I have been stamping for years and am excited to share and learn along with you.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Virtual Convention coming to RSC May 3 - 7 2012

Do you like attending rubber stamp conventions?  All those companies gathered in one place, selling everything needed to create paper crafting "master pieces".  What's not to love right??

Except maybe the long drive if you don't live close by or maybe there is a scheduling conflict that keeps you from attending.  How about the standard convention food, of which the best stuff always sells out before you stop to eat.  Would you like to not have tired feet when it is all said and done, maybe even do your shopping in your pj's...

When the Rubber Stamp Chat forum was started years ago, Amy aka XrayAmy the owner started a tradition called the "Virtual Stamp Convention".  It was a new concept where a special area was temporarily opened up at the forum for stamp companies to sell their stamps and other supplies at special RSC member discounts.  The convention usually lasts for one weekend only but you can shop around the clock, until you drop.

Each company that signs up to participate has a thread on "the convention floor", that they can list what they sell, explaining discounts and specials they are offering RSC members that weekend. Their thread usually includes links and special discount codes, some have even created a special web page that can only be found/accessed thru the RSC convention. 

There is also a place for members of RSC to start discussions about what they have purchased or anything else convention related that they want to "Chat" about.  We been known to start virtual "happy hours" where we pretend we are actually together in one place enjoying margarita's or something and discuss the snacks we are eating while we shop online.   Virtual food is calorie free you know so worries about blowing that diet you are on.  Basically we just get plain silly and have fun enjoying each other's virtual company!

Oh yeah, the comment about shopping in your pj's.   Well certain members really have been know to stay up all night surfing the web in said pj's, checking out all the vendors attending the convention with a credit card at the ready.  So come check it out Thursday May 3rd - Monday May 7th.  Just don't say I didn't warn you when you shop in your jammies!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Card and a preview

This is the Easter card I made for my son this year, nothing cutsie.  It's simple, masculine and full of love.  He is after all a young man now and not a little boy, sigh.  I used Versafine Sepia ink, Spellbinder dies, a Cuttlebug Embossing folder, foam tape, white cardstock, handmade (but not by me, lol) cardstock and stamps to make his card.  The bunny and eggs stamps are from Eureka Stamps and the sentiment is from After Midnight.

This is a preview of my "how to" post for next week....  Hope you have a great weekend and be sure to check in next week for more about the above picture.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coloring on Black Cardstock

A friend over at Rubberstamp Chat started a thread/list of techniques that can be done with black cardstock recently.  I had seen articles about using white or other very light colored pencils as a base that you then color over using the actual color you want in stamp magazines a few years ago and have even seen it talked about in non stamping colored pencil how to books.  According to the books even dark colors that would usually disappear on the black cardstock will show up this way.  I mentioned the technique which of course then resulted in a request for the above example.

As you can see not only do the colors you try to color with but the quality of the pencils can make a difference as well.  You can however use even cheap (Crayola) or a mid range priced (EKS-E K Success) pencils to enhance your stamped image.

After making the example chart I decided to make a card with this technique and my Prisma pencils.  I stamped my images in white ink and let them dry completely, do not emboss your images.  After the images are dry go over everything with a white pencil, redrawing all lines and filling in with white where needed.  You will notice that I did not fill in the flower petals and leaves on this example completely.  I wanted to keep the spiral detail of the stamp image and coloring in the whole thing would have resulted in solid petals and leaves instead. 

I selected this flower image so you could see the difference the white pencil underneath made.  It also is a reminder to think ahead before you color everything in white, don't get carried away and lose the detail of your image. 

You can really see the difference the white makes on the leaves and grass.  I used darker colors for both of those and without the white underneath the greens really do dissappear.

One other trick I learned recently.  If you place a textured surface underneath your cardstock when coloring in, you can get some wonderful results.  Not only can it emboss the paper but the color you use "skips" across the surface instead of filling in completely.  If you want to get the texture without the embossed effect then use the side of the pencil and a very light touch instead.  You will still get the appearance of texture without pressing in the surface of your paper.  I hope on the picture below you can see not only the bumps but the flecks of turquoise on the dragon flies wings where it colored only the raised parts of the wings.

Here is the finished card:

The flower is from DMD-Creativity Inc and the dragonfly is from Beeswax.  The bright happy colors I used help balance out the darkness of the black cardstock.  I smile and think Spring whenever I look at this card.  Hope you give coloring on dark cardstock a try and be sure to let me know what you think once you have. 

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One of those "hard" cards to make

One of  my least favorite and most difficult cards to make is for someone with a serious illness such as Cancer.  I never know what to say in these cards other than so sorry and/or thinking of you and that seems so inadequate.  When someone is going thru treatments and the outcome is unknown though, it really is all you can say.  It always seems to be enough however, once the recipient opens the card.  To them it is more about your caring enough to take time for them.

I just found out that my new next door neighbor is going thru Chemo for lung cancer and this is the second time he has had to do so.  He was given only 6 months 3 years ago.  Each day since has been a gift for the couple but the news that the cancer was growing again was quite devastating none the less.  The fact that I haven't gotten to know them yet makes card made even more difficult.  Thankfully inspiration struck and the above card is what I came up with.  It's simple and pretty to look at, without being too feminine.

I used a damp sponge to applied diluted distress inks on hot press watercolor paper.  The colors I used are Spiced Marmalade, Crushed Olive and Peeled Paint.  Once the ink/paper was dry I stamped an image from Stamp Oasis/Rubbernecker called Forest Cathedral with a Versafine Vintage Sepia ink pad.  The image is actually larger than I wanted so I then trimmed some of the image off and used only the center portion.  I use only a portion of images a lot.  I cut part off or I ink up only the section I want using the corner of an ink pad.  It is a great way to get more use out of the stamps you have.  You might want to keep that in mind next time you are stamp shopping, great way to stretch your $$$$ and get more use out of those stamps.

You will notice I cropped the top corners only of both the image and the green CS I matted it onto.  This visual "trick" helps enhance the archway or Catherdral effect of the stamped image.  I also used a white gel pen to color in the doves at the top of my image, they looked odd speckled in colors of orange & greens.  That is the only coloring I did to the image though.  I then glued the matted image onto white cardstock that has vertical line texture.

Next I stamped the bible verse from Stamp La Jolla in the same Sepia ink I had used already.  I cut  it out leaving a very small margin of white all the way around.  While it was drying I cut a Spellbinder Fancy Tag 2 die.  The bible verse is longer than the die so I cut the tag in half and glued the halfs on to the the back of the bible verse.  I added the bible verse tag to my card using foam tape.  It slightly overlaps the stamped image and this eliminated that visual conflict.  It also helps with the feeling of going into the forest.

Lastly a simple Thinking of you stamp (by a company no longer in business)  using Sepia Brown again for the inside and it was ready to deliver.

So next time you need to make "one of those" cards don't get overwhelmed by the task.  Making a card by hand is what they will remember, not what the inside of the card says.  Lastly a big thank you to my RSC family for helping me work thru that same feeling of "what to say" and reminding me to just keep is simple.  Y'all are the best!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just a couple of tags I made

These are tags I made one evening while trying to get my creative muse going again.   I use white cardstock on both of these but the one on the left is on glossy cardstock and the one on the right was made using regular CS.

The tag on the left:  I first took the Cuttlebug Script embossing folder and inked the side where the images are depressed ( pushed in) with Old Paper Distress ink and ran it thru my Big Shot.  This gives the background color and leaves the embossing the original color.  The three flowers at the bottom are a Sizzix die.  I added glitter glue that matched the fairy image I wanted to use on my tag.  The fairy image was a RAK, so I'm sorry I cannot tell you who makes it but came with areas already accented with glitter and using the same silver glitter on the rest of the tag ties it all together nicely.  Next I cut out an oval using a Spellbinder die and used Old Paper distress ink around the edges, leaving the center white.  I then stamped the sentiment from Innovative Stamp Company using Marvy Pink sentiment.  Then I stamped the flower clusters which is a peg stamp from Rubber Stamp Tapestry using the same pink ink pad.  I added silver glitter to the centers of these flowers like the once at the bottom of the tag.  I then  decided to change things up just a bit and added a white iridescent glitter to the edges of the oval.  This way it matches the rest of the tag because it has glitter on it but the difference in color is slight enough to help draw attention to it.  To reinforce the tag hole I added another  Sizzix flower die that I added the same glitter color as the oval since it would mostly be covered up by that oval and I wanted it to blend into the background.  I used foam tape the adhere the oval so it was slightly raised above the fairy graphic.  The rose at the bottom was cut from a tissue box.  I then use colors of glitter glue that matched the image.  Once dry I glued it to the bottom of the tag from the back side.  A bit if ribbon and done.

Tag on right:  I first stamped a face stamp from Lost Coast using Tattered Rose Distress ink color.  I then masked that image and most of the tag before stamping a script stamp from Rubber Necker using Old Paper Distress Ink.  Other images used on the tag are: Stamp image and paint brush are both by Lasting Impressions with Panache using Tea Stain and Broken China ink; Wizard by Lost Coast was stamped with Old Paper and the girl at bottom (also from Lost Coast) was stamped multiple times with Tea Stain; lastly the rose and leaves are Rubber Stamp Tapestry images and were stamped using a very old green pad from PSX and a reddish color called Henna by Ancient Page.  Once everything was dry and all masks had been removed I used Old Paper ink around the edges of the tag and then colored the images using chalk pastels.  I sealed the tag to keep the chalk from rubbing off.  Lastly I added fabric strips (scraps really) and embroidery floss for ribbon.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Remember Me

I am so sorry to have abandoned you.  I should have known that trying to start a blog my son's senior year would be tough.  In addition to that I have been in a major creative slump, ugh!!  Stress of everything that has been/is going on had been nipping at my heels for a while and caught up with me finally I think.

I do have a few pieces to share including my Mardi Gras doll but in the mean time I hope you like the ATC I made in way of an apology.  Notice the texture in the Tree trunk, I used a Fiskar texturing plate.  The tree is from Eureka stamps and the fairy is 100 Proof Press.  Colored with chalks except for the fairy's wings which I used irredecent Twinks on.

I have also been doing some major cleaning/re-organizing of my crafting room because of this:

An all stop, while I looked for new shelving definitely was a priority before everything came crashing down but weeks later I'm still at it.  What a mess!  Here are a couple more before pics: I'll take some pics of the now over the weekend and post them next week.  Just remember the room is still a work in progress. 

Later y'all, it's trash day and I need to do some more "work" in my stamp room before they get here.....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Valentine Cards

Here is the card I made my husband for Valentines day:

and here are some close ups as well:
I used Tattered Rose and Old Paper Distress inks on this card and the rosette which I made with the Eyelet Pendant dies from Spellbinder.  I also used the Labels 8 set to create the sentiment plaque up top.  The heart I created by die cutting 5 hearts from a Sizzix set, 3 using the same colors as the rest of the card and 2 a matching peachy pink  pearlescent cardstock.   Some bits or ribbon and a button and done.

I made my son a tag instead of a card, he's a teen and the way to his heart is .... well FOOD!  The ribbon down the middle is a sticker - looks real ribbon doesn't it.  The heart tag and name plaque are Sizzix dies.  I stamped several different "sayings" on the heart from a set that is no longer available.  The embossed heart cardstock is more of the pearlescent cs in another color that I ran thru a heart embossing crimper and then cut into strips.  The cherub is from a package of dies I got on clearance forever ago.  Found out why the stuff was super cheap when I got home.  Weird colors!!   This cherub was originally green, ummm ick but a little acrylic paint and now I had a very shiny and beautiful cherub to use on my card.

Have a great weekend.  I hope to have my Mardi Gras doll done and mailed out soon.  Once the recipent has received it I can share some pics of her.    I have received my MG doll and all I can say is WOW!!  I was blown away when I opened her up and more than a little intimidated to create something even close to that level of "majesty" with my doll.  Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Pat aka CritterPortraits, what a true treasure she is!!

I will try to get some pics to show you of her as well but it is going to be dark, dreary & rainy all day today. 

At least Texas is getting rain, we still need lots to refill the lakes around here. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

nothing new to show

Sorry but I haven't gotten to do much in the way of stamping this week, so I don't have anything new to show off.  Only stamping related work has been in the way of gathering supplied for the Mardi Gras doll I'm making and I can't show that off yet.  I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise for the recipent.

There has been lots of family stuff going on, including ordering my son's cap, gown and graduation annoucements, sigh.  That all by itself can go a long way towards squashing the need to be creative.  On a happier note, the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is in town.  I thought since I don't have any new cards to show you I could post a couple of pictures for inspiration instead, be it the colors or the western/cowboy theme.

I'll be finishing up DH's valentine card and starting one for my son this weekend so hopefully I'll have something to show you in the next couple of days.  I also received my Mardi Gras doll in the mail!!  All I can say is WOW!!!  I will post a few pics of her for you also, just as soon as I can get a few taken and uploaded.  In the mean time here are the pics from the rodeo.   Just click on them to make them bigger.

Have a great weekend y'all.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Neg Ink Embossing Cards

I have two more negative ink embossing cards to show you using Cuttlebug folders.  I used the same ink on both of them, Ranger's Old Paper and Marvy's Salvia Blue.  I also used the same Hero Arts Happy Birthday stamp on them, on the first one I used Ranger Old Paper and the second one I used Marvy's Jungle Green.  I then hand cut the birthday tags out.  The first one also has a Sizzix die and another Cuttlebug border that I also used the reverse inking technique on.

The second one I used the same Fiskar corner punch on all the layers and then glued a hand cut teacup image in Salvia Blue on top of the layers.  When I folded the base card I left about half an inch of the inside flap showing.  I then opened up the card and masked off that border area so I could "stamp" it.  I took one of the embossing folders I used on the front of the card and inked up the raised impression side (a reverse of before) this time and then used that as my stamp.  To balance the inside of the card I did the same thing to the left border as well. 

my stamped border

inside with borders on both sides
The stamps inside are: Hero Arts, Lasting Impressions with Panache and Stamps By Judith.  The Tea Cup on the front is by a company that hasn't been around for a long time - sorry.

Now I just have to decide which of the three cards to drop in the mail this weekend for a friend's birthday and I'm having a really hard time choosing just one!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dress Form with Negative Embossing

I have been spending a lot of time looking at gallery uploads at SCS this week.  Their Monday "Try a New Technique" posting has resulted in the the most gorgeous cards being uploaded.  It was a simple technique but with a twist.  The actual technique is very simple: add ink to the side of an embossing folder that is recessed.  When you run the card stock thru your machine the embossed parts don't change, only the background color changes.  The twist was to use white or cream card stock and a pale golden or beige color ink, resulting in an almost bisque or pottery looking finish.  Super elegant!  Of course I had to give it a try.

Here is a close up of what negative embossing looks like:

and here is my completed card:

Supplies used were a dress form template that I had cut out, Spell Binder Labels and a Spellbinders Fancy Tag dies sets, Hero Arts stamp, Ranger Antique Linen Distress ink, Kromecoat glossy card stock in white, creamy off white hand made paper, ribbon and lace, green thread, white silk flower and white stick on dots for the fancy tag.

I've got some bits left over from playing with this technique and hope to have more cards to show you.  In the mean time why don't you give it a try and for more info on how to do the actual technique go to SCS: Inspired By Belleek Pottery

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A neighbor’s barely 20 something son had knee surgery this past week so I needed a masculine card with a touch of humor.  Sounded to me like the perfect time to get out and use some of my new purchases.
This card stock is called Rusted Metal and I got it in the clearance bin from Paper Cuts during the Heirloom convention.  Not sure why it is called “rusted”, it is a beautiful old fashioned metallic gold color with a black core.  It’s perfect for embossing and sanding, especially on masculine cards.  I cut a sheet into fourths and used the new to me TH folders “clock works & steam punk” and as you can see for yourself they look amazing.  The other piece is a Cuttlebug folder I already had and will be using some other time as well as the 4th piece of still plain card stock.  As in love with this cardstock as I am though they probably won’t sit unused for long!

I took both the steam punk and clock works embossed card stock pieces and cut them into smaller pieces.  Four each, for a total of eight.  That gave me enough to frame my base card, leaving a hole in the middle for my central stamp image to over lap onto.  Before I glued the pieces down I lined all 4 sides of the base card with a gold leafing pen to tie it and the embossing together.  I love the look alternating the 2 different embossing folders gives to the card.

The stamped image of the man on a bike is from Rubbernecker Stamps, don’t you love him.  I do!  I first stamped him in black then masked him so I could add sky colors around him.  Next I pulled the off mask and dabbed white “clouds” around and over him.  I used 2 Labels 8 dies from Spellbinder to cut him and a black mat out.  I rubbed the edges of both with a silver ink pad to make them stand out more.  The gold and black embossed pieces were over whelming everything until I used the silver.  It is often the little details that make a card work.  Unfortunately the blue above the man in the bike got cut off when I die cut him out, so I’m not sure the feeling of “flying thru the sky” comes across but I hope so.

I then used an extra large needle to run the string around the bike tires, leaving enough tail to later attach up top.  Next I stamped, colored and cut out the arms, they are from Lost Coast stamps.  I glued the hands to the top of the card and then pulled the strings up thru the hands to the inside of the card with the needle and taped them down. 

The inside of the card I did by computer on another piece of paper  so I could hide the strings.  It says, “Need a lift?  Hope this card gives you a laugh and does the trick.  Get well soon”. 

There you have it: masculine, steam punk, and I got to use several of my new toys all in one card making session!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another card for the Anything Goes group over at the Planet.  The Garden image is a PSX stamp and I stamped it with Ancient Page Cobalt Blue.  I created the frame by stamping a border stamp from Lost Coast 4 time in the same color of ink.  I then cut corners at a 45 degree angle with a craft knife.  After it was taped together I used a silver leafing pen around the inside edge for depth.

The label is from the Spellbinder's Fancy Tags 2 set.  I cut a white oval from their Petite ovals set.  The thanks is from K & Company, stamped with the same Cobalt Blue I used on the other 2 images.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Whoops!!  Looks like I need a coupon for some new cutting plates for my Big Shot. 

What do you think?  "LOL!!
I guess that noise you hear as you run your stuff thru isn't always "normal".

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thinking of you blue rosette


Evidently blogging is going to require retraining the brain a bit.  Remember that sneak peak in my last post?  I started making the card using the Spellbinder Eyelet Shapabilities dies and before I knew it all the pieces were completed and it was time to start assembling my card.  Problem was I forgot to take pictures along the way for the blog. Oops!!  Good thing I have another card to make.  This one is similar but it is in another color scheme and with a few different embellishments.  The other one is going to be this year’s valentine’s card for my husband and I’ll post it later with an explanation how it came together but here we go with today’s card:

Above is a picture of the dies I used for this card and how I laid them out on my cardstock before cutting.  They are all Spellbinder dies from several different sets.  I used both circle dies from the Eyelet set and one of the matching border Eyelet dies as well.  I also cut 2 circles smaller than the inner Eyelet die; these will be used as a base and reinforcement for the rosette I’m making.  Actual size doesn’t matter as long as they are smaller than the rosette and center embellishment you are going to use on your rosette. They will affect the size your rosette will become though since that is what the ring will be scrunched up and glued to.  I also cut a scalloped circle, although I ended up using the wrong one this time.  I meant to cut one slightly larger than the Eyelet circle but ended up with one slightly smaller.  Just means I won’t have a double scallop effect on the top center of my rosette but I still get to layer them for a great coloring effect which I will show you later in this post.

As you can see, the larger circle actually ends up as a ring of paper.  I have seen many tutorials for taking a strip of paper and accordion folding it, gluing the ends together and then making the rosettes but did you know you can make one from a paper ring as well?  I have used my score board and a stylus to make the folds in the ring before but this time I used the pattern of the ring as a guide and made the folds by hand.  Sometimes the “old fashion way” of doing something is just easier.

I am going to upload this to the January challenge for “Anything But Cute” group over at Paper Craft Planet so it had to blue as well as a thinking of you card, so I pulled out my chalks.  This card was screaming subtle to me and chalks are always a good option when you want color without over powering your card.  I first applied chalk to my dies cuts and there is no right or wrong with this step, just follow your instincts.  The best part of using chalks is the ability to erase if you don’t like something.   I added more blue to the scalloped circle so it would be darker and show thru the pattern of the eyelet circle cuts.  Does not show up as well online but it really helps the eyelet design on top of the rosette pop.

 Next I stamped my sentiment from K & Company with VersaMark ink.  I then added chalk over the stamped image.  Let the stamped image sit for a few seconds first to partially dry before applying chalk or you might smear the VersaMark, however.  Next rub the image with your finger, this will help set the chalk into ink so it doesn’t come off later.  Just be sure you finger is clean so you don’t transfer something else onto the card and ruin it.  Now take an eraser and go over the stamped image to remove the excess chalk.  Notice how the stamped image does not erase and remains, pure magic!

You can now begin to make your rosette.  I am not going to go into a lot of detail how to do this since it is not really a new technique and can be found everywhere; using a precut  paper ring or a strip of paper glued together to form a ring does not change the “how to” from this point on:
1)      Scrunch your ring of paper and use the circles you cut; one glued to the bottom with a glue gun to form the base, then glue one to the top of your rosette for reinforcement.
2)      Glue the eyelet circle onto the scalloped circle.
3)      Glue this onto the top of your rosette and it is done.

You are now ready to assemble the card.  I used white antique linen paper for my base.  I love how it adds to the soft feminine look of the card.  I also added a bit of lace below the border cut.  I hope my sister in law likes the card and it brightens her day.

In either pink or blue I think this would be great as a "New Baby Congratulations" cards too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I had a great time Saturday at the Heirloom Convention seeing friends and catching up.  It was crowded, in a good way!  It felt more like the conventions of a few years ago, even had vendors in the hallway and two side rooms again.  Best of all though, people seemed to be buying!! 

Don't know about you but I have been a little worried that stamp conventions would be a thing of the past before long.  My favorite stamp store already closed a few years ago and I would be really sad if there were no conventions to attend either.  Buying online and at big box stores just isn't the same, know what I mean?

Anyway here is some pictures of my purchases Saturday:

I have already been playing with some of the stuff I bought.  Here is a sneak peek at some of my "experiments".  I promise to post pics of completed cards using these things soon.  

For now though, I'm off to play with my new toys some more.