Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I can hear the gasps of shock - Goog has a PET? Not just a fish, but a walking, meowing, needing to be fed everyday and have its bodily waste cleaned up PET?? Yes, I do. It's for my little guy. He LOVES animals. Like, freakishly loves them. Remember those Sarah McLaughlin commercials? He was only about a year old when they started coming out and whenever one came on he would run over and throw himself into my lap, sobbing. It took awhile to figure out what the problem was (since he couldn't talk yet). Eventually I figured it out and changed the channel quickly!

So, he's five now and we got him a kitty. Her name is Puma (we didn't name her) and she's a rescue. Litter-trained and declawed. I don't care if you think that's mean, it was already done AND she's "scratched" at my furniture a million times and we've only had her for a couple of days. 

She's actually pretty sweet, but also slightly annoying. She wants to sit right behind me on the couch, on the cushion that I'm using, and rest her feet on me - not OK. And she has a LOT of things to say. I mean, all kinds of stuff to say. And she doesn't make cute little meowing noises, they're annoyed noises that are more like "WHERE IS MY FREAKING MOUSE?" than "Hi, I'm a cutie, aren't I?" Liam is completely smitten, though, and that's the important part.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New pen!!

And a new journal, you know I love those!!

The pen was free and it writes pretty well, but it's blotchy. Most of my favorite pens are, the most comfortable ones that I could use for hours and hours, the ones that write super smooth - they always end up being blotchy. I wonder why that is? Just to annoy the left-handed chick who rubs her hand across it and leaves a smear? Seems like overkill since I do that with my pencils, too. Oh, and the boy behind me in my Thursday night class borrowed a pen - didn't give it back! Jerk. It was a new one, too. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Farynar's Wings

I am on a new creative team! Yay for me!! It's for a designer called Farynar's Wings and today was my first day. The kit I got to work with is called Lovey Dovey:

And the layout I made is with a picture of the first day that Shanti got to see Portia since leaving for Officer Training School - six months apart! Shanti was SUPER happy to have Portia back with her.

I think it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself! Off to a good start!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Liquid Watercolor

Spray bottles:


Liquid watercolor!

One of the bottles didn't work right, so that's why I got 6 bottles and there are only five sprays. They're for Liam to play with but he doesn't know it yet!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Grungy, shabby, worn - what's the deal?

I've been trying for several years to understand the need, the love, the urge for "grungy" stuff. At the scrapbook store you can buy what looks like a nail file and it's for distressing paper. My bestie, Suzi Blu, is well-known for her girly grunge style. I like it, don't get me wrong. But I'm wondering what is it about it that SO many people find appealing.

Today I was thinking "Well, maybe it's because we feel that way. Worn. Used." Like the hoodie I'm wearing - it's TOTALLY grungy.

Sometimes I feel this way. Old and used and torn. Does it need to come out in my art? Is that the point?

But then I started wondering if maybe the OPPOSITE is true. Is it because of the polished perfectionism that so many people feel the need to project that accepting imperfections, even causing them, in our work is so appealing? I have no idea. Thoughts?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

From Paper to Canvas

Remember the journal pages I posted here? Well, this is the canvas version. So far. I don't know if I'm going to hang it up or not. I don't really know if I like it. I'm thinking of just painting on big pieces of paper and framing those.

This might be upside down. Hard to tell, right?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Smash booking, Goog style.

OK, bloggy friends. I'm determined to overcome my Smash Book issues, but not in their book. The binding really is horrible. I want to apologize to all the Smash lovers out there for hating on your beloved books, but I really can't. The binding is bad. Horrible. Sucky. And this is not just the opinion of a loud-mouth. I worked in a place where we did ALL kinds of book binding, and the way Smash is bound would NOT have been OK there. The wire needs to be bigger. So, here is my solution: make it yourself. Duh. That's what I always do.

First I gathered papers. The more random, the better, but I did get a few that sort of have "meaning" to me. The toast one? My son eats a LOT of toast. There's a cat one, we're getting a cat. The mustaches just make me laugh. The music notes - I'm a musician (clarinet, piano, no rock instruments).
 Here is it all cut up and bound together:


Toast page:

This is actually a "scrap" page from a piece of paper my friend TJ gave me:

The last page is a bag from Starbucks:

The pages are 7x10, in case anyone is wondering. I'll try to post more about this, if I can make myself really do it! I'm going to try to make it my February journal. We'll see how it works out!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Just some pen stuff in my journal...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Watercolor crayons: FINALLY successful

People are ALWAYS talking about how they LOVE their neocolor II crayons. Well, I bought some for an online class and I think they STINK. I absolutely can NOT get them to completely blend so there are no streams, even when I use so much water the paper starts to pill. But I got it in my head that I wanted to give them another try, so I did.

First the face:

Same face, with pupils:

Adjusted the hair part:

Added color:

The picture makes it look blotchy, but IRL it looks beautiful!! Next I wanna learn how to use white paint with it to make the creamy skin tone color people seem to do effortlessly. Soon it will be effortless for me, too. Right? Practice makes perfect? 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hangin with TJ...

I gotta get back to the process pictures, huh? Me & Kelly & Ajae used to draw and paint all day long and text each other pictures and skype...we don't do that so much anymore and I think that's a big part of why I don't really take pictures of the process these days - no one to show them to. How could I forget about showing them to myself on my blog? Doh! Silly me. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lovely colors

I'm COMPLETELY in love with this color combination. You can't see it as well in the picture, but the pink and the blue sort of combine to make this really cool purplish color that just makes me happy! I tried to replicate this page on a canvas, but it didn't work quite as well as I'd hoped so I'm going to try again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dive-In Scrap-Out

So, I don't really understand the title but I'm doing this challenge thing at Digi Scraps Drive In. The first challenge was to take two LOs and "twist" them into a new one, and I've already posted it here, it's of my friend Tami and her fiance Ian's engagement photos. This was challenge number two, called "Groundhog Day" (Since it's a drive-in, I guess we're going with movie themes? I don't really know yet!). I took my oldest gallery-posted LO and made it anew. Here they both are:

I'm actually not at ALL unhappy with the first one. It was for a 4x6 photo book for my mom, so I make a bunch of LOs like that and then they got cut in half and slid into those plastic pages. She loved it and still carries it around. I should make her a new one! I do love the second one, too, though. I feel like it's missing something. If it was a paper LO, I'd use a credit card in titan buff paint to give it some grungy lines. I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe just leave it alone. We'll see. Oh, and the kit used, with all those fantastic colors, is Live In Thanksgiving by Piccolina Designs. I LOVE it. I wish it was fabrics so I could make a quilt from it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

27th letter of the alphabet

Yes, it's a school project. A slightly ridiculous one, I think, and I have NO idea what I'm supposed to learn from it, but there is is between R and S. It's called "pist" and sounds like "psst". The name and sound were provided by my friend Kelly, because she's awesome like that. I think it's the weirdest assignment ever but it's done and I'm turning it in tonight and "finished" is the most important part of school work.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter Wonder

OK, I didn't admit this because it's one of those "If no one knows and I fuck it all up, it doesn't count because no one knows" but I'm trying to make a digital scrapbooking LO every day in 2012. Sometimes I do all my creative team stuff right at the beginning of the month and I have nothing to do for weeks until the next month, but that's not a good way to practice skills, right? So I'm going to try and make a LO every day or maybe make two in a day and skip a day, like that. Just make 366 LOs by the time the year is over. These two were made with Winter Wonder, Ahhh Scrap's January collab. The colors are awesome. I LOVE blue and brown.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

TJ's first PanPastels

Here it is, bloggy folks:
And just like that, another happy addict. I'm just going to carry them around and get everyone I know to give them a try, I think. They're just happy-making. Instant, soft color. Not "soft color" as in pastel, it's just soft to use and touch.

Here's a PP portrait:

And, of course, us being nutty. What else is new?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Goog Talk about my 2012 word for the year

You know, like a TED Talk? But more...Googier. Mayhem is my word. "A very confused situation" is the definition of this word that I'm going with. I don't particularly enjoy confusion. I doubt many of us do. So to avoid confusion, we ignore things we find confusing. I already talked about this a little when I posted my YSM Mayhem page. I realize that some people, hearing that this is my word, will immediately think I intend to cause harm. This is NOT the case. I simply won't let you do harm to me. Already in 2012 there are a LOT of things that would like to cause mayhem in my life. I mentioned eBay sellers and a class I wasn't happy with and possibly bank fraud. There have been other incidents ALREADY. Another with my bank, and with my gas company (who lets me have HEAT in this beautiful Minnesota winter), and my water company, and my apartment building, and my neighbors. All have been handled and dealt with swiftly. The best was the gas company - the woman I spoke to was amazing. The worst? The bank. The idiots there have NO idea how to speak to a human being other than to spout words from a script.

I don't think of myself as a MEAN person. I think meanness has to do with intent and I do not intend to be mean. However, I am not all-accepting, either. I am not going to sit and listen to you spout nonsense because you're my friend's friend and I "have to" be polite. If you're not being polite, I'm not going to be. If I've paid for something and it's not what it was advertised to be, I don't just say "oh well" and toss it into the junk drawer. I dig the receipt out of the trash and take it back. I leave negative feedback for crappy eBay sellers and I don't feel like that's being MEAN - it's being HONEST. If 99% of people have an awesome experience and only 1% have a shitty one, that doesn't mean the one percent doesn't deserve to be heard. My husband and I are the only people who have complained about our ridiculously loud neighbors - I don't care that no one else is bothered by the noise. I'M BOTHERED. I refuse to just "take" things. I'm just not going to do it. Does it make me mean? Lots of people will say "Oh, no, you're not mean, you did exactly what you should have done." But most of them wouldn't have done it. Because they're nice and I'm not? I want my son to be a kind, gentle person. I want him to not litter and to be polite. But I also want him to be able to stand up, not just for himself, but for others when somethings's wrong and say "That's not right and I'm not going to go along with it."

I refused to sign the "bed bug addendum" that our new management tried to slip into our lease when we renewed. I've lived here for 3 years and not had bed bugs, if I get them at this point it's because someone else brought them into this building - why would I sign a paper absolving the apartment complex of responsibility? Does that make me mean? My husband was like "Oh, yeah. I didn't think about it like that." You can damn well be sure the management company did.

I had a boyfriend go with me once when I was getting a gym membership. The signup fee was ridiculous and it was one of those "clubs" where there are levels of membership and the "gold" membership had all these stupid options. When I told the man who was trying to sell me a load of bullshit that I knew exactly what I wanted in a gym membership and that I wasn't their disgusting jacuzzi where sweaty people soaked after a workout, he sold me the membership I wanted at the price I wanted and I took my little key-card thingy and walked out. My boyfriend (who I'd been dating for two years) was astonished. Same thing when I was buying a car and the idiots at the dealership hit some snag with the financials after I already had the car and they were telling my husband they would report it stolen. I called their sorry asses and told them to call the police. I had a copy of the ownership paperwork - how could they possibly think the police would agree with them? They don't - it's just a scare tactic. Trust me, they were the ones freaked out when I threw the keys and them and demanded my money back for them being assholes. They can't sell a "returned" car for anywhere close to what I'd paid for it because it's not "new" anymore. I got lifetime free oil changes out of it.

But lately - and by that I mean for the past five years or so - I've just been letting things slide. I'm often circling the drain of depression just waiting for it to suck me in and I don't have the energy to fight these battles. I sign the check, or the permission form or whatever just to make people get away from me. I retreat to the couch and eat Zingers and try to remember when I wasn't this person. I have a teacher once say "Don't waste time being who you are. Be who you want to be." I've tried to find out if it was a quote from someone, but I can't find it online so I honestly have no idea. Who I want to be is a confident person who isn't afraid of other people. Who doesn't get pushed around or railroaded, who stops and says "Hey, wait a minute. That doesn't make any sense." The kind of person who is OK with mayhem if the calm, glossy surface isn't the truth.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Check this out!

How fun is this new kit by One of a Kind Design Studio?? I'm in love with it!

It's called "Memory Board" and I can't wait to play with it some more!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Top 10...

This is my Smash journal. Tim made me go to Barnes & Noble on Sunday when his parents were here and we were all at Nickelodeon Universe. I HATE the Mall of America, especially on the weekends. It's a big mall, but it just has regular mall stores so I don't really see the attraction to the actual mall. Of course, Nick U is the fun spot for Liam.

I was feeling bad that I wasn't having fun and my hubby banished me - especially because I wasn't PREPARED to be banished. I only had my Smash journal, not my regular journal. I had no pens or pencils, no other supplies, I didn't have my headphones to block out the horribly annoying deaf man who kept shouting while he signed or the really annoying 12-year-old who couldn't chew his cheetos with his mouth closed. 

I did meet a really nice lady while I was there, I'm hoping to get to know her better. She's some kind of psychologist or something like that, but we didn't really talk about that. She could TELL I was all annoyed by the people around me and that's what we talked about. And art. She liked that I was drawing, said it's good for calming my brain. Good to know, right? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Word for the year:

It's "mayhem". The more I think about it, the more I like it. Now, the legal and medical definition of mayhem is: willful and permanent deprivation of a bodily member resulting in the impairment of a person's fighting ability. But the more widely used definition is this: a very confused situation.

See, I'm not what you'd call a calm person. I mean, sure, in my day-to-day life, I have very little activity. But push me. Just try it, and I push back. And kick and punch and bite. But too often lately I've just sort of accepted things. Things that I find unacceptable. That time is over. I'm going to be who I am, regardless of the mayhem (confused situation) that it causes. So far 2012 is off to a VERY good start. I've harassed two shitty eBay sellers, emailed an online teacher whose class wasn't what it was advertised to be, called out my college on their crappy lab facilities in my student surveys, gotten my bank to reverse a charge for a grocery store in Georgia (I'm in Minnesota and it would be difficult to get back and forth this quickly), and had my apartment complex to threaten to evict my horribly loud neighbors if they can't be less obnoxious. Sure, the mouse was only $7.49 and there are worse things in the world than loud people or a crappy class - but I'm not willing to deal with anymore. Too many people just accept disappointment or obnoxiousness. Not me. Not anymore.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I downloaded a Project 365 app! It lets me set a reminder to take a picture every day!! OK, some of my friends would be like "Why the F would you need to do that? You take MILLIONS of pictures!", which is TRUE. However, sometimes I get in the funky head place and don't take some for days or even a week or two at a time. So I think this will help. Bottom line: I'm excited. Look how it stores them in a little calendar!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

More Christmas LOs

These ones make me LAUGH!!

Same kit from AS, Time to be Jolly. Both are templates, one I'm not sure who made it, the other by Down This Road Designs.