Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Design Team Work

I've been busy doing more design team work for Retro Cafe Art Gallery today. I made these three cards with new collage images. I am just in love with this little girl! This first one I used a acrylic paint on the "adore" stamp. (Sorry, it's clear acrylic, and I don't remember who made it.) The parenthesis are from a punch that I bought a Archivers.
More Punches for the second card. The Happy is actually one big stamp by Hero Arts that I cut apart. The Swirls are by autumn leaves (Recognize these Bev??) and the text is by Stampington.
Can you tell I was in a mood to use my punches?? I made the buttons on the flowers with a little alcohol ink. The swirls are by inkadinkado, and the Italian text is by Hampton Art Stamps.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A couple more ink blending cars

I made a couple more ink blending tool cards (to see my demo click here). Both of the stamps are by Paperbag studios. The first card I blended chalk ink in three different colors. Instead of leaving the center clear, I worked straight across. I like the look of the chalk inks, but it does lacks the pop of the distress inks.
For this one I used pink distress inks and followed the same pattern I did in the demo, but before I attached the center picture, I spritzed the card with some water to create some spots. If you look closely, you can see them.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Here are some pictures of another one of my creations for Retro Cafe Art Gallery. It's a mini-shrine, which comes with all the parts cut out of some kind of thick board. Here is a picture with a dime for scale:

For the head, I actually used shrink-plastic in black and stamped onto it with white Stazon ink. When it was cool, I coated it in a clear embossing powder because a lot of the time the image will rub off (even when stamped with Stazon.) The stamp I used is by Lost Coast Designs.
Here is a shot of the back. I don't know why it came out so blurry! But you get the general idea.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wednesday Stamper

The theme for this week's Wednesday Stamper is insects. So I pulled out my dragonfly stamp by Stamper's Anonymous and made this:

I used the ink blending technique I talked about the other day, except I worked the ink all the way across. When it was dry I spritzed it with some ink mixed with water and pearl ex powder to give it a little sparkle. Of course, it didn't show up very well in the scan, since my scanner doesn't like metallic things. But you can see the green spots.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mini-House Book

I have been busy this last week getting some design team work done for Retro Cafe Art Gallery. I've been working with a new line of products that Kris has started carrying by Coffee Break Designs--and I am just loving it! So much of the stuff that she gave me is small sized and I have to say it's been a lot of fun working on stuff that's so tiny. Here are some pictures of a mini-house book I just finished:

The bulk of the bird stamps I used were by Hero Arts and the text all came from various vintage books. I have to say, about half-way through this project I thought I'd lost my mind, sitting in my studio reading through old books looking for just the right words to cut out. But, it was worth it!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Kris from Retro Cafe Art Gallery tagged me the other day; so I have to list 6 weird things about myself and then tag three more people. So here goes:
1. I am an insanely fast reader. I can get through around 150 pages an hour if it's fiction.
2. I have never had my hair cut above my shoulders. It's not a religious thing, just a preference thing.
3. I am a huge sci-fi fanatic. I read books, watch movies, tv etc. My current obsession is Stargate Atlantis.
4. I like to tell people that I'm saving myself for Brock Samson.
5. I have a really sensitive sense of smell and can tell when my husband is getting sick by the way his skin smells. In fact, I normally know before he does. The last time he had the flu for 2 days I kept saying to him "You smell like you're getting sick" and he denied it and then on day three: 101 degree fever.6. I don't eat cooked vegetables, except for potatoes. I like 'em raw.

So, I'm tagging Diana, Gina and Dorene. All of whom are in IAA with me. So get posting ladies!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ink Blending Tool How-To

Here is my promised ink blending tutorial.
I have to say that when Inkessentails came out with the blending tool, my response was a not so enthusiastic "eh." I had ink "daubers" and didn't really see the point of buying yet another one. But then, I saw a sample of work that had been done with it and I went from "eh" to "oh my!" It's now become one of my favorite tools.
Here's the supply list for this project: three colors of ink, one of which should be light, one dark and one brown or black (I am using distress inks: tea dye, pine needles and walnut stain) ink blending tool and three blending foams (these are re-usable and last a really long time so don't start stressing about the cost of buying a ton of these little foams), something to protect your work surface, your inking surface and stamps.

Start with your lightest color and ink up your foam using a pouncing motion (the foam should be on the applicator, I know that sounds like a silly reminder, but I've actually forgotten to put it on a couple of times.)

Starting off of the paper, drag the blending in small circles onto the paper. You want to use a light touch and then press harder as needed. Remember, it's easy to add color, impossible to subtract!

Do this all around the edges of the card leaving the middle circle empty. This provides a nice visual focal point and gives it a little pop.

Now, using the same off the paper technique do the same with the darker color (remember to change your foam before you start!) You only want to come in a little, leaving the lighter color still showing.

Now take your dark brown or black and ink-up a new foam. Instead of working in circles this time, place the blender just on the edge of the paper and pull back off onto your craft mat/work surface protector. You can also pick the paper up and swipe the edge with the color.

Now, you're ready to add some stamps. I like to do a couple of stamps around the outside leaving the inside blank for the focal stamp.

Then, I stamp on a separate piece of paper and using the lightest color ink it as in step one, and then using the brown/black ink the edges. This echos what's going on the card and helps the image to feel like it belongs. You can always skip this and just stamp right into the center, but I like the look of the third image on top.

Then attach to your card and you're all finished!

The stamps I used here were by paper bag studios (the girls and the script) and inkadinkado for the swirls.
If you have any questions about the technique, or if one of my steps wasn't clear, please feel free to email me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Men ATCs

I know, I've been gone a long time.
I've been having some health issues and in between being poked and prodded by various doctors and battling my insurance company (who seem to feel that being human is a pre-existing condition)I just haven't had much energy to do much posting.
But I did manage to get my ATCs done for the swap on Saturday. The theme this month is Men; mostly because we did women last month.
Here are my cards:

I used this really wonderful technique and the Ranger ink blender tool to make the backgrounds. (For which I will post a tutorial some time this week, scouts honor.) The orange and blue background stamps are both by Paperbag Studios, the green is by Inkadinkado, and the purple is by Rhonna Ferrar. I used some alcohol inks on the buttons to get that lovely aged look.
All in all, I'm happy with the way they turned out.