Stamping Fun

 Cabin on the Lake
The warmer weather turns my mind to our family cabin in Canada on the lake.  It is such a relaxing and soothing place, and I just love to go there each summer.  It also made me think of one of my favorite stamps, so I had to get it out and play.

This stamp is from a great company called Stampscapes.  They have a very cool line of landscaping stamps that you can put together some neat scenes. You'll be amazed by their website!!  This is the lakeside cabin.

I want my cabin to be several colors, so I got out my trusty markers.
Now if you have never tried this, it is a piece of cake.  You are going to color with your markers right onto the stamp like this:

Once finished, your stamp will look like this:
 Now, here comes the weird part.  Since you have been coloring for a few minutes, your markers have most likely dried on the stamp.  Do this little trick.  Take your stamp and put it very close to your mouth and breath on it!!  The moisture from your breath will moisten the markers again and you can then stamp it!
 Now I have another stamp from Northwoods Rubber Stamps that I love that just has to go with this cabin stamp.......
 I then used a couple distress inks to finish it up.  I used a Stampin' Up evergreen bough stamp on the card for some texture.
 Hope you like it!!

Distress Inks

I found myself alone in the house on Spring Break!  Well that is just unheard of, so I decided to go play with my stamps.  It has been awhile since I just sat down and played without time constraints or interruptions!  Here is the first card:
I absolutely love Distress Inks by Tim Holz and Ranger Inks.  I rarely do a project without them.  Want to learn how to make that distressed background?  Ok--here we go!

First gather up the colors you want to blend together, and I usually start with a cream colored paper, this one happens to be texturized as well.  This is your choice. And you'll need a small bottle of water for spritzing.
 I then cut my paper to the desired size and then crinkle it up into a little ball.  Go CAN do it!
Now open up your paper and smooth it out flat. Now if you got a little carried away with the crumpling part and you have any rips on the sides, this is not a problem.  It just adds to your distressed look!
Now here comes the fun part.  Before we start....don't panic.  There is no wrong way to do this.  It looks strange to begin with, but you can continue working with it until you get something you like.  Take the LIGHTEST color of the distress inks you chose, hold it upside and rub it across your paper.  Start lightly, as you can always add more color.  The folds of the paper are like mountains and this is where your color is going to end up.
Continue adding colors, ending with the DARKEST.  Be sparing with the dark as you don't want it to overpower the rest of your colors.
Now you are going to spritz it with your water bottle, be generous.  You will see the colors starting to spread across the paper, this is good.  Then I use a makeup sponge and start rubbing all of the colors together.
I decided the colors were not dark enough, so I started adding more color.  Since your paper is already wet, you do not need to spritz again.  Just go back over it again with your sponge.
When I was happy with the color, I dried it with my heat embosser.  It will wrinkle, so continue turning it over a few times so it doesn't cup up.  Now I went to choose a stamp to use on top of this handcrafted paper.  I chose these colors because I thought it would be a pretty butterfly.  Stamp your object right onto the paper.  Because my paper was texturized, I embossed it to give is some more detail.
After embossing, I cut out the butterfly.  I am saving the rest of the paper with the void because I can use that in another project as a reverse mask.

Now I need a place to put my butterfly.  I go to my stamps and choose a flower vine, so I stamp and emboss this as well.  Emboss gives a great outline to be able to color in with your markers.  Then I begin to distress this paper as well.  If you notice, the distressed butterfly looks a little silly against this very clean background, so that is why I will grunge it up a bit using the same techniques as above.
Be careful when you are using the makeup sponge over the top of what you have colored in with marker as it will smear the marker.  I then stamp the word JOY onto my background.
I am going to add adhesive only to the body of the butterfly so that it has a 3D effect on the card.  And here is my finished product.

Distressing is super fun because you never end up with the same thing twice.  Now go out there and get some inky fingers and have a blast!!

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