Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Too many ideas buzzing....

..and I can't sleep. Those moments of creativity that hit me in the middle of the night are becoming more frequent. I've been dreaming of making art, taking photos, writing instructions...and when I don't go to bed before 1 a.m. and then wake up, wide-eyed, at 5, that's not good. I laid there until almost 6, gave up on more rest and got up to make coffee.

I'm still wrestling with my post-CHA mess in my studio, so I decided that was the best place to start. When I opened the door, yesterday's 45° high hit me in the face. My studio is an enclosed patio room we added to the house. It's air-conditioned, but we just leave the door open for heat, since we don't have harsh winters here, only steaming hot summers. Someone shut the door last night and this morning, you could hang meat in there. Since there are only two people who live here, and I know it wasn't me, I can only assume that Larry did it or one of the dogs used the thumbs he only grows when needed to open the door, sneak in the house, shut the access door, then sneak back outside to his dog house and snicker about the trick he had just pulled on me. I left the door open while I write this and drink my coffee. I'm afraid if I go down there and sneeze, it will snow.

For those of you who enjoy crops and want to make a difference in the lives of teens, there will be a crop on March 8 at Youth Villages in Bartlett. Goodie boxes, lunch, access to at least six eight-foot tables of Accucutz dies and good fellowship will be the order of the day. If you are interested, please e-mail me at inkyfingers@bigriver.net and I'll put you in touch with the sponsors.

Hope you have a great day. Stay warm. I know I intend to.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Teacup Girls


Forgot to post our photo. This is Roxi, Ronnie and me at Disneyland. Our knees were jammed so tight in the center! You'd think we would have gotten a bigger teacup!

I should have watched the game....

...it wouldn't have made any difference. My Tigers lost anyway, but they're still #1 in my heart.

I am skipping church this morning in the interest of public health. I surely do not want to share this crud with my church family. It's been 10 days and shows no signs of subsiding. Every time I think I'm better, I get a coughing attack that leaves me breathless. Enough of this Oh-Me-Poor-Me mentality.

More CHA info...
I purchased a new Pazzles Inspiration at the CHA convention and am so excited. This thing cuts all types of materials including paper, fabric, cling vinyl, rubber stamp material and a host of other items. It also embosses, distresses, engraves and hasa pen tool that will hold any regular sized pen or marker. It's no bigger than an all-in-one printer. It cuts paper up to 12" wide, and I think the paper length is unlimited, but not sure and too lazy this morning to get up and hunt through my bag o'crappage from the convention to find the brochure. It will ship soon, and I will be happy to report here when I've tried it out.

The Perfect Paper Pouch (PPP) I mentioned in my last post is something I will have a hard time working without. I love vellum, glossy paper, shiny paper, coated-with-anything papers, bumpy papers, mulberry papers.....you get the idea. These papers don't always lend themselves to ink jet printing, markers or rubber stamps. With the PPP, you can swipe the printing surface with this little pouch and have no beading, no ruboff, just perfect printing. You can use it on ribbon and twill to get great, non-bleeding rubber stamping. It is aptly named. It's also the brain-child of Amy Roszak, who is just a joy to work with. Her website is www.scraperfect.com. Check it out.

I received word Friday that one of my pieces for Artistic Outpost Rubber Stamps will be in the April/May issue of Stamper's Sampler. Robyn Sharp's stamps are so cool. Check them out at www.artisticoutpost.com.

Enough for today. I'm off to sit in my big fat chair, mount some stamps and sip something hot.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Home, Sweet Home

I am so glad to be home. We drove more than 4,000 miles and saw a lot of wide open spaces. Lots and lots of wide open spaces. Trust me. Southern Texas is not pretty in February. Now, I don't want all you Texans to get upset. I lived in San Antonio, one of the prettiest cities on earth, when I was a teen. It was one of the highlights of our trip this time, but that stretch from just west of San Antonio to El Paso is downright dull. Just sand and cactus, as far as the eye can see. I'm sure that when the light hits it just right, it's really pretty, but in the words of Dudley Moore from Arthur, "You can't always depend on that light." And the wind! We were hauling an rv and when we stopped Saturday night in El Paso, the wind got so bad that we were afraid to open the door of the camper, for fear it would be ripped off the hinges and a wind gust would come through and overturn the whole rig. We're very thankful God got us through that one safely!

We went to Disneyland on Friday before the show opened and rode the teacups. Larry took photos while Roxi, Ronnie and I rode. We all became honorary citizens of Disneyland and watched lots of fireworks. I thought of my buddy Debbie Flowers, the Disney fanatic, when Tinkerbell flew across the castle.

The CHA show was a huge success, and everyone involved deserves a big round of applause. The Fashion Showcases were over the top, the Designer Showcases were drop-dead gorgeous and the License and Design exhibitors were top-notch.
As soon as I have reduced the sizes on my photos, I'll post some of the pix I took.

I'm extending special thanks to my Fashion Display teammates: Melony Bradley, Ronnie Goff and Roxi Phillips. These ladies are the best! Well, except for Ronnie. While I left the fashion display set-up to take a licensing class, she added some sort of really ugly stuffed animal to our Mom and Me display, then tried to tell me she had made it for the show. Being the genteel Southern lady that I am (most of the time) I was going to let her leave it in place, even though it was ugly as mud, but she finally 'fessed up.
Our theme was Mom & Me and we designed it to look like a retro kitchen where mother and daughter had been making gifts for friends and family

We all came home with the CHA bug and are still hacking and coughing, but glad we went!

We saw lots of new products. The Unity Samp Company has a great new acrylic block system for those who love the feel of wood and the ease of acrylic. The Perfect Paper Pouch, although not a new product, is great and makes it possible to stamp or print on just about any surface, including vellum, Bazzill Bling and shiny metallic surfaces. Marvy has some great new punches and a new styrofoam heat cutter that is similar to a small band saw. It cuts styrofoam, but will not cut your chipboard pattern, so you can pin it in place and do your cutting without drawing the image and trying to follow the lines. Clearsnap's new wheel tool is designed to hold clear stamps so that you an design your own custom wheel image. I saw lots of beautiful new clear stamps, and am also eagerly awaiting delivery of my new Pazzles custom cutter.

Can't wait to get my studio straight and begin creating again. Of course, then it will be messy again.

Monday, February 4, 2008

California, here I come...

We had a great time this weekend at the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) - boy, that's a mouthful! -convention in Nashville. We got to catch up with old friends and made some new ones. When we weren't pickin' and grinnin', we were visiting with our friends, some who we only see at this convention every year. I think we got about 8 hours of sleep from Friday morning until Sunday night. These bodies are getting too mature for that kids' stuff, but we really had fun. Wayne and Janet Southards were so nice to open their bed and breakfast to us. I don't know what we would do without the wonderful friends God has allowed us to have.

We're off to CA for the CHA convention this morning, and I don't now when I'll get to update this hit-or-miss blog again. I'll post when I get the opportunity. I do know that by Friday night, I will have been to Disneyland!