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

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bright butterfly Days

This page makes me smile everytime I look at it!  It's so cheerful and well... bright, how could anyone that looks at it not have their spirits lifted.

I purchased a pad of Canson Acrylic paper a couple of  months ago and decided to use a sheet in the journal that I'm putting together, so I cut a sheet to size and then monoprinted some new paints I had bought on sale recently.  Then I remembered the copier weight  paper I had in my stash.  Someone had given it to me years ago thinking I would use it up in no time making cards.  As you can tell they're not a stamper/card maker and didn't understand that we don't usually use light weight paper when making cards.  It's the thought that counts though.

I had purchased a daisy die by Sizzix and wanted to try it out and figured why not use the bright paper to experiment with.  Once I had them cut and started to play around with them to make flowers I remembered I had some already made that would match.  When I opened the zip bag with my pre-made flowers I found a butterfly die cut and the cardstock it had been cut from in the same bag.  I'd saved the cardstock to do reverse stenciling with someday and decided that was as good a time as any, so I started painting the butterfly and stencil all over the page.  Next I added a few decorative touches to the flower centers and  glued the flowers onto the page.  The page was now ready for journaling and since butterflies represent new beginnings I wrote words about rebirth and renewal of the spirit all over the page. I used several different pens in permanent and gel colored inks to write with.

Still makes me feel happy to look at this page and yes I know I once again forgot to leave my self a margin for binding, darn it!!

Paper: Astrobright copy paper for flowers and Canson Acrylic cut to size for base
Ink & Paints: acrylic paints by Apple Barrel and Americana / Sharpie pens and Sakura gel pens
Accessories: Sizzix, Spellbinder and Cuttlebug dies : glitter glue : K & Co/Brenda Walton dimensional Stickers
Techniques: Monoprinting, die cuts and reverse stenciling.   The butterfly and the black flower center on the larges flower are from Cuttlebug, the bottom right flower is a combination of Sizzix and Cuttlebug.  The bottom left flower is stamp from Imaginisce/Paper Mania-Snag Em Duo that I cut out with Spellbinder circle and scallop dies and then layered together.  Two of the flowers have star shaped resin centers from K&Co and two of them have glitter glue centers.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

All about the inside of a card

I decided to make a pop-up card recently for a birthday.  What fun and they are actually pretty easy to make once you "get" the concept.  Before we get to all the technical inside stuff though here is the front of the card.

The green card base was from a multi color pack I purchased at a convention from Paper Cuts, I created a background by repeatedly stamping an Inkadinkado/PSX foam stamp.  The stamp is part of a set of birthday stamps that I've had forever, sure has been a useful purchase.  You'll see another stamp from this set on the inside of the card too.

The rosette I made using Spellbinder scalloped and circle dies.  Here is a link to a previous post on how to make these: making rosettes.  The "make a wish sentiment and birthday candle stamps are from a Stampabilities set I picked up on clearance a couple of years ago.

I next used a Spellbinder labels 8 set to cut the middle panels.  I found the paint splash paper in my file cabinet.  I tried to find out who makes but have no idea.  I could tell it was torn out of one of those books of scrapping  papers that were popular at one time.  The surprise for you label was created using the smallest die from the Spellbinder Lattice Rectangles die set and a stamp from Post Scrips, long since gone.

Now its time to talk about the inside of the card

First off all of the die cuts on the inside of this card were purchased many years ago pre-cut and ready to use but I did make a few alterations.  I stamped the "Pin the tail on the donkey words/image using the stamp set I mentioned before and I colored the flame on the candle as well as the pom-pom on the hat with markers.  The corrugated finish to the balloons was how they came, all that was needed was strings which I attached on the back with tape.  To give the card continuity I created the same background using the same stamp that I had used on the front of the card.   I also glued the party hat and streamer onto the birthday cake to create one embellishment and then attached the whole thing to the notch I had cut into the base of the card.

There are tons of tutorials on how to make a basic pop up card including this one from Splitcoaststampers so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail but did want to show you that I did two different techniques.  The cake is pretty much the same technique as the tutorial I linked but since I wanted the balloons higher up on the card I use slightly different method which is equally easy and effective.  You simply cut a strip of cardstock that is thinner than the embellishment you are attaching and fold it to create a square.  Glue you embellishment onto one side of your square and then glue the opposite side to your card.  Just be sure you don't place it too high as your pop-up could show when the card is closed, unless that is the look you are going for.

The Happy Birthday stamp is from Stamp Camp.  The package die that I used to sign the card with is raised up on a spring, which is easy to do, a couple of pieces for Scotch tape at both ends and you are in business.  I even made the spring myself from a piece of scrap wire.  I had removes the wire from a piece of ribbon recently and all I needed to do was wrap the wire around a pencil and the spring for my card was ready to use.

Interactive cards are always a crowd pleaser.  You are guaranteed to get lots of smiles and everyone will be very impressed when they find out you made the card.  It's our little secret just how easy and fun they are to create though.

Friday, July 11, 2014

This scene was stamped after attending a stamp convention several years ago.  I really just wanted to see how the river scene stamp I had just purchased looked on paper.  The central foreground is messed up in a major way so I never used the scene.  I also needed more middle ground because the river looks like it runs off into the sky as it is now.  Must remember to keep an eye on perspective and make sure my images are grounded.

Such a shame I messed this one up since I was really happy with how the sky came out otherwise.  Isn't that always the way it goes, get one part "perfect" and mess it up in another area/way.  I decided to go ahead and use this page in my journal, mistakes are part of a stampers journey and are reminders of the "what not to do's".  That is an important part of growth as an artist of any medium.

The central river scene surrounded by trees image in this is from Stamping Sensations and the rocks, pebbles, etc on both sides are various stamps from Beeswax.  The waves in the foreground are from Posh Impressions and Inkadinkado but don't look at that part of the image, lol.  I colored everything with a combination of sponged inks and chalk pastels.

Remember to embrace and learn from those oops moments!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stormy Seas

The above piece started as a basic watercolor wash and has been sitting waiting to be finished for a while.  I'm still a novice at water-coloring but think this came out pretty good, love the soft green blue on the left side with a contrast of darker blue on the right.  I used a fan brush to add the streaks of rain.  Confession time, if you look closely you can see a reddish streak behind all the rain.  It was one of those oops moments, sigh.  Now that I've added the streaks of darker blue though it looks more like a continuation of the the shoreline off into the horizon. Yeah!!

The girl looking off into the distance and the sea gulls are from Beeswax stamps, the sailboat is a from PSX stamp.  I used Prisma pencils and OMS to color the images but the white pencil did not hide the blue color underneath the birds though so I ended up using white acrylic paint to color them instead.  Much better and as a bonus it gives them some texture.

The seashells in the bottom right and the sunglasses on the top left are pre-made die cuts from my stash.  I purchased them from a dollar store many years ago and decided to alter them some starting with the sunglasses.  I added VersaMark ink and clear embossing powder to the "glass" area of the die and put it into the freezer.  When I took it out I was able to crack the embossed area and then use a sponge with black ink to lightly go over the cracks to make them stand out more.  While I waited for the sunglasses to be ready to take out of the freezer I got started on the beach area of my picture.

The original picture did not have a beach foreground, it was sky and sea only and I wanted a sandy beach.  I grabbed a jar of Deco-Arts sandstone acrylic paste from the shelf and mixed a couple of drops of Ranger Tea Stain Distress ink to alter the color from off white to a golden "beach" color. Now I had a beach foreground that not only was the right color but had the look and feel of sand.  I then glued the seashell die onto the bottom corner and then added a little bit of the acrylic sand paste over the die to help it blend into and become a part of the scene.

The last things I did was to write my journal line and add some white acrylic for highlights.  I painted with a toothpick to create waves/swells in the stormy area of the picture and a small round brush to add watered down white acrylic paint on the beach for sea foam.  I hope there are no storms on your horizon and your summer is full of smooth sailing instead.