Monday, June 29, 2009

Ink Potion No. 9

If you are of a certain age, you'll be humming along to the name of this new product by Tsukineko: Ink Potion No. 9. This blending solution works with any water soluable medium for making stunning faux watercolor images and washes. Marilynn, our watercolor queen, will be sharing lots of tips and techniques for using this solution during our FREE Learn at Lunch demo tomorrow (Tuesday) from 12-2.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

An evening with Impression Obsession

We had a full house and a great time! Poor Mitra (the owner of Impression Obsession rubber stamp company) had a heck of a time getting here from Williamsburg. Her company is scheduled to be in two conventions this weekend - one here at the Dulles Expo Center and one in Florida! So cars were being switched and keys exchanged and in all the craziness, Mitra arrived and completely WOWed us with her techniques. It one point, I just had to interrupt to lead a round of applause. She had tons of brilliant ideas I had never thought of before.

One of her ideas was for inking a stamp with multiple colors. We will often do that with markers, but then you have to stop and color again between every impression. That takes a long time if you're trying to mass produce. She showed us how to make a custom ink pad with the colors we want in it so we can just stamp over and over and over in much less time. Cut n Dry felt is my new best friend! In this photo, Mitra is demonstrating Flower Soft. She brought in a sample of the old fashioned Raggedy Ann doll with the hair Flower Softed in Poppy Red. It was absolutely stunning, and had I not been so enraptured with what she was saying, I would have remembered to get a picture. Sorry about that!

We very much hope to have her back soon. The travel schedule these artists maintain is completely crazy, so it's hard to say when. But, if you see a listing for her return, DO NOT miss it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oh, how I wish!

This little bunny from A Muse looks like she might actually be able to grant wishes! I'm thinking this card would be fun to send in a round robin. Send it to the first person with just your location and name. Ask them to send it on from their "location" to another friend and so on. It would be fun to see where all the bunny could travel. In addition to the A Muse stamps, this card features Copic markers, Memory Box papers and the Ticket squeeze punch from Fiskars. Remember, these punches are weighted and are intended to be used on a table top, not "waved around" in the air. They're much harder to use when you wave them - although they might count for aerobic activity if you use them that way! Come see what I mean at the FREE make-and-take tomorrow. Also note that from 6 - 8 PM tomorrow (Thursday), Mitra Friant from Impression Obsession will be here with two free demos and a huge trunk show. This may impact the availability of the make-and-take, so come early if you can, then stay for the demos!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It can't be over!

The past four days of workshops with Fred B. Mullett were absolutely incredible! How can a person combine such artistry with such organizational prowess? His classes were four hours long, and crammed with information - the man's knowledge has no limit. But, he's been doing this long enough to know that in the midst of the four hours, there needs to be shopping and chocolate breaks and the occasional prize - and he provided all three!

I also loved his set up. You had seats to do your detailed work, but for the big, messy steps, he had a separate station where you could stand and "fling". It was nice for stretching, and also for keeping your own area relatively tidy. He brought in these risers for our tables to make standing and working very easy. I'm telling you, he's thought of everything!

At the end of four days, we had to hold each other up. It's a marathon! But, as they say, it's a good tired! We sold out of nearly everything we had, but I'm placing another order as I type (multi-tasker that I am). If you missed taking his classes, you might want to get a stamp sometime and give it a try. The images are very forgiving and are ideal for watercolor (or Twinks), coloring with markers, embossing, bleaching - virtually anything you can think of, his stamps can be used for. Oh what fun!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Art of Paper Quilting

Washi Paper Quilting is baased on a traditional Japanese doll making technique called kime-komi. Japanese kimono fabric is used on the dolls, but we will be using handmade washi papers instead to create these unique 3-D cards. Hanko Designs has a pattern book and pattern kits, but you can also use brass stencils as patterns. Angela will show you both techniques during the FREE learn at lunch demo on Tuesday from 12-2. No registration is required, so hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Memory Box Contest

Hi guys, guest blogger Laura here. I wanted to let everyone know that it is my month to host the $100 Memory Box Bucks contest. I think it would be outstanding if a customer from Angela's store would win!

For more information on the contest, you can check out the rules on my Color Whimsy blog here.

Basically, you need to make a card using at least one of the new Memory Box clear sets. This month's Hall of Fame theme is Memory Box, and I noticed that people have submitted cards using the clear sets. Why not enter one of those cards for the $100 contest as well?

The card I am posting today uses the new BBQ Penguin Clear set. Isn't he cute? It is hard to tell from the picture, but I used a black glaze pen for the grill. It really made it look like metal.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sending Smiles

For our FREE Thursday make-and-take, we're using the Hero Arts Four Dolls set. This set is so popular, we've had a very hard time keeping it in stock. This time, we hid it :-) So there should be some for your shopping pleasure. You'll notice the background is very soft - almost "fuzzy" looking. That's actually printed vellum. I took several shots of this picture because I kept thinking I was moving the camera - only to discover that it was NOT "user error". Join us for some fun that is sure to make you smile!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Look at the POP!

Metallic colored pencils are yet another tool in the arsenal of ways to make your stamped images really POP! Of course, you can color with them on light card stock to add a nice shimmer to your projects, but look at how great they look on dark card stock! I've even used mine to color on velvet paper and loved the look I've achieved. In our FREE Learn at Lunch demo tomorrow, Jean will be showing how different the metallic colored pencils look from the Smooches (which are a metallic ink that also look good on dark papers). Give your cards a "tan" this summer by brining out the dark card stock and leaving the white at home! Stop in Tuesday between 12 - 2 and see what I mean.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Mystery of Fishboy

Just who is this artist that goes by the moniker Fishboy? The last time I talked to him on the phone he shared that one of our other favorite artists (and one of his best friends) Michael Jacobs was coming over to help him cut card stock for his upcoming classes. What an interesting life! Fred B. Mullett describes himself as a member of the Nature Printing Society, arts educator, Master Mixologist, ex-part-time actor, and owner of at least one rubber stamp company.
One of my favorite parts of this hobby/addiction is getting to meet the characters who make the hobby what it is. Wouldn't you agree? And I'm thrilled that so many agree to visit us here rather than our having to travel to where they are. In the past 6 years, we've hosted artists from Florida, two from Oklahoma, California, New Jersey, Arizona, Ontario, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, 3 from relatively local places and at least 5 from Washington State! Think of all the money we've saved!
Fred will be here June 19 - 22. We have at least one opening in all of his classes except Sunday. If you don't want to miss out on getting to know Fishboy, give us a call and reserve your space today! Details for the classes are available on our web site.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The beauty of this card is in the patterned paper - not only in the background, but also the one the image was stamped on. I don't remember to do that enough - there's no law that says you have to stamp on solid colored card stock! Add just a hint of marker and a few gems (because no card is finished without a little sparkle) and you're done! If you love the look of Memory Box cards, then you really shouldn't miss the opportunity to take classes with the owner and designer of Memory Box, Dave Brethauer. He'll be here with a series of colored pencil and watercolor workshops on August 9. More details are available on our web site. But until then, stop by this Thursday any time and whip up this card - you'll even have time left over for shopping!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Oh, the Possibilities!

....with Nestabilities! Jean has been having a ball this week cutting and embossing shapes and creating frames with these incredibly versatile tools! These dies can be used with virtually any personal die-cutting system. And you won't believe the variety of shapes you can choose from. Come and play and see how easy it is to create unique frames and mats for your stamped art or even photos! The demo is free from 12 - 2 on Tuesday, June 9, and no reservation is required.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ahhh, summer!

For our first FREE make-and-take of June, it seems fitting to visit the shore! These stamps come together in a set from Stacy Stamps, and they make fantastic cards for men - always a hard thing to do, in my opinion! I can almost feel the gentle breezes blowing from here. Let one blow you in here to make a card for yourself!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hugs and Smooches

Jean is back and will be leading our Tuesday Learn at Lunch tomorrow from 12-2. She'll be playing with Clearsnap Smooches. Smooches are highly metallic inks that come in convenient "nail polish" shaped bottles with extra fine tips. While she was gone, I started playing with them a bit myself (the samples to the left are mine, so the cards you'll be playing with tomorrow will be different). Some of the things I liked about them were how well they worked on metal charms (I colored the honey pot charm to match the card) and how brilliantly they showed up on dark colored card stock (I stamped and embossed with white on the black then accented with Siren Smooch). They are kind of addictive - I'm warning you now! Come see for yourself.