(Note: Computer meltdown kept me from posting last week. But thanks to the hubster, we’re back up and rolling … and trying to replace files.)

Can you tell I am hooked on dies?

Here’s a nifty two-part kimono die from Elizabeth Crafts:

Kimono 493 blue silver DSC_0360

The die has a solid and a detailed component. What a perfect way to use up my old origami paper! The brushstroke image (Hero Arts) was stamped in Stampin’ Up Basic Gray ink; the silver strips (scraps cut from an envelope lining!) were stamped using an old Hero Arts set (Arigato) in ColorBox’s news SurfaceZ inks (black and bluebell.) These were featured in a previous Fab Finds Friday.

Here’s another version:

kimono 493 red arigato DSC_0362

And some other combinations: (I can’t stop cutting this die and playing with different color combos!!)

kimono 493 pink pattern sample DSC_0366

kimono 493 black with gold sample DSC_0364

So much fun to play with different colors and layers! Thanks for indulging me!

Setting a Mood with Color

There are several factors that set the mood for a card. Image, design and… maybe most importantly … color.

Bright colors seem festive while darker colors can denote different scenes and moods. Often, when I’m playing with an image, I will stamp it over and over, trying various colors, embossing powders, papers, etc. I’m a serial stamper! The good news is, I often have a stash of cards made at one sitting. Perfect for giving as a gift set.

Today I want to show a series of cards I made using only color to change the look — and mood — of a card.

My apologies for using an image (Bamboo Lake) from Kodomo, a company that is no longer around. Sad sigh. I loved their images. But there are several similar Asian images around.

The background on this (and most of these) was brayered on glossy cardstock using Kaleidacolor Autumn rainbow inkpad. I have had my Kaleidacolor (Tsukineko) pads forever and love them because the colors are separated. To use, you simply push the little tab in and the colors come together. My Kaleidacolor pads must be at least 10 years old!

The image is black embossed.

The pretty pastel pad changes the look — and placing the panel on a white card keeps it crisp.

Now I’m ready to try gold embossing:

This one also used the Autumn Leaves inkpad, but I concentrated on the other end of the pad, giving me a slightly different color combo. (Background also Kodomo, stamped in Ancient Page Sandlewood ink.)

Mixing it up a bit, I brayered Ranger’s Adirondack Mountain Lake (another pad I’ve had for ages!). Did you notice that the color lines run vertical on this one?) Bamboo lake is embossed in copper powder.

This one photographed darker than it really is… you can’t really see the subtle silver in the background paper or clearly see the silver embossed scene. The ink is Adirondack Winter Sky.

I love embossing in white on dark backgrounds! I used Adirondack Mountain Lake again.

This last entry is called “Ghost Lake” because the image was stamped on colored cardstock using Jacquard’s Castaway pad. This is not really an ink, but a color remover — sort of like bleach but without the stink and much easier to use!

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday, Random Cards and a holiday idea

Gearing up for the holidays (and trying to cull through my paper stash) I decided to make some easy gift sets. These are great for teacher gifts, hostess gifts, or just a little somethin’ somethin’ for a friend. They are so fast and so satisfying to make! So here’s my Fabulous Finds Friday idea — pretty paper, easy gifts.


Look at that fun paper! This is scrapbook paper from **Close To My Heart (see note below) that I was not going to use in a scrapbook. I love the bold, graphic look. I simply cut up the 12×12 sheet, distressed the edges and mounted on cream card stock. This will be perfect for my writing friends!

Next, I found some origami paper — another quick card set:

Here’s a close-up:

I packaged them in a sushi take-out tray.

Not terribly exciting, but fast and easy. Perfect for a day when the mojo isn’t mojo-ing.

Thanks for coming by!

***Editing Note: I made a mistake in my original post, now corrected here. This gorgeous typographic paper is from Close To My Heart. Mea Culpa.

Still cleaning!

In my last post, I talked about my resolution to clean some of the scraps from my desk.

Here is another card using the iris (OnyxXpressions) and scraps:

The blue iris (stamped in VersaFine) went well with the blue heavy mulberry paper, so I glued that down.  But what to put it on? A little digging turned up this card that had been languishing — all dressed up with origami paper and no where to go.

Ok, they would work…. but it needs something more….. some gold butterflies?

The butterflies seemed lost on the busy background, so I thought maybe a white punched strip might work:

Nope, too stark.

Rummage, rummage, rummage some more….

Gold? Maybe! And I could use my new Martha Stewart punch! So I punched and I trimmed and I glued. (Tip: The gold paper was a little too soft and flimsy for the punch, so I put plain copy paper under it to give it more stability when I punched. I learned the hard way, of course.)

 I was determined to use at least one of those darn butterflies!

And there we go. (Pearls were added to the butterfly.) Whew, I am exhausted! That’s enough cleaning for one day!

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.)

Fabulous Find Friday — Hanko Washi Floral Art

I have two Fabulous Finds from Hanko Designs. I first fell in love with Hanko Designs through their lovely Asian stamps. Then they brought in beautiful papers. And kits. The latest kit is Washi Floral Art.

Card made from Hanko floral kit

Card made from Hanko floral kit

Kits include instructions, patterns, floral wire and stamen. You provide your favorite paper and card stock. See the pretty cards behind Hanko owner Norm Yoshida? Those are some examples of what you can do.

Hanko's Norm Yoshida, sample cards

Hanko's Norm Yoshida, sample cards

And here are some different samples made by the talented Lori Lai, using punches. Check out her work at www.lorilaidesigns.com.

Tiny cards by Lori Lai.

Tiny cards by Lori Lai.

The other Fab Find is a dimensional foam square that comes in teeny tiny pieces. You know how hard it is to cut foam tape when you need a small piece? Well, fret no more! These bitty things, called Stix 2 Anything double sided craft foam pads, measure a wee 1/8 of an inch. They are not very thick, but give just enough lift for tiny pieces. They come on a sheet and are best removed using the tip of a craft knife. I will try to post a photo later.

The Stix are not on the website, but contact Hanko at www.hankodesigns.com.

Kodomo Addendum

Here is one look at the Edo Ori Bako set along with the wood tiles. The stamps are die-cut foam.

Here is one look at the Edo Ori Bako set along with the wood tiles. The stamps are die-cut foam.

Another fun product from Kodomo are the Edo Ori Bako sets. These are little boxes handmade from thin slices of spruce. The smooth surface easily takes acrylic paint, pigment and chalk inks, chalk and watercolor. And the boxes come with 20 little wood tiles, which are great fun to decorate. Because they are so lightweight, these would make great embellishments on a card or on top of the box itself.

Here are some decorated tiles:

Wood tile samples

Wood tile samples

Small VersaColor cubes were used directly on the “R” tile. (Butterfly punch, Martha Stewart.)  Twinkling H2Os were painted on the Pagoda tile. The pagoda was stamped in Ancient Page Coal, then selectively tinted with colored pencils. The brown tile was painted with Ranger Adirondack Hazelnut dabber and the flower grid stamp (Hero Arts) was embossed in white.  The pink tile was coated with Pan Pastel Magenta Tint, then stamped with Hero Arts swirl with flowers image in Prussian Blue Colorbox Chalk Ink. The tile was sprayed with a fixative, then dots of Ranger Liquid Pearls were added.

Kodomo Tiles 2

Kodomo Tiles 2

The sunset tile is more glittery in person. It was painted with USArtquest’s Sparkling Pastelles, then stamped in Ancient Page Coal using Kodomo’s Bamboo Lake. The next tile was made by rubbing Adirondack Light Cloudy Blue directly on the tile, then buffed lightly. The gingko leaf (Kodomo) was stamped in dark brown Colorbox Chalk. The Kodomo flower was stamped on the natural wood using Antique Pewter pigment ink. Frayed Burlap Stickles add dots of glitz. And last, we have a tile painted with a light wash of Adirondack white acrylic dabber, then stamped with Sakura III using Ruby Chalk Ink, with green marker on the stems. Gold Stickles was added to the centers of the flowers.

I haven’t decided yet how to decorate the box. I’m thinking pretty Asian themed paper… what do you think?

For more info on Kodomo, check out their website: www.kodomoinc.com.

More Kodomo

I mentioned washi tape in an earlier post. Here’s a look at washi tape, and some ways to use it:

Washi tape

Washi tape

This thin, sticky backed tape comes in rolls, is easy to tear, and is sheer enough that overlapping gives you depths of color. The tape also takes heat embossing and punching.  The stamps used are all Kodomo.

Here are more samples:

Kodomo Geisha

Kodomo Geisha

kodomo dragonfly

Continuing with Kodomo

Perhaps the most beautiful stamps in the Kodomo line are those created by artist Zigen Tanabe, a Japense-born freelance illustrator. It’s not just the images that are lovely — it’s the entire stamp! The colored indexing shines through the acrylic block, making these stamps worthy of tabletop display. Take a look:

Zigen Tanabe images in beautiful color on acrylic mounts. Shown are Blooming Iris, Folded Cranes, Autumn Pagoda

Zigen Tanabe images in beautiful color on acrylic mounts. Shown are Blooming Iris, Folded Cranes, Autumn Pagoda

Here’s a sample made with the Blooming Iris, colored with Twinking H2Os:

Blooming Iris

Blooming Iris

See more of these images at www.kodomoinc.com

And check back later for more Kodomo info!

Kodomo means playtime!

Asian designs have a tranquil beauty and simplicity that I’ve always admired.

This week I’d like to spotlight Kodomo, which not only offers a beautiful supply of Asian images, but offers them in several styles, from wood mounted and clear to foam and acrylic mounted. 

Kodomo plum flower

You’re probabling thinking, “Foam stamps? Ew!” But these foam stamps, which use a rubber image, are firm and cut so nicely they are a delight to hold. The above card was made using Sakura III, which is a foam mounted stamp. (Sentiment by Hero Arts, border punch by Fiskars.)

Here is another:

Black Bird Wishes

Black Bird Wishes

(Same Sakura III set; bird punch by McGill; border punch Martha Stewart)

Kodomo was founded by Hisako Nakamura, who worked in the Japanese toy industry before creating her own gift company in 1983. The company name was taken from the Japanese expression “Kodomo No Kao,” which, the company says, means “the look on a young person’s face when they are absorbed in play.” What could be more suitable for a rubber stamp enterprise?

 The stamps merge traditional Japanese designs with American styles. But Kodomo is not just stamps. Their beautiful kimono fabric ribbons have a soft, textured feel, and the unique sticky-backed washi tape adds a fun accent. The tape is made from washi paper and the adhesive is not permanent, so it’s easy to reposition.  (Watch for samples later this week.)

Another fun product is the Edo Ori Bako set, which are small boxes made from thin sheets of clear spruce. The surface is smooth and readily accepts paint, ink or paper. The boxes also include wooden “tiles.” (I’ll show some samples later this week.)