Tuesday, April 28, 2009

There are times...

You know, there are times when being a Canadian really sucks!

I have been all over the internet surfing for paper compatible with Copic markers. Quite a number of blogs recommend Georgia Pacific - I have one sheet left from a very old package. Staples used to carry it but no more. Apparently Georgia Pacific is no longer in Canada. I suppose I could order it off the internet but we all know how much the shipping is going to be - I think not!

Back to the internet - ok, Prism Papers is also preferred. Again, no one locally sells it - I mean I thought Vancouver was a major city!!! I could get it back east but the shipping....

Back to surfing the internet - ok, Neenah Paper. Wonderful, there is a local supplier> give them a call> talk to sales> "oh, you only deal with wholesalers not retail. What's that? Staples can order it for me?" - off to Staples - "what, they are not one of your suppliers?" This is ridiculous.....

I have one more place to try tomorrow. I do not want to spend a fortune on my hobbies. I know there are alternatives out there but I really resent the price being asked for some products. Right now it ranks up there with the price of gas!

My rant/vent for the day. I feel a bit better - I would feel a lot better if I could find reasonably priced paper tomorrow!

Go Canucks Go!!!!

Hope everyone has a great day and the sun shines in your neck of the woods.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

No! I refuse to feel guilty anymore...

I can't afford to buy a lot of stamps and nor do I have the storage room for them. I find some stamps outrageous in price, so....I used to feel guilty----no, actually I felt as if I was doing something to be looked down on by "stampers". I admit it, I use clip art! Now I find there is actually a name for it - Digital Stamps!!!

I was making cards using my graphics programs long before I even knew about the "stamping world". I was also making digital scrapbook pages long before I knew that was what I was doing.

This all came about when I spotted a card I just had to make on No Time To Stamp. Trying to track down the supplies used was next to impossible - then I found out how I had to get the stamp, how long it would take to get this stamp and how much it was going to cost me! Hello, this is Wednesday and I need this card for a week Monday morning! I was hoping to work on this card over the weekend. I am used to instant gratification!

I contacted every stamp store around here looking for a damask stamp - nope - that was last year's stamp. Pardon me! Michaels had an Inkdinkadoo stamp set that seemed like it would work and so did Clipper Street. Be Creative had a pretty one that might work too. Now I had to track down pink ink. Good luck with that one! We have a couple of stamp/scrapbooking stores open until midnight around here and, with the picture of Sharon's card off I went. I found pink ink in Langley (and of course other stuff) and I hurried home with my parcels ready to start early in the morning stamping the damask stamps with the pink ink I found AND hoping I would end up with the same effect as Sharon got. Nope, not even close.

Now I know I am not the greatest stamper (two gibbled wrists and lack of talent and knowledge - did I mention I was a "paint-by-numbers" person and I was creatively challenged?) BUT, how hard was it to take a stamp pad> dab, dab, dab on to the stamp> take said stamp and place it directly onto paper> lift carefully> examine image...I mean, I don't think I am an idiot but this is a question I have avoided asking my friends....So, why was the image partially inked? Ok, let's try the other ink pad...same result...third ink pad..same result. Give me a break here! Three different ink pad, three different stamps and the same result - really crappy images!

Let's go shopping and let's come home with pink embossing powder - do you know what cheese is like when it is over melted - you know, that greasy, yucky look? That's what I was getting. I know I am not over heating because I was getting the same result with not one ink, not two inks but, all three inks! This is Momento, VersaMagic and Brilliance we are talking about. Ok, lets try different paper...same result. I felt a bit better when my friend Deb said I probably got a bad batch of stamps and/or ink pads. Another thought was that the stamps were the clear ones and I have never, ever had a problem with red rubber. Have I mentioned that Murphy is my guardian angel? No matter, I QUIT! Do you hear me, I QUIT! I don't need this card anyway, but I sure am interested in bringing out the rum!

Monday - I have slept on the problem. I remember what Marta said about her cards and how she mixes actual stamps etc. with digital images and boy, are her cards gorgeous! I decided to come from this at another angle. At lunch I contact my BFF, "Google". Up comes the internet> "Google" damask> search images (I am really good at finding exactly what image I need for projects)> up comes close to a million images and there, right in front of me, is an almost identical damask> enlarge it as big as it will go> check for watermarks - none> check to make sure it is free clip art - yep> right-mouse-click "Save as" "Damask" to my Desktop> close internet> right-mouse-click on "Damask"> "Send to mail recipient"...done!

Now I can hardly wait, my heart is pounding, my palms are sweaty and I find myself watching the clock...this is a long day. I get home, get supper on, clean the kitchen up, scratch the cat and have our usual conversation ('Jinks is a real talker, not DH) and finally, I get to the computer> open email program> open email from myself> right-mouse-click on the image and save to my Desktop. Ready to get creative here....rats....damask is black - card is pink.

I want pretty, soft, luscious pink like Sharon's card (at this point notice I have not started swearing at Sharon yet?). Now what do I do? Hold it...I have graphics programs, remember? Open up Print Shop> create new document> insert "Damask" clip art> "Effects" drop-down box> select "Color object"> locate pink and presto, the damask is pink. "Effects" drop-down box select "Tint" and now the damask is pretty, soft pink. I did it!!!

Ok, now to size the picture...get the ruler from the bulletin board...get the picture of Sharon's card...now what? How do I figure out the image size? Wait a second, Sharon mentioned her ribbon was 1-1/2"...this is easy! Take ruler and the ribbon size in the picture is 1" ergo 1" equals 1-1/2". I said I was creatively challenged not brain dead! So, I want my graphic to be resized to 3" with the aspect ratio selected (this means that if I resize the height the width will automatically resize at the same time)> print. Awesome, awesome, awesome - I am a happy camper!

What this all means to me is that I can, and will, meld computer graphics with stamps etc. and not feel guilty anymore. I am done with it. I love how the card looks, others have posted they liked the card, even Sharon said she liked the card!

So, with my BFF "Google" I have been doing some cyber-surfing "digital stamps" and I have found another world. I found a few digital artists who are selling their work as digital stamps and there is one in particular I have fallen in love with - Dustin Pike (http://dustinpike.blogspot.com/). His work is whimsical, darling and so, so much fun! I purchased all of his bear collection today and I can hardly wait to start "Copicing" them! Imagine eight digital images for the price of one rubber stamp!

I will no longer feel guilty because I am using digital stamps. Never fear, there is great satisfaction in dabbing ink on a rubber stamp (as long as the stamp and ink work)> placing the stamp on paper> lifting the stamp and seeing a perfect image....If I see a beautiful rubber stamp I will buy it...If I see a beautiful digital stamp I will buy it.

Now, I am facing a brain freeze creating a grad card for my niece...that is for another day!

Hope everyone is having a more creative time of it than I have lately. Happy stamping!


Monday, April 20, 2009


Apparently some viewers have been unable to post comments, sheesh and I have no brain to pick about this either. I went over my settings and changed some options (why is there no live guru to help with this?) and presto I now get comments. I do have the option selected to approve or disapprove them - this way I get no spam showing up. We all love spam don't we?

Also, thanks to Mel of Mel Stampz I how have my pictures of the inside of cards displaying properly. I guess cyber waves somehow changed the format of my pictures from landscape to portrait when they transferred over....glitch, gotta love that word!

Anyway, things are doing good and I can hardly wait until tomorrow. I have four more Cuttlebug embossing folders arriving on my doorstep. I am making a graduation card for my niece and I need the Congratulations folder....

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day...the weather is gorgeous here and the day got better and better.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

New cards added...

Finally got my camera downloaded to the computer and I have uploaded pictures of cards I just made.

I was spending my usual Friday at Be Creative (for Bob's cookies and the coffee) and Heraldine mentioned the Artist Trading Card day would be happening and was I interested in that. I had never heard of it so, I went home and "Googled". Not much information was available and after a bit of research I think this is an area that I don't know if I am interested in. I guess I need to do more research. I do, however like making the little cards and I will be making more as gift cards. Here are three that I have made so far:

It seems sad news is all around me lately. Our daughter-in-law's mother passed away. It is really tough on her as she is pregnant right now and really misses her mom. We can't be there physically for her, but we have been keeping in contact giving her daily "cyber" hugs. I came across this picture of a teddy bear crying and I just had to put it together in a card for her: I QUIT! I have tried and tried but I can't figure out how to get the inside of the card to show landscape and not portrait!!!

Then my boss's friend lost his wife. His daughter is also a friend of our receptionist - of course, I offered to make a card for her. I had just seen a card on "No Time To Stamp" http://notimetostamp.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/2009/04/15/cas-monochromatic-sketch/ and it inspired me to create this one:

Have I said "I love my Cuttlebug"? Well, I really, really, really love my Cuttlebug. I am having so much fun with it!

Okay, I have a friend whose daughter is getting married and I, of course offer to make her wedding invitations. She says "what do I want?". I tell her to "Google" the internet, find a picture of what she wants and I will see if I can make it. So off she goes and lo and behold she returns with a picture of what she wants. Alrighty now!!! How do I make this heart? I try foil - crap and looks like crap too! I buy red satin - nope don't work. What do I do now?

Hold on, what is my favorite technique right now - Burnished Velvet? What excuse do I need to use this technique - NONE! So off to Google we go for heart clip art. We find what we need (with a bit of tweeking by a graphics program) and it works.

Uhmmm, lady you have two gibbled wrists...and you are going to create 40 - 60 hearts and cut them out by hand? I know I posted earlier "I love my Silhouette, I love my Silhouette" so I do not need to go into that story again. Here is the finished product:

Well, that is enough for today. I still haven't eaten supper! I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I like markers....

I took my first Copic class at the end of March. Copic pens were something I wasn't too sure I wanted to get into. I am "creatively challenged"---oh, don't get me wrong---I am creative but I am just a copycat. I call myself a "paint-by-numbers" person!

I came across the video from After Hours Stamper about using Bic and Sharpies like Copic. I thought I would give it a shot and so I loaded up on all the colours Bic and Sharpie put out. I took the first class and practiced later on my first Artist Trading Card (which I will post later) - and another topic.

I love it so much I just spent the past two days copying and printing every lesson from the blog I Like Markers by Marianne Walker (the queen of Copic). I went through three ink cartriges in my printer, a ream of paper and a very sore wrist (which is gibbled to begin with) and if I ever do "copy paste" again it will be too soon!

BUT I have all the lessons and I am looking so forward to reading and using what I will learn. She even does a lesson showing my very first stamp - Stamps Happen Lavender Flower Fairy (this one is going to be on the cover of my Swatch Book). She also does a lesson on fur and, it so happens, I just picked up that stamp too (Craft Lounge crafy clear stamps the bear and the adorable elephant)!

I even got to spend the day with Els van de burgt who is a designer for Peel-off stickers. She was doing a demo at Be Creative in Pitt Meadows. Els showed us how to use Sakura Metallic and Stardust pens...thanks to Els and Heraldine I had an absolute blast! Now I know what to do with all those Peel-off's I have been hording!

I have lots to create and more pics to post but that will have to be for another day. Hope everyone had a great Easter and the bunny left tons of goodies.