Throwback Stamping: Shining Mandala

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This beautiful stamp from Birch Press Design, “Shining Mandala,” is the first stamp I wanted to try to replicate with the practice I’m calling “Throwback Stamping.”  The idea is, as much as I like and lust for new stamps, dies, media, or embellishments, I probably have stuff already in my stash that looks a lot like them already. So I should use those instead.  To be more mindful and less consumerist in my crafting.

Specifically, I wanted to try to make something like this card using the Shining Mandala stamp:

 

throwbacks1

Credit: Birch Press Design

 

I love mandalas as a design element, so I knew for a fact I had things in my stash that would look very similar.  Not only stamps, but coloring pages, diecuts, etc.  While I was thinking it over, the right thing literally popped out at me as I was shifting some papers around — a thick stack of colorable mandala die cuts from Paper Wishes, called Kaleidoscope.  They’re layered mandalas made from thick cardstock that you pop out, color, and layer (or not, as you choose) printed in silver, gold and black.

I thought a silver printed one would imitate the look of the white heat embossing on the card well enough.  The cardstock is thick enough to take some watercoloring easily.  It was doable.

So here’s what I came up with:

 

throwbackc1

 

I used my Zig Clean Color brush pens to color it.  The silver printing resisted the watercolors well.  I wasn’t very careful with it; I wanted it to have the same loosey-goosey look as the original.  Once it dried, I mounted it on purple cardstock, as in the original, and added a diecut sentiment in a similar style.

Now obviously, this isn’t an exact CASE of the Birch Press card.  But it’s certainly close enough to satisfy the urge to create that project.  And it looks good, if I do say so myself. And it used some things I hadn’t used in a while — the Kaleidoscope stack, and my Zig pens.

And it didn’t cost me a penny!  Which is the point of “throwback stamping.”

(Note: You’ll see there’s no actual stamps or stamping used in the creation of my card.  The main image is a diecut instead.  But the image I was trying to replicate was of a stamp, so I think the name is still relevant.  I’m sure future throwback projects will involve stamping.)

I hope to create many more “throwback stamping” projects over the course of this half year.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  How well do you think I replicated the original card?

 

 

 

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So Where Have I Been?

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I’m scared as I write this blog post.  It’s been so long since I worked on Crash Your Stash.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I posted on this blog.  How time does fly! So where have I been?  What have I been doing?

When my mom died of cancer in late 2016, my creativity, art and writing, pretty much shut down.  It was how my grief manifested itself.  Ever since then, I’ve struggled to reclaim it, and it still isn’t all the way back.

And for most of that time, I’ve been concentrating on my fiction writing instead of serious crafting.  I actually published a book in 2017, Daughter of Atlas, which you can learn about right here.

But now, having done National Novel Writing Month for the seventh time (and won!), I need a break from writing.  And so my spirit turns once again to papercrafting, which in its own way, I love as much as writing, and it means as much to me.  Thus, renewed attention to this blog.

Not unalloyed attention, though.  My crafting has some issues that need to be addressed.  To wit, hoarding and obsessive buying.  I have so much stuff now, I can’t find what I want, when I want it, because I can’t remember what drawer, box, or pile it is in.  I really need to weed and de-stash a lot of my hoard.  Give some of it away to people, donate it, maybe sell some of it if I can be arsed to.  I have so much stuff that I have bought things, and then bought them again, because I forgot I ever have them in my vast stash. So all those duplicates need to go.

And I have to also just plow through my stash.  Just use things up!  If you followed the blog back when I was regularly posting, you know I barely scratched the surface of my stash list that I based this blog around.  And now there’s even more stuff.

So I have come up with four strategies that I think will help me actually use up and enjoy some of my stash, instead of just staring at it all the time:

  • Kill the kit — I have many, many, many card, papercraft , jewelry, and just general craft kits that I have picked up along the way, by subscription, or one-offs, or from Barnes & Noble or Michaels.  Most of which sit untouched, unopened.  A good way to clear out some of my craft room mess would be to actually use some of those kits!  Make the projects! Use the supplies!  Then keep what I like, and toss out the packaging and the scraps.  I have struggled with this in the past, because I’ve found one thing I enjoy most about my crafting is novelty — always having a new stamp, paper, medium, or technique to try.  (I will write more about this in the future.) I get bored staying with the same papers and stamps long enough to work my way through a kit — which is why I no longer subscribe to kits anymore.  But if I approach it as a challenge, I might find new interest in it.
  • Throwback stamping — this is what I call a philosophy that I hope will guide my crafting in 2019. Basically, the idea that I already have enough stamps and supplies in my stash to replicate most any project I see and admire, without having to buy the new materials showcased by that project.  (Because design teams, brand ambassadors, and You Tubers, are all there to do one thing — push new product.)  I already have enough butterfly stamps, enough leaves, enough flowers, enough medallions, that I don’t need to buy anymore.  Likewise, enough watercolors, enough inks, enough markers, enough embellishments.  I would be hard pressed not to find something in my stash that closely matches a project that I like — because at this point in my craft journey, I know what I like, and I’ve bought it. I’m unlikely to be stricken with a sudden hunger to make many projects full of cutesy animal stamps a la Lawn Fawn, or creepy big-eyed human images like Magnolia, or gingham paper or what have you.  What sparks my interest is usually some new take on a theme I already like — leaves, butterflies, Art Nouveau, henna designs, and so on. So, the goal is, to CASE or near-CASE a project I like with stash I already have, instead of buying all new crap I don’t need.
  • Stamp-a-Day — this is a project I’ve been doing the last couple months that I’ve had some success with — just pulling a new unused stamp or stamp set from my “to be used” stash, and quickly making a card or ATC with it.  Just using the stuff, instead of hoarding it.  I have been posting these on Instagram, which I like for following papercrafting, with the hashtag #stampaday2018.  (Soon to be 2019, hopefully.) I’m on Instagram as kmcorby2. (I have no idea who the original kmcorby is, but rest assured I hate them. I’m not used to sharing my name!)
  • Note Card sets — As I said, I love novelty with my crafting.  Almost every card I make is a unique one-off that I don’t feel the need to replicate.  I love that about cardmaking!  Every card is a unique and special piece of art that I share with one person only.  But, if I do make some card sets, of the same or similar cards, that I can give away to people as gifts, that will help use up some of my supplies.  Plus also, gifts.  People admire my cards, and I’m sure at least some of them would like to receive a set of their own to use.

So these are the ideas that I hope will help me focus my crafting in 2019, and make a real dent in my craft stash.  I am also declaring a buying moratorium through at least the first half of 2019 — no new stamps, no new papers, no new mediums. I have enough!  All I will allow myself to buy is basic supplies like adhesive, black or VersaMark ink, scored cards, and white, black and kraft cardstock for bases.  Basic supplies only!

I know I’m not the only crafter who struggles with hoarding and acquisitiveness.  It is the topic of conversation for the New Year.  If this strikes a nerve with you, I’d like to hear your thoughts, and strategies for combatting hoarding in the comments below.

New Year’s Craft … Resolutions?

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As I think I mentioned in my last blog post, I haven’t been doing much papercrafting in a long time.  Life circumstances limited my free time, and also I was concentrating on my creative writing for a while.  But now with the new year, I want to get back to crafting.  I feel the lack when I don’t do it.  It is nourishing to me.

So there are a few things I’d like to do in the new year — not really resolutions, per se, but activities to set myself up for more crafting in 2017:

  1. Weed my magazines: “weeding” is what we call it in library science when we remove unused and beat-up books from the collection, and that is what I’d like to do with my papercrafting magazines.  Go through them, and discard (recycle) the ones I don’t want or no longer need.  Flip through each one and remove any projects I do like, keep them in a binder, and recycle the parts I don’t need.  I also have many catalogues from various companies that are obsolete, and several jewelry-making magazines that I no longer use.  I have a stack of unread magazines on my dining room table and it is time to make room for them.
  2. Pre-cut some word dies: I like the look of die-cutting, but I really don’t enjoy the act of die-cutting.  I hate wrestling my brute of a Big Kick around, and my electronic cutter, an eBosser, has issues of its own.  So I think it would be productive to just buckle down one evening, watch some TV, and mass-cut some dies for future use.  Especially word dies, which I can easily cut using my Spellbinders Sapphire, which is a small-format die cutting machine.  It’s cutting surface is only 2.75 inches, so it’s tiny, easy to carry, and perfect for cutting word dies and other small dies like banners and small images.
  3. Plotting out dates for card mailing:  If I have any actual craft New Year’s Resolution, it is to actually send more of the cards that I make.  I often forget people’s birthdays and other important events. So, I copied some planning pages from a card-making book I checked out from the library, and I should spend some time going through my address book and the calendar, and noting down birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates for card-sending.  Then I will have one place to glance at for my card mailing info, and I’ll be able to use it indefinitely.
  4. De-stash and send RAKs:  That’s a “random act of kindness.”  A couple of the papercrafting groups I belong to on Facebook have lists of people who would like to swap stash or receive RAK packages from other members because they want to replenish their stash, usually for very good reasons — one woman’s house burned down, for example.  So, I can help these people.  I have a fair amount of stash I would like to clear out: some things I bought duplicates of by accident, or I used them and decided I didn’t like them (but someone else might), or I just don’t use them anymore.  After over ten years of crafting, I have so much stash, I can’t always find what I want when I want it any more.  Time to thin some of it out.
  5. Prepare a package for the Matthew 25 charity: I heard about this program where you can send your used prescription pill bottles to be donated to Africa, where pill bottles are very hard to get.  Just having a bottle helps people, who often travel great distances to visit a clinic, to transport their medicine safely, and its easier to take it at home if it’s in a safe, single place.  Hard to believe something so simple can make such a difference in someone else’s life.  So, I’ve been collecting these pill bottles for a while — the husband and I both take regular maintenance prescriptions, so we have a lot of these bottles coming in regularly.  But my cat Isis has found this stash, and thinks these pill bottles make excellent toys (and they do).  She has dragged them out of the box multiple times and scattered them all around my office. Time to pack them up and send them on their way.
  6. Cut down my 12×12 paper?   I’m not sure about this last one.  I have so many scrapbook paper stacks that they won’t all fit in my shelves anymore.  But I do not do traditional scrapbooking.  I mostly do cardmaking.  I have no real need of 12×12 paper.  I bought most of them before I realized 6×6 pads were available.  If I were to cut them down into 6×6 squares, they would be possibly easier to store, and more useful to me.  But it’s a lot of work and I’m not sure I should undertake it.  What do you think?  Has anyone done this? How did it turn out?

I’ll keep you advised on how these projects turn out.

Finally, a post!

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I made a card:

 

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First card I’ve made in months and months!  I was having a dry patch for a while — sometimes you get tapped out and you need to let your creativity rest.  And, my schedule changed at my job — I was working more nights and weekends.  And then I was concentrating more on creative writing for a while — I sold two short stories this year.

But I missed cardmaking.  I had to clean up my office, too, so around the Thanksgiving holiday I started doing that.  I pulled my basic tool drawer out to organize it, and I was surprised at the pleasure I felt just touching and seeing my papercrafting tools, my bone folder and scissors and stamps.  Many happy memories.  It made me want to craft again.  So, once I was done cleaning, I pulled out an Annie’s Craft Club kit I had long wanted to use, and made the first card in the kit.

It’s not great — there are several mistakes, I’m out of practice.  But it’s good enough, and it was a card, and I made it, and I was happy.

After that, I was able to quickly knock out a few Christmas cards using the One-Sheet-Wonder technique.  With those, and what I had left over from last year, I had enough cards to send out to immediate family and close friends.

Now, I’m trying to decide, now that the pressure’s off, should I make some more Christmas cards for next year, or put all the Christmas stuff away and move onto new things?  What do you think?  What are you doing?

Either way, I’m glad to be back to papercrafting, and hope to be posting projects on the blog more often in the new year.  Happy new year to all.

 

 

 

 

I’m Doing Panels at Contraflow V This Weekend

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Today Contraflow starts, our local science fiction convention, and this year I’ve put myself forward, and I’m going to be on a couple panels. Here’s my panel schedule:

Saturday, 2 PM — Dreams and Creativity

Saturday, 9 PM — Writer’s Block: Myth or Madness

Sunday, 11 AM — Cultural Appropriation or Building Diversity: An Exploration Of Issues Involving Real World Cultures In Fantasy and Science Fiction

Brandon Black must have written that last title, I think. 🙂

I’m excited about “Dreams and Creativity,” because two of the five stories I’ve sold, were based on dreams I had. So I have some stuff to say about that.

If you’re going to the con, some see me. I’ll need your support.

New (to me) Challenge Blog

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Hello all.

I’ve found a new (to me, anyway) stash-crashing style challenge blog.  It’s called the Retro Rubber Challenge, and the challenge is to use your old stamps — stamps that are older than one year.  You can read the rules here.

They rotate between Sketch, Color, and Theme challenges, and you have two weeks to play along.

This is a good challenge because many of us get so hung up on buying new, new, new stamps and sets that we forget all about the older ones that we used to be just as enamored of.  We buy a stamp thinking, well, I’ll be able to use it forever, but we seldom do.  We move on to new acquisitions.  Craft hoarding and acquisitiveness is a real problem among crafters, I think, why is why I started my blog in the first place, to combat that tendency in myself. I hope it has helped some of you as well.

Here is my entry in their current challenge, which is a sketch challenge:

 

ATC Hexlove

 

The focal piece in the sketch is a circle, but I thought, why not a hexagon?  I love hexagons, such a balanced, pleasing shape.  Once I had that idea the card came together pretty quickly.  I’ve enjoyed doing the ATCs, so I’m continuing with that.

The stamp for the challenge is the background, the Hero Arts Hexagon Background. And the first time I posted about it was in May 2014, so it is definitely more than a year old.  I used Deco Foil for the embellishments.  I love Deco Foil! And a Tim Holtz sentiment sticker.  An appropriate sentiment, because I love papercrafting, and right now I love ATCs.

Wish me luck!  In the challenge, I mean.

Supply List

Crescent Cardboard Mixed Media ATC blank, silver

Hero Arts Hexagon Background stamp

Staz-On Teal Ink

hexagon chipboard, unknown (Maya Road?)

Recollections double-sided adhesive sheets

Glossy Accents (adhesive)

Green and Blue Deco Foil

Tim Holtz Small Talk sentiment stickers

 

Final ATC

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Here is my last ATC, squeaked out on May 31:

 

ATC Paisley

 

My unconscious tribute to Prince?  I’m still sad about his death.  He was still young.  He died not of a drug addiction, but inadequate pain management.  Shocking that even a fortune in the nine figures can’t buy you good healthcare in this country.

Well, anyway, I named it “Paisley Park.”

This is an acrylic paint resist technique.  The substrate is Ranger Sticky-Backed Canvas. I thought it needed support, so I mounted it to illustration board.  The woodblock stamp was stamped in Tarnished Brass Distress Paint, and the Distress Stain over it is a mix of Shaded Lilac, Seedless Preserves and Dusty Concord.

The woodblock stamp and the metal embellishment are from Michaels/Recollections, their “Boho” collection.  The rest of the stuff is just from my stash. None is NBUS, sadly.

So I ended up doing 29 ATCs in 31 days.  Didn’t quite meet the challenge, but good enough, I’d say! It’s been fun. I’m going to continue to do ATCs for the time being.  I have enough greeting cards stashed for now.  I’ve been trading some of them with people on Facebook.  That’s fun too.

Weekend ATCs

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Here are the three ATCs I created over the weekend.

I wanted to do a Zentangle card during the challenge. The card base is pre-cut Bienfang illustration paper — it’s pretty thin, really just paper, you’ll want to back it with something. I liked the way my Zentangle snaked up the middle of the card, so I decided to just shade in the edges. I used my CG1 Copic for that and it worked well. This paper is meant to take markers anyway.

 

ATC Zentangle

 

The Zentangles I used were, from the top, Tripoli, Lichen, Moonwalk, Printemps, and Hollibaugh. Plus some random doodling. I’m not great at Zentangling, but I hope to get better.

For this challenge, I wanted to use some of my ATC blanks in unusual materials. This next card is made of wood, Birch wood veneer. They’re from Creative Imaginations, who make, or made, a lot of ATC stuff at one time. The cards have an adhesive back, so you can mount them on greeting cards or scrapbook pages, or whatever you want.

 

ATC Daisies

 

The daisies stamp is from Stampendous, and I stamped it in Versamark and heat-embossed it with Zing! Opaque White powder. It’s a little blurry — you’d probably want to use fine detail powder if you have it.

I then colored it in with Copics — R81, RV13, G02, YG06, Y35, YR12, YR68. (See, I remembered this time.)

It’s good, but I can’t decide if it needs something more, or not. Some bling — but that might just overcomplicate it. I’m letting it be for now.

The next card is made from sheet metal!

 

ATC Fish

 

The card blanks are thin, silver metal — aluminum, maybe? — from Imagine Crafts. I saw them featured in a video from the CHA show 2014, and finally tracked some down. This is the first time I have used them (NBUS).
Here, I colored the card with alcohol inks, ran it through an embossing folder, and then sanded it to remove some of the color and highlight the design. The alcohol ink colors I used (from Ranger) were Citrus, Juniper, Stream, and Sail Boat Blue. The embossing folder is from Provo Craft, from an Asian set I have.

Again, I think it needs more, but I don’t want to clutter it up. Any suggestions?

So far I have made 28 cards in 30 days. I’m two cards behind. If I keep it simple, I should be able to finish two more cards tomorrow and complete the challenge!

Gemstone ATCs

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Here are the cards I made today:

 

ATC Genstones

 

Aren’t they pretty?  I was trying to go for a look of semi-precious gemstones like lapis lazuli or malachite.

I used Copic markers on glossy cardstock. I added some streaks of silver leafing pen to imitate veins of metal in the stone. Then I embossed the cards in the WRMK “Gemstone” Next Level Embossing Folder to get the stony facets.  I have been wanting this embossing folder for a while, so I finally got it.  I added a sentiment to one, but for the second one, I thought, no, let it be what it is.

Not sure they really look like stone, but I like them anyway.

Supplies: 

Ranger Glossy Cardstock

Copic Markers, random blues and green (sorry, forgot to note down the specific colors)

Silver Krylon leafing pen

We Are Memory Keepers “Gemstone” Next Level Embossing Folder

Tim Holtz “Small Talk” sentiment stickers