Hand Carved Travel Stamp Set with Undefined

Ok, so I don’t have a completed card for you today but I had to share something else crafty I did this week-

I carved my own personal stamp set!!!

I am so stinkin’ excited about how it turned out, especially since, other than the one stamp I carved at convention, this was pretty much my first time carving stamps.  And I know, it sounds harder than it is!  So this is what I created:

Undefined travel stamp set by Jennifer Blomquist

So, on Monday I ran a class to show others how to create their own stamps.  So, they were given a refill kit and were able to use my carving tools and I shared tips and ideas I’ve learned from talking to others and carving myself.

For example:

  • Draw your image on a piece of computer/copy paper and then turn it over and rub it onto your raw rubber.  I find that mechanical pencils work best or graphite pencils.
  • Start by carving out the big sections with the wider carving tool and then get precise with the detail tool.
  • When you are carving, especially when going around curves, turn your rubber NOT the carving tool.
  • Before you start cutting out the image (once you’ve carved it out) mount it to the foam.  That way you don’t have to trim the foam in a second step.
  • Stamp your image with Staz-on on the surface of your wood block before mounting it

Here are some of the stamps created by folks at the class:

hand carved ladybug stamp by elise hamilton

Hand carved stamps by elise hamilton

hand carved pinata stamp

And yes!  That pinata got carved out by someone as their first stamp ever carved!  I forgot to take a picture of the finished stamp, but it turned out almost exactly like her drawing.  I was SO impressed! 

My final stamp I carved during the class was the suitcase stamp to finish out my travel set.

hand carved airplane cloud luggage and you are here stamp

Carving your own stamps are a bit like watercoloring…. it takes a little bit of patience but is so relaxing and a lot of fun!

If you want to give it a try, check out the kits available and let me know and I’d be glad to help you out. Smile 

image

Undefined Stamp Carving Kit – #133402

 

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Hand Carved Flowers with my First Undefined Stamp

Today over on Stampin’ Stylin’ Inkspiration, we are playing with the Undefined hand carved stamp kit that Stampin’ Up! released during the 2013 convention.  It is always fun to see what other people create because I know… it sounds super hard or tedious.  But it’s easier than you think! 

Check out what I created as my first stamp while at Convention:

 

And with that I created this card:

Yay!  I love it!

I kept my card simple today by just using different 2012-2014 In-Colors and stamped solid image flowers on the white background paper.  That seemed a little bright so I covered it with Vellum to soften the look.  Then I added some rhinestones to the corners to cover where I used glue dots to hold down the vellum.

Then for the sentiment, I grabbed my Four Frames stamp set and Petite Pairs sentiments and created the central image.  Add an accent of the same hand carved flower that I colored in with markers and POP!  some fun color and images that I can call MY OWN.  Smile

If you are curious what comes in the Undefined kit, check out everything you get:

You get:

  • Sample stencil images
  • 4 wood blocks
  • Enough raw rubber for all 4 blocks
  • Enough foam adhesive for all 4 blocks
  • 2 carving tools (skinny and wide)
  • Island Indigo marker
  • 3 postcards

All for only $19.95!  Your own personal stamp set with tools to make more for $20.

Anyway, I thought it was a ton of fun and can’t wait to make more.  And to help folks see how much fun it is, I’m holding a class where you can make your own personal stamp – a try before you buy idea – using my tools and your ideas.  Check it out in October if you’d like to join me.

So, give it a try.  Or think about it, and for now, just try out the fun ideas I used on this card today.  Smile 

 

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Getting Out of a Crafting Slump w/ a Holiday Catalog Hop!

I know me, and once I let life overwhelm me and I set my crafting aside because I’m busy trying to deal with the house, family, etc; I find myself getting into a crafting slump.  You know, that time when you look at your craft supplies, get so excited to create something cute (or find yourself needing that last minute birthday card) and you sit down at your table….. and just stare at your supplies.

That was me.  I saw so many great ideas at convention, had some cool topics for blog posts, but was having the hardest time finding the mojo to get started.

But – that is why I said YES! when I was invited to join the Stylin’ Stampin’ Squad and their monthly blog hops.  Because I know me and to get me out of my slump, I needed a theme to focus on and a deadline that I had to get it done by. Smile  And it worked for me!  I sat down with a few ideas, started pulling out some paper and by the time I was done with my first card I had ideas for a few more and couldn’t wait to have time to play more!

August Blog Hop – Holiday Catalog Projects

Card 1 – A Stenciled Halloween

When I first checked out the Holiday Catalog, I wasn’t too excited by the Build-a-Banner kits.  But then I saw all the fun projects created with them at convention and I had a major change of heart.  I love the banners and can’t wait to make my first one, but I was even MORE excited by the stencils!  I know, I know, there isn’t anything new about stencils, but –hey- they are new to me! Smile 

And for my first attempt with them, I figured why not try to do some heat embossing while I’m at it?  I don’t own any current halloween stamps but I loved the fact that I could still do spooky without even needing a stamp at all!

So to make the “boo” on my cardfront, I tapped and smeared VersaMark ink over the stenciled opening (starting with the “b”) and quickly picked up the stencil, sprinkled white embossing powder, and heated with my heat gun.  Then repeat for each letter as you go through the word.

 how to heat emboss with stencils

The rest of the card came together quickly as well because I used the new Witches Brew designer paper which had those cool orange spiders in the perfect spacing for me.  Sponge the edge with some White craft ink and layer over a Basic Gray cardbase and you are done! 

Card 2 – Bow Tie Celebration!

But one card just wasn’t enough for me.  I told you, when I was done I had more ideas I wanted to play with.  Well, this next card was using the new Gift Bow Bigz Die.  I had seen a card by Ronda Wade that had a more flat looking bow and I wanted to try to create one myself.  Ta-da!

The neat thing about this bow is that all the pieces for it is cut out of 1-sheet of designer paper from the new Season of Style designer series stack (you know, those paper stacks that are 4.5” x 6.5”?)

See, check it out

gift bow cut outs

Then all you have to do is cut that top die cut shape in half to make your two flat bow “loops”.  I found that if you lined up a flat edge at 2” you will cut straight down the middle too.

cutting to make a flat bow

 

I glued my bow together with sticky strip and Stampin’ Dimensionals and adhered it over some of the new Burlap Ribbon.  Finally, I stamped my sentiment from Seasonal Sayings but thought it needed some extra pop so I coated it with Crystal Effects.  Makes it feel more like a celebration to me. Smile 

And with that, I even created one more card for tomorrow’s blog post and I’m back in the groove!

So if you are in a mojo slump, here is my challenge to you!

  1. Visit the incredibly talented stampers participating in this month’s blog hop (see the full list below)
  2. Find 30 minutes this week and head to your craft room
  3. Pick an item you were excited to purchase, but haven’t even used it yet! 
  4. Create something, anything, even if you have no idea what to make, start cutting and stamping using the item you picked.  Copy a project you’ve seen on the hop or visit one of the many great challenge blogs and inspiration blogs out there to help get you started if you need it.
  5. Finish and share your project by 8/16! 
    Show it to a friend, post it on Facebook, or come back and leave a comment that you’ve completed the challenge and share it with me!  Feel free to link to your project too so we can see what creative project you’ve created.

Ready to be inspired?

Check out all of the great talent in this month’s line up!

Blog Hop Participants:

Enjoy and have fun creating!

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Origami Double Pocket Treat Pouch

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you are still looking for a quick love note or treat to share with someone you love today, here is a project we made at my Cool Cards and Sweet Treats class last weekend.  It is a fun and fast project to make any time of the year, plus it has the added bonus of being a great way to use up all that extra designer paper or 6×6 paper pads you may have lying around.

I call it an “origami treat pouch” because it is all folds and takes no adhesive unless you want a little bit to tack down the top point of your treat.  But unlike some origami that is a ton of steps and little tiny complicated folds, this has 5 score lines and a couple quick folds and you are done (check out my video below for how to do it).

Added bonus, it stands up on its own too!

I filled my pockets with wrapped Ghirardelli squares which are a perfect fit but you can also make cute little love notes to go inside as well.  You can cut 8 of these card bases out of 1 sheet of cardstock.

The card base is 2 3/4” x 4 1/4”, so once you score it, it is 2 1/8” x 2 3/4”.  I kept my card simple so that it could actually slide behind the chocolate treat I tucked in the pocket.  It uses the Oh Whale stamp set and just stamped the whale first and then the hearts and sentiment.  Add a little Dazzling Details to its eye and you have some cute sparkle to his eye.

Want to see how it is done?

I put together a quick video to show you how it scores and folds together.  So check it out and let me know what you think!

 

Did you know?

This goes together so fast using the Diagonal Scoring Plate for the Simply Scored and you can get that plate FREE during Sale-a-Bration!  With a $50 order, you can pick any one item for free and this is one of the things you can pick from.  Pretty sweet, huh?  Smile

Get all the details on Sale-a-Bration here.

To Order Stampin’ Up! Products Anytime, click here!

Are you earning your Northwest Stamper Rewards?

Every order gets you closer to your FREE stamp set!  Click here to learn more!

 

Double Pocket Treat Pouch Recipe:
Stamps: 
Oh Whale
Ink:  Crumb Cake, Pool Party, Primrose Petals, Basic Grey
Paper: More Amore designer paper, Crumb Cake cs, Whisper White cs, Primrose Petals cs, Champagne glimmer paper
Accessories:  Sticky Strip (for wrapping you candy), small heart punch, 1 1/4” scallop circle punch, 1” circle punch, Itty Bitty punch pack, Glue dots, Simply Scored, Diagonal scoring plate, Primrose Petals stitched satin ribbon, Dazzling details, sponge dauber

Making Envelopes to Hold 4×6 Photos

I always do this… pick a card to send to someone (in this case Christmas cards), grab an A2 envelope (the type made to fit a 4-1/4” x 5 1/2” card), and then as I’m going to stuff the envelope realize that I’m mailing out 4×6 cards… which doesn’t fit in the envelope!

Simply Scored Diagonal PlateThis year, however, I was motivated and determined and so I grabbed my Simply Scored and Diagonal Scoring Plate and decided I was going to figure out making my own envelopes this year.  Plus it was a good way to use up some really old 12×12 scrapbooking paper that I bought when I first got started and didn’t realize the difference in quality between the different companies.

Anyway, so I thought I would share with you some tips I learned while running this experiment!

1.  First, grab some of that cheap scrapbook paper that is printed on one side and white on the other (or if you want to match your project, grab some nice 12×12 designer paper and I recommend at least one side be pale or very small patterned so you can have that as your outside to write your address on.

cheap scrapbooking paper

 

2. Next, cut your paper to size.  I found a great measurement list from Jackie Topa that I used to determine that I needed an 8” x 8” square.  I scored at 3-1/8”, rotated and scored at 4-1/2”, rotate and score at 3-1/8”, and then finally rotate and score at 4-1/2”.  She lists another measurement but I didn’t understand what it was for so I skipped that one!

Tip: When you are using the lightweight or “cheap” paper, I recommend using the fatter tip of your stylus for scoring.  I found that the skinnier tip made me nervous about tearing the paper since it had so much pressure in a tiny spot.

stylus tip

3. Your score lines will cross each other near the edges of your paper.  Trim out the triangles where they cross each other.

snipped envelope

Now, as you look at the picture above, you may notice something funny going on.

That is right!  I was trying to use paper that had text on it and cut my 8×8” piece for the envelope, only to discover that once I scored the paper that the text was now going to be going at an angle!

So if you care about orientation of the pattern on your envelope, take into consideration your preferred final layout before scoring.  In fact, if you can cut your paper down so that the words/pattern is going at an angle on your 8”x8” square, than you will be in great shape when you start scoring.

4.  Fold over the flaps and glue one big flap to two of the little-side flaps.  Once you stuff your envelope, you can adhere the last side.

Tip:  If you want to make your envelopes in advance and be all ready to go.  Put some sticky strip on the last flaps of your envelopes.  You can leave the tape covering on the exposed side so that it will be adhered to you envelope but doesn’t stick to anything else until you are ready to mail the envelope and you peel off that red backing!

5.  Stuff your envelopes and you are ready to go!

I just thought I would show you what I ended up with for now.  The dark and busy patterns I used as insides for my envelopes while the paler and more solid patterns I used for the outside of my envelopes.

finished handmade envelopes

So I hope that was helpful to you and that you will have lots of fun experimenting and creating your own custom envelopes!

 

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Video Review of the Stampin’ Trimmer

Ok, I promised in yesterday’s written review of the Stampin’ Trimmer that I would get this up for you, so here is a quick video I made of checking out and trying out my new trimmer for the first time.  I’ll walk you through the new and improved features and you’ll get to watch me get excited and do some not-so-perfect demo’ing.  🙂  (For example, cutting my thumb on the blade!  Yes, it is a sharp little bugger!)

So, check it out and then tell me what you think of this new tool.  What do you like/dislike about it?

 

 

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Review of the new Stampin’ Trimmer by Stampin’ Up!

I’ll admit I get excited everytime I hear a delivery truck go by followed shortly by a doorbell ring… but yesterday I was more excited than normal.  All because my new Stampin’ Trimmer was set to arrive and after 5 months of anticipation, I finally got to play with one on my craft table!

So the first thing I did was open the box… and then open the box that contained the trimmer.  And as Nicholas, my 2 1/2 yr old said,” Wow, that’s cool!”.  No seriously, he wanted to stand on a stool in my kitchen to watch me pull it out of the box and that is what he said!  He then proceeded to tell me how to use it, but that is another story. 🙂

Stampin Trimmer by Stampin Up!

 

I decided to shoot a quick video after the kids went to bed to show you all the cool features but since I know that I’m not going to be able to get it all edited in time for this blog post, I figured I’d write up my review and give you a few pictures and then try to post my video for you by tomorrow.  Between the two, I should cover all the new and improved features that make it something that I was excited about.

1.  Easier Card Base Cutting

Its true; the feature I was most excited about was actually just the fact that you get a wider platform without having to extend the arm of the cutter for additional cutting measurements.  So, whereas before I could easily cut a card base that was 4 1/4” x 11”, if I wanted to cut 5 1/2” x 8 1/2”, that required me to clear off more space on my table and extend the side arm.  And heaven help me if I needed to cut something at 5 1/4” or 5”… I got good at getting close, but it was always a bit of a guess.

But check this out:

cutting a card base from trimmer 1

 

See, it totally fits!  With room to spare even!  How much room?  You get 6 1/4 inches wide to play with and over 12 inches long.  So, if you are a card maker or do 6×6 scrapbook pages, you are golden with the trimmer as is.  And it still feels pretty compact too.  I would happily put this in my table top tote and bring it with me to a crop or scrapping retreat.

Close up of card measurement

2.  Better (mostly) Numbers and Gridlines on the Surface

So, if I’m going to be honest, I’m pretty happy with how they did the surface measurements on the trimmer.  I love how the gridlines and numbers are UNDER a laminated surface, so they won’t rub off over time!  I never had that happen with my old trimmer but I know enough people who had problems with their little Fiskars cutter doing this that I’m very happy about this innovation.

I also discovered while filming my video that it is actually awesome that they have the measurements both above and below the raised lip that makes sure your paper is straight.  Why is that awesome?  Because I found that when I was trying to get my paper to a certain measurement (like say the 5 1/2” mark in the photo above) I used the lines on the inside of the lip to place my paper; but if I was trying to confirm how long my paper was or wanted at a glance reference of where my paper was placed, seeing the full ruler with numbers outside/above the lip made it super quick to tell where I was at.

slid paper in the Stampin Trimmer**I miss the key measurements written on the middle of the trimmer.

Like how it would show you where 8 1/2” and 6” was in the middle of the trimmer surface.  I didn’t realize how much I used them to verify which side of my cardstock was the 8 1/2” side vs the 11” side that I had been cutting strips off of.  I know there is the ruler on the blade track, but it was easier with it written on the surface.  We’ll see how much I miss it overtime.

**However, I LOVE the grid lines! 

I thought the grid lines were pretty and all but it wasn’t until I started cutting that I realized how handy they would be.  Have you ever been cutting a piece of paper and found yourself thinking “I swear this paper is straight and flush against the raised edge of the trimmer, but is it really straight?”.  I found with multiple trimmers that I could have something that I thought was straight but one end could be up to 1/4” off from where I thought I was cutting on the other side.

So I love the grid lines because I can be sure that my paper is straight.  And, at least when your trimmer is new, the surface has some “cling” (not a residue cling, more like a static or surface tension cling) that helps hold the paper in place as well.

3.  Longer and Sturdier (and Flush!) Extender Arm

So, I didn’t give the extender arm much though, but once I was told about the differences between this trimmer and my old trimmer, I think I’m going to come to appreciate them more that I expected.

Stampin Trimmer with arm extended

The arm is pretty stiff when you try to pull it out.  I’m just warning you now.  I tried to pull it out and I thought it was stuck for a few minutes.  Nope, you just have to really want to extend that arm. 🙂  It seems like it is getting a bit easier the more I use it, but that could just be me getting used to how much I have to pull.

It is also very stiff to get fully extended so that it is perpendicular to your trimmer base.  Again, I thought maybe mine was broken, but after deciding to just go for it… I pushed hard and it snapped into place.  Similarly, it is very stiff to pull the arm back in.  But just commit to it and I think it gets easier over time.

That said, the extended arm is very sturdy.  And it is the same height as the base of the trimmer; so you don’t have to worry about the fact that your paper is sagging like you did with the older trimmers.

Stampin Trimmer extended arm

 

Oh, and there is a little plastic leg that flips down to keep it sturdy and holding the arm in place.  Kind of neat.

It also extends out to a full 14 1/2”, so you have lots of space for scoring larger projects or cutting larger pieces of cardstock.

full length of Stampin Trimmer extended arm

4.  Improvements on the Back side

Stampin Trimmer back sideSo, normally I don’t spend too much time looking at the back side of tools like this, but I appreciate that Stampin’ Up! didn’t waste the space.  There are 2 cool features to see on the bottom of your trimmer:

1.  Non-skid feet – 5 of them to be exact keep your trimmer where you want it

but even better:

2.  A HUGE storage compartment!!  And it not only has a clear cover so you can see what you are storing, but it also has dividers so you can put a whole bunch of back up supplies in there and take them with you to a class/crop/retreat and be organized and easy to grab.  I would store extra blades, adhesive refills, and tools like tweezers and bone folders for when I was traveling.

Love it!

5.  A Few More Hits and Misses

So, there are a ton more cool features and since this post is getting long, I’ll just quickly point out a few more that I find really useful:

  • The ruler/track is totally clear!  Makes it way easier to see where my paper is actually lining up.
  • The blades have an extra arm to help lock them in place on the track.  No more blades flying off when you lift up the trimmer or track.  I also haven’t figured out the right way to get the blades off, but I bet if I read the instruction book it will tell me. 🙂
  • The track has a switch that locks it in place (down) on the trimmer!  Again, no more track flying open when you pick up your trimmer or pull it out of your craft tote.
  • You can fit BOTH the scoring and cutting blade on the trimmer AND have a piece of 12×12 paper without worrying about your paper getting cut.  Yay! So much easier to have the blades ready to go but still out of the way.stampin trimmer with a 12x12 piece of paper 1
  • Stampin Trimmer with larger paper in cutting areaI was asked about whether a piece of 12×12 patterned paper that had an extra trim strip (usually for manufacturer information or the name of the paper pattern) – and thus being longer than 12” on one side” – would fit in the trimmer so you could cut off strips without needing to cut the trim…The answer is sort-of.
    See, I tried it with a piece of paper I had at home and found that the bottom lip of the trimmer is just a smidge too close for the paper to lie flat on the trimmer. But the nice thing is that the track is so long that the blades sit well below where your paper ends and so you can easily slide your paper flush against the lip at the top of the page and then slide the cutter all the way down and past the end of the paper and edge strip.

    But one nice thing is that the clear track/ruler doesn’t press longer paper onto the raised lip.  If you had the old Fiskars style trimmer (like the old SU trimmer with the orange blades) you may have run into this before where a paper that was longer than 12 inches would get bent when you tried to cut part of it because the track compressed the paper flush to the surface of the trimmer and then the paper bent up over the bottom edge of the trimmer.  This is WAAAY better!

    Stampin Trimmer with bigger than 12x12 paper

  • Finally, I like that you get both a scoring blade and a cutting blade with the trimmer by default.  If you are looking at the pictures: Gray is for scoring, Black is for trimming.  And they both sit easily stored at the end of the track.I tried both blades and discovered that they had a learning curve.

    The cutting blade requires more pressure than you probably would expect.  If you watch the video when I post it, you will see it took me 3 tries to cut a strip of cardstock on one slide along the track.  The first attempt, I was too impressed with how smooth it glided along the track that I didn’t put much pressure on.  The second attempt I added more pressure, but it wasn’t enough.  By attempt 3, I had it figured out and it cut great for me ever since.

    The scoring blade works well, but I prefer my Simply Scored or other scoring boards for scoring card bases.  I could probably add more pressure to the scoring blade to get a better impression; but I found that while it scored straight and easily, it wasn’t as deep of a groove (and thus as easy to fold) as when I use my Simply Scored.  I will, however, like this blade for when I’m doing techniques like Faux Tiling or scoring lines on my card for decoration.

** One tip – the cutting blade is sharp! **
I just have to give out that tip because while filming my video, I was feeling the cutting blade because it didn’t cut as I expected and I totally sliced the tip of my thumb!  It proved to me that it has a serious blade in a little tiny package. 🙂

Alright, so that is a lot of info and I think I covered most of it.  And at the end of my brief evening playing with my new toy, I am still super excited about it and think even with its less than perfect aspects, it is still a big step forward over what I had before and I think it is going to be just what I wanted!

I’m sure I missed something with this review and so I’ll try to get the video edited together today so I can get it posted for you soon.  Then you can see some of these features in action!

But in the meantime, if you have any questions about the trimmer, how it works, or its features – leave me a comment or shoot me an email at jennifer@nwstamper.com and I’d be glad to answer them for you!

 

If you are a demonstrator (or sign up to become a demonstrator), you can order your trimmer now.

If you are not a demo, you can order your trimmer starting in November! (and if you don’t have a demonstrator, I’d love to help you get your own Stampin’ Trimmer 🙂 )

 

So please check back soon for the video and I hopefully will give you a better feel for the new Stampin’ Trimmer!

 

Shop for Stamps and More Online, click here!

Are you earning your Northwest Stamper Rewards? Every order gets you closer to your FREE stamp set! Click here to learn more!