Crafting Forever and Angel Policy

The Crafting Forever stamp set is perfect for sending to your craft-loving friends.  It has classic images of paint brushes, scissors, stamps and fountain pens, plus it has great sentiments for stoking your creative fires.

crafting forever catalog image

Here are some colorful samples using the pot of paint brushes and ink pens.

crafting forever green

crafting forever sample

crafting forever navy pens

And, this stamp set is approved for use in conjunction with the Stampin’ Up! Angel Policy. It comes in clear-mount and wood-mount — every ready to meet your crafting needs!

What is the Angel Policy?  Stampin’ Up! welcomes all crafters who would like to use their copyrighted images on artwork and other projects on items for sale at retail stores, craft fairs, community fundraisers and internet sales.  All Stampin’ Up! asks s that your homemade, handcrafted items for sale be marked with the “(c) Stampin’ Up!” image.  For more information, just click on this link.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!




Different Types of Stamps

I am often asked which type of stamp do I prefer — red rubber or photopolymer.  Truthfully, I love both.  Each has unique properties and advantages.

I love the precise detail of a red rubber image that provides classic line drawings and photo-realistic images.  With red rubber stamps, the images have been etched or molded onto the rubber.  It is long-lasting and can withstand high temperatures like when you press them into molten embossing powder for deep embossing techniques.  In general, a red rubber stamp provides a crisper image with finer details than a photopolymer stamp.   And the built-in foam cushion backing for a red rubber stamp provides a more evenly stamped image, even when stamping with larger-sized background stamps.  If stamp positioning is important for your project, then using either the Stamp-a-ma-jig or the new Stamparatus alignment tools are recommended for the best results!  Stampin’ Up! offers wood-mount and clear-mount red rubber stamps.  Wood-mount are permanently mounted on maple blocks, while clear-mount will cling to acrylic blocks.

I love the ease of photopolymer stamps because their transparency makes it easy to line up repeating patterns and to perform two-step stamping with minimal adjustment.  Photopolymer stamps are flexible and bendable, and can be curved around an image or diecut for more creative options.  Multiple stamps can be placed on one large acrylic block or your Stamparatus for creating more detailed scenes.  It is perfectly normal that your photopolymer stamps will stain.  Therefore, it is best to “season” your stamp with VersaMark ink or another lightly colored ink to minimize the staining effect.  The photopolymer stamps will cling and stick to any smooth, clean surface — making them easier to lose on your desk!  So maybe a little staining is a good thing — making them easier to find!  LOL!

Of course, your needs and desires are different from mine; therefore, I simply recommend purchasing the stamps that you like working with best!

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Trimming rubber stamps

A little excess rubber around your stamps can be troublesome!  The other day, I wanted to make a “quick” birthday card using a brand new stamp set.  But alas, my creative genius was frustrated by those dreaded “edge marks”. 

You’ve probably experienced “edge” marks before – where the ink from the outer edge of the stamp leaves a mark on your stamped art piece. 

heartland stamp trimming

When it first happened, I thought maybe a little too much pressure.  When it happen the second time, I thought maybe a little rocking action.  With time being of the essence, it was not going to happen a third time!  I cleaned my inked stamp and pulled out my snips for a little red rubber trimming.

There are several reasons for edge marks when using clear-mount blocks:

  • Getting your stamp too inky by pressing too hard on your ink pad. Remedy:  select your clear-mount block to only be about ½” larger than your stamp, and use a gentle tapping of stamp on ink pad surface. 
  • Pressing too firmly your inked stamp on your project piece. Pressing too firmly can actually blur the image details and produce edge marks when you over compress the stamp.  Remedy:  practice on scrap paper first and add a cushion under your stamped piece to help give more even coverage.
  • Rocking your stamp.  This will leave edge marks of the stamp, especially if it is a small stamp. Remedy:  examine your inked stamp before stamping, wipe away access ink and press straight down or use a stamp-a-ma-jig or Stamparatus for better control
  • Excess rubber around your raised stamp image. During manufacturing, some stamps seem to have a little more rubber around the stamped image.  Remedy:  trim your stamp.

There are two methods for trimming your stamps:

Method#1 – using your Paper Snips (or another short blade scissor), cut in little straight cuts using the tips of your scissors.  Due to the thickness of the foam mount cushion, angle your scissors away from the stamp to avoid undercutting the foam mount cushion.  (Note:  I do not recommend trying to cut along a smooth curve or rounding your cut.  Instead do a series of small straight cuts.)

Method#2 – using a pair of curved cuticle scissors, angle your scissors slightly so that you bevel the edge of the red rubber without cutting the foam mount cushion underneath.

Trim your stamps close to the raised image so that you have less chance of getting ink on the edges of the rubber.  Please use caution when trimming as to not damage the raised stamped image.

And here is the finished card. 

heartland card

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


One Card Design for Any Occasion

The other day, I was reminded just how beautiful the Detailed Floral Thinlits Dies are when showcased on a card design by Jackie Bultje, another talented Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.  This card design is quick and simple.  All you need is two pieces of cardstock, coordinating ribbon, adhesive and your Big Shot.

detailed floral thinlits flirty flamingo

The card above uses Flirty Flamingo ink and ribbon, and the sentiment is from All Things Thanks stamp set.  

Cut a piece of Whisper White 4″x 5-1/4″, use the smaller floral thinlit die and run it through your big shot.  Stamp your sentiment using your stamp-a-ma-jig on the diecut piece.  Mount the stamped piece on a piece of solid colored cardstock 4-1/4″x 5-1/2″ using fine-tip glue pen and snail adhesive.  Create a faux bow using coordinating ribbon and secure with clue dots.  Add some pearls or rhinestones (optional).  Abracadabra, you have a classic card for any occasion.  And the design complements any size sentiment — from the large scripty font (All Things Thanks stamp set) to smaller sophisticated font (Heartfelt Blooms).

detailed floral thinlits bermuda bay  detailed floral thinlits berry burst

This design is very versatile – lending itself to almost any occasion as an anniversary card, a sympathy card, a graduation card, and even a mother’s day card.  The simplicity of the design makes it easy to mass-produce as a stunning wedding invitation.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Lots of Happy in Tempting Turquoise

The other day, I shared with you three cards that I designed using the components from the all-inclusive Lots of Happy Card Kit.  Today, I’m going to show you how I changed my card design using the full-set of 12 watercolor pencils and my Blender Pens.

And next I added some Lemon-Lime twist for another pop of color.

Tip:  I used a straight-edged ruler and my Basic Black Stampin’ Write marker to add some thin black lines to soften the bold black and white stripe.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Magnets for Your Stamparatus

Fall pre-orders for the Stamparatus will soon be arriving.  And, I want you to be aware of some important information about the Stamparatus magnets so that you can enjoy your new tool!

Due to the thickness of our cardstock, extra strong magnets are necessary to securely hold items inside this stamp positioning tool and prevent your project from slipping while performing various stamping techniques.  As common with other similar tools, neodymium magnets (also known as rare earth magnets) are used to hold your paper securely to the magnetic plate inside the stamping tool.

Please note that neodymium magnets are very brittle and must be handled with care to minimize the potential for cracking and chipping if they snap together.  This does not indicate a manufacturing defect but does necessitate using some extra care. 

Here are some tips to follow when using Stamparatus magnets.

  • Most projects should only require one magnet.  If using two magnets on your project, keep them far apart!
  • Store the magnets under the base when they are not in use so they are always separated.
  • If your magnets snap together, twist them apart with a sliding motion to separate them.
  • Children should not play with, touch, or use Stamparatus magnets.  These magnets could pinch fingers when snapping together and may be a choking hazard.
  • Magnets may damage electronic devices including computer hard drives, magnetized credit and debit cards, etc.
  • Wrap some washi tape around your magnets to help with positioning and to provide these brittle magnets with a layer of protection.
  • Stamparatus magnets will be sold separately in the 2018-2019 catalog, so you will be able to purchase them separately, if needed.  

These magnets are great tools when used properly in conjunction with the Stamparatus. Simply use them with care and follow the tips outlined above. 

I am looking forwarding to playing with my Stamparatus when it arrives and will be sharing more tips and techniques for using this amazing stamp positioning tool.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Techniques using Brusho and Pattern Party Masks

Brusho watercolor crystals are fun to play with — simply sprinkle them directly on water-washed paper and watch the colors burst!  Check out this Stampin’ Up! video for several tips and tricks for using Brusho.  Trust me, you’re going to want to add Brusho to your watercoloring supplies.

When combined with Pattern Party Decorative Masks — you will embark on a new way to step up your watercolor technique — plus this technique will give you two background pieces for card making.

First, use washi tape to secure a piece of Thick Whisper White cardstock to your work surface.  Add a light spritzing of water using your Stampin’ Spritzers to the entire piece and then cover with your decorative mask.  Next very little sprinkle with two different colors of Brusho — remember a little goes a long way!  Here I sprinkled yellow Brusho in the top left, and Prussian Blue in the bottom right.  Add another light spritz with water and allow the color to burst and mix.  If necessary, use your Aqua Painter to add drop of water and spread the Brusho watercolor inside the negative openings of the mask.

Prepare a second piece of Thick Whisper White cardstock and add a light water wash with your aqua painter.  Next, carefully lift up the mask from the first piece.  Since the mask is still wet with Brusho — place the mask upside down on a second piece of Thick Whisper White cardstock to transfer the watercolor ink.  Spritz the second piece again and press down on the mask to help transfer the ink.  Allow both pieces to air dry.   You can speed up the process by using your heat gun, remembering to applying heat both sides of the piece to minimize the paper curling.

Now decorate your background pieces to create a card.  Here, I combined my background pieces with diecuts from Butterflies Thinlits (an old favorite product found on page 215 in Annual Catalog) and from Celebrate You Thinlits dies from Sale-a-Bration brochure.

brusho 1

brusho 2

From now until March 31st,  you can receive free exclusive products for every $50 you spend (before shipping and taxes) from the Sale-a-Bration brochure.  Plus, you can earn bigger rewards, like Celebrate You Thinlits dies, when you spend $100.  Check out the amazing Sale-a-Bration products here.

Until next time, sending  you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Photo-Realistic Stamping with Heartfelt -Blooms

heartfelt blooms catalogVintage photos are often used to make beautiful photo-realistic stamps.  The Heartfelt Blooms from the Sale-a-Bration brochure is one of these amazing stamp sets.  This one-step stamp will create stunning projects whether stamped in one color, or stamped in a neutral color and colored in your favorite shades.  This is a Sale-A-Bration exclusive item, which you can get FREE with a purchase of $50 or more.   

heartfelt blooms 1

In the future, Stampin’ Up! will be offering more photo-realistic stamps from a new line of Distinktive stamps which lay down ink at different opacities, giving the finished image more depth.  The trick to getting a great impression from a photo-realistic stamps, like Heartfelt Blooms, is doing a little prep work and making the right choices about paper and ink!

Prep Work

  • Clean your stamp first using your Stampin’ Mist and Stampin’ Scrub in order to remove any residue from the manufacturing process. 
  • Next, ink and stamp the image several times on some scrap paper.
  • Gentle rub any areas on your stamp that do not leave a good stamped image, then clean your stamp again using your Stampin’ Mist and Stampin’ Scrub. 
  • Once thoroughly cleaned, the stamp should ink up nicely without any puddles or pools of ink on the raised surfaces of the stamp.

Check the wetness of your ink pad

Your Stampin’ Up Classic Ink Pads and Archival ink pads should work wonderfully.  However, you may need a slightly drier ink pad to achieve a crisp detailed image — especially if you recently re-inked your pad.  If your ink pad is too juicy, the ink will collect between the raised lines of your stamp and blur when stamped.  Simple remedy is to pounce your juicy ink pad directly on some computer paper in order to remove the extra wet ink. 

Tip:  Avoid using VersaMark or pigment inks (like our Craft White ink) — these inks are thicker and will puddle between the stamped image lines creating a blurrier image. 

heartfelt blooms 2

Paper Finishes

The smooth finish of our Whisper White and Very Vanilla cardstocks will provide a sharp, detailed image of your stamp.  Glossy White and Shimmery White papers will also work wonderfully because the paper coating allows the ink to sit more on the surface of the paper rather than to be absorbed into the paper.   You will need to experiment with other papers to see if you will get the desired results.  

Inking and Stamping

To get an even coating of ink, I like to pat the ink pad onto the rubber stamp.  Simply place your stamp on its back on your work table, and pat the ink pad onto the rubber.  Hold your stamp up to the light and make sure all the raised surfaces look shiny with ink.

To stamp your image straight down so that the rubber surface touches the paper at the same time.  The stamp positioning tool like a Stamp-a-ma-jig or the new Stamparatus may help you get consistent results.  If you do not have one of these tools, simply press your stamp straight down onto your paper, without rocking and lift your stamp straight up, holding your paper down with one hand. You should have a nice, clear image.heartfelt blooms sample 1

As mentioned previously, this is an exclusive Sale-a-Bration stamp set, which can be yours FREE with a qualifying purchase from my on-line store.

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Simplicity of Design

Sometimes you just need a quick card.  This card layout can be made a hundred different ways just by changing up — the sentiment, the colors, the embossing folder and the coordinating punches or die cuts.  Essentially everything!  That’s the beauty of this card layout — it can be elegant and sophisticated, classic and traditional or whimsical and fun.   

lots of love in crumb cake

So how will you change up this card layout?  All of these products and more are available to purchase from my on-line store.  Just use the links provided or click on the SHOP tab above.  And, during the Sale-a-Bration promotion running now through March 31st, you will earn FREE products with each $50 purchase.  

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes.


Stampin’ Blends

10.17.17_STAMPINBLENDS_SHAREABLE1_DEMO_NAHave you added Stampin’ Blends to you inky arsenal?  

Stampin’ Blends are very popular because of their ease of use, blending capabilities, and permanent properties which is why paper crafters love them and why they are a must-have item in your crafting arsenal.  These high-quality, alcohol-based, dual-tip markers come in 12 exclusive Stampin’ Up! colors. Each color comes in 2 shades to give you the best blending experience out there.  Stampin’ Blends may be purchased individually, as a combination of light and dark shades of a color or as a collection of 27 pens.

blends full set

Stampin’ Blends have some very special coloring capabilities.  For instance, the different shades of colors and different colors can be blended together without streaking.  A darker color can be used to create a shadow; a lighter color can be used to achieve a smooth the gradient (streaks) between shades of the same color; and the Color Lifter can be used to create highlights because the clear alcohol solution to push dye ink away in order to lighten or to erase it completely. 

remarkable you blends one flower front

Stampin’ Blends are also permanent on most surfaces — this allows paper crafters to create coordinating products using their existing craft supplies.  You can color chipboard, metal and wood embellishments, plastic buttons, pearls and rhinestones, glass, beads, acetate, ribbon and fabric.  With a little experimentation, you’ll be really surprised how you can alter and customize your crafting supplies.  

Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!