Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bugaboo mini set Cute Skulls makes funky gift set

More than  a year ago I picked up the Cute Skulls mini set from Bugaboo Stamps and turned the digistamps into a birthday gift for a friend: A fun, funky set of stem charms in a storage tin.

I started with an Altoids sours tin (can you get them anymore? I don't know) and a can of soft pink spray paint. The paint is a wonderful Krylon product that covered the Altoids manufacturer printing in only two coats and dried completely in only a few hours.

Next I cut a skull stamp using a Cricut machine and the Cricut stamp material. I then stamped the skull with black archival ink onto the top of the sprayed tin. One wee bow and a few sticky gems later and the stem charm tin is finished!

Next I cut a piece of heavy black card stock to fit inside of the tin and covered that with pink sticky-back felt. I cut six slits into the felt and added a hitch fastener to the center for easy charm storage and removal.

The charms, each featuring a different Bugaboo Cute Skull, were printed on white shrink film and shrunk before being coated with Krylon clear.

I attached each shrunken skull to a bit of chain with a lobster claw clasp at the end to wrap around and attach to a glass stem.

And there you have the gift! That's so easy for quite a neat little surprise, isn't it?

So, if you want to take all of this to the next level as I did, print a sheet of the Cut Skulls "designer paper" and use a paper cutting machine to cut a tiny gift bag.

I also used the same die cut design from the Cricut stamp cut mentioned earlier to cut a heavy black stock skull which I employed to make a gift card that mimicked the tin with another bow and more fake gems.

Ain't it neat? I think so, too!

Although I was annoyed to discover that my friend doesn't like pink, she only has some of it because it's been foisted on her ... her personal favorite is red.

Oh well. I guess I'll just have to find another round Altoids tin!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Johnston, Housewives of Idiotville and Other Bullshit: How to stop the media coverage

A thoughtful note to those who are not aware: It is possible to see information relating to who has visited your blog. It's possible to see which posts were read, which photos have been viewed and where "they" who visited live.

And, shock of shocks, news outlets also track these things. And with much better accuracy. Much. Better.

So, please people, please for the love of Jebus and all that is magical ... please stop clicking on stories that you know are sure to be stupid.

Or at least stock clicking on the random stupidity and then following this with a full read and comment.

Go read real news ... or OFF with your head!
Especially if your entire comment will be something to the effect of "this story is stupid" or "why don't you cover the real news".

News outlets also track how much time you spend reading this shit.

Do you really think news sites can't gather the statistics of which idiotic stories you're reading, how long you're staying and the number of comments you share on these moronic stories?

Sisters. Brothers. Friends and neighbors: The so-called "liberal media" and the so-called "conservative media" ... they know what you're reading and commenting on. They know it and they sell it to advertisers.

They don't care that your comment was "... this shit be dumb." They only care that the time it took you to read the story and write that comment could be sold to advertisers.

If you want to read actual news, the things that mean something to you and to yours and to anyone besides the dimwits who populate every damn random web site between here and kingdom come ... read, really read, the few important stories in existence that haven't been preempted by items covering the bride wars of X factor.

And then comment on those few important stories. Share an opinion. Even if you're not sure what you're talking about. Piss people off if you must. Because that will cause conversation in the real world and, domino effect, more real people read the story and more real people comment and *BANG* real news gets coverage.

Especially if it's a local news outlet: Read and comment every god damn hour if it's local news, people, because local news is all important news begins.

Trust me.

Trust yourself.

Clearly there's a certain amount of coverage of stupid shit that is only because of the company which owns the local news outlet.

But you and I know that the biggest reason your local online newspaper and television coverage includes B.S. about this reality show and that contest of overeating hot dogs in who-the-hell-knows where is because you read it and commented on it the last time they wrote about it.

They're selling your reading minutes ... make them count.


Because I for one am so fed the hell up with seeing news headlines that scream about the latest reality television show that we both know has nothing at all to do with reality.

Monday, September 10, 2012

CC2C No 20: Enameled stamping

Challenge: The StudioL3 Compendium of Curiosities volume II Challenge, technique 20

Technique: Enameled Stamping, page 44

Main products used for this project: Card stock, recycled plastic, memory pin, tattered florals die, distress ink and clear embossing powder.

Project observations: Linda absolutely nails the feeling with this technique when she points out that it’s a basic one you’ll use again and again.
It’s easy to create, and can result in a classically-styled project or modern or steam punk or whimsical depending on the stamp and colors you choose to use.
Aside from the technique of the week, I used the recycling packaging technique to create a stained-glass like "good life" tag (thanks to Terry at Terry's Work in Progress for the "good life" stamp!). 
Thanks for dropping by and I hope you join this week’s challenge!

Friday, September 7, 2012

An unhappily eventful week: Day 8 with a sad update

Last Friday morning found me with a bit of soreness in my jaw and a mild earache.

Since I've been known to suffer from nearly year-round allergies and strep throat on occasion I figured "Meh, sinus troubles of some kind." By Sunday it was pretty clear that the trouble was either The World's Worst Sinus Infection or a tooth issue.

I would have called to ask someone what they thought, but we had no damn phone service at our house.

Mom, can't you see that I'm sleeping?
I know, right? A holiday weekend, tooth trying to escape from my mouth and no phone. Plus, apparently, service techs who weren't really technically trained so much as script-trained. As in, "Yes, Ma'am, I understand your phone works a few miles from your home, but please remove the skin, battery and SIM card so that we can make sure it's not the phone."


So, with the tooth pain at a level that called for medical attention or a dangerous mix of over-the-counter remedies we decided to drive the couple of miles from our house to make a phone call.

I called one of my best friends who also happens to be a tooth expert, or as some people might say a "Dental Assistant."

Vishnu love that woman: She talked me down from going to Urgent Care and begging for marijuana or heroin or whatever it is they prescribe these days for pain.

Instead I settled in at home with a fistful of ibuprofen, lots of mushy food and waited for Holiday Monday to turn into Dental Office Open Tuesday

During these activities we had another problem arise. The worst problem of all. The Worst.

Probably we could have caught things earlier, making them Not Quite As Bad, if we hadn't been so wrapped up in being pissed off that we had no phone and no helpful input from the service provider. Or if I hadn't been whining about my fucking tooth. 

If not for those things, maybe we wouldn't have The Worst: A dear sweet ferret who we've had since she was only five weeks old is very probably very, very sick. Not going to be with us much longer very sick.

Our house is no longer a phone service dead zone, Tuesday afternoon I received a bottle of pharmaceutical pain killers and I'm now throwing a pail of wishes to the stars that an appointment for tooth fixing on Thursday turns out to be the worst thing next week.

Because if that's the worst thing ... it means our dear little fuzzbutt is OK and once again the undisputed Ruler Of The House.

UPDATE: Between the time I wrote this post and 3 a.m. this morning our little fuzzy named Sparky went to join her brother Finn who passed away last year. It's sad for us, but they're probably happy to be together again ... he loved cuddling her and she loved dancing on his head.

What the hell is happening here?

An addendum …
Until today, August 25, 2012, Not a Moment to Spare has been almost exclusively an art blog.

Because when I started this adventure in February 2010 I thought that what I wanted was a single bit of the universe in which all I dealt with was happiness and creativity.

Unfortunately I was not then and am not now motivated exclusively by happiness or creativity.

Often I am motivated by politics or What I Think Is Right or pop culture or food or What Pisses Me Off or Who The Hell Knows What.

And I need to share those feelings and thoughts and reactions here, or be someone who I am not.

I'm adding this addendum to my blog as a sort of warning: I'll continue posting projects and art, and other things as I always have.

But, because I want this blog to be a part of my life, not a version of my life, I'll be including more profanity and smartass comments in general, along with links and separate columns that are related only to my opinions of Who The Hell Knows What.

And, look at that, I’m introducing my first opinion: No one, especially an artist, should compartmentalize his or her life or opinions only to create a comfortable environment for his or her audience.

I hope that those of you who I have come to love so much will continue visiting and commenting and even begin to lay out the occasional opinion, because without sharing and discussion and thoughtful arguments ... how do any of us grow?