Tuesday, October 27, 2015


My sandbox will always be my sandbox. I will always need an outlet for my creativity in whatever form it may come out. As a stamper, the old set-up was fully lined and equipped. However, I am more than a stamper and the changing needs of my household prompted me to repurpose my sandbox so that it yields room for other opportunities. It was a challenging concept especially when I don't have that much real estate to work with. However, that's what I thrive on and so I accepted it.

Life had happened and is still is, but I finally manage to dedicate the time it needed for my craft room to be the room that I wanted it to be and that it needed to be. I had envisioned solitude and calmness in a place where I would either be mesmerized to be lazy or inspired to be creative or just be by myself or with my mini. I believe I have met my goal.

I've always felt a deep connection with vintage so I thought I would make my room with that theme in mind but also reflect my modern minimalistic taste. Yikes!

With my husband at the helm of everything that is construction-related and his fair contribution on design and logistics, we rolled up our sleeves and breathed life into this once-drab room. Countless Pinterest ideas, my own ideas and art that I stumbled upon at least once in my life, I put down on my sketchbook. Some of the pieces, I already have and some I pursued and obtained. Mind you, my pieces are not at all rare that they were expensive. Rather, they fit my style perfectly.

The walls were painted white on all three sides and of course, I had to have an accent wall. I have always been fond of my Real Red, Basic Gray and Pool Party combination so why not put them up on the wall. It was the husband's idea to pick which wall it would be and to continue the colors to another side of the wall. It was quite a bit to take at first, but the combo eventually grew on me. I knew I wanted my favorite poem hoisted in this room so what a better place to put on this wall. Recently, I developed a fond for old typewriters. I got one at the local antique shop that is dated around the 60s. Upon looking for a matching typewriter desk, I stumbled upon a red beauty from the 30s. Of course, I had to have that! It would go perfectly against the backdrop of my color-blocked wall! Next, I needed an old-fashioned display case to house pieces endeared to my heart. And that wall came together. It is my favorite corner.

Then comes the work area. Hubby built in two long shelves for my tools and stamps. The shelves weren't enough so we got a soft-closing drawer cabinet from Ikea for the rest. I had to down-size quite a bit, as this still wasn't enough. This side stayed white with a splash of red. I'm happy with it.

Then came the lounge wall. Ahhh, this is like the biggest & most comfy bean bag ever! It's a sofa modular that turns into a small queen bed. Perfect for lounging around or sleeping in. I am not done with this wall but believe you me, I have my gallery of wall pieces waiting to be hung.

I'm very content and thankful that I have been given the opportunity to put to life the ideas that were swimming in my head. I'm thankful to have the family that I have as they inspire me to chug along. I will do just that. I will be creating soon. After all, it will be Christmas, my favorite holiday.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sandbox Redux Part Deux

For those of you who know me, I've been known to drop off from time to time, for a slew of reasons: to recharge and get re-inspired or life simply happens. I'm guilty of all the above but one thing for sure is I revert back to what I really am and that is being a creator of something, be it my cards, my digital pages, or photography. With that said, I over-hibernated online and have woken up. It was amazing to learn that some of you actually enjoyed my blog and missed my posts. It was touching to hear and I'm humbled and gracious for that.

I have been creating, believe me. In the past year, I was blessed with the biggest canvas (aka, home) of my life and it was all for me to make my own and leave my stamp wherever my heart desired. My hubby was open to the blind challenge I subjected him. Without him, I wouldn't get the most taxing work laid out.

Now that most of the work in the house is finished (to the extent that our pockets can dip into), I now have time to focus on my sandbox. I had focused my energy in each room of our house and arranged according to my heart's mood and my eyes' perspective. My sandbox took the backseat and that was only because it deserved careful thinking and envisioning. Once I got to it, I discovered there was a bit of re-purposing that needed to happen. It's still my sandbox, but I also have to make it a guest room. This called for downsizing and getting rid of my huge craft table that my husband made (**tears welled up as I reluctantly parted with, but happy to say that it found a good home in my husband's workshop**).

I love color and so here's the palette I have chosen. I can't wait for this sandbox to pop with these delicious colors. It's the beginning of something great and awesome. I can feel it! I love progress photos so watch out for those. I love these challenges. It makes me alive and well.

Monday, October 27, 2014

And So It Was

I had my first Stamp Camp two weekends ago. The late nights, the bursts of ideas, the hard work that everyone contributed paid off. My gratitude to all of you.

I introduced the Tramps to techniques they have never tried before. The results turned out to be gorgeous at so many levels. I'm not just talking about the looks of their finished cards but also by judging the reaction on our faces, we truly felt like we accomplished something beautiful and challenging. With a full day ahead of us, we trudged on. We finished a craft project and three cards.

Word Blocks
I've been fascinated with words for as long as I can remember. Now I have them all over my house. With the project that we just finished, I can make any words I want and/or even gift them. I found a couple of great wooden blocks online. I thought the 1.5" size was perfect. After sanding the corners, we used Mod Podge to adhere SU!'s designer series paper (that I cut to size). The words were cut out from using my Silhouette. By the way, this machine is amazing! I love it. Everyone came up with different words that inspire them, that grab them.

Gesso Card
Our first card utilized the gesso technique. This was especially exciting for me as it was the first time I had used it. I learned about this technique on SCS about a year ago and bought gesso then. Of course it sat in my stash until I started playing with it last month. Oh boy, I don't know why the heck I waited a long time to use it! I guess the right stamp set had to come along. I love the texture that gesso provides after it dries up. It's like doing stucco painting on card stock instead of your walls. The next challenge for me was finding the right colors. Well, I didn't really have to wander too far to find them as the clean and sleek style in my office building provided these colors already. So of course I incorporated them into this card. What a perfect blend!

Stamp Sets:
Four Feathers
Something to Say
French Script background (retired)

Island Indigo
Hello Honey
Smoky Slate

2011-2013 In Color brad (retired)

Reflection Card
This card is the most challenging of the three, in my opinion. I was both excited and jittery when I first showed this. First, you heard the "wows" which was in itself was a relief. Then came the "how are we gonna do this?" type of question. I opted to use a textured paper for this card. Of course, there are many different ways to do the reflection technique. You can use a mirror image stamp block (a blank rubber stamp) where you stamp the main image into the mirror image stamp and then stamp it onto the card stock. Another way is to use acetate or any type of transparent medium that you flip onto the main card stock. The method I used is the brayer. I inked up the main image with the Memento Tuxedo black ink and rolled the brayer on it and then re-rolled the inked up brayer with the image onto the card stock. I did this twice, first with the trees and then with the deer. Once the reflection images were done, then I re-inked the stamps to go onto the card stock. This was easier to achieve with photopolymer stamps and acrylic blocks as I was able to see where I needed to line up the main image against the reflection image. The moon is masked on both sides. On the reflection side, I sponged with Soft Sky all throughout and Lost Lagoon on the horizon to provide a perception of depth. On the main image side, I sponged with Smoky Slate all throughout and Craft White around the moon to give a haze look. I smeared the ground and the branches with Dazzling Details for the snow effect and finished off with the darling rhinestones. Smearing was such a great idea. I got it from the Tramps.

Stamp Sets:
White Christmas Photopolymer

Tuxedo Black Memento
Soft Sky
Smoky Slate
Whisper White Craft

Dazzling Details

House Card
I'm not supposed to have a favorite but this has got to be mine.  The silhouette houses made the perfect background for the embossed houses in black. I stamped the Dictionary background on Whisper White before I used the thin lit dies from Holiday Home. Then on Basic Black, I embossed in white the Holiday Home stamp set. This was originally going to be a black and white house, but thought to add a bit of color by swiping Real Red, Elegant Eggplant and Crushed Curry onto the rainbow stamp of Works of Art.

Stamp Sets:
Holiday Home Stamps & Thinlit Bundle

Basic Black
Real Red
Elegant Eggplant
Crushed Curry

There you have it. Not a bad start to make holiday cards. The problem is always with time. But then again you should make time for something good that feeds your spirit.

I've had the greatest time with the Tramps and we've definitely had the most unique experiences. I will take this experience as one that is uplifting and educational.

Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

In A Word

As I moonlight my way into the wee hours of the night to prepare for the special event for my tramps this Sunday, I am nothing short of ideas bursting out of my head. The only downside to it is that I only have one day to showcase projects so I have to be wise about what makes the cut. The upside is we have the rest of our stamping lives to share those that will not make it for as long as the passion lives on.

I get beyond giddy when my idea on paper turns into exactly how I want it in reality, especially when I am working with new medium and techniques. There's a certain experience I feel when I am in the zone, when I am inspired and the creative juices flow. As a preparation for Sunday, I have asked my tramps to think of a word that inspires them, grabs their attention, or just simply amuses them. It can be any word - an adverb, a verb, or even someone's name. Whatever it is, ponder it and I promise we will make something of it.

Another hint on what I am working on. By the way, I am so hesitant to post this for fear of being outed by my equally smart and creative tramps. Oh well, that is the chance I take.

All for now...

Happy Stamping!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's Cooking?

A whole lot, apparently. Now that my sandbox is up and running, so is my mind. Ideas are popping out of my head so quickly, they wake me up in the middle of the night! Supplies for the upcoming Tramp Camp are slowly trickling in. And the good news is they are what I expected them to be.

I could only play for a little bit tonight as I have to do some "have-to's" in the real world. I do want to share hints of what I have in mind for the Tramps. For sure we will be creating cards, but using arse-kicking techniques that I haven't done since the olden days. I was extremely proud and excited then but a lot more now as I will be incorporating ideas I stumbled upon since re-joining last year.

Well below is the first hint. I don't know what you think I will be doing with it but it is going to be some kind of wonderful. Take a guess, if you like and let's see how close you get when you find out on October 12th.

Happy Stamping!

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's About Darn Time!

As I recharge to get my creative juices oozing, I share the cards that the tramps and I created at Gina's workshop back in August. It was such an awesome day to make cards especially with the Santa Cruz harbor right in the backyard. How much more inspiring could have it gotten?

As you know, I love to incorporate techniques in my cards. I love spending the time to create a certain effect and admire how it reflects on my finished art. And of course, I think my tramps welcome and love the challenge.

For both cards, I used the selective embossing technique using a diffuser. Selective embossing leaves an area of the card stock smooth while everything else is embossed with patterns from the embossing folder. You can purchase a diffuser from various craft manufacturers or make one on your own.

The one I made consists of several pieces of cardboard (the kind that comes in DSP packaging) cut into 4 1/4 x 5 1/5. With a circle framelit from the Circles Collection, I put a hole in the same exact spot of each of the four cardboards before I stacked them and glued them together. Using the bottom layer of the platform from my Big Shot, I sandwiched the Whisper White cardstock in between the embossing folder, with the DIY diffuser on top, and the cutting pads on the top and bottom layers. I ran this ensemble on the Big Shot and the result is an embossed cardstock except on the area where there was a hole on the diffuser, which left a smooth unembossed surface to stamp on.

Stamp Sets:
Really Good Greetings
Work of Art
Summer Silhouettes
Card stock:
Whisper White
Pumpkin Pie
Basic Black
Pumpkin Pie
Daffodil Delight
Real Red
Decorative Dots embossing folder
Itty Bitty Punch

And here are their spins, my Tramps, my Rebels:

The next card we made used the negative template of the diffuser so that it embossed only the circle. Here I used the  Honeycomb embossing folder to create the background. 

Stamp Sets: 
Gorgeous Grunge
Teeny Tiny Wishes
Whisper White
Hello Honey
Hello Honey
Little Letters Thinlits

Of course the Tramps had to put their own spin on it. There is just so much opportunities for personalization especially when you have the entire alphabet at your beck and call!

So there you have it....hope this inspires you if for but for a brief moment.

Also, watch out for little teasers that I will post in the next coming weeks to give you an idea of what is in store for Tramp Camp in October. I am beyond excited!

Happy Stamping!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sandbox Redux

As I sort through our new reality with all the changes that have come our way for the last few months and not to mention the routine that is life and work that puts food on the table, I sort of got off tangent and broke away from my creativity temporarily. My sandbox was in disarray for a couple of months as I prioritized what was in dire need of my attention, of my personal touch. It was the entire house, of course, but my beloved sandbox took the back seat. Then there is work. I am still trying to reign it in so that it does not completely take over me. Sometimes, I am unsuccessful.

My body spoke in protest. It totally stopped me on my tracks that I had to go home and forced myself to rest for two days. It also allowed me to re-focus and put balance in my routine. I needed to conjure a plan. For me to start producing again, I need some space. I went into reform mode, unpacked everything that needed to be unpacked, hung what needed to be hung, displayed a few inspirations. I spent some time in the sandbox today, to put back some of the love and care it badly needed. I am happy with the outcome. I cannot wait to dirty it again and get the creativity oozing.

I am looking forward to my first Tramps Camp in October. I have been toying with a few ideas for quite some time now. There will be games, auctions, and of course lots of stamping with very good company.

I am excited!

Happy Stamping!