Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rare Find

Meet Rare Magazine. I love it. It's published here in Austin, and the paper and the images are usually very fetching. I would never be able to throw it away after I've read it, so here's a simple, three minute card with the issue with my favorite cover ever.

This gorgeous image is the work of a local artist - Nishi Kumar, originally from India. She adores Degas, and it shows. It graces the cover of the January edition of Rare. The flower lower left is mine - it's the large flower from Fifth Avenue Floral, stamped in white craft ink and embossed with white detail embossing powder.After I embossed the flower I cut it out. Then I ripped off the cover to use in another project, and look what I found. Ooh. I'm gonna need that nice chocolatey brown and the vanilla scallop, aren't I?I actually had to do some creative cutting and get two pieces to avoid the bride image. I pieced them together under the flower and you'd never know! :)

The greeting is stamped on one of Stampin' Up!'s new Canvas Cuts pieces.

Don't throw that magazine away. You never know what I'll do next...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Negative Space

I decided to use the negative space from a sheet of my Stampin' Up! stamps.

I carefully cut around the void left by one die cut stamp to get this wavy ring.It makes a very cool background for my little doggie valentine.

Check out the girl dog with the bow in her hair. Who could resist her? Little love note in hand...Well this guy certainly can't. I used my craft knife to carefully free his little arms.

Then I put a valentine in them.Then I put them on a card, with little hearts as the thought bubbles as he dreams of his tiny canine love.
The stamps are from the Doodle Factory. Click here to see the whole set. Check my sidebar for a discount if you want them.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tiny Art Lives Again

This project was inspired by the Green Pepper Press Street Team Crusade #27 - Shape Up! Nope - not a New Year's Resolution that involves sore abs! Just a good ponder about a shape - your choice. Michelle challenges you to think positive, negative, big, small - just explore.

So, since a close one ribbed me about my iGoogle homepage today, which contains everything under the sun, and also the phases of the moon, I thought I'd explore a circle.

And in my crazy world here, I realized my reanimations are circles too - what goes around comes around, or however that goes. Get it? A ROUND? Tee hee..

So I decided to revive some fine art. This is truly art for the masses - no checkbook needed. It's from a magazine called Inside Santa Fe, which I love, because it has teeny pictures of all the current art in the galleries.
Your girl here loves tiny art. It's perfect for cards.

So what I did, was begin with a shadow of my circle. I did that by punching a circle out of a transparency.

Now when you do this, you MUST layer the transparency on cardstock. Most punches won't punch through the plastic without the cardstock underneath. I'm sure a physics professor somewhere knows why.
After you've punched the transparent shadow, attach it to your card with a dimensional. So even the shadow has a shadow. :)Then stick another dimensional on top and attach your teeny art. Mount that to a simple white card base and your shape becomes the focal point of the card. To add another layer of shapeliness, I chose pictures that featured circles where I could - the apple, the little moons and suns.

What a graceful shape. Click the picture to see the art a little closer. Each one of these is on a card now - lots of Thank Yous waiting to be sent. Maybe you're getting one. ;)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More MetaStamps

I've really been having fun with these rubber scraps.

2009 is the year that the Chagall Window at the Chicago Art Institute reopens. I was CRUSHED when I went a few years ago and the window was down because of remodels to the institute. It's normally the first thing I visit in Chicago. A person should be warned when their blue "soul window" will not be available. A person might change their travel plans if they knew such things.

This is absolutely the most beautiful sight on earth, IMHO.I have sat in front of this window for many an hour, just absorbing it's mosaic-y, glowy, heavenly blueness. I would like to be buried in front of this window!! I'm sure the Art Institute discourages that kind of thing. :)

But this gorgeous window is what is what I had in mind when I reanimated my tr(ash) rubber into this mosaic background stamp.The creation of the stamp took maybe 2 minutes. Then I created two cards for you. The first is kind of a muted Valentine themed card. I don't particularly like traditional holiday colors, so I like to play with keeping the color spirit, but toning it down a bit, which is what I did here with the neutral, Sahara Sand background. I stamped my mosaic in Sahara Sand ink along the bottom. I added the greeting in black.

I didn't want too much of this pattern - I wanted a very simple clean card. I did something fun with the wide Pirouette Pink Ribbon though - I actually folded a length of it around the front of the card, and then looped each end to give a 3D soft curl on the front. I really like it. Looks like ribbon candy.

Then to make the fun heart, I took the new Stampin' Up! punch and positioned it at the edge of the cardstock to punch out the smallest one. Then I centered the medium heart around that and punched it out and voila - a fun heart within a heart!!
Hope you enjoy it!

Then I just added some self adhesive rhinestones to add a little sparkle!

Tune in tomorrow for the second card!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Counting Sheep!

Well - this one is being polite, and he's NOT counting. Because no one needs a counting sheep on his/her birthday, right? But you might need a fuzzy, soft blue Doodle Factory sheep (Basel) who does not care how old you are - he loves you!

So... do you remember the Password Book from the blog launch? Remember the inside of the book?
Well as I told you, I love reanimating the INSIDE of old books. The table of contents are particularly interesting.

This table of contents had both Roman numerals and numbers , which were great for my "counting" theme. I punched those out with a 3/4" circle punch and arranged them behind the scallop my sheep was stamped on.

The "wool" is some baby blue Flower Soft. I just got a sample of this product. It's from England, and it is REALLY fun to work with. I've seen some beautiful samples with it and need to play some more so I can show you.

The black and white patterned paper was sale paper at Hobby Lobby. The card base is kraft, and the blue strip is Stampin' Up! Brocade Blue. I decorated the card by piercing it and using white and black pens for additional detail.

The greeting is cut from the pages of my mystery.I created this little ditty for the Stamp Something birthday challenge on their blog, so head over and check out the other entries!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Meta: Definition: self-referential; referring to itself or its characteristics, esp. as a parody; about.

So what is a Meta-Stamp? It's a stamp made out of stamps.
If you have ever purchased Stampin' Up! rubber stamps, or any stamps you need to trim and mount yourself, you have all the tools you need to make yourself a custom meta-stamp.

Stampin' Up stamps come in sets, with multiple images together on a sheet of rubber and foam, like this. You pop out the images, mount them on blocks or use them unmounted.But that leaves you with all this fabulous, cushioned, adhesived rubber...
What ever to do?

Here's an idea..

Start with the corners. Stampin' Up! has these interesting little carets in the corners.I cut them out of several sheets of new stamps I had. And my friend Joy, who uses all her stamps unmounted, donated some wood blocks to me.

So, a meta-stamp is born. To see a card made with this particular meta-stamp, check out my Understand Blue Blog. For more cool custom meta-stamps, stay tuned. ;)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

From a Tree to a Tree

This is the original Project Reanimate spark. One of my cards very similar to this won the Indie Craft Showcase later this month at CHA - The Craft & Hobby Association Show in Anaheim.I will post that card after the event.But what I did here was take old magazine pages that had interesting patterns and turn them "back" into trees, from whence they came! I did this with a rubber stamp and a Martha Stewart Leaf and I can't have a tree without a bunny under it, so there you go.

These are mostly advertisements from the pages of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Most of the best and most dramatic patterns will be in ads, although art and Photoshop magazines are wonderful for dramatic images.
I really just like plain text punched or cut out too - which is the answer to Anonymous' question about the altered book. I use the insides of books more than I use the outside in my reanimations so I have plans for all those pages.

You will look at your magazines in a whole new light after you play with the colors and patterns you find. Please share a link to your creations in your comment if you create something with a magazine - I'd love to see it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Mystery of the Forgotten Password

Welcome to the maiden voyage of Project Reanimate. Hope you enjoy the journey.Let's start the new year with a mystery we all have in common. Got a bunch of passwords? Can't remember any of them? Outsmarted yourself with password strength, symbols, caps, lower case, obscure numeric combinations - and a different one for each of your favorite 100 websites?

Welcome to the 2K whatevers. We've all got such high security none of us can access any of our stuff anymore.

You know what works all the time? Paper. Paper never becomes inaccessible, or locks your account after three attempts to remember your mother in law's favorite high school football team.

Solve your modern dilemma by reanimating an old mystery. My fave? Well who better to keep your passwords safe than Nancy Drew, of course?!!

She's your ticket to total recall.

Get yourself a used hardback book. I love Half Price Books, because you can get fun old books for a buck or less, but feel free to grab one off the shelf next to your bed. Next, get yourself a refill from one of those refillable journals. I was all set to bind my own book, yada yada, but these are great because they are pre-bound and have covers that are perfection for adhering to the inside of your book. No need to re-create the wheel here.
Examine the book carefully. They're bound differently, and your deconstruction should be tailored to the book.

This book had kind of a classic combo - sewn binding, plus glue and paper plates that adhered it to the shell.

These are easy to separate because the spine of the pages isn't attached to the spine of the cover.
Just take a craft knife and cut the book free by slicing the sides of the actual book part away from the cover.
Don't you worry about the inside of this book - this will make OODLES of cards and gifts. Don't you dare throw it away. I can't wait to use mine!!Here's what your newly freed cover will look like. All primed and ready to go.Now, put the journal inside the cover to check the fit.
Mine was the perfect height, but 3/4" too wide. I used a ruler and a craft knife to trim the pages - it gave them a distressed, uneven look that an old book has. If you want a more polished look, your local office supply store has trimming machines that will slice off whatever you need for a very low price!

Take some of your favorite old white glue - nothing fancy, and slather it all over both the inside of your cover and on the outside of the journal, being careful not to get any on the pages.

I used a sponge to smooth it out after I added the glue. This blue one is from the $1 spot at Target, and I just cut it up to get a bunch of usable pieces.

Carefully insert the journal refill once your glue is distributed, making sure it's aligned, and that the journal covers are secured to the inside of the front and back cover.

Here's the hardest part. Wait. Put it under some heavy books and leave it for 8 + hours until the glue is totally dry. This will ensure a long life.

When it's dry, embellish the inside as desired. I stamped the alphabet inside, so that the passwords could be arranged by website name. First, I counted the pages and divided by 26 - I got 5 pages per letter, which is really 10 with front & back.
I hope you enjoyed this mysterious reanimation! This is a quick and easy gift for anyone living in our modern world.

If you would like to see my paper arts blog, please visit Understand Blue.

See you soon!