Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Firewall, Schmirewall

AAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Okay, so I know firewalls are important. And I definitely want our son protected from sites that are inappropriate and harmful to his soul and pollution to his mind. But working out the kinks in our updated version of "Dan's Guardian" has added a few extra gray hairs to my head these last couple of days. The entire Blogger/Blogspot site was banned, so my husband had to go in and "unban" the site, which worked for accessing my blog, but I was still locked out of my posting area. Thankfully, he is a genius and managed to fix the problem. Yahoo Groups was banned, too, but I think he fixed that. I could send and receive posts via e-mail, but couldn't log in from the Internet. Grrrrr. I just need to sit down and go through the list of banned sites and see what else we use regularly might be on there. Who'da thought ALL of Blogger and ALL the Yahoo groups would be taboo??

But the good news is ... I managed to finish two cards this week (so far) in spite of all the issues we're having with my Granny's nursing care facility, my exhausted parents, and the fact that Granny had to be moved back into the REAL hospital last night because her pneumonia has come back. Okay, actually I had finished the cards before that happened, but I just wanted to throw that in there, that she's back in the hospital. I could write an entire essay about the nursing-care-facility problems in the United States, but I'll spare you the diatribe. For now. ;-)

SO -- here is the first card I finished:


This was made using two TJ techniques -- the first one was Twinkling H20 Resist, and that's the layer with the Bible images on it. The other tech I sorta tweaked -- I used the Metallic Alcohol Roll, but I sprayed some gold webbing spray over it just to give it a little extra "something," since, with the darker colors it didn't quite have the shimmer or glow that I was looking for. I'm fairly pleased with the way this card turned out, even down to the "bookmark" ribbon I used behind the Bible panel. This is the COOLEST stamp set, BTW, from CTMH. It's called "Come Unto Me," and it has all of Psalm 23 in a block of text (very small), this Bible, this first verse of Psalm 23, plus a couple of other verses and some other elements. It's just too gorgeous!

Okay, here's the second card:



I used a TJ tech called "Re-inker Splash" on this one. It's kinda a weird technique -- you use pigment ink re-inkers and metallic ink reinkers, and part of it involves covering the results of the "splash" with embossing powder and heating. It makes it kinda blotchy, with some shiny, embossed sections and some kinda flat, non-embossed ones. I wasn't sure about the effect, so on some of my samples I sorta randomly sponged some Versamark ink over the card (after the first embossing try), then did the embossing thing again, but I found out later that didn't work too well when I tried stamping an image over it. My "modification" made the surface rather rough (I guess my "sponging" left rough spots), and the image just looked weird (at least with this particular stamp). So I need to do some more experimenting with it.

I also didn't really like the way my sentiment turned out. I was in a hurry and tired at that point, so I kept what I ended up with. I should've left it for the night and come back the next day, but y'all all know how that is sometimes; you just want to FINISH! My first goof was that the whole image didn't stamp, so I just tried to re-align it and stamp over it, which resulted in a kind of double-image thing on the left-hand side. Then I decided it was too "dull," so I stamped over it with a floral swirl thing from a TAC set and brushed it with Pearl Ex "Micro Pearl" to make it kinda shiny. Blech. I don't like the way it turned out, at least not for this particular card. So, oh, well, it is what it is. I may take the sentiment off at some point and totally re-do it. But for now, this is it.

Main image is from Beeswax stamps. Sentiment is from Biblical Impressions (Eureka Stamps). I used Brillance re-inkers for the splash technique.

I tried to do some stuff in the loft tonight, but was just too tired. I managed to make four butterfly images using the "Garden Whimsy" SU set and the Chalkboard technique (got that off Splitcoast). When I got done I was too uninspired to make a card out of them. I also tried working on this week's TechnoStamper challenge, but, again, inspiration just would not come. Could that have to do with the fact that I was up at the hospital until midnight last night with my parents and grandmother, then I had to drive an ill, melting-down mother home, whereupon I was too keyed up to go right to sleep, then woke up with a raging headache and was a zombie pretty much most of the day? Oh, and the already tanking mother (mine) had another crisis this morning when their phones went out while Dad was still at the hospital with Granny, so she had to walk to my house (just down the street, but in her current condition, that was a lot), and then ... well, let's just say our lives have turned into a kind of Elder Care Soap Opera ("The Old and the Stressed"), so even my 1-1/2 hour nap today didn't quite bring me out of Zombieville. I did manage to get the headache under control and, mercifully, was not needed to drive anyone to the hospital (a half-hour trip one-way) tonight, so I got to stay home and just recoup a bit by watching a Mythbusters DVD. I did miss seeing Granny, but hopefully by tomorrow I'll be back on track and ready to resume my role as Support System.

Whew! Didn't mean to write a novel here! That's what I do offline for fun, not on my blog! Okay, off to bed now ...

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