4.06.2014

Gettin' creative in a completely different way...

I know, I know...
"where the hell have you been?"

Did I read your mind, or what :)

Let just say that I have NOT been feeling the papercraftiness creative mojo for the longest time.  Especially this fall & winter.  All I wanted to do was to hibernate and eat bad food.  DAMMIT!  Yep, I have gained some of the weight back that I was so proud of losing not-to-long-ago.  Which just leads to more depression, which leads to more bad eating... blah blah blah.  Vicious effing circle.

This fall & winter I did, however, help my mom get several of her rooms organized & cleaned.  I even got her to get rid of a lot of her old quilting magazines... THAT was a feat in itself ;)  I was proud of her... she has a ton of stuff in the donation and "to sell" piles.

Other than that, I have been Pinteresting my stubby fingers off... which I am sure many of you are sick of getting the notifications.  Just ignore them :)  

So, you are probably wanting to know what creative schtuff I have been up to... otherwise the title of this post was all a ruse ;)  Well, a few years ago, I had started a handmade quilt.  I stuck with it for awhile, but as with us creative types, we have to pace ourselves and switch to other projects and media.  So, since the papercraftiness mojo left me, I thought I would try quilting again.


My workstation all ready!  My wand iron & table-top ironing mat, mom's fancy sewing machine that I am borrowing, a little burlap box for scraps, rotary cutter, add-a-quarter ruler, cutting mat, cutting ruler... gang's all here!


Selecting fabrics for each block is both challenging and fun.


I used freezer paper method to cut the "L" shapes & quarter-round center. 
The center arc is paper-pieced.


I don't know what I was thinking, starting a king-size quilt for my first quilting project.  AND picking a pattern with circles... crazy woman.  But, I fell in love with the idea of this quilt fading from deep dark colors to bright warm colors.  So here are some work-in-progress pictures:




Most of the fabrics are batik... which I LOVE!  There are two different "Carnival Beauty" block sizes from Valori Wells that I am using (8" & 4").  My goal is to not duplicate any blocks... yikes.  Both sizes will be intermingled throughout... similar to this:  http://www.valoriwells.com/quilts/carnival-beauty


What do you think?

1.20.2014

A heavy-hearted goodbye...

Thor:  November 2001 - January 20, 2014

My sweet angel is gone.  My little ol' grey-faced man.  A true mama's boy.
How can my heart recover?
Even as I write this, staring at the photo of your sweet face, I feel lost.

Out of all of the waifs at the rescue, you, Thor,
were the one little redhead within the herd of black and white.
The day we picked you up, you had been playing with your kennel-mate.  Knocking over your water bowl to mix with your soiled paper... what an awful stench!  I couldn't wait to get you a bath.


We brought you home to meet your sister, Heidi.  It wasn't a great first meeting, but she warmed up to you quickly.  Pretty soon, you two were inseparable.  She was the hyper one, and you were the totally laid-back one.  You were never much for playing with toys, unless it was to take one from your sister so that she would chase you around the yard.




And you were definitely not a fan of swimming.  The first time we took you to the lake, you jumped right off the end of the dock and sunk to the bottom.  You popped back up, but were VERY wary after that!  We outfitted you with a life-jacket and would occasionally fetch water toys with Heidi, but you preferred wading along the shore. :)

Heidi & Thor making snow angels :)
You were always showing Daddy who was the Alpha-Male in the house:



When you were young, you seemed to have springs in your paws.  You could jump straight up, damn-near looking me in the eyes... that was usually when I was about to fill your food dish.  I had never seen a dog your size jump so high from a standing position.  This came in handy when we had to section-off Heidi from Grandma Bev's dog, Cinder... you were the only one that could jump the barriers and visit both of them throughout the day.



Another of your little quirks... you always wanted to eat on the stairs.  Even when we had your food dish across the room in the kitchen.  You would grab a mouthful of food, go to the stair, drop it (making a mess) and eat from the 1st or 2nd stair step.  So, we just moved your dish there.  And, you still would take your food out of your dish, deposit it NEXT to the dish on the step, and THEN eat it off the step.
It was kinda like when parents of human children find Legos in the middle of the night (ouch!)...
we would find kibble now and then :)


You loved your Beneful:


You always had something going on with you... mainly skin allergies and ear issues.  Once, you shook your ears so much that you cause it to balloon up with fluid.  You had to wear this splint-of-sorts for a few days:


You looked so dorky.  :)   And you were always kind of clumsy... like a gangly teenager.
But then you had your moments like this:


I cropped it out of the photo, but there was a little angelic halo above your head :)
It always shone so brightly when you were sleeping.

You LOVED napping.  More than any dog I had seen.
And if there was a stuffed animal nearby, that was all the better:




You were definitely an inside dog... you were not much of an outdoorsman at all!  You would stay out long enough to do your business, patrol the perimeter of the fence, and then back inside where the a/c or heat was cranked.  I found you deep in thought one day, staring out the window:


Your eyesight started diminishing awhile back, although to look at you, one would never guess you were blind.  Those big beautiful brown eyes would make my heart swell every time I would look into them.

Last romp in the Fall leaves Nov. 2013

Last September you started really declining.  We had to help you up the stairs because your poor little back legs kept losing strength.  But you wanted to be upstairs, not in the living room... even with a compfy bed there.  You wanted to be near us and would follow me from room to room... bumping into things as you went.  Nuzzling me to rub your sweet face.  I would talk to you and would cock your head to the side, listening intently, as if you could understand me.  

Thor's impression of a red fox :)



Oh how I am going to miss that.
How many times will I look up, expecting to see you and you will not be there?


From the beginning you were mine.
Daddy might have been the one that found you, but you and I had a special bond.
My sweet boy.  I love you.


11.06.2013

HDH179 - Samhain Sunset challenge

So how was everyone's Hallowe'en holiday?!  I hope it was delightfully dark and macabre ;)  Mine was pretty quiet... stayed home to hand out goodies to all of the little demons about.  I ran out of candy around 7:30pm... WTF?!  Didn't we used to stay out until like 9 or something?  They started around 5pm, which is way too early in my opinion.  What IS trick or treating etiquette?  Oh well.  
I watched a few scary movies while all of the candles in the house were lit... it was quite delightful.

I've got photos of the house, but that will be another post ;)

Sooooooooo, back to a little bit of papercrafting goodness... over at Haunted Design House, we are having our LAST challenge of the year, which expires this Sunday at 5pm CST.  The Minions are in need of a little yard time from the dungeon, but will pop in now and again to keep everyone on their toes.
So, what is the challenge?


Macabre Monday challenge,
"Samhain Sunset."
You are to create a dark, Gothic, or Hallowe'en
based art piece that represents a 
Samhain Sunset.
We're looking for the colors of a beautiful fall sunset.
Think purplesredsoranges, and yellows.
Use them as you wish, just keep it within our guidelines.

We are sponsored by the incredibly talented Mitzi Sato-Wiuff, of 
She has offered up a very generous prize of $15 worth of digis (digis ONLY)
to each of our GTs this challenge.

Enter your sunset project here.


Mitzi does some AMAZING artwork and digital stamps!  There are so many beautiful images with which to work, I had a reeeeeally hard time deciding!  I went with her


Isn't she gorgeous?!  And I only used a portion of this beautiful image!  Be sure to check out the whole image... seriously awesome!


Shades of orange and copper have always been favorite colors of mine, so this challenge was right up my alley.  I tried to create an ombre effect with the tones in her hair and wings from dark to bright, but the photos look a bit washed out... sorry.


The patterned paper is from Memory Box (I think.... Nightfall or something?).  And I used a TON of different Copic colors on the hair and wings... seriously.  I think I'll be adding a bit o' Stickles to the dots and parts of her wings... she needs some glitz, me thinks :)

Don't forget to enter the challenge... who wouldn't want to win some of these amazing images?!


What do you think?

10.22.2013

HDH178 - Zombies and Creeps

I've been gearing up for the season!  I've got the house cleaned, organized and decorated, the creepy black vines twisted about & the bats hung in the tree.  I'm even hosting a little Girls'-Night-In combination Halloween & jewelry party on Thursday :)  Complete with creepy snacks & libations... don't worry... I'll be posting pics later!  But for now, how about a little Halloweenie card creation?


This fortnight's challenge over at Haunted Design House is Zombies and Classic Creeps and is sponsored by Simply B Stamps.  The Minions & I are using the Limited Edition Zombies and Creeps digis, one of the newest of the Steampunk Collections drawn by the fabulous Abigail Larson.


I used SBS's Collette image that I colored with Copics & then fussy cut around the frame.  I used 13th Hour paper line from KaiserCraft, an ancient metal word plaque, paper flowers & black satin ribbon.  The die cut you see at the bottom is actually the negative cut from Memory Box's DeLacie Border die... me likey!


skin:  BG96, 93, 90
purple:  V28, 25, 22
black:  T8, 6, 4
brains:  R56, 27, 24
curtains:  YR27, YR24, E13, E55, E99 shadows

She came out pretty muted, but the paper line is very muted, so it matches well.  I probably should have reversed the curtain color with her dress, but too late now!

You've got a few days left to join us in the challenge, so pop on by!!

What do you think?

10.08.2013

HDH177 - Dimensional Hallowe'en - Nightmare Catcher

Surprise!  I told you I was going to have a little Halloweenie goodness :)

That's right, I'm playing along with the Minions this week at HauntedDesignHouse...
the BEST crafty challenge blog around!
This fortnight challenge is:
The bonus?  We have been sponsored by:


They have some wonderful chipboard, stencil & mask products.
I chose to work with their awesome layered coffin with web and a couple of creepy spider chipboard cuts.  I'm calling it a Nightmare Catcher... Check it:


I first sprayed the lid & interior with Dylusions' Black Marble ink spray.  I wrapped the lid with some lovely batty webbed lace & outlined it with some crystal/metal studded trim.  A jewelry pendant & a Tim Holtz skully finished it off nicely.

Now for the best part... the inside!  I apologize for the poor photography... shiny stuff reeeeeally doesn't like to be photographed.  Just sayin'.


I painted the rim & interior sides with Tattered Angels' Glimmer Glaze (Oil Slick).  I also painted the spiders with Oil Slick & Chianti... highlighting them with Picket Fence Distress Stain.  The spider web was highlighted with Platinum Liquid Pearls.


See all of that lover-ly mica in the background?  My new favorite thing:
Tarnished Mica Fragments from Stampendous.  LOVE this stuff!
I want to cover everything in it.
Seriously.
E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
;)


The metal tag & letters are a million years old, so who knows from whence they came!
I really wish I could photograph this properly, because it looks pretty awesome in person... if I don't say so myself.


You've still got a few days to come play along for a chance at some chipboard goodness from Tando!  Just go HERE and link up your 3-d creation before Sunday at 5pm CST.

What do you think?

9.25.2013

HDH #176 - Who Are You Supposed to Be?

Where has the time gone... can you believe that it is almost October?!  I have been loving the small glimpses of Halloweenie-ness that have been floating about the web-o-sphere as of late.  It makes me wish the leaves would turn colors faster so I can get into full-on Autumn mode ;)
The crisp evenings have been soooooooo lovely.  It's hard to get out of bed when all I want to do is snuggle down into my light blankie in the mornings!

Anyhoo... here is a bit of shocking news:
I actually made a card.

Yeah.

I know.

CRAZY!

AND it was for a challenge over at Haunted Design House to boot.  Woo Hoo!
Hellllooooooo, Minions... didya' miss me?  ;)
I've missed you!
Why is it that life gets totally nuts just when I want to get my mojo on, get creative and enjoy my favorite time of year?
Karma, did I reeeeally f*ck up THAT bad somewhere that I don't recall?  ;)


Good gawd... it's been so long since I've blogged that I can't even reel myself in and stay on track.  
Ahem.  Back to the challenge...
Basically, create something that reflects a costume that you have always wanted to wear for Halloween, but haven't been able to do so, yet.  This challenge is being sponsored by
The Minions and I were given the new Rick St. Dennis images from IBS to work with, and they are delightful!  IBS sells digis as well as rubber stamps.

I have always loved the intricate styling of the whole Steampunk movement.  But to really do it right, it would cost a fortune for one night of frivolity... but maybe someday :)
So, I used Rick's Steampunk Peg image... love her!


Here are the Copics I used:
skin:  E42, 41, 40
brown:  E87, 84, 81, 89 (shadow)
orange:  E08, YR18, YR27, YR15, E19 (shadow)
teal:  BG18, 57, 53, 78 (shadow)
background:  E84, 81
(papers are from Graphic 45)


That's it!  And I might even surprise you in a week or two and create again... you just never know :)

What do you think?

8.12.2013

HDH173 - Astrological Atrocities

It's getting ever closer to THAT time of year... and I am trying my hardest to get my creep on.

I am having an extremely hard time with my creativity as of late... well... for quite awhile now!  So, to ease on into it, I have created a couple of clean & simple cards for the

Astrological Atrocities
You are to create a dark, Gothic, or Hallowe'en 
based art piece that is somehow directly and obviously inspired by
the signs of the Zodiac or  Astrology.

Teri over at Delicious Doodles is being so kind as to sponsor us for this challenge, and she has worked up some AWESOME astrological sign digi's!  She has done two versions of each sign... one line for the more mainstream, and the other for those of us that prefer the dark side called "Horrorscopes" >;)

My first offering is her Horrorscope Sagittarius:



What is great about this line is that Teri has completed most of the shading for you!


My second offering is her Horrorscope Leo:



And how appropriate that I pick this one... it just so happens to be the hubby's sign.  Poot's birthday was yesterday, so I guess I should give this to him... or maybe I'll just show it to him ;)

That's it.  
Told you... super simple cards today.
I hope you're not terribly disappointed...

What do you think?

6.28.2013

Thought I'd share a bit...

Over the last year I've lost about 60 pounds, 20+ of which has been since Mid-March when I got the ol' diabetes confirmation.  :)  All of this was strictly due to changing my eating habits.  Since March, my bad cholesterol has dropped over 35 points and my A1c went from 10.6 to 6.1 (almost within normal range)... yeay!  My doctor kinda geeked-out on me, he's so thrilled with my progress.  

I've never eaten so healthy... it really pisses me off that I didn't start all of this sooner.  Not that my genetics would've won in the end anyways since both of my parents are diabetic, but I TOTALLY could have staved it off longer had I been smart about it.  What really sucks is that I have to constantly be aware of everything I eat, how many carbs & calories are in it, eat certain amounts of protein & fiber, eat "so many" hours apart, never skip a meal, blah... blah... blah.  There was a reason why I didn't diet before...
it sucks.
And not in a good way ;)

Daily finger-pricking to check blood sugar levels, not to mention the whole medication ritual.
I actually had to get one of those 7-day multi-divided pillboxes...
I am officially an old lady.

I have been going to the gym every day though, except Sundays, for the past few weeks.  Starting super slow... just brisk walking on the treadmill and the elliptical for an hour, and some very light strength training a few times.  And I'm gonna say it... I wish I could wear compression shorts & shirts all day, every day :)  They are so compfy (once you win the battle of getting them on) and they hold everything in... way better than Spanx... just sayin'.

Oh gawd... what a whiner.  Sorry folks, but sometimes you've just gotta vent.
Now if I could just get out of this rut and get creative... my studio table is soooooooo close, yet so far away...

5.19.2013

Tiddly Inks Challenge #110

I actually played along with a challenge!
Tiddly Inks' current challenge is to "use a Wryn"... and the Wryns happen to be my favorite line of Christy's images!  So, without further ado:


I used the "Wryn New Nest" image... isn't it adorable?  I know, I know... where is the creepiness, Barb?  I told you I've been mojo-less lately, and this image was springy and upbeat, so I decided to forgo the macabre this time around :)


Patterned papers:  My Mind's Eye
Grass punch:  Martha Stewart
Die:  Square Nestabilities

Main Copic colors:
skin:  E11, 00, 000, R20 cheeks
hair:  YR23, Y26, 23, 21
pink:  R85, 83, 81
tree:  E57, 53, 51


Yes, I DID fussy-cut the image!
I also drew in the higher branch of the tree to give a little more height to the image.
And yes, pop dots are my friends :)

What do you think?