Major haulin’ at Michaels Monday

Okay, so I know that this is technically getting published on Tuesday, but… yesterday was a holiday! A holiday that was spent studying histology slides and working out rational functions, but a holiday nonetheless. Since Michaels isn’t out of the way for me to hit up on the way home from school, and I saw they were doing some nice President’s Day sales, I decided to stop in and pick up a few things. I picked up two different styles of chain to make some new bracelets; I just came up with a design that I absolutely LOVE that deals with chain and beads. When I was designing it I was initially going for a cluster style piece, but it ended up less clustered and more like a pretty charm bracelet. I love charm bracelets, I truly do. I love the ability to customize on a whim, to make them themed or with significant meaning, to put together a bracelet that matches my outfit but is still interchangeable with other outfits… I love to have options, really. While I do have the ability to make a bracelet to match every top and dress I own, I don’t have the time for that. I’m not sure I really have the patience for that, either. I’m also about bang for the buck. What if I didn’t have the skills to make all these bracelets? Would I buy five or ten and hold them in my arsenal? NO! I’m a broke college student. If I were purchasing instead of creating, I would definitely gravitate towards a piece with the ability to match several different things, to tell several different stories. So yes, chain. I came up with the design because my sister came into town and demanded that I make her a bracelet. Ordinarily if someone were to barge into my house and demand custom warez at no charge, I would tell them where to shove it with many four letter word. However, I do have a soft spot for my sister (with all her quirks), so I hopped right on the project. She’s lucky I love her. I will post pictures of her piece once it’s complete.

I also picked up several different ink pads yesterday for my card making/stamping habit. I had several Studio G ink pads that I had gotten from the Michaels $1 bin, and since I knew no better, they worked just fine for me. Did my stamped images always come out clear and crisp? No, they did not, but since I’m new to stamping I figured it was just user error and kept practicing. I had been researching my issue to see if perhaps I could perfect my technique and in a lot of my reading I heard that the quality of the stamps has a lot to do with the likelihood of getting a clear image. Since 95% of my stamps are from the same $1 bin from Michaels that my Studio G inkpads were, I felt a bit sad reading over and over “The better the stamp’s quality, the better result you will get”.  Yesterday, after I came home with my haul of discounted (but still REALLY fabulous) inks, I realized that the stamp quality does not definitively determine the quality of the end result. All my inexpensive, supposedly low quality clear stamps came out crisp and clean and beautiful. I have decided that, for starters, Versafine is magic. MAGIC, people. I got black and vintage sepia, and both are stunning. I did side by side comparisons of the same stamp with the black Versafine and a cheap brand (Colorsmart, I think? I’ll look when I get home), and the results were clear (and crisp, and detailed on the Versafine side =D). I also picked up a Versamark watermark pad, a Staz-on pad in Dove Gray, a Colorbox pad in Deep Purple, a Recollections pad in a crazy bright pink, and a set of Memento metallics. The metallics are incredibly shiny and opaque, and the Colorbox pad is a nice shade with good stamping definition. I don’t know how I feel about the Staz-on pad, I didn’t work with it much and the little bit that I did do with it, I managed to overink my stamps every single time and get blurry images because of it. By overink, what I really mean is that I got too much wet ink in the crevices of the stamp and it ended up running all over the place and making a mess. Speaking of messes, does anyone else make a gigantic mess when working with ink pads? I always manage to get my hands covered in every ink color I use for every project ever. I know that it’s in part because I keep getting ink on my acrylic block that I mount my clear stamps on and then proceed to clean it with my fingers… okay, maybe I’m just a slob. Hahaha, anyone else out there a slob like I am? Anyway, back to haulage. I picked up a few more odds and ends, like some 3/$1 acrylic paint, some cheap wooden frames that I have some ideas for, and a set of sentiment stamps to fill in the gaps in my collection from ones I didn’t like or that didn’t exist in the $1 bin.

I wasn’t able to do much any crafting whatsoever over the weekend, as I was up to my knees in homework. Since you don’t know, I’m pretty short, so while it doesn’t necessarily sound like “up to my knees” would equate to a whole lot, it took up my entire weekend. The small benefit of that was that I was able to take a break from all things school related last night and create. After opening up all my new inks and testing them, I decided I wanted to make some birthday cards. Now, I’m pretty new to card making so I have no back stock whatsoever. I already missed Valentines day because I was not ready for it and didn’t have time to get cards to everyone that I wanted to prior to the deadline, so I’ve now decided that having cards on hand is extremely important. I’ve been watching a lot of the “stretch your materials/mass producible cards” type of videos, and I figured since I was making cards for no one in particular (when aren’t I?), I’d apply some of the techniques I’d learned. YouTube is like my  crafty cocaine, I can’t get enough of searching crafts to learn new things and get inspired. At any rate, I ended up with three cards. I stamped my “Happy Birthday” birthday cake stamp with the Versafine black onto a piece of white cardstock over and over and over. I used one on top of a card base I had already made, embellished with tie-dye ribbon, flowers and buttons. I took my cut out sentiment and rounded the corners, inked the edges with inks to match the ribbon, and used scrapbooker’s glue to put it on the card, dead center. This is how it turned out

For the other two, I decided to use a similar design but more monochromatic. First I took out a pad of shiny paper, because I wanted shine and I wanted to emboss (not heat emboss, I don’t have a heat gun. I used my Sizzix Boutique) something somewhere. I decided to cover the card base in patterned paper that matched the shiny paper, which I ran through the embossing machine first and then cut down to 5.5 inches by 3.5 inches. I centered that, tacked it down with Scotch Scrapbooker’s glue and then I went to work on my sentiment. As I was rounding the corners of my pre-stamped sentiments, I thought to myself “Totally monochromatic is just not my style”, so I busted out my colored pencils and colored in the stamped sentiment. When I first started coloring I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea, but once it all came together I think the coloring added a little extra touch. I inked the edges to match the paper and smacked them in the middle with the aforementioned glue. I had gone to do three in this style, but I accidentally cut one of the patterned pieces too small, something I didn’t notice until after I had already started to glue it down. I can fix it, I just haven’t done so yet.

What do you think? I happen to think they’re pretty nice for a beginner, but I’m a little bit biased. =) I think I’m going to run off and make some more cards. Until next time, folks, stay crafty =)

-Krissy

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~ by charmingliltrinkets on February 21, 2012.

4 Responses to “Major haulin’ at Michaels Monday”

  1. Well done on your beginner cards. When I first started stamping/cardmaking I bought all sorts of inks. Thru trail and error I was able to get a good understanding of how they all worked. There are three key ingredients for a good results – the stamp, the ink, and the paper. I eventually found a combination of all three that gave me the results that appealed to my crafting style. Some inks have a very specific purpose, such as StazOn, so I suggest perservering with that one.

    Good luck with your studies. It was a study assignment that led me to stamping.

  2. Thanks so much for all the kind words! I’d love to hear more about the assignment that led you to start stamping. I know being in anatomy right now is improving my drawing skills (VERY minimally) LOL.

  3. AWESOME! Your cards are just delightful. Everyone needs to have a stock of birthday cards since more people have them than just the one day for Valentine’s Day 😀

    Way to go Girl! Jump in and get going. Your colored pencil bit did add to the card. Great idea you had and good that you followed through with it 😀

    I hope your school work is getting tackled and the flood waters of homework are receding.

    Look forward to seeing more of your cards as you get time to play around.

    Leslie

    • You leave the sweetest comments, they always make me smile. I’m really enjoying this card making thing, and I’m not really even a card giving person. They’re just a nice, small canvas to do something with. That’s why I enjoy the tags as well. I’m also working on a lil mixed media art journal, I’ll be updating about that once I get a little more work on it done.

      My school work is forever getting tackled, I have a text book in front of me right now LOL It never ends! Hahaha. It will soon though. Just a few more months and I will be a degree holding girl =)

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