. It's awesome, though; not that I enjoy being busy (really, I don't), but I really enjoy kids, and I love teaching, even if it is only in an assisting capacity =]

I have managed to create some things.
Stamps:


You see that little whiskey bottle stamp in that last picture there? My husband carved that! He did a really good job for someone that has never carved before, and claims to have no artistic ability ;)

Collage painting thing:

I created this for the Artists/Crafters Challenge #01 - Juxtapose swap at Swapbot. On a stretched canvas, I used Golden acrylic gel, Golden fiber paste, acrylic paints, some goldfish images torn from a notecard I had, and "bubbles" of Diamond glaze. Diamond glaze is some awesome stuff; I can't believe I didn't pick it up sooner!

All in all, not the most productive month for me, but I have been enjoying myself. I've been feeling really old, lol....my thermostat stays at 68deg, I am asleep in bed by 11pm most nights, and awake at 7:30am! I can barely function before my morning coffee, and, this weekend, Charles and I opted to stay home and watch a movie, rather than go to the big party at a club downtown. Our 22yr old friends just didn't understand *sigh*

It's got me looking ahead, though, which I think is a good thing. I think most people tend to look backwards when they feel old. I've decided that in 10-15years, I want to have a big farmhouse, in a rural-but-not-too-far-from-a-city area, with goats, ducks, llamas and sheep (yaaarn!), and chickens, and a big ole pickup truck, with a bandana-wearing dog, fruit trees, a vegetable garden, and a small field of corn (for my husband). Blackberries, and raspberry bushes, and, dare I say, a clothesline!

See? I haven't turned into my mother! She stays up later than me ;)

Alas, my husband does not share the same goals/dreams. His ideal "grown-up world" is a hammock in Hawaii, a column still percolatin', and a never-endding supply of Volkswagens to work on.

*sigh*

Hawaii has flying cockroaches o.o

Friday, September 19, 2008

Houston, we have a problem

So, the part that is needed to fix my computer has been on order from Apple for 2 weeks now. I called today to check it out, and it turns out, the ONLY place to get that part is from Apple's Houston plant.

For those of you that are not in the States, or have been living under a rock, Houston, TX is under water, following a larger-than-Katrina hurricaine.

It could be another 2-6 weeks before they are able to get my part out to me.

Anyone have a 17" PowerBook G4 that doesn't need it's DC port anymore? *cries*

Monday, September 08, 2008

Chicken soup, please

I haven't fallen off the Earth just yet. I'm very ill =[ I've been in bed since Friday morning; wretched painful cough, sore throat, fever, headache, body aches, & minor sinus goop. You know, all the FUN back-to-school stuff *blech*. I'm pretty miserable, but the worst part is that I feel so guilty! I feel terrible that I'm sick in bed, and my kids are bored, stuck in the house. Poor things. I've managed not to pass this plague onto the little ones, but my dear husband, who had been taking such great care of me last week, ended up sick in bed with me all weekend. His immune system tends to be a lot tougher than mine, though, and he is back at work today.

I'm going to try to sit in teh living room this afternoon, so that I can at least be near the kids. Double-edged sword, imo. I can be closer to them, so that they don't feel so alone, and maybe I won't feel so guilty, but then...being closer to them increases the chance that they catch whatever I have.

*sigh*

In happier news, my good friend, Lyndsay, had her baby, Tristan Hawk, this weekend =] I had planned to go down to SoCal to be with her for a little while while she was recovering, but I don't think it's a good idea now. Gold, frankincense, myrr, & a respiratory infection? Nah, probably not a great idea.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

When you teach your son, you teach your son's son

SON: "Mom, I'd really like to ride the bus to school this year."
ME: "Ok, we might be able to do that. Will you take care of your sister on the bus? Make sure she is safe, has a seat, and knows where to go?"
SON: "Yes. And if any kids bigger than her pick on her, I will find them in the halls (if the school has halls), and I will tell them, 'HEY! That's my sister! If you mess with her, you have to deal with me!'"
DAUGHTER: "But what if the kids are bigger than you??"
SON: *shrugging* "Then I kick 'em in the balls."

We are making progress in the field of Big Brother Responsibilities. We have never encouraged ball-kicking, though, lol...

STAMPS!

1. My son had been asking me to carve him a worm stamp for a couple weeks. I didn't realize that he wanted a worm coming out of a hole int eh ground, so I taught him a simple masking technique, using POst-It notes =]
2. I carved this deer stamp for my partner in the Hand carved stamp #2 swap at Swapbot. isn't it fantastic?! ^_^
3. I carved a whole bunch of little stamps while at work last Saturday. Some of them are SO tiny! hehe I really like the nautical star, and the hammer and wrench =]

My kids got their hairs cut for school (today is their second day of school, btw). My little girl went through about a half dozen magazines at the salon (if you can call Fantastic Sams a "salon", lol), and settled on a picture of Rachel Leigh Cook that she fell in love with. She was very assertive in the chair, telling the stylist exactly how she wanted her hair, and how she DIDN'T want her hair, hehe.

She had about 7 inches cut off her hair. I was fine with it, but slightly disturbed at how fine SHE was with it. She kept saying, "I'm FINE, mom! If I don't like t, it'll grow back. It's just hair!" It now only takes about half a minute to brush her hair in the morning (down from about 10 minutes!), and we think it looks really great on her ^_^

Friday, August 22, 2008

Inch by inch

Really? Another hobby?? I wonder how many hobbies one person can have. I mean, mine tend to be *pretty much* in the art-ish department, but, like, am I gonna start forgetting how to tie my shoes, or something? Something has to go, to make room in my head for all this stuff

I took the dive into inchies today. An inchie is a piece of artwork that is one inch by one inch. Sounds pretty rediculous, no? ;)

I joined some swaps for Alphabet Inchies. 26 inchies depicting something relating to each letter of the alphabet. Oh, plus a wild card. And I joined a Love & Romance Inchie swap.

I completed all the inchies for these swaps today. The alphabet inchies are all watercolored, and the love inchies are a mix of watercolor, stamps, and gel pen.
Love & Romance Inchies

Alphabet Inchies




The alphabet, according to Kyla:
Acorn
Bomb
Crown
Dress
Earth
Fingerprint
Gift
Hand
Insect
Java
Kiss
Lime
Moon
Notes
Owl
Pumpkin
Quail
Rocket
Skull
Toadstool
Umbrella
Veggies
Wings
X marks the spot
Yummy
Zen

*WHEW!*
I really like the way the watercolored inchies came out. I'm not so sure I like the collage ideaa on such a small scale. It makes me feel stifled, or something =X I don't think I will really start collecting these things...I'm not sure what I would do with them (lose them, most likely, lol).

Here is a picture of how I watercolor. I press my inkpad onto the (outside) top of the lid, and pick up the ink (pigment ink...dye inks dry too fast to paint with) with my aquabrush. I love my aquabrush, but I need a new one after all this painting. The tip is getting kinda fuzzy =X Oh, and aquabrush is a paintbrush that holds water int eh handle...so, no need for a cup. This is good for messy kids...and their messy mom ;)


Finally, here are some ATCs I made for the Four Seasons ATCs swap.

I spent a lot of time watercoloring the backgrounds of these...and then I went and covered them all up, heh X]

Okay, hubby is telling me that it is bedtime. I've had a cough for a couple weeks now, and had a fever today...although, I don't really feel sick O_o Just tiredd...and a little annoyed *cough*cough*

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Give it away, give it away...(blog candy!)

I went looking for some plastic canvas today, to use as paper piercing templates. The plastic canvas works well, because it has evenly spaced holes, and has more rows than some of the specialty templates.



I marked the center of my 4in square template with some StazOn ink to make it easier to count out rows. I had intended on color coding every other row with Sharpie, so that it would be REALLY easy, but the Sharpie rubs off easily =/



Anyway, my store only sells these shapes in packs of 10, so I have NINE SETS, one square, and one circle each, to give away! First come, first served, please leave a comment on this post, let me know if you would like me to mark the middle of your square, and I will email you for your address =]

4in square, resting on top of a stack of (approx) 4in circles.



I don't get a lot of hits on my blog, so if you happen to stumble upon this years from now, don't hesitate to ask if I have any of these left. I probably will ;) lol

Friday, August 15, 2008

WOW WOW!

My peartree atc was featured as the Artist Trading Card of the Day on Squidoo!



grinning ear.to.ear. Seriously ^_^

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An un-partridge in an un-pear tree! *tutorial!*

Clicky the picture to go to my collage tutorial on Flickr.



My Greatest Tip:

Know when to quit!


I tore up this ATC because I just couldn't stop futzing with it. I'm still pretty happy with it, though. You can see a bit there on the left, where I tried to roughen the edges with my sanding block, and ended up tearing the paper =X I tried to blend it in with some green chalk...I think it worked alright =]

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

For those about to rock

...we salute you! Seriously, I love this Jack Black movie, School of Rock. I love it even more after getting sucked into the Nickelodeon programs, iCarly, and Drake and Josh (by my kids, of course ;) I should really buy the soundtrack to this movie; it makes my heart smile ^_^

Anyway, I have been carving my little fingers to the bone this weekend! I worked on Friday, and had to go in 2 hours early (bee-yoo-tee-ful wedding reception!) on Saturday, so I spent a lot of time sitting behind the bar, cutting up rubbah ;) I'm starting to get into the holiday groove, started with a couple of Christmas-y stamps (a deer, and holly leaves/berries). I already have some Halloween stamps drawn up.

Side trip: did you know that I have almost three whole sketchbooks full of designs? I also have countless pieces of scrap paper tucked into my sketchbooks, with even more designs on them. I can't remember the last time I had to buy a sketchbook. Somehow, they keep coming to me. Like, the one I have just started came to me in a bag of crafty things given to me by a friend who was moving (and downsizing). I prefer smallish, unlined sketchbooks, with smooth, but not glossy, paper. I always start on the 2nd page in the book, and end up decorating the first page a little at a time, as I fill up the rest of the pages =]

Back to the stamps! So, I've carved a deer, and holly. I also have about 425974296379276 friends and family that have either just given birth, or are due in the next 3 months.

Really, I've been trying to get pregnant for 2 years....making baby cards and gifts for EVERYONE ELSE really exercises my "grace" component.

So, here are a baby onesie, and a stroller/carriage/buggy THING. I think they are super cute ^_^

Finally, a tree, that made me cross-eyed for two days - that's how long it took me to carve it! I carved the tree for a specific ATC I have in mind =]

On to the pictures!!


Stamps I carved this weekend (Aug 8th & 9th). I drew the tree myself, but the other images are from a stamp company called Cornish Heritage Farms.

There's a leaf at the top of the tree that looks cut off; it's just an incomplete print =X

I colored the images in quickly with my Prismacolors.

Speaking of Prismacolors, I just found that there is a bigger set available than the one I have. I have the 120ct set, and I see on the website a 132ct set! O.M.G! My husband doesn't get it; he thinks I should just find out which colors in the 132ct set I do NOT have, and go buy those individually. Well, I mean...that's what he thought after I told him how much the 132ct set costs ;)

Oh, and here is the final version of the card I made for my friend, Michael =]


The inside of the card. Cupcake stamp colored with Prismacolors.

It's 11:00pm (just about), and my kids are still awake. That happens when their daddy doesn't bring them home until 10:00pm =[ Oh well, maybe I'll get to sleep in tomorrow, heh *sigh*

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Slowdown the birthday train!

I have so many birthdays coming up! TWO close friends, brother, nephew, husband, brother-in-law...yikes! Also, an ooooold friend of mine form my high school years is coming to town on a research project, and she will be staying here on our sofa for a week. She's been living in Scotland, going to school there, so, like, I've only seen her once in the past, ooooh...8 years? =X It will be interesting, but I am excited =]

Okay, onto the fun stuff!

Doodlebug stamp for my mom:

There was a book that I used to read to my kids every night, called "Daddy is a doodlebug". I don't know what happened to that book...
My mom designed this little guy, she calls a doodlebug. She had appliqued it onto some aprons she made for the kids last Christmas, and requested I carve a stamp of the doodlebug for her.

Birthday card for Michael:

The browns match better irl than this pic shows.
I made this card for my friend, Michael. I got the layout and colors from this card. I had no papers that were even close to what I wanted, so I made the striped and brown papers on my computer (at 300dpi). Oh, I made the "Happy Birthday" piece on my computer, too, and gave it several thin coats of acrylic medium to give it a glossy look.
Now that I am looking at it, I have an even better idea in mind for his bday card, lol...too bad I've already signed the inside -_-

Christmas Candies:

Little felt candy ornaments made for the Feltbots: Christmas Ornament #4 - Candy swap at Swapbot.

Birdy tags!

Been practicing with my Martha Stewart circle cutter.
Tree and bird stamps hand-carved by myself. I sponged a slightly darker blue ink around the edges of the circles, and then sponged on some prown ink lightly over that. I dabbed black and brown Versacraft inks on the trees, and embossed them with clear ep. I printed the birds in brown Versacraft ink on yellow patterned paper, cut them out, and glue-sticked them onto the tags.

I have another bday card that I have already finished, but haven't photo'd, yet. I'm off to pick up my Stampin' Up! catalog today (only 4 more days left on this catalog!). I have many more cards to make this week...and it's already Thursday! =X

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pining away

I finally took the time to make the awesome little pinecone ornaments from this tutorial.

I've had the materials for months, but I never took the time to make it, because I don't have a paper cutter (*wishlist!*), and I have to cut 60-something 2"x1" pieces of paper for this! =X Anyway, I did it today with a ruler and a craft knife, and I'm so glad I did =] My bow is a lil' different, because the top of mine is messy, and I needed to hide some stuff X] It's not nearly as neat and even as the pics in the tute, but I like it all the same =]


An ATC I made today:

I made this with a stamp made by RuthArt, from the swap we had over at the Carve Your Stamps group on Flickr. I distressed a page from a vintage Spanish-English dictionary I picked up at a yard sale. Added buttons, ribbons, and faux stitching, atop the image stamped on red mulberry paper.


I picked up a notepad with the cutest print on the cover from target's $1 bins. I just had to carve this funky lil' bird that was on the cover ^_^



All in all, not an entirely un-productive day! I had planned to make some of these bookmarks today, but....my tummy hurts. So, I'm gonna relax. Tomorrow, I will be calling around to find out how to get my kids enrolled in school, as their website is broken *grr* But, the good news is, the kids will be living with me, for the next school year, at least =] Quite possibly the most wonderful thing to happen this year! ^_^

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Over the river, and through the woods

Okay, so, after sitting here for a WEEK, trying to decide whether or not to post pictures from my family reunion/vacation, I have determined that my mother would kill me. She has no pics of herself popsted on her blog, so I won't post pictures of her on mine either.



They are really neat pictures, though!



So, here are some pics that don't feature my lovely mommy:







And, some artsy fartsy things...because, I mean, really, it's just what I do ;)


A tattoo I am designing with my kids' names, to go on my upper left arm. That largest blossom will sit at the top of mr arm/shoulder. I've left room for another child's name >_>;;



New rubber stamps, carved last night. A Walther p22 (my gun), and a flamingo. I am going to carve another of the flamingo, only keep it a solid image, instead of the outline.



ATCs






I need to go clean up some before the kids get home. I'm not cleaning EVERYTHING up, tho, because they left a HUGE mess in the living room, and they need to clean it up (damnit)!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Absolutely innocent blog title!

I told ya I was working on a gnome project! Here he is, the itty gnome!

The bottom of the little gnome is actually a dark blue, but it photo'd as black. I would grumble about wildfires killing the natural light around here, but I'm just so dang pleased with how this little guy turned out! ^_^ I can see a whole army of itty gnomes in the future ;)

Also, I received an awesome package from Portugal today!

Té té sent this huge package for the hand-carved stamp swap we did at the Carve Your Stamps group on Flickr. I had sent her some carving blocks, because she can't get them where she lives, and she retaliated reciprocated with this fantastic package, filled with handmade envelopes, a little notepad, hand-stamped stickers, and even a coloring set for the kids! Seriously, this woman is so full of win ^_^ Thanks, Té té!!

So, I got the fwoop over the e's...but I can't get it to do it without making a space in the middle of her name! What the deuce! *sigh* I feel so "in the box".

Mid-morning Quickie


I carved three more of this birdy stamp, because I <3 it so much. I expect I will trade these away =]


Dobie stamp carved for a swap. I am really happy with this one; it turned out exactly how I wanted it to, and it wasn't very difficult ^_^


A surprised little shrimp on sushi ;) Also made for a swap.


Finally, four ATCs for a Red/Pink ATC swap. These have an Alice in Wonderland theme, and I am quite happy with how they turned out =]


I'm off to buy some felt, and tiny beady eyes, for a gnome project I'm working on! =]