Thursday, July 24, 2014

Congrats Is Not a Word

But ....

I gulped and used the stamp anyway (from Label Love by Altenew).  I love the crisp lines of the sentiment with the soft curves of the background.

How I Made the Card:

1. Making the background was fun -- and easy.  Using cream card stock (Recollections from Michaels), stamped an Impression Obsession background with Versamark and embossed with clear embossing powder (more on that stuff on Sunday...).  

2. Sponged Peacock Feathers Distress Ink and set aside.

3. Stamped the sentiment and embossed in clear.  Cut.

4. Decided the background needed a bit of the purple ink so I swiped it over parts of the background.

5.  Adhered as shown (sentiment popped up).

MOOD WHEN DONE = Celebratory

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Watercolored Hello

Used this flower from Savvy and the Hello is part of a sentiment in Hero Arts Dauber Bunch.  Cut the sentiment.  It's easy and no one cried.

Here's the beginning of the project:

Since the stamp is wood mounted, used a stamp positioner to place the flowers around the sentiment.  That's an old wood cutting board I use for water coloring and embossing.  As I painted the flower, I placed the board outside in the sun for a few minutes to speed dry the layers.  On a hot sunny summer day, the paper dries out so quickly. 

Die cut those little green things.  Hmmm.

Used additional markers to add some shading.   Matted and adhered to a very lime A Muse Studio card.  Yum. 


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Savings: Anatomy of a Purchase: Careful Spending

There are two ways I spend.  One is careful, planned and smart.  And one is impulsive and not so smart.

I wanted a tag die and for once, bought it the smart way -- research, comparison, waiting, and then purchasing.  I also made an impulsive purchase last week -- no research or comparison, no waiting, and I'll talk about that one next week.

Why buy it?  Well, this isn't medicine or a quart of milk.  Craft purchases are fun, not necessities.  I have a Silhouette and can cut any tag.  However, I want a tag die so I can make tags out of watercolor paper and the Silhouette will not cut through paper that thick.

Will I use it at least as many times as it costs to buy it?  In other words, my rule of thumb is that if something costs $10, I should use it at least 10 times.  Yes.  I love tags. 

What Kind of Tag Dies are Out There?  

Oh boy.  

My Creative Time
Clearly Besotted
Papertrey Ink
Sizzix Tim Holtz
Sizzix Other
Stampin Up
Avery Elle
Mama Elephant
Clear and Simple Stamps
My Favorite Things
Memory Box
L'il Inkers
CAS ual Friday
Elizabeth Craft Designs
Hero Arts
Paper Smooches
Impression Obsession
Lawn Fawn
Lifestyle Crafts
Paper Smooches
Penny Black
Taylored Expressions
Simon Says Stamp

It only took my tag obsessed fingers about 30 minutes to compile this list and check out these choices.  Searching stores with a variety of companies, such as Ellen Hutson and Simon Says Stamp, helps.   There are probably more tag dies, but this was plenty.

As I quickly browsed, I noticed big price differences, styles of tags, and number and shapes for the money.  Some offer multiple dies in one package, some have fancy edges or trim (dots, lines), etc.  Some are closed dies (you cannot see inside), and others are open design.   Since I only wanted an open die, that eliminated a lot of choices.

Eventually, I settled on this set of framelits tag dies by Sizzix/Tim Holtz:

For the manufacturer's suggested price of $19.99, you get a lot of dies and they are open, meaning I can see where I am cutting and use them as a stencil.

And, since Tim Holtz designed these, or blessed them, I will produce tags that are just as beautiful as Tim's, right?

Where to buy?

Like most stampers, I want it fast and I want it cheap.  But I will not buy from companies with which I've had bad experiences.

Turns out that there were not a lot in stock.  I found 3 places, and like Goldilocks, the prices were $15.99, $19.99, and $24.99, with "free shipping" (fairly high minimums to get free shipping, and I'm not willing to pile on to get free shipping).  So, I ordered them from Startlit Studio, a very reliable vendor with discounts every day.  The dies were $15.99 plus $7.95 shipping.   $24 for 8 open dies.  I'm happy and hope to share some creations made with these dies in the coming months -- need to use these babies 24 times!

Next Sunday:  Anatomy of the Impulsive Purchase

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Well, This Was Fun

I Make I Talk   Joan Bardee

Love stamping on a small space and getting the shape, the color ,and the sentiment to work together.

Stamps: Clear and Simple Stamps Writer's Desk and Lawn Fawn Harold's ABCs.

Butterfly cut with the Silhouette and colored with a Copic rainbow.  Cut a bunch of these butterflies, so they may be popping up now and then. 


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Savings: Mind Games

New stamp companies and designs are everywhere, and they are more fun, more clever, more everything, than 10 years ago. And stampers are using these new designs in amazing, fun, beautiful ways.

And dies!!   If I got every die I want my craft room would look like this:

No sooner does one amazing thing hit the street that the next amazing thing comes along.  It's not a once a year catalogue, or even a once a month release anymore.  Every day, every single day, there's something fabulous.

And the something fabulous becomes a line of something fabulous.  Love Ranger Distress inks? I do. But now there's Distress paints, stains, reinkers, crackle paint, stickles, watercolor paper, card stock, and markers. And mini distress inks. And a blender. And a mini blender. And a tin to hold the mini inks.

It's just a question of time before Tim Holtz markets Distress Tears. Color away your sadness....

(photo from Deviant Art by Count-L)

And, despite being committed to spending small and spending smart, sometimes I make choices I regret.

The fact is that, deep down, no matter the downsizing, there are moments when I sort of still want it all.  So, to avoid this:

and this:

I play a little mind game. It goes something like this.

If there were 3 new stamp sets a year, and I could only have 2 I'd feel deprived, like I was missing out.  But there are 30,000 and I like at least half of them.  Since even I don't want 15,000 new stamp sets, I concede that I must do without a lot of stuff I love. If I can do without that cute new Mama Elephant set today, I can do without it tomorrow. 

It works.

Most of the time.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

White Flowers (and a Pinterest/Blogger Tip)

I Make I Talk Joan Bardee

A watercolored panel, using the Ditsy Floral stencil from Plaid.   Laid the stencil on watercolor paper and colored the background and centers, leaving the flowers white. 

Used Ranger Peeled Paint distress ink for the background.  It has a brown undertone, which wasn't the look I wanted, but it is growing on me.  Used some markers for the centers -- rubbing the markers on an acrylic block and picking up with water and a brush.

Tag is from Avery Elle Thanks a Bunch.  Love that tag!! 


Pinterest Tip:  If you have a blog on blogger and want to make sure that when folks pin your images, you get credit for creating the image, do the following:

After you've inserted your photo in your post, click on it and click on "Properties".   Type in your name or blog or whatever attribution you want under "title text" and "alt text."  When someone pins your photo, your attribution will automatically appear in Pinterest.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

ReDesign on a Dime: Lisa Spangler

This ReDesign on a Dime is a little different because I do not have permission to post my inspiration card.  It is an absolutely perfect, adorable, card by Lisa Spangler, which you can find here.  I emailed Lisa for permission to post her card here but did not hear back.  Likely my email went into her spam, or maybe she just hasn't checked her mail in a bit. 

I kept Lisa's perfect layout but don't have a tag die (more on that next Sunday...) so used my Silhouette to cut out a tag.  I also don't have the Mama Elephant set Lisa used (although would love to get it.)  Decided to substitute a solid flower and vamp up the color palette. 

Here's how I started.  Grabbed my bag of green and red inked sponges.  (I store my sponges in zip loc sandwhich bags -- poked some holes in the bags so the air escapes and they store flat.  By using sponges, I've avoided buying the Ranger tool for sponging Distress Inks. It looks great but I find cutting up sponges works just fine.) 

I placed the stamp next to the tag.  Sponged the tag in green and raspberry, aiming for the spots on the tag where I thought the flower would go.

Perfection not needed here.  In fact, it would spoil the result.

After I inked the tag as above, I stamped the flower (from an old Hero Arts set) in Versamark and embossed with clear powder.  Then I inked up the rest of the tag with blue distress inks and my blue sponges.  Bright and fun.

I added a background from Impression Obsession at the bottom of the tag to form a border and stamped a sentiment from an Altenew set in the same raspberry distress ink.

Flicked some ink with a paint brush on the card, in the same direction that Lisa did -- from top left to bottom right -- to help the eye go in that direction toward the tag and sentiment.


Thanks, Lisa.  You may not know it but your work certainly inspires me. And I didn't spend a dime doing it.