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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Stamping, Masking, Gelli Printing: Another Favorite Background Technique!

Hello arty darlings! I wanted to let you know that I have a little tutorial up over at the Lost Coasters' Review blog on how to use gelli printing with masked stamped images to create interesting textural backgrounds in a jiffy for your fab stamped focal points!

Behold the piece ^^ I will teach you how to make! Of course you can--and should--use this technique to create your own many and varied amazing compositions.  ๐Ÿ˜œ  Go here for details, and do report back if you try this technique, because I'm dying to see what you do with it. It's SO much fun and really quite easy and quick! I must see your projects!!!!! Please link me up to them in the comments below.

Enjoy. ๐Ÿ˜€

Monday, April 3, 2017

Favorite Background Techniques: New Challenge for You at Lost Coast Designs

Hi friends! There's a new art challenge/contest up over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity--enter your art using rubber stamps (any company) featuring your favorite background technique for a chance to win badges for your blog and gift certificates for free rubber from Lost Coast Designs!

As a member of the LCD design team, I hereby present you with a project to inspire you to enter. This ATC, "Lesson 175," uses one of my very favorite background techniques: stamping and stenciling on a gelli print. I love the complexity and depth and dimension this gives to the finished piece! And of course, the delightfully weird bird-bug from LCD is just da bomb.

I'll be back later with a more in-depth look on how I made this card, but for the moment, I leave you with these pix. Hope you'll get creative and enter your art in the challenge!

And a second shot, tilted, to show the shimmer of the wings and the dimension:

As always, I look forward to your comments below letting me know that you've visited. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

How Were Those Made? Orient Enchantment Projects for Lost Coast Designs

Hello again, my stampy and mixed-media friends! Today's post will tell you how I made each of the projects that were posted to the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity as part of my design team role to inspire participation in this month's Orient Enchantment event.

Using stamps from Lost Coast Designs's India Set, I made three ATCs. The first, "Do More Than Exist," has the simplest directions...

I started with a gelli print (there's tons of information about how to make these on the Interwebz, so for space reasons let me refer you to Google if you don't already know what gelli prints are). I stamped the god from the India set directly onto it, then colored him with creamy colored pencils (leaving some of the background showing through) and with white and shimmery copper gel pens. Then I affixed stick-on copper gems to the card and outlined the pattern with more white and copper gel pen. Oh, and added a text label, of course!

For "Talk To The Hand," I scraped some white gesso onto heavy cardstock with a palette knife and let it dry. This gave a bit of texture and a nice base for the next layer. I got out some Distress Crayons, scribbled some color here and there, and blended it with my fingertip (the gesso helps the Crayons smear more evenly than they do on plain paper).

Using permanent black ink, I stamped the Calligraphy Square from Carmen's Veranda for a little background interest. Next I stamped the mehndi hand from the India Set, colored it with gel pens in fluorescent and glitter greens as well as metallic golds and white, and cut it out and collaged it to the card along with the computer-generated sentiment.

To finish the card, I scraped some black glitter paste through a stencil to get the little ball effects on the sides...added 3D dots made of shiny white Enamel Accents and metallic gold Pearl Pen...and edged the whole piece in more black glitter paste. This added dimension and texture to the finished ATC.

For "I Is For Indian Peafowl," I first stamped the peacock from the India Set onto white cardstock and masked him off, then stamped the Taj Mahal behind him and masked that off. Next I applied Distress Inks with a mini blending tool around the masked images, then used the spritz-and-flick method to forcefully apply water droplets to give a mottled effect to the ink background.

Next I stamped the Clover Scroll Border along the bottom of the ATC and embossed the image with silver powder. I colored the clover scrolls with colored pencils, and added a border of dots made with metallic blue, gold, and white gel pens.

I painted the peacock with various colors of Twinkling H2Os--the shimmer on him was amazing in real life! Since the famous mausoleum is white, I left the Taj Mahal uncolored, revealing the plain white cardstock underneath the mask.

Lastly, I stamped and embossed the capital I from the Old Typewriter Alphabet, collaged the genus label onto the card, and edged it all in black chalk ink.

And there you have three very different ATCs, but all with a touch of exotic India. As always, I welcome any questions or comments below...I love chatting with you!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

REVEALED: Secrets of Building a Rubber-Stamped Collage

Hello stamplings! Today I have a tutorial for you on how I made this zany collaged doll for the Black & White challenge over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity. You can use these same principles to help you plan and execute any sort of rubber-stamped collage.

1. Plan out the composition. 

(As this piece was always intended to be in black & white only--no color--I chose images in various degrees of texture and blackness, striving for a variety of line and pattern.) 

Gather the stamp images you'd like to use and start playing with them. You can stamp them and roughly cut them out to position them relative to each other...or sketch them on a piece of paper to approximate size...or use software such as Photoshop or InDesign to make a sketch. 

I used InDesign, layering the images on top of each other very coarsely (not removing the opaque white backgrounds from each image) just to get an idea of what I wanted to do. My sketch looked like this:

Crude, right? But that's all you need to get the job done in the planning stages.

2) Decide on your focal point. 

In all likelihood, this will be the image you stamp first--the one that appears on top of all the other layers in the collage, in the foreground. In my composition, it was the eyeglasses image.

3) Determine the order of operations.

If you have a fairly complex collage to build like this one (using more than say, three stamps), now you have to figure out the order in which you are going to stamp. The things that go behind, in the background, get stamped last. Determine what is "foreground" and what is "background," and proceed in a logical order. 

4) Using your sketch as a blueprint...start stamping! 

I recommend the use of a stamp positioner or stamp press tool such as the MISTI or the We R Memory Keepers press (which is what I used). This allows you to re-ink the stamp and get perfect coverage with subsequent impressions in case an image prints a little unevenly the first time. (When you are working on building a multi-step collage like this one, you don't want to wreck it with a faded-looking or partial print of one of the images!) These tools also allow you to place each stamp exactly where you want it to print--handy! You'll see what I mean below.

5) Cut a mask for each image as you work. 

After you stamp each image on the "real" paper, stamp off onto some scrap paper, and cut that print out to use as a mask. I used repositionable adhesive to stick down my masks precisely over each image before stamping the next layer atop it. 

TIP: Cut the masks juuuuust inside the image's outline--this avoids leaving a dreaded white halo around the masked image as you stamp over it, allowing you to get right up nice and close to abut the masked image with the image you are layering over (which will actually appear "under") it.

So! In the photo below, you can see that I stamped the eyeglasses first, then masked them off...followed by the face with hat, whose mask I placed over both the eyeglasses mask and the stamped image of the face/hat...then the viney flourish (which didn't get masked, because nothing appears behind it). Here's how the collage looked at this stage:

Leave all the masks in place as you work. It will help keep everything nice and clean in the event of a dropped ink pad or inky finger smudges. Don't ask me how I know this.

In the next pic, you can see how I placed the (uninked) body stamp right on the paper where I wanted it to print. (When you close the lid on the stamp press, the stamp clings to the lid...you ink the stamp up, the close the lid again, allowing you a precision print of your image. See the second pic below.)

I printed the doll's body (not inking the legs all the way down, since I knew I was gonna add cool stripey socks)...stamped, cut, and adhered a body mask...and continued to build the collage.

Next came the wings...here you can see them in position with the lid of the press closed, ready to make a perfect impression. (SO MY STAMP PRESS IS DIRTY DON'T JUDGE)

After this came the socks (and sock masks), then two fun borders for the doll to stand on--all of which in turn was masked off by a couple of Post-It notes, because they were easier and quicker than cutting and adhering precise custom masks (see pic below).

After the feet and borders were masked off, the area between them and the masked wings was stamped with the final background layer of loopy script.

6) Remove the masks; oooh and aaaah.

MASK REMOVAL TIME...yeah baby! The fun begins! I called my trusty 12-year-old son to help film The Big Reveal and to peel away a few masks with me. This was rather fun, seeing the composition slowly unveiled. 

Click the video here to see the final stamp collage REVEALED!

And that's it!

This technique would work great for limited edition pieces or cards...I mean, if you're going to go to all the trouble of planning an elaborate collage and cutting out a crap-ton of masks, you might as well have several "prints" to show for it...amirite?

If you have any questions whatsoever about this process, please ask me in the comments below. I will either answer there or revise this blog post if it turns out I missed some major point that you guys want to know.

Thanks as always for visiting!  ๐Ÿ’—

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Moar Inspiration for the "Orient Enchantment" challenge!

Hi stamplings! Are you ready to enter your art in the challenge/contest over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity? The theme is "Orient Enchantment"...all you need to do is submit your fab artwork using rubber stamping (any company's stamps, though entries using Lost Coast Designs rubber count double!) with an "Oriental" theme for your chance to win fun prizes, including a gift certificate for LCD stamps! Everything you need to know about how to enter is found here.

Here's a little more inspiration for the theme: an ATC made with the mehndi hand from Lost Coast Design's India Set.

Can't wait to see your projects! (Mine is here.) Good luck!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Art-Stamping Contest/Event: Orient Enchantment

It's time for another fun art challenge/contest over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity! The theme this time is "Orient Enchantment"...submit your artwork using rubber stamping (any company's stamps, though entries using Lost Coast Designs rubber count double!) with an "Oriental" theme for your chance to win fun prizes, including a gift certificate for LCD stamps! Details here.

To get your appetite whetted for the theme, here is "I Is For Indian Peafowl," an ATC made with the peacock and Taj Mahal images from Lost Coast Design's India Set, as well as the I from the Old Typewriter Alphabet and the Clover Scroll Border.

Looking forward to seeing your entries!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Black and White Challenge at Lost Coast Portal to Creativity

Hiya stamplings! There is a cool art challenge over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity running right now--just enter your art in black and white that uses rubber stamping in it for your chance to win cool prizes! Details here.

Here's my piece to inspire you to get out your trusty black inkpad and get stamping. It's a collage made from several whimsical (or downright strange) images from the Lost Coast Designs library:

I'll have a post up soon showing you the masking technique I used to build this image--plus a fun "reveal" video where the masks are removed to show the finished piece--so stay tuned.  :)

Go enter!!


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Step-By-Step: When I Am King (or: February Is For Lovers)

Hello stamplings! Today for your creative delectation I'm going to walk you through "When I Am King," the piece I made for the Lovers event over at the Lost Coast Portal To Creativity.  (You have two more days to enter your lovers-themed art --until midnight, February 25th--for your chance to win cool stuff! Click on the link in this paragraph and find out the deets if you haven't already entered!)

So, as I was thinking about the lovers theme and looking through my catalog of fabulous images from Lost Coast Designs, I spied the king and queen from the Chess Set, and immediately the children's rhyme "Lavender's blue, dilly dilly" started going through my head! I decided to use the color lavender and a chess board as my jumping-off ideas.

So here's a step-by-step breakdown of how I made this piece!

Using permanent (waterproof) ink, stamp the awesome king and queen onto hot-press (for a smooth surface) watercolor paper. Stamp and cut masks for the figures, and place the masks over the stamped images.

Sprinkle blue, purple, and gray Nuance powders liberally about! At this point, your piece will look approximately like this:

Now go town and mist the powders with water to your heart's content. Watch the magic happen as they bloom and blend! I like to leave them a little dry in spots for texture, but you're the boss here.

I next used a checkerboard stencil to suggest a chess board, and spritzed some more color through the stencil. (TIP: Did you know that you can use the Nuance Powders to make your own sprays? Yep--just put a bit in a mister, add water, and you're good to go! Mix any color you need, for pennies!! These powders are so economical and give you full creative control!)

Let dry, and stamp the words "king" and "queen" with the Old Typewriter Alphabet, and emboss with silver EP. I outlined the letters in black artist pen to help them stand out, which also has the advantage of giving the letters more of a funky handmade look. The other text was computer-generated and collaged on.

With the masks still in place, drizzle and splotch some white and silver acrylic paint to bring light to some of the dark areas and add a little dimension to the piece.

When dry, remove the masks, and paint the figures with pale washes of lavender, blue, and purple. Accent the figures with sparkly silver glitter gel pen to further catch the light.(Wish this photo showed the sparkle and shimmer better! Use your imagination--sorry. LOL) Edge the piece with lavender chalk ink.

You are done! Admire the fruits of your labor...and don't forget to enter the Lovers challenge!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New Stamp Art Challenge: Steampunk Queen of Hearts

Hiya stampies!

There's another fun contest running over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity, this time on the theme of "Steampunk Queen of Hearts"! Just enter your themed art using rubber stamps by midnight on February 24 for your chance to win blog badges and gift certificates for free rubber at the incredible Lost Coast Designs, purveyors of some of the quirkiest and most interesting images around.

Here's my project to get you going. It features Lost Coast Designs' gears background stamp behind the action, with the Queen giving orders to Steampunk Icarus to chase down the Steampunk Balloon Guys who are getting away!

I'll be back in a few days with a step-by-step of how this piece was made, including a tip on how I got the cool 3D effect on the gears in the center of the piece. Check back!

Can't wait to see what you come up with for your own Steampunk Queen of Hearts. Click here for all the contest details and get stampin'!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hey, Valentine--New "Lovers" Art Challenge/Contest!

Happy Valentine's Day to all you lovers of stamps and art out there! I have a project here to inspire you to enter the Lovers challenge over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity if you haven't already done so--your chance to win a gift certificate to spend on the fab rubber images by Lost Coast Designs!

Do you know the children's rhyme "Lavender's Blue Dilly Dilly"? It got stuck in my head as I was looking through my LCD rubber stamps for "Lovers" project ideas--I was fixated on how to use these awesome king and queen chess pieces from the Chess Set for Valentine's Day. (I just love the wacky/elegant collage of every chess piece in this set!)

My fave Old Typewriter Alphabet also came in handy for stamping "king" and "queen" (the rest of the letters are computer-generated).

Stay tuned for a little tutorial on how I made this piece, including masking tips and creating the background using Nuance Powders--plus I'll offer a couple of tricks for nifty techniques for using the Nuance Powders creatively! (My grandmother used to say "nifty" all the time...)

Can't wait to see your entries for the Lovers challenge. Make lots, and tell your friends--the more entries the better the prizes! Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Edgar Allen Poe Appreciation Blog Hop: Ghostly Edgar

Hi Poe lover! Thanks for stopping by to check out my offering for the Poe Appreciation Blog Hop 2017! (See below for how you can join the hop and win PRIZES!)

Lost Coast Designs and Carmen's Veranda are sponsoring this hop in conjunction with Poe's birthday and the release of some wonderful new stamp images...some of which are used in my project below. (Check out the pages of Lost Coast Designs and Carmen's Veranda to see the rest of the new stamp images!)

Here's my offering--a reversed-out effect made by embossing the images with platinum powder on dark paper, with special "text effect" on Poe's face:

The stamps I used were Edgar Allen Poe from Carmen's Veranda, Blackletter text from ATC Text Set 1 at Lost Coast Designs, the License Plate Alphabet Set from LCD, and the Left Zentangle Raven from LCD.

How I got the text effect on Poe: I inked up the image as usual, then pressed the blackletter text stamp onto Edgar's inky surface...then simply pressed the text stamp (which had picked up only the shape of his face) onto the paper. In other words, the text stamp had ink transferred to it only where it had come into contact with the "positive" image of the face. Cool, huh?

Thanks for your visit! I'd love to chat with you in the comment section below!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

'It's Snowing,' Said the Gryphon: Alice In Winterland

It's Alice in Winterland over at the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity! What is that, you ask? It's an art challenge where you enter a piece that uses at least one rubber stamp (from any company) in order to be entered to win a gift certificate for MOAR RUBBER from the fabulous Lost Coast Designs! More details about the challenge are here.

To offer a little visual inspiration on the theme of Alice being in Winterland, I have here this little fantasy project for you:

First I stamped the "Alice and Gryphon" image from the Alice, Dodo, and Griffen set from Lost Coast Designs, then masked it off and stamped the Chessboard from the Chess Set under it. Then I made a mask for the chessboard and added it to the card.

Next I took some snowflakes from the Small Snowflake Set and stamped them in resist ink, which I dried with a heat gun. Then I broke out the Distress inks and chose three shades of blue to start working into the card with a mini ink blending tool. Below you can see the first snowflake start to emerge from the "sky"...

...And here I'm adding the second shade of blue to bring out the next snowflake from the resist. You see that I am inking right on top of the masks I made to cover the central images.

At this point, with the masks still on, I broke out some ink sprays and added blue and silver shimmer to the card. Alas, the shimmer really does not photograph, but it gave a nice frosty look to the piece in real life. I left a little "halo" of uncolored paper around one of the snowflakes for a bit of light effect.

With white and silver gel pens, I added some background dots and tiny snowflakes. I also stamped a few more snowflakes with the Snowflake Set and embossed them with glittery white embossing powder. (The glitter doesn't show up very well here either...you can see it mostly on the snowflake at the lower right.) Then I was ready to remove the masks to let the figures stand out from the wintry background...

Here is the piece with the masks removed, photographed at another angle, attempting to show more of the glitter and shimmer:

Lastly, in InDesign I composed a sentiment (taken very nearly as a quote from Alice in Wonderland!) and inserted it into a frame. I printed this out and mounted the art atop it. Et voila!

Can't wait to see what you make for the Alice in Winterland challenge! You have until midnight on January 31 to enter.  :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New (Weird) Stamp Release at LCD!

Hi stampy friends! Just wanted to tell you about a release of some new stamp images over at Lost Coast Designs. These guys are WEIRD and I like 'em that way! Look:

Above is a detail shot so you can see the yummy bizarreness of these guys...You can see the whole piece I made below.

I started by brayering metallic and black acrylic paint onto paper, then stamping the squares from ATC Misc. Set 3 here and there for a little background interest.

Next I used the License Plate Alphabet to compose the word STRIDE and embossed it in gold.

Finally I stamped these three Aud Creatures and collaged 'em down onto the prepared background. Weird, yeah? I wouldn't have it any other way!

Click here to visit the Lost Coast Portal to Creativity to see some of our other designers' work featuring even more of these weirdos (there are eight stamps in the series!), plus other new releases including Kukla, Fran, and Ollie puppet stamps. :)  Enjoy the madness!

Oh, and if you have a chance, visit The Three Muses to see their challenge Words for 2017! My word for the year is STRIVE, but STRIDE was so close I thought I'd enter this piece in the challenge. Some gorgeous eye candy awaits you there--have a peek!