Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Final Scoreboard Blog Hop for 2009

This great little picture frame is so versatile. My mind is just buzzing with ideas for other projects. Eileen Hull, who designed the Scoreboards for Sizzix, outdid herself on this one. I love the way it folds, and it is so sturdy! I've used a similar pattern for candy bag holders, always made from cardstock, and they tend to sag when the weight of the candy is added. This one is there for good!

For the frame, I sprayed the outside with Krylon Copper paint, then stamped the swirls (Stampin'Up!®) with Versamark ink and embossed them with black EP. I lined the inside with patterned paper and secured the fold with brads. I used black ink to sponge the edges to give it an aged appearance. The copper trim and nameplate are from RockCandy Studios®. That's my handsome dad in the photo.

The Get Well Goodie Box was covered with paper front and back and secured with brads as well. The tag was stamped (Stampin'Up!®) and attached with a brad. (Use a Cropadile to punch the hole in the mat board.) I also used dark brown ink on the edges of the diecut and tag. The cough drops were placed in a cello bag and attached with heavy-duty double-stick tape. The finishing touch was the golden trim from RockCandy Studios® on the box and tag.

For more ideas using this Scoreboard, go to www.eileenhull.blogspot.com. From there you can hop to sites of other designers who are participating in this blog hop.

Be sure to check back the first Wednesday of 2010 for another Scoreboard project.

The following items were furnished by the manufacturer:
Scoreboard diecuts

I am a partner in RockCandy Studios® (www.rockcandystudios.com)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What WAS I thinking?

Ok, granted it was late, there's a lot going on and I was in a hurry, but what possessed me to write Smooch Pearlized ACETATE Ink? It's Smooch Pearlized ACCENT Ink!
My apologies to Clearsnap, makers of the fabulous Smooch Pearlized Accent Ink!

Clearsnap donated this product (I would have paid full price and more because I love, love, love it!!! I did pay full price for the wonderful Smooch Spritz, which I adore as well), and this is how I repay them. Wat WAS I thinking???????

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Place for (Some of) My Stuff

George Carlin (Bless his heart) said we always need a place for our stuff. Well, this is a place for some of my stuff. We always get those little peppermints from restaurants, and they end up all over the car, in the bottom of my purse, melting in Larry's coat pocket, etc., so when I saw this great Sizzix Scoreboard business card holder, this was the first thing that came to mind.

I used one sheet of double-sided paper (Stampin'Up!®), 3M Spray Adhesive, Cherry Ice Smooch Spritz, Green Apple Smooch Pearlized Acetate Ink, a button, a red Sharpie, heavy embroidery floss, Olive Stazon, a Cropadile and a ponytail holder.
Fold the Scoreboard into place first. Use spray adhesive to cover the Scoreboard front and back with printed paper, making sure to re-punch the holes with your Cropadile each time you cover a side. Mist the outside with Cherry Red Smooch Spritz. Allow to dry, then fold and attach brads in the closure holes to secure. Dot Green Apple Smooch Pearlized Acetate Ink along the closure edge on the front. Color button with red Sharpie to resemble peppermint candy. Punch holes on front flap and attach button with floss. Sponge edges with Stazon, inside and out. Insert candy in box and use the ponytail holder to keep the box closed.

For more great ideas to use with the business card holder, go to www.eileenhull.blogspot.com.
There you will find links to other designer blogs.

Now go hug someone you love and slip a mint in their pocket.

I received the following products from the manufacturer:
• Sizzix Scoreboard business card die cut
• Smooch Pearlized Acetate Ink

Friday, December 4, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Tomorrow is our River City Stampers' Christmas party, and I thought I would post the ornament I made to exchange.

I started with a white glass ball ornament. The holly leaves and the base piece, which has a jump ring added to hold the beads, are Studio polymer clay. I baked the ball with the polymer clay pieces in place. After it was cool, I sprayed it with Krylon workable fixative and then pounced on alcohol inks. I removed and sprayed the topper with Krylon Caramel Latte metallic paint, then sprayed it on the holly leaves and base and immediately wiped it off so the clay color showed through. The dots and berries are Scribbles dimensional paint. I added beads to the base and a pretty ribbon to the top. I signed and dated the bottom to finish it off.

I hope the person who gets it loves it as much as I do!

Go hug someone you love and tell them Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blog Hop Wednesday!

It's that time again. Eileen Hull's Scoreboard designs are getting rave reviews all over the designer community. The ability to cut mat board makes them unique and gives your projects an unprecedented sturdiness.
Just in time for the holidays and the busy family on the go, this project will keep you a little more organized. There are slots for up to four message centers. I know we all have our electronic reminders, but this keeps things a little more personal. They are also perfect for leaving little I-love-you notes!
I used the notepad die and cut four notepads. I assembled each one using red liner tape and then put the four together to create the box. I cut another rectangle to fit the base of the box and attached it with Beacon 3-in-1 adhesive.
The box was sprayed with Krylon Ivy Leaf paint just to make sure all edges were colored. I used Bohemia paper to cover all the surfaces and make the belly band. Scrap paper was cut to fit and stamped for the note pages. Trims and metal holders were added all around for the names.
Add a flower-topped RSVP pen and you're set.
Go to www.eileenhull.blogspot.com to link into the blog hop and see some other great projects!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Now, go hug someone you love and tell them how thankful you are for them!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another Sizzix Scoreboard Preview

This is another sample made with the new Sizzix Scoreboard matboard-cutting dies designed by artist-extraordinaire and dear friend Eileen Hull. I love the way these dies score and cut right through the heavy matboard, giving the project bases great stability and substance.

Today's example is actually a checkbook cover. I just substituted blank pages inside to keep those Christmas wish lists handy. This die comes with the punched covers, scalloped, punched and scored binding and scored clasp.

The front, back and both insides were covered with one of my all-time favorite papers, Basic Grey's Boxer Wing-tip. The edges were sponged with Stampin'Up!® Old Olive dye ink. I painted the binding edge and closing clasp with Plaid Folk Art rust paint. I used the Cropadile to re-punch the covers, then the inside pages, lining up the bookcovers to mark the holes. The binding, covers and pages were assembled and tied with black stretchy vinyl beading cord. The ends of each piece of vinyl were pulled through the bead and tied off. A tiny drop of Beacon Quick Grip keeps the tie from coming loose. I used a tapestry needle to pull silk fiber up through the vinyl ties on both front and back edges and tied it off at the top. The clasp was attached with Beacon Quick Grip, although you could use long-shank brads just as easily. Add the sentiment to the tag with a white pen and attach to the clasp.

Slip this baby in your purse and you're all ready to shop 'til you drop!

Silk fiber, clasp and hand-dyed tags are available at www.rockcandystudios.com.

Be sure to check out Eileen's blog at www.eileenhull.blogspot.com

You can see more samples made with this die by following the blog-hop from there.

Mark your calendar to check back the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for another great Scoreboard project!

Now, go hug someone you love and ask them for their Christmas list!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Coming Soon from Sizzix

Eileen Hull, designer, author and self-confessed dumpster diver, has designed a series of Scoreboards® for Sizzix. The great thing about these dies is that they will cut through mat board, so your projects will have a sturdy base that can be painted, papered or textured with just about any medium. Be sure to check back for new projects for the next few weeks.

This great cupcake holder inspired me to create a gift that will last long after it is given. Here's how I made it:

Scoreboard Cupcake die cut
3 long-shank gold brads
Adirondack Acrylic Paint Daubers (Stream, Gold and Willow)
Krylon Marker (Gold)
Prima Flowers
Straight pins with multi-colored heads
4" Styrofoam® ball
8" Gold Cord
Teal paper scrap for tag
White pen

1. Paint cupcake holder, candle and base with Stream paint. Allow to dry.
Cupcake: Lightly brush Willow from the bottom up, fading the color as you go. Allow to dry. Lightly dab Gold paint randomly over the entire surface. Edge base of cupcake holder with Krylon Leafing Pen. When dry, place base in cup and join edges with brads.
Candle: Paint flame with Krylon Leafing Pen.
2. Place Styrofoam® ball in holder. Attach flowers randomly with pins. Place a tiny gold dot on each pin head with Krylon Leafing Pen.
3. Tie bow and write sentiment on tag. Color entire head of a pin with Krylon Leafing Pen. Push pin through bow and tag and attach to ball with pin.

I can hardly wait for these dies to come on the market. I have to have them all!

Check out the work of these talented designers using this great die!

Jenn Ellefson

Laura Bray

Fabrizio Martellucci

Bonnie Bruns

Barbara Mattheisson

Denise Clason

Lorine Mason

Gabriela Delworth


Ann Butler

Eileen Hull

Niki Meiners

Go hug someone you love.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Just in time for spooky stuff!

Here is a sample of the RockCandy Studios new Haunted House Kit.

I had so much fun making this! The kit includes assorted double-sided papers, Dresden foil borders, witches and spiderwebs, a sheet of collage images, hand-dyed tags, tiny glass bottles, an antique pen nib, tickets, bottle caps, Cuttlebugged cardstock "shingles" plus a great little wooden house to hold it all. You even get walnut ink crystals to stain the house base and step-by-step instructions. The size is approximately 9 3/4" X 9 3/4" X 1 3/4".

The only tools I used besides what is in the kit were a sponge brush, yellow, orange, brown and black dye ink pads, a 1" circle punch, liquid adhesive, pop dots and a Krylon leafing pen.

These will be on the website Monday, September 28, at www.rockcandystudios.com, and the price is $16.

Go hug someone you love!

Blog Update (Y'all know I try to update at least once a quarter, whether I have anything to say or not.)

It's 4:55 a.m. I've been awake since 2:30 and didn't go to bed until 1 or so. My internal clock is really screwed up. Fortunately, Larry's is as well. He's in the living room, plunking on the guitar and watching an old western.

I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out what projects I had due (after a week of aches and fever) and whether I needed to make a trip to the big city to buy any supplies. I think I just about thought myself to death. I'm trying to think and plan before I alter, cut, paint or ink anything, which is a very different style from my usual fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants art.

I will post a project I finished in the wee hours this morning after running it by my friend and business partner, Roxi Phillips. It's a great project, just in time for Halloween. This will be available from RockCandy Studios in the next week or so, so be sure to check us out at www.rockcandystudios.com. If you aren't on our newsletter mailing list, send us a note at rockcandy@bigriver.net and we'll add you. The newsletter comes out once a month or so and includes tips as well as specials and new merchandise notifications.

Here's another pic from our last trip. It is from the ceiling of the Jefferson Davis home in Biloxi, Mississippi. The artists actually scraped away all the paint layers to get the true colors during the restoration after Katrina. The work is phenomenal. The house was built before the Civil War and sits right on the Gulf, facing the water. I'm amazed that it has withstood all the storms, including Camille, which I was almost in in the late '60s. A friend and I were on our way down for a vacation. We got as far as Hattiesburg before we turned back. One of the smartest moves I ever made.

Go hug someone you love.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Check out my video...and a great ATC Shrine!

While I was at the CHA Consumer show in Orlando, I auditioned for a TV spot on Scrappy TV. You can view it at http://www.scrappytv.com/channel/video/14?video=39

On my computer, it starts with echos which only serve to stress my drawl, but please let it play on. It will stop eventually. (The echoes. Not the drawl. Sorry.)

If my video gets a lots of viewers, I could win a six-show series. If you can stand to watch it more than once, please do. Y'all know I'm all about shameless self-promotion.

On another note, here is a sample of work by the multi-talented Barbara Rankin of Germantown, Tennessee, a member of the talented RockCandy Studios design team.

Barbara used one of our Coffee Break ATC shrines, some of our Dresden Foil Trims and an image from our Girly Girls image cd for this piece. You can see more of Barbara's work, as well as more projects from our design team at www.rockcandystudios.typepad.com.

Now, go hug someone you love!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why is it....

...that when I have to get up at a reasonable hour, I can't seem to fall asleep?

I have errands to run all over Memphis tomorrow ...actually today...and meet my friends from MLGW for lunch and here I am, punching away on the computer at 1:59 a.m. I'm wide awake. I know I have to go to sleep. I know I'll look like crap tomorrow. I am not one bit sleepy.

Guess I'll go watch some old black and white movies on TCM. That should do the trick.

Go hug someone you love, but not too tightly. They might wake up and get really mad at you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One more thing about the scrapbook pages...

If you want to know anything about the techniques or trims used, just shoot me an email, and I'll answer ASAP.

Go hug someone you love...and then make a scrapbook page about how much you love them!

German Diecuts and Golden Foil Trims

Here are a few photos of the scrapbook pages I made for the Paper Dreams Factory, all using their diecuts and foils, which can be purchased at www.rockcandystudios.com.

All the photos are my family: my sweet sister Lynn, my gorgeous mother, my grandparents, Daddy and me and, of course, my dog Pete.

Monday, August 17, 2009

More trip pix

Here are a few more photos from our trip.
The first is the view from our doorway at the Lime Tree Resort in the Keys. This is an older hotel, but the rooms are very nice and they have hammocks and chaise lounges and lots of relaxing areas beside the water, plus bbq pits and picnic tables. When we go back to the Keys, we'll book this resort for a week
The next photo is one of the famous Hemmingway six-toed cats. There were 40 or so roaming about the house and grounds.
The last is my dear friend Jan Stone and her DH Ed, two of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. I have known Jan since we were in the third grade. We met when she helped me pull a tooth in the girl's room at Longview Elementary School.

Go hug someone you love.

A Few Trip Highlights

As promised, here are a few pix from our recent trip to Florida, with side trips to Georgia and the Smokies.

The first one is from the Firefox Living History Museum near Mountain City, Georgia. This church was moved to the Foxfire village (which is one really cool place to visit), from North Carolina. I loved the Foxfire books and, of course, had to purchase the 40th anniversary one while we were there. I'm about half-way through it and it's great! If you ever get the chance to visit this wonderful place, don't pass it up. It was not crowded and the entire place had an almost sacred feeling about it. There's even a wagon on display that was used on the Trail of Tears, a very dark blotch on our history.

The second photo is entitled This is what 60 looks like. It was made on my birthday outside the restaurant where we had dinner. Fabulous seafood, a table on the deck overlooking the water and my favorite dinner partner, Larry. What more could a girl ask for?

The last few photos are from the CHA Show - Tim Holtz at the Trade Show and me at the Consumer Show along with Eclectica's Ellen and Rhonda (photo on the left) and some of the ladies who were there for the entire presentation (right), who stopped by to see a little of my demo involving German diecuts, golden foil trims, new Cuttlebug plates, Smooch paint and the Easy Cutter punch. Check out Tim's antique box for storing embellishments in the first pic. Way cool! Andreas Hamm of Paper Dreams Factory, the distributor of golden trims and German diecuts, was the photographer for my demo. Thanks for making me look good, Andreas!

One more thing....

...I had the strangest dream this morning. I woke up at 6 and then drifted back to sleep. I dreamed Larry and I were at an antique shop in Munford, TN, waiting for an auction to begin. (Let me say here that there is no antique shop in Munford and we don't go to auctions.)
We were waiting for a friend to call us who was traveling to Houston from Nashville and was supposed to meet us at the antique shop for a quick visit.

I had a dog with me named Grady, oddly named for our friend. Even odder was that he was a purple poodle. Now, y'all know how I love pups. I would run a dog farm if I had the space and resources. They could come and live there forever with lots of belly rubs and treats. But a poodle? I'm not a discriminating person, but that would be the last dog I would own and I would never dye him purple. I would also never name him after one of my dearest friends.

To make a long story short, Grady the person finally arrived and when I wanted to introduce him to my pup, the purple poodle Grady had disappeared. We searched and searched. There were lots of dogs running around this shop (another weird thing- what shop would allow dogs to roam among antiques?), but none were purple and none were Grady.

Friend Grady left for Houston, and Larry and I went home to make flyers to post all over so we could find our purple Grady.

Can anyone explain this? Am I losing it, now that I have officially become old, at least in numbers? I don't want anymore dreams like this one.

Go hug someone you love and don't dye your dogs. They don't like it and they look stupid.

Back home...for a while

Well, we finally made it home. I realize I didn't post any photos from our trip, so will do that later today.

A lot has happened since my last post.

I turned 60 on the 4th and Larry and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary yesterday, which is also the anniversary of Elvis' death, so going anywhere in Memphis was a challenge. People come from all over the world to pay tribute to the King - the one and only King, no matter what the MJ fans think. I have tried and tried to get Larry to go to the candlelight vigil, but he says he's not getting in that crowd of strange people.

I'll write more later today about our trip.

Go hug someone you love.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What WAS I thinking?

Please ignore the part of the last post that referred to the lack of new product at the CHA show. I went back and decided to do some make and take projects at my favorite manufacturers' booths. I saw some products that just blew me away.

Clearsnap: I love the Smooch colors and now they have added eight new colors and have them in liquid form in a mister. The colors are so intense and so gorgeous! My friend Niki Meiners was the demonstrator - I think the project was her design as well - and it was great. We made a tag that I will post a photo of as soon as I can find it show materials bag. (I have so much material from this show. I try to limit it to things I really will refer back to in the next six months and did a pretty good job of it, but it's still heavy. At least I remembered to add an extra suitcase to bring it all home in.)

Viva: Lisa Pavelca (sorry if I spelled that wrong, Lisa!) was demonstrating this great polymer clay. The colors all have a beautiful pearl sheen.The best part was that this clay could be rolled almost as thin as cardstock and still maintain shape. It can also be buffed so that it looks as though it has five coats of shiny glaze. Just gorgeous. Their booth was packed and I couldn't see all their products, but will check out their website. I have a small sample and will report more when I've had time to play with it.

Ranger: Well, you know I had to hang with Timmy Baby. I watched him demo for almost an hour Wednesday afternoon and found three new products that I love. This man never ceases to amaze me.
He has a new color-or lack thereof-in his crackle finishes - Rockcandy. It's a clear crackle so it just adds the finish to your project.

The second is Rockcandy again, but it is a Stickles. The regular Stickles colors can't be heated to dry with a heat tool. They melt. This one can, and when it's dry, you get the effect of sugar on your project, kind of like sugaring fruit. Gorgeous.

The third product is a heat tool. I know, I know. We all have heat tools. But do we have one that is silent? This one is. You couldn't even tell he had it turned on. I will definitely add this one to my heat tool collection.

The last thing I learned from Tim was about alcohol inks and metal. We all know we can tint metal with our ink, but did you know that if your coat the metal with Adirondack White Pearl dauber first, dry it thoroughly (with that silent heat gun, of course), then drop on the ink, the color becomes really intense? It was like the difference in night and day. He said it only works with the white pearl, not the regular white.

Well, I'm off to Sanibel Island this morning for some shell hunting. I'll try to post more this week.

Go hug someone you love.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Well, the last post came after 45 days. This one is closer to 60-something. Is anyone still reading?

We left home Sunday and stopped for a wonderful visit with my childhood friend Jan Stone and her DH Ed. It was great way to start a trip. Jan is an incredible cook and they are great hosts. We hated to leave Monday, but business calls.

I was very humbled last night to have received the Designer Press Kit Award at the Craft and Hobby Association Convention in Orlando. No money, no prizes, but a very nice trophy and lots of publicity and instant-name recognition among the designer members. That's enough for me.

I have not seen anything here that has blown my socks off as far as new products or techniques. I have attended about a bazillion business seminars, including one today with the Crafty Chica on website design and content. She is amazing.

I'm off to walk the floor show again to see if I missed something. The show is much smaller this time. It usually takes me at least two days to get through the whole thing. This time it took two hours. Sad.

I'll post pics when I get back home.

Go hug someone you love.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Has it really been.....

...46 days since my last post? AARRGGHH!! I'm totally useless!

Since then I have:
1. Finally retired - for the second time- from my job at MLGW.I managed to get their museum updated before I left, which was a necessity. I created it for the 60th anniversary in 1999 and updated it for the 70th in 2009. If you are ever in beautiful downtown Memphis, go by and check it out at the MLGW offices at 220 S. Main.

2. Spent a weekend at European Papers' Artiscape in Columbus, Ohio, where I met some cool ladies and saw some awesome Rugby players in really unusual outfits.

3. Cleaned my office from top to bottom and
discovered some things I thought I had lost. Also discovered that I have more than 1,000 CDs of files archived from my Mac. Do you think I should check everyone or just turn them into a craft project?

I promise to post more often and include some cool tutorials involving painting, stamping and paper arts techniques.

The image here is a preview from our new Girly Girls CD at RockCandy StudiosTM. This image is actually a sepia tone. I have no clue why it appears in this gorgeous blue color, except that it is very close to one of the RockCandy Studios signature colors. We premiered two CDs at Artiscape, Manly Men and Girly Girls. These two, along with additional subjects, will be available on our website after May 1. Check us out at www.rockcandystudios.com. All images were scanned at 300 dpi and cracks and scratch marks removed as much as possible. Of course, if you want to distress the images, that's up to you. We just wanted you to have the best. There are 130 images on each of these CDs, and 90 percent are exclusive to RockCandy StudiosTM, thanks to our good friend Laurie Williams who volunteered her family photo stash to us. I have to tell you, that was one picture-taking family. You'll see more of her group on future CDs.

Have a great Sunday. It's a gorgeous day here in Tennessee, where birds are singing and the Azalea's and Iris are competing for serious attention.

Go hug someone you love.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

In a blue mood

We lost two good friends this weekend.

One, Willie Burroughs, was a musician who has definitely left his imprint on the Memphis music scene. Not only was he a great musician, he instilled the musical muse in his son Tommy, who will carry on his father's legacy. Willie will be greatly missed.

The second was Amanda Conner Gray, daughter of our dear friends Jack and Kathy Conner. Amanda was a wife and mother of two children and was taken too soon. She loved animals, dressed up every Halloween ... I have the rock star pics to prove it...and was a joy to be around. I can't begin to imagine what her family is going through. She was with her mother Friday night until 11:30 or so and when she left, her last words were, "I love you, Mom." Amanda died of an aneurism sometime early Saturday morning.

Another friend lost her son last week. I didn't know him, but the photos I saw of him reminded me of my own son.

This is a reminder that we can never know when our time is up. Am I spending my time in the best way I know how? Am I making a difference so the world will be a little better when I'm gone? Do my friends and family know how much I love them? I would hope the answer to all these questions is, "Yes," but I'm not sure, especially about the first two.

Go hug someone you love and make sure they know you love them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Home at last ...

...and finally up! The California air was great, but it knocked me for a loop! I had no voice while I was there and have been in bed with a horrid cold since I got back, but went to the doc today for some much-needed meds. Otherwise, these pics would have been here earlier.

This is the surf at Newport Beach, just below the beach home of Brad and Angelina. The house was gorgeous, but I spent a lot more time looking at the surf.

I wrote our name in the sand, so that all the surfers would know who we were and rush home to look us up on the net, but forgot to add in the "www" and ".com". It seemed like a good idea at the time, although it was gone by the next morning. I also spent a lot of time snapping pics of seagull tracks and wash areas that I will post later.

We had some wonderful food, like this lucious creme brulee. We also had lots of pastas with super-rich sauces and two-count 'em - two trips to the Cheesecake Factory. The best part? We walked so much to and from the convention center and around the show floor that I lost nine pounds. My doctor was very happy when I weighed in this morning!

The tour guide snapped this pic of Roxi and me at Huntington Beach. We're a bit out of focus, but the houses are clear. These are million dollar plus homes.

Here are some random shots of the flowers, the palms outside the convention center and Downtown Disney, where we had dinner one night.

As promised, here is a pic of the half-naked, just gorgeous, tanned and fit beach volleyball guys. What a great way to spend our last day in California...not playing, just looking.

Go hug someone you love...and if he's a half-naked, tanned and fit beach volleyball player, more power to you, Sista!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

California Girls

Roxi and I were California girls for a day. We took a tour today that took us to Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach for a day of beachcombing and gallery hopping. I'll post pics when I get home.

We had such a great CHA show, but are ready to get back to Tennessee, although the half-naked guys playing beach volleyball caused us to stop and think about sticking around for a while. I did take pics. You'll see 'em by the weekend.

We are tired, but full of new ideas for classes. We'll be sharing those with you soon and will be adding a lot of new merchandise in the next few weeks, so be sure to check out www.rockcandystudios.com

See you soon in Tennessee! WhooHoo!

Go hug someone you love.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's over!

The CHA show is over, my feet have walked about a bajillion miles and Roxi, Roann and I are all exhausted. Roann just makes me tired, talking about her taxi picking her up for the airport at 3:50 a.m. We had a great dinner with Niki Meiners and Carla Schauer, two talented designers from North Carolina and Cincinnati respectively, at a tiny little hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant called Carolina's. Cheesy oregano bread, huge plates of pasta with a variety of incredible sauces, spumoni, strawberry cheesecake and tiramisu. Need I say more?

Roxi and I are staying an extra day, through a happy accident in plane reservations, and plan to hit the Laguna Beach area tomorrow morning, for a day of gallery hopping and beach walking. We'll be back home in frozen Memphis Friday night.

We all had a very successful show and are coming home with lots of new techniques and ideas. Be sure to check back often. Roxi and I will be posting some classes in the next few weeks, and we will also be announcing a workshop by a well-known author/artist.

Go hug someone you love.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The heat is on...

...and not in my house, where we keep the temperature at a cool 60°. Larry likes so that when we sneeze, it snows. I like it when I get a low utility bill.

The CHA countdown is here, and I'm doing what I usually do: coming up with killer project ideas when I fly off to California in less than 90 hours. Will I get my designer showcase ready? Have to. Will the press kits get finished? Have to. Will I forget something totally necessary? Without a doubt. BUT... I intend to have the best time ever at CHA. I'm taking a few fun classes: jewelry making, encaustic and raku as well as some business seminars. Roxi and I (the RockCandy sistas) will be checking out new products for our online store and reporting back to you. Because of a snafu in our flight reservations, we'll be staying in sunny California an extra day. I know, I know. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

I'll try to post here while I'm away and let you know what new and exciting products are coming down the pike.

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

Go hug someone you love.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

River City Stampers

Today is our monthly stamp club meeting and we are making booklets for our new members' welcome packet. This project could easily be adapted to hold a stationery set of cards and matching stamped envelopes.

Using a 12 X 12 piece of printed double-sided cardstock, score it in half on one side and 3" from the bottom on the other. Fold it in half so you have a 6" X 12" book, then fold up the bottom to the inside to make the pocket. I like to trim away the center of the pocket so it will fold better.

For embellishing, I used a swirly stamp from Technique Tuesday and stamped in a diagonal pattern across the front with white pigment ink, then embossed with clear embossing powder. I used Colorbox ink pads to apply blues and greens lightly over the pattern, then wiped away the excess with a tissue, revealing more of the white swirls. I used the same stamp to stamp blue swirls across the white ones for added interest, then wiped again with the tissue.

Add eyelets to hold the bottom pocket to the top and slip ribbon through each eyelet, tying on the back to keep it in place.

Add your sentiment of choice and you've made a quick and easy pocket folder. Give it as a gift or customize it by adhering an envelope and note pad to the inside and use it to stash receipts.

I'm off to stamp club.

Go hug someone you love!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mixed Media Mélange Registration Open!

The first-ever, one-and-only, finally-got-something-in-the-Mid-South Mixed Media Mélange retreat is here! Come join us for three full days of art instruction and hanging with kindred spirits, where everyone gets that you like to hoard art supplies, you must have all the latest tools and that piece of junk you found in the parking lot is actually very valuable ephemera.

You can check out the event details and download registration forms on our blog at www.mixedmediamelange.blogspot.com. Check out the awesome instructors: Laurie Mica, Ruth Rae, Melissa Manley, Leslie Veneble, Patricia DiBona, Roanne Mathias and Lauren Ferguson. I'm teaching a Faux Stone Sculpture class as well.

You can reserve your spot now by filling out the registration form and sending in a $50 deposit, and we also offer a payment plan for your meals, lodging and classes. How great is that?

I'm off to work...but only for the next ten weeks. I'm retiring from MLGW...again. Maybe this time it will take.

I promised to upload some pieces of pics of my latest projects for CHA. Here are a couple:

Go hug someone you love!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Of course, we have to have changes at the last minute...

...that's the way we work.

In a previous post, I said that I always get these great ideas when I'm down to the wire on these huge projects. The M3 registration launches tomorrow and guess what? This time it was Roxi coming up with last minute improvements. She took my original M3 logo design and added the perfect touches to reflect our vintage style. WhooHoo!

I am so excited about this retreat. How will we ever wait until September?

I will be posting some snippets of my new CHA projects tonight. Can't post the whole project, but it will give you an idea of what I've been working on. I didn't get anything done last night, because I loaned my doggies my studio to sleep in since it was supposed to be so cold. I thought we could co-exist for a couple of hours, but Pete, the Speckle-butted Monster, kept trying to climb into my lap - all 85 pounds of him, and Sam the Wonder Lab just wanted to climb the back of my chair and lick my ears. I finally gave up and let them have it...then kicked them out at the crack o'dawn this morning. They prefer outdoors, but I just can't stand to see them shivering. They'll come in tonight, but it's supposed to start warming up by mid-weekend.

I'm off to be creative :) and then to the doc :(

Go hug someone you love.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Counting down!

Be sure to watch this site in the next 48 hours for the info on our Mixed Media Mélange artists' retreat coming in September to LaGrange, Tennessee. We have some knock-your-socks-off instructors with whom the organizers have always wanted to study. We know you're going to love it, so start saving your pennies! We even offer a payment schedule, but you need to send in your reservation as soon as possible to reserve yur space. Classes will fill quickly as well.
Will post more later!
Go hug someone you love!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lost my muse...

I don't know what is wrong with me. I think maybe it's the overwhelming list of junk I have to do in the next two weeks before CHA, most of which is not CHA-related.

Normally, I work very well under pressure. I'm more creative, come up with totally awesome out-of-the-box ideas and am a dynamo at getting everything done.

This time? Nada. Zilch. The muse took a trip to Barbados and isn't coming home until the weather warms up around here. Not that I blame her. I don't like the cold and, even though we only get a couple of months of below freezing temps and this year has been mild, I'm sick of it already. I'm sick of a cold house and a utility bill that jumped a hundred bucks with no increase in the indoor temp and 70° weather for parts of December. I'm sick of having to wear a coat and getting shocked when I touch metal. I'm sick of gray days - and we have another today. I long for fresh veggies from my garden and spring days with my giant daffodils pushing up through the ground and the opportunity to clean my flower beds and plant new things.

This is an elements from one of our RockCandy Studios collage sheets. I think I'll use it when I get home from church and create something. Of course, that's after I finish my sample for the Mixed Media Mélange retreat coming up in September. The instructor lineup is terrific and the setting will make that pesky muse want to come back home, although I certainly hope she returns before then!

Have a great Sunday! My mood is better already. Sometimes you just have to get the frustration out and have a plan. Here's mine:
1. Go to church. That will make me feel better instantly.
2. Have lunch out since I'm sick of my own (and Larry's) cooking.
3. Get into comfy clothes and go to the studio to finish that sample and send to our marketing director.
4. Create something quick that is not required of me with the collage sample.
5. Maybe finish taking down my tree (Yikes! My granny would have a heart attack if she new I still had it up past New Year's Day!)
6. Go back to church for evening services.
7. Write some info for a class Roxi and I are teaching at the Memphis Botanic Garden and then crash.

The only thing that might throw a monkey wrench in the works is if I sit down on the sofa between steps 4 and 5. That will mean an instant nap. After all, Sunday is a day of rest.

Go hug someone you love.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thoughts ...

I received photos tonight from my friend Jan Stone's 60th birthday party on January 1. Her sweet hubby planned this great event as a surprise and pulled it off beautifully.

Jan and I met the third grade at Longview Elementary School in Memphis when I had gone to the restroom to pull a tooth. She came in and helped me, and we've been buds ever since. She was the person who first convinced me that I could sing a little, was there when I had crushes on some real losers, nursed me through my head-over-heels infatuation with a musician named Bill Johnson and all through our school years. She was so smart and so pretty and she was my friend.

When we both married, Jan moved to Alabama and I stayed in Memphis. We only see each other at class reunions now, for the most part. We don't talk as often as we would like, but when we do, it's as though we just spoke yesterday. We just pick right up where we left off.

There are only a few people who I don't see very often that I can do that with - Linda Gordon, Charlotte Gordon, Ron Gordon, Paula Payne, Janet Southards, Ida Bryant, Debbie Dennington, Grady Thurman, Linda Bain Ashton, Moochie Waldron, Joe Pittman, Emily Hill and Ro Campbell are the ones who come to mind. I consider myself very blessed to have these people in my life.

The new year is always a time for reflection. I vow to spend more time enjoying my friends in 2009.

Go hug someone you love.

Counting down....

We're on the final countdown to the Craft and Hobby Association Winter Show in Anaheim, CA. Roxi and I head out on January 23. I have no idea what to expect this year, with the economy the way it is.

I received my "Come-by-our-booth-and-check-out-the-latest-and-greatest-new-products" packet yesterday and I swear it was at least 50 percent smaller than last year. Not good.

I have been frantically creating new projects while trying to remember to use RockCandy Studios materials for some shameless self and business promotion. The Creative Juice Muse has departed my brain, and I'm really struggling this time. I'm sure she will return on January 22 around 5 p.m., which will allow me a whopping 12 hours to create and photograph all the new things she will whisper in my ears.

I'm sure this creative block is due to the fact that my job is ending soon. Not that I am dreading that, although the part-time pay is awesome, but everyone who has a project for 2009 seems to have discovered that I will no longer be here after March 31 and they are all trying to get their projects in before I depart. On my plate at the moment are 65 centerpieces for a banquet in February that need to be finished before I leave for CHA and a total makeover on our company museum, which I have been working on for most of the past year. All my creative juices have gone into these projects and I am drained. Enough grumbling.

It's a beautiful, sunny day in Tennessee, which helps drive away the worries about the future of this wonderful river city. We have corrupt politicians, a horrid city council and hot and cold running crooks. To use a popular phrase, the inmates are running the asylum. That's it in a nutshell. I moved up the road 22 years ago to a neighboring county, but my heart is still on the banks of the Mississippi in Tom Lee Park in downtown Memphis.

I can't seem to quit grumbling, so will quit writing.

Go hug someone you love.