LaBlanche Rose Stamp

Today’s card project was inspired by a single stamp. I recently came across a unique stamp line that originates from Germany called LaBlanche. The stamps are intricate pieces of artwork that are captured in a high-quality white silicone and pre-mounted on a foam block. The silicone allows for high-definition detail to be imparted into your stamping–as well as being perfect for heat applications as they are silicone. I saw the image of this rose and was immediately hooked. The LaBlanche line is big in Europe and has developed a large cult following here in the U.S.

Inspired by the rose image, the rest of the project was built around showcasing the rose. The other stamp and paper elements showcase it nicely (I think). Copic users will love the details in these images for coloring (and the built in shading helps beginners get a better feel for layering your colors). The cardstock and ribbon are from Papertrey Ink. The decorative paper is from DCWV’s “Mariposa” Stack.


Card Spotlight: Air Male

It’s interesting to note that many paper crafters have a hard time when it comes to designing and constructing projects for a male recipient. I think it’s safe to say that many of the leaders in the crafting industry cater to a mainly female clientele. As such, many of the designers collections are specifically created with that demographic in mind.

Of course, there are male crafters out there (obviously). It stands to reason that the larger the market share (customer demand), the more companies start to offer alternative lines and color palettes. I am very pleased with some of the new product lines being introduced for Fall/Winter 2008 and beyond.

I think the largest stumbling block some crafters face is the idea of avoiding certain colors (pink, pastels, etc.) and themes (florals, intricate patterns,etc.) when planning a male-oriented project. As a male crafter (and perhaps because of my own personal aesthetics), I do not have a problem receiving cards and projects made with florals or bright colors. However, right or wrong, there is a concern that a project be “masculine” enough. I hope such narrow thinking one day becomes the exception instead of the rule.

Oops, I guess that’s enought of that rant…at least for a while. What brought the subject up for me was that I recently set out to make cards for a few of my friends that definitely skew toward the “manly men” end of the spectrum, lol. I thought I would share one of the cards I created in this card spotlight.

An interesting thing about this project is that it was all inspired by a piece of scrap paper from a DCWV paper stack: High School. The inspiration was this bit of design left over from another project. (I’m generally not very good about saving or using scraps, so this was a breakthrough for me.)

When I saw this flourish pattern, I was immediately drawn to the theme of flight and birds (wings) specifically. With that thought in mind, I hit my supplies and rounded up a few things.

For this project, you will need:

–one sheet of white cardstock cut to 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″
–one strip of textured cardstock cut to 5 1/2″ x 2 1/8″
–one strip of decorative paper cut to 5 1/2″ x 1 3/8″
–Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Ink Pad (Jumbo Java)
–Marvy Stippling Brush
–rubber or clear acrylic stamps
–Sakura Metallic Gel Pen
–adhesive (Xyron 510)
–Scor-Pal (or other scoring tool)

To begin, I took the white cardstock piece and scored it at 4 1/4″ to create the card fold.

I chose to work in a brown palette for this card. For visual and color interest, I used a VersaMagic chalk ink pad and a stippling brush to create a textured background on the white cardstock.

Using the Jumbo Java chalk ink, I inked my stippling brush directly on the ink pad surface and pounced both the front and back sides of the card. After the initial application of ink in a circular motion, I used a few diagonal sweeps of the brush on the card face to muss the stippling effect slightly. I also inked all of the card edges using the VersaMagic pad.

Once you’ve achieved the desire color depth and texture on your card, allow the chalk ink to set before proceeding to adhere your decorative elements to the card. For my card, I chose a piece of textured Bazzill cardstock in Chocolate as the base mat for my decorative strip. As mentioned, the decorative strip for this project was a scrap from a DCWV High School paper stack.

This textured cardstock was trimmed to 5 1/2″ x 2 1/8″ and the edges were inked with the VersaMagic pad. Then it was run through a Xyron 510 and attached to the card face. The decorative paper was trimmed to 5 1/2″ x 1 3/8″, inked, run through the Xyron and centered on top of the textured cardstock.

To go with my theme of flight and wings, I used two stamps to finish the look of my card. The first was a rubber stamp (SeeD’s) for the greeting that said “Air Mail”. The second was a clear acrylic stamp (Autumn Leaves) from Rhonna Farrar’s “Gypsy 2” collection of a bird in mid-flight. I used the same color chalk ink and stamped the greeting in the bottom right-hand corner and strategically placed the bird in the center of my decorative paper strip.

I like the symbolism on this card. The freedom of flight expressed by the bird juxtaposed with the wink-and-a-nod “Air Mail” greeting made me smile. I also think the bird picks up on the free-flowing airiness of the swirls from the flourish design.

As a final touch, I took a Sakura metallic gel pen in Galaxy Bronze and put in a few accent lines along the borders of the paper strips to add a bit more definition and visual interest. All-in-all, it was a fun and relatively creative project to put together.

Create–and keep crafting!

Card Spotlight: Stamping

For this card project, I wanted to use a couple of new stamp sets I recently acquired. It’s a simple card with a bit of bling.

I used an A2 sized piece of smooth white DCWV cardstock. The images and sentiment are stamped using Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Ink in Jumbo Java. The crown stamp is from an Autumn Leaves clear acrylic set called “Gypsy Style” by artist Rhonna Farrar. The “Live With Intention” sentiment is from a limited edition Hampton Arts clear acrylic set entitled “Intention” by artist Marah Johnson. The border stamp I used is from Sassafras Lass and it was stamped with Tsukineko Brilliance Ink in Coffee Bean.

For a bit of bling and visual interest, I used a Sakura Quickie Glue Pen and some Doodlebug Sugar Coating in bronze to highlight a portion of the swirl below the crown. I also used a Sakura Gelly Roll Glitter Pen in Clear to highlight the crown.

As a final touch, I used the same border stamp to stamp the inside of the card.

This was a quick and easy card project that took on a bit more sophistication with the addition of the glitter touches and double border stamping. Don’t forget to use your stamps on the insides of your cards–as well as the outsides.

Create–and keep crafting!

Further Adventures In Gamsol

I’ve continued to practice with the fabled Gamsol technique. The more I use my Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol, the more comfortable I become with the technique. I think I’m getting better with the application and blending. I’m still have some troubles getting the shadowing and perspective down…but I’m assuming that will come with time and more practice.

I started using blending stumps and then I came across some 6″ wooden stick cotton swab applicators that I really like. They come two to a package, so you can use a new stick with each color range and avoid cross-contamination. The longer applicator also gives you more range of motion and freedom in coloring, I think.

Here are some of the latest images I practiced on this weekend. If you haven’t tried this colored pencil technique, I’d highly recommend you check it out. The results are quite astonishing. It does take some investment on the front-end, but the dividends are very satisfying.

The stamps used: owl (Inkadinkado), butterfly (Autumn Leaves), bunnies (a RAK from AMKs_Mom), heart (Marah Johnson), poppy (Rhonna Farrar).

Spotlight: Autumn Leaves: Rhonna Farrar

I’ve recently become a collector of clear acrylic stamps. I don’t think that it was a matter of preference over rubber stamps, but moreso an issue of space constraints.

But one of the artists (and there are some very talented people out there) whose work I’ve become enamoured with is Rhonna Farrar. There’s just something about her style and sense of design that connects with me.

Rhonna Farrar is a wife and mother of three children. She is also an outstanding artist and teacher. I recently purchased this set of stamps released by Autumn Leaves as part of their Stampology line. This set is entitled “Gypsy Style 2”. I think it’s amazing!