When Funnel Cake first came out in 2014, I convinced myself I would never use the stamp or die more than two times and bought the digital version instead. I printed it out on vellum ONE time — see here — and it looked amazing but I only used it one time. So when the funnel cake stamp and die set mysteriously ended up in my cart during last month’s SC St Patty’s Day sale, I don’t know what I was thinking but boy am I thrilled I got the set. I’ve been playing with different materials and textures and using the die with an embossing pad and it’s been so much fun!!
The first experiment started out with a layer technique I’ve used before with small pieces of patterned paper. This time, I used washi on a blank sheet of copy paper and die cut the outline. On a sheet of letterpress paper, I used the stamp — the MISTI stamping tool was critical here to ensure smooth and even coverage! — and ran the die through my Evolution using the squishy embossing layer to create this textured, quilted feel directly over the black lines. Then I carefully glued the washi-covered copy paper on top of the letterpress paper. In person, it looks and feels so awesome.
How freaking cool is that?! Like SERIOUSLY coolness! One last time – I promise!
On this second batch of blue cards, I repeated the same stamping and embossing technique using Memento Tuxedo Black ink and colored the background with neocolors before using a waterbrush. I’m not very good with blending the neocolors but I started to get the hang of it after a few cards.
After a crummy experience with Paper Source’s letterpress class, I wanted to show my friend Wendy that paper crafting really can be fun. So we had a letterpress class at my house last weekend. I recently received a lot of Studio Calico’s letterpress plates but after looking through my supplies, Wendy decided she really loved the designs from my emboss folders so we used those instead.
We tried the letterpress on different paper weights. Last year, my friend Eloise brought me to Ink and Paper, a paper store in LA that sells amazing scraps of heavy cotton paper. These scraps are left over from large letterpress orders. Though they may no longer work for the letterpress machines, they’re definitely large enough for paper crafters. You can learn more about the store from this really neat Vimeo video. The owner is so kind and you can tell he really loves paper. He also sold me so many scraps for a pittance. The paper is thicker, plusher, and cheaper than the thickest Lifestyle Crafts paper and I tried to pay him more for the supplies I purchased but he declined.
After our lunch break, we started assembling cards using the Studio Calico kits I got back in February. To avoid fussy cutting, I stamped all the stamps we liked in black versamark ink onto a white sheet of paper, scanned the sheet, and used the scanned images to create a cut file.
It’s probably super obvious to others but just in case, please note that this stamp-scan-cut method works easiest with see-through stamps. For example, it was not easy aligning the Amy Tangerine’s new Plus One woodblock Happy Place stamp on the die cut. Luckily, it still turned out pretty awesome.
The design below is from my favorite lifestyle crafts emboss folder. I’m always so thrilled about how crisply it embosses – it makes even the simplest cards look amazing.
I generally don’t use red or like Valentine’s Day themed stuff but something about Studio Calico’s Sugar Rush kits are so sassy, fresh, and bright. Maybe it’s been the interminable snow or maybe my brain is dehydrated from the heater running non-stop but I love the entire Sugar Rush release so much that, for the first time, I bought THREE kits! I don’t generally like kits but even though the design is so distinctive, I’ve been amazed at how versatile all of the supplies have been. I also picked up some letterpress supplies and gold chipboard hearts and stars from their new Essentials line.
Below are some projects I’ve made using the Sugar Rush card kit, project life kit, and Taffy. This is my first Studio Calico card kit and I felt a little overwhelmed at first thinking that I had to follow a set template for my cards. But my creative juices really started flowing after I stopped looking — and being intimidated by — the design team gallery and just got lost in playing.
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.
So excited about Project Life this year. I took full advantage of the Two Peas sale and stocked up on many fun supplies including the new Becky Higgins Coral Kit, a ton of alpha and puffy stickers, and washi.
Flipping through last year’s PL books, I saw a huge positive difference in the look and feel of my weeks after I started using the Project Life kits. I like creating my own cards but pre-made cards make it a lot easier to focus on my journaling and the stories I want to remember from a given week.
My favorite new products are the Glitzy woodgrain washi tape and the puffy stickers from Daily Flash. I love the designs of the Glitzy Tapes and they always add texture to my projects but I don’t really think of them as washi. They feel more like printed glossy strips of paper than washi.
I made a ton of labels using a free print-and-cut design I found on Pinterest using Epson’s Ultra Premium Matte Presentation Paper! I’ll create another post soon to show I customized the labels and also created some homemade alpha stickers!
This summer, I started seeing blog posts using WPlus9’s Fresh Cut Florals set everywhere. All the cards were so lovely and I waited a long time for the set to come back into stock. I stamped all the tiny pieces in black, scanned them in, created cut files and used my Silhouette to make a large amount of die cuts for each stamp. I thought if the pieces just needed to be stamped, I’d be more inclined to use them.
As lovely as projects may be using this layering/paper piecing method, its a lot of work even though I have pre-cut shapes! Note to self – you will only use sets like this twice a year!
I still don’t know how to use the Gold ink with stamps effectively, however, it creates a beautiful burnished gold color when stamped directly onto paper. There’s a slight shimmer to it as well.
NOTE: I didn’t make any additional swatches for Red Royal. If you want to see a swatch, it’s available in this post.
I really love the ink cube form factor. Too bad they didn’t come out earlier this year – I would have saved a TON of money when I learned about the Shadow Ink pads. The size is quite perfect for the accent stamping I do on Project Life and greeting cards.
Forever green is a really great holiday and nature color.
The silver is okay – it’s a shadow ink so I wasn’t looking for a bright metallic.
Another pic to try and capture the subtle sheen.I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with the gold in this pack — it’s just very odd to me. It’s very splotchy and unlike other shadow inks, it doesn’t fill in solid images very well. I’ve stamped it MANY times, making sure it’s very inky on the stamp, but it looks so odd when stamped. Maybe I just don’t get the aesthetic Hero Arts was going for or I have a defective one. I have heard awesome things about Unicorn though and will probably pick up one of those next time I visit my LSS.