Wednesday: Playtime reveals and stencil craziness!

Playtime supervisor is watching you!!!

Playtime supervisor is watching you!!!


Hi All,

Playtime is good for the soul…did you know that??   Even supervised play!  I can attest to it from personal experience.  Granted there is also a tiny bit of submerged guilt at not taking care of other pressing obligations but taking time for creative play expands the soul, the heart and the mind while freeing the spirit.  And working with color seems to have some intagible effect as well.   At least that works for me – lol!   Somewhere I know there is research that will back me up on that.  Lydia over on her blog Understand Blue  has quoted some from time to time but to tell the truth I’m too lazy tonight to go look it all up.  I’d much rather spend the time playing…ha, ha, ha!  

I’ve been on a creative jag ever since Open Studio Day last Saturday.   And the inspiring work I’ve been seeing out there as I seek out new items for my newsletter and my blog readers has also sparked a few ideas that I just had to get down on paper.   Got me interested in playing a bit with Photoshop too as you might be able to tell with Sandy’s image above.

Stampin’ Up recently started letting demo’s in on a new Holiday Extravaganza promotion that will be coming up in the next few weeks.    Getting us excited so we can get you all excited too and part of that preparation has been sharing projects other demo’s have sent in for various in house contests.   So today I thought I would share one of those I recreated with a few changes….who knows maybe it’ll inspire you to become a demo too so you can get the inside track on the upcoming fun!

Also have a tip or two to share as well as a few new cat pictures.   So without further ado here’s another installment of Playtime and the first tip……

Tip:  While Stampin’ Up does offer some wonderful stencils in our Definitely Decorative mini catalog that are well worth the purchase price you can also create your own stencils using Big Shot dies, punches and window sheets.   I just created a series of cards using a stencil I created from the Tulipe die and one of the other Extravaganza cards mentioned above using a stencil created with the Movers & Shapers Ornament die though it could also be made with the Ornament Punch as well.     



So what’s this you say…..surely not a card….nope its a set of homemade tools otherwise known as stencils.    As described in the tip above these little beauties were created using my Big Shot, the Holiday Collection of Movers and Shapers from the Holiday Mini and the Curly Label Movers and Shaper die as well as a sheet of acetate template material thriftily saved from a shipping crate….What?   Shipping crate material??   But the tip said window sheets!    Okay truth time…I couldn’t find the window sheets – my studio that was getting so much better has once again descended into the pit of chaos yet again!   So yep  shipping material was the answer to my desperate search…sometime back a box came out of a crate with this wonderful medium thick plastic wide belly band to hold the cushioning material around the box and I just knew it would come in handy some day so I kept it in my “Someday this will be brilliant ” pile.   Basically it’s about the same as the template material quilters use and yes it is thin enough to use in the Big Shot!    And so began a couple of days of stencil play.  So much fun….that now I can’t stop using the little buggers!  

Tip: With the Bird Shape I’m able to flip the stencil to create birds facing either direction and up and down.  Hard to do that with a stamp!   And the die cut shapes can be used as a mask with the help of a little bit of Dotto repositionable adhesive when brayering or using other stamping techniques requiring images to be shielded.  

Another post I’ll show you what you can do with stencils cut from the Tulipe Bigz die and a few other tricks I discovered using these I’m showing you today.   One of these days I’ll remember to keep my camera on my desk while I’m playing so I can show you what happens when you make accidental discoveries as well as intentional studies in use (for example the difference between sponging (pouncing) and stoking using a sponge dauber with a stencil image). 

I started out wanting to recreate a card sent into Stampin’ Up by Jane Harala that used the ornament punch to create a stencil.  Not having that punch just yet I used the Movers and Shapers Ornament die instead.   For those demo’s among you who’ve seen Jane’s card you’ll realize that I changed up the colors just a bit.  Her original card used Sahara Sand for ink and paper and to my dismay it turns out that while I have the paper somehow I’ve neglected to get that ink pad.  The more nuanced neutrals always seem to escape my attention somehow though I would have sworn I had purchased every color available when I became a demo!   So rather than give up the idea I embraced CASE principles and substituted  Creamy Caramel instead.   The rest of the recipe is the same as Jane’s and you can read the details next to the card.  I also came up with a few other variations as you will see. 

Here’s the first more or less direct CASE of a quick, simple and inexpensive card:



Stamps: Holiday Best

Ink: Real Red Marker, Always Artichoke Pad

Cardstock:  Real Red, Always Artichoke, Creamy Caramel, Naturals White

Accessories:  Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon, Gold Brad, Sponge Dauber, Big Shot, Petals a Plenty Impressions Folder (holiday mini), homemade stencil using ornament M&S die.


Using the ornament stencil I used the sponge dauber and Creamy Caramel ink pad to color inside the stencil.  Using circular light motions with the dauber I layered on the color (unfortunately the shading I achieved isn’t visible in the photo) until I had just the right amount then stamped using one of the stamps from Holiday Best.  Added the brad, the paper layers, ribbon and Voila a five minute card!

Tip:  You can get a two toned stamp image by inking the Merry Christmas Stamp from Holiday Best on the Always Artichoke pad then carefully wiping the cardinal part clean with either a paper towl or a blender pen.  Next using a real red marker highlight the cardinal part of the image then huff (breath on the stamp to remoisturize it) and stamp the image.

Here’s a few more variations:


The top card here is the same as that above exept for the ribbon.  I decided to try the Black Gingham for a bit more of a country feel.  Came to the conclusion that really it’s just too skinny so seems out of proportion.  Maybe if I had tied a couple more on it would have worked a bit better.


This next one is the same except for the flower image I added using a small stamp from the Baroque Motifs set to create a different background.  Not quite sure what I think about this one either.   My initial thought was that it would echo the shape from the Petals a Plenty embossed images.




This version has the feel of the first one but made use of the Ornament Movers and Shapers die to cut the card instead of just using the stencil.  

Though when the card is open you see a stenciled image. 

I did use the stencil around the opening to protect the surface of the card while daubing on the color then opened up the card when stamping the image.   I also used a small strip of the flocked paper from the Christmas Cocoa DSP collection in the Holiday Mini backed with a strip of textured Real Red Cardstock.   I also left the brad off since I didn’t want the prongs visible on the inside of the card.  Looking at this now I think I’ll add the brad back and just cut a small paper mask to cover the prongs with on the inside.



And here’s one more that was more in the nature of an experiment gone wrong and became an oops I insisted on trying to salvage.  Just trying to keep it real so feel free to tell me where I went wrong.  Personally I think it’s overly busy as well as just badly stamped and once again the ribbon is out of scale and the colors too clashing.  This one used More Mustard paper for one of the layers as well as ink on the Baroque Motif image I was trying to use as an ornament hanger of sorts.  Oh well live and learn.

And finally here’s a few pictures of my assistant and her favorite spot in the window well next to my desk.  Since my scanner decided to take a vacation I’ve been using a sunny spot on my desk to try to get a few pics with varying results.  Sandycat finds the process rather intriguing though a bit intrusive in “her” space.





 With those soulful eye’s I can’t help wondering what’s on Sandy’s mind some days as she stares into space.  Maybe she’s dreaming about her own playtime??   On the other hand she may just be watching spiders!  The top two photos looked so sad and soulful that they had me thinking she was wondering if Mama loved her as much as these ink and paper creations that take up so much potential playtime not to mention the computer also sitting on the desk.   Not to worry Sandycat…  fur faces win out every time even when it may not seem like it.   Ah the perils of living with cats 24-7 we get so wrapped up in each others emotions and needs that it can get a bit intense at times on both sides of the equation.  I keep trying to interest Sandy and Wicket in the great outdoors but so far not much luck since moving to Oregon.   Funny little kitties used to be much more self sufficient…could it be they are getting older…just like me?   Hmmm…..have to think about that one.

Thanks for joining me in my little world of experimentation and playtime.  I’ll be bringing you more stencil madness in the next few days and weeks along with some stencil links so you can see what else is going on out there in the wider stamping world.   So find your window sheets create some stencils and join me in some playtime.   If you feel like a bit more structure is needed to your play let me know and we can schedule a workshop or studio day just for you  and your friends.

Hugs and blessings my friends – Jean


5 Responses

  1. Super cute kitty…and projects! TFS!

  2. Hi my friend… great ideas with the stencils – now why hadn’t I thought of that!!! the fact that you can have the birds flying any which way is such a great idea and I’m pleased that you found a sunny spot to photograph the results of your efforts to share with us all …… however, it does appear that Sandycat is not at all appreciative of the invasion in her space… cos you know… cats have a pre-destined right to THE sunny spots in the house. Gorgeous pics – isn’t supervision a wonderful thing. I do n’t think I’d manage to be as productive with out 🙂 Bilbo goes as far as to sit on anything I am working on and curl up between my arms on the desk ….. he determines when it’s time for me to take a cuddle break.
    I get home to them tomorrow and I just can’t wait. I’ve missed them so much and seeing pictures of Sandycat made me want to get on the plane as early as possible today.
    have a fabulous weekend, my friend, and I’ll check in with you after my 36 hour flight back!

  3. […] card using the ornament punched/Movers and shapers stencil I created and showed last Wednesday on this post.  This time I stenciled in two then with the stencil still in place to act as a mask for the […]

  4. […] the M&S die you could approximate this with the Curly Label punch.   A template (see this post) created from another Movers and Shaper (Holiday Collection) was used for the sponge daubed […]

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