Posts in the ‘Tips and Techniques’ Category

Using Up Old Papers

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

What do you do with old patterned paper? I have tons of retired Close To My Heart patterned papers, and they just sit around taking up space. There has to be a way to make use of these. Aha! My envelope templates! CTMH is also retiring the envelope tracing templates this year :( With one of the templates, I can squeeze 4 envelopes out of one 12″ x 12″ sheet. When a virus struck, I traced and cut a ton while sniffling in front of the television:

Tons of Envelopes

Woooo yeah! Now all I need to do is make little cards to put in these. The only problem is, I still have a ton of old retired patterned paper. Anyone want some cute little envelopes?

And Kit says, “I’d lie somewhere else, but your desk is so messy, this is the only spot I could find.”
Kit on desk 2

Acrylic Stamp Slicing Trick

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

I got some new stuff on Saturday! I went to the local Stamping Expo, and just had to get these things:

Flowering Friends B

I just grabbed some retired paper, some ink, and a sponge, and soon had this:

Flowering Friends C

Nice, but so plain! I took out a retired CTMH set and stamped “thank you” in the middle of the flower, and I wanted to use “so very much!” around the outside. BUT, “so very much!” was all on one long line, and I wanted it broken into two lines.

The solution: Take out your Exacto knife and carefully slice apart the words between “very” and “much!”. Since it is acrylic, now you can arrange them on the block in two different ways! I placed one over the other and stamped, but I can always put them side by side if I feel like it. Here’s the final product. My scanner really washed out the sponging:


Stamp sets: Flowering Friends (Close To My Heart), Flower Patch (Three Bugs In A Rug(/a>)
Inks: Breeze, Cocoa, Clover Meadow (
Close To My Heart)
Papers: Cocoa Cafe (Close To My Heart)

And for all the Kit & Jax fans out there, here is Kit, standing guard over my scissors. Good dog, good dog!

Kit stands watch

Using Up Scraps – Making Striped Paper

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

I love Chocolate! So it just naturally follows that I love Chocolate colored cardstock. The problem with using a color so much is, you end up with a ton of scraps that you just can’t throw out because it’s a color you adore. This is what I have accumulated:

Scraps 1

While staring at this mess, I thought of an old quilting trick that might work here. Pick strips of scraps in coordinating colors, then glue them down side by side on a larger piece of cardstock. I used Colonial White as the base, because it is not as heavy as the White Daisy cardstock. None of the base cardstock color should show through:

Scraps 2

Once you’ve got them nicely glued down, cut off strips to make your striped paper:

scraps 3

Next, I wanted to make a card base. First I tried stamping with Chocolate:

scraps 4

Ah, I don’t think so. So next I tried Orange and Bubblegum:

scraps 5

Interesting, but no. Then I tried to use a little bit of all three:

scraps 6

Eureka! Add a focal point and a few extras, and ta daaaa:


All items from Close To My Heart unless stated otherwise.
Stamp sets: Solos 2, Solos 7, Make My Day, Simple Pleasures
Inks: Bubblegum, Orange, Chocolate
Papers: Bubblegum, Orange, Chocolate cardstock
Die cuts: Scallop circle punch (Marvy Uchida), tag (QuicKutz)

And now my scrap pile looks like this:

scraps 8

Aaaaa! I didn’t even make a dent, lol!

Baroque Alphabet Card and Heat Embossing Tip

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

My collection of stamps falls mostly in the “cute” category. I have tried to venture into the more “elegant” styles, but usually have trouble with it. Since I am on a heat embossing streak, I needed to try and silver emboss the Baroque Alphabet. The first time I tried heat embossing the “J”, it didn’t turn out so good:

Messy Embossing

What a mess! Stray powder everywhere. It even got in between the design in the stamp, and it turned into a messy blob.

Then I remembered the baby powder I’ve kept. Just smooth a tiny little bit over the cardstock before stamping, then stamp, sprinkle, and heat as usual. This will keep the stray bits of embossing powder from sticking to your cardstock in places where you don’t want it to stick. The final result:

Baroque Alphabet 1

All products from Close To My Heart:
Stamp sets: Baroque Alphabet, Elegant Floral
Inks: Moonstruck, Clear embossing
Paper: Moonstruck, Grey Wool, White Daisy cardstock
Other: White grosgrain ribbon, Silver embossing powder

Thanks to my friend Lisa who showed me this great design!

Emerging Color Attempt No. 1

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

I had a request at my last card club meeting to do heat embossing. I’ve seen emerging color cards, but not the instructions. This is my guess as to how it’s actually done.

Step 1: Do a little random stamping.
Emerging Color 1

Step 2: Clear emboss an image over it, then use a sponge or rubber brayer with a darker color ink over the piece.
Emerging Color 2

Step 2 again: The Crystal Blue was too dark, so I redid steps 1 and 2 with Heavenly Blue instead (bottom). I liked that one the best, so I trimmed it to use on a card.
Emerging Color 3

Step 3: Trim and put on my card. I like the colors, but it looks too plain.
Emerging Color 4

Step 4: Jazz up the backgroud a bit with tone-on-tone stamping.
Emerging Color 5

Step 5: Embellish, and I’m done!
Flutter 03

All items from Close To My Heart:
Stamp sets: Flutter, Delight In Everything, Speckled Backgrounds
Inks: Garden Green, Hollyhock, Blush, Heavenly Blue
Papers: Garden Green, Chocolate, Desert Sand cardstock
Other: Gold eyelets, clear detail embossing powder and heat gun, sponge

If anyone has used this technique or has found other samples on the web, please link in the comments. I’m anxious to see other samples!

Create Your Own Background Stamp Using Acrylic Stamps

Monday, June 18th, 2007

It has occurred to me that there are some out there that have never used acrylic stamps. They are the best! (Here comes the shameless plug) Close To My Heart has a ton of terrific stamps, and you can even purchase them from my online site at Stamping Spot. First, the setup:


I’ve got my stamp set (Smitten by Close To My Heart), acrylic block, ink, and paper. Don’t forget to cover your workspace so you don’t get ink on the table, and the Double Scrubber cleaning pad is handy for any accidents! Next, select the stamps you want to make a background out of, and peel them off the backing sheet.


Arrange them how you’d like on a good-sized acrylic block.


Here, I’m using a 3″x3″ block, and I’ve arranged the hearts in a neat square. You could also go for a more “random” look by arranging them at all angles.


Then just stamp your image on the cardstock. Since you can see through the block and the acrylic stamp, you can easily stamp straight lines of images. If you have a “random” type background stamp, turn the block 90 degrees each time you stamp, for a more random look. If you let the image go “off the edges”, it makes the pattern look more continuous. Here’s my finished card:


So easy! Especially since you can see where you’re stamping. That’s the beauty of using acrylics!! Have you ever used acrylic stamps to create your own background stamp? Please share in the comments!

I Love the Flutter stamp set!

Monday, April 9th, 2007

These solid stamps are perfect for tissue inking. Ink the entire stamp with Buttercup, then dab a tissue in Hollyhock, then on the stamp. Repeat with Lilac Mist. Here’s the result:


I wanted a striped bottom border, so I used different stamps from Ritzy Ribbon to try and make a border I liked:


If you missed how this all started, click here

Tomorrow, the final stage: putting it all together.