Monday, July 31, 2006

My Heart's Return

Bought this piece of art today from Kelly Rae Roberts. It's so cool to see something you instantly love and then be able to buy it. Just like that. You can see more of her art for sale on Etsy.

Monday Morning Update

My weekend was mainly consumed with getting the new rubber stamp images ready to send to the manufacturer. Friday night, I finished refining the images and sizing them. Saturday, I sorted the images into sheets of images (plates) & decided which could be postponed for a later release, and Sunday I arranged the images on the plates (rather like putting a puzzle together). One of the challenges that I have constantly is that as I look through and refine/resize images, I come up with new ideas. Lots of them. So, even though I might set out to just create a couple of plates of images, I'm my own worst enemy with regard to scope creep. So, I have 7 new plates coming for this release. And I have 2 partial plates already for later this year.

Saturday morning, Scott met with his friend Paul to work on their project collaboration. So it was just Jake & me. Scott built Jake a fort in the living room, out of the couches, blankets, and a chair. He loved it. "I hide! Oh yeah, a fort!" When Scott got home, he went to Toys R Us and got Jake a little tent that he can use inside the house.

Saturday night, Jake and his new tent went to my in-laws' house while we went to the Escondido Center for the Arts for the opening of Kelly's show. Her work is all beautiful, as always. And we went through the exercise of picking what we'd buy if we could actually afford any of it and had a place to hang it.

My favorite pieces from the show were these... the pink molecules are too girly-cute. And the girl with the bird on her head. Clearly I have a thing for paintings of girls with birds on their heads. My favorite painting from the show was a huge one of a girl with a large top hat, with a tree growing out of the hat, and a bird on a branch of the tree looking down at the girl. It was called Fringe.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Illustration Friday: Clean

This week's Illustration Friday topic is Clean. I just happened to be working on this image tonight, and it fit nicely. It's Comet the reindeer, all ready to clean the house with her Halley's Comet Cleaner.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

CHA Day 2: Prism

CHA Day 2: Junkitz Boards

Very cool new product from Junkitz. First of all, these are really good size boards... the smaller ones were like 8x8. And they're thick - like the weight of a pressboard clipboard. And they have the holes already punched in them. Way cool. So many altering possibilities! You could make a photo album. Or a flipchart. Or a wall hanging. Or a cubicle hanging. I want 'em. I'm pretty sure Cat ordered 'em.

CHA Day 2: Junkitz Glitterz & Halloween Paper

I gotta have that sparkly! One of my favorite movies is the Secret of Nimh, and Jeremy the crow with his sparkly obsessions has stayed with me for many years. So, every time I see something sparkly, he comes to mind. I'm soooo excited about these new SPARKLY letters from Junkitz. I love the font, the vintage glass glitter color, the size. Very very cool. And their new Halloween paper - to die for! Cat emailed me today and said she placed an order. Wonder what she chose?

CHA Day 2: Junkitz Circles

I haven't ever paid much attention to Junkitz before. They had some really interesting things in their booth this year. This circle pattern paper really caught my eye - and reminded me of the justjohanna circle dot background.

CHA Day 2: Basic Grey Birdhouses!

Among the Basic Grey projects were these adorable altered wooden birdhouses. Cat and I saw them at Michaels a couple of months ago, and I purchased one of each style, but haven't done anything with them yet. I'm feeling freshly inspired to work on them. Especially since they are so similar to some of the justjohanna birdhouse stamps. See for yourself. The two-level birdhouse altered with Urban Couture (which Cat still has at The Cupboard - my personal favorite current Basic Grey line) and the tiki birdhouse altered with Hang Ten (which I think Cat may order soon - she seemed pretty excited about it).

CHA Day 2: Basic Grey

Basic Grey has two new lines of paper: Gypsy and Lily Kate. And I LOVED their booth display, especially the huge framed pieces of paper. Facing the aisles, there were these large vignettes of home decor items, each featuring a paper line. Then the interior of the booth held display shelves with their product, and lighted display shelves featuring projects.

I didn't care for Gypsy at first glance. But I got used to it quickly and it seemed fresh and bright. I like that they did something different than the other manufacturers in terms of embracing the "boho chic" trends. Seems like nearly everyone had a line of gypsy, bohemian, boho chic, and other variations on that theme. But most of the products were dark colors, lots of distressing, and very brown. But the BG line managed an eclectic feel with bright modern colors.

The Lily Kate collection seemed very similar to the Oh Baby Girl collection (Cat still has some of this paper at The Cupboard - but I think she's sold out of a few of the patterns already. There's a really cute banner project using this paper & justjohanna rubber stamps - it's hanging from the register counter - make sure you stop by and check it out). It's different colors, but the same very soft, washed out palette. It's pretty to look at, and will be great for very girly projects, but not something I think I would reach for over and over.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Die Cuts with a View has three new paper lines: Old World, Pocket full of Posies, and Far East. All really yummy! And cardstock weight (like the cardstock Stacks).

Old World is very vintage, Far East has a slightly Asian feel to it, and Posies is glitter glitter glitter!

You can sort of see the pictures in the ad here. Very cool. And guess what? Cat ordered them for the store - 12x12 stacks. I think she ordered a few more things as well. This booth was by far the coolest setup in terms of ordering. You hooked up with a sales person who followed you around with a little hand-held device and she entered your order, then took it to the computer and printed it up for you. A personal shopper!

CHA Day 2: My Mind's Eye

Bohemia is the new line from My Mind's Eye. Once you see the papers, you'll understand that, between my current bird obsession and Cat's paper fetish, it was utter torture to see this paper. Especially given that Cat just invested in their entire existing line of paper - there's no ROOM for more paper right now. So, y'all need to come in and buy a bunch of the new paper and make some room so we can have this new stuff! I so want it, despite the annoying high-pressure sales guy at the booth. It was my favorite new paper at the show.

And speaking of paper and making room at The Cupboard, did you know she still has some Basic Grey Dawson & Sophia paper (retired lines)... and it's on clearance at 50% off right now??? I bought 1/2 of it yesterday. So you better hurry up if you want some, because I might buy the rest the next time I'm there.

CHA Day 2: K & Co

Twinkle Type

CHA Day 2: Crazy Ribbon Shoes

CHA Day 2: Pine Cone Press

Pine Cone Press is based right here in Southern California - I had no idea. They even have a little storefront area at their warehouse that is open to the public. Cat and I will definitely be taking a roadtrip. It's about an hour or so away from us.

They have a new book they're putting together, called The Bling Book. I want it already. And they have a new product: Boxes of Bling. They will be accepting open submissions for The Bling Book, and I asked them to send the submission guidelines. Will share when I get the information.

CHA Day 2: Remembered My Camera

CHA Day 1: My Sentiments Exactly

CHA Day 1: Hero Arts

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

CHA Day 1: Claudette

Cat & I met Claudette (from the justjohanna design team) at CHA around noon. We were late (sorry, Claudette!), having followed my sister-in-law's father's directions to avoid sitting in traffic. What should have been about a 20 to 30 minute drive was an hour. And it took us a few wrong turns to figure out the parking as well.

We hadn't met Claudette before, but I had a picture of her, and thought I could spot her. She told us she was wearing all green. So, while looking for her, we followed a lime-green outfitted woman into the restroom, then stood by the sinks saying, "Claudette, are you in here? Claudeeeeette." We got some funny looks and when we were able to read the woman's badge, it was NOT Claudette.

We walked around a bit more looking for her, and just when we were about to call her husband and tell him we couldn't find her, she showed up, saying, "I think I know you girls." She was wearing a more olive-green. I never would have picked her out, so I'm so happy she found us. Cat was very good about wearing her justjohanna t-shirts every day. I wish I'd thought to bring Scott's, since mine fits me rather like a sausage skin.

We walked around a bit, had lunch together, chattered non-stop, laughed a whole lot. After the show, we had coffee and some decadent desserts at the Sofitel Hotel connected to the convention center. I think we could have stayed there all evening people-watching and finding out all about each other. Apparently, we chose a great place to see and be seen. Rhonna Farrer showed up and was with a big group of people, and that caused quite a stir.

Claudette made this fabulous scrapbook page with all of us. Left to right: Cat, Johanna, Claudette.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

CHA Day 1: One Heart One Mind

One of the most interesting products we saw on Day 1 was 12x12 cardstock designed with cardmakers in mind. It's by One Heart One Mind. The product is called cut-aparts. The new collection of papers is fresh and clean - busy enough to be interesting or unbusy enough to stamp on or embellish. Really nice. The 12x12 sheet is several patterns that are color blocked, which you can cut apart. Each 12x12 sheet yields 6 cards. Would be perfect for classes. This pattern is my favorite, from the Central Park collection.

Friday, July 21, 2006

CHA Day 1: Stampendous Make N Take

Having never been to CHA before, I wasn't certain exactly what to expect. I've certainly been to trade shows, but never for a retail-type business before. Each manufacturer's booth is set up rather like a store. Things are arranged nicely on shelves and displayed with samples, and things even have price tags on them. But nothing is actually for sale in a retail sense.

There are make-n-takes though. And a lot of them are really innovative. This was my favorite one today, from Stampendous. We stamped an image, using Versafine ink, onto an HP fabric transfer paper. Then we colored the image in with Fabrico fabric markers. Very cool idea to color a border around the edge of the piece of transfer paper, then cut along the edge with decorative scissors. Then iron on the transfer to a t-shirt. When cool, peel away the paper backing, then using Mrs. Glue washable adhesive, highlight the image with glitter. We're told that if you turn the shirt inside-out, you can wash it without losing the image.

More Party!

I just realized that I hadn't posted pictures from Jake's 2nd birthday party yet. From the moment he woke up, he wanted to party. "I party, I party." And he doesn't really understand delayed gratification or "later." So he thought we were going to party right away. And was pretty unhappy when nap time came around, and he whined, "No night-night. I party." And he was so worked up about it, he never did end up having a nap prior to the party.

When we were loading up the car, he saw the cake and said, "I eat cake! I eat cake!" and was generally pleased that cake would be involved. He kept putting his mouth near the edge of the cake box and making slurping noises, pretending to eat. "Yum, yum!" Super-cute.

He didn't quite understand the concept of blowing out the candles, so he kind of did this half-raspberry, half-blow thing without success. Then after we helped him blow them out, he really wanted to touch the still smoldering wicks. No, no. After the candles were removed, we asked if he wanted to eat cake. An ephatic yes from Jakob, then a lunge toward the closest part of the cake, as though he was about to just take a big bit out of the side of the cake. Luckily, Scott managed to restrain him just in time to prevent an icing/hair mishap.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

justjohanna Sneak Preview: Naughty or Nice?

I wasn't planning to preview this image, but Godelieve's adorable Christmas card got me itching to let the cat out of the bag. So, here's Priscilla, all ready for the holiday season. Naughty or nice? Well, that's really up to you.

justjohanna Sneak Preview: Debbie Does Doodles

How adorable Design-Team Debbie's doodles are! And how lucky you all are that you can have your very own. My favorite is the snail - who knew snails could be so cute? She has a preview of her designs on her blog right here.

justjohanna Sneak Peek: Waltzing Mathilda

New justjohanna stamps will be released in late July. There is a new hand-drawn alphabet that will be available unmounted. It was designed by Godelieve Tjiskens. You can see some snippets of it on her blog right here.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Project Runway, Season 3!!

Finally got a chance to watch the beginning of Project Runway 3. I'm looking forward to the challenges and to watching it all unfold. I wasn't very excited about the guy that won the challenge - I thought some of others were more innovative.

I would have eliminated Vincent - even without the basket hat, I thought the design was just off. The piece that really stood out in my mind was Laura's coat.

It's The Cat's Pajamas!

Literally and figuratively. Alma started a blog. Looking forward to having more views into her very fun retro world.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Studio Friday: View from Above

This week's Studio Friday theme is "View from Above," suggested by our very own Michelle Geller. How can I not participate?

So, here's a view from above our dining room table, which is now my studio work table. I was standing precariously on the spinny-wheely chair, trying not to drop anything or fall for fear of waking up the rest of the house and for fear of having to explain why I was standing on the spinny-wheely chair against my better judgment.

As you can see, things have become a bit of a mess and I have very little space to work in right now. I have a hard time creating when things get this out of control. I need to tame the disaster in the near future.

Happy Birthday from Papa and Papa

Much like when Jake was learning to say "mama" and "dada," he doesn't really differentiate between "papa" and other grandparents. So he calls both grandmothers and both grandfathers "papa," despite my mother's best effort to get "oma" or something else out of him. He's willing, on occasion, to call my dad "opa," but mostly all grandparents are "papa." And, as you can see from this lovely drawing, my mother seems to be embracing her new identity.

A Car for Jakob

On Jake's birthday, Scott & I both stayed home from work. Scott took the day off. In the morning, we had Jake's 2-year check-up, then I worked from home the rest of the day.

At Jake's check-up, we learned that he's 37 1/2 inches tall... 100th percentile for 2-year-olds, average height for a 3-year-old. Doctor estimates he will be 6'2" or 6'3". And he's 27 pounds. 60th percentile for 2-year-olds. Sure feels heavier than 27 pounds when you carry him for any length of time. Maybe because he's wiggly? Doctor said Jake's language skills are above average and he seems very bright.

In the evening, we picked up pizza and went to my in-laws' house. Jake loves to eat "peepa" - it's one of his favorite foods. The highlight of the day was Jake's birthday present. A new car! Grandpa spent the day assembling it. It's a very special car that was purchased for Jake before he was born. Jake's grandparents were beyond excited about Jake coming into the world and couldn't wait to start spoiling him from the moment we discovered we were having a baby. It seemed ridiculous at the time to buy a pedal car for an unborn baby. But here we are, 2 years later, and Jake loves it!