Fabulous Finds Friday — Stamp Press

Do you have trouble stamping large wood block stamps? I do! I just don’t seem to have the hand strength to make a good impression. So I was thrilled to find the Stamp Press from Speedball.

 tools speedball press 1

This simple gadget, designed for printmakers, has a soft rubber cushion on the base and a simple lever. Put your paper on the base, right side up. Ink your stamp, then place it ink side down on the paper and pull down the lever. Presto! A great impression.

It may take a little experimentation to get a feel for the press, such as how hard to press down and where to place your paper and stamp. You don’t need to press very hard — in fact, if you press TOO hard, the rubber squishes a bit and you won’t get a clean impression, especially on fine lines.

You can also use unmounted images with the press. Some stampers like to place their unmounted rubber on the base, inked side up, then place the paper on top.

Below are two cards made using the large Flower Grid wood mounted stamp by Hero Arts (in the background). The Stamp Press gave me a nice, even imprint.

flower grid bkgrd birds

(four birds: Crafty Individuals; heartfelt wishes: Hero Arts. Trim by Maya Road)

flower grid bkgrd birthday

(flower duo and happy birthday by Inkadinkado. Stickles cinnamon glitter is dotted around the edges)

Sizzling Out of Summer

Summer is almost over (although you’d never know it from the weather) and the children are returning to school. But it’s still sizzlin’ here in Southern California. Time for a nice, cool drink… and another card using those bright die cuts from K&Company:

K&Co martini

Check out some of the summery die cuts au natural:

K&Co variety

And speaking of back-to-school… and children… sometimes we parents need a little help. Or maybe we just need to know we are not alone!

There are lots of parenting blogs around today, but one of my favorites is ParentTalkToday, written by my friend, Kathy Sena. She has her finger on the pulse of all things parenting, from how to deal with childhood diabetes to what movies to see. My favorite entries on her blogs are her great stories about the trials and tribulations of being a parent! As Kathy says, “We’re all in this together.” Check out her site at www.parenttalktoday.com

Fabulous Finds Friday — Studio Blackbird

carson studio blackbird sign

Pawing through the baskets and bins at Studio Blackbird’s booth is like poking around in Grandma’s attic. (A very crafty grandma’s attic.) Besides the awesome stamps, you might find anything from teensy playing cards and artsy letters to doll body parts.

You never know what you’ll find here…. but whatever it is, it’s bound to be fabulous! Enjoy this peek.

. carson studio blackbird stamps

(The stamps are from their sister company, Invoke Arts.)

studio blackbird letters

studio blackbird stuff

Visit them at: www.studiosblackbird.com and check out the stamps at their sister company, www.invokearts.com

Fabulous Finds Friday — ATC shrines

ATC shrine, etc.Ever since I wrote about ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) for the August issue of Crafts ‘n things Magazine, I have been addicted to this mini art form. Measuring only  2.5 x 3.5 inches, ATCs are so quick to create, you’ll want to do a dozen.

So my fabulous finds this week are ATC shrines and holders from Coffeebreak Designs. The shrine and the box come unassembled, so you can paint and decorate to your heart’s content. You may not be able to see it, but the ATC on the left is being held up by a cute acrylic easel.

Because an ATC is so small, it is fast to create and a great way to practice new techniques. Also, they are easy to store, so you can stash your practice cards into a convenient notebook or holder. They don’t take up much room and you have a handy reference guide. Just remember to write the technique information on the back!

In the dandelion ATC, I was playing with a resist technique. 

(stamps: Hero Arts)

(stamps: Hero Arts)

The geisha was stamped on tissue paper, colored, then cut out and placed over the background, which is made of a baby wipe that was stained with watercolor. ATC geisha

Here are a few more:

ATC umbrella man, graffiti wallATC birds, ASITH

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Core’dinations

Oh, the texture! Oh, the colors! Oh the possibilities of core’dinations cardstock (yes, editors, it is a lower case “c”). This is a yummy collection of lightly textured papers that have a cordinating  colored core. That means that when you tear them, sand them or otherwise distress them, the coordinating color shows through.

These papers are made to be abused!


Here is a sample from Black Magic. This sheet has a yellow core. coredinations paper

The piece was embossed in the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder, then sanded to bring out the yellow.

Core’dinations come in a wide selection of color combos, including Chocolate Box (a dark, rich core), Essentials (colors run from vibrant to natural), and one of my favorites, White Wash (colors are hidden under a textured white wash finish. So Nantucket!)

I couldn’t stop playing with these papers. Take a look: 

coredinations crunched flower

Black Magic cardstock was scored with a Scor-it tool (another great find), then sanded to bring out the yellow core. A scrap was torn into a circle, crumpled up and sanded, then sandwiched between two other torn circles for a shabby chic flower (anchored by a gem brad from S.E. I.) (Greeting: Hero Arts.)

coredinations best fishes

Two shades of blue from the Essentials line were torn so these fishies (Paula Best) could frolic. (Fish were colord using Sakura Gel pens; pearls and letters from Hero Arts.)

The next two cards were made using the Whitewash finish. I love the soft look of the whitewash. I tore the edges of the paper and lightly sanded the textured side. 

coredinations sea shells

(Shells from Hero Arts, Comotion and Judikins; saying from American Art Stamps.)

coredinations couple

(Shell, saying from Hero Arts; couple from Stampin Up!)

And last… two tags using Black Magic:

coredinations 2 tags

(Bird from Hero Arts, celebrate from Inkadinkado, lines made with Scor-it); butterfly made using Cuttlebug embossing folder, saying from Hero Arts)

Find core’dinations at www.coredinations.com

Hanko Flower Art Samples

Last week I wrote about the new Flower Art kits from Hanko. Here are two samples I made using the templates and instructions from those kits:

hanko flower card 1 full

(stamp is Kodomo; leaves from Sizzix die.)

And here is a close-up (a bit blurry) so you can see the dimension:

hanko flower card 1 close

Here is a different flower. I used micro beads from Judikins for the center. Also, I used Zip Dry adhesive on both the paper and the thin floral wire that gives the flower its shape. Zip Dry is great beacuse it dries quickly and doesn’t wrinkle the paper.

hanko flower card 2 full

And a close-up to see the dimension:

hanko flower card 2 close up

(The stamp is by Hero Arts.)