June 20, 2017

Hero Arts Flamingo Stamp Set

Today I thought I'd do a review of a new stamp set I purchased. The set is from Hero Arts and is titled Color Layering Flamingo. There are five separate images that make up the flamingo, three for the body, one for the beak and one for the legs. The three body images are stamped using three shades of color (light to dark) for more of a realistic look. Here is my first tip...use your MISTI if you have one. You will want to stamp several while you are learning how to adjust and position the layered images. The MISTI made it so much easier to get the layered colors right.

Here is the card I made so you can see what I am taking about. I started with a 6" square card and die cut the front edge with the border die I talked about in the last post. I then added some cute flamingo paper I found at JoAnn's. For the inside I put a light blue-green paper that would look good with all the pink. I stamped a sentiment at the bottom right that came with the flamingo set.

I then made my flamingos. I stamped the body using the 3-layering images. The eye and beak image took a bit of positioning to get them in the right place. Once I had that done I got ready to die cut the images. I did not stamp the legs...here is the second tip...stamp the legs AFTER you die cut the image (so much easier to position). If you are not die cutting the image, you can stamp the legs after the body.

I love it when stamp sets have a die to match. The flamingo die was fairly easy to position, but it took some practice to get it to the point where the white space around the flamingo was fairly even. It's a learn-as-you-go...that's why I suggested you stamp off several images to practice on. Once I die cut the flamingos, I stamped the legs, making sure they connected to the bottom of the body. Once my flamingo was finished (I got three really good ones out of the several practice pieces I stamped), I added pop dots to the back to raise the flamingo off the card and attached it to the card.

Once positioned, I stamped three water movement circles at the bottom so it looks like my flamingo is standing in water. I do like the look of the layered color flamingo and that you can die cut the images for adding dimension to a card. I've always liked Hero Arts stamps and these new clear stamps make nice clear images, so I will probably invest in more.

June 16, 2017

Crafter's Companion Dies

I love dies. I'm always looking to add to my collection and decided I wanted to find some ornate butterfly dies. While searching for the butterflies I came across others that I liked. One such die was a die by Crafter's Companion. I already had a butterfly die from that company but when I saw the die set titled Antique Edge, I had to have it. The company is based in the UK, but I did find one online.

I received the die last week and today I made my first card using the die (following a YouTube video put out by the company).

The card is 6" x 6" and made of a shimmery pink card stock. I die cut the edge but was a bit surprised to find that the die didn't cut as well as other dies I have. I ran it through my Cuttlebug a few times and it finally cut through. Another problem I had was the release of the card stock from the die. It took a bit of work, but I finally got it to release without tearing (wax paper between the die and card stock helped).

I used some pink rose paper for the paper layer and die cut a couple of butterflies (Crafter's Companion die) in brown to match the little butterfly on the paper. For the inside message I stamped a sentiment from Quiltfire Designs (a Canadian company that I love). It reads "Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen".

I do like how the card turned out and plan to make more. Regardless of the slight difficulty I had with the Crafter's Companion dies, I will continue to use them.

June 4, 2017

Estate Sale Treasures

It happened. An Estate sale of a lifetime. Treasures in every room...a full room of stamping and scrapbook supplies. Let's just say I went three times, spend a lot of money and had a wonderful time treasure hunting.

I've been a thrift store shopper, a garage sale shopper but just recently started going to estate sales. I do this (just about every weekend) to purchase items to sell in my EBAY store. On a recent search, one estate sale caught my eye. Three little words jumped out at me.. "Scrap Book Supplies". One of the best things about listings for estate sales is that they have a bunch of photos, so of course I looked at what they had. I then contemplated if I would travel the 40 minutes to check it out. Photo showed a room with boxes and some scrapbook supplies...did I spy a few rubber stamps on a shelf? Yes...so that convinced me to go.

We arrived early and were the first to enter. Directions were given that the scrapbook room and jewelry room were the back bedrooms. My first thought when I saw the scrapbook room..."what a mess". Then I entered and the mess became a room of beautiful treasures. A center table full of stamps, stencils, scrapbook supplies and more. A shelf unit of brand new scrapbooks, unopened mystery boxes, plastic cases and more. Making my way to the other side of the small room I find cases and cases of rubber stamps...many Stampin' Up! sets (with dies attached) and other brands.

Unopened boxes were opened and a trove of Anna Griffin folders and dies appeared as well as many Crafter's Companion items. The owner was a crafter who bought items off QVC and HSN continuously, as well as bought Stampin' Up! and CTMH items but never used them! Nearly everything was new! I not only found treasures of this type in the scrapbook room, but in other rooms around the home. My husband followed me around with a big box that I would fill, then he'd check out and find another box for me to fill. At one point he had to tell me to be quiet because I was making too many 'excited' sounds.

Two of the best bargains I got that day was a MISTI ($10) and a CUTTLEBUG ($15) new in the box. I've listed and sold the MISTI, a few SU sets and a few Anna Griffin items, but I have so much more to list. Oh...the best part was the second day when we decided to go back one more time (after hitting it twice the day before). Get ready to drool...everything left was $1 each and I filled another box with dies, stamps and more. This time I took a few minutes to hit the jewelry room...oh my gosh...why didn't I go in there on day 1??? HSN and QVC jewelry everywhere. I did manage to get a few good pieces that were left, so I was content. Let's just say...I will probably never come across another sale like that one.

See some of the items I found by checking out my EBAY store. More will be listed in the next few weeks...at least the items I didn't decide to keep for myself. :)

May 4, 2017

More Die Cut Card Fun

I took another day off from work (you can do that when you are self-employed) and spent the morning die-cutting and the afternoon making cards. I got out a couple of dies and my Stampin' Up supplies and made a few red bird cards.

The corner flower die cut image is a Sizzix Tim Holt Thinlet that I just purchased. The bird and branch are Memory Box die cuts. I used my new pack of Stampin' Up! Real Red card stock for the red layer and the bird. The sentiment is also from Stampin' Up!

May 2, 2017

Impression Obsession Butterfly Die

This is how it happens. A friend sends you a beautiful card with a fancy die cut butterfly on it. It's so pretty that you decide you want to order the die. While searching for that die, you come across other dies that you can't live without. This is one of them...Impression Obsession Die 253-U. I loved all the curls and swirls of the butterfly, so bought it right away.

I've been die cutting butterflies all day and the first card I made was a birthday card for a good friend. I decided on a 6" x 6" card in a green color scheme. The die cut is 4" x 3-1/4", so it needed to be a larger than normal card. I die cut the butterfly out of a pretty printed card stock. I then cut another butterfly out of a coordinating printed card stock and used the piece I cut if from for the layer. I glued the butterfly only at the center so the wings could be lifted for a dimensional effect. The metal accent with the birthday greeting is from a Stampin' Up Hodgepodge Hardware embellishment kit.

May 1, 2017

Where Have I Been?

I can't believe it's been 4 months since I've updated my blog. If you could see my studio you would know why. In February of last year I started a new e-commerce business and it has taken off. My studio has become overtaken with inventory, shipping boxes and more. I miss my nice clean stamping studio and am determined to find storage space somewhere else, so I can have my craft room back. My friends that I exchange cards with have not given up on me, so I think I need to get my priorities strait and get back to what I love...making cards. My husband keeps telling me "Make a schedule and take a day just to make cards." So that is what I intend to do. My new goal is to make time for business, crafting and occasionally take a day off. Tomorrow is card making day!