Thursday, April 24, 2014

unity and crayons...

Hello my wonderful friends!

It's time for another Unity hop!
(and sale! *starting noon central today*)

If you are arriving here from Erin's blog you are right on track... if not, go ahead and start at the beginning by clicking HERE.. You don't want to miss any of the fabulous inspiration (or chances to win!)

So, there are SEVERAL new Angiegirls being released today... which of course means that they, along with all the old Angiegirls, are on SALE this week! YAY!

This one is Shari
Isn't that puppy just adorable??? And the overalls? Yeah, I used to have a pair... kinda missing them now. =)

There is also this crazy awesome HUGE distressed heart with fabulous phrases as part of the AngMag exclusive kit... This card is a typical A2 card... that heart is BIG!  I used to think that big stamps were only for scrapbooking and mixed media.... NOPE. I'm loving these oversized stamps Unity has been releasing for cards as much as scrapbooks! 

(gotta grab one of these kits before they are gone... limited number being made!)

Do you Facebook?

all you have to do is click the little owl on the Unity FB page....and you get a coupon code to get this sweet stamp FREE with your Unity purchase this weekend! 

Adorable, right???? 

I'm not great at sticking to only one kit...what can I say? I LOVE options. 
SOOOOOO... the background is  In Circle Me, & the phrase is from Tribal Trend)

Another kit combo... (I read someone's comment of FB that they wanted to see kits used together... well, here ya go!)

This one uses... Build a Damask for the phrase, Moments in Bloom for the flowers (love that kit!), and Spring Inspired {LOL} 3/14 for the text on the butterflies. 

Now.... for those of you who have made it this far through my photo heavy post... here's a quick tutorial. {cuz you know I love tutorials!}

The background for my owl card, and the purple flowers in the card I just shared were both made using the same technique.  

With the watercolor look being a current trend, and me not being very good at it.... this is my happy medium. Watercoloring ON stamps... using crayons. (you know, the water soluble kind.)  This also works with water based markers like Distress Markers.

Step 1: Prep the stamp. Using a mister, apply a fine mist of water to your stamp. It doesn't need to be dripping, just damp. This will allow the crayon to lay down color.
 If you are using markers, skip this step!

Step 2: Scribble randomly (or meticulously depending on your desired outcome) using water soluble crayons or water based markers... I like to use several colors for awesome blends.

Step 3: Spritz with water. This time you want to put a good amount on... not drenched, or you lose all detail in the image, but to get a true watercolor look, the pigments have to be nice and wet. This may take some experimenting to get a feel for exactly how much water YOU like. 

Step 4: Stamp onto paper... you will have BEST results if you use a watercolor paper, but it isn't necessary.  At this point, it may not look all that fabulous, but let it dry. I find that images I didn't really like when wet, look a lot better after they are dry. 

*If you are interested in watercolor crayons, there are lots of different brands.... I use Neocolor, but they are kinda pricy... feel free to check out other brands.*

Don't forget---
 Leave a comment on EACH blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) for your chance to win one of the TWO prizes!  The winners will be announced Saturday night on the Unity blog.

Your next stop is Lisa!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

go big...

Hello my wonderful friends!

It's time for another Unity hop!
(and sale!)
^  seriously??? ^
(I think I have some shopping to do!)

If you are arriving here from Kary's blog you are right on track... if not, go ahead and start at the beginning by clicking HERE.. You don't want to miss any of the fabulous inspiration (or chances to win!)

Today is the start of a brand new Unity challenge, which also means a new sentiment kit... "All About You"!
The "You" on this kit is awesomely huge, and all the other sayings on it are FABULOUS!  I can see this kit getting TONS of use! I love it!

and that flower? It's from April's SMAK kit "Wildflowers and Wings"  It is  2 stamps (the solid and the outline) that layer together beautifully!  I kinda really LOVE this kit!!!

I LOVE how BIG the images are in  the "Wildflowers and Wings" kit... to give you an idea, this is an 8x10 canvas that uses the daisy stamp.  

I printed the quote: "Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light. ~J.K. Rowling" on tissue paper, than stamped the daisies. I sandwiched the tissue paper on the canvas between layers of melted wax, than added some color with some melted crayons.

I love using big stamps on everything from cards to LOs to home decor... I'm super excited for this addition to my Unity library of stamps!

(if you aren't quite ready to sign up for a monthly kit, you can get this kit for a LIMITED TIME at club price HERE.)

Don't forget---
 Leave a comment on EACH blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) for your chance to win.  The winners will be announced Saturday night on the Unity blog.

Your next stop is Lisa!


Friday, April 4, 2014

face your fear...

Hello my wonderful friends!

I had an amazingly fun time in Utah this past week... Seeing family, eating "escargot" (the kind made of candy), and of course, shopping at the Scrapbook USA expo!

I'll be completely honest, crowds aren't my thing. In fact, they make me super nervous... However, it is worth braving the crowds for the deals, ideas, and awesome product!

A big THANK YOU to Kristin, the amazing vendors, and all the fabulous people who work behind the scenes to bring the expo to life each year!

I must admit, it is wonderful to be back in my own studio again... after getting everything put away, all my new stamps, tools, papers, and embellies tucked away in their new homes it was time to dive in and get inky. :)

Today I want to share a secret with you.... 

Rubber stamps scare me... or at least they used to. When I started stamping (years ago), the first clear stamps were just starting to come out. They weren't the best quality, you didn't get very detailed images, and lines weren't very crisp... but I decided to start my stamp collection with clear (almost exclusively). 

The main reasons:

Space: back then almost all rubber stamps were mounted on wooden blocks. That requires lot of storage space!
Price: You paid for that wooden block.
Fear: How do you stamp anything where you want it??? Everything is guessing. With clear, I could see right through it to place it exactly how I wanted it. No guessing, just consistent results. 

Ok... fast forward to now...

A lot has changed. I design for Unity Stamps (who only makes rubber!!!), my collection has a good amount of rubber mixed in with the much higher quality clear, and I'm not afraid to use it!


Well, let's look at the reasons...

Space: rubber stamps can now be found in cling mount (sticks to acrylic blocks) so they take up much less space than before... what is still wood mounted can be unmounted and converted to cling. LOVE.
Price: with cling, I'm not paying extra for a wooden block I don't want. I've also come to accept that cheap isn't everything... quality counts.
Fear: this has been overcome somewhat by the confidence that comes with practice, also, I have learned to use a stamp positioner... no more guessing, just consistent results. :)

So... For those of you who don't know about stamp positioners, let me open your eyes to a tool that has the ability to change the way you stamp with rubber....

This is a stamp positioner... there are multiple brands of these, mine happens to be from Art Impression.

You will notice there are 2 pieces. The first one is a thick L shaped block. The second is a thin clear block.

It is really simple to use... let's get started!

Step 1: move your thin block so that it is snug in the corner of the L block

Step 2: Ink up your rubber stamp with permanent ink... I like using Memento dye ink for this because it stamps nicely on the plastic, and wipes off easily when I'm done. Line your mounted stamp up so it is snug in the corner of the L block, and press. You should now have your image stamped on your thin positioning block.

*tip: if you are using a stamp that doesn't have a clear 'this side up'  like I am, put a little washi tape on your block with an arrow to remind you which direction goes up. This will ensure you are stamping the right way every time for perfect positioning.

Step 3: Move your thin positioning block onto your project and move it around until you are happy with the placement.

*tip: this is also a great tool for designing... you can see what an image will look like on your card/page before committing to it in ink.

Step 4: Move your L block so that it is snug against the corner of your thin block... Make sure you use the same arrangement you did when you originally stamped your image... If you had the L in the upper left corner, that is where it needs to go every time.

Step 5: carefully remove the thin block without moving where the L is. Ink up your stamp with desired ink. Line your mounted stamp so it is again snug in the L (with your arrow pointing up), and press down. Make sure you go straight down and straight up to avoid smearing.

Step 6: repeat steps 3-5 as often as you like to...

build a border...
 (Unity "Build a Damask")

stack your borders...

use multiple images to create a scene... like a bird on a string...
(Unity "Precious Little One")

Use it to align sentiments.... 
or parts of a sentiment like I used for the inside of this card...

There are TONS of uses! 

Do I always use a positioner to stamp with rubber stamps? No. But it is one of those tools that changed stamping for me, and in my opinion, well worth the $17 spent on it.

This month, "Happy 29th birthday.... again" will actually apply to me for the first time... I thought it was funny. :)


Supplies Used:
Paper: card stock
Ink: Distress Ink, Memento
Stamps: Unity "Build a Damask" & "Happy 29th birthday...again"
Dies: Quickutz "Nesting Ovals"
Other: Studio Calico wood veneer flowers, Rock Candy Glitter, ribbon