We’re all stories in the end…

Hi Friends! My favorite line from any episode of Doctor Who is “We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one.”

DCF 1.0

I had that quote swirling around in my head after reading (OK listening to the audio book, what can I say, I love to be read to:) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It is a hauntingly beautiful and very sad story that has been made into a movie. If you read it you will need tissues, I hear the movie is the same, I plan to see it.  It got me thinking to the things we leave behind, our art, scrapbooks and journals and how nice it is when we include out own handwriting. I am really self conscious about my handwriting, it has never been pretty but I must admit watching this video back I was really annoyed at how much I was complaining about it. Sorry about that.  Oh and I was convinced that I needed the word “are” on the page after I wrote “were” like a werewolf not we-are so I wrote “are” and realized what I was missing was a darn apostrophe LOL! Hence the strategically placed washi tape! One of theses days I’ll be able to talk and write at the same time while shooting a video (don’t hold your breath though.) Enough rambling, here is the video!

The wonderful supplies I used were donated by Oriental Trading Company. I used:

I hope you use your handwriting in your journals, card and scrapbooks because it creates a link from us to the viewer that becomes more special as time passes. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

I “Chews” you! {Valentine & more stamping tips!}

OK folks, I have to post this on the down-low because if my kids see this they will wrangle it away from me before Valentines day LOL! I swear, my kids are like ants and they can sniff out any sugar source in my studio as soon I bring it in, it is a weird 6th sense…like a candy ESP or something. My kids love gum and gumball machines so I decided to make these for them for valentine’s day:

Don’t worry, I will give them all the same amount of gumballs! Actually I am making the mini pails (I got them in the dollar spot at Target after Christmas for .50 cents each, if they have any left they are probably cheaper now!) for them but I wanted to show an option of a large mason jar too. Both are cute! The large mason jar take 4 bags of gumballs to fill (Dollar Store size bags) and the pails take 2 bags. I placed sandwich bags in the pails first because I don’t know if the pails are food-safe.

On to the tips!

  • Notice the fiber wrapped pail handle. Rather than spend 30 minutes tieing short lengths of ribbon to the pail handle (which would be totally cute but expensive x 3 kids and time-consuming) I just wrapped a couple of yards of fancy fur yarn around it. Quick, easy and just as cute!
  • Those $1 alphabet sets from Joann/ACmoore are fun but the boxes they come in are not. Make a slightly larger origami box from paper so you can have a looser container for them and it will be easy to fish them out and use them and quick to put them away again. I have directions to make the box here.
  • Use a rubber band to hold stamps together when stamping with these mini stamps, it is so much quicker and your letters stay evenly spaced.
  • Color with ink to match your project! I dipped a brush in the grey ink I stamped with then watered it down to paint the jar lids. A perfect match and no need to drag out more supplies!
  • Flip a clear stamp! I only had 3 convo-heart stamps but wanted more colors so I flipped one of the clear hearts backwards on my block and stamped with the backside to make the plain yellow hearts in the jar. You can stamp a shadow of almost any clear stamp just by sticking it on the block backwards and stamping with the smooth side of the stamp, Neat! It’s like have twice as many clear stamps!

Here is a look at the tips in action:

And a close up of the stamps + rubber band:

A brief sidebar…How hard is it to find a large canning jar stamp anyway?!? I looked online for weeks for a simple large canning jar and couldn’t find a thing then I tracked the one I used down directly from Inkadinkado and ordered it on the spot direct from the company. I was so frustrated that I grabbed my own collection of vintage canning jars and made a digistamp set called Funky Jars to Fill:

Funky Jar Stamps

But I used the rubber stamp I bought cuz after all that work tracking it down I had to use it LOL! Thanks for allowing my shameless plug tho 😉

Have a great weekend (Go PATS!!!) and til next time happy crafting!

A Tip for Large Stamps!

Howdy folks! Have you ever had a stamp that no matter how hard you tried you just could not get it to stamp properly? I sure have! This large (6″x6″) stamp from Tattered Angels was so difficult to stamp I used to have to stand on my stamp mount to get a decent impression and then I often got distorted results. The stamp was too big for my largest Rock a Block so I got to thinking about something I could to get a similar result and I found that a glass jar candle would work just fine:

 

By sticking my clear stamp directly on the curved jar I created a rocking stamp mount and got perfect results!

Here is a video showing how I did it:

Don’t you love it when you solve a problem without spending a dime! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Happy Christ{Mouse!}

I love the new clear House Mouse stamps! Right now there are Halloween and Christmas clear set out and they are fabulous! (and I’m not getting paid to say that LOL!)

Stamps: House Mouse Clear, Anna Griffin (sentiment) Paper: K&Co., Doublemates

Stamps: House Mouse Clear, Anna Griffin (sentiment) Paper: K&Co., Doublemates

I Expected to have a couple less than perfect images when i stamped the mice out so I cut 4 squares of cardstock to stamp and everyone came out perfect! I truthfully like these more than my wood-mounted House Mouse stamps. Please make more of these sets House Mouse Honchos!

The sets have been out for a few months but I have been waiting patiently for my local stamp store to get them in. Why? Because the prices are the same as online store and local shops need all the support we can give them and because Judy is just about the nicest lady you could meet! Also before I shelled out any dough I wanted to be sure they were good quality.

Want to know how to tell if the clear stamps you are buying are good? Take a look, they should be very closely trimmed. Take a whiff, if they are the high quality stamps they will have a slightly sweet oder to them while cheap stamp will have nearly no smell at all. Also the high quality stamps can yellow, that is a good indicator that the stamp is the high quality kind, often you can get great deals on the yellow stamps because no-one wants to buy them but it won’t affect their performance one bit, be a smart shopper and snag those babies on sale, I got a couple of $30 stamp set for $4 bucks each because they turned yellow and the store couldn’t sell them! The higher quality stamps often will stain with ink, especially black ink but that doesn’t effect their performance either, just make sure to clean them each time you use them.

Don’t get me wrong, I buy the cheap clear stamp when they are on sale, they are fun and some designs are brilliant but they don’t stick to the blocks as well or give the crisp impression that the high quality ones do (don’t push too hard when you stamp!) Here is a list of stamp companies who make high quality clear stamps:

The Rubber Cafe, Pink Persimmon, PSX (retired), Close to my Heart, Hero Arts, Limited Edition, My Sentiments Exactly, Crafty Secrets *if you know more leave me a comment!

Some of the cheaper clear stamp are made by the companies listed below. Stick to the line art when buying these stamps, or use thicker pigment based inks for best results. I am not knocking these companies by any means, I think their designs are wonderful and I purchase them on sale ($6 for a stamp set on sale and dollar clear stamps, I’ll deal with it for those prices LOL!)

Studio G, Inkadinkado, Autumn Leaves, The Paper Co., Craft Affair, EK Success, Fiskars and Imaginessence

* To improve performance with these stamps rub the stamp side of the stamps with a pencil eraser before use.

Price is a good indicator as to what you are buying but it is good idea to open up the package and take a whiff to be sure.

Thanks for sitting through this long post, now you can be an informed shopper and get the best results from your clear stamps. Thanks for stopping by and till next time happy crafting!

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