Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fact: Far-Flung Fiskateers Fantatics' Festivities F-ing Fabulous

A few weeks ago I was surprised to hear from Ellen, a woman I had met at Certified Fiskars Demonstrator training who had attended a few of my Stampin' Up classes a while ago. It had been a while since I'd seen her so I was totally psyched when I got an email asking me if I wanted to go to the Fiskateer Meet-n-Greet at Brains on Fire in Greenville, SC. I had been reading about the event on the Fiskateer message board but had completely dismissed any hope of going because
a) It was scheduled on a Tuesday night.
b) I don't drive and Scott both had to work and likely had no desire to chauffer me to SC.

I jumped at the opportunity to go as well as getting the chance to get to know a fellow Fiskateer better. Roadtrips are really unparalleled for that. I met Scott that way, actually (long story. Perhaps another entry.) I wasn't disappointed. It's the lag time between events--riding on the interstate, meandering around the hotel grounds, girltalk over a glass of wine before sleep--the conversation and commentary traded leisurely that helps you understand how another person lives and functions.
One of the things I enjoyed most was getting a closer look at the fountains and other things we could see in micro-scale from our 5th story window. We discovered that our hotel was directly beside a beautiful river and park full of ducks, gosslings, and dogs! I had to stop and take a million photos of the friendly (and perhaps a little chubby) birds swimming right up to everyone (even the little girl yelling "NO! Go away!"...your voice says 'no, no', but your breadcrumbs say 'yes yes!')

Check out this dad who doesn't want the other geese getting anywhere near his progeny.
I was freaking out at how crazy yellow the goslings were! I don't know how well my camera caught it, but honestly, they looked like a black and white photo that someone had run over with a highlighter pen!

As we continued walking we ran into a gaggle of lead Fiskateers (the head bloggers and hostesses of the site). They were as orange as the gosslings were yellow and thus very easy to spot. (Most everyone has been exposed to Fiskars via their orange-handled scissors, hence orange is the color to wear to these things. Oddly enough, my Fiskateer shirt is pale blue. I'm not sure how that happened.) As they passed, I shouted "Hey! 1135!" (my Fiskateer number) at them and they reacted just as you, the reader, probably would if someone shouted numbers at you. They rapidly turned and walked away as quickly as possible. Apparently they don't get this greeting often. We also passed a dog parade (or what I assume was a group of professional dog walkers on the job). Always a welcome sight, especially for Ellen and I who were missing our little yappers at home. It's really a shame that our hotel didn't allow dogs. I would have totally dragged Scott and the dogs back for a weekend of exploring the town and the park. C'mon people. Dogs make excellent guests!
Back at the hotel, we ran into some of our favorite leads and legends. I'm framing this one! :)
Food was in the plans, but time slipped by so quickly, I only had time to grab a quick blueberry bubble tea (mmm...) and it was off to Brains on Fire. The theme of the evening was cupcakes. Checkout this mondo one this lucky Fiskateer got to take home. I have to wonder though. Is it still a cupcake when it's bigger than a regular cake?
And while I thought, the night before, oh yeah I should make something for the other fiskateers. Debby actually thought ahead and made it happen. Maybe that's why she's the Fiskateer of the Year and I'm not. ;)

Back to cupcakes. Each placesetting included a fresh, albeit bald, cupcake amongst all sorts of goodies I won't tell you about for fear of making you terribly jealous. Once the leads got the rest of us to sit down and shut up, the baker took the stage and showed us how to do all sorts of fancypants cake decorating. Roses, leaves, beautiful swirls of icing, before handing the frosting over to us.

Lest you be concerned that the Fiskateers will put her out of business with our newly aquired skills, scroll down.

It says "Lauren" on it, since she was the person who volunteered to eat mine (since I'm vegan and all.) And here she is, just prior to consuming.

Now onto my favorite part...make-n-takes! The entire evening was devoted to making elaborate scissor charms (like an earring for your scissors. Just wait till it comes back with its nipple pierced.) beginning with beads, then adding shrinky things:

and these ubercool sparkly cupcakes made of beads:

The night closed with more sweets (I went for the Twizzlers and Oreos, myself.) and a ton of giveaways...generous goodiebags, page kits that were more like album kits, and templates galore. And people still ask what the big deal is about being a Fiskateer. Go figure.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Projects All Over the Place!

I felt really remorseful about quitting the Club Scrap kit club, so I caved and rejoined. I just love their totally unique papers and the people in the Club Scrap Community. I all the swaps and other ways of sharing our work and ideas. Not that I *have* to be in the club to participate, but it helps. I had let my kits stack up, being rather depressed, having lost interest in just about everything for about 6 mo. to a year there. I didn't realize that my depression had jumped from being down about my pain, losing my dad, the tough nature of rescue work, to a clinical form.

I don't know why, but somewhere in that nasty bout of bronchitis, etc. the depression broke like my fever. Don't fret, I am still getting help, but suddenly things were in color again, Wizard of Oz style.
Jumping into the last kit I received before quitting, which I had just set aside without touching, here are some projects made with the Milestones kit. Honestly, this one's a little hard to connect to its name, but on the other hand, that's probably a good thing. "Milestones" sounds like something, which is far from this hip, vibrant, eggplant and chartruese combination. Warning: One kit makes a LOT of stuff!
ATC's. Most have been given away by now via my ATC/Altered Art meetup. It's fun. Come with us sometime.

I love these regal lions. You may recognize them from the Cricut which I used profusely the last time I was visiting Cary Table Scraps Meetup. I'd never really used a Cricut before, so I cut a slew of stuff to bring home, as you'll see in the following pics.

Longstem rose stamp courtesy of Big Lots. Last time I was there they had a small assortment of Hampton Arts stamps--really excellent quality stamps--for $1-$2. Hoopla! I colored these in using some really cool AtyouSpica twinkling pens. Kind of like Twinkling H2O's but in a pen. Love them!
Check it out. Little embossed doggies! Are they not painfully cute? Of course they are! You can hardly stand it, I know! Thank you Jen K! These were a birthday present she gave me. The balloon one s my favorite. I could just see Revco having that same expression if I was nasty enough to tie him to a balloon and let it go. Aww!

This is my favorite project. It's a Tombo adhesive box I was carrying my ATC's around in after I noticed they fit perfectly inside. The problem was, who wants to be seen lugging around a Tombo adhesive box like some kind of security blanket. Not me, pal! So, I covered it, added some wire and charms (hard to see, but on the side, there's a little silver bird and some neat brightly colored wire from the old-school Stampin' Up Wire Works kit. Why-oh-why-oh did they ever discontinue this item?

Oh my lord, am I sure I want this on the internet? Yeah, that's me on the right, my long-time pal-for-life, Jeni O on the left, both of us defining the term "awkward phase" for the camera.


Teresa let me play with her Stampin' Up rose embossing folder. The neat corner thingies came with the kit, so did the cool gold paint marker that I used to trace the embossed design in the middle.

Sorry this layout is split into two pictures, but I couldn't get a clear pic close enough that everything wasn't just a mess of tiny little purple and chartreuse blips. Every Club Scrap kit comes with a page map (actually they come with lots, but only one that's a extra complicated one, which I like to do each time, just for kicks. These are pics I took when Iwas in San Francisco in Feb. There's such a cool bond between Darcy and Tara, I couldn't miss a chance to snap some pics I think capture that love. Working rescue all these years, I see so much sadness, so many unwanted, unloved animals completely alone in the world, when I see a bond like this one, I have to grab that moment on "film". This is why I adore pet photography.

Whew! That's quite a bit from one kit. Stay tuned for more, coming soon!