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.



Fabulous Finds Friday … At the Craft & Hobby Show

I survived the Create-n-Connect trade show put on by the Craft & Hobby Association, but I’m sure by now you have seen lots of other videos and reports directly from the show floor. My report will be coming soon on the Crafts ‘n things Web site (Aug. 9 and Aug. 12).

Needless to say, there are fabulous new stamps and dies and tools to be seen and lusted after! I’ll be spotlighting many of them within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, here’s a fun card made using an M-BossibilitiesTM embossing folder from Spellbinders:

spellbinders M-boss letters 457 DSC_0372

The pretty shiny paper is from Core’dinations Gemstone pack that I ran through the embossing folder, then distressed the edges. The punch is from EK Success. I ran it through my Xyron Sticker Maker to get a nice, even adhesive with no muss.

Here’s a detail shot:
spellbinders M-boss 457 detail DSC_0373

The bird is from Hampton Arts, the sentiment from Hero Arts, and the tiny metallic hot-fix embellishments are from Imaginisce.

Thanks for stopping by!

Flipin’ for Flipits on Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I have flipped for the new Flip-it dies from Stephanie Barnard and Sizzix. I’ve been making these like crazy because they are so easy and so flippin’ cute! (So cute, in fact, it should be a Fabulous Finds Friday)

Check it out:

Here’s the front of the card.
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OK, it’s cute, but so what? But look how the center swings when you open the card:

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And the inside:

valentine flip it inside 396 DSC_0311

Is that fun or what?

Wishing you much love on Valentine’s Day. Thanks for stopping by.

Fabulous Finds Friday — Tools and more!

I have a few cool things to share today…

How many times have you cut yourself on a craft knife left exposed on your desk or in a drawer? Uh huh. Been there, cut that.

Enter the retractable knife from EK Success.

First, I love that it clicks open and closed. But to make it even better, you don’t have to touch the blade to load or remove it.  Just click the button on the top of the knife to expose the blade and stick it onto a new blade to load it from the nifty case; click again and point into the OTHER end of the case to unscrew the old blade safely. Genius.

I haven’t yet worked much with this tool, the Kellycraft Get-It-Straight Laser Square… but I am intrigued. The L-shaped tool shoots out a little laser light to help keep you on the straight and narrow:

It makes it easy to see a straight line so you can easily line up images, or make sure your sentiment is straight. The light shines through an acryclic block for stamping purposes. Put a cutting mat under it and you can line up a metal-edged ruler and cut away without drawing any lines.

One more find: I love the Miss Teagen Sue collection from Bazzill Basics Paper. I used one of the mini prints on this card:

(bird image with matching die from Prickley Pear Stamps, stamped in Cup O’ Joe Hero Arts ink, bird highlighted with Ranger Gloss Accents; ribbon by Making Memories; baker’s twine from Close To My Heart.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Getting in Gear with Stamping Gear

When I first saw the Inkadinkado StampingGear at the Craft & Hobby Association Show, I thought the idea was cool — creating designs by stamping around a tool that had slots in it. It reminded me of my old Spirograph. But the gear seemed too large for me,  suitable for 12×12 scrapbook pages, but not applicable to my card marking. Even when I saw the smaller version, it didn’t immediately wow me.

Until I started to play. And then I found it addictive. There is a Zen-like quality of just stamping randomly, changing colors, switching out the images… Don’t think, just stamp! You never know what you are going to get. And that is part of the charm.

Take a look. Here’s the starter kit:

The green cling-mounted stamps go on the paddle handle. Put them on any way you like. Then insert either end of the paddle into one of the slots on the “gear” and stamp around the knob!

I started playing around using the gear on boring old manila file folders. Here’s a close-up of how it works:

And some finished folders:

I used ColorBox Stephanie Barnard dye ink for the fast drying, vibrant colors.

I can hear you wondering … “but these are such big, bold designs. How can we use them on cards?” Take a look at some of these backgrounds:

In my next post, I’ll show you what I’ve done with them! In the meantime, take a look at the helpful video on the EK Success website (or direct link). Thanks for stopping by.

Fabulous Fun Friday — Still Texturizing!

Had enough texture yet? (Can one get enough texture?)

Here are more of my extensive, exiciting adventures in texture:

A simple card awaiting a sentiment. Core’dinations paper was run through Lifestyle Crafts’ Whimsy embossing folder. The Butterfly (by Layers of Color was heat embossed with the cool chunky embossing powder from Stampendous! Not sure you can get the full effect of the chunky, multi-colored powder. (A note about Layers of Color: Laura Kirste’s designs are now available through Spellbinders and Penny Black. Check out her new Website, laurakirste.com)

I like the masculine feel of this card — so much pizazz with such little effort. Core’dinations paper, run through Tim Holtz’ Gridlock Texture Fade Fade. The car was dry embossed using Tim’s Artful Muse ATC-sized embossing folderr, then cut out and mounted on foam dots. Sentiment from Hero Arts.

The pretty dots were already on the Core’dinations Jillian paper! I just sanded them lightly to bring out the core color. The larger butterfly is a Cuttlebug die and embossing folder, the smaller butterfly is a three-way punch from EK Success. Love the dimension! Sentiment from Close To My Heart. Stickles for sparkle!

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Crafty News

There’s so much craft goodness around… here are some Fabulous Finds:

I don’t use a lot of stickers (hey, I’m a stamper!), but Jolee’s has two new dimensional sticker collections that I find enticing: Around the World and Steampunk.

Around the World includes borders, frames and titles highlighting European travel (especially London and Paris.)

The Steampunk designs are inspired by Victorian-era industrialism and made to look like polished brass, iron, wood and leather.

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Advantus – whose  company brands include Cropper Hopper, Tim Holtz Idea-ology and Sulyn — has acquired Cosmo Cricket, the paper/embellishment company started in 2006 by Julie and Eric Comstock. Check out their wares at www.cosmocricket.com.

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C&T Publishing has a  new website, PatternSpot.com, where crafters can buy and download project  patterns for fabrics.

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Lifestyle Crafts (owners of QuicKutz dies and the letterpress machine) has some new holiday dies, including this cute feather and headband set (which of course can be used for non-holiday projects!):

feather headband

And this witch set:

witch kit

 Thanks for stopping by! I’ll have a mid-week treat (no tricks!) for you, so pop in again for some Halloween cards.

Fabulous Finds Friday — Punch It Out!

I love punches because they make it so easy to create multiple shapes … and because you can use up a lot of scraps with punches. But wait … there’s more! I also love flowers. So imagine my joy when I found these punches from EK Success:

The two longer punches create oh-so-easy flowers. Simply punch a long border, roll the “petals” around a straw or pencil, and wha-la — instant floral:

The pink flower would have been fuller had I used two pieces of 12-inch paper, but I was too impatient so I just used smaller scraps. To make a fuller flower, use two strips, each one 10-12 inches. Before rolling the flowers, offset the papers so the petals don’t directly overlap. Glue the bottom, then gently curl the petals outward.

Here’s a closer look:

Not feeling floral? Leave the punched out strip flat and make a pretty border.

The third punch is such fun — it makes your butterflies ready to take flight by punching three — count ’em, three! — butterfly shapes with slightly different designs so you can layer them:

Simply move the button to the design you want. Here are some samples (again, diggin’ into the ol’ scrap basket):

Another thing I love about these punches is that they lock in the down position, making them uber easy to store.

Thanks for swinging by, and thanks to EK Success for sending these punches for me to try.

Fabulous Finds Friday — New Treats, No Tricks

Lots of fun new goodies were released at the Craft & Hobby show (CHA) in July. Here’s a quick look:

Trick or treat? Well, it’s mostly treats with the new collections from the EK Success family.

First, there’s some scarily cute paper, embellies and kits from K&Company, including this adorable pumpkin treat box and the EK Success spider punch:


Then there are these spooktacular stickers from Jolee’s Boutique (I ADORE those birdcages!):

And speaking of spells (have I taken the Halloween thing too far?) … Spellbinders continues to delight with new dies. There are new boxes, borders, embellishments and so much more.

Here’s a sneak peak — I’ll have more Spellbinders news in my next post:

Thanks for coming by!

Awash in Washi

Need to make a few cards, FAST? Yeah, me too. So I pulled out some washi tape, a few images and washi viola! So easy — the tape does all the design work. Just tear and stick, tear and stick — how much easier can it get?

Check ’em out:

(tape: Happy Tape; image: Technique Tuesday — note:  this stamp is perfectly sized for a Spellbinders’ Nestabilities die. Cool, huh?)

(Image: Hero Arts)

Now… to make it even easier … use stickers!

(Stickers: EK Success; sentiment: Hero Arts)

Thanks for coming by!