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

Monday, March 31, 2014

a box of flowers for you...

Hello my fabulous friends!

How would you like to get this for a birthday card?  
Awesome, huh!  

It is a combination of  2 cut files found on the Silhouette store (or Lori Whitlock's site for SVG)
a2 Box Card Flower Pot & a2 Box Card Baby
You can mix and match the box cards and their insides.. so much fun! 

And the adorable patterned paper?? That is My Mind's Eye- "Now & Then" collection. It is a fabulous line!  

(I can't wait for the expo and all the fabulous MME stuff!)

I wanted my flowers to match, not only in color, but also in style, so I added a bunch of Imaginisce Hot Rocks to the centers.

And the super duper cool thing? It folds up to fit in an envelop. Yeah. I thought that was pretty much brilliant!


Supplies Used:
Paper: My Minds Eye "Now & Then", Bazzill
Ink: Distress Ink
Stamps: Inspired By Stamping "Butterfly Wings"
Silhouette: Lori Whitlock's "a2 Box Card Flower Pot", "a2 Box Card Baby"
Other: Imaginisce Hot Rocks

Friday, March 21, 2014

bag of beans...

If you are here for the Unity hop, please scroll down, or click HERE.
If you are here for FWF, enjoy this little tutorial. =)

Hello my fabulous friends!

Yay! It's Friday! We made it through another week!

just a quick reminder-- because it pertains to what I use today...

Usually the punny stamps don't call to me, but the moment I saw this jar of beans from Unity's new PUN potato, Fry, {and beans}, I was in love. 

I wanted to keep things pretty simple for this--- just a quick little something to brighten someone's day. 

Of course, I had to get my fingers nice and inky for the background... It's how I roll!
So... here's one way to build a background with stencils and stamps.

Step 1: tape or hold down a stencil over your paper, and use an ink blending tool or sponge to apply dye ink through the stencil. (I'm using a stencil I made with my  Silhouette, and Distress Ink)

Step 2: Remove the stencil and apply a light layer of ink over some or all of the background. I'm using the same color ink for all of this, but you don't have to. Different colors will give you different a different look.

Step 3: Stamp a background/texture stamp over the entire paper... I'm using Unity's "Vintage Handwritten", and ended up having to stamp it 5 times. Don't worry about stamping perfectly or lining everything up perfectly, it is just for visual texture.

at this point, you could add more stamping... or flick some water drops on it... but I decided to just go with it. 

And here you have a custom background paper with lots of visual layers. I love this! It looks so complex but is super easy to do!

This can be done with more than one color... just remember, when working with dye inks, they are transparent, and the colors will blend. Not all colors blend well. Red & Green make brown... Yellow & Pink make coral....

fun little tip... After you die cut, leave the piece in the die, and trace along the inside edge with a fine tip pen. You get a quick & easy border. A few scribbles give it a more hand drawn feel (along with allowing you to hide any imperfect spots)

The background is very subtle because of the stamp I chose to use, however, it really does add a lot of dimension to have the visual layers. (it's all in the details!)


Supplies Used:
Paper: card stock
Ink: Distress Ink
Stencil: Silhouette "Geometric Criss Cross Overlay Background"
Stamps: Unity "Pun Potato, Fry, and beans" & "Vintage Handwritten"
Dies: Spellbinders "Blossom Tags & Accents", Quickutz "Nesting Circles"
Other: glitter, jute

Thursday, March 20, 2014

joining the unity hop...

 Hello my fabulous friends!

I'm super excited and honored to be a part of the Unity DT!

If you are arriving here from Angeline's, 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!)

I adore the colors in the current Unity challenge... I think they are BEAUTIFUL!
{be inspired and join the challenge HERE!}

Here's my take on both the color and card sketch....
The main image, background flowers, and sentiment all come from this month's KOM (link below). For those of you who don't know... I love background stamps!  I love customizing paper and die cuts with them...  The flower background was stamped twice- they don't quiet line up to repeat seamlessly, but with careful placement of other layers, you don't even notice.

I recently bought a die from Impression Obsession that die cuts these sweet tiny butterflies... however I couldn't just leave them plain... The scrip background stamp on this month's LOL (link below) is PERFECT for adding detail texture to tiny things because the script is so small! I LOVE this! Simply stamp the script stamp onto card stock, add color if you desire, then die cut. I love the added detail it gives otherwise plain die cuts. =)

find out more about KOM... HERE

and find out about getting this fabulous LOL.. HERE

So... want a chance to win some fabulous Unity stamps?

We have TWO amazing Unity filled prize packages to giveaway.  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 KRIS

After you're done hopping, head on over to the Unity store for some super awesome deals!


Just in case you run across a broken link... here's the line up

you are here!------>Kassi

Friday, March 14, 2014

stencils, stamps, and paste...

Hello my wonderful friends!

I cannot tell you how excited I am! I got on my computer to write this post, and I noticed I had some notifications on Facebook... 

A post on Unity's page let me know that I am a new member of the design team!!!
*oh, be still my heart!!!*

I am SO excited about this! 

Ok... back to the stuff you actually want to see... =)

The other day I set my Silhouette to work cutting more stencils.. (I'm kinda really obsessed... I have no idea how many stencils I have, but it's a lot!) 

Anyway, I decided to play around with my stencils, stamps, and modeling paste... 

I also grabbed my camera so you could come along for the ride. =)

Step 1: spread modeling paste (or texture paste) through a stencil with largish open spaces.

Step 2: leaving the stencil in place, press a texture stamp into the wet paste... I'm using Unity's "Dots for Sure"

*be sure to clean your stamp well! You don't want dried paste on your stamps.  A soft bristled toothbrush is great for getting in the nooks and crannies

Step 3: carefully remove the stencil and allow the paste to dry... (you can speed it up with a heat gun, just be careful to keep the heat moving... too much heat and the paste will bubble.)

Step 4: spray with color... I used Distress Ink sprays, but any kind you want will work...

Step 5: allow to dry (or carefully dry with a heat gun). 
for a softer look, take a damp cloth and wipe some of the ink off the paste.

Step 6: (optional) you can stamp on the paste using a permanent ink suck as Archival Ink. 

I love the additional pattern you get from stamping over the textured paste. If you look at the picture on step 6, you will notice the swirl is a solid stamp... however, when you stamp it over your texture, it highlights all the textures.

I love the layers of texture! (honestly, it's way better in person because you can FEEL the texture!)

This is made with 3 different stamps.. I love altering the look of stamps by layering them!

Supplies Used:
Paper: DCWV, watercolor paper, card stock
Ink: Distress Ink Archival Ink
Stamps: Unity "Dots for Sure", " Being Kind Strengths Other", "Learn. Discover. Grow" & "Create Today"
Stencil: Silhouette "Doodled Daisies"
Other:  Distress Paint, Perfect Pearls, modeling paste, rhinestones, sequin flowers

Friday, March 7, 2014

just catching up...

Hello my fabulous friends! 

The last couple weeks have been busy... A week ago today I was helping set up for a Blue & Gold banquet (cub scouts)... I had put in HOURS of time in my studio making the table decorations... and I forgot to get a picture of them!!! OOPS! :)

At this banquet, they also had a baked goods auction. So I decided it would be a perfect excuse to experiment... I learned how to make homemade marshmallows. 

I'm addicted.

Every time I finish a batch, I have 3-4 other flavors I have thought of that I want to try to figure out. fresh orange and strawberry have been quite successful, but I need to tweak the blackberry one.... I have yet to make a batch of regular vanilla marshmallows... 

I'm thinking root beer float, and apple cider are next on my list....

With everything that has been going on, I have fallen a little behind on my blogging... (sorry!) So I thought for Unity's FWF I'd just share several projects that have been waiting to be blogged... Enjoy!

For this card I used Unity's "Moments in Bloom" along with THIS technique I shared a while ago using Lindy's Stamp Gang magicals (Mad Hatter Mint & Tweedle Dee Denim). Basically, you stamp your image with VersaMark, then dust magicals over it. You can then lightly spritz with water to reveal a vibrant image and give it a watercolor look. 

 This card features Unity's "Let Love Grow KOM 2/13", and "Heartfelt Sentiments"
The background is done with LSG Smoky Sapphire, Tibetan Poppy Teal and Opal Sea Oats

For the background, I applied some Rock Candy Crackle Paint through a stencil, then let dry. Once it was dry I sprayed it with LSG "Smoky Sapphire", "Tibetan Poppy Teal" and "Opal Sea Oats"

The typewriter was stamped with Distress ink, then given a light spritz of water to make it bleed. 

And, REALLY late, one of the Valentines cards I made... featuring Unity's "My Heart Belongs" and "Learn. Grow. Discover."

all of the images are stamped with acrylic paint... I love the look and feel!

Ok... I'm a little more caught up... do I get to go make marshmallows now? LOL!