Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday's Are For Kicking Butt and Taking Names

Happy Happy Monday, peeps! Today I am kicking my to-do list in the ass and getting the week started right (except, I'm out of coffee-this does not bode well for T-F).

Did you see my post from Friday? I showed off the way I MacGyvered (yes, that's totally a word) a letterpress system without a special machine. I've gotten some great feedback (yay!), I hope you take a sec and check it out!

Today I wanted to share a couple of layouts I finished last week. I finally had some much needed down time to play around! Things have been busy busy around here-I needed the creative therapy!

{HIT THE SLOPES}
supplies: Websters Pages- paper, die cuts, Glitz Designs die cuts, Echo Park-die cut, the world's best gold glitter tape (dear Target-please please PLEASE sell this again!), letter stickers-Amer. Crafts, October Afternoon, We Were Here Card-Project Life

Skiing is one of the only things I like about snow. I take a group of families I've known for years to Perfect North for an adapted ski clinic. The highlight of this year for me was spending time with these girls. I've known them since they were itty bitty and as they've grown up we've stayed in touch but I don't get this kind of time with them-ever. We did a lot of gossiping, giggling, and....gossiping. Girl time is the best!

Nothing too fancy done with tis page. Just a great day recorded.

{LOVE U MORE THAN EVER}
Pink Stamp-Kelly Purkey, vellum, Two Peas-paper clips (now closed)

This girl.

My niece Suzie is 13 now-shes obsessed with her friends, basketball and is one of the funniest people I know. She is by far more composed and confident than I was at her age! I wish I could tell her all the things in my heart, things I wish I knew at her age. So-I decided to put them into my scrapbook. If nothing else, I got my thoughts out of my head and into my memory book, and I love these pictures! They really capture her life right now. This was the first time I die cut the background, I'm kind of in love with the way it looks (I was inspired by this layout at Dear Lizzy). It was pretty easy and makes a big statement. Also, Pink+orange+black+white forever. New favorite color combo!


Thanks for stopping by-have a great week!

Michelle

Friday, July 18, 2014

DIY Letterpress At Home With your Embossing Folders and Clear Stamps!


DIY Letterpress with Card Making Supplies

Happy Friday y’all!

This post is a few weeks in the making. I have loved the look of letterpress that some artists use to create bright sentiments for cards and posters. In the scrapbook world there have been a lot of people buying letterpress plates to create their own cards and embellishments. I wanted to dip my toe in the creative pool, but did not have the money to invest in a letterpress plate platform for a die cut machine. So…I asked Mr. Google for ideas and did a little trial and error to create the same look with SOME letterpress specific supplies mixed with card making supplies I already owned.
I decided to put together a tutorial of what worked for me to create letterpress pieces at home with my card making supplies. I hope this is helpful to people and it’s what I wished I had when I was figuring all this out.  Below I cover: creating a letterpress background using an embossing folder and creating a letterpress sentiment using clear stamps.  I linked up the supplies I used so you can try this out easily. Please let me know in the comments if you try my tutorial out or have any questions!

Here’s a sneak at the final products: 
I love the way the letterpress ink is brighter and more opaque than traditional stamping ink, plus the way the letterpress paper allows a crisp impression with the ink is a really distinct look. I still LOVE creating cards with stamps and traditional ink, but now I have another technique in my arsenal. This technique takes a little practice and isn’t super quick, but I hope you try it!

Letterpress Cards and Scrapbook Pages

SUPPLIES:  1.  Letterpress Paper (made of different fibers than cardstock or patterned paper, worth the purchase if you want a nice, clean impression. 2.  Letterpress Ink(you could certainly use traditional stamping ink like this one or this one, but the letterpress specific ink is thicker and more vibrant). 3. Brayer (I use this one all the time when paper crafting, see it again here) 4. Washi tape 5.Die Cutting Mats (I have a Cuttlebug Machine and I used two old ‘B’ plates. You can clean the ink off them and use them again and again). 6. Clear Stamps (I used this one from Mama Elephant. I found that bigger stamps with thicker lines worked best). 7. Embossing folder (I used this one from Lifestyle Crafts- they also sell a bunch of budget friendly letterpress supplies) NOT PICTUED: a scrap piece of plastic or acrylic to roll out your ink, canola oil and paper towels to clean the ink off your tools (Soap and water does NOT clean off letterpress ink).

{LETTERPRESS WITH EMBOSSING FOLDERS}

This is the easier of the two techniques.

1.   1.  To roll out your ink put a pea sized amount of ink on your plastic or acrylic piece, use your brayer to roll out to a thin consistency. Then use the brayer to roll it over your embossing plate. In my example you can see that some of the ink got on the background where I did not want it, I used a paper towel and oil with my finger to lightly wipe up. To keep this from happening, go light on the ink and pressure when rolling. I got a lot better every time I tried it-practice makes better!

2     2.  Carefully place your letterpress paper in embossing folder and send through your die cut machine.
I used the piece I letterpressed as a background. I decided to try and use two colors of ink and I am in LOVE with the way it turned out!

{LETTERPRESS WITH CLEAR STAMPS}
This technique has more steps, but I promise it’s totally worth it! Again, leave me a comment if you have any questions.


      1. Take your two die cut machine plates and take them together with a super fancy duct tape hinge. Part of what makes letterpress tricky is you don’t want the paper or the image to wiggle too much and taping the plates together helps with that.  The hinge should make the plates open and close like a book
2.  Create an ‘L’ with washi tape- about 2 inches on a long and short edge of the due cut plate. Make sure the ‘L’s’ line up exactly on both plates. This allows for easy placement of paper and image without too much wiggle room. (For the record, I just left the washi tape on the plates even when I went back to using them for diecutting. They didn’t get in the way at all!)
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Letter press using Stamps



3. Place your clear stamp in the center of the ‘L’ on one plate (as you can see all those random white lines are from years of using this plate for diecutting. No need to buy a special tool to do letterpress if you’re only going to do it occasionally!)

2  4. Roll ink onto your clear stamp-again, go light on the ink and the pressure when you roll. You can always add more ink, but too much ink will be messy and you won’t get a good impression.

DIY Letterpress with Mama Elephant Stamps

   5. Place your piece of letterpress paper on the other die cut plate. I used a piece of washi tape to hold it in place so it wouldn’t move. Carefully fold up your plates and roll them through your machine per manufacturer’s directions. Only go thru once, if you go back and forth your image will wiggle and you won’t get a clean impression (ask me how I know ; ) )

6 .CAREFULLY pull apart your plates and marvel at how pretty your letterpress piece looks! (NOTE: The ink did not change color when I did it. I tried blue and teal for my first few attempts, then switched to pink and orange  for this tutorial)



DIY LETTERPRESS WITH CLEAR STAMPS
I let both letterpress pieces sit for a few minutes to dry before handling. I used the sentiment to create a card with supplies from this Studio Calico kit. (The butterfly was an extra piece from the first card)

There you go, make sure to share this on Twitter, Pintrest, with all of your crafty making friends (just click the buttons below) And, please let me know when you try and it and how it turned out!

Have a great weekend! 

Michelle