Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Beginnings/Read On...

Once again "New Beginnings or A Fresh Start" has been our theme for our January monthly challenge. I spent just a bit of time today checking out other blogs and realized that Valentine's Day is definitely around the corner. Next week I will be posting on Paper Craft Planet a printing technique you can do with the stencils and an embossing machine. But today we are lucky enough to have this lovely creation from guest designer Elaine Benedict.

Speaking of "New Beginnings", Elaine has recently moved to North Carolina and she and her husband Jay, have been building their retirement home near the coast. Also their daughter Molly is planning her own New Beginning with a September wedding. So love is in the air for the Benedicts this February.

Elaine's creations always have that singular element of beauty. I often look at her cards and try to figure out what exactly it is that draws my "ahhh" breath. Sometimes it is just the little details. On this card she used a background paper that looks like shiny raw silk. Stunning! She dry embossed the new heart design (LG747) on this metallic looking paper, left the stencil in place and stenciled the ruffle with pink ink. Then she traced the large heart from the stencil onto the back of one of Kathy Yoshida's washi papers (which you can shop for by clicking HERE to find her web-site...Hanko Designs) and then easily cut it out with scissors. The sentiment stencil "with love" (LM275) was paste-embossed with the regular Dreamweaver Translucent Embossing Paste (DEPT) and once the stencil was removed she sprinkled the wet paste with Pink Cadillac ultrafine pearlescent glitter from Art Institute Glitter.

Thank you so much Elaine for the beautiful Valentine...we're thinking of you as you begin retirement in NC. But very glad you are still sending creations our direction.

I know I mentioned that we will be putting out a design team call and the fearless leader of the Dream it UP team, Pam Hornschu, has all the details. Some of you may not know what is entailed in being on a design team and we will list all of the details soon, but if you want to email her at she will be glad to share the details via email so you can get started. Many of the requirements are just common sense, but we know it is best to address expectations. Would love to have you on board. 

Now if you would like to see what the Dream it UP team has been creating follow the list below and leave some love.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Beginning Challenge Posting

New Beginnings/Fresh Start Challenge by Tiffany S.
Here is another "New Beginnings" post. This time from Tiffany S.

In her own words this is how she created this wedding card:

"I used the plum blossom stencil (LL464) on white paper using teal and brown ink. A darker teal was used for the center of the flowers. The main card is teal and I border punched the front edge with a Martha Stewart's punch. A white strip of paper on the inside of the card at the bottom makes the border punched edge show up. After punching a scallop edge on the stenciled white paper, I then adhered it to the card. The wedding couple was stamped in the dark teal ink and then embossed with a pearlized embossing powder. I punched the corners of the image and mounted on a teal background paper. I then used foam tape to pop-up the image to the front of the card. I added a pearl to the bride's hair and two pearls to the plum blossoms.  I used the stencil on the inside saying as well."

This month we are putting the names of those that join the challenge into a random drawing and they will win $25.00 worth of free product of their own choosing. Just one more day to join and on the weekend I will reveal the winner. If you would like to do our Fresh Start challenge click HERE and link your blog or creation to mr. linky. If you don't have a blog email me at and I will post it for you on Friday.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Challenge/Fresh Start

New Owl stencil Zentangle work by Wayne Harlow
This past week we exhibited at CHA (Craft & Hobby Association), which is our annual trade show in Anaheim. Over the past year and a half we have promoted using our stencils for a technique called Zentangle and at this show we were fortunate to be across the aisle from Fox Chapel Publishing. They are the company that Suzanne McNeill sold her Design Originals publishing company to. It was great to see her and see what she has been doing. There are always new techniques and fresh things to inspire us at CHA. I also chatted with Kathy Yoshida from Hanko Designs. So today in honor of new beginnings and yet old friends I am posting a card made by Wayne with one of our new designs. He did zentangle work in the our new owl stencil (LG751) and I made it into a card with a piece of metallic gold and red Hanko designs washi paper and also some of Bazzill's Dotted Swiss "pepper" colored cardstock. I know it is hard to see the embossed dots on this last piece of mounting paper, but I love that added bit of texture and it really helps make the card extra special. Sometimes "simple" is the best effect.

I also had time to go to the Sakura booth to see what new things are happening with their micron pens. I learned that one of the issues that some people seem to have with tracing the design of the metal stencil with their pens is.... that the nibs of the pens can often be damaged in the process, because of the pressure against the metal. Everyone has a different touch when they trace. I tend to be more heavy handed with this tracing technique whereas Wayne never seems to have a damaged pen. Keeping the pen perpendicular to the paper's surface rather than slanting it and using a lighter touch seems to take care of this problem for him. Being aware that damage could happen makes me more careful as I do my tracing. I like to use a 005 pen for the really fine detail in some stencils, but an 01 can also be used and be a bit more sturdy for this work. Also if you are like some of us you probably have several pens, use one of your older ones for this purpose and mark it with finger nail polish to identify it. Sakura recommends elevating the entire stencil so the nib doesn't come into contact with the stencil. How would you do that? Wayne said he would accomplish that by making a template of acetate with a hole the size of the image to place under the stencil. You could make several different sizes just slightly smaller than the design image. Trying different things is my mantra for this new year's fresh start.

Here's hoping that all of you can also try something fresh and new in 2013. If you have never joined our challenges please give it a go. Click HERE to link up to mr. linky, and if you don't have a blog feel free to send me one of your creations and I will post it here for you...just email me at:

This month our challenge winner will be chosen randomly. So let us know what your idea is for a fresh start and join us.

Here's hoping you'll have time to share a comment or two with my fabulous design team. Follow this list and see what they are posting to inspire a Fresh Start for our January Challenge.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Joining the "Fresh Start" January Challenge

It's Thursday again and this week Joy H. is joining us from Canada. She doesn't have a blog, but emails me her challenge card. You too can do the same. Click HERE if you would like to know the details of this month's challenge. You can link up to mr. linky or email me your creation at

She has used the bare trees background stencil (LJ849) using the double glitter technique and then used the crackle paste (CEP) on top of matte black embossing paste (DMBP) which was paste-embossed on the buck stencil (LL430).

Here is Joy's description of her "fresh start" inspiration: "So for being a "Fresh start" - this is two fold. On January 1st, we were driving into Banff townsite during our mini vacation in the mountains, and saw a huge beautiful Elk, with the biggest set of antlers, munching in the trees in the snow by the side of the road. Hence the inspiration for this card - with the snow bank masked initially, then showing the wonderful blue skies we often get in winter in contrast to the sparkling snow (double glitter technique).
And, I wanted to try a new technique, so used crackle paste for the stag. This was the second attempt as my 4 year old was curious about what I was doing, and put his finger right in the middle of the drying paste the first time around. I made another with glitter then resolved to try again with the crackle paste and I'm glad I did."

Don't forget to see what the rest of the team has created. We have been away at CHA for this past week, so are a bit sluggish. But don't give up on us ...stop back to see what is new for stencil designs this next week. And don't forget to check mr. linky and see who is playing along with this month's new challenge.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The January Challenge: New Beginnings

January 8, 1953 was a date to be remembered. A new beginning for a Korean war veteran and his bride. My parents, Bill and Shirley Parlin have now been married more than 60 years and counting! YAY! Happy Anniversary to you! It is quite a milestone and I want to thank them for showing me what it's like to stay together through sunshine and rain. In June, Wayne and I will have been married 35 years and we hope to make it to 60 wonderful years as well.

Today I am posting a Zentangle creation that I made. Yes, I know, this is a new beginning for me too, because I have never really done much with Zentangle. As many of you know the zen master in our family is Wayne. But he is an excellent teacher and has shown me the basics. I used the new open heart stencil (LG747) and started by tracing the stencil on white cardstock with a 005 micron pen by Sakura. Then I filled in the outer ruffle area with an 05 micron pen. After I finished the inner patterns with an 01 pen I colored and shaded with Prisma colored pencils. The thank you stencil (LJ894) was paste-embossed with the matte black embossing paste (DMBP) and added as an embellishment.

So for this wonderful month of new beginnings please consider joining our challenge. Click HERE to learn more about what you can win and what is entailed in playing along or to link your card to mr. linky. Remember if you don't have a blog you can email and I can post it for you on my site. Looking forward to seeing your work soon.

Today take some time to see what a challenge of "new beginning's" means to the Dream team and follow their blogs and be sure to leave some love in the way of a comment or two along the's what they live for:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Beginnings or A Fresh Start: Our January Challenge

I have lots to say today! (Imagine that.) First I would like to introduce you to Jane Gill from the UK. She is on the Woodware design team and has her own line of rubber stamps as well. Be sure to check out her blog HERE if you get the chance. (Thank you Jane, for sending me this wonderful card to share and BTW I'm looking forward to seeing you very soon at CHA! YAY!) Some of the embellishments and mounting elements of her creation are quite straightforward, but the most unique thing she did (I'm biased of course) was to paste-emboss this stylized dahlia stencil (LG743) onto acetate with matte black embossing paste (DMBP). That way her background design showed through her floating flower design. Just gorgeous! 

This month we are changing things up a alignment with our Fresh Start/New Beginnings Challenge for January. This past year I believe our monthly winners have enjoyed being able to win a stencil of their own choosing in the year of 2013. Well, this month our winner will win $25 worth of Dreamweaver product of their own choosing. In January we want you to post your "new beginnings" creation either on mr. linky below or email it to me at for me to post here for you. Then everyone's name will be entered for a drawing at the end of the month. What is a "new beginnings" challenge for you? Maybe it's using a new colorway that you have never tried before, perhaps a card for a wedding or new baby in the family, a card for a new friend you've made at card club, this is really a pretty easy one, BUT we would like you to just write a sentence in your post or email telling how this is a new beginning card for you. I think this will be fun AND maybe it will be a new beginning of posting every month on the Dreamweaver Blog for some of you. So whenever you choose to begin come back to this post and link your creation to mr. linky below. Every month this year we are going to change up our challenge, maybe we'll do a sketch or specific colorway challenge. Hope to give you something new to look forward to.

Another new beginning this year has to do with our design team. I talked to our fearless leader Pam Hornschu today about our call for the new design team. Yep, it's for those of you who would like to try out for the team, put your design caps on and start thinking of how you would make a difference being on the Dreamweaver Design Team. 

Now, we hope you'll take a few minutes and visit the Dream Team's blogs to see what their new beginnings might be....maybe you'll see some new stencil designs: