Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Big Day


It was a beautiful day for a gorgeous bride and everything went perfectly at my sister's wedding, thanks mostly to my childhood friend who did ALL of the planning and arranging. Above is a glimpse of some of the paper items I created - the wedding program, thank you tags and menu, which my friend had tucked into little "tuxedo" napkins. I wish I'd taken photos of the invites before I sent them out a few months ago, but they looked similar to the other items.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Seeing Snow in Hawaii

I know I have a tendency of abandoning my blog and disappearing for weeks, but this time I have a legitimate excuse! My sister is getting married and I'd been busy creating and designing the menus, gift tags and printed items for the event this weekend. I flew to Hawaii (our hometown) last Friday and it's been non-stop wedding prep since my best friend is also my sister's wedding planner and we're doing a lot of this DIY-style.

I did manage to borrow my sister's computer tonight so I could catch up on emails AND get a glimpse of the blog hop for the latest Starving Artistamps release, DoodleFactory: Arctic. I'm really sorry I couldn't participate this time around, but it was so much fun seeing the design team's creations. It's especially funny to me since I'm at the "polar" opposite in terms of weather here in Hawaii.

Sorry, I'm too late to give you a heads-up on the chance to win this set for free, but I think everyone should still check out the hop and see the awesome cards the Design Team created with this set. I hope none of the ladies mind that I'm going to repost my favorite card from each stop (Please click on their blog links to see the rest of their creations).

Juliana Swanson:

Donna Duquette:


Lori Tecler:


Lydia Fiedler:


Tracey Berkey:


Jenn McMillan:

Eva Andren:* *(By the way, Eva emailed me many months ago with the initial idea for this set which is why we named the little girl eskimo after her. You can also tell the girl eskimo must be my favorite stamp since I picked it in almost every feature card here!)

Nina Aaslund:


Dawn Mercedes:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Normal is Boring

Three years ago, I made some christmas cards using my friend's gocco machine. I believe it was that same year that my boyfriend gifted me my own Gocco machine for Christmas.

Shortly after that, Gocco was rumored to be discontinued and I decided I couldn't possibly use such a rare resource, so it sat in my closet perfectly untouched for years. This weekend, I finally decided to get the machine out, hoping to make a few little art prints. Suffice it to say, my results were less than satisfactory and I (literally) blew half the screens and bulbs that were supplied. *sigh*

I don't have my final gocco scans to share, but here are some digitized versions of the images I was trying to play with.



A little back-story on this piece. When the DoodleFactory first moved to Starving Artistamps, and I became aware of stamping communities, I would often see comments on message-boards that the DoodleFactory characters were too weird for stampers. I felt like my odd little creatures (my kids!) were being shunned by society. I made myself feel better by repeating my own mantra "Normal is Boring", and Tracey even promised to make that sentiment into a stamp some day.

Since then, I think I've (mostly) toned down the whack-factor in my drawings, or people have become more accepting, or I've just tuned that stuff out. I was going to put the following little guy into the next stamp release as an abominable snowman, but my boyfriend informed me that he didn't look like BigFoot at all. I'm sure he'll be worked into a future set some day, but I couldn't wait the many months before that would happen to share him. Consider this a SUPER Sneak Peek!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Weekend of Art

This weekend my boyfriend was part of a very interesting project called "1 Day of Art". On Friday night, he and a group of a dozen+ artists met with the creators of (t)here magazine where they learned about the project and were interviewed for the publication and documentary. Each artist randomly selected a word, then spent the next 24 hours creating a work of art centered around that theme.

Mike used every one of those hours and didn't sleep all night. Because his project was so ambitious (with the 4 ft x 8 ft scale, and his time-consuming choice of medium), he didn't quite finish, though he probably needs just a few more hours to fill in the rest. I think by the end of the 20th hour, he was ready to fall over from the lack of sleep, but he pushed through and I passed out well before he did on Saturday night.


That's the piece hanging on his studio wall. His word(s) were "Modern/Power" and the photo doesn't quite do it justice. He did his own documentation of the process using his time-lapse camera, and I'll post the video when he finishes. I've posted this before, but here's another time-lapse video he did of a much smaller "tape painting", so you get an idea of how he works.

The film crew for the documentary dropped in on our apartment mid-day Saturday and I hid in our bedroom while they interviewed my tired boyfriend. I was wrapped up in my own Day of Art, working madly on the next DoodleFactory set, which I'd been putting off for ages. I finished! And while I can't show you the full set, here's a sneak peek and huge hint of what's to come:

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Deerie Me

I figured out what I wanted to be for Halloween on Friday night, and put my costume together relatively quickly on Saturday.


I made my own horns out of Ultralight Sculpey, which is feather-light and quite easy to work with. Actually it's almost too easy to mold, so I put a wire in the center to help keep the bend while it was baking in the oven. After it was done, I painted them with watered-down acrylic paint.



Before baking, I also fluted the bottoms and poked holes around the base so I could sew the horns to my headband. This part looked quite "inelegant" as Mike put it, but it was secure and so comfortable I often forgot I was wearing antlers.



It was handy to have an artistic boyfriend around to help with my make-up, which we copied from a photograph I found on this thread.



The final look!

What did you all do, or dress as for Halloween?


**EDIT**For those curious about what Mike dressed as, he went as Twitter. [Here's a photograph].

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tricked Out Treat Bag

My good friend made a sweet trick-or-treat bag for her son using one of the ghoulies from the original DF Halloween set. But this isn't a stamped project; I sent her the high-res digital file and she printed an iron-on transfer that she affixed to a plain canvas bag.*

Is this cute, or what?



*Please note, mechanical reproduction of DoodleFactory images is prohibited without consent.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Final Frontier Winner!

Thanks to the technology of random.org, and the ease of numbered comments, I am happy to announce the winner of our one-day blog giveaway is: Anita Hovey!



Everyone else, thank you so much for playing along on our blog hop. If you want to purchase this set, it is loaded to the shop and ready to go. Use "savetenDF" at checkout and save 10%.

While you're shopping around, a little birdie told me another new DoodleFactory set is up at the shop and ready to go as well! For those of you who want to get a jump on your Christmas cards, check out another brand new set - DoodleFactory: O Holy Night

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Final Frontier Blog Hop!


Welcome to the Starving Artistamps New Release Blog Hop! I am actually the last stop on the hop, so if you haven't started at the beginning, you should rewind and take a stroll through these fine blogs to see what the rest of the team has come up with:

START HERE: starvingartistamps.blogspot.com, then visit:
1. Juliana Swanson 2. Tracey Berkey 3. Donna Duquette 4. Sandra MacLean 5. Lori Tecler 6. Lydia Fiedler 7. Andrea Cloutier 8. Dawn Mercedes 9. Jenn McMillan

These are my two contributions using the "Final Frontier" set, which you can win absolutely free by commenting on this very blog post! This is a quickie/one-day giveaway, so you must enter your comment before 11AM PST, Wednesday Oct 21. Please make sure your comment includes an easy way to contact you! THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW OFFICIALLY CLOSED! THANKS FOR PLAYING!





Here's a look at the entire set of deeply etched, red rubber stamps that will go to the lucky winner. Of course, you can always purchase your own set at starvingartistamps.com. Use the code "savetenDF" at checkout and save 10%!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October already?

I feel like I'm always dusting the cobwebs off of my blog, but at least it's appropriate tonight since I made some Halloween cards!

First up is the vampire boy from the DoodleFactory Costume Party set, flanked by his two bat friends from last year's Halloween II set. Can someone tell me why red is so impossible to photograph, and don't even get me started on glitter. You can't even tell my Batboy and friends are sparkly. Oh, sparkly vampires - that Twilight audiobook my carpool buddy borrowed for the commute must be getting to me.



The next card uses the three pumpkins, also from the Halloween II set. I kind of struggled with the composition of this one, before adding the ribbon and text. I think I still need to work on my finishing, but I'm feeling okay with the final outcome.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Collage Card

I'm so behind! My day job has been very busy, and this weekend I had a very special houseguest. My sister visited for the first time since I moved to LA. She's getting married in December and we found her perfect wedding dress this weekend. It was such a relief for her and I'm so happy she found something she absolutely loves that was also well within her budget!

Anyway, here's a card I made last week. It's actually a congratulations card for a new baby, but the stork I drew looked stupid and I had to cover it up with some trees. There's no stamping on this card (except for the letters), but the trees are similar to the ones in the DoodleFactory: Into the Woods set.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Trying Something New

I'm supposed to be working on another set of stamps (actually there are many in the queue), but yesterday I felt like doing something that wasn't for a project and served no real purpose. I feel like my illustration style has become defined by the stamps I draw and I admit I draw stamps the way I do because in the beginning I somewhat mistakenly thought rubber stamps were supposed to have big bold lines. I knew nothing about rubber stamps when I first started this venture and while its nice that the DoodleFactory has its own distinctive look, sometimes I feel like breaking out of the box.

And so, I sat at my coffee table yesterday with the intention of creating something that was not a goofy character with fat, thick lines. I guess she's kind of like a Grace Girl, but different.



For this piece I used some recycled paper, my mechanical pencil, copic markers and paper-pieced her hair, feather and ruffle. I'd love to draw more people, but I think I only like drawing heads. Bodies give me so much trouble.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nutty


Here's the other card I ended up making this weekend. Again some failure with the embossing powders (which you can barely see in my craptacular photograph), but I'm still stalking (stocking??) it up to more experience gained.

All stamps are from the new DoodleFactory: Into The Woods set. I used a coppery embossing powder on the inset tree, and let me tell you, it's like a science experiment when you apply heat to these things. One moment you've got brown powder, the next you strike gold (or copper) as the heat sets in and reveals the metallic sheen. Must practice more with this stuff.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

RAWR!

It's been a while since I've made a card, but since it's such a rare occasion, I wanted to make it even more special by breaking out some new supplies I've never worked with before (namely embossing powders and my heat gun).

I should probably have read up on the best way to use these powders, but more often than not, I like to barrel in and pretend I know how to do everything sans instructions. This method has worked for me when setting up the DVD player, but apparently mistakes are messier when craft supplies are involved. One thing I learned is that I really DO need to remove all the excess powder before applying heat. And inking and applying powder needs to be very uniform. Anyone else got any other tips?

So, here's my card. I actually colored the cityscape months ago for a card that never got made. The other day when I was looking at the newest stamps, I thought the city would be the perfect backdrop for the T-Rex Durg to stomp around in (don't tell him he's not Godzilla).



I must get back to my craft (coffee) table. I'm going to attempt more embossing and another card using someone from the new Into the Woods set now.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Releases

Just popping in to let you know new releases are up and ready to go at StarvingArtistamps.com!

Here's a peek at what's new:

DoodleFactory:Into The Woods


DoodleFactory:Prehistoric


Tracey is even giving away everything you see above to one lucky winner. The drawing ends this Tuesday, so act quickly and find out how to enter [at the company blog here].

Monday, July 20, 2009

Felt Frozey



I made my first DoodleFactory feltie! Actually I made it a few weeks ago, but I wanted to give it to Kathy D. who I got to meet in person last Thursday! (Kathy made the card in the background and sent it to me earlier this year). My felt Frozey wasn't perfect, but I hope to get the hang of making my own creatures eventually.

This summer is flying by. I almost didn't realize it because June was so cool and un-summerlike, but the heat finally kicked on and boy is it broiling. We went up to San Francisco for the weekend and even though I was cold through most of the trip (it sure is breezy there), I still came back with a sunburn.

And guess what I came back to in the mail? DoodleFactory® is now a registered trademark! Phew, the entire process took seven months and I had to pay a small chunk of change for this golden seal of approval, but at least I saved a couple hundred$$ by reading the small print and filing myself. If anyone is thinking of stealing the DoodleFactory name, just
don't. The US Trademark Office has my back. :)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Classic Decor

Welcome to the next stop on the StarvingArtistamps/DoodleFactory: Classic Decor Blog Hop. (Woah, that's a mouthful!) If you're on track, you probably jumped here from Natasha Trupp's blog. But if you're lost and want to start at the very beginning, head back to the company blog where you'll find the entire blog-hop path PLUS information on the 3-Day special going on at StarvingArtistamps.com. In addition to all the eye candy you'll see along the way, you don't want to miss out on the secret blog candy hidden in one of the stops.

Now onto my contribution to the hop. Playing with this set felt like playing with a 2D Doll House, and I found myself having fun moving the pieces in infinite configurations. I aspired to make one long accordion-style card with every last image in it, but I was feeling a bit rusty and had to reign in my compositions to include just a few stamps to showcase.


As you can see, the style of this set is a bit of a departure from any of our previous releases. There are two new characters in the set, and my boyfriend informed me that they don't look like my "usual" work. I purposely made them more "refined" to go with this "refined" set of furniture...however, I think the good ole DoodleFactory fans will find these images will still work quite well with any of the DF sets.

Both of my cards combine some of the old with some of the new. On top, I used Ambrose, the chaise lounge, pillows, cuckoo clock and frames from the Classic Decor set. The portrait wall is made up of a half-dozen mini-Yapples from the original Creatures Set.

Below, Banjo from the Valentine Remix set is having coffee with his newest neighbor, Ms. Poose. I thought the wainscotting made a pretty good bar when fitted with bark-paper slats, and the side table doubled as a cat stool. See? Versatile!



Anyway, I won't take up much more of your time because there's still plenty of blog hop to go! Next, please point your mice in the direction of our very special guest designer and DoodleFactory's biggest cheerleader: Dawn Mercedes!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Today in L.A.

Mike and I were two of the 20,000 people who "won" tickets to the Michael Jackson Memorial today. I threw our names into the lottery on a whim, mostly because we live within walking distance of the Staples Center, but also because I have a knack for winning random things and was fairly convinced I'd get this. On Sunday, we both got rejection emails...but on Monday the Powers That Be changed their minds and decided to give me two tickets afterall.


There's so much media coverage and I'm sure you all can't get away from the memorial as it is, so I'll just say it was a touching ceremony and I'm glad we were there.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming! The long-awaited DoodleFactory reveal happens TOMORROW. You'll want to head to starvingartistamps.blogspot.com at 8am PST for the kick off of our 2nd ever blog hop. I haven't seen any of the design team's project so I'm just as anxious as anyone to see what's in store.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

DF Logo and How Stamps Are Born


A short time ago, I collaborated with a friend and came up with this DoodleFactory logo. I thought it would be good to have a stamp made of the design, and Tracey helped with with her infinite stamping wisdom and hookups.

I asked her to send me the metal plate and matrix, which are the tools used to press rubber molds. I thought it would be neat to see/own, and it totally is. I didn't take any pictures of the rubber sheet, but you all know what that looks like.

In other DF news, the target release date has been set for the NEXT and newest DoodleFactory release. There was some delay while the expo season wrapped up, and because we're planning a fun blog hop to showcase this special set. More details on that next week... But if you'd like some insider information: I've actually drawn TWO MORE sets that are waiting in the wings. Yeah, I know this doesn't give you a lot of information, but the DoodleFactory is revving up for the summer and you'll be seeing a lot of new stamps in the near(ish) future.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lesson 2


It's too late to take good photos, but here's the next feltie I made. I pretty much stuck to the instructions without any embellishments. I think I have the general concepts down, and I just have to wait until the custom colored wool I ordered comes in before I start making my own designs. If anyone has any good sources for raw wool and felting supplies, please share!

I think the thing I like about felting is that it's so forgiving. You slowly build as you go, so it's hard to make reckless mistakes, but even if you do, it's easy to add or cut away the wool and fix it.

I probably should have filled this birdie's tummy with some catnip for Toby, but he seems to be having fun batting it around and trying to knock it off the coffee table without any added stimulants. Mike said it would be a shame to have spent all those hours needling this thing into existence only to have it destroyed, but I think I'm okay with it serving as a cat toy. I was never into chicks anyway :P.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

My First Feltie

I signed up for an online Intro To NeedleFelting course thru joggles.com. Last night I completed the first project, which was an egg.


So far I like needlefelting and hope to turn some of the DF characters into needlefelted-beings. I did manage to stab my thumb quite thoroughly with the felting needle and it still smarts today (the instructions warned this could happen if I stopped paying attention to what I was doing). I also broke one of the three needles the felting kit came with which was another bummer. So far felting is slow-going, but its amazing what you can make out of a clump of sheep fuzz, and I look forward to learning the more advanced shapes.

I think we get instructions for the next project this Friday, so I'll be sure to share how it goes.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I'm a Technique Junkie

I'm a few days late in posting the news, but I've been credited with a "technique" and published in Pat Huntoon's Techique Junkie Newsletter. Most of you would have already seen this card if you were around for the first ever StarvingArtistamp Blog hop for the release of the Set the Scene background stamps, but I've had to remove it from my blog until now.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to try this in the stamping world, but the pastoral landscape of the country scene just lent itself to a painterly style (even though I was working with copics) and using dots and dashes as accents came naturally. There was some debate over what to call this, but I was definitely influenced by the era of Impressionism. For the record, it's been dubbed the "Van Gogh" technique and if you subscribe to the Technique Junkie Newsletter you can see Pat's instructions as well as a range of incredible cards created by the Starving Artistamps design team.

If you'd like to give this technique a try, please visit this post on the Starving Artistamps blog and enter your creation. There's even a prize for a full sheet of SA rubber (and no you don't have to own or use any SA stamps to enter, you just have to show your take on the "technique").

From Blogger Pictures

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Poop Palace


I just finished putting together these two litterbox disguisers. I spent several hours on this project, so bear with me while I use this entire post to discuss the dirty side of cat ownership.

Over the years I have spent a medium-sized fortune on the search for the perfect kitty litter & poopbox. My best efforts have been flummoxed by a certain cat, who will remain nameless Trouble, who has bested the LitterMaid, the Fresh Step Automatic Litterbox, and even the Litter Robot. I guess I just wasn't meant to have a magical self-cleaning litterbox. For a while the best solution was a giant rubbermaid container, but that was an eyesore and I eventually learned it wasn't the size of the box, it was the number that was leading to litterbox ambush and errant protest poops.

(this was the before:)


For anyone out there that uses pine litter (it's the only stuff I buy now), I absolutely recommend the Feline Pine Litter Box. You can't find it in pet stores, so just order two from the website and save yourself some shipping dollars. I'm digging these Cat Washrooms too. They're much better looking than the grey boxes, though the door could have been an inch higher to disguise the lip of the box a bit beter. Still, I think its a vast improvement. Sorry for the junky pics, but I'm pooped (Sorry, I told myself I wouldn't say that but I couldn't help it).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coming Soon

Wow, has it really been nearly a month since my last post? Guess May was another doozy of a busy month. Let the critics say what they want about the record industry dying, I've never been busier! Of course, it could have something to do with the layoffs over the past few years. Anyway, I'm happy to have my day job, but even happier to have the dust settle from the madness of a few big releases.

Especially since it means I finally had some time to finish the next DoodleFactory set, which I already clued you in on a few posts back. Tracey is headed to the Rubber Stamp and Scrap Book Expo in Syracuse, NY this weekend (May 30-31), so it may be a small wait before you see the newest stamps in rubber. I hope you like the new stuff - it's a small departure from our previous sets, but just another expansion of the DoodleFactory Universe.

In the meantime, and completely unrelated, here's a pic of my little oasis in the urban jungle I live in. It's not much, but I'm thrilled that my tiny herb garden is growing and even thriving in this narrow window sill. You don't know how excited I get when I pick something from my "garden" and use it in a recipe. Plus, growing your own herbs is way more economical than buying the bunches in the store that don't even last the week.



Any other green thumbs out there? What other hobbies do you all do besides stamping/crafting?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Living With A Split Personality


No, this isn't a sneak peek of the next DoodleFactory character, it's actually three existing characters morphed into one. I think it's pretty easy, but can you guess which ones?

I don't know why I made this little guy (to be clear it is NOT an upcoming stamp). I was just playing around with my digital files and I must have had the Wuzzles on the brain. Anyone else grow up watching that cartoon?