Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sunday Submissions: Ali's Angle

The publications that I submit to won't accept any projects that have appeared anywhere else, including blogs, so sometimes I will have to share with you projects that have been rejected (sob, sob).

Today's card was made for a submission request for projects showcasing the kissing technique. To achieve this effect I used a large background stamp (Bella Toile) and a large flower stamp (Fabulous Flowers). Often with the kissing technique only one of the stamps has ink on it, but in this instance I covered the flower with pink ink and the background stamp with red ink. The flower stamp was pressed onto the background stamp and then stamped onto the c/stock.

Here's a closer view:

Don't forget that members of our companion Yahoo Group have access to editorial calendar dates on our calendar and get reminders via email as deadlines get closer.

Thanks for stopping by!

  • Stamps: Fabulous Flowers (SU retired), Bella Toile (SU)
  • C/stock: Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla & Bella Rose d/paper
  • Ink: Pirouette Pink, Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip
  • Accessories: Velvet ribbon (Creative Imaginations), brads (American Krafts), Button Bouquet (SU), Chit Chat rub-ons (SU)
  • Tools: Large oval punch (SU)

More Saturday Submissions: Sharon Style

A bunch of stamping magazine are getting ready for their Fall issues at the moment.

Stamp & Scrap Arts, Take Ten Autumn 09, and Somerset Studio September/October are all getting ready to adore Autumn while we are just seeing the first signs of Spring.

Don't forget that members of our companion Yahoo Group can see these editorial calendar dates on our calendar and get reminders as deadlines get closer.

This month, I decided to get out some of my cards from last Fall and send them in! To me, it is almost more of an achievement to actual mail the submissions than to get in the magazine as the obstacles of daily life make it difficult for me to get that envelope in the mail on time!

Here's some of the cards that I might send:




Have a fabulous weekend! I am off to the post office!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sharon Briss: Bending Acrylic to Your Will

The most apparent, or should I say transparent, benefit of acrylic or polymer stamps is their ease of use in specific positioning of images. We all have know the feeling of disappointment when an image or a sentiment doesn't end up quite where we expected.

Beyond that, most people don't really consider their acrylic stamps to be any different than their rubber stamps. One amazing and often overlooked quality of acrylics is that they are pliable and thus can be manipulated to a degree.

Flower stamps are an easy category to bend to your will. Take this Poppy image from Flourishes. The Poppy stands staight and tall and lovely and pointing to the left.

The card I had planned would not accomodate the full standing height of the poppy, so I bent the stem around the sentiment and reduced the overall length of the image.

The final stamped image turned out quite nicely. The poppy is more bent over and nicely frames the sentiment.
Here is the final version of the card. You can see why I wanted to show off as much of the designer paper as possible.

Hoppy Poppy
Poppy and sentiment from Poppy set (Flourishes)
Paper: Debbie Mumm (Creative Imaginations)
Cardstock: Real Red & Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Copics: various

In the second example, I wanted to recreate a card I made awhile ago for a challenge. One thing I had remembered about making the original card was that I had to go back and do a lot of fiddly trimming to create the layout I wanted. The original has a wonderful arc but for this project that arc would have to be decreased and straightened a bit to avoid all the post-stamping cutting.

I realized that had the actual image been a little more upright, I could have more easily stamped it onto the size of panel that I wanted to use.

Rather than curve a stamp this time, I straightened it out a bit. I left a little bend in the stem to create a more natural appearance.

The final stamped image turned out just the way I wanted and positioning the stamp on the paper was a lot easier!

Tulip Trio Revisited
tulip from Tulip set (Flourishes)
Cardstock: Brilliant Blue, Brocade Blue, Mellow Moss & Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Copics: various
Embellishments: 2 black photo corners

Once you have manipulated a few of your acrylic stamps, you can see all the possibilities clearly.

~ Take a border and bend it into a wave or even a lovely crescent!

~ We all know that acrylic alphabets let us position letters around curves, but what about taking actual word stamps and doing the same thing?

~ There are now wheel tools that are specially designed to hold onto acrylic stamps so that you could customize a rolled border to perfectly correspond with your project without buying additional stamps. ClearSnap, makers of Colorbox ink, makes a clear roller called the Get Rollin' Acrylic Wheel under their Memory Essentials brand.

For more tips on acrylic stamps, check out this article on Blockhead Stamps. It has some great information.

If you have a chance to bend your acrylic to your will, let us see what you have created by leaving a comment on this post with a link to your creation.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Color Challenge: All White With A Splash

Good morning and welcome to Gingersnaps first Color Challenge. I've wanted to try an all white card for a long time, so I figured this could be our first color challenge. But I've made it easy and have allowed you a splash of color somewhere on the card.

Here's the card I came up with - you can see my splash of color is quite large, so you decide what you're comfortable with.

When making any kind of monochromatic card, it's important to break up the expanse of color and add some interest to the card by creating texture. On this card, I heat embossed the diamond pattern with white e/p and dry embossed several panels with Cuttlebug embossing folders. The ribbon and pearls add their own textures to the card, as does the glittery butterfly. I also added dimension by popping up several layers, including the butterfly, with foam tape.

Here are a few ideas for adding texture to your monochromatic creations, I'm sure you can come up with many more:

  • Dry embossing
  • Heat embossing
  • Distressing
  • Stamping
  • Various ink or paint techniques (eg sponging)
  • Patterned paper & card stock in varying shades
  • Hand made or other textured papers
  • Glitter
  • Felt and flocked accents
  • All types of accessories (brads, buttons, eyelets etc)
  • Stitching or pierced holes
  • Scoring

You get the idea.....

We would love to see your 'all white with a splash' creations! Please leave a link to your blog or online gallery in the comments section.

Happy stamping!


  • Stamps: Print Pattern (SU retired)
  • Paper: Shimmery White and Parisian Breeze d/p (SU)
  • Ink: White craft ink, Versamark
  • Accessories: Pearls (Kaiser), sheer ribbon (May Arts), white embossing powder, Iridescent Ice embossing powder
  • Tools: Big Shot, Beautiful Butterflies die (SU), Cuttlebug embossing folders, heat gun

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Up to the Challenge: Sharon Style

This week was a little crazy so I only got to do one piece for challenges.

This first one combines Wednesday ATC's theme of shoes with Theme Thursday's Orange theme. I love this elegant shoe and the Cinderella sentiment I got from Impression Obsession. I was going to use them in a card but when I saw Theme Thursday had picked orange the temptation to do a Cinderella ATC in pumpkin orange overtook me.

Cinderella Shoes ATC
Dancing Shoe and Cinderella Shoes (Impression Obsession); flourish from Fall Whimsy (Stampin Up)
Cardstock: orange (Paper Store); generic white
Ink: Pumpkin Pie (Stampin Up)

Hopefully, next week won't be quite so crazed! Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Up To The Challenge Fridays: Ali's Angle

I managed to complete a couple of challenges this week, both of them sketch challenges. Read to the end of the post for my top five sketch challenge blogs.

I made the first card for the Mojo Monday challenge using Flourishes Signs of Spring set. In the North East, we don't have any daffodils yet, but at least I can inject a little Spring into my life by using this lovely stamp set.


Stamps: Signs of Spring

Paper: Kraft (SU), Dark Chocolate (PTI), watercolor paper and Bella Rose D/P (SU)

Ink: Black Stazon, Choc Chip, SU reinkers: Summer Sun, So Saffron, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie & Old Olive

Accessories: Brads (American Crafts), Ribbon (May Arts)

Tools: Corner rounder punch, Big Shot, Birds & Swirls embossing folder, aquapainter

The second challenge card this week used the Splitcoast Stampers sketch. What a change for me to make a card without flowers! It's an early Fathers' Day card.

Supplies (all Stampin' Up!):

Stamps: Happiness is a Journey

Paper: Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip, Sahara Sand, To The Nines designer paper

Ink: Chocolate Chip

Accessories: Moss ribbon, Button Latte, Linen Thread, dimensionals

Gingersnap Creations Yahoo group has an awesome database of challenges that Sharon took the time to compile - thanks Sharon! To get you started, here are five of my favorite card sketch challenge blogs:

If you need more challenges, join the Yahoo Group and gain access to this wonderful resource Sharon has created for us. Come back soon for my top five color challenge blogs.

Happy Stamping!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dreamweaver Follow-Up

Yesterday, I tried out Dreamweaver Embossing Paste and Stencils. Today's project combines a couple of different techniques.

I started out by creating a soft blue background using a brayer and Color Box Sky Blue ink.

As I have not mastered the fine art of the brayer yet, I sponged Broken China Distress Ink from Ranger over the brayered background to fill it in and give it some warmth.

I then masked half the background so that the panel was roughly cut in half. I then brayered the unmasked portion with Colorbox Royal Blue to create water.

Now, I was ready to set up my stencil, a sweet swan, by affixing it with removable adhesive to the background. I then masked around the swan so that I didn't inadvertantly get any paste where I didn't want it.

After I filled in the stencil with white embossing paste and removed the excess, I removed the stencil from the piece.

I noticed that the white paste had not quite covered the royal blue of the water. Had I consulted the official directions, I would not have tried to do this combination of techniques or I would have used black embossing paste.

But I was not to be deterred! I decided to make a fix!

To white up the area where the background showed through, I used my favorite Colorbox ink, Frost White. I sponged the ink carefully on the dried paste and presto! No more blue in my swan!

I cut around the completed swan with an oval cutting system.

I used the cutaway piece of the background to make two ripped corners for my card.

I stamped "the rites of Spring" from my Artistic Outpost Serenity plate onto one of the corners. I mounted everything onto a Brilliant Blue card base.

Inspired by Alison's article last week on ribbon use, I used two scraps of white ribbon and added ribbon knots to create some textural interest and to balance the corners.

Voila! The final card:

Rites of Spring
sentiment from Serenity plate (Artistic Outpost)
Cardstock: Brilliant Blue (Stampin Up); watercolor paper
Ink: Royal Blue, Sky Blue and Frost White (ColorBox); Brilliant Blue (Stampin Up); Distress Broken China (Ranger)
Embellishments: white ribbon scraps
Other: White Embossing Paste (Dreamweaver)
Tools: oval cutting system (Creative Memories); swan stencil (Dreamweaver); brayer; sponge

What fun! Have a fabulously creative day! Have you made any Dreamweaver projects? If so, leave a comment with a link to this post. We would love to see your creations!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Redhead Review: Dreamweaver

Stencils and Embossing Paste

In January, Ali and I took a road trip to a couple stamp stores around our area of Massachusetts. One of them, Scrapbook Cupboard, was having a demonstration of Dreamweaver Embossing Paste. I have to admit, I have had a tub of paste and a stencil for a couple of years, but I had not been brave enough to try it. After watching the demonstrator's great presentation, I was sold. Even I could make this stuff work! Whoohoo!

So, today, I thought I would try it out on my own, without guidance to see if I could make at least a couple of decent looking cards.

The first project I tried was a negative stencil where the image is defined by what is not covered by the paste. I decided to use a wonderful stencil called "Bare Trees". I wanted something that was Spring-themed so I decided to keep the trunks, which were covered by the stencil, white. I wanted to give a warm feeling so I picked the Gold Embossing Paste for the "sky".

To start, I affixed my paper to my scrap paper with Post-It Labeling and Cover-Up Tape which allowed me to leave a white "frame" around the edge of the card which would not be embossed. I then taped down the stencil over top so that it would not move.

I used a palatte knife to apply the paste making sure to keep moving in the same direction over the stencil. When I felt it was "filled", I went back over the stencil in the opposite direction to remove the excess.

Once I had finished, I removed the stencil and put it and the palette knife into water so that I could move on to another project without stopping to clean up. As the embossing paste does set in approximately 20 minutes, it is important to either clean your tools and stencils right away or leave them in water to prevent the paste setting permanently on them. Can you see where I was a little hasty separating the stencil from the project?

I waited an hour to make sure that the paste had hardened completely. I wanted to try out Flower Soft too so I figured why not go big and try two new things in one day!

I covered the tops of the trees with Flower Soft Glue and tried to make the application a little random so that it seemed more natural. I then sprinkled on the Flower Soft and tapped off the excess.

I let all this dry a bit longer and then added the Spring sentiment and a ribbon.

I mounted the finished panel on a Pretty in Pink cardstock base. The whole thing took about 10 to 15 minutes of actual time, excluding drying time. Fantastic!

Spring Trees
Spring sentiment (Stampin Up)
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink and Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: Gold embossing paste (Dreamweaver); Baby Pink (Flower Soft)
Tools: Bare Trees stencil (Dreamweaver); oval and oval scallop punch (Marvy Uchida)

I guess I was in a tree mood as I decided to go for another barked buddy. I had seen many sample cards of Dreamweaver designs on black paper so I decided to do a copper creation using the Dreamweaver Tree of Life stencil.

I used the same steps. 1) Tape paper down. 2) Tape stencil down. 3) Apply paste. 4) Remove excess paste. 5) Remove stencil. 6) Clean stencil. 7) Let dry.

Here again, I noted that I would have to practice removing the stencil from the project. I only had one area that concerned me. This is what my "oops" looked like. Okay, it was more of an ugh.

I used my Crop-a-dile to add a copper eyelet to the middle of a flower. Flowers are my favorite "ugh" cover-up devices.

I added a strip of cream below the black panel to tie into the color of the flower. I added a sentiment from my Bluebird set from Artistic Outpost.

Here's the final card:

Copper Beech
Thinking of You from Bluebird plate (Artistic Outpost)
Cardstock: metallic copper, black and cream (Paper Store)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Other: Metallic Copper embossing paste (Dreamweaver)
Tools: Tree of Life stencil (Dreamweaver); Crop-a-dile
Embellishment: fabric flower

So now, I have made two projects with Dreamweaver products and they were quick and easy! The stencils did clean up easily as promised which was nice.

My take-aways were:

1) Read the directions thoroughly (which I did not to start...typical of me).

2) Don't be hasty removing the stencil from the project.

3) Be creative in how you use these fun products! Don't forget you can sponge color using these stencils. You can also dry emboss with a tool. There are lots of different ways to use them.

4) If you mess up, don't scrap the project! A flower, a sentiment, or a well-placed ribbon may be all you need!

5) This technique was a lot less messy than I originally thought. The clean up was quick and simple.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I will actively disregard the instructions again and show you a quick fix if you are instruction-challenged like me!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Submissions: Sharon Style

This year I pledged to try and get my cards "out there" in the world. Part of that pledge was to remember to send in my cards for publication. I always intend to do it but forget. This time I made a calendar of when everything is due and what challenges are coming up. I have shared this calendar at the Yahoo Group where I send out reminders. You can view the full list by selecting Calendar and the Event Lists.

I decided I really wanted to try the Stamper's Sampler's Frightful and Delightful Challenge. The challenge was to use non-halloween images to make Halloween creations.

The first one came about by a happy accident a few months ago. I had stamped my favorite scallop border from Above the Mark on a panel and promptly tipped the whole thing onto the floor. Not too unusual in my small crafting space. Anyway... when I picked it up I noticed that when viewed upside down the scallop looked like little owls all in a row. From that thought came this:

Ghoulish Greetings
Scallop Border (Above the Mark); Ghoulish Greetings (Inka Stamps)
Paper: Dad Squares from the Dads Collectionz (Junkitz)
Cardstock: Sage Shadow & Basic Black (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Embellishments: owl charm (Michael's)

I have to admit the next one just happened because I really wanted to use this woman on something!

Be Scary
Stamps: sentiment and Penelope (Inka Stamps)
Paper: Going Batty from the Spellbound Collection (Flair Designs)
Cardstock: Garden Green, Summer Sun, and Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Copics: E33, G17, G28, Y23, YG95, YR00, YR04, YR07 and YR09

This challenge was much harder than I thought. I am happy that I at least tried this time. Now, to get better with the timing. Maybe I should work on magazine Challenges within 2 weeks of finding out about them rather than 2 weeks before they are due.

My daughter wants to work on the new Take Ten Sketch Challenge so we will both be working on that in the next two weeks so that I am not scrabbling at the last minute next time!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wednesday's Stamper: Green

with a bit of Zindorf-esque Style

Wednesday's Stamper's challenge this week was Green. To me, Green symbolized the renewal of the Earth - the long-awaited return of Spring. I wanted to create a Spring scene so I thought immediately of Michelle Zindorf's fabulous step-by-step instructions on her blog. After reading so many of her great tutorials, I decided to try a fairly basic card using some of her fantastic techniques. I'm not up to brayering yet but I'll get there.

For this card, I stamped the images (Stone House) with Memento ink and colored them in with Copics. I then used my new favorite tool, my Versamark marker, to carefully add Versamark on top of the image. I then heat embossed the images using clear embossing powder. Once, the powder had heat-set I used Broken China Distress ink and a sponge to create a soft sky background.

Spring Day
butterfly from the Almost Art Nouveau plate and primroses from 17th Century Flowers & Bugs plate (Stone House Stamps)
Cardstock: Garden Green & Whisper White (Stampin Up)
Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento); Broken China Distress (Ranger)
Copics: B32 Pale Blue, G28 Ocean Green, RV04 Shock Pink, RV09 Fuchsia, RV11 Pink, RV17 Deep Magenta, R27 Cadimium Red, Y11 Pale Yellow, Y15 Cadimium Yellow, YG03 Yellow Green, YG13 Chartreuse, YG23 New Leaf, YR04 Chrome Orange, YR09 Chinese Orange, YR23 Yellow Ochre, and YR24 Pale Sepia
Tools: oval cutting system (Creative Memories)
Embellishment: 2 scraps of 5/8" green polka dot ribbon (Michael's...I think)

I was inspired by Ali's great article, 10 Ways to Use Ribbon Scraps, to both use up some scraps and to add a ribbon accent to my card! Thanks for the idea! I think the ribbon added pizzazz to this card and gave it a finished look!

On Saturday, check out what I have been working on for magazine submissions!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Alison Manning: 10 Ways to Use Ribbon Scraps

Like most paper crafters I have ribbon – lots of ribbon. And with all those spools, cards and yards of ribbon come scraps that I just can’t bring myself to throw away. If you suffer from the same problem, help is here!

I have 10 ways to use up those annoying little pieces that aren't ready for the trash can. Yours might be different, but my definition of a scrap of ribbon is a piece that measures 6”or less.

1. Sentiment – showcase a sentiment on a scrap of ribbon using rub-ons or stamps. A plain ribbon will hightlight the sentiment better than a busy, patterned ribbon.

2. Ribbon tabs – this is my favorite way to use up those pesky scraps and don’t just stop at one, add several t0 your project.

3. Accent hardware – a touch of ribbon can soften metal hardware, which otherwise might look too masculine. Tie a piece to a clip, picture holder, buckle or ribbon slide.

4. Journal – jazz up a spiral bound journal or notebook with ribbon scraps tied along the spine. Match up the ribbon colors on your journal for a coordinated look, or use random scraps for a funky feel.

5. Flower stems – using a glue dot, attach a small ribbon knot or bow to a flower stem or bunch of balloons. Although small, the bow can play an important design role by guiding the eye up to the focal point.

6. Add a tag to a project or gift. Or make that ribbon scrap work a little by acting as a tab on the insert of a pocket card.

7. Dress up eyelets – let’s face it eyelets are a bit dull, so why not liven them up with some ribbon or fiber?
8. Make a faux bow using a double rectangle punch. This can also save you money when mass producing cards. Using a faux bow on this card cost a lot less than wrapping ribbon around the whole piece of chocolate chip and then tying a bow.

9. Chipboard - take the bored out of chipboard by embellishing it with a ribbon scrap.

10. Layer Ribbon - Make a neutral piece of ribbon pop with a tiny splash of color from a ribbon scrap. If the wide satin ribbon had been pink, it would have overpowered the flower image. This little pink scrap draws the eye into the card and guides it to the focal point.

I hope you find these ideas useful. If you have an awesome way to use up ribbon scraps, please leave it in a comment and I will do a follow up post with all your suggestions.

Have a wonderful day!

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