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Meet Artistic Guide – Melanie Smith

Hi there, my name is Melanie Smith.  I live in Napier (Art deco capital of the world) New Zealand.  I am an early childhood educator by day - mad keen (totally addicted) stamper by night.

I was first introduced to rubberstamping (while living in Australia) by a neighbour who signed me up for classes at her church when my daughter started pre-school.  I went along to the first one to "keep her off my back," but was instantly hooked.  Over four years later I am still rubber stamping - much to my husband's amazement because I can be easily distracted.

I love rubberstamping: making cards and altering objects (I did eye up our ‘naked' ceiling the other day and promptly received an emphatic "NO!")

I love rubber-stamping because:

  • As a beginner you can make fabulous creations.
  • It is a hobby that is as diverse as the people who participate.
  • I can go back and use stamps that were designed over ten years ago and adapt them to my ever changing style and ability. 
  • This industry is developing as fast as the people in it - new products and new ways to use old products - exciting!
  • The stamping community is full of generous and sharing people.

My favourite things to do with stamping are to:

  • Find and try new techniques and develop them to suit my style.
  • Make my own backgrounds; I currently enjoy playing with my new distress inks and alcohol inks.
  • To evolve a project it to suit someone else's tastes - this is what pushes me out of my comfort zone and into trying new things.
  • Have a starting point and let it take me to unknown places.  I participate in a few online challenges.  It gives me the motivation to make things, which I normally wouldn't.

You can visit Melanie's blog at:  http://smartie-artie.blogspot.com/

Check out the projects Melanie shared with us in her application for a spot on our design team:

And here's is Melanie's project.

Floating ATC Card
By: Melanie Smith, Artistic Guide

Finished Card Size: 4" x 5.5"


I love to make ATC's - I love the size of them.  However, family and friends don't have much use for ATC's.  I have come up with a way to attach them to a card that adds a little depth to the card.  Now I can still create these little masterpieces and they can be enjoyed by those that inspire them.

This card utilizes a simple background technique, stamped with an elegant collage style stamp and constructed in a way that the card will stand out from the rest.

Elegant Stems, C8412 (Stampington & Co.)
A5 White Pre-made Card (able to cope with water absorption) I have used Hunter Studio watercolour pad.
Black Cardstock (non-coated will work best) cut to: 
     1 piece - 2.5" x 3.5"
     1 piece - 8" x 5.5"                               
Copy paper cut to: 1.75" x 5.25"
VersaFine:  Onyx Black (Tsukineko)
Distress Inks: Black Soot, Walnut Stain, Scattered Straw, Worn Lipstick (Ranger)
Rub-ons  (7gypsies) - "ink self"
Sticker by Kelsey O'Mullane #5 (from www.ko-ok.blogspot.com, or use another tiny image of your choice)
Craft mat or similar (I used a glass chopping board)            
Water spritzer bottle
Heat tool
Adhesive of your choice
Cutting and Scoring Tools of your choice                                  


  1. ‘Smoosh' Scattered Straw distress ink over the craft mat in an area the same size as the A5 card.  ‘Smoosh' Worn Lipstick in 2 or 3 areas (over the Straw) and the corner only of the Soot ink in 4 or 5 spots over the yellow and the pink.
  2. Spritz inked area lightly and allow the colours to gently blend.
  3. Lay the card over the ink/water mixture so it can absorb the colour.  Carefully lift and dry with the heat tool.  Repeat this process until you have the desired colour coverage/intensity.  (I used a little walnut stain in the last layer.)
  4. When the card is completely dry, stamp the Elegant Stems with Onyx Black ink on one edge of the card (leaving 2/3 of the card for later).  Allow ink to fully dry before continuing.
  5. Trim the stamped image by ripping.  Lay your ruler along the top edge where you want to rip, place a mark on each edge.  Flip the image over and line the ruler up between the two marks, hold firmly and rip the excess card towards you.  This will give a straight rip with no white showing to the front.   Repeat this step with each side of the image ensuring that the finished size is very close to 2.25" x 3.25".
  6. Sponge the edges lightly with Black Soot Distress ink.
  7. Attach to black 2.5" x 3.5" card.  Distress the edges of the black card with a blade to ‘soften' edges.
  8. Carefully attach the Kelsey O'Mullane "renewal" sticker onto the ATC as shown the picture. Set aside.

Card construction

  1. Take a piece of black cardstock, 8" x 5.5".  Score exactly 2" from each end.  (score on the same side as they will both be folded in the same direction)
  2. Fold outside edges to the centre.  (Face the scored side down and fold edges towards yourself so that there is a clean crisp fold on the inside of the card)
  3. Cut coloured remnant and a piece of copy paper 1.75" x 5.25".
  4. Sponge edges with Black Soot Distress ink
  5. Position the rub-on (or use a vertical sentiment with stamp positioner) in the centre of the card strip.
  6. Attach to the right inside flap of the card.
  7. Attach the ATC to the outside left of the card as pictured.
  8. Attach a piece of copy paper to the inside left flap for writing a personal message.
  9. Proudly sign the back of the card.

 If you wish you could add a small embellishment to the front bottom right of the card so it looks more attractive when closed.  However, this is not necessary.

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1 Responses »

  1. I love the whole idea of the floating ATC card! That is really cool and is a great way to present a trade. Love it!