Why Rosie's Book?

While growing up, I had a dear friend, Renee, that lived next door and with whom I spent much of my childhood. We grew, in different directions, and went on our merry way. Many years later, I ran into her parents and they kindly reminded me of the laughs they still have over my book. “What book?” I wondered with a puzzled look. "I don't remember a book." Hardy laughter accompanied their response. At some time during our childhood, I tried to convince Renee about something that her parents didn’t agree with. I told her that proof of its truth could be found “in my book.” Naturally she went home and tried to convince her parents of the same thing but they weren’t falling for it. She needed an edge and told them emphatically, “It’s in Rosie’s book!” After they caught their breaths from reborn laughter, they let me know how “Rosie’s book” has been cited for many other things throughout the years. They’ve also mentioned that they’d like to see “Rosie’s book” one day. I can’t remember all of the things that I said were in “my book” but I’m sure my dear friend’s parents can recall much more than I ever knew about – LOL!!! So, here it is . . . my version of things you might find In Rosie’s Book . . .

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wedding Memory Binder

Layers, layers and more layers . . . of beautiful, shimmery patterned paper and cardstock . . . flowers and ribbons and pearls . . . oh my!

I've been having a wonderful time piecing together all of the black, grey and white papers and embellishments with this Heidi Swapp 9x6-ish memory binder (with 3-ring binding).  Angela Moen designed this kit for The Button Farm and it was my pleasure to work with these items.  I think that most of the products were from the Making Memories Wedding collection.  There were glitter die-cuts, dimensional stickers, rub-ons, foil, netting and printed flowers.  As if that wasn't enough, some other items were Queen & Co pearls, ribbon slides, various ribbons and lace.  I added a couple of charms and beaded links from my own stash.

My daughter served as one of the bridesmaids for my niece and I selected some of my favorite pictures (boy, that was difficult!) to represent her participation in my niece's special day.  As the bridesmaids wore plum-colored dresses, I added some as-close-to-plum-as-I-could-get paper.

This binder holds 14 double-sided pages and I still have enough product left that I could create another mini-album!  I may give one of them to my daughter one day - LOL!!!

There are pockets . . . both of paper and page protector material for holding special documents . . .

There are journaling spots to personalize it and make it your very own . . .

Some of the chipboard pages have tabs . . .

Some of the papers are die-cut . . .

Oh how wonderful it is to relive this special day through this Wedding Memory Binder . . .

Have you enjoyed working with pre-coordinated, already designed kits?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ghost Crabs of South Carolina

You've got to take a look at these pics of ghost crabs from Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina, where I visited recently. There were several of these little guys hanging around, running sideways, hole to hole, to avoid being eaten by any flying predators. Some of these ghost crabs were larger and appeared to be as big as my hand. They were really fast and it took me a long while (hours!) to get a good pic of them. Many of my other pics show only the hole as I couldn't click the camera button fast enough - LOL!!!

At first glance, the beach looks as though there are pre-dug umbrella holes spaced about 3 feet apart. When you look more closely, you begin to notice the sandy filling that was thrown around the outside of the hole like by little spoonfuls. Then you'll see the little sideways track marks connecting the holes.  These little guys will poke their eyes out and if it's clear, they'll come out.  A slight movement or shadow sends them back in their hole in the blink of an eye. They take on the color of the sand so if your not aware of them, you might miss them.

The corner of our beach blanket is at the lower left of this pic and shows how close these little critters really get.  See the crab hole in the upper right corner?

I've heard that these ghost crabs dig as far as 4 feet into the sand and tunnel below to connect their holes. I've also heard that the only other place where similar ghost crabs live is in Jamaica. They're really an awesome sight so be on the look out for them if you happen to visit the beach in South Carolina.

I've named this one My Friend Crabby!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Copic Creations "Other" Paper Challenge

The latest Copic Creations challenge (here) is to use paper that's not normally used when filling images with Copic markers.  Whew!  This one is tough.  When I started using Copics, I experimented with different types of paper and learned which papers to avoid.  Now I've got to use 'em.  Hmmmm.

Stampavie is the sponsor of this challenge.  Their stamp artists provide an assortment of very cutesy images of children and animals and some funny older women too.  Their images can be appropriate for many different occasions and almost any sentiment can be used with them.  I happen to have a Stampavie image that I can use for this challenge.

Here's a pic of my first attempt using "other" paper.  I used Memento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp a Stampavie Sarah Kay Puppy Love stamp onto Prima Sasha Paper Collection patterned paper.  The patterned paper has a printed distressed mix of light blues and greens throughout.  Most of the stamp image areas are very tight and the paper is very thin and absorbed the ink quickly so I was always aware of the danger of spoiling my image with feathering ink.  I like how the Copic colors acted over the patterned paper, especially in the very light skin tone areas.  The paper held up nicely too without warping or pilling.  (Click on the pics for a larger view.)
(RV000, RV34, Y17, Y28, BG10, BG23, E00, E35, R20, 0.)

I stamped the same image with the same ink onto The Paper Company Parchment Ivory Cardstock.  The parchment paper acted more like watercolor paper as it took a lot of ink to get very little blend.  I worked very carefully around the lines of my image to avoid feathering.  I think the image looks nice but I definitely couldn't work with Copics on this parchment paper in the way that these markers were made to apply color. (B23, B32, Y17, Y28, RV000, RV34, E00, E35, R20, 0.)

This pic shows a C.C.Designs Swiss Pixies Birgitta image stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink onto a piece of cut manila file folder.  I found the same results as that from patterned paper and parchment paper.  The manila file folder absorbed the marker color quickly and I had to work with the constant threat of color spilling outside of the lines of my image no matter how light-handedly I applied my color.  (As I post this pic, I realize that my sunflower has green petals - huh?!?!? - well, to justify it I guess I can add that Birgitta is a pixie, after all, and pixies can carry whatever they want, right?  Now it's official, and it's in Rosie's Book, so it must be true - LOL!!!) (RV000, B23, B32, B00, Y15, Y17, YG00, YG23, E00, E35, 0.)

I tried to fill this image of Birgitta, using the same colors as the card above.  This image was stamped on Prima Sasha Collection green mixed flourished patterned paper.  (Yes, she's still carrying a sunflower with green petals - LOL.)  I like the way the Copic colors act on the colored patterned paper as you can still get the effect even though the background color causes the marker color to take on a different look.

I tried a few different kinds of papers for this challenge. Generally I'm happy with the results. I found that I can control the color best by using a very light-handed 2-Tone Blending and avoid having the marker colors feather outside of the lines of my images. These "other" papers do have some very interesting looks, but if I want to show use of 3-Tone Smooth Blending then I'll turn to my Neenah Classic Crest Solar White or Bazzill Smooth White.

Which "other" papers have you tried to use your Copic markers on?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Banner - Some of My Favorite Things

I'm thrilled to introduce you to some of my favorite things!  The pictures that are posted in my new blog banner represent part of what makes me who I am.  The subjects of these pictures affect my heart, mind and soul and it makes me happy to surround myself with them.

My dear husband George planted a small, simple remnant of a rose bush twig and nurtured it with his gentle strength until it grew beyond its expected boundaries and now, for several months of the year, it spreads its sweet fragrance throughout the whole area.

My dear sons, Blayze and Adam, and my dear daughter, Catelyn, are far more daring than I think I could ever have been at their ages, and they're constantly seeking to live their lives to the fullest.  They bring me much joy, laughter, smiles and sometimes tears.  Oh, the stories they tell me now...

There are a couple of birds that build a new nest each Spring in a nearby topiary.  They're eye-level and so provide us with much entertainment and amusement as they care for their eggs, baby birds and protect their nest from intruding squirrels.  We're able to observe their circle of life and enjoy seeing the baby birds attempt their first flight.

I still enjoy being at home.  When I was a child, my family often had summer "staycations" where we'd cook out, swim in the pool, play yard games, and hang out around the house.  Family and friends would join us and it never got boring.

I'm lucky to have a spare room designated as my craft area.  It's full of my favorite crafting products and I've been known to spend many hours "lost" in that room.  It's a toy room for me and contains some very important genealogical information as well as significant proof of major family events and everyday life.

My dear granddaughter, Kaylie, looks fabulous in her faux fur, with her great big curious eyes and mischievous grin.  She often asks if we can "craft" and she'll happily use lots of stamps, inks and markers to make cards for her dad and mom.  One of the first things that she does when she visits is to look for her artwork prominently displayed on our refrigerator.  I don't see her enough.

Seeing a rainbow after a storm is a miraculous reminder that after foul weather brings you down, you need to look for the fabulous show that results from that storm.

I admire my George's quiet, gentle strength and his patience with me.  He's taught me about traveling and trying new things and is very generous with his kindness.

Seashells remind us that every living thing leaves something beautiful behind.

I hope you enjoy my new blog banner as much as I do.  I love that it's such a visual representation of my life right now and how it clearly shows me surrounded by some of my favorite things.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Copic Technique: Opaque White

Copic’s Opaque White is a thick white acrylic water-based paint, that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It’s a fabulous addition to your completed Copic projects. Use it, with a size 0 spotter or liner paintbrush, to apply highlights and return some of the gleam back to your images. This thick paint can easily be thinned to an ink-like consistency, by adding a little water and mixing on your non-stick craft sheet. If left a little thicker, then it can leave a slightly raised finish to your work that creates added dimension.

Opaque White is best used over Copic markers. Do NOT use marker tips over Opaque White. It has been proven that this will clog the pores of your marker tips and cause damage to them.

I've included some close-up shots from class samples where we apply Opaque White to our images.  Adding that white can make all the difference where extra fine detail is needed.

When certain areas of your images have been covered by color, return the highlights and glints to your image by adding Opaque White. Add snow by painting an x over a + (*) or just add little round snowflakes by holding the paint brush tip in place over an area until the white paint marks your paper. (Imagine a starry night scene. It would be cumbersome and possibly cause streaking to try to fill the image using markers around each and every star. Instead, you can cover the entire area with normal coloring then add the stars back in using the Opaque White.)

Use a Copic Colorless Blender to create faded drops on flowers then add a glint of white at the top of that drop to create a dew drop. Add a tiny shadow to the bottom of the drop with a coordinating superfine tip multiliner for a more realistic look.

Use Opaque White to make whites their whitest and add contrast back in. Adding dots of white on the sides of icicles helps to make the image appear to catch and reflect light. The lumps on the sides of the icicle make it look brighter or like glistening drops of water. The dots help to break up the lines and make them look more natural and realistic.

Add a few diagonal stripes of Opaque White to a window’s glass to make it appear to be more shiny.

Put snow caps on mountains. Add snow dust on pine tree branches, wreathes and roof tops. Add shiny glint to your balloons and fruit. Make your clouds just a little fluffier with a hint of the whitest white. Add some texture to your angel’s or dove’s (or chicken's?!?!) wings. Give your favorite man in the red suit some authentic old, gray hair.

I’ve tried substituting with Ranger’s Inkssentials opaque white pen and Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio blank canvas acrylic paint. While I love using those products on other projects, I'll turn to Copic's Opaque White whenever I need the best finishing touch for my Copic project.  Experiment to see which you like best.  Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Copic Technique: Stained Glass with a Twist

Here’s a fun and very cool way to create the look of stained glass using your Copic markers. The mottled texture combined with the shiny surface and vibrant colors of Copics, creates a nice depth and dimension for any project. It’s really very simple and so pretty.

1. Stamp an open image onto the front of a transparency using Staz-On ink. (I used Make an Impression, Inc.’s Hyacinth stamp.)
2. Scribble directly onto the back of transparency using markers. Don’t worry about streaks here. They actually add to the beauty of the final piece. (I used B28, B37, G05, G09, V05, V17, V99, E55 and E57.) When I use this image again, I will be sure to add more splotches and streaks to the flowers and sky!
3. Cover the back colored area of the transparency with glossy accents. Squiggle the glossy accents over the whole image. Don’t touch the tip of the bottle to the transparency as it may move color and create white spots. It’s ok if some small areas are not covered. You’ll see why. When I use this image again, I will be sure to add more swirls with my glossy accents rather than just squiggles.
4. Cut a piece of white gift wrap tissue paper to a size that’s a little larger than your image. Crumble the tissue paper into a ball. The more creases and folds, the better the results. Open and reshape your tissue paper without flattening it or removing wrinkles.
5. On a non-stick craft sheet, cover the glossy accents with reshaped tissue paper. Just let the tissue paper rest on top of the glossy accents to ensure the whole image area is covered with tissue paper. Press tissue paper, gently but firmly, into glossy accents. Do NOT drag or push paper as that will remove color and possibly tear tissue paper. Don’t overwork it. It’s ok if some white tissue paper doesn’t absorb the glossy accents. We can fix that later.
6. Now, go away. For an hour. LOL!!! No peeking. No touching. Keep tissue side up on non-stick mat to dry.

7. When dry, cut around the line of your image or just trim excess tissue paper from around edges using scissors.
8. Adhere to your project area using glossy accents. If you have any areas where the white tissue paper hasn’t absorbed the glossy accents, make sure you add some to the back of those areas when adhering the piece to your project. If possible, I like to place a heavy object, like a book or glass mat, over the transparency to help it to dry flat without warping my cardstock base.

Here’s a picture of my finished project with this piece. I just added a simple stamped sentiment and a thin strip of ribbon for a simple, quick and easy card.

Here’s another example of this technique shown during my recent canvas tag art class. The transparency was first die cut using one of T!m’s labels. The twin tulip stamp is from Stacy’s Stamps. The whole background was filled using Copic marker B06.

This is one way of achieving the look of stained glass on a clear, smooth surface. Try this technique using colors from many color families for an even more beautiful effect.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Copic Creations Animals Challenge

Within my arsenal of tools that are oh-so-handy for using with Copic markers is a nasty rag.  My nasty rag started out as a 4" square piece of a thick, white, terry washcloth that had nice, long fibers.  It didn't get really nasty-looking until I used it several times with various dark colored Copics.  I haven't cleaned or replaced it and it continues to do its job well.  I wrap that little piece of rag around my fingertip, swipe the marker across the fiber ends, and begin dabbing the texture onto my project.  The Nasty Rag Technique provides animal images with the hairy, furry and fuzzy texture needed for a more realistic look.  I can dab and twist for some swirly, curly fur or drag it slightly for some longer fur.  I can also dab more in places to create darker, more shaded areas.  (Find out more about the Nasty Rag Technique at Marianne Walker's blog here.)

The latest Copic Creations Challenge:  Copic coloring of animals (find the challenge here) lured me in with another chance to use one of my favorite techniques for creating furry texture.  Hambo Stamps is the sponsor of this challenge.  They have some funny animal images and sayings to add some humor to your papercrafting projects.  I chose to use a funny image and saying from Stamps by Judith that I already had in my stamp collection.

I had alot of fun creating this easel card to submit for this challenge.  I really wanted the focus to be on the trash can bear so I tried to keep the rest of the card very neutral and soft.

I cut out the complete trash can bear image, colored all areas and added texture to the bear's fur using the Nasty Rag technique.  From a second image, I cut out a trash can and both smaller cans then colored them.  I adhered the cans to the full image with pop-dots.  When I applied a coating of glossy accents to add some great solid shine to the cans, I was very happy to find that the glossy accents did not react with the Copic color to change it in any way.

I scored and folded a 4 1/2" x 8" piece of cardstock, then placing the fold near but not over the edge of the scalloped rectangle die, I cut a card (to be the base and easel).  I scored and folded the top half of that card (to be my easel) and adhered a separate, single die cut scalloped rectangle to the top half only of that folded card area (to be my front panel).  I used pop-dots to adhere the saying to the base of the card so it'll block the card front from sliding forward.  I adhered a little vintage patterned paper and tied a hemp cord to the card front.  Finally I adhered the completed trash can bear image directly to the card front.

This completed easel card is just 4" wide x 3 1/2" tall and there's plenty of room inside for a gift card or additional sentiment.  With the built-in easel, it's perfect for displaying cool, handmade cards.

Supplies Used:
Lg. Trash Can Bear and Looking Everywhere, Stamps by Judith
Spellbinders scalloped rectangle dies
Hemp cord
Bear:  E31, E35, E47 (nasty rag)
Trash Can:  C3, C5, C7
Small Cans:  C3 faded with C00
Labels:  G19 faded with G00; E19 faded with E02

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

QuicKutz Cookie Cutter Die Set - Composition Book

QuicKutz has added to their fabulous line of mini-album die cuts. Their latest release is a wonderful 4-piece cookie cutter die cut set called Composition Book. The set contains a large cover/page with rounded corners, a spine, a 3-lined journal box and a slightly larger mat. I’m thrilled with my first project using this set and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it. I’ll show you a few pages of a mini-album I made as a gift for a friend’s granddaughter who was recently recognized in our local newspaper for designing a dance costume that she wore in an Irish dancing competition.

While this project reminded me that I had, long, long ago, performed, in costume, with a Polish dancing group, I am not of Irish descent so I can only hope that my choice of colors and patterns for Irish dancing are at least reasonable.

When all 4 dies are used together for the cover, the result is a very classic and clean presentation. There’s plenty of room to embellish and add more detail, if desired. I added the loose elastic cord around the book for gift giving and expect that it will help to keep the book from yawning open when all of the pages are completed.

The size of a single page is a whopping 7” high x 5 ¼” wide. When paired up with the adjacent page, you have the potential for a very large, 10 ½” wide, surface for a double layout. That’s a significantly sized surface for a mini-album!

In this photo of the center of the book you can see the yellow stitching at the center score line. This stitching is through a transparency, 4 sheets of heavy white textured cardstock and another blue textured cardstock spine. The simple stitching provides a very professional-looking finish! If you score and fold your cardstock before die cutting, then place the folded edge of the cardstock near, but not over the straight edge of the die cut, you’ll produce a number of stackable pages ready for your stitching line. Find a great how-to by QuicKutz-lover, Sharron M. Hoff, here.

This Lucky Me mini-album gift contains 16 sturdy base pages + 4 transparency pages + the sturdy insides of the front and back covers!!! That’s a lot of space for recording great memories in this mini-album! I’ve left 14 pages blank for our friend’s granddaughter to add her own pictures and journaling.

The QuicKutz Composition Book die cut set is easy to use. Its pages are large enough to include good size photos, journaling and embellishments. The clean and classic look is a nice change from mini-book bindings of staples, coils, rings and ribbons. The professional looking finish makes for a magnificent completed project.

Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you think about this QuicKutz Composition Book mini-album project.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Edited 8/12/10 to add:

Dear Rose,
     I wanted to thank you so much for the beautiful booklet and scrapbook page you made for me using the newspaper articles about my dancing.  They really are a work of art; something I can use to look back on my journey through dancing years from now.  I plan to either frame the scrapbook page, or to create a book of my own and place it in there.  I have started to take interest in design whether it be in clothing or other projects like scrapbooks and in seeing your work I was able to learn more about different techniques used in creating something so unique.  Even the slightest embellishments used really bring the piece to life and add extra beauty to it.  I showed both pieces to my Clothing Technology teacher (who often stresses to us the importance of design and presentation) and she was in awe as she looked at them as I was too when my Pop-Pop first gave them to me.  I am so excited to have something to commemorate my accomplishments this year and to have these as keepsakes.  Again I would like to say thank you so much for sharing your talent with me!
                                                                           Victoria F.

Here's the scrapbook page she mentioned.  The article was so long that I had to add a fold-out to include it all on one layout.

Victoria, the pleasure was all mine.  Good luck in all you do!