I originally purchased the Hercules set because I thought I would love the Fancy stamp. I still haven’t played with the stamp but I have fallen completely in love with the whole kit. I had a very bad reaction to some medicine last weekend and couldn’t sleep at all one night and ended up making a bunch of cards using cut flowers from the kit and some of the gorgeous gilded project life cards in the new Heidi Swapp set. I even love the transparent doilies! This might be the very first Studio Calico Set I ever kill!
I also absolutely adore the transparent doilies and little turquoise dots included in the kit. I have other turquoise colored dots but something about these bring out the colors in the flowers so beautifully. I don’t know how to describe it but they’re not as shiny, but in a good way. I used the same PL 3×4 for the next two cards – I just love the sentiment and that little gold heart at the bottom.
I love the flower so much that I tried to create my own using my Neocolors, which I also adore. I made the flower and leaves below on some scrap paper.
I’ve been on a lettering kick recently – last month I took a pointed-pen calligraphy class at Meant to Be Calligraphy and I’ve been obsessed with Jenny Doh’s Creative Lettering: Techniques and Tips from Top Artists – but struggled with adding my lettering to my traditional and Project Life layouts. Finding the right ink/paper combinations with my very limited lettering supplies (I seriously have over 100 pens but only a few of them are right for the loopy lettering techniques I’m in love with), is very challenging. The Higgins Eternal black ink we got in class absorbs straight into the Becky Higgings Project Life paper. It looks okay on water color paper but as a newbie to pointed-pen and other technique-centric pens, I’m still getting used to the scratchiness. The Mister Huey’s inks work on the Project Life cards but the pointed pen part leaves weird scratchy marks for this nube….
Complaining aside, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to add personalized/custom lettering to my projects without the hassle of figuring out what ink to match with what medium and the solution seems to be the Silhouette Cameo. For the layout below, I tried some brush script techniques using a tablet, drew the image, saved it as an image file (e.g., jpg), and then cut the file out using water color paper. Voila! No special inks needed!
Then I colored the words using some Faber Castell Gelatos. My favorite part was distressing the outline of the words using the Black Soot distress marker. I originally created a harsh line, but using a water brush, I was able to blend the gelato and distress marker for a unique look.
For the rest of the page, I used scraps from my Gelato swatches and other projects. I seem to use up a lot of my scraps in the scrapbooking process and generate a lot of scraps working on greeting cards and Project Life. I don’t scrap very much, but I’d be very curious to know if that happens to others.
The most recent Amy Tangerine/Kal Barteski woodblock stampset is perfect for so many layouts that I created a cut file so I could easily create embellishments. I used Delicata Gold ink to stamp it and then distressed the paper using Mowed Lawn and Black Soot distress pens.
Knowing that chances were slim that I’d be able to buy the stamp, I decided to purchase the digital files. We’re tiling our backsplash today so I’ve been super busy all day but when after I bought the file, I just had to see what it looked like. I quickly print-and-cut the image on vellum with my Silhouette. The image is so fun and distinctive. I used regular print settings (printer paper) and set my blade to 4. The image came out perfectly without requiring a double cut. After all these years, the precision of the Cameo cut is still so fun to watch.
I’ll definitely have to try to create projects with individual states – the California example on the product page was very inspiring for me. Since I’m from LA, it’ll be a perfect die cut for all sorts of specialized kits. Even though Studio Calico is restocking, I may not actually need to buy it because the digital stamp seems like it would be much more versatile.
I learn so much from the kwernerdesign blog and the moment I saw this blog post, I had to try this technique myself.
I don’t have many flower stamps so I embossed a Hero Arts background stamp with white powder. I used all the colors Kristina Werner used on her blog (combination of distress markers and distress ink pads) and added Shaded Lilac to the mix. I also bought a set of watercolor brushes which enabled me to control the color saturation. The first photo is my tester and I love it. I think the first time around, this technique yielded an almost stained glass look.
After building my confidence, I tried my hand with the larger piece, which is for a greeting card. I wasn’t as careful on the larger piece because I was trying out the larger water color brushes. I messed up a little on one of the lilac flowers and I could have left the pumice stone ink on longer before dabbing but overall, I love the effect.
To make this card, I used some of the paper my friend and I letterpressed a few weeks ago and combined it with some lovely Studio Calico Lemon Lush cardstock. This woodgrain paper is so neat!
On a photography related note, I used Snapseed to edit the first two photos on my Samsung tablet. The colors render so differently on different machines. The image looks blown out on my Mac’s screen but it looks just perfect on my Samsung. Hrm… what to do…
These two below were edited using Picasa. I’m not sure which set I like better now.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I really don’t like to fussy cut and I thought I’d create a little graphic to show people what I do to create digital die cuts for my stamped images. 1. Stamp all images on white printer paper using Versamark ink for smooth and crisp lines.
2. Scan image on my flat bed scanner to ensure that all the proportions are right. I don’t have any evidence that using the automatic document feeder warps the image scale but using the flatbed ensures that the proportions and scale are perfect every time.
The file can be saved in any format that your Silhouette software can support. My scanner defaults to .pdf.
3. Import .pdf into Silhouette Studio. Use trace function to create cutlines and offset window to create an offset so that the cut file image is slightly larger than the stamp outline. This helps create a border for your stamps.
Some may argue that it’s easier to use dies, they’re just not for me. I’ve only purchased a few dies and don’t really like them. It’s a quirk of mine but I really don’t like how my Cuttlebug folders get all cut up and I don’t even want to start figuring out the best way to store die cuts so instead I use my scanner. I keep multiple die cuts on hand for future stamping projects and save my files so I can always easily cut out some more. This technique was awesome when I used last year’s blockbuster Wplus9’s Fresh Cut Florals set.
The past few months, it seems like every paper pad comes with at least one sheet that has a frame pattern. I cut out some frames from one of those sheet to make this birthday card. I love how the foam stickers add so much dimension!
This week was frigidly cold. My dog wouldn’t go out the first few days for his walk. After day three, something changed and now he will play everywhere in the snow for at least 30 minutes. From a project life standpoint, I so enjoyed using the Project Life Coral Edition and seeing how well all my existing supplies and embellishments fit with it.
Early this month, I had the great fortune of finding four of the Studio Calico stamp sets that I missed out on. I had so much fun using them in my layouts this week.
I found some wonderful free printables on Pinterest while prepping for my Vision Board. . My favorite freebie was this set of colored labels that I downloaded for free from the ByNess blog, where the blogger generously posted a link to the .studio file she used to create labels using her printer and Silhouette.
After way too much time on Two Peas looking for the best paper, I bought some Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Paper from Amazon. There seem to be a few options on the paper front — I chose the the Ultra Premium matter version because I wanted something that looked more professional. I wish I’d discovered this paper earlier! Previously, I used sticker paper to print and cut labels and they were really flimsy and not nice. Huge upgrade!
Here’s a screenshot of one of the files from By Ness. Each file has labels in a different color scheme that is very versatile.
The files were very easy to use and I quickly created some lovely labels.