Thursday Tips (5)

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

    • I have started to keep a Swiffer floor mop cover on my desktop at all times now. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t care how careful I am when I work with glitter or embossing powder it gets everywhere. I used to fight it and have glitter everywhere forever, but a quick wipe with that swiffer cloth and it is gone. It is amazing! I could do a comercial!Thanks for listening and I hope this isn’t too lame.
      Laurie H.…………………………………
    • Well if it is a tip, something I do, if you want snow on a card tiny specks of liquid appliqué on the cards and heat with heat gun, you will be surprised how it looks. Make sure you only put tiny bits on though as you will end up with snow balls. Another thing you can do is put it on a bobble on a hat or if there is fur on a collar or hem on a stamp and it looks like white fluffy fur when heated or you could used coloured for the latterLove Dot
      From Hartlepool
    • When you want glorious shimmery shades for colouring an image, investigate the eye shadows you can buy in dollar stores. They can be applied using cheap sponge applicators from the same source.

Diane Young, Victoria, BC
Empress of the Universe

    • l. Stamping a image repeatedly without reinking adds depth to a focal
      2. Layering vellum with cardstock creates a soft look.
      3. Showing only a portion of an image creates an interesting effect.
      4. Try using shoe polish to distress images.
      5. Shade around clipart with ink to make it pop.
      Chris B.
    • Hi All,
      I just finished making a card with my local card group using the vase punch. What I had done was to punch out some of that vinyl they sell that is 3D to go on the back side of an aquarium tank. I used blue and it made a beautiful vase. But after making the card, we were sitting around talking about what else we could do with the vase punch. So I found if I put a nick in the top of the vase, it would become a fish tail. And add one of those roll-around eyeballs and it’s good to go on a card! I also did a clip on the base of the punch for a mouth. The vinyl is easier to punch than card stock so it works great.

I know the vase will also make a great face by turning it upside down, adding eyes (tiny circle punches), a mouth (small heart) and hair (fuzzy ribbon)

How many punches do you have that you can make other things with? I know the balloon punch makes great petals for an apple or cherry blossom.



    • And, besides those those bubble wrap packages, have lots of flat acetate that can be salvaged, and embossed with the C’bug emb/folders. They look nice when you use them to overlay something …


Judy H.

    • Lindsay…..You can also just slide your ribbon through a curling iron to clear the wrinkles!


    • Hi Everyone,

Packaged items that have celeophane windows in the bags/boxes can be repurposed for shaker cards.

Cut around the window leaving a one inch border and store in a labeled folder so you can find it later.

The next time you make a shaker card, the window is ready!

When creating a window effect, cut 1/16″ strips of cardstock and make grids across the back of the window.

Proceed with your design.

Remember: reuse, recycle, repurpose.

Happy stamping,
Annette “:O)

    • I just received this link to a youtube movie were you can see how to make a ‘book’ for too sent birthdaycards.

    • Perhaps this is something for swaps too, you can put the swap that you joined on the calendar and make the cards up front and the only thing you have to do is sent it before the due-dat…now ain’t that handy or not!!!

Groetjes / Greetings / Hugs
Carla from the Netherlands

    • Hi girls a tip from me if you want to stamp a winter landscape card. For a large piece of snow, just use white vinyl wallpaper. It has dots on it that looks pretty as snow background. For a card you don’t have to buy a whole roll. Most times you can get samples of the wall paper and those are big enough for a card.

I had to buy a whole roll I am busy with a huge winter landscape 60×80 cm with the cricut and I needed a large part of snow…..this snowthing I saw on the Dutch group .

Groeten Happy Beppie

Greetings Happy Beppie

    • Here is my 1st tip for 2010 and hopefully they will keep popping up :o)
      1. smoosh a pigment inkpad on a scrap of cardstock (try copper ink on grees, gold ink on red or silver ink on black)
      2. sprinkle on metallic embossing powder to match your ink, heat set, and while the EP is still hot sprinkle on more EP and reheat again. Repeat.
      3. Ink a stamp with the same ink you put on the paper (this acts as a release agent) and press that into the hot embossing powder. If the EP cooled off just blast it with the heat gun for a few seconds and try again.
      4. let cool and trim out your design. You can get the effect of tim, copper or gold. You can dry brush acrylic paint on it for a shabby chic look too!
      1. color the object you want to color with the medium shade you want to use. So if I am coloring a cherry I would color the whole cherry bright red.
      2. Then take a lighter color (pink or peach for the cherry) and color the highlight right on top of where you had colored red. It will lighten the area, it is amazing!
      3. then add shadows by outlining it with a deep dark berry color then quickly blend over the dark berry with the bright red you used in step one.
      1. When storing your Spectrum pad, remember to slide the pads apart to
        prevent the colors from bleeding.
        2. The die ink pads should be stored upside down.

Clearstamps are ‘hot’ for a while now, the stamps are ‘sandwiched’ between two sheets (one with the image and one without).

The one without is perfect for an instant stamphelp when you are using your waterbrush and ink for colouring in the image.

I stamp some ink on the sheet and with the waterbrush take off what I need or mix it or make it less intense.

Clean it with a piece of paper.

Store it for later use or put it on the stamp again for the next time.

Groetjes / Greetings / Hugs
Carla from the Netherlands

I have a ‘made by’ stamp and when I want to add it onto a very dark or glossy card I USED to stamp it on a piece of paper and then cut it out, pit some glue on it and then stick it to the card.

The tip:

Now I stamp it on a self adhesive label (Sticker, etiket in Dutch) and then cut it out /punch it out and put it straight on to the card.

Less messy and much faster.

Groetjes / Greetings / Hugs
Carla from the Netherlands


I’ve received a lot of comments and questions about my “Poppies” in the Blockheadstamps contest. People keep asking how I got such vibrant colors. My answer is my Thursday tip.

I don’t know if this made any difference or not, but… I wanted a smooth surface. Instead of watercolor paper, I used Georgia Pacific white card stock from WalMart.

Here’s the tip:  Instead of watercolor pencils or paint, I used my aqua brush and my dye ink pads. The colors are much more vibrant. In areas where I needed deeper color, I squeezed out a tiny drop of re-inker and dipped into that.


tagging on to Carla’s tip. . .

Another trick – stamp directly on the dark or glossy card and quickly sprinkle a little clear embossing powder over it and heat.  No more smudgy ink and a nice raised “signature” that appears in either a contrasting color or watermark appearance

For those who want to sand their dry embossed designs from embossing folders, leave it in the folder when you sand it. The back half of the folder gives your card added support so that you don’t flatten out the design or sand where you don’t want to.


Hi Everyone,

Clear nail polish dots and outlines on snowflakes and flowers, or anything else for that matter, give cards the appearance of water drops or snow.  Use a toothpick for dots and a narrow strip of mat board to scribe outlines or to fill in areas.  The nail polish will dry quickly and add no weight or thickness and avoid excess postage.

Nail polish usually comes in bins at dollar-type stores, so look there first.  When reclosing nail polish bottles, put a wee bit of Vaseline around the top of the bottle before replacing the lid.  The Vaseline will make it easy to remove the lid next time you use it, but it will also form an air barrier and keep the polish from drying out and being useless.

Happy stamping,
Annette “:O)

To add on to Annette’s tip…store all nail polish in the fridge!  Yep it keeps for years.  Just try it before you come to any conclusions!


Hi Stampers,
Here is another tip:
If you want the look of pretty pressed metal embellisments but do not want the wheight or expence try this:

I have used this with angel wings, hinges, baroque patterns, valentine, and coin rubber stamps. Have fun! If you want to use a die cut shape die cut it before you start because the pressure from the machine may crack the EP.

Have a great day,

Hi Stampers,
here is a tip for using alcohol based markers. Do you ever see the beautiful colored cards done with copics and wonder how they got such nice blends and shading?

Here is a tip:

For years I have worked from light to dark weird lines and I didn’t have a large supply of markers to get subtle shading. When you color like I mentioned with my tip you can get by with less markers and still get wonderful results. I use the 36 pack of Bic Mark-its and a Prismacolor blender and also I bought a few light colors of prismas like grey and eggshell but you would be surprised what you can do with a pack of Bics and a clear blender and the 36 pack of bics had a spaceinside that will hold 2 prismacolor markers. I get mine (36 pack of bics) at sams for $14, can’t beat that!


For a quick Twinkling H20 look, take am imk pad and put it on an acrylic block or anything that you can pick up the ink from , add a drop of Liquid Pearls and mix it with the dye ink. You can paint your image and it appears as if you have used Twinkling H20s. The more dye ink you used the darker the shade. Love, Sandy N.

Here I go piggybacking again. . .

If you want to try K-F’s idea but are worried about aqua-brush-to-ink-pad dilutions, try this.  Take one of those cd’s we all have stashed somewhere that started life as an advertisement but are still with us because they surely must have a second life purpose in our craft room or studio.   Press a corner of your ink pad onto the CD and get a smudge of ink on it.  Pick it up with your aqua brush (or regular brush) and start painting.  You can blend several colors or add water to get lighter shades.  You can do the same thing with your water-based markers if the colors are too bold or too wrong for what you need.  Just scribble on the CD and you are ready to paint.  If you can’t find a CD, use something else – I’ve even used my clear acrylic blocks in a pinch when I couldn’t find anything else quickly.  You’ve just created a miniature palette, easily washable, saving your pads and your markers – because you never want to put a wet brush to your good marker tips – oh noooooo!

Please forgive my forgetfulness. I’ve been rushing around all day, running erands, going to doctors, etc.

Sandy’s tip reminded me to say that you can use any water-based pigment ink pad the same way as my tip for dye ink pads. The metallics will look pearlized, but the colors won’t be as intense as the dye inks…unless you first color with a dye ink, let dry, then go over top with a pigment ink (pearl or not) of the same color.

I meant to say that in my original tip but was in a hurry. Okay, I won’t say anymore.



I use a piece of chipboard (cereal box will work, too) instead of card stock. Your embellishment is thicker, but not heavy. I made the key on my Valentine card without stamping into it while hot because I wanted it to look new. You can use several layers of embossing powder if you want deeper texture.


Hi Everyone,

The other night I was working on a Birthday card and making my own background paper for it, with my versamark pad.  I love stippling and sponging the edges of my paper to give it a more finished look, so I decided to try this with the Versamark pad.  It came out very suttle, but beautiful.  I had never thought about doing that before and was very pleased with the results.  Hope someone can use this tip!

If you like to sponge ink on your projects, here’s a tip I found online for organizing your sponges, one for each colour.  You use a label punch to punch a piece of card stock in each colour or ink white cardstock in the colour you want.  Fold the label over a bit of the sponge and staple it.  Then you always know which sponge to use and you have a handle for it as well.  You can see the article here:

Diane Young, Victoria, BC
Empress of the Universe

HI All,

A number of you have touched on this tip but here’s my slant on it:

If you are planning on using a roller on your paper after you’ve stamped your image in clear Versamark and embossed it but you’d like to color a little in on the image before you roller the entire thing, I found you can color areas in – even if they have already been embossed – with Copic markers that you then dip in clear embossing powder and heat-set. Since normal ink won’t stick to an area that has already been heat-embossed, the Copic markers will as long as you emboss it too. I’ve tried to color in an embossed image with regular ink and it just beads up – the Copics won’t. Then, once you have all the coloring in that you want, get that roller going and roll away on the card. Just wipe off whatever has beaded over the embossed areas with a paper towel or Kleenix.




All the Party Stores are selling Beautiful Asian items for the
Chinese New Year. They have stickers, pencils, small notebooks,
sm. & lg. napkins, lanterns, etc., etc. Everything is
Reasonably Priced, very colorful and great to use for stamping projects
or to send out to friends. The designs on all the items will put
a smile on your face.


Do any of you have glaze pens that get gummed up and don’t work well anymore?  I do too!  Found out if you use staz-on ink cleaner on them they will work again.  Who would have thought!Linda Isham
  • Hi eveyrone,
      Here is an idea from kindergarten coloring activities when we outlined everything in black.

Once images are stamped,  outline the focal point image using a marker in a contrasting color, a darker color, or black.  The image will stand out and add depth to your art.

Happy stamping,
Annette “:O)

  • Hi Stampers 🙂
      The next time you want to watercolor a stamp instead of stamping the image with permanent black ink try stamping the image in a dye based ink in a color you will be painting with. For instance I might stamp a daffodil in mustard yellow then paint it with lemon yellow paint, if the mustard ink bleeds into the yellow paint it will look soft and artsy! Someone might even think you freehand painted the whole thing (don’t worry, I won’t tell;) Also if you do not have watercolor paint you can use reinkers of even stamp pads to paint with. Karlene-Francess mentioned last week about smooshing your inkpad on its lid and painting with the beads of ink left behind.


      Have fun,




  • Here’s the new part …. for a while, I was using pill bottles for a handle, and while it worked just fine, it looked kind of amateur-artisty.  So, I scratched around at the hardware store, and came up with turned dowel thingies.  They’re about 2 1/2″ long, and 1/2″ thick through.  I gave them a quick coat of varnish, sanded, and stuck on the felt.
      Pssst… the varnishing isn’t really necessary, but I was feeling fiddlesome.

Ready to go alcohol inking with a coolly artistic tool.

These work well with Distress Inks, also!

Judy H.

  • My second one today – I’m feeling Tipsy!
      Ever wish you had a circle stamp?  A round image that you could use to frame something or to stamp bubbles …

The $ Store has rubber sink & tub plugs in different sizes.  They stamp great circles.  I have a plug collection.  Sigh.

Judy H.

  • Another add-on to this message.  For napkins, tissue paper, other thin papers, and even washi when I want it to stay unstretched, I run a piece of text weight paper through the xyron, pull the liner off to expose the adhesive, and attach the thin papers to the text weight paper.  Then you can trim it to your precise measurements with ease and attach the paper to your cardstock.  The other methods Annette suggested will work as well – just apply it to the paper and then attach your art paper to it.
    It is really much easier for me to do it this way.
  • I don’t know if this is a new tip, but I’m relatively new to stamping and I just worked it out for myself. If you want to stamp only part of a stamp, you can mask it before stamping. Stick a bit of post it note on to the stamp over the part you don’t want, ink up the stamp, remove the post it note, and then stamp. You can accurately mask complicated areas by stamping on to the the back of the post it note (with the sticky part cleverly placed!) and then cutting out the area you want to ink. Stamp on the back because otherwise you end up with the reversed image. You can also use scrap paper with repositionable tape to hold it in place while you ink or bits of sticky tape on small areas.
      • Cut a square from the decorative tissue (the more wrinkled the better it looks), cut a square from white tissue paper or a solid color (for the lining).
      • Then cut a square of clear plastic from your dry cleaner bag (without the printing on it). Sandwich it between the 2 tissue squares. Make sure the plastic does not go outside the tissue squares.
      • You will then iron the “sandwiched” papers together. You do not want the plastic to stick to your iron, therefore, make sure it is slightly smaller than the tissue.
        Experiment with your iron at the heat setting  below the hottest one. If it doesn’t melt the plastic, then try a higher setting.
      • You may use brown kraft paper (or a brown grocery bag) as a cover between the tissue & your iron (to protect your iron).
      • Result:  reinforced tissue paper that is ready to be cut into an envelope or used as a card base.

Hope this is useful,


  • Hi, I’m new here so I don’t know if I am doing this correctly! But a tip I learned long ago and am happy to be able to share, is to always look at your pice of work in a mirror. It is easier to check for correct layering, composition etc because it looks so different in the mirror! It works! Try it!
  • l.Store your collection of embossing powders upside down to make it easier to find the ones you are looking for.
      2. Set mica pigments and chalks to stop them from smudging or rubbing off. If you spray with cheap hairspray it does the job!




  • Here’s an economical alternative to freezer paper…….and all you have to do is pay for your dry cleaning.
      Many years ago in one workshop, we used the plastic garment bags from the dry cleaners.


      Do you throw these away?  oh no!  You can use them to seal 2 pieces of tissue paper together. We made envelopes from “used” decorative tissue paper.

Now, I believe it would work with napkins since they are as lightweight as tissue. I have not had the chance to try it, but I think it will work when adhering to cardstock.

in MI

  • To keep your layered art work from popping off the base card, be sure to have the grain going the same direction on all the CS.  I learned this from a book by Michelle Abel a few years ago, then RELEARNED it when a card I loved would not stay together, no matter what!

Pat Smith

Corning, CA

  • I have made this mistake…and learned from this!
      Colorful paper napkins usually have two layers.

Remember to take the paper napkin layers apart and use the colored part, for the freezer or tissue and clear plastic techniques.

If the layers are not separated, and you iron on the freezer paper or plastic, the napkin layers will still not be fused between the print and plain layer of the napkin.

Save the non printed layer of the napkin for other uses.

I usually use them for blotting and wiping at my work table, like I would paper towels.

Barb K.

  • Hi stampers,
      I was in Sams Club yesterday and saw the prettiest file folders from smead, they are super smooth and come in the prettiest shades of lavender, celery, caramel and pink. They die cut beautifully and are very sturdy, a great stamper surface and cheap too, a box of 100, whick is like 200 sheets of cardstock was under $10 and if you need cream cardstock you can get 100 pain folderd for less than $5. You can probablt score smaller amounts in a dollar store too! I have no idea if they are acid free but I have never had file folders yellow before and there is a bit of printing on the inside center near the fold so lookinside and sii if you want them before buying but I think it is a great alternaitive to expensive cardstock.


      Have a great day,


  • Caulk is a perfect “Play with Me,” art partner!

water soluble,

      kitchen and bathtub caulk. It comes in white and almond.

These caulks are available in the hardware section of all larger general department stores, such as Wal-Mart, and of course in Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware.

There are colored caulks that are used to seal wood and laminate flooring. They come in wood tones and are more expensive.

I have bought the colored caulks at Home Depot.

There have sales on caulks at Ace Hardware, and I think I have seen it at Dollar Sales…I have not followed the sales recently.

Watch for sales at your local hardware stores. [It is not terribly expensive.]

White caulk is good for basic use.

The one I have right now is made by DAP and is called Kwik Seal. It is water soluble until dry, as you might expect in tub caulking needs.

Caulk will be ruined in a freeze, and if not carefully capped, dry out.

Caulk takes longer to dry on projects than art stencil paste.

Things to do:

~~I have colored it with *acrylic paints and I have used it out of the tube.

Start with a small amount of color and add caulk as needed.

~~The almond caulk is good when used with warm colors and makes a nice tone to add all colors to, as it mutes them slightly.

~~It can give a rather sly bubbling effect when heated with the heat tool, before it has had a chance to dry.

See what happens with embossing powder, which must be sprinkled on while the caulk is wet, then let dry before heating with the heat tool. [or try it slightly wet] It is rather fascinating to try with a lot of techniques, such as glitter, spritzes of water color and really any paints…you must be adventuresome.

~~You can experiment on using it as you would texture paste in painting and making backgrounds. Use your palette knife or stiff brush, and do a drawing on a canvas with it and then paint over the designs or textures. It can be thinned with water if that is needed but remember: When caulk has gotten too dry, in the tube or on a palette, you cannot thin it, as it has changed to a sealer permanence .

~~If you let caulk set up to just the right level of dryness you can place a stamp using colors of ink or clear ink over it and impress your stamp design into the surface. Too wet and it is not as effective, as it is squishy. Too dry and the stamp will not impress. This is a play with me, situation.

You can always add a stamped image on the surface when it is dry.

~~Have a warm water and liquid detergent bath ready for all stamps, brushes, and stencils. Wipe off excess caulk. Set a container, such as a small plastic pan for this purpose near where you work with the caulk. The water and detergent will keep the caulk soft.

Put the items in it, and then wash thoroughly/rinse/dry, as soon as possible. Remember, caulk is a sealer when dry.

~~Adding powdered paint:

I like to add black powdered paint, to caulk. Black is the only color of an acrylic liquid paint that won’t make a strong enough color, without over thinning the caulk, so the powder is perfect. [The powder made by Rich Art Color Company, is available at Michaels.]

It is a try it, sort of experiment. Use a few teaspoons of the powder then add a few teaspoons of caulk to the powder, mix with a palette knife. If it is too dry feeling add more caulk. You will feel the right consistency for use in stenciling. Start out with a small amount and then make more. Small amounts of water may be added to thin.

Not recommended:

I have used the clear non water soluble caulk, not knowing it was the wrong stuff. It is nasty, for this technique, and I tossed it.

Any questions? Drop me a note.

Barb K.

  • Hi Girls,
      You probably all know how to do this bit I just found out so I thought I would share. I have a lot of brush tip watercolor markers that have not gotten much use lately, I wanted to justify keeping them so I decided to learn how to blend them properly. Here is how:


      Take a blender pen (a brush tip clear marker that containd a mixture of water and glycryn, I prefer the Stampin Up brand but I hear Dove is good too) and touch the tip of the blender to the tip of a marker, then starting at the edge of your stamped image start coloring, you can fade to white or keep picking up colors and get a subtle gradient. I used to color with the marker then try to blend on the paper and it did not work, now I know!


      Happy crafting!


  • Here’s my Thursday tip. I found if I wait until Thursday to type it into an e-mail, I go blank on Thursday and can’t remember the idea I had so I’m typing this early to go out on Thursday.
      If you have a Big Kick, Big Shot or Cuttlebug (or any machine that both embosses and cuts out images) that uses those plastic clear plates then here’s my tip:

Have clear plastic plates that you cut out images with PLUS a set of the clear plastic plates that you only dry emboss with. That way the cuts in the plastic won’t impact your folders over time and cause dents in them from the pressure. Your folders will last longer that way.

  • Another tip I just learned on Tuesday. Punch out a flower image you like but punch out five of them. Then layer them on top of each other with the petals rotated so the second row’s petals are between the first row’s petals, etc. Then when all 5 are on top of each other, poke a hole in the center and put any color brad in the hole and open it up on the back. Once you’ve done that, spritz the flowers with water and start “crunching” them up towards the center where the brad is. Once they are all crunched up, start peeling them back by bending them across your finger to give each layer that rose petal kind of look. Once you have it looking the way you’d like, set it aside until it is completely dry. It will be set in that position and you can add it to your card.


  • Create a custom made-piercing tool. Simply remove the blade from your craft knife and insert the eye end of a sewing needle into the empty slots. Tighten to secure needle. This technique will enable you to customize the size of the pierced hole because any size needle can be used.
      This can be used for Pergamano or to remove small cut outs when using


      Spellbinder Dies. Also, When I use the Spellbinder dies, I sometimes


      just use the point of a large saftey pin to remove the small pieces.




  • This is a quicky–
      I am so tired of having plastic bottles seal shut with glue, tacky, glitter, accents, etc.

Anway, there I was sitting at the table, and playing with a safety pin (no clue where it came from because I do not do repairs).  I used that in the tip instead of putting on the cap (to be honest i could not find the cap, less than a minute after removing it).

Opened the safety pin and pushed the pointed end into the container and left it there.  It worked like butter the next time I went to use the glue.

Then I was ready to use some accent and the tip was clogged,  using the same safety pin ( I did wipe it off) it worked like butter.

So basically the tip is to toss out all those small caps, which always fall on the floor and vanish, and use opened safety pins on all your gummy type tip containers.


  • I was just thinking about a tip that I don’t think has been mentioned before and may be of help to some of you.  When you’re using black cardstock or black glossy paper and you don’t want the white inner core color to show in your work, use a black sharpie from the back side and just slide it along the edge to make it black.  You will find your art looks better!  Hope it helps!  🙂
    Linda Isham
  • Hi everyone,
      Textures are a fun way to add dimension to art and can be made in multiples to save time for future projects.  Use full sheets of cardstock and cut in fourths or cut first and make texture-specific designs on each piece.

Drip lighted birthday or other candles** on cardstock.  Allow the drops of wax to cool and harden in your freezer for 3-5 minutes.  Pop off the wax by bending the cardstock gently.  The residual wax will act as a resist when you stamp or watercolor the designs.  Using designer scented candle wax will add a subtle scent to your cardstock.*

Use a birthday or taper candle to scribe lines and squiggles directly on cardstock to create resist paper.  Every stamping becomes a surprise.  As Forrest Gump said when quoting his mother, “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Use fine sandpaper or steel wool to distress cardstock.  Swipe the sandpaper or steel wool across the cardstock in a variety of directions to buff off some of the top layer of cardstock.  Brayer lightly with a shade of ink lighter than the cardstock in the same or a different color family.  Experiment with more buffing being sure to avoid tearing holes in the cardstock unless you want holes.

Use a cosmetic sponge (dollar stores) and gesso or silicone caulking (comes in a toothpaste-type tube at home improvement stores) to dab texture onto cardstock.  For color, use a dime size dollop of gesso or caulking and drops of food color or reinkers.  Start with 1-2 drops of color and add more drops if needed to achieve the color you want.  Use your kindergarten knowledge to mix colors: red, yellow, blue.  Red and yellow = orange…Yellow and blue = green…Blue and red = purple.  Have fun.  In lieu of dabbing the gesso onto the cardstock, spread a thin layer of gesso on aluminum foil, “ink” your stamp with gesso and stamp the image.  Clean the stamp as soon as possible using warm soapy dishwater.  If you forget, place the stamp in your freezer for 5-10 minutes and the gesso should pop off easily.  Set a kitchen timer to remind you to take out the stamp lest you forget.

*Be sure card recipients have no allergies to scents.

**Never melt wax in a container directly on a heat source. Use a double boiler to avoid fire.  Allow the leftover wax to cool completely in the freezer and it will pop out of the container and can be saved in a plastic bag for future projects.

Happy stamping,
Annette “:O)

  • Here is a tip to share with you, to use for blending your colored pencil artwork
      This is something I was happy to learn about, for using with the Prisma Color pencils:


I use this product as a blending method with the pencils. I use it to blend and smooth the color. I put a small brush into the GG with just a tiny bit of the liquid on the brush, and work it over the pencil color on the paper.

Give it a try.

I like GG the best of all the solvents available, and it smells nice.

There is no strong odor after it dries for awhile in the air.

The size I use is the 8 oz. plastic bottle. That one will last a lifetime of pencil blending and has a lot of uses.

Check it out.

[Goo Gone isn’t my sponsor…maybe I should check in with them! GRIN]

Barb K

Mesa, AZ

  • I just saw this on Spellbinders – what a great tip. To create texture for the middle of a flower, take a large pop dot and dip it into flower soft – wella a textured center. Love, Sandy
  • This won’t save you a lot of money or give you stunning results, but I would love to share this tip from my Grandfather with you all!
      1. Inside out envies: The next time to make an envelope out of pattern paper use it backwards so the pattern is on the inside of the envelope, it will look as though it is lined. The outside will be white so you can easily write the address on (and do a bit of stamping if you like) and as a bonus the envelope will have a bit of security to it as you cannot see what is inside when held to the light.
      2. Keep a glue stick handy: Let’s face it, nothing takes the romance out of a handmade envelope like a piece of tape holding it shut. Keep a glue stick in your letter box so you can seal the envelope before you mail it, add a pretty sticker of you are worried the glue stick is not strong enough.
      3. Bring out your large background stamps: Stamp the inside flap of your handmade envelopes before you glue them, you will have a faux liner look!
      4. Speaking of liners how about recycling old magazines to make liners from. Heck you can make envies out of these too! Talk about trash to treasure! Magazines like Real Simple and Martha Stewart have great paper to work with!
      1. Inside out envies: The next time to make an envelope out of pattern paper use it backwards so the pattern is on the inside of the envelope, it will look as though it is lined. The outside will be white so you can easily write the address on (and do a bit of stamping if you like) and as a bonus the envelope will have a bit of security to it as you cannot see what is inside when held to the light.
      2. Keep a glue stick handy: Let’s face it, nothing takes the romance out of a handmade envelope like a piece of tape holding it shut. Keep a glue stick in your letter box so you can seal the envelope before you mail it, add a pretty sticker of you are worried the glue stick is not strong enough.
      3. Bring out your large background stamps: Stamp the inside flap of your handmade envelopes before you glue them, you will have a faux liner look!
      4. Speaking of liners how about recycling old magazines to make liners from. Heck you can make envies out of these too! Talk about trash to treasure! Magazines like Real Simple and Martha Stewart have great paper to work with!

He used to work with expensive sable paintbrushes, purchased from Rowneys in London. They were the tools of his trade and he kept them in good order.Here’s how!

After use, clean you brush thoroughly and wipe off the excess water/cleaner with a towel.

Take a bar of soap and roll/twist you brush over the soap. This will coat it in a fine layer of soap, keep the bristles protected and the tip in a fine point.You can also wipe a flat or fan brush across your soap on both sides to protect the bristles and keep them flat.

Before using you brush, just dip in water and wipe off your soap! You can use this for sable or synthetic brushes to maintain them and to keep a good tip on them! It means good application of paint each time and saves on having to buy new brushes often.


  • Hi Everyone,Repeat Tip: I use a lot of ultra fine clear embossing powder, so I buy it in bulk jars.  The jars are unwieldly and fall over at will, so I pour the EP into a flat plastic food storage container dedicated to the EP.  The size I use is 6 1/2″ square and 2″ deep.  A plastic picnic spoon fits inside the container so I always have the spoon handy when I emboss.  I keep clear, gold, and black EP’s this way because they are the three colors I use most and since the containers are clear, I can grab the right color the first time.  The containers stack and don’t tip over easily.  The excess EP taps right off back into the container instead of onto my stamping surface.When bits of paper and scraps of ribbon and odd whisps of embellishments find their way into your embossing powder, avoid the frustration of “fishing” out the errant items by sifting your embossing powder with a kitchen sifter.  Dollar stores have sifters in varying sizes and they can be stored with your EP’s.Addendum: Make ultra fine embossing powder for intricate images by grinding larger grain embossing powders in a dedicated coffee bean mill (grinder) and be sure to store your EP’s away from sunlight.  Be sure to keep the lid closed tightly when not in use to avoid clumping of the EP.  If it does clump, use your trusted dedicated mill to unclump it.Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • Since today is Tax Day here in the US, I’ll share a sweet, money saving tip. Foil papers can be rather expensive but add such an elegant touch to a paper project. When I have need of a small amount of foil paper, I use candy and gum wrappers! Many confections come wrapped in wonderful foil papers that work beautifully for paper crafts. Just glue them to a piece of cardstock, thin chipboard or plain paper to give them a little body and make them easier to handle. Then cut and or punch them as you would any other paper. My son chews gum with colorful foil wrappers and he keeps me in a steady supply of crafting material. Here’s a link to some photos (fingers crossed here): Gitana, the Creative Diva
  • Hi Folks,
    I love the organic natural look of twine and I like to thread it through charms and buttons but it can be unwieldy and fray. Well I was sifting through my jewelery making supplies yesterday and found some hemp cord (Hippie Hemp) and it is smooth and stiff and threads through buttons like a dream. Also I found other cords and charms that would make the perfect accent on my Asian cards!If you want to find some fab embellishments for Asian cards also check your local bead shop if you are lucky enough to have one, I got a pack of Chinese coin charms, some flat shell flower beads and I drooled over some carves cinnabar beads (how cool would it be to embellish a card with one of those for a jewelery making friend?) Also they had Chinese porcelain beads. Granted they can be a bit expensive but you could make a simple pair of earrings or a pendent style necklace and add it to the card so it is not just an embellishment but wearable art as well.

    OK now I want to fire up my bead kiln! (I so wish I didn’t need to go grocery shopping!)

  • just ran some of the coffee & other beverage servers thru the cuttlebug, using the Sizzix Leaf die.  As long as you lay out parts of them carefully, you can get both leaves, but only if torn apart.  They made great leaves for adornment!  Just lay them out carefully.Hugs,Pat
  • Hi Everyone,Scented cards and letters* were common in Victorian times.  Scents remind us of holidays and special events when our families and friends get together to celebrate.  Cinnamon and cloves are December fragrances that we all recognize.  Double Bubble bubble gum scent reminds many of us of our school days.  Vanilla, lemon, and orange fragrances are reminders of our favorite cookies, fruits, and puddings sampled at Grandma’s house.Scented papers and envelopes can be made easily and inexpensively with a drop of scent on a piece of scrap paper or a cotton ball placed inside individual resealable plastic bags.  Cut cardstock in sizes to suit your needs and place the pieces inside the plastic baggies.  Add one scented piece of scrap paper or cotton ball in each baggie.  Seal and allow to sit overnight or longer.  Label the baggies with the names of the scents you have used.  As the cardstock is used up, add more pieces to the baggie.Liquid scents (oils) can be found in small .5 oz containers at cake decorating stores, cake and candy aisles in discount stores, and in your very own kitchen cabinets.Powdered Jell-o (any gelatin) and dry coffee grounds can also be used without water to add scents to your papers.  Pour a teaspoon of the powder inside an unused coffee pot filter and place between layers of cardstock and seal the baggie.Some options:Lemon scent (flavoring) and various tints of yellow cardstockOrange scent and tints of orange  cardstockBubble gum, cherry, or peppermint with pink cardstock

    Anise (licorice) scent and black cardstock

    Coffee grounds and shades and tints of brown cardstock

    Lime gelatin and shades and tints of green cardstock

    Wintergreen or Coconut and white cardstock

    Clove scent with reds and browns

    Chocolate candy wrappers and brown cardstock

    Leftover flavorings can be used when making candles, bath salts, or baking goodies.

    *Be sure that your card recipients are not alergic.

    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)

  • Hi Crafters,
    After giving the embossed frame tip a few weeks ago someone requested me to make a video on how to emboss a frame only using a cuttlebug EB folder and my Big shot. It is easy, you don’t ruin your folders and you recycle too, perfect for earth day! If you have 6 minutes to kill check it out on my blog: used that technique on the attached card (it was one of those difficult cards I had to fight with the whole time but I glad I did not give up on it LOL) The stamp is from About Art Accents and the Asain clip art is From the Garden Meditation (Lettering Delights) and I colored it with tombows.

    Thanks for looking,

  • Hi Stampers,
    I was making a card yesterday and it was really simple, I wanted to have a “nesite” look to my focal image so I cut the image out with a circle cutter then cut a slightly larger circle from the same color cardstock and layered it, looked as good as a nestie! You can do that with all the shapes on yor Cricut as well, that George cartridge never looked so good!
    Have a great day!
  • Script and text backgrounds are hot. Look for preprinted messages at your scrapebook store. Or……Asian markets often have free
    Asian newspapers that can be used.
  • I recently saw, on numerous websites, a cardboard container for spraying…. It looks like the magazine storage holders. Is it me or do some companies selling this for decent bucks been sniffing the adhesive too much?So…… when you want to spray or make a mess of a piece of cardstock do these instead If it is a A2, or so, size, use a shoe box.  It is deep enough so any excess spray will go on the box, not your countertop, new rugs, clothes and the cat.  There is enough light to see what you are doing  It is great for stenciling with spray or on the edges
    If it is a little larger, recycle on of the boxes vendors send your stuff to you in.  Cut it down a little in front, so you can reach in across, not down, where you might touch the wet item. When you are done, look in the box and if it is very mused, lots of colors— well, what do you think?? Take it apart and see if you can use it for background.   The weight should be fine. If it is not colorful enough, wait until the next time or two (Do NOT put your white satin shoes in the shoebox) Recycling times 2— one using the box for a spray painting booth, and use the excess for background or texturing.Jann
  • At times I have special brads that have gems, dragonflies, etc. and I want to be able to locate them easily.  Rather than have them in the organizer with the regular ones, I just make a tiny slit in a heavy duty CS scrap or recipe card.  These attach easily and are more apt to get used when I do not have to dig for them.Hugs,Pat Smith
  • When you buy small acrylic blocks for your tiny stamps, they are very hard to handle. They are even harder to make an even stamp mark. I use big beads to glue to the back side it makes a great handle for all those tiny stamps.
    Big hugs nancy
  • If you get pizza boxes that aren’t too messy, they make good spray booths too and you get to have a nice easy meal!Diane Young, Victoria, BC
    Empress of the Universe
  • Hi All,I have stumbled across a great tip (at least for me). Every time I make a card for a Challenge, Mingle or SWAP, I take a picture of it and upload it onto my computer. That way I have it if later, we are to upload it to the web into a gallery.Now, here’s the tip. When you upload your cards to your computer, REMEMBER to change the file name to what the card is for – so you don’t have to e-mail a person who is to receive your card to ask them what the heck your card looks like so you can upload it to the gallery.Lesson learned the hard way…Sincerely,Rli
  • Great tip, Margo!    Not only do I make a scan for my computer to upload to my gallery (eventually!), but I always make an extra card for myself to keep for my own portfolio, you might say.  I like to be able to look back at some of the things I have done in the past!
    Hugs, MInda
  • Hi Stampers, My tip this week is simple:
    When you make a card make an envelope to go with it!n How many times do we rush around looking for an envelope at the last minute? Make a card, make an envelope, it is that simple:)Envelope glue recipe:
    2 T white glue
    1T white vinegar

    Mix together and apply to an envelope flap and let dry. When ready to use simply lick and stick!
    Have a great day,

  • I am not selling Martha Stewart, but would like to put a tip in here on one of the best Martha Stewart tools for making envelopes–the  Scoring Board. It is priced at $19.95, but with a 50% coupon, it’s only $10 & well worth it. It makes it so easy to make envelopes out of anything. The Scoring Board has an additional triangle that fits into the corner of the board. All you have to do is cut your paper or card stock to size. For example, cut your paper to 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″. Line it up against the triangle, score on the correct lines & keep turning at a 90 degree angle until you get scores on 4 sides. The next step is just folding up the sides and “voila”, you have an easy peasy envelope. The sizes and guide is printed right on the triangle.  This scoring board has measurements at every 1/8″.  I’m using my old calendars to make envelopes. There’s no need for templates. LOVE IT!  (BTW, Michaels sells it) You can make an envelope in 3-5 minutes! It saves so much time~ more time to stamp!Lynn L

    Scoring Board (Martha Stewart )

  • We can transform ordinary household items into rubber stamps.  We can use the end of wine corks, pencil erasers, rubber washers, craft-foam, etc. Also when we buy sheets of unmounted rubber stamps, after we cut the unmounted stamps out of the sheet there are many pieces of the background that can be reused.  The small pieces can be glued under items for a 3-D effect.  The larger pieces can be cut into stems, petals, leaves etc.Chris
  • Sometimes the bead department at stores have sales on charms. I bought some really neat charms to use as embellishments marked down from $9.99 to $2.99 The larger pieces can be cut into stems, petals, leaves etc. adding on to this I made a great little fence stamp out of waste and a brick wall stampLove Dot
  • Hi Stampers,
    I have another tip today (I told ya I was full of them;). Dig out your paints and paper and make some fun backgrounds, let the paper dry then scan them so you can print extras anytime you want. It is a fun way to try new techniques too! Here is some paper I made last night with watercolors and plastic wrap, you can download the papers I scanned from my blog if you like: I have a 10 minute video that will show you how to paint an easy seaside landscape in watercolor.thursdaytips-image1

    Thanks for looking!

  • Here’s a tip I just learned from another list: stamp your clear stamps with a permanent ink and let it dry.  Then when you use your dye inks on the stamp, it will not bead up.  You’ll get better images!
    Diane Young, Victoria, BC
    Empress of the Universe
  • Stop girls – don’t through those bras away until….. take a look at this card I made this weekend (because it isn’t oriental I am
    just showing the bottom half. I used the eyes from the back of a bra to hold my fiber; you can also use the hooks the same way. They are a little hard to remove but you can do it. Love, Sandy N.
  • Nancie Waterman, Editor/Owner/Publisher/Artist/Photographer has a Fabric Postcard Challenge listed on her website, so I did some fossicking around to come up with some ideas.  The deadline is July 24, 2010, but I wanted to get a jump on the projects.The trick to stamping on fabrics seems to be whatever works for the individual.  Using large, bold images on prewashed fabrics with a variety of fiber contents is one rule of thumb I discovered.  There is also the question of whether the item, once stamped, will be laundered.  If it is an article of clothing, let’s assume that it will be washed.  Fabric dye and pigment inks are called for when the fabric will be laundered.It is my assumption that a fabric postcard will not be washed by the recipient, so good old dye inks should work just fine.  I tried Marvy Matchables on cotton and the dye inks grabbed well.  50/50 cotton and polyester held the dye ink, too.When the fabric is stretched across stiff cardstock and adhered in the back to secure it, the stamp has a better purchase when pressed onto the fabric and there is less change of the fabric shifting and smearing the ink.Try pigment in on a fabric postcard and heat emboss with your favorite embossing powders.  Use a bold image for a Wowza result!Now that I have given you some suggestions on what to do with fabric for a postcard, consider submitting art to VSN.  Your art just might be chosen.
    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
  • Hi Everyone,Years ago, rollers (wheels) were “in” and everyone had to own at least one or a dozen.  Wheels have taken a back seat to some of the newer stamping toys on the market.   Nestabilities, punches, and markers have come to the forefront along with a plethora of other goodies.Digging out my wheels and dusting them off took me back to the fun times I had using them, changing cartridges, making wrapping paper and more cards than I ever thought I would using the quick and easy wheels with repetitive designs.For those of you new to stamping, roller wheels attach easily to a handy plastic handle.   An ink cartridge of whatever color you wish snaps into a compartment in the handle. Run the wheel across a scrap of paper to ink the wheel, then roll the wheel across the cardstock or paper.  It will ink itself automatically as you roll.In order to keep the line straight, use a piece of cardboard or a ruler to guide the wheel.Make decorated gift bags in jiffy quick time by rolling multiple times across the front and back of a plain bag.  Make your own wrapping paper to coordinate with a gift card, make borders, bookmarks, ribbons of stamped paper, stamped fabric ribbons, and anything else that suits your needs.If you do not own wheels, make your own.  Choose small coordinated unmounted images, attach them with glue stick in a straight line to a plastic or glass jar that has straight sides, ink the images and roll the jar using both hands.  Reink, re-roll, and repeat as needed.
    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • Again by accident I came to this tip. I bought a new blouse/shirt last saturday, it was hanging on the clothes hanger (duhhh) with little ribbons from the shoulder onto the metalpart of the hanger (are you with me sofar?) to keep it in shape I guess. When I got home I cut those ribbon parts off  and ended up with about 2x 15 cm of FREE ribbon. Now is this a TIP or is this tip…lol Must use them ofcourse…I’ll be back!
  • Hi all and needed some tape awhile back and couldn’t find any where I was. Huumm I thought, what to do now. So, got out my pack of 3M sticky back papers, cut the sticky strip off, (not very large strip) and folded it into thirds so sticky part was showing.  Put it where it was needed and voila sticky tape at last. Works great so any notes you have on sticky tape, cut off the strip and put it onto a sheet of plastic paper and keep it in reserve.  LOL to all.  Marge in sunny and getting busy Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Following on from what Annette said about Rollagraphs, if you’re like me and struggle to use the wheels with your inkpads, you may like to do what I’ve done. Carefully remove the rubber from the wheel (you can see the join if you look closely – just snip down that and gently remove) then mount in whichever way you prefer – I use EZ mount – and voilà! You’ll have some great new border
    stamps at a fraction of the usual cost – especially from some of those Jumbo Rollagraph wheels!
  • Hi Stampers,
    Yesterday I was using up some bingo cards buy cutting cirles out of the center to make interesting mats. When I went to clean my art table afterwords I noticed that the bingo cards with the hole in the middle woule make a cool frame. So the next time to go to cut a shape out of paper instead of cutting from the edge to save paper cut from the center so you get a mat and a window. Also you can do this and use the window part as an underneath layer on a card because you will not see the hole in the center.
    LindsayIf you use chalks and mica pwders then here are two tips:

    1) Use old powder eyeshadows to add to your range of chalks. The shimmering ones look great! You can also use unwanted blusher and face powders too. We are meant to throw away eyeshadow that has been opened after 6 months to prevent eye infections so, don’t waste them!

    2) To get rid of loose chalk/mica powder from your card or image, knead a small piece of poster ‘putty’…a well known brand is ‘Blue Tack’. You can shape this to a very fine point if required. Just dab or roll over the unwanted powder and ta da! You get rid of the powder with no smudges! You can use your blue tack several times too. It works well and is cheap!

    Have fun! Amicalement

  • To build on the tip given by Lindsay, a lady in my local card group had the same can opener and had a very handy help-mate who cut handles out for her and sanded them down.  He then screwed the cans – six of them – to the handle and she gave all in our card group these cans as gifts.  We supplied her with the cans and she made them for everyone.  She used paper she thought each of us would enjoy.
  • Just wanted to add to Nancy’s tip:  If you want to buy some plastic shoe boxes, Dollar Tree stores have them all the time. I have some that I use for storing ribbons, trims, baby food jars and pill bottles filled with small things like buttons, silk flowers and leaves I pull from stems (I have a different box for each color flower or ribbon so it’s easy to find what I need). They are stacked on shelves on my basement wall. Some of my boxes are over 12 years old and have held up really well.Karlene-Frances
  • I may be running against the deadline, since I am in CA.
    My tip is to revisit your old craft magazines when you have time.  We tend to drop older things in an effort to keep up with whats the new fad.  I reread an article by Nancy Curry, using scraps of paper, fabric, fiber, charms, etc to weave a lovely piece of art.  Now I will think about those little strips, as they do not have to be the same size!
  • I’ve used toothpicks to apply  tiny drops of glue, but the long toothpicks used in restaurants to hold together big sandwiches are better than ordinary clean-your-teeth toothpicks and are multifunctional. I bought a huge pack (1000 picks was the only size) of them in a party store. Their long size makes them easy to hold, and they are sturdy enough to stir small jars of paint. I also use them to hold down paper when I’m heat embossing. They have become some of my favorite “tools” in my studio.Elinor
  • If you are like me, I need pockets inside my blank journals & day planners to keep notes, business cards, coupons, bits of paper, etc. that I usually just tuck inside the page. If you have a journal with blank pages, fold up the bottom right corner to meet the spine (or spiral binding). Glue the edge down with double stick tape. Then glue that folded page to the page behind it. You now have a pocket to insert your cards, tags, bits of ephemera. Stamp it, decorate, embellish.Inside your day planner, take a new or used envelope the size of your journal cover and seal the flap. Then cut one side of the envelope at an angle to create an opening. Stamp the envelope & decorate. Glue the envelope inside the front cover or back cover. You have a inside pocket to tuck in business cards & notes.Enjoy……spring is on its way.
  • This is a money saving tip, for economically priced colored paper.
    Please share your uses, and add them to the list.

    This is a very economical paper and usually most craft stores sell it in multicolor packets, and some single color packs, in the kid art aisles Packets of many single colors are available in larger paper supply stores. Size: Usually 12″ by 9″ In any paper art, this is an excellent product. There are many colors.

    Background of framed focus points: The costlier card stock can be replaced.
    Easy to cut, and it is slightly thinner, for layering.
    It is softer paper, and tears well.
    Because it is softer, it will crush and rumple; perfect for altered art.
    Takes impression well in embossing devices
    In printers, easily used for text and graphics.
    May need trimming to fit the printer.
    Inks absorb easily in stamp use, and it takes embossing well.
    Spray or brush dimensional paint on this inexpensive paper.
    This paper’s absorbency is handy for adding the dimensional effects.
    Making paper? Add to the mix for color and texture.

  • If you have a Fiskars personal trimmer like mine (my trimmer has a round blade in an orange holder, not a tiny one in an orange square holder), it will have a black plastic “stick” in the place where the blade travels.  It’s called a blade guide.  If the trimmer starts to make bad cuts you might think the blade is dull but it’s not the blade it’s the guide!  So you turn it over to have a clean edge under the blade.  When you’ve used up all the clean edges, you need a new guide.  I’ve been replacing the guides in my trimmer for years and I’ve still got the same old blade in it.  Another tip on the same subject: the guide is not available in my area (Michael’s sells the trimmers but the blade guides they have are the wrong size for mine) so I went to a local plastics company and have them make the guides for me.  And the cost at Michael’s is $18 or so for one; I just bought 10 specially made ones for about $20 total.Diane Young, Victoria, BC
    Empress of the Universe
  • hi Stampers!
    If you are like me you like to send handmade birthday, graduation, anniversary cards. You can keep track of what to send with a recipe box and index cards. Write a month on each card then write the day and name of the people celebrating birthday’s, anniversaries and such. At the start of each month take out the appropriate index card and address all of your handmade cards. Be sure to mail them a couple of days before the event and you will never miss another birthday!
  • I like bling, and this is my favorite way to make a sparkly background. Stamp, computer-print, or use decorative paper with an all-over pattern in saturated colors. Run the paper through a Xyron machine with the print-side down, so the image is covered with adhesive. Alternatively, coat the paper evenly with embossing ink. Sprinkle it with Holographic embossing powder (Ranger) and heat emboss. The image will show through with a gorgeous sparkle.Elinor Stecker-Orel
  • Are most of your stamps wood-mounted?  Have you recently started increasing your purchase of acrylic stamps in those see-through containers from places like InkaDinkaDoo and others?  Have you been putting them in drawers to store them because you want to keep them in the envelope they came in?  Is your drawer getting full (like mine)?  Here’s what I just did with mine.
    Did your craft room start out as a bedroom?  Does the door to the room open towards your closet?  If it does, then you can do what I did.  That blank space behind the door that is the wall the closet is on, is hollow and fairly thick.  You can put nails in the wall, leaving enough out to hang your packages of acrylic stamps and you can get quite a few on each nail.  To make sure you don’t have the nail out too far, just open the door all the way to make sure it doesn’t hit any of the nails.  I have now converted that empty space into a wonderful way to store my acrylics.
    But I’m also the type that converts that empty hallway into my family gallery with photos of all ages as you walk down the hall……
    (And by the way, I painted my craft room a bright yellow, sponged it in white and then sponged again with a white/yellow mixture to tone it down a little so it’s nice and cheerful)
  • When stamping on glossy paper make sure your ink is dry.  Either use a heat gun or turn over and carefully blow on paper.     Nanette
  • I’m sure many of you already know this but I just discovered it this last week when I needed a “black” staple but I only had red, green and blue. So I just grabbed my black Sharpie and colored a few “silver” staples with it and it worked great! Now I know I can have any color of staple I want!! Rubber Hugs from AZ, USA Sharon M
  • If you are stamping on an acrylic paint background, you can use a Sharpie to help fill in areas that didn’t stamp well. Here is an
  • Hi Everyone, Remember making crayon resists in school? We would draw pictures with crayons and then paint over the paper with watercolors. The wax crayon would ‘resist’ the paint and the effect was always a surprise. We can create resists using a Versa Mark resist pad or Ranger’s Clear Resist ink pad. There are also generic resist pads available at your local craft store. The technique is simple, quick, and always gives a serendipitous result. Choose images that fit the format you are using. Stamp the images using the clear resist ink. Heat set the ink. Using a piece of felt, cotton ball, or cosmetic sponge in a swirling motion, add color (dye or pigment). The stamped image will appear as if by magic. Heat set the ink if you used pigment ink. A second resist technique that has a WOW factor is done with clear embossing powder. Stamp the image using pigment ink and heat set with clear embossing powder. Swirl color onto the blank areas using the cotton ball, felt, or cosmetic sponge. Heat the embossed areas to remove excess ink from the embossed lines. Note: Use a pinch clothespin to hold whatever dabber you choose and your fingers will be protected from ink stains. — Happy stamping, Annette “:O)
  • For my Thursday tip I decided to cover a couple of ideas for mailing cards with “bumps”.
    I’ve received suggestions from others about turning the card inside out so any “bumps” are on the inside and less apt to get caught in the big card-eating machine at the Post Office and chewed to pieces.
    Another suggestion was to turn it inside out and put a little bubble wrap in with it to protect any raised items.
    A third suggestion was to use a ring of cardboard (but that adds weight that might put your card into another price-range on stamps).
    A fourth suggestion was a foam ring
    And the last one I thought of was to take bubble wrap and cut a hole in the center large enough to go around the area you want to protect.  I made the bubble wrap large enough to wrap around the card so I could tape it closed in the back so it would stay put.
  • I made a Punch-In card for the Black and White Mingle Annette is Hosting so I’ll test this last theory now with it going in the mail to her yesterday.  I had some raised carnation flowers that really look cool but wouldn’t look very good flattened.  So we’ll give it the “smoke test”.  Do you all know what the “smoke test” means?  To those of you in other countries, it’s generally what electricians or people who work with the mechanics of electronics say when they first plug in something they’ve fixed.  If it smokes, it’s still broken.  If it doesn’t smoke, it’s fixed – hence the “smoke test”. I even decided to risk it and not turn my card inside out but to put the bubble wrap (the larger bubbles) over it with the center bubbles removed.  This is the card I am mailing so you can see why I want to protect the flowers:
  • Here I am with yet another envelope tip:) I was in the craft store with a friend last week and I spied the new Martha Stewart scoring board with the little plastic envelope making guide in it. So I thought to myself I can do that with my scor-pal and a 45 degree drafting triangle. And I did, you can watch a video of me making the envelopes here. is how to make envelopes with a scor-pal:
    1. Cut a square or paper (8″-11″ for most envies)
    2. Place the plastic triangle (office supply stores in the drafting section) in the upper left of scor-pal (see diagram)
    3. Line you paper square so it is against the triangle and the left corner is touching the edge of the scor-pal.
    4. Look at my cheat sheet to determine where to score your envelope. Be sure you score the opposite sides the same, like score the left and right at 3″, and the top and bottom at 4″ (The video will really help you visualize this)
    5. Trim off the little triangles made by the score lines on each edge of the envelope.
    6. Fold on the scores and adhere.

    You guys get to see this video first! I will post it on my blog tomorrow:) I hope you find it useful, I sure do, you know how I love my envelopes!


  • When you’re looking for a text for some background, don’t overlook those little notes that people have sent you on the inside of a greeting card … their handwriting may be just the bit you need to give the look of something hand-written.  If you’re working in collage, their handwriting could be mostly covered with other embellishments, giving just a hint …
  • Hi Stampers!
    Right now Copics are all the rage and so it the airbrush system they sell to use with it. I am WAAAY to cheap to hook my markers up to air and dry them out but I have an airbrush and alcohol ink so I put a couple drops of ink with some denatured alcohol in my airbrush mixing cup and sprayed the smoothest background for a card! (I hadn’t dug my airbrush out since before my kids were born, I’m so glad it still works) I wanted to use the alcohol ink because I was spraying on top of a dye ink and I did not want it to run or buckle my paper (Alcohol will not buckle it)If you don’t have an airbrush you can get a mouth atomizer for a couple of bucks at an art supply store. It is like 2 metal straws connected at an angle. You dip the bottom in a cup of paint and blow (don’t suck) through the other end and it will spray the color where you point it! Very cool!

    Also I there is the Stampin Up color spritzer tool and you can remove the inner barrel on the marker if you want to use it with larger markers as I did to use it with my refillable Elmer’s paintastick paint brushes. The cool thing there is that the Elmer’s pens are filled with watercolor and cheap too! you can buy them in the kids art section of a craft store (with a 40% off coupon of course) or even wal-mart! You just squeeze the bulb on the tool to spray the color! Also you can get blendy pens (Also in the kids section of the craft store) and there is a simaler tool included in the kit, it will only work with the markers that come with t though. Belevie me, I raided my kids art supply stash so I know:)

  • If you have a black background and want to stamp something on it because it looks too plain, just sponge it with white pigment ink and stamp your image in black over it for a subtle look then dip it in clear embossing powder and heat set it.And another tip. If you have some old embossing powder with glitter in it that doesn’t work very well and you’re thinking of tossing it, I found if you dip your card stock in the embossing powder (without any versamark, ink or anything), and then heat set the paper, the paper will have a shimmery glittery look to it. I just did it with cream colored paper and some bad Egyptian gold with glitter in it and the paper looks like the really pricey stuff!And another tip… If you buy unmounted stamps and don’t keep them in their original packing or you bought them at a Rubber Stamp Convention (like I always do) write on the BACK of the stamp what company made it if keeping unmounted without foam or write it on the side of the wood so when others ask where you got that beautiful stamp – you know.
  • Since I have been making Cards for the Troops I have been relying heavily on card sketches to keep me moving on making the kits. And since I like to travel to the scrapbook store to work occasionally, I like my sketches to be portable. Light bulb moment when I realized that the faux postage stamp I had gotten years ago was perfect for card sketches. I got a journal and started stamping the postage rectangle shape onto the pages. Now when I see an idea I like or come up with one of my own, I can sketch it into my card “template” and it’s ready for me to use.
    I’ll be converting the OSA sketches next so I have them to work off of when I am creating too. I’ll just make a section in my journal for OSA card sketches.
    You could divide a journal up into many sections to include cards, scrapbook layouts, collages. You can use postage or square or rectangular, even circles and ovals in outline or frame stamps.
    Don’t forget to look at your supplies and tools with a different view point and see what you can re-purpose and re-use.
    Big Hugs,
  • The tip today came from a remake of a room on television. But, I think it would be great for all the snaps, etc., that you can put in little tins — She covered a board with a magnetic surface and then used magnetic cans – or cans that would stick to a magnet — and there were rows and rows that you put on a board, ready to see right into the lid and pick off the board, open and get your supplies out. The original tip was putting spices up to use on the homemaker’s show.
    Another tip I saw recently (can’t remember where or when, but recently, or it would have slipped my mind) was to put magnetic strips (3 or 4 vertically) on a cupboard door — and you could store your nestabilities all together in a group on the strips (eg. all the ovals in a set would go together, etc.). Again, you could use a magnetic board of some sort and put it in a binder? Just a thought. But it might stick to itself, so maybe not.
    Okay, that’s it — two tips that I got from other sources. Have a great day.
    Sharon in Michigan
  • Adding to Sharon’s excellent suggestion re nestabilities.
    I got a clipboard at the $Store, put some magnetic strips on it, and that’s how I store my nestabilites -on clipboards. Well, one clipboard, cause I only have two sets (yet).
    Judy H.
  • guess this isn’t really a stamping tip, but something that would be very helpful I am sure.  When you write saying that you received a card, or have a question for one of us named Bonnie, Mary, Sandy etc could you include a last name initial?  Maybe it is just me, but Sometimes I don’t remember if I sent something and too embarrased to ask.  Hey, I’m old you know.  Just wait, someday you will get like this. LOL  Just a thought.
    Bonnie W.
  • If you are making a card using white cardstock and then scanning it, the white gets lost in the background, By putting a large piece of black cardstock behind the card when scanning — will make the card look better.
  • Hello Stamping friends!
    I have 2 tips for you today:) the first is a couple (more) ways to make quick custom envelopes:If you have an electronic die cutter like a Cricut that you can hook to your computer you can make custom envelopes in seconds simply by dragging 2 rounded rectangles, one horizontal, one vertical, and overlapping them. The rectangle in the center where they overlap will be the size of the envelope. Be sure you weld each of the shapes so the machine will just cut the outline. I think this will work with other machines too such as pazzles, craft robo etc, all you need is 2 rectangles! I have attached a picture of what I mean and If you want my cutting files I have .cut files for cricut design studio users and scut files for scal users free on my blog. I also like to use my score pal to make quick envies. Place a sheet of paper face up on the score pal and lay your card you need and envie for in the center, score to the left and right of the card then turn the paper and score on the other two sides. Cut away the corner rectangles (use the score marks as guides) then use a corner rounder on the edges for a polished look. you can trim down the top flap with a pretty punch or deco scissors for a bit of flair!
  • Easy ATCs
    Do you know you can get 10 atc blanks for a sheet of cardstock? Cut your paper line this: Put your paper in the paper trimmer so the 11″ side is line up to the blade and cut two 2.5″ x11″ strips and one 3.5″x11 strip. cut four 2.5″ sections from the 3.5″ strip and three 3.5″ sections from each 2.5″ strip. You will get a few bits of extra paper leftover. I made a sheet of ATC backs that you can print on a sheet of cardstock and cut apart then decorate the flip-side and they are free as well on my blog. I will attach a photo of this as well:)
    Happy crafting
    Barb K
    Mesa, AZ
  • What NOT to do…..Do Not use your Fiskars 12″ paper cutter to cut sandpaper!  It ruins your new blade…..experience talking here!
    But, since I ruined my new blade I got really curious to see the damage to the blade, so I looked at it with a magnifying glass.  What I discovered is that the blade has 2 parts, so I thought….hmmmm….what would happen if I turned the blade around.  So, I turned it around and now my blade works like new!!!!!  Do you know what this means?  It means that you can get double the life out of your cutting blades, by turning them around when one side gets bad.
    Isn’t that fantastic!  I was overjoyed to find this out, because this is a 2 fold solution.  It is kind of like less waste and helps when you can’t afford to buy the blades.
    I hope this is valuable to someone besides me!

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