Saturday, May 31, 2014

Simple Salutions Challenge - Turned into Gift Set for New Neighbor

I was making my card for the Simple Salutations Challenge at MFPSpeedyTV, and then I just kept going. Normally I would do a separate post for the card and the set, but I'm not feeling well at all and need to go lay down. Just wanted to get this posted before I retire to the couch.

The new neighbors had introduced themselves to me yesterday only minutes before I sat down to decide what to make for the challenge. The challenge was to use only cardstock on the card. I had so much fun making one that I decided to make a set of them to give as a gift to the new neighbors. 

The set didn't take very much time to put together, or maybe I was enjoying it so much that I didn't notice time passing. I made 5 matching cards, included 5 envelopes, some first class forever stamps, and made a matching pen. I made it a set by putting it in a 4 1/2" x 6" x 1" clear gift box that I picked up at a local craft store. 

 All supplies are from Stampin' Up with the exception of the stamps

Stamps: Furry Cat & Box(Simon Says Stamp), Simply Celebrate
Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black
Paper: Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, Gumball Green, Pumpkin Pie, Raspberry Ripple, and Whisper white card stock, Brights Collection DSP Stack, Polka Dot Parade DSP
Accessories, Blendabilities Markers, Copic Markers(for the brown & gray), Glue Dots, Pen, Hello Honey Ribbon, Bermuda Bay Baker's Twine Essentials Hardware Clips, Whisper White Envelopes, Clear Box, Scalloped Tag Topper Punch

Friday, May 30, 2014

Crazy 4 Challenges - Newton's Birthday Bash

I am still having a lot of fun with my Blendabilities markers. I have found that my Newton's Birthday Bash set is a perfect match for the markers. Good thing, because I love my markers and my cats. This was created for the Crazy for Challenges Color Challenge(C4C237), which required the use of orange, turquoise, and kraft. I'm so glad I finally have a way to color my line image stamps AND match all of my papers and inks! These things have made card making way more fun!

All supplies are from Stampin' Up with the exception of the cat stamp, which is by Newton's Nook Designs.

Momento Tuxedo Black Stampin' Pad #132708 (Available June 2nd)
Pumpkin Pie & Coastal Cabana Blendabilities Markers, flesh tones & Cherry cobbler for ears, used Kissing technique to get Cherry Cobbler on the flesh tone marker to create pink (Available Mid-Summer)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blendabilities - A Game Changer

If you're at all interested in the new alcohol markers from Stampin' Up, this one's for you. Maybe you don't use a lot of Stampin' Up stamps, but you use the colors because you don't have time for matching every random brand of paper, ribbon, and ink out there. Or maybe you do use a lot of Stampin' Up stamps, but tend to gravitate more toward the solid image stamps, or stamps that require very little to no coloring. If you're in either of these categories, and you're interested in a way to color your images without all of the guesswork, the Blendabilities markers are something you're going to want to take a look at.

Some of us have amassed a frighteningly large amount of stamps that we rarely, if ever use. For a lot of us, the reason they collect dust is because there hasn't been an easy or fiscally sound method of coloring them, other than watercoloring. I'm not so great with a paint brush. Even so, the muted colors aren't always what I'm looking for. I want something vibrant, but not blah. I want something that won't cause my bank account to go negative. Most importantly, I want something that matches my cardstock, designer series paper, buttons, and ribbon.

Some of us might have bought alcohol based markers at some point. Maybe we used them. We might have even managed to color successfully with them only to find that we would have to find new paper and purchase it elsewhere. Or, maybe they have been collecting dust with the stamps that we never use because we have nothing to color them with.

Here's my quick photo enhanced story. I like cute stamps, cats, critters, kid's things. Love them. Stampin' Up has had some great ones, but I've bought others as well. This photo is roughly 5% of my unused stamps. The rest are in boxes that I haven't unpacked.

I apologize for the photo quality. It illustrates my point. Cute stamps, but they rarely get touched. Yes, the ones on top are new releases. Old habits die hard. I never stopped buying those cute stamps that I really had no way to color. The next one might be familiar. I know I'm not the only one who has bought them only to have them become a decoration.

I present to you Mr. Meanie face. I bought them, they were on sale, but still cost a small fortune. My husband says they were $125, so I figure they were double whatever I told him I spent. They have sat on my desk and intimidated me for 2 years. In December, I did get distracted from a project with a deadline to play around with them. I colored a few things that weren't too awful considering I didn't know what I was doing.

Again, I apologize for the poor photo quality. Not half bad for having no clue how to use them. However, the next photo illustrates why I didn't continue to play with them.

Ok, so the coloring isn't terrible, but was that going to match my Season of Style DSP? No. Did it match any of my card stock? No. Up until 3 weeks ago, things remained unchanged. Then a game changer entered the market, and my craft room.

Blendabilities! Yay! As a demonstrator, I was able to preorder these. My experience with Mr. Meanie face up there left me unsure of how to feel about these. I was a bit intimidated at first, but that quickly faded. Now I find myself looking through my old stash of neglected stamps for images to color. I will point out that these markers cost significantly less than the others, and left zero guesswork. I spent a lot on other markers that weren't in that first set to try to get close matches, but had no luck.

In less than 10 minutes, I was able to stamp, color, and cut to create this. I love cats. I can't resist those cute little sets. I'm quite happy to have the Blendabilities to color them with now. I can't get enough of these markers. I'm not an expert, and I'm sure he looks pretty flawed to all of the Copic pros out there, but I'm quite happy with him. Happy enough to share my final picture, a close up of my coloring.

As you can see, I opted not to color the bag, but I could have. I chose to go with the DSP paper piecing to keep my card interesting. 

That about sums it up. I will say that coloring with the Blendabilities is not quite the same as the Copics, but it seems quite a bit easier. Idiot proof might be the better term. Maybe it's because I've gotten used to them. If I had taken the time to work with the others, I may well have developed an easy routine. You're going to love these markers. I know I do. I'd like to clarify that I am not bashing Copics, or people who love them. I'm merely sharing my personal experience and opinion of the new Blendabilities markers compared to my experience with Copics. 

Join & Save
Have you ever considered becoming a Stampin' Up demonstrator? If so, now is the time to join. Starting today, the regular starter kit is $99. There is also a $50 reduced price starter kit, available for a limited time only. Anyone who signs up today through June 30th can take advantage of these great prices. 

Now is a great time to join. As a demonstrator, you can preorder the Blendabilities markers, which won't be available to customers until the middle of summer. This is but one small perk. Truth be told, it is what inspired me to sign up. I figured that I already spent enough to meet the minimum sales requirements, so why not take advantage of discounts and being able to preorder products? It is also a great way to make new friends who share your passion. That wasn't the reason I joined, but surprisingly, it has been the biggest benefit so far, and there is no putting a price tag on the value of friendship. 

If you've ever thought about becoming a demonstrator, or found yourself thinking that you order enough product that maybe you should just become a demonstrator, now is a great time to sign up. Contact me if you are even the slightest bit interested. I'm more than happy to give an honest opinion. I wish I had signed up long before I finally did. I didn't realize just how much fun it was, or that my orders alone could keep me afloat. I had totally forgotten about this little thing called Convention, which is going to be AWESOME! 

The $50 Starter Kit includes:

$55 worth of products
A 30 percent discount on your first order*
A 20 percent discount on all your orders
Free Paper Pumpkin Kit
Free entrance to our annual Convention* (must register by June 20th)
The $99 Starter Kit includes all of the above plus $49 worth of product of your choice.
*Order must be a minimum of $150 and placed within your first 45 days as a demonstrator.  Free Convention Offer is for the registration cost of Convention $295 - does not include transportation, hotel and food costs.

If you have any questions, email me or call me at 253-215-0199.  Or if you are the do it yourself type, like myself, you can click here to Join Today!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More Fun With Blendabilities & Vivid Vases

I've been wanting to make this card for almost a week, but things just keep getting in the way. I will admit that I finally settled and called it finished, even though I wasn't overly happy with much of it. It isn't really my style, but it was for a challenge, and that's kind of the point of challenges. This one was made for the color challenge over at Mark's Finest Papers. If you haven't checked them out yet, I would recommend doing so. Every challenge has a prize. They have challenges 7 days a week. I can't find a reason why not to play along!

As always, feel free to CASE my work. I don't need any recognition, but please don't make exact copies of my work and claim them as yours for your own financial gain. Thank you!

All products used are from Stampin' Up! unless noted.
Stamp-a-ma-jig #101049
Circles Framelit Dies #130911
Big Shot #113439
Momento Tuxedo Black Ink Pad #132708(Available June 2nd)
Blendabilities Markers(Available mid-summer, or now if you sign up as a demonstrator)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rockstar Something for Baby Sneak Peek

This was done for the Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch Challenge. I've been wanting to do this with the Something for Baby set since I got it. I'm not a huge fan of traditional baby colors and themes. This is one where I was able to add my personality to the card. I printed "Rockstar" on Whisper White card stock, and used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to line up and stamp the image. Surprisingly, no card stock was wasted. 

I used the star stamp from the Project Life Point & Click photopolymer set to create the star border. I ordered that set the day it was available as a pre-order, but it didn't really catch my eye until I was putting this together. I used the 1/2" & 3/4" circle punches to create the "record", then punched the hole in the center with a handheld hole punch. I look forward to making more nontraditional baby cards with this set. The possibilities are endless. 

All supplies from Stampin' Up. 

Stamps - Nursery Necessities, Something for Baby, Something to Say PLxSU Point & Click
Ink - Coastal Cabana, Momento Tuxedo Black
Paper - Basic Black, Coastal Cabana, & Whisper White CS
Accessories - Circles Framelit Dies, Baby's Firsts Framelit Dies, 1/2" circle punch, 3/4" circle punch, Banners Framelits Dies, Glue Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals, SNAIL Adhesive, Stamp-a-ma-jig

Retiring Product Blowout Sale

If you haven't ordered your retiring product yet, now is the time! Items are selling out fast! Get them while you can! A lot of not yet retired products are on sale, up to 50% off. Can't beat that! Priced to sell, while supplies last. Don't wait until it's gone!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cornering Vivid Vases

I created this card for the sketch challenge over at Pals Paper Arts. I was a bit intimidated by the challenge when I saw it earlier in the week, and was actually thinking of skipping it. When I started playing around with different ways to configure the Vivid Vases image, I had a bit of a light bulb.

For my card, I chose to use a technique I call "cornering" to ink my stamp. I'm sure there is a real term for it, but I call it cornering, because you color the part of the stamp you want to use with the corner of your ink pad, using it like a marker. If you look at the image, you'll notice that I reconfigured my 3 vases a bit. A stamp-a-ma-jig is required to do this. I wanted two of the same vases on my ends, so I made it work. Normally I'd just use paper piecing to do this, but I wanted to try something different. I was tempted to use paper piecing after the coloring didn't turn out so well on this. I put my Blendabilities down for a week, and I swear I forgot how to use them. My 3 year old breaking into them to "make pretty blue dots" on the 8 rows of vases I'd stamped was not a huge help. This combo was good enough for me. I'll work on perfection when I can sit down more comfortably and the kids are in school. Supplies used listed below image. Thanks for looking! Have a blessed week!

Supplies are Stampin' Up unless otherwise noted.

Momento Tuxedo Black Ink #132708(Available June 2nd)
Blendabilities Markers(Available mid-summer)
Lacey Circles Nestabilites(by Spellbinder)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Rockabilly Gift Bag

I saw this challenge over at MFPSpeedyTV and figured I'd play along. The challenge was to make a gift bag. Since I'm always in short supply of general purpose gift bags, I figured it couldn't hurt to make one. I have been wanting to use the Dress Up Framelits Dies with my Rockabilly paper since I got them. This was the perfect chance.

The bag and dress were cut from Rockabilly DSP, which retired long ago. The tag on front was cut with the Apothecary Accents Framelits. I also decided to pierce the edge to give it some character. I used Stampin' Dimensionals to adhere the die cut dress to the tag. I chose Riding Hood Red seem binding ribbon to lace through the holes and tie in front. The bag's finished measurements are 4"x2"x8". Sorry for lack of detail, I have people in line to use the computer. Someday I'll have my own. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Float Your Boat Meets Maritime DSP

I've created this card for the Sketch with a Twist Challenge over at MFPSpeedyTV. The sketch is shown above. The twist was to use paper piecing, which is one of my favorite ways to keep things from getting boring.

Stamps: Float My Boat(Lawn Fawn) Ink: Night of Navy. Pool Party, Real Red Paper: Whisper White & Night of Navy CS, Maritime DSP Accessories: Brights Basic Buttons, Real Red Baker's twine from one of the Simply Sent kits, Stampin' Dimensionals, SNAIL Adhesive, Circles Framelits Dies

I wanted to use my Float My Boat set. The Maritime DSP was a perfect match for it. I stamped the boat using 3 times, twice in Night of Navy, and once in Real Red for the flag. I used Dimensionals to give them a pop. It's simple, but not boring. I managed to use some of my DSP, too! It's always hard for me to keep things clean & simple when using DSP. I think I managed to keep this one clean.

The Maritime Paper will be available starting June 2. In the meantime, a lot of the retiring merchandise is on sale! Now would be a great time to check out the retiring products. They're selling out fast.

Contact me if you don't have a 2014-2015 catalog yet. Thanks for looking. Have a safe and fun weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Feeling a Bit Geeky

Ok, I know it's not Stampin' Up, but it was a gift. It would be rude not to use it, right? All materials and sentiment are Stampin' Up, dies and image are from A•Muse Studio. 

This was created for the Simple Salutations Challenge at MFPSpeedyTV. The challenge required the use of a Sentiment on the card and the to use dies or punches. I've included the "Just Because" sentiment from A Dozen Thoughts. For my dies I used Geek is the New Chic dies from A•Muse. I have to admit that these are fun. I love nerdy stuff. 

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing everyone a blessed week!

Supplies used: Melon Mambo & Whisper White CS, Geek is the New Chic Stamps & Dies(Amuse Studio), A Dozen Thoughts Stamp Set, Daffodil Delight, Melon Mambo, Pumpkin Pie Stampin' Pads, Stampin' Dimensionals, Envelope Punch Board

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Apothecary Art Sympathy Card

I am loving this week's colors for the color challenge over at Splitcoast! Crisp Cantaloupe, Garden Green, and Pistachio Pudding go so well together. This card was done for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge, which required the use of dies. I think it would be more of a challenge to not use them!

I have only been waiting FOREVER to buy this set. Ok, maybe not, but it sure felt like it. I need to replenish my stockpile of sympathy cards, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. Never something that you want to make to fit the occasion! I try to keep 5 on hand as a minimum.

The Loving Thoughts stamp set was used to stamp the sentiment. I just got this one yesterday and LOVE it. If you don't own the set yet, I suggest you order it sooner rather than later. The clear is already sold out, but it is available in wood mount.

Anyway, the card is pretty simple and self explanatory. The image and sentiment were both stamped in StaZon Jet Black, blender pens were used to color the image, and it was cut using the Labels Framelit Dies. I used the Perfect Polka Dots TIEF to emboss Crisp Cantaloupe cardstock to keep it from being too blah. There's just something very wrong about embellishing or adding bling to a sympathy card.. I can't bring myself to do it. I adhered to the Crumb Cake CS with tons of Dimensionals, and it was done. This was quick and relatively easy, plus it was a lot of fun.

Supplies Used:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I Miss Fresh Prints Already

I made this for the sketch challenge over at Pals Paper Arts. This sketch was definitely just right for me, but I'm just not able to create much these last few days. I think the pain meds are killing my creativity. I used the Fresh Prints DSP stack, which is only available for a few more weeks. I would recommend stocking up before it's too late! I also used the Really Good Greetings stamp set, which I have grown to love. I used Coastal Cabana and Real Red Stampin' Write Markers to color the stamp, and basic rhinestones to give it a little bit of bling. I cut the greeting using Chalk Talk Framelits. I used the Arrows Textured Embossing Folder on Whisper White card stock, and adhered it all to a folded Coastal Cabana Card using Dimensionals.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Composition Journal

I was done for the day, but I just can't do the whole laying on the couch thing without taking a break. I bought some mini composition journals a while back and finally took a few minutes to cover one. 

This one is a bit old school. 2009 Rockabilly paper, which for some reason I still have 4 packs of. It's personalized for my son. He likes it. He doesn't care if it's current or not. If only I had sock monkey paper. These are super easy to do and make great gifts. 

Boys' Maritime Baby Card

I played along with the Free for All challenge over at Splitcoast today. Boy, oh boy, it was sure a challenge! We were asked to use the first thing we saw. Lucky Me, my new Maritame DSP was right in the front of my DSP rack where I proudly display it.

I made another baby card using the Something for Baby bundle, which will be available to order on June, 2. I'm not so much into the traditional colors for baby cards, and I love nautical things. I figured I would combine the two for a less delicate look. 

That's all for me today. I have done way too much this week. I'm finally feeling the effects of doing more than I'm supposed to. I'm resigning to the couch for the next 18 hours or so. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Something for Baby Sneak Peek

This set will be available for order starting June 2! If you don't have your new catalog yet, please contact me to get one!

Items Used:

Something for Baby Clear Bundle(Stamps & Dies) - Available June 2

12x12 Storage

I had to get the house clean this morning before sitting down to make anything. I got to the last room on my list. The dining room. I hate seeing my beautiful Ethan Allen table(that I got dirt cheap at auction) covered in crap. It is one of my pet peeves. 

I see the black wire dish drying rack that my husband mistakenly bought still sitting on the above mentioned table.The receipt is no longer with it. I huff and puff a bit, then grab the stupid thing and start to head to the donation box out in the garage. I look over at my craft area, noticing that I've left half of my 12x12 paper packs spread out on the floor. 

Then it clicked. I placed the wire rack on top of one of the Ikea shelving units. As I picked up the paper I carefully inserted it into the slots of the dish rack. I put one of the packs with the heavy chipboard in the back about every 3 slots. 

Genius! It's great for me, for now anyway. I can't bend over after a recent back injury. This allows me to keep the paper that I use the most at waist level so I can browse through it much like one would while flipping through CD's at the store. Crazy, I know, we used to buy music on a disc, and it we had to get up and change it if we wanted to hear a different album.

Anyway, I went from irritated to happy. I no longer have to dread going to pick my paper, or get stuck on the floor while doing it. I also won't have to worry about picking it up to keep it out of harm's way. Just thought I would share. It's a temporary solution that's cheaper than anything a craft store sells. Someday I will have my built ins done, but for now this will do. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Note on Photos

No, I'm not posting a tutorial on how to take photos. I don't consider myself too skilled in that department. I just wanted to post a quick reality check for those of you who might be hesitant to post pictures of your work.

You think that your work is somehow less worthy of taking up a microscopic percentage of the infinite amount of space on the internet. Maybe you think that yours isn't as good as everything you've seen. It could be that you're afraid of criticism.

Whatever it might be that's holding you back, try to get over it. I've seen plenty of beautiful photos on the internet. Pictures of families, homes, and even nature that for some reason just look so much better on that little screen than they do in real life.

There's a reason. It's called photo editing software( and apps). None of us can live up to that standard. None of my photos are touched up or altered. They are cropped to the correct(and sometimes incorrect) size, then posted.

I use my iPhone camera. Go figure, it's not as good as I thought it was going to be. Maybe it's because I was looking at other people's edited pictures when making the decision to buy the thing. Anyway, here's an example of what can happen to a photo in less than 10 seconds with nothing more than an old iPhone straight out of its box.

The photo on the left has not been edited. Hey, I never claimed to be a photographer. It's an accurate enough portrayal of the card.I'd rather spend my time making something else. Why spend more than a few minutes getting a picture of it?

For the photo on the right I selected the Chrome filter on the iPhone's built in photo editor. It really stands out now! Unfortunately, making our pictures stand out because they're brighter isn't why we share our work. We don't share so that others see something that could never possibly be recreated with the supplies that we sell. This literally took all of one second to do.

For those of you who are still holding back, maybe you can remember this next time you see something on Pinterest that makes you hang your head in shame and want to give up.

Blendabilities & Giggle Greetings - An Accidental Card

I was playing around with the idea of just not doing the color challange over at Splitcoast this week because I was just drawing a total blank with the color palette. Real Red, Daffodil Delight, and Old Olive. The only thing I could think of was flowers. I've had enough flowers for the week. Then I decided to play with my Blendabilities a bit. I didn't want to look at flowers, so I dug out my Giggle Greetings stamp set. I stamped a few, because I figured I would be making plenty of mistakes working with such small spaces. This was the first one I did. I realized when I was coloring those cherries red that I could use yellow and green on the bowl instead of the blue I was planning to use. My son said, "it's not bad for a noob". I must say that I agree with him.

Thanks for looking! Here's the "recipe" for the card:

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink - Available Soon!
Blendabilities Markers in Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, & Real Red - Coming Soon(yay!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Clean & Simple Spring Card

I have been dying to try out this color combination. I finally got the chance when I took a look at The Paper Crew Challenge Crew's latest Sketch Challenge and felt inspired to make something. Still keeping it clean and simple, the way I like it. Check out the Papercraft Crew Challenge Blog for the challenge details. 

All supplies are Stampin' Up. Product used:

Something for Baby Clear Mount Bundle(Available June 2)
Crisp Cantaloupe Thick Baker's Twine(Available June 2)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Stampin' Up Blendabilities Basics - The Video

Apparently the people who requested this were never told to be careful what they asked for, or at least they didn't heed the advice. I hate speaking to anyone other than my cat, unless I know you, so this one was hard. Doing it alone with a tripod and no clue what I was doing, well, it's my first. I'll do better next time, if there is a next time. Just a video for those of you who asked or may have questions about the basic blending techniques with Stampin' Up's Blendabilities markers.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Not a Flower!

(Stamps: Vivid Vases, Express Yourself, Gorgeous Grunge. Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, StaZon Jet Black, SU Crumb Cake. Paper: Crumb Cake, Rich Razzleberry, & Whisper White Card Stock, Coastal Cabana DSP. Accessories: Deco Labels Framelits, Banners Framelits, Coastal Cabana, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, & Rich Razzleberry Blendabilities, SNAIL Adhesive, Glue Dots, Dimensionals)
This is my first attempt at coloring anything other than a flower with large open spaces. Not a ton of colors to work with...yet. I'm looking forward to the full release of these. I will probably be supplementing with some Copics for what I don't have. I am terrible at watercoloring, so the Blendabilities are a good fit for me.

This was a simple card to color and piece together. I started by coloring the image on Whisper White card stock, then ran it through the Big Shot with the Deco Labels die. I stamped the sentiment on a 1/2" thick strip of Rich Razzleberry that had been run through the Big Shot with the Banners die on both ends. I used my new favorite accessory, the Stamp-a-ma-jig for perfect alignment. So much less waste(and frustration). After running the Coastal Cabana DSP through the Big Shot with the largest Banners die I stamped Gorgeous Grunge at random on Crumb Cake with in of the same color.
It's quite a quick and easy card, but it is by no means plain and boring. Time from concept to taking a photo of it was less than half an hour. Not too bad considering that most of that time was spent choosing my papers and sentiment. Still keeping it clean and simple, just the way I like it. 

Happy Mother's Day!

(Stamps: Blended Bloom, Teeny Tiny Wishes. Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black, Rich Razzleberry. Paper: Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White. Accessories: Rich Razzleberry & Old Olive Blendabilities, Brights Designer Buttons, White Baker's Twine, SNAIL Adhesive, Glue Dots, Dimensionals, and of course paper snips)

I would like to say Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there. My mother is the most amazing woman I know. I have always looked up to her and strive to be more like her. She is kind, patient, giving, intelligent, beautiful, and just about as close to June Clever as it gets. She dedicated her life to making sure our family was taken care of and happy. She still does this today, even though she has no obligation to. My mom is just a special person, my words can't do her justice.

This is the card that I made for her this year. Hopefully she gets home from church and opens it before peaking at my blog. This was my first try at using the all new Blendabilities markers. It is a clean and simple card, but there is nothing simple about it.

I started by using the Blendabilities markers to color in Blended Bloom, one petal at a time. I cut the flower(no die for this one) and used Dimensionals to adhere to a piece of Whisper White. The Dimensionals give it just the right amount of pop. Before threading the White Baker's Twine through the button, I took my medium and dark shades of Rich Razzleberry to it. I had to try it. I hear it works well on the organza ribbon, can't wait to give that a try. If you attempt to color anything that is slow to absorb, like ribbon or thread, use care in handling it until it is dry. It can take a few minutes to an hour, depending on the material colored. 

I adhered the white to a square of Rich Razzleberry with SNAIL, then adhered both to the 4 1/2"x 4 1/2" card with glue dots, just to keep it from being to flat. I added the threaded button with 2 glue dots to finish it off. 

A note on the coloring: This was my first attempt at using the markers. While the blending went well, you can see that not a lot of thought was given to shading and highlighting. I take no shame in it. We all start somewhere. A lot of my friends have yet to share their work anywhere online, and I think they do beautiful work that should be shared with the world. I'm hoping that sharing my not even close to perfect work can help inspire those of you who are still holding back to inspire some of your work. 

Thanks for looking. And again, a big thanks to all of the moms out there for being the glue that holds this world together! I love you, Mom!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Blendabilities Basics

(Stamp: blended bloom. Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black. Blendabilites: Cherry Cobbler & Daffodil Delight. Paper: Whisper White)

(Stamps: Secret Garden. Ink: Momento Tuxedo Black. Blendabilites: Cherry Cobbler & Rich Razzlebery. Paper: X-Press Blending Card)

I apologize for the image quality. It's about as good as I can get with 2 screaming kids and a cat that has been hell bent on sending my Big Shot from my desk to the floor. I haven't spent much time working with alcohol based markers, but was quite excited when I was able to preorder the Blendabilites(being a demo has it's perks!). I think the belief has been that the Blendabilities would function exactly as Copics. This is not accurate, though they are similar. On that note, a common misconception in the stamping world is that Copics are more or less an "Artist in a Box." They are not.

They are easy to use once you get the basics down, but even then a basic knowledge of shading and highlighting is definitely needed. The look of an image colored with alcohol based markers of any brand is indeed very unique and hard to replicate with any other medium. I personally believe that they are worth taking the time to get acquainted with. I have always loved the look of art that has been at least somewhat skillfully colored with them. I am still learning, but there are some basics that I've picked up.

1. Start with your darkest marker and end with the lightest.

2. Work fast. Time is NOT your friend. Flowers are the best place to start as they allow you to take things one petal at a time. 

3. Use ONLY Momento Tuxedo Black ink. If you are trying to use StaZon, you will blend it in, since it too is alcohol based.

4. PAPER MATTERS! I can't stress this enough. I will not assume that just because a person forks over what some might consider to be a small fortune on markers that they buy the best paper. Why? Because that HP printer card stock, well it doesn't function the same as Whisper White, at all, not even for basic stamping. I know this because I have tried to cut costs in all of the wrong places before. Totally guilty of it. Two paper choices that I recommend are Whisper White and X-Press Blending Card(not a Stampin Up item). I prefer the X-Press Blending Card myself. Blending seems to go a lot more smoothly on it. I have also found that the end result is a better match to the papers and accessories. 

5. Use the fine tip, not the brush. The brush doesn't apply the pressure needed to move color from point A to point B. 

6. When you are done shading with your lightest shade, start to pull from the light area through the medium and dark areas. This will help blend. I see a lot of people using the "blender pen" for this. Some situations it may be the best option, but unless you are trying to remove ink because you put down too much, it isn't the best tool for this. Just start at the top of your light area with your lightest color and flick down, maybe throw in a few blending circles down in your darker area, and see what happens.

7. Don't expect to get it on the first try. There is a reason they've allowed us to preorder these. It's so we have time to get familiar with them and find a method that works best for us. Don't compare yourselves to others. Some people have an eye for shadowing and highlighting, most of us don't. You'll get there, and when you do, you will have something that even makes you say "wow" every time you look at it.

8. Don't be afraid to ask. Most of us would be more than happy, especially when we know there isn't an over abundance of information available, to answer any questions. If you're on Stampin' Connection, Splitcoast, or someone's blog, don't hesitate to send them a private message and ask for tips. After all, we are demonstrators. We have a passion for what we do, and we love sharing our knowledge with others. Most of us at this point wouldn't see a question as an inconvenience, but more of a compliment, since we are all winging it.

9. Each color behaves differently. Coastal Cabana, Cherry Cobbler, and Rich Razzleberry are the colors I would recommend starting with. Just as we have developed our own way of working with every other product we sell, or have sold in the past, we will one day work with these without much thought. It will become natural the more you do it.

10. Share your work and ask for tips. No one is judging. Most of us are far too busy criticizing our own work to take the time to look at others work and scoff. Again, helping and sharing what we do know is what we love to do.

I apologize for the layout of this post. My computer, which I despise anyway, has been taken over by my hubby. I'm posting from an app on my iPad. If it only had the controls that are available on the PC I'd be in love. I will be posting a photo heavy tutorial on my blog tomorrow along with a downloadable PDF step by step for use at classes. All I ask is that you don't charge for any classes that you happen to hand the tutorial out at. Also, please don't charge for online tutorials that are a copy of my work. I don't believe in charging to teach people how to use products that they buy from me. A minimum order requirement is fine. Due to high demand, I will get over the fact that I HATE my voice and have dry, cracked hands and make a video tomorrow. 

Mother's Day Note Card Set

(Stamps used: Hello Lovely, Dictionary. Inks: Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Pool Party, and Wisteria Wonder. Paper: Whisper White CS, Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Pool Party, and Wisteria Wonder CS & DSP)

This is a great quick project for a last minute Mother's Day gift. I made this set a few weeks ago and plan on giving it to my mother as a gift tomorrow. The layout comes from the 2013-2014 Idea Book & Catalog. All supplies are from the same. The cards in the catalog were done in the Brights colors and had a different sentiment that I didn't find overly useful. I chose to do them in Subtles and went with a sentiment that we can never use too much. 

The finished size of each card is 3 1/2"x5". The project requires 30 to 60 minutes, possibly more depending on how familiar you are with your supplies, how organized you are(or aren't in my case), and how many distractions you might have. I have 4 children and a phone that only seems to ring when I have a great project idea. 

To recreate these cards will need the following supplies:


Just Getting Started

I am just getting started as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, though the world of paper crafting is nothing new to me. I have had a passion for creating things for as long as I can remember. I am very new to the world of blogging. I doubt I need to point that out. I do not enjoy using a computer. I have been asked by many people to get a blog going as a way to share my true passion. I feel the need to do just that. I apologize in advance if my page seems reminiscent of something from AOL 1.0.