Thursday Tips (10)

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

  • Hello All,
    It has been a while since I mailed with a tip  :o)
    This one has been lying for months on my desk because the craftin’ mode was gone and I did not have the time to make cards.
    Have you once bought a Spellbinders die? Did you trow away the plastic wrapping/case that the dies were in?
    Now you are going to be sorry for throwing it away, because…it is an ideal tool for helping by colouring in you stamped images….how….well I tell you.
    I love to use the small Vivid ink pads for colouring in with a waterpencil – the aquarellook -.
    First I cut the plastic case open,  but leaving one small side attached together, so you get 2 halve ones.
    Then I press several colours onto the plastic case and use the waterpencil to pick up the colours. When I need more colours, I open the case and put more ink on the inside, so now you have 2 layers of ink to use and combine.
    And the best thing…just leave the ink on it and you can use it again and again and again.
    Hope you understand my explination.
    Have a nice day….I’m off now to bring my mum home again, who stayed a few days at our house, so see you later…..
  • Here is how to  create faux mulberry paper by using dryer sheets.
    1. Put some dryer sheets in a sealable plastic bag.
    2. Add a few drops of re-inker. (I like to use 2 diff. colors but 1 color also looks good.)
    3. Seal the bag and squish around until the ink is distributed on the dryer sheet.
    4. Put the dryer sheets on a towel to dry and you will have beautiful background paper.
  • When using glue dots use a pair of tweezers to pick them up and put them where you want them. I used to use my fingers or tried to put it directly on the piece I was working on and would wind up with sticky fingers or misplaced dots.  No more sticky fingers or misplaced dots and a lot less frustration.
    Hugs, Barbie
  • When you want to’refresh’ your inkpads, be sure to pick up the bottle that says ‘Ranger’s Perfect Ink Refresher’ and NOT ‘Walnut Ink’….
    SO, how do you clean up a muddied dye ink pad?
    It may not be redeemable but if you act quickly, it can be saved! Take a rubber brayer and some paper towels. Run your brayer in one direction across you pad, wipe clean on your paper towel and keep on repeating. (Alternatively you can run your pad in one direction across paper until clean but this does use up a lot of paper!)Take a piece of clean paper towel and lay it on top of your cleaned pad, press and lift. This should remove the last residue.Test on scrap paper, (I was going to say scratch…am I picking up another language here..?), with your stamp before you use on your project to test for colour.
    For pigment ink pads, moisten some paper towel and simply wipe off the unwanted ink. Whatever the results, I am sure some here could be just as creative with muddied pads!
    Anne :O)
  • I have bought several big sheets of stamps. To cut them apart and mount them is daunting…. so I put the whole sheet on mounting foam and ink the image I want and press the paper on top of it with fingers or a brayer. Works like a charm and saves hunting all the small pieces. I also made imprints of the whole sheet so I can look and see which one I want to ink. This works well with sayings.
  • I use old cd’s and clear plastic container lids as small palettes for mixing inks and paints. The container lids are especially good to use when you need something like Mod Podge or acrylic medium.  Pour a little out rather than dipping your brush into the jar, and save yourself some major headaches.  Since I often need more than one coat of these finishes, I can save them for a later use just by sliping them into a ziploc bag.  The lip on the container lid keeps the medium from running all over your work area, and lets you put it into a plastic bag without mess.  I also have to admit that when I’m in a hurry and just need a tiny bit of something, I will use an acrylic block, ink pad lid, or even the top of an embossing powder jar to do small jobs.  Something flat is always lying around, and a damp paper towel will clean it right up.
  • Carla and Bonnie have been writing about ways to contain small amounts of inks.  One I use are the trays that chocolates come in. My favourite is the Baci box and tray.  The tray can be taken out and used on it’s own and the box is shallow and great for holding projects that you’re working on or stamps or whatever.  The ones I get as gifts have 21 chocolates and the trays are made of heavy weight aluminum foil.  Because they are low and large they are very stable. And yes the chocolates are yummy.  Dark chocolate with hazelnut filling and they come with little romantic sayings wrapped up with the chocolates.  And I just learned that Baci means kiss.
    Linda B.
  • I found when making my Layout Challenge #111 using pastel colors for the background exactly how much the color black will “pop” on the card when added over those colors.  So my tip is to stamp your background with pastels and then put an image over it in black to see the effect.  Here again is the Layout Challenge 111 card so you can see what I’m talking about.  I also used the tip from another member to outline your layers in black to give it more depth so my word area was done that way.  I thought about doing it around the 3 flowers as well but decided not to.  Also, after glittering the flowers on the background card stock, I decided I liked it better without the glitter.  Had I done what I usually do (another tip!!) and scanned the card and glittered the scan, I would have figured that out before I did it on my card:
  • I know someone was looking for an Asian ribbon source on this list last week……haven’t found any? then try stamping your own. Stamping on twill or seam binding is easy with either a craft ink pad, versafine ink pad or Staz-On ink. Tape your ribbon down to your work surface so it doesn’t move.  Paper ribbon would definitely work!
    Another idea is to cut strips of plain cotton fabric or muslin, then stamp your design. Better yet, stamp first, cut after. You can use those rotary cutters against a straight edge like quilters use.
    Have you tried dyeing your own ribbon? Running plain white satin ribbon across an ink pad will dye your ribbon to match your cardstock color theme. Of course, hold down the ribbon with a rubber glove on or some kind of protection.
    Lynn L.
  • Flower Soft and other brands of fluffy (powdery) embellishments can be made at home and cost almost nothing.
    You will need leftover styrofoam trimmings or styrofoam balls left over from other projects and reinkers/food coloring.
    Rub two pieces of styrofoam together and both pieces will slough off tiny pieces of ‘fluff’.
    Continue rubbing the pieces together until you have as much fluff as you need.
    Place the fluff inside a plastic bag, add a drop of reinker or food coloring.
    Rub the sides of the baggie together until the color and fluff are mixed well.
    Drop the damp fluff onto a scrap of cardstock or newspaper and allow to dry completely.
    Turn the baggie inside out to dry.
    Store the fluff inside the dry baggie.
    Apply fluff with spray adhesive for large areas or dots of glue in small areas.  White glue, PPA, PVA, and any dregs of glue can be used to adhere the fluff to paper.
    Fluff can be colored green for grass, left white for snow and clouds and Santa’s beard, or pastel and brilliant colors for flowers and oddments in your stamping.
    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • I was reading all your tips on various containers… I found one little container… the round box from the Laughing cow cheese makes TWO good uses..
    #1.. it’s cardboard and fits inside a little plastic container where we use embossing powder. The embossing powder can be dumped on your cards over the cardboard box and then it’s easy to dump back into the reg container because it doesn’t have the static quality that other containers do.. I leave a small clean paint brush on the embossing table to sweep the extra residue down into the sides to put back into the container.
    #2 use: tear off the side pieces of the top and bottom of the round container and use them as chipboard pieces to run through whatever die cutting machine you have. Of course it works best on manual ones.. I haven’t tried on any electronic. But I make lots of flower bases that can then be covered with pretty payers, stamped on, painted on. The weight is just right.. not too heavy and not too light.
    I also save all my pill containers, esp the BIG tall ones.. tear off the labels (they now peel off with no residue), and put beads, buttons, pearl, coins, sequins, even glitter into them. If you use all one size for embellishments, they fit nicely into shoe boxes for storage of all the pretties. 😉
    Another TIP: covering up “over stamped bloops”… I recently made an Easter card with our pretty new cherry blossom stamp.. but several places were OVER STAMPED.. I guess I pressed too hard and the edge of the rubber stamp left it’s mark..  I didn’t want to have to redo it.. so.. I took out my smooch spray (glimmery spray) and spritzed it a bit and all the “bloops” got covered up and the look was really pretty with all the gold splattering over the cherry blossoms.  So, embellish those “bloops” and “overstamped” things with some glimmer!!
    I will post the card on my Splitcoast folder …here.. so you can see the spray…
    Connie Smith, SR Supv SU Demonstrator
  • I store my stamps and punches in clear shoe and jewelry bags. I can then see what I have. ABC Distributing has the jewelry bags for a reasonable price and I had a neighbor make me a rack to hang them on. It will be great when I have the craft area set up. Its’ taking a bit of time.
  • I did not think of this but a ladies shred this idea on splitcoast and I had to share! You can make a stamp positioner out of Legos (for those of you who live outside the US Legos are small brick type building blocks that kids play with.) Simply make a “L” shaped corner out of the bricks, about 3 bricks high so it will be nice and strong. Then cut a piece of acetate or a square of plastic packaging (or even a square out of a milk jug) and push it up against the inside corner. Stamp strait down with your stamp mount against the corner of the positioner onto the plastic sheet, then you can lay the plastic on your card to see where your stamp should go. Keep the plastic in place and put the positioner up against the same edge it was when you stamped it, remove the sheet and stamp your image on the paper! It’s easy!
    This tip is great for parents who have lego playing kids at home, if you have to go out and buy a pack of legos for this you might not save anything-they have gotten pricey over the years!
    Have fun,
  • You will need:
    glossy cardstock or photography paper
    alcohol inks
    spray starch
    newspapers to cover the surface
    latex gloves to avoid staining your hands
    Sprinkle reinkers on a full sheet of glossy cardstock.
    Spray starch over the surface.
    Add more reinkers.
    Spray more starch.
    Place a second piece of glossy cardstock face down on the colored cardstock.
    Rub gently to distribute the colors.
    Pull apart diagonally to reveal two sheets of colorful backgrounds.
    Make several background sheets so they are ready when you need them.
    Annette “:O)
  • I love using lovely paper for backgrounds, but I’ll bet that you, like me, hate to use a nice sized piece to layer under something with only an edge showing around the perimeter. Today, as I was making a set of cards using a nice piece of paper as the final layer before attaching to the card itself, I decided to “conserve” some of that 4X5-1/4 piece of paper. I cut out part of the center to use for another project. First I layered the main image over the fancy paper and figured out how much border to leave, then used a Spellbinders die to cut out the center. You could use scissors, exacto knife, punch or whatever to remove some of the center, saving it for another project. After removing the center, I assembled the card and now have another, yet smaller piece of that nice paper to use for something else. The downside is that my “scrap stash” is getting bigger, but I know I’ll use that piece for sure.
    Maggi Grabowski
  • I have had a friend here for 2 days helping me cut things etc etc, plus we had too much champagne.
    Any way, I had a die that didn’t cut very well and it was very frustrating, but with her help, we used wax paper before putting the cardstock on top of the die you want to cut. Hey Presto, nice clean easy cut.
    you do have to peel off the wax paper but that’s no problem at all. Hope that helps…
    Mary xx
  • Here is a tip to get more life out of your cricut mats and blades! I tried sharpening my blades with a stone and made them worse then ever but discovered this trick with aluminum foil that works like a dream!
    How to Sharpen your Cricut blades:
    1. Cover your mat with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
    2. Make sure your blade is in the machine as usual.
    3. Set your sped to min or 1 and pressure to low or 1.
    4. Cut some large letters, O’s and K’s are good as you get a lot of straight and curved lines. 4 or 5 large shapes should do the trick. The Eiffel tower cut was a test cut after sharpening an old dull blade.
    Make your mats as good as new!
    1. Wash your mats with warm water, dish soap and a cotton dish rag. Scrub it well to remove all the paper lint, embossing powder and other grime that is attached. Air dry.
    2. If the mat is not as sticky as you like use quilter’s basting spray to make it more tacky. Use masking tape to protect the areas around the grid so you only make the cutting area sticky. You can do this without washing the mats too if you re in a pinch. I got a large aerosol can of the basting spray 2 years ago at Wal-Mart for about $7 and it is still mostly full. I bought 4 mats 2 years ago when I got my Expression and they are still going strong with this trick!
    3. Did you know that you can put the mat in backwards?  To further lengthen the life of the mat send the opposite end of the mat in first (one ends has the arrow and the other has the hang tab)
    Have a great day,
  • Hi all and for what it is worth.  I ran out of sticky stuff for some
    unmounted stamps so dug out some double sided scrapbook tape
    and used it and it has worked so far.  Don’t want to take businees from anyone but
    it does help in a pinch.  Hope this helps.  Marge
  • I’m in a dry spot on tips right now but I do want to participate.  Recently I was busy making a card for the Black & White Partner Mingle when I stamped an image 4 times because I was going to do some layering with it but decided not to.  I then set my mind to make different cards with that image and a number of OSA members have now received those very different cards.  So my tip is, stamp your image more than once and DON’T put the extras away to use “later”.  Strain the brain to come up with new ideas for the cards.  It’s good for you!!  It builds new brain cells and as you know, we all need those.
  • Whilst sitting making some cards today I realised that I had a tip I could share – a first for me!  I picked up this tip some years ago and I really have no idea where, it may have been from someone on OSA.
    When I am making cards etc I keep an empty tissue box next to me and all the little tiny scraps go into it. When it is full it can be taped up and put in the rubbish (garbage) bin.
    As I burn all my paper rubbish on a bonfire my husband moans at me if he tips my bin up and lots of tiny bits fly everywhere so this has saved me being moaned at! LOL!
    Lyn W
  • Do you have stamps in the same genre such as flowers, trees, or shapes? If you do, choose two similar images and use the Kiss Technique to create a new ‘stamp’.
    Ink the first image and stamp it on the cardstock.  Ink the second image (usually the larger image) and stamp it over the first stamped image.  Choose lighter colors for the first stamping and a darker shade or tint of the same color for the second stamp.  The image will appear as one image even though you have used two stamps.
    Try using the same color for both stamps.
    Use dye ink for the first stamping and pigment ink and heat embossing after stamping the second image.
    Play with the kiss technique and send us scans to inspire the less timid of us to try it, too.
    Annette “:O)
  • If you like to make your own paper, colored paper scraps are ideal for
    adding to your paper pulp and save you from adding pigments.
    You can produce some lovely shades by mixing papers of different colors.
    I like to use self made paper.. for stamping , collaging and bookbinding…
  • I have a tip this week, but cannot really take credit for it, so I
    will give credit where credit is due:
    Heather Taylor told me, when I was a newbie here about five years
    ago, that before purchasing any particular stamp/image, I should be
    able to think of at least four different ways to use it. If I could
    only think of one way to use that stamp, perhaps I shouldn’t buy it.
    What good advice that was, and still is! I do try to think of
    several ways I might use a given stamp before buying, and I do try to
    use my stamps in different ways, but this is often a real challenge
    for me. Sometimes I like what I did with one image and it takes a
    while to be able to see it differently! Good discipline, good practice.
    I hope this helps people, especially newbies. Again, credit is due
    to Heather Taylor.
    Minda Oberle-Turpin
  • I know a lot of you save coffee cans to store your ribbons and such in. I was on the folgers website today and they have a feature where you can design labels for your folgers coffee cans:
    If you are going to use them why not make them pretty! You can type a message in them too, you could use them for gift packaging as well. I love recycle crafts!
  • Leftover Sculpey or FIMO clay bits can be used to make molds of your favorite charms and stamps.  All you need is clay, stamps, and your grandmother’s diamond brooch or other items that strike your fancy.
    To prepare the clay, either roll the clay between your palms to warm and soften it until it becomes pliable and easy to manipulate or sit on it for 10-15 minutes while you read and answer your emails.  Once the clay is warm, it will be much easier to form.
    Coat the items with glycerin* on one side and press the charms, jewelry, buttons, et cetera, into clay balls large enough to accommodate each individual item.  Press the items deeply enough to make an impression in the clay.  Leave the items in the clay while they bake and remove them once they are cool**.
    To make molds of your rubber stamps, roll out the clay between two rulers so the clay is the same thickness throughout and coat your stamp with glycerin before pressing it into the clay.  Remove the rubber stamp before baking.  Trim around the image and use the trimmings for yet another mold.
    Once the molds are cool, they can be used with paper clay and polymer clays to make embellishments.  Coat the inside of the mold with glycerin for easy release, and press the clay into the mold.  Remove all of the excess clay and make sure that the back is flat so it will adhere well to your card, cigar box purse, or altered item.  Bake with the clay inside your mold according to package instructions.
    *Glycerin is found in the pharmacy department.  It will help the charm release from the mold after it is baked.  Only a light coating is needed.
    ** Bake in a dedicated toaster oven according to package directions.  If you use your kitchen oven, wrap the items in aluminum foil before baking and seal the ends of the foil to avoid fumes.
    If you make some molds, please do send us scans and share your experience with us.  Even though Spring arrived on the calendar, many of us are still dealing with snow and cold temperatures, so this is a perfect reason to turn on the oven and stay inside and play.
    Annette “:O)
  • I have 2 tips today.
    a) Lengths of fibers for crafting can be expensive to buy.
    Check out wool shops for interesting yarns in their bargain bins.
    b) Silk flowers on cards are a beautiful embellishment but are  expensive in craft shops.
    Stores like Michaels often sell silk flowers on stems for bargain prices.  The flowers can
    be removed from the stems and put on cards. I attach them to cards with double stick tape.
  • This is not new and I’ve likely mentioned it before and I think it’s worth repeating.  When you want something different for your background go to a stone yard.  The places where they have slabs of granite, marble and other wonderful stuff.  Some of the colours and strata are gorgeous.  I’ve included a couple of examples which you are more than welcome to use for your cards.
    Just remember that there is less glare off the polished surface of the stone on a cloudy day and don’t be afraid to get really close and use your macro setting for great detail.
    Cheers, Linda B.
  • We’ve had some great tips today and I just have to jump in and piggy back on two of them.
    Linda B. mentioned taking pictures of rocks for your background.  I have taken money I received as a child whenever a relative went to a Foreign country and placed it on my scanner and printed out backgrounds using that – and even used it with my Oriental cards:  You can use anything on that scanner to make great backgrounds.
    And “zeppercookturquoise” – sorry, you didn’t sign it so I don’t know your name, offered a tip about using mousepads.  The one thing she didn’t mention about the mousepads is you can use it when you need to poke holes in your card for brads or even to poke the holes to make a pattern around your card.
    And for one last tip, remember that masking and sponging makes great cards.  I’m even including an example of what I’m talking about.  I did this card by masking certain areas and using different stamps on the card.  I used the large Oriental word stamp in one area and my Chrysanthemum outline and inside stamps for the other parts.  By masking one area, I was able to make totally different patterns in the two areas.
  • I have not sent a tip in quite some time, I cannot remember where I read this, but wanted to pass it on since I find this little tip to be very helpful and not wasteful, recycle, recycle, recycle!
    Home-Made colored crystal effects
    Use your empty reinkers to create your own colored crystal effects!
    When your reinker bottle is empty (or nearly empty even!), remove the top and squirt in some crystal effects; secure the top back on and mix gently.  There will be enough ink color in the reinker to color the crystal effects!  Just make sure you mark your new colored crystal effects reinker bottle accordingly so you don’t use it to reink one of your ink pads!  Now anytime you want to add some colored effects to one of your creations, just reach for your special recycled reinker bottle!
    Lori A-O
  • Mint is considered a vetch (weed) in a garden by some gardeners because it can overtake even the most avid lovers of flower gardens.  Mint grows freely and can be used to make tea, to scent papers, and as a garnish.  Added to flower arrangements, mint adds an extra aroma that can be soothing.
    Try aroma therapy with mint leaves (make sure recipients of your art are not alergic) by pressing the leaves between to pieces of text weight papers.  Use your Wizard or other embossing tool to press the leaves.  A rolling pin works just as well.  If you do not own a Wizard, Cuttlebug, or other dry embossing tool and your rolling pin went bye-bye at the turn of the century, use a soup can as the roller.
    Should you lack even a soup can, drive over the paper and mint sandwich with the tire of your car. lol
    After the moisture has evaporated from the papers, cut into 1″ squares and store in a sealed plastic bag or a plastic container.  Use a square under one of the layers of your card to create a whiff of freshness when the recipient opens your card.
    Note: Rose petals can also give a fresh fragrance to cards.  Carnations have a spicy scent.
    Annette “:O)
  • Jerri, a member of the Design Team for Spellbinders, used this technique recently and I thought it was too good not to share.
    With all of the new flower creations and more elements being added to our cards, I viewed this as a quick and easy technique. Line up a few beads on a long sewing needle, add a dot of glue where you want to place the beads and then carefully hold the needle over the area and slide off each bead. You can add several beads quickly and they don’t roll all over your work area or need to be picked up individually with tweezers.
    Carolyn S
  • Here are some tips for doing photocopy transfers:
    1. Clean your surface before you begin, non porus surfaces can be wiped with a rag and rubbing alcohol, cloth can be washed (if new to remove sizing), wood can be wiped with a damp rag and left to dry. Also make sure to open a window.
    2. Have a photocopy made of the image you want to transfer or you can print it on a laser printer. Be sure you print the image in reverse if there are any words in your design.
    3. Place the image face down on your surface you want to transfer it to. Use a clear chartpak marker or xylene (from the hardware store) to saturate the paper. Let it sit for a minute and lift up an edge to have a peek, if it looks good peel off the paper and let dry.
    4. color the image with alcohol based permanant markers (sharpie, bic, promoarker, copic, prisma) or colored pencils (on non pourous surfaces.)
    Take a walk outside and get fresh air and clean those fumes out of your lungs. I have a gazillion tiles left over fro my bathroom redo a few years ago, here is what I made. If you want to see a video you can here:
  • A few years ago a nice fellow came to a craft store in my area and held classes on his kind of technique.  I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Stampscapes but Ken (can never remember his last name but it’s Oriental) was the instructor.
    Prior to the class, I purchased the devices that have a sponge (oval shaped) on each end (you can get a firm or soft sponge – the soft are better).  You tap that sponge on your ink pad and use it on your glossy card stock.  Well, I got out my Stampin’ Up! ink pads and tried to do it – NOPE!!  Everywhere I touched on that glossy card stock left the imprint of the sponge’s edge as a solid image.  I tried it with Marvy – Same thing.  So when I attended his class, I found the secret.  There is a stamp company out there called Sea Shells.  If you tap the sponge on that and put it on glossy card stock, you can move the ink around!!  Isn’t that cool?  You are then able to give it an even coat before you start adding your other ink – like the Stampin’ Up! or Marvy, for instance.  The Sea Shells colors are all pastels and soft shades to use for the background.  With Stampscapes pictures, you have a focal point of light and it gets darker as you go to the edges of your cards.  It is a very dramatic effect.
    Try some of that Sea Shell ink on your cards and if you know of any other brands that do the same thing, please let me know.  That pastel work was done first, then the image was stamped on the card and let dry.  Then we started working colors (4-5 different shades) from light in the center around the focal point to darker around the outer part of the card.
    And another tip – if you have a Big Shot or Cuttlebug and you are playing with chipboard, you will find that chipboard comes in different thickness.   So have handy your light brown silicone pads, extra cutting boards, as well as some extra pieces of chipboard in case you can’t get the correct pressure using your platform and plates.  Just try using different combinations until it goes through your machine correctly.  Remember, don’t force it.
  • Do you have pieces of nasty-looking background paper?  Did you buy it in one of those STACKS?  And you have the pieces but would never use them?  Depending on the pattern on them, why not stamp an image on top of them and cut it into small pieces to use on cards for backgrounds?  Some paper is beautiful with large flowers that will take your breath away but you can’t see how you could use them on a card – stamp background images – swirls, add glitter, etc. to make it into something you can use on your cards.
  • I hope this will help someone.
    It IS fun, to try different shapes for our art.
    Try the “self designs,” and when you do…Please share !
    Barb K.
    Tip to save $, when needing shapes.
    Sometimes the available tools might not be in our art budget.
    If we don’t have the punches, or dies, there is always the old fashioned scissors.
    I tend to use mine a lot. I like cutting out of paper!
    With a cardboard template, paper, a pencil, and scissors…we find an inexpensive way to add to our arty things, and you can choose exact sizes to fit your project.
    Begin with a paper shape you like, and draw a simple one, on scrap paper.
    Cut it out and draw around it on cereal box cardboard for templates to make more of the finished shape.
    An easy flower example would be a poinsettia or daisy shape.
    Why not Layer simple shaped fans over stamped for the oriental influence, or small blossoms, layered on a simple branch?
    To make both sides of a design equal, fold paper in the center and sketch the design.
    Cut with paper folded, unfold and you have a pattern that will work quite well.
    [A pattern does not always have to be equal sided.]
    Wallpaper cuts so well and has fantastic colors and designs.
    Get an out of date WP book from your local store. Usually they are free, or very reasonable in cost.
    With the multi colored flowers being so popular, the WP is great
    Another way to use just the shape for backgrounds, is to draw around it with an erasable pen, who’s ink stays open… long enough to use embossing powder…and then heat set, for part of the image. Then use the cut paper shapes as well.
    Hi all and here I am again with my newest tip on a Martha Stewart punch.  I found some designs at a Dollar Tree
    recently and they can be put on a wall and do not stick so you can remove them.  There are sections of the designs
    that are not used so I used my trusty MS butterfly punch and punched these blank areas, took the papers off  the back
    and stuck them onto the walls here or onto some of the designs on the wall.  There is also a “chalk board” design that
    you can actually write on with chalk – mine is outside my apt. door for msgs. and it is really quite handy.  Some of the
    empty spaces where the designs have been you can use with Pearl Ex and make your own designs. These won’t stick
    but will if you use a glue stick or other glue types.  Hope this helps and have fun. I am having a great time with all of
    this.  Marge
  • I love the look of glitter and embossing powder but can do without the mess they can create. We all know about shaking powders and glitters onto a scrap paper so they can be tipped back into the original container. Instead of plain paper, try a coffee filter instead, the kind with the fluted edges and the flat bottom. Glitter and EP won’t stick to a filter the way they can to regular paper. Because the edges of the filter are raised, it prevents anything from ending up on your table.
    Gitana, the Creative Diva
  • Check the insides of the envelopes you receive containing bills, etc.
    Many of then have pretty patterned paper on the inside that can be
    used as background papers and embellishments when creating your
    I love to use them for my cut and tuck projects.  Attached you will see
    a bookmark I made using pretty paper we normally throw out.
    Chris B.
  • Here is a great little tip I discovered yesterday. When you are working on a card and you want a ribbon to match perfectly just use your markers to color it! I like to use the chisel end of my ProMarkers to color white seam binding. It is think ribbon so it does not use a lot of ink and I only need to color one side because it seeps through, Also your ribbon will dry in seconds and it will keep flat because it is alcohol based, not water based. And per usual I have a video if anyone is interested 🙂
    that brings me to another marker storage tip (it is shown on the video too) use clear make-up cases (cosmetic bags) to store your markers, you can see through them so finding your colores is a snap. They come in all sizes and are found at drugstores and department store and are only a couple of dollars each!
  • I was playing in my studio the week and had to share this tip. Getting a good stamped impression on ribbon is easy, you just need the right ribbon, ink and stamp. Here is what has given me the best results:
    1. use a bold stamp. I used a text stamp that was easy to read (real rubber)
    2. Use a smooth ribbon, I got my best impression with Hug-Snug seam binding.
    3. Use pigment ink (I used versafine onyx black) and let it air dry, heating might warp the ribbon.
    Give it a try, it is easy and fun and if you want to see me stamp some ribbon there is a video on my blog:
  • Hi all and since I do paper marbling classes a lot I bought some pints, quarts, etc.
    of inks I can use.  Since these are large containers I took them and poured
    smaller amounts into medicine bottles I have saved for a long time. These medicine
    bottles are easy to store and to transport.  I keep the larger bottles in a storage
    area and don’t need to move them other than to replenish the inks. Hope this helps
    someone and take care all.  Marge in sunny but chilly Bar Harbor, ME
  • Nestabilities-type die cuts can be used to create stamps from flat styrofoam trays.  Wash and dry meat/vegetable trays from the grocer and use in your Wizard or Cuttlebug-type die cut machine.  The result will give you a positive and negative ‘stamp’ that you can attach to an acrylic mount, ink, and stamp on cardstock.
    Annette “:O)
  • I know some people are nervous about using foil (not the paper kind the real metal). I am hear to tell you to fear no more. You can cut it with fancy scissors or go for the gusto and use your Cuttlebug. It works with the folders and Nestibilties anything will do. You can stamp on it with permanent ink. When you go to stack different colors use Aleenes glue to adhere. Hope this helps someone.
    Big hugs, Nancy
  • I made a card with a box on the front – which I bought on the internet –  filled with Merci chocolats for Mothersday.
    On the front is a sticker-flower and I wanted to add something behind it.
    So I cut out the shape on which the flower was before, kind of template it became and put it on a piece of paper and sponged with green ink.
    Removed the ‘template’ and cut out the sponged flower, attached the stickerflower to it and it just had that little bit more that I wanted.
    Here is a photo…see the very light green behind the flower…that’s my tip for today.
  • I like to make seals by using my heat gun.
    First squirt a glob of glue on a silicone mat or wax paper.
    Ink up a rubber stamp on a versamark pad and then press the stamp on the glue.
    Wait a few seconds until it is cool and then peel off the glue.
    or — try writing with your heat gun on a silicone mat to make a custom title or
    The results are amazing!
    (P.S. Glue for heat guns some in colors and also with sparkles in the glue.)
  • I haven’t read any of today’s tips so hopefully I’m not duplicating what someone else said.
    When I was working on my Mizuhiki Mingle cards I was working with the Mizuhiki cord (naturally) and was trying to stick it to a piece of wood.  I tried regular double-sided tape – nope – tried Elmer’s dry-clear glue – nope – tried superglue even – nope.
    So, if you ever want to hook your Mizuhiki to wood, I found the only thing that holds it flat is the infamous HEAT GUN!!  Lindsay uses it a lot on her videos so i thought I’d give it a try.
    Now if you want to get it to stick to card stock (naturally the heat gun would work again but I found an alternative method) in a straight line, that double sided tape with the red coating on it that you remove when using works the best of normal products.
    I found in attending the Rubber Stamp Conventions that Judikins has a tape that looks like masking tape but is double sided sticky tape and will hold the Mizuhiki tape.  That masking tape is so cool, you can stick glitter and beads on it as well as emboss with embossing powder and heat it without the tape doing anything nasty.
  • I had a brainstorm last night and went strait to my craft room to see if it would work (it was after dinner, I left a sink full of dishes ha ha!) It worked!
    Most crafters will need a light box at one point or another to trace, emboss or view slides (remember them!?!) here is how to make on with inexpensive items you likely already have. You will need an acrylic box style frame and a string of Christmas lights and a sheet of vellum if you want to use it as a slide viewer.
    1. Plug in a string of white Christmas lights to see if they work and gather them together on your table.
    2. Place an acrylic box frame on top. Viola, instant light box and you can make it whatever size you want depending on the size frame you have. I know they make them up to 16″x20″ but the one I used is 8″x10″
    Tip 2: Perfectly stamped backgrounds
    I’m all for the random willy-nilly style backgrounds (mainly because I could not stamp in a strait line to save my life…until now!) but sometimes you want a evenly spaced uniform pattern. Here’s how to do it. Print or draw a grid on transparency film or vellum. Place the grid on your light-box, place your stamping cardstock over the grid and line it up then stamp away!
    Tip 3: The light-box is also great for dry embossing with brass stencils. Simply place the stencil on the light-box, rub your cardscock with waxed paper (it helps the stylus glide) and place said cardstock over the stencil. Rub the paper with the larger end of your stylus (you can see where to rub with your lightbox) then do it again with the smaller end for detail. You can ink the raised design or place the stencil on top of the design and chalk it.
    All of these tips are in a 5 minute video I made today on my blog along with links to the website I printed my graph paper from {for free!}. The stamps I used are from about Art Accents and the paper is Basic Grey (kioshi line)
    Video here:
  • I learned this trick long ago and relearned it when a friend recovering from a stroke shared the technique shared with her from a visiting nurse who is also a stamper.
    Dollar stores have small clipboards three-to-a-package.  The boards measure 3″-4″ x 4″-6″.  Share the extra two boards as rak’s.
    Clip images stamped on small scraps and trimmings to a board, color, then trim to size.  The clipboard will hold the small cardstock piece in place and keep your fingers from smudging your work.
    The clipboards can also be used to keep card embellishments and pieces in one place until you are ready for them.  With the summer heat heading to North America, overhead fans will be running and breezes can be thwarted from blowing your artwork and embellishments to the four winds by corraling everything on your clipboard.
    Use a dollar store picture hanger that sticks to the wall without a nail to hang the clipboard so it gets lost less often.
    Add a magnet to the back of the clipboard and attach to a ferrous metal cookie sheet when you need a larger working surface or if you want to watch NetFlix with the family while you stamp.
    Annette “:O)
  • Not sure where I got these tips, but I think they would do well repeating:
    TROUBLESHOOTING Stiff Punches:
    If your punch is stiff to handle, punch through waxed paper several times. This helps to loosen the mechanism.
    Blunt Punches:
    If the punch is tearing paper rather than cutting through, try sharpening the blade by punching through layers of aluminium foil several times. It really does help. If you are really desperate, try the finest grade of glasspaper.
    Clogged Punches:
    Usually caused by cheap giftwrap paper – it’s highly glazed and looks very pretty, but is extremely thin and has no body. The punch has nothing to bite into! If you HAVE to use it, place it on top of a piece of text-weight (photocopier) paper and punch through both pieces at the same time.
    Jammed Punches:
    Usually caused by using card that is too thick! Punches usually release if turned upside down and bounced on a hard surface a few times (on the “button” you press down on, which illustrates the design). Try not to poke with anything sharp like scissors, as this is dangerous. It is usually the spring which has jammed, and bouncing the punch often does the trick. If all else fails, look for a little plastic “lug” on the bottom of the punch and carefully insert the point of a scissors to pop the plastic cover off the punch. This allows you to remove the button handle, take off the spring (which you can rework with your fingers) and remove the stuck piece of card. Put everything back together in this order: spring, button, then outer cover. Press down until you hear a click, and this should have fixed the problem.
    Punches are extremely heavy when grouped together (most people can’t stop at one!) so they need designated storage. They need to be kept clean and dry (to prevent rust). Ideally, keep them in a designated drawer, or stack inside several cigar boxes with the heaviest punches in the bottom one (another decorating opportunity: try the Scallop Edging, above).
    Little silica sachets (as found inside the packaging when you buy shoes or bags) tucked in with the punches will make sure they stay moisture-free and in tip-top condition.
    Lori A-O
  • Okay – this isn’t really a serious tip.  I’m still organizing and cleaning, and came across this one today.  If you go to the grocery store and later discover that something you bought is missing, check your stamp room if you carried your groceries anywhere near it.  Today I found a personal size watermelon under my sizzix/wizard/stuff  rack – still in the bag.  Because my table was too full to hold it while I opened the refrigerator door, I must have set it on the floor and then accidentally nudged it under the rack.  I’d been wondering where that thing went!  Glad I was cleaning!  I don’t think I’d like to have found it a few weeks from now.
    So – I’ll make this legit by offering this tip of the day.  Keep your sense of humor – creating is supposed to be fun!, and every now and then there’s a comic surprize to be found!
  • Here are my tips for this week, make a ribbin shelf with foamboard, dowels and hot glue. Video Tutorial here: It takes 20 minutes and is super easy;)
    Tip 2: paper+spray ink {run through an embossing folder r texture plate} = AWESOME! Try it you will see!
    Tip 3: Drag out your old stencils and use them with spray ink-totally cool!
  • When doing  iris folding — instead of spending time to cut up paper you can use ribbon.
    If the ribbon is a solid color you can make it different by stamping on it with permanent inks.
    It is thinner than paper and when your project is finished — it looks great.
  • When painting or gluing, I often need to put my brush down for a few minutes. But laying it on the counter was messy; I needed a better resting place. I know you can buy such  items, and you can even use a chopstick holder. But I made my own. I grabbed some paper clay, shaped it into a 1 x 1 x 2-inch block and used a brush handle to push a depression into the top. I also made another one with two depressions. Quick and easy– and inexpensive. No more messy counter or brush rolling onto the floor.
    Elinor Stecker-Orel
  • My tip this week is a thank you to Margo Seegrist (RLI) for her rak to me combined with a scanning trick I learned from France Chevalier (Australia) oh so many years ago.
    The first scan is of my scanner bed with Margo’s card before cropping it.  The second scan is Margo’s card cropped for web viewing.
    France taught me to use a plastic sleeve to protect my scanner bed, place the artwork inside the sleeve, then scan it.  Glitter, glue, stray bits of fluff and nonsense are corraled inside the plastic sleeve and do not have an opportunity to sully the scanner bed.
    Using this simple trick saves time not needing to clean the scanner bed as often and it also helps align the artwork so fewer scans are akimbo and needing to be rescanned.
    For those of you who do not know how to crop an image once scanned, a simple right click will allow you to move the blinking square/rectangle to the proper size to capture the image.  If right clicking fails you, try left clicking.  Owner’s manuals are usually available online if all else fails, so take a peek to see what else your scanner will do.
    Annette “:O)

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