Elephants on Parade!

Sometimes the best way to try new products and techniques is by making tags. These were fun and easy!

Elephant tags 1804 DSC_1028

I started by playing with Hero Arts’ new liquid watercolors (check out the great video in the link) in Strawberry, Moss and Indigo (the only three colors I have, but see how nicely they mix and play together?) . These come in a dropper bottle and are highly pigmented.

HA watercolors 1804 IMG_1171

I used the watercolors to create a large background sheet (which I cut into tags), but they are also great for coloring individual images. I dropped some watercolors into a paint tray, let them dry, and keep them handy on my desk. They re-activate with the touch of a damp or wet brush.

Once the paper was dry, I stamped and white embossed a portion of Hero Arts Bold Prints Floral Mandala background.

The larger pink elephant on the left is a punch from EK Success; the smaller elephant is a Hero Arts layering stamp (which has a matching die). The balloons on the large pink elephant is from Stampin’ Up!’s Balloon Builders set (if you can’t find it, there are several other great balloon stamps on the website!).

So much fun!

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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I (heart) Valentine’s Day

Christmas is long gone …. the new year is a week old … which means it’s almost Valentine’s Day! I love making Valentines to send to my besties, so let’s get this party started!

VAlentine heart of flowers 778 DSC_0779

This one-layered card is relatively easy, and the reveal (when you pull of the mask) is so much fun! I created a heart mask, which I placed in the middle of my cardstock. Then I used some small flower and leaf images to stamp around the mask. Easy peasy. When I removed the mask, ta dah — a heart-shaped spot to stamp a sentiment! The sentiment above is from Stampin’ Up’s Bloomin’ Love set, as are some of the flowers.

Here’s another in the same mode:

Valentines 778 xoxo heart DSC_0777

I could do this all day! The XOXO is a Teresa Collins/Fiskars punch.

Tags, Tags, Tags!

Happy New Year! I spent a fruitful week before Christmas finishing up some gift boxes to deliver to friends and co-workers. One of my most relaxing projects was creating these easy watercolor tags:

WC bird tags 871 group DSC_0982

These were so fun and easy! First, I splashed watercolors on some scrap watercolor paper using various paints, including handmade colors from Pfeiffer Art Supply.  While those were drying, I punched a bunch of tags using a Fiskars tag punch (with built-in eyelet setter!) and painted swooshes of watercolor.

I die cut cut some birds (unknown die … one of the first dies I ever used)  from that painted watercolor scrap. Because the die did not come with a bird wing, I created wings by using a leaf die that was the right size! The stamped birds (old Hero Arts Decorative Birds set and a Claudia Rose flamingo) were white embossed.

Here’s another look:

WC bird tags 871 close DSC_0988

(The larger bird is Tim Holtz’s Caged Bird Sizzix Alterations die.) sitting on a double stitched oval die from Gina K. Designs.

Such fun to make, and happily received.

Here’s to a happy, healthy new year with many creative opportunities ahead. Thanks for stopping by.

 

Random Craftiness

Here are some bits and pieces of crafty news:

Let’s give a warm welcome back to Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps. Prickley Pear, which opened in 2003 by Nicole LaCour and closed last August, is back with new owners but the same fun, whimsical designs.

Tanya Doner-Kostynuk, owner of Riley & Company and Cornish Heritage Farms stamps, and Sue Helm are the proud new parents.

With nearly 900 products in 36 categories, Prickley Pear boasts a large assortment of vintage designs, many of which remind me of the cards my grandmother used to send me! Stamps come in clear polymer or red rubber and there are many matching dies.

Here’s a card I put together very quickly, using just scraps that were on my desk, and the birdcage stamp and die set:

prickleypear birdcage on white 711 DSC_0776

I die cut the bird and cage from some card stock that I think was made using Ranger Distress stains and/or sprays. The butterflies were from punches, the sequins from Doodlebug Designs and the cool background is the Art Deco Texture Plate from Spellbinders.

It’s great to have Prickley Pear back!

. . . . . . . .

If you love fabric and you love vintage, take a look at 7gypsies‘ new Gypsy Seamstress line here and here, which  brings together the look of old fabric prints, quilt-like bunting shapes and gypsy style printed banners.

Aren’t these yummy: 7 gypsies fabric IMG_6498_large

The collection includes banner making surfaces, totes and an apron.  Besides adding lace, fabric, charms and other bits and baubles, you can color them with  markers, acrylic paint, watercolor, glimmer mist, ink, etc. 7gypsies is part of the Canvas Corp Brands. 

. . . . . . . .

WOW! Embossing Powder (www.wowembossingpowder.com) has come out with its own embossing “mixing” jars so you can create custom-made embossing powders. Why, you ask, do you need to buy a special jar? (Well, that’s what I would ask …) Because these jars are treated with an anti-static material on the inside so your powders don’t cling to the sides. They also have a label so you can jot down your mixology notes. Check out the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDAm7lU_SCE

If nothing else, check out the website for lots of embossing facts and to see the company’s wide range of powders and more. You’ll say “Wow!”

Thanks for stopping by for this little craft update.

 

Fabulous Finds Friday from Fiskars

(Wow. How many times do you get to write a five-F sentence???? Without using a dirty word?)

Anyway … For cutters, scissors and punches, Fiskars is still golden.

Fiskars has a tool for every need, but my focus is usually on those that are particularly useful for paper crafters.

For example, it was punch lust at first sight when I saw this adorable XOXO punch:

Fiskars xoxo 704 DSC_0772

This was perfect for Valentine’s Day cards — so fast and easy. But I see more uses. I have several weddings coming up and I think this could be a card making winner. Here’s a quick one I made, inspired by some scraps on my desk:

XOXO fiskars 703 DSC_0784

(The sequins are from Lawn Fawn.)

The punch was also perfect for some foiling:

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(I am somewhat obsessed with foiling since I’ve been playing with various foils and adhesives from Therm O Web. But that’s another post…. stay tuned. The background embossing plate on the above card is the grid folder from Spellbinders. Love it.)

At the Januray CHA show, crafters of all types were checking out the new Paper Trimmer with Aluminum Cut Rail*.

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I sometimes get a little wobble with smaller personal trimmers, so this should be a boon to my cutting. The reinforced aluminum cut rail (with a locking system) promises to eliminate cutting wobble – which is a problem with my old personal trimmers. (Or maybe it’s me? Either way, this one is a delight.) Other nice features include a paper clamp/smudge guard (something else I need!), a self-leveling extension arm that stretched to 15 inches, and an extra wide base for a bigger work space.

(Here’s my big admission — I was recently working on a small, crowded desk and put the trimmer on my lap so I didn’t have to move to a larger, cleaner work table, assuming I could find one. I know, I know … lazy crafter. Don’t judge. But the good news this, this is so sturdy, it still cut fine with just my flabby thighs for support.)

More exciting Fiskars punches are in the works.

*Fiskars was kind enough to send me this cutter to try. 

CHA Highlights — We R Memory Keepers

The engineers at We R Memory Keepers  deserve medals for constantly coming up with the best crafting tools I didn’t know I needed. Let’s look at a few that debuted at the 2016 Craft & Hobby Association MEGA Show (and some old ones that need to be noted).

Two on my must-have list are the Alphabet Punch Board and the Goodie Bag Guide.

WeRMK alphabet punch board

WeRMK alphabet punch board

The Alphabet Punch Board (coming in February) creates any letter or number up to 3×5 inches in size with a few simple punches. (Don’t worry, there’s a guide book.) Use them for signs, cards, on scrapbook pages or create a banner. For banners, you’ll also want the Link Punch, which punches out a paper link. Here’s a great video link.

Goodie Bag Guide: This acrylic tool looks a bit like an oddly shaped ruler. It guides you in tearing and folding goodie bags. And if you want to add food to the bag, make it from their food safe, grease resistant glassine paper. It’s a treat you’ll want to repeat.

WeRMK party bag finished

WeRMK party bag finished

The Magnetic Staple Board (coming in April) let’s you staple ANYWHERE! The board comes with a small, medium and large stapler. You move the magnetic board into position on your paper, insert the desired stapler in the slot, and press away.

WeRMK anywhere stapler

WeRMK anywhere stapler

And here are some random things I love:

I love the look of letterpress, but hate using the thick oil-based letterpress ink. Ta da! Letterpress ink in a pad! Be still my heart! There are even gold and silver inks. Can’t wait to try this.

Get your foil on with the Heatwave tool, a battery-operated wand-like tool that lets you apply foil in your designs, using heat to transfer foil. Simply go over the foil, drawing your own designs or working through a stencil. Magic.

Confetti Punch – I don’t know why I need this, but I do. Have you ever spend hours punching out tiny bits of confetti? This punch makes it easier because it punches out multiple dots of various sized pieces. Shaker cards anyone?

Another kit I didn’t know I needed is the Mini Piñata. Especially the donkey.

Other cool tools include the Laser Square and Mat, a boon for perfect aligning (coming in March); a gem die that cuts out two gem shapes, a popular trend today; lots of 3D projects; more Next Level deep embossing folders; a snappy storage system (literally – there’s a bar and snaps and you just snap on the containers); ruler décor (yes, you create wall hangings with these rulers); and … maybe the oddest thing … a DIY teepee kit.

Thanks for stopping by!

More Ornament Cards

Once I had my ornaments cut out from Stampin’ Up’s Delicate Ornaments die set (as mentioned in my last post!) it was fast, easy and fun to create the cards. Here are some more:

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First, I created the holly background using a large Hero Arts stamp, stamped in VersaMark and embossed in Judikins Detail Metallic Gold powder. The inside (or base) of the ornament was die cut from an old greeting card, then covered with the red outer piece. A few punched pine sprigs (Tim Holtz punch) gives the impression that the ornament is hanging on a tree (although to be more realistic, I should have die cut the hanger piece that comes in the die set. Sigh.)

SU ornaments 679 DSC_0657

I started here by die cutting the ornament from the plaid paper (Paper Source) and again from a scrap of white card stock, which I then heat embossed using Zing! gold glitter embossing powder. I mounted the plaid paper to a white card base, glued in the glittery ornament and added some Ranger red stickles. The sentiment (from (Stampin’ Up’s Embellished Ornaments stamp set, which matches some of the dies) was also gold embossed, layered and added using foam tape.

Thanks for stopping by! But wait … there’s more coming ….