Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Lori Craig: Hoot! Hoot! Canvas

"Who loves really INKY fun? I do! I do!" says Lori Craig. "Hoot! Hoot!"

For her final project as our Inky Guest Designer this month, Lori used two of the same sets she started with and took them in a new direction. They're 10960LC Owl Friends Clear Set (drawn by artist Ronnie Walter) and 10985MC Mod Flowers Clear Set (drawn by artist Stacy West), respectively:

"I love the look and idea of all of the mixed media projects that I see all over internet-land. They always look so great... and so intimidating," she admits. "So, over the last year or so, I've purchased several packs of small 3x4 and 3x3 canvas from my local hobby store and had a great time playing!

"A small canvas is great for beginners because it's inexpensive. You won't feel like you can't try something for fear of messing it up and wasting your investment. It's also small enough that you can complete a project start to finish in a short amount of time.

"[I started with] a 3" x 3" gesso-covered canvas. It was already covered with gesso when I purchased it. I think a three-pack was $3.99ish. Perfect for my inky antics (pardon the pun).

"I used a combination of water (dye inks and Mod Podge) and alcohol (Copic) products on this, and a good rule of thumb when mixing your mediums would be to do your alcohol work first, and then apply your water based mediums over the top of that. Your water based mediums will not affect or alter alcohol (Copic used here) underneath," recommends Lori.

Step #1: Squirt Copic Ink into a palette and brush over the top of the gesso-covered canvas. I started with BG10 and then added a little BG45 for a mottled look. It will dry very quickly.

Step #2: Soak your brush with Copic Ink in a little bit of Copic Blending Solution to clean the bristles.

Step #3: Cut a piece of tissue paper slightly larger than your canvas and stamp your background images onto the tissue paper. I used the Mod Flowers Clear Set and Clearsnap dye inks in Strawberry and Tangerine.

Step #4: I put my tissue paper back over the canvas for placement of the limb and the sentiment. Those are both stamped with Espresso Truffle, and the limb is colored with Copic Marker. Work gently, with a light hand. You want a minimal amount of ink on the tissue paper.

Step #5: Stamp your main image on XPress It Blending card with Espresso Truffle Memento and color with Copic Marker.

Step #6: Trim your main image.

Step #7: The trick to working with Mod Podge as a glue and sealing medium is to apply a coat of the glue under and over whatever you are adhering. In this case, I apply a thin layer directly to the canvas and paint it on with a flat wide brush.

Step #8: Lay tissue paper over the Mod Podge covered canvas and gently press the tissue paper into the canvas to minimize air bubbles. I used the bristles of my brush.

Step #9: Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top of the tissue paper, lay your main image on top of that, and apply a final thin layer of Mod Podge over the main image. Sprinkle with fine glitter at this point, if desired. Set aside to dry.

Step #10: My final step was to accent the dry canvas with white oil-based Sharpie for edge decoration.

Here is Lori's charming finished project:

Ink: Espresso Truffle Memento - Tsukineko, Strawberry & Tangerine Dye Inks - Clearsnap

Cardstock: XPress It Blending Card, Tissue Paper

Accessories: Copic Various Ink Refills (BG10 & BG11), Copic Markers (E31, E33, E35, RV23, RV25, Y35, YR07, YG05), 3x3 Gesso-Covered Canvas, Mod Podge, White Oil-Based Sharpie

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When I asked Lori where she finds inspiration for her stamping projects, she pointed to the Splitcoaststampers Gallery (of course!).

"I like to say that I’m not creative, I just copy well," she claims. "People constantly amaze me with their creativity and ingenuity. I also jot sketches, interesting color combos in a little notebook from time to time, and I could probably get a lot more stamping done if I’d quit looking for inspiration on Pinterest.

"While I love looking at other people’s papercrafting creations and I’m almost always inspired, I went through a period where I was intimidated because I wanted my projects to look like this person's or that person’s. Now, I try to stick with a vision of crafting that I know I execute well, and I try to keep it simple because simple is what I’m more apt to send to someone I love. I learned to love the quote 'Comparison is the thief of joy!'”

Hopefully, you'll find that great projects don't have to be intimidating at all, just like Lori's adorable owl canvas and the other creations she has shown us throughout March. It's been such a pleasure talking with Lori and sharing her posts with our Inky readers. Will you please help me thank her for joining us by leavng a comment at the end of this post?

Your comment will also enter you in a BLOG CANDY giveaway. On Wednesday, April 3rd, I'll randomly choose the winner for 10960LC Owl Friends Clear Set and 10985MC Mod Flowers Clear Set. I'll post that person's name here on the blog, so please check back to see if you've won!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Funnies: Happy Easter

Q: How do you make a rabbit stew?
A: Make it wait for 3 hours!

Q: What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole?
A: A hot cross bunny.

Q: Why shouldn’t you tell an Easter egg a good joke?
A: It might crack up!

Q: How does the Easter Bunny stay fit?
A: EGG-xercise and HARE-robics!

Q: What did the rabbit say to the carrot?
A: It’s been nice gnawing you!

Q: What’s the best way to send a letter to the Easter Bunny?
A: Hare mail!

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Happy Easter, Inky friends. Hope you have an egg-cellent holiday!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Divine Reflections

As you may recall, last winter we released the Divine Reflections collection (drawn by artist Darby New). In December 2011, these stamps were featured on an Inky Monthly Board Program sample board:

One of the stores who carries our board program each month is Scrapbooking By Lisa. Actually, they have two locations in Ohio. The Alliance store can be found in Carnation City Mall on 2500 State Street:

The Wintersville store is inside Create-A-Room on 110 Main Street:

Tami Cashioli, a staff member at the Wintersville store, sent me an insert they put inside packages of cards that the students at her daughter's junior high school made:

Every Friday, Tami volunteers her time at the school to teach 7th and 8th graders how to create their own handstamped cards. They usually donate the finished cards to nursing home residents, who can then give them to their family and friends. What an awesome idea!

The cards they made with the Divine Reflections stamps were given to the priests during Catholic Schools Week. If you click on both the original board and insert sheet pictures, you can compare the cards close up and see the similarities and differences. Which of the students' cards do YOU like best?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Lori Craig: Mod Flowers, Part 2

"I knew when Jackie asked me what types of sets I would enjoy working with and I was window shopping," says Lori Craig, "this stamp set called to me."

She's referring to 10985MC Mod Flowers Clear Set (drawn by artist Stacy West):

"So many fun little elements backed into the set along with some striking, bold blooms," explains Lori. "I have loved working with this one!

"This card was quick and easy to put together, and if you stamp the entire sheet of white card stock before trimming it down, you can make an entire set of cards in a short amount of time."

She chose pretty, soothing color palette of aqua, teal, and brown to create her background:

Then she matted her layers and added the sentiment on a notched banner popped up with foam tape:

"Several years ago, when I was approaching 40," shares Lori, I kept thinking about my daughters, how much I love them and how much I wanted to enjoy my time with them while they are young.

So I decided to try to make some lifestyle changes. I started watching what I ate, exercising, walking and then moving at a pace a little faster than a walk . I used the Couch-to-5K app on my phone and surrounded myself with encouraging girlfriends.

When I turned 40, I ran the St. Louis Rock ‘n Roll half-marathon. Me. A runner! I still run a slow 4-5 miles per day, 3 days per week. That’s always a little weird to share with strangers, but if one woman takes that story, makes some subtle changes (that do or don’t include running) and says, 'I want to be healthier for myself and my family,' then it’s worth the embarrassment.
You can do almost anything that you set your mind to doing."

Here are the results of  Lori's quick and easy card, so that she still has time to run:

What would YOU do with your extra time after making this card, Inky friends?

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Cardstock: Sno Cone - My Favorite Things, XPress It Blending Card - Copic Marker, Striped Pattern - Simple Stories

Ink: Kraft & Sno Cone - My Favorite Things, Marina Mist - Stampin' Up!

Accessories: Card Creator Matting Basics A & B - Spellbinders Paper Arts, Fishtail Banner Stax Die-namics - My Favorite Things, Pearl - Want 2 Scrap

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Funnies: Spring

As you know, Wednesday marked the official first day of spring...but it's kind of hard to tell that from looking around our neighborhood:

Despite the lingering cold, snowy weather, we've got a few spring jokes to share with you!

Q: Why are people always tired in April?
A: Because they just finished a March.

Four high school boys afflicted with spring fever skipped morning classes. After lunch, they reported to the teacher that they had a flat tire.

Much to their relief, she smiled and responded, "Well, you missed a test while you were gone, so take seats apart from one another and take out a piece of paper."

Still smiling, she waited for them to sit down. Then she said, "First question: Which tire was flat?"

Francis Norton woke up Sunday morning and, realizing it was an exceptionally beautiful and sunny early spring day, decided he just had to play golf. So, he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling sick and convinced him to say Mass for him that day.

As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Father Norton headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away. This way, he knew he wouldn't accidentally meet anyone he knew from his parish.

Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all, it was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church. At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking down from the heavens and exclaimed, "You're not going to let him get away with this, are you?"

The Lord sighed and replied, "No, I guess not." Just then Father Norton hit the ball and it shot straight towards the pin, dropping just short of it. It rolled up and fell into the hole. IT WAS A 420-YARD HOLE IN ONE!

St. Peter was astonished. He looked at the Lord and asked, "Why did you let him do that?"

The Lord smiled and replied, "Who's he going to tell?"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Rabbits & Eggs

I was poking around the Shady Tree Studio blog and saw that Inky artist Nancy Baier had been playing with her new 11165MC Rabbit & Cart Clear Set:

She "dyed" the Easter eggs on this bright, cheery card using Spectrum Noir markers:

Her adorable rabbit image was placed in the foreground and popped up with foam tape:

This clear set contains two sweet little bunnies, and Nancy stamped the other one repeatedly to create a lovely card that can be used for Easter, spring, or any day:

In her blog post, Nancy explains how she used foam tape to attach the sentiment because it almost overlapped the rabbits:

For a completely different look with the same set, Michelle Pearson used colored pencils blended with Gamsol in a soft, pastel hues:

Michelle designed several beautiful cards using Nancy's most recent images for our March store display boards:

A few weeks ago, we shipped these sample boards (and the stamps used to make them) to stores that are subscribed to our Inky Monthly Sample Board Program. Click here for a list of stores who received the March shipment.

We encourage you to call ahead to verify they have these stamps in stock, and then please visit them to make your purchase. However, if you're unable to find a local retailer carrying these stamps, you may also order them online from us.

Know a local stamp or scrapbook store that might be interested in our board program? Please ask them to email me for details. If they sign up for it and provide your name as a referral at that time, I'll send you a little thank-you goodie!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Lori Craig: Sending You Love

Note From Jackie: Lori Craig is not only a very talented stamper, but she's lot of fun to talk with. I always look forward to our conversations at the CHA trade shows.

Lori's warm, easygoing manner also comes across nicely in her written words, which can sometimes be hard to convey (but not for her, as you will see).

And that's a wonderful thing for us...because in addition to creating a beautiful card for this week's project, she wrote today's post, too. It's full of handy tips, explained in a way that feels just like you have a stamping friend sitting right next to you in the studio!

* * *

I had fun with the 11109SC Balloon Flight Clear Set (drawn by artist Nancy Baier). Living in the Midwest, rolling farmland is a daily picture, and this set reminds me of that:

My image is colored with Copics, and though the image is just 2 3/4" square, I managed to pack a lot of color into it. The artist gives you just the right amount of line detail in this image for interest and depth, yet still manageable to color in a short amount of time. I've included a step-out diagram so you can see exactly where I've used each Copic color:

Here are a few tips for working with this scenic image:

After coloring the main square image and airbrushing the sky, I stamped both of the clouds on XPress It Blending Card with SnoCone ink and cut them out. The SnoCone ink was a good match to the sky color that I had airbrushed, and this allows the clouds blend into the scene, as opposed to stamping them in brown and having such harsh lines.

After cutting them out, I gently ran a BG000 marker over the exposed white core of the cardstock and then I glued them directly to the image, rather than popping them up because I didn't want them to compete with my hot air balloon.

The balloon is also stamped on XPress It Blending Card with Espresso Truffle ink (the same as the main image). It is colored and then cut out. Notice how the space between the basket and the balloon is colored to match the mountains. I purposely left that area white until after the balloon was cut out so that I could play with the balloon placement on my main image and decide whether placement would be over the mountains, tree line or sky.

And, again as I had done on the clouds, I used pale markers (YR21, BV00 and E31) to lightly color the exposed white core of the cardstock after the balloon was cut out. It's a subtle detail, but subtle additions can help add a polished look to your finished project:

The last step was to pop the balloon image up on some kind of dimensionals to give it a floating appearance. Because this entire image is rather small, my 1/8" foam tape popped the balloon up just a bit higher than I preferred, so I cut two 1/2" round circles with a punch from regular cardstock and stacked them together.

Those two flat circles glued to the back of my balloon gave me just enough height to appear floating, but not oddly hovered over the image. The thicker your foam tape, the more shadow you will create with your popped up image, and I really wanted to minimize that here.

I hope you are inspired to play with scenic stamping like this. Don't overthink the coloring and blending. Even with a healthy collection of colors in the supply list, this entire card took me about 1 hour start-to-finish:

Cardstock: XPress It Blending Card, Whip Cream - My Favorite Things, Fly a Kite Patterned Paper - Lime Twist Collection - My Mind's Eye

Ink: Espresso Truffle Memento - Tsukineko and Sno Cone - My Favorite Things

Accessories: Matting Basics Dies - Spellbinders, Copic Marker (BG000, B0000, YR21, YR23, YR24, BV00, G40, G43, YG03, E31, E33, E35, YG00, YG01, G12, G14, BG70, BG72, W1, W3) Button, Twine

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Funnies: St. Paddy's Day

Digging a Hole

A passerby watched two Irishmen in a park. One was digging holes and the other was immediately filling them in again. "Tell me," said the passerby, "What on earth are you doing?"

"Well," said the digger, "Usually there are three of us. I dig, Fergal plants the tree, and Sean fills in the hole. Today Fergal is away unwell, but that doesn't mean Sean and I have to take the day off, does it?"

Irish Tale from Cork

Father O'Connor walks into a pub and says to the first man he meets, "Do you want go to heaven?'

The man replies, "Yes, Father."

Father O'Connor then says, "Leave this bar right now, and go outside."

O'Connor proceeds to another man, and asks him the same thing. The chap also answers, "Yes." Father O'Connor asks him to go out, too.

he Reverend Father goes the third man and asks, "Would you like to go to heaven?"

This time the reply is, "No, thank you, Father."

Surprised, Father O'Connor asks, "Why not?"

The man admits, "I mean I do, but only after I die."

Father O'Connor explains, "That's what I am talking about."

The man says, "Oh, I thought you were getting a group ready right now."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Try It Different" Tuesday: Standing Chicken

A while back, our friend Tammy Cappolina sent me this adorable card featuring 3302F Standing Chicken (drawn by artist Janie Miller):

The bold red, yellow, and brown color scheme works perfectly on this card, don't you think?

She stamped 3300A Chicken Track repeatedly to create a background strip behind the saying, 3500D From One Chick, and added even more texture with the diamond pattern dry embossing on the base panel.

I like how she drew the dashed lines and added yellow along the edges of her image piece:

This reminded me of a charming card that Inky designer Tex Gerard had made years ago, which I retrieved from my sample basket:

Tex also defined the image piece nicely, but a bit differently. She tipped the corner-rounded edges in butterscotch ink, layered it onto a brown panel, and then matted again onto a distressed-edges piece of kraft cardstock:

The saying inside mimics the front of the card beautifully:

And below are a couple more "oldies but goodies" from Keri Lee Sereika. The warm neon colors on this one are so much fun:

Keri used the versatile 10932MC Marvelous Match-Ups Clear Set for some of her supporting images:

You can mix and match the elements to get a variety of looks, and I think the tri-cut panels are such a neat element here:

Hope YOU have a wonderful day, Inky chicks!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Stamping With Lori Craig: Owl Friends

"I’ve moved around quite a bit through my life," says Lori Craig, "mostly through the middle of the US: Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, and I’ve also done a four-year hiatus in Georgia."

"[But] I’m convinced I was born to be southern," she claims. "I love everything about the south…the weather, the people, the peaches and the beaches."

Despite her penchant for the South, Lori has actually lived in a small town on the prairie of Missouri for the last eight years. It's the longest she has ever been in one house during her entire life, where she and her husband are raising two middle-school-aged daughters who keep them busy with sports and activities."

Even with all her girls' extracurricular activities, Lori still makes time for stamping. This week, she enjoyed using 10960LC Owl Friends Clear Set (drawn by artist Ronnie Walter):

"I've been fond of owls for along time," she shares. "It's a coincidence really that the school mascot in our district is an owl, so that adds to the fun.

"I don't really collect them anywhere except in stamps and on my Pinterest board ( I love looking at the fun and quirky ways other people are inspired to create owl-art."

Here's the Hoot! Hoot! Tag that Lori created as her own owl-art: 

"This tag measures 5 3/8" x 3 1/8". The tag layers were cut from Prism cardstock and Crate patterned paper," Lori explains.
"The owls were stamped on XPress It Blending Card and colored with Copic Markers. The green owls are a combination of G40 and G43, and the blue owl is a combination of BG70 and BG72 (my favorite Copic blues).
"These were simple to color, and you might notice, I've done the shading with little dots rather than blending the colors smooth. This technique would be a simple variation of Pointillism. It's easy, very forgiving, and I would encourage you to try it for fun on a simple image to get your feet wet and then delve into a more detailed image."
You can see what Lori means in this close-up view:

In addition to her job at, Lori has been a part of the Copic Marker Certification Instructor’s team since 2009. Her husband likes to surprise people with the punch line, "She teaches people how to color!"

Lori admits that seems "so odd because I never really considered myself an artist of any sort, but given a little guidance and the right tools, every single one of us can share kindness and good thoughts with people we care about through paper crafting."

She teaches 6-8 classes per year across the country, and her schedule will start getting busy in April and May:

April 5th & 6th - Atlanta, GA
April 12th & 13th - Indianapolis, IN
May 3rd & 4th - Lyndhurst, NJ (NYC area)
May 24th & 25th - Hanover, MD (Baltimore/DC area)

The full Copic class calendar can be found here:

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Finally, to finish her tag, she layered the colored image onto an oval die shape and accented with a wooden button, a small piece of burlap trim, and a simple bow.

Dare I say it? Yep, I just can't resist...her results are super owl-dorable!

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Cardstock: XPress It Blending Card, Prism Greens, Patterned Paper from Crate Paper

Ink: Espresso Truffle from Memento

Accessories: Copic Markers (BG70, BG72, G40, B43, YR12), Wooden Button, Burlap Trim, Polka Dot Ribbon