Karen talks about how to color your stamped images, and also shares some tips for using Stickles™ glitter glue. (If you’d like to duplicate our card exactly, we used Silver and Christmas Red Stickles™ glitter glue, and Dull Green, Earth Brown, Light Yellow, Pale Pink, and Fair Skin TriBlend™ markers.)
The first thing Karen will show us in the video below, is how to recreate the beautiful sky background of this card using a simple sponging technique. For this step, you will need a blank card base, Carolina and Bluebird stamp pads, a round sponge and scissors, sticky notes, and several cut-out cloud shapes. (We made our clouds using Cricut® shape #M412A0C, from our Artistry Cricut® collection.)
If you’re all set (and even if you’re not and just want to watch a video for some inspiration) here’s our friend Karen recreating the Love You Gnome Matter What card:
We love using colorful inks to create cool backgrounds on cards. Today we are showing you how we made the vibrant gradient background on the card below.
Let’s get started!
First, we picked our colors. We needed a full spectrum to create a rainbow effect, so we used Candy Apple, Raspberry, Nectarine, Lemon, Willow, Bluebird, and Pansy from our Exclusive Inks™ collection. The next thing to do is to prepare your sponges.
We took one of our round sponges and cut it into wedges, one for each color. (Daubers also work, if those are your preference.)
Firmly hold your paper on your work surface. A little bit of rolled up washi tape on the back of your cardstock should do the trick for when you can’t hold it in place with your hands. Now, to the fun part of sponging on the colors!
With an inked sponge wedge, start off by applying your first color with light pressure and in a circular motion. Continue to apply the color until reaching the desired level of saturation. As you switch colors, slightly overlap each for that blended look.
After all of our colors were applied we splattered our background with Spritz Cleaner to achieve a water “damage” look. First, we unscrewed the top and dropped fat drops of Spritz Cleaner onto the ink straight from the tube. Then, we replaced the top and sprayed the card for smaller droplets. We suggest using Spritz Cleaner instead of water because the ink will separate better and create the desired effect without warping the paper like water will.
We finished the card by heat embossing a sentiment and cute balloon in white.
One of the great things about this technique is that you don’t always have to sponge your ink on a solid color piece of paper. Take a look at how we used this same technique on patterned paper to create this other card:
It also looks great with just one color:
What do you like about this sponging technique? And if this isn’t new to you, what are some ways that you do things differently? Please share your creative thoughts with us in the comments below!
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!
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. 🙂
3. 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!
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.
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.
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!
10. 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.
12. 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!
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.
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.
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!
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! 🙂
You’ve probably photographed dozens of picturesque nature scenes— ember-colored sunsets, mountains mottled with snow, a bee hovering over a bluebell—but have you ever thought about creating nature scenes in your artwork? Aristotle said, “Art takes nature as its model,” and who are we to argue with Aristotle?
Our inspired artist gathered bunches of stamp sets to create the colorful meadow on the page. A corner from the Brushed paper packet makes a perfect patch of grass here, but our favorite feature has to be the faint sky in the background. How did our artist create this look? If you guessed that a sponge was involved, you are correct!
First, our artist cut out a cloud shape from some scratch cardstock. Then, she placed the cloud on the page and lightly sponged around the edges with our Glacier Exclusive Inks™ pad. The result is a soft, subtle texture that has us floating away to crafting paradise. A similar technique was used to create this mountain scene:
The great thing about using a sponge is that it can give any artwork textural variety and layers of color, which you can really see on this card. Our artist first sponged on the sky and soil. Next, she traced the mountain range from the My Acrylix® Campfire Lifestyle stamp set onto a scratch piece of cardstock and cut out the shape. This time she placed the cardstock with the mountain shape cut out of it on the card and sponged on the mountains using both the Pacifica and Gypsy Exclusive Inks™ pads. Finally, for the trees, she first stamped the image, and then, squeezing the sponge to create a narrow surface area, carefully dabbed a little more ink on top of the tree to create a softer look.
Isn’t it amazing what that little sponge can do? These pieces of artwork are lovely odes to nature. Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” So, browse through your photo stash for pictures of nature, or better yet, step outdoors for some fresh air—we know you will be inspired. Then, pull out your handy dandy sponge, and let your creativity run wild!
12″ x 12″ Life is Beautiful Page Reflections: Sampler—Captivating Corners™ (with alterations)
C1599 My Acrylix® Pretty Petals, C1589 My Acrylix® Lifetime of Happiness, D1616 My Acrylix® Have a Happy Day, C1612 My Acrylix® Shower Flowers, D1627 My Acrylix® Your Own Kind of Wonderful, D1646 My Acrylix® Finding the Words, D1613 My Acrylix® Best Christmas, B1432 My Acrylix® Love This, X7190B Brushed Paper Packet, Z2031 Paper Fundamentals Enchantment Assortment, Z2641 Glacier Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2191 Sunset Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2153 Sweet Leaf Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2197 Pear Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2155 Topiary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2135 New England Ivy Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2642 Flaxen Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2644 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2118 Desert Sand Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2111 Chocolate Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2640 Thistle Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2193 Cotton Candy Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2105 Black Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2454 ShinHan™ Touch Twin ™ Leaf Green Marker, Z2463 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Sap Green Marker, Z2451 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Clay Marker, Z2462 ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Peony Purple Marker, Z2012 Sequins Gold Assortment, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z697 Round Sponge, Thread
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.
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.
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.
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.