Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Leap Year Technique of the Week: Adirondack(r) Pigment Ink Stamp Pads

Happy Tuesday! I've not done a Technique of the Week lately, but was itching to play with these Maya Road Sheer Sheets. I'm not sure what Caroline and Deborah initially thought how these should be used, but I instantly looked at these suckers as stencils or masks! So, what I've got here are coordinating Adirondack(r) Pigment Ink Pads in Cloudy Blue/Sail Boat Blue and Denim; I wanted opaque coverage on the watercolor tag that I created from an AccuCut(r) tag die, plus Ink Blending Tools and Foam.

Here's a close-up of one of the Sheer Sheets. At CHA I played with one that is filled with a wonderful collage of butterflies. They also have swirls, stars, hibiscus-like flowers and some hearts n' swirls....they are such a nice and sturdy vinyl (I think vinyl?); the bottom line is that you can really work with these things. They are sturdy. The key to this is to use as a stencil/mask you will need to really hold or use a repositionable adhesive if it's too much of a gorilla for you to hold onto!

Step One: Using the lightest color of pigment ink, load up the foam with the ink (you will have more control doing it this way than direct from the pad as too much ink may "squish" under the Sheer Sheet.

Here's a close-up of the application of the first color. Since I'm my own photographer, I couldn't hold the Sheer Sheet and ink at the same time, so something had to give...! What is important to remember is that you are more or less "pouncing" in an "up and down" motion, applying the ink; NOT in a circular motion as you would when edging cardstock, as you will bend or move the stencil. Trust me on this!

Here's what the finished layer looks like. Now, on its own, this would be great for a nice spring card,
Easter card (remember, Easter's early this year!), Baby card, etc. It's a nice bold image that can be overstamped or used as a background for a photo. You get the picture!

Step Two: Okay, now to the next color-the Brights! In this case, Sail Boat Blue. If you have the time, quick mist the Sheer Sheet with water to wash off the first color of pigment ink. It's not a big deal, but just makes less ink transfer to the next color. You can use the same Blending Foam, but if I was going to make a bunch of these, I'd probably have a different foam for each color. Now-the key to this fun look is to move the Sheer Sheet just a bit so it is a little bit off register from the initial ink application.

Here's another close-up to see what it how "off" it needs to be moved to make an impact.

See how great this looks? You can click on the photo and it should open up to the much larger file. In case you can't, here's another close-up!

Step Three: Okay, you know where the next one is going. Repeat what you've done in the previous steps, cleaning off the stencil again, replacing the stencil but moving it AGAIN so that the third layer, the Denim Adirondack Pigment will not overtake the rest of the colors...it's almost going to look like 3-D!

Here's another close-up; again; it's just a subtle layering of color, but in the end, boy does it pop!

See how it looks? Get those crazy 3-D glasses out (no, not really!). I just love the look of all the colors. I've broken this tag down to most simple of finished products, but you can conceivably create an entire 12" x 12" page, then use it for die cuts for title pages, layers for a card or scrapbook page. You can create the look almost old, vintage wall paper by using Distress Inks(tm) (my mind is now thinking of too many things...one at a time!).

For the finished tag, I just stamped a sentiment from Impression Obsession with the Denim Ink (yes, I know I included an Archival Pad on the initial photo, but, what the heck-it's my technique to show and I changed my mind :-)!). With the Ink Blending Foams containing the Cloudy Blue and Sail Boat Blue, ripped the edges around the stamped square and edged it.

I hope you like this technique! Once the Pigment Inks and Sheer Sheets are out, I'd love to see what YOU create!

Inky Hugs, Robin

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Show n' Tell Sunday!

Happy Sunday...I've had a good and lazy Sunday of catching up on sleep. God Forbid I do something like clean the house. What fun is that when all of the "Oscar" movies are showing on TCM? Nothing's better than vintage movies with no commercials!

Besides that, I wanted to share the most awesome of kitschy presents I received the the uber-talented Terri Ventura. She makes these, so if you're interested, please contact her! It's a wonderful purse that she collaged, laminated, riveted, snapped...I can't wait to use it. She also made a neat billfold with a fun image that was already all glittery, but anything can be made that sparkly with Stickles(tm)! I am so honored to have received this...watch out, Terri!

A while ago I made my friend Ginny Smallenberg a Bandanna Plaque which safely made its way to Ohio and is displayed in her beautiful studio (you want to see an exquisitely decorated house, check out her blog)! Well I was bestowed with some cool items from her Small Studio Productions' online store. My hands are twitching as to what to make with all of these things, especially the Post Office Door Box. It looks like a robot face of sorts...I'll mull it over a while until I find the right box or piece to entrust and decorate it upon.

Also check out the Bead Bloggers Extraordinaire! With my being at CHA and on the road, I've been remiss in posting these lovely, talented ladies, so enjoy!
  • About.com Jewelry Making Tammy updates you on some of the latest discussions going on over at the Jewelry Making Forum.
  • Art Bead Scene Here's a tool just "bent" on becoming your favorite!
  • Jewelry & Beading Heather Powers of Humblebeads catches us up on what's going on with her this spring!
  • Katie's Beading Blog Katie's giving away 2 copies of Vintage Style Jewelry from the editors of Bead & Button. Comment on her post to be included in the drawing!
  • PearlEsq. Read Robin's funny stories of her latest CHA trip and what a friend of hers has deemed, "Nailgate"!
  • Savvy Crafter Candie’s sharing the dove-love over on her blog! Check out a pair of earrings she made using peaceful dove chandelier findings. While you’re there, leave a comment for a chance to win your own dove charms!
  • Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean made a pretty spring-like necklace using a Russian bead and Vintaj findings. It is titled, "Looking Out Her Window".
  • The Impatient Blogger Margot shares stories of her first day at CHA (The Craft and Hobby Association Show) and why she prefers to do "fake demos" at book signings.

Have a Beadylicious Week!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tinsel-rrific Fun Saturday!

Happy Weekend, Everyone! I had a fun day today teaching at Tinsel Trading in NYC. It's a great set up with a nice long table where you can sit or stand and work. There was a wonderful group of ladies, all new people to me (yay!) that got to Distress, collage, Alcohol Ink, Bandanna and Memory Glass & Frame their hearts out! I love introducing new people to the fun that can be created with these products. One of the things we did was Distress Photo Tinting; this is a picture of my grandfather, when he was 2 years old...1914. I recently found it and just love how cute he is with his teddy bear!

Remember me showing this "Medallion" piece? This was the first time I had come up with this, and I thank Tinsel Trading for the wonderful Dresden dimensional images in silver and gold that they have at the store. As soon as I saw these, I saw Alcohol Ink. I also want to try coloring these in with the Adirondack(r) Pigment Pens. When I was at the store today I found some wonderful wings...but now looking on the website, I've gotta see if they have some of these other images in stock (the Oriental lanterns!!!).

Here's a picture of the class on the famous "stairs" at the "Store Across the Street"...yep, that's the name of it! Fun, huh? It's a little blurry, but you get the picture, pun definitely intended! I also received a wonderful surprise from Terri Ventura (top of the stairs, to the far right, with cool necklace on!). It's this awesome purse and billfold that I'll take some pictures of and will post in the next few days. I'm beside myself! Terri makes the most awesome and unique jewelry, all out of vintage pieces. She also teaches some great classes...check them out!

I also got to spend some time talking to a most amazing milliner, Heather Huey. When you see the most amazing designs in the high end fashion magazines and in movies such as The Devil Wears Prada (love Meryl Streep in this movie!), it's so wonderful to meet someone that creates these types of unbelievable designs. I can now say that I've met a milliner!

I also received the most wonderful surprise-my friend Nadine (a.k.a. Hot Wheels) surprised me at the end of my class (for those with a score card, this is Foofy Toes' Mommy!). After cleaning up and doing a little bit of Tinsel Trading Shopping, we headed to a nearby deli, where we noshed on a wonderfully typical delicious NYC deli meal. I was a good girlfriend and brought chicken soup, sandwich and Dr. Brown's Diet Black Cherry Soda for Mr. B and we watched Michael Clayton on DVD. I think George Clooney was awesome in this movie. I'm behind on the movies, and from what I hear he has no chance to win, but the movie really kept me reeled in the entire time. Tom Wilkinson deservedly was nominated for the upcoming Oscars, but for the life of me, I don't understand Tilda Swinton's nomination. What do I know?

I'm ready to wind down for the evening, but was so excited about today, had to share! I've got classes down the road and will list them shortly. Enjoy your Sunday!

Tinsel Hugs, Robin

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Scooter" takes out Anaheim Marriott Starbucks

As promised, my friends, is another of my fun-filled stories of my trials and tribulations of Winter CHA 2008. As you know, a few weeks ago, of course, when it's most critical for getting ready for this show, I tore my medial meniscus in my right knee. A "scooter" was ordered for me to use at the show. I have to say, I don't know what I'd have done without it. Even with this assistance, I still had quite a swollen leg, which is much, much better at the moment!

Needless to say, I did not get any lessons on using this thing. The bellman went to the storage area at the hotel and said, "Sweeeeet!"...and proceeded to almost pop wheelies and goodness knows what other tricks. I've gotta say, I can't believe there was not even a small booklet to tell you the "basics" of this thing. It took me freaking 15 minutes to find the darn plug to charge it up at night. Note, there's not brake on this; just a hand pedal or level to push with the right thumb to go forward, and a matching lever for my left hand to push to go in reverse. Stopping? Uhm, let go of the lever and hope you let it go in time to stop. I think you could do an emergency stop if you pushed the "opposite" lever, but if you hit that one for too long, you'd start going in the opposite direction you had been going. For speed? on the left side, a picture of a tortoise...and for the fastest speed? You got it...a hare! It did have an awesome steering radius and....a basket!

Anyway, we were staying at the Anaheim Marriott, complete with a Starbucks; it was not Dunkin' Donuts, but no problem...it's caffeine, and I have my choice of favored beverages at both places! It was the first day of the show (I'm trying to blur this out of my head) and my roomie Dawn and I had breakfast at the hotel restaurant first; then to Starbucks, waiting in line to get my buddie Nadine her Vanilla Latte. I don't like to bring a purse to these shows, so I used my well-worn denim backpack...I proceed to move it from my (cool) basket, to the "floor" of my scooter and one of the $*&^%#@*& straps hooks onto the REVERSE lever. Needless to say, I was at somewhat of a loss for a few seconds, not realizing what was happening, starting to pick up speed, mind you, into the LINE OF PEOPLE BEHIND ME. I got a few dirty looks and was able to collect myself in the milli-seconds that passed and stop. No one was hurt, other than my pride. Many apologies of telling people I'd only had this thing a day and that I was still trying to get the hang of it, and then there were a few laughs.

Okay, day one. I never thought I'd make it through with this thing. I was having flashbacks of Seinfeld and George Costanza and the Rascal Scooter "chase". Except, everyone is running away.... To add insult to injury, the door thresholds in the hotel rooms were small mountains! While the rooms are nice, there's not a lot of "turnaround" room for a scooter. And those things are HEAVY! One day I "scootered" back (by the way, my nickname at the show, as deemed by my "friend" Tim was "Scooter") to the room, I was trying to turn around and I think almost took one of the beds with me!

Yes, it was comical....all of it, I have to say. I do, though, have a NEW appreciation for those in the scooters. I tried my best to stop, look and listen at all tradeshow intersections and not to pass improperly. I always remembered at consumer/retail shows with women in the scooters and they being right up the heels of your feet and my always thinking, "Hey, you're sitting, I'm walking, be patient." I tried to follow that...I really did!

Well, I'm glad you're all enjoying my stories. The scooter story really was an ongoing procession of learning how to steer this thing. For instance...elevators...difficult when you're by yourself! Stopping? There's a reason for bumpers on those things. Hotel Room doors? It's hard to open them up and then get out of the room (remember that door threshold!). Well, in the end, it was a lifesaver...

I'll be following up with pictures from the Ranger booth that I'll try and get downloaded. I'm prepping for my class at Tinsel Trading this Saturday...there's still openings, and it will surely be a blast!

Happy Trails,

Robin (Scooter)

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm Baaaaack! Crappy Fingernails and All!

Hello, Everyone! I think I've almost found the light again...this is a different, post-CHA tunnel, not the pre-CHA one! As always, it was a blast. There's never enough time to catch up with everyone. I'm so glad to have made so many friends and aquaintances in this industry, but it gets so hard to catch up with everyone. To all of you that I didn't get to really spend the time with to catch up, I hope you understand. To those that I did get to spend some time with, yee hah!

I have many crazy, typical "happens only to me" stories to share. The first one I must mention is referenced in the blog title of today. My nails. They are ugly. They are awful. They are crappy. Did I say they were ugly? I got the bad nails side of the family (thanks, Mom!), not my dad's side of the family, where people have asked my Dad repeatedly over the years if he gets manicures (to which he happy lies and says, "of course!"). I also have a bad habit, especially when nervous, at picking at my nails. What can I say, it is what it is. I should walk around with gloves to stop, I know. My nails are also icky from the repeated scrubbing they get from being inundated with ink. blah, blah, blah.

Needless to say, the day before I left for the show, I got a manicure. More or less a "please clean this mess called my nails up as best as you can, I'll give you a good tip". She actually did clean them up. I cannot do the fake nail thing. I have no ability to then feel anything... With each new day of demos at the show and repeated cleaning and scrubbing of my nails every day, they got pretty...um...ugly again. So what happened on Tuesday? I was asked late in the day to do a quick, on the fly demo on video for The Pink Donut. When you check it out, please enjoy the lovely bags under my eyes which probably could pack an around the world trip and of course, my lovely nails...NOT! Needless to say, someone actually contacted my office about how awful my nails were...I did feel embarrassed about it, but geez, cut me a break! Now I'm nervous about how my hands looked when I taped Wednesday morning with Ana and Megan Araujo for When Creativity Knocks-they did such a great job...don't forget to check 'em out when they get rolling with their webisodes online.

So, hope you got a laugh out of Story #1. The next installment of "Robin goes to CHA" will be entitled: "Scooter takes out Anaheim Marriott Starbucks". Enjoy your evening!


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Last Minute Stuff...Famous Last Words!

Well, I'm still finding things to do, boys and girls! I'm so happy, though, that my list is getting shorter, I think! I'm psyched to bring my jewelry and other samples to the show as well as seeing all of my friends and the new products.

One of the things I'm going to be doing is taping a segment with one of my bestest friends, Ana Araujo with her new show, When Creativity Knocks. I'm so proud of what Ana's done, and her daugher, Megan, will be her co-host. It's a great concept and I hope those of you attending CHA will definitely watch when she tapes around the show. I'll be taping my segment first thing in the morning on the last day of the show, February 13th.

When I get back, though, I will be at Paper-Potamus doing a workshop with Lance of Rusty Pickle and my buddy, Jen Starr, who's also going to be doing our Perfect Pearls(tm) Challenge at the booth. For those that do the Make and Take with Jen and provide their store business card, you will get a chance for an all-expense paid trip (not to exceeed $1,000) to Ranger U! Cool, huh!? Those taking part in the MITI (make it take it) will also get a little package of product to demo with back at their store.

On February 23rd, I'm teaching at Tinsel Trading! I'm going to be teaching a bunch of techniques, many I've not taught before, to create Memory Glass(tm) Jewelry. The Medallion Necklace shown is special for Tinsel Trading and will incorporate their product-I LOVED how this turned out. Check it out-hope to see you there!

Enjoy your evening! Robin

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Bee's Knees, Bling'in Saturday & Beady Links

Happy Saturday! those getting ready for CHA, I know you know that it starts a week from tomorrow! We'll be leaving bright and early on Friday and will be back the following Friday. I always say getting ready for this show is like preparing for a wedding-in the blink of an eye, it's over!

As for those that have been so sweet in asking me about my knee, I did in fact follow up with the orthopedist, and as suspected, I do have a torn medial meniscus in my right knee. At least this knee is not as bad as my left one, but the timing of this could not be worse. It's also my body telling me to "lighten the load", but one thing at a time! So, sometime this spring I'll likely be going in for arthroscopic surgery for the right knee. So, don't make too much fun of me at the show when you see me wheeling around in a scooter...and I apologize now for anyone I may run over!

Those that check Ranger's website, regularly, know that the front page is updated every month. Since that's Marketing's Department, I always am not aware of what's going up in a particular month. I was happy to see that my Perfect Pearls(tm) sample is being featured. I like this one because it does show all the things that you can so easily do with this product: the flowers are painted in, the sentiment is stamped with Perfect Medium(tm) and dusted on and the Cuttlebug dry embossed background is covered with Perfect Medium as well and dusted. Also don't forget about the pearly splotches! Instructions are on the site; if anyone has any questions, let me know!

Being only a week away from CHA, it's probably not out of line to tell you what's new from Ranger! We've finally got a new pigment ink! Adirondack(r) Pigment Ink Stamp Pads will start out with the coordinating Lights/Brights/Earthtones for the following colors: Cranberry/Terra Cotta/Butterscotch/Bottle/Denim/Eggplant. There's also Pitch Black and Snow Cap. I've probably worked with them the most and I really like them! We've also got the Inkssentials(tm) White Opaque Pen and the Inkssentials(tm) Craft Spinner, which will hold eight of the Ink Blending Tools for the Blending Foam or Alcohol Ink Felt! I love the retro look of it. You've probably seen Tim using it during demos, etc. I'll be demoing on how to work with the pigment inks as well as the other coordinating Adirondack(r) products (dye inks and acrylic paint dabbers).

Finally, definitely stop by Ranger's Booth (4264) and also check out Amate's booth (4871); I've worked with them, as I've said previously, and will have over 30 samples of finished Glossy Accents(tm) Collage pendant bracelets and UTEE(tm) pendant necklaces between the two booths. I was so glad to finally get this jewelry completed and photographed. They, as well as Beadalon and Stampers Anonymous have also been so wonderful in providing donations for the Jewelry class that Suze and I will be teaching at the show.

In addition, also find this week's list of Beady Links-Enjoy!

About.com Jewelry Making Tammy's got a new book review posted, and it's all about links. In fact, it is written by a fellow Bead Babe. Way to go, Jean!
Art Bead Scene It's Studio Saturday at ABS! Take a look inside the colorful studio of Creative Impressions in Clay!
PearlEsq. Robin's seeing the end of the CHA prep tunnel with a Bead Crochet Creation to share!
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Margot Potter initially told the tale of the Kazuri beads in Simply Beads Magazine which Jean remembers reading about, and recalls here. Jean shows a photo of a green necklace her aunt requested her to design which led her to choose these stunning ceramic hand-made beauties!
The Impatient Blogger The gang that brought you Ormament Thursday is back with monthly themed projects to jump start your creativity. Check out Margot's project and a link to the bevy of beautiful designs from our talented roster of artists!