Monday, April 28, 2008

Fell in Love... in a Hotel Room

Yes, I admit it. I fell in love in a hotel room. It was autumn. And we were too tired to shop. So we stamped. And colored. With Copics. Sure, I mispronounced their names, but it was love.

Today, the new
Stampers' Sampler Take Ten Catch Up Issue arrived. It's in a new format now. I appreciate updates. I do. But I'm not a big fan of the fact that this particular layout choice causes most cards to be partially obscured. If you have a copy, check out page 28, for example. There's a "Wanted" card with some string. Is it a lasso? A bow? And then with "Mona and Leo" on page 18... what's the rest of the saying?

How are the two related? "Winter Wishes" appears on page 97, and it was my very first Copic creation. There are visible lines in the coloring, but I'm armed with training and practice now... so future projects will be better. This snowman card was posted back in October, but here he is for an encore.

Supply List:
Stamps: Sentiment from Winter Wonder (
Verve Visual); Snowman With Checkered Hat (Lockhart Stamp Company)
Paper: Peapod Notecard (
Memory Box); Textured Cardstock in 2 shades of green (Bazzill); Gingham patterned paper (Making Memories Kids Collection); White
VersaFine Ink in Onyx Black (Tsukineko); ColorBox Fluid Chalk Ink in Deep Green (ClearSnap)
Accessories: Sketch Markers and Glitter Pens (
Copic); Dimensional Foam Squares (3M)

Today has been the warmest day so far this Spring. It got up to 79 today, but they're saying we're at a risk of snow tomorrow and Wednesday. Brrr. Better not put the fleece away yet.

Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Velvet Flowers & Copic Topics

So much to talk about today! Let's start with a card that looks as springy as I feel. The temperature is nice, tulips are blooming, and little buds on the trees are making it feel like Spring is here.

This Chick-a-doo line from SEI is so cute... one of my very favorites ever. The pretty blues and greens are wonderful together, and they really pop when combined with the slightly darker green Bazzill. Y-U-M!

Supply List:
Paper: Lime Crush Cardstock (Bazzill Smoothies); French Blue, Cypress, and Mint velvet papers (SEI); Chick-a-doo patterned paper (SEI)

Accessories: A2 Card Die & Various Flower Dies (Creative Cuts & More); Glitter Brads & Gemstone Brads (Making Memories); Buttons (Autumn Leaves); Silk Ribbon (May Arts); Rub-On (Deja Views)

And onto Copic Topics. Copic doesn't rhyme with topic. It sounds more like taupe than top. Cope-ic. It'll take more practice for me, but I'm trying to consistently say it like Marianne and other other Copic folks pronounce it.

There are a few KEY things I took away from the training class in Eugene. They include:

* These markers are modular. You can purchase new tips, more ink... even empty markers. Customize them as you wish.

* Most versatile marker of all? The colorless blender marker. You can use it to make textures in a field of color (bricks, spatters, dots, cobblestones). It can help 'erase' mistakes. It can make colored-in jeans look faded.

* Grab a bottle of the colorless blender solution. You'll be refilling your marker. You can also put some in a spray bottle to play with.

* When coloring, don't hold back with the ink. It should soak through the paper. The back should look evenly soaked. Be sure to protect your table surface by coloring on top of other scrap paper or a glass mat or other barrier.

* Play and go crazy. Try things you wouldn't normally do. Seriously. Touch the red marker to the tip of the yellow marker. The red ink won't hurt the yellow marker. Mash hard on the brush tip of the marker. It won't fray. And even if the brush does break, no biggie! The marker isn't ruined... you just take out the old tip and slide in a new one.

* Need a different color? Buy an empty marker and mix up your own custom color. Get a very pale blue by mixing blue ink with blending solution.

* Re-inkers can be used just like alcohol inks. In fact, they ARE alcohol inks.

* These inks can color just about anything. Laurie, my tablemate in class was using the airbrush system to color blush on the cheeks of felt birds. The crew of a currently-running Broadway show in NYC uses them to color the microphones so they hide in the actor's hair.

* The type of alcohol used in the Copic markers is like ethanol. Know what else is made of a similar type of alcohol? Hand sanitizer gel! They're great as disinfectants... but even better as a craft medium! (OK, isn't everything better as a craft medium?) So keep a pump of hand gel on your crafting desk. It works like a charm for clean-up. I even found a purse-sized spray gel which will probably never make its way into my purse.

More key tips and thoughts to come.

Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bit by Bit

I'm home from my trip and feeling a little under the weather. I'm also feeling a little overwhelmed by trying to sum up my trip in just one post... so there'll be a few.

First, if you're ever in the vicinity of a Copic Marker Certification Class or other Copic class offered by Marianne Walker, jump at the opportunity. The course was full of valuable information. And Marianne? Let me sum her up with one word: WOW. She's an amazing artist. She helped us all to relax and play and learn. Her enthusiasm for and knowledge of the product line make her the perfect (coining a new term here) Spokesteacher.

Next, I found a little goody at JoAnn's in Ontario, OR. That JoA
nn's is SO much bigger than the ones here in Boise. I have been to Ontario upwards of ten times for surgical procedures on Dad's hands... and we drove past the JoAnn's each time. We never went in because I haven't found anything to purchase at the local stores lately. Let's just say that I won't be just driving past the JoAnn's in Ontario anymore. In addition to the four stamp sets, four ink pads, bead packets and Bigz die I got... I found this little gem. It's a pack of 21 "Dangler Clips", found in the jewelry-making department and offered for $2.39 after the 40% discount. Look familiar? They're dead-ringers for the Clip-It-Up clips that retail for $7.

There is much more to tell. Until then... Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

News & Happenings

I'm heading down the road on another stamping adventure... this time to Eugene, Oregon for Copic Marker Certification Training. Through my regularly-scheduled blog-hopping, I learned that a few stamping stars (like Cambria and Joy) will be there, too. I can't wait!

I've highlighted a few places on the map that I'd like to stop. We're planning to cross paths with Courtney. Stampin' Cat Studio has been on my wish-list for months and I'm glad I'll get to stop there. We're heading there earlier in the trip than originally planned because our first route is too dangerous. That's right... one of the mountain passes is closed and another has 254" of snow on the side of the road (yes, upwards of TWENTY FEET). I'm also going to try to time it so I can visit Daisy Bucket on the way back. Dad is coming with me, and we're going to make an adventure out of it!

There are lots of fun new stamps and specials going on:
- CHF's Kim Hughes came out with two new sets: Nature's Silhouettes and Baked with Love
- I spy a new CUPCAKE!! It's part of Anna Wight's new birthday set at Whipper Snapper Designs, scheduled to be released on 4/15/08.
- Michael's has little plastic pebbles in their floral department that look just like Dew Drops. Yesterday, I grabbed their big bags on clearance for just $2.
- Save 35% on Crafty Secrets products at 7 Kids College Fund by using code CRAFTY35.
- justjohanna has a special savings set for April -- save 25% on a 5-stamp set which includes adorable owl
- Viva Las Vegastamps is having a big sale on their grab bags.
- Flourishes released Menswear and Siberian Iris.
- Gina K. Designs is preparing to launch a new line of stamps called Kindred Spirits.

Oh yes, and if you're local to Boise, don't miss the Re:Use Market. It's only about the size of a closet, but is it ever fun! The price is right, too -- everything's free for the taking. TIP: Bring a bag. They'll be open Friday the 11th and Saturday the 12th -- check their Web site for hours. My last visit there was so much fun! I got a couple of 3-ring binders, a wallpaper sample book, 2 fabric sample books, some wonderful tile samples, a few small slabs of Corian, and a handful of rub-on letters. It's truly a treasure-trove for any crafter! I can't wait to run some of the fabric and wallpaper through my Big Shot!

I'll be gone for a while... learning, playing, and exploring.

Happy Stamping!