Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sneak Peek & my Top 15 Favourite Tricks...

Here's a wee sneak peek of somethin' I made with the new Winter Wonderland stamp kit from Paper Garden Projects (coming soon!) :O) Can't wait to show you these cute stamps!

my Top 15 Favourite Tricks(lately)

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:
  1. Stamp the sentiment on separate paper repeatedly
  2. Pick your fave
  3. Add it to your design (instead of stamping directly on your project.)
I'm really terrified of messing up cards with crookedly cut sentiments too (which I'm really good at making), :O) so I like to stamp 'em & then punch them instead of cutting them out.

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:
  1. Stamp a few images
  2. Colour them different colours/different ways
  3. Pick ay fave to use or to cut out.
No need to waste the extras; you can make card sets with them. Or you can use the multiple images to cut & layer on each other (...or cut them or punch them different ways to see if you want to try something unusual.) And if you like them all you have some for later.

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.

Well that is quite enough blabbin' at ya, I'm sure. :O)
May all your tricks be treats!

and I still have LOTs to learn, so I'd lurve to know...
...What are your favourite tricks?


Etha said...

what a great list!! One of my favs right now is to use shimmer chalk. You really don't need to stay in the lines because it looks great just dabbed over something. then if you want to remove a spot, just wipe over it with your finger. Once you're done give it a quick spritz with a fixative so that it stays that way.
Gosh I love the little preview, is that the CUTEST image or what!!

Elena said...

Thank you Mel, for you treasure hints! That really is helpful! I am having a hard time coloring perfect. Thank you to your advice, I will try to emboss image. Thank you again! You are wonderful!!!

Shari said...

More wonderful tips! I did make a display board made from foam core as a card (24 x 36) for a graduation. My favourite tip is on vellum. There are 2 actually. 1st one - print on vellum and quickly add ep to emboss. Another one I found by accident. Stamp,cut petals on vellum and adhere with glue to the centers. For some reason, the glue curls or warps the petals slightly to give a 3D look. Also works GREAT with glue on center of punched vellum flowers.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, that is sooo stinkin' cute!! :)

Mada said...

Oh my Goodness! Mel, you rock big big big time girl! :)

I am trying so hard to learn more about stamping and find great (and easy?) ideas on how to use the supplies I have for now.
Your tricks are totally AWESOME and I have saved them all in a file on my PC so I have them ready anytime. :)

I am so grateful to you for this post. Thank you so much!

Many hugs,

Tiff said...

OMG... I thought I was the only nut that LOVED clear EP!!!! And, just so ya know, my hubby made a 6x12 Man-Card two nights! Not quite the 12x12 you were inquiring about, but close and just as gortesque ;)

Love the sneak peek!

Rabbit said...

Hi Mel,
Great post! My favorite trick of late is to print multiples and color them all in one shot. I use the ones I like and if I don't like the others I "huck" them, or save them for later use. So far, about half end up in the round file.

I tracked down the witch stamp that Paper Garden's sold out of. Thanks for the tip as to where to find it and thanks for the sneak peak of the winter kit...I'll be sure to order the kit early if I like it.

Curt in Indy said...

Mel! I love your blog, and the one thing I have to tell you is that I really think you are so talented! With that in mind, it was so great to hear you talk about "hucking". I can't imagine anything that you would make could be worthy of the circular file. Most of the stuff you talk about in this post I can relate to, and it truly brought some comfort to me. The part about not conserving paper for example. I feel so guilty sometimes for using a "brand new piece of paper" God forbid. Now I don't feel so bad! Love your stuff! Best, Curt

Crystal Ware said...

Such a cute sneak peak! I can't wait to see it. Great tips and techniques too. Personally I use the huck it out technique a lot. LOL.

Shirley said...

Great things to think about and great tips, Mel. TFS as always!!

Anonymous said...

Great in-depth post. Thanks for sharing.

Benga said...

thanks so much for the list! We share the same number 1!!! I love heat embossing, no matter how messy I get *lol*

Elaine said...

Hot diggity! That's one cute, cute image~ I can't wait to see it!! Thanks,

Debby said...

Wow! Thanks for the great tips. Some of them were new to me. I really enjoy all your posts.

Unknown said...

All fabulous tips!! I was stuck on big square cards for a while, but didn't have any envelopes, so I started making smaller ones that will fit in an A2 envie.
hugs, Jami

Cathrine StClair said...

Ohhh...Mel, can't wait to see the rest! I just know it will be incredibly awesome!.

Sigh... I agree with chucking it. But sometimes I'll waste an hour trying to make something work before I chuck it. LOL. I have to tell myself - "just give it up woman". Now I put all those "not so great" things in a box that the kids can use. It makes me feel like I'm not wasting supplies.

Tonniece said...

Another treasure trove of fun and interesting hints and tips.
Thanks A.M.

Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve with those sneak peeks.

Happy Monday

Sherry said...

OMGosh *fingersclenchedinhairpullingmadly" YOU Huck things???!! Your cards are Amazingly Beautiful... I cannot imagine you tossing out anything... ever!! Secretly it makes me a little.. dare I say it outloud? ... "feelbetteaboutMYhucking" and the fact that I cannot stamp straight to save my life.. It's always on the down slope.. and I've gotta say it's nice to know I'm in such good company!! lmbo!! Thanks for that! Great Tips Mel, TY for sharing with us!!

~Sherry Ü

Tammy Hershberger said...

Hi Mel! I like #11.... might be a good one for me to remember!