Monday, December 15, 2014

Merry and Bright!

Greetings bloggers,

I wanted to stop in with a quick post to say hello and send Christmas greetings.  This year I tried to be a little more organized around my Christmas Cards by making a few throughout the year.  My plan was to then have the bulk of them completed by the time Christmas rolled around.  Well, I started out strong but as the year moved along so did my focus.  I also found that I did not take pictures and sometimes forgot to stamp the back identification or match the envelopes. I still think it is a good idea and I did have about 20 completed but when it came time to actually sign and send, I did not have as many as I needed.  The unanticipated result--short on cards and short on time to make them.

Well, enter the most fun FSJ Artists Trading Stamps (ATS).  An Artist Trading Stamp is a small stamp set with a very distinct focus.  They are usually very reasonable in price and include just what is needed for a clean and crisp card. Sometimes, for me, the less to choose from the easier a card plan comes together. The snowman was a single ATS and the ornament with the "Merry & Bright" sentiment was an ATS set.  I was able to use the sentiment on both and keep the same color scheme.  A great way to keep the same general theme but change up the focal image for some variety. They were super fun to make because once the cutting of the paper was done, I could play with the individual scenes and change them up.

All of us at Stamp to Cope, Inc. want to thank you for your love, prayers, and support!  Blessings to everyone this holiday season, Merry Christmas, and have a blessed 2015.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Celebration, Graduation, Reaffirmation...Oh My!!

Greetings everyone! Hope you had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.  I truly have so much for which to be thankful and being able to use my cardmaking skills to share important events is just the icing on top. November is an example of when it all comes together..... :)
The first request I received was from my most awesome brother who wanted a set of party invitations with a winter festive theme.  I embossed the snowman, rubbed ink over the raised sections before adding some glitter, and then stamped the sentiment. However, I really wanted something special so his guests would have an easy way to remember the date.  So I created a pocket fold on the inside and made a snowflake shaped magnet with the date to slip inside...his guests can put the magnet on their fridge and enjoy a little festive sparkle.

A second request came with the most exciting news....Our daughter, Carly, would be graduating from college in December!! I was so tickled that she asked that I make her invitations because it gave me a way to be a part of such an important time in her life.  I was also a little concerned that they would not meet her artist eye standard but I wanted to take the challenge.  I created the mortar board from foil cardstock that I pounced with blue alcohol ink to match her school colors. The tassels I made by hand winding gold twine between my fingers and slip knotting together.  The brads held the pieces together and I popped it up on a creme colored cardstock that was gold embossed with a corner stamp.  I knew she wanted to have a place to send everyone a picture, so inside I created a pocket tab.  I am happy to report that she was super pleased with the final product...yeah!

Now it was my turn.... My husband, Greg, and I will be married 15 years in December.  If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I was diagnosed with Cancer in 2003 and Greg was diagnosed with Cancer in 2011.  To be both a survivor and a support partner brings so many unique blessings to our life that we really wanted to use the upcoming anniversary as a milestone to renew our vows, recommit our marriage to Christ, and to rejoice in our new normal.  This was the most challenging design for me because I wanted it to say so much...winter beauty that mirrored a snowy original wedding evening, God's presence in our union, the festive joy of the Christmas season, celebration of our Lutheran heritage, the excitement that we have been given a second change at life, and the reality that I was going to get a chance to marry my soul mate again. A tall order for one simple invitation...

To begin, I stamped the romantic couple sleighing onto the middle of a piece of white cardstock. I then clear embossed the quote from Martin Luther and a ridge for the snow horizon and snow. When I rubbed on blue ink, it resisted everywhere the clear embossing was placed. I gold embossed the Christmas Star and added shadows to the sleigh.  Using vellum, I silver and gold embossed the sentiment and mounted it all to a blue card base bringing it all together.  We are both so thankful for this opportunity and sense of awe in life that it seemed appropriate to share our rejoicing during this time of miracles!!!

Have a wonderful week and thanks for being part of our mission.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Guiding Light

Greetings Blog Readers!

Thank you for your patience while I finished out Survivor activities during our special month. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who sent support, prayers, donations, love, and volunteer hours our way. You are all Guiding Lights and your dedication/inspiration is so very much appreciated.  Here is a little something to show we are blessed!

If the cold weather, holiday sale advertisements, and houses already displaying Christmas decorations are any indication, the Fall is over. However, I refuse to give in just yet!  So even though I have already made some super cool party invitations, sent out hand made Thanksgiving reminders, and begun coloring images for my Christmas cards, this post remains focused on the still present beauty of autumn.

Last post (if you can remember that long ago :0), I shared a water color technique using an embossed image.  I am still fascinated by water coloring on cards but I didn't really feel the embossed line technique gave the "fine art" look I was trying to achieve. I pulled out a new Fun Stampers Journey light house stamp to make a Thank you card and tried something different. Using warm fall colors of distress markers, I colored individual sections of the stamp to align with an autumn day and stamped the image on a piece of water color paper. Water based markers will react to water even after they have dried so I went over the lines of the image with a water damp paint brush to move the color enough for shading and highlights.  I loved the results! I hope you will give this technique a try and share your results.

Have a blessed week!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pink Ribbons and Pumpkins!

Happy October everyone!!!

October is the BEST month because it hosts two of my very favorite things...  Breast Cancer Awareness events and Halloween (aka my birthday).  What's not to love :)  Needless to say, it is a very busy month for Stamp to Cope as we participate in awareness festivities around our service area. Here is a quick peek at our recent events...more updates coming soon.

Big thanks to my wonderful husband, Greg Jones, for helping at our table during Berea First Friday on the 7th. Great opportunity to spread the mission, fund raise, and, connect with survivors.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by.  Lots of love to all my survivor sisters to participated in Paint the Town Pink.

Pink Ribbons are not the only focus in October, we love Pumpkins too!  Had an opportunity to try out a new Artist Trading Stamp from Fun Stampers Journey  that I just love.
White embossed stamped image onto water color paper and tested a new water coloring technique that a friend of my described.  The trick for me seemed to be wetting the sections with clear water first and then lightly tapping in the color. I like out the "painting" came out but think I might prefer a black outline or plain gray ink without the emboss.  Big Happy Birthday shout out to Gailanna who advised she is proudly displaying this card on her you.

Spread the word and share the mission!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Stamp Kit Bicycle Birthday

Happy Monday All,

This week is starting out full of inspiration and I am excited to share this bicycle birthday card that I created with the FSJ August Kit of the Month set.  Getting a kit delivered directly to me once a month is a new concept I am trying out so I can share my experiences with those of you who have been interested but can not decide which product line to go with or even if it is something for you. I have weighed the pros and cons for years now and finally decided that I cannot make an informed decision if I do not investigate more thoroughly. Aren't I nice to "take one for team" in the name of research :)?!

August was the first kit I received and I had no idea what would be included and whether I would think the monthly investment would be worth what was in the package.  The research I had done in the past identified that these types of kits can range in price from about $18.00 (plus taxes and shipping/handling) to $69.00 (plus taxes and shipping and handling) and very few give you any specific details of upcoming so they can be creative or product trend sensitive. However, they do post what is in past kits so have been able to watch how they tend to go.  I have noticed that most have lots of paper and accessory fillers but they are usually very light on the stamps provided. Some provide inks and adhesives but not all of them provide pre cut pieces or even ideas. Since I am a stamper first, I wanted one with an emphasis on the stamps themselves. Some organizations let you get the kit individually after it has been revealed if any are left after they send to the subscribers but a premium is then attached.  Others do not have a subscription option but have a limited time offering and seemed to be a higher price tag. The Kit system I chose is retail $24.95 plus the s/h and tax and requires a 6 month commitment.

It really was kind of fun to have the stamp set, all the card stock already cut, the inspiration photos, instructions, and little bag of accessories all nicely put together so I just had to stamp.  Since I was not sure what to expect exactly I enjoyed the surprise like anticipation when opening the package. The set included a full set of unmounted rubber stamps (11 stamps total, backer board, and nice storage envelope), accessories, papers, and full size color photo instructions to create four quite cute cards. It was kind of amazing how immediate my inspiration vibes kicked in...I had 2 cards complete by the end of the evening.  The really stunning news for the family....I made a very minimum mess!!!! Wow!  I found that I used the instructions just for inspiration because none of my finished cards looked exactly like the pictures.  Another benefit of not following specific instructions for me...I had left over product and was able to make a 5th card...bonus :).

I am posting this example of one of the cards I created. I stamped the fence twice (using a gray ink) to cover the entire card focal front.  I then went in with a dark gray colored pencil to create the shading. I used colored pencils to create the sky and used the grass stamp that came with the kit at the bottom. I stamped the bike on a scrap piece of white card stock and fussy cut out around the image.  I did not cut in between the tire spokes.  Instead, I lined it up where I planned to pop it up and pencil lined the outline of the fence and where the grass would be on both tires. After coloring the bike and the wheels, I used pop up tape and lined up the fence portion.  Used a cool gray marker to create the shadow under the tires so it looked grounded and went with the direction of the sun. The layering papers were precut and pre pierced as part of the kit as was the ribbon and white card base. Hope you like the final product.

For this first Kit experience, I was quite pleased..product was quality, all pieces provided as needed, instructions clear and colorful. Based on the going price of an 11 piece set of stamps and cardstock I was satisfied with the overall value. Would liked to have seen some extra sheets or length of ribbon in case of a person messes up but there was a nice list provided that indicated additional products might need and the color of inks used which I thought was helpful.  Excited because the September kit ships on the 10th and I am already looking forward to the surprise inside!  I will keep you posted as I continue this experiment!

Thanks for stopping by and have a GREAT day!

Monday, August 25, 2014

No Line Stamping

Greetings Blog Readers!

Happy Monday everyone hope you enjoy the last week of August 2014...where did the summer go? Quite a reminder that the Fall and holiday season is upon us as the card world starts turning to making Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Winter themed products.  Before I get swept along in the holiday card frenzy, I wanted to share something that still embraces Summer colors and a fun cupcake to close out some Summertime birthdays.  This cupcake stamp is from the new Fun Stampers Journey collection and the large open spaces make it ideal for the "no line" stamping technique.  

On a piece of white cardstock, I stamped the cupcake is a very light color (buttercream) of ink to give the slightest outline for guiding the coloring.  I then used colored pencils to color the image over the light lines to create shading and depth using the pencil colors. The enjoyment of this technique is the ability to be as creative as you would can choose to follow the shading and shapes of the stamp or you can choose to create your own emphasis and shading areas. By the time you are finished, it looks like an original drawing and not a stamped and colored image.  Go ahead and sign your name to advertise your coloring talents :).

Hope everyone has a great and creative week!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What's Up?

Greetings bloggers!

Whats up?! Great things!  So excited to share some wonderful news with you.... Our Learnshops fundraiser was a great success and STC received a check for $686 for our efforts!  A HUGE thank you to everyone for the support. I also received an invitation from one of the mixed media participants to share in a craft event October in TN.  What a great opportunity for further outreach.

In an effort to offer quality workshops for our survivors and Learnshop participants, mastering new techniques is important. I am excited to share that last week I earned my Spectrum Noir Certification and am now an "Accredited Colorist". I just love earning mastery in COLORING :).  You will notice an added blinkee on the blog site and this one really blinks!  My card today shows a sample of the unique and wonderful blending only alcohol markers can achieve.

Speaking of new blinkees, you will also notice I am now a Journey Coach.  Last post I mentioned that I was researching an additional fundraising option. I am super happy to share that I have joined an organization called Fun Stampers Journey , a partner organization with Spellbinders Paper Arts. Fun Stampers Journey manufactures and sells stamps, dies, and paper craft items which perfectly aligns with the resources we provide to our Survivors. (Some of you may remember our fundraising efforts through The Angel Company before it went out of business.)  As a Founding Coach, I have set it up that 100% of the commissions for orders placed through my Fun Stampers Journey Page will go directly to STC.  This is a great way for folks to purchase fun arts and crafts products AND support the STC mission. As an added benefit, when we need to purchase crafting products for Survivor Totes, I can get them at wholesale prices and add to the donation amount! Next time you are in need of stamps, dies, embellishments, inks, papers, or accessories for crafting, stop here first.

Thanks for stopping by and blessings for a great week!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Learnshop Fun!

Greetings all,

Just a quick post to share some of the Learnshop Fun!!!  Had three classes, two on Mixed Media Journaling and one on Alcohol Markers and Wax Pencils.  Great job and shout out to everyone who participated. Super thanks to my handsome and wonderful husband Greg for all the muscle!! Thanks to Dr. Judy Bullock who came in from Atlanta to assist!  On my way up to Campus but will update more next week.

Heads up.... I have discovered another fundraising avenue and am super excited.  Teaser until next week... Journey Coach!!!!

Thanks all and have a super week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mixed Media Learnshop!

Greetings Everyone!!!!

STC has been working very hard to prepare for the 2014 Festival of Learnshops that started last week with lots of creativity and excitement all about town. However, I wanted to pop into the blog with a quick post sharing some FABULOUS news!  I have been asked to take on two additional Learnshops that focus on creating Mixed-Media Art Journals!  The picture loaded for this post is an example of one of the pages we will create.  A shout out to Vicki P for the inspiration! Of course, many of you are not surprised to see that I chose one of my favorite images... pumpkins! I will share student projects in my next post.

The classes start this week and it is not too late to participate.  If interested in joining us or in the Festival overall, please click this link and find out more.  Please share with your connections and come participate!

Thanks for all your support and have a great week! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Water and Oil DO Mix

Hi all!

Can you believe I have surfaced after over a month?! I truly did not mean to be gone so long but time just flew by as work and STC picked up the pace of the nicer weather. Even though I have been on the road, I have continued to learn new techniques to share and spread the STC mission.  To start the post, here is the other Mother's Day card I promised to post last month....Yikes.  I mixed pink and green Gelatos with molding paste and then spread it over a stencil on a thin sheet of canvas. The texture is really fun and something a little different from my norm. I used distress ink around the sides and some pattern paper to tie it all together. Mom loved the colors. 

Before I chat about some technique adventures, wanted to share some exciting happenings...
    • STC getting enrollment in our largest fundraiser of the year... The Berea Festival of Learnshops. You can still sign up so check out this link for the complete variety of classes.  I am teaching two Stamping workshops and one on use of pencils and markers.  A really cool thing being offered for my workshops are teacher certification credits for K-12 teachers who need professional development over the summer.--love this additional support.
    • STC volunteers and survivors participated in the June Relay for Life event.
    • $190 raised through sale of survivor made cards.
    • Amazon Smiles activated and received first deposit of $10...keep shopping everyone!
    • STC a new designee for Thrivent Gives program.
    • Community workshops scheduled for June, July, and August.
From the creative side of my world, I have been working on a few new techniques. As I meet with and provide stamping/art supplies to survivors, it is amazing to discover the large range of creative talent they possess.  One survivor shared her love of water coloring but that she now struggled with the drawing of the images. We took out the STC stamp set and played around with her paints combining types of inks and colors...I was fascinated.  When I got home, I pulled out some old water colors left over from my children and practiced some of the techniques learned that day.  The images below are all the same stamp set by Sheena Douglass but using a variety of water color and ink combinations.  Not so bad for a rookie. Maybe we should add a set of watercolors to our totes?

During my most recent trip for work, I was sharing some of my technique interests with a colleague and she suggested an after work outing to a local art store.  While we were browsing, she suggested I try oil pastels.  I was feeling so brave after my general watercolor experience, that I figured, why not.  The fun of cardmaking is that it is so dynamic and embraces all creative options. Remember, my New Year's resolution was to create an art journal and that would be a safe place to practice.  Bought a starter set and began practicing as soon as I got home.  Below are my first efforts. What do you think? I was quite tickled BUT no one told me that oil pastels NEVER about a mess. I fell back on an old cardmaking trick and covered the whole thing with gell medium and it actually worked.  

What I have discovered this past month is that when it comes to survivors, love and creativity are boundless. When it comes to trending styles and techniques for Cardmaking, oil and water do mix!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Run for the Roses and Mother's Day Wishes

Hello and Happy Tuesday!!

May has started with many inspiring card making opportunities... May Day, Derby Day, Star Wars Day, Cinco de mayo (have you seen the silly mayonnaise in the sink posts), and of course Mother's Day! I didn't want to miss out on all the creative fun so here are my contributions to two of my favorite, Derby Day and Mother's Day.  While my husband was watching all the pre-race programs for the Kentucky Derby, I pulled out my art journal and created this page as I listened in the other room. The background was created by blending Pan Pastels across the pages, stamping the squares with Versamark ink, and then going over the area with the same Pan Pastel colors.  Because Versamark is clear and sticky, the pastel darkened where the stamp was placed. I then coated the pastels with gel medium and because I used a dry brush, the color did not lift off or muddy. The roses were stamped onto cardstock and I colored them using oil pencils and cut out.  The horses were stamped and colored with india ink. The entire project was covered with gel medium so I could do some shading and protect the layers. I hope this gives California Chrome some positive vibes for a Triple Crown Year....Sorry it wasn't a KY bred horse, but I love the rags to riches story :).

Before I share my Mother's Day creations, some Stamp to Cope, updates....

- So excited to share that Stamp to Cope, Inc. in now an approved option for all Thrivent policy holders that participate in Thrivent Choice Dollars! Please consider selecting Stamp to Cope when making your choice.   See your Thrivent representative or check out the Thrivent Choice Dollars program for more details.
- STC was invited to  participate in a new project in Berea called First Fridays.  As part of a community sharing, the Village Trough and Berea Tourism are hosting activities every Friday through the Spring and Summer. I am in communication for specifics but it looks like the ability to have a table each Friday (or any amount of Fridays) to provide STC information and share our mission.
- Berea Festival Learnshops registration and advertising is picking up steam.  This is STC's largest fundraising event so I am excited to be receiving such wonderful public relations support to showcase our workshops.  Be sure to check it out, register, and spread the word.  THANKS!

Now, back to the creative portion of the blog :)!
I made this card for my most wonderful Mother-in-Love (swiped that saying from my sister)!  The fun part of this card is that I used the same technique from my journal page...see it is working!  This time, though, I layered the Pan Pastel colors...yellow first, then purple over top.  As you can see, when I stamped with Versamark and went back over with the purple, the layered colors just popped! The sunflower was stamped on cardstock, colored with oil pencils, and cut out.  I used layering tape to give it some lift.  I am mailing it today so she gets it in plenty of time!

Next post, I will share the card I made for my Mother...definitely an experiment (the card not my mom ;))!!
Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Blessings

A Blessed Easter Everyone!!!!
For all my Lutheran bloggers... "He is Risen"...."He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!!"  Celebrate the miracle of the season!

Thank you to everyone that participated in our efforts for Kentucky Gives day and a huge shout out to all of you that have been using Amazon Smiles.  STC is so appreciative of the continued love and support we are receiving for our mission.  We are so blessed!!!!

Several things coming around the corner for STC....
- Still receiving cards from survivors and supporters to place in the STC Totes....beautiful work!
- Preparing for several local workshops at churches and community centers.
- Planning event with the Madison County Breast Cancer Survivors Group for November Women's Wellness...STC has a booth.
- Berea Festival Learnshops registration is now open.  This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and I am very excited to add Pencil Techniques to the offerings. The three I will be conducting in July are..
Alcohol Markers and Colored Pencil Techniques 
Rubber Stamping Art - Beginner
Rubber Stamping Art - Advanced

Please visit the links, register, and share the news!!!!

Hoping Spring has finally found its way! Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2014

KY Gives and Stamp two ways

Happy St. Patrick's Day Bloggers!!

I could not pass up such a fun card making holiday without posting a little "bit o' luck" for St. Patrick's Day! However, since I seem to be hitting the blog only once a month lately (I do hope to be post more soon), I wanted to share some Easter joy too! Doing them together gave me a way to share how one background stamp and the same pattern sketch can produce very different looks... The secret...just change the color focus.

To create the background on both cards, I used a variety of gellato colors on a "plaid" stamp by Hero Arts. When sprayed with water, the gellato color melts to give a watercolor look (very popular).  I then found a matching ribbon and selected theme appropriate images for the focal points.  For the Easter card the egg colors were created with distress markers put right over the rubber stamp and then moistened before stamping. The colors were a perfect match for the plaid. For the St. Patty's Day card, I used waxed colored pencils to project depth and threw in some orange for my protestant roots :).  Hope you find your Irish today!

BIG NEWS!!!!  April 9th!!!  

Before I sign off, I wanted to share some exciting news for Stamp To Cope, Inc. for 2014.  We have been asked, once again, to participate in the 2014 Kentucky Gives Day schedule for April 9th!!.  This is a chance for KY Non-Profits to fundraise for 24 hours.  Please click on this link to learn more and support our mission!!!  Remember, April 9th click on the link and show the love!

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Warm My Heart

Hello Bloggers!

Yes, it has been a while since I posted, but be assured that Stamp to Cope has been moving forward in our mission for 2014!  While January is now behind us, we took that time to secure the following events on the calendar and planning has begun...

Fundraising Presentation event - April
Berea Festival Learnshops - July
2nd Annual Survivor pARTy - October
Table at Women's Wellness Day - November

We are also working on community and individual outreach with stamping workshops and tote bag give-aways for our Survivors. Please be sure to spread the word if you area aware of an organization that would benefit from a workshop.

Now that it is February, thoughts turn to Valentine's Day in the card making world. With the unseasonably cold and snowy weather here in Berea, though, I have been to cold to be inspired with the usual cupids, doilies, and dominance of red.  So, I decided to take a different approach to share my Valentine wishes. Every morning my darling husband makes coffee for me and it so warms my heart and body.  His kindness inspired me to try and share the same warm in spirit.  For the card I made my mother, I added an an image of the little girl since I am her youngest. 
Happy Valentine's everyone!  Stay warm and safe.  Now I need to go listen to the Thompson Twins version of "Hold Me Now" ...Warm my heart. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Resolution Journal

Happy 2014 Everyone!!!

Hope everyone had a joyous holiday and thanks for returning to the STC blog for another year!

As we enter the new year, many people create resolutions...I, usually, am not one of them. My perspective, especially as it relates to Survivorship, is "resolve to be the best you can everyday"! Therefore, for me, deciding that at the beginning of a year to embrace enhancements instead of embracing growth everyday, somehow, makes me feel ungrateful for this second chance.

However, over the Christmas break, while in my ultra creative mode, I came across several vlogs, encouraging Art Journalling.  I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised with the impact it had on my perspective and creative flow. It was a great way to test out techniques, make a mess, and expand my comfort zone. I was quite hooked. So, imagine my own surprise when I ..yes I.. made a resolution to keep an Art Journal for 2014.

A journal is usually quite a personal and private thing. But when my fellow survivor, mentor, and friend, Judy posted her beautiful art piece on Facebook today, I was inspired to share my creations.

 I look forward to this creative challenge throughout the year and hope you will consider trying an Art Journal option for yourself!

Blessings for a CREATIVE new year!!!