Thursday, June 23, 2016

Stamped Stamps

Last week I got some new supplies and I am hooked on making these die cut stamps. The craft die was more expensive than I would have liked, but as long as I can continue to find ways to put these stamps to use, I'll happily keep making them.

I've got step by step photos sharing how I created this set, but working with Distress Inks in this way is new to me, so if you have any tips, please don't hesitate to share in the comments section.

There is a stencil that can be purchased along with the die and using washi tape, I adhered it to my paper. Starting with the lightest inks, I used a foam blending tool to apply color to the paper. Some of the ink pads are more wet than others, so once I had ink on the foam applicator, I would place the ink on the stencil first and then in a circular motion, I would pull the ink onto the paper.

(Note - For the very first set I made, I used a make-up sponge because I didn't have a blending tool and got much more saturated colors. For this set, I kept the colors soft and only applied a minimal amount of ink with the foam tool.)

Then I repeated my steps with the next color, but only adding it to various areas of the shapes.

And then one last application placed very sparingly in the darkest colors I was using.

Once the stencil was removed, I used a small paintbrush to flick some water onto the inked areas. It has a subtle effect, but I like what little it does add.

I forgot to take a photo of the die placed over the inked background before running it through my Big Shot, but it lines up very easily. After going through the manual die cutter, you are left with a LOT of little dots of paper. I have a pencil with a needle stuck in the eraser for poking out all the little bits that get left in craft dies.

Here are my stamps, all cleaned up and ready to be stamped.

I've already experimented with regular stamping in dye ink and also heat embossing my images so I wanted to do something different this time. Again using Distress Ink, I inked the stamps I wanted to use and alternated between stamping as-is and also spraying the ink with water before stamping. As you can see, some stamps took to it better than others. This isn't something I'd tried before and I'd like to practice some more with it.

Something else I bought when I purchased this die set was yet another alphabet stamp set. Because apparently I can't have too many. When I stamp, I have a piece of paper to stamp on first to make sure I'll get a clear impression before stamping on my actual project. Since I hadn't used the alphabet stamps yet, I very quickly stamped them to see if they would fit in the space I had. Since there is a stencil, it was easy to see that the word summer would fit if I stamped it on two lines. Another technique I saw and would like to try is stamping with the stencil still in place so that the image goes right to the edge.

If you have any tips for working with Distress Inks or stamping in general, I'm all ears!

craft die and stencil - Memory Box Postage Assemblage - Simon Says Stamp
Distress Inks for background - (left) Tumbled Glass, Evergreen Bough, Peeled Paint, (center) Antique Linen, Old Paper, Pine Needle, (right) Spun Sugar, Scattered Straw, Vintage Photo - Michaels
Distress Ink for stamped images - Walnut Stain
stamps - Jet Set and Spring Break - Christine Herrin for Kelly Purkey, Luggage Tag Alphabet - Hero Arts
manual die cutter - Sizzix Big Shot

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Go West

The weather has been so nice that we had to take advantage of it and go strawberry picking. Finding myself with some scrappy time over the weekend, I decided I'd make layouts from the photos I'd taken of our little adventure. It feels like it's been quite some time since I'd made 9x12 layouts, so I looked through my old sketches and found one from the Kelly Purkey 2014 Sketchbook class and got to work making my first page.

I didn't have the car craft die she used in her sketch, so I used an image from Photoshop Elements and sent it to my Cricut Explore Air and cut out 25 little cars. Sticking pretty closely to the sketch, I had a fast and fun layout for my car selfie as we headed down the road.

Since I wanted to use several different patterned papers, I welded my cars in Design Space so that they would cut out exactly like I had positioned them. I cut my papers into 2-inch wide strips and placed them onto the cutting mat and let the machine work its magic.

For my facing page, I knew I wanted to use a lot of the photos I'd taken, so a simple grid design was the best way for me to have plenty of pictures. My photos are about 2.75 x 2.75 and then I cut 2 x 2 square of patterned paper for the remaining grid blocks. I added a few die cut leaves that are paper and vellum and then stickers, which one is popped up with foam tape to add a little dimension. I thought about adding some wood sequins or enamel dots, but in the end decided against it.

And in case you were curious, we picked about 3 pounds of strawberries and also found a local bakery near where we had lunch and picked up a fresh blueberry pie. :)

patterned paper, die cuts, stickers - Hillside - Basic Grey
alphabet stickers - American Crafts
electronic die cut machine - Cricut Explore Air

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Project Life {May 2016}

After making my way through my Week in the Life album, I haven't been getting much new creating done. To help change that, I took a little bit of time on Sunday and printed out my photos for May and gathered the supplies I wanted to use. Then I let it sit for a couple of days to allow the ideas arrive on their own.

Since I had pulled paper from the Homebodies kit as well as The Great Escape, I let those themes guide me in determining how I would arrange my photos and came up with two distinct piles, one of photos at home and one of photos being out and about (or at least headed out).

Laying out the pages, I copied the same format for the front and the back and then added my embellishments. I'd like to say that these came together quickly, but I'd be lying because as usual I had to change my mind half a dozen times. This time it was regarding the stamped bits of paper. :)

patterned paper, 3x4 cards - Homebodies and The Great Escape - Brandi Kincaid for Feed Your Craft
grid patterned paper, chipboard hearts and stars - Studio Calico
flair badge - Hangry mini kit - One Little Bird for Kelly Purkey
alphabet stamps - Greenpoint - Kelly Purkey
ink - Soft Granite - Hero Arts

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wander Mini Notebook

I don't like wishing the days away, but man, it's hard when you're so excited to share something but you have to wait. Brandi and I have had a hard time keeping the new kit, The Great Escape, to ourselves, but today is the day, and it's an extra special one at that!

Along with our newest kit, there are four new mini flair sets, and a sale-a-bration to celebrate the 2nd Birthday of the Feed Your Craft shop. Everything is on sale and the prices are already marked down so you don't need to worry about coupon codes, but hurry, the sale ends June 2nd at 8pm EDT.

If you know me, you know I love to go wandering and a favorite spot is a nearby garden. With my Instax camera in hand, the hubs and I went for walk and I snapped photos of the blooming flowers and peaceful scenery.

The cover of my mini notebook uses the Let's Get Lost patterned paper and then the inside pages are white cardstock. I trimmed all of the papers to 5x7 and then folded them in half. Once I figured out where my photos would go, I added some acrylic paint and gold accents to some of the pages.

Since I love chunky mini books, I used plenty of foam adhesive, a mini flair, and some enamel dots for dimension.

Using a 1-inch circle punch, I cut some of the cameras out of the Capture It paper. Not wanting to waste any of the paper I used for my cover, I cut out the word "wander" as a simple embellishment on top of one of the painted pages.

The last page I left blank with just a photo and then on the back I used double-sided tape to hold my ribbon in place. The entire book is bound together simply by poking two holes, running embroidery thread through them and tying them together in the middle.

Don't forget to visit Brandi to see the lovely project she's sharing. Thank you all for the support that you continue to show Brandi, myself, and the Feed Your Craft shop, it means so much to us!

patterned paper, stamps, embellishments - The Great Escape kit - designed by Brandi Kincaid for Feed Your Craft
acrylic paint, dye ink - Glass Slipper - Studio Calico
ink - Wet Cement - Hero Arts, Coral Reef - Simon Says Stamp
enamel dots - Doodlebug
snapshot stamp - Kelly Purkey Shutterbug
gold mist, gold texture paste - Heidi Swapp
ribbon - American Crafts