I belong to this great Facebook blogging group called Bodacious Bloggers. Our leader, Joanne Greco challenged us to write about the city where we live. I had to *giggle* when I read the word city.
Sitting here at the window, watching my yellow finches at the feeder, I can see for a mile across a field of wheat. It makes for a perfect view of the sunset each night.
When I look out my dining room window, across the back field, I have a view of the little town where I grew up. The population is roughly 600. There is no traffic light, no barber shop, no bank, no local government, and no restaurant. There is just one corner store at the moment, a post office, a fire house, a grainery, a chicken processing plant and a school on the edge of town. If you want to include the outskirts of town, there is a farm equipment dealership, Triple Creek Winery, and an auto repair shop.
The nearest “city” is 12 minutes away, and it’s population is 14,000. It’s not what most of you would consider a city. After growing up in the Middle of Nowhere, I moved to the “city” when I got married 27 years ago. We both worked there, and all of the conveniences were just a few minutes away. However, after 12 years, I was ready to move back to my home town, and I wanted to enjoy the country life this time. We found a house on 2 acres a mile outside of town. Now, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. We have neighbors on one side, but I don’t feel like I’m sitting under their bedroom window when I want to sit outside.
It is QUIET here! Right now, I hear the birds chirping and the hum of my laptop…..and that’s it! There is the occasional car or truck, but they are outnumbered by tractors and farm equipment many days.
At night it is DARK…..like can’t see where you’re walking DARK! But the stars and moon sure are bright on a clear night.
Living in the Middle of Nowhere takes some getting use to. Grocery shopping and errands take a little bit of planning to avoid a lot of wasted trips. The nearest mall and Sam’s Club are an hour away. There is no rush hour traffic, but following a tractor at 10 mph takes a little patience.
The best part of living in the Middle of Nowhere is the people. I’ve known most of the people that live here all my life. They know my parents and brothers. My Dad was born in a house in town and raised here. The only time he’s left is when he was in the Army. It’s nice to walk into the store or post office and know everyone in there.
So what do I do here, in the Middle of Nowhere? If you already follow my blog, you know that I make cards, scrapbook, and paper craft. I have a nice craft room, but I prefer to sit at the dining room table. I have a bird feeder outside my window and a view of the wild rabbits playing in the yard….and eating the produce in my garden. (I’m not sure if the garden is for my family or the rabbits.) I can’t see my little fish pond, but I can hear the water trickling and the bull frog croaking. It’s very peaceful, but it can be distracting. I often find myself staring out the window.
Like I mentioned, I have a garden. It’s only a small raised bed garden, but it’s the perfect size for lots of cucumbers, which is my family’s favorite. I also plant a few pepper plants, a tomato plant, onions, peas, spinach, (no one here eats peas or spinach, so I’m not sure why I planted them!), and lettuce. Other than the cucumbers, the garden doesn’t produce much, but there’s something about playing in the dirt and watching things grow that’s very therapeutic.
Speaking of playing in the dirt, I like to grow flowers. I should say….I REALLY like to grow flowers! In the future, I might add some posts about my flowers. I can’t get enough of them! I’ve always been fortunate to have a green thumb, and bedding plants are plentiful in my area with lots of greenhouses and small nurseries.
So there you have it. This is the city where I live. I wouldn’t trade it for the real city, for anything in the world. I can’t imagine living anywhere else! My plan is to retire here with my family, my yellow finches, and my hummingbirds.
Learn How to Use Rubber Stamps For Card Making
Craft rubber stamps for card making come in every shape and for every occasion you can imagine. The most common use of craft rubberstamps is for making cards, but they are also used for other paper crafting projects and can be used for texturing polymer clay or stamping on nonporous surfaces like metal, glass, and plastic.
Rubber stamps can add a decorative touch or provide words or sentiments to a project. For every holiday, season, celebration, and occasion there are rubber stamps for making a fun craft.
I have been rubber stamping for over ten years. I have quite a collection of shaped rubber stamps and also sentiment rubber stamps that I love to use. I make cards, party favors, scrapbook pages, and other paper crafts.
What Types of Stamps Are There?
The first thing you need to understand about how to use rubber stamps is all of the different names for them. Rubber stamps is a generic for any type of stamp that you use for crafting. Just like all tissues are called Kleenex, all types of stamps are called rubber stamps even though they may be wood mounted, clear acrylic, foam, or digital.
Wood mounted stamps are the original rubber stamps. They are made from rubber and mounted onto a block of wood so that you can hold them. There is usually a layer of foam between the rubber and the wood so that you can get a nice crisp image.
Polymer stamps stick to acrylic blocks without the use of adhesive. This type of stamp is very popular, because you can see through them and see where you are stamping. They are great for sentiments and two part stamps that require precise placement.
There are two types of foam stamps. You can buy inexpensive foam stamps for crafting projects. They are usually pretty thick, and the images are large simple shapes. They are wonderful for using with craft paints. The large chunky shapes are great for kids to work with. You can stamp shapes on T-Shirts, Tote Bags, flower pots, wood, and much more. The other type of foam stamps are smaller and are for card making a paper crafting. They are more detailed and cling to clear acrylic blocks. They can either be shapes or sentiments.
Digital stamps or digis are very popular with tech savvy crafters. You purchase them online from the designer and download them to your computer just like you would a photo or other file. With the growth of technology, websites and blogs now offer a huge variety of these stamps. You send payment by credit card or Paypal, and download the images you purchase are emailed to you or you download them. The advantage is that they are inexpensive, take up no storage space, and they can be resized to fit your project. The designers often have a design team to showcase projects using their digis to help inspire you. Many websites offer free digis.
Tips for Purchasing Stamps
Rubber Stamps have been around for years, but with the boom in the scrapbooking and papercrafting industry in the 1990’s, stamps have become very popular for card making. There are stamping conventions in major cities and craft stores have a good selection. They can be purchased from tons of online stores, Amazon, and Ebay.
Amazon and Ebay have a huge selection of stamping supplies for card making, with very competitive prices. Ebay also sells used rubberstamps, which are wonderful for beginners or adding to your collection.
Craft stores is another outlet for purchasing craft rubber stamps. I do not recommend buying inexpensive products that are often offered in big box stores. The rubber is not deeply etched, and you end up with a lot of ink around your impression. Oftentimes, they don’t leave a good imprint.
Home party businesses like Stampin’ Up and Close To My Heart are a great way to purchase products and to learn about rubber stamping. Consultants have lots of ideas and can help you select the correct supplies for your projects.
How Do I Color My Craft Rubber Stamps?
Ink Pads can be purchased wherever craft rubber stamps are sold. For good results, purchase good quality stamp pads. There are tons of different types of inks. To get started, choose a water base or dye ink. It is the most popular and generally comes in the most colors. If you are using a stamp that needs to be colored, like the angel in this card, use black ink. I like Tuxedo from Momento for a good quality black ink.
There are many ways to color stamps. I used brush tip markers to color the image of this pretty garden angel. Water color pencils and blending pens is another way to color images. For soft colors, you can use chalks or ink and a water brush.
For beginners, I recommend a set of brush markers in a wide variety of colors. They are wonderful for coloring images, but you can also color directly to the stamp instead of using an ink pad. If the stamp is large or if you are coloring it more than one color, you will need to “huff” on it before stamping. Huffing is putting it to your mouth and breathing on it. It helps to rewet the ink, so that you get a nice image. Many marker sets come with a brush tip on one end and a thin tip on the other end that you can use for coloring small areas or for writing.
Home party businesses like Stampin’ Up and Close To My Heart are an excellent way to learn about stamping supplies. Consultants hold workshops to teach you how to use supplies and can help you select the correct materials.
First let me say…..I have been stamping for over 10 years, and I still don’t always get a good impression on the first try! Be patient. You may be a natural, or it may take you some time to get the hang of it.
- You will want to use smooth cardstock. If you’re worried about messing up, start with copy paper. When you begin to make cards, you will want to buy nice quality cardstock so you get professional results. Lay the cardstock on a FLAT surface. I put a spongy mouse pad under my cardstock. It gives me a nice firm surface but also a cushion for a crisp image. A phone book or magazine will work also. For less detailed stamps, you can probably won’t need anything under your cardstock.
- It’s time to put ink to rubber! Most ink pads are raised, meaning they sit higher than the container that they are in. For small stamps, I find it easier to touch the stamp to the ink while the ink is sitting on your work area. If you are using a large stamp, it may be easier to wipe the ink pad across the stamp. It’s a matter of preference, and after experimenting you will decide what works best for you.
- With firm pressure, press the stamp to your paper. Try not to rock the stamp. It may leave a smudged impression or if there is extra ink around the outside of the image, it will come off on your paper. Large stamps take some practice and often don’t turn out the first time. Don’t get discouraged. If the stamp is 4″ or more, you may need to rub your thumb across the top of the stamp to get the middle to imprint.
How To Clean Rubber Stamps
When learning how to use rubber stamps, it is important to learn how to properly clean them so they will last a long time and produce good results.
If you are using dye ink, rubber stamps are very easy to clean. You can purchase spray stamp cleaner and a cleaning pad or stamp scrubber. It has a velour type texture which helps get into the grooves of the stamp. You spray the cleaner on one side, rub your stamp across it until the ink comes off, then rub it on the other side to dry the stamp.
Some people use baby wipes to clean their stamps. This works well especially with light colors of ink or as a temporary cleaning until you can clean them properly. Do not use the type of baby wipes that have lotion in them though, and do not use Clorox wipes.
You can purchase a large cellulose sponge to keep on your work table. Rubbing a stamp across it makes for quick clean up.
Some manufacturers make roll on or spray stamp cleaners that work well too. Whichever you choose, you want to make sure you get the ink out of the crevices. Most craft rubber stamps will eventually become stained if they are used often. This is only cosmetic and does not effect the quality of the image.
I hope these tips help you get started. I can’t wait to hear about your rubberstamped projects! Sign up for my newsletter for lots of crafty information!
Do you need Beach Scrapbook Ideas? Beach and Cruise Scrapbooks are some of my favorites to make. Beach Scrapbook Paper is so bright, and the summery colors are really eye catching. When I go to Scrapbooking Retreats and people are working on their scrapbooking layouts, beach is one of the most popular themes. I owned a Scrapbook Store for nine years, and Beach Scrapbook Paper was always the first to sell out. Since we live 90 minutes from Ocean City, Maryland customers always had beach scrapbook layouts to do!
With the popularity of cruises and tropical vacation destinations, beach scrapbook ideas are always in demand.
Make a Beach Scene
I used torn sand colored paper to create sand dunes for the bottom of this Beach Layout. I inked the torn edges with Colorbox Cat’s Chalk Ink in Chestnut Roan. Then I tucked in a sandcastle sticker and some shell stickers. I accented the tags at the top of page with beach colored buttons, fluffy water blue fiber, and a beach charm. This created a great beach scene.
Another Beach Scene Scrapbook Idea
This beach scene was created using solid cardstock as the background. Then I tore tan paper and added brown ink to the edges to make it look like sand dunes. I used the Cricut to add the sun, umbrella, clouds, and airplane. To create the Ocean City title, I cut out the individual letters and adhered them using a repositional adhesive like Hermafix. Then I applied Versamark ink over top of the title making sure to get it around the outside of the letters. Using an alligator clip and chalk applicator, I dabbed brown chalk to the Versamark. The chalk will stick to the Versamark better than just to the plain paper. It makes the chalk look much darker as well. Then I peeled off the letters, and the title was revealed. It’s a unique way to create a title.
Another Beachy Idea!
A variety of Beach Scrapbooking Paper was used to create this colorful layout. I also added a few coordinating embellishments. All of the items came in a kit so putting the layout together was super easy. Everything was already perfectly matched!
Use Bright Papers
I hope this Beach Scrapbook Page gives you some inspiration for thinking outside of the box. The paper isn’t beach paper, but the colors are perfect for the beach. The cow floating in the raft is a rubberstamp that was colored with markers. The title was created using the Pazzles Creative Cutter Pro.
Glittery Beach Layout Idea
This is a sample of beach scrapbooking overlay idea. The page is already created with blocks. All you do is add your pictures and embellishments. The glittery beach tag was made using double sided stickers and ultrafine glitter. The flip flops were created using felt for the sole and stringing beads on wire for the straps. I love how it turned out!
Beach Scrapbook Titles
Are you stuck for a title for your page? Here is a list to help you out.
- Day at the Beach
- Life’s a Beach
- Beach Bums
- Fun in the Sun
- By the Sea
- Sand and Surf
- Just Beachy
- Sweet Summertime
- Feeling Crabby!
- Beach Babes
- Bikini Babes
Idea for a Double Layout
Yellow is always the perfect color for beach scrapbook layouts. I added a few stickers to make this great page. It really lets the photos be the focus of the this scrapbook page.
Ocean City, Maryland Scrapbook Layout
Pink looks great as the base of this Beach Scrapbook Layout. I used blues for accent since it matches the photo. The Ocean City title was made using the Creative Cutter Pro, and the shells and seahorse were made using the Cricut. I accented the corners of the date title with flower brads.
Scrapbooking at the Beach
More pink! This time I added a small pink patterned paper to the solid cardstock. The little bit of striped paper on the tag and the gingham ribbon add just a little bit of pattern to this Beach Layout.
Tear Bears to add to your Beach Scrapbook
These bears would be perfect on your beach scrapbook pages. If you start with one of these adorable bears, I’m sure you’ll come up with lots of ideas for layouts!
Another Beach Layout
A variety of Beach Scrapbooking Paper was used to create this colorful layout. I also added a few coordinating embellishments. All of the items came in a kit so putting the layout together was super easy. Everything was already perfectly matched!
Taking Beach Photos
When taking photos for your Beach Scrapbook Layouts, take a variety of close up shots as well as distance shots. Sometimes, we get stuck in a rut and only take horizontal pictures, but make sure you take some vertical ones as well.
Bright Beach Scrapbook Page
The best way to get lots of photos on a page is to use a colorblocking technique. By cropping the photos into rectangles and squares that have the same height or width, I fit more photos on this Beach Layout. I added flowers, jungle leaves, and tropical drinks to the empty rectangles. If you look closely you’ll notice that I didn’t even use any Beach Paper on this layout!
Pretty Beach Scrapbook Paper
Another Beautiful Beach Scrapbooking Layout
More coordinating Beach Scrapbook Paper and a few stickers. This time I added a little ribbon to the stickers.
Rubberstamped Beach Layout
This layout was created using rubberstamps. The background was stamped with shell rubberstamps from Stampin’ Up. The embellishment in the lower left corner was created using a variety of shell stamps and glitter.
Oh how I love the smell of a newborn baby. There’s nothing quite like it. I got to hold a baby this week. Even though she wasn’t a newborn, she was so sweet and pretty with big brown eyes. Today I have a Baby Lamb Cricut Card to share that’s perfect for a baby girl.
This pretty little lamb is on the Create A Critter Cricut Cartridge. I can’t tell you how much I love that cartridge. It has so many great animals that are perfect for birthdays, boys, girls, Halloween, Christmas, and so much more.
Ideas for Scrapbook Layouts
Christmas Scrapbook Layout
This is one of my favorite Scrapbooking Pages. I taught this as a class a few years ago. You can follow the basic idea and turn it into a spring or summer Scrapbook Layout by changing the paper colors and type of flowers. Large flowers are a big trend right now. They are beautiful accents on 12×12 Scrapbook Layouts. I cut these out and assembled them using a Pazzles Creative Cutter, but there are tons of packaged flowers that you can buy or die cuts for the Cricut, Big Shot, and Cuttlebug for making your own. I used solid color cardstock for the background and added two different strips of patterned papers as borders to break up the solid colors. This is a great way of using patterned paper without it being too overwhelming and busy.
Floral Scrapbook Layout
I started with a neutral colored solid cardstock for the background. Then, I combined two patterned papers to create these pages. Then I added some coordinating flowers that I cut using the Cricut to finish it off. This is another 12×12 page using patterned papers. Scrappers often having trouble using patterned papers. Both of these patterns are rather busy and look better if you use smaller pieces combined with solid cardstock instead of using the whole floral pattern as the background.
Nautical Scrapbook Page
Creating a scene is a great way to assemble a page. For this nautical scene, I used kraft colored paper to create the sand. I “scrunched” it up in a ball, then flattened it back out to give it the appearance of sand. I used light blue mulberry paper to make the water. The sailboat, lighthouse, anchor, and other nautical accents were from a sticker pack from Provocraft, but you could cut them out using a die cutting machine. Snow, beach, and woodland scenes are also fun to make using die cuts and different papers.
Birthday Scrapbook Page
Birthdays sure do bring out the cameras! It’s not unusual to have a 2″ stack of photos from a 2 hour birthday party. Trying to figure out what to do with all of those pictures is a challenge. This Layout is a wonderful way to get nine photos on one page. I started with a solid cardstock for the background. Red was perfect for my son’s 6th birthday. I cut seven photos to 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. I cut 2 pieces of blue cardstock 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ as well and used them for adding the title and embellishments.
Colorblocked Layouts Like This One is Easy to Make!
Colorblocking is a technique that gives a clean look to a Scrapbook Layout. It also allows you to gets lots of photos on one page. It always seems that I have more photos than I have space, so this type of layout is very helpful. By cropping out some of the backgrounds, I managed to get six photos on this Scrapbook Layout. There are templates you can use, but I usually create my own. This is a very easy layout to copy. I used solid cardstock, die cuts, and rub on for embellishments.
Layout for a 5×7 Photo
This is a great Scrapbook Layout for a 5×7 photo. 5×7 is a common size for school photos. I started with a sheet of solid cardstock and added half of sheet of patterned paper cut into two pieces. I accented it with a two smaller pieces of coordinating solid cardstock. I finished the layout by adding a felt butterfly sticker in the lower right corner and spelling my daughter’s name in lavender letter stickers in the upper left. You could add lots more detail if you want. There is also plenty of room on this page for journaling or a few small photos.
Zoo and animals are always a popular theme. The zebra and giraffe came from the Animal Kingdom Cricut Cartridge. Combined with the patterned papers, they are perfect for a trip to the zoo or a zoo themed birthday party! I used four different patterned papers to create this Scrapbook Page. By starting with a solid cardstock and adding the patterned papers, there is a nice balance, so that the patterns don’t overwhelm the pages. I often make pages, so they are ready for photos later.
Baby Train Pages
This adorable baby train layout was made using die cuts from the Animal Kingdom Cricut Cartridge, New Arrival Cricut Cartridge, and Going Places Cricut Cartridge. With all of the details at the bottom of the page, the top is reserved for photos. I chose to use only solid cardstock, but a small patterned paper would have worked as well.
Friends Scrapbook Page
Here is another simple page, and it’s great when you have four photos. Crop them to squares that are the same size and mat them on patterned paper. Add a title and a few stickers and you’re done! The Friends title was created using the Shadow Box Sizzix alphabet, but you could also use a font from the Cricut or a rubberstamp alphabet.
Here is a little girl page that I made using a solid piece of light pink cardstock as the base. I used scraps of purple and pink patterned papers behind the photos. I spelled out “Katiebug” in small acrylic tiles around one photo and added flower die cuts.
Happy Snow Day! This is the gazallionth snow day in Maryland this winter. I am ready for spring just like everyone else, and I hope this is the last Hoorah! for Old Man Winter. I thought I’d show you how Crafters Build a Snowman.
All week, they have been calling for “significant snow” in my area. That’s meteorology speak for “it’s winter, and we think it’s going to do something but have no idea what.” Since we are in the mid-atlantic area, we are often sandwiched between the cold air that gets lots of snow and the warmer above freezing air that turns the precip to rain.
This time, we were in the 4-8″ category after two days of rain and a 50 degree day. Since my husband is at work today, my son and I take turns shoveling the walk. It’s a short sidewalk, and if someone does it every hour, it doesn’t take long. After sitting at the dining room table, rubberstamping, it was my turn to shovel. I really don’t mind it when the wind isn’t blowing.
After shoveling, I decided to make a snowman…..errr…..snowgirl. All of the other times that it has snowed this winter, it was either at night or the temps were in the teens or single digits with blizzard conditions. Those are no conditions to build a snowman! There really wasn’t much snow on the ground. You could see the grass, but it was a good packing snow. With the lack of snow, I knew my snowgirl would be small.
I managed to put together two small snowballs. I had a grape vine chair that was the perfect size for her. Usually when you build a snowman, it is people sized, so you use coal or stones for the face. However, this little gal is less than a foot tall. I went rummaging through supplies in my craft room. My first thought was rhinestones for eyes, but the only ones I had were too small or they were clear. I pulled out my embellishment case that is loaded with buttons, eyelets, brads, charms, and miscellaneous doodads. I had black brads that were perfect, but that’s B-O-R-I-N-G!!
Since I’m hoping that this is the last opportunity to build a snowman for awhile, I opted for orange flower brads for eyes and purple brads for a mouth and nose. I pulled out my fiber scrap basket and found three great purple fibers. Two are eyelash fibers and one has a bit of glitter in it. PERFECT! She really needs a hat, but I don’t have one small enough……….well actually I do, but it’s red and doesn’t match her scarf.
I put the chair in a large flower pot of rosemary. It was perfect and Penelope (you have to name your snowman!) could greet me every day when I come home until she melts. The snowfall really picked up and less than an hour later, when I went outside Penelope was covered in snow and couldn’t see. I moved her onto my porch until it stops. I think she’s lonely. Next time I go out to shovel, I might build her boyfriend Pete.
I’m really ready to play in the dirt and plant pansies and potatoes, but for today I will enjoy crafting while it snows and be distracted by the birds fighting over the feeder with a blanket of white behind them.
Save 70% During the Cricut Clearance Sale + Free Shipping
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.
It’s spring cleaning time in the Cricut warehouse! This week, shop the Cricut Clearance Sale to save up to 70% off a variety of supplies. I check out the sale, and there are lots of Cuttlebug Folders and dies. Some of the cartridges has been re-released and are sale for just $19.99. Get the supplies you need to bring your creativity to life and throughout March, all orders over $35 ship for free with code MARCHSHIP.
Hurry over to Cricut to catch these savings before they are gone!
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