The little things that make me happy here on Bliss Road~~Emily Keaton

Friday, April 27, 2012

You're Special (and a photo tutorial)

A very happy Friday to all of you! Thanks so much for dropping by.

As some of you may know, I tend to take a budget-minded approach to my papercrafting. Rather than invest in pricey alcohol-based markers for coloring stamped images, I've had a lot of fun exploring cheaper options for coloring, including watercolor painting with dye inks (you can find my photo tutorial here) and coloring with colored pencils. When I first started using colored pencils, I was disappointed by how you could see pencil lines in the colored areas, often with white areas showing through. It wasn't long, though, before I discovered "Gamsol magic," a method of blending colored pencil coloring with odorless mineral spirits (OMS) and paper blending stumps. ("Gamsol" is an OMS brand name, just like "Band-Aid" is an adhesive bandage brand name.) OMS is a painting solvent that evaporates completely and leaves behind no residues. It dissolves the wax in colored pencil lines so that the pigment may be lifted and spread. OMS blending of colored pencil coloring allows nearly effortless shading and results in a beautiful, smooth finish.

For the sake of comparison, the chickie on the left (below) was colored with colored pencils only, but the chickie on the right was colored similarly then blended using OMS and a paper stump. See how much smoother and more even the coloring is? The colors even seem more vivid!

The new cling-style Computer Chickie stamp from DeNami

Anyway, the reason I'm sharing all of this information about colored pencils and the OMS blending technique is because I have a new photo tutorial on this technique debuting over on the DeNami Design blog today. In it I show how I did the coloring to make this card:

Isn't that DeNami Armchair Chickie the cutest? I thought this would make a cute card for Father's Day! I stamped the "You're special" sentiment from the Thoughtful Greetings stamp set on the outside and the new cling-style Happy Father's Day stamp on the inside. The patterned paper is from the new Handmade collection by Lily Bee Designs.

Now before I go, I wanted to share a few more tips on materials for this technique that I wasn't able to include in my tutorial on the DeNami blog.
  • Look for odorless mineral spirits in the oil painting supply section of your favorite craft and hobby store. You can look for Gamsol or any odorless paint thinner containing 100% odorless mineral spirits. I was able to get Mona Lisa brand for an awesome price at my local A.C. Moore store.                  
  • Rather than juggle a huge container of OMS in my crafting space, I pour a more manageable ounce or two into a small lidded glass moisturizer container to keep handy on my work table. OMS is flammable, so be sure to keep it covered tightly.
  • You can find paper blending stumps in most arts/crafts stores; look in the fine arts supplies with the graphite pencils, charcoal, and pastels. They look something like this:
  • The paper stumps are pretty cheap, and the double-ended stumps give me even more bang for my buck. So I dedicate one stump tip per color to avoid unintended color mixing. What happens if the tip wears down? You can sharpen it again quite simply with a sanding block or emery board.
I hope that I've been able to take some of the mystery out of the so-called "Gamsol magic" technique in today's post and that you'll take a peek at my tutorial on the DeNami blog.

Thanks for taking a look. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Congrats for PDCC129

This week, DeNami Design Rubber Stamps is sponsoring the Play Date Cafe Challenge (PDCC129), and the DeNami DT is playing along! The new colors for this week are Dusk, Magenta, and Seedling as illustrated in this PDCC color story graphic. 

These had me scratching my head at first, but in the end, I didn't have to look far to find what I needed for my project: I used Imperial Purple Versafine ink (from the DeNami store) for "Dusk" and DeNami Lime cardstock for "Seedling." A little poking around in an old BasicGrey patterned paper pad gave me my stand-in for "Magenta," and I was good to go for this project:

I stamped a background pattern with the elegant DeNami Decorative Flourish in Versamark ink and heat-embossed the design with clear embossing powder. I am SO in love with this beautiful stamp! I'm also rather partial to the DeNami Decorative Crest Circle--the center stripe is the perfect size for adding a stamped message. Mine is the "congrats" from the Thoughtful Greetings set, which I was very happy to add to my collection just recently.

It's back to school for us this week after spring break last week, and we are going full tilt. Last night we attended the all-town chorus concert in which our seventh-grade daughter performed along with her middle school chorus (each of our town's three elementary schools' choruses and the high school chorus also performed). Each chorus sang two selections and then the combined masses sang two selections. They were amazing!! It was quite a treat to hear 250+ voices singing out together, beautiful and strong. Wow! We were so proud of our daughter, throwing herself into her singing completely. You could tell she loved being a part of it all and that she was having fun. That's what it's all about! And our third-grade son was really impressed and is now super motivated. He cannot wait until next year when he'll be allowed to join his elementary school's chorus. :D

Anyway, I hope you'll play along with this week's PDCC challenge--if so, you'll be in the running for a $30 gift certificate to the DeNami Design store!! Just think of all the great goodies you could score with that :D!! Good luck!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Large Butterfly Happy Birthday

Greetings, friends! I know it's been a while since my last post. My kids were out of school on spring break last week, and it was go, go, go! We enjoyed a visit from my parents for a few days, took some day trips, and reveled in being away from our regular school schedule. But I also must admit to a bit of burnout for a couple of weeks.  Don't you just hate it when one of the things you enjoy so much just doesn't appeal? I'm trying to give myself some extra space and a change of pace so I can come back to enjoy some of the things I like most.

Well, today I'm trying to get back in the swing of things by sharing a birthday card that uses the new Large Butterfly stamp from DeNami Design.

This stamp is so versatile! I am beyond pleased that it is this week's Product Spotlight stamp at DeNami. It's your chance to snap it up at 10% off. :)

I leaned toward clean and simple for my card, stamping the butterfly off-center (and off-page!) in Vintage Sepia Versafine ink and paper-piecing portions with prints from the Vanity Fair pad from the Six by Six collection by My Mind's Eye. I punched some more Vanity Fair paper with the fabulous Dotted Scallop border punch (EK Success) available in the DeNami Design store and layered on some DeNami chocolate glitter ribbon. I absolutely adore the new cling-style Happy Birthday Script stamp, finding excuses to use it more and more! I ramped up the sparkle factor with some rhinestones on the butterfly's body and antennae, rounded a corner, and I was done!

I also thought this stamp was the perfect image to capture this week's Tuesday Trigger at the Moxie Fab World.

I hope you'll swing by the DeNami Design blog today to check out what the rest of the DeNami DT has created with this fun new stamp. I know everyone will have awesome ideas for using it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

DeNami Ravishing Ribbons Blog Hop

Welcome to the DeNami Design Ravishing Ribbons Blog Hop! Today the DeNami Design Team and customers alike are sharing creations made with DeNami stamps that incorporate ribbon.

Hopefully, you've arrived here by way of Tina Milbourn's blog, A Timeless Treasure. If so, you are on the right track! If not, you'll want to head over to the DeNami blog to start the blog hop at the beginning. (And remember, if you get lost along the way, you can always head over to the DeNami blog to get pointed in the right direction.)

Don't forget, there are delightful DeNami prizes to be won! Two lucky duckies will be drawn at random from among the comments left along the blog hop to win a $20 DeNami Design gift certificate! You have until Monday, April 16, 2012, 11:59 pm PST, to leave comments on all the blogs to be eligible for a prize.

Now, how about a peek at my approach to some ravishing DeNami ribbons?

Yes, that beautiful chocolate glitter ribbon is available in the DeNami store! I thought that weaving it would really show off its fantastic glittery texture, so I made that the focal point of my card. I stamped a sentiment frame with the new-to-me DeNami Stitched Rectangle stamp in Vintage Sepia Versafine ink and filled it with the new cling Happy Birthday Script sentiment stamped in Smokey Grey Versafine ink.

The patterned paper is a recent find among the digital kits from Samantha Walker. I just loooooooove those colors. I matted a printed panel with some chocolate brown cardstock and mounted it on some beautiful textured charcoal cardstock from DeNami. A bit of stitching around the edge of the patterned panel, and I was done!

Well, I'm sure you can't wait to see more ravishing ribbons! Before you leave, be sure to leave a comment to be eligible for the randomly drawn prizes and then you can be on your way to the next stop on the hop: Suzanne Bier's blog, The Sparkling Scrapper.

Thanks so much for popping in to check out my ravishing ribbons creation!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Greetings! It's time for another DeNami Design Product Spotlight. Today the design team is focusing on the new cling-style Happy Mother's Day sentiment, which is on sale for the next week.
I stamped the Flower Box Window cling stamp in Vintage Sepia Versamark ink on watercolor paper and heat-embossed the image with clear embossing powder. Then I watercolored the image using dye inks. I created my patch of flowers for the window box by stamping the grass image from the DeNami Easter stamp set in Spanish Moss Versafine ink. The flowers are paper punches dressed up with some tiny rhinestones. I love using the Solid Scallop Dot Rectangle as a sentiment panel; the Happy Mother's Day sentiment fits perfectly!

Be sure to swing by the DeNami blog today to see what the rest of the DT cooked up with this beautifully scripted sentiment stamp!

Thanks for dropping by!

PS Don't forget that the DeNami One-Layer Card challenge is still going on until April 30!

PPS Sunday, April 15, is the DeNami Ravishing Ribbons blog hop. Be sure to join us for tons of inspiration using ribbons--and a chance to comment to win one of two DeNami shopping sprees!

Monday, April 2, 2012

{ippity} for Easter and a GIU Winner!

(This is my second post of the day.
For my DeNami Challenge post, please scroll down or click here.)

Here's a little last Unity/{ippity} inspiration, an add-on to last week's Growing In Unity festivities here on my blog. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came by to check out my Unity creations. I had the best time last week and loved reading every last one of your generous comments. This was such a blast!

So this card was based on this week's Chick Challenges {with ippity} sketch, which looks like this.

I used {ippity}'s A Bit of Burlap and How YOU Doin' sets. Those sweet patterned bunnies were clipped from printouts of an adorable bunny digital paper from the Samantha Walker Cotton Tail Papers digital collection. I added a wee bit o' vintage rick-rack from my gramma's sewing basket. I cranked out several of these easy-to-make cards to complete my collection of Easter cards to mail out. Now I just need to get crackin' on the signing, addressing, and envelope-stuffing!

And now it's the moment you've all been waiting for: announcing my Growing In Unity winner from last week's GIU comments!

I used to select a winner out of my 237 comments last week. The winning numbers was #102, corresponding to the seventh comment on Day 3. And the person who left that comment is:

CONGRATULATIONS!! Kary, you have until noon EDT on April 4, 2012, to contact me and claim your prize. You'll find a link to my email address on my user profile page (look for the link on my sidebar just after the "About Me" section under my photo). Please let me know which two Unity Itty Bitty stamps you would like, as well as your snail mail address.

Thanks again to everyone who played along last week! Can't get enough Unity/{ippity} inspiration? Looking for some more Growing In Unity action? Be sure to visit this week's Growing In Unity gal, Angie Reece, at her blog {stampings of the shug} for lots more GIU fun!

Thanks for popping in!

PS I'm also entering this in the Anything Goes Challenge over at Simon Says Stamp.

PPS I almost forgot! My friend Jessi is Guest Designer over at Scrapbooker's Paradise this week and I just had to play along in her honor! The challenge is to make a project inspired by this sweet photo.Got bunnies? Check! Congratulations, Jessi!

One-Layer Note Cards

A big "Happy Monday Morning" to all of you! I hope you had a great weekend. Ours was good! I took my 13YO daughter clothes shopping over the weekend--it was time to replace the clothes and shoes in her spring/summer wardrobe that she's outgrown. Man, those kids of ours are just growing like weeds!! But of course it's all good :). Anyway, it wasn't all shopping all weekend; we had some family hang-out time, too, watching some Mythbusters one evening and the 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie another. It's adorable! We all loved it, proving that you can never be too old for Winnie the Pooh ;).

Well, today I'm sharing a collection of one-layer note cards

that I made for the latest DeNami Design challenge: to use at least one DeNami Design stamp to make a one-layer card. You can check out all of the challenge details over on the DeNami blog today.

These were quick and easy and are perfect for mailing. I used a couple of borders from the new Modern Borders cling stamp set, the "Just a Note" sentiment from the All-Occasion Sentiments stamp set, and the Mini Music Notes stamp. And all of the Versafine inks I used can be found in the DeNami store, too: Crimson Red, Majestic Blue, Spanish Moss, and Smoky Grey.

I hope you'll take some time to play along with the DeNami Theme Challenge this month! You have until Monday, April 30, to enter. I can't wait to see what you create. :)

Thanks for stopping by,

PS I'm entering this in
the Anything Goes Challenge over at Simon Says Stamp.