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Paper Leisure
The artistic journey of a chilean stamper
7th-Oct-2007 01:05 pm - Bye, Bye

This blog has officially moved to Wordpress.com :) This LJ will stay here for a while, until I export all of the entries to my wordpress account. So, go and check my new site :)

4th-Oct-2007 09:29 am - Sick :(
Well, no crafting and not too much study either, bleh. Yesterday morning I woke up with a really bad stomachache. Only since 7am I've been 5 times to the bathroom D:

I'll just watch tv for now, while I wait for a doctor. Then, I'll see if I can get in the mood to study for a while and then write a letter or maybe sketch some card design.

To make it worse, last night there was a huge blackout, the whole city was without light from 8pm tgo 1am (or so I think, I just know I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and there was light, LOL). It was a really boring day :(

Anyway, off to study.
1st-Oct-2007 10:51 pm - Sketch Filler #1 [card sketch]

Following the great example given to me by my dearest friend Laura, and now that I got Photoshop and we reconciliated after years of being separated (LOL), I decided to try my hand at sketching cards :)

Their main purpose right now is to be fillers for when I don't have time to post a card or some other project, and to serve as inspiration to all of you. I hope that, with time, this turns into a challenge of some sort. It'll also encourage me to sketch more and have some more ideas for my cards :)

This sketch has "08/05/07" on my sketchbook, it's obviously pretty old and the first one I made by myself. I don't know why the idea for this sketch has haunted me for months and I still haven't actually make it. Of course I had a lot of excuses: the set I had in mind ("Gently Falling", SU! retired) wasn't in my hands yet, I didn't had chipboard to make the big sign and then, I was a mess at stitching. Now I have set, as a personal challenge, to make this card as soon as I can, so it'll get out of my brain for once, leaving room for more ideas.

The layer on the left doesn't have to have a zig-zag edge, what I actually wanted to show was zig-zag stitching. Or could be doodling too (just thought of that one, lolz).

I also tried today (unsuccessfully) to install a small scrip that would make commenting easier for those non-LJ users who read me. I'll keep looking for an alternative for you, because I understand it can be somewhat of a bother to leave "anonymus" comments for you. I love to hear from you, so I won't stop looking for a script.

In the meantime, if you write me a comment, could you put your name on the Title bar? That way, when the e-mail notification arrives me, I can know who commented. I feel terribly wrong when someone comments on my cards and doesn't leave a name or weblog address because I don't know who to thank :(
30th-Sep-2007 01:47 pm - Pastel Paisley [artwork, basic grey, card]
Click for recipe and larger viewHello everyone! :) It's a cloudy and cold sunday here in Antofagasta, it seems that spring sure it's taking its time to arrive. I don't really care, summers are SO HOT here that I'm not looking forward to it, but I do like that daylight lasts more.

Anyway, it's the beggining of october and that also means the "beggining of the end" for us, law students. In october starts the last period of tests at my faculty and then, in November, final exams begins. Chaos, collapses, ultimate doom and etc.

So, I won't be able to do as many projects as I'd like but I'll keep updating and making cards and ATCs. I'll try to make more projects on weekends so I have more things to post on the week (every second day or so). I have my tests on fridays/saturdays morning, which would leave me weekends to rest and be crafty.

Well, onto today's project. This is a failed Trifold card that turned into a Criss-cross card :) On July I made a card for my dearest friend yuih. My intention was to make a trifold card, but I screwed up and scored wrong on the right side. I finished the card how I could and then I saw this whole "Criss-cross" card thing invading the blogs and galleries. I felt so smart because I had made something similar by mistake and decided I would try to make a criss cross card "again" :p

I started this card with this gorgeus paisley patterned paper from the Lilykate collection of Basic Grey. I have a small pack of 6x6 lying around for months and had only used it for a few projects. This paper deserved more love <3 I grabbed also one of the non-patterned sheets from the pack to cooordinate. The indigo (?) and light green cadstock are from a local paper pack (which I have to buy more, it has saved me many times already!).

Card base is a 4"x12" piece of indigo cardstock, scored at 4" and 8", in order to make a nice square criss-cross card. Then I cut the diagonals in the squares left of the side (so the whole piece looks like a trapezoid). Then I cutted a 3,75" square in the patterned paper and cut it diagonally, so the triangles would leave a 1/8" margin. Glued the flaps together and a small portion of the bottom of the card (so the insert wouldn't fall, LOL).

For the insert I cut a 3,5"x4,5" piece of the light green cardstock and added a 1" strip in the yellow paper, which I scalloped with my corner rounder (can't you tell I'm addicted? :D). I added a beige fabric flower and a paper flower I dyed myself with COPIC BV02 so it'd match the paper and added the small blue brad (since I don't have a small punch to make the hole for the brad, I used a pushpin to make a small hole on the paper). Then I adhered a small square of kent paper to write a sentiment.

Finish touch was the small light blue rounder clip with the tied ribbons, which are scraps my mother gave me because she does ribbon embroidery and always ends up with little pieces of ribbon here and there. The knot was hard, because the scraps are the size you see them in the picture, I didn't cut any of it.

Oh, and while I was enhancing my picture in Photoshop I decided to make myself a watermark :) Fonts are free from DaFont.com (Mutlu & 04b_03) and there's a small butterfly brush in the background (for now, I'll make myself an illustration soon). The watermark is actually pretty small (200px) but I enlarged 250% with Photoshop and it didn't got screwed, yay! I defined the watermark as a brush for PS so I could use it with any color ;p

I was thinking about making a small tutorial/walkthrough about how I clean my pictures in photoshop to be posted or about how I made my watermark (or maybe both, I don't know). I hope someone is interested :)
29th-Sep-2007 06:22 pm - Christmas already? [artwork, card, challenge, stampin up]
Click for larger vie and recipeThis card is for the Weekend Sketch Challenge #21 by the amazing Beate and was made using the tutorial she wrote. WOW, 21 weeks already? I remember I participated on the very first one :)

This is my first card using the "Merry & Bright" stamp set that appeared in the Holiday Mini by SU! And it's actually the first christmas card I make in *years*. When I was a freshmen in highschool I made christmas cards with cross-stitched motifs as the main image, but only for close friends and the guy I dated back then. This year, celebrating my "stamping anniversary"  I want to go back to make christmas cards, so this is the first of many (or so I hope).

Since "firsts" are important I wanted to try untraditional christmas colors, at least once, and I had this river rock/blue bayou/soft sky combo stuck in my mind for a few days until I had time to make it.

I'm not very good at following tutorials so I always end up screwing something up. On this one, the corners of the folder were a pain for me, lol. For the front of the card I made my "own" patterned paper stamping the snowflakes from the Merry & Bright set and a random snowflake I got as "Thursday Tip" prize in the OSA group (I knew that snowflake would come handy sometime!).

For the inside of the card I, as always, made a scalloped border using my corner rounder, stamped the snowman with black Staz-On and watercolored it with the same inks as the papers. Then I stamped the saying in Blue Bayou on the little tag... I'm very happy tht it turned out right where I wanted it! (which is a first to me, LOL).

To hold the folder closed I used a light blue fiber I had around, but I'll replace it with soft-sky stitched ribbon as soon as it arrives 'cause I just ordered some from Laura. Now I know what she meant when she said she loved SU! product because they're easier to combine together.

By the way, I tried a "different" kind of photography, using a complete white background (well, enhanced in photoshop <3) which I think shows the colors a lot better than my other pictures. I think I'll stick with this kind of picture for a while :) Thanks for looking!
28th-Sep-2007 11:00 am - Whatcha looking at? [atc, sketch, wip]

Cat SketchI was browsing through my Flickr and I found this drawing and realized I haven't blogged about it. I'm in my faculty's computers lab. I should be reading some text for a mini-test in the afternoon but it's sooooo boring and I have heard about the stuff in there since last year. Besides, it's totally useless by now (because the new civil process will see light in.. 6 years or so and i'll be graduated by then, why torture us *now*?).

This cat drawing is for the "Funky Cat Swap" (ATCards.com), I love cats and this is the first swap about them I join. We have to make a cat in every color *but* the normal ones a cat have. Although I love cats, it's been ages since I actually drew one, so this was a bit hard at first. I ended up basing on a cat illustration I found via Google. I don't know why but this cat look really pissed of being looked at, LOL (cats tend to have such a expression towards us, unworthy humans). I like it, though, and I guess he'll have to get used to the attention.

Since this is about strangely colored cats, I wanted to use a embossing resist technique on this one, combined with a watercolor background and reverse masking (or at least, I think it's named that). I want it to look like the "Mulberry Batik" technique on SCS, only withouth the mulberry paper, LOL.

This is why I was asking for clear/white embossing powder before, but I'm not sure if it'll turn out. I actually managed to trade some UM stamps for some white embossing powder and a little pink inkpad, the girl said she'd send it off today, so it'd be here in 15 days or so. Deadline for the swap is Nov. 16th and I prefer to send my cards 3-4 weeks before deadline, so they have time to arrive or I have time to re-make then if they got lost (which has never actuall happened). 

And I'm not even counting "test" time, LOL. It'll be the first time I heat emboss and I'm looking forward to some messy trials. I don't actually have a heatgun even, but I know from the personal experience of Heather Taylor that it *IS* possible to heat emboss in a toaster oven, so hope isn't lost! :p

I have a dentist appointment today, soo not looking forward to that. Take care and thanks for looking! :)

27th-Sep-2007 10:42 pm - Yatta!! [artwork, atc, wip]
By now, everyone and their mothers know that "Yatta" means "I did it!!" (Hiro, my favourite character from the Heroes t.v show, popularized the word). And it was like I totally felt today, when FINALLY Claudio brought me the damned toner photocopies of images I printed.

Milly, the colorless blender thing didn't worked for me :( I tried several times with different images and different papers and solvents until I found one that worked. My best results were on a smooth paper (for marker coloring) and using nail polish remover as my transfering medium, LOL. I found that better results are achieved when rubbing nail polish remover both on the front of the paper where I wanted to transfer the image and then on the back of the image to transfer. I even could transfer some color from some laser photocopies :)

On the left one I applied solvent both in the paper to transfer and in the back of the image and scrubbed with a spoon. On the right one it was only on the back of the image to transfer.

My only complaint is that toner photocopies are really expensive. I mean, it is $1 for one letter sized sheet, and it was $0.50 for the laser photocopies, which is also pretty expensive for me. I mean, being a student I'm used to photocopy for 2c each one on photocopy center around the university. I'm not really used to this thing of going to professional photocopy center.

I'll have to go, though. Because in my experiments I used almost all the images I had in mind for the definitive ATCs. I'll work on getting a better "collage sheet" over the weekend so I can send it to photocopy on monday or so :3 I want to paint a background for them and then transfer the images.

Argh, I always make it so hard on myself on just little card. I should probably start making easier things for trades, so I won't take so much time doing then. And my hand were sore for scrubbing so hard with a spoon D:
As I mentioned, a friend of mine is having her birthday. Her name is Dafne, she's a year older than me, but we ended up being classmates :p She loves the color pink and she is known as "bunny" by everyone (and she's quite known! she is very kind and knows people from every corner of Antofagasta, LOL).

Yesterday I also received some new rubbah and wanted to use it right away, so I got busy right away. I find it easier to create cards if I have a color combination and a card sketch, so I grabbed this patterned paper (K&Co I think it is, for what Laura told me). From the endless color combination it offered I choosed purely pomegranate and soft sky, haven't even touched the firt one and soft sky is my favourite! I can tell because I'm running out of that one :(.

Having my color combination ready I browsed around and based on an old sketch challenge by Beate.

I used the patterned paper as my first layer and faux stitched the border, though it's barely noticeable because my sister borrowed me a white gel pen and it seems she's also running out. Over it I added a small square of light brown textured opaline (again a failure to match the cream color in the DP, grr) stamped with a big swirl in soft sky ink and small flower in purely pomegranate, both stamps from the Baroque Motifs set I just received <3

I wanted to change a little my very used bunny stamp, so I masked out the dandellion (I put masking tape on the stamp, inked and removed the tape) and instead added a small paper punched flower in the same patterned paper from the first layer. The white scalloped square was punched by Laura and she kindly send some samples to me (OMG, I'm so spoiled :p) so I don'tknow exactly what punch it is.

And that's it, I'm ready for saturday's party :D

(I took this picture with Claudio's camera since my sister just told me yesterday that she broke ours. Crap.)
25th-Sep-2007 06:16 pm - Unmounting SU! [blogging, personal, stampin up]
Today I received my first  "stamps" order from Laura. It's the "Merry & Bright" set from the Holiday Mini Catalog by SU! and the Baroque Motifs set, which is already very popular and I have resisted since July :p I'll take pictures later because my sister asked the camera for a trip with her classmates and she left it at one of the girls home. She's so careless for that kind of things.

I asked Laura to send me only the rubber and the stickers for index, since the case and the woodblocks would only mean bulk and more shipping expenses. Laura is so nice that she did so and also included a bag full om awesomeness, like paper flowers in every color and size, punched papers and other little amazing things.

Since I wanted to "de-virginize" my stamps right away I needed and idea for a card. I had the best excuse: a friend is having her birthday on saturday :p So, I grabbed Baroque Motifs and separated the stamps following the default trims in the rubber. I don't feel comfident enough to trim them myself, so I have to wait until Claudio arrives :(

I had THE worst time using the foam backing fro the sets to adhere the stamps onto the CD case I use as acrylic block. Since that foam is intended for permanent stick on a woodblock it was really sticky, and it was a pain the take the stamps off the case. Even my arms hurt, because I thought that by rubbing them to my bare arm would take out some of the stickyness. Wrong D:

I didn't want to separate the gray foam from the rubber, though. My folks always try to keep things just like they received, some stuff even had the original stickers still after 10 years! (those stickers from TV, DVD players, etc that number all the features). Eventually I gave up, stuck the stamps on the microwave for 10 seconds and voila, that gray and damn sticky stuff was out of my sight in less than 3 minutes.

For now, I'll use the stamps with repositionable double sided tape. I guess I should start organizing my um's (currently in ziploc bags) and start thinking of a better way to use them. CD cases crack when I press hard and tape runs out way too fast. So, I was thinking in a Tack n' Peel + Acrylic Block set (ArtNeko has one for $17.95 but if you know a better deal, PLEASE let me know :D).

(Edited to add picture)
22nd-Sep-2007 12:50 pm - Image Transfer (*update*) [blogging, misc.]
ETA: If someone has clear/white embossing powder to spear... could you send me a small sample? I really really want to make some ATCs (3 actually) with embossing resist and $10 (jar + shipping)  seems too much for a little jar >.<! hope someone can help!

Also known as "My last and ultimate artistic frustratioh. Gah". I have two make 2 ATCs for a trade with a user on ATCards.com. My first intention was to draw and paint with watercolors, as always, but for some reason the subject of the cards didn't turned out fine =/ (vintage nudes, lawl).

Since collage isn't my thing I didn't know what to do. That until I was surfing some links posted on the Art Discussion forum and it came to me: image transfer. It seemed nice, because I could paint my background and apply the picture over and it'd look ancient and distressed and pretty.  Besides, it seemed like a easy technique.

EASY my @$$ :(

I tried first printing with my inkjet printer over the smoth side of a transparecy the rubbing it on the paper with a popsickle. While this worked on a small image with only one color (black, and white background) it didn't turned out with a more complex one :( Then I tried printing on a normal paper and rubbing alcohol over the image (partially worked, probably because the image was printed way before). Finally, normal paper and acetone (no luck at all with this one, LOL).

Most of the sites I browsed on Google mentioned that it worked with laser photocopies (color or b&w). I'd have to try that on monday after my classes. I have to go send some envelopes and there are many printers and photocopy centers in the way :) Other sites talked about inkjet printing over photo paper.

Does anyone ese have a tip on image transfer? I would appreciate anything that uses common and cheap materiales.
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