Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hand Stamped Note Cards - A Brief Tutorial

Often, when I'm testing out a new rubber stamp design, I'll stamp the image repeatedly over a sheet of cardstock, then splash a bit of watercolor on it.  (If you follow my adventures on Instagram you've probably seen the timelapse videos showing the process.)  It's simple and so much FUN!  Then I have a handmade, hand stamped sheet that I can cut down to make note cards.  You can make your cards in any dimension that you'd like, with any medium and supplies you have on hand, but I'll include notes below for how I made mine.  
Supplies needed:
printed paper (hand stamped, hand painted is what I used)
paper cutter
scoring mat and bone folder (optional)
pigment ink (permanent, optional)

For every one 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of printed cardstock, I will need two sheets of blank cardstock for the card bases.  I cut the printed paper down to 4" wide by 2 1/4" high (giving me 8 cards,) then I cut the other two blank sheets down to 4 1/4" wide by 5" high (giving me 8 card bases.)
I use a scoring mat and bone folder to score the card base at 2 1/2" so that my finished card measures 4 1/4" wide by 2 1/2" high.
Since I like to use my note cards as Thank You cards, and because I just LOVE this chunky "Thank You" stamp by Inkadinkado, this is my go-to for these types of cards.  Any sentiment stamp will work.  Or, you don't have to use any type of sentiment stamp at all.  It's up to you!  I happened to have this Ranger archival ink pad out, and because it has permanent, waterproof ink, this is what I used on my cards.
Be sure to have a scrap piece of paper behind your work for this step, otherwise you may have an inky mess on your work surface!
Now that my stamping is finished, it's time to attach the cards to the card bases.  Tombow Mono Liquid Glue is one of my very favorite adhesives to use.  (My kid's too.  I know because he's ALWAYS stealing mine to use on his art projects.  I've since learned to buy them two at a time.)  That's just me.  Use your favorite adhesive or tape runner to attach your cards to their bases.
Really, that's it!  You can modify this technique to create any size card that you need.  For example: quarter the sheet (4 1/4" x 5 1/2") and you've got four A2 size cards.  That may be useful when mass-producing holiday cards!
For unique hand carved rubber stamps, I invite you to visit my Etsy shop.
Happy Crafting!  And as always, THANK YOU for following along on my handmade journey.

Friday, April 29, 2016

FREE Coloring Page - Multnomah Falls, Oregon

I feel fortunate to live in such a beautiful region.  When I first moved to Oregon, I often found my way out to the Columbia River Gorge and traveled the twisty, winding, Historic Columbia River Highway 30.  I've sat with coffee watching many sunrises at Crown Point.  In recent years, we've spent several weekend days hiking the trails and visiting the many waterfalls that dot that stretch of our gorgeous landscape.  The Columbia River Gorge, to me, truly is a magical place.  

So begins my journey with coloring pages.  I can't think of a better place to start than with the magnificent Multnomah Falls.  It's a beauty to observe from the ground level as a stop along the highway, but it's a whole different thing to hike a mile up the switchbacks to view the Columbia River and north into the state of Washington from the top of the falls.  (Don't stop there.  Your hike on the mountain has only begun.)

This coloring page is FREE for you to print and color at home or in the classroom.  (Illustration is property of R.Goodwin/hoffeeandanuffin and may NOT be used for sale or reproduction.) For educational purposes, have students research and discuss:

Columbia River Gorge
Oregon History
Lewis and Clark
Benson Footbridge
Salmonberries (and other edible wild fruit)
Hiking and Trails
Hiking Safety

To print this coloring page, click on the image to view the full page, then right-click on the image and "Save Image As" to your computer.  I hope you enjoy coloring Multnomah Falls, Oregon.  I would love to see your colored pages!  Follow me on Facebook and tag #hoffeeandanuffincoloring @hoffeeandanuffin on Instagram.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How To - Ball Jar Stitch Markers (Part Two)

This is a follow up to yesterday's How To Tuesday tutorial for making Ball Jar Stitch Markers. 

Look at how glossy those jars are!  I like Mod Podge Dimensional Magic because it pours a thick layer of gloss that sits right on the surface of the project.
Notice the difference between the colored jars, and the jars with outline only.  I like them both, and it's good to have options.
Now that the pieces are well and set, it's time to add the hardware.  Really, you can use whatever supplies you have on hand.  I happen to have and use:

Jump rings, sizes: 4mm, 6mm, and 10mm
Large lobster clasps (optional)
First, I begin with the 6mm jump ring and attach them to the plastic pieces.  Then, I open a 4mm jump ring and attach both the 6mm ring AND the 10mm ring to the opened ring.  I try to open as few rings as possible to avoid any unnecessary stretching of the metal.
Remember when opening jump rings to separate them in an "up and down" manner, not side to side.  Pulling the ring apart weakens the metal and could cause it to break.
I hope you've found this tutorial to be helpful.  All of the supplies I used for these markers were purchased at Joanns.  Except for the Ball Jar rubber stamp.  I made that, and I'd be happy to make one for you, too!

Feel free to tag me on Facebook and Instagram @hoffeeandanuffin and #hoffeeandanuffin when you've made your stitch markers.  I'd love to see what you've created!  Thanks again for following along on my handmade journey.  Happy crafting!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How To Tuesday - Ball Jar Stitch Markers (Part One)

I've demonstrated rubber stamps on shrink film before here and here, but just for fun here's a very pic-heavy demonstration to show how you can make Ball Jar Stitch Markers.  

Gather your supplies!

Shrink film (white, clear, or matte, it's your choice.)
Chalk ink (note: any pigment (permanent) ink will work.  I happen to really like the look of the VersaMagic chalk ink for this project.)
Colored pencils
Fine grit sand paper
Standard hole punch
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
Parchment paper
Oven or heat tool 

(You don't have to use the brands of items shown in this picture.  This happens to be what I have on hand and what I personally enjoy using.)

 The first thing you'll want to do is gently rough up the shrink film with sand paper by rubbing the sand paper over the surface in a circular motion.  Do this only on the side you'll be stamping and coloring on.  This allows the plastic to "grab" the pencil and hold its color.
Next, stamp your images across the sheet, keeping your images as close as possible while still allowing enough room to cut them apart.  This eliminates waste and allows you to get the most out of your shrink film.  Keep in mind that wet ink will smudge when touched, so it's a good idea to set this sheet aside for a while to allow the ink to dry before coloring.
Using a very LIGHT touch, color your jars.  The colored pencil will darken quite a bit as the plastic shrinks.  It may be a good idea to test this technique with a gradient on a scrap piece of film before starting so that you can see how the color intensifies upon baking.
 Once your jars are colored, it's time to punch the holes.  You may use a standard hole punch...
 ...or a setting tool as I've used in the photograph below.  The setting tool makes a cleaner punch as there are no extra parts to accidentally drag across and smear the ink.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER TO PUNCH YOUR HOLES BEFORE BAKING.  If you happen to forget, it IS possible to create holes afterward with a very small drill bit.  However, I advise using extreme caution because your film will now be very small and you wouldn't want to accidentally slip and injure yourself.
 Bake the film on parchment paper according to the package directions.
 And there it is!  One little itty-bitty colored Ball jar.
It's up to you how you choose to seal your project.  I use Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.  It's easy to use and has a narrow tip to apply the gloss.  Apply your sealer according to package directions.
A tip if you use Mod Podge Dimensional Magic: to avoid bubbles, remember not to shake the bottle, and always squeeze a bit out onto paper to release any air bubbles that may be trapped in the tube.  
I'm going to let those markers sit overnight to set really well before attaching the hardware.  I'll post Part 2 of this "How To" to include the supplies needed and demonstration.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How To Tuesday - Rainbow Tree

As you know I've recently discovered Tim Holtz Distress Inks and have been experimenting with them and learning how they work.  One of my favorite things to make lately is the Rainbow Tree.  I love layering and blending colors, and this is a fun (beginner/great-for-kids, too!) project to use techniques that allow colors to play with each other.  I also wanted to compare creating trees with distress inks to creating trees with watercolor paints.

What you'll need:
Tree (With Endless Possibilities) Hand Carved Rubber Stamp
Three Tiny Hearts Hand Carved Rubber Stamp
(okay, those stamps are completely optional, but I do recommend them!)
Watercolor Paper
Distress Ink
Watercolor Paintbrush
Paper Towels
A Sense Of Adventure

When I was shopping for distress inks, I deliberately purchased only three colors to see if I would even like using them.  I knew that as long as I had "red", "blue", and "yellow", I could create a "rainbow" of colors to use.  This is how the Rainbow Tree came to be.  Take yourself back to elementary school, to a time when you were learning about the rainbow, primary colors, and secondary colors.  This diagram shows the placement of color to create the "rainbow" effect on my tree.  A little bit of water and a few brush strokes between those primary colors blends to create secondary colors, and ultimately the "rainbow".  (I should note that this diagram was actually created with watercolors, NOT distress inks... but you get the point.)
 Here's another example using distress inks.  This time I added a few layers of color to really build up the pigment.  I do love the look of layers of distress ink, especially when water is added to the distress ink after it has dried.  Notice the trees in the center, and center left.  When droplets of water are added to the ink, it "lifts" the ink, and can be blotted away with a dry paper towel, creating a sort of bleached effect.  It almost reminds me of lens flare.  It's really pretty! 
Another option is to add color with another rubber stamp.  In this example, I used my Three Tiny Hearts rubber stamp, but any little stamp can be used.   I first discovered this technique for my tree when I used a pencil eraser to add R, Y, B ink to my tree, then sprayed water on it to activate the ink and get it moving around on the paper.  Later I discovered blowing on the wet ink with a straw to push it out toward the edges of the paper, as if the tree were stretching outward.  That was kind of fun, too.  (Kids will LOVE that!)
Next is a tree I made with watercolor paints.  I have been using the distress inks as watercolor so much that it sort of became a "default" technique for adding wet color to my projects.  (How do you use distress ink at a "wet" color?  See last week's How To Tuesday for that demonstration.)  In my opinion, both techniques work really well and I don't think I prefer one over the other.  They're just different.  I do feel like I had more control and richer pigment with my watercolors.  I love the layering I can achieve with the distress ink, PLUS the advantage of "bleaching" the color with the addition of water.  (That's so much fun!)  They're both great.
Top Row:
  Left - Tree (With Endless Possibilities, small) rubber stamp with Timber Brown StazOn ink.

  Center - distress ink applied as a watercolor
  Right - distress ink applied as a watercolor, "bleached" by adding water and blotting with dry towel

Bottom Row:
  Left - watercolor paint
  Center - diagram of "rainbow" effect

  Right - tree with color stamped with Three Tiny Hearts rubber stamp.

I hope this demonstration offers some inspiration and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.  I'd love to see any trees you (or your kiddos!) make.  Please share them with me on Facebook or Instagram: #hoffeeandanuffin  

As always, thank you for following along on my handmade journey.  Happy crafting!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How To Tuesday - Note Cards

Hello!  I like to practice new techniques on small bits of paper and I think that note cards are a great way to use those finished pieces.  I've recently discovered distress inks and I'm having a lot of fun playing with them and using them along with my rubber stamps.  One technique I'm enjoying is an embossed resist technique, with resist ink as a watercolor paint.  In this "how to" I'll share with you the supplies I have in my personal collection and how I use them.  (I am in no way endorsing any of these products, nor am I suggesting that these are the only brands/types you should use.  Though I do enjoy these products, there are still others I have yet to discover and add to my personal collection.)

Supplies needed:

watercolor paper cut to 2.5" x 5"
white (pigment) or clear (watermark) ink
clear embossing powder
heat tool (or oven)
pencil (optional)
eraser (optional)
distress ink or watercolor paint
palette, lid, or laminated card
paper towels
I began by preparing my watercolor paper with the stamped and embossed image.
Once my cards were embossed, I was ready to begin painting.  Distress ink can be pressed directly to a smooth surface to discharge ink.  With a wet brush, we can pick up color and even blend colors on the surface before adding it to the paper.  TIP: If the ink dries on the plastic, simply wet it again to reactivate it.  This is a good way to conserve ink, too.  There's no need to wipe the plastic clean unless the colors become muddy.  It can be used again at a later time.

The melted embossing powder acts as a barrier, resisting ink and paint in the areas of the paper it was applied.  Pretty cool, huh?

1. Color your paper with wet ink.  
2. Allow it to dry.  A heat tool can be used to speed up the drying process.

3. Water droplets can be added to create a "bleached" effect.  Let the drops sit on the paper for several seconds.  (30 seconds?  A minute?  You decide.)
4. Use a paper towel to blot the water droplets and reveal your finished painting.
 I wondered if it would have been easier to work on ONE large piece of paper that could be cut down later, so this example was a test for comparison.  I cut this paper down to 10" x 5".  That would give me four cards.  I used a pencil and ruler to very lightly mark lines so I knew where to stamp.  I also wanted to compare different inks while at the same time using the same clear embossing powder.  From left to right the inks are: Memento Luxe, Wedding Dress; ColorBox, White; ColorBox, Silver; and ColorBox, Yellow.  I hadn't used my black distress ink yet, so I thought this test would be a good project to use it for.  I painted black ink across the length of the paper, then layered colored ink over the first three cards, adding extra black ink over the last.  I really like the way they turned out.  It's a different effect, and for our gloomy, rainy skies today it seemed rather appropriate.  Once the ink was dry, I erased all of my lines and cut the cards down to 2.5".

NOTE: My preference for white ink would be the ColorBox pigment ink because it was much more "wet" than the Memento Luxe.  Memento Luxe is GREAT!  But for this project, I think the ColorBox was a better pigment ink.
 Don't forget to go back and erase those lines!  (I do like my Sakura eraser.)
I didn't tape my cards down before painting to keep them flat.  When they were dry I stuck them between the pages of a heavy book and let them sit for a bit.  It works for me.  My cards are informal and handmade.  I think the little irregularities add to their handmade charm.

I hope this demonstration offers some inspiration and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.  As always, thank you for following along on my handmade journey.  Happy crafting!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


We've been chatting about types of ink, what to use on tags, and what inks will bleed when wet. Keep in mind that I can only test the inks I actually have in my personal collection.  There are SO many brands and types of ink on the market, and I'll say again: I am NO expert on any of them.  There may be inks that are SO much better than what I've got.  Only, I haven't discovered them yet.  Please do your own research and testing to expand your personal knowledge of the tools you're using.  It's a GOOD thing to do, and you'll craft more confidently with that information in your toolkit.  Find what works for YOU.

The short version of what I know: Dye inks are water based and quick drying.  I use those mostly for casual letters/stationery and envelopes.  Pigment inks are typically wet, slower drying, and great for embossing.  Chalk inks dry pretty quickly and are great for planners and card making.  They're not so great for embossing.

Now I'll share with you what I discovered during my test today.
I may have missed a type, but I tried to pull one of every type of ink I have in my craft room.  I stamped a sample onto a piece of smooth card stock and labeled them for reference.
Shortly after creating this sheet, about 10 minutes or so, I used a cotton swab and water to rub the surface of the stamped images.   There was a little bit of color distribution, but notice also that I said that I rubbed the surface of the image.  I wonder if the color would have smeared had I dropped water onto the surface instead.
The only way to really tell was to wait an hour and let those inks dry.   This time I dropped a larger amount of water onto the samples and let it sit.  From what I can tell, those dye based inks (which we knew!) are the worst offenders when considering what types of ink to use for things like tags for handmade items.  I don't know if any of the color would pull up and affect your pieces, but I also wouldn't want to take the chance.  It seems that all of the pigment inks and chalk ink did well after the ink was allowed sufficient time to dry.

I encourage you to DO YOUR OWN TESTING.  Besides, it's kind of fun to explore and experiment!

(Small Ball of Yarn stamp can be purchased in my Etsy shop.)