Wednesday, April 23, 2014


This blog hop post will remain in the top position on my blog until the winners are posted on the Stampotique Designers' Challenge blog on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.  If you would like to see my subsequent posts, just scroll down.  Thanks!


The Stampotique Originals' owners, administrators and design team members, along with the stamp designers themselves, are pleased to announce the April 2014 release of new stamps!  Here's a little something to get you in the mood:  Let's Go to the Hop!


If you are a fan of our Facebook page, you may have already gotten a sneak peek at some of the new images we are excited to be releasing today.  We hope you will join us for the blog hop to see a variety of those images.  

There are lots of new images from our favorite stamp designers, and we are proud to welcome our newest stamp designer, Magda Polakow.  You may have already seen tons of Magda's fabulous creations as she is also a member of the Stampotique Design Team.  We are sure you are going to find more than a few of these new stamps that you simply must have!

Join us through the blog hop for your chances to win some random goodies.  We also will be randomly drawing two winners for a $30 gift certificate for Stampotique stamps at the Stampotique online store.  The new stamps are available there right now!

Also, make sure you hop all the way through for an exciting announcement on our Stampotique Designers' Blog for a chance to win some goodies and some additional recognition for yourself as an artist.

Have fun hopping!  We will be pulling the random winners of the blog hop at our Stampotique Designers' Challenge on April 23, 2014.  

You should have arrived here from Astrid's blog.  If you did not arrive from there, you may want to begin the hop at the Stampotique Designers' Challenge site, where you will also find the entire list of blog hosts.  When you are finished visiting my blog, you will want to hop over to Kathi's blog.

In looking through the new Stampotique stamps, I was immediately taken with Pepper and Froggie because they so reminded me of my daughter and me when Michelle was in her early teens.  Don't misunderstand.  My daughter and I have always had a solid relationship, but there have been a few hurdles along the way.  For instance, I recall taking her shopping on many occasions, picking out darling, colorful, coordinated outfits for her to try--just as I did when she was 8!  On our last shopping trip together, when presented with my "selections," Michelle looked at the clothes, froze, and tears began to well up in her eyes.  She looked up at me and (these words are still oh, so clear) said:  "I want to like what you like, but I just don't!"  From that time on, Michelle was given a certain amount of money and set loose in the mall to make her own selections.  While I did reserve the right to veto, I never had to use it!

Here's my blog hop tag (the technical details follow below, if you're interested):

The background of the tag was created with a Wendy Vecchi technique shared at the CHA 2014 conference.  You can find it here.  Using a Ranger blending tool, I added Peeled Paint Distress Ink around the edges, then added France Papillon's new stamp Splattered Mug randomly about the tag for a bit of interest.  The two images were then stamped on the tag, then on white card stock.  Pepper, on the left, is by Janet Klein, and the one of the right is Froggie another new stamp by Daniel Torrente and Jill Penney.  I paper pieced the mother's dress and also popped her head up on dimensionals to show the then-popular teased hair!

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Please do leave a comment so that everyone on the hop will know you were here--and because I love your comments!!

Remember, you should be hopping over to Kathi Rerek's blog now!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Happy Wednesday to each of you, and thanks for visiting my blog today.  The Stampotique Designers' Challenge has been posted and this week's challenge promises to shower you with creativity--pun intended.  The talented Carol Fox wants to see water, rain, showers, or stormy weather!  Here's her challenge today:
I love the early months of the year and to me I only have to hear the month April and instantly in my head the song from Bambie is playing and I am now humming, bom bom little April showers--so use water, rain and April showers as your inspiration this week.
I took a bit of artistic license in my interpretation of this challenge.   When I think of rain, showers, and storms, I think of how grateful I am to have refuge from them.  I have used the Stampotique Originals' Giant 'Shroom (3009) again, but this time with a little more reverence.  Seeking refuge here is Heart Boy (6026), accompanied by Daisy, Daisy (3002).

I hope you will participate this week--and every week--in the Stampotique Designers' Challenge.  You can read the rules and submit your work here.  At the end of the month, you will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win one of two $30 gift certificates from Stampotique Originals for any of their products!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014


This week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge was certainly a challenge here!  Many artists are at ease whether with an ink spray, a paint brush or a pen or marker.  Some are not.  I am definitely in that "are not" group!  

 My Design Teammate Magda Polakow has certainly pushed my envelope with her "pens, paint pens and markers" challenge.  Here is what she's eager to see from you:

I always have a pen or pencil with me. Always with notebook full of drawings and doodles. I'm sure not only me! I would love to see a pen in your project. It can be a drawing, doodles or simply some journaling. It might be even a single word. I'm looking forward to seeing your entries for this challenge!
I took comfort in making a card to "answer" this challenge.  On top of my card base, I used a background technique created by Wendy Vecchi with her reinkers, Tim Holtz' metalic mixative and rubbing alcohol/surgical spirits (shown here).  I used my Jet Black archival ink pad to stamp my image and text stamps (see below).  I then stamped the image head on white card stock and colored her face (Copic E50) and hat (Pitt Pen Light Flesh 132).  I grounded the bathtub by pressing the side of the tip of my little finger into a gray stamp pad, stamping on scrap paper, then stamping on my image (called "second generation" stamping) over a mask of the tub legs.   After attaching the head, I took a Pitt Pen (black, fine) and drew sketchy lines as borders both around my text stamp and on the outside borders of the card.  I am not 100% pleased with my first attempt at using a pen and drawing freehand on my art, but, then, neither am I disappointed.  I will definitely try this technique again.

I have used the following Stampotique Originals stamps today:

I want to sincerely thank each of you for visiting my blog, and for the supportive comments you make to encourage me to learn and grow in this wonderful world called art.  

I hope you will join me this week--and every week--in the challenges brought to you by the Stampotique Designers' Challenge.  You can find the directions and rules for your submissions here. At the end of the month, you will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win one of two $30 gift certificates from Stampotique Originals for any of their products, including the wonderful series of stamps created by artist Linda Peterson!  


Wednesday, April 2, 2014


A lovely Wednesday to each of you.  I appreciate your being here as well as the supportive comments you each make!

Today, a new Stampotique Designers' Challenge rolls out, and it is sweet Nellie van Leeuwen who is at the helm.  Here is her challenge for the week:  
I love cards with a wink. They often bring a smile to my face. Stampotique has so many fun stamps to make these cards, images as well as words. So come on, show me, use a bit of humour in your card or project. Who makes me laugh out the loudest this week?  I am already looking forward to your entries for this challenge!
I had to bring out one of my favorite stamps again, but, this time, instead of being a vintage temptress, she is a sassy, naughty girl!  Let's see if my card makes Nellie laugh out loud!

I used the following Stampotique Originals in my card today:

I hope you will participate in this week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge.  You can read the rules and submit your work here.  At the end of the month, you will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win one of two $30 gift certificates from Stampotique Originals for any of their products.


Sunday, March 30, 2014


I know, I's not Wednesday!  But, I did want to share a card that I made for my nephew Carlos' 50th birthday which we are celebrating at a family gathering today.

I am a huge Wendy Vecchi fan and love all her products.  A new technique she shared at CHA 2014 uses her stamp pad reinkers, Tim Holtz' metalic mixative and plain old rubbing alcohol.  You can see how this is done right here

I appreciate your visit today, as well as your kind comments! Have a great Sunday.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Another Wednesday, and another shout out from the Stampotique Designers' Challenge Team!  This challenge is brought to you by France Papillon, who is not only a Stampotique Design Team member, but one of their seasoned stamp designers!

Here's what France has to say:
Hello, lovely Stampotiquers, 
Lots of us get so excited when we get our hands on an old ledger, old books, or old family photos even from people we don’t know.  But those are often hard to come by, or very expensive.  Because of that, lots of us became very agile in making new things look old. Using inks, paper distressing tools and yummy techniques.  How about we combine all that love for all things vintage and all those yummy techniques with our favorite stamps, to create a vintage looking Stampotique piece?  Can’t wait to see where that leads you!  Ready?  Create!
While "vintage" is one of my top two favorite themes, I still find it difficult to create something in that vein. To get me inspired, I used a piece of designer scrapbook paper from the Prima Cartographer Collection called "Mots D' Amour."  Vintage also makes me think of the Stampotique image by Jill Penney and Daniel Torrente called "Relaxin'," as I always think of her as a bit of a rebel fasionista!  A quick search for a quote dealing with vintage fashion, and I came full circle to current fashionista Carly Rae Jepson!  Carly is a Canadian recording artist and singer-songwriter from British Columbia, who placed third in 2007 during the Canadian Idol competition (huge American Idol fan here!).  

I hope you will participate in this week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge.  You can read the rules and submit your work here.  At the end of the month, you will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win one of two $30 gift certificates from Stampotique Originals for any of their products.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Another Wednesday and another chance to "answer" the Stampotique Designers' Challenge.  R. Marina Sabina is our beautiful hostess this week, and here's her challenge to all of us:

''How many masculine cards did you make in the last month? I personaly made zero cards. Masculine creations can be a real challenge. I challenge you to create something using the masculine theme. Keep the cuteness and blings away this time. Lock them in your drawer. Let's make men feel special at least once in a while with,  something made only for them''.

I needed a birthday gift tag, so I used a smaller tag on which I had already created some texture by hand embossing wet gesso. Once dried, I had added some festive acrylic paints, primarily blue and orange.   I picked one of my "guy" images (surprisingly, I am accumulating quite a collection of them) called Heart Shirt and stamped him on white card stock.  At the same time and on the same paper, I stamped the Banner and Happy Birthday sentiment (this last one, three times).  Heart Shirt was colored using Distress Markers, as was the banner.  I added bits of two orange washi tapes across the bottom to anchor my image, then adhered all the elements.  Since the background was already done, it took me fewer than 20 minutes to complete this tag:

I hope you will participate in this week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge.  You can read the rules and submit your work here.  At the end of the month, you will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win one of two $30 gift certificates from Stampotique Originals for any of their products.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Thanks for all the great comments this past week on both the challenge itself (hosted by me) and, of course, my delightfully controversial nude!  If you missed that post, check it out here

Today's Stampotique Designers' Challenge is brought to us by the very creative Kristen Catalano.  Here's her challenge:
Hello there, Kristen here, and I am the host of this week’s Challenge. I am a huge fan of using Primary colors in my projects, with Red being my favorite, but since it is March, and this month is the month of the beginning of Spring and St. Paddy’s Day. I am challenging you to use GREEN as the main color in your project. I can’t wait to see what you create. Have fun and have a great week!
I must admit, my first thoughts turned to St. Patrick's Day, but then to a mushroom stamp that I recently bought and had not yet used.  From there, I immediately thought of another new stamp, this one a text stamp about a "magical place."  A smile crossed my face as I recollected the use of psychedelic mushrooms in years past to take one to a magical place!   I won't offer up a more detailed description of "trips" taken by some (not me!), but you can check any search engine for said mushrooms if you want more information.  

My project today is a card using green as my primary color.  

I used a white card base, added a piece of olive green card stock, then trimmed and added a quick and easy background by using a piece of designer scrapbook paper with some of the same green tones.  I stamped my mushroom using black Archival Ink and heat set it.  (I do this heat setting after using Archival Inks so that they are permanent and won't rub off onto my hands and transfer to unwanted areas of my project.)  I used a blending tool to add a bit of Wendy Vecchi's "Fern Green" Archival Ink (by Ranger) to the edges.

Next step is to stamp my dancer image directly onto my background paper.  Then, I stamped it again onto white card stock, where I colored it with a watercolor brush and a bit of ink pressed into the lid of my stamp pad.  Copic markers were used for the fleshtones.  I then cut out the image--minus the musical notes which will reappear when I  adhere it over the image on my card.  

I stamped the text stamp onto a scrap of background paper, then matted it with a scrap of the olive green card stock.  I popped it up on pop dots for a bit of dimension, and done! Here are the stamps I used:

This card is going to my daughter Michelle who a few months ago was brave enough to change jobs after more than 16 years with the same company.  She has joined a start-up company full of energy, enthusism and electricity--a magical place, if you will!  

I hope you will participate in this week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge.  You can read the rules and submit your work here.  At the end of the month, you will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win one of two $30 gift certificates from Stampotique Originals for any of their products.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I am proud to see the number of followers of this blog continuing to grow, and I appreciate each and every one of you and all of your supportive comments!

Today, I am pleased to host the Stampotique Designers' Challenge, and it is all about backgrounds!  Here are the details of this challenge. 
I am thrilled to be posting the challenge today!  That said, it is going to be a challenge with a bit of a twist.  This challenge is all about using texture in the background of your artful projects.  But, here’s the twist:  I am not challenging you to create a texture like mine, but challenging you to share with the rest of us through your art your “signature” or “go to” techniques for creating that texture in your backgrounds.  For example, Design Team member Coby vanWilligenburg has the ability to create amazing texture in a background by using Yupo (synthetic) paper and alcohol inks, yet her background remains as flat as a pancake!!  On the other hand, Design Team member Magda Polakow will create a textured background by building up many layers, yet it remains in the background and never overpowers her focal images.  So, share with us what YOU do to create that physical texture or just the appearance of it!  Above all, have fun!
A month or so ago, I bought some new Stampotique Originals' stamps.  Among them is the one I am using today.  OK, like so many others, I debated about buying it.  Not that it is of a nude and I am a prude, but because the nude is, shall we say, a bit "chubby"  (not unlike myself or so many of us who struggle maintaining a healthy weight).  In fact, when I posted online that I bought her, I received a few snickers and was challenged by one of my fellow Design Team members (who shall remain nameless, Coby!) to actually use it.  So, here I present "Rear View Mirror" and her companion text stamp "I'm not fat...".

Ah, but this challenge is all about backgrounds, so let me tell you how I created this one.  This past year, I attended a class led by Ranger Signature Designer Wendy Vecchi.  We learned so many techniques in this class, but one of my favorites is the "burnt edge" technique.  Here are Wendy's directions:  Ink over entire tag with Antique Linen.  Frame tag with Vintage Photo, then Walnut Stain, then Black Soot (all Ranger Distress Inks), moving further out with each darker color.  Use Tim's "distresser" on the tag edges, then add Black Soot to the edges to create a burned effect (click on the image to enlarge it and see the edge detail).  I used black Archival Ink to stamp my Stampotique image and text, and added a rub-on along the right side for both interest and balance.

Here's another quick and simple background.  I have been scrapbooking for about 15 years and have accumulated quite a collection of designer papers.  I continue to use them in other artful projects like tags, ATCs, art journaling and cards.  In this example, I have used a small strip of washi tape to ground my image, as well as two Stampotique Originals' stamps, "Bowtie" and "Clothes Text."  Everything else you see is just the paper itself.  


I hope you will play along with the Stampotique Design Team this week and share your favorite background techniques.  We have a lot to learn from each other!  You do not have to use Stampotique stamps in order to participate, but you do have to use clear and/or rubber stamps (no digi's).  By participating, at the end of the month you may just be the lucky winner of one of two $30 gift certificates for Stampotique products.  Come play!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Welcome to all the new followers of this blog!  I appreciate your being here, as well as your comments!

Well, today brings us another Stampotique Designers' Challenge, and our uber-talented Design Team member Tanja Kewel-Neef is our challenger.  Here is what Tanja has to say:
Hello crafty fellows, today it's my turn. I selected the theme monochromatic. Well, in fact it's a big challenge to myself.  I actually prefer it a little more colorful. But restrict myself to work tone in tone? First let's see the projects from the amazing Stampotiue Design Team. And now... Come on up! I'm longing to see all your stunning monochromatic artworks. Hugs Tanja
It is not usually difficult to add color to a project, but when one is restricted to using just a single color, it does become a challenge for most of us.  Understanding the definition of monochromatic gives one a bit more leeway:  monochromatic colors are all the colors (tints, tones and shades) of a single hue.

My project is based on orange, with the interpretation of lighter orange being yellow and darker orange being red.  I began by creating a monoprint using a Gelli Plate, stencils and acrylic paints in red, orange and yellow.  Once dry, I trimmed the print to the size I wanted for my card.  I used scraps to create a bit of visual interest on the bottom left and to provide grounding for my Stampotique Originals' image Midge.  Both Midge and the Stampotique quote (by Leonardo da Vinci) were stamped using Wendy Vecchi's archival ink in Orange Blossom (Ranger Products).  The same ink was used to edge the individual words of the quote.  A bit of matting and done!

I hope you will participate in the Stampotique Designers' Challenge this week and grab a chance to win one of two monthly $30 gift certificates from Stampotique Originals toward anything on their website.  Be sure to follow the submission rules here.