Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm a Daiso virgin no more!

Yesterday I told you the tale of my experience at 
The Bone Room in Berkeley, CA. It was a wondrous experience.
Before my friends and I made it to the mecca of bones, we 
arrived at the largest scrap booking store in the bay area, 
Scrapbook Territory.
My friends have told me about this store for years, and that I just had to 
check it out. When we planned this trip we were expecting to spend a small fortune,
but the night before we left we found out that ST was closing, and were currently
selling everything at 50% off. We were two weeks late for the start of this
sad sale, but we were hopeful that there was still some inventory to peruse.
Since I had never been to the store I had no idea what I was missing, but my
friends were horribly disappointed. The shelves we nearly bare. Like one sheet
of 12 x 12 paper left of 20 designs, a smattering of May Arts ribbons, and 
random odds and ends. Now if we were in the market for counter tops and storage 
for our craft rooms we would have been in luck. They were selling 8 ft long
by 6 ft tall shelves for 12 x 12 paper for $20, and tons of other displays
for dirt cheap.

I did manage to grab these Leavenworth Jackson stamps for 50% off,
but see now that I was charged for the credit payment I was told didn't go through,
so I paid cash. Still waiting for a call back on that one.  

My friend, MacKenzie's husband is half Japanese, and her sister-in-law was with us
so we were destined to go to Japantown in San Francisco to get special Japanese
goodies. After we stopped at a couple of bakeries, book stores, and had a wonderful 
noodle lunch in the Japantown mall, we went to the Daiso store.   

Daiso is like the Dollar Store, but better. 
Everything is pretty much $1.50, but such a bargain!

Always need those rings and who can pass up glittery polish and
a green eraser frog? 

The critter erasers came three to a pack, the glass bottles are perfect for my
apothecary collection, the paper flowers were really pretty, and I am always on the 
lookout for a good white paint pen. Not bad for $1.50. 

They had a glorious selection of nail polishes. 

And I'm always a sucker for DIY organization. I bought some cool
metal trays that fit perfectly on the side of my Sam's Club carts for 
extra storage. And I scored on some white ramen bowls. I have been wanting
some of those for months now. I eventually want all white dinnerware, so it
looks like another trip to Japantown is imminent. I'll be sure to take more pictures
next time. 
That's it for today. 
Thanks for stopping by.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bittersweet: The Bone Room

I had the most amazing time with a couple of my very
favorite people on Saturday. We planned a trip to Berkeley, CA
(about 1 1/2 hours away from Sacramento) to check out a scrapbook
store that my friends have been bragging about for years. 
"They carry Stampotique stamps" was pretty much all I needed to hear.
Since we were going to be in the city (San Francisco) it was suggested that
I make a list of places I wanted to check out as well. 
Our tastes tend to differ in places of interest.
I spent quite a bit of time on Yelp and read some rather disparaging
reviews of "Loved to Death", the curiosities shop spotlighted on the
Science channel's Oddities series. I loved the show, and always wanted to check it out,
but after reading that they had gaff taxidermy, mass produced trinkets 
scattered around their store, and shitty attitudes, I decided to skip it. 
But, in reading those reviews I was turned on to a place called,
  "The Bone Room", in Berkeley.

What a nugget of awesomeness. 

That is a skinned rooster on the top left, inside of the massive oyster shell.
They have such a varied array of natural history and science, from prosthetic eyes
to fetal pig specimens. Their wet specimens were on sale, but that is just not my
cuppa tea. Maybe because they all look so, dead. Makes me sad.
I was so busy shopping that I didn't take any more photos except for the ones of the
stuff I bought. Wanna see what I got?

I went on their site online the night before and did some pricing and window shopping
so I had an idea of what I wanted before I got there and became overwhelmed.
I'm glad I did that. There was so much awesomeness I could have spent
the entire day there. No joke.

Spider Webs Under Glass - These are real spider webs sprayed 
with a fine metallic coating, mounted on a black background, 
and protected by beveled glass. Each web includes a tag providing 
the genus and species of its maker, along with collection information 
and a picture of the species. Only the webs were collected 
for these works of art, the spiders themselves go on to build more webs. 

Cool, right? Mine was made by a Feather Foot spider.
It's about 3" round. 

This is a mouse skull pendant, complete with mandibles.
These are made exclusively by The Bone Room.
I originally wanted a bat skull pendant, but fell in love 
with this truly unique piece as soon as I saw it.

Got Bobcat claws? I do.

This little acrylic encased baby is my bat specimen.
I named him Bartok. 

Got some bad ass African porcupine quills.

And the quills look pretty cool in this little jar I picked
up at the Daiso store in Japantown, but that's another post.

Imagine my surprise when I happened upon these tiny,
headless porcelain dolls. I didn't expect to see jars of heads
and limbs either. What a find!

Also on my shopping list was a rattlesnake rattle, but when we
opened the case containing not only rattles, but striking heads too,
it smelled something awful! So awful in fact, that I opted to leave
without my rattle. Once I got home and recounted my trip to my husband,
and told him about the rattle snake stink, he went out in the garage and came
back with a rattlesnake rattle. Oh, how I love that man!

While we were waiting for The Bone Room to open, we popped
into a shop next door called, Therapy
I have been coveting this book for a while now, so I snagged it. 

At first, the book had me in stitches. The sheer ridiculousness of it all.

But then it just kinda got sad thinking of how disrespectful this type of 
crappy work is to the animal's spirit.

Yes, that is a Mallard head coming out of a lamb's ass.
I'm all for Rogue Taxidermy and gaff taxidermy, if done well.
The lamb is done well, despite the craziness of it, but that poor lion
and hyena... Pretty sad. I do like the book, though. Just didn't expect to feel
that way about it. 

Okay, now for the bittersweet part of my post. 
It seems that the owner of The Bone Room passed away very unexpectedly,
very recently. As of May 1st, they are closing this store front and going to
be selling online. At least their incredible treasures will still be available,
but it won't be the same as walking into that store and seeing everything
all at once. The staff were super sweet and helpful, too.
See? Bittersweet.  

Thanks for stopping by today.
I'll be back tomorrow with my Daiso haul, and my story about the
scrapbook shop that started our entire trip.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A real oddball spring

It's the middle of April and it's 90 degrees out today.
Very odd. And pretty scary considering we're in the fourth
year of a drought here in California. Fire season is gonna suck.
And it's already begun two months early. Yikes.

Since odd seems to be the word of the day, I thought 
I'd color up this pretty little Oddball Art Stamps fairy
and play along with the current challenge at Oddball Art Stamp Co.,

I get tired of making cards all of the time, and since I have
quite a collection of tags I use to mop up my leftover distress inks,
I thought a tag was a good idea.

This is 'Sweet Sai'. Isn't she a cutie?
And, as is my usual M.O. I have colored her with
unconventional skin tones and hair color. Fairies are 
magical creatures, and should be colored accordingly. 

I sprayed a small clothespin with Dylusions spray in Cherry Pie to match
my project. The clothespin already had the hole in it, so it was super
simple to add that dragonfly charm. I stamped out a fairy sentiment 
from Kraftin' Kimmie. I am a big fan of the Kraftin Kimmie sentiments.

When I hear the word spring, I think of flowers.
And I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I have a shit ton of old
flowers in my stash. I layered up five flowers of varying oldness
and even added an equally dated leaf. I like how it turned out,
and am glad to have used a few of my ancient fleurs.  

I used a diamond patterned stencil and some crackle paste to
add some texture and interest to the tag. I think my crackle is old
as it didn't real crackle much. I ended up rubbing some of it off with my
fingers to give it an aged appearance. I also dusted the diamonds with 
Stickles for a nice sparkle. I dug even deeper into my stash and found some
chipboard glittered flourishes and dew drops. Nice touches.

  I had fun making this tag. Gave me a chance to use
up some stash and make something pretty with it.

I'd like to enter this tag in the following challenges:
Left of Center - Tag or ATC (mine's a tag) 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Short and Sweet

Today is the start of the new challenge theme at the
The new theme is Flowers.
Pretty easy to be inspired, as spring is in full bloom everywhere you look,
and there are a ton of beautiful, flowery images available at

I picked up a bunch of 4" x 4" canvas boards on sale at Mike's
last week, and wanted to use one for this project. I get tired of
making cards all of the time.
I decided to work with an image that I haven't colored up before.
This is 'Bunnirina'.
She's adorable, right?

The canvas was a nice gray color already, but it didn't
go with my color scheme. I painted it using Deco Art's chalk paint
in the color, 'Timeless'. This is my first time using this paint,
and I love the coverage and the quick drying time. Oh, and no prep
is a big plus, too. This chalk paint gave me a perfect base for the 
pearlized crackle paste put through a fancy stencil. I love that stuff!
First though, I edged the entire canvas using some distress inks.
They bled through the crackle paste beautifully.

Didn't someone say something about flowers?
I dug out a bunch of paper roses, some of which I colored
using Copics, some that I left natural, and a few were already
dyed. I managed to pop in a few pearl dew drops, too. 

I also worked in a pretty floral spray I picked up in the 
wedding section at Mike's. I really like the height and 
interest those types of embellishments add to a project.

As a last added element, I broke out with a new pot of
Rock Candy Distress dry glitter. It added just the right amount of
sugary sparkle the outer perimeter of the canvas. And then while I was
in a glittering mood I used some Stickles on the roses, too. 
Someone is going to make me cash in my creepy card for this project.
But I don't care. This is was so fun to make.

So sweet! 
I hope you'll stop by the AW challenge blog and see all of the other
fabulously flowery projects the DT have created for this theme.

Thanks for stopping by today.

I'd like to enter this in the following challenges:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Little Kitsune, Anko

In retrospect, I guess I have always kind of had
a thing for foxes. I have a few different fox stamps, 
a paper mache fox I picked up at WallyWorld a while back,
a fox ornament for Xmas, and my leedle dog is named, Foxxi.

(Check out Miss Monster@ shopify. She is an incredible artist!) 
I really like the Japanese Kitsune with nine tails.
I like the version of a white fox with red details.
So, when Mitzi at Aurora Wings shared her newest image,
I was in lurve! 

She doesn't have nine tails, but I'll overlook that
trivial fact for this Little KitsuneAnko.
I colored her with Copics and decided to go with a geisha
inspired make-up. I really love the the bold red eye makeup
against the white powdered face. I had to go with the red geisha lip, too.
Very dramatic. Love it!   

In keeping with my 'less is more' mantra (when using AW images),
I have kept this one pretty CAS only using two dps, some gold Stickles, and 
three red pearls to symbolize The Three Jewels: the Buddha (the enlightened one),
the Dhamma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community of followers).

I really love the linen texture of this DCWV Far East paper pad.
It's always my 'go to' paper pad when doing anything remotely Asian themed.
I think I'm going to pop this little gem into a shadowbox frame
for a friend's birthday coming up. Or maybe she'll just reside in my
craft room for inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to stop by the AW Showcase blog
to see all the different variations on this fabulous new image available today
at the Aurora Wings Etsy shop, here.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Going to hell. Can I save you a seat?

DISCLAIMER: This is my blog. I am a person who fancies herself
pretty funny. Snarky. And even a flat out smart ass. What I create is
never intended to offend, but ultimately I have no control over
how you choose to interpret my art. Proceed with caution, 
and with your big girl/boy panties on.  
There, I said it. Or I wrote it. Whatever. It's out.
Yesterday was Easter, and in honor of the first zombie ever, 
I have created a small tribute in his likeness.
I was inspired to create said homage by the new challenge at
Haunted Design House - Going Green With Envy.

Yup. I went there.
It is no big secret that I don't lend much credence to organized religion.
I wasn't indoctrinated into a religion as child, and have never been able
to wrap my head around giving myself over to a higher power. 
 I do, however, consider myself somewhat spiritual.
And that works for me. 

Anyhoo, I found this guy at my local thrift store, and
after my giggles of insane inspiration subsided, I got to work
making him into the true zombie he was always meant to be. 

After several coats of various acrylic paints and washes,
he was complete. And far more interesting than the way
that I originally found him.

While straightening, and purging my workspace I happened
upon this tiny dancer. Also a thrift store find.  

After the official "Creepy Zombie Concoction" has been applied,
she is the star of the zombie ballerina recital.

Thanks to this challenge theme, I have been inspired to start painting the 
numerous statues and figurines I have been collecting. I have some cows,
a trio of babies, and even a Buddha that are all dying to be zombified and given
a new life. Most of which will end up in my Etsy shop by the end of the month.

Remember to stop by the HDH blog to check out all of the incredible art that
my fellow Minions have created for this inspiring challenge.