Thursday, July 23, 2015

rubber and ink...

Hello my wonderful friends!

Guess who woke me up the other morning?

Ok.. technically it was my dog BARKING at our guests that woke me up, but it still made me happy to see them outside my window. :)

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

I LOVE this new kit... These flowers are just so fun and versatile!  I colored mine using Zig Real Brush markers. It actually went really fast and was super easy to get a nice blend. I just scribbled a little light blue on the top of the petals, dark blue at the base, and blended it in the middle with a water brush. Nothing fancy, just quick and easy. This will be a design I'll probably end up making a set of cards with because it goes together so quickly. 

(Stella Girl, Spread Your Wings)

This ADORABLE image was released last week, and I totally LOVE it. She was also colored using Zig Real Brush markers...  I think I'm really liking these markers. That SUPER cute dot/script pattern on the side is not patterned paper, it is a stamp from Spread Your Wings... I kinda love that stamp.

Ok, to be honest, I'm not huge into Halloween. Probably because I'm not really a party person, and I don't have any little kids to dress up... However, this is an SWEET Halloween kit. I ended up making it into a shaker card (something I haven't done in ages) and loved the end result!

To create the background, I used rubber cement as a mask... I don't like using masking fluid because it stinks... Turns out so does rubber cement. I'm still smelling it 12+ hours later despite the open windows and fan. URG! Being overly sensitive to smells can really be a pain sometimes!  But it was fun anyways... :)

Anyway, check it out...


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, July 9, 2015

kiss and tell...

Hello my wonderful friends!

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

Speaking of hop...

I'd like you to meet my friend...

She comes to visit me most evenings, nibbling away at the grass just outside my door. We actually have a lot of bunnies that we see around the yard, but this one isn't as skittish, and lets me get fairly close to watch her.

Makes my heart happy.

So does this little girl...

I simply adore her... I remember playing out in the rain when I was little... and maybe not so little... LOL! It is colored with Distress Inks, with Perfect Pearls mixed into the background to make it all shimmery.  

And yes, I did have to google "how to tie a double bow" for this... Not because I have never done it, I just haven't for so long I'd forgotten... 

Note to self: tie double bows more often, they are cute!

For this card, I stamped the background using Distress ink and second generation stamping to keep it light. I then heat embossed the flowers. I painted the image in with some white All Purpose ink, and once dry, added some color with Distress Markers. 

And finally, allow me to kiss and tell.
 I have a quick trick for adding interest to bold stamps.... I know, it's an oldie, but it's still a goodie. So, here's to kissing! ;)


(Donna Poppies, Quatrefoil Background, Thanks Above and Beyond)

Alright, enough from me... enjoy the rest of the hop!

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, June 25, 2015

baby birds and tissue paper...

Hello my wonderful friends!

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

A couple of weeks ago I shared a picture of a hummingbird nest in my yard.. I thought I would share another picture today...

This cute little one begging for food is a day old, and it's sibling just out of the egg.  How adorable, right?!? Keep in mind, these little guys are TINY.. When all curled up they are about the size of a small jellybean!!!

I was able to capture the image using my phone and a little magnetic macro lens (which makes close up like this possible!).  It may not be the most amazing quality since it's a phone camera, but I really didn't want to disturb the babies (or mamma) with big camera equipment.

Ok... back to business... LOL!

Check out this new stamp, isn't it amazing???
I love the detail and vintage feel... Don't be intimidated by it as far as coloring... I just used few colors of Distress ink with a water brush... nothing complex. 

I love using this background for SUPER quick and easy texture... It's tissue paper... you know, that stuff that you stuff in gift bags to make them all nice and fancy? Yup, tissue paper and a glue stick. So basic yet so effective! And that flower... it's from an old SMAK kit Wildflowers and Wings. I LOVE this kit! 

Ready for some texture?

Step 1: Cut a piece of tissue paper slightly larger than your card stock.

Step 2: Crumple the tissue paper.

Step 3: Open the tissue paper, but leave it a wrinkled mess. 

Step 4: COMPLETELY cover the front of your card stock with glue... regular cheap school glue stick works PERFECTLY because it isn't too wet and dries quickly. (I like to stock up with those big packs of glue sticks you can get for super cheap with back to school supplies)

Step 5: Press the wrinkled tissue paper onto the card stock... Press down firmly over entire piece to ensure the tissue is completely adhered, but don't try to iron out the wrinkles... that's what gives you the texture.

Step 6: Flip it over and trim off the corners of the tissue paper. (this is optional, but makes much nicer corners)

Step 6: Still working on the back, run a line of glue around the edge of your card stock. Fold over the edges. this gives you a nice finished look.

At this point you can design as desired.

for my card...

Step 1: Mask most of the card, leaving only a strip exposed. (I'm using acetate with a little temporary adhesive on the back... I like using acetate because I can see through it and it won't warp with moisture.)

Step 2: Apply a couple thin layers of Gesso to exposed strip

Step 3: Stamp image. When stamping on a textured surface, I like to use the stamp unmounted... this allows me to press the stamp into the texture with my fingers instead of a solid block stamping over just the raised areas... if that make sense.

Step 4: Any areas that didn't quite get stamped can be quickly fixed with a black marker. I love this super fine tip Sharpie!

Step 5: Add color... I used Distress Markers, but you could use whatever you want. 

Step 6: Finish card as desired. :)

ok... that's it for me. Have a fabulous weekend, enjoy the hop, get crafty, and shop the AMAZING Unity sale 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 Monday on the Unity blog.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

random fun stuff...

Hello my wonderful friends!

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

It's also time for a new challenge over on the Unity blog... click HERE to get all the fabulous details and enter your own creations. We LOVE to see your work!

So, totally random and off topic, but guess what I found in my yard this week...
Yup... check out this mother-to-be! I'm so excited to see little 'humming babies' (as my friend calls them). 

Ok... back to stamping...

This week, I decided to play around with an idea I had and made a canvas chalkboard for my niece.   I started out with a canvas board that I covered with several coats of chalkboard paint. After giving it plenty of time to dry, I used a stencil and texture paste to give the edges some dimension.

I sprayed the paste with various Distress inks to give them a nice bright color... I then used the Faber-Castell PITT artist pen (white 101) to ink up the little butterfly in Unity's Gina and Me kit... it stamped beautifully over the chalkboard paint! I then sprayed some more distress ink over the stamped images so they would be a little less stark white. 

Of course, I had to test it out... The chalk wrote and erased beautifully! (don't mind the bad handwriting.... it isn't my strongest point.)

This sweet set is brand new... And I LOVE it! It is just in time too... I'm in need of a baby card for a family member! YAY!

(see that little heart charm hanging off the bow? It's actually an old earring.. I lost it's mate years and years ago, but kept this one because I loved it. It finally has a new life, and I'm super happy about that!)

I ADORE this set! It's absolutely perfect for super simple (yet stunning) watercoloring...
Check it out....


Ok.. enough of me yapping. LOL! Have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy the hop, and check out the new stamps and sales at UNITY!

*We have a new website today, so PRETTY PLEASE be patient if there are kinks... we are doing our very best to give you a better shopping experience!!!!*

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, May 28, 2015

a little magical fun...

Hello my wonderful friends!

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

I was recently asked to make a bunch of 'thank you' cards for an organization to send out to their volunteers.... This meant I needed to make simple cards (so I could get them done) yet fabulous enough to show the volunteers just how much their time means!  It also meant I needed masculine cards... I really struggle with those!

Enter the new Texture Feelings stamps from Unity... 

especially this star one... Be still my heart!

The lighting made it a little tricky to get a good photo of this... However I used gold foil on the star texture stamp... then sprayed it with spray ink... the foil works as a fabulous resist, leaving bright shiny stars on a mottled blue background!

This is another one of the designs that I'm making... This uses Lindy's Stamp Gang Magicals... The super fun thing about this technique is that fabulous multi colored speckle effect...

If you follow Unity on Facebook (which you totally should by clicking HERE), you may have noticed the new feature we've added...

Quick tip videos... technique videos sharing some of our favorite techniques and ideas in under a minute! Super fun!

I've been helping with that. YAY!

So, instead of a photo step out tutorial today, I'm sharing one of the quick videos that I've made...


How it works... Magical are a highly pigment powder that is designed to be added to water or other wet mediums, mixed, then painted/sprayed/whatever... Each powder contains little granules of different colors that when wet and stirred together give you the 'true' color on the jar... when you skip the mixing, you see the individual colors that make up the powder!

I love the look of this.... And it's SO easy! Just stamp your image with Distress Ink, dust on some Perfect Pearls, then spritz with water!   For best wicking of the color (the color smearing with water) use watercolor paper... If you want the image to smear less when water is added, use regular card stock.

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, May 14, 2015

polka dot balloons...

Hello my wonderful friends!

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

(Whooo's Having a Birthday, Dots for Sure)

This ADORABLE owl is one of the FREE stamps you can get with your purchase this weekend! Isn't he SO sweet? LOVE.

Speaking of animals...

I was recently listening in as a friend of mine told a little kid a story...
 One day, some explorers went into the cave.  They went all the way to the back of the cave, and it was VERY dark. They couldn't see anything! Then they hear a deep, heavy breathing.... Then some grunts... then a ROAR! And a huge bear chased the explorers away... (this, of course, was complete with tickles as the explorers ran away)

Well, an hour or so later, I went to close up the chicken coop for the night... I walked out into the yard, far away from the house lights... Even with my flashlight, it was dark... As I'm moving farther away from the house, I start hearing some heavy breathing... Then some grunts...

So, I'm usually not jumpy when I walk in the yard alone at night, but I'll be honest, that made me nervous. I kept thinking about that story with the bear... then, when I talked sense into myself (After all, it really isn't likely to have a bear in the area) I started thinking it was a cougar.. I KNOW they are in the area.... 

I'm happy to say, I survived.
 (I guess I should also admit that it was most likely only a deer I heard...)

I think should just stay in my art studio after dark... You know, just to be safe. LOL!

(Spread Your Wings, Thanks Above and Beyond)

 I'm SERIOUSLY loving the script/polka dot background stamp in this months KOTM! Isn't it AMAZING? I love how if you stamp it off on the edge, it feathers itself in, and looks FANTASTIC. Super easy way to get a single layer card look like it has more layers!

(Who we Have Matters)

I've decided I'm kinda, really LOVING the new Abandoned Coral Distress Ink... I wasn't so sure about it when I saw it online, but once I had it in my hand.... Yup. GORGEOUS!  For this card, I kept things simple.. I used Distress Markers to ink up the stamp, than a water brush to pull some of the color from the outside edges into the a super simple and beautiful watercolor effect.

I love watercolor... So many awesome things you can do with just water and pigment!

So, for today's tutorial, I thought I would share a fun little trick for getting patterns with watercolors... See that cute balloon the owl is holding in the first card I shared? It's just a plain old balloon... But I wanted something a little funner....

Step 1: Color the part of the image you want the pattern in with Distress Markers, or any water colors. Nice open images work fabulously for this! (this also works if you apply the ink in a nice thick layer with a blending foam... Like I did for the pink strips)

Step 2: Spritz a background stamp with water... you don't want it dripping, just damp.
(I highly suggest cleaning the stamp before doing this... any residual ink on the stamp could transfer to your project...And yes, that wisdom comes from experience. LOL!)

Step 3: Press watered background stamp onto your colored image and give it a second or two... this lets the water react with the ink...
*TIP: If you have already colored other parts of the image, be sure to mask them off with something that won't allow water through... acetate is perfect for that.

Step 4: Remove the stamp and press the image with a paper towel... This will remove the extra moisture, and lift up the wet ink.... this leaves behind a fabulous ghosted pattern! (You can change the look of the pattern by adding more or less water to your stamp... the more water, the less crisp the results...

(You can see I had a little too much water on the upper part of the image making some of the dots blur together... Personally, I kinda like the distressed, non perfect look!)

That's all for me today! Have a FABULOUS weekend, take some time to be crafty, and simply enjoy yourself!

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.