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.

 

 

Fab Finds Friday — Coastal Christmas

It’s always such fun to discover a new stamp company! So when I checked out Flourishes, I immediately fell in love with this *Coastal Christmas set.

First, I played with the boat, which was perfect for coloring:

coastal-xmas-boat-756-dsc_0782

I used a variety of colored pencils and my Kuretake Gansai Tambi to watercolor this scene, which was first stamped in VersaMark black on watercolor paper. (The card is a 4Bar (7″x7 7/8″, folded to 3 1/2 x 4 7/8). And added a touch of Wink of Stella clear to some of the packages. It felt unbalanced, so I added a strip of a scrap paper to the left side.

The next card features the pretty beachy wreath:coastal-xmas-silver-756-dsc_0780

Images were stamped and embossed in white on blue cardstock, colored in with various gel pens, edged with Aegean Silver glitter powder (Judikins). The pieces were mounted on a silver shimmer cardstock from Paper Source.)

That same wreath and sentiment also made quick cards with simple white embossing:

coastal-xmas-flourishes-756-dsc_0774

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*Disclaimer: This stamp set was provided to me by Flourishes. Thank you, Flourishes!

Quick All-Purpose Card

Here’s a quick card I made while I was playing with some feather die cuts (from Spellbinders):

 

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I haven’t added a greeting because I may use it for a fall birthday (this is a good masculine card) … or it may be for a Thanksgiving hello. The card base is 4 7/8 x about 7″, then folded in half. The bottom embossed design is from a Darice embossing folder. The leaves were cut from random scraps, then the tips were embossed in copper powder. This was so fast and easy!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wow! More Pearly Embossing!

In my last post I experimented with some pearl embossing powders from Wow! I loved the look on dark paper, but didn’t like my first try with the powders on light card stock.

I decided the powders needed some color in order to shine, so I stamped with various dark colors of ink (all Clearsnap ColorBox pigments).

Here’s my first attempt, on kraft colored stock:

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The flowers are from an old Hero Arts set, and as you can see, I didn’t stamp cleanly. But I love the way the colors came out. I will probably cut these out or cover the boo-boos somehow … but I’ll use them, by golly! I stamped first with Clearsnap ColorBox Abyss (a deep blue) pigment ink then added various Wow! pearl powders: white, green, red, violet.

WOW pearl EPs with colored ink 725 DSC_0783

I had better luck with this flower set from Technique Tuesday (an old set, called Va Va Va Bloom.)

I used ColorBox pigment inks that matched the pearl powders: Turtle for the green powder, Cupid for the red powder, Abyss for the blue powder.

Before mounting the panel on my moss green card, I edged it in black permanent marker. Rhinestones and a sentiment (old Hero Arts set — do ya think I need some newer stamps???) finished the look.

Here’s a detailed shot:

WOW pearl EPs colored ink detail 725 DSC_0786

Thanks for coming along, and thanks to Wow! for letting me play with some pearl powders.

 

 

Valentine Heart

I’m taking a brief break from CHA reporting to delve into Valentine’s Day! This is probably my favorite card making holiday. (Last year I sent 40 Valentines, each one just a bit different) to my best gal buddies.

Here’s the first of this year’s batch, a quick-and-easy heart in non-traditional colors:

Valentine Hero Arts heart 698 DSC_0671

So easy! I die cut the heart (Hero Arts) three times from white card stock, glued the three together and embossed the top with WOW! gold glitter powder.

I built my card base (using some older card stock from Stampin’ Up!) and affixed the heart on top. The banner was stamped (old Hero Arts sentiment) on white scrap paper, trimmed, and affixed with thin foam squares. Easy peasy!

Fabulous Finds Friday … Spellbinders and More

There are several Fabulous Finds in the craft world today, including two new die cutting/embossing machines from Spellbinders.

First up is the Sapphire, a small, portable manual die cutting/embossing machine aimed at beginners who want to try die cutting but don’t have the budget or the space to invest in larger machines. It handles dies up to 2 1/4 inches wide. There are also some new blue dies designed for this machine, although other dies will also work. It is sold at JoAnn fabric stores.

Sapphire_Photo_3

For those looking for bigger, better, bolder, get ready for the new Platinum, a heavy-duty machine deep enough to handle steel rule dies. This means it is also powerful enough to cut up to eight layers of various materials. It can cut more than 40 types of material, just about anything you might need in paper or fabric projects, including leather, bubble wrap, shrink film, magnet sheets, burlap, cork, thin acrylic, chipboard, balsa wood, craft metal and more. (Bubble wrap??? That would be cool!)

Platinum_Machine 2

It weighs a sturdy 14.7 pounds and has an 8.5 inch cutting base, which folds up for storage. Spellbinders is also introducing 16 steel rule dies. The machine will be available in September with a MSRP of $199.99.

To find out more about the Platinum, check out this video.

If you are a Spellbinders fan (and even if you are not!) check out Spellbinders’ The Creative Cafe, billed as “the place you come to feed your craft curiosity…”

Every Friday, there are new “menu” items featuring “back to basics” with tips and tricks; a designer spotlight (with creative stars such as Seth Apter http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/, Becca Feeken from Amazing Paper Grace, http://www.amazingpapergrace.com/, Scrappy Cat’s Kim Roberto http://www.scrappycat.net/  and, of course, Spellbinders’ own Stacey Caron. https://www.facebook.com/SpellbindersStaceyCaron?fref=ts
There will be new techniques, too, and a “Weekend Workshop” feature.
In other crafty news ….
Ranger Industries has joined forces with Susan Lenart Kazmer and her ICE Resin® brand of jewelry products. Ranger will be manufacturing and distributing Kazmer’s products. ICE Resin is a two-part epoxy resin great not just for jewelry making, but for other mixed media artists as well. I’ve used it to make jewelry as well as other embellishments, including a cool resin-preserved paper. (See one of my early posts on ICE Resin here.)
And a look at my first attempts:
ICE resin 524 CHA IMG_0957
Stay tuned for more Fabulous Finds, sure to get you through the summer doldrums!
Thanks for stopping by.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone, and here’s hoping that 2015 is a year of health and happiness.

Since I had a day off, I created a few New Year cards. Enjoy.

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I love this card for several reasons: first, it was so fast and easy to make! And second, I found a small stash of previously dry embossed card stock pieces that I had put away!
The silver embossed background was made using a Cuttlebug swirl folder. I simply cut it to size to fit the card front, edged it with a gold metallic marker, and glued it on the card. The greeting (Hero Arts Celebrate Everyday set) was embossed in gold, trimmed, and edged with the gold metallic pen. Silver sequin stars (Sulyn) and gold glitter stars (die cut using the set from Lawn Fawn’s Stitched Journaling die) were added using Ranger’s Glossy Accents. That’s it!

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This was inspired by a New Year’s Eve ad I saw in a magazine a while ago. Also, super easy — I used a variety of circle stamps (all from Hero Arts in various sets) and embossed some in gold, some in silver (including Judikins Aegean Silver, which has a lot of sparkle). The sentiment was trimmed and layered over a scrap of gold paper, cut to the same proportions.

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This was also fun. Using Sizzix’s Banner Triplets by Stephanie Bernard and some gold, silver and off-white scraps, I die cut my way to the New Year. When I glued the cut out pieces to the layering banner, some glue seeped out. At first i despaired, but then I added some ultra fine glitter and, hey, it’s not so bad. Same sentiment, but I added a little stamped and embossed bit for extra flavor. The silver Dew Drops (Robins Nest) and sequin stars (Sulyn) added the finishing touches.

Thanks for stopping by! And here’s to a great year!

Throwback Thursday — Cards from the Vault

I’m been loving the old photos friends are sharing on Facebook for Throwback Thursdays. Thought I’d share some cards made loooooong ago when I first started stamping. I found these cards while cleaning out my mother’s desk. I had apparently given her a stack of handmade cards years ago — guess she couldn’t stand to part with them!

Remember your first discovery of vellum? Here’s mine:

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Although this card looks so unsophisticated and … well, not very good, I do remember how excited I was to discover this technique. I stamped and embossed in white, then colored the birdhouses on the back, using markers. The image is from Hero Arts. And I still love it (although I haven’t used it in years).

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This flowery heart was one of the first stamps I ever bought! Very simple — stamp, emboss, color. I don’t even know where that stamp is now. It may have been an old PSX stamp. Anyone remember that company?

This next one doesn’t seem all that long ago. It was a popular technique introduced by Hero Arts — Shadow Stamping:

old cards HA flower block DSC_0479

So easy — stamp the block, over-stamp it with an image.

Thanks for joining me for this trip down memory lane. I like to think I’ve evolved from those early days!

From the Vault

While cleaning out my closet recently I came across some cards I made when I first started stamping.

archives 417 lined bkgrd jester DSC_0413

This was one of my first background stamps (from Hero Arts). I didn’t keep track of what I used back then, but it looks like I stamped in purple and used a holographic powder for the lines. The jester is from Judikins. I think I acquired the jester at one of the first stamp shows I attended — the Original Rubber Stamp Convention in Carson, Calif. I also bought a matching stamp, a ballerina. I embossed the jester in black, then colored him in using gel pens (which I borrowed from my daughter. I had much fewer supplies back then!!).

Here’s a close-up:
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And simpler still:

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My sad first embossing attempts. Sigh.

More Valentines and a Fabulous Find

I just realized we don’t have too much time until Valentine’s Day… so in the next few posts I’ll do a Valentine Blitz! There will be more hearts than in a cardiac unit! So get ready….

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This sweet die cut set is a Fabulous Find from Lawn Fawn. The stitched square and the tiny hearts are all part of the die set, which also includes a row of arrows, banners, etc. I colored the tiny hearts using a Distress Marker. The cute arrow paper clip is also a Fabulous Find from Freckled Fawn (Wow, this is like a whole deer theme!) The heart (gold embossed with Judikins) and sentiment (cut up) are both by Hero Arts. The pretty sequins are from Doodlebug Designs and the yummy pink card stock is from World Win.

This came together pretty quickly … mostly because I had lots of odds and ends and new dies hangin’ around my desk.

I also put some of those teensy hearts inside:
valentines 531 arrow heart detail DSC_0440

Have a wonderful weekend!