Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Paper Players Challenge #206 & Weekly Deals

I spent a little bit of time this past Sunday getting to know my new Blendabilities Markers in Old Olive,  Daffodil Delight & Cherry Cobbler. I am completely loving them and can't wait to get my next colors. Blendabilities are alcohol based markers that match some of the Stampin' Up! ink & paper colors. Water-based ink is used to stamp the image so it will not smear when you color it in. Most of the samples I had been seeing online had stamped the image with Memento Tuxedo Black. This ink DOES happen to be my all time favorite "go to" black ink, but for this card, I didn't want the  black outline. Since the regular Stampin' Up! markers are water based, I decided to try those. I colored the rubber on this flower stamp with Old Olive & Real Red markers, stamped, then I laid down various layers of the Delightful Daffodil and the Cherry Cobbler Blendabilities. I used the lightest marker from each set and accented the petals with the color lifter. Then colored the stems with the Old Olive Blendabilities lightest marker.

I stamped the Chevron background stamp with Daffodil Delight and cut various tags from the Flashback series DSP with the Banner Framelits. (I am seriously addicted to those Banners!) I used the Ovals Framelits and the Deco Labels Framelits for the main image and popped it up using Stamin' Dimensionals.

Full list of supplies to follow. Isn't this bright & cheery? 

Table by StampinBuddy. Try it FREE.

NEW WEEKLY DEALS! - Check out the latest batch of Stampin' Up! Weekly Deals.   
Discounted prices on this week's deals end August 4. 

Don't forget, this is the last day for the "Buy 3, get one free" DSP special! 

Click here to take advantage of this amazing offer! 

Have a great week! 

Artfully Yours,


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Live well with gifts made easy...

I am so excited today! I am the Pals guest stamper over at Mary Fish's Stampin' Pretty blog. As I said before, I have thought about signing up as a demonstrator for Stampin' Up! for over 10 years. Started thinking seriously about it a few years ago after I stumbled on to Mary's blog. When I was ready to do it, she was the only person in the world I wanted to sign up under and I am so proud to be a part of the Stampin' Pretty Pals. 

This project combines a cool little gift box that doesn't require tape or glue and the easiest DIY necklace & bracelet set you will ever make. YES, you heard me right. No glue or tape for the box. And, for those of you who know that I hate to throw away even tiny scraps of luscious paper, this jewelry project is another way to use them.

For the darling box, I found instructions on Pootle's UK Stampin' Up! blog. The instructions and video are here and are very easy to follow. (Thanks Sam!)  Her instructions are for a small one measuring 2 x 2 x .5". I needed something larger, so I made this 3 x 3 x 1" version.

The paper was cut to 11 x 6". Using the Simply Scored board, I scored on the long side at 3, 4, 7 & 8" marks. I scored the short side at the .5, 1.5, 4.5 & 5.5" marks. After that, follow her instructions on how to cut and fold the box. Once you have done one, you won't even have to think about where to cut, it is just that easy. I used paper from the Designer Series Paper pack called Flashback. (You can make 2 boxes out of one sheet!) After assembling the box, I wrapped a 1" wide piece from one of the other papers in the group and the box (like you would a ribbon) to make a band that can be slid off.  I cut tiny banners out of a third piece to make the little notched pieces under the sentiment. Links to all Stampin' Up! materials will be at the end of this blog post. The sentiment and tiny banner pieces are popped up using a double layer of Stampin' Dimensionals. The Pearl Basics embellishments were colored using a Cherry Cobbler Blendabilities. Those new alcohol based markers that come in some of the gorgeous Stampin' Up! colors are amazing. You can also color the Rhinestone Basics with them. So versatile! Sentiment was stamped on Very Vanilla card stock using Tuxedo Black Memento ink (my "go to" black ink), before being cut out using the smallest Deco Label die cut.

Ever need a gift that won't cost very much and that you have made yourself? If so, this is right up your alley. Go to a local pet store and pick up a bit of clear airline tubing that is used for fish tanks. I bought some in several diameters by the foot several years ago at a local pet store and it was extremely reasonable. The cording is some 2mm waxed linen I picked up somewhere for another project. However, you could also use so many other things to string these beads on, such as a combination of Stampin' Up!'s ribbon along with cord like this. My next necklace like this will incorporate ribbon. You basically cut some of the tubing to the desired width of your bead, and cut a small paper strip the same width. (It doesn't take much, I used scraps from the same Designer Series Paper I used for the box.) Then roll the paper around a skewer or tooth pick (depending on which size tube you are using) and insert in the tube. Using the tool you used, make sure the paper unfurls fully inside the tube. Thread your cord and any other beads you want to use and see instructions here to tie the adjustable double knot closure. To make the bracelet, wrap the cord around your wrist loosely and double the length and follow the same double knot instructions as for the necklace.

Wouldn't you love to receive this set as a gift? I think you could dress it up or down, but I am seeing this with a white t-shirt and jeans. This is the door prize I am giving away at my first Stampin' Up! workshop on July 22nd.

If you and your friends want to learn DIY projects like this one, contact me to set up a workshop. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Artfully Yours,

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Just Add Water...

I love the look of watercolor techniques using rubber stamps. There are so many ways to achieve this look with the products Stampin' Up! has available. This card uses a more traditional approach. Using Stampin' Up's watercolor paper, (see my review on the watercolor paper below) I stamped the central image from the Bloom with Hope hostess set using Staz On black ink. Staz On is a solvent ink, which means it won't smear or run when you get it wet with water. Then I used a white crayon to highlight areas of the flower. The crayola acts as a resist when you paint the flower. After painting the flower, I didn't really like the look of the white areas, but there aren't really any mistakes in something handmade, right?? I decided to just go with it. I continued to paint the flower with several colors of ink. (list will be at the bottom of this post) After the flower was dry, I did a watercolor wash on the background using Stampin' Up! Baked Brown Sugar, Melon Mambo and Real red inks. I stamped the splatters using a stamp from Gorgeous Grunge with Melon Mambo and stamped the foliage from the original hostess set with Old Olive & Baked Brown Sugar and painted them with the same inks. At times, I will stamp, then watercolor with water-based inks so they will run or smear a bit for a softer, more dreamy quality.

I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment using Memento Tuxedo black. This is a water based ink, which will react to water. I wanted to be able to soften the words. I used a banner die from Bitty Banners to cut the word out, then popped it up using Stampin' Up Dimensionals. Finished the decorative portion of this card with a wisp of cotton ribbon and 3 tiny rhinestones. 

I have used many brands/weights of watercolor paper. Some are too textured, some are too thin. Even when you think you are buying the right weight, if you change brands, you might not get what you want due to differences between companies and the way weight is determined on a particular ream of paper. Weights are determined by how much the ream of paper that piece is being cut from weighs. This is why if you buy 2 different brands of 140lb watercolor paper, the paper may feel completely different weight wise. Then there is the constant search for the whitest watercolor paper. I find that colors just look more vibrant on whiter shades. 

Now, for the real reason you have read this far: Stampin' Up! watercolor paper is worth...well, its weight in gold! It has a lovely texture that will make you wonder if your stamped image will be crisp, but no worries here.  Images stamp beautifully and this paper is the whitest paper I have found. In the past, if I did a wash on a large area of other watercolor paper with a similar weight, it would bow and never really flatten out once it was dried. This paper bows a bit, which is normal due to the change in the paper fibers when they are wet. However, this paper lays almost perfectly flat after it dries. No more days of trying to flatten a piece of artwork over night with something heavy. I think this paper is a "must have" in your paper stash. I plan on never letting myself run out of it. 

Artfully Yours,