Sunday, May 28, 2006

Amazing Necklace

That gorgeous little bundle from my husband had an amazing necklace in it. So beautiful. So meaningful. So appropriate, as we (I say we because there are so many wonderful people helping me) launch this new line of bird stamps. I especially am touched by the secret message stamped onto the back of the frame: Dreams all rise to decorate the sky. Thank you, Scott, for procuring this piece of loveliness for me. And thank you, Nina, for creating it! (You can read more about the piece on Nina's blog.)

And thanks for the extra giggle - because the dictionary page the necklace came wrapped in had "ASS" in big letters across the top of the page. Keep that ego in check at all times.

JJ Banners!

Got these beautiful banners in the mail yesterday from my mom. They're for the launch party of justjohanna rubber stamps next weekend. We'll be hanging some of them at Cat's Craft Cupboard (home of justjohanna rubber stamps) and some at The Blue Mug, where we'll be hosting a small exclusive party to celebrate the launch of the new line.

Studio Friday - Vintage/Aged

This week's Studio Friday topic for Friday May 26th suggested by Jane Wynn: AGED/ANTIQUE.

A birthday gift from my husband. I know it is a piece of jewelry from Nina Bagley. But the packaging is just so adorable, I can't open it! So I set it in my studio and decided to just enjoy the packaging for a day and will open it later today - Sunday - my actual birthday.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Tractor + Cake

Jake is still demanding tractors. But we keep running out of blue ink, so my husband instructed me to make the picture any color but blue today. And since it's nearly my birthday and I like pink a lot these days, I added a pink cake.

Illustration Friday - Cake

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

No Tractor Mommy, I Want Car

Well, he's not even 2 yet, so he's not getting his own car. But he can have his own pretend car. Red. Just like the Wiggles' car.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Shoe issues...

Well, pretty much clothing issues. At first, we though it was just resistance to change. But now it seems more clear that, in the mornings, Jake wants to delay getting dressed as long as possible so that he doesn't have to go to the babysitter. And at night, he wants to delay going to bed, so he doesn't want to undress. I took his shoes off and he had a total meltdown. The only thing that stopped the meltdown was the promise of another tractor...

Tractors on Napkins

Tractors pretty much all the time, pretty much everywhere. As soon as Jake sees paper and a writing instrument, he must have a tractor. Last night at dinner...

Monday, May 22, 2006

No Daddy, I want Tractor, Tractor, Tractor!

Demanding little critter... He's knows it's Monday & Mommy has to go to work. No Daddy, No babysitter, No cereal, No TV... I want Mommy! I want Tractor!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Mommy, Tractor! Mommy, Tractor!

On Caillou today, Caillou saw a tractor out the window and Jakob saw it too, and he was very excited. So we had to make our own tractor that Jakob could drive. And of course we had to have a BLUE sky.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Studio Friday - Contrast

Usually on Friday afternoons, my husband & I check the Studio Friday topic together, then we talk about what we could post. Usually I try to get him to take the photos, since he's the better photographer. This week's topic, contrast, had me stumped at first. I just went back and had another look and noticed that this black & white board was sitting right on my work table. It's the matboard scrap I've been using to stamp off as I'm indexing wood mounts. I'm learning a lot. Printer's ink smells really bad. Printer's ink, thankfully, doesn't stick to my wedding ring. Indexing wood mounts is really hard and I think I will pay someone to do it for me next time. There are some images I'm considering discontinuing because they are so hard to index.

justjohanna Design Team

I'm so excited to announce our new Design Team. It was super-hard to make the final decision, and the original list that I made by myself is not the final group that we ended up with. I loved EVERYONE's entry. If you haven't heard back from me, please be patient. I will be returning your projects with a note and a little gift. I appreciate how hard everyone worked on their entries, and I hope that if you didn't make the team this time, you'll consider applying again at our next call. If you have questions or would like feedback about your entry, please email me, and I'll do my best to offer helpful advice.

The team has already been announced on the Cat's Craft Cupboard and justjohanna web sites, but here's the list again in case you haven't seen it there:

* Ethel Amutan
* Sylvie Baschung
* Jana Eckman-Borem
* Judy Cash
* Michelle Geller
* Jacqueline de Groot
* Mary Baustista Marty
* Debbie Scheunemann
* Claudette Slowik
* Godelieve Tijskens


More Blue Tractor Please

Almost every night that it's my turn to put him to bed, Jakob says quietly, "I want mommy. I want blue." And we list blue things until he falls asleep. Every word I can think of that he knows... Blue hair. Blue eyes. Blue Elmo. Blue tractor. Blue truck. Blue car. Blue diaper. Blue nose...

And in the mornings, if I'm at the computer when he wakes up, he says, "Blue 'puter, mommy!" Usually I just show him the little window where you can select colors and he chooses which blue. But today he said he wanted a blue tractor. And a cloud. And a kite. And a kitty. He said "no bird, mommy," but it needed a bird. Here's our picture from this morning.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Illustration Friday - Sorry

Okay, so the composition is not completely original, but the drawings are mine! Click here to see where I got my inspiration. I won't even pretend to compete with that amazing illustration. Here's my variation, with naughty Priscilla-the-cat getting into more mischief.

Monday, May 15, 2006

New VersaMagic & Brilliance Ink Colors

Mine, all mine!

Seven new Brilliance colors

Five new VersaMagic colors

Pam Garrison's Vintage Papers

I *think* I successfully procured one of the paper packs from Pam's Etsy listing. I paid for it. This is the one I think I got:

Sunday Scribblings #7: The books I would write...

This week's Sunday Scribblings challenge is to complete the sentence: "The books I would write…"

"The books I would write" sounds overly ambitious to me. But I suppose if I really let my mind go, I think about writing a series of books telling stories about chapters of my life, rather like Maya Angelou. But mostly, when I daydream about writing, it's pretty specific. It's about someday finally finishing the one story I know I want to tell - about a journey to the brink of madness and then a triumphant return to reality. And I dream that the book will be fantastically successful and will be made into a movie. But then I get stuck trying to imagine who would play the various roles… and I hope for obscure but excellent actors. And I dream that the book/movie will generate enough revenue that we can pay off a house.

First paragraph… that's always a tough one, isn't it? I think I'd start with a scene right in the middle of the chaos…

I sat stubbornly on his suitcase in the middle of the living room, fat tears rolling down my cheeks like the tick-tock of a metronome. He sat quietly behind his desk, staring at me, drawing the cigarette smoke deep into his lungs, not caring if he exhaled directly into my face. Aching silence. I thought I could make him stay. First from pity, then from guilt. As I took one sleeping pill after another, the only thing he said was, "Would you like a glass of water?"

Sunday, May 14, 2006


We finally went shopping today to replace my stolen engagement ring. We decided to combine the insurance money from the stolen watch & stolen ring to get a more expensive ring. This is the one I chose, but I'm still deciding whether I feel right about replacing something my husband chose for me (a solitaire) with something different that I chose for myself. But, it IS 2 carats and very sparkly... what do you think?

Happy Mother's Day to ME!

Look at this adorable Cookie Monster card my son picked out for me. It's been hard convincing him that it's for me and not for him. But I like that he chose it.

Happy Mother's Day!

2nd Saturday & Design Team Update

I know, I know. I've been very absent for the past week. I've been really busy!

We've made our final decision about who will be on the first justjohanna design team. We're soooo excited. We've made some calls, but still have 3 people left to get in touch with, so hang in there. We'll be contacting everyone as soon as we can, and then sharing the information with all of you.

Last night was 2nd Saturday in Escondido. It was a pretty quiet night, with no new shows up. We took the design team entries to the gallery where my husband's studio is, and we had the resident artists help us make the final decisions. It was much much harder than I ever imagined it would be. We had so many great entries, each one unique!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Custom Water Bottles for the Launch Party!

Ordered these for the launch party. I'm having so much fun planning this!

Make N Takes at Ever After

Johanna-with-the-non-silent-h from the Queen & Co. design team did make 'n takes at Ever After in Carlsbad for National Scrapbook Day. Look at this cute project she designed!

I create this mini card sample that matched her project, then took the mini-card, the stamps for the project, and 75 coupons up there yesterday morning. She said they had about 40 people do the make ‘n takes. Everyone loved the stamps, and they were excited to know that justjohanna is a local company (Am I a company now?? I guess I am)… lots of the people incorporated the stamps into the make ‘n take project.

Adorable Thumbnails

Just had to share this adorable little graphic bar of thumbnails that Godelieve signs her posts with.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #6: Shoes

Oh my! Laini found amazing shoes! I want to have them too! It's a total coincidence that I happened to blog about shoes today, then went to Sunday Scribblings and saw that was the topic of choice. Maybe I'm psychic?

I have been seriously disappoined that Nordstrom will no longer be carrying Irregular Choice shoes. The designs were always so fresh and different. Have to admit that the last 2 pairs I bought were not so comfortable, but I think it was just that particular style (both were the same style) with my particular feet. The first 2 pairs I got were GREAT.

So I've been moping around the women's shoe department for months, hoping they'll bring in something equally funky and unsual. No such luck so far, but at least on this trip, I found some adorable summer sandals, and finally a pair of brown slides I like. I'd been lusting after the Michael Kors slides but they don't fit my foot shape. I found the Coach sandals on my own, and the brilliant salesman found the Cole Haan shoes (ok, maybe not quite "brilliant" - I'm going to skip right past those icky Birkenstock-looking ones he also brought). Loved them both immediately. There was a matching white purse with straw detailing and an applique bumblebee I was sooo tempted to pick up as well. But I managed to resist.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Illustration Friday: Fat

ETA: This little critter is not a stamp yet, but I've had quite a few requests, so look for her in the Fall.

Another drawing for the weekly Illustration Friday challenge.

My son Jakob is learning his colors, and he is mostly obsessed with the color blue. He was sitting on my lap while I was coloring in the red one and kept incessantly insisting "blue, blue, blue!" So I had to make a blue one too. Then it was time for night night, and sat in the rocking chair, naming all of the blue things we could think of until he finally fell asleep in my arms still whispering the word "blue."

Studio Friday: Sounds

This week's topic for Studio Friday, suggested by Gabi, is SOUNDS.

What are the sounds in your studio? Sit quietly and listen. I am sure you'll be surprised at what you hear!

My Studio is pretty quiet while I'm working, since mostly have time to myself at night, when the rest of our household is asleep. The main noise is of my pink plastic Ikea chair rolling across the wood floors. And sometimes of my green chair - I think it used to be a doctor's chair or a dentist's chair - we found it at a yard sale for $5. I love it.

And, when the rest of the house is not asleep, this is the main noise that can be heard in my studio, and pretty much throughout the entire house. My son Jakob, who is nearly 22 months old. And loud.

Ts Too!

Just got the proofs for the T-shirts our worker bees will be wearing on Launch Day for justjohanna rubber stamps at Cat's Craft Cupboard.

There will be activities and prizes at the store all day June 3. Make sure to sign up for Cat's email updates if you haven't already.