Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stamp Storage

Wow! I was so excited to be mentioned on the Hero Blog this morning and I have enjoyed all the visits and comments that people have left on my post on organization. I have been thinking for a while about putting a catalogue of stamps on the computer and since I have read some of those posts, I just might give it a try. Great Ideas everyone!
There were some questions about how I store my actual stamps so I thought I would take a few pictures to share with you. Since I started "investing" in stamps my storage has fluctuated over the years. Partly because I wasn't happy with the orginal storage and partly because my "investment" has grown. LOL! I am sure yours has too.
I try to buy my storage systems on sale whenever possible. More money for stamps, ink and papers.
The following cabinets sit inside the closet in my craft room and when I want it to look a little neater all I have to do is close those closet doors. The 10 drawer and 5 drawer wood cabinets I bought used, but you can find the company that sells them Here.  Beside that is a cart also on casters for easy movement.

The bottom cart currently has paper, stickers, and embroidery floss in it's containers. The two smaller cabinets on top of the wood cabinets were finds at a Goldings store, they contained thread for sale in the store, now they contain wood stamps. Next is a peak inside the wood cabinets.


Now for a closer look at the  plastic container that sits on top and the contents of one of the drawers.


I also have a couple a fixture that I bought when a local scrapbook store went out of business. It turns and has four sides that has different storage possibilities for each side. I will show you the side with shelves where I keep stamps that I want to have close to my table workspace.

This fixture is about 6 feet tall this is just a part of one side. But I can reach those stamps without moving from my table.
This is a Jetmax magazine rack that I bought at Micheals. I have a lot of Jetmax products in my room and I only buy them when they are on sale. The last 2 years the day after Thanksgiving I fight the crowds because these are usually 30-40% off at Micheals and if you get up in the early morning they are usually an extra 30% off. Can't beat 60-70% off. The plastic containers are where I store some of my clear and cling stamps. They are from Stampendous and you can see more of the here. I found mine at an Archiver's store.
I like storing my clear sets in these because if some of the clear stamps fall off their backing, they are in this container and are easily found. So these are pictures of the clear and cling stamps stored in those containers.
I keep most of  them in the magazine rack but some are on the fixture I showed before with the shelves.

The last thing I have to show you is a fixture bought when a stamp store went out of business.

I keep a collection of goodies on it and I change it around quite a bit.
As you can see from my storage pictures I have been a fan of Hero Arts for quite a while!

So it's always a work in progress. But just wanted to share with you some of my storage ideas.
And one last thought, if any of you know a reality show that would come in and give you a craft room makeover please feel free to send in my name. LOL! I dream about my perfect space quite often.

If you have pictures of your storage I would love for you to leave a link in the comment section below.
Happy organizing!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Heartfelt Sympathy

I don't know about you but sympathy cards are hard for me to make. This one in particular because it is for one of my best friends.
I stamped the three ferns image from Hero Arts by first inking the stamp with versamark frost ink and then inking again with bundled sage distress ink. Stamped the image and then embossed with clear detail embossing powder. Stamped once in the lower left side of the front panel and then again in the upper right part of the panel.
The sympathy sentiment is from Paper Inspirations and again I inked the stamp with the versamark ink first and then applied Not Quite Navy ink from SU.  Embossed with clear powder and cut out using spellbinders nestability.
The butterfly was also stamped with the navy ink and then colored with bundled sage using a blender pen.
The front panel was then applied to a card made from navy card stock.
And this is the inside of the card........

This is a sentiment from Hero Arts.

Would love to hear any great ideas you might have for sympathy cards.
Thanks for stopping by hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pretty in Pink

In the middle of a blue day I made a totally pink card. Go figure!
Both of the stamps used are from the new Hero Arts Artists Proofs 2010. This watercolor Butterfly image is so gorgeous and the Peacock image is just a portion of the stamp which is square. Both are going to favorites.
The butterfly was stamped several times along the edge of letterpress card stock. If you haven't tried it yet, you should. It is heavy weight and has a subtle texture that is great for stamping on. The large background and the oval with the peacock image are cut with spellbinder nestabilities. 
The ribbon was white but I colored it with the same ink used to stamp the images and added a few pearls at the bottom. Very quick and easy!
Next card not so easy. I need to make a sympathy card for one of my dearest friends who lost her husband unexpectedly Sunday. John was only 57. I am at a loss for words....She has lost her husband and best friend. You always wish you could do something to take away the hurt, but that only comes with time. I know when I lost my mom, I got tired of hearing that time would make it better and wished somehow if that was the only way to stop the hurt, that I could go to sleep and wake up a year later. It's been almost 6 years since I lost her and they were right, time does help. Peace comes and the tears turn into happy tears of wonderful memories........I wish that for my friend.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Birthday Butterflies

This card features one of the new clear stamp sets from Hero Arts called Earth Flowers. I stamped the image using shabby shutters ink once in the center of the card and then again on both sides of the first image.
The butterflies are a punch from Martha Stewart, punched from several colors of card stock.
The tiny flowers are stamped in ballet blue and the stamp is from Rubber stamp tapestry.
The ribbon is from American Arts.
The sentiment is from the Hero clear set Birthday Messages.
I rounded the top corners only of the white panel and card using a corner punch.
A really quick simple card but I think the different shades of aqua and blue look pretty together.

Wouldn't you like to celebrate your birthday in a field of wild flowers and butterflies?? I would, especially if I had my camera.
Wishing you a day filled with flowers and butterflies!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Verve's Beach Party 2010 Challenge

Verve Stamps has a Release tonight and they are sponsoring a challenge over on splitcoast stampers and you can find it here. It's been a busy week but when I am not running here and there I found time to make the 5 cards for the challenge. There was one color challenge and 4 sketch challenges.
The color challenge is to use shades of orange, aqua, and green. This is my entry for that challenge.
Sketch challenge 2 entry
Sketch Challenge 3 entry
Sketch Challenge 4 entry

Sketch challenge 5 entry

The sketches are shown below

On a totally different note, I am participating in Relay for Life tonight. I feel that it is so important to raise money for research and to help families impacted by this terrible disease. My son was diagnosed in 2007 with Hodgkins and I have many friends, family, and co workers who have heard those words "you have cancer" or have lost loved ones. If you have never participated in Relay I encourage you to find your local relay and start this year. The first lap at our relay is taken by survivors, and that is always a large group. The children lead off and if that doesn't touch your heart........small children who have faced so much in their little lives. Then mothers who are carrying babies in their arms, who are survivors. All ages, races, sizes, cancer doesn't discriminate!
Then after dark there is the luminaria lighting. All around the track where we walk are luminarias in memory of, or in honor of someone who has cancer. The field is darkened and all those luminarias shine lighting the night. It is sobering, touching and beautiful. So if you would like to join us in the fight
this is a site for an online donation,  Or join your own local Relay. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Peacock Mother's Day

The Hero Arts challenge for April is home and Mother's day. This gorgeous stamp is from the new Artists Proof spring 2010 release. There are some really beautiful stamps in this catalog and if you haven't had a chance to see them you can check them out here.
I stamped the image twice, once on cameo coral card stock and again on a textured blue card stock. I stamped with white pigment ink and embossed with detail white embossing powder. Then I cut out the peacock from the image on blue card stock and adhered it over the image on the coral card stock. I added a touch of color with a copic marker and added dimension using glossy accents. Ater the glossy accents dried I rounded the corners using a corner punch.
The blue card stock was die cut using a spellbinders nestability. Then cut through the middle of the cut die and and turned it so that the center was to the outside of the card. The were placed on a piece of the cameo coral card stock that is the same width of the card and just a little longer than the blue card stock. I taped the inner part of the blue panels using foam tape to give it dimension but left it flat on the outer edges.
I stamped the word on blue card stock and embossed in white. Then cut out the shape using a nestability. Cut another one of the same shape, using the next size using white card stock.
The white card was covered with white mulberry paper and stamped the swirl with flowers stamp using white embossing powder.
I think my mom would have liked this card. After she died I found some of the first cards I made for her and they weren't great, acutally, they were pretty pitiful, but she kept them anyway. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stamp Organization

With the release of the new Hero Artists Proofs the mailman has been finding his way to my home quite frequently. Today I was in my room cataloging my new stamps and I thought I would share my idea with you.
I have been stamping and collecting stamps for a long time and learned early on that I would need a way to keep up with stamps that I had purchased. If you have a large collection, you know that they can't all be out on display and sometimes out of site, out of mind. It was also frustrating for me to think I had a particular stamp but not be exactly sure where I might find that stamp. My first thought was to put particular themes of stamps together, such as flowers, leaves, butterflies, people. Now I organize them by stamp company and the most recent purchases are at the front of the book.
This is what my Hero Book looks like

And these are the new stamps I was cataloging today

Aren't they great? And yes I do have a whole book dedicated to Hero Arts and also one for PaperTrey Ink.
Not only do they have stamps in them, but in the back they also have tips and techniques from those companies and the artists that represent them.

So I have 5 different notebooks now. One Hero Arts, One Papertrey Ink, 2 with other favorite companies and 1 that has all the other stamps I have purchased. The notebooks are inexpensive binders I bought at Wal Mart and the card stock is inexpensive card stock bought in a pack of 500.

My printer is a 4 in 1 printer, copier, scanner, and a fax machine so when I buy clear stamps I just make a copy of them to put in the book. That is easier especially when it is a clear set that has a lot of small stamps.

And this is the last thing I have to share. Since the notebooks are too large for me to take when I leave home to go shopping, I have this planner where I have a section for each company and have written the name and item number of each stamp purchased.
So if you are fairly new to stamping, now is the time to get started with organization. I can tell you that if I hadn't done this all along it would be too overwhelming to try and do it now.
In other sections of this planner I have dye inks, pigment inks, punches, die cuts, markers, and most anything else I have that is stamping related.
Do you catalog your stamps? Would love to hear about any organization ideas that you have.
Happy organizing and have a great weekend! I will be working tomorrow.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Orton Plantation Gardens, a Good Friend, and my camera!

Orton Plantations is located in Brunswick Co, North Carolina and was built in 1725. The first house was burned by the Indians and the house was rebuilt in 1735. That house is the center of this current house. If you would like to read more of the history of Orton you can find it here. As you can see it is in all it's glory in the spring when the azaelas and flowering trees are in bloom. You can find huge water oaks everywhere.
You know how it is, you never do the tourist thing near your home but I knew this would be a great time to go and take pictures so I ask a friend, who had never been, to join me. It was the perfect day, not a cloud in the sky and just the perfect temperature. I took over 300 pictures.........and no I am not going to bore you with all of them LOL! But I did want to share some of the views.

This is one of the beautiful gardens surronding the house. This is directly in front of the house and some of the flower beds are in the shape of butterflies.

This is a view from the other end of the garden.

There are paths throughout the property and this is just another beautiful garden area.

I have never seen a tree like this, it was gorgeous, full of these beautiful blooms. If you happen to know what kind it is please leave a comment and let me know.

This is my friend Cheryl, I told her to get up in this oak and she did! Love these trees, perfect for climbing. That was one of my favorite activities in my childhood.

This was not my friend but I was excited to see him! We actually saw two alligators during the trip, which may explain the need for this sign:

There was also some beautiful birds and butterflies.

And one last shot of the beautiful oaks

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hero Arts "Bird in a Circle"

Hero Arts has released a new catalogue of stamps "Artists Proofs Spring 2010" It is full of gorgeous stamps! This is a definite gorgeous and I can see it done in so many different ways. This is my first creation and technique. The theme for the contest on the Hero Blog this month is Home and Mother and I think this would be a beautiful mother's day card.
I have been adding dimension to cards by using an embossing stylus to go around the stamped image so I thought I would show you how I do that and a comparison of how the image looks before and after the embossing.

In the first image I used white pigment ink and white detail embossing powder to stamp the image. The picture on the right shows the image after I have gone around the circle, birds, and flowers with the stylus.

Then I turn the image over and use the large end of the stylus to emboss the center of the images that were outlined with the embossing on the front side. The mat I am using is actually the InStitchz piercing mat by Bazzill. It works great for embossing.
The image was colored using copic markers. I didn't have blue card stock that matched the color in the bird so I found a piece that was close and colored ith with the same copic marker. Then using a spellbinders nestability I cut out the two scalloped circles.
I used a Martha Stewart border punch to create the border on the green background and then positioned it in an embossing folder so that the border was not inside the folder and embossed using the cuttlebug.
Added a white ribbon and bow to complete the card.
Below is a side view that shows off the dimension a little better.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Relaxing Afternoon

I hope that you are enjoying spring as much as I am. The azaelas are almost in full bloom and they are gorgeous. I woke up at 4:30 this morning and finished preparing for the projects I was presenting at stamp club. That was not on purpose, just one of those times when your eyes open and you might as well just get up.....
Came home and decided it was too beautiful a day to sit in the house so I took the camera and a chair and went out into the yard to watch for birds, butterflies and just enjoy the sights. We have about 6 different kinds of azaelas and it's hard for me to decide which I like the best. This coral one is very pretty this year.

And I know this is a weed, but I love to play with them. Can't resist a dandelion stamp and maybe it's a sign that I am entering my second childhood but I love to blow on them and watch them fly everywhere.
I bought this beautiful iris around 10 years ago and planted it in the yard. At the time I thought I paid too much for it but I can't tell you how many times it has multiplied and I am happy to share them with friends and neighbors. This is how the first one looked and now through the years I have some that look like this.

Isn't that gorgeous?

This is another type of azaela we have. The larger ones like the George Tabors and the Formosas aren't in full bloom yet so pictures of those will come later.

Still have some dogwoods hanging in there, though the blooms are almost gone.

And this is just a close up of the beautiful iris.
Hope you have the chance to get outside and enjoy nature's beauty. It always makes me think of my mom!