Friday, October 20, 2017

A new stitching use for your stamps plus a CutterPillar Glow product review!

Hello blog readers!  It seems like it has been forever since I blogged.  I have been swamped but I'm catching up.  I have lots to share with you so look for more post to come soon!
Today I wanted to share a new way to use your stamps.  This idea has been floating in my mind for some time.  As many of the readers know, along with paper crafting, I also have been a long time cross stitcher.  I always have a  project going, and always cross stitch when I get to sit down and watch tv, it gives my hands something to do.  So this idea started floating around......BUT it really formed when I saw the CutterPillar Glow video online.  Before anyone says they can't do this...yes YOU CAN!  Super easy!!!
The CutterPillar Glow is basically a "lightbox" but TOTALLY updated.  Can I say TOTALLY?  This is a flat version, brighter, if you want it.  It is an LED light board with three light settings.  It also comes with a self healing cutting mat.  I love that it is bigger than the old light boxes in size but flat!  It's a great crafting mat because it adds light to your crafting area!  I will be using this ALL the time!  Who doesn't need just a little more light in their crafting area?!  But it is also great to use while watching tv and working on some crafting items!

I love the cutting mat, the measure marks on it are great! (I included a picture later in the post). There is also a glass mat offered, I need to get it so  I can do inking techniques on it.  (if I did them on the self healing mat- it would stain). 

This is the light board without the mat on it.  I tried to take pictures of the different light settings, but they didn't come out in pictures well but it's a nice feature to have. 

This is the light board with the mat on it.  The mat "sticks" to the light board and I saw no shifting as I was crafting. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for a coupon code for my blog readers that are interested in the CutterPillar Glow.

Okay, now on to my new way to use your stamps!  Stitching is very popular trend right now.  Any time I can mix my love of stamps and stitching together, it makes me happy!
I wanted to try to turn my stamps into stitching patterns to stitch from! The CutterPillar Glow helped me make it very easy to do this!
What you need:
You need some stitching fabric:  you can use any lighter color fabric you have on hand.  I would imagine you can use even regular material but I used some cross stitch material scraps that I had.  This was a try and see if it works project so I wasn't picky.  I would suggest light colored material so you can see your stamp on the fabric.
A good black ink: I used Hero Arts intense black
A stamp set:  you can use any stamp set you want, I would try something with simple lines first and build from there.
Needle and thread:  I always have plenty of DMC threads around so that's what I used.  I used Black 310 for this project.  As it was a try and see project, I kept it simple.  But as I get better at this, I will mix in other colors too.
CutterPillar Glow: you can do this without the light board but it makes it so easy to see where you are stamping!
Now before anyone says: but I can't sew or stitch.  YES you can do this!  This is super easy!!! No formal stitching experience needed!  I didn't even use "official" stitches!  I just did what looked good! You can do this!  Think of it as coloring with thread! 

I picked an image from a Stamp set.  I used Paper Smooches: A Blessed Christmas.  I wanted a simple image.  Since I was just going to use black thread, this image worked perfect.  I took the stamp and while using the light from the CutterPillar Glow, I stamped the image onto my material.  (ink up that stamp well, use good solid pressure on it!)  I roughly centered the design on my material.  It doesn't have to be perfectly centered as I have extra material on the edges. 

That's it for stamping!  Now you thread your needle and start stitching.  DMC thread comes in 6 strands.  I used 3 strands to stitch this but you can use how many ever strands looks good to you.  I showed my DMC thread in this picture from a cone of thread, you don't have to buy it like this, I do since I stitch so much, but you can buy an inexpensive skein of thread at any craft store, stitching store, online store, or even Walmart.  

I didn't include my stitching hoop  in the items you need as some people like to stitch with the project in their hand, no hoop frame.  I started stitching using a hoop, so it's what I'm used to.  Hobby Lobby or Michaels carries these in different sizes for a couple of dollars. Now for the stitching part:
I tied a know in my thread and started stitching.  I followed the lines around the stamped image keeping my straight stitches no more than 3 squares apart (I wanted small stitches so that I could control where the stitches laid and follow the stamped image.)  

This is a picture of the self healing cutting mat, I wanted to show the measurement lines on it, one of my favorite features!  

I forgot to take picture mid stitching.  But I outlined the image and then filled in the area of heavier color.  I used the same small stitches in those areas, just filling in/ coloring, with the thread.  Keep in mind, this is not fancy stitching it is EASY, simple straight backstitching.  I'm not following the grid on the fabric, you can use this on any fabric, it doesn't have to be cross stitch material fabric.  I am following the stamped image.  Think of your thread as a marker, follow the image, color in any spots you think you like more color.  I "colored" in the hair and beard area.  

This shows the stitches a little better.  Simple! If you follow your stamped image, you will only see the thread not the stamp lines.  Take your time while stitching.  Is ever stitch perfect?  No, they don't have to be!  Just follow the lines!  It's just coloring....with thread!

This is a great way to use your stamps in other ways.  You can take this and "frame it".  Nothing fancy, any small frame will do.  Take the glass of the frame and lay it on top of your project.  Put a pencil mark around the corners to mark where to cut it.  Use nice good scissors and cut out your image to fit your frame.  Now I use some stop fray on the edges of my pieces.  Honestly, I'm not sure that it needed, but I've always done it.  (if you use stop fray, wait till it dries completely before adding your piece back to the frame).  You can use little frame ornaments (look in the Christmas section of your craft store for inexpensive ones).  These would look great on a Christmas tree or as simple gifts!  Think teacher gifts!   These are quick projects that make nice gifts.  You can finish these any way that you want, but putting them in a frame is the quickest!  I used a small stamp, but you can use any size you want.  You can even stitch some of your sentiments!  Give it a try!

I hope you enjoyed the project and will give it a try.  I included another example that I started but I haven't finished this one yet.  

I also stamped some stars on this one.  I want to try and fill this one in with some color.  I'll see how it goes.  

Okay if you have made it this far...thank you!!!  I promised a coupon so here it is:
For my blog readers: 
you can use Michelle20 at
Also check out their awesome cutters!  It is my favorite paper trimmer EVER!  I have the crop and the pro!  

Thank for stopping by!  Leave me a message if you try this out!  I'd love to hear how it worked for you!

As always, you can shop through any of my affiliate links at no additional cost to you.  All items were paid for by myself and the reviews and opinions are my own.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How I Organize my Distress Oxide Inks and Distress Inks

I finally got my long awaited 12 new Distress Oxide inks this week.  I preordered them with along with the 12 new reinkers.  For the rest of this post, I will just say Oxide inks and Distress inks will refer to the older distress inks.  
I wanted to label my oxides like I had my distress inks.  My only problem with my previous labels was that they were just a dot. The dot didn't show as much color as I liked.  Oxides really are amazing, so I wanted to show that on my labels.   I wanted to show  the color while my oxides were in my Stamp N Storage ink pad holders . I needed/ wanted something bigger on the side of my ink pads.  I found the perfect solution:   
As with any storage option, I think it's important to keep in mind, how do you use the supplies? That's the first step when I think about before I begin organizing.  How do I use this item?  What makes the most sense?  What about this item is important for me to know when I crafting?  How would I try to find this item?  Some easy examples are:  With Designer Series Paper:  I craft with my papers by manufacture.  This is how my brain works for me.  Other people craft by color.  Other people craft by size.  So, with the  answers of the questions I ask myself, in mind, I set out to organize my items.   Today I am sharing what works for ME.  This may or may not work for you depending on how you use your oxides.  

For me, the magic of Oxides is the way they react to water.  I needed to see that reaction to know whether or not I want to use that color.  I NEEDED the water reaction as part of my label on the outside of the pads.  You can't see the top of the pad inside a stamp pad holder, AND... I have found out, that the color that I create often doesn't match the label on front of the Oxide or Distress inks. To me, it's the "puddles" of darker color and areas of lighter color that makes the distress and oxides so unique.  I couldn't get this all on a little dot that I had used in the past.  I wanted a good size label on the sides.

This is what I used in the past.  As you can see, you can't see the variations of the color on this dot.  Time to revamp what I used!!!

For this project I used scraps of watercolor paper.  I use tons of watercolor paper for projects and I always save the scraps.  This was a perfect project to use those scraps up.  I used watercolor paper since I was creating a label showing the Oxides.  For each sample:  I smooshed the oxide to my crafting mat.  Then squirted the ink patch with water.  I took my strip and pressed it into the ink and dried it.  Then I did it again with the left over ink, drying it again.  Then I repeated it again.  While this sounds like a lot of work, it's not.  But it uses up the ink on my mat, but more importantly it gives me variations in the color on my strip.  This is often how I use oxides and distress inks.  I normally smoosh them onto my craft mat, mist with water and then dip my paper into it.  The key to this is:  YOU MUST DRY YOUR PAPER BETWEEN DIPS!!!!   This gives me the variation of color on the sample!  Very important because the variation of color looks very different from just spreading the ink on the sample.  And once again:  this is the technique I use most when I use oxides and distress inks.  This is what is important to me to see when I'm crafting!

This next step is to punch out the label from the sample once it is dipped and dried three times.  For this I found the word label punch to be a perfect fit.  This is an older retired punch from Stampin' Up. I will link the newer more modern punch that is now offered from Stampin' Up.  It will work the same.  But look through the punches you have to see what would work.  I initially thought of the washi tape punch to use, but I found this one first and it fit perfectly.  

After I punch the labels out, I punched four of each so I could have a label on each side of my ink pad, I ran the labels through my xryon machine to make them into stickers, then they were easy to adhere them to the ink pads.  You could use your favorite adhesive if you don't have a xyron machine.  

These are all the red oxides.  I love being able to see the variations of color.  The new oxides are a great addition to the collection!

These are the orange colored ones.  I often find myself asking: is this color more red or more orange?  More green or more blue?  Here's the answer:  How do YOU see the color?  How does the color make sense to you!  And that's how you should organize it!  I promise, the color police won't come to your house!  If you see something more green than I do, that's ok.  It's more important for crafters to USE what they have, then have everything perfect.  So do what works for you!  Don't stress about it.  

These are the yellows of the Oxides. 

This was on of my favorite combos once I saw them together.  Purple on purple....but they are so pretty together!  I see an amazing background on a Halloween card with the colors together...maybe with some Black Soot thrown in!!!

These are the blues of the Oxides.

These are the greens of the Oxides.  

These are the neutrals of the Oxides. 

All together in my Stamp N Storage ink pad holder

I decided I liked the labels so much more than my small dots:  I decided to replace my distress inks too.  I've started those as well.  This picture shows all the supplies I used.  I will link those below at no additional cost to you.   Notice all the different sizes strips I used of water color paper!  I was so happy to use them and to know my hoarding....I mean, collection of scraps of them was being put to use!

I used the same method for my distress inks:  I'm not done 100% yet but here are the oranges.

Here are the yellow distress inks.  

I hope this post was helpful for you.  Thanks for stopping by.

Product List
Window Word Punch
Window Word Punch

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Box Review: Sketchbox

Hello!  I feel like it has been so long since I blogged!  We lost internet for a WEEK at our office: seriously, a week!!!  Then we went on our family vacation over the 4th of July.  I have been playing catch up at work.  I am finally seeing the top of my desk again!!! 
I wanted to share this Sketchbox box review with you.  I received this box before our vacay but with no internet at work, and busy at night packing for 5 people, I am just now getting a chance to share it.  
I wanted to try a new crafting box.  I have gotten some planner boxes in the past also have gotten the Simon Says Stamp monthly kit.  Currently,  I get from Stampin' Up each month.  I also get the Hero Arts monthly kit as well.  I enjoy all of those.  I wanted to try something arty but a little different.  Sketchbox fit that! There are two options for their box: premium and basic.  Premium is $35/month and basic is $25/month.  The difference is the premium gives you higher quality art supplies than the basic box.  They use the example of markers:  the basic box would get markers, premium box would get copic markers.  Since I have a lot of art supplies, I wanted to try more high end supplies, I signed up for the premium box.

This is how the box came to me. Well packaged. 
 Here's a tip:  I take the swigglies (blue decorative paper...but I call them swigglies) out and store them in a plastic zip lock to use for gifts!  Recycling at it's best!!!
This is everything included with the box.  It has a card included telling you about each product.  I also got a Sketchbox sticker. I'll go through each product below.

The first item was the Stadedtler Triplus fine liner Marker Pen set.  The value on this is listed as $18.00.  I liked the markers, they wrote well.  I will use these a lot and they had a fun colors included.  

Here's the card included.  

This is a better picture of the markers.  These are fine tipped so I use the term marker pens.  They would make great journaling pens for me!  I like the holder they came in. 

These are two colored pencils included in my Sketchbox.  These are Derwent Procolor pencils.  Valued at $2.89 each.  These were odd colors to me, but since I have some colored pencils, I think these colors were perfect to give me different shades than I already have.  They were smooth to color with.  

The next item is a Sakura Microperm .45mm pen.  Valued at $2.79. This is a ultra fine tipped pen.  Writes on most surfaces, quick drying and waterproof.  This is actually perfect for me to fill in lines of stamped images that don't stamp well or that I want to add some detail to the stamped image.  

Next item had to be my second favorite from the markers being my favorite.  This is a Custom Alumicolor pocket scale.  Valued at $6.75.  Now I don't use scales in my crafting but I do use a ruler to measure and mark off things.  I love that it is metal.  The ruler's surface is anodized on so it will never wear off.  It is smaller than my other rulers but perfect for cards!  I love it!

The last item in the box is a Derwent precision .7mm mechanical pencil.  It is high quality, metal barrel great for detailed drawing or technical work.  I actually gave this to my oldest son as he will be taking some engineering classes at his high school this year, I thought it was perfect for him.  He immediately took it from me!!!  LOL!  This is valued at $9.99

Sorry this last picture is out of place, but I didn't realize that the ruler was CUSTOMIZED with Sketchbox  on it!  I thought that was neat so I had to share!

The box is arty, which is fun.

I paid $35 for the premium box and find it at a retail value of $43.31.  I think overall it was a great box with some new things to play around with.  I am looking forward to next month's box!

If you would like more information or to sign up for Sketchbox, visit:  Sketchbox

This box was purchased by me, the review and pictures are mine.  I do contain an affiliate link at no additional cost to you.
Thanks for stopping by!
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