Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pearlescent Watercolors

A few weeks ago, one of our customers emailed to ask if I could post an example using the Pearlescent Watercolor Set on my blog. Although it took longer than I'd hoped, I finally pulled out those pretty paints tonight.

First, I stamped 10073 Hello and 1524F Brushed Butterfly with a VersaMark pad onto black cardstock:


You can use these watercolors on white cardstock or vellum, but sometimes they look a little streaky. I think they really pop beautifully on black cardstock, though, so that's what I generally stick with.

I poured Silver Detail Embossing Powder over the paper and tapped off the excess:


Then I melted the powder with my heat tool. You can see how the lower half is already done:


Yup, my heat tool is antiquated! It was made back in the days when they used a metal tip, which I'm careful to keep away from my fingers since that thing gets blistering hot. The modern ones are much nicer; I use the Marvy Heat Tool when I demo at shows.

So let's get to the watercolors, shall we? With the Niji Waterbrush, I dribbled a drop of water into one of the pans:


Then I swirled it around for 5-10 seconds to "goober up" the paint.

The more you goober it up, the thicker the paint will get...and the thicker the paint gets, the more opaque the color will be. This is how you can control the level of translucency you desire. I usually like it on the slightly thicker side myself, about the consistency of heavy cream:


I applied the paint to my embossed image:


When I was ready to switch to another color, I spritzed Ultra Clean onto my waterbrush while holding it over a paper towel. Ultra Clean is made to remove ink from rubber stamps, but it also makes a terrific brush cleaner and gets off all the extra residue way better than plain water:


After applying a second color to my image, I gently swished the brush along the spot where the two colors met to soften the edges a bit:


As I continued painting, I noticed that I'd goofed and gone outside the lines. Notice the gold paint on the butterfly in the middle:


Okay, you got me...I actually did that on purpose because I wanted to show how you can take your clean brush to fix the accidentally colored part:


Sometimes a little pearly sparkle will remain on the cardstock, but most of the paint will lift up fairly well so you can repair "trouble spots."

Once I'd finished painting, I matted my paper onto a contrasting card base:


Ta da! That's all there is to it. Pretty easy, huh? By the way, the Pearlescent Watercolor Set is a website-only product that we no longer carry at conventions.

Thanks to Jennifer for her request (and patience, LOL). If there are any accessories in our collection that YOU would like more information about, please feel free to email me anytime!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bees & Frogs Congrats

Here is your random number:

9

Timestamp: 2010-06-28 16:18:11 UTC

* * *

Congratulations to Rochelle, who won the Bumbly Bees set in our drawing. Rochelle, please contact me via email with your mailing info to claim your prize.

And surprise congrats to Tammy C., who wins this Frogs & Friends clear set:


Tammy, please let me know your mailing address, too!

I called Steve at work today to ask him which dance name was his favorite, and he said they were all funny but liked "Stevie Antics" the best.

He wasn't feeling well last night after we returned home from Chantilly, but he told me that he'd been planning to submit his own name: the "Jackie owes me big-time for this" dance. LOL!

Thanks to everyone who played. We thought "every buggie's" submission was fantastic and wish you all a "toadally" great day!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Spool & Store Ribbon System

Last weekend in Orlando, I was so excited because our Best Craft Spool & Store shipment arrived at the hotel just in time for the show. This is a unique ribbon storage system that a customer recently told me about. I checked it out when we were at the Arlington scrapbook convention and was really impressed. Better yet, once I took it home to play with, I was not disappointed.

It all starts with this nifty little guy:



The Ribbon Spooler allowed me to turn this:


Into this:


It took just a few minutes, and it was easy to do. The "storage system" part comes into play when you store the rolls in these Ribbon Dispensers:


Don't they look pretty all organized by type? Or you could sort them by color, of course. Here's a video by Lou Ann Frei that shows the system in action:


I've made a PDF file with step-by-step instructions if you care to download it and take a look.

We've carried the PullEZ Ribbon Purse for a while now:


But some customers find it too messy looking. And while I still like it, we won't be reordering these after our current inventory is gone. (So if you'd like one to hold your shorter lengths of ribbon, you may want to get it now.)

My next project is to spool up all that ribbon. I'll write another post and show you what it looks like when it's done!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In & Out

Whew, it's been a whirlwind week with back-to-back shows. Steve and I left for Orlando last Thursday, got home on Monday, and spent a day here. This evening we're turning around and heading to the airport for the Chantilly convention!

Part of my job is to work at the shows, and I really enjoy doing them. But Steve actually took vacation days from his "real" employer for these two gigs. That man can turn practically anything into a fun time:


Um, I'm not exactly sure what kind of move he's doing there. Do YOU have any idea? If you'd like to "name that dance," leave a note in the comments section of this post telling me your thoughts. (But be somewhat gentle since Steve does read the blog, LOL!)

You might "bee" glad you did because you'll get a chance to win this clear stamp set (which won't even be available on our website until the beginning of August):


I'll take entries until this Sunday at midnight Central time. The winner will be randomly chosen on Monday morning, and I'll post the results here. Good luck!

* * *

BTW if you're planning to attend the Chantilly show, please stop by the Inky booth on Friday or Saturday mention the secret phrase "Happy Dance" to receive this little goodie for free. We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bow-Easy Measurements

As you may know, the Bow-Easy template helps you create seven different size bows:


Here's my original post on the Bow-Easy, which also contains a video and link to PDF instructions.

The Bow-Easy doesn't come with the sizes printed on it, so I used a Sharpie marker to label mine for easy reference. (Note: The largest size, 2 3/4", is not labeled on the template above. It's the wider set of prongs shown at the bottom of the photo on the same side as the 1 1/4" size, underneath the Posi-Bendr Co. information.)

When I demonstrate the Bow-Easy template at shows, sometimes customers will ask how much ribbon you need. And my answer has always been the same: The length of ribbon varies, depending on what size bow you're making and whether you want a single- or double-looped bow.

But that didn't seem very specific, so I sat down with my Bow-Easy, scissors, and ruler to make all the different size bows and record how much ribbon it actually took. Here is a handy guide to help you cut the right amount each time:

Keep in mind these measurements are approximate. You may find that you're able to use even less ribbon that I did to comfortably make your bows.

On the other hand, you might wish to add an extra inch or two to the lengths given in the chart (especially if you're just getting started or have limited dexterity).

Want to print out this information? I've put it into a PDF file, as well. Happy bow making!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Silliness

I do have plans to post something stamp related soon, cross my heart, but in the meantime I wanted to show you this:


Besides the spelling error, umm, let's see...chocolate, peanut, and caramel. Aren't those three great tastes?

Okay, I get that they really mean that chocolate and peanut are the two tastes in the caramel base, but this struck me as funny anyway. Doesn't take much to entertain me, LOL!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Chuckle

Steve and I stopped by Old Navy the other night because I needed to return some shirts. I spotted this sign and had to take a picture:


It's a super big sale! Wait a minute, though...and take a closer look:


Oh please, may I get the sunglasses that are regularly $6.50? I'm dying to pay $1.50 more for them, LOL!

Actually, I did pick up a pair...but the ones I chose were regularly $9.50, so I felt much better about my purchase. ;-)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Clear Treat Basket

I haven't forgotten about you, Inky friends! I was hoping to post this before I left last Wednesday for the scrapbook convention in Arlington, but I just plumb ran out of time on Tuesday night. This is a little project I made to show another thing to do with our Clear Cardstock (in addition to making unique transparent cards, for example):


To start, I layered colored and trimmed images from Lg. Cube 0154 Kitty Cube onto green cardstock that I'd cut with a Nestabilities Labels One set in my Cuttlebug. I also cut four additional labels and set those aside:


I folded back the crimped ends of four Ghiradelli Squares chocolates and used double-sided tape to hold the ends in place:


Turning in the ends allowed my layered kitties and blank labels to fit nicely onto the Ghiradelli Squares, which I taped on the top and bottom of each chocolate wrapper (not pictured) before setting them aside.

For the basket base, I cut a piece of Clear Cardstock so it measured 5" x 5". With a Scor-It Board, I scored each of the four sides at 1 1/2":


I made two cuts on each side, right on the horizontal score lines, up to the vertical score marks:


The pawprint from 10977MC Delightful Dogs #1 Clear Set made a fun background when I stamped it repeatedly using StazOn Opaque Ink in Blush Pink. So that my pawprints wouldn't overlap when assembling my box, I stamped only the four inside squares plus the center square (but not the four corner squares):


I folded inward on all score lines:


Since the Clear Cardstock is so sturdy, I could only use my 1/8" hole punch on one layer at a time. First I punched the inside square on one side (the one with the pawprints):


Next I folded one of the corner squares inward and punched through the existing hole. I unfolded it and did the same with the same with the other corner square on that side, so that all three squares had a hole in them. Then I repeated this on the other side of the piece.

After adding strips of 1/8" red-lined tape on the corner squares of each side, my piece looked like this:


I pulled the release strip on one of the red-lined tape pieces and folded the corner square inward again, lining up the two holes before pressing down to adhere:


Once I did the same with the other corner square on that side, this is what I had:


The next step, as I'm sure you already guessed, was to fold up and adhere the other side in the same way:


I threaded ribbon through one side and added a flower:


Then I knotted the end:


I did the same thing on the other side to create the basket handle. I filled it with the decorated Ghiradelli Squares and added the 0056D Pawsitively Terrific saying to the front, and my project was complete:


Ta da! It was simple and quick to make. In fact, writing the instructions for this post took longer than creating the treat basket itself. Hope you'll be inspired to give it a try!