Heat Embossing

So, I was on a message board and someone asked about heat embossing and I went ahead and responded. Because I had the opportunity to teach this class at Archiver's and the fact that I am a Close To My Heart consultant, I happen to know a LOT about this technique and I realized this as I typed my response, so I thought I would share it with you here. I will try to get a sample or two done over the weekend so you can have a visual to go with it, but here is a bunch of info, at least! Enjoy!

Feel free to ask any questions or comment with a link to some heat embossing you have done! I'd love to see it! If I can figure out how to do it I may even share it with my readers!

Now...to start...the discussion lent itself to suggestions on what to use as a heat source...therefore, I addressed this issue right off the bat...

I'm going to come in and say that it really is best to use a real craft heat gun. Yes, the toaster, candles, gas stove top, etc. will melt the powder, however, for the best results you need something that has a controlled, steady flow of heat. Not only that, but it is REALLY dangerous to use some of those things! I know a woman who caused a small kitchen fire because she used her toaster to heat emboss (and no...she didn't put it in the slot...the paper was just on top of the toaster).

As far as how to do it. I will have to check, but there may be a great video tutorial on the CTMH website. I used to teach it when I worked at Archiver's, too, but basically, you just want to ink your stamp in a sticky embossing ink, pigment ink, or versamark and stamp your image. Immediately cover the image with your powder...now you can breath! LOL! Step one to step 2 has to happen quickly, but once it is on, you have some time. Then you want to tap the image gently to remove excess powder...blowing works, too, but some say not to do this, as you will loose some of the powder on the image, for me, I do both and the tapping usually works best. If you still see some stray powder use a small paint brush to brush off the extra. Then, holding your heat tool a few inches above your image, heat the powder by moving the heat gun in a circular motion - you want to keep the gun moving at all times to avoid scorching. You will see "stages" of the heating process with most powders. First it is dry and crumbly, then, as it begins to heat it gets "gritty" looking, and then, when it is ready it is smooth and shiny. If you over heat it will become dull and very flat...when you are just starting out, I recommend doing this on purpose on a scrap just so you know how much is too much. I suggest that new embossers make "swatches" so they can get the feel of "not enough" heat, "just right," and "too much." That way you know exactly what you are doing when you work on your real projects. You can have the image on a flat surface (make sure it can handle the heat, though...silicone mats are GREAT for this!) or you can hold it while you heat it, but I recommend holding it with tweezers, as to not burn your fingers - those heat guns are VERY hot!

A few suggestions for beginners:
1. Don't start with an ultra-fine powder -they are a little trickier to work with, as they tend to get messy and go all over the place and it is likely to be frustrating.
2. Try clear and colored powders with different inks. A colored ink with a clear powder will show the color of the ink, a colored powder on a same colored ink will give a nice intense color, a colored powder on a different colored ink is not recommended as it tends to muddy the colors and look like poo. A metallic powder can go over any ink, as it will cover completely and the color will not show through.
3. You may want to invest in a corn starch pillow. It's a little embossing pillow that you swipe over your paper prior to inking that helps prevent excess powder from clinging to non-inked portions of your project. However, these are hard to use on dark papers because they are a white powder! LOL!

Let me know if you have any questions or comments! There are so many wonderful powders and inks out there to choose from, so mix it up and have fun!


Just for fun!

So I just hopped over to Blogthings to do this quiz. No surprise as to my results! LOL! So...what about you?

You Are a Liberal Lady

Like Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore, you don't shy away from your liberal causes.

You may consider yourself a feminist, and you definitely trust your heart to tell you what's right.

You are likely to have a million issues you care about - and not nearly enough time to devote to them all.

Oh...and while you are there...check out this quiz:

You Are Helvetica

Your life is ultra modern and ultra streamlined.

You don't get bogged down in details or decoration.

You like to think that you're the epitome of style and taste.

People either totally get you - or they think you're boring and generic.


It's Getting Closer!!!

Yup! The release of the Fall/Winter Close To My Heart Idea Book is only days away! I am SO excited because there are SO many wonderful new additions to the new catalog! The new colors - OH MY LOU! I am SO totally in love with them! Here are a few peaks since my catties are here and ready to be distributed after September 1st!


Ahhh! Nothing like the smell of fresh catalogs in the Fall! LOL!


Did someone say INK STORAGE??!!!


My personal new favorite line! TOTAL AND UTTER CUTENESS!!!!


Ribbon in new color goodness!!! I could just eat it up!


And who could resist those amazing stars and trees for the holidays?! LOVE them!

That's all for now!!! Don't forget! You can e-mail me at any time with orders the entire catalog can be seen online!!!


My Day...

Well, Sean was off with the Wallaston Youth Group today at Water Country, so I had the whole day to myself. It started off a bit shaky, as I lacked any motivation whatsoever, but I did end up getting a couple of things done.

First off, I created this awesome layout! Yes, I know I said my own layout is awesome, but I am seriously proud of it...it is one of my favorites ever at the moments, so I am going to celebrate it! LOL!

Wonderful Will took the photo for me and I was so excited that it turned out so cute because I have ALWAYS wanted a photo of us from the back! I just love it! I really wanted a great layout because I didn't want to "waste" such a great picture and the page came out exactly how I wanted it to, so that made me super happy!

Home is where YOU are

Then, I did a challenge that was posted by Julie over at All Moments Remembered. I can't say that this is one of my best ever, but I do really like it and I was thrilled to pull out some of my Close To My Heart papers and stamps because now I can SO use this layout as a sample or even do it in a workshop because it is rather simple to put together! Oh, yes....I AM a CTMH consultant, so if you are interested in anything let me know! I can answer questions, too...actually...I'm really good at that! LOL! I am SO excited about the new catalog that comes out on Sept. 1st. More about that later....

Maggie & Me

And then I worked on a mini album about Maggie and Thatcher that I will share when I finish it.

And finally, I made cupcakes! I have been drooling over all the fantastic "cupcake porn" (Their name...not mine! LOL!) on all kinds of blogs, so I just HAD to make a batch myself. Nothing fancy and I totally used a mix, but I did add a bit of raspberry jam between the layers of batter to make them special. The frosting mix that came with the kit wasn't great, so I tried to sweeten it up a little and I added a bit of almond extract, but I'm still not thrilled with it. I'm not huge frosting fan, but this seems REALLY buttery...like it might be good on steak! LOL! No...actually that would be gross....it has a hint of white chocolate so I'm thinking maybe that is the problem. I don't know. I did pull out my punches and make a cute stencil with my scalloped circle and my medium heart punch and sifted some cocoa powder over the frosting, so hopefully that will sweeten things up a bit...then I drizzled the raspberry topping that came with the kit on top, too....I hope they are good. I only had one and it was prior to the cocoa and topping and I can't have another one because of those darn POINTS! LOL!

Anyway...that was my Saturday! I hope yours was great!

Drumroll please.......

And the winner is.....

.....by random draw........

....oh, you really wanted to know? Okay then.......

Brit Swiderski said...

The girls at COCOA always send the best little RAKS- they totally brighten my day! One time, I mentioned how I really was wanting a journaling stamp, and one of the ladies sent me a whole set from autumn leaves. It was really nice. :) Enjoy your goodies!

August 22, 2008 12:03 PM

Congrats Brit! You are the first person to win Blog Candy on my blog!!!! Thanks for stopping by!!!! Please e-mail me your mailing address so that I can get this out to you!

And a HUGE thank you to all of you who are reading my blog! It's really cool that there are people out there who care! Thanks! This is so much fun!

More later today....maybe....LOL!


Good Times

I just LOVED these photos! It amazes me sometimes when all of my friends are so kind as to coordinate their outfits not ONLY with each other, but also with my favorite scrapbook papers! LOL! Remind me to thank them for that later! LOL! The colors were just too much fun to work with, as they are not ones that show up in my photos very often! A bunch of us went to the Cheesecake Factory after Josh and Kerrie's wedding and we had a blast!

Good Times


Patterned Papers: Basic Grey, SEI, and I think the background is My Mind's Eye, but I will have to double check!
Ghost Accents: Heidi Swapp (Thanks to Stacey over at AMR!)
Dew Drop Accents: Micheal's
Shrink Plastic Letters: Around the Block
Thickers Foam Letters: American Crafts
Ribbon: From My Stash
Pen for names on photos: Zig Photo Signature

Now...leave a link to a layout you have done with fun pics of you and your friends! I'd love to see them!

P.S. You may want to check out my post about the goodies I got in the mail....I'm just say'n is all.....you might wanna take a peak....

The MAX Factor

I am so excited to share this with you! I am a BzzAgent...that means that I have the opportunity to test products and to tell people about them! I only tell you what I think...if I like it...I tell you that...If I don't...I will tell you that! Well, as those of you who know me well know...I'm not a "big" make-up person. I like a little now and then, but not a ton, for sure! Recently BzzAgent sent me this collection from Max Factor:

Mac Factor

I really like it! No, seriously...there are a couple of things that really stood out to me. One..the brush for the mascara doesn't come in the bottle. Yup, it comes separately so that there isn't already a bunch of air pumped into that mascara bottle! Love that! Plus the brush is more of a soft flexible rubber that holds it's own shape really well to offer great shape for your lashes! Secondly, I really love how the blush is a mix of tones. It adds a lot of depth. And, yes, girls...this is a mineral color! You don't have to spend a fortune to get the good stuff! Finally, let's talk about the lip color! This was my FAVORITE! Seriously, it is amazing! It is a two step color process. You apply the smooth color (it feels great, too!) first and then, after that dries, you apply the clear stick overcoat to give a bit of shine and moisture. I wore this stuff all day and my lips never felt cracked and dry! It holds up well and, seriously folks....it feels REALLY good on! So smooth and silky! Give it a try!


Holy Amazing Mail Day Batman!

So, no, seriously, though folks...I had an AMAZING mail day yesterday! I was honored to receive two fabulous scrappy packages that I totally wasn't expecting! What can beat that???

First, MichelleRN over at AMR was awesome enough to notice that I was sad the other day because my treasured Uniball Signo white pen had run OUT! I know...can you believe it! I mentioned that I knew I couldn't get to the store for a couple of weeks to get one so do you KNOW what that SWEET girl went and did??? She sent me one that she had on hand!!!! Isn't that the awesomest thing EVER? (If I use it...it is a word. Good...now that we have that settled...let's continue....) ANYWAY....not ONLY did she send me a replacement for the best white pen in the wholest widest world....(refer to earlier parenthetical commentary...) but she also found these WAY cute stamps from Rubber Soul that I just about died for! LOL! I am a HUGE fan of monkeys in general and I had a really cute monkey avatar for awhile and so Michelle said that when she saw these stamps they made her think of ME!!! Even Sean thought they were great because of the Monkey! We are big monkey fans in this house...in case you hadn't picked up on that! So...here is a picture of the awesomeness that Michelle sent me. (PS....awesomeness doesn't actually fall under the earlier parenthetical commentary, as spell check seems to believe it really is a word...hmmm! Who Knew?!)

Awesome RAK from Michelle!

Oh....BUT WAIT.....That's not ALL, Folks! My incredible ScrapPal, Cindy, decided to send me one HUGE last package! OH MY SCRAPPYNESS! There is so much fun stuff here I can't even take it all in....there was a bag of Gummy Bears...Haribo, of course....but ummm.....I can't find it anywhere....yeah.....that's why it isn't in the photo.......

....I digress....seriously, though...check it out! Two J's! I do so love the letter J! Stamps and stickers, and paper, and Bazzill with an EDGE, and my favorite brand of brads and Thickers, and cocktails, and dogs OH MY! This was fun to open!

Awesome RAK from Cindy!

Closer view of Awesome RAK from Cindy!

Now tell me....who wouldn't want friends like mine? Are these people not just amazing! Thank you both! You have shined brightly on my entire week!

So...with all of this goodness, I just can't help but to share! I am going to offer a wonderful RAK opportunity to everyone who posts on this thread telling me something wonderful that a friend has done for you lately! I figure if you've read through my meaningless banter up to this point...you deserve it! LOL! Thanks for sticking around! I will post a winner sometime tomorrow, so be quick about it, huh? LOL!

Check this out!

Okay, so I would so TOTALLY love to win this, but I think everyone should know about it! Pam is so awesome and is giving away some great prizes!!! This one is the August Kit from Coconut Scrapshop!!!! How cool is that? Anyway...check out her post here over on her blog!

OOO! Ooo! Ooo! I know...I sound like a monkey, but I am very excited because I just figured out how to do that whole word link thing! LOL! I told you....in time I will have this blog stuff all figured out! LOL!


Sweet as a Cherry!

Here is a fun layout! I just love this photo and really wanted to create a fairly simple layout with the right colors to make it pop! I'm quite happy with the results!

Cardstock: American Crafts
Patterned Paper: Scenic Route, the Appleton Line
Button: Chatterbox
Ribbons: From my stash
Stamps and Ink: Close To My Heart (If you love them I can help with that!)
Pen: Uniball Signo
Chipboard Letters: Heidi Swapp
Punch: Threading Water, Fiskars



Project Runway: Paper Challenge

Well, that's what it felt like when I was creating this, anyway! LOL! This is the project that I created using the wonderful Chatterbox goodies. The dress form came from Creative Imaginations Bare Elements line and I love the way it turned out! I created the skirt by accordian folding strips of the velvet flocked paper and the glitter paper and then piecing them together. I had to do some paper molding to prevent the edges from showing and to give it a more natural look, but it wasn't too difficult. The tricky part came in creating the bodice! In the even that you were not already aware of this - paper doesn't move like fabric! LOL! It took me a couple of tries to get the right shape cut from my paper for starters and then, once I finally got that to a place I was happy with I worked on the details like the little cutesy neckline and the darts in the front that keep her looking trim! I love the velvet ribbon that I used to create the belt between the separates! I then used the brad elements for the accent at the waistline. In the package, the crochet piece had a brad in the center and the metal piece had a brad in the center. I just removed one of the brads and put them all together to create the accent and I love the texture that the layers show off! Finally, she needed something around the neckline. Originally I had the scarf around the front and not tied, but rather casually thrown around the neck, but that took away from the tiny details on the neckline, so I went with a soft knot in the back of the neck with a shorter trail from the scarf. I really like it! I hope you do, too!

*Okay...I need help! LOL! I am so new to this blogging thing and I just used the link provided by Photobucket.com to put the pictures up, but they don't fit into my template and I don't know how to fix it! If you can help, I'd greatly appreciate it! Thanks! Learning as I go, here, folks! LOL!






Monochromatic With a Punch

I was fortunate enough to win a prize on Melody Ross' Blog stuffed with the BRAND NEW Artsy-Licious line from Chatterbox! I received the box over the weekend and this stuff is GORGEOUS!!! The textures are just fantastic! I can't even tell you! This is what Courtney over at Chatterbox sent over:

Artsy.Licious goodness

Chatterbox Artsy.Licious

And then...over at All Moments Remembered (www.allmomentsremembered.com)Jo posted a Monochromatic layout challenge and I couldn't think of any better stuff to pull out than all of that Artsy.Licious goodness! So...while I need to create a specific project with those fun products, I had plenty to play with so I put that one off for another day and created this Monochromatic layout using the Alabaster color line. I love how even the buttons have the monochromatic patterns printed on them! So neat!

natural Beauty

Cardstock: American Crafts
Patterned Papers, buttons, satin scrunch ribbon, bling, chipboard letters: Chatterbox
Organdy Ribbon: Close To My Heart
Pen: Zig Millenium by EK Success

Let me know what you think! I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!


Welcome to my Musings!

I am so glad you have stopped by! Yes, this is my first ever post! I am very excited about it, but I am trying to figure out how all of this works, so please understand that this is a learning process for me! LOL! Because I love to scrapbook and create cards and all kinds of wonderful things with paper, that is what you will most likely find here. I hope to share with you, plant seeds of inspiration here and there, offer some fun tips, and, overall, just give you something interesting to read now and then!

I have been working on my scrapbook room, so I figured I'd begin with a photo from that adventure! I decided to organize my supplies into color coded vignettes within my IKEA Expedit shelving unit. I love this thing! It looks SO good like this, too! I am looking forward to working on the rest of the room to make it all look this good!
Black Box