Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Magenta Summer 2015 Collection

Exciting news, the new Magenta Summer 2015 Collection is here!  I'm very pleased to have five of my designs in this newest collection. Please check out pages 4 and 5 for my Zentangle inspired stamps.  There is also a Template TM70 on page 9 inspired by my designs. There is a lot to love in this new collection, including some beautiful designs by Natalie, Helene, and some especially wonderful new designs from Ellie Knoll, another of our design team members. I also am happy to see lots of new stencils in this collection.  There is definitely something for everyone here!

If you are having any trouble viewing the catalog, please go the Magenta blog here

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Technique of the Week: Use Your Dies to Dry Emboss

In conjunction with Art 'n Soul's newsletter article, "Technique of the Week" here is a short tutorial on how to dry emboss with your dies. This is just another way to get more out of your dies, and it's just as easy as using them for cutting; it's just a slightly different sandwich.  here's the card I made to illustrate this technique.

Here's the sandwich (tab 1 open on the Big shot, then die, paper, tan mat, cutting plates)

Your die should be placed on your base plate with the cutting edges up. If you have a Big Shot or Big Kick, open one tab the same as when you are embossing with an embossing folder. If you have a Cuttlebug, place your die on your A plate. The reason I like to put the die down on the base plate first is so that it won't get bent. This protects it a little better.

Next place your paper on your die. If you want to perfectly position your die on the paper, then do so first, (with the cutting edge against your paper) and lay it die side down on the base plate. If you want to be sure it won't move, you can use a little piece of painter's tape or washi tape.

Next you will need a tan or black rubber mat, and that goes on top of your paper. This is what prevents the die from cutting the paper. Don't worry, your mat will not be cut.

If you feel you need an additional shim at this time, you can put one or two pieces of scrap cardstock on top of the mat. I used one piece in this demonstration, and I'm not really sure I needed it.

Next, place your two cutting plates on top of your tan mat or paper shims. In the Cuttlebug, these are the two B plates.

Run it through with this sandwich, and the die will emboss, but not cut your paper.

In this project, in order to finish the card, I took a 2.25" square piece of watercolor paper and used the acrylic block stamping technique to add a pattern of Distress Ink (in Peacock Feathers, Mustard Seed, and Picked Raspberry). I previously did a tutorial on the acrylic block stamping technique here.

I then stamped a Magenta sentiment 07.700.G Life is Art live yours in COLOR onto the inked background using Versafine Onyx Black ink.

The embossing was done on So Silk Beauty Pink cardstock, and the die used was Memory Box 98333 Honeyblossom Sprig.

The stamped square was added to the embossed panel with foam tape to pop it up a little.  The entire panel was added to a white card base, and I sprinkled on a few enamel dots.

Magenta Stamp used:

Life is art 07.700.G

Other products used:
Memory Box die Honeyblossom Sprig 98333
Tan embossing mat
So Silk Beauty Pink card stock
Tim Holtz gridded acrylic blocks
Distress Ink:  Peacock Feathers, Mustard Seed, Picked Raspberry
Onyx Black Versafine Ink
Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock
foam tape
Enamel dots from: My Minds Eye Market Street, and Unforgettable Firsts
Big Shot machine

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Zen Happy Birthday

I had a couple of birthday cards to make, and best of all, I had some time.  Ever since our Zentangle Club meeting at Art 'n Soul (third Friday of each month, from 4:00-6:00), I have been craving time to just sit and tangle.

I love the Dreamweaver stencils with the chunky sentiments, like Happy Birthday, Thank You and Merry Christmas.  I pulled out the Happy Birthday one (LJ 920) and lined it out onto two pieces of watercolor card stock that I had previously colored with alcohol ink during an alcohol ink play day.  These particular pieces were colored by dropping alcohol ink carefully onto water (about 5" of water in a plastic tub), and pulling the watercolor card stock carefully through the water.  I made a lot of pieces and saved them for times like these.

After outlining the Happy Birthday stencil, I covered each letter with different tangles.  These were so fun to do, and they really didn't take that long.  (I'm actually unaware of how long they may have taken, I was having too much fun).  The frames around them were previously created when I die cut stencil stamped pieces for the Inspiration Station project here.  I created such a nice stack of backgrounds, and when I diecut them, I had all of these frames left over.  I was sure they would come in handy for another project.  The Zentangled pieces and the frames were adhered onto an A2 size white card base, and some enamel dots were added.  I hope the recipients love them!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Inspiration Station Happy Birthday

As part of Inspiration Station at Art 'n Soul, I made lots of backgrounds using a fabulous set of stencils from Magenta, TM27.  These backgrounds were made with a technique called stencil stamping, and I have a tutorial on how to do that here.  Very simply, you put down layers of Distress Ink onto watercolor card stock, spray your stencil with water mixed with Perfect Pearls powder, and lay the wet stencil onto your inked panel.  You never get the same results twice, and with the Perfect Pearls powder, you get a beautifully shimmery look.

Once this background was dry, I stamped the Magenta Multilingual Happy Birthday with Versamark Ink, and embossed it with Ranger Black Sparkle embossing powder.  The panel was mounted onto a mat of So Silk Beauty Pink, and then onto an A2 sized white base card.

This card is so shiny and sparkly in real life, but I had trouble capturing it in the photo.  I made it for a good friend who has a birthday very soon!

I'm entering this card in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Make Your Own Background.

Magenta Products Used:

TM27 Trio Templates Floral Background Trio
07.907.L Multilingual Happy Birthday

Other Supplies Used:
Distress Ink:  Peeled Paint, Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge, Seedless Preserves
Versamark Ink
Ranger Black Sparkle embossing powder
Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock
So Silk Beauty Pink card stock
Memory Box Stitched Rectangles Die 30009

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Technique of the Week: Create Stamps With Your Dies

I made this card out of stamps I created using a die and Fun Foam!  No, this will never replace my beloved rubber stamps, but it was a fun project to do, and I love how it turned out.

For this technique, you will need to obtain some Fun Foam (also known as craft foam). This product is a flexible porous material that comes in thin sheets, and is sold at large supermart type craft stores, very inexpensively. I like to get the large sheets of white and cut them down to use in my projects.

To make a craft foam stamp from a die, find a die with either a nice detailed pattern, or one that will cut and emboss a pattern. For this project, I chose Memory Box Bloomington Border 99008.

With your selected die, make a die cut out of the craft foam. I have not had any trouble cutting out of this product, and in this case, I used a metal shim to ensure that it would cut and emboss in one pass. I stuck the die cut down to an acrylic block with temporary, removable adhesive.

You can use ink for your stamping at this point, but I thought I would pull out my Silks acrylic glazes this time. I wanted to use two colors - one for the blossoms and one for the stems and leaves. I chose Plumeria, and Pretty Peridot respectively.

I painted the glazes onto the foam die cut, and stamped several times onto a neenah solar white card stock base card

I love how this turned out! The stamped images are not super crisp, mostly because I used the glazes. I think the images would have been more crisp if I had used ink, but I like the almost water color look that these have.

 For the initial card, I stamped several times with the die cut, and then added a sentiment from Magenta, 07.869.D "Thinking of You". I got a piece of So Silk Beauty Pink cardstock, and embossed the die onto it.  Did you know that you can emboss your dies also? Oh yes you can, and I will show you how in the next Technique of the Week!  I popped up the panel with the stamping, and adhered it over the embossed piece. I sprinkled some pearls and gems from Hero Arts Mixed Accents "Blush".

I decided to use these foam "stamps" as embellishments, so I did take the time to paint the edges

Since I still had my foam "stamp", I thought it would make a lovely embellishment on another card, so I adhered it to a piece of white cardstock, and matted that with So Silk Beauty Pink. This was adhered to a pink shimmer base card.  I diecut a birthday sentiment with a Memory Box die "Birthday Script" 98582, out of more of the Beauty Pink card stock  and mounted it on the card sideways.  I needed a "Happy" sentiment, so I got the Magenta Multilingual Happy Birthday stamp and taped off everything around the word "Happy", inked it with Versafine Onyx Black ink, removed the tape, and stamped it above the Birthday sentiment. 

I created a third card by cutting the Bloomington Border again out of a new piece of fun foam and cutting off just one blossom.  I used Snap Dragon Silks Acrylic Glaze for this single blossom and stamped it around on a white base card.  

I added the Magenta sentiment "Imagine" 07.901.F, stamped in Versafine Onyx Black ink.  I dipped my brush into the Snapdragon glaze, then then into water, and used that to flick dots onto the card.  I adhered the fun foam "stamp" onto the card as an embellishment, and sprinkled on some pearls.  Since I didn't have pearls to match, I colored some white ones with Copic BV08.

Three cards, and it was so easy and really fun to do. I hope you will try this technique!

Magenta stamps used:

Thinking of You 07.869.D

Multilingual Happy Birthday 07.907.L

Imagine 07.901.F

Other Products Used:
Memory Box die Bloomington Border 99008
Memory Box die Birthday Script 98582
White Fun Foam
So Silk Acrylic glazes:  Plumeria, Pretty Peridot, Snap Dragon
Big Shot die cutting machine with metal shim
So Silk Beauty Pink card stock
Hero Arts Blush Mixed Accents
White Pearls
Copic BV08

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Inspiration Station April

Those of you who know me, know that I work at a wonderful stamp store, local to the Olympia Washington area (actually in Lacey), named Art ‘n Soul.  We are introducing something new at Art ‘n Soul beginning this month.  We love that our customers come to us for inspiration, and we are going to turn that up a notch, and challenge ourselves to do more.  Every month, the staff at Art ‘n Soul will pick a favorite item, and we will each make a card or cards using that item.  Local customers will be able to come in and view samples made by the staff that will show each of our unique perspectives.  

Inspiration Station projects will be on display at the shop around the middle of each month.  I will post my projects here on my blog, and if you are local, please come in to see these cards, and to see what everyone on the staff has made.  For those not able to come in to look at all of the cards, there will be posts nearly every day on the Bella Carta at Art ‘n Soul blog here, showing all of the beautiful projects created by the fabulous Art ‘n Soul staff members.  

For our first Inspiration Station, it was a no-brainer to use Magenta products.  Art 'n Soul has been the Magenta Retailer of the Year for 5 years in a row; which means that our small store has sold more Magenta products than any other store in the country.  For FIVE YEARS!  We love Magenta stamps and products because they are absolutely some of the highest quality products that we have ever seen or used.  For April, we chose Magenta TM27, Floral Background Trio Templates.  This is a trio of beautiful floral motif stencils.  We also chose the Magenta stamp 07.730.H "I am in love with this day!" to go with our projects.

Magenta TM27 Floral Background Trio

Magenta 07.730.H

The very first thing I wanted to do with these stencils is to use them with stencil paste on Inchie Art Squares.  I made two samples with these, and I love how they turned out.

For both of these cards, I used 1.5" Inchie Arts Black Art Squares.  I'm sort of in love with black Art Squares, and find myself reaching for them often for my projects.  I used temporary adhesive to adhere three of them onto a scrap piece of card stock.  I placed them right next to each other, and used some cutting boards on either side of the squares that were the same thickness as the art board.  This gave me a wider level surface for pasting.

For this first card, I used black glossy embossing paste by Dreamweaver Stencils.  Once the paste had dried,  I put the stencil back over the squares, and dabbed glue over all the pasted areas using a sponge dauber and the Essential Glue Pad.  I then used stencil brushes to apply Dreamweaver F/X powders onto all of the glued areas.  Since these powders have mica in them, there is a beautiful metallic sheen to the design.

I adhered the squares, with a slight space between each one, onto a strip of patterned purple paper that I found in my stash.  This was all mounted onto a white base card.  I then stamped the sentiment with Versamark ink, and embossed it with Ranger Black Sparkle embossing powder.

The second card was done pretty much the same way, except instead of glossy paste and F/X powders, I simply used gold stencil paste.  This gives the squares a beautiful gold metallic shine in real life.  The squares were mounted onto a piece of gold paper from my stash, then onto a white base card.  The sentiment stamp was embossed in Ranger Black Sparkle embossing powder.

Magenta materials used:
TM27 Floral Background Trio
07.730.H  "I am in love with this day!"
Other Materials:
Inchie Arts black Art Squares 1.5 "
Dreamweaver pastes: Black Glossy and Gold
Essential Glue Pad
Dreamweaver F/X powders: Purple Satin, Kiwi, Goldfinch
Versamark Ink
Vellum paper
Ranger Black Sparkle embossing powder

I love these cards, and could have stopped there, but I really wanted to try the stencil stamping technique with these Magenta Stencils.  They turned out to be absolutely perfect for stencil stamping.  You can view a tutorial on my blog using this technique here.

I pretty much used the same process for each of these cards, and I made a bunch of these backgrounds in a short time.  I used Tim Holtz watercolor paper, and inked them up heavily with different colors of Distress Ink.  In each case, I sprayed the stencil with a mixture of water and Perfect Pearls powder (1/4 tsp of Perfect Pearls Pearl in 2 oz of water makes a great mixture, and I have not had a clogged sprayer yet).

After spraying the stencil, I laid it carefully onto the inked watercolor paper, and pressed it down.  After a few seconds, I lifted the stencil up, and each time I had a beautiful image that only got better as the surface dried.  I left each one to dry on its own, since it didn't take that long.  It was hard to capture the sparkle and shimmer in these with a photograph, but I tried taking a photo at an angle with lots of light on them.  This is a pile that I didn't use for the Inspiration Station samples, and they are just waiting to be turned into other cards.  One is missing because it already became a birthday card for a friend.

I absolutely love the shine that the Perfect Pearls powder gives to these, and I love the images that show up from the stencils.  You never get the same thing twice.  I cut each one down, using the largest die in the Memory Box 30009 Stitched Rectangles die.  

For the Inspiration Station cards, I stamped the sentiment onto vellum using Versamark Ink, and then embossed each one with Ranger Sparkle Black embossing powder.  The vellum strip was wrapped around the panel, and adhered to the back.  

To mount each panel, I cut out a piece of white fun foam with the next size down of the stitched rectangle dies.  I adhered the fun foam to the back of the panel, and stuck it to a piece of colored card stock, using scor tape to ensure it would stay stuck down.  The entire piece was mounted onto a white base card.

For every one of these samples, the Magenta materials were the same.  Also the same were:
Perfect Pearls Pearl
Versamark Ink
Ranger Black Sparkle embossing powder
Memory Box 30009 Stitched Rectangles
Tim Holtz Watercolor paper
White Fun Foam

One of the things I love about the choice of these templates from Magenta is that we got 3 stencils to play with!  This is one of them.

I also used a Hasty Lace template on this one to frame the sentiment.  Since I was stamping on vellum, I couldn't help myself.  Other than the materials listed above that were used on each card, I will list other materials that were unique to each card.

Hasty Lace template HQ3
Distress Inks used:
Cracked Pistachio
Abandoned Coral
Mermaid Lagoon

Distress Inks used:
Mowed Lawn
Peeled Paint
Rusty Hinge
Peacock Feathers
Stardream Flame paper

Distress Inks used:
Picked Raspberry
Mustard Seed
Peacock Feathers
So Silk Beauty Pink paper

I hope you enjoyed all of these, and that you will come by the shop to see them in person and/or check out the Bella Carta at Art 'n Soul blog each day to view these and all of the other creations!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Technique of the Week: Make a Shaker Card Using Die Cut Openings

Art ‘n Soul just had a really fun shaker card play day, and we made some cards using the Impression Obsession shaker pouches. This is the easiest way to make a shaker card, and it’s lots of fun too.


We also had some cards on display that were shakers made without the use of shaker pouches, and using various dies to cut the shaped openings. I wanted to write down step by step instructions for making this type of shaker card, but I will be the first to admit that it’s hard to describe without showing you an example. I decided that the best thing to do would be a pictorial step by step. This method of making shaker cards is more complicated, but yields really beautiful results.

 You can see the shaker cards I made with pouches, and the ones I made with dies in my post here.  Here is the card I'm going to show you.

1. Make or choose an image for the background that will show behind the shaker.
This can be anything you wish, even a sentiment.  It can be a stamped or inked or watercolored background – anything you like. This is usually my first step in making a shaker card, because it will determine the color palette I will use. I have a lot of pieces that I have made in the past that did not work out for the project I was working on at the time. I have found that this stash is a great source for shaker card backgrounds.

This is just a small sampling of my "stash"!

In this case I used a piece that I had previously inked with Distress Ink, and stamped with a great Magenta Image “Birds Postcard” 05.230.L.

I was trying to do an ink lifting technique with these panels, and I just could not make it work out to my satisfaction with the images I was trying to use.  I could not bear to throw them away.  You can see the dies i chose for this project (see step 2) in this picture.  The Woodland Oval die cut was helpful to determine how the background would look in the finished card.

2. Choose a die or dies for your shaker card opening or openings (yes, you can have multiple openings in the same card).
Your die or dies can be anything large enough to actually see beads and sequins through.  Keep in mind that the more detailed or ornate the die opening is, the more challenging it will be to make a shaker from it.  This shouldn’t deter you, because the more detailed ones can be really beautiful.

 For this example I chose Poppy 1168 Oval Frame Background for the opening, and Poppy 1125 Woodland Oval for the decorative surround. A decorative surround is not necessary for this technique.

3. Choose your cardstock for the front panel of your card, and choose and make your base card
The front panel and base card can be whatever colors fit into your chosen color palette, but make them of sturdy weight; especially the base card should be at least 100# cardstock. The front panel will form your shaker pouch, and will eventually be mounted on your base card. For the front panel, I chose Stardream Fairway cardstock, and for the base card I used Stardream Opal. I also cut the Woodland Oval surround out of the Stardream Opal. In addition, you will need a piece of acetate that will be larger than the diecut opening.

4. Cut the opening in your front panel, and cover the back of the panel with acetate
The entire opening should be covered with acetate on the back. I used scor tape to stick the acetate down. This will not show, but the acetate is what keeps your shaker material in, and you will see your image through it.

5. If you want to stamp a sentiment on the front of your panel, now is the time.  
I used the Magenta stamp “Find your song and sing it” 07.834.F, and stamped with Onyx Black ink and embossed with clear detail embossing powder. If you stamp onto Stardream paper, you should probably emboss it, because it does not dry readily.

The reason there are scraps of foam tape all around is because I forgot to stamp my sentiment before I put foam tape all over the back, and so I had to peel them off so that I could stamp! I know you all have never done this.

6. With the front side of your panel down on your work surface, and the acetate side of your panel up, completely surround your die opening with foam tape.  Also apply foam tape to the rest of the back of your panel
This is probably the hardest part, but it’s really not that hard. Just be sure that each piece of foam tape around the opening is jammed up against the one next to it so that there are no openings for your shaker material to escape. 

To clarify, this is being done on top of the acetate. Leave the release paper on your foam tape for now. 

7. Add your shaker material on top of the acetate in the well you created with your foam tape.
The shaker material can be anything that is small, sparkly, and will shake around after your card is constructed. I use small beads, spangles, coarse glitter and sequins of various shapes. I have been collecting these things for a while, so I have a lot of it to choose from.

 You can also use your tiny dies to cut great shaker material from shimmer sheetz or shiny cardstock.  Just make sure the pieces are pretty on both sides. Choose shaker material that coordinates with your color palette.

8. Carefully remove the release paper from your foam tape.
I use a fine pointed tweezers to do this, while I’m carefully holding the card down.  Your shaker material will want to jump up onto the sticky side of the foam tape, but just remove any that do.  You don’t want anything that will interfere with the seal you will be making to keep the shaker material in.

9. Place your background image front side down onto the foam tape.
Try to position your piece so that the image that you want shows through the front window of the acetate. Press your background piece firmly down and made sure it is well adhered to the foam tape. This is what forms your shaker pouch and seals in your shaker material.


I also added the decorative surround (Woodland Oval) to the front of the panel at this time. 

I realized too late that I had not left enough room for the surround when I stamped my sentiment, and I had to cut some leaves off the branches at the bottom. 

It still drapes a little onto the sentiment, but I think it’s readable anyway. 

I was originally planning to use my stamp positioner to stamp the sentiment as one line, rather than stacked, but then I didn’t. I should have gone with my first instinct!

10. Adhere your panel to your base card with strong adhesive.
I used scor tape to adhere my panel to the base card.

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me for this tutorial, and I hope you try making cards using this process. It’s well worth the trouble!

Oh, one more picture.  My wonderful husband Jim takes most of the pictures for my blog tutorials for me.  For those who are curious about how he gets good light on some of the pictures (especially on our many gray days), he sent this one along.  He has a ginormous light pad that he often uses, along with other strategically placed lights.

Magenta Stamps used:

Birds Postcard 95.230.L

Find Your Song and Sing it!  07.834.F

Other materials used:

Poppy dies: 1168 Oval Frame Background & 1125 Woodland Oval
Distress Ink:  Faded Jeans & Rusty Hinge
Versafine Black Onyx
Clear Detail embossing powder from Judikins
Stardream papers: Fairway & Opal
Foam tape & Scor tape
Various beads, spangles & sequins
Ranger Matte Multi Medium
Pico embellisher bottle
Elizabeth Craft Detail Scissors