Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Best Present Ever and A Shirley's 2 Girls Challenge

Ta da! It's my workspace. I think this may be the first and only photo I've ever taken of it while working on a project. Please note the orange-handled scissors which were sent to me a few years ago by one of the lead Fiskateers. They're still sharp and highly functional. The scissors, I mean. Not the lead Fiskateers, though I suppose it could be said about them also. :)
And what was I working on? Lo! It is a card I made for this week's Shirley's 2 Girls Challenge.
I love their digital stamps, especially the ones with this Airdale Terrier guy. It's neat to see some dog stamps that aren't poodles or doxies. Nothing against poodles and dauchunds, but they always steal the show. The challenge theme this time was flocking, so on this card I used some light blue flocking on the shopping bag and wreath. I used some red glitter on the opposing lines on the bag just for contract. I actually printed the wreath in green which I was totally psyched about because I know nothing about how to do that kind of thing. I essentially stumbled arount Paint until I got it to turn green. I doubt I could tell you *how* I did it, but the point is, I did. So there! :)

Sooo, I was having fun with the challenge and decided to make a second card, same rules. The image is, again, a Shirley's 2 Girls one. I can never resist a mouse. This time I used Doodlebug red flocking, which, incidently is the darn finest flocking I have yet found. No, I'm not being reimbursed for saying so in any way shape or form (though I'm totally open to it, Doodlebug ;)). It's less clumpy than other brands which affords a lot more control and makes it stick a whole lot better. The other kind had to be coaxed into sticking and despite re-applying 3 or so times, never did give the nice opaque look that Doodlebug did. As far as your standard fuzzy flock goes, this stuff rocks my world.

So, what is the BEST present ever? Apparently it's this sheet of wrapping paper. My friend Jen, her daughter Vivi, and Pete the husband/dad brought over a slew of neat presents that were big hits with Scott and I, but if you go by the numbers, this got more immediate use by more members of our family than any other gift. Here, Usagi uses it as a tent, which she hung out in the whole time they were there. Later she left it, briefly to inspect something in the kitchen, then hopped right back on the couch and into her tent again.

When I got tired of sharing the couch with a tent, along came Weezee, who decided to camp out beside the coffee table.

And later, the tent proved to be magnificently fun to destroy. So very versatile! If you don't have a wrapping paper tent under your tree this year, your pets could be missing out.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On a Challenge Kick

This last week or so, I can't seem to get enough of doing challenges, so when I saw a Winter themed one at one of my very very super favorite digital stamp creators' blogs...Phindy's Place. She has some excellent mouse images, but this time I decided to use one featuring a slew of painfully cute puppies. After assembling the card, I thought it still needed something, so I made a snowdrift of ultrafine Flower Soft, which has a neat sparkly sheen to it just like fluffy snow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hamsters, Mailbox Surprises, and a Little Ho Ho Ho

Let's begin this time, with my entry in the MelJen's Digital Stamp Challenge. The theme is Red, Gold, and Green, which has inspired me to have Karma Chameleon stuck in my head for days. I went for a non-holiday specific stamp just for fun, letting the colors take over the job of being festive.
Surprise! I got this unexpected package in the mail about a week or so ago. It's from Big Picture, so I'm guessing they chose to send swag to me in particular because I'm like always taking classes from them. There's a free class you can sign up for now, so you may want to go over there to check it out. My favorite thing in the package is that excessively huge rubber band. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but I'm pretty sure it's eventually going to involve someone (me) getting seriously injured by a flying rubber band. I mean, how am I supposed to resist flinging that thing all over the place?
As promised, here is your holiday ho ho ho. Scott was inspired to pose in the Home Depot parking lot with our new kitchy wreath I fell in love with. It's blinding during the day. I love me some sparkle.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Xmas Xcellence at Teresa's and Another Rat Card

For those who don't know already, Teresa is one of my best pals as well as my intensely creative Stampin' Up demonstrator. She's always got some kind of clever class going on, so if you're like me and you like to frequent these kind of things, check out her site here. Here's Teresa, showing outstanding patience as she winds ribbons into little spools. She actually looks like she's having fun doing it, so I think I'll do her a big favor and bring my mondo huge basket of ribbon chaos over and generously allow her to wind them up for me. No need to thank me. I'm just that giving this time of year. I'll be back to pick up the ribbons tomorrow, okay? That should give you *plenty* of time to spool up about 400 scraps, certainly.

Another happy crafter sits daringly under the dart board, apparently ready for a round of the ol' William Tell routine. No? Maybe another time. Instead, she's making some cards shaped like Santa's middle. (If you see this, I'm very sorry to have to admit that I've forgotten your name. Could someone remind me? It's embarassing, but it takes me longer than most to learn names despite all efforts to do better. If anyone out there has suggestions or tricks for remembering names better, I'd be so happy to hear them, I'd pick one of you to send a surprise gift in the mail to.)
Gina, coloring some cardinal images. This one was my favorite card of the class, since the cardinal is our state bird and there is little prettier than seeing a vibrant red bird against the snow. Buddhist creation legend states that the universe began with the collision of red and white, and sometimes when I see that drop of red against a white sparkling snow that covers everything and makes the whole world look as if it's been wiped clean, it almost seems plausible.
Sorry, I got distracted. Back to the photos. :)

It's me, glitterfying snowflakes. Does my nose really look that angular? Wow, I really need to dye my hair.

Yay! It's me and my new pal, Gina. She's got rat terriers too, and a husband with degenerative disk disease like me. We attended Elizabeth's Creative Memories Open House, too, but I forgot my camera so I'm photoless, which is unfortunate because it was awfully festive. Lots of decorations, craft ideas and yummy things. Elizabeth is such a nice hostess, she didn't even seem horrified when I melted a plastic cup by filling it with holy-crap-that's-hot cider. Oops.

I've been a slave to challenges lately. I love being made to work within a framework like that. It forces me to be more creative with my projects instead of just doing whatever comes to mind. This card was made for the For Fun Challenges sketch challenge. I used some Club Scrap card blanks I'd been saving up for a Christmas project. Those giganto glittery brads are from one of their kits, too. I think they really work with the corner dealies.
I included this pic so you can see how it opens. I'm keeping this set to send out myself, so some of you may be looking at these up close and in person very soon. Ho ho ho!
Thanks for making it through all those pics. :) Don't forget about my little goodie giveaway. Leave me a tip for remembering names and I'll put your name in the drawing for a craftsy prize you can use to make your own cards.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rats, Real and Faux

Oh. Were you watching me? This whole time?
Seriously? Me?

Vince! There's someone looking at us! On the other side of the glass! They're watching you take a bath.

You're imagining things, Howard. Other side of the glass. Pfsh.
No! It can't be! You're right Howard. There is someone out there.
Whew. Are they gone now?
Sit tight, Howie. Now that they can't see us, they're bound to go away.

And now, the faux...a couple of rattie cards I made for the E.A.D. color challenge...

Keep an eye on my Etsy site! You'll see these and more making their appearance just in time for the holiday card and thank you note season. Whoo hoo!

Have a rat-tastic day from me, Vince, and Howard!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some Holiday Craft Challenges and Whatnot.

Yet again, I let things pile up till I have way too much for one post, so you'll be getting several over the next few days. For today, I wanted to take the opportunity to show off some things I made for the Digi Day Challenges at The Stamping Boutique. I even won some free images from their shop with these, so I extra-highly recommend that you check them out and give it a try!

If you look closely at the image above, you can read my mom's superfantabulous Vegan "Sausage" Puffs recipe. And you *so* want to, because you will not regret making them. They're super easy and way yummy. She veganized an ancient recipe she found in an old 60's cook book and they will not disappoint.

Aww! Doxies! I'm partial to those hard-headed little hounds, even if they are always the dog training class problem children. They're always the ones who say, "Hmm...you have a treat in that hand? No? Well then screw that. I'm not sitting for you or anyone else." They're also really cute, clever little buggers as well, though.

And an attempt I made at trying to create an interesting gift wrap for a present for my brother Mikey, but when I finished, I realized that the gift didn't fit inside. I'm thinking Teresa's present might fit in this. Stay tuned. :)

And finally, this year's tree! Well, it's actually the same tree as the year before and the year before that, but this year the lights are green since I thought it would be neat to make a silver tree look like a green one (sort of). Ta da!
More to come. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yule Log HD 2010

I consider myself quite the conneseur of video fireplace DVD's, so I was very pleased to discover that Time-Warner Cable has generously provided its subscribers with a free-on-demand yule log this year.

Believe it or not, these videos vary quite a bit. In particular, it's always an interesting surprise to see exactly how much of the fireplace itself is shown. This one, titled "Yule Log HD 2010" goes for the classic tv-set-as-fireplace look, clipping the image close so it is as if the inside of your television is actually on fire (and made of brick). The soundtrack is festive holiday music, sans voices, heavy on the french horns. I'm content, and will likely view it frequently over the next month (if it lasts that long. Being a "Yule Log" it should, thoretically, be removed after Yule, aka Winter Solstice, when the Yule Log is to be burned down to nothing. I somehow doubt that it will be taken down till post Dec. 25, however.) (When is Yule this year, anyway?)

I'm a bit disappointed that I lack the necessary equipment to enjoy "Yule Log 3D 2010", so if you have a 3D tv and the funky glasses needed, would you tell me about your experience please? A word of warning, before watching...the creators zoom in dramatically at various points throughout the production, which in 3D, I can only imagine, is terrifying as you suddenly are plunged deep within the flames, as if you yourself have caught fire. Beware.

This is the first fireplace video I've seen that includes a full set of credits at the end, including executive producers and whatnot. I suppose so you know who to thank for this festive (and in 3D sometimes heart-stopping) log. Thanks Time-Warner!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Behold! Halloween cards! Here's one for those who can't choose between Edward and Jacob... (I made this one for the Shirley's 2 Girls challenge blog's #80 Trick or Treat Challenge) And I love the impending doom in this image:
And this digi stamp nearly killed me with its cuteness. (And worked well for my card made for the Valentines Monthly Star-spangled themed challenge. I couldn't resist checking out a site with that name--I luuuuuuv Valentine's Day!)

And I wasn't alone making stuff for the holiday this weekend. Here's Scott working on his own project. No, it wasn't an airplane made out of sugar and a knife...

It's a Dexter-style slide case! He even made the wooden box, himself. He saw the slide project on Forkable (a very cool site in general. Check it out!)

And just for fun, here's me and Max, my friend Jen K's cat. I love his "What are *you* looking at?!" expression.

Enjoy what's left of this spooky evening. I've got a few more projects to show off, but they'll have to wait till November. That's okay, it's halloween all year in our house!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vegan Cupcake Thursday...mmmm!

Check it out, Vegan Cupcake Thursday has featured my recipe for Birthday/Gotcha Day Cake for dogs! It's a site I love anyway, but I love it doubly when they feature my Yummy for Dogs Cookbook. :) More exposure equals more donation funds for rescue, since that's what I do with all of the sales of my cook book, and I'd love to have enough money to make all the shelter and rescue animals so wealthy they can each afford to *hire* someone to take care of their every whim until they find a permanent home. Much better than putting these animals down, don't you agree?

So...here's another sample recipe from my book to tempt you (well, your dogs) further...

Carrot Potato Sunflower Biscuits

2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c corn meal (if your dog is allergic to corn, quick oats may be substituted)
1 small potato
1 lg carrot
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1 1/4 c water
3 tbsp veg oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a lg bowl combine flour and cornmeal. Use a food processor to shred potato and carrot, then stir in garlic with the shredded mixture. Pour vegetables and seeds into the flour mixture. Stir to combine. Add water and vegetable oil and stir well. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more water, one tsp. at a time. Dough should resemble dense bread dough. Place dough onto a floured surface and knead well, adding flour if your dough is too sticky. Roll out to 1/2" thickness and cut out with cookie cutters of your choice (bone shapes are easy for dogs to grip as they chew, which is why I often use them though I suppose it might seem odd for vegan treats to be shaped like bones. :)) Bake for 50 minutes, checking around 35 just to ensure that they're not cooking too rapidly. Cool and serve.

Rats enjoy this type of treat too. You may want to use itty bitty cookie cutters to keep the serving size appropriate so your ratties don't get *too* squishy!

Happy cooking!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ribbon Winner, Treasuries, and Wee Puppies

I made my very first Etsy treasuries this week! I was always bemused regarding how one puts these together, and then the other day a button just appeared in front of me. Yay! Now, treasuries are temporary, so these links won't work forever. Click 'em now!

Stuff for you and your pet: Petsy!

Rats and Hamsters and Chinchillas and more: Wee Fuzzies!

Hooray! I'm finally over the Beach Plague! Here I am, pictured outside of Chubby's Tacos (yeah, I hate the name, too, but their tacos rule.) after taking the dogs to Unleashed, the adorable little dog boutique in the same shopping center.

Here's Usagi, enjoying a beverage. Yes, water *is* a beverage. Yeesh. So picky.
Here's Revco, peeing on the trash can outside of Unleashed. He was good enough to pull me outside so he could do this, yet pooped in the middle of the organic dog treat section five minutes later. Naughty puppy!

Now we're travelling back in time. Here is Scott enjoying one of Alex's soooper doooper yummy grilled pizzas. Ever so tasty and brimming with an avalanche of vegan toppings. Hence Scott's enthusiasm.
And here is Alex, the teensy weensy guy who looks kind of like he's waving his arms and cheering. What he's actually doing is flying one of those crazy 2 handled kites. He's extremely good at it. Meanwhile, I can barely handle the single-stringed black triangle looking one with the giant staring sticker eyes leering at you from above. I have to get Scott to do the running around holding it over his head part since that would bang up my spine, so mostly I stand there holding it till it falls down or I get bored and make it fall so I don't have to hold it anymore. Alex's style of kiting is a lot more fun. I'm guessing, though, since I've never actually tried it. But if I were him I wouldn't let me try it either. Broken kites are sad and expensive.

Aaaannnd...here's a wee little royal greyhound. Greyhounds are by far the most popular breed of dog in my Etsy shop. Maybe it's because they're such beautiful dogs, maybe it's because greyhound people are just more devoted than most. What? You're not a greyhound person, and you'd like to contest the statement that greyhound lovers are the most proud of their dogs? Well get on over to my etsy shop. :) Chances are, you can find an homage to your favorite dog type there. (Of course this isn't just a shameless self-promotion! How could you say that?!)
And it's time for a winner! The recipient of 10 yards of cool ribbons handpicked from my stash is...Beth of the second comment on my post. Contact me with your mailing address!
Didn't win this time? Don't worry. I've already got another giveaway in the works. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Duh duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh duh nuh nuh nuh...News Update: From the Coast

Okay, the above photos are actually from Myrtle Beach, not Topsail, but it would be awfully strange for me to be scrapbooking photos from the same trip I'm on, anyway. This layout is one of several I have been working on for the "Use Your Stash" class I'm taking. Thus far, it's been pretty effective and encouraging. It's hard to break some of the habits that cause people like me to avoid actually using the cool stuff we pick up to use, then feel intimidated by. Mind you, I still haven't broken into the High Holy Hoarde box, still sitting where it was carried in from the car, unopened this trip. It contains my absolute favorite, often pricey, generally sought after like pirates' treasure then hidden away in said box, items that I adore yet rarely allow myself to actually use. Even when I do use it, I am usually making a gift I really want to wow the recipient with, so I spend hours paralyzed with fear, staring at the object to be altered as if it were an oncoming vehicle. Will I crack this box before heading home? Before the end of the class? Stay tuned.

Now, onto this week's challenges. Unfortunately, I am doing this upload at the last minute, thanks to the irresistable power of The Vacation Nap Fairy. So I'll make this quick. This card is my entry into this week's polka-dot themed challenge at Shirley's 2 Girls. Wish me luck!

And, here's one for the challenge at Mo's Digital Challenge. In case you haven't guessed...special folds is the challenge theme, and I think this one is pretty special.
That's it for this post. I'll be announcing the winner of the ribbon giveaway in the next post, so if you haven't yet entered, now's the time. Good luck! :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Winner, an Entry, a Giveaway, and Two Kitties

Toulouse (aka Goosey Goo) decided to give me a hand taking photos of my cards for my etsy site. Check out the nose lick! Cat tongues are so funny. They look like weird little strips of deli ham. He looks a bit like he's thinking about how tasty those guinea pigs on the cards might be. Naughty kitty! Don't eat the pets, please!

I've been working hard on card orders, both for clients and (mostly) for rescue groups who request items for their fund raisers. Ferrets and greyhounds have dominated my workboard, pit bulls are up next, then shelties, then more ferrets, followed by opossums and other wildlife--rescues are quick to find my shop, it seems. :) It's cool to be able to contribute this way, though, since I can't do as much hands-on rescue work due to my physical limitations. It's hard to clean cages, train rescue dogs, or keep up with the administrative needs of a rescue when you're hurting and easily fatigued. Hence: adaptation.
Anyway, this card with the cute Airedale Terrier is one I made just for fun, for a challenge at the Shirley's 2 Girls blog. I'm a fan of her adorable animal stamps, so when I saw that she was looking for Flocked or Feathered cards, a-flocking I did go! It's a bit hard to tell in the photo, but I used black flocking on this little guy's black spots, from tail to that one black ear. Wish me luck!

Continuing on the subject of fun, Saturday was my Stampin' Up party! It's been ages since I've been well enough to have any sort of get together, let alone a party for 12. Teresa, one of my best friends and my Stampin' Up demonstrator, totally made it happen. She was an amazing showman, entertaining the masses with her mad crafting skills, while I hung out with the group upstairs, awaiting their turn in the craft room. She even helped me put my scrap room back together before the party...as you may recall, it was a complete disaster since everything had been pushed to the center of the room so Scott could build cabinets and counters along the walls. I'll post pics in my next blog installment. Scott still has to finish the cabinets at the back of the room and put in the glass fronts in all of the doors, but it's still a kajillion times better than it was and if the amount of time he's spending working in the shed is any indication, he's either going to be done soon, or he's got a second wife living in there.
I forgot to take many pics at the party, but in the one, above, patiently waiting their turns and being adorable are my friends Kitty, Laura, Revco (he's the short one), and Eileen.
If you're looking for a Stampin' Up demo, Teresa is freaking amazing. She hooked me up with loads of free stuff for hostessing and she's a FABULOUS person in general. :) I can't *wait* for the UPS man to come to my door, and not just because he's kinda cute in that little brown uniform.

This little mousie is adorning a project I made for a Fiskateer challenge Angela announced during her tutorial video. Below, you can see the complete project, an envelope for toting around my mail that's in need of answering. My attempt at making the sides expand didn't go so well. I was a couple folds short of making it work, but so it goes. It was a prototype...the next one, hopefully, will actually have expanding capabilities. As for this one, it still does its job and I love that old Pizzazill cardstock I made it out of. Sadly, that line seems to have disappeared so I'm super careful about using up my precious stash. I think we all have something hidden away like that, that we like too much to use.
Relevant to that, I am taking May Flaum's class at Big Picture Scrapbooking, Adventures in Scrapbooking: Use Your Stash. I'm working on homework tonight, which includes picking out a box of stuff you've had on hand for a while and want to use during the class. Among the items are: rub ons galore, a box of ribbons I got free at an Archivers' event, a big tin of buttons in all sorts of shapes, a set of the old Stampin' Up copper Hodgepodge Hardware, and plenty more. Wish me luck!
In celebration of this class theme, I'm going to get some of my ribbon stash moving by sending one lucky reader 10 yards of ribbons from my private stash! These aren't ribbons I don't like or want to get rid of, but gorgeous ribbons I really like that I want to share with someone who is kind enough to read my yapping here.
Here's what you have to do...leave me a comment telling me about something you have in your stash that you've been holding onto for too long, just because you love it too much to use it. Don't forget to include some way for me to reach you, either via a Fiskateer number, an email address, or a link to your blog or whatever. I never received a response from my Martha Stewart winner despite my efforts to reach them, and if I don't hear from them by my next post, I'm going to have to pick someone else to win those supercool stamps.
Speaking of winners, Donna (comment #7), you are the winner of the book giveaway in my previous post! Contact me with your mailing address so I can send it your way!

Whew! Long post! Thanks for reading all the way to the end. :)