Sunday, February 27, 2011

Compendium of Curiosities #33 and Simon Says Stamp & Show

The challenge this week for the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge over at Studio L3 is Altered Metal Using Alcohol Inks, and the challenge over at Simon Says Stamp & Show is to show some I created this 6x6 layout demonstrating BOTH.  (And it wasn't just a happy accident for once - this time it was actually intentional!!)  

While I can't give the details on how I did the actual metal technique, I can tell you what I did prior to altering the metal.  I had a plain sheet of aluminum, which I first embossed using the notebook texture fade - to get the "stripes" look. Then I die-cut it with the Tattered Florals die.  

There are stripes all over the place - on the metal, on the cardstock sticker strip, on the piece of patterned paper itself, on the little cardstock note...I love how subtle some of them are.

The stamp set I used on the layout is called "Art & Soul," by Unity Stamps.  It's designed by Marah Johnson, and IT IS GORGEOUS!!!!  I cannot say enough how unbelievably gorgeous it is!  Every stamp I used here is from the set - from the flourishes, to the bird and butterfly, to the quote.  I even stamped the bird in chalk ink on a sheet of PolyShrink and created the tiny bird charm you see - isn't it just adorable?!  I'll be doing a full review of Unity Stamps soon on Craft Test Dummies, so keep a look out for it!

Have a great week - and be sure to "nurture YOUR creative spirit"!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Scrapbook Layout Using Crafter's Workshop Template

I recently had the opportunity to try out some templates from Crafter's Workshop for the first time.  Now, I know what you're thinking...templates, stencils..."Aren't those SOOOO 1980's?!"  I thought so too...until I started playing with these!  These templates (or stencils - whatever you'd like to call them) are contemporary, versatile, and affordable.  Check out my full review of them, as well as other techniques to use with them, on Craft Test Dummies tomorrow!  To see even MORE techniques and read Jenny's review (THE Craft Test Dummy!!), go here.  AND, she even includes a link to a great video full of techniques using these fabulous templates.

But today, I wanted to share this scrapbook layout I made using the 12"x12" template called Birds of a Feather.  And since I have such a hard time just showing you what I made...I'm going to do a little tutorial to show how I made the background, as well as another cool technique!

I started with a vanilla-colored piece of smooth cardstock under the template, and pulled out my Distress Embossing Ink Pad by Ranger.  I love this pad, because it's extra "juicy."  I applied the ink pad directly to the template, pushing down and "squishing" a bit in the more detailed areas.  I decided to only use 2 of the bird houses - and this is part of what I love about these templates...if you only want to use part of it, you totally can!  I removed the template and sprinkled clear embossing powder over the ink, then embossed with my heat gun.

Next, I started applying distress ink over the embossed areas - the embossed areas resist the ink and will stay vanilla.  You can use a damp cloth to wipe over the embossed areas to clean off any wet ink.

Isn't that just awesome?!  I love this technique!  I continued adding ink colors until the entire page was covered and I was happy with it.  

Distress ink colors used: Crushed Olive, Broken China,
Tumbled Glass, Stormy Sky, Wild Honey, Vintage Photo

Next, I thought about what I wanted the page to be about.  I decided to scrap about ME - which I never do, and so went searching for photos of me.  Finding them was difficult - I'm always the one TAKING the pictures...but I eventually found a few and chose which to include.  I decided that since I wanted the colors of the page to really shine, I made the photos black and white.

Black & white photos show off the
colors of the page

I began adding embellishments - some of which I've had in my stash for years!  It was nice to finally be using them.  The title and butterflies are all from Marcella by K&Co.  

Title and butterflies from Marcella by K&Co.

I wanted to add some bling, and I had a sheet of Prima Say It In Crystals.  But I didn't want them to be clear - I wanted them to coordinate with my page.  Fortunately, I knew just what to do!  

First, I have been saving the plastic inserts from certain Tim Holtz Ideaology packaging...because they make great palettes for alcohol inks.  So I added just two drops of each of the three colors I wanted to use into each well of one of these plastic inserts.  I let the ink dry.  I took one of my Pentel water brushes (to see a great review of water brushes, check out this one at Craft Test Dummies) and, empty of water, filled it with some alcohol blending solution.  Then, I was able to use my brush to pick up the ink from my homemade palette, and color the bling just the way I wanted it.

Blending solution-filled water brush, picking up color
from dry alcohol ink on plastic package insert

Color your bling any color you like using alcohol inks!

Perfectly colored bling!

I added some Prima flowers, and some really fabulous newsprint leaves I found at Michael's.  For the center of the orange and blue flower, I used my Epiphany Crafts Shape Studio to make an epoxy flower center from a piece of book text.  I added some trims from my bucket-o'-trims - and have no idea what brand they are.

Flowers by Prima; newsprint leaves by
Recollections from Michael's

Flowers by Prima; epoxy center made using book text and
Shape Studio by Epiphany Crafts

Finally, I added my journaling using a dip-pen and black india ink.  I know the dip-pen may seem intimidating, but I find india ink to be the absolute best for writing over ink or paint.  

Journaling done with dip pen and india ink

I love my final result, and I especially love that I created the background paper myself!  I hope you've enjoyed my little tutorial - let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Product Review: Glue Glider Pro

I love that weird to say?  But really, I do!  As a crafter who ventures into all areas of crafting, I constantly find myself needing varying types of adhesives, and I am always on the look-out for better quality and easier-to-use adhesives.  I just recently got to use the Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro for the first time, and I have to say - it was love at first use!  So let me tell you some of the things I love about it...

First off, it's ergonomically great for me.  I happen to have extremely weak hand and finger muscles due to neuropathy, so I often struggle with adhesives that are smaller, require lots of squeezing, or are otherwise clumsy to hold...but the Glue Glider Pro is the perfect size, and fits easily in my entire hand.  It doesn't require a lot of strength to apply the adhesive, either.  Just press down with a bit of pressure, and pull - and it leaves a nice line of adhesive.

Also, the cartridges are very easy to remove and replace - another bonus!  I hate struggling to replace cartridges or switch them out when I want to change to a different adhesive type.

To remove cartridge, simply pull straight out - no buttons to push, very easy!
To remove cartridge, simply pull straight out - no buttons to push, very easy!

To replace cartridge, simply push straight in - SIMPLE!
To replace cartridge, simply push straight in - SIMPLE!
The cartridge you see here is the Perma-Tac cartridge.  It is 1/4" wide, and lays down permanent adhesive rectangles every 1/8".  I tried the Perma-Tac cartridge out on some basic paper-crafting, and was very happy with it's sticking power.  I found a little bit to go a long way, and loved that I didn't need to lay down a full strip of adhesive to stick a full strip of paper - I was able to lift the applicator and lay down bits here and there, and the paper still stuck very well.

But the Glue Glider Pro is far more versatile than just this one cartridge - and this is another thing I love about it!  Check out this list of the different types of cartridges available for it - and they all fit in this same holder!

List of the cartridges available for Glue Glider Pro
List of the cartridges available for Glue Glider Pro
The extra one on the list that I was MOST excited about is this one...

Fabric Bond cartridge for Glue Glider Pro
Fabric Bond cartridge
That's right - a Fabric Bond cartridge!  Per the package description, this "temporarily sticks fabric together, bonds permanently when ironed."  How awesome is that?!  Plus, the back of the package lets you know how well it works on different types of materials!

Back of package shows success on varying types of material
Back of package shows success on varying types of material
I can definitely see me using this cartridge in my fabric-crafting endeavors, for things like making bias tape, doing applique, or temporarily holding hems in place until I can stitch - rather than pinning!

All in all, I think the Glue Glider Pro gives great bang for your buck - you can get it for just $11.97 from Consumer Crafts, and that includes the 40-foot Perma-Tac cartridge!

And, my awesome friend Jenny over at Craft Test Dummies has given the Glue Glider Pro the much-coveted and not-often-given "Craft Test Dummies Seal of Approval!"  Check out her review here.

What about you?  Have you tried the Glue Glider Pro?  What do you think about it?  I'd love to hear!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #32

It's been a few weeks again since I've been able to participate in the weekly Compendium of Curiosities Challenge hosted by Linda over at Studio L3, so I was super happy to get some artsy play time in today!!  I loved the technique for this week's challenge - it's one I've done before, so this wasn't actually my first time trying it (for once!).  It's an easy but fun technique which always creates beautiful results.  I decided to incorporate my "One Little Word" for the year, believe, into my tag, since I haven't done anything related to my word lately...though it HAS been on my mind a lot.  And I just ADORE this quote, from a Donna Downey stamp - "She created a life she loved."

And as luck would have it, the challenge this week at Simon Says Stamp and Show is to create a tag, which I honestly didn't even know going into this creation...but since that's exactly what I did, I'm entering their challenge as well!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Mini-Book

Valentine's Day was fast approaching, and I still didn't have a card or a gift for my I was thrilled to see the little mini-book that Tim Holtz posted on his blog on the 11th.  What a wonderful creation, made from just one sheet of 12x12 paper!  This is my version of the mini-book, and I'm pleased to say that my hubs loved it!

Grungeboard heart covered in Fired Brick
Crackle Paint, then Walnut Stain distress ink

Maya Road calendar sheer; Vintage Valentine printed
Three tags (7 Gypsies) for the pockets of the mini-book
Mini-alpha stickers inked with distress ink
Prima flower inked w/ distress ink then covered with
Rock Candy distress stickles; button colored with
alcohol inks
Metal Philosophy Tag colored with alcohol ink
Mini-alphas colored with alcohol inks, then covered
with Rock Candy distress stickles; Epoxy bingo marker
made using Epiphany Crafts Shape Studio
School-yard Valentine page printed from
and covered in Rock Candy distress stickles
Embossed chipboard from IOD inked with distress ink
then "LOVE" covered with copper Perfect Pearls
LOVE my labeler!!  
Back side; Grungeboard hinge attached with brads
What did you do for YOUR special someone for Valentine's day?

P.S.  You may have noticed the epoxy bingo marker I made using the Epiphany Crafts Shape Studio - be sure to check out my review of this awesome tool tomorrow over on Craft Test Dummies!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Mind's Eye Giveaway Winner

So sorry for posting the winner so late!!  Without further delay...the winner is...

True Random Number Generator  15Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Comment 15:

Blogger Crafty Mom said...

I follow you on Twitter.
Wed Feb 09, 09:45:00 PM PST

Congratulations, Crafty Mom!!  Please send me your address, and I will forward it to Jenn at Live*Teach*Create!!!

Everyone else remember that you can receive 15% off by using the code "craftyfriendjen" when checking out at Live*Teach*Create!!

Monday, February 07, 2011

My Mind's Eye Giveaway!!

I'm sooo SUPER excited to tell you about this giveaway!!!  Jenn from Live*Teach*Create has generously offered one complete set of the My Mind's Eye Portobello Road papers AND the coordinating mini-album covers to one lucky reader!!

I absolutely LOVE these papers - these are the papers I used a few months ago to make baby shower invitations for a friend's shower, and they turned out wonderfully!!  And Jenn is great to work with, and is always willing to put together a special order for you if she doesn't have listed exactly what you are looking for!

To enter the giveaway, go visit Live*Teach*Create, then come back and leave a comment letting me know what you would love to have from their shop.  

For additional chances to win, you may do any or all of the following (please leave a separate comment for EACH one in order for them to count as separate entries).

  • Follow my blog, or let me know you are already a follower
  • Follow me on Twitter, or let me know you are already following
  • Like "Jen Clark Designs" on Facebook, or let me know you already do
  • Join Live*Teach*Create's mailing list (at the bottom of their blog), or let me know you are already on it
  • Follow Live*Teach*Create on Twitter, or let me know you already do
The giveaway will remain open through 10:00 pm PST on Sunday, February 13, 2011.  Winner will be announced on Monday, February 14, 2011.

AND - even if you DON'T win, Jenn is offering all of my readers a 15% discount off any purchases at Live*Teach*Create - just enter the code "myfriendjen" at checkout to receive your discount!!

Please be sure to provide an email address if yours is not linked to your user profile when leaving your comment(s).

Thursday, February 03, 2011

My first CHA!!

Some of you are looking at the title wondering, "CHA?  What is a CHA?"  Others of you know exactly what CHA is and are STILL jealous that I got to go and you didn't!  Tee hee!  And some of you perhaps have been going to CHA for so long that it's just routine by now.

CHA is the Craft and Hobby Association's bi-annual trade show; the winter show is by far the largest - and I was a very lucky girl this year, because I had the awesome opportunity to attend CHA as a reporter for the fabulous website, Craft Test Dummies.

My first article is up today, and there will be LOTS of coverage to come...including product reviews, news about all the wonderful new releases that we saw at CHA, and what WE think about it all.  So head on over to Craft Test Dummies and check it out!!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Homemade Pearl Mist Tutorial

I shared this post over on Crafts Unleashed today, and also wanted to share it with all of you, my readers!  But you should still head on over to Crafts Unleashed to check out all the other awesomeness that has been posted lately (especially the LOVE showdown, where you can still vote for your favorite designer's LOVE project - hint, hint)!!
Anyone who does anything with paper in crafts these days knows that mists are all the rage – whether they have shimmer to them or are simple color mists.  Either way, they are hugely popular among crafters everywhere, and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon!!  If you’re like me, you like to save money whenever possible in crafting, though, and mists tend to be on the pricey side – especially if you want to accumulate a nice variety of colors.
If that describes YOU, then you’ll want to join me in making some homemade mists – and you’ll be surprised at just how easy it really is!
To make your own mists, you need the following project supplies:
  • Perfect Pearls, in “perfect pearl” or your choice of color
  • a small spray bottle (1 oz or larger) w/pump style sprayer
  • craft stick or other small scoop
  • water
Are you already surprised (by the very short supply list)?  I told you this would be easy!
First, gather all of your supplies.
Gather your supplies
Gather your supplies
Next, choose your Perfect Pearls color.  I am using “Perfect Pearl,” which is from the Metallics package, and is a pearlized white color.  (Note – make sure you are using Perfect Pearls, not Pearl-Ex, as they are different, and the Pearl-Ex does not have a required ingredient for this to work!)
Make sure to use Perfect Pearls, not Pearl-Ex!!
Make sure to use Perfect Pearls, not Pearl-Ex!!
Using the craft stick, get one scoop of Perfect Pearls (one tip of the stick) and put it in the spray bottle.
Put one scoop of Pearl powder into bottle
Put one scoop of Pearl powder into bottle
Add about one ounce of water to the bottle, replace lid, and swirl well to mix.  Your Pearl Mist is now ready to use!
Swirl well to mix
Swirl well to mix
Really, it is THAT easy.
Now, just to demonstrate how this particular color looks on different backgrounds, I took some photos of it on black, white, and purple cardstock.
On black cardstock
On black cardstock
On white cardstock
On white cardstock
On purple cardstock
On purple cardstock
I also took a photo of the homemade spray-box I use for my mist-spraying (again, I like to save money)…you should definitely spray in a protective space, to avoid stray-mist from covering things you didn’t actually WANT it to cover!
Misting box made from recycled cardboard box
Misting box made from recycled cardboard box
So what are you waiting for?  Get busy misting!!


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