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CHA-S 2010 Sizzix Pop-up Dies Sneak Peek

As promised, here's a look at the six new pop-up dies being released next week at CHA-S.

I've done three Halloween dies in a Bigz size (hey, that rhymes!) but after Halloween these can be used for other themes and I'll be showing some alternate-themed uses for these dies in the months ahead. In fact, we're going to convert the pop-up bat into a pop-up flower as one of the CHA class projects Monday night. Fun!



The pop-up bat and pop-up pumpkin are constructed exactly the same and their bodies are really just a round ball. What can you make out of a ball? Think apples and globes and sports balls. Think about combining them into one card to make a snowman. Endless possibilities with these dies. You can even create a full circle with them to make hanging ornaments and place holders.

 Spider and Spiderweb

The spider and spider web is the quickest pop-up die to construct. This is your best choice for mass-producing 50 Halloween cards, say. Cut the spokes off the web and now it's just a party streamer or a roller coaster track. Anything can be hung from the spiral, so this is another die that's useful all year long.

Gift Card Holder

The Bigz XL Gift Card Holder doubles as a billboard. Without the photo, the die spells out "FOR YOU" with notches to slide a gift card behind the greeting. Another quick-to-construct die, perfect for any theme and nifty for presenting gift cards for any occasion.

Hearts a Plenty

Here is the Hearts-a-Plenty Bigz XL die. All of the hearts on this card were cut with the die, so it is very appropriately named! There are a lot of options with this sculpture, including hearts that can be notched through heart-shaped holes on the sides of the sculpture. The center heart can angle toward the right (perfect for keeping photos uncreased) OR can be folded in the center for a completely symmetrical look.  

Twist Cube

By popular demand, the Twist Cube is finally a die! Yippee! I've redesigned it to utilize just two different shapes, cut multiple times. This allows for a finished cube that is an impressive 3x3x3 but still fits on a Bigz XL die size. The action on the twist cube is fun - it literally twists open and closed and does not require a fold to operate. An internal rubber band provides the action, so the Twist Cube can be mounted anywhere on the project, including the front of a card or album. We're using the Twist Cube in Monday's class as well.

All of the dies for this release will fit in a standard A2 card (4.25" x 5.5") so they're going to work great for all your holiday cards.

If you're coming to the show, be sure to stop by the Sizzix booth (#1006) where I will be demo'ing the pop-up dies Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. (I follow Tim Holtz . . . no pressure there!) and will have these original samples on display, plus samples from Bonnie Bruns and Gretchen Schmidt (check out their blogs to see their amazing creations using these dies) plus my usual suitcase full of other pop-up samples.

There is an additional small release of 5 dies (one pop-up die and four flat dies to decorate it) that are exclusive to Crafter's Home stores. I don't have those dies yet, but I will have a set for a demonstration at the Sunday reception, so stop by our table to see those dies in action.

And I have to say that the best birthday present ever is having good friends who are there for me when I'm drowning. Bonnie and Gretchen stepped up and cranked out some amazing samples for me to take to the show. Thank you, my beauties!

Lordy Lordy . . .

John came home the other day and announced that he had taken Friday off from work, arranged for friends to watch the kids, and made dinner reservations at a swanky restaurant to celebrate my birthday.

Well played!

Yesterday on his way out the door he said "Enjoy the last day of your thirties!"

Not so well played, but at least he remembered!

And then this morning . . .



In our new house we have this obscenely long vanity in the master bathroom. It's so big that we can have a kid lay down on the counter between the two sinks to have eardrops put in their ears, like our own little operating table.

But the toothpaste has been an issue.

Because John has complained in the past that while *he* always places the toothpaste in the center of the obscenely long vanity, *I* normally forget and leave it by my sink. And this means he has to take five entire steps across the bathroom to retrieve it. Very inconsiderate, he says.

But then last week he gave me mad props for remembering to center the toothpaste, and it's always nice to have your efforts appreciated.

Today I forgot to center the toothpaste.

I was having an internal pity party about not being wished "Happy Birthday" and left *gasp* the toothpaste *horror* by my sink.

With exaggerated huffing, John walked across the bathroom and grabbed it.

After a while he said:

JOHN: So are you excited about going to dinner tonight?

ME: Oh! So you remembered dinner, then?

JOHN: (looking confused, then sheepish) Oh! Happy Birthday!

ME: I just didn't want you thinking that the toothpaste was the biggest oversight of the morning.

JOHN: (laughing) Isn't "Happy Birthday" implied, though? I mean, do you really have to *say* it? Do we say "Merry Christmas" to each other?

ME: (in my best David Spade voice) We kinda do!

Today is simply packed! Leaving tomorrow for CHA and not totally ready. And by "totally" I really mean "remotely". It will all get done, though, because somehow it always does.

We're heading out for Emma's Band Camp concert in a few, but upon return I will put up a sneak peek of the six new pop-up dies that are being released at the show, so stay tuned for that.

Tina Scissorhands

When you have long hair and go to a new stylist they never want to cut enough hair off. They assume that you are married to your length rather than, say, married to your laziness.

So the conversation with Tina, my new Texas hair stylist, started with the usual question, followed by the usual answer:

TINA:  How short do you want me to cut this in the back?

ME: Oh whatever you think - I like it stacked up. Go as short as you need to. My hair grows fast. I'm not going to cry. You really can't cut it too short.

Now this is where the stylist usually eyes me suspiciously in the mirror, grabs a modest chunk of hair, indicates a wee little cut, and says "about here?"

Not so much with Tina.

TINA: Oh, ok. SNIP!

An enormous chunk of hair fell to the floor.

And it didn't stop.

SNIP! SNIP! VROOOOOM! (That's the sound of her chainsaw starting up) HACK! CHOP! SAW!

I had to close my eyes for part of it.

And when I thought she surely must be finished, she grabbed some other mad-scientist implement and mumbled "let me just thin out this side over here . . ." and chopped some more.

But somehow, I'm not bald. And I have bangs for the first time this decade.

I have updated my profile pic accordingly. Do notice the tank top and palm tree background, replacing the sweater and snow, thereby proving that we're not in Colorado anymore.

As I was paying, Tina was sweeping and called out "Wow! I didn't realize I cut this much off of you. Do you see this pile of hair?!"

I certainly saw that pile of hair.

It looked like a medium-sized woodland creature had pledged a fraternity.

It was a lot of hair.

After my hair appointment, I stopped by Ulta because I was almost out of foundation. An employee saw me looking at my usual brand and asked if she could show me another brand that I might prefer and next thing you know, I'm in a chair and Jennifer is giving me a mini-makeover! She did all sorts of steps, with smudging and blending, and lining, and then it was like "voila!" and I looked in the mirror and said (with decorum) "Holy crap!"

I looked great! Yeah, I'm going to say it, because Jennifer is some sort of miracle worker or something. Today I'm back to my shlumpy self, but for a few hours, I was smokin'!

I walked into the house last night with my flippy sassy new 'do, rockin' my bangs, with my lips all lined and pouty, and the family said:

JOHN: Wow!

EMMA: I don't think Lucy even recognizes you, Mom!

KARL: Ha ha ha! Did you see that guy wipe out? (because he couldn't be bothered to look up from the TV)

JOHN: It's short. I like it.

EMMA: I like it too.

KARL: Rewind it, Dad. I think that guy kicked himself in the back of the head falling off the Big Balls.

I went to watch TV with them. I was seated in a chair across from John, when I noticed him looking at me.

JOHN: Your eye makeup looks . . .

ME: Awesome?

JOHN: Heavy.

ME: I got a mini-makeover at Ulta! Jennifer did up my eyes. They're smoldering. Don't you think they're smoldering?

JOHN: They're . . . something. Just don't let me catch you rummaging through the neighbor's trash can later. (and for emphasis, he started doing a little raccoon impersonation holding his hands together like little paws)

This. This is what I deal with.

And I know what you're thinking; "Don't encourage him"

But the problem is that he's funny, so before I could stop myself, I was laughing.

I know, I know.

The Lone Star State

Why yes, I DO still exist, thank you very kindly!

In honor of my Aunt Linda, who, via her Facebook-savvy grandkids, has relayed the message that I need to update my blog already, I present . . .

a blog post!

*clap* *clap* *RAAAH*

I have lived in Texas just over a month now, and I can summarize it as follows:



WEEK THREE: We simply MUST purchase a new . . . (insert something here, like; table, entertainment center, couch, floor mat, bathroom hooks, etc., etc.) because our existing stuff doesn't . . . (insert something here, like "fit the space", or "match the colors", or "excite me") so let's go shopping! Also, did you record the World Cup game?

WEEK FOUR: CHA is (gulp) WHEN?!

I will be teaching a class at CHA on Monday, July 26th. I'm excited to teach the class, which combines some of my BRAND NEW pop-up dies with existing popular Tim Holtz dies and folders. The projects utilize some of his other branded products as well. The class is sold out, so I won't say much more about it, other than I hope to see you there. (If you already have a ticket, I mean.)

Just a few days before that class I will celebrate a birthday, or, more accurately, a death-of-my-thirties-day. And this is significant primarily because my Colorado drivers license expires on my birthday.

And I have to fly two days later.

Which meant that somehow, despite being overwhelmingly behind in my CHA preparations, I also had to fit in a trip to the DMV to get a Texas drivers license.

Yesterday was "Become a Texan" day.

I had hoped that it would be "Become a Texan" just-a-couple-of-hours, but no, it was a full day.

First I had to get my vehicle inspected, which went smoothly. Armed with my inspection report, which, according to the clerk at Kwik Lube, should not be "folded in half" or "crinkled in any way", I set off to find the county tax assessor's office, pristine inspection report riding safely on the dashboard.

The county tax assessor's office was duly located and I had all the required paperwork to register and title my vehicle! Whoo hoo! This was going so smoothly!

And then came the DMV.

*SCREEEECH!* (That, dear readers, is the sound of the brakes hitting my smooth "Become a Texan" day)

I knew there would be a wait at the DMV, but I expected it to be like Colorado's DMV - you come in, get a number, sit in one of the hundreds of chairs, that are currently occupied by hundreds of waiting people, and read a book. Then, an hour later when your number is called, you proceed orderly to the counter and conduct your business.

Not so much with Texas.

The office was tiny, hot, and the line was nearly out the door. There are no numbers, no chairs, no customer service agent to tell you which line to choose . . . you simply fended.

The long line was for renewals, as I was told by two nice ladies in the back of the line. The short line, they said, rather enviously, was just for out-of-state or brand new licenses. "I'm out of state!" I said, gleefully. "Well then you can use that line!" they said, momentarily excited for me and then suddenly depressed for themselves. "Brilliant!" I declared, moving over to the short line. "We're very kind in Texas!" one of the ladies called after me.

But the line, despite being short, was feeding in to just one person, whereas the long line had three agents. So technically, by the time I got to the front, the kind ladies were already at the counter.

The wait was insanely long. And hot. And boring. And you couldn't sit down.

I chatted a bit with the guys behind me. One of them was attempting to get a Texas license for the third time, each time coming without the proper paperwork. We all shuddered and hoped that our paperwork was in order.

When I was very next in line, and the lady in front of me had been at the counter for 20 minutes, meaning her departure was imminent, a woman and her teenage son suddenly appeared ahead of me, announcing "I can't believe it . . . we were in the wrong line!" and basically assumed that they could jump our line because they had "served time" in the other line. 

And I said . . . .


I assumed that the guys behind me would tell her to go to the back of the line, but they said . . .


We all just opted for politeness, in this hot, long, sticky, been-standing-for-an-hour line.

So the woman and her teenage son went next and I waited another 20 minutes.

I had to admire, on some level, the woman's audacity. In a million years I wouldn't have jumped a line like that. I daydreamed about how the scenario would have played differently if, say, I had a spine. "Excuse me, ma'am. You do not think you're going NEXT, do you?" "Well I waited in that line over there . . ." "And I waited in this line over here. The CORRECT line, I might add." And then, while she was still reeling from my zinger, fish mouth open and eyes blinking, I'd hit her with: "I tell you what - if you get permission from every person in this line, you can jump to the front. I'll go first . . . NO!"

Wouldn't that have been great?

Only not, because I would have felt guilty and rude. Oh well.

When I finally reached the counter and nervously presented my Colorado license, passport, social security card, registration, insurance card, heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears . . . I had everything I needed! YEEEESSSS!

After filling out an application, raising my right hand and swearing I didn't lie, passing the vision test, getting my picture taken, and paying my $25, I was just waiting for her to hand me my new license when . . .

She hands me a paper printout with my picture on it!

Printer paper.

An 8.5" x 11" piece of paper with my picture and license information.

In black and white.

"This is your temporary license," she tells me "And we'll mail the actual license to you in six weeks."


I had to fold the paper into tenths to get it in my wallet.

I highly doubt that the TSA will accept my "printed on a Laserjet" license at the airport next week. It looks like my kid made it.

Actually, Karl would have been ashamed to present something so patently fake-looking, so I should probably say it looks like my dog made it.

Do dogs have pride in their forgeries?

Thankfully I have a passport, so I will be able to fly, but I am definitely presenting my temporary license first, just to see if they accept it. If, that is, I can unwedge it from my wallet and unfold it in time.

However, at the end of it all, the bottom line is . . . I'm officially a Texan.