Tuesday, June 29, 2010

stenciled...

hello my fabulous friends! I hope your tuesday is going wonderfully!
Things have been kinda hectic for me as I've been working on putting together projects and tutorials, fulfilling DT responsibilities, sorting through all the suggestions I am being given, and trying not to drown in the random thoughts and ideas swirling around in my head. Don't get me wrong, I am loving it!!! It has however made my life crazier. :)

That being said, I am still crafting! *it may be my only connection with sanity right now...* Here is my latest project for the Creative Inspirations Blog tutorials that I do each week.

Paper: water color paper, white cardstock, vinyl
Die Cuts: Cricut "Gypsy Wandering", "Graphically Speaking"
CI Paint: Antique Gold, Rustic Red, Tutu Pink
Ink: Memento, American Crafts
Stamps: Prima "music"
This week was all about using vinyl as a stencil. I cut my vinyl using my cricut. *I tell you, the cricut really changed how I craft!!!* I got the amazing shimmery colors by using CI paint.
For a step by step tutorial on using vinyl as a stencil, click here.
Don't forget to let me know what you think!

Also... I want your opinions... do you personally prefer step by step written tutorials with photos, or video tutorials?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

die cut stamps


As promised, I am back!

Today has been a busy day, but the time I have spent in my studio has yielded much results. *man I love days where you actually feel like you've gotten lots done!*

So, here is my full project (from the sneak peek yesterday), and a little information about it...
Paper: plain white cardstock, sei, unknown scraps
Ink: Versamark, distress ink, memento
Cricut: Pagoda
Stamps: Inkadinkado "Letter", Provo Craft
Other: Perfect Pearls w/water

Ok, so I have heard a lot of question in the past about making your own stamps with the Provo Craft Cricut Stamp Sheets, so I thought that I would give my two cents worth. *hehehe*

The stamp sheets come in a package like this. There are two 6x6 sheets in each package.

The sheets are made of a thin material that feels similar to your Cricut overlay. They are made to be cut with your cricut, however, you do need a deep blade housing and a deep blade.


A few things I have learned:

Use a new/very sticky mat. It needs some serious sticking power to keep it from sliding.

Use the setting PC has suggested (at least at first). I have found those settings make for very nice cuts... speed:3 , pressure:4 , and deep blade set at 4.5

Don't try to cut things that are very small, or very detailed. I think of it like trying to cut thick jello... there is enough give in the material, that really thin lines or small cuts don't always work well.

The stamps don't hold ink well at first. Use a cheap nail file or an eraser to roughen up the surface of your cut stamp. You can also ink up your stamp with VersaMark, then the ink color you want to use. The VersaMark won't hurt your other stamp pad, and will give a nice surface for your color to stick to.

If you have a larger stamp, try placing your paper on a mouse pad or a piece of craft foam to stamp. This has just enough give to help get a good impression even in the middle of your stamp.

These stamps will stain. They have even stained with inks I wouldn't have thought they would. It is fine! After cleaning your stamp, you can stamp it onto a scrap paper. If no color comes off onto the paper, you are good to go.

These stamps sheets are designed to stick to your acrylic blocks (or anything else you use to mount your clear stamps... like glass...)

Don't be intimidated by it! Have fun and be creative.

Because you are cutting your own, you can make stamps that layer (the same way you make your paper cuts layered)

The stamp material is the same on both sides, so with each image you cut, you get a reverse image simply by flipping the stamp over! How fun is that?!

I store my stamps on an acetate sheet. You can also store them in CD cases, or how ever you store your other clear stamps.

For my project, I used VersaMark to stamp the fish I cut out of the stamp material using the Pagoda cart. I only cut one fish... I just flipped it over to get them facing each other. I then used white embossing powder. After heating, and allowing to cool, I inked the whole paper with distress ink. Heat embossing acts as a resist, so no ink sticks to the embossed images. To finish it off, I sprayed the paper with a nice coat of Perfect Pearls w/water. This gives it the shimmery look while helping blend away any harsh lines left from inking.
Hope you enjoy creating your own custom stamps!
Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, June 25, 2010

fri night

Happy Friday (night...)!

*as a very side note.... my nephew once explained to his parents all about Fridays... he told them that Friday comes before Frinight... which is when you go to the fry store (McDonalds). I think he was hinting at something... ;)*

ANYWAY...

I have some very exciting news! As you know, I am a member of the CIDT... well, due to life becoming too busy, our team lead had to step down. :( But, I was asked to become the new team lead! *breathe, breathe* I am so excited. That team is filled with talented ladies! I am however, feeling slightly overwhelmed at the moment... I figure I'll catch up with myself at some point...

I did have a finished project to share today, but I decided I wanted to make a tutorial to go with it. Well, the best laid plans.... maybe tomorrow the tut will get done...

Here is a sneak peek to tide you over until I can get myself settled again...

Anyone know what techniques I used?

I'll be back soon with the answers!
nite all!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

surfs up dude!

It's that time again... CIDT challenge!
This week, the DT was asked to use "beachy colors". Such a fitting challenge since summer started officially this week.
So here is what I came up with... a beach tile!
Paper: old book paper
Cricut: A Child's year
Ink: Distress
CI paint: Fairy Dust
Other: tile

The tile has been covered with a page from an old book. It was then distressed, and covered with yellow ink. I cut an acetate mask with my Cricut and covered the back of it with a temporary adhesive. The mask was placed on the tile, and a blue ink was applied.
Now, it looked fine at that point, but I wanted to add a little something to it. I used Fairy Dust CI paint (which is clear with tons of shimmer) and painted in the masked area. I love how this adds a subtle yet effective zing to the project.

Make sure to stop by the Creative Inspirations Blog here to see the other fabulous projects done by the DT.

Also remember to enter to win 5 jars of Creative Inspirations paint here.

Have an amazing day!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

i scream, u scream...

Hello all!
Today I have just a quick project to share with you. Over at the dollhouse, the current elements challenge is to use your favorite ice cream to inspire your color palate. *how fun is that!* Anyway, my favorite ice cream totally depends on my current mood... However, I love the look of mint chocolate chip ice cream... YUM! So, here is a mint chocolate chip card. :)
Paper: DCWV, Crate Paper, white cardstock
Stamps: Basic Grey "Different Strokes"
Ink: VersaMark, Printworks
Dry embossing: PC "Swiss Dots"
Other: embossing powder, ribbon, Mark-its
I love dry embossing on cardstock that has either a white or color core because it has such a striking effect when you lightly sand off the raised portions. Swiss Dots has got to be one of my current favorites for this technique. It fits most any project!

The ribbon (as I'm sure anyone who reads this blog could guess..) is a white ribbon. However, I didn't have the right color in any of the inks or paints that I have. GRRR! (again, anyone who reads this blog often, knows how much that bugs me!!!) However, I discovered another way to dye ribbon.... Mark-It markers by Bic! Ok, so, I have known for a long time that I LOVE these markers. *mostly because they have such fun colors, and they write on most anything!!!) However, I had never tried coloring ribbon with them... I figured it would look streaky, but it doesn't. Even when you overlap your strokes, you can't tell once the ribbon has dried! How awesome is that!!!!!

Well, that's all from me for the moment. I'll be back tomorrow with my take on the CI DT challenge. 'Til then, have a fantastic day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

turn up the heat

Hello everyone!
I thought it was about time I put together another B2B for you all.
How about we do one on...

Heat Embossing!
Now, I know for many of you, this is old school, but, for those of you who haven't been stamping as long, this is a basic that you will want to know!

What you will need:

Embossing ink
Embossing powder
stamp
paper


Step 1: Ink your stamp with the embossing ink. You want to make sure your stamp is completely covered with ink.
Step 2: Stamp your image onto your paper. Many embossing inks are clear, so you will only be able to see the image slightly, but that is fine.
Step 3: Cover your stamped image with embossing powder. No need to be skimpy. All extra powder is reusable! I like to do this step over a scrap paper for easy clean up.
Step 4: Shake off all extra powder. *this step is VERY important, unless you want to make a HUGE mess....yes, I have heard of this happening before... hence the b2b posts...:)* You can give your paper a nice flick or two if you want. You may need to take a fine tipped paint brush to clean up any stray powder.

Step 5: Return all extra powder to the jar. If you have been working over a scratch paper, it will be a lot easier!
Step 6: Heat your image using an embossing heat gun. Keep the gun in motion to avoid burning you paper.
As the embossing powder melts, It will become shiny and more solid looking. Watch your image closely... you don't want to over heat it.
You can also emboss with pigment ink. It is important you use PIGMENT ink though, because it has a slower drying time which allows the embossing powder to stick. *side note: you can also use Tim Holtz Distress ink as it is made to allow embossing.* If you are embossing with pigment ink, use clear embossing powder to let the color of the ink show through.

*so, notice how the image above has pink and a purple color.... yeah, that's cuz I didn't clean the black ink off it very well from the last time I stamped with it... I don't mind the look here, but if you don't want color contamination on your project, you might want to do a test on a scrap paper...*
For this project, I used:
Paper: DCWV, plain white card stock
Ink: Martha Stewart pigment ink
Stamp: Sassafras "Freshly Picked"
Other: Fiskar edger, clear embossing powder, brads

Have a stampin' great day!

PS: don't forget to stop over at the CI blog and enter to win some blog truffles!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

want to know...

Hey everyone!

Want to know how to make some shimmery sweet flowers?
Want to know how to make this cute hair clip?
Want to know how you can enter to win 5 jars of the amazing Creative Inspirations paint (in the colors of your choice?

The answers to all these questions can be found here!
have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

another "proper" outfit

Hello friends! Today has been spent in much experimentation... I am working on putting together some tutorials, so I have spent today playing with certain techniques so I can share them with all of you.
But, never fear! I do actually have a project to share with you! *this wasn't the project I intended on sharing today, but that one never actually got done.... I kinda got side-tracked...*

If you remember a while back, I shared a Cricut cartridge box I had altered. *to see it, click here* Well, I was asked if I make all my boxes that fancy... the answer: NO!!! Some boxes are left plain, some boxes get a much simpler makeover with fabric or paper *on those, I usually don't even bother finishing the edges all nice... call me lazy, but there you go*, and every once in a while, when I am in the mood, I give one a proper outfit.

Today, I was in the mood. I went a lot more casual with this box.

I first covered the box with vinyl. This was an easy way to cover all the edges without getting bulky (which can happen with ribbon).

I hot glued the fabric directly onto the vinyl covered box. I frayed the edges of the fabric for a fun, carefree finished edge. The ribbon was glued to cover where the two fabrics overlap. I tied a little knot in the ribbon to dress it up. I thought about adding buttons or flowers or something, but since I know what I want this box for, I know I want it to store nicely, so I decided to keep it simple.
Here is the inside... *yes, there is a reason I have a million wooden spoons all colored and labeled... but that, dear friends, is for another post*

Have a fabulous day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

getting misty

Hey everyone! Glad you stopped by!

I put this card together for a tutorial on making glimmer mist with CI Paint that I did for another blog. I thought I would share it here with all of you as well.
Paper: Water Color paper, Die Cuts With a View
Cricut: Lyrical Letters, Preserves
Stamps: TPC Studio "Woodland Whimsy"
Ink: Memento
CI paint: Garnet, Garnet mist, Sage
Other: Acetate mask, ribbon
For the main portion of this card, I used an acetate mask and a home make glimmer spray made with Creative Inspiration Paint. *for full instructions on making the spray go here. I guess I could repost the whole tutorial, but I thought I should give your fingers some exercise and make you click a link.... ok, so I'm just lazy!*
To make the mask, I cut my image out of acetate. I then covered the back with repositionable adhesive.
There is someone named Kathy Orta on the Cricut message board that did a tutorial on how to make these cute little rose buds. I used her method, but added a little scrunching for a different effect. I cut the flowers and leaf out of the Preserves cart, then painted with CI paint.

Until next time, have a fabulous day!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

deer me

Happy Saturday everyone!
I thought I would drop in and share a card I made today.
Paper: SEI, plain white cardstock
Stamps: American Crafts "Laughter", Clear Dollar Stamps "Thumbkins"
Ink: VersaMark, Distress, Staz-on
Die Cut: Spellbinders "Label Six"
Other: white embossing powder, ribbon, Perfect Pearls w/water
The deer was stamped on plain white cardstock with white embossing powder. This acts as a resist. I then covered the whole piece with distress ink. After inking, I used a slightly damp cloth to wipe off all the ink from the embossed image.
I used distress reinker to dye this ribbon. I watered down the ink with a little bit of water w/Perfect Pearls. I had never tried this particular method. My conclusion: adding perfect pearls doesn't really make much difference to your dye job. If you want shine, use the CI paints. Now we know. =)
Have fun... I'm off to play some more.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

masquerade

Happy Thursday all! I hope you are all having a fabulous day!
Today I have another project for the Creative Inspirations DT blog. Our challenge was "Clearly Sparkling!" *or in other words, use the CI paints on something clear like acetate, acrylic... you get the idea*. So, I chose to do a very simple yet elegant acetate card.
And laying down flat for better photo viewing pleasure...
Paper: My Minds Eye, Acetate
Ink: Staz-on, Memento
Stamps: Studio G, Inkadinkado "Hello Hummingbird", Basic Grey "Filagree"
Creative Inspiration Paint colors: Tanzanite, Buttercup, Winter Frost, Evergreen
Other: ribbon
I stamped my image directly onto the acetate with the Staz-on ink. I then painted on the back of the image with CI paint *painting on the back just helps keep your stamped image lines nice and clean*. With non-porous surfaces, you need to put on a nice thick coat for even coverage... however, for the petals of the flower, I used a thinner coat and applied it in a dabbing motion. This leaves it with a textured look.
I painted a white/sheer ribbon with Tanzanite CI paint to match my flower. *to find out more on that technique, see here or here*
So, there you have it. Quick... Simple... Stunning. The shimmer of the paint looks fabulous on the acetate! *it looks even better IRL!!!*

There are more amazing projects over at the Creative Inspirations Blog here. Go check them out and leave some love for the hard working girls on the DT.

....................

Ok, so I know I haven't done a B2B in a while... That is why I thought I would do one today. Yup, a B2B using the CIDT challenge project as a sample project. So, for today's B2B, I give you...

MASKING (with stamps)

I know this is an old technique, but I thought I would share it for those who may not be familiar with stamping, or as a refresher for those who have learned this before, and maybe forgotten to use it in a while.
I love this technique because you can achieve so much dimension with little effort! It also gives you endless ways to combine your stamp images for a very personal touch. *and as a bonus, it doesn't require fancy tools... yay!*

So what do you need?

Your choice of stamps
the paper/project you want to stamp on *yes, that is kind of a "duh" thing, but thought I would be thorough =)*
your choice of ink
a good old fashion pair of scissors *you may need to go hunting for these... I sometimes think people may be forgetting how to use them with all the punches and die cutters.... hehehe*
and, the secret weapon...
Sticky notes

Step 1: Stamp the image you want in the foreground on to your project.
For this example, I used Staz-on in to stamp on my acetate card.
Step 2: Stamp that same image onto the front of a sticky note. Make sure that you stamp at least part of your image over the part that is sticky on the back *this will serve as the adhesive that will hold your mask in place*

Step 3: cut out your image. Do this as neatly as you can. Some people like to cut slightly on the inside of the line to insure that there is no haloing *that pesky white line you can get around your finished image if your mask covers beyond the stamped line* Using a pair of sharp precision scissors makes getting in the tight places easier.

Step 4: Place your mask on top of your project. Take the time to line it up as exactly as you can.
Step 5: Now you can stamp the next layer of stamps right over the mask. When the mask is removed, this layer will appear to be directly behind the first image.

Step 6: Leaving the first mask in place, you can continue stamping and adding masks for as many layers as you want. Just remember to work from foreground to background.
Step 7: remove all masks.

See, told you it was simple! It is very effective though. Give it a try on your next stamped project!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

sticky stuff

Hello everyone.
Today I have a project packed full of shine. *of course my table, floor, hands, and clothes were too..... I tried to clean up... I think there are still sparkles in my carpet...then again, there usually are. =)*
Paper: My Minds Eye, Coredinations, plain white cardstock
Cricut: Lyrical Letters
Ink: Staz-on, Memento
Stamps: Clear Art "Bug's Life", Hero Arts "Silhouette Spray"
Other: Wonder Tape sheet, glitter, Fiskar Edgers

Here is the inside.

So, want to know how I got that fabulously sparkly design for the front of my card? The answer... Wonder Tape! It is a Ranger product, and you can get it in an 8.5 x 11 sheet. How fun is that? Guess what, it gets better.... you can cut this with your Cricut!!!
I used the Deep Blade Housing. Pressure 5, blade depth 6, multi cut 1, and what ever speed the Gypsy felt like cutting it... sorry don't know what speed that is...

You should end up with something like this. Pretty cool, huh.

Next, step... grab your dandelion digger and pull some weeds... Ok, so you don't really go out to your garden, but this step is called weeding.... Basically you are pulling out the negative spaces of your cut.

Remove one side of the tape's backing... On this cut, my red side wanted to come off easier than the white, so that is what I did. It doesn't really matter.... unless it is words, then you would want to peel off the BACK.

Press firmly onto your desired paper.

Now peel of the other backing. I found it helpful to use a craft pick to get off some of the stubborn pieces.

Prepare to get messy!!! Place a scratch paper under your project to collect the extra glitter in so it can be returned to the jar later. Shake your glitter over your entire image.

You can use just your hands for this next step, but I found that to be very messy, and since I like to keep my workspace fairly clean... I place another scratch paper over the pile of glitter that is covering my sticky image. Using a brayer *or I suppose a rolling pin would work... be creative* I pressed the glitter firmly onto the tape.

Now go dig for your project. It should still be under that pile of glitter. *if not, you know some magic trick that I don't* You can remove excess glitter by flicking your project with your finger. Return the extra glitter back to the jar for future use.
And this is what you end up with. A very glittery, yet well defined image. the edges are sharp and clean, and the glitter stays put fairly well.
I have some other ideas for this tape, that I am hoping to experiment with. I'll let you know if any of them work. =)
Have a great day, and get sticky!