Thursday, February 19, 2015

so many friends...

Hello my wonderful friends!

It's time for another Unity hop!
(and sale!)

Unity is almost to 60K friends on Facebook, and we are celebrating with new designs and free stamps! Yay!

Speaking of celebrating... 

I needed a birthday card for my brother in law... I don't know why, but masculine cards are just kinda tricky for me. Especially if I don't want to use puns or sports. This card was an amazingly simple solution to my problem, and can easily be altered to fit ANY occasion!....

 I've had this awesome blue and purple Gelli print laying around for a while now (but any patterned or even plain card stock would work)... I added some quick strips of patterns using black Archival Ink (since I was stamping on top of acrylic paint) and some Unity stamps.. I love the contrast! The silver is a foil tape. I cut strips, and also ran it through my die cut machine... Worked like a charm. While making it harder to photograph, the foil gave it the perfect amount of spark without making it girly. I'm really loving the foil trend!

"Some people strengthen others just by being the kind of people they are. -John M. Garner"

This adorable little girl is not mine. I have been babysitting her on Sundays during church for a while now. I love her sweet smile and loving, accepting nature. She has been a healing balm for me. She truly has strengthened me, just by sharing her sweet spirit with me.  I am going to miss her now that she is old enough to go to her own class. 

The LO was inspired by our challenge... you can still play along! Obviously I didn't stick perfectly to the sketch... but it was my starting point. I love that about sketches. Everyone's take is unique! 

I adore this lace stamp from Magic of Beginnings! A little heat embossing for texture, then layered with real lace, Angelina Fibers and some bling... Love.

Ok, so if you've been following the hop, you have probably seen this new kit....

This one uses a BRAND NEW kit that is FREE with ever $60 order placed this weekend! Isn't is SUPER adorable?

I love that little bird!

I also love background stamps... and combining stamps to make something fabulously new! This is not only a fun and easy way to stretch your stamps, it is also a quick and easy way to add color and texture to an image... without the need for any coloring skills! 

Step 1: Stamp your image onto a scrap piece of paper. Then carefully cut out the part you want "colored". Because we are essentially making a custom stencil, you want to make sure  you cut JUST barely on the OUTSIDE of the line. This will ensure you won't have the white "halo" around the entire inside of the image. *tip: you can save your stencil to use over and over... I just slip mine in with the stamp kit so it's handy for next time.

*Note: when you are making a MASK you do just the opposite. Cut just INSIDE the line to avoid the dreaded halo*

Step 2: Stamp your image on your project, then tape your stencil over top. (if you have uncovered edges sticking out from under your stencil like I did, you may want to stick a scrap paper over them just to protect them.... for my texture stamp it didn't matter because it is a small background stamp.)

Step 3: ink up your background/texture stamp, and press firmly through your stencil. I have found it works much better if you DON'T mount your stamp for this, and just use your fingers to really press the stamp through.

I used the distressed dots from the Love in Return kit for this... it worked out PERFECTLY. I used the same stamp around the edges of the card to make it all match... Try it out with any of your texture or background stamps... or even other images or sentiments... The possibilities are endless! 

That's it for me today...

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 Monday on the Unity blog.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

hearts and flowers...

Hello my wonderful friends!

It's time for another Unity hop!
(and sale!)

I know, the new releases this week are all 'punny' stamps, and that's probably what you are hoping to see samples of... but honestly, they aren't really my style. And that is TOTALLY ok. One thing I {LOVE} about Unity is that they have SO many different styles and images! You're sure to find something that makes your heart sing!

February is kind of a crazy month for me. I've got kiddos to make Valentine's gifts and cards for, as well as a bunch of birthdays... So I figured I gotta get going on them!

Unfortunately, the photo doesn't do this one justice... This card has tons of sparkle and texture. The red panel is actually Ranger's Frosted Film. Because it is sticky back, it works for transfers. I simply stuck it onto some patterned paper, than soaked in water and rubbed the paper off. It leaves behind a fabulously distressed image (the more you rub, the more distressed) with the frosted, shimmery surface. SO pretty IRL!

Here's one of the Valentines cards.... Since this is for my older nephew, I wanted to make sure it wasn't girlie and had kind of a rough-tough look to it. I started out with a pice of patterned card stock. I stamped the big heart with clear embossing ink and covered in clear embossing powder. I also swiped the ink pad around the edges and clear embossed them as well. After that, I used an ink blending tool to cover the whole thing with brown Distress Ink. The clear embossing will resist the ink allowing the color and pattern to show through!  Finally I stamped OVER the embossing using Archival Ink. It's important to use a permanent ink designed for non porous surfaces if you want the ink to stay on the embossed areas.  A few die cut hearts finished it off. Super quick, but looks awesome and complicated. Love that!

(Jar Full of Sweetness, My Heart Belongs)

To go with the cards, I found some large plastic tubes with cork tops {super cute!!!} and fill them with conversation hearts. They stacked up PERFECTLY. (you could also use gum balls, or any other small candy!) A little twine around the top along with a stamped tag.

Love these!

For those of you who follow Unity on FB (which you totally should, cuz we have FUN!), you may remember that a little while ago, Angela asked for input on what you guys wanted to learn.

I was impressed by how many of you were asking for coloring tutorials... both watercolor and Copics. Since I don't have any Copics, I couldn't help there...

I do, however, have watercolors. I have lots of different kinds... from crayons to tubes to pencils to markers.

One of my favorite is Distress inks... and more specifically Distress Markers.

So, here is a quick, EASY way to do watercolors without having to worry too much about precision or shadows... after all, it's supposed to look a little messy!

Step 1: I'm using the flower from this months LOL kit, I also knew I wanted a couple flowers... so the first step was to make masks. I just stamped the flower a bunch of times on a scrap paper, than carefully cut them out, and added just a bit of temporary adhesive on the back. This may seem tedious, but, if all you are doing is stamping with them, you can save your masks to use over and over again. I just slip them in the bag with the kit so they are ready for next time.

*note: If you want more durable masks, or masks that can be used for other mediums like sprays or paints, try stamping the image on clear acetate using a permanent ink. They will be durable and waterproof. YAY!*

Step 2: color your stamp with Distress Markers. You can do this same technique using Distress ink pads, but using the markers gives you complete control of which color goes where. And don't worry, there's no hurry. 

Step 3: Huff on your stamp (breathe heavy breaths)... The moisture in your breath will remoisten the ink (even if it's been on there for hours!), then stamp onto WATERCOLOR paper. It's important to use a water color paper (or at the very least, a good mixed media paper) so you get the best results. Regular card stock absorbs too much of the ink.

Step 4: Place your mask over you first flower. Remember, when masking, you work from the FRONT to the BACK. Whatever you stamp FIRST will be in FRONT of everything else. 

Step 5: repeat steps 2-4 until you have your desired design. 

Step 6: Using either a damp paint brush or, my preference, a water brush, quickly paint around the lines. The water will reactivate the ink letting it smear. Where you have thicker, or more concentrated lines you will automatically have darker color aka:shadows. Don't over think this, and don't over work it. Leave white areas. Leave it kinda messy... that gives it a classic watercolor feel. 

Oh... and just cuz I thought of it.... if you are good at doodling... have you ever noticed that if you flip this flower upside down and don't stamp the stem, you have a tutu... just waiting for a doodled dancer?

That 'flip the picture upside down to draw it' exercise we did in art class suddenly has real life application! LOL!

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 Monday on the Unity blog.