Monday, April 30, 2012

Watercoloured Phone Box

My local stamp store shared the link to Art Impressions Stamps YouTube videos, and if you have not seen these, you are in for a treat. There are a dozen loaded so far. Start here. I have not done much painting, but with this technique I felt I might have some success.

This phone booth seemed fitting for the newest member of my staff, a transplanted Brit. It's his birthday this week and I wanted to make his card somewhat personal. The phone booth is from the Art Impressions Watercolor Series 6 stamp set (also features English cottages) and the shrubbery is from the Foliage Set. I stamped everything in Sepia Archival Ink on watercolour paper, and used Tombow, Marvy and Tim Holtz Distress Markers to "paint" them in. I cut the scene into an oval with a Spellbinder die, then affixed it to a sheet of white cardstock. I placed this into a Cuttlebug Lacey Labels embossing folder and ran that through the Cuttlebug to emboss. I like how the embossed flourishes travel around - in and out of - the oval.
I stamped the ticking stripes from the Waltzingmouse Heirloom Patterns set to form a background, and distressed the edges with the same Tumbled Glass distress ink. This was a different technique for me, one that requires much more practice, but for a very first effort, I am pleased to have a usable card to show for it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Stampers! Turns 15

My local stamp store, Stampers! Rubberstamps and Papercrafts, recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. This is a great store for supplies and Ann and Steve are very generous in sharing their knowledge of stamping techniques and products. If you ever find yourself in Victoria, BC, Canada on a Saturday afternoon with nothing to do, come in to the store and hang out in the back room, where Steve is usually found giving free demos. I'm often there, so say hi to me and I'll buy you a cup of coffee!

Part of Stampers! success is they often bring in guest teachers from near and far to share their specialty techniques. Over the years I have been able to take workshops and classes with Tim Holtz, the Glitter Gals Haroldine Wingfield and Deanna Pannell, Metal Artist Elitia Hart and others, exploring fun and different techniques. This is what keeps stamping and paper crafts new and fresh for me.

To celebrate the store's 15th anniversary, I created the card below. I took a number of photos to try and capture the sparkle and colours  of the Glitter Ritz Microfine Glitter, but alas, the photos just don't capture them. (Click on the photos to expand them and you will see some sparkle.)

You might be wondering how I got the background, the polka dots and the numerals all done in different colours of glitter, yet all on the same flat layer. I used the Burnished Velvet technique, which is well described in this article. The originators of the technique, Haroldine Wingfield and Deanna Pannell, have a website with tutorials and projects, too. I took Burnished Velvet classes from them at Stampers! I highly recommend you do so if you ever get the chance. In my blog labels on the right you can find more posts about this fun and sparkly technique.

I started by laying a large sheet of Sookwang double-sided tape onto a piece of cardstock.  I peeled the liner away. I carefully laid a piece of punchinella (sequin waste) over this tape base. I die cut the numerals (QuiKutz) from a spare piece of non-stick tape liner and placed them on the taped cardstock over the sequin waste. Then I covered the whole works with the original liner and burnished with a bone folder to ensure the numerals liner and the sequin waste were secured very well.

I lifted off the large piece of tape liner and sprinkled navy Glitter Ritz Microfine Glitter over all the exposed holes. After brushing off the excess, I burnished the glitter into the tape with my finger to secure it and bring up the shine. This step is important. If you don't burnish, there is a fine layer of "dust" on the glitter that obscures the lovely sparkle. This burnishing is what makes the microfine glitter embed into the tape so well that the end result is a smooth velvet feel to the finished product.
Once I had the holes filled with dark blue, I peeled away the "15" liner to expose the holes under it. I placed dark fuchsia glitter on those holes and burnished. My next step was to remove the sequin waste to expose the rest of the tape that surrounded the now-filled dots. Sookwang tape is incredibly strong, so I was delighted to discover years ago that its hold on sequin waste is only temporary! the punchinella is not harmed and can be used over and over.

After I removed the sequin waste, I replaced the tape liner over the "15" to cover the fuchsia holes and the exposed tape of the numerals to protect them. Then I sprinkled various shades of aqua and teal glitter in bands across the card, brushing the excess off each band before adding the next. This gives a subtle ombré look to the background. Once again, I burnished well with my finger.
Lastly, I removed the "15"-shaped tape liner to expose the remaining Sookwang tape. I applied a pale pink colour to glitter up the rest of the digits - and burnished well.

I used the Spellbinders Labels Twenty-One dies to create a navy frame to go around the glittered Burnished Velvet focal point.  I stamped Congratulations (Michael Strong Stamps) on an angle in Fuchsia StaZon ink across the front of the hot pink cardstock, then mounted with Perfect Layers of navy and pink cardstock onto a white card base.

And that's it! It took a lot longer to explain than it did to actually create! This would make a great birthday card - and through careful choice of colours you could make it either masculine or feminine. If you haven't tried this technique yet, check out the tutorials and give it a whirl. If you are in the Victoria area, contact Stampers! I understand the Glitter Gals will be back for more workshops in June. Thanks for visiting - now go get your glitter on!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Faux Postage

When you've been stamping 20 years or so, you tend to see a lot of trends come and go. Quite some time ago, faux postage was all the rage. At least one company came out with plastic stencils and rubber stamps to create the "grid" of postage sheets. I recall picking up a couple of these templates at my local stamp store many years ago. What I failed to do, however, was pick up the matching rubber stamps!

Fast forward to 2012, when I am once again in my local stamp store. (Stampers! just celebrated their 15th anniversary in business in Victoria BC Canada. In an industry that's seen so many failures and closures, it sure is nice to see them thriving. I try to do my bit...) Some kind soul had donated a bunch of her old stamps to the store to sell in random discounted lots in aid of a local animal shelter. I spied the Just For Fun diamond-shaped grid stamp that matched my stencil at home and snapped that up. After all, it is my duty to protect poor animals!

After stamping in black Staz-On ink, I masked off the grid with the plastic stencil and then sponged Dried Marigold and Barn Red Distress Inks in the windows. I stamped the French motifs in Ranger Black Archival Ink over top.

This border would make a fabby bookmark!
I stamped the French border and sentiment on white cardstock in Versafine black ink and thermal embossed in clear. I used the same Distress Inks to shade these pieces. I used Versafine Ink in Blue Lagoon to sponge-shade strips of cardstock mats (cut using my Perfect Layers tools) and stamped the chicken wire background in the same ink. This is an easy way to get coordinating cardstock! I used a Spellbinders Ribbon Banner to die cut the sentiment. All stamps (except for the grid and chicken wire) from the same Waltzingmouse set: French Country. The layout of the card is from this week's Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge. Can you see it?

And speaking of my local stamp store turning 15, here is a little teaser about the card I made for that occasion. I'll reveal all in my next post!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Beginnings

It's the monthly Waltzingmouse Stamps Blog Party, and the theme is New Beginnings. How lovely for April, don't you agree? I decided to make a wedding card.

Rhinestones are clear and sparkly in real life!
I started with this pair of cameos from the Cameo To Go set, stamped in Mango Madness Versamagic Chalk Ink on blue matte coated cardstock. I surrounded them with a label border from the Rescue Remedies set. (I cut away the sentiment from the inside of the stamp to leave the border. That's one of the nice things about excellent quality photopolymer stamps like those from Waltzingmouse - you can cut them apart and not worry about them tearing.) I cut this couple out with a Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Four die, and created a mango mat (cream cardstock rubbed with the same chalk ink) with the next size up.

Finished card 5.5 X 7 inches.
The background for this card was made by pouncing the mango chalk ink over the flat (unraised) side of an embossing folder, then running cream cardstock through my Cuttlebug. This impressed the ink on the lower level of the cardstock and left the relief (raised) areas free of ink. There is probably some clever name for this technique, but I can't think of it right now!

Besides the gratuitous bling of the rhinestone flourish, the other feature of this card is the "reverse rosette" placed in an oval window in the lower half of the background. I got this brainwave in the middle of the night and took time off work this morning just so I could try and execute it!

I glued three of the smallest strips from Tim Holtz's Mini Rosettes die set into one huge Slinky-like oval. Using the tip I shared in this post, I corralled the Slinky in a Creative Memories oval cutting template (thick acrylic) to arrange it to my liking.
Inside oval template.
Here's an angle shot of the reverse rosette peeking out around the edge of the oval background. I added a slim melon oval (cardstock coloured with the same ink) to set it off.
Compact Sentiments set, embossed mango ink.
This reverse rosette made the bottom of the card quite thick, so to balance the depth of the upper portion of the card, I stacked two layers of foam tape and affixed to the underside, which matched the rosette depth perfectly. This card will not be mailed so I won't be getting dirty looks from the postmistress!

Just a parting shot of the lower half of the card featuring a greeting from the Compact Sentiments set. Sure, I might have got a similar effect using ruffled lace instead of pleated paper for the frame, but I enjoyed the challenge of trying this out and seeing if I could make it work! Thanks for sticking with me this long. Now head over to the blog party and see what other New Beginnings are being celebrated!
Framed reverse rosette.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sweet Birthday Wishes

Time for another Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge. Here's the sketch:
I recently got this great set of Compact Sentiment stamps and thought I'd make a birthday card to utilize this nice little greeting. The flowers are from the Eat Cake set. I layered the sentiment onto stripes stamped with the borders from the Off Beat Backgrounds set.

I made my festive banner pennants from triangles I cut free-hand and coated in Glitter Ritz micro-fine glitters, burnishing well into the double-sided tape. They sparkle so well in real life! A few layers, some raspberry twine and here we have it: