Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

QKD is releasing a new kit!

Queen Kat Designs will unveil a NEW type of kit in January, in addition to the other monthly kits already available. It's called "Get Inked!"

Can you guess what it's for? It's for all you inkies out there. :) First one to guess correctly will win a kit for free! Post your answers here.

Here's a hint -- I'm involved.

ALSO -- have you signed up for our monthly newsletter yet? Why not? Don't miss a single newsletter from Queen Kat Designs! To subscribe today, send an e-mail to Make sure you put Newsletter in the subject line.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Movie Review: Grindhouse -- Planet Terror

Break out the wine and crackers, boys, we got us some cheeeeeeeeese!

I used the charming On Demand feature last night, and finally saw Planet Terror. I have a feeling that in a little while, I'm going to watch it again, because, well, I can. I will own this. And DG will give me The Look and just shake his head sadly.

For those that didn't grow up with the Grindhouse B-movie, this film is probably going to go whooooosh and not be fully appreciated. If you're into Splatter Comedy, you've probably already seen it, and own it.

Every Single B-Movie Cliche is present in this. All of them. Shameless, blatant, and deliberate. The cheese factor is so high that nachos come easy, just add chips. Having a shameless adoration for good cheese in a splatter comedy, I loved this movie, giggling madly through pretty much the entire thing.

This is not a movie that takes itself seriously. The script is appropriately atrocious, the nonsensical close-ups of hair flips and ridiculous glamour in the middle of a zombie fight are SO classic grindhouse, the plot is so thin and has enough holes you can fly a 747 through them, the acting is all completely over the top with the actors chewing so much scenery you wonder how they have a set left to film on, explosions that make utterly no sense whatsoever, and the grainy, warping visual completes the attempt to bring back Camp. There is no shortage of gore (gouting fountains of blood, anyone?), and if you don't recognize the tributes to old splatter, you've been living under a rock or don't like watching this sort of thing anyway. It even has the pre-requisite Creepy Ass Kid.

I want to know just how much fun the actors had in making this movie. It's truly no-holds-barred insanity, from start to finish.

Oh, and I never really thought much of Rose McGowan, but damn, she's hot in this. If you're familiar with other films by Rodriguez, then you'll recognize a whole lot of these faces.

There's even a segment of "Missing Reel", just like you'd expect from a grindhouse feature that's been played so many times, the film is falling apart.

It's hard to imagine that a movie can be this much utterly stupid fun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gasp -- I've been Carded!

Can't resist a good pun -- or a bad one for that matter. ANYWAY, before this digresses further, a few cards.

I love making cards, really, I do. I'm not much into the scrapbooking -- I usually leave that to my mother, who thinks Sandi Genovese is a goddess (my parents even have a really cheesy pic of my dad with Sandi, go figure). And actually, the cards sort of ... evolved, you might say, through my other crafting. You know how it is, one thing just leads to another. Jewelry and collage both lend themselves rapidly towards card making, especially once you start accumulating goodies. And let me tell you, you don't want to see what my work area looks like.

On with the pictures, because I do begin to ramble at 1 am.

I love ink. And adhesive. And of course, stamps. The Dream card was actually my first card done on completely white paper. No colour at all, till I added it. It went to my youngest daughter's teacher, who was wonderfully helpful during a period where we were quite broke, and she went and bought some of the school supplies that were not listed in the requirements but were still needed.

The next one, the Love card, was done for a darling and wonderful woman, known to the world as Sierra Grannie, of Queen Kat Designs. She had surgery a while back, so I put this one together to give her a little smile while recovering. I can never resist an excuse to send out a RAK (for those living on another planet and not In The Know, that's a Random Act of Kindness. Or Kardness, for the punny.).

This next card is relatively unisex, because it was a birthday card for my father, who has determined that he's going to regress in years instead of advance, because the idea of me being 40 just sends him into a serious late-midlife-crisis.

As you can see from the last two, I love my Sizzix. The leaves, AND the embossing plates for the second card, are all Cuttlebug, used in my Sizzix.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Murphy. Pooka Murphy

Thing 2 is an 11-year-old today.

An 11 with a broken arm. Which she broke last night. Yep, day before her birthday, kid falls while playing in a monster leaf pile and breaks her friggin arm.

This is the most stoic kid in the world, though. Thing 2 handles pain pretty darn well, and DG said she was a really big girl about it in the ER, (cough) ESPECIALLY once they got her all doped up on Lortab.

When she came in, she was holding it and complaining a little about it hurting, but she never really complains much about pain. I had her put ice on it, take a Motrin, and just try to sit for a while. When an hour or two later, she was STILL complaining, and it was nearing bedtime ... Took a look, it was starting to swell up, and changing colour a little.

Right. I sent em to the ER, while Amyrantha and I sat here and fretted a bit and worked on getting pages cut for her to be making new journals. And of course, we get the news I was expecting.

Of course, with the new insurance, the ER's referral isn't good enough. Now she has to see her own doctor BEFORE we can take her to the orthopedic to get it properly set. For now, she's just in a plaster splint.

Way to spend her birthday, lemme tell ya. Oy. We did keep her home from school today, though. I guess that's something.

And Amyrantha and the DaddyGod BOTH leave today, leaving me alone with a kid with a broken arm for her birthday. This means I am going to be called on for some major distraction and entertainment to keep her happy. She was already mad at DG leaving -- the Yarn Queen leaving too ... hoo boy. Hee.

Poor kid.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Domino Art and Ranger

I am Ranger Industries bitch. I know it, and I accept it.

I realized this when I was looking at the stuff strewn about my craft area. Ranger's Distress Inks, Ranger's Alcohol Inks ... it just keeps going.

And I LOVE the alcohol ink. My mouse is the next alcohol ink project to get worked on, that's for sure. I've even considered doing my monitor. Hmmm ....

I would also really really like to be posting images of the latest domino pieces, however, for some reason my computer - or Blogger - is being a pain in the butt and won't let me. I'll try again later on another machine and see if I just need to update my Firefox, which is entirely possible, nay, probable.

Apparently it was Firefox -- go figure.

This particular green one is going to be part of a bracelet for myself, however, finding the appropriate water-themed stamps in a good size for domino work is proving rather vexing. Phoey.

The red ones are a few of the dominos done as a bracelet for my eldest daughter (the one fluttering around as a goth faerie several posts back). To say she is obsessed with all aspects of Asian Culture is a very British understatement.
The kid definitely takes Otaku to all new levels of weird. To my dismay (and yet, vast amusement), her high school allows her to wear ears to school. Not merely her own attached to her potentially empty blonde-by-nature head, but cat ears, rabbit ears, you name it. I want some of what her principal is smoking. But at least he believes in letting kids do their Thing and being unique individuals instead of forcing them into vast conformity.
I haven't scanned the matching pendant, complete with Geisha upon it, since my scanner doesn't particularly like dimensional pieces, and it has a coin attached to the front, with Swarovski flat-backs along the sides. I'll have to borrow her camera at some point and get a good picture of it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

QKD is looking for new members of the Royal Court!

Queen Kat Designs
Royal Stamping Maid Application

Queen Kat Designs Clear Stamps is looking for an active and exciting “Royal Court” member (design team member)! We are a 1 year old stamp company that’s looking to show our customers what our stamps can really do! We’re looking to add to our court with your help promoting our products as much as possible through your personal blog or any online galleries you may frequent.

About this position:
A “Royal Stamping Maid” is responsible for creating projects with Queen Kat Designs clear stamps. Our stamps are high quality photopolymer stamps that produce great images. Each month that we have new releases, you will be sent 1-2 new sets to work with. A minimum of 6 projects will be required for each set you receive. 3 of which must be greeting cards and the other 3 are up to you. Each project will need to feature the stamps you are working with to show others how they can be used.

You will need the ability to post your work on our gallery. You will have your very own album to show off in. You may use a scanner or camera. Our Royal Court members are responsible for the up keep of their own blogs and are asked to display a little banner or blinkie linking to Queen Kat Designs on their blog.

If the above description is something that you are up for, please email us at info @ katstamps . com we will send you the application to apply for a spot on the Royal Court. Terms are 6 months in length and will formally begin January 1, 2008. Applications will be taken until November 25, 2007 at 12pm MST. The new RC member will be contacted on or shortly after November 25th.

Royal Court Perks:
~Each member will receive a 50% discount on our line of clear stamps
~Each member will receive 1-2 free stamp sets each month that we have new releases (Most months!)
~Each Court member will have their own album at the QKD Gallery.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Customer Appreciation Days

We @ QKD would like to THANK all of you for making the past year a hit with our stamps! Queen Kat Designs stamps were born in November 2006. We're having a 2 day sale to thank you. We hope you'll take this opportunity to start your crafty holiday shopping. All of our stamps are clear photopolymer acrylic! "It's the REAL deal baby!" No phonies here.

Shop N Save with 35% off of all of our stamps. Includes the 23 NEW stamp sets for November! No coupon code necessary. Just shop and check out. Your discount will be taken at check out.

Have fun shopping and THANK YOU for a fabulous year!
(Sale ends Sunday at midnight)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Product Review: Xyron

Adhesive Madness

I'll admit it right up front and get it out of the way. I'm addicted to adhesive. Glue, glue sticks, glue dots, hot glue, spray glue, sticky tape, duct tape, double-sided tape -- it just goes on and on. I have one of the most ridiculously diverse collections of adhesive, containing all of the above and more.

You want to know what I use more than anything?

My Xyrons. Yes, that is plural. I have the classic X, the 250, and the 500. If money allowed, I'd have the 900, too. Since I don't, the specific review will only cover the first three.

I don't know how I ever lived without them.

At first glance, it may seem silly, not only to "need" a machine that makes with the sticky all over the back of something, but to own more than one. But each different machine has a different size range for use that make them more convenient than others, and the uses are limitless.

-- For starters, have you ever needed to stick down mulberry paper, or get vellum fully stuck to a project? Not easy to get them stuck without the adhesive being visible. And while there are special vellum adhesives, you're really limited to only getting corners stuck down which can be dangerous with delicate vellum that when it crinkles, creases, or folds, it's that way Forever. Little adhesive strips on mulberry paper also show through, which isn't a big deal if you're layering over it and only parts will show, but can be a trial if you're doing large sections that will be clearly visible.

Run vellum or mulberry paper (or really, any paper that has a translucent quality) through a Xyron, and you sticky The Entire Back evenly. No tape lines show through. With the even and full application made possible by a Xyron, you can't see adhesive at all, except on the most translucent vellum, and even then, it's not blatant. Subtle is good, when it comes to the sticky holding your world together.

-- And think about detailed die-cuts. Sure, you can cut the pieces out, and use teensy bits of glue to put all the pieces together, but you get a mess on your work surface from trying to make the pieces sticky, and then you have to get them onto the main die-cut without getting that sticky everywhere else.

Just run the paper through the Xyron first, then the die-cut machine. I don't know how well this works on the electronic die machines, but on the Sizzix and Cuttlebug, it is fantastic. No, it doesn't gum up the dies at all. And then you just peel and stick and the embellishment goes together fast with no mess.

Quick Tip: It's also a marvelous way to get glitter, sand, or any other fine and otherwise messy item onto a piece.

As an example, say you have a die-cut tiara that you want for a princess project. Run it through the Xyron normally, face up. If your Xyron gives you two layers, peel off the clear top that has no sticky.

The back is now sticky (and if you're using lettering this way, you have an entire sheet you can do at once instead of one at a time, making it faster). Turn it OVER, and run it through the machine again.

This time, the top/front is sticky. Peel the protective layer off the sticky top, and apply your glitter/sand/microbeads/metallic flakes to the top, while the back is still securely on the backing sheet. LIGHTLY tap the surface with your fingers, to make sure all the adhesive is covered, then tap off onto a folder or scrap page to return the glitter to the container, peel the item from the backing, and add to your page.

The glitter STAYS where you put it, and you have a completely unique and customized embellishment. This technique is fantastic with vellum, to give very subtle translucent shimmers across a project. If you use coloured vellum, and clear glitter ... the possibilities are endless, and the colour will show through.

-- Detailed pieces of embellishment are often a pain to get properly stuck down. Edges and corners come up -- it's a mess, especially when you're using some of the wonderful sparkle confetti shapes and laser cut hologram confetti that is available now. Not with a Xyron.

Run that otherwise aggravating bit through the Xyron, burnish it against the backing with your finger, not only to make sure it's well stuck but to remove any stray adhesive that is in the open cut spaces. Peel and stick, and it goes down and stays that way.

(BTW, the leftover backing bits are fantastic to use to resist other glues permanently sticking down. You can use them to arrange stickers and sticker bits into the shape you want before applying them to a page, as well.)

Important Tip: The permanent cartridges are perfect to use on items that will get a lot of handling and wear and tear, like covers of albums, keychains, light switch covers. With the full sticky back, there's much less worry about corners or edges peeling back due to handling.

Convinced yet? Then take a look at some of the specifics.

Xyron X

The X will sticky a shape up to 1.5" wide. Cartridge options are both permanent AND repositionable -- fabulous for masking uses. The size is perfect to make small stickers, for use on confetti shapes, and individual letters, without wasting any of a larger cartridge doing a small shape. It's also nice for ribbon, yes, RIBBON.

To use the X, you gently push the piece into the open top of the X leg until it catches on the cartridge, then pull out the other leg by the strip of tape sticking out, and use the serated cutting edge to remove the strip from the machine. Burnish to ensure full stick, peel off the top clear protective layer, peel from the backing, and use.

Xyron 250

Cartridges also come in either permanent or repositionable. The 250 makes stickers up to 2.5" wide.

The 250 has a hand crank, so you just feed the item in till it catches, and keep on cranking till it comes out the other side. Trim, and you're ready to stick.

Xyron 500

Like its smaller siblings, also holds permanent or repositionable cartridges. The 500 gives you up to 5" wide of sticky.

The 500 has a knob instead of a crank, but works the same way: feed in, turn, trim, and stick.

Why so many? Size matters. :D

The different sizes allow you to make different size stickers without wasting precious cartridge. Sure, you can arrange several on a larger one and try to get them to go through evenly without overlapping and thus missing sticky on some vital edge, but it's not the easiest in the world to get multiple items to go through a big one without some shifts in position, thus choose the size of your machine accordingly.

They're so easy, even kids can use them -- and do. My girls have their own copies of the X, and they see frequent use. The X is the perfect size to do labels for the IPod shuffle, and most other small MP3 players, so you can see how often it gets used around here. NOTE: For younger children, buy the repositionable cartridges. Trust me. It will make it so much easier to peel them off your furniture and walls later on.

The basic machines aren't too expensive, and are often on sale. Cartridges can get expensive, which is another reason why it's wise to choose by size -- and to have more than one. My X gets the heaviest use, since it's harder to stick down small items. And when the machines go on sale, the cartridges are usually included in that sale. 30-40% off is the most common sale price, and you can afford to stock up then.

Now, those are just the BASIC Xyron models.

The 510, 850, and 900 (9" of sticky heaven!) will ALL do not only stickers, but magnets and lamination. Each function just requires a separate cartridge. Multiple choices, one machine. Sweet, huh?

While I think the adhesive cartridges for the X could be a little less messy (you do sometimes need to rub the edges to make sure it's clear of glue before applying), on the whole, this is the way adhesive should be.

And while I love the idea of getting I disagreeorted body parts messy and sticky from glue, my PROJECTS should be clean. Xyron assures me that my projects will always be crisp, clear, clean, and free of sticky bubbles of glue.

Final Scores:

X: B+
250 and 500: A