Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Stamp Room Progress

Hello, stamping friends!  Today I'm just going to pop in with a little stamp room show and tell.  This may take more than a minute, so I hope you have some time, but I also hope you'll enjoy the read as you can probably relate to some of it.  Or maybe you've got more self control than I do.
If I had one of those "dream rooms" these pictures would be a lot more amazing, but, in fact, it's a very small room and it hasn't felt very pretty or special to me for a long time.  It held too many supplies for its size, and all of it was contained in mismatched, hand-me-down furniture and shelving.  I couldn't walk without bumping into something, and if I pulled something from a shelf I had no place to set it down.  I felt closed in, especially with a window too high on the wall for a view unless I picked and tripped my way through the obstacle course and peered over the sill on tiptoes.
I came to a point where I decided that my little play room was important enough to get some special attention so it could be a happier place.  Earlier this month I shared a little bit about the ribbon organization.  Today it's buttons, papers, and stamps.  We'll start with the buttons.
I don't use buttons very often, but I do love them.  Most of my buttons were inherited from my Mom.  How many of you have inherited button collections?  My buttons were all over the place -- in a drawer, a box, a jar, a chest -- anyplace I could find a spot to tuck them in.  Many were still on their original cards and the loose buttons more often than not had thread and fabric attached from having been snipped from discarded garments.  I painstakingly, tediously removed all the thread and fabric, pried or snipped others off their cards, and sorted into color groups.  I gave away all the shank buttons, and there were quite a few.  Sitting on a cabinet at eye level in their cute little jars, they make a colorful decorative accent for the room.
Next comes the paper, very near and dear to my heart.  I gave it its own organized, neat and tidy, uncrowded cabinet.  This cabinet (pictured below) contains all my designer paper, 12x12 textured cardstock, and assorted whites for stamping on.  The whites are bottom shelf, sorted in drawers.  The white scraps go right back into their designated drawers.
The 12x12 cardstock is sorted by color.  This is Bazzill textured only.  All those clips you see on the 12x12s are my way of separating the Core'dinations papers from the rest.  I like textured cardstock or plain whites for card bases.  Once I cut a 12x12, if the leftover piece is large enough to make another card base I slip it back onto the tray.  Otherwise, the smaller scraps are cut into pieces no larger than 6x6 and stored in a quart size ziplock bag.  I sorted the scraps by color.  See that brown basket, bottom shelf on top of the drawer set?  It contains all the bags of scraps.
About those designer papers... I was surprised, actually, to be able to contain it in this small an area.  I didn't give up any of it.  Each 6x6 pad is placed inside a quart size storage bag.  I cut off the zipper top of the bag because it just gets in the way.  Scraps are kept in the bag with the pad they came from.
Now, here's the fun part.  My 12x12 designer paper had been stored on those shelves with the cardstock.  Most of it is rather old because I've been trying to use up a drawer full of sizeable scraps before I cut more.  The drawer was stuffed full and never seemed to get less full.  Well... I cut all the 12x12 designer paper into 6x6 sheets -- gasp!  But, truth is, I always reach for the 6x6 pads, so why not turn all those 12x12s into 6x6 collections?  Whenever I buy one sheet of 12x12 I always buy one or two coordinating sheets, as well.  These cut into very nice small 6x6 collections, each in its own storage bag.  I had quite a few rather full SU! collections and I cut those, too.  Plus, I cut up all the DP that was stuffed into the drawer, therefore turning it into tidy, pretty, very accessible collections which I'm much more likely to use.  And the drawer is now empty.
Stamps and more:
Pictured above is stamp storage in the closet.  The Sterilite drawers help sort the stamps and fit nicely in the cube units.  Little turntables (lazy Susans) hold certain essential tools and products.  The other drawers are full of mostly envelopes, but the smaller drawers hold some hardware and miscellany.  More stamps below:
SU! sets (mostly backgrounds and sentiments) are stored like books on a shelf with the ends labeled.  You can see most of them are older sets.  Power Poppy has its own bucket, and will have a larger space allotted as the collection grows.  I have some space available for it.  Those photo boxes hold miscellaneous stamps (single and sets) of jumbled up sizes.  Sure, it would be nice if all stamps were exactly the same size so they'd be easier to store, but that's not how it works in real life.  I like the boxes for keeping the jumble out of sight, plus they're colorful and they stack neatly.
You wouldn't believe how many stamps I cleared out, not to mention all the other supplies I just had to have at one time or another.  It's all gone to a local charity which now has a section created specifically for craft supplies.  I know it's all just because of the stuff I've given them since I started this project last spring.
The clearing and sorting is done now.  Everything's in its place and the room is usable once again and so much better.  Friendlier, prettier, roomier.  I still have the Stamping Command Center, but it's been moved to the other side of the room.  This is where I'll do all the card construction and inky stuff.
There's a smaller desk across the room where I'll sit to color in front of the new, larger window.  The window will come down to desk top level, letting in more light, and giving me a view of the garden and beyond.  I'll be getting a new desk for that window, plus two new chairs.  I have to wait for the window before I can paint the room, so I'll save more pictures for later.
That's it, folks!  It's the best I can do after letting it go for so long in such a small space.  I've taken a good look at all my stamps and papers and embellishments, cleared out the unessential and, honestly, it all feels brand new.  I started constructing a card at the Stamping Command Center yesterday afternoon and it was so fun with everything sorted and easy to find.  I'll keep it this way in the future.  I will, I will, I will...
Thanks for coming along!  Have a good day!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Coloring Outside the Lines

Welcome back!  I can barely navigate my stamp room, seeing as how it's a wreck from the re-do, but I was so intrigued by Marcella's "Coloring Outside the Lines" challenge at Power Poppy I had to do something.  So I cleared a 6" space, stamped on a panel that was already cut to size, then sat down in the dining room with 5 Copics for coloring.  I used the Prairie Cheer clear stamp set with Asters and the wise words of a master wordsmith.
I emphasize the "Coloring Outside the Lines".  It's the only way I could eke out the time to get a card done and, gosh, is it ever some quick coloring!  A single haphazard stroke of B23 in the general vicinity of each petal, followed by a shorter stroke of B26.  The green is G20 and YG95, though I needn't have bothered with the G20, I guess.
The paper is scraps of old Chatterbox which was left laying out after I organized my designer papers.  I did the cutting on the floor and stitched at my sewing machine out in the hallway.  That's when you know you've got it bad if you'll go to such lengths just to do a little stamping.
Oh, and you know I'm all about using up the ribbon since I purged and reorganized, so that wad of fluff you see is actually a bow.  It was not easy to tie with all that fuzz going every which way.  Remember fun fibers?  I decided to keep them.  These, perhaps, are not technically ribbon, but I'm lumping all trims into that category.
Do you see where I colored outside the lines?  Funny how I ordinarily try so hard to stay within the lines, yet when I allowed myself the freedom to color outside the lines I had to make a conscious effort to do so.
Have a good weekend!

So Nuts

I probably don't even have to mention how much fun I had making today's card.  Some stamps just make you smile all over while you're using them.  This is Whimsy Stamps "So Nuts About Home".  Put it together with some woodsy paper and dies and a fun frame and this is how it turned out. 
I watercolored this one with my Gansai Tambi paints.  I painted the die cut leaves, too, but the mushroom tops and the frame were colored with Copics.  Dotted the frame with a gold Sakura Gelly Roll pen.
My stamp room is a disaster with the purging and reorganizing in progress, but I simply had to take time to color and create.  Now I can plunge back into the mess...  Have a fantastic day!
Stamps:  Whimsy Stamps "So Nuts About Home"  Paper:  140 lb hot press watercolor, kraft card base (not visible in photo), Bo Bunny Camp-a-Lot designer paper  Ink:  Palette Noir  Coloring:  Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor paints, Copics E57 & E59 for frame, R27 for mushrooms  Accessories:  Gold Sakura Gelly Roll pen, Scotch brand foam mounting tape  Dies:  Impression Obsession Rectangle 6-in-1 Frames, Cheery Lynn Faerie Mushrooms, Taylored Expressions Mega Leaves, Impression Obsession Small Leaf Set

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Snowy Scene

Hello, friends!  It's time for another Double D Challenge and this time we're doing "Trees".  Okay... I'll admit I went a little over the top with this snowy scene, but I was having fun and it got snowier and snowier...
Here's our inspiration board today.
Guess you can see which part of it I focused on.  It's all dies with some color added courtesy of ink sponging and Copic markers.  Most of my snowy scene is covered with microfine glitter which doesn't show much sparkle in the photo, but it's amazing in real life.
For the more sculpted snowy areas I used Art Anthology Blizzard Dimensional Crystal with microfine glitter sprinkled over it while still wet.  The combination of these two products dries firmly and won't get squished in the mail.  It's my new favorite way to create snow.  The Dimensional Crystal is very similar to Liquid Pearls or other pearl drops products, so I'm thinking those would work, as well, but the microfine glitter is like icing on the cake.  I used Elizabeth Craft Warm Diamond.  Extra sparkle was added to certain areas with Stickles Diamond glitter glue.
There's another great prize up for grabs, too, which goes to a random winner.  Check out our "Trees" challenge to see the prize and get inspired by the team samples.  They've got all seasons covered.  Hope you can join us!  The multitude of supplies and dies I used today is listed below.  Have a happy day!
Stamps:  None  Paper:  Neenah 110 lb white  Ink:  Stampin' Up! Almost Amethyst, Bashful Blue, Sahara Sand, Creamy Caramel,  Copics G43 and B26  Accessories:  Arth Anthology Blizzard Dimensional Crystal, Elizabeth Craft Warm Diamond Microfine glitter, Sitckles Diamond glitter glue, Scotch brand foam mounting tape  Dies:  Memory Box Grand Forest Archway and Oval Master Frame, Poppystamps Stitched Landscapes, Impression Obsession Mountains DIE347-W, Deer Trio DIE080-N, Tree DIE084-V

Thursday, September 15, 2016


We do so much on the computer these days, don't we?  Business, correspondence, shopping, managing photos, browsing...  Sometimes I balk at it and get myself into a situation where it piles up on me and then I just have to sit down and catch up.  One of my "catch ups" was to print the digis I've collected and not yet colored, as if I didn't already have a bunch printed and not yet colored, sheesh, but it's sunflower season and I have a hankerin' to color some sunflowers.  This is Sunshine of My Life from Power Poppy.
It's printed on X-Press It Blending Card and colored with the Copics shown.  I cut a decorative border into the lower edge and added twill ribbon and a ribbon flower.  The flower comes as a length of ribbon flowers, all attached -- you've seen the type.  It's very soft and floppy and can hardly be felt when in the envelope.  If you were to peek into the flower center you would see a glittery circle of Cinnamon Stickles.
Off to see what kind of trouble I can get into now.  Catch you later!
Stamps:  Power Poppy Sunshine of My Life digi  Paper:  X-Press It Blending Card, CTMH Autumn Terracotta and Pepperwood  Ink:  Printer, Copics as shown above  Accessories:  Twill ribbon, ribbon flower, Impression Obsession border DIE152-N

Monday, September 12, 2016

Prairie Cheer Coneflower

Hello!  Ready for a new week?  I'm hoping this week will be a little more productive stamping-wise as I sure do have a lot of stamps and digis I'd like to color.  As I was going about my business the other day -- household and garden chores 'n stuff -- I was wondering if I'd be quite so cheerful about my day if I didn't have my stamping/coloring time to look forward to.  Maybe everyone doesn't have a need to be crafty, but I can't imagine life without it.  How about you?
Anyway...  today's card was made specifically for a friend who wants all the get well and sympathy cards I can possibly make for her.  I recently gave her a batch, so now it's time to start on more.  I like to provide her with some variety, and this time I created something feminine.
I used Power Poppy's Prairie Cheer clear stamp set and watercolored the flower with Tombow markers.  The center die cut layer was edged with a Krylon gold leafing pen, but I'm not entirely happy with the outcome.  Thankfully, I was able to cover up some of my mess with the green oval die cut.
The flower petals in the green die cut would pop out, but I left them in place and painted with gold Gansai Tambi watercolor.  I just love how that set includes some shimmery metallic paints.  I'm spreading the love around all the coloring mediums in my stamp room, hence the Tombows today.
The Divine Eloquence die was cut in white and sponged with plum inks, darker at the bottom.  Layered that on vanilla cardstock and trimmed the edges flush.  Wrapped in organdy ribbon and tied a bow, which used the last of that spool (yay!).  However, I have another whole spool of this particular ribbon.  It's one of those go-with-everything ribbons, and I like organdy for its see-through aspect.  I'm totally dedicated to using up the vast collection which remains after my recent ribbon purge.
I'll wrap this up with a list of supplies at the end.  I hope we can get together again soon.  Take care!
Stamps:  Power Poppy Prairie Cheer  Paper:  140 lb hot press watercolor, vanilla, white, 7 Gypsies Conservatory designer paper  Ink:  Palette dark brown, YG93 Copic marker for coloring vining oval frame, Pale Plum and Perfect Plum, Tombow markers for watercoloring  Accessories:  Krylon gold leafing pen, Gansai Tambi gold watercolor paint, organdy ribbon, gold cord, Spellbinders Divine Eloquence and Labels Twenty-Eight, Die-namites Butterfly Frame

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Gold, Black, and White for Christmas

So... there I was this morning, browsing blogs, when I came across the Merry Monday Christmas Card Challenge #212, which is to use gold, black, and white only.  I no sooner saw that when I came upon the brand new CAS(E) this Sketch #189.  Put the two together and it creates an ultra-simple Christmas card.
These two challenges combined were like a license for simplicity, which I love, but struggle with.  I used a Tutti die called Wreath with Bow, and a Stampin' Up! Wonderful Wreath Framelits die for the "Noel".  The white card base is Neenah 110 lb, so very sturdy.  A simple sentiment inside finished it off in no time at all.
I wanted to do more with this color combo and different dies, but I spent a good part of the afternoon trying out a new banana crumb cake recipe so I could use up some overripe bananas.  Sheesh!  I used nearly every mixing bowl in the house, had a tub o' dishes to wash because our 22 yr old dishwasher conked out (new one on the way), and immediately had to start cooking dinner afterward.  More dishes to wash and still had to mix up a glaze for the cake and take the dogs for a walk.  This is why a CAS card is nice once in a while, and just think how many more Christmas cards I have yet to make!
Here are those challenges again:
Oh, and, by the way, the cake is yummy.  Recipe is here.
Thanks for dropping in, and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Halloween Smiles and Ribbon Woes

Hello!  I'm here today with my first Halloween card of the season, using a Bugaboo digi called Fall Pumpkin Trio.  It could be that this was meant to be a fall image, rather than Halloween, but I went with it because of the carved pumpkins and because it's so darn cute.  I like friendly Halloween cards.


I printed it large so the Copic coloring would be easier, and that didn't leave much room for design, but I did try to add a little something for fun.  The "Happy Halloween" was die cut in orange with orange Stickles added, and the die cut spider is hanging from a die cut balloon string (supplies will be listed below).
The zig zag stitch is a Hero Arts stamp -- much easier than changing the thread in my machine.  I pierced the points of the zig zag, but I'm not sure that made it look anymore realistic.  This is one of those stamps I've had for years, use often, and love it every time.

Now I thought I'd share a project that consumed way too much of my time when I'd rather have been stamping, but I got myself into this mess and I had to pay the price.  My stamp room has been closing in on me and I think, more than anything, I'm not feeling good about the excess which I'll never use in a dozen lifetimes.  It's time to clear it out and I've been doing that a little at a time over the summer in preparation for a new, larger window, new paint, a minor remodel -- all planned for this fall and winter.  I need some white space!  I'd love to have room to spread my current project over my work surface without having to hunt for a spot to set something down.  I'm not getting a bigger room, nor do I want one, but I have to clear some space in the room I have.
Most recently I focused on the ribbon.  My ribbon situation was appalling.  One might call me a hoarder except for the fact that I saw how bad it was and I was able to let it go.  In the beginning, however, I nearly cried over some of the pretties I was giving up, but as time went on I nearly cried over how in the world I was ever going to organize or, for heaven's sake, use what I was keeping.  This is what I let go:


The picture doesn't really give you a feel for how much it truly is.
Pictured below is what I kept.  I organized this drawer years ago, but it had become piled in layers so I could hardly find what was underneath.  You can't see all the way into the drawer.  There are a few spools beyond sight.

 In the cabinet under the drawer is this:

On a shelf atop of the cabinet is this:

Hey, at least it's all on one side of the room now.  In order to organize this space I had to clear out a shelf of alterables which I'll never alter, plus clear out most of the chunky flowers I'll never use.  I kept a bare minimum of alterables and flowers.
It's amazing what I've taken out of that room over the course of the summer, and there's a lot more to go.  No worries about running short of supplies, though.  I'll be keeping plenty -- stamps, dies, embossing folders, embossing powders, papers, inks, buttons and other embellishments, coloring mediums, and way too much ribbon!  See, I used a teensy bit of ribbon on today's card:
And by covering the entire card front with designer paper I effectively used a whole sheet from a 6x6 pad.  Yay!  Okay, it's not much, but I'll keep picking away at it.  I'm banning myself from anymore ribbon purchases, but I can't realistically say I won't buy more designer paper.  It's a weakness and I do use it on nearly every card.
Hopefully I'll be back with more stamping soon (and ribbon).  This project cut into some of my garden time, though, so I'll need to spend some time out there communing with nature.  I feel like I need it.  Have a good day!
Stamps:  Bugaboo Fall Pumpkin Trio digi, Hero Arts zig zag stitch  Paper:  Neenah Solar White, Basic Black, Wild Wasabi, Pumpkin Pie, BasicGrey Eerie designer paper  Ink:  Printer, Wild Wasabi, Copics for coloring  Accessories:  Ribbon, Orange Peel Stickles, Cheery Lynn Spider Net and Happy Halloween Twiggy Wreath dies, Impression Obsession DIE 359-R (balloons - I just used a string), Scotch brand foam mounting tape


Friday, September 2, 2016

Life Without Coffee

Happy Friday and happy September, folks!  Weren't we just starting summer yesterday?  I love when the seasons change, but if it could do it without the years flying by so fast I would appreciate it.  Such is life, though.  On to the matter at hand...
It doesn't get much simpler than this when it comes to card making, but sometimes it doesn't take much to make exactly the right card for the person you have in mind.  This was sent to a friend at my former workplace along with a coffee card from the in-house shop.  A recent email from her sounded like she could use a pick-me-up.
I combined a Whipper Snapper sentiment with an Art Impressions Bird Brains image.  It gave me a giggle and I hope it gives her a giggle, too.  Since I have so much designer paper to use up I did what I so frequently do -- covered the card base with it.  I've been wondering if I could get by with only white and ivory cardstock.  Probably not, but I'm ruthlessly clearing out my stamp room and I have way too much cardstock.  How is it that the volume never seems to go down even though it's been ages since I bought a pack of colored cardstock?
Let's all go have a good weekend now, okay?  We're staying home with Wally (he's doing great!), but company's coming so I suppose I should clean something.  See you soon!
Stamps:  Whipper Snapper Life Without Coffee (WSD#JR792), Art Impressions Bird Brains (UMD1878)  Paper:  Neenah Classic White, Snap Color Vibe designer paper  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Copic markers for coloring as pictured above  Accessories:  Memory Box Cross Stitched Frames,  Scotch brand foam mounting tape