Thursday, October 31, 2013

Jump-the-Pumpkin Lantern

So my sister and I were wandering the "nobody-loves-me aisles" at Victorian Trading Company on a little day trip in August. I am not a person who tends to decorate for Halloween, but I fell for this little fella playing "jump-the-pumpkin"!

 It was marked waaaay down, due to a broken moon (and, I later discovered, right ankle). What to do?

I thought about the new air-dry clay in the Stampin' Up! catalog. Could I create an external reinforcement or framework with the clay? I decided to try.

After using re-inker to tint my clay (I matched a green bracelet worn by my clown), I chose my favorite leaf shape (more ivy than pumpkin!) and pulled and patted to form the lobes. The point of my dry embossing tool worked pretty well to incise veins. Carefully, I wrapped it around the broken horn of the moon, repeating the process several times until all cracks and missing chunks were covered.

I also discovered that I could make a very creditable "vine curl" by rolling a thin "worm" of clay and just letting it curve and loop naturally. This was a great way to cover some hairline cracks without over-doing the leaves. I added curvature and dimension to the leaves and curls as I gently pressed them in place.

I worked my way from the front, around the side, to the back. I allowed all the leaves to dry in place for 24-48 hours.

I matched some blue clay to another bracelet to add a cuff above the broken ankle.

Once they were dry, I carefully peeled up just enough of the leaf to
apply a generous amount of Tombow Multipurpose Glue. The
glue dries clear and forms a permanent bond between the clay
and the ceramic lamp's surface.

I wish my photography skills were up to showing you how fine it looked lighting a dark corner near the bathtub (our Halloween grotto was once again in the bathroom!).

As I was working on the pumpkin jumper, I noticed that his tunic sported a row of little paper pom-poms down the front. They made me think of our creped filter paper, so I made a larger size and incorporated that on my cookie cylinder (a repurposed Piroulini can), as you see here.

I had designed some Halloween tags in My Digital Studio way back in July, so I had those on hand, and I added a rosette made with our Designer Rosette Bigz die and another aged paper clay button. You will also notice strips of trim from the Tasteful Trim Bigz die and one made with a retired border punch. The paper is all held to the can with Sticky Strip, which I love because it provides instant adhesion! A little squirt of Log Cabin spritzer gives the pom pom some textural interest.

I hope this project has inspired you to restore something broken and useless to a place of honor in your own life.

At any rate, Happy Halloween, friends! May you enjoy something quirky and unexpected on this day of disguises and may your treat bags be filled with good things.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Stamp Club DBS: August 2013

The August hostess for the Dead Birds Society chose to replicate a package wrap from page 15 of the current Idea Book & Catalog. What a smorgasbord of products to play with! We began by popping up one of SU's little kraft gift boxes, then placing a bellyband of DSP around it (this makes the whole decorative unit slide off - and back on again for repeated uses!).

We adhered some lace tape to the sides so it would just peep out from under the ribbon, then tied on seam binding tape. Next, we folded and cut some pieces of creped filter paper for a ruffle, topped by a doily. Holes punched through each of these enabled us to thread them onto the seam binding ribbon.

More DSP was cut and scored with the Designer Rosette Bigz XL Die to make - you'll never guess - a rosette. We scrunched and peeled some punched scallop circles, and finally tied on more seam binding tape atop the whole thing. Whew! Lots of steps, but each could be used alone or in combination with just a couple of others, so we learned a great deal.

Finally, to construct the tag, we heat embossed the "Happy Birthday" from You're Amazing twice and popped up the "Birthday" line as a banner on dimensionals, accented with Pumpkin Pie die cut strips. A couple of Pumpkin Pie candy dots and then it was ready to tie on with linen thread.

The recipient of this package will know themselves to be very, very special indeed.  -Kathy

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stamp Club DBS: Welcome to Idyllwilde Studios

I'd like to introduce you to my newest group of stampers, The Dead Birds Society. Yes, a slightly crazy name, but it suits these slightly crazy gals who love to laugh. These gals have been friends for years - it was very kind of them to let me in on the fun! The story goes that after a late night at a scrapbooking retreat in Oklahoma, someone commented "Deb's an early bird!" the next morning but the comment was misunderheard as "dead birds"! This incident recalls their good times together in a nutshell, so they elected to call themselves the Dead Birds Society (and if you've never seen The Dead Poets' Society - note the similarity?! - may I recommend it to you as a most thought-provoking movie and well worth the time you'll spend).

Our first project as an official club was this card using Regarding Dahlias. We stamped three flowers, and cut away differing amounts of petals, using shaded edges and dimensionals to pop up the layers for depth. The background curlicues are borrowed from Everything Eleanor.

Inside, the sentiment is from Feel Goods, which just may be my favorite sentiment set in the 2013-14 catalog.

It's super easy to switch out your sentiment in either or both places to adapt the card to multiple uses.

Check back often to see what else these gals get up to. I'm sure you won't be disappointed!  -Kathy

Monday, September 16, 2013

Stamp Club Olathe: September 2013

Re-Purposed Menu Binders

One of my customers likes to bring me things just to see if I can recycle them into something new. (Stay tuned, Lorena, there's another of your inspirations coming in the Christmas collection!) Her daughter was working at a restaurant when the company decided to update the menus, so I was issued the challenge: What could we make of these little 3-ring binders?

As you can see, there are a variety of page sizes, some tabs, plus inside and outside covers to consider. Since it's autumn and the tones of the menu are the colors of rich spices, I chose a palette of Very Vanilla, So Saffron, Cajun Craze, Old Olive, and Early Espresso. For the cover, I wanted to try out the watercolor technique using clear blocks shown here. We used the World Map stamp and glued the panel to the cover with the amazing Tombow Multipurpose Liquid Glue, smoothing from center to edges with the edge of a bone folder. Each person's cover came out beautifully different, but here's what mine looked like:

By selecting a color palette that echoed that of the original, I didn't feel that I had to wrap my new cover around edges and corners. Just covering the images seems to be enough.

Here's the inside front cover (the inside back will be similar, but likely with a pocket adhered at the bottom). I stamped this in Rose Red as an experiment... but by the next page I had changed to Cajun Craze, which tones much better with the original colors peeping out at the margins! Creative Elements comes together so nicely over an "anchor" of Old Olive stamped with a clear block. I chose a sentiment from Feel Goods, thinking it would be a great reminder no matter how one chose to use the book.

Divider pages are done simply, as above, with three quick stamps requiring no careful placement.

Pockets are easily added by simply punching holes in an envelope and inserting as needed.

Now, what could this project be used for?? Our list of ideas included...
     *heritage recipes
     *babysitter or housesitter notes
     *holiday planning (including names/addresses for mailing cards, shopping lists, and recipes)
     *a gratitude journal
     *advices pages from each attendee at a bridal or baby shower
     *collected wise words to live by/favorite sayings
     *art or idea journal
     *home dec records (paint chips, fabric swatches, etc. for each room in the house)
     *photo/prayer journal for each family member as a gift for an elderly friend/relative, especially someone in the early stages of Alzheimers

Hope this inspires you to repurpose something you might otherwise send to the landfill. It's a great way to keep that brain in "innovation gear"!  -Kathy

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stamp Club Lawrence: September 2013

 The hostess for September chose to work with the air dry clay available in the new Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog. This product offers a fabulous way to make embellishments, ornaments, and so much more... I'll be posting several project ideas using this product, so stay tuned! (You can find them all by clicking on the label "Products- Air Dry Clay").

For this polka-spotted card, I tinted the clay with just a couple of drops of re-inker to make the white clay more like our vanilla. Before pressing the clay into the molds, I dry-brushed a little Dazzling Diamonds onto the silicone mold. Once dry, a drop or two of Tombow Multi-Purpose Glue holds the flower in place - and it cost just pennies to make!

Don't you like the perky paper bow? That's done with an oval punch! I really like the Modern Medley Designer Series Paper. The black-and-white patterns mix and match with just about everything. The stamp set is Gifts of Kindness - it has the prettiest little font style!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Little & Cute

I decided to make a little something for my stamp club ladies to show them how much I appreciate them. I was cleaning and sorting here and there, and came across this faux alligator paper (originally used to cover photo albums) that I bought at the Hallmark outlet store in Indian Springs shopping center (Kansas City). Of course that was a sign that I had to make purses on the Big Shot!

I decided to play with the new air dry clay. As you can see, I tinted some pink, some blue, and some green. I learned that Dazzling Diamonds glitter is a fabulous "mold release" plus it adds just a little sparkly bling to the flowers. It's nice that the silicone molds have three size options so you can scale your flowers to your project!

I just couldn't resist showing you...they look so business-like all lined up there on the table.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Studio Open House October 5

Plan now to attend the
Idyllwilde Studios
Holiday Open House

Saturday, October 5, 2013
Drop-in event, 10:00am-2:00pm
1012 Pennsylvania, Lawrence, KS

*Try the new rotary attachments for the paper trimmer
*Create with air-dry clay   *See My Digital Studio in action!

Free Samples     Yummy Snacks     Discounted Stamp Sets 
Ideas to Jump-Start Your Holidays!     Hourly Prize Drawings
(bring a friend new to stamping or place an order
to earn extra tickets for the drawing!)

Rubber Renovations

There's nothing like a "reverse" stamp with a solid background to give your project a solid POP of color, right?! But what if you can't get that background to stamp well? What if you're getting "whiteout" in certain areas? This often happens with oversize stamps, particularly the wood-mounted variety, due to block warp, uneven inking, or pressure applied as you stamp down. If this is the case, try:
  • Ink the stamp again, holding it rubber side up so that you can ensure full ink coverage. If you're not getting it, try re-inking your pad.
  • Stamp again, perhaps standing up, and be aware of exerting pressure evenly on all parts of the stamp block. If it "whites out" in the center, try
  • placing your silicone craft mat or your piercing mat (even a mouse pad if that's all you have) beneath a sheet of scratch paper (to protect it from ink), then stamping your project on this more giving surface. If these steps don't correct the problem, you'll need to change the diagnosis.
Rubber new from the factory may have picked up grease or other substances that cause the ink to fail to cling, or the rubber may have super-heated in a spot.
  • Clean the rubber with alcohol, followed by Stampin' Mist to recondition it. Try stamping again.
Finally, if the problem doesn't correct, you have one more option. It is possible that the surface of the rubber has lost its soft "fuzzy" characteristic due to super-heating or age (think of how an old pencil eraser gets a hard crust on it). If this is the case, it will no longer pick up the ink evenly.
  • Lightly buff the surface of the rubber with a paper sanding block or a fine manicure block. The rubber lightens as you go, helping you see when you've gone over the entire surface. Clean with Stampin' Mist, then ink and stamp. Repeat as necessary until you get the solid, vivid impression you want.
I think it's worth mentioning that in the 12+ years I've been using Stampin' Up! stamps, I have had to go through this process only once, on the image shown above. It was easy to correct, and by using this systematic approach I didn't overcompensate and thus end up with another problem!


Stamp Club Lawrence: August 2013

There are these so-cute muslin bags in the SU! Holiday Mini catalog this year (and incidentally, they're very well made). I was delighted when my August stamp club hostess asked to do a project that entailed stamping on fabric! Since SU! no longer stocks craft ink, I needed to re-visit this technique. I made sure there were no wrinkles in the bag, then cut a piece of chipboard to slide inside in order to make sure no ink or paint transferred through to the back side. 

As you can see, the Summer Starfruit (one of the new "firm foam pads" introduced last year) worked very well. Those pads hold a LOT of ink!

I liked the way that the Gumball Green enabled me to do an overlapping effect. One of the things I love best about summer is gazing up through the canopy of green leaves and marveling at the subtle differences where they overlap, or dance gently in the breeze, or sparkle in the sunlight. But I wanted the Cherry Cobbler to "pop"! It worked fine on the small florets, but on the larger flowers it was too transparent to have the effect I was looking for, so I decided to try a recipe I had seen for acrylic paint and fabric medium. I messed with the color until I had a pretty good match, then added 1/3 fabric medium to 2/3 paint. It's quick and easy to put a thin coat of the paint onto your stamp with a sponge dauber. Just be sure to wash it off promptly before it dries in the little crevices! You can see the difference on the two larger flowers to the right of the design.

For the tag, I used the Chalk Talk set with coordinating framelit. I wanted to make the tag a bit more substantial and incorporate a natural element, so I used the cork band from a disposable hot cup that someone had conveniently left behind to make a backing. Did you know that you can cut more than 50 materials with your Big Shot?! The amazing Tombo Multi-Purpose glue worked just great to adhere these together.

Finally, I discovered that if I tied the bow right onto the cord of the bag, I could slide it up and down as I cinched the bag closed. How about that?! The tag comes with a nifty little c-shaped opening that's perfect for hanging behind a bow.

What would YOU put in this little bag if you were gifting someone with it?


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Commission: Gender Reveal Banner

A client contacted me recently to see if I could turn around some decorations for a "Gender Reveal" party she was holding for her daughter. After I asked a few questions (this is a new concept for me, so I had a learning curve to scale!), I said I'd take it on, and this is what we came up with:

I created decorated clothespins to which I attached a large bow tied with gardeners' twine ($1/spool from the Target dollar bin). I tied the two ends of the banner twine into a slip knot which I sipped around one side of the clothespin; it also held the punched streamer in case they decided to use all the elements as a single unit, although constructing it this way enabled them to use the streamers in other ways, such as on the refreshment table or across a couple of windows. In addition, for demonstration, I used push pins stuck into the top edge of my light soffits (so the holes don't show later), and the clothespins grabbed right onto those while still holding the banners and the streamers.

Here's the left side. See how the twine has a nice, soft spiral to it? That was just from being wound into the ball. I got lucky! The pink ribbon was a recycle from a gift I had received some time in the past... I taped a length of blue ribbon onto the back of the hearts to repeat that color in the "end effects". 

Here is a close-up of the individual letter cards, which measure 4x4.5" and were a perfect proportion for the Seriff Essentials I had in the studio to use with my Big Shot. I was really pleased at how quickly I was able to cut both letters and shadows.

You'll note that another way I streamlined the process was to treat all the blue cards in the same way, and all the pink ones the same. I punched small shapes to reinforce the holes for the twine, using DSP so that the double layer wouldn't be so difficult to punch through (and it didn't hurt that they added a little pattern and accent!). All the blue letter cards were stamped with "Off the Grid", while I used "Creative Elements" on the pink ones. I came back and added a few embellishments to the letters to pop them into the 3rd dimension and repeat shapes, colors and themes throughout the entire project.

I had seen several people use punched shapes to make garland, and had been wanting to try it, so I gathered up all my scraps from cutting letters and shapes and punched a variety of sizes and shapes of both DSP and card stock. I laid them out on the table to get a rough idea of color and shape repetition, then stacked them up and took them to my sewing machine. I was absolutely thrilled at how quickly I was able to run up 7' lengths that twist and turn gently in the air currents! My client was surprised and delighted at this little "extra" that I tucked in - and the only additional material it required was the thread.

Here's the full deal, floor to ceiling. I was able to complete it in an afternoon and I was astounded at how few sheets of paper it required.

Hope this sparks an idea or two for you as the holidays approach or you have other events in your life that deserve to be celebrated!


PS- I suggested she could create a little book by putting rings through the holes and adhering photos to the back of each card if she wanted to turn the banner into a keepsake.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Plot Twist!

I am so rarely on Facebook that it's odd to have two projects in a row originate there, but life is curious like that sometimes. 

This project began with the quote, which is great by itself - but then I thought of my niece, who recently changed from an accounting major to an English major and is thinking of writing a novel (oh, and did I mention that her life is often full of drama?!), and it all just came together! And since the previous project featured one of my nephews, it suddenly came to me that it would be such fun to make personalized wall art for each one of them! I am so excited! I have plenty of time to be on the lookout for good photos (pulled this one right off FB) and quotes, and even time to use coupons for all the frames. Eureka! I can't wait to pull this series together. And MDS is the perfect way to create them, since placing words and pictures is a cinch.

Hope my idea sparks an idea for some of you.


Friday, August 23, 2013

The Art of Mourning

I was browsing the magazine rack at the store a few days ago, and saw that Victoria Magazine had an article entitled "The Art of Mourning". I flipped through it and noticed that it was showing a collection of pendants (such as one might put on a necklace or key chain) incorporating short quotes, a lock of hair, the name and other meaningful information about the beloved no longer present in life.

Hmmn, I thought, interesting. Our culture is so very weird about this sort of thing. I've been remembering my Mother this past week, as her birthday was August 17. I saw this quote somewhere (Facebook?) and thought it described her so well: Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness to pull another hand into the light. -Norman Rice

So here's another MDS project, featuring a couple of photos from Mom's 90th birthday last year. We had an open house drop-in event, with lots of chocolate and laughter. These gorgeous flowers adorned the table. In the smaller photo, she is reaching up to pull one of her 6-foot-plus grandsons in for a hug. She spent hours praying that these children would come to know, love and serve her Savior. She was always reaching out, beyond her comfort zone, to pull others into His love.

Happy birthday, Mother. I celebrate your life and your example!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

MDS Autumn Birthday

 (interior of card below)

Hello friends!

I'm experimenting today with My Digital Studio, and having such fun. I have always loved getting my work back from the printer, and now I can do that as often as I please! In this example I selected one of the Designer Series papers that came with MDS and imported it into a photo box so that I could resize it as needed (you'll see that I used the same paper in the series of 3 mini boxes. The splatter effect and sentiment are also from the selection of items that comes with the program. I did purchase the poppies, and easily changed the color to match my autumn palette.

For the card interior, I used another sentiment provided and added my comment in a text box. I love the flexibility of being able to modify to suit my mood or the personality of the recipient. And once I design a card (or any other project), I can reprint any number from 1-100. The paper quality is outstanding, and all cards come with envelopes.

Finally, I saved the whole thing as a jpeg so that I could share it with you just like I do the photographs of other projects! You'll be seeing more MDS projects soon, I can guarantee it!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Stamp Club Olathe: August 2013

The hostess for the August meeting in Olathe thought it sounded like fun to make a pop-up card, so I looked around for a good one. I finally decided on the 3-tiered gift boxes card (a pictorial tutorial can be found here). Since SU! just had a sale on DSP I decided to feature that (and it saved time that we could put into card construction!).

There's just something about a pop-up card that makes you smile.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Halloween Page with Modern Medley DSP

Cardstock: Basic Black
DSP: Modern Medley
Inks:  StazOn Jet Black, Basic Grey Classic, Basic Black Classic, Metallic Encore Silver Ink
Stamp Set: Halloween Bash
Punches: Decorative Label, Ticket Duo Builder, Scallop Oval, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border
Embellishments: Vintage Faceted Designer Buttons, Linen Thread
Extras: Sponge Daubers, Stamping Sponges


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Product Guide for Idea Book Samples!!

You may have missed a fantastic resource!

Take a quick look back at the July 3 post. Beneath the new catalog links (which are photos of the catalog covers) is a list of live links, including "Product Guide". We all know there are great samples in the Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog. This is the list you can go to to find out exactly which products were used in order to create them!

It's a pdf so you can print it off if you'd like, or just be aware it's here and call it up whenever you want to reproduce something from the catalog.

We're so pleased to be able to offer you this service!

-Kathy, Lori & Monique

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Easy Post-It Note Holder

You can make this Post-It Note holder fast and it's super easy.
 Basic instruction: For Both Holders
 1. You need a piece of Cardstock 8 x 3.5 
2. Score on the 8" side at 2, 2 3/8, 5.5, 57/8
3. Reinforced the score lines, so they fold in like a book - You will notice that one side is slightly longer than the other (this will be your top fold piece that gets the bigger of the DSP strips)
4. Cut 3 pieces of DSP of Choice - 
1- 2 x 3.25
2- 5/8 x 3.25
Now- decorate as you like! DONE
** Turn the holder in the direction that best fits you needs.

Supplies needed:
DSP of Choice - Stampin' Up! Gingham Garden  129310  $10.95
Matching Cardstock-  Island Indigo 122923  $6.95
Classic Ink Pad - Island Indigo 126986 $5.95
Brads- Antique Brads  117273 $5.95
Punches - Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border  119275 $15.95
1/2" Circle 119869 $5.95
3/4" Circle 119873 $12.95
7/8" Scallop Circle Punch  129404 $12.95
Adhesive - SNAIL Runner 104332 $6.95 Refill 104331 $4.50
Stampin' Dimensionals 104430 $3.95
Stamp Set- A Round Array 
("IBC" pg.126) Wood 129087 $18.95/Clear 129090 $14.95
(also available in Spanish and French)
NON-Stampin' Up! Products-
Binder Clips
Post-It Note Pad
Ink Pen

Supplies needed:
DSP of Choice - Stampin' Up! Gingham Garden  129310  $10.95
Matching Cardstock-  Melon Mambo 115320 $6.95
Classic Ink Pad - Melon Mambo 126948 $5.95
Brads- Rhinestone Basic Jewels 119246 $4.95
Punches - Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border  119275 $15.95
Artisan Label 130920 $15.95
Adhesive - SNAIL Runner 104332 $6.95 Refill 104331 $4.50
Stampin' Dimensionals 104430 $3.95
Stamp Set- 
Label Love ("IBC" pg. 33) Wood 130619 $24.95/Clear 130622 $17.95
Label Love Bundle Punch with the Stamp Set Wood 132723 $34.95/Clear 132722 $28.75 (15% Savings)
(also available in Spanish and French)
NON-Stampin' Up! Products-
Binder Clips
Post-It Note Pad
Ink Pen

Ideal Credit goes to:
Pootles Papercrafts UK