Thursday, June 22, 2017

Birthday Boys!

Hey you all! Thanks for stopping by today. I've got two fun but simple Birthday Boy cards for you today. Every once in a while my Dad calls me and asks me to make cards for his friends... sometimes at the last minute. Well, I can't say no to my dad so sometimes I need to bust out cards that he will love in a pretty big hurry. Here's what I came up with over the last two weeks when he called me for cards. This is actually the second of the two cards he ordered but I'm sharing it first because I just love that little turtle! My dad asked me to put Omani's name on his card. Omani is a young guy who makes amazing jewelry/art using twisted wires and gorgeous rocks. I can't help but think of beautiful metal and jewel tones when I think of him. This So Eclectic DSP was perfect  for his card and really allowed for the gold lettering to pop off of the card. After I stamped the birthday sentiment the card still looked like it needed something. My husband thought it needed a birthday cake but I found this little turtle (DSP) and cut it out instead. I love this cute little guy!



My second card is for my Dad's buddy Joseph. My Dad met both Joseph and Omani through an amazing program called CASA. It's a program that sets kids who are in the foster system up with a responsible and caring adult who is able to remain constant in their life. My Dad is one of the mentors or "Casas" in this program. Joseph was my Dad's first Casa kid and their story is really inspiring. Joseph is now a succesful young adult and he and my Dad have remained friends even after Joseph aged out of the program. They have such a strong bond that they have become the "poster children" for the program. I'll post a video of them after Joseph's card. So, I didn't have much notice for this card and I ended up making it in the middle of the night so that I could give it to my Dad in the morning. For such a last minute card I was happy with how it came out. Thank goodness Stampin' Up! has such amazing products that I was able to do something fun at the last second.

Here's the video about CASA featuring Joseph and my Dad. If you've got a program like this in your area (it is a national program so you might!) and you are looking for a way to make a difference I highly recommend it. It's a great way to make a difference in someone's life.




That's all for today. Thank you for stopping by, you know I'm always so glad that you do.
Have an amazing day!

-Maria.





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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Glossy Paper: Soot Technique Video Tutorial (Fauxtograph)

Hey, and thanks for stopping by my blog today! Today I'm sharing a card that I made quite a while back. I made it for my display board at the OnStage event in April and never got around to sharing it because I really wanted to make a video to share how to do this technique. Now that Stampin' Up! is selling Glossy Paper it opens up the doors to so many new techniques! The one that I used on this card is called the Glossy Paper: Soot Technique. It is not for the faint of heart as you definitely risk catching your beloved Glossy Paper (hopefully only your paper!) on fire but it's well worth the risk if you ask me. 


Here's a close up so that you can see the technique a little bit better. I love it because it really looks like an aged, old photograph. 

Let me start by saying that there are many ways to do this technique. I chose to heat emboss my image in clear embossing paper before I smoked my paper to get it all sooty. I also added an additional step. As I watched tutorial videos on the Soot Technique it became obvious that it can be difficult to control where the flame licks your paper and therefore it's difficult to control where your paper will be covered with soot. That resulted in many of the samples that I saw having an uneven background with a lot of the white paper showing through. It was important to me to have a somewhat even background. As I was going for the aged photograph look on this card  I decided to add a little bit of color and texture to my background before smoking it. NOTE: You cannot add the color after you smoke your paper because it will remove the soot. If you choose to add some sponging and stamping as I did, you must do it before you smoke your paper.

After I added color to my glossy paper I used a lit candle to carefully burn and smoke the surface of my glossy paper leaving it with a layer of soot over the face of it. I did catch my paper on fire... if you look at the layers of paper/ribbon sticking out to the left of the image piece you can see that I added some burned glossy paper to the mix. Why not, right? I did get pretty good soot coverage as I smoked my paper. So much so that I felt the need to use a q-tip to wipe a little bit of the soot away from my stamped image. You'll also notice that my image turned black with soot. I did not see this happen in any of the videos that I watched but I liked the way it looked so I was happy with it. 

HOT TIPS:
#1: Add at least an inch to the dimensions of your glossy paper before smoking it. Doing this will ensure that you will have enough room to cut off burnt edges if you need to. It will also give you room to hold the edges of your cardstock without ruining your image (because, see #2).

#2: Do not touch your smoked, sooty paper with your fingers. The soot will stick to your fingers and ruin your paper because there will be finger prints in it. The soot wipes off easily with anything so make sure to handle your masterpiece with care.

#3: If you are adding extra color to the background as I did, make sure to do it before you smoke your paper. You will not be able to add it after the fact.

#4: I prefer using a taper candle vs. a votive candle. This helps me to control which part of my paper I am smoking and helps me to keep from bumping into my image piece as I smoke it (bumping it ruins the soot finish).

#5: Take care not to melt your heat embossed image with your candle flame.

#6: When you are trying this technique please make sure to take the necessary safety precautions. Smoke your paper over the sink or over a non-flammable surface with a water source nearby.

#7: Seal your image as soon as possible so that you don't run the risk of ruining it. After you seal it you will be able to handle it all you want without having to worry about removing the soot finish.




I know that a video tutorial goes a long way with a technique like this.... so, here ya go!





I hope that video helps! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask! If you are interested in purchasing any of the products featured in the video just click on my "Shop Online!" button below, or, let me know how I can help you!

Take care and have an amazing day you all!
-Maria

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Want a great discount on Stampin' Up! Products and to have a fun new stamping family? Join me on this fun adventure! I can't wait to be your super excited (possibly way too enthusiastic... No! That's not possible!) Stampin' Up! side kick and support lady! In case you didn't know, you can join Stampin' Up! just for the discount and never sell a single product. If you want to know the details just let me know. If you're looking for a discount on your favorite hobby (stamping and paper crafting with Stampin' Up! products) and want to earn money doing it... let me know! I'd love to talk with you whatever your interest might be! If you want to see a little more info go ahead and click the button below. Looking forward to hearing from you!


Monday, June 19, 2017

Basic Mermaid

Hey everybody! Happy Tuesday to ya! Yesterday I shared a Magical Mermaid card that was possibly one of my favorite cards ever. Today I've got what I'm calling the Basic Mermaid... because after yesterday's mermaid this one just seems... basic. But let's be real! Sometimes you don't have hours to make a card and you need a quick and easy card that is still pretty. 

I watercolored this mermaid after heat embossing in clear onto watercolor paper. Her tail is Lemon Lime Twist and Emerald Envy with some sparkly Clear Wink of Stella on top. Her skin is Powder Pink and her hair is Real Red. The new Naturally Eclectic DSP made my job super easy as it provided me with an easy "water" background. 


I heat embossed my sentiment in white onto vellum and layered the mermaid on top. Adding some of the new and fabulous Iridescent Sequins in different sizes and colors helped to finish the card off easily.

I really am loving this mermaid set! I do have some ideas on how to experiment with it but haven't had time to do it yet. Soon, I hope! Please let me know if you have any questions at all. If you are interested in purchasing any of the supplies to make this set yourself please let me know. You can also click the "Shop Now" button below, or, click on any of the products in the carousel below and it will take you to my online store.

Thanks for stopping by today! Hope your day is terrific!
Maria.



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Want a great discount on Stampin' Up! Products and to have a fun new stamping family? Join me on this fun adventure! I can't wait to be your super excited (possibly way too enthusiastic... No! That's not possible!) Stampin' Up! side kick and support lady! In case you didn't know, you can join Stampin' Up! just for the discount and never sell a single product. If you want to know the details just let me know. If you're looking for a discount on your favorite hobby (stamping and paper crafting with Stampin' Up! products) and want to earn money doing it... let me know! I'd love to talk with you whatever your interest might be! If you want to see a little more info go ahead and click the button below. Looking forward to hearing from you!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Magical Mermaid

Hey Everybody! Happy Monday! I hope you've all had a great weekend and a terrific Father's Day if you were celebrating it. I made my husband a pile of french toast and sausage and then we went to see The Mummy. It's gotta be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit today (yesterday hit 117) and we are roasting. I really need to get some yard work done but i'm thinking hitting the craft room and sweating less is probably a better idea. Anyhow, not so long ago I shared a technique for Glossy Paper called Alcohol Ink Blending. In my tutorial video I shared some samples and I thought it would be fun to show you what I made with them. So, this is the first of those cards and I love how well the background pairs with the Magical Mermaid stamp set...


I had so much fun with every single detail of this card. Luckily that background was already made and once I got a good look at it I knew I'd be pairing it with this gorgeous mermaid!

The mermaid was the first thing I did. I heat embossed her in clear on watercolor paper and then watercolored her using an aqua painter. Her tail is a combination of Lemon Lime Twist, Emerald Envy and a healthy coating of Clear Wink of Stella. Her skin is Powder Pink and her hair is a combo of Perfect Plum and Elegant Eggplant. If you look closely you can see that I colored outside of the lines. I did that on purpose so that when I cut my mermaid out she wouldn't have a white outline that would contrast with the background of the card. Also, because I heat embossed her in clear (which appears white), if I had a white border I think she would've looked weird-as if the details of her body didn't have an edge or were not grounded. I'm not sure I'm explaining that well so I hope it makes sense. 

One of my favorite details of this card is this fun little tag! I cut it out by hand, punched a hole in the top and heat embossed the sea star in white. Adding the gold ribbon and the gold thread added a nice contrast and helped tie it in to the rest of the card.

I heat embossed the seaweed (the seaweed!! isn't it beautiful!! I love that stamp.) in gold multiple times across the bottom of the card. Then I added some of these new iridescent sequins... so, take a second and check out these sequins. They are amazing! The colors are so rad and I love that they come in different sizes! I used my fine tip glue pen to stick those down. 

To finish my card off I heat embossed my sentiment in black onto vellum (stamp in versa mark, then in black archival, stamp image on vellum, then use clear embossing powder) and added a strip of Basic Black to ground it a little better onto the card. I love the way the curve of the mermaid seems to fit so perfectly with that stitched oval. 

I've seen a lot of people requesting to see the insides of cards lately. I always finish the insides of my cards but I rarely share them. I'll try to work on that since it seems that there really is interest. I heat embossed the seaweed in gold onto whisper white cardstock (it's really whisper white, not shimmer paper). Then I used a combination of my aqua painter and my clear wink of stella to paint this in (Emerald Envy, Lemon Lime Twist and Tempting Turquoise). The Wink of Stella works amazingly for "watercoloring" on regular cardstock. The solution helps move the color around without saturating the paper and causing pilling or warping. Pretty awesome!

Alright, here's a last look at this Magical Mermaid. I sure hope you think she's magical too!


In case you missed my post on how to create Alcohol Ink Blended backgrounds, like the one I featured today, here's a link to my video tutorial:

Alright folks, that's it for today. Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my card today. As always, if you are interested in purchasing any of the products that I showcased today, you can shop in my online store by clicking on the link below or by clicking on any of the products in the carousel below. If you have any questions or comments please ask! I'm here to help and I love hearing back from you.

Have an amazing day you all!
Maria.



PRODUCT LIST:






Need more stamps now? Never fear! I've got you covered!
Let me know if you have any questions!


Want a great discount on Stampin' Up! Products and to have a fun new stamping family? Join me on this fun adventure! I can't wait to be your super excited (possibly way too enthusiastic... No! That's not possible!) Stampin' Up! side kick and support lady! In case you didn't know, you can join Stampin' Up! just for the discount and never sell a single product. If you want to know the details just let me know. If you're looking for a discount on your favorite hobby (stamping and paper crafting with Stampin' Up! products) and want to earn money doing it... let me know! I'd love to talk with you whatever your interest might be! If you want to see a little more info go ahead and click the button below. Looking forward to hearing from you!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

OSAT Blog Hop - All About Men


Happy Thursday everybody! I'm so glad you stopped by today because today is OSAT Blog Hop Day (one of the best days of the month!) Today we've got stampers from all over the world showcasing cards and projects for an "All About Men" theme. After you're done here please the next button at the bottom of my blog to continue on to the next talented stamper.

For my card today I've got something new... the Galaxy Technique!! I am so excited because I have never tried this technique before and aside from being surprisingly easy (I swear!) I cannot believe that it actually looks like a galaxy!

Let me quickly show you how I did it. First, I sponged in Daffodil Delight on a piece of shimmery white. I definitely recommend using the shimmery paper because the shimmer comes through the many layers of ink to add to the galaxy look.

Next I sponged with Berry Burst and overlapped the colors just a little.

My third color, Rich Razzleberry, is a bit darker than the previous two colors. 

Next I used Dapper Denim. I sponged the edges of the cardstock as well as sponging over the top of some of my other colors. I recommend making the edges really dark and working your way in but it's up to you as to where you lay down your color. Do make sure to leave some yellow more or less untouched because that will be the focal point of your galaxy when you are finished.

The last color you need to use is black. I used Basic Black Archival and it worked very well. Again, you will start at the edges and blend inward. Cover some of your colors up with black so that it looks like the colors are peeking through from behind. 

This is what my piece looked like when I was done sponging. You can just see some of the shimmer from the cardstock. In real life, the shimmer really comes out.

The next step is to flick some rubbing alcohol onto your background. I did it with my fingers and accidentally made some huge drops. Next time I will do it by flicking the alcohol with my aqua painter in order to get more of a spray.

Even though the drops were bigger than I had intended I still think they look so cool. They almost have a 3D effect like they are popping off of the page. My son actually tried to scratch them to see what they were because he thought they were raised (they are not at all raised).

Next you need some white splatters. I can think of quite a few ways to do this but my Chalk Marker was closest to me. I flicked the tip inside of the cap and got a nice spattering of white ink. After doing this I'm not sure I would recommend it. Even though it worked well for this technique I think it was hard on the tip of my marker.

The last step in this process is to spatter a healthy amount of Clear Wink of Stella onto your background piece. 

Here's what my final background piece looked like. This is the first time I've ever tried this technique and I'm telling ya, it will not be the last. 

Next, I made a moon for my card using the Two Inch Circle Punch, some Smoky Slate Cardstock, the Timeless Textures stamps set and both Smoky Slate and Basic Gray inks. I thought it needed a bit more depth so then I added a bit more shading with Dapper Denim ink.

I love how the moon came out and it was just the right size to fit the sentiment from Guy Greetings.

Both of my sentiments are from Guy Greetings and I was so happy with how well they worked with the theme of my card.

I added some silver metallic enamel dots to add to the galaxy look and called it good on this project.


For my project today I decided to make something for my son. He's fifteen and today is the last day of his freshman year in high school. He had finals this week and he's been just a little bit stressed out. He had a hankering for chocolate while he was studying and kept telling me that he is a chocoholic. So, as a celebratory gesture I decided to make him a box of chocolates as an "End of the School Year" gift. I'm pretty sure he's gonna love it!

I've got some products from the new catalog on this box and I think the most exciting thing might be that copper mesh... Do you know what that is? It's the copper trim! It comes shaped like a tube so I just ran my scissors down the middle of it and spread it apart to make more of a "mesh" look. I really love how versatile this stuff is!

My two smaller sentiments, "this is the day," and, "happy life" are both from the new Everyday Tabs stamp set. If you look closely at the scalloped circle of Lemon Lime twist you can see that I heat embossed the background. Those stripes are also from Everyday Tabs! At first I didn't really dig this set but it never fails-even when I "think" something isn't really my style... it is! So, thank you Stampin' Up! for gifting me this set for free at OnStage!

I filled my boy's box up with kisses and rolos and fancy chocolates galore. 

The trick now will just be making sure that he doesn't try to eat it all at once! That would be a serious belly ache! Oh! I almost forgot to mention.... Have you noticed that the "celebrate" is debossed into the paper? Yup! We have an embossing folder for that! After dry embossing the cardstock I heat embossed it with copper embossing powder. I love that bold, metallic look and it also coordinates with my copper trim... and the rolos!

If you're interested in dimensions or a tutorial for this box please let me know. It's pretty simple to make and I'm happy to share how if there is interest. If you're interested in either seeing or purchasing the products I've used today please scroll down to see the list and click on whatever you're interested in.  Have yourselves an amazing day and don't forget to click the next button to continue on to the ridiculously talented Sue Plote! You will not want to miss what she has to share today!

-Maria.




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Want a great discount on Stampin' Up! Products and to have a fun new stamping family? Join me on this fun adventure! I can't wait to be your super excited (possibly way too enthusiastic... No! That's not possible!) Stampin' Up! side kick and support lady! In case you didn't know, you can join Stampin' Up! just for the discount and never sell a single product. If you want to know the details just let me know. If you're looking for a discount on your favorite hobby (stamping and paper crafting with Stampin' Up! products) and want to earn money doing it... let me know! I'd love to talk with you whatever your interest might be! If you want to see a little more info go ahead and click the button below. Looking forward to hearing from you!