Friday, October 24, 2014

Zen Maple Leaf

Lynell and Wayne Harlow of Dreamweaver Stencils were recently at Art 'n Soul for our annual Christmas party, and to conduct classes.  Wayne is a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher), so attending his workshop was top on my list, as well as taking a class from Lynell, who has pioneered many of the stenciling techniques we use today.  I attended two of these very wonderful workshops (one stencil and one "Stentangle"), and here is one of the projects I worked on in class.

The stencil used is Dreamweaver LL3044, and the center leaf was pasted with Dreamweaver gold embossing paste. Color was added on top with alcohol ink.  The clouds were made using the Dreamweaver Picasso tool, stencil brush and Distress Ink.  I tangled the gold leaf with a black 01 Micron pen, and the other leaves with a brown 01 Micron.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Rubber Stamp Organization

In conjunction with the Art 'n Soul weekly newsletter, I have written an Organizational Tip of the Week, and am providing this also here on my blog with additional pictures.

I keep a number of my rubber stamps in drawers in an Expedit unit from Ikea, and this worked for me for some time until I became a member of the Magenta Design team, and my stamp collection begain to grow quite a lot.  I needed another method for storing my Magenta stamps, while keeping my other stamps separate.  If you have shelf space available, this storage system could work for you whether or not you need to keep certain stamps separate, and it works well for wood mount, cling or clear stamps.  

Magenta Stamps

I got this idea for storing rubber stamps from Jennifer Mcguire, who is an expert in storage of craft supplies. The container I use is called Fridge Binz, and I have found them at the Container Store, Bed Bath and Beyond, and on Amazon HERE.  These bins are actually designed for food storage in refrigerator or pantries, but they work very well in the craft studio also.

The bins have a center divider, and each half is over 5.5" wide and over 14" long.  I organized my stamps into categories, such as Nature, Flowers, Things That Fly, Christmas, Images, and Sentiments & Current Collection.  This allows me to quickly put my hands on the stamps that I need for a project.  I stacked the wood stamps carefully in the bins.  Take care how you store your stamps so that you don't get a dent in the rubber or mounting cushion.  

As a design team member, many of the stamps I receive are cling mount stamps, and they arrive without packaging.  I store these stamps in plastic pockets from Avery Elle, called "Avery Elle Stamp and Die Storage Pockets" (You can also use this method to store your dies, by the way).  I print out pages of the Magenta catalog that contain the images of my stamps and I glue those to white cardstock cut to fit the pockets. 

I place my cling stamps onto acetate sheets and slide them into the pockets behind the cardstock.  I can usually fit more than one stamp in a pocket.  You can also store your sets of cling and clear stamps this way.

I hope you'll give this stamp storage method a try, or that at least some part of this tip will work for you.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Magenta October 2014 Supplement

A brand new Magenta supplement is out with lots of fabulous new stamps!  I'm so thrilled, because I have some stamp designs in this supplement.  This is a dream come true for me, especially since Magenta is such a class act.

Here are my new stamps.  The Happy Birthday stamp is a joint effort with Valérie Dumais of Magenta.  It's the third and final in a series of multilingual sentiments that I'm particularly excited about, because they contain languages that mean a lot to me.  English (my native language) French (Magenta's native language), Icelandic (for my new friends and relatives), Spanish (close to my heart), Dutch (4 of Magenta's design team are from the Netherlands), Japanese (I grew up in Tokyo), and Russian (the second highest readership on my blog after the US).   The tangled stamps came out of an idea hatched through my wonderful customers at the shop.  Everyone knows that I will try to teach Zentangle to anyone who will listen.  Some people love it, and some people say..."well, I do like it; I love how it looks, but I don't want to do it...don't you have a stamp?"  Now we do, and I hope you love them as much as we do!

Available in wood or cling
Here's the other two Multilingual stamps.  You've seen these on cards on my blog.

Available in wood or cling

Here's the full supplement.  Please check it out.  There are a lot of fabulous stamps in here, and also some exciting new template designs.  

A beautiful sample card was made for the heart stamp by Hélène Métivier.  Here are the cards I did for the supplement.

Zendoodle Poinsettia 44.012.L
Joyeux Noël  07.780.G

ZenDoodle Poinsettia 44.012.L
Merry Christmas 07.779.G

Doodle Ornaments 44.013.Q
Joyeux Noël  07.780.G

Multilingual Happy Birthday  07.907.L

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tremaine Square

I recently acquired a die from Memory Box called Tremaine Square.  It was part of their Summer 2014 collection, and it attracted me partly because of its size: 2.1" x 2.1" (or 5.4 x 5.4 cm.).  I thought it was perfect to mount over the small square versions of the acrylic block stamping technique that I have been obsessively playing with.  Here are some examples of the 2" squares I have been making with this technique, and if you are a regular reader of my blog, you have seen a tutorial on this here.

Here's my card.  I just added some glue to the die cut and stuck it down over one of my stampings done on watercolor paper, and added a sentiment from Magenta.  The square was popped up on the base card with foam tape.  I applied some Stickles to the centers of the flowers and sprinkled a few gems.  It would be easy to make a set of cards for different occasions using this same design.

Magenta Stamp:  07.453.F   Merci
Memory Box die:  98979 Tremaine Square
Memento Ink: Teal Zeal
Turquoise Stickles
110# Strathmore watercolor paper
Tim Holtz Acrylic blocks
Distress Inks:  Peacock Feathers; Mustard Seed; Mowed Lawn; Seedless Preserves; Picked Raspberry
Foam Tape

Friday, October 3, 2014

Organizational Tip: Storing Your Background and Cover a Card Stamps

In conjunction with the Art 'n Soul newsletter this week, I wanted to do a post to show how I organize my background and Cover a Card stamps.

I used to store my background and Cover a Card stamps in the packaging they came in, and hanging up.  (Cover a Card stamps are large 6x6 background stamps from Impression Obsession, and yes, I do love them).  I found I wasn't using them very much because of the hassle of getting them in and out of their packaging and putting them away.  

I actually got this tip from Marj Marion, who stores her larger stamps in a much more practical way.  I was at her studio one day, and she showed me her Cover a Card stamps in a container, WITHOUT THEIR PACKAGING *GASP*.  When I saw how easy it was to pull these stamps out and use them, I was sold, so I went home and pulled all of mine out of their sleeves and found some great boxes to put them in.  

The boxes I use are from the Container Store.  I think they were originally designed to store CDs or DVDs.  I took chipboard and cut it to a little larger than the stamps, and printed the name and number of the stamp at the top.  Then I stamped the chipboard with the stamp to show what the stamp looks like full size.  To accomplish this (and yes, I have a LOT of these stamps), I found it easiest to lay my stamp on the table, rubber side up, and ink it up.  Then I put the chipboard onto the stamp, held it down and smoothed all parts of the chipboard, so that it made contact with all parts of the stamp.  

Eventually, Marj turned me on to a tool called a Red Baren, which helps this process.  This is a tool with a handle and a flat round side.  It makes it much easier to press your cardstock or chipboard onto your stamp, when you are stamping this way. 

I have three of these boxes, and I file the stamps in alphabetical order.  Another way would be to file them by subject, such as put all of the Holiday ones together, etc.  Since I'm so familiar with the stamps, this way works for me.


While I had my ink and stamp out, I also stamped a tag, so that I could have a smaller, quick reference of what stamps are in the box.  These tags are held together on a ring, and are attached to the box, but can be removed and taken with me if I need it for reference.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Magenta October 2014 Challenge

October 2014 - Magenta Challenge :
Halloween / Day of the Dead / El dias de los muertos

Create a Card, a Layout or even an alterned object if you feel like it,
follow the theme and use at least one Magenta product :
papers, stamps, embellishment, Peel Off's, chipboard and more...

You have until October 29th to enter!

You could win a Magenta Prize of brand new products that will soon be available!

Here's my card

The cat was stamped onto Stardream Flame paper with Versafine Onyx Black ink and then embossed with clear embossing powder.  I die-cut a jagged round shape into white card stock with an opening that is large enough to show the cat's body in the center.  Using a stamp positioner, I positioned the stamp so that the tail would appear in the right place on the white card stock  and I removed the orange piece before stamping the cat again.  That way, I got just the tail on the white card stock, and I also embossed that with clear embossing powder.

I wanted to use this stamp for the sentiment

but it was too long for my project
In order to make it fit, I used a technique with a stamp positioner that I describe toward the bottom of this post.  That way I was able to divide the sentiment and place half of it at the top and the other half at the bottom of my card.

To get the splats of color, I used Distress Stains, which have a dauber top.  I used this same technique about a year ago, in this post.  What is it about the Fall that makes me want wild explosions of color?  

I like to experiment with different colors before I commit them to my project.  Just take your bottle of Distress Stain and whack the dauber against your paper.  The more you do it, the juicier they get, and there is just something satisfying about whacking your paper to get random color splats.  The cat on this card looks like she is a little startled by it all. 

I mounted the white piece onto the Flame Stardream with foam tape, so that it's popped up a little.  I matted it all with shiny black and mounted onto a white card base.  This project was fun to do, I hope you give this technique a try!

Magenta stamps used:
Halloween Cat  42.075.M
There is Magic All Around Us  07.807.I

Other Materials:
Versafine Black Onyx
Clear Embossing Powder
Distress Stains:  Fired Brick; Seedless Preserves; Spiced Marmalade; Mustard Seed
Flame Stardream paper
foam tape