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Thursday, January 31, 2008

JessicaLynn Original Spring Release Party - TONIGHT!

Woo hoo! The big release party for JessicaLynn Original's TEN new stamp sets is TONIGHT (January 31st) from 6 PM to Midnight on the JLO store website.

The new sets to watch for are: Spring Cats, Spring Dogs, 4th of July Fireworks, Elegant Doggy Wedding, Goal Calendar with the Kids, Holiday...Celebration, Hoppy Easter, Relaxation Tree for all Seasons, Yorkies 2, and Spring Bugs.

SPECIAL DEALS tonight at the store (no coupons needed):

1. All stamps in the store are 10% off. There is limited stock of some of the older stamps, so be sure to visit early. Spend $45 and get FREE SHIPPING (automatically).

2. Every Paid Order (payment via Paypal) tonight from 6 PM until Midnight (CST) is entered in to win a $25 Gift Certificate from JessicaLynnOriginal, as well as other prizes.

Sweet Rewards

Here's another project I made using my Goal Calendar with the Kids stamp set from JessicaLynn
Original's spring release (it's TOMORROW!!).

This is a little coupon/reward book. These are great for teacher gifts/daycare providers, Darling Husbands (Valentines Day is coming!), and of course, our own kids. This one is geared towards kids, although I did have a fun idea to make a card with one coupon in it for a "date night" for my husband. Just haven't gotten to it yet - but I'll post it when I do!

This is a really easy project. It's basically a matchbook concept but elongated to fit the coupons. The outside of the booklet is 12" x 3-3/8". Place the paper pattern side down, and working from the right edge, score at 1/2", 5-3/4", and 6". The first score will make up the tuck-in slot. The other two will make up the spine of the booklet.

I folded over my tuck section and stapled it into place. Make sure you have your staples hit at 1/4" from the new, folded-over right edge so you have enough room to tuck in your flap.

I did the cover on my computer using the ChartreuseParsonsSH Font. Sponged the edges and mounted on some Making Memories lime colored designer paper.

The coupons inside are on pieces of 5" x 2-1/2" white cardstock. I stamped the large coupon stamp from the JessicaLynn Original stamp set in Night of Navy ink on each piece. I used the perforating blade in my Cutterpede to perforate at 1/2" from the left side for easy removal. I cut a 1/2" by 2-1/2" of designer paper from the same piece as the cover, folded it around the left edge and stapled to bind them together. This booklet has 6 coupons in it. I attached it to the cover using very thin foam tape along the left edge under the designer paper binding (because of the staples).

I left these blank so they can be used for anything. With all the kid-oriented projects I've made in the last week or two I don't have an immediate use for this - the treat jar is working well right now so we're going to stick with that for awhile. Maybe I'll give this little booklet away as a gift!

As a final step, I added sticky strip and beads to my tuck-in flap just for fun. Since it is 1/2" wide you can use two pieces of sticky strip to fit perfectly over the top and then press the beads in. Make sure you press them in hard or they won't stick! I like to do this last and then lay it flat so it can set up overnight and really get a good adhesion on those beads so they stay put.

Tutorial and JessicaLynn Sample

I am finally getting around to posting the tutorial I mentioned last week, as well as another sample from my stash of JessicaLynn Original stamps. This is a get well soon card featuring the Punny: Get Better Soon set.

For lack of a better term (or other info), I call this technique "Crumpled Vellum". I did not invent this, it was shown to me by a sideline at a little Stampin' Up! meeting a couple of years ago. I have no idea where she learned it but it's easy and gives cool results so I thought I would share it!

Crumpled Vellum:

You will need: White vellum paper or cardstock (paper is MUCH easier to work with), pre-cut to size, classic ink in color(s) of your choice [1 or 2 colors], bone folder, and heat gun (optional).

Step 1: Begin with your vellum paper, cut to size. Very carefully, crumple the vellum up into a ball. It will tear easily so be gentle.

Step 2: Once the vellum is crumpled up, smooth it out and look at the wrinkle pattern. If you are satisfied with the amount of distressing and the number of creases, smooth over it with the bone folder to get it as flat as possible. If you think there aren't enough creases, you can crumple it up again. Just make sure the last thing you do during this step is to smooth out the paper with the bone folder.

Step 3: Using the direct to paper method, gently rub your classic ink pad over one side of the paper. This will highlight the creases with ink. Set aside to dry. You can also use your heat gun to speed up the drying. When using heat on vellum, remember - smoke is bad!

Step 4: If you want to have another color on your background, you can flip the vellum over and repeat step 3 with a second color.

Step 5: Finish card as desired. This card also features the layout from Sketch Challenge SC142 from Splitcoast.

This set has an "innie" sentiment to go along with the cute phrase on the front - it says "Hope you get better soon!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kid's Chore Chart

Yes, I am aware that you can't *really* give a 3-year old chores to do, but I liked the concept. I thought hard about what responsibil-
we could give him to help him start learning that he's a part of the household and has to help out here and there sometimes (i.e. Mommy is not his toy and book cleaning up slave).

This was a fun project to make! I used my Goal Calendar with the Kids set from JessicaLynn Original's spring stamp release. She has this set plus NINE OTHERS being released on February 1st - this Friday!!! On January 31st there will be a pre-release party on the JLO store website from 6 PM to Midnight (CST). There will be some great deals to be had so stop on by!

For the calendar, I used a cool weekly calendar template that Jessica Lynn sent me. I also used this on the weekly schedule that I made, but here I used it full size. I printed it on 8.5" x 11" white cardstock, added this great patterned paper underneath to hold all the little completion markers, and matted it with coordinating designer paper to make it a true 12" x 12" project.

All of the little completion markers were stamped out and then punched with a 3/4" circle punch (or the SU Word Window punch for the words). I then added a bit of Tombow Mono Multi and let it dry. This allows it to be used as a REMOVEABLE adhesive! So easy! Now we have 7 markers for each "chore" in case he is able to do everything every day of the week. *snort*, yeah right!. Anyway, they just pull off and stick on whereever they need to go. I just stuck some on randomly before I took the photo so you can see the concept.

Complete supply list: Stamps: All from Goal Calendar with the Kids from JessicaLynn Original's spring 2008 release. Paper: Various pattern paper, GP-110 white cardstock. Ink: Tempting Turquoise and Bravo Burgundy classic ink from Stampin' Up!. Accessories: 3/4" circle and Word Window lever punches.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oh The Beautiful Glitter...


You have to see this tutorial by the fabulously talented Lauren Meader (mytime)!! This is by far the coolest thing I've seen in a long time for gettin' your bling on and jazzing things up a bit. How's THAT for a teaser, I know you're all getting carpal tunnel trying to click the link as fast as you can! ;-) Thanks to Lauren for sharing this awesome idea with all of us mere mortals, LOL!

Click here for the glitter.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Coupon Code for Firecracker Designs!

Just a quick post - a new coupon code for Firecracker Designs by Pamela! Save 10% on your order now through January 31st! Just enter "STAMPAHOLIC" (all caps, no quotes) in the coupon field during checkout.

Spread the word!

We Are Remarkably Scheduled!

My DS #1 is a very busy boy! He has pre-school to go to, he is learning to swim -- we have places to go and friends to see practically every day if you can believe that. For a person who is only 3 years old, he has quite the busy week. heehee!!

We have been working with him on the days of the week. He always wants to know what is going on and what comes next. So I made up this cute little weekly schedule for him. We take it down and show him what day it is and what we have planned. Some days there are no plans and that's ok too!! We have plenty of things to play with here, or we can have an impromptu playdate with some of the neighborhood friends. This way, he starts to learn the days of the week, which standing appointments he has, etc. What do you think?

You can see from the second picture here, this was originally one of those thin metal magnetic picture frames from the Target $1 Spot. It's 5" x 7" - a great size. I love these things. In fact, I think we all know how much I love the Target $1 Spot in general -- it has officially been renamed the Target $25 Spot in my household. I picked these up awhile back, they had both portrait and landscape orientations. For the calendar, I used a cool weekly calendar template that Jessica Lynn sent me, along with this new Spring Set to design with for her upcoming release. This set and 9 others are officially being released on February 1st - that's this Friday!!! Jessica Lynn is having a pre-release party on Thursday, January 31st - check out the website for details & sign up for the preferred customer newsletter!

Back to the project -- LUCKILY, I have a huge stash of patterned paper and I was able to find this boy-themed page from Carolee's Creations among my individual sheets. I found the section I wanted to use - notice how the "boyish" shows in the upper right? That was deliberate! *grin*. I then cut the page down to 5" x 7" and used my large corner rounder from EK Success (the green one) to round off the corners to match up to the existing picture frame. I adhered it to the metal with a little bit of sticky strip. Once that was done I modified the calendar template using Adobe Photoshop Elements in order to make it work for this size (the original is 8.5" x 11") and printed it on white cardstock. I cut it down and decorated the calendar part using my Jessica Lynn Original stamps. I found a coordinating sheet of bandana patterned paper from K&Company and cut out some of the elements and mounted them onto magnets using sticky strip. I used these magnets to hold the actual weekly schedule onto the magnetic frame since things do change throughout the month and I want to be able to easily change the week's activities without ruining the work I did on the frame.

That's it! We used this schedule this morning since it was his first day at his new pre-school! He did great! :)

Complete supply list: Stamps - JessicaLynnOriginal spring release. Cardstock - GP 110, Carolee's Creations and K&Company designer paper. Ink - Stampin' Up! Classic Ink in Bravo Burgundy. Palette Ink in Haystack. Accessories - sticky strip, EK Success corner rounder punch, Bravo Burgundy marker, brown glitter gel pen.

Who Doesn't LOVE Stickles?!

Just popping in quick before I take DS #1 to pre-school. I have some projects to post too but I have to take the pics first (story of my life!). I've had a few questions about Stickles lately, since they are popping up on every one of my "complete supply lists" for projects these days. I am sooo addicted to Stickles! So anyway, in order to not reinvent the wheel, I wanted to share a link to a FABULOUS blog that I read every day - Follow Your Bliss by Trudee Sauer.

More specifically, a link to a particular post where Trudee has a photo of almost all the different colors of Stickles and a description of each one. I have found this enormously helpful, especially with the clear colors that just have various types of glitter in them. Now I actually know what I'm buying and can choose the best Stickles for the job, LOL.

Here is the article.

I buy my Stickles from Scrapbook Pal, where they are only $1.75 w/ free shipping over $25. I LOVE Scrapbook Pal, I buy all my adhesive, Sakura Glaze Pens, Cutterpede stuff and Stickles from them. And they ship FAST (so don't order on Thursday - it'll come on Saturday and your DH will see the box, heeeeeheeheehehe).

Hope this helps someone!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The New Cuttlebug STUFF

I got an e-mail today from Happy Scrappin Scrapbooking. They are expecting the new Cuttlebug stuff in on February 7 - woo hoo!! It's about time stores started getting these things, I think it was back in like SEPTEMBER that we heard about them and started seeing pics of what they would look like. HSS has some of the Disney dies in stock and the rest is coming soon. You can pre-order now on their website for a pretty fair price. They also have a coupon code to save 5% - it is "janWKsave5" and it's good until January 28th at midnight MST. I can't remember if I've ordered from them in the past or not.

I know that Christine at All That Scraps is doing a preorder too, but it was through her wholesale site, not the regular ATS website. I can't for the life of me find that e-mail though. Christine has pretty fast shipping, I have ordered from her before and been very pleased. You could probably e-mail her if you want the info on how to preorder.

I am not affiliated with either of these companies, or with ProvoCraft. But I had to pass along this info because the new folders are the CUTEST! I can't wait to get my hands on them. I probably better get myself in gear too and get my preorder in SOMEWHERE so I will have these goodies as soon as I can get them!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Altered Tin for JessicaLynn

Happy Monday everyone! Snow and more frigid temps here, the fun just never ends! I had a few minutes to finally post this altered mini plastic paint pail that uses my new stamp set from JessicaLynnOriginal. This is my set to work with for design team projects for the spring launch - coming up SO FAST on February 1st!! Make sure you check it out, she has 9 new stamp sets coming plus some giveaways too. Check out the store website for more details.

My set is a calendar/reward chart set that is really versatile! This project is a little rewards tin for my darling son. We're working hard on concepts such as "please" and "thank you" as well as listening to Mommy and cleaning up our toys. He has a total sweet tooth and so this is {basically} my bribe jar.
He is 3 in a MAJOR way, and we just have to take what we can get right now. :-) Who knew that at that age they think they know everything? I thought I had until the teenage years for that! Anyway, he loves to stamp with me, and so we have a little stamp & kid's ink pad for him, and when he has good behavior such as helping to clean up toys, or eating all his lunch, or listening & helping me, he gets a stamp on his hand. When he gets four stamps, he can have a treat. We just started it so we'll see how it goes. But I had fun making the treat jar at least!

It was a bit frustrating that this didn't photograph real well. But it has nice bright colors and the coupon from this set was perfect for this project. I attached all the but very ends of the coupon to the front of the jar, it looks really cute in person to have the flaps off the sides. I also included a few close up shots of the lid.

Complete supply list: Stamps - JessicaLynnOriginal spring release. Cardstock - GP 110, Making Memories and misc. designer paper. Ink - Stampin' Up! Classic Ink in Night of Navy and Green Galore. Accessories - Night of Navy, Summer Sun and Ruby Red markers, dimensionals, mini glue dots, sticky strip, EK Success corner rounder punch, navy grosgrain and white organdy ribbon, Fruit Punch stickles, Marvy Giga Scallop circle punch and other Marvy circle punches.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Karen Day wants to Say...

"Purple Monkey Dishwasher"

Friday, January 18, 2008

No Stamping Time AGAIN!

This is awful! Once again, I had no time to stamp today. I am making time tomorrow no matter what, let me tell ya! I also have a tutorial written up to share with you but I still have to photograph the finished sample. Hopefully tomorrow. To-morrow! To-morrow! I love're only a day..a....way.... *snort* Sorry, I'm done now!

So for today, here's a tag book that I made awhile back. I actully made eight of these - talk about time consuming! I used to do a monthly swap with some ladies that I worked with and I was SO late on my cards one month I made these as an extra "please don't hate me" giftie. As you can see, I left them pretty plain so they could decorate and use them if they wanted or even give as a gift.

These little tag books are really easy to make.

1. Take one piece of 12 x 12 double-sided paper. Score at 6". Rotate 90 degrees and score at 3", 6" and 9". Make the folds then open back up.

2. Think about your design. For this one, I tore off the left panel, cut down the next one, left the next one alone except for punching the 1-1/4" semi-circle at the top, and cut & folded over the last panel on the far right. Normally I would do a lot more decorating than this but I wanted to leve them pretty generic.

3. Once you're happy with the layout, go ahead and adhere the book along each score/fold and both edges. Because the bottom is a fold you don't need any adhesive there. I used sticky strip centered over the creases for this book. You want your adhesive as skinny as possible so you have more room for the tags that go inside each panel.

4. Cut your tags and decorate accordingly. Fold the book into a double-z fold and tie with ribbon. I had my ribbon go behind one of the Prima flowers with a glue dot and then thread through a colored spiral clip on the other side so it didn't wiggle around. I tied a bow on the other side of the spiral clip once the ribbon was threaded through (when closed).

Now that I've revisited this project I am feeling the need to make another, complete with stamping and pics. That does it, I need to just cut out sleep entirely!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's That Time Again

No time to stamp today, the kids and I went to Target (big deal, I know!!) and I worked on some things around the house that have been on my list for about a year. But I still wanted to share some art, so here is an oldie but (I think at least!) a goodie.

This was my swap card for the Mad-City Madness Shoebox Swap last year (2007). It's always held in first quarter and is hosted by AZMommy (Tracy) on Splitcoast Stampers. This year's registration deadline is February 1st, so if you're within driving distance of Madison, consider coming to join the fun! -->>Click Here<<-- for details.

No special technique here - just a lot of Cuttlebugging! I pre-stamped, CB'd, rubbed ink, and sanded ALLLLLLL the background sheets for this card. I think this year I won't make my project *quite* so labor intensive for myself on the front end. Although DS #1 is fascinated by the CB, maybe I can get HIM to do the work, LOL!

Complete supply list: Stamps - Warm Words, Bamboo II and On Safari by Stampin' Up!, Limited Edition set by The Angel Company (the name escapes me at the moment), Mosaic Background from Starving Artistamps. Cardstock - GP 110, Certainly Celery, Chocolate Chip, Apricot Appeal and Handsome Hunter. Ink - Stampin' Up! Classic Ink in Chocolate Chip, Certainly Celery, Handsome Hunter and Apricot Appeal. Accessories - Apricot Appeal marker, sanding block (I buy mine at Home Depot!), sponge, dimensionals, ticket corner punch, Cuttlebug and D'Vine Swirl template, distressing tool from Tonic, double-circle punch, apricot and hunter grosgrain.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wire Butterfly & Polished Stone

Here's my second January design team card for Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps. Yay! I think I am actually all caught up with my DT cards for the moment - crazy talk, I know. This card features the Wire Butterfly & Whimsical Birds half sheet. I used the background stamp, the butterfly and the swirl. I love, love this swirl! I want to use it on every project I make. :-)

Standard A2-sized card, except that I cut off the edge of the Always Artichoke and folded it over. Then I added the Naturals Ivory panel on the *inside* of the card and stamped the edge with my favorite swirl stamp. :-) This card features the Polished Stone technique (on the butterfly). This is a personal favorite of mine for the easy, diverse, and gorgeous backgrounds it makes. Every one comes out a little different and you can work with any color combo you want. I like to make an entire 8.5" x 11" sheet at a time so I have some left over for other projects in the future.

Polished Stone is ridiculously easy to do, but it can be a little messy. I have a box of disposable latex gloves right on my stamp table for making projects with reinker techniques such as this one. I highly recommend it - nothing makes me madder than being almost done with a gorgeous card only to transfer ink from my hands at the last minute and ruin everything. Walgreens - $4, a very wise investment.

To try this at home, you will need a sheet of glossy white card stock (or a portion of a sheet cut to the size you want for your project), classic (water-based) ink reinkers in the colors of your choice (I usually use three colors but you can do more or less depending on need), rubbing alcohol and cotton balls. A metallic reinker is optional (you can skip step 1 and start with step 2 if you don't have or want to use metallic ink). If you use metallic ink you will also need a spray acrylic sealer.

1. Put several drops of metallic reinker directly onto your glossy cardstock in a random pattern. Don't over ink!

2. Take a cotton ball and saturate it with rubbing alcohol. Place about 3 drops of classic ink directly onto the cotton ball, starting with the lightest color. I like to use one cotton ball per color for better control of ink color and placement. [This is where the gloves come in handy. You can also use a tweezer to hold the cotton ball but I like to have it right at my fingers.]

3. Dab your cotton ball repeatedly onto your glossy card stock. The motion you use should be a *tap, tap tap* not a rubbing or dragging. The alcohol will cause the classic ink and the metallic ink to run together and transfer to the paper. Be sure to use a random pattern with varying strength. Add more ink to the cotton ball if necessary for good color variation and depth. Add more alcohol to make the ink run more if it is getting too dark.

4. Repeat with other colors until you have the desired background. Your finished project should look mottled with the colors running and blending together.

5. If you used metallic ink, it will always dry chalky and will rub off the paper when you touch it. You will want to seal the paper with a spray acrylic sealant if you do step 1. If you didn't use metallic ink there is no need to seal the paper.

Complete Supply List: Wire Butterfly & Whimsical Birds 1/2 sheet of stamps from PPRS, SU Always Artichoke, Bravo Burgundy, Naturals Ivory and Glossy White cardstock, SU Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke and Bravo Burgundy classic reinkers, SU Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke and Bravo Burgundy classic ink pads, StazOn Sonte Gray ink pad, self-adhesive rhinestones from Joann Fabrics, paper piercer and template, dimensionals, olive grosgrain from RABOM.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Puh-leeez Buy My Stamps & Stuff!

I need HEEEEELLLLLPPPP!! I am trying hard to organize and find new homes for the stuff I don't use. With my design team duties especially, some of my stamps from other companies have been getting neglected and I need the space. You won't BELIEVE the stuff I found when I started digging. Seriously! In addition to this list I'll be having some blog candy soon. It seems I am fast approaching 2,500 hits which is AMAZING to me, so we need a giveaway for such a milestone, I think. ;-)

Click -->>HERE<<-- to see my list of stuff for sale.

In addition to the big list, I have three of the Spring/Summer 2008 Catalogs, brand new for $5 each (plus shipping if you need it mailed to you).

Jessica Lynn Original Sale - Final Days!

I just wanted to remind everyone that the 35% off ALL STAMPS sale at Jessica Lynn Original will end at midnight on Jan 15th! Be sure to pick up your favorites while they are still on sale. Also, she will be retiring the Christmas and Halloween stamps at the end of the sale so get what you love before they're gone.....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rustic Doodle Tulip Card

Here (finally) is my last January design team card using the Doodles 4-German/Bauern set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela. I've had it done since Friday night but no time to take a picture. I hate when that happens!

You might notice that the color scheme is *ahem* similar to the horse card I did for one of my PPRS January design team projects (next post down). LOL. Yes, that is because I started with this size card base making THIS card when I did the horse one, but he was calling to me with those colors and papers, so I put this on hold and made him first. Bossy, wasn't he? But the next night I was able to come back and do this card after all, so it all worked out in the end. :) I'm not 100% sure the colors work for this image - I get a masculine feel from it, but flowers aren't really all that manly.... I am happy with the overall card though.

This card uses Amy R.'s Friday Sketch #2 (AMYRS10 keyword on splitcoast). If you haven't seen her blog, you must check it out. I mostly lurk but she has great ideas and I'm always finding much inspiration there.

Complete supply list: Doodles 4-German/Bauern stamp set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela; Cosmo Cricket DSP "Wanted" line; Stampin' Up! cardstock in More Mustard and Sage Shadow; GP110 cardstock in vanilla; SU classic ink in Really Rust; SU markers in Really Rust, Sage Shadow and More Mustard; Palette Hybrid ink in Burnt Umber and Haystack; sponges; Tonic edge distressing tool; rust ribbon from the LSS; dimensionals; mini glue dots; Stickles in Patina and Diamond; Marvy Giga and Mega oval punches; Bella Baubles in cappuccino.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Prickley Pear - First Project!

Well I sat down yesterday to stamp a bit with the intention of making my fourth card for Firecracker Designs by Pamela with the Doodles 4 set.

I started working, but the stamps had other ideas as you can see!! I ended up flipping and enlarging the card, adding *tons* of distressing, and turning it into a project for Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps! I've been itching to get ink on these images and I guess the time was right! Isn't it fun when the art has a mind of it's own?

This card is a 5.5" x 5.5" square card featuring the horse from the North American Animals plate from Prickley Pear. I LOVE these animals! They are so beautifully drawn, I expect them to leap right off the page! I got the full plate in my welcome basket, but I had actually purchased a few of the individual stamps a while back so I had a couple of duplicates. Hmm, I wonder what I should do with this amazingly gorgeous stamps that I have no use for.... Let me think about that for awhile and I'll get back to you all soon. Is anyone else thinking blog candy? *g*

No real trick to this card. Quick highlights - I stamped the horse image in Really Rust CRAFT ink and then added shimmer chalks from Pebbles Inc. / I Kan'Dee. I just got these (both sets of shimmers, of course) and I adore them. So easy to use and such SHINE - drool worthy for sure! I took another photo from an angle to try to show off the shine (click and you can see it!). Why is it so hard to get that glimmer on film?! I distressed the HECK out of all the edges, even the edges of the ribbon knot. Added lots of brads along the top with my paper piercer and template. The word "Journey" is also from that plate, I inked just that word from the quote using my Really Rust marker, then added Chocolate Chip accents around the edges to give more depth. Easy!

Complete supply list: Cosmo Cricket DSP "Wanted" line; Stampin' Up! cardstock in Really Rust, More Mustard and Sage Shadow; GP110 cardstock in vanilla; SU craft ink in Really Rust; SU markers in Really Rust and Chocolate Chip; Palette Hybrid ink in Burnt Umber and Haystack; Pebbles Inc/I Kan'Dee Shimmer Chalks Shimmer Pearlescent; sponges; Tonic edge distressing tool; brown satin ribbon from RABOM; dimensionals; brads from SU hodgepodge hardware kit in antique brass.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Look, Something Shiny!

LONG have I been teased about my pack rat tendencies from all who know me. The joke (on me) growing up was always for someone to say "look, something shiny!" whenever I would get distracted. The reasoning (of course), was that as a pack rat, I was incapable of passing by anything shiny without focusing on it & becoming distracted from my original train of thought. My dad's a biologist -- these sorts of jokes simply can't be helped. :-) {Notice I'm not denying the dominance of the pack rat gene, but simply telling the tale. LOL.}

Ok, so, yes I know it is January. But I've had tons (read: literally, actual TONS) of these glass ornaments sitting around my house since after-Christmas clearance sales in 2006. The time has long passed to make them into something and give them away!

These are the standard, super-easy glitter & reinker ornaments. I made 18 of them one night last week. Still have pl-en-ty to do but it's a start! I like the big ones and the icicles the best.

There are many, many tutorials out there on how to make these babies, so I won't go into excruciating detail (also I didn't take any pictures during this last round of ornament-making, so at this time I'm only posting text directions). Perhaps I'll write up a quick one eventually, but for now if you need more info feel free to send me an e-mail or leave a comment with your e-mail address and I'll get back to you.

Basic steps:

1. Rinse the inside of the ornaments out with rubbing alcohol to remove and residue that would cause the ink to not bond well to the inside of the glass. Drain and let dry.

2. Add 10 to 20 drops of ink from your reinkers into the ornaments. If the ink is a thicker consistency, add a few drops of water too. Swirl it around until the entire inside of the ornament is covered. Drain excess ink.

3. Add glitter and shake shake shake. Add more if needed to ensure that you get an even coating of glitter over the inside of the glass. Shake out excess glitter.

That's it! Try experimenting with different kinds of glitter and different ink/glitter color combos. Beware the very chunky/sequin-esque glitter, it doesn't make very nice ornaments. Ask me how I know (I had to at least TRY it!).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

FREE Stamps!

I thought that would get your attention!! LOL. Of course you want free stamps -- who wouldn't? {yes, I know, what kind of a stupid question is that anyway?!?}

Well, here's your chance. It's blog candy time!! Pamela over at Firecracker Designs by Pamela has a new post on her blog that you should read -->>CLICK HERE<<-- because if you leave a comment there by Friday, January 11th at noon EST, you'll be entered into a random drawing to win a free stamp set!

While you're there check out the rest of her blog, there's a lot of new art in the gallery and she just posted a cool tutorial too. The links are in the post - good luck!!

Musings on Design Teams

So, I have been asked some questions lately about design teams - the two biggies are where does one hear about open design team calls for papercrafting, and how do you get onto the team?

Well, I kinda feel like I am not really qualified to try to answer this question - there are so many uber-talented ladies out there with high-traffic blogs, who are published *regularly* (I have not even tried submitting yet!), AND on like 50 DT's at a time, LOL! But I will give it my best shot and let you know what worked for me in my successes (and failures, I applied for probably 7 other calls that I was not chosen for, plus I let a lot of calls go without applying due to lack of time or not seeing the right "fit" for my style).

There are several ways to hear about calls for DTs/magazine submissions/etc. One is Splitcoast Stampers! Keep an eye on the Announcements forum and you'll see people post design team calls once in awhile. Another, and probably your best bet overall, is the PubCalls Blog. They post several times a week with various calls for design teams from stamp and scrapbook companies, online and fixed location retail stores, and magazines too. I think they seem to be more geared toward scrapbooking but still, it's a fabulous resource. Lastly, you can go right to the source! Frequent the websites of some of these awesome independent stamp companies. It's a great way to learn not only about calls for submissions and DT calls, but also sales, new products, special events and new gallery postings for inspiration! That's how I came across the Prickley Pear call - I was shopping on their site! Plus, if you don't mind getting e-mails, sign up for the newsletters at these companies. You'll get lots of benefits there - insider info on company news, sales, products, etc. There may be other ways, but that is what I have been doing.

As far as how to get selected, this is tough to give specifics. Really, I don't even know, LOL! A few things that certainly can't hurt - check out the style of the company and see if you will be a good fit for their products and that you will have FUN working on their team. As I said earlier, I have applied for other calls in the past 6 months and not gotten in, but I have also specifically *not* applied for calls if I didn't feel I would really enjoy working with the images/products for that company with my personal stamping "style", or if I felt that I would not do them justice. Another thing is to really look at the DT requirements. They are all different. Do you have the time to devote to making projects and other duties each month? Will you be able to and happy with creating projects using only that company's products?

If you think it'll be a good opportunity for you to be on that company's team, go for it! Create and submit your best work - no blurry or mis-stamped images, nice straight layers, neat coloring, etc. Some companies require you to use their stamps in your application, some don't, so pay attention to that. Don't get discouraged. The companies are often judging hundreds of applicants trying to find a good variety of styles to showcase their stamps and other products. Keep trying if you don't get selected right away!

That's really all there is to it - it's a lot of luck I think! I worked hard on my projects and I truly hoped I would make it onto these teams; but I was still absolutely and completely shocked when I did! There are so many amazing companies and stamp designers out there, I'm sure you'll all find a great fit for yourself if design teams are something you're interested in. I hope this is of some help - best of luck!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Mother Card

Another January card using the Doodles 4-German/Bauern set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela. This is a 5" x 5" square card, just for something different.

Really straighforward card work here, there is a 1/16" border between each of the 3 main layers of the card. The main layer is a printed vellum adhered to vanilla cardstock. I stamped over the top with the large doodle image and sponged on some Distress Ink in Vintage Photo. The photo corners are a punch, and I used the paper piercer and template to add the brads. They are set on dimensionals.

I did the wording with my computer using the Kendaia font. It is french and the english translation is "I love my mother with all my heart". I rounded the corners with my 1-1/2" circle punch and used the slit punch to add the vanilla word strip. I stamped off in Regal Rose to add the swirls and flowers to the word piece, and added some sponging around the edge. That piece is also on dimensionals.

Complete supply list: Doodles 4-German/Bauern set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela, printed vellum, very vanilla and bravo burgundy cardstock from Stampin' Up!, brads from antique brass hodgepodge hardware kit, lots of foam tape, spray adhesive, paper piercer and template, photo corner punch, 1-1/2" circle punch, slit punch, bravo burgundy classic and regal rose classic ink, distress ink in vintage photo.

Doodle Wedding Card w/ Shaker Box

Here's my second card for January using the Doodles 4-German/Bauern set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela. I think that this set makes FABULOUS wedding cards (in case you couldn't tell since my first two samples are wedding cards, LOL).

Anyway, this is a pretty straightforward card. The only special thing is the shaker box. I took a piece of chipboard, painted it a pale yellow with acrylic craft paint (kind of a Barely Banana color, since that's what I was originally going to use as the card base), stamped the doodle with Craft ink, then added the window sheet. I put two layers of foam tape around the back side of the heart, put microbeads in, then attached the pre-stamped, colored and glittered tulip image piece to that. I put it onto the card base with foam tape as well.

Complete Supply List: Doodles 4-German/Bauern set and Innies and Outies 1-Everyday Reasons set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela, Regal Rose and Whisper White cardstock from Stampin' Up, celery grosgrain, paper piercing tool and mat pack, Regal Rose maker, classic ink pads in Certainly Celery, Regal Rose and Barely Banana, EK Success corner punch, sponge, acrylic craft paint, Regal Rose craft ink, foam tape, quickie glue pen, dazzling diamonds glitter.

EZ Mount & Super Sale!

This is a SERIOUS sale you guys. Sunday International has slashed prices on EZ Mount. It's practically FREE! Click -->> HERE <<--- to go right to the sale page.

Have I mentioned before how much I love the EZ Mount/Vinyl Cling system? Well, I do. Love, love it, really -- here's why. I have a lot of stamps. I know I do. I don't need my DH *telling* me how many I have or *asking* me if I really need more. I am also a serious hoarder of other papercrafting-related products: paper, embellishments, paper, ribbon, paper -- you get the idea. I think you can see where I'm going with this...

I have a storage space PROBLEM in my stamp room. In that I don't have enough space to put everything, no matter what I do. The solution for the stamp part of it is EZ Mount (or a reduction in inventory, which as we all know is not an acceptable solution). With EZ Mount you can get an entire plastic stamp case of wood mounted stamps (i.e. SU) down into one CD case. SWOON!

What is EZ Mount? It's a static cling mounting cushion and comes in two sizes. The 1/8" thickness is the same as what most wood-mounted stamps come with, except instead of sticky stuff to get attached to the wood block, it has a cling side that sticks to acrylic blocks. The 1/16" thickness is good for small stamps, or I have heard some people use it with their Stampin' Up! stamps as is. They peel the paper from the SU stamps and stick it to the sticky side of the thin foam so they don't have to remove the rubber from the foam and remount. I personally haven't tried this, I just pull the rubber from the foam and remount. I'll do a tutorial on using the Heat Knife to do this with sets you have that were already mounted to wood, it is amazing! EZ mount never wears out, it sticks over and over to acrylic blocks and other smooth surfaces. Sets can be stored in CD cases or in 3-ring binders, just peel the stamp and stick it where you want it to go. To use the stamps, I have a whole set of acrylic blocks that I bought on eBay awhile back in a whole range of sizes, although you can buy them just about anywhere.

Another reason to have EZ Mount is all the great new stamp manufacturers that are popping up online. Many of them sell just rubber, no wood or cushion of any kids. So to use the stamps you need to either buy wood and mount them that way, use the EZ Mount system, or some people use double-sided tape or Aleene's Tack it Over and Over to adhere to the acrylic blocks. Personally, I like the cushion.

Ok, I'm off, I have two new cards to photograph and share with you, I never got a chance to take the pics yesterday so today will be a multiple-post day - yahoo!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

PPRS -- New Half Sheet of Rubber & Sale!

PPRS has now lowered the price of their 1/2 sheets of rubber to $13.95! Awesome! There are a lot of images on these sheets and well worth the money.

PLUS, there is a new Valentine's Day-themed sheet called Hearts & Flourishes out that totally rocks. During the month of January, you can purchase the sheet for only $11.95. Happy Stampin' New Year girls!

Altered Heart Mini Album Kit

Here's my first project for Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps!! Nicole has started carrying the most *awesome* kits, and this is one of them -- the Heart Mini Album Kit. Each kit is all inclusive -- everything you need to make the indicated project, including instructions. Woo hoo! Here is my take on the heart album.

These albums are super easy and way fun to make. Even for me, and I am so totally altered art challenged! Definitely my weak point in the papercrafting world.

To show just how simple it is to create your very own album, I'll detail the steps I followed -- you can loosely follow them if it will help you.

1. First decide what you want the book to look like. Do you have a paricular theme or use in mind for the finished product? I wanted to keep mine open so it could be used for anything. The patterned paper selections will vary from album to album. The one I got was several colors of pink, plus a peachy color and a couple dots of blue here and there. The internal cardstock pages are ivory. I decided to focus on the pinks with this book. I used stamps from the Wire Butterfly & Whimsical Birds half-sheet of rubber from PPRS. I thought that the swirls really went well with the swirls in the paper. Consider elements such as embellishments (brads, metal accents, fibers, paper or fabric flowers, etc. etc.) Also, think about the overall feel - do you want your project to have a lot of shimmer & shine, maybe a really distressed look, or just classic and clean (just a few of the options)

2. Once you have some ideas for your book, start laying out with NO ADHESIVE. Move things around until you're happy with the way your added products look on the cover of the book. I spent a lot of time here making sure I was happy with things. The two die cut paper flowers I used came with the kit. I layered them and decided to use the metal accent in the middle. The phrase I used is stamped and then cut out with decorative scissors. I wasn't happy with it so I went back and added some distressing, then some layers. Good planning during this step will save you a lot of "$#%&!!!" down the road. Make sure you love it before you move on. Don't be afraid to throw away a section (i.e. your phrase image or another layer you're thinking of adding) and start over if you're not happy with it. I am so serious about this! You can always cut more cardstock.

3. Once your layout is set, go back and do your distressing or glitter or whatever you want to do to both the add-on pieces (like the flower die cuts) and the heart shaped pattern paper that makes up the cover of your book. This is also when you can add embellishments such as brads directly to the cover paper as well. I sanded the background paper and then rubbed my Palette New Canvas and Distress Ink Vintage Photo ink pads all over it. I just wanted to soften it a bit, not too much. Then I took my little sewing machine and sewed a little border around the cover sheet. For my flowers, I used iridescent ice EP on the larger one w/ the Dazzling Diamond Dust technique, and plain clear on the Kraft-colored one to give it some shine and depth, with magenta Radient Rain spritzed over the top -- just because I can. :-)

4. Adhere your cover paper to the chipboard and then adhere the elements to the front of the book. Keep foam tape/dimensionals in mind for this step, you can add a lot to a project by giving it 3D depth.

5. If you plan to distress or stamp your internal pages, you can do that now before you finalize the project and bind it up.

6. Put the book together. There's a pre-drilled hole through the chipboard & internal pages and the kit comes with plenty of fibers if you'd like to do the binding that way (just tie it off). For this book, I took a 1" metal ring and put it through the holes. Then I tied bunches of random fibers and ribbon around it to hide the ring.

See that? Soooo easy! These make great gifts -- or keep them for yourself *g*. I sent this one to Nicole for her displays, but I think I'll have to get another kit so I can have one for ME! Happy album making everyone.

Complete Supply List: Heart Mini Album kit from PPRS, Wire Butterfly & Whimsical Birds 1/2 sheet of stamps from PPRS, Magenta Radient Rain, foam tape, lots of random ribbon, 1" metal ring for closure, Fiskars mini scallop scissors, SU Blush Blossom and Shimmery White cardstock, Cuttlebug & D'Vine swirl embossing folder, metal accent from Karen Foster, Iridescent Ice embossing powder, clear embossing powder, sanding block, mini sewing machine, Distress Ink in Vintage Photo, Palette Hybrid ink in Haystack and New Canvas, SU Pink Passion classic ink, Versamark, Copic Pink Sketch Marker.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sale Alerts to Share

I have two sales to pass along today...

Jessica Lynn Original has extended their 35% off ALL the stamps in the store until January 15th! Her images are *too* cute for words and she ships fast. Check it out!

Stamping Cottage is giving 20% off everything until January 6th. They carry a great variety of ink pads, stamps, ribbon, adhesive -- their prices are pretty good to begin with too.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The islands are calling... least it seems that way when I look at this card! Happy New Year everyone!!

Here's another creation using the Happy Hour set from Firecracker Designs by Pamela. This isn't even my January DT set, I bought it last month when Pamela had it on special and I am having such fun creating with it -- I can't put it down!!

This card was fun to make but has an *extremely* high putz factor with all the cutting. Not sure what I was thinking there...

Card specifics:
Cardstock: If you can believe it, this is all GP 110 lb smooth white cardstock except for the small yellow "Escape" oval, which is Stampin' Up!'s Yo Yo Yellow.

Stamps: From Firecracker Designs by Pamela, "Happy Hour" and "Mahalo" sets. The leaves are from CTMH Jungle Leaves retired set.

Ink: Palette Noir for the hibiscus flowers and sentiment, Green Galore and Glorious Green on the leaves. Soft Sky and Tempting Turquoise for the wave background

Accessories: Fiskars texture plate and Cuttlebug, Diamond stickles, dimensionals, Prismacolor alcohol markers, black glaze gel pen, SU oval punches and my trusty paper snips of course.

What I did:
1. Make the waves texture onto white cardstock. I'll work on a tutorial for how to use these Fiskars plates in the Cuttlebug - they have great designs and are DIRT cheap. I actually used the DEbossed side for this card, so I could rub the ink onto the paper to get a "whitecap" wave look to the background of the card. So when you open the card, the EMbossed (raised) part is on the left side.

2. Rub Soft Sky ink all over the background piece. The DEbossed parts of the image (the indented waves) stay white. Then rub Tempting Turquoise over the top of that, giving a nice gradient of blues from light to dark depening on how heavy the ink application is. Set aside to dry.

3. Stamp a bunch of hibiscus blooms in Palette Noir. It's important to use the right ink for your application! Since was planned to color with alcohol markers, it had to be Palette Noir over StazOn Jet Black as the StazOn has a tendency to bleed in the presence of the alcohol markers - yucky. See my discussion of black ink pads for more info. Color in the flowers with alcohol markers and cut out. Add diamond stickles to the flower centers and let dry. (I buy my Stickles from Scrapbook Pal and I love them!).

4. Stamp leaves in Green Galore and cut out. Decide they are too light of a green and rub Glorious Green all over them to give depth to the color and darken them up. *g*

5. Lay out the flowers and leaves over the background piece. You can see many places where they lay over the edges of the card. I did that on purpose because I thought it looked cool. heehee. I also added dimensionals here and there to add depth to the images, although it's hard to tell in the photo.

6. Punch out an oval section on the waves background using the SU large oval punch. Punch a small oval out of Yo Yo Yellow and stamp the sentiment. Add free-hand doodling around the edges with the black glaze gel pen. (I buy these from Scrapbook Pal too!). Adhere to the bottom of the open card with a dimensional so it shows through.

7. That's it! Again, not hard, just time consuming. But fun! I need a little color in my life as we are under much snow here in Wisconsin these days.

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