Thursday, November 30, 2006

Glittertosis

I'm afraid I have some bad news.

After all those cards with glitter and the one I made for our group swap, I have had to declare my stamp room an environmental hazard zone. I was bored last night and did a search on google on glitter and to my horror, I found an entire website about the hazards of glitter! There was this description of a new syndrome doctors have discovered, called Glittertosis. There was this segment about a recent news conference held by doctors expert in this syndrome:

"Glittertosis is an addictive syndrome we have been seeing a lot lately," said Dr. Imnotastamper, "It's characterized by fits of giddiness, an incurable desire to sprinkle glitter on everything, and the tendency to look on the sunny side of life all the time. As everyone knows, life is serious stuff and this can be very dangerous. If more people were realistic and decided that life is a burden that must be born, we would all be better off!" Dr. Imnotastamper left the stage as a chorus of booing broke out and glitter was flung after him as he held a handkerchief in front of his face.

Back stage, Dr. Imnotastamper explained that glittertosis is pervasive and is contracted by breathing and, yes, ingesting glitter. He said that it starts slowly because most people don't realize that they are actually eating tiny particles of glitter that cling to their clothing and their skin and drop into their food. "Extreme care must be taken to use glitter sparingly and to thoroughly clean your hands, hair and clothing afterwards. I recommend a complete change of clothing and a shower after using glitter at any time. But even better, don't use it at all!"

Out in the audience, a skeptical glitter user said, "I don't think he knows what he is talking about! I've been using glitter for years. I can stop any time I want to!" She paused to sneeze and I noticed a lot of glitter flying about as she did so. "Glitter makes me happy!" she said with a manic grin. Turning aside as if to hide what she was doing, she pulled out a small jar and proceeded to croon, "Sooooo pretty!" as she stirred the glitter with a tiny spoon. "What are you looking at?!" she shrieked as my cameraman tried to get a closer look. She left the conference room and headed for the rest room. One hates to speculate, but when she came out she was rubbing her nose as if it were itchy and had a glassy, euphoric expression on her face.

Well, anyway...there will have to be a lot of cleaning going on downstairs to make it fit for human habitation again. In the meantime, I know you guys...you always, always want more! And I can bet you have all been saying, "JAN!!! When are you going to start showing us what you are making with your new Winter mini sets!!!!" Okay, okay...I've really had a hard time getting going with this stuff, why, I don't know (well, see my last post for a good list of excuses.) But at last, I do have two things to show you...then you will just have to wait for me to do some more!




Okay, here's my swap for Controlfreaks...I understand that SOME of you in the swap have gotten yours already...mine BETTER be in the mail today or I will suffer a serious melt-down!!!





And here's what I made for last night's group meeting. The steam is embossed with Irridescent Ice EP after being stamped with white craft ink...sooo pretty....what are you looking at!?!?!?!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I've been neglecting you!

I know, I know...you guys always want more and more and I have neglected to post anything for a while...so let's wind up the excuse train and get it out of the way!!!

1) I have a cold and it sucks.

2) Thanksgiving...4 hours of cooking, 20 minutes of eating, 1 hour of clean up. 'Nuff said.

3) Shopping on Black Friday at 5:30 AM...a real recipe for a day full of energy...NOT!

4) I've been scrapbooking. Believe me, that has been neglected enough and had to be done.

5) The dog ate my stamps? Wait...no dog and if one ate my stamps, it'd be finding a new home right quick!

6) I had a class last night. Which is actually good news, since I *had* to make new cards for it; I had one Snowflake Spot one posted in an earlier post (Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, Almost Amethyst), but I needed three new ones that all had some sort of glitter on them.

Glitter is like crack for stampers, I swear. I can go for a couple of months without filling up a class, but tell some of my students that we are using glitter on every card and they are there to get their fix! I feel like a Glitter Pusher some days (Rubber Pimp on other days!)

So here they are...



This one uses Holographic Highlight EP for it's "bling"!



This one uses Irridescent Ice EP; the technique is Faux Diamond Dust. Stamp, coat the cardstock with Versamark and emboss the whole thing with II. It's go-jus! And the greeting is stamped with black, then the stamp is cleaned and stamped agains with Versamark and embossed with II.



This is plain ole' Dazzling Dimonds and 2-Way Glue.



Now for my other experiments. These were not taught at class because I came up with ones that glittered more.


This one has not glitter at all, just wanted to do a bright cheery card. I get so stuck on blue for Christmas cards. I have to tell myself, "Janine (yes, I talk aloud to myself sometimes...now that I have no baby in my shopping cart, I get funny looks...the baby was for camoflauge 'cause people assumed I was talking to the baby when I was really just talking to myself...after all, what baby really is interested in whether you should buy Downey fabric softener or the store brand? But I digress....where was I...oh, yes) Janine, not every set needs to be made into a blue card. Yes it would look just fab in blue, but for pete's sake, not everyone likes blue as much as you! Get over yourself!!!"


Now this has no glitter on it at all, but I've had this idea for just forever and I *had* to do it!!!!


This had a bit of shine but no glitter.



And this was just not shiny enough either.

So there, I have placated my public, now can go do laundry.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Yeah, I'm so nice

So many of you wanted a look at the back of Pierre (as I have christened the chef from Voila!) And I'm so nice (yes, I love myself) that I took the time away from cleaning (are you feelin' the LOVE?) to take some pictures. It helped that it stopped raining so I actually had enough light coming in my windows to take pictures by!

Anyway, I hope this clears up the mystery:


Here's the back and here are two close-ups of the laminate tags...when you Xyron something with the double laminate cartridge, your image (cut out beforehand) is in the middle of all this clear laminate. Rather than trimming it all away, I left some as a tab at the top and the bottom.



Bottom tab.




Top tab.

Now, you're probably wondering what other go-jus project I will show you today. Well, I ain't got none. I mean...ahem...(for those of you in the grammar police) I haven't got any. I haven't been stamping...I have a pile of swaps downstairs to finish and a major case of swapitis, which I am planning on curing today. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Alligator clips and a new tutorial!

Who knew? Who knew that my casual little mention of alligator clips last time would provoke such a furor of speculation? Over on Splitcoaststampers, there's a whole thread in the demo area about it. I'm amazed and gratified. And yeah, it was FUN teasing you all...hee hee.


So this is it...tada! Or maybe I should say, "Voila!"



"But Jan," you say, "what is that?!?!?!?"


It's a recipe holder....see?



The idea came about because I was thinkign of including something in the class with the recipe box (the one I showed you in a previous post) that could be made along with it. I thought of a recipe holder and googled "recipe holder" and came up with a number of different options. One company sells some that are pretty much like this with flowers on them. I saw it and said, "I can make one of those!" And the rest is history.

This is made with armature wire that you can find in the fine arts area of Michael's. Look for their extremely tiny metal working section and that's where you'll find it. It's quite easy to bend and manipulate. I used a little SU! glitter jar to create the circle at the top. Then I put the end of the wire through the hole in the alligator clip and crimped it back. The chef piece is cardstock that's been double laminated. When I trimmed the laminate around the chef, I left a little tab at the top and bottom, punched two holes in it and folded it to the back. That is what attaches Mr. Chef to the wire...it's threaded through the holes in the laminate tabs.

After I made it, I decided I wouldn't include it in the class, but I still think it's a nifty project and makes a nice gift for the cook in your family. The holder keeps your recipe card off the counter so it won't get messy and it's easy to see.

I worked on this this weekend so I could get it done and out of the way. Here's the dividers for my box:




And here's the recipe cards I made. My students will get three sheets of Sahara Sand, allowing them to stamp 12 recipe cards. They will be able to color them at home, or if they have enough time, at my class.




Here's a close-up:



I know you're going to ask me...what did I color them with? Prismacolor pencils. "But Jan," you say, "that doesn't look like colored pencil to me!!!" Well, it is. I've been using Prismacolors for a looooonnngg time and have found a nice way of getting them to look like paint. I don't use Gamsol. I just use the pencils. And since I know you guys, you want EVERYTHING, and being I'm so nice (yes, I love myself), I decided, out of the goodness of my heart, to make a new tutorial, just for you! Here it is:

JanTink's Ink-redible Painterly Pencils Tutorial

First of all, you'll need the following:

  • Prismacolor Pencils - don't be cheap, now. Yes, you can get good results with SU!'s Pure Color pencils...they just don't have as many purty colors. And you need at least a white pencil, if not several very light colors. A good set of Prismacolors will last for YEARS...the only ones I have to replace are the white and cream colors because I use them the most. Don't buy Verithin because they are not at all the same. Do I wish that Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) would put these in the SU! catalog? Oh, yes, I do wish, but I don't see it happening any time soon. Wah.
  • A mid-toned neutral cardstock, like kraft, Sahara Sand, or Creamy Caramel. You can use colors like any of the Soft Subtles...I just like the look of the light brown behind the colors...it makes them pop.
  • A stamp set that needs to be colored in...ie. line-art.
  • If you wish, a blending pencil like Lyra's Splender. This is a pencil that has no color itself; it only helps to blend your other pencil colors together. If you're looking for a very smooth look, get one of these and play with it and see how you like it. I didn't use it for this tutorial.
Step 1



Stamp your image on your mid-toned cardstock using dark ink like Basic Black or Brown or a color like Elegant Eggplant. Stop laughing! I should have cropped out the sticker sheet up there on top that tells you that I mounted this stamp just to make the tutorial. No, don't ask me how long that set has sat without being mounted...I ain't gonna say!!!


Step 2




Select the area of the image you are going to color first (in this case, the cute piggie.) Then choose three or four colors: a) your mid-tone in the color you want, b) your dark tone - a shade darker than the mid-tone, c) your light tone usually a very light neutral, in this case white, and d) if this is the part of the image you want to pop the most, choose a second dark tone from the color that is directly opposite what you are using on the color wheel. In this case, I'm using peach shades, which are a variant of orange, so I chose a dull blue...that helps to make shadows that recede, making your image more dimensional.

Step 3



Basecoat the image with your mid-tone pencil. Don't feel like you have to lay down a lot of color...just a basic coat.


Step 4



Decide where the light is coming from. Some stamp images don't indicate it, though some do, so look carefully...crosshatching usually will tell you that's where the artitst who designed the image meant for the shadows to go. For me, I like the light to come from the right. On here, the artist agrees, since she or he put just a little crosshatching on the left side of the snout. Then using your dark tone, color the areas where there will be shadows based on where the light is coming from. If the light is coming from the right, the shadows will be on the left and vice versa. Put the color down fairly heavily.


Step 5



Now, take your lightest tone and really lay it on. Scrub it on over the top of the mid and the dark tone. It will blend them together, creating that very painterly look. Be careful NOT to cover the black lines of the image; white Prismacolor is very opaque and it's easy to lose the details if you put too much on. Skirt around those.


Step 6



Now, retouch using your mid-tone, and dark tone. Adding the white will flatten it out a bit, so you may have to add more of the colors you just covered. Just go back and forth between the light and other tones until you achieve a balance that is pleasing. This is the point to add your opposite dark tone, just to the edges of the shadows, blending it in nicely. If you've covered a black line, try adding just a thin line of your darkest tone. Sometimes that will bring the dark line back up.



And here it is, completely colored in. You can add texture with your pencils, like I did on the wooden bed. I always like to put a little color behind the lettering...makes it look more like an integrated part of the image. I left it a little rough looking because I like it that way, but if I wanted to smooth this out more, I'd pick up my Splender and go at it.

There is a small difference when you are adding light areas like white. I usually basecoat using the white, then use light blue for shadows (light purple is nice too). Grey doesn't always work...it's okay for metal objects, but when you are coloring fabrics that are white or snow, blue or purple makes better shadows. Then I hit it again with white, coloring very hard on the highlights. Putting down a lot of color, so that it looks waxy and hides the cardstock is the key to getting painterly looks with pencils.

And here's the finished card. Your Painterly Pencil image is going go be so visually stunning that you don't need much embellishment. And forget about sending this to someone who you don't really like. Save it for someone who is worthy of it. If that turns out to be YOU, I certainly will not tell!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cue the theme song from Jeopardy....

I am waiting. Waiting for that big brown truck to show up with my goodies from SU! Waiting for my preorder from the Winter Mini catalog, filled with beautiful tools for making objects of psychic resonance.



It's soooo hard to wait! And in the meantime, there are bills to pay and a filthy bathroom to clean...hmmm...or I could go to Radio Shack to get those alligator clips.

"Jan," you say, "What do you need alligator clips for????"

Heh heh...that's for me to know and you to find out. Just know that GENIUS BURNS (and no, there are no funny weeds burning) yet again (yes, I love myself.) You'll see why in just a day or two.

So the question of the day is "Will cleaning and bill paying pass the time until the TRUCK gets here with my super cute UPS guy bearing in his arm the BOX with tools for making objects of psychic resonance faster than stamping?" Hmmm....

How wonderful it must be to be Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) and not have to wait for your stamps! She gets 'em when she wants them, as soon as she wants them. But then she misses the site of a cute UPS man in shorts on a hot day...too bad today won't be hot...ah well...

Can you tell I am deranged already? C'mon UPS...I'm getting deranged waiting for these stamps!!!

Update: 11:07 AM

Stamps are NOT on the morning truck...so (sob) I will not get them until later this afternoon. The bathroom is clean...the stress, oh the stress! Well, that plus the thought that my husband might engage a dampening shield on our bank account if he knew how much I spent on the winter mini...if the house gets too dirty, he might just start wondering how I spend my time while he's at work...that would be disastrous, I could see deprogramming looming in my future....

And it doesn't hurt that the mother-in-law made vague noises about coming over this weekend, so have to start somewhere, right?

In the meantime, I am waiting!!!!

Update: 1:55 PM

Stamps are NOT here yet...bills are paid and I am feeling slightly sick after seeing the balances on some of the credit cards...ack! Arranged for a consolidation loan at the bank, now just have to get spousal unit to call and give his okay to the loan and I can pay them off all in one go. I think we can whack the loan down pretty quickly, but I like the interest rate on the loan a lot better than the ones on the cards. I hasten to add that my SU! stuff is paid for out of my business account, but it certainly gives one pause as far as other scrapbooking things one might buy in the future...sigh...

UPS, where are you???

Update: 2:30 PM

THEY ARE HERE!!!!

but I can't even open the box because I have to leave to go to the meat market (for some stupid reason, my family still expects to eat on a day when I get new stamps!!!!) then go pick up my children.

Once I get home, THEN I can get those stamps and accessories out and start playing...yay!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Get a Jump on Your Jingle

This past Saturday I held my very first holiday open house under the psychic compulsion of Shelli Gardner (may she live forever), which I called "Get a Jump on Your Jingle" in order to indoctrinate more people into the cult of SU! Are you a demo yet? We got a speccciiaalllll!!! You know you want it, c'mon!!! You will be assimilated, resistance is futile...

ANYWAY...I assemblied all kinds of objects with a psychic resonance which would compel those attending to order in mass quantities, all with a holiday theme. And I did have 5 people come, 4 of whom ordered, so it must have worked to a point...just not to the mass quantity point. I think there was a dampening field generated by the banks of these ladies...or maybe their husbands. However, it was lots of fun and more profitable than most of the open houses I have had, so I will make it an annual event. Assuming I'm still a demo next year, if my husband has not decided to have me deprogrammed.

I spent all of Friday evening assembling these objects, so naturally did not get around to designing a make and take for attendees until Saturday, two hours before show time! I fiddled around with a couple of ideas and finally came up with this, in my favorite color scheme:



We learned to do a card like this at our major indoctrination event of the year, CONVENTION, in the center of the known universe, Salt Lake City, where I got to again meet my cult-mistress, Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) and she *hugged me.* I'll pause to let that sink in.

Here she is with me...she is really quite a wonderfully nice person. I thought about not washing after this event, but consideration for my convention roomate made me change my mind. For another thing, Shelli actually touched my shirt, not me. I thought about not washing the shirt, putting it in a glass case for all eternity, but then I'd have to explain to people just WHY I had the shirt in the case and I don't think, for some reason, that they would GET IT.




Of course, this isn't the first time I'd met Shelli Gardner (may she live forever.) Here we are in Toronto:



And I even saw Shelli (may she live forever) just last month in Lansing...but I decided to be magnaminous and let others get their picture taken with her. And I thought she might just say, "YOU AGAIN?!?!?" Well, no I didn't...but it sounded good when I typed it the first time. My camera batteries had actually failed long before. Dang camera batteries.

ANYWAY, as you can see by the insert in the card photo above, by slightly offseting the Riveting piece (mounted on a dimensional) so that it overlaps the notch in the card front, you can tuck the cardfront behind the the Riveting piece, holding it closed. The card we did at CONVENTION, in Salt Lake City, center of the known universe, actually was done 180 degrees the other way; the tuck was at the top and the front of the card opened like a drawbridge. Very cute, but I like this better.

Before this card, I had messed around with this one:


I like it, but it was too fussy...you have to line up the different pieces of cardstock (four 4 1/4" squares scored down the middle and woven together) exactly right or it will not close properly.


And while my customers were looking at the objects of psychic resonance or shopping in THE BOOK, I messed around with a new color combination and got this; a card which refuses to be fancy, no matter what I tried to do to fancy it up. Sometimes, you just gotta stamp.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Whaddya do with the small open ended envies?

You may have noticed in our catalog this year that SU! has what are called open-ended envelopes. These envelopes, rather than opening at the top, open at one end (the short end of the rectangle.)

So, like the SU! cult member I am, I bought some of these things in July under psychic compulsion from my cult-mistress, Shelli Gardner (may she live forever), and they have sat in my drawer doing nothing ever since. I had some time to kill on Halloween after the kids were in bed, so I pulled them out, thinking I'd make a card or two that would fit in the envelopes.

The envelopes are 3 3/8" x 6 3/4". So the card would need to be 3 1/4" x 6 1/2" (6 1/2" x 6 1/2" before folding.) So I cut a piece of cardstock that size and got going. I chose another In Color combination off my chart (Real Red, Cool Caribbean, Not Quite Navy, Certainly Celery) and decided to do a donut card. I decided to pull myself away from the awful fascination of Flannel Plaid (undoubtedly another psychic compulsion from Shelli Gardner (may she live forever)) and with mighty effort, I pulled another background, Dotted, out of the stack and got going.

When I'd almost finished it, though, I realized, with one of those blinding flashes of intuition (they don't come too often with me, so I cherish them when they do) that this card was just a little bigger than a currency note! In fact, I pulled out a $20 bill and it was just a little narrower than the note...hmmm.....

Immediately, I abandoned my card base for one that had a flap that would fold in to hold the bill. I realized that I had to keep the adhesive to a very thin strip on the edge of the folded up flat or there wouldn't be enough room to put the bill in. I cut the flap on an angle so I only had to adhere one edge. And here is what I ended up with:




Now, I was mighty pleased with myself for actually doing something that used something that I hadn't done anything with since I bought it and was in love with the color combo and the Dotted background, as well as my own cleverness. Plus I thought it was STINKIN' CUTE and thought I should submit it to SU! (which I am going to!) And I looked at the interior and another blinding flash of sheer genius (yes, I love myself..heh heh) overcame me. How cool it would be if you could see the bill inside from the outside. And once you punched a hole through the front of the card, surely there would be a way of making the image on the bill, showing through, part of the design.

Now, one thing you may note about our currency is that those guys (Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson et al) don't look very cheerful at all. They look like they are stern fathers of our country (or yelling at you for spending them so freely, I don't know which.) None of which is very humorous or cheerful when presenting their faces as a gift. So I decided to lay on the whimsy and another brilliant flash of genius overcame me (yes, I love myself) and I got to work. I was up until 12:30 AM working on this...I tore it apart more than once trying to get it just right. And here it is:




Cold Play is the set I used to make this along with Riveting and the Dotted background. Isn't it cute? Even cuter than the other one. STINKIN' CUTE, in fact (yes, I love myself.)

I hasten to add that the Hamilton, on the $10 bill, does not work well with the same layout that works for Jackson ($20) and Lincoln ($5)...he is over too much to the left. And Washington is still dead center like he has been for years, so you would have to make major adjustments for him. Though if you have a habit of giving away $1 bills for presents, you have other adjustments to make, IMHO! And his head isn't as big, so it would look not quite in proportion. As far as bigger bills, though I don't normally have them around, my husband was gracious enough to lend them to me long enough to see that Grant ($50) and Franklin ($100) work just fine in this holder too (Franklin looks especially hilarious)...and if you are in the habit of giving those away for Christmas, I'd like to get to know you better!

So now they are in an envelope on the way to SU! and I have made myself another one of each to keep.

To make either one, cut your card base 6 1/2" x 9 1/2". Score at 3 1/4" and 6 1/2". The remaining 3" is for the flap.

To determine where to put my hole for the Cold Play card, I took the 1 3/8" circle punch, punched a piece of sticky note out and put it over the part of the bill I wanted to show through the hole. Then I put the bill on the cardfront in about the place I thought it would rest inside the card and took my paper piercing tool and poked a hole through the center of sticky note, through the bill and through the cardstock. I then removed the bill, put the sticky note back on the cardstock and punched using the punch trick. Then I used the punch trick again to make the holes in the flap (which I turned into a slot) and the matt on the front of the card.

I know, I know...you are saying, "But JAN!!! You already did this, so just tell us where the hole needs to go so we don't have to do that!!!" You guys...you want everything! But I am so nice (along with being a genius...yes, I love myself!) that I will tell you:

For Mr. Franklin, Mr. Grant, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Lincoln, the left edge of the hole needs to be 2 3/16" from the left side of the cardfront and the bottom of the hole needs to be 5/8" from the bottom of the cardfront. If you are making a holder for Mr. Hamilton, move the hole to 1 7/8" from the left side. And if you are making one for Mr. Washington...let's not go there.

I used a Scotch ATG gun to glue my flap down, but if you don't have one of those, use sticky strip...and use half the width...otherwise, not enough room to slide your bill in.

So now, you can make one of these, insert the bill of your choice and send me one for a present!!!