Wednesday, November 29, 2017

There For You Campaign

Hi there friends!! Nancy from the design team here, with a different type of blog post. Recently, our happy world of CDD encountered a bit of heart break. Unbeknownst to Tara (the owner of Crafting Desert Divas), CDD was the victim of intellectual property theft. Many beloved CDD images were stolen, manufactured, and are being sold by a Chinese online retailer. These CDD copies are of the lowest quality and at a completely unbelievable price point.  Imagine the heartbreak that Tara felt. These creatures that were lovingly created for CDD fans through many hours of brain storming, blood, sweat, and tears were made available to the public without her consent.

This has been happening a lot recently in the stamping community. Many of your favorite shops are going through the same heart break. Even worse is that many of these shop owners feel powerless to fight it. As the companies committing this theft are in China, they are not subject to US copyright laws. These companies can choose to fight, but the amount of money needed to hire lawyers and fight an international lawsuit make it virtually impossible.

But, Tara is strong and smart. She has a loyal team of supporters, designers, and customers. Tara has decided to fight these thieves in one of the classiest, most artistic ways possible. By creating a stamp set to take a stand. This stamp set is BOLD. It is IN your FACE. And it truly represents what happens when we as consumers allow companies to steal products from small businesses.

So now we are pleased to present 'There For You'. This is our commitment to the stamping community to continue to provide high quality, original stamp images for you. It is also the way that YOU can show your commitment to supporting small business and standing up against intellectual property theft.

Today I am overjoyed to share with you my interpretation of this theme. We will also talk about masking techniques and I will share some of my secrets to creating backgrounds.

When you think about small business, it is easy to forget that many of the businesses you frequent are family owned and operated. For these small businesses, it is easy to feel alone. I wanted my planner pages to convey what it is truly like when we buy from big business or internet thieves.  So I decided to create a small business town. Each business created out of love to contribute something to the world that wasn't there before. Now in order to create my scene, I had to do some masking.

 First thing I did was to gather my supplies. You will need your stamp set, an ink pad (doesn't matter what type or color), an acrylic block, and some post-it notes (or masking paper). I don't use mask  that often, so I typically use post-it notes.

 Start by stamping an image onto the post-it notes towards the top of the pad where the adhesive is. Do this for any images you are going to use. If you're not sure, stamp them all! Better to have a mask ready than to have to go back and create one. I created multiple masks of the store front by stamping once onto the post-it and cutting out 3 pieces.

 I started by stamping the poor homeless troll. I want the troll to look like he is walking down the street in front of the store fronts, which is why I stamped him first.

 I then placed the mask I created over the stamped image. You may notice that the mask looks like it has another image on top of it. My final project was not the first attempt I made at creating this scene. But that brings up a great point. You can reuse masks. If the image is a solid, bold image check it regularly to ensure that ink hasn't bled through to your project. Also a great reason to make multiple masks of each image.

 After I covered the troll, I stamped the store front on top of the mask but offset so that it would appear to be in the background. You can see from this picture that I didn't get a perfect stamp impression. No problem. You can just touch it up with a fine tip black pen before coloring. I covered the store front with a mask and was ready to move on.

 Next I stamped the little kitty in the trash can. I determined his placement by laying the store front stamp next to the original image. I left the stamp on the acrylic block and placed it block side down. Since I'm just trying to determine placement, I don't need the stamp to be face down. When I was happy with the placement, I stamped the kitty and covered him with a mask. Now you may notice a strip of pink paper on my stamp. This is another way you can mask images. I cut a strip of post-it note paper to cover the "Your Favorite Store" portion of the store sign. After I placed the strip on the stamp adhesive side down, I inked my stamp. After inking, I removed the strip and stamped my image.

 You can see that since I masked the store name, the sign is left blank. I repeated the same process as before when stamping the store front.  Just the tiniest corner of the 2nd store awning stamped onto the store mask.

 We are going to repeat the process one more time with the vagabond unicorn. I adore unicorns and this image makes me so sad. I used the same process as before to determine where the unicorn would stand. When I liked his placement, I stamped the image and then covered him with the mask.

 I stamped the store front one more time, masking the store name with the post-it note as described above. Now comes the fun part.

 Now you can remove all the masks to see your scene!! Any places where I didn't get a solid impression, I touched up using a fine tip black pen.

 I figured that if our favorite store was out of business and our favorite critters were homeless, it would be a dark and dismal day. I took my hand cut cloud stencil and created a grey sky using Hickory Smoke Distress Ink and a foam blending tool. I use this stencil a lot. It's not perfect but it was cheap and easy to make, and the results are good every time.

 For the background for the sentiment and the street in our scene, I used sticker paper that I applied clear gesso to and then smeared, smooshed, and splattered Distress Oxide (Antique Linen, Peacock Feathers, and Black Soot)on it. I applied the gesso to the paper so that it wouldn't be as porous and would allow me to use some of the inking techniques that don't tend to work as well on sticker paper. I did not take any photos of the process, mostly because I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. After I was happy with the outcome of the inking, I dried it with my heat tool. Then I crumbled it up like a ball of trash.

 I didn't want anything in this project looking too new or perfect. Our favorite critters are homeless for goodness sake!! After crumpling I straightened out the paper and lightly rubbed Black Soot Distress Ink on top. The ink picked up on the crumpled parts and just added some texture.

 I love how the sticker part turned out. It gives lots of color and texture but still looks dirty and dingy.

These little guys break my heart. They really look pathetic. I hope you enjoyed my project today. But more than that, I hope you practice responsible consumerism. Research the companies and products you purchase. Buy from the original artist when possible or only from reputable companies. your voice is your buying power. Spend where your beliefs are. If we band together and buy only from original artists and copyright holders, or their authorized retail partners, we can stop counterfeit businesses from prospering. We have the power to make the companies we love grow and flourish, and be around for years to come. Thanks for visiting me on the blog today and reading the whole post. 'There For You' will be available from Crafting Desert Divas in the near future. I hope you will consider purchasing this set and sending your own message.

If you have any questions, please reach out to me here in the comments, in the CDD gallery on Facebook or on Instagram at @nancy_finch.

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