Fabulous Finds Friday — Pop Ups & Laurel Burch

It’s Friday … and I have a few Fabulous Finds to share.

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First, check out these fabulous pop-ups from Stampendous! And don’t even get me started on the Laurel Burch designs! Oh, those cats! I’ve always loved her colorful images and have some of her old, old stamps. So imagine my glee at discovering that Stampendous! is now carrying her brand. Check out the fab collection of designs here.

And speaking of pop-ups, Fran Seiford at Stampendous! has made pop ups easy by creating a full set of pop up dies.  Check them out here. I haven’t done a lot of pop-ups, but these dies make it so easy I’m going to make some this weekend.

Oooh la la! Gotta love the artsy stamps from Carabelle, a French company that is working its way into U.S. distribution:

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Aren’t those designs gorgeous?

I also love the variety in their line. Here are a few more:

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Find out more here. To find out where they are sold, Google Carabelle Stamps.

Have a great weekend!

Fabulous Finds Friday: Spellbinders Magic

I am always amazed and awed at the variety of styles Spellbinders presents each year. Here are a few catches from the latest release.

Love the soft watercolor look of these stamps …

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… and the tiny details on stamps such as this one below:

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… not to mention this pretty watercolor look:

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And for something different, the mixed media stylings of the delightful Seth Apter:

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Stay tuned for an upcoming project using THIS new Spellbinders stamp/die set! Have a great weekend.

More Fabulous Finds from Creativation

Here’s another look at some of the Fabulous Finds found at the Creativation craft and hobby show in Phoenix last month:


(Layering stamps clockwise from top: large roses, Hampton Art; koi and rooster, Hero Arts; small vintage roses, Altenew)

Stamp layering (images you layer to create depths of color and design) is so pretty … and still oh-so popular, with more and more companies producing layering images. And ditto for stamps with coordinating dies. I became a huge fan of Altenew stamps, a company that elevated the stamp layering technique, when I first saw the company a few shows ago. They really ignited a trend.

Also fun, Hero Arts (love the koi and rooster and … a croissant? Whaaaat? So yummy); Waffle Flower  (marble, cross stitched cacti and roses, and more); Hampton Art, and more.

Here’s a cute layered/stitched cactus from Waffle Flower:


… and a nifty marbling stamp, also from Waffle Flower.


I also love the flower border stamps!

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Find — Blockwallah Stamps

Blockwallah stamps are more that just tools — they are little pieces of art. (I even love the instruction tags!)

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Blockwallah has a fascinating story that crosses continents, from Finland to India. Founder Laura Vacker and her Indian partner work with rural artists in India to produce these gorgeous hand crafted beauties, following an art form that goes back hundreds of years.

The company’s name reflects its origin: ‘Block’ meaning stamps and ‘wallah,’ which is Hindi for seller. The stamps, designed by artists in Finland, India and Sweden, are carved into Shesham wood, also called Indian Rosewood, a sustainable hard wood. The company believes in ethical work practices that help empower impoverished Indian women.

The blocks stamp surprising well if you know a few tricks, such as using fluid acrylic paint instead of traditional stamp ink and stamping on a well-padded surface (towel, mouse pad, stack of newspapers, which is what I used on theses.) I used DecoArt’s Americana Multi-Surface paint (so nice and creamy and I love the colors!) in Steel Grey, Flamingo, Coastal Waters and School Bus.

Here are my first practice sheets:

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The stamps are beautiful to look at and easy to hold. Because they are all handmade, no two blocks are exactly alike and there may be some minor — very minor —  imperfections … but that only adds to the charm!

They are great for paper and fabric.

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I cut up my practice sheet to fit this white card base and edged it with a Marvy gold marker before adhering it to the card front. I colored the elephant’s cloth with a bit of Distress markers, scribbled on my craft sheet and gently painted in with my water brush. The elephant is popped up with foam dots and I added a few tiny Hero Arts gemstones to the flower centers.

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On this one, I added Lawn Fawn sequins and a die cut “happy happy” sentiment from Technique Tuesday (I love that this set has the cut out word AND the shadow. Below is a detail of that element.) I also cut out one of the stamped birds, edged it with gold and used a foam pop dot.

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Below is another card combining these elements:

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Using up all the scraps! The sentiment is an old one from Hero Arts. The letters are filled with with sparkly gel pens and a touch of Ranger Stickles glitter glue adds sparkle.

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Here is a simple card, just the elephant and a sentiment from Kaisercraft’s Confidence stamp set.

To recap, here are some tips for using these stamps:

— Liquid acrylic paint works best. Regular stamping ink is not recommended.

— Whether printing on fabric or paper, work on a cushioned surface, such as a towel, mouse pad, etc.

— Apply paint on a sponge and tap the paint on the stamp.

— Clean stamp before acrylic dries. To clean, wash the stamps with warm water and a brush (an old toothbrush works well). Dry them well with a soft towel and let them dry in an open place.

Do check out the Blockwallah site! Thanks for stopping by.

Fabulous Finds — Ken Oliver Colors, Stamps and More

Another crafting star was born at the Craft & Hobby Association Show … Ken Oliver. It was Ken’s first time starring in his own booth, and he did it with flair, introducing several cool new products, including coloring agents, papers and stamps.

Let’s start with his exciting Color Burst color treatment. Color Burst is a concentrated watercolor product in a powder form. To use it, first spritz your watercolor paper with water. Then squeeze the Color Burst bottle to spray out the colored powders. The powder reacts with the water and … POW! Bursts of color!

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You can use Color Burst with stencils, over an embossed or wax resist, etc. You can spray more water to help blend the colors, move the color around with a brush or even a heat tool, and more. The vibrant colors make fast, easy, beautiful backgrounds and designs. As Ken says, “just sprinkle and spritz.” Color Burst will be available by mid-March.

Check out these samples:

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ken oliver colorburst samples 2

And these pretty blooms:

ken oliver flowers

Ken also introduced his Click It ink pad, a retractable, pivoting 1 x 1 inch raised dye ink pad. The velveteen pad gives a great color application whether you are stamping an image or edging a tag. It’s compact and I love the hangable chain that is attached.

PEGz™ stamp sets are individual letters that you click together to form words. Have you ever tried to line up alphabet stamps to create a greeting? Not so easy. Until now. (Look for them in your stores by the end of February.)

Look how easy they are:

ken oliver inking pegz

Then there’s Stick It, a thin, dry adhesive specially formulated for use in intricate die cutting. When you first lay it down, Stick It is repositionable, giving you some sticky wiggle room. After a while, it becomes permanent. You apply Stick It to your cardstock before die cutting, then just peel off the liner after it is cut.

As for stamps and paper … Ken has definitely mined his small town roots. His Hometown images are vintage, nostalgic and beautiful, whether on paper or stamps. Paper designs include the Studio Collection (a soft, more colorful vintage feel), Watercolored Memories (vibrant botanical prints) and Pitter Patterns (geometrics.) I’m hoping to play with these soon!

Check out Ken’s blog at www.kensworldinprogress.com. His products are being distributed through Product Performers.

Fabulous Finds Friday — The “Celebra’tion” Continues

I’ve been going on all week about the Fabulous Find of Spellbinders‘ new Celebra’tions™ set by Richard Garay and showing off some cards. Perfect for a Fab Finds Friday!

Here we go:

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Dontcha love that texture background on the sunshine-y paper? It’s made using the fabric pattern embossing folder. I ran the panel through my Xyron to get good adhesion before placing it on my card base. The white panel for the greeting was cut using a Pierced Rectangle die. (I’m going to use this die a LOT!) It was stamped using an old Hero Arts sentiment (Hip Hip Hooray) and colored with Staedtler’s Triplus fine line markers. (Coloring brings me back to my childhood and the fine tip on the marker makes it easy to color inside the lines.) The white panel is mounted using dimensional foam tape.

The presents are stamped on white scrap paper in Memento Tuxedo Black then colored with Distress markers, fussy cut and mounted using foam tape. And of course there’s some Stickles!

A relatively fast and easy card.

Speaking of fast and easy … how about some quick tags?

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The green tag is made using the smaller Pierced Rectangle die, the green card stock from the collection and the vase/flowers from # Sweet. The green string is also from the collection.

The purple dotted tag is all from the Sweet Treats set. I love that this set has the die AND the matching stamps. Notice the little slit in the top of the tag? Makes it easy to attach to a ribbon, etc. I used Distress markers to color the cake stamp so I could get multiple colors on the cake. Add a rhinestone to the flower and you’re good to go.

Thanks for “celebrating” with me this week.

spellbinders sweet treats

spellbinders papers

Fabulous Finds — More to Celebrate

Several posts ago (here) I featured a few of the new Spellbinders’ Celebra’tions stamp/die/ink/etc collection, created by designer Richard Garay.

I finally had a chance to play with some of the goodies in the collection. Here are a few of my experiments, using stamps, dies, string, paper, ink and an embossing folder, all from the collection:

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I first die cut the large and medium rectangles (LOVE that perforation!). (Green paper is from the collection. Yummy colors.) I stamped the vase and flowers (from the #Sweet set) in VersaMark, embossed in black, then colored with Distress Markers. A touch of yellow Stickles added some sparkle. I splattered a dash of the Luscious Silk ink (the bottle comes with a built-in brush) over the white background, tied a piece of blue Linen thread around the white panel and mounted it to the green panel.

The text frame was stamped in Lime Green, the words in Memento black. I fussy cut the piece then added it to the card using foam tape.

The process was similar for this one:

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BUT …. I ran the purple piece through the fabric embossing folder — I love the look. (I’ll have a better look in another card.)

I’ll show a few more cards over the next few days.

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:

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Is that fun or what?

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

Fabulous Friday — More Paper Goodness

My last post showed how I took a bunch of scrapbook papers from Close To My Heart and used them to cover a book. But I had scraps left. What’s a gal to do? I could simply store the scraps (where they would languish with my OTHER scraps!) or use them all up. So I used them! Here are the results: (all decorative papers are from Close To My Heart Stella collection)

(all stamped images: Close To My Heart, stamped in Lagoon; frame is Spellbinders; friendship sentiment is punched using a McGill punch)

(woman and sentiment from Hero Arts)

(purse, sentiment from Skipping Stones; ribbon from Close To My Heart.)

(Everything from Close To My Heart.)

(stamps by Hero Arts.)

Here’s a little inking tip. These Ink Blushers from Tsukineko (rebranding itself as Imagine Crafts) is a soft, dense sponge that is great for inking edges. I love the feel, and the ink application is easy to control. This definiely qualifies as a Fabulous Find!

Have a Fabulous Friday!

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.