September 28, 2012

Masculine Card with Dragonfly

Turns out you can make masculine cards with Stamping Gear flowers, if you chose the right patterns and ink.  I stumbled across this while playing around.  I bought a dark green, almost gray ink pad that, when used with the flower in the center of the Stamping Gear circular gear, came out looking pretty awesome.  So I did it up as a card.  It's not perfectly symmetrical, but I'm sure that will improve with experience.  I added a punched dragonfly (plus glitter glue) just for fun.

Cardstock: Recollections
Ink: Memento
Stamps: Stamping Gear, Stampin' Kimmie Steampunk Sentiments
Punch: dragonfly (can't remember the company and with a kitty sleeping on my lap I can't go upstairs to check)
glitter glue

September 27, 2012

Stamping Gear Card: Believe

One of the designs I tried out two days ago when playing with Stamping Gear looked like it would make a great card.  So I made one.  The design is a tiny bit too large for the paper, but looks good all the same.
Cardstock: Recollections
Stamps: Stamping Gear, ? (the sentiment was a cheap stamp from Michaels and I don't remember what company it was from as I bought it a few years ago)
hot-fix rhinestone

September 26, 2012

Stamping Gear Review Part 1

I know I said I'd review Inkadinkado's Stamping Gear in a few weeks, but I had the chance to play with it yesterday and learned several things that I want to share before I forget them.

First, removing the product from the packaging:
I don't know that I've ever had so much trouble getting a product out of the package before.  I was hoping to keep the cardboard in relatively good condition, as there are lots of good tips on it, but no luck there.  I was able to pull apart the paper in a few places to get the rings out, but I had to cut out the last few.  Also be careful, as one set of stamps has instructions underneath them.  They're basic instructions (the stuff they mentioned in the video with a few tips and example art pieces).

Onto the pieces themselves.  As I was afraid, the rings are quite large BUT, if you put the stamps close to the tab on the stamping piece for the cogs and away from the tab on the gears when stamping on the inside of the gear, you can make pretty small designs, suitable for card crafting.  If you're into scrapbooking, there's no problem and you can make quite nice larger designs with these, especially when using the outsides of the gears.

Here's a close-up of the circle cog, gear and stamper.  The cogs and gears both have little arrows sticking out at the compass points helping you orient your pieces for symmetrical designs, as well as mini cut out arrows every second tab.  This helps you if you're only stamping every second tab for more open (rather than overlapping) designs.
The stamper has alignment lines, which are useful for getting your stamp in a good position as well as if you're doing straight lines (rather than using the gears/cogs).

The tab system works great, though you have to watch the ovals, as not all designs will come out symmetrical (due to the size of the stamp and how ovals work.

And a close-up o the bottoms:
There's a soft foam backing, which helps keep the cogs/gears from slipping when you use them.  This was particularly helpful to me, as I tend to hold my stamp and stamp pad when inking (the videos for Stamping Gear all suggest keeping one hand on the gear/cog and the other inking the pad).  It's a little hard to see on this picture, but there's a notch on the top and bottom tabs on the stamping piece that fits into the notches on the cogs/gears.

I tested the system with cling stamps that didn't come with it, to see if they worked.  They do.  I had no problem using other Inkadinkado cling stamps, as well as Local King Rubber, Fiskar's and Stampin' Kimmie.  Alas, as the picture below shows, the system doesn't work with clear stamps.  They're simply too thin, and don't clear the notch on the stamping piece and therefore will stamp if they're far enough away from the gear/cog, but not if they're close.

You can see what I mean in the heart picture below.  The outline stamp is a cling stamp, but I tried to line it with a clear heart vine stamp and then add a clear solid heart inside. Neither of the clear stamps worked properly.

You also have to remember if you're stamping with the wide end of the stamper or the short end.  This sound easy, but if you put the stamper in the wrong way you can mess up your design pretty quickly.  I only had this problem when I was stamping on the inside of the gears, but it's easy to get mixed up when you're inking your stamp, which way is 'up' for the design.

Here are some patterns I made, some with the stamps that come with the set, some with my own stamps.  Tomorrow I'll post some cards I made using designs I tried on these 8 1/2 x 11 test pages.

September 25, 2012

My Stamping Gear Deluxe Kit Has Arrived

Guess what arrived in the mail yesterday...

I know, I was going to wait and see how others use it for card crafting, but I got a 40% off coupon for liking Fiskar's on facebook, which made the kit plus shipping less than the kit on its own.  Hard to turn that down.  And now I can review the set for others. :)

Here's one of my kitties checking it out.  The Deluxe Set comes with both the circle and oval gears and cogs, the stamping tool and 4 sets of stamps.  I'm hoping to play around with the kit this week and next week (next week I've got another set of book review posts), after which I'll get a review up here for those of you out there on the fence about stamping gear.

September 21, 2012

Flight of the Butterflies

If you haven't noticed, I love butterflies.  Here's a card I gave one of my sisters for her birthday last year.

Paper: Recollections cardstock, parchment
Punches: Recollections, Martha Stewart, Fiskar's 3-in-1

September 20, 2012

Butterfly Train

I thought this week would be less busy than last week, as that's not the case you're getting another, older card.

The butterfly was cut on the Silhouette, and I used hot fix rhinestones for the 'train'.

Cardstock: Recollections
Rhinestones: Imaginesce

September 19, 2012

Autumn Tree Card

A while back I decided to try and start using all the specialty papers I've got lying around.  When I was a child I remember using transparent paper one of my parents brought home from Germany.  After looking for a similar product in Canada for years, I got the chance to go to the source.  The paper is a cross between tissue paper and wax paper, being thicker than tissue but not grainy, and yet also being thinner than wax and available in multiple colours.

It wasn't easy to locate, but I did find some.  And here's a card I made with it.  I cut the tree out with a craft knife, then cut a frame out of my base card so the transparency of the paper would be visible.  Using some other colours, I punched leaves.  This is the card in regular light.
This is it partially back lit so you can see the tree but also still the leaves.
 Here it is fully back lit.
I've got some more ideas of what to do with this paper, when time permits.  The closer it gets to Christmas, the less time I'll have for experimenting with papers as I'll have to work hard to get all my cards ready in time.

Cardstock: Recollections
Transparent Paper: Folia Paper
Punch: ? not sure, it's a cheap punch I picked up a craft show with no logo on it

September 14, 2012

Steampunk Heart

Got another quick card post today.  I wanted to do something steampunk and I got this great stamp set called Musicale, with a steampunk heart.  I stamed it on black paper because I wanted to test out my metallic bronze ink.  

Alas, the ink (being pigment) didn't seem to dry entirely, or flaked off when I used pop dots on it so that raised section isn't glued on properly.  I'll either need to find another way to attach it, or just glue it flat.

Aside from that, I like this card, especially the gears in the heart and the steampunk embossed background.

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamp: Prima Marketing - Musicale, Kraftin' Kimmie - Steampunk Sentiments
Embossing Plate: Cuttlebug - Clockworks
Hot-fix gems: Imaginesce

September 13, 2012

Elegant Flower

I've got lots to do today, so you're getting another quick card post.  This is a flower stamp I saw someone else use and thought looked fantastic, so I bought it.  And yup, it does look fantastic.  It's accented with some gold pearl hot-fix gems and a new punch that I absolutely love.

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamp: Penny Black - Dreamy (Flower)
Ink: Encore Ultimate Metallic Gold
Punch: EK Success 2-in-1 Lili Pad
Hot-fix gems: Imaginesce

September 12, 2012

Mounting Rubber Stamps

So, my cling foam arrived and I was able to mount my sentiment stamps.  Following the directions of a video I found on youtube a few weeks back, I got to work.

Step 1, trim the outside edges a bit.

Step 2, cut the cling foam to size and peel off the paper on the sticky side.  This stuff is VERY sticky, and will muck up your scissors when you cut it (ie, you'll get sticky residue on your scissors). Use an eraser to get the residue off when you're done.

Step 3, with the rubber on the foam, cut the different sentiments apart.  This is fairly hard to cut, as the foam is quite thick and the rubber tough.

This is a bonus step.  After peeling the front paper off (the side that clings to acrylic blocks), I used a Copic (ie permanent) marker to write the sentiments on the front.  I figured it would be easier to find the sentiment I'm looking for if I can read them faster (and while I can read backward script, why put myself to the trouble?).
Voila, self-mounted sentiment stamps.  I definitely prefer buying my stamps prepped for stamping but doing it myself was an interesting experience.

September 7, 2012

Birthday Butterfly and Flower Card

This card only uses a bit of ink painting, but I managed to do it without any lines.  Just nicely blended ink.

I like the effect you get with Spellbinders dies, but don't own any (yet).  To get the effect - the uninked rim around my circle - I cut shapes with my silhouette out of acetate that are just a bit smaller than the circles/shapes I cut out from cardstock.  When I layer the acetate outline over my cardstock, I can ink inside the circle and still have a crisp white outline.  You don't get the embossing on the outer edge that the Spellbinders die would give you, unfortunately, but it still looks pretty good.  :)

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamps: Close to my Heart - Delight, Kaiser Craft - Birthday Sentiments
Ink: Memento
Punch: EK Success Lily Pad 2-in-1 edger punch
Hot-set rhinestones

September 6, 2012

Ink Sponges

Part of my quest to learn how to ink paint was figuring out if the sponges I was using (some face make-up sponges I had lying around and sponges that came as filler with a set of hot-fix rhinestones) were appropriate for this type of project.

The black filler sponges came square and I tried rounding them so they wouldn't leave streak marks.  After trying - unsuccessfully - to reproduce the ink painting I've seen on other sites I decided to buy actual ink daubers (craft sponges designed for this purpose).  I wanted to see if the daubers were special in some way.  The sponge on the daubers is a cross between the two sponges I was already using.  It's got small pores and is quite soft to the touch as well as having a rounded top.

With regards to ink painting however, I had the same problems - streaking and hard edges.  Obviously my problem was not the sponges then (or not just the sponges).  So I tried something else.  I tried not putting as much ink on the sponges.  Voila!  Apparently I was over inking the sponges, making their first contact with paper too ink heavy, so they smeared and left firm lines.

In addition to the over inking, I suspect you're also supposed to leave that first smear on whatever mask you're using with your project (for land/sun/landscape background), then smear a smaller amount from there onto your project.  I'll have to practice with these ideas, but my first attempt with this knowledge turned out quite good.  I'll post that card tomorrow. :)

September 5, 2012

Fairy Card 2

Following soon after making yesterday's card, I tried the same design again.  This time, instead of doing the background first, I stamped and coloured the image.  I then made a mask of it and covered my image, allowing me to stamp leaves and sponge ink over the background without interfering with my fairy.  I also masked where I wanted the sentiment, though I don't think I'd do that again, as having the background stop solidly around the words looks kind of odd.

Again, I used a clear glitter pen to make the wings shine.

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamp: Make It Crafty - Fairy Celandine; Inkadinkado - Leaves; Whiff of Joy - Magical Wishes Sentiments
Ink: Memento
Markers: Crayola
Clear Copic Atyou Spica Glitter Pen

September 4, 2012

Fairy Card 1

This card was an experiment in a couple of things.  I improved all of them in the second card I did, which I'll post tomorrow.

I started the card by 'ink painting' the background.  That meant taking my sponges and making a radiating pattern from the center where I intended to stamp the fairy.  I used blue and green ink, then some gold to give it a bit of sparkle.  The obvious error here is that I inked into the fairy's skin (most notably her face).  I coloured her with markers, used a glitter pen to give her wings some shine, and added a few heat set gems.  To finish, I punched the bottom.

While I wasn't entirely happy with the ink background (it smeared well in some areas and made splotches in others) on the whole I did like the card.

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamp: Make it Crafty - Fairy Celandine
Ink: Memento, Encore Ultimate Metallic
Markers: Crayola
Punch: EK Tools - Dotted Scallop Edger 
glitter pen
hot fix gems (I own these from several companies, so I'm not saying which I used, as I'm not sure)