Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn Critter Congrats

Congratulations to LaNell, whose name was drawn from our Autumn Critters Blog Hop entries. (LaNell, please email me with your address.)

Since her comment from Michelle's post matched our randomly selected number, LaNell's prize pack will contain 11064MC Autumn Dogs Clear Set (which is what Michelle used to make her gift bag):


LaNell will also receive 11065SC Scarecrow & Friends Clear Set, which was the other set used in our hop:


If you'd like to order these clear sets for yourself, you can find them here. Thanks to everyone who joined us for this hop. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Funnies: Happy Halloween


Remember that fun Halloween riddle book created by Polly? It was filled with Inky images and joke stamps. Well, here are a few non-stamp riddles I thought you might enjoy:

Why was the skeleton afraid to cross the road?
It had no guts.

How do witches keep their hair in place while flying?
With scare spray.

How do monsters tell their future?
They read their horrorscope.

What do you get when you cross a werewolf and a vampire?
A fur coat that fangs around your neck.

What do you get when you cross a vampire and a snowman?
Frostbite.

What is a vampire's favorite sport?
Casketball.

What is Dracula's favorite kind of coffee?
Decoffinated.

Why did the vampire subscribe to the Wall Street Journal?
He heard it had great circulation.

Why do mummies have trouble keeping friends?
They're too wrapped up in themselves.

What kind of car does a ghost drive?
A Boo-ick.

What ride do spirits like best at the amusement park?
The roller ghoster.

What do you use to mend a jack-o-lantern?
A pumpkin patch.

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter?
Pumpkin pi.

What do you call a dead chicken that likes to scare people?
A poultrygeist.

Hope YOUR horrorscope calls for a fun weekend, Inky friends. And if you haven't yet seen our Autumn Critters Blog Hop, please check it out!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Autumn Critters Blog Hop

We've released two new autumn clear sets that we think you'll really "fall" for...especially when you see the great projects our designers made with them!

To view their creations, visit each DT member's blog and leave comments along the way. The more you comment, the better your chances are to win. (Limit one comment per blog, please.)

The blog hop starts today and ends on Sunday, October 30th at midnight Central time. One person’s name will be drawn at random to receive both of the clear sets used in this hop. We'll announce the winner here next Monday, so remember to stop back and see if it's you!

Want to get hopping? Here's the order:

Tex
Debbie
Crystal
Michelle
Trudy

After you're done, return here to leave a final comment. Thanks for playing with us!

* * *

For this hop, I used the cornstalk pup and a saying from 11064MC Autumn Dogs Clear Set. I'd picked up a bag of Corn Nuts to coordinate with the harvest theme.

I emptied the bag's contents into a Clear Pillow Box. For the belly band, I scored a 2" x 8 1/2" strip of Darcie's patterned cardstock in PAC1348 Vino Vine at 4 1/16" and 8 1/8". Next I placed a piece of red-lined tape on the short tab and wrapped the band around the box.

The image was colored with pencils and blended with Gamsol, and then layered onto brown cardstock. I punched the stamped saying and layered it, as well:


To add some dimension, I stamped and colored the cornstalk again. Then I cut out some of the ears of corn and popped them up with foam tape:


This last step took a few extra minutes, but overall the project went together very quickly. I think it would be fun to put these at each person's place setting on the Thanksgiving table. Happy harvest, Inky readers!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Thankful Hearts

For this week's installment of the "Try It Different" series, Debbie Fisher used 10875G Thankful Hearts:


First she created a simple yet lovely card using the stamp image:


She chose a color scheme and coordinating background paper that showcases all the pretty hues of fall so nicely, and I think anyone would be pleasantly surprised to receive this in the mail.

But if you wanted to take it a few steps further, look what a little extra embellishing can do:


Debbie added a scalloped border underneath the knotted ribbon and inked the edges of the image panel. Her stitching and button accents made this card "come alive" even further, and I love the results!

Thanks to Debbie for her great projects. If you're interested in seeing more stamps shown different ways again soon, please join us again tomorrow for our Autumn Critters Blog Hop. Hope to see you then!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Funnies: Mice

Did you see yesterday's post on the terrific cards created by the Lilac Inkers? Thought I'd piggyback on the theme with a few mouse jokes:

What do mice do when they're at home?
Mousework.

What mouse was a Roman emperor?
Julius Cheeser.

Who was the leader of the Chinese mouse revolution?
Mouse Tse-tung.

What is a mouse’s favorite game?
Hide and squeak.

How do you save a drowning mouse ?
Use mouse to mouse resuscitation.

(And my personal favorite...)

What do angry rodents send each other at Christmas time?
Cross-mouse cards.

Hope you have a chance to set aside YOUR "mousework" and make time to stamp this weekend, Inky readers!

And if you're attending the Strongsville show, please stop by the Inky booth to say hello. (Let me know which joke was your favorite...really. I have a good ulterior motive for asking.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lilac Inkers' Creations

Last month, Marie Oberg wrote to tell me that her stamping group was planning to make cards with 11000MC Thanksgiving Millie and 10999SC Thanksgiving Mervin Clear Sets at their next meeting:



I asked Marie if she'd be willing to take photos of the ladies and their finished projects, and she graciously agreed.

Here's the Lilac Inkers group, busily working on their creations:


And, oh, what a fantastic job they did! Aren't these cards just adorable:


Look at their awesome job of coloring (yep, with colored pencils and Gamsol!):


You can mix and match the various elements in these sets for endless versatility. So cool!

All the details they added really made the cards special. (You can click on any of these photos for a close-up view.) From buttons and bows to punched borders and hand drawn "stitching," their projects were beautifully embellished:


The leaves stamped in white pigment ink stood out nicely aginst the kraft cardstock (and some were done with VersaMark, as well):


The punched leaves added pizazz, and I love how they layered their cards with panels that were dry embossed, sponged, outlined in gold, and more: 


Thanks so much to Marie and the rest of the Lilac Inkers for sharing their gorgeous cards with us. Hope you've gotten a few ideas to use in your own projects. Have a "micey nice" day, everyone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Birthday Dog

For years, Inky artist Janie Miller has been making us smile with her wonderful critters, such as these guys in 10977MC Delightful Dogs #1 Clear Set:


For this week's "Try It Different" Tuesday segment, I asked Michelle Pearson to create two different projects using the dog in the lower left and related sayings (which are also available as 0783J Birthday Dog, 0821D Mini Birthday, and 0832E Just A Pup in the wood mounted versions).

Her first is a card that really "shines": 


The sparkly background was created by stamping 0007C Dog Bone (or the same image from 10978MC Delightful Dogs #2 Clear Set) repeatedly on a piece of cardstock.

Then she ran it through a Xyron machine and sprinkled Art Institute Transparent Ultra Fine Glitter in Juicy Fruit. You could also use a Sticky Tape Sheet if you don't have a Xyron machine.

One of the most unique aspects of this card is Michelle's creative use of our Honeycomb Paper Pads:


She'd saved scraps from previous projects, which she spread out and sewed directly onto the card panel to make a honeycomb border. How ingenious is that!

(To view another example of a different honeycomb border, check out this week's card on our main website.)

Michelle also used the same stamps on an adorable goodie box made with V1-1223 Rectangle Box Template:


The directions to make the basic box are the same for the Square Box Template, which are shown here. Michelle cut a small slit in the box cover so she could wrap the baker's twine around it, just prior to step #8.

Two fun-size candy bars fit inside perfectly:


Yum! Chocolate and a cute treat box...two gifts in one!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Funnies: More Dogs


Have you heard about the new dog cross-breeds? According to my sources, these specialized "designer dogs" are now officially recognized by the AKC:

Collie + Lhasa Apso = Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport

Pointer + Setter = Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet

Kerry Blue Terrier + Skye Terrier = Blue Skye, a dog for visionaries

Great Pyrenees + Dachshund = Pyradachs, a puzzling breed

Pekingnese + Lhasa Apso = Peekasso, an abstract dog

Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel = Irish Springer, a dog that's fresh and clean as a whistle

Labrador Retriever + Curly Coated Retriever = Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists

Newfoundland + Basset Hound = Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors

Bloodhound + Labrador = Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly

Bloodhound + Borzoi = Bloody Bore, a dog that's not much fun

Dachshund + Yorkie = Dorkie, the perfect dog for geeks & nerds

Malamute + Pointer = Moot Point, owned by....oh, well, it doesn't matter anyway

Collie + Malamute = Commute, a dog that travels to work

Deerhound + Terrier = Derriere, a dog that's true to the end

* * *

Hope you have a terrier-ific weekend! If you're attending the Hampton show, please stop by the Inky booth to say hello. (Ask me for a cookie...I'm not kidding.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Cookie Can

I have no idea why, but I've been in a real cookie-baking mood lately. Steve has been taking most of them to work, which is a good thing or else I turn into the cookie monster. Not a pretty sight.

After testing my fourth recipe this week, I started thinking about creative containers to put them in. Of course, our Gifts In A Snap template stamps are perfect for small goodies.

For example, 10189X Tall Bag Template decorated with 10154F Kitty In Disguise and 0494J Charm School Background makes an adorable treat holder:


For larger batches, altered cans fit the bill nicely. I found this snack size Pringles can that caught my attention:


The small one holds about 10-12 cookies, or you could use the larger Pringles canister. What about bean dip? I spotted a can of almonds that was tempting, as well. As long as it has a reusable lid, it's fair game!

At first, I was concerned the sour cream and onion flavor would linger in the can. (My nearest Walgreens was out of the regular variety, and I didn't want to drive around town looking for them.) In the end, it didn't matter because it washed up clean and odor-free.

I cut a piece of Darcie's patterned cardstock to 4 1/2" x 9 3/4" and placed a strip of red-lined tape along one of the short edges:


Red-lined tape is so strong that just a single strip of the 1/4" wide tape held it onto the can after I rolled it around the outside.

To embellish the covered can, I layered narrow green ribbon onto wider orange ribbon using 1/8" red-lined tape. Then I adhered it around the top and bottom of the can with additional red-lined tape:


For the side of the can, I stamped the "Trick or Treat" saying from 10919MC Halloween Hijix Clear Set, punched it with a circle punch, and layered it with foam tape onto a scalloped circle I'd punched from green cardstock.

I put the saying on a strip of orange ribbon and placed a bow (which was simple to make with the Bow-Easy) above it:


Finally, I snapped the lid onto the can and used red-lined tape to adhere the ribbon strip to the lid. I added more tape on the lid for my image panel, as well:


You can see how I stamped and colored the kitty image twice, cutting out just the ghost part to pop up with foam tape:


The last cookie didn't quite fit into the can, so I "helped" by eating it:


Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the job!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Heart To Heart Girls

I've never been a huge fan of dolls, but there's something about these sweet "raggy doll" girls that really warms my heart:


Since both the image and saying are included in this stamp, 4861K Heart To Heart Girls makes it easy to create simple yet great projects.

The intricately punched border sets off the stamp nicely in this pretty card by Sue Nelson:


Look what happens when you switch the color palette and tilt the image, as Lana Lepinski did here:


That totally changes things, huh? Or you can make it a vertically-oriented card instead:


As you can see, simple doesn't have to mean boring!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween ATCs

Many years ago, customers at retail conventions used to swap handstamped pins. (Does anybody remember this phenomenon?) You'd see ladies at shows wearing vests covered with them. I saved mine on a cork board above my desk so I could frequently gaze at these tiny treasures.

Nowadays, artist trading cards have become the trend. These collectible creations usually measure 2 1/2" x 3 1/2", so they fit nicely into baseball card protectors for those who like to store theirs in albums.

Our friend Becky O'Donnell has made oodles of them, and I thought I'd share a few of her Halloween ATCs since this "haunting holiday" is coming up soon:


I think it's cool how she dry-embossed Clear Cardstock to form a textured background for the cauldron frog (made with 10919MC Halloween Hijinx Clear Set) shown in the lower left.

And how creative is that candy corn ATC in the lower right? What a neat way to use 11042SC Monster Maker Clear Set in addition to making a Triangle Treat Box!

The ATC at the top of the above photo also utilizes that same clear stamp set. It's a miniature version of this larger teepee card that Becky made, shown on the left:


I found step-by-step instructions on this blog and a video tutorial showing how to make an even larger sized card here.

Becky used the other monster elements from the set and stamped them twice to make a two-eyed creature...genius! I love those self-adhesive rhinestone spots on his sides, too.

Thanks very much to Becky for sharing her projects with us. If you've made ATCs using Inky stamps, we'd love to see them. (Just email me with your JPG files.) You never know...YOU might be featured on our blog, too!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Funnies: Dogs & Cats

Last night I saw a TV commercial for Match.com. They said that one in five relationships start online & more of them start with their dating service. Do you believe their claims?

Well, it's certainly true for Steve and me. Even though we were living only eight miles from each other, I doubt our paths would have ever crossed without some kind of cyber-introduction. Isn't technology grand?

Anyway, it got me thinking about my profile back then:


My introduction had included a hilarious perspective from the viewpoint of a dog. In fact, it almost seemed written specifically about our own Bo:


Excerpt from a dog's diary:

DAY 180
8:00 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!
9:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!
9:40 am - OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!
10:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!
11:30 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!
12:00 noon - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!
1:00 pm OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!
4:00 pm - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!
5:00 pm - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!
5:30 pm - OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!

Cats, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. For example, Oscar typically just hangs out and does his own thing:


Excerpt from a cat's diary:

DAY 752 - My captors continue to torment me with bizarre, dangling objects. The eat lavish meals in my presence while I am forced to subsist on dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of eventual escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from occasionally ruining a piece of furniture. Today I ate a houseplant; tomorrow I may eat another.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant because he speaks with the humans regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait; it is only a matter of time...

* * *

Hope YOU have a pawsitively great weekend, Inky friends!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Halloween Riddle Book

Earlier this year, Polly from The Stamp Act in El Paso, Texas emailed photos of a Halloween book she made a while back using our stamps. I've been waiting until it was the right season to show you...and now that time has come!

Polly used several Inky images and Halloween riddles to decorate her project, and I think her results are just adorable. Here's 10713G Fritz Frankenstein, who's holding a spider yo-yo with googly eyes:


Here's the answer to the 10690D Ghoul Friend riddle:


I love how she stamped 10707F Gabby Ghost on vellum to make the image translucent and oh-so-ghostly:


Can you guess the answer to 10676D Ghost's Dessert? Yep, you got it:


Our little 10712F Winifred Witch isn't scary at all:


But she'll satisfy your appetite for FUN when paired with 10688D Sand Witch:


There's also 10711F Shelton Skeleton, who sounds a bit hungry:


But he's not eating a sandwitch...nope, it's 10689D Spare Ribs for him:


Polly "wrapped up" her project with 10710F Mortimer Mummy for this page, which is the same stamp that Debbie used for the October email newsletter project that I mentioned in Tuesday's post:


Cheesecloth makes a perfect embellishment for 10678D Mummy's Favorite:


Thanks so much to Polly for sharing her awesome project with us! Which riddle is YOUR favorite?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Try It Different" Tuesday

I've mentioned before how I love looking at different versions of similar things...whether it's various cards using the same stamps or a type of project decorated in different ways. So I thought I'd start posting each week on this topic and see how you like it!

For our first "Try It Different" Tuesday, I've selected a box pattern that has been decorated with various Inky stamps. This version was made by Peggy Peltier:


When you take off the coffin lid, you'll find some ghoulish goodies hidden inside:


Peggy used 10919MC Halloween Hijinx Clear Set to jazz up her box. Here's a closeup of the frog image on the "belly band" that slides off:


So where's the second version, you ask? Well, if you're already subscribed to our email newsletter list, you'll be receiving the October issue tomorrow that features it. Debbie Fisher made a wonderfully creepy coffin box, which was created exclusively for our subscribers. (Actually, her project is really cute...and you'll be able to download the PDF instructions from the link in the newsletter.)

If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time. Just enter your email address at the bottom of the main Inky website or on the right sidebar of this page. The next newsletter will be appearing in your inbox shortly!