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?