Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fiddling with Watercoloring #TGIF06

So I feel I should issue a disclaimer: watercoloring isn't my favorite technique out there. In fact, there are tons of watercoloring techniques I haven't had the guts to attempt. I'm sure there is some kind of psychological connection with OCD and messes...I don't like to have stuff all over my hands. Which makes no sense for a crafty girl who sells Stampin' Up, but whatever. :) 

So when TGIF Challenges issued the weekly challenge of watercolors, I really wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. I scoured the internet for ideas (okay, maybe I just zipped through the technique page on Splitcoaststampers) and decided to try the technique where you add ink to an embossing folder, spritz it with water, then close it over watercolor paper. just don't even want to know the mess I made. Seriously. I'm glad that I at least had the sense to start this project in the bathroom sink, or my husband would have put ME in the doghouse for getting little bits of ink everywhere when I spritzed the embossing folder with my spritzer filled with water. Seriously.

I learned some valuable lessons here after wasting probably half a bottle of a reinker. Do NOT drip the ink directly into the embossing folder. DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT. It goes everywhere. And when you spritz that with water...the little droplets of water take ink all over your bathroom. I had to clean the sink, counter, walls, hands looked like a wonderful background for a Picasso painting. It was impressive.

So here are my first three attempts at this technique. I'm keeping it real, folks. It doesn't always come naturally, and stamping can get messy. But lord almighty, I was having fun and surprised with my shrieks and giggles at the mess that I didn't wake up my kids. 

The lop left was the first one. It did okay, but I wanted less Blackberry Bliss and more Hello honey. So I did the top right one. I seriously have no idea what went wrong here...I'm just assuming I was trigger-happy with the spritzer and wetted it too much. The bottom one...oh that was just a mess. So much extra ink dripping everywhere. I wetted the paper afterward trying to get it to calm the heck down, and just made even more of a mess.

So I was almost ready to wave the white flag when I decided to just take the dang ink pads and rub them against the sorta wet embossing folder. HALLELUJAH!!! Just the look I was going for! Fourth times a charm, right? Sheesh.

So here's the takeaway: ink pads-good, reinkers-bad. Don't give up. Clean up the mess before your husband goes to bed. 

All in all, a very fun challenge for me, and it truly was a challenge. But I learned a new technique and went through an entire package of watercolor paper in the process. Worth it. 

Stamps: Perfect Pennants
Paper: Watercolor paper, Blackberry Bliss, Hello Honey, Lost Lagoon
Ink: Blackberry Bliss, Hello Honey, Lost Lagoon
Embellishments: Twine, Banners Framelits

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Life Happens

I always have the best intentions. I go months without a blog post, then post a couple and PROMISE that I'm back to blogging on a fairly consistent basis. And you know what? Life happens. It just does. Not only did I not post anything, but I went months without getting any time to get crafty! Which really bums me out, because getting an opportunity to make a card, scrapbook page, or craft project is what relaxes me and centers me. 

Earlier this year, I decided to make a distinct effort to carve out more "me" time to craft. I had been hosting monthly craft nights in the community center down the street, and suffice it to say, a lot of women in one room meant we hardly ever got anything done except gabbing. The craft nights weren't as successful as I had hoped, and I've chosen to stop them. Lots of gabbing led to lots of gossip, which led to lots of nastiness. I don't have time to craft...I'm definitely not going to take my craft time to be a part of that.

So, I approached my husband and offered up a deal. He likes to play computer games, I like to craft. There has to be some sort of barter here! I get a couple hours a week to craft, and he gets a couple hours a week to game. Win-win! Not ideal, as I'd love to spend hours and hours crafting...but I have two little boys who both really enjoy lots of momma time and attention. So I will take my two hours and ENJOY IT.

So, without further adieu, I crafted!!

This card turned out to me a little more intense and involved than I anticipated. I completed it for two challenges: 

(1) a graduation/celebration themed challenge over at TGIF Challenges,

and (2) a sketch challenge on a Facebook group called Stampin' Gals Gone Wild

I decided that I wanted to try a couple techniques I hadn't done in quite awhile. The flower is actually a bunch of scalloped circles punched out. I bent and roughed the paper up quite a bit, then slowly pulled the layers of the cardstock apart. They are held together with an old brad (its good to hoard things!). The stickers are from the Perpetual Birthday Calendar Kit, and were sponged with Coastal Cabana. The designer series paper and buttons were both part of the Sale-A-Bration catalog this year. The "Best Wishes" stamp is actually on the Remember Rotary Stamp (page 191 of the annual catalog). I really had to think outside the box with the graduation challenge, because I didn't have one "congratulations" stamp set!! How crazy is that?? I created the graduation cap by cutting the top part of the cap by hand, and then the bottom is half of a 3/4" circle punch. I added some rhinestones for a teeny bit of sparkle.

I really enjoyed completing this card. I'm loving seeing the other creations submitted to the TGIF Challenges, and they have a great design team. Its a new challenge, this being only week three. I'm excited to see where it goes...and hopefully to win or get an honorable mention in the future. :)

Want to see more? Check out Stampin' Up with Jennifer on Facebook! I post tips, new product, weekly deals, and more!

Card ingredients:
Stamps: Remember Rotary Stamp
Ink: Coastal Cabana, Basic Black
Paper: Coastal Cabana, Best Year Ever DSP (from SAB 2015)
Embellishments: letter stickers from Perpetual Birthday Calendar, Best Year Ever button/ribbon pack (from SAB 2015), white twine, rhinestones