Sunday, June 21, 2009

How bout a few tips to tickle your fancy

There have been quite a few techniques shown lately so I decided to go with some tips I have learned over the last few years. Some you may already know about and some you may not…

Jammed Punches:
Try popping them in the freezer for a bit. Heat expands metal thus causing them to get jammed on occasion. By cooling the metal part of the punches they should then become “unstuck”.

Sharpening punches:

Tear you off a piece of aluminum foil( I use the heavy duty) and punch through the foil a few times (I usually punch through at least 10 times). That will sharpen your punches.

Stiff Punches:
Use wax paper that you have folder a few times to punch through. By doing this you will lubricate your punches if they are stiff.

Mixing Paint colors
Use a freebie CD (like the free aol cd’s you can get almost anywhere) and place on top of a glass of water to act as a paint pallet. You can use the hole in the top to drop your paint brush into for easy clean up. Wash the CD and reuse it again next time.

Ink Pads:
If you have dry ink pads you can turn them upside down and store them like that for a bit. This will allow the ink to seep through to the pad and you will be able to use every last bit of ink. I store all my ink pads upside down in a drawer at all times. The only ones you don’t have to do this with (that I know of) is Stampin Up’s pads because of how they close.

Metal Embossing:
Dry emboss on Foil Pie tins. You will get some fabulous results and the thickness is perfect. You can also run the tins through your cuttlebug with some of your embossing plates. Doing this the possibilities are endless with what you can create. Backgrounds to charms or embellishments anything you can think of can be done.


Tear paper or vellum towards you to open up the layers

Un-Mounted Stamps:

As you may know, un-mounted stamps come without a cushioned layer on the back of them. There are products called Kling-on or Ez-mount available to attach to the back of these stamps. As a low-cost alternative, lay a cheap spongey mouse mat under your card or paper before stamping, which will do the same job & allow a much crisper image when stamping

Sticking Pressed Flowers:
When sticking pressed flowers onto your card with a wet glue, it pays to put a little glue onto a flat surface and use tweezers to pick up the flower and dip it into the glue, then add it to your work, as it saves messy fingers and short tempers.

That is about all i can think of for now..but as i remember more i will come back with a part 2 at a later date..

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Final Layout

A final presentation showcasing the "Penny Arcade" kit. I have to say, one of the original reasons I fell in love with this kit is because I was drawn to it's subtle colors and patterns. The muted hues are perfect for documenting stories about family. Whether your scrapbooking about your ancestors of yesterday or celebrating new love, this lovely kit provides the perfect palette for preserving such stories. 

For this last project, I documented an ongoing family tradition that Eric and I used to share - gatherings in the kitchen. He would carefully manage the cleaning of dishes. It was a task that belonged to him. After his passing, the task became mine. Every time I take note of the sink or whenever I'm doing dishes, I think of Eric. To me, the task of cleaning dishes is trivial, but to Eric, it was an activity of finely attuned awareness. I took this photo of him a few months prior to his passing of him working in the kitchen. He's fully present in the moment and of total peace of mind. 

Color coated chipboard doesn't have to be used "as is". If you happen to like the shape of a piece of chipboard embellishment, but the color doesn't quite fit, simply paint it or cover it with an alternative material. For the above chipboard embellishment, I painted it light brown and coated it with silver glass glitter. I backed the chipboard embellishment with one of the vintage cards provided in the kit. 

I've already mentioned this at my blog, but I'll mention it again. I have a substantial size collection of transparency embellishments, including frames. Frames are not only wonderful for accenting photos, they're also a great option for bringing attention to journaling. Trim your transparency frame to fit your area of journaling (or whatever you decide to frame) and adhere it to your layout using small glue dots.

Thank you for the opportunity to guest design using the "Penny Arcade" kit. It's been a pleasure! Have a wonderful evening everyone! Take care - Christine M.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Making Your Own "Thickers!"

Do you love American Craft's Thickers? ME too! I hoard them, buy them constantly.......but let's face it, they are not cheap! I am going to show you an easy way to make your own. The best part of making your own? You'll never run out of those important letters, and they are super cheap!

Any craft store will carry fun foam in a variety of colors. There are some that even have the adhesive backing on them! I have even seen it sold in bulk!

What do you need? Any die cutting machine will do.
You need letter dies. Here are a few of the ones I own.

Just place the die and fun foam in die cutting machine......and you have an instant "Thicker!"
This one uses a Quickutz die.
I crank that baby through the Big Shot too.......no more using that darn Quickutz squeezy thing!

American Crafts also sells glittered Thickers. So here is how you can make those too!

Run fun foam through die cutting machine.

Gather these supplies......
Coat letter with a thin layer of Aleene's Crystal Glaze. I use my finger to spread it out thinly. Dump glitter over letter.

Shake off excess. Voila!

ooooops! Spelled Dimension wrong.......again! Sorry!
Here is a sneak peek of a LO I did using my homemade Thickers.

In these tough economic times, who doesn't want to get more bang for their buck? This is a quick easy way to make lots of cheap dimensional letters!!!
Have a great week!