Friday, April 30, 2010

Wave Maker Tutorial


Today I am sharing one of my favorite "not a card" projects ever, and it is so easy to make with my new "Gifts from the Sea" set! Like sea in a bottle you can create a wave maker to go with the "If you want to know how much I love you, count the waves." Makes a beautiful piece of home decor or paperweight and looks beautiful on a windowsill...lovely beach substitute for a snow globe, too, kids love to shake anything up!

You will need: clear oil (like baby oil), blue food coloring and water, and a clear bottle or jar with a tight fitting stopper or lid. The pretty one below I am re-purposing, it used to contain bath salts. Never, ever throw away a pretty bottle!! Just soak off the label if it has any. Get creative with your containers, this could even be a mason jar or soda bottle...consider who you are making it for to decide what will look best. Optional items which I used in this project: Stazon to stamp on the glass and waterproof labels for adding images to outside (but you could also card stock and just add adhesive or Xyron the back. )
First, just add water! Fill the container about halfway.

Now add the food coloring, a few drops at a time, until you have your desired shade of sea blue.


Add the oil.



The layers will separate naturally, looking cloudy at first, by the time you finish the project the bubbles will be gone and the oil will be clear. Add your top. (Glue on if you worry about it coming open, but I didn't here, may add things inside later like a tiny plastic boat or dolphin)


Here I've tied on some raffia around the neck and added a stamped waterproof label I die cut with a Labels One Nestability, which was perfect for these square sides, and a little cut out shell (all images were stamped on the waterproof labels). If you have a tall bottle, an oval or rectangle would look nice, for a wider container, a Labels Four, etc.
The stamped sand dollar was perfect for the large stopper. I just love it!!


Then I adhered a few stamped and colored shells to the bottom on each side. I wondered before starting how the the shells on the other side would look from behind since they'd be white where the adhesive, but was thrilled with how they look through the blue water (there are some on the far right below), like coral further away on the ocean floor. :)


Another really cool illusion you can create that shows through all sides of the bottle, stamp some of the seagulls using Stazon directly to the glass.


I made this for my son Jonathan in mind, we are in the process of redecorating his room (he asked for sharks) but it turned out so sophisticated looking I think I'll be making one for my husband and for father's Day! I'm excited to see how different they'll turn out using containers of different shapes and sizes. more ideas to decoarate, glue on some real shells, or add a torn layer of sandpaper aroudnt eh bottom on the outside to make sand.


The video below shows shaking up the bottle and how the layers stay separated, I apologize for shooting it sideways, oops!!


video


Hope this post was worth waiting for LOL! My arm is burning and I am exhausted (although it wasn't a long project, photographing and typing took more than I had today!), so it might be the last project for a few more days, but I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.

Thank you for visiting, hope you have a terrific weekend!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Legend of the Sand Dollar

Thank you thank you for your prayers for William, he slept through the night (although I woke up to check on him, old habits...!) and has been fever free ALL day, praise the Lord! We were even able to go out and do a few errands and get his hair cut, he looks so cute.
I have not gotten to stamp yet, but one project I have in mind involves my sand dollar, I thought in the meantime I'd share this little poem about the symbolism of a sand dollar's markings I came across while working on my set, you may have heard it before, (and might not ever think of them the same way again...) Author is unknown...



THERE'S A PRETTY LITTLE LEGEND

THAT I WOULD LIKE TO TELL

OF THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF JESUS

FOUND IN THIS LOWLY SHELL


IF YOU EXAMINE CLOSELY

YOU'LL SEE THAT YOU FIND HERE

FOUR NAIL HOLES AND A FIFTH ONE

MADE BY A ROMAN'S SPEAR



ON ONE SIDE THE EASTER LILY

ITS CENTER IS THE STAR

THAT APPEARED UNTO THE SHEPHERDS

AND LED THEM FROM AFAR


THE CHRISTMAS POINSETTIA

ETCHED ON THE OTHER SIDE

REMINDS US OF HIS BIRTHDAY

OUR HAPPY CHRISTMASTIDE


NOW BREAK THE CENTER OPEN

AND HERE YOU WILL RELEASE

THE FIVE WHITE DOVES AWAITING

TO SPREAD GOOD WILL AND PEACE




THIS SIMPLE LITTLE SYMBOL

CHRIST LEFT FOR YOU AND ME

TO HELP US SPREAD HIS GOSPEL

THROUGH ALL ETERNITY



I wasn't sure really sure about the star and five doves part until I found this cool image (click that for link to the photo!) showing how the pieces break apart, isn't that pretty? Anyway, thought this could be something you could print out to go with the image on a card, bookmark or project, just a thought... :) (it definitely wouldn't fit in the set LOL!)

I am feeling good today, too! and a special treat, my friend invited me to go to the opera with her tonight, her husband couldn't use their tickets tonight so I get a little break! :) Have a great evening, thank you for checking in!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

William

If you could please lift up some prayers for my little William, he has been running a fever for three days. :( He's normally at school for a few hours on Mondays and Tuesdays, but hasn't been so I am behind on my crafting, although I'm "crafting in my mind" and have a few specific projects planned for when he is better.Here is a picture of him I took on Sunday, just a few hours before he started running his fever. We were out letter boxing and he found his own treasure floating on the river, a stargazer lily (just the bloom, no stem), it was wet but the delicate petals were perfect and smelled heavenly! I can only imagine it came from a wedding or something that happened earlier that day somewhere upstream and floated down our way... He was SO excited to bring it home and show his daddy..and then a big DOG came over and ATE it, right out of his hand! :( (Owner did not apologize... sniff) Poor little guy was heart broken, I'm so glad I at least got a pic before that happened.


We'll be going to the doctor tomorrow if he hasn't improved, I'll keep you posted! Thank you for your prayers, and if you could pray the rest of our family can stay healthy after this (I'm not feeling the best today, but hoping it's just lack of sleep the past few nights from sitting up with him... is it hot in here? yikes! ugh!!), I'd so appreciate it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 2 with Sue Van DeVusse


Today Sue is teasing me a little bit by sweeping me on away on a virtual beach vacation with this "Gifts from the Sea" card and reminding me "Wish You Were Here" LOL! The mulberry paper provides the most gorgeous furry texture, it truly reminds me of some wispy seaweed swirling in the ocean current, love the effect! The thicker rope she tied the little bundle of shells up with just makes it extra precious, and Sue's waves today (that I totally didn't think of when I posted my tip sheet! see, there is so much you can do!) , using a white core colored card stock she tore in layers to reveal the white inside is just perfect to mimic sea foam sweeping up onto the sand! How simple but beautiful! These textured card stocks are Core'dinations. I assumed she just crimped some paper for behind the shells, but I assumed wrong! It is part of a light bulb box, way to recycle! LOL! Card base is Pure luxury Ocean Mist, I'm loving this and the cool turquoise with the warmer tan! She kept the colors very muted on the shells, love the delicate pop of peach on the coral that brings out the gorgeous color of the mulberry. This card could be for a man or woman, anyone who loves the sea...well done, Sue! Wish you were here so I could give you a squeeze, you are doing a wonderful job as my guest designer! :)
Let's go see what else Sue made this week!

Gifts from the Sea Tip Sheet

Here is the beginning of my tip sheet for this new set. I will be adding to it as well as demonstrating the tips and techniques I'm suggesting over time here on my blog. Refer to the image sheet below as you read the tips.




Making Shells



Stamp shells in black for the most contrast or brown or gray for a softer look.



Uncolored on white or ivory paper will be very pretty, or add color to the bottoms leaving some areas white near the top for highlights.



Stamp them in a color like purple or pink and then soften with a watercolor brush, for a beautiful blended look.



Color options are almost unlimited, look at shell photos online for inspiration when coloring.
Stamp onto glossy card stock and they will look like shiny realistic shells.



Cover your colored shells with a layer of Versamark and clear EP and heat.



Stamp out a bunch of shells, cut out and keep them in a little tin, box or basket. You can dip into this stash any time you are wanting a little natural looking embellishment to add to the corner of your card, greeting or tag, color to match! Perfect "man bling"!



Try stamping the sand dollar or star fish on sand paper.


Use the coral bits behind your shells clusters on either side like a little natural "flourish".


Substitute the star fish anywhere you would use stars on a card for a bit of whimsy.



Making Cards and Papers
Stamp the shells all over a white, neutral or colored card stock in one to three colors for a sea themed background or base. add the speckle around them to look like grains of sand or give theme paper, a natural recycled look.


Earthy natural colors will make beautiful mats and bases for sea themed cards, as well bright and ones for a more playful and sunny beach palette!


Not just for "sea" cards: ANY time you get a tiny smudge or boo boo on one of your mats , ink up the speckle stamp in a similar color and dab on a few more colors, your mistake will blend in to a beautiful random speckle pattern!


Create texture on your cards by tearing and distressing your papers and mats to look like weathering from the wind, water and sand.


Add hemp or jute twine for rope accents.


Try creating interesting knots either by twisting and making your own or looking up different sailor knots online for added realism.


Punch a hole through a stamped shell and tie to the end of the jute.


Mesh and various netting gives a beautiful beach look. Adhere to card in sections or try sponging ink over the netting and remove for a beautiful background.





Making Borders


The border in this set is perfect for creating a quick strip to coordinate the base inside of your card or envelope with your sea theme.


Stamp just one of cover the entire mat to make a quick background.


Use scalloped die cuts, punches or decorative edge scissors to cut around the humps of the images for a scalloped border.


To add a pop of color, ink up the shells in one color and the sand dollars in another.


To add variety and versatility to the border, ink up just a few of the shells or sand dollars leaving some open spaces and stamp. Then stamp your other favorite small shells from the set in the spaces in between to create a completely new border.


To add a lacy or fancy look to a wide ribbon (or strip of card stock or DP): stamp the shells pointing down along the bottom of your card, put your ribbon above that then stamp the border again above it, this time with the shells pointing up. Now you've created scallops on either side. Stamp them in the same color as the strip or ribbon to make them look like they are one element or in a contrasting color to show the separation.



Making Waves



Create waves with layers of torn vellum over blue, green, or aqua card stock.


Brayer your vellum with cool tones.


Sponge blue for waves and tan for sand leaving a white or lighter spaces in the middle for foam.


Sponge over a torn edge to create the tops of waves and repeat again and again to make your waves move back in the distance.


Use a white gel pen to add little zigzagging accents to create crests on your blue colored or water colored card stock.


Create foam by adding lines of Liquid Applique and heating.



Cut scallops with decorative edge scissors in shades of blue or turquoise and layer your cut card stock (using the opposite side of the scallops so you have curves and points like waves) overlapping for a more whimsical looking seascape.

Making Sky


Sponge areas with a dauber and then stamp the birds in black, gray or brown.


Stamp off the birds to make them look like they are in the distance.


Add the smaller group of birds to the top area of your card or the area you want to appear farthest away.


Use a cloud stencil for a more whimsical look, a torn edge or just freely add the color until you get the effect you want.

Make a sun or a moon by placing a circle over your mat, sponging aorund it, and removing.

Brayerign a beach sunrise or suneset with a spectrum pad on plain on glossy card stock would be fabulous!

Making Sand


Start with a sandy colored card stock, wheat, Kraft, tan or white and stamp on the speckle image in a sgade of brown or gray, repeating all over until you have the desired look and texture. It is a good idea to gently ink up this stamp or roll onto our pad and use of soft touch when stamping to avoid creating clumps. Either way, just make sure your speckles overlap and you will have a seamless look.


Rip the card stock along the top edge and adhere to your mat or at an angle to create what will look like a little pile of sand heaped up at the bottom or in the corner, perfect for a few of your stamped shells to rest.


Add real sand to your project using a layer of sticky paper, wide Scor-tape, or heat and stick powder and then adding natural or colored sand and shaking off the excess. Then add your stamped shells on top.



Mixing with Other Gina K Sets:

all our new water themed , fish and fishing sets will look great with this, even if they are more whisical , mixed together with a few shells will still be a great look!

Gone Fishing, Quite a Catch, Guiding Light (somebody mentioned a lighthouse, here it is!), You are My Sunshine, Special Fathers,

several greeting sets (Not Forgotten, Masculine Messages, A Beautiful Life, Friends, The Best Things in Life, Inside and Out, Love Notes etc) just stamp a greeting and add a shell or some birds!


Match it with:

The following Cuttlebug folders have textures and patterns that are reminiscent of water or natural elements would be fabulous with these images and greetings:

D'Vine Swirl, Diamonds in The rough, Distressed Stripes, Herringbone, Houndstooth, Forest Branches, Mesh, tiny Bubbles, Tiny Mosaic and Script

I'm sure you've all seen the gorgeous Seascape Impressabilites plate by now, for stencilling and embossing, a must have with this set!


Making projects


Makes gorgeous framed art or shadow boxes.


Wonderful to complete the decor of a room with a nautical theme.


Try a clock with the hours marked by the different shells.


Stamp shells into Sculpey Clay to make charms to add to decorative items.


Make quick gifts for a beach lover or when visiting someone on vacation: coasters, Polyshrink wine charms, jewelry, etc.


Use the waterproof labels to stamp up a beachy label for a wine bottle with one of the sea quotes to give your host or drink on your trip or remember a vacation from the past.


Create invitations, gift wrap and matching party dinnerware for a beach party.

Simple vacation scrapbooks or frames for beach memories.

Decorate a box or glass jar and fill it full or shells you've collected.

Stamp shells on tissue paper to make a candle.


This is the beginning! I welcome your comments, ideas and tips as always! Looking forward to seeing your creations, there are already more beautiful "Gifts from the Sea" projects in the STV gallery, not to miss!! :) I look forward to having some "quality time" with this set we had family in town and now my younger son is sick, please send up some prayers if you are able that his fever goes away...

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shoot, I forgot again! (Tie Dye Challenge winner)

I am so sorry I forgot to post a winner for my tie dye challenge, I got so wrapped up in getting ready for our previews last weekend! Oops!! :( Anyway, if you thought there weren't any entries or didn't post because you didn't want to "be the first", I actually (and unintentionally!) used a slightly different Mr. Linky widget so it doesn't display the entries, although you can see them when you click on it (and there were some), sorry if that threw anyone off!

The winner is Theresa Pollack, so adorable what she did with that little bear, the sign cracked me up! Thank you all for playing! Please send em you addy theresa and I will send you some little goodies! :)

Tips sheet for "Gifts from the Sea" coming up next, I have a few publication deadlines I am trying to prepare projects for , so I probably better not post any more challenges for awhile until i get my hand and more new projects under control!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blog candy winner!

I don't think I've ever enjoyed reading your comments more than I did today! I hope you will all have time soon or when you are needing a lift to go back to the previous post and read them, they are like several months helping of "Chicken Soup for the Soul"! You've been on the receiving end of some remarkable acts of kindness, and I know it is because you all shine for others when needed! It was wonderful to hear how many of you remembered the smallest things done by strangers 20 and thirty years ago, talk about leaving an impression! :)

The winner of the "Gifts from the Sea" set (and I wish I had 80 to give away) is:

Lori said...
Love that story! The first thing that came to mind, is when one of my students was moving away, and he said, "Lori, you are the best teacher I have ever had, and I will always remember you." I knew this young man for about 2 years, and I'm glad I made a difference to him, his life is going to continue to be very hard. Off to wish Cammie a happy b-day!

April 24, 2010 12:57 PM

Congrats Lori, please email me with your snail addy so I can pop your set in the mail! Thank you to everyone who went and left birthday wishes for Cammie (I totally think she's onto us!!) ;)

Saving Starfish (and Blog Candy)


I love starfish. I've never found one of the beach, but I have spied a few in tide pools and have a few large dried ones in my home. I had to put one in my new set! :) When I was in college I heard for the first time a very famous short story by Loren Eiseley that has been retold many times and ways with different characters, that I really want to share with you. (if you've heard it before, I'm sure you won't mind reading it again) Here is one version (replace the people with a woman and child, or whatever speaks to you.) :)


"Saving Starfish"

An elderly man was picking up objects off the beach and tossing them out into the sea. A young man approached and saw that the objects were starfish. He asked, "Why in the world are you throwing starfish into the water?"


"If the starfish are still on the beach when the tide goes out and the sun rises high in the sky, they will die," replied the elderly man.


The young man countered, "That is ridiculous. There are thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish.
You can't really believe that what you're doing could possibly make a difference!"

The wise old man picked up another starfish, paused thoughtfully, and as he threw it to the safety of the sea, he said, "It made a difference to that one."


Later that day the young man returned and helped the elderly man throw starfish into the sea
.

It's not really about starfish, of course, but how doing little things for one person at a time can change their life, and ultimately, change the world. There is always something each of us can do. I just love this story.

I have one more "Gifts from the Sea" set I would like to give away, two ways to enter your name! ( If you already bought the set (thank you!), not to worry, I can get you a different set if you win.)

Leave me a comment below telling me about something small you remember a person doing for you that really made a difference.


Next, please leave a comment on Carolyn King's blog telling her "Happy Birthday!" because it is TODAY. This is a one day candy, so you have to go do it now LOL! I think that small thing will really make a difference in her day... (I hope!)


I will announce the winner late tonight.


I want to thank you all for the little things you do for me: leaving encouraging comments that make me want to make each blog post better than the next, emails with advice that really helps, prayers that really lift me up, posting a card online using my stamps, the list goes on and on... there are days when things just aren't going well and your perfectly timed act of kindness turns it all around. :)


God Bless,

Melanie

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Guest Designer Sue Van DeVusse

"Gifts from the Sea" is now available for purchase at Gina K Designs! Thank you everyone for giving it such a warm reception! It was such a joy to read form all your comments on Gina's blog, mine and the release party thread how many of you are connected with the sea, be that through your current residence, childhood home, or vacation spots! Here is a pic of the full set, tip sheet coming soon!

For my first guest designing spot of the month, I have this lovely creation by Sue van DeVusse! Please help me give a warm welcome to Sue, one of my guest designers this month! Sue makes such elegant cards, and adds such beautiful details to her scenes, I had no doubt she would totally rock this set! Although this design is expertly crafted, she has chosen a very simple but effective technique to create the shore and water than even a beginner can execute well: grab a sponge and daub in lots of blue to the corners, concentrating most of the ink at the corner and working out. Now do the same with tan ink working from the opposite corner toward the middle to make the sand. The space in between becomes foam and shallow water meeting the beach, I am just in love with this look! Just so artsy and stylized yet realistic at the same time! Add the cut and colored shells of your choice and a greeting and your down, scene and card complete!


Here is the card recipe, followed by a little more about Sue:


Stamps: GKD Gifts from the Sea illustrated by Melanie Muenchinger
Cardstock: Gina K Pure Luxury white, ivory, Soft Sand and In the Navy
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Rich Cocoa, Summer Sky and Danube Blue, Vivid Tuscan Tan and Taupe
Accessories: Prismacolor markers, sponges, piercer


Describe your style/what you think you do best: My style varies greatly depending on my mood. Sometimes I like to do whimsical and other times more elegant. Sometimes CAS and other times elaborate.

FAVORITE TECHNIQUE: I love the look of sponging, so I do that quite a bit.

COLORS/COLOR COMBO: Once again, depends on my mood, but I do tend to lean more toward neutrals and softer colors.

FAVORITE GINA K SET BY MELANIE: It has been A Year of Flowers, the first set I got, but now is a toss up with Gifts From the Sea.

FAVORITE GINA K SETS (FROM ANY ILLUSTRATOR) I have quite a few GKD sets and love them all. I reach for Nina’s Vintage Borders a lot and have been getting a lot of mileage from You Know You’re Old When…

CRAFT SUPPLIES I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Pure Luxury cardstock, it’s the best.

I’VE BEEN STAMPING FOR (HOW LONG): 5 years, my daughter got me into it

I GET MY INSPIRATION FROM: Mostly from the different challenges on Stamp TV, but sometimes I see things in nature or something else in everyday life that inspires me.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT STAMPING/CARDMAKING ARE: Mistakes are only opportunities for more embellishments*

SOME OF MY STAMPING/CRAFTING GOALS ARE: I just really enjoy making cards and it makes me feel good when my daughter “shops” through them for cards she needs. Maybe someday I will work up the courage to submit a card to try to get published.

FAVORITE THING TO MAKE THAT AREN’T CARDS: Stamped tumbled tile coasters, they are quick and easy to make and great gifts for any occasion.

SOME OF MY STAMPING/CRAFTING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Being selected for the Center Stage Spotlight team on Stamp TV and now being a part of the CSS Alumni. And, of course, being a Guest Designer for Melanie!

CHALLENGES I LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN: I try to participate in all of the challenges on Stamp TV, there are very few that I miss.

WHAT I DO WHEN I’M NOT STAMPING: During the daytime, I work as an Office Manager/EMT/Medical Biller. In my spare time I also like to spend as much time as possible with my 3 grandsons and golf.



More samples to come from Sue throughout the month (one more today on her blog!), as well as Deb Felts, Keri Lee Sereika and Holly McMillen with this set, you can click on their names to see their samples, big thanks to all of them for jumping all over this set and making it sing at our release! :) Be sure to check their blogs for more amazing sea samples!

* hee hee, she's got that right!! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sneak Peek Day 4: Vintage Backgrounds and Masculine Messages

For our last night of peeks, we have a wonderful set of backgrounds by Nina called "Vintage Backgrounds" and a beautiful "Free with Three" set of greetings by Gina called "Masculine Messages", both very versatile and nice basics for your stamp collection. Borders and backgrounds are always great for filling up a lot of space on your card as well as adding a lot of color and detail quickly, one of my favorite ways is to stamp them onto a patterned paper and double up on your colors and patterns! I did this on both cards tonight. Here I used a sheet of Basic Grey, most of their packs come with several "solid" distressed colors in addition to the prints. Sometimes I wish these had a little more "going on", so pull out a big background strip like these polka dots and stamp! :) I did these tone on tone to be more subtle, I wouldn't normally give my husband a card with big polka dots, but in the same shade as the paper they look like bubbles, especially when you pair it with that herringbone background stamp in brown on White, which trimmed and added across the base looks like rope to complete the nautical feel. But in different colors both these stamps would take on a completely different look! My husband is a little old for buttons on his card, so I used one of my star fish from "Gifts from the Sea", all the shells are probably going to become a standard on my masculine cards when I need some "man bling"! I also used Chocolate Brown and Kraft, sponging a little Rich Cocoa ink on the tag before removing the rectangle die.
Next I wanted to make a very feminine card using both sets again to show their vintage side as well as that these messages don't have to be masculine! This card uses three of the new backgrounds: the laces and striped ribbon which I stamped over a Basic Grey Origins pattern, and the hounds tooth which I stamped over the dark olive button with Black Stazon (totally got the button idea from Lynn when she peeked the "Vintage Borders" set a few months back!)

Here you can see it up close, I didn't use any of the "male words", just one of the gender neutral sentiments. The tag for the greeting is the other corner of the same patterned paper , I was happy to use that gorgeous olive flourish from the print again, this time turned sideways.... base and mats are Pure Luxury White and Black Onyx.



Designers Participating in Previews tonight:



        The Release Party is tomorrow night on StampTV. We would LOVE to have you join us for the fun!


        There will be challenges, contest questions, chatter, as well as tons of samples from the Design Team members from 7-10 (central time) all leading to the new products being available in GinaK's online store at 10pm.

        Tuesday, April 20, 2010

        Sneak Peek Day 3: Sew Pretty and Welcome Home

        The previews continue! First peek of the day is Rupa Shevde's "Welcome Home", filled with images and sentiments perfect for making a special welcoming or moving card or announce a change of address. My mom and stepdad are currently looking for a house, they have been uprooted for awhile, let's just say we will all rejoice when they find the place they can call "home"! Anticipating it will be soon, I made them a card with a little picture perfect neighborhood, moving van already unloaded! The space on the side of the truck image is open, but I stamped the "Welcome" greeting inside it. The popped up house is actually part of a border which I stamped on the envelope to match, it's fun to be able to use the different houses separately when you want. I created a front lawn and sky from clover and cloud prints from Cosmo Cricket's Earth Love pack, a clothesline from Cosmo's Boyfriend pack, and street from a Basic Grey pad, it was fun cropping all these strips together. TIP: The clothesline has some especially cute garments, namely the slip and boxers, but would have been hidden behind the truck if I left the strip "as is". However, this strip would only be showing in a few places around my focal points so I just snipped it up in a few places to make sure the colors and images I wanted to see would be featured. Try this with other parts of your prints and patterns you really like! :) I used a Kraft base which I also used to paper piece the packing boxes, and added my own detail of the words with a red marker. :) Last I added some red ribbon and the keys image with "love" stamped on the tag for a little embellishment.


        Next is Asela's "Sew Pretty", and this lady I am using today may turn out to be one of my favorite "Asela" images because the attitude and retro-feel remind me of the Anne Taintor magnets, which use stock photos of Hollywood starlets or print adds on fabulous backgrounds accompanied by very snarky comments clipped up ransom note style, they are a hoot! Since I've gotten so into cooking lately, I decided to celebrate my inner domestic goddess and make a fabulous menu dry erase board! This uses a 5x7 acrylic frame, but you could easily adapt the concept and size it down to an A2 card.


        I used Basic Grey Junebug print as my starting point and trimmed a big floral section for the corner and then paper pieced her apron with the scrap left over. The Black Onyx, Lemon Drop and new Turquoise Sea colors really sizzle and add to the retro feel. I trimmed two of the greetings from the set I stamped onto white into separate words and adhered these over the mats.



        Here is a closeup of the gal, colored with Copics. Although the mats and she are slipped inside the frame, I added some adhesive rhinestones on the outside directly on the acrylic for her necklace, diamonds in the kitchen , oh my! (I made her a brunette like me, and totally want this apron for myself! I promise to make more of these for friends who I know will LOVE them, but this is one for me, it reminds me "Girl, you are cooking, and cooking is HOT!" hee hee) :)


        The assorted buttons are on the frame itself as well, adhered with glue dots to the flower centers inthe print, as well as a green safety pin and stitched ribbon, I just love the texture and funkiness these details add to the project! I put another little row of rhinestones around the dry erase pen and did a mock up of my meal (I wasn't doing any writing though when I took this photo because of my hand, so I added some text in Photoshop, you get the idea! if only my own handwriting were that lovely!) If you are gifting this board, adding a little utensil to go with tied up with a matching ribbon makes it the total package!



        Designers Participating in Previews tonight:



        The Release Party is this Thursday, April 22 on StampTV. We would LOVE to have you join us for the fun!


        There will be challenges, contest questions, chatter, as well as tons of samples from the Design Team members from 7-10 (central time) all leading to the new products being available in GinaK's online store at 10pm.

        Monday, April 19, 2010

        Sneak Peek Day 2: Gone Fishing and Quite a Catch

        Welcome back to our previews!! Get ready for a day o' fish! Both sets are so different, but both really fun! First up is Theresa Momber's "Gone Fishin'", drawn in a classic vintage style you so love from her! I made a card for my father-in-law who is retired and lives on the bayou, and fishing can happen any ol' time of day there. :) Similar to a view master card, this interactive design turns, but has no "viewing window", so you see the fish on the wheel all the way around as they jump in and out of the water, here's how...
        Cut a circle 3 3/4" from white CS. Stamp the two fish images around the edge.
        Find the middle of the circle and poke a hole for your brad. An easy way to find the middle is to cut another circle the same size from scratch paper, fold into quarters, unfold and place over your stamped circle and poke where the folds intersect.

        Color your fish. Cut a White mat 3 7/8 x 5 1/8" and a Black Onyx mat 4 x 5 1/4" and adhere together. Place the circle over the mat, pierce through the hole into the other two layers and insert your brad, loosely so it moves freely. Loose enough, not only will it turn but it will spin a good two revolutions with one little push! :) I used a white brad here, but any color is fine so long as it is covered up! Pop up the mats onto your card base to give it room to turn. You could make the water more realistic as well, but the greeting was so clean and modern, I kept to just use a solid mat, love this new color so much! Only use pop dots on the turquoise later at the bottom corners and about 1/3 of the way up, so as not to interfere with the wheel. (Sorry this pic is a little fuzzy, I didn't realize that until after assembling!)


        Here is a closeup of the fish, colored with Copics, you can find great images online to give you ideas for their colors and markings.

        Here you can see the card again, but with the fish in different places than before. This is so fun to have them endlessly flopping out of the water when paired with this cute greeting from the set, "Eat. Sleep. Fish." I added the popped up and colored stamped lure image to add more interest (and give you more peeks!) Water mat is Pure Luxury Turquoise Sea and card base is Kraft.

        The next set we are previewing is Gina K's "Quite a Catch", filled with saucy sayings and sea life! This little guy cracks me up, he is so distressed or guilty, just don't know! But when I spied the "don't worry be happy" greeting, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the inside of the card: turn that frown upside down!!

        With a black marker, ink up the fish except for the mouth and stamp. now ink the whole image and stamp the fish two more times and cut out one mouth. Use the whole fish ( the one in the middle) for the outside of the card and the mouthless fish (top image) with the new smile for the inside of your card.

        Here it is with a whole new attitude!


        And here is the inside of the card!! Notice how I swapped out not just the mouth, but I made the fish's colors a little brighter, switched the black classic die cut mat for a scalloped one, changed the blue polka dotted DP for a more more cheerful red ( both are Nina's new "Grungy Polka Dots" digi papers) and took the same blue paper to make a balloon using a circle punch and drawing in a little string.
        "don't worry be happy" is one stamp, but you can split it up the way I did by inking the phrases separately with your marker and stamping on your mats. This card is sure to bring a smile to even the grumpiest face, don't you think? I had that Bobby McFerrin song in my head the whole time I was making it! (doo doo do doo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo, don't wor-ry, doo ooo ooo ooo, be HAP-PY" ) Card base is Pure Luxury Turquoise Sea.



        Designers Participating in tonight's previews:


        The Release Party is this Thursday, April 22 on StampTV. There will be challenges, contest questions, chatter, as well as tons of samples from the Design Team members from 7-10 (central time) all leading to the new products being available in GinaK's online store at 10pm. We'd love to have you join us for our monthly party!

        Sunday, April 18, 2010

        Sneak Peek Day 1: "Gifts from the Sea" and "Oh Boy!"

        Thank you for joining us for our first day of Gina K Designs peeks! I am so excited to share my new set, but first let me tell you a little about my inspiration for it. I was born in Galveston while my father was in the Coast Guard, and although we only lived there for a couple years, I grew up visiting the beaches in Texas and Southern California. To me, the best vacations involve a beach, and one of my favorite ways to spend that time is taking a long walk with a loved one along the water in search of "treasure". You talk about anything and everything or just enjoy listening to the waves in the spaces in between as you spy one-of-a-kind shells the sea left there just for you to find. Each is beautiful in its own way. I have collections of them in various containers around our house, and each one is a wonderful memory.
        This life-long love of the ocean and collecting and a recent trip to La Jolla with my dad and sons over Spring Break inspired the drawings and greetings in my newest set "Gifts from the Sea". You will love coloring these life-size images and adding them to your nautical and nature themed cards for men and women alike! The images above are stamped in Memento black and brown on Pure Luxury White and colored with Copics.
        In this sample I wanted to create a scene that would represent the sentiment "If you want to know how much I love you, count the waves." There are so many ways to create waves on a card, and this is one of the simplest: tearing a piece of scratch paper and sponging turquoise ink above the rough edge, starting at the bottom of your mat and working up. The lighter areas in between look like tumbling surf. Usually I create a horizon line by sponging along a straight edge, but I chose not to have a distinct separation between sky and sea here, it's a little more atmospheric and like the quote, you can't find the end. I know you will be seeing a lot of our newest Pure Luxury color in our peeks and I'll have ample opportunities with this set in the future, so I chose a less traditional "beach" color for my base and sky, Lovely Lavender, which reminds me of sunsets and some of my favorite shells to find in this tender shade of purple! All the White and Chocolate Brown popped up mats create frames within frames that highlight the sentiment and echo the meaning.

        Another thing I really love about this set is this long border, made of scallops and sand dollars to create a natural scalloped edge, perfect for creating a quick, coordinating envelope and liner to match the card. A couple other stamps included I know you will find very useful for any project you stamp: tiny birds to make an instant sky on any scenes you are stamping, in two different sizes to give you a sense of near and far, and a speckle stamp, to create sand or beautiful natural texture on any of your neutral or colored card stocks for a natural, "confetti" look. The torn layer of solid colored Soft Sand card stock is stamped several times with the speckles in Vivid Coffee Bean ink, almost looks like sand paper!
        This is the same sample but I added some twine and a tiny real shell I got from a pack at a hobby store, just wanted to give you some more ideas for how to add more texture and pump up the volume on this card, although my husband's opinion is he likes the first, simpler version better. Your choice! I can't wait for the full reveal of this set later this week, and sharing more ideas and techniques with it, it it is one of my most personal sets to date and already one of my favorites, hope you love it, too! :)

        Next up we have Tami's Oh Boy! set, filled with all the toys for little boys, so they'll get a lot of use in my house! I chose the rocket and stars today to go with my one of my favorite lines from the children's book "Guess How Much I Love You": "I love you to the moon and back." I started reading that story a year before my first child Jonathan was even born, when I was working as a nanny for a little girl and that line at the end choked me up every time, because I loved her but also because I was trying at the time to get pregnant with a child of my own. Jonathan has always loved space, so I added a photo of him to the rocket window below. The sentiment is actually one long stamp, but I stamped it out into three strips of card stock to trail behind the rocket. ( I will just go ahead and say in my original plan this rocket was gonna MOVE had my hand been 100%, and it would have been SO!! cool!! maybe later in the month...!) ;)

        Base is Red Hot, I also used Black Onyx and the newest Pure Luxury Color: Turquoise Sea. The moon is half a die cut circle I Cuttlebugged with the Spots and Dots folder. All the stars are stamped onto Lemon Drop and cut out and popped up, I also added some Gina K buttons attached with glue dots for planets and a few adhesive nailheads. Oh boy, this card was fun to make! He came in to my office and saw his pic on the card when I was editing for the blog and said "You love me?" Silly boy, you know I do... to the moon and back... :)



        Designers Participating in previewing tonight:


        The Release Party is this Thursday, April 22 on StampTV. There will be challenges, contest questions, chatter, as well as tons of samples from the Design Team members from 7-10 (central time) all leading to the new products being available in Gina K's online store at 10pm. We'd love to have you join us for our monthly party!

        Saturday, April 17, 2010

        One of my new favorite things (and you will never believe)


        is cooking dinner!!! Shocker, I know, those of you who know me well are laughing or screaming (the horror, the horror!) unless you have talked me to in the last three weeks and already know I have truly been converted into a domestic cooking goddess, thanks to The Six O'Clock Scramble. I just had to pass it on because I kind of feel like I discovered one of the secrets of life!!


        This is a meal planning service (recommended by Oprah among others, started by cookbook author and food columnist Aviva Goldfarb) that emails you a list of 5 nutritious, tasty and FAST (30 minute) meals per week plus a shopping list. The dish above is just one meal I made last week from the plan: Shrimp Pilaf with Asian Cucumber Salad and it looked so pretty and colorful on my plate I had to take a pic for you! My family is trying SO many new foods and I love the variety of what we are eating, that is one of the main reasons I like to go out to eat , to have something different or I am craving a certain ethnic food, and if you know me, I like "different"! One of my favorite (of many awesome features!) features of the service is you can substitute different recipes for any of the days and it will UPDATE your shopping list with the NEW menu ingredients for the week, how cool is that?? They only send 5 since you might want to go out the other night or have leftovers, but you could easily grab two more recipes to have something for every night!
        Meals are rated by customers so you can search the highest rated recipes or you can also search by ingredient if there is something you are in the mood for or want to use up. I am lovin how easy the meals are to assemble (and it is "cooking for dummies", let me tell you, the recipe for the optional side is right below the entree and the directions tell you things like while this is cooking, go chop the cucumbers! etc) AND how I only have to go to the store ONCE per week and know I come home with everything I need for dinners. Feeling confident about no fancy techniques and knowing it will come out well makes it really fun, and the kids can help me, too. It has eliminated so much stress of figuring out what to make, and we are saving money not needing to go out at the last minute or buying food we end up not using that goes bad. I am sure we'll be losing weight as another benefit, the nutritional info is at the bottom of each page and I am amazed at how sometimes the entire meal has the caloric content of what I sometimes consider a snack! I feel great my picky eaters are eating so well, Jonathan remarked the other day, "Mom we have had a different dinner every night for weeks!" and has already requested that I make one of them again. Some meals I will say they are more suspicious of trying than others, but they are eating tofu (my husband, too!), lentils, quinoa just to name a few, and that is far from the old macaroni and chicken nugget days*...


        Here is what we will be having this week to give you an idea:

        Herbed Chicken Roll Ups with Dijon and Mozzarella
        Chili Rubbed Salmon
        Taco Chili with Cilantro Sour Cream
        Pan Fried Polenta with Sauteed Vegetables
        Pad Thai

        YUM!!

        And here is a coupon code they gave me for friends that you can use if you want to try it out for $3 off a subscription
        GLMEL14975

        They have plans anywhere from 3 months to two years, and there is a 30 day money back guarantee so I really recommend trying it out. I just went for the two year plan since it is the cheapest and they have the moneyback guarantee, and it comes out to about 50 cents a week! Also, to give you an idea, while I don't have to buy ALL the staples each week (like olive oil, lots of the spices, etc) I have only been spending around $50 per week for my five meals! not bad, not bad at all!

        Have I convinced The Scramble will you save you time you could be stamping and money you could use for more stamps yet?? LOL! ;) Any other questions you may have about the plan are covered on the site, so you really just have to see for yourself, I could go on and on about it but right now I REALLY need to go stamp for our release sneak peeks tomorrow! :)


        *nights that I cooked, not nights my husband cooked, he is a fantastic in the kitchen!