Monday, January 30, 2017

Happy Birthday

Although the camera took the lovely soft copper color and turned it into shriek orange, I'm reasonably happy with this card, for a change . . .

In addition to indulging in my continuing fascination with stencils and stencil paste on this card, I've re-visited a favorite simple technique with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder).  Its large granule size makes it easy to get a textured look . . . simply ink as usual and then tap or snap the back of the cardstock smartly. 

Because the granules are so big, they don't really cling all that well to the ink, so a good tap will easily knock off a bunch of them.  Heat what's left and watch like a hawk:  as soon as the melting starts, move the heat gun away.  The granules will have softened enough to adhere, but you'll still have a wonderfully granular, textured look.

This is one of those "you'll never know what you're going to get" deals, so relax and enjoy the magic!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Kachina, Strathmore Ultimate White, Generic
                           Turquoise, Metallic Copper
Stamps:        Printworks “Happy Birthday”
Inks:               Distress Peacock Feathers, VersaMark
Colorants:    Gelatos Boysenberry, Spearmint, Metallic Mint; Lindys
                           Stamp Gang Magical Bachelor Button Blue, Time
                           Travel Teal
Emb Powder:   UTEE Copper, B Muse Monterey Blue
Dies:              Impression Obsession Cattails, Spellbinders Small Deckled
Stencil:          The Crafters Workshop Mini Tile Texture
Doo Dads:    Dreamweaver Embossing Paste Metallic Copper

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Happy Birthday

My current joyful pursuit of all things stenciled with embossing paste continues!  This time, I used black paste through a scripty stencil over a white tag . . .

The skinny letters emerged crisp and non-mooshed – nice surprise!  It's all about the paste, folks – certainly not because of any particular skill of mine . . . 

The herringbone pattern on the smaller tag was stenciled with white pigment ink and then white embossed.  I initially tried stenciling the herringbone design with white paste, but the color came out a sickly white instead of the crisp chalk white I wanted.  So now I'm on the prowl for a true, pure white stenciling paste – anybody out there know of one?

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Strathmore Ultimate White
Stamps:        Sweet ‘n Sassy Long Stem Silhouettes, text from Verve
                           set Poppy Birthday
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White, Brilliance Rocket Red, Ancient
                           Page Pine
Emb Powder:   Sweet Stamps Detail White, Vippies Transcendence
Dies:              DieNamics Stitched Traditional Tag Stax, Sweet ‘n Sassy
                           Long Stem Silhouettes
Stencil:          The Crafter’s Workshop Mini Art Is, My Favorite Things
                           Diagonal Bars
Doo Dads:    Studio 490 Embossing Paste Black, jute cord Red

Monday, January 23, 2017


As a die-hard texture freak, stencils and texture paste top my list of ways to get quick and beautiful dimension to my cards and tags . . .

Depending on the thickness of application, most stencil pastes dry in about 10 minutes, so it's a simple matter to do the stenciling first, then work on other aspects of the layout while waiting for the paste to dry.

Come to think of it, I haven't stenciled with embossing paste in awhile . . . trust me, that's about to change!

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, Strathmore Soft White, Bazzill Rain Forest
Stamps:        Hero Newspaper Background, Printworks Celebrate
Inks:               Hero Soft Brown, Black, Distress Brushed Corduroy
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              JustRite Stitched Banners & Rectangles, DieNamics
                           Stitched Snow Drifts, DieVersions Snow Flurries, Tim Holtz
                           Woodlands, DieNamics Mini Wavy Pennants (sign post),
                           Papertrey Ink Angled Labels
Stencil:          Simon Says Falling Snow
Doo Dads:    Ranger Texture Paste, Gelly Roll pen Clear

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Birthdays Are the Best!

Here is the carved wooden elephant re-visited . . .

For the most part, I like the layout much better this time.  I'm hoping the camera picks up the wonderful sparkly trim on the elephants' coats – the effect is reminiscent of the lovely mirrored trims on so many festive Indian fabrics.

There are still some nit-picky things I wish I'd done differently, but I suppose that will always be the case.  Just once, it would be so cool if I could figure out the things I'll want to change before I'll want to change them!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Strathmore Sketch Pad Toned Tan
Stamps:        Wooden stamp Elephant, Rubber Baby Stone Wall, Amuse
                           “Birthdays are the best!”
Inks:               Hero Black, ColorBox Silver, Copic W4
Emb Powder:   Delafield Silver
Colored Pencils:   Inktense Iris Blue, Hooker’s Green
Dies:              Studio Calico Nested Rectangles, Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty
                           Banners, DieNamics Mini Pennants
Doo Dads:    Metalix glitter Moon Dust

Monday, January 16, 2017

Thank You

Having just celebrated yet another birthday, my adorable friend and stamping buddy Carol gifted me with three wonderful items:  a can of spicy sesame crunchies,  a Strathmore sketch pad of Kraft paper, and this delightful wooden elephant stamp . . .

Originally designed to stamp on fabric with various paints, these densely grained wooden images are finding their way into the stamping world.  Stamping with inks will give a distressed look as the hand carved wooden ridges won't make perfect contact with the paper.  To get more even coverage, use a soft pad underneath to maximize ink transfer.  Or, as Carol does, stamp with acrylic paints instead – making sure to clean the block right away. 

While I had hoped for much better results with this card's layout, I had a lot of fun working on it nonetheless.  Also, I'm delighted to be able to enjoy this stamp in another way:  as an art object!  It sits happily on the shelf behind my desk and sends its unique charm over my shoulder as I work.  May it help me come up with a better layout next time . . .

Cardstock:   Bazzill Raven, Strathmore Sketch Pad Toned Tan, Generic
                           scraps Red, Orange, Green
Stamps:        Wooden stamp Elephant, Rubber Baby Stone Wall
Inks:               Hero Black, Copic Warm Grey #4, Wink of Stella Black
Colored Pencils:   Inktense Poppy Red, Tangerine, Hooker’s Green
Dies:              Studio Calico Nested Rectangles, Simon Says Ribbon
                           Banner, Memory Box Alphabet Soup, Spellbinders Banner 
                           Basics Three

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hello My Deer

My favorite (and only) niece Rebecca gifted me with two beautiful collections of stamps that she put together herself.  This card shows three of them . . .

 . . . I will feature the other three in another card down the road.  Meanwhile, I loved the gentle play on words and am very happy to have been given this extremely useful trio of charmers.  I foresee a lot of use for this combination!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Rain Forest, Strathmore Sketch Pad Toned Tan
Stamps:        Impress Knitted Argyle Border, Savvy Deer Head, “Hello
                           my deer”
Inks:               VersaFine Olympia Green, Hero Black
Dies:              Spellbinders Grand Labels 23, Poppy Woodland Oval,
                           Momenta label from the Thanks Set
Doo Dads:    EK Success punch Sprig, May Arts Jute

Monday, January 9, 2017

It's Your Day

Always in the market for a great guy card, this one would seem to fill the bill . . .

After lightly stoking the rust background with a bleach-soaked rag, it was heat-dried and then stamped and embossed.  Because of the great and mysterious variety of finishes, you never know what you're going to get when you bleach cardstock, so always try out a sample first.  The results on this one looked like beautiful, hand-rubbed wood to me and I thought it suited the theme perfectly.

Cardstock:   Generic Speckled Rust, Black                 
Stamps:        Stacy Wood Name Background, Art Impressions
                           Wispy Background, Stampin' Up "It's your day!"
Inks:               ColorBox Black
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Punches:      Family Treasures Scalloped Rectangle, EK Success
                           Bare Tree  
Doo Dads:    Bleach, 1/8" Black satin ribbon, Rust Clipiola, Marvy Silver 
                         Just Glitter marker

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Frosty Flowers

While I love the concept of Clean and Simple as other stamp artists are able to make it happen, I am never able to pull this look off for myself.  For me, I've gotta get me some texture and dimension going in order to make things interesting . . .

A solid image means no intricate coloring is needed.  So color can be added by sponging in the background which sets off the bold image.  A quick run-through with an embossing folder on a scrap of cardstock, some ribbon to cover the join, and this card is my version of simple . . . and done!

Cardstock:              Bazzill Jubillee, Beckett Iceberg              
Stamps:                   Hero Blooming Meadow
Inks:                         ColorBox Frost White, Distress Dusty Concord, 
                                    Peeled Paint
Emb Powder:          B'Muse Detail White
Dies:                        Memory Box Lisette Buckle
Emb Folder:            The Paper Studio Bricks
Doo Dads:               ½" white-stitched Green ribbon

Monday, January 2, 2017


When I was growing up, mixing patterns was an absolute no-no.  Anyone doing that would have been sitting by herself in the cafeteria.  Thankfully, pattern mixing has become a whole new art form . . .

Success with pattern mixing involves the use of color, design compatibility, and pattern scale.  I have found that leaves or flowers mixed with stripes usually works well, and if you're initially a little timid, use a monochromatic color scheme to unify the patterns.  It's fun – give it a try!

Cardstock:               Champion Snow Day, Beckett Iceberg, Generic Dull
                                       Silver, Eggplant    
Stamps:                    Impression Obsession Greenery, Stampland Lotus
                                       Flower Block, Unknown "Fleur"             
Inks:                           Distress Stormy Sky, ColorBox Silver, Frost White
Emb Powder:            Judikins White Diamonds
Dies:                          DieNamics Wavy Banners, Prima Donna 
Doo Dads:                Gathered Silver net ribbon, Silver glitter