Alcohol Etching Technique

Well, I was playing around this morning thinking of a card for SCS's CC186 color combination challenge, and came up with a new technique (to me anyway). I've not seen this done before, so I'm going to call this "alcohol etching". It's extremely simple to do, and couple of practice sessions will make you a pro. Oh, before I forget, those with sensitive noses may want to have a fan blowing because of the use of ethyl rubbing alcohol that is used for this technique.

What you will need:
Solid stamp
Staz-On black or brown solvent ink
acetate (transparency)
double-sided removeable tape (optional)
ethyl rubbing alcohol (just pour a small amount into the lid)
smallest make-up sponge you can find (I actually ended up using SU's chalk sponge applicator, and now this sponge applicator is dedicated for this technique because it does get stained with Staz-On)

OK - ready to start? Here we go....

1) Using the repositionable double-sided tape, adhere your transparency sheet onto your scratch paper. Stamp your solid stamp image in Staz-On ink onto your transparency. Don't worry about any areas with ink that doesn't transfer. Give it a few seconds to dry. Here I used the coneflower from Inspired By Nature.

2) Dip your tiny tipped sponge applicator into the alcohol and begin rubbing areas of ink that you want to remove. You know, maybe even one of those flat toothpicks would work for this... gotta try it out - I say this because I ended up trimming the very tip of the sponge off the applicator and used the plastic tongue that was inside to scrape the alcohol-moistened areas on some parts of the coneflower.... so I used the spongey part to remove ink from larger areas and the plastic to scrape and create lines as seen above. Oh, did you notice that little grey shading directly under my fingers? That's from the little bit of alcohol dissolving/removing Staz-On from that area of the image .

3) When you've finished removing the ink that you want, simply rub the entire area with your finger to "erase" all the grey shadings (although, you may want to keep it as shadows seem really popular right now). I tried napkin too, but it seemed to me that the area cleaned up easier with my finger. Maybe that little bit of oil on your fingertips does the trick? Anyhow, once you're done cleaning up the area on the transparency, wash your hands so you don't transfer black smudges onto your cardstock or paper while you finish up your project...

And, there you have it - your alcohol etched image!

For the rest of the card details, the background was created by using a post-it and sponging my sunrise and ocean onto Whisper White. I stamped the sentiment in the upper left corner and added the finished transparency. Brads were inserted and this was layered a couple times before adhering to the cardbase. Don't forget to work in some creative time today - I hope you give this technique a whirl....

Stamps: Inspired by Nature
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Chocolate Chip, Really Rust, Whisper White
Inks: Baja Breeze, Summer Sun, More Mustard, Really Rust, Chocolate Chip, black, Staz-On black, and a very small touch of Pacific Point for the horizon
Accessories: acetate (transparency), double-sided tape, ethyl alcohol, tiny SU chalk sponge applicator, sponge daubers, silver brads, long post-it for horizon, 1/16 hole punch for the brads
Technique: Sponging and Alcohol Etching

Teaser Alert!! The finished card at the beginning of the post was the first coneflower that I did. The picture directly above is the second one done putting together a 3-D item for you to see tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you come back and check out my take on something used for sweets tomorrow morning.... hint hint. ;)


Simple Gratitude

Hello again and happy Friday to you! How about a down and dirty, quick and simple card today? This gratitude card was put together for a swap with my upline and sidelines recently. The main flower panel was stamped with the flower sprig stamp from Embrace Life in Basic Black ink on Rose Red cardstock. The flowers were bleached out using the liquid from a bleach pen and painted on with a small paintbrush. White grosgrain ribbon was knotted around the main panel, then it was mounted on Basic Black and Whisper White cardstock. This was adhered to my Rose Red cardbase. I punched 4 white circles from my 1/8 hole punch to make faux brads and glued them into the corners. The gratitude sentiment from Define Your Life was stamped in the lower right corner in Basic Black ink. I softened the edges by sponging on some Craft White ink on the cardbase.
I hope that you have a great day and a most enjoyable weekend! Come back soon...


Scallop Flowers

I made this card a while ago playing with ideas for Stampin' Up's scallop circle punch. I love the technique of creating petaled flowers with the punched scallop pieces and wanted to share this technique specifically with you today. I'm sure some of you have seen this before, so it's a quick reminder about how easy and fast it is to put on cards or scrapbook pages to add a quick POP to a project. For those that are new to this one, just simply snip toward a center point of each scallop punch-out using straight scissors and stop about 1/4 inch away from the center. I used a 1/2 inch circle punched from Really Rust cardstock for the flower center, added a half-back pearl and dotted around it with a white gel pen. I dotted the Really Rust main rectangular panel with the white gel pen and mounted this on More Mustard and Whisper White cardstock. This was adhered to my More Mustard cardbase that was already stamped with the Aida Cloth background in Really Rust ink and sponged on the edges of the cardbase. I lightly sponged Really Rust ink on the tips of the flower petals and used a glue dot to place the three flowers on the card. Lastly, I stamped the sentiment in the lower right corner.
On a side note, I love all the sets that I've purchased from SU over the years, and usually keep them. But if I keep them, I have to use them, and I did so with this card.... So - this card used a couple retired SU sets - Aida Cloth background and Favorite Greetings, but these can be substituted with current sets like Canvas background and Sincere Salutations to achieve a similar look. I hope you get a chance for some creative time today - thanks for stopping by! Till next time...


Always In My Heart

Hello once again and Happy Friday! I made this card a couple months ago while working on potential samples for my Convention Swaps. I ended up making a simplified version using current colors because I was pleased with how the double heart turned out. It was created by making a reverse-mask of sorts and is really easy to do too, so I hope you might get a chance to try out this technique and see. The first step is to stamp your main image on scrap paper - I used regular printer paper for this and stamped the large heart from Stampin' Up!'s Always set. I lightly sketched a larger heart shape about 3/8 inch away from the edges of the stamped heart and carefully trimmed out the heart using scissors, keeping the inner heart shape intact. So now there are two templates, the outer heart and the inner heart. Because I wanted to use my templates over and over, I used scotch tape to line my outer heart... you can see what I mean on the pic below. This kept my paper edge nice and sharp so that I could re-use it.

Referencing the card picture at the beginning of this post, I cut my main heart panel from River Rock cardstock (3 1/4 inches wide to 4 inches high) and heat embossed the large heart using Versamark/Elegant Eggplant ink and clear embossing powder. I placed my outer heart template over the embossed heart and used a sponge dauber to ink along the edges in Elegant Eggplant ink to create the reverse-mask heart (the picture directly above shows you my used template with purple inky edges - I simply wiped the scotch tape dry after using this template so ink wouldn't transfer where I didn't want it! Also, don't let the red heart throw you... I created my simplified version for Convention swaps using Real Red and had taken a pic at that time). Getting back to the main panel details, I used repositionable tape and placed the inner heart template that was cut out of printer paper over my embossed heart/reverse-masked heart. Next, I inked up my Canvas background with Elegant Eggplant ink and stamped that on the main heart panel, then removed my inner heart template. Voila!

In case you're interested in the rest of the card details, I layered this main heart panel on Elegant Eggplant cardstock, and glued on 4 black corners punched from the Photo Corner Punch as shown in the top picture. As you can see, 3 black brads were added, and I also dotted around the perimeter of the main heart panel with my black marker. My background was stamped with the small flower stamp in the Always set in Versamark ink onto River Rock cardstock, dotted with my black marker, then glued to my Elegant Eggplant cardbase. The main heart panel was glued on, and I finished by stamping the Always circle in Eggplant ink and punched it out with the Designer Label punch. This was dotted, and to bring a little bling to the card, I used my mono glue and sprinkled glitter on the letter "a". I backed this with the 1 3/8 inch circle punch and mounted with dimensional popdots..... ta-da..... done!

Whew, I hope you can follow all of that! I hope I didn't make it sound more complicated that it really was to do. Really, it's quite simple, and I thought that you may want to try out my version of the reverse-mask technique used on this card, so some details might prove helpful. I hope that you get a chance to sit down this weekend and create something fun! I plan to scrapbook alittle and share with you next week... till next time.... :)



Hello again! Thanks for stopping by... here's one created for this week's SCS color challenge where we are to use Riding Hood Red, Always Artichoke and Basic Grey. I don't have any Basic Grey - I know, I can't believe it either ;) - so I substituted Going Grey instead.

I stamped the image in Basic Black on Vanilla cardstock and used an aquapainter to watercolor the main image from a hostess set called Serene Spring with only the 3 colors allowed for today. (Quick tip for new stampers - I pressed the inkpad lid carefully into the inkpad, flipped it open and used the ink on the lid as a palette of sorts.) I cut out the image with my oval coluzzle, then temporarily mounted this onto RHRed cardstock. I cut around the oval freehand giving about 1/8 inch border all around. I cut a larger Always Artichoke oval using the coluzzle and glued the three ovals together. Using my Grey marker, I inked up the word "friend" from one of the Serene Spring sentiment stamps and put that in the lower right corner of the oval. I did a small zig-zag stitch from the sewing machine on the vanilla/RHRed edges, then put 4 silver brads around the oval. I stamped the Posy background on Vanilla using Going Grey ink, then glued my oval panel onto this and zig-zagged around the oval again. Finally, I glued the posy panel onto RHRed and straight-stitched around the block one time. This was mounted on my Always Artichoke cardbase.

I cut out several flowers and leaves using the Big Shot/Birds & Blooms die in RHRed and Always Artichoke cardstocks. To add depth, I sponged the same color ink on the flower petals. I used a metal ball stylus to put "veins" in the leaves, then sponged the same color ink on them. The flower and leaves were curled on the edges for dimension. The flowers were layered and a brad added to the center. The flowers and leaves were adhered to the card with mini glue-dots.

Hope you enjoy today's card - till next time.....


Sunset Silhouette

Honestly, I think the hardest part about blogging is coming up with a post's title! (grin) I think I've changed my post title at least two other times...
Thank you for all of the warm wishes for my daughter's 10th birthday, yesterday. After she received it (and found her new stash of cash), I let her see her card posted on the big "WWW," and your comments especially touched her heart. And, just to let you know, we are going shopping when she returns from school this afternoon... she has already decided to get a wallet! What?!? No toy, new game or stuffed animal? I suppose she is growing up after all... and soon enough her wishlist items will become a cell phone, i-pod, car.... BIG leap with the last one there, kiddo!!!

Before I faint, let's move on to something a little more calming - today's card details:
This card's background was created entirely with sponging using SU's sponge daubers. I love the control you get with these babies! Such a simple technique to do, and I think the results are always stunning - it's truly hard to mess this technique up if you follow these two simple rules of thumb: 1) start with the lightest color first and end with the darkest, AND 2) with each subsequent color, begin about 1/2 inch or so away from the previous color and tap, tap, tap moving inwards to blend together. This way, the bulk of the darker color is on the very edges and the ink is "used up" as you are moving in toward the lighter color, which provides the most color control during the blending process for you! If you haven't tried this before, please do! It's easy, and the results are beautiful!!!

I started this card by stamping the leaves from the Embrace Life stamp set in Basic Black ink onto a pre-cut Whisper White cardstock block. I colored in the leaves with the black marker to create my silhouette. Using the 1 3/8 inch circle punch, I punched a circle out of a post-it note (or you can use scrap paper) and adhered it onto my W.White block with repositionable tape. I picked out 4 colors for my background (although you can have as few as two). I chose Summer Sun, Pumpkin Pie, Bravo Burgundy and Elegant Eggplant inkpads with this card. Beginning with the Summer Sun ink, I began tapping the inkpad with a sponge dauber 4-5 times to pick up ink (repeat this step as necessary). Starting on the post-it and moving outward about 3/4 inches, I tapped lightly until I achieved even coverage of color all around. I selected Pumpkin Pie next and (with a clean sponge dauber) started tapping about 1/4 inch away from the edges of the Summer Sun ink. I tapped the dauber in toward the Summer Sun ink and blended the two colors together till I was happy with the color transition, then moved outward toward the cardstock edges so that I had an orange "band" that about 3/4 inches in width. I followed the same method for the Bravo Burgundy and Elegant Eggplant - just remember, "start outside - move in"... Make sense? Then, here comes my favorite part of all - removing the post-it note! Ta-Da!!! The results are always breath-taking..... try it out and see for yourself!! ...then you'll hear me in the background whispering.... "I told you so!" :)
Have a great day, everyone!

Stamps - Embrace Life
Cardstock - Whisper White, Elegant Eggplant
Inks - Summer Sun, Pumpkin Pie, Bravo Burgundy and Elegant Eggplant inkpads, Black marker Accessories - sponge daubers, post-it note, 1 3/8 inch circle punch


Butterfly Kisses

My oldest daughter's birthday is today, and she is now a whopping 10 years old! This is a bright and happy card that I made for her. I was so pleased to get this set at Convention because I immediately thought about her love for butterflies. I think she'll like it, especially when she finds the shopping money that I put in there!! Giggle... a child after my own heart...

As you can see, it's really a simple card to put together and the bold stamp images make it quick to do, too. I used the new In-Colors for this one: Tangerine Tango, Kiwi Kiss, Riding Hood Red and Baja Breeze. The butterflies were stamped on Vanilla cardstock, and the big butterfly panel was paper pierced in the two corners and popped up with dimensionals.

Happy Birthday, Kiddo!!! It's the big 1-0!!!

Stamps - Flight of the Butterfly
Paper - Tangerine Tango, Riding Hood Red, Vanilla
Ink - Tangerine Tango, Riding Hood Red, Kiwi Kiss, Baja Breeze
Accessories - Mat Pack, Dimensional popdots


Kissing Technique

Oooooh, catchy title, huh?!? I'm getting a little loopy after working 12 hours shifts - not enough sleep, I guess. I love working night shifts, but I will say that I think most people don't sleep as well during daylight hours.... including me! Well, speaking of work, I better get on with the card details so that I can arrive to work on time...
I used the Independence Day stamp set - specifically the large star solid stamp so that I could do the Kissing Technique on it. It's a great and very simple technique to use, if you've never tried it before. You will need a large enough background stamp (or stamps - in my card above, I used three different background stamps). Start by inking up the background stamps, then press your bold image stamp right on top to transfer the image. Stamp that on your paper, and voila! You've succeeded in this simple Kissing technique!!! Congratulations! hee hee... Don't forget to clean the bold stamp after each use so that you get a perfect pattern transfer each time. As you can see, I did this three times on white cardstock and trimmed out my large stars to create my background (of sorts) for my card. The three large stars were adhered to my red block. I stamped the Independence day circle stamp and punched it out - layering it on another larger red circle. The small solid red star was put on last. To add a bit of height, I popped up the large red star, the Independence day circle and solid red star using dimensional popdots. I added dots around the red block with a white gel pen and used the same pen to draw a line across the top and bottom of the red block to "pop" it off the blue cardbase a bit.
Thanks for stopping by today - have a super weekend, and if you get a chance, try out this easy and fun technique!!!
Stamps - Independence Day, Backgrounds: Paisley, Canvas, Country Plaid (retired)
Paper - Ruby Red, Not Quite Navy, Whisper White
Ink - Ruby Red, Not Quite Navy
Accessories - white gel pen, dimensional popdots, Punches: small star, 1 1/4 & 1 3/8 inch circle


Cherish Them in Love & Peace

This is a card that I made today while thinking about all the victims and those affected, even now, by the 9/11 tragedy seven years ago. My heart still aches for all the suffering this event caused - here in our country and worldwide. I will never forget, and I'm making sure my children never forget, the sacrifices of all the victims on this tragic day in history... may each of you rest in peace.
Stamps- Baroque Motifs
Paper - Elegant Eggplant, Kiwi Kiss
Ink - Versamark, Kiwi Kiss
Accessories - Elegant Eggplant ribbon, clear embossing powder, heatgun


Seasonal Sketch

SCS had a really fun sketch posted today... here's a link. I stuck exactly to the sketch and didn't add much else because the layout itself really packs a punch. Loved it!!!! I layered the Real Red strips with Vanilla strips of paper, then added gold brads on one side. After stamping the snowflake on vanilla CS, I punched out and layered it a couple times, then added a gold brad to the center. I added piercings on three corners of the Christmas tree block. For dimension, I adhered the snowflake and Christmas tree with popdots.

Wish I had time to jibber-jabber, but I have to start getting ready for work soon. Thanks for taking a closer look at my card today!
Stamps - Season of Joy
Paper - SU prints pack (real red designer paper), Real Red and Vanilla cardstocks
Ink - Real Red
Accessories - SU mat pack, gold brads, dimensional popdots, SU circle punches: 1", 1 1/8", 1 1/4"


Top Note Mini Album

I admit it - yep, I simply ADORE Stampin' Up!'s exclusive Top Note Die! I made a mini album this weekend using this die... Easy and Fun!! You know, this is really a sweet idea for giving as a completed gift for grandparents and relatives (hey, Christmas is coming up!), or how about presenting a birthday girl with a partially completed one, and include a small stash of embellishments & journaling pen just for her? She would only need to add wallet-sized photos and her own special touches! Easy peasy and (I'll bet) a big hit!

Here are the details:
All of the "pages" are made from thin chipboard that was die cut using SU's Top Note Die & Big Shot. I die-cut coordinating designer series papers and glued them on each page with Mono-Multi glue. I used some retired SU organdy ribbon in Old Olive for the front cover (it's adhered between the chipboard and front cover paper, then tied into a knot & trimmed). With an extra chipboard page as a template, I punched two holes using a Cropadile for the book binder rings and assembled it together. I added wallet sized photos after using the corner rounder punch on each one (some photos were trimmed smaller, which gave some nice space for journaling, depending on orientation). I added embellishments last (leftover pieces of a Simply Scrapping kit, die cut letters/shapes from Naturally Serif, Bird w/Leaves and Flowers, Buttons Sizzix dies, hodgepodge hardware, ribbons, cut-out stamp images/shapes, etc...). I was able to have 12 individual "pages" using the 1 1/4"inch book rings, and my mini album contains 24 different photos.

This really was an enjoyable & relaxing project! Actually, I found myself reminiscing (which slowed me down -ALOT) as I was gluing the pictures down, because these were all photos of my two boys during 1997- early 1998... oh, how they've grown! sniff, sniff... I believe I am going to have a real hard time of it when they start to fly the coop! Anyhow, I digress.... back to the project - truly, there was nothing complicated with this one - which is sometimes good for us, right!?! No stress projects are the way to go!!! :)


Bordering Blooms

I should be doing laundry right now, but I thought I'd squeeze in a card this morning because I've been eyeballing this stamp set, Eastern Blooms, for a while now. It's been sitting there patiently waiting for me to get some inspiration, calling my name.... well, today's the day! I glanced at SCS's (Splitcoaststampers) sketch challenge and this card popped in my head. This card went together pretty quickly - a definite advantage of these bold stamp images. Here's a quick rundown on today's card -

After trimming the three different sections of cardstock/Porcelain Prints DSP to the dimensions that I wanted, I very lightly sponged Bordering Blue ink on the outermost edges of the paper. I swiped the Bordering Blue inkspot across the branch stamp, instead of tapping it, to give it a slightly less intense stamp impression on my main panel. I stamped the large flower 3 times and trimmed them out, then added dazzling diamonds glitter (with a dab of mono-multi glue) on the flower centers for sparkle. I adhered with popdots to bring them up and off the main panel. I like using the photo corner punch to add a little color (and something different) for corner treatments. I finished with ribbon and silver brads.

Thanks for visiting today! The laundry is now calling my name, but I don't feel very inspired for that.... oh well!!!!


You're Grrreeaattt!!

Remember the old Tony the Tiger commercials for Frosted Flakes cereal? I loved how he always closed the commercial saying, "They're Grrreatt!". I loved that cereal as a kid, and I still do!!! It's one of my comfort foods, along with my mom's chicken seaweed soup and rice balls... (I know, you are probably saying, eeewwww!). Growing up in an oriental family has been very interesting, to say the least.... :)

Well, getting back to the reason why I'm posting today, when I first saw this new stamp set, Under the Stars, in Stampin' Up's new Idea Book & Catalog - I knew that I had to get it on my first order, and I did. I really love each individual stamp in this set, but this bear has my heart!!! He is just TOO adorable! The "grrreat" sentiment is cute, too - it can be used in so many situations.... birthdays, graduations and congratulations just to name a few. Since my family also enjoys camping, well... that's the cherry on top, so I see some scrapbook pages coming along!

I made this trifold (or gatefold) card for today's Splitcoast Stamper's challenge - the assignment was to make a monochromatic card. These types of cards are very easy to put together... you stick to one color scheme throughout. I chose browns today. I'm actually partial to the Earth Elements colors, although I do love and appreciate all of the color families in Stampin' Up's collection. Well, let's get on to the details, shall we??

I cut 4 circles with creamy caramel, chocolate chip and close to cocoa cardstock with a circle cutter in order to layer the bear. I stamped him in basic black ink on creamy caramel and watercolored him with chocolate chip marker and an aquapainter. I stamped the bear's head again, watercolored, and trimmed it out. I stamped a couple of the skeeters on creamy caramel and cut them out. I scored my chocolate chip cardbase at 2 3/4 inches from each end and folded to create the trifold (another name is gatefold). I randomly stamped the stars and used a bleach pen/small paintbrush to lighten up the center of the stars and the bears tummy and face a bit. I glued the circles together and dotted around a couple of the circles with my chocolate chip marker. I glued the left half of the circle on the left panel of the chocolate chip cardbase. I poked 4 holes and threaded them with twine. I glued the skeeters on the twine "tails". I stamped the "grreeaatt!" sentiment and punched it out with the word window punch, securing a couple of brads and adhering with popdots. I finished by popping the bear's head with popdots to add a bit of dimension.

Thanks for "bearing" with me today... I hope you have a "grrreat" day! :)
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