Monday, July 28, 2008


I have had a couple of people ask me about letterboxing lately. I thought I would try to give a brief description about the hobby for those who are interested. I like to say that letterboxing is a sport that combines stamping and hiking. Intrigued?

When you "letterbox," you follow a set of clues that will lead you to a hidden box somewhere in the world (mostly North America). Boxes can be easy to get to or they can involve a several mile hike. The good news is there are boxes hidden to accommodate every kind of ability.

When you locate a box, you will find a stamp (either store bought or hand carved) and a journal inside. You then stamp the box journal with a personal stamp you brought with you and stamp your own journal with the letterbox stamp. Does that make sense? I have a nice journal filled with stamped images I collected at various boxes.

The image above is my own personal stamp. I chose "leapfrog" because it is my initials. I carved the frog and lettering and decided afterward that I would never carve letters again. Boy are they hard!

Letterboxing got its start in England, but grew in popularity in America after an article was published in Smithsonian. Internet sites then appeared where people could list clues to find the letterboxes they hid. I recommend and Atlas Quest to get started. Once you start researching letterbox locations, I think you will be surprised how many are located right in your backyard!

The second card I am posting is one I made for a Hero Arts challenge. The theme was "summer." I created a card that looked like letterboxing to me. Of course, then people asked, "what's letterboxing?"

To make the card, I stamped the tree three times and colored it with Copic markers. I then brushed green chalk over the marker so that the trees appeared fuller. I made sure to use the chalk AFTER my marker so that I wouldn't hurt my markers in any way.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Design Team Call

I thought I would pass along this information in case anyone was interested. It is a fun and rewarding opportunity!

How would you like to be a guest designer for one of the nation's largest rubber stamp companies? Impression Obsession is looking someone to put a creative spin on the great rubber and clear stamps that you know and love. We have more than 2,000 images in production at any given time and these images can be found at hundreds of stamp stores not only in the U.S. and
Canada but six other countries worldwide!

The guest designer position would be a three month commitment to help us with samples not only for our supplements and trade show displays but for our web gallery as well. Our store owners rely on the design team's creativity to seejust how many ways you can use I.O. stamps! If accepted, you will receive a handful of I.O. new releases to play with and create!

1. Since our Senior Design Team uploads digital images to our gallery, we would hope you would be proficient in photo editing and be able to display your cards in an eye-pleasing way. Ninety-nine percent of the time, we use the artists images for our catalog and web gallery.

2. You would be required to make a minimum of 4 projects per month and display them on your gallery or blog giving credit to Impression Obsession.

3. Impression Obsession would have access to these designs for use on our web site, in our online gallery, for advertising, and in our electronic newsletter. We'll be sure to give you credit!

Please send four examples of your best work to us at ioguestdesigner@
by August 30th. Don't forget to include a little bit about yourself, your name, address, phone number, email address, past design team work,when and where you've been published and blog or gallery address as well.

Please note:
Past work is not a requirement for a position with I.O. We are simply looking for talented designers. If you've never been on a team before or have never been published - that's Ok!._,_.___

Friday, July 25, 2008

CPS Challenge #74

I decided to do another sketch challenge by Card Positioning Systems. It was a nice straight forward layout, and as usual, I created a card with a pretty literal take on the sketch. I went with the sketch "as is."

For today's card, I chose stamps and paper by Memory Box. I will be taking two classes with Dave Brethauer (one of the Memory Box owners) in the beginning of August, and I am already so excited! I just love all of Memory Box products.

The card is a very easy one to make. As an homage to my friend Donna, I stamped the dandelion in Chestnut Roan ink and then stamped a couple dandelion pieces floating away from the stem. I added a saying underneath with the same brown ink. To give the piece a little "pop," I edged each of the dandelion petals with a gold Spica pen. Do dandelions have petals? leaves? what? When the light hits the card, you can see the glitter sparkle of the Spica pen.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Something New

I know, I know, it isn't that close to Halloween. However, I recently received a new shipment of images from Impression Obsession that have got me already thinking about fall and winter. For today's card, I used the new Halloween collage stamp by Leigh Hannan. Her stuff just rocks!

There are a couple of things I want to point out about the card. First, it really is just one stamp. I didn't have to do any aligning of images. Second, I colored all of the Halloween items with various Copic markers and highlighted the inside of each frame with a light gray marker (C1). Grays are hard to photograph, but I think you can tell in places that the frames are shaded.

I colored each of the bones with a slightly darker gray (C3) and then went over each bone with the Copic blender pen. When you use the blender, it washes away some of the color underneath. I hope you can tell from the photo that the bones have a bleached look to them. I thought it ended up looking more interesting than when I just used the gray marker alone. To add even more dimension, I added a second layer of gray around the joints of the bones to create some shading.

The cauldron was colored using darker gray markers (C5 and C7). When I started coloring with the Copics, I bought the black marker. However, it is almost too black. (Uh oh, now I have a This is Spinal Tap quote going through my head..."how more black could it be?" But I digress.) By "too black," I mean it is just a solid pitch black that is hard to use to get a gradient of color. I have started using the dark grays more to get a black look that isn't too black. Does any of this make sense?

I can't wait to show you more of the new images, but I think I will space them out a bit so that you don't have to be inundated with Halloween and (gasp) Christmas images so soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Simple Coloring

I love to color, but let's face it, sometimes it can be a lot of work. When I don't have a lot of time, I like to cut some corners. Today I am posting a card with lots of blue and green elements. However, I didn't do a lot of the work. I started with a patterned paper from Memory Box that reminded me of grass with a hint of sky. I accentuated the grass by drawing my own hill in the foreground with a green Copic marker. Because the Copic is so translucent, it blended well with the background paper.

Next, I stamped a little bird by Hero Arts onto some white cardstock and colored him with two shades of blue markers. I made sure to color his belly two times so that it would look as if it were shaded and darker. The saying I added is also by Hero Arts and was colored with only one Copic marker. I went over some areas of the banner more than once and ended up with two shades of the same color. Cool! Of course, I just HAD to add some rhinestones to finish the card. Picasso had his blue period. I have my bling period.

Did I just compare myself to Picasso?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Quick Card

Today I am posting one of my favorite "quick and easy" techniques. It is great when you need a card right away and don't have much time to stamp. To make this card, I stamped the three-rectangle frame (Sparkle and Sprinkle) onto white cardstock using black ink. I let the ink dry then put post it notes around the outside of the frame. I then used some very narrow removable tape and placed it along the sides of the center rectangle. The Post-Its and removable tape served as a very easy way to mask areas I didn't want ink to touch. I then used two shades of brown dye-based ink and stamped some shells by Impression Obsession over the masks as well as stippled some of the lighter brown ink around the shells. I removed the Post-Its and tape and was left with a card that looks harder than it actually was. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Busy week

I have been doing some stamping this week, but everything I have made I can't show on my blog yet. So, I needed a plan B. Many of you might have already seen this card though (sorry). It is from my Copics class.

To make this card, I used a mermaid image by JudiKins and added some wave paper by Flair. I use it as the starter card in my class because it illustrates how you can layer the same color of Copic marker on top of itself to create your own shading. I also added some highlights with a blender pen.

Sorry this post is so short, but I wanted to post something to let you know I am still here!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Gouda Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful fourth. I myself had a pretty quiet day. I took some craft supplies to a friend's house, but never took them out of the bag. Instead, we watched some baseball, joined her family for barbecue, and watched some fireworks on tv. It isn't the same as live fireworks, but it was rainy and cloudy here. One day I would like to see the fireworks at the National Mall. How amazing would that be? However, I am still holding out for meeting someone with an office that overlooks the monuments with air conditioning, a bathroom, and no crowds. Hey, it could happen!

Today's card is one I made for a My Favorite Things challenge on Splitcoast. I have decided that I am more productive when I participate in challenges. It really gets me going! This challenge was to make a birthday card using MFT stamps. To start, I stamped out my mouse image in Memento black ink. The image itself is of a mouse inside a frame. I cut away the frame so that I was just left with a mouse. I then stamped a million cheese images (if I had to guess a number) and colored them with Copic markers. I was going to mask the images, but it was taking too long. It was actually faster to cut them out and pile them up. They were really easy and fast to cut. Plus, it gave me something to do while watching the Olympic trials. I am a BIG Olympic junky and can't wait till they start. To finish the card, I layered it onto some paper by My Mind's Eye and added my phrase to the front. The hat that is on top of the mouse's head is from a different MFT set. I had to use it though because it wouldn't have been a party without a party hat!

And now for a little teaser... On August 2nd, we will be having our anniversary celebration at Angela's. I am in charge of one of the make and take projects during the morning session. I will be teaching people how to make a card using paper piercing, punches, and a stamp line that is new to the store. Angela doesn't want my card online right now, so I thought I would give you a sneak peek of the project. Here it is:

Now, doesn't that just make you anxious to sign up? :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

IO Design Team Challenge

Yep, it is time for July's Impression Obsession Design Team challenge. Considering that it is July 1st, are we on the ball, or what? This month's theme was "glitter, sparkle, and bling." Actually, I think I may be paraphrasing that, but you get the gist.

For those of you who know me, you know that glitter really isn't my thing. I love the look of it, but I don't want it anywhere near me. I think anyone else who has had a piece of glitter stuck to their contact would agree with me.

I don't own any glitter, so I thought a good compromise would be to use glitter embossing powder instead. Then I realized I don't own any of that either. So, after I borrowed some glitter embossing powder, I stamped my IO star six times with Versamark ink. I embossed two stars in sparkly red powder then repeated the process with blue and white powders. I cut out my stars and then cut out just the centers of three of the stars. I then popped the smaller stars up onto the larger stars for a layered look and added a rhinestone to the center of each star. Unlike glitter, I LOVE rhinestones. I am thinking about buying stock in them. Can you do that?

Unfortunately, I did all that work to have stars that sparkled, and the glitter didn't really show up in my large picture. I took a close up shot so that you could see the glitter and layering better.

I was feeling nostalgic using my star stamp since it was one of the first ones I received from IO (It was part of their fall/winter 2007 release). I decided I wanted to make a second card using the same star to illustrate its versatility. I used the same techniques as the first card to create a glittery layered star, but the end result of the second card was completely different. I paired the star with one of my favorite sympathy sayings and added some star rhinestones for a finishing touch. It was kind of nice to end up with a sympathy card that didn't have any flowers on it for a change. The star is also great for Christmas cards, but that is another story....

If you would like to check out other challenge cards, be sure to visit Daniela, Julie, Deborah, and Penny's blogs. Penny is an official glitter goddess. As for me, I have decided that virtual computer glitter is my favorite kind.

Special Impression Obsession notes.... I just received sneak peek of the 2008 fall/winter images, and they are fantastic! The design team is working on samples for CHA, and we will start posting them after the trade show. Be sure to be on the lookout!

Also, one of our very own design team members is a finalist in the Paper Craft's Idol contest. Check out Julie's winning card (using IO stamps) in their gallery, and be sure to root for her in the upcoming challenges. I am sure she would appreciate your support.