Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Stamping With Lydia Fiedler: Pear

As we wrap up 2012 and head into the new year, it seemed fitting that Lydia Fiedler decided to feature 11071SC Holy Spirit's Fruit Clear Set (drawn by artist Darby New) for her final project as Inky's Guest Designer this month:


As with so many of Lydia's projects, her card is clean and simple with a couple of fun twists:


Lydia layered the sentiment banner (it's easy to make the notches with a square punch!) onto Stampin' Up! First Edition designer paper. The text background is a neat and unexpected element.

She sponged a variety of SU! inks (Summer Sun, Lucky Limeade, Tangerine Tango, and Calypso Coral) onto the stamped pear image (0369H in wood mounted), layering the colors to create warm, rich tones.

Then she added finishing touches with a white gel pen and metallic gold marker. Finally, she cut it out and mounted it with foam tape:


"I think the most important thing I've learned," says Lydia, "is that life is short, and so you should share everything you know with your fellow artist. I'm not making anything for the Smithsonian - hopefully I'm creating joy.

"And if I can share that freely with other people so they can experience the joy of crafting, I can't think of anything I'd be happier to say I'd done."

In my mind, Lydia has accomplished her goal with this pretty card that spreads joy.

* * *

When I asked her if there was anything else she wanted to tell our Inky readers, Lydia had these closing comments:

Sharing is caring. I'm so grateful for all the papercrafters who have influenced me, and I try hard to pay that back by sharing the small amount of stamping knowledge I have. The creative process is so fun, but interacting with other artists is even more fun. Have fun, enjoy what you're doing, and encourage other people, especially people who don't feel confident.

We've been thrilled to have Lydia as our Inky Guest Designer for December! Will you please help me thank her for sharing her talent with us by leaving a comment at the end of this post?

Your comment will also enter you in a little BLOG CANDY giveaway. On Wednesday, January 2nd, I'll randomly choose the winner for 11071SC Holy Spirit's Fruit Clear Set. I'll post that person's name here on the blog, so please check back to see if you've won!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Funnies: Dog & Cat New Year's Resolutions

Are you making any New Year's resolutions, Inky friends?

Even though Bo & Daisy (our dogs) and Boo & Oscar (our cats) may think they're perfect just as they are, we found a few suggestions they should consider implementing in 2013.


New Year's Resolutions for Dogs

1. I will not eat my own or other animals' poop.

2. I won't try to lick my humans' faces after eating animal poop.

3. I will not eat "kitty box crunchies."

4. I will not eat any more socks and then re-deposit them in the backyard after processing.

5. When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down while it's raining outside.

6. I will not bark each time I hear a door bell on TV.

7. I do not need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm lying under the coffee table.

8. I will remember to shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house.
 
 
New Year's Resolutions for Cats

1. I will keep in mind that yelling at the can of food will not make it open itself.

2. When my human is typing at the computer, I will remember that her forearms are not a hammock.

3. I will not scratch the walls, curtains, furniture, or kitchen cabinets.

4. I will not play "dead cat on the floor" while people are trying to bring in groceries or do the laundry.

5. Computer monitors and TVs do not exist to backlight my lovely tail. I will not sit directly in front of the screen anymore.

6. Birds do not come from the bird feeder. I will not knock it down and try to open it up to get the birds out.

7. I will come when my human calls me. Well, most of the time, anyway.

8. I will not sleep more than 23 hours per day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holiday Wishes

Merry Christmas, Inky friends! I hope your holiday season is filled with peace, love, and joy.


Card created by Becky O'Donnell. :-)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Stamping With Lydia Fiedler: Fox & Fawn

Where do YOU find inspiration for your stamping projects? When I asked Lydia Fiedler this same question, she replied, "Absolutely in nature. I walk for several hours each morning, and geocache along the way, and Austin's parks and trails give me the solitude I need to compose my designs. I never design at my table. I always design outside on a walk."

Maybe that's why she chose stamps from our Forest Friends collection to work with, among others. "I fell HARD for your fox the instant I saw him," she said. "I think that Inky does critters so incredibly well."

Check out the card she made with said critter (0609F Fox, drawn by artist Janie Miller):


Remember how Lydia mentioned last week that her favorite style is clean and high contrast, with lots of white space and a quirky twist? This is the perfect example!

There's loads of white space, of course, and you can see how she outlined the fox with a light blue pencil shading to make him stand out.

She also die cut the 0580D Foxy Lady saying with a word bubble from My Favorite Things, and then popped it up using foam tape.

Clean and simple cards are always fun, but I think they're especially nice to make during the holiday season when life seems to get crazy busy. Not everything has to be super complicated in order to look good!

Here's another example, this time with 0629H Fawn (also drawn by Janie Miller and available in 11011MC Forest Friends #3 Clear Set, as well):


The wood mounted saying is 0592D Fawntastic (and it's in the clear set mentioned above), which was stamped onto kraft cardstock, die cut, and attached with foam tape and baker's twine.

I don't remember to do it often enough myself, but I just love using colored pencils with images stamped on kraft cardstock. Lydia achieved a similar effect with her ShinHan Touch Twin markers and a white gel pen:


It really packs a punch, wouldn't you agree? Quite the impact for such a delicate little fawn.

Thanks to Lydia for sharing this cute pair of cards, and to you for visiting with us today!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Funnies: Dear Santa



Dear Santa
Copyright 2000, W. Bruce Cameron

My son and Santa Claus have been pen pals every Christmas since he first learned to write. Traditionally, letters to Saint Nick are stuffed in the stockings hanging over the wood stove we call our "fireplace," and are answered via the same mysterious process that allows the jolly old elf to descend down a six-inch stove pipe every Christmas Eve. Here is this year's exchange:

Dear Santa:

For Christmas this year, I would like a guinea pig. I have other stuff I want, but I wanted to get the guinea-pig request in early.

Signed,
The Best Boy in the World

* * *

Dear Best Boy:

You are not getting a guinea pig. Are you forgetting what happened to the goldfish you had, and also to the mice you were given for your birthday? Please ask for something reasonable, like a new rake to help your father in the yard. That request I can fill immediately.

* * *

Dear Santa:

Well, the directions never said you can't take goldfish into the bathtub with you, so how was I supposed to know? And the thing with the mice was not my fault, it was the cat's fault. I also want a go-cart.

* * *

Dear Pet Boy:

Surely you knew that sitting on the fish would not be good for them. And I hardly think the cat can be blamed for its instinctive pursuit of the mice once you left the cage door open. I'm sorry, but you may have no more rodents, and that's final.

Regarding your new request: You have already demonstrated an unnerving tendency to succumb to the gravitational pull of the earth, hurling yourself headfirst off of your bicycle and your skate board. A go-cart would merely accelerate this process. How about instead of a go-cart you get a wheelbarrow to help haul the leaves you'll be raking.

* * *

Dear So-called Santa:

A guinea pig is not a rodent, it is a member of the pork family.

How about you get me a little trailer for my go-cart and I'll haul leaves in that.

Plus I also want a drum set.

Oh, and I think you should know, my dad is not using the exercise bike you got him last Christmas. I guess it goes against his instinctive pursuit of getting fat.

* * *

Dear Drummer Boy:

No pigs of any kind, including those related to rats. No catapulting yourself headfirst from a go-cart into the emergency room. No banging on drums, or doing anything to create any noise except the sounds of yard work.

And your father is planning on starting his exercise program just as soon as his schedule settles down.

* * *

Dear Saint Nick Picker:

Well, excuse me for thinking that Christmas was for something besides better homes and gardens.

If I can't have a go-cart, I want a snowmobile.

Oh, and I think you'd better take another look at my dad: All he has on his schedule is watching TV and drinking beer. If he settles down any more, he's going to slide off of his chair and onto the floor. Mom says the only way to tell that he's still alive is by his belches.

* * *

Dear Incorrect Boy:

Your father works hard and occasionally takes in a game on TV to relax. There is nothing wrong with this.

And a snowmobile? Are you crazy? Not only are they dangerous, do you have any idea how much a snowmobile costs? Please pick something affordable.

* * *

Dear Santa Flaws:

Well, why do you care what it costs? I thought you had a bunch of dwarves working for you who built everything in your workshop.

If I can't have a guinea pig, I want a monkey.

* * *

Dear Boy:

A monkey? You cannot have a monkey.

* * *

Dear Chris Crumple:

I'm the only kid in my school without a pet.

* * *

But Son,

I refuse to believe anybody in your school has a monkey. It is illegal.

* * *

Dear Santa Laws:

Well, then, can I have a guinea pig?

* * *

Dear Son:

Well...we'll see.

====

W. Bruce Cameron began his writing career as a humor columnist for the Denver Rocky Mountain News. Sadly, the Rocky went out of business, but he says that was not his fault. He is a Benchley award winner for humor and was the 2011 NSNC Newspaper Columnist of the Year. He has written for TV (the show 8 Simple Rules, based on his book) and co-wrote the feature film 40 Happens, which will be released in 2014.

His novel A Dog’s Purpose spent 48 weeks on the NY Times Best Sellers List. DreamWorks is developing it as a film and he and his writing partner, Cathryn Michon, wrote the screenplay. The sequel, A Dog’s Journey, was published May 6, 2012, and was instantly a NY Times bestseller.

His novel The Dogs of Christmas will be published in the fall of 2013. He is currently unsure if he can even write a book without the word “dog” in the title.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Decorating Snowman

If this card looks familiar, it's because you've already seen it on our blog and main website:


You probably remember the "surprise" red-and-white ornament that our little snowman friend is holding on the inside:


This card was created with 11118MC Decorating Snowman HoneyPOP Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung):



Anna Wight recently made an adorable non-honeycomb card using the same set, which is shown here.

And now, Debbie Fisher has stamped up this super cute version:


She purposely left off the sentiment so she can use it for a sick friend. She plans to pair it with a gift basket containing cocoa packets, snowman knick knacks, and other goodies. How sweet is that?

For an alternative project, you can also decorate a clear pillow box with the same image.


Debbie found a bag of holiday-shaped pretzels at her grocery store, with trees, snowflakes, bells, and circles. She dipped the snowflake ones in almond bark and sprinkled them with tiny nonpareils.

The pillow boxes are 1 1/8" high, so they can be filled with a bunch of the yummy pretzels:


Just like the sentiment says, these really are "snow much fun"!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Stamping With Lydia Fiedler: Angel & Snowy's Bell

One of the many fun qualities about Lydia Fiedler's projects is that she is great at putting her own spin on things, which is reflected in everything she creates.

"I have never been much of a rule follower," she says, "and so quirky comes naturally to me."

Take our 11134MC Angel & Snowy Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung), for example:


For last week's card, she used the Angel Helping Snowy image (0496J in wood mounted). This week, the Angel & Snowy's Bell stamp (0497J in wood mounted) is being featured.

"My favorite style is clean and high contrast," she explains, "preferably complementary color schemes - with lots of white space, and a very quirky twist.

Here is a terrific example of what she means:


Lydia used a Tim Holtz Texture Fades insert and a snowflake embossing folder to create the circular embossed frame, although you could also follow this tutorial on Splitcoast for a DIY version.

Even though the red-and-green combination is traditional for Christmas, I wouldn't necessarily think to use it on an angel and snowman myself. But it definitely makes the image "pop," which is pretty neat:


She colored with ShinHan Touch Twin markers and put ultrafine glitter on the girl angel's hair and both of their wings. Just heavenly!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Funnies: Christmas Auto-Corrected Texting

Technology can be a wonderful thing, but the jury's still out regarding my cell phone's auto-correct feature.

When it works, it's great. When it doesn't, it can be frustrating. Or, in today's case, totally hilarious! Check out the holiday-themed texting errors that I found on this website, starting with the one I like to call The Three Ships of Christmas:



Have you taken the children to visit Santa yet:


There's always gotta be some potty humor, right:


Speaking of bodily functions, this one literally put me in tears:


I guess those poor kids who visited Satan almost ended up with a less-than-ideal gift:


And now for our R-rated section. Hope Mom (or should I say Dad?) has a sense of humor:


Hmm, wonder where you'd find one of these:


Hope your Christmas texting goes much smoother, Inky friends!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Bundled Kitty

Here in Minnesota, we've just had our first major snowfall of the season. Now it's a real winter wonderland outside! To step outside the house, you need to look like this:

Okay, I'd also recommend wearing a shirt, pants, and coat. But our 10434H Bundled Kitty (drawn by artist Janie Miller) has the right idea.

He looks even better in this fun library pocket card, created by Debbie Fisher:


It's the purr-fect way to celebrate the season! Debbie adhered a library envelope, decorated with this cute stamp and a ribbon, onto a 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card base.

When you pull up the insert, you see 10378D Freezin' Season as the "hidden message":


How does this little kitty look on a completely different project? Why, he's meow-valous on this gift box:


Debbie covered both sides of five chipboard coasters with designer paper. Then she punched holes on either side of four coasters, tied them together with ribbon, and adhered the bottom coaster with hot glue.

Her colored and layered kitty image was attached to one side, and she filled the box with a cello bag containing treats. It's pawsitively adorable!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Stamping With Lydia Fiedler: Angel Helping Snowy

Lydia Fiedler recently told me, "All your Christmas stamps have such a sweet whimsy about them - I particularly love Angel & Snowy - there's something so completely innocent and joyful about those images."

This is 11134MC Angel & Snowy Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung), which is the set she was talking about:


When I asked Lydia to tell me about her favorite stamping tools, she named the following:

My Big Shot and dies - I always say I'd run out of the house with that if it was on fire.

Liquid glue - I've converted in the last year from a tape girl to a glue girl and, holy cow, are my cards better for it.

Newsprint paper - I'm a freak for text based paper backgrounds and pieced elements.

Glitter - what kind of place would this world be without it?

My Aquapainter - I absolutely LOVE watercolor and I love using reinkers to watercolor with.

And her current favorite stamping technique? "I think paper piecing," she replied. "I used to say I'd never fussy cut, but I've found it to be a very relaxing process with a fun, beautiful result."

Lydia combined this technique with almost all of the tools on her list to create this adorable card:


Check out this closeup view, where it's easier to see how the angel's dress and snowman's scarf were cut from First Edition designer paper from Stampin' Up!, and Lydia applied ultrafine glitter on her hair and their wings:

 
Very neat, huh? The image is also available in the wood mounted version as 0496J Angel Helping Snowy, and the sentiment is the second half if 0482E Ring The Bells.
 
Lydia stamped the latter on a notched strip of cardstock and accented it with a pretty crystal button topped with a pearl:
 


The light blue background is SU! Birds of a Feather designer paper, and the ribbon is SU! Very Vanilla Seam Binding.

All of these elements put together result in a delightful, unique card. Thanks to Lydia for sharing, and to you for visiting with us today!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Funnies: Going Bananas

Last Friday's post featured altered signs that had humorous results. The following two handmade signs are also funny, but obviously due to a language barrier instead:



Speaking of the "curved yellow fruit," have you ever seen one of these before:

That's right, it's a Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer...and it can be yours for only $4.88!

It's just one of the millions of items that are available for purchase on Amazon.com, and nearly 500 customers have reviewed this particular product.

Not only is the banana slicer amusing in its own right (or am I the only one who thinks that?), but just read some of the tongue-in-cheek reviews. They're hilarious.

Mrs. Toledo from Greeley, CO had this to say:

Saved my marriage
What can I say about the 571B Banana Slicer that hasn't already been said about the wheel, penicillin, or the iPhone.... this is one of the greatest inventions of all time. My husband and I would argue constantly over who had to cut the day's banana slices. It's one of those chores NO ONE wants to do! You know, the old "I spent the entire day rearing OUR children, maybe YOU can pitch in a little and cut these bananas?" and of course, "You think I have the energy to slave over your damn bananas? I worked a 12 hour shift just to come home to THIS?!" These are the things that can destroy an entire relationship. It got to the point where our children could sense the tension. The minute I heard our 6-year-old girl in her bedroom, re-enacting our daily banana fight with her Barbie dolls, I knew we had to make a change. That's when I found the 571B Banana Slicer. Our marriage has never been healthier, AND we've even incorporated it into our lovemaking. THANKS 571B BANANA SLICER!

L. Blankenship "Lundy Love" from Huntington, WV shared the following:

My 27 trained monkeys love this
As you may or may not know, I have 27 trained monkeys I use to do my evil bidding. Well, the younger monkeys teeth have not fully developed and so slicing a banana to feed them is a necessary chore. The adult monkeys used to have to chew up bananas and feed their young but not anymore with the Victorio Kitchen Products 571B Banana Slicer. The adults are going bananas over this time saving easy product. No longer so they have to taste and chew the deliciousness banana without eating it teasing them like a teenage prom date. Now, they can eat and enjoy while i feed the young by slicing the bananas into small pieces that's easy for them to digest, This product is aces in my book and if you have 27 trained monkeys that will help you take over the land of OZ, I highly recommenced this product. This product is more useful than a barrel of monkeys.

And SW3K has finally conquered his banana issues:

No more winning for you, Mr. Banana!
For decades I have been trying to come up with an ideal way to slice a banana. "Use a knife!" they say. Well...my parole officer won't allow me to be around knives. "Shoot it with a gun!" Background check...HELLO! I had to resort to carefully attempt to slice those bananas with my bare hands. 99.9% of the time, I would get so frustrated that I just ended up squishing the fruit in my hands and throwing it against the wall in anger. Then, after a fit of banana-induced rage, my parole officer introduced me to this kitchen marvel and my life was changed. No longer consumed by seething anger and animosity towards thick-skinned yellow fruit, I was able to concentrate on my love of theatre and am writing a musical play about two lovers from rival gangs that just try to make it in the world. I think I'll call it South Side Story. Banana slicer...thanks to you, I see greatness on the horizon.

* * *

Very silly, huh? "Peel" like reading more? You can find all 499 comments here. Happy Friday, Inky friends!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Candy Cane Birdy Congrats

Congrats to Andrea, whose name was drawn randomly from Sunday's blog candy entries. (Andrea, please email me with your address by December 31st to claim your prize.)

Andrea said...
Yea Lydia! This is such a cute set and I love what she's done with it!
December 2, 2012 at 3:14 PM

For her prize, Andrea has won 11058SC Snow Birdies Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung):


Thank you to everyone who joined me in welcoming Lydia Fiedler as Inky's Guest Designer in December. I'm looking forward to showing you more of her terrific projects!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Christmas Sleigh Set

One of the many things I love about our HoneyPOP Clear Sets is that they're specifically designed so you can use them to make both honeycomb-based cards in addition to standard greeting cards.

I know I've mentioned this feature before, but I think it bears repeating...and this week's card on the main Inky site is another wonderful example of what I mean.

Not only did Anna Wight make that adorable snowman card, but she's also created a bunch of inspiring non-card projects for today's post to further illustrate this point!

Anna used 11119LC Christmas Sleigh HoneyPOP Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung):


Just look at her set of charming gift tags:


Want to see close-up views of each? Why, certainly! (You can click on the photos for even larger versions.)

She started with Bazzill cardstock in Kraft that was cut with a PTI tag die, and stamped the snowflakes with Distress Ink in Gathered Twigs:


The solid brown paper is from Stampin' Up! in Chocolate, and Simple Stories designer paper is layered above:


Anna stamped the girl image onto Neenah white cardstock and colored with her ShinHan Touch Twin markers. Then she cut it out and popped it up with foam tape:


Her other touches were twine, buttons, and more Distress Ink applied along the edges...plus her "trademark" tracing wheel dots, of course!

I just know if I received a gift with one of these tags on it, the tag itself would be a big part of the present:


But Anna didn't stop there! Nope, she also decorated a jar candle with the same image, done up completely differently:


The girl image was colored and popped up the same as before, but this time onto a die-cut base made with Spellbinders Labels 16. Can you spot the ultrafine glitter on her hat pom pom and trim:


Super cute! I can't decide which style of tags I like better. How about YOU?

Thanks so much to Anna for sharing these fantastic projects, and to you for joining us today!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Stamping With Lydia Fiedler: Candy Cane Birdy

Honest to goodness, I swear I don't have a rule that all of our Sunday posts must be about people from Texas. But what can I say? They've got a truckload of awesome stampers down there!

Take our new friend Lydia Fiedler, for instance:


This lovely lady hails from "God's Country - Austin, Texas," as she puts it. I'm tickled pink to be able to introduce her as Inky's Guest Designer for December!

"I moved to Austin in 1990, and my husband and I got married in 1992. I hope that doesn't reveal my age," quips Lydia. "He's an avid golfer, which means five hours of uninterrupted stamping time several times a week.

"We live with our two furry bosses - Maddie and Splotchy, who are two quite celebrated internet cat stars, and even have their own biography in book form. We live in their fuzzy shadows, really."

Funny lady, wouldn't you agree? But, wait, there's more. Besides being a designer, Lydia works full time for Internet Brands, as the Community Manager for Splitcoastampers.

"It's a very exciting, fun, people oriented and fast paced job," she says, "and I love that I'm immersed in the papercrafting community every day and able to interact with the most amazingly talented designers in the world."

So, not only does she have a job that makes many stampers want to drool, but she also speaks Russian. Yeah, I know that tidbit at the end was a little random, right? But Lydia is kinda like that. She's wonderfully offbeat, which I just love about her!

I think you'll also notice this characteristic in her stamped projects. For the first one, Lydia used 11058SC Snow Birdies Clear Set (drawn by artist Tammy DeYoung):


She made the "sweetest" little gift card holder, decorated with elements from the clear set:
The wood mounted versions of these stamps are 2072J Candy Cane Birdy and 3381D Sweet Treats.

Lydia paper pieced the birdy with Bazzill Christmas paper, and then she colored and shaded it with ShinHan Touch Twin markers:


Additional elements on the front are a wood snowflake, rhinestone, and punched-out saying.

The gift card holder is a pre-cut version from Stampin' Up! layered with their Crumb Cake designer paper, but you could recreate it pretty easily on your own. The dimensions are 7 1/4" x 4", scored at 2 1/2" and 5" (and then punched with corner rounder and notch punches):


Would you like the chance to win your own 11058SC Snow Birdies Clear Set? Please leave a comment at the end of this post helping me welcome Lydia as this month's Inky Guest Designer, and you'll be entered in a BLOG CANDY giveaway.

On Wednesday, December 5th, I'll randomly choose the winner for the same clear set that Lydia used above and post that person's name...so please check back to see if you've won. Good luck!