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!