Friday, September 25, 2009

Saturday Sketch Challenge 118

Good Morning!

Hopefully it's a beautiful day where you are! This week's sketch is super simple AND if you take a peek below you'll notice that your operators have very different interpretations of the same sketch. Isn't that fun? One of our operators even turned her creation into a 3x6 shaped card!

Here is one way to break down the sketch if you want to play along this week. However, there is no right or wrong. Play with what YOU see in the sketch and make something fabulous!

Layer 1: 8 1/2 x 5 1/2, scored in half at 4 1/4" to make the base.
Layer 2: 4 x 2 1/2"
Layer 3: 4 x 1 (layered on top of layer 2)
A piece of ribbon across and some shape for a focal point. Easy peasy, rice and cheesy. (did I just say that??) I hope you have a fantabulous weekend and am looking forward to seeing all your creations!

Please keep in mind that links close on Wednesday night.

by Connie Babbert

by Tiffany Bauer

by Selene Kempton

by Lee Conrey

by Patti Chesky

by Robin Merriman

by Gretchen Barron

Links are closed for this week. Please join us early Saturday AM for a really wonderful sketch. I think you're going to love next week!
Saturday Sketch Challenge Participants
1. Loni - TX
2. Jennie Maier
3. Cindy Rio
4. Janny Ligtenberg
5. Yapha
6. Sarah Miller
7. Rebecca
8. Rebecca
9. jaydee
10. Laura Thorpe
11. **Lesley**
12. Diana Eichfeld
13. Carole'Anne aka" Stampin Stressaway
14. Sue Erickson
15. Janelle Lavelle
16. Tammy Mendiola
17. Tara
18. Rachel Verbrugge
19. Erna Logtenberg
20. Lynn
21. stamperbeth
22. Krista Visser-Driessen
23. Kay Kalthoff
24. Allison Ohran
25. Carrie Gaskin
26. Caro
27. LILY
28. Lori Stilger

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stampers Showcase 117

411 Operator Picks for this week! See you Saturday morning for another great sketch!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Using the Aqua Painter

For coloring, I use my Aqua Painter all the time. For me, it gives me the best control over light and dark shading. Here is a tip sheet compiled by fellow demonstrator, Roxanne Mussell. I thought you'd enjoy the tips, too! Thanks for letting us share this, Roxanne!

For this card, I used two different watercolor techniques using the Aqua Painter. The first, I scribbled the Watercolor Crayons directly onto Shimmer cardstock, then used my Aqua Painter back and forth across the scribbles to blend and soften the background colors. In the second, I used the Aqua Painter to color the pumpkins/gourds by picking up the color directly from my Watercolor Crayons and coloring in the Basic Brown images (on Shimmer paper again.)

Aqua Painter™ Tips

Basic Care & Use:

1. Choose paper that is of heavier quality, such as the Watercolor, Shimmer, Confetti or Naturals cardstocks (Ultrasmooth cardstock is ok if you don’t plan to do a lot of blending).

2. Stamp with an ink that won’t bleed such as Basic Black, Basic Gray or Basic Brown or emboss your image.

3. Fill the barrel with the liquid of your choice.

4. Squeeze the barrel so the liquid fills the reservoir and begins to drip from the brush, though not so much that liquid runs from the brush tip. If you get too much water, dab off on a paper towel. Keep one next to you during the entire coloring process.

5. Use the painter as you would a blender pen or standard paintbrush – practice first on scrap paper to get the feel for this handy tool. Unlike a blender pen you control the amount of liquid that mixes with your color choice. If your paper gets too wet; dry with a heat tool to stop colors from unintentionally bleeding together.

6. Between colors, clean your painter by running the brush across a paper towel or scrap paper while gently squeezing the barrel until the brush runs clear.

7. Clean your Aqua Painter™ after each use and let the 2 pieces air dry before storing (this will prevent mold and bacteria from forming and possible damage to the tool).

If you forget to clean up for a few days…fill the barrel with warm, slightly soapy water; shake a bit to clean the barrel then squeeze quite a bit of soapy water though the reservoir and out till the brush is clean. Rinse with clean water to remove soap and air dry.

Try these liquids in your Aqua Painter™:

1. Water is great for blending and creating a soft watercolored look.

a. Pick-up ink pad color, reinkers, or even markers colored on a palette to watercolor a stamped or embossed image.

b. Use to blend watercolor crayons and pencils within a stamped image.

c. Use the Aqua Painter filled with water to color wash a background or create beautiful sunsets.

d. Don’t use directly with chalks – use a sponge to pick up some chalk and rub on scrap paper – use the painter to pick-up this “scrap” chalk.

2. Liquid Bleach is great for bleaching out areas of your embossed image. When the image is bleached out as desired use a heat tool to dry the cardstock and stop the bleach processing. Then use markers to color your image. Try this with darker cardstocks. Make sure to rinse out your Aqua Painter thoroughly after you are done.

Other uses:

1. Use a water filled Aqua Painter™ to dampen cardstock prior to distressing.

2. Reach for your water filled Aqua Painter™ to seal envelopes.

Hope you enjoyed these tips for using your Aqua Painter. Now go out and create!

Connie Babbert
Stamping 411 Operator

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good Morning~ It's time for another cool sketch from your stamping 411 operators.

This week, the sketch is pretty simple, but it does have a different twist. A shape that is a point, that could look like a building, a door, a crayon or another image. I was so very excited to see all the creations from our operators. They are all so talented, and the ideas that came back were all very different.

Layer 1: 8 1/2 x 5 1/2"
Layer 2: 4 x 5 1/4"
Layer 3: any square or rectangle shape (maybe this will be the same size as your wood block.

Layer 4: the topper for the square. To achieve this, cut a square shape, then cut it in half corner to corner.

We are looking forward to seeing your awesome creations this week. Please remember that Mr. Linky closes on Wednesday night.

By Gretchen Barron

By Connie Babbert

By Selene Kempton

By Lee Conrey

Thanks so much for playing along. See you on Saturday for another fun sketch!

By Patti Chesky

Saturday Sketch Challenge Participants
1. Happy Stamper
2. Lori Stilger
3. Carole'Anne aka" Stampin Stressaway
4. Kathy White
5. Jennie Maier
6. Sharon Carr
7. Jaydee
8. Janelle Lavelle
9. stamperbeth
10. Tina Luntsford Rucker
11. Lynn

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Crimped Over the Top Tutorial

Today's stamping "how to" comes from our operator Lee Conrey, from Jacksonville Florida.

This card features “Autumn Days” from Stampin’ Up! I’ve had so many requests to share this so I hope you enjoy it.


  • First you need a piece of card stock measuring 4’ x 5 1/4”…you will need to have this piece marked on the center edge of all sides as seen below. The center is 2” on the short sides and 2 5/8” on the long sides. Mark with pencil so you can erase

Crimped Technique 001

Then you want to score from a long side to a short side as seen here marked by a broken line (dashes).

Crimped Technique 002

and score….

Crimped Technique 003

Once you have scored it you will need to fold it in….like this;

Crimped Technique 004

then you will place it folded into your crimper……as shown below

Crimped Technique 005

try and keep it folded

Crimped Technique 007

Run it though the crimper and don’t despair when it hasn’t totally crimped in the center. Simply open and crimp again from both sides to the center to get full crimped coverage.Crimped Technique 008

like this….

Crimped Technique 009

do this from both sides to fill in the center and you’re done!!!! Now that wasn’t hard was it?

Now to get the cute little diamond shapes for the inside of the center…I crimped another piece and cut the center out (large diamond) and cut it down to where I wanted it. Make sure to cut equally on all sides to make your templates and then trace to cardstock. That’s it!!!"

Great Technique Lee!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Here are your operator picks for sketch 116

There are some really beautiful cards here! Thanks for playing along!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Saturday Sketch Challenge 116

Oh Happy Weekend! It's time for another addition of the operator's sketch challenges. Please remember to link to your post and not just to your blog, so we can find your cards later in the week! I try and fix them when I see them. :)

As far as the measurements... I'm going to give the most simple scenario to help those readers who are newest to stamping!

Layer 1: Score a piece of 8 1/2 x 11" cardstock in half at 4 1/4", then cut the piece in half the other way at 5.5". This will yield two card bases.
Tip** by scoring first, you do half the work on a large job.

Layer 2: 4 3/4 x 2 1/4"

Layer 3 and 4: Measure the block for your wooden stamp for layer 4 and cut to size. Matte with a piece of cardstock thats 1/2" larger on two sides. (note, this is different than your normal 1/4" matte. ~~ Getting Fancy!!

Thanks for all the wonderful messages that you leave for our operators. It encourages us and we're excited to be helping so many. However, we are lucky... because we get to see YOUR awesome creations. Every week it becomes more challenging to pick the top 5 and many of the operators don't vote for the same entries. You are all exceptional and we thank you for playing! Here's what our operators have for you this week.

Thanks for playing along~ our links close on Wednesday night. Please join us early Saturday morning for another fun sketch!
Saturday Sketch Challenge Participants
1. Paula (Inking Addict)
2. Krista Visser-Driessen
3. Ilse Vargas
4. Jenna Crawford
5. Carole'Anne aka" Stampin Stressaway
6. Adriana Benitez
7. Paige Grabau
8. Kay Kalthoff
9. Sue Erickson
10. Lisa Kmiec
11. Yapha
12. Nicole Stalker
13. Lynn
14. Happy Stamper
15. Lily
16. Jennie Maier
17. Janelle Lavelle
18. kivonne tucker
19. Laura
20. Shelly Koskinen
21. Cam Cao
22. jaydeestamping
23. Nichole Banh
24. sharon field
25. Krystal/skdeleeuw
26. Lynn Put
27. Tina Luntsford Rucker
28. Sharon Carr
29. jaydee card 2
30. Tammy Fite
31. C@ro
32. stamperbeth
33. Tami Black

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Stampers Showcase 115

Here are your operator picks for this week's sketch 115. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How To Condition Your Stamps

Hello stamping friends! It’s time for another “How to…..” installment here at the 411. This week we will deal with the problem of your stamped images coming out less than – shall we say – crisp? How about clean, or fully inked, or maybe even plain ol’ Yukk!

There is a stamping term for what needs to be done to get a lovely, clean image each time you stamp with it. It’s called Conditioning. Yes, I know thats normally what you do to your hair after you shampoo it, but trust me, this is much less messy and no hair is involved!

You may ask, “Why do I need to do anything to my stamps, after all, they are brand new.” Well, when your stamps come from the manufacturing facility, they have a slight haze or film on the surface of them. This is noticeable when you ink your stamp for the first time. When you’ve transferred the image to cardstock you get an image that looks something like the one on the left of this picture:

Yep! It’s especially noticeable with SOLID image stamps like this one where there are no lines to color in after stamping. But sometimes even your LINE ART images and GREETINGS need conditioning as well to make sure you are getting the best image transfer possible. We here at Stamping 411 know that you always want your images to look great from the first time you stamp them – us too! And the image on the right of the above picture shows you what a well conditioned, well inked stamp on cardstock looks like.

Now, there are several ways to Condition your stamps. The one I use almost exclusively is to lightly sand the stamp surface with my Sanding Block. I hold the stamp in one hand like this:

Then, I rub my Sanding Block back and forth a few times in one direction:

And then I turn the stamp a half turn and sand back and forth a few times in the opposite direction.

Once this is done, I spray some Stampin’ Mist on my Stampin’ Scrub and clean the stamp like this:

making it ready to use. It’s really that easy folks!

Two other methods that stampers use are equally easy.

One is to use your Staz-On Cleaner and simply clean off the stamp, clearing away the residue. Here is an example:

You can also use a pencil eraser and rub it lightly across the stamp surface, like this example:

Whatever method you choose is really up to your personal preference, but the main thing is to “Just Do It!”

Be sure to clean your stamp before use with Stampin' Mist and the Stampin' Scrub when using either of these examples as well.

One other thing to consider when stamping with a conditioned SOLID image stamp is to make sure it has plenty of ink on it.

The way I do this is to use the “Twist and Tap” method. I first twist the stamp on the surface of the ink pad – dye or Classic inks only for this, Craft or pigment inks are different – about 3 to four times. Then I tap it a couple of times on the ink pad to evenly distribute the ink across the stamp surface. This results in a crisp, clean image almost every time.

I’ll leave you with an example of a cleanly stamped card I cased recently. The main image is a SOLID image stamp from the set “Enjoy Every Moment”.

You'll find that you'll "Enjoy Every Moment" of your stamping time when your stamps are well conditioned, well inked and well LOVED!

We're so glad you visit us here at Stamping 411! Come back soon and play along with our weekly Saturday Sketch Challenge - we'd love to see your creativity at work!

Stamped Blessings,