Sunday, September 30, 2012

Color Studies

Sometimes, it's fun to play with color combinations and see the difference made by color. It's especially fun when it's quick...simple layout, simple embellishment. From concept to finish, these cards took all of ten minutes, and that includes having to color some of the bling with Bics!

Pink, Purple, and Girly

Red, Orange, Yellow, and Hot

Blue, Green, Yellow, and New

I challenge you to do something similar this week. Play with colors, either analogous (three colors side by side on the color wheel) or something else. Doesn't matter. Just play.

stamps: Hero Arts (butterflies, Nature Prints), Papertrey (can't remember)
ink: Versacolor
paper: PTI white
accessories: rhinestones, misc. Bic markers

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Heads Up!

Sadly, I've had to turn off Anonymous comments today. This is temporary but necessary as I have received about fifty spam comments on this morning's post in the past six hours.


If you are not a registered Google or OpenID user and really have something to say, please email me at susanraihala at woh dot rr dot com. Again, I am soooo sorry about this and will enable Anonymous commenting again soon.

Your understanding is GREATLY appreciated!

More Purple and Khaki, with a Surcee Discussion on the Side

Today's cards play up the purple and khaki color combo I used on this card. Basically, I experimented with different amounts of the colors. Perhaps you've heard of the gallon-pint-ounce proportional color scheme, where you have a lot of one color, some of another, and a hint of a third. Well, my versions are more gallon-cup-quarter-cup, but I like them anyway!

gallon river rock, cup white, quarter cup purple

gallon white, half-cup each of purple and river rock

Guess which is my favorite?

White really is my go-to gallon color, but I know a lot of you prefer kraft. Isn't it great we can all have what we want when it comes to color?

stamps: Hero Arts (sentiment), SU (border, Summer Silhouettes), PTI (leaves)
ink: VersaColor
paper: PTI white, SU river rock
accessories: label punch, oval punch, dimensionals, rhinestones, half pearls,

Surcee Discussion

Dixie and seralewis were the only readers who knew about surcees...or at least the only ones who commented about what they knew. Seralewis knew of a shop in North Carolina called Surcee that sells small gifts, and Dixie knew someone in North Carolina who referred to pet treats as surcees. I decided to google the term, and while google isn't yielding a peer-review etymological analysis of the word, I found lots of discussion of usage of the word in Charleston, South Carolina, and North Carolina as well. It's used consistently to refer to small gifts given for no particular reason. This explanation of its origins was perhaps the clearest:

"Surcee is a word, used in the South [United States], that is believed to have its origins in the Scotch and Irish who settled in the region. The Scottish word for "surprise" is pronounced much like 'surcee' and could be a phonetic form passed down from generation to generation. Another possible origin for the word is from the Irish term 'sussie' which means to care." Source

I checked my Oxford English Dictionary, and apparently the word hasn't appeared in print (at least before my edition was published). It also isn't in my giant Random House dictionary.

My mom's family settled in North Carolina several centuries ago (perhaps as early as the late 1600s), and they were, indeed, Scottish and Irish, as were many of the early settlers of the area. So instead of being a diminutive of "surprise," as many of us supposed, I think we can safely conclude (unless further evidence is brought before the Court of Language) that surcee is an oral remnant of the Scottish or Irish language influence, and my grandmother's use of the term arose from the rich tradition of generous and kind family and community.

As a language lover, I'm gratified with such an explanation. But even more so, I'm reminded of the importance of small things like surcees. Mother Teresa (neither Scot nor Irish) said, "We cannot all do great things, but we can all do small things with great love." My grandmother's family was not wealthy, but they did whatever small things they could with great love, and those small things were important enough that they preserved a word for them.

What a wonderful legacy!

[If you're curious about my grandmother, you can read the memorial I wrote for her that was read at her funeral. Perhaps she will inspire those of you drowning in the minutiae of motherhood to see things a bit differently. She did that for me.]

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rock and Roll

I had such plans for chatter about surcees tonight, but I'm tired and going to bed. So here's a little rock and roll instead.

I made this card because there was a spare twine bow on my desk for about two months. It was so happy to be used! And here's another Gratitude Campaign card. Yay!

Good night.

stamps: Papertrey (Signature Greetings, that leaf set whose name escapes me because I need to go to bed and not type)
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: twine, small glue dot

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Flashback to Summer Silhouettes

I want to get back to a card I made a while back with Summer Silhouettes, the SU set that Phyllis kindly sent to me. This simple layout is VERY appealing and can either have huge dramatic impact (think colored card base/white panel, or bright colored panel with white embossing on a white card) or it can be deliciously CAS with white on white and a happy color combo!

Guess which way I went?

Not hard, eh?

I used a wonderful khaki-ish color from VersaColor and a purple...what a neat combination! The flower still looked a bit flat, though, so I pulled out my Sakura Stardust purple pen and went to town.

Notice how I only added the sparkle to the x-shaped flowers, not the dots, which creates a bit of a dimensional effect and gives the whole thing that little something extra.

SOOOOO easy!

And I just have to share a funny story with you. I was taking the tags off new bras yesterday, and my younger son Jack walked in. His face lit up, and he said, "Boobies! Did you buy new boobies, Mom?"

I nearly died trying not to laugh.

stamps: Hero Arts (sentiment), StampinUp (Summer Silhouettes)
ink: VersaColor
paper: Papertrey
accessories: Sakura Stardust pen, dimensionals

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hampton Art Present Stamp: Take 3

1. Let's announce the sursee winner first...Sharon D!!!!!!!!!!

Sharon D said...
So glad you are feeling better, Susan! I missed you! Love this card with the punched circles--so creative. I haven't heard of sur-sees before, but I would guess, as others have, that it's a version of "surprises," or perhaps related to a French word?
September 25, 2012 2:40 PM

Congratulations, Sharon!!!!! Please email me at susanraihala at woh dot rr dot com with your snail mail address.

And Dixie pointed out someone from North Carolina uses sursee to refer to dog treats. Well, I and my grandmother are born and bred in North Carolina (as Dixie knows), and so that makes sense. But Grandma definitely used the term for people treats.

2. The OLW for this week is brought to you courtesy of Karen Dunbrook. Check out her blog tomorrow for the challenge! My apologies to Heather for being unable to participate in or promote her blog last week. I totally nailed a card for her challenge, too. Will post it soon!

3. We have another take on the Hampton Art present stamp. This time, will wonders never cease!, I colored in the outline present with Copics!

Coloring these presents and cutting them out is incredibly easy. I saw the technique on Jennifer McGuire's blog a while back. You stamp the image to be colored on scrap paper, then color it without regard for staying in the lines. You can be as sloppy as you want!

To color, just quickly color the whole image with a light shade. Add a bit of dark across the bottom, and then use the light marker to blend the two with circular motions of the marker. Repeat as necessary to get the intensity of color you want.

Finally, you cut the images out, and they look just a neat and tidy as can a fraction of the time it takes when you have to stay in the lines!

Jennifer is brilliant.

I used the Hero Arts happy definition stamp to ground the images, and of course added a touch of bling to each because...well, bling doesn't need a reason, does it?

stamps: Hero Arts, Hampton Art
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: Copic markers, dimensionals, rhinestones

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hampton Art Presents Stamp: Take 2

Hello! I've felt half-way decent for a whole 24 hours! Yay!

For those who wish to shop for their own present stamp, it's a Janet Dunn Design for Hampton Art, PS0667. But I can't find it online anywhere. It's relatively new, but may just be available at Michael's.

Now, large stamps like this one--composed of many parts--are incredibly useful. You can, of course, use the entire stamp as I did yesterday, or you can isolate individual elements of the stamp and use them separately, as I will demonstate today and tomorrow.

I also love that I can play a bit with the whole chevron trend without buying into it completely because, as my younger son would say, "It's not my favorite." One present out of the five has chevrons. In a small dose like that, I can enjoy it without having my eyes water. (My apologies to the chevron fanatics out there!)

To make this, I isolated each present with post-it notes, inked each separately with VersaColor ink, and stamped each separately on scrap paper with plenty of white space around the image. Then I punched each out with a 1 3/4" circle punch, artfully having each present slide out of its circle to make the whole thing more interesting.

It worked. Squeeee!!!!

The design is playful and dynamic, in contrast to the static design of the straight line of presents, and very in keeping with the sentiment and theme. I just love how completely different the feel of this card is from yesterday's black-and-white birthday card.

Versatility is GOOD!

And speaking of presents, when I was little, my grandmother referred to presents given for no good reason as "sur-sees." Grandma made up a lot of words just for fun, but that one really stuck in our family. Sur-sees are supposed to be small little surprises, so I'm going to pick a random comment from today's post and send its author a packet of bling. I'll pick a comment around 6:00 tomorrow evening. [It's Monday evening now...or prevening, if you are a Sheldon Cooper fan!]

Has anyone heard the term sur-see before? I'm spelling it phonetically, so it may be a play on a real word, exaggerated by my silly grandma. Oh how I miss her!

stamps: Hampton Arts, Papertrey (Signature Greetings)
ink: VersaColor
paper: PTI white
accessories: dimensionals, circle punch (1 3/4"), rhinestones

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hampton Arts Presents Stamp: Take 1

Thanks for your patience and good wishes as I've been recovering. Your comments and emails were very sweet. I think I'm on the mend, but whatever bug's got me seems lets me start to feel a bit better, then WHAM! Flattened again.

So let's hope that today's increase in energy is, in fact, a sign of recovery. I plan on taking it slowly, no matter what. I hope you all are well!

A few weeks ago, I purchased a new stamp at Michael's because I really don't have enough birthday-themed stamps. I've used the whole stamp as it is on the wood block for both of today's cards. Then, over the next few days, I'll share some variations that turned out quite fun!

First up, stylish black and white with tiny colored blings. One of the packages is popped up because I'd already ruined three card bases with inadequate inking, and I had to improvise.

The second version changes the color and turns the theme to Christmas.

So, what do you think of this stamp?

stamps: Hampton Art Stamps, Papertrey (Mega Mixed Messages)
ink: VersaColor
paper: PTI
accessories: rhinestones, stamp positioner

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Taking a Bit of a Break...

while the antibiotics have a chance to work. Doctor says I've got myself a nasty sinus infection, but I hope to start feeling better in a few days. Thanks so much for all the good thoughts and prayers, and V, I wish I could take you up on that chicken soup!

Monday, September 17, 2012



Thanks for all the get well wishes. I' definitely better than over the weekend but still not feeling great. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and will hopefully be back blogging on Wednesday, in time to promote this week's OLW. As my grandma used to say, "If God's willin' and the creek don't rise!"

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Sorry, but there's no funny stuff today. I've been sick. Sick enough to stay in bed for two whole days. Sooooo, all I've got to give today is a card. Hopefully, I'll feel better tomorrow and can come up with a chuckle or two.

Until then, enjoy a word collage of Blessings.

stamps: variety of Papertrey clear stamps
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: twine, dimensionals, gridded acrylic block

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Double Thanks

First of all, I must thank Phyllis S. for sending me the SU Summer Silhouettes set, which I have thoroughly gotten inky and absolutely love!

Second, I want to thank all of you who have subscribed or followed my new blog Transforming Common Days, which is a very happy place. Special thanks to all who have commented and shared their own grateful hearts there!

So here's a card for double thanks, using Summer Silhouettes and VersaColor cube inks.

The "ground" is provided by the lovely lattice border stamp that comes in the set, and then the Queen Anne's lace flower comes from a two-step stamping process, for which I used my stamp positioner despite the fact that these are unmounted, or as SU calls them, clear-mounted.

The sentiment is from a Hero Arts clear set, and a pair of orange pearls give a bit of interest and balance to the card.

Have a lovely weekend!

stamps: SU, Hero Arts
ink: VersaColor lime, orange, bark
paper: PTI white
accessories: half pearls

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sharing Your Gratitude Campaign Cards

At reader Darnell's suggestion, I will be putting up an InLinkz Button on the sidebar so people can share their Gratitude Campaign cards. This sharing will be open until Thanksgiving Day in the States (November 22). Won't it be fun and inspiring to have a bunch of Gratitude cards all in one place!?!?

Look for the button later today.

Thanks, Darnell, for the wonderful idea!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Autumn Blessings

First, today's card, which is one of my favorite gratitude cards yet this year. Squeeee!

I just love all the white space and the white-on-white layering. Plus, the Memento Morocco ink looks simply stunning paired with SU's cherry cobbler, doesn't it? I thought about adding a bit of bling, but then decided that the the awesome color combo had enough interest to carry the card all by itself. Also, the leaf points at the sentiment, thus creating a relationship between it and the sentiment that helps unify the card.


On another topic, I heard back from Debi in Customer Service at Tsukineko. She wanted more information about the problem I'm having with the Memento Inks and seemed sympathetic. We'll see what happens next. I stamped with the new inks today and found that if I rub the pad over the stamp, then tap the pad on the stamp, I get better images, but there are still weird white spots and some blotchiness. It's just so strange!

Please let me know if you're having the same problem--or even a different problem--with the new Memento ink colors. The more information we can give the company, the more likely we'll get some sort of satisfactory resolution!

stamps: Papertrey First Fruits
ink: Memento and SU
paper: PTI white
accessories: dimensionals

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

OLW105 Autumn

Okay! Cheryl's One-Layer Wednesday challenge this week is PERFECT as a continuation of the Gratitude Campaign. It's to make a card that shows what you love about autumn.

Since I don't have a stamp of apple fritters from a local farm, I'm going to stick with Thanksgiving, which is a holiday near and dear to my heart (not to mention near, and occasionally on, my birthday!).

Fun Factoid: George was stationed in Wichita, Kansas, for a few years in the 1990s, and I attended Wichita State University's graduate program in English. WSU's mascot is--and I know you'll find this hard to believe--a shock of wheat. Seriously. You can read about it here.

Anyway, autumn is my favorite season of the year, and that means something since I almost never have favorites of anything. But my favorite season it is.

Wheat, corn, harvest, apples, pumpkins, crisp and cool days, bright blue skies, colored leaves, hayrides, corn mazes, caramel apples, turkey, cranberries, and thanks. It's all so good.

Especially the apple fritters.

stamps: A Muse, Hero Arts
ink: Memento
paper: PTI vintage cream
accessories: bling

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


NOTE: The OLW for this week will be found on Cheryl's blog. I'm so excited about it!

Here's a simple gratitude card using Papertrey's Out on a Limb set.

The limb in this set MUST be grounded somehow, either by going off the edge of the card or by some other visual "anchor." It's too big to stand by itself. Without an anchor, the limb is just floating around on the card like some sort of ghost.  A ghost limb. Ohhhh, that's creepy.

In this case, a simple knot of sheer brown ribbon serves the purpose of anchoring the image onto the card, yet keeps the whole effect light and airy.

stamps: Papertrey Out on a Limb, Fall Elegance
ink: can't remember the brown, but the red is SU Cherry Cobbler
paper: PTI vintage cream
accessories: sheer brown ribbon

Monday, September 10, 2012

Memento Inks and Unintended Consequences

I screwed up scheduling this post, so please scroll down for the first post of the day.

Okay, I still haven't heard from Tsukineko about my problems with the new Memento Ink colors. It's really weird how spotty (pun not intended) their performance is. Here are two cards, largely identical except for the colors. The blue one was stamped with old colors, and the green one with new colors. You can see a small but significant difference in the quality of the images.

old colors

new colors

As you can see, the greens aren't terrible, they just aren't great. But honestly, I cannot get even this mediocre level of performance from them consistently. (And yes, I know the big white blotch on the far right of the card is from detritus on the stamp, not the ink. Bad stamper!)

So now for the unintended consequences...

Memento inks have been my go-to inks for a while now, which means I've been neglecting all the other inks I own. And I own a lot of inks. So now that I'm playing around with others (so to speak), I'm falling back in love with them again. The VersaColor cubes, for example, are delightful, and I have almost 45 of them. I do wish VersaColor had pretty oranges, though. Memento oranges are fabulous.

Anyway, you'll be seeing the difference in the next couple of weeks. And I, for one, am heartily glad that this hobby of ours gives us so many wonderful choices. When one thing doesn't work, another is bound to work just fine!

PS Many thanks to all who have supported my new blog, Transforming Common Days. You rock!

stamps: Papertrey Beautiful Blooms, Simple Little Things
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: corner rounder, dimensionals

Sending Sunshine

Today's card was sent a while back to Jennifer Scull, who was having a hard time seeing the sunshine.

It's a bit different for me, though certainly still clean and simple. I cut a large circle mask using a Creative Memories circle cutter and adhered it with a temporary tape runner. After sponging the circle with Memento Tangelo ink, I stamped the A Muse music background over the mask in Memento Morocco.

After removing the mask, I stamped the solid pennant stamp from Hero Arts pennant set repeatedly along the edge of the circle in Tangelo. Then, I added the sentiment (Hero Arts discontinued) in Morocco.

Cancer sucks. It seems to be everywhere I turn, even on the internet. So today, I'm going to be grateful that there are so many treatments and that they have progressed so far in the past decade. We don't have cancer's butt kicked yet, but lots of smart people are working on it. My friends Ruth, Ragan, and Mary are doing well in the aftermath of treatment, and I hope to be able to say the same about Jennifer soon!

stamps: A Muse, Hero Arts
ink: Memento
paper: PTI
accessories: mask, temporary tape, sponge

Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Announcement

I have an announcement to make!

I've started a new blog, called Transforming Common Days. Click on the title to go to the main page, or go to the About tab to find out the motivation behind it.

Don't worry. This blog, and my Questioning my Intelligence blog, will continue, business as usual. But I sure hope you'll join me on Transforming Common Days and begin transforming your own common days. Besides, it dove-tails nicely with the Gratitude Campaign!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Banner Birthday

Let's deviate from the recent holiday posts and celebrate a birthday!

This card, made with Hero Arts' clear banner set, takes advantage of clear stamps' bendability (is that a word? should be!). The sentiment (from Papertrey's Birthday Basics set) is curved on the acrylic block to nestle over the banner. Love that!

And gratuitous bling makes everything blingier, doesn't it?

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

stamps: Hero Arts, Papertrey
ink: Memento Bahama blue, gray flannel;  SU green galore
paper: PTI
accessories: rhinestones

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy Christmas

As promised to my British readers who prefer their Christmases happy rather than merry, here's my Happy Christmas card.

The colors are SU's Baja Breeze and Marina Mist. The colorless bling was colored with a Bic marker to get the right that trick! It works with Sharpies, too, and probably Copics, but I've never tried them myself. Unfortunately, the rhinestone looks darker in the photo than it is in real life. It's actually a match for Marina Mist and so gives a more subtle shine (and a much less blob-like appearance) to the card than the photo indicates.

The sentiment is from A Wreath for All Seasons, and the snowflake is from Winterberry, both of which are sets from Papertrey.

A Thank You
I also want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to reader Phyllis S., who kindly sent me her extra Summer Silhouettes set from StampinUp. I can't wait to play with it this weekend and share some cards next week.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gratitude Campaign Card #2

The Gratitude Campaign is off to a great start! I just love how quickly people embrace something positive and uplifting!

My second card for the Gratitude Campaign is another one-layer card, using First Fruits and Fall Elegance, only this time the image is from First Fruits and the sentiment is from Fall Elegance. These two sets just may be my favorite Papertrey sets of all time.

The card uses the "sweet spot" in the lower right corner, as well as some shiny brown rhinestone pinecones to kick it up a notch. And white space. Glorious white space.

Update on the Memento Ink Issue...

I'm not happy. Not happy at all. The inks I blotted are now, I think, too dry. It's very frustrating because I have never had a problem with the old colors and fully expected the new ones to work just as wonderfully as the old ones. I'm going to email the manufacturer about this, especially because some of you have experienced the same problems.

If you choose to blot, be careful not to over-blot. But I tested mine as I blotted, and at no point before I stopped blotting did they stamp cleanly.

In frustration yesterday, I pulled out my VersaColor cubes...I have several dozen of these. They worked absolutely flawlessly with the clear stamps. But the ink is dense, opaque ink, not the clear ink of Memento. For most of my purposes, VersaColor, VersaMagic, and Brilliance inks---all of which work great with clear stamps---will suffice. But it's just so nice having an ink like long as it works!


I will keep you posted.

stamps: Papertrey First Fruits, Fall Elegance
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: brown rhinestones, corner rounder

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

OLW104: Let's Kick Off the 2012 Gratitude Campaign

Welcome to the One-Layer Wednesday #104, which is our kick-off for the...drum roll please...

2012 Gratitude Campaign!

What, you may ask, is the Gratitude Campaign?

The Gratitude Campaign is my annual attempt to save Thanksgiving from the commercial limbo between Halloween and Christmas. I resent that Thanksgiving only gets an end-cap at Target. Those of you who read my other blog know how important an attitude of gratitude is to me, and it's just sad that Thanksgiving has become an excuse to over-eat rather than an opportunity to jump in a big pile of autumnal gratitude and roll around in it.

So every year for Thanksgiving, I send cards to random people in my life, telling them how grateful I am to know them.

And I invite you to play along.

My campaign is WAY more fun than politics.

Nicer, too.

So let's kick it off with one-layer cards intended to let people know how grateful we are that they exist.

Here's the first of many Gratitude Campaign cards I will make.

It riffs on the design style I pulled from the book 1,000 Bags, Tags, and Labels. LOVE all that white space. Or, in this case, vintage cream space. And the brown and dark green color scheme screams masculine card to me. Definitely going to a guy...perhaps my uncle, who is an awesome dude.

And now it's your turn. Will you commit to sending at least one card for Thanksgiving to someone you appreciate? We're starting so early because my friends in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving earlier than we in the States do. I want them to have time to make plenty of cards to share their gratitude.

And what if you're not American or Canadian, and your homeland doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving? Well, we believe in equal-opportunity gratitude and are happy to share our holiday of thankfulness with the entire world. Please join us!

OLW104 Rules

1. A ONE-LAYER card is defined as a SINGLE layer of card stock folded in half. NO OTHER LAYERS allowed!

2. Make a card that expresses your gratitude for a loved one, friend, coworker, barista at Starbucks, or any other person who has been important to you. It's always fun to send these cards to people you've not had contact with in a long time!

3. Post your card somewhere online and link back to it using the InLinkz button on the sidebar of Simplicity. Please make sure you link to the specific post on your blog rather than your blog's main page.

4. HAVE FUN!!!!

stamps: Papertrey First Fruits (sentiment), Fall Elegance (leaf)
ink: Memento
paper: PTI vintage cream
accessories: rhinestones, post-it mask, sponge

OLW103, Scoring

Finally! Here's my card for OLW103, hosted by Karen Dunbrook. Sorry it took so long!

I used three scored lines to ground my wintery Christmas tree. The color combo here--Memento Bahama Blue and London Fog--is so striking in real life...not sure the photo does it justice.

stamps: Papertrey Winterberry (ornament, sentiment), Falling Leaves (tree)
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: Scor-Pal, rhinestones

Monday, September 3, 2012

Shades of Orange Halloween Card and Follow-up on Yesterday's Questions

Don't forget about last week's OLW103 on Karen's use scoring on a card. I'll post my card tomorrow (Tuesday). It's made, but not photographed yet. Then, I'll be hosting this week's OLW104, which will go live at midnight Tuesday night.

Today's card continues the use of Papertrey's Sign Language set, which is a really fun set that covers a LOT of holidays and events. Lots of stamp manufacturers make small square images that can easily be punched might have some in your stash. If so, take them out and play. It's hip to be square!

I rarely make Halloween cards, just mainly for my sons and niece and nephews. Not sure who will get this one, but I sure like it.

Using the three shades of Memento orange, I created a graduated grid of pumpkins. Now, I want graduated orange bling to dress up these pumpkins, but perhaps that would be too much.

Some people are afraid of grids because they worry about precise placement. Here's what you do. Start with the square in the center of the grid and lay all nine squares out, using a ruler to keep the margins even all around. I usually aim for a 1/8" gap between all the squares. Then, remove the center square, put a dimensional on it, and replace it carefully WITH TWEEZERS. Then, repeat the procedure with the other squares.

Do not be afraid! It's only paper!

And now for follow-up on yesterday's Memento ink issue.

I'm pretty sure the issue is over-inked pads. I spent some time today blotting the pads (mine are dew drops) onto Bounty paper towels (because Bounty doesn't leave lint). I consoled myself on the waste by acknowledging that the pads weren't usable any other way.

Blotting definitely helps cut down on the blotchy images, although perhaps not enough as the new colors still don't seem to stamp as cleanly as the old ones. Maybe I need to blot some more, or maybe the pads need to rest after being violently smooshed into stacks of paper towels. I'll let you know how things go over the next few days.

Blotting also makes the darker shades a bit lighter, which is a really good thing because the dark purple, evergreen, and espresso were so very distressingly dark that they looked black. Now, they're somewhat prettier and more likely to be used by me.

I'm going to send an email to the manufacturer, though. Too much of a good thing isn't always good, and I wonder how many people have given up in despair because of too much ink.

And on another note, I'm feeling much better now. Thank you all for the well wishes!

stamps: PTI Sign Language
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: 3/4" square punch, dimensionals

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shades of Green and a Question...Well, Several Questions, EDITED

Today's card attempts to use three shades of green from Memento's line: pistachio, olive, and evergreen. At least, I think those are the names.

Anyway, as you can tell, I'm having a little trouble inking with some of the new Memento dew-drop inks, which leads me to wonder if this is user error or if other stampers are, indeed, having the same trouble with blotchiness, and if so, what have you done about it?

Are the dew-drop pads just over-inked? Should I blot them with a paper towel until they stamp like my old Memento pads? Or would that just waste the ink? I really don't want to have to ink with VersaMark first just to use the new Memento colors. I haven't tried using them with rubber stamps yet...just clear. But one thing I love about the old Memento colors is how they work so well with clear stamps. Does anyone have some light to shed on this dilemma? 'Cause it's starting to annoy me.

Just a bit.

Especially because I love, love, love everything else about this card. So much. The right-justified sentiment makes me sooooo happy I have to put extra o's on so.

EDITED TO ADD: I should have said what I've already done to fix the problem. I've used the white eraser and emery board on the stamps that are causing problems, but even outline stamps are blotchy. The problem is definitely NOT the stamps.
Also, for those who don't know the white eraser/emery board trick...clear stamps (well, rubber ones, too) often have a film on them left over from manufacturing that will cause ink to pool on the stamp and look blotchy on paper. You can rub the stamp vigorously with a white eraser or gently with an emery board to remove this residue, and then clean the stamp thoroughly. Most dye inks will work nicely after this procedure.

Also, my apologies to my readers in Great Britain for yet another "merry" Christmas. I actually have a card JUST FOR YOU that will post later this week. But I assure you, for us Yanks, the merry of merry Christmas is entirely respectable and has no overtones of drunken debauchery.

Unfortunately, my weekend has not been very merry by anyone's definition of the word. Some sort of virus decided to attack me Friday night with headaches, chills, and general exhaustion. I never take naps, yet naps took me both days this weekend. I'm starting to feel better this evening and hope that trend continues at least through tomorrow's holiday so we can do something fun as a family.

I hope you all are healthy and happy and that my American readers are blessed with a day off tomorrow!

stamps: Papertrey Sign Language
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey White
accessories: dimensionals, square punch