Saturday, December 21, 2013

MamaKat's Losin' It Writing Prompt: 1.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: pajamas

Wow. That was the easiest writing prompt that ever came to mind... at least to this family's mind. If you haven't seen this viral video, you really do need to take a minute and do just that. It will definitely bring the fun back into this hectic time of year.

I am completely awed by the creativity this family has shown. They are all over YouTube, all over the national news, all over Facebook, and... just ALL OVER THE PLACE. And I never tire of it. In fact... I find myself singing that song over and over. And then... I go put on my own... Christmas Jammies! That's right... uh, huh... you got it now... get it on...

When I saw that writing prompt, I just knew I had to share. I've been so overwhelmed and pre-occupied Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Words With Friends, Blogger have all taken a ton of time from me... oh! And don't forget Instagram and texting, the majority of my cards are going out... um... when I get to them. But. I did check out Mama Kat's Losin' It (Writers' Worskshop...) and you can too! Please leave a comment and pass the love on to other's blogs, as well.

Have a Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Happy New Year hopefully I'll get on here before then... , and any other holiday you may celebrate religiously, or not religiously. For anyone that may not celebrate anything... Have a great day, every day! But whoever you are and whatever you do... PEACE!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This Christmas, So Far...

First off... Wow. Do not leave a bottle of wine in the freezer. I mean... um... wine-slush sounds wonderful, but not when it's all over your precious frozen foods. Ick. It is rather sticky and definitely messy. (I didn't know someone had even put it in there. Wonder who that could be???? Hmmm???

So... the morning I found the popped bottle of wine... I drove to the Los Angeles area (City of Commerce) to work a swim meet. I am a swim official/referee (in addition to many other things). This wonderfully packaged building was my view from outside the swim center.

To many of you fabulous architectural history buffs out there, this building used to be the Good Year Tire Factory... way back when. It was left empty for YEARS. I used to go to the area surrounding it to get reduced-price fabric from the textile manufacturers. Then I didn't go for a while... After a couple of years, I went back. Um... Where did they go? And what the heck? This gorgeous building (it had lots of almost Egyptian-looking detailing) was now foaming at the entrances. Alright, so they took away my beloved great-pricing, but they creating a mecca of an outlet center. The Citadel now stands proud (and is always busy!) and is "present"-ed every Christmas season. Isn't it a grand sight to behold?

Christmas is here... Spread the CHEER! Open a Coca-Cola. Anyone who knows me super duper well, knows I love Coke. The Real Thing. Not diet. Not cherry-flavored. And I love the Coca-Cola merchandise, too! Not the neon-colored stuff. Just the classic. The Real Thing... similar to the beverage itself. Santa and Polar Bear Coca-Cola stuff comes out in my house at Christmastime, though... And my friend had me open a gift early. She wanted me to enjoy it for the full season. Now... if only our weather would get out of the 80's and go back to December! Ugh...
I made some Christmas cards. Like you couldn't tell, right? They are the same angel from Cricut Christmas that I made the ornaments with, only I left all the scrolling, and didn't block any out. I also made them a little bigger, spread embossing ink, and sprinkled Ranger's Queens Gold all over before heating. I love it.
Inside, I stamped with a brilliant green...
And I just had to show off the "cloud" Corner Chomper, which I inked the edges of...
Wow. This picture's sure blurry... Oh shoot! Almost all of them are... Ugh! I embossed the "Peace on Earth" (what else should an angel be saying?) with the same Queen's Gold, just in the corner.
Then the following weekend... I went to Palm Springs. for another? What? You guessed it. Swim meet. This is my shaky view on the way at 6am and I wasn't even the one driving. Go figure! But the colors were phenomenal, so I kept the pic anyway. Deal.
In Palm Springs, when we have this HUGE meet (swimmers come from ALL over!), they feed us like a 5-Star restaurant. (Yes... that IS lobster...) Thank you, Piranhas Swim Team for always treating us the best!
Funny story... I got a parka (after almost 8 years of freezing and getting drenched in the rain and the cold and the hail and the... you get it...) for a combo of my birthday and Christmas (shout out to my Mom and John... THANK YOU!!!). This was the first meet I wore it. (Yes... it can get cold in Palm Springs. There is snow on the mountain just above, and when the sun goes over that mountain... BRRRRR!!!!) The arms are a tad long. I was cold. And so, I tucked my hands inside the sleeves. Now the joke is... can I flap and fly? So... someone brought a Foghorn Leghorn (Looney Tunes, ya'll... REMEMBER?) hat, put it on me and asked me to flap. Meh... I'm a good sport.
Me and one of my buddies. I am so proud of him. Cancer did not do him in. His spirit is exceptional and shines through in everything he does. Last round of chemo is done. I heart him!
And this is only part of our crew. We are very much like a family. Hugs to all of them. They come from everywhere for this meet. And for those that think we just "time". No. We are all over the deck, ensuring the kids will learn from their errors and advance further in swimming (a nice way of saying, "we disqualify kids").

I haven't had much time for crafting and shopping. I did get a whole bunch of cards done (just haven't gotten them out yet... or even addressed... And thank goodness for the internet and local shops, otherwise, nothing would be done just yet. Christmas is almost here, and the days are packed until then, too. Hugs to you all! Ho, ho, ho! No matter what... Be Merry. It's all in how you look at it.

** small note ** Blogger isn't letting me adjust sizes of pics or locations, so please bear with it. Hopefully it's just a minor bug and will get fixed soon.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Imagine/Tsukineko Ornament Exchange!

Just a little while ago, someone posted something on Facebook. As you probably know... people do that all. the. time. But, th is time, I really really REALLY liked it. And I wanted to do it. And... um... it was the deadline date to sign up to do it. And... apparently, I was past the deadline time (curse those wickedly different time zones...), but I applied to "do it" anyway.

I got a response the week before Thanksgiving. "What?" you might ask... I signed up to create an ornament through Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko and exchange it with someone else! I worked hard on this ornament. I had a total of four (count them... 1... 2... 3... 4...!) failures. And in the end, I was VERY happy with my success... so much so that my "other" ornament (that was to be sent to Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko) ended up being a duplicate. Loved it!

So... I'll take you on my journey through my flaws and my perfections, well... as perfect as handmade can be...

Failure #1:  Using VersaColor and VersaFine (both by Imagine Crafts) and Walnut Stain (by Tsukineko), this die-cut angel (done using the ol' Cricut Expression... "Christmas" cartridge, with the laces "hidden", except for the bottom edge) was loaded with color... bronze, green, gold... And then... I added Diamond Glaze. It worked really well. Felt dry and all... I flipped it. It was still good. And so... I Diamond-Glazed the back side (which was also inked up). Let it dry... or so I thought. When I went to peel it up. EEk! It peeled, alrighty!

Failure #2:  Same beginning scenario as Failure #1, only I let it dry longer.  A lot longer. Then, it decided to peel and crack on me. Ugh!

Failure #3: Changed to Glossy Accents. Went through pretty much the same thing as Failure #1, only without quite as much sticking and peeling. (Trust me... this stuff really did feel dry. No "tacky" feeling when I touched it!)

Failure #4: Is really Failure #2, revisited, just in the Glossy Accents version. I assumed since the Glossy Accents in Failure #3 didn't stick or peel quite as much, that if I gave it more "drying" time, it would be perfectly wonderful. Wrong. The moisture in the air does a drying/curing job wonders. It sort of reverses it... almost.

And so... I gave up on the glazes. I chose instead to use Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko Embossing Ink and clear embossing powder. I also created two angels, instead of one... inked them (on one side each this time [kind of thinking the excessive moisture from inking both sides just may have been a contributing factor in Failures #1-4]), clear-embossed them on
the inked side, heating the underside up again, to "bend" them back flat, as they seemed to be curling up from the embossing, then "glued" them together with my favorite of favorites... (drumroll please!)

Clear Silicone Gel from Home Depot. (Yes! I really do love that stuff!) This gave it a dimensional texture and still made it light enough after it dried to not weigh down a tree limb. I used a Q-Tip to take off the excess Gel and let her dry.

Taking the absolute smallest Fiskars hole punch I had, I punched between the shoulder and the wing, to avoid looking like this beautiful angel had a hole in her head. And HELLO Fishing Line... right through, with a large enough length that she now floats from a branch.

I was so thrilled with her, that my second one is almost exactly the same, because... I did it again!!!! (I know... I already told you that up above, but... I really did love her!)

Now... I received an ornament from someone else in the program...
And it's proudly displayed on my tree. A big shout out to Candy in Grants Pass in Oregon. Hope you're staying warm...

Thank you for my wonderful ornament!