I have to tell you that this blog business is strange…it is relatively easy to actually write the blog provided you have something to say then again photos can either be scanned or with a camera.  My blog is run on the WORDPRESS platform and as part of the package they have a very good spam filter.  That said..the comments are the craziest /weirdest part .  The filter removes a good many of the spams but some slip thru and they go in a spam category for me to look at and either approve or delete.  One slipped thru recently that would take you to an ultimate fighting championship photos….ick..I removed it but I have noticed that lately I have been discovered by PORN sites..even bigger ick..I have been deleting them as fast as I can but beware what you click on IN THE COMMENTS section.  These are never in the blog itself but only in the comments section.  Just a bit of a heads up.  Now the post on BLEACH..a good cleansing …lol



This post is all about a couple of TECHNIQUES….The first one is bleach.  There a couple of things that you need to think about when it comes to bleach, the big one is that you should know about.  Rubber is a living thing…. that means that whenever you add chemicals you are ultimately looking to kill the rubber.  This means that over time the chemicals will work to make the rubber it shrinks up and becomes harder and harder.  There is no way to predict how soon this will happen but if its a stamp you really love and use a lot you should know that both the bleach as well as those STAZON pads are working towards turning the rubber hard.  The best way to do this is to only use die or pigment based stamp pads and don’t put bleach on the stamps themselves.  So what is the solution, well the best one is to merely stamp the image and then heat emboss it using a clear embossing powder or a color if that’s your choice.  Then go back and use small amounts of bleach on the card stock.  That said, you need to test each piece of cardstock as some will bleach out to a color you may find unacceptable and some black ( I know this for a fact) won’t bleach at all. Again as I said you need to heat emboss the image so that the bleach doesn’t erase the image.

So then the technique is to heat emboss the image as I did with the one below then go back and use a small amount of bleach.  You should also know that when it comes to bleach it loses its potency when exposed to air or placed in plastic or glass.  So the best way is to heat emboss several images on various card stocks then use a small glass dish and pour out only a small amount of bleach…use a brush that you don’t use for anything else so if you have several brushes I would use tape and mark it so that you know its for bleach only and bleach will also eat some brushes like natural hair so a synthetic brush or even a felt tip to bleach out the paper inside the image.  After you have done that dump your bleach so that you don’t spill the container that its in.  I reccommend a mid size pyrex bowl since its heavy and not easily dumped. Also only use a about a cap full bleach poured directly from the bottle ….you can also use the scented bleach so you are overwhelmed by the smell of bleach.  There is a video on the STAMPING SCHOOL ( a STAMPING UP) web site…. that said this is the only one that I have found that has a fee for becoming a member.  It has an annual fee of $35.  That seems like a lot but I think they have about 600+ videos and good directions for each project and they are divided by categories.  I think if you go to the link above (in Blue) before you become a member they allow you to look up a few of the cards/videos.  They also send you an e-mail every time they post new videos.  So what I am saying is that its up to you just wanted you to know about them in addition to the SPLITCOAST STAMPERS and DAWN’S web site which are both also STAMPING UP websites. ( based on my experience and I just signed up for year two…there are some duplications between STAMPING SCHOOL and SPLITCOAST STAMPERS.  But since I tend more toward the special folds or funky cards I have not seen a lot of duplication still a lot of the cards are just ways to layer and obviously using SU stamps and punches.)


OK this was done on dark purple texture card stock with heat embossing in clear then using brush bleached out the centers and then when dry added colored pencil.

bleach/heat embossed


This is also heat embossed and colored pencil added after the bleach dried.

just stamped then bleached

This one was just stamped with permanent ink then lightly bleached and then colored with colored pencil so permanent ink will hold if you don’t over do the bleach.

bleach black on black

Ok so this is one more way to use the bleach… I wrote the quote myself with black ink on white paper then I took black cardstock ( that I knew would bleach this is very important) and went to a copy store and photocopied the quote onto black paper …hence black on black… it doesn’t show up here as well as it might but before you bleach it it is very hard to see… once its bleached in this case my black cardstock bleached out GREEN… that doesn’t usually happen it usually bleaches out a sort of rusty brown color but for whatever reason this brand of cardstock went green …I was delighted and I did know that it was going green before I photo copied it as I had tested it at home. So cut these down and used them as ST PATRICK’S CARDS…YOU MUST PHOTO COPY AT A COPY STORE because home printers don’t have any carbon in them and its the carbon printing that makes it not bleach out…


One of the other ways to use BLEACH is simple to put a small about in a small plastic or glass spray bottle a spritz a small amount of bleach on the paper either before you stamp or after you have stamped but if after try not to get too much on your image or you may lose some of it but even that can sometimes be interesting and make the image a little more rustic looking or watercolor looking.

This is just the craft cardstock with bleach sprayed on and then let dry ….then below I used a moon stamp cause I thought this looked kinda like stars so this is what it looked like after stamping over the dried bleach.

stamped on bleach background


This would be my least favorite for the reasons I listed at the beginning it will definately damage the rubber ( I have no experience with the clear stamps)but how quickly that will happen is hard to say… I am less worried about using it with the $1.00 stamps that find at Michael’s or with at stamp that I willing to lose or sure that I can replace.  The images below were done by adding a small piece of felt to a small amount of bleach then pressing the stamp on it and then pressing the stamp on the paper.  I didn’t try to create an actual stamp pad but you could still I would think that you would not want to add to much bleach to it as it will dry out and you will probably need to add more each time you go to use it. You can probably use the same bleach brush you choose to simple brush on the bleach on the specific stamp image.  As I stated I have no experience with the clear stamps and not sure at all what effect it will have on the image, its possible that it could melt it completely or have no more immediate effect on the image than it has on the red rubber.  If you try it please give me your feelings and results at in either comments or

bleach on stamp

So these were two dollar stamps that I was willing to sacrifice  but the bunny was solid and didn’t show up much and so I used a fine line pen to sorta outline it… the then chick was harder to see and again I only brushed on the bleach so again I used a colored pencil in this case to make it show a little more… I feel sure that if you are willing to actually make a bleach stamp pad you would probably get better results on the image…but again this is not something I am willing to use very often.  That said, its possible that I would be dead long before the stamps hardened and was no longer making a good image or I might just get tired of the image and be willing to play more… just wanted you to be aware in case you had something that you never wanted to lose.


This technique is from SPLITCOAST STAMPERS … they are going to show you how to use a white crayon to put a wax resist on top of your image then using a sponge add watercolor background to make your image stand out.  In addition to using a white crayon you could also do the same thing using a wax blender color pencil over your color with the same result the watercolor will not stick on top of the waxed surface… You can even color your image with colored pencils to begin with then use a lot of the blender pencil over the top of your color….then the watercolor…and wipe off the watercolor with a kleenex or paper towel.  The advantage to the colored pencil blender is that it won’t make your color look faded… and it will also work with the colored pencil.  Below are some of my samples.


wax resist and sponged color

wax resist /watercolor

This last one I stamped on watercolor paper and then used colored pencil and wax blender pencil over the top then lightly watercolored over the top …except the grass which I did stamp last after the watercolor.


Because I am both a paper freak as well as an ALL APPLE girl  I thought I’d share both the calligraphy site so you can see a wonderful idea of what its like to practice calligraphy without and sound…for me this would be hard I usually HATE total quiet it makes me hear things like my blood pumping etc… But I am trying to use some meditation techniques to try to make sure that I reduce stress in my life and NEVER HAVE another episode of SHINGLES…I do plan to give this a try…I do think it will be meditative and I do love getting lost in the letters one of her suggestions is something I tell students when I am teaching lettering styles..choose a style practice it using an exemplar a few times then just start writing “stream of consciousness” which means just write whatever you are thinking about ie just write it out, grocery list, worries or maybe you are feeling very mellow and some favorite quotes will come to mind… DON’T bother to make corrections to spelling or start over…just rewrite the misspelled word and keep going the idea is to really get into the lettering not the spelling at this point.  I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did…think Monks on stools. ILLUMINATED LETTERS 2013

This one was sent to me by a cousin and it cracked me up… obviously I love my ipad and I am probably a lot like the guy in the video… smile… A PAPERLESS FUTURE ?

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY…wireheaded cyber toad…aka kath



Before we get started.. I have to share a definition that My hubby came up with for me.  I thought I should share it with you cause it’s very possible that my blog reflects these same attributes that my speaking does.. anyway here it is for a heads up and perhaps a chuckle..

In literary criticism, stream of consciousness isnarrative mode that seeks to portray an individual’s point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character’s thought processes, either in a loose interior monologue  or in connection to his or her actions. Stream-of-consciousness writing is usually regarded as a special form of interior monologue and is characterized by associative leaps in thought and lack of punctuation. (See Kath Harney)

Ok on to the card technique

THIS IS SO CLEVER!!!DAWN’S SPOTLIGHTING technique… First be sure you watch the complete video cause she adds a third idea for using this technique that is very clever also. I just love this girl.

Two ways to spotlight by Dawn


kath's spotlights

These are two of mine and I like the tulip one the best …at time of this writing I didn’t have a butterfly but I am getting one… as you can see I took the lazy way and punched out the colors after stamping on the colored card stock… but the smaller image doesn’t work as well as the tulips ( which I think are Hero arts)  In any case, I do like this technique and hope that you will too and do try some with stamps you already have…but think of your larger ones rather than the smaller ones… I also tried this with just large word stamps (below).. and made balloons out of the circles on the words RAH RAH RAH… inside I wrote hurray its your birthday not mine… but you could just write hurray its your day… Happy Birthday..oh yeah I also slipped in an oval for an oval balloon… I tried it on white paper and it didn’t work as well so I switched to black and liked it much better as the punch outs really seemed to pop.

kath's spotlight words

Well I hope you’ll dig thru your stamps and come up with one or two that will work with this technique .

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY….wireheaded cyber toad…aka kath



MY dear friend MARLENE MAJESKI has refered to herself as inkyphingers for a while now and she had a mug made using that title and so of course I HAD TO copy her and have one made  that said INKYPHINGERS FRIEND


According to SPLIT COAST STAMPERS… I just found out why my gel pens seem to dry out while still full of ink…. I ASSUMED that laying them flay was the best way to store them…NOT SO…they recommend that you stand them up with the tip down SO THAT THE INK STAYS AT THE TIP… apparently the gel formula seperates and dries out when left lying flat for long periods of time….aaaarrrrggghhh SHOULDN’T IT HAVE SAID THAT ON THE PACKAGE..oh well NOW YOU KNOW.  


WELL maybe not everything but some basic info anyway,,,,So my greeting seemed appropriate since I want to share with you calligraphy’s great cartridge pen and the source of most of my INKYPHINGERS in the past.  For years there have been SHEAFFER CALLIGRAPHY CARTRIDGE PENS and there are a few nib sizes but while they are fine for everyday they never gave the fine hairlines that calligrapher’s are looking for or the crisp letter forms that we get with a dip pen.. then several years ago …not sure the exact date but PAPER AND INK ARTS introduced us to PILOT PARALLEL PENS….OMG…it set the calligraphers on fire …finally there was a calligraphy CARTRIDGE pen that would give us very close to the crisp letters done with a dip nib as well as incredible hairlines.  Here are pictures of the two that I use the most.

These are the two largest sizes but there are several more and in addition they keep adding new ones…I just saw that they have not a diagonal nib in several sizes… I am going to have to find out what they use those for as I have no idea except it could work sorta like a ruling pen so this is just to let you know that calligraphers definitely love these pens.  Each pen is approximately $10 and they cartridges in a wide selection of color plus you can refill used cartridges with any ink you want I like to use the walnut ink so I have cartridges filled with walnut ink.

I also know that several people don’t even bother with the cartridges but rather just fill the pen barrel with whatever medium they are wanting to use…including gouache (opaque watercolor) acrylic paint you name it and you can probably use it in these pens.  BRENDA BROADENT ( former owner oF PAPER & INK ARTS) still teaches classes in how and what to do with these pens.  If the FISHER PEN is the astronauts pen of choice for space then PILOT PARALLEL PENS are the calligrapher’s choice to carry with them.  Because mine are often in my purse when traveling by air I am chicken to carry them without a cartridge but with the cartridge even the ones I have refilled I have never ( knock on wood ) had them leak in my purse.

There is also a book called PARALLEL WIZARDRY (spelling correction thanks to LINDA O’NEIL she told me I left out the R…lol.. thanks girl)…that you can purchase which will show you how to clean them as well as all the ways you can use them I highly recommend you get that book along with at least one pen... I like writing large so I use my 6mm (largest) one the most but the smaller ones are also fun and allow you write smaller.

The pens and the book are available at both PAPER & INK ARTS as well asJOHN NEAL BOOKSELLER.

Needless to say they are great for use with the THICK & THIN script that I posted pervious to this one.

This is a HADDA HAVE pen and if you are just getting started in calligraphy or wanting to start I would recommend this pen because while it won’t replace the dip nib for truly commerical or formal calligraphy…. it does make one less area of stress for the beginner…no dripping…no spilled bottles of ink and it drags and sticks a lot less then a dip pen… If you really just getting started the ZIG CALLIGRAPHY FELT NIB  the double ended ones with a 1mm small end and a 5mm large end are even better for not sticking or dragging and throwing out ink blots they are also becoming harder and harder to find… seems Zig decided to change to a double end that is  2mm and 3 mm… the three is ok but I really like the 5mm end…especially for a beginner.. why you ask…well learning to write a a new script is always easier if you write it as large as possible so that you can compare it with the exemplar.  While you might want to write smaller later its best to learn AND PRACTICE LARGE…Then after you feel you have the script down you can start to downsize. Also The felt on these pens is soooooo much better than any other felt out there that you can even continue to use this pen and felt nib even after its out of ink…you can just dip can also dip both the PARALLEL nibs in ink if necessary.. Again a lot of this is noted in the booklet PARALLEL WIZARDY…and again I highly recommend you order that booklet along with the pen.  You can also dip the nib even if you have ink in the cartridge with exciting results of blending colors.. Don’t forget at least one box of multiple colors cartridges , you get both a black and a red with each pen but you are going to want these other colors and be sure to save empty cartridges for refilling with your own inks, paint etc…. I am telling you these PENS are to CALLIGRAPHY what THE IPOD is to MUSIC…

They have also come up with a few variations on the original sizes I have bought one of them and I am not pleased with it..its ok but it does scratch and I don’t feel that it slides over the paper as well as the original  nibs if you are beginner I recommend you stick to the original sizes.  My favorites are the 3.8mm and the 6mm shown above.

With all the info above I decided to play with coming up with a lowercase version of the THICK N’ THINS  so here it is for better or worse… if you come up with a better idea for any of my letter forms then please e mail them to me so I can share with others…



HUGE THANKS  AGAIN TO BRENDA BROADBENT FOR FINDING AND MAKING THEM AVAILABLE TO US and continued thanks to PAPER & INK ARTS for their continued discovery of new ways to use them and new sizes and styles.   TRUST ME YOU NEED AT LEAST ONE OF THESE THEN DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT…

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY...wireheaded cyber toad…aka inkphinkers friend…aka kath





I am feeling more and more like myself and can only attibute it to getting diagnosed early and having had the Shingles shot… but check with your DR as some people are not recommended to have the shot.  Ok enough health but it kinda leads into my show and tell of the get well cards I received but FIRST, no not a word from our sponsors as I have no sponsors well my hubby but he has no message. See told you I am feeling better…FIRST I WANT TO SHARE ONE OF MY FAVORITE CASUAL alphabets and YES you can do this even if you never have had any experience with Calligraphy.

WE call IT THICK & THIN’S and we owe it all to KATHERINE MALMSTEN.  I also received a copy of NICHOL RAUCH’S version  and hers is probably closer to Katherine’s than mine. Remember I told you that I have a hard time following any recipe EXACTLY well I have the same problem with the more casual alphabet scripts…. that said when I writing FORMAL CALLIGRAPHY (historical scripts) I DO MY BEST TO MAKE MY LETTERS LOOK LIKE THE HISTORICAL VERSION..With this script though I added a few more thick’s so here are some of Nichol’s tips… and then my exemplar.  Also the tool that I used is a PARALLEL PEN which are available at both PAPER & INK ARTS or JOHN NEAL BOOKSELLER.  NOTE: there appear to be new sizes as well as a diagonal cut nib… you want the flat chisel nib (original ) for this script. I do have all the sizes but you might want to only get the 3.8 mm and the 6 mm…the Wizard book will also help you with all the things this amazing pen can do you can write with anything, ink , paint , gouache etc.  and it makes lovely thick and thin lines and tipping it up on the edge gives you that thin monoline effect. ( SEE PARALLEL PEN POST)





OK so hope you will enjoy Katherine’s alphabet as much as Nichol and I do.

EYE CANDY… my get well cards


I know I shared another of Sharon’s card where she uses the photo and then makes a second copy of the photo and only cuts out a key element and using foam dots/tape adhere’s to first photo so that it looks so real you feel like you might get poked if you touched it… lol… Thanks Sharon you made my day.



First Janis Blevins made the frog so that he was hanging on the cord and when I took it out of the clear acetate envelope it swung on the cord….toooo clever… and I love frogs so he was the perfect guy for a HANG IN THERE….I have terrific friends.


Linda and Sandee's card

This was a delightful little booklet that was stitched together and had this wonderful origami wreath on the front as well as an asian stamp in the center.  I know Linda’s calligraphy group has a lot of card exchanges and I am assuming that since the back of the card said SANDEE FREEMAN she actually made the card BUT LINDA O’NEILL wrote the get well note that was on the signature inside the card.  I hope I am giving correct information here but in any case I LOVE ALL THINGS ORIGAMI…so thanks Girls I loved the card.  IN fact I loved it so much I figured out how to make the little origami folds so that I could make it too.

Just in case you also want to try one… here are the folds

Sandee's origami


I am guessing but assume that Sandee’s squares were about 1 1/2 ” or 2″ …the ones I used were 3″ but no matter what size square you use the folds are the same…however you would need the smaller squares to make a card that is approximately 5″ square.  REMEMBER IF YOU MAIL A SQUARE YOU MUST USE ADDITIONAL POSTAGE.

Since this is mainly a calligraphic post …I have to share a web site called Tumblr which has a calligraphic section and there are new postings to it all the time so check out some eye candy….

Ok team… hope you will enjoy this script and I’ll post a blog on the Parallel pen next.

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY…wireheaded cyber toad…aka kath