Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Submissions - Stamper's Sampler

Stamper's Sampler has a call for "Definitions." I was so inspired by an article about artist Andrea Fuhrman in the current issue of Somerset Studio, and particularly by her piece "Bouquet," this collage just came together so quickly! Loving this idea and may re-use it. I used a Stamper's Anonymous stamp with a definition of art as the background (it's on this page). I also created a 2nd sample to submit. It uses The Cat's Pajamas new bride kitty stamp as a veiled princess and the flower background as an accent. The princess definition on that one is from Cat's Life Press. So, here's another submission sneak peek.

Cat not only Stamps, She Blogs!

Cat has created a blog, she's re-organizing her craft space, she's reading marketing magazines, she's volunteering at Habitat for Humanity, she's making her store more shopper-friendly. Oh my - she's a busy bee! Err, cat. Link added on the right. Looking forward to seeing what she cooks up!

Creative Momentum

That's what I want to call the group I want to start. Maybe. I'll probably change my mind. We've begun laying the groundwork. Scott & I had dinner with Melissa (from Distinction) & her husband Sam on Sunday night at Hacienda de Vega.

I managed to fit my idea into the conversation and Melissa sounded very open to participating, and to letting us meeting at the gallery at least occasionally. But she definitely didn't want to organize it. She said she had participated in a group before and got a lot out of it, but the group has disbanded. She also said that people often come to her and ask if she knows of a group or if she'll organize one, so there's a need. Yippee - we're on to something.

Sam had a lot of interesting ideas, too. I unfortunately had a mixed drink and was not at full brain capacity, so didn't ask lots of questions about either of them or their interests the way I'd intended. But it was a good first-time-in-a-social-setting-together kind of dinner. I want to know them better. I also didn't share anything about my interests, so I'm not sure that Melissa understood that I want to participate in the group. Though I'm still really enjoying crafts, I want to push past craft into art with some projects. And I really really want to paint. I'm finally getting comfortable with water colors. I'm going to tackle acrylics next I think. Oils I'll save for last - they scare me. And I'm warming up to the idea of using canvas rather than paper.

Next on my targeted list of frogs to warm for this group is Paul Sewell.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Submissions - RubberStamp Madness

I did it. I chose 2 cards for Halloween call in RubberStamp Madness. 1 using The Cat's Pajamas, and the other using Rosie's Roadshow. I carefully labeled 2 cards, addressed the envelopes and self-addressed envelopes, and put it all together ready for the mail. They should be off today if Scott takes them when he goes to the mailbox. Otherwise, I'll stick them in there tonight. Hooray. Let the waiting begin! Here's a little sneak view of what I submitted:

Hello, One Size Smaller

Hello, shopping. Hello Boho Chic. We went to the mall yesterday. I was only planning to get a couple of things - a new pair of jeans, a white blouse, a black blazer. But there was new stuff. And everything so fun, and finally things in style that feel so me. I got a black suit, a grey suit, some fun crazy blouses, and 2 new pairs of jeans. And, oh yeah, I'm a size smaller. There's hope. I feel like getting back on the healthy eating band wagon. I want more cute clothes!

Of course, I wouldn't put things together like in the photos, but here you can see some of what I got. I put that poet-sleeve shirt with jeans. And the cut neck t-shirt with a classic black suit. The red shirt with a cropped-jacket gray suit. The lace shirt over a red tank top & under something, like a jean jacket or maybe a suit jacket or maybe a long sweater - don't want to take the look too Victorian, though.

Ribbon Spool Album - Birthday Bonanza - March 11, 2006

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Illustration Friday 02.24.2006: Tea

Stamps by Rosie's Roadshow.

Stamps by The Cat's Pajamas.

Random Inspiration

Found this wonderful quote...

I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies.

- Le Corbusier

...on this blog

Friday, February 24, 2006

This Little Piggie Went to Market...

Sizzix is having 40% off this weekend. Yippee! And just the other day, I was saying, "I really need 2 more Sizzix alphabets." (Honest - ask my husband) But I resisted the urge to buy them full-price last weekend, and voila, they are ON SALE! Of couse, only the in-stock stuff is included in the sale. So no cute little drink set, no mini-album & pages, none of the new flower dies. But that's ok. Here's what I ordered:

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Merciless Virus Attacks Hatlestad Household

Monday night, Jake turned green during dinner. Like he instantly went from his chirpy usual self to this sickly pale weak little critter. And then he vomited every 15 to 30 minutes for the next 12 hours. No sleep Monday night for any of us. Checked in with doctor on Tuesday. She said there's a nasty rotavirus going around. 1 day vomiting plus 4 days diarrhea.

And then Wednesday during the night, Scott threw up. And I spent a good part of the night in the bathroom trying not to throw up. Scott seems to be ok. But I had 102 degree temperature and chills most of Wednesday. I stayed in bed all day. Everything hurts.

Still sick today, but not as bad as yesterday. I went to work. I ate 1/2 a poptart this morning with my Advil. Otherwise, the smell of food makes me feel sick. I wish I was at home sleeping.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cat's March Challenge: Birthday Bash

Cat's Challenges

Oh my goodness! What to do? Cat’s Craft Cupboard is
turning TWO! Submit a birthday card, party favor, or
anything else you can think up with a birthday theme.

Here's a sneak look at my entries. Stamps by The Cat's Pajamas, A Muse Artstamps, Impression Obsession, Rubber Soul, Rosie's Roadshow, and Savvy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Illustration Friday 02.17.2006: Song

Stamps by Rosie's Roadshow.

Went to dinner with Cat & Mike last night (sounds like a cartoon, doesn't it?) at Chili's. Yum! Jake went to his grandparents' house. So fun to do grown-up stuff for a change. I think we're going to try to make a habit of it. We need to snap out of this baby-having-induced seclusion and doldrums. Or maybe it's just me. Scott always has the desire to go out, to be with people. Me, I'm practically a hermit. Finally feeling like I'm regaining some equilibrium, some balance in my life. Not quite there yet, but getting there. So hard for me to be pulled in 2 directions mentally. At work, it's everything practical. And home, I just have no practical anything left and it's all whimsy. But really, work is just work - I need to go there & get it done, rather than trying to infuse it with creativity. And home could use a little more practicality.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sew Much Love

Had my "Sew Much Love" class at Cat's Craft Cupboard last night. 1 student couldn't make it, so I'll have a little more work to make the class kit usable for her. But I like this new plan that for cancelled classes or for students that can't make it, we're doing take-home kits. Everyone made a fuss over the instructions I put together. If you click on the "Sew Much Love" link, it will take you to view the cards. From there, you can click on instructions for the individual cards, including the bonus ideas. If you'd like me to email you the instructions (a Word document), just email me and let me know. We also did something new - a trivia game for little prizes. Last night's prizes were little packs of fibers/ribbon, extra fabric from the project, and 2 bonus cards I'd made with scraps from the project. Here are the bonus cards:

Also, I brought my in-progress project for my March class to give the group a sneak preview (and to help Cat's come up with a description). Here's the cover:

Friday, February 17, 2006

My Fabulous Husband & Poppet Update

So, Scott went to Ordover Gallery last night to schmooze with the photography artist crowd. And everyone he talked to about his new show is amazed. Apparently, quite a few people, including his photography group, approached Blue Mug about having a show and were turned down.

We had a great conversation (that I was only half awake for) about feeling different than the others, even among seemingly like-minded groups. And we talked about what we could do about it. I've been saying all along that we need to surround ourselves with people whose creativity inspires us. Last night, we talked about some more concrete ways we could do that. I think maybe we need to form a creative arts group and see if we can meet at Distinction or at the Municipal Gallery. I'm really interested in getting to know the curator, Victoria Huckins, at the Municipal Gallery... I love her art. And there's a poet/photographer in Scott's photography group that I really like. And I hope Melissa from Distinction would have the bandwidth and interest to participate. And Paul Sewell from Scott's photography group. I think we could start with a dinner together or something not so structured, and we could start with just that handful and grow from there. Jean-Ellen is moving away soon, but I think it would be nice to have her while she's still here. Gotta work on organizing this, and on talking to Melissa about it.

Stopped by Cat's Craft Cupboard last night and finally voted on the February challenge. And I did NOT vote for myself. We talked about make-n-takes for anniversary day - Cat wants to do a card and maybe something else, like a post-it note cover or a little stand up card/gift-bag-thing. And she helped me figure out what stamps to use for my March class - luckily all ones that I already have. Also, I got 2 new stamps. A paisley one from JudiKins and a Happy Birthday one from Rubber Soul. Doesn't look like there's a Rubber Soul catalog online, so I can't show you that one. Here's the paisley one:

Woohoo! Cat emailed this morning and she's hot on the trail of poppet goodness. I of course want all of it, but I don't think I can afford the whole collection just to start out with. So we're talking through the possibilities. I'm so stinkin' excited about the whole collection, though. Definitely went right to the very top of the list of things I must have.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Nyah nyah - I got new Distress Inks!

Stopped by Cat's Craft Cupboard last night to get the new Distress Inks (yeah, all of 'em, yeah, I'm spoiled). And to get paper for my Sew Much Love class on Saturday. And picked up 2 stamps from Paper Inspirations that I think will be good for another class I've been designing.

We settled on an accordion album made from a ribbon spool for my March class, though the web site hasn't been updated yet. I settled on which paper to use, made the covers and closure last night. Then this morning had a little inspiration for how to decorate. It will be a birthday-theme project in keeping with the store anniversary & birthday bash theme.

What I didn't do yesterday that I meant to: vote on Cat's Craft Cupboard challenges (just when I'm getting ready to do that each time, something happens). And I didn't talk to Cat about make 'n takes for anniversary day. I'm thinking birthday cards with cats on them. There's a new kitty from Pink Cat Studio. And a couple new cats from The Cat's Pajamas.

And in other news, we might be virtually going to the Oscars. MOPA is having a red carpet event fundraiser. Sounds fun and it's on my husband's birthday. I told him to go ahead and buy the tickets. Now, I just have to figure out where I can get a decent dress in my size. Bummer that I didn't work harder at that diet thing. Time to get back on that kick I think!

So, speaking of Scott, the paper is going to do an article on stay-at-home dads and wants to interview him again. Very cool.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Squeaked by on V-Day... However...

So, I was able to finish a poem for my husband for V-Day. But I didn't finish the visual pieces that I wanted to go along with it. I had planned to use the blank puzzle from my Self-Addressed kit to hide hints leading him around the house to search for the poem. I had hoped to have a lovely hand-made card to go along with the poem. And I'd hoped to have a little thoughtful gift to go along. AND I'd sketched out a painting that I wanted to do, but knew from from the start that was a long-shot. I had very little creative mojo over the weekend.

And, darnit, the little bit of creativity I was able to eek out was wasted. Because I forgot to mail my Hero Arts contest entry. Grr!

I suck again today because it's my mom's birthday. And I haven't done anything for her. I'm going to try to find a local florist that will agree to deliver flowers today. And I'm going to try to get a card together tonight.

Last night, we dropped Jake off with his grandparents. Then we went to dinner at 150 Grand Cafe. It was early enough so that we weren't falling asleep in our food. There was only one course that Scott didn't care for. We got to actually have conversation over dinner, and I really enjoyed the relaxing time together. There were free horse & buggy rides on Grand Ave, but it was a little chilly (I didn't have a jacket) and the line was long, so we skipped doing that.

Over dinner we'd brainstormed a little about classes that Scott could teach. And I was able to think through some more details of some ideas I've had. Then I needed a few things from Michaels for the samples, so we headed there after dinner. Ran into Jill and Chris there. Jill said she hasn't been inspired by any of the classes lately. And Chris said she's really bummed about having to be at a wedding the weekend that we'll be celebrating Cat's Craft Cupboard's 2nd anniversary.

Speaking of Cat, she called me yesterday from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store to see if she should pick up a box of tiles for a stamping-on-tile class. Sure! I think we can use the new Staz-On inks - there are pastel colors coming out.

Speaking of inks, the new Distress Inks should be in tomorrow. Now that I've got an idea what to do with them, I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the new colors.

Anyway, when we went to pick Jake up, he was still awake. Grandma gave him a little plastic heart of M&Ms for v-day. I don't think he had a clue what was inside, but he liked shaking it. He also opened his card and carried it around. Very cute. He has started identifying colors in the last couple of days - red, blue, green, yellow. We've been recording Sesame Street for him for a couple of weeks, and that has expanded his vocabulary and interests. He really likes Ernie, Elmo, and Big Bird. He's seems to be scared of Telly. He can count to 3, and is especially fond of the number 2.

Here's the poem I wrote for Scott:

these days

these days we
talk a lot, think a lot, read a lot, dream a lot, lose sleep a lot
about what we want to become
what we can do right-this-very-minute
to get from mundane here to fabulous there

i love this brave new us
reaching, trying, exploring, growing
and at the same time, i
love that you write “i love scott” in my notebook
to remind me

in the busy-ness of all this expansion
surviving on less sleep than i ever imagined possible
i want you to know
that i don’t lose sight of the invisibly deep love that is
the foundation of our relationship
source of our precious child
my heart walking around
outside my body

the connection for me
has grown beyond that initial
sweet simplicity
to a delicious complexity
that adds dimension without complication
i still love the way you look
and now I am learning to love the way you see
the way you make the experience of now
vivid, succulent, resplendent


And now browsing through the other blog updates for the day, I've stumbled across something fabulous that I just have to share. This pea-blogger posted a link to a fabulous site (that she found on Ali Edwards' blog) Unsung Designers with really fabulous purses. I think she picked out the best one of the bunch, but there were some others that were pretty cute. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monday Blah & Valentine's Dilemma

Yesterday was mostly just another Monday. Scott packed up the oriental carpet to send off for cleaning (post-Jamba-Juice trauma). I'll have to post photos of the disaster when I get home. Let's just say that I forgot the little guy had a Jamba Juice and I left him alone in the living room. It was quiet for a while - I thought he was watching TV. But then he came to the baby gate holding the cup out and said, "uh-oh." Jamba Juice footprints across the wood floors. Jamba Juice hand prints on the glass doors of the entertainment center. Toy car tracks of Jamba Juice across the coffee table. And a lovely puddle of it on the Karastan rug. With lines through it where Jake had alternately run his fingers through it and run his cars through it. Oh well. $350 to have the rug cleaned and prepared for storage. Plus whatever it will cost to get a cheap rug to protect the floor temporarily. In the meantime, Jake was thrilled to run his toy cars on the hardwood floors the length of the living room.

Appraiser came to the house this morning. Refinancing is coming along.

Today's Valentine's Day. We're going to 150 Grand for dinner. As usual, I'm late with getting something thoughtful together for my husband. I suck. I spend too much time trying to think up something original, when he'd probably be happy if I would just be thoughtful.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Esco Art Scene Update & Kitty Schwag

Worked late Friday night. We were at an all-day off-site planning session. BORING, despite my boss having brought toys. At least it was at a country club, and the food was yummy. I built three different Lincoln Log houses. Very long day. Most interesting thing I learned was incidental – according to the org chart we reviewed, it looks like my title is changing from the ridiculous IT Systems Analyst III to the equally oblique Sr IT Systems Analyst. I swear, every time I get close to reaching the next layer of titles, they add more (IT Systems Analyst I, IT Systems Analyst II, IT Systems Analyst III, and now Sr IT Systems Analyst). It’s very silly. Here are photos of the riveting event. Strangely, I appear about to eat the Lincoln Logs I'm playing with. Oh well.

Jakob (19 months old yesterday – how did that happen?) has a cold (runny nose, little cough, and so grouchy). Very little sleep this weekend for us parent-types.

Saturday, I worked on an entry for the Hero Arts contest. Deadline for postmark is tomorrow. I finished a card, and decided that although three entries are allowed, I only have one entry in me for now. I have a huge and ever-growing list of projects to work on. Most pressing are these:

1) Class kits for my Feb 18 class (this Saturday)
2) Samples for my March 11 class – due Feb 18 (this Saturday)
3) Cat’s Birthday Bash challenge – due March 15
4) Definitions call for Stamper’s Sampler – due April 1
5) Halloween call for Stamper’s Sampler – due April 1

And I need to get back to work on the Amylin scrapbook project. I think that’s the perfect filler project for me to be working on during the week, and just a little here and there.

My Cat's Pajamas stamps arrived with the Saturday mail. Here's what I got:

While I was working on those fun projects, Jake was working on a project of his own. I COMPLETELY forgot that we'd left him alone in the living room with his Jamba Juice. Then I hear the pitter-patter of little feet, the body slam into the baby gate, and a tiny voice saying, "uh-oh" - I look over to see Jake holding up his Jamba Juice cup, and I figure it must be empty. I go to investigate... "uh-oh" is an understatement. Jamba Juice footprints all over the hardwood floors. Ok, Swiffer will take care of that. Jamba Juice handprints all over the glass doors of the entertainment center. Ok, Windex. Jamba Juice all over the persian rug - with Matchbox car tracks through it... ARGH!

Saturday night, we dropped Jake off at my in-laws’ and headed over to Distinction Gallery. Put some cards out in Scott's studio for his upcoming show at The Blug Mug.

Scott's name is now up on the door of his studio.

The new show is fantastic! They’re doing it as a silent auction and all of the pieces have bids so far. Great stuff.

If I were the artist, I think I’d have the hardest time letting the best pieces go. Lynden Saint Victor (the artist) was there at the gallery, and seemed to really be enjoying sort of being anonymous, eavesdropping on conversations about his art. We were there early enough to get to see the pieces without dealing with the crowd. Then we went upstairs to my husband’s studio and scarfed down some McDonald’s and had about an hour up there. Scott’s name is on the door now. Major Morris (photographer) came over and chatted a bit, and we got to meet the interior designer with the studio next door. Sharif (the artist on the other side) popped in too and asked us to keep an eye on his studio while he went home for a shower. The whole place has a great creative feeling about it.

We did a quick errand to Michaels for me. Ran into Chris there. Absolutely one of my favorite people that I’ve met through teaching classes. Then off to our Cirque du Soleil adventure. The show was amazing. Just so visually stimulating and almost shocking what the human body is capable of. The VIP experience was not as positive as the last time, which was in turn not as positive as the first time. I’m tempted to complain. Not enough places for people to sit, too many people, food areas so poorly lit that you couldn’t tell what the food items were. Oh well. It was nice to have good seats, a quiet place to go during intermission, and access to good parking.

Scott was chosen to go up on stage and be part of one of the clown acts. Hilarious. I had tears. Will share more details later.

Sunday morning, Scott went over to Blue Mug to hang his show. Then we went over there to see it – it looks great, but the images seem so small in the space. We got a cookie and some applejuice. Jake learned the word “cookie” and said it over and over. The other word he learned this weekend was “crash,” while playing matchbox cars with daddy. After our snack, we did a couple of errands (Home Depot, Dollar Tree, Joanns), and then home.

The article about Scott was in the paper.

Last night, I dug out an old project and worked on it a bit – a submission for Stamper’s Sampler Different Point of View. Weekend over – not nearly long enough. Very much looking forward to the upcoming 3-day weekend.