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 background...so, 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.