Monday, April 30, 2012

The Fish Girl

Did something funny ever happen to you that made you laugh till you practically peed your pants? And then, when you shared the story not only did no one laugh, but no one even smiled?

I have told this story over and over again just waiting for someone to agree with me that it is funny, but so far, no luck. 

My daughter Cassandra was a competitive ice skater for 15 years. We lived in Los Angeles but had a postage size cabin in Lake Arrowhead so that she could train at the Ice Castle International Training Center. In order to get to the cabin you had to walk up a steep staircase built into the hill, and although it was a bear with groceries, we loved it because it felt as if we were living in a tree house.

Cassandra was about 10 and had been playing with some friends when I heard terrible screams coming from the bushes that lined the hill. My precious baby had tumbled, just like Jill.

I immediately went into mom mode and ran down to see the damage. Luckily, nothing seemed broken but Cassandra was a bit bruised. ICE, that is what she needed so I ran back up and opened up the freezer.

The tiny ice box was packed full – not with ice but with trout that Cassandra’s dad had caught. About 2 dozen ziplock bags of fish. So what did I do? I grabbed an armful of frozen fish and placed them on Cassandra’s legs and hands. She was now The Fish Girl and soon the tears of pain were replaced with tears of laugher.

I’m not hoping for laughter here, but did I at least make you smile? If not, this card will do the trick!

Both stamps are from Viva Las Vegas and the paper is Graphic 45.


I am hooked (no pun intended) on card making!

Do you have a funny fish story to share? Or even a favorite fish recipe? If so, do share!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sob, I hate to admit it, but I am a disgrace to my hobby

Have you ever heard of a scrapper who went on vacation, packed a camera and didn’t take one single photo? Dear Reader, let me introduce myself – the Ellenbee AKA the gal who almost never takes photos.

True story – I went to Europe for 5 weeks and traveled to Paris, Ireland and England and only once, I repeat, only once during the entire trip did I take my camera out of my purse. We were in a graveyard in England and I felt the need (????) to capture my daughter Cassandra standing in front of an old tombstone.  Honestly folks, I can think of no earthly reason why that particular moment needed to be recorded in history. 

I just got home from a long weekend trip to NYC to visit Cassandra. Camera was fully charged and I was determined to take pictures of our time together. I was so certain that I was going to take a zillion photos that I almost took the charger with me. The husband knew my penchant for taking or rather for not taking photos, and convinced me that I wouldn’t need the charger. I didn't.

I know right now you are probably thinking that I am going to say that I didn’t take one photo, right? Wrong! I did take the camera out of the purse and I did take more than one photo. Wanna see them?
Is it Cassandra and I trying on shoes at Shoegasm? Or drinking Bollinger Champagne at The Bubble Lounge in Tribeca? Or sampling all six of the Histories de Parfums at Wonderland? Or drinking Passion Mimosas at our favorite restaurant Good? Or dining at Cipriani which overlooks Grand Central Terminal? Yes, we did a lot of eating and drinking. And nope, I have no photos of us to record this trip.  

The photos I have are of The Ink Pad on 7th Avenue. I actually took a bunch of photos of the local stamp store, but not one of my beautiful daughter. 

Am I going to scrap the stamp store? No, but at least I can share with you a few memories from my wonderful trip to NYC.  You'll just have to take me at my word.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What do fairies and cigars have in common?

My father was a very special man. He didn’t talk to fairies but he did talk to animals. Like Dr. Doolittle, he was a veterinarian. And, he smoked cigars.

I had never altered a cigar box before and every second of the process I was thinking about my dad and all the boxes he tossed. Which leads me to a story about a box.

My mother was brilliant, but was incapable of fixing her hair. She used to go to the salon once a week and every night she would wrap her hair in toilet paper and then put on a fancy pink frilly cap. She looked adorable.

When my parents went to Europe for a long awaited trip, my mother got a wig. And she named the wig Peter. When they arrived in Paris they picked up their luggage but to my mother’s horror the wig case was missing. My mother became almost hysterical and with the language barrier the French police thought a child named Peter was missing.

Eventually Peter was found, unharmed, and the reunion was quite sentimental. Lots of tears of joy, from my mother...and lots of laughter, from the police.

For a partner swap at, I made both a mini and a cigar box
using the Prima Pixie Glen collection.


I used the tiles from the collection and had to glue them down twice.
Stick you suckers!

I kept the inside bottom simple -
Gingham ribbon, a couple of flowers and one of mike's butterflies.

I love what I did with the inside lid.
Coffee dyed lace, a tag with some pixie dust, a tiny envelope
and card and some hand stamped muslin ribbon.

The branch is from mike's and I painted both the frame and all the butterflies with
pink acrylic paint and then used TH distress ink to give it a well worn look.

This is the matching mini -
for more photos check out the link above - A Diary of a Swap.

Have you ever made a cigar box? Or smoked a cigar? Or been to Paris?

Monday, April 16, 2012

ATC or APS??

I remember the first time I saw Artist Trading Cards (ATC's). I couldn’t quite figure out what they were – or why folks made them. The more I became involved with scrapbooking, and coincidentally the more money I spent, the more intrigued I became with ATC’s. I still had no idea what you did with them once you had them, but what the heck – I wasn't interested in making any so I put them on the back burner, along with altered paint sticks.

You know where I’m going, right? A few swaps later I had no choice but to buy the 7 Gypsies ATC Carousel to house the ATC’s I had collected.  

I currently have 44 ATC's and am adding one more to my collection. I am swapping with Michelle, my very talented friend in NZ. We decided that our theme was Parisian writers and I chose to honor Colette, a true Bohemian of the era.

Always controversial, Colette was a beautiful woman who lived a very colorful life. I tried to make the photo look as if it was found in a Paris flea market. I used one of my favorite Colette quotes and added a big rose in her hair. 

If anyone out there wants to trade cards with me, just let me know – there’s still room on my merry-go-round for a few more cards. If not cards, how about an altered paint stick swap?

Just downloaded a new video on Youtube - Not Just Another Toilet Paper Mini

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I am a thief!

I made my first scrapbook in 1961. I was in 9th grade and I wanted a keepsake of the year I turned 16.

To celebrate this birthday milestone, all my girlfriends and I had elaborate Sweet Sixteen parties. Usually they were held at fancy restaurants and we girls dressed up as if we were going to a cocktail party. Also, since party favors weren't popular back then, it was expected that each gal would take home a memento from the event. A flower from the centerpiece or for the less ethical gals, like me, a piece of silverware. Scotch taped into a scrapbook it would sit next to the party invitation along with a sentence or two about the day.

Every business card, ticket and gumball wrapper went into that scrapbook and at the end of the year my scrapbook was heavy…with metal…almost an entire set of silverware...I had a lot of girlfriends.

I don’t steal silverware anymore. Matter of fact I don’t steal anymore.
But I still make scrapbooks. Not unlike my first scrapbook, my current scrapbook is filled with minutia. No silverware, but definitely business cards and ticket stubs.

 I started off with a Teresa Collins Notations Kit.

 Then I went crazy raiding my stash.

Every page holds a memory, a bit of journaling and some aged yellow tape.

A business card, advertising and a tag from the new purse
I bought in NYC decorate these two pages.

When I win the lottery, I am moving to the city.

And the husband is going to have season tickets to both
the Mets and the Yankees.

And we will become patrons of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
And I will have my dream scrapbook room! 


I want to hear about YOUR first scrapbook. Do share! Or tell me how you are going to spend your money when you win the lottery.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Washi Tape 101

Let’s see a show of hands. Who knew Washi Tape could be made from hemp? Which naturally leads me to wonder if one got hold of hemp Washi Tape, would it be edible? And what would happen if one ate a roll?

Washi was used in ancient times but now that Wal-Mart and Target carry the tape, it’s ours. From clothespins to cards to Easter eggs to Christmas ornaments to jewelry to...whatever. If we scrappers see an empty space anywhere – forget about bling or flowers. We’re adding Washi Tape!! 

Here’s my first Washi Tape card and I’d love to see yours. Is it possible to post a picture in your comment? If so, please post it. If not, include a link to your project.

Who has added Washi Tape to their list of addictions?

Decided to add a photo of my growing Washi Tape collection. Ain't it sweet?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I can predict the future…sort of

There’s a show on TV which I have never seen called Long Island Psychic. Think they should have a version entitled Canoga Park Psychic, starring yours truly.

Once I had an incredible psychic experience that shook me to the core and made me think that I was destined to one day work for The Psychic Hotline.

While attending college I lived in a very large apartment complex. One morning as I was walking down the hall to the elevators, I smelled smoke. I actually knocked on a stranger’s door thinking the smoke could have been coming from the apartment but the gal told me that nothing was burning in her apartment, nor did she smell anything. The last thing I said was that if she did smell smoke to please call the fire department.

Around two in the morning I was awakened by fire sirens and although I looked out the window I could see nothing out of the ordinary. The next day I heard the news. There had been a fire in the adjoining building and no one had called the fire department. OH EM GEE! I had predicted the fire. It was no coincidence I was a fire psychic.

Altering a matchbox has been on my lists of things to do for some time and I love the way it turned out. 

I filled it with tags and shells that a dear friend sent me from New Zealand.

I used the Kraft Graphic 45 paper. No closet for this baby - it's going on display.
After all, I do wear a tiara!

In case you’re curious, I have never again predicted a fire. 

Have you made a matchbox? Want to? Or had a psychic experience?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pee is for Purse

I’m a shoe and purse kind of gal. I wear mostly black so love to wear ridiculously colorful shoes and bags. Today I am wearing red shoes and my bag is turquoise blue. I don’t care if either are leather or not, my sole (no pun here) requirement is that they make me smile.

I do have one very horribly mortifying story to share. During the summer my mother used to play Mahjong with her lady friends. They would alternate houses and it was a big deal for the hostess to put out her finest for this weekly soiree.

Our back yard was simple. Not many flowers but we had this wonderful oak tree that shaded the yard from the heat. The ladies, all smartly coiffed, sat around a card table and I could hear the sound of Mahjong tiles clicking away and the occasional peal of laughter.One of the ladies had her purse sitting on the grass by her side. It was an expensive straw purse adored with flowers, ribbons and bling – not unlike a heavily embellished LO.

I was playing with my cousin when I just happened to gaze over as our dog Sammy, who had been resting in the shade, lifted his hind leg and peed in the open straw bag. Can I tell you how hysterically funny that was to a couple of 12 year olds? Between fits of laughter I ran over to my mother and shared the details of this deadly peed, I mean deed. What happened next was pure pandemonium. Suffice to say, my mother never had another Mahjong party at our house.

Tony bought me the K & Co Amy Butler Lotus Faded China paper pad as part of a Christmas gift. At first I struggled as to what to make with it so I looked for matching items. Mahjong! I mean Bingo!  I found that they carried purse embellishments and I remembered that I had a Mike’s $1.00 purse chipboard album stashed away. 

Front Cover - tons of seam binding - just can't get enough.
If I could afford it, I'd have every color they make!

Sideview - it's a mini, but like a real purse it can carry a heavy load.

Inside...a purse within a purse.

Every purse needs a spot for journaling.

Close up of Martha's butterflies and handmade flower using theTH die.

The rear end should look just as nice as the front!

I would pair this purse with purple colored shoes. Do you have a funny story about your pet?

Just made a video of my purse and would love to have you stop on by and say hello!