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Creating Ink Swatches

So, I have a first world crafter problem! When I am trying to decide on what ink color to use for my projects, I go by the lid color. But lately, I have been finding out that this is not a good idea. The color on the lid is often very far off from what the actual color looks like when it is stamped. It frustrates me because I often pick the closest color to my scrapbook paper or other accents and want it to look as close to matching as possible.

To remedy this problem, I decided to create ink swatches. I took regular 8 1/2″ x 11″ white scrapbook paper and cut it into 2″ x 3 1/2″ pieces. This allows enough room for a stamped image on the front and for me to write what ink pad it is on the back. I punched a hole in the top left corner of each piece so that I could put them on a ring. I used the My Favorite Things Abstract Art stamp set to stamp my images with each color. I then let the ink dry and then wrote the manufacturer’s name and the ink color name on the back.

All of the pieces are organized by color so that I can find things easily. I stamped out my dye and hybrid inks, but not my distress inks. I will do that over the coming weeks. I may also add in some pieces that are a little larger so I can easily pick out where the blues, pinks, reds, etc are on the ring. I do have some tab dies that I haven’t used yet……… : ) If I do update it, I will show a picture here!

Here is the video of how I created this ring:

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Craft room Redo

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Hi everyone! This hopefully will explain why I wasn’t able to do a Sketch Sunday video and blog post. But I am trying to do the 30 day challenge, I just picked a terrible time to start it (or maybe it was a terrible time to start organizing my craft room….hmmm). Anyway, here is a look at the W.I.P. (Work In Progress) of the room. Let me know what you think and also if you have any organizational tips. You can leave links to your blogs, FB, Youtube videos showing organizational tips. What have you done to organize your creative space? I’d love to see pictures!
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New year, new changes

For the better part of the past two days, I have been cleaning and organizing my scrap room. To say that it’s done is far from the truth. Since the past year consisted of two bridal showers, two weddings and one graduation in this family, life has been hectic. Not to mention my surgery at the beginning of the year that had me out of work for four months.  I haven’t been the best at keeping up with maintaining the organization of the house. (I will attribute that to the after effects of surgery : ) even though we all know the truth – I’m a terrible housekeeper!) 

But, recently I decided that I needed some major changes to this house if I was going to stay here. The first one was to reorganize the kitchen. That’s all done, with the exception of the new fridge, which will be here Wednesday. (Sad to say but I am very excited about this.) Next was to clean the hallway closet. Not an easy task by any means, seeing as though I probably haven’t cleaned it out since I moved in almost nine years ago. I found about 30 pairs of shoes to donate to GoodWill. Crazy right? Next I worked on the bedroom and started to clean out the closets to decide what to donate and what to keep. Not easy either since I am in between sizes and am trying to lose some weight. Do I keep my “fat” jeans that currently fit and give the “skinny” jeans away? Or vice versa, which might entice me to try and lose weight faster? Or do I keep both sizes and decide later? Decisions decisions! 

Now that the kitchen and closet were done and the bedroom is still a work in progress, I decided to tackle the craft room. One – because there aren’t really any rooms left, besides the living room and two – it’s probably the place that needs it most. So, my first task was to try and organize my stamps. I used whatever boxes and lids I had available and divided up the stamps by category. I have Christmas stamps, baby stamps, wedding stamps, word stamps, etc. I placed the cling and clear with the red rubber stamps. What I realized is that I have too many stamps! Where was I going to store all of theses? 

Pinterest to the rescue! I started looking on Pinterest for ideas and there are soooo many! My dream scrapbook room is on there, but I know that I won’t be able to get my room to look like that, without going broke. I need to use what I already have plus a few additional things I can purchase to make this room functional again. I really wanted an island workstation that doubles as storage as well. I also wanted to turn my closet into a storage place for my punches, ribbon, stamps, etc so that I can easily find what I am looking for. 

So, getting back to what I was doing for the past two days. I finished organizing the stamps and moved onto paper. Since I had a lot of projects to do in such short time spans (hello telling me I got accepted into a Saturday craft show the Monday before!!) I had scraps of paper EVERYWHERE! Since there were so many, I decided to divide them up into color families. I then placed them in those plastic sleeves that formerly held all my paper. (You know, until I went crazy at the 6/$1 Michael’s sale where I had to be rung up in multiple purchases because I exceeded the item count for the register. No lie – that happened on multiple shopping trips because I couldn’t pass up a deal like that!) Anyway, these turned out to be great for scraps and I put them in the blue bins that originally held the 12×12 paper. Now if I need a scrap of paper, I don’t have to cut up a large piece. I can just sort through the clear plastic packs and find what shade of the color I am looking for! 

With that complete, my next step was to organize the full sheets of paper. I took the solid colored sheets and put them into color family groups. I then put them away in the Recollections paper cubes I assembled a couple of months ago. I bought three more and I assembled those downstairs and sorted the patterned paper into the same family groups. I also made spots for special events that I scrapbook a lot or events I have lots of paper for – baby, wedding, birthdays, school, sports, etc. 

Now that I am finished with that, I need to start working on figuring out the shelving solution for the closet. I also want to purchase more of the paper storage cubes and fashion them into a desk by finding a table top to go over them, using the cubes as legs. (If that makes sense…..) 

i am a long way from finished, but this is a good start. I hope to have this accomplished in another month or so. I know this post may seem boring to some of you and you may have even stopped reading by now. That’s ok. This is more for me. If I ever decide to say at the end of the night, I’ll clean up tomorrow, I can think back about how much work it took to get my room this way. I am trying to be more aware and not leave things until tomorrow! 

Well, if you stuck this one out, thanks! I know it was a long one with no real tips or tricks. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment! 

A new supply

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A couple of weeks ago, I decided to give in to the alcohol markers that I had seen at AC Moore every week. Each week when I had a 50% off coupon I would pick up a pack and then find something else that I thought I wanted more. I think overall I was scared to start making the investment.

But, that one week, the Spectrun Noir markers were about 50% off and then there was an additional 15% off. That made them about $7 a pack and a little over $1 a marker. Much better than the $5 a marker for Copics. I think what pushed me over the edge was watching YouTube video demonstrations and seeing what you can accomplish. Now I am not the best shader by any means – I was in talented art in middle school, but somehow I just never seemed to get the hang of where the light source was coming from and where the object would be darker or lighter. I am sure that it comes naturally for most artists – I guess I lack that artist gene! HAHA.

The Good:

I bought six or seven packs of the markers. What is nice about these compared to Copics, besides the price!, is that they come in color sets. With Copics, they sell them individually as well as in sets. However, their sets are more along the lines of pastels or brights, which means to blend colors in the same color family, you need multiple sets. In Spectrum Noir markers, they come in blendable, ready to use family colors. That makes it easier for people like me when you are going to pick colors to blend with.

There are two ends to the pen – a chisel tip for coloring in larger areas and a brush tip for the fine detail work. The company who makes them, Crafter’s Companion, has made it easy to identify which end is which at a quick glance by marking the brush tip end with a grey band. Some YouTube videos I’ve watched have said that people have had issues with pulling the chiseled end off when pulling the cap off, but I haven’t had this issue. Hopefully CC realized this and fixed the issue.

Like the Copics, the Spectrun Noir markers are also refillable. I haven’t been on the website to see how much they are, but in the videos I’ve watched, other crafters said that it wasn’t too high of a price. I like that because I don’t want to have to wait for another great sale to get another set of markers!

The Bad:

From watching some of the YouTube Videos, I did learn that the colors aren’t always true to the color caps. They use a number and letter system to identify the colors and also offer a color chart online that you can download and color swatches so you can see at a glance what colors you want to use. Really overall, not a big issue for me and was easily remedied when I saw the chart.

The second thing is the ink and paper you use. Since these are alcohol based markers, they will soak through thinner (and sometimes thicker paper), depending on how much blending you want to do. Any alcohol pens or markers will bleed so stay away from coloring up to the line. (I’ll talk more about this in another post when I show the card I made). Use a good ink and let it really dry. Not 20 minutes – either overnight or hit it with the heat gun. I usually stamp my images for a project the night before and give them a good 12-24 hrs to dry before I start coloring on them. A heat gun will work to set the ink though if you need to color in the image quicker.

The last negative I see is that the caps aren’t the best. Sometimes they can be difficult to get off and you really have to make sure that they click back into place so they don’t dry out. I am constantly worrying about this because I read that alcohol markers dry out faster the regular ones. Just make sure that you press firmly on the cap and it clicks and you should be ok!

Overall, I really like the markers. I’ve never used Copic markers so I only have what other people have said or what I have seen of them to compare then to the Spectrun Noir. This really isn’t a comparison – I just wanted to share a good alternative to Copics if you don’t have the $5 a pen to spend. It seems like a good entry into the alcohol based marker game, especially for the price. I am new to all this shading and blending, so I thought that for a little over a $1 a marker I could get behind that investment. AC Moore only offers 12 sets of markers; however there are many more that Crafter’s Companion made available. For me, it’s a good start and I am enjoying figuring out how to shade and blend.

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Hobby Lobby

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I’ve heard about this mythical place on plenty of YouTube videos and seen people list it as their go to place for supplies. For us “Northerners”, it wasn’t an option. Until recently! Hobby Lobby opened in Millville. Strange location for the store to open – at least in my opinion. But, its 3% sales tax, so who am I to complain? : )

If you’ve never been to a Hobby Lobby, I suggest you get in your car and drive to one. It’s like AC Moore, Michael’s, Home Goods and the party store all rolled into one. (And I only had a chance to see half of the store, as I was on my “lunch break” from work). I walked in and was immediately overwhelmed because I didn’t know where to look first. The store is bright and clean and full of stuff. I finally reached the scrapbook section and was like, this is it? There was a tiny free-standing display with some Cricut products on it and then three or four aisles of stamps, stickers and embossing folders. Where were all the papers and albums?

Then I turned the corner. There were at least three aisles of open stock paper, plus a couple more aisles of paper packs. There was an entire aisle dedicated to photo albums – both sides of it!! I have never seen so many scrapbooking supplies. It was crazy!

My favorite aisle was the stamp aisle. Their selection of wooden stamps is amazing. They have them divided by category and they are in wooden shelves. Most of them I haven’t seen at AC Moore or Michaels. There were a lot of saying and beautiful images. I bought about ten and there are plenty more that I would like to get. There were some really cute Christmas mouse ones that would be perfect on Christmas cards for this year!

However, I was disappointed with their selection of clear stamps. They didn’t seem to have many and the ones they did have weren’t very impressive. Maybe they have more somewhere else, but in the stamp aisle it was sparse. Since the wooden stamps were so plentiful, I would have assumed the same for the clear ones.

The other thing that was disappointing is that they don’t take AC Moore or Michael’s coupons. If you don’t already know, you can use Michael’s coupons at AC Moore and vice versa. They do have their own coupons, but so far all I’ve seen is 40% off ones and the other two offer 50% ones. (Or lately, AC Moore has been offering 50% off and I’ve been using it at both retailers).

One suggestion when you are shopping at Hobby Lobby – take notice of all signs / prices. They don’t have scanners, so the cashiers have to know what is on sale. The store had signs up for last week’s sale (and I didn’t check the dates on them!) The cashier didn’t see the products on sale in their flyer, so he had to call. They did honor what the sign(s) said, as someone missed about five of them!

Overall, I really enjoyed my shopping experience at Hobby Lobby. I know I have a lot more that I want to buy there – there is so much to look at and choose from. If you are a scrapbook enthusiast, I highly recommend a shopping trip to Hobby Lobby.

Thanks for stopping by!

To Journal or Not to Journal?

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When it comes to scrapbooking, there are scrapbookers who journal and then there are those who don’t. I tend to fall into the latter category. One of the people that I follow on YouTube (Glitter Girl from Two Peas in a Bucket) does a lot of journaling. I like her style, but I just haven’t taken the time to get into journaling.

It makes sense – scrapbooking is done to preserve memories. What better to preserve them than with your own words? That’s what journaling is. For some reason I have been afraid to try it. My handwriting is okay – I don’t love it and I don’t hate it. Sometimes I think I won’t know what to write or what I write will be perceived as silly. This is especially true when the scrapbook is for someone else.

Tonight I worked on the first page of my goddaughter’s book. It was a page from when I took her to a Zumbatomic class. It was the night before her 5th birthday and we had such a good time. She loves Zumba (I think it may be the booty shaking and the shimmy that she really likes) and since my teacher Ally knew it was her birthday, she made a big fuss over her. Her best friend Madison was there, as was her mom, Amanda. Amanda and I were dancing in the back and the girls worked their way up to the front line. I was busy paying attention to what I was supposed to be doing and I looked up to see where the girls were. To my surprise, Allie and Madison were right next to the teacher Ally!

The pictures for the page are of Madison, Ally, Amanda and me; the girls with Ally;and the girls, Ally and me. I wanted to convey the story about the girls being up front because I thought it was so cute – and so Allie!! I know that years from now, she may not remember that. So, I thought I would try journaling to tell the story.

I chose a white background that features black music notes and a red border. For the pictures, I added a small black border and then attached the three pictures to the background. For the journaling, I took a red piece of card stock, added a black border and used a quotes stamp. I stamped it with black ink and then wrote the story on the stamped lines. The last thing I did was add the journaling to the page.

Journaling wasn’t difficult and I like the way that it helped tell the story of the pictures. I think that I am going to do more journaling in her scrapbook this year and I may even have her tell me stories about the pictures so they can be in her words.

This is how the page turned out:

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