We are continuing our National Stamping Month celebrations today by using our innovative, animated stamp sets in scrapbook layouts!
Before we show you those, we hope some of you joined us over the weekend when we went live on our Facebook page in celebration of National Stamping Day! We had a great time spending the day crafting together, making animated cards specially designed for the free event, as well as sharing stamping techniques from our very own stamping experts!
Each of the techniques in the charts below were demonstrated on camera using the exclusive National Stamping Day stamp set, You Brighten My Day, for you to follow along and add them to your personal stamping arsenal!
If you missed the live party, you are in luck! Watch the free replay by clicking on the link, here. Learn more about Close To My Heart, spend some time crafting with us, and pick up a few techniques along the way—all at your own speed!
Now, how about those scrapbook layouts we promised?!
Similarly, in this second 6″ x 6″ layout, we paired the Bright Stack papers with the Animated Butterfly Kisses stamp set. We created a sense of cohesiveness throughout the layout by making our animated window a square to match the square photos on the opposite page, used the same patterned paper for the borders along the window and the photos, and printed the photos in black and white to match the black and white animation.
You’ll notice that both of these layouts were photographed outside of their Memory Protectors™. If you want to access the animation, or other interactive elements, of the pages without pulling them out of their protectors every time, you will need to have a plan before you assemble them.
One approach for access to the interactive parts is to attach these pieces to the outside of the Memory Protectors™. It’s fairly simple. If you’d prefer to keep everything tucked inside the protectors, however, there are a couple of other options.
Another way for access to the moving parts of an animated page, is the use of a craft knife. With your page in the protector, figure out where you would need to pull the tab from. Make two small marks on the protector where the top and the bottom of the slit will be, and remove your page. Then, put a few pieces of scratch cardstock under where these two marks will connect. Using a ruler, connect the marks with the craft knife to cut the slit. Remove the scratch cardstock and put your page back inside the protector, now with a slit. Pull the tab through the slit and have it rest on the outside of the protector, with the rest of the interactive element still inside. When you’re ready to animate the window or pull a journaling tab, then pull the tab through the slit.
This last idea comes from one of our viewers of our National Stamping Day! She used our Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ and combined both of our ideas. She attached the interactive elements to the outside of the page while keeping them safely tucked inside a small attachable pocket-size protector!
We are purposefully showing you these stamp sets used in 6″ x 6″ layouts, not because you can’t create something amazing and fun in a larger format, but because we have some new 6″ x 6″ album options that we didn’t get to mention in our last post, A Look Inside the New Annual Core Catalog!
New to the Everyday Life™ line is this gorgeous Scarlet 6″ x 6″ album, featuring an o-ring closure and a soft, faux-leather cover. Also new this year, available for the first time as individual items, are the bright and beautiful Story by Stacy™ 6″ x 6″ albums!
We hope you are enjoying your September and really taking advantage of all the craftiness we have to offer now and through the end of the month! We’d love to hear what you’re up to in your craft rooms, so please leave us a message below!
As part of our National Stamping Month celebration, we have two exclusive stamp sets that are only available through the end of the month, the My Acrylix® A Dash of Joy and My Acrylix® Giving Thanks. Both have over 30 individual stamps each. They are super cute, on trend, and just right for the upcoming fall and Christmas seasons. You may have noticed that most of the individual stamps within each set are also really small.
To get us all thinking outside of a one-inch square that most of these loveable little icons and sentiments were designed to fit into, we have a few simple ideas that showcase just how versatile a small stamp can be by also effectively being used in much bigger spaces.
First, let’s talk about backgrounds. This one seems to be a pretty common idea that we tend to easily forget. Take a look at how we used our small stamps to create the following three pieces of artwork:
On this So Thankful page we wanted to create a partial background. You can do this with sentiments, like we did here, or with clusters of small icons down the center, off-center, down one side of the page, or even just in a corner.
This card is an example of how to use small sentiments to create a full background. Turn the sentiment at an angle and stamp it over and over again until your background is completely covered. The trick is to start by stamping partially off your base to achieve the cutoff look.
Another way to use small icons in large spaces is in borders.
Combining three of the leaf stamps from the Giving Thanks set with two green stamp pads we were able to create this beautiful fall scene for the memories on this page.
This last idea, one of our favorites that really gets you thinking outside the norm, is to create your own shapes out of smaller ones.
The gorgeous wreath on this page was created using several of the small stamps from the A Dash of Joy set and nothing else.
We kept it simple by making a circle to illustrate the idea, but the truth is you can create many other shapes and designs using small stamps—a tree, a snowman, a pumpkin, a star, a house—whatever you dare try.
With the right combination of stamps and inks, the possibilities are endless.
We really do love these little sentiments and icons and want everyone to have a chance to create with them, too. In the next 24 hours, we will be giving away 5 Share the Seasons Stamp Set Bundles, which include one My Acrylix® A Dash of Joy stamp set and one My Acrylix® Giving Thanks stamp set. If you want to be entered in the drawing, make sure you are subscribed to this blog and leave us a comment below sharing with us how you use small stamps in big ways. Winners will be chosen by 1 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 18, MST) and will be notified via email, so keep your eyes on your inboxes friends!
Can’t wait to hear from you!
***THIS DRAWING IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED! <3 ***
It is officially National Stamping Month! Is anyone else as pumped about this time of year as we are? A little bit of history, for our friends who haven’t been with us for very long, Close To My Heart was originally called D.O.T.S. (Dozens of Terrific Stamps). Our first love was, and continues to be, stamps! We’ve come a long way since 1984 and wood mounted rubber stamp sets, and yet there are still some things that will never change.
Today we are going back to the basics of stamping, showing a few different ways we can use stamps in our projects. If you are new to stamping, this is a great place to start and learn just how versatile these creative tools can be. If you are a “pro,” then follow along anyway and remind yourself why you, too, love stamping and the versatility behind each design.
First, let’s talk about stamping on photos.
This is such an easy way to create personalized cards or add some additional touches to your scrapbook pages.
Stamping directly on a photo might seem a little scary at first, but we promise, it will be okay! For this project, we used the Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad to stamp our sentiment. We opted for this ink choice because we used a matte photo. If you’re stamping on a glossy photo, consider using Black StazOn™ ink. StazOn™ ink is specifically formulated for use on non-porous surfaces, allowing you to confidently stamp on any photo.
Next, let’s revisit an oldie, but a goodie, technique—generational stamping. Generational stamping is a fairly simple stamping technique. Think of it as the “double-dip” action (or in this case, the “triple-dip”) of the stamping world. With generational stamping, you don’t re-ink your stamp before stamping the image or sentiment again. This leaves you with a slightly faded image that is otherwise identical to the first one.
For this example, we used the Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad to create a fun generational stamping effect. First, you thoroughly saturate your stamp with ink, and then press down firmly to transfer the image onto your paper. Then, without re-inking the stamp, press it to the paper again to create a second-generation stamped image or, like in this case, sentiment. In this example, we went a step farther and created a third-generation sentiment, which was accomplished the same way.
You can clearly see the second and third generational stamps. This effect, combined with the fun patterns in the Every Little Thing paper packet, makes for a beautiful card with a unique flair.
Another fun way to use your stamps is to fussy cut! Fussy cutting simply means that you cut out your stamped image by hand rather than using a metal die or a paper cutting machine. This lets you cut right down to the edges of the image for a crisp, clean cut. When you don’t have just the right sticker or are looking for a quick way to add dimension, fussy cut your stamped image or sentiment and attach it with some foam tape!
In our next example, we’ve got several different ideas that neatly come together in one beautiful 6″ x 8″ layout.
First, take a close look at the peach portion of the layout, in the lower right-hand corner of the left page. That’s not pattern paper—the pattern you see is achieved by continuous, random stamping. Stamps give you the ability to create your own unique patterns, adding a personal element to all of your projects.
Next, let’s talk about how to stamp white on black. For this, we’ll be breaking out our heat tool and embossing powder!
As you can see, this particular element has a dimensional appearance. Well, that’s thanks to the use of embossing powder!
The images in this example are stamped with VersaMark™ ink and heat embossed with white embossing powder. Stamp with VersaMark™ ink, add embossing powder, melt and seal together with a heat tool.
Did you know that you can also heat emboss with our pigment inks of our exclusive colors? All you need is the pigment ink in the color of your choice and clear embossing powder. Heat and seal like you would with the VersaMark™ ink, and that’s it!
If you want to heat emboss on vellum, there are a few small tricks to consider.
For this technique, allow your heat tool to heat up before you use it. Once it’s hot, blow on the ink intermittently from behind the paper (which means you would need to do this step before attaching a piece like this to your project). If you blow directly onto the ink and vellum without pulling the heater away, the ink will move and the paper will warp. Another approach, if from behind is too difficult, is to move the heat tool in slow circles over the stamped area.
The last three examples of artwork we have showcase how to add color to your stamped images.
In a recent blog post, we discussed different types of black ink and which ones work best with certain types of projects. For this card, we used the Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad to stamp the pumpkins so that we could add color with our new TriBlend™ markers.
Once you’ve got your image stamped, take your TriBlend™ Marker and color around the outer edges of the stamped image using one of the darker shades. Then, color in the center with one of the lighter shades.
Using TriBlend™ Markers to color in your stamped images allows you to color with confidence, since the shades are already matched for you, and as you can see, they deliver beautiful results!
For this card, you’ll want to grab your watercolor pencils. To avoid getting harsh lines in your project, move your pencil in gentle, circular strokes, or use a lighter hand as you color; think of it as light shading as opposed to coloring in your stamp.
Once you’ve got your stamped image colored in, you can leave it as is for a slightly more rustic, rough feel, like in our example, or blend with a waterbrush.
Our last example is a bit deceptive, and it looks a bit more complicated than it actually is.
To create the beautiful, multicolored effect happening in the leaves of this page, we used a technique is called rock & roll.
First, you thoroughly ink your stamp in the base color of your choice. Then, gently rock and roll the edges of your stamp in your secondary color. It’s that easy. Your stamp is ready to leave a gorgeous impression!
No matter how you use them, you can’t go wrong with great stamps! Happy stamping!
The party is not over yet, friends! There are still a few days left of National Stamping Month, and what better way to celebrate this creative outlet than with a giveaway that is sure to get you stamping your art out! <3
First, and foremost, you can’t get your stamping started without a stamp—so we’re going to give you one! Five lucky winners will receive a set of our My Acrylix® Holiday Borders, free!!
Whatever the occasion, mix and match these versatile, holiday-inspired borders with patterned papers, Complements, embellishments, or even each other, to create delightful borders, backgrounds, and textures.
To go along with this stamp set, those same five winners will also receive the recommended 1″ x 6½” My Acrylix® block on which to mount their new borders! (Lucky stampers! 🙂 )
Now lets, see…we’ve got a stamp set, a block to mount the stamps on….what else is there?
Only one of the five winners, the luckiest of the lucky, will also receive this kit along with the stamp set and acrylic block.
To enter the giveaway, make sure you’re subscribed to this blog and then tell us in the comments below what you’re looking forward to creating this upcoming holiday season, even if it’s not with paper. Our five winners will be selected tomorrow, September 26, at 3:00 p.m. MDT, and notified via e-mail (they will not get posted here).
But, wait—there’s more! Make sure to also follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see how else we’re celebrating National Stamping Month!
September is National Stamping Month and, as you know, we live and breathe stamps here at Close To My Heart. They are where we got our start many years ago, and to this day just simply can’t get enough of them! And from what we can gather, we are not alone in this obsessionhobby! 😉
With care, you place your stamp on your block, prudently ink it with a color that you carefully selected just minutes (if not days) before, then press it to your paper and upon removing the block your image looks as perfectly crisp as you planned for. The next step in the creation process of this new image is to breathe life into it with some color.
We’ve taken one of our many (many) favorite stamp sets, My Acrylix® Bunches of Love, from the Holiday Expressions catalog to illustrate some stamp coloring options. Each is unique in it’s own way and, depending on what you’re looking to achieve, has a place in your coloring spectrum. For comparison purposes, we’ve kept the mediums separate, but by all means do combine them in your artwork to make your images look exactly how you envision them!
First up, the original.
Some of our stamp sets already come with the parts to fill in the white space of a larger image, and the My Acrylix® Bunches of Love set does just that.
To keep things quick and easy, use the corresponding filler pieces to complete the image.
In cases where the stamp set is not designed this way or you’re wanting to showcase a stamp differently so it’s not the exact same every time, continue scrolling through our list.
A Watercolor Look:
For a soft look, watercolors are the way to go!
If you’re still working on mastering the art of using watercolor paints, try watercolor pencils. By applying color with pencils, shading and color blending is easier to control than with paint. Once you’ve penciled the color in, gently brush water over it with a damp fine tip paintbrush or waterbrush to spread the pigment. For best results, follow the pencil lines using smooth strokes. Keep in mind as you decide which watercolor medium is right for your project, that the direction of your pencil lines will still show through, unlike with paint.
For a more vivid “watercolor” look that doesn’t require layers of watercolor paint to achieve, give “painting” with our Exclusive Inks™ a try!
Squeeze your stamp pad in the middle to get some of the ink to rub onto the lid. Remove the inked lid, and from there decide how strong or light you want your color to appear. If you want the saturation to match the ink color exactly, use the ink as is. For a lighter variation of this same color, mix some water in with it (straight on the lid). The more water you add to the ink, the lighter the color will be. Pick the color up with a brush and ink-paint your stamped image.
Our Exclusive Inks™ are available in every one of our 41 exclusive colors (plus White Daisy and several black options). Enjoy effortless color coordination with our patterned papers, cardstock, and embellishments by using this method for coloring in your stamped images.
ShinHan™ Touch Twin markers
When going for a saturated, vibrant look, especially in small details, ShinHan™ Touch Twin markers are an excellent choice. They are bright, smudge-proof, and, because they are alcohol-based, they are easy to blend. The fine tip on each marker is ideal for coloring and adding intricate details.
Until recently, the shimmer brush was considered mostly an accenting tool because it only came in clear and gold. Well, those days are over friends! Now also available in Sugarplum, red, black, and Mint, these new hues carry enough weight to be used on their own to add a little bit more than shimmer. When you use these, prep your brush before you do. You will want to squeeze your brush over scrap paper until the shimmery liquid comes out. Brush it on your scrap paper until you get the consistency you want on your brush before coloring in those details.
Give your stamps a little lift and texture with the right inks and embossing powders. (For those of you who are new to this technique, embossing powder is a special powder that, when heated, melts to form a raised surface.)
VersaMark™ ink and embossing powder
Sometimes a flat image just isn’t the way to go. That’s when heat embossing comes to the rescue. To start, stamp your image with the VersaMark™ ink pad (embossing ink), which will create a clear, wet-looking print of your stamp. While the ink is still wet, cover it with embossing powder and carefully shake off any excess. Use a heat tool to dry and seal your design. The heat tool blows extremely hot air with a low air current, which keeps the powder from blowing right off—hair dryers are not a good substitute! We have several new embossing powders in our new Holiday Expressions catalog to choose from (for a complete list click here).
Pigment Exclusive Inks™
Okay, so we’ve shared this last idea on here before, but with our new large stamp pad-sized pigment inks added to our coloring repertoire, we just have to share again.
Did you know that you can pair any of our Exclusive Inks™ pigment pads with clear embossing powder to emboss in that exact color? Yes, really! Stamp an image with your choice pigment ink, cover it with clear embossing powder, and then set it with your heat tool! It’s that easy! Match our exclusive colors perfectly using this last technique!
Whether you use these stamp coloring ideas alone or mix and match them, we hope you enjoy a full spectrum of color in all of your stamping projects!
Want to know what we love about September?? It’s National Stamping Month! To get in the mood to celebrate all things stamping, we have two new exclusive stamp sets as part of our National Stamping month special, Memories in the Making.
The Memories in the Making special, and National Stamping Month for that matter, is all about highlighting the ways you can use stamping in your papercrafting and memory keeping. This year is no exception! 🙂
As you can see, these stamp sets can be a fun addition to a variety of projects. Memories in the Making—Months comes with all twelve months of the year in a lovely, scripted font, making it easy to add a large title to any layout. Memories in the Making—Days gives you a variety of smaller images to stamp numbers, lists, words, and other icons on your projects. Can you spot all of the ways we’ve used this stamp set on this birthday scrapbook page, anniversary card, and frame?
If you aren’t already sold on how you can use these exclusive stamp sets, we’re sure you can guess the other way we are using them this month—in a handmade calendar!!
As part of National Stamping month, we’ve created a Cut Above® layout kit that coordinates with these Memories in the Making stamp sets! The Memories in the Making Cut Above® layout kit comes with pre-printed base pages, pre-cut paper, die-cuts, stickers, and instructions to create 13 single-page layouts. Combine this kit with a My Creations™ calendar, your Memories in the Making—Days and Memories in the Making—Months stamp sets, and a few other basic supplies to turn these single pages into a beautiful personalized calendar for the upcoming year.
Once the year is over, trim the pages off the calendar and slip them into Memory Protectors™ to preserve. The great thing about this Cut Above® kit, is that you can choose to just skip the calendar all together and make the individual pages straight for your scrapbook album! (To see all 13 completed pages, click here.)
These exclusive stamp sets, the layout kit, and several discounted bundle options, are only available during September, while supplies last. Make sure you get yours soon and join us as we celebrate National Stamping Month all month long with Memories in the Making!
Base and shade stamp sets provide exactly that—different stamps that work together, the first being the base and the rest the shade, to create a final 3-dimensional-looking image. These layered stamps allow for so much more intricate detail that would otherwise be impossible to achieve with one single stamp (even if you are a masking Kung-Fu expert).
So, here’s how it works. First, decide on a color combination. If you’re feeling a little sassy, try using a second-generation image for one of your layers. Embossing the top layer is also a fun and popular option. Once you’ve got your colors and inks figured out, stamp the base, usually a solid image, in the lightest color.
With your base down, start building the image up from lightest to darkest color with the coordinating shade images. Our clear blocks are the perfect tool for this kind of stamping, allowing you to seamlessly match up your layers without any guesswork.
Remember, this kind of stamping can take some practice so if you don’t get it right from the start it’s okay, just don’t give up! If you keep at it, you’ll be creating beautiful, detailed stamped images in no time!
Have you tried any of the stamp sets highlighted in this post? Let us know which is your favorite in the comments below!
With its translucent properties and incredible versatility, vellum has made its way back into the papercrafting limelight! We have several stamping tips and techniques to share, showing just how fun and versatile vellum can be. Keep scrolling to see some vellum-enhanced artwork and to learn something new!
If you look carefully at this scrapbook page, you will see that the bottom layer of the mat behind the photo is a large piece of vellum. There are several things to learn from this example alone. First, take a look at the beautiful floral arrangement that was stamped directly onto the vellum. To create this muted effect, we used our regular water-based dye inks. Because vellum is less porous than other papers, ink will take longer to dry. We helped move the process along by using our trusty craft heater. For this technique, allow your heater to heat up before you use it. Once it’s hot, blow on the ink intermittently from behind the paper (which means you would need to do this step before attaching a piece like this to your page). If you blow directly onto the ink and vellum without pulling the heater away, the ink will move and the paper will warp. Once you’re done with the craft heater, blot any excess ink with a tissue to achieve a softer color as well as a completely dry image.
Now, let’s talk about embossing. There are so many ways to play with stamping and embossing on vellum. Our first approach is pretty straightforward. We used an embossed sentiment on a piece of vellum as an overlay for a stamped card front. This is an effective way to tone down a busy background and bring the focus to the sentiment and any other elements that are laid on top. (When setting your embossing powder, remember to use your craft heater intermittently and from behind to avoid warping!)
We took the translucent property of vellum a step further with this card. Instead of using it as an attached overlay, we made the entire card base from vellum and used one of our base & shade stamp sets for the images. The “base” of the image is stamped on the inside of the card and the “shade”—or outline—is stamped and embossed on the outside. Tips: attach a piece of cardstock to the inside of the card base and stamp it first, then line up the “shade” from above on the outside. After stamping and embossing the outside of your card, if the color from the base isn’t showing through as much as you’d like, add some watercolor (a little goes a long way on vellum) to your embossed images from behind. Watercolor paint dries fairly quickly on vellum, but if you’d like to speed the process up the craft heater should do it.
Did you spot the vellum on this card? If you guessed in those colorful autumn leaves, then you are right! To recreate this effect, emboss your images using some of the tips that we’ve already discussed. The trick to these leaves is achieving their lovely fall color. This time, instead of using watercolors or ink behind our images, we used alcohol-based markers! (Alcohol-based markers are easier to blend than others, so make sure you are using the right product.)
Vellum has been around for a long time but it’s sure making a comeback! Whether you use it in papercrafting, scrapbooking, or cardmaking, vellum can easily add depth, dimension, and texture to any of your projects.
If you’ve got a tip or some artwork with vellum that you’d like to share, please do so in our comments below!
Cardmaking is a craft from the heart. You do it because you want to send the message to the recipient that they are worth the extra sentiment that comes from something handmade by you.
By now, we’re sure you’ve seen several examples of the elegant cards you can make using our From the Heart card kit. As we continue celebrating stamping this month, we want to show you just how versatile this kit, and the gorgeous stamp set it comes with, really is.
When you are working with stamps, you have so much flexibility to design something that is truly your own. Allow your creative juices to flow and experiment with different color combinations, as well as image (and sentiment) placement.
With the entire Close To My Heart exclusive color palette at your disposal, you can attempt a variety of monochromatic schemes, like you see here. Stay within one color family, or try using all warm or cool colors. Don’t be afraid to switch up your colors based on the sentiment you’re using, the recipient of the card, or even the time of year.
Challenge yourself to take your artwork up another notch! This kit is intentionally made to create a more chic and sophisticated card. Emboss your sentiments (like we did in the cards above) or try your hand at embossing other stamped elements. Add embellishments, like pearls, sparkles, and gems. Switch up the floral arrangements, or incorporate a different stamp set altogether!
There are no rules here, so unleash your creativity! Every creative decision you make customizes your card even more and gives it your unique flair. Remember, you are theartist.
Since cards are a beautiful way of expressing the deepest sentiments from the heart, it’s only fitting that you make them exactly how you feel.
May all of your handmade cards be from your heart.