September 26, 2007

yes, we're still here!

Man, it's amazing how the time flies, isn't it?? I have done some crafting lately, and have posted a few new pics to my flickr account. For a crafty blog post, you can check out this link to my latest post on the Phoenix Craft Mafia blog.

Things will probably be pretty quiet here in the desert (at least on the blog, anyway) for the next couple weeks. I need to pick up my craft room (yet again, since it turns into a disaster at the drop of a hat) and turn it into a guest room for real, since my parents and sister will be here soon. After their visit, I will definitely have lots of things to show you- as long as you like Native American baskets and pottery, turquoise and silver jewelry, desert scenery and landscapes, that is!

September 16, 2007

the Sunday round-up

In other news here in the desert:

Finally got my eyes checked earlier this week- first eye exam in over 2 years... thankfully, my eyes haven't changed a lot (since my eyesight is terrible as it is)... it was kinda funny- the Dr. said "look into this machine, and you'll see a house in a green field." I told him I'd have to take his word for it, he did some adjustments, and then said "your eyes are bad, aren't they?" Which is true- I've worn glasses since the 3rd grade; still haven't gotten the courage to look into surgery, even though I can't even imagine how nice it would be to wake up in the middle of the night and be able to see my alarm clock.

Tom is getting ready for a week of travel to the east coast... he flies into Jacksonville, Florida and will drive up the coast, eventually ending up outside Philadelphia, where he will fly from on Friday. (I think.)

Yesterday I did lots of errands in town- recycle place to drop off the plastic and glass (which they don't pick up at the curb here...), post office to mail a swap package to Israel (unsuccessful, since the local post office doesn't have counter service on Saturdays- which stinks!), grocery store to stock up... I also did my first Curves workout at the local Curves franchise yesterday. I joined earlier this week; they're having a "back to school" promotion- bring in 10 school supply items and they waive the signup feel. I finally decided that the 100+ degree temperatures here in the summer isn't really a good enough reason to not exercise.

Yesterday we cooked our first steaks on our gas grill- the grocery store had NY Strip steaks on sale for half price... I did a bit of internet research, and we ended up marinating them in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and worschestershire (sp?) sauce. They turned out pretty good, considering our meat thermometer doesn't work. (we found that out when we were checking the steaks for doneness, unfortunately.) The steaks are still on sale for a couple more days, so I'm going to pick up two more, and we can try it again!

Today, we hung out, had Filiberto's breakfast burritos for lunch, watched the Nascar race, and Tom changed the oil in his car while I did the laundry. (You know, those annoying things that have to be done, no matter how much you don't want to do them.) Tonight, we're grilling again (just hot dogs, this time) and it will probably be early-to-bed for us- that 3:30 am alarm clock is a bit annoying. This evening, I will spend some quality time with the heating pad to counter some of the effects of the computer on my arms, and I will try and stay away from the computer next week, although you can see how well that's working right now, can't you! ('s not!)

have a good week, everyone!

great mail week!

I recently joined swap-bot, which is a great internet site for hosting and organizing all sorts of swaps, including craft supplies, handcrafted items, postcards, letters and lists, and ATCs, which are my main thing right now. (Check out swap-bot here.) This week was a great mail week; I got envelopes from 5 people, 2 different swaps that I'm in. (Much better than just the usual junk mail and bills!)

These are ATCs from a swap titled "Flower Power Postage Stamps" where you use the postage stamp as inspiration for the card. Jeannie sent me some extras, too: the cutest metal dragonfly brads, and some shiny red Christmas paper (which didn't focus too good, so there's no pic of it here) which will definitely be put to good use!

These are only part of what Dawny sent me for a painted ATC background swap. She even painted her envelope! (you can see the rest, including the envelope, here) The red and green ones are perfect for another swap I'm in for Christmas ATCs. The top right one is painted felt, the bottom right one is collaged, and the red and green ones were made using crackle paint, I think.

Backgrounds from Kimberly.. the top 2 went right into my album; they're too pretty to use as backgrounds! The other three were made (somehow) using sandpaper, crayons, hairspray, and rubber stamping, from what she says. I need to find out exactly how she did it, cause they're really cool! I'm not sure I want to cover those up, either...

Flower power postage stamp ATCs from Kasia. The stamps are from Poland, and she watercolored scenes onto the cards that continued the scene in the stamp. The one on the left is a view thru a hotel window, with a flowerbox on the balcony.

She also sent me an envelope full of these great extras, which I can't wait to use!

Backgrounds from Susi from the ATC background swap; the gold and white ones will also be great for Christmas ATCs- they're tissue paper, I think. The other ones, I have no idea how she made them, but the colors are gorgeous!

September 14, 2007

some of my favorites-

another post of links...

the first link goes to my Etsy favorites. I mark items as favorites more for inspiration than for possible shopping- looking at them, my favorites are mostly birds, flowers, and things from nature- coincidence?? I think not- that's mostly what I make, myself. Check out the link for some really cute things, and some really great Etsy sellers! I only wish I could categorize them, but Etsy doesn't allow that right now (maybe someday??)

the second link goes to my Flickr favorites. Again, it's full of inspirational artwork, images, and people's photos- mostly of flowers, birds, and nature. (with the occasional dog or cat pic added in for a dash of cuteness!)

the third link is to a medical website that talks about cubital tunnel syndrome, which is sort of like carpal tunnel, but causes your ring finger and little finger to "fall asleep" due to pressure on the nerve that runs thru your elbow. This is something I've been dealing with for the last few weeks, and finally went to the Dr. about last week. I have an appt with the physical therapist next week- hopefully he can give me some advice, exercises, etc. that will help. Something besides to "rest" although I know he'll say that... (yeah, right! kinda hard to do that when my job uses the computer all day!) This is also why I've been staying away (or trying to, anyway) from the computer at home, but I miss you all, my bloggie friends! I have been working on some ATCs, and had a great mail day yesterday that I really want to show you- probably over the weekend!

September 09, 2007

a post of links

hi! it's another Sunday night here in the desert... just a few short hours till we have to hit the hay (so to speak- we're not that primitive out here in the desert!) to get ready for another workweek. 4 am comes awfully early!

The first link: the Phoenix Craft Mafia blog... check it out to see pics and coverage from our latest Trunk Show, which was yesterday.

Yesterday's show was pretty good- we got a late start due to some technical difficulties at the restaurant, but it was a lot of fun! I took a project (Christmas cards) to work on, but ran out of doublestick tape before I got finished. After the show, I had just enough time to relax a bit and change my clothes before we headed out to a barbecue hosted by Tom's boss. It was a nice evening- Richard and Susan are gracious hosts who open up their home to their employees a few times a year; it was also a celebration of Richard's birthday, so plenty of family and friends were also in attendance. We didn't stay terribly late, but needless to say, we didn't get up early this morning!

The second link: a new blog belonging to a fellow Mafia member, PackRat Stash (aka Tressa), who knits and crochets: The Chronicles of Yarnia (clever name, isn't it?) How did I get through almost 40 years of my life without ever hearing about "yarn porn" before?? Now, now, it's not what you think; people who knit, spin, or hand-dye yarn use this term to refer to their addiction/lust for yarn and all things colorful. I know the feeling; it's how I feel when I get new stamps or patterned paper!

Here's link number 3: the Holiday section of my Etsy shop- I just posted a couple sets of holiday gift tags- it's Christmas time, in the shop! (read that line to the tune of Silver Bells for the best effect...) More Christmas items coming soon... now, I'm off to make some ATCs for a trade I'm in that need to be mailed tomorrow... bye till later!

September 04, 2007

you may also be able to find me at:

the new Phoenix Craft Mafia blog... starting today! We're all going to post on this blog, so you can sometimes read about Crimson Cat craftiness there, as well as here. Over time, you can also read up on the other crafty members of the Phoenix Craft Mafia... check it out!

September 02, 2007

Newest ACEOs

I got crafty with the paper, glue, and paint again today... over the course of the last week or so, I made at least 10 ACEO backgrounds, and I finished some of them up today. I say "finished up" but it's more of an ongoing process for me- I have to think about the backgrounds for a while, then decide what images I think will "fit" with the backgrounds, both in terms of the "feel" and the colors. Sometimes, I'll even change my mind midstream, and go in a totally different direction- sort of makes it a surprise to see what I end up with!

Spring Symphony #1. for sale in my shop.

Like so many of them, it was not what I had originally planned. The image was a vintage one I found on Flickr; the image is from an 1883 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine. I watercolored it and cut it out; originally I was going to put it onto one of the painted backgrounds I made (pic below) but the colors just weren't right. I think it fit much better on this background. It still looked like it needed "something" which is where the twigs came in. They are sewn on with very thin gold thread. These are three painted collage backgrounds, waiting for their focal images. They were made basically like the journal pages I made in the Art Unraveled class I took with Kelly Kilmer. (as good as I remember, anyway- I didn't take notes during class!) Only much tinier, of course, since they're only ACEO size!

Fly without Fear. For sale in my shop.

When I started this background, I didn't like it at all. Once I finished it, I loved it! Just goes to show you that you have to see things through to the end, I guess. I left a bit of vintage dictionary paper showing in the corner; it is the definition for the word "impunity" which I kind of liked. The colors are much more luminous (? I think that's the word I want) in person, because the entire thing was covered with a light coat of turquoise Lumiere paint, which adds a shimmery glimmer of color to the whole thing. The flying bird stamp wasn't facing the right direction, so I stamped it onto a flat piece of rubber, then stamped it again onto the paper- this switches it around and gives you a mirror image.

Home- Where One Starts From. For sale in my shop.

This background ended up a bit darker overall, with the red and blue colors in the paint I used, so I thought it needed a more graphic image to off-set the background. This clipart house fit the bill, I think! I finished off the edges of both the house and the card with Sharpie marker.