Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I think it's really sad...

Crafting is one of life's simple pleasures. It can remind us of times which are kinder and gentler, and sharing is an inherent off-branch of that. And on the whole, most crafters are only too happy to share with other crafters when they're asked nicely.

So where is the sad part? The sad part comes into play when images are used without permission, and it's happening more than you think. Sharing does not mean you can use my image if you and I have not discussed it and I have not granted permission. It doesn't mean that you can take my friend's idea and post it as your own. It doesn't mean that you can alert me to it after you take the image - permission comes before you use it. And quite frankly, I don't care what language you speak, because this falls under the language of common decency (not to mention International Intellectual Property Right laws, and those I do know a little about).

Julie Ebersole is a remarkable woman, bright and insightful, creative and witty. She has written a concise, well-thought out post on just this matter. Please take the time to read it - it is quite educational.

Please, voice your support against the rampant copyright violations that are happening in our little craft corner of the world. Voice your support for kinder and gentler by asking permission before you take an image.

And so the crazy begins!

How is it that we all get so overwhelmed this time of year? I can't believe it has been almost a week since I've posted - I swear it was just yesterday! My Wizard has been getting a workout this week; in addition to my gallery projects for Spellbinders, I've been working on finishing my Christmas cards. I know I said on WCMD that I was going to use the PTI snowmen, but given my colored pencil phase lately, I went with this instead:

It uses the Lockhart Snow Tree with Birds. Here they are lined up and ready to go:

I plan on sending out the snow man cards that I've made to our friends that don't celebrate Christmas as a fun winter greeting.

So, I was also giving my Wizard a workout creating Holiday party invitations for my husband's office party. The sleigh is one of my favorite Spellbinders holiday dies - I love the filigree on it. The invitations are cut with this Accucut die and kept closed with a belly band. I used a little Anna Griffin paper to decorate the inside, and printed the information in red using my favorite font, Fling! I loved the way they turned out (now if I can just pull off the party as well as the invitations, LOL!).

Time for proud June Cleaver-esque moments. Our old school didn't do anything fun for the Honor Roll students (well, they didn't even call it Honor Roll). Our new school makes a BIG deal about it, and having never done this before, you can imagine my swelling pride. Beav not only made Honor Roll (whoo hoo, Beav!) but also received the Homework Star award and the Citizenship Award. Here he is going up for one of his awards:

Wally had a big choral concert, too. Three elementary schools in our part of the district, the middle school and the high school all joined together for a wonderful concert. Here he is dressed for his choral concert (yes, he's as big as I am!):

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family and be well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holiday Gift Peek

It's my turn to blog at the Pursuit Of Craftyness blog today. I did a fun, inexpensive gift for teachers (or co-workers, or neighbors...) with some products from Papertrey Ink and Spellbinders. Head over and take a look!

I also wanted to let you know that Spellbinders has a new website! It's a really nice improvement and even has a blog. I think you will agree that the improvements look fantastic!

Be well.

Stamp your own Journaling cards

I've been working on some projects for the Spellbinders gallery, when INSPIRATION hit in a great way. How about creating your own journaling tags? In whatever color you have ink? You will love how simple this is!

First, I chose Spellbinders Labels One for my shape. Second, I stamped my lines. I used the Cornish Heritage Farms Lined Paper backgrounder. Determine where you want your die to cut, and use a little masking tape to hold your die in the perfect spot.

Next step? Create a foam stamp in a frame shape. All that entails is lining up your dies on the Spellbinders magnetic spacer plate like this:

With a piece of fun foam (whichever color you want - I tend to pick the color in my multi-pack that I'm least likely to use), die cut just as you would a piece of paper. Because Spellbinders dies and the Wizard are so unique, they have no problem cutting through this.

Using the cut frame, use a temporary/repositionable adhesive to allow you to adhere it to an acrylic block. Voila! You have your own frame stamp. Ink it up with the same color you stamped your lines with, line it up over the die cut and presto - your own custom journaling label!

See? Told you it was easy! Be well.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More on the Blackboard Technique

Thanks for the sweet comments on the last post! I'm really enjoying playing around with this technique that I learned from Karen Lockhart. I thought I would show you today how to jazz it up a little! First I want to introduce a newer product to you, Black Inchie Boards from Inchie Arts, LLC. They're fantastic inch by inch boards - they have a high cotton content, which makes them accept color unlike anything I've used before. I've been playing with them quite a bit lately and they're very unique!

OK, so I'm starting this the same way I started my last post, just stamping white pigment ink onto the black. Since it is almost Thanksgiving, I chose the Lockhart pie inchie. (It was an overcast day today, so some of the pics are little soft with the focus on the really close shots - but you get the idea!)

The next step is the same, too - adding white with my colored pencils. You'll notice that I started by only coloring in the 'pie filling'. It becomes very easy to lose your white stamped lines when adding so much white, so I like to section it off.

Here's where you start to add color. Choose what colored pencils you're going to use, then start with the lightest. For this pie, I knew I wanted to use Mineral Orange and Pumpkin Orange Prismacolor pencils; Mineral Orange is lighter, so I started with that:

Next I go in with the Pumpkin Orange and layer on top of the Mineral Orange. To add depth and interest, I didn't color it in completely, only in areas where I wanted to add the darker hue.

Filling done! Now on to the crust:

You can see that I did the same layering, first white, then Peach Beige, followed by Beige Sienna.

I wanted to add a little pizzazz to the pie slice, so I added Liquid Applique for the whipped cream. While it was wet, I added a tiny amount of glitter - then heated:

Final step - if you've been around this blog for a while, you will notice that I rarely leave my edges bare, and this little black Inchie is no exception. I added a small amount of white acrylic paint to the edges to finish it off:

Which leads to this!

I hope this process makes sense - I know I've made a few assumptions, so as always, if you have any questions, please let me know. Until next time, be well!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

White on Black - 'Blackboard' Technique

When I took a class at my local stamp store a few weeks ago, I was so excited to learn a new technique from Karen Lockhart. The technique, which reminds me of a Blackboard, is simultaneously simple and challenging (I know - you're wondering how exactly can that be!).

Put simply, stamp your image with white ink (I used a white pigment ink here) onto black paper (try to find some smooth - this is on textured and I don't care for the look quite as much). Pull out your white pencil and start filling in the space. If you vary your amount of pencil put down, you will start to see your image really pop. Make a mistake with your white pencil? Go over it with black! (One of life's true A-HA! moments!) Your strokes are able to be seen very clearly and one of the largest challenges is knowing when to stop.

Once I was done laying down my white (can't truly say "color" here, can you?), I used my new Spellbinders Label One to cut it out. I layered it on top of some vanilla cardstock(I'm regretting the black dots around the border, though. Don't think I will do that next time.)

I then went to find some patterned paper to use to make my card front. I found these pieces of Foof-A-La that seemed to do the trick. Once I put it all together, though, the stark white was bothering me a bit. I decided to pull out my Ginger Root pencil to add a little off-white. It worked perfectly!

Here's a closer, less-cluttered look:

I've been playing around with this technique quite a bit lately and have other examples to show you in the coming days. LMK if you have any questions about it and I will do my best to answer them!

Be well.

P.S. - sorry if you're receiving this 2x through your reader service - I goofed on some code on the first one! Thanks!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Monday

Did you have a nice weekend? Things were pretty quiet around here. Saturday, Ward took the boys out to the race track to try out his new toy. Wally and the Beav call themselves the Pit Crew, although I don't think they're capable of fixing much quite yet, lol. They love going, though, mostly because there are always other kids their age playing around. I love how kids do that - just add a ball and you have instant friends! Oh, to be 12 again!

This card is one that I'm sending off to a friend. You would laugh if I told you how old those patterned papers are - they're old Chatterbox (I think they're probably 5 years old!). I've been coveting them because they're so darn cute, but they completely matched the Lockhart Geraniums stamp that I colored, and this person did something completely out of the blue that was so nice that I didn't even think twice about using the papers!

See the sentiment? It is from a pack of letterpress tags that I picked up at Paper Source. {sigh} Paper Source, {sigh} letterpress. Such simple things make me happy! ;)

One quick thing that I wanted to point out. This had been brought up on a message board - why do you need the new Spellbinders Small (or Large) Labels dies if you have a ticket corner punch? Well, I really think they're complimentary products, as you can see here. I used Small Labels to cut out the image (notice the great embossing!). The other pieces were cut with the punch, lending to a cohesive, finished look. I think it shows well why both can have a place in your tool collection!

Be well.

Cardstock - Neenah Classic Linen in Classic Natural White
Patterned paper - Chatterbox
Stamp - Geraniums (Lockhart Stamp Company)
Letterpress - Paper Source
Die - Small Labels (Spellbinders Paper Arts)
Ribbon - Spring Moss Stitched Grosgrain (PTI)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The morning after

Yesterday, Wally, the Beav and I walked to Wally's school to vote. As we were walking, there were so many others walking in the same direction - everyone walking at a good clip, as if with a purpose. I pointed it out to the boys because it made me really proud. I have always made a point of taking the boys with me to vote, because I really want to instill in them the responsibility that comes with democracy. And regardless of the outcome, the process is fascinating - it makes my heart happy and proud.

So, if yesterday's election didn't turn out quite the way you had hoped, this card is for you. (I have a feeling that the actual card is going to end up at the home of my next-door neighbors. We've been having good-natured debates over the last several weeks and have been having a little fun with each other. They have a great sense of humor and would definitely get a laugh from this.)

Be well.

Cardstock - Neenah Classic Linen, PTI Spring Moss

Patterned paper - Paper Salon Glad Rags

Stamps - Lockhart Stamp Company (Warm Socks, well that stinks)

Die Cuts - Spellbinders (Classic Scalloped Squares)

Other - corner rounder, brads

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kiss A Frog

There are times in every stamper's life when the realization of our addiction hits us like a Mack truck during rush hour. This stamp, simply put, was one of those moments.

I did not need this stamp. I did not even have an occasion that I could remotely start to justify purchasing this stamp. Yet, it ended up riding home with me, due solely to its immense cuteness.

Hello, my name is Jenn and I'm a rubber stamp addict.

Be well.

Cardstock - PTI Spring Moss
Patterned paper - Memory Box
Stamps - Image, Elzybells NA/A Muse; Letters, PTI Simple Alphabet
Dies - Spellbinders Classic Circles, Petite Scalloped Circles, Tags 5
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Pencils - Prismacolor
Other - Stickles (Cotton Candy) Ranger; machine stitching; brads; Fiskars Threading Water punch