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the content on this blog may be unsuitable for preschool toys. we trust your judgment as to whether you choose to have age appropriate toys are near while you view our site! some of our music prompts are also a bit grown up for little pitchers. you'll need to click the play arrow to listen to the music portion of our prompts. you may want to do that when the big ears aren't listening. ~the girlz


End of the Month Aug '09

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i used to be afraid of using acrylic paint in my scrapbooking (which i now call mixed-media).
For years I stayed away from it and used regular inkpads and stamps and spent tons of money at the scrapbook store.
One night i was watching a documentary about spray painting and thought the drippy textured paint looked so cool i would try and replicate it with some acrylic paint i had won from a LSS challenge but never opened.
That was the beginning of the end!
Now i am addicted to acrylic paint and it's usage.
Not because i can actually paint bowls of fruit or pretty sunsets or my dog's portraits - but because of how flexible it is to create abstract background and texture to any page.
Or it can emphasize that special point or photo you are scrapbooking.

You can use paint with stamps too! It's even easier to peel off after it dries than ink is to wash off!
But i think it's more fun and interesting to use found objects to stamp with.

Things that make people think - "that looks so familiar but i can't quite put my finger on what I'm looking at!"
And it's uber-cheap!
In fact everything i am about to show you that i stamped with was free - and in a good way, not a "look over my shoulder to see behind me" way!

Here are just a few examples of my favorite tools to use and examples. Let your mind wander to things you have in your closet, tool chest, basement or in the gutter down the street. Anything will become a stamp if you apply paint to it - even fruit, vegetables, hands, forks, spoons, pine cones, stones .... you get the picture.

This is my preferred brand of paint - i like the consistency the best and makes the coolest uneven textured stamping of all the different ones i've tried:

STAMPING WITH PAINT?! Really? Is it messy?
Ya, well it can be if you're having enough fun with it. Or it can be organized and neat if you're careful. Regardless of the mood I'm in, I still always put down either a huge plastic trash bag or wax paper underneath what I'm painting just in case....

Circles are my favorite shape.
The first non-traditional item i ever stamped with remains my favorite - bubble wrap! It comes in different sizes and is almost always found somewhere for free:

My next favorite are these different size caps. The largest was the first - it's a burned out scented candle holder. The first dozen or so times i stamped with it, my layout smelled like Vanilla! The other caps I couldn't specifically tell you where they are from or where i got them. If i see an odd looking cap in the gutter i will pick it up without blinking.

I also like to use corrugated cardboard - this certainly can be found for free almost anywhere you look! I "repurposed" these coffee cup wrappers from Caribou Coffee. And these are fun to use after they've been painted up for frames and embellishment texture!

The last "tip" i'd love to share, because it's really really cool, is use a piece of cardstock or a journal as your paint palette. Keep using it until you think there's enough paint on it that it looks pretty and will make an awesome background or addition to your project. I made this pre-art art jourrnal for a friend. This back cover is the palette i used for the entire journal (it's actually hard plastic) - so all the colors match, plus in somewhat spiritual way i like the idea of reusing paint from other projects in one - it's like putting it all together, the history and where i was at in my life for those weeks i used it as a palette.

I'd like to share with you this one last project i did recently that used all of these non-traditional stampers:

It's actually a birthday card that was completely free to make. I owned all the supplies - the envelope, the chipboard from packaging, the stampers, the ribbon..... It was for an orgzanization I do the graphic design for, and it was so much fun to turn the computer off and make something by hand! In fact, the AWF did a short news story about it, you can read it here.

So, there you go!
Don't be scared to dive into paint - buy a couple of the cheapies of your favorite color (or if you have Gesso laying around) and play around a bit. Trust me, it gets addicting! You'll never look at that pasta sauce cap you're about to throw away the same again!

Rachel Here:
I just wanted to add a little to what Lara had to say!! I used to be a teacher at a preschool, and we used to use paint and all SORTS of things to create prints!! I thought I'd share THIS LINK with even MORE great ideas for using everyday things to create magic.

It's also time to share who is our winner of our prize drawing and who we'd like to invite to be our GUEST GutterGirl next month!!
Winner of our PRIZE this month:
BloggerTerra said... K, this is my first ever Gutter Girlz challenge, it was great! I think my take on it is a little (read:ALOT) different than most will be, but there's a reason :) Thanks for the Challenge! View mine HERE
Terra, use our CONTACT button in the left sidebar to send us your mailing information, and we'll get your prize out to you!! Please put AUG PRIZE WINNER in your email's subject line.
We'd like to invite our GUEST GUTTER GIRL for Sept. 15th's PROMPT:
BloggerAmesOx said... Wonderful Fabulous LO's ladies....so different and such unique takes!
Amy, please email us and let us know if you would like to be our guest!! We'll get the upcoming prompt out to you as soon as we hear from you, so you can share with us on the 15th!! Please put SEPT. GG in your email's subject line.

Last but TOTALLY not LEAST!! Lara is providing our PRIZE for this month!! Posting a link to your project in our comments here or on our prompt coming up on the 15th will put you in the drawing for her goodies!! I'll put you in an extra time if you use paints and something everyday to STAMP with!! I don't know about you... but just LOOKING at that first photo with all that painty goodness makes me wanna go get messy.

Be sure too, to check out her links! It's a really cool thing she was involved in... and I know she'd like to know you checked it out!!

9 Please Wait for Comments to load:

Glenda T. said...

Lara, all of your projects are total eye candy. You make me want to grab my paints, spray them all over the floor and roll around in them (but I can't cause that would wreck my hardwood but you know I want to!!) You are the Queen of paint. Love.

Kristy said...

AMAZING stuff Lara! Glenda is right! TOTAL EYE CANDY! Very very inspiring!

AmesOx said...

Aww, Thank you SO much for choosing me to be your Guest Gutter Girl for September! I am very excited!!

Becky said...

simply amazing!

Gina said...


LaVon said...

Hey...where's the new prompt ladies!?

rachel whetzel said...

LaVon, Prompts come out on the 15th of every month now!! Only a few more days!!

Patti H said...

wow what an awesome post!! Love your work. I just since haning out here in the Gutter have started using more paint on my layouts. I love your work!!

Apple said...

Great stuff...thanks for the tips!!! :)