Thursday Tips (2)

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

December 2008:

  • Nail polish works great on brads as well – stick brad points into a Styrofoam block (from packaging salvage) — dot with polish – no mess no fuss – and no brush to clean. I use nail polish as paint in a lot of my work – there are wonderful colors, glitter etc. and those tiny bottles geared for teens are inexpensive.Take Joy, Marlene
  • I use the Halo system on my unmounted stamps and a pair of KAI scissors. These scissors are for cutting rubber and the velcro only. I would never use them on paper. When you have a lot of rubber to mount the Halo is very sticky and can be very hard to cut after awhile, so I coat my KAI scissors with Glyceryn and they cut like butter. When they start to get sticky again, add more glycerin! What could be a really tough job gets much easier doing it this way! Enjoy!Hugs Lori Reinholz
  • I would like to add to the old phone book tip. I put the “glued”
    piece in the back on the phone book where the weight of the pages
    presses it together while it “dries.” Each piece goes into a with a
    few pages between it and any other piece. When I’m done with that
    step / set of cards, I pull out the pieces and work on the next step.
    Thus they can’t wrinkle, can stick down good, get lost, fall off the
    table or have something accidently splattered on them.
  • I also take an old phone book to a stamp club and tear out pages to
    use as place covers / paper pages to mess up instead of the table top.
  • T. Linda Sneed
  • To hold pieces of work in progress so they can dry or just not get lost, use a Slinky toy. Tape the ends down to your work surface and tuck your work-in-progress pieces into the spaces between the rings. Even a plastic Slinky works.Diane Young, Victoria, BC
    Empress of the Universe
  • talking about the permanent markers after Annettes tip earlier made me think of something else. Most peel offs come in gold or silver. If you need another color just use a permanent marker of any color (you get nice ones in the USA called sharpies) to go over the peel off and get which ever color you want. If you use several colors and go over in stripes you can even get lovely multicolor ones.
  • If anyone would like to see an example let me know and I will scan one in for you in the morning. Off to bed now, its late here in France 🙂
  • Hi all; That clear plastic packaging is excellent for stencils,
    especially when it’s a large flat piece. I just cut the flat area and
    put it away and there I have made stencils of larger envelopes, kimono,
    vase and anything you want and as opposed to cardboard, it is permanent.
    Hugs, Pam James
  • Tired of labels that won’t come off, gummy scissors, sticky cutting mats, cutting tools that are so coated with goo that they leave a mark on your work and trimmings stick to them? Yep, me too. But whenever I need to use these things, I’m always in too much of a hurry to stop and go get the alcohol and something to clean with. I bought a stack of those cosmetic removers (the quilted cotton squares or circles) and put them in a small jar with a screw-on lid. Pour alcohol over the pads until you have enough in the jar to be about half full. Put the lid on and keep it in a handy place. Next time you need to clean something, everything is right there in a handy, ready to go, disposable form.I love the Crystal Lite containers for a lot of things, but those little cups inside that contain the drink mixes seem like excess packaging. I’ve found that they can be recycled for craft use. They are handy little cups for holding glues, beads, and other small pieces you are working with; and they make perfect little water cups for water colors or twinks when you are using a real brush. When you are finished, they can be tossed or washed to reuse. I’ve also used them to mix water colors in. If you leave them to dry with any leftover paint in them, you can reconstitute the color by adding some water later. I’ve found that when I use these with twinks, there will be quite a lot of mica and color in the water when I’m finished. I’m sure there must be some way to use that – maybe by letting it dry and adding more water later (sounds like a possibility for a Fred Mullett “elegant mess” technique) or by pouring it into a spray bottle to get a glimmery spritz. Don’t mix your colors, though – unless you like the sprayed mud effect! ;-)Just a couple of random thoughts on a rainy Thursday morning in Maryland!
    Bonnie Belk
  • You can stamp on wrapping paper, patterned scrapbook
    paper or photographs instead of plain card stock to
    create quick and unique multi-colored images.
  • and…….further to Annette’s and Jann’s post…..
    You can color brads or nail heads with your marker pens. Alcohol based marker pens work better, but other will work.Diane M.
  • Staples are not always the prettiest, but they can be colored before you put them into your stapler. Use alcohol ink or nail polish thinned with acetone in a well-ventilated room. Allow the staples to dry, then use to your heart’s content.Also, attaching items with brads is always fun, quick, easy, and they are simple to place. Use a darning needle to make a starter hole and then attach the items using the brads.
  • I keep a wet scrubby sponge “cut-to-fit” in a plastic sandwich
    container, with its cover under the container and keep it on my stamping desk….when I’m stamping it’s close to me for a quick clean up. When done….pop the lid on.
  • Old phone books. I use my old phone books to stamp on when I am using the larger stamps. It works like a pliable surface and then when I am done I just rip out the page and throw it away for quick clean ups. Works well for quick “glue-jobs” as well. You don’t have to worry about glue still being on the surface when you do a card, rip off the page and continue on, you get no “oh-oh’s” that way on the backs of your cards.
  • I got this tip from Carol Duval, but I love it. You buy a 6 pack of soda in bottles-the kind w/the heavy paper bottle holder-(drink the soda)and place empty soup or veggie cans (deocorate them and the holder if you choose) in the pockets of the holder.VOILA! It’s a fabulous pen, scissor, aquapainter, glue pen, etc, etc holder WITH a handle to carry it around with you. I even keep a couple of tape runners in one pocket without a can. I tweaked it a little by using crystal light containers instead of cans. I also use the CL containers for embellishments as they have a nice tight-fitting lid. I also use empty salt scrub jars, peanut butter and candle jars etc to keep buttons, jingle bells, shells,glass pebbles,”snow”, etc on a shelf in my craft area so I can easily see what I have.
  • While working on a 25 card swap I discovered a useful tool. Because my
    cards have a special fold they do not lie flat so it is hard to stack
    them while I am working on them. They take up a lot of space if I have
    to spread them out over my work surface. I cut the top off a boutique
    size, square Kleenex box and the cards fit in there perfectly. It is
    just a tiny bit wider than 5 1/2″. Now, if I am not finished assembling them, they can stay in the container and off to the side.
  • To remove glue stuck to your scissors rather than using smelly
    solvents use an adhesive remover eraser. I just discovered this and it
    was a WOW for me. It works!!
  • Since I am OLD, and sometimes take off my glasses to rest my eyes…..I may decide to sit and read emails after work……….If you have trouble reading small print in e-mails, or even on this board, hold down the Control Key and roll the little wheel on your mouse (if you have one). The printing gets larger or smaller, depending on the direction you roll it. :)Lori A-O
  • Making perfect corners without a punch can be difficult. Cut the cardstock to whatever size you wish, then cut off one corner with a paper trimmer. Use the cut off piece as a template to cut the other corners. There is no need to draw a line. Simple place the cut piece at the next corner and cut to make the second corner. Repeat for the 3rd and 4th corners. All 4 corners will be exactly the same.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • Take a different point of view when you receive junque (junk) mail. Are there texts you can use on your art? Cut and paste “Congratulations” text and toss out the rest of what is printed, “you are the newest winner of a gazillion gallons of choco-bean-carrot ice cream”. Use whatever is at hand any way you can to save some money, some time, and help our mother, Earth.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • Old books are treasures, true, but some old books look like their mothers never loved them and they hold no sentimental value, so consider using them to frame your art.Get a sharp, very sharp knife or a new xacto blade to cut the cover from the back. Draw a frame shape (rectangle, square, oval, or any shape you wish) on the inside of the front cover. You can also use the back cover for a second photo or work of art if the book will be visible from both sides when it is displayed.CAREFUL! Knives and blades cut flesh, so never cut toward yourself. Never! Tape the book, face down with the cover open, on a cutting surface. Cut away the shape to create your window for the frame. You can always add a ribbon or fiber if your cutting isn’t perfect.Once created, the window can have a piece of glass glued in from the back and your art or picture placed behind the glass.Your options for the book’s pages are to glue them together and glue the book covers so the book is “solid”, or you can use the pages to alter.

    Have fun.

    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)

  • talking about the permanent markers after Annettes tip earlier made me think of something else. Most peel offs come in gold or silver. If you need another color just use a permanent marker of any color (you get nice ones in the USA called sharpies) to go over the peel off and get which ever color you want. If you use several colors and go over in stripes you can even get lovely multicolor ones.If anyone would like to see an example let me know and I will scan one in for you in the morning. Off to bed now, its late here in France :-)Hugs, Joanne
  • Staples are not always the prettiest, but they can be colored before you put them into your stapler. Use alcohol ink or nail polish thinned with acetone in a well-ventilated room. Allow the staples to dry, then use to your heart’s content.Also, attaching items with brads is always fun, quick, easy, and they are simple to place. Use a darning needle to make a starter hole and then attach the items using the brads.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • Don’t forget you can recolor brads by dipping them in glue, then in embossing powder. Heat gently so the glue doesn’t bubble.
  • Whether you doodle while your on the phone or during a Sunday sermon, those doodles can be scanned and printed to create backgrounds. You never know! You just might love what you created! Nancie Waterman has a challenge for an upcoming issue of VSN using unique backgrounds.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • You can download, for free (free is a good thing), fonts at . Click on “download” for PC or Mac, whichever computer you own, and save it in a Downloaded Fonts folder. If you need a tutorial, holler.Type your text and print on copy paper to see how it looks. Enlarge it or enlarge certain letters, print again. Keep playing with the size and fonts until you like what you see, then print out the text on the paper you plan to use for the card or your page.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • Be silly once in awhile. It is always a good idea not to take ourselves too seriously from time to time. The world economy is doing The Dipsy Doodle and we, the Little People, will definitely suffer the consequences, so smile a bit more often, share whenever you can, and take care to breathe and appreciate the things that bless you.Enjoy making things with leftovers. No money required. Look at your stamping surface. Is it clean, neat, tidy and ready for Prime Time or does it need some attention and clearing out and straightening? Well, consider this: go get a box, a big box, and put everything that is paper, fiber or embellishment into the box. Yes, put everything into the box. Now, take a look at your stamping surface again. What is left? Some punches, coins, beads, things that have places but just haven’t been put away in awhile? Well, put them away or organize them on your stamping surface along with your “this needs to be close at hand” items, such as your scissors, pens, paper trimmer and such.Now, do you feel better? I certainly hope so. Do you feel like you could stamp something now that the table is free of most of the clutter? That’s the goal with this tip/technique.When you have time, grab that box you filled with “stuff” and challenge yourself to use only the items in that box to create 3 cards. Yes, if you need to grab a piece of cardstock to make the card’s base, that isn’t cheating. But, use up as many of the items in the box as you can.What to do with the leftover things in the box when you finish making 3 cards…Consider putting those items inside 6″ x 9″ envelopes and mailing out goodie raks to OSA members, especially the retired members on fixed incomes. You will no longer have to sort the items, store the items, dust the items or be slowed down with clutter. And Newbie and retired OSA members will be tickled to receive something in the mail that isn’t junque or a bill and you may be responsible for their being published in VSN because your goodies inspired them.

    Do take care out there!

    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)

  • Tear strips of leftover wrapping paper. Tear different lengths and widths. Create a woven appearance by first gluing a vertical piece, then overlapping it horizontally with a second piece. Add a third vertical and a fourth horizonal piece and so on until you like what you see.Create several backgrounds like this so they are ready when holiday time rolls around. Using up leftovers saves us money and helps the environment and it also helps us revisit fond memories when we see the patterns.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • A bit of painter’s tape or masking tape (stuck to your jeans or the carpet a couple of times to remove some of the sticky) adhered to the edges of your format (card front or page) can create a mask that can be removed leaving a faux border around your format border.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • Strips, glued in stripes across a cardfront, can make a ready background for stamps and embellishments. Reuse, recycle and repurpose those leftover strips to save yourself money and help the environment at the same time.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • When stamping an image and you don’t have a stamp positioner, use a post-it note or a strip of scrap cardstock as a guide.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • We all have blank address labels or sticker paper left over from swaps and mailings. Stamp images and decorate them on sticker paper scraps. Use these to decorate envelopes, add pizzazz to card fronts or to add messages inside cards. Be sure to decorate the stickers first, then cut out or punch them with your favorite punches.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • A collage of images from different decades or dynasties can add interest to our art.Example:
    Choose a background of current day geishas downloaded from the internet.
    Stamp a geisha of yesteryear on the background or layer the stamped geisha.You can do similar things with pictures of your ancestors, scanned, trimmed to fit and used on pages or card fronts.

    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)

  • If you add photos to your cards are pages, think about using a program like PhotoShop to resize. Select FILE, Automate, Photo Merge. Dray and drop the photos to create a strip to print, cut apart and use.If you don’t have PhotoShop, try another program or resize your pictures in the program you do own. Resizing can save you money or ink and paper because several pictures can be printed on the same page and there is less waste.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • It’s really useful if you get the same card more than once – then you can cut out parts of the images and remount them in several layers. Diane Young, Victoria, BC
    Empress of the Universe
  • A simple way to make shaving cream backgrounds is to take a page protector and cut open 2 sides, leaving just one attached. Open it up, squirt in a good sized dab of shaving cream and close. Press gently with your hands to distribute the cream evenly, adding more if necessary. Open again, add a few drops of various inks or paints, close again and squish again to spread the colours. Open, put in your piece of glossy card stock, close and press gently. Open, take out the card stock, scrape off the excess and voila! You can usually get about 4 to 6 pieces of marbled backgrounds from one dab of shaving cream. I just wash out the page protector and use it over and over.Diane Young, Victoria, BC
    Empress of the Universe
  • When I receive “store-bought” Christmas cards from friends and relatives, I never throw them away………after the Holiday is over, I take these cards apart. Sometimes I cut around the images and also around the verses. When making new cards from what I have cut, they can be distressed, glittered, popped up or altered any way you choose. The fun part of this is trying out ways to remake a new card from them……..good way to use up those leftover scraps we accumulate from year to year. I may also find uses for some of my stamps that have verses that go with the image I have cut. Recycle, recycle, recycle!!I also have been known to buy cards from the dollar stores, that have unique images on the front of the card, these are usually in a box of cards…..that image may be worth cutting up and remounting on my handmade card….you can get sometimes 10-20 or more cards for a dollar there and once cut up, you can make that many cards as well. There are endless possibilities when using images that are already created for you.Happy Holiday’s to all my fellow OSA members. Have a wonderful and Happy New Year as well!!!Lori A-O
  • Hi Everyone,Try playing with your text effects that came with your computer. Almost every program will allow the text to be tweaked, squashed, pumped up or squizzled in some way. Use the computer’s options to make your own texts for card fronts, pages and thoughts inside a card.Happy stamping,
  • This is a technique that I return to over and over. It gives a soft bleached look. Using manilla tag board clear emboss your stamp of choice. Using chalk ink and direct to paper technique color all around and over the embossed image. Next ‘hit’ with heat gun until all of the embossing disappears. Cut paper into desired shape/size and layer or collage into your current work project, or use as effective background. Variations might be to ink different sections with different colors, or ink in a striped pattern, a central color with contrast around edges. I like the manilla paper because the image looks bleached – but feel free to experiment with white and other light colors of cardstock as well. Sometimes I make up an assortment to have on hand as needed for a quick card, atc or gift tag. My goodness – I’ve inspired myself to get to that work table!Take Joy, Marlene
  • I’m no saint but sometimes I do throw in a little extra when I send a card like many of you do.It’s not a foreign concept in this group, I’m inspired by the emails and gifts I read about. ~grin~Sometimes it costs just as much in postage to send 2 cards as it does to send 1.Or maybe send along an extra card front for your card maker friends to mount onto a base cardstock of their choosing. Viola! Another ready-made card for them to send to someone else.You know how sometimes people send blank cards?

    Well I usually write in mine so it made sense for me to send an extra so they can give it away and still have one in their file.

    I know I keep everyone’s cards I have received.

    Happy pif-ing! (pif = pay it forward)

    ps: don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a RAK (no this is not a hint) but sometimes I have mixed feelings about expecting anything in return.
    You described Flower Soft and how to use it perfectly. I immediately thought of the “fuzz” used for model railroad scenery when I first saw Flower Soft.

    THURSDAY TIP: There are many things we could recycle or substitute for Flower Soft on cards–just look around the house! Lint from cutting and sewing fabric is one example. Dried and crushed flowers flowers from your garden. Little bits of embossing powder–not enough left in the bottle to emboss anything? Use it like FS. Use up all the embossing powder mixes you have from saving different color “scraps” in the same jar.

    Hi Everyone,

    Are there sheets of alphabet stamps in your studio? Have you used them? Think about brayering (inking) a sheet of alphabet stamps and placing a piece of cardstock on top and brayering the cardstock. Brayer a second piece of cardstock after huffing (breathing on) the stamp. The results are two backgrounds, one will be a strong stamping and the second sheet will be muted. Use both sheets for different cards. Stamp the muted cardstock with a bright or contrasting color. Your creative eye will be pleased with the results. Punch the trimmings and use to enhance your design or use on subsequent art. Or include the punched dies with your card rak.

    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
    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

    Lori A-O

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