Ink, Emboss, Sprinkle, Heat, Smear, Spray and Create!

Howdy friends! from the blog post title you can probably guess that we are going to get inky today! But first I want to announce the winner of stamps and a gift certificate to Art Neko (formally About art Accents) congrats to Kimberly E.!!! Check your email for details;) Don’t worry if you did not win, the Garden Friends set it is still on sale and I have another idea for using it in today’s video:

Feel free to adapt this technique to suit your project. You can even just do the inked emboss and call it a day, that is pretty on it’s own. Here is a recap of what we did:

First we did an inked emboss by inking an embossing folder with pigment ink and a brayer and embossing white cardstock. Then we added a little bit of copper, gold, rust and verdigris embossing powder to the embossed panel and heated it with a heat gun. We scribbled metallic green, gold and brown gel sticks to the panel and topped it off with a spritz of homemade shimmer spray ink.

Here is my tutorial on homemade spray ink.

Here is my tutorial on the firm foam blenders for gelatos.

Thanks again to Art Neko for sponsoring this contest, remember to use my coupon code Lindsay10% to save 10% on your non sale rubber! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

3 Cheers for Cheery Lynn & a Tip to “Die” for!

Happy Friday folks! A couple weeks ago I showed you how to cut an intricate die, a beautiful doily die from Cheery Lynn. I had struggled with that die but finally found a method that worked in my “antique” but hard used machine. Well, the president of Cheery Lynn Designs saw my valiant attempt and sent me a platform for my big shot. Apparently they don’t make the platform I was using anymore (it’s rather vintage you know) but I could not see how a new platform would be better than my old platform shimmed with cereal boxes and roof flashing…OK, maybe I can see how. He also through in 3 die sets and a real steel metal shim to play with. Well, do you want to see how they work? Well, have a gander at today’s video:

I didn’t think having a new platform would make a difference but really it is like having a whole new machine. If you Big shot/Big Kick is newer than mine it probably would have come with the tabbed platform, if not you might want to consider it if you like to use wafer thin dies. If not a cereal box and roof flashing does the trick LOL! The metal shim really helped the die cut, I think since my machine is 8 years old the rollers might have loosened up a bit making the dies not so tight. My aluminum flashing worked well too but if you have a magnetic platform you would want the steel one to keep your dies in place. BTW, now that I have the new tabbed platform and I don’t need the old one I am going to see if I can figure out how to turn it into a magnetic one, my husbands countersink drill bits and rare earth magnets are going to come in really handy this weekend! All of the dies from Cheery Lynn Designs cut like butter and the flourish die got an extra workout as my friend Kathy used it to cut a bunch for birthday invites.  I have some cards in progress with the steampunk high heel die he sent too, I’ll share them later. I am really glad I gave thin dies another chance, you just need the right tool for the job. Thank you Mike for sending me some fun new dies and accessories to play with, you can check out the offerings of Cheery Lynn Designs on their website.

Now for a $$$ saving tip! If you have old, bowed die cut pads I’ll show you how to clean and flatten them, no special tools required!

I hope I inspired you to straiten up those die cutting plates and go make a card! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Tips for Tricky Dies!

Hello Friends! I made a comment last week on Ask a Crafter that I did not care for detailed thin dies but in the spirit of fairness I decided to figure out how to cut them properly and I will share my results with you in this video:

It’s still a lot of work but at least I won’t waste any more paper. 😀 Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!


Die Cuttin’ & Airbrushin’

Boy oh boy, between my die cutting machine, new Copic markers and rediscovering my airbrush I am a happy crafty camper!

Stamps: House Mouse, MSE!, PP: DCWV, CArdstock: Bazzil, Punch: Martha Stewart

I cut and embossed the mat for this card using Penny Duncan’s nesting file. Then I stamped this cute house mouse stamp with Memento Tuxedo Black (my new favorite ink!) and colored it with my Copics. then I stamped the mouse again on a post it note and placed it over the colored image. Then I used my Paasche airbrush to spray alcohol ink (Piniata red + denatured alcohol) around the edges of the mat. By covering the image with a post it I can be sure no stray ink is sprayed on my image. The photo corners are a freebie from Thursday’s post. I cut them and the mat with my Cricut and scal software. If you don’t have SCAL yet there is a coupon for 10% off til the 28th (Sunday) so grab it quick: 4190114

Speaking of Die cutting  Micki wanted me to share a photo of my “die cutting center” so here it is, enjoy:

Everything is in arms reach, there is plenty of room in front and behind the cricut without taking up much counter space. I store my mats on the box under the machine.

Here is the inside of the box, I installed a power strip inside for my overhead light, cricut and laptop. When I am done cutting for the day I turn one switch off, easy!

A place for everything!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Homemade Letterpress!

I feel like an evil genius! I figured out how to make my own letterpress contraption to use with my Big Shot Die Cutting machine, lookie at what I made:

Some cards made with my homemade letterpress and printing plates from Lifestyle Crafts.

Here I debossed the images without ink then used a brayer to add ink over the debossed designs.

You may be thinking “what’s the big deal? It looks like stamping” but that is only half of it because when you letterpress it debosses too! You can just plain emboss, ink the plate first and have a colored debossed image or you can run your paper through uninked then brayer ink (or swipe it with an inkpad) over it to highlight the raised design. It’s totally cool!

This is how it looks without inking. I like it!

Here I inked the crown with purple ink before printing. The card base was pressed uninked then I used the same purple inkpad to rouge the edges.

When I saw the home letterpress kit from Lifestyle Crafts I was intrigued but I wasnt about to spent $150 on a whim especially since I had a die cutter and zillions of rubber stamps already, they also have a starter kit that has the contraption that you use the printing plates with, ink and paper for $70 but that is still a lot of money in my book. So I took an old plexiglass cutting pad from my Big Shot, a piece of Masonite and some duck tape and made this:

I hinged the plexiglass plate to a peice of Masonite with duct tape to make my press.

The results of my Homemade snowflate printing plate.

I purchased the Everyday letterpress printing plate at AC Moore, I just about fell over yesterday when I saw that they had the whole line of products (and I had a 50% off coupon in my pocket.) The plates sell for $24 a set but with the coupon they were $12, a reasonable price for a few hours of fun and experimentation I think 😉

Here is the set I purchased, I really like it!

For my first experiment I used Rives BFK printmaking paper because you need soft thick paper to get the full effect. I used the adhesive that came with my plates (double-sided tape will work too), stuck a printing plate to the plexiglass side, put my paper on the Masonite side, closed the contraption and ran it through my Big Shot. The debossing was gorgeous!

Then I inked up the plate with a pigment inkpad, it looked OK but I got a much cleaner result when I used a soft rubber brayer to ink up my plate.

Then I tried the plates un-inked again and used a brayer to apply ink over the design. I like that a lot.

So then I thought I would try to make my own printing plates. I used thick stencil plastic that my SIL who is a quilter gave me and my Creative Hot Marks (woodburner) with the tapered stencil tip on it to cut my own plates. I made an Asian character, a frame, and a snowflake. I printed the Asian design on paper and placed it under the film so I could see it as I cut and the others I just took die cuts from the Cricut and cut around them, both ways worked equally as well. I had to use a craft knife to trim away some of the plastic burrs on the plates but they were quick to make and worked nicely.

Some homemade letterpress plates made with stencil plastic and a woodburner.

I used my homemade Asian plate for this. the background is a LC plate inked with gold before pressing.

I experimented with paper and it seems that the ticker the paper the better it worked. Watercolor paper and printmaking paper worked the best, DCWV textured cardstock worked very well too, I wasnt as pleased with regular cardstock and paper though. If you try this and don’t get any embossing you may need to shim (or pack as they call it over at Lifestyle Crafts) your contraption. For my homemade plates I place a sheet of rubber gasket under my homemade letterpress before cranking it through, for the purchased plates I used 2 sheets of cardstock under my press for a shim. Do not over pack it or you my crack your plates, I noticed little stress cracks on one of my plates when I used too thick a shim. I have been “making art” for a long time so i had a lot of supplies like brayers, ink and paper on hand, if you don’t it might be cheaper to get the kit if you are dying to try this craft.

I would love to try the Lifestyle crafts kit to see how it compares to mine, my niece is getting married and I have been asked to help with the invitations and I think these designs will be beautiful for that. If you try this let me know how it goes, I sure did have fun playing with this today 😉 Till next time happy crafting!

My first Cuttlebug Embossing Folder!

I was shopping at my local scrapbook store a few weeks ago and saw this lovely Cuttlebug “textile” embossing folder. I had not tried the CB folders before so I though “why not!” I love the crisp detail I got using it in my Ellison Big Shot Die Cutter:

Stamps: Stampin Up!, Paper/Cardstock/Ribbon: American Crafts, Emb. Folder: Cuttlebug, Die: Ellison

Stamps: Stampin Up!, Paper/Cardstock/Ribbon: American Crafts, Emb. Folder: Cuttlebug, Die: Ellison

If you don’t have a manual die cut machine you can still emboss with the folders using a rolling pin. Here’s How: Lightly mist the paper with water, place the paper inside the folder and roll over it firmly with a rolling pin, easy as pie…well actually easier than pie and calorie free!

Here is a close up! I love my little croched flowers, scroll down to last Fridays post for details!

Here is a close up! I love my little croched flowers, scroll down to last Fridays post for details!

I used stamps from Stampin Up (I ordered these back in February during Sale-a-Bration but didn’t get them inked up till today, oh the shame!) and American Crafts Pattern paper and cardstock. The stamped bits of paper are from the scrap pile!

To make the stamp I stamped the flourish in clear ink then dabbed it with chalks.

To make the stamp I stamped the flourish in clear ink then dabbed it with chalks.

I made my own decorative stick pins with eye pins from my jewelry stash, I like these because I can customize them with matching beads and they are stiff enough to poke through the ribbon but are blunt on the end so the recipient won’t get their fingers pricked (it’s nice not to injure people!)

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Mmmmm Cupcakes!

When I saw the cupcake challenge over at the Pink Persimmon blog I knew I has to do it! I never met a cupcake {stamp} I didn’t like and while I am vegan (egg and dairy cupcakes are few and far between) I can enjoy all the cupcake stamps I want and best of all they are calorie free!

Digital Stamps: (cupcakes) Lindsays Stamp Stuff, Rubber Stamp (happy birthday) Stampin Up, Die Cuts: Cricut (Accent Essentails) Cardstock: DCWV

Digital Stamps: (cupcakes) Lindsays Stamp Stuff, Rubber Stamp (happy birthday) Stampin Up, Die Cuts: Cricut (Accent Essentails) Cardstock: DCWV

To make the box I used my Cupcake Tree digital stamp and this weeks mini Pizza Box Tutorial from Splitcoast Stampers. The plain box only took seconds to make with a scor pal and a 6″x11″ sheet of cardstock.  I think I will keep this pattern handy to display and gift my handmade jewelery in.

Mini Pizza box is 4"x4"x1" and a snap to make!

Mini Pizza box is 4"x4"x1" and a snap to make!

I used another digital cupcake stamp on the card too.

Cupcake Stamp: Lindsay's Stamp Stuff

Cupcake Stamp: Lindsay's Stamp Stuff

I love the embossed edges of the cardstock. I did that by cutting a 3 1/2″ scallop square (shift lock pressed) with my cricut and the Accent Essentials caridgete then I cut the same shape with the shadow button also pressed then used a bit of glue stick to stick the smaller shape to the back side of the larger and I ran it through my Big Shot manual die cutter with a couple sheets of rubber gasket. Here is a diagram of the sandwich I used. I don’t have a cuttlebug but the sandwich should be similar, The cardstock method works great in the big shot, you will have to experiment a bit with other machines.

Here is the sandwich I use to emboss with cardstock in my Big Shot/Big/Kick. You may need to adjust it a bit for tother die cut machines but use this as a starting point.

Here is the sandwich I use to emboss with cardstock in my Big Shot/BigKick. You may need to adjust it a bit for other die cut machines but use this as a starting point. If you are not getting a good impression you can shim it with a sheet or two of cardstock between the rubber and the bottom plexiglass cutting plate.

Now here is a cool trick. Say you have some digital stamps all printed out or stamped images from a friend, you can still cut them into shape with the cricut (this method works on photos too!) first load your mat and scratch paper into the cricut and cut the shape you want. Unload the paper and remove the cut shape and lif up the leftover piece but do not remove it all the way. Center your stamped image that you want to cut under the empty cutout, remove the scrap paper, load the mat and cut the same shape again! Easy Peasy. However if you are using a traditional rubber stamp it is easier to cut first stamp later 😉

Thanks for stopping by…I think I might have to whip up a batch of vegan cupcakes (or stamp a few more at least)…till next time happy crafting!

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