Thursday, August 26, 2010


Blogspot, the software that I use to create our blog can sometimes be tempermental and uncooperative. Sunday night I sat down and created a couple of posts for this week. One was on Copic markers and the other was on clear stamp storage. I published one immediately and scheduled the other for later publication. Well, the software has decided not to cooperate with later publication and has re-ordered the posts so the Copic one shows up after the storage one. The storage one has some good information, so please scroll down and enjoy. I'm sorry for the technical difficulties.

play it forward,


Monday, August 23, 2010

Intro To Stamping With Copic Markers

Our friends at Hero Arts produced this video on using Copic Markers with your rubber stamps. I thought that I would share it with you because it has some helpful information. Just a couple of comments:

She is using the original Copic marker, which has a writing tip. At SYHO, we carry the Sketch marker which has a brush tip instead of the writing tip. I think that it is better for coloring stamped images because it is more flexible. The Ciao marker also has the brush tip. The difference between the Sketch and the Ciao is the size of the well inside of the pen that holds the ink. The Sketch holds more ink; but it is the same ink as that used in the Ciao. For example if you have a B12 Sketch, you would refill it with the same ink that you would use to refill a B12 Ciao. At SYHO we routinely carry the refill for the blender pen. We can order a refill for any color that you need.

Another difference between the Sketch and the Ciao is that the Sketch comes in more colors than the Ciao. The Sketch comes in 334 colors and the Ciao comes in 144 colors. The Ciao was invented for children to use so the cap has holes in it so that children won't choke on it if they accidentally swallow it. The Copic website does advise that the markers are intended for use by artists 12 years old and older.

The woman in the video uses a different paper than we carry at SYHO. We carry Neenah Crest in white and cream. It is a great paper for Copics. There is a new paper that was introduced at CHA from Australia. We are working hard to find a supplier for the paper so that we can add it to our Copic supplies.

In the video, the woman added her shadows at random. Marianne Walker, the Copic Product Specialist who taught my certification class has a degree in Art. She emphasized to us that we have to decide where our light source would be coming from and our shadows would be on the opposite side. So, with this cute little deer, if the light was coming from the left, that side would be the lighter side; the right side and underneath portion of the deer would be darker. We can learn a lot about how to shadow our objects by looking at our surroundings. Take note of where the light is coming from, and see where the shadows are. I find it helpful to lay a pen on the paper that my image is stamped on, angled to indicate where my light source is; it helps me to be consistent and more realistic.

To avoid your coloring looking splotchy, it is helpful to keep the tip of your pen to the paper and keep the edges of your coloring wet. On this little deer, I would start at the front of his body and work to the back of his body, coloring in a circular motion, as she does on the video. I then would color his legs, one at a time and then his head and ears. If you were to color a portion of the front of his body, then jump to the back of his body, and then to the middle, the color would not have laid down smooth and splotches would clearly be seen. Don't be afraid of the color; the ink blends best when you have colored enough so that it goes through to the back. The nice thing about the Neenah paper is that it will not pill when you are coloring and blending.

Once you have colored the entire image, then go back and add your shadows and your highlights.
If you are just getting started with your pen collection, you can add shadows with the original color. Wait for the ink that you put down originally to be completely dry, and then add the shadows. The shadows will be slightly darker than where you originally colored. You can put in highlights by carefully removing some color from your selected area with your blender pen. I think of my blender pen as my Tide pen: it works to remove color. When I accidentally color outside the line that I stamped, I use the wide end of my pen and carefully push the color back under the line. I find that it works best if I "erase" with my blender a little bit at a time. I push a bit of color back, let it dry completely, and then do it again if necessary.

Marianne Walker has a wonderful blog. I encourage you to read it. It has wonderful tips on using the markers. There is a link to it on the right side of this blog.



Sunday, August 22, 2010

Clear Stamp Storage

I love clear and cling stamp sets. The challenge is how to store them. I have some of them in CD cases, but they seemed to take up a lot of room on the shelves in my stamping room. I have others (too many...) stored in boxes that I have to shuffle through when I am looking for a particular stamp. I have been frustrated when a stamp has fallen off of its backing sheet and I can't find it. I need to get more organized!

Jennifer McGuire from Hero Arts has a great system for storing her stamps that she shares in this video. I had stored my small 2 x 3 sets in the baseball card pages but Jen gives some great ideas for how to store larger sets. I'm going to add some dividers with categories to make it easier for me to find the stamp that I want to use. When I have time for my art, I love just to sit down and start creating. But every once in a while I have to devote some time to getting organized. I'm on my way to the local office supply store!

Play it Forward,


Just sharing

Last week the fabulous Julie Nutting taught a class here at SYHO. You have seen Julie's exquisite ladies in the magazines published by Stampington. She also donated pieces for the silent auction for the Power of Pink the last two years. She very graciously allowed the Power of Pink to use one of her pieces last year as the artwork for our magnet and invitations.

Beth, one of the employees at Stampington, came and took Julie's class. She posted some wonderful thoughts on her blog about the class, SYHO and Claremont. Beth used to come to SYHO when she was a young girl with her mother. Check out the August 16th and 17th entries at I borrowed the picture above from Beth's blog; it is of her creation in Julie's class.

I had the pleasure of taking one of Julie's classes last month. I had a great time and went home with a great piece. She is an amazing teacher who brings out the best work from her students. She will be teaching again in the months to come and I encourage you to take one of her classes.

Play it Forward,


Monday, May 31, 2010

More visitors!

We get wonderful guests at Stamp Your Heart Out. This little mermaid, Michaela, was visiting the Village from Pasadena with her parents. She stopped into Stamp Your Heart Out to get some stickers - mermaids, of course. It took some convincing but she finally agreed to let me take her picture.

Another recent guest was the Butterfly Lady! She had come to Stamp Your Heart Out after participating in a special reading program to welcome Spring. We were enjoying her butterfly purse and hat when she told us about her wings. She very graciously went and got them and put them on for all to enjoy!

Stop by and see us in your special regalia. And remember, play it forward.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Wonderful Guests!

I was all ready to post a picture from our very special Saturday event with Marylinn Kelly and Lisa Hoffman, with a great cameo from Elaine Madrid when I saw that Suzanne was giving the info on the pennant event. So, I chilled. The pennant event is going to be great fun and I hope that lots of you will participate. I can't wait to see the pennants hanging. Those of you who know Suzanne know that Halloween is her favorite holiday, BY FAR. Last fall, she was my secret pal and I had a great time fashioning a "spooky" string of pennants for her. I had a great time collecting goodies for the project when we were visiting other stores during shop hop.

I LOVE shop hop! I have participated for the last two years. Armed with our itinerary of stores, Suzanne, Cynthia and I have visited many stores over the last two summers. The first year we found a Sunday where none of us were working at SYHO. Cynthia, also known as the organized one, carefully mapped out several stores that we would be able to visit in a day. We managed to get to 11 stores! Our poor debit cards...they were steaming at the end of the day. The first store that we visited was in Huntington Beach. It opened at 10:00 a.m. As I looked around as we all rushed the door, I realized that all of the customers who were there were SYHO family members: our staff and customers. The owner was very gracious and took our picture together.

Last year, Cyn, Suz and I were so lucky! We got to go to a trade show in Long Beach with some fabulous companies and then we got to do some ShopHopping! Again we had a great time. Each store had something a bit different. It may have been the same product, but with the unique vision that their artists brought to it. Sometimes it was product that we didn't carry, but could bring positive reviews to SYHO.

Discounted signups for Shop Hop are ending soon! Hop down or call the store and register now to get the discount.

Okay, back to Saturday! It is always, always, always a special day when Marylinn Kelly comes to SYHO. I had the honor of being a student in her very first class at SYHO way back when in the "little store" as we call in. It was on Bonita and Indian Hill. I had met Marylinn prior to class and seen some of her creations and was excited to learn from her. From the very beginning, Marylinn gave openly and generously from her heart. She inspired me with her mail art. Her envelopes are INCREDIBLE and to be cherished. Each piece of snail mail that she sends to Joan is decorated with her hand drawn creations, her stamps from Stampington, and/or her Rubber Moon creations.

Not just Marylinn but her friends!! I had never met Lisa Hoffman though I was familiar with her work. What a nice, nice lady! We had a great time. She was so generous with her thoughts and tips with journals and art. When I looked at the journals that she had brought with her, I felt a bit intimidated. Then I had an opportunity to talk to their creator. She is awesome. Lisa is funny, friendly and kind. She is a very fun lady that I hope to get to know better.

Elaine Madrid. Elaine was not one of our demonstration artists. She is a DIVA of stamp art. She just popped in for a visit because Marylinn and Lisa were visiting SYHO. Most of you know that I am a breast cancer survivor. Elaine is a bit behind me on the journey. She is still in active treatment. I have a mammogram upcoming. Unless you have had breast cancer, I don't think that you can understand just how stressful it can be to face a mammogram. Being around Elaine last Saturday was one of the best things that could have happened for me. She has such a positive attitude. We chatted about being "members of the club". (That is the breast cancer club; for the record, I don't want any of our customers, staff, supporters or anyone else to join the club. I wish I could control it. I can't.) More importantly, she is an incredible stamp artist. There is a link from our blog to hers. She has some really fun stamps.

Enough blathering for now.

Play It Forward.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Going For The Pennant Challenge

Hello Everyone! You are all invited to participate in the latest Stamp Your Heart Out challenge:
Make your own art pennant! My demo on Mother's Day featured ideas and techniques to inspire you to create your pennant art that will be strung with other submissions and displayed in our store! This is a call for community expression. Imagine seeing your work united with other pieces, filling our haven with color, energy, and happiness.

How do I go about this? you ask. There are only just a few rules...
1) You must use an equilateral triangle as the base of your piece. One straight side plus two angled sides that come to a point. (Think of classic sports pennants.)
2) Your name must be included on the back. (So we can return your art to you.)
3) Include hang tabs on the straight side, or allow us to attach tabs for hanging.
4) Size: anything from 6" to 18".
5) Theme: there is no theme to this challenge. It is about you and what you wish to celebrate.

We are accepting submissions now through May 22. Please come to the store for inspirations or questions. This is not a contest, but an event designed to display your wonderful talents. I apologize for not including photos - apparently I'm not as adept at posting a blog as I am at gluing paper together!
We look forward to seeing you and your art soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I know its been a while......

Hello. We know its been a while. With all the new stuff coming in the blog has taken a bit of a back seat...But we are going to try and post something every week, maybe a few times a week. I will workon some videos and some easy cards or ideas. Everyone at the store is gonna post a little something. So this is my first post for the week, a quick hello and more soon..well I hope to put more soon. Cynthia

Friday, January 15, 2010

January window

At the beginning of every month, I love coming to the store to see what magic Joan and Marilyn have created for this month's window. They come up with great ideas each month and unearth from their secret stashes the wonderful goodies for the display.

This month Joan is sharing her Bunte candies collection. The Bunte Candy Company was based in Chicago, Illinois and did business under the Bunte name until bought out by another company about 30 years ago. As a little girl growing up in Joliet, Illinois, which is about 30 miles from Chicago, Joan enjoyed these sweet treats. Her favorites were Dianas, a hard candy with a soft center. Little did she know that she would grow up and become a Bunte.

Joan's branch of the Buntes was not related to the owners of the candy company but that has not dampened her enthusiasm for collecting the memorabilia. She started collecting Bunte pieces in the late 1960's. What is displayed in the window is about a 10th of her collection. Her favorite piece that is displayed in this month's window is an original Bunte toy truck from the 1930's. The toy was produced as an advertisement that children could play with and cost 69 cents. I suspect that 40 years later, it has increased in value. Joan's other favorites are two large advertisements that she has had framed and displays in her home. There is a Christmas ad featuring Santa Claus and another Mother's Day ad, encouraging families to treat their beloved mothers to Bunte candy.

An unexpected addition to Joan's collection was found here at a Hallmark Store in Claremont, some 25 years ago. There Joan found a puzzle of a Bunte Candy box.

I hope you will stop by and look at this treasured collection.

Play It Forward,