January 6, 2017

One Fun Stamp — Five Fun Gifts!

While it is not holiday specific, it sure makes a great holiday gift. I actually got the Stack of Gifts stamp back in August. At the time I was puzzled thinking about how to use it on a greeting card. Well, step out of the box, Tanya…not every stamp has to become a card. The six inch length of the stamp makes it perfect for those long skinny projects…like…what? What is long and skinny and not a card? Eureka! Bookmarks! 

Bookmarks make perfect gifts for my nose-in-a-book pals as well as my planner gal pals. The length of this “bookmark” also makes it a perfect tag to be hung on a doorknob or from a mirror as a reminder that each day is a gift. So, once my lightbulb moment ended, I set out to make a handful of these and set them aside for holiday and birthday gifts.

I started by downloading the digital cut file for the stamp. Since I still use an older-than-old Silhouette which doesn’t use svg files, I have to do some converting and then more converting to get the file into a Silhouette-friendly png file. There is a bit more fiddling with the size of the cutouts and then I am done. Whew! That’s a lot of work…you’d think that I would “see the light” and upgrade my cutting machine; but no…never one to toss something while it still works!! Nuts, I know and in reality, it really doesn’t take that long to do; and geek that I am, I kind of like the challenge of it all. (If you don’t have a digital cutting machine…you can fussy cut the stacks after they are stamped and colored.) For the actual stamping step I used Brutus Monroe Detail Ink in Raven — you know, it is my favorite ink! I know, I am fairly new to the world of modern stamping so I have not tried every darn ink out there. But why would I when I know that I will have success with the Detail Ink? Now, that would be nuts!

Let the fun began…coloring! Still using my colored pencils, I went to town, coloring like a fool. (Did I mention that I love to color?) I could have made things simple and duplicated one stack five times…but where’s the fun in that? I had so much fun coloring box bottoms, lids and ribbons in every combo I could think of. Reminder, I am still working with only twenty-four pencils…yes, twenty-four! Once all the gifts were colored, I used those snazzy painter’s pens and added some highlights of gold and silver mostly in the way of dots and stripes. None of the combos are holiday specific as I wanted the bookmarks to be used year-round.

I printed a few patterns from my Etsy shop planner sticker designs on the heaviest 110 lb. coverstock I have in the studio. I like this weight as it is thick enough to give the bookmarks substance even if I don’t laminate them. With my paper trimmer, I cut 1 3/4 inch x 7 inch strips from the printed pattern paper. (No fancy digital deal here..this time.) Using my old friend/enemy lovingly called double-sided tape, I attached each stack on a coordinating strip. I taped the stack closer to the bottom of the strip which left enough room to punch a hole in the top of the strip. Using 3/8” grosgrain ribbon paired with 3/16” contrasting grosgrain and satin ribbons I looped the ends of the ribbon through the hole, leaving the ends long and free to fly around! I did pop a bit of jewelry glue nestled in the knot just to keep the ends of the ribbon from slipping. I also stamped the sentiment from the Stack of Gifts stamp on the back of the bookmarks, leaving room to jot a personal note when the time came.

That’s it! Five gifts — one stamp, the perfect ink, a few pieces of paper and colored pencils. Not a studio of products, to be sure. I love the end result. Five handmade gifts that will be used over time. A nice reminder of friendships, laughter and love and the importance of truly understanding that each day is, indeed, a gift. 

As you may know, I had the good fortune to be a member of the Brustus Monroe Inspiration Team in 2016. I thought it would be fun to share my posts from that blog with all of you here. Hope you enjoy.

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