Archive for April, 2011

It’s All About the Dress

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Some of my favorite and most used stamps are my dress stamps from Art Impressions.  They are just so much fun and the cards always turn out so nicely.  Here are some highlights of the latest batch of cards I made for a recent craft show:

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Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Ever since I was in Girl Scouts I have wanted to try natural dyes to color Easter eggs.  I can’t remember which handbook had a section about natural dyes but I distinctively remember it.  The years would come and go and I would forget to plan ahead to obtain all the materials I needed or someone would talk me out of it saying the dye kits were just easier.

An article published a couple of weeks ago in our local newspaper sent me to the internet to search for additional ideas and I immediately added the supplies to my grocery list.  I was accompanied on my shopping trip by my husband who several times asked, “Just why are you buying THIS?” when I added items to our cart.  He also was quick to point out that using a dye kit or food coloring would be considerably cheaper but I was determined not to be dissuaded!

So without further adieu, let me introduce you to my egg coloring crew:

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My Darling Son, my Daughter’s Boyfriend, and my Darling Daughter!

My daughter and her boyfriend came to visit for the holiday weekend.  Her boyfriend had previously expressed concern about egg coloring opportunities so I knew he’d be on board with my project.

Except for the yellow dye made with tumeric, the dyes were prepared using much the same process.  The ingredients were placed in a pan, covered, brought to a boil and boiled 15 minutes.  The liquid was strained off and then 2 tablespoons of vinegar were added to the dye liquid.

Orange Dye:
2 cups (or more) packed yellow onion skins
2 cups water

Brown Dye:
2 cups (or more) packed red onion skins
2 cups water

Red Dye:
3 beets, cubed
2 cups water

Blue/Purple Dye:
2 cups blueberries
2 cups water

Teal Dye:
2 cups (or more) packed red cabbage leaves
2 cups water

Green Dye:
3 cups spinach
2 cups water

Yellow Dye:
3 tablespoons tumeric
1-1/2 cups water
Bring to boil.  Remove from heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar.  Wipe off tumeric residue after dying eggs.

Once the dyes were prepared, my crew set to work.

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Yellow Onion Skins

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Blueberries & Tumeric

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Red Cabbage

We were very excited by the results of the first few dyed eggs!  Some of the dyes worked better than others.  Here are our reviews:

  • Yellow onion skins work great to give a nice shade of orange.
  • Red onion skins were reported to give a brick red color.  However, we found that the eggs turned out to be brown instead.
  • Eggs colored with blueberries were more purple than blue.  The bits of the fruit that didn’t strain out gave the eggs a speckled look.  We also noticed that the eggs had a nice sheen to them.
  • The red cabbage dye looked purple.  We thought we’d been misinformed because originally the eggs came out to be a light shade of purple.  After they had cooled and dried thoroughly we were suprised to discover that they did indeed turn into a teal color!
  • When the eggs came out of the beet dye they looked like they were going to be a bright shade of magenta.  As they cooled and dried they looked more red than magenta.
  • The spinach did not work at all.  I used frozen spinach but I’m now wondering if we might have had more success with fresh spinach.
  • We were warned that tumeric stains quite a bit but didn’t seeem to have a problem with that.  It did give the eggs a pretty bright yellow color.

Of course, after a while, the novelty of the natural dyes wore off and my crew wanted to get creative so I pulled out the food coloring.

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They were having so much fun, the dog was afraid he was missing something and wanted to join in!

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Naturally dyed or artificially dyed, we ended up with some spectacular eggs this year.  My daughter even commented that using the food coloring in combination with the natural dyes produced better results that if we had used the food coloring alone.

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Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

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Food coloring added to the Natural Dyes

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Creations done by my Darling Son…

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… and my Darling Daughter’s Boyfriend …

… which lead us girls to the conclusion that the boy Easter bunnies may deliver the eggs, but it’s the girl Easter bunnies that design them!

Ink Spray Ghosting

Our project at our Ink Or Dye meeting in April was taken from Dyan Reaveley’s ink spray ghosting technique.  We used diluted dye inks in spray bottles and stencils.  Dyan’s video can be found at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/DylusionsDyan#p/a/u/1/m25lxe_aBLM.

The dye ink is diluted with water and then sprayed on to white cardstock.  The sprayed cardstock can be allowed to dry naturally or heated with a heat tool to speed up the drying process. 

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Then stencils are placed over the cardstock and plain water is sprayed over the stencils.  The stencils are carefully removed and again the cardstock is allowed to dry.  This results in ghosted images.  I found that the images became more distinctive as the cardstock dried.

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Once the cardstock is dry, it can be used as backgrounds for images.  I’ve got quite a few backgrounds that are waiting to be used.  This example was created by Barb who introduced us all to this technique.

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What a great effect!

I experimented with a number of different sprays.  Some worked better than others.  I didn’t have a lot of success with walnut ink, water based metalic ink or printer ink.  My Stampin’ Up inks were somewhat disappointing but I am thinking perhaps I didn’t dilute them enough.  It seemed like the more permanent the ink, the less dramatic the ghosting.  Water based inks seemed to work the best and I’ve now added Distress Ink and reinkers to my shopping list.  Regardless of the results, I was still pleased with my backgrounds.  Even if no ghosting was achieved, they were still beautiful.

Hand Painted Lace

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Our project at our Ink Or Dye meeting in March was a hand painting technique.  We used dye stamp pad ink and some water and transformed some plain white lace and paper flowers into some really beautiful works of art.  I love this effect!

After our meeting, of course I had to go shopping and get some more of the lace.  The lace is a heavier type that has a hand crocheted look to it.  It can be found at fabric stores or craft stores in with the ribbon. 

Since I have an abundance of silk flowers, I’m anxious to try this same technique on those. 

Time to get busy!  I can’t wait to use these embellishments on some cards.

Ink Or Dye

I celebrated the end of tax season on Monday with my Ink Or Dye stamp club.  We met for dinner at the local Mexican restaurant so of course a margarita was included!

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Our card challenge this month was to create a card from a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon image.  Rather than trading the cards, we all decided we would send them in a “card shower” to a lady undergoing treatment.

The ATC challenge piece was a small brown craft envelope.  It was amazing how many different and clever ideas we had!

My brain was still very much in “tax mode” so I couldn’t resist using that as my inspiration:

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I received Betsy’s adorable little Easter Bunny.  She turned her her envelope into a pocket so he could hide inside.

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With my crazy schedule last month, I almost missed the Ink Or Dye meeting in March, but luckily made it just in time for the trades and project.  However, I missed posting  the update, so here it is now.

Our card challenge in March was a t-shirt image.  I couldn’t get the thought of tie dying my t-shirt out of my head so that’s what I went with.  Since we pre-stamp our images at our meetings, my t-shirts were simply stamped with black ink on white card stock.  Now the question was how to turn that plain card stock into a tie dyed background without ruining the image.  (I always stamp a few extras just in case I need them.)

Hurray for computers!  I had a number of computer graphic backgrounds so I searched for just the right ones.  I carefully measured the locations of my images and then inserted the graphics into a Word document.  I then ran the stamped card stock through my color printer and voila!  I had my tie dyed t-shirt!

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I received Barb’s card in the swap.  The pictures just never do her work justice.  Her t-shirt has a metallic sheen with a black cat stamped on it.

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Our ATC challenge piece for March was a slide mount.  I couldn’t resist using an image of “The World’s Most Photographed Dog” — my “grand-dog”, Snickerdoodle — can you imagine how bad I’ll be when I have actual grand children?

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Again, I received Barb’s ATC.  I think it’s been like 3 months in a row!  But I’m not complaining.  I love her work!

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Stay tuned the next few days as I catch you up on our projects!

This Little Pigment

When I first started stamping, I didn’t know the difference between dye inks and pigment inks.  I opted to purchase a set of Colorbox Petal Point ink pads because with my 40% off coupon it seemed like the most economical way to get a lot of colors.  It didn’t take too long for me to discover that they didn’t dry very quickly and I had to be extra careful not to smudge my images. 

I soon found my way to dye inks.  They were easier to use and dried almost immediately so I was less prone to mistakes.  I even passed my set of Colorbox ink pads on to my daughter thinking I would never again have a use for them.

How wrong I was! 

The characteristics that make pigment ink a bit more difficult to work with are exactly the same things that make it so versatile.   Alone, layered or with embossing powders, it is possible to create some very striking results.  The cards below are just a few examples I created while playing with my pigment inks.

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If you’ve got any pigment ink pads you’ve relegated to the bottom of your craft supply stash, come join us at Ramona’s store on Wedneday, April 20, 2011.  I will be revealing my secrets in a class titled, “This Little Pigment”.

And just in case you’re wondering, among other pigment ink pads, I did re-acquire that same set of Colorbox Petal Point ink pads so my daughter didn’t have to surrender hers!

Scrapbook Memories – April 2011 Schedule

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I’m not a huge television watcher, but when I do watch, I usually have to be doing something else.  I guess you would call me more of a “listener” than a “watcher”.  Scrapbook Memories is the one show that I actually watch without doing other things — I don’t want to miss a thing!

Here is the broadcast schedule for April 2011:

ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Sat, Apr 2 2:00 PM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Sat, Apr 2 2:00 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 6 6:30 AM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Wed, Apr 6 10:30 AM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Wed, Apr 6 10:30 AM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 6 12:30 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 6 6:30 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Thu, Apr 7 12:30 AM
ThinkTV14 Prime (14.2) Thu, Apr 7 11:30 AM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Sat, Apr 9 2:00 PM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Sat, Apr 9 2:00 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 13 6:30 AM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Wed, Apr 13 10:30 AM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Wed, Apr 13 10:30 AM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 13 12:30 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 13 6:30 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Thu, Apr 14 12:30 AM
ThinkTV14 Prime (14.2) Thu, Apr 14 11:30 AM
ThinkTV14 Prime (14.2) Sat, Apr 16 2:00 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 20 6:30 AM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Wed, Apr 20 10:30 AM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Wed, Apr 20 10:30 AM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 20 12:30 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 20 6:30 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Thu, Apr 21 12:30 AM
ThinkTV14 Prime (14.2) Thu, Apr 21 11:30 AM
ThinkTV14 Prime (14.2) Sat, Apr 23 2:00 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 27 6:30 AM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Wed, Apr 27 10:30 AM
ThinkTV14 DT/HD (14.5/14.1) Wed, Apr 27 10:30 AM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 27 12:30 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Wed, Apr 27 6:30 PM
ThinkTV16 Life (16.3) Thu, Apr 28 12:30 AM
ThinkTV14 Prime (14.2) Thu, Apr 28 11:30 AM
ThinkTV14 Prime (14.2) Sat, Apr 30 2:00 PM

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