Sep 22, 2014

Letting the Background Do the Work

I Make I Talk Joan Bardee using AHA Arts

This pattern, which I made with a new to me company called AHA Arts Stamps (purchased at Paper Source), reminds me of Marimekko, which was so popular before many of you were born!  I LOVE Marimekko! 

Those bold colorful patterns make me happy.  The background is so bold and bright that I only needed white cardstock, ink, and a sentiment. 

Speaking of the sentiment, it is from Altenew's Quilled Elegance, which I won, along with a ridiculous amount of other stamps and items.  Jennifer Rzasa held a quick contest on Facebook and I guessed the right answer first.   Score!



I was able to get even coverage even with dye ink by stamping with a new product called MISTI.  It is like a plastic book/stamp positioner that allows you to stamp in the exact spot over and over.   At the moment, they are out of stock and the price just went up to $50, which is a lot of money.   But this thing is worth it as you'll save $$ on paper.  Shari Carroll did a video on how to use it here.

Sep 15, 2014

Waltzingmouse Pajama Party/Wedding Card

I'm playing along with the WMS Pajama Party this month.  One of the challenges was to use an older WMS Christmas set.  I misread the challenge and am using an older set period.  But I'm declaring that Christmas involves love and therefore, that I am using an Older Christmas Set. 

The heart and sentiment is from My Heart.  The flourish is from Funky Feathers.  Since I need a wedding card, I thought this would be perfect.

The card has 3 layers -- white A2 card, a smaller vellum layer and then the top layer is the white trimmed to that the vellum peeks out around the edge.



Stamps:  WMS My Heart and Funky Flowers
Paper:  Recollections White, SU Vellum
Ink:  Versamagic Pixie Dust and Grapefruit Pink, and Versamark
Other:  Gold Embossing Powder, embossing buddy, pearl, dimensionals

Hope your Monday is a good one!


Sep 14, 2014

Sunday Savings: Cleaning Stamps

Today's tip is saving money cleaning stamps.  Boring, but a dime is a dime, right?

I’ve used specialty cleaners and a scrubber, but hated buying the cleaner and the scrubber sometimes left little pieces on my stamps.  I switched to baby wipes, but they are pricey and not environmentally friendly.

I kept reading about the Absorber and thought I'd give it a try.  I think it was made to dry off cars, but the chances of me ever washing or drying a car is zero.  

Bottom line, it's great!  Since I couldn't figure out what to do with it (brain cell issues), I thought I'd share how to use it.

I got the mini version -- it's less than $10 for a very large piece (17" x 13").  I cut a smaller piece and put away the rest, where I suspect it will outlive all of us.

It comes in a plastic tube, and out of the container is soft and pliable.  I soon learned that if it sits out in the air, it dries and becomes hard, like cardboard.  (I thought I had killed it.)   

Also, I kept trying to clean the stamps with the absorber and nothing else.  It didn't absorb a thing and I wondered what was wrong.  Finally, it occurred to me to wet it.  It's a miracle!!  The water and ink and alcohol all just get "absorbed." I have no idea where they go. 

If water doesn’t clean my stamp, I put a little cheap rubbing alcohol on the absorber and that does the trick -- this works really well for metallic inks.  And, no, it doesn't harm my stamps.

Before I start stamping, I see if it's too dry and if so, spritz with water and it's fine.  If I keep it out for a few hours, I spritz again. 

Here's mine, in its container .... 

Lovely, isn't it?  I've used it for a few months without washing it.  Guess it's time to throw in the washer (but not the dryer)!  Love this thing...

Now they need to make a synthetic cook (The Cookster) and I'll be all set. 

Sep 11, 2014

Neon and Glitter, Oh My

How about a quick-to-make, bright, Christmas card?

Covered some white card stock with Hero Arts neon pink ink, stamped the sentiment from Simon Says Stamp Peace on Earth, and die cut a circle.

The silver is from a sheet of adhesive glitter stuff that I found at Paper Source.  Trimmed a cord and the top of the ornament and die cut a teeny star for the dot on the "i."



Fun to read the comments from my last post.  I have the best readers!  Thanks.

Sep 9, 2014

Writing Blog Posts that Folks Will Read

Part One 

Ever wonder wish your blog got more traffic or that folks read what you wrote?  Me too!

There are a LOT of blogs out there and the chances are slim that most folks have the time to stop and read any of our blogs.  With smart phones and feedly and the like, a lot of folks “just look at the pictures” and maybe skim the words.  There are a bunch of blogs I put in that category.  I get all I want from scanning the pictures.  They are amazing!

But there are some blogs, mostly crafty, but some that are not, that I always take the time to read the words.  The author has something to say that I find interesting or challenging or useful, and says it well.  In fact, some blogs have writing that is more compelling that the cards displayed... .

Here’s why I read some blogs.  Basically, it comes down to what do you have to say and why do I want to read it?  And, second, how well do you say it?   I do not care if the blogger posts every day or once a month.  

Some blogs are interesting

Example:  I read a couple of blogs written by folks whose lives revolve around their faith/religion.  This is interesting to me.  There are many times I want to reach through the screen and react. I don’t share the bloggers’ faith/religion, but the details are fascinating and thought provoking. 
Some blogs teach me something I didn't know and want to learn.

Example:  “I placed the bling here because…”  “I tried out two black inks and compared them.  Here are the results.”  “Here’s how you can combine mini apple pies with the this stamp set.”  “Do the following with your camera and your pictures will improve.”

Oh, I didn't know that.  Thanks! (Off to find some mini apple pies…)

Some blogs are funny.

Some folks crack me up.  Period.  I don’t care what their cards look like.  They make me smile.  For free. 

Some blogs are honest without dragging me down.

I like open and refreshing – up to a point. 

Example:  Blogger writes that she can’t post all the time and take care of her kids and water the lawn.  She’s tired or doesn't have the discretionary income to devote to stamping that others have.  I get that. I can relate.  It makes the blogger a real human.

Example:  Blogger’s husband is stationed overseas in a war zone.  She writes about that experience.  It is interesting and honest.  It strains her marriage and is tough on the kids.  Her life isn't perfect.  Her cards may be, but her life is not.
Example:  Blogger mentions on a regular basis that her marriage is in trouble/stamp companies release too many products/dies cost too much/kid got arrested.  It’s honest.  Sharing the down moments in our lives can connect with me, but a constant drum beat of negativity rings turns me away.  I'm already a glass half empty person.  I need your water to fill me up, not an open plug to drain my glass.  
Example:  A blogger shares her son’s serious illness, providing updates.  I connect. I care and am interested.  It is heartbreaking, but doesn't drag me down –it provides me an opportunity to know the person and connect to another human being.  Life, contrary to Facebook, isn't one happy status report after another.

So those are the things that make me want to read a blog.  

How about you?  What makes you want to read – really read – a blog???

Coming Up:  Part Two (Editing your own words so folks will want to read them.)

Sep 8, 2014

Curtain Call Lovely Leaves Challenge

I Make I Talk Joan Bardee

Yes, there are leaves on this tree.

The challenge at Curtain Call Inspiration is "Lovely Leaves."  How can you not love that photo??

Used the Memory Box Small Triangle Tree stamp, which is a Christmas stamp.  However, looking for ways to use my stamps in a variety of ways.

Here's a close up of the watercolored "leaves".

Stamped the image on watercolor paper, embossed in white, and watercolored using Tombow markers and Ranger Distress inks.

Cut out the image and added a tag, twine and some wood embellishments.



Stamps:  Memory Box Small Triangle Tree and Neat and Tangled Just Hello
Paper:  Cream Recollections and watercolor paper
Ink:  Versamark, Tombow markers and Ranger Distress inks
Other:  Twine, wood embellishments, Ranger tag die, watercolor brush, Corner Chomper, dimesionals, Glossy Accents (to adhere wood on the tag)

Sep 7, 2014

Sunday Savings: Love it or Hate it? Different Views of the Same Item

I have this Genesis Trimmer

I love it.*

Years ago I bought the larger, even pricier one with the edge light.  I sold it when I moved because it was a 16" square plus the light, and way too big for the new craft space. 

Before I bought my first Genesis, I had purchased about 7 other trimmers, always on the lookout for a great cut at a cheap price.  And a lot of blades.  I spent way more on all those trimmers than I did on the Genesis.

Did I learn?  No.

Second time around, I saw a glowing review of this Fiskars ProCision Trimmer.

So I bought it.  It folds up so it takes less space, and is much cheaper than the Genesis.  But I  hated it.  The nifty folding mechanism got in the way. 

So I broke down and bought the 12"  Genesis.  With the Genesis, I can shave tiny slivers off the edge of a card, which means all the sides align, rather than the slight wonkiness that happens after I score and fold a card.  The metal blade against the metal strip cuts perfectly.  **Heaven**

But clearly a lot of folks like the Fiskars ProCision Trimmer based on subsequent reviews I've read in a variety of places.


I guess it doesn't matter why others love it, and I hated it.  All that matters is that I should have trusted my instincts and stuck to something I already knew, rather than invest in a rather pricey purchase based on one online review.  Of course, the best thing is to be able to try out an item, but that always isn't possible.

Wondering if you've ever bought something based on reviews and then been disappointed??

*  Don't buy it because I love it!!

Sep 3, 2014

Hello Autumn!

 Decided to play with the Paper Smooches Spark Challenge because:

1.  it is an "anything goes" challenge and even I can do that,
2.  love Paper Smooches and this Autumn Groves set,
3.  it is autumn in my mind, and that puts me in a good mood, and
4.  am trying to be more involved with the stamping internet community while at the same time preserving my artistic integrity. and possibly win $$$. 

Got to love my envelope liner die -- one of my all time favorite one and use it!! 

MOOD WHEN DONE:  it's autumn, what more can I say? 


Stamps:  Paper Smooches Autumn Groves

Paper:  Recollections Cream cardstock from Michaels, and assorted patterned paper (it's thrown in a drawer, no clue of the source!)

Ink:  Versamark and Hero Arts Cup of Joe, Ranger Distress ink Crushed Olive

Other:  Ranger Gold detail embossing powder, twine, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Clear and Simple stamps envelope liner die, Peerless watercolors, water, watercolor brush, time due to a blessed 5 day holiday from work...good heavens, so much stuff for such a "simple" card...

Sep 1, 2014

Christmas Blessings --- and Happy New Year!

Of all the cards I made with Simon Says Stamp Peace on Earth, this is my favorite.
This big sentiment in the classic Kristina Werner handwriting carries a card on its own.  Here is a picture of the set.

Stamped sentiment on white cardstock, added the premade embellishment (part of my stash, not sure who made it), and adhered the white panel on an angle onto a red card.  Once the white panel was down, trimmed the edges.  Really a 5 minute card.  I may need to make a bunch.

I appreciate the free set that Simon Says Stamp sent to me to help usher in #stamptember.  Not sure what the company has in mind for this month, but apparently there will be a lot of new product and ????


Back to work tomorrow after a luscious 5 day break, so the posts may not be as often.

In the meantime, if you celebrate Labor Day, hope it is a happy one.  In my community, school cannot start until after Labor Day (by law) and that is how it was when I was growing up, so tomorrow is like New Year's Day.  So, Happy New Year!

Edited photo since first posted...