Friday, August 29, 2008

Blog Winner

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful comments! I went to and did a random integer generator to pick a blog candy winner, and here she is:

Congratulations to Linda Beeson! She said:

Your cards are adorable! I seem to like to stamp FALL themed cards the most. I think it is the colors that are associated with fall that I like the most.

August 28, 2008 2:54 AM

Please email me your address Linda so that Impression Obsession can send you your stamps!

The general consensus seemed to be that people have moved on from summer and are ready for fall. So, in honor of the upcoming season, I am posting a card I made at my Virtual Stamp Night last weekend. The challenge was to make a card using inchies. I made a candy corn card (say that three times fast) by using candy corn inchies and layers of cardstock to make the entire card look like a giant candy corn. All of the images are by Impression Obsession. Of course, I couldn't resist posting one more summer themed card:

The margarita card was also made during the VSN and also uses IO images. The challenge was to make a card inspired by one of the Joanne Fluke novels. I chose "Key Lime Pie Murder." Although technically a margarita card could be for any time of the year, this particular margarita image makes me think of summer. After all, it does have a beach umbrella stuck in it.

And finally....

My crown and tote bag prize came yesterday from Paper Crafts magazine. I am embarassed to say how excited I was to get crown in the mail.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blog Candy!

As promised, I am posting blog candy today. August is my assigned month post some cards and give you a chance to win some Impression Obsession goodies. Details of the stamps you can win and how to enter are at the end of the post.

I tend to view August as an in-between month. It is usually hot as heck, but part of me starts to crave fall and stamping Halloween cards. Therefore, I am giving you a chance to win a summer clear set as well as a brand new Halloween cling stamp and saying.

The card above is one we made in my beach watercolor class. All the images come from a clear set called "sunshiny day." To make the card, I took some marble blue paper and added some blue watercolor paint at the bottom of the rectangle. The blue marble gave the appearance of clouds, and the watercolor was meant to look like the ocean. I stamped the palm tree with VersaFine black ink and colored it with various colors of watercolor pencils. I cut out my tree and glued it onto the scene and added a circle I punched from yellow cardstock. I stamped three little boats on the ocean and colored them with additional watercolor pencils. To finish the card, I added a line of Diamond Glaze at the bottom and dipped the scene into real sand. The Diamond Glaze takes a while to dry, but it will hold the sand. You might or might not be able to tell from the shadows, but the rectangle is popped up on the card with pop dots.

The second card is one I made featuring the new candy apples stamp and saying. I scanned this card to pick up the coloring better, but it made the Diamond Glaze on the top of the apples look a bit cloudy. Yes, I am addicted to Diamond Glaze.

To make this card, I stamped the apples onto white cardstock with Memento black ink. I colored them with Copic markers and then added a layer of Diamond Glaze to the top. I always get asked about samples I make with Diamond Glaze on them. It works as a great glue, but it is really cool to use on top of your cards as a hard, think coating. If you use DG (I am now abbreviating), make sure that you NEVER shake it. This will give you bubbles, and you don't want that. The first thing I do is squeeze a little onto some scrap paper to get rid of any bubbles at the top of the bottle. Then, without letting go of the squeezed bottle, I quickly move it over to my paper and continue dispensing the glue onto my card. If you do get any bubbles, pop them with a pin before they set. DG takes forever to dry, so I do it as the final step on a card. Try it if you want something to look like glass or want a hard shellac on your card.

Whew! That was a long post when all you probably want is the free stuff. So, without further ado, to win Sunshiny Day, the cling version of the Candy Apples, and the cling version of the Sweet Halloween saying, just leave me a comment telling me what season you feel like stamping. Are you still making bright summer cards? Creating something for Halloween? Or, are you one of those organized sickos finishing up your Christmas cards? :)

I will draw a winner at random Thursday night and post the winning comment Friday morning. Please check back Friday to see if you won. I won't have any way to contact the winner, so you will have to check back to see if you are the winner. Good luck everyone!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Virtual Stamp Night

I participated in another Virtual Stamp Night this weekend hosted by Splitcoaststampers. Unlike previous VSN weekends, I didn't feel the insane need to participate in EVERY challenge. Part of that decision was made for me. The site kept crashing so my friends and I couldn't view the challenges. In addition, the start times were changed and ran a little late for us East Coasters. I am a late night person, but I don't really stamp at midnight! Nevertheless, I participated in quite a few of the challenges and had a blast!

The card I am posting today is the one I did for the twine challenge. The only stipulation was that you were to use twine somewhere on your card. I took a piece of white paper (glossy probably would have been better) and brayered it with a Kaleidecolor ink pad. I then split it into two pieces and stamped each piece with some Club Stamp images and VersaFine green ink. I added some eyelets and then reattached the two pieces with my twine.

Be sure to check back Tuesday because it is my turn to offer some Impression Obsession blog candy, and I will post the details then. Woohoo!

Monday, August 18, 2008

IO Design Team Challenge

Well, it is time for another Impression Obsession Design Team Challenge. This time the theme was "monochromatic." When I heard the theme, I immediately thought of my new snowflake stamp. To make this card, I took a blue notecard and ran it through the Accucut Machine so that it would make the card into a circle. I added a ribbon on the side to hide the fact that it isn't a perfect circle and is in fact hinged. I then colored the snowflake with three blue Prismacolor pencils. I really wanted to add some of my clear Spica pen to the top, but I couldn't find it. I guess you will have to use your imagination! I wanted to use the Spica instead of a Stardust pen because the Spica is translucent, and the coloring would show through better. To finish the card, I sponged some blue ink around the edges and added a rhinestone to the center.

The funny thing is that I did a lot of coloring for the snowflake, but I kind of like it without all the extra work. Here is the simple card version:

I think this would make a really great quick Christmas card or Christmas thank you note. It takes no time at all to make, so you could crank out a lot in a short amount of time.

Interested in seeing other monochromatic cards? Check out what Daniela, Deborah, and Penny have to offer. Julie won't be participating in the challenge today, but she is posting a new Impression Obsession card for you to see.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Falling for Fall

Today I swear I could feel a hint of autumn in the air. For the most part, August hasn't been too hot and humid here in Virginia. It is usually miserable this time of year. Nevertheless, I am anticipating fall. I think it is my favorite season.

Today's card uses two of the new images by Impression Obsession. One of my favorite techniques to use with a solid stamp is to paint it with Twinkling H20's, spritz it, and stamp it onto cardstock. I just love the sparkly result you get.

There are several steps when painting a stamp with H20's. First, you need to use a well used stamp or an image that you have scuffed up a bit with very fine sandpaper. The reason you do this is to get rid of any coating that might exist on the stamp. If you don't, the paint will roll right off of the stamp. The sandpaper won't hurt the stamp, and I think you will find that it will take ink better too. Next, wet the stamp with a damp paper towel and then paint it with several colors of Twinkling H20's. Make sure the paint is thick and pasty. If you don't, it will roll off of the stamp. Spritz your stamp a couple of times and then stamp it onto your cardstock. Then you have a decision to make. You can either spritz your image again without adding more paint to achieve a faded image, or you can reapply the paint and repeat the stamping process to achieve another dark image. There are pros and cons with both decisions. If you don't apply more paint, you probably can get several stampings out of one "inking" of the stamp. This makes for very fast cards! However, as you dilute the paint on your stamp, it won't be as sparkly. If you repaint your image after each stamping, the colors will have more shimmer. However, this takes a lot of time.

Here is a close up of one of the leaves. Notice how shiny the image is with Twinkling H20's. Also, notice that it is worth taking the time to apply several colors of paint to your stamp. The resulting image is much more interesting with a variety of colors. I almost always add a bit of gold paint when I am stamping fall images.

Post script... in case it is confusing, the leaf stamp is primarily solid, but has swirls through the center. I didn't paint the swirls onto the stamp.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wonderful Weekend

Well, I looked forward to taking Dave's Brethauer's classes for about a year, and I wasn't disappointed! I took his colored pencil and watercolor classes, and both were loads of fun. I just love coloring and can't wait to incorporate his techniques with my own.

The card above was one I did to practice working with colored pencils. There was a lot of open area to color, so I got a LOT of practice. I colored the poppy (Hero Arts) with various Prismacolor pencils (brown, two shades of red, orange, and yellow). One of the key things I have learned from Dave's classes is how well brown works for deepening shades of red. Instead of using Gamsol to "melt" the shades of wax together, I simply blended the pencils with each other. Gamsol makes blending go much faster, but the end result isn't as vibrant.

I thought I would share some close-ups of a couple of the cards I did in Dave's colored pencil class. I took close-up pictures so that you could see the colored pencil work. The stamps really aren't that big! The first one was a good one for me to do because I don't have much practice blending complimentary colors. I usually blend colors that are next to each other on the color wheel rather than those on opposite sides of the color wheel. I also liked the fact that he stamped the image onto patterned paper and then had us color in parts of the image with the pencil. My poppy card took a while to color, but the leaves card was much more manageable.

The second close-up is of a cute Christmas fox. I cut off the saying, but it says, "you can't out fox Santa." Too cute. This was the hardest one to color, but I enjoyed the challenge. I think we ended up using 8-10 colors on the fox alone. I will have to work on incorporating more shades into images I color. It really does make a difference to the finished project. I'm not sure I need to point this out, but all the images used in Dave's classes are by Memory Box.

On a personal note, I have to admit I suffer a bit from Crafter's Craziness. As I was leaving the house to go to Dave's classes, my sandal caught on a step, and I missed the bottom two stairs. I landed on a knee and jammed my right ring finger. My first thought was not how my sore finger would affect driving or using the computer. No, my first thought was, "not my drawing finger!!!" Sad. Just sad.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ambassador Challenge

Well, tonight is the night of the new release party for My Favorite Things. If you get a chance, be sure to check out the new Halloween images. I am in love!

I just posted my challenge on Splitcoast, and I challenged people to make a card using watercolors. You can use any form of watercolor you like (paints, pencils, crayons), and you can use as little or as much of this medium as you like. Watercolors just have to appear somewhere on the card. I hope people enjoy the challenge. If you want to participate, you have until this Sun to upload your card to the Splitcoast gallery. Be sure to tag it with the code Aug08MFTA1 and link your card to my thread. If you don't know how to do this, feel free to email me! On Monday morning, one participant at random will be chosen to win an MFT pre-released stamp set of their choice. Mmmm...prizes.

The card above is one I made to get people started on the challenge. I used an assortment of Twinkling H2O's and watercolor crayons to create a background wash. I chose three different colors to give the appearance of sky, water, and beach. I stamped the woman and dog onto a scrap of white paper using black Versafine ink. Versafine works really well when you want to watercolor. I then colored in the figures using watercolor pencils and a blender pen. I then layered the white paper onto a bright blue cardstock and popped it up using foam mounting tape. I stamped the saying using Versafine Deep Lagoon and stamped the shells onto another white scrap using a brown Tombo marker. Because Tombos are watersoluble, I ran a waterbrush over the top to spread the ink around and color the shells. I then cut out the shells and layered them onto the card.
Here is a closeup of the feet. I am including it to show that even though watercolors are translucent, if you add a second layer of color, you can get really nice shadows.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Butterfly Collage

Boy, is this a busy craft week. First, I have to say how much I enjoyed the anniversary party at Angela's. Yes, it is true that the AC went out and we all thought we might die. However, people generally "went with the flow" and showed how resilient (and tenacious) stampers can be. Sure it was hot and busy, but there were people visit with and stamps to buy gosh darn it! I was in the back of the store when the AC repairman showed up, but I could still hear the cheer he received from that distance. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if people in DC could hear the cheer he received. Did anyone kiss him? I would have if I had been in the front. Seriously though, it was really great to see everyone and have the chance to celebrate 5 wonderful years with my stamping family.

Also this week, I will be hosting a challenge Wednesday for My Favorite Things on Splitcoast. The new release party is from 9-11pm EST and is sure to be a lot of fun. People have asked me where to find information on the challenge. It will be posted here during the party. I will be hosting Ambassador Challenge #1 and will include information on how to tag your card for a chance to win a wonderful prize. The sneak peeks I have seen of the Halloween stamps look fabulous!

Finally, this is the weekend of Dave (as I like to call it). I really, really can't wait to take Dave Brethauer's classes on Sunday. I know I have already mentioned all of this on my blog, but I am just so excited! Woohoo! Okay, I will calm down now.

For today's card, I am posting one I made for my friend Chrisi using stamps by Paper Artsy. I stamped the image of the butterfly square all over cream cardstock using Old Paper Distress ink. I then stamped the same image on top using a green Colorbox Chalk ink. I stamped the words saying underneath with the same green ink and then stamped the flower and the flower definition onto a scraps of cream paper. I cut out those images and then layered them onto my card. To finish the card, I used an exacto kife to cut around the wings of the butterfly and then layered it onto my card.

Here is a picture of the popped up butterfly. I liked the dimension it added to the finished card.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cards and Announcements

Today's post is going to be a little long, so I thought I would start with the crafting and then move towards all kinds of other announcements. Feel free to fade out whenever you want.

I am posting the outside and inside of a card I made for last week's Hero Art's challenge. The challenge was to create a "wrap-around" card where you used all sides of your card. I have to admit, this was a hard one for me to get started. I ended up making a "friends forever and ever" card to cover all the sides. The only problem is that I don't know where to write on this card! Maybe it just speaks for itself.

Here is the inside of the card. I punched two holes in the center to feed the ribbon through and wrap around the card. The flowers are popped up with pop dots. I don't know if you can tell from the pictures.

Okay, now for the announcements. I was chosen as one of My Favorite Things ambassadors for August. I will be hosting a challenge during the MFT release party next Wed (Aug 6th) on Splitcoast. It will be great to see the new images, and I hope people feel compelled to participate in my challenge!

If you live in the DC area, be sure to stop by Angela's this Saturday (Aug 2nd) for the 5 year anniversary party. It is going to be spectacular! You can read more about the party here. Can you believe it has been 5 years? Yikes! I have seen the door prizes as well as the gift people will get just for stopping by. Trust me, it is worth the gas money.

Next, I am so excited to say that my friend Donna's new book is out in bookstores! Woohoo! You can check it out here. Of course, it is the third in a trilogy, so you could always start with the first one. :) Donna's books are so much fun to read. I just don't know when she sleeps. Besides her career as an author, she is one of the most talented and prolific crafters I know.

Finally, I am closing with a shopping list for Angela's open house. Besides all the fun and prizes, each year we choose a community outreach project. This year we are collecting items for veterans in local hospitals or rehab centers. Our VA contact person requested the following items:
  • Postage Stamps and Stationery
  • Lap Robes (washable preferred)
  • Bibs for patients to have around their neck when being shaved or when eating. Bibs should have backing and should be washable
  • Triple-edge disposable razors, shaving cream (small cans) and aftershave (alcohol-free in plastic containers only)
  • Deodorant, shampoo and powder
  • Gloves, hats, scarves, socks and rubber boots or totes
  • Undergarments for female veterans
  • Brushes and combs
  • Battery operated radios with headgear type earphones for patients
  • Paperback crossword puzzles and word search puzzle books
Please consider bringing what you can. Besides contributing to a worthy cause, you will receive extra raffle tickets for each of the items you bring.

Whew! This was a long post. Did you make it to the end?