Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dry Emboss Workshop

Well, tax season is winding up.  Monday is the last day for Canadians to file personal taxes.  Appears to me that, on my workshop schedule, I have a workshop planned for next Saturday.  What was I thinking - not giving myself more of a breather after taxes?  How will I be ready?!

Well, one of the sample cards is made.  A second sample is 90% made.  The third sample is still parked in my head (plus a hastily made sketch).  After I get the samples done, then I have to proliferate them in to kits.  There will be some busy nights this week, but I'm sure I can be ready!

This is the first one.  (I actually used the same layout with a different embellishment and sentiment for a birthday card for my Dad too.)  I love this embossing folder from Stampin' Up! that I bought from my cousin's wife who is a demonstrator (see her blog).  It gives such a deep and rich impression.  On the second card, we'll be using some other stamped images and on the third... I don't know yet!

For those readers who will be in attendance, please read on for your materials list.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fantastic 'Phants!

One of my nephews is having his first birthday in May.  My sister hand made all of her invitations.  (It isn't a big too-doo, so we're not talking 50+ invitations or anything but still up to 20 maybe.)  She's been loving her Promarker AquaMarkers by Letraset that she picked up at Scrapfest Kitchener.  She used them to colour this elephant stamp by Hot off the Press.

I can see this little guy done in all kinds of colours: yellow, purple, grey, brown, even a white elephant with just some very faint blue or grey accent lines might look great on an all white card.  Even a pink elephant would work for girls.  I like that elephants are gender neutral and you choose to dress up the surroundings can make it more feminine or masculine.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Little Treasure Box

Okay, so maybe I'm a little jealous of my sister getting awesome new stamps.  I had put some stamps in my favourites on Etsy for a while but never had any money to buy them.  Along came my custom fairy order and, voila, new stamps for me!

A Day for Daisies on Etsy has an excellent flow in all of her images.  Maybe it's just me, but the way they are illustrated reminds me of the Beatrix Potter books and other old-fashioned story books.  I am mesmerised by the one I have used here, "Skirt of Flowers".  It is incredibly elegant.

Click Image for Larger View

So, I decided it would make a perfect pair with my new die cuts that I got at Scrapfest!  I got a matchbox die and I've been meaning to make one of these boxes for a couple of years.  I kept telling myself that I could make the matchbox - that I didn't need a die - but it is truly faster to crank something through the die cutting machine when you are making multiples rather than make them from scratch.  So, I caved.  And, boy, am I glad!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kitchener ScrapFest 2011

This year I attended the Kitchener ScrapFest. I don’t usually make any weekend plans in April. Being a Chartered Accountant in an accounting firm usually comes with a few working weekends in April’s tax time. This year, however, my sister was anxious to check out the merchants and maybe snag a deal on a manual die cutting machine. So, off we went! The area for vendors is the same size as the area for crops. BOTH areas were full!

I took a picture of the booths for the stores where I regularly shop. There’s a third store about 45 minutes from home that was in attendance but I only shop there once in a while and they didn’t bring a lot of product. They were hosting a make and take mostly. I didn’t take a picture.

The first one is Scrapalicious. I ordered a couple new metal dies from them and asked them to bring them to the show since we would both be there. Their booth was full of stuff. I love the examples they have on display in the store and the booth had some I hadn’t seen before.

One person was doing a demonstration with microfine glitter, outline stickers and Copic markers. I didn’t realize Copics could also transfer colour to transparent glitter. I didn’t watch all of the demonstration because I was anxious to pick up my package first.

The other store I frequent is Scrapbook Queens. I really liked that the people who worked in the booth all wore glitter crowns so it was easy to tell who worked there and who didn’t. The Scrapalicous workers all wore the same pink sweater too (pink is the colour of the store’s custom cupake logo.)

Sometimes it’s the little things that matter in your booth! For example, I also saw a booth where the entire floor was covered with those foam square puzzle-piece type mats. I’ll bet that helped the workers A LOT because standing on a concrete floor all day is hard on your feet and your back. They make those squares in colours, black or grey, so you could choose to have it blend in with the floor or choose to colour co-ordinate it with your booth.

TWO booths included paper quilling goods. I was surprised. I bought a circle sizer, an ABC guide and some strips. These are real and proper quilling strips which I have not had the luxury of working with before. After tax season, I will be playing around with them for sure!

The highlight of the day was a new (or new-to-me) stamp maker: The Artful Stamper. They had both detailed/realistic designs and some whimsical ones too. The level of detail in the stamps is stunning and the designs are just beautiful. Some of the samples were to die for, but I recognized that there was A LOT of X-acto knife work done to cut out and layer most of them. One of their artists was there who was also launching her own line of stamps. Her name is Ryn Tanaka and her line is Designs by Ryn. (I guess I was meant to meet her because I have named some of my characters and one art drawing “Ryn”. It was my way of feminizing my husband’s name, Ryan. It’s the only Ryn I had ever heard of before today!)

My sister fell in love with one of her several humming bird stamps. We decided to keep the booth in mind and, after we got what we came for, if there was money left-over, that’s where it was going!

Besides a manual die-cutter, my sister was looking for Tombow markers which are watercolour markers. We couldn’t find any at all! She did do a make’n’take with Crayola water colour markers. They are a “direct-to-stamp” technique. It was so easy, the kids can do it! Still, we were hunting for Tombows to have something to compare. Then, I happened to spy some Pro-Markers that said “AquaPainters” on them. Sure enough, they are watercolour markers. The booth owner kindly showed us how they worked and my sister was sold! They were EXACTLY what she needed!

Forget the manual die-cutter – she scooped up a set of AquaPainters and we skadoodled back to The Artful Stamper and she snagged the hummingbird (and a cute santa kitty. I picked up a fairy and some mushrooms for the background.) As soon as we got home she started colouring. She was all smiles and joy the whole time. Here is her work-in-progress. The reeds are an embossing folder I have from Quickutz. She coloured them in with the AquaPainters. Then she stamped and coloured the hummingbird and cut out all around it. When these pieces go on a finished card, the bird will be popped out with foam tape. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

Me, I have plans for my new die cut shapes. If those plans ever get carried out, I’ll be sure to post them! If you would like to go to ScrapFest too, there's another one in Oshawa in October.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A New Journey - Sailboat Cards

Some time ago, two employees left our firm - both male.  Boy, is it ever hard to come with cards for men.  The two most manly designs I have in my handmade paper die cut arsenal are my sailboat and my train engine.  Both represent going places, so I figured they would work for a card like this.  I chose the sailboat die cut.

I was looking at the scroll that I made for tea cup steam and thought, if I turned it sideways, it looks like wave crests.  I think it turned out kind of neat for the waves.  I also used sanding on a bubble embossed background.  If you use sandpaper, that makes it more manly, right?  (tee hee)  I made the sentiment on my Boss Kut Gazelle electronic cutter too.

Just a reminder to Canadians - it's April now!  That means.... TAX TIME!  Remember that your personal tax filing deadline is April 30th.  Even if you made no income or your income is less than the basic personal exemption, it is important to file.  You can get a basic refund or other credits.  If you have income but it is less than the basic personal exemption, or if you are in full time qualifying post-secondary school, filing will create tax pools for you: your RRSP deduction limit pool or your tuition and education credits pool, respectively.

The moral is: every adult has to file.  So just do it!.

Lastly, as an update, the Shutter Card Worskhop generated $40 for the Southern Ontario Animal Rescue.  I have updated the blog post with a link to an instructional video I found on Splitcoast Stampers for those of you who want to try it too!