Craft It Forward Blog Hop

14 Jun

Good morning bloggers,

I came across this really cool 2011 project that I had to share – it is organized by Scrapbooks Etc. and the project is called Craft It Forward.

Craft It Forward is a movement designed to benefit local charities through craft projects.  A handmade card can bring smiles to kids in crisis, a fun banner can brighten the day of adults in residential facilities and a bookmark can encourage someone learning to read. You can make a difference in your community by doing something you love – crafting!

Here’s how it works:

Throughout 2011, make a project (any project) and donate it to a charity that is near and dear to your heart. Then, add the photo of your project and a short note about your donation story to the Craft It Forward gallery for a chance to win $500 in cash and a $500 donation to a charity! How cool is that – it’s a win-win proposition.

Feel free to contact craftforward@meredith.com with any additional questions.

I plan to participate – will you join me?

My new stamp library …

13 Jun

Today is the day to rejoice!! Thank goodness – my month-long project to reorganize my stamp collection is finally done. What a relief! I thought I’d never get it done – it was a long arduous journey where I almost gave up a few times.

Anyway – here is how I would find my stamps.

1) Look in my stamp inventory binder where there are 7 categories

  • Alphabets (letters, numbers, punctuations)
  • Celebration (birthday, new house, new baby, graduation, wedding)
  • Design (flourishes, texture, backgrounds, borders, tags)
  • Holiday (X’mas, Easter, Valentines, Halloween, 4th July)
  • Misc objects (collage, objects)
  • Nature (flowers, leaves, animals, critters)
  • People (here is where I put my magnolia stamps and images of people)
  • Sentiment (text, greetings, dates)

2)Each category correspond to a box of stamps. (e.g. “Design” category has a “Design” box, “Celebration” category has a “celebration” box etc.)

3) If I’m looking for a specific stamp (say invitations), I look in the “Celebration” category in my binder

– where I will find “invitation”. Flipping to my “invitation” page on my binder, I find all my “invitation”  images. This way, I only need to work with a binder on my craft table.

4) When I have found the image I need in the binder, I look into the boxes for the exact CD cases they are stored in.

When I buy more stamps (which we all know will happen), I just add it to the corresponding box & the corresponding category in my binder. Or if I happen to buy a stamp that I need to create a new category for, I just create a new box & a new corresponding category in my binder.

I hope this system works for a while because I’m not looking forward to recreating the whole system for a while.

Have a great day!

So many toys, so little time …

11 Jun

Well hello bloggers … I have to apologize for the unintentional gap in post.

I enjoy shopping – I have not met a crafter who doesn’t. Most of the time, I have some degree of self-control but ocassional,  I lose it (com’on – I’m human)! So I got totally carried away shopping yesterday … and now I’m totally playing with my new toys. Woo Hoo!!

Here is my haul …

Yes I mean really Carried Away – all unintentional purchases – really, everyone needs a Vagabond (doesn’t matter if I already have a Silhouette).

On a positive note, lookie what I made with my Zutter-Bind-it-All. Got to use it … at least once. Actually, I intent to make a Copic Coloring Book too (but that’s another post).

Have a fun day!! I intent to … in my craftroom.

Steph

Quick 30 Minutes Handmade Cards

9 Jun

What is better on a hot summer day and an ice cold slice of watermelon? An ice cold bowl of sweet cherries in an air conditioned room of course … yum!

Here is my sweet bowl of cherries colored with Copic markers in my air conditioned craft room. Thank goodness for modern amenities!

I had always only used my colorless blender to fix mistakes but this is the 1st time I am using it to draw the colors away from the bowl to create more highlights. I like how it turned out – I think the colorless blender is going to be my new best friend.

Stamps are from Unity Stamps Company. Copic markers used are R35, R20, BG72, BG75, 0. Scalloped square is punched using Marvy Uchida Extra Giga Scalloped Square punch. This is my less-than-30 minutes, quick and easy card.

Challenge entered:

Sunday’s with Crissy

I also wanted to share another quick and easy card that I have submitted for various other challenges in the past and will send this for The Pink Elephant challenge this week.

Background is stamped with Impression Obsession Cover-a-card Wavy Lines and embellished with Hero Arts crystal gemstones. Foreground is embossed with Sizzix textured impressions embossing folder – wedding set #2 set on core’dinations black cardstock.

Stay cool in this 100F heat …

Colors Of The Rainbow

7 Jun

This is going to sound crazy – I got up at 3am last night and I thought I should try spray painting glue and adding sparkly sprinkles on it to see if I would get a raised 3D glittery effect. But I guess I couldn’t find glue I could spray paint at that hour so I tried spraying mulberry paper with sparkly ink just to see what kind of effect I’d get.

Here is the result (of course I had to mount it on a card) …

Mulberry paper was sprayed using Tattered Angel Glimmer Mist – Viva Pink, Electric Blue, Black Magic, Glacier, Peach Delight and Olive Vine. The effect was strangely gratifying when the colors melded together to create new colors! Impression Obsession Victorian House image was stamped on Papertrey Ink Stampers Select White Cardstock. I outlined the roof line with Copic Atyou Spica Glitter Pen – Silver and background behind the house was shaded with Copic marker BV0000.

Let me know what you think.

Challenge entered:

One Crazy Stamper

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop

Copic Markers – Testing cardstock

6 Jun

I promised I would share more about what I learnt from my Copic Certification Program, so I’m starting with my 1st major takeaway about paper and how to test which one works for you.

The basic understanding to know is how ink will move on paper.

  • It will bleed through (or saturate) almost all paper. The thicker the paper, the less bleed through you will get.
  • It will feather across the paper (feathering is when you color to line and the ink still moves beyond the line).

Bleed through is not an indication of how good the paper is, only how thick it is and how much ink you will need to use to get a good blend. On the other hand, you will want a paper that feathers minimally so you don’t spend hours carefully coloring an image to have it “ooze” outside the lines.

Here are the steps to test a paper:

1) On the paper you are testing, draw a circle with your Copic multiliner (or stamp one with your memento ink)

2) Pick a light and dark shade marker (I picked YR02 & YR 07)
3) Color your circle with the light shade (YR02 in my example) carefully to the line

  •  if your colors seep outside the line, test another paper; if not, move to step 4.

4) Flick on a darker shade (YR07 in my example) on half of the circle

  • if your colors seep outside the line, test another paper; if not, move to step 5.

5) Go back with lighter shade (YR02) and blend it, any feathering would be more pronounced with a darker color and with all the blending work you have done.

  • if your colors seep outside the line, test another paper; if not, move to step 6.

6) Let your work dry a little for a few minutes and touch the colored area with the chiselled tip of a colorless blender (0)

  • ideally, you should see a crisp lighten shape of your chiselled tip instead of a fuzzy blob of lighten shape where your colorless blender touched. A crisp line will allow you more control when using your colorless blender to create texture and correct mistake.

A paper that would be good to use will have met all testing steps, giving you most control over your coloring.

Here are the papers I tested:

I found that I like Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select and Copic X-Press It Blending card the best.

Papertrey Ink Stamper Select White  ($0.15/sheet) is the thickest of the lot I tested, it took more ink to evenly saturate my circle and blend my colors – the higher saturation point of the paper works for me because it gives me time to work. I like that the colors remained very vibrant and almost true to the original colors I picked out. The same can be said with the Copic X-press It blending card. The colorless blender also left a crisp shape.

Copic X-Press It Blending card ($0.36/sheet) is also a fairly thick paper – not as thick as Papertrey, but about the same thickness as the Gina K 120# and Cryogen 84# and 89# – but it has a very smooth finish that allows the ink to stay on the surface a lot longer so it blends the best of all. I tend to be a bit “heavy-handed” when laying down ink, so with the smooth finish, my coloring started pitting a little as well because there was so much ink on the surface of the paper, which I kinda like because it looked like my image has some unintentional texture.

Gina K Pure Luxury White (80# & 120#) ($0.19 & $0.28/sheet) also as a similar smooth finish as the Copic X-press It Blending Card which I love. But was a bit softer and more absorbent than the Copic X-express It Blending Card, hence the colors looked more saturated and there was more marginally more feathering. 80# feathered more and saturated faster than the 120# but blended better – it looked more natural. The colorless blender marker was not quite as crisp as the Papertrey and Copic X-press It.

Cryogen White Curious Metallics cardstock (84# & 89#) ($0.34/sheet) was the only one that is slightly off-white and has a shimmer to the paper. I love the shimmer – wonderful “texture” to my coloring but I did not like the off-white color – I lost some highlighting potential because it wasn’t bright white. It does blend well with minimal feathering. It is a fairly soft paper and colors absorbed pretty quickly into the paper and the end result of my coloring seem significantly darker and more intense (almost cartoony dark). 89# didn’t absorb quick as quickly as 84#.

Bazzill Smoothies Coconut Swirl ($.23/sheet) also feathered quite a bit for me. It started feathering just after I laid on my darker colors before I even started blending.

Neenah Classic Crest Solar White (80# & 120#) ($0.12/sheet) performed the worst for me because it is so soft and absorbent and it saturated and feather before I even finished coloring my circle. I’m a slow worker.

My bottom line is, you have to learn the properties of the paper you are using. Any paper can give you the results you want as long as you learn where the saturation point of that paper is. That means practicing and testing with different paper to find one that fits your style.

Summer is here …

3 Jun

At least I hope it’s here to stay for a while, given the crazy weather we have been getting in MN.

Over at Crissy’s, she has declared summer too – a summer theme card! There are many things I love about the summers – allergy season from spring is slowing down a little; no need for coats, hats and mitten – thank goodness, when you have to run around the house to put on 2 sets of gloves before leaving the house (sometimes 3 sets when the 1st set comes off before the 2nd set goes on); grass is lush and flowers are blooming, especially the sunflowers … and here is my sunny flower card for Crissy’s challenge.

Background is stamped using Impression Obsession cover-a-card distressed diagonals. Flower image and sentiment are stamped using Stampendous Daisy Thanks Perfectly Clear stamps. The entire card was inked using Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks – Wild Honey and Vintage photo.

Enjoy the warm weather!

Other Challenges entered:

Crafter’s Companion Monthly Challenge

By the Cute and Girly Monthly Challenge

Impression Obsession It’s The Hot Fun In The Sun Challenge