These ideas aren't revolutionary, by any means, but if you're new to stamping (or you just wanted to try a new way of doing somethin') than they might be useful to you:
Of course, since I'm an embossferatu, three of these have to involve embossing:
1. Heat Embossing: I love to emboss with clear embossing powder. It takes some of the fear out of messing up. My favourite is a dark colour of ink (like black, navy, brown...) with clear e.p. I keep a tray of clear e.p. handy at all times. :O) You can get a nice subtle look with White craft ink/Silver Encore ink & clear embossing powder too. (Love those colours with background stamps & flourishes.)
2. Heat embossing with Stazon ink: If you work quickly, you can heat emboss Stazon. It gives you delightfully fine detail. I like to use Black Stazon & hit it with clear embossing powder, but colours are fun too. :O)
3. Emboss & watercolour: If you're intimidated by staying in the lines like me, then you might like embossing your images and then colouring them. The embossing holds the colour in. It lets you do wet into wet techniques without bleeding too: paint on Ink wash (ink & water) and go back in with darker ink (or paint, or a waterbased marker)
4. Foolproof sentiments: I am a fool when it comes to adding sentiments; I find it tortuously hard! But one trick is to:
- Stamp the sentiment on separate paper repeatedly
- Pick your fave
- Add it to your design (instead of stamping directly on your project.)
5. Stamp multiple images at one time:
Stamp a few images, Colour & pick your favourite: With all the time that cardmaking takes, I've stopped worrying about wasting paper. I use my scraps when I can, but I'm not so strictly conservative anymore. One trick I like to use is to:
- Stamp a few images
- Colour them different colours/different ways
- Pick ay fave to use or to cut out.
Another version of multiple image stamping, Stamp Cut & Colour later when needed:
This is a handy dandy idea that I learned from Dee: here. (Found thanks to Allison.) :O) I like to emboss images, cut 'em out & save them to colour when I need 'em. It's fun to stamp on paper that you've printed out with black & white text or something too. (You can add any colour you want.) Here's an example.
6. Huck it out!: (I know, I'm a nut; what kind of trick is this???) But it's a good one honest! if I don't like it, I huck it in the circular filing cabinet. Of course, I'm not a perfect stamper and I post all of the cards I make so they're not all card of the week, but you should see some of the ugly stuff I chuck out. I'm getting to the point where I'm not afraid to toss it if it rubs me the wrong way. ;O) If you don't like it and you can't bring yourself to toss it, maybe save it for later.
7. Layer mediums: I love to layer bright marker and then glitter and lacquer... My new fave is layering marker with H2Os/pearlescent paints on top. Maria's brilliant idea! It's fun to layer pastels over colour too... Gesso over colour & sand it...
8. Test out different coloured/shaped mats on a project: I really struggle with layouts, but part of worrying less about waste is that I'm now letting myself cut out & experiment with different colours and shapes of mats before I glue everything down. I can always use the rejects later for another card.
9. Edge images or mats in stuff: My favourite edging trick is to just edge in a black marker (wee tutorial here.) Marker edging can give you depth and frame your images without extra layers. Of course, you can also edge in coloured marker. It's neat to use a waterbrush to smudge water-based marker. You can even water down ink and brush it on the edges. It saves bulky paper mats and can look nifty.
10. Go Big or Go Home: hehehe. I am learning not to be afraid to go BIG. A 6x6 inch card gives you room for lots of details. If you're working with standard A2 size cards (4 2/8 x 5 4/8 inches) you might like to try the freedom of a bigger canvas. Has anyone ever made a 12 x 12 card? LOL. :O)
11. Notice what you might be relying on style-wise & forbid yourself to use it for a while: I'm SO bad at this, but I want to get better. ;O) Lately, I've been on a shameless binge of square cards, and am making myself use another style (for at least a week) heehee. Challenges are great for that (I need to do more of those!)
12. Use art supplies: As you well know--from all my blabbering about it ;o)--Gesso is the love of my stampin' life, but I am thinkin' I need to break out some watercolour paints and other fancies. :O)
13. Make your own shape or your own template... I dunno if this counts as a tip, but homemade templates are so fun to use, so why not go for it? Perfection is overated anyhow, so they don't have to be flawless (mine sure aren't, but it's neato to make 'em.) I'm workin' on some Winter templates that involve snow for that new Paper Garden Projects kit...shhhh it's a secret! heehee ;o)
14. Print or Scan & print patterns on cardstock from your computer: I love to use text and maps and butterflies & stuff... You can scan patterns from fabrics, wrapping papers, vintage papers or postcards. You can scan pages of books, mags, newspaper..with text or pictures... Christi has generously shared this great vintage flickr collection.
15. Sewing on paper: I can't get enough of stitching on paper (faux or real) I like knots & putting beads on sewing lately.