Friday, January 27, 2017

Technique of the Week: Let's Mix it Up by Pam Nelson

This week’s card is quick and easy.  I decided to mix things up this week and use a gate fold on the card, just to provide a bit of extra interest.  It also features two new Hero Arts products that were released during the holiday season – the Star Confetti Fancy Die (DI331) and the Ribbon Messages Stamp and Cut (DC184). 

To begin cut a piece of 110# white card stock to measure 8 1/2” x 5 1/2” for my card base.  Score it at 2 1/8” from each end. 
Fold each side in so they meet in the center, creating an A2 card that measures 4 ¼” x 5 ½”. 

Cut a second piece of white 80# card stock to just slightly smaller than the A2 card, approximately 4 1/8” by 5 3/8”.  Die cut using the Star Confetti Fancy Die. 
To easily remove the die cut from the die, leave the paper in the die and lay it paper side down on a soft cloth.  Use the brush end of the Tool ‘n One all over the back of the die.  This releases all of the little stars from the die and they’ll remain on the cloth.  These stars will make great filler for shaker cards.   
Put the die cut face down on work surface.  Cut a piece of Scor-Tape the same size as the die cut and place it on the back of the die cut. 
Turn over the die cut and cover it liberally with Elizabeth Craft Cool Diamond Silk Microfine Glitter.  Burnish the glitter well to press it into the tape.  Return the excess glitter to the jar and wipe the die cut with a Swiffer cloth to remove the extra glitter.  Cut the die cut in half lengthwise.  Remove the cover sheet from the back and adhere each half to the front of the card.

Select a sentiment from the Ribbon Messages Stamp and Cut.  This set has several sentiments and two banner die cuts in different sizes.  The example uses “Happy Birthday” and the small banner die cut.  Use a powder tool on a small piece of So Silk Paper.  Stamp the sentiment using VersaMark ink and then emboss with Judikins White Opaque embossing powder.  Use the appropriate banner die to cut out the sentiment.  Adhere a small strip of Scor-Tape to the back of the left side of the sentiment and adhere to the left side of the card. 
You can see this card in person at the store.  While you are there, check out the Hero Arts catalog for more of these fabulous Confetti dies.  In addition, we are expecting a HUGE order from our supplier on Monday.  We'll be restocking all of the basic items like inks, adhesives, glitters, embossing powders and more.  We are also expecting an order from Memory Box that contains their newest dies for your Valentine's Day and spring cards.  All of us at Art 'n Soul look forward to seeing you soon.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Technique of the Week: Another Great Storage Idea from Marj Marion

I think arranging and RE-arranging the stamps and dies in your craft space is part of the fun of the art form!  But, sometimes, a frustrating scenario provides the motivation to figure out a better storage solution.

I LOVE word and message stamps, and have collected a lot of them over the years. I keep them in an acrylic box frame turned upside down (minus the cardboard filler) to form a tray. I have the tray mounted under my desk surface for handy access. However, many of the stamps are narrow, and always seem to tip over, flop around, and drive me crazy. So…….I dreamed up a low-cost solution.

I also seem to have a “generous” stash of 12”x12” card stock. :)  I measured the width of my “box frame tray”, and trimmed my card stock to fit snugly in the width of the tray.
Then, I started scoring the card stock with horizontal lines, creating “channels” to store the stamps.  Some channels were narrow to accommodate my skinniest stamps, and some a little wider, and I came up with about three basic sizes of channels for my stamps.

Each channel was separated by two 3/4” scored sections, which when folded and glued together, formed the upright “dividers” between each channel. You can use a good glue stick, or your ATG tape, or Scor Tape to adhere the folded divider sections together.

As I continued to form channels, I glued another piece of trimmed card stock to the back edge of the first one, to create enough length of my paper to create the divider system to fit in my tray. It only took about one and a half sheets of 12”x12” paper to make the entire paper divider system. You can use any tray or box that works for you.  I didn’t provide measurements, because your stamps and/or tray will most likely be different than mine.

Note: I am changing lot of my message stamps from wood to cling style, and if there is a message that “always” goes with one of my cling images, then I convert that message to cling.  But, I still like a lot of my message stamps on wood, and my new system is working well.

I think most of us are “visual learners”, so I will bring in a smaller, “mock-up” tray with a divider to the store if you would like to see it in person and decide if this storage idea will work for you.


As the Magenta Retailer of the year, we are getting 12 free stencils (4 each of 3 new Heart stencils) to use as a promotion for you. 

Beginning Saturday, January 21st, anyone who comes into the shop and spends at least $30.00 pre tax*, will receive a free new Magenta stencil, as long as supplies last. *purchase must be in-stock merchandise, and/or merchandise that Art ’n Soul has ordered, but not yet received. Must be new purchases as of January 21st, and you will receive your stencil at the time of your purchase (or as soon as it comes I'm with our order). MANY THANKS TO MAGENTA FOR THESE FUN PRIZES!

We have recently sent orders to Magenta, Memory Box/Poppy, and our largest distributor, so we have lots and lots of new things coming into the shop very soon! Our Magenta shipment should be there on Monday or Tuesday! If you have a pink sheet order, you will be called when the order is in. We are re-stocking on all of the Nuance colors, so hurry in for best selection.

We can't tell you for sure when Memory Box or Notions will come in, but we hope it will be soon. Again, if you ordered something on a pink sheet, you will receive a call when your items are received. Otherwise, please stay tuned to these emails, our blog and our Facebook page for updates on what is being received and when.

From Memory Box/Poppy, we will be getting in lots of Valentine dies, as well as a few Easter things, and other dies in their new January release.

From Notions we will be getting in lots of things, including Distress crayon kits 6 and 7; restocking on all of the Distress inks in large pads, minis and re-inkers; Yupo paper, alcohol inks, adhesives and much much more! 

Stay tuned to this blog, our emails and our Facebook page for updates!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Technique of the Week: Fast Card Sets by Dianne Johnson

My sister asked me if I would send her a set of birthday cards as a Christmas present, so she could send them out to friends throughout the year. I love my sister, but I was pretty busy at Christmas time, and with the amount of work I usually put into one card, a set seemed daunting.

I made this one for a  friend's birthday

I pulled out some dies from my stash and realized that I could probably make some nice cards pretty quickly. To start, I used some watercolors to paint blobs of color onto some Tim Holtz watercolor paper. You can use any watercolor for this step, and Nuance would also work fabulously well. 

My intent was to just get some color on the paper. I did about 6 of these total and they went very fast (I needed one card for a friend of mine's birthday as well). Since they were not large, they dried pretty quickly. 

I die cut each panel using the Memory Box Postage Rectangle Layers die set 30052.

This photo shows the inlays already in on most of the cards. Sorry, I didn't know
at the time that I would use this for a Technique of the Week! The orange
panel in the center still has not had the inlay done.

For the next step, I die cut the sentiment "Happy Birthday" out of the center of each panel using two Savvy dies, Happy Birthday Stacked #10227, and Happy Birthday #10221. I also used these dies to cut out of white cardstock for each of the cards. This was to create the inlay.

Next, I turned each panel over and applied 1" scor tape to cover the open areas (where the Happy Birthday sentiments had been cut out).

Turning the panels over, each open die-cut Happy Birthday had sticky tape showing through, which made it very easy to lay in the white die cut sentiments.

All of the panels were mounted onto coordinating colors of cardstock cut to 4" x 5.25" (from top So Silk Beauty Pink, So Silk Purple, So Silk Fair Blue and So Silk Shocking Green), and those were mounted onto base cards of Neenah Solar White 110# cardstock.

Since I still had the positive sentiment images that I had cut out of the center of each of the watercolored panels, I decided to use those on panels that I had saved from other projects. In all, I was able to make 10 birthday cards to send to my sister, and one for my friend. I still have one extra watercolored sentiment to use on a future card.

Sorry for the less than stellar photography, but I had taken these quickly with my phone, and they are all mailed away! For this card, I had a panel that was one of many I made in a previous Technique of the Week on "Stencil Kissing". (To see that technique, please visit my blog post here.) The stamp I used is Magenta 0685.O Bird and Branch Silhouette (in stock at Art 'n Soul). I applied the positive Happy Birthday image to the bottom of it and matted it with Stardream Flame. I added a few Enamel dots and presto, it's a card.

The top card in the above photo was a card that I made in an Inchie Arts class with Lisa Lee. We had stamped the rose image onto some inches, and then separated them and mounted them onto a pink rectangle for a beautiful effect. I added the dark pink positive Happy Birthday image to the bottom and some enamel dots to finish it up.

For the second card in the above image, I found a watercolor panel on which I had used the Acrylic Block Stamping technique. To revisit that technique, please visit my blog here. I die-cut the panel using the Poppy die Massa Leaf Frame 1021. I glued the colorful die-cut directly onto a base card and adhered the positive happy birthday die-cut onto the center of the square. I added a few enamel dots and it was finished.

For the card on the left, I had a Stencil Stamping technique panel left over from another project where I had cut a circle out of the center. To revisit the Stencil Stamping technique, please visit my blog here. I mounted the panel onto a Curious Metallics Super Gold piece cut to 4" x 5.25" and adhered the positive happy birthday die-cut to the center. I applied a few enamel dots to finish the card.

The card on the right is a Nuance panel in various blues. I die-cut an Impression Obsession die, Out to Sea 51-225 out of white cardstock (backed with Stick-it adhesive) and applied it to the Nuance panel. I added the orange happy birthday die-cut to it and adhered a few enamel dots.

I think these cards would work for ladies or for guys, so I was hoping they would be versatile for her.

For her present, I included all of the cards with envelopes in a zipper pouch, and added a nice pen and some stamps. She was thrilled to receive it, and it was fun for me to make. This project would work well for Thank You notes also!

I also wanted to let you all know, in case you have not already seen this elsewhere that we had a drawing for a prize basket of fabulous products, and our winner is Sandy Lien!! 

Congrats to Sandy, and thank you for everyone who participated!

One last thing to tell you about: we have slightly revised our rules for those bringing things in for Recycled Rubber sales. Due to our ever-rising costs, we are having to increase the amount of our commission on RR sales to 15%. Thanks for your understanding, and for a copy of our Recycled Rubber rules, you can click on the link at the top right of this blog.