Friday, June 29, 2007

Adventures with Acrylic Paint

Adventures with Acrylic Paint

Well, this one is kind of complex, so it warrented a blog to explain the steps. Nearly all the materials for this layout came from this June's scrapgoods kit, as did the technique used for the background paper.

First, I used a punch to get the flower outline shape. I punched about 6 of them with some heavy cardstock. Then I applied temporary adhesive to the back and let it dry to sticky. I laid it on the dark blue cardstock and used the cloud blue Adarondak paint dobber to dab over the mask. I lifted the mask up with an exacto knife and repositioned and continued. No, I didn't cover the whole thing, only a 2" band around the outside because that is where people would see.

Next I cut the two large background papers and inked the edges with denim distress ink. Then I applied them to the layout. I stamped the flourish with staz-on. I dyed the square brads blue by rolling silver ones on the staz-on pad (I'm slowly collecting the whole line cause they are so darn useful).

This monogram is kind of detailed. It is a clear on printed on transparency. I turned it over and took a paint brush dipped in water based acrylic varnish and then dipped it in pearl ex. You'll need to mix it a bit on a scrap piece of transparency but it only takes about one drop of varnish and one to two dips in the pearl ex to create enough to do the whole job. Then I painted it into the areas of the transparency. Be sure to DO THIS ON THE BACK of the image as the black parts of the image will be on top of the pearl ex and the detail will be far better (plus, you don't have to be as careful). Next, after it dried, it needed to be protected or it would chip off. So, I laid the entire transparency piece on one of those ultra tacky tape sheets and cut it out. I had my transparency "sticker" and I applied it to the layout.

This one was a lot of work and has a lot of detail. It's so me. I love to work all kinds of subtle details into a layout. And this one was a challenge because I didn't like how the school too horizontal pictures that left all that white space. Ugh. I had to fill it. White space tends to make me anxious. I once subscribed the simple scrapbooks magazine and sent the invoice back with a note: "too simple for me." LOL. I wish I were a simpler scrapper, but I'm driven by my art to do ones like this.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Easter Bunny Layout

Here's one of my latest creations. I'll do a step by step discussion of how I did this. Most of the materials used in this layout came from the fabulous scrapgoods June scrapgoods kit. It's so lovely.

The first step was to create the swirly background. I use a sketch from a sketch artist on a board I know. Here is a link to the sketch: and here is a link to her sketch blog: I turned her sketch on it's side to make it suit my photo.

Then I did the background by taking a template from club scrap and "tapping" adirondack "cloudy blue" acrylic paint though it. When it dried, I took a glue pen and hand penned a line on the swirl and sprinkled it with glitter.

For the flowers, I used a stamp from scrapgoods and used yellow embossing powder that came with the June EP101 kit. I embossed them on vellum and cut them out. In this detail picture, I stacked two of the large flowers, added a button, and tied it all together with silk ribbon.

For the faux "ribbon" on the right bottom of the layout, I used the dymo-style tape new from hot off the press with their new embossing tool. I cut the end into a swallow tail pattern. For the "button," I took a plain silver 1/2" brad and coated it in ultramarine staz-on. Then I dipped it in molten UTTE and then into microbeads.

For my final close up, I'd like to talk about the title. I took a stampin up alphabet and inked it with Versamagic "aegean blue" and then stamped it onto a dry swirly background stamp. Then I stamped it on a heavy, glossy white chipboard and cut out the letters, leaving a white border. I coated the letters in glossy effects glue. I made the "easter" tag out of shrink plastic. I used an angel company alpha to stamp the letters.

I hope you enjoy this layout!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Stamping Backgrounds

Stamping Scrapbook Backgrounds
Since I started out a stamper and then became a scrapper, stamping and scrapping always seemed to be joined for me. In fact, in the beginning, I seldom used pattern paper.

This is an example from my beginning work and typical of it. First, I stamped the background. Then I used the same stamp to stamp the accents or embellishments. I used the same set to create a paper "ribbon" border also. It's simple, but I still love the fresh green and white color scheme and the emphasis on the pictures.

This is a recent layout. It might be hard to see, but I stamped the large blue card stock with a darker blue image all over. I'm not much for a lot of "white space" but all over stamping seems to break up that blank area and give it a bit more visual texture.

In this layout, the background stamping is a bit more sophisticated. I stamped the background with leaves and watercolored them in... I used the same flower stamps to create the embellishments over the text block.

This is one of my favorite layouts. It is my scrapbooking manifesto layout. I used a lot of simple collage stamping and masking to create the backgrounds and title blocks.

This is a very recent layout. The background stamping is subtle. They blue-grey strip of card stock going down the middle of each side has stamping. I used the same stamp as I used in the giant ampersand and the accent circle. I love the way I used the same stamp in background and in accents. It really helps tie the whole thing together.

For my last layout in this blog, I have included one where I took a fairly sophisticated stamping technique and made a background paper. I love this layout of my Grandma's wedding. The gold tones in this background paper makes this layout very special. Generally when I do this, I just make one large sheet of background paper and then cut it up and use it like regular pattern paper. If you want to learn more about these more advanced stamping techniques, I would refer you to Technique Junkies Newsletter. It is a great resource for learning more stamping techniques.

I hope this has shown the range of ways you can use stamps to create backgrounds, from stamping all the background to stamping just a bit to help tie the layout together. What I love about stamped backgrounds is that they are often less busy than background paper. As I've grown more sophisticated in my work, I find that I am mixing pattern paper with stamping more and more. I like the balance and contrast that it offers me as a scrapbooker.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Creating Your Own Embellishments

Making your own Embellishments with Stamping

One thing I love about stamping is that it allows me to create my own embellishments that are inexpensive, match my layout perfectly, and are completely personal and creative. I tend to buy only plain embellishments: plain tags, plain brads, plain slide mounts, plain chip board. Then I modify them to fit my layout, usually with stamping techniques. Some embellishments are very simple, like this little tag. I just wanted a little accent, so I puddled embossing powder and stamped into it.

Here's a copy of the layout in full. As you can see, I did very little stamping overall. Just the tag here and the title. I almost always stamp the titles of my layouts because I have tons of alphabet fonts (they can be inexpensive if you know where to buy them ;) ).

The only other kinds of titles I usually make are chipboard. This stuff is addictive. It is just my kind of embellishment. Simple and cheap and easy to alter. On these title letters, I painted the chipboard with acrylic paint, then I stamped the snowflake in a vanilla craft ink. After that I added 2 layers of Ultra Thick Embossing powder, then glitter and a third layer of UTEE. How I did this was when the second layer had cooled, I inked heavily with versamark, then I sprinkled on the glitter and then added more UTEE. Then I heated the whole thing. The glitter became embedded in the UTEE.

As you can see, I also stamped the little tag at the top. I just stamped the words and inked the edges with distress ink. Simple.

Here's the layout in it's completion. Again, the stamping is a subtle but important addition for me. Could you get this look without stamping? Perhaps... but I love the feel of paper crafts and stamping and just getting my pinkies inky.

This next example may look hard, but in fact it was very easy. Layering stamped images has become all the rage in the stamping world and that's all I did here. On these slide mounts, I started by painting them with acrylic paint. Then I stamped the words with different "christmasy" phrases in red craft ink. Then, I took a stripe and stamped with a gold ink over the top. It's kind of hard to see in this example, but you can kind of see it in the "ho, ho, ho" slide mount.

Here's the layout as a whole. The slide mounts and the title are the only stamping you'll see here. I think you can see a theme here.... I'm trying to learn how to incorporate pattern paper into my scrapping right now and I'm doing less stamping of backgrounds. I used to have only cardstock and stamp it all, but lately I've been working more and more with pattern paper. I do still occasionally stamp backgrounds, but that is a topic for another blog.

In this example, I needed two focal points. The top photo shows altered brads. I stamped white brads with Staz-on, then I rubbed it around a bit before it dried to give it a distressed look. I sanded some and finally I sealed them with sealing spray (which frankly had a solvent base and thus further gave the staz-on a "distressed" look... next time I'll use UTEE to seal them).

The altered tag has several things to note. First, I painted a simple chipboard tag. Then I added a little strip of pattern paper at the bottom. I stamped all over with a flourish in chalk ink (I think). Then I added the brads at the bottom. For these brads, I used regular cheap school brads and painted them with acrylic paint and stamped with brown Staz-on. For these, I sealed with diamond glaze. Not the best choice as the water base of the diamond glaze tended to destabilise the acrylic paint. Next time UTEE. The dragon fly was part of the awesome pattern paper I was using. I cut it out of the paper and put it on the tag so that it could be a focal point. That dragonfly made me buy the paper and I needed it to be prominent in the end product!

Here's the layout in completion. I love this layout so much with the combination of pattern papers. I made this one out of scraps from other project! That made it even more special to me.

This will be my last example... and it is sophisticated in it's use of stamps. This is from a middle period of my scrapping (a couple of years ago), when I still hadn't really learned to use pattern paper. I pretty much stamped everything. As you can see, I stamped the twill here with craft ink. But more notably, I made this title with something that is called "faux weathered metal" technique. I took plain chipboard and painted it with a rusty brown color. Then, using versamark, I stamped the title with UTEE. I used a versamarker to crate the line border and again, used UTEE. The UTEE is important as if you use it without layering it, it is kind of nobby and inconsistent. Then I painted it with three layers of cream acrylic paint. Then I rubbed off the paint with a wet towel to expose the letters and make the edges seem distressed. These are so cool in real life. I just love them.

Here's the layout as a whole. If you look carefully, you will see that I stamped plain white paper with vanilla ink to create the background paper behind the focal photo also.

Honestly, I'm still learning. In my early layouts, I tended to stamp an image and color it in and that was my embellishment. I still love those layouts, but I find I'm becoming more sophisticated in my use of stamps... finding ways to mimic expensive embellishments yet making them my own and making them perfect for my layout. I hope you find this useful... whoever you may be.