Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cards for Karissa

Karissa is a friend and co-worker of my daughters.  They work at this fabulous local Mexican restaurant "La Finca Chaquita" and since my kiddo works there I am in there all of the time eating.  I will post the address at the end of this post.

Anyhoo last week when I was in having dinner the subject of my business came up.  Karissa has a sister that is going to have a baby and she wanted a 5-pack of assorted cards to add to her gift to her sister.  She gave me the colors that her sister likes and gave me the deadline.

Here is the 5-pack of cards that are made just for Karissa and her sister.  I only made one of each card so there will not be any for sale at the craft fair this weekend.  

Once again Pinterest was a huge inspiration and I had fun scrap-lifting and re-working some beautiful artwork.    

My Artwork:



Pinterest Inspiration:




Found on: mytimemadeeasy.com


As you can I scrap lifted the entire design, just changed the colors to fit my needs. This card was a great way to use up scrap cardstock and those last little bits of a paper pack.   i think it turned out beautiful.  




My Artwork:






Pinterest Inspiration:






Found on artfeltimpressions.blogspot.com

I love the rustic feeling of this card but it also feels girly.  I think I did the Pinterest artwork some justice. 

My Artwork:






Pinterest Inspiration:






Found on: starlightstamper.com

The original artist used washi tape but I wanted to use the last little bits that I had left over from the "For Always" paper pack. 


My Artwork:




Does this card look familiar?   I made a different version last week.

Pinterest Inspiration:


Found on: iminhaven.blogpot.com


This is the one I did last week:


By changing the stamps and changing the colors used you can have an unlimited amount of patterns to choose from.

The last card does not follow the colors scheme but it screamed and wanted to be made.  Who am I to argue with artwork.  

My Artwork:


Pinterest Inspiration:

Have you ever bought a stamp set then not know what you wanted to do with it.  I bought this stamp set because it is so freaking cute then when I went to use it my mind went blank.  This pinterest inspiration was a perfect application of what can be done with this stamp set.  


Found on: heartforhandmade.blogspot.com

I love the vintage, school feel of the whole card.  But since Karissa wanted a shabby chic feel with the colors requested I needed to stick to her plan of action. 

As I promised here is the address of La Finca:

La Finca
107 N. Butler Road
Allen, Texas 75002
972-908-3555



I am including a photo, it is so tiny that if you do not know what you are looking for you will pass it.  I know it does not look like much but you will be very happy you went in.
(I am not being paid for my endorsement)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stamping 101

Yesterday we discussed the "Myth's" of Acrylix Stamps and I posted a stamping flip chart that shows about 10 different stamping techniques but what if you just need a stamping refresher course?

When I first started scrapbooking I was not a stamper - not at all.  Then I signed up to be a CTMH Consultant and still did not want to be a stamper.  I remember telling my husband that I would only sell the paper and stickers.  Then I saw my first Acrylix Stamp set or Clear Stamps as they are sometimes referred to.  My world opened up by just being able to see where I was going to place the stamp.  By being clear the stamp was automatically user friendly or as we say in my house "Jenny Friendly".

Not long after I started my stamping education I found a stamp care article online from a sister consultant (Lisa Stenz) I not only saved it on my computer but I printed a copy for my own personal use.  

Disclaimer:  I will be using information from Lisa's original online article and from CTMH online education.   

Stamping 101:


1.  Always use your foam insert

What is the foam insert?  It is that 6x6 foam sheet that comes with every new stamp from CTMH.  Do not throw this away - it is there for a reason.  The foam insert replaces the cushion that traditional wood stamps have between the rubber and the wood.   Place the foam insert under your scrap paper, then place your project paper on top of both the foam insert and the scrap paper.  

If you are like me, you will NEED the scrap paper to keep ink off of your work surface.  The foam sheet will insure a more even stamp image.

2. Use the correct size blocks

Use a block that fits your image.  Using a block that is too big or too small will give you more problems that you want.  If the block is too big then ink will smear on the sides when inking the stamp or if the block is too small you will not be able to give even pressure for sharp images.  You do not need every size out there but you do need enough to get a good variety.  If you buy good quality blocks then you will not have to replace them.  I am still using the blocks that I bought 9 years ago and they look great. 

3. Ink your stamps properly

Tap, Tap, Twist, Twist two times to get really good ink coverage on your stamp.  Ink and stamp a couple of times on a scrap sheet of paper to make sure the image will look the way you want it before stamping on your project.  

4. Do not slam your stamps 

Now you are looking at me like I have two heads... what do I mean by do not slam your stamps.  Do not hit the ink pad then the project paper with a pounding force.  

When you stamp you should press straight down, with even pressure and pick straight up.  Do not push down and rock back and forth because this will give you shadowing and ghosting images and may even give you a broken image.  A broken image is when only have of the ink transfers to the paper leaving half an image. 

5. Clean your stamps

If this was a perfect world I would tell you to clean your stamps immediately.  But we all get busy with our projects and get excited when it is starting to look "just right".  

Clean your stamps ASAP.  

There are some inks that need to be cleaned immediately such as Pigment Inks or Staz - On but most water based inks will be ok while you are still working.  

Clean your stamps with a stamp cleaner solution (CTMH My Spritz Cleaner)  or if you are in a pinch a dab of soap and plenty of water.  Do not use baby wipes or paper towels because they can leave lint or fibers on your stamps that will be difficult to remove.  When I have a heavy stamping day I will clean all of my stamps with the soap and water and just let them air dry - then put them away.  

If your stamps start to loose their tack or stickiness the soap and water cleaning will restore them to like new stickiness.   You can also wash your blocks and carrier sheets with this method if needed.  I found that air drying is best for me. 

As I stated in the "Myth's"  post some staining may occur and that is just fine.  There is nothing wrong with the stamp, it just likes the ink.  I like the staining because it makes it easier to find the stamp image if I drop it.  

I have some stamps in my stash that came with my original Consultant kit and most of my blocks are at least 9 years old.  With proper care your stamps should last for many enjoyable crafting years. 




Stamping Flip Chart

I have a group of CTMH Sister Consultants that I play with once a month.  When we get together it is our chance to bounce ideas around and prepare for crops or workshops while having some fellowship.

A couple of months ago I was at our monthly meeting and Dorothy was working on a Stamping Flip chart to show her customers.  I was watching her while I was working and I had this little thought in my head about stealing that idea.  

I came home and found the flip chart that was in my closet (unused) and got to work.  I have never had an idea come together so fast!  I was working with no measurements and after it was done Dorothy and I talked about it and I found out that my "pages" are bigger than hers but we love them both.

I posted my flip chart on a consultant facebook page and have had some requests to see it again so I thought I would post it on the blog too.

Stamping Flip Chart













If you would like to see the Stamping Flip Chart in person I will have it on display this weekend at the craft fair I will be working. 

 Come by and see me.



FUMC Allen is located at 601 S Greenville Ave Allen, TX 75002 with entrances from both Greenville Ave and S Jupiter  Rd. 


Stamps, Stamps, Stamps

I was at a team meeting today with a few other CTMH sister consultants and while I was there to brush up on my Cricut skills we started talking about stamps. 

 A story went around the table about some  potential customers stating that Acrylix stamps only last 5 years, were poorly made and because of that they were going to stick to rubber stamps.  This got me to thinking so I did some research.

First off I need to post a disclaimer:
Parts of this post contain information from other blogs and some photos that were taken from the CTMH catalogs.  I found "pros and cons" and will try to explain both during this blog post. I will not post the names of the blogs this information came from.  No names will be used. 

I have been consultant for 9 years so I have some perspective that CTMH stamps do in fact last longer than 5 years. That phrase made me giggle but then during my research I found other mis - truths that were mind boggling.

Here goes:

Myth:


Acrylix Stamps can deteriorate easily:  

No! 
In the blog photo she showed a photo of a melted clear stamp stating that it had been stored in a shed.  She stated that Acrylix stamps had to be kept in special containers away from light and cold.

My Experience:


I keep my stamps in the envelopes they come in from CTMH but I also keep them in a tower of drawers that are clear.





I scrap with the blinds open, or closed.  The window open or closed.  I have scrapped when the heat has been out or when the A/C has been broken with no worries about how I am "storing" my stamps.

I have a couple stamps that I use so much that they live on the block and never come off.  When I bought the stamp I bought a block for it to live on.

One time I had a stamp sitting on my self healing map on the grid because I was getting a measurement.  I left the room to go make a cup of coffee and forgot I had a unmounted stamp sitting on the mat.  Yep I set my HOT cup of coffee right on top of that stamp then spent about 10 minutes looking for where I put the stamp because I knew I had it somewhere before my coffee was cool enough for me to take a sip and thus finding my lost stamp image.
There was NO damage to that stamp image... NONE! 

I have never had a stamp get crusty or hard. I have had stamps in the trunk of my car during a Texas summer that have never melted. 

 I have had them get furry but that is only when the cat sits on them while I am working.  A little soap and water and the cat fur comes right off. 

I recently found a stamp that I have been kicking myself for not ordering when it was in the catalog.  It was in the catalog in 2007!


This is a photo out of that catalog.  I bought a used stamp just a couple of weeks ago from a sister consultant sight unseen because I knew it would be in perfect condition.  I was not disappointed.
I was so happy with that stamp that I wrote this note on the storage envelope
"Do NOT Sell - LOVE THIS STAMP!!!
The stamp is 7 years old and very used. 

Myth:


You must keep them in a container away from light and in your house to keep them from discoloring. 

My Experience:


Let me show you one of my favorite stamps.


This stamp is from the CTMH Spring catalog 2011.  It is only 3 years old - not the oldest in my stash but not the newest.  Every image on this stamp has been used.

What do you see?

A  coupe of clear images
A couple of pink images
A red image 
A purple image

Why?  

Is it because I store them in clear drawers, or because I forgot to clean my stamps immediately?  Nope.  These stamps are clean.

Acrylix stamps sometimes stain with use.  There is no rhyme or reason  why -  they just do.  In fact I like the that they stain with use.  Have you ever dropped a clear stamp and not been able to find it?  If there is a slight stain you will be able to see where it is.


Brand new stamps on new blocks


Well loved stamp on a well loved block

Now some might say that CTMH inks stain the stamps but that is not the case.
I have used the following types of inks on my stamps.

Staz - On
Archival inks
Water Based inks
Alcohol inks
Versamark

Staz - On is sure to stain your stamps even with the Staz - On cleaner because it "STAYS ON"  That is what it is supposed to do.  As you can see even with a well loved dark purple staining (probably from Staz -on) My stamp is still clear and I can still see my stamp for placement.

Myth:

Loss of Stickiness

My Experience:

If the cat sits on my stamps they will not stick on the block. 
 Seriously... She stated that over time Acrylix stamps get dusty and loose their "stickiness" and will be difficult to stick to your block.

It is simple, if your stamps starts to feel like it is not sticking as well as it used to just give it a quick wash with a tiny bit of soap and a rinse with water. Dry the stamp and continue to play.
This is no big deal. 

Myth:

You must clean your stamps right away and every time you use them.

My Experience:

Well you should clean your stamps as soon as you are finished with them but sometimes life gets in the way.  It is ok if you forget to clean your stamps.  You can use a stamp cleaner spray and scrubber or simply wash with soap and water.  The stamp might be stained but that is ok.

Here is my favorite Myth:

Won't last long
"Acrylix stamps will not last long because they have not been designed to."
" If you really like a stamp and want it forever, buy it in rubber but if you like to change your stamps like you change your clothes, acrylix are perfect."

My Experience:

Nobody and I mean nobody abuses a stamp like a professional.  CTMH is my JOB and I am paid to create.  Let me list the ways a professional scrapbooker or stamper can abuse an Acrylix stamp.

Pull it roughly off the carrier sheet
Stretch it into all kinds of unintended shapes
Use materials that are not meant for stamping like household bleach and paint
Cut them apart to make smaller background stamps or separate sentiments
Step on them (on accident)
Sit coffee on them (on accident)
Leave them in hot cars in the summer
Leave them in cars during ice storms
Use them outdoors in all weather during craft fairs
Have a cat chew on them

This is all of the ways I personally have abused my stamps and they all still work like new.  They only ones that show "damage" are the ones that I used a craft knife and cut on purpose.  Even when the cat was chewing on the stamps - there were no teeth marks. I have never had a stamp image tear when taking it off the carrier sheet or tear when I am bending or stretching the stamp for a project.  
Getting the paint off was a challenge but a toothbrush came in handy for that one and the stamp is still in my collection and still gets used. 

 (BTW - if you are wondering, yes the cat likes to help me create sometimes)

Now that you know just how functional Acrylix stamps are feel free to go out into the world and create until your heart is content.

Tomorrow I will post about stamping basics for those that need a refresher course.  I learned some new things while doing my research and want to share them with you.




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ribbon Revelry - Update SOLD OUT

As of 11:30 am the ribbon is SOLD OUT!



During the month of October, with each qualifying purchase of $50 USD/$55 CAD 
you are eligible to receive—as a special bonus—one of two chevron ribbons FREE! 

Each chevron ribbon—Ruby or Outdoor Denim—has an original retail value of 
$6.95 USD/$7.75 CAD. 

So which ribbon will you get? 
It’s a surprise! 

Quantities are limited, so make sure to place your orders as early in the month as possible. 
Be sure to take advantage of this fantastic offer so you can enjoy embellishing your 
creations with your own surprise roll of bonus ribbon! 

Chevron Ribbon Inventory
 20% left   


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It Is A Craft Fair Time Of Year


Come One - Come All

I am honored to be a vendor at the:

First United Methodist Church Allen
Women in Misson Fall Bazaar

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! 


The entire church gets transformed into a craft fair lovers paradise.  It is a fantastic way to get a jump on your Christmas shopping all in one place.

I will be in the Gym - in my favorite spot and this year I have even more cards ready to sell. Last year I almost sold out of cards and did sell out of catalogs.

All handmade cards - $2.00 each
Current 2014 / 2015 CTMH catalogs  - $3.00 each 
(that is a 50% savings) 
Expired CTMH catalogs  - Free

If you have not ordered your catalog online now is the time to come by and get one for 50% off the the price of the catalog.


WHERE IS THE CHURCH LOCATED?


FUMC Allen is located at 601 S Greenville Ave Allen, TX 75002 with entrances from both Greenville Ave and S Jupiter  Rd. 

Running Low On Supplies?


About every six months or so I take a peek at my customer book to see who might be needing to re-stock their scrapbooking supplies.  I have been a busy girl today getting postcards ready to send out to those of you that have not placed an order this year... just as a reminder.

If you get a postcard with the above logo on it, then it is me just letting you know that it has been awhile since you have placed an order.

If you do not have the new 2014 / 2015 CTMH catalog you can view a copy online AND add one to your order to be mailed directly to you from the corporate office.  

There are so many new products and I do not want you to miss out on being able to play with the papers, stamps, embellies, cards, and Cricut carts (Oh my!) 

My friends the above list does not even come close to everything in the new catalog - you have to see it and place an order to be amazed.


As you can see my room is a mess today.  I am getting the postcards ready to mail  out, I have a layout that I am still working on and two boxes of catalogs that I am prepping.  

I am having a fabulous day! 
 Want to come play?