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16 posts from August 2008

August 29, 2008

share your spark fridays ...

Happy Friday, everyone!  And welcome to another edition of share your spark fridays

Last week we pulled out an "old school" technique: watercoloring!  I hope you guys had as much fun with it as I did!  A big "thank you" to everyone that played along last week!


Be sure to check out what these ladies created!  So much inspiration and different ways to use all those different tools for watercoloring we bought and haven't used in a while!


This week, as Tracy says,  I'm "sparkin' old school" on ya' again!  This is a technique that, like watercoloring, you can use in a bunch of different ways!  Let's blow the dust off even more of our old supplies and tools ...

Create something with embossing!

I know you're all thinking you have to dig out your heat gun (or don't have one), but that's not the only embossing technique out there.

Here's what I made ...

See the white spider webs?  I made those using a technique I know as a variation of "emboss resist."  And here's the cool part: no heat gun and no powder involved!

On white cardstock with a glossy finish, I stamped the webs using a Versamark "watermark" stamp pad (I call it "embossing ink").  Then inked my brayer with a gradient ink pad and went right over the webs!  The ink resists the other ink and I'm left with cool, white webs!

Then there's the spider layer ...

Because I wanted the spiders to sit on top of the web (and also because of the resist), I stamped them on a piece of thin acrylic cut to the same size as the glossy layer.  (Note: Stamping on acrylic - or any clear medium - can get a little slippery.  I use my stamp positioner to hold my stamp in place so it doesn''t move around on me.  And only StazOn ink will work properly.)  Once that was done - time to put it all together!

I have to really think about how I'm gonna' adhere clear elements (to hide the adhesive) and generally attempt to think it all out in advance. In this case, I knew I wanted a label in the bottom corner and that would be how I'd hide it!  I used dimensional tape to pop-up the label, attaching it to the front of the clear piece.  Then added adhesive to the back of the clear piece, but ONLY behind the label.  And that's enough!

(And this is where I have to say that I love my Birthday Builder set SO much.  I use it ALL the time for so many different reasons: the "31" on my label for instance.  It's a REALLY versatile set to have.)

Now it's your turn!  I'm looking forward to seeing how you use embossing this week!  And don't forget to share your spark by leaving a comment on this post with a link to what you make!


a*muse stamps used ...
"3" and "1" from the birthday builder set
label from rectangle frames set
"halloween" masked from black cats prowl
tiny spider

paper ...
a*muse orange crush notecard
stampin' up glossy cardstock
grafix .007 acrylic sheets

ink ...
stazon jet black (spiders)
versamark watermark ink pad (webs)
memento tuxedo black (label frame & "halloween")
memento tangelo ("31")
kaleidacolor desert heat

August 28, 2008

a little scrappin' ...

I like to fancy myself a scrapbooker as well as a card maker.  Sometimes I feel like I do more supply-hoarding than actual scrapping, but ... every now and again I actually make something.  *wink* 

Mom and I started a subscription up with Cocoa Daisy after I bought their very first kit and fell in love.  It was a fun way to get the SAME supplies and scrap "together" even though we didn't live close.  It's a great idea in theory, although we don't always accomplish anything but ooh'ing and aah'ing over the pretty things that show up at our houses every month.  *lol*     But I digress ...

Their July kit was a selection of Ali Edward's favorite things.  (There are two people that rarely go wrong with design in my book, my design "heroes" if you will, and she is one of them.  *laugh*)  Ali later posted an album she'd made using the kit on her blog with an instruction sheet. 

My Mom was first.  One day she IM's me and says she finished the album!  I was itching to do it, but had no time.  Hate that.  Then it was Michelle's turn: she'd showed me photos of her book in progress and then posted the finished product on her blog

But I did it!  A few week's ago I finally got around to mine!  Within 3 days of starting, it was nearly finished (it would have gone a LOT faster had I been able to narrow down my photo choices)!  So here's a few photos from my version of Ali's travel album ...


The book is half acrylic pages and half chipboard.  We visited three major cities on the trip, so I put the book together chronologically, photos from each big city on a clear page, and inserts with photos from the stuff in between, in between the clear pages.  Clear as mud?  *laugh*


Yes, my journaling was done on the computer.  I don't like my handwriting - BUT - I did try to use it.  But I couldn't fit the story I wanted to tell, in the space I had, using my own.  Although, I gotta' admit I like it better this way. *lol*  (The numbers and words you see stamped through the book are an Ali Edward's stamp set - also from Cocoa Daisy.)







I love how many different layers and sizes ended up in the book.  I had way more photos I wanted to include than it was designed to hold, so I added them in! 

I also think it's really cool that despite all three of us using supplies (and ideas) that came from the same kit -  our books are all totally different on the inside! 


And if you've made it all the way to the bottom of the post ... I have some exciting news to share with you in the next few days.  Guess who's going back to teaching classes!?  Yep ... I haven't taught an A Muse class since leaving Germany, but that's all gonna' change soon!  Stay tuned for details!  *wink*

August 24, 2008

a peek at my crafty space ...

Tonight's the night all the latest and greatest goodies from A Muse go on sale via the brand new website!  (Beginning at midnight PST!)


After the last VMAA chat (and a smaller impromtu chat last week), some of you caught a glimpse of my craft room via my webcam and have expressed an interest to better see how I have things organized.  So today I thought I'd share a few pics with  ya' ...

These are a few of the storage bins where my A Muse stamps live.

Each drawer is organized by category ... this is my "nature" drawer.

I keep all those fabulous A Muse sentiments stored in larger, seperate drawers of their own.   

I wanted notecard storage that would let me put my hands on exactly the color I wanted to use without a lot of fuss.  And these CD bins fit the top of a bookcase near my work table perfectly.  I punched tabs from scraps to make dividers for different colors and styles.

I know there are fancier ways to store markers, but I find these plastic bins from an office supply store work great for me. 

These carts are something I'm SO happy with and wouldn't want to stamp without now!  *laugh*  These are the tools I use every time I stamp.  And they live right under my table, at arm's reach, so I can pull them in and out as I need items and keep my table top clear.  One has most of the inks I use on a regular basis and Stickles.  The other is adhesives, glitter, and paint.   Everyone works differently,but these were a lifesaver for me.  Having all this important stuff at my fingertips, but off my table, makes me SO happy.  *laugh*

Some of you asked about the shelves you could see behind me when I had the webcam on during VMAA.  This is them!  5 individual shelves housing non-A Muse woodmounted stamps.  A pain to dust, but I love them anyway.  (I found them at IKEA when we were living in Germany, but I would bet they'd have them here too.)

This is my high tech filing system.  *laugh*  I have binders that I keep card samples in, but until they make it into those, they live here for a little while.  It's about time to make time to file again.  *lol* 

A bin for non-A Muse clear stamps that lives in the closet ...

And a bit of the closet ...

Man, that was a lot of photos ... hopefully you enjoyed a little peek into my craft room!  

August 22, 2008

share your spark fridays ...

Whoo hoo - it's Friday!  After all the Halloweenie excitement of the past week, I ended up feeling a bit under the weather and haven't stamped much the past couple of days.   A crummy thing to happen when you're in the middle of lots of Halloween inspiration. *laugh*  But I'm back at it today - just in time for this week's spark

My favorite part of the share your spark fridays post is sharing the links from last week!  I loved that so many of you got into the Halloween spirit a bit early with me!  Thank you to everyone who shared their spark last week by making a Halloween card!   

Lee Anne (and this one too!)
Dawn S.
Michelle H.

So many fun, fun creations!  (And lots of drippy goo!  No, I'm not getting a kick back from Martha!  *wink*)  There's a lot of Halloween inspiration in this list - be sure to drop by and leave them a comment!


Now for this week's spark!

Every now and again I like to revisit tools or techniques that were all the rage at one time, but have sorta' fallen to the wayside (at least for me).  I've been doing this a lot lately and it's been great to use older supplies and revisit techniques I haven't done in a while.  One of these is watercoloring.  And that's this week's spark ...

Use watercoloring on a card (or anything else you want to create)!

Now ... don't let this one intimidate you!  The great thing about watercoloring is that it doesn't have to be anything fancy.  It can be an easy way to get a cool background - like on this card.  And ... you can use the exact same watercoloring technique (which is a fancy way of saying I just brushed it back and forth) to color a whole image.  Let me tell ya', it doesn't get much easier than that!  My sample this week combines both of those - I did a wash on a background, stamped on it, and then added a little more color over it.

I used Twinkling H20's to color the image from the new A Muse leaf set.  The H20's came to live with me ages ago, but hadn't seen the light of day until recently.  But I'm glad they've come out of hiding because I've been having a ball with them lately.  (They're little pots of watercolor paint with mica added for sparkle.) 

To get the gradient color, I added a bit of orange over the yellow I'd painted the entire square of watercolor paper with.  Then I went back and added the tiniest bit of red to the far edges where it's darker.  And that's all - didn't take any time at all! 

Now it's your turn!  Watercoloring is easier than you think it is and I'm really looking forward to seeing what you do this week!  And don't forget to share your spark by leaving a comment on this post with a link to what you make!


a*muse stamps used ...
leaves are from the new set of the same name: leaves
just a note

paper ...
a*muse brown madeira notecard
a*muse bark notecard
watercolor paper

embellishment ...
stampin' up linen thread

other ...
yellow rose, persimmon, and cinnamon twinkling h20's

August 19, 2008

jeepers creepers ...

Jeepers creepers ... I forgot to put my sneak up yesterday!  But I got one up today!  *laugh* 

You've seen the web as a background element on a few sneaks already, but I wanted to share a card where it was front and center!  It's a really versatile addition to the A Muse Halloween line and I've had so much fun using it!  We really NEEDED a spooky web.  (The spiders and the sentiment are "classic" A Muse Halloween images.)

I masked the sentiment so it could be stacked and added ... wait for it ... black glitter to the spiders!  So sparkly in person!

And yes, another Martha punch used!  You guys all probably saw this from the get go, but once I stopped looking at this one as ONLY pumpkins and more as a scalloped border - my whole view on this punch changed!  So much fun to have a scalloped jack-o-lantern border!  Scallops - brilliant!

August 18, 2008

happy birthday, michelle ...

This is Michelle and today is her birthday!

Being a fellow A Muse gal, many of you already know Michelle from her blog!  Hop on over and wish her a happy day!

Happy Birthday, Michelle!

August 17, 2008

happy halloween ...

I *love* making spooky Halloween cards, but every now and again ya' just need something cute!  I think you guys are gonna' flip for this new Halloween clear set: Missy's Halloween!  I've had a lot of fun with this one, mini books, cards - the images and sentiments are just too stinkin' fun to play with.  It's such a great set for making cards or treat bags for kidlets too!  And if anyone scraps - so much fun!  I can't wait for you guys to see the rest of the images in this one!

I thought the wee witch girlie looked ready for a Halloween party ... so out came the banner (because every party needs a banner, right?)!  I curved the "happy halloween" sentiment from the set to go across the top (*love* that about clear stamps)!  The sparkle in the banner are Stickles. 

I hope you guys are enjoying the sneaks!


a*muse stamps used ...
witch from missy's halloween set
'happy halloween' from missy's halloween set
banner from fancy borders set

paper ...
a*muse orange crush notecard
a*muse black kitchen collection notecard

embellishment ...
a*muse orange stitched grosgrain ribbon
orange stickles
black diamond stickles

August 16, 2008

happy haunting ...

I have REALLY been enjoying quality crafty time with my new A Muse Halloween stamps!  *laugh*  And each time I think I've picked a definitive favorite from the release, I make something with another one and IT becomes my favorite!  *laugh* 

So not only is the Candelabra stamp my favorite today, it has another cool feature about it in my book ... it makes me think of the Haunted Mansion ride in Disney parks (one of our favorite vacation spots).  It's all I can see when I use it!  *laugh*  Do you guys know what I'm talking about?  Not long after the ride starts ... it's there floating at the end of a hallway, slightly tilted?  So spooky!  (And even a little more spooky with drippy goo, yeah?  *laugh*)

It's a wee bit tough to see, but I drew a thin blue line around the edge of the cut-out candelabra ... adding an ethereal glow. I traced over the same blue line with a clear Spica for a little shimmer and added yellow Twinkle stickers to the flames!

And ... do you see any other new goodies?  Not only are the black notecards a fabulous addition to the Kitchen Collection, but check out the ribbon!  New sheer ribbon - in white!  It's so soft, pretty and shimmery!

All the new goodies will be available August 20th!


a*muse stamps used ...
happy haunting

paper ...
a*muse black kitchen collection notecard
cabana blue solid notecard (punched)

embellishment ...
a*muse sheer white ribbon
a*muse mini twinkle stickers

ink ...
palette hybrid black


August 15, 2008

share your spark fridays ...

Happy Friday, everyone!  I am really excited today: there's a nip in the air, I have punches *wink*, and I can FINALLY share a bit of the new Halloween release from A Muse with you!  So ... welcome to a special A Muse sneak peek edition of share your spark fridays!

As always ... let me first thank everyone who shared their spark last week by making a card with a cut-out!  You guys did some REALLY creative things yet again!  It's always SO fun to see what you create!

Geeta (and here)
Lee Anne
Lori (and here)

Make sure you check 'em out and leave them a little blog love.  *wink*


Now on to this week's spark!

This week I'm challenging you to something close to my heart!  In honor of this being sneak peek week for the new A Muse Halloween images, this week's spark is to ...

Make a Halloween card!

Whoo hoo!  How fun!

Here's what I made, using one of A Muse's new Halloween stamps (and a new sentiment)!

Check out this crow!  How spooky cool is he (or she, I suppose it could be)!  *laugh*  This whole release is squeel-worthy, but I've been having a ball using the black crow!

I even added a bit of sparkle in the form of black glitter!

Now it's your turn!  You guys know that I'm even more excited than usual to see what you cook up for Halloween!   And don't forget to share your spark by leaving a comment on this post with a link to what you make!

Be sure to check out the A Muse News blog and the blogs of the A Muse Creative Team for more sneak peeks!


a*muse stamps used ...
black crow
something to crow about
branch from sushi set

paper ...
a*muse vintage notecard in black

embellishments ...
a*muse black sheer ribbon
martha stewart black glitter

ink ...
palette hybid black
memento rich cocoa

August 14, 2008

playing with goo ...

As some of you may know, I've been obsessing over the Martha Stewart Halloween punches since I got wind of them last week.  And after stalking the local Michael's stores last weekend, I finally have them!  *my pretties*  (I know.  I need help.)

I've been tinkering with all of them, especially the border punches, and these were the first couple of cards to come together ...

How cool is this border punch?!  It's called Drippy GooDrippy Goo has, incidently, become a favorite phrase of mine: "What's for dinner tonight?"  "Drippy Goo!"  "What's in that glass?"  "Drippy Goo!"  Yeah, it's gonna' get old fast - but not for me!  *snicker*

You may have missed it in the first photo, but I'm hoping you'll be able to catch the glitter better in this one.  See it there ... on the spider body?  I used a glue pen to add glitter to each of their bodies!  (Black Martha glitter I had leftover from last year - gorgeous stuff!) 

Here's another one ...
I'm convinced that drippy goo should be green ... 

... and sparkly!  Again with the glue pen - added a bit of glitter to the drippy bits. 

Ok, break over ... it's time to go back to my punches!  *laugh*  Oooh ... and be sure to check back tomorrow - you're not gonna' want to miss what's coming your way then!


a*muse stamps used ...
hanging spiders
thin witch
witches brew
brewing up some fun

paper ...
a*muse orange crush notecard
a*muse lime notecard
a*muse passion notecard

embellishments ...
superfine glitter
martha stewart black glitter

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Hi! I'm Heather, and welcome to my blog! I stamp, I travel, I make stuff, I cook, I take tons of photos - and you'll find a little of all of that here!

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