A lesson in position

Can you think of a time when you weren’t satisfied with your results but couldn’t change them? The card for today features a silhouette of a person that I stamped in the wrong place. I didn’t want the flowers to cover their feet or legs, but it ended up looking like they were just floating in the air. I suppose I could have just started over on the other side of the paper (something I frequently do when I make a mistake), but I just decided to try to fix it. Enter my husband who, himself, is an artist. Here’s the finished card:

My husband used a program called Unity to show me how objects relate to each other and the horizon, and I knew that my person was just in the wrong place. He suggested adding a shadow to help them look grounded, and I think it did the trick. So now you know what went wrong with the card, let me show you how I got to that point.

The background for this card was done by sponging. Wednesday I was using sponge daubers, but today I was using just regular sponges. They come in a package of three, and I usually cut them into six wedges.

Once I have them cut into wedges, I need a way to easily identify the color as it’s not always easy to tell from the ink on the bottom. I use an old, retired punch called the Decorative Label to punch a grip for my fingers in the color I plan to use. I also write the name of the color on the label, then staple it to the top of the sponge. Today’s card features a new color called Granny Apple Green. One of the ways I try to save a little paper is by seeing if there is a scrap of paper I can use for the label punch, or by using part of my project. See below.

Once I covered it with the white paper, you’d never know I used a bit of it for the sponge. The trick to sponging is to make sue you move in circles, not back and forth. If you only go back and forth, you’ll get something like this:

You can see where I would stop going one direction and start going another – that’s what those dark patches are. By going in circles, you get a much smoother coverage.

The stamp set I used is called Enjoy Life and it is photopolymer; completely see-through. I was curious how black ink would effect my stamp set, so I took before and after pictures. I used the Basic Black ink and cleaned the stamp immediately after using it. It did still get stained, however that does not affect the quality of the image in the least.

The image on the left was my stamp before inking it for the first time, and the image on the right is after the first time it was cleaned. As you can see, some of the ink stained the stamp. Oh well. It’ll be that much easier to find if I happen to drop it!

I hope you can see how a mistake (like stamping in the wrong spot) doesn’t mean you can’t still use your card. There are always chances to be creative. Now that you’ve seen it, you can do it, too! If you’d like to order products, schedule a class, or buy some cards, please let me know.

https://www.stampinup.com/ecweb/product/133773/sponge-daubers?dbwsdemoid=2208259
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I just realized that Basic Black ink is no longer available, but I believe you can use Momento ink on your photopolymer pants. I hope you have a good day!

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Can you tell the difference?

Hello, dear readers. Do any of you remember those Highlight magazines? The only times I saw them were at the doctor’s office or the dentist. One of my favorite parts was when they had two pictures next to each other and you had to find the differences. Were you able to find them all without looking at the answers? I was only able to a few times; I’d almost always have to look for the answer! In today’s post, I’ll show you the difference between coloring with sponges verses sponge daubers.

I hope this picture of the card is better than previous pictures. I can tell, now that it’s bigger, that it is a bit blurry, but I’m using a different camera and set-up (still using the mini easels) to take pictures of the finished cards. There are so many areas of improvement with this blog and photographs is just one of them. Please be patient with me while I figure out what works for me!

So this is what I landed on after some experimentation. I was going for a card that I saw on a google search and wanted to duplicate. The creator of the card actually used Stampin Blends to color her card, and I really liked how sharp the colors looked, like they almost popped off the card. That was what I wanted, which is why I initially reached for my Stampin’ Write Markers. Start off by using Petal Palette to stamp the branch and two small flowers, about 3-4 times each.

Unfortunately, the markers were just a little too sharp for this paper. The saturation did not go well with the Sahara Sand ink. The Stampin Blends were somehow soft and bold at the same time. Take a look: http://didyoustamptoday.blogspot.com/2018/02/springtime-petals-stampin-up-petal.html

The next thing I tried was just some plain old Stampin’ Sponges.

These guys were way softer than the markers, but they were also way out of the lines. I wanted nice, pretty little flowers, not a big mess on my desk. Who asks for a mess? Ok, my kids probably do, but not on their cards. It was difficult to control the saturation, even with the sponges. Some ended up darker than others, the ink migrated too much away from the image, and sponging is messy on your fingers. What else can we use?

Enter the humble sponge daubers. They do a similar job as sponges, but they’re more precise and controllable. Slip these guys on your finger and you’re good to go!

I stamped the sentiment from the retired Loving Thoughts from Stampin’ Up!, then used a couple of coordinating framelits to finish off the card. It’s almost like adult coloring; trying to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. You just have to keep trying something new. Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading!

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Simply Sorry

Sorry I didn’t post anything yesterday. It was BC Family day, and I ended up having a sick little one to take care of. Moms never get a day off, even if it’s a holiday, right? My little guy only wanted mommy from the moment he opened his eyes this morning. I’m glad to report, though, that the fever he had this weekend was gone! He wasn’t too happy about it and actually asked if he could have it back. It took me a moment to remember that he overheard me telling my husband that, if his fever was back, I would keep him home from daycare. Poor little guy, just wanted to spend the day with mommy. Be still my heart! Let’s get to today’s card.

I was blessed with a request to make sympathy cards for the president of a local strata. She wanted about 20-30 cards, so the next few posts will be featuring designs of sympathy cards. The first one is very simple, but I like the layering technique. It was inspired by a card I saw on pinterest but, even after much searching, I could only find the name, not the site of the original creator. So, thank you, Alene Humphrey, wherever you are!

I wasn’t sure what dimensions I wanted to use for the two panels, so I just started cutting a little larger than I thought I wanted. Each time I trimmed and positioned them onto the card front, would see if I needed to trim any more. That makes for a bit of a mess with tiny slivers of paper. Now on to stamping.

Once I settled on the size I wanted, I used the large flower from Petal Palette to stamp in the corners. Even though it’s retired, I used Loving Thoughts to stamp the sentiment. A little sponging with some sponge daubers colored in the flowers and leaves. I’ll talk more about sponging techniques tomorrow.

You can see there’s a little bit of a gap between the images because of the second piece of paper. That’s where the blue panel comes in to play.

Two colors of card stock, two inks, and one stamp set. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make beautiful cards. This one stamp set is so versatile. I hope you’re not getting bored with how often I’ve been using it, but it’s really that great of a stamp set. I use so many sources when it comes to looking for inspiration. Sometimes it’s just the kind of card I need that dictates which stamp set or colors I’ll use. That may be enough, or I may need to do a google image search, check pinterest, stamping or crafty facebook groups, or even Stampin’ Up! catalogs. Inspiration can be all around you, too, if you know what to look for. A pretty color combination in the sunset, for example. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow to find out the inspiration for the next card!

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Writers block for cardmaking

The card I’m featuring today was a tough design. Some of my daughters friends came to our house after school and, as a challenge to myself, I let them pick the stamp set and paper I should use. They chose Petal Palette, Blushing Bride, and Costal Cabana papers. I was excited because I love Petal Palette, but then began to struggle with how to incorporate both colors. I started die cutting the pink paper with one of the dies I never use as a further challenge, and use the matching embossing folder, Petal Pair, on a piece of the blue paper to add some more texture to the card.

Now I was scratching my head. I took my puzzle pieces and tried them multiple times on a black card base, not really sure what I was looking for. I got frustrated, and decided to walk away. For a few days. Finally, inspiration came. I had been working with the card base in the landscape position, but when I turned it to portrait, things started happening. I trimmed the blue paper that had been embossed and could envision a completed card coming together! I grabbed my supplies and got to it before I lost it again. Here’s what I came up with:

Here’s a little trick I learned to save a bit of paper. Since I was going to have a matte on the front of the card that was the same color as the matte on base, I cut the circle out of the larger piece of paper.

Once I covered it with the white paper, you’d never know!

Sorry, didn’t realize it was so blurry when I took the picture!

The next thing I did was stamp the little bird. I stamped him multiple times because I didn’t know how I was going to color him. There are so many ways to color – Stampin’ Write markers, Watercolor Pencils, sponges, sponge daubers, Stampin’ Blends, and Aqua Painters to name a few. I tried the markers, sponges, and the Aqua Painter and decided to go with the latter.

The bottom left was colored with the marker, the bottom right was colored with a sponge and the ink pad, the one on the top was colored with the Aqua Painter and ink pad.

Because the paper I was using wasn’t very thick, I couldn’t let it get too wet. Unfortunately, my Aqua Painter had other ideas. It released far too much water before it applied much color, so I colored in two stages. I added a bit of color and water, dried it with my heat tool, added a bit more color and water, and dried again with the heat tool. If the Whisper White paper gets too wet, it will warp and bend. Stampin’ Up! does have watercolor paper, I just didn’t have any on hand.

To get the ink onto the Aqua Painter, I squeezed the ink pad between my hands so I was kind of “stamping” the inside of the lid. Then, I was able to use the brush tip to pick up some of the ink.

Look closely to see the water line just above these words.

As you can see, there’s really not that much water in the Aqua Painter, but a little goes a VERY long way, especially on Whisper White.

So, when you get stuck on a project, don’t be afraid to look at it from a different angle. Literally! Turning the paper on my desk helped me find a way to make this card work. Remember, you CAN do it. Don’t give up!

Home Based Business Thank You Cards

How many times have you ordered something from an internet company like Amazon or other retailer and received a thank you note with your order? Never? Neither have I. I did order some yarn from a small company that somehow had what I needed when everyone else (even the manufacturer!) was out of stock, and they sent me a sucker. Most of the time, we only get an itemized statement of what we ordered and what we paid. We go on with our day, and that’s that.

Small or local companies are more likely to put a little something extra in your order to help encourage you to think of them the next time you need something. Every time I ordered my stamping supplies, the wonderful lady who filled my order always put a little hand-made card in my bag. I’ve made small thank you notes for other friends who have a home based business and they put them in their customer’s orders. I wanted to feature some cards today that I thought would be nice for any home based business. Be it a multi-level marketing company, or home-based accounting, lots of people could use some thank you notes.

The background stamp here is from a set called Bokeh Dots. The other stamp from the set can be seen in another blog post, https://youcanmakeitcardsandbaking.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/try-try-again/. It is really tough to get this one to work properly, unless you know the secret. The secret is called a brayer. Unfortunately, Stampin’ Up! doesn’t sell the rubber ones that work best for this, but you can find them at other craft supply stores.

To use a brayer, roll it across the surface of the ink pad multiple times until it’s completely covered. Make sure to roll it in the same direction. If you roll it back and forth, you won’t be able to ink all the way around.

Before you transfer the ink to the stamp, you have to “stamp off” the brayer. That means rolling it gently across a piece of paper to remove the excess ink.

Then you roll the brayer across the surface of the stamp in both directions to make sure you get even coverage with the little ink that’s left. This type of stamp from Stampin’ Up! is called a DistInktive Image and it’s made to look photorealistic. The image on the stamp is very shallow, which is why it can’t hold much ink.

One of the good things about a rubber brayer is how easy they are to clean. Just run it under water!

Because Stampin’ Up! inks are water based, it washes right off. The next step for these simple cards was to stamp the sentiment and flower on each. Once I finished, I thought they needed a little something more, so I played around with different ideas. I reached for my Wink of Stella again, tried some rhinestones, and even some retired Candy Dots on the blue card. Which do you like best?

I traced over the flower and did a few little flourishes with the Wink of Stella on the green card.

I also experimented a little with the placement of the sentiment. I think I like it sitting on the line of the color block. If you know someone who could use some thank you cards for their home based business, please let them know about me. I’m happy to work with any budget and design. There may even be a bonus for any referrals! Thanks for reading!

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Change in schedule

Hey guys! I know I’ve been posting almost every day, mostly Monday through Friday, but things are going to be changing this week. I had my first day at work today at a new job, so it’s going to take up a lot of my time. I will do my best, though, to keep posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I will have a project for tomorrow, but this is all for today. Thanks for understanding!

The Happiest Flower

One of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Mail. It’s such a testament to human nature to watch how Tom Hanks “tweaks” himself to be the man he knows Meg Ryan wants. At one point, he brings her flowers. He brings daisies because he heard one of her former employees say that she likes them. “Don’t you think daisies are the happiest flower?” she asks him. Can you think of a happier looking flower?

Ok, I get that they look more like Black Eyed Susans, but it was made using the Daisy Delight and the Daisy punch. I started using Daffodil Delight paper as well as ink, but it just didn’t look right to me. I tried the same paper with darker ink, Crushed Curry, and I thought it looked a bit better.

I stamped and punched six flowers and overlapped them to make a fuller looking flower for the card. Next, I used my bone folder to curl the petals a bit. It’s just like when you take scissors and ribbon between your fingers to make curly ribbon.

The centers were stamped with two images, one solid, one a bit textured. The solid was stamped in Soft Suede and the other in Early Espresso. I tell you what, sometimes I get so hungry using Stampin’ Up! products because so many are named after food: Granny Apple Green, Crumb Cake, Gorgeous Grape, Cherry Cobbler, Pumpkin Pie, Pear Pizzazz, Blackberry Bliss. Man, I’m seriously hungry now! Anyway, I wanted to add a little something to these, so I added some of the Wink of Stella that I used on Thursday. It gave them a bit of texture, I think, too.

For the sentiment, I used a set called Itty Bitty Birthdays. It’s full of fun birthday greetings in many different fonts, so you have a lot of choices between 16 different stamps.

This is what the Wink of Stella looks like in action.

I also added some more elements of texture to the card with the Petals and More thinlits and the matching embossing folder, Petal Pair. It comes with two (hence the name) and the one I used looks a bit like vines. The DSP (remember, that’s Designer Series Paper) in the background is called Wood Textures. I also have to mention that I CASEd this card from another blog: https://stampinbygenny.com/2017/06/13/stampin-up-daisy-delight-birthday-card/. To CASE means to Copy And Share Everything, including your source. There is no shame in CASEing. Many demonstrators do it! Sometimes, it’s just hard to find inspiration, and you just need a little help. That’s one of the great things about stamping as I mentioned the other day – help is just around the corner. Hey! Another line from the movie. The name of her bookstore was “The Shop Around the Corner”. Well, I hope you’re encouraged to make something you can be proud of. Let me know if you need help placing an order or if you have any questions about the products I used today.

https://www.stampinup.com/ecweb/product/143713/daisy-punch?dbwsdemoid2208259
https://www.stampinup.com/ecweb/product/143669/daisy-delight-photopolymer-stamp-set?dbwsdemoid=2208259
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