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.

Fabulous Finds Friday: Easy Pop-up Card

Would you believe I have never made a pop-up card? My goodness! It seemed so complicated to me … until I got the Stitched Hillside Pop-Up die from Lawn Fawn:

stitched hillside pop-up

Of course, I had to play with it ASAP … so I started this card completely backwards with no idea of what I wanted to do. I just wanted to see how the pop-up was created. I cut the die from white card stock and attached it to a white card base, just to see how it fit together and how easy it was to construct. It was so cute I decided to go ahead and create a winter scene.

Here’s the inside:

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I stamped and fussy cut trees using some old Hero Arts stamps and stuck them on. Of course, it was still too plain so I added some silver snowflakes (also from Hero Arts). And then the greeting. Totally unplanned; I just kept building the card.

I felt kinda dumb, because now I had a plain white front that would be difficult to stamp on. But then … ta da! … I watched this great Lawn Fawn tutorial and I loved the way Kelly Marie created a belly band for the front of her card! So simple!

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And now I’m hooked! It’s not the greatest card, but it was fun and surprisingly easy — a good learning experiment!

Thanks for tuning in.

 

Make Your Own Coloring Cards

Here’s a belated Fabulous Finds Friday…

It’s no secret that coloring books are hot, hot, hot!

And what stamper doesn’t love to color? So putting them together is a natural fit. Luckily, there are plenty of stamps that make it  easy to create coloring cards — a perfect gift for all ages. I recently made a gift packet for a 10-year-old girl and it was such a fast and easy project — just stamping the images with water resistant black ink (I alternated between  VersaFine Onyx Black and StazOn Jet Black, both from Imagine Crafts) and mounting the images to fold-over cards (I used 4-Bar note cards.)

Here are a few:

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I found some great images from Dare2BArtzy and Hampton Art Stamps (check out the Color Me collection by Angela Porter!) There are many others out there.

As you can see in this photo, you can use a variety of coloring tools…

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For my gift, I bundled a bunch of (uncolored!) cards, coordinating envelopes (with a single image stamped on the front) and a pack of colored pencils. I’m going to get several sets ready for Christmas! This is also a great travel gift, especially if you include a few postage stamps.

Thanks for stopping by … now go color something!

Fabulous Finds — New Embossing System

I found a fun new embossing system called Inside Out Embossing Plates (or IOEP for short!) that lets you create several embossed looks by simply switching out some plastic plates.

Here’s what they look like:

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Created by Australian crafter Tasha E Armour, who wanted an easier way to do double embossing on her cards, the plates work with most tabletop embossing machines and with most embossing folders. (You can see some excellent videos on her website, teapapercrafts.com.)

Tasha has also created a versatile embossing folder designed specifically for the 9-piece IOEP set, which she promises is only the first of many future designs:

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Here’s how it works: Say you want to emboss your card front with only the center oval. You load your paper inside the embossing folder, then use removable tap to attach the center oval piece of the IOEP set to the appropriate area on the outside of the embossing folder. (Sorry, I didn’t take a photo of this step!) The center oval piece presses down on that area so that the oval is the only thing embossed. Hope that makes sense!

Take a look. Here is an example of using the entire embossing plate:

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Pretty, right?

But for my next card, I wanted space for a sentiment in the center, so I used the rectangle piece that covered the corners and the piece that covered the larger oval:

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When applying the plates, think about which areas you want embossed. That’s where you apply the plates. (It almost sounds counter-intuitive, but picture it as if you are pressing down on those areas to get an impression — that’s what the plates do.)

I trimmed the piece, heat embossed a sentiment in the center and mounted in on tan card stock:

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Playing around with the folder and the plates (which are made in the USA from a semi flexible plastic) I created a small decorative piece using the smaller oval and the inside design:

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I cut the oval using Spellbinders’ Classic Ovals Small S4-112 (one of the first dies I ever bought!) and mounted it on a tiny tag (actually a pre-scored place card from Paper Source. Love these for tags!) The background was stamped using Hero Arts’ Unicorn white pigment ink and Hero Arts’ Pearl Strings Bold Prints stamp.

Tasha says there are 31 different combos for the IOEPs — but I think I found a 32nd design! Check out the two embossed lines on this card:

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To create those lines, I used the outside frame. I put just one side of my card stock in the folder, ran it through, and repeated the step. I trimmed the piece and applied it to front of a 3 1/2 x 4 3/4 (4bar) folded card. The cute pot is one of my new favorite dies (flower pots B667) from Cheery Lynn and the flower stamp is an old one from Memory Box. I put a scrap of glitter paper behind the opening in the pot before mounting it.

I haven’t had a chance to try the IOEP set with other embossing folders, but that’s in the works, and I look forward to some new designs from Tasha!

 

 

Fabulous Finds Friday — Evolution Revolution

Oh, my, how the Evolution die cutting machine has evolved!

The new and improved version, the Evolution Advanced, has several performance-enhancing features (and it still does letterpress — yay!). One thing I really love is the smaller footprint — the platform folds up so the machine is more compact, making it easy to store (you can also remove the handle.)

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I must admit, I found it tough to pull down the platform panels. But once I did, I found that the bottom suction cups (which become engaged when you pull down the panels) were nice and strong. And I LOVE the storage compartment in the platform.

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The machine still has all the features that make it a wonderful tool — it die cuts and embosses and is compatible with most other dies and embossing folders. The Evolution also has a letterpress kit, sold separately, but a valuable addition. I love the look of letterpress and am anxious to try my letterpress platform in the Advanced.

The Advanced has a new dial system that adjusts the height of the rollers, changing the pressure. The idea is that you don’t have to bother with a variety of mats (just the base plate and one mat). I found the dial stiff and hard to turn, but I’m hoping it will be easier the more I use it. The dial is supposed to eliminate the need for extra mats and shims, but we’ll have to see if mine gets easier to turn. Once I figured out the right dial level, the base plate ran through like a dream.

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One other cool option — a motor! Yes, you can buy a plug-in motor that runs the whole shebang for you. This will be a boon to anyone who has hand issues.

Here is a quick tag I made using the dies that come with the machine and an embossing folder I’ve had for a while:

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The Evolution was originally sold by Lifestyle Crafts, then by We R Memory Keepers, and now by American Crafts.
Here’s a good video that shows what the Evolution Advanced can do:

What are your thoughts on die cutting machines?

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Pinster Winster

A book featuring Pinterest pins?

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When I first saw the book Pinterest Perfect! (published by Walter Foster), I thought, “Why do I need a book? Why not go directly to the source?”

But have you ever gone down that rabbit hole, disappearing into a never-ending spiral of great ideas and fetching projects? Where one pin leads to another … and another … and before you know it, it’s Easter and you completely missed Valentine’s Day?

Anyway, this book is a wonderfully curated collection of inspiring ideas, complete with step-by-step projects, creative tips and techniques directly from the artists, and hints on how to use Pinterest as inspiration. The book is broken up into eight sections, from paper crafts and doodling to mixed media and “crafts.” There are also empty pages ripe for sketching, brainstorming, note taking, doodling, etc. Skim the book with sticky notes in hand for marking favorite pages. Read it order or sip and glide as you will, randomly selecting a project here and there.

Here’s a peek inside:

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Curious? Intrigued? You could win it! I have a copy of the book, donated by publisher Walter Foster, to give away! Just leave me a comment by July 28 on what you love about Pinterest and a random generator will pick a lucky winner. Sorry, you must be in the continental U.S. to win.

Have fun, and thanks for joining me today.