Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Washi Notebook

The other day while I was at Wal-Mart I noticed some neat little notebooks that were a great price.  I bought a couple and knew I was going to personalize them a bit.  Now, I have to admit, I have loads of washi tape, some of which I haven't had the chance to use yet so I decided I was going to choose my favorites and put them to use! 


Here's how it turned out....
I decorated both the outside and inside of the covers.



So this is what one of the notebooks looked like - nice O-ring binding (just like the Bind-It-All bindings) so I already knew it would be easy to take it apart and get it back together.


So the first thing I did was gently pull apart the wire binding and removed the front and back covers.


Next I set about taping all of the washi tape down.  
I used my craft knife to trim the edges.


Once I had the image washi tape in place I went back over it with sparklie blue washi for a bit of bling.  The entire piece was the covered in a layer of Sparkle Creative Medium to seal it all in place because you know how some tapes have a tendency to curl up off the paper.

I then added some printed cardstock on the inside of the page and repeated the whole process with the back cover.


Once both pages had dried I set about cutting tape/paper away from the holes.  Easy enough to do with my craft knife. After I had finished opening up all the holes I slid the pages back on the wire, use the Bind-It-All to close the wires back up again!  


While it was a bit time consuming it was well worth it don't ya think?
I'll bet nobody else has a notebook like this :)


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

All Geared Up!

My first project of the year... yeah!!  I decided that I was going to get back into projects and alter some of the pieces I've bought over the years.  I don't know about you but when I see a bargain I can't pass it up so needless to say I have LOTS of things in my stash that I want to use.


I decided the first project was going to be something for me! You all know how much I love clocks well as it happens I had a clock kit in my stash.  I was a Walnut Hollow kit that was on clearance at Hobby Lobby a few years back.  (Gotta love Clearance...he's a great guy!)  It was about 1/3rd the regular price!


The kit was how to dry emboss using a plastic template and several different tools (included in the kit).  Well you know me, I don't like to follow directions so I immediately tossed those in the trash and did my own thing ;)


I did figure out why it was so cheap...the glue on the wood piece gave way and popped one of the sides loose.  Luckily the rest of the body was very sturdy so it's just a minor set back.


To help hide the defect I decided to paint the whole thing black...


This not only hides the crack but it will look nice as too!


So I decided that the way they wanted to emboss was WAY too time consuming so I used my fav. cuttlebug embossing fold and embossed a couple pieces of the metal included in the kit.  Please note - the dry embossing technique was very popular many years ago - it was before embossing folders became popular making the technique in the kit pretty much outdated.


I inked the entire panel with Orange Zest StazOn ink,


then went over the high spots with Ganache.


I cut the metal into 1" strips. Poured quite a bit of Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue on the frame which I spread out using my fingers.


I then began laying the strips along the edge - aligning them with the outside edge - the inside edge would be covered by the clock piece so it worked out well this way.


Once the glue dried, I put the clock into the frame...this was no easy task mind you - apparently in addition to the crack, it must have shrunk some too because it was a very tight fit. After the clock was in I trimmed off the excess metal and burnished all of the edges with the paper stump included in the kit.  Finally I glued in the glass piece over the clock and added the battery!  It is now residing on my end-table in the living room.

So, fess up...do you have any kits/projects in your stash that you bought years and years ago???  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Monday, January 8, 2018

40% off Just For Fun Rubber Stamps !!!

Just For Fun

40% Off Special Offer-2018

We hope everyone had a great  Holiday Season 
and we wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2018!

Just For Fun is kicking off 2018 with a 40% OFF Special Offer!  It will start Januray 8 and run through January 15. All online retail orders will receive 40% OFF and your savings will be shown in red at check out. To get your savings go to  www.jffstamps.com 

Thank you for all your support in 2017!
Just For Fun

Great "Scrap" book find

Not long ago dh and I were at one of our favorite antique malls and I found this really cool book...  At the time I didn't take much time to look through it but I saw that it was filled with blank pages so I thought I'd get it to use for a project I'd like to start on.


It's got a great patina from being around since the 50's and it's a nice size too - 6.5 x 9.5.


When I got it home I realized it WAS intended for what I wanted to do with it!  It's called a Book Shelf Scrap Book and Album from Educational Press.  Originally released in the 1931, this is a 2nd edition from 1950.


It's got instructions on how to collect "Scrap" and glue it into the book.


It also has perforated pages that can be removed as you add scrap to the book so the book remains somewhat flat.  I can't wait to get started filling it with "stuff" that I love.  My original thought was a glue book or junk journal which is basically like an art journal only without so many words.  More a collection of images and ephemera.  Now to start gathering up my goodies and put them into some sort of an order so I can begin.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

To Blog or Not to Blog....

That is the question facing many people right now if the conversations on FB and other platforms are any indication. I have been reading and become somewhat disheartened by the numerous comments that most people feel that blogs and blogging are quickly (if not already) a thing of the past. With all of the various platforms available to people to share their creations it seems that blogging has become too much of a chore for people and doesn't offer the instant gratification that most everyone is seeking at the moment. 

I don't know if I should take this as a sign that I am quickly becoming a social media dinosaur.  Personally, I like to blog - it satisfies so many sides of my personality that I don't get from all of the other SM options out there. I can create whatever I want - I can make cards, join in challenges, make a mixed media creation, scrapbook or just play with various mediums. I get to share those projects with you and talk as much as I want to about it. I'm not limited by the number of characters in a post and I can share as many photos as I'd like.  I would like to think that from time to time I may share something that entertains, educates or just brings joy to your day. Blogging also satisfies the writer in me that likes to talk about things that excite me - art for the most part but sometimes it's about the farm, my love of antique junk or just stuff.  I can also tell you about new goodies that I've seen or heard about or even tried.

I do share on a few other platforms (FB, Networked Blogs, Twitter, Pinterest and most recently Instagram) but blogging is still my favorite.

Of course life does intrude every so often on the time I have to spend on blogging and art just as it does with everyone. Our business has grown so I spend more time there and our family has expanded as well which is a joyful reason for taking time away but when it comes right down to it art and blogging is what keeps me sane. It's time I get to spend away from life's trying moments and just relax and create. 

2017 was a year full of challenges for me - most were situations that were outside of my control but had a large impact on me personally. I am entering 2018 with high hopes for a better year to come.  With that hope I am also going to focus on the things I love...even if it takes me a longer period of time to accomplish them.   Last year I tried to fit art into a schedule and only make things I could finish immediately in one setting rather than trying to tackle larger projects. Well this year I'm tossing that out the window...I don't care if a project takes me 5x's longer to complete because I have shorter periods of time to work on it, I'm just going to do it because it makes me happy!

So I guess what I'm saying is I'm here to stay and I hope you stick around for the ride.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Blue Purple n Silver!

Hello friends...I wanted to share a few cards I made for the newest challenge over on the JFF Stamps blog....Blue, Purple and Silver!


My first card was made by stamping the trees in the background with Paris Dusk Memento Ink which I sponged a few different colors of blue and purple inks over the entire panel.  Once everything had dried I stamped and embossed the stag with VersaMark & White EP.  I wanted to add a bit of zing so I framed it with a really fun sparklie washi tape.


My next card was made by stamping and embossing the snowflake image that had been previously colored using Color Burst pigment powders.  Don't ya just love the pretty effects they create?


Finally a but card with a bit of stamped & embossed snowflakes and watercolor over top.  Can you see a snowy theme going on here?  I guess the weather is guiding my art right now - LOL!!

If you have some time and inky desire...please feel free to join in on the fun...

Image may contain: text

Supplies:
JFF - All Stamps
Imagine: Memento Dye Inks; VersaMark; Embossing Powder - White, Clear, Sparkle; Sponge Daubers
Color Burst
Club Scrap - Cardstock, Ribbon
Washi Tape
MFT Dies



Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy 2018!!!

Happy New Year!!!


Wishing you all the best...


now and in the coming year!


Here's to health, 


Friendship,


and happiness.


May these be yours through out 2018 and beyond!!

Ink on my friends...Ink on!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Carve December 31th, 2017

Well today is the end of Carve December 2017...I am so happy to have participated as I now have 42 new stamps to play with!  Quite an accomplishment if I do say so myself since I just took it up as a lark.

Here are my last 2 carves for this year....


I wanted a nice hummingbird - his beak is a little screwy but over all I'm very pleased with him.


I also wanted another shamrock for St. Patrick's Day...just because it's so hard to find them.

I hope you've enjoyed this month of carving and I hope I've inspired you to take up your tools and carve a bit yourself.

Happy Carve December 2017!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Carve December 29

Only a couple more days left in December and I'm doin' pretty good on carving. I have 2 more designs for you today...both sort of related to Valentine's day....


The first stamp is the love symbol that seems to have become so popular lately. 
I love it too and so I thought I'd give it a shot...what do you think?


My second started out as a heart I was going to carve some flowers on...but I had a better idea and decided to celebrate my love of the cubs!!  LOL!!  I carved baseball seams instead of the flowers ;) Only 56 more days till baseball!!!  YEAH :)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Carve December 28

Hello Friends and Happy Thursday!  I'm back with another carved stamp - this time a little Celtic Luck...


It's a more complicated design so it's not perfect by any means but it's still something to use for St. Patty's Day.  It's so hard to find stamps for that day so I'm going to attempt a couple more.  Yesterday Susan317 asked if I ever posted step by steps for the stamps I carve.  Up till now, no I haven't because I just started carving at the beginning of the month so it's been a learning process.  I don't know if I'm doing it the right or wrong way, it's just what works for me but I will share the process.  Luckily I read Susan's comment shortly after I began this stamp so here is what I did....


Initially I draw the image onto the rubber with an almost dull pencil - if you use a sharpened pencil it will mar the surface of the rubber and once it's nicked you're stuck with it. If you're lucky it will be in an area that you will carve away - otherwise, it's there for ever.  Trust me on this...one slip of the knife and you're ______! I've had to start over more than once because of that very thing.

So after you've drawn on the design, use the smallest knife you have and follow each line. One tip I got from a seasoned, expert (IMO) stamp carver was to rotate the rubber, not the carving tool...follow along the lines as you would if you were using a scroll saw. That tip helps so much...it's far easier to rotate the piece you're working on than it is to contort your hand to follow the design.   That is the reason I leave all of my shavings on the craft mat...they act as tiny rollers under the rubber so I can rotate it easily.


So once you've got all of the initial lines carved out, I test it to see if I like the design.  This is actually the 2nd time I've carved this design...the first one turned out nasty so I flipped the piece of rubber over and started again.


As you can see it's not perfect but it's better than attempt #1. It's really hard to follow all those curves around!  At this point if I were carving something that had lots of empty space that I had to carve out I would also check for how clean the image looks.  Lots of times you have areas that look like they've been cleaned out good but when it's stamped show up on the image.  Sometimes I leave the strays on the image if it adds to the overall design but you can cut them away now if desired.  I always stamp it until I get a nice cleaned up image that I am shooting for.  I have stamped, cut, stamped and cut up to 5-6 times just to get it looking the way I want it to.  Be careful though...if you cut something off you can't add it back!  I learned that the hard way too.  One small nick of the knife and you might loose a vital part of the image so take your time.


Since it's acceptable the next thing you need to do is cut away the excess if desired. You would either cut right up against the design if it's something like the stamps from yesterday that have a solid outline already.  Since the "design" on this stamp is just a line drawing it wouldn't work so well so I went around the outside edge again with the smallest knife and "traced" an outline.

Once you have the outline to your liking take a larger knife and start whittling away the excess rubber all the way around - you can see where I have started this process with the 3 heavy lines of rubber being removed.


Once you have a nice thick edge to work with, you can use an exacto knife to cut away the excess rubber.


When you're done cutting, it's time to stamp!  I usually have a few stray lines of rubber that I missed that aren't noticeable by just looking at the stamp.  If you stamp it and see something you don't like the looks of you can always take the exacto knife and trim it off. 


And you've got yourself a fun new image to play with!!

So there you go, that's how I carve the stamps I've been making!
Like I mentioned above, I don't know if I'm doing it the right way or wrong way,
it's just what works for me.

Hope it inspires you to pick up a carving knife and give it a try!