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APRIL CHALLENGES & BLOG HOPS Winners are here. Winners, please claim your prize by May 21.

Check out our Spotlight Projects then link up yours in the Spotlight Project Showcase gallery and win!

Check out our Inspiration Projects for this month. Comment and win spending money on the STAMPlorations shop!

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Check out COLOR BLOOMS, our coloring book designed for cardmakers, crafters, and mixed media artists!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

{Spotlight Project} Shery Makes Her Favorite Kind of Cards



Hello, fellow stampers! It's my turn to share a project this week. I'm back with another one layer card.

One layer cards are my favorite kind of cards to make but there's another reason I decided to make them this week: my craft area is still a disaster after 2 weeks. I bought crates and a 7-drawer rolling cart a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, I haven't made any serious progress in cleaning, organizing, and downsizing my craft supplies. My craft area is in shambles. Fortunately, I don't need much to make one layer cards...just stamps, inks, and post-it notes.

Here's my card. In addition to the Boxed Blooms & Bold Sentiments stamps, I used Vignette: Eclectic Florals and words from two Sentiment Builders sets, Happy and Thank You. (Shooting videos isn't possible until I could clear my craft table so a photo tutorial will have to do for now.)



1.
I stamped the daffodil three times on my card base,
stamping first in the middle and then with a post-it note,
I masked the image before stamping on the upper left and
lower right. I used jet black archival ink because I will be
watercoloring the daffodil in the middle. [You'll want to 
use ink that's permanent and waterproof for stamping if
you plan on using a wet medium later on.]

2.
Next, I stamped my sentiment. [Tip: If you are using
words from different sets, "audition" them before
stamping by laying them uninked on your card. Try different
orientations. In my card, I let the layout of the boxed
daffodils dictate how I would stamp the words. And
here's another tip: don't be afraid to mix and match different
sizes and fonts. Use the design principle of contrast: bold with
regular, caps with small caps, serif with sans serif, slab with script.]


3.
I then watercolored the daffodil in the middle with
Inktense Blocks. You can also use Distress inks for
watercoloring, but I find the Inktense Blocks to be
more vibrant, especially on cold-press watercolor paper,
like the one I used for my card base.


4.
I masked my daffodils with post-it notes before
stamping my flowers in Memento inks
(Lilac Posies and Bahama Blue).


5.
I added some spatters on my card and affixed a
couple of adhesive gems to the flowers. (I was lucky --
I found the gems in the plastic container that happened to be
on top of one of the empty crates.)

When I'm making one layer cards, masking is my favorite technique to use because it helps create an illusion of depth. 

Here's a second card I made using the steps above, only this time I went all black so the middle daffodil would pop. For texture, I used one of the stamps in the Mini Mixed Media Backgrounds. Instead of watercolor paper, I used 100# (270 gsm) premium heavy classic white card stock and Distress inks to watercolor the daffodil. 


I hope you enjoyed my short photo tutorial and that you were inspired by my cards. Why not try making a one layer card too? See you in a couple of weeks!


     
 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

{Spotlight Project} Nonni Does DIY Card Bases and Heat Embossing





Hi,  stampers! It's Nonni here playing with Boxed Blooms and Bold Sentiments today!

If you are anything like me, you have lots of odd, small pieces of cardstock lying around... Some free space on my craft supplies shelf wouldn't hurt so I really want to get rid of some of those scraps! I came to think of making card bases out of scrap pieces and today I'm sharing my simple idea with you. 

Boxed Blooms and Bold Sentiments is the perfect stamp set to use in a simple card design like this and when you heat emboss your stamped images with white powder, it gives your card a very professional, stylish look! Here's a photo of the materials you need for the card above:


  • Cardstock pieces in colors that you like: my choice was to use a monochromatic color palette but you could use contrasting combos like blue and yellow or green with purple too!
  • Your chosen stamps from Boxed Blooms and Bold Sentiments
  • Embellishments of your choice
  • Versamark Ink, white embossing powder, and heat tool (not in the photo) for embossing. Using an embossing buddy will also improve your result by removing static from your card before the embossing process. If you are new to heat embossing, read about it for example here.

Cut the two pieces you want to use for your base cards to 10.5 x 14.7 cm or any measure you wish but these measures will form a basic A2 card. Cut the third piece to the same width and score it to form a hinge. After cutting the base cards I was lucky to have just enough of the darker card left for me to stamp and heat emboss the lily!


All you have to do then is to tape the base pieces to the hinge with double sided tape/glue. DIY card base is now done! :)



You already saw the finished card but here it is again with the heat embossed lily and the sentiment - the empty base does not look like much by itself, does it? :)



While I was at it I thought I'd make another thank you card. I have some of these long, narrow kraft card bases I don't really care for... So off I went cutting it to pieces to form a top-folding card! This time I used a scrap piece of patterned paper for the hinge. I heat embossed the daisy stamp and made a card with a touch of vintage. 





I hope I've inspired you to dig into your scrap pieces of cardstock: add some eye-catching heat embossing and no-one will think you were working with left-overs!


Boxed Blooms & Bold Sentiments

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

{Spotlight Project} Vicki Makes a Trendy Card


Hi everyone! Today, I have a fun tutorial using [my favorite] STAMPlorations set, Sentiment Builders: Celebrate, along with Vignette: Eclectic Florals.

Isn't this fun? Here is how to make this card:



Step 1 

Cut a card panel 4" x 5.25"

Cover a diagonal section with a post it. Tape down so it doesn't move.













Step 2

Using Eclectic Florals, stamp flowers wherever you want.





Step 3 

Using a sponge, ink from the post it upwards for a subtle edging around the border.












Step 4

Using my silhouette, I cut a template for the Celebrate a little bigger than the word. [If you are good with scissors you can hand-cut too.] Temporarily adhere to your panel, and sponge around the template.











Step 5

Finish off  the card.

Stamp the celebrate, add centers on your flowers, and add a ribbon!  

Your trendy card is now complete!











See you next month!


Sentiment Builders: Celebrate
Vignette: Eclectic Florals

 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

{Spotlight Project} Monika Plays with Stamps and Shrink Plastic...and She's Got 2 Craft-Along Videos Too!


Hello, everybody. It's Monika and I am back with a couple of projects for you using the Boxed Blooms and Bold Sentiments set focusing on the lily stamp this time round.

Did you know that Lilies are a symbol of purity and refined beauty? Well, I didn't, until I looked it up for some inspiration and I came up with the following which would make a great card for an anniversary.


For my first card I stamped the lily onto a piece of white card, lightly coloured her with Promarkers, and attached my image to a piece of black card. For the background, I applied some yellow ink to my Splodge Away mat, spritzed with water, and lifted a print off. I repeated the process with some pink ink. Once dry, I stamped my sentiment in yellow and attached my panel to a piece of pink card and my white base card before stamping the lily again in black onto two pieces of Shrink Plastic (5 x 5 cm), which I then heated to shrink. I arranged my lilies, attached them to my card, and finished off with some sequins and gems.

My layout for this card was inspired by our current Sketch #16 Challenge and the cupcake card I am referring to in the video is my DT project.

There is also a craft-along video for you enjoy. It is a bit longer this time -- approx. 25 minutes -- and it covers the simple printing technique I used plus the stamping onto and heating of the Shrink Plastic.



My next card is a very speedy one to make. I used a stencil or mask, as they can be called depending on whom you're talking to, some inks (yellow, orange, and pink) and some shaving brushes (for applying the inks) to create my background. If you don't own a stencil like mine, you should be able to create your own using a piece of card, pencil, ruler, and your craft knife plus cutting mat. All you have to do is make sure that one square approximately fits the square of the boxed bloom you're working with.

Now back to how I made this card. I attached a white piece of card (14 x 14 cm) to my stencil using low tack masking tape, picked up some ink with one of my brushes, and swept it in long strokes across one area. I then repeated this with the other two colours. Next I inked up my lily in pink and stamped it into position before inking up and stamping my sentiment in a darker yellow than I used before. To finish I rounded off some corners, layered it up as shown and attached a few sequins.


Again, there is a craft-along video for you to enjoy. It is only about 15 minutes in length.




The card below was the original one I made, and it has a slightly different layout. I thought I'd share it as it is sometimes quite nice to see the difference subtle changes can make.


Hope you enjoyed stopping by. I shall be back with another Spotlight Project in a couple of weeks time after Vicki, Nonni, Shery, Cornelia and Shirley had their turn.

Until then, happy crafting!!! :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{Spotlight Project} Shirley Does Comic Strip Stamping!


Hi, guys! For today's feature I'm taking a closer look at the daisy from the Boxed Blooms and Bold Sentiments set and stamping it comic-style. By repeating the image across your card and colouring selectively, you can create a striking visual.

I stamped one image centrally, then one either side (no measuring, just eyeballed it), and added a touch of watered down Tumbled Glass Distress Ink to the petals. Then I added a touch of colour to the centre and base of the flower and painted the background. I inked the sentiment with Faded Jeans then spritzed it before stamping it on to the card piece.  


I have a large acrylic block which I use as my Distress Ink paint palette - just squidge straight onto the block and you're ready to go. It's great for mixing colours too. If your work surface is dark, just put a sheet of copy paper under the acrylic block. And with mini Distress Inks, you are only using a tiny amount of ink. If you're wavering about whether to buy the minis (you know you want them, they're so cute!) I'd say go for it. I find I'm using them far more than the standard ones now.


Here's another view of the card. You can just see the hint of blue at the base of the petals. I also added some Walnut Stain Distress Stickles to the flower centre.

So think outside of the box when you're using boxed images!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{Spotlight Project} Cornelia Plays with the Boxed Blooms and Bold Sentiments


Hi, it's Cornelia here! Today I want to explore some options with the Boxed Blooms and Bold Sentiments set from STAMPlorations. I have already played around with it HERE and HERE. And if you follow this blog often, you have seen my teamies using it as well. 

And here's what I want to share with you today:

I used glossy paper and stamped with Staz-on ink and then used Marvy markers to color the images. I have that patterned paper at home, basically forever. It was the first patterned paper I ever bought. And I rarely ever use any...but those stamps reminded me about some of those papers and wanted to incorporate it into a card somehow. I have tried them in the past, but found the pattern to overpowering and the colors weird. So I took some colored vellum and overlaid it onto the paper. I glued the vellum to the PP where the black panel is, so you won't see the glue. The string on top hold it in place there as well.
I heat embossed the sentiments and added Paper Candi onto the rose card.

And now my tip of the week:
  
Have you ever had problems with embossing powder blowing away when heating it with the heat gun - especially annoying if it is a very fine image? I solve that problem with heat embossing the backside of the paper - it takes a tad longer, but the powder melts beautifully without even loosing a single granule.

Thank you for visiting us today!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bi-Weekly Sketch Challenge #16

Welcome to our 16th bi-weekly sketch challenge! Here’s the sketch for the next couple of weeks. It’s open to interpretation. Feel free to change the orientation of the sketch, use different shapes, add other elements to suit the type of paper craft you’re making, and so on — just make sure the sketch is recognizable in your submission(s). You can use stamps by other companies to create projects that you enter to our challenges, although if you have STAMPlorations stamps in your stash, we'd be tickled if you use them!



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Meet Our New Design Team Member: Deepti

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that we are welcoming a new STAMPlorations girl. She's been a guest designer here a couple of times and you've seen how she rocked our stamps when she joined us in celebrating our birthday last month. I can't be any more pleased to have her in the team, as she's one of my favorite card-makers. Please welcome Deepti Malik!


"Hi! I am from India and moved to Cleveland, Ohio after marrying my dear husband in 2011. My hobby used to be sketching prior to paper crafting. It all started with making some new year cards for family in 2013, to Pinterest, to Paper crafting magazine and finally to the wonderful world of blogging... I have been hooked ever since and to be precise I have been making cards for 18 months now. All the rest of my hobbies have taken a back seat LOL! My crafting style is CAS and what makes my cards unique is that I always try to make my designs meaningful. Besides card-making, I often try my hands on canvas paintings, pastels and pencil sketches. In my free time you will find me watching thriller series/movies ;) You name it and I must have seen it! I am so thankful to Shery for putting her faith in me and bringing me on board :) I hope I will be able to inspire you."

Please give Deepti a warm welcome and check out her blog. We're so excited to have her on the team and she joins us tomorrow when we start Sketch Challenge #16.

Bi-Weekly Sketch Challenge #15 Winner and Top Picks

The entries for Sketch Challenge #15 were all so amazing! Monika had a tough time choosing her favorites and had a lot to say about many of the entries. She's doing this one Oscar style -- you'll have to read all the way to the end!


STAMPlorations Sketch Challenge #15 Winner

"Simply love her sponging and overall design. Very creative work with limited supplies!"

Congratulations, Carol! Please grab your winner badge below to display on your blog! We're looking forward to having you as a Guest Designer in next month's sketch challenge!

stamplorationswinner

**********

STAMPlorations Sketch Challenge #15 Top Picks

"Your card just makes me dream, love how your embossing transcends all the layers."

"Love her clever use of shapes and colour, so perfectly in tune with her sentiment."

Congratulations, ladies! Please grab your top pick badge below to display on your blog!


Monika's not done yet! Here are her special mentions:

- The one for the loudest giggle must go to #18 Granne. That's me every morning before I had my cup of coffee ... lol
- The cutest must go to #23 ionabunny for her paper pieced baby rhino
- The one for best Christmas design goes to #6 Di for the cheeky little owl
- The most modern one goes to #17 Sue V. for her fabulous stamping using VIGNETTE: Chevron & Arrows plus Retro Mod Shapes
- The one for best altered image must go to #4 Elaine, who made her daisy look like a sunflower, great colouring!
- The best watercolour one goes to #15 Karen P for keeping such incredible detail in her stamping.

Again, thank you to everyone who participated! We all had a wonderful time looking at and admiring your creations. Sketch Challenge #16 starts tomorrow, July 21, 6 a.m. PDT (GMT -700), so we hope you'll come back again and play with us!

Keep on stampin'!

~ The STAMPlorations Design Team
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