February 26, 2011

Think Ink

So I've spent a good portion of the day today messing around in my studio and what started out with intentions of having fun, turned into a day of studying.

Studying? Yah.

Here's the back story. I bought some paper and matching embellishments. I fell in love with it on a lunchtime trip to Joann's about a week ago. It's called English Moss by Colorbök - a bright green, light greenish-blue, black and cream. Things have been a little hectic at work so I just haven't had the time to do a whole lot with it yet so I was really looking forward to today to see what I could challenge myself with.

Instead, I sat at my desk wondering where to start. I knew who I wanted to make the next card for (and why). I had all the pieces. I just didn't know how to put them all together. I didn't have a plan. So I stumbled into ink. And that's where the study began. (I do have a project that I'll be posting on my next blog that will show the final product but you'll just have to come back sometime in the next couple of days to see how it turned out!)

I've read a lot on the various types of inks. Honestly, I didn't know there were so many choices - brands, colors, drying times, techniques, etc. My best resource has been Jennifer McGuire. She's a real pro! Between her blog and the series of videos on YouTube called Thinking Inking, I have enough techniques and products to try to last me a year or two. I've purchased a few different products to figure out what I like (VersaMark Dew Drops - Turquoise Gem & Tea Leaves upper left hand corner, ColorBox Chalk Cats Eye Queue Ice Jade from Misty Meadow upper right hand corner, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Walnut Brown lower right and Stewart Superiors Memories Dye Apple lower left)

I started with the clear stamps themselves. I decided to trim some of the excess off so I could tuck the word "TRUE" closer to "LOVE".

It helps if you use a pair of small scissors. I like these ones I stole from my cross stitch kit. One day I'll replace them (when I start cross stitching again.)

I love using these clear blocks from Fiskars with the grid on them. It makes lining up letters and patterns a little easier. (The clear stamps I used on this project are also from Fiskars.)

I've read on other blogs and stamping sites that if you stamp on a mousepad, it makes the image stamp a little clearer and more evenly. I tried it. I believe it. So I've "borrowed" my husband's mousepad indefinitely. I stamped on Neenah Solar White cardstock.

Here's the results of my little study. The ColorBox Ice Jade was too light, seemed a lot lighter than what it appeared to be. I like the density of the VersaMark Dew Drop inks. I probably could have done a better job inking them up but I liked them the best. They're vibrant, more true to color, clearer and more evenly solid. The Memories dye was vibrant but it was splotchy.

Then I used the Walnut Stain Distress Ink over all the stamped images. And the Memories Dye ink started to grow on me. I don't know if the ink had a little more time to even out or if I was changing my mind but I think I'll have to give this one a second chance on another project.

After I stamped the color and they had a chance to dry, I went over part of each one with the Tim Holtz Distress Ink. The light shade didn't survive.

So now onto finishing the project. Keep your eyes peeled!

February 22, 2011

A Valentine's Day Trinket

Forgive me. I know Valentine's Day is over but I gave one of these as a small gift and so I couldn't post it before "the day".

I promise to start posting process pictures so you can see how the projects come together. I'm learning

These two were fun. I borrowed this idea from another papercrafter's blog only she used it to package up some cute Valentine's Day candy gifts. http://www.kerryspapercrafts.com/?p=1152

I started by picking the pattern I wanted to use from the Eiffel Tower paper by Making Memories from their Je t'Adore Collection. I wanted the Eiffle Tower visible so I cropped it to that when I folded it up, you could see the top of it. I used my adhesive applicator to cover the back of it really well. I cut the solid colored card stock to size and then placed the patterned paper on it.

I then used my scoring tool to create two nice folds to create a bottom for it to be able to stand up. If you want a fold without the paper cracking, this is the way to do it. I then used my Creative Memories circle cutting tool to cut an oval for the lip balm to peek through.

I used adhesive dots to keep the top of it adhered to the back.

Then I went to making the embellishment. I punched a large scalloped circle out of Stardream's metallic cream linen cardstock. I then found another piece of the patterned paper and cut a smaller scalloped circle. Cutting a circle from the cream tulle, I folded it up into a small cone four times (like you do when you make a paper snowflake) and then trimmed it into a heart. While it was still folded up, I grabbed it in the center with one hand and spread it out with the other. I then attached it to the back of the smaller scalloped circle. And then the larger scalloped circle behind that.

I embellished it with a few things I had on hand and stuck them on with Glossy Accents - one of my new favorite adhesives. It dries clear and is VERY permanent. The only downfall is that it does take some time to dry and it does not work well on ribbon (I learned that the hard way).

Here's the other one I did. You can see that it's a different size but it does the same thing.

Let me know what you think!

February 19, 2011

Thank You (Times Four)

Is it weird that I like paper so much? I know I'm geeky about it but when your friends and co-workers know it too...that might be a cue you have a problem!

I was talking with someone at work on Friday about an idea I had for an event gift that was inspired by a papercraft project at home. I must have started talking fast and getting animated because she started to giggle and said "look how excited you are about paper"! I had to laugh to myself because she was right.

My Card:: Thank You (Times Four)
Since this is my second post on my blog, I'd like to say THANK YOU to all of you who viewed, followed and/or commented on the first post.

I really enjoy sharing my finished products with you all but what I also like is that I can use this forum to pass along all the things I learned along the way (aka...all the mistakes I made in getting to something I could actually feel good about giving to someone).

I thought it was appropriate to share my latest project - a Thank You card!

And with that comes a lesson in spacing...

So this was an idea I had after seeing all the bright colors in the striped background cardstock I used in the background. I thought I had it all together. Everything was clicking on this project.

I cut the striped background to the right size on the first attempt (won't happen again for awhile I'm sure). Check.

I practiced my stamping on several cute little scalloped squares and then picked the best ones. Check.

I found the perfect ribbon in my stash. Check.

And then it happened.

I tried to position the stamped squares perfectly and evenly spaced. Once. Then twice. Then a third. I'd get two looking right and then try to add a third and totally mess it all up. I don't know how many times I ended up placing them. But I finally did and when I did, it turned out great.

I still haven't figured out how I "should" have done it but since working on it, I've come up with a few ideas to try the next time I want to use a similar layout.

February 14, 2011

Ready? Set? Go!

That's what my boss always says to me at the end of a project meeting. It always make me smile because I know he means it.

I'm starting to fall head over heels for all things paper - outside of work. I've dealt with paper at work everyday for 10+ years. Seeing what can be done has opened my eyes to what I can do at home and visa versa. My worlds are meshing even more. I like what it allows me to go at work and I love that I can get inspired by the projects we have at work when I'm at home.

I just want to keep track of discovering along the way the good and the bad. I've spent TONS of time on several other blogs, been inspired, learned some tricks, tried a few things. But the funny thing is, I want more.

I hope this blog helps some of you just getting started so we can learn along the way together.

Am I ready? Yup.
Am I set? I think so.
Now it's time to go!

Take a look at my first project from Christmas. I had a great time making these little boxes that hold Hershey Nuggets. I have to admit, I ate a lot the lil buggers while I was working. I learned about the idea from the papercrafter that actually got me thinking that papercrafting might be something for me. It came on YouTube from Tresa Black. She is fabulouslyartsy.com. Thanks, Tresa!

I've had a few people ask for step by step instructions on the box.
Here's the video that got me hooked: