Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mini Books

Now that I'm feeling better, I spent a little time working on one of my many Club Scrap projects. This is the Autograph book project, a simple stitch bound book. The photo below is the closed book, front cover.

The photo below is of the open book. It is approximately ATC size and uses 4 needles to create the stitching. The pages are added side by side, not nestled as a signature. There is a video tutorial on the Club Scrap website's Inspiration tab, Cinema, under Projects. I think it would be easy to adapt to other sizes which I hope to try after the New Year's Holiday. The book would make a perfect purse sized photo album.
Or, you can use it for a mini idea book or journal to jot down notes and ideas to try.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Or, what could be called what I learned this holiday season - the hard way! Those of you who are regular or frequent visitors may have noticed a lapse in posts. On the eve3ning of the 14, I became ill with a very nasty and long lasting stomach virus (no worries, I will not be providing the unsavory details!). Thankfully, earlier that day, I had completed the bulk of my Christmas shopping.  This illness lasted a long time - actually yesterday, I can say was a normal day. So, I was way behind in everything that needed to be done. So, things to keep in mind:
1. Shop during the year. Some of you do (kudos!) and some of you only think about it (like me!). You never know when the unexpected will hit.
2. Christmas cards - I make about 50-60 a year. However, I purchase about 50 store bought cards (I have learned that not everyone appreciates hand made cards). Start early in your design and fabrication - I am thinking of July! Also, you can easily address cards well in advance. Trust me - this will save a lot of time should you become ill.
I hope you all had a healthy and wonderful Holiday!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Choosing color combinations for cards and scrapbook pages can be challenging at times. I think we tend to have "safe" palettes that we use the majority of the time. We may want to try something different, but where to start. The Pantone website is a fun place to poke around. There is a variety of information on color combinations and graphics.     

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tag Day 5

Yes, I am way behind! Today was the last day of the 12 tags of Christmas, but I am still plugging away. I had to spend most of today making Christmas cards (almost done). I like how easy it is to make adjustments based on the stamps and materials I have on hand. Although I did not have the metal numbers, I was able to get a very similar effect using grunge board numbers, Picket Fence Crackle paint, and Glossy Accents. I am still hopeful that I will complete the remainder of the tags before the end of the holidays!

Friday, December 10, 2010

2011 Color of the Year

Every year Pantone designates the color of the year. For 2010, it was turquoise. Although you see their colors used more in fashion and home design, as artists/crafters, we can take cues from the color combinations. If you look back to past year's colors, you will find the suggested companion colors. A great resource to jump your color creativity.

The above pink is Honeysuckle. It will be everywhere soon enough. Some of the suggested pairings are fairly neutral: black, navy, charcoal, and gray. I like to use pink, black and gray together for Retro cards and art.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tag 4

For the Day 4 tag, I had none of the materials Tim used. But, I did have great papers from Graphic 45.  I muted the bright colors of the background by applying a wash of Cream Golden Glaze. I also added a bit of shimmer with Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaz in All That Jazz (blue).  The oval is from Tim's Fragments collection. It is a clear acrylic tag that I colored with a couple different shades of blue Alcohol inks. Once it was dry, I stamped the snowflakes in black Archival Ink and gently patted/wiped the black ink off. If you visit Tim's blog, he gives a greater detailed instruction. You do need to work fairly quickly so that the ink does not dry. I found that I had to gently wipe to get the ink off to reveal the clear snowflake design. There is a learning curve, but do not get too frustrated. The acrylic is then mounted onto while card stock.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tag Day 3

I am a little behind on my 12 tags. This is the Day 3 tag and I have improvised some of the images. If you are following along, you know that this tag uses Washi tape on the bird. As you know, it is one of the embellishments that I like to use. Since I do not have a lot of the stamps/materials that Tim used, I improvised with Club Scrap and other companies stamps. Although I love all the wonderful rolled flowers, I really do not have the patience to make them myself. How about you? Any suggestions or short cuts used in creating them?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tuesday"s Tip

Today's tip is an oldie, but bears repeating for newer crafters. I was reminded of it while making background panels. A couple of my lighter colored ink pads became cross contaminated with darker colors. It is easy to clean them up a bit. I use a plain paper towel to gently wipe off the color. For stubborn stains, I wet the paper towel a little and wipe/pat. It works great. Afterwards, you can re ink the pad.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 2 of Tim's Tags

I really liked the look of this tag - I think it would be a great Christmas card. Once again, I made several substitutions. I embossed the pine bough and the pine cone separately. I cut out the pine cone and used mounting tape. To achieve the glossy look of the pine cone, I embossed with clear embossing powder. While the image was still hot, I dipped it into the embossing powder and heated it again. This is an easy way to add a little more shine and dimension to embossed images.

The tag background has several layers, showing a lot of depth. I think that following along and making these tags is a great way to get comfortable with layering. Look through your stamps for design element images - they work wonderfully to add depth without adding a lot of bulk.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

12 Tags of Christmas

It is that time of year again - Tim Holtz's Christmas tags. I have attempted to complete all of the tags each year. Unfortunately, I tend to quit half way through, for a number of reasons. Mostly, life gets in the way! So far, I have been able to keep up.
Part of the fun for me is to come up with a similar tag, even when I am not using Tim Holtz products. For the above, Day 1 tag, I actually used the Heritage Cricut cartridge to cut out the house and fence.  For the small wreath on the fence, I dyed white Flower Soft with a green dye based re-inker. I used card stock, as opposed to Grunge board. I do have the majority of Distress Inks, and I used a variety of rubber stamps. How many of you are playing along? It is a great way to refresh your Distress Ink skills - and helps you think a bit outside the box (as far as substitutions).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tags for Christmas

These 2 tags were made from a couple of the background panels that I posted during the past week. For both tags, I used the Sizzix die cut die to cut panels. The tag on the left was made from the panel onto which  I sponged Purel. After stamping Christmas images, I tied the bow and it is ready for use.

For the blue tag, I stamped snow flakes in white ink. The sentiment was stamped in black. It is nice to have 2 Christmas tags completed and ready to use. Having background panels ready to use certainly eases and quickens tag making.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Last week's tip discussed products that help clean your hands/fingers after a creative session. One of the products discussed was Purel, an alcohol based cleaner. Purel is a gel and can easily be sponged onto inked card stock to create a mottled look. For the above panel, I brayered dye and pigment inks and allowed them to dry. The colors were a little to flat, so I decided to scrunch (a technical term!) up some plastic wrap and dip it in the Purel. I will be cutting this one up for Christmas gift tag backgrounds.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More Background Fun

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I had planned to complete the series on backgrounds before Thanksgiving, but time has a way of fleeting when you have kids home from college.

The above panels were the result of pigment and dye ink resists. The motif was stamped in hybrid pigment inks (matte and pearlized) and allowed to dry for a minute or two. Once dry, I brayered dye ink over the top (I used Ranger Adirondack Cranberry). I lightly buffed over the areas of pigment ink. I think this is a great background for holiday cards or tags.  Give this a try - quick and simple, and easy to incorporate into your Christmas/Holiday cards.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Painted Backgrounds

 Playing with art supplies seems to be the continuing theme these days. I dug out some acrylic and water color paints and stamps, deciding to wing it. For the above panel, I stamped with Microglaze onto matte coat card stock. I then dumped a couple of colors of acrylic paint on to the card stock and stippled it around. Once the paint was dry, I buffed the areas of Microglaze. It was difficult to get the Microglaze off as I let it sit a little too long. The photo does not show the depth of colors - there are opalescent fuchsia and blue in the mix with black. Next time, I may use a little less black.
These 2 panel were made using the same technique, but with watercolors. Again, the depth and variation of color are not quite visible in the photo.

Have you made time for play yet? Get those creative juices flowing and create some panels of your own. Then, when you need to make a card (and do not have a ready made stash), you can pull out a panel and you are half way to completion.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Given all of my inky play, I find I have very inky fingers! Some inks tend to have more staying power on my hands than others.  I find that using a barrier cream (when I remember!), such as Invisible Care, makes clean up easier and more efficient. Washing with a pumice or "lava" soap or using Purel will also get fingers/hands fairly clean. Remember that Purel has alcohol and can dry out your skin. After playtime and clean up, use a good hand lotion.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Backgrounds for Cards

 I made a handful of backgrounds for cards at Mary Jo's class at the Judikins warehouse. We used Microglaze as a resist (create a small flat dab to use to "ink" up your stamp) with chalk inks. Chalk inks are very versatile inks. They are great for basic stamping and embossing. But, did you know that they are the only inks that really do resist themselves?  The color variation that you see in some of the above panels are the result of layering various chalk inks on top of each other.
For the above card, I cut one of my prepared panels to create the central image. I stamped the image in light chalk ink and in Microglaze. I then brayer a darker ink over the top and allowed it to dry. Using chalk inks in this way, really shows the depth of field that can be created fairly quickly. Do you have chalk ink? If so, start playing around stamping it onto matte coat paper, and layer other chalk inks over it. You may be surprised!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ink and Microglaze

While I was down in Southern California, I stopped in at the Judikin's warehouse for some playtime with one of my favorite people, Mary Jo McGraw. For those of you new to paper arts, Mary Jo has written a number of books and is THE expert on all things ink, stamp, art material related. Even if you think you have heard it all, I guarantee you will learn something new every time you talk with or take a class from Mary Jo.
Monday, we played at the warehouse with chalk, mica, dye inks and Microglaze. We made a variety of backgrounds, and explored various Microglaze techniques. I have a number of older posts in which I use Microglaze as a resist and as a stamping medium..  The above is an example of some of the master boards we made while playing. Unfortunately, the photo does not do this 8 1/2 x 11 sheet justice.

Playing with inks and materials helps fuel creativity, particularly when you do not  have a specific goal in mind. Chalk inks are great to apply direct-to-paper as they are the one ink that resists itself. The variety of layering effects and very interesting. Throw in some mica and dye inks and you will get a variety of depth's and textures. The panels I made will be cut up and used for cards. As I post, I will let you know what I did to make the background.  If you are further intrigued, visit Mary Jo's blog (see my side bar of blogs I follow). She has a variety of uses for Microglaze, as well as Diamond Glaze.  Then, get out your re-inkers and ink pads and make some discoveries for yourself!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

In my post on November 12th, I used Flower Soft as moss for the embossed tree (here). It comes in a variety of colors and color combinations. Did you know that you can change the color by adding dye re-inkers? I used an Autumn mix and added a drip or two of Olive Green re-inker. I liked that the different colors in the mix (yellow, orange, rust) absorbed the dye re-inker differently. Thus, there was an interesting variation to the Flower Soft. If you do not have the exact color you need, get out your re-inkers and make your own!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Original Rubber Stamp Convention

I have been in So California for the past 3 days - doing a variety of things. I did meet a friend and spend the day at the Original Rubber Stamp Convention in Carson, Ca. It has shrunk significantly since I first started traveling down back in the early 2000's. However, there were some fun booths to check out and old friends with whom to catch up. A few interesting tidbits:
 - Judikins is always coming up with fun designs and new items. I spent a large amount of time in this booth, mainly visiting with Mary Jo (McGraw) and Judi's parents! However, for you clay aficionado's, they have rubber plates that you can sent through your pasta machine with polymer clay, adding design and texture. The item is called a "Clay Squisher" and is in the current on-line catalog
- One sad note was that Stamp Luis Obispo had to close their store. You will know them as Studio's Blackbird/Invoke Arts. Building retrofits and landlord issues came into play. You can still order stamps and items here.
- Stamper's Anonymous was all about Tim. He was demo-ing his new Vagabond machine, dies and other products. He was also using the new color washes and Perfect Pearl's mists. The mists are colored mica mists similar to Glimmer Mist and Radiant Rain product. The colors can be found at the Ranger Ink website.  Check out Tim's blog for some samples.

I will be heading home Monday evening.  But first I will be spending the earlier part of the day with Mary Jo McGraw at the Judikins warehouse taking a couple of workshops. Check out some of the website's mentioned above - they have wonderful galleries (and some tutorials) that are sure to get the creativity sparked!

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Embossing Folder

Actually, this embossing folder is not all that new. However, this is the first time I had the opportunity to use it. I made this card for a monthly card swap of sorts. I really like the tree trunk folder and thought one of my bird/owl stamps would be fun.

After embossing the brown panel, I rubbed white ink and several Distress inks over the raised portions of the image. The color variations in the photo are as dramatic in the photo. I thought it would be fun to punch a hole in the bark and have a feathered friend peek out. I colored the owl with Copic markers, but left the eyes white to pop out at the recipient. I felt that the front needed a little something, but I did not want to ruin the tree texture by adding a sentiment. I used Flower Soft in spots to mimic moss/fungus on the trunk.
Do you use embossing folders? What is your favorite to use?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Decorative Tape and Stamp Positioner Usage

For the above card, I used decorative packing tape to provide the background. I have previously shown tape as a striped background and as faux photo corners. This was accomplished with 2 strips of tape on a white background.
The center image was stamped with white ink onto black card stock. Once it was dry, I completely filled in the image with white gesso. This was a technique we did at Club Scrap's Retreat. It is similar to techniques we did years ago with colored pencils.  After the gesso has dried, stamp the image again, using a stamp positioner, in black ink. Using acrylic paints, paint the image. Once the paints have dried, over stamp the image again in black ink, using the stamp positioner for placement.  The image can be stamped several times depending upon how dark you would like the image.
Decorative tapes come in a variety of colors and images, making it easy to mix and match with your stamps and techniques. Have you tried using a stamp positioner? What is your favorite technique?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday"s Tip

I have been playing a lot with Tattered Angels products. I really wanted to find the spectrum of uses so I had other options than just spraying/painting.  One of the frustrations with Glimmer Mists, besides the clogging of the sprayer, is mixing the liquid and the mica that tends to settle.

We have learned, some of us the hard way, that you should shake/roll the bottle from side to side. We have learned that this take a long time to mix. Enter a small item that is actually used in Metallic Mixatives from Ranger's Alcohol ink line: a BB! I read about this and added a couple to my Glimmer Mists - works so much better! I have since been adding them to my own mixes of ink and mica powders, as well as to Radiant Rain.  This is an easy, less frustrating way to make your sprays user friendly!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Glimmer Glaze Resist

Since I purchased a couple of bottles of Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaze and Glimmer Glam, I have been trying a variety of techniques. I would not buy any more (as I have not been that impressed with the product), but I do want to use them.

I decided to try stamping with Glimmer Glaze. I painted a couple of colors directly on the above Club Scrap stamp. I then stamped it onto matte coat card stock. I let it dry naturally. Then, once dry, I decided to that I really needed a colored, what the heck, I will spray on a couple of colors of Glimmer Mist. After spraying, I blotted the image and found that the Glimmer Glaze resisted the Glimmer Mist. The original Glaze colors were not muddied by the Mist.

The panel was then trimmed and mounted onto color card stocks.  For the corners of the image panel, I wrapped Washi tape around them to mimic photo corners. (BTW- Ginko Papers, where I have purchased many of my decorative tapes has some great new colors and images, just in time for the holidays!)

What discoveries have you made in the hopes of finding interesting uses for products? Start playing - and please let me know!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Washi tape

One of the hot new items I have been seeing used is Washi and other decorative tapes.Some can be found at local scrapbook stores. The main sources that I buy from are on line. (Ranger and Tim Holtz have also issued paper tapes.) My friend, Kelly Kilmer, got me addicted to these tapes several years ago. It is funny how some trends seem to take off after a product has been around for years.

I have previously posted journal photos with decorative tape. I thought I would make up some cards using tape. For the card above, I used 3 complimentary tapes to form the horizontal stripes on the black panel. The stamps and card stocks are by Club Scrap. Next time you see some decorative, pick up a roll or two and try something new.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cards and Card Portfolio

 This was another project we made at Club Scrap's Retreat. Micheal Strong designed and taught the project using his stamps and Club Scrap card stock. The above photo is of the folio holder that opens to hold the cards and envelopes.
I started these cards during class and completed them at home. (So, I added a bit more to some of them.) The black background paper was a fun and quick to make as a master board. Using a 12 x 12 piece of black card stock, dry brush 2 colors of acrylic paint. Leave a lot of open space. Then, dry brush a metallic color. We used copper. The cream spatter was made with cream paint and a round kitchen scrub brush. Allow the master board to dry and then cut as desired.

With the Holidays coming soon, this would make a great gift. The cards could have sentiments stamped or just leave them blank.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

In several past Tuesday's Tips, I discussed inking tool for Distress Inks, Glimmer Mists, dye inks, etc. Many of these tools incorporate Ranger's Cut and Dry foam. This is a wonderful material that you can cut to the desired size to use with the Ranger/Tim Holtz inking tool, or to make your own ink pads. Like the handy circular sponging tool in the previous post, you can throw these into your washing machine. I will use my cut and dry foam for a while, and then wash the lot of them in a lingerie bag (keeps track of the smaller pieces).  They may be stained, but they will not transfer inks after washing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Faux Postage

Here is a "blast from the Past" - Faux Postage. As a stamper, I remember when this trend was quite popular several years ago, along with mail art. So, I was no stranger to this Retreat project. (I still have some postage sheets of various sizes and orientations in my stash).
 Using one of the postage sheets from 100 Proof Press, we masked off the rectangles and sponged with ink. I did this during the class at Retreat, so my colors of ink were somewhat limited. At home, I worked quickly, grabbing a variety of Club Scrap wood mounted stamps to fill in the rectangles. The project did come with a matte and frame - although I may make a slightly different version to frame in my studio.
We used these handy dandy sponges to sponge on the inks. I absolutely love these! They fit great in your hand given the ergonomic handles. I actually like these so much better than the handles I have used for Distress Inks. Plus, you can toss the entire sponge in the washing machine! I tossed the used sponge in with some towels and it held up just fine. I think I will be using these for my Distress Inks as well.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Back in Action

It has been a while since I have been in the studio. With traveling (Retreat and Parent's Weekend in Boston) and a killer cold, I just have not felt much like doing anything. Thankfully, I am starting to feel better and was finishing some Retreat projects today.

This was a fun and easy project named the "photo Butler". The name commemorates the inspiration - my friend, Pam Butler, who found a similar album at Target. She sent it off the Club Scrap headquarters, thinking that someone could find a way to create something similar. And, Kay did!

It is basically a large pop-up album with 6 pages with different levels and orientations for photos. One of the examples had the opening as a door, with a hinge and tab to be opened. I love that idea and will probably make another one using that idea.  This project would make an excellent Christmas present.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

There you are in the midst of a creative maelstrom - supplies covering most of your work area. As you reach for your brads or eyelets, your hand is knocked by your stack of materials. Brads or eyelets end up all over your work area and, more than likely, on the floor/carpet.

Sound familiar? Trying to pick up little bits can be a real pain. I read this great tip from the October issue of VampStampNews: Use a magnet! Pat Smith submitted this idea and it sounded like it worked wonderfully. Give it a try - I know I will!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Those who love all things "Tim" (ie Tim Holtz) will have plenty of Distress ink applicator tools. These consist of wood handle and changeable rectangles of Cut and Dry foam. Not only are they great for Distress ink, but you can use them with other art mediums. I took a class from the founder of Tattered Angels and we used the applicator tools with Glimmer Mists and other paints. They work great for easy spreading of paints and give a different textural effect.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Just Playing

Since I have returned from Club Scrap's Retreat, I have been very uncreative. It seems we all shared more than ideas, and I have bit of a flu. Thanks to Dayquil, I am feeling a bit better today. So, I ended up at my desk trying to decide what to make. Then it occurred to - I rarely play, as I am usually looking to make something to share. Well, today, I have no finished project. But I did get out my stamp positioner and stamp.

Without giving anything away, we did use a new tool at Retreat - the Position-It. Think of a Scor-board that is a stamp positioner. It can be seen at Stamp A Mania's site. Just enter Position It into the search window. I must say it is a pretty nifty tool. But I have my acrylic T square and panel and they work fine. I stamped in various colors and used colored pencils and paints to add color. Then, I went back to the original image and re-stamped using my stamp positioner. Nothing photos...just playing...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

This week's tip is not new, but it is a good one that bears repeating. I have been at Club Scrap Retreat making a variety of goodies, but also talking technique, supplies, etc. During lunch one day, several of us were discussing paper cutters and the dulling effects of some materials. Although some cutters are self-sharpening, they do need occasional help. Cutting aluminum foil several times helps keep the edge on the blade. I usually tear off a few inches from a roll, and cut through it several times. Since foil is pretty thin, you may need to fold it in half until you get the hang of cutting it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I am a scrap saver - are you? Because I love to save the larger pieces, I really love the POPS (Pound of Paper) that Club Scrap offers. This card above was made by combining different size POP pieces from different kits. It makes it easy to piece together a Halloween card.

I used white ink to bring out the embossed spider web pattern. Dab your sponge in white ink and gently rub it across the raised portion of the embossed image. A fun and easy background.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I may have mentioned that I was heading to Club Scrap's October Retreat. I left with friends on Tuesday (a few days early for sightseeing in Wisconsin, dontcha know!). The actual Retreat did not start until Thursday evening.

This is my first time at this Retreat, although I have been to others. It is always a great opportunity to try a new techniques, learn new ways of doing old techniques, and talking with other artists and crafters. As much as I would love to showcase a couple of new ideas, I must wait a week since others have ordered "Retreat in a Box" and I can not spoil the surprise. I will tell you that I learned a new way to use an old, tried and true tool. But, shh, you did not hear it from me!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday"s Tip

I have been using my Cricut quite a bit lately. It seems like it always goes in spurts - I will use it daily for awhile and then not at all. Since I have been completing swaps for Club Scrap's October Retreat, I have been using it almost daily. My cutting mat is starting to lose its stickiness. It is not so bad that I need to replace it, yet. How do you get a little more mileage from your mat? Spray the mat with Re-positional Adhesive spray (available at art and hobby stores). Works like a charm to get a little more mileage from your mat. Always remember to replace the acetate cover to keep dust and hair away.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

GAB Part 2

I have been finishing up some projects lately (and it is about time!). Do you ever just loose interest after a while or something else catches your attention so you drop that project? I have made a "Fall" commitment to put the finishing touches on some projects that seem to be lingering.

The GAB (Girls Altering Books) project was done last spring. I have bound my swap pages a while ago. I did make duplicates of my pages so that I could assemble them together. I am pleased to say that it is done. However, I have decided I really do not like the way the cover turned out.(Which is why it took me so long to decide whether or not to post it on the blog.) I usually would toss it out and start again...but I will live with it for now. I also sometimes forget that not everything you do must be perfect.... I do like the way the title turned out. It is difficult to see in the photo, but I went over the stamped letters with Ranger's Crackle Accents. It is a  fun addition to "aged" projects...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

A couple of days ago, I posted a "Thrinchie" which had a shrink plastic embellishment.  I tend to add dimension to my projects - cards, scrapbook pages, altered books, etc.  I feel it adds interest. I have used a lot of shrink plastic over the years. My favorite is Lucky Squirrel. Their product is very consist in how it shrinks. Plus, it has a good weight before shrinking, making it easy to stamp, color and cut with minimal possibility of tearing. My "tip" - always lightly sand both sides of the shrink plastic before you begin stamping. Sand horizontally and vertically, very lightly. It will give the plastic some "tooth" to hold inks or colored pencils. Most importantly, it will prevent the shrink plastic from sticking to itself when heated!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas

I know, I know - Christmas!? It is still September! I am not one for starting holiday activities early, but this year I did. I hosted a 12 Days of Christmas swap over the summer. We all made 12 identical pages of our day, and then met to bind them into a book. I have a collection of 12 Days books and thought a handmade version would be a great addition. The only restrictions were size (I provided the pages) and no nudity/vulgarity as I was to display mine during December. The artwork and variations on the theme were wonderful! So, I could not resist sharing these with all of you.
I do not know if you noticed, but the 6 Geese a layin'  was a hand carved stamp for this swap. A variety of stamping, die cutting, embossing and "blinging" was used - and everyone went all out!  Can you guess which
page is mine?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Background Play

I had been thinking about making some different backgrounds to use in my art journal. Unfortunately, I really needed a card for our the woman who polices the section where we share Giants season tickets. We have been friendly for years - and my making her a card or small piece of art as a thank you has become a tradition.

This year, I settled on a card and decided to use one of my journal background techniques. For the background, I saved a couple of days of the Sports pages from our local newspaper. I tore them into small pieces/strips, piling them on my desk. I also tore some strips/pieces of a pattern paper that had the colors I wanted to use. Next, I began gluing paper and newsprint randomly, overlapping as I went along.  Once the card stock  was sufficiently covered, I set it aside to dry.

Once dry, I made a wash from Golden Glazes and painted it on. The Glaze helps pull the disparate images on the background together - unifying the background. The baseball image was stamped several times, allowing me to cut out and highlight various parts.

I apologize for the sideways image - for some reason the uploader refuses to cooperate.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I spent last weekend with gal pals of West Coast Scrap at the annual Scramp Camp.  I decided to use my time to complete swaps for club Scrap's retreat. If you have participated in a swap, you know it can get a bit tedious making multiples of the same thing. I had 50 (yes, 50) 6 x 6 scrapbook pages to assemble. Thankfully, the fun and activities of Scramp Camp made it go quickly.

I also started on my thrinchies (3 x 3 's).  I used  Club Scraps' Gratitude red print as my base. The white glossy was painted with Glimmer Glaze. Once dry, I stamped the Destinations stamp on the prepared square. After re stamping, trimming and popping up the Tower of Pisa, I decided it needed a little something.

I stamped the wine glass image on shrink plastic. Before shrinking, I colored the image with Copic markers. They worked great on the shrink plastic - however, you must color on the opposite side of the stamped image. The alcohol ink will react with the permanent ink of the plastic.

I am very pleased to say i have completed my swaps! On to the next project.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

This past weekend I was at an art retreat. I was using my time to put together scrapbook pages for  Club Scrap's Retreat Friendship Swap.  One of the embellishments I used was flowers. Luckily. I found the exact colors for which I was looking. But what if you do not?

There are flowers in different colors and sizes. (Prima is one of the most common manufacturers.) There are times I have wanted a particular shade of color that I could not find. So, I made a spray with ink pad re-inkers and water - and sprayed white  flowers. Voila - the exact color I needed!

You can use pre-mixed sprays (Adirondack, Glimmer Mist, Radiant Rain, etc) or mix up your own.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Interesting Discovery

While playing around with gesso (after all, doesn't everyone from time to time?), I found that it will react with certain colors of card stock. I painted a burgundy panel from Club Scrap's Apothecary kit - mainly to use up the gesso of  which I was working. I set it aside while I continued with other projects. It appears that the dye in the card stock ran into the gesso, resulting in a mauve color.

A little something to keep in mind while using gesso!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Seems I have been making a lot of floral cards lately. Do you go through phases in your art?  To add variety to stamped and cloth flowers, I often use brads in the center. Given the variety of brads - solid colors, glitter, rhinestones - it is easy to personalize.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tinted Gesso

I was able to take all my boxes to the flea market site today. It is wonderful to be in my studio and not trip or have to move boxes out of the way.

I was playing with re-inkers and gesso. I added Hot Pink re-inker to gesso and applied it to blue card stock. I then stamped into the gesso. A quick and easy background to any card.  For the focal image, I colored the stamp with Tombow markers.

Card stock and stamps (other than the mini tag stamp and punch by Stampin' Up) are by Club Scrap.

Friday, September 10, 2010


One of the past Tuesday's Tip centered around great finds at the hardware store. Sometimes, you only need to look as far as your husband's tool chest!

In making the card above, I created the treading background with a Cuttlebug embossing folder and gesso, as per Technique Junkies Sanded Gesso. I thought the addition of actual washers would be a fun embellishment over stamped ones. All stamps and card stock are by Club Scrap.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What I have been doing

instead of blogging is cleaning out. There are 2 stores that have fleas markets that allow one to sell used stamps, extra papers,supplies, etc.  One sale occurred in August and then next is this month. I cannot wait to get rid of all this extra stuff!

Have you gone through your supplies recently? How many items to save "just in case"? With the changing of the seasons( we had some rain yesterday in No Ca!), it is time to do some creative housecleaning and get ready for winter. I had too much "just in case" items. Not any more!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Today's Tip requires a bit of explanation.
 I have been absent from posting for awhile - though I have not been idle!  Kids moving out and a bit of the flu had my attention. Everyone is settled and I am back to full health. 

I have also been purging and reorganizing my studio. After having moved in about a year ago, it was time to make some changes and (really) clean up.  I also was able to find a great product (courtesy of my friend, Diane) that has made all the difference in mobile and compact storage.

The top left photo is of  drawer units I had been using to store embellishments (brads, charms, buttons, etc). I was also using bead boxes.  I had 2 small drawer units as well as 9 bead boxes and I ran out of storage. My shelf was looking crowded and messy - plus, I would need to transfer embellishments to smaller containers to take to classes and crops. WELL - this was not really working.

The top right photo is of the Cropper Hopper Embellishment box. I LOVE THIS! I was able to condense all my (numerous) embellishments into a couple of cases. The bottom photo is of the open case (the mini boxes are sold separately).  This has made a huge difference in portability and space. 

BTW- I purchased my Embellishment cases at Beverly's Fabrics and Crafts - using a 40% off coupon.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

I have been out of commission - life got in the way! I have successfully moved both kids into their dorms, and am recovering from a bit of the flu. I am anxious to get to doing some fun creating!

While laying low, I read the September edition of Vamp Stamp News. There was a great list of fun finds at the hardware store. It was a great reminder to check out departments other than paint (paint chips) and Formica/counter tops. 

With Steam Punk gaining in popularity, look into the nuts and bolts sections for mini washers.  There are also a plethora of tapes - painter's tape, drywall mesh and tape, carpet tape and HVAC tape (metallic Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning tape).  I will post more ideas in the future...time for me to hit the hardware store 9it has been awhile!)..

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I have mentioned before, that I really love Club Scrap's Greetings-to-Go. This card was made using the pre-cut card base and panels from the Jubilee kit. I bleach stamped the brush stroke flower on the base.

I am in Boston moving my daughter back to school. As the greeting states "Enjoy this day"!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Twinkling H2O's and Glimmer Glaze

After comparing Twinkling H2O's and Tattered Angel's Glimmer Glaze/Glam, I decided to try painting on white cardstock. I black heat embossed the flower on the same white cardstock. I painted the card on the left with Twinkling H2O's. I used a moderate amount of water to keep the colors vibrant.  The card on the left was painted with Glimmer Glaze. As you can see, the colors were more muted - almost like a wash.

Although I like both types of paints, I think I will use the Glimmer Glaze as a background or wash. It is hard to beat the vibrancy of the "Twinks". What do you think you would prefer, and why?