Friday, August 18, 2017

stamped sand dollar ornament...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Yesterday, this incredible sparkly goodness arrived on my doorstep... 1 pound of glitter!!! 

No, I'm not crazy... well, maybe I am... I have 125 Christmas gifts to make for the kiddos in my church... They will be VERY sparkly this year!!!

*and my studio will be sparkly for the next 10 years probably!!!*

Having that glitter sitting there, and thinking about Christmas (and, if I'm being honest, procrastinating working on the gifts)... I started getting some ideas that I wanted to try out... 

I wanted a colored, stamped image on a sand dollar... 

I decided to start with the Altenew Inspiration Challenge for August. I love the teal color combined with brown leaves... it's different, and elegant..  

Here's the final ornament...

Paper: cheap tissue paper
Stamps: Altenew Christmas Rose  
Ink: Memento Rich CocoaAltenew Volcano Lake; Chameleon Pens Aqua Marine (BG4), Turqoise (BG3), Bark (BR5)
Other: sand dollar, ribbon, polished hemp, glitter, Mod Podge

Now on to the HOW-TO....

Step 1: Tape some tissue paper to some scratch paper. The tissue paper is thin, so the ink will bleed through. You want to give it a place to go so it doesn't end up in places you don't want it. 
(yes, that would be experience speaking...)

Step 2: Stamp your image on the tissue paper using an ink that won't smear with alcohol markers... 
I like Memento.

*Note: This specific stamp set is an exclusive set that came free with the Simply Cards and Papercraft  magazine (issue 157) However you can do the same thing with other lined images or layered stamps.

Step 3: You can free hand the details if you want, but if you are using layered stamps, you can cheat... Stamp the detail stamp onto some scratch paper using a dark ink (Altenew Volcano Lake happened to be on my desk, so I went with that.)

Step 4: Line up the stamped detail under the stamped tissue paper... Because the tissue paper is thin, you'll be able to see through it.

Step 5: Add your details using your dark color.. I'm using Aqua Marine (BG4), and using the detail stamp as my guide.
Allow to dry (doesn't take long, but if your tissue paper has any type of coating, you'll want to make sure it's dry so the paper doesn't get too wet.)

Step 6: Color your petals using your lighter color... I'm using Turqoise (BG3) fused with the colorless blender for 2 seconds on each petal.
*make sure to test your fuse times... each color will need different times, and your tissue paper might be different than mine as far as how it takes the ink... Just do a couple quick test swatches on the extra tissue paper. 

Step 7: Color the center... I used Bark (BR5) fused with the colorless blender for 2 seconds. I also added some dots once the color was back to full strength.

Step 8: If you want, you can skip this, but I decided it needed something more... So I made a quick mask with a post-it and added some leaves. 

*make sure whatever you use for a mask is low tack so it doesn't hurt the tissue paper.

Step 9: Color the leaves... I used Bark (BR5) fused with the colorless blender for 2 seconds each leaf.

Step 10: Trim out your image. It doesn't need to be perfect.. I like to leave just a little white halo around the edge just to make sure I don't lose any detail. 

Now it's time to prep the sand dollar... 

Step 11: First make sure it is clean (including the sand that likes to hide inside) and COMPLETELY dry. I let mine sit out in the sun for a couple days.

Step 12: If you are using a sand dollar from the east coast (Keyhole sand dollar), it probably already has holes. If you are using a sand dollar from my neck of the woods on the west coast (Pacific sand dollar), you'll have to drill your own hole. I like to use a hand drill for this... They aren't real hard, so a hand drill gives me more control, and it really isn't to tough to get through.

Step 13: For this step you need to work kinda quick... the sand dollar will want to soak up your glue super quick...
Put a layer of Mod Podge on the sand dollar, then press your cut out image onto the wet glue, and cover with another layer of Mod Podge. Make sure you smooth the tissue paper down, and add a little extra  Mod Podge where ever you have an loose edges. Be gentle, the wet tissue paper is VERY fragile and likes to tear...

I used a make-up wedge to do this, but you can also use a paint brush (just make sure to wash it out as soon as your are done so you don't ruin your brush). 

Let this dry...

You can stop here if you want,


I like to take things a step farther...

Step 15: Add another layer of Mod Podge and cover in fine clear glitter.
 (It looks bad now, but let it dry, and brush off any extra glitter, it will be fine)

See!!! Look how sparkly and pretty!!!

Step 16: Decorate as you please... I kept things simple, and used some thin polished hemp string for the hanger, then a pretty ribbon... A little hot glue works great to add embellishments. 


Friday, August 11, 2017

styrofoam flowers...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Ready for some snow in August? 


Me either!

Ok... what about flowers?

Stamps: Magnolia Tilda & Wiola; Altenew Oriental Orchids
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Uniball Signo; Adirondack Lettuce, Current; Chameleon Pens VO4, BV2, NU00, NU3, PK2, CG9, CG8, NG4, OL3, BR1, BR5, RD5, BL4,BL7, BL2, CB, D
Dies: Spellbinders A2 Scalloped Borders 1
Other: colored pencils, styrofoam balls

This is an old stamp (not even sure if you can still buy it... but I wanted to practice coloring fabric with the Chameleon pens...)

After coloring this girl, I noticed that her bunch of flowers (all little itty bitty flowers) just didn't pop like I wanted it to... So I decided to try something I heard about years ago, but never really tried... 

Styrofoam flowers. 

YEP, styrofoam. 

I love how they turned out, and the little extra texture and sparkle they give the card. 

Here's how to make your own...

Start by rubbing two cheap styrofoam balls  (like THESE) together... This is the simplest way to 'grate' the balls into a beautiful pile of sparkling styrofoam snow dust... (perfect for a snow scene!)

Now, put that snow into a zip bag (or a container with a lid would work too...) and add a couple drops of alcohol ink. I used Ranger's Adirondack, but if you have alcohol marker refill ink, that would work too. Just make sure it is alcohol based.

Shake up your bag... You can add more ink if needed, but a little really does go a long way!

Once you like the color, open up the bag for a while to let all the ink dry. You can spread your snow out on a piece of paper to dry if you want... It doesn't take long at all. 

Once dry, you can make color mixes by putting some of several colors into a bag and mixing them up... That's how I made the flowers for my card.  Because styrofoam is non porous, I used Glossy Accents to attach it to my card.  

Simple, cheap, and effective! 


Thursday, August 10, 2017

you lift me up

Hello my fabulous friends!

It's been a rough year for my family, but I have been overwhelmed by the friends (both those I know personally, and those who I've only crossed paths with via social media) who have reached out with words of support just when I need it most. Thank you!

I think this quote from Wplus9's  Party Animal set says it quite nicely:
"You always lift me up when I'm feeling down"

Paper: Georgia Pacific; DCWV Holiday Glitz
Stamps: Wplus9 Party Animals;Unity Create Today
Other: colored pencils

I'm also grateful that I have my creative outlets to help get me through the hard days! It's amazing how a few hours surrounded by stamps, inks, and markers can make me feel better! Ok, let's be honest... Even just LOOKING at ink pads, or markers all lined up in rainbow order on my deskwith all their colorful gorgeousness makes me happy! 

I wanted to do some more practicing with my Chameleon pens and no line coloring...  

 There is a matching die set for these animals, but I didn't want the white halo, so I just fussy cut them.

The window was created using this stamp from Unity's Create Today set. I love this sketchy heart! For this card, I inked up the heart, but avoided the long tails... After stamping it on the card front, I used a craft knife to cut out the inside window. I love that not only does that give you a window, it also frames it. A little Glitz paper behind the window gives it a pop of sparkle.

Well, the puppy is telling me it's time to go for a walk... 

Have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

smooch splatters

Hello my fabulous friends!

This week we are having a heat wave... Sounds like the perfect time to stay inside by the AC and do some stamping, don't you think?

I've been wanting to do some painting that was a little more on the purply side of pink, and I thought these peonies were perfect for that. I also wanted to get a little messy with splatters...

Paper: Strathmore Bristol; Recollections glitter paper; black card stock
Ink: VersaMark; VersaFine Onyx Black, Smooch Snickerdoodle; Zig Clean Color Lilac (083), Pale Rose (230), Violet (080), Deep Red (260), Green Gray (093), Olive Green (043)

I started by stamping the flowers and leaves on bristol paper with VersaMark ink and heat embossing them with clear embossing powder. Then I colored them in using Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers and a water brush... (for an in-depth tutorial on how I watercolor with these markers HERE)

Next, I added detail in with some colored pencils... Nothing fancy, I just have a cheap set I picked up in the school supply isle... but they do the job. I softened the lines a little with a kneadable eraser. (I love those things!!!)

After the coloring was done, I masked off the flowers... I like to make masks out of acetate because I can reuse them, and ink won't seep through.

To make the masks, I stamp the images on a piece of acetate with Archival ink. When the ink is dry, I fussy cut it out, and put some temporary adhesive on the back. 

For the metallic splatters, I mixed a little bit of water with some Snickerdoodle Smooch ink. I then used a long, thin liner brush to pick up the watery ink and tapped the brush against my finger... This is very messy, and you can't really control where the drops go, but I like the look. 
*cover your work area... the splatters go all over!*

The sentiment was stamped with VersaFine Onyx Black ink so it would go over the embossed lines. I wanted to put it on a black card front to tie in with the sentiment, but it felt too harsh, so I added some thin strips of gold glitter paper around the edges to add an extra matt. 

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, July 24, 2017

therapeutic coloring watercolor flowers

Hello my fabulous friends!

Today I have a super quick post...  

I don't have process photos... this was just an exercise in art therapy.  This past weekend was pretty stressful. My mom is in the hospital, and had to have a major surgery... She is doing good, but I've been a bit of a wreck! So I spent time with my stamps and markers to help calm my soul. Art really is very therapeutic! 

Paper: Strathmore Bristol, DCWV Holiday Glitz
Ink: VersaMark; VersaFine Onyx Black; Sharpie Pen; Chameleon Olive Green (OL3); Zig Clean Color Bright Yellow (052), Carmine Red (022), Light Carmine (021), Pale Pink (028), Light Gray (091), Gray Brown (094), Mid Green (046), Olive Green (043), Mid Brown (065)
Other: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Sequins, clear embossing powder

While I know the colors aren't exactly the same as the colors in the Altenew challenge, that really was my jumping off point... I just ended up adding in some yellow to my corals and pinks. A few months ago, I was over at my parents' house and noticed some flowers on the table... My dad had brought home a bouquet of flowers for my mom.... in it, there were roses that were a mix of coral and yellow. They were so pretty! Looking at the Altenew inspiration picture, I couldn't help but remember those roses in my mom's kitchen. 

Well, I'm off to organize my studio... or color... you know, whichever. :)


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

blooming heart animation...

Hello my fabulous friends!

I got some happy mail today.... my order of the NEW dies from Uchi's Design, along with a stamp set that isn't like any other stamp set I own.

Animation dies and stamps!!!

Ink: Altenew Frosty Pink, Coral Berry, Crimson, Frayed Leaf, Forest Glades; Smooch Gold Lame
Dies: Uchi's Design Animation Grid Banner; Paper Craft Muli Bow; Art C Jar & Label; Altenew Vintage Roses, Vintage Flowers
Other: Ranger Foil Tape

The concept behind this kind of animation is simple and has been around for a really long time... However, it's awesome to see it appearing in the card/scrapbooking market in a SUPER easy way!

Let's take a quick look...

For this card, I'm using the Animation Grid Banner die.  

Step 1: Die cut your grid. I cut mine out of white card stock to keep things simple, but you can use any color you want... 

Step 2: Create your outer panel. Basically, you need a window where your animated stamp will be, and a small slider slot. A light penciled center line will help you line things up. Use your grid banner to figure out the size of the window you want and where the slider slot needs to be based on what dies you are using to create them... I just went through my dies and found some dies that would work... You can hand cut a  window and slot if you prefer.

Step 3: Stack two squares of foam tape on top of each other on the tab...This is what is going to create the slider. 

Step 4: Test your slider mechanism... Place the grid behind the outer panel with the foam squares in the slider slot... Test to make sure it moves easily (but not too much wiggle side to side since the grid needs to stay straight for the animation to work), and make sure that when your slider is all the way up and all the way down down, only the grid shows in the window. 

Step 5: Lay your outer panel on your card base and lightly pencil in your window.

Step 6: Stamp your animation stamp in the window making sure to keep the lines straight up and down to match your grid.

*Sidenote: Yes, you can animate other stamps using these dies!!! There are more steps involved, including making a mask, and stamping multiple times. Using Uchi's animation stamps is the simplest way to get comfortable with figuring out all the moving parts... animating other stamps using these dies is a tutorial for another post.

Step 7: Test your stamped image by laying your grid and outer panel over the card base and sliding the slider back and forth to make sure everything lines up correctly.

Step 8: Decorate!!! I used a bunch of different Altenew Stamps...

Step 9: Glue your outer panel onto your card base by putting foam tape or adhesive around the very outer edges, making sure you leave enough room for the grid to move how it needs to. Place your grid on your card base and carefully press your outer panel over it, making sure your foam squares are sticking out of the slider slot, and that you don't get any glue on the grid.... 

Step 10: To finish it off, test again to make sure everything is working right, and decorate the top of your slider mechanism.... I used a butterfly. 

*Sidenote: You may want to include some arrows by your slider mechanism so whoever gets the card knows how to work it... I realized that a little late for this card, but it is something to think about. 

I'm having lots of fun playing with this fun way of adding movement and interaction in cards. I hope you do too!


Sunday, July 16, 2017

adding depth with colored pencils...

Hello my fabulous friends!

As you know, I recently got a whole big set of Chameleon pens. Alcohol markers are fairly new to me... as in, this year.  I'm still learning. 

I've been spending a lot of time online trying to pick up techniques and pointers on working with alcohol markers.. I've also spent a lot of time playing and practicing.... For every project you see me post, I guarantee there are TONS of practice images on scrap paper scattered over my table so I can test and try colors, blends, techniques, etc. that you never see!

This week, I wanted to experiment with some no line coloring, and using colored pencils over the alcohol markers to create more dimension. (I also did some experimenting with color layering...)

I used two shades of gray Chameleon Pens to build my shadows, then colored over that with Crimson Red... Then went back in with more gray, and more red... until I was happy. Once the whole flower was done I added deeper shadows with black and red colored pencils, and lightened some areas with white.

 I'll be honest, I'm using super cheap kiddie colored pencils... It's what I have. They didn't blend well, nor could I build many layers with them.  That being said, I LOVE the depth and detail the colored pencil gives to the overall look!

 It's definitely something I will keep using,  and a set of good colored pencils is now on my wish list!

Paper: Georgia Pacific 110# white card stock, Paper Studio Glam Glitter 
Stamps: Altenew Amazing You
Ink: Clearly Kelly, Altenew Crimson, Chameleon Pens Warm Gray 7 (WG7), Warm Gray 3 (WG3), Crimson Red (RD4), Olive Green (OL3), Peony Pink (PK4), Colorless Blender (CB), Detail Pen (D)
Other: Colored Pencils, Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Sequins (3mm & 4mm)

Here's a close up of the finished flowers and leaves.. Not perfect, but I'm learning! 

The Sequins were tinted pink by coloring them with Peony Pink Chameleon pen... I love that I can make clear sequins any color I want with alcohol markers!

Today's card was inspired by Altenew's July Inspiration Challenge... 

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!