Exciting News

I mentioned that I had a revised business plan and some news to come in a future post … well, today is the future.

Although I am continuing with Candy Scraps, I am going to be helping another scrapbook vendor, Bayview Scrappers, with videos, samples and classes. It’s a perfect collaboration and I am excited about this new venture.

Bayview Scrappers is made up of Cheryl, Lori and Peter. They offer a full-service paper-crafting store on wheels … literally the largest I have seen. They offer paper, stickers, stamps, dies, stencils, ink, adhesive, albums and all of the usual stuff. If it’s new, on trend or unique, they carry it. But they also do photo printing and enlargements and album embossing all on site. Based in Traverse City, they travel around Michigan and also hold crops in the Traverse City area.

They have lots of plans and ideas to grow, but there is too much work for just the three of them, so they asked me to help out with the things I love to do. Since I’ve been sending customers to their booth quite a bit already (I hate for someone to have to wait for something when another vendor has it, so I often direct people to other booths), I was happy to help.

I’m going to start by working with stamps and Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pens. Lori first introduced me to the pens and I totally fell in love with them. Now I’m completely engrossed in the research-and-development stage — watching videos, trying techniques, practicing blending and following through on the “I wonder what would happen if …” stuff.

I put together a quick video as a test … to see how my new tripod works and to see how the coloring would show up. So, it’s not perfect, but here it is … please let me know what you like/don’t like and what should be changed. I want to create the best possible videos for Bayview Scrappers!

Click here to watch me color Riley in the Tree

Stamping Shrink Plastic

It is Thursday (or will be in the morning) and time for another technique.

This week, we are returning to shrink plastic to learn a few additional ways to decorate it — namely with rubber stamps and Copic Sketch markers. (If you would like to learn how shrink plastic works, click here to read the last Technique Thursday post.)

Many recommend lightly sanding the plastic so it accepts ink. Personally, I never have good luck with this method. I’m not sure if I sand too much or not enough, but I always end up with scratches on my plastic that are visible after shrinking and through my ink.

Instead, I like to work with products that easily adhere to the plastic. StazOn is perfect for these techniques, but Ranger Archival Ink in black will also work if it is heat set. The trick is to heat the ink enough to make it permanent, but not enough to shrink the plastic. Usually, if you hold the heat gun farther from the plastic, you can accomplish this. Of course, if you don’t plan to color the image, you can set it and shrink it at the same time!

The ability to use rubber stamps on shrink plastic opens up a whole new world of options to add to your cards, scrapbook pages and jewelry. You may wish to practice stamping on a piece of packaging plastic or similar smooth surface before stamping on shrink plastic. The surface is slippery and your stamp will want to dance along the plastic, which will create a blurry image. So, I brace my elbows on the table and very carefully place the stamp on the plastic and then just as carefully lift it back off without allowing it to move sideways. You do not have to push on the stamp the way you do when stamping on paper.

For this card, I used a background stamp by Wendy Vecchi of Studio 490 to decorate the tag I cut out of shrink plastic with a Tim Holtz/Sizzix die. The image remains clear while shrinking and can add the perfect embellishment to a card. Here’s a closer look at the tag:

I used a similar technique here, using a butterfly die cut from Sizzix and a background stamp from Studio 490. I love how tiny the pattern gets when it shrinks.

You can also stamp an image and then color it with Copic Sketch markers, although there are a few “rules” to keep in mind for this technique. First, the plastic will not allow you to blend your colors like you can on paper. Simply choose a color and use long strokes, preferably from one side of the image to the other without stopping. If you want more color, let it dry for a few minutes and then go over it again. Otherwise, you will continually smear, puddle and remove your ink.

Second, keep in mind that StazOn and Copic inks do not like each other and using them together could ruin your Copic markers. However, if you use clear shrink plastic, you can stamp on one side and color on the other. That way, your inks never touch, but you get beautiful charms like this:

This is an image from Flower Soft. If you click on the image so you can see it larger, you will see some streaks in color. That happens and you just have to accept it as part of the charm of this technique.

Here’s another I did using a Riley stamp. With the addition of a swivel clasp by Tim Holtz, this will make an adorable zipper pull for my nephew.

But, there is more than one way to color with Copics. One of my favorite techniques is to use the Copic Airbrush System to spray on the color.

On this card, I used Tim Holtz/Sizzix dies to cut out the images, airbrushed them and then shrank them. But, since Copic inks are transparent, you could also stamp an image in black and it will be visible after airbrushing it.

Then, I got a bit carried away and came up with this …

Since I wanted a varied color, I sprayed the plastic with three different yellow/orange hues. Then, I used a template by The Crafters Workshop to airbrush the leaves and bugs in place. I didn’t do anything fancy — just held the template where I wanted it and sprayed it in green. I wasn’t worried if I had any overspray — I figured it would add to the organic nature. Then, I shrunk the plastic and added a strip of cardstock to make a mini book.

I did have a bit of an issue … when I put an acrylic block on top of the heated image to flatten it, some of the ink stuck to the block. When I did the back piece, I tried it upside down. I didn’t get any ink on my block, but I did get some on my nonstick craft sheet. You can see the little speckles where the ink was removed in the photo above, but I think it adds to the earthiness of the piece, don’t you?

Now, it is time for you to try these techniques for yourself. I will be at Capture A Memory in Flint Township from 2-6 p.m. Thursday so you can try rubber stamping, coloring or air brushing on shrink plastic for yourself. I’ll also have all of these samples, and a few more, with me, so you can get a closer look and ask any questions you may have. Hope to see you there!

Up in the Air

The newest release from Riley and Company features Riley in a hot-air balloon.

As everyone knows, I am crazy for hot-air balloons, so I had to have this stamp.

One thing I love about it is that the envelope of the balloon (the colored part at the top) is completely blank, so you can put in words or images or design it however you like.

For this card, I used two stamps from Wendy Vecchi, Studio 490. I stamped Riley twice … on one image, I colored and cut him out. I used a few colors in the BG family to coincide with this week’s challenge at iCopic.

On the second, I stamped the envelope, colored it, and added it to the top of the first image with pop dots. Then, I attached the entire thing with additional pop dots, so it has lots of dimension.

The background is Tim Holtz Distress Ink Coredinations embossed with one of his textured folders. I then sanded the top and then went back in with Distress Ink to color some of the sanded areas. This gave me a variety of colors and textures on the background.

The hills were cut by hand and then inked in Distress Ink.

The saying stamp is from Stampin’ Up.

As a final touch, I added a bit of Liquid Pearls.

The entire card is much brighter than it is showing … I’ve tried scanning and taking a picture and it just isn’t working. Normally my husband photographs these for me, so I apologize for the dull colors. It really is bright and cheerful in person!

I love Riley

I love Riley, this adorable moose originally created by Hannah Stamps. Riley is now created (and sold) by Riley & Company.

Riley does everything — he drives, swims, plays Santa and more. I have dozens of Riley stamps and I always want more.

This week on Riley’s blog, there is a challenge to create a project using Riley in Love. And, on the iCopic blog, there is a challenge to use a heart on your creation. So, I decided to combine the two and I came up with this:

This is one of my favorite Riley stamps because a friend gave it to me.

Since I planned to give this card to my husband, I wanted to make it extra special, so I combined several techniques.

I used one of the Tim Holtz/Sizzix texture folders to emboss the red cardstock. Then, I used Fired Brick Distress Ink to highlight the texture.

I stamped Riley on X-Press It Blending Card with Memento Ink and colored him in with Copic Sketch Markers. Then, I matted both the textured background and Riley in black cardstock.

Next, I used Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive to attach black ric-rac ribbon and some pleated black ribbon from Maya Road to the front of the card. Then, with the Tiny Attacher, I stapled on this awesome beaded ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby.

Since the staples really stood out, I colored them with N9, which helps disguise them in the ribbon.

I cut the heart out of red cardstock with a Lifestyle Crafts die and stamped I Love You on it. I used Pop Dots to attach it.

Finally, I covered the heart in Rock Candy Distress Stickles and the card and center of the flower in Fired Brick Distress Stickles.

Here are the supplies I used …

My husband loved the card … what do you think?

Thanksgiving Challenge

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. It has been a rough one and without the support of my family and friends, I am not sure it would have been manageable.

So, I have been making quite a few thank you cards lately to send to a few people to let them know how much they helped.

And since, the iCopic Weekly Challenge is to make a thank you or Thanksgiving card, I thought I would share this one …

My husband’s camera is out of commission for the moment, so I scanned this instead. The colors might be a little off, but I think you can see enough to get the idea.

I stamped Riley on X-Press It Blending Card with Memento Ink and then colored him in with Copic Sketch markers.

The papers I layered are from Reminisce, the ribbon is from American Crafts (stapled with the Tiny Attacher), cardstock from my scrap bag and brads from my stash. The card that I used is from DCWV.

Although you can’t see it very well, there is one great new technique I discovered. You can make a metallic looking gold color (like the buckle on Riley’s hat) by coloring with  Y28 and then going over it with at you Spica in clear. Very cool!!


ABC: Autumn Birthday Card

The CMC Copic Challenge Group’s new challenge is to create a Halloween or fall card using Copic markers.

Since I love Riley, I immediately reached for a Riley stamp and came up with this …

The paper is from Moxxie and cardstock is from American Crafts. I also used a stamp from Imaginisce and a few brads from my stash. Can’t you just picture Riley playing “Happy Birthday” on his banjo?!

It was as easy as ABC …

Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination

I love this stamp from Wendy Vecchi. It describes my outlook on life — enjoying the moment, rather than just the final goal.

Anyhow, I used the stamp to make this card for Glue Dots.

 I started by layering papers by Little Yellow Bicycle onto a plain white card. I stamped the Wendy Vecchi saying onto a circle and then trimmed it to fit. Everything is attached with Ultra Thin Glue Dots.

Next, I stamped Riley on Cryogen paper and colored it with Copic Markers. I cut it out and used Pop Up Glue Dots to adhere the image with a bit of dimension.

Then, to add a bit of fun, I applied a Glue Line to the bottom corner and covered it with red Sparkly Fluff. I did the same technique, but used Mini Glue Dots on  the right side of the card.

Everything is Lush …

I loved the Lush line by My Mind’s Eye when it came out the first time … It is basic enough to work with anything, is priced lower than many similar elements without sacrificing quality and it is beautiful!

So, I was thrilled when I learned it was coming back in new colors.

Here are just a few things I made with the new turquoise line …

This is one of my favorite photos of my daughter and I. It was taken at the Detroit Zoo, in front of my favorite statue, on what turned out to be a great day together. All of the products are from My Mind’s Eye.

This one is on flocked paper … it tells the story of our first Christmas without kids. In addition to My Mind’s Eye, I used Cricut to cut out the 2, cardstock, stamps from Hero Arts and the Tiny Attacher to help hold everything in place.

Finally, I made this card using American Crafts cardstock, a journaling block from My Mind’s Eye, and a Riley stamp, colored with Copic. I love Riley!

In love with Copic

I knew once I tried Copic markers, I would have to have them.
So, for more than a year, I ignored my friends whenever they offered to let me use their markers. I told myself I didn’t need another product that was the latest trend, nor did I need one that worked best on special paper.
And then I kept looking at all of those beautiful stamped images colored in with Copic markers and I decided maybe it was OK just to look.
Well, there are some products you cannot just look at without knowing deep down inside that you must have them.
It happened to me when the store was having too good of a sale to pass up and I decided to indulge.
It took me several months to build up a collection that I could work with, but I have yet to regret my decision. In fact, I have purchased more stamps that I never would have bought before Copic to go with my markers.
At first, I spent time coloring to relax. Then, I started making a few projects, like the Riley card above, using a rubber stamp, a die by Dies Direct and Copic markers.
Granted, I am not as good as the person who taught me, but I am impressed with my personal results. I have tried several different types of markers, colored pencils, paint, watercolor pencils, chalk pencils and chalk to attempt to color in stamped images of the years and never had the success I have with Copic. In fact, my lack of skills caused me to stop stamping most images years ago.
My latest satisfaction came when making this card …

The flower that goes across the middle of the card was made with a Bo Bunny stamp. I used Copic markers to match the colors in the paper.
The coolest thing is I don’t own any of those bright colors. I simply lightly layered my Copic colors until I came up with colors that matched perfectly.
Then, because all things should sparkle, I added some Stickles to the top.