October 4, 2012

Lessons Learned: Adopting a Rescue Dog (with apologies)

With sincere apologies in advance to folks who come to "craft blogs" and are not happy to find off topic stuff, please 'scuse me.. gotta get something off my chest. Adopting a dog is giving him or her their forever home -- it's not until they aren't puppies and "cute" anymore, or until you decide you just don't want a dog, or until you can't provide for him or her. It's a big decision .. they don't call it a "forever" home for nothing. Having adopted 4 -- and I hoped 5 -- rescues, each has their own challenges, the biggest one often being their background. It's not going out, buying a doggie bed, toys, food, a doggie door and "playing house." This is especially true if you are integrating a rescue dog into a home where you already have another dog! I've worked with rescue groups off and on for over 20 years so I never thought I'd be one of "them" -- the people who need to "re-home" (their term, not mine) their rescue. We adopted Hallie as a sister to Lacie in July of this year based on 1) her "description" on the rescue group's site, 2) a home meeting here with Lacie and 3) their representations of her temperament etc. I didn't do MY homework - I didn't check with a trainer to see how fitting a formerly feral (wild) pup who was also mostly border collie (loud, bossy, sweet dogs who are very "in your face") with our laid back hound Lacie Jane. I didn't point blank ask if she was okay with small children or other dogs... my bad. But we put on our application that the only reason we would return her is if she became aggressive to other dogs and children. They were on notice. If they didn't tell us, shame on them; if they didn't "vet" her to determine her true temperament, they shouldn't be doing what they do. They are after all just regular folks like me who love dogs, not professional dog trainers or behavioralists. When you want to adopt -- and I hope if you want to getaa dog, you do adopt -- get recommendations from dog "professionals" in your area (kennel, dog camp, trainer, vet) for rescue groups who do their homework and provide strong, loving fosters who don't sweep fixable problems under the rug. To make a long story short, we have had to "rehome" Hallie, a much happier, better dog than we got her -- she did great in basic obedience, got crate and doggy door trained and was "for the most part" a fun playmate for Lace.. "for the most part" I say again. What she also was is aggressive on leash and in greeting.. very aggressive at times. No one mentioned this.. The rescue group denied it when asked twice during the two months we had called them and asked -- "it must be you" they said. We tried everything and in the end watched Lacie go from a laid back hound to an apprehensive, slinking girl who defended her every toy, lost 4 pounds in 2 months because she was too stressed to eat and herself began to be "growly" with other dogs! She's terrified of our yard, doesn't like her doggy door and had accidents in the house. Hallie was always 'in her face' when she wasn't sleeping or in squirrel watching mode on our deck. We adored her and giving her up was gut wrenching -- she didn't want to go, tugged against the leash as the volunteer basically grabbed her from me. The rescue group took her back no questions asked although I provided them with insight from the trainers and vet, and seemed completely indifferent to her problems which, in the right home with no other dog, would most likely be completely fixable. Hallie's smart and eager to please. She is again on their adoption site with the same description they used last spring. No mention of all the wonderful things she's learned so people will know she will use a crate and doggy door, knows how to be a good girl for treats etc. But also no mention of her dog or child aggression. She deserves better. I hope whoever looks at her and finds her as appealing as we did asks the right questions. I hope they ask a trainer about the breed and a dog with a feral background. And because the rescue group has not marked her as potentially aggressive, I hope their answers are honest when the right question is asked. I hope in the end, they listened. I won't look at their site again. I don't want to know what happens to this adorable little girl who had a terrible beginning feral in the woods and has so much potential. She just deserves an honest chance. None of this is her fault. But will she get it? We love you, "Hal" and will never forget you. PS: Please don't unsubscribe.. I promise I won't do this again and when I clear out the Operation Write Home shipper den, I'll be back with some cards or crafts and so so happy to do it!

July 21, 2012

Stretch your Stamps - Day 11 - reverse stamps

Didn't even know what "reverse stamps" were until I looked at shopping list for this class but I'm so glad to get all these ideas -- these stamps are so versatile. Found this Hero Arts' "Antique Mosaic" on sale at Michaels. Stamped with Memento Cottage Ivy and colored with Stampin' Up! Daffodil Delite and Melon Mambo. Clean and simple. But I'm gonna need a bigger stamp.

Stretch your Stamps - Day 9 - Outline stamps

Used Hero Arts' "Right at Home" set. Stamped outline of house and sentiment with Distress Ink Black Soot and clear embossed, masked the house and went back in with Distress Ink Pine Needles to stamp the fence and then emboss.. a few butterflies and voila. I like to use tags to practice techniques and had this left over from the Creative Chemistry class.

July 17, 2012

Stretch Your Stamps - Day 7 - Florals

Floral stamps were the focus today, lots of lovely card samples from the teachers and designers. This is similar to the video tutorial card. Stamped with Fifth Avenue Floral, one of my favorite Stampin' Up! sets. I made a mask of the blossom so I could avoid overlap since this was a wood stamp. Colored with Copics (V00, V01, V04, Y32 and gold spica) and then scored putting the card front at an angle on the Scor-Pal (love this). Couldn't find a color I liked to mat the sentiment (black was too stark). Humid night and the Copics were running a bit but then my hair's frizzier than a wool sweater so.....

July 14, 2012

Stretch Your Stamps - Day 6 - dies and stamps!

Day 4 (graphic stamps) and Day 5 (Sentiments) are MIA courtesy of OWH... catch up time later. Today's class on Day 6 focused on stamp/die sets. I particularly love Heartfelt Creations' line of stamps and dies but also have three of Hero Arts. Today I used Hero Arts framelits "Butterfly 3" to create the butterflies which were stamped with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink and then heat embossed with clear glitter. Sentiment is from Stampin' Up! "Herbal Expressions" (early expresso) and I added a floral border stamped on vellum with soft suede for an accent.

July 12, 2012

Stretch Your Stamps - Day 3 (alphabet stamps)

Got 3 sets of clear and 2 sets of wooden alphabet stamps and never use 'em. Today our challenge and tutorials were on different ways to use alphabet stamps on envelopes, notecards and greeting cards. I soft stamped the background "x" and "o"s on this love themed card and then used an alphabet set that gave a crisper image for the "Love U" sentiment. Stamps: Technique Tuesday lower case Farmhouse; Sizzix monogram stamps. Inks and Paper: Stampin' Up Pretty in Pink and Regal Rose classic inks, regular kraft paper for card base and Stampin Up Blush Blossom and Regal Rose cardstock. I didn't have any rose ribbon so "dyed" Very Vanilla to use for the bow!

July 11, 2012

Stretch Your Stamps - Day 2 (Collage stamps)

Collage cards are challenging because they rather force you to be more creative so I went back to a few of my tags from Tim Holtz' "Creative Chemistry 101" for inspiration and came up with this card that is more "collage" than the samples from class? After the ink was dry I spread Rock Candy distress stickles over the Design Ticket stamp to pop it a bit which doesn't show up well in the picture but is a cool technique from the Chemistry class. Stamps: Hero Arts "Musical Collage," Invoke Arts "Design Ticket," TJ Designs "Alice in Wonderland". Inks, etc.: Tim Holtz spring and summer distress inks; Adirondack Archival black (allows you to work more water and color over the Design Ticket); clear embossing powder (flourishes); distress stickles (rock candy, gold).

Funky Tuesday -Not Totally Dyelusion-al

I'm art spray challenged, i.e. give me a bottle of Glimmermist, Perfect Pearls in any "color" and now even the new Dyelusions sprays and I just make a mess. But that's okay when it's just a girlfriend fun morning out at Peanut Doodles. This "look" just isn't me though but the stamps, however, which I filled my book with, are some of the best sentiments ever and I love these funky girls. This was also "collage" card day in the Stretch Your Stamps class so it was just a funky, "not really" me kind of creative day. Thursday is a Stampin' Up! stamp-a-stack day so I will go back to my 60-something comfort zone with what I hope is also a "more me" card in class today.

July 9, 2012

Stretch Your Stamps - Day 1 (Background Stamps)

Love online classes and this one is perfect for hot summer afternoons. Learning to use all your stamps 4-5 different ways should get the creative juices flowing!
First day focuses on background stamps. I used Impression Obsession's "Circle Fusion 1" for the background on both. The card background was colored with Stampin Up markers although I want to try making my own multicolor stamp pad later. Paper is Stampin Up Rich Razzleberry, Lucky Limeade, Melon Mambo and Bermuda Bay. Sentiment is from a My Favorite Things set. The other "sample" was done with Tim Holtz Distress Inks on a craft sheet, misted with water and them stamped. Creates a darker image than the colors used (spring, summer).

June 14, 2012

Winged Things Midweek Throwdown

Holy Cow.. has it been 2 months since I've been here? Yep, it's my blog, looks the same, just needs a little more attention. Midweek challenge on Stars and Stamps this week was good timing since I need Father's Day card for Lacie Jane to give "dad", this would be a cute card for our heros to send home, and I wanted to try some embossing these great Shimmer Sheetz we bought at Peanut Doodles. Hard to color the doggie to look like Lacie because she's so brindle and my Copics weren't feelin' the brindle love..

April 8, 2012

Anything Goes at Oozak.com!

Can I just say I love Oozak.com? They have great prices on stamps, inks, Copics (!), and all sorts of "stuff" and Rusty, the owner, is just the tops in customer service etc. By popular demand they now have a challenge blog and the first challenge is "Anything Goes"... this card with Memory Box stamp was "colored" with distress inks.. soft and simple.

March 30, 2012

Creative Chemistry: Days 9 and 10

Day 9 - Perfect Pearls - Didn't make my own mist with Perfect Pearls because misting with just water is an art I've not yet mastered in the crafting world (I'll get it on you if you sit next to me), although I do think that painting with the Perfect Pearls powder is pretty cool and gives a neat patina.. just need practice. The tag on the left is various Distress Inks blobbed onto a craft sheet with goops of pearls powder sprinkled on and then misting, running the tag through, misting, running the tag through ad nauseum..."Perfect splatter distress."  Nice patina (I guess) but Tim's big "OOOHHHHH"  was kinda my big "NAWWW"... Technique No. 1 looked so bizarre when Tim did it and on his sample that I didn't even try. The patina on neither of these shows up well on camera but it is a very metallic, shiny finish that really sets the image off.

Day 10 - Dimensional Mediums had a long lecture and a short project.  Basically inking, stamping, heat setting and then wiping through Rock Candy Distress Stickles, spreading the stickles over the image and letting it dry which is a shiny but not "glossy accents" shiny effect.  But "someone" didn't heat set enough so a few blurry leaves.. heat set is my new favorite phrase. Again, camera doesn't pick up real effect of the stickles.

Tomorrow he posts the gallery i.e. the Holtz gallery and I can't wait to see what some of this mess turned into and what some of the neat ones turn into  There are a couple of techniques for my Alaska scrapbooks in here and a few for cards, some just for fun and, after all, isn't that what crafty days are all about?  But I still love my Copics and watercolor crayons best.

March 28, 2012

Creative Chemistry: Day 8 (love it!)

Today was Paint Primer day using distress stains, Adirondack paint daubers, crackle paint and the first thing I should do is go back to Joann.com (huge huge sale till 3/31) and order more colors of stain! Wow.. I loved all of these techniques but two really don't show up well in my photo so I've also included Mr. Holtz' picture.

On my left (and his left) is "distress crackle."  The thing with both the crackle paint and the rock candy crackle (his hearts, my buttons) is timing.  Because I've played with these before I know it can easily take an hour for these to dry and then aren't really amenable to heat setting.  So I peeked at today's samples this afternoon, put on the Scattered Straw crackle and rock candy and let 'em sit for 3 hours... Crackle paint will take distress stains into the "cracks".. you can mist and gently rub over, dry and add more color.  Adding color to "non crackled" portion of tag can be with stains or distress inks. The bottom picture shows the "cracked" effect this paint has after it dries and the Scattered Straw has taken the Peeled Paint and Weathered Wood stain into the cracks.

My middle sample and his far right (hearts) is the "shattered stains".  The rock candy crackled dries clear so you can just rub the distress stain into it for a stained glass effect, using as much or as little and blotting and drying until you get the desired effect which I did, but it doesn't show up!  And I didn't have colors I really waned to use -- Dusty Concord, Tumbled Glass and Pine Needles and maybe some Barn Door as I love the effect on Tim's samples.

My far right and his middle sample is "paint dabber resist" which he did on canvas but I did on Kraft paperand is it quick 'n easy (finally).  Using his Adirondack paint dabbers, you "dab" paint onto a stamp, quickly stamp the image (as it is water base but dries waterproof). Then you clean off the stamp with water ASAP - i.e. it dries waterproof, heat set the stamped image, lightly mist tag with water and apply distress stains (walnut and wild honey) onto the tag... the painted image resists the stain, apply as much or as little and heat set... voila!

Tomorrow is perfect pearls powder painting.. have had 'em a year and no idea what to do with them so that will be interesting.

March 27, 2012

Creative Chemistry: Day 7

Embossing basics, otherwise known in my craft room as "embossing is basic, but it's a pain in the tush to get it all out" or "why I have a half circle watermelon rug covering a burned area of the Berber carpet..."   Several techniques:  "nostalgic batik," "rusted enamel," and "distress powder resist."  These were really relatively easy and I'm done at 9:30 pm, which is amazing (due mainly to only 1 small box of cards to the OWH shipper today).  The "distress powder resist" (center)  really can only be done with Tim's distress emboss powder; I used Tattered Rose which was almost too dark and I really don't like the result (the word 'cherish') but would try again with Antique Linen and then inking with darker colors of browns, blue to see what happens.  The nostalgic batik (left) had an ironing step at the end that I paid no attention to but the embossing, then distress inking, wiping off excess ink and then stamping to give a sort of "stamp-a-ma-jig" effect is pretty cool.  The enamel (that would be the right side) might be a neat background in the right colors for an outdoorsy scrapbook page using a 5x7 piece of manila folder instead of a tag... maybe.... Tomorrow is the slow drying crackle paint -maybe I can get dishes done while it dries ;)... or Tim will sing? his praises maybe ::not nice::

March 26, 2012

Creative Chemistry: Day 6

Ah, the much anticipated Distress Markers class.  I was able to find 12 of the markers at LSS's and altho it's not an ideal dozen, it worked for the class and is a decent palette to go with the inks.  I sell Stampin' Up! and find their markers do just about the same thing as the Distress and since I'm seriously into Copics and watercoloring with crayons, not sure if I will get more of these.  The only really "new" thing for me in this class was the technique (left hand tag) of stamping on Ranger Specialty Stamping paper with markers, then blending over the image with Distress Ink, followed by the elusive "spray and flick" to get the watermark effect.. jury's out on that one.  The second butterfly on the far right tag was colored after wetting the watercolor paper with water.. kinda like that effect but wouldn't do with Weathered Wood and Chipped Sapphire again.

March 24, 2012

Creative Chemistry: Day 5

Distress stains and spraying ink all over the place as lecture topic but thankfully only stains as technique part. I don't "love" any of these and all would be better stamped with Jet Black Archival Ink which surely is in shorter supply worldwide than his markers (which will be MIA from a lot of craft rooms when he discusses Monday).  I'm not into the "layered grunge" which these for the most part are but I did find out what to do with the big 12x12 pad of Kraft Resist (tag on left) that I bought because it was on sale, and stamping with the picket fence stain (gate) is kinda cool.  Some of these might be okay for vintage but not sure I'm feelin' the love although I do love my stains.  No plans to buy spray ink... but Monday is distress markers... already snagged a dozen of these and can't wait to try 'em!

Creative Chemistry 101: Day 4

Spent a lot of time discussing reinkers and maintenance and then had three projects including watercoloring with reinkers, a layered misting technique (can't get the hang of misting for some reason but will work on this) and then technique to make your own custom stamp pads -- since I don't have time to play with those I have, this won't be happening anytime soon.  Love Tim's new palette for reinkers (which don't dry out) -- he organized by stamping each color and punching circle with a 3/4" punch on the top in a grid fashion-- on my long to-do list. I like watercoloring with these reinkers and will try on my Magnolia stamps but I'm really still in love with my Copics!

March 21, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101: Day 3

Today's class included a lecture/demo of various inks and then three techniques:  Alcohol Ink Agates, Archival Resist and Stamping with Reflections.  One interesting tidbit was to "season" new rubber stamps much like a cast iron skillet:  use black archival ink, put on rubber stamp, let dry a minute and then wipe dry. Stamping with light "spun sugar" with this stamp worked despite the black "residue" from the seasoning ink!  Another tip: use hand sanitizer if you must use anything but water to clean clear stamps. It's obvious from Tim's demo and just experimenting that clear stamps don't work well with these techniques (see Eiffel Tower!)

I only had library green archival ink which worked for first tag but you really needed several light shades of archival inks and the archival black for the second. Tim did all stamping with black.  Interesting tip: clean stamps with hand sanitizer if you must use anything. He only uses water and a rag. First tag which is done on glossy paper definitely has "card" possibilities and I like the "resist" technique on the right hand tag but not the colors or the way the clear stamp worked.

Third tag he called a "stamping with reflections" technique demonstrated with his Reflections stamps.  I just used butterflies and one of his frame textured embossing folders.  Stamp the image on inside of emboss folder with archival ink (green again), put tag in and run through the Sizzix.  Then highlight the embossing with distress inks bringing color in.. Love this and will definitely play with it although I never understood why he said you had to cut the embossing folder to emboss the tag (not happenin').

Creative Chemistry 101: Day Two

So Day 1 of this online class by Tim Holtz was "lecture" and now starts 10 days in the lab.  I'm "into" Tim's style and not into it!  Vintage intrigues me and I love the images but some of the techniques just aren't "me".. I don't think!  I took this class to inspire me, to learn to use Perfect Pearls and other Ranger stuff in my stash that I've never played with, and for the experience of learning from the master himself.  I know it's technically Day 3 already but lots of Operation Write Home cards to sort and ship today so ....

I like the first two tags - first is my favorite and I will use this a lot but I need to work on not getting too much water on the stamp for the floral "distress watercolor" technique and my Pine Needles inkpad did bleed into the Worn Lipstick so headed to forum to see why that happened.  The third "drag your tag through the ink" tag took two tries and I still don't love it but there are 9 days left to find things I love.

February 26, 2012

OWH Midweek Throwdown: Mother's Day Cards

OWH has a half and half Mother's Day challenge going... finally time to work on my 10 Mother's Day cards this weekend. Love the Memory Box series of Adore, Inspire, Journey stamps and adapted the Adore one for this card. Colored flowers lots of different colors but I'm just partial to pink and brown...
...speaking of which I finally think I captured Lacie's "true colors".. I know, enough about the dog but I was sneaky - sorry ...

February 18, 2012

Tim Holtz Play Day: It's Not "Heavy Metal" But It's Funky!

My friend Daphne is one of the most talented people I know! Her cards and Copic work are just beautiful but teaching is her real calling artistially. Today's technique class today focused not on Tim Holtz' "2011 tags of christmas" specifically, but rather the techniques he used to create them. Several of the techniques will show up as card ideas and mini-tutorials here but this one is particularly cool -- especially since I really didn't think I'd like the finished product at all...

How'd they do that?

After running Quik Kutz metal paper through the Cuttlebug using this "wordy" birthday embossing folder, we mounted it on a manila tag (always best as a first step when working with "wet" ink/pain etc. on cardstock or other medium). Used Ranger daubers to "color" each section of the design and set aside to dry -- this takes a good 45 minutes. Once the paint is completely dry we sanded the entire tag to highlight the words, pop dotted on a happy birthday message, tied with starry green tinsel and voila! Easy, easy and you can do something else while all these dry.

Definitely getting some of this metal paper to experiment with for some funky kids cards and lots of ideas come to mind for Christmas or fall/Halloween motifs. The metal paper comes in packs of twelve 4x12 sheets for about $5.

Two play days are over ... back to the OWH shipper den....

February 11, 2012

ODBD Challenge: Ribbon

VCMP, OBDB... now I know my ABC's... here's another challenge card from me... using RIBBON! I think I'm gonna be #31? Let's do this, ladies!

VCMP CHALLENGE #10: Vintage (yeah!)

Vintage Valentine for my hubby perfect for challenge #10.. I'm not seriously "into" vintage but sometimes just love the look of Kraft paper and deep colors. Roses colored with Copic R39,56 and then shading outlined with black spica.

VCMP Challenge #7: CAS

Clean and simple... found this stamp in a box of donated used stamps and just think it's so great sentiment for a hero card or for a hero to send home - IMHO it just doesn't need anything else. Made 10 of these in red/white/blue and sand and sea colors for my "general" cards that I still really really need.

VCMP CHALLENGE #6: Sand and Sea

Fun card day with a good friend and the dining room table's all cleaned up too! All these challenges looked like so much fun but had to pick.... sooo.....

Blues and tans and snuck some yellow in for the sand on this one! Will make more of these for mom's day challenge I think.

February 7, 2012

VCMP CHALLENGE #2: Hello, Stamp Pad; Hello, Paper Cutter

OWH VCMP CHALLENGE #2: MASCULINE NAUTICAL: A huge handful of M&Ms and a serious case of wanting to be on the OWH cruise making cards with a glass of wine nearby and I dared enter my craft room for the first time this year.

Masculine theme travel card challenge. Love this Heartfelt stamp and it only took me 3 tries to stamp it clean and twice messing up the watercoloring to decide to go clean. Aquapen will have to wait till Friday. I'm claiming to be a novice again, no it's my shipper duties, no, wait,..new dog...

January 31, 2012

Welcome Lacie Jane!

So hubby's doctor told him to "get a dog" to get us out of the dumps and after we returned from our cruise my obsession with Petfinder.com began! I've always had shelter/rescue doge and I love plotthounds sooooo when I found "Lucy" on North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue's site, we had to meet her. We "interviewed" several other candidates -- oddly enough never had a girl before -- Addy, the Visla, was in a shelter and so sweet; Nikki was a foster with a rambunctious personality; Milo the Bichon just needed some love but Lucy (now Lacie Jane)??? Rescued from a kill shelter 10 months ago, she has been in foster care for 6 months and greeted us at her foster mom's door -- within 30 seconds we knew. She has been here 3 days and has used her doggie door from the first hour, sleeps good on our bed all night through and is just the sweetest girl! Tears around the yard chasing her ball with Steve and is learning the neighborhood on her walks! Lacie started work last night as the Executive Assistant in the OWH East Coast shippers den but got no points because she slept on the job!

It's been 3 months since we lost our sweet Rio... we brought Lacie home on that anniversary. Can dogs smile in doggie heaven? If so I think her "brothers" are all happy to see another rescued forever friend in their yard, although Rio is probably counting on me to keep her from dismembering "Quacker Factory Citrus Elephant".

January 5, 2012

One Sheet Wonder Cards

Someone asked about "one sheet wonder" cards on the OWH Facebook page.. I can't find any on here although I swear I posted some but for the curious... here are a few pics... they are simple and can be dressed up with scallops, ribbon, different shapes for embellishments but the key is one sheet of paper and 4-6 folded white cards can go a long way