Saturday, April 30, 2011

Say it like it is: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

This week at Drunken Stampers we're asking you to Say it like it is!

Luckily we're sponsored by Bugaboo stamps for this challenge, which means there's plenty of fodder to choose from if you're at a loss for a sassy opinion.

Just look at my version of Bugaboo's Dottie Celebrate: She's decked out in animal print, with a martini, glittery diamond ring, rhinestone earrings and a note that Happy Hour is Whatever Hour Makes You Happy (the sentiment is made up by My Guy).

So, back to the important part: Remember that even though Bugaboo is our sponsor of the week, you don't need to own a collection of Bugaboo images or sentiments.

Share any freshly-made silly, sassy or snarky creation with us at Drunken Stampers before midnight Friday, May 6, using whichever stamps or rubons or images you prefer: Then you might walk away with your own collection of Bugaboo images!

That's right! Bugaboo is offering a fantastic seven-image prize package for the winner of our challenge this week!

OK, even though you're not required to use a Bugaboo image, there are two rules you have to follow for this challenge: Your creation must be new and can not be entered in any other challenges.

Oops, one more thing: Have fun!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Have you seen it: Haunted Design House

Craft- and art-loving bloggers everywhere know that there's no season for the mysterious, macabre or mucky stuff ... it's all around us all of the time, especially at the Haunted Design House.

Some days it's oozing out of our craft towels that were previously swiped across an ink-covered craft desk and other times, let's be honest, it hovered insubstantially above the laundry basket screaming "visit the haunted design house."

That's not just really smelly gym wear folks ... it's iggy higgy other-earthly presences trying to contact us and lead us to the Haunted Design House!

Which means that it's not for nothing that you're artist folk ... perhaps those other-earthly or just really, really lost souls are trying to drag you on to the Haunted Design House ...where it wouldn't be unheard of for them to be looking for ... aaaaccchhhh ... just go ... to .... acccchhhhh ....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting on the dimension with Donna Mundinger and Do More With Less

Roughly seven years have passed since Cricut became a common topic in crafty households.

Then, three years ago, Donna Mundinger wrote her first blog post and taught all of us Cricuters that what we were doing was mundane: Her creations were, and still are, the pinnacle of Cricut-based art.

Check out what she does with a Cricut, and lots of other mediums like digi stamps, at her blog, Popsicle Toes.

After you're adequately impressed and inspired try your hand at a dimensional project, and then drop in at Do More With Less, where Donna is the guest designer for a dimensional art challenge.

I arrived at More With Less after following Donna there, so it's new to me, but I can tell you a couple of things that are apparent: The owner of Do More With Less, Yvonne Yam, has three of the most hug able nephews who ever existed and her art is gorgeous!

Anyhow, one assumes that despite creating the most beautiful art, owning the most purrific cats, and being related to the most hug able nephews, Donna and Yvonne are mere human women, so there's a chance that our creations will live up to their challenge.

Just look at my own card: If I'm not too embarrassed to share ... surely you can, too.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Alone in the Dark: Macabre Monday

I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way.
Welcome to another edition of Macabre Monday hosted by Haunted Design House!

This week's theme is Alone in the Dark and the sponsor is Delicious Doodles and Delicious Darkness, digital image shops owned by Teri, who is a design team member at Haunted Design House (at least I think that's correct ... really I've only been stalking the fine ladies of HDH for a few weeks, so I might be misunderstanding who is who ... hopefully someone who does know will tell me if I'm mistaken).

Teri's images are awfully pleasing, so I had a great time layering in the blue embossed and sanded card stock behind the embossed metal stock that was colored with Wild Plum, Eggplant and Stream alcohol inks before also getting the ol' sand down.

The banner with a metal and grunge board flower was the idea of My Guy (he sure is annoying with all of his great ideas); and the sentiment is, of course, the phrase uttered by the Voice of Sex Appeal Kathleen Turner in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

This phrase I thought perfect to go with my version of the Delicious Doodles Sexy Goth Girl.

Now, you might be wondering about how our Goth Girl of ou-la-la got her color, and you'd be right to do so. Because at my house the only "coloring" comes with crayons, colored pencils and, occasionally, Sharpies. And even that is pretty much exclusive to those things referred to as "coloring books."

Mhm. Yes. I own several. About a dozen featuring a range of options from Looney Tunes to Native American designs, stained glass pages and one based on Star Wars.

However, my digital images never get the full Crayola, FaberCastell treatment.

Instead I open them in an image editing software program, bucket drop colors into the white spaces and print. Tada! This is the reason that occasionally my digi stamp art pieces appear to be very flat and perhaps annoy the designer.

While I feel badly to annoy the original artist, I do like the effect because I can go back over the image with glimmer, glitter and shimmer pens ... thus adding highlights and lowlights and bling.

This image was a bit different since it's drawn in the style of what I describe as "charcoal." It's gorgeous with included shadowing and texture all it's own.

Which, unless you tell me I've lost my mind, I think works beautifully with my computerized coloring and hand-drawn emphasis.

But before you share your opinion of how to make my art better, why don't you try your own hand at creating a Macabre Monday Alone in the Dark piece? Hmmm?

Not such a know-it-all now, are you?

Frosted Petunias Artful Bag Challenge: April

Artful Bag ATC by CuddlyBunny (Tracy)
The Frosted Petunias Artful Bag challenge for April, ATC swap, has turned out to be a fun and exciting experience in sharing and kindness.

Shortly after signing up to join the swap, my first ever, I received a message from my partner, Jeanie Callaghan at All My Art.

We exchanged addresses, expressed our excitement and jumped in: Actually, I think Jeanie had planned ahead and was prepared with the gorgeous Asian-theme piece you see here ... complete with a lucky coin in the tiny bag! She also included in the mailing some wonderful papers and bits for own future ATC projects!

Unfortunately I was not so confident and spent a week or so just feeling very intimidated. In fact the photo of my piece was provided by the very patient Jeanie after I told her that in my nervousness I'd forgotten to photograph it before mailing.

Artful Bag ATC by Jeanie at All My Art
Anyhow, what I finally put together were a couple of ideas, including color and style preferences that Jeanie had expressed on her blog, along with my own ideas for an artful ATC bag.

Of course I had to use metal colored with alcohol ink as it's one of my favorite consumables at the moment, and a beaded handle that matches the beaded "tassle" border.

My ATC is an actual bag, rather than a piece including a bag, so I might have messed up that part of the challenge, but I'm happy with my first ATC project and am looking forward to the next swap coming up in August.

I'll start feeling intimidated again right around July 31.

Until then, see you around the Frosted Petunias Artful Bag Bungalow!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Texture fades and distress: Grungy Monday

Monday April 18, the very same day that Linda announced the newest StudioL3 Grungy Monday technique, I dutifully trotted right over to watch Tim Holtz's technique video.

And procrastinated about doing my own Grungy project until roughly two hours ago.

Why? I guess I couldn't decide what to do. I mean, our Mr. Holtz calls for us to use a Texture Fades folder and Distress ink.

Do you know how open that is? How many colors there are? Several dozen, right? How many folders? Several dozen again. Just look around Tim's blog! There are millions of options!

As of last night I had still not made any decisions, and I don't even own half of the available colors or folders.

Today I finally decided that it was again time to beg My Guy for help: I dropped my pile of about a dozen texture fades folders into his lap, explained the overall technique and said, "Choose a folder."

He asked, "What's your theme?" To which I responded "Choose a folder and then I'll know."

Unbelievably, that's all it took: Fixing my attention on the one starting option, the one folder he chose, got me creating.

I used four Distress ink colors on the embossing folder and a vintage-look Tequila Sunrise recipe from the DezinaWorld ephemera collage sheet for a centerpiece image.

The scrolly-leaf embellishments and oranges are made from grungeboard bits with a few orange leaves cut from metal. Those are colored with Bic permanent markers and alcohol ink.

My Guy has decided that this piece looks "classy" and should be hung, in a frame, above our bar.

Unfortunately his decision has left me pondering: Why is the first time he's called one of my creations "classy?" What does that say about my other pieces? Were they the opposite of classy? Were they tacky?

And, more importantly: Do I care? Not really. He's got some scrap metal and a torch. He can make his own art!

So, I'm sure most of you finished your classy Grungy Monday piece six days ago. Those of you who are even tardier than me: Find a friend, roommate or lover to choose a folder for you and then get your fingers inky!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Farm animals: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

Whenever a co-worker is leaving for brighter horizons I make a card for everyone to sign.

As you'd expect the card is geared towards the recipients' interests or favorite things. In the case of our most recent leaving, and already missed, coworker I got to double up with this week's Drunken Stampers challenge: Farm animals.

The reason for this is that my now former coworker, who was semi-retired, and is now fully retired, is fully retired and living the good life on her farm. I don't actually know for sure that her life is good, but what the hell other kind of life do you live on a farm?

Really, if I was surrounded by fields and an owl-filled barn and mooing and bleating and crowing ... I'd feel good ... for the 10 seconds preceding the realization that I must be lost because I do not live on a farm.

However, we do have two great-horned owls who screech in our yard at midnight every summer night and our neighbors have an annoying rooster. Amazingly I like the wake-me-up, freak-me-out at midnight owls ... I wish the 4:30 a.m. alarm clock rooster would fly away.

Anyhow, this fun and bright card features a lovely red barn from the Heritage Cricut cartridge, glittery sunshine and music notes from the Gypsy Wanderings cartridge and two farm animals from Cricut ... but I can't remember which cartridge at the moment.

Personally my favorite bit is the pseudo Dutch hex sign I placed above the barn door: It's from a Stampin' Up set and is embossed in gold. Don't you love it when you feel brilliant? That hex makes me feel brilliant. Or at least slightly clever.

Can you create something clever with farm animals? I bet you can! And we want to see it at Drunken Stampers before midnight Friday, April 29!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bring in the sun: Scrap Our Stash

Everyone who has been to this space more than a couple of times knows that I love winter. Snow and cold and cozy fireplaces, shimmering icicles and ruddy cheeks ... winter is my season.

Perhaps I'm beginning to understand the summer sisters, though. Because, as with the team at Scrap Our Stash who chose the month's theme as Bring in the Sun, I'm also fed up with the gray, dingy skies and ice-covered sidewalks.

Bring on the tulips! Unfold the lawn chairs! Turn on the sprinklers! Let the Sun Shine In!

My boss, definitely a summer sister, has been feeling this urge more so than any of us, I think. It's been a long few months with some distressing family events, crazy work and the weather topping it all off hasn't been helping.

So, I made this card with her in mind. She can put it on her desk and let the sun glimmer and shimmer and twist and turn.

The sentiment is derived from a little pet name my boss sometimes uses. I have an occasionally short temper, keep no opinions to myself and she is, in her own right, an opinionated smartypants. This means that her pet name for me, "Sunshine," is used in the snarky context of , "OK, thank you for the help Miss Sunshine."
Dangling sun lazily turning.

It's not that bad, working with me, really it isn't. Just as long as we're all doing things my way. And I make presents for people. And bake. And mostly work from my home office where no one can hear me screaming.

Huh. We were talking about sunshine, weren't we? Yes, well. I do believe this weekend is going to be a good one in Northern Nevada: Just the right amount of sun and lawnmowers and children gleefully hunting for Bugs Bunny's technicolor hen fruit.

After which you'll be inspired, I just know it, to create to your very own sunshiny bit of happiness to share with the crowd at Scrap Our Stash.

Oh! I should mention that absolutely everything I used for this piece is at least a year old, and aside from the glittery background paper which was cut from a fresh but old sheet, the paper bits are from my scrap bin.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gothic Pin-Ups: Macabre Monday

... just another Macabre Monday, wish it were Sunday, 'cause that's my fun day ...

Sorry about that 1980s music worm that's surely now stuck in your head, but I had to pass it along.

It's been bouncing around in my head for weeks, ever since I first read about Macabre Mondays at Haunted Design House.

Anyhow, since this week's challenge is Gothic Pin-Ups, so I also figure it was a good time to break out a little Bangles tune.

Nothing was more Gothic Pin-Up cool in the 1980s than a bunch of young women covered in eye liner, hair spray, jelly bracelets and scarves tied onto every appendage (that's right kids, you didn't discover jelly bracelets and make 'em tacky trendy, it was your mom).

Truthfully, the cool factor of musical groups from the 80s is way outside of my hip-o-meter, but I like to think I'm reasonably good at pin-up chic.

That's why I was so excited to be introduced to Macabre Monday's sponsor for the week: TiddlyInks Digital Stamps ... specifically the Gothic PinUps.

The TiddlyInks digistamp you see here is called Made For You, and while this piece I've made with her is fun, it's definitely not as good as she deserves.

One important problem is that she has a button for an eye: It's covered up here with a rhinestone to hide my poor coloring skills. She's much better with the button eye, so I apologize to creator Christy Croll.

Other than that, I can't wait to play again with Made For You, and a couple of her sisters, Briar and Blow Me Away.

While I'm finding classic tunes on the mix tapes I saved from high school (again, kids, real mix tapes were on tape), get yourself over to Haunted Design House where you'll find a lot of inspiring Macabre Monday design team creations.

Additional details:
Background: Homemixed pearlized mist over lace on gray card stock.
Sentiment: TiddlyInks.
Embellishments: Rhinestone, Gelly Roll glitter pen (dress), Xmas Red Stickles (hair streaks).
Scrollwork: Cricut IndiArt cartridge

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Adirondack Color Wash: Grungy Monday

Yesterday I said the Octopode's March Hare would get an updated color job and reemerge as the Easter Bunny to create a holiday card: Turns out he wanted to adorn my first ever chunky ATC instead.

He is correct though, don't you think?

Surrounded by a few UTEE eggs, wrapped in real chocolate egg foils, a fuzzy chick and some quilled flowers he's right at home, and stressed out as expected.

We even found a real woven basket for him to carry, which he so obviously appreciates!

OK, so before I forget, this is my second Studio L3 Grungy Monday post in honor of the techniques of Tim Holtz. Check out his fine work and creative inspiration at Many of you are probably on your third: I missed last week. I know, I know. And what's worse is I didn't even realize I'd missed one until it was too late.

Anyhow, back to the action: This week's challenge focuses on a the Adirondack Color Wash product rather than a specific technique. And that's super fine since this color wash stuff is brilliant. Messy, too, so keep on eye on your work space and everything within two or three feet.

Depending on how much you spritz it'll create a fine mist, puddled finish or fully coat your intended surface (and, as mentioned, some unintended surfaces).

I used it over a layer of white appliance enamel spray paint, so in some places it's soaked through to the wood base and in others it dried into perfect little bird's egg splotches.

This enamel with wash background is something I've used before and can guarantee you'll see again since I think it's an amazingly cool look.

Today I also discovered another "technique" that you'll see from me again ... wrap-around stamping.

See those birds? They're from the Lost and Found Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous set. I dipped the stamp in black archival ink, pressed it carefully against the edge of the chunky, and then "rolled" it around to the back side, creating a single stamped image that curves around the ATC.

Neat, huh?

If you haven't been over to Grungy Monday yet this week you've still got a few hours to join the creative fun!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The colors of blue and yellow: The Altered Alice

The third chapter at The Altered Alice is Alice Colors of Blue and Yellow, which suited me beautifully as I'm feeling the need to incorporate some bright colors into life.

After all, as much as I adore winter and throughout July, August and September my greatest desire is a snow day, this year's succession of grungy-skied Spring days in Northern Nevada has been cheerless. Depressing. Freaking dreadful.

As I said though, no more of that lusterless talk: Let's dive deep into the well of sunshine yellow and clear sky blue!

My Altered Alice Blue and Yellow piece also wandered through the garden at Bugaboo Stamps and Alice's tea party at Octopode on Etsy.

Don't you agree that the Bugaboo flower cups, which are originally designed as coffee cups, make a brilliant Alice-esque tea party background? And isn't the Octopode March Hare a perfect and wonderful representation of that moment before your first cup of caffeine in the morning?

The tinsel-embossed phrase hanging above, You Warm My Heart, just had to be added on it's own little wire spring dangling above the March Hare because he really does warm the heart with his one crazy eye, droopy ears and scruffy clothing!

Later today I'm going to make a holiday card on which I'll let the Octopode March Hare dress up as the Easter Bunny after a long morning delivering colored eggs. I'm sure he'll be thrilled.

But not nearly as ecstatic as he is to be joining the fun at The Altered Alice! You can also sign up for this Artistic Outpost-sponsored party, just so long as you link up before 8 p.m. April 22!

Technology sucks!: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

How do you prepare for the weekly Drunken Stampers challenge?

Do you unfurl the cord on heat gun? Perhaps you download a new digistamp or even program a new shape on the ol' die cutter.

But not this week, fellow creators! This week's challenge is sponsored by Laura Ingalls and your local energy savings group! It's the no electricity allowed challenge!

My own piece for the week is going to be quite a shock, especially to my friends: It's a Tim Holtz alterations die cut from, have you guessed, a Guinness can!

The plaque is provided by an ekSuccess slimline punch (I think it's actually called real estate sign or something).

Anyhow, the colors are from alcohol inks, blues and coppers on the cage and reds and white on the bird. The plaque, which I'll just admit I adore, is colored with butterscotch and eggplant alcohol inks. The way those colors mixed and created a vintage sort of worn metal finish ... neat!

The sentiment is from the A Tweet Close to my Heart set, stamped with black archival ink.

Only a couple of weeks ago I finally realized that you can purchase archival inks in colors other than black.

So, while I try to figure out the best place to pick up a couple of other archival colors, go unplug your printer and heat gun and get crackin' on the Drunken Stampers Technology Sucks challenge!

Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm back and with a whole new look!

Christmas lights reflected in brushed metal finish.
OK. I admit it. I've been distracted lately. Work and stress at home and the need to create without boundaries or obligations of photographing and posting ... I know, it's selfish, but it happens.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate photo editing? I do. I hate it. I enjoy photographing everything -- literally everything. You'd be shocked to see some of the weird stuff I photograph. I just hate resizing, cropping and all of that crap. Procrastinating about a particular post is usually me avoiding messing around with photos.

Still, until I received notes from a couple of blog friends I hadn't realized just how long it had been since I'd checked in with everyone. After all, if I fail to write something snarky several times a week, people have no way to know I'm still alive.

Now, I didn't take the time to check before I started writing this post, but it seems to me that I end up in this situation, writing a post just like this one, every two or three months.
Pretty glow of handmade candle.

The reasons are pretty much those noted in the first paragraph: Blogging and life are time consuming. So we sometimes lose track of one thing to concentrate on something else.

Never think that this means I don't love all of you, because I really do: I'm so, so grateful for the bloggers who've inspired and commiserated and become friends.

But I think you can pretty much count on me doing this to you every few months. Even my before-blogging friends are used to me sometimes disappearing. I simply can't do it all and hang out e-chatting while still finding time to wander around inside of my own brain. How the hell do all of you find the time?

Yeah, here's my point: I'm back again with a new look, apologies for my self-centered behavior, a warning that I'll probably do it again, and a request that you forgive me ... again.

Creepy bug drinking from water puddle on kitchen counter.
So, how do you like my new look (let me know by voting in the poll)? I found the background at The Graphics Fairy, and even switched out the Blogger template! Yay! Changes!

I bet a lot of you aren't as glad to see me return, as you are to see that I've ditched the Hello Kitty pink background!

... and then I went and ruined those good vibes with the creepy ass bug photo, huh?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

St. Patrick's Day prize ... at least it's before Easter!

Hello bold bloggers of the world! Way back in March I offered up some Guinness can flats to anyone who commented on my St. Patrick's Day post.

I bet a lot of you think I was too busy drinking the contents of the cans to remember that post, but you're wrong! Well, there was that one day, but otherwise you're wrong.

I've only been busy and couldn't get to cutting down the cans and getting this post written!

But, here I am, with the name of the winner *drum roll please* ....

It's Zoe at This Little Place!

She even gets a few extra flats and gewgaws because she was a follower prior to the St. Patrick's Day post!

Drop in on Zoe's blog when you have a minute, she's doing some absolutely beautiful art using all sorts of mediums -- it's really amazing to see what she creates!

Just look here at the gorgeous journal she sent to me as a Pay it Forward gift!

Have a fabulous, art-filled week everybody ... and Zoe, I'll be mailing your Guinness flats next Tuesday!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

If I had a million dollars: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

This week we're thinking big at the Drunken Stampers pub, we're thinking big bucks ... like a million of them.

What would you do if you had a million dollars? Aside from discover that a million dollars isn't quite the windfall it was a few years ago.

We've got a house that it'd be fun to pay off ... and then ... well, haven't you laughed with someone about what you'd do with a big ol' chunk of cash?

I have, and in addition to making sure everyone in our family has a few less bills ... I'd never clean the bathroom again. NEVER. I'd hire a woman, a man, a complete stranger, absolutely anyone who'd be willing to clean my bathroom.

The position wouldn't be hard to hire for, I wouldn't think. After all, our bathrooms aren't filthy ... they're only bathrooms. A sink, a toilet, a tub, a floor.

Still, had I any choice in the matter our bathroom would be like the ones we had at summer camp. All concrete and stainless steel with a giant drain in the middle of the floor. That way instead of scrubbing and wiping and rinsing I could grab the pressure washer and let gravity do the work.

Hey! Maybe THAT is what I should do with a million big ones! Call in the concrete man to build us a really luxurious concrete bathroom!

Oh well. I don't need any of those things, but it was fun to think about all of it while playing with the "JJ Ugly" image from Bugaboo Stamps.

I colored her on the computer, and printed twice so that I could cut out her mop and "pop" that bit for a 3D appearance. She's backed with embossed and sanded card stock and a bit of designer paper from Die Cuts With a View. Her glasses and a few places here and there are shimmery with a little glitter-filled gel ink courtesy of GelWriter.

Now it's your turn: Drop by the Drunken Stampers challenge blog and show us what you'd do with a million dollars!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sponging with The Stamping Boutique: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

This week at Drunken Stampers we are sponsored by The Stamping Boutique and we have a question for you: Are you sponge worthy?

Good heavens silly ... sponge as in the thing from the bottom of the ocean filled with holes and valleys and such that make for such wonderful dabbing tools for paint and ink. To what did you think sponge referred?

You people watch too many Jerry Seinfeld reruns.

OK, so as I noted we have a sponsor this week and each of us at the Drunken lounge got to try out a Stamping Boutique image with our very own homemade spongy backgrounds.

I chose the fun Busy Bees image and would have finished my card on the very first time 'round except I couldn't sponge a background that made me happy: The adorable and wonderful image ... that I immediately finished digi-inking and trimming with no trouble.

Well, it didn't actually start that easily. It was a royal pain in the ... it was super tough ... just to choose an image from all of the great options.

Have you been to The Stamping Boutique? Have you been to The Stamping Boutique Challenge blog? You've probably visited them a million times already, but in case you have not: Check out this mini bio from Boutique owner and artist Tracey Malnofski:

"My team and I are very happy to sponsor Drunken Stampers! My store has been open since September 2009. I am currently a stamp artist for Unity Stamp Co. and I've worked for InStyleStamps, Squigglefly, and TheDigiShack in the past. I'm a professional artist and an active member of the Artist' Guild in my community. I have quite a busy household with a husband, 3 teenagers, 5 mini-dachshunds and an Appaloosa mare. It's noisy, but I love them all. I'm truly blessed."

"The Stamping Boutique is dedicated to quality products and original artwork. We not only provide wonderful digital images in our store, but also several lines of red rubber images. Our designers are chosen for their character and personality, as well as their beautiful designs. We work hard to give you our very best."

Can you believe that between all of that Tracey also manages to keep up a busy on-line shop and design new art? Me neither. Her middle name must be Superwoman.

At the very least it's Really Nice Woman since she's offering three digis to the winning submission at Drunken Stampers this week! All you have to do to be in the drawing is create a brand new piece using our sponging theme, post it and add it to this week's Mr. Linky at Drunken Stampers before midnight Friday, April 8, 2011 (and, of course, make sure it's only entered for the Drunken Stampers challenge -- no combined challenges this week).

Alright, have you formulated a response yet? And? Are you? Sponge worthy?