Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Funnies: Unusual Products From Amazon

As we enter the fall and winter months, soon many of us will be starting to shop for holiday gifts. As for myself, I prefer to wait until December, when the pressure is on!

But for those early birds among us, I'd like to show you a few ideas for super weird unique gifts that are sure to elicit gasps of terror delight from surprised recipients. Even better, they're all available on Amazon.com, one of my favorite online shopping sites.

Let's start with this distinctive singing vegetable:


It's the Yodelling Pickle, which can be yours for only $10.94.

One of the reasons I like Amazon so much is the helpful reviews, which cover the pros and cons so I can feel like an informed buyer. Here are three of them I found especially enlightening:

Review #1
My twelve year-old niece asked for the Justin Bieber CD for Christmas, so I bought her this yodeling pickle. Nobody so far can tell the difference.

Review #2
Now the age old question, from the beginnings of the internet, emerges. Two Hutzler banana slicers, or one yodeling pickle?

Review #3
I was sitting down to my usual dinner of a bologna sandwich and a Dr. Pepper, when I chanced upon this gem of a product. I looked at my plate and commanded my vlassic to croon me with some dinner music, but alas, the preseved cucumber in brine just sat there, looking rather foolish as it pretended not to hear me. As if.

No more must I put up with a prima donna heinz that demands crystal glasses and silver plates before it hums a few bars of the theme from the Love Boat... no, now I command my pickle to yodel, and it is so.

* * *

If you were hoping the Yodelling Pickle was edible, you'll be sadly disappointed. Instead, you may wish to check out these alternatives: Pickle Candy Canes or Pickle Gumballs.

Looking for something a little more fanciful? How about this carefully preserved gem:


That's right, who can resist Canned Unicorn Meat? Besides, everyone knows that consumable items make some of the most practical and thoughtful presents!

And now for the reviews:

Review #1
I was pleasantly surprised by the unicorn meat, even though canned. It is more tender than the centaur I've had, and far less stringy than faun. My only concern is that after feeding it to my infant son, his diaper was filled with skittles.

Review #2
I bought this item because I am planning on making my famous Unicorn Casserole for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. It arrived quickly and in good condition, and as it is a canned product, did not require any special refrigeration in shipping.

I've used this company's unicorn meat for years. My casseroles always come out perfectly, with a rich, strong flavor of sunshine and rainbows. Be forewarned, though: unicorns are not as big as you think. If you are planning a large casserole, you may need to have more unicorn meat than what is in the can.

Review #3
My daughter couldn't stop crying when I served this for dinner, although maybe it was just gas from the deep-fried fairy appetizer.

* * *

By the way, if unicorn isn't your thing, you could always opt for Canned Dragon Meat.

Last but not least, for something non-food related, why not consider this useful element from nature:


This tin of Uranium Ore is more expensive than the other products above, so it's only suitable for those with a higher budget. However, its practical uses are endless, as noted below:

Review #1
I'm buying this for my wife who happens to be a geologist. I truly believe nothing says "I love you" like uranium 238. Except plutonium.

Review #2
Magic stuff. Been taking 1 spoon a day for 3 weeks. I can now type this review using all 12 fingers.

Review #3
Mixed this in with rose fertilizer and have blooms nearly one foot in diameter! Drawback is I can't cut them, as they growl at me whenever I get near them with the scissors...and they've eaten several small birds and a stray kitten...

* * *

So, there you go, some gems to add to your gift-giving list! Which one will YOU be adding to your shopping cart, Inky friends?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Stamped Acrylic Block Backgrounds

Acrylic blocks have been around since before I started stamping in 1996. (Yep, I'm dating myself here!) They've always been useful as a temporary mount for rubber dies, and then with polymer stamps when those came onto the scene many years later.

However, it wasn't until fairly recently that we started seeing them being utilized as a "stamp" of sorts themselves. Somebody got the brilliant idea to ink up their acrylic block and put it to paper, with lovely results.

Michelle Pearson likes this technique because "it is very quick and easy and beautiful...I tapped the distress pads on my long acrylic block before spritzing with water and stamping on watercolor paper."

You can find a step-by-step tutorial here, which outlines the process she followed using 11069SC Soaring Eagle Clear Set to make this card:

"For other [cards]," continues Michelle, "I dragged the ink pad through the inked blocks for contrast." Here's an example created with 11073SC Shining Lantern Clear Set:
 
The card above shows slight variations in color, whereas this one featuring 11070SC Songbird Clear Set contains greater contrast:

And for even more variety, Michelle explains, "[on] others I used my markers to make random patterns before spraying and stamping."

The resulting bold splashes of color are really striking:
 

The stamps from both 11013SC Brushed Calligraphy #2 Clear Set and 11071SC Holy Spirit's Fruit Clear Set work great for this fun technique!

I think the "wet" watercolor look of the horizontal darker green stripes mimics the juicy pear theme here:

Have YOU tried stamping backgrounds with acrylic blocks, Inky friends? Did you like how your projects turned out?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Funnies: Favorite Cartoons Follow-Up

Congrats to Sue D, whose name was drawn randomly from these blog candy entries.

Sue D said...
Hope these links work. They crack me up. They are from a blog called The Chicken Chick but are not about chickens...[links included]
September 6, 2014 at 12:38 PM

These are the photos that Sue had linked to:
   



I also said that we'd mail a goodie to my personal favorite entry. After pondering the options, I chose Denise Bryant's submission.

Denise said...
I love all the Grumpy Cat pics that are so popular right now! Here is one of my favorites!
[Submitted via email]

(Sue D and Denise, please email me with your address by September 30th to claim your secret prizes.)

If you're wondering about the Grumpy Cat that Denise referred to, this is the example she sent:


"Grumpy Cat" is a nickname given to an angry-looking snowshoe cat that rose to fame online after its pictures were posted to Reddit in September 2012. The cat's real name is Tardar Sauce.

Memes featuring this frowning feline spread quickly, with crabby quotes plastered all over Tardar Sauce's photos:




There are not one, but two, Grumpy Cat books that have been published:


Grumpy Cat also has apps, including a plug-in for the Weather Kitty app:


(I just downloaded the GrumpyBomb app, where Grumpy Cat photobombs your pics, but I haven't had a chance to play with it yet.)

You can even buy Grumpy Cat merchandise, such as t-shirts, mugs, and even a droll-looking plush animal:


Similarly, Grumpy Grandma was an instant online hit:


This one made me giggle:


Apparently, Grumpy Grandma really made the rounds:


Thanks to everyone who made time to participate last week. I hope your day is a decidedly NON-grumpy one!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Zentangle-Style Stamping

Have you tried tangling with your stamps? No, I don't mean getting into a wrestling match with your wood mounts! I'm talking about the Zentangle method of drawing structured patterns.

You may remember when we first showed this technique on our blog a few weeks ago. Michelle Pearson had creatively filled in the upper part of the hot air balloon image from 11255MC Balloon Kitties Clear Set (drawn by artist Maria Woods, also available as 7005J in wood mounted):

"Real Zentangle is done on square tiles," explains Michelle. "You draw a square and then a 'string,' which is some sort of swirly line around in the box, and then tangle each section differently.

"I’m not a real tangler, so I can can do anything I wish! For this one, I just sorta drew my 'string' where the shadow lines fell. I decided to do a tangle design with more black areas in the shadowed areas and a lighter design in the highlighted areas of the pot. The heart was just an afterthought…kinda like a mosaic flower pot!"

"For the quilt [on this next card], I wanted to go for a crazy quilt effect," Michelle continues, "so I just made my quilt squares and tangled in them."

Her quilt pattern really adds pizzazz and provides a unique focal point, which is made with the adorable bulldog image from 11257MC Get Well Pups Clear Set (drawn by artist Maria Woods):

"For the vase [shown below], I just was playing...you can see on my blog post how differently the vases look when I tangle them with different designs," offers Michelle.

She made three Zentangle-style cards, which are all neat, but of course we're biased toward the one that features a lush honeycomb paper flower (made with 11102SC Fabulous Flowers HoneyPOP Clear Set, designed by Michelle herself):
 
Michelle also designed 11104MC Simple Sentiments Clear Set, which contains the "You add sunshine" saying. The dry embossed background, die-cut greenery, and vintage button (flower center) from her grandma's collection make the perfect finishing touches on this pretty project.

Although I'm not very confident in my own doodling skills, Michelle's cards have piqued my interest in giving this a try. What about you, Inky friends? Have you done it before, or are you thinking you might tangle with your stamps sometime in the near future?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Funnies: Favorite Cartoons

One of my all-time favorite cartoons is this:

Followed very closely by this (in fact, I'm not sure which one I like better):



What specific cartoon makes YOU laugh every time, Inky friends? Describe it (accompanied by an online link, if possible, but not required) in the comments section below OR email it to me, and you'll be entered in our BLOG CANDY drawing to win. We're going to keep this open a bit longer than usual, and accept contributions through Thursday, September 11th.

On Friday, September 12th, I'll randomly choose the winner for a secret prize and post the lucky person's name here on the blog. I will also choose my personal favorite entry, and that person will win a prize, as well. So please take a few minutes to join in the fun, and then be sure to check back next Friday to see if you've won!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Beautiful Backgrounds, Part 2

Last week, we introduced our new Beautiful Backgrounds collection by Inky artist Nancy Baier. You saw how these lovely 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" cling mounted stamps can be used in a variety of ways: Start by stamping with black ink, and then decide if you want to color with your favorite media, "spotlight" portions of the image with color, or leave the whole image uncolored to provide a background design that offsets other elements on the card. Or start with an inked piece of cardstock, and heat emboss the black ink with clear powder to give the design a glossy finish.

Today's first few projects continue with the concept of heat embossing but take it in different directions. For example, you can create an elegant tone-on-tone look by using a VersaMark ink pad and clear powder on colored cardstock, such as in this simple yet striking teal, white, and black card:


A coordinating strip from CLS-003 Sm. Blooms & Butterflies Strips Cling Mount Set that has been stamped and then embossed with white powder adds contrast and draws your eye around the card. The sentiment, which is from 11254MC Script Sentiments #2 Clear Set (or 6511G in wood mounted), is a personal favorite that I'd saved for months and couldn't wait to add as a stamp.

Want to make that CLB-004 Garden Flowers Background Cling Mount Stamp have a totally different appearance? Take a look at how it's shown here:


It's embossed again, but this time with white powder that serves as a resist for Distress Inks applied with a blending tool...wow, what a difference, huh? I just love the versatility of these stamps!

Here is the exact same technique with another image (CLB-005 Tropical Background Cling Stamp) and sentiment (1254MC Script Sentiments #2 Clear Set or 6404E in wood mounted) from this collection, and a smaller range of colors:


Not in the embossing mood at the moment? What about applying different colors of ink onto the rubber with sponge daubers and then stamping:


The watercolored sky background and vellum sentiment overlay lend a soft touch to this pretty card. (Do you recall last week's yellow bird card? Such a contrast!)

Or you can go bold...start with the same multi-colored ink sponging method, or use a rainbow pad as shown below, but fill in the background areas with a black marker:


(It's another big change from our previous example using CLB-003 Leaves Background Cling Stamp.)

Which technique from today and last Tuesday do you like best, Inky friends? Leave a comment letting me know your favorite, and you'll be entered in a BLOG CANDY drawing to win a prize from this collection.

On Sunday, September 7th, I'll randomly choose the winner and post the lucky person's name here on the blog, so please check back to see if you've won!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Funnies: School Time


Yep, it's that time of year again already, where kids have either just returned to school or will be starting next Tuesday.

If you're a parent, have you already gotten everything on the school supply list? Hopefully, it didn't include an item from this sale:


Q: Why did the boy eat his homework?
A: Because the teacher said it was a piece of cake!

Missing Homework

“Johnny, where’s your homework?” Miss Martin said sternly to the little boy, while holding out her hand.

“My dog ate it,” was his solemn response.

“Johnny, I’ve been a teacher for eighteen years. Do you really expect me to believe that?”

“It’s true, Miss Martin, I swear it is,” insisted Johnny. “I had to smear it with honey, but I finally got him to eat it.”


Teacher: What is the chemical formula for water?
Jane: "HIJKLMNO"!!
Teacher: What are you talking about?
Jane: Yesterday you said it's H to O!

Teacher: In this box, I have a 10-foot snake.
Sammy: You can't fool me, Teacher...snakes don't have feet.


Better Grades

The little boy wasn't getting good marks in school. One day he made the teacher quite surprised. He tapped her on the shoulder and said, "I don't want to scare you, but my daddy says if I don't get better grades, somebody is going to get a spanking."