Thursday Tips (12)

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

  • Another cool use for clean pizza boxes is as a “spray booth” if you spray mists, paints, webbing spray or even glue.  Keeps the mess all in one place.
    Diane Young
  • Do you have any texture plates?  Ones your kids may have or some of the Fiskar dry embossing plates?  Ink them up and use them for background stamps.  The ones I have are ATC sized and work a treat.  Or, and I just thought of this,  you could ink it up then, keeping it securely in place, dry emboss.  Hmm I’ll have to try that now.
    Cheers, Linda B.
  • You can also put the texture plates in your die cut machine and emboss too. Here is the sandwich for the big shot: (starting from the bottom) spacer, texture plate, paper you want to emboss, 1 or t sheets rubber plumbers gasket, cutting pad. The Fiskars plates are the same thickness as the big shot cutting pads so it works beautifully. I do this a lot and have never cracked one and they are a lot cheaper than EB folders! I have a blog post and I think a video on this, let me take a look:
    I learned this tip at a workshop a few weeks back when we had to finish a booklet with Japanese binding.
    Forgot about it until I needed a needle for a piece of ribbon/yarn.
    But as you might know there is not a real needle for this, so to make a fast and handy tool to be used as needle, what do you need:
    plastic sandwich-bags closure pieces, there are small iron pieces inside the plastic
    Take you ribbon or yarn, put the ‘ metal tool’ around it, fold it together and twist it once, now you have a “needle” to get though any button, brad or hole and when you are finished you can throw it away…because you can
    make an endless supply of these light weighed  ‘metal tools’ .
  • I had so much fun with this, that I am sending it to several groups, and fellow stampers, because I enjoyed this technique.
    A trick I learned [by mistake] is getting texture on a card for effect, on an image or background, using white glue.
    By using white water base liquid glue, even the kid’s “school” bottled glue, you can do some interesting things by adding embossing powder and heat setting it over the glue.
    Do this when it is wet, partially dry, dry.
    Try adding another layer of glue and embossing powder and heat set it.
    Depending on the amount or dryness of the glue you can get really interesting bubbles and “movement,” out of the glue.
    It is something you should take time to play with, using an experimental set up, trying for various textures.
    Usually you will find the glue/embossing powder and heat will be different each time, and it is quite intriguing.
    Barb K.
  • I am knee deep in craft fair preparation and I have had lots of opportunities to experiment with my supplies and share some cool tips with you just in time for holiday gift giving…You’re gonna love these! {I hope anyway!}
    Soaps and Stamps!
    This is going to blow your mind! You can use your rubber stamps (unmounted) for soap molds! Here’s how:
    stick your unmounted stamp to the bottom of a clean flat plastic container such as a rectangle soap mold, yougurt cup or my favorite, the little cezar dog food containers with the pretty scalloped edges.
    Melt your soap base per package directions in your microwave.
    Pour soap in the mold and let harden. Pop out your soap for a beautiful embossed image!
    Got tins? Make Candles!
    I never met a tin I didn’t like  but my collection was getting out of control so I used an old crock pot to melt some wax and poured candles in the saved tins! I used square tea tins and little fruit cup tins and trial size coffee tins. Be sure you have the right wicking for the tin you are using, I buy mine in rolls and it says what diameter candle it is for, when it doubt use a bigger (thicker) wick. Now the fun part cones! Decorating the candles! You can stamp cardstock or wrap the tin with patterned paper. I like to wrap it with a strand of natural jute string and glue on a button or two. You can also squeeze out a bit of colored hot glue on a craft mat and stamp it to make a faux wax seal. Leave the stamp in the glue til it cools.
    Handmade Embellishments!
    I know Annette has shared this tip before but I tried it and it is worth repeating!
    I was at Joann Fabric the other day and spied the most beautiful chrysanthemum resin bead. It’s loveliness took my breath away (unfortunately so did the price, $5 for 1 bead!) but I remembered Annette’s tip for making your own molds so I bought the bead and tried it myself!
    Take old bits of leftover polymer clay and condition it, then roll it into a ball.
    Place the clay ball on the table and slightly flatten it.
    Dust the object you want to make a mold of with cornstarch (or baby powder) and press it on the ball of clay.
    Push the clay up on to the sides of your object so you get the impression of the entire front and sides.
    Gently pull out the object you cast and bake the mold at 275 for 15 minutes for every 1/4″ thickness.
    This really works! I thin molded some costume jewelery and vintage buttons that had been my grandmothers and a few pricey store bought embellishments. You can try keys, cameos, acorns, you name it! Warning, it is addictive!
    When you have scraps leftover from a card make a quick tag and toss it in a box and you will be ready come Christmas. Bits of ribbon and string can also be used on these tags.
    I’m sure I will think of more tips when I go back to my craft room to play, they will have to wait til next week though! Happy crafting!
  • Every year my hubby has to work until 2pm on thanksgiving (he is on the radio) so the kids and I usually watch the parade and make little crafts like Christmas ornaments. Then we all head down to my parent’s house when Jason gets done work for dinner. Here are some fun ideas to keep the kids and grand-kids busy today using the supplies you have on hand:
    Lollipop critters. Use a scalloped punch to punch lots of white circles. Give the kids glue, google eyes and markers and let them make snowman faces. Then (Grown Ups) place a dab of low temp hot glue on a wrapped flat lollipop and put a looped ribbon in the glue and press the snowman fave on top. Viola, a cute ornament. The kids can make dozens of these for friends.
    You can get  bag of 22 lollipops at the dollar tree so it is a frugal craft too. See my example here: Try different punches to make different critters too!
    Pinecone ornaments: I am so glad I gathered lots of pine-cones before out first foot of snow dropped yesterday in Maine because there is so much you can do with them! An easy craft is to place a plate of glue out and roll the pine-cone in it then sprinkle the cone in glitter (use the chunky cheap craft/dollar store brands for extra bli and so you will not be too upset if half a bottle gets dumped in the glue-just sayin). tie a ribbon to the top and you have one gorgeos ornament and let’s face it, glitter makes everyone happy!
    Decor for the kids table: If you are looking for a leisurely dinner plan on making the kids table fun. I like to take on old fashioned glass flower frog and fill the holes with crayons. then you can cut a turkey body out of brown paper and fold it up in front of the “frog” to look like a turkey with crayon feathers. Put thanksgiving coloring papers (free off the Internet) out instead of place mats and watch them color and not be bored before and after dinner. You can scatter a few of those glitter pine-cones on the table for good measure too!
  • January  2012
    Following on from Annette’s tip on using up tissue paper, you can also create a raised image from your rubber stamps with tissue paper. Use cosmetic tissues and peel apart the layers. Turn your stamp face up and using PVS glue mixed 50/50 with water, layer a tissue over your stamp, then brush n some glue, then tissue, then glue etc. Repeat for about 4-6 layers and let dry. Peel off, cut around your raised image and colour as required using inks, chalks etc.
    Anne :O)
  • Hi Everyone,
    Tissue papers come in every color and some are imprinted with designs.  Next time you are looking for a quick and unique background, sort through your tissue paper scaps and you just might find something you can use.
    I have included a sample for you to see what I am suggesting.  The tissue paper is embossed from the manufacturer with gold butterflies. The tissue paper itself is white.
    By laying the tissue paper over pink cardstock, that tissue takes on a whole new look and coordinates with the geisha image.
    Do try it.  This technique is fast and uses up leftovers, too.
    To make decorative tissue paper, choose similar or contrasting colors of ink on a variety of tissue paper.  Some inks will bleed and provide a softened appearance.
    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • Using a fluted pastry cutter.
    Yes, you read that correctly! Want to make some interesting lines for borders, backgrounds, or pretend sewing lines? I discovered my old (unused for a long time) fluted pastry wheel the other day and wondered just what I could do with it. Ran it over an inkpad – just like you would a brayer – and then on cardstock – and got some really interesting results. Holding it at different angles gives different effects, or run it along a steel-edged ruler for straight lines
    Then decided to hunt for the tool that I used to use when transferring lines from a pattern to material for cutting – that was a challenge – it’s called a tracing wheel and left little dots closely spaced together. Decided to try it too. It did work but, for me, the only colors that really showed up well were black or a dark brown – where the pastry wheel worked with any color. But it does make really nice, neat little dots – and it’s quick, quick, quick!
    I just love finding a new use for things, don’t you?
    Hugs and a Very Happy New Year from Barb W.
  • Hi Stampers,
    I got a wax burner for Christmas and it is wonderful to have in my craft dungeon (basement craft area) because of the warm delightful smells…it is also a constant source of melted wax and hey, it’s just fun to melt stuff. So the next time you want to attach a dainty piece of mulberry paper, skeleton leaf or fiber just dump a bit of the melty waxy goodness on your card and stick it right in there. You can even stamp in the wax while it is still warm! You can tint the wax with metallic rub ons (or some creme eyeshadow if you don’t have any) by rubbing it on after the wax has cooled and don’t worry if you mess up because you can reheat the wax with a heat gun if you make a mistake. Just don’t get the gun too close, we don’t want any fires!
    Happy melting!
  • And for my Thursday’s Tip, on my Layout Card #153 above, that center purple piece of paper was in my scratch pile and had a score off-set on the paper.  I like to buy pre-scored paper when it’s on sale on occasion to use as my base card and when I cut them up, I wind up with a piece with the score line on it.  So the tip is, instead of tossing that piece, add other scores to that one to give it a pattern.  You can even do horizontal and vertical scoring to give it a checkerboard pattern.
    Addendum to Rli/Margo’s tip:
    Annette showed you her card using tissue paper as a background.  Remember you can also use the under layers of a napkin (there are generally 1 or 2 of them attached to the top layer of a napkin) and stamp on them for a beautiful background paper on your card.
  • I learned this easy embellishment from a  Fiber Crafts Expo
    You take a strip of  fabric (desired width) and wrap it around the end of a plastic drinking straw them wrap  around that with twine (string or embroidery thread or and yarn you prefer) then cut the piece off, and Viola! an instant embellishment. (see attached card)
    People were using  these little creations in all kinds of fabrics  to cover  old long bras to make colorful  bodices.
    You can also use sticks from your yard to hang a kimono on. (see attached card)
    Aloha from SuZ
    Here is a link to some with beads added.
  • Watercolors can daunt even the most stalwart of us, so read on and learn how to conquer watercolors in the blink of an eye.  You may remember this technique from grade school.
    Since Valentine’s Day is looming on the horizon, I chose a heart theme, but any theme you choose should work just fine.  Die cuts, both the positive and negative shapes created with a punch, can be used effectively.
    Gather your materials:
    1) Watercolor paper larger than the finished project will be.
    (Watercolor papers come in parent sheets large enough to fit a twin bed, but they also come in pads of 25 – 100 sheets of paper measuring anywhere from 6” x 10” and larger.  Choose a paper that feels and looks like orange peel…like textured walls in newer homes…or choose a soft flat paper that appeals to you.  Use a 40% off coupon if you have one.)  Note: cardstock will serve just fine for this technique, too.  Watercolor paper tends to give the finished project another dimension, but it is not a deal breaker if you use cardstock.
    2) Watercolors: watercolor markers, watercolor pencils, tubes of watercolors, tablets of watercolors, or whatever you happen to find on sale at the art supply store is what you need.
    3) Water: use a flat square brownie-type pan and fill about ½ way.  The brownie pan will be less likely to tip and spill than a mason jar.  Set the pan on an old bath towel to catch drips.  Have a rag handy to wipe your brush as needed.
    4) Watercolor brushes: Now don’t get too fancy and run out and buy something expensive.  Use what you have.  Sable is my personal favorite in a watercolor brush, but if you have a kitchen sponge, wash it, cut it to size, pinch it with a clothespin as a handle and it will do just fine.
    5) Optional: Double-sided tape if you wish.  The tape helps stabilize the stencils and templates and is especially helpful for those with arthritis or who have limited use of one hand.  A clipboard is an ideal tool to stabilize the paper, too.
    6) Punch some die cuts or fold a scrap piece of cardstock in half and cut out a heart reserving both the “positive” heart (die cut) and the “negative” (the hole) heart.  Take two more pieces of cardstock larger or smaller than the first and cut out two more hearts.  You will have 3 heart stencils in sizes and three heart “holes” in sizes.
    Choose your format: watercolor paper larger than the finished project will be.
    Dampen the watercolor paper so the colors will bleed to create a feathered effect.
    Place or drop one of the positive hearts onto the format.
    Dampen your brush and add color.
    Hold the heart in place with one hand, and drag color from the edge of the heart onto the format until the entire perimeter of the heart is visible when the template is lifted.
    Repeat using the other two sizes of hearts placing them hither and thither in a serendipitous pattern.
    Repeat the steps using the heart negative “holes”.
    Add as many hearts as your format requires to complete the background.
    Once the watercolor paper is dry, stamp Valentine images, trim to fit, and add to your card front.
    For added eye appeal, allow the paper to dry completely and then drizzle rubber cement in a haphazard pattern onto the paper.  Allow the rubber cement to dry thoroughly and add more watercolor and stamped images.  Rub off the rubber cement to reveal a resist technique.
    In a pinch, paste food color that comes in a tube from the grocer will also work just fine.  Blending colors on a plastic picnic plate helps create variations of color.  Cake decorating stores have a wide variety of paste food colors, so take a look.  Even if you do not purchase the tubes of food coloring, cake decorating stores sell chocolates by the pound bag, so the trip will be worth it.
    Annette “:O)
  • Howdy stampers!
    I finished a challenge (gasp!) and made a new video to go with it packed full of tips like:
    •    How to get the look of distress ink if you have no distress ink pads (see oragne background of attached cards)
    •    Quick “copic” coloring (Even with cheap markers)
    •    Enexpensive Oriental embellishments.
    You can watch the video and see close ups of the challenge card here:
    How about some more tips?
    Cool tip: Make your own wheel stamps with texture mats!
    I was digging around in a drawer that had some old stamping tools  and I came across my old rubber Sculpey and Amaco texture mats. They are designed to press polymer clay against to make cool textures or to use the Colorbox styluses with it make little custom stamps. Well, the Scupley brand ones are the same size as the Rollagraph/Stampin’ Around jumbo wheels and I happen to have a few dozen blank wheels around so I used double stick tape to attach it to a wheel and that is how I made the varnish background in the first card. I am committed to this idea now so I think I will attach the rubber to the wheels with rubber cement. The Amaco sheets are larger so they would need to be cut down to fit the jumbo wheels. Don’t you love it when you can find 2 uses for the same product?
    Homemade varnished paper
    This is simple but perfect when you want a wee bit of subtle glam (subtle glam?!?) to add interest to a card or scrapbook. All you do is use clear embossing ink to stamp a design, sprinkle it with clear embossing powder and blast it with a beat gun. Here is how it looks on plain cardstock. Even though the ink and powder are clear it really shows up well and is guaranteed to match! You could add watercolors over the design too for a neat batik/resist look!
    Other ideas:
    •    use an embossing pen to color images on patterened paper and heat with clear powder.
    •    stamp a richly detailed stamp over a subtly pattermed paper and emboss with a contrasting color.
  •  When you scan your your card and your card is not a dark color, the card
    fades into the background and it does not look attractive.
    If you put a piece of dark cardstock behind your card when scanning,
    it pops and looks much better.
    If you look at the first attachment without the dark background and then
    look at the 2nd attachment with the black background you will see a big
    difference in the presentation of a card.
  • Instead of Goo Gone-which stinks-use Citris Magic. It smells good and does a great job removing glue from acrylic blocks.
    Bonnie in NH
  • Sticky remover
    use Citris Magic.
    Following on from that Eucalyptus oil is great for removing gunk from scissors and other stuff and clears your sinuses at the same time LO
    Love Dot x
  • Recycling Calendars-
    Before tossing last year’s calendar think about ways to recycle them. The big pages, of course make great envelopes for smaller cards. They are very easy to fold. There are various templates on line for envelopes.
    Some frame the pictures. I have heard that some scrapbookers use the pages for background when heavier pages are needed-sometimes doubling the page or part of a page. I have also used thinner pages for paper weaving particularly where the colors are great, but the picture is not to my liking or use.
    My favorite recycling tip is to use the small photos (usually on the back page or inner front page or at the top of the individual pages) and cut them out for envelope stickers.  If the paper is thin, use a glue stick to adhere it. If it is a heavier weight simply use a piece or two of double sided tape. The edges can be plain or I sometimes use my decorating edge scissors for a fancier effect.  I cut the small squares out ahead and leave them in my sticker drawers.
    In all my crafts, I try to think of recycling projects rather than the trash can.
    Janis Rothermel
  • This tip is more an encouragement than a tip I guess. Try something new! Even if you havent seen it from anyone else in this group (or any group), try it. I was worried that my horse mingle cards wouldn’t be liked because I had not seen anyone do zentangle technique and hand drawn also. After making them, I almost made another set because I thought they weren’t good enough. Then I thought , just try and see what happens. I am really glad that I did. This group is so supportive of all art/techniques. So if you see a technique/card/color combination that isn’t usually seen, try it anyway. You may be surprised at the response to your art. Hope this helps/encourages someone else.
    Kim M
  • I learned this from a local washi paper vendor at a Stamp Expo here in Honolulu, so I made my first Tutorial.  Sorry if the photos aren’t crystal clear-
    I am clearly not a photographer LOL but I think you will get the gist of it. You can trim the ends after you attach it to your project.
  • Tip:  On USPS medium priority boxes, the close ends had small
    cardboard sizes which, when cut make great book ends for small books or evenATCs.  I had a lot of these that had my magazines and the top end was torn open
    but these small ends are ok.  Hope all ok. Marge
  • Great tip and let me add that tea tree oil is fantastic, it is antiseptic so if you get it in a cut it will do more good than harm! Also if you are a mom of small school age kids and head-lice is going around your school you can put tea tree oil in their hair (put a bit in a spray bottle with water or spray conditioner and spritz it on and comb it through in the morning) and it will repel the bugs! Don’t you just love it when the tips go out of the craft room!?!
  • I gave this tip on I think Tuesday when I did my Layout Challenge and was asked to re-submit it for our Thursday’s Tip so here it is:
    When I did my Layout Challenge card, the square we used in the center was smaller than the stamp I wanted to use so I decided to use just part of the stamp instead of the whole thing.
  • I just ordered a cupcake stand for 7.95 from ABC distributing. I am going to use it to stand alcohol ink spray bottles and other bottles of art supplies . I’m going vertical.
  • it´s a rare occasion that I got a tip for you on a Thursday…LOL … I went thru my stash looking for images and *shame on me*
    there was a half sheet still uncut for ages …. so I cut the images and realized there´s a pretty filigree border around the whole sheet with
    lovely little corners… oh my … some additional stamps – nothing is wasted here 😉 So watch carefully before you trim your rubber….
    probably this isn´t new 😉 is it ?
  • Hello Stampers! It’s my favorite day: Tip day! Be sure to send your great ideas to the group {we all love them!} and you just might win a stunning prize from out Elite Vendors! I have 3 tips for you today, I hope you can use them!
    Gather Your Glitter!
    We all know that we are more likely to use our craft supplies if we can see them right? And some supplies are too pretty to be tucked in a drawer and forgotten. I realized that I had not used glitter in over a year (oh my!) so I decided to ‘liberate’ a lazy susan from my kitchen and make a spinning glitter storage rack. I’m telling you I have glittered everything in sight since I reorganized my glitter last weekend. I’ll attach a pic but if you wan to see more please visit my blog:
    Cut a PDF file with your digital die cutter:
    This was an Ah-ha moment for me. If you have a digital die cutter (I have a Cricut with scal2 software) you can likely cut the free pdf templates that you find on the Internet. PDF files are vector based like fonts, SVG, DFX and other cutting files, they are not made up of pixels but of mathematical coordinates so any plotter can cut them. In SCAL you can simply click file, import and pick the pdf file you save from the internet. That is how I cut my Chinese Dragon template (see attached photo) from a template I found on Martha Stewart’s website. Oh and on my blog I have more photos of the dragon and the money envelopes I am planing to do for the library craft night and I have a printable/cuttable lucky money envelope you can download for free:
    Easy digital paper printing!
    As I mentioned before I live in the sticks. If I want a good variety of pattern paper I need to order online, design my own or buy a digital paper pack and download it off the web. Quite frankly i like all of these options   but the digipaper does me no good taking up space in my hard drive but It can take quite a bit of time to resize it and print it for card making purposes. The cool thing about digital scrapbook paper is that you can scale it down so the patterns are more appropriate for cards. Here is how I print my digital paper quickly and easily on a PC:
    1.    Click on the start menu, then computer and find the folder your digital papers are in.
    2.    Select all of the papers you want to print by holding the “ctrl” button and clicking on them with your mouse.
    3.    Click print, in Vista it will be on the top of your open window but it might be to the left of bottom in other windows versions.
    4.    Now choose what size you want your prints. You can print full pages of paper, half pages or quarter pages. Note: The paper will be scaled down. For instance if you choose full sheet the pattern will be larger than the pattern on a quarter sheet because it resizes the paper to fit the smaller space. In the example I printed 12 papers on the 4 to a page setting and the patterns are about 20% of original size. As a bonus they are a great scale for cards!
    For those of you who think it would cost a fortune to print papers at home is does not if you buy off brand ink. I get my 02 cartridges for my HP Photosmart printer for less than $1 each at They have generic ink cartridges for most printers. The HP02 ones work just as well as the pricey HP brand because the print head is not on the ink cartridge. I have found that the cheaper printers ($30 wal mart specials) do not contain the print heads in the machine, but rather on the ink cartridges themselves so you are stuck buying the $50 cartridges from the manufacturer but the pricier printers with the individual inks (that cost around $200) save you money in the long run because you can use off brand ink and only replace a color when it is out rather than replacing the whole tri-color cartridge when you run out of yellow. My printer is 4 years old and I have printed thousands of pages of photos and papers and she is still going strong!
  • This likely isn’t new to many of you but for beginners it may be helpful.
    When using double sided tape to adhere your paper to something pull down just a small portion of the backing paper and crease it so you a tab.  Align your pieces and when you have things where you want them press down on the small exposed area to tack it down then take hold of the tab you made and pull the rest of the backing paper off and carefully press the rest of the piece down.
    I used to pull the whole thing off and then hope I got it right.  This method is proving to be so much more helpful.  Hope it’s useful for you.
    Cheers, Linda
  • Stamping with watercolors can be a bit tricky, but it can be done.  Tube watercolors work best for me because they are more dense because the colors are in paste form.  Use a damp paintbrush to paint watercolor onto your rubber stamp.  Stamp on dampened cardstock or damp watercolor paper.* Spray with a bit of water and allow the image to bleed for a feathered effect.  This technique can be used as a background or as a focal point in your art.
    *Watercolor paper can be found in pads at most art stores and in the art aisle of discount stores.
    Annette “:O)
  • Linda’s tip works like a charm!  Once you train yourself to think ahead and do this, you can put your artwork anywhere you want it – exactly where you want it.  Of course you have to use adhesive paper (or xyron with liner partially removed), but it’s a no-fool process when it has to be just right!  To see exactly how it’s done (which is easier than following written directions) take a look here.  You can watch the whole thing (4 minutes) or slide toward the end to see.
  • Thursday Tip-  Design Your Own Washi Paper
    Here is a handy way to use your small print oriental stamps and have fun with your brayer. For those who don’t have ready access to washi papers, you CAN design your own using this easy method. Have fun combining your own color combinations and stamps.  I made this Tutorial on my new blog last night.
    Aloha from SuZ
  • Sometimes when I use a window/apeture-card and want to glue something on the inside instead of behind the apeture/window it turns out wrong.
    I was making some cards for the Oriental flower-swap and again it would not fit as I liked it to be so I figured something out to get it glued oké.
    This is what I made:
    I treaced the window/apeture onto the inside of the card.
    Measured the size of the window/ apeture and made a template that is 1 cm bigger then the window/apeture.
    But you can make is as big or small as you like.
    Then I put the template on the inside card to get an even space around the drawn window.
    Glued the cut out stamped piece inside it and then removed the template and voila….a perfect fit  :o)
    Carla vdMS
  • Here is a photo I once made for the my giftbox-cardswap a few years back’.
    It uses the same same tip. Learned this a long time ago at a workshop.
    Carla vdMS
  • Stores that sell wallpaper very often throw away thier discontinued books.
    I was lucky to get a book with Asian designs.
    The designs on some sheets are beautiful and can be used as background sheets.
    Things like butterflies or animals can get cut out and used as embellishments.
    Attached is a card where I used wallpaper as the background.  It is actually
    made from bamboo and has a nice texture.
    Store owners are very happy to give away their discontinued books so my tip is
    to request a couple.
  • I was going to use the tip of getting the wall paper samples from the stores but Chris beat me to it.  Good for her!!  So now I have to think of something else.
    The hardware store is loaded with things you can use on your cards besides wallpaper.  Depending on if you have to mail it or hand it to a person as to what you use.  In fact, you can even stamp on pieces of tile (the larger ones can be made into a trivet with the little rubber feet and felt padding on it) after you stamp your images in Staz On ink or other ink that stamps on things like that and then seal them so moisture won’t harm your art work.  The smaller ones can be used as coasters for drinks after you stamp them and seal it.
    I have even used round counter top beveled samples, stamped nice words on them and attached some hand-made flowers to it to give as a gift.
    I’ve used beautiful paper bags that stores gave me to make cards as well.  One I received had a kind of tiger pattern on it so I cut it up and used it on a card with my tiger stamp.  Might have even done it for OSA when we had the Theme Challenges.
    The little trim pieces of wallpaper also make great cards.
    So look at everything with a new eye when you are wandering around the hardware store.
  • I play cards as often as possible and realized that the old decks were being :gasp: thrown out!!!!!!!   Who would do that.
    The backs are awesome. I have found a 3/4 inch round punch gets some of the images, while the artwork on the backs make some awesome ATC bases.
    So look around, dollar stores, even your junk drawer, kids junk drawers, etc and check out the backs of playing cards.   On the fronts, with the pictures of royalty and the A’s also have cool things to play with.
  • Thank you, Lindsay, for reminding everyone that tomorrow is Thursday Tip day.  Your email inspired me to get this sent since I will be home late tomorrow.
    This week I continued my sojourn with watercolors.  This tip is one that will give you hours of trial and error with a whole lot of learning along the way.  Once mastered, dry brush technique can enhance just about any artwork.
    The Art of Dry Brush Painting:
    It is not difficult to learn how to accomplish dry brush techniques, but most artists find it easier to experiment while finding their way with the technique.  Trial and error result in lots of samples that end up in the dustbin or the bottom of a canary’s cage, but once the technique is mastered, you can add ever so much more to the depth of your art.
    What exactly is Dry Brushing?
    Dry brush is a painting technique in which a small amount of paint is put on a dry paintbrush and then areas are colored according to the artist’s whim. No water or medium other than paint is used with the dry brush. The technique can be achieved with both water-based media, such as acrylics, tempera, watercolor and oil-based paint. Even house paint can be used.  However, the dry brush technique is used most often with watercolor paintings.
    When using the dry brush method with water-based paints, the brush should be dry or just a wee bit damp when paint is added to the tip of the bristles. The paint is then applied to the dry format such as paper, wood, plaster, or glass.
    Dry brushing with watercolor is oftentimes used to create a scratchy, rough-textured appearance. In watercolor paintings, dry brush techniques are employed most often to subjects from nature.
    Included are scans of dry brush art so you can see for yourself how much freedom there is with this technique.  Even missteps with this technique give unique results.
    I have also used the dry brush technique for Sonia’s Layout Challenge #156 for this week.  The card is 5.5” x 5.5” and was a lot of fun to create.  The owl and calligraphy are stamped.  The branch is dry brush technique.  The polka dot ribbon is from Joann Store’s dollar bin on the way out of the store.
    Annette “:O)
  • Here is my tip for the week. The next time you can’t find a stamp for a particular project carve one! You can carve reusable stamps with an x-acto knofe and an eraser or with inexpensive lino cutters and soft carving blocks. I have a video on my blog today to show you how easy it is:
    You can also cut stamps from fun foam (with scissors) and adhere to a clear block and stamp! You can save styrofoam take-out trays and draw a design on them with a ball point pen and make stamps that way too! If you have an electronic die cutter they make thin clear rubbery material you can cut with your die cutter to stamp with AND if you venture to the hardware store you can buy sheets of red rubber (plumber’s gasket) and cut stamps out of that as well! That red rubber is also good as an embossing mat foe your manual die cutter and it lasts forever! Remember whatever you make with stamp backwards so keep that in mind if making word stamps!
  • I have a few of my stamps mounted with cling foam. One day I wish to have all my stamps mounted this way…I love the stuff! To store my stamps that have this backing, I swipe any bit of acetate from packages etc and just cut  into a rough square or rectangle to fit the size of my stamp.. This protects the foam from getting dented or misshapen and is just so easy to pull the stamp off and replace it. It also keeps the stamp flat! Hope this helps someone!
    Anne :O)
  • I hope this is a new tip for you friends.  I started thinking about this for recipe cards for friends and thought it could be used for other catagories as well.
    I have alot of cook books that are spiral bound.  I scan a page of a specific recipe that I want to send (Yes!  I do have asian cookbooks too!).  Make a copy of the page & either die cut a shape I want or just cut the size I want with my paper cutter!  Then you can
    ink the edges (I like to use Tim Holtz Distress Inks) on the piece.  You can print it on any paper color or c/s, depending on your project (Recipe Box, Card, etc.).  Then attach as you want the design to look.  If you make a card or recipe, you can write or type the exact recipe on to an index card and enclose it with your gift.  This would work well with recipes that you find in magazines or coupon pages too!
    You can also cut them into pieces and if you use more than one recipe or book topic, cut them together and then take pieces from each one and stick on to another sheet for a collage effect.  Make sense?
    Now if you think about it, you can do this with any book page for any topic.  Beats buying a ton of word background stamps!
    Tip #2:  This may have been shared before, but I will try it.  When you get Bills or Junk mail, watch the envelopes for fabulous patterns.  Great papers to stamp on, distress, use for backgrounds, etc.
  • When embossing cards, very often some embossing powder gets sprinkled and set where you do not want it.
    The way to avoid this is by wiping the card with an anti-static bag. Instead of buying one, you can make your own by putting equal parts
    of baby powder and cornstarch in a little cotton bag. (First use the anti-stantic bag, then stamp image and then heat set.)
    Chris B.
  • My tip is for those of us that have a short memory!  Do you ever go to the store and wonder if you already bought that?
    Well, I do and my solution for embossing folders and die cuts was to get a small photo book (from the dollar store) and
    make impressions of the ones I have.  That way I can take it with me when I’m going to purchase something new and I’ll
    not repeat my purchase.  Usually I buy nothing at all if I’m not sure.  But, don’t want to pass up a bargain when I find one
    either.  Hope this helps some of you as well.  🙂   See attached photo.
    Linda Isham
  • I played with this idea when I made my Layout Challenge 154 card last week.
    You can use your multi-colored pigment stamp pad to impress a stamp and use
    one of the fancy embossing powders to enhance the colors.
    You can change the angle of the stamp to match colors to the image, eg., place leaves over the green squares.
    It is such a quick and easy  way to color a large stamped image.
    Mat with cardstock and papers in the same tones to enhance the image.
    I have described it in more detail on my blog.
    Aloha from SuZ

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