Fabulous Finds Friday — Eastern Beauty

Who doesn’t love a stamp and die set with versatility? Not me! And that’s exactly what I love about the beautiful Eastern Beauty stamp set (and matching dies) from Stampin’ Up!

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There are so many ways to use this release, which also has some lovely coordinating paper. The card above was created using a piece of the coordinating paper for a background. Then I used several dies to create the embellishment (trimming some pieces to create a design.) The sentiment is a die cut from Technique Tuesday.

Here’s another card that uses just the flower-like die and a stamped background using the images from the matching stamp set:

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To create the above card, I stamped the rings from the Eastern Beauty set in various colors of ColorBox’s Stephanie Bernard inks. Two of the three flowers were cut from cardstock I had painted using Purple Flash and Aqua Flash from Plaid’s delightfully shimmery Folk Art® Color Shift™ paint. Love the subtle shimmer! And the leaves are from a Tim Holtz /Sizzix punch. Here’s a closer look:

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Stay tuned for more ways to use this set!

 

Simple Stories … Cards

Almost a year ago I received some journaling stamps from Simple Stories. These papers sat … and they sat … and they sat some more. This week I decided enough is enough! Use these! Since I am a cardmaker at heart, that’s what I did. And I found these journaling cards  made quick, pretty backgrounds.

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I trimmed some the papers to fit the front of my A2 card, then I looked around for images to adorn them. I looked first in my stash of pre-stamped images. Here are two using the Stampin’ Up! layered cupcake set:simpstories-su-cupcake-746-orange-dsc_0778

(Gave it some bling with yellow Stickles.)

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And another using Tim Holtz’s Crazy Bird set (watercolored and hit with some Wink of Stella clear sparkle.)

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And one more, using two of the same journaling cards, just using the opposite sides:

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These are so easy I’m going to make a few sets to give away as holiday gifts.

Thanks for stopping by!

Quick Cards from Leftovers

Time to clean the desk again … and use up some of those images and papers that seem to reproduce with wild abandon on my desk.

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You’ll all recognize Tim Holtz’s Crazy Birds … well, this one is from a mini set. I love the smaller size — perfect for a 4Bar card (about 4 7/8 x 3 1/2, when folded). The background was made by spritzing Heidi Swapp sprays (mustard, chartreuse and sweet cherry). Layered, glued, added some Lawn Fawn sequins, and that’s a wrap! Oh, and a liberal dose of clear Wink of Stella on the bird. Bam!

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These frolicking girls (by Crafty Individuals/Magenta)  have always tickled me. This was stamped a while ago on some leftover card stock that was colored using Faber-Castell Gelatos. The card stock, as you can see, is very textured, so the girls didn’t stamp as smoothly as I wanted. But a part of me is okay with the sketchy look. The paper is an old scrap from Paper Source. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday: New at Ranger

Today I have a packed Fabulous Finds Friday with some new items from Ranger that will make summer a little brighter.

Let’s start with Enamel Accents, an opaque, dimensional medium that dries to a glossy finish. I love making my own domed dots with the black enamel, so I think the new colors will be a must-have in my embellishment arsenal.

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Besides Black Tie and Glacier White, Enamel Accents now come in Pink Gumball, Classic Cherry, Cheese Puff, Lemon Twist, Electric Lime, Lily Pad, Carribean Coast, Blue Ribbon, Wild Orchid and Grape Soda.

ranger wendy archival inks new

I’m a big fan of Ranger’s Wendy Vecchi Archival Inks — I especially love to use them when I’m watercoloring. They stamp so crisp and bright and can also be used with markers, acrylic paint and even Alcohol Ink. New colors are Vibrant Fucshia, Bright Tangelo, Vivid Chartreuse, Paradise Teal, Majestic Violet and Shadow Grey (which I think will be my favorite grey.)

Ranger alcohol inks new

Alcohol Inks, those fast-drying, fade-resistant dye inks specially formulated for non-porous surfaces such as glass, acrylic, tile, etc., are ready for summer, too, available in three-piece sets or individually. Summer sets include Spring Break (Valencia, Limeade, Turquoise), Beach Deco (Flamingo, Patina, Amethyst) and Retro Café (Pink Sherbert, Pool, Espresso).

ranger flip top distress paintranger distress grit paste

New flip tops are a nice addition to Tim Holtz® Distress Paints, which is a great segue to Tim’s newest medium, Grit-Paste. As the name says, it has a gritty texture, holds its body, and dries to a textured, matte finish. You can use it with stencils and color it using the usual suspects: Distress inks, sprays, paint, crayons, etc. They all have different saturation levels on the paste, so just play!

Dina Wakley and Dyan Reaveley both have some cool new stamp designs. Dina has new borders, scribbled text elements and faces and wings, while Dyan added more of her fun and funky designs. Dyan also has new colors in her Dylusions paints: Funky Fuchsia, Pure Sunshine, Chopped Pesto, Polished Jade, Ground Coffee and Slate Grey.

Head over to the website and check out the fun new items!

Experiments in Gel Printing

At the Craft & Hobby Association’s Mega Craft Show this year, I met Laurie Karian, who has her own line of gel printing plates at www.gelpress.com.

I’m a relatively new convert to the joys of gel printing but now that I’ve gotten started, I can’t stop!

I was lucky enough to get a 3×5 inch gel plate to play with, and I went a little crazy:

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Look at all pretty pieces! (Did I mention how addictive this is?)

I played around with a variety of acrylic paints, including Americana® multi-surface Satin™ by DecoArt® and Dina Wakely heavy body acrylic paint from Ranger. To create the patterns, I also used a variety of objects, including stamps, bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard.

I really loved using Plaid’s Fabric Creations™ block printing stamps, which look like old-school wooden block print stamps from India, as well as some foam stamps from Art Foamies (which worked really well with the paints).

The small plate was perfect for creating smaller 4-bar cards, which measure about 3 1/2 x 4 7/8 inches when folded). Some I kept clean and simple, some I indulged with stamps, etc. Here is a sampling:

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The bird and birdcage are from a Prickley Pear stamp/die set. The birdcage was die cut twice, then stacked and gold embossed. The bird has a coat of clear Wink of Stella. The sentiment, black embossed on vellum, is from Hero Arts’ Everyday Sentiments CL497 and attached with a Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher.

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For this piece, the foam stamp was stamped into the wet paint, removing some of the paint; the green leaves were stamped after the print dried, using StazOn ink. The Dew Drops are from Robin’s Nest and were attached using Ranger’s Glossy Accents.

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Here I cut poppies and a sentiment (both from Elizabeth Craft Designs) and added some Ranger Glossy Accents dots. So easy! (The pattern was made using good ol’ bubble wrap.)

One note I have neglected to mention for a while … I have been using ScraPerfect’s Best Glue Ever for a lot of my gluing, especially of tiny pieces. I’m loving this adhesive!

Stay tuned for more of my gel addiction!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here are a few more Valentines … enjoy! I hope your day is was sweet!

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I’m so crazy about Tim Holtz’s Crazy Birds (Stampers Anonymous) and the accessories pack. I’m also crazy about my new *Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors (I have six, but now I want more!). What better time to combine these two products?

I started this card by playing around with these delicious watercolors. I used Deep Pink and a touch of Carmine Red to create the background on watercolor paper. The colors are so rich I found myself diluting them with more water to get softer shades.

While the background was drying I stamped the sassy bird on Tim Holtz Watercolor Card stock (smooth side) in VersaFine and painted her with the watercolors. The hat was stamped separately and painted with Distress Ink Fossilized Amber; the rose and the ribbon on the box with more red. (The rose, the ribbon, and the details on the bird were later highlighted with Kuretake’s Wink of Stella Pink and Dark Pink. Oh, how I Wink of Stella!)

I cut the watercolor paper to fit on a tan card, edged it with VersaMark and Judikins’ Egyptian Gold powder (love the sparkle!), and affixed it to the card front. For my last step, I die cut Technique Tuesday’s  adorable *Heart Strings from gold paper scraps and glued them on top. How sweet is this card? Oh yeah … and I stamped the sentiment using *Stampin’ Up’s! Bloomin’ Love set. (You’ll see the coordinating die set used in my earlier Valentine cards here.) The sentiment is perfect for my “gal-entine” cards that went to my BFFs.)

Here’s another version using the same materials (and the other die in the Technique Tuesday Heart Strings set. See how I got some extra hearts?)

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One more quick card using the Heart Strings in a different way:

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The adorable bird (Love Bird by Cath Edvalson) is also from Technique Tuesday. The sequins are from Lawn Fawn. The sentiment from *Stampin’ Up! Bloomin’ Love. 

 

*These products were generously donated by the companies. See this note.

(This post was written on Feb. 13, but then I lost it all!!! Aaargh. )

CHA, Sizzix Part Deux!

Welcome back! Yesterday I started to highlight some of the new designs from Sizzix, but there are so many cool things, I need another post.

First, let’s continue with our designer highlights.

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Eileen Hull® is such a delight! Here she shows off her new Twist & Style™ Tool (coming in May) which makes it über easy to twist wires, make cording, etc, and is so easy on the wrists. In the background you can see some of her fun designs. (Eileen has the cutest little trailer she uses to tool around the country … do check out her site.)

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I love the beautiful, romantic, detailed dies from Sharyn Sowell. At the booth, she showed me how to cut them apart to use smaller pieces. So pretty!

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If jewelry is your thing, Jill MacKay’s Movers & Shapers ™ Magnetic Dies will cut pretty leather pieces, while the DecoEmboss™ dies nicely impress metal blanks.

There was so much more, with designers for every aesthetic. For instance, if you like to cook and bake, check out the Where Women Cook™ dies from Jo Packham, which not only has lots of treat boxes and bags, but some clever food-related decorating dies, such as the Bread album, which cuts out, yes, slices of bread-shaped material.

Get your ooh la la on with Kaari Meng’s French General designs; have some fun with Brenda Walton’s pretty posies; get back to nature with Jen Long’s outdoorsy dies and designs, including owls and acorns; and enjoy the whimsical doodle-like designs from Stephanie Ackerman.

For home décor enthusiasts, there’s the Big Shot™ Plus, with a 9-inch opening to handle larger dies, sized perfectly for home décor. The Tool Caddy attaches to Big Shot machines and offers a handy place to stash your scissors, pencils, etc.

Tim Holtz has upgraded his Vagabond to the Vagabond 2. There are upgraded adapter pads to keep the machine from jamming on sandwiches that are too, er, meaty. AND … he has some new dies… see more at his site.

And last, but certainly not least, are the 3-D Textured Impressions Embossing Folders, which give a nice, deep emboss. Here’s a sample:

Sizzix embossing folder

Thanks for hangin’ in there and stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of the hobby show.