Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tim Holtz' Tags of 2012 - May

 I made it just by the skin of my teeth this month!  Where did the month of May go - this month seemed to fly by in a blur. 
Today I have on this final day in May, my Tag for Tim's Tags of the year-2012.  I loved what he did with his, and really liked the technique for the porcelain flowers, which I still want to try someday.

Otherwise, I repeated the spool, the flowers and the dressform.  My dressform stamp came from The Rubber Cafe's set called Steampunk Wings. as well as the text I stamped on the background of the tag.  I'm doing mine all in ATC size, but even so seemed to have enough room for a cute wooden hanger, and a neat pair of Scissors.  I took a chipboard dressform, also from the The Rubber Cafe - and wrapped tissue around it.  This is after I first stamped out my dressform image on the tissue. I gently Mod Podged it to keep the edges wrapped and clean on my form.  The rest is just embellishments I had...  Too much fun!

Here's another view of the rest of my ATC's cards so far...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Introducing a New Release from The Rubber Cafe'

Hey it's the weekend and I'm here to share a new little 'Bundle' over here at The Rubber Cafe'. It's the new release "On the Fence" which you can buy separately or all bundled together.

In my card I've managed to work in a little bit from all of this fun set. I used the "On the Fence Die" and the background "Wood Grain" stamp on the front, and on the inside I've combined a phrase from the "Friends" phrase set, and the hanging basket from the "Window Garden" set.

Spellbinder Nestabilties set Label number 21 cut the shape of my card. By folding my 90 lb wt Water color paper, in towards the center, leaving folds on each side, I measured so the largest die would just sit inside the fold thus keeping the dies from cutting and giving you a gateway folded card with some shape. I layered more paper using the Spellbinder Nestabilities Label 10. Add in some bling, ribbon with a bit of Walnut Stain distress ink and some glue, and my card os complete!

Here's a better view of that fun Fence die! The paper was stamped with the Wood Grain background stamp in Memento Close to Cocoa.

In addition I had so much fun rolling my little roses from Spellbinders' Bitty Blossom set. For this card I just used the smaller 2 dies and really pleased with how these turned out! I've been hand cutting and rolling my own roses for awhile now, so I can't tell you how fun and easy it is to make flowers with these dies! Here's a handful together... as well as the ones I used in my card.

Well that's it, I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend, and if you're like me have an extra day off on this Memorial Day weekend! I for one am hoping to get some more stamping time in! This new bundle has opened some creative flood gates that won't be denied!

Bye for now!

Ink: Memento - London Fog, and Rich Cocoa, Tim Holtz, Distress Ink-Walnut Stain
Paper: GCD Studio, 90 lb wt. Water Color paper
Adhesives; The Rubber Cafe'- Scrap Happy Glue, Stick 'em Up
Embellishments: Misc ribbon, and bling, Making Memories stick pins.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Going Green... Tutorial for The Rubber Cafe'

Happy Saturday! Hope you're ready to have a great weekend, and will also get sometime to stamp. Today's post is a bit long as I have included a tutorial for you as well, so grab a cup of coffee or tea, relax and read on!                                                            

So if you remember last week, I shared my Flower Pot Gift idea with you, and as promised here's the card that goes with it!

The card is also featuring The Rubber Cafe's Hand-Picked Floral stamp.

To create this I stamped and embossed on aluminum giving a fun metal pail to hold my flowers.
Read on, I have created a tutuorial to show you this fun technique on how to stamp and dry emboss on metal.

Here we go! You'll need 1 empty aluminum soda can to get started.. that's right I started with a clean soda can,mine was Diet Rite, but any drink will do.
To prep my aluminum can, I took my kitchen sheers, and carefully cut the top and bottom off. Then I cut up one side giving you a rectangular piece to work with.
Safety tip! :) I use garden gloves when I'm handling this as it can get ragged while your cutting the tops and bottoms off. I then trim it so it's smooth. Now if you're careful you can handle safely w/o the gloves.

The tools I'm using are metal stylist with nylon tips that work smoothly on the metal for adding texture and interest. I worked with a pointed tip to outline and a round ball tip for the inside. This will become clear as we get going.

Now that my can has been prepared I am ready to stamp my image. I used Archival black ink but you can also use Staz-on. Since this is a smooth surface you need an ink that will set well on the alumuinum. You will stamp your image on the inside or plain part of the can. Or which ever side you want to have exposed as the right side in your finished projects. (sometimes it's fun to have the print and color of the can as your right side.)

Taking your pointed tip tool start by outlining the outside lines of the stamped image. I usually work just to the outside of the stamped line. You're working from the front now, and with your tool trace around the image. I also defined the center lines, as these will also become important to the finished results.

Once you're done with that flip the image over, and you should be able to see the embossed lines you've just drawn.
Here you can see my aluminium piece flipped over. Since the top of the pail is covered by the floral arrangement, for now I've just drawn in my own top edge this will help me later when I do the inside.

This picture also gives you a good look at the tools I'm using.

Now working from the back - I"m using the round ball tip, to work the 2 inside sections. Using a circular motion, I'm working the metal out so it will give me some more dimension and depth.

In addition to the round tip tool, I'm also working on a soft foam sheet. Mine came with my tools- but you can also use a foam mouse pad, or craft foam sheet. Also a magazine would do the trick. You want to have some give so it will give you a smooth look and easily allow for the embossing to happen. On a hard surface it pushes back at you and creates harsh edges.

See in the picture below, I'm working on my black foam mat, and I've used the round tip to deboss the upper portion of my pail.

Now I'm ready to flip it over, and using my pointed tip again, I work it around the outline I created before. This time you're right on the stamped line. It will redefine the parameters of your image, and give it the estra detail you need. Also, if your shape has become a bit rolled or warped, this will shape it back up again.

Once you have the embossing and texture you want, you're ready to trim your image.

Here you can see I just cut it around the outside line of the pail. And for placement purposes you can lay it on your stamped image to see how it's going to fit.

I will not be ahering this securely until I have finished all my coloring. This will go on last.

The card itself is pretty simple, I used my Spellbinder Circle dies, to cut out the floral arrangement and backed it in Red. While it was still in the die, I sponged Broken China distress Ink throughout the background. Another slightly larger circle cut in red cardstock gave it just enough pop against the Kraft Card base.
Because my image had floral and leaves hanging over it - I stamped that area again, fussy cut it out and layered that on over my pail.

Below is another close up, to finish my card, I tied more gingham ribbon around the lower edge and with some Scrapper's floss, tied on a little garden tool that I had in my stash. I love that it too was metal and thought it a perfect finish to my garden pail of beautiful flowers!

That's it! I love this technique in a very literal way a metal container should be made out of metal right? But this technique is really neat with flowers or any other outlined stamped images where you want to add interest and texture. I left my metal alone, but it's a great medium to apply, alcohol inks, paint or even embossing powders.
Thanks so much and enjoy the weekend.

Stamps: The Rubber Cafe's, Give Momma Some Love, Hand picked Floral
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Copic markers
Paper: The Rubber Cafe's- Pugnacious White Cardstock, Stampin'Up Kraft card base Misc Red cardstock.
Adhesives: The Rubber Cafe' Scrap Happy Glue, tape runner
Embellsihments: Gingham wired edge ribbon, Garden tool charm, Natural Scrapper's Floss

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Tribute to my Mom

I was hoping to have my Mom's Mother's day card ready to share- but I'm in the process of a entire Craft Studio re-org, so my work space is a challenge right now as well as the time.  Even so, I really didn't want to miss this opportunity to pay tribute to my Mom and share with you the wonderful person that she is. 

I've been blessed with the most amazing Mom!  She is such a very special woman in so many ways.  She has so many amazing talents, and I remember when I was growing up thinking there just wasn't anything she couldn't do or was good at.  She just made everything 'nice' or better in whatever she took on.  She has such a calming way about her in any situation.  She's as beautiful inside as she is on the outside.  I guess you could say she is the total package!

My latest scrapbooking projects have been centered around my heritage album, and it's through those earlier pictures of her as a young girl and than a young woman that I really felt like I got to know her and see her as more than my Mom. 
One of the first projects I did was a class using an accordian 8 page chipboard book, featuring Basic Grey papers and their large alphabet chipboard letters.  The class was called "My Loves" and each page contained a letter spelling out "my loves" featuring photos of the teacher's daughters. The kit included the entire package of letters, so I used "by design", with pictures that I featured my Mother as a young girl, holding either a kitten, cat or dog.  Now I have always had a huge heart for animals, and I had always thought my love for animals had probably come from my Father, who I knew grew up on a farm where my Grandfather raised Guernsey Cows and Percheron Horses.  And later he himself, got our family into raising and breeding Arabian horses.  But seeing these pictures of my mother, I realized she too had a huge heart for animals!  I decided that I was who I was 'by design'.  In the software industry often that phrase is used, if an issue or bug is found in the application, and a developer will return it saying this is not a bug, it is working "by design". 
So good, or bad that is what it is and how it was intended to be.  
This is where the title of my blog came from.  Besides the creative sound that it has - it also carries this 'other' meaning for me.  That we are who we are by the people that make up our lives, and good or bad, it is what it is and how it was intended to be, "by design".

Here is another small album project that I did during CKU- Nashville -2009!  Using the 8" Mixed Media album with pages made out of chipboard, acetate and a thick felt. This was teamed up with the Vintage look of October Afternoon Paper and embellishments.  So I knew it would be a good home for pictures I had of my Mom.   It still to this day needs some much needed journaling, but here is the intro page... my Mother at age 5...

And I finished it with a picture that was taken when she was 21 I believe.

The rest of pages are a mixture of her as she was growing up.  And a lot of them are her on her Grandparents farm in Grand Meadow, Minnesota.

I'm going to close with a recent picture of My Mom and on her latest visit here - have a wonderful Mother's Day everyone!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Gloria's Blog Hop

Hi - I don't have anything new made today, so in keeping with Gloria's 'Meet My Friends' blog hop, I thought I'd share some photos! 

Gloria will probably kill me for this but here's a picture I took of her at one of our annual retreats we go to at the Bailey's on Palomar Mtn, CA.  Here she is with her masterpiece project of the weekend!

Here's some group photos - as you can see we are laughing and talking most of the time!
The top 2 pictures are from our annual retreat these were some I took of Chris, Jacquie and Gloria

The bottom 2 I borrowed from Jacquie- who took these at our last Christmas party. 
From left to right we have Pat, Melody, Gloria, Chris, Me!, and Tanya.
  It took a few shots to get us all not laughing or talking, but she managed it.  I'm only sorry to say Jacquie is not in the picture, and we're missing Lori and Wanda, who weren't able to make it.
Gloria and I met along with Jacquie, Lori, Tanya, Chris, Wanda, Melody, and Pat at a Scrapbook club in one of our local stores, and it's been wonderful for me to see how our friendships have grown and flourished to what we have today.  Many of those women are on this list today so hop on and enjoy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mother's Day-Flower Pot Gift Idea Blog post

May Day has come and gone and so that means Mother's Day is just around the corner! So today my Blog post over at The Rubber Cafe' I featured a gift idea that is sure to bring a smile to any Mother whether it's your own, a friend, or maybe even your Grandmother!

I've created this sweet little flower pot, with chalk board sign. I envision you could include a small little plant or empty with goodies inside like Seed packets, garden gloves for an avid Gardner, or maybe some special drinks or teas. Use your creativity and imagination!

I started with a Plastic Flower pot, and Wood Chalk board stake that were both in the dollar bins at Michaels. I loved this Flower pot, as the surface was smooth, and although it looks like a clay pot, is not as pourous which meant no prep involved to ensure it would accept the ink. Easy Peasy!!

For stamping my image on the pot I used my Black Archival ink, it's a little more permanent, and is more user-friendly with Copics or Prisma markers which are alchohol based. (Staz-on, while good on smooth surfaces, will react with the alcohol markers and disappear while coloring) As an extra precaution before I started coloring I did heat set my image a bit.

Stamping this on a curved surface while challenging is not impossible. With trial and error I found what worked the best for me. Also, if you mess up, it is still removable if you act right away.

I'm using this gorgeous stamp from The Rubber Cafe' called Hand-Picked Floral. With the stamp postioned on my clear block I started from the left and gently rolled the stamp to the right carefully applying equal pressure to make sure all the details were caught on the pot. As you are rolling allow the left side of the stamp to lift, this is part of the rolling technique, as it will assist you in lifting the stamp at the end easily and without smudging. Be extra careful with your pressue, don't push to hard, as this is a smooth surface gentle pressure is best or you could cause it to slide, smudge or push the ink past the stamp causing the detailed lines to swell, none of these things are pretty!

If you get it the first time Yahoo for you! But if you're like me it may take a few tries to get it right, so don't be discouraged and keep trying, as you get the feel you'll be happily rewarded in the end! I think it took me 6 tries before I got it on straight and clean!
I did try it a few times with out the block but found it harder to control and more difficult to keep straight. So I really recommend this rolling technique with your stamp on the block. For my block I use Tim Holtz' clear blocks. I treated myself to a set (comes with 10 different sizes) as I love how thin they are and include a grid on each one which allows you to line up your stamp for more accurate placement. I have always had a hard time with the thicker blocks and had started to use thin acetate as it allowed me much more control. So you can't imagine how thrilled I was when he came up with these!

Once I finished stamping I just went to work coloring. I found the darker colors showed the best on this surface. My leaves I did use a couple of greens, so found I was able to do some blending but you're going to be limited because of that smooth surface, so keep it simple while you color. In the end you'll feel like a real artist! To finish this little gem I took some black/white gingham ribbon and tied it around the top, I also inserted some lace inside the edge - this lace happened to be a pre-adhesive embellishment, which was again perfect for this smooth surface. However, with regular lace I would use an adhesive tape, Glue dots/strips instead of liquid glue and that will work just a nicely.

For my Chalkboard stake- I used the same stamp and randomly stamped directly around the edge of the sign and then with my markers again colored it in. I love how finished it looks and how cute it coordinated with my pot! You're all set now to grab some chalk and write a sweet message like, 'I Love You' or just 'Mom' or maybe if you put a flower in it you can use it as a Plant marker and write the name of the plant or flower.

I had a cute card to go with this but somewhere between the Crop last weekend where I made it and home, it got lost. And I didn't have time to make another one. I will try to re-create it and share it with you in my next post. It features another fun technique, so worth making again.

So get 'Rolling' - if you get started now you'll still have time to whip up a few of these for all the favorite Moms in your life!
Thanks for stopping by!


Stamps: The Rubber Cafe' - Hand-picked Floral
Inks: Tim Holtz, Clear block set, Black Archival ink, Copics and Prisma markers
Ribbons: Misc Black/White gingham 1" ribbon, Lace edge ribbon
Adhesives: Glue Dots/Strips
Other: Michael's dollar bins- Plastic pot, Chalk board stake