Sunday, February 24, 2008

Some Inspiration: Free Templates, free Retro/Vintage Images & Project Ideas À la Martha et al

Very utilitarian post here....I've been in a rut lately from not feeling well. Caught that nasty flu everyone seems to have... winge winge... ;0) Anywho, I thought I'd share some inspiration in hopes that it's contagious, so here's some stuff:

Thanks to Allison, Lisa, and K. Rebecca whose blog posts helped me find much of this list (and of course to the rest of you ultra-talented and generous stampers/crafters!)

TEMPLATES: Strawberry box by Lauren---Onsie created by Lauren- Stampers Mall (wow!) --- Red Castle Freeware --- Chia's Rubber Stamp Art ---Melt my Heart ---Sweetest Things--- Easter egg basket by Mary & Easter egg basket template--Mini Pocket & Mini Envelope templates--- Splitcoast Stampers: templates gallery and anything but a card gallery and forum for template downloads--- Blank Box---Mirkwood Designs --- Victorine Originals--- ---Fran's new Beginnings ------ Tempting Templates ( --- ---Pll printables templates ---Mini Truck template-and other Crafty PC projects--Above the mark colour exercise template ---Follow me templates--- Candy box--- my crafts page--- Strathmore artist's papers templates--- tiny boxes from holiday cards (Kelly) ---Craft kids templates (grown-up kidstoo)---Belle's Printables---Treasures from DJ--Paperscraps templates--- Craftbits ---Brownie Point's truffle pyramid box--- packaging by pumpkin box)--- Washi Box tutorial--- Morningside design--- Crafty templates--- The Toymaker

By (or found thanks to) K. Rebecca:
A) Gorgeous star and star template B) Tall and slender treat box and its template (on post) C) Cardbox and pattern D) Card tote and template E) Square 4 1/4 " card box by Tracy F) 3x3 Square box by Melanie- G) Surprise box H) Paper Purse-I) Pillow box- J) Oragami boxes by Kristina Werner K) Pyramid box and template--- Beate's treatbox tutorial---Lauren's gorgeous gift box

IDEAS: Checkerboard cards StampOwl --- Free Standing pop up card (by Lori my SBS2 sis!) --- Baby Carriage Card (by Niki) --- Hearts overflowing from The Scrapbook Lounge Wee umbrellas(by April) --- Secret Letter box--- Birthday box by Paula

FREE vintage images (Above the Mark)

Free vintage image links at art-e-zine
Free vintage images at google
and LOTS more here.

Free RETRO images here
my fave Retro borders
and more links here

From marvelous Martha and her minions ;0):
Rabbits/Easter bunnies and template
Heart card and heart template
Townhouse gift box and template
Christmas cone tree and template
No-sew cross stitch on glass and template1 and template2
Decoupage animals and template
Classic Paperdoll shape and template
Pansy card and template
Paper Dragon and template
Scrapbooking templates
Turkey and template
Flowery notes and template
Batty bags and more with template
Halloween luminary invites
Moving announcements
Tea favour
Free-hand embroidery/animal/firetruck patterns
Card organizer and template
file folder village
envelope sachets

baby cards
beaded snowflakes
beaded flowers

P.S. my 6 envelope templates for anyone who missed them :0)

Bandanna Technique (This is way too much fun to do!!!)

This technique is called the Bandanna Technique. It was originally designed for use with Ranger inks, but I've adapted it to use Stampin Up products.

It was created by Robin Beam (Oh the talent! talent! talent!) <--Click that first 'talent' link to see what Robin did with Kim Hughes's sweet prettybirds--Oulala baby! I don't have the Ranger Distress inks yet--to do the base for this (Tim Holtz's gorgeous wrinkle free distressing technique)--so I made a version of it with Stampin Up reinkers. If you don't want to make your own background paper, you could use a favourite designer paper instead; then, just stamp in black and doodle on the white.

Edited to Add: A gorgeous cards and a great set of instructions for the technique

SUPPLIES to make the background paper:

Glossy white cardstock
(You can also use regular cardstock if you use Tim's wrinklefree method described here & on his blog here)
Reinkers in 2 colours or a monochromatic selection
(too many will muddy it; I used a green selection: Certain Celery, Mellow moss, Sage shadow, Glorious Green & Taken with teal.)
Little spray bottle
(I used an old refillable perfume bottle. You could use a mini mister)
Water Heatgun
Stazon ink
White signo gel pen
(of your choice)

1) Mix reinkers ( and a few drops water) in a spray-bottle. Mix the lightest colour first & add darker inks as you go.

2) Place the glossy cardstock on a protected work surface. A dry stainless steel sink is the ideal place to work. Spray colour on, starting with the lightest & getting darker until you like it.

3) Leave it on a flat surface & heatgun it dry. (Leaving it flat prevents drips)

4) If the cardstock is all woobley after it's dry, just put it under a stack of books to flatten it out.

5) Stamp over your paper with black Stazon ink. Let dry. Don't worry if you have a couple minor smudges; you can correct them with the next step:

6) Doodle on the white details with a white Signo gel pen. (If the ink stops flowing on you, just tap it on a scrap of paper and scribble 'til it starts again.) This is a very forgiving & fun technique. If you're using glossy paper and Stazon, then you can erase any mistakes you make in the white pen. Just keep some damp cotton swabs on hand.

For how to make this glue pen emboss flower, please see this post.

Other card ingredients:

Stamp: Kind thoughts, French Flair background, Baroque Motifs (little flower)
Blue Bayou, Basic Black & Whisper White
Accessories: Hodge Podge Hardware, black stitched ribbon, Giga scallop punch

Happy Stamping,
P.S. Here's a couple of tutorials for Tim Holtz's wrinklefree distressing:
Can't wait to get the Distress inks so I can do it properly--I love the bubbles they form. I think I'll have to wrack my brain for stamps that look more bandanna-ish too... :0) If you try this post a link, I'd love to see what you do!

P.S.S. Check this new EKsuccess cutter bee out! It pierces faux-zigzag-stitches in seconds. It's 5 bucks. Me likey! :0)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Embossing with Water!! (Looks like wee little raindrops!)

Did you know you could emboss with water? And it looks like droplets of rain!

All you do is:

1) Watercolour your image, and
2) While it's good and wet add lots of embossing powder.
3) Heat it (but don't overheat) :0)

It's neat to watch the organic looking process of embossing it with the heatgun, because some of the embossing powder seems to randomly evaporate & it leaves a natural-looking mottled embossing. You can go in a second time and add more water and powder if you want more. It looks better in person, but you can make out the droplets here (click the pic for a closer look):

Embossing with water makes wee raindrops

The Back flower is what it looks like when you use less water (less droplet-like); the front flower is what it looks like when you use lots of water (to get those drops just be sure not to overheat it) :0)

Other card ingredients:

Stamps: Stamping Bella flower (stem), Time Well Spent (flower) & For a Friend hostess-set (thank you.) Ink: Black Craft ink, Taken with teal, Tempting Turquoise.

Accessories: Clear embossing powder, Stampin Up's new glitter for the center.Hodge Podge hardware and turquoise 1/4" ribbon. White Signo gel pen. Embossed brads.

Cardstock: Soft Sky, Cool Caribbean, Tempting Turquoise, Not Quite Navy, Vellum & Naturals White for the flower.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Catalogue Your Stamps Online (no stamp cleaning required!) & a Little House Box

Finally had a chance to stamp after making my website for school: an online stamp catalogue. I still have a lot to add to it, but it had to be a finished product for now, so I can hand it in. I've been wanting to make a paper stamp catalogue for ages, but was putting it off, because (to be honest) I really hate cleaning stamps. (Soooooo lazy, I know!) :0)

Advantages to Having Your Own Online Stamp Catalogue:

A) You have all of your stamps at a quick glance without having to clean stamps or use up paper and no storage issues! Plus it's 100% cost free.

B) Friends or stamp club members can look at it from home and borrow sets OR customers can choose images they like for ordering custom cards.

C) You can link to splitcoaststampers galleries for each card for customers or your own reference.

D) You can include a list of ways to use the stamps sets--as a service to your stamp club, as a stamp set selling tool, or as a reminder to yourself.

E) You can update it quickly as you sell stamps or get new ones--or you can sort by current or retired stamps. You can even use the photos (that you take to make your catalogue) to sell sets later--should you decide to.

F) You can use a gallery hosted for free online (like Picasa Web Albums) or use any web page builder--You don't have to write the html yourself--but you can if you want to customize it. You can sort by any category you like.

This little House:

I found this box template on the Stampin Up demo site and thought I'd make it. It's not actually a house box, but I thought it worked easily as one. I photographed it beside that standard-sized card to give you an idea of the box's size. I had it cut out and was feeling uninspired about it. That is until this week's s.c.s Ways to Use It challenge came to the rescue! The challenge was to use a window. This was my take on it. I got the stamp set (Sweet of You) from my sweet friend Kim.

To make this you just have to:

1...Print the template.

2...Cut out template and trace onto back of designer paper.

3...Cut along lines & score.

4... Stamp if desired (I constructed it first then just stuck on a piece of the same Holiday Joy Blue paper that had the window stamped and cut out.)

5...Stamp the window colour & cut. Mount a piece of d.p. behind it (I've used Basic Grey's Periphery Bordeaux PIP-910.) Stamp a second flower box, colour & cut out. Mount it on dimensionals.

6...Make roof by creating scallops with the slit punch (Paper is from Life's Journey Map Pad)

7...Layer them and adhere to the roof over top of a chimney.

8...Add a strip of grass.

9...Close at the back by punching holes and tie with a ribbon.

Thanks for looking and
if you'd like the box template just let me know.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Riot of Detail (marker -embossed faux scallop & jewelery findings)

Hi Gals & Guys,

Sorry it's been so long since I posted. I'll be back to my ol' self soon--for better or for worse! ;0). I've just been so migrainey and trying to catch up on loads of homework. Had fun with this one. The scallop on it is made using my very first Amuse stamp (holy amazing quality batman!)

The faux scallop was made by:

1) Stamping on the edge of the card (with Fancy Borders the clear stamp make it easy but you could use SU's All Scallops)
2) Adding paper-piercer faux stitches
3) Colouring the scallop in with a Chocolate Chip stamp'n'write marker (twice for richness)
4) Embossing over the marker (Yup, that works!) It was Charles's idea last week then today I got my SU demo mag with that very idea in it. He should work for them! ;0)

Don't have a Cuttlebug? Texturize with the Crimper!
After I watercoloured the main image the paper was all woobley (technical term), instead of ditching it, I ran it through my Crimper. Et Voila! No more wooble. I rarely use that crimper, but I will use it more now because it adds interest super fast.

A while back I bought some jewlery findings on ebay. They were SO inexpensive and after a couple of tries with my trusty pliers I think I have the hang of them. Here I've used two linked together with some wire to attach the tag

Jewelery findings add bling without caching
& The crimper is cheaper than a cuttlebug!

Card Ingredients:
Stamps: Amazing to Zany, Riot of Petals, Amuse Fancy Borders Cardstock: Certain Celery, Tempting Turquoise, Soft Sky, Vellum & Chocolate Chip for tag) Inks: Chocolate Chi, Tempting Turquoise, Certain Celery Accessories: retired SU organza, jewelery findings (ebay), silver wire, eyelet (SU fresh favourites), brads, paper piercer, Chocoalte Chip marker, clear e.p., Celery SU glitter adhered with a quickie glue pen.

Thanks for reading, and I promise to be back (blogging and commenting) SOON!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pretties on the Cheap: Hand-dye Your Own Silk Flowers (& vase template how to)

Becky's been doing some stunningly pretty things with white & black & pink--Ultra-Inspiring! Silk flowers are on sale right now at Michael's, and I've been meaning to make homemade silk primas for ages, so here they are! The blooms for these projects started out as a bunch of white silk flowers. (Which Charles deemed "hideous"--I was, he said "Out of your mind for buying something so UGLY" :0)--Oh ye of little faith, heehee! He likes 'em now.)

I like that you can save tonnes of money and you can get any colour you want. You just pull them off of the plastic stems, then.....

Dye the flowers with reinkers. Easy as 1-2-3:
1) Put the desired amount of reinker drops in a glass dish & add water--stir if needed. (I used 2 tablespoons water & 6 drops reinker)
2) Drop flowers in & pull them out (I use my tweezers from the SU tool kit, you could also wear gloves--or get inky!) :0)
3) Shake excess ink off & lay to dry (on a tray or a plastic bag works well.)

Mottled Variation:
The big silk flowers in the picture above (not on the card) are exactly the same as the pink one on the card, even though they look darker & mottled: all you do is take the dried dyed-flowers, wet your hand and sprinkle water on them. The water carries the ink (usually to the ends of the bloom.)

A close up of layered silks under a large scallop

Steps to make this card:

1...To make your own embossed designer paper: Stamp the Kind Thoughts flourish (in Rose Red craft ink onto Naturals White cardstock repeatedly--turning the stamp upside-down so it fits well--It's like fitting diamonds together) Emboss it with clear e.p.
2...Go over that embossed c.s. with Red Rose craft pad & Use a baby wipe to blend. (Working quickly & rubbing firmly gives a nifty texture to it. I did the paper for the scallop lighter than the square it's mounted on.)
3...Stamp Friend by Definition background stamp (on Naturals white c.s.) in Versamark & emboss with clear e.p. Use the same baby wipe emboss resist technique on it.
4...Punch Friend "d.p." into 3/4 inch circles to make the scallop (just line it up from the middle and work your way out for a perfectly centered scallop.)
5...Layer flowers (adhering well) & add scallop
6...Stamp Amazing to Zany "delightful" or another word onto Naturals white cardstock & adhere to HodgePodge (Place hardware over the word until it is centered Then trace the hardware in pencil. Use that as a guideline to trim the piece and fit it under the hodgepodge.)
7...Add ribbon & hodge podge hardware (Sealing the ends of the ribbon with a lighter makes it easy to thread into the hardware & double sided tape on the back at each side allows you to place & remove the ribbon until you're happy with the angle.)
8...Mat onto white cardstock & distress edges. Matt onto card--with Rub-on on it (Saleabration mini)
9...Glue mini gems on over rub-on (using Crystal Effects)

Another way to get a mottled look to dyed silk blooms
is to let the excess ink sit on them and dry

Steps to make this easy covered box:

Take a box (Mine was from the dollar store--A buck-fifty Baby!) Paint it if you like and Simply add a card-like detail to the top. To make this particular one:

Embellish the silk flowers:
1) Dye the silk blooms (see above for how to) Layer them
2) Punch flower (Martha Stewart Cosmos) from emboss-resist cardstock (see how-to above) Distress with Rose Red ink.
3) Punch 1/4 inch circle out of c.s. Also punch a 1 inch circle for the back of the silk flower.
4) Mark center of each & punch with 1/16 inch punch to make holes for the brad. 5) Sandwich the circles & the silk flowers (The 1 inch circle on the back helps it stay together well.)
6) Add finishing touches to the small circle in the center (cut in towards the brad to make it look like little petals--distress it.)

A Trick to Make Your Own symmetrical Vase Template:
1) Use d.p. (or technique above for homemade embossed d.p.)
2) Create a speedy template for even sides: Draw a vase shape and choose which side you like the best.
3) Cut out the "good" side & cut along the top or bottom. (Leave one side intact.)
4) Lay the half-cut vase over a scrap of cardstock, trace it & cut the scrap along the traced line
5) Lay your new scrap paper template on top of your half-cut vase.
6) Use the bottom to line it up & trace it to create an exact opposite side for your vase.
7) Cut the whole thing out. Erase all pencil lines.
8) Shade with a paintbrush and ink wash.

For the background:
1) Stamp Friend by Definition background stamp (in Going Grey onto Naturals White Cardstock.)
2) Allow to dry & Draw stem/leaf onto it with pencil (You can keep erasing until you're happy)
3) Wipe cardstock with Embossing Buddy (anti-static bag)
4) Trace stem/leaf with a glue pen & emboss with black e.p.
5) Paint inside of leaf with Basic Gray ink wash & add shadow & grey table top
6) Layer mats (torn Basic Gray & Black cardstock mats, & torn Vellum cardstock) & Distress edge of Grey paper with a black marker (or ink)
7) Adhere vase & flowers
8) If you like, trace over your favourite words of the background to make them stand out (Using a mechanical pencil makes it easy to get fine lines.)
9) Adhere your card-like thingy onto the box with double-sided tape. :0D

Thanks for reading--Happy Crafting!

P.S. If this post makes no sense, blame the world's longest lasting migraine & please ask any questions... (And many thanks for all your sweet comments & well-wishin' you fabulous people you! You never cease making me feel very very privileged.) :0)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Corner Pocket card (Lumiere Sheen & ways to faux stitch)

Hi Gals--Guys,

I've been missing & out of action lately, Sorry...I've been one huge walking migraine for a week or so. Ugh. Well here's a card to tide you over--Until I can stamp again. I may die if I don't, or at least suffer some kind of mental deficiency symptoms. Stampin' is my happy vitamin! :0) For this card, I wanted a new layout (You know me, so layout lazy!) This is inspired by the current Close to My Heart catalogue (on page 60) and I wanted to try a white on white kinda look.

To make it:

1....Stamp Doodle This flowers on Naturals White Cardstock in Versamark/White Craft ink & emboss with white e.p.
2....Paint flowers with a Mix of: River Rock ink, water, & Lumiere (You can add pearlex if you like, but Lumiere is nicve on its own too--that pearly sheen is subtle but pretty)
3...Dry with heat gun & cut out flowers. (Curl them with fingers--if desired)
4...Punch holes in 2 flowers & add center embellishment. I've used a rivet from Scrapbook Interiors. It just snaps right on
5...Make leaves (see bellow)
6...Cut card (6 inches square) & cut triangle pocket (from a second 6 inch square--Use the other half to cut the triangle mat for stamping) Cut remaining pieces for layers.
7...Add eyelets to triangle pocket (trace template for spacing OR mark placing with a pencil.)
8...Stamp on accent pieces (I've used Baroque motifs and River Rock ink.)
9) Create scallop along back of eyeleted triangle using a circle punch--(See this post for how)
10) Add the Twill tab to the slidey-out section (between layers)--& more eyelets too!
11) Stamp the layer for the back section of the card (I've used a piece of Naturals Ivory to contrast the Naturals White a little.)
12) Finally, adhere the works :0)

I've used three kinds of faux stitching on here--because I kept screwin' up using the guide so I lost my patience, lol:

I) On the scallop, freehand faux stitching with a white signo gel pen and
Using the S.U. piercing guide and paper piercer with black stitches and with white gel pen and finally
On the outer edge of the main card: using the perforating tool from the cutter kit with black ink (and the wheel guide to keep it straight)
A fourth way that I use is to just draw a pencil line or marker line and pierce by free hand. You can go over it with gel pen later if you like, or with glue pen to emboss it. I'm dyin' to try Tim Holtz's new designer ruler with a long piercing guide. Just have to find where they sell his stuff (though I'll be in trouble then!) Thanks to Alison for linking to Tim's great stuff! Kind of... lol ;0)

Here's a shot that shows more of the dimension of the flower and leaves.

To make leaves super easily:

A) Draw (or stamp) a leaf shape on River Rock cardstock.
B) Fold it over & cut out two at once.
C) Moisten the leaf with water & crumple it in your hand.
D) While wet, flatten a little and pat with the River Rock stamp pad. Dry with heat gun.
E) Draw a pencil line down the center (or score a line.) Add faux stitching with a paper piercer. Marker over the line, if you like.
F) Adhere in center & fold it up a little.

Thanks for looking,

P.S. I made a template for brad placement if anyone is interested in using it, just let me know and I'll scan and send!

ETA P.S.S. Here's a Fab Circle punch Scalloped Edge video ( & other scallop techniques too!)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Custom Hand-Drawn Embossing (with a glue-pen)

Someone very special, Sue, had a very special birthday. She's a great bagpipe player--who pipes for everyone else's special occasions--so my marvelous m.i.l., Esther, came up with the idea for a custom card. I didn't have a bagpipe stamp, so I drew one. I wanted it embossed, so I traced my image with a glue pen.

If you don't like to draw: you can use transfer paper or a transfer technique . If you only want parts of a stamped image embossed just stamp & let it dry, then go over those parts with the glue pen & emboss. (You can do different colours of embossing on one stamped image this way too.) WAY too fun! :0) And the designs are as unlimited as your imagination.

Want to try your own hand-drawn embossing? Hand-Drawn Embossing How to:

1) Draw a pencil sketch of your image on the paper of your choice
(great because you can keep drawing until you--or your card-customers :0)-- are happy!)
2) Go over the page with an embossing buddy to remove static
3) Trace over pencil lines with a glue pen & sprinkle embossing powder on (I use a Sakura Quickie pen) You can repeat this in stages for different colours. I've done it in stages with black, silver, green & red embossing powder.
4) After each application of powder. Gently heat the embossing powder (It'll bubble some, but don't worry.)
5) Carefully erase any pencil lines (that are showing where you don't want them)
6) Water-colour image & add shading if desired. (I've water-coloured the bagpipe in green reinker, the pipe parts with brown (what are they called?), and added shading with a wash of black.)

Supplies used for this card:
Decorative papers are Basic Grey--the red is from their Dasher collection (Tree Skirt DSH-630).
Cardstock is Handsome Hunter, Basic Black, & River Rock. Silver Brads. The photo-corners are made with S.U.'s photo-corner punch (the larger photo corners underneath are trimmed for a better fit.)

Thanks for Checking this out. And happy happy happy birthday Sue!

P.S. The matching 5 1/2" square envelope is made using a custom template <--click for link :0)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Faux Stitch Embossed

I'm lurvin' the new backgrounds; the stitched one is awesome. I wanted to add some details to match it, but I was feelin lazy, so I used an ultra-speedy faux stitching technique. The supplies are minimal. All you need is the perforating tool from the Cutting Kit (pictured below) with
Craft ink & clear embossing powder & heat gun.

For faux embossed stitches all you do is:

1) Roll the perforating tool lightly on the Craft ink pad.
2) Then roll it along your paper (medium pressure seems to work well.)
3) Re-ink for each line & Emboss it et voila you have textured faux stitching.

You could use a high ruler--like the Stampin Around wheel guide--to get straight lines, but curved lines are super-easy:

You can emboss these faux stitches or use regular ink

Schtuff to make it:

Stitched background stamp & For a Friend (level 1) Hostess set; Pretty in Pink & Black cardstock, Glossy cardstock stamped with French Script in P.I.P ink, Sanded with a nail file & distressed with black; SU distressed ribbon--with the end melted slightly using a lighter to seal it, black brads, Rub-ons (Saleabration) layered; punched Vellum flower. Glue pen (to make "Love" sentiment look embossed.)

Hope your Craftin' is crazy fun!

Kim Hughes Rocks!!! & (Homemade Tearing Edge for Mulberry Paper)

The wildly talented Kim Hughes is also wildly generous! She's always giving things away. I was lucky enough to win this incredible stamp Silhouettes 2 set--just for having a link to her blog Paper hugs in my blog-roll! I knew I wanted to do something that I don't normally do with it...and since it is a solid image--but also has such lovely curves to its lines--it makes the perfect stamp for Batik. Thank you Kim!!! I'm overjoyed with the amazing quality of your stamps (and happily mystified by how that static cling stuff sticks so very well.) It's pure magic!

Silhouette Blooms 1 by Kim Hughes

Some things I especially like about this set: A) Its images group so nicely--making it perfect for notecard sets or cards like this with three of something. B) These three sentiments could be all you ever need. C) It's perfect for emboss resist, kissing, batik...

To make this card I did this schtuff:

1...Trimmed the mulberry paper with that ruler thingy
2...Stamped the Silhouette Blooms (easy placement cause you can see them through the acrylic block-me likey!) I stamped with a tinted versa mark pad, but alternatively you could just water colour your mulberry paper with a reinker wash & heat gun dry, then use plain versamark
3...Embossed the flowers with clear embossing powder & heated it well
4...Went over the mulberry paper with black ink on a sponge, wiped off excess ink
5...Put the resulting image in between paper towels & ironed out the e.p.
6...mounted the mulberry paper onto Pretty in pink cardstock; added the Doodlebug black cherry brads
7...Cut the mats out of: Berry Bliss designer series paper, Basic Black, Purely Pomegranate. Added SU rub-on (sab)
8. Added the raspberry velvet Ric Rac (May Arts) on a strip of Purple Pomegranate cardstock (matches better I.R.L.) I like match-y-poo how about you?

Cheap-o Homemade Tearing Edge Ruler:

I use a lot of tinfoil for sharpening punches, as a palette for goopy things. While I was grabbing a piece, I thought 'Hey, what could I use that sharp strip for?' So here it is, a cheap-o homemade tearing edge ruler. I love my real Tearing Edge, by stamping up for regulare cardstock, but tearing mulberry paper requires sharp teeth! To make one just do three simple things:

1) Find a ruler (the ones with cork have a nice weight, but any ruler will do)
2) Trim the blade off of your old tinfoil package (leave cardboard attached & please watch your precious fingies: that sucker is sharp!)
3) Use double sided tape to adhere it (No worries, it can be removed at any time.)
4) Tear away!

One thing I like about this ruler is that you can tear off a little piece of the mulberry paper along the edge for very little waste: 1/2 inch width or even 1/4 inch if you use a paper piercer to pull the paper away instead of your finger. You can experiment with angles to get different amounts of fiber on your edge.

Thanks for reading. You guys are THE best!

P.S. You can also use this ruler thingy on regular cardstock...
P.P.S. Here's a Batik tutorial

Tinted Faux Bleach with NO bleach (or a Variation of Black Magic)

This is just my faux bleach technique tinted. It's a lot like the Black Magic technique, but I've used pastels instead of pencils. I love that you can do this with line art images (where the Black Magic works with solid stamps.) It couldn't be easier:

1) Do the faux bleaching (Emboss your image in white on black or dark cardstock--or use emboss resist if you like.--Paint on the white Craft ink.)
2) Use your pastels & applicator to rub on some colours!

Th-th-th-th-that's all Folks!

Card ingredients:
Riot of Petals background stamp. Cool Caribbean, Naturals White, & Taken with Teal cardstock; Versamark, Clear embossing powder, & black ink. Pastels. SU s.a.b. Rub-on.

P.S. This is the Black magic technique here. (<--Veronica made that great tutorial.) I have got to try it.

P.P.S. Are you sick of this stamp yet? I just LOVE it--I'm going to marry it! ;0P

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Go Ahead--Make my Day!

Becky and Tina both nominated me for this award. How sweet is that? Thanks you sweet Sistahs! I finally figured out how to get the pic onto here. Now I get to nominate a coupla bloggin' beauties that make my day
Thanks to Kim, Maggie, Ruth, Savitri, Tracy, Cathy, & Carol for being bloggerific! :0)

Black Emboss Resist & Easy Faux Bleach (With NO bleach)

I love the look of emboss resist with black, but until now the black always looked purple. (I was doing it on glossy paper with classic ink.) If you use Naturals White cardstock and black ink you get a truer black. If you want more of an ultra-dark brown look to it, just use Craft ink.

I wanted to try bleaching with this stamp, but I don't use bleach anymore since I found out how bad it is for people and the environment. (It contains dioxin which is one of the worst toxic substances known and is a carcinogenic.) So, I decided to try faux bleaching.

Advantages to Faux Bleaching:

A) You have much more control over the lightening process: you can add more or less ink & repeat layers of white ink until you get the results you like. You get lovely grey tones too.
B) There's one of the browning of your image that happens with bleach & cardstock (unless you add brown to your White Craft ink to get that look on purpose.)
C) No bleach fumes, no headaches or other side effects & no pollution.
D) No wear & tear on your paintbrushes.
E) Your work stays acid free.

All you do is Paint over the dark colour with White craft ink! (Also known as pigment ink.)

Close-up of faux bleach with White Craft ink

Steps to making this Faux Bleach card:

1...Stamp Riot of Petals background in Versamark ink onto Naturals White cardstock.
2...Emboss it with clear embossing powder.
3...Sponge over black ink &...Allow to dry. (Heatgun if desired.)
4...Use an aqua painter (or a paint brush) to paint on White Craft ink (or pigment.) get a very faint look, just blot off areas as you go (that's how I did the leaves.)

Edited to Add: There's an easier way too:

1. Just stamp on Black cardstock in white craft ink (aka pigment ink)
2. Emboss in clear embossing powder
3. And paint with a wash of White craft ink

And that's it!!! You can also colour over with pastels after.

P.S. Here's another version of faux bleaching where the stamping image looks bleached instead of the inside of a line image. (It's a lot like batik.) I found it on Rubber Road Adventures (<--Can't wait to browse that technique site more.)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Envelope Templates

I finished my webpage for the envelope templates; it's painfully simple, but I wrote the markup language myself--painfully, haha. I thought I'd never understand it, but I do--partly LOL! Here's the link, if you want a giggle:

my new envelope template webpage
ETA: sorry link is dead because it was a school project
BUT envelope templates can be found here:

1 Mini envelope templates:
3 templates for these 3 sizes:

A) 4 2-8 inch square card

B) mini long-note 4 2-8 x 2 1-2 " card (left over from the remnants of cutting the size above; wastes zero cardstock)

C) double template for mini note 3 inch square card (just a little larger than the one SU sells)

2 Standard and Large envelope templates:
3 templates for these 3 sizes:

A) Standard envelope (for a 4 2/8" x 5 1/2" card) with room for layers)

B) Envelope for 5 1/2" square card (print on legal paper or 12x12 cardstock cut to 8 1/2 x 12) Note: must PRINT ON BORDERLESS PRINTING

C) Envelope for 5 x 6 1-2 inch card (with plenty of room for layers on your card) Note: must PRINT ON BORDERLESS PRINTING

3 Mini Pockets & Square Mini Envelopes
1 template for these 6 sizes:

1 1/2 " wide mini pocket
2" wide mini pocket
1.5 x 1.5 " square envelope (squared flap)
1.5 x 1.5 " square envelope(rounded flap)
2 x 2 " square envelope (rounded flap)
2 x 2 " square envelope (squared flap with slit closure)

Pictures of Envelope sample projects:

I'm thinking of doing an online catalogue of my stamp collection (instead of having to clean all of the stamps after stamping a paper catalogue, I'll just photograph the sets and make a digital one. Then I'll be able to go online and see what I have and my stamp club will be able to see what's available to borrow...) What do you think?

:0) Mel

E.T.A: A video with some great envelope pointers