Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cheerful Monday - Birthday

A couple of weeks ago, I purchased these beautiful flower stamps during a visit to my local Archivers and I wanted to put them to use.  I was in the mood to do some crisp, clean and happy cards.  Yellow and orange seemed like a perfectly cheerful combination.  Thus I put them to work and ended up making four cards.  This is the first of four.  Call it a Cheerful Monday.  I know I need a pick me up on Mondays, so I just might do cheerful cards on Mondays as a gimmick.

Supply List
Stamps:  Hero Arts (Small Open Flower, Small Closed Flower, and Zig Zag background), Stampin' Up (Happiness Always, Perfect Punches)
Cardstock: Stampin' Up (Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Whisper White), Hammermill Coverstock for the card base)
Ink: SU (Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Gumball Green, Certainly Celery)
Tools: SU large oval punch

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Unmounting Tutorial: Non-EZFoam alternative

I originally put this tutorial together back in October 2010.  Can you believe I finished unmounting my last wooden stamp yesterday?   To celebrate I took pictures of all my unmounted stamps nicely lined up on my shelf.  Check out yesterday's blog post.


Close up of Adhesives:

STEP 1: Unmounting the stamps.

Unmount the stamps from the wood blocks with the foam in tact. If the stamp and foam don't come off easily, try putting the stamp in the microwave for just a few seconds to soften up the adhesive.  If you’re unable to unmount the stamp without damaging the foam, unmount the rubber stamp from the foam and use EZ Mount foam.

I like to unmount the entire set before moving onto the next step.  Plus, by unmounting the entire set at once, this gives the foam a bit of time to rest and spring back into shape from being stretched and pulled during the unmounting process.

STEP 2: Unmounting the image sticker

Carefully peel the image sticker from the front of the wooden block. I like to peel the entire set at once and lightly tack the sticker back down on the wood block until I'm ready for the next step.

STEP 3: Applying the image to the stamp

If the foam and image sticker have enough adhesive left to where a good bond will form, then go ahead and mount the image sticker right onto the foam, matching up the images. Matching up the images can be tricky since you're dealing with a mirror image situation. Burnish the image onto the stamp. I use the side of a bone folding tool.

If more adhesive is needed to form a good bond between the unmounted stamp and the image sticker then apply a think layer of adhesive. I'm using Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue, but other liquid adhesives should work as well. I use my fingers to spread the adhesive.   It’s a low-tech solution, but I haven’t found a tool yet that gives me the same results when all I need is a thin consistent layer of liquid adhesive.   Apply the clear image sticker lining up the image and burnish with the side of a bond folding tool. 

It is very important that the bond between the foam mounted stamp and the image sticker is a strong bond.
The dragon fly toward the left of the picture below has the image mounted to it already. Another advantage of using the liquid adhesive to help adhere the image is that it gives you the flexibility to shift the image around a bit to better line up the sticker with the actual stamp.

STEP 4: Trimming the image

Simply trim off the excess image sticker from the stamp using scissors

STEP 5: Make the stamp cling mountable

Apply a small amount of Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over adhesive to the unmounted stamp.  This is a repositionable adhesive when dry.  Again, I use my finger to spread the adhesive to get a consistent thin layer. Keep some wet wipes or a moist paper towel handy for clean up. 

The dragon fly stamp on the left side of the image below already has adhesive applied. 

STEP 6: Label the Storage Box

Carefully peel the label from the SU clam-shell container.  If there isn't enough adhesive left on the stamp set label, I use Tombow adhesive to apply more adhesive to the label. Apply the label to the spine of the DVD case. Burnish as needed.

I also insert a 5.5 x 7 inch piece of paper into the box. The insert goes under this thin plastic sheath that is on the outside of the box. One of these days I may replicate the SU box images that are used on the new clear mount packaging, but for now this will do. 

STEP 7: Let it dry

I set the completed stamps aside with the box and just let it set up for a while. The Tack-It Over and Over adhesive dries rather quickly, but I just like to give it some extra time to set up.

STEP 8: Store your stamps

After the adhesive is dry and before actually mounting the stamps to the inside of the box, I'll take the sticky side of the stamp and apply it to my shirt to take off a bit of the tackiness. This will help when you got to take the stamp back out of the box and go to use it. No need to press them into the box very hard either. They stick really easy.


Here's a set that I did earlier and it's nicely mounted in the SU DVD storage box. This is the back of the box and you can see the images. 

Here's the back of the box compared to a SU Clear Mount stamp set. 

Here's the front of the same two boxes. 

Here are the spines of the stamps. The bottom left stack is a stack of SU Clear Mount stamps as they come from SU. The others are ones that I've unmounted. So until I get the desire to try and recreated the label inserts that SU uses, this works just fine for me. I can see the image of the stamps through the box and have the name of the stamp set visible on the spine. 

As a happy coincidence, these boxes fit perfectly in my MM Accessory shelf unit. 

How long did this take?

I checked the time stamps embedded on the pictures that I took. From beginning to end, it took 23 minutes.  Now let's say that 3 minutes were for taking pictures.  That leaves 20 minutes.  Thus, it took me 20 minutes to unmount one stamp set. I know it took me longer for the first set, but 20 minutes is not bad.

I hope this tutorial was helpful. 



I originally did this tutorial back in October of 2010.   I have a couple of updates since.

Tack it Over and Over: 
I started thinning out the Tack it Over and Over adhesive. I’ll put a dime size blob of glue on my water resistant surface and then just add a squirt of water.   My high tech tool for mixing it all together is the same high tech tool I use as an applicator, that is my finger.   Does a great job and I can get a better feel for how much adhesive I’m using.   For my water resistant work surface, I use one of these Teflon sheets, but any plastic packaging scraps or a plastic plate would work great as well.

EZ Mount: 
I picked up some EZ Mount on Ebay about a year ago and wasn’t really paying enough attention.  Turns out I ordered some EZ Mount foam that is black instead of gray and is only 1/8 inch thick instead of roughly a ¼ inch thick.   Well, I just love these happy accidents as that black EZ Mount foam is great for smaller stamps.  The downside is that I can’t mount my black image label to it very well since the black image doesn’t show up well on the black foam, but it has still come in handy.

Stamp Case Inserts:
If I could add an attachment here (or figure out how), I'd add a template for an insert that is consistent with Stampin’ Up’s cases.   I’ve used this template to add labels to all of my SU unmounted stamps.  I just add the image of the stamps to the cover and the spine and modify the stamp set name.The overall dimensions of the insert are 5.5 in. x 7 in. I varied the color of the banner at the top for different stamp companies.   

Here are the spines with smaller versions of the stamps for ease of reference as the stamps sit on a shelf.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


It's been at least two years... but my stamp unmounting project is done.   I put together a tutorial before I started my blog on how I unmount my stamps.  I'll have to dig that up and post it.   But for now, here are the results of my unmounting project.  I've been feverishly working toward the home stretch.  And here they are...  

My stamps are nice and cozy in these CD cases by Stampin Up.   The stamp cases are stacked two tall in these squarish baskets I picked up at Michael's.  They're just the right size and I cut a piece of chipboard to go between the two rows of stamp cases as a separator.

Left side of my room

Right side of my room

Both sides of my room - a bit cluttered, but oh well...  

The other half of the playroom has a sofa, couple of chairs, cabinets and the TV.   The kids do their homework, crafting, and computer time on that table where my daughter is sitting now. Now what I need is a sewing weekend to get a window treatment on that rod in the background.   Never ending projects... 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wow! I just won...

I couldn't believe my eyes.  I've been having a rough week this week.  My hubby's been out of town for on business for two weeks now and juggling work, soccer with two kids, and everything else was just wearing me thin.  I haven't even had much of a chance to get a creative burst in this week.  In fact, I only posted one card to my blog this week. 

Imagine my surprise and energy boost as I log on this morning to check my blogs (a.k.a. equivalent of morning paper while drinking coffee) and I see that I won.   WOW.   I was named the Diva Dynamo by the Dynamic Duos color challenge blog.   I feel so honored and humble at the same time.   Check it out here CLICKY!  The blog is wonderful and I really enjoy their color challenges.  

Here's the card that the ladies at Dynamic Duos liked so much to honor this week.   My post for this card is here: CLICKY.  Check it out to see the supplies and pictures of the inside of the card too. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Green and Booty

This is for this weeks' Dynamic Duos challenge #20.   The color combo was fun and the bonus theme of Halloween was the perfect inspiration.   I just got the Stampin' Up Bootiful Occasions stamp set and this was the perfect challenge to break in that set.

Inside of the card.

Here's the color challenge...

Supply List: 
Stamps: Stampin' Up (Bootiful Occasions)
Ink: SU Classic (Lucky Limeade)
Paper: SU (Summer Smooches DSP), SU cardstock (Black, Whisper White, Lucky Limeade)
Tools: Martha Steward (dripping paint and spider web border punches), Sizzix (spider die)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Medallion Fall Thanks

Fall is almost upon us.   I can feel the summer heat starting to give way to more pleasant Fall breezes that want to come our way.   I'm ready for those cozy and comfortable Fall days to arrive.   

I just love medallions and this fall flavored medallion from Stampin' Up's Day's of Gratitude stamp set is just gorgeous.  In the card below, it's stamped with SU Classic ink, cut out by hand, and shaded with some ink and an artist's sponge.  Just abut every piece on this card has some shading.   

The card uses SU cardstock and SU DSP - Juntos.  The stamps used on the backgrounds are also fro the Day's of Gratitude set.   For the greeting I reached for another SU set - Afterthoughts.   The Thanks had an additional sentiment under it that I cut away.  Thanks to the cling mount stamp system, I can just add the additional sentiment to the block any time I want to use it.   The frame on the label is accented with a stamp from Four Labels.   The stamp actually had a bird on it as well, but I used a marker to color just the frame on the stamp and stamped that. Accents include a couple medallion punch shapes and some misc organza ribbon. 


Here's another version of the above.   For this one, I pulled out my Colorbox pigment ink.  The stamp pads are these great little petal shapes with a sharp point.  I used that sharp point to color the stamp.  Then after stamping the image, I embossed it using clear embossing powder.    The background is stamped and then embossed with an embossing folder from Tim Holtz.  

For the greeting, I used  a stamp from Lot's of Thoughts from SU.  I just inked the part of the greeting I wanted with a marker.  The frame around the greeting is from SU's Four Frames set. If you look closely, there's a bit of a shadow layer on the greeting created with two additional punched shapes.   The ribbon is Dusty Durango, bu SU.  The ribbon actually has polka dots on one side and I'm just using the reverse side.   Lastly, there's a little gold accent pearl in the center of the medallion. 

This third version is similar to the above.  the differences are a different embossing folder, but also from Tim Holtz and a different greeting (SU - Much Appreciated)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cuttlebug Cutting Pad Storage

My last post was a foam core creation and by happenstance, this one is too.  

It has two slots to hold my cutting pads.  The front holds my more commonly used pads and the back holds some shims, crease pad, embossing pads, etc...

Here's a closer look at the two compartments.

The box is dressed in some Stampin' Up DSP - Play Date.  I used a Fiskars punch for the scallop accent on the wrapper.  The medallion is made using SU's largest Scallop punch for the blue background.   I cut the rosette using Tim Holtz's 12 inch die and some circle punches (Creative Memories and EK Success).

The bottom of the box has a layer of specialty paper with this suede feel that I picked up ages ago on clearance at JoAnn's.

And here's a pircute of where this little box lives at my cutting station.   

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Copic Storage Basket

I've seen a number of solutions out there for storing Copic markers. I love baskets and just needed to section off compartments.  Here's what I came up with.

I cut foam core board into a grid.   The trick is to use a sharp Exacto blade and a quilting ruler.

This works for upright or vertical storage.   And as for the basket, a basket with squared off sides works best, but other than that, you can customize the grid.   I've been using this for about a year now and haven't come up with a better solution.   

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