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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Do it Yourself Stamps

The Sizzix Big Shot is a great tool to have on the shelf... but mine never stays there. There's no paper crafting project that a few die cuts can't improve. I've found yet another way to use the Big Shot. The initial idea came from the great altered art sorcerer, Tim Holtz. The Great Tim had used his Big Shot to cut out 6mm Craft Foam with Bigz and Originals dies, and glued them to backings he cut from the stiff plastic packaging from some of his supplies. Voila! Stamps! Very clever! I decided to take it one step further and incorporate Stampin' Up's Clear Mount Cling Foam. Using the Cling Foam enables you to mount your newly cut foam stamps on your acrylic blocks and be able to reposition them and couple them together for whatever back ground composition you wish, and you can store them in the thin plastic cases made for our regular stamps!

Thin craft foam, any color. I prefer white, while it shows stains after a few uses it is still easy to see where the ink is on the stamp. While I experimented with both 6mm and thin craft foam, I found that when combining the thickness of the craft foam with the Cling Mount Foam, the thin stuff was easiest to run through the Big Shot and plenty thick enough to stand up off of your block. Tim used black craft foam on his blog, must be a guy thing.
Stampin' Up! Clear Mount Cling Foam. You get (2) 8 ½ x 11 sheets – enough to fill 4 or more Clear Mount Stamp Cases if you're thrifty.
Big Shot and Bigz or Originals Dies
Clear Mount Stamp Cases
Ink, Paper, etc...

  1. Measure the size of foam 1/8 th inch larger all around the die cut area to be sure to cover it completely. There is one clingy side and one sticky side of the cling mount foam, when making your “sandwich” for the Big Shot, the “cling” side will be down on the die if you want the stamp to look exactly like the finished die cut, or up toward the cutting pad if you want the stamps to print in the reverse image. “Up” or “down” might make a difference in your measurement, begin with the goal in mind.

  1. Adhere craft foam to Cling Mount Foam. Make it nice and exact as possible, you want both pieces to cover your die cut.

  1. Make your Big Shot “sandwich” - cutting pad, die, foam pieces, cutting pad. If you are wanting an exact image and your craft foam side is up, be sure that your cutting pad is new and smooth. The texture of a cutting pad will mar the foam if the cutting pad is heavily worn. What I do with my cutting pads is use one exclusively as a cutting surface and keep the other smooth. Then when the both sides of my cutting surface are excessively worn down, I swap it out with my smoother one and use one new cutting pad as a smooth backer. That way I don't have to use both my new ones in a set at once, and I always have a smooth sheet of acrylic to use to cut foam, ink up to load my brayer, or it can be used with Cling Stamps to create a large composition for decorating a greater area, etc...

  1. Run your “sandwich” through the Big Shot. It will be a little thick and you might need an extra hand, but it will come through just fine.

  1. Pop out your die cut stamp, peel the backing off the “cling” side of the foam and adhere to your acrylic block, ink, stamp, and clean just as you would a conventional rubber stamp. Works great with Classic Ink, Craft Ink, Versamark, watercolor techniques, “Kissing” techniques - where you stamp on the foam and then stamp the foam onto your paper, not what you do with your honey on Saturday night, what are you thinking?

The Stampin' Up “Lattice” Die was my personal favorite. Not only did it create an intriguing background, but you also get all the groovy inner pieces to make patterns with. Flowers, borders, relief patterns... so much to do with those pieces! I've photographed a few ideas but there's so much more you can do with this, give it a go!

The “Top Note” Die was a great one for watercoloring and kissing – really a unique look.

Sharing your creativity does make a difference to everyone around you. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ginormous Cards

My grandparents recently celebrated their 68th anniversary, and I wanted to commemorate the event with an extra special card.  The finished size of the card is 12" x 9-3/4", able to fit in a standard 10" x 13" mailing envelope.

2 sheets of 12 x 12 card stock
Hearts Framelets 
Big Shot
Tasteful Trim Bigz XL die
Small Heart Punch
Blossom Builder Punch
Scallop Trim Border Punch
Designer Series Paper
Tim Holtz' Grungeboard Numbers

Step 1:  I scored 1 12 x12 sheet of card stock at 9-3/4" and folded it along the score line.  This forms the spine of the card.  The second sheet of card stock I cut at 9-5/8", and adhered it to the inside of the small flap.  This makes the front and back of the card

This is the card, opened on my Simply Scored board to show the scale...

This is the finished card.  I used Tim Holtz' grungeboard numbers to trace the large "68" and cut it out with scissors... I'm too cheap to actually use them, I just keep tracing and cutting them for my projects :)

The stamp sets used are: Perfectly Penned and Elements of Style, ink and card stock colors used are Always Artichoke, River Rock and Calypso Coral, the little hearts were coated with Crystal Effects and let dry - takes about an hour.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Inspiration Everywhere...

Someone recently asked me where I get my inspiration for making cards.  There's inspiration everywhere!  A few good places to look are paper crafting magazines, which are great for demonstrating new products and techniques, another is blog-surfing - also a sure-fire way to find something new to try on your own projects.  Today, we're talking textiles.  In a recent blog, I demonstrated a card modeled after one of my grandmother's needlepoint creations.  This blog is about taking what you see everyday, and letting that fuel your creativity.

My 5 year old son took this photo of me in my favorite T-shirt.  It's a gray background with red, yellow and orange filigree chairs, and it says blah blah blah "coffee" blah blah etc... (I love coffee).  It's a very simple everyday item...

So now, here's the T-shirt in the form of a card - Basic Gray card stock, with Summer Starfruit lattice die cut, and a Riding Hood Red blossom.  The "Thank You" sentiment comes from the Perfectly Penned stamp set, #122890w/112892c stamped in Riding Hood Red classic ink.  Basic Gray is a fantastic launch pad for zany color.

This is a sweater from my church's coat closet... There's no telling who's sweater it is, but as I was hanging up my coat before church one morning, this sweater was there and I had to take a photo of it, it was just too brilliant.

I cut some concentric squares with my paper trimmer, 1-1/2", 1-1/4", 1" and punched a 3/4" circle of Whisper White card stock for the center.  The colors here are:  Elegant Eggplant, Perfect Plum, Wisteria Wonder (purples); Rich Razzleberry, Melon Mambo, Pretty in Pink (pinks).  Sponge the edges in the darkest color, pierce the center of the stack, give each layer a good scrunch, and hold it all together with at brad.  Stampin' Dimensionals are the best way to adhere the flowers to the card front, they give the brad a little cushion as well as popping the flower up off the surface.

The background is a 4" x 5-1/4" piece of vellum card stock, run through the Big Shot with the Houndstooth embossing Folder.  The Label background is Basic Gray card stock cut with a Label Framelets die, and run through the Big Shot with the Square Lattice embossing folder.  The leaves are Summer Starfruit, Lucky Limeaid and Old Olive card stock.  Like the flowers, I sponged the edges in the darkest layer color (Old Olive) and gave each a scrunch.  The leaf shape comes from an old stencil of a rounded triangle, and a little free-hand extrapolation.  Stamp set is Loving Thoughts #125843w/125845c

While neither of these examples are exactly like the originals, the inspiration comes from the forms and colors of the fabrics.  Take a fresh look at your decor, closet , or coat rack, and see what inspires you...


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Here's the color combo for the week:
Midnight Muse - card stock and classic ink
Wisteria Wonder - card stock and classic ink
VersaMark watermark ink for embossing
Regal Rose - card stock and Brights Designer Series Paper
Stamp Set:  Papaya Collage 126612 c $23.95; 126610 w $31.95
Embossing powder:  Whisper White
Background:  Top Note Bigz Die cut in half and flipped (113463 $21.95)
Sponge Daubers; Heat Tool; 1-3/4" Circle Punch; 2-3/8 Scallop Circle Punch

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ode to the Ornament Punch - Part 4

Ode to the Ornament Punch - Part 4 - Flowers

Recently my mom sent me a great birthday card with a focal point of a flower made out of punched circles.  It was such a cute embellishment, it seemed to be a great match for the Ornament punch!

Supplies (available from my Stampin' Up demonstrator website)
Real Red Designer Series Paper (From the Brights Collection Stack, #117155)
Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper (#125409)
Lucky Limeaid, Whisper White, Real Red, Pretty in Pink, Island Indigo card stock 
Island Indigo and Real Red Classic Ink Pads
Pursuit of Happiness set (#121907 wood, #121970 cling)
Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets (#120805)
Ornament Punch, Boho Blossoms Punch, 1" Circle punch

Step 1:  Punch 5 ornaments from the Real Red Designer Series Paper, 2 circles from the Real Red card stock, and 2 circles from the adhesive sheets.  Stick the adhesive circles to the card stock.  

Step 2:  Pinch a pleat into the base of the ornament to create a petal shape.

Step 3: Overlap the petals on the adhesive circle base.

Step 4:  Use second adhesive circle to cover the center and secure the petals in place.

Step 5: Embellish the flower center, here I used the Boho Blossoms Punch and layered a couple little flowers on the center, and polished it off with an adhesive pearl.  Flowers adhere best using Stampin' Dimensionals on the back center.

The background paper shown here is Stampin' Up's Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper.