Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I’ll take my tea with one teaspoon of dirt please

Years ago I helped out an acquaintance and to show her appreciation, she invited me over to her house for tea and scones. I was delighted as we once had a lengthy conversation about her love of baking. When I arrived, linen napkins, a silver basket filled with steaming scones and fresh flowers awaited me. I was dully impressed.

As I followed her into the kitchen, she stepped on a stool and took down from the top kitchen cabinet a beautiful pewter tea pot. She told me that she had received it as a wedding present over 22 years ago and had NEVER used it. I felt honored.

She then proceeded to pour boiling water from the kettle into the pewter pot. I was expecting her to wash it out – after all she had just told me that it had been sitting in her cabinet for 22 years. But she didn’t dump the water! Instead, she carefully added tea to the now dirty water.

OMG!! Do I say anything? Do I have to drink the tea? I was gagging just thinking about all the dust and grime that had accumulated in 22 years. Would it kill me? What’s the number of poison control?

I am a pacifist, but as I politely sipped my tea I prayed that the boiling water had killed anything living that had been swimming around in that tea pot.

Her scones were delicious and I ate two thinking this might be my last meal.

In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t get sick, but I never went to her house again for tea.

This little tea cup mini album is not very serious or elegant, but rather more like a child’s tea party. And it is very sweet indeed!
Buttons, MS butterflies and flowers adorn this darling cup of tea. 

Lots of stamping too!
There are 5 tea bag tags in this mini.
Plenty of room for journaling on the other side.

Paper from the Stella Rose Collection of MME 
Cover SWEET sticker from MME Breeze Collection
Assorted chipboard stickers from Lost & Found 2
Stamps from MME Blush Collection
(All the above from

Chipboard album from Michael's $1.50 bin

Monday, February 27, 2012

One Vagabond, two Vagabond, three Vagabond, four...

or the death of a friend...sob!

READER WARNING: There is nothing funny about this post. The only people laughing were TH and Sizzix as they spent my hard earned cash!

I am impatient and tenacious. And sometimes, when you mix the two you have, shall I say, a situation?

I got my first Spellbinders Nestabilities and was dying to try them out. Like 5 minutes ago. Ready to load them into my trustworthy Vagabond I quickly glanced at the directions. Solo Thin Die Adapter? Come on folks.  They don’t sell Vagabond accessories at my Mike’s and the closet LLS is about an hour away. What is a girl to do? Improvise!

Bad mistake. Did I say bad mistake already? Can I say it again? Bad mistake! Hand on button I pushed an original sandwich of sorts as the machine made the most awful sounds I had ever heard. It’s working! I am a genius! Who needs the solo thin die adapter?

And then the machine stopped dead. Couldn’t be. I just pushed harder and the machine started again but everything was stuck. I’ll spare you the gory details, but it contained lots of tears, regrets and a sleepless night.

The next morning I ordered my second Vagabond and the adapter. Every time I push that button now I hold my breath, just waiting for it to get stuck again. I think I am suffering from post traumatic syndrome. 

Rest in Peace dear friend. Thinking about having it cremated and putting the ashes in my scraproom. Or maybe I should just do a LO with this photo?  

My new BFF. I haven't had time to ebellish, yet.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Something About Nothing

Someone I know told me that my posts were similar to watching a Seinfeld Show – they are both about nothing. I beg to differ with that so-called friend of mine. Each and every post is carefully thought out and there is a definite method to my madness.

The way I write for my blog is to start with a theme, make a list, and then let my mind wander a bit. Today’s topic needs to have a tie in with my Asian Album so let’s get started -

Ideas for Thursday’s post

PF Chang’s
Fortune Cookies

(Guess I’m hungry so taking a break to get some lunch – vegetarian sushi.

Back to the post

Asian Paper Umbrellas – looks dark outside so it might rain. Glad I brought my umbrella. It’s purple and I got it in NYC when I saw the Fantasticks two years ago. The world’s longest running musical. Love the show, love the umbrella. And considering that I ALWAYS lose umbrellas it’s a miracle that I still own it! BTW still looking for the two rubber stamps I recently lost.

Back to post

Chinese noodles – anyone watch Worst Cooks in America? Last Sunday they had to make Chinese noodles and it was hysterical. Did I mention that I am trying to diet and that is why I have food on the mind?

Back to post

Is Vietnam considered Asian? My nails look awful and I need to have a manicure. Forget about rings. I am wearing TH black soot, Versafine black ink, Glossy accents and a bit of hot glue on my fingers. Can you tell that I am a scrapper?

 Back to post…………………………

OK Edwin, you win. My post is about nothing. But, I do have something to share. Last year I purchased this awesome Asian Dress Form Kit from Telina. Similar, but not identical to the Dress Form Calendar designed by the wonderfully talented Bona at livelovescrap on YouTube. I just finished it, albeit 2 months late, but am still thrilled with the results.

There are 6 dress forms in the kit and I added a tiny calendar on each. You can download the calendar FREE at Crafty Secrets.

The papers were so pretty that there was no need for lots of embellishments.

Look Ma, no hands! I painted the bottom of each dress form black and tied the ring with tulle and black seam binding.

Telina is a doll and is offering my followers a special deal. I don't know how to link to her blog but it's Tell her I sent you.

I have been quietly sending out little gift packages to some of my followers who have been actively leaving comments. Not a bribe, but if you'd like a RAK, leave a comment and perhaps YOU will be  next on my list. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What's in a Name?

 “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Warning – English lesson ahead
Most folks know that Shakespeare wrote that line, but what you may not be aware of is that it was a double entendre. Back in the Elizabethan era folks didn’t bathe often. Hence, air pollution was rampant. In order to mask the fragrant smells that emanated from their bodies, lovely ladies used to cut up oranges and stick them under their armpits. What was even more yucky disgusting unique, was that if unhappy with the performance, the upper class, who actually sat in the upper seats as opposed to the lower class, who sat in the pit, (pun intended) they would discreetly remove those oranges and throw them at the actors. The lower class would just throw rotten fruit...which is in fact how Rotten Tomatoes (my favorite movie review site) got their name.

The Shakespeare Globe Theatre, which was co-owned by Will and his pals, was in a bit of competition with the neighboring Rose Theatre. When Will wrote that line for Romeo and Juliet he was referring to the fact that traitors theatre goers who frequented the Rose were more odorous than his faithful following. Of course, Kory probably knew this already. Right Kory?

Now, let’s transition from arm pits to names –
A fad that is sweeping the WWW (wild & wacky world) of scrapping is Junque Journals. This is not a misspelled word – if you are a scrapper, junk is now spelled j-u-n-q-u-e! It’s as if by changing the spelling makes it more desirable. It's all in the name folks!

I have made a few journals, but I wanted to call them something a bit more fun so I christened mine Mish-Mosh Journals. But don’t worry, they are real Junk Journals, for the definition of Mish-Mosh is a confused jumble. And I promise you that inside they are just as junky as any Junque Journal you've ever seen. 

The cover and back are made from BINGO cards.
I tried to make the cover as junky as possible.

Every single page has something on it -
I used stickers, papers and even stamps from work.

There are over 60 pages of fun in this tiny book.

Paper clips, binders, tags and clothespins to keep treasured items safe.

Have you made a Junque Journal? What do you call yours?  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Challenges intimidate me

Since I first started scrapping, a bit over a year and a half ago, I have entered my share of challenges. Despite the fact that I always put my heart and soul into my work, (insert tearful sob and sad violin music here) I have come in the bottom of the pack more times than I can count. I do however have one story about a challenge that has a happy ending.

Back in September 2010, with much trepidation and without much fan fare, I entered  the Why Did I Buy This Challenge. Drum roll here please -  this being my first challenge and harnessing all the beginners luck I could beg, borrow and steal, I won. There’s an adjunct here - only 3 folks entered so it wasn’t much of a victory.

The hostess Runzalot81, AKA Alissa, sent me a RAK. When a package arrived from I was puzzled because I hadn’t ordered anything. Upon opening the box I seriously felt as if it was Christmas. I was blown away by her generosity. It contained all the goodies from the Basic Grey Ambrosia line including: rub-ons, paper, brads, stamps, chipboard pieces and stickers.

Happy ending here? Not yet folks. The problem was that I didn’t like the papers. Every day they would look at me, begging to be loved. After a while I couldn’t stand their cries of neglect and put them in my scrapbook storage closet in the garage.

One day I happened to be looking for something in my closet and noticed the papers. Funny thing is that I didn’t hate them anymore, didn’t love them either, but like fine wine and cheese they had improved with age. It took another month or so but eventually I actually started to like what I saw. The designs were beautiful, the colors vibrant and the possibilities were endless.

Alissa gave me two gifts – the RAK and the confidence to spread my wings. I also need to thank Karen, who traded a handful of my charms for a huge stack of chipboard albums. I dedicate this butterfly album to two lovely ladies - Alissa and Karen.  I just hope I did them proud! 

Lots of wrinkled seam binding and a stick pin grace the cover.

Pages 2 & 3. Butterflies on top of butterflies plus room for photos and journaling.

Pages 4 & 5. On the left is a booklet that opens up for more photos.

Pages 6 &7. The Martha Stewart envelope on the left holds 3 photomats.
And on the right, I used the rubber stamps to decorate the tags.

The last two pages. The booklet on the left opens to hold four little photos.

A better look at the tags.

I loved the paper so much that I even decorated the back of the album.

Scrapbook challenges - do you like them?  Do yu have a story about a challenge you entered?  We're all friends here, so please feel free to share. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ouch! Stuck by a Pin

Last week I tried to explain to a co-worker why scrappers put pins on projects. I am certain she now thinks I am totally bonkers. She kept on thinking the pin was something I was going to wear, and when I told her I would probably put the pin on a LO her question was, “What is a layout?”

There should be a scrapbook cheat sheet, something like scrapbook 101 for folks who have never stepped foot into the wonderful wacky world (WWW) of scrapbooking. An easy way to answer the everyday questions like, why do we put Bingo cards on layouts? Why do we make cards with so many flowers that you can’t put them in an envelope and mail? Why do we make a card/LO, glue everything down and then take out a sewing machine and stitch the paper? Why do we take a perfectly good tag, dip it into coffee and then distress, stamp and tie a ribbon on it - preferably one that has been wrinkled?

I could go on and on but the real question I need answered today is, why do we decorate our beloved crafts with beaded pins? If you can answer that age old question that has baffled historians for centuries, I will send you a super duper present - a bunch of pins on a tag!  

This month I entered my first pin swap hosted by Victoria at Life on the Scrapbeach. Had to be LOVE/Valentine inspired and we could use Bo Bunny Enchanted papers, which I happened to have on hand. I am trying hard to enter the lace filled land of Shabby Chic but am having a difficult time. I love lace, have a garden full of roses and yet every time I try to get in, the door is locked shut. I am however pounding on the door really hard!

See what I mean about Shabby Chic? It looks more like Goth to me. Whatchathink? And yes, that is a Bingo card. And no, I haven't the foggiest why I added it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ode to Michael

My favorite Michael does not have the last name of Jackson, Jordan, Fox, or Moore. Instead it is Dupey. Never heard of him? Michael J. Dupey was an innovative Dallas business man who opened a store in 1976 and named it Michael’s Arts and Crafts.

I may not have a local scrapbook store (LSS), but I live only 1.76 miles from Mike’s (as I affectionately call my home away from home.) After all, we are on intimate terms and I visit him more often than I do my sisters! I am lucky because the customer service has always been excellent at my West Hills store. But then, because I visit at least once a week so many of the employees know me by name.

Sure, I sometimes get impatient with the stock – where the bleep are those balsa wood boxes?? Why don’t they carry any TH dies? And what is the point of those 40% off coupons when you can’t use them on the one item that you really need? But with more than 1000 Michael's Arts and Crafts Stores across the country and Canada, I know I am not alone in my love affair with Mike. In all seriousness, if given a choice of going to my favorite restaurant (Sorry Kate Mantilini) or Mike’s, I’m grabbing my 40% off coupon! 

I never leave the store without digging through their $1.50 bins. Bursting at the seams with miscellaneous items like metal keys, mini chipboard albums, nail files, ribbons and rubber stamps, each a treasure that screams at the passing shoppers, “I’m lonely, please take me home.” My personal weakness stems from trying to ignore the cries of those cheap red rubber stamps on wooden bases. Over the last year I have amassed quite a collection and although I rarely use them, I am always on the hunt for the next great rubber stamp.

I have to say that Mike’s must have a new stamp designer because this year’s stamps are just awesome. Pen/pencils with wings and that bird with an envelope in his beak?? How cute is that? What’s your favorite find from the $1.50 bin?

This is all most some of my Mike's stamps. I have another drawer but was too embarrassed to let Tony see them - after all he is the one who is taking the pictures. Does that make me a liar, a hoarder or just your typical scrapper?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do

I swore I would NEVER become a scrapper, then

I swore I would NEVER buy a die cut machine, then

I swore I would NEVER make cards, then

I swore I would NEVER stamp, then

I swore I would NEVER make a toilet roll mini.
Boy, back then I sure did a lot of swearing, didn’t I?
That was then, this is NOW.

I am a Scrapper, I have a Vagabond, I have just started making cards, and I have amassed an obscene amount of stamps.

Isn’t it amazing how time changes everything?

Haven’t done a toilet roll mini YET, but am saving rolls.
UPDATE: I spent yesterday in the bathroom and am proud to say that I have finally crossed over to the other side - insert theme music from The Twilight Zone here.

Last year I found three pages of bicycle paper at Mike's and have been saving them for something special. What is more special than my first TP album? 

Pages 2 and 3 - although the pages are tiny, I packed them with all the bicycle junque I could find in my stash.
Pages 4 & 5
Pages 6 & 7 are my favorites. I cut the picture of the guys on the tandem bike in half and then added a wheel to each page.  
Lots of space for pictures and journaling.

There are no shortages of Toilet Roll Mini Album videos on YouTube. But if you are a novice in the bathroom arts, like me, check out Scrapsaturdays four videos. Monica is a great teacher. Have you made a toilet roll mini? Would you like to?


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.

Almost fifteen years ago my daughter Cassandra and I spent three magical weeks in Paris. On her list of must see places to visit was the L’Espace Dali. Located high up in the Montmartre, it is Paris’s enduring home to the city’s artists and philosophers. The museum was unassuming from the outside, but the moment you walked through the door you were greeted by a very steep set of stairs. As I held onto the railing for dear life, I realized that one could expect nothing less from the Great Salvador Dali. I was about to enter his eccentric world of Surrealism.

Once we arrived safely downstairs our senses were immediately assaulted. Circular black walls swirled in front of us, chanting music filtered the air and lights became alive. Incredible, fantastic and bizarre are three words that best describe both the museum and his work.
It was hard not to be caught up in the mystical spell of Dali. The museum focuses particularly on the creative process that produced some of Dali's most famous works and contains paintings, drawings, cartoons, and sculptures. One symbol that was present in many of Dali’s works was the butterfly. He used the butterfly both as a thing of beauty and as a symbol of the soul.  
Before we left we went into the gift shop, where most of the items were out of our price range. On a large wooden stand was a heavy open book where visitors were invited to write a message. Surprisingly, many were in English and we stood there, mesmerized for at least 20 minutes. As we flipped the pages, reading post after post after post, I was enthralled with the messages that varied from personal and  funny to sad and poignant. We both left messages but I’m not sharing what I wrote. You’ll just have to go to Paris and read it in person!   

I will however share one of my favorite Dali stories. He had only one great love in his life, Gala, his muse and wife. It is said that on his wedding day he tied a hundred helium balloons around his waist and floated up to greet her as she waited, like Juliet,  on the balcony for her Romeo.  Whether it is true or not doesn’t matter, for it is romance personified. And we all need a little of that in our life.
A few years ago Cassandra entered the Beard and Mustache Competition in New York. She dressed as Dali, complete with a butterfly mustache. Do you love or hate Dali? There is no in between.

When I showed Tony my completed 8x8" layout, he quietly looked it over. Then, choosing his words carefully said, "It's nice, but the edges are torn." Guess I did a good job of distressing.