Thursday, January 2, 2014

Techniques Galore

I decided to make a special thank-you card for someone who was extremely generous to me and my family this Christmas. Let's just say that when I received it, I cried and cried. So, I thought a beautiful thank-you card was in order. It didn't matter how much time I spent on this. It was worth it. 

I started out by stamping a grey card with a music stamp. I prefer to take the ink to the stamp when I'm using a large background stamp.

I place the card on the stamp.

And I like to put something over that like a very messy piece of non-stick craft sheet, or a piece of card stock. And yes, I just did my manicure yesterday, but now it's all messed up.

I decided to use my MicroGlaze, which I've had for about a year and have never used. NO JUDGING!!! I'm sure YOU don't have anything laying around like that. 
It acts like a mask, which I've discovered is lots of fun.

I used my Oval Boulders stencil, which is available in my Etsy shop here.
I just rubbed some MicroGlaze into the ovals. 

However, I used a little bit too much. A little goes a long way.  
You don't need ridges like this. I pulled the excess toward the center of the ovals to smooth it out.

Then I lined up a piece of Washi tape along the center line so my next step wouldn't seep into the back of the card.

I used some Claudine Hellmuth paints. I don't really like any of the colors as is, but I do love mixing them. I added a little bit of matte medium to extend the paint, and then I sprayed a few spritzes of water to thin it out. 

Then I gently washed the paint over the front of the card, using a brush.

I used a heat gun to dry the paint.

Then I pulled the Washi tape off of the card, which I applied to the front bottom. 

Then I used my Leaf Stem Tag Stencil. I masked off the area with tissue tape that I didn't want the paint to seep through. 

I just dabbed some green, blue, and white paint through the stencil with a make-up sponge. Remember, when stenciling, dab, don't swipe (unless you want a totally different look, then if that's the case, GO for it!).

I stenciled two more leaves, then I dried them with the heat gun. I added two pieces of tissue tape on the bottom for a border. 

I stenciled a contrasting green leaf stem onto white card stock, then I fussy cut it. 

A rub of Distress Ink and a few drops of water, then a blast of the heat gun.

I dabbed the leaf stem into my Versamark pad, which is pretty dirty. NO JUDGING!

I didn't take a pic of the next step, which was to put clear embossing powder on the leaf and heat the powder until it was shiny (use your embossing imagination).

Then I put tissue tape along the right edge, leaving a small margin. 

I inked the edge with Versamark. This is one of my fave techniques....

...using aged ochre, which is one of my fave embossing powders because there are different colors, so there's lots of dimension.

You can see here that some of the tissue tape is covered, which is very cool. 

I pulled the tissue tape off at an angle, leaving a crisp, straight edge. 

I put the adhered the tape to my craft mat and heat embossed the "leftovers", which I will use for another project.

I then heated the edge that I had just created.

I cut several "inerds" of my pop-dots (sorry, but I'm a nurse so that's a "normal" word around here).

I put pop-dots under the leaves, but adhered the stem directly to the card using Glossy Accents. And, I added a colored lace knot.

One always needs a vintage button and some Stickles.

 And, here's the final outcome. I believe the recipient will like it.

I'm liking the depth. I stamped a Thanks sentiment in the upper right corner with Versamark, then I embossed it with black embossing powder. 

And again, thanks so much for looking!
Fondly, Tami

New Craft Stencil Designs- Oval Boulders and Leaf Stems

Hey, Peeps. Here are some new craft stencil designs, just listed in my Etsy shop, here. I'm planning on being in the Craft Room today, so I hope to make something with this design to show you the versatility of background stencils.
This one is an 8 by 10.5 design, perfect for art journals and scrapbook pages. Don't forget that you can use all or some of the design. And, they're great for layering.

And, here is my Leaf Stems design, which you can find here. Can't wait to play with this one.

See you in the Craft Room soon!
Fondly, Tami

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The CUTEST Inexpensive Hand Carved Stamps

So, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone, art-wise. I discovered art journaling about a year ago, but I remember thinking, "Why the heck would I want to make art in a journal when I could put it on canvas and display or sell it???"
Obviously, I was stupid. Well, not really, but I just didn't get it.
Until recently. 
Art journals are a wonderful way to express one's self, but for me, they're a great way to "practice" my art. Now, don't get me wrong. When I create a beautiful page in my journal, I think to myself, "Crap. I could have put that on a canvas." Oh, well.
I'm also learning to let go of my perfectionism. Of course, nothing I do is perfect, but I would like to think it is. I'm trying to let go of straight lines, perfectly washed out brushes, and a pristine canvas.
Enter hand-carved stamps. 
I love them.
Absolutely love them. 
They are fun.
They are whimsical.
And there's no way they could be perfect. 
I started out with my linoleum cutters. This set belonged to my MIL. I'm not sure what she used them for, but I inherited them. Yay for me.
The tips are interchangeable.

I find that for stamp carving, I use the tiny one more often than the others.

I started by purchasing a Speedball Speedy Carve Carving Block. Then I quickly discovered: 
1. I LOVED making them.
2. That I'd go broke soon, and my daughter would have to drop out of college because I couldn't afford to send her there anymore because I was buying too many blocks.
So, I found a much cheaper alternative. MUCH cheaper. Stay tuned....

This was my first attempt with the expensive block. I really like the rustic, non-perfect look.

Then, I read on the "interwebs" (as HubbyDoc would say), that you can use dollar store big erasers. 
Can you say habit score???

I was skeptical at first, but then I took my tools to the rubber, as they say. 
Well, "they" really don't say that.

I love the erasers because I can make about 4 small stamps (2 on each side), and I can use the sides as well. 
I just draw the shape I want and cut it out. I does help to do a little planning, and you can color in the areas that you definitely want to remove (keeping in mind that that's the part that will be light and not inked), but I just eyeball them. 
There are a few things to keep in mind. 
1. ALWAYS cut away from your body and your hands. I just had to say it.
2. This isn't a children's craft, for obvious reasons.
3. The tools are sharp. Or they should be. You should use gentle pressure. If you have to press hard, your tool isn't sharp enough and it's time to buy a new one.

I tend to turn my rubber instead of turning the tool. I think you have better control that way.

Here's one of the slanted ends. I just stuck my small tool slightly into the rubber and twisted it around, essentially gouging it out. See. It isn't perfect. Yay.

Ink your stamp up really, really well. I find that the eraser stamps don't take the ink quite as easily as your regular store bought rubber stamps. So, just ink well.

These stamps aren't super pliable, so I like to press the paper onto the stamp instead of the stamp on the paper.

Here's a sample of the difference. On the right, I stamped the rubber to the paper. On the left, I stamped the paper to the rubber. Of course, I'll still be able to use both. If you're using your stamp on a canvas project, keep in mind that you might end up with the look on the right, which in my opinion, is part of the "charm", as "they" say.

Then after I stamped the flower, I realized the center was too dull, so I changed it up.

I took a piece of cut out chevron plastic from a one of my tag stencils.

Then I traced it with a pen and cut it out of the thick end. You can play with how you want it to look. Think positive and negative space. You could just carve out the lines, or carve out sections. I decided to do sections.

And, here's what it looks like, stamped with some acrylic paint.

If you don't like the "leftover" lines, then just carve them away. I think they provide a rustic look.
Here's a brick wall design. Notice, all I did was carve lines. No rocket science here, Peeps!

I stamped it with distress stain. You can see the chevron on the side. Gotta make use of ALL surfaces since I'm cheap frugal.

Here's a little fox. She was a little more intricate, but I like her. Remember to take away as little as possible, stamp with it, and then you can see what you don't like and take more away. You can always cut more, but you can't UNCUT!

Here are all of my stamps so far. I stamped them with archival/permanent ink onto dried out teabags, naturally stained, of course. The one on the bottom left is a border that I made from leftovers of the key stamp. GOTTA USE ALL SURFACES, PEEPS!!! ;)

I believe this is a new addiction hobby.

Just think of the possibilities! Gesso, molding paste, Gelatos, inks, paints, gouache, etc., etc. etc. You'll be able to actually use all of your crap supplies!
Thanks for stopping by, Everyone!