Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wine & Canvas Waterfall

Monday was another FUN Wine & Canvas event!  If you haven't done one, you really should check it out - it's a TON of fun, as my co-workers, whom I have dragged to many, have discovered.  My cube at work is quite colorful!
Monday's painting was chosen at our last event for a moment of zen to be added to my cube.  Here is the artist's sample:

See what I mean???
Before the painting began, I had to grab one of the yummiest restaurant salads around (modified to be my way, of course):

A co-worker of mine (who has YET to do a canvas event!) is trying to eat healthier, but she says it's hard when you go out to eat.  I sent her this picture with the caption - eating well at restaurant lesson 1.  This is the Biaggi's Seared Salmon Salad, and it's SO yummy!  Ok, now back to the paint...
This painting looks a LOT easier than it actually turned out to be, but with a little help (which you always can get at these events), it turned out ok, I think.  I had my Angry Orchard hard cider, so I was ready to go:

First we wet the canvas then painted it white.  Yeah, not much to see in a photo of that - it looks roughly the same as the all white canvas above.  But then things got interesting, because we a BUNCH of blue:

Then, we added rocks and foliage:

It's sorta looking like the sample... Then we added a sun and some whitecaps to the water:

Then things got really interesting!  We added actual plants.  I really like how my leaves in the upper left corner turned out (so mean comments about those!)  My other trees look, well, you see them.  I wasn't a fan of the all-white sun, so I added some yellow to mine, and some yellow reflections in the water too:

They should know by now that I don't play by the rules.  Don't give me the paint to use if you don't want me to play!  Now was the MEGA hard part - the waterfall.  It looks so simple, but man was that thing pulling my hair out!  It was also late after a long day, so I don't think that helped any.  In any event, here is my final product.  I think it turned out ok and will make a nice addition to my cube gallery:

It's so fun to see how people with the exact same paint and instruction make such different creations.  You can see some photos from the event HERE on the Wine & Canvas Facebook page.
In other news, on Sunday, we looked out into the back yard to see a momma bunny nursing her babies:

Unfortunately, I had leaned out the sliding glass door to take the photo, and the little hunting toy dog sprinted after the bunnies:

She just wanted to play with them, but they weren't having it!  I'm not sure what she would do with the bunny if she actually came face to face with it.  I think they would just stare at each other.
Have a great rest of your week!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Nails Day!

Yesterday was nails day, and I was having serious #firstworldproblems, because I couldn't figure out what to do with my nails.  If you haven't checked out that hash tag on twitter, it's pretty funny!  It's all about the stuff that folks whine about because they are privileged enough to have money to buy stuff, like - wouldn't the world be a better place if Apple would just default the keyboard clicks to off.  Anyway, I was in a #firstworldproblems dilemma...  
In case you haven't picked up on the pattern, nails day is every two weeks, which means that the next one is just before Independence Day.  Should I go patriotic for a month, or just do an off cycle design?  After much angst, I decided that I would show my USA pride, since it is the World Cup, after all, so here is the latest nail design:

I made my neighbor and I some yummy cocktails and pizzas to take with us while we got our pedicures done.  I gobbled down my pizza, but here is what was left of the yummy concoction I made for our drink:

It is Sangria wine from Village Vintner, Angry Orchard cider, and Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry.  It's like juice and goes down a little too easily.
Now, the real drama occurred when we went to leave the nail salon, because this is what greeted us:

Yeah, it was pouring down rain.  We got absolutely soaked as we ran through the puddles to get to the car.  Of course, as we are halfway home, the rain stopped, so we got soaked for absolutely no reason.
The puppies were none too happy about the thunder that was accompanying the rain.  Latte cuddled in close to Gandy.

She has her antler that my parents brought back for her from Alaska.  The antler is not allowed in bed, so she chose to cuddle with Gandy.  Oh the silly puppies!
Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Random Ramblings

I haven't been spending much time in the craft area lately, but I've been creating in a different room - the kitchen!  The spring veggies are SO inspiring me to cook.  Let me begin by saying that not everyone enjoys my cooking, because I don't drop things on the floor that can be scarfed up.  These two, not so enjoying Momma in the kitchen instead of outside with them:

 They did help me pick the peppers from the garden for my guacamole:

One jalapeño and two super chili peppers from the garden.  I had already chopped the poor little jalapeño by the time I thought to take a picture.  These are the super chilis that REALLY pack a punch.  They are small but mighty!  I didn't take a picture of the final guacamole product, because, well, guacamole doesn't really look at that photogenic.
The day before, I had taken Latte to an art fest down by the river.  She wasn't so thrilled with the heat, but she did get to meet a new puggie friend, Earl:

Latte had her crabby pants on, but I did manage meet a fabulous couple, who makes amazing things with glass.  You can see their Etsy shop here - Ten36Designs.  She doesn't have any in the shop right now, but I got this FUN serving tray made out of an old bottle.  The mouth is open, so you can fill it with water, freeze it, and then the "whatever" on the dish stays cold longer.  I forgot to ask her permission to show her work on my blog, so I am not showing a picture. I'm pretty sure she sold out of all of those at the event - they were AWESOME, and very reasonably priced!  You can send a request for custom work on her Etsy shop, too.  Those of you who are reading this that will be getting holiday gifts from me... well, you know what you are getting!
The same day I made a YUMMY salmon dinner with potatoes, grilled onions, and steamed broccoli from the garden.  All of the items had seasonings from The Spice House.  If you haven't checked that place out yet, WHAT are you waiting on?!  Here it is in progress on the grill:

I didn't have room for the broccoli on my plate, so it missed its photo op, but here is the rest:

I used Serrano Pepper Honey Balsamic Vinegar, then covered it with Caribbean Calypso Seasoning on the salmon, and oh my WOW was it amazing!  It has fabulous citrus undertones, and just a touch of a spicy bite.  SO YUMMY!  Ok, my mouth is watering... good thing I have that for leftovers today on a salad!
Two nights ago, I made this yummy pizza - no red sauce, just pesto (from the freezer from last year's basel crop), artichokes, mushrooms, and some leftover grilled onions (from the salmon night):

I put 4-cheese Italian blend and colby jack cheeses on it... this is probably the best pizza I've ever had!  My husband makes the pizza dough, and I just do assembly.  I think I need some more practice on making the crust, so in the name of practice makes perfect, I will make another tonight.
And finally, if you missed the latest from Gandy & Latte from their Facebook Page, they went to get Daddy bagels on Father's Day:

That's all of my random thoughts for this week.  It's almost Friday!!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Fail (AKA Tips)

I was trying to make a card for Adelle's VSN Challenge to use the salted background technique.  I had read on another site that you could use watercolor paper for this technique.  Since I had the first attempt from my second Hammock Parts card already done, I decided to give it a go.

Yeah, it SO does NOT work!  All you get is a muddy image and salt stuck to your watercolor paper.  Stick with the glossy paper.  I will be giving it yet another go... I think I will still use this image.  Perhaps, that's just the stubbornness in me?  Yeah, probably!
I got a few questions on how to clean your stencil if you use the Copic airbrush system because baby wipes weren't working for them, which meant that they were stuck with ink on their stencil.  The answer is simple - use the right tool for the job.

Copic Various Ink will take it right off.  I squirt a little directly on the stencil and wipe with a paper towel.
I hope my Friday Tips help you in your crafting!  I'm off to make yet another salted background... Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hammock Parts

It's my day to host the WTUI challenge on SCS.  Have you played with us yet??? Why not?!  I'm challenging you to use your hammock parts - rope, yarn, string or twine, but NO ribbon.  Well, you KNOW I had to pull out some yarn and crochet something.
Here is attempt # 1:

It's a star ornament.
It wasn't quite pointy-enough, so I tried again:

In the end, I went with my first attempt:

I used the chevron stencil from MFT with my Copic airbrush system.  I did use 3 different markers, but on the kraft card (by Canvas Corp, btw), it doesn't look any different.  Oh well, I was stuck on the blue gradient look, so I guess this forced me to snap out of it.  I cut out a star with my Framelits, and added a bit of washi tape (of course).
Since this was also for Katlyn's VSN Challenge, I was out of time to do anything with the inside.  I just secured the star ornament with some washi tape:

I thought some folks might not want to play along, thinking they needed to crochet something, so I made another sample:

I kind-of used Jennifer McGuire's Distress Ink Bleed technique.  The first time I made it very sketchy, but I decided I wanted it more defined, so I did it again.  And that, my friends, is why there are two sides to every piece of paper!  The stamp is by Tim Holtz and a very fun set.  I was stuck on what to do next, so I went to the Sketch Challenge.  That's where I always find inspiration when I'm stuck on what to do next.  Last week's sketch was just perfect!  I added a torn piece of paper, 3 colors of twine by The Twinery, and a sentiment.  The sentiment is from Technique Tuesday, and I stamped it in VersaMark and embossed it in silver.  I cut it out with an MFT Die-Namics.  This will be a graduation card for a neighbor kid, which satisfies Brenda's VSN Challenge.
I've given you links to 4 different challenges and a technique.  Hopefully, you are inspired to go create on your own!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Good Book

This weekend is Virtual Stamp Night (VSN) on Splitcoaststampers.  I totally forgot, so I'm already behind, but luckily I have until Saturday to complete all of the challenges.  I needed a gift card holder, so I used Angie's A Good Book challenge for inspiration there.
The last book I read was actually my camera manual.  Yes, I know, I'm "that guy" who reads the instructions for EVERYTHING.  I found some really cool things, and I'm liking how the gift card holder turned out.
I am just LOVING the way the front turned out:

I used a Teresa Collins stencil for the photo strip.  The camera is cut with the Cute Cameras by MFT from sticky-backed cork.  I "colored" it with Clear Wink of Stella, which gives OMG amazing shine and shimmer!  So much so that you can even see it in the photo!  I took a few sticky-backed pearl and added one to the camera and 3 to the bottom of the front.
This is the first flap you see when you open the holder:

I used my Teresa Collins stencil with Prima pink ink.  I added the set of 3 pearls after this photo was taken, just before it went out the door... oops.
Here is what goes under the gift card itself:

It's the same Teresa Collins stencil, but this time I used turquoise ink by QuickQuotes, just like the front.
The recipient loved this item, and I think it looks pretty darn cute if I do say so myself!
And of course, it's baseball season, so Latte is all decked out her SF Giants garb:

Have a great rest of your weekend, and check out VSN if you want to have some fun!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Nails Day & a Splurge

Yesterday was nails day, and I'm seriously stuck on the palm tree thing.  After my Glass Painting escapade, I knew I had to do my nails to match.  So, here are the latest nails:

It's a little hard to see in the photo, unless you zoom in, but the palm tree nail has 3 different colors of blue that are masterfully blended together.  Of course, I didn't do this.  Several folks have asked where I get my nails done, and I go to a little place in Algonquin Commons called Venetian Nail Salon.  They do a great job, and we always have a blast there!
I was definitely on a multiple shades of blue kick, because check out this splurge I got for myself:

I absolutely LOVE this bag, and for the price, I'd better!  I got a promotion at work, I'm proud to say, so this bag was my congrats to myself. I think I've earned it!
And finally, Gandy & Latte were in RARE form last night, and I caught this pic of the two of them:

Have a great Thursday!  The weekend is right around the corner!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Gandy & Latte Update

It's been a while since some Gandy & Latte photos, so I thought I would share a few cute ones today. Remember that you can catch their antics on the Two Crazy Furry Friends Facebook page.  A feed from that page is on the right-hand side of this blog, as well.
First up is Latte (the Pug) and her Hannah Jalapano Pierogi from PNC Park:

Next up is a very fun one of Gandy (the German Shepherd Dog) REALLY enjoying some neck rubbies:

And Latte enjoying time this weekend under the table on the patio:

And finally, a selfie of Momma & Latte:

Happy Hump Day, all!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Glass Painting

Friday night, I did a FUN painting with Inspired By Art Studio where you painted any of the number of glasses they had to choose from with your own design.  I definitely think I need to try this again, although, my first attempt wasn't so bad!  And here we go...
I began with my supplies - fun snifter-type glass, paint tray, paint, paint brushes and of course hard cider:

First, I painted several shades of blue around the glass (upside down, of course):

Then I added some green:

I refilled my glass to get my nerve up to paint the palm tree, and the studio owner snapped this cool pic:

I chose gold for my palm trees, and here they are:

Finally, I painted the dark blue on the bottom of the glass and the bead gold.  Since I didn't think it was completely dry when I left the studio, I snapped the final photo after baking it in the oven:

Not too shabby for a first attempt, and I'm quite sure it will serve up some tasty beverages this summer!


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