Hello NEON!

I know some of have negative feelings of neon colors (flashbacks of the big hair and bright colors of the 1980′s) but there is no doubt about it, neon is back! I just got to try the new Neon Markers from Letraset and I’m sold. I’ve had enough of brown and muted colors, how about you?

 

The thing is you can always tone down and “muddy” up a color but you can’t clean up a muted color. I love my colors pure, you have so much more versatility that way! These markers are fade resistant too which is important because neon colors are notorious for fading. Here is a video where I show you how easy it is to blend with these neon watercolor markers as well as some mixed media techniques with supplies you probably have already. I gab a bit about stencils and storage and who knows what else in the beginning so if you want to skip ahead 4 minutes and get straight to the stamping I don’t mind LOL! Also feel free to follow along with whatever watercolor markers you have!

 

Here is the piece we made in the video, I did not end up adding anything extra to it after all.

 

I wanted to show you a close up pic of the marker in the color spritzer tool. I did not have luck with this tool before, come to find out I was not pushing my markers through far enough! See how the nib of the marker extends past the tip of the spritzer tool. the color spritzer is made by Stampin up, I think they still sell it.

 

Here is my first attempt with the markers, I had such fun I made a video LOL! It was so fun to get in my studio and just play after a long summer home with the kids!

 

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Triple Time Stamping & WOYWW!

Howdy folks! This week on Oriental Stamp Art they challenged up to try the Triple Time Stamping technique. Here is a card I made using a huge Far East set of clear stamps I got on sale for $2.50 at oriental trading company, regularly $15, score!

 

So basically you stack up 3 panels of white cardstock and stamp a design over all three, then take apart the panels and mat them with color and stick them to a card base, yep folks, it is that easy! I saw a really cute tutorial for it on this blog, I love this lady’s French Canadian accent, she reminds me of my “Grammie” :)

 

On the above card I used SVG cutting files from Lettering Delights and SCAL software with my die cutter.  Using the Sizzix Eclips this week had really psyched me up to do some more cutting!

For the burst of color in the background I used a color Spritzer tool (Stampin’ Up!) I have had it for a while but it did not always work for me but then I found out I did not have my marker pushed through far enough, The nib of the marker should protrude father than the “blow-hole” on the spritzer. I have now used this with all of my brush tip watercolor markers with success!

 

Since it is What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday here is a peek of my desk. The kids started school today so I have some real work laid out. I have artwork that needs to be framed in the tubes and lying flat on my workbench. I do not like to have other people’s artwork in my studio with the kids around. So all of my framing jobs have to wait until the kids are in school LOL!

 Well, I’m off to get my car’s oil changed and do a bit of shopping and have lunch with a stampin’ friend, til next time happy crafting!

Sizzix Eclips Does it Right!

I get asked all the time by crafters “Which electronic die cutter should I buy?”  And currently my advice has been to go with a Silhouette or an Eclips. When my school Parent teacher Group asked me to research and choose a die cutter for the school (and train the teachers with said machine) I chose the Sizzix Eclips . I already own a Sizzix Big Shot manual die cutter and a slew of their dies and embossing folders and I have yet to be dissapointed by any of their products.  I am so glad the school went with an Eclips!  Here’s why. The Eclips will work with Sure Cuts a Lot software. In fact I had it out of the box and cutting with ECAL in minutes, I expected some trial and error but the design I cut with colored typing paper scraps was so pretty that I turned it into a project! The owl is from the Owl Party Doodlebat set from Lettering Delights, the plaque shape is in included in ECAL software. The letters, book and pencil were on the cartridge that came with the machine, how cute and useful!

So the fact that Eclips worked with ECAL was the most important factor, I can help teachers over the phone if I know what software they are using and I already know it is easy because I’ve been using SCAL2 with my Cricut for years.  I actually told the PTG that whatever you do DO NOT buy a Cricut because it no longer works with SCAL.

The other bonus to the Eclipse is that the hand-held controller and cartridges are very easy to use too.  Also I like that the Regular retail for MOST of their cartridges are $40 and they are on sale all the time online for about $25. I know some people are going to just want to use the cartridge and not mess with the computer so I wanted that option and the school can buy a full cartridge full of images for less than the cost on one commercial die for their manual machine. Thanks for not jacking up your cartridge prices Sizzix!!!  :)

The other selling point for the machine was the price of mats and blades. I have been using the Eclips mats in my Cricut machine for a while, they are fabulous and cheaper than the Cricut brand.   We bought a 2-pack of eclips blades for $5 vs one silhouette blade that is $15. I wanted the machine to be affordable for the teachers in the long run. Cheaper blades and mats, cheaper cartridges if you want them or you can just cut free font and SVG files using ECAL software, choosing the Eclips was a no-brainer…did I mention it cuts really well too!

Don’t get me wrong! I think the Silhouette would be a good machine too, I think that because the blade is so pricey it probably would cut really fine, intricate patterns (it better for $15!) but a school teacher is more likely to need 100 identical shapes for a classroom project (The Auto Fill feature on the Eclips is da bomb!) or bulletin board rather than one really pretty doily. Even as a crafter who likes to cut little pretty things I’d go with the eclipse because I’ve been playing with it and it surpassed my expectations. Also crafters, if you like Tim Holtz they have cartridges of his designs so you can stamp it then cut it. Wow. I will warn you the TH carts are more expensive.

The machine has an alignment lazar so you can print and cut in SCAL, I have not tried that yet (I don’t know if I should, I am falling in love with this machine a little too much as it is!) but I plan to before I have to take it to the elementary school..sniff…sniff :(

I think that Sizzix did it right! They thought of everything. Easy to cut. Buy inexpensive cartridges OR cut your fonts and SVG designs, easy to use right out of the box OR you can get fancy with advanced techniques (there is a great long instruction DVD showcasing all the bells and whistles!) and the machine is less expensive that a lot of the machines on the market! We found the best price ($300) on the Eclips at Oh My Crafts online, they often have their blades and mats on sale too! Right now the blades are $5 for a 2 pack and the mats are $8 for a 2 pack of 12″x12″ or 1 12″x24″. Note: I am not affiliated with Oh My Crafts, but I have shopped with them from time to time and they usually have the best price and good customer service.

Sizzix, you done good!

Fancy Coloring with Bics and Sharpies!

Are you frustrated by the price of art markers? Buying a set of Copics can send even the spendiest of crafters into sticker shock so today I am going to show you how you can blend with inexpensive Sharpie and Bic Markits. These markers are about $1 each (less in a multopack or if on sale!) so they are a great way to get your feet wet without breaking the bank. On these tags half were colored with Copic markers, and the rest with Bics and Sharpies, can you tell which is which? Don’t mind the watercolor poppy tag I demoed the other day (oops!)…how’d that get in there? BTW the stunningly gorgeous stamps I used are by About Art Accents-save 10% with coupon Lindsay10% AND the set is on sale too!!!

 

So what are you waiting for, check out this video and see just how to blend with the cheap markers!

 

The bottom line is that the ink in the expensive art markers and the cheap office supply store variety is basically the same, but the range of colors are limited so I recommend that you buy a multipack of Bic Mark Its or Sharpies and then splurge on a clear blending marker and maybe a few pale shades of markers so you can expand your color range. You can snag my printable cross-reference chart (Bic markers/Prismacolor/Copic) so you don’t buy doubles. Also I recommend you hand color these charts so you really see what the color will be. Here are the images I colored in the video, not bad for cheap markers eh?

 

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Your kids will love this craft!

Last weekend my girls slept over at a friend’s house and the mom did a craft project with them using a hair dryer to melt crayons. When my girls got home they wanted me to try it too! I’m always up for a new craft so we gave it a whirl:

 

I used  a heat gun rather than my hair dryer because I figured less wind would be better (the other mom said she gor covered in wax with the hair dryer on high so if you are using a hair dryer use the low setting!) The heat gun worked well but I was a bit worried about hitting the flash point of the wax but luckily nothing burst into flames :D

 

Directions: Hot glue crayons to the top of a rigid canvas board, foamboard piece or scrap of mat board. Heat the crayons from above while holding the board tipped at an angle. You can tilt the board to make the wax drip where you want it. Lay the board flat to cool and embellish as desired!

Lila was so proud of her creation, she embellished it with buttons and flowers, that’s my girl!

 

Thanks Shellie for teaching my girls this craft! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Video Tutorial: Easy Blending with All Markers!

Happy Friday folks! I was playing with the new Framed Floral ATC stamps from About Art Accents (by the way, the set of 9 ATC size stamps are on sale for $16.99-regular $29.99 and you can save 10% more with my coupon code: Lindsay10%) and they are just perfect for coloring with markers! The card on the left was colored with Copics (alcohol markers) while the one on the Right uses a couple of watercolor markers. They both can be blended and a quick to color.

Here is a quick video to show you how easy it is to blend with either type of markers:

 

Here are my tips for using markers:

  1. Pick the right paper for the project. I love super smooth cardstock (Neenah #80 Classic Crest in Solar White) for my alcohol ink markers BUT for watercolor markers watercolor paper works best. If you really want to work on cardstock with watercolor markers Stampin’ Up cardstock is the best uncoated cardstock I have tried…still, I’d choose watercolor paper.
  2. Work dark to light, I know this sounds counterintuitive but trust me, it works and you can get by with fewer markers. When you work light to dark you need to work with colors that are just a hair darker than the previous but when you start dark and go over that with the middle value (like I did in the video) you can jump a few shades meaning you need fewer markers to get the same results.
  3. Color a swatch on a scrap of the paper you are using to see if the colors really blend well together before you start coloring you picture, this will save a lot of time and wasted paper.
  4. Relax, practice and have fun, after all it’s only coloring!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A little birthday ‘stache’!

Here is a quick idea for a birthday gift (no trip to the mall required!) using the Photo Booth Props SVG kit from Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff:

 

Directions:

  1. Punch holes in lid of mason jar with a Crop-a-dile or hammer & nail.
  2. Line the edges of the jar with dollar bills. Keep the bills to the edge of the jar. Place some change or marbles  in there for weight.
  3. Cut mustaches from black cardstock and glue to barbeque skewers, insert skewers in holes.
  4. Make a tag saying “Here’s a little birthday ‘stache, ” or “From my ‘stache’ to yours”  and tie it to the neck of the jar.

Easy, peasy and everyone likes cash, right? Here is a look at the Photo Booth Prop kit, as a bonus the partygoers can have fun playing with the moustaches!

 Photo Booth Props!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

How to make a starburst pattern on a card & WOYWW!

I have the habit of falling in love with stamps that are unusual. Sometimes these stamps can be hard to use. I couldn’t resist the Isle of Aud stamp set from Lost Coast Designs and I finally found a great way to use them:

 

I have been wanting to try a starburst background on a card or scrapbook page but there seemed to be a lot of measuring involved and I was not about to put that kid of time into a card but then I saw a pretty card by Amy Heller on Pinterest and she simply cut strips of paper from corner to corner and pieced them together, no measuring, genius! Here you can see the background in progress. I let the edges hang off then I trimmed them flush with the paper after the glue was dry.

 

Also since it is nearly Wednesday this is my desk for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, actually it IS Wednesday in Jolly Ol’ England where this challenge originates from. You can check out other craft desks at Julia’s blog. Here are some close-ups of today’s creations:

 

I used party streamers for the rufffle on the bottom of this card and the fringe on the other card!

I sponged ink through a stencil to make the animal print background.

Since the animal stamp was too large for this card I simply punched out the head, make it work people! I colored the image with watercolor crayons, blended with water and added details with watercolor markers.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Have a Backyard Campout Party! {a cautionary tale}

Famous. Last. Words. Just kidding folks :) My son wanted to have a sleepover for his 10th birthday (in October) but we live in a tiny house so I said maybe he could have it early (in the summer) and have a campout in the backyard. Boy, did he like THAT idea because A. it meant her would have his birthday early and B. camping out is his favorite thing. Add a bunch of 8-10 year old boys and it is a recipe for fun…or disaster…I’m not sure which LOL! So if you are reading this blog post hoping to see a professionally photographed party you can stop right now. It was such chaos that I didn’t even dare to stop supervising the madhouse to take a picture until 8:30! Luckily I took a photo of my lovely S’mores bouquet before the yahoos arrived:

 

My son said to me “Mom, I hope you aren’t going to put that out until it is time for s’mores, otherwise we’ll just hog down all of the candy” straight from the mouths of babes. The S’more fixin’s went out at 8:30, that’s when I spotted my camera and thought “Oh no! I have not taken one picture of the party!”

 

I only took 2 photos that night…and I left my camera out in the rain…

BTW I put the marshmallows on barbecue skewers, they look great but are a bit short for roasting marshmallows. On the upside they were too short for the kids to stick them into the flames and make dangerous marshmallow torches with. Small favors.

We also made doughboys (AKA donuts on a stick) at the party. I bought 6 dowels at the lumber yard (smartly I realized that I did not want more than 6 kids around the fire trying to cook at once) and some refrigerated biscuit dough. I bought Grands biscuits by Pillsbury but any brand will work. The original seems to work best. Cut the one biscuit in half and stretch it out and wrap it around the end of the dowel and cook it over the campfire. Keep it in the heat but out of the flame. It is done when it puffs up and it sounds hollow when you tap on it. The full size grand biscuit will not cook, just use a half. Then roll the doughboy in butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Yum!

 

I also came up with a Vegan/Kosher s’more. Roast a piece of banana over the fire and place it on a graham cracker that has been spread with peanut butter and chocolate chips. Top with another graham cracker.  

Another fun activity to keep the campers entertained were homemade marshmallow shooters:

 

The idea came from the blog Come Together Kids. I used 12″ balloons and large plastic cups. Buy an extra package of balloons so you can repair the shooter if need be. I put out a bag of mini marshmallows and that was plenty, I had the kids re-use the ammo so I would not have a yard full of marshmallows to pick up (or for my dog and chickens to get sick eating LOL!) Here is a quick video on how to make them:

 

If you are still reading, thanks! I originally thought I’d let the boys stay up until 10 and then have them settle into their tents to chit-chat and read. (I also thought that the boys would be sitting around the campfire singing folk songs but that didn’t happen either!) but by about 6pm I realized that these boys will be going into the tents at 9.  By the time the boys had all used the bathroom, brushed their teeth (hopefully?) and settled into their tents it was about 9:30. At 10 it started to rain…pour actually…and the tent was leaking! Camping in the rain, why that’s my specialty. I tarped the tents and got the boys settled, again.  All in all the boys were asleep around 1am.

 

My son and I silkscreened T-shirts for the guests. All the boys made it though the night and I did too! They all had a blast and they were all good kids but If I told you that having a campout party was a piece of cake I’d be lying. I’m keeping it real, folks.

 

Oh, I forgot to mention, the quest list was small compared to the other birthday parties. Jackson invited 9 boys in his grade. It being summer I was not sure if they would all make it to the party. I invited siblings to come over for a cookout supper and smore’s. I wanted to have a little party favor for them when they left and made these, I got the idea from girl scout swaps:

 

I made a wood grain stamp with my Stampmaker and used it to stamp on tags, then stamp a little tent and the word thanks. The flashlight pin was made from golf tees cut short and painted, then I glued on a gold pony bead (for the light) and scrap of funfoam for the switch and a pin back so it could be worn.

 So, if you are STILL reading you are probably thinking about throwing your own backyard campout. Here are some tips and friendly advice:

  • Keep the party small. 6 kids is a good amount. Put 3 each in a tent and they might get to sleep before midnight. Maybe.
  • If by some lapse of reason you decide to invite more kids enlist some other moms to help. Maybe have a few organized games to keep the kids from running wild.
  • Get emergency contact info from every parent before the day of the campout. Find out if anyone is on medication, needs an inhaler or has any food allergies.
  • Also I asked that pocket knives and video games be left at home.
  • Don’t forget the prefect invitation! I used free tourist maps to make envelopes and the printable Backyard Party Campout kit for the interactive invitation.

 

Well, that’s how you host a backyard campout sleepover. And I lived to tell about it…I think I should have made myself a T-shirt too, ha ha!  :) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting! 

 

A Freebie! 50% Off Sale & a Quick Tip Video!

How’s that for a headline? It is true, I am having a 50% off sale now through Saturday at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff. I have some cool new kits to check out as well as a free die cutting file so you can make this swing card! On this card I also used the Pretty Posies Digital Stamp Set on sale for $2!

If you want to see this interactive card in action then check out the video, there are some tips there too including how to use a regular paper punch to make seamless borders. I own very few punches but I still make them earn their keep!

Here is what the card looks like closed:

And all the way flat:

It is such a simple design but it holds a fun surprise for the recipient! The Free SVG kit also contains a printable file, I shared that back on this post along with a video on how to make it by hand with a paper cutter.

That’s all for today! Remember to visit Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff to snag your freebie and to save 50% on everything else! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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