We’re at it again with one of our favorite media, the gloss spray! This time, we’re giving Rumpelstiltskin a run for his gold-making skills by creating our very own gilded accents, using a variety of techniques paired with Gilt gloss spray!
Can you spot the golden elements in this layout? You’ll notice that there are several gold accents on these pages, from the title sticker to the faux ribbons made from glitter paper. If you look closely, you’ll also see a few of these pennant-like tags.
While photos can’t capture the golden effect in all its glory, trust us when we say that these tags have a beautiful golden luster that compares to illuminated, gold painted manuscripts!
The ornate little tags on this layout started off a French Vanilla color and were transformed with just a little bit of gloss spray and a sponge.
Did you know you could paint with gloss spray? Give the bottle a nice shake, make sure you hear that little ball inside hit against the sides mixing the paint up, and then spray a small puddle onto an all-purpose mat. Cut a wedge out of your trusty round sponge and use it to apply the paint to your project. It’s that simple! This technique makes it easier to get a uniform application of gloss spray rather than the random splatters that you get when spraying.
The more obvious use of the gloss spray here is where we sprayed it along the top of the left page and the bottom of the right page, creating a gorgeous golden glare-like effect.
If you inspect these pages a bit further, past the obvious sprayed areas, you will find that we also used the Gilt gloss spray to accent some of the paper embellishments, using another painting technique.
In the case of this layout, we used the tip of a stylus tool to lift the paint from our puddle and paint small dots in the center of bows, inside scallops, and in a floral shape.
The paperclip-like accent along the top photo on the left page was transformed from its original French Vanilla color to the stunning gilt by sponging it with the gloss spray.
And like in the second layout, we added a couple of gilt dots to the right page with the help of a stylus tool.
Gloss sprays are truly one of our current favorites! There are countless ways to use this game changing medium, and as we continue to discover them, we will continue to share them with you!
In the video below, Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi shares even more ways to use the beautiful Gilt gloss spray to create your very own gilded accents. She even recreates some of the effects from the Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop using different techniques than what we’ve shown you so far. Follow along and see for yourself!
Download your free Christmas Story scrapbooking workshop guide, here!
It’s time to celebrate, because National Stamping Month is officially underway! Around here, September is all about stamping! The art of stamping is one that is extremely close to our hearts. (Yes, pun INTENDED!) When Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton first started this business under the name D.O.T.S. (Dozens of Terrific Stamps), the entire business was based on this wonderful art form. A lot has changed over the years; we’ve expanded our stamp offering, pioneered the use of transparent stamps and clear, interchangeable stamping blocks, and diversified our interests to include materials for memory keeping, cardmaking, and papercrafting projects. While we have become known as one of the premier providers of top-quality papers, cardstock, and embellishments, stamps will always be at the center of what we do. To this day, we continue to innovate and push the boundaries of stamping, whether it be in memory keeping, cardmaking, or papercrafting projects, while also building a strong presence within the worldwide crafting community.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that National Stamping Month is one our favorite months and reasons to celebrate over the course of each year. To help us get into the stamping festivities, we have designed a brand-new selection of stamps and stamping-related projects, allowing everyone from our long-time crafting buddies to our newest friends the option to celebrate this amazing artistic medium and create along with us! You are going to love what we have to show you today, as we take you on a journey through this year’s National Stamping Month exclusive offer, Card Creativity. Let’s dive straight in!
Card Creativity is all about expressing your artistic vision through the cardmaking medium, which allows you to more readily share your creations with friends and family! With this central purpose at the heart of Card Creativity, we’ve created three stamp sets with coordinating Thin Cuts metal dies and stencils, and one set made up entirely of sentiments for the interior of your cards.
Each stamp set has its own unique feel and can be incorporated into countless designs for maximum creative output, and with so many interior sentiments to choose from, your cards are always sure to be a delight, not only for the recipients, but for you as you make them, as well!
Today, we’ll be focusing on the ins and outs of six particular designs, pictured below; all of these cards can be created by following the instructions in the Card Creativity Cardmaking Workshop Kit. (To download these instructions, click here! For our friends in Australia and New Zealand, click here!)
A hallmark of the Card Creativity cardmaking experience is the inclusion of coordinating background stencils, a method which can be seen in all six of the cards we’ll look at today. As crafters familiar with Close To My Heart will know, many of our stamp sets come with coordinating Thin Cuts metal dies, designed to cut die-cuts from plain paper that can then accommodate a stamped image from its coordinating set. Incorporating Thin Cuts into your stamp-based crafts can be a great way to bring additional dimension into your project. For Card Creativity, we’ve created three coordinating stamps and Thin Cuts, but we’ve also designed special stencils to layer in with the stamps and Thin Cuts. As you will see later on, these stencils can be used to create background patterns or to add color to accent elements more at the forefront.
Another standout feature of this cardmaking extravaganza is the inclusion of the Cloud, Stitched Swirl, and Circle Lattice Background Thin Cuts metal dies. These metal dies are each designed to fit a standard 4¼” x 5½” card, and they are a great way to create engaging backgrounds, card bases, or decorative overlays. These die-cuts are designed specifically to coordinate with our Card Creativity stamps, Thin Cuts, and stencils—to achieve some pretty impressive effects!—but they can be used as standalone Thin Cuts in a variety of other projects. The only limit is your imagination! Each one of these metal dies has been used to create the cards we’ll be looking at today, and we can’t wait to show them off!
The first two cards we’ll examine today are an adorable and light-hearted pair of birthday and greeting cards. Both cards were made using the Floating By Stamp + Thin Cuts + Stencil set (CC9225) and are a delightful blend of whimsy and good old-fashioned animal cuteness. (After all, what’s cuter than animals and colorful balloons? 🥰)
In our sweet little mouse birthday card, you can see the Cloud Background Thin Cuts (CC9228) used to great effect; not only has the main component of the metal die been used to create a simple, yet beautiful base, but the interior shapes from the initial cut have been incorporated as well. This inclusion gives the card an additional level of dimension befitting an expansive, cloudy sky for our mouse to float in. The mouse and its balloons top everything off, along with a hand-trimmed pennant for our sentiment, and a few Clear Sparkles!
For our “Floating By to Say Hi” greeting card, we begin to see how the stencils and Thin Cuts can work together for seamless coordination and application. Rather than using the Cloud Background Thin Cuts die as a base, we used the cloud stencil, Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide™ ink, and a sponge to apply light blue clouds to a plain white cardstock base. Over that, we layered a few of the interior cloud cut-outs, some strategically ripped cardstock, and of course, our animal friend and balloon! (For a fun twist, we stamped our sentiment on the balloon die-cut itself!) We’ve also added a few Clear Sparkles for a fun bit of shine, and with that, our “Floating By to Say Hi” greeting card is complete!
The “Hello Fabulous” motivational card showcases the use of not one pass with the stencil, but two! To create our multi-colored base, we sponged one color of ink with the stencil on one side, then flipped the stencil around and sponged a different color of ink onto the card base, perpendicular to the first round of color! This technique allows you to enjoy the dual-color effect while also enjoying the convenience of only needing one tool! (Just make sure to wipe the stencil off before going in for your second round of color to avoid smudging your card!)
After applying our stenciled colors to the card base, we cut an overlay piece using the Circle Lattice Background Thin Cuts metal die, and then sponged it with coordinating colors to match the stencil work we did on the card base. Once our colors were applied, we finished this card off with our stamped, die-cut sentiment, a few pieces of black and white cardstock to accent it, and a handful of our trusty clear sparkles for some subtle shine. When it all comes together, this vibrant card is a beautiful way to not only express and exercise your creativity, but is a great way to show someone special that you care!
Our other Hello Fabulous card doesn’t incorporate our background stencil, but does sport some pretty snazzy colors with blended Distress Oxide™ ink on the Circle Lattice Background die-cut piece. We love adding all sorts of bright coloring with Distress Oxide, and it’s always a treat to see what can be done with it!
With our “Thank You” card, we’ve gone for a more minimalistic approach when it comes to the base design, selecting a clean White Daisy base. To give it some extra pop, we’ve taken the Stitched Swirl Background Thin Cuts and used it to cut the distinctive stitched swirl patterns into our base. Once the base is in place, we added a 3¼” x 4″ piece of black cardstock, topped with an additional 3″ x 3¾” White Daisy piece, which has also been treated with the Stitched Swirl Background Thin Cuts die. This die is a great tool for adding subtle pattern and texture that contributes visual interest to your background without becoming too distracting. Once the base has been created, we get to the more involved, colorful parts of this creation process!
To add hues to our stamped die-cut flower patch, we went in with Blue Turquoise and Alpine Green TriBlend™ Markers and used the trio of shades in each to add some delicate color. However, it’s in our dragonfly’s wings where we really get into some coloring fun! For this elegant insect, we used our coordinating Dragonfly Wishes stencil to add color to the wings sections. This delicate blend of colors not only makes the dragonfly stand out but brings a more realistic touch to the overall aesthetic of the card. With the addition of our sentiment and a neat row of sparkles, this gorgeous dragonfly “Thank You” card is complete!
Our last piece we have to show you today is a fun dragonfly birthday card, complete with another stitched swirl background and a fun twist on the blended Distress Oxide™ ink blending techniques we’ve showcased in a few of our previous cards. Our “Wishing You a Wonderful Birthday” card starts off by running our base piece through our Die-cutting & Embossing Machine with the Stitched Swirl Background Thin Cuts. Next, we applied a pink and blue ink blend, adding a few water splatters for a watercolor effect.
Once the ink colors have been applied to our card base, we layered a small stamped image of cattails, matted with black cardstock, over the colored section and also popped our sentiment onto the card base, trimmed to a pennant shape for some additional flair. We’ve topped everything off with a pair of beautiful, iridescent dragonflies with delicately colored wings. Once again, we’ve used Distress Oxide™ ink pads and the Dragonfly Wishes stencil to achieve this appearance, and added a few Clear Sparkles to finish the look. (It’s amazing to see what a difference even a small embellishment can make!)
With so much crafting potential packed in, Card Creativity is the ultimate cardmaking experience and a great way to express your own love for stamping! We’ve loved showing you these incredible cards to give you an idea of the artwork that can be made with this amazing collection of products, and we’re looking forward to seeing all the awesome things you create with it, both for Card Creativity and beyond!
Gloss sprays are one of the newest players to the papercrafting game. Their unique qualities make them especially useful for creating elaborate art in minutes, which is a big reason that we have loved adding them to our bag of crafting tricks! One place where we had lots of fun playing with these sprays is the Beach Party scrapbooking workshop—let’s take a look!
On this “Sun and Fun” layout, we couldn’t resist embellishing the base pages with a few splatters of white gloss spray. This creates a distressed, faded effect that fits our beach-themed pages perfectly! See how well the white splatters behind the surfboards and sandcastle create a sandy effect? Just a few small speckles of the spray add a big effect!
Did you spot the gloss spray on this layout? Here we’ve added it to the blue wave die-cuts near the bottom of the page, adding a lifelike foam look! Since the spray is acrylic, it dries glossy, which adds impressive sparkle to these papercrafted waves.
In order to achieve a speckled look with gloss sprays, we sprayed the pieces from approximately eight inches away while they rested on an all-purpose mat. These powerful little bottles are packed with opaque acrylic paint, not too different from spray paint. To ensure the best quality spraying experience, always shake the bottle well before each use. There’s a little ball inside that will mix up the contents of the bottle for the best color and consistency of the paint. Gloss sprays can stain, so be sure to protect your work surfaces and use them in an area you don’t mind getting messy.
Follow along in the video below as our friend Jill Broadbent from the Home Office shares a few additional techniques and tips for using these dynamic sprays.
One of our favorite ways to add color to our art projects is with trusty TriBlend™ markers. We recently picked our artists’ brains and put together a list of 10 practical tips, tricks, and ideas for using these colorful tools!
If you are not familiar with TriBlend™ markers, inside every marker there is a gradation of colors, from light to dark, delivered through three separate fine bullet nibs. You basically get three markers in one! The alcohol-based ink is especially designed to blend seamlessly for mixing and layering the shades.
When blending alcohol-based inks, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. The surface onto which you are applying the inks will make a difference in how to layer or mix them. If you are using a porous surface, like paper, and are hoping to create a seamless blend, don’t allow the ink to dry between color applications. Start with the lightest color, then add a darker shade, overlapping some of the color in the middle of the two. While the ink is still wet, it will move and spread through the fibers of the paper. When two colors of ink are wet on top of each other, they will spread into each other, creating a more seamless blend.
The same is true in the opposite scenario. If you want to create a seam in between colors, allow the first color to dry. When applying the second color, don’t overlap too much, because this second color will continue to spread into the first color until it dries.
2. This second tip is more of a trick that we use when we color our stamped images with TriBlend™ markers. Like we mentioned above, alcohol ink will spread through the fibers of a piece of paper when it’s still wet. Keep that in mind as you color a stamped image, and avoid coloring up to the edges, leaving a tiny space for the ink to move into on its own. If you apply too much ink to a stamped image, even though you may have colored in the lines, it may not look that way by the time the ink is absorbed and dries.
3. Alcohol ink doesn’t just absorb into paper and cardstock, but it usually also soaks through it. When coloring parts of a project, we recommend using scratch paper underneath it. If you are going to color directly onto your project, remember that you will see the bleed-through on the other side. If you are working on a card, for example, you will see bleed-through of colored images on the inside of your card if you color directly on the card front. There are two ways you can address this: You can either create separate pieces for coloring that will get attached to the card front afterward, or, you can add a piece of cardstock on the inside of the card to cover up the spots where the ink has soaked through. (In the cards above, the elements that were colored with TriBlend™ markers are on separate pieces of paper from the card base).
4. If you’d like to color on vellum with TriBlend™ markers, go for it! Vellum is less porous than regular paper, therefore it does not absorb the ink. Since the ink does not absorb into vellum, it also doesn’t spread the way it would on paper. You can still move and blend the ink, but in this case, you will do so yourself with the nib of your marker. The ink will dry on the surface, and it will dry well since it is alcohol-based.
You can create a softer “stained glass” effect by coloring stamped images on vellum from behind!
5. Our fifth tip is to use the Blender Marker. Though technically not a “TriBlend” marker, since it only has two nibs, this marker contains a colorless alcohol-based ink and is intended to be used as a blender with other alcohol-based color markers. What we’ve discovered is our use is that this marker works well to lift and lighten other colors. Our artists love to use it to create sheens or light reflections on things like balloons, sunglasses, or fruit.
One of the perks of blending different shades of one color in alcohol inks is that creating shadows has never been easier!
6. This tip applies to all coloring projects, not just ones using TriBlend™ markers! Before you begin coloring, consider your “light source.” If you are hoping to achieve a more dimensional look by coloring your images with shadows, you will need to decide where the fictional “light” is coming from to determine where the darker, shaded areas of our images will be. Where the “light” hits your images, these areas will be lighter.
7. Once you know where your “light” is coming from, you can begin shading your image. Start with the lightest shades and gradually work out to the darkest shades. Blend these different shades by going over the intersections with the lighter shade. Also, remember to shade while the ink is wet. Break larger images into sections in order to blend while the ink is still wet. If you color all of the lighter areas first, by the time you get to the next shade your first one will be dry.
8. If you want to create an actual shadow behind an image, the lightest Brown Grey blend marker is the way to go! Color outside the lines of a stamped image, only along the parts where a shadow would fall. Consider your light source to figure out where that should be. this shadow outline will create a dimensional effect, as if your picture were propped on foam tape even though it’s not!
TriBlend™ markers can be used for so much more than just coloring a stamped image!
9. Alcohol markers are a great tool for coloring embellishments! They dry very well on non-porous surfaces, like those of gems and acrylic shapes. (Revisit this post from a few weeks ago to see more!)
10. Use TriBlend™ markers to color the white core of a ripped piece of cardstock or paper, create a “wash” behind titles and sentiments, freestyle additional design elements for your projects, or even use them with a stencil!
To create a wash with your marker, it’s easiest to hold your marker horizontally to the paper and use the side of the nib rather than the tip. Also, be aware that alcohol-markers will stain any stencil that you color through. These stains will not ruin your stencil, they will simply make it more colorful!
We truly love creating with these markers, and hope you do, too! Get creative as you color your art, and experiment with the different shades each of the TriBlend™ markers has to offer.
To help you do that, we’ve put together the following color reference chart:
Download and print a free blank chart, here (here for AU/NZ), and add the three shades of each available marker color to its corresponding rectangle. (You’ll notice that the downloadable chart is two pages long, and that is because we’ve added to our color options since this top chart was created!) We’ve also added the True Black marker to the list, although it doesn’t have different shade options, in order to have all the color options available for reference in one place.
**Make your chart last longer by printing it on cardstock rather than regular printer paper, and keep it handy as you’re making color and shade choices for your artwork.**
Thanks for joining us on this colorful journey today! In the comments below, let us know how you’re using these markers and what you love about them!
We’re jumping right into the new year and celebrating National Papercrafting Month with the All Around Creativity special, featuring four gorgeous wreath kits that are only available from Close To My Heart through the end of the month. There are so many different ways to embellish these beautiful wreaths, so we figured we’d have some fun and share with you four simple ways that we’ve added color to the plywood bases.
Adding color to wood doesn’t need to be super messy or take a huge amount of time. It can be quick, easy, and clean. To start off, we’ll take a peek at one of the easiest wood-coloration techniques. This method uses an Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad and will only take you a few minutes from application until it’s completely dry!
Simply select the ink color you’d like to use and gently swipe the stamp pad over the surface of the wood with quick, dabbing motions, going with the grain. Going with the grain helps you to emphasize the natural beauty of the wood, while also protecting your stamp pad from getting scratched up or caught on the wood. As you’ll see in the video below, we left some of the wood grain visible for a more stained look, but you can make it as light or as dark as you’d like.
To achieve a softer, mottled look, try sponging the ink onto the wood.
Cut a Round Sponge into quarters. While gripping the point of one quarter with your fingers, gently load your sponge with ink by pouncing it on your stamp pad. Because the sponge absorbs the ink, it may not look like you have a lot on there, but you’ll have more ink than you think!
Once you’ve got your sponge inked and ready to go, use the same pouncing motion you used on the stamp pad to apply the color to the plywood. The ink will dry lighter than it looks while you apply it. For a darker, richer tone, you will have to apply additional layers of ink.
This next technique uses TriBlend™ markers. When using an alcohol-based marker to color wood, you’ll want to go in the direction of the grain and use a steady hand to achieve even color throughout.
Because you have greater control over color distribution when you use this method, you also have more control over the appearance of the colored wood. For instance, if you want a softer, lighter look, use a light hand and don’t go over the same spot too many times. For darker and richer tones, add more color layers to really get the pigment into the wood.
If you’re going for a darker color, don’t jam the marker tip into the wood, as this may damage your marker. Instead, go over the same area of the wood multiple times for color layering and try using a lighter shade of your TriBlend™ marker.
The last technique we’re showcasing today adds a bit of sparkle to your art. Heat embossing! (We went there, and it’s beautiful!)
First, place your wreath over a piece of scratch paper so you can catch any excess embossing powder. Then, begin by rubbing the surface of the wreath with an anti-static pouch. Apply VersaMark™ ink to the wreath, a few sections at a time, using the same pouncing motion you saw in our first technique. While the ink is still wet, sprinkle embossing powder over it, shake off any excess powder onto your scratch paper, and heat set with a heat tool. (Use your scratch paper to easily funnel your excess embossing powder back into its container for future use.)
We absolutely love these wreaths and National Papercrafting Month, because it really gets us thinking outside the box! We can’t wait to see all the different ways you choose to add color to your wreaths.
Remember, you can only get these gorgeous wreath kits until January 31, and if you buy four or more you even get a discount! Make sure to take full advantage of the All Around Creativity special while you still can. For a few of you who may be on the fence, we are giving away four of these kits to four lucky readers! For a chance to win, you must do two things. First, make sure you are subscribed to this blog. If you are not, find the blue button on the sidebar that says “Subscribe to list” and follow the prompts once you’ve clicked it. Second, leave us a comment below telling us what types of crafts you like to work out, outside of scrapbooking and cardmaking. You have until 12 p.m. (MST) Thursday, January 9, to submit your entries. All winners will be notified by email. Good luck and happy crafting!
It is officially National Stamping Month! Is anyone else as pumped about this time of year as we are? A little bit of history, for our friends who haven’t been with us for very long, Close To My Heart was originally called D.O.T.S. (Dozens of Terrific Stamps). Our first love was, and continues to be, stamps! We’ve come a long way since 1984 and wood mounted rubber stamp sets, and yet there are still some things that will never change.
Today we are going back to the basics of stamping, showing a few different ways we can use stamps in our projects. If you are new to stamping, this is a great place to start and learn just how versatile these creative tools can be. If you are a “pro,” then follow along anyway and remind yourself why you, too, love stamping and the versatility behind each design.
First, let’s talk about stamping on photos.
This is such an easy way to create personalized cards or add some additional touches to your scrapbook pages.
Stamping directly on a photo might seem a little scary at first, but we promise, it will be okay! For this project, we used the Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad to stamp our sentiment. We opted for this ink choice because we used a matte photo. If you’re stamping on a glossy photo, consider using Black StazOn™ ink. StazOn™ ink is specifically formulated for use on non-porous surfaces, allowing you to confidently stamp on any photo.
Next, let’s revisit an oldie, but a goodie, technique—generational stamping. Generational stamping is a fairly simple stamping technique. Think of it as the “double-dip” action (or in this case, the “triple-dip”) of the stamping world. With generational stamping, you don’t re-ink your stamp before stamping the image or sentiment again. This leaves you with a slightly faded image that is otherwise identical to the first one.
For this example, we used the Candy Apple Exclusive Inks™ stamp pad to create a fun generational stamping effect. First, you thoroughly saturate your stamp with ink, and then press down firmly to transfer the image onto your paper. Then, without re-inking the stamp, press it to the paper again to create a second-generation stamped image or, like in this case, sentiment. In this example, we went a step farther and created a third-generation sentiment, which was accomplished the same way.
You can clearly see the second and third generational stamps. This effect, combined with the fun patterns in the Every Little Thing paper packet, makes for a beautiful card with a unique flair.
Another fun way to use your stamps is to fussy cut! Fussy cutting simply means that you cut out your stamped image by hand rather than using a metal die or a paper cutting machine. This lets you cut right down to the edges of the image for a crisp, clean cut. When you don’t have just the right sticker or are looking for a quick way to add dimension, fussy cut your stamped image or sentiment and attach it with some foam tape!
In our next example, we’ve got several different ideas that neatly come together in one beautiful 6″ x 8″ layout.
First, take a close look at the peach portion of the layout, in the lower right-hand corner of the left page. That’s not pattern paper—the pattern you see is achieved by continuous, random stamping. Stamps give you the ability to create your own unique patterns, adding a personal element to all of your projects.
Next, let’s talk about how to stamp white on black. For this, we’ll be breaking out our heat tool and embossing powder!
As you can see, this particular element has a dimensional appearance. Well, that’s thanks to the use of embossing powder!
The images in this example are stamped with VersaMark™ ink and heat embossed with white embossing powder. Stamp with VersaMark™ ink, add embossing powder, melt and seal together with a heat tool.
Did you know that you can also heat emboss with our pigment inks of our exclusive colors? All you need is the pigment ink in the color of your choice and clear embossing powder. Heat and seal like you would with the VersaMark™ ink, and that’s it!
If you want to heat emboss on vellum, there are a few small tricks to consider.
For this technique, allow your heat tool to heat up before you use it. Once it’s hot, blow on the ink intermittently from behind the paper (which means you would need to do this step before attaching a piece like this to your project). If you blow directly onto the ink and vellum without pulling the heater away, the ink will move and the paper will warp. Another approach, if from behind is too difficult, is to move the heat tool in slow circles over the stamped area.
The last three examples of artwork we have showcase how to add color to your stamped images.
In a recent blog post, we discussed different types of black ink and which ones work best with certain types of projects. For this card, we used the Intense Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad to stamp the pumpkins so that we could add color with our new TriBlend™ markers.
Once you’ve got your image stamped, take your TriBlend™ Marker and color around the outer edges of the stamped image using one of the darker shades. Then, color in the center with one of the lighter shades.
Using TriBlend™ Markers to color in your stamped images allows you to color with confidence, since the shades are already matched for you, and as you can see, they deliver beautiful results!
For this card, you’ll want to grab your watercolor pencils. To avoid getting harsh lines in your project, move your pencil in gentle, circular strokes, or use a lighter hand as you color; think of it as light shading as opposed to coloring in your stamp.
Once you’ve got your stamped image colored in, you can leave it as is for a slightly more rustic, rough feel, like in our example, or blend with a waterbrush.
Our last example is a bit deceptive, and it looks a bit more complicated than it actually is.
To create the beautiful, multicolored effect happening in the leaves of this page, we used a technique is called rock & roll.
First, you thoroughly ink your stamp in the base color of your choice. Then, gently rock and roll the edges of your stamp in your secondary color. It’s that easy. Your stamp is ready to leave a gorgeous impression!
No matter how you use them, you can’t go wrong with great stamps! Happy stamping!
When creativity strikes, you can be sure to find a full spectrum of color-coordinated products within any Close To My Heart catalog, including our most often unsung hero—the re-inker.
Available in every exclusive color, these awesome little ink bottles can be used for so much more than to re-fresh its stamp pad counterpart (although they are pretty great at that, too!). The ink is an acid free, water-based dye that can also be splattered using a paintbrush, misted using a spray pen, mixed with water and painted on for a watercolor look, and applied in as many other creative ways as you can come up with. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, re-inkers make color coordination easy and effortless for any crafter!
Can you spot the ways we used re-inkers in this layout? (Hint, we used them three times.)
1. There’s the Almond “watercolor” wash behind the journaling on the right page. It’s a perfect color match with the Almond cardstock used in the background, tying the journaling aspect of this layout with the visual elements quite nicely.
To achieve this look, mix some ink from a re-inker bottle with a bit of water and then paint away!
If you’re using a paintbrush, add a few drops of ink to the inside of a stamp pad lid along with a few drops of water. Keep in mind that the more water you use, the lighter the color will end up. Pick up the ink with your brush and you’re set! (To avoid water-warped paper, use watercolor paper.) With a waterbrush, you have the option of mixing the ink and water directly in the brush, where you squeeze the diluted ink right onto the bristles.
You are going to love painting with our inks!
2. The second place we used a re-inker was to make the Toffee ink splatters on both pages of this layout.
Again, add a little bit of water to your ink (to dilute the tone as much as you want and so that it will splatter easier than straight ink) and then, with the ink on your brush bristles, gently tap the brush a few inches above where you hope the splatter will land on the artwork.
Were you able to find where we used a re-inker the third time?
3. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…white ribbon dyed Crystal Blue! Dye white ribbons and twines with any of our re-inkers to get just the right color match you need for those finishing touches we all love.
To dye your ribbon, place the cut piece inside a small bag and then add ink. Seal the bag and mix it until you are satisfied with the color. Add more ink, if necessary, either to ensure the entire ribbon gets covered or to darken the tone. When you’re ready to pull the ribbon out, use gloves to avoid getting ink all over your fingers (this can get messy fast). The ribbon will need to dry before you can use it in your artwork. For a faster drying time, use a craft heater (or even a blow dryer could work in this instance).
No matter what, you can always have a ribbon or twine to match your art!
Let’s continue the game….
This card illustrates two additional fun ways to use re-inkers in your artwork. What are they?
(We left off at 3 so let’s just continue the list, shall we?)
4. More splatters, this time with a stencil and a spray pen.
Create a white space inside your “splatter zone” with the use of a stencil. We kept things simple in our example and used a circle, but really you can do this with any shape you want—consider all of the Cricut® shapes you have at your disposal and get creative!
To use the spray pen, simply fill it with some water and add a bit of ink from a re-inker bottle, shake, and then spritz. 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.
5. How do you like the ink effect used in the stamped sentiment of this card? With very little effort, you can make your very own multi-color stamp pad.
Fold a few baby wipes in half and stack them on top of each other. (We used four here, but really it depends on how much ink you are using for your project, so consider this number on a case-by-case basis.) Using your trusty re-inker bottles, add different ink colors in a random pattern to the top of your stack of wipes. Allow your ink to spread into each other and then use this “pad” to ink your stamp.
There you have it folks! Effortless color coordination for all of your crafting brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Exclusive Inks™ re-inkers! Available in every exclusive color and formulated from scratch, use these mighty ink bottles along with the ideas we shared today to make your own, one-of-a-kind, designs.
And, of course, if your stamp pad is ever getting dry….
…use the coordinating re-inker to freshen it up! 🙂
With its translucent properties and incredible versatility, vellum has made its way back into the papercrafting limelight! We have several stamping tips and techniques to share, showing just how fun and versatile vellum can be. Keep scrolling to see some vellum-enhanced artwork and to learn something new!
If you look carefully at this scrapbook page, you will see that the bottom layer of the mat behind the photo is a large piece of vellum. There are several things to learn from this example alone. First, take a look at the beautiful floral arrangement that was stamped directly onto the vellum. To create this muted effect, we used our regular water-based dye inks. Because vellum is less porous than other papers, ink will take longer to dry. We helped move the process along by using our trusty craft heater. For this technique, allow your heater to heat up before you use it. Once it’s hot, blow on the ink intermittently from behind the paper (which means you would need to do this step before attaching a piece like this to your page). If you blow directly onto the ink and vellum without pulling the heater away, the ink will move and the paper will warp. Once you’re done with the craft heater, blot any excess ink with a tissue to achieve a softer color as well as a completely dry image.
Now, let’s talk about embossing. There are so many ways to play with stamping and embossing on vellum. Our first approach is pretty straightforward. We used an embossed sentiment on a piece of vellum as an overlay for a stamped card front. This is an effective way to tone down a busy background and bring the focus to the sentiment and any other elements that are laid on top. (When setting your embossing powder, remember to use your craft heater intermittently and from behind to avoid warping!)
We took the translucent property of vellum a step further with this card. Instead of using it as an attached overlay, we made the entire card base from vellum and used one of our base & shade stamp sets for the images. The “base” of the image is stamped on the inside of the card and the “shade”—or outline—is stamped and embossed on the outside. Tips: attach a piece of cardstock to the inside of the card base and stamp it first, then line up the “shade” from above on the outside. After stamping and embossing the outside of your card, if the color from the base isn’t showing through as much as you’d like, add some watercolor (a little goes a long way on vellum) to your embossed images from behind. Watercolor paint dries fairly quickly on vellum, but if you’d like to speed the process up the craft heater should do it.
Did you spot the vellum on this card? If you guessed in those colorful autumn leaves, then you are right! To recreate this effect, emboss your images using some of the tips that we’ve already discussed. The trick to these leaves is achieving their lovely fall color. This time, instead of using watercolors or ink behind our images, we used alcohol-based markers! (Alcohol-based markers are easier to blend than others, so make sure you are using the right product.)
Vellum has been around for a long time but it’s sure making a comeback! Whether you use it in papercrafting, scrapbooking, or cardmaking, vellum can easily add depth, dimension, and texture to any of your projects.
If you’ve got a tip or some artwork with vellum that you’d like to share, please do so in our comments below!
Do you suffer from acute chronological scrapbook syndrome? You’re not alone.
Thousands like you have been printing photos and storing them away in shoeboxes for decades, assuring themselves that one day they’ll feel more motivated to scrapbook everything in the perfect order.
Full of good intentions, but dreading the task of organizing every photo, victims of this syndrome often find their passion tainted by a nagging voice that tells them they must start at the beginning (wherever that is) or not start at all.
It’s time to silence that voice and get back to doing what we love!
It may seem revolutionary, but scrapbooks don’t have to be done in chronological order. Remember that these memories are your stories, so you get to tell them however you wish. The only way you’re doing it “wrong” is if the method you’ve chosen feels like a task rather than a delight.
Free yourself and your creativity by trying these organizational methods of scrapbooking instead:
Milestones happen at every stage of life. Create an album that showcases a variety of milestones from the lives of each family member. Pick a certain milestone and focus on that, or gather a bunch on one layout. You can include things like graduations, church ceremonies, losing teeth, getting married, the first day of a new job, or learning to walk. This is a fun way to show your family’s progress over time.
Classic Family Memories
Have a favorite memory that everyone in the family loves to talk about? Get it on paper. When your family comes over for Sunday dinner and starts to reminisce, write down the extra details they add to your story. Better yet, ask them to write their own version of the family memory. Include everyone’s version of the story as journaling on your layout. Even if you have no idea where the photos of that specific memory are, just start taking the first steps. You’ll find the photos in that notorious shoebox soon enough.
Someone You Love
Pick a person who’s important to you and create an album that’s all about them. The photos can come from any time or event. The important part is simply that they get remembered. This album will become something they will cherish for always.
This artsy method is more wild and crazy, but definitely a lot of fun—and excellent for a creative boost! Choose photos and papers based on the similarity of their color schemes and then put them all on one page. Find out how fun it can be to see a collection of unrelated memories on one layout!
Reach into that pile of photos and pull out a few. Scrapbook them any way you wish, whether that’s together on one page or each on their own layout. As you finish each layout, simply place them in your album in any order at all. This method is a lot of fun to look through afterward because you’ll always be surprised by which memory pops up next.
Type a list of prompts (e.g. your favorite words, themes, questions you think your posterity will ask about you), trim them into strips, and place them in a jar. Draw a new one every time you sit down to scrapbook. Whatever kind of information that prompt inspires you to document, do it!
It’s the Little Things
In addition to the big events of life, be sure to also emphasize the daily things that make you and your family who you are. Stepping outside of big events will paint a more realistic picture of your life as well as add some variety to your albums.
Likes & Dislikes
Focus on a person’s likes or dislikes, not worrying about their age or location at the time you took the photos. An overarching theme like this really helps to reveal who a person is in just a layout or two.
What activity does your family love to do? Find pictures of yourselves doing that activity across any number of years and group them together. Say you like to vacation together; make a layout just for vacations. They don’t even have to be from the same trip—just get the theme put into one place.
How do you feel now? Empowered? Liberated? Excited? The only thing to make this moment sweeter would be for us to remind you that the albums you’ll need to keep your long-awaited layouts safe in are available at a great deal this month. Take advantage of our We’ve Got You Covered! campaign, where you buy one album and get a second at 50%-off, to get your gorgeous, non-chronological layouts archived and on display. You only have a few days left to take advantage of this promotion. Your memories have waited a long time for this; now let them shine!