Monday, November 10, 2008

Stampin' Up! Rub-Ons are 20% Off until 30 November 2008

Yes, that's right, Stampin' Up! have two promotions running this month: Individual Markers and 20% off Rub-Ons.

"What is a Rub-On?" I can hear some of you asking. They aren't stickers, they are more like transfers that you apply to your card stock by rubbing them with a "Paddle Pop" stick. They are very popular with scrapbookers who might not have discovered the joy of stamping (yet).

You may be wondering what Rub-Ons are useful for, especially if you're a passionate stamper. In short, why Rub when you can Stamp? Well, Rub-Ons can be applied to many surfaces, such as glass, ceramics, ribbons and textured cardstock. Please forgive me for the quality of the picture but here's a Piggy Bank decorated with a Rub-On:

And here is an example of a Rub-On applied to satin ribbon:

(With thanks to Cassandra Grambau for image and Kendall Joyce for card design)

Notice how the Rub-On above is white? Well Rub-Ons are a quick and easy way to get a solid white image. Much faster than first stamping in Versamark and then embossing with white embossing powder.

Rub-Ons are a good way to get started with paper-craft. With some card stock, Designer Series Paper and rub-ons, you can create a card or scrapbook layout. No stamps or ink pads needed!

Rub-Ons are also very easy to position on the page or card. Because you can see exactly where the Rub-On will be applied, it is easy to create titles from alphabet rub-ons. No need for a stamp positioner. Anyway, better stop there before I convince you not to buy stamps ever again :(

So what's good about Stampin' Up!'s Rub-Ons? Firstly, they co-ordinate with SU! stamp sets and papers but they are also of a high quality. In my experience, SU! Rub-Ons are better than other brands of Rub-Ons for several reasons. For starters, they actually transfer on with ease. With some brands of Rub-Ons, no matter how much you rub the image, some parts of it won't transfer. But SU! Rub-Ons are also less likely to accidentally transfer onto backing/other unintended paper and to crack in storage as well. Price wise, they are 2/3 the price of other premium brands such as Basic Grey (on a per square cm basis).

Anyway, if I've got you interested, there are 5 sets of rub-ons to choose from; each has two sheets of images, one black and one white. Please check out the details of the promotion here. Purchasers will also receive my tips to help you get the most from Rub-Ons.

And so ends the lesson in Rub-Ons. Writing this post has actually inspired me to get my Rub-Ons out and make a Stampless creation. I'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks for reading,

Love from Crafty Kim

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Single Markers are Available Now for a Limited Time

Just posting to let you know about this great promotion from Stampin' Up!, running from the 10 until the 30 November 2008.

Stampin' Up! Marker Pens are usually available in sets only; there are 5 sets in total, one for each of the colour families of Bold Brights, Earth Elements, Rich Regals and Soft Subtles plus Neutrals. But now, you can buy individual markers.

The individual markers are available for $4.95 each which is competitive with the pricing of the SU! marker multipacks as well as other marker brands. The advantage of SU! markers over other brands is that they match the SU! card stock, ink pads, and embellishments. My personal experience with using SU! markers to colour directly onto stamps before "huffing" on the rubber and stamping the image onto card stock is that they don't dry too fast on the stamp and the image is very clear, with no patches of missing colour. This gives you time to successfully colour up more detailed stamps with 2 or 3 colours.

If you don't buy anything else, consider buying Bordering Blue or Almost Amethyst to outline your water-coloured image. This is very easy to do and while subtle, it makes your image "pop" out of the page. It is a little tricky to demonstrate using photographs, it is much easier to see the difference between an outline and no outline around the image "in the flesh" but here's the type of outline I'm referring to:

While you're at it, get yourself some SU! Watercolour Paper. It's a bit like your cooking being improved by a high quality frying pan. Your watercolouring will be greatly improved by the use of watercolour paper. I find it hard to use anything else now. Here's the whole card:

I've got plenty of other tips on using SU! markers which I'll be including, along with my favourite marker colours, in my November newsletter (due out later this week). Please send me an email if now if you would like to subscribe to my newsletter.

And do yourself one last favour, head over to the website of Alisa Tilsner, a very talented Australian paper-crafter famous for her "colouring in", for her tutorial on using markers.

Bye for now,

Love from Crafty Kim

Sunday, November 2, 2008

BOO! My First Halloween Card

Perhaps it should be WOO HOO instead because I'm very happy my camera is back in action. Have you noticed that it has become more common in Australia to observe Halloween? When I was a child, I don't think I even knew it existed or what it was about. But this year the "$2 shops" were full of things Halloween and in my bushy suburb of north west Sydney (Australia), kids were out trick-or-treating. This year I was slightly more prepared for the door knockers, last year they got sultanas.

Now, before you think this here Aussie country has gone the way of the Americans, did you know that Halloween originated in Europe? It has its origins in an ancient Celtic festival, known as Samhain (a word of Irish origin). Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient Celtic pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The Gaels believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the living and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. Costumes and masks were worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them (Source: Wikipedia). And something wonderful has come out of the modern day Halloween; it is estimated that children have collected more than USD119 million for UNICEF since the inception of "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF".

But for me, Halloween represents another card making opportunity and I've been quite attracted by the images of owls, ghosts, cats, witches and the like. So last night, I had a play. Using Sharon Davies' card for colour inspiration (thanks Sharon) and a sketch challenge from Makeesha Byl:

The use of purple with the traditional orange and black really lifts the card in my view. I had fun making the scalloped circle edge by punching small black circles and adhering them to the back of the main image card stock. I originally intended to watercolour the ghost stamp but after a few attempts I wasn't satisfied that it was bright enough so I took the easy way out and stamped it on Lovely Lilac cardstock. I was desperate for wide black ribbon too, until I decided to put two strips of narrow black grosgrain together. Good enough.

Thanks for looking. Have a great week.

Love Crafty Kim