New Year, Bright Beginnings

It’s the new year … and it’s been gloomy here in normally sunny Southern California. Which made it a perfect day for stamping something bright! Thank heavens I just read a newspapere article that said neon was still hot.

I pulled out my Hero Arts Neon stamp pads and some new-ish images and played … Nothing too exotic, just a slap-dash bit of fast and easy stamping to satisfy my stamping urge.

neon homes 368 DSC_0309

Been anxious to put this fun new set to work … Homey Patterns from Basic Grey and Hero Arts. Aren’t the house divine?  The pennants were mounted on a piece of baker’s twine from Close To My Heart.

RS Plantation 353 hula DSC_0309

Don’t these fish cry out for neon? This card needs a greeting, but again, it satisfied my stamping jones. Images are from Rubber Stamp Plantation. Tape is from EK Success.

Thanks for putting up with me!

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Fabulous Finds Friday — Dies, Neons and More!

I have some Fabulous Finds for crafters!

First, I’m really excited about these new dies from Spellbinders. Called Die D-Lites, these 20 new dies are small and intricate, with shapes running from a beautifully detailed cattail scene to medallions and a darling window. You have to see them.  Check out this helpful tutorial from the Spellbinders blog:

http://spellbinderspaperarts.com/Community/Blog/Post/12-10-25/Introducing_Die_D-Lites.aspx

The tute gives some great tips, such as: 1) use wax paper to make it easier to pop out the delicate pieces; 2) try placing dies at the edges of your base plate on the  Grand Calibur (instead of in the middle) for optimum pressure on these intricate dies. These were award winners at the Craft & Hobby Show in July.

I can’t wait to get my hands on some! (I’m crazy about the tree one!) Sorry I don’t have one to show you in a crafty way, but I do have this Spellbinders Botanical Swirls die:

Isn’t that lovely? Be patient with me here… This is my first time using such a delicate die. After cutting it out, I ran it through my Xyron Creative Station to get it nice and sticky. As you can see, I didn’t burnish it well enough and some of the adhesive leaked through. I decided to sprinkle on some clear embossing powder, thinking it would give the piece some interesting highlights (and take care of the excessive adhesive). Not sure I succeeded…. Ah, well, the card needs some finishing touches … like a focal point, sentiment, embellishments, etc. But I love the die!

Last week I showed some embossed flowers using Zing! neon powders from American Crafts. Check out these colors:

Can you say yummy?

The last of my Fabulous Finds for this Friday are new stamps from Rubber Stamp Plantation. This Hawai’i-based company has wonderful Hawaiian and Asian-themed images, decals and other exotic crafty toys. Here’s a tease:

Being the Impatient Stamper, I couldn’t wait to stamp these!  These wonderful background scraps were piled on my desk, just begging to be used. So I did some random stamping. Next week we’ll see what I do with them!

Thanks for coming by to see what’s fabulous!

Hybrid Stamping

It’s Christmas already?! Well, it is in the magazine world. The December holiday issue of Crafts ‘n things is out already and my feature article in this issue is all about hybrid stamping — combining digital images with rubber-and-ink stamping.

Does this cover make you want to hang your stockings by the chimney with care and break out the Hanukkah menorah? It sure makes me want to craft!

Anyway… I was not into digital creating at all when I proposed this article, so I had a huge learning curve putting it together. (You can read about my personal — and pathetic — learning curve in the sidebar to the main piece.)

To start by hybrid adventure, I began with an easy project, just printing a background on card stock. Then I stamped and embossed the Aloha and the butterfly on scrap card stock, colored the butterfly, cut out both and added them to the card with dimensional foam. 

The digital background is from TwistedPapers.com, the images are from Rubber Stamp Plantation.

Then I decided to experiment and thought, “Well, heck, let’s play with color!”

Wow! That was fun! Same images, stamped and cut, then colored to match.

For my next experiment, I decided to go entirely digital, which was super easy, but just to be sure, I started with a single image that fit the entire card front:

The hardest part was figuring out the printing parameters so the image lined up in the center of the card. The tulip above and deco lady below are both from Twisted Papers. Both are colored with watercolor pencils. (When using an ink jet printer, you have to be careful not to get the ink wet or it can bleed. Don’t ask me how I learned that lesson….)

(To get the lovely texture, I ran the base card through my Sizzix using a Cuttlebug embossing folder.)

For my last card, I used a digital kit from Basic Grey:

I stamped, colored and cut out party hats from Hero Arts.

And there ya go! I still have a looooooooong way to go before I feel comfortable with digital cardmaking, but at least I have a toe in the new technological waters!

Do check out the December issue for lots of great holiday ideas. And come back next Friday for some Halloween cards.

Thanks for stopping by!