Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NEW!!! 2011 Halloween Stamps - 3rd Coast Rubber Stamps

I just wanted to let you know that there are 166 brand new 2011 Halloween Stamps from 3rd Coast Rubber Stamps are now available
Between now and Sept 10th
they are all on sale for and amazing 20% off!!!

Be sure to check em out if you're itchin' for some fun new stamps to....
Scare up a good time!!! 
(sorry, couldn't resist!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thank You....

I want to thank you all for your kind words, encouraging e-mails and most of all your prayers!  Reading all of your comments and shared wisdom has really lifted my spirits quite a bit in only a few short hours.  I laughed, cried and cried some more.  My mom e-mailed me and even she cried (and it takes a lot to get her going).

You have all brought up so many good/positive points ~ like it's better that it happened now than down the road; we're ALL better off w/o her; time heals all wounds and most importantly you reminded me of something that I often tell others and firmly believe..."things always happen for a reason".  I don't know why it's so hard to remember that when it's your self you're dealing with. 

It is also comforting to hear your stories; to know that I'm not silly for feeling this way nor are we the only family to have dealt with a similar situation.  It is sad to realize that there are so many families out there that have to deal with others who have no values or scruples.  I was not raised this way and we didn't raise our boys that way so it is all very foreign to us how people could be so careless with life as it is so very precious....especially lives of children.

My mom also told me that she never wants to hear me say that I don't have any "real" friends ever again.  (I'm very shy so I don't have any friends I do things with IRL)  This has shown me that a "real" friend doesn't necessarily mean someone living next door, in my neighborhood or even in the same state!  You are all such wonderful, uplifting, caring people...I am honored to be touched by you all and that I'm able to call you a friend!

I also want to thank you for all of your WONDERFUL ideas, challenges and requests for projects, techniques and just letting me know you want more!  I have a notebook that I am going to write down each one of these ideas.  I am going to regroup, clean up my craft room (cause it's a disaster) and get started working on them all!  I'm thinkin' that the journal/technique book is something I want to start on right away.  It may be something like working on one page/technique a week and build on it in the coming months.   You have also sparked the Halloween bug in me.  I had so much fun with the Coffin of Goodies I altered last year I may have to see if I can come up with something similar this year.

I realize that this is going to take some time to get over but I won't let you down...
So get ready to pull out your goodies...
we're going to get inky again VERY soon!!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Confession & Help

I have a confession to make to you...

NOTE: this is very long but I just need to get this off my chest....

I don't know if it has shown or not but for the last several months my heart just hasn't been in crafting or in all honesty much of anything.  I have just been floating along in a daze...doing what I must to get through.  I normally don't post a whole lot about my personal life cause well, I don't want to bore you.  If you recall in February I hosted a contest here about which wedding dress Amber ("Future DIL") chose after a day long dress search.   She and my oldest son were going to get married in September and yes, in October she told us she was pregnant (She had the baby in June.) but I'm getting ahead of myself.  I want and need to start at the beginning so you get the full picture.

My son and Amber started dating last year in late August/early Sept and a few weeks later told us she was pregnant.  We really liked her and thought she was a very sweet and nice person.  She at that time had a 5 month old little girl which I absolutely fell in love with.  She was a beautiful little girl that came to be a very important to our family.  Not wanting to pry we didn't ask many questions but welcomed them both into our family with open arms.  

Now my son didn't have a great job and he still lived with us and she didn't have much of a job either (part time waitress - living with her grandma part of the time and her parents the other part of the time) so they just saw each other when they could ~ weekends, before/after work, etc.  This went on through Christmas and into 2011.  During this time her Mom was REALLY on Ben (ds) to find a place to rent so they could move in together.  

In Feb. 2011 he got a decent job (2nd shift) that paid enough so he could afford to pay rent on a place in our town to cover all of the bills since she wasn't going to be contributing anything to the till.  Note I said "our" town.  Amber lived in a larger city about 30 miles away and the rent there was 40-75% higher so there was no way that he could afford to live there and pay all of the bills on his check alone.   Of course her grandma wasn't thrilled because a) it wasn't in her home town; b) it wasn't a house but a trailer; c) it wasn't "clean"; etc.  IMO just starting out it was actually a nice place....not a castle mind you but it wasn't a rat infested dive either.  

So, they move in the first of March and the trouble begins....  Living with grandma and/or parents & sister she never really had to take care of her little girl full time and found out how much work it really was. She also didn't feel she should have to cook, clean or vacuum the house, wash his clothing or dishes. She didn't like Ben working on 2nd nor did she like it when he came to see us or help dh at our farm. She also spent most of her free time at her parents or grandmas house.  Her excuse was she had things to "plan for the wedding".   Now, I don't want you to think I'm naive enough to think Ben was an angel...I know he wasn't/isn't.  But he was trying...he worked, he did his own laundry, he cooked for himself, he paid the bills, etc. 

Near the end of March (a mere 3 weeks later) dh drives by the trailer and sees Amber, her mom and grandma cleaning the place out - while Ben was at work!  He came home that night to an empty house....  There was a couch, chair, his dresser and the washer and dryer left and no much else.  It took her a week to move in and exactly 3 hours to move it all out!  Ben was in shock and tried to call/talk to her but she wasn't answering his calls.  In a few days she called and asked if he wanted to buy the couch, chair & washer (we bought them the dryer when they moved in), told him that he wasn't the father of her baby and it was over!!

I tell you I was devastated.  One day Amber, Ariana and the baby (yet to be born) are gone without a word.  Totally out of our life in an instant!  We have not seen or heard from them since.  It's like they all died, were kidnapped or ????  that very day. I don't care about Amber, we found out later that this is exactly what she did to the father of her first child and she is back living with and being supported and cared for by her grandma/parents.  It's those kids I miss terribly.  I am a "mother hen" type person... I love and care for kids, animals, etc. with all my being. I feel as if a part of my heart was ripped out and destroyed that day. I loved that little girl with all my being and anxiously awaited the baby with such anticipation.

I heard something this past weekend that made me realize that over the past several months I have been going through the stages of grief as if they had really died that day and I'm stuck at #4.
Five Stages Of Grief
1. Denial & Isolation
2. Anger
3. Bargaining (skipped this step)
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

WHEW,  told you it was a long story ~ are you still with me????

Here is where I ask for your help....

I need help getting back on track.  I need something specific to do, a request, a problem to solve, a challenge, something to get my heart back into crafting again.   I thought the charm swap would do it.  While I really enjoyed it it just wasn't stamping and I just didn't get dirty enough - LOL!!

I am asking if you would please post a comment or e-mail me a specific project you'd like to see, maybe a challenge you'd like me to try, a product or technique you'd like to see, etc.   
I don't care, I'm up for anything...I need a spark to get me going again and I am asking you to be that spark. 

Thanks in advance my inky friends....

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vintage Postcard Sunday... Best Wishes!

Happy Sunday!
I hope you've all had a super weekend...
I watched my niece & nephew this weekend and helped dh make hay.
Today I thought I'd share a few of my new postcards with you starting off with my first installment of Best Wishes cards.  I have added the date they were mailed with each postcard...


Vintage post Cards 002

May 10, 1910

Vintage post Cards 004

Dec 2, 1912

Vintage post Cards 003

Vintage post Cards 007

March 3, 1912

Vintage post Cards 008

I think my fav's are the first and last.  I love the black of the first card ~ not something you see often and I love the flowers framing the last card. 

I hope you have a wonderful evening!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pigment Ink Mist + Masking Fluid

Yesterday I shared how I mixed up a bit of wayward Pigment Ink (reinker) with Ranger's Stamp Cleaner to make a handy dandy Pigment Ink Mist.  Today I wanted to show you a great technique to pair it with.   Of course you could use the plastic masks on the market but you could also try it with your own hand cut or die-cut shapes.  Remember if you do use a die-cut machine you can use the "negatives" (the paper left over from the die-cut shape) as a mask too!  I've also used punchies and stickers as masks as well.

SO, those ideas aside I wanted to talk about Masking Fluid....  It's a great medium that is used alot in watercolor painting but it's also perfect for rubber stamping as well.  Now, masking fluid is a bit pricey - it was 13.00 for the bottle I have BUT it lasts use such a small amount on each project a single bottle will literally last you years.  And if you use a 40 or 50% off coupon it's really inexpensive.

Masking Fluid is a sticky medium that usually comes in a bottle so it will need to be applied to your paper using a paint brush or something similar.  You can paint virtually any design onto your paper to create images, shapes, blocking, lettering, etc. 

I also wanted to mention that I used this technique on a variety of materials - Georgia Pacific Cardstock, Ranger's Tag, and a couple different brands of cardstock.  It all worked very well.

NOTE: If you do not want to purchase the Masking Fluid you can substitute Rubber Cement for the Masking Fluid.  You will be a bit limited on what you can do with it design wise as it is very difficult to paint or spread rubber cement as thin as the Masking Fluid.  Rubber Cement however will work great for larger more graphic designs. start out, paint a design onto your foundation.  For the first example I painted a few flowers, stems, leaves and a butterfly on the tag.  You will notice that this masking fluid starts out white.  As it dries it will become invisible.

Pigment Ink Mist - Masking Fluid 001

For the second example I flicked the masking fluid onto my foundation....
Pigment Ink Mist - Masking Fluid 002

Then I used my canned air and blasted each dot of masking fluid....

Pigment Ink Mist - Masking Fluid 004

Now, you MUST let the masking fluid dry.  This is the hardest part for me because I hate to wait.  But you really need to.

After the fluid has dried, mist with the Pigment Mist (or any other type of mist in your collection).  Let this layer of ink dry completely.  This may take a while but I used my heat tool to speed it along ;) 

NOTE: if your paper isn't completely dry before you move onto the next step you will tear parts of your paper and design away when you remove the masking fluid.

Pigment Ink Mist - Masking Fluid 006

Once the paper has dried, dab off the excess ink from the masking fluid.  Use your finger, an eraser or an adhesive eraser (the little rubber thing you rub excess adhesive from your projects) to remove the Masking Fluid.  Sometimes you can pick at one edge and peel it right off...other times you can just rub if off completely.  Either way it comes off easily and if your paper is dry it will not effect the colors or paper.

Here you can see how the black mist has covered and muted various areas of the paper while the masked areas are bright and  vibrant.

Pigment Ink Mist - Masking Fluid 008

Here is the tag that I added flowers and leaves....
Pigment Ink Mist - Masking Fluid 010

And a couple more examples....

Pigment Ink Mist - Masking Fluid 007

This is a very easy way to really make a highly personalized piece of art! 
There are no limits to the designs you can create.  I think this is one of my favorite ways to make my own background papers for cards, ATC's, Gothic Arches and so much more.
I hope you will give it a try!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pigment Ink Mists

Have you ever bought a grab bag or surprise box of craft supplies and ended up with stuff you didn't know what you were going to do with it?  Well, I have!  A few years ago I bought a grab bag of goodies from a store and got some pigment ink re-inkers in the box.  I didn't have the pads for them so I just tossed them in my re-inker box unused and basically forgotten.

Well, I pulled the box out recently to reink one of my pads and saw them again.  I decided I was going to do something with them. so I pulled all three of them out and started to play!  Today I wanted to share one of my experiments that worked out great and it only takes a few supplies...most of which you may already have in your stash.


Pigment Re-Inker
Ranger's Water-Based Stamp Cleaner (the bubble gum kind)
Mini Mister

Pigment Reinker Technique 001


1. Add a couple drops of the pigment ink to the mini-mister.
Pigment Reinker Technique 003

2. Fill the Mister up half way with the stamp cleaner.
Why Stamp Cleaner you might ask?  Well, water doesn't mix well enough on it's own BUT, whatever is in the cleaner breaks up the pigment inks, disperses it evenly through the liquid and keeps it from clogging the mister.  I don't know why but it just works.

Pigment Reinker Technique 004

3. Shake, Shake, Shake.... Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake your mister....  O.k...sorry.... I heard K.C. & The Sunshine Band today wandering around the flea market and can't get that song out of my head!  LOL!!!

4. MIST!  Now let it dry naturally or heat set to speed drying.  I like to use the heat tool....I can't stand to wait for ink to dry!  And you're done!
Pigment Reinker Technique 005

Here are the results....

Black Mica Magic Re-Inker....

Pigment Reinker Technique 006

Burnt Orange Mica Magic Re-Inker (looks like copper to me!)

Pigment Reinker Technique 007

And Pearl Mica Magic Re-Inker...

Pigment Reinker Technique 008

Now, this is Mica Magic Pigment ink so it's got a beautiful shimmer to it but it also works with other types of pigment and chalk re-inkers!

Tomorrow I will share a couple ideas on how to use these mists!
Hope you stop back then and see what I came up with.

Portland Indiana Tractor Show Today

I hope you're having a great week so far!  I went to a tractor show with dh today (Portland, IN).  In addition to having lots of antique tractors, gas engines, lawn & garden tractors and other misc. farm stuff there is also a HUGE flea market/antique stall area.  Well, actually there are 2 areas....the antique/craft stalls are in the main part of show area.  I normally don't spend too much time there because it's usually the high dollar stuff.  The other section is combination flea market and tractor parts area.  THIS is where I find the best buys. 

In the past I have found numerous goodies for myself and others.  One year my Mom was looking for a tinsel know the ones from the 50's that have a colored light wheel that shines on the aluminum tree.  Well, she had the light wheel but needed the actual tree.  They were at that time going for like 75.00-100.00 on e-bay.  I found on for $35.00!!!  She was thrilled and so was I.

Today I found a few goodies I just couldn't pass up.  I got a huge lot (75) of vintage postcards from 1909-1912 today for about $ .50 each....the best part ~ they are all "occasional" cards - Birthday, Best Wishes, Valentines Day and St. Patrick's Day!  Most are stamped/dated and all but a couple have writing of some sort.  Either regular messages or simply To/From info.  I will eventually share all of them with you :)

Portland Treasures 001

I also found a HUGE box of vintage keys and pad locks.  I know, some of you might think I'm nuts but I LOVE old keys!  The cool part about this box is that a) there are no car keys; b) all of the keys are I'd say from the mid 40's or earlier and c) (This is the best part) there are TONS of tiny skeleton keys!!!! 

Portland Treasures 007

When I say Tiny I mean like 1" - 1 1/2" or a bit larger.  I'm not sure what they were for exactly but they are darling! 

Portland Treasures 003

There are also lots of neat flat keys that have teeth cut into the two edges. 
Those are also really cool looking.  I'm thinkin since they are so shiny they need a bit of alcohol ink?!?!?

Portland Treasures 005

There are a few keys that have interesting holes -
a couple with hearts, a shamrock look with 3 holes, even a fleur de lis!!! 

Portland Treasures 006

And check out this funky's a little person!!! 
 How cool is that! 
Told you keys are cool - LOL!!

Portland Treasures 004

So, that's what I did today!
I hope you had a super day too :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Today I wanted to share a layered scenic card.

Now this is a type of card I've not really made very often but I must say the more I work with it the more fun they are.  It was created by using images from 3rd Coast Rubber Stamps, Distress Inks, Archival Ink (for the stamping) and Stickles Glitter Glue for a bit of bling!

3C - Dance Like Nobody...

I started off by stamping the dancer and cutting her out.  
I then placed her on the blank card front to determine where she needed to be on the card. 
I placed a little pencil mark where her feet would be positioned.
I then lined up the rug with that pencil mark and stamped it using Archival Ink.

Next I stamped the mountains, clouds and extra tufts of grass.
I used Distress Inks and my Niji Waterbrush to color both the card background and the dancer.

After my dancer had a chance to dry I added Stickles Glitter Glue to her bells along her skirt and head dress.
She was mounted to the card using pop-dots.

I didn't have a sentiment that would fit so I printed one off the computer onto white cardstock, mounted it on the panel and then affixed the card to a colored cardstock card blank.

So there you go...a quick and easy way to create a scenic card in no time at all!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August Get Inked - Vintage Transportation!

Hey There Everyone!
I hope you're having a great week so far.
Today I wanted to share August's Get Inked Kit with you and give you a chance to win a set of the stamps for your very own.

This months theme was Vintage Transportation and did I ever have fun coming up with designs for this kit.  Ya know there are just too many fun and funky old timey was to go from here to there.  Some of those inventors were so smart and their creations are still in use today while others fell short.  So this set celebrates those inventions!

Here are the stamps....
GI - August 2011 004

And here are the projects for this months kit.
I decided to make an ATC Holder and ATC's to fill it!
GI - August 2011 005

The extras with this kit were grey ink and Metallic Rub-Ons (which I love!)
so it was fun to incorporate different techniques on each ATC using these products.

GI - August 2011 006

GI - August 2011 008

GI - August 2011 009

GI - August 2011 010

Here is the ATC holder I made...

GI - August 2011 011

GI - August 2011 012

Now, if you'd like to win a set of these stamps for yourself, all you have to do is post a comment telling us your favorite mode of transportation....real or imaginary.

You have until 9-3 to post your comment to be entered to win!

Good Luck Friends
 Bon Voyage!

Steampunk Loft For Sale....

Can anyone out there lend me $1.75M????

Well, it doesn't hurt to ask right?

Check this place is amazing.

SteamPunk Loft II (a few more photos here)

It would be fun to visit but I'm not sure I could live there permanently.
Where would I hide all my crafty stuff?!?!?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vintage Postcard Sunday - This and That

Today I have an assorted lot of postcards to share with you.

The first two cards are from Vermont....
Univ. of Vermont

Vintage Postcards 015

And the Unitarian Church.

Vintage Postcards 013

Next is a fun postcard that is a Before and After of Mount Rushmore!
I've never seen a card like this before so I knew I had to buy it when I found it.

Vintage Postcards 006

I know the photo isn't the best but it's a vintage Russian postcard!
It's the only card in my collection from Russia and probably will be the only one since it doesn't exist anymore.

Vintage Postcards 012

And finally here is a classic ~
One of the best know types of vintage postcards...the image lettered postcard!
This was was sent from New Mexico back in the 30's for one penny!

Vintage Postcards 005

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Altered Charm Swap Results - Pt III

And today I have the final installment of charms from the most recent charm swap!


Cheryl L. - Her charm is a wonderful piece of shrink plastic that was stamped not only on the front but the back as well!  I believe she added a coat of Glossy Accents to the front and sprinkled a bit of glitter into the wet medium.  Her matching tag was the full size image of her charm!

Charm Swap 044

Cassie L. created this beautiful shabby chic charm that was tucked into this nifty little paper purse.  Love the soft colors, crackle (accents or rock candy), pearls and gems!  Simply lovely!
Charm Swap 045

Neil - created this awesome shrink plastic charm from another TH stamp which he too used to stamp on his tag.  This guys is hanging from a bit of chain and has a super feather woven into the links.  Very cool!!
Charm Swap 049
Karen H. created this awesome tag....I'm not sure if all of her charms were the same or not.  She wrapped each one in pink tissue paper so couldn't see what the others were and I didn't even peek - LOL!! My charm was made using a bamboo tile, a very cool vintage image, wire, beads and a nifty leaf charm!
Charm Swap 055

Theresa P used a couple plastic key tags for her charm!!  She stamped the tags, added some Alcohol Inks, Glossy Accents and a bit of Stickles Glitter Glue (or glitter).  Very cool design and such a fun way to repurpose the tags!!

Charm Swap 056

Carol W. created several different fun charm designs.  This was my favorite...very cool bottle cap that she painted purple then filled with lots of gears, sprockets and watch bits!  She added a fun clock charm and more gears hanging off the bottom.  Lots of fun goodness there!

Charm Swap 057

Helen C. made 4 sets of charms each one unique and beautiful in it's own way!  The "eye" charm has such a funky vibe ~ it instantly reminded me of Halloween!  Her next set had an amazing focal point bead that I have no clue what it was made from....The flowers made me think of fabric but it doesn't feel like fabric.  I'm just totally mystified by it.  Her blue set of charms had a cool iridescent heart and a fun charm pendent filled with micro beads and tiny blue seed beads!  Finally her red set  featured a stunning red focal bead that looks like it's on fire and finished off with three antiqued charms!  All in all beautiful amazing sets!
Charm Swap 058

Jo (a.k.a.jozarty) create this amazing charm from a recycled Christmas star!!!  I never would have guessed it.  I thought it was friendly plastic or some other exotic base.  It's quite an amazing piece when you start looking at all the different components!

Charm Swap 060

Olga created this beautiful Mime charm with I believe a bit of leafing around the edges and finished it off with a stunning bead dangle!

Charm Swap 061

Becky W. created two sets of bottle cap charms....not sure why I don't have a pic of her 2nd set but one set featured children and various gemstones (like the one shown) and her second set was a composite of vintage images and beautiful metal pieces to create miniature pieces of art!

Charm Swap 062

Jan W. made these delicate looking charms.  I can't remember how she made the bee part of the charm (I hope she will share it again) but the other part is shrink plastic stamped and colored.  Simply amazing!
Charm Swap 063

And finally Sue A. created this very cool collage-y charm that incorporates all sorts of fun bits...from the fragment bird, wood and glass beads, a spring all hanging off of a TH clip.  I really like the fuse she used to attach her charms to the tag....I'm thinkin I may add that to the charm as well!
Such a fun idea!
Charm Swap 065

There you have all of the amazing charms
created for this swap!
I have to say it's been a real treat to see what everyone has come up with!