Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sweet Friend Birthday

Please forgive the crooked word sayings! Don't you just hate it when everything is just so on a card and then you ruin it by goofing up some last minute addition? I wasn't about to start over! I guess I'm getting over my perfectionism. That's a good thing!

This card design is the sketch challenge for this week's Mojo Monday (Week 123). We had the choice of either doing it round or square. I took the round challenge since I don't do round cards and thought it was about time I did. I even did up the inside!

Mine was a tad different from the MM sketch. I turned the bottom left embellishment into a full-fledged flower with stem and leaves, by accident, actually. After I laid the flower on the line of grosgrain ribbon I was inspired to turn the ribbon into a flower stem and I added leaves to further the theme.

All the designer paper is from the Basic Grey Lemonade collection.

Did you notice anything unusual about this card? There is something missing that usually isn't. Can you guess?

Have you guessed yet? I'll give you a hint. It starts with "b".

Thanks for looking! I'm pretty tired right now or I'd go into more detail. It's one of those icky days for me that we ladies have. Blah.

If you have any questions about how I made this card, feel free to ask.

Have a lovely weekend!


Stamps: Sweet Celebration by Taylored Expressions

CS: SU Pretty in Pink, Papertrey Ink Stamper's Select White, Basic Grey Lemonade Collection designer papers

Inks: SU Rose Romance, CTMH Kiwi

Other: Nestabilities Standard Circle Large and Small, Classic Scalloped Circle Large and Small, Flower Creations 3; Martha Stewart Embossed Zigzag border punch, small oval punch, Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder, paper piercing tool, sponge mat, sewing machine, Basic Grey Lemonade buttons, pink grosgrain ribbon, Basic Grey Lemonade brads, Sticky Doos foam square

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Think You're Amazing!

I played with my very first digistamp today! I've heard about digital stamps and wondered if I'd enjoy working with them. And I did! Not technically stamping, per se, but no one would know by looking at it. So is this cheating to use a non-stamp as an image that looks stamped on a card? Can you tell I'm from the olden days? I need to get with it, don't I. I would've loved to have lived in Cranford before the railway came, if that's any indication.

There's someone to blame for this adventure I had, but she doesn't know it. Donna at 3 Umbrellas, you are to blame for getting me started, you enabler, you! ;) You had to link to that incredibly adorable site, Pink Petticoat, and then you had to make me go all over their website to try to find the image you used on your card, which I never found, but I saw all sorts of other cuteness. All that looking brought me eventually to their blog where I found some freebies (blog's left sidebar) and just had to download them. And then I had to print out the too-cute-for-words little birdie to play with. And I had to learn this adorable, easy and FUN technique to use on it. And here we are. What a great little adventure! Expect me to be dragging out my chalks, glue pen and Crystal Snow glitter a lot in the future! What an easy way to color images in a soft way! I love it! Sometimes markers are too much - too dark, too intense, too heavy. Chalks fill the bill if you want a softer look. I use tiny 1/4" pompoms and an alligator clip to apply them, but I need something smaller for the tinier parts of an image (like the flowers and small hearts on this one). What do y'all use? I was thinking make-up applicators might work.

Not only did Donna enable me to try a digistamp, but she also inspired the design of this card. She has such a clean, simple style and I am in awe of how she does it. I tried really hard to not pile stuff on my card. It was hard for me, I'll admit. I'm a layer girl. But I kept it simple and clean as far as I was able. I just kept making myself "think like Donna". ;) Did I succeed? I love her style, not to mention, her sweet personality.

For the digi, I used the Papertrey Ink Stamper's Select White card stock in my printer on the "best" print setting. No problems. Set your printer to "card stock" (if yours has that setting) for the type of paper so it prints best.

Coloring was so easy with the chalks. I had it done in no time. Then I used the Sakura Quickie Glue Pen where I wanted glitter and lightly dusted everything with the Crystal Snow.

Before I cuttlebugged the yellow cs, I stamped it in VersaMark ink with the retired SU Canvas background stamp. I LOVE that stamp for adding a textured look.

Hope you enjoy this card. Thanks for coming by! And thanks, Donna, for being such an inspiration to me!


Stamp: Pink Petticoat Little Birdie digi, SU Canvas

CS: SU So Saffron, Papertrey Ink Stamper's Select White

Ink: VersaMark, printer

Other: Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder, Nestabilities Labels Four die, chalks, 1/4" pompoms and alligator clip for applying chalks, Sakura Quickie Glue pen, Crystal Snow glitter, pale blue organdy ribbon, light blue gingham ribbon, pearl gems, 3D-Dots

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Loving my ATG 714!

I posted on SCS recently about the smell issue I had with the 908 adhesive and was advised to air it out when not using it. So I opened the applicator up and left it that way on my stamping table. It has made all the difference! So, if the smell bothers you try airing your applicator out and see if that helps.

I am really happy with the strength of this adhesive. The applicator is getting easier to use, too. And the size isn't even bothering me anymore. I highly recommend this great gadget!

Cuppie Birthday!

Hello! Yes, more stamping! I'm on a roll, I think!

This sketch design is the same Mojo Monday sketch as the last card I made (from Week #122). It's a good, simple sketch. I find I prefer the simpler sketches, as they give you more freedom to play.

The colors I chose were from this week's color throwdown (#76) at The Color Throwdown blog, except that I don't have Melon Mambo. So I used Positively Pink. I think we all need a little Spring, yes?

I hadn't played with my birthday cuppies in awhile and needed a birthday card. So out they came. I thought the colors worked well with these bright, cheerful stamps, don't you?

Speaking of cheerful, there's nothing like a dog to cheer you up on a miserably gray and dreary day. We are loving our sweet Basset girl! We left her alone for the first time today so we could go to church. She woofed at us in her crate as we were leaving, voicing her concern that maybe we had unintentionally forgotten her. I was a little worried. But she was just as we had left her when we got back, and oh, the happiness at seeing us! Dogs are the best, aren't they?

One thing you might notice on this card is that I didn't use any designer paper. Lately, it seems I reach for the dp first thing and I was getting kind of tired of the routine. So I determined that I was only going to use card stock this time. I have to admit that I enjoyed staying away from the dp for a change. It used to be the norm before all this dp hit the market. Remember how we used to stamp a lot more on our cards? The dp revolution changed that. I kind of miss the old way sometimes. Do you? Or maybe you still rely heavily on cs.

Of course, I still had to busy it up, didn't I? ;) I used the retired (still shaking my head over that one) SU Canvas background stamp on the Positively Pink and Old Olive cs's and then cuttlebugged the PP cs with the D'Vine Swirls embossing folder to add even more interest. You probably can't see it very well on the So Saffron cs, but before cuttlebugging it I stamped the pile of cuppies from the Sweet Celebration set by Taylored Expressions upside down and right-side up in VersaMark ink.

Well, I think the rest is pretty self-explanatory and I must get ready for school tomorrow. I have some prep work to do for the kids' schedules (we homeschool) and it is late!

Have a lovely Monday and thanks for coming by for a peek!


Stamps: Sweet Celebration by Taylored Expressions, SU Canvas

CS: Papertrey Ink True Black, SU Positively Pink, SU Old Olive, SU So Saffron, PTI White

Inks: Versafine Onyx Black, VersaMark

SU Markers: Creamy Caramel, Pumpkin Pie, Apricot Appeal, Bordering Blue

CTMH Markers: Pink Carnation, Topiary

Other: Cuttlebug D'Vine Swirls and Spots and Dots embossing folders, Nestabilities Classic Oval Scallops Large, Classic Oval Large, ticket corner punch, black gingham ribbon, yellow gems, Black Micron archival pen (for stripes on candles), 3D-Dots, Stamp-a-ma-jig, paper piercing tool, sponge mat

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ginger Rogers

I found some time to stamp yesterday! Since I'm slow in making a card it's quite a feat to get a big enough chunk of time to complete one, so I was a happy girl.

I used this week's Mojo Monday (122) sketch and played yet again with my Dawn Houser stamp. Well, stamps, actually, because the saying stamp is hers, also.

This time I only used part of the dress image. I stamped it on white cs and on dp. Then I cut the dp image out except for the hanger and glued it down over the white image. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. Two things I'll mention are that I stamped the saying before cuttlebugging it, and I used an extra piece of cs under the Forest Branches-embossed section when I cuttlebugged it, but not under the Tiny Bubbles-embossed section. Can you see the difference? It really does help to add the cs.

Btw, I am busier than usual now because we have added a new member to our family. Thanks to The Pioneer Woman, I fell in love with her Basset, Charlie and wanted one of our own; and now we have one! We adopted her this week from a Basset rescue. Her name is Ally and she's a dream. My hubby says it's like having a big dog in a little dog's body. He's right! She's the most laid-back, easy-going dog ever! And you can't outlove her. She'll take it all. :) I might need to look around for some Basset stamps now!

Thanks for coming by! Have a lovely weekend!


Stamps: My Mother's Dress and 8357-N , both by Dawn Houser, SU Canvas

CS: Papertrey Ink Dark Chocolate, PTI True Black, Making Memories Cheeky Collection designer paper, PTI Stamper's Select White

Inks: Versafine Onyx Black, VersaMark (on Dark Chocolate cs)

Other: Cuttlebug Forest Branches and Tiny Bubbles embossing folders, Nestabilities Classic Oval Scallops Large, Classic Oval Large, black polka dot ribbon, 3D-Dots, Stamp-a-ma-jig

Card's outer measurements are 5"x5".

Monday, January 18, 2010

Card humor from Brian Regan

We are HUGE fans of Brian Regan in our house. His humor is clean with occasional minor cuss words. We bleep those out.

Here's a little routine on buying cards I thought y'all would enjoy:

The Lord is my Light

Another rose. Once I start making them it's hard to stop, I love them so. This was my first card using the new PaperTrey Ink Stamper's Select white cs and the ATG 714 adhesive. The fumes were really bothering me at first, but the smell seems to have dissipated a bit. Maybe I should get the regular adhesive (924) instead?

About the PaperTrey Ink card stock, it's niiiiice. Good and stiff and crisp. Very substantial. Took ink very well. I definitely will enjoy using it. The black cs on this card is the True Black from their sampler pack. Very nice. More toward the reddish black than the blue-ish. Closer to SU's.

I tried doing something to keep the designer paper from cracking when I ran it through the Cuttlebug. I added another piece of card stock behind it in the embossing folder. It mostly worked. The imprint isn't as strong, but almost no cracks appeared. It's a trade-off, I guess.

I was a tad sloppy on the ribbon and mini-brad embellishments, mainly because the ribbon pinches when I punch a hole in it. And I didn't even try to line the brads up perfectly. It has a bit more charm that way, right? I like it anyway.

I left the inside blank so I can use it for a generic note of encouragement. I would've cuttlebugged the dp inside, but forgot until after I had glued everything down. This ATG adhesive is good and strong! Really love it despite the fumes.

As you can see, I used a black Velcro dot to help keep the card closed.

Can't think of anything else to add. TFL, and have a lovely day! Pray for Haiti!


Stamps: SU Roses in Winter, Our Daily Bread Designs Light of the World

CS: Papertrey Ink True Black, PPI SS White, Memory Box Rhubarb Tart designer paper

Inks: Versafine Onyx Black, SU Ruby Red, SU Old Olive, SU Always Artichoke, Antique Linen Distress Ink

Other: Nestabilities Large Classic Inverted Scalloped Circle, Standard Circle Large, Cuttlebug Floral Screen embossing folder, paper piercing tool, sponge mat, silver mini-brads, black zigzag ribbon, ticket corner punch, Sticky Doos, 3D-Dots, 1/16" hole punch, black Velcro dot

Sunday, January 17, 2010

ATG Adhesive allergies

Anyone have any allergy issues with the Scotch ATG Gold adhesive? It's bothering me a bit. And the smell is annoying. Very strong. My lips feel a little tingly like when I blow up too many balloons. My head feels a tad fuzzy, as well. I've never had an adhesive do this to me.

I made a card with it today and had to move it away from me because the smell of the adhesive was so strong on the card (will post the card soon). Dern! I hope I can resolve this issue.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Loading your ATG 714

There are many videos on YouTube that show you how to load the ATG 714. One thing I had trouble with was getting the tape to stay on the empty reel. They mentioned a sticky part, but mine wasn't sticky there, and there's no mention of it in the paper instructions. Here is a video that addresses this issue in case you also are bewildered by it. She also mentions avoiding the off brands of adhesive.

Joyful Consolation

I know we're probably all thinking about and praying for Haiti right now. How could we not when the people there are suffering so much? I know I'm thinking about them nearly every minute of the day.

When I was stamping last night I wanted to use a Scripture stamp and this one from Psalm 94 really stuck out at me. The anxiety in Haiti is great, but those who know Christ there can feel His consolation even in the midst of disaster. He is still with them. He knows suffering.

We were reading in Romans 8 the other night and these words could not have been more timely in helping us understand such a tragedy as this big earthquake:

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

The earth groans, waiting for its redemption from the curse God placed on it when Man first sinned. And we who are on this earth suffer along with it. I don't know if Haiti is cursed like Pat Robertson said, but I do know that the Bible says we are all under the curse of sin until we are redeemed from it. And Christ is the Redeemer to deliver us from it. His death on the cross was done to redeem us. The Bible says, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He became sin for us. Wow. And we become the righteousness of God through Him. Double Wow.

But even after our redemption from sin we must live in this sin-filled world and live with the consequences that go with it. Suffering comes in many forms, and tragedies like this one are some of the worst. But I believe that God allows this suffering so we will learn to care for one another. Because, really, if everything always went our way and life was super easy, what kind of people would we be? It takes suffering to bring us out of ourselves. Look at how the world is responding to Haiti's misery. It's beautiful to see people all over the world dropping everything to help.

Okay, end of sermon. :)

I got to play with my ATG 714 last night and I love it! The first time I loaded the adhesive in was a bit tricky, but I know that will get easier each time. It's a bit harder to use and get used to, at first, but it definitely sticks well. I'm sure it will get easier the more I use it. Of course, I need to give my card time before I'll really know how well the adhesive holds. I'll report back later. So far, so good, though! It's so nice to make a card and not have messy glue everywhere. To use, you hold the trigger down and roll across your paper. I found that it was easier to keep holding the trigger down and not lifting the applicator up when turning corners on the paper. If I lifted it and then turned, some of the adhesive snapped back. I hope that makes sense.

BTW, I got the PaperTrey Ink order in today and will try to play with the white cs soon. I'll let you know what I think later.

It's been awhile since I did a Roses in Winter 3D rose, and I needed something for this week's Mojo Monday card (Week 121) that would make an impact where the circle would be. The wide, blank area on the left was perfect for a word stamp, so I selected a Scripture, as I mentioned above. I thought the rose would be a nice accent to the Scripture, so I made my dp choices and proceeded to pick the rose color. I went with SU Bordering Blue as it was the closest blue I had to the colors in the dp. I stamped in the blue and then sponged a little Antique Linen Distress Ink over it in places. Then I used a sponge dauber to sponge the edges with black ink. The leaves were done with SU True Thyme (retired) and black to keep the muted theme going. I also sponged True Thyme around the edges of the Scripture piece.

After running the dp section under the rose through the Cuttlebug with the Swiss Dots embossing folder, I sponged the Antique Linen ink over it to cover the white cracks in the embossed part. Then I sponged black lightly around the edges. I added the black polka dot ribbon and clear gems to jazz it up a bit. I also sponged black lightly around the plain dp behind the circled piece to keep the look uniform.

I used the Perfectly Paisley embossing folder on the circle dp. Also used lots of dimensional stickies to pop the rose, the piece behind it and the Scripture section.

Hope you have a blessed day and please keep Haiti in your prayers, as I'm sure you already do.


Stamps: Stampin' Up! Roses in Winter, Scripture stamp from Impressions of Faith

CS: White Confetti, Basic Grey Granola collection, black

Inks: Versafine Onyx Black, SU Bordering Blue, Antique Linen Distress Ink, SU True Thyme

Other: Cuttlebug Perfectly Paisley and Swiss Dots embossing folders, Nestabilities Curved Rectangles die, black polka dot ribbon, sponge daubers, 3D-Dots, Sticky Doos, clear gems

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On the ATG 714, its refills and the place I bought it from

I can highly recommend to anyone who wants to buy the ATG 714! They got my order to me super fast and it was very well packaged. In fact, it was thoroughly encased in a pillow of bubble wrap! It was a sight to behold! Nothing could harm my stuff! Ha!

As you can see from the pic it will be much more economical to refill the ATG 714 than it was to fill the Mono Adhesive applicator. Mono usually goes for between $2 and $4, usually closer to $4, for 13 yds.. The ATG Gold adhesive I bought is around $3.50 per roll for nearly 3 times the amount of adhesive (36 yds.).

Yes, I think my ATG will pay for itself in no time!

I have played with it a bit on scraps and am, so far, impressed with the adhesive. I will try to get in some creative time soon and will let you know what I think of it. Only time will tell on how strong the adhesive proves to be, but it seems to be accepted in the stamping community that the adhesive is very good. So I'm hopeful.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Removing hindrances to happy stamping

Three things have hindered me lately from wanting to stamp: my messy stamping room, my frustration over the adhesives issue, and not being happy with the white card stock I've been using. The second and third things are basic stamping issues that all stampers face at one point or another.

White card stock is probably the most used of all card stocks. And if it won't stay glued down then how can we enjoy creating paper art? I don't want my hard work to fall apart after a month. And, as we all know, quality is vital to the card stock we use. We all probably have some old, cheap cs we bought as new stampers, thinking it didn't really matter at the time. But once we saw how much better the nicer cs performed we put the cheap stuff aside (or gave it to our kids to play with!).

So solving these 2 issues makes the paper art experience far more enjoyable.

As to adhesives, I am hoping I have now solved this problem. I have heard nothing but praise for the 3M ATG 714 adhesive gun (used originally by custom framers), but the price! Yikes! But I've been schlepping along for so long with my not-so-great glues and adhesives and just had had enough.

Despite the initial big investment, I think the ATG 714 will pay for itself in cost savings on refills and much less frustration during the creative process. So soon I will be joining the ranks of ATG 714 users! I ordered it and some refills here. It seems to be the best deal, so far. And I've read that their customer service is very good. So, that's done!

And I used to buy large quantities of white card stock from Marco Paper (Beckett Expression Radiance) because it was as nice as SU's Whisper White and was cheaper; and I could avoid shipping charges by picking up my order at the local stamping convention they participate in once a year in our area. But I had heard so many rave reviews about Papertrey Inks' Stamper's Select White card stock; and it's half the price of the Beckett! (My apologies. It's actually the same price - $0.15 per sheet, not counting shipping costs - as the Beckett, but only if you buy the 250 sheet ream, and shipping is likely going to be high. It's $0.215 per sheet for the Beckett if you buy the 50 pack.) Plus, PTI has free shipping on orders $55 or more. So I took the plunge and ordered some. I also ordered some of their 5.5"x5.5" envies and some of their Perfect Match card stock collection. I am very hopeful about these products.

I think the solving of both the adhesive and white card stock issues will make me want to stamp more. I realize now that these two issues were greatly hindering me from enjoying the card making process. Now, to clean up my stamping room!

I'm not into feng shui, but I do think that if there's something in the way that I keep tripping over rather than dealing with, it will have its effect. I just moved two of them out of my way!

Let's hope for good!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Merci Beaucoup!

Hello! Well, I've been scarce around here, haven't I? I just haven't felt like stamping lately...until yesterday. I actually had the urge! How about that!

Before I get started, I'd like to ask you stampers what your favorite adhesive is. I have been really unhappy with my adhesives lately. They either don't stick for long (Tombow Mono Adhesive and Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner) or stick fine, but are a mess to use (Tombow Mono Multi and Tombow Mono Glue Stick). Is there the "perfect" adhesive that permanently sticks without being messy? What's the latest popular adhesive out there? I sure would appreciate your help!

Okay, back to the card...

I needed a thank-you card for a friend so that motivated me to get stamping. But if you saw my stamping room aka The Dumping Ground For All Things Without Places To Go, you'd understand why I'm not very motivated these days. I can't even get to most of my stamps right now. I had to raid my single stamp drawers just to make a card. And do you think I'm even slightly motivated to plow into the piles?

Still, I was very happy with my stamp choices. I love Dawn Houser's My Mother's Dress stamp. It is gorgeous all by itself and can be for just about any type of feminine card you need, except maybe a sympathy card, although I wouldn't be surprised if someone pulled even that off.

One thing I enjoy doing with that stamp is stamping it on designer paper and cutting it out. Had I thought of it in time I could've cuttlebugged it, as well, for even more drama.

Nifty tip alert: For a stamp with large areas of solid rubber to ink, lay the stamp rubber side up on the table and ink it over and over so you can see just how much ink is getting on the solid areas. I didn't do that on this imprint, but I did it with others I was experimenting with and may use them in future projects. It really helps to see the ink being applied rather than taking a chance on the ink not being heavy enough in the right areas to look good once it's on the paper. I did repair this image by using my black Copic marker. Worked very well with the Versafine Onyx Black ink.
I used the pinking nesty to give the card some zing. I also added pizazz with the blue designer paper for the saying and the clear gems. I saw other stampers sponging color on their white nestied cutouts and did that here, as well. Adds a fake "layer", which I love! I just put the circle back in the nesty template and held it firmly and carefully while adding color with a sponge dauber. I worked my way from the edges toward the center.

For the holes I used a circular plastic canvas frame for a template. So much easier than trying to eyeball it. Not perfect, but as close as I have been able to get. Anyone find a better tool for the job?

For the dress waist I punched a 1/16" hole in the ribbon and then in the dress - separately. Then I put the brad through the ribbon and then through the dress and secured it in the back. I glued the ribbon ends behind.

I kept the continuity inside the card by using the blue dp, holes and brads from the outside. I used the sewing machine without thread to do the holes.

It felt good to stamp again, but I am reminded each time just how time-consuming this hobby is, at least for me. I'm not a quick card maker! I really have to carve out a good chunk of time to get a card made.

Have a lovely week, and thanks for taking the time to look!

Stamps: Dawn Houser "My Mother's Dress", Merci Beaucoup by Rubber Stamps of America

CS: Black, Basic Grey Archaic and Granola collections (outside), Basic Grey Sugared collection (inside) (not sure what the blue dp is from), white

Inks: Versafine Onyx Black, Copic black marker for touching up dress, Distress Ink Antique Linen

Other: Cuttlebug Script embossing folder, Nestabilities Large Pinking Circles, Standard Circle Small, black polka dot ribbon, black grosgrain ribbon, antique brass mini-brads, clear gems, 3D-Dots, paper piercing tool, sponge mat, plastic canvas circle for hole template, 1/16" hole punch, sewing machine for holes inside card, sponge dauber for circle sponging