Stamp Room Stuff, Stamp Storage

Stamp Storage Revamp!

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I’m kicking myself for not taking a before picture of my stamp cubbies but I used to store most of my stamps in DVD styled cases and had labels on the spines of each one.  I had them arranged alphabetically on the shelves, but also had random sets in with other sets, so not all were alphabetical.  It was starting to look messy with the labels coming off, and I had a hard time searching for what I wanted, so I decided to revamp!  This first photo shows the first batch of sets newly installed into these awesome envelopes which I ordered from Amazon!  
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I also ordered these 6×6 storage envelopes and used them for my dies and smaller stamp sets.  Each set went into it’s own envelope upon which I placed a new label with the name.  I cut and laminated sheets of white card stock so that the stamps had something to stick onto inside the envelope.  What a task!  Going through each DVD case, removing the stamps, creating a new envelope with label and laminated card and inserting!  I just stuck them onto these two shelves while I worked and sorted them alphabetically afterwards!  
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Because my cubbies are a specific size I did a LOT of searching, both online and in stores, for the perfect bins/baskets.  Many people recommended the clear plastic refrigerator bins but I really wanted to keep the cost down as I would need at least ten or more!  I finally found these baskets from Amazon and LOVE them!!  They’re ten inches wide and 6 inches deep; my shelves are 11″ wide and 5″ deep so these overhang a little but otherwise fit perfectly!  They’re sturdy and well made considering they’re from China!  :/  At a little over $2 each, I felt satisfied with the expense!  
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UGH!!!  What a disaster!!  My stamp room was such a mess for days while I worked on this project, and at one point, I truly wondered if I was doing the right thing.  But of course, I made my way through stacks like this and got the job finished!  
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I ended up with over fifty empty cases, 25 of which I gave to my local stamping friend and will sell the others online.  I kept all the clear ones for future storage.  
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I forgot to mention that the very first thing I did while waiting for my envelopes and baskets to arrive, was to create these aqua laminated dividers.  I wish I’d waited till the end to label them, as some of the labels were extraneous.  But I like the new system!  As you can see, I kept the Stampin Up sets in their own cases.  I’ve also started unmounting my wood stamps from the blocks and will store them in the same kind of envelopes, more of which are coming tomorrow!  That’ll free up space in my cubbies!  (Which BTW, I bought from Goodwill about six years ago for $10!!)  
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I had to adjust my alphabetizing somewhat; this bin has A’s and B’s…
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Not surprisingly, my Stampendous bin is STUFFED and I’ll definitely need to start another one!  Have I ever mentioned how much I love their stamps?!  😉  
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Not the greatest picture but YAY!  Done and cleaned up!  The cubbies are just behind the door on the right.  And they look GREAT!  
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These sets will get transferred to envelopes and baskets soon!  
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Last but not least, my embossing/cutting station storage got revamped as well!  This top drawer holds two shoebox bins and the dies and folders all got new dividers with new labels and the dies are in new envelopes.  I’m very happy with my new system and hope you enjoyed this pictorial walk through my process!  Thanks for visiting!  
Big Word Thanks, Brutus Monroe, Conservatory of Quotes, Distress Oxides, Florals, Stampendous, Water Colored Cards

Unity/Brutus Monroe CopyCat!

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This strikingly beautiful card was shared yesterday by Unity Stamps on the Stamping Life Facebook page and I was immediately captivated!  I love strong color and just love this card, so had to make a copycat!!  The card above was made with the newest release by the dynamic duo of Brutus Monroe and Unity Stamps, called Botanical Background and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!  But let’s talk about how I copied it!  
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For my card, I used a Brutus Monroe favorite, Conservatory of Quotes to create my black and white roses background, heat-embossed in black onto a panel of water color card stock.  Then I got out my Zig markers, Mustard and Yellow and began to fill in the space between the images.  I scribbled one section at a time with Mustard, then went over it with Yellow; a wash of water from my waterbrush softened and blended the two colors.  As you can see, my image didn’t stamp out completely, but I knew I could cover that section up!  
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I decided to make another card using shades of Aqua but the ink didn’t blend or flow as evenly, even with the addition of water!  The panel on the right was my first attempt and the one on the left wasn’t any better!  I set those aside to try another color!  
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For this panel, I used Yellow Green and Mid Green, beginning with the darker color next to the image, then blending out with Yellow Green, and finally, softening again with water.  I’m not sure why the aqua inks didn’t blend out but I was happy this one did!  
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The last color I did was purple; again, the colors didn’t blend as well as the yellow and green, but I like the texture of this one!  I used Purple and Light Violet then used my water brush to soften the ink.  
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Here is my finished CopyCat card in yellow!  The sentiment is from Brutus Monroe’s Super Sentimental set which has a great variety of sayings!  I trimmed down my watercolored panel with Stitched Rectangle dies, then adhered it to a panel of white, and then to a black base card.  
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The sentiment was heat-embossed with Alabaster embossing powder onto a strip of black then  adhered to a strip of vellum for accent.  
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I don’t love this one, but it’s still quite nice!  I die-cut the panel again with Stitched Rectangle dies, then mounted it to a white card base.  A strip of vellum enhances the die-cut sentiment.  
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For this version, I die-cut the image with Stitched Circles, then mounted it to an off-white base card which I’d embossed with a Large Dot embossing folder.  I stamped “Hello Beautiful” from Brutus Monroe’s Super Sentimental set and heat-set it with Alabaster embossing powder on a scrap of black card stock then attached it to the card front with a bit of foam tape for lift.  
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Remember those aqua panels which didn’t work out so well?  I retrieved one of them by cutting it down with a Stitched Circle die then sponged Peacock Feathers distress oxide ink around the edges.  I had this embossed panel in my stash which I’d made using Tim Holtz’ Botanical 3D Texture Fades embossing folder.  I love the white on white effect and then the pop of aqua!  I recently bought this die “Fabulous” and love how it looks! The “YOU ARE” stamp is from Stampendous Big Words Thanks; the sentiment was actually “hope you are having a great day” so I taped off the words I didn’t need, inked it up with Versamark then removed the tape and heat-embossed it with Alabaster powder.  I trimmed it down and adhered it to my panel.  I had a lot of fun creating this series of CopyCat cards and I hope you enjoyed reading about the process!  I appreciate your visit!  
Break The Rules, Brutus Monroe, Distress Oxides, Florals, Gina Marie Designs, Petal Lace Embossing Folder, Stitched Oval Dies, Tim Holtz

Anatomy of 100 Cards!

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I recently received a request for 100 of a particular card in my etsy shop!  My customer is the founder of You Matter!  which is a monthly subscription box to encourage young people who struggle to find their place in this world.  January’s box is music themed and she felt my card would be a nice addition!  I haven’t done a large card order in quite some time, so I jumped right in and got busy!  Be warned!  This post is picture heavy!  My first photo shows a number of the black base cards upon which I stamped my logo in white pigment ink.  I purchased it from Hello World etsy shop last year and just love it!

 

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Here I’ve gathered my beginning pieces to assemble the card; the larger white stack on the left is 4 X 6 index cards which I trimmed down to 4 X 5 1/4″ and will form the white border around my central image.  The second stack of white is card stock cut to a quarter inch smaller than the border panel.  This is the piece which I’ll emboss with my Brutus Monroe folder called Petal Lace using Fossilized Amber distress oxide ink.  I die-cut my ovals using Gina Marie Designs Stitched Oval dies.

 

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Thankfully I was able to cut two ovals at a time, which saved me some elbow grease with the Cuttlebug!  I stamped the sentiment from Brutus Monroe’s set called Break The Rules using Versafine Onyx Black ink.
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I colored in the little microphone using a gray Copic marker then…

 

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…lightly stamped the music notes onto the ovals.
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This is the faux Letterpress technique and it’s so pretty!  I rubbed my ink pad all over the flat side of the embossing folder then ran it through my Cuttlebug.  Unfortunately, this had to be done 100 times as I could only do one at a time!  UGH!
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But look how cool it is!
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I sure was happy to finish that step and adding more of the musical notes onto 100 panels went fairly quickly!  I realized when I was done that the original card in my etsy shop only had the notes inked down one side!  Oh well!
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Back to the ovals!  I decided to add a bit of Glossy Accents glue to the microphone for a little additional detail.
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At this point, I quit for the night and left them to dry!
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I ran out of my Glue Glider Pro tape so tried using Elmer’s Glue stick to attach the inside panel; I didn’t love it but it was the best I could do at this point!
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Today I was thrilled to get my tape runner refills in the mail!  Thank goodness!  😀  I have a monthly subscription through Amazon and it’s half the price of buying them at a retail store!  I love this tape runner because it’s lightweight and the perfect size to work with!  Here’s a link to Amazon for them.  I zipped right through this step of adhering my embossed panels and ovals to the fronts of the cards!
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At last!!  Finished!!  I packed 100 cards and coordinating envelopes into a sturdy card box, stuffed bubble wrap in the gaps and covered with tissue paper to make it look prettier!
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One of my favorite thank you cards went on the top and expresses my gratitude for the order and her support of my work!
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And here’s one of the finished cards!  I hope that each person who receives this will feel special and sense the love that went into the creating of it!  Be sure to check out the You Matter! website and if you know of a young person who would benefit from such a meaningful gift, please subscribe!  Thank you for staying with me to the end of this time-worthy project!

 

Water Colored Cards

I’m An Art Thief!

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I have a Pinterest board called Art=Love and it’s one of my favorites, filled with art and images which speak to my soul and the artistic being inside me.  I was perusing this board yesterday and decided to “steal some art” and make my own versions!  This particular image and style is so striking and I just love it!  It’s a lino print made by the Scottish artist, Bryan Angus; here’s the link to it on his website.  My version is rudimentary and amateur, of course but it made me happy to play with my watercolors and recreate this stunning print.  
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I used a cheap set of watercolor paints on watercolor paper then trimmed it down and mounted it to a base card of white card stock.  It seems a little presumptuous to have put my initials on it, but I DID paint this after all, so I think it’s okay!  
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The next piece of art I “stole” is this fun dandelion painting; here’s the link to it on my Pinterest board and you can follow the links from there to find it’s original artist.  My version is a bit toned down and not as delicate but again, using my inexpensive watercolor paints, I enjoyed the time I spent on it!  
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I used a white gel pen to draw the little wispy thingies!  I was bummed to see that my paint ran under the painters tape and messed up the clean lines around the edges.  
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The third card I painted yesterday is this one; a different style from the others and not nearly as textured and beautiful as the original, done by Karen Margulis with pastels.  Oh, to be a real artist!!!  Basically, I borrowed her general layout and design, then recreated my watercolor creation.  
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I spattered a little black and then white craft paint over my image and mounted it to a white card base.  
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The fourth and final card I “stole” yesterday is this poppies print. The artist is Patty Baker and here’s a link to her original painting via her newsletter.  I appreciate the simple, vertical design, the rich blue background and the pop of red poppies which adorn her painting.  
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My simplified watercolor version doesn’t do hers justice, but my purpose was to spend some time with paint and brushes, rather than rubber stamps and ink.  I had a lovely time “stealing” these wonderful pieces of art and hope that the recipients of my cards will enjoy them!  Now, back to Art=Love to find more treasures!  Thanks for visiting!  
Bister watercolor powders, Brusho Watercolor Powders, Emboss Resist Technique, Mini Weathered Winter, Thank You, Tim Holtz, Water Colored Cards

Flurry of Thanks

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It’s been too long since I’ve posted on my blog but between craft shows and holiday preparations and activities, I haven’t made new cards until now!  Today’s project was to create Thank You cards and I was inspired by an incredibly beautiful card I received from Angelica Conrad of My Love For Paper blog!  Take a peek here!  She used Nuvo Shimmer powders but I don’t own that product so instead, I used my Bister and Brusho watercolor crystals which give the same effect.  
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The process was pretty much the same as Angelica’s;  I heat-embossed the snowflakes from Tim Holtz’ Mini Weathered Winter in white onto a piece of watercolor card stock then spritzed it with a heavy layer of water.  
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I sprinkled on several shades of Bister or Brusho crystals, then spritzed more water to make the color move and blend.  This one is my favorite with shades of purple and aqua!  
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When all my panels were completed, I added the multiple-Thank You stamp which I embossed with white ink and clear powder right over the background.  I like how subtle it is!  
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Wait.  Maybe this one is my favorite with it’s bright rainbow of colors!  😀  A dear stamping friend sent me a package filled with die-cut snowflakes and other goodies recently and I added one to each card, lifting it with a 3D Foam Square for a little added interest.  
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The final touch was to emboss “many thanks” from an old Stampin Up set onto a scrap of black paper with white embossing powder and attach that over the glittery snowflake.  I like the pop of black, don’t you?!  A base card of white completes my card!  These are the first four of a number of Thank You cards I’ll need, so I’ll be back with the next batch soon!  Thanks for visiting!  
Christmas, Create A Pointsettia, Distress Inks, Distress Oxides, Mini Swirly Snowflakes, Snowflake Bigz Die, Stampendous, Tim Holtz

Snowflake Mania!

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Do you have a friend who creates beautiful things and makes you want to have what she has?!  Well, Theresa is that friend of mine and she’s a fabulous card maker!  I love her style of cards and she recently made a bunch using Tim Holtz’ Snowflake Bigz die!  So, you know…I had to have it, found it on ebay and bought it!  Thanks a lot, friend!!  😀  It’s not a thin metal die, but a big chunky one which meant I had to adjust the “sandwich” in my Cuttlebug!  But it’s easy to use and comes with an embossing folder which makes all the snowflake-y lines!  
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For this first card, I cut the snowflake twice, once from snowflake patterned paper and a second one from vellum and then ran them through the Cuttlebug with the embossing folder.  Setting those aside, I used the flip-side of that same patterned paper for my card background.  It has a beautiful snowy scene with trees and I thought it’d look great with the flake!  I adhered that to a base card of blue and heat-embossed the sentiment in silver directly to the panel.  Next, I added some glitter glue to the snowflake for some sparkle and attached a pretty gem in the center.  When that was dry, I glued it onto my card!  Easy as pie!  
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My second card is all a glow with my snowflake cut from gold foil card stock!   Again, I embossed the lines onto it then attached it to a panel of gold and cream patterned paper.  That went over a layer of more gold foil and onto a cream base card.  I heat-embossed the sentiment in gold onto a scrap then layered it onto a scrap of gold. 
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A cream and gold pearl brad completed my gilded snowflake card!  I love how the light shines on the gold!  
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For my third card, I die-cut the snowflake from a piece of rose-colored glitter card stock and set it aside.  I found patterned paper to coordinate and heat-embossed Tim Holtz’ Mini Swirly Snowflakes in silver onto a panel I’d cut to fit my card front.  I also sponged Aged Mahogany distress ink around the edges of the paper AND the snowflake!  
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My sentiment is from Stampendous’ Create A Pointsettia and I also embossed that in silver onto a scrap of white card stock, then sponged more Aged Mahogany around it’s edges!  I adhered the snowflake to the card front then added the sentiment with a bit of foam tape for lift.  
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My final snowflake card is much more subdued and yet is just as beautiful!  Again, patterned paper sets the tone and I just love this one!  I cut the snowflake from a piece of retired Stampin Up paper (no idea of the name!) then sponged Walnut distress ink around the edges.  My background paper also got Walnut around the edges.  I attached it to a white card base then added the snowflake.  
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Instead of a jewel, I thought this sentiment would go beautifully so stamped it with Peacock Feathers distress oxide ink and clear-embossed over it.  I trimmed it down to a little banner and sponged Walnut ink around the edges.  I really love the rich colors here and think that this is actually my favorite of all the cards!  Which one is yours?!  Thanks for visiting!