Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good Design

Hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend!  My husband always loves a day off school.  He's getting to the end of the school year now.  Every day he seems to mention how many days till summer...I bet you thought only kids did that!  This will be the first year that I can remember that he has elected to not teach summer school so I am currently making the worlds longest honey-do list, starting with painting the guest room.   The room has been the same since we moved into this house about 9 years ago. 
Time to make a change. 
I already have the color scheme, the bedding and am now on the hunt for throw blankets, possibly 2 small chandeliers (can't decide), and fabric to cover the headboards.  Once I get everything going I will share the transformation.  Writing it here may just be the incentive I need to push forward on the project, right? 
Either that or watch Sarah's House on HGTV. 
That will do it every time. 
Deb and I both love that show and watch almost every episode more than once (I know, a little kooky, right?).  If you have never seen it, or like my sweet sister have no HGTV at home (that is just wrong) you can watch episodes online.  It takes 22 minutes, watch one.
My personal favorites are :
Season 2 - Split Level
1. Living Room & Entry way (this is by far the MOST impressive transformation of an entry way on record, you must see the before!)
Season 3 - The Farm House
1.  Entry and Mudroom  (all I am saying is, I need some red doors)
2.  Kitchen (love, love, love the chairs by the window and the antique sign above...oh, and the bar chairs made with Cath Kidston polka dot oil cloth, I mean who doesn't love oil cloth?).
Currently Sarah's Summer Cottage is running on Direct TV.  Deb is of course in Arizona (Cox cable) and is getting both the Summer Cottage and episodes of old brick house in the city I have never seen.  You can check the listings here at HGTV (USA) for times. 

Boy, can I digress or what?  I did not intend on talking about design at all this morning! Well anyway, love the show as well as Tommy, her side kick who adds a bit of laughter to every episode.  The perfect pair.  

This week I am off again for a little fun (and NO work).  You'll find me here...

I missed both local shows (Remnants of the Past and Three Speckled Hens) this past month due to teaching, which is good on one hand (and saved me some money) but sad on another because I am inspired by all things junk; the displays, the colors, even the energy of a good show.  I have always heard about this show, talked about going, but it never came to fruition till this year. 
On a whim I asked my friend Nancy (we go to the local shows together) if she would like to go, knowing full well she has only been on a plane twice in her whole life (I was on a plane 3 times just in May!).  I might add, she said "YES" very quickly! 
So off we go on our little adventure to Spokane, Washington.  Neither of us has ever been there before so that makes it just a bit more fun. 
photos from Farm Chicks webiste

Friday, May 27, 2011

California Classes

Paula and I spent the last two weekends teaching at two lovely stores in California.  
We started at Pocketful of Treasures in Clovis.  We have taught there multiple times now so it's like old home week when we visit.
Before we teach classes on Saturday we often do a make and take Friday evening. This time we made this cute little journal showing how easy it is to use the new 7gypsies tissue paper in covering a journal.  

Pocketful of Treasures make and take....

During the make and take, while everyone was busy making their journals, I noticed that several ladies were saving not only their own tissue scraps but were also getting any other off cuts that others were willing to share.  I had to take this picture of one of their piles.  They were saving the bits for future collage projects....this ended up being a smart thing, since everyone loved the tissue and it quickly sold out.

 Janis and Megan are the shop owners of Pocket Full of Treasures and overseers of this fun group...we love to come and see these ladies that have become our good friends.

 Next stop was Brentwood, to..... 

This was our first time to visit this gem of a store.  We met Patti last year at Ranger University, her and Diana opened their store almost a year ago.  If you haven't been there yet, you are missing out!  

Friday night make and take at Art Inspired Studios....

 We thought we wouldn't know anyone at these classes since it was our first time there.  But we were surprised to see Danielle who came to my house for the "Junk Advent Calendar" class last fall AND....meet Connie and her sisters who are long time blog friends.  Some of you might remember Connie's Christmas tree decorated with the tags from the "Junk Advent Calendar" kit.  Amazing....check it out here.

Thanks to all for your hospitality and always making us feel welcome.  We met many wonderful ladies and had a great time while completing our projects.  
We hope to make a return trip sometime soon!

Oh, and after we were done, we had this....we deserved it, don't ya think!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stamp questions

Things are back to normal here, although I have a boat load of laundry to do and more house work than I want to think about before the holiday weekend.  Debbie is back at home in Arizona after about 12 days here in California.  I am quite sure she was happy to get on that plane to go home to her family.  Especially since I made her watch one episode of "The Closer" every night we were here at home.  I can't seem to get enough of that show and apparently it's been on for 6 years so I have a lot to catch up on. 

We had a terrific time teaching at both Pocketful of Treasures in Clovis and Art Inspired Studios in Brentwood.   It was like 'old home week' in Clovis...so many ladies that come every time we teach. Lots of laughter and fun with that group.
And Art Inspired Studios... it was our first time to teach in Northern Calif. and we loved every minute of it, even the 4 1/2 hour drive up the coast.  Deb is going to do a recap on teaching on Friday so I won't go into here other than to say "thanks" to all the ladies that came for the classes.

I wanted to answer some questions here today about some of the stamps used in the two classes we are teaching, Abundance and My Ten.  Everyone has been asking about a number set that is used to stamp the large round circles in the My Ten kit.  The numbers are made by a company called Ma Vinci's Reliquary.  The set is called A&P Numbers (small-1 1/4" tall) and are $8.00 on sale for $2.00 a sheet of unmounted rubber!!  I admit, the website is not easy to navigate but the prices and designs are good.

If you have never worked with unmounted rubber before it may sound daunting, but it's not.  It just takes a bit of time to mount and cut out, but it's worth it to get a great set of large numbers like these.

To get the images ready for use, you will need a product called EZ Mount or Cling Cushion.  Both are designed to be adhered to the backs of unmounted rubber stamps.  No more rubber cement and wood pieces my dad cut for me in the garage!   
Basically one side is the adhesive for the red rubber and the other is a non-adhesive which will hold the stamp to acrylic block for stamping.
1.  Peel the liner from the adhesive side and mount to your rubber stamp.
2.  Trim the excess rubber and foam close to the design.
3.  Remove liner from the other side, which will expose the static cling.
4.  Place on an acrylic block.  Now your ready to stamp. 

How about a great alphabet?  Love this one called Antique RSM alpha.  It comes in 1" and 1 1/2".

The other stamp people were asking about is this Harlequin stamp from this Tim Holtz set.  We first used it in the Advent Calendar (swoon) and continue to use it an many classes.  I first bought mine at Michaels but I do not know if they still carry the set.  I do know that if you go to Ebay and type in "Tim Holtz French Market", a bunch will come up for sale.  Easy Button.

Before I go, I mentioned last week that we have a new kit coming to the Etsy shop in June.  It's almost finished so I thought we would give you a sneak peak.  Yes, you may recognize that it is a 7gypsies ATC spinner...but this one has a twist (no pun intended), you might just be able to see it in the picture below.  We will reveal the complete kit and price the fist week of June. Kits will go on sale June 17th with shipping around the 20th.
If you are interested in pre-sale, just send us an email to contact@2gypsygirls.com.  We will send you a reminder email the week before the kits go on sale in the Etsy shop.  At that time you can pre-order your kit before they go into the public Etsy shop. 
PS) Those who posted a comment about the kit are already on the pre-sale list; Becky, Heidi, Robin (of course), Julie, and Judy.  Thanks girls!

Friday, May 20, 2011

St Charles

Deb has spent the week here in California since we had two teaching events here; one last weekend in Fresno and another in Brentwood, up in Northern Calif.  We have been busy this week working on another kit for the Etsy shop for next month.  We'll have some more information about that later next week (and yes Robin, you are already on the list). 

I wanted to do one last post on my St Louis trip to tie up some loose ends.  One of our readers left a comment for me to put St Charles on my short list of places to visit while on my trip.  I did (thank you very much) and my sister and I took the short drive across the river.  The weather was beautiful and the historic downtown quite lovely.  I am not really sure why I did not take many pictures.  Oh yes, now I remember...I forgot my camera!  My sister got a few of the streets and sidewalks, all brick.  I have never had such a bouncy ride as driving down the main street (and I thought Camp Bowie in Ft Worth was bad, not even).
We did find a lovely store called Rock, Paper, Scissors right on the main street that had beautiful paper, stationery and many rubber stamps.

After our visit to Rock, Paper, Scissors we headed down the main street on foot (I wish I would have worn good walking shoes!)  and had lunch at this cute restaurant.
After lunch, we headed out for more site seeing along the street and a view of the Missouri River just beyond the town. 
We just couldn't have asked for better weather!
Now just one final note on St Louis before I sign off for tonight.
I went to St Louis for a reason.. and it had nothing whatsoever to do with shopping or site seeing.
My Nephew Adam was getting married.
I thought I'd share this photo of him that I took back in 2005 in Brazil just across the border from Uruguay.  By far my favorite photo from the entire 2 week trip traipsing from Natal in north to Jaguarao the south.
Love this photo.
Old world meets new world.
Texan meets Gaucho.
Adam had yet to see a real Gaucho so this was a perfect moment in time, finding this young man walking on the street.  My husband (who speaks Portuguese) asked if we could take his picture and he was so nice to let us. 
You have to know that after this picture was taken we drove directly to back to the city and he used all his souvenir money to purchase a matching outfit, right down to the boots.
And now today...graduated from college, on to graduate school.
So proud of you Adam.

Monday, May 16, 2011

As many of you may know, Blogger was having technical difficulties from Wed to sometime on Friday so I was unable to post before Deb and I had to leave for Fresno on Friday morning.  I have to hand it to my husband for always coming through with a post for me once Blogger was back up and running.  I admit we are all crazy for Brazilian BBQ around our house.  It's a super fun way to BBQ for parties too.  I know it may seem strange to BBQ using only rock salt but the taste in the end is fabulous and our friends and family love it.  In fact we talked about a Memorial day gathering tonight and that's what everyone decided on (who knows, maybe it was the post talking).

So on to the post that should have gone up Friday. 
I am a big stamper...always have been.  Even thought I use A LOT of clear stamps, my heart will always lie with red rubber stamps.  The image a red rubber stamp gives is always superior to clear stamps yet we all know that clear stamps are much easier to use since you can see exactly where you are stamping.  That fact does not deter me in buying red rubber...I guess for me it's more about the strong image than ease of use.
On the trip to St Louis I was able to buy a few stamps to add to my collection.  Most were red rubber that are not mounted on wood, but with a cling mount.  The challenge for some may be, "How do I store them once I get them home and out of the package?"   
I'll show you how I do it (I am quite sure there are many great ideas out there for stamp storage, but this one works for me).  Easy, cheap and accessible is the name of the game here.

I got some great stamps at Red Lead, all cling mounted.  When I got home I peeled off the backing paper that protects the static cling cushion.  Now the stamp is ready to be temporarily mounted on the acrylic block.
This stamp happens to be one of Red Lead's custom photo stamps - Dottie and Debbie
Here is the stamp inked up.
And here it is stamped on a piece of cardstock...amazing right?
When I get a new stamp I always stamp the image on  a piece of cardstock so I can see what it really looks like and also to have a sample I can keep for reference.
 Here is another stamp I bought - Artist Trading Card Pixie (2 1/2 x 3 1/2")
 And the final image.
I use the Tim Holtz Unmounted stamp pocket refill pages to store my stamps.  Each page is 7 x 8 1/2" and made from a heavy plastic.  Each refill page is also a pocket.
I take the image that came with the stamp and tape it to the INSIDE of the pocket so I always know what stamp goes in that space.  Then I secure the stamp over that image.  The image that I stamped on the tag goes inside the pocket so I always have a reference. 
 Just like this...
I also bought this cute phone stamp from Unity/Websters pages.  It's called an Itty Bitty stamp but it's not that small (2 x 3")
Again, I cut up the packaging to get the image and adhered it to the inside of the pocket.
 Love this Statement rubber stamp from Red Lead (4 x 5") - worn polka dot.
 Both stamped images go into the pocket for reference.
 Another Statement stamp (4 x 5") - Musical Background stamp from Red Lead.
Once I have my new stamps ready to go.  I make stacks of pages (5 pocket pages come in one pack for $2.79) and bind them with black rubber binding rings from 7gypsies.  As you can see the pocket refill pages are the same exact size as the Stampers Anonymous stamp sets so I can combine these sets with the page I put together myself.
As for my mounted red rubber stamps...I store some in drawers and many that I use frequently are out where I can see them in a shelf unit my husband made me and I painted.  It is super shallow and fits on the unused wall behind the door in my work room.  This collection rotates in and out depending on what I am into at the moment or the season.  I have already asked for a second shelf unit that can be installed under this one.  No movement on that request as of yet though.

Well I hope this give you some ideas to get your stamps out and organized for very little money.  I know if I can see my stamps and get to them easily I am more apt to use them.