Saturday, August 22, 2015


Ollie, poor Ollie is stressed to the max with his computer office being changed, power/USB cords (aka SNAKES) moving all over the place on the weekend,  furniture moving itself around and his cage rotated 90 degrees to accommodate the new cross platform set up in here.  It is quite cozy however.  He still sits right  near me and can see the monitors and all the pretty colors going on.

As soon as I get the basics down, I'll be moving into PS Creative Cloud 15 and downloading my trial version....   Can't wait to see all the new features....

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


After almost 4 months of nonstop PC computer, internet, modem,  and router battery backup battery deciding to die in the midst of all of the program malfunctions, unexplained power blips and surges..and Acronis highjacking nightmares, I am now the proud owner of a sleek new iMac.  Okay, the modem and routers are still being affected periodically by Comcast pushing new ISP numbers through weekly and causing signal malfunctions but at least I know how to correct them now. And weekly power blips and surges are still a mystery (at least,according to Com Ed, despite special town hall meetings with dozens of angry users).  Battery has been replaced and we are still trying to completely resolve the Acronis issues but....

I have a pretty new iMac.  And I'm learning this new platform as quickly as my ole brain allows.  Also as quickly as I can in the time restraints I have to deal with since I STILL spend some time almost daily with random internet, modem, power blips, etc.  At least I am no longer spending ALL my time dealing with these issues.

My biggest fear was that my PC wouldn't cooperate long enough to allow the Apple tech to transfer data to the new iMac.  In fact, it totally malfunctioned 20 minutes after I got the call that the new computer had arrived at the Apple Store and they were ready for me to bring in the PC. My plan to bring it in that evening fizzled when the PC froze (yet again) when I tried to shut it down.  By the time I did the hard shut down, rebooted to make sure it still functioned and hadn't just totally crashed and then shut down again, it was too late.  The theme of the entire summer....spending ALL my time dealing with a tantrum throwing, misbehaving computer.  And so I loaded the PC in my car in the morning, took one look at it and told it  to BEHAVE!  And realized yes, now I'm speaking to my computer because it has been behaving like a total BRAT!

And that is how Brat got its name.  Very fitting, eh?

Monday, August 10, 2015

To quote Monty Python....
And now for something completely different!

I know this will sound strange to some but life has literally been a whirlwind for months....and months....and months.  Okay, almost a year.  Nonstop.

First the grandbaby.  And he has been such a joy, who wouldn't want to spend time schlepping back and forth in Chicagoland traffic from the darkside JUST for the chance he might smile or remember who Gramma is?!  Wish we lived closer but the 2-3  hour RT drive it is still better than flying back and forth...., that's not the grandbaby below.  It's our puppy Lacy Lulu....the source of most of our whirlwind.

Months and months of  ongoing and seemingly endless puppy stuff.  Puppies are incredible amounts of work...and an undetected low grade bladder infection made the housebreaking an impossible challenge! She is much, much better now at 14 months but still a puppy with endless energy.

Then there were trade shows to get ready for.  Oh yes, retail trade show season starts waaaaaaay too early every January...and goes on for months.  It all starts earlier and earlier each year. I suspect it may eventually become a tradition to spend New Year's eve at a convention center setting up booths!

As a licensing illustrator for product, it is crucial for me to create many new art collections so my licensing agent will have lots of good stuff to present at the shows she attends in my behalf.  That creative prep alone takes months.  While she is off to Atlanta, New York, and other fine cities across the country, I attend shows, as well....including the big Craft & Hobby Association trade show in Anaheim, California in early January. So yes, I have to travel during what has been some very challenging winter weather in recent years! I also demo, teach workshops, and work behind the scenes with manufacturers in the industry to create display projects for their booths, make n take projects, develop new techniques and on design teams.  I also teach workshops.  And, trust me, prepping  out-of-town workshops for up to 50 people per class takes months!  We barely return from the show before we have to start brainstorming workshops for the next year's shows! Good thing I love what I do! I don't ever consider creative work a chore...just the deadlines get a little nuts. And recent computer issues almost pushed me over the edge this past month.  But that is another tale....

(A couple of the workshop projects from last year....using some of my stamps from my stamp line with Impression Obsession. Wait til you see the new ones I have developed for the 2016 workshops!)

Which brings me to the "something completely different" part.

I got SO caught up in everything, I totally forgot to post the link to the awesome technique I developed for Clearsnap......which debuted at the January 2015 Craft & Hobby Mega Show (Fondly called the CHA show).

So, go ahead and click here:  to watch the video that was shot at the 2015 CHA show at the Clearsnap booth.

Here's a little sneak peek......


As always, please leave a comment....I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Computer Nightmare

When I saw the date of my last post I almost fainted.  OMG...6 weeks ago?! Are you kidding???

Ok, it is summer so it is logical I would have been on vacation....or outside basking in the sun and garden....maybe enjoying the gorgeous Chicago summertime.

Unfortunately, that wasn't exactly the case.

Beside the fact Chicagoland seems to be stuck in springtime with nonstop rain and relatively cool temps more resembling northern Wisconsin or Michigan, I've actually spent the past 6 weeks in computer purgatory., internet, wifi, power failures and a remodel that took 8 weeks instead of the original 1 week promised.

Unfortunately, I'm still not done with the computer issues.  My PC is failing.  I'm going to go Mac...not just because of all the nonsense I've had to endure with never ending and often incomplete updates or the terrible runaround HP gave me so they wouldn't have to honor the warranty....but because this is finally the logical junction in time where I can make the leap.  All the peripherals need to be updated anyway....I will have to go Adobe CC....and all my other software will soon become obsolete, as well as connectors, plugs, cables and other items that kept me chained to PC when my last PC failed almost 4 years ago.

So....bear with me, as we try to get my PC to remain stable long enough to get data transferred to a new iMac....and I try to learn a new platform and all new programs/versions without my poor head exploding!

Next week is Paper Arts Show in Schaumburg....I'll try to report on what I saw.  Dependent, of course, on my PC.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Creative Chaos......or Creative THINKING?!

Why, oh why have I always moved through any living space like a creative whirlwind?  There never seems to be a clean, uncluttered and neatly arranged surface ANYWHERE I live. And, trust me, if you can find one, it is probably because I am just physically unable to reach it!  Neat and perfectly organized surfaces last about...oh, maybe 2 minutes.  Then something gets tossed into the perfection and it all gets turned right back into chaos.  

The funny thing is this is a frequent topic among my creative friends.  We even share photos of our workspaces to see whose space is the "worst".  By this I mean the way OTHER people perceive if an uncluttered, tidy space has higher perceived value with the rest of the world than a space filled with all sorts of interesting and often unrelated objects.  

I often wonder if those who are tidy are just plain boring....  Maybe those of us with spaces that look like a craft explosion took place do so with actual intent.  It seems that if creativity cannot happen as well in a boring space.

If that theory is true, what is the REAL purpose of  what I refer to as "creative chaos"?  Science and psychologists wish they knew.  Unfortunately, it is probably beyond the logical mind's reach.  However, highly creative people...artists..designers, decorators and the like know the answer. 

Creative chaos is actual thinking in motion.  In the midst of what was perceived by my mathematically precision-driven mother as a total MESS, there are pattern, color and size relationships...the stuff ART is made of.  "Creatives" see color palettes and combinations brilliantly decided by random placement of objects tossed next to or on top of each other. A creatively chaotic room is filled with scale relationships, as well as ones of color value, contrast and texture.  Inspiration is everywhere.  In a single feather...or in a heap of fibers carelessly tossed over a pile of left-over bits and pieces from previous projects.  It is how I see the world... and how most of my creative friends see it, too.  

Yep, we are weird.  We see things differently.  We don't see the mess as chaos.  We see it as possibilities. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Blog Hopping

And now for some FUN...combining texture and sparkle with awesome products from Stampendous and Linnie Blooms!

Linnie Blooms and Stampendous have paired up for a BLOG HOP this week!

Since I'm part of the Linnie Blooms Design Team, I came up with a pretty cool project that combines products from both companies.  Stampendous is all about stamping...Linnie Blooms is all about canvas.  Add in a few extra coloring products (Pan Pastels from Colorfin, ink from Clearsnap),and embellishment from Toner Plastic (Fun Wire)....glue (Beacon Adhesives) to hold it all together....and here we have it.....

By Gail Green

Materials you will need:

Stampendous:      Fran’s Jumbo Handle
                               Fran’s Encrusted Jewel Kit (Purple)
                               Cling Rubber Stamps: Jumbo Grapes
                               Clear Stamps: Life Words

Linnie Blooms:     Canvas Fall Leaves
                               Shabby Trim (Green)

Clearsnap Holdings, Inc:
      Top Boss® Watermark Ink            
      Colorbox® Archival® Inkpad (Black)

Colorfin/Pan Pastel:          
                              Sofft Applicator Handle & Heads Set
                              Sofft Art Sponge
                              Artists Painting Pastels (Magenta Shade, Violet Extra Dark, Titanium White)

Beacon Adhesives:
     Gem-tac® Permanent Glue
                              Zip Dry® Paper Glue
                              Fabri-tac ® Permanent Adhesive

Toner Plastics:    22 Gauge Fun Wire (Icy Silver)

Cardstock:           10” x 6.5” black cardstock folded and scored to form a 5 x 6.5” card
                              4-1/4” x 6” black cardstock
                              Magenta cardstock scrap

Miscellaneous:    Heat Tool, scissors, pencil, small bowl (or other small container), green acrylic paint or tinted gesso (brand and color shade of your choice), non-stick mat


Mix glass glitter and embossing powder from the Encrusted Jewel Kit in small bowl, as desired.
Using Watermark Ink, stamp the grape cluster on the 4.25” x 6” black cardstock.
Sprinkle the embossing powder mixture onto the stamped image, shake off excess and heat.

Using the Sofft sponge and tool to apply and blend, apply Magenta and Violet Pastels onto the grape sections as shown.  Add and blend white for highlights, beginning with a very light application and build intensity as desired. Tip: Do not cover sections completely with Pastel.  Allow the black cardstock color to show through where the darkest shading/shadows should appear.
Add Magenta and Violet around the edges of the cardstock, blending in towards the grape image.

Sponge green acrylic paint or tinted gesso onto both sides of the canvas leaves of your choice.  When almost dry, pinch and shape the leaves. Dry completely on a non-stick mat. 

Using Sofft Tool, add Violet pastel around the leaf edges and in center of leaf to define veins. 
Optional: Carefully add Gemtac along leaf edges. Sprinkle glass glitter from the Frantage Encrusted Jewel Kit onto the wet glue; dry.

Stamp phrase in black on magenta cardstock scrap.  Hand tear around the phrase. 

 Add Violet Pastel around edges with Sofft Tool

Cut a 15” section of Fun Wire. Wind around a pencil; remove.  Gently pull and shape, twisting and curling to look like a realistic tendril.

Attach stamped cardstock onto card with Zip Dry. Position the remaining layers onto card, as shown. When pleased with the arrangement, attach leaves and curled wire with Gem-tac. Attach phrase with Zip Dry.  Dry completely.

Cut 4” strip of Shabby Trim.  Apply Fabri-Tac and roll loosely between fingers, curving and shaping as you roll; dry. Attach over the wire with Gemtac; dry. 

Please leave me a comment and then return to the Linnie Blooms Blog to continue hopping! Or hop through the links below!

What a great way to start off a blog hop -- Memorial Day!

The Design Teams of Stampendous and Linnie Blooms have traded product and are ready to show you their creations!  Here's the link and schedule of postings.  Please show them your love by leaving them a comment!  Commenter's on the Linnie Blooms' Design Team blogs will be entered into a drawing at the end of the week!

Our Designers Links:

Trish Cortez

Dawn Mattson

And here are the links to the Stampendous Blog Hoppers:

At the end of the blog hop, Linnie Blooms will be giving away a FREE All New DIY Home Decor Kit!  So be sure to leave a comment on our Designer's blog to be entered to win!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Let the Celebrating begin....with an ETSY sale!

Gorgeous spring day....Getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend with LOTS to celebrate!  Our remodeling project is showing light at the end of the (very) noisy tunnel....Ollie still has feathers....good medical test results...SO many birthday greetings today...SO much to celebrate!

And what better way to celebrate with all of you than to offer special sale prices in my ETSY shop!
ALL my original art dog, cat and wildlife note cards are 25% off!  WOW....

Take a peek..... 

There's a lot more items in addition to the note cards (scrapbook kits, hand painted silk ties, etc). so scroll all the way through to see them all....

And have a safe and happy holiday weekend!  Blog hopping with Linnie Blooms and Stampendous next week...stay tuned!