Among the new acquisitions in my craft room are photopolymer stamps that traveled a long way to get there.
I was again browsing one of my favorite sites, Etsy, taking a gander at what type of stamps were available. That’s when I came across a brand I hadn’t heard of before: Flonz. A search on Google turned up the company’s website, where I discovered a wide array of clear stamps produced by a small business in New Zealand. I purchased a few and eagerly awaited the long-distance package. I was so excited when it arrived that I posted a photo of the envelope on social networks.
I used one of the stamps the Kiwis sent me to try out a different inking technique. Lately, I’ve been crazy about paint mists. I’ve solely used Heidi Swapp shimmer paints in a few colors to ease myself into the medium. I’ve sprayed directly onto paper and indirectly onto chipboard. For this card, I sprayed the paint into a tray and used it to ink my stamp. It took several attempts to achieve a satisfactory transfer. I learned that allowing the paint to dry a little and using smooth cardstock helps create a clean image. I wanted a bit of texture in my image, though, so I stamped on the reverse side of textured cardstock, which shows a bit of the impressions in the paper.
Mother’s Day is tomorrow, and (gasp) crafty you has been too pressed for time, in a creativity slump or (yipe) you forgot to make a card.
I was pressed for time this year, but washi tape came to my rescue. In half an hour, at most, I had a card.
I also tried stamping for the first time on washi. I used multi-surface inks just in case the tapes’ surfaces were too slick to absorb regular ink, and they worked well.
Tape, stamp, bling, stick … done. Fabulous!
It is spring, isn’t it? It looks like spring. The grass is a vibrant shade of green, the trees are budding and the flowers are blooming. Friday didn’t feel like spring, though. There was a chill in the air here in Springfield, Ill. The day did not offer a temperature higher than 44, and the blustery wind pushed winter back into our thoughts. There were snowflakes in the air. Light flurries, even.
Springtime typically means crazy weather here. One day, it will be in the 50s and cloudy; the next, it’s in the 80s with a tornado watch. Frankly, I don’t mind the weather being a little cooler, but gusts of cold air and snowflakes are a bit much for this time of year. We had 18.5 inches of snow in the last week of March, and according to the calendar, it was spring.
The weather got me thinking about “spring on ice.” Pretty, fresh flowers covered in frost. A colorful world covered by winter’s white cloak. I pulled out my white cardstock and glitter to craft an all-white spring card. Almost all white. I added a touch of color with the sentiment. I also used a lot of dimensional adhesive to separate the monotone layers.
It used to bother me when a clear stamp would not deliver an evenly inked image. Clear stamps, also known as acrylic or photopolymer stamps, tend to leave a softer image on the paper than rubber stamps. Ink tends to bead on the stamp’s surface, however, which leads to an uneven stamped image.
Rubber stamps leave a crisp image, but I often find that I wish I could see through them to tell where I’m stamping, as I can with clear stamps. And though I have a sizable collection of block-mounted stamps, I’ve always preferred the compact storage of cling stamp sets. Cling sets also are cheaper and can offer several stamps per set. I guess you could say I cling to clear stamps. I couldn’t pass up a chance for a bad pun.
To combat ink beading on a clear stamp, gently rub an eraser over the stamp. Or, you can skip this step and embrace the stamp’s imperfections.
The unevenly inked chevron line breaks up the balanced appearance of the card and softens the boldness of the neon-orange ink. I wanted the zigzag to be the focal point, so I kept the rest of the elements all close to the same light-blue tone.
If you’re a “Mad Men” fan, then maybe you’re as excited as I am for tonight’s two-hour premiere of the sixth season. I’ve missed the SCDP team (now minus “P”). I made the mistake of reading a Slate.com article about the season opener. “Minor” spoilers? Pffft. I think not. Why did I read it … all of it?!
Whom am I kidding? I would have read the entire article if it were a detailed play-by-play. I’ve read Wikipedia articles about “The Walking Dead” comic books, looking for hints as to what my favorite zombie-apocalypse drama will bring. Ahem. Moving on …
In honor of “Mad Men,” I planned to create a card inspired by the 1960s. I had a specific October Afternoon journal card in mind, and I wanted to add a funny sentiment to it, but the journal card was MIA. My craft area is organized, but I have a habit of piling up products around my workspace, such as stacks of acrylic-stamp sets and leftover cardstock. I’d been brainstorming ideas with that journal card weeks ago, so I knew it was somewhere.
I went through a pile of notepaper and stacks of cardstock, looked under packages of rub-ons and clear stamps, peered beneath my craft-cart-on-wheels. No journal card. I had resigned to letting it go and using a different one, and then I flipped through my pile of notepaper one more time … out flew the card.
I’m happy that I found the journal card, because I don’t think a different one would have worked as well. I like how my “seriously?” talk bubble fits the theme of office talk with the word strip that shows “watercooler” and “gossip.”
When October arrives, I might try a Halloween card inspired by “The Walking Dead.” Are there stamps of zombie images?
“You should make a get-well card for yourself. You’ve been sick all week.”
My husband suggested this to me Friday after dinner. It’s true — I have been sick all week. It’s been a week filled with soup, including the tasty shrimp pho I had Friday; annoying, harsh coughing fits; nights of interrupted sleep; and a sharp decline in motivation and creativity.
Friday was the first day this week that I started to feel normal, though you couldn’t tell by my raspy voice. I challenged myself to make a card in the eleventh hour for this blog. I’ll call it “being realistic,” because sometimes life presents a situation for which you must craft quickly.
Stay healthy, my friends.
Shake. Clickety-clack. Shake, shake, shake.
Spritz. Spritz. Spritz.
Drip. Splat. Drip.
There are new sounds coming from my craft space. A wide variety of paint mists have joined the paper-craft industry. In the past, I enjoyed painting with watercolors, gouache and acrylics for art projects, so I purchased a few Heidi Swapp mists to try. These sprays have shimmery particles in them and need to be shaken well. Each bottle has a small metal ball to help blend the contents. They’re noisemakers, especially when shaking more than one at a time.
After shaking things up, I placed my cardstock in a plastic lid that came with a disposable baking pan. The lid worked well as a spray shield for my workspace.
I kept my design minimal to feature the shimmery, watercolor-like sprays and splatters.
Show me a piece of coated paper, and I think, “Oooooh, shiny!” And then I begin to imagine what to stamp on it.
Coated papers are like transparencies. They have a slick surface, which can make stamping tricky, but it’s another dimension to add to your paper crafting. All you need is the proper type of ink. As I have mentioned in previous posts (here and here) about stamping on transparencies, for coated papers you’ll need StazOn or Brilliance inks, which are formulated for glossy surfaces.
I find that acrylic stamps don’t work on coated papers as well as rubber stamps because they’re squishy, which creates air pockets between the paper and the stamp. This results in gaps in the stamped image.
When stamping on a slick surface, try not to move the stamp. Stamp firmly so that the stamp does not slide around. It took two attempts to get a mostly complete stamped image for this card.
See my gallery for other cards I’ve made using coated papers.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, and I have one more card to share. If you are a procrastinating crafter in need of ideas, maybe this colorful card will inspire you.
The base of this card is made with Bazzill Basics two-tone cardstock. Sanding or filing away the raised pattern reveals the color underneath. Very fine sandpaper works for this, or a file set, if you have one. I recently bought a Basic Grey precision file set and couldn’t wait to try it out.
I used my trusty Making Memories Slice Elite to die-cut two flower shapes and a decorative tab. And I actually sewed the button onto the ribbon. I usually cheat and tie the string on the button and attach it using a glue dot. I didn’t think that would adhere well to the ribbon, though.
Click on the “e-booklet” below for a tutorial. Happy Mother’s Day!
I’ve seen “chalk” inks in stores before, but passed them up because I thought they would be messy. I thought they would smear, like real chalk does. When I saw Color Box’s Cat’s Eye Queue fluid chalk inks on sale at Meijer, I decided to try them out. I already own a set of Cat’s Eye classic pigment inks, and I love the quality. They’re also compact, which is great because I don’t have a lot of storage space.
On paper, the Color Box chalk inks have a soft appearance and dry quickly. For the card below, I used three from the Rose Petals collection (seen above at left): rose coral, rouge and maroon. (The set on the right is called Sand Dunes.) I’m getting a head start on Mother’s Day this year, and I wanted to make a simple card with a few layers.