One stamp 3 Ways

Okay, I have my one stamp but I only got two ways out of it so far. But I do have plans for a third way so stay tuned!

Task: Take one stamp set and use it to make 3 different styles of cards.
My take: Make a retro funky style, an elegant style and an artsy style.
Results: I didn’t get to the artsy style yet. This stamp set seems to really fit that task well since it is already distressed in nature. I plan on a watercolor look. Watch for that post. For this challenge I wanted to see how different I could get. So I used some highlighter markers to ink my stamp and get funky color and movement. Getting everything lined up (I ended up using a stamp positioner) was a pain. Clear stamps would have made this job WAY easier. The elegant card came out very well I think with the fruit stamp being shadded with ink and embossed with thick embossing powder. Adding a touch of gold washi finished it off. I’m happy with how I got different looks out of this same set. Good challenge!

Quick Pics

Just a couple of quick pictures of what I’m working on.

Task 1: Die cut fun foam and use it as a stamp.
My take: I didn’t have fun foam so I looked around for anything textural I could use that was thin enough to be cut with thin dies (although steel ruled dies and thicker materials were an option). I found thin cork (top heart), rubber shelf liner (middle heart) and sticky-back felt (lower heart) to cut. I used them as stamps then adhered them to the project too.
Result: Well the card layout is just too busy, but that is another problem altogether! Stamping with each material was doable but needed a little finessing. The felt and cork both absorbed a lot of color from the ink and became very dark, so using them as accent pieces made the color too heavy. I would have used them to stamp light colors of ink instead. My favorite was actually the rubber shelf liner it have fun texture and held the ink fairly well. I will try another design layout with these same materials for a cleaner and simpler design. Fingers crossed.

Task 1: Use ink pads direct to paper to create custom paper colors to match stamping.
My take: I used ink to create a paper strip that would highlight the negative space of the leftovers from the first card. I then stamped the message with the same ink for a balanced design.
Result: I really like the texture and color of this card. The subtle xoxo stamping was done with Versamark achieving tone on tone movement and balance. Very happy with the results here.

More embossing

If you read my last post you know I am taking a class and prompt #1 is to play with embossing. I didn’t have most of the items needed so tonight I tried some alternative ideas. Here is the report of what I tried.

Task 1: Make a multicolor embossed background. Use Post-It tape to mask off areas after inking with embossing ink. Add color 1 of embossing. Remove some masking. Add color 2. Repeat for all masking.
My Take: Use washi tape instead of Post-It tape.
Result: Washi tape was too sticky. It left sticky residue which clung to the embossing powder. It also lifted some of the embossing ink and thus get crisp images. (I used black, copper and silver embossing powders. Can you see all the colors? That part was lovely.)

Task 2: Make a faux ceramic tile. Using a chipboard element called Inchies, mask it, then die cut the whole thing with a wafter-thin die to just cut the masking paper while embossing the Inchie underneath to allow texture and different masked areas for inking. Cover the whole tile with clear embossing powder to get a ceramic look.
My Take: I used Avery label paper sheets as a masking paper replacement. I tried to reduce the sticky factor by running the sticky on my pants before using it. To replace the Inchies I simply cut chipboard into circles using a steel-ruled die.
Result: Masking paper was still too sticky. After running it through the die cutter, it adhered to the chipboard and peeled off the top layer when I tried to remove it to ink. This left an unpleasant fuzzy texture. The chipboard was just too dark to get the bright pops of color that the technique had. I do have thinner white chipboard so I may try again with that. (However, it may be too thin and the die may cut through it instead of embossing it.)

Task: Use different colors of embossing powder to create cool backgrounds.
My Take: Since I don’t have many different colors of embossing powder I tried making my own using clear embossing powder and Pearl Ex (an old, old stash item).
Result: I started with about a 2:1 ratio of powder to Pearl Ex and that was too much Pearl Ex (the white piece was stamped at this ratio). It did not allow a nice texture with the emboss. For the black paper I added more embossing powder for a 4:1 ratio. That worked better, gave nice color and nice embossed texture. As you can see the colors of Pearl Ex acted differently on white paper than black paper so this is important if you want a specific color for a project! One other note about the Pearl Ex: use an anti-static powder liberally before embossing because the Pearl Ex is VERY staticky and will stick to everything. After using the anti-static it still stuck to everything but was easy to wipe away using a baby wipe AFTER the heat embossing was finished.

Experiment with these things for yourself and see what you think!

Working a backlog

With holidays, illness and injury I have a backlog of Scraptastic Kits sitting on my desk. I started the club in September of ’13 as I talked about here and here. I’ve been really pleased with the usability, trendiness and quality of the kits that have come in the mail, even though I haven’t touched most of them. Well, the past two weeks have changed that! I worked a little bit from each of the backlogged kits and I have to say that I’ve loved most of what I used. Let me show you a sampling.

This one cam from the December Just Breathe kit + extra wood veneer + extra cut apart sheet. I used the sketch featured in Scraptastic’s blog about teaming up with Page Maps to provide a sketch challenge. I really enjoyed using the sketch. My process usually involves drawing up my own sketch before I start a page. But for these photos I had a really lackluster idea. This Page Maps sketch fit my two small photos perfectly and added some pizzazz to my layout that I don’t think I would have come up with on my own.

Then from the October Never Tear Us Apart kit, I made two layouts using the same basic sketch (my own). I don’t mind making very duplicate layouts when they are stored in separate albums. I’ve done this before and I’m sure I will do it over and over again. It saves me energy and I can get more scrapped! I just made slight adjustment to accommodate different numbers and sizes of photos. When I use lots of pictures I keep the layout very simple to let the photos and story stay central.

Here is one more set of duplicate layouts using the October Never Tear Us Apart kit. I was running low on the large alpha stickers for titles in this kit so I used them to emphasize the date and made a more detailed title on the Cricut and cut it from some of the colorful chevron paper for more interest. On the second layout I added in scraps of pattern paper on the left hand side to add more detail and to fill in the “gap” that was used for extra journaling on the first layout. Plus using bits of pattern paper helped me use a sheet of pattern paper (the blue and pink stripes, reverse side is pink and white scottie dogs) that I really didn’t like at all, neither a nor b sides. I can throw in bits of my less favorite items to still use up the whole kit without feeling like the “ugly” product is ruining my page. (I have to say this is the ONLY thing so far I have really disliked in a kit.)

Hope you enjoy.

Star Shine

I was very inspired by the Tuesday Trigger over at Moxie Fab World recently. I took this photo…

Tuesday Trigger at Moxie Fab World

and turned it into this card…

What I found most interesting about the trigger was the gold dots on the fabric. I turned that idea into sparkles in the sky for this shiny star card.

cardstock: Stampin’ Up (blue), Staples (white)
ink: Ranger
stamp: Stampin’ Up
gems: Imaginisce
pearl paint: Ranger

I arranged the gems in straight lines to represent a meteor shower and made the one big star the focal. I used the tip of the paint bottle to create lots of swirly texture. And here is a tip for you. When I stamped my sentiment it was crooked, so I fixed it by mounting my layer slightly crooked on the card base. That made the sentiment straight and added a bit of visual change to the card. So fun!

Matching card and envelope

Today’s post is brought to you by the matching card and envelope challenge over at The Paper Variety. The inspiration for the focal on this card I CASEd from a Moxie Fab World post. I also used pieces of technique for the background base on Tim Holtz’s Creative Chemistry 101 class.

Celebration Cake Art by Carey Hanes

So, with those three things in my brain I came up with this card and envelope set.

carstock: Stampin’ Up (green, black), Staples (white)
stamps, embossing powder: Stampin’ Up
die cuts: Cricut
inks: Ranger
bakers twine: Boxer Scrapbooks
markers: Copic
gems: Want2Scrap
modeling paste: Grumbacher

First I cut the cake + stand image on my Cricut. I then emossed the stand with copper embossing powder to give it a metal quality. I dabbed a scoop of modeling past on my craft sheet and colored it with a drop of brown dye ink. Using my Cricut spatula, I spread the modeling paste across the cake to give it a frosted texture. While it was drying I inked my background, created my candles and built up the card. Even then the cake was not dry. In the process of working with the modeling medium I learned a few things about it.

  1. Don’t heat it with a heat gun. It will bubble. Allow it to dry overnight for this kind of application.
  2. If it is applied to a single layer of cardstock, it will warp and roll up as it drys. Then it will crack when you unroll the paper. Try adhering it to something more solid to allow a good flat drying.
  3. It was fairly solid once dry. I thought I might have to mail the card in a padded envelope to prevent it from crushing and flaking. But once I felt the texture I decided to send it straight in the matching envelope (external embellishment removed for the sake of the Postal workers!).
  4. I think I would add a second layer to the cake but I didn’t have time to wait another day for drying.
  5. Most of all, it was fun to add this kind of texture to a project. I am going to experiment with different textural backgrounds.

Use it, don’t lose it

In this Moxie Fab World challenge we are encouraged to take pieces (non-paper) that we might otherwise throw in the garbage. Off my craft table I grabbed a few pieces of satin ribbon that were trimmed off the ends after wrapping a package. I also have a few small lengths of bakers twine and floss. When I fist grabbed the ribbon ends I thought I would turn them into little banners and stitch them down with the floss. However, after trimming the ends into points I thought it looked like butterfly wings. From there I trimmed both ends of the ribbon and used the twine and floss to tie the middle for the butterfly body and antennae.

cardstock, ink: Stampin’ Up
stamp set: Close to my Heart
other: ribbon and twine scraps

Handmade embellishments

Another Moxie Fab World challenge this week is to use a handmade embellishment as a focal point. I decided to go big and bold with this one. I needed an anniversary card for some friends and was stumped as to what I wanted to do for the focal. A heart makes a lot of since so I cut a large heart from my Cricut and gave it some real oomph. I painted it with Distress Crackle paint, added another layer of paint to create a sentiment backdrop and covered the whole thing with embossing powder for thick depth and shine. Plus when I stamped my sentiment into the warm embossing powder, it gives a bit of a debossed impression.

cardstock: Stampin’ Up, other
paints: Ranger
inks: Ranger, Tsukineko (Staz On)
embossing ink: Versa Mark
embossing powder, punch: Stampin’ Up
fibers: We R Memory Keepers

August Layouts

And now for August layouts! For these I used collage prints in a couple of ways. I am a fan of 8.5 x 11 photo collages but that doesn’t mean all my layouts need to be the same. You’ll notice that I used the collage prints in a number of different ways.

This first one I did not fill up the entire 8.5×11 space with photos. I varied the sizes of each photo to allow uneven borders around the edges. I then cut them apart, lined them right up against each other and outlined each photo with a pen to add definition to the collage.

For this next one I just left the collage print alone with its simple white border and I used the entire space to fill with photos for an even border all the way around.

And finally, I used the uneven outside border style from the first photo but an even border between photos. Instead of leaving the white photo border I cut the prints apart and layered them on a piece of patter paper for a more interesting photo mat.

Super Quick Valentines

My kids are not thrilled with the typical Valentine’s cards for kids that get exchanged every year. This year we decided to forgo the work and paper waste of Valentine’s cards and cut to the chase. The candy! So I pulled out a bunch of file folder labels, stamped them with a sentiment, had the kids sign them and wrapped them around some candy sticks to make them into little flags.

Stamps, ink: Stampin’ Up
labels: 3M
candy: Pixie Stix

You could use traditional candy sticks for these little flags. You could also cut a triangle out of the end of the label to make it more banner like. Easy, easy!