Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dry Embossing tips

I'm adding this just for Barb since she asked. But I'm guessing that many others have run across the same issues so I'm hoping I can help.

Barb asked:
did you gals learn some secrets you can share for dry embossing...I still have problems when using the templates...either I tear my paper, or I don't get quite the 'impression' I need!

When you're dry embossing there are a few essential things you need to know.

1. Use a cheap light box. It sounds funny but I own 3 different light box's and the ones that work best are the cheapos. I have that $50 one from SU and I can hardly see the template through the papers because the light is fluorescent and TOO bright.

2. Get it waxed. Have a piece of crumbled wax paper with your light box. Before attempting to emboss, rub your piece of paper with the wax paper. By crumpling it up, you're breaking the 'wax seal' and therefore allowing the wax to flow onto your paper which in turns lets the embossing tool glide with ease along the paper.

3. Don't push it! ;) You don't have to press hard to get a good impression, but you may have to go over it twice. Better to repeat yourself than start over completely because you've torn the paper. Also, when using regular paper you need to use much less pressure than when embossing with card stock.

4. "Oh Sandy..." Ok that was cheesy, but the best way I've found to enhance my dry embossed images is to lightly sand them. Just use a craft sanding block and lightly buff the image you've embossed. Be sure not to angle your sanding tool as you will scratch your paper, just rub flat over it and only the raised image will get hit. To achieve this look you'll need to use a white core paper or card stock, which means no SU card stock gals....gotta grab the craft store stuff! *lol*

Hope this helps! If anyone else has a question be sure to comment here and I'll just edit to this post to give you some answers. ;) xoxo

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Prettie Wednesday

The week of CHA, Charmaine challenged the Prettie Girls to make a card using Dry Embossing. I made this sweet card for my sweet friend Joanne using a brass template and the 'hey sugar' sentiment from the new Look Who's Perky set.

So today is the first day in over a week that I actually feel better!!! My voice came back a little, but I sound like a man so I'm going to refrain from talking just one more day. I'm going to attempt to clean up my craft room this evening so I can spend the entire weekend destroying it again. *lol* I know you gals know EXACTLY what I mean! ;) - xoxo

Monday, February 25, 2008

Embrace Life

I've been fighting a nasty case of bronchitis since last Monday and I thought I was past the worst of it.......wrong! Sat night I was wrapped up in blankets and drinking NyQuil by the gallon. And sure enough, on Sunday night laryngitis had set in and I am currently speechless. *lol* My husband is enjoying it while it lasts. ;) So I thought I would share some of my last class projects.
Embrace Life was the featured set for my Stamp of the Month class. Everyone seems to love these classes because they get to keep the stamp set at the end of the class. This set is quite versatile and can be made fancy or simple for a birthday or sympathy card. I love when you can use one set for multiple occasions. :)

I used River Rock as the card base and Blush Blossom for the card front. I stamped the bamboo image with bleach randomly on the front. Next, I punched a large oval from the blush card front and then layerd it onto the River Rock and added a small oval punchout with a greeting. The blossom image was stamped on watercolor paper using Staz-on black and I then used my aquapainters and inkpads to watercolor the image. I got these gorgeous antique copper brads from the Pretties Boutique and they are a perfect fit for this color combo.

If you haven't shopped over there lately, now is a good time. There is a Pretties Moving Sale going on right now and prices are down to wholesale cost because there just won't be room for everything in the new place! And while you're over there be sure to check out this gorgeous new spring ribbon from American Crafts.....spring is just around the corner!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Free to a good home

I was cleaning my craft room and FINALLY decided to sort out my scrap box, the thing was insanely full. After sorting it I realized I don't have anywhere to put it, so I'm giving it to anyone who wants it. Most of the scraps are SU paper but there are a few bazzil pieces and other brands here and there. Whoever posts first with their email can have it. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Back to the Basics

Charmaine got a challenge to return to the "basics" of stamping. The simple stuff that got us all hooked on this fabulous hobby. This set from Stampin' Up! is gorgeous and simple, so I decided to challenge myself. I tend to stay more on the simplistic side but on occasion I find my cards taking my over 2 hours to make. *yikes* I stamped Staz-on onto the shimmer white cardstock and watercolored the flower using my groovy guava inkpad and the aquapainter. I stamped the image again on regular whisper white and layered the shimmery flower at a slight angle to give the flower more dimension.

I used blush blossom ink on blush blossom cardstock to give it a little background but not be overbearing. Ok, so I wouldn't have used a sewing machine when I first started stamping but I really wanted to use it, so I did! :) I remembered my motto that if it takes me 2 hours to make, odds are I'm not giving it away. So this took only a few minutes and I can easily duplicate it and send it off as a thank you, sympathy or thinking of you card. Isn't that why we started stamping in the first place? To actually GIVE our cards away? LOL Thanks for the inspiration Charlie!! xoxo

Pretties Wednesday

Well it hasn't been too pretty here lately. It's been raining outside and I've been stuck at home in bed SICK!!! Luckily I have the company of my lemon tea and honey, I think I've had 6 cups thus far today.
The week before CHA Joanne posted a sketch challenge to the Prettie Girls. I've been slightly obsessed with cupcakes lately (I've recently purchased 4 cupcake sets from various companies). So I decided I would use my new cupcake set from Hero Arts for this sketch. I learned a ton at CHA (especially at the Copic booth) so I chose to use my Brilliance black pad to stamp all the cherries and my copic markers for coloring. Normally, the cherries would be very bold but because I learned how to use my Colorless blender, I was able to pull color from the cherries to soften them up a bit and give them more of a watercolor feel.

Don't fear the Colorless blender ladies, just stamp some images on scrap paper, color them with your markers as normal and then use your blender to remove a little. The cherries were super easy because they are round and I've found the best way to "remove color" is in a circular motion. I also learned they are pronounced "CO-PICK", not "CAH-PICK" as I had been saying. Another tip is to use your color shades in threes. For instance, if you want browns to color dirt, sand, hair, coffee, etc then you should purchase in the same color coding (BV, B, Y, YR - color codings) and separate them by at least one digit. So E59-Walnut, E57-Light Walnut and E55-Light Camel. When coloring, you always start with the lightest color and work your way to the darker shades. If you want a more subtle effect, you would allow your first color shade to dry and then go over it again using the same color but just adding a bit more ink to certain areas.
I know this may sound confusing ladies but I assure you it's not. I'll try to work up some samples to show you later this week. Not feeling too creative at the moment, I just want my tea and some soup. ;)

Did you see Monday nights new Prettie release Look Who's Perky?!?! Here's one of the cards created by Charmaine, isn't it gorgeous?!? I don't even drink coffee but I have been drooling over this set since we first saw the sketches. Polka dot and striped coffee mugs?!?! Too cute!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Where's Jillian?

She died...from stamp travel exhaustion!!! *lol* Friday I was up at the crack of dawn and we headed down to Oakland for the Stampin' Up! Regionial. What a blast!!!! I was running on empty as I still hadn't recovered from the CHA trip but no worries, it was worth it! Well, except the 4 hour return trip...normally it takes about 2 hours max but traffic was so bad that we double the time. I believe there were a few moments where I was ready to jump out of the car and walk! *lol*

From left to right is me, Margaret, Stella "STELLA!!!!!" (sorry, it's habit, I was a Seinfeld junkie back in the day) and Cathy. We learned tons of new things, even though we swore we knew it all. ;) I can't wait to get my hands on a few new sets that I ordered upon my return..I'm such a stamp junkie, it's awful!

Sneak Peek.......have you been keeping up on the various sneaky peekies on the Prettie Girls blogs?? If not, be sure to check them out as the set being released tomorrow is MY FAVORITE (to date, of course). It's called Look Who's Perky is it's just too stinkin' adorable. I'm not-so-patiently waiting for my set to arrive, from the moment I saw the designs I've been jumping up and down in excitement. The set will be released on Monday, Feb 18th so be sure to check back for details on how you can get your hands on it. :)

Lastly and sweetie for my Sweetie.

Stampin In Your Jammies took place during CHA and one of the challenges was to use spotlighting. I absolutely love my heart nesties so I decided I would use those for my spotlight. I wanted the main image to be on the gray scale, for the 'Leave it to Beaver' feel, so my spotlight would be more drastic once I added the color. It's simple but I just love it. Can you see the bling in her ear?? "Ahh Ward, diamonds truly are a girls best friend!"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Back from CHA...

...and now I'm leaving again! Yep, I'm off to the SU Oakland regional seminar. CHA was a blast, so so much to look at and drool over. When we first walked in I heard someone say "this is like heaven..." and my response was "Are you kidding?? This is HELL! I want it and I CANT HAVE IT!!!! TORTURE!!!". ;) I got to meet my fellow Pretties, we all screamed and nearly tackled over each other to get hugs from one another. Too fun!!!

We took tons of pics but oddly not many on my camera, so I'm waiting for the girls to send them to me so I can post them here for you to see. But I do have one of me and one of my many "celeb" run-ins...

We were in line getting food and there she was. So of course I had to get a hug and then we chatted for a bit, it was nice because there weren't 100 demo's trying to get their pic with her, it was just her and her sister. So I picked her brain for a bit and we laughed about how many demos were at CHA, she was shocked (I wasn't).

I also ran into tons of big names, too many to list. I just kept seeing familiar faces and going "hey, is that...?" And sure enough that was them! I'll post more later, sadly I'm a bit under the weather upon my return home so I'm going to go crawl into bed early so I can be up and ready in time to travel tomorrow. XOXOXO to all!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A prettie late Wednesday...

So much to do and so little time, I nearly forgot it was Prettie Wednesday!!! I made this for Christie using the adorable little envelope from the Luke & Lexi 'Sealed with a Kiss' set. Our challenge was to make a Valentine card and the only set I even considered using was this one, I LOVE IT! I dry embossed a few swirls using an old SU brass template for the background and then added the squares for the main focal image. I popped the envelopes up using dimensionals and of course, sealed it with a kiss!!!

This week's challenge came from Charmaine and wouldn't ya know, it's Dry Embossing!!! So do I get double credit?? *lol* Check out all the other Prettie Girls blogs to see the Valentine's everyone made for each other. Only a few more days til CHA!!! I can't even sleep at night. I nearly fell asleep twice today at work. Oops! :) Ok, off to do laundry and finish my packing list.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Backgrounds are yellow, accents are blue....

Just add a touch of apricot and I made you....

Wade E. Bug is sure handsome in blue, yellow and peach isn't he? ;) It's amazing to me how many colors you can make a ladybug (er manbug?) and he still looks quite dashing. I used Barely Banana for the background and Soft Sky for the strip. I wanted to add texture to the card rather than just stamping a background so I remembered that I had some fun Fiskars texture plates and sure enough...Polka Dots!!!! I ran it through my cuttlebug and then added some fun paper piercing to the top and bottom borders. It's been a while since I've distressed my paper so I decided to rough up the edges around Wade and the banana matting as well. He still needed a little pizazz so I scrambled around in my marker drawer and found my Sakura glitter pens and sure enough....light orange!

Only a few more days til CHA and meeting the Prettie Girls in person!!! Yup, this will be the very first time we "meet" and I'm sure there will be plenty of photos posted throughout the weekend so you can peek in on our many adventures! Stay tuned....

Cookie Day!!!

So while the boys were watching the Superbowl, where was I?? In the kitchen with the girls having a cookie decorating class. Aren't they fabulous?!?! Everyone did such a great job, I was truly impressed. We focused on learning the key elements to working with Royal Icing and the cookies came out gorgeous. So no stamping came from Superbowl Sunday but the good news is I'm only 5 days away from meeting up with the Prettie Girls in Anaheim for CHA and it will be a non-stop stampfest!

Are you planning on joining us for 'Stamping in Your Jammies' live from CHA on Monday, February 11th?!?! Be sure to visit the Pretties Forum to find out all the details and set aside your favorite jammies for next Monday night!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Adding a new section...

You can thank (or blame) Carissa for this. ;) I continually get emails asking "where did you find ____?" or "what colors would you recommend?" or even "what card making supplies are a must have?". So I am adding a new section on my sidebar labeled "My Favorite Things". I will occasionally post my findings here and then keep a link to my fav's on my sidebar for you to checkout. with all new things there must be a starting point. Let's go with Carissa's question of "I would love to start my own copics collection, but what colors would you recommend starting with?"

Copic Must Haves (in my opinion)

E00 - Skin White
R29- Lipstick Red (Real Red match)
Y21 - Buttercup Yellow (So Saffron match)
E33 - Sand (Creamy Caramel match)
C1 - Cool Gray No. 1 (perfect shadow color)
RV11 - Pink (Pretty in Pink match)

These colors are a great starting point; you have a flesh tone, two hair colors, a gray shadow and of course a solid red and pink for dresses, lips, hearts, etc. As you go along you will want to add more colors of course, but these I feel are the beginning "musts" for the Copic markers. You can always watercolor or paper piece an outfit until you get your hands on more colors.

So if there is anything you want advice on, a product you want an honest opinion about or a technique you've seen that you need a little more clarification on just drop me a comment or email and I'll post it here. And if I don't know the answer I'll direct you to where you can find it. :) Til next time....