Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stampaway USA 2013

It's official.
In August you'll find me at Stampaway in Cincinnati, rolling out 4 new classes.

My first two classes are on Wed., Aug. 7th:

I know you won't believe this, but the first class is
A Portfolio of Cards
from 1-3pm



I know it's a shock, but it's true.
And they're great!!

My second class on Wednesday will be a 4 hour marathon of techniques from 4-8pm. 

Woo Hoo!!

Talk about a great way to kick off a convention week!

A Bouquet of Techniques Shadowbox Collage

Now that's a mouthful, isn't it?

A 4 hour class deserves an impressive title, or at the very least, a long one.

And it's not just a techniques class...we're housing our bounty in a huge glass-topped shadowbox!  Need to post some photos, don't I?

I can't have too much fun on Wednesday night though because I've got my favorite class on Thursday morning from 8:30-10:30.  Oh my, that sounds early, doesn't it?

Art Inspiration Boards

I knew I wanted to do something great this year, so back in December while fighting the flu I asked myself what would knock my socks off, and sure enough, I've come up with the perfect class for that.

And since everyone knows I'm the Queen of Techniques, I came up with one more class to keep us all happy...

and to show off my newest line of rubber stamps:

An Accordian Book of Tags
from 11:15am-1:15pm

Truth be told we'll be using my line of rubber stamps in all my classes, along with hundreds of stamps by other manufacturers. 

And inks and sprays and paints and stencils and more.

You know I can't teach a class anywhere that doesn't include Dyan's new Dylusions Sprays.  Oh my, the new colors are even more fabulous than the originals.

And Tim's new Distress Paints have me swooning for sure!

Planning to attend Stampaway August 7-10th?
Planning to take any of my classes?

For those Lovelies who take all 4 of my classes this year, I have

I have a fewstudents like my girl Tammy who have signed up for all of my classes in years gone by, but that was a total of three.  This is my first year teaching four, so that calls for a celebration, right?

Stay tuned.

Photos and more coming...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sightseeing in Northern CA

Don't think you'd want to rent a car in CA and drive 500 miles from LA to Sacramento and beyond?  Think again.    I'm going to tell you a few things you'll miss if you don't consider it. 

Like driving through the Grapevine which I'd never done before.  And luckily the snow that had it closed earlier in the week was gone from the pavement and only to be found in the shaded areas of the mountains on either side of the curving highway. 

Also saw wind turbines in great clusters.  Farms they call them.  Wow. 

Pyramid Lake.  Astounding.
Last Thursday we set out with my sister-in-law, Patty, for a day of shopping near her home in Rancho Murieta.  First stop was in Amador City.  Their tourism department calls it  "the essence of California gold and wine country".  Tiny little winding road.  Just one block and then the road curves on out of town.  Simply pulled over in the curve and parked the rental car.  Not a parking lot or meter at the curb.  Nope.  Just a paved spot to pull off in front of the bakery's new home, which was getting a face lift while we shopped.

At the Kitchen Store I got a mortar and pestle (been needing one of those) and the sweetest little hand-carved ladle you ever saw, with a hook at the top of the handle for hanging on the edge of your pot.  To think someone took the time to whittle that just for me.  Quite pleased.  Lots of the shops were only open Friday-Sunday, so next time I need better planning on my schedule of shopping excursions.  We did find a few antique shops open so we could wander around and browse.

Next stop: Sutter Creek.  Oh my, this place is truly the Jewel of the Mother Lode as their tourism department describes it.  Patty steered me right into the Fine Eye Gallery, telling me it was the best shop in town, and have mercy, she was right.  In fact, after dawdling in there forever, touching everything I could reach twice, we continued working our way up and down the street, and I had to go back to make my purchases.  (Should never have doubted her.)

We weren't hungry yet when she suggested lunch, but off we went to Susan's Place.  (Sigh)  Note to self:  no french toast for breakfast next time if we're headed out shopping in Sutter Creek.  Just plan on brunch at Susan's.

Now if you've met me and spent any time at all with me, you know I'm prone to either love something or hate it.  Fell in love.  Still in love.  Can't wait to visit again.

When the waitress brought out my lunch, I oohed and aahed over the presentation.  Picked up one half of my sandwich and took a bite.  Then set it aside, grabbed my camera, and began taking photos.  Seriously.

But that's not all.  I then asked her to bring me back the menu so I could copy the description of my Cranberry Turkey Sandwich:

A chutney of cranberries, blueberries, walnuts and green apples, layered with roasted turkey breast and fresh greens.  Served on a Telera roll with a garlic, feta and cream cheese spread.  And all sandwiches and wraps are served with a side salad of mixed greens.

Have mercy.  If I've eaten anything prettier or tastier, forgive me, because it's gone right out of my head now, replaced by this masterpiece.  I never even touched the salad.  Couldn't even eat the second half of my sandwich.  Make a note:  don't eat french toast 9ish if you plan to dine at Susan's 11ish. 
Just saying.

More shopping after lunch in Sutter Creek took us into the Gallery 10.

They had some pottery that sent me over the edge.  Fat, naked chicks with mouths wide open.  A huge, heavy vase with one of those fat chicks, complete with pearls.  Couldn't even lift it to get the price.  And then knew I couldn't carry it back in my luggage, or afford to have it shipped.  Would worry it would get broken, or the freight charges would bankrupt me.  But, oh, I wanted one of those pieces and still do. 

And then we arrived in Jackson.  

May I just go on record now as saying that the last time I tried to parallel park with any degree of success was during my driving test in 1970?  Unless there are 2 or preferably 3 spaces in a row that I can pull into, I keep driving.  Patty is pointing out spaces.  Ha!  Seemed insane in a rental car with no backup camera.  Oh, how I missed my Lexus on this trip. 

We cruised through town, through a valet parking lot, back onto the open road to circle back around and try again.  Finally found one (or two or three in a row) I could manage.

Now she was thinking it was time to head home for cocktails before heading off to the country club for dinner, but we couldn't be rushed.  We just had to check out the National Hotel which had been newly renovated.  Simply marvelous!
And do you see that red building in the photo above?  Just to the right of the hotel?  I found a goldmine of old photos in there and nothing could prevent me from looking at every single one.  Seriously.  Found quite a stash I couldn't live without for upcoming classes.  Just you wait and see.
And just to the right were 2 more went to another antique shop upstairs while one went down a very cold stairwell to the downstairs shop.  Handmade pillows were tempting, but required far too much real estate in my luggage for the trip home.  Pity.

Wandering back up the street we peered in the window of yet another shop, only to be waved in by the friendliest gentleman ever.  Turns out he wasn't the owner.  He and his wife were friends of the owner, sitting on a bench inside for a bit of a chat.  And of course hubby stayed up front swapping stories while we shopped in the back.  An afternoon of delight.  I thanked him for encouraging me to come on in.  Quite neighborly.  And we encouraged them to come on down to NC for a bit of antique shopping since they'd already been to Maine.  If you're coming to the East Coast from California, why not come on down?

Then it was back to Patty's for appetizers and cocktails, before heading over to the club for steak dinners.  And then we put on our jammies and watched "Undertaking Betty" with Alfred Molina, Christopher Walken and Brenda Blethyn.  Help me Rhonda, we all laughed our way through it, which set off my coughing and sent me racing for my cough syrup with codeine so I didn't have to miss a single second of the frivolity.  A real hoot!

Friday morning we were off to San Francisco, but of course that's another story.  Now aren't you glad I rented that car and made that drive? 

Knew you would be. 
Just knew it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Home from CHA in Cold California

It's not fair that I get to visit California once a year and I arrive to temperatures colder than those I left behind in North Carolina. 
Not. Fair. At. All.

If there's any question that I haven't bounced back from my extended bout with the flu, I spent 10 days in CA, driving from LA to Sacramento to Rancho Murieta to Sutter Creek to Jackson and finally to San Francisco, and didn't take a single photo of the views, or much else.  Just not clicking on all cylinders yet.

Snap out of it Linda!  I did take a few photos at CHA, but again, too few.  I watched Tim demo his new Distress Paints, and brought home the tag he made me, but didn't take a picture of him.  Sorry about that.

Watched Dyan with her newly "dyed" red hair wow everyone during demo after demo.  Took photos of her art displayed in the Ranger booth, and a couple of journal pages she had on display,

but photos of the Queen herself.

She's got new stamps, new colors of ink (love her sprays), new stencils (great silhouettes),

and a journaling block which she used on 2 of the photos above.  See that wavy edge?  That's done with the block.  Both these photos look like she traced around it and cut them out.  I watched her trace the wavy edge onto pages of her journal and then use scissors to cut off the straight edge.  Of course I loved that idea.

Why doodle hearts and squiggly lines when you can simply stamp them instead?  You know I'm right.

And I've always been a fan of her quirky expressions.  She's got new stamps with a few great ones that I simply must get.

Maya Road always had great displays.  Loved this little book.

Visited Susan and Jim in the Clear Scraps booth every day, even making a bracelet out of one of their new borders. 
Great samples on display...from great designers...

Plenty of inspiration.
Come back tomorrow to see what else I found.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Too Sick to Come Out & Play

Cough, cough...wheeze...honk, honk...gasp.
I've been sick since December 16th and I'm none too happy about it.
Just when I think I might get better, this stuff whacks me back down.  Today my voice is gone...nothing but a wheezy rasp amidst lots of coughing spells.

I've done a tiny bit of art because I had to get my Stampaway submissions in for the deadline.  These are tiny snippets as you can see.

Finally celebrated Christmas with my family on Sunday night, (if you can call it that) .  Such a giving person I am...shared this stuff with my husband, son, mother, and now my brother's sequestered.

The wreath is still on the door, decorations are scattered in piles, the tree is still in the living room...

And I'm flying to LA on Thursday for CHA!  Thank goodness for a new bottle of cough syrup with codeine.  Everyone on the flight will be grateful for that.

This is the view outside my kitchen window.  Those tiny $3 crepe myrtle trees we bought at the Habitat for Humanity re-use store a couple of years ago are now as tall as our second story deck.  Mini Cooper & Mercedes Benz asked for their bench to be moved in front of the window so they could watch for birds and squirrels, and since they asked so nicely, I couldn't resist.

Not that I've been dawdling in front of the window admiring the view.  Nope.  I've been in the bed, punching pillows, trying to get comfortable and avoid coughing long enough to fall asleep.

Time to doze.  Again. 
Just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year.