Aug 29, 2012

{MILK COFFEE} Guest Designer

Today is my last post as a Guest Designer for {MILK COFFEE} !  There's a brand-new challenge posted for you today with the theme of "BACK TO SCHOOL"

For my card, I used the cute digi image "School Boy":

Isn't he sweet?  :)  I wanted him to take up most of the card, so I made my base size a small 4"x4" card.  I colored him with Copics and added some highlights with a white Gelly Roll pen.  I created the sentiment in Paint and printed it out with the digi image.  The paper is from October Afternoon's Sidewalk collection.  The library card stamp is from Stampin' Up.  I used Distress Inks around the edges.

Be sure to check out the {MILK COFFEE CHALLENGE BLOG} for all of the info.  The challenge runs for 2 weeks so you have plenty of time to play along.

A big THANKS to the Milk Coffee team for letting me join in on their fun this month!  :)

Aug 28, 2012

Distress Ink Tutorial: Intro + Labeling

I have completely fallen in love with my set of Tim Holtz/Ranger Distress Inks!
I waited a long time to make my purchase (which I did from and I was finally able to get all 36 original ink colors.
I mainly wanted the inks to use as a water coloring medium, as my Copic marker collection was running dry... literally.  But, as you probably know, they do so much more!
I've been slowly learning and trying out new techniques and it is so much fun.  Even when the final result isn't exactly what I had in mind, you really can't go wrong with Distress Inks.  :)

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The Ranger/Tim Holtz Distress line is huge and seems to be growing every day!  Check out the {RANGER INK} website for all of the products, tips and projects.
For those new to Distress Inks, the following is taken directly from the Ranger Ink website:
"Tim Holtz Distress Inks are a collection of acid-free, non-toxic, fade resistant, water-based dye inks. They're perfect for the new vintage, stained, aged effect crafters are creating in their altered books, scrapbook pages, cards and paper craft projects. Tim selected the colors and helped develop these inks to produce a realistic, weathered look on paper, photos and decorative fibers. All the colorful Distress Inks afford added versatility when photo tinting and color layering with the original, award winning tones. The 2" x 2" pads are made with a higher raised felt for easier use with direct to paper techniques, Re-inkers available in .5 oz. amber glass bottles with eye drop applicators."
To see the Inks in action, do a simple Google or YouTube search for Distress Inks... there's so much inspiration, you won't be disappointed!
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For my tutorial today, I'm going to show you how I labeled my Distress Ink collection.  Each ink pad comes with the manufacturers top-label, like this:
The sides, however, are plain black.  Since the pads are typically stored stacked, with the lids facing up or down, there's really no way to see which color is which.
This is where the creativity comes in!  I have to be honest... I was just as excited about being able to label and organize my Distress Inks as I was to actually use them.  :)  I did a ton of research online, via Google, YouTube and random blogs, to see how everyone else has labeled their Ink pads.  I came up with a way that worked best for me.
I wanted to be able to see the inked color, but also clearly read the label.
This is how I did it:
1.)  I printed out the names of each color (which you can find HERE) on a sheet of white, self-adhesive mailing labels.  I cut out each name, as close to the print as possible, as the sides of the ink pads are pretty small.
I also cut strips of the plain labels to cover most of one side, from corner to corner.  These strips are approximately 2-1/4 inch x 7/16 inch (5.7cm x 1.1cm).
2.)  I then used the Distress Ink blending tool and a foam pad (one for each color) to cover the plain label fully with the corresponding ink color.
3.)  Once the ink was dry, I carefully peeled the backing off the printed name label and placed it in the center of the inked label.  I then stuck the entire label onto the side of the ink pad.  Do this carefully!  It wont peel up again without ripping, so get it exactly where you want it before pressing it on firmly.
4.)  I followed these steps to complete all 36 labels.  You can see in the background of the photo the unlabeled pads... totally impossible to tell which color is which.
That's all there is to it!  It's fairly time-consuming, but totally worth it.  Wouldn't you agree?  :)
That's it for today!  My next tutorial will show how I keep track of the foam applicators and how I store my labeled inks.
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P.S. I thought it worth mentioning that I have no affiliation with Ranger Ink. I just love this popular product and wanted to share my ideas with everyone else.  :)

Aug 26, 2012

{ANYONE FOR ANYA?} Sunday Challenge

We have a new challenge ready for you at {ANYONE FOR ANYA?} and this week we want you to be INSPIRED BY TIME.  You can interpret this is any way you like!  Just be sure to use a stamp/image from THE GREETING FARM or CCDESIGNS to play along.  :)

For my card, I decided that it was TIME TO PARTY!

Wooty woot!  I used big Anya Lifts from The Greeting farm for my image and I water colored her with Distress Inks.  Before I stamped the image, I cut my watercolor paper to the size I wanted, I then taped some masking tape around the edges to make sure the stamped image didn't go all the way to the sides. Then I stamped the image and carefully removed the masking tape.  I then drew a frame around the outside where the stamped image stopped and that's it!

I think it looks pretty cool.  Kind of like she's a photo or maybe peeking in the window to see if the party has started yet. :)  I have an old bag of letters from K+Co (I believe) and I spelled out the sentiment.  The yellow DP is from October Afternoon.  The scallop border die is from My Favorite Things.  The ribbon and button are from my stash.

Be sure to stop by the {ANYONE FOR ANYA?} blog to see all of the DT's TIME creations and to play along!

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I'm entering this card into the {SIMON SAYS STAMP AND SHOW} - No Rules Challenge

Aug 24, 2012

Domestic Goddess - card

I recently acquired some adorable new stamps (won and purchased) from {YOUR NEXT STAMP} and I just love them.  For this card, I have used "FEATHER DUSTER ELLIE":

Heh heh.  I love her!  I could not get the true colors to show up in the photo no matter what I did.  her cheeks are not big orange dots.  LOL!   Anyway, she is water colored with Distress Inks. The DP is from October Afternoon's "Sidewalks" collection. The ribbon is from The Ribbon Carousel. The flowers are from my stash. The sentiment stamp is one that came with Ellie.

How cute is her little duster?!  I colored it to match the real feather dusters:

I'm entering this card into the "No Rules" challenge at {SIMON SAYS STAMP AND SHOW} and the sketch challenge over at {YOUR NEXT STAMP}. I'm showing the sketch turned, since that's how I used it:

Aug 23, 2012

Fall - a Distress Ink card

I'm having a lot of fun playing with my new Distress Inks!  I keep searching all over blog-land and YouTube constantly and I find more and more inspiration every day.  We live in a crazy talented world, folks!

If you have a YouTube channel showing anything artsy/crafty, please let me know -- I'd love to check it out. :)

There's a {Repetition Challenge in the Moxie Fab World} right now that gave me the perfect chance to get inky:

This card is really long and skinny and it was hard to get a good photo!  Boy, did I try.  But, I think I was able to capture it OK here:

It's definitely repetitive, but not in a boring way, I hope.  I stamped the leaf image (from Hero Arts) a bunch of times onto water color paper and cut them out.  I then dabbed a few colors of Distress Ink onto parchment paper, spritzed it with water, and laid the paper on top to soak up the yummy ink colors.  I then dried the paper with a heat gun and repeated the process until I got the look and colors I was going for.

I wanted each leaf to have a little touch of the color next to it to help emphasize the changing season.  I just love Fall.  It's definitely the best season.  And, as a sucker for anything in rainbow-color order, this card makes me (and my OCD) really happy! Tee hee!

I'm also entering this card into the current "NO RULES" challenge at the {SIMON SAYS STAMP AND SHOW} blog.

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I've got a few Distress Ink Tutorials in the works that I'm hoping to share here on my blog very soon!  Thanks for all your kind words, everyone.  :)

Aug 19, 2012

{ANYONE FOR ANYA?} Sunday Challenge

We've got a new SKETCH challenge going up today on the {ANYONE FOR ANYA?} challenge blog.  Be sure to check it out, then grab your stamps or digi's from THE GREETING FARM or CCDESIGNS and get crafty!

On my card, I used my most-recently acquired Greeting Farm stamp, Stella:

Her hair and big eyes totally suckered me in.  :)  She is stamped on 140lb water color paper and is water colored with Distress Inks.  The Happy Birthday sentiment stamp is from Papertrey Ink.  The DP is from My Mind's Eye.  The polka-dot grosgrain ribbon, baker's twine and buttons are from my stash.

This week's sketch:

We'd love it if you stopped by {ANYONE FOR ANYA?} to see all of the DT creations and to play along!

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I'm entering this card into the following challenges:
{TGF - FARM FRESH FRIDAY} - Happy Birthday

Aug 16, 2012

{MilkCoffee} Guest Designer

Some fun news today -- I've been asked to be one of the Guest Designers for the August challenges over at the {MILK COFFEE CHALLENGE BLOG}!

I love the MilkCoffee digi's, they are all so cute and fun to color.  The new two-week challenge that starts today is "HALLOWEEN TIME" which is perfect for me... Halloween is my most favorite holiday.  :)

{MilkCoffee} has some cute new Halloween digi's in their Etsy shop.  For my card today, I have used "Lisbeth + Pumpkin":

So cute!  I love the face on the pumpkin she's sitting on... tee hee!  I colored her with Copics and added some highlights with a while gel pen.  The paper is from October Afternoon and My Mind's Eye.  The ribbon is from The Ribbon Carousel.  The "boo" sentiment is from Penny Black.

The challenges at {Milk Coffee} last for 2 weeks, so be sure to check it out and play along.  There are even some FREE IMAGES you can use over on the {MILK COFFEE} shop blog!

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I'm entering this card into the {OOZAK CHALLENGE} - Fall Theme

Aug 13, 2012

Heartfelt Thanks - card

There is the CUTEST sketch challenge happening this week over in The Greeting Farm's Splitcoast Stampers forum... I couldn't wait to get started on it.  It's definitely being added to my favorite sketches list!

Sorry about the bluish tint.  It just wouldn't edit out!  I used Princess No. 4 from The Greeting Farm and water colored her with Distress Inks on 140 lb water color paper.  The sentiment stamp is from Papertrey Ink.  The glossy chipboard hearts have been in my stash for probably 10 years... I can't remember who makes them!  :)

I used some of my favorite new paper from My Mind's Eye - Indie Chic.  I bought this paper pack just for this blue and yellow flower pattern.  It's just gorgeous!

Isn't this sketch great?  It's a great way to emphasize the main image and still have cute stuff all around.  You should try it, even if you don't want to join in on the TGF fun!

I'm also entering this card into the current challenge over at {SIMON SAYS STAMP AND SHOW} -- the challenge is to use your favorite technique.  It think it goes without saying that my favorite new technique is Distress Ink water coloring.  Tee hee!  :)

Aug 12, 2012

{ANYONE FOR ANYA?} Sunday Challenge

We've got a fun new photo inspiration challenge up and ready for you at {ANYONE FOR ANYA?}.  The prize is awesome, too!  So grab an image from THE GREETING FARM or C.C.DESIGNS and play along.

I chose to color "ANYA LIFTS" again, from The Greeting Farm:

Isn't this a great inspiration photo?  I love it!  I went with the overall pastel colors.  She is water colored with Distress Inks and her balloons are paper-pieced  The sentiment stamp is from Technique Tuesday. The scallop border die is from My Favorite Things.  The DP is from October Afternoon and My Mind's Eye.

We had such a great turnout for last week's challenge... can't wait to see what everyone creates this week!  Be sure to stop by {ANYONE FOR ANYA?} to see all of the DT creations and to play along!

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I'm entering this card into the {LOVES RUBBERSTAMPS} Bingo challenge.

Aug 11, 2012

You Rule! - card

I'm so happy to say that I have finally bought myself some Distress Inks!  I've been wanting them forever so I could try water coloring with them.  I'll have more posts on the Distress Inks this next week.

But, for now, I'm sharing my first Distress Ink water colored image:

Let me say, it didn't come as naturally as I had hoped it would (heh) but it's so much fun!  And, I can finally color in lighter, softer shades.  Yes!  :)

Along with my Distress Ink purchase, I also got some new paper packs and a new Nestabilities set, so I put them all to use on this card.  I stamped CHEEKY GEEKY from The Greeting Farm on watercolor paper with Ranger Archival Ink (jet black -- it's super vivid!).  I ended up paper-piecing her vest and headband with the coordinating DP from October Afternoon's "SIDEWALKS" set.  The button and twine are from my stash.  I punched the "YOU RULE" sentiment with my Dymo label maker.

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I'm entering this card into the following challenges:
{TGF - FARM FRESH FRIDAY} - Back To School
{LOVES RUBBERSTAMPS} - Bingo (die cut, dry embossing, button)
{ALL THAT SCRAPS} - Anything Goes
{THE PLAY DATE CAFE} - Challenge #144

Aug 7, 2012

BIG Anya Lifts - card

Did anyone else freak out with excitement when The Greeting Farm had a limited release of BIG ANYA birthday celebration stamps last week?   I sure did!  All three were so adorable.  They have since sold out, but TGF announced another batch will soon be in the shop to order, so keep your eye on The Greeting Farm, because I'm sure they will go fast!  :)

I ordered "Anya Lifts" and as soon as I received her in the mail, I trimmed her out and inked her up.  She really is big!  My card is a standard 4.25x5.5 and she fits almost the entire thing.  It's awesome!

I tried something new, for me.... a one layer card.  I never stamp and color directly on the card base.  I'm too worried I'll mess up the coloring!  But, this gal just called for it.  I also wanted to use more of my Halloween DP so that's the theme I went with.  I'll be entering this card into the current {OOZAK} challenge with a Fall theme.

She is stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink on Neenah card stock.  She is colored with Copics and has highlights with a white Gelly Roll pen.  The balloons and her rockin' boots are paper-pieced.  All of the DP is from Memory Box's Nightfall collection. 

Her hair!  That face!  Those boots!  Adorbs.  Yes, I said adorbs. :)

Aug 5, 2012

Pocket Full Of Love - card

I have a second card to share with you today.  I used Princess No. 4 from The Greeting Farm and a couple mixed sentiment stamps from Unity.

She's paper-pieced, of course.  I also cut her curly ponytails off for a shorter bob.  Her skin is colored with Copics.  The DP's are from Crate Paper (diamonds) and the First Edition Paper "Hideaway" stack.  The card stock is from Papertrey Ink.  The scallop border die is from My Favorite Things.

I don't have a butterfly punch yet, so I punched out 6 small hearts to act as wings. I threaded some rope through the button and cut the ends off to act as the antenna.  I then stuck everything together with a glue dot behind the button.  :)

The main colors I used are from the above photo inspiration photo over at {LOVES RUBBERSTAMPS}.  I'm also entering it into the {DO YOU STACK UP?} challenge for Polka Dots and the {OOZAK CHALLENGE BLOG} for a Fall theme.

{ANYONE FOR ANYA?} Sunday Challenge

This week, our challenge for you over at the {ANYONE FOR ANYA?} challenge blog is to create something with a flower. Easy enough, right?  Be sure to use an image from THE GREETING FARM or CCDESIGNS to play along.

I used Flirty Anya from The Greeting Farm for my card.  I paper-pieced her hair and dress with different green DP.  I was trying to go for a sort of garden fairy look.  Not sure if I captured it or not.  But, what can you do?  :)  The leaf stamp is from Hero Arts. The sentiment is from Papertrey Ink

For my flower, I cut a 6 inch length of lace and hand-stitched some straight stitches down one side.  I then pulled the thread tight and gathered the lace into a flower shape.  I threaded a button with rope and pulled it through the center opening of the lace flower.  I tied the rope into a bow and adhered it to the card.  It only took a couple of minutes.

Even though I am not in love with this card as a whole, I think the flower looks pretty darn cool.  What do you guys think?

Be sure to stop by {ANYONE FOR ANYA?} this week to see all of the DT creations and to play along.  There's an awesome prize pack... you don't want to miss out!

Aug 4, 2012

Gracias - card

I made this card for last week's sketch challenge from The Greeting Farm, over on Splitcoast Stampers (which I happened to randomly win.... hee hee).  :)

I used the digi image Wild Sprouts - Dressy Ebony from TGF.  I colored her with Copics.  The DP is from Crate Paper. The card stocks are from Papertrey Ink.  The sentiment stamp is from Lawn Fawn.  I did a bunch of freehand doodling with a black liner pen and a while Gelly Roll pen.
This was the sketch to follow.  I kept the main part round, but when I was finished, it felt like it needed a square background.  I think it works just fine! :)  There's a new sketch up for this week... you know what I'll be working on tonight!

Aug 3, 2012

It's Your Day - card

There's a new color challenge posted on the {YOUR NEXT STAMP} blog.  I just happen to have a YNS stamp that I won from a previous YNS hop and I thought it was time to put her to use!

This is Tooth Fairy Ellie:

Isn't she adorable in her little jammies?  She comes with a cute sentiment/saying, as well.  I paper-pieced everything on her, except her skin, which was colored with Copics.  Look at those tiny bunny slippers!  And the teeny tooth!  That's my favorite part.  :)  I incorporated the challenge colors using a bunch of different papers from my stash.  The sentiment I used is from Papertrey Ink.

Hope everyone is having a great week!  :)