Saturday, August 31, 2013

Man, It's Hot Outside! Let's Make Cards!!

Wow, it's hot and muggy outside.  We've had 90+ degree heat for a couple of weeks now.  Add in the humidity, which isn't typical for So Cal, and you've got a recipe for crankiness!  I'm talking about me, of course!

It's been so hectic with school beginning, I haven't had the time or energy to do anything remotely hobby-ish.  So with this heat and a Labor Day weekend just starting, I'm pretty much housebound and very determined to finish up stuff around here.  Last weekend we spent almost a day and a half organizing our files that we hadn't organized when we moved here over 11 years ago.  This weekend I want to do something fun!

I was in charge of registration two weeks ago for all of our returning students.  With the help of a lot of people, it went very smoothly and I think only one or two parents had complaints.  Not too bad!!  Registration, like any other project at a high school, can not be done alone.  It truly does take many hands.  I'm a bit embarrassed that it's taken this long to say thank you, but cards will be in those helpful hands on Tuesday!
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Before we moved to North Orange County over 12 years ago, we lived in Covina right down the street from where I grew up.  With the help of family, neighbors and friends, we did a 1500 sq. ft. addition on our house (including a second story) ourselves.  (Yes, it's true, I know how to install roofing, I can apply drywall mud, lay tile, pound nails fairly successfully - pretty much anything!)  One of the best things about that house was the home office - base and wall cabinets on all four walls - TONS of storage for and easy access to all my craft supplies.  One year I really got into stamping and did all of our Christmas cards.  I even ventured into embossing (using my husband's industrial strength paint stripping heat gun - not good!!!) which became my favorite stamping technique.

All my stamps have been in a big plastic tub and I haven't used them at all until today.  I dragged the tub out and dug through the stamps until I found one of my favorites.  Perfect for the cards I wanted to make.

If you want to give embossing a try, I'd suggest buying an embossing heat gun with your discount coupons.  It's pretty inexpensive.  I'd recommend using "pigment" ink because it will stay wet longer than ink from a regular ink pad.  Whatever color the ink is, that's what will come through (I like the clear embossing powder).

First I chose my stamps:


Got my embossing supplies together - inkpad, powder and plastic spoon for sprinkling:


Stamp the image and cover it with embossing powder:


Shake off the leftover powder that didn't stick (I shake it off on to a piece of paper and then pour it back in the powder container).  Then, using your embossing tool, heat the image until the ink is puffy and glossy:





When you emboss an image, it won't smear.  I love using watercolor paints to add some interest to the image:





I added a strip of scrapbook paper, a stamped and embossed "Thanks" to the front, and a stamped and embossed "for all you've done" on the inside.  I used mounting tape to adhere the stamped tag to the front of the card:


I added some twine - tied a bow at the top of the tag - and voila!  Done!


Using coupons or watching sales at your favorite craft stores will allow you to try this craft inexpensively.  The cards I used were pre-packaged ones from Michael's, but you can use scrapbooking cardstock just as easily.  I hope you give it a try!  Please feel free to comment with other ideas or to let me know what stamping techniques you enjoy!!  Happy Labor Day weekend!