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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Graduation Season!

Oh my!  I am going to be facing days and weeks without one of my favorite people in the not too distant future.  Another HS Graduation is at hand!!

I was so pleased that this weeks PIP Challenge Sponsor is Sasayaki Glitter!  They kindly shared this great graduation image with me & it is my privilege to share my first project with it with you!!

So much happy energy in this one called Mia's Graduation.  Our school colors are red & black so it wasn't difficult to decide how to color her!  After water coloring with Zig Real Brush Markers I framed it with Spellbinders Nestabilities Majestic Elements Dies - Radiant Rectangles & added a wonderful little sentiment stamp from Unity Stamp Company embossed in red.  I made a memory board for her loaded with her favorite pictures and put this strategically on it!!

I am pleased with the little pop of energy and color it offers.  I think it will also be a stamp that makes great tags for our gifts to the other grads.  Because digis are so versatile I will be making it really big for the name tags that dangle from their "Senior Baskets". So much fun & versitality!!

Now it's your turn!!!  Time to make a project (anything goes!) and link it up at the PIP Challenge Blog!  Be sure to share the love and check out all of the DT Blogs & your favorite entries too.

Sasayaki Glitter is awarding 1 lucky entrant the digi of their choice!!  (Don't you just love the "win/win" of the crafting world!)

Monday, April 9, 2018


Good Morning!!  I hope that as the sunshine is finding you and warming your heart if not your bones this chilly but gorgeous time of year.  I am so excited for the fresh light of Spring that I find myself hooked on a color theme build around icy coral and gleaming gold!! Birds are another herald of Spring here in the snowy mountains of the Pacific NW so I love using them prolifically as well!!

Today's card was inspired by the negative space left behind after die cutting the "hello" for a number of other cards.  I love the look of the see through & thought why not three; the number of completeness!  I am saying hello in the most happily complete way possible!!!

After cutting my panel I covered most of the back with dimensional adhesive, I didn't want any "sagging" spots. (esp since this is going through the US mail!!)

For the little bird accents I used matching coral paper dipping & heating each in embossing powder 3 times to get a nice coating - like enamel.  From there it is a simple matter of layering it up and adding some gleaming gold "washi".

I think this card is pretty Clean And Simple! Fresh and new like Spring!!!!

PS - the robins are talking in the bare apple tree!  Despite the snow on the deck every morning I think Spring really is on its way!

Looking for a great challenge blog?  I have linked this post to "The Artistic Stamper Creative Challenge on Facebook" AND Power Poppy - the blog By Marcella Hawley!!  Check 'em out!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Mornings ~ Pip Challenge 1814

When the kids were little we had an old farm house on 5 acres in the rolling hills of the Palouse.  We had the only trees for miles, surrounded as we were by wheat fields. A beautiful old Beech had grown up through our patio, shading an upstairs bedroom.  Oh it was lovely, throwing dappled shadows across the bricks below and casting the bedroom into a shimmering shade in the heat of the day.  

That's what this lovely digital stamp "Winnie at the Window" reminds me of.  It just so happens to be made by Polkadoodles who is sponsoring this weeks PIP Challenge Blog #1814~anything goes! In fact Polkadoodles is also awarding our PIP Challenge winner 3 digis of their choice!!  Winnie is just one of many lovely creations you'll find at their site.(the underlined are quick links for your convience!!)

Polkadoodles Ltd
Since I most enjoy using my watercolor brush markers for coloring I printed this image out on watercolor paper.  I carefully painted it being especially cautious of the lines.  I could've sprayed it with workable fixative to be 100% sure the printer ink would not bleed, but I'm not always happy with the way watercolors move across it; so today I took my chances. Winnie is layered on top of 2 pieces of ridinghood red paper, the smaller is embossed with a brick pattern and then rubbed with brick colored ink for added texture.  
             Here is the image without added embellishments. I think she is so pretty!!  In the future I will either make the card a lot bigger or find a smaller branch die because the card was a little overwhelmed by the leaves and branches!


It was also really fun adding in the bird house ~ simply tied to a branch & left to dangle.   A few little flower die cuts centered with Nuvo crystal drops in black and deep purple. 

I have several ideas for the sentiment.  There are some great ones out there.  I like the ones that mention friends, gardens, nature and birds for this one. Unity Stamp Co has one that mentions "Bird Chirping Weather" and "Hello Tweet Friend", "be my bird", "enjoy the simple things.." 

I'm just waiting until I find the right person and occasion and I will stamp the sentiment & send it off!! 

Once again, I'm looking forward to seeing your beautiful creations! 

Remember, Anything Goes!!

If you can use any Polkadoodles images it would be a great way of thanking them for sponsoring our challenge!!

Hope you have a beautiful, bird chirping week 🐦

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

New Triple Layer Dies!!

Another beautiful Easter holiday has come & gone!! Wow, time waits for no one!  But what a great week it was.  Our school usually doesn't have the kids out on break during Holy Week so this year was an exciting exception. Another great exception was the weather. Usually AWFUL for Spring Break this year it was lovely, they went for runs (prepping for track season!), and played with the new calf outside!!

Me?  I had to work!! But it's only part time so I still got to enjoy their wonderful, young and energetic presence!!  I also had time to try out a new die set❣  I used Easter-y colors to make Easter cards! The ones I didn't use I will be able to make a quick Spring Birthday, Get Well, Thank You card, etc 🙂

Aren't they great!!  Super simple, fun and fast!!  Just a matter of die cutting and layering.  I used spray adhesive to quickly get an all over adhesion. 
HERE'S A TIP: if you would like to have glitter show in only 1 layer without bulk & rumple then spray the layer you want it on FIRST!(ie before other layers), layer the one on top of it to stick, THEN put glitter in the holes and work it in a little with a brush or finger tip.  To have no sticky residue (& no glitter)  be sure to always spray the top layer first (on the back of it) and work your way down in layers.
Just to help you get started with color ideas (I sometimes used only 2 layers to show more of the lower color) 
They are so pretty in person!  If you have any questions I'll be happy to get back to you ;)

Don't forget to make the back pretty!!

This is so much fun.  I cut several colors out of each layer and then messed with layering them up after I was done cutting.  I still wound up cutting a couple of extras as I had color epiphanies all along the way!!



Since I didn't want to cover much of the card fronts, label style worked
well for me.  I think gems or 
Nuvo Crystal Drops would also have 
added a beautiful dimension! Alas, I was in a hurry to have them done and given away!!

I love these sentiments!!

He Has Risen Indeed!!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Splish Splash!

Well it's about that time of year again!!  Time for April showers!! AND time for another inspiration card for PIP Challenges!!

This week's challenge is #1812 and sponsored by DIGITAL DELIGHTS. Not only have they generously supplied our PIP Challenge team with digis, but they are offering a prize of $5 of in store shopping to our lucky winner!!

                    I am ... well, delighted!!  with my stamp choice, Splish Splash Susie   I have to admit ~ I've already used her 4 times!!!  She is so seasonally perfect and so perfectly delightful!!  Right now Splish Splash Susie is only $1.50, so you can see how the prize money can go a long way ;)

The 2 cards I have featured today are both printed on Watercolor paper.  I heat set the printer ink with marginal success. 

My first step was to spritz the whole thing with water and then watched in horror at the printer
ink began to spiderweb!!(Orange umbrella one!!) I let it dry and then was VERY CAREFUL as I colored, trying not to saturate the lines and also avoid the black bleeding into the colors. You can see in the close ups that I was maybe a little too careful to stay away from the lines!!

  The image with the blue umbrella, I printed about 1/3 smaller and did not spritz!!  I had a lot less trouble coloring it without the bleed.

To make a short story long, I used a splotchy technique to color the background and more carefully colored in the subject!  A few layers, jewels, some great sentiments (a nod to UNITY STAMP CO) and I suddenly have a couple of bright, cheerful cards perfect for this time of year!! I should note that the white streaks and smeared highlights are made with a white Uni-ball Signo pen and the texture on the blue umbrella is a result of Prima Oil Pastel in combo with Zig watercolor marker.

Good luck!  I am excited to see what you come up with :)  Have a great week & get those pinkies inky!!!!

Converting Wood Mounted Rubber Stamps to Cling Mountings (the easy way)

I have been spending a lot of time lately trying to reorganize my "craft room" ~ actually our dining table and built in 1970s china hutch!!  The main focus of my efforts has been to get my wood mounted stamps onto cling backgrounds so that I can use them easily in my MISTI stamping tool!!  In trying to be discerning as I go, I have found none of my stamps are better as wood mounts!!

This is a little emotional for me because despite my absolute love of stamping, I also look at the stamp as an actual piece of art; often displaying the blocks as part of my décor!!  Now many of those beautiful representations of the stamp are in piles, bags full of jumbled wood blocks with no rubber stamp left on them!!!

That brings me to my next point ~ storage of rubber stamps without the bulk and weight of the wood blocks is FAR SUPERIOR!! I will, at some point, have so much extra space!!!  I have also figured out a system that works great for me........     Interested?  Read on :)

This will be a long post but if your thinking about converting your stamps I do have some information that will be helpful :)

First of all, I have found that I don't have to purchase the cling foam to mount my plain rubber stamps on, as I've been doing now and then for a few years. This process is very tedious because of needing to cut out the stamps after they're mounted and it can be expensive and slow too!  I have also discovered with a MISTI you do not need to have the foam backs because you can re-ink & stamp if your image doesn't transfer the first time!

So, how to get the stamps to "cling"?  I have discovered a great product called Aleene's TACK-IT Over & Over.  Another plus concerning this product, you can make glue dots with it too!!
  • Stamps that are not yet mounted to wood blocks but prepped for it (like new Stampin' Up! sets) - Crazy but just peel off the protective backing, trim your stamp and stick it to something like a fleece blanket or a t-shirt. Lift & stick over & over until the permanent stickum is not so permanent.  I did this to mine OVER & OVER and no problem having them stick really well to acrylic blocks or the MISTI.  Don't be shy ;) Save the backing & just stick them back to it for storage!

  • Trimming stamps - It is important to properly trim your stamps if you use them a lot.  It is so upsetting to have the part of the stamp with no image leave an inky shadow, spot or line! I even trim some of my factory die cut stamps if there is too much extra rubber or a "window" area that needs removed from the center of the stamp.  MOST IMPORTANTLY you do not want to under cut the image, always make sure your scissors are angled so that there's just a little more cushion than rubber.  If not you may have an immensely difficult getting all of the image to stamp, MISTI or not!!
The First photo shows the correct angle to trim at. THE SECOND PHOTO IS A BIG NO -WRONG ANGLE!! The third photo shows what it should look like when you're finished.  You don't have to trim as closely as I do, I just like them that way!! (easier to place maybe??)Below is an example of a poorly trimmed stamp, I may have to remove the cushion to make it stamp properly (the cushion should always be a little bigger than the stamp (or identical!)
  • Removing stamps from wood blocks - Fairly simple & self explanatory. JUST GO SLOW!  It's not the end of the world to remove the cushion from the stamp, but personally I like to leave it on there if possible.  You can carefully used a razor edge to help peel the cushion from the wood cleanly. If any chunks of the cushion come off, you will have a hard time getting a nice image, so in that case I would just remove the cushion.  The rubber needs to be "clean" and smooth before you add the adhesive, as does the cushion if you've left it on the stamp.
  • Adhesion - Very simple and economical!  Just put a dab of Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over on the back of each stamp, cushion or no. I use my finger to smear it thinly around. Lessons I've learned doing this:  A little goes a long way!!  The deeper the glue the clingier it gets and believe me, you don't need it that clingy!! Also remember the idea is for it to stick to your "block" and come off only when you want it to!  So you don't have to spread the glue edge to edge and especially don't use it where there is a narrowly cut outcropping (like a broom handle shape).  In fact, if you have a small or narrow sentiment just a little glue at each end will be plenty. Always smear it thin and flat, you don't want the glue to be dimensional or lumpy, it will cause problems with how the image stamps. 
  • TIP:  I collect a large number of similar stamps to work on all at once. This way they can be stored as a genre & I promise, you'll want to do a bunch at once because the dry time is a couple of hours (Prob not that long, but I want to be on the safe side) & once you have them done it's rewarding to have enough to fill a couple of containers with.  You will be happily surprised how many will now fit in a container that originally housed only 5 or 6 of the wood mounted lovelies! 4 or 5 sets are now in each case!!
  • STORAGE:  I am so excited to share how I've decided to store these gems!  I have been keeping the plastic from different packaging for years, often using it to make clear cards or embossing it for great effects!  This time I cut them the size to fit inside my storage containers of choice; wood mount Stampin' Up! cases!  You can use any case you'd like because the beauty of it is that you can cut the plastic to fit any size case you have.  Your newly cling mounted stamps will stay clean & organized stuck to both sides of each sheet of plastic!! I cut inexpensive typing paper to size to fit in the lid and base of the container and stamp it with the stamps that will be stored in the box.  Once there is no room to stamp, it's time to make a fresh box.  I can easily see from the outside what stamps are inside and I use different inks, often writing their color beside the image, now I'll have a catalog of inks too!
Below is an example of how I store the cases in our "china" hutch!!  A sharpie label on the end of each case helps me remember what is in each one.  I have tried to use only the size of case that spans the shelf depth for optimal storage space.  This photo shows cling stamps that have backing, but the stamps mounted as above store in the exact same way!  They are also easier to find because instead of a lot of loose stamps in a case I just have a couple of plastic panels to pick up and flip while looking!!
Good Luck ~ Hope this lengthy post was of some benefit to you. Feel free to share it in whatever stamping community you might be a part of & please feel free to leave any comments or ideas you have in the comments :)