13 Tips to Help You Become an Ink Expert

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

If you’re a stamper, then chances are you are no stranger to the wonders of inky fingers! But no matter how much exposure you’ve had, there are probably some things about working with ink that may still be a mystery to you. Today’s topic is Inks 101, and by the time you’ve read this post, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an ink expert!

1. Not sure which type of ink you should use for a project? Click on this handy infographic to figure it out!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

2. Just like our cardstock, we offer dye and pigment stamp pads in all of our exclusive colors…meaning you’ll always have ink to match your cardstock! Easy color coordination is the name of our game. 🙂

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp3. Our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads have one of the largest surface areas on the market. Plus, they’re super easy to open, thanks to the magnetic case design!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

4. We designed our stamp pads so that the pad is on the lid of the case. This way while your stamp pad is sitting around waiting to be used, the ink is settling on the surface of the pad so you’ll always be able to get a crisp stamped image.

5. Is your stamp pad getting dry? That happens with a lot of use over time. But the good news is that instead of buying a new one, you can buy the coordinating re-inker and use it to replenish your pad. To re-ink a stamp pad, gently squeeze the re-inker evenly over the surface of your stamp pad while moving in a zig-zag pattern, top to bottom. Repeat until your stamp pad is properly saturated again (you won’t even need to use the whole bottle!). Just be sure to give your ink some time to soak in before using the stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

6. Is your stamped image darker than you thought it would be? Don’t worry, that’s normal! Dye inks need a little bit of time to cure, which means that they need to fully dry before they turn the right color. This shouldn’t take too long, but a craft heater can certainly help speed up the process.

7. When using our mini pigment ink stamp pads, dab the stamp pad lightly onto the stamp rather than trying to press the stamp onto the stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp

8. Pigment ink sits on the surface of your paper, which is why the colors are more vivid than dye inks. However, this means pigment ink takes longer to dry. Give images stamped with pigment ink time to air dry, or use a craft heater to dry them right away.

9. If you’ve got the painting bug, then you’re going to love painting with our inks! Start by squishing the lid of your closed stamp pad all over. This will transfer some ink from the pad onto the other side of the case where you can pick up the ink using a slightly damp waterbrush or paintbrush, and then paint away!

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp10. If you want to create a splattered paint pattern on your artwork, then our spray pen is your friend! Simply fill your spray pen with some water and add a bit of ink from a re-inker bottle, shake, and then spritz onto your artwork. Raise the spray pen higher for a subtler splatter and closer to the paper for a more concentrated splatter. If you want the ink to dry faster, try using rubbing alcohol instead of water.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp11. Our round sponge and sponge daubers can create really cool effects with our inks. With the sponge daubers insert and small organizer, you can store a whole collection of sponge daubers, even labeling them by color so you don’t forget which dauber you used for each stamp pad.

19 Helpful Tips for Using Close To My Heart’s Stamp Pads #infographic #stamping #ink #howto #dye #pigment #coloring #stamp12. In addition to our Exclusive Inks™ stamp pads, we also offer the VersaMark™ ink pad. Use this ink pad to create watermark images, or add embossing powder over the stamped image, shake off the excess, and heat set for an entirely different look!

13. Coloring in your stamp? Make sure you use the right ink to avoid bleeding! Memento™ is the way to go if you’re using alcohol markers, and Archival Black permanent ink is best with watercolor paints or pencils.


Did we miss anything? 🙂 Ask any questions about our inks in the comments below!

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Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique

Just over a week ago, we released our latest idea book—Seasonal Expressions 2! If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can look through an online version or even download it as a PDF here. We know you’ll love it!

One of the paper collections in this idea book is called Little Dreamer, and it’s all about unicorns, magic, and dreams…which got us thinking about a certain sponging technique we love that adds a dream-like magic to all your artwork. Since it is so perfect for this collection, we just had to share it with you!

In a nutshell, here’s the technique: Use titles or shapes cut with your Cricut® machine or with Thin Cuts metal dies as stencils for sponging ink onto your pages.

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

First, use a bit of adhesive to attach your title or shape to the page. Next use a sponge dauber or the round sponge to add ink over your title or shape, and then fade the ink into your paper. Once the ink is dry, carefully remove your stencil (if there is any adhesive residue, it’s a cinch to remove with our Rub & Remove™ eraser).

For our artwork, we found it worked best to use both the round sponge and sponge daubers. We used a sponge dauber for a more concentrated look, like you can see immediately around our title, and then the round sponge for fading the ink into the page.

Sponging Tip: If you haven’t used a round sponge before, you’ll want to cut out a pie-shaped wedge from the sponge rather than using the entire sponge. That way your sponging will be more precise, and you can get more use out of your sponge!

We recommend playing with the round sponge and sponge daubers, as well as various amounts of ink, on some scratch paper before sponging onto your artwork.

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

This stenciling technique is a great way to create unique backgrounds for your artwork. For this page, we attached three clouds to the page and sponged around them. After allowing the ink to dry, carefully removing the clouds, and removing any adhesive, we cut three more clouds and sponged around the edges. Then we popped them up with 3-D tape to give the page dimension. The final look sure is dreamy!

Cricut® Stencils & Sponging Technique #ctmh #closetomyheart #sponging #cricut #ink #scrapbooking #cardmaking #howto #technique

You can incorporate multiple colors into your stenciling! Here we used a scalloped piece for our stencil, and then sponged on a rainbow of colors. There are SO many possibilities!

We hope this post has inspired you to try stenciling on your artwork. It really is such a fun way to get in touch with your inner artist!

Which page is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂

Recipes

 12″ x 12″ You Make the World Sweet Page
Z3334 Little Dreamer Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3321 Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3132 Watercolor Paints, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artistry
1″ Shift+Background <K> (p. 28)

12″ x 12″ Find Your Rainbow Page
Z3334 Little Dreamer Scrapbooking Stamp + Thin Cuts, X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Complements, Z3274 Clear Sparkles, Z1263 Bitty Sparkles, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3167 Cricut® Artistry Collection, Thread, Sewing Machine

Cricut® Shapes:
Artistry
1 ½” and 1 ¾” Icon-2 <Spring> (p. 38)
1 ½” and 1 ¾” Shift+Icon-2 <Spring> (p. 38)

12″ x 12″ Believe in Yourself Page
X7219B Little Dreamer Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2853 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2843 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2864 Sorbet Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2896 Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2840 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2895 Lagoon Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2841 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7219C Little Dreamer Glitter Gems, Z3189 White & Gold Ribbon, Z697 Round Sponge, Z726 Sponge Daubers, Z3169 Cricut® Artbooking Collection

Cricut® Shape:
Artbooking
8″ Shift+Photo Mat 1 <S> (p. 59)

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Quench Your Thirst for Stamping

Anyone craving a sip of a refreshing stamping technique? Slide your glass over and we’ll pour you a drink. Today we’re bringing you a behind-the-scenes look at the technique our artist used to create this cool drink of summer.
(Look familiar? That’s because this comes straight from page 28 of Seasonal Expressions 2!)

Here’s what you’ll need to mix up this cooler:

• B1478 My Acrylix® Ice-Cold Summer
• Z2644 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z2640 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Pad
• Z726 Sponge Daubers
• Z1091 Finishing Files

Ready? Let’s get stamping!

Step 1: Using Pixie ink, stamp bottle image on pad so the top ¾” of the image is not inked. Once inked, achieve a second generation stamp by stamping the bottle first onto your desk pad (or other scratch piece of paper) and then onto your tag.

Step 2: Next, use a sponge dauber to lightly ink the edges of the bottle stamp with Whisper ink. Use another sponge dauber to ink the top of the bottle stamp with Glacier ink. Now stamp this image over the original Pixie bottle image on the tag.

Step 3: Using Whisper ink and a sponge dauber, lightly apply a small amount of ink to the bottom of the bottle stamp in an oval shape. Stamp bottle image again over previous image.

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Step 4: Using Thistle ink, stamp straw image onto the bottle, allowing it to rest at the bottom left of the Whisper oval and exit through the top of the bottle.

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Step 5: Use a sanding file to softly rub away a line to the right of the straw. This will give the bottle a highlight, creating a more glasslike appearance.

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Voila! You have now stamped one delicious beverage. Enjoy! We hope your artistic thirst has been quenched. 🙂

*For the materials needed to create the rest of this tag (including those mouthwatering lemons), please consult our handy recipe guide.

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All-Purpose Mat Color Splat

When we posted the Halloween-themed cards on our Facebook page last month, the background on the Halloween village card captured many hearts across the world. (Click here to see the card.)

Several of you asked us how it was done. So we took your questions to the artist herself, and not only was she generous enough to show us her methods, but she also created yet another stunning card for us that illustrates this beautiful technique.

Check it out!Isn’t that beautiful?

The technique used to create this kind of background centers on our all-purpose mat. (This tutorial will only add more truth to its name!) The non-slip surface makes it perfect for mixing ink and water to create special artistic effects.

There’s an infinite amount of possible art you can create with this technique, but first try this quick tutorial on creating the background seen on this great Happy Autumn card.

What Tools You’ll Need:
D1604 My Acrylix® Season of Thanks
C1589 My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness
Z2123 Goldrush Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2137 Olive Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2191 Sunset Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2101 Autumn Terracotta Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2162 Honey Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2172 Whisper Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad
Z1380 Spray Pen
1778 My Acrylix® Spritz Cleaner
Z697 Round Sponge
Z2045 All-Purpose Mat

1. Rub Olive, Desert Sand, Goldrush, Sunset, and Autumn Terracotta Exclusive Inks™ pads directly onto surface of all-purpose mat to create desired pattern.     2. Holding spray pen at a distance of about 12″ from the mat, spray water over ink until it has a dewed appearance.     3. Take your cardstock (preferably Colonial White or White Daisy) and lay it directly down into the watered ink. Rub back of paper lightly to ensure complete coverage. Lift paper and allow ink to dry completely. Use a craft heater to speed up the process.     4. Once ink has dried, repeat steps 1–3 with Glacier ink, except this time, instead of spraying the Glacier ink with water, spray it with the My Acrylix® Spritz Cleaner in order to achieve a more modeled look.

5. Using the My Acrylix® Season of Thanks stamp set, stamp several tree trunks in Whisper. Stamp some trunks with second-generation impressions in order to add depth.     6. Using the My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness stamp set, stamp leaves in Canary, Honey, and Flaxen inks. Stamp quickly, using both second- and first-generation impressions. To give some leaves a more finished look, spread some ink on the all-purpose mat, spray it with spritz, dip the stamp in the dewed ink, and then stamp on cardstock.     7. Using the sponge, daube Canary ink around your design to lighten things up and maintain depth.      8. In order to create a soft edge, spread Whisper ink in a circle on your all-purpose mat and then spray it with spritz. Rub each of the edges of your cardstock lightly in the ink until you achieve a subtle border on each side. Allow ink to dry completely.

Voila! Your beautiful background is now complete. Now all you need to do is add your embellishments and other additions to complete your card.

This technique is full of possibilities, so feel free to experiment with it in other ways, too. We’d love to see what you come up with!

Happy crafting!

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