August 31, 2012

Embossed Birthday Card

I wanted to try the heat embossed and then coloured over and wiped clean cards I've seen on the net.  I stamped and heat embossed the design on the raised oval, with some intentional overlap on the card base.  I also stamped and embossed my sentiment.  Either I'm pressing too hard with my sentiment stamps (a real possibility as I'm used to having them not stamp the entire image) or my embossing powder was too thick, because towards the end it's hard to read.  To fix that (not seen in this photo) I over wrote the sentiment with a gold gel pen.  That also makes the sentiment pop more.

As for the ink painting, well again it's not my favourite, though it does bring out the embossed image...

Finally I attached the oval with pop dots and punched the edge of the card.

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamps: Inkadinkado - Floral Flourishes; Kaiser Craft - Birthday
Embossing powder
Ink: Memento
Punch: Martha Stewart Arch Lattice

August 30, 2012

Music and Lace

The next card I tried ink painting a background for was this one:
I was also trying to see how well I could line up the lace stamps (then covered the join).  

I'm not quite sure how I feel about this card...

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamps: Close to My Heart - Sweet Moments; Inkadinkado - Music Notes
Punch: Martha Stewart - Arch Lattice

August 29, 2012

Spring Tree Card

The same day I did yesterday's Baby, It's Cold Outside card, I did this spring tree card.
I 'ink painted' the grass.  It worked out pretty well, I think, giving some definition to the hills.  This is a card where the splotchiness of my job actually worked.

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamp: Technique Tuesday - Treemendous
Ink: Memento, Crayola Markers

August 28, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside

The next card I tried 'ink painting' on was a winter card using two new products, Technique Tuesday's Treemendous stamp and a liquid applique pen (for fake snow).

I stamped the ground, the tree, the snowman, bulbs and snowflakes.  Then I used a make-up brush and light blue ink to do the snowy sky.  It's much more splotchy than I would have liked, though it does give a kind of blizzard effect.

The applique goes on as a thin line.  You're supposed to let it rest for a few hours, after which you use a heat gun on it.  The lines puff up into snow!

Still not the ink painting I was going for, but I was learning things (even if I didn't learn them fast enough to apply them to my next few cards).

Oh, and the score lines on the sides are because I bought a Martha Stewart score pad.  For some reason I kept mistaking where the center score line should be, scoring it wrong and needing to do extra score lines to the sides so it didn't look like a mistake. :)  I did score lines on the right side of this card to give it a sense of symmetry.

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamp: Technique Tuesday - Treemendous
Ink: Memento, Crayola markers
liquid applique

August 24, 2012

Dinosaur Card

In a strange twist, the first card I really tried the ink 'painting' technique is the only one that's really worked so far.  It's a dinosaur card.  The dinosaur here was the challenge.  I kept forgetting to use an eraser on the stamp, and so got splotchy images when I tried to stamp it.  I also discovered that my Close to my Heart stamps (the first I've purchased) don't seem to like markers as much as they do inks.  On the plus side, I got a nifty two toned dinosaur, which I fussy cut out and pop dotted over the circle.

The trees were from a different CtmH set that didn't mind markers as much.  I taped a piece of acetate over the circle I cut out on my Silhouette (sort of a do it yourself Spellbinders effect) so I'd keep a white edge while inking the inside.  The sky and ground both worked out well, with me adding the dinosaur's shadow at the end in marker (not my smartest move with this card).

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamps: Close to my Heart: Roar, Happy Camper
Ink: Memento
Crayola Markers
pop dots

August 23, 2012

'Painting' With Inks

One of my favourite blogs is Crafting the Web by Theresa Momber.  If you haven't seen it, go check it out.  Not only is she a fantastic colourist using Copic markers, she 'paints' backgrounds using ink.  She has her own line of stamps from Gina K. Designs and gives step by step instructions on how to recreate her cards on her website.  Here's one sample of her work that focuses on scenery:

For some of my other favourite images, go here, here, here, here...  Just scrolling through all her back posts will bring up so many amazing cards.

I'd never seen this technique before, and decided I wanted to learn how to do it.  So I bought Memento inks (the ones she uses) and tried out several types of sponges.

Over the next several days I'll share my attempts (mostly failures so far) and what I've learned.

August 22, 2012

Inkadinkado's New Stamping Gear

I stumbled across this product on the Inkadinkado website a few months ago, and just learned that they're starting to be listed in stores (they're not shipping yet).  So, I decided to look into them a bit more and see if I want to try them out.  They've got two starter options, the Intro Kit (comes with the circle cog, paddle and 4 stamps) and the Deluxe Kit (comes with both wheels, both cogs, the paddle and 18 stamps).  There are also 12 separate stamp sets you can buy to supplement the kits.

First though, here's a video explaining what Stamping Gear is.

Basically, they've got circle and oval wheels and cogs.  You place your stamp on the paddle, which has a point that fits into the grooves on the wheels/cogs and allows you to make perfectly symmetrical designs.  They've got a nice technique pdf you can see with more ideas/information.

My concern with buying them is that the base pieces are quite large (the circle wheel is 6.25" in diameter, the oval is 7.5" x 6.25").  Of course, the outside size doesn't preclude stamping inside the shapes, or using the cogs (I couldn't find a size for the circle cog, as it comes with both starter kit and isn't for sale on its own, the oval cog is 3.75" x 2.75". Given the ratios of the wheels, I'd guess the circle cog is 2.75" diameter).  Obviously you could do partial ovals and circles on smaller cards, but I'd be more interested in full shapes, which would be quite limited or require me to make larger card bases.

They've got a number of great looking add-on stamps, petals for flowers, branches for wreaths, sun rays, etc.  I'm also debating which kit would be better to start with.  Obviously the Intro Kit requires less money, but as you can't get the Deluxe Kit stamps outside that set (and I like them better than the ones in the Intro kit)...  Ah well, there's still time to think about it.

What do you think of this new stamping technique?

August 21, 2012

Tea For Two Easel Card

Today I had the pleasure of getting together with a friend I haven't seen in YEARS.  The two of us, plus her young son and a mutual friend, went to Casa Loma (something else I haven't seen in years).

My friend, who writes Biblical fiction and Christian romances, recently started collecting tea cups.  I didn't want to bog down her luggage, so I made her a tea pot/cup card.  The pot and cups were cut out on my Silhouette.

It didn't want to lie completely flat for this picture so you can see the inside roses peeking out.

I wanted the card to be displayable, so I made it an easel card (my first).  I added a button to the tea pot lid inside, to hold it open.
Cardstock: Recollections
Stamps: Rose (Close to my Heart - Sweet Moments), Frame (Hot off the Press - Stamp and Punch), Sentiment (Kaisercraft - Friendship Sentiments)
Ink: Red Crayola Marker, Memento Tuxedo Black, Encore Ultimate Metallic Gold
Gold Accent: Sakura gel pen
Button: Dress it up - Color me red

August 16, 2012

Friends are angels without wings.

Less is More
and this time the subject of your creations should feature
I came across several posts about a new card challenge from Pretty Pink Posh: 10 Minute Craft Dash #1, free for all and so decided to combine that with this week's One Layer Less is More challenge: fur or feathers.  I'll admit I'm cheating a bit on the LIM challenge, using an angel, but I justify it by saying she's got wings and she's holding a bird. :)

I started by gathering my supplies, knowing I'd only have 10 minutes to put the card together.  Once I started the clock I cut my cardstock, lined up my stamps on my large acryllic block, inked and stamped them.  I then used chalk to give the angel's dress a bit of colour.  A little gold gel pen to the halo and voila!  Six minutes and 18 seconds.  After a few moments I decided it was a little TOO bare, so I added the ribbon.  Let's add another minute for that, so 7 minutes 18 seconds.  I must say, despite being a quick card and quite simple, I rather like this one.  And I LOVE the sentiment.

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamps: Inkadinkado Angels, Kaiser Crafts Friendship Sentiments
Ink: Memento Black Tuxedo
Chalk: Inkadinkado Brights
pink ribbon
gold gel pen

August 15, 2012

'Purse'uing Your Dreams card

Not one of my favourite cards, but quick and purposeful, was this purse card.  A close friend visited Italy as an early birthday present, something she'd wanted to do for quite a while.  She's much more 'chic' than me (which, trust me, isn't hard) so I used some patterned paper purses.  This card was made around the time I started to get serious about card crafting, and was increasing my stock of products (hence the patterned paper).  Aesthetically it's not one of my best.  I intend to give this friend a MUCH better looking card this year.  ;)

I generally hate puns, but couldn't resist using one for this, written in sparkly gel pen.

August 14, 2012

Lily of the Valley Card

This is one of my best old cards.  My mother loves lily of the valley, so I created this birthday card for her.  I used the Silhouette SD to create the shapes, cut them out and assembled the card.  I used a stylus to add some dimensional lines to the leaves to make it look a bit more realistic. 

It was my first real Silhouette project (I'd played with the software but hadn't done much cutting before this).  I liked how it turned out and added the wrapping string as an accent (as I didn't own any ribbon at the time).

August 9, 2012

Peacock Cards

I made these cards both because I wanted to use my new Peacock stamp set and metallic inks, but also because I wanted something to submit to this week's Less is More Challenge, Week 79Blue & Green.

The first card I did was purple ink on a dark green background (yes, I know, not the challenge colours).  I saw a card in Paper Crafts magazine a while back that had a gorgeous peacock feather in purple on a dark green background and thought it looked amazing.  My attempts to buy that particular stamp were thwarted by the stamps going out of print, so this is as close as I could get.  This card is also shorter than the other two (therefore it doesn't have a ribbon) because the first time I tried punching through the 2 layers of cardstock it messed up (the Martha Stewart punches aren't quite as strong as the Fiskars in this respect, so I changed the punch for the other two).

For the second card I used teal ink on a blue background (I didn't buy the metallic green, so this was the closest I could get).  I decided it wasn't quite close enough for the challenge so I did a third card, with blue on light green.
The inks really shimmer, but you have to clean you stamps IMMEDIATELY after stamping (I used soap and water as it's a pigment ink), or the ink won't come off completely (and even if it does come off, I noticed a faint staining effect).

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamps: Stampendous - Proud Peacock
Inks: Encore Ultimate Metallic - purple, teal, blue
Punches: Martha Stewart Arch Lattice, Fiskars Dotted Scallop Edger punch
Hot-Fix jewels iridescent - Darice; teal - Imaginesce (4mm), mystery company (3mm) (I bought a set in Germany but threw away the label as I hadn't planned on starting this blog at the time)
Ribbon - from stash (Note, the teal ribbon with silver edging was actually white, coloured with a teal Crayola marker)

Paper Crafts Magazine

If you're not following their facebook page or blog yet, well you probably should.  Aside from having lots of giveaways, they also do tutorials for new techniques and display a ton of new products (I've bought several stamps because I saw them demonstrated on the Paper Crafts blog).

Today they're offering a free magazine download.  You have to read the post carefully and the download's a bit slow, but it's an entire magazine devoted to holiday cards. :)  You do have to give them your email address to get the download, but if you don't want updates it's easy to unsubscribe later.  Enjoy!

August 8, 2012

A Progression of Baby Cards

Just to illustrate how my cards have improved (and sometimes regressed) over time, here are some baby cards I've made.  I seem to know a lot of people who have boys...

This is one of the first cards I did.  I'm not sure why I thought baby carriages look like Pacman.  Guess it had been a while since I last babysat.  The card's pretty simple, aside from the hanging 'BABY'.

I was much happier with the next baby card I made.  The hanging bibs turned out pretty good, I thought.

I'm a little embarrassed to say I made this card after the previous one, and around the same time.  It's basically shaped sequens glued around a stamped, but not coloured in baby carriage.  The BOY is on patterned paper using a thick silver paint that takes several hours to dry.

Finally, I managed to make a decent baby card.  The patterned paper is from a magazine, and I'd recently bought the buttons at the fall Creativ Festival.

My future baby cards should look better, as I've recently purchased some nice stamps (both pictures and sentiments).  I've also been applying more of what I learned in photography about the rule of thirds and combing magazines for layouts / card maps.

August 7, 2012

Steampunk Elizabeth

Things are busy at home - again - which means you're just getting a card again.  I really need to post some of my older cards, these new ones 'tend' to look pretty good (if I do say so myself) and I haven't finished convincing you that my cards used to look horrible (on average).

Anyway, this one I started last week with the background.  I've wanted a clock background stamp but wondered if I could make my own with the clock stamps I have.  Turns out I can, but with the masking it's rather time consuming.  It would have helped too had I confirmed the card base was right side up before I started (rather than at the end).  Hence all the upside down clocks.

Unless I know what occasion I'm using the card for I wait until I'm going to send it before adding a sentiment.

And as an aside, it turns out that you can tape an unmounted stamp to an acrylic block to stamp with it. I wouldn't suggest that as a long term solution, but it's definitely good in a pinch if you don't have mounting foam and want to use your unmounted stamp.

Cardstock: white Recollections
Stamps: Close to my Heart - Key Moments, Inkadinkado - Clock Wings, Make it Crafty - Elizabeth J
Ink: Memento Black Tuxedo
Markers: Crayola
Sakura gold gel pen
Martha Stewart scoreboard

August 3, 2012

Unmounted Stamps

Yesterday I talked about the different kinds of stamps you can get, including unmounted rubber.  That post was partly inspired by a recent order of stamps I received.  It's the first time I've bought unmounted stamps.  Alas, I didn't think about what's required to mount them when I ordered the stamps and now find myself with several sets of stamps I can't use.

Why's that?  You need to mount stamps on cling foam, and I've discovered that none of the craft/art supply stores near me carry it.  Which means I won't be able to use these until I place my next order - and order myself some cling foam.

In the meantime, I've been learning how to mount unmounted stamps.  According to this video by Bombshell stamps (found through a quick google search), it's pretty easy.

So, buyer beware.  If you're getting unmounted stamps, buy the cling foam right away or you'll find yourself staring wistfully at your new stamps unable to use them.  Though, having the stamps does mean you can figure out how much cling to buy.  

Simon Says Stamp (the next store I need to place an order with and so the only store I've checked for cling foam) sells EZ cling mounting foam in 8 1/2" x 11" sheets, thick (1/8") or thin (1/16").  Lucky for me, my stamps equal a full 8 1/2 x 11 sheet, so I'll only need one sheet and should have minimal waste. Unfortunately for me, I won't be placing that order for a few weeks yet...

August 2, 2012

Stamping Basics: Types of Stamps

There are 4* major types of stamps you can buy.  And here they are:

1. Wood mounted.  These are the most expensive, mainly because they're the longest lasting.  Red rubber allows for deep impressions with lots of detail, and the wood backing means stability.  They're hard to store unless you have a lot of room though, which is why there are other options out there.

2. Cling mounted.  Cling is a foam padding added to the back of rubber stamps that sticks to an acrylic block.  Note, it's not sticky on its own (though I've seen warnings that it will adhere permanently to blocks if stored on them), it just 'clings' to the block.  Sometimes the stamp face is printed on the back, sometimes it isn't.  (Note, I drew the line on the back of my unprinted stamps to help with alignment.)

3. Unmounted rubber.  Yesterday I got my first order of unmounted stamps.  They come... unmounted.  It's just a thin sheet of uncut rubber with your stamps.  These must be mounted either on cling or wood in order to be used.  Sentiment stamps and sheets of images have to be cut out.

4. Clear stamps.  These are popular due to their ease in placement (it's easier to get proper alignments when you can see what and where you're stamping).  You have to clean them properly and store them out of sunlight or they'll deteriorate quickly.  These have sticky backs that again cling to acrylic blocks for stamping.  You also have to condition these to remove oils (I've noticed the newer stamps I get don't have the problems I had with older sets with regards to stamping clearly without splotching).  This is easily done by lightly rubbing an eraser over the stamp (a trick I only recently learned.  I was beginning to despair that my stamping was just horrible when I stumbles across this trick.  I'll do a longer post about it later).

Acrylic blocks come in different widths, shapes and sizes, both with and without grid markings.  I find the grid helps when placing stamps, and it's best to have an acrylic roughly the same size as your stamp (if the acrylic is too big, you may press down the sides and get ink stains on your paper).

For a more detailed view of the pros and cons of rubber vs clear stamps, as well as pictoral evidence of why storing clear stamps properly is important, check out Mementos In Time's post about this.

* I say 4 because that's what I know (and own) right now.  But as I'm constantly learning new things...