Sunday, July 22, 2012

Card Class -- Border Stamps

Hete is my card from the lesson on border stamps.  This stamp is from a set from Hampton Arts. I don't rememebr the name as I tossed the backing card -- maybe just "Circles?"

This came out better than I expected.  I do love a rainbow color scheme, they seem to radiate happiness, harmony, and I guess, positive energy to me. I also like the way the squarish type style of the sentiment contrast the circles of the background.

I put the sentiment over the yellow band because I wasn't very happy with the way that came out.  Has anyone noticed trouble stamping yellow?  That was the problem with the Faber-Castell markers on my sentiment stamp, the one picked for the bonus day -- I couldn't get the yellow marker to stamp bright enough to read.  Is it a quality of the color yellow itself, I wonder, or a quality of the pigments they use to make ink yellow?

The sentiment is a little off-center, but not for lack of trying, I tell you. I had my grid mat out and everything.  Straight lines, right angles, are something I have real trouble with. Maybe because of my limited vision.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Card Class Last Day

Hey, great news! At the end of the Online Card Class, the instructors Jennifer and Kristina pick out and link their favorite cards made by the students.  And they picked one of my cards!  My sentiment card, here.

Which, you know, I don't even think is my best card of the class.  But still, yay!  It's great to get some independent validation of my craft, especially when there are such talented people in the class.

Here is my latest card, featuring a reverse stamp, which is the last kind of stamp we learned about in class:

I had always admired this peacock stamp from Inkdinkadoo, and finally bought it when it went on sale.  But as pretty as it was, I wasn't sure how to use it, until now.  Here it is stamped and the unstamped parts, the image proper, colored with Prismacolor colored pencils. I embossed the card base with my Cuttlebug peacock feather embossing folder, which is one of my favorites.

By "reverse" stamp, by the way, they mean the negative space of the image, the empty space, is what you are stamping down, so that the positive space, the image itself, remains unstamped.  This gives a very different feel than a traditional image stamp, as you can see.  Isn't it great that stamps are so versatile?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Card Class - Stamping on Glitter

I quite liked Jennifer's "swing" card design, but I didn't think the stamp I chose really fit that circular design.  I would like to try it with something else, however.

Here is my attempt at stamping with glitter.

This picture is kind of dark, but strangely, you can see the glitter sparkling best in it.  I used DCVW glittered cardstock which I had, which has a thick lacquer on the top that keeps the glitter quite intact. I think you can even use it for Operation Write Home. (You'll want to verify that.)

I stamped in Staz-On and colored with alcohol markers, although in hindsight I think Sharpies might have been a better choice, more permanent.  Sprayed with a spray fixative.

The coloring did not turn out so great, it may be that you have to make your own glittered paper as Jennifer does. It might look good to try some tone-on-tone stamping on different colors of the cardstock, if I had Staz-On in other colors than black, which I don't. So this is it for glitter stamping, for now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Floral Cards

I was never much a fan of floral imagery in any design -- clothes, furniture --but lately I have taken a bit of a liking to floral stamps.  As long as they are not huge overstuffed cabbage roses or daisies or anything else so nakedly sentimental, or Victorian. I hate Victoriana with a passion.

But here is an ATC for my wildflower swap with Jennifer's "faux freehand" technique from the class, where you stamp in a light ink and draw over it:

When, I first started with it, I thought, oh hell no, this looks like a child drew it. But once it was finished I liked it better. The script overstamping helps it look more polished.

This is Hero Art's "Agapanthus" stamp. (I don't think agapanthus are really wildflowers, I think they are cultivated garden flowers, but this stamp looks pretty wild to me, so OK.)

And here is the same stamp over a background of Distress Ink and Perfect Pearls.  Sadly you can't see the Perfect Pearls well in any of the photos -- it is gold and copper.

Plenty more floral techniques to try, so expect some more tomorrow.  I was not inspired by the day of label stamps, so I'm going to skip over that.  In fact I don't think I have any, anyway.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Card Class Day 7

Today's lesson is about how to use floral stamps.  There are many kinds of floral stamps, of course; the one they were using in class is an outline stamp.

The card I first wanted to try was Jennifer's field of black and white flowers, with one focal image in color. Here's my take on it:

My first attempt was too crowded; the extra flowers were crowding the focal flower and the sentiment.  This is better, but it is still too crowded on the left.  I do kind of like the way it starts out busy on the left and clears out around the sentiment. I should try it again, though.

I'm not really big on flowers, but I've always liked this little rose stamp, which is just one of those one-dollar stamps you can get at Michael's.  The design is based on a rose design by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the great Scottish Arts & Crafts designer. He's one of my Mom's favorite artists. (My Mom is Scottish.)

The flower is colored with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers.  I just got these markers, so I'm not great with them yet, but I'm learning.

Monday, July 16, 2012

More Day 4 cards

LIke I said, graphic stamps are some of my favorites, and I have a lot of them.  This card came from the technique in the lesson of using graphic stamps to make backgrounds. Although, it isn't the background, really, as there is nothing on top of it, but the foreground, but the idea is the same -- building up patterns with graphic stamps.

I have been wanting to try this stamp with this technique for a while, as these cards I have have a window cut in them.

The embossed square inside the window came out fine.  **Sigh** But the greeting, not so much:

I can't give this to anyone.  I'm going to have to do it again. I do try to be super-careful when card-making, because any time I make a mistake, trying to correct it invariably makes things worse.

I might try green and copper next time. That black looks pretty forbidding. But it is super late, so I am not going to try it tonight. See you in class tomorrow.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Card Class, Sentiments

I am jumping around.  What day was sentiment stamps again? Whatever -- I'm tired, it's after midnight.  Here is my last card for today.

This card follows Shari Carroll's technique of coloring sentiment stamps with markers.  The sentiment was large enough I could do a nice rainbow effect.

Believe it or not, I just colored this with ordinary Crayola markers. I don't even remember where they came from, they are just lying around.  I had first tried it with my Faber-Castell Stamper's Big Brush markers, but that really did not work very well.  The ink did not transfer well even when I misted it. I am annoyed. Those markers are supposed to be designed especially for ink blending on stamps. And they were expensive!

I finished the card off with a little bling, which I hope you can see here is Stickles. Which I have a ton of in every color and don't use as much as I ought.  So I made a point of using it here.

If you're having trouble discerning the sentiment, it is, "Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life."

The stamp is from the inexpensive "Ditto" line of stamps and supplies from Hampton Art that you can get at Michael's.  I have almost all of these stamps. I think they are good value for the money.

Class Day 4, Part 2

This next card is my attempt to  replicate Jennifer's style in her first card of giving a clean graphic stamp a grungy, distressed look:

I did not have the patience for all the layered embossing, so I used materials that looked distressed -- a thick, textured paper, and duh, Distress Inks. :)

This stamp is from Bo Bunny. It is the mate of the little, lacy medallion on the last card set. (Bo Bunny produces a single small set of clear stamps to coordinate with their paper collections; this collection was called Gypsy, which is now discontinued.)  Since it is a clear stamp, Distress (and indeed most) inks puddle up on it when you ink it, so that in itself give it a distressed look.

The paper is from Core-dinations. It has a thick linen sort of surface and is designed to be torn and sanded, so the stamp did not stamp very evenly on it; thus, distressed. I stamped the sentiment with black Staz-On ink as I wanted it, by contrast, to be as dark and clear as possible -- not distressed.

And of course I had to add some bling.  Love that bling! Embellishments may be my favorite part of papercrafting, so many options. (After stamps, of course.) I have designed entire cards around a favored embellishment.

So of course, this card is not near as elaborate as Jennifer's, and does not include her advanced techniques. But I feel it has replicated the aesthetic to my satisfaction. Here is a not-bad attempt at a close-up:

Today, Saturday, was a bonus day in the class, showing some amazing cards using stamp and die-cut combinations.  So I'm still behind, but what fun to catch up!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Card Class day 4

I haven't been able to keep up with this card class as much as the last one, but I hope to catch up this weekend.

These two cards are inspired by the card Lisa Spangler did for day 4, graphic stamps:

These cards look simple, but they took me all night! Because they were so simple, everything had to be right.

I was very concerned that all the colored squares be exactly the same size and shape, so I cut them with a 2-inch Nestabilities square die in the Big Shot.  If you've read my posts on die-cutting in the class forums, you know I'm not too enamored of that machine. But it did work as expected here -- and even embossed the border in the squares a little. I actually didn't want that, so I used the back sides of the squares.

I was very careful of the inking, placement, and embossing of the squares, as that was the central technique.  It had to be perfect, or nearly. I threw a few of them out along the way.

This first card is the way Lisa did it, white embossing. Three of the stamps are from a Hero Arts set, and the fourth from a Hampton Arts set.

This stamp, which is from Bo Bunny, I am very fond of, so I thought it needed a little more -- silver embossing and larger gems. Glad i had gems in all the right colors. (Actually, not so unusual -- cool blues and greens are my favorite color scheme, so I have a lot of things like that in my stash.)

The squares are popped up on 1/8 inch pop dots.

I also fussed around a lot with the placement of the squares.  That took a while.

I hope you like them.  I think they turned out well.  I hoped to get more done tonight, but at least these are done right.

Oh, the card base is from Studio G and the paper squares are an ordinary Recollections budget paper pack.  But nice colors.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

OK, so I am taking another cardmaking class at This one is called "Stretch Your Stamps" -- it's about learning new and different ways to use the rubber stamps you already have.

So I will be posting some of the cards I make from the class here in my blog, so I can link to them for the class website.

The first lesson was about background stamps, different ways to use them.  The idea I like best was, stamping a background stamp on only part of a card, leaving the rest of the card blank for other stamps and techniques. I thought that looked cool (and easy) so that's what I did here:

The stamp is called "Grungy Grid Background" from Stampabilities, and I stamped it in Memento black ink over slightly more than half the card, and colored in some of the squares, quite randomly, with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers in the Tan and Golden Brown color ranges.  The "Hello" sentiment is from Hampton Art/Studio G.

Now, as you can see, because it is a one-layer card, the markers bled through to the inside of the card:

I could cover that over with a panel of matching cardstock, but I don't know, I might just leave it. I think it looks kind of neat.  It reminds me of an antique IBM computer punchcard. Or a kitchen tile mosaic.

And here is an Artist Trading Card I have done for a swap on  Why this photo is so pink and weird I have no idea. I know squat about photography.  But I want to put the ATC in the pre-class art gallery on the class website. So there. :)