I know…seems like an oxymoron…halloween and softly…but it’s possible. I love the colors of fall, in fact, fall is my favorite season of the year. I design and create quite a few planner stickers around the season always taking a soft vintage approach to the vivid colors. My latest planner sticker release, Fall Comes Softly!, says it all. When I first saw the Brutus Monroe Stamp Club September stamp I started thinking about ways I could incorporate the cute designs into my planner decorating without it screaming “Halloween!” In my earlier blog post you’ll see just how I came up with the “bouquet of brooms” idea. I carried that design idea into these quick and simple little pieces for both my Erin Condren and Happy Planners (MAMBI).
For the planner clip I started on the Silhouette, cutting coverstock backgrounds, using the digital die cuts that I created. Just a note... if you are going to cut one, cut a bunch and store them in little sandwich bags — just be careful, they don't get tossed in your lunch bag one sleepy morning! Using Brutus Monroe Detail Ink in Raven, the stark white pieces popped to life — all with a single black stamp. The detail in these stamps makes it so easy for those of us who are not fine-artists to create items that look cute. I used colored pencils to finish each broom. (Starting with yellow as the base color, then adding some shadows with a golden brown and finally adding in some depth with a darker copper brown.) I stamped the Happy Halloween sentiment on a background piece then colored it slightly just to create shadows. A little side note — I have some dexterity issues with my hands so I am always looking for ways around certain things. The more I stamp the more I love my 2” x 6” acrylic block. Putting the stamp in the middle area of the long skinny block, I still have room to securely hold the block in each hand while stamping. I’ve just found that having room for a tight grip on each side helps keep the stamp from rocking and blurring.
Putting it all together was pretty quick. Scalloped circles were cut using a print in my Fall Comes Softly! release. I used the mirror feature on the Silhouette so I would have a front and a back piece that lined up. I arranged three brooms in bouquet fashion on the circle, taping them in place. I did trim a bit off the two circles just so the finished clip would be straight along the bottom, making it easier to snuggle into the top of my planner pages. Sandwiching a big paper clip in between the two layers, I taped it all together securely. There is a tiny black ribbon & bow at the base of the bouquet; but it doesn't show when the clip is attached behind pages. To finish off the look for the week, I added another broom flying off the page in the bottom corner of the planner page; and, the final touch was the Happy Halloween sentiment in the bold bottom washi sticker. Done and dusted! (Should that be "done and swept?" Corny, I know...but fun!)
I am starting to feel much more comfortable in this new world of paper crafting. So far I am over the moon about the Brutus Monroe stamps — so much perfect detail. I think the Detail Ink has something to do with it all too — it gives me precise prints every time and no matter what I layer over it there is no smearing or running. A little note — remember to stamp your new stamps once just to prepare them for their stamping future.
I do hope my adventure inspires you to step into the world of stamping, planning and paper. Sometimes it is intimidating to watch videos of experts who have been stamping and coloring for years and years — so many tools, products, papers, oh my! I’m here to tell you that using a few basic tools and products you can make treasures that you are proud of — yes, there will be some oopsies — but that is how we learn, isn’t it? We all fell down when we learned to walk; but that didn’t keep us from getting up again and taking a few more steps. So just keep baby stepping with your projects and before you know it you’ll be up going in a full sprint!