November 2010: Gitana

gitana 1

How long have you been stamping?

After dabbling for a bit, I began stamping in earnest in April 2007.

What is your favorite technique?

My favorite technique is whichever one I happen to working on at the time. Past favorites include embossing, layering, watercolors, colored pencils.

Favorite stamp company?

Magenta, Inkadinkado, About Art Accents

Favorite Asian stamps?

I have one favorite Asian stamp that I reach for time and again. It is called Bonsai Spring by Stampendous’ Asian Collection. It is one of the first wood mounted stamps I bought when I began to seriously collect stamps.

Favorite stamping accessory?

Ink remover. My favorite is Mötsenböcker’s Lift-Off  Formula 3 but I can’t seem to find it in my local stores.

Favorite colors?

Red, black and gold

Your favorite embellishment to finish a card?

A gold paint pen. I love the look of a gilded edge.

What is the one tool you couldn’t live without?

My computer.  ‘Nuff said.

Any helpful tips for the group?

My tip is especially meant for the newer members of the group. EXPERIMENT!  Don’t be afraid to try new things and combine techniques and materials. If I have learned anything it’s these two things: 1) Just because you do something differently than someone else doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing anything wrong, and 2) OSA members are not only the most talented around, they are the most giving. If you have a question about a technique or need some feedback on your work, they are always willing to lend a hand. They make this group a safe haven for the nervous newbie. They are warm and welcoming and a joy to be associated with.

As a member of OSA why do you like stamping in the Oriental theme?

I have always been attracted to the serene beauty of Oriental art but never really found an outlet where I could explore it more fully. OSA offers me that outlet as well as an opportunity to learn more about Asian cultures from some very knowledgeable members.

Is there any one place or city you’d like to visit to find rubber stamps?

I love the intricate patterns of Arabian work, similar to that found in Spanish tile work from the period of the Moorish occupation of Spain. If there is a place that has stamps with those kinds of patterns, that’s where I would like to go.

What other stamping lists or local clubs do you belong to?

I belong to OSA-ATC and OSA-RAK.

What favorite stamping magazines would you recommend?

I don’t have a particular favorite magazine but I do like Vamp Stamp News.

Published in any magazines?  If yes please list.

One of my cards appeared on the cover of the December 2009 issue of Vamp Stamp News. Another card was published in the Spring 2010 issue of Rubber Stamp Madness.

Any other hobbies, talents or craft interests?

I love all of the following: gardening, dancing, sewing, needlework, making miniatures, singing, beadwork. You name it, I either do it, have done it or am willing to do it.

What inspires you to be creative?

I find artistic inspiration in just about everything: the colors of a butterfly, the parquetry pattern of a wooden floor, or the swirls atop a puddle of oily water. I always carry a notepad so if I see an interesting pattern I can make a quick sketch of it. There is beauty in the mundane that requires only that we use our hearts to see it.

Art background?

I have a college degree that says I studied art but I consider that my “formal” art background. My art training really began when I was a child. I watched how my parents dressed, how they coordinated colors and patterns, how they danced together and how my mother decorated the house. She taught me to sew and crochet. I consider these my earliest forms of art training.

Have you used any unusual item in your stamping that wasn’t necessarily meant for stamping?

A favorite item I have used is the foil wrappers from candy and chewing gum. I adhere it to cardstock to give it body and then use it as decorative paper.

Any favorite websites you would recommend for inspiration?

I like the Splitcoast Stampers website ( They have awesome tutorials, a wealth of information and wonderful artists. Why, they’re almost as good as OSA artists!

Do you have a day job when you’re not stamping?

If by a “day job” you mean paid employment outside of the home, the answer is no, not at this time. But if all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, laundry and minor repairs I do around this house isn’t considered work then I don’t know what is.

Tell us about your family and where you live.

I am married 24 years and am the mother of three beautiful children, the youngest of which just started college this year, and am Nana to a rambunctious 12 year old. I was born in and have lived in Brooklyn, New York, all my life and refer to myself as a Brooklyn Brat, Born and Bred.

Rubber Stamped Charm Bracelet

This simple bracelet features charms made from rubber stamped shrink plastic. Charms made in this manner can be used as embellishments for many crafts. In addition, this bracelet is made from a collection of “orphaned” beads, a chain and findings from broken jewelry I had lying around, making this a great recycling project. Although I used odds and ends, you can find the same or similar items at your local craft store.

Please Note: This project assumes a very basic knowledge of jewelry making for assembling the bracelet. For more information on basic jewelry techniques, please refer to the video tutorial links at the end of these instructions.

Materials List for Charms:

  • 1 sheet of shrink plastic
  • Nestabilities Classic Circles dies and a die cutting machine
  • Stazon ink of your choice
  • Rubber stamp of your choice (I used Judikins Fans Cube 2 – 6567H)
  • Permanent markers (optional)
  • A hole punch
  • Gold paint pen
  • White spray paint
  • Fine grit sandpaper, emery board or sanding block
  • Materials List for Bracelet:
  • Simple chain bracelet or a chain long enough to circle your wrist fitted with a clasp
  • 9 eye pins
  • Twelve 2 mm beads (I used 8 brown and 4 pale green wooden seed beads)
  • Five 6 mm beads (I used clear glass beads with a slight colored swirl inside)
  • Four 3/8” mother of pearl discs
  • Round nose pliers and chain nose pliers (for opening, closing and creating loops)
  • 9 eye pins or 20 gauge wire for making your own.

Creating the charms:

1.      Cut five circles out of the shrink plastic to fit your image. I used the fourth die in the Nestabilities circles set to create a 2-1/8” circle. (NOTE: It took me several passes with my Cuttlebug to cut all the way through the plastic).

2.      Stamp your image in the center of the circle with Stazon ink.

3.      If coloring your images with markers, flip your circles over and color on the side without the stamped image. The solvent in permanent markers will smear the Stazon ink.

4.      Punch a 1/8” hole in the plastic above your image. This will be where it dangles from.

5.      Pre-heat a conventional or toaster oven to between 250o and 400o. Place your plastic on a piece of parchment on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 2 -3 minutes or according to manufacturer’s directions. Plastic will curl up then flatten out again while baking. It will also shrink in size and become thick and rigid.

6.      Remove plastic from oven once it has flattened. If it is still slightly curled, flatten it out with the bottom of a glass object (I used an old ashtray) and allow it to cool.

7.      When completely cooled, check for rough edges and gently sand them down.

8.      Spray the back of the charms with white spray paint.

9.      When dry, run a gold paint pen around the edges.

Assembling the bracelet:
(Basic jewelry technique knowledge is assumed)

10.  If you have a ready-made chain bracelet, skip to the next step. If not, cut a length of chain to your wrist and add a clasp.

11.  Attach charms to eye pins. Place a glass bead on each pin and make a loop at the free end of the wire using the round nose pliers. Attach the charms to the bracelet, evenly spacing them along its length.

12.  Attach mother-of-pearl discs to eye pins. Place three small beads on each pin and make a loop at the free end of the wire using the round nose pliers. Attach these to the bracelet in between the charms.

For more information on some of these techniques, check out these informative videos:

Shrink Plastic tutorial videos:

Basic Jewelry Techniques tutorial videos:


3 Responses to November 2010: Gitana

  1. thefrugalcrafter says:

    congrats Gitana! Well deserved and pretty project too!

  2. Carolyn says:

    Beautiful bracelet. Congratulations nominated for our November SAM. Well deserved.


  3. Laurie says:

    Great project, great bio and congrats on being picked as sam!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: