Funny Father's Day Card, Craft Shows (?) and Glitter Earrings

So this card isn't really blog worthy, but it's fun, so I wanted to share. I made this for my dad for Father's Day. I wanted to hand make a card but he's more of a "funny card" kind of guy. And he farts a lot. So, this is what I came up with:

I used the outline4letters alphabet stamp from The Stamps of Life for the 'Father,' and colored them with my Copic markers. The smaller letters are the miniabc2stamp set. And I just put the card panel on a base of Neenah Desert Storm card stock.

In other crafty news, I applied for two craft fairs this fall. I'm currently waiting to be accepted. They weren't cheap - the two together are costing me $175 to sign up for. And I'm really hoping they'll approve both handmade greeting cards and earrings, but I know jewelry tends to fill up fast, and I'm nervous they won't. But I can't get myself out there unless I try, so here's hoping! I haven't done a craft fair since before Austin was born, I don't think. I might have done a couple here and there but I don't remember consistently doing them since then.

And finally, I made up some new earrings last night with GLITTER! Glitter is my favorite and I've found this thick glitter canvas with chunky glitter that is just gorgeous. The glitter doesn't shed off and it looks great against the faux leather I paired it with. I'll also be pairing some with genuine leather in the future. Check them out here in my Etsy shop.

I have more of this canvas on the way in more colors and I am just SO excited to be making these. They're new, and fun, and I love that it's a bit of a mix between my jewelry making I used to do and my paper crafting I do now. :)

New Earrings This Week

Sharing my new Etsy shop additions this week! I am especially in love with my layered feathers!

Weight Loss Check In #5 and New Deck!

Happy Monday! Last week was, once again, filled with zero exercise. I'm so lazy! I have no excuses other than I just.dont.wanna. But I lost 1.5 pounds anyway, which makes it 7 pounds total. Which I totally don't feel I deserve since I didn't exercise. However I'm still being really good with calories every single day. I'm eating so much less than I used to, so I am at least doing something. But yeah, I know. I need to exercise.

In other news, this project has been going on for 3 weeks at home. Still not finished but we now have a functioning deck again. Next weekend, Brad is going to put the white fascia boards on the base of the deck, and he's going to start building steps on the gate side over the concrete, and on the side where Sadie's new "bathroom" is. Then he's got some grand plans to build a patio (not likely), and hopefully we can get some grass growing and make our backyard less embarrassing.

Here's the before photo. The stain is all peeled up and the boards all wonky. The yard in front of the deck is dead because Sadie used it as her bathroom for so long.

And here is what it now looks like (sorry I don't have the same angle as the before shot yet...will post when we get the steps and fascia boards done). We put a gate along the back to prevent Sadie from going out there. And we've build a fenced in run for her on the right hand side, so we can let her out the door into the run.

We always had to clip Sadie to a chain/run because if left alone in the backyard she will dig and it's impossible to get her back in the house (she'll run when you try to catch her because she thinks it's a game). So now she's got this area she can go potty in and she won't have access to the rest of the yard unless we are out there playing with her.

So that's the update for this week! I have some cards to post and I've been adding more earrings to my Etsy shop...busy busy! :) Have a great week!

Gel Press - First Impressions, Failures, and a Success?

Ever buy a product you see someone use and think "oh this will be EASY!" and then you get it and it's all "um...why doesn't this work?"

That would be the Gel Press for me. A few days ago, I saw a cool video on the YouTube channel Scrapbooking Made Simple on using a Gel Press with inks, stamps, embossing folders and stencils. Generally this product is used with paint but the woman in the video showed how you could totally use it with stamping inks you own already. I never heard of one of these before, but after watching the video I thought it looked so cool I had to try it. I ordered the 6x6 size Gel Press on Amazon, because I have gift cards and that's where I like to shop when possible (gotta love Prime shipping), though it does come in other sizes.

It arrived yesterday and so today I sat down, ready to make an epic background with stars that looked kind of like the emboss resist technique I'd recently tried. Here's how it looked in the package and when I took it out and took the clear plastic off both sides. It's super squishy and flexible.

The press picks up every piece of lint and animal hair you have around you, so be prepared for that (and keep reading to see why). It has a good weight to it.

So first, I set about using Ranger Distress Inks to make a galaxy background with a Star Splatter stamp from Your Next Stamp. I put my Gel Press on top of a sheet of white card stock so I could see what I was doing.

I pressed around the Distress Ink Cubes in no particular pattern.

I gently rolled my ink brayer around the Gel Press as I'd seen in the video.

Then I pressed my stamp into the Gel Press, again, as I'd seen in the video.

I removed the stamp and pressed my card stock on top.

Aaaaaand...disaster. What an ugly, pebbly mess.

Okie dokie. So Distress Inks aren't working (though I have seen these used when Googling around so I need to experiment some more, probably). Let's move on to dye based inks. Got out my Memento teardrop inks and tried again.

NOPE. Still super pebbly and I obviously mixed up the colors way too much.

On to hybrid inks.

This time I did better with the colors not blending but still looks too pebbly. I don't like it. I'm unhappy. Grrrr.

Finally, I tried pigment inks. I've had one of those pigment ink sets forever, it's old, and I don't generally like pigment inks because they take forever to dry, but hey, let's try it.

Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. No more pebbles, but EWWWW, all the little hairs from my baby wipe stuck to the Gel Press (because it attracts lint and fuzz and, ehem, cat hair, like it's nobody's business).

So I took a lint roller and cleaned off my Gel Press (that worked beautifully, by the way). And then I thought to myself, ok, I've got it. Pigment inks! Let's try again with a stamp. So I took out a different one, it's by Hero Arts, called Tiny Star Background.


I FINALLY got a result I'd been looking for. The pigment inks don't leave the little pebbly texture, they blend pretty well, and the stamp took the ink from the Gel Press beautifully.

I chopped the sheet down into a card sized background and will be using it in a card soon!

The pigment inks did stain my Gel Press while the other inks did not, but it does wipe off pretty clean so I don't think it'll interfere with any future projects, and that was discussed in that YouTube video as well, about staining.

I definitely need to watch more videos about this Gel Press, and practice, practice, practice, but I do think this is a very cool tool to have, and it's pretty inexpensive. Stay tuned!

Card Making Challenge - Paper Crafting Alphabet - Use A Frame

Back today with another card for the card making challenge I've been posting about. You'll notice (obviously) I'm not 100% focused on this challenge and I am doing other things in between posts. This is definitely how I prefer it. The challenge is keeping me going when I want to make something but am not sure what that is, and it is getting me to use products and try techniques I haven't used often or tried before, which is perfect. It doesn't need to be a "I am only doing this until I'm done" kind of thing.

Here is the card I have for you today:

The challenge was to use a frame somewhere on your project. I pulled out the Stampin' Up! On Film Framelit dies I have had for a few years (I got them back when I used to do Project Life because having polaroid photos and frames in your pockets was the cool thing to do) but I'm not sure I ever really used them. Unfortunately they are retired but I have seen them on eBay...and I may be destashing my set at some point. I have a bunch of crafty things to destash, just trying to figure out the best way to do so.

Anyway, my frame is using white card stock and the polaroid shaped die from the On Film set. Behind that, I've used the Lawn Fawn Stitched Cloud Backdrop die and Stampin' Up! Marina Mist card stock to create a cloud background. I stamped my owl and "branch" (log?) from the Lawn Fawn Critters in the Forest stamp set, and colored them with Copic and Spectrum Noir markers. I tried die cutting the owl out, but then realized the matching dies didn't come with one for the branch, which meant I had to cut it by hand, and because I cut so close to the edge, it looked weird having the owl with a white border around him. So I ended up cutting around him too.

The Thank Whoooo sentiment is from The Stamps of Life's owls2love stamp set, and it is stamped on a quote bubble cut from the Lawn Fawn A Birdie Told Me die set. I placed all of this on a card base using Stampin' Up! Sahara Sand card stock. Then, to finish the card, I just added some white dashed lines in the corners using a Gelly Roll white pen. It's kind of simple in that it was easy to create and there aren't any extra embellishments, yet not so much when you look at the scene that I created in the middle.

I filmed myself making this card (no voiceover), so please take a look!

Weight Loss Check In #4 and Stamp Organization

Just a quick one - down 1/2 pound from last week. Didn't exercise at all and was right up to my calories every day. I need to do better. But at least things are still progressing.

Those of you who aren't subscribed yet, I did post a short vlog on my YouTube channel showing my stamp organization.


Most of you know I have an Etsy shop. Some of you might remember I used to make jewelry wayyyyy back in the day, before I had my son. I'm happy to say I've FINALLY started making jewelry again! Well, for now, I'm just focusing on earrings.

I've been spending this week designing some fun pieces for my shop, and I'm currently adding new ones daily. Most of them are leather or faux leather, which create super lightweight earrings. I am having fun creating something a little different with each set, and it's so exciting!

I wanted to share a few photos of the ones I have up right now. I plan to share a post each week with the latest items I've added.

Weight Loss Check In #3

Happy Tuesday!

We spent the weekend working on a new deck in our backyard. We actually ripped the wood off an existing deck and are replacing it with Trex and PVC railings. Here's our progress so far:

On the left you can see what the posts for the railings will look like. I can't wait for it to be finished. we're planning on putting a gate across the far side and then making an area on the right side just out of the door for the dog to use the bathroom :) All that ripped up grass area is from her, so we'd like to be able to have grass there again.

Anyway, on to the weight loss checking. I'm down 1.5 pounds from last week, 5 pounds in total in the first 3 weeks. I didn't exercise even once, so shame on me there. But at least I have my eating in check. Things are going in the right direction. Brad has been doing this with me and he's lost weight as well though I'm not sure what his accurate total is. He's been exercising though. I need to do that.

I started working on some leather and faux leather earrings for my Etsy shop. I'm hoping to get some up by the end of this week so I can show them to you!

Welp, I'm off to clean up my office area. Have a good Tuesday everyone!

Trying New Techniques - Card Making Challenge - Paper Crafting Alphabet - Incorporate An Emboss Resist Technique

I have a new card to show you today for the card making challenge I've been posting about. I actually tried two new-to-me techniques on this card - an emboss resist, and creating a watercolor background with brush tip markers. I decided to film this as well - sort of a Watch Me Work but I didn't do a voiceover, and you get to see where I made some mistakes. I talked to the camera while I was filming.

Here is the card I created:

I used the Altenew Amazing You stamp set and Strathmore Bristol Smooth Surface paper, and stamped the flowers using Versamark ink. I just kind of randomly placed the flowers, leaving a space for a sentiment to be added later (I didn't know which sentiment I wanted when I was doing this). I think if I try this again, I would probably stamp the flowers one by one and make more of a purposeful arrangement. I then added Ranger white embossing powder and heat set the flowers.

Next, I took my Arteza Real Brush Pens (I have the set of 24 of these) and a Water brush pen and an acetate sheet and made an attempt at a watercolor background. In my head, I wanted more of a variation of colors but I definitely screwed that up. I do like how it turned out in the end, though I believe the colors lend themselves more to a galaxy/night sky type of card scene. I used my heat tool to dry the watercolor before working on the sentiment.

For the sentiment, I ended up die cutting "thanks" using the Hero Arts Thanks Stamp & Cuts die from the watercolor panel so that the card base, which is Stampin' Up!'s Elegant Eggplant card stock. To finish off the card, I just added some iridescent purple sequins.

You can watch me attempt these two new techniques in the video below. It's a long one since I didn't crop too much out, but hopefully you find it fun to watch. Also if you've watched my voiceover videos in the past and watch this one, I'd love to know which you prefer - voiceover or me talking to the camera?

Plaid Builder Congrats Card

I have been eyeballing the Waffle Flower Plaid Play stamp for awhile now. I just love the idea of being able to stamp my own plaid backgrounds in whatever colors or patterns I want. So this weekend I picked up the set and I worked on making a couple of backgrounds for practice. However I love how this one turned out, so I decided to use it on a card for my brother, who just purchased a new home.

I combined the Plaid Play set with the In Stitches border set from Technique Tuesday. I actually had never thought of using border stamp sets to create plaid patterns until my friend Shannon suggested it. What a great idea.

I used 5 different VersaMagic inks for this pattern - the four included in this Southwest themed pack (Gingerbread, Turquoise Gem, Red Brick and Night Sky) and then Niagara Mist from this 4 Corners themed pack. Because these are chalky pigment inks, I heat set them when I was done stamping with my heat tool to keep them from smudging. Building the plaid was time consuming but fairly easy - I started with the widest stripe and worked in both directions with the thinner stripes and colors. Then just repeat. When I turned to do the strips that go in the other direction, I offset it a bit so there wasn't just a giant X in the center of the panel.

Next I took some of the Night Sky ink and smushed it onto plain white card stock. I added some Ranger clear embossing powder on top, and die cut the "congrats" using the Hero Arts Congrats Stamp & Cut set and my Big Shot. Then I added more clear embossing powder two more times and heat set it, creating a thicker glossy sentiment I could add directly to my card front.

I trimmed the card panel to just under 4" square and then attached it to a 4" square card base using Stampin' Up!'s Night of Navy card stock.

I definitely love the Plaid Play stamp set and will be using it often in the future! So versatile!