Thursday Tips (1)

Here is a collection of the Thursday Tips (and others) which have been sent to the OSA mailing list. Many of these can be found under the Techniques section as well.

2008: November, December
2009: 1st Page, 2nd Page
2010: 1st page, 2nd page, 3rd page, 4th page
2011: 1st page, 2nd page, 3rd page
2012: 1st page


    • If you collect certain shapes, try grouping 3-5 of them on a card. Several hearts in different sizes and colors added to your stamped art can enhance your card and make it ‘pop’. Other shapes: round (buttons), circles, squares, rectangles, you name it. (AW)
    • Fuzzy accents add extra texture to cards and are quick to make. Punch out shapes from velvet paper and use both the shapes and the “waste” pieces for added interest in your art. (AW)
    • Those wee bits and scraps of decorative papers can be made into beads for free embellishments. You only need a bamboo barbeque skewer or some round toothpicks, some bits of paper, glue, and a sheet of foil where you can set the beads to dry.Lubricate the bamboo skewer or toothpicks with baby oil or vaseline so they release the beads when dry.Apply a thin coat of glue to the backs of several bits of paper. Wrap the papers around the skewers by starting at an edge and rolling the toothpick toward the opposite edge. Make sure the ends are glued down securely.Set aside to dry. Use clear nail polish to seal the beads and give them a sheen or spray them outside with a plastic coating.Shapes of papers that can be used:
      other…. (AW)
    • We all have business cards we no longer need. Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse the cards quickly and easily by stamping, punching, trimming, cutting, doing whatever you need for your next designs. Business cards are made of cardstock, so they are also ideal for layering. Using up leftovers is an excellent way to save money, time shopping for new items, and it helps the environment.Magnet business cards can be cut and used on the backs of refrigerator calendars you make every fall for friends and family.Use tuna/salmon cans with a magnet business card cut to fit and glued to the bottom of the can with the writing face down.
      Decorate the outside edge of the can with a strip of stamped paper glued snugly. Add colorful paperclips, wrap and give as gifts any time of the year. (AW)
    • Most craft stores have periodic sales on themed cardstock stacks. The prepared backgrounds are quick, can be trimmed to fit your needs and the trimmings can be used as accents. Added benefits of purchasing the premade backgrounds include saving time and money. Some of the cardstock stacks are postcard size, so think about decorating the opposite side, too, and sending as a postcard with reduced postage. (AW)
    • Put a sheet of acetate over the glass on your scanner to prevent scratches and glue sticking (DR)
    • Freezer paper is an extremely versatile product. It has one matt side and one shiny side. The shiny side has a light coating of plastic which will stick to fabric when you iron it. It can be used more than once which is great for quilting/appliqué. Freezer paper can also be run through your ink jet printer (not a laser printer!) if you would like to print several motifs at once. Set your printer to accept heavy paper, and feed the sheets one at a time. To keep it from curling, you can cut it a day or two ahead of time and put it under something heavy to flatten it. Freezer paper can also help you to print on fabric. For example, if you would like to personalize your labels, you can iron your freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric, cut it a little smaller than a sheet of A4, and print your labels on the fabric. The freezer paper gives the fabric just enough body to go through the printer as if it were a piece of paper. (J)  
    • Have you ever been in a quandry about placement of items, images and embellishments? It is easily remedied by thinking in sections. Cut a piece of scrap paper the size of your format or card front. Scrap copier paper works fine and is inexpensive.Stamp your images on the scrap. Cut out the images in rectangles, squares, circles or shapes that appeal to your eye. Punch them out if that works for you.Place the pieces hither and thither on a second piece of scrap paper the size of your card front until you like the effect. Attach the pieces and use this template for reference.Create your card using the elements you have chosen, add embellishments and sign and date the back of your card. (AW)
    • Simple and elegant cards are always a pleasure to send or receive. Think about adding some dots of glue and attaching a sequin or some bits of glitter for a wee bit of bling. (AW)
    • Use your beautiful napkins with your scrapbooking or cardmaking. for scrapbooking choose a napkin that has an overall design.Separate the three layers. Keep the two bottom layers for later.Cut out a piece of freezer paper about an inch bigger all around than the size of your napkin.Lay a piece of paper larger than your freezer paper on your ironing board (yes, this does involve a bit of ironging 🙂 )Lay the freezer paper shiny side up on your board.

      Lay the napkin on top of the freezer paper, pattern towards you and then using a piece of baking paper (heat resistant) on top, iron the napkin to the freezer paper.

      Do this slowly with iron on medium to hot. Your baking paper does not have to be as big as the napkin, I do one quarter at a time. Iron from the inside towards the outside as the napkin will stretch a bit so as not to have any creases.

      Check if napkin is well stuck to freezer paper, if not keep on ironing.

      When you are finished you will have a piece of paper that looks like fabric. You can use it as is on a scrapbook page or cut it up to use on cards.

      The layers you took off earlier can also be put on freezer paper and used. Some have a faint print on them and some are just white. You could stamp on them and it should look nice. I have not actually tried this but let me know what you manage to do with it. (J)

    • When making multiple holiday cards, backgrounds can be printed on your inkjet printer to save time. It is also helpful if you don’t own the text images. Choose a font or fonts that appeal, type out the texts, add color, adjust the sizes of the text, and print your backgrounds in multiples so they are ready when you are. The backgrounds can be printed on text weight paper or cardstock, whichever works for your design. (Click on thumbnail for larger image)
    • I know this seems odd, but if you have a sense of humor and a bit of whimsy in your heart, you just might try this.When turned upside down, the breastbone of a turkey looks very much light an old fashioned sleigh. Clean off as much of the meat and cartilage as possible, then boil the bone in water, vinegar and Dawn dish soap until it is void of grease and meat. Set in the sun to dry or dry in your oven on the Keep Warm setting.Once dry, the bone can be painted with acrylic paints or gesso, stamped and decorated as you wish. A block of Styrofoam can act as the base to stabilize the “sleigh”. Cover wee blocks of wood or wax with gift wrap, tie fiber bows, and add to the sleigh for effect. Stamp the gift wrap with a theme if desired.Also, boil the neck and use the neck bones, painted or decorated any color, as beads. The individual bones look surprisingly like a wolf’s head.
    • A workable inventory of your stamping supplies can save you hundreds of dollars and time making trips back to stores returning duplicates.A portable resource of inks, punches, cardstock samples and ribbons or fibers is an ideal way to insure we don’t purchase duplicate materials and supplies. A Punch Library is also very helpful to take along when shopping.Purchase a Grandma’s Brag book that has double-sided plastic sleeves. Brag book albums can usually be found at dollar stores. Place sample snippets of items inside the plastic sleeves when you are running low on those items and take the brag book with you when you go shopping. You will have a sample of each color of cardstock, ribbon, fiber and so on, so you buy the right items. Put your shopping list inside the first sleeve so you can find it when you get to the store.Fibers and Ribbon Rings: cut 6″ strips of each fiber or ribbon you own. Fold in half, thread the folded end through the ring, then thread the two ends through the fold; pull tight. The ring can hang in your studio as an instant resource when you want to find the perfect ribbon or fiber to match your art. The fiber or ribbon can be removed easily when you are running low and placed in your brag book plastic sleeve album to take along when you go shopping so you know exactly what you need to purchase.Cardstock ring: Cut 2″ x 3″ pieces of each color and weight of cardstock you own. Punch holes in the top left corner of each piece and attach to a metal ring by color families. The ring can hang next to your fibers and ribbons rings for quick access when finding the right color cardstock. The cardstock strip can be removed quickly from the ring and placed in your brag book when supplies run low.

      Punch (Dies) Library (portable): Have you ever bought the same punch more than once? I am president of the club! lol Avoid buying duplicates by creating a punch library on a metal ring so you have a portable library to take with you when you shop. The library can hang beside your fibers, ribbons and cardstock rings ready for you to grab when you want a die so you can search the library instead of searching in drawer after drawer to find the punch. Punch holes in the top right corner of 3″ x 5″ cards. Punch each punch and glue the dies in categories of your choice: animals, holidays, people, objects and so on. Be sure to use Tacky or white glue and not a glue stick. Glue stick lets go eventually and the dies will fall off the cards. Glue the punched dies on both sides of the cards to save space.

      Dye/Pigment Stamp Pads, Reinkers, and Markers Libraries (portable): Make portable sample libraries of your stamp pads, reinkers, and , markers on 3″ x 5″ cards on metal rings. Categorize your inks by manufacturer, then by color light to dark. Choose a wee image and stamp each dye ink (pigment ink) by color family making sure to keep each manufacturer in its own group. Write the names of the inks beside the right colors. (Marvy has a color name and a number: #46 Crimson Lake. They also have the coordinating marker with the same number and color name.) If you have the matching marker, draw a line under the stamped image of the same color to designate that you own the marker. If you own coordinating reinkers, write ”reinker’ beside the colors they match. Put tabs on the cards between manufacturers so sorting takes little time.
      When you need to replace a stamp pad, a reinker or a marker, the card slips off the metal ring and into the brag book for easy reference at the store. (AW)

    • Leftover wrapping paper from yesteryear, fabric scraps or vintage papers can add texture and interest to your backgrounds quickly and free. Cover cardstock or chipboard with your choice of fabric or paper and it’s ready for you to stamp and embellish. (AW)
    • Take-Away menus are ideal for texts and collage. The menus are free and are usually printed on colored paper, so use them in your art. (AW)
    • If you enjoy challenging yourself, try varying your stamping techniques on cards.Use inks, but also consider adding acrylic or watercolor paints as part of your creation.
      Dry and heat emboss on the same card.
      Combine ribbons with fibers.
      Use die cuts with the waste. (AW)
    • Calendar making is always a welcome chore around my house. Once a theme is chosen, it is relatively simple to work around the page to make a design that works with the year calendar.If you have had a special event and taken photos, think about using cropped pictures of the event and framing the calendar with your photos.
      Stamp the background first so the calendar is finished when the photos are attached.Calendars can be printed free of charge from the internet. Type in “printable calendar 2009 free” and lots of sites will pop up from which to choose. (AW)
    • Start on the right or on the left, but be consistent once you begin. Choose images, embellishments, pictures, ribbons, charms, et cetera and continue overlapping and adding items until you reach the other side of the card. You will be surprised at the result. I do strongly suggest that you glue everything down after you have things in place and are well pleased with the design. (AW)
    • I’ve posted part of this tip before for clear materials but I learned a new twist on it last weekend useful to those who have Cricuts. Creative Imaginations Vellum Scrappers Spray is great for clear cards and albums, the adhesive doesn’t show at all. Of course it was designed for vellum so that’s a given.But the scrap ladies are using it to reapply adhesive to their sticky mats for the Cricut so they last longer. One scrapbook store in Texas (where the tip originated and sorry don’t know which store) recommends using it on the sticky mat until the mat falls apart. Put 30+ ladies in a room and it’s hard to track all of the conversation as to which store to give credit too especially when 4 or 5 stores are being talked about.Personally I like it for the clear transparencies, books and cards. So fun to play with. Speaking of which have you seen the new frosted cards? Another cool idea.If you haven’t played with clear material yet, go for it and enjoy the fun! You can pick up a tablet of Grafix Dura-lar with a coupon at your local craft store. Some of our stamp and scrap stores have the Hero arts cards and tags and other companies clear books and shapes. Maybe some of our OSA vendors are stocking clear items, check to see.Have fun experimenting! (RC)
    • Here is a tip that will be especially helpful (I hope) for this time of year, but that can be used for any holiday year round.Do you ever find yourself in need of a gift bag and don’t have the time to go buy one? Or perhaps you would like one to match your project? Well, I am going to tell you a very simple way to make one.The only supplies you will need is your chosen paper, scissors or cutter (depending on the size bag you make), a box the circumference of the size you want your bag to be and a strong double sided tape, like red line or Scor-Tape.All you have to do is wrap your paper around the box losely, as if you are wrapping a package. Close one end only, as if you were wrapping a gift and then remove the box from the other end.
      Make a valley fold on each side and punch a hole on both sides (1/4″ punch). Tie a ribbon, fibers, thin rope or whatever your choice may be for a handle. Just make sure it is strong enough to hold the contents. When tying your handle, insert from the outside of each side and tie a knot inside of the bag! Viola! You have a great bag to match any project you are working on. You can do this with all sorts of paper….Wrapping paper, Decorated vellum (Using a cotton ball, color the vellum, let dry and then stamp an Asian image on the vellum, then make your bag), Wallpaper, Grocery bags and so on and so on! The ideas are limitless! Add embellisments of choice when the bag is complete. You can make dozens of them and depending on what you do with your creation, they can take you less time to make than making a card! (LR)
    • I have two tips that may be helpful to you. The first one is when you need a circle punch but don’t know which size will work just punch all your circle punches on a small card and then just grab the card to see which one works for you. This is also helpful with squares. Then to be really organized if you punch ALL your punches on small cards and attach them together with a ring you can take them shopping with you so you don’t buy the same punch twice.My second tip is how to reuse old Christmas cards or left over images you may have stamped but didn’t make into a card. Decide what part of the card you like ( make sure there’s no writing on the back). Cut it out in a tag shape, punch a hole in it and use it on my Christmas gifts. I can usually find one to match the color or theme of the gift wrap. (LI)
    • I have a swatch ring of all my cardstock colors that I like to use for
      color matching and designing. It helps to have the colors in a small
      swatch and then I can dig the larger piece out of the file drawer once
      I know exactly what I need. Otherwise, I seem to take the large
      pieces out and never put them back, LOL!The tip I just heard from the gals at Copic Marker said to punch a
      hole in your swatch then you can use the hole to put over things you
      are trying to match and it is easier than holding it next to the color.(L)
    • It is that time again. The December holidays loom on the horizon. So, get a head start on wrapping by making gift tags from leftover trimmings and scraps. They do not have to be uniform because many of your gifts will be going to different places.Simply:
      Cut pieces of cardstock.
      Stamp them.
      Punch holes and add ribbon or fibers.
      Give this some thought: Instead of using the fibers or ribbon to tie the tags onto the packages, why not save fibers and ribbons by thinking of them as decorations? Use two-sided tape to attach the tags and it will be faster, easier, and save miles of ribbons! (AW)
    • My daughter brought me home some lovely French perfume from her recent trip to Europe, the box it came in was just too pretty to throw away so I kept it! Well, today I made a card using it – cut into 4 squares as a background. It’s here on my blog It was difficult to get a good photo because of the gold foiling on the packaging so it looks nicer IRL.So remember when you are unwrapping those Christmas gifts this year, don’t just toss the packaging in the rubbish bin……give it a new lease of life in your art! (LS)
    • A tip I have only just stumbled on ! If it has been said before, I apologise !
      While doing a page in a collaborative book I realized that the green Washi paper I had used didn’t match the green I had painted the Geisha’s Kimono, in fact it looked awful.
      I then learnt that you can paint Washi paper with Twinkling H20’s and the gold in the Washi paper still shows through. So I ended up with beautiful emerald green Washi paper that matched the emerald green Kimono. (L)
    • If you are near a construction site, stop and ask for the trimmings of black moisture barrier. The clean-up crew takes it to the dump, so repurposing the leftovers is free and helps the environment.You can also buy the black moisture barrier in 6″ x 25 yards rolls at home improvement stores.
      This paper is black on both sides and is sturdy waterproof paper designed to withstand the elements for decades.
      The paper has a grid, horizontal and vertical, of squares about 1/2″ x 1/2″.Cut squares or rectangles of equal size.
      Set out several squares on newspapers out of the wind or do this indoors, but be sure to set out newspapers for quickl and easy cleanup.
      Squirt acrylic paints, Lumieres, or any glossy paints. These can be dollops, squiggles or shapes of paint “puddles”.
      Place a square on top of each prepared piece, smoosh down the top so the paint is moved around inside the “sandwich”.
      Lift off the top sheets by pulling up on a corner and pulling toward the opposite corner.
      Allow to dry and then stamp the pieces for your art. (AW)
    • You never know where you might find something that you can use on your oriental cards. The other day I was in a grocery store that had 2 useful items –parasols (often used in beverages) and bamboo knots (used to hold appetizers together). I don’t remember the exact prices, but I think they were around $2 ea. package.and the items were plentiful. (24 parasols and 50 knots) Keep your eyes open in “strange” places for unusual embellishments. Click on the thumbnail to see a card I made with the bamboo knot. (LS)
    • Icicles on your cards are easy to make if you have sharp scissors and a wee bit of imagination. Cut stylized triangle up from one edge making sure to maintain the integrity of the opposite (top) edge. Add a wee bit of glittery snow, found at craft stores, and your icicles will take on a “life”. (AW – from
    • This 3D star ornament is complicated, but well worth the effort if you have the time., if you would like to make something similar withouth as much hassle, try this.
      3D Stars:
      Materials needed:
      star template
      stamps and inks

      Staple 3 pieces of cardstock together around the perimeter. By stapling the pieces together, two things will be accomplished: you will save time by cutting all three stars at the same time and the stars will be exactly the same.
      Trace the star onto the stapled pieces.
      Cut out the stars. The stapled piece should fall away and leave you with 3 identical stars.
      Stamp the stars on each side.
      Place 2 stars, one on top of the other, on your table.
      Cut the 2 stars simultaneously from the bottom edge up to the center and stop.
      Fit the stars into the UNcut star from the top.
      You now have a 3D star to display. Add a hanger if you wish. These can be stored flat. (AW)

    • Use your text images to add interest to your cards. Stamp on the card itself to create a background of text or stamp it once at a slight angle to add interest.
      If you don’t own text images, print out words on vellum or copier paper, stipple to add some color, then tear out the text and attach with a brad, a button or glue it down at an angle or even upside down. Try it. It might even be interesting to stamp something on vellum and attach it to the card face down so the word is backwards. You never know. It just might be whimsy that pleases. (AW)
    • Most metal papers are expensive at $3.00-$5.00 for an 8″ x 10″ sheet of one color. I looked for a substitute for the metal paper at a home improvement center. I found dryer vents that are silver on one side and gold on the other. The ones I saw are 12″ wide and 24″ long and are under $4.00. The sheets can be cut with strong scissors or with tin snips. There are in the plumbing section and come flat. (AW)
    • Saving money, REcycling, Reinventing and Reusing is always an option with artists. Altering cardboard, chipboard and other packing papers is easily done with a bit of inspiration, some paint, gesso or inks and a punch or two.Consider making door knob hangers, bulletin boards, or picture frames with the cardboard that comes in gift boxes, as cereal boxes, in food packaging or any other paper product that is flat.Gesso comes in white, gray, black and lots of colors. You can find it with the art supplies. Cover the cardboard with gesso. This will give you a blank canvas to decorate, stamp and embellish. Gesso is dense enough to keep logos and designs to bleed through it. (AW)
    • This is to add a bit more to Annette’s tip for paper beads. I have used plastic cotton swabs that are hollow inside. You can glue the paper to them. They are easy to work with and when the glue is dry use a single edge razor blade to cut off the excess. You can also stamp the last inch or two of your paper with tiny stamps to personalize your beads. (LF)
    • The only thing I can think of for the Thursday Tip is to let people (like me) who didn’t or don’t know – when you have Twinkling H2O’s – let them dry before putting the lid on the bottles – or you’ll grow fungus on it. I was never told that and just found out recently. Thankfully (as far as I can see) I don’t have any “moss/fungus” growing in my H2O containers.And the only other tip I can think of is to be sure and take pictures of all the cards you make so that, as you give them away, you can keep track of what cards you made in the past (for ideas), what cards you’ve given to that particular person (I case you don’t want to duplicate), and to see how much you’ve grown in experience from the first card to your last. (R)
    • As I was coloring santas last week, I got to thinking about my old art teacher always saying “Red Robs!”. Most of us color our images and then layer them on our cards. Santa’s cheeks look nice and rosy on that white cs, but when we place him on a red background, he suddenly looks very pale. The red background has robbed the color from his face. My tip is to always relate the color of the main image to the background and don’t be afraid to make skin tones deep. Asians do not have light skin tones (unless they are wearing powder) and Santa lives at the North Pole. It’s cold up there and his face is red! LOL (JB)
    • If you are interested in using a glue pad for either glittering or
      gold leaf ‘fashion flakes,’ with a rubber stamp,here is a tip!!I just got the ‘Tsukineko’ glue refill and put a small amount on a
      non-stick craft sheet. Using a very dense sponge (or ‘Cut n’ Dry stamp
      pad foam by Ranger- cut to about 1″ x 1.5″ piece), tap the sponge into
      the glue and ‘even out’ on the sponge. Then tap lightly onto the stamp
      – covering the image. ‘Stamp’ into paper.

      Add glitter, tap off excess, let dry. Use a soft brush to remove any
      remaining loose glitter (also used ‘Blast Away’ -canned air, to make
      sure all loose glitter was removed).

      AND – OR…
      Gold leaf or ‘fashion flakes’ can be used too! Just place the leaf on
      the spamped area, then using a soft brush, tap leaf into glue. Let
      leafing ‘set-up’ for a few minutes, then again using the soft brush,
      rub off the excess. The result is FANTASTIC!!

      Clean up is very simple, a baby wipe on stamp & craft mat will do the

      Always good to lightly cover the stamp with ‘Versamark’ before glue is
      applied. Have used the ‘glue pad / stamp technique’ with and without
      the Versamark and have noticed the stamp seems to be a bit easier to
      clean. (WA)

    • Fuzzy accents add extra texture to cards and are quick to make. Punch out shapes from velvet paper and use both the shapes and the “waste” pieces for added interest in your art. (AW)
    • I have a vehicle CD/DVD holder (holds 12) that fits over the visor and I carry small stamping items in it so when needed I have them. They are inexpensive and are very handy and not in the way. (M)
    • I came up with a tip I haven’t heard of and maybe is new to others. In the spirit of recycle/reuse I thought that dental floss containers would be great for thin fibers.
      You can put the fibers in the container after all of the floss is gone and poke it through the hole in the top. It even has a cutter to cut the fibers. They come in several sizes and shapes. Some of the containers have a spool type thing you could wind fibers on. I dislike having to throw something away if I can reuse it. (KM)
    • We all have business cards we no longer need. Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse the cards quickly and easily by stamping, punching, trimming, cutting, doing whatever you need for your next designs. Business cards are made of cardstock, so they are also ideal for layering. Using up leftovers is an excellent way to save money, time shopping for new items, and it helps the environment.Magnet business cards can be cut and used on the backs of refrigerator calendars you make every fall for friends and family.Use tuna/salmon cans with a magnet business card cut to fit and glued to the bottom of the can with the writing face down.
      Decorate the outside edge of the can with a strip of stamped paper glued snugly.
      Add colorful paperclips, wrap and give as gifts any time of the year. (AW)
    • Most craft stores have periodic sales on themed cardstock stacks. The prepared backgrounds are quick, can be trimmed to fit your needs and the trimmings can be used as accents. Added benefits of purchasing the premade backgrounds include saving time and money. Some of the cardstock stacks are postcard size, so think about decorating the opposite side, too, and sending as a postcard with reduced postage. (AW)
    • Links to make stars:
      Stars Made with One Sheet of Paper

      3-in-1 Rabbit Ear Star (AF Barbour)
      4-Pointed 3D Star
      5-Pointed Star (with cutting)
      6-Pointed Star (with cutting)
      Compass Rose (C Sprung)
      Compass Rose (J Oksanen)
      Decoration star (J Meeusen)
      Estrella Marina (JL Figueroa)
      Lucky Star ( video
      $Lucky Star
      My No 1 Star (C Sprung)
      Novene Star …..(AF Barbour)
      Origami Star (
      Origami Six Pointed Star (ORC)
      POP Star (M Kirschenbaum)
      Shepard’s Star (
      Simple Happy Stars (A Barbour)
      $Star of David
      $Star of David (F Rohm) video
      $Star of David (J Shafer)
      Snowflake (D Walker)
      Star (V’ann Corneius)
      Star 1 and Star 2 (

      Stars Made with More than One Sheet of Paper

      Extra Twinkles (Fuse’s Star)
      Flower for Rose (D Scott)
      $Frisbee (C Edison) (AW)

    • Wide ribbon with wires embedded inside the edges is ideal to make quick and super easy napkin “rings” without any hassle. These ribbons come on rolls at Costco, Sam’s Club, craft stores and gift shops. I usually buy these the day after Christmas since everything is 50% – 80% off.
      Decide which napkins you will be using on your holiday table. Then decide how you plan to fold the napkins.
      Use a piece of string or yarn and tie a bow around the folded napkin.
      Measure the string and you will know how long your ribbons will need to be. I add a couple of inches so the ribbons can be cut at an angle on the ends.
      Stamp the ribbon with whatever images you have chosen. Dye inks work best. Yes, you can use pigment ink and heat emboss, but you run the risk of the EP cracking and chipping off the ribbon and ending up on your table.Once you have stamped the ribbons, cut, tie and add to your table settings. A wee giftie, a name card or a piece of festive candy can be tucked behind the ribbon, too.

      The ribbons can be untied and stored flat to use for several years. (AW)

    • Opposites are always fun to create. Black and white, boy and girl, up and down, rough and smooth, you name it, opposites are fun. The easiest opposite to create instantly is a black and white card. White cardstock, black dye ink and your imagination are all you need.Stamp images on scrap papers. Lay out the stamped images and look at them. Move the images around until you like the design.
      Now stamp the images again on your white card front with black ink. That’s it. I am always pleasantly surprised at how much black and white allow the eye to enjoy the variety of elements to a stamped image. The overall design can only add to the enhancement. (AW)
    • The first one is the method I used in my punch swap to make the image of my geisha sparkle under microbeads. I stamped my image with the glue pad and immediately poured a royal blue micro glitter over. Then I cut out from a sheet of red Oh so sticky tape and laid it on top and then poured clear microbeads on top.Second, I don’t know if this tip is well known but here it goes. Kleenex boxes are so beautiful and they’ve used artists to create them. I cut out the bigger sections and use it as pretty cardstock for my cards and atc’s. (PJ)
    • I have loads and loads of scrapbook paper (you know, those big stacks of them you buy) and have a very hard time trying to decide what will go with them. So, I have found that if you take the stamp you are going to use for your center picture and stamp it in three different shades on white card stock, that can be your background paper. I love to take white card stock and sponge it a light color before I begin – one that will blend with the card I am trying to make. Then top it with the three shades of coordinating color, top that with a solid piece of card stock and then top that with your center picture. It really adds a beautiful touch. I have done that with the stamp that has 3 horse heads on it and it really turned out nice. You know how you are told to add a little of the color of a flower to the leaves of the plant you are coloring, or add a little of the flavor of one food to the other you are serving in your meal, well this is the same theory and it really makes all things blend. (R)
    • Do you have bags of sequins, glitter, leftover tiny beads? If you want to use up these items, there are some quick and easy techniques to add bling to your art.Punch dies, coat with glue, sprinkle sequins or glitter or tiny beads, tap off the excess and allow to dry flat.
      Add as embellishments to your cards. (AW)
    • This tip follows on from Annette’s tip on the 29th about sticker waste.The waste left behind after using the whole sheet of border peel-offs can be put to good use as a background. No need to peel it off the sheet…. just use it as it is and then embellish as desired. Here’s an Asian sample so you know what I mean! (MH)
    • Getting Inspiration from Fabric/Clothing–Design
      Earlier this week, I posted a few links for Asian fabric and patterns. This morning, I put on my Chico’s Asian print blouse and really looked at it as I was drying my hair. I thought to myself…oh, that would make a lovely card! So later this morning, I will be trying to create a card based on my blouse’s design. I have similar stamps, so it should be “doable.” (SE)
    • Getting Inspiration from Fabric/Clothing–Color
      I am color challenged. To help in finding good color combinations, next time you go shopping or go into your closet, take a look at what colors have been used together. This will help you in coming up with a good color palette. (SE)


  • Storing stamps
    Many of us have different ways of storing our stamps, whether UM or mounted. I like to store my stamps according to company, if I have many of one particular company, in Iris cart drawers. I also have numerous Iris 12″ x 12″ plastic tote(container) which are themed. All my Halloween stamps are in an orange Iris tote. The Patriotic stamps are in the blue. The rest are in clear plastic, but with labels on them. Yes, I label all my drawers and plastic containers. I also use these totes for my smaller sheets of Washi paper and Asian script paper, one for bling, one for fabric, one for acrylics…you get the idea. (SE)
  • Don’t know if anyone has ever posted this before, the other day I was wanting to use some small keyrings I had to hold a small book together, but of coarse could not find them. So I got some thickish wire and wrapped it round my Krylon pen till it was the same as a keyring and was really pleased as it was just the size I wanted. Have attached a picture so you can see what I mean as I am useless explaining. (DH)
  • Here is your chance to be Earth friendly and reduce-reuse-recycle!I love reusable templates for paper crafting. Recently I looked at the empty
    USA Priority envelopes my stamp purchases sometimes come in and wondered if
    once trimmed to 8.5″ x 11″ would a single layer go through my printer? Well
    it does and works so well for printing templates. The cardboard is very
    flexible so it runs through the printer well plus it cuts easily with
    scissors.Here are a few online sites that have templates you might enjoy using in
    your Oriental Stamp Art. Templates for house and pagoda ATCs by Wanda
    Hentges though Quietfire Designs.

    Templates for flowers by Joanne from her blog Mainly Flowers

    Paper Craft Magazines has some downloadable-printable templates

    Mirkwood has fabulous templates. Take out boxes anyone?

    Hope you have fun with your new templates!
    have so many beautiful cards I have received that I would like to keep as inspiration but could not think of a good way of storing them. I finally decided to make a scrapbook of them. It makes them easy to look at and share and they are protected in their plastic folders. If I want to look closer at them just need to pull the page out. I put them on the white backing sheets that come with the plastic folders and write underneath who the card was from and any relevant information. I only keep the card fronts and the backs go in to my scrap box to be used to make a new card, nothing wasted.

    Hi Everyone,

    Here is another tip that I found by accident.
    Last week while cleaning stamps (quite a few), I got ink under my finger nails. I mean all 10 of them! My fingernails had this black tinge to them that made me look like it was time to bury me!

    I went in the bathroom and pulled out my nail brush, that I use for this occasion, but the black was permanent ink and would not come out. Well, hubby had left the toothpaste on the counter and I looked at it and thought….hmmm, it cleans the enamel on our teeth…..I wonder! So, I put a thin layer on my nail brush (you can use a cheapy toothbrush too) and scrubbed under my fingernails! Wow! They came out so clean and white underneath and on top! I thought I was going to have black, ugly fingernails for quite sometime! Now I don’t! Enjoy and I hope this helps someone here!


    Save the little scraps of bubble wrap you get with packages, and use them to add texture to your underwater scenes. Stamp your scene onto card stock, then layer the clear bubble wrap on top for a virtual aquarium.
    *Don’t just make a new mask everytime you stamp an image. Stamp your image on scrap paper, then laminate it. Trim excess from the edges and mask as normal. When you are through with the mask, wipe it off and store in a log or notebook for future use.
    *Keep cards made with a new technique in a scrapbook with a sticky note explaining the steps for future reference ideas.
    *When getting together with friends, borrow phrases or sayings that you do not have. Stamp on plain cardstock, fill a sheet up. You’ll be able to cut out these words later, and colour, or embellish as you like.
    *Old eye shadow powder is the perfect substitute for colouring in an image, specially when you just don’t have the right colour!
    *Recycle the windows of any size business envelopes. Make sure you leave at least a ¼” border when you cut them out. Use them for shaker cards, bookmarks or any other project that requires a window.
    *Wear rubber gloves when working with inks to prevent ink from staining your hands.
    *Not only are credit cards handy for buying stamps and supplies, they can also be used in place of a bone folder to score and fold card stock.
    *Laminators add a nice finishing touch to stamped work, but may be beyond your budget. An inexpensive alternative is to cover your work with clear wrapping tape. Simply cut a strip of clear tape twice the size of your stamped image. Lay the image on top, and fold the edges around to coat both front and back of your cardstock. Trim the edges closely for a laminated look. This trick is very useful for gift tags, bookmarks and small images.
    *If you receive catalogs in the mail, cut out the witty sayings and pin them to a bulletin board, as inspiration for future stamped cards. These sayings are helpful when you need to come up with just the right words.
    *Use blank 4 x 6 index cards as postcards. Stamp a few images, add a little colour, leave room for address on one side and write the message on the other. Create four of five cards at a time, and you’ll always have some available, at a cost you can’t beat!
    *Take advantage of your old envelopes. Decorate a separate piece of paper and insert it into the envelope with your card so that your message and your image show through the window. You don’t have to worry about your card lining up perfectly, and you liven up your envelope.
    *When using the masking technique, use a post it note for the mask shape. Stamp the image so some of the sticky area is under the shape that you will be cutting out. This way you can use the mask over and over.
    *Keep that metallic paper wrap from your (oops) chocolate bar! You can use it later on a card. Flatten it out or crinkle it up, for a weathered look.

    Hugs, and BLessings,

  • Some people asked me how I made my background for the #15 layout challenge,so I thought I would put in a Technique tip this week.
    One afternoon when I was making alcohol ink backgrounds,I saved all my swabs of colors I used and seeing they where still wet I decided to bundle them all up together and dabbed away on my photo paper then added a few drops of blending solution I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out.
    So this morning I did it again but used different colors and I had the same effect, so if you want a fun background don’t throw those swabs out right away.Use them at least one or two more times to make a great marbled background.
    I have included a picture from the 5 backgrounds I made first and one from the one I made using all swabs at once.
    Hope you try this it is so much fun ,happy crafting .
    Hugs Monica

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