Monday, August 21, 2017

Welcome Autumn Card {How to use multiple inks on solid stamps}

Hello friends! Fall is still pretty dang far from Florida. I'd love to be welcoming fall right now, but in August and even September it's still months away. We pretty much go straight from summer to what we call winter (but even our winter would make most of you laugh in our faces! We know. It's the best we've got though!) At least I can live vicariously through Pinterest and Facebook. Plus, I canmake pretty autumn cards to pretend it's almost crisp and cool outside. Today I used Fun Stampers Journey's new Hello Fall stamp set, which is part of the Journey Holiday Trends Mini Catalog
I've been absolutely SMITTEN with this stamp set, even since I got it. I had fun combining a few ink colors to bring this card to life, and it allowed me to really reminisce about the way fall leaves look. To create this look, I used Summer Days, Tangerine Fusion, and Pumpkin Bread inks. I inked a leaf in Summer Days, (always always start with the lightest color first!!!!) and then tapped just the edges of the stamp into Tangerine Fusion, or Pumpkin Bread, (or sometimes both!) It's a fun technique to play with, because it'll never stamp exactly the same twice! So lots of leaves were in order, to try out lots of combinations. When I was done, I stamped some second generation leaves over the top to fade a little of the white space. (This just means I inked up the stamp, and then stamped off on a piece of scrap paper before stamping onto the card, removing part of the color. This gives it a faded look.) 

welcome card by laura williams featuring Hello Fall stamp set from Fun Stampers Journey | stamping techniques - using multiple ink colors on one solid stamp

I am also in love with this Welcome stamp. The font is absolutely gorgeous and trendy, and the size of this stamp is PERFECTION on a handmade card. (It's big enough to be fabulous on a scrapbook layout too!) I trimmed the sentiment and paired it with some twine, and FSJ's new Foiled Frames. This was my first time using them, and I am sure I need about 10 more packages. They are awesome!!!!


A little splattering of Dark Roast Silk, and a few enamel dots finished off this project, plus one more leaf for good measure! I hope wherever you are, it's starting to feel like fall. Enjoy every minute of it, my friends!!! Thanks so much for coming by today! 

PS. If you're looking for more fall and winter card inspiration, check out my Cards: Holiday Inspiration Pinterest board! Some of my friends and I collect all the best fall/winter holiday cards there, just for you! xoxo

Monday, August 14, 2017

One Tree Two Ways {Family Forever Stamp Set}

Hello friends! I had some fun with the new Family Forever stamp set from Fun Stampers Journey today. This is a special stamp set because it's DOUBLE the size of most stamp sets, with so many fun sentiments and elements to create cards and layouts. 

I created two cards for you to show the versatility of this set. I love that the tree trunk, and the leafy top are two separate stamps. First I stamped my tree in Hazelnut Blend ink. To stamp the leaves, I did a little simple fancy work: first I stamped the leafy image in Lemongrass. Then I added some Green Olive and Fresh Forest around the edges and stamped the image. To make my tree extra leafy and full, I reinked the stamp again and stamped it on top, shifting it over just slightly from the first impression. It was fun to play around with some different shades of green, and see what I liked. 


After having some fun with the leafy green colors, I thought I'd try this card again in some fall colors. Please meet the autumn version of my card! Same Petals Wall embossing folder, hexagon dies, and stamp set - even the same layout - but a completely different look. On this tree, I combined Summer Days, Pumpkin Bread, and Tangerine Fusion inks. For the second stamping, I used only Sunmer Days, and I stamped it off once on scrap paper for a more subtle look.

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All of the stamps you see, came with the Family Forever stamp set. The sweet banner on the first card is separate from the sentiment, and there are other little messages that fit inside. I love options and versatility in a stamp set!

The Family Forever stamp set is only available as a Host Exclusive when you host a Make-It Party with an FSJ Coach.  If you don't know someone who sells FSJ products, click on the FIND A COACH link at the top right of www.funstampersjourney.com  Or if you'd like more information about becoming a Coach yourself, check out all the details and consider joining the Journey!

Thanks so very much for coming by today! I'm always happy to share a little crafty goodness with you! xoxo

PS I used some gorgeous inks on today's projects. Did you know they're all 20% off this month?! 





Monday, August 7, 2017

Beginning Photography Tips for Papercrafters {Plus a POP ART card!}


Hello friends! Are you a paper crafter who creates cards, tags, and other crafted goodies? Do you post them to your blog, Instagram, or Facebook? Do you struggle with photographing your lovely projects? 

Let me preface this entire blog post by saying over and over again that I am NOT a highly trained photographer. Everything I've learned, I've learned from practice, plus other helpful blog posts.

This blog post is written especially for those of you who feel overwhelmed with the idea of taking high quality photos for social media. You may be just beginning to share your craft with others. Or you've been doing this for a while - but you're ready to step up your game. So, take a deep breath. Be brave. Nothing fancy here - I promise, you CAN do this! (And if you're reading this, and you know better than I do, please share your tips with me! I still have LOTS to learn!) 

For today's post I created a fun Pop Art card using Fun Stampers Journey's Pop Art stamp set. Let's look at a variety of photographs, and grow as we go!

1. Shoot straight, and watch for shadows!
When photographing a card laying down flat, shoot STRAIGHT down, rather than at an angle (Photo 1.)  Get above your card instead of shooting it from where you're sitting. The card shape on the left looks distorted because of the angle I'm holding my phone. It's also dark - so very dark!

Photo 1 (awkward angle and dark)
Photo 2 (Say no to shadows!)

Photo 2 is shot from straight above. It's looking better already, yes? (Photographing on my grid paper makes it pretty easy to shoot straight because I can line it all up.) But we still have a problem...my light source in this photo is too close to my poor card, and my hand/phone is obstructing the light, causing a nice big shadow. Boo. The shadow is distracting, and the light is uneven. 

2. Use a simple background
Sidenote: Some people like to photograph their cards straight down, and others prefer cards standing up. I've gone back and forth on my preference over the years. Currently, I'm a shoot-it-straight-down kinda girl. But when shooting them standing up, it's important to have a clean, clear background. See all that mess on my desk? Not contributing to my Pop Art girl's happiness. She's on the verge of tears, and she's telling me, "You can't be serious!" (It's also another example of an awkward angle.)

For the next photos, I switched from my phone to my actual camera. Remember cameras? Sometimes they come in handy, especially since I don't have a fancy camera on my phone. It's worth the extra few minutes! 
Oooh more progress! I have a piece of white corrugated cardstock I like to use for backgrounds. It's just a 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper. I always prefer WHITE to BLACK for a background because I find it easier to achieve a BRIGHT clean background with a light color. (Other easy options might be a very simple piece of patterned paper, the back white side of a roll of wrapping paper, or a piece of wood.) This photo is totally unedited. It's a little dark, but other than that, it's just fine, especially if you're just starting out. No weird shadows or awkward angles, and nothing distracting in the background. 

But do you want to take it up a notch? Read on!

3. Add a layer, and brighten it up!
Now we're talking! Again, still super simple. I added a plain white box for some dimension and shape under my card. Look at this photo compared to the one right above. See how much brighter it is? I'll talk about that in just a second...


4. Add SIMPLE props. (Or not!) 
Another personal preference...props or no props. I like it both ways, as long as the props aren't overboard. I tend to use coordinating supplies for simple props. But no matter what, I aim to keep the FOCUS on the PROJECT.
5. Let's talk about LIGHTING
Lighting is the hardest aspect of taking good photos. Aim for diffused natural light. I don't have appropriate lights, so I just don't take photos at night. I wait till midmorning because that seems to be the golden photography hour in my house. 

Here's the not-at-all-fancy setup that I use. I'm thankful for the big bright windows in my bedroom. I do most of my photography on top of the chest right there. Even with the windows, my photos still need a little brightening help. I have a white piece of foam core board from Walmart. Depending on the light, sometimes I prop it up in the window to diffuse that bright light so I don't have glaring shadows. Sometimes I use it to bounce and reflect the light. There are some great tutorials to explain this idea further! (like Leanne at Healthful Pursuit)

6. Let's talk about photo EDITING
Breathe with me people. Don't start panicking about the words photo editing. You don't need Photoshop. You don't need anything fancy. If this is your jam, and you want to go all out, GO FOR IT. Take a class, use Photoshop, have a blast. It can be super fun. 

But I'm talking to those of you who are intimidated, and taking baby steps. 

There are two things I generally use. The first is my phone's photo editing program (generally to brighten up a dark photo, or crop it, when I've taken a quick pic on my phone.) Whether I'm on my phone, or uploading photos to my computer, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the website/app called Picmonkey.  Picmonkey can handle pretty much anything you want to do (including fun things like making collages or adding text/watermarks.) Plus, almost all you'd want to do is FREE. And I think it's pretty easy to use too. I highly recommend checking it out! 

The main things I do when I edit my photos are: brighten the exposure, adjust the color cast (thats when your photo looks really blue, green, or yellow, depending on your light) and then sharpen just a bit. 

Don't be afraid to experiment and play to discover what works for you, and what you like. Photography involves a lot of trial and error. When you take photos, take a lot of them to see what works best. When you choose to edit them, play around and try different effects to see what they do. Creating beautiful cards and paper crafts is a fabulous hobby, and for many people, it's a source of income too - so let your projects SHINE and INSPIRE by taking bright beautiful photos!

If you'd like to find more tips and ideas, I've created a Pinterest board to collect photography, and blogging information. I'd love for you to check it out and learn along with me! Please email me or comment below if you have any tips to help ME, or questions I might be able to answer. We're all in this together, my friends!!!!




Monday, July 31, 2017

Creating Faux Washi Tape and Faux Enamel Dots too! {FSJ Tape It stamp set}

Hello friends! Do you hoard washi tape in a thousand colors and prints? It's so addicting, and one can never have quite enough of all the cute tiny patterns, am I right? Today's project probably won't end your washi addiction, but it might inspire you to add another form of washi to your collection - and the best part is that you can customize the colors to your hearts content. 
Please say hello to Fun Stampers Journey's Tape It stamp set. Faux washi - WHAT!? These stamps are adorable - and the best part is that you can create them in any color of ink you want! Stamp them directly onto a card, like I did for this fun little coffee card, or stamp them onto paper or cardstock, trim, and adhere to your projects. 
After stamping some colorful faux washi over the background panel of my card, I layered the coffee cup and a die cut circle, plus the sentiment. A little splatter of Sparkle Silk, and I called it ALMOST done. 

Almost? Yes, because I can't create without a few little dots or details stuck on - but I was out of yellow enamel dots. So, I created some faux dots to go along with my faux washi. Just use a hole punch and a cardstock scrap, and stick those dots on! Add a little dimensional glaze (like FSJ's Journey Glaze) on top, and you have yourself simple faux dots in any color your heart desires! Easy peasy! 


I'm so grateful that you dropped by today! Are you looking for more inspiration? Come on over and visit me on Pinterest. You'll find all sorts of beautiful things I've been pinning lately! xoxo

Supplies:



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The making of Hello Love - from sketch to stamp {Fun Stampers Journey}

Hello lovely friends! Last week I shared a scrapbook layout that I created using the Hello Love stamp set, and I mentioned that I drew the sentiments for this set. Today, I thought I'd share two cards that I created, using this stamp and die set...plus I found my sketches that I originally drew. 

I have to tell you...it is really REALLY cool to have stamps that look and feel so much like ME. And I'm thrilled with the images that were paired with my words, because somehow even those feel like ME, even though I had nothing to do with creating them! 

From the sketches, you can see that I did a lot of writing things over and over, playing with different shapes, and swirls to make the letters just how I wanted. The purple one is the one that became the final version, after some tweaking on the computer. I am a doodler at heart, and writing swirly words and letters is something I've done pretty much forever, on the margins of paper and on the backs of my school notebooks. So to see something actually come from all that random doodling, is quite satisfying! 

 For the two cards I created for today, I kept pretty much the same layout, and I stuck with the same colors. I try and create two cards each time I sit down with a pile of supplies. Everything is already out and ready, and sometimes figuring out what to use is the hardest part. So I just keep going. I love the coordinating dies for the sentiments in this stamp set. It's fun to pop up the sentiment on top of a patterned background.
You can find all of the supplies I used on the Fun Stampers Journey website. FSJ sells high quality red rubber stamps, with cling back and indexing. They're all ready to pop onto acrylic blocks and stamp stamp stamp! Thanks so much for coming by! Have a beautiful day! xoxo

Supplies:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hello Love scrapbook layout {watercolor stamping}

Stamping with watercolor...it's a little messy, but so worth it! For today's layout, I used the brand new Hello Love stamp set from Fun Stampers Journey. I'm a little partial to this stamp set, because I drew the sentiments in it! Paired with some super cool images created by the graphic designers at Fun Stampers Journey, this stamp and die set is definitely one of my favorites in the new 2017 catalog. 
To create this, I started out with a sheet of Whip Cream cardstock. I gave it a few little spritzes of water, and then I stamped the circle stamp onto an acrylic block that I dripped some Limeade Splash Liquid Color onto. Liquid Colors are the new dye inks from FSJ. They come in a bottle, similar to a reinker, but you can use them for watercolor techniques, and so much more. So I tapped my stamp right onto the Liquid Color, and then onto the cardstock. Wherever the cardstock was especially wet, the color ran and blended and did super cool things! It's pretty fun, yes? And the areas that were dry, the image stamped more clearly. I love the way it turned out. 


After that, I layered up some dies, papers, a few more stamped details and of course the photo of my cutie pie baby-who's-not-a-baby-anymore. The hardest part of this layout is looking at that chubby baby who keeps growing up. (That, and waiting for my wet watercolor to dry so I could finish working!) 

Don't be afraid to PLAY with messy watercolor techniques like this. They won't always work the first time. I played a little to figure out what the ink and water would do, and sometimes - things just look awful. That's okay! Try, try again! Sometimes the process is more valuable than the product, and there's nothing wrong with that! It's ART! Have FUN! xoxo

Supplies:
Hello Love Die Set DI-0347 (includes dies for each of the sentiments)
cutie pie baby - not for sale. ;) 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mermaid Kisses {Fun Stampers Journey Bloom Box}

Hello friends! The Mermaid Kisses Stamp Set is so much fun for summer! Mermaid Kisses is the Bloom Box (kit of the month) from Fun Stampers Journey. (Find out all about the Bloom Box, and check out the four beautiful cards you can create!) I created two different cards for you today, one is BRIGHT and cheery and the other is soft and dreamy. So whatever your mood, and whatever your style, I hope one or both of these will inspire you! 


I paired the Turtley Awesome stamp set with both of these cards - that sea grass, y'all. It's my favorite. I couldn't help it! On the bright and cheery card, I stamped the sea grass on Electric Lime cardstock. I stamped the mermaid on white cardstock. To color her, I used Electric Lime Silk, mixed with a little water, plus a splash of Sparkle Silk and painted it on her tail and swim top. Then when it was dry, I added some shading using Color Burst colored pencils. I colored her skin and hair with pencils too. 
I layered up some torn cardstock to create a watery background and then used foam squares to adhere it all together for lots of depth!
 And on the mermaid tail, a little glaze and glitter finished it off!

 For the dreamy and soft mermaid card, I painted on the mermaid's tail color using the Electric Lime Silk, and Sparkle Silk, mixed with  a little Lovely Blue Liquid Color, plus a few drops of water. The Silk and Liquid Color blend together beautifully.

To create the background, I stamped the Ink Splat stamp repeatedly, in Lovely Blue Liquid Color, and then splattered some Silk over the top.

Supplies:

Be sure to check out the July 2017 Bloom Box! You will receive everything you need to create these four beautiful cards!

Thanks you so much for stopping by! Have a beautiful summer day! xoxo






Friday, July 7, 2017

Mystic Romance cards from Fun Stampers Journey {two Liquid Color techniques}

Hello friends! It's JULY, which means....I'm thrilled to share the 2017 Fun Stampers Journey catalog with you today! We've been working for MONTHS to bring this catalog to life, and I am so excited to be a part of it. I also have two cards that I created just for you, using the new Mystic Romance collection, which you'll find in the new catalog.

 The Mystic Romance collection finds its inspiration in fashion, and the stamps have a cool embroidered or stitched look. They're especially fun for inky techniques.  I used FSJ's new Liquid Color on both of todays cards, trying out a few different techniques.

On this bumblebee card, I created the background using three floral stamps. I used Liquid Color and a sponge dauber to ink red and green onto the same stamp. Our Liquid Colors are dye based liquid ink. I simply put a few drops onto an acrylic block, and picked up the color with the dauber to apply to the stamps. After I stamped the flowers, I inked the Canvas Prints background stamp in Pineapple Fusion and stamped right on top of my floral background. It adds some subtle color and texture to the background.
After stamping and cutting the bumblebee, I colored him with Color Splash watercolor pencils. I painted Sparkle Silk on his wings, and then I covered them with Journey Glaze. Some paper scraps, tapes, twine and dots completed this cheery summertime card.

Next up, I used the Liquid Color in a totally different way. Instead of stamping with them, I used them to create a background. First, I embossed the butterflies on watercolor paper. Some stamps are easier to emboss on watercolor paper than others - in this case, I was okay with a less-than-precise image, with some of the paper's texture showing through. 

After embossing, I began to play with water and Liquid Color. I puddled some water on a large acrylic block, and added drops of blue and purple Liquid Color, along with some splatters of Silver and Sparkle Silks. Then I misted my watercolor panel with water so it would be ready to absorb all that fun color. After misting, I pressed the paper face down on the acrylic block, and soaked up some color. Don't be afraid to pick it up and put it down again if you miss a spot or want more color. Also feel free to spritz more water on top. Just play with water and color and see what happens!  
Here's a watercolor tip! After really saturating a piece of paper, and letting it dry completely, I like to press it between some books overnight to flatten it out. 

*If you haven't checked out the new FSJ catalog yet, I hope you'll head right there to soak in the beautiful inspiration and fun new products.

*Check out the FSJ blog too, for daily inspiration using NEW products and creative techniques! Plus, Richard Garay and some of my FSJ partners in crafty crime are also sharing some Mystic Romance inspiration this week! Stop by and see Richard, Patricia Roebuck, Michelle Woerner, and Mariana Grigsby.

*And if you're still looking for more, follow me on Pinterest where I pin all sorts of colorful, creative goodness!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you enjoyed the double dose of Mystic Romance and Liquid Color inspiration! Have a great day!!! xoxo

Supplies from today's cards:
Stitched Dreams Stamp Set SS-0512
Dreams Follow Stamp Set SS-0508
Embroidered Greetings Stamp Set SS-0507
Mystic Romance Prints PP-0047
Liquid Color
Color Splash Sheets watercolor paper
Journey Color Splash watercolor pencils
Sparkle Silk

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Be Brave card - inlaid diecutting {Fun Stampers Journey and RG}

 Hello friends! This card feels a little too autumn for summertime, but I've had the poor thing sitting for months, just waiting to be shared. I created it for an autumn magazine call, but it didn't get any publication love. So maybe you can love it instead! ;)

I used a combination of products from Fun Stampers Journey and the RG retail line, by Richard Garay, and I'll link them all up below.  My favorite thing about this card is the background die. It's the Pennant Pattern die from RG, and I used corrugated stock to cut it from. I LOVE the texture it adds!
After cutting the background from corrugated stock, I cut it again using Blue Lagoon and Pumpkin Bread cardstocks. From that cutting, I just used the triangles, and popped them into some of the empty spaces.

The rest of the card came together quickly. I diecut some sweet sprigs of leaves and berries, stamped up a tag, and added a few embellishments (like glaze on the sprig of berries for shine!) Without that beautiful background, this card would be a little blah, but all put together, the colors play off each other, and the shapes and textures keep the eye roaming around to catch every detail.


Thanks so much for stopping by today! Come on over and check out FSJ and RG on Pinterest, for lots more inspiration, tutorials, and more! (And hey, while you're at it...follow ME out on Pinterest too!) xoxo

Supplies:




Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses {summer scrapbooking layout}

 I have a little more summer scrapbooking inspiration to share with you today! I'm just LOVING all the cute (can you say CUTE about a lobster?) sea animals in the Spring Into Summer Mini Catalog from FSJ.


To create this layout, I stamped the Catching Waves background stamp twice to fill an eight inch tall panel of Cool Pool cardstock. That background stamp is CA-UTTTE. It's so bubbly and fun! Then I added some tone-on-tone stamping of the sea sentiments on the Huckleberry Fusion base. It just adds a little interest, without adding a big busy distraction from my sandy little boys! I layered up some printed paper, corrugated stock, twine, sparkle tape, and stamped elements to create some fun texture. I'm all about layering on the goodness to my layouts lately! 

Supplies:

Thanks so much for stopping by today! While you're bopping around the internet, why not head over to my Pinterest page? You'll find lots more crafty inspiration! xoxo