Dec 31, 2015

My Favorite Creations in 2015

Tried a few new things in 2015, including drawing and watercoloring without stamps, retiring (!!!!), and starting Stamping Destroyed My Life.  It was fun!

I don't see too much of a theme here, other than not a lot of layers and a decent amount of color.  And twine....

Thanks for reading the blog and hoping for all good things for each of you in 2016!

Dec 23, 2015

2015: Stamping Year in Review

Ok, stampers, put down that twine that will never tie properly no matter how many tricks you try, and belly up.  It's time for the "official"

2015 STAMPING YEAR IN REVIEW

2015 was awesome for stampers, except for when it was not.  

The Good Stuff

First, the positives (for all my glass-is-almost-always-full, (I hate all of you) friends.  Susan, I'm talking about you...)
  • This was the year when peace broke out -- the wood v. photopolymer v. cling war finally ended.  No one won -- we all just got tired of it.  That's a shame because I would have loved to have seen a huge bonfire of wood and cling stamps burning on you tube.  Awesome for calming us down when we lose one of our photopolymer ones. What?  You say that photopolymer stamps stain?  Are we really going there again? Listen, staining means love.  It means that the stamps didn't just sit there, ok?  And photopolymer stamps do not melt. They don't explode. They don't get hard.  They stamp just fine.  FINE!!   Um, truce?

  • MISTI -- this clever tool made it possible to keep those 347 inks we all bought despite sucky coverage.  Plus we can stamp on bumpy watercolor paper.  Just keep closing the cover of the MISTI over and over. The damage to your shoulder is covered by insurance, and your copay is more than paid for by all the card stock you saved by using the MISTI.  Just buy it already. Unless you use wood stamps!  Sorrynotsorry.

  • Cute little animals doing human things.  Cats, foxes, dogs, dinos.  They are everywhere.  They bake, hold balloons, fish, stamp, clean house, stand on top of each other and are well, so darn cute.  I'm not good at figuring out what to do with cute little animals but maybe "cute little animals" will be my one little word for 2016.

  • Speaking of "my one little word," don't tell anyone, but it is possible this is over.  2015 pretty much put the end to self improvement.  I mean, why bother?  Fist pump!!

  • Shaker cards.  Love love love them.  Take those sequins and beads and shake and bake that card or tag. Use the Fuse (mine is still in the package) to make a shaker window blind.  The possibilities are endless!

  • Videos!!  Everyone who is anyone is making videos.  Some are long, and involve someone opening boxes and squealing.  Some are really, really long and may, or may not, end in a card. I never quite finish watching them, so I can't be sure.  But so many are crisp, fun, and full of terrific techniques, and they are free! I love them, despite the fact that they trick me into believing that I can make stuff that looks as nice as the stuff made in the videos.  Gee, those folks are talented.
        
    • Foiling!  So many ways to add foil to your projects without spending a fortune.  Just buy a laminator and then when you aren't happy with that, buy a Minc, then a mini Minc, a laser printer, a toner pen, foil, transfer sheets, an extra room to store all this stuff, etc. and foil away.

    • Organization!!  2015 is the year we all got organized, right? Our stamps are in plastic folders, labeled and stored, and cross referenced by weight, height, depth, and year of birth.  (Well, unless you have wood stamps, in which case, you are looking at


    • New companies!!  There are too many to mention, but I will mention one anyway.  That cute little Right at Home is calling my name.  More on that in 2016....  Speaking of 2016,

    • Politics!!  The good news that I can pack up all my stamping supplies and move out of the country if necessary.

    • Bulleted lists and Novels.  The best blogs had them in 2015, n'est pas?
    See, wasn't 2015 fantastic for stamping?  Except for....

    The Bad Stuff

    • Made you look!  Nothing bad happens in stampville!!


    ***

    Thank you for sharing 2015 with me.  I'll be back in 2016 with more stamping and, hopefully, some fun.

    To those of you who celebrate Christmas, hope yours is Merry.  Our lives are not perfect, but I hope you can carve out 24 hours of peace in your life with those you love.  Hug that hope close.

    And for all, my very best wishes for a terrific 2016.  I hope it is full of peace, safety, good health, laughter, and the perfect ink.  And, if you love them,  as I do, many beautifully etched wood stamps

    Dec 22, 2015

    Merci



    Merci to all my readers. You make me so happy to be part of the online crafting community.  So much kindness and so many good hearts.  



    Inspired by the gorgeous mood board in the December Ellen Hutson PinSights Challenge.



    The cool color palette is dreamy!

    Supplies:
    MOOD WHEN DONE = Peaceful and Grateful

    Dec 18, 2015

    It's Time!


    So, you merry yet?


    Supplies:


    MOOD WHEN DONE = Merry!

    Dec 15, 2015

    An Interview with Laura Bassen!

    You know Laura Bassen and her fabulous blog, Doublestick Heaven, as the creator of perfectly executed and colorful designs, and funny and informative videos.  She’s the master of masking, ink blending, and creating plaids.

    Here are three of some my favorite Laura cards:





    Color!!

    I was curious how this mother of five young kids manages to create and blog so many beautiful designs.  So, I was thrilled when Laura agreed to be interviewed.  Rather than send questions and answers through email, Laura and I spoke on the phone for about an hour and a half (oh, we both have the gift o’ gab!).

    Laura is as nice and funny as she is on her videos. But, she is also very passionate and serious about the industry.  It made for an awesome chat, where we kind of went all over the place.  (For those of you curious, I condensed our talk and sent it to Laura for her edits and approval.)

    Joan:  Let’s talk card design first.  How do you come up with an idea for a card?

    Laura:  Joan, I don’t know!  Really, it can be a bit of a mystery.  I no longer stamp just for fun.  It has honestly become a job, and I’m usually creating a card design for an assignment or because I agreed to help promote something or someone.  So, I usually start with a stamp set or other products that I need to feature.

    Ninety percent of my design of a card is done before I pick up an ink pad.  Most of the time I’m thinking about different designs and just trying them out in my head.  Depending on when I get the stamps or other products, it can take awhile.  Sometimes I take a products’ release and spread it out on my kitchen table and see what jumps out or inspires me.

    If I get a little stuck, I’ll go to Pinterest and check out a few of my favorite designers for inspiration. For example, for this card



    I knew I wanted a background, and was feeling a bit stuck.  I checked out Betsy Veldman’s because I know Betsy has great backgrounds.

    Every card is an evolution from brainstorming to execution. It never ends up how I pictured it in my head. Sometimes it's better and sometimes it's a flop. Then I start again, until I'm satisfied.

    Joan:  So it’s natural talent?

    Laura:  It does take talent, but mostly it takes hard work and perseverance.  If you want to do design work, you have to work at it. You have to push through design blocks and insecurities. I think true success comes from walking that fine line of simply loving the craft and always striving to improve. I'm never satisfied. I always want to improve on my techniques, my photography, my videos. That's what keeps me going.

    Joan:  Your cards are so bright and fun and crisp.  Is there a particular ink you recommend?

    Laura:  Oh, boy! I love inks. There are so many out there and they all are great for different reasons. It really depends on the technique. If I want to "ink smoosh" I use the Distress Inks. If I want to blend, I use my Simon Says Stamp inks. The Mama Elephant pigment inks blend like butter, too.  For Copic coloring I use Memento Tuxedo Black and for crisp black sentiments I use Versafine Onyx Black.

    Joan:  How did you go from making cards as a hobby to having a job in the industry?

    Laura:  Initially I started my blog because I wanted to be part of the stamping community and participate in challenges. Eventually it led to design team opportunities, most of which were not compensated.  Now, stamping is my job, meaning that I earn a real income at it. I get to work from home doing something I love. It honestly is a dream job for me. It's not a cake walk, but I really love it.

    Joan:  I can imagine the fun parts.  What’s the “not fun” part?

    Laura:  The hardest part is keeping a healthy balance between family life and work. If you don't watch it, card making can take every last second of your day and you will miss out on the important stuff. The other part that is not-so-fun is the juggling of multiple deadlines at once. The pressure of producing quality work on demand can sometimes be a strain. Also pushing through insecurities and self-doubt is an ongoing battle that everyone faces.

    Joan:  How do you make money?  Free product, pay?

    Laura:  Many companies pay their designers and some pay with free product or offer affiliate linking.

    Joan:  I always wondered how affiliate linking worked.  To be honest, I never think to purchase through affiliate links.  Now I will.

    Laura:  It is a great way to “tip” your favorite designers without spending any money yourself.  In other words, the stamper is going to pay the same amount regardless of whether he or she clicks a link on my, or some other stamper’s, blog.

    Joan:  Let's talk videos. Yours are fabulous.  What’s your secret?

    Laura:  Editing! I try to make a video that I would want to watch.  I like them short and sweet, so I edit to take out parts that I don’t think are necessary.

    Joan:  Are they time consuming to make?

    Laura:  Yes. It can take most of the day to create a card, film it, photograph it, edit the photos, edit the video footage, do the voice-over, upload it & then write up a blog post. You would be astonished at how many times I have to record myself saying hello over and over again until I'm happy with it!

    Joan:  You do a great job of making people want to buy a stamp that someone else designed.  Have you ever thought about designing stamps?

    Laura: Yes. I have more ideas than I have time! I did design the Jumbo Stripes set for Simon Says Stamp back in September. It was very exciting for me! I hope to do more in the future, but again, I'm also trying to keep my teeth brushed on a daily basis and my five kids fed, too, so we'll see what happens.  :)

    *****

    It was a blast talking with Laura. She was interesting and motivating. Knowing how full her life already is, I really appreciated the time she took to chat and edit this interview.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

    Note:  there will be no interview posted in January, but I have a fabulous one scheduled for February! Thanks for reading!


    Dec 9, 2015

    Golden Peace

    Sharing a card that combines a premade Happy Hues A2 card from Concord & 9th with an Ellen Hutson Brushstroke Christmas stamp set and Peace die designed by Julie Ebersole.   Added some blue speckles from an old Stampin Up marker so it would tie in with the "on earth" sentiment.



    MOOD WHEN DONE = Thinking

    Dec 7, 2015

    Muse Card Challenge Card: #145 Noel


    This is my last card as a designer for the Muse Card Club.  Thank you Ardyth!  She put up with so many questions from me and is such a kind person.

    She is also one of those card makers that blow me away.  Her designs are always distinctly Ardyth -- crisp, bold, and colorful.  And she makes so many cards!

    Now on to the Muse card.  Naturally, at this time of year, I had to make a Christmas card.   The wreath and sentiment are a digital design from Pink Petticoat that I printed on an inkjet printer and colored with Copics.  Added Ranger Stickles to the pink paper and some teeny tiny silver sequins from Concord & 9th.


    I would love to see what you make inspired by this card.  It's holiday season and you may be tired of making Christmas cards, so feel free to be inspired by the layout or the colors or even the glitter!


    MOOD WHEN DONE = Delighted

    Dec 5, 2015

    Stamping Destroyed My Life is on Vacation!

    But it will be back, with a recap for those of you with short term memory issues, in January!  Stay tuned to find out:
    • What did Kitty ask M to do prior to M's trip to Vermont?
    • What happens when M goes to GDWS and meets with the Richmans?
    • Kilts for cats?
    • And so much more!

    Dec 3, 2015

    Peaceful Tree





    A peaceful tree for the season. 



    And here's a close up.


    Supplies: 
    MOOD WHEN DONE = Pensive

    Printfriendly