Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Challenge: Spots & Dots

I'm participating in the latest Wednesday challenge at Simon Says Stamp: Spots & Dots. Now, I can't seem to help myself - whenever I think of dots, I usually turn to a Hero Arts stamp set I've had for a long time with 4 different sized circles. It's called "Box of Dots" and I bought it years ago when my husband and I were in San Antonio. I talked him into a stop at the famous Stamp Antonio store. (Side note - that made me wonder if they are still in business; apparently they closed in March of this year.)

Anyway, I always seem to gravitate towards bright colors when I use this set. For another challenge post where I chose to use this set, click here.

For this card, I stamped my dots in various bright inks from Stampin' Up! I also used another circle stamp (the one in yellow). I like the overlapping of the circles and the additional colors that result. The sentiment is (I think) a Heidi Swapp stamp which is meant to be stamped in a single line. I cut it apart so that I could stamp it as shown. I added a bow with sheer pink ribbon and mounted the stamped piece onto a turquoise card base. This one was pretty quick and easy, and I always enjoy using bright colors.

Happy crafting!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Challenge: About A Face

This week's Monday challenge on the Simon Says Stamp blog is called "About a Face". The challenge is to come up with a project that features a face - a clock face, a person's face - the interpretation is open. 

After seeing an inspiring video tutorial on coloring with Distress Inks and Cut & Dry Nibs, I decided to give it a try. I pulled out a collage-style stamp I haven't used in a looong time. It's called "Small Rose Collage" by Paper Inspirations. The video I had watched suggested using Specialty Stamping Paper by Ranger which I didn't have. I thought the technique might work on some glossy paper I had in my stash, so that's what I used.

I stamped the image using black Archival Ink, which will not bleed when touched by water. This is important for the coloring, since the Distress Inks would make other black dye inks run. After heat setting, I followed the instructions on the video and used the nib to apply ink to the stamped image. I heat set after each color to prevent smearing. After all the coloring was done, I rubbed some darker Distress Ink on the edges to give it some definition.

I decided to use the image to make a card and went with a top-folding style. I rarely do this type of fold, but it's very popular right now so I  hopped on the bandwagon. I trimmed my stamped image and mounted it on a pale pink cardstock and wrapped some black & gold ribbon around the bottom. I mounted this panel onto a black card base. Normally I would stamp a sentiment for the card front, but I chose to leave it off this time. I think this card would work for any occasion, or just to send a note.

Here's my finished card:

Happy crafting!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Challenge: W is for White!

This week, Simon Says Stamp issued a challenge to use the color white. I thought it would be interesting to stamp and emboss in white on kraft colored cardstock. Here's how it turned out:

Kraft cardstock is great because it lends itself to any color combination you like. It can have a masculine or feminine feel, depending on what you do with it. I chose to use a flower flourish stamp with rather bold lines. I stamped with Ranger's white pigment ink, and heat embossed with white powder. I've learned the hard way that it's worth it to take the time to prep the paper before stamping or adding the embossing powder. Otherwise, little specks of embossing powder end  up where you don't want them and it's a pain to try to brush them off! I use a powder applicator by EK Success, but any brand will do.I stamped the sentiment on a separate piece of paper using ColorBox Warm Red chalk ink, and heat embossed that with a red powder. I ran some red ink along the edges after notching the ends. I trimmed the kraft piece down to fit on a white speckled card base, allowing the white to serve as a frame.

This was a quick and easy project, and I'm happy with the way it turned out. I hope the recipient likes it!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Challenge: I ought to use this more!

The Monday challenge for this week from Simon Says Stamp is to do something or use something that has been "neglected" for a while.

I decided to post a card I made for Operation Write Home that uses a stamp I've had for a long time, but haven't used much lately. It's part of a Stampin' Up! set that I still like a lot. I have to be in the mood for coloring to use it - it lends itself really well to watercolor.

The background is made from a couple of pieces of paper, stitched together on my sewing machine. The bird image is stamped on a plain old shipping tag with black Archival ink. I added color with a small watercolor set. The blotchy color on the tag background was done by pressing the tag repeatedly onto some of the watercolor which I'd dabbed onto my Ranger craft sheet. I also used a marker with a weird little tool called (I think) an ink spritzer. I've had mine for years, and I notice that now they are back in vogue! The spritzer forces air past the tip of the marker, which adds tiny little bursts of ink dots. I added some color to the edge with Distress ink and a blending tool, and attached the kraft colored heart from a cheapo set of stickers I think I picked up at the Dollar Spot at Target.

Even though there is a lot going on here, it really was fairly quick and easy - just the way I like it!

Happy crafting!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mission: Stash Reduction - Belated Father's Day

Hi, all. Although Father's Day has come and gone, I did make some cards that I sent off to Operation Write Home that I meant to post. I am still working my way through papers that I'd like to use up, and enjoying stamps I haven't touched in a while. Here's a sample of some cards I made.

These cards are part of a larger group of miscellaneous cards I made using up a sheet of dimensional white letter stickers, called "Thickers". I'd had them so long that the adhesive on the back of the letters wasn't very good anymore, but I hated to throw them away. So I laboriously put drops of a strong liquid adhesive on the backs of the letters, then weighted each card down with books. (I keep a box full of old telephone books just for this purpose.) I always put a sheet of waxed paper between the project I'm drying and the book so that if any adhesive leaks out, it won't make my project stick to the book. Although it took some time, I was very pleased with the results of the white letters against darker backgrounds. Can you tell that I cheated on the second card and used "p" stickers upside down in place of "d"?

The next two cards make use of some Stampin' Up! sets I have. I stamped with Ranger Archival Ink (it won't bleed when it comes in contact with water) and used a brush loaded with inks diluted with water to color the images. Very quick, easy, and I love doing it!

I hope some of our military personnel enjoyed sending these cards home.

Till next time,

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Challenge: Anything Goes

This week's Monday challenge from Simon Says Stamp was "Anything Goes". That leaves the door wide open for me to have some fun!

I decided to submit a card I made a while back while playing around with alcohol inks and glossy paper. It's kind of messy, so I don't get those out very often, but the results are very cool. I always use latex gloves to prevent staining my fingers, and Ranger's craft sheet is indispensable for this technique.

Here's the card I made:

The portion of the card with alcohol inks is the multicolored background behind the filmstrip stamp (made by PaperArtsy). The card base is stamped with Architectural Elements from Stampin' Up! in a light color, with a splatter stamp used over that. The rest of the card is layers of miscellaneous scraps, including a tiny tag from a package of Grungeboard that had been in my stash for a long time. It was nice to finally find a use for it. The sentiment is from a Tim Holtz set - it seemed to fit the "feel" of the image with the man walking away.

This turned out to be a fairly quick and easy card. While I had the alcohol inks out, I made some other backgrounds for cards. I like to do things in batches - it seems to save time in the long run.

Till next time,


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cure for the Monday Blues Challenge #18

I'm back with my take on the challenge issued this past Monday based on this image:

I drew inspiration from the dots on the pegboard, the colors orange and turquoise, and the black circle with white text on the jar. There is a lot to look at here, so I needed to whittle it down a little bit! Here's what I did:

I used a white card base, adding some orange textured paper as my background. I was excited to find some black dotted tape in my stash, which seemed like the perfect nod to the dots on the pegboard in the photo. I used a small alphabet stamp set to stamp the word "hello" in Ranger's white pigment ink on some black cardstock. I embossed the letters with white embossing powder. (I was careful to brush powder with my EK Success Powder Tool to keep the embossing powder from sticking all over the paper - just to my stamped letters.) After stamping and heat embossing, I used a circle punch to get that perfect circle. Believe me, there's no way I can cut anything as nice as a punch can do in no time! 

After mounting the circle on the card front, I wanted to include a little of the turquoise (seen in the stack of washi tape in the original photo). I pulled out some tiny buttons I have, and used three - groups of odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye than even numbers. I attached the buttons with Glossy Accents, which holds so well.

This is much more clean cut and graphic than what I usually do, but I enjoyed the challenge.

Happy crafting!