Monday, January 26, 2015

CHA memories

Just wanted to share a few pictures from this year's Winter CHA show - my time in Anaheim did not go as planned, but I had one fun day on the show floor, and did get to connect with some sweet friends and see some amazing things! The highlight, of course, was seeing my new stamp release 'live' in the Impression Obsession booth - I have more booth pictures, and I'll share them next Thursday when we post the new IO challenge.

Next to my new release, the best part about CHA is connecting with longtime friends and fellow designers that I normally only meet up with online - so sweet to share hugs and know these dear people are real!

(Libby Hickson, Ellen Taylor, Gail Green, Becca Feeken, Tosha Leyendekker)

(Keri Sereika, Lisa Adametz, Tiffany Johnson)

And what CHA post is complete without pictures of the Ranger crew? So nice to meet "the other Dina," Dina Wakley. :)

My husband was brave enough to walk the floor with me in the morning and he naturally loved this booth...

I love meeting up with other artists who are passionate about their favorite products and their art - I spent quite a bit of time with Brigitta at the Pentacolor booth, playing with product and enjoying her demos. Hope to see someone in the States carry these Hungarian paints, mediums and finishes - they were so much fun!

Of course there are beautiful samples to look at - here are a few of my favorites...

I did get to do a make-and-take at the Faber-Castell booth - lots of fun new product there! I'll share my project when I finish it up. New colors of Gelatos are coming, and I loved the Texture Luxe paste too!

Sadly, after a day on the show floor my immune system rebelled, and I ended up with the worst case of strep throat I've ever had or seen in my life... spent the 2nd day in bed, drove home Monday and went straight to the doctor. This is my doctor's office selfie, and the monstrous antibiotics that somehow made their way down my swollen-shut throat.

I'm rebuilding now and definitely on the mend - and though my MegaShow weekend didn't go as planned, I'm so thankful for the beautiful people I was able to connect with, and the fellowship of creative minds that exists in this industry. There were even moments when I caused other people to be starstruck, and I'll never get used to that! So fun. Thanks for sharing these memories with me!

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Prize winner!

The winner of the My Creative Kutz dies is Linda Patti! Thanks to all who commented - I love hearing from you!
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Monochrome - just 2 pencils

I got a little spontaneous yesterday and made another entry for this week's Mix-Ability challenge (Monochromatic). I started with a 3" Art Square from Inchie Arts in dark grey, and stamped the Button Mandala image from Impression Obsession in black to one side. The image is colored with just 2 Coloursoft pencils, a black and white.

Here's a closer look - I initially didn't love this set of pencils because the leads are a bit fragile, but this turned out to be my favorite white pencil for adding highlights. On the toothy surface of this matboard, it doesn't take a lot of pressure to really create some dimension. I set the square into a 3-1/2" Hallmark coaster frame - I picked up a set of 4 of these at Goodwill and thought they'd be a fun little way to showcase mini art.

Have a wonderful week! I'll be back tomorrow with a prize winner and some pictures from CHA!

Click here for more Inchie Arts products!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Mix-Ability Monochrome, and a giveaway!

This week's Mix-Ability challenge is to create a monochrome project. A few months ago I received a fun package of dies from an ebay store I've frequented for great deals on Quickutz dies - Creating Everlasting Memories. CEM has come out with their own line of steel wafer dies called My Treasured Kutz, and they sent me a few to test out. (Keep reading for a chance to win some)!

Here's the card I made using 2 of the sets:

I treated myself to some Hydrus watercolors for Christmas, and had a little fun playing with backgrounds to cut from - I tell ya, one drop of these paints goes such a long way! This background was done with a drop of the Sap Green and a drop of Payne's Gray along with some spritzed water... actually I got 2 backgrounds from those 2 drops!

Here's the ivy die, so you can see the format - all the elements are included on a single die. The dies are steel and made in China - they have quite a variety for their first release and more on the way.

Here's a closer look at the leaves and the Garden Trellis - I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Spellbinders Craft Tool N' One worked to clean out every one of those little chads while the cut was still in the die. The sentiment I used is from my new clear set, Maya.

Just for fun, I'd like to give a couple of these dies sets away! I have a Petite Grass Border die and the White Picket Fence set up for grabs - leave a comment by midnight EST Sunday for a chance to win! I'll announce the winner in my Monday post - I'll tuck in my ivy card as well!

(For size reference, the grass border is 5.5" wide.)

Hope you have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

SugarPea Designs birthday blog hop

I'm honored to be a special guest in a Birthday Blog Hop for SugarPea Designs today! SugarPea Designs was born one year ago, and has had a wonderful year of adorable releases. Happy birthday, SugarPea Designs, and congratulations,Wendy!

To celebrate I just had to make a card using today's Pop-Up Diorama Card tutorial over at Splitcoast! These are so fun to make, and so cute. Here's a close-up of the inside first - when the card opens up it creates space for a dimensional scene. My little penguin (from the Happy Mail stamp set, colored with Touch Twin Markers and Prismacolor Pencils) is popped up on a watercolored background with some die cut grass around his feet. I put grass along the back side of the window opening as well, to give even more depth.

 The card front can be decorated like any other card - I went with a simple design since there's so much inside. The Airmail border die is from SugarPea Designs, too. To do the airmail stripes, I cut the overlay first, then used it as a template to mark the openings on another strip with a pencil. I colored those each with a broad marker stroke, then layered the two strips together.

Here's the full open card - just so fun! Love that cutie penguin.

And here's a side view, so you can have a better idea of the dimension the card has when open. Surprisingly, it folds flat for mailing!

Well, you made it this far - now the exciting stuff!

Can you believe the sweetness...? SugarPea Designs is offering a $100 Gift Certificate to someone who comments on ALL of the blogs in the hop! Keep an eye out for extra giveaways along the hop as well.

If you'd like to link your project up, there will also be a Link Up blog hop -- anyone can participate for a chance to win a $25 Gift Certificate by creating a birthday card and linking up on the SPD Blog post here. And.... use coupon code: BDAY01 to receive 10% off your entire purchase (valid until January 24th)! Blog hop and LinkUp end at midnight January 28th, and winners will be announced on Feb 1st.

Thanks for visiting me! Be sure to visit my friends below, and don't forget to comment!

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SugarPea Designers

SugarPea Designs Blog
Lesley Croghan
Anita Madden
Jenny Peterson
Kim O'Connell
Mary Johnson
Wendy Bond
Tracy Valure
Simonne Clay
Stacey Schafer
Wendy McGaffey
Vera Yates
Kerri Michaud
Lisa Lara
Cathy Preissing
Shanna Shands
Cibele Glazer

Our Special Guests

Tracy MacDonald
Danielle Lounds
Tara Godfrey
Veronica Zalis
Angel Rivera
Jen Shults
Isha Gupta
Amy Tsuruta
Dina Kowal ------------------ that's me!
Chaitali Narla
Brianna Loeffelbein
Lisa Henke
Piali Biswas

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Where You Should Be

This week's Mix-Ability challenge is to use a lot of repeated shapes on a mixed media project.There's a story behind my project, and it starts with these cards...

I made about 50 of these last week to send to our supporters - each one has a unique gel print on it from my file (yay me for using them!!). Since I tore the bottom edge of each panel, I had a stack of torn pieces each 1-1.5" wide and 4" long.

And I could not throw them away.

I bought 3 of these Ikea framed mirrors at the Goodwill, and have altered one so far. I adhered the strips to the frame using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium - looooove this stuff. It dries with no trace, and so smoothly. Most of these pieces are gel prints or brayered sheets, but a few were done with PanPastels.

 My next step was to stencil with Liquitex Gloss Super Heavy Gel to create a raised design - this is a really heavy-bodied gel with a lot of dimension. I used a stencil from Martha Stewart.

I added a little texture by rubbing a very thin layer of crackle medium to some areas of the project - it's white, so that toned down the colors somewhat, and added a roughness that helped pick up color.

I used a stencil brush to darken the edges and some of the stenciling with Memento Luxe Espresso Truffle ink, then lightly rubbed Platinum Inka-Gold over the project for a vintage pearly shine.

Here's my completed project! It's very personal, and especially because of all those paper strips - a piece from each card we sent to our supporters, thanking them for the blessing they are in our lives. This is a strong reminder - to me - of how loved I am and how location doesn't change our hearts.

That sentiment from Unity stamps grabbed me, as did a few others that are from Donna Downey's line.  One more picture... that beautiful turquoise embellishment is one of my Granny's earrings - I can't wear them (allergy) so I decided to work them into special projects.

Thanks for visiting me today!
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Impression Obsession DT Challenge: Sparkle & Shine

The Impression Obsession team's challenge today is to create a project that incorporates glitter or shimmer. I had fun with this sample for yesterday's Multicolor Embossing tutorial, so I saved my project to share today.

I used my Large Feather die, and started by masking off the edges to ink only the center with Versamark ink.

My first embossing was done with silver powder, then I inked the remaining edges and embossed with gold powder. The bow die was cut from cardstock covered with aluminum tape.

For the impression in the watercolor paper, I ran the die and paper through my Big Shot using the embossing pads, then lightly sponged the panel with gold ink to pick up the outlines of the die.

The sentiment (Do You Know) is one of my new releases from the Valentine supplement.

Speaking of new releases, I've just updated the Pinterest board with pictures from the Impression Obsession booth at CHA! Take a peek HERE.

Be sure to check out these other designers' blogs for inspiration -

Anna @ Sassy & Sweet Notes
Daniela @ For the First Time
Dina @ Mama Dini's Stamperia ---- you're here
Ellen @ The Serendipitous Stamper
Jeanne @ Inky Paws
Jenny @ One Krafty Kat
Karen @ Paper Lilies and Ink
Kittie @ Kittie Kraft
Laura @ Laura's Stamp Art Journal
Vicki @ Summerthyme Studio

Remember you can enter these challenges too, using your Impression Obsession stamps! See the I.O. blog for all the details - you might even win a $25 gift certificate!! We'd love to have you join us.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Splitcoast Tutorial: Multicolor Embossing

This week's Splitcoast tutorial is called Multicolor Embossing - our guest author Stephanie Klauck  shows her technique for embellishing die cuts with multiple embossing powders. I have a limited supply of embossing powders at my house, but I did find some silver and gold to use - here's a peek at my sample, which I'll share tomorrow!

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mix-Ability challenge: Static Electricity

This week's challenge is brought to us by our newest hostess, +MariLynn DeGroot! She's challenging us to include some wavy 'static' lines on our projects.

I needed to replenish my stash of thank you tags, so I used the challenge to get my project started. I like tucking these tags in with etsy orders, and with all the Christmas necklaces I sold, I'm out! :)

The manila tags were printed using my Gelli Plate - I promise I'll video that process next time!

 I made the straight lines on the first set and wavy lines on this second set of tags using Roylco Paint Scrapers - these are kids' art supplies - inexpensive and they work great! They come in a set of 4.

The 'thank you' message is actually a die cut opening using a die from the set below - this is one of my designs and was actually designed with this type of project in mind.

 I used my grid mat to make sure I had it straight, and stuck the die on the sticky side of a Post-it note...

Then I used the straight sides of the sticky note to line up the die on my tags and hold it in place for cutting. Works like a charm!

I'm on the CHA show floor today - I am not cool enough to be able to post pictures directly from my phone, but I promise I'll upload from my camera when I'm able! Don't be surprised if I share more pictures of people than new products... though I'll be checking out products, I'm more excited about connecting with friends!

See you soon!
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