Thursday Tips (6)

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

  • Tip} I know you all love to get into lots of swaps}}}}}  when I get into more than 1 swap  here is what I do and I don’t for get to play after signing UP I high- light  the swap I want to play in and then I past it to a new E-mail and print  one , to put on my work space and e-mail one to my self so I don’t 4-get it and don’t 4-get to tell your self what group your playing this swap in….
  • Hi Everyone,
    Paper punches are great tools when creating art.  Take a second look at your punches and with a little imagination, circles become ladybugs (see scan), angel wings, the number 8, caterpillars, and so on.See what you else besides the usual dies you can create from punches you own.   Can you make dragonfly wings from a flower punch or clown feet  from a heart punch?  Give it a try and send us scans.
    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)
  • One tip that I’ve always found invaluable is to stamp your image on a piece of acetate or on the imaging sheet of your stamp positioner before you stamp it on your project. You can give the image a “test run” to make sure that you’re going to like it there before you permanently place it there. Has saved me the aggravation of having to redo the piece I’m working on.
    Hope this is helpful!
  • your bugs made with your punches. Try using fine gauge wire color it with Sharpies and curl with needle nose pliers.
    big hug, Nancy
  • This tip is one I have used for years.  When I buy an unmounted stamp plate “from one of our vendors” I keep a small stiff paint brush, & some waxed paper  sprinkled with baby powder on it at my work table.  When I adhere the stamp to the EZmount or whatever mount I am using & have trimmed them, I brush the edges with baby powder.  This takes away the sticky edges, forever!
    Hugs, Pat Smith
  • Even though I actually enjoy being a little off-kilter and sometimes outright contrary, I often find myself coloring outside the lines by mistake.  This seems to happen to me more with red Copics and with any medium that can’t easily be erased. I’ve even formulated a new theorem:  The probability of making an ugly mistake will be inversely proportional to the ease of erasing it.So, if you have a tendency to color outside the lines when you don’t mean to,  just redraw the lines!  If your mistake is a small one, you can usually draw another line around it that won’t even be noticed by anyone else. Take a good look at your whole image and imagine an extra line outside your mistake.  If it doesn’t make you gasp, fix it!  One of the best investments you can make for your art room is a microtip marker with permanent black ink.    Prismacolor (Fine Line Marker) has a great set with different size tips – you can draw a line almost as fine as an eyelash with the smallest one.  Faber Castell (Pitt Artist Pens) makes some of the most versatile sets out there for a reasonable price.  You can usually find these in the art department at your Michaels or AC Moore stores.  They are sold in “pocket protector” type packaging, and usually cost between $15 and 20 for a set.  Use your coupons to buy a set – and you will be surprised how many times you will reach for them – to draw in a line that didn’t print or correct mistakes or just add something extra.
  • This will probably make you all laugh but think about it. I am always on the look out for ways to make my stamping area more tidy. I was at my bil last weekend and saw this in his kitchen. It was the cardboard carrier that a six pack of bottled beer comes in. I asked if I could have it and of course he said fine. I brought it home and secured the bottom with tape. Then covered it with paper to get rid of the beer logo. I used wall paper and glue and it came out quite nice. It now houses my different types of marking pens.
    Hope this helps someone.
    big hugs, Nancy
  • A while ago Mary Waspe recommended using tea tree oil for removing gunk from your scissors.  I tried it and it worked like a charm.
    Later I happened to be using some alcohol inks and I managed to get some on my laminate topped table.  With nothing to lose I dabbed a few drops of tea tree oil on a paper towel and in no time at all it had cleaned up the mess beautifully.  That led me to seeing what would happen if I used tea tree instead of mixative with the inks.  I mixed the tea tree oil with 3 colours and silver and applied the colours to both plain text paper and glossy paper and it worked really well.  What I found was that on the glossy the silver needs to be given more time to dry but on text paper it soaks into the paper and is fixed.  I’m really pleased to know my alcohol inks aren’t limited to glossy paper.   And it could be they weren’t before I had never heard of anyone using them on text paper.
  • If you need to create something looking like barbed wire for a background… (esp if you need a fence or something on your card or scrapbook page) you can get this effect with a brayer;Take some rubber bands, cut then in 1/2 and tie in knots around your brayer roller part. Do this to fill up the brayer leaving some spaces in between. Take the brayer and roll it on your stamp pad, inking it up.. Grey looks like real barbed wire.. Roll it onto paper from one side to the other, re-ink and repeat if needing another row. The image will look like barbed wire because of the little knots in the cut rubber bands.This actually gives a very nice effect for a background that you can then stamp on with more solid images in darker colors, or layer some washi papers and add a stamped image on top.–
    Connie Smith, SR Supv SU Demonstratorheers, Linda B.
  • Hi stampers:
    Did you know that you can erase permanent marker like Copic, Prismacolor, Bic or Sharpies? WEll, you can! Simply use a clear blender (I like the clear copic chisel end for this) and color over the mistake. For instance if you are coloring a leaf and you colored outside the lines simply color over your mistake up to the stamped line and it will push the ink back where it belongs. Nifty huh?BTW clear ink is nothing more than denatured alcohol, get a quart for $5 at Wal-Mart (or pay $7 for 2 ounces of copic clear ink) I can’t tell the difference;)

    After reading Bonnie Belk’s tip I had to share. Have a great day!

  • Lindsay is right – the blender fluid is your eraser for Copics.  Having already had to refill my blender pen, I can attest to its effectiveness.  And I do like the chisel tip end of the marker for erasing.  It puts the ink right where you want it.  I can’t say it always works for me on the reds and even some purples.  Even though most of the color will be removed, I can usually still see a faint tint of red on my paper.  If I see it, I can’t ignore it!  Also, if you used an ink that isn’t compatible with the markers and embossed over it to make it work, any place that wasn’t covered with powder (or the powder didn’t melt) will be found by your Copics!  Your colors will have gray highlights.  Sometimes you can add more gray and make it look like you had a very clever coloring plan.  But other times – NOT!If we didn’t make mistakes, we wouldn’t know nearly as much!
  • distressing the edge of a card with a sponge.. hold the card and sponge OFF the edge to give it a very soft effect… If you lay the card on the table and sponge,  wiping in towards the card instead of away, you will get too much ink on the edges..–
    Connie Smith
  • Just a couple of odds and ends I found in my noggin this morning..:O)
    Use repositional bookcover film as a stamping mask. It is see-through, re-usable, wipes off and thus longer lasting than paper masks.Stretch cartridge or smooth drawing paper on an uncoated drawing board to do water colour techniques,wet techniques etc. This is cheaper than watercolour paper and much lighter to post. It does take a little preparation tough.

    Keep a few small scraps of card/paper whilst you are working next to you. When you want to apply ink, embossing powder, markers etc for background/main image application; test on your scrap of cardstock. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out how you thought it would. Last night, (yes I made an oriental card!!!!!), I test checked a piece using my ancient gold EP. Guess what? The powder had gone off and turned a yucky green/brown sludge. If I had used it immediately on my main image I would have ruined it.

    If your layering doesn’t line up but the measurements show it is okay, chesck it with a set-square..sometimes your paper slips everso slightly in the cutter and you end up with a slight trapezium rather than a rectangle or square. Drives me bonkers! :O)

    Now my noggin is devoid of anything that may cause it to think, I shall sign off and dress by little boy….:O)


  • My tips are for glitter.a) You can sprinkle glitter on double sided tape to make quick glittery panels or lines on your cards.b) If you use Wide double sided tape, your can sprinkle glitter on them and then cut them to make peel off letters or sparkly labels.c) Work on a large sheet of paper when working with glitter so you an easily tip excess back into your glitter jar.d) I keep my glitter in a tupperware container and I just dip the item that has to be glittered into the container.  It will keep your work are glitter free.

    e) If you do get glitter all over your hands, face and work area — use baby wipes.


  • Hi Everyone,As you tidy up your studio and sort papers and cardstock, think of ways to use up those bits and pieces of trimmings.  Trimmings are paid for, so using them is a better choice than tossing them in the trash and it saves money, too.Think ahead to birthdays, anniversaries, December holidays and baby showers and create bookmarks and gift tags for specific people and events.   Better yet, create a bookmark that can be used as a package name tag and reused as a bookmark once the gift is opened.Attached is a page of templates from, but any punched shape or shapes cut from a die cut product such as Nestabilities can be used as a bookmark, so those oddly-shaped bits of cardstock can be put to good use and not wasted.Cut or punch the bookmark and stamp it.  You may wish to stamp both sides, each with its own theme, or leave it blank.


    Take a look at the template sample and notice the “v” cut near the top of some of the templates that allows the page to be inserted.

    Some bookmarks have tassels at the top, but tassels are optional.  How many times have you used a torn scrap of paper to mark a page?  A simple shape with or without a tassel will function well as a bookmark.

    Make sets of smaller bookmarks (perhaps ATC size) for stamping friends and cooks.  Stampers and cooks read magazines and cookbooks and mark several pages to be viewed at a later time.  Stamping a sheet of cardstock and coloring it, then cutting it into rectangles or punching out a variety of shapes to give as sets will tickle anyone who enjoys art.

    Do make some bookmarks and send us scans.  We would love to see them and you will help inspire us, too.
    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)

  • This tip is a little along the lines of Annette’s tip regarding using leftover items.  Only mine has to do with leftover pieces of paper strips.  Those thin things we all cut off to make our upper layers on the card a little smaller.  Or those too small to stamp on or to thin.  I save them in zip lock bags and then generally in the Winter just before January I start making backgrounds with them.  Now is the time to drag those pieces out and join the Faux Quilting Mingle.  When I first read the title of that Mingle, I didn’t want to do it until I went and looked at her samples and saw it was what I use all my leftover pieces for.  So, while I’m busy putting together my background for the Mingle, I’m adding the strips to my paper while watching a little TV with the big guy.Here are my latest examples of how they look.  Because there are so many colors on them, so many card stock colors will go with them and the ink you use to color your image will be brought out by the shades in the background.You can see my examples here:
  • I use a power strip on my work table for the heat gun, lights, glue gun, etc.  I have found that my cat has gone in and stepped on the off/on switch a time or two, and I have had a fire hazard if the guns are not turned off or unplugged.  Nothing like a hot glue stick pouring hot glue all over your table~  Now for safety I always unplug anything that I normally have going during my play time.
  • adding to Margo’s comments, these left-over strips can also be used for iris folding.  I keep separate color family strips together in plastic baggies; and then store all of the filled baggies in a separate plastic shoebox-sized container.Barb I
  • Or those too small to stamp on or to thin.  I save them in zip lock bags and then generally in the Winter just before January I start making backgrounds with them.  Now is the time to drag those pieces out and join the Faux Quilting Mingle.  When I first read the title of that Mingle, I didn’t want to do it until I went and looked at her samples and saw it was what I use all my leftover pieces for.’This technique is also called Bargello.  HTH.Cath
  • always forget my tips before Thursday rolls around so this time I put them in a draft email and saved it so I could get it in early. Here goes:1.  I like to place a large sheet of white paper on my crafting table to work on. Not only does it protect the table top but it provides an immediately accessible scrap surface upon which to try out new stamps, markers, pencils, etc. I sometimes even use it to try out new techniques or sketch out new ideas. As one area of the paper is filled, I turn it around to a clean edge and continue working. The paper stays on my table until it is completely covered, back and front, corner to corner. In the process of using the paper, sometimes a random pattern or color scheme emerges that is beautiful enough to stand on it’s own as a piece of art or a background for a card. If I really like it, I’ll cut it out before changing to a fresh sheet and post it in my crafting room as inspiration. With this practice I have saved myself from making several serious crafting mistakes by working them out on my scrap paper first.2.  When I get a new crafting “toy” to play with, I start by putting it through it’s paces and seeing what it can do. Oftentimes the result of my efforts yields a pretty and/or interesting piece that can be used on a card or other project. Other times, when creating multiples of a card, I will make more decorative elements than I need. Yet other times, I will receive interesting bits and pieces as RAK’s or as prizes. I put all of these little treasures into a small drawer that I call RTU. That stands for Ready To Use. Whenever I want to craft something on the fly, I reach for my RTU’s first. Some of my favorite RTU’s? Leftover ATC’s and slender paper strips cut from other projects. The ATC’s provide a  great focal point for a card. I use the paper strips for creating border designs that I can later use on a card or other project.Always and All Ways,
    – Gitana, the Creative Diva
  • Hi Everyone,Anyone who has stamped for more than a year has attempted to stamp on something other than paper or cardstock.  The temptation is great to stamp anything and everything wood, glass, and plastic.  Fabric is no exception to the quest for more creative options.For those of you who are new to stamping on fabrics, you might want to consider using fabric inks for your first experiments.  Fabric inks do not bleed (run), so your images will remain crisp.  However,  dye inks can give the effect you wish to achieve if you want a softer, more subtle effect since dye inks, because of their nature, will bleed and blend.There are myriad choices of fabric inks in pads, markers, and jars.  Permaset, Speedball fabric ink, DecoFabric markers, Tsukineko All-Purpose Fabric Ink, Jacquard Inkjet Fabric Ink (print on 8.5″ x 11″ fabric sheets found at office supply stores), Dr. PH Martin’s, VersaCraft Fabric Ink (formerly Fabrico), Createx, and DecoArt are just a few of the manufacturers that offer fabric inks.  If you are reluctant to purchase a stamp pad just to use for fabrics, allay your concerns.  Fabric ink pads can be used on paper, too.  Some of them can also be used on wood, glass, and plastic.  Read the labelsFabric paints are also an option.  Both fabric inks and fabric paints come in hundreds of colors, but fabric paints can be fabric specific* where fabric inks can be used on more than just fabrics.  It may be more cost effective to invest in fabric inks rather than fabric paints unless you plan to use a lot of fabric paint.  Fabric paints can also dry up if stored for a long period, whereas ink pads usually do not dry up if stored with their lids secured.

    When using fabric paints, swipe a paintbrush with a wee dollop of paint on it across a piece of foil or a plastic picnic plate and ‘ink’ the image, then stamp.  Be sure to wash the image as soon as possible so the paint has no chance to dry on the rubber.  When stamping multiples, rest the image on a damp sponge on a plastic picnic plate to keep it moist so the paint cannot dry on the rubber.

    Fabric inks and fabric paints give similar effects and both offer pearlescent, metallic, florescent, and iridescent options.

    There are glittery paints that come in jars or spray cans.  Fabric glitter spray can be the final touch if you wish to make reflective Halloween costumes for trick-or-treaters or wish to dress up a fabric for evening wear.

    When choosing fabrics, grab your least favorite rag and practice.  Get a feel for the fabric, the inks/paints, and make your mistakes on something that matters not.  The item can still be used as a rag, but it will be a decorated rag.

    Smooth fabrics such as silk and cotton are excellent choices to stamp. 50/50 polyester/cotton blends are good, too.   Only wash the fabric before stamping if it is an item that will be worn or if it will be laundered.  If the fabric is going to be used on a greeting card or a lamp shade, there is no need to launder it unless the greeting card or lamp shade will be washed.

    Stabilize the fabric to be stamped with an embroidery hoop (with the right side face up inside the hoop) or tape the edges of the fabric to a piece of cardboard or a cookie sheet.  Be sure that the fabric is taut.

    Most directions read to heat set the inks/paints with a dry iron on medium to high heat. Be sure to sandwich the fabric between text-weight paper so the inks/paints do not stain your ironing board cover or your iron.  Other directions read to heat set in your clothes dryer.  Read the label, then decide.

    Canvas shoes, tote bags, canvas carryalls, sheets and pillow cases, tea towels, and guest towels can also be stamped!

    A project that is quick, easy and useful uses up fabrics left over from projects.  Recycle, repurpose, and reuse brown paper bags from the grocer.  Spritz the bag’s seams so they come loose and the bag can be flattened.  Use fusible webbing (fabric store) to iron fabric to the paper bag on both sides.  Use pinking shears when trimming off the borders so the fabric cannot fray.   Fiskars sells a pinking blade for their paper trimmers if you lack pinking shears.

    Stamp the outside fabric of the bag, then glue the bag back together and add cord or rope handles.  Gorilla glue and/or staples will secure the bag and hold the cord better than E6000.  Store the bags flat in the trunk of your car so they are handy when you grocery shop.

    Caveat: Read the label to see if the ink/paint can be dry cleaned.

    *Some fabric paints will adhere to other surfaces besides fabrics, but test the paints on other surfaces first to see how they respond.
    Happy stamping,
    Annette “:O)

  • Here is my tip for today, using small pieces – or leftovers – in your punches.If you want to punch out something and the paper is toooo small to get into the punch and you want to use that paper ..what do you do?No do not call …ghostbusters…hahaha…Just take a stripe of leftover paper or any paper you want, a bit larger than the piece of paper you want to use in the punch.Attach it with some adhesive to the piece you wanna/need to use and start punching.

    Voila.. you have the punch out item you wanted.

    Hope you understand my tip…it is sometimes hard to translate the Dutch in my mind into understandble English.
    Groetjes / Greetings

  • carrying the scraps thing a little further. . .It’s perfectly obvious, of course, but if you have scraps of paper you really like that are too small to save (especially hand decorated papers or failed images that didn’t work out) reach for some of your favorite punches and just punch out images for another day.  Some of my favorite ones are punched from oriental calligraphy scraps.  They look fantastic when you sponge a little color on them.  Save in small plastic bags by design if you’re organized, or in a separate box if you’re like me.  I have butterflies, birds, flowers, etc., even circles in some wonderful colors and designs all ready to go when I need them.__._,_.___
  • Flea market find jewelry boxes with the little drawers make great storage for embellishments or punch outs.
  • If you have some pesky glitter on stamps, etc that does not want to brush away easily, you can use scotch tape.  I have even used the repositional tape on my last dogs face, as she was always by my side when I stamped.
  • If you make swap cards ahead before you get a partner, designate ONEspot to put them until ready to mail. That will ensure they don’t get lost or misplaced. It also saves time searching for completed swaps and when you are unable to find them, remaking them.
    I speak from experience. One designated place and be diligent..
  • I don’t know how many of you have seen the “flowers” a lot of stampers have been making. I’ve seen all different kinds of instructions. But I make mine by an old method I learned a long time ago. These flowers take anywhere from 3-8 layers or more, depending on how full you want the flower.
    Most of the instructions say to crumple up the cardstock, of the “scallop circles ” or “punched flowers”.. But I have found any time you want to scrunch up card stock its much easier if you spritz the cardstock first with water so the paper crumples very easily.. Then crumple the pieces up and let them sit til they dry. They get NICE and stiff… making it easier to look like a many petaled flower. With the petals being very stiff with this method, it makes it easy to dip the edges in some liquid glue then in glitter.. or into some Shimmer paint, or spritz with the new smooch sprays and the flowers hold their shapes.I’ve included some pics of some of the ones I have made that show how the flowers keep their shape. I had one I had sprayed with Log cabin smooch spray (a brownish tone with gold highlights).. but apparently I didn’t take a picture of it. But I do have a pic of how the darker flowers look in the 3rd pic.

    Connie Smith, SR Supv SU Demonstrator

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