Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dollar Decor & Ribbon Trick

What can you get for a buck these days? Or what could you make for a buck these days?
Quite awhile ago I was at the Great Canadian Dollar Store and came across some Making Memories hanging photo frame kits. They were one dollar each.

Each kit contained three cream metal embossed frames and a length of pink ribbon. The ribbon alone was a steal at this price! I took them home and stored them for a year or two, and finally got inspired. I needed something new for a wall in my loo.

I started by pouncing Ranger Alcohol Inks (Stream, Lettuce and Denim) over the metal.

I lightly sanded the high points of the embossing to expose the shiny aluminum surface.
I stamped and heat-embossed some nautical images (Crafty Secrets) in brown onto some aqua cardstock to mount in the apertures. I had some Martha Stewart printed ribbon in pale aqua/brown floral print that seemed to coordinate. (More on the ribbon bows in a sec.) Here is the completed wall hanging.

Perhaps the BEST part of this project (which was completed in less than half an hour!) was the clever way the ribbon bows are formed. The photos on the back of the box explain it better than I could (below) and I can see using this method again on cards and boxes and such.

Hope this inspires you to consider upcycling a bargain!

Monday, February 27, 2012

WMSC86 and Flowers

I managed a card this week for the Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge #86. Here's the sketch:

I recently bought some Cheery Lynn dies (Cuties 3) at my LSS (Stampers!) that are designed to make flowers. Who would imagine a die that looks like this:
would create flowers that look like these?

Not bad for my first go! I added some Martha Stewart punched ferns and some clear glitter. My focal point is the large Labels No. 14 frame stamp embossed in aqua on polka dot paper, with the Say it Loud sentiment within. I ran a waterbrush over the "like you mean it" to diffuse the ink a bit.

The background was created with the Off Beat Backgrounds set. Here's the whole shebang. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Spring Greetings!

Today is the day: the Waltzingmouse Blog Party! And the theme this month is Spring!

I knew I wanted to use my Spring Baskets set from Waltzingmouse Stamps to create a card, and especially the sentiment "Glorious Spring Wishes." I also wanted to create a sort of window box with the pretty flowers spilling out of it. I liked the polka dot frame in the Very Vintage Labels No. 18 set for my window. And when I see polka dots, I immediately think stripes to pair with them. (Mary Engelbreit can't be the only one having all that fun.)

As I had already coloured my flowers with Copics, I discovered I had no striped paper that coordinated with the colours I used. I did have some black and white DP, however, so out came the Copics to customize the stripes. (Note to self: always choose the DP first to inform your colour choices!)

I cut the stripes out with a scalloped border Spellbinders die. I then embossed some lime green cardstock in my Cuttlebug to scatter flowers across the surface. Here is how bright that lime green was:

I then painted Picket Fence Crackle Paint over top and allowed to dry. This toned down the lime considerably. I swiped Peeled Paint and Shabby Shutters Distress Inks across the crackled surface to highlight the texture. 

I hope you can see the texture in the photo above. I really like the vintage aged look of this background next to the bold stripes and polk dots. I also distressed my striped border a bit with Antique Linen and the same green Distress Inks. Below is a close up of the Jolee's Swarovski heat set crystal gem I added to the border. These are so beautiful and sparkle in real life.

And here's the finished card. Hope it is spring where you are, and if not, trust that it soon will be! Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check out all the Spring cards on the Waltzingmouse Stamps blog here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

WMS Sketch Challenge #84 / PDCC119

A quick post for a quick card!

This is for the Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge #84, to follow this sketch:

I used a new to me stamp set - Eat Cake!  I am also playing this week in the Play Date Cafe colour splash challenge to use Black, White and a splash of Hot Pink.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I {HEART} My Staff

Happy Valentine's Day! I made up some treat bags with Purdy's chocolates (yum!) and cinnamon hearts and stamped some toppers. Very quick and easy gift for my staff. I cut around the one heart so it would stand upright once I folded the topper in half.
The heart and arrow stamps are from the Waltzingmouse Stamps Sweethearts Set and I used Versamagic Cloud White pigment chalk ink. I can't recall who makes the sentiment stamp. I coloured the regular staples with a Copic marker to match the pink topper cardstock. Hope your day is filled with love - or at least lots of chocolate!

Here's a bonus card for my special sweetie at home, using a Memory Box border and glitter and oil pastels:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Queen of Hearts Challenge 2012

It's time for the annual Queen of Hearts Challenge at Quietfire Design. Be sure to enter today! My card uses a Quietfire calligraphy sentiment and the larger of the two Flourishing Inside - Hearts set. But before we proceed, take a look at the rectangles above. I made them using the Perfect Layers rulers. Those are 1/16th inch borders and using the tool made them easy. I want to put borders on everything now. I don't know how I managed as long as I did without these bordering tools. Here's where I heard about them and got a 5% discount, to boot. Shipping to Canada was reasonable.

For this card, I stamped 8 hearts in a medallion to create a focal point. I used Fuschia Pink StazOn on white glossy cardstock. 

I used the same heart stamp to create a border, just slightly overlapping and alternating vertical orientation as I went along. I really like this effect; I will be using that again.

And I'll leave you with just another shot of the entire card. Happy Valentine's Day! Be sure to see all the entries in this challenge over at Suzanne's blog: Quietfire Style

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Delicata Golden Glitz Part 2

In a recent post, I extolled the virtues of a new stamp pad, Delicata Golden Glitz. Someone wondered how it compares to StazOn Metallic Gold, also made by Tsukineko, so I thought I'd do some side-by-side comparisons. I gathered up all my gold ink pads, reinked any that were dry, and stamped the same Graphistamp Sketched Heart over and over.
Each column is a type of ink. Each row is a type of cardstock.
The inks I used are represented by column. Column 1 is Memories Soft Gold; Column 2 is Brilliance Galaxy Gold; Column 3 is Delicata Golden Glitz; Column 4 is Colorbox Gold Pigment (from my Tuscany Petal Point); and Column 5 is StazOn Metallic Gold.
Row A is matte white cardstock.
On matte white cardstock, Delicata (3) is the clear winner for shine, fine detail and a true gold colour.  Memories (1) and Colorbox (4) were almost a grey colour. Brilliance (2) was quite pale. StazOn had an odd under-colour of opaque tan brown ink with a shimmery top layer, as though it was separating.  Here are some close ups of the StazOn. (It did not do this on the glossy cardstock.)

Row B is matte black cardstock.
All of the inks performed well on the black matte cardstock. Delicata (3) placed first for shimmer and crisp definition, followed by StazOn (5), Brilliance (2) and then Memories (1) and Colorbox (4).
Row C is white glossy cardstock.
All of the inks dried on white glossy, although I had to heat set the Colorbox Gold (4). I was surprised at how quickly the Delicata (3) dried on the white glossy, as it is not really meant for glossy cardstock use. Delicata (3) won this heat, as well, but I think StazOn (5) finished a close second. The drawback with it is that the thickness of coverage blurs the definition a tad. The yellow is a bit deep, too, whereas the Delicata is a brighter gold. Brilliance (2) came in third, but had a bit of a rough grainy texture. Colorbox was fine except for the need for heat-setting and the greyness, and Memories (1) came in dead last. The ink seemed to bead up and splotch on the white glossy cardstock.
Row D is black glossy cardstock.
Last up we have black glossy cardstock. Delicata (3) looked great but refused to dry, even with heat setting, so it's out of the race. The other four dried, but Brilliance (2) is not permanent - it rubs off easily. In this case, StazOn Metallic (5) is the clear winner, with Colorbox (4) a close second. Memories (1) was doing the same weird splotchy thing so it's a very distant third.
StazOn Metallic Gold on black glossy cardstock.
I was startled at the almost sage-grey-green tone of the Memories and Colorbox inks, even though I had re-inked both of them prior to use. I wonder if this is the tarnishing that Delicata promises to not fall prey to?

So final tally: in 3 out of 4 paper types, Delicata was the winner. Definitely it is the ink of choice for matte cardstocks. Stick with StazOn for glossy black and test your brand of glossy white to see if Delicata will work as well for you. As I said, I was surprised because this ink is not intended for glossy cardstock. Thanks for reading this far! Hope you found this informative.

Enter the Queen of Hearts Challenge

I need to go make something for this. You should, too! Details here: Queen of Hearts Challenge 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Delicata Golden Glitz

Tsukineko has a fairly new pigment ink on the market called Delicata. I picked up this stamp pad and a reinker (Wherever possible, I buy a matching reinker when I purchase an ink pad. Nothing worse than running out of ink and not being able to find a reinker!) at my local stamp store and had a chance to try it out this weekend. The product info on the label says this will not fade or tarnish over time, and is best used on porous (uncoated) cardstock and most stunning when left unembossed.

I tried it out on white cardstock and was very impressed with the shimmer of the gold. It takes a few minutes longer to dry than, say, Brilliance, but I think it is worth the wait. Of course my new pad is very juicy, too, and my basement studio is cold, so that may have slowed the drying time.

I inked one side of an embossing folder (Sizzix Flourishes Floral Large) so that the gold would sink down into the impressions when it was run through the machine. I then sanded the high points of the olive cardstock to add a little more interest. 

I used the pad to edge the sentiment banner, then added a couple of thin accent strips of pindot green paper. I affixed all to the background and ran through the Cuttlebug machine to diecut the label shape. Then I ran the pad all around that edge to highlight the shape. After that dried, I mounted it to a 5.5x4.25 inch white card.
 I also tried it on black cardstock. That looked pretty good, too. Even though this is a pigment ink, it seems a little less thick than, say, Brilliance, and seems to handle fine lines fairly well. (Please ignore my wonky banner edging below!)
And lastly, I will leave you with a side by side comparison of the Delicata on the left (I wish you could see the shimmer in person)  and a freshly re-inked Brilliance Galaxy Gold on the right, which is paler and the coverage is not as fine and smooth. EDITED TO ADD: I have since tried stamping and then colouring with Copic markers and it does not smear!
Left: Delicata. Right: Brilliance.
I cannot say that I have ever noticed tarnishing of Brilliance over time, but that's mostly because I give all my cards away so I have no idea how they are holding up! I do know my gold embossing powder routinely needs to be replaced every few years as it tarnishes with age and loses its lustre, so I imagine that happens on the gold-embossed cards I have sent out, too. Delicata is a pretty neat alternative. The only drawback is you have to wait a bit for it to dry fully and you won't have the shiny raised image that heat embossing renders. Have you tried this ink? Please leave me a comment to tell me about your experience with it!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Play Date with Waltzingmouse

Here I am with another Play Date Cafe Challenge (#117)  entry. When I saw the colours this week I knew it would be tough, but I did my best with what supplies I had on hand.

For my design, I chose to loosely follow this week's sketch at the Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge, which was:
So here's the card:

I used a strip stamp of Battenburg to create a ribbon. I went with a hand-dyed rayon seam binding bow instead of a heart, and I embellished it with a Prima floral glass cabochon. It was tough getting a photo of it due to the reflection.

I created three simple stickpins by stamping some small motifs, cutting them out and glueing them to the heads of some dull flower head quilting pins. I added pearls that I coloured with a Copic marker. The sentiment was popped up with 3-D glue dots. All stamps: Waltzingmouse Stamps.