Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sepia Technique

Okay, so I'm already chomping at the bit. I've been "grounded" for about 4 days now, and my brain is starting to go into over-drive! All this sitting on the couch with my arm iced and elevated is starting to get old. So I'll spend a little time here, typing in the classic "hunt-and-peck" style, with just my left hand. My right hand has to be up in the air, ala the “teacher, teacher, pick me, pick me” look lest it start swelling to the size of a balloon!

I’ve been typing “automatically” for so many years, eyes always on the screen, that I have no flippin’ idea where the letters are!! So I slowly hunt and peck, thankful for those few words that are spelled with only left-hand letters. I usually look up to my Word program “screaming” red at all the errors I’ve made! The good news is that everything with the surgery went well and I haven't needed a pain med for almost 48 hours. That probably explains a lot regarding my success at being a couch-potato over the weekend!!

Anyway, that's enough of that--let's talk a little stamping. Sepia is the technique my stamp clubs worked with this month. It's kind of a neat way to give line-art images an antique look, and is an alternative to coloring.

To do this, stamp a line image in Basic Brown ink on Kraft cardstock. Basic Brown is waterproof (Really!) so the image won't smear when colored on. Then use Very Vanilla Craft Ink and Chocolate Chip Classic ink to paint on highlights with an Aquapainter. Sponge the edges of the cardstock with Choclate Chip ink. I even sponged over the image a bit to increase that "antique-y" look.

Other details about this card--

It uses the "Gifts of the Earth" stamp set that is in the Holiday Mini Catalog, and a bit of the "Autumn Traditions" Designer Series Paper. (When I say "a bit" I mean it! I originally designed this card for a swap where I needed 20 copies. In order to have enough Designer Paper, I only used what would show--so each of those pieces is only 3/4" X 2"! A little more putzing because you're cutting and gluing 2 pieces instead of one, but the savings is worth it to me!) The card base is wheeled with the jumbo "Texture" wheel, and the accents on the sides of the sepia image are made with the "Modern Label" punch and Vintage brads.

Well, I suppose it's time to see what other mischief I can get into instead of sitting on the couch. Thanks for stopping in!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Two More Christmas Projects

I have two more of the projects from Stamp Camp last week to show you today. I mentioned that it seems like the same product always shows up in more than one camp project, and these projects prove that! Don't do it on purpose, it just turns outs that way. Really!

This decorated matchbox is perfect for a piece of jewelry, or a sweet treat, or like we did, to fill with gift tags all ready for that last-minute wrapping session. The box is constructed using the Big Shot Matchbox die, the Movers & Shapers Die (backing piece for "holly jolly" piece), the "Christmas Punch" hostess stamp set, "Sassy Sparkles" jumbo wheel, Curly Label and Boho Blossoms punches, and of course, the red Polka-dot Grosgrain Ribbon. The width and design of the ribbon makes it just perfect for EVERYTHING! (I'm such a ribbon addict! Can you guess what product is going to show up in the next project??) The tags use the "Merry" Embosslit and the Jumbo Snowflake punch and silver elastic cord.

The "Merry & Bright" Rub-ons (and of course, the Polka-dot Grosgrain Ribbon!!!) make quick work of putting this treat container together. To easily apply the rub-on to the surface of the container, we held a large stamp block inside the container so there was a firm surface to work on. The rub-ons come with a popsicle stick to use to transfer the images, but when I did my sample, the spring-type clothes pin that I usually use when heat embossing was right there on my desk and made quick work of transfering!

The ribbon is tied just once onto the handle, but the width of it makes a nice bow. Love it!

My posts in the next couple weeks may not be as "long-winded" as usual, as I'll be typing one-handed for awhile. I leave in a couple hours for my carpal tunnel surgery. Wish me luck! If you have any "survival tips," PLEASE pass them along!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another Shimmer Paint Project

In life, things seem to come in three's, but at my stamp camps, two's are more the norm. Invariably, supplies I decide to use for camp just happen to pop up in more than one station. In addition to the red Polka-dot ribbon, the Crop-A-Dile and Big Shot, my pots of Shimmer Paint got multiple uses last weekend.

This gift item project, an altered tin with 5 chipboard snowflakes, simply used the Platinum Shimmer Paint straight out of the pot! I had considered adding glitter or Irridescent Ice Embossing Powder after painting the snowflakes, but the shimmer of the paint was so nice all by itself, anything more was unnecessary.

The paint glides on so easily, and it's amazing how far it goes! I worried about running out, but we were able to do 40 of these snowflakes with less than half a pot of paint! We used some little disposable "lip brushes" that I got at a beauty supply store to apply the paint so it was easy to get to all the edges and there was not the waste there might have been had we used sponge brushes.

The tins we altered were found on the clearance rack at an office supply store. They were full of rather ugly binder clips, but the back of the tins were magnetic, and the covers fit nicely. I KNEW I'd be able to find something to do with them, especially since they were on clearance for a steal! Of course, they stayed in my cabinet for oh, maybe 2 years. . . . I have a habit of finding something cool, buying a ton, and then hoarding it! The snowflakes were also a part of that stash of hoarded items. It was fun to put them into use.

The Ballet Blue paper that the snowflake is punched from and that covers the side of the tin is from the "Pawsitively Prints" Designer Series Paper that is in the Holiday Mini Catalog (p. 36). I love the colors and variety of prints in the pack! (I see some more hoarding in my future!!!) The paper is attached to the base of the tin with Sticky Strip, as is the 1/4" White Grosgrain ribbon that covers the edge of the cover of the tin. The snowflake (punched with the new Jumbo Snowflake punch) is glued onto a circle of Shimmery White cardstock. We cut the "arms" off of a Rhinestone brad with wire snips and attached it to the center of the snowflake with a Mini Glue Dot, and then attached the circle to the cover with more Mini Glue Dots. Another circle of Shimmery White was stamped with "to:" and "from:" and then added to the inside of the cover.

Once the snowflakes were dry, silver cord was added for hanging, and voila! A neat little gift item all ready for December!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gift card holder

My house was a flurry of activity this weekend! (We had real snow flurries outside too, but I don't want to think about that! Nope! Back to the fun stuff!) Paper and ribbon and brads of many colors were scattered everywhere, and not just in my craft room where that is the usual state! My kitchen and dining room turned into Santa's workshop a little early as busy stamp campers crafted items that could be used for holiday gift giving.

Unlike "usual" stamp camps, this one had a couple of stations where stampers had many choices of the colors and embellishments they used. I forget how much space we need to do that! But it's always fun to see what ideas everyone comes up with. The coaster calendars that I showed you Monday looked great, all "dressed" in their "Pawsitively Prints" or "Razzleberry Lemonade" Designer Series Papers, and stampers could make as many gift tags as they cared to to fill a decorated matchbox they made.

One of the other projects for this weekend's camp was a gift card holder that featured the "Dasher" stamp and sparkle spray made from the Shimmer Paint that is in the Holiday Mini Catalog.

This gift card holder uses a piece of cardstock 4-1/4" X 11" that is scored at 3", 5-1/2" and 8". It's a great design because it's so easy to decorate, no matter what the occasion. Before folding the cardstock on the score lines, we rolled the "Sweet Swirls" wheel on both sides. After folding, placing the card on the counter so it looks like an "M" helps to tell you where to place the 3 pieces of Sticky Strip.

Peel off the red liner and adhere the center of the gift card holder. Then grab the Word Window and 3/4" circle punch to make the slot for the gift card to rest in.

The Word Window is punch twice along the fold, and then a "thumb tab" is created with the circle punch. As you can see, somewhere along the way this particular holder was spritzed with sparkle spray made from 1 ounce of 70% Isopropyl alcohol and about 12 drops of Shimmer Paint mixed in a re-purposed Stampin' Mist spray bottle. It's so easy and gives the card a spectacular sparkle. Just make sure to shake the bottle often to keep the mixture well blended.

To add the ribbon tie, we put 3 Mini Glue Dots across the middle front and placed the ribbon over them, leaving about 6 inches to the right. The rest of the ribbon just wraps around the gift card holder; no need to adhere (unless you really want to.)

The "Dasher" image was stamped in Versamark, embossed with white powder, and layered onto Bashful Blue and Whisper White before being added to the front of the card with Mini Glue Dots.

Come back tomorrow to see what else we did at camp!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Join Me for Stamp Camp!

I still have a few spots left for Stamp Camp next weekend, and I'd love it if you'd join me! Even though the "Gettin' A Jump On Christmas!" title might not appeal while we're still enjoying fall, the projects we'll be doing won't all scream "Christmas," and it's ALWAYS fun to spend some time creating! The little gifts and gift packaging items will surely come in handy a couple months from now too!

One of the five projects for the camp is this handy little calendar. You'll actually be making two of them and you can personalize them, choosing the colors and embellishments you like. You'll have the option of replacing the punched flowers with a "2010" piece, making the project less "girl-y." There's a magnetic strip on the back so the calendar can be hung on a file cabinet or refrigerator. It would also look nice displayed on a little easel.

Let me know if you'd like me to add you to my stamp camp list! Happy Monday!

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