Monday, October 20, 2014

Inspiration Hop, Day 1: Fabulous Holiday Fillers and Video

Good morning, and welcome to our first day of Inspiration hops this week with the Gina K. Designs team! We hope to inspire you with many beautiful ideas for our newest stamps and products, and as you hop through our blogs, make sure to leave a comment on each because we will choose a few random comments and those stampers will each win a grab bag of Gina K. Designs products! To see the full list of winners, check the Big News Forum at StampTV a few days after the hops.
Today we are showcasing my Fabulous Holiday Fillers
 These elements are so fun! I had an absolute blast designing the card above and just seeing where it went as I stamped. You can see the demonstration for creating this card above in my video, but I'm writing it all out anyway. :)
 I started by stamping the circle borders on all four sides to make a ginormous label shape.  Next, I filled it in with the large polka dot circle in GKD Innocent Pink, the smaller polka dot circle in GKD Dark Chocolate, and finally just a few flowers, 
again with the pink ink.

Next I added the semicircles in pink and the ducks in GKD Sweet Corn ink.  Then I stamped the pinking border in Sweet Corn, masking off the ends of each to make a square in the center to frame up my sentiments, which I also stamped in the Dark Chocolate.  Finally fill in the open spaces with the flower image and dots above and below and two tiny adhesive pearls, card complete!  Base is GKD Pure Luxury Innocent Pink.
I just adore the Neopolitan ice cream vibe these colors are giving.  Easily nix the baby theme and add a flower or heart from the set in the open areas to make it for your birthday girl bestie instead!

This design would also work really well to frame up printed wording for an invitation for a baby or bridal shower of birthday party, no? All these different borders and accents have just have *so* many uses.  It's never leaving my desk, I tell you!

Ready for more awesome creations?! Just click on the links below for more from the Illustrators and Design Team!!

Melanie Muenchinger - Illustrator of Fabulous Holiday Fillers

Our awesome Guest Designers for this month:

Joyce Evans Erb

Thank you for visiting today!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Making the Right Impression: Tips for You

Good morning!  I had a customer write to me saying she is having trouble getting a clean impression with the Fabulous Frame stamp (stock is running low again by the way on this one, just FYI).  We have sold thousands of the frame sets now and this is the first inquiry of this nature, so I am certain it is not the stamp itself, but thought it definitely was worth addressing here for anyone else who could also use some pointers or might be receiving the set any day now, as well as highlight some videos where you can see what I am also going to write about, in action. As always, I am glad to answer questions about my stamps. :)

Fabulous Frame includes my first clear frame stamp, and it *is* a little different stamping it than the previous rubber frames mounted on cling cushion. It took a few times at first for me to get used to holding it,  after being so very familiar with my rubber frames which I've used more often than any other stamps in my collection the past 5 years! I have slightly modified the way I used to hold the block, and get good, consistent results and am thrilled with this frame. (Future ones will be clear as well. Yes, of course I will do more frames)  A little modification to holding the block is definitely worth it!  If you are used to my previous frames, the rubber with the added cushion has a higher profile than the clear stamp, so you can grip the block a little more around the edges. With clear you can’t hold it quite the same way, as your fingers (depending on your fingers) might hit the paper first and you could bobble the stamp.  So it can feel tricky to hold at first if you've never used such a large block or are used to the rubber. If you've watched my videos with this frame, I kind of make an “L” basically with my thumb and pointer finger (or middle finger) and right hand looks like backward L , so both thumbs are long on the bottom edge of the block of one finger on the sides, and then gently set it down. Can you picture that? With the rubber, you can hold it more like a fist with your fingers under the edges or like your hands are wrapped around a book and you feel the rubber hit the cardstock sooner than the clear stamp will.  Does that make sense?

Here is a video showing inking and stamping the clear Fabulous Frame, starting at 2:45. I show it in others, all near the beginning, but this was the first one I scrolled to.

And here is a video I posted recently where I show stamping a rubber frame (Festive Frame), also starting at 2:45 (boy, my internal "video clock" just tells me it's time to stop blabbing and get on with the stamping, doesn't it?), where you will also see some of the tips I am about to describe for inking and stamping in this post.

Now, if you've tried what I suggested above and it’s still difficult to hold, you can try putting the inked up stamp facing up on the block on your work surface and then lay the cardstock down the frame, gently smooth fingers over and carefully lift up. This is what Gina has always done with my frame stamps when demonstrating in her videos, like Arranged with Love.   You should get a clean image every time *as long as you are not sliding the cardstock around*. Hold in place with one hand while the others presses. I’ve done it both ways.  With the face up method you must be careful when inking, though, since there are some open spaces, particularly largest section below the oval, not to mash the cardstock down into a gap and get it inky.  I don't use this method with my clear frame however because I find it easier (and this is just me) to center my frame stamping it downward  since it's clear and I can see the rim of cardstock all around under the frame before stamping. 

Avoid getting ink in the open areas of your stamp by going slowly and making sure the pad is crossing two planes of the stamp's image, meaning, having the pad on the edge off the just one border side only makes it very easy to hit the middle of the stamp where you don't want or need ink.  I have lots of staining on my stamp that cannot be removed now because of frantic inking when it first arrived (must stamp with this stamp right NOW!) but I am more careful now that I have gotten some of that urgency out of my system, and thankfully the staining will not affect my stamping.

If you are pressing the stamp down onto cardstock to stamp your image,  and seeing ink transfer from open areas onto cardstock where it should not be, you also want to make sure your cardstock is on a completely flat surface.  Any little corner of another piece of paper lying askew underneath or small object (no matter how small, think of the pea under the mattresses) can cause an uneven stamping surface and therefor result in an unwanted ink hitting the inside of an image on the cardstock where the cardstock is closer to the stamp.

As for wasted cardstock if you do not get a clean impression first try, I always suggest flipping paper over to do the other side first (unless of course the cardstock is thin and you can see goofed impression on the other side, no bueno)*, or, cut it out to mount on another base if the image is clean, but not centered. Never try stamping on folded cardstock, as it will pop up, that almost certainly will get you every time. Yes, I still test/break that rule from time to time in a hurry, deciding to add some little thing after I've folded the card up, and it never goes well.  Ever.) I will say, though, a folded card *will* be sturdier than a single layer if you try the stamp face up method and less likely to hit middle and possibly unwanted inked areas.  You could try that and might like that, I've done it before and it can work.  But don't say I didn't warn you . ;)

If only just a tiny edge is missing in the stamped image, I recommend using a blender pen to lift some ink off the pad you stamped with and dab onto cardstock to fill in border gaps. You can best avoid missing parts of the image by always inking with the stamp face up rather than down onto your pad, and then lift the block and tilt this way and that under your lamp or light at your work table, as all the inked areas will be wet and shiny and any uninked areas will be very noticeable, looking dry and flat.  Then you can go back and add ink to those areas before stamping.  Check again! Finally, you can huff on the stamp to reactivate all the ink if there has been a large amount of time from when you started inking to make sure it is nice and moist all over when you are ready to stamp.

The Misti system was called to my attention by a couple StampTV friends yesterday (thank you!) for stamping large stamps like this one, and while I have not tried the product, I watched the video demonstration after their recommendation.  It is a substantial investment, but if you have tried all the "free" solutions, and practiced, and are still not happy with the results, this might be for you.  It looks like a very clever idea and there seem to be a lot of really satisfied customers.  That product could be especially useful if holding such a large block for a stamp like that is just not comfortable for someone, or for mass producing a large quantity of one design using the frame stamp (or any other stamps for that matter if you are particular about the placement.)

I welcome all of you to ask questions or share any advice that I have not already suggested that may be of use to someone else, or something you changed about your technique that has helped.  There's really no "right" or wrong way to do this if what works for you works!

I hope a little experimentation or possible small ramp up time does not discourage anyone from getting sets that include these frame stamps and this post only gives you confidence that it is just finding what process works best for you.  The versatility of these frames and what they can add to your projects, as well as the ease and time saved (and saved cardstock, to get a layered look in one layer!) once you get the hang of it, make taking that time in the beginning "to get to know each other" well worth the effort. :)

Thanks for reading!

*Honestly, I still use this "goofed" cardstock.  Stamp smaller images or sentiments in the open, usable areas and then cut or punch them out for other cards.  Thrifty, but make it work!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fabulous Holiday Fillers and Greeting Tips For You

Fabulous Holiday Fillers is now available for purchase!  It is selling even faster than the first two sets so far, as I'd hoped since so many of you have been enjoying the past two sets and know how much use you'll get out of this one! :)  Can't wait to see the first uploads of all your fabulous creations once the stamps start arriving!

This card above I made just before the party wanting to show something for the new set without the frame and the straight circle border.  It's a little busier than I usually get but I actually really like how this looks like some really joyful, out-of-control patterned paper!  I always feel I can get away with that a little more when I go with a rainbow palette, you know?  I stamped out the rows, shifting slightly back and forth to "nest" the circles into the previous row, stamping off each time to get the lighter shade you see between each color.   In the party I suggested doing these all in one coor with no fillers for more of a textured look, or even tone on tone with the same color ink as your cardstock or Versmark to look like a Cuttlebigged impression.  Wet emboss that pattern and wow, what texture!  (Think bubbles on blue, snakeskin on green, how fun!)  I am just lovin' these polka dots! The patterned circle fillers  were the last things I added to the set, but so far, and I've only been playing with it a week mind you, are quickly becoming my favorite elements in it to stamp with!  Such neat looks you can make!

Supplies: GKD Cherry Red, Wild Lilac, Sweet Mango, Prickly Pear, Grass Green, Blue Denim, Christmas Pine, Black Onyx ink pads, Pure Luxury heavy Baseweight White cardstock, adhesive rhinestones

Also, here are suggested uses for the different sentiments I created for this set.  There are other possibilities, of course!  (Refer to image sheet above, I did not type out the entire sentiment)

Hoping this holiday is your best ever... yep, any holiday!  (That's why I didn't say "Christmas"!)  With the majority of my family and lots of friends spread out all over, I can send that to most anyone because we don't usually see each other *on* the holiday!  (I don't know that I'd send that to someone for Halloween necessarily, but Easter, Thanksgiving? Sure!)

Words can't express all that's in my heart...sympathy, encouragement, get well, fill in the blank with what you care about so much but I simple sentiment just won't say it all.  (Usually with Sympathy just isn't enough, you know?) This is also great on a tag for any 3d items, gifts, food stuffs you make.
I love you more...  Valentine's Day, anniversaries,  encouragement, child's, spouse's or parent's birthday

You make me so proud... graduations, encouragement, achievement, child, spouse, Mother's Day father's Day, Grandparent's Day etc.

Celebrating your special day...birthday, wedding, shower, birth, achievement, anniversary, graduation, retirement, etc.

Lifting you up in thought and in prayer...get well, encouragement, sympathy, anything that needs prayer!

For all that you've done... thank you, teacher, coach, spouse, caregiver etc

For my... husband, son, daughter, mom, dad, sister, brother

To an amazing... couple, mom, dad, lady, sister, brother, husband, son, daughter
Finally, please let me know if you have requests for how to use certain images in this set or things you would like demonstrated in a video.  I will be posting a tip sheet soon but wanted to address all these greetings today! And, thanks again very much for only having positive things to say about last week's video boo boos.  I came so close to re-shooting the whole thing, you don't even know.  You all are the best!

PS We are blazing through the original Fabulous Frame stock and Fabulous Frame Fillers (yes, again, I know we just put it back in stock!), so don't forget to add these to your order if they are still on your wish list.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

You're Invited! Gina K. Designs Release Tonight

Great news! Many of you have asked, Fabulous Frame Fillers *will* be back in stock tonight at 7 PM CST when we release our new sets! This means all the "Frame" stamp sets will be in stock at once, woo hoo! (Fabulous Frame doesn't have quite as many as the others, though, so don't wait too long if you are wanting that one and don't have it yet)Thanks so much for all your wonderful advanced feedback on the new Fabulous Holiday Fillers. You are going to have so much fun with them!

I hope you can join us for contests and samples with the new sets from our design team in the StampTV Release party forum tonight, as well as a new Gina K. video!  I can't wait to see what everyone has created, as well as chat with you!

See you tonight!