Monday, December 1, 2014

New Year's Return

As many of you know, on October 19th, our son was born 9 1/2 weeks early. Having a preemie in the NICU has been challenging, yet Steve and I feel very fortunate that Will's progress has been steady. Our friend Wendy Vecchi has nicknamed him Lucky, but as his parents, we are truly the lucky ones.

If you've been following our journey on the Caring Bridge website, please know how much we appreciate your concern, support, and encouragement. It means so much to us!

My intention was to return to posting on the blog this month. I knew things would be hectic with a baby in the hospital, but I miscalculated the number of hours I'd have available each day that weren't devoted to feedings, for example. Ha ha, the folly of a first-time mom!

In any case, unfortunately I must extend my blog leave for now. I hope to return during January and ask that you please check back with us. Until then, we wish you a very happy holiday season filled with love and laughter!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Funnies: Test For Future Parents & Inky Baby News!

Taken from an article by the UK Daily Mail (which you can read in its entirety by clicking here):

The Test For Future Parents by author Colin Falconer comprises 14 steps to follow before you have children and was originally printed in his book "A Beginners Guide to Fatherhood" in 1992 before finding its was on to parenting blogs in the UK.

Test 1: Preparation

Women: To prepare for pregnancy
1. Put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front.
2. Leave it there.
3. After 9 months remove 5% of the beans.

Men: To prepare for children
1. Go to a local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself
2. Go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home. Pick up the newspaper and read it for the last time.

Test 2: Knowledge

Find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels and how they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behaviour. Enjoy it. It will be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

Test 3: Nights

To discover how the nights will feel: You can kiss goodbye to precious beauty sleep as soon as you have a child You can kiss goodbye to precious beauty sleep as soon as you have a child

1. Walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 4 - 6kg, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.

2. At 10pm, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep.

3. Get up at 11pm and walk the bag around the living room until 1am.

4. Set the alarm for 3am.

5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a cup of tea.

6. Go to bed at 2.45am.

7. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off.

8. Sing songs in the dark until 4am.

9. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up when it goes off.

10. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. LOOK CHEERFUL.

Test 4: Dressing Small Children

1. Buy a live octopus and a string bag.

2. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that no arms hang out.

Time Allowed: 5 minutes.

Test 5: Cars

1. Forget the BMW. Buy a practical 5-door wagon.

2. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.

3. Get a coin. Insert it into the CD player.

4. Take a box of chocolate biscuits; mash them into the back seat.

5. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Test 6: Going for a Walk

a. Wait.

b. Go out the front door.

c. Come back in again.

d. Go out.

e. Come back in again.

f. Go out again.

g. Walk down the front path.

h. Walk back up it.

i. Walk down it again.

j. Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes.

k. Stop, inspect minutely and ask at least 6 questions about every piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way.

l. Retrace your steps.

m. Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbours come out and stare at you.

n. Give up and go back into the house.

You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

Test 7: Conversations with Children

Repeat everything you say at least 5 times.

Test 8: Grocery Shopping

1. Go to the local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child--a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.

2. Buy your weekly groceries without letting the goat(s) out of your sight.

3. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.

Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

I'm not sure that we've come even close to passing the above "test." Nonetheless, Steve and I are delighted to announce the arrival of William Owen Wamhoff, who was born last Sunday. Due to previous losses, we were hesitant to say anything to you, our Inky friends, until after the happy event occurred.

Baby Will was born prematurely at 30 weeks + 4 days. He's doing very well in the NICU, and I've started a Caring Bridge site so that you can follow our updates about him, if you wish.

Since I'll be making twice daily trips to the hospital, in addition to other baby-related duties, I'm going to take a temporary blog break until December 1st. Thanks very much for your understanding, which I sincerely appreciate. I do hope that you'll come back to join me here in a little over a month. Until then, I hope you have a very happy fall and early winter season!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Colored Pencils Over Alcohol Markers & Share Your Thoughts Congrats

When I demo the colored pencil blending technique at shows, I often tell people about how I like to use two or three different shades of the same color (applying and then blending each color separately) because it adds depth and richness to the stamped image.

Starting with an alcohol marker base and then layering colored pencil over the top can achieve a similar, lovely effect, as shown in this week's card on the main Inky website:

Michelle Pearson created a bunch of Halloween treats using this trick! You can see how she starts with her stamped images (four pumpkin kitties from Cube-0207, Cat 'n Jack Cube) and colors it with Copic markers:
Then she layers colored pencils on top, which makes a huge difference in the images' appearance:

Here's one of those mischievous kitties shown on an altered notepad, also colored using the same technique:

And, just for fun, she used a darker palette of colored pencils over the Copic base, layered onto a Zentangled panel on the final project:

In case you're wondering, Michelle used Copic markers B60, C1, T4, Y38, Y17, E00, YG03, along with a variety of Prismacolor pencils for her frightfully fun cards.

Finally, on a different note, congrats to Tammy C, whose name was drawn randomly from these blog candy entries.

Tammy C said...
Not really a technique but I'd like to see some cute "gift" items. I make a lot of little goodie type stamping projects for my pre-school class as small gifts. I've done the cute lip balm one before and the clear pillow boxes. Would love to see more like that.
October 14, 2014 at 5:41 PM .

(Tammy C, please email me with your address by October 31st to claim your secret prize.)

Thank you very much to everyone who shared your ideas for future "Try It Different" blog posts. We sure appreciate your input and look forward to implementing as many of these as we can in the future!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Funnies: Bar Jokes

It's Friday, Inky friends...would you like to celebrate with a cocktail? Whether or not you drink "adult beverages," I hope you enjoy these jokes. (We think they're bar none! I know...groan. Ha!)

A drunk walks into a bar with jumper cables around his neck. The bartender says gruffly, "I guess you can stay here, but don't try to start anything."

* * *

A termite walks into a bar and asks, "Where's the bartender?"

* * *

A neutron walks into a bar and says, "I'd like a beer. How much will that be?"

The bartender responds, "For you? No charge!"

* * *

Two men walked into a bar. You would think at least one of them would have ducked!

* * *

A rabbi, a priest, and a Lutheran minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, "Is this some kind of joke?"

* * *

A guy walks into a bar. He asks the bartender, "Do you have any helicopter-flavored potato chips?"

The bartender shakes his head and says, "No, we only have plain."

* * *

E-flat walks into a bar, The bartender says, "Sorry, we don't serve minors..."

* * *

A hamburger and a French fry walk into a bar. The bartender says, "I'm sorry, but we don't serve food here."

* * *

A potato walks into a bar and all eyes were on him!

* * *

Jesus walks into a bar and says, "I'll just have a glass of water."

* * *

A guy with dyslexia walks into a bra.

* * *

A string walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender turns to him and says, "Sorry, sir, we don't serve strings here."

The next day, clinging to a thread, the string returns to that same bar and orders a drink again. The bartender, resolute, again turns and says, "I'm sorry, sir, but like I said, we don't serve strings here. I'm going to have to ask you not to return."

Dejected, the string returns home. All night he tosses and turns, wriggles and writhes, and awakes the next morning not at all resembling himself. Catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror, he brightens and jets out his door to that bar.

Swaggering in, he orders a drink one more time. The bartender stares at him, squinty eyed, and asks, "I'm sorry, are you a string? You look very familiar."

The string locks eyes with the bartender, and states, "No, sir. I'm a frayed knot."

* * *

A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says,  "A beer please, and one for the road."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Share Your Thoughts

For this week's post, we'd like to get your input! What particular stamping techniques would YOU be interesting in seeing during future "Try It Different" Tuesday spots? Or are there particular Inky individual stamps and/or stamp sets (with item numbers/names) that you'd like us to show on various cards or projects?

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, or feel free to email me with your suggestions. And, as a thank you for participating, your shared opinion will serve as an entry for a secret BLOG CANDY prize. Next Tuesday, October 21st, we'll announce a randomly drawn winner on the blog, so please check back to see if it might be you!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Funnies: Grocery & Restaurant Humor

Our grocery store changed its layout this summer, which caused us to wander around aimlessly at first, as we searched for the new locations of our staple items.

We relied heavily on the overhead signs, which reminded me of this example from a store far, far away, where the placement of certain products might inadvertently raise some eyebrows:

It's possible the snacks carried here could include bags of potato chips that have been labeled by a spatially-challenged manufacturer:

If you explore the aisle containing international/ethnic foods, perhaps you would come across these sweet delights:

Mmm, sand cookies...what could be better? Perhaps washing them down with some delicious Relax Flavored Water:

If you're not in the mood to eat in tonight, you can always head to a restaurant. This one has a special "deal" on their BLTs:

I'm not sure which is the better bargain...the BLT above or these hot dogs:

Of course, pizza is always an option that most people enjoy. Just pick your favorite combination of ingredients. Careful, it could be a trick question:

For dessert, there are so many choices. I'll have the one on the bottom, please:

What will YOU be having for dinner tonight, Inky friends? Bon appetit!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Krafty Cards

With Halloween coming in a few weeks, I thought it would be fun to feature a few costumed characters on some not-so-spooky projects. I asked Debbie Fisher to use kraft cardstock rather than standard white, because it seemed like that would be a nice complement.

"Oh my!!" she enthused when she was finished. "I need to stamp on kraft cardstock [more often]! I LOVE how these turned out."

The first card is shown on our main Inky website this week:

The image is from 10904L Costumed Quartet (drawn by artist Ronnie Walter), which actually includes four different trick-or-treaters from which to choose:

I like the versatility of this wood mounted stamp. You can use it as a whole image, utilize the individual squares, or arrange 2-3 of the pieces on your project as desired.

A single square fits on a standard tag perfectly:

Debbie colored all of the images with Koh-I-Noor colored pencils, except the faces done with a Tombow Irojiten colored pencil in a light peach shade. Most colored pencils really "pop" nicely on kraft cardstock, as you can see here:

The stamped and colored pirate piece above adorns this charming goodie bag made using X1-0020 Gift Bag Template stamp:

And the kraft designer paper used for the base of each project? It's from a digital file called DD-Birthday Bash KD-Kit from Diane's Daydream Designs.

"I couldn't believe how perfectly [these digital files] worked with my colored images," said Debbie. "I just printed [a few of the digi paper designs] onto kraft cardstock and love how it turned out."

Thanks to Debbie for sharing this neat "trick," as well as her projects, which we think are real "treats." Hope you like them, too, Inky friends!