Friday, February 28, 2014

Funky Blue Dino - How about You?

Just playin' around with color and decided that the world needed a blue dinosaur!
My son said I was nuts but hey...
Variety is the spice of life right?
Well, my variety is a blue dinosaur.

So, my question for you today is 
do you always stick with conventional color schemes 
or do you spice it up?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Memories of Paris Collage Tag

Today I wanted to share a collaged tag that incorporates rubber stamping, shimmery paints, watercoloring, collage images and more!  It's my Memories of Paris Collage Tag!

I started off by stamping this cool image on white cardstock using Archival Ink.

Then I painted the image using my Niji Waterbrush and Distress Stains.  I used to use my Distress Inks pounced on my craft mat to watercolor but since Ranger came out with the Distress Stains I pick the ink right off of the dabber top!  It saves lots of me on this...  Before not only were my fingers ink stained so were my wrists, elbows, sleeves, and whatever else I could manage to drag through the ink!

I usually quickly dry my image if I'm going for lots of layers and contrast in an image - that saves alot of heart ache from ruined images due to lots of excess moisture.

Here is what the skirt looks like after being colored with only Chipped Sapphire.

But by going back in with Broken China I added a whole other aspect to the skirt.  I did the same thing with her overcoat.  I started off using a single color then went back in with highlights of a second and third.  Don't be afraid to layer in the really adds a new dimension to your images.

Next I trimmed my collage images with a deckle edge rotary knife and hand colored them using my Niji Pearl Paints.  I love this paint, it not only adds a hint of color but a beautiful luster & shimmer as well.

I also used these paints to color my tag.  There a several metallic looking colors - copper, silver, bronze, etc. that really give a nice warm feel to your project.  I started off by just dragging the colors over the tag.

Here is what it looks like so far...I used copper, bronze and a smokey silver.

I went back in and loaded up my brush with a chocolate brown which I flicked over the entire card.  It's hard to see in the photos but is shows up really cool in person.

I added a bit of text and added a shadow to the bottom of the card where I was going to be placing my woman image.  (I test fit her to know where to add the shadow).

I added the hand colored Paris collage images; stamped a few postmarks and little flourishes here and there, added a sticker with the word "Memories" written on it and finished it off by adding the woman with double stick foam tape and a bit of Sari Ribbon.

And here's the finished tag.....

Supply List: 

Distress Stains
Archival Ink

Well, it looks like old man winter isn't ready to give in just yet....this has officially been the snowiest winter on record in my area and we're not done!  We had about 1/2" this morning, Friday night into Saturday morning we're supposed to get an inch and then Sunday they say we will probably get at least 6" if not more....  Not to mention temps in the 10's - teens as highs and 0's and below (without the wind chills).  

I hope you are fairing better in your neck of the woods but from what they've been talking about on the news it seems like everyone is still fighting the bitter cold, snow and now ice!

Hang on folks...winter can't last forever!
Spring is just around the corner...
Just seems like at this moment we're spinnin' our wheels a bit to get to that corner - LOL....
we'll get there eventually...we're just going to use ink to pave the way!

Your Fav. Rubber Stamping Cardstock?

I've had several questions about cardstock lately and I decided to do a comparison of cardstocks.  Rather than just go out and buy every type of cardstock I could find I thought it might be a good idea to see what you all prefer first.  I would hate to waste my money (on both paper and shipping) on something nobody likes anyway.

So let me tell you what I have already then you tell me what other papers you'd like to see compared side by side.  I have the following:

  • Canson Mixed Media Cardstock
  • Crafter's Companion Ultra Smooth Cardstock
  • Georgia Pacific 110lb Cardstock
  • Mattekote by Judikins
  • Neenah 110lb Cardstock
  • Ranger's Stamping Paper

I know Gina K, Papertrey Ink, Simon Says and others make stamping cardstock but what do you use?  I know Stampin' Up sells paper as well but I probably won't be getting any of that because I don't have a representative and doubt anyone would want to sell me just a couple sheets of cardstock.

So, what do you use?  What do you want me to compare?  I'm willing to buy an assortment so my comparison is helpful.  Please post your requests here by March 15th.  At that time I'll place my orders for the papers I need and then start comparing.  

I'm excited...I did a mini comparison and I was surprised :)  Of course I don't want to give anything away so I won't say anymore - LOL!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Big Deal!! - February Club Scrap Blog Hop

Welcome to February's
featuring this months kit -
Big Deal.

As you can tell from the name, this month's kit theme was games...
mainly cards but there were nods to dice, chess and bingo as well!

(Click on the photos to be taken to the CS web site for more information)

and the stamps for this kit are wonderful....
so versatile and fun to boot...

Big Deal UM Collection

Big Deal Greeting UM

Big Deal Art Nouveau UM

Big Deal Borders & Background UM

When I first saw the kit I instantly in love with it!  I can think of so many fun ways to use this kit...which actually led to a different problem ~ I couldn't decide what to do with it!!!  Honestly, I had so many ideas I was petrified to start on something in case I came up with an even better idea.  I finally decided to do what I love - recycle...  I know what you're thinkin'...what the heck is she talkin' about?!?!?  Well, this month's project is based off of the pizza box that the Club Scrap kit comes in!!!

And here is what I created!!!     A Big Deal Shadow Box.....

I cut off the lid of the box and set it aside for use later; painted the box inside and out with burnt umber acrylic paint and then started creating my pieces.  The individual items were stamped or cut from existing patterns from the paper and then mounted using the cardboard from the lid...some are matted with a single layer while other elements are popped off the background with 2, 3, up to 5 layers of cardboard.

The "deck" of cards is actually stamped, 6 times and layered with a piece of the cardboard lid between each layer... 

the various elements....

One of the pattern papers in the kit was made up of images of vintage cards which I cut up, inked then glued in the bottom of the shadow box to make it look like someone was playing cards right there!

And of course here's my little gnome friend ~
all "decked out" (sorry - couldn't resist) in his invisible crown!

The next stop on the hop is 

If you get lost along the way the complete list of participants is listed on the 
Club Scrap Blog - Club Scrap Creates!

Happy Scrappin' Friends!!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gelatos & Dylusions St. Patty's Day Tag!

Today is Two for Tuesday at Altered Pages Artsociates blog and this month all of the designers are playing with Gelatos,  Dylusion Inks or both paired with some of the beautiful collage images from Altered Pages!  I decided to play with all of them just because they are so much fun.

Since St. Patrick's Day is about 3 weeks away I thought it would be fun to make a tag to celebrate this fun holiday!  

Now you know I how I hate to waste anything...well the other day I was using gesso to create texture on the black cardstock, when I lifted the paper off my craft mat there were two strips of gesso on either side.   I didn't want to just wipe it away so I pressed a few tags into the left-over gesso to create some interesting textures.   Today I pulled one of those tags out and I'm using it as the base for my St. Patty's day tag.

I started off by spritzing the entire tag with Fresh Lime Dylusions Ink Spray.  This is one of my favorite colors...I just love the bright intense green!

After the ink was dry I used my Micron pen to trace several shamrocks over the entire tag.  (the two sparklie shamrocks were my patterns.)  I then proceeded to scratch the shamrock tracings up a bit to give them a sketchy look....yes I know this is cheating but hey, it works.

Next I scribbled several shades of green Gelatos on my non-stick craft mat.

which I picked up with my Niji Waterbrush to color each of the shamrocks.

Here's what the tag looks like so far....  Don't you love how the gesso is shining through the Dylusions & Gelatos!  That stuff is great :)

I added a bit of a shadow to the shamrocks and added a line frame around the outside of the tag.

I then fussy cut this cute little couple from the "St. Pat's Day" collage sheet AP-416 and adhered it to the tag with double stick foam tape.  I also added a few themed postcards from the collage sheet "Erin Go Bragh" AP-2120 that I printed off at 40% their original size and added them to the tag as well tucked behind a couple of the shamrocks.  A bit of dyed seam binding finished it off.

And here's the finished tag....

 Here are a couple looks at the gesso texture in among the shamrocks...

Altered Pages Supplies:
Altered Pages Collage Sheets:  Erin Go Bragh AP2120St. Pat's Day AP 416

Other Supplies:
Seam Binding

Be sure to check out the other cool creations the rest of the Altered Pages Design Team has created.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Water Coloring Stamped Images

I got a couple e-mails recently asking about what type of paper I use and how I watercolor my images so I thought I'd share a bit about just that...

Normally I use Georgia Pacific 110lb cardstock which you can find just about anywhere.  I did however buy a package of Neenah cardstock the last time I was at the office supply store just to see what all the talk was about.  Yes, I know I'm a bit behind on the times...but if something works why mess with it right?  Anyway, I really like the feel of the Neenah cardstock ~ it's got a much smoother feel that the GP but I've yet to stamp on it so that is a talk for another day.

When I plan on water coloring my stamped images I always stamp with Archival Ink - usually black but sometimes other colors when appropriate.  I also use my Niji Waterbrush for water coloring as well.  Why?  Because when I use the waterbrush I don't have to have a container of water setting around...inevitably when I do I end up spilling it!  I have had this brush for probably 15 years now and it's THE BEST!  I never have any trouble with it and it's still going strong after all that time.

Before the Distress Stains came out I mainly used my Distress Inks to water color images... I simply pounced some ink onto my craft mat and picked up the ink with my brush.  Now that I have Distress Stains I pick the ink right off the dabber top.  It's wonderful!  I usually start off with darker layers of color (less water, more ink) and then gradually pull more and more water moving the inks across the image layer after layer.  Depending on how much contrast I want in an image I may dry the area with my heat tool between layers of ink - specially if I'm going for a deeper color in some areas.

I use the edge of my paper to clean the brush with every color's just easier for me.  I also test colors along the edge as well - sometimes you have too many color choices and need to see them side-by-side.  You want to test it on the paper you're using ~ colors react differently to various types of paper so it may have one look on one piece  of paper and a totally different look on another.

And I never worry about the outside lines since 9x's out of 10 I am going to cut the image out anyway.  There are those rare occasions when I do stamp & color on the finished cardstock.  Luckily Niji makes a few sizes of brush tip to help with staying in the lines a bit better than I did here.

This image will be used in an upcoming creation for Altered Pages...
so you'll have to wait to see the finished project until then :)

This week is a busy one...

Tuesday is 2 for Tuesday for Altered Pages 
That's where the Altered Pages DT uses AP Collage Images combined with one or more products.  It's fun to see how everyone starts off with the same requirements and creates such different projects.  This months products were use Dylusions Ink and/or Gelatos  and the Niji Waterbrush if possible.    I used all of them!

Wednesday is February's Club Scrap Blog Hop
This month's kit - "Big Deal" is so cool!  I can't wait to share my creation with you all!

Of course I'll have more techniques, cards and projects as well!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Primary Colors Have It!

Have you noticed how color trends seem to come and go lately?  It seems that one moment pastels are in then you turn around and everyone is playing with NEON!  It seems like every time I open a new e-mail some company or other has come out with an entirely new line of ink colors.  It's almost dizzying the rate it all changes.   I'm very behind...I just recently got a few of the Hero Arts Shadow Inks (because they were on sale/clearance).   I don't know how some of these people do it...not only do I not have the $'s to buy all these new inks but I don't know where they put them all! 

Well anyway, I don't think I'm the only one having color over-load.  A couple of weeks ago I saw a challenge that prompted you to go back to the beginning and use primary colors on a card.  Of course I'm too late for the challenge but I did give it a shot and it was kind of fun.  Here is the card I created....

All of the images are from Just For Fun Rubber Stamps and of course the main image was what I colored using primary colors.  I have to say at first the yellow background was really - well bright - almost scary bright I suppose because I don't use it much but once I finished coloring the coffee pot it seemed to tone it down a bit.  I also used green for the cup and red for the sign.  I had to slip in some grey's and browns for the spoon, shadows & coffee but I think for the most part it really fits the spirit of the challenge.

So I challenge you to use some primary colors on a card for a change just to get back to the basics and forget about dew melon sorbet or summer sunset orange or well, you get the picture - LOL!!

I have another challenge for you...this weekend I challenge you to take some time just for yourself to get inky!  Take a moment or two and get reacquainted with those stamps you haven't had the pleasure of using for a while or maybe even pull out a half finished project you haven't gotten around to finishing.  

Have fun and stay inky my friends!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Make a Stamped Bouquet

Have you ever wanted a large stamped bouquet of flowers for a card you were working on but didn't have a stamp that would work.  Well that happened to me recently so I decided to work a little masking magic and make my own bouquet!

Here is the finished card....

Stamp Credits: Floral Arrangement, Jean Pocket - Deep Red Stamps

I started off with this Floral Arrangement stamp from Deep Red Stamps.  It's very pretty but much smaller than I needed for my project.

Floral Arrangement Rubber Stamp

So I started off by stamping it twice on scrap paper ~ these two images will become masks to create the bouquet.

I stamped the first image on the cardstock so that the flower sprigs that are located on the bottom of the image above were pointed to the left.    I covered that image with the first mask then turned the stamp 90 degrees so the flower sprigs were pointed to the top of the cardstock.  I then covered that image and stamped additional flower sprigs to the top left and the bottom center.

I knew I was going to "tuck" the flowers into the jean pocket so I started off by stamping the leaves (under the rose) along a straight line - I covered those with a mask and stamped the jean pocket over the leaves. 

I then fussy cut around the bottom edge of the flowers and die-cut the upper portion.  I also cut out the jean pocket which was adhered to my card base.  I used double stick foam tape to mount the grand flower bouquet slightly above the jean pocket so the stamped leaves were peeking out below the flowers.

I am very pleased with how the bouquet turned out...
I hope this gives you a spark of inkspiration to take a stamp you already have
and breath new life into it.

Ink on my friends...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gesso & Stencils on Black

Today I have a fun combination of mediums & tools to play around with... Gesso paired with stencils over black cardstock!  


Black Cardstock
Squeegee (or other tool to spread the gesso)
Masking or Washi Tape (for securing the stencil)
Color Medium - Gelatos, Distress Stain, Watercolor Paints, Watercolor Markers, Etc.


1. Use a bit of temporary adhesive and stick the cardstock to your non-stick craft mat.  Position the stencil over the cardstock and use Washi or Masking Tape to secure it where desired.

2. Add a dollop of gesso on the stencil/cardstock and spread it around evenly across the cardstock until it's completely covered.

3. Carefully scrape away any excess gesso and remove the stencil.  You'll want to wash the stencil immediately or at least wipe it down.

And here's what my gesso stenciled black cardstock looked like!  
I LOVE the contrast between the two and it's even better IRL because of the texture achieved with the gesso.

4. Apply desired color medium over the gesso.  For this example I am using Gelatos which I just  scribbled on here and there.

I then used my Niji Waterbrush to blend the colors together.

And then I wiped a dry cloth across the cardstock to pick up any excess moisture and finish blending.

Here is what I did with it....

Stamp Credits: Flower & Bottle - Inkadinkado; 
Sentiment - Avery Elle

I made a second example but this time I used Distress Stain swiped across the gesso which I then blended together using a piece of cut & dry foam...

as you can see my foam had a bit of residual ink from another project which transferred to this project.  I was upset at first but the more I looked at it the more I liked it.

And here's the fun little card I made using this piece!

Stamp Credit: Deep Red Stamps

So there you have it...
amazing how just changing from a white cardstock base to black 
will change the whole look and feel of a project.   

I hope you'll give it a try!