Monday, June 29, 2009

Work It Wednesday #1 - Creating Neat Effects with Glue


Welcome to The Character Cafe's first ever Work It Wednesday!! We will be hosting this event on a weekly basis and we hope that you learn something new, renew something forgotten, or just plain old have fun!!!

Each week one of our Design Team Members will be your hostess and they will discuss a topic of interest to them. It may be a technique they love, something they want to learn or found interesting or maybe a favorite/new product they've gotten. Regardless, it will be paper crafting related and might tickle your fancy (or at least we hope).

After our hostess has shared their information with you, they will pose a challenge related to
their topic of interest. You are then invited to join the challenge by posting a link to your creation. Your projects are due by the following Tuesday at 9pm EST, at which point, we will have a drawing of a winner. The winner will get 1 randomly chosen image from The Character Cafe (the image will be different each week).


On occasion, (like today), we would like to offer you freebies for joining us and being so supportive. Today, our Freebie is in honour of Canada Day, which is today! However, we know that not all (or even a majority!) of you are Canadian, and so we've created this image in a more generic version for you all to enjoy.

Meet Buck-E Beaver :) (you will be uploading the B&W image of course!) Click Buck-E to download

So, the topic I have chosen is a technique that is new to me... I'm all about trying new things, even if it doesn't quite work out how you intended. I feel it's all about the process... the learning curve if you will. The pic above shows Buck-E coloured with water colour pencils (by Kelly) prior to "playing".

I found a GREAT BLOG, by a lady who does amazing tutorials on all sorts of different topics and I contacted her to see if I might use her tutorial for my Work It Wednesday post today. Actually, I asked her if she would host today, but she's Canadian too and is away, but she did say that she may just be able to be a guest hostess in September(yay!!!). Anyway, I will add a link to her blog later in my post for you all. You're so going to want to follow it!!!


The technique is creating an Impasto effect using a Matte Medium. Sounds tricky? NOT! I'm actually taking that technique and using Mod Podge to see if it works!!! So, what does "Impasto effect" mean? Well, it originally refers to a thick layer of paint. In my own definition it would imply a textured effect.

I saw Mel's blog post and thought hmmmm... I bet that might make some cool fur??? We do several animal (or animal-like) characters and there are several colouring techniques out there to imply fur and even flocking, but I thought a 3-D type effect would be a neat twist.

Now, maybe this is old hat to some of you and you're wondering where I have been?!!! Well, my "to-do" list is HUGE and I have barely scraped the surface, so here I am... a START :)


1. An image (stamped or digital, either is fine)
2. Colouring tools (I've tested Copics, Pencil Crayons and OMS as well as water colour pencils)
3. Matte Medium (I'm using Mod Podge - you can also apparently use any other tacky white glue)
4. Paint brush
5. The rest of your embellishments to finish your project!!!


First off, you want to colour your image. It works best if you add the detailing you want as the glue dries clear and so you will be able to see under. (see pic above for BEFORE)

Next you want to "seal" your image with a very thin layer of the matte medium (glue) so you don't see the brush strokes and it's smooth (as best you can). This is actually a very cool effect on its own! It really made the colours pop. There didn't seem to be a difference between which method of colouring was used except that there was some slight smearing when we mod podged the water coloured image.

Then you want to add your details. This is where you add the glob of glue where you want to have a raised or textured effect (almost looks like clear embossing!). The glue dries a lot flatter than you put it on, so don't be afraid to leave blobs of it. Below, I have a sample of some glue globbing... coloured AFTER the glue dried (I think these would make neat clouds!) - I actually cut a flower out of this for my final project

Stippling the glue with the brush, like shown on the left, I tried it on this Buck-E (coloured with pencil crayons and OMS)... not bad, but really not quite the effect I was looking for... might be good as horse fur or something similar though? The tutorial I saw that demonstrated this, used a tree stump and used stippled colouring and then the matte medium was to give the bark effect. It is way cool and looked amazing as bark, just not sold on it as fur yet!

Next, I tried it with thin strokes of the Mod Podge in areas that I wanted highlighted as fur. It turned out pretty cool I think... here's the pics of one coloured with pencil crayons and OMS and the other with Copics.

So, not sure what you think, but I had so much fun playing with my glue! I think glue is fantastic, cheap and a little usually goes a long way. Now for my final project...

I ended up using my Buck-E with Copics and glue highlights...

I also used fabric glitter glue for the "EH" cut with my cricut and the George cart... punched the flower out of that glob of glue coloured with copics after dried... used my stylus to round the petals out a bit and put an acrylic rhinstone brad for the centre. I used a Happy Birthday stamp (???) embossed with black embossing powder, coloured with copics (see how similar the glue effect is to the embossing?!)... Kelly made me a flag (thanks!) that I attached with glue dots and foam stickies to a tooth pick coloured with copics. I can see that when I was taking pics, I didn't notice that I got some glitter glue on the flag and smooshed a dot of it (oh well, what can you do?!).

The paper is Bazzil cardstock and DaisyD's Maybe Baby collection.


I would like for you all to show me how you like to use glue. Something neat, old, new, or experimental... whatever you like as long as it's glue related! Hey, try out my texture technique if you feel inspired!

Well, this is my first tutorial and probably not laid out the best, but it was a learning experience in itself!!! LOL I've definitely learned a few things to do differently that's for sure.

Now I want to share with you what Kelly created after reading my tutorial... She did a fantastic job, although she hasn't created anything with it yet.... Remember the BEFORE and here's the AFTER...

I hope you enjoyed my tut and if you're reading this part, thanks for sticking it out and playing along with me.

I've added Mr. Linky for the first time as well so hopefully, it works! Remember, you have until next Tues. at 9pm EST to submit your creation.

Happy Crafting!
Kendra :)

OMG... I totally forgot to add the link to my inspiration (um... guideline...) Mel Stampz. She's fantastic and her blog is wonderful if you want to learn anything!!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Hello out there!

The Cafe is proud to present our first Feature Friday! This is where all of our Design Team Members "feature" projects using The Character Cafe (TCC) images.

We collectively decided that we'd all like to post our projects on the same day of the week in order to have some comradery as well as give all you readers out there a big dose of TCC inspiration.

As I mentioned before, the Cafe Blog (here) will be hosting a Work It Wednesday Information/Challenge day starting next Wed, July 1st. Kelly and I will be the first hostesses of this event and we've got something special planned for you all! We won't be the typical challenge blog in the fact that we won't have a whole bunch of inspiration projects from our DT for you all on that day, but our DT has the option to create something based on the challenge to post on Feature Friday (the choice is theirs as to whether they want to participate or not). The Work It Wednesday hostess will make a post on a topic, technique, product or whatnot of their choice and then, based on their post, will pose a challenge to you readers. I like to think of Work It Wednesday as an informational session with a challenge twist... a practice what we preach so to speak! LOL

We have decided that we will offer 1 TCC image a week to a randomly chosen winner (through random org). We had considered getting sponsors and all that, but there are just soooo many challenge blogs out there, we decided that we would do it this way. This, of course, is open to change and if you'd like to chime in on your thoughts about it, please feel free... everyone is entitled to an opinion and we appreciate them all!!! Our focus is to try to provide a tip/trick or two, something neat or something new and we hope you come and play along with us! Lets have some crafty fun :)

Anyway, we hope that you decide to visit our Design Team Member Blogs over the next week as they have done up some fantastic creations with some neat techniques that I'm hoping they share!!! Just in case you haven't become followers, here's a list of our DT Member Blogs :)


Oh, and I have a Freebie template on my Blog

So, it's not a blog hop, but if you feel the need for inspiration, go blurfing :) and you're sure to find something that tickles your fancy!

Until next time,
Happy Crafting!!!!

Kendra (& Kelly)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blog Hop Success & Prize Winners

Hello Everyone!!

Well our first Blog hop was such a great success and we'd like to thank all those that came out and participated. We hope that you enjoyed all our new digital images and of course all the great creations our Design Team came up with to show case them so well!

We couldn't have pulled it off without all the help from our wonderful & very talented Design Team (so thanks to you all too).

I know that this post comes to you a bit late (well a lot late!), but at 8am this morning, I had my darling daughters draw two names from the cat tree...

The first place winner of 4 TCC images & Wedding Bling, is mathlady51 (Jackie)
The second place winner of 1 TCC image & Wedding Bling is cherie

Congratulations ladies... I will try to get in touch with you, but if you haven't heard from me, check your spam or e-mail us and we'll get you your files ASAP!!!!

Well, that's it for our First Blog Hop, but it won't be our last :)

Now, I just wanted to let you know that Friday, June 26 will mark our first Feature Friday, which is where our fabulous Design Team will all be featuring projects with The Character Cafe (TCC) images. This will be a weekly event, not a hop, but just a bit of fun... you never know what you'll stumble across!

On July 1st, we will also be having another first... our first Work It Wednesday! This is an all new endeavour we will be taking on where one of our DT Members (us included!) will be hosting the Cafe Blog, presenting a favorite technique, idea, tip, product or anything else that might be interesting or fun to the average crafter. The host will then propose a challenge based on their chosen topic and if you all would like to participate, there will be a prize. More details will follow on Friday!

Well, that's it for now... still work to be done. Again, sorry for the delay!
Happy crafting!
Kendra & Kelly

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Yahoo, it's the first ever Character Cafe Blog Hop and we're sooo excited!

We've introduced our new Design Team and we can't be more pleased with all of their fantastic designs using our New Releases for June.

If you're just finding out about this Blog Hop, and this is your first stop, well, you've started at the end and so I recommend you start with our Design Team Intro and Blog Hop details at The Character Cafe Design Team page of our web site.

You really want to start at the beginning because throughout the Blog Hop, you'll be collecting a code that will get you a whopping 50% off all your purchases from The Cafe!!! Only, you have to have the code in order of the hop so that it will work (sorry, it's not a word as I couldn't chose my discount code!). We've also included a freebie on one of our members blogs so that you all "win" something regardless of the prize draws.

Speaking of the prize draws, let me tell you what you'll win if your name is picked!!!

Our first prize is for 4 Character Cafe digital images of your choice plus our Wedding Bling New Release.
Our second prize is for 1 Character Cafe digital image and the Wedding Bling New Release.

If you have been playing along with us, and arrived here from Steph's Blog, we want to be sure that you'll qualify for our prizes so, a refresher if you will!

The requirements are
- please post a comment on all the Design Team Member's Blogs (they worked really hard on their projects, and I for one, think they turned out GREAT, so show them some love!)
- become a follower of our blog or member of our website (you won't regret it, we're gearing up for some great stuff!)
- if you post a link to your blog regarding our Hop, you will receive an extra entry
- post a comment here, on our blog to let us know you're playing and so we know how to contact you if you win!

We will be putting all your entries into our cat tree (lol... worked before!) and my daughters will be making the draw on Tuesday morning at 8am EST, so you have until then to play along! Once the names have been drawn, we will check that you've met all the requirements and voila, winners!
Please note that the discount code will only be active until Tuesday, June 23, 2009, so shop while it lasts!

We hope that you've enjoyed your tour and wish you all luck! We've had a great (yet hectic) time putting this all together for you and our Design Team all worked hard right along with us. We'd like to say thank you to them for all their patience, understanding and dedication to making this a wonderful start to our term with them {hugs}.

A few notes...
We will be having our New Releases on the 20th of each month going forward.
Our Design Team Members will be posting on The Cafe Blog (here) once a week starting soon! More details on this will be released shortly after the Blog Hop :)
Starting next Friday, our Design Team will be participating in Feature Friday, where all of our DT members will post cards featuring The Character Cafe images (Fridays are great, aren't they?!).

Well, have fun and see you Tuesday for the BIG DRAWS!!!

Kelly & Kendra

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Name That Fairy, Card , New Release & Sponsorship

Hi, hope everyone had a great weekend.

Kendra and I have been busy little beavers this week, reviewing blogs of the applicants for our design team, reading everyones suggestions of names for our "Name that Fairy contest", finishing our designs for our upcoming release, and crafting with some of our images for Father's Day cards.

So, today's the day to "Name That Fairy"! We compiled the list of names and put numbers on pieces of paper and since neither of us wanted to take our hats off, we put them in the cat tree and drew a number (that really is ridiculous now that I type it, but really, that's how it went down). The winner of "Nissa" is Bailey's Lounge (sorry, couldn't find your name!). We think it's kinda neat that this was the name we drew out of the "tree" since it was recommended twice, must be fate! Congrats to you :) but we'll need your e-mail address to send her your way as we couldn't find one for you, so please get in touch with us at

Kendra and I went to a garage sale at our local scrapbooking store, Scrappin Great Deals this weekend. It was fun collecting new and exciting crafting supplies, can't wait to use them.

Here is a card I made today for Father's day using one of The Cafe's new releases.

"Cooner" is available as of tonight at the Character Cafe. I had drawn this for a gift for my husband a while back and when Kendra saw it, she insisted that it would make a great card, and I must say, I have to agree! I think my dad is going to love it.

Here are the details about the card.
• Brown textured card stock from DCWV
• "Cooner" from the Cafe with brown Martha Stewart ink on the edges
• Brown and sage paper from K & Company
• Sentiment from the Cafe printed on Vellum paper
• Flower and brad from my stash
• "Blooming bouquet" stamp from Fiskars stamped in black Martha Stewart ink

Kendra made a father's day card as well, so head over to her blog if you haven't been already to check it out.

Hey, I almost forgot... we're sponsoring another challenge over at The Sketch and Stash Challenge Blog! The winner will get to pick 3 of our images, so if you've got a few minutes head over there sometime this week and check it out. You never know, maybe you'll be a winner.

Well, I'm off to tackle the ever growing pile of laundry.
Kelly ;) "the imaginary illlustrator"

P.S. Don't forget to check out our search for a design team and send us your submission!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Design Team Search - Send us your submissions (ends June 11th, 2009)

We are now looking for a Design Team (finally)! We are looking for 8 individuals who would love to work with us and our images. We are a digital stamp company (for now!) that would like to venture into the rubber stamp world in the near future so if you don’t normally work with digi stamps, don’t let that stop you from submitting your work for consideration! If you’ve never used digi stamps before and would like to try them out, let us know and we’ll send you a test file.

- Ability to print digital stamps!
- 3 month term (from June 15th until September 15th)
- Must have a blog and post on a regular basis
- Online gallery or group memberships are bonuses (not necessary though)
- Minimum posting requirement is 4 projects per month (once a week) with The Café images as the main focus
- Twice during your term, you will be asked to be featured on The Café blog (details and dates to be discussed further)

If you think that you “qualify” and would like to be part of our Design Team, this is what we offer…
- All of our new releases for you to use during your term appointment free of charge
- A link to your blog on our website and blogs
- Our current designs at a 25% discount
- 15% Lifetime discount on all future products (including stamps!)

To submit yourself for DT consideration please e-mail…
- name, e-mail you would like us to use, residing country
- Link to your blog(s)/gallerie(s)
- Previous or current Design Team appointments
- Publications or acknowledgements if applicable
- A bit about you and your crafting :)

The Character Café reserves the right to cancel any appointment at any time due to failure to meet DT expectations as outlined above. Team expectations and rewards may be modified at any time to meet changing needs of The Cafe and its DT members.

Thanks so much for your support! We look forward to what the future holds and we’re excited to be part of such a wonderful community of crafters :)

Kelly and Kendra
The Character Café

Digital Tuesday Challenge#8-Weddings

Hi all, I'm going to make this quick since I'm down to the wire for the deadline. This card is for the Digital Tuesday Challenge #8 - Weddings.

I used a soon to be released image from the Character Cafe for this weeks challenge. I used my water colour pencils, and my new stickles that I've been dying to use.
Sandy Lion Papers, Wassail Papers, Flowers and brads from my stash. Martha Stuart "copper ink" on the edges of my image, then distressed with scissors. Dark red card stock.
The sentiment is also a soon to be released from the Character Cafe.

I think it's my best card yet. Well have to go submit my link to the site...time's a tickin'.

Kelly ;) "the imaginary illustrator"

P.S. If you haven't checked out our previous post, be sure to pop by and play "Name that Fairy" for a chance to have one of our images named by you and win her free too!!!