Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shaving Cream Paper

There has been a lot of talk and questions on the AQ board about using shaving cream and food coloring or dyes to make background paper so I thought I would give it a try and show you my results.

I am using my husbands cheap Barbasol Shaving Cream (without him knowing), food coloring, alcohol ink, ink pad reinker, glossy scrapbook paper, paper plates and plastic forks.

This is a very easy project with minimal mess that would be great for kids to try. If you use paper plates and plastic forks, everything can be thrown away and the only real mess is some dye on your fingers that will wear off.

I thought I would show you how the paper comes out by using three different dyes. Why you ask? Because I have the supplies and thought it would be cool to compare them and choose the best medium for the job. I am using red food coloring, Cranberry alcohol ink, and Cranberry reinker. Before you scroll all the way down to the end, can you guess which one worked the best?

First, I sprayed the shaving cream on the plate. About a fist size works well for a small card such as an LTC size 2.5" x 3.5". Of course you would use more for a larger size paper that you could cut down later to size.

Next, I spread the shaving cream out a little bit. This way I don't work the dye into the shaving cream too much be trying to spread it out to fit the paper.

I only used 4 drops of dye to get a very nice shade of red but I am sure you can use less drops for a lighter shade.

With the plastic fork I swirled the dye through the shaving cream to give it a nice marbled look.

You could mix the dye in more to get the effect you want but remember, too much mixing will blend all the dye through the shaving cream and give you just the colored effect without the marbling. Remember that the more you use the cream, the more the dye will mix in and give you a solid color look. You may need to redo this process if you have a large amount of cards or paper to make.

Here are the shades of red that each dye gives in the shaving cream. Each dye had the same amount of drops used. From left to right: food coloring, alcohol ink, reinker.

Place your glossy scrapbooking paper glossy side down on the shaving cream and lightly press the paper all over in the shaving cream. Make sure that the entire paper is covered in cream. Do not move the paper around in the shaving cream. You will end up mixing the dye and cream even more than you like.

Lift off the paper and lightly wipe off the shaving cream with a soft tissue or toilet paper. I found that if you use a paper towel or something rough, the card will scratch and scrape off the dye you just applied. Be carful of long finger nails as well. They can also leave scratches.

Here are the results. From left to right: food coloring, alcohol ink, reinker. I like the effect of the food coloring the best and guess what? It is cheaper than the other dyes. Go figure. The cards only take about 10-15 minutes to dry and the shaving cream does leave a sort of film on the surface but you are still able to stamp a dye or pigment ink onto it with no problems.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Working with Pearl Ex Pigment Powders

If you are looking for a way to add some metallic sheen or pearlescent shimmer to you projects, I would recommend Jacquard Pearl Ex Pigment Powders that can be found in your local craft supply store and at Walmart and will cost anywhere from $25 to $30 a set of 12 jars. Yes this is a bit pricey but they last for a very long time because you use very little at a time. You can even split up the jars with a friend and save yourself some money.
Here are a couple of links where you can also find Pearl Ex Powders or something similar:
These links can also be accessed by looking at the side bar of this blog under My Favorite Links for Supplies and Ideas.
Series 1 includes 12 different colors in 3 gram bottles. Micro Pearl, Macro Pearl, Super Russet, Super Copper, Brilliant Gold, Sparkle Gold, Silver, Super Bronze, Sunset Gold, Interference Violet, Interference Gold and Duo Red Blue.

Series 2 includes 12 different colors in 3 gram bottles. Aztec Gold, Antique Copper, Antique Silver, Duo Green Yellow, Bright Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Spring Green, Turquoise, True Blue, Misty Lavender, Blue Russet, and Sparkling Copper.

Series 3 includes 12 different colors in 3 gram bottles. Carbon Black, Pumpkin Orange, Salmon Pink, Pink Gold, Reflex Violet, Grey Lavender, Mink, Sky Blue, Pearl White, Antique Bronze, Sunset Gold and Duo Blue Green.

The colors are striking and very shimmery and can be added to a number of craft mediums such as acrylic paints, clay, ink pads, and you can even add the powder to a spray bottle full of liquid hairspray and apply it to your projects by spritzing.

The powders are very fine so brushing it on adds that extra shimmer, especially to fairy wings!

I am going to show you a very simple technique to stamp an image and make it shine! The items you will need are a paint brush, stamp, cardstock, your choice of pigment powder, and a VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad.

Ink up your stamp with the VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad.

Stamp onto your cardstock or paper medium.

Turn the powder jar upside down and tap it on a hard surface so that you leave a layer of pigment powder on the inside of the lid.

The reason for doing this is because that is all the Pearl Ex Powder you are going to need for your stamped image.

Dip your paint brush in the powder. I would recommend using a wide, soft bristle paint brush for applying the powder.

Apply the powder over the watermarked image lightly with the paint brush.

The watermark ink with make the powder stick leaving you with a shimmery image of your stamp. Light colored Pearl Ex Pigment Powder on a dark-colored cardstock is recommended for the image to stand out as well as a dark-colored Pearl Ex Pigment Powder on a light colored cardstock.

You may not be able to see the shimmer that well in this picture but if you are in possession of this fairy LTC or any other fairy LTC's of mine, look closely at the wings. I have used the Pearl Ex Powders on all of my fairy wings! You can also just brush the pigment powders on the paper with a soft paint brush and it will stay without using any substance to make it stick. The powders are light enough to stay put!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Links to Crafting and Supply Sites

Some friends and I were out in Puyallup, WA last weekend for the Heirloom Show.

This is a great crafting festival with tons of vendors and demonstrations of the latest rubber stamps, embossing powders, papers, inks, and products that any crafter would need to create their masterpieces. It is amazing and travels all over the United States. If it comes to your town I highly recommend you get your crafting friends together (and your full wallet) and spend the day here. This is the second year I have been to this and I have not been disappointed. Some of the vendors will even let you take pictures so you don't get home and forget what something looked like.

Here are a few of the vendors that participated in this show and their websites so you can peruse their supplies and maybe make some online purchases: Lots of rubber stamps, punches and pictures of how to create beautiful cards with flower punches. Need embossing powders in that perfect color? You will find it here. I bought some really cut acrylic tags from them and they had some ideas for really cut candy bags. They even have a schedule of shows that they will be at until October. Maybe they will be in your area. They have these beautiful, thick embossing powders that you melt onto art glass to make stunning jewelry. They even have step-by step-tutorials for using their products. This vendor had these gorgeous 3-D cards and a stamp to make
'tea bag folding' on the cards. Very cute! Some great techniques on how to layer your inks and stamps. This woman is a metal artist and designer, and a letterboxer! Check out her Transformed Playing Cards. They are beautiful!

And this one is my favorite: These great women have some absolutely beautiful sprays, spritz's, embossing powders, mica powders, stains, and kits that are so gorgeous! They even have some great demo videos to show you how to use them. I spent the most money at this vendor and can't wait to try these products. There are gonna be some awesome LTC's made with this stuff! Stayed tuned!

I will add all of these links to the side bar on this blog so you can find them easily the next time you have an idea and need a little bit of guidance with your techniques.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Creating a Maze Book

This is a very simple project that can be used for a number of things from letterbox logbooks to nicely embellished gift books. You can slide a few LTC's into the pockets for a nice little package or connect more pages for a thick letterbox logbook. Here is a step-by-step to show you how easy this maze book can be. I will be showing you how to make a 3" x 3" book but this can also be made in a 2" x 2" smaller size with more pages or a 1" x 1" very small book with lots more pages.
It all depends on what size you measure your squares.

Start with a 12" x 12" piece of paper. You can use a decorative paper with a blank side or a paper with both sides blank to stamp on all pages. Make a pencil mark at 3", 6", and 9" on all sides of the paper.

I have drawn pencil marks to show you what the 3" squares look like but you can score your paper so the pencil marks don't show for a clean book.

Fold accordion style at each one of the 3" marks for a total of 3 folds.

Turn the paper 90 degrees and fold accordion style again in the other direction.

I have placed red arrows and lines to show you where to cut your paper so it is easy to understand. You do not need to mark your paper this way. Start cutting on the left side of the paper till you reach the last row of squares and stop before cutting through (at the red line).
On the right side of the paper, cut at the red arrow on the right side till you reach the red line in that row. Cut on last time on the left side at the top arrow until you reach the red line in that row.
When you are finished cutting your paper should look like this.

Turn your paper over and start folding your squares starting at the top left, folding your squares the way that you folded them in the beginning.

When you reach the end of your first row, fold all the squares you just folded from the top row under the first square for the second row.

Fold the squares in the second row to the end on the left and fold that stack of squares under the first square for the third row.

Continue with the steps above until you have folded all of your rows for a nice 3" square stack of pages.

Your pages will look like this.

Cut a piece of cardstock 6 1/2" x 3". This will be your cover. Make a mark at 3" and at 3 1/2" and score and fold your cover at these marks.

You are now ready to attach your pages to the cover.

Adhere the front and back pages into the cover.

Now you can leave your pages as they are and when the book is opened, the pages will form a maze that may challenge anyone to try and put back together or...

you can adhere the side and bottom of the pockets for a perfect place to place some LTC's or gift cards and surprise your friends with a special gift.

Punch a hole in the cover and pages and run a ribbon or string through to close the book. Decorate and share with your friends!
By the way, the flower arrangement in this photo was a Mother's Day gift to me from my daughter Cat's Meow. Isn't it perdy?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I am Back From Hiatus!

Hello everyone! I had to take an unexpected hiatus from blogging for a couple of reasons and I am sorry that it took so long to get back to you all. If you haven't heard all about it yet, check this out:

Between physical therapy three times a week, muscle relaxers and pain meds, I have been out of it for a bit. I have also been working on building up my supply of handcrafted merchandise that I was able to display and sell at Spring Flinger 2009 in Washington State.

My handcrafted Letterboxing journals were a big hit at Spring Flinger!

I also have a large selection of various sizes of letterbox logbooks!

This is a preview of what I will have available at LB CON 2009 in July!

Another big seller were the Washington State Letterboxing patches and the Washington Treasure Hiker patches. The Washington pathtag was also on display and has even been earned already by some of the Washington hikers!

It was nice to get out for awhile and see some old friends, meet some new ones, and warm my buns by the fire. AAAAAWWWWWWW!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Washington State Letterboxing Patch

It is finally here! A Letterboxing patch for Washington State!

Each patch represents the majestic Bald Eagle soaring through the sky with the image of Mt. Ranier, our national forests, and the abundance of Salmon found in the rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest reflecting in it's wings.

The patch measures 31/2" X 3 1/2" and is entirely embroidered by Moritz Embroidery Works. (800) 533-4183

Each beautiful patch is $3.00 each.

If you would like to have one for your very own, send a SASE and $3 for each patch up to three (only 3 will fit in a standard letter envelope with one stamp). I will accept cash, check, money order and PayPal. If you would like to pay with PayPal, email me and I will let you know where to send your payment. (PayPal users please add $1 when paying with PayPal to cover the fee, stamp, and envelope to mail the patch to you). Please add a note with your SASE letting me know that your money is for the WALB patch.

Email me at and I will let you know where to send your payment!