Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's Happening!

My whole entire house should be under quarantine.  Last week both of the girls had pink eye and one of them had an ear infection.  Over the weekend the husband and I both had pink eye as well.  Sunday something awful hit me and I was in bed all day as well as Monday.  Tuesday my ear started throbbing to the point where I was a small ball curled up under the covers of my bed.  Thankfully yesterday I got some antibiotics and am feeling a ton better today.  My ear still seems it's filled with fluid but it's no longer throbbing, so that's positive. 

On  a happier note, I leave for Ranger U next week!!!  WooHoooooo!  I'm headed to NYC for a day and will be staying with my Craft Test Dummies pal, Haley aka The Zen of Making.  I'm going to crash with her for a night, take a quick look around the city of some of my favorite sites from the past and then head up to New Jersey for Ranger U that starts Friday.   

I can't be more excited to stopping in NYC for the day.  My father grew up in the Bronx and then went to college Upstate, so every year growing up we would always go to the city for the Fourth of July and then Upstate to see family members.  NYC is the most magical place to me.  It's hard to explain if you haven't been there.  There really is a buzz and special energy about it.  I was very fortunate to have parents that spoiled me wrotten and let me go to countless Brodway shows and found my love for Theater there.  The first thing I would do when I got off the plane was buy a copy of, "Time Out: New York," and when I got home after our trip I would direct and choreograph full musicals and write all of my notes and blocking in the pages of, "Time Out."  I was a TOTAL theater nerd, let's not get that twisted.  I used to tell my parents when I grew up I was going to be world famous choir teacher.

  I also discovered my love for make-up and Sephora stores; there were three large Sephora stores in the city and my parents would let me hit up each and every one of them.  Shu Uemura foundation and eyelash curlers, Cargo double-sided lipglosses, Philosophy real horse hair brushes and Jean Paul Gaultier perfume... ahhhh, the good old days.  Now I'm resigned splurging on Bare Minerals and use regular old Cover Girl mascara.    

My Father and I were supposed to go back to NYC together about four years ago when he passed away unexpectedly.  No one in my family has wanted to go back with me fearing it would be too emotional for them.  Matt, the husband, doesn't want to go because he hates large crowds likening them to cattle.  Going b myself is probably not the best idea.  That's why I'm so EXTRA excited to have the opportunity to go to Ranger U and make a stop in the city for the day.  Not to mention having a good friend like Haley that can make sure I don't get lost. 

Well, that's about it for now crafters!  I'm going to try to update the blog a couple more times before I leave, but will be on silent while I'm at Ranger U.  Make sure to subscribe to my twitter feed though, @SaraJaneCrafts,  because I will be updating from the road over there and sharing some photos from Ranger U!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Bloggess Book Signing

When I joined twitter a few years ago someone had RT'd (retweeted) the Bloggess aka Jenny Lawson aka Queen Awesome Pants, into my timeline.  I visited her blog and was instantly drawn to Jenny's sailor mouth, insane humor and honesty. I could go on for paragraph's explaining just how awesome Jenny is, but I suggest you just go visit her blog and check her out.

I was fortunate to kind of chit-chat with Jenny on twitter.  She RT'd some of my tweets, and one actually also got RT'd by Jery Ryan aka Borg, "7 of 9," from, "Star Trek."  How awesome is that?  And it was about a bug that could deafen you with its penis.  Even better.  Then there was the unidentifiable taxidermied head she found that we agreed was Mr. Tumnus.

So being a super-amazing blogger it only came natural that Jenny write a super-awesome book.  As soon as, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened," was released, I had to read it.  Lucky for me it was around the time I had to go to CHA and fly by myself.  I have horrible anxiety and being an admitted complete and utter ditz and airhead, travelling by myself and going into unknown situations pretty much turns me into a total basket case. Jenny's book made my flights seem to pass in minutes.  I desperately tried to do the silent laugh to avoid having people look at me, but I think my muffled sounds ended up coming out like fart noises.  Whatever.  I have to say one of my favorite chapter's in the book was towards the beginning when Jenny thought she was being given a psychic magical squirrel by her father.  She had big plans for that squirrel... Hollywood plans.  Then it turned out that her father had stuck his hand up the squirrel's ass like a puppet.

One of my favorite lines from the book is, "... You should accept who you are, flaws and all, because if you try to be someone you aren't then eventually some turkey is going to shit all over your well-crafted facade, so you might as well save yourself the effort and enjoy your zombie books."

If you don't want to read her book by now, you must be clinically insane.  Or totally normal.  Because normal people probably only read things like Readers Digest and the fine-print on prescription bottles. At any rate, you can imagine how excited I was to meet Jenny in person when she was coming to town for a book signing.  Since I had the eBook and I'm saving every last penny I can for NY and Ranger U later this month, I wanted to have Jenny sign something... fun.  One night while rummaging around in the garage I found some old church books that had belonged to Matt's step-sister.  One was titled, "I am a Child of God," and the other, "Prayer."  I thought they were perfect.  I tweeted a photo of them to Jenny and she said that we were going to Hell.  I told her they're Mormon books and Mormon's don't believe in Hell, so I think we would be good.    

I got to the Barnes and Noble about twenty minutes early and it was packed.  I didn't mind there were no chairs so I grabbed an end-cap and patiently waited.  Jenny came in and read a chapter from the book which was about the time she overdosed on chocolate laxatives and her possible rapist cat was pushing love notes and band-aids under the bathroom door... or something like that.

Then came the usual question and answer time and Jenny continued to crack everyone up while giving some pretty darn good advice.  Then it was time to stand in line to get our books and things signed.  I stood and went over all of the things I planned on saying and questions I wanted to ask.  I talked to other people in line about Doctor Who and how the only thing I liked about Amy Pond was the way she said, "Rory." I finally got up to meet Jenny and it was complete and utter verbal diarrhea out of my mouth.  Kind of like the first time I did a video of Tim Holtz at CHA and I made up some word calling him, "Abfanomenable," (absolutely fabulous phenomenal) or something like that.  Good times.  Jenny wanted to read through the, "I am a Child of God," book but I was acting like a five year old pageant girl that just got a yard long pixie stick and couldn't focus.  I should have just GIVEN her the stupid book and had her sign something else I had in my bag.  Like a DSLR lens... how many people have a camera lens signed by the Bloggess?  Ummm... No one. Luckily she opened it and looked at it because I totally forgot I drew a picture of a dalek Beyonce on my iPad once for her after I saw her Doctor Who trading cards and decided she needed an archenemy and a dalek Beyonce was the only logical choice.

After some more verbal diarrhea and me rambling and probably not making any sense whatsoever and snapped a couple photos I said goodbye to Jenny. I stepped outside of the Barnes and Noble and thought, "What the HELL did I just say?"  I resisted the urge to walk back inside to try and convince her I'm not a total space-case, but well... I am.  And I didn't want to come off stalker and crazyish, because that would TOTALLY be a great impression to give Jenny.

When I woke-up in the morning Jenny hadn't blocked or unfollowed me on the twitter.  So I guess I wasn't that bad.  I had a great time and seriously urge all of you to go grab a copy of, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened," and check out Jenny's blog.  It's great.  Seriously.

A special thank you to Copernicus (the stuffed monkey) who held a copy of the book in front of my cleavage.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Love for Basic Grey & Knee Highs Collection

Oh, Basic Grey, how I love you... I can recite my favorite paper lines of yours like William Shakespeare sonnets... from Lily Kate and Romani to Origins and Picadilly; Eva and Offbeat or Lime Rickey and Scarlet's Letter...  I have adored Basic Grey since I walked into my first local scrapbook store.  At that time I was just starting to get into 12x12 scrapbooking and was pretty much only using DCWV stacks (*shudder*).  I remember purchasing Lily Kate and Romani papers for the first time and falling in love with the extremely versatile and gorgeous patterns.  The paper was thick and double-sided and I found myself buying doubles of everything.  I loved their their Wholy Cow rub-ons; talk about premium quality transfers.  And they had that signature font that everyone could instantly recognize and everyone loved.  And over the years they released fabulous tools like the rub-on tool, magnetic mat and chipboard file set.  I had to of course, have them all and ever since then it's just gotten better.

Needless to say, Basic Grey has always been a mainstay in my craft collecting and purchasing.  I look at their collections as being reliable in design and versatility.  I can honestly say I have more Basic Grey paper combined then any other company and even all of my other patterned paper combined.  Proof?  Here's my patterned paper shelves:

Basic Grey has three whole shelves dedicated to itself.  From loose paper and opened collection packs, to the embellishment sticker sheets and then the unopened collection packs I have.  Oh, and it doesn't stop there.  I have a *minor* chipboard hoarding issue:

Basic Grey has two of its own tubs on this shelf from strictly chipboard alpha sheets to chipboard sticker embellishments. When Basic Grey released their Chocolate lines I went a bit crazy.  Fabulous fonts in white, velvety chocolate brown and black.  And don't get me started on the chipboard albums.  I'm actually ashamed to say how many I have of those that have gone unfinished.  What can I say, though?  I absolutely love Basic Grey.  I know I will use them eventually.  Have I used this word before.... VERSATILE?  Yes, gonna use that one again to describe Basic Grey.

I've also hoarded their brads and buttons which again, I keep completely seperately from my other stash because even if I don't purchase one lines' specific color pallette, chances are I already have buttons from another line that will coordinate.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Ever since I started reporting for Craft Test Dummies and attending CHA's I've stopped past the Basic Grey booth to, "ooh," and, "ahh," at the new eye candy.  The last CHA in Anaheim this past January I named their new chipboard albums one of my top five products of the show!  Seriously love these things!  Go check them out!  I also had the absolute pleasure of meeting Shara from the Basic Grey team.  Shara was such a happy ray of sunshine to meet and so enthusiastic about the company. Some people can sometimes be *ahem* a tad cranky on the CHA floor; but SO not so with Shara.  She showed me all of the new products and patiently answered all of my questions.  I told her how much I was a fan of Basic Grey and she was kind enough to give me some product to play with! So, today over at Craft Test Dummies I am doing a product spotlight of their Knee Highs collection.  This is my personal favorite of the new releases.  It's bright and happy colors, rainbows, stripes and chevrons make my little scrappy heart so happy.  I urge you to go take a look and definitely check out all of the other amazing products at Basic Grey.  I will be doing spotlight's on all of the other releases from Basic Grey this season, so make sure to stay tuned to the blog and Craft Test Dummies!      

Monday, April 1, 2013

Winner of Distress Inks

Hello all!  Today's winner from the Fall Seasonal Distress Inks giveaway is...  


Shari was the first commenter and said:

Wow, Congratulations, that is so exciting. I can't wait to see all the tricks you learn at Ranger U! Thanks for the great giveaway, I would love these inks. Shari (cricutrookie)
Thanks for commenting Shari!  Please email me at your address and I will get these out to you!
Please come back tomorrow and visit the blog!  I'm doing a product spotlight on Basic Grey at Craft Test Dummies and will be doing a little co-post here tomorrow!  Basic Grey is one of my most favorite paper companies and I'm excited to have done a spotlight for it at Craft Test Dummies!