Wednesday, December 31, 2008

To all my friends....

I want to let you know how much your friendship means to me. I know I don't post as often as I should, although I'm getting better. (Of course, when my previous track record was once a year, it's pretty easy to make an improvement!)

For 2009, I wish you all a year of prosperity, love and lots of creative endeavors. May you have all the stamps and supplies you desire, all the time to make art that you need and the joy of like-minded individuals in your corner.

Happy new year!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More from Artistic Outpost

I just love these elephants! This card was so easy. Stamps from AO's Circus plate, inks are Ranger Tim Holtz Distress inks and cardstock is from Stampin'Up!®.

1. Stamp elephant across white cardstock with Spiced Marmalade and Walnut Stain inks. Sponge Shabby Shutters, Faded Jeans and Mustard Seed inks around edges.
2. Wrap and adhere dark green rayon ribbon ( around card.
3. Sponge white cardstock with same inks as edges. Stamp circus with Walnut Stain ink. Trim and round corners. Edge with Krylon Gold Leafing pen. Mount label to cardfront with pop dots and add gold star brads (These brads were navy blue, so I painted them with the leafing pen as well).
4. Mount all to green cardstock.

Check out all three new plates as well as specials from Artistic Outpost at You'll be glad you did!

Have a fun week. It's almost Christmas! WhooHoo!

What a great party!

Our River City Stampers Christmas party was held yesterday at Michelle Murphy's 135-year-old home in Arlington, Tennessee. The house was beautifully decorated, and Michelle and daughter Stephanie were the perfect hostesses. We had lots of good food, a great Dirty Santa swap and Secret Stamper pals were revealed.

Today, Larry and I are about to put up our Christmas tree so we'll have time to enjoy it before we take it down! He's watching some sort of sporting event, so I'm taking a break to post.

This is another Artistic Outpost card from the Fortune Teller plate.

Here's how to make it:

Inks: Ranger Tim Holtz Distress inks
Cardstock and patterned paper: Stampin'Up!®

1. Stamp the fortune teller image on a sage green patterned paper. Use an Aqua Painter to add Mustard Seed and Spiced Marmalade inks to the background. Add violet and sage green to the fortune teller image. Layer onto More Mustard Cardstock.
2. Run a piece of Vintage Violet cardstock through a Cuttlebug and lightly tap a pigment pearly or mica ink pad on the surface to highlight the texture.
3. Stamp illusion in black of a scrap of patterned paper and layer it onto a scrap of Vintage Violet.
4. Assemble all and layer onto green cardstock.

Go make something and have a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Another New Sample from Artistic Outpost

This card is from the Artistic Outpost Fortune Teller Plate. Cardstock is Stampin'Up!® and inks are Tim Holtz Distress Inks. The patterned paper is a ledger-style paper from my scrap box. Here's how to make the card.:

1. Sponge white cs with Spiced Marmalade, Shabby Shutters and Mustard Seed inks. Stamp the background stamp with Black Soot and attach to card base.
2. Stamp the hand image with Shabby Shutters ink on a scrap of patterned paper. Sponge edges in Shabby Shutters and Aged Mahogany. Layer onto green scrap and attach slightly off-center to card front.
3. Stamp magic in Aged Mahogany and sponge edges as above. Layer onto scrap and set aside.
4. Cut a scrap of patterned paper 3" X 5.5" and tear and sponge long edges. Wrap around left side of card. Tie ribbon and attach magic tag under knot.

After a week of one of the worst colds I've ever had, I'm off to the River City Stampers Christmas Party this morning to hang with my stamping friends, eat yummy food, find out who my Secret Stamper is and play Dirty Santa for stamps. What better thing to do on a cold Saturday morning in December? :)

Merry Christmas!

I just love this little Cutie Pie from the new Valentine plate from Artistic Outpost. These images are sooooo 1950s. They remind me of the style of the Valentine cards I shared with my friends.

All inks are Tim Holtz Distress Inks and all cardstock and embossing powders are from StampinUp!®

1. I started with Whisper White cardstock and stamped the heart image randomly with embossing ink. I then added white embossing powder and heated. I then applied Lipstick Ink with a sponge over the entire background. I also stamped the image again on a separate piece of cs and applied red embossing powder. I trimmed the red heart closely.

2. I stamped the majorette image on white cs with Black Soot ink and colored with an aqua pen and several ink colors (Fired Brick, Lipstick and Aged Mahogany). I applied Krylon Gold Leafing pen to the fringe on the shoulders and added the dog tag. I trimmed it out and mounted it to the background with pop dots.

3. I trimmed a small piece of red cardstock and attached it to the hand. I added the red embossed heart and a bow of RockCandy Rayon Ribbon.

4. I attached all to a red cardstock background.

5, The Cutie Pie was stamped in Fired Brick and edged with Lipstick then mounted on a scrap of red and attached to the card.

Hope you're enjoying these images from Artistic Outpost. More tomorrow!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Plates from Artistic Outpost

This is my favorite card made with the new Vintage Circus plate from Artistic Outpost( This is a new release, along with Fortune Teller and Valentine. I love all the new Artistic Outpost plates and will be posting a new image daily for the next couple of weeks.

Here's brief description of the Vintage Circus plate from the AO website:

Vintage Circus: Everyday is a circus in the Artistic Outpost studios. All we are missing are the wild animals and the three rings. This collection features vintage images from circus posters and advertisements from the 1900's. For our card makers, the main circus collage measures 3.75" x 5", a large stamp perfect for creating backgrounds. The entire collection comes in either an 8.5" x 5.5" unmounted sheet of red rubber OR mounted on EZMount cling foam, trimmed closely, and "mounted" onto a clear plastic printed index sheet. FREE shipping for USA orders of $50 or more.

Here's how I made this card:
Note: All cardstock and inks except for Tim Holtz Distress Inks, are from Stampin'Up!®
1. Sponge Very Vanilla cardstock with Tim Holtz Distress inks(Mustard Seed, Fired Brick, Shabby Shutters, Spiced Marmalade, Aged Mahagony). Be sure to cover an area the size of the large circus stamp.
2. Stamp image over sponged background in Basic Black ink. Trim image.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 on Whisper White cardstock. Cut out the center tiger image and edge with gold Krylon Leafing Pen. Mount on white cardstock and trim edge to 1/8". Mount to large image with pop dots.
4. Stamp elephant image with Basic Brown ink on Very Vanilla cardstock and sponge with Spiced Marmalade ink. Trim.
5. Tie gold cord (Stampin'Up!®) around large image and add elephant with pop dots.
6. Mount all onto More Mustard cardstock.

Have a great day. Stay warm!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another Adventure...

Way back in June of this year, there were several of us who attended Artiscape in Jackson, Tennessee and stopped at a local eatery for dinner before the trek back to the Memphis area. We were talking about all the wonderful people we would like to learn from, and an idea was born. Robyn Sharp, Michelle Murphy (Wilkerson), Roxi Phillips and I pursued this idea and it has come to fruition. Now, we need help from you.

Mixed Media Mélange (M³) is excited to announce a three-day artist retreat to be held
September 2009 in LaGrange,Tennessee. We are currently searching the globe in a quest to find talented artists/instructors to offer a variety of dynamic mixed-media classes. If you are interested or know someone who you'd like to recommend, please email us at, and we'll send the proposal forms.

I'll be posting some photos of the area tonight, so check back.

A Sad Day

It's 4:22 a.m. and I have been awake since 2:45. I don't know why I couldn't sleep, but when I can't, I get up and go to the computer. A quick game of Spider Solitaire usually does the trick, but this morning it didn't. I went into my e-mails and found the sad news that our dear friend Mozelle Smith had passed away. Now all I can think about is her dry wit, her tiny little shape and her quick smile. She was a joy to be around and brought sweetness everywhere she went.

She was a wonderful stamper, always wanting to learn new techniques. She was also a world traveler. I remember her trip to Egypt and her ride on a camel. She always brought treasures back from her trips for her friends. I still have a packet of bits of flotsam and jetsam from that Egyptian trip - some papyrus paper with a King Tut image, a couple of postage stamps, just little things that may not have been much to anyone else, but they were symbols of her letting us know that she thought about us on her adventures.

I have a tendency to hoard things: beautiful papers, one-of-a-kind trinkets, bits of beautiful ribbon and packets from Egypt. It's time to get those things out and make a tribute do my dear friend. She didn't give me these things to be put away and left for my family to try to figure out what they were. They were meant to be used and I will do my best to honor her memory. I'll post the finished product soon.

Have a good day. Hug your family and friends....and tell them you love them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Autumn in Tennessee

I know that Vermont is beautiful in the fall. I've been there.
I know that New Hampshire is drop-dead gorgeous in the Fall. I've been there.
I know that Maine kicks butt in the fall. I've been there.

BUT....have you ever seen such a beautiful autumn in Tennessee as this year? I have taken about 300 pictures of the sugar maple tree in my front yard in the last week. I can't walk out the door without pulling my camera out of my purse and snapping a few shots.
When Larry and I leave the house, no matter where we're going or how late we are, we always take the long way through the backroads surrounding our neighborhood. The colors just take my breath away.

That's it. Just wanted to comment on what a great artist God is.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I'm not sure if this will come through. The colors were off the last time I tried to post. The blood is really red, not purple as it may appear, but you get the idea. Also, the Diamond Glaze doesn't show up, but it makes that Ruby Red blood really pop!

Thanks to Cynthia Jerkins for coming up with the idea for this swap!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What a great weekend!

I did a little creative work this weekend, bought a great filing cabinet for my office, went to a family reunion, went to a surprise party and heard missionaries from Nepal at church today.

The creative work: I was in a wonderful swap that was due today. It was a paperdoll swap and the theme was "Wicked." I have been thinking about this for a while and had thought about using my face on the doll, but nixed that idea. I ended up using Lizzie Borden, the forty whacks lady. I found a photo of her from the waist up and created the lower half in Photoshop for the paper doll. I then made an extra outfit that was a long white gown, kind of like a butcher's coat and added a hatchet and photoshopped in her hands from the original photo. I used the Stampin' Up! air art tool and my SU Ruby Red pen to splatter blood all over the coat, then dripped the Ruby Red reinker on the chest area and down the hatchet blade. I finished it off with Diamond Glaze on the red drips for a truly gorey effect. I made a black folder to hold Lizzie and her murder outfit that had clear embossed SU swirls on the bottom, a gold spider and the phrase "Something wicked this way comes," both from Oxford Impressions' new Wicked plate. I topped it off with a Halloween ATC of two yowling cats and a gold elastic thread to hold it all together. I'll try to post a pic tomorrow.

Our family reunion is always totally awesome. This group, which is the family of my maternal grandmother, has been getting together yearly since the early forties. We have games and tons of food, all prepared by some of the greatest Southern cooks I know. And not only do these women cook, they are all gorgeous. My husband once said, "I've never seen so many beautiful women in one family." I do have to admit that my cousin Ed, who is over 65 and still called "Junior" by the family, made some killer chocolate brownies. They were thick and rich and almost like fudge. I could feel my arteries hardening just looking at them. So I had two. We had a great time.

The reunion was in Somerville, Tennessee and when we left, we headed up the road to Jackson, Tennessee for a surprise birthday party. That's the birthday girl in the center, Andrea Nash, between Larry and me. She was totally surprised. She will be 40 Tuesday and doesn't look a day over 30. She is also a great singer and sings with the Sorghum Hill Bluegrass band. My DH is the bass player and sings harmony as well.

The missionaries who were at our church today have been living in Nepal for nine years. The one thing they said that really made me think was that the people in Nepal have a very low literacy rate, but they have cable tv. Therefore, they think all Americans are Christian and we are all like the characters portrayed in the movies. That's why they don't like Americans. When the missionaries told some Muslim friends that they were coming back home for the birth of a grandchild, the Muslims were concerned for their safety. They think we have gun battles in the streets. Well, we do in Memphis, but not everywhere in America.

Have a great week!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Drum Roll, Please......

I just finished a 12 X 12, 72...count em'...72-page scrapbook in 48 hours. It is for a local dignitary and I am scrapped out.

Orphan Works Bill

As I understand it, the Orphan Works bill (see Oct. 3 post) has been tabled until next session unless they decide to come back for a short one and sneak it through.

Please continue to contact your people in Washington. This is an outrage.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Serious Stuff

The House of Representatives has sneaked a bill onto the floor for approval after telling us it would not be voted on this session. I, for one, intend to find out who did this when we were all paying attention to budget deficits and debates. It is probably being voted on as I write but here is the gist:

As I understand it, if the Orphan Works bill passes, any art you create and publish is no longer yours unless you pay to register it with every government entity, and then it still isn't safe if you miss one. Anyone can use your images, including your licensed designs, rubber stamp art, paintings, musical compositions, EVEN PHOTOS OF YOUR CHILDREN for any purpose they choose, whether it's printed material or porn. They just have to say they tried to find the owner and couldn't. If we let them slide this one through, what is next?

Here's a comment by one of the CHA Designer members.

You may feel that you are not affected by this because
your business is creating projects which you sell
outright, copyrights and all. Please keep in mind that
there may come a day in which you decide to, or are
presented with the opportunity to license your 3-d
design for the gift or home goods market. Wouldn't you
like to be able to protect your copyright in order to
create multiple income streams? Acting NOW will make a
difference and put in place the opportunity for
licensing your art in the future.

And if you love using beautifully designed papers
(surface art), rubber stamps, textiles, etc. in your
projects, please show support for those of us who
bring you this. Imagine no new art! Our industry
depends on art for the creation of new products.

If we are sounding desperate, it's because we are. We
need all the help we can get. Please spread the word,
make the calls, fax and write. Blog about it, ask
others to blog about it. If they can do this to us,
they can/will do it to other personal property owners.
Don't let them get away with this.
Thank you.

Call your representative now!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One More from AO Snowy Woods

Today is the day! You can order your own set of Bluebird and Snowy Woods, and AO has some great specials. Check them out at

This card was made with Snowy Woods' beautiful door stamp. I stamped it in Basic Brown ink on Confetti Cream cardstock (Stampin;Up!), then colored the image with Derwent watercolor pencils and my Aquapainter brush. I added base color then used the Aquapainter to blend. I don't know how many layers I have on this, but the final hard details for the branches and wreath were added with the pencils alone. I used Stampin'Up!'s white pen to add the berries and branch highlights. Antique brass hardware corners are from RockCandy Studios. The little sentiment was stamped in SU Blue Bayou. The background swirl paper is from a slab I bought a couple of years ago, but I spritzed it with Patina Glimmer Mist (yummy stuff!) to get it close to the color I wanted for this background.

I'm off to drop hubby off at his friend's house - they're heading to Nashville for the International Bluegrass Music Association awards. Last year, they went a lot of parties and wound up with eighth row seats for the awards show, right in the middle of all the folks who were nominated. Larry got to rub elbows with some serious bluegrass musicians. I hope he has as much fun this year.

It's a beautiful day - go outside and enjoy living in the South!

Monday, September 29, 2008

You can't have too many bluebirds....

...and it's a good thing, since I have them everywhere. Thank you, Artistic Outpost, for creating this lovely sheet!

This card was made with Stampin'Up!'s Blue Bayou and Whisper White CS. The yellow gingham and green border where scraps from my stash. I stamped the image in Blue Bayou, then colored it with watercolor pencils and an Aquapainter. I added a bit more length to the branches with brown wc pencil as well. The birds were stamped on a large brad (Basic Grey or Bazzill - can't remember which at the moment) with Blue Bayou ink and heat set. I layered the image onto the green scrap, then tied the ribbon around the yellow scrap before I attached the bird image. All was layered onto Blue Bayou CS, with a bit of inking on most of the edges.

Here's a ribbon trick or two:
1. This ribbon was black and white gingham, but I needed blue, and not that wussy light blue. I wanted a strong blue. I inked the ribbon with Blue Bayou to match the card. If you have black and white ribbon, you can make it match any card you're making. I keep a stash of gingham, dots and swirls in black and white just for this technique.

2. My other trick is a green trick: if you're going to tie a ribbon around a card, the back side is just wasted. Cut your ribbon 2 inches longer than the width of your card and wrap the extra inch to the back on each side, securing with double-stick tape. You might even get away with 1/2" on each side. After you glue your layers down, tie a scrap piece of ribbon to the base ribbon. You can tie a knot or a small bow. Either way, you're using less ribbon and saving a tree in the Amazon jungle. Just kidding about the tree, but it sure makes your ribbon go farther.

I'll post again tomorrow evening. Not sure which plate, so come back and be surprised. I know I will be!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

When it rains, it pours....

Haven't posted to this blog since August and now, three posts in three days. Is the world coming to an end?

I made this card with the new Bluebird plate from Artistic Outpost, which will be released Wednesday, October 1. I hope you are enjoying these cards as much as I enjoy making them. They aren't fancy, but they're quick and easy.

I used Stampin' Up! cardstock (don't I always?) in Old Olive, Basic Black, Lavender Lace, Blush Blossom and Creamy Caramel, and SU Basic Black and Lavender Lace Craft inks. Stamp the bird image in black on Lavender Lace cs. Stamp the boy in black on Creamy Caramel. Ink edges of the Lavender Lace cs, the boy image and a scrap of Old Olive trimmed to frame the boy. Cut a piece of Basic Black cs to 5 1/2" X 2 1/2" and run it through the Cuttlebug to texturize. Use a copper- colored Rub-on to highlight the texture (available at ...... such shameless self-promotion!) I tied a raffia scrap though the button ...y'all know I hate button holes with nothing in them. Oh, but first, the button I used was a little too bright, so I just rubbed a bit of my Basic Black ink on the front to tone it down. You could do the same with the rub-ons from RCS.

Now for the assemblage: Glue the boy image to the Old Olive and attach to the right side of the Lavender Lace piece, leaving about 1/8" of LL cs showing. Add five brads to the top of this piece. Note: The brads were antique brass, but I wanted a hint of purple so I tapped them on my Lavender Lace Craft pad and then onto a paper towel to get just a little purple tint. Layer all onto a folded piece of Old Olive. Fold the textured black cs around the edge of the card fold and glue in place. Stamp the sentiment onto Blush Blossom cs in black ink,trim and tear the right edge, then ink the edges with Lavender Lace ink and attach to card front. Add the button with red liner tape or a glue dot.

Be sure to check out the new plates at, plus all of their previous releases. October is their 1 year anniversary. Happy Birthday, Artistic Outpost!

More Artistic Outpost Snowy Woods

I just love this Santa. He looks just like the real thing, which as we all know, is alive and well and currently sunning in Boca Raton or points south. I think the RockCandy Studios Brown Baroque Border (try quickly saying THAT three times) really sets off the sentiment and works beautifully with the vintage look.

To make this card, I used Stampin'Up! cardstock (Chocolate Chip, Pretty in Pink, Blush Blossom) and SU's Basic Black, Purely Pomegranate and Apricot Appeal inks, a couple of antique brass brads and RCS Baroque Border. I stamped the Santa image in black, sponged on the Purely Pomegranate and Apricot Appeal inks and tore the lower edge. I stamped the sentiment in Purely Pomegranate, sponged the edges of the sentiment card and layered it onto Chocolate Chip. I used a Cuttlebug background to texturize the larger Chocolate Chip layer. I added brads to the sentiment card and attached the border above and below. I layered all onto the Pretty in Pink. I really like the "Happy Christmas" sentiment with this image. It seems very old-fashioned to me and I thank Artistic Outpost for including it with this gorgeous plate.

Friday, Roxi and I hauled our wares to the West Tennessee Christian Women's Retreat at Whispering Hills Conference Center in Olive Branch, Mississippi. We were invited by our good friend, Dianne Papasan, who was one of the organizers of the event. We spent the weekend with a great group of ladies and had a commemorative make & take bookmark for each of them to create. All was well except the glue I bought for the event. It was really fresh and REALLY sticky, which is what you want in a gluestick, but we had people sticking to bits and pieces of RCS trims, to the bookmarks, to the table cover, to the gluestick, to each get the picture.

One thing I really enjoy with make & takes, especially when the group is not really a stamping or scrapbooking bunch, is the wonder you see in someone's eyes the first time they stamp an image or finish their piece. It's like a child who has just successfully ridden a bike without training wheels. There is such a sense of accomplishment. We saw that over and over this weekend.

I want publicly thank our gracious friend Shelly Hickox who opened her home to two weary travelers Friday night. The selfish guests in question arrived at her home after 11 p.m. Friday night, kept Shelly and hubby Dan up half the night talking about the debate, then snuck out like thieves in the night before seven the next morning. Well...I stretched the truth a bit. We did arrive after 11 and stayed up a bit talking, but Shelly and Dan were so nice to us. Their opening their home to us kept us from having the expense of a hotel (We are just starting this business. Every penny must be wisely spent!) or making the hour-and-a-half drive back to Drummonds and Brighton and back again to arrive by seven the next morning. We would have had five hours to sleep, and we all know that when you know you have to get up with the chickens, you just can't fall asleep immediately. We did get up with the chickens, though. Shelly has chickens, and while we didn't walk out to the coop to actually see them, we did hear the rooster greeting the sunrise. We also met Steve the cat who is a girl. Shelly woke us at six and made a pot of coffee with freshly ground beans. We all talked a little art before we had to crank up my log-wagon diesel truck to head back to the conference center. I'm sure everyone was awake after that, including the neighbors.

I'm off to prepare my class materials for my Sunday school class as well as dinner items for our last-Sunday-of-the-month fellowship. I will be posting again this evening with a card from the new AO Bluebird plate.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Stamps from Artistic Outpost!

Artistic Outpost is releasing two new stamps plates on October 1, Snowy Woods and Bluebird. I will be posting new images daily until Oct. 1 so you can have a little sneak peek.

Today's sample is from Snowy Woods. I just fell in love with this Santa, and the phrase is from one of my favorite poems, so what's not to love? The technique involves a stipple brush and my favorite color combo: Stampin'Up!'s Old Olive, Cameo Coral and More Mustard. The image was stamped in Basic Brown, then the colors are stippled on. I inked all the edges in Basic Brown. The papers are SU Very Vanilla and Chocolate Chip, plus a Cosmo Cricket from last Christmas. I have no clue what the base paper is, but that's a little strip of RockCandy Studios' Leaf and Flower Border in antique gold on the edge of the sentiment tag.

Roxi and I are off to the West Tennessee Christian Women's Retreat this weekend in Olive Branch, Mississippi to peddle our wares and hang out with some great people, including our good friend and artist extraordinaire Shelly Hickox who is letting us bunk at her house tomorrow night to avoid driving all the way back home, which is more than 50 miles.

Since it's 3 a.m. and I have to get up at 6, I think I'll head to bed.

Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Natural Phenomenon

Yesterday afternoon, we were in our backyard and witnessed the most awesome sight. Those little highlights in the photo are dragonflies. This pic doesn't do it justice, because there were hundreds of them. Every time they flitted by, the sun would hit their wings and they looked like pure favorite metal, of course. Most were low to the ground and you could really see them in the shadows, but a lot were in the tree tops. It was around 5:30, so I assume they were having dinner at Windham Acres. Sometimes we could see the bugs in the air, and if they didn't move fast enough, they were gobbled up by a copper-winged creature.

This morning, I woke up early and there was a beautiful doe in the back, down near that shadowy tree line you can see in the photo. She kept looking toward the house as she grazed, so I don't know if she could see me or not. It's about 700 feet to the area where she was. Not being a hunter, I'm not up on the distance a deer can see. I just know that I can see her and she is gorgeous!

On another note, Artistic Outpost is releasing new stamps today.

Here's the info. I tried to upload an image, but five minutes later it was still loading, so I'll do that in a separate post.

Artistic Outpost is proud to release two new stamp collections: Route 66 and Vintage Halloween.

Route 66 features nostalgic images of the first American super highway, Route 66. Who isn't yearning for a great "road trip" right about now! We always get a little sad when August rolls around. It means another summer is
winding down. Use this terrific set to capture those memories in your summer scrapbooks or make something unique which pays homage to those who are born to be wild!

Vintage Halloween is for all those out there who prefer treats to tricks. Who wouldn't love seeing the children in our two main images showing up to the front door on All Hallow's Eve? This collection features work from Victorian era postcards. Think of all the Halloween Party invitations, cards, or treat bags that you could create with this one set!

To celebrate the launch of these two new collections, Artistic Outpost is
running sneak peek specials...From now until Monday, August 11th, the following
items are on sale at the Artistic Outpost webstore.
* Vintage Halloween - $9.99
* Route 66 - $9.99
OR PURCHASE BOTH for $18 (that's $6 off the retail price of both)

There is a special "bundled" product in our webstore that will allow you to
order both plates for $18.00.

We can't wait to see what you do with these fun images!!!:

Friday, August 1, 2008

RockCandy is here!

After much pulling of hair and loss of hours and hours of sleep, was launched at 11:59 last night.

Here's a little background:
Roxi Phillips and I met through rubber stamping. We were both Stampin'Up!® demos. When Eclectica Scrapbooks and stamps opened in Memphis, TN, we both began teaching there. Our styles are similar, so although Roxi taught book arts and technique classes and I taught cards, scrapbooking and 3D art, people began to confuse us. I can't tell you how many people - even people who knew us both very well, called her "Candice" and me "Roxi." Now we're RockCandy.

When we went to the Craft and Hobby convention in Chicago last summer, people started asking if we were sisters. One vendor even thought we were twins. We thought maybe we had been spending too much time know: like people who begin to look like their dogs.

When we began team-teaching and wanted to use lots of funky materials in our classes, they were hard to find. We got to thinking that if we were looking for this stuff, other artists must be as well. We began to collect odds and ends and then added merchandise from a few vendors whose products we love. Now our space is overflowing so we're sharing.

I hope you'll stop by our website and check us out!

On other matters: It's hot as a July firecracker here in the South. That was one of my Granny's favorite sayings. The heat index has been 108° to 110° for the last week. When I think back to my childhood, I can't remember a day when I wasn't out playing or sitting under our Chinaberry trees reading or drawing, or even worse, playing softball or riding my bike for endless hours. I don't think I could stand it now. I can look out the window and just drip at the sight summer. I have an August birthday and can only imagine my mother carrying an 8 lb. 9 oz. baby in this heat with no air conditioning - at home or at work either one.

I went into an antique shop yesterday in Memphis that had no air conditioning. The owner must pay the man who runs it some mega-bucks to suffer that heat. If the merchandise hadn't been so good, I would have turned and walked out. Instead I bought stuff. The heat was a blessing, because if there had been air conditioning, I would probably have emptied my bank account in there. I saw one thing that I couldn't justify purchasing and wanted so badly. I was an ornate back plate and dooknob made from copper. The owner had buffed it just a bit so you could see the potential it had. If I can figure out a good use for it, I'll spend the $75 they're asking and bring it home with me. Do you think posting a pic on here could justify the purchase? Somehow I don't think Larry would see the value.

I'm off to Roxi's house. Go make something and stay cool!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More book photos...

Roxi's Book with side-opening glassine envelopes.

I finally got a little breathing room to add the other photos for our upcoming class at the Memphis Botanic Garden on July 26. For some reason, I can't get my pics to upload. Any advice?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ready for CHA....almost

We leave for the Craft and Hobby Association convention in Chicago next week. There are four of us going together: Roxi Phillips, Ronnie Goff, Tricia Martin and me. We're driving from Memphis, with a detour to St. Louis for a stop at Red Lead, one of our all-time favorite stores.

Roxi and I are in a tizzy trying to finish everything to get our online store going by August 1. We also have a paper arts class on July 26. For those of you in the Memphis area, here are pics and class info from the Memphis Botanic Garden website:

July 26. Paper Arts Class. Join 2 of Memphis' best paper arts instructors in making a customized book in a decorative box. The book will be bound using the Japanese stab binding technique. Collage, painting techniques, and embellishments will personalize each participant's book. All supplies will be provided except personal mementoes. This class is designed for beginning as well as experienced paper artists. The complexity of the project will be determined by the artist. 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Members $45/non-members $50. Prepayment required by July 23rd. Call 636-4128 for information or registration.

Roxi's Box Sample

My Box Sample

I will try to post book samples tomorrow.

Stay cool.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Please excuse me!

I am not so stupid that I spell words incorrectly! I promise. Iwasinahurry! Now I can't figure out how to go back and edit out the typos, so they will live forever in cyberspace! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!

My love affair with Prismacolor pencils...

I adore Prismacolor pencils. I especially love new ones. They have that same sort of scent that a new box of Crayolas has. And while we're on the Crayola subject, I must confess that I bought five - count'em - five big boxes when they announced that they were changing colors. haven't touched them. The tips are just a perfect as they day they came off the assembly line. But I digress....
This morning I saw a post on Technique Junkies about Prismacolors, so of course I had to throw in my 2 cents. Those of you who know me personally know that I always have an opinion. May not be a good one, but it's all mine.
Anyway, I got several e-mails about a technique I described so am posting a down and dirty, quick and rough sample in a mini tutorial. Please excuse the rough coloring. I was in a hurry (That's my middle name – Candice Iwasinahurry Windham).

Step 1. This is just the basic stamped image. The image is a retired Stampin'Up! stamp.

Step 2. I colored the darkest parts of the image with Indigo Blue.

Step 3. I colored over the blue with Tuscan Red and extended the edges of the darkest areas a bit.

Step 4. This is a little tricky to see. I colored the entire image with the natural colors I would have used: Hot Pink, Pale Vermillion, Green Bige (Do you think they meant "Bilge"?) and Sand. I left the left side unburnished. I burnished the right side on the flower with white. See how the colors blend? I then went over some of the darker areas with just a bit of blue. The background on the right is blended with nail polish remover using a small paint brush.

One last colored pencil tip: When you sharpen them for the first time, be sure to sharpen the end with no printing. That way, you''ll still have the name and know what to buy when you get down to a nub on your favorite color.

One more tip (I lied about one last tip): You can purchase little metal pencil extenders at any art supply store to hold that last little bit of a colored pencil nub.

If you have any questions, please post in comments or e-mail me.

Thanks for looking!

NOTE: My server is not letting me preview. If this post is whomperjawed, I apologize! Candice

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Don't know what the posting problem was, but here are two tags and a Christmas card made with Artistic Outpost stamps. The images from AO are soooooooo cool! Gotta love 'em!

Has it been that long?

I can't believe my last post was April 30. What a terrible blogger I am!

In all fairness, things have been hoppin' here at the Windham household. Larry has been on a world tour...well, Minnesota anyway, and is now in yet an another band, which means we see each other only in passing during early evening.

Roxi and I had a soft opening of our new online store, RockCandy Designs, at Artiscape in Jackson, Tennessee this past weekend and it was a great success. We'll be up and running online at on August 1. We carry hard-to-find items for the mixed media artist and are stocked with the trinkets and treasures we use in our own art.

Roxi and I will also be teaching a cool class at the Memphis Botanic Garden, Saturday, July 26. The all-day class will feature a two-part project which will include a beautiful book made with glassine envelopes and tags with a collaged cigar box to hold it. Check out the class list at

In my spare time I've been trying to get things ready for summer CHA as well as work on projects for Artistic Outpost and ScraPerfect design teams. I tried to attach some of the projects for Artistic Outpost here, but my photo-posting skills must be challenged today. I'll try to add some later tonight.

Have a fun-filled day!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Artistic Outpost Sale

Artistic Outpost ( is having a great sale and a preview of two new rubber sheets. Check it out!
I'm off to work at the Rivertown Gallery today in downtown Memphis and will post again later, but wanted everyone to know about the AO deals.
It's a beautiful day here in Brighton, Tennessee. Hope yours is great!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New favorite product...

I am totally in love with Beacon Adhesive's Quick Grip Permanent Adhesive. This stuff is similar to E6000 as far as holding power, but it's a less dense adhesive - great for getting glue into rough surfaces for better holding power.

Last night I was trying to finish a project that was on a rough surface - woven straw - with a curved edge. I was adhering flat floral marbles, one of the heaviest embellishments for the size that you could ever find, and I wanted them to sit right on that edge. ( Of course, I always have to make things difficult!) I adhered 20 marbles in less than 2 minutes and not one slid off the mark. I do have to admit that I tried squeezing a little out onto a scrap and trying to use a toothpick to add the glue to the marbles, but it dries so quickly that by the time I got to the third one, a film had already formed over the glue puddle. This stuff dries very rapidly. Those of you who know me know that I hate to wait, so Quick Grip is perfect for me!

I used it last week to adhere beach glass to wood and glass and it worked like a charm.

On another subject, today is my day to work at the Rivertown Gallery, an artists' co-op in Downtown Memphis. Larry's going with me to help mind the store. The last time I ws there, I had so many customers that I had people standing in line to pay. Not a good thing for the customers, but a good thing for Rivertown. Amyway, it promises to be a gorgeous day, in spite of weatherman predictions of rain.

Speaking of the weatherman, my new favorite cd is Cadillac Sky's latest. There's a great song on there called You Can't Trust the Weatherman. Get a copy and check it out. Every song is great and the lyrics actually tell a story, unlike most of the music today. Don't know if you can hear snippets online anywhere, but google Cadillac Sky and see what you find.

Well, I'm off to the races. Have a fun-filled day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Death and Taxes and Tags, Oh,My!

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I posted (no comments from the Peanut Gallery, Roxi). Since then, my team did not win the National Championship. I attribute that to poor officials in the first half and poor playing in the last two minutes. However, I am so proud of the University of Memphis Tigers and Coach Cal. They represented themselves well and showed the nation that all the people in Memphis are not thugs or Beverly Hillbillies, contrary to reports in the media. Enough said. That's the death portion of this post.

Taxes....oh, taxes. I always say I will not procrastinate. Ha! Dropped them off at the accountant on Saturday and picked them up late yesterday with 14 minutes to spare before they had to be mailed. Small town living has its charms as well as pitfalls. The pitfalls come in when you actually have until midnight to mail something and the post office closes at 4:30, come hell or high water. Since I didn't want to drive to the bulk mail center in Memphis to mail, I had to take off work early, drive to the tax palce, drive home to get Larry's signature and then rush to the P.O. to see my buddy Bruce...I commented on Bruce in my last post and promise to tell the story of Bruce one day.

I have been trying to do a little creating for my friend Robyn Sharp at Artistic Outpost. Here are a couple of tags:

Artisitc has a great special for April. Check out the 20% off plates at

I'm off to have lunch with friends at Olive Garden and meet with my business buddy at Starbucks. Sounds like a calorie-filled day to me.

Please excuse typos. I'm an artist, not a typist.

Enjoy spring!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

One more to go....

My Tigers have one more game to win, and no, being the jinx that I am, I did not watch one second of today's game. Our son came over for dinner, and we had a nice, quiet evening. Well, a nice quiet evening until 8 p.m. when he left and I knew the game was over. It took forever to find out who won, and I didn't actually know until they interviewed Coach Cal at the halftime of the Kansas/North Carolina game. Here are the words to the U of M fight song for those who did not get a copy from me via e-mail:

Go, Tigers, go, go on to victory, be a winner, through and through;
Fight, Tigers, fight, cause we’re going all the way—
Fight, fight, for the blue and gray and say—
Let’s go, Tigers, go, go on to victory,
See our colors bright and true;
It’s fight now without a fear,
Fight now, let’s shout a cheer,
Shout for dear old Memphis U.

I expect to hear a rousing rendition Monday night from all you Tiger fans.

And since I have such willpower to not watch the game, I still have that Pazzles box all sealed up, but I'm thinking tomorrow afternoon may be the grand opening. All I have left on my magazine projects is wrapping and addressing the boxes for mailing Monday a.m. Old Bruce at the post office will be greeted by my bright and cheery face peering through the window when he comes to unlock the door. Don't think I've posted anything about Bruce, the P.O. Guy. That's a story for another day.

By the way, thanks to Michelle, Trish and Carla for offering to help me with my Pazzles problem. That's really kind of you girls, but I think I can handle it myself :)

Here's a funny thing that happened yesterday: Larry and I decided to go to a movie - first one in a couple of years, but Leatherheads looked too good to wait for a DVD and was. But I digress. On the way there, I was riding and thinking about all the books I want to make, just to make sure my memories are not lost forever when I'm gone. I was thinking of all my cousins, and while I am very close to those on my mother's side of the family, I don't have a lot of contact with those on my father's side, probably because most of them live in Mississippi, near Water Valley where my father was born. Nothing wrong with Mississippi - it's a pretty state - but it's not like I can drop in for coffee with the cousins just any old time. It takes concentrated effort, preparation and planning, and y'all know I'm not very good at any of those. Anyway, Daddy's last sibling, my Aunt Oline, died this past summer. Her oldest daughter Linda called me while at was at the Stampin' Up!® convention in Denver to tell me that the funeral was immediate, so I couldn't even get back for it. I think that was the first time I had ever talked on the phone with Linda, even though we spent summers on thier farm when I was a kid, and she and her sister Marty came to our house in the city for summer visits as well.

Anyway, we haven't had a lot of contact over the years - I've probably only seen her three or four times in the last 35 years, and I was thinking that I should call her and make an effort to keep in touch. We got back home and there in my mailbox was a note from her. The first one I ever got. Don't know how she even knew my address. I do know that God was tapping me on the shoulder and whispering in my ear to remind me that you need to make time for family. Besides, some of those memories I want to preserve involve adventures with Linda and Marty and all their siblings. Here's a sample memory: One of the things we loved to do was fish in the creek. We had to cross their cantaloup patch to get to the creek, so we would pick cantaloups for our lunch then put them in the water to cool. When lunch time came, we'd crack them open and eat them with the juice running down our arms and dripping off our elbows. That is one of my favorite summer memories. That and Aunt Oline's biscuits with molasses.... but that's another story....

Have a great Sunday! I know I will!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Can you believe it?

It's the last day of March. This month has flown. Seems like yesterday that I was just returning from February's cross-country jaunt and now my University of MemphisTigers are in the Final Four. I have yet to watch a game and trust God to take them all the way. Altogether now, Go, Tigers, Go! Go on to victory, be a winner through and through.....

Tomorrow is April Fool's Day and also the day I started in my graphic design job at MLGW about 30 years ago. I've always thought that was kind of appropriate. :) I do love my job, though. There are just some days when I'd rather be playing in garden dirt or washing my car or stamping something or creating art or writing in my blog. Or finishing all those projects so I can open the Pazzles box! Yep. Still sitting here mocking me. I know you're thinking, "How does she have such will power? What a strong woman!" What a stupid woman! What was I thinking when I swore to get those projects in the mail before I opened my new toy? Who knows?

On a higher note, my bud Roxi called today and told me to go online to Amazon. I did a search for a couple of books we worked on in the Red Lips for Courage Make it in Minutes series and discovered that I am the cover girl for the Make it in Minutes: Last Minute Gifts book. The cover project is probably one of my favorites, a little cookbook that makes a great house warming or bridal shower gift. There is no publishing date yet, although I'm thinking it should be out by Christmas. The Make it in Minutes Wreaths book will be out September 2. If anyone is interested, you can pre-order and they'll send as soon as they come in. Be sure to check out Roxi Phillips' two books in this series as well, Mini Books and Party Favors and Hostess Gifts.

By the way, I recently purchased Marie Browning's new book, Creative Collage: Making Memories in Mixed Media. I haven't had time to really read it thoroughly, but it appears to be a great book. Great projects. Great photography. You can get it on Amazon as well.

Well, freelance work is calling me. Have a great week! Go, Tigers!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter Weekend!

I hope everyone is enjoying a great Easter weekend.
Don't you just love this time of year? My friend Debbie Dennington, a Texas transplant to Tennessee, now living in Bull Shoals,Arkansas, always said there's nothing prettier than springtime in Tennessee. She's right.
I have the most beautiful, wonderfully scented Jonquils growing in my flower bed, and this afternoon when I was gazing out the front window, I spotted an purple iris about to bloom under our sugar maple tree. I always forget what bulbs I planted in the fall, so there are always surprises, although those irises have been there for at least 20 years. My fiend Kathy Conner gave them to me when we built this house and they have multiplied and multiplied. A few years ago, I finally dug a lot of them up and threw them into the organic trash pile in the woods. The next spring, I spotted them happliy blooming. They just keep spreading. I spotted tulips and Easter lillies pushing up through the ground as well. No sign of my hostas yet, though.
I have a huge day lily that needs to be separated.The last time I did that, the root ball was about 3 feet wide. I think that was 10 years ago and I had to hack it apart with a machete. That's on Larry's list o'things to do this week. He'll probably get frustrated and chunk it in the woods with the irises.
I made a cool tool tonight when I should have been doing something else. I have a big assortment of Midwest Products' colored Styrene transparency material. I wanted to play around with stamping on it and my first attempt was a little disappointing (blue styrene with Saddle Brown Stazon). I took a sheet of white cardstock and glued 1" X 7" strips of each of my styrene colors to it. I marked off 1/2" increments and then stamped each of my Stazon colors on the strips. That way, I'll know what the ink is going to do to each color before I waste my styrene. I'm going to play around with some stained glass effects using Artistic Outpost stamps tomorrow morning. I'll post some results.
Have a wonderful Easter...and remember why we celebrate it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

ok. I'll play

I was tagged by Queen Roxi to share seven things about myself and pass that on to seven bloggers...not sure if I know seven bloggers, but I'll do the first part anyway....

1. Born and raised in Memphis with a slight detour to San Antonio when I was 13. That didn't last long, but SA is a beautiful city.

2. Won my first art award in the second grade, although I had to share it with Mrs. Tutor's entire class. I made a bird out of clay for the spring portion of our science fair exhibit about seasons. We won the Science Fair for Longview Elementary School. Still have the photo. That's me in the center right with long dark hair and, of course, a red dress right behind the project. That's Carol Hopkins, my elementary years best friend, with the blonde curls at center left. I still count many of the children as good friends today, although they're a little older now.

3. My record for most 35mm photos taken is two 36-exposure rolls in a two-mile stretch at Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine. I guess the second is 9 rolls in a five-day stretch in New York. Can you imagine why Larry bought me a digital camera?

4. I met Elvis when I was 13. He was the most beautiful person I've ever seen.

5. That same year, I was invited to Elvis' house for a party. I didn't even think twice about going. I was afriad of anyone more than a year older than me-don't know how old Elvis and his entourage were at the time, but it was in the early 60s - and I knew I'd never be able to call my Dad and tell him I needed a ride home from Graceland.

6. I am descended from very poor but lovely genteel ladies on my mother's side and a family of moonshiner's on my father's side. That's my grandfather on the right of this photo of our family still near Water Valley, Mississippi. This may explain a lot about my strange personality.

7. I knew within five minutes of meeting my husband that he was the guy I had been looking for. We were engaged in two weeks and married in three months. It's lasted almost 38 years, so I guess it's going to work.

Now that I have posted more info than anyone wants to know, I'll tag:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Can't figure out what I'm doing wrong....

...but tired of messing with it.

The Snow Pix post is whomperjawed but you get the idea.

Stay warm.

Snow Pix

These are some of the pix I took this morning.
1. The first is the snow date.

2. My flower bed, looking much more beautiful when It's covered in a white blanket.

3. Pete, the Speckled-Butted Monster, begging for a treat.

4. Sam, the Wonder Lab, trying to figure out if the camera is a tasty snack.

Snow in the South

I love snow. I guess if I lived up north, I wouldn't be so crazy about it, but it's such a rarity here. Another thing: I doesn't usually last a long time.

The snow we received yesterday afternoon and last night was heavy at times, but mostly small flakes. The only problem was the wind. If we hadn't had wind to blow it off the trees, it would have been a perfect snow: 6-7 inches of soft white powder that has just enough moisture to make it good for snowballs and snowmen.

Larry was like a child. "Let's go out and build a fort! Let's build a snowman! Let's make snowcream!" All this at 9 p.m. last night. Needless to say, I just snuggled a little deeper under my quilt and pretended to be engrossed in a really bad tv show.

I went out early this morning and took lots of photos. Here's a tip: when you're taking snow pix, they can all grow to look alike over the years. The first thing I do is write the date in the snow and shoot that. If my photos stay together, and they do on cds, then I always know when I took them. This is especially good for those who sometimes forget to document things on the back of the prints.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Waiting for the snow...

I've done all those things that we Southerners do when there is the slightest chance of frozen precipitation: been to Kroger for bread and milk and wonderful ingredients for a month's worth of hearty soups and stews; made sure my pups have a nice warm, newly-filled-with-hay shelter; put on a pot of coffee and am making a list of all the things I need to do away from home before noon when the stuff is supposed to hit. Sitting here blogging is not really one of those things, but since I haven't posted in two weeks, I decided to git'er done.

I have almost reclaimed my studio space from the CHA tornado I created before Feb. 4. One conclusion I have come to is that I either need more storage for odd-sized items- Krylon cans come to mind - or I need to light a match and start all over. Don't guess I'd better light a match - those Krylons would turn into little heat-seeking rockets and one would find me. They wouldn't find Larry though. He's been frozen for about a week and can't seem to get warm, although I'm sure he'll be really warm next month when the utility bill comes, since he keeps turning up the heat.

I'm almost through with the prep work for the projects I had picked up at CHA and hope to ship those babies out the first of next week. I love making the projects but hate writing the directions. I'm always so afraid I'll leave a step out or put in a wrong measurement. I know I hate it when I'm trying to follow directions and something doesn't work out.

By the way, the high Sunday is supposed to be 60, so I don't think we will be ice-encased for very long, but in the meantime: Stay warm. Stay in. Drink hot chocolate. Cover up with a quilt and watch old movies. That's what I'm going to do.

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 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.... 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 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 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

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!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Calm in the eye of the storm....

I have to work at my other job today..the graphic design one. Somehow, it the midst of the hurricane, well tornado here in the Mid-South, today and is proving to be a calming point. I have to have almost everything finished for CHA and be packed by Friday morning, so I'm eliminating some of my larger pieces that didn't get finished to my standards and just getting on with my life. There will be time when I return for that stuff.

On a happy note, it's pouring down rain here, but the temperatures are not low enough for the stuff to freeze, praise God! You gotta find the good stuff in everything and warm temps in January when it's raining are a very good thing.

I got to thinking about how my Saturday went so good as far as completing projects, and then Sunday was a diaster. I had serious issues with a product I have been in love with in the past that shall remain nameless. I tried every glue I had to make this stuff stick and finally ripped it off and threw it in the trash...although I did go back and fish it out this morning. I used the base I had been working on and turned the glue-covered mess into a thing of beauty with craft paint and collage. That's what I love about what I do. You can always salvage something if you try hard enough. I never would have thought of using a rough surface for this piece..I was looking at the beautiful smooth wood base and imagining a stain finish paint in a soft blue. Not what I wound up with, but there's nothing wrong with something a little different. Maybe one day I'll write a book and call it Turning Screw-ups into Big Bucks.

One of my coworkers told me that she had a crafting attack this weekend, went to the Michael's and bought a ton of stuff, then went home and created a lot of garbage. Nothing worked. She was sooooo frustrated. I got to thinking about how my Sunday had been so bad as opposed to my Saturday and how I could have given up on that piece, so I gave her a little tip about canvas (If you gesso and sand it lightly before you begin, you'll never see the weave of the fabric when you apply the paint). Which brings up another point: She expected this piece to be perfect in every way. Those who have taken my classes know my mantra: If it's perfect, it's not handmade!!!!!!!! Machines are designed to spit out cookie-cutter items. I don't EVER want to be considered a machine. Those who know me well will tell you that there's no danger in that analogy :)

Lunch is over. I have to get back to work. Hope I didn't get broccoli juice on the keyboard.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bling Bling here...Bling Bling there.Here a bling, there a Bling, everywhere a Bling Bling...

Got my Swarovski (try saying THAT three times!)Crystals yesterday and have covered everything in the studio with them. Even Larry and the pups were afraid to stand still for very long.I finished most of my Fashion display last night and have almost completed my two pieces for the Terra Bella challenge.
I'm feeling much, much better about my CHA displays and made my (hopefully) last trips to Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Eclectica, etc. last night.
Larry had a gig at Gridley's barbecue last night, so I went in to Memphis with him and did my shopping, then went back to Gridleys for some of the finest ribs I've ever had...meaty and smokey and dripping with sauce, just the way I like 'em. Those of you in the Memphis area need to check out this place on Hwy. 64 at Summer Ave. Doug, the owner, is a good Christian man, a transplant from Greenwood, Mississippi, who makes the most awesome yeast rolls...about the size of a ladies' seven shoe. And the sweet beans and sweet tea are to die for. Can you tell I enjoyed it? The band will be playing there pretty regularly, starting in March, so check out the ribs and hear a little bluegrass. Doug is alo opening a larger location on Kirby Whitten road soon.
It's a vey foggy morning here in Tennessee. Fog is like snow in a way: everything is so quiet outside.It's very peaceful when all I can hear is the ticking of the clock and the last few drips signaling that my coffee is ready. I love early mornings when I'm the only person awake. It's nice to just sit and sip my coffee and think about my day ahead...or decide whether it's too early to call Roxi Phillips and run ideas by her that popped into my punkin' head overnight.
The coffee is ready and I need to prepare for church. My baby boy is coming for a visit this afternoon, so I am going to have a very great day. You do the same.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Deep sleep, great dreams, magazines

Does anyone out there ever get way-cool ideas in your dreams? When the pressure is on, I come up with some really great design ideas. I don't normally work at my graphic design job on Fridays and get to sleep a little late, but I got up at 5:45 this morning with all these great ideas buzzing around in my head. Happily, they were dragonflys and not killer bees creating the buzz.

On magazines... I have to confess: I'm a magaholic. I love 'em. Let me clarify that: I love beautiful art mags, Nat'l Geographic and Smithsonian, old Life, Saturday Evening Post, Look (now I'm really showing my age) and anything to do with altered arts, sewing, crafting and fine art. I allow Bass and American Hunter in my home for Larry and occassionally use one of those for reference when I need to know how a deer or a fish looks for realistic painting. I do not, however, read sports mags geared to a specific sport, although I do love baseball and football. So why did my new subscription to Skiing Magazine arrive in the mail yesterday? We don't do a lot of snow skiing here in the MidSouth, especially here on Mt. Windham. We did have snow yesterday, although you could barely see the flakes and it stopped in about five minutes. How do you think the people at Skiing ever found my name? It's a mystery. I sent them an e-mail this a.m. Inquiring minds want to know.

Today I will be slinging paint all over my studio in beginning of the last mad rush before CHA. For those who will be there, come visit the Girls from Tennessee and Mississppi at the Mom & Me fashion display, which will be up through the entire convention. We have a fun display with a wonderful retro look. Or EPMs can visit our three Designer Showcases at booths #35, #37 and #38 on Monday.

Have a fun-filled day! It's Friday!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ready to go to CHA...

Well, not really. I'm ready to go, but my projects aren't all finished, so I guess I'll wait another week and a half.

One thing I have learned in the last 24 hours: Spray paint and cold weather do not mix. Trust me on this one.

I'm about to clean up my clutter from the last wave of projects so I can complete the next round.

Am I the only one who gets creativity blockage with a cluttered work area? I don't mean a cluttered studio. I think there's something a little strange about having a perfectly neat work area. I'm talking about the kind of clutter that covers the 20 feet of tabletop area where I create, with stacks of dangerously piled acrylic stamps pushed against boxes of wood-mounted stamps with Glimmer Mist and acrylic paint and Distress powders and inks and heat tools and scissors and every Krylon pen I've ever owned spread all over creation. Right now, the 12" square I usually work in is covered in 3/4" circles that I glued on to the roof of a papier mache house. They are stuck together where I trimmed, on the floor where they landed when I punched them and I was too tired to bend over and pick them up, hanging like chad from my scissors and stuck to the bottom of my Scrappy Glue bottle. I would take a photo and post, but if I get up from this computer and go to snap the photo, I'll probably get stuck to the floor and never get away.
Maybe tomorrow I'll post some photos.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I finally finished the velvet purse I've been wrestling with for two days. Then I started digging through the crappage in my studio and discovered two more projects that I can include in my designer showcase at CHA.
Unfortunately I have to work today at my part-time job that makes it possible for me to play. At least it's still creating. It's just in graphic design. You don't get to use a lot of Glimmer Mist and Grungboard in graphic design, although I do manage to squeeze the fun stuff in occasionally.
Be sure to check out the Paper Creations website for a RockCandy Designs project using Artistic Outpost stamps. (And check out the AO website for Robyn's new stamps. Way Cool!) Roxi Phillips and I had a fun day creating this frame for the hero in your life.

Speaking of heroes, I had a flat on the way home Tuesday night. It was dark and on a two-lane road (Austin Peay for those in the Memphis area). With all my mega-problems with my back, I knew there was no way I could change the I called my hubby who was at home in a warm, dry house, surfing ebay. He promptly got up and came to my rescue. No complaints. No questions. No nothing. (I found out later that he did call my brother in law who lives not far from where I was stranded ...he has pneumonia. Please pray for him.) Anyway, Roxi stayed on the cell phone with me while I waited for Larry. I'm sure if a serial killer had approached my car, she could have reached through the phone and jerked a knot in his tail for me. Anyway, when I told Larry he was my knight in shining armor, he said, "More like your Nemesis in a tree."...whatever that means. Anyway, I'm thankful to have him. That is the first flat I have had since 1968, when I was a student at MSU and way before I met Larry.
It's cold and rainy today, so I'm glad to be inside, even if it is in an office.
Please excuse typos. I'm an artist, not a typist.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Where are they?

I have published 2 additonal posts to this blog and apparently, they have gone the way of the unicorn...nowhere to be seen.
If you have seen any of my other posts, let me know where they are hiding.

Counting down...

The CHA deadline is upon me and I'm starting to panic. I have lists, I have deadlines...I can't find die-cut swirl grungeboard, which is an integral part of two projects, anywhere. I'm taking off work to purchase new tires this afternoon and plan to spend the downtime on the phone tracking this stuff down.

On a lighter note, I have finished 4 HUGE projects that were blocking my creative muse, all graphic design projects that have been hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles.

Saturday is our dry-run for our CHA Fasion Display. I know that afterwards I will feel more confident and more inspired to get my hiney in gear.

I don't mean to sound so negative. Those who know me know that I'm not usually like this. I thrive on tight deadlines and come up with my best work in time crunches.

Now if I could only figure out how to add a photo gallery to this blog.....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Enough is Enough

I have been shamed into creating this blog since I started my other one more than a year ago and can't seem to remember the address, how to add photos, delete them or just remember to take time to post in general. This is not to say that I'm a stupid woman, just a very busy one. I know, I know: We're all busy. I just feel the need to start fresh.

I have resolved to simplify things for 2008. My teaching schedule has been pared down, I am trying my best to not work at my graphic design work more than 3 days a week, and I am trying to devote more time to doing what I love best: spending time with my hubby and friends and just making art.

In the coming weeks and months, I'll be posting new art. Keep in mind that I'll be gone to CHA and away for a little R & R for most of February, but will hit the ground running in March.

So there, Roxi. Are you happy?