Thursday, June 22, 2017

Clear Mount Miracle

If space wasn't an issue, all of my stamps sets would be rubber and wood mounted. I know not everyone feels that way, but I personally love the feel of the wood block in my hand. However, for most of us who have been stamping for years, space eventually does become a problem, and the solution is to compromise via rubber stamps that are intended to be temporarily mounted on clear blocks. (For the purposes of this post, I'm ignoring the existence of clear unmounted polymer stamps.)

Trouble is, in my experience (and apparently some others' experience too) the darned so-called "clear-mount" rubber stamps rarely want to stick to the clear blocks. Ugh! My frustration with this grew so bad that at some point I stopped using the clear blocks altogether. Not a good solution. Basically, I tried to avoid my "clear-mount" stamps as much as I could.

But not anymore, thanks to Stampin' Up! demonstrator France Martin a/k/a Frenchie. She recently shared a tip that is so simple yet so practical that I could just hug her. I tried it and it really works! A miracle. My clear mount stamps no longer fall off their clear mount.

Wanna know what the tip is?  Lip Balm. Ah, so mysterious. Since Frenchie shared the tip, it's only fair to send you to her blog for an explanation. If you watch the video and listen to how excited she is in it, that's how excited I was too! Yippee! Thanks, Frenchie!

Now, the miracle is not all encompassing. While your stamps will not fall off the clear block, they have a tendency to slide on the block so it's really important to stamp directly up and down and not to apply too much pressure that might cause the stamp to shift on the block and give you a fuzzy image. This is good stamping practice anyway and a small price to pay for the image actually sticking to the block!

Throwback Thursday - Banner & Cupcake Birthday

I stamped this back in December 2014 for my niece's 11th birthday. She loved pink and teal, so I chose those colors for her card.

I started with the birthday banner from the Patterned Party set stamped in taken with teal ink on whisper white card stock.
I then used the direct to stamp technique with summer sun and taken with teal markers and stamped the "1" candle from the same set twice directly onto the same whisper white layer. I stamped the cupcake top from the Cupcake Party set onto pretty in pink card stock with regal rose ink and punched it out with the cupcake punch. I stamped the bottom of the cupcake from the same set in taken with teal ink on whisper white card stock and punched that out with the cupcake punch.

I added a surface for the cupcake to "sit" on by punching a strip of pretty in pink card stock with the eyelet border punch. I then stamped another sentiment from the Sweet Little Sentiments set below it in taken with teal. I assembled the main layer and it was almost ready but I didn't like how the cupcake frosting hid the "feet" of the number candles, so I stamped them again, fussy cut the bottoms and glued them to the frosting. In retrospect I probably should have just fussy cut the entire two numbers. Not sure why I didn't. Most likely I was running short on time.

I added a taken with teal and regal rose mats and attached everything to a pretty in pink base. Looking at it now, I wish I had taken a little more time to line up the candles and bottom sentiment a little better, but my niece didn't much care. In fact, I think maybe she liked the reminder that adults didn't always do everything perfectly :).

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!)

Paper: Whisper White, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose, Taken with Teal
Ink: Taken with Teal, Regal Rose, Summer Sun
Stamps: Patterned Party, Cupcake Party, Sweet Little Sentiments
Accessories: Cupcake Punch, Eyelet Border Punch

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Root Beer Birthday

The new technique challenge on Splitcoast this week was to spell something out on a card using alphabet stamps and not have it be a typical greeting. My mind jumped to my niece, who is a root beer fanatic and connoisseur. This challenge was the incentive I needed to make a root beer card for her birthday.

1. I cut a 2" strip of whisper white and punched it with the scalloped tag topper punch. I then stamped the bottle form the Boys Only set by Doodlebug Design for Hampton Arts in tuxedo black Memento ink. Below the bottle I stamped the "all you need is" greeting from the Painted Posies set  in tuxedo black ink (I omitted the word "love" at the end of the greeting by not inking it.)

2. Finally it was time for the challenge. I took out my Alphabits set. I love this long-ago retired set, but I don't have a lot of occasions to use it. For this card, the italicized script font worked best with the font of the stamped greeting. I first stamped the entire image on my imaging sheet using the stamp-a-ma-jig. Then I cleaned the stamp off and started inking up single letters, lining them up using the stamp-a-ma-jig. I used my chocolate chip marker to ink the stamp because I wanted the words "root beer" to stand out a little. It turned out not to make much of a difference, but oh well.

3. I colored the bottle image using pumpkin pie and daffodil delight stampin' write markers. For the "root beer" I made a shadow outline on the left side of the bottle with my chocolate chip stampin' write marker, but then filled in the rest of the bottle with the brown marker from the flesh tone assortment of Blendabilities markers because I wanted a smooth color finish over the larger surface.

4. I used my paper cutter to trim off 1/8" off each side of the whisper white tag. I punched another tag out of a 2" strip of Daffodil Delight card stock. I layered the tags and added the multicolored striped Dashes, Dots & Checks ribbon that I bought at Michaels. I also added a strip of gold rhinestones that I cut from a Floral Garden Diamond Wrap ribbon that I picked up at Dollar Tree. (I love that diamond wrap ribbon, by the way, so much bling for a buck!) I trimmed off three more rhinestones and added them to the bottle to imitate soda bubbles. I adhered the rhinestones to the card stock using Tombow mono multi glue.

5. I used the three star stamp from the Starring You set to randomly stamp a piece of 4"x5.25" piece of whisper white in Daffodil Delight ink and adhered the white mat to the 4.25"x5.5" pumpkin pie card base. I also stamped the bottle cap image from the Boys Only set (a really unfortunate name, by the way; since when have soda bottles been only for boys?) three times in tuxedo black ink on whisper white card stock and used the coordinating framelit die to cut them out. I colored two of them with pumpkin pie and daffodil delight stampin' write markers. For the third bottle cap I used the pumpkin pie marker to color the entire cap. I did this because I knew I would be covering up the star image with the birthday greeting, which I stamped in basic black ink onto daffodil delight card stock. I used just the center of the image from the Engraved Greetings set by inking it up using my marker. I liked it because it was small enough to fit on the bottle cap and incorporated the star motif. I punched out the greeting with a 1/2" circle punch and adhered it to the bottle cap with snail.

6. The final step was to attach the tag and the bottle caps to the card base using dimensionals.

I think my root beer loving niece will love this card, and since her nickname is "Bling," she'll likely appreciate the rhinestones as well. Normally I'd have to wait until December to give this card to her, but this year we decided to celebrate her and her brother's 1/2 birthdays in the summer, so I'll be able to give it to her very soon!

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up! unless otherwise indicated):

Paper: whisper white, daffodil yellow; pumpkin pie
Ink: Memento tuxedo black, chocolate chip, pumpkin pie, daffodil delight
Stamps: Boys Only by Doodlebug Designs for Hampton Art, Painted Posies, Engraved Greetings, Starring You, Alphabits
Accessories: Dashes, Dots and Checks striped ribbon from Michael's; Floral Garden Diamond Wrap ribbon, scalloped tag top punch, 1/2" circle punch, Boys Only framelits from Sizzix

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Doodle Cupcake Birthday

  I didn't have a lot of time to stamp this week, but seeing the different challenges appear on Splitcoast throughout the week had my fingers itching for rubber and ink. Finally today I got a chance to sneak away to the stamp room to make a quick card. With time limited, I decided to combine three different challenges: the sketch challenge; the color combination challenge; and the ways to use it challenge

1. I used the marker to stamp technique to stamp the sentiment then fussy cut it and attached it to a mat punched with the scalloped circle punch out of tempting turquoise.
2. On my whisper white strip I first stamped the background image from the Work of Art set three times in tempting turquoise, crushed curry and pumpkin pie, then stamped the cupcake from the Out of the Box set in chocolate chip ink on each of the backgrounds. I added the candle from the Bitty Bolds set in chocolate chip ink to each cupcake. 
3. I matted my white strip first with crushed curry and then with tempting turquoise. I added the strip to a piece of pumpkin pie designer series paper.
4. I stamped the tempting turquoise card front with the stamp from the Itty Bitty Backgrounds set in versamark ink and attached the assembled pumpkin pie piece on top. I attached the matted sentiment to the white strip with a dimensional.
5. I could have left it there, but the doodles on the image from the sketched birthday set gave me an idea, so I added the white doodling in the same style to the tempting turquoise strip with my signo white gel pen and I added a simple doodled zig zag to the crushed curry strip with my chocolate chip marker. 

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!)

Paper: Tempting Turqoise, Crushed Curry; Whisper White; Cast a Spell Designer Series Paper
Ink:  Tempting Turquoise, Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip, Versamark
Stamps: Backgound Basics, Sketched Birthday; Out of the Box, Bitty Bolds, Work of Art
Accessories: Signo white gel pen, Scalloped Circle Punch

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thursday Throwback - Newlywed Hearts

I made this card back in 2015 for my step-sister's wedding. The wedding colors were turquoise and lime green, so I made a card to match using tempting turquoise and green galore.

I had seen many cards that use hearts to represent the bride and groom, so I did the same but on steroids. I used the entire 8.5x11 sheet of tempting turquoise for a base, scored at 2.75 and 5.5 inches. I used one the framelits from the hearts collection to partially cut two adjoining cards at the top of the card base. I wish I had thought to take interim pictures, because this part was actually fairly involved and I was so glad when it actually turned out the way I wanted. Not sure if this explanation will be of much help without the visuals, but I die cut one partial heart at a time and used the magnetic platform with the long narrow plates normally used for decorative strips to help me apply partial pressure exactly where I needed it. I used the same technique and the same size framelit to cut the green galore mat. It might have been easier to just die cut the hearts and glue them in place, but the card wouldn't have looked as seamless.

I used the same size framelits to make the bride and groom hearts from whisper white and basic black card stock. I die cut the white heart twice. The first was to serve a shirt behind the 'V" I cut freehand in the black card to create a tuxedo jacket look. I embossed the "shirt" heart with the striped embossing folder, making sure that one of the raised stripes was in the center of the heart to look like the button ridge on a shirt. I added black brad buttons, a green galore grosgrain bow and a boutonnière made with a small flower from the Pretties Kit with a turquoise glimmer brad center. I embossed the bride heart with the hearts border embossing folder from the Adorning Accents assortment. Since this is not a full size folder, I had to carefully line up the hearts and the plates as I ran the heart through the big shot several times to cover the entire heart. I added some white organdy ribbon topped with lace ribbon from the Dress Up Ribbon Originals assortment and the added several layered flowers from the Pretties Kit for the bouquet with turquoise and green glimmer brad centers.

To finish the card I stamped the three sentiments from the Cheers to Love set in versamark ink on tempring turquoise cardstock. I then heat embossed them with white embossing powder. I punched the Mr. and Mrs. sentiments with the large heart punch. The "for the newlyweds sentiment was originally cut using a framelit from the apothecary accents assortment - the one that is rectangular with two semicircles at the ends. I then made a straight cut at the bottom of the semicircles to create the rounded edges. I made the rounded top edge with a framelit, but I honestly can't remember if it was a circle or an oval or another framelit from the apothecary accent. Suffice it to say, I didn't make this shape freehand. If I had to re-create the card I'd try different framelits and choose the one that best follows the arc of the sentiment.

I include a side-view picture of the card to show how it's supported. Because the top was die cut and because the card itself was rather large and heavy, I used the other half of the card stock to make a support for the card front to lean against with a more normal top fold for the inside. It made the inside of the card only 2.75" x 8.5" (2.5x8 for the white mat) but that was plenty of space to stamp in a sentiment from the Word Play set in tempting turquoise ink and write in our good wishes.

Recipe (all products Stampin' Up!")

Paper: tempting turquoise, green galore, whisper white, basic black
Ink: versamark, tempting turquoise for inside
Stamps: Cheers to Love, Word Play
Accessories: Pretties Kit, Brights Glimmer Brads, Hearts Framelits Assortment, Large Heart Punch, Apothecary Accents Framelits Assortment, Black Brads, Green Galore Grosgrain Ribbon, White wide organdy ribbon, Lace ribbon from Dress Up Ribbon Originals pack, Stripes Embossing Folder, Hearts border Embossing Folder from Adorning Accents assortment, white embossing powder.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Stampin' Pastel Birthday

I stamped this card recently for my mom's birthday and it not only took me out of my comfort zone, it reinvigorated my love of stamping. I know the photos I've been posting are not that great (I didn't take them with the blog in mind, so they're not lit up correctly) so you'll have to take my word for how pretty this looked in real life. It's a mixed medium card because in addition to traditional ink stamping, I also used stampin' pastels.

Long-time readers of the blog might remember that I absolutely adore using stampin' pastels, but for whatever reasons I haven't done so in a really long time. Even when I did use them more frequently, I never used them in quite this way. I'll admit it was time consuming, but well worth it in the end.

Now, I know Stampin' Up! no longer offers pastels, so it may be a little unfair to rave on and on about them since many people cannot get their hands on them anymore. Still, for those like me, who may have let their pastels gather dust, I hope this card inspires you to take them out and play!

Here are the details for my card:

  1. The card base is 5"x7" and it was pre-dry-embossed with a striped pattern.
  2. I used the Sizzix embossing folder for the main image. The folder is slightly bigger than 5.5"x4.25", which makes it perfect for this bigger card. After I dry embossed a piece of whisper white card stock, I used cotton swabs to apply stampin' pastels to the raised areas. Of course, the beauty of using SU stampin' pastels is that they match perfectly with the SU inks. I'll admit I had a couple of mishaps where the color slipped onto the base, but the eraser that came with the Stampin' pastels quickly took care of those. 
  3. I stamped the sentiment in the center of the card and the cake slice to the side. I colored the cake slice with stampin' pastels as well.
  4. Last but not least I stamped the flowers on a separate piece of whisper white, punched them out and attached the to the card front with dimensionals. I added a mat to separate the main image from the card base and voila!
I was shocked at how easy it was to use the pastels to color even the most detailed parts, like the dotted swirls. I can't wait to use the pastels on more embossed cards. 

Recipe (Stampin' Up! products unless otherwise indicated)

Paper: Rose Red, Whisper White, A7 Embossed white card base by DCWV
Ink: Lovely Lilac, Basic Gray, Rose Red, Regal Rose, So Saffron
Stamps: Sassy Salutations, Sketched Birthday, Petite Petals
Accessories: Stampin' Pastels, Petite Petals Punch, Dimensionals, A6 Birds and Branches Embossing Folder by Sizzix