December 12, 2008

Memory Tin Vignettes

There's no way around it. I'm in love and the mere thought awakens the senses. It's a simple pleasure, and one that is completely legal. I'm referring, of course, to caffeine. Tea and coffee. Either will do as long as it's strong. These three tins, featured on pages 88 - 89 of the February 2009 issue of Crafts 'n Things, celebrate that affection. What's more, they were so much fun to create.
I painted the tins with Adirondack® Acrylic Paint Dabbers and used Adirondack® Dye Ink Pads and Tim Holtz™ Distress Ink Pads for stamping and coloring the images. The yummy patterned papers are all from my friend Judi Hodgkin's Scrapperdashery Poetry Range. It was a special treat to incorporate stamps by fellow Tennessean Suzanne Melvin in two of the tins. (Her Afternoon Tea plate (Oxford Impressions) contains additional images in this fun theme.) Bits of broken jewelry, beads, lace, and real coffee beans complete these mini scenes.
2009 02 102 CnT LRoberts Love & Scandal Tin Inside
Afternoon Tea Stamps (Oxford Impressions)
2009 02 202 LRoberts Cafe Tin Inside
Paris Cafe Stamps: Smoochie Poochie and Post Card (Stampabilities); Street Café (Paper Candy); Romantic Swirl (B Line Designs); Manuscript Background and Old Script (Hero Arts)
2009 02 302 CnT LRoberts Coffee & Friends Tin Inside
Coffee & Friends Stamps: Cup (Art Impressions); Java/Coffee and Friends (Dawn Houser for Inkadinkado); COFFEE (Afternoon Tea from Oxford Impressions); Coffee Defined (Stampington)

Melting Pot® Valentines

Who hasn’t heard of the edgy English stamp company Paper Artsy. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been almost five years since I first met Leandra Franich at CHA. The next year she would return as an exhibitor, and the stamping world has not been the same since.
Leandra was also a fellow “graduate” of Ranger University. In a weekend that was a whir of tips and techniques, I was fascinated with Leandra’s work and her use of Ranger products.
You may be wondering about the connection between Paper Artsy and the title of this post. When I began to consider projects for the February 2009 issue of Crafts ‘n Things, I wanted to create sophisticated non-traditional Valentines. Leandra’s Penny Plates came to mind and the results are below. No lace or frills here, but I think my Valentine will definitely “think happy thoughts” when he sees this!
2009 02 CnT  LRoberts UTEE Basics Happy Thoughts Card
I’m sure that my dear one will be also be interested in the “Bank of True Love.” Hugs and kisses are bound to result from the X’s and O’s on this card! (Stamps: Love Collage - Tim Holtz™ Collection, Stampers Anonymous page 146); Harlequin Diamonds - Postmodern Design) Check the February issue, pages 68 – 69, for detailed instructions for both these cards.
Feb 09 LRoberts UTEE Basics X O Bank of True Love Card
The cards below also use the Melting Pot®, Melt Art™ UTEE Brightz™ Fuchsia, and Melt Art™ UTEE Flex™. You’ll find complete directions for them at Crafts ‘n Things as well as tips for using your Melting Pot®. (If you have not joined the Crafts 'n Things community, you'll find access to bonus projects and lots of "free stuff" by simply providing your email address. Sign up and get ready for hours of exploration!)
2009 02 CnT LRoberts UTEE Basics Love Card
Stamp (Hero Arts): Fancy Love
2009 02 CnT LRoberts UTEE Basics Friendship Card
Stamps (Tim Holtz™ Collection, Stampers Anonymous): True Friendship, Scribble Heart

Better Backgrounds: Texture Plates

It’s a game that I’ve always enjoyed playing, and you may too. When you look at tools, do you brainstorm about ways to use them - other than the intended purpose?
Whether it is a matter of stretching your dollars or simply challenging yourself to think “outside the box,” tools provide inspiration. While texture plates are designed to emboss paper, I’ve found it is even more fun to create backgrounds by stamping with them. Four recent creations are featured in my “Better Backgrounds” column on pages 92 – 93 of the February 2009 issue of Crafts ‘n Things. You may choose to complete your card with stamping, stickers, or transparency or decide to leave it unadorned. Whatever you decide, Tim Holtz™ Adirondack® Color Wash™, Inkssentials™ Gloss Paper, and a texture plate are all you need for striking results!
2009 02 CnT Lynn Roberts Color Confusion Texture Plate Card
Color Confusion (above): Texture plate (Sizzix) Wild Dashes
2009 02 CnT Lynn Roberts Birds of a Feather Texture Plate Card
Birds of a Feather (above): Texture plate (Fiskars) Lace; Transparency (Prima) Paintables ERA
2009 02 CnT Lynn Roberts It's a Bug's Life Texture Plate Card
It’s a Bug’s Life (above): Texture plate (Cedar Canyon) Op Art; E-Z Rub-On (Royal & Langnickel) Creepy Crawly Bugs Glitter
2009 02 CnT Lynn Roberts Optical Illusion Texture Plate Card
Optical Illusion (above): Texture plate (Cedar Canyon) Op Art; Stamp (Stampabilities) Thanks
Be sure to check the April issue of Crafts ‘n Things to see my next “Better Backgrounds” column.

Everything You Need to Know about Ink

One of the things that I always looked forward to in The Rubber Stamper was the annual ink chart. I was pleasantly surprised when thumbing through the December 2008 issue to find that Crafts 'n Things has continued that wonderful tradition. Is your ink water resistant, acid free, or fade resistance? Can you emboss? Matte, glossy, vellum, acetate, shrink plastic, wood, metal, polymer clay, porous, non-porous, fabric, leather, plastic - can you stamp on it? What about clean up? Check out pages 92 - 97 for a chart that summarizes these details for all your favorite Ranger products. How much more convenient can it get!

October 5, 2008

A Matter of Imagination

The tray had been a fixture on our porch for years, and the once rich finish showed the effects of constant exposure to the elements. When Crafts 'n Things editor Dawn Gehring suggested a Christmas home decor project, I knew this was the perfect project to repurpose a favorite piece. You'll have to check the December 2008 issue to see the tray itself, but a few swipes of Espresso paint with an Adirondack® Acrylic Paint Dabber gave the tray new life.
I envisioned big, bold flowers and leaves. Since the poinsettia stamps that I had on hand were not the size that I wanted, I turned to large foam leaf and circle stamps to create the images that I envisioned. As with the foam stamp Christmas cards, I used Adirondack® Acrylic Paint Dabbers and Adirondack® Metallic Acrylic Paint Dabbers to mix my paints right on the stamps. I believe I achieved the bold look that I had in mind!
Lynn Roberts 01 Foam Stamp Poinsettia Tray
Now for a closer look. When I think of Christmas, I think of glitter and glitz, and the fun part of the project was adding those details. Adirondack® Dimensional Pearls, Stickles™ Glitter Glue, and Perfect Pearls™ pack a glamour punch and the Inkssentials™ White Opaque Pen adds subtle accents.
Lynn Roberts 02 Foam Stamp Poinsettia Detail

As for the glass charms, Tim Holtz™ Adirondack® Alcohol Inks and Metallic Mixatives quickly transformed jewelry findings into coordinating pieces. Rather sophisticated if I do say so.
Lynn Roberts Tray and Glass Charms
For additional details, see pages 52-53 in the December 2008 issue of Crafts 'n Things.

A Minor Addition

You may have noticed there is no longer a RSS FWD link to subscribe to my blog. The explanation is simple: After the recent RSS FWD upgrade, my subscription link no longer functioned, and I could not find information to upgrade. While you may still add my URL as an RSS FWD feed here and continue to receive RSS FWD blog updates, I decided it was time to provide the FeedBurner option. Personally, my RSS FWD results continue to be inconsistent, and I'm ready to try something different.

Foam Stamp Transformations

What comes to mind when you think of foam stamps? Simple? Plain? Country? Not any more. These three cards, featured in the December 2008 issue of Crafts 'n Things, prove that great products can change the effect from the look of a chunky stencil to one of sophistication, glamour, or just plain fun!
What could be easier than mixing colors on your stamp with Adirondack® Acrylic Paint Dabbers or Adirondack® Metallics Acrylic Paint Dabbers.
Lynn Roberts 10 Foam Stamp Angel Seeking Star
Stickles™ Glitter Glue, Liquid Pearls™, Adirondack® Dimensional Pearls, and Perfect Pearls™ can provide real pizzazz.
Lynn Roberts 20 Foam Stamp 'O Christmas Tree
I used an Inkssentials™ White Opaque and a black pen (Pitt Artist) to add detail to continue the transformation.
Lynn Roberts 30 Foam Stamp Snow Bird

No chunky stencil look here. For additional tips, see pages 88-89 in the December 2008 issue of Crafts 'n Things.

October 4, 2008

Christmas Has Arrived!

I feel like a little girl who's been waiting for Santa for a long time and his arrival is imminent. Earlier this week, I noticed that the home page for Crafts 'n Things now features the December issue of the magazine. That means that my copy of the magazine should arrive any day. (One of the advantages of a subscription: having your copy in hand before it's on the newsstand!)
I never tire of looking through holiday idea books. Although I primarily consider myself a paper crafter, there is inspiration to be found everywhere. Just look at this cover and you'll see what I mean.
2008 12 CnT Cover
I must admit that there is another reason that I'm excited. I can't wait to see my Christmas projects in print. Although I've had projects published in several issues now (since Amos Publishing acquired The Rubber Stamper,) these are the first that I designed specifically for Crafts 'n Things.
Have you seen the mail carrier?

September 28, 2008


In the last few weeks, it seems there has been a renewed interest in Zentangles. I wrote about this art form in the June 2008 issue of Crafts 'n Things. With limited supplies, Zentangles provide an easy way for busy people to find time to be creative.
One of the hardest things can be getting started. Belinda Spiwak has a nice tutorial on her blog, and this video of a Mandela Zentangle will definitely make you want to give this a try.
Now for a few Zentangles of my own. Although there appears to be variation in their color, these were all done on the same basic white paper. The sunlight was definitely playing tricks on me today when I was trying to take pictures.
01 Lynn Roberts Zentangle 02 Lynn Roberts Zentangle
03 Lynn Roberts Zentangle 04  Lynn Roberts Zentangle
05  Lynn Roberts Zentangle 06 Lynn Roberts Zentangle
07 Lynn Roberts Zentangle 08  Lynn Roberts Zentangle
09  Lynn Roberts Zentangle 10  Lynn Roberts Zentangle
14  Lynn Roberts Zentangle 20  Lynn Roberts Zentangle
Now that you've seen how easy this is, grab that paper and pen that you already have on hand and make some marks!

August 9, 2008

A Pineapple Blessing

Pineapples have long been considered a symbol of hospitality and welcome making the pineapple stamp (Rubber Cottage) the perfect complement for this blessing sentiment (Stampabilities). This was a quick and easy card to complete with Archival Ink, a Big and Juicy™ Rainbow Pad, and Inkssentials™ Gloss Paper. Wouldn't this card make you feel loved!
LRoberts Pineapple Blessing Texture Background Card
Look for the details of this "Brayered Texture Background Card" on page 87 of the October 2008 issue of Crafts 'n Things.

Random Arts: Going with the Flow

I finally had the time to finish my wall hanging from the June workshop at Random Arts with Katie Kendrick. I posted earlier about my lack of experience in drawing faces, and that is probably obvious here. Katie's instructions were helpful, but do you ever have one of those days when you just want to go with what you've got?
Wall Hanging
When Katie demoed mixing flesh tones, her results were lovely. There was one problem: I hadn't brought the colors she used with me. Now, artists are most helpful people, and Katie would have shared her paints as would the people on either side of me. I was just having one of those days when I just didn't want to be bothered, so I used the colors I had. Besides, I really wanted my face to have a more earthy tone. And she does.
You may wonder why the bird and heart appear suspended. That was intentional on my part although I don't think that I could have made them look attached if I had tried. I enjoyed using my Inkssentials™ White Opaque Pen for the lettering around the heart and to highlight the outline of the bird.
Bird & Heart
I intended to cut the threads between my words but decided that I liked the way they tied the thoughts together. The picture below also shows the subtle stamping I added to the background with my Adirondack® Pigment Ink Pads.
Proverbs 17
I don't think that wall hangings are destined to become my newest passion, but this was definitely fun. I know that I will put the knowledge to use in further projects. This was another great day in Saluda!

June 22, 2008

Hotel Labels ATC Album

I like to make books but rarely use them. Generally for me, it's the process rather than the outcome, so this is a change: a project I'm really using. I've been looking forward to its publication in the August 2008 issue of Crafts 'n Things so that I could share detailed pictures.
1 Lynn Roberts Hotel ATC Album
With patterned paper as a foundation for the cover (Bo-Bunny Press Shabby Princess Collection,) take a closer look at this twist on a traditional book binding technique.
2 Lynn Roberts Hotel ATC Album Binding
The ATCs on the cover and inside used one stamp, the Tim Holtz Hotel Collage (Stampers Anonymous.) Of course, I used some of my favorite Ranger products: Adirondack® Color Wash™, Tim Holtz™ Distress Ink Pads, and Archival™ Ink. I used Melt Art™ Mold n' Pour™, my Melting Pot®, Melt Art™ UTEE Brightz™, and Perfect Pearls™ to create the fuchsia embellishment. I think this is the perfect touch.
3 Lynn Roberts Hotel ATC Album ATC 4 Lynn Roberts Hotel ATC Embellishment
Inside the book, you'll find a dozen ATCs made with the same stamp. (I find it a challenge to navigate the Stampers Anonymous catalog. Check out page 9 in the Winter 2008 Supplement 8.2 to see how versatile the image is.)
5 Lynn Roberts Hotel Stamp ATCs 1
6 Lynn Roberts Hotel Stamp ATCs 2
For detailed instructions, check out the August 2008 issue of Crafts 'n Things.

June 20, 2008

The Answer Is Never

Look what I made!

6Lynn's Doll Face
After two days of workshops at Random Arts with Katie Kendrick, my husband asked how many times I'd drawn faces in the past. If you don't count adding a smiley face to a stick figure, the answer to that would be never! Needless to say, this was a weekend that pushed me completely out of my comfort zone.

When I first saw Katie's whimsical dolls in the Winter 2006 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, I was intrigued. The dolls just smacked of personality, a factor that I would learn came straight from the heart of their maker. And now, Katie was coming to Random Arts to teach.
The first workshop was listed as a mixed media wall hanging. I've done some quilting in the past, so a "no experience necessary" project to reflect on the my "quirky side" sounded like fun. (More on this later after I finish my quilt.)

The second workshop was described as "freestyle intuitive doll making" without fussy cutting or fussy seaming. I couldn't wait to find out how to use simple pattern pieces to design a doll body and completely ignored the mention of learning to "paint an original face on my creation." After all, Katie was going to provide a face for us to use if we wanted to. Although I'd packed paints and other supplies, I never thought about this again until after class began.

Katie is a self-taught artist unspoiled by the rules of a formal education. As she described her journey into art and her path to creativity, we were inspired to see where our hearts would lead our paint brushes. (The group included several professionally trained artists with others who like me had never attempted more than stick figure art.) We drew faces with our non-dominant hand, laughed, and followed her instructions for transferring our work to muslin. After learning how to create flesh tones, the work began in earnest. Katie was there to encourage and guide, seeking to provide input and assistance. Here are pictures of Katie, one of her dolls, and the face that she painted while we watched.

3Katie and Doll 5Katie Doll Face Close Up

You would never have believed that this was a group of novices. Each doll had a distinctive personality; many were intricately pieced. Although I had brought along a box crammed full of fabric, after framing my doll's face with Turquoise Phthalo, I knew that the beaded trim and appliquéd heart were all that needed to be added to this beautiful fabric from my mother's quilting stash. Whether or not my doll appeals to anyone else, I now have a sentimental treasure. Beyond that, I enjoyed a challenging weekend. If only I lived closer to Saluda!

Random Arts: Sensory Overload

When I mentioned my visit to Random Arts earlier this spring, I was generally met with a quizzical expression. It's difficult to explain why it is truly "worth it" to spend the time and gas for a trip to Saluda, North Carolina. Granted, this spring our vacation to nearby Asheville brought us to the area, but last week end I made the journey just to take classes. My spring pictures highlighted the outside of the shop and the quaintness of the area. This trip, we'll look inside.

1Random Arts stamps metal lace ribbon

When you walk into the Random Arts, this is the view to your right. I think the title of this post says it all: sensory overload. In addition to the stamps you find displayed throughout the store, there are treasures tucked into every nook and cranny. Don't miss the collage bags in the lower right hand corner of this photo - color coordinated offerings: ribbons, buttons, and tidbits for the multi media artist, stamper, or scrapbooker looking for that perfect embellishment. The fabric hanging below the bags is simply luscious. In the bottom left, you'll find magical solutions to transform mesh or metals and samples to stimulate experimentation. It will be difficult to move on, but there is more to be seen.

 2Random Arts books metal tidbits

The picture above should give you an idea of why it's easy to spend an afternoon in this relatively small shop. I couldn't resist looking in every drawer and browsing through the related books. The displays will allure you to try something new.

 4Random Arts samples

Looking for inspiration? Above, the walls provide an endless bounty of ideas to touch and explore. Jane Powell and her staff are knowledgeable and more than willing to share their expertise. Below, the cash wrap is almost buried under product and samples. I've never resisted adding something to my purchase while checking out. This time, it was newly arrived bird charms.

 3Random Arts cash wrap

If this sounds like a commercial for Random Arts, I can't help it. Friends share their favorite places with friends. I just wish I lived a little closer!

May 18, 2008

When This You See, Remember Me.

Whenever I looked at the Santos Doll stamp, this saying kept going through my head. I finally realized that it was from the cover of the autograph book that I had as a child. Remembering is important. This card holder can provide a perfect place for you to store the cards that you plan to send or those you receive for special occasions, a way to help you "remember."
You'll find the details of how I used Adirondack Dye Ink Pads to transform readily available Kraft envelops on page 80 of the June 2008 issue of Crafts 'n Things. The Exiled Occasion Phrases were the perfect stamps for my dividers. If you don't own a binding system - I used my RubiCoil, use your imagination to bind your own special place for remembrances.

1 LRoberts Remember Card Keeper Front

Stamps: Santos Doll by Invoke Arts, Wooden Ruler Design by Postmodern Design, Remember by Stampa Rosa, Artista Quad by Stampendous, and Exiled Occasion Phrases by La Pluma

Faux Encaustic Magic

Encaustic painting has long held a fascination for me. When I discovered how to emulate this effect with Adirondack Color Wash, I was thrilled. You'll find detailed instructions for these cards in the June 2008 issue of Crafts 'n Things. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to get fabulous results.
Stamps: Car Cube 1942 Ford by B Line Designs; Societe du Louvre by Just for Fun
LRoberts Faux Encaustic 1942 Ford Color Wash Card