Sunday, July 15, 2012

Convention 2012 Swaps

Well helloooooooooooooooooooo there!  Yes, I'm here!  Alive and blogging!  I can't believe it's been almost a MONTH since I posted a project for you!  I could say I've been too busy .. but I haven't!  I've had nothing on my calendar for the longest time!  I guess I've just been busy having fun!  ... and that's what summer is all about, right?  I promised myself that this summer was going to be all about my girls ... and spending good, quality time with them.  I realize that my golden time with them is quickly coming to an end - in a few short years they will be off doing their own thing over summer and won't want to spend time just playing with mom.  So that's what we're doing.  I gotta say - it's been really great!  I'm surprised at how well we're all getting along!  It just makes me realize that when I relax and put them first (rather than trying to get get "things" done when they are around) I'm a lot less cranky and as a result so are they.  We've been doing all sorts of things!  Everything to spray parks to sidewalk painting to crazy experiments to playing games.  As I mentioned in my last "post" I HAVE been doing quick scrap pages of each day so that has been taking up the small amount of time I'm allowing myself to be on the computer.  But have no fear!  I'm back tonight!  I'm off to Utah on Tuesday for my first Stampin' Up! Convention and I just COULDN'T leave ya hangin' for another week!  So here goes!

After the "last days of school" chaos died down I wanted to come up with a quick and easy swap card for convention.  You don't HAVE to swap but I don't want to miss out on any of the fun ...and swapping is fun ... and you get to meet so many people ... so I decided to make 100.  Nope - I don't do things by halves!  Sooooo - what to make that is quick(ish ... let's face it - NOTHING is quick when you have to make 100!) and economical!  This is the tricky part!  You want to swap your best work - and you certaily don't want to cheap out on the card - some ladies spend a small fortune on the cards they swap.  So I needed to come up with a WOW that did me proud.  My first attempt was nice ... but it was virtually identical to another card I made recently and didn't really flow my hair back.  Here is attempt #1:
I used the new Serene Silhouettes stamp for the bird image - I used Soft Suede ink.  If you look closely you can see little spots of writing here and there.  I used my clear blocks in various sizes as a stamp.  First I inked up the En Francais stamp with River Rock ink and then took my blocks and stamped them on the En Francais stamp - I then stamped the blocks on the paper.  If the image was clearer you could see that the faint writing is actually a mirror image - the writing is backwards because of the "kissing" technique.  I used the sentiments from Blooming with Kindness (LOVE the font on these sentiments!)  I punched it out with the Decorative label punch - sponged the edges - poped it up with dimensionals and used some Soft Suede Taffeta ribbon and a pearl for extras.  Distressed the edges and that was it.  Naaaa.  Too fiddly to distress 100 - and didn't love it.  Looks a little like this card, doesn't it?:
Hmmm ... I don't think I posted this one!  Did I?  Can't remember.  Anyway - I used the masking technique for this - I don't have the energy to give the details on masking in this post .... e-mail if you have questions!

Nope - had to try again.

While walking the dog one morning I thought maybe I could make a faux gift-bag card.  I tried it.  Here's what I came up with:
Nope.  Not even close.  Reject.  It has potential and I'll probably re-visit the idea at a later date but it wouldn't work for 100 swaps.  It took me 10 minutes to fiddle around with the tissue paper and still don't like the way it turned out.  To do 100 would drive me nuts!  So ... after a few sleepless nights and dog walks later it hit me!  I REALLY loved the music card from my last post.  It was SO quick, easy and lovely.  Two problems.  1.  I totally cased the idea from someone else and wouldn't feel right copying it (even if I DID give her credit) and 2.  I used a retired ribbon which a) isn't allowed when swapping and b) I didn't have enough of even if it WAS allowed.  I kept re-working the card in my head to make it my own.  Yes, it was inspired by another but I really did change it enough that I felt I could own it.  2 days later I have 100 of these in my basement ready to swap:
Ta Da!  Isn't it fabulous?!  I love it!  (well - I DID love it - after making 100 of them I'm a little tired of it *lol*)  I think it's really original, fun, easy and a WOW!  Soooo - how did I do it, I hear you cry?  Well - I used the Music Notes standard wheel for the background.  "Holy COW, Tamara!  How on EARTH did you manage to get such perfet, crisp, straight wheeled images over and over and over and over and over and over again?!"  Watch and learn, Grasshopper ... watch and learn ...
If you're anything like me yo ulike the CONCEPT of wheeling but find it hard to keep the wheel inked enough, the image straight enough and not get any "edges" from the wheel.  Soooo - I decided to do what I've seen a few other demonstrators do lately ... turn the wheeled rubber image into a stamp!  "GASP!  WHAT?!  You can DO that?!  Tell us more, Tamara!"  OK.  So - grab one of your wheels and look for the seam where the rubber meets:
Grab your exacto knife and slice the rubber on that seam.  Then simply peel the rubber off the wheel ...
and use some snail to attach it to one of your clear blocks:

Of course you can also buy the Clear-Mount Cling Foam (page 7 of the catty) and attach it to a wood block but this worked just fine!

Then I just stamped the image over and over and over and over using the Basic Black Classic Ink.  Now.  Note to self:  When Stampin' Up! tells you that when you stamp an image on Whisper White card stock with the Basic Black Classic ink it will smudge - BELIEVE THEM!!!!  The morning I made my cards I read the SU was having a problem with the black smudging when stamped on white or vanilla (it's fine on colored cards stock).  They are aware of the problem and are working on a solution.  Hmmm - really?  Na - I'll try it anyway.  So I stamped a few.  It dried - I wiped it - it didn't smudge.  Hmm - I must me one of the lucky ones who got a "good" pad.  So I merrily stamped about 60 of my swaps.  Stampin' Up! also noted that the new ink pads don't hold as much ink in the pads and they release more ink onto your image so they require reinking more often.  Yep.  They were right on that.  After about 60 cards my pad started going dry.  I knew that the "old" reinkers won't work on the new ink pads but I hadn't bought a new ink refill yet so I had to switch to using Staz-On.  Uggggh.  While I love the Staz-on it DOES take a lot longer to dry and making 40 using Staz-on was fairly tedious.  Alas I did it.  Well ... off to bed I went.  Next day I went back to my cards and oh!  Look!  the ones I stamped in Classic Ink smudge like CRAZY!!!  What a mess!  I wasn't about to re-do them - I'll just have to be careful handling them while swapping but I'm sad that they aren't perfect.  Oh well - onward!  Once I stamped them I punched out a Decorative Label punch.  I used a 5 1/4" x 2" piece of Cherry Cobbler and 5 1/4" x 2" piece of basic black card stock to go behind the musical note layer.  Then I headed to my computer.  I was surprised that after combing the catalogue three times I couldn't find any current sets with a "Just a Note" or "A Note of Thanks" sentiment ... so I had to make my own.  Like I said, when swapping we have to use current items ... so I used my My Digital Studio software and the "Thank You Kindly" download and printed off the sentiments.  I punched them out and sponged the edges.  I sued seam binding ribbon and popped the sentiments up on dimensionals.  Wa-low!  Done!  I still have to print off the "recipe" for the back of the cards but other than that I'm good to go!

So that's what I've been up to for the last few weeks ... that and another mini-major project I'll share in my next post.

Thanks for checking back to see me - have a stampy night!


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