Friday, September 04, 2009

Stampbord Contest!!!

You can win Stampbord, ink pads, pens, rubber stamps and other cool craft supplies by entering their contest.
Check it out:
Click here for Stampbord Contest Information!!!

It's a great reason to be creative - they are allowing any medium as long as Stampbord is used in its creation. I'll be doing a rubber stamped project for it and show you all once the contest is complete.

Happy Crafting :)

Potential Delays / Health Update

I'm very sorry for the lack of activity here on the blog this summer. I have also been unable to update my website with new products quite as frequently as I have in the past. Some of you may already know that over the past 5 years I've had some major medical problems (cancer/chemo/radiation.) The type of cancer that I had (Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma) has not returned. However, I have had a lot of side effects/damage from the disease and treatments. Some of the scar tissue has caused adhesions (bonding muscles and organs together,) ruined my thyroid (lowered metabolism/energy,) and now I have ulcerations in my colon and a large 2" mass (cyst) in my lower left abdomen.

Currently my doctors are Guinea Pigging me with some prescriptions and pain medications to see if anything improves over the next two months before resorting to surgery. It is likely that surgery will include removing the mass, resection of my colon and possibly more if other organs are effected. For now, because of the pain and medications there have been some days where I am not feeling up to working.

I am trying very hard to keep up with orders within my stated 7 - 14 business day delivery time. There may be bad weeks for me where I'm running a few days later. Once my surgery is scheduled I will post a notice on my website about any longer delays during a specific time frame. Once this all gets sorted out I'll try my best to get back into crafting and creating new products :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Scenic highways and nature destination photographs!

Yay! It's summer travel fun time!

I'm a huge fan of scenic highway drives and nature destinations. I take thousands of photographs every year, especially of the Oregon area. While I have them organized in folders on my computer, I find that I rarely look through them. So I've created a section in my website for the highlights of my travel photography. This is mainly for my personal enjoyment, but I'm hoping some of you might like it too :)

I've posted a map showing all of the places I've driven here. These pages are image intensive and I don't recommend it for dial-up users.

If you don't have much time to browse today, I think the Silver Falls state park and Oregon Garden trip is a beautiful place to start here!

I love the mountains, but they can be dangerous to drive through November through April. Now that most scenic highways (that are usually closed in winter) are opening, it's time for more road trips. In the southern part of OR is Crater Lake and in northern CA I'll be stopping at the Redwood Forest in a couple weeks. I'll also be heading off to Yellowstone National Park, WY soon (thank goodness it's only an 8 hour drive from here.) I'll make another blog post when new images are uploaded. Back to crafting until then!

Have a fun summer everyone :)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Rubber Stamped Stampbord Pencil Holder and Paper Art Dolls


One of my tutorials has been posted on the Stampbord website. You can learn how to make this pencil holder here - May 09' (Or check out the archive of tutorials for viewing after May here.)
This project uses my Klimt rubber stamp set.)

Plus, here's a couple more paper dolls I just have to share with you by Karen (see my last blog entry for more.) I'm just so thrilled with what she's creating by incorporating my doll face stamps) into her work. To see if she has any dolls currently available, check out her Ebay sales.)

This last one uses one of my domino size rubber stamps for her face. I'd like to explore the many projects you can do using my 1"x2" size rubber stamps that does not have to do with domino jewelry. So far I've got bottle cap magnets, greeting cards and paper doll projects in the works. Stay tuned for a new tutorial and project gallery page on my site for everything BUT domino stamping using domino size stamps!

Have a creative day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Paper Doll Artist Spotlight

One thing that never ceases to amaze me about artistic rubber stamping is... With one single image there are so many possibilities! I absolutely love it when my rubber stamp customers email me their creations. It's often something I wouldn't have thought of doing, or is a similar idea but done in a completely different style. Each individual brings such new perspective to art, inspired by how they view beauty.

I just wanted to share with you Karen's paper art dolls. She sells them on ebay under seller ID keerng if you'd like to see what's currently available. She gives me inspiration and motivation to make some more dolls :)

It also makes me feel good to know I can help others start their own craft business/profitable hobby, especially with the economy at this point. I enjoy the idea of sharing, my Angel Policy allows people to sell a wide variety of items using my stamps or molds. I'll also be offering digital downloads/cd collections soon for scrapbooking, collage and die cutting. If any digital artists are following me, stick around because I'll be creating images you can incorporate into your art too (stock photography.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hooray! Tax day is OVER! + Stampbord Sneak Peek

Cats are ridiculous :) Last night when making a last minute double-check of all my expenses, I laid out all my receipts on the floor. The cats came in, and even though there's lots of places to lay down, they decided to plop themselves right on my paperwork. I let them sleep there for a while since they seemed so comfy on the paper. They lay down on anything new. I bought a laundry tub yesterday, set it down when i walked in the door... as soon as I turned around both cats were sitting inside of it.

I am so glad that tax day is over with! I had an unusually complicated return this year due to having to file a business loss. There were over a dozen forms I had to fill out :( There's got to be a simpler way to do this stuff... someone please invent it? Even though I'm not sure when the economy will start to recover, I'm hopeful that I can do better this year. I have lots of great new stuff planned and now that this is over I can get back to posting projects.

When I got to the post office there was a HUGE PROTEST going on. Swarms (hundreds) of people gathered and lots of noise as cars went by honking. They were all very upset about the insane amount of government spending. Something about how it equates to us being taxed and we the people have been taxed enough. It was wild, I had no idea I would have to battle my way across the post office parking lot to get in.

Stampbord! I've completed a few projects for the Stampbord website. I have no way of knowing which artwork will be posted or when, but at least one project will have a full tutorial on their site in May. Until then, here's a little sneak peek of a domino size Stampbord project. I won't be sharing any more of what I've done until they have posted them on their website. I'll be sure to post a link to the step by step tutorials once they post it.

Here's my little domino size flower pot paperweight:

I'll be 'craftin it up' some more soon :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Upcoming, delays and misc.

Hi all! I know it's been a while and I apologize for being a bad blogger.

I will have tons of exciting news to share with you very soon. I recently purchased a Quickutz Silhouette and a Cricut die cutting machine (I like them both for different reasons.) I'll be doing a nice comparison of those machines and showing off some pictures soon. I plan to introduce a couple new products to my website including stencils, die cut paper shapes/stickers/embellishments, image cds for people to cut my designs on their own die cutters or to print out and use with paper crafting.

Many of you have suggested collage sheets of my color art, however I've decided against the expense of a nice printer and especially ink cartridges. Instead I will be offering large versions of my images on cds for you to make your own products from.

I've also been working on tutorials for Stampbord's featured how-to project of the month and galleries. The first of my tutorials will be their project featured in May. I have a few other nice long tutorials in the works to share with you soon!

On the not-so-bright-side, Ranger Ink, the manufacturer of Mold-N-Pour has been out of stock for about a month. So I'm running terribly low on mold compound and there is about a week delay on any order I receive with a lot of molds/compound. This should resolve next week, but I am forced to wait for them so I can't say for certain :(

It's tax time again! I always wait until the last week before I do my taxes. This is mostly due to the outrageous amount I end up owing as a small business, I need a lot of time to save up enough money to pay them! If you have any plans to start a small business of your own, my advice is to keep 30 percent of all your profits set aside for taxes. Depending on your state, this could be more or less. I think here in Oregon I get taxed more severe than some states due to our wealth of public services. For example, last year I only made $8,000 and I still had to pay over $2,000 in taxes. How the government expects me to live on $6,000 a year total is beyond me... But where there's a will there's a way (or at least a credit card.)
Anyway, point being I'm doing a lot of paperwork to try to maximize my business expenses/deductions and this is a very stressful time. If you have placed an order this week, I apologize again for any delay. Most stamp orders should be moving quickly, but mold orders are running about a week late.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New paper doll and domino rubber stamps!

Hi all, I just updated my website with new rubber stamps!
They will be shipping in about a week and I'll post example art once I get to play with them :)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Klimt ATC - I love Versafine & Distress inks, plus gel pens are neat!

I like to use Distress inks to color the background of an image. Previously I posted about spraying color using the reinkers, but here I've used a Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink pad direct to paper. By wiping the pad across the surface you get a random blotchy pattern. Then i lightly sprayed it with water, or you can rub it with a damp paper towel to blend it a little. That way you tint the remaining white paper.

I've been hooked on using Versafine as my rubber stamping ink for a while. The black is really dark black and it provides great detail without being too wet/liquidy like some ink pads. It also has the benefit of being waterproof, so you can use water based markers/other inks or paints over it without fear of smearing. (Here I used Versafine black for the Gustav Klimt art stamp and satin red for the spiral background.)

And for my love of all things sparkly I bought some gelly roll pens. The sparkly gold and red are my favorites (I think these are called stardust colors, they are not the same as the metallic gel pens. These are like dense glitter instead of thick color.) They add a beautiful glimmer when light hits your paper at an angle. I also used a white gel pen to make the image really pop. I've been seeing a lot of this technique while browsing stamping blogs and I'm glad I finally gave it a try. Using a white pen for highlights really adds a dimensional look to your stamp art :)

Rubber Stamp Background Patterns + Distress Inks

New rubber stamp sheet with patterns for making your own decorative paper or artist trading card backgrounds.

I recently purchased every color of distress inks (all of the reinker refill bottles from joann online and a few of the ink pads in my favorite colors. I went nuts for them and usually has them on sale 30 - 40% off, so I recommend ordering there!) Then I picked up some "Mini Misters" spray bottles at Michaels. Here's the results of my first time playing with the reinkers. I'm pretty happy with them. They are easy to work with and can be used to create watercolor paint effects.
Other images and instructions here: Work in progress - A coloring media tutorial

I've got a couple more stamp sheets and another project to show you... very soon!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy late new year and stuff!

Woah, where did the last month go?! The holidays went by like a blur, so much happening makes time speed right by. I hope everyone had a nice holiday season. We had some unusually heavy snow here (Portland, OR) so I had a few quiet days off.

For the past few years I've relied on google searches and word of mouth for my website traffic. Starting this year I'm going to be a bit more active in getting the word out, especially for my growing rubber stamp catalog. Starting in the Jan/Feb 09 issue of Somerset Studio you'll see my ad:

I will be advertising with them all year, and am eager to see if this provides a boost in my sales. If any of you frequently browse or purchase a certain craft magazine, particularly for stamping, I'd love to hear which magazines you like best. I've had my eye on Stampers Sampler and Take Ten, but I'm really hoping to submit actual cards/art projects to them instead of just advertisements. Just in case anyone who uses my stamps didn't know, I reward you for sending your projects in to craft magazines. (More about that here.)

I've started designing two new stamp sheets which I should be sharing with you all in the next week or so. For now here's a little something I did that went along with a present for a friend who appreciates all-natural soaps/cosmetics and recycled goodies. ( Stamps from here )

New stuff coming soon!