Sneak Peek Of The Colorful Seasons Bundle- Coming June 1, 2017

Colorful Seasons is a great name for what I expect to be a popular stamp & die bundle in the June 1, 2017 Stampin’ UP! Annual Catalog.  This set has something for all four seasons.  Today I share just a hint of what is to come in this great bundle and introduce products for two of the seasons: Spring & Summer.

What reminds you that Winter is ending and Spring is arriving more than flowers blooming.  Colorful Seasons has a beautiful offering of cherry blossoms and a gorgeous saying, “Just Breathe”.

The small flowers were stamped onto watercolor paper with a new In-Color called Berry Burst, spritzed with water and allowed to dry before stamping the branches and sentiment with Chocolate Chip ink. Simple and so very satisfying-just like Spring.

As Spring slowly fades into Summer, the new In-Color Lemon Lime Twist will bring a bright uplifting feeling to the cards you make with the Colorful Seasons dies and/or stamps.  This Adirondack chair die cut is just one of the fabulous dies in the set.

 

Prepare to relax with your favorite beverage poolside this Summer and send a friend or loved one a card telling them how much you wish they were there spending time with you.  This Fresh Fig stamped beach chair makes me want to bury my feet in sand and read a good book.

The images I’ve shown are just a sampling of the stamps & dies in this set.  In addition, there are leaves, snowflakes, a large scalloped border and wonderful stamp sentiments. The Colorful Seasons Bundle is the bundle for anyone who makes cards OR scrapbook pages. I love when products work well with both, don’t you?

If you’re a beginner or a pro at scrapbooking or card making, I think this set will help you make great projects. I’d be happy to help you get started or add to your craft supplies. Contact me for a catalog. If you can’t wait for the physical catalog to arrive,  you can shop with me online when the new one goes live June 1st.

And don’t forget, this is your last chance to grab retiring products before they are gone from SU! shelves.  They are going quick!

Until next time…

-Joanne

Bright Wishes: 1 NEW Stamp Set, 2 Different Watercolor Techniques

We’re only TEN days away from the launch of the 2017-2018 catalog where you will see some gorgeous new products like the wishing well set called Bright Wishes which I am sharing a sneak peek of today.

Bright Wishes contains a beautiful large line-drawn well stamp which lends itself well to all types of coloring techniques.  For those who know me, they know I LOVE to color stamped images!

While my preference for coloring is using a great set of colored pencils (Yes, you can imagine my excitement when SU! brought back watercolor pencils!), the images from the Bright Wishes set above are both stamped onto watercolor paper and colored with markers and an Aqua Painter for a watercolor look.

One of the images took THREE TIMES longer than the other to color.  Can you guess which one?    Read on for the answer.

The card on the left was created by first stamping the Bright Wishes well in Sahara Sand.  This light color was chosen because it would essentially disappear and allow the image to take on a more free-handed watercolor appearance once the marker/aqua painter watercolor was added. Because it is necessary to color up to the lines and extra care added to adjusting/overlaying colors, there is a lot of moving to dry areas and waiting for the adjacent area to dry so that you can add more color. In other words- If you don’t wait for the well stones to dry and watercolor the greenery you’d have green bleed into the well’s stones.  It isn’t easy to remove watercolor bleed!  You must have dry surfaces when you watercolor in adjacent areas or add color over areas.  This is why the PINK card on the left took 3x longer than the BLUE one on the right.

The BLUE card on the right was inked by applying marker ink to each area using different colors. I colored the roses Real Red, the greenery Old Olive, the well stones Crumb Cake, the wood Sahara Sand, etc.  Once the whole stamp had ink, I huffed on it (adding moisture from my breath back to any area which may have dried) and stamped the image.  I then used an Aqua Painter where the brush was just damp enough to move the color around within the leaves, flowers, stones, wood, etc.  This creates a watercolor look, however it also takes all definition of the stamp away.  Once the image dries, ink the stamp with Chocolate Chip and using a Stamp positioner like the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, stamp the details over the image. Your watercolor blobs of color will have definition once again.

Did you know which one took longer?

Do you have a preference in the results?  Just because a technique takes longer doesn’t mean everyone would prefer the results over the less time consuming result.

However you decide to color the Bright Wishes stamp set, I believe if you like to color it is a great set to add to your collection. You can do that starting June 1, 2017 by shopping with me HERE.

Until next time…

-Joanne

How to watercolor with Stampin’ UP! markers

Watercolor.  You hear the word and you think, “I’m not sure I can do that”.  You see beautifully watercolor images on the internet and have convinced yourself you can not possibly recreate something like those samples.  I’m here to tell you that you can, BUT you must start trying!

Vincent Van Gogh believed this to be true as an artist; experimenting with art is the only way to learn how to do it.

I’m sitting down with my Stampin’ UP! downline this week for an introduction to watercolor.  While I am certainly no expert myself (far from it!), I offered to help her learn some basics.  We’ll be playing around with markers to make this:

It isn’t a completed card or project, just the stamp & watercolor image.  An image you can soon buy yourself, June 1, in the new 2017-2018 Stampin’ UP! Catalog.

Since I’m not hosting all of you for this in person one-on-one, I thought I’d give all of you the same instructions I’m giving her.

How to watercolor an image with Stampin’ UP! markers:

  • Start with an image which has been stamped onto watercolor cardstock.  Use Stazon Jet Black (retiring), Archival grey or black Inks (thoroughly dried) or inking and then clear embossing  images is best so the color does not run. * Note: It is necessary to stamp over the image multiple times to create a nice clean image (watercolor paper has a bumpy surface and it takes a bit more to get a cleanly stamped image.)  A stamp positioner is your best friend in this scenario.  Stampin’ UP! sells a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig.
  • Using a water-based markers, such as those Stampin’ UP! makes, draw around the inner edge of the outlined stamped image.
  • Press the sides of an Aqua Painter filled with water until it releases water, then wipe in a paper towel so it is not overly wet (I hold the paper towel in my opposite hand than the aqua painter through the whole process)
  • Once Aqua Painter is primed, brush over the area you markered, pulling color into the inside of the image, blending out your marker lines.
  • Wipe off color and drip Aqua Painter until clear when switching colors.
  • Do only one color at a time. Repeat until stamped image is colored in.
  • To add table: draw lines from side of pot and scribble a bit under pot.  Use Aqua Painter to blend out lines.

It really is that simple as following the steps above to watercolor in the pot. Stamping a few to play with is always suggested.  Remember, you may have to keep “doing” as Vincent Van Gogh said,  to get it the way you want.

In the sample above, the splatters & splotches are added when the image is done.  Scribble your marker on an acrylic block and use Aqua Painter to pick up color and the pen cap, with brush partially inserted to ‘flick’ color to paper. Be careful you or your surroundings don’t get inky.  Add puddles by dripping color straight from the Aqua Painter (takes a while to dry).

Be not afraid and buy that watercolor paper from Stampin’ UP! Get those watercolor pencils.  Get those markers.  Get the Aqua painters. Get a spritzer.  And give it a shot.

I wish I could do as this stamped image says, “Crafting Forever, Housework Never”, but my craft room is a mess and I’m having company.  So, I should do some housework…unless I just tell my downline I was too busy crafting…hmm…

Until next time…

-Joanne

Quick Cards with A Beautiful You

It is that time of year when a lot is happening and events are popping up and I need & want to make a quick card and get it in the mail to someone.

Does that sound familiar?

If so, you know that  you also do not want the recipient to think you spent very little time on their card. You want a great idea that makes that  card look good, but takes very little of your precious time.  This is where ink block spritzed backgrounds & blacking out stamps for silhouettes are perfect techniques-quick and simple, but someone who doesn’t craft won’t know that.

So, if you need a last minute Mother’s Day card, Graduation card, or an encouragement card for a friend who has had a bad time lately, try turning to one of these cards.

Today’s cards only take about 15 minutes each to make- much less, if you do a bunch of backgrounds all at one time.  Also, you can change your background color ink to your own preference. Pick your recipient’s favorite color to make it look more personalized.

You only need a few supplies in addition to your watercolor paper and stamps to get started. Add a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig for the mother/daughter card.

To create the background:

  • Add ink to your clear block with a marker (just scribble across the block) or ink pad (stamp empty block into pad)
  • Spritz inked block with water. More water will give a different look than a light spritz.
  • Stamp block onto your watercolor paper.
  • Repeat as needed to cover your background. Add more ink or water as desired.
  • Combine colors (wash off stamp block in between) for a different two-tone look.

The image below shows less water on left and more on right.

After the background dries, Stamp your image.  I used Stazon Jet Black, but you could use another black. Make sure your background is dry or it might bleed. Heat set the background with the heat gun or a blow dryer if you wish to hurry the process along).

After stamping the image onto watercolor paper, use a black Sharpie to trace and color in your image.  If you wish to add items (like the graduation cap & diploma, draw and color them in.  If you wish to eliminate items from the stamp (the little girl’s umbrella), do not ink that portion of the image when stamping. (More details below)

To get the proper placement for the little girl, use the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig and do not ink the umbrella in your final stamping.

How to add girl:

  • After Stamping and coloring your woman black, you will need your Stamp-A-Ma-Jig.
  • Place the window sheet supplied with Stamp-A-Ma-Jig into corner of the Jig as shown in instructions.
  • Stamp umbrella girl image (with umbrella inked) onto window sheet making sure to place your acrylic block squarely into the corner of the Jig.  Do not remove from acrylic block until complete!
  • Remove image sheet from Stamp-A-Ma-Jig and place over card so that the girl image has the woman’s hand resting on her head. Do Not Move window sheet once you like the placement!
  • Bring Stamp-A-Ma-Jig back to window sheet so that it nestles into the corner once again, careful not to move the window sheet until placed.  Once the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig is in place, you carefully remove the window sheet, leaving the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig in place (Don’t move it!)
  • Stamp your umbrella girl, by placing in the corner of the Jig as you did previously, this time without inking the umbrella.
  • Use your black Sharpie to color in and make any hair adjustments needed. (You may need to draw in a bit of the top of her hair)

It sounds like a lot of steps, but it does go quickly if you are comfortable with the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig.  Practice does make this simple & quick.

 The graduate card was inspired by a fellow demonstrator, Sue Parker, who created a beautiful paper pieced version for her daughter’s graduation.  I couldn’t resist doing it in a silhouette version.

The cap is drawn over the hat and colored in so no one ever knows the hat was stamped.  I then free-handed a diploma-perhaps a little larger than i would on a second try.  You may wish to lightly pencil in before using your marker.

One last card to share-

I have a few friends going thru very difficult times right now.  So, having a quick card to send a caring thought is of great use.  As I stated at the beginning of this calendar year, sending encouragement is always appreciated by the recipient.

If you haven’t guessed by now, all the sentiments are in my handwriting.  Using my own handwriting on the front of a card is unusual for me, but it is quick and easy way to get exactly what I wanted to say to the recipient. It seemed to work with these cards due to the organic look of watercolor.  Although, I’m still not a huge fan of my own handwriting. (Is anyone?)  I didn’t have to spend time looking for the sentiments I wanted from other sets.  Of course, you can always do that.

Go on with your busy lives & send the handmade cards too!

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers seeing this.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

Celebrate National Scrapbook Day 2017

How are you celebrating National Scrapbook Day?

I thought I’d share a few quick layouts I made in order to use some of the Designer Series Paper (DSP) I had from this year before the new catalog materials arrive.

The layout below used the Night of Navy and white Floral Boutique DSP which is now completely sold out.  Good news if you loved the prints and wished it came in other colors-Something very similar will come in all the lovely new 2017-2019 In-Colors this June. I can’t wait to share those beautiful colors & designs with all of you; I wish the UPS delivery of said products would get here already!

This next layout used the  Hexagon in the Nail It Bundle. Unfortunately, the Nail It Bundle sold out so quickly once the retirement list was released. I hope those who wanted it took my advice and bought it early.    I will be using this layout to scrap one furkid’s recent 7th birthday and believe I’ll journal in the open areas of the page (writing details of the day on the craft cardstock) so that all of the mats can be used for photos.

Another item which flew off the shelves quickly after the retiring list announcement was the Falling In Love DSP and coordinating 12″x12″ cardstock.  I think some scrapbookers out there are very happily creating pretty pastel layouts.  I wanted to use every scrap I had leftover of this beautiful DSP and added some Neutrals DSP to create this butterfly layout with many layers.

I loved how my extra scraps turned into this double page spread. I needed a title which kept the soft look.  A subtle title can be created using Versamark and clear embossing powder to stamp directly on the base page. I have used the retiring Layered Letters Alphabet Stamps a lot in my layouts and highly recommend getting this photopolymer set as a scrapbook staple. To give additional interest to the background page, I also stamped and clear embossed various images from the Butterfly Basics set on both pages.  I’m happy to say those butterfly & dragonfly images will grace us for another catalog year and I’m sure you’ll see blog posts containing them!

So many things in this post are retiring and many have sold out already. If you are eyeing a stamp set which is retiring, remember Stampin’ UP! produces their own stamps here in the U.S.A. and guarantees they’ll be in stock until May 22.  After that date they become “while supplies last”.  I suspect some of them will not last 24 hrs after that date.  So, before they are gone forever you may wish to SHOP HERE NOW.

I wanted to get this post off to you while my photos printed in case you needed inspiration for your scrapbook day activies.  I’m off to see if my photos have finished printing (LOVE my Selphy printer!) so that I can finish these layouts.

I hope you get some time to scrapbook your memories this month.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

Jar of Love: How to fill with water

A while back I got a request from Elaine (Hi Elaine!) in my comments asking how I create a water look in my jars.  Since I had already pre-planned and prepped most of my April blog posts early and I needed ample time to create samples of various water-filled jars, take photos, then write up this blog…well, I’m finally getting around to posting the many ways that I have created water in the Jar of Love stamps.

By far the easiest way to create the water filled jar is to use the water stamp which comes in the Jar of Love bundle and your preferred blue ink.  Even if doing this, you still have the option to alter the stamped image as I have done in image 2 above.

It is important to note that when choosing how to color water in your jars, the paper you choose will dictate choices which you have to work your inked images.

Stampin’ UP! Whisper White cardstock will pill very easily if it gets too wet. This paper is best used with direct stamping, blender pen use, watercolor pencils without water or VERY light water blending.

Stampin’ UP! Whisper White Notecards & Whisper White Thick cardstock  will hold up slightly better than the regular Whisper White, but still can not tolerate much water.

Stampin’ UP! Shimmery cardstock will allow for moderate water, but many beginners will find this also is easily overworked and pills with a heavy hand.  Once you get more comfortable watercoloring, you should easily be able to use this as a paper source for watercolor pencils + Aqua painters or a brush. Plus, stamped images are crisper on a smooth surface.

I love the effects of traditional watercoloring techniques seen above on the Shimmery White cardstock.  Both Shimmery white cardstock and Watercolor paper can get the results seen above with these basic techniques.  As stated earlier, Whisper White will not hold up well to the water wash primer with additional water application without pilling.

Stampin’ UP! watercolor paper is a very heavy watercolor paper which will hold up well to water washes, ink washes, dripping water, and puddles of water.  I purposely overworked watercolor paper to show how, if working too quickly with an aqua painter or rough brush, pilling can still occur.

Not all watercolor paper is created like the Stampin’ UP! watercolor paper.  Yes, I own other brands and many are cheaper.  Yes, the quality & results are easily recognizable. I prefer the heavier SU! paper over the box-store versions hands down!  The old saying you get what you pay for holds true here. Generally speaking, a good heavy weight cold-press watercolor paper gives the best results.

Make the choices which work for you and allow you to get comfortable with the techniques. Many people tell me that it is impossible to watercolor on regular Whisper White cardstock.  Yet, once you learn how to control the water, that is only partially true.  You will never get the same results or be able to do all of the watercolor techniques because it won’t hold up to heavy water use, but you can use watercolor pencils and watercolor images on this paper–It just takes a lot of practice.

I prefer, when using Stampin’ UP! products alone, to go with the Shimmer White cardstock.  I like the shimmery appearance of the background and the smooth surface of this paper which takes stamps well.  The more water you wish to use and ink bleed you want from your watercoloring, the more need there is for a good watercolor paper. The results you see above in the Shimmer White could easily be achieved in the watercolor paper, but the wash on the last (overworked) image of the watercolor paper would have been a trashed sample on Shimmer White long before I got to this point. Just remember the rule of water: more water needs better, thicker paper.  Since some techniques require more water, you have to choose accordingly.

One last tip: Need a palette for your ink?  Tap your ink pad, scribble your marker, add reinker, or use your watercolor pencil & aqua painter to create a puddle of color on one of your acrylic stamp blocks.  Then you can grab color from the block and ‘paint’.  Clean up is simple-just wash & dry the block when you are done.

Of course there are a multitude of other ways to create the look of water in a jar.  This just touches on a few basic ink to paper techniques, with just one other medium thrown in a sample (the fine tip glue). I hope this gives you a starting point to getting inky.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

 

Mediterranean Moments: A Blooms & Bliss layout

For three weeks we have started a double page layout by starting with one 12″x12″ sheet of designer series paper (DSP) and cutting it to span the to pages on a double page scrapbook layout.  This week we will be using this same idea, however our orientation of the DSP will change.

*My apologies for the week delay in posting-technical difficulties & a busy week left no time to fix them until now…thanks for bearing with me…On to the layout:

The 5″x12″ DSP on this layout will be applied flush with the outer sides of each layout page, with the 12″x1/2″ Silver Foil strip against it .

Since we’ve flipped the orientation of the DSP to the sides, we’re including small banner strips (1″x11″ & 1/2″x10″) to ground the large (9 3/8″x8.5″) Rich Razzleberry mats which contain the smaller Whisper White photo mats (6″x4″ and 3″x4″).

The stamps used on the 2.5″x1″ banner piece are from the Project Life Hello Lovely Accessories.  The same Hello Lovely accessories stamp set was used for the flower on the journal card.

I really love the Mediterranean Moments cafe scene stamp and chose to add it on a 3″x3″ piece of Whisper White cardstock and used the wonderful watercolor pencils and blender pens to color the image.  I later matted in on 3.25″ square of Sweet Sugarplum and added to one of the 6″x4″ photo mat areas where I used Blooms & Bliss DSP and centered a 6″x1.25″ strip of Rich Razzleberry cardstock under the stamped image.

Having the Rich Razzleberry watercolor pencil really helps the color flow with this Blooms & Bliss cardstock.  I love the color coordination with Stampin’ UP! products!

For my beginning scrapbookers: Remember that this same layout design can be created with different designer series papers & stamps to fit your photo needs.

I do not add titles to all of my scrapbook pages, and instead rely heavily on a journal card to tell the reader the information behind the photos.  However, if you prefer having titles, try adding smaller ones along the sides or longer titles across the bottom of this layout.

I hope you enjoyed these 4 weeks of beginning scrapbook design layouts. My apologies again for those who were waiting a whole week longer on this last post in the 4 week series.  Thank you for your patience.

May is National Scrapbook Month.  What better time to get scrapping!

Until next time…

-Joanne