Monday, May 31, 2010

Alcohol inks and memory glass

I was playing around with alcohol inks and Ranger's Memory Glass.  I kept adding drops of color until I was happy with the results.  I didn't "pounce" the colors together, just let them dry naturally.  The hardest part is not to get a muddy color around the edges.  I did use a piece of paper towel to dab those small areas away. 

Once it was dry, I flipped it over and stamped my images on the other side.  Make sure you use StazOn ink to stamp these, otherwise, your image will rub off.  These came from a set by Our Craft Lounge called Shop 'til Ya Flop.  Pretty cute!  I can't wait to get out other stamps from this set and create something else. 

Go get inky fingers and see what other surfaces you can use your stamps on besides paper.

Friday, May 28, 2010

First Kiss

There are a number of elements to this card.  To start off, the background is a sponged ink technique using Distress inks (Faded Jeans, Stormy Sky, Chipped Sapphire, Pumice Stone, Forest Moss, and Bundled Sage).  The image is by Magenta and I used Copic markers to color the image.  After coloring, I cut out the image to place on the background. 

I layered this onto a cream cardstock cut with Spellbinders' Scalloped Edge Frameabilities.  It is the inside portion of the larger frame.  The blue cardstock was cut to an A2 size (5 1/2" x 4 1/4") and then I used the Tim Holtz Alterations On The Edge Plaque & Postage die to alter the edge of the card.  I also added a ribbon (and adhered before layering the focal point) that goes around the card and ties on the side.  I added another piece of the cream cardstock on the inside of the card, to both highlight the edge as well as making it easier to write a message.  Lastly, and it's hard to tell, a Copic Atyou Spica (clear) glitter pen was used to create twinkling stars.  In person, they reflect the light beautifully, creating a romantic feeling.

This image could be used for a number of occasions, including Valentine's, an anniversary, or for an engagement.  I think I'll be using this image quite a lot.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


These are really super easy and fast to make.  I found the tutorial on how to make these at DRS Designs in their online demo section.  The changes I made to the tutorial was that I used scraps of patterned paper and/or I made my own backgrounds instead of stamping an image and, since I don't own a large scalloped punch, I used one of dies from the Spellbinders large scalloped squares set.  The other thing I did was to use my Scor-Pal and  I lightly scored down the center for a visual reference.

I created the bookmark shown above by using a piece of glossy cardstock and alcohol inks, including the copper metalic alcohol ink.  I dropped spots of alcohol ink onto the paper and using a felt square on the Ranger's applicator tool, just pounced the ink around until I was happy with it.  I also used a little blending solution to lighten it up a little.

These would make a great gift for any reader on your list; they are easy to replace when the time comes; and, it's a fun way to use up your scraps.  This would be an easy craft for kids to do too. 

Here are a few more I made in a matter of minutes.  What took longer than anything was deciding on which papers/cardstock to use.  So, go check out DRS Designs and wade through your scrap box to find just the right combination.  Have fun.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Scoring tools

This weekend I was checking out some blogs and found a great piece at about the different scoring tools on the market today.  They discuss the pros and cons of each scoring tool  and come up with a definite preference.   For those who don't know what a scoring tool does, it makes a crease in the paper so you can easily fold it.

I happen to agree with their choice, Scor-Pal , as the best option on the market.  I own both the Scor-Pal and the Scor-It, and I LOVE my Scor-Pal.  Scor-Pal is coming out with a Scor-Buddy in early June and I think one may need to find a home in my craft room!

So, so check out the Cut @ Home blog comparing the different scoring tools and see if it helps in your decision process.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fly away

This is a quick card that I made for a class. I used Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks for the horizon and Tumbled Glass Distress Inks for the clouds to make my sponged ink background.  The black birds are from the Tim Holtz collection by Stampers Anonymous and were stamped with Black Soot Distress Ink.  I layered this onto a dark blue cardstock.  Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hogs & Sketches Challenge #8

I recently discovered Hambo Stamps and saw they had monthly challenges, not to mention really cool stamps.  For this month's challenge, I downloaded a couple of their digital stamps and went to work coloring them. 

The background is a sponged technique using Distress Inks for both the sea and the clouds.  I cut out my images and layered them onto my background.  I also pop-dotted the yellow fish because I wanted him to look like he jumping out of the water. 

I combined Copic markers and Smooch pearilized accent ink (paint) for my coloring.  The Copics I used were E00, E01, E11, R20 for the skin tone; E27 and E37 for the hair; E07, E09, E17, W1 for the boat; B000 and colorless blender were used for the sail. 

Although you can't see the shimmer and glimmer on the fish and the guy's shirt and hat, they look pretty cool in person.  I just received some of the newest colors of Smooch and was so excited to find they would work for this project.  The fish have Sunshine, Carrot, and Sassy Pink; the hat is Siren red; the guy's shirt is Olive Twist and Sunshine; the mast is Molassas and Silver Fox; and the rope is Snickerdoodle.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Kreativ Blogger Award

How EXCITING!!  I won this award from a fellow blogger, Megs, whom she says I inspire with my paper-crafting skills.  What a great thing to say.  Thank you so much!!  It always amazes me that you have the ability to touch a lot of people's lives and leave an impression without even knowing it or without ever meeting that person. 

The Kreativ Blogger Award goes to people who inspire you and comes with these responsibilities:
- name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting;
- nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers
- post links to the 7 blogs you nominate
- leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.
So, here is my list of seven blogs that I get inspiration from (in no particular order).  It was hard to just choose seven.  I always come away with something from every blog I read, it just may take awhile for it to percolate in my brain and make sense to me.
 1. Amazing Paper Grace - Becca does beautiful work and even though we have completely different styles, I still get inspiration from her work.
 2. Stamp, Paper and Ink - I "met" Pat through an online class and think she does a fantastic job of shading and coloring her images.
 3. Distinctive Touches - Colleen was the (wonderful) instructor of the on line class and her work is gorgeous.  She always makes me smile with her comments!
 4. Lift Bridge - Deb has a great style ( I really enjoyed the wedding cards with origami dresses) and the tutorials she writes are very clear and easy to follow.  I must confess that the cards she makes "speak" to me more (sooner)  than the books, but they must have seeped into my brain since I made my first one the other day.
 5. {capturethemoment} PTI - Although I don't own any of these stamps yet, I really like the ideas that she and her design team come up with.  The challenging, but fun,  part is to find a stamp in my stash that will translate well to their ideas.
 6. Craft Critique - this site is an excellent source for all sorts of craft products.  The reporters always list the pros and cons of each product they are reporting on.
 7. Thinking Inking - Debbie is on several design teams of companies that I like and I really like her work.

Now for the list of seven things you may find interesting.
 1. I have taught approximately 1,350 people cake decorating (to date).
 2. I am in the Wilton Hall of Fame in Chicago.  My name is actually on a plaque in their home office for achieving the goal of teaching 1000 students cake decorating. 
 3. I grew up in Memphis,TN and never visited Graceland (Elvis Presley's home) until the day he died.  I worked in a flower shop and delivered flowers to the home from Frank Sinatra.  (I did not make this up.)
 4. My drink of preference is Tab (yes, they still sell it in a few places) and will only drink Diet Coke if it's from a fountain and not from a can.  I can also taste the difference between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.
 5. I lived on the West coast  (California, Oregon, and Washington) for about 12 years before moving back to the South.  I would move back to the Pacific Northwest in a heartbeat if it wasn't so far from our families.
 6. I am basically a shy person - until I get to know you (or you get to know me).  I watch and observe, then venture forth.
 7. I met my husband at a neighbor's party playing quarters.  We've been married for 23 years.

You never know who you'll inspire.  So, go inspire someone.....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Looking Ahead

This is the card I came up with for the RubberStampChat May vendor sponsored sketch challenge.  The sponsor this month is Smeared Ink, a new rubber stamp company.  They've got some unique and fun stamps, so go check them out!

The stamp I chose is from River City Rubber Works  (I don't own any Smeared Ink stamps - yet) and there are four layers to this card.  I used the Flourish Impressibilities from Spellbinders on the background (purple) patterned paper and then used Distress Inks (Dusty Concord) and a sponge dauber to highlight the impressions.  Next up is beige patterned paper with writing already on it.  The only alteration to this layer was embellishing the four corners with heart brads.  Luckily, the color matched well (or I would have had to bring out my Copics to fix it!). 

I cut the woman image out and colored with Copic markers (of course) and pop dotted her onto paper that I created a background on by using sponge daubers and dye based inks. I die cut the paper with an oval die from Spellbinders.  The inks I used were Distress inks and the colors I used were Spun Sugar, Victorian Velvet, Milled Lavender, and Dusty Concord.  The Copic markers used to color her in were: E000, E00, E11 (skin tones); E31, E35 (hair); Y00, Y02, Y08 (dress).

One of the fun things about this image is the (almost) unlimited sayings you could add to your card with her.  It could be sarcastic, or funny, or thoughtful.  My girl is looking to see if she is going to win the random drawing for this challenge  (hope so).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flower Seed Book

Since everyday life encroached and overtook my crafting time last week, I decided I would do a tutorial on how I made this book for my mother-in-law.  This is the first time I have put together one of these and I received my inspiration for this about a year ago from this site.  I only had a picture that I had printed out, so I figured things out as I went.

All the pages are lightweight chipboard.  The front and back covers are 7" x 5" and the six pages are 6" x 4".  Cut your chipboard to size and choose your papers.  I chose a background patterned paper and a coordinating paper for each page.  I used my Spellbinders Label Four (the largest die) to make my pocket for each page using the coordinating paper.  This pocket is what holds in the flower seed packets.

The next step is to take a piece of 7" x 4" white cardstock and score it at every 1/2" mark.  I used my Scor-Pal for this. 

Fold the scored cardstock accordian style.  You should have eight divisions before you fold it, beginning with #1 on the left. You should also have four "valleys" once you have folded it.  This is the backbone of the book.  You will eventually attach the covers and each page to this piece of cardstock.

Before attaching the patterned paper to my lightweight chipboard, I took a black marker and colored all the edges of each piece of chipboard.  You don't have to do this step; I'm just not fond of the natural color of chipboard.

Cover each page (only the front side) with your paper and attach your Label Four pocket to each of the pages.  I varied the way I used the labels by either folding them in half (left page) or by cutting off a portion of the bottom of the label and adhering it to the paper (right page).  I used 1/4" Scor-Tape by Scor-Pal to adhere everything.  To me, this tape is much better than the tape that has a red backing because you can tear it with your fingers if you want; the paper backing peels right off and doesn't cling to you; it's super strong. 
Attach your papers to the inside and outside of your two book covers.

Now you are ready to begin assembling everything once all the chipboad is covered and ready to go.  Take the accordian folded cardstock, use your strong adhesive (Scor-Tape) and tape the back cover to the  last section (#8) of the cardstock.

To me, it was easier to begin working from the back of the book, so that's what I did.  Apply 1/4" strong adhesive (Scor-Tape) along the left edge of your last page. 

Adhere this page in the "valley" closest to the back cover.  This is section #7.  Since the pages are smaller than the covers, I left 1/2" on both the top and bottom of each page.

You want your pages to be "back to back" when you turn them, so you need to adhere the backs together.  Again, I used 1/4" Scor-Tape and taped all around the back of the page.
This page will be adhered in the 3rd valley (from the front) and the #6 section.  Make sure you line this page up with the previous page you just attached.  Continue this process until all your pages are adhered and your book is completed.
 For my "book binding", I used white duck tape so that everything was nice and secure.  The final step is to embellish you new book and add you flower seed packets. 

For the front and back cover, I cut two strips of paper using the Spellbinders' Grand 12" Classic Lace Border and cut it to size and I added Kaiser Craft Pearls along the edge of the front border.  I had chipboard letters that I covered with Ranger's Glossy Accents that I purchased at my local craft store.  I wanted a raised, shiny look for the letters.  Finally, I used Distress inks to ink up the edges of my covers and pages.

This was my first attempt at making a book like this and I am happy with the results.  That being said, the main thing I would do differently next time would be to adhere my background paper to my chipboard before I cut it to size.  That way I don't have to worry about trying to get it perfectly aligned. 

If any of my directions weren't clear, just leave me a comment/question and I'll do my best to answer it.  The answer will be posted as a new comment.  Go have fun making your own books.  They aren't complicated and the longest part was picking out the papers.  One of the pluses to this size book is that you can use your larger scraps up (and that's always a good thing!).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Big "50" Band

My hubby just had a birthday and he plays the bass, so these stamps were perfect for his card.  The stamps are part of a set from The Stampin' Place.  The brown background is a Nellie Snellin Eastern Oval Multiframe die cut (see this post where I explained where I purchased them), and the blue background is one of the new Tim Holtz's Alterations Sizzix dies called Baroque.  Both the blue and brown backgrounds were cut out of Core'dinations paper.  I distressed the blue paper with a sanding block and pop dotted the bass player and the trumpet player.  I only wanted to color in the instruments so they would really pop and I used Copic markers.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Provo Craft's Cricut Cake machine

I saw the new Cricut Cake electronic cutting machine demoed at my local Michael's today.  Being a cake designer/instructor (plus owning a Cricut machine since they first came out), I was VERY curious about it.  It works the same as my Expressions machine, except that the parts are covered in silicon, making them food safe.

I personally think this machine will revolutionize cake decorating - making it much easier for those who might feel that cake decorating is too difficult for them.  (For those of you who think this, come take one of my cake decorating classes, or any Wilton cake decorating class, and I'll show you that's not the case).

Another plus about this machine is that it will accommodate any of the Cricut cartridges, making endless decorating possibilities.  Now you can coordinate everything from the cake, to party favors, to decorations, and a whole lot more.  I can't wait to play with this machine.  What do you think about it?