Monday, January 30, 2012

Catalog Drawing Winner!!

   Good Morning Everyone!  Congratulations to Bianca in winning the drawing for the Hero Arts catalog!  I gave everyone who commented a slip in the drawing even though the object of the scavenger hunt I fear may have lost something in translation!  The card I linked to had a background of PE-65000...from the classic Glenn Miller song of the same name!  It's how we used to write telephone numbers 'back in the day!'  I thought it made for a fun background with a little bit of history!  
   Thanks to each of you who entered and who read my blog!  I'm always amazed at how many people from all over the world check in to see what we're up to!  It's a part of our homeschool day checking the statistics on the Blogger dashboard to see what countries have visited!  [a special 'shout out' to Kazakhstan--my daughter studies Central Asian history voraciously!]

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Hint and a Blast from the Past!

   Happy Friday everyone!  Here's a fun little clip to sing us off to the weekend!  Want a chance to win a copy of the new Hero Arts catalog?  Read this post and leave a comment there with the correct answer!  Don't you just love Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Owl...ways Sending Hugs and Kisses!

Hero Arts Starring:  Big Eyes
   Inspired by Moxie Fab's highlighting of the new Papercrafts Stamp It 3 Ways issue and having fun creating places for Big Eyes the owl to inhabit.  In this version I stamped a background with a clear set from Hero to give a mod 60's/70's vibe since I always think of the jute macrame owls I made growing up.  I used Twinkling H2O's to highlight the eyes and topped with some bling.  Owl is embossed using the trick of stamping in VersaMark ink then in the dye ink color I needed along with clear powder.  I look forward to creating a whole set of these in different colors!
   Those of you who know me remember how much I love to use text as a background--usually repetitive stamping--and I wanted to put in some extra hugs and kisses with my clear alphabet set.  [It really comes in handy, and I usually have something unusual to say like in this card here!  And...wait for first blog candy is to give away a copy of the new Hero Arts catalog!!  I won the lucky draw from Hero and already have one, so I thought I'd pass along the hugs to someone else!]
   But I think it's fun to work for it!  [I could get all political but I won't!]  Follow the link in this post to an older card of mine and leave a comment here on the blog to tell me what it means if you would like to be entered in the drawing for the new catalog!  [contest closes Saturday 12p.m. EST]  Nothing like a little scavenger hunt--another blast from the past--to go with this mod little owl!
   Make it a great day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Black and White and Stamped All Over

      There's a Penguin Challenge over on CAS-ual Fridays...that is a black and white only--with no color.  Well, my sister is a huge penguin fan, she's just finished her quarterly deadline for a complex project she edits, and hopefully tonight she'll be kickin' up her little Happy feet!  Enjoy chum!
   And this one is for my mom-in-law's collection I'm building to send her for Three-Legged Frog Day!  [you do know about Three-Legged Frog Day, don't you?!]  I have so many ideas for black and white I may just have to binge...keep an eye on me that I don't go too far won't you?!  Have fun out there putting your stamp on life!

Hard Work Pays Off

My kiddos with the team's FTC Think Award!
   Last Saturday the family got themselves up at 4:30 a.m. [or as we like to call it, "O-Dark-Thirty"] loaded the team robot in the minivan, and headed out in a snowstorm to attend the Arlington, MA FTC Qualifier Tournament.  Judging began at 8 a.m. and the day progressed through game play ["Bowled Over" is this year's challenge!] into semi-finals, and the awards ceremony.  They were knocked out for final game play, were nominated for three different awards--the one they won is called the Think Award which is bestowed upon "...the team that best reflects the "journey" the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season.   The Engineering Notebook is the key reference for judges to help identify the most deserving team."  The team was thrilled!  Even more thrilling was their runner up honor for the Inspire Award which allows them to move up to the Massachusetts State Tournament...and who knows?  Worlds?!?  
   If you haven't heard about FTC before, I recommend it's a mid-level, more affordable option to the FRC competition with which you might be familiar. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kay Eye Es Es Eye En Gee!

   Heh heh!  Couldn't resist the post probably have gotten it by now, but I've been chanting that silly old rhyme all the while I was making my husband's Valentine!  I had a lot of fun using Hero Arts' new Big Eyes owl stamp [which, coincidentally is their Stamp of the Week over on their blog, so one can purchase it at a discount!]  And, to add to all this fun, I have two other ideas using this wicked cool stamp to play along over at Moxie Fab World for their Stamp It Three Ways!  [my absolute favorite kind of use the same stamp for different looks!]
   This design is for the Play Date Cafe challenge this week using these beautiful colors:

Here's the inside/punch line photo too:
   My trusty Typewriter Alphabet clear set always comes in handy, and I was especially pleased to realize it has the "+" sign too!  I wish I had more time today to get to stamping, but it was a busy weekend--great news to share tomorrow with a picture of my wonderful kids!  See you then!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Plush Paper Embossing

   Created this for the Play Date Cafe color challenge this week!  I'm not usually fond of deep colors and wondered if I'd like this combination.  I have to say it grew on me quickly after I got out my velvet paper, embossed it, and layered some plum and gold cardstock on it!  It's really rich and the texture is luxurious.  I used Crimson Pearl Brilliance ink and embossed with clear for the sentiment and flowers and used it for distressing the edge of the die-cut label.  I embossed a butterfly with Egyptian Gold on gold handmade paper, then also added a bit of the ink to bring out the detail.  I'd use these colors again I think!  Thanks for the inspiration from the gals over at Play Date


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Special Time Valentines

   I call this 'Old School' because if you've been crafting long enough you probably have some sort of stencils like these that you used to trace with pencil and cut out.  What's old is new again with all the cool stencils for adding pattern and layering images now!  I wanted to be able to place the shape on this stamped cardstock I made with the clock image from the new Special Time clear set from Hero Arts!
   After being woefully behind for the last holidays, I am ahead of Valentine's Day with my special cards completed this afternoon!  and they are entered in the new Hero Arts Blog contest for this month to boot!  Check it out HERE!
   I usually don't do pastel colors, but I liked the way some repetitive stamping of the sentiment and the clock blended to make a nice background to place my hearts.  I love the font of the sentiments in this set, and I can see how versatile it's going to be for lots of occasions!  I had fun playing this afternoon, and even re-discovered my marker sprayer to make the splotches on the background.  Nice to be cleaning and organizing!  
   Hope you have some Special Time to play today!  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Alcohol Inks...or--stuff you have and should get out to use more often than you do!

   Since I'm in the process of setting up my stamping stash in the schoolroom now the holiday rush is through, I rediscovered my alcohol inks I got started on when we lived in Jacksonville.  The local stamp store there, A Small Cleverness, put me right on the road to success!  It was autumn, and there was a lovely sample card with a leafless tree and a gorgeous red/orange ink background.  The owner explained quickly how to achieve the effect, and with her tips I went right home and duplicated it!  I love when that happens, don't you?!
   The first thing she did was explain how to use the cotton applicator [actually dental cotton rolls held with small alligator clips...I've improvised here by rolling up a cotton pad and securing with a file clip!  Worked beautifully!] to apply color by swirling [LOVE that word!] dabbing for stone effects, and spritzing with 90% rubbing alcohol.  It doesn't work with the regular 70%--too much water and it doesn't let the ink move.  Spritz the white glossy cardstock lightly then apply your color working quickly before the alcohol evaporates...then spritz again to get mottled looks; apply ink in dabs without spritzing for deeper color/depth of field in the background.  Dropping different shades of ink along the length of the applicator gives a nice blend to the color without having to work at it...I put straight color on the little strip in the photo above to show the strong/full color.  I just dabbed/rolled and blended into the backgrounds to create veins and designs that mimic stone.
   You can put as many layers as you like on these...just let them dry before you continue to build.  I used these with a nice silhouette stamp for Three Kings Day cards--they turned out really beautiful!  Alcohol inks have an easy way for making you feel like an artist and they are fun and forgiving to use as a medium!  [Oh--and bonus--I found some of the original cotton rolls I got down in Florida.  Kind of like finding money under the couch cushion...or in one's winter coat pocket at the start of the new season!  I think I'll have to play with my red inks for some Valentine fun!]

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Would You Like to Fly?

   Flying High the past few days catching up on some serious play!  I am just in love with these new Hero Arts Airship rubber cling stamps!  Combined with just the right word definitions they convey a truly uplifting message.  The style lends itself well to collage, panel work, steam punk...[can't wait to try more funky colors!] and more!
Would you like to fly...
in my beautiful...
   My children tease me that I frequently can--and will--break into song, and I can usually find appropriate lyrics for any occasion!  My student teaching mentor always thought it would be a trait to serve me well in the classroom and in life--she was always right!  [Hope you are well Mary!]  
   What song do you sing today?!?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Play Date!

Check out the latest Play Date Cafe color challenge here
   I love to play at the cafe, and this week I'm working on cards for my mom.  She loves having a little card store in her desk and she's run out--so I've been busy today!  Since she requested her re-stock in winter themes, I made one using the colors for this week's challenge from PDCC, a fun winter snowflake border, and some new Hampton Art stamps I picked up last month.  I like how it came out, and that it isn't just for the holidays!  
I just love this Denami Designs vertical greeting!  

Good Techniques to Remember

SHOP this project, Rooted In Nature Sometimes we forget the simplest things as we learn new ways to do things. I was reminded how much f...