Tips for Adding Dimension

Welcome Crafting Friends!  

Today’s tip is about adding dimension and interest to your cards.  If you stamp cards or spend any time scrapbooking, chances are you are always looking for new ways to add texture and tp make your projects more interesting.  One of the easiest things you can do  to make your project unique is to try embossing folders.

First, embossing folders can be used to create an interesting background with different color strips of paper that will make your design pop. 

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Second, you can add texture to enhance the design.  With a light touch and an inked sponge, the embossing folder was used to created pebbles for the beach scene below.

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If a card design seems a little flat or uninspired, and you want to add a little something for that WOW Factor, look for at least two ways to add texture such as:

  • Embossing folders
  • Dimensionals and Foam Adhesive Strips
  • Heat embossing using Stampin’ Up! embossing powders
  • White Perfect Accents and Enamel Shapes
  • Buttons and Charms
  • *NEW* Embossing paste and stencils
  • *NEW* Faceted Gems, Rhinestones and Pearls
  • *NEW* Clips and Wood elements
  • *NEW* Bows and Tassels
  • *NEW* Ribbon and Twine

These items can be found on pages 196-199 and page 210-211 in the new annual catalog. Or, check out my on-line store by clicking on the SHOP tab above. And please remember to check the clearance items — that’s another great place to find discounted items to embellish your cards! 

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


Part 2: Remarkable You

Here is another card that I stamped and colored using my watercolor pencils and a blender pen using the Remarkable You stamp set.

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Staring with 4 x 5-1/4 piece of Whisper White cardstock, I stamped and masked the flower image on the right, then stamped the image on the left.  I used the brush tip of my Basic Black stampin’ write marker to extend the stem.  I added my sentiment in close, and matted this piece on a piece of Old Olive cut to 4-1/4 x 5-1/2.

Next I stamped the blossoms on scrap Whisper White cardstock and colored them using the Old Olive, Pumpkin Pie and Daffodil Delight watercolor pencils and blender pen.  I then fussy cut the blossoms and adhered them with snail and some carefully placed dimensionals.  Notice how the fussy cut flower extends over the left edge of the card. This is an easy way to add instant wow factor to your handmade card.

All of these products are available on my on-line store.  Just click on the tab above.

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





Tip: Stampin’ Up! Color Code Chart

Here is a handy chart that you’re going to want to download, print, and slide into a page protector for easy reference!

The RGB codes are great for personalizing a sentiment on the inside of a card blank using Microsoft Word or other editing programs.  Now, the colors on the inside of the card will match the Stampin’ Up!’s colors of the your card front adding the finishing touch!

The HEX Color Codes are used for HTML to match the exclusive Stampin’ Up! colors on websites, emails, etc.  Enjoy!  

Download the RGB & HEX color code chart by clicking the picture on the left or here:  Marie’s SU! RGB & HEX Color Codes.

Until next time, sending crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!


Tip: How to Clean Your Ink Pad

The other day, I was busy crafting.  My desk top was messy with the cardstock, stamps and open ink pads.  I was having fun.  And, then it happened.  The unthinkable!  

I accidentally stamped the wrong stamp on a light-colored ink pad and contaminated my ink pad with a darker-colored ink.  Yikes!  

So on the off-chance that this should happen to you, here are some steps to clean your ink pad and remove the contaminated ink.

  1. First, stop what you’re doing. Take a deep breath and relax.  It is going to be okay!
  2. Act quickly.
  3. Simply use a couple of baby wipes to “lightly tap” and “blot away” the wrong color ink. A light touch is necessary to remove the wrong ink off the surface of the ink pad.  If you press too hard, you may actually be pressing the wrong ink deeper into your ink pad and spreading the contamination.
  4. As you clean your stamp pad, the cleaned area will look noticeably lighter in color than the rest of the ink pad.  
  5. Next, re-ink your ink pad using the appropriate re-inker.  Simply apply some ink to the surface of the ink pad, especially on the cleaned area
  6. Use a plastic spoon to smooth the new ink into the ink pad.  This smoothing motion is sort of like icing a cake.  You can actually see the ink move and change the color of the ink pad as it is spread evenly in the pad.
  7. Now, you can pat yourself on the back!  And, get busy stamping again

Note:  if you accidentally add too much ink, gently blot the excess ink away with a sheet of computer paper until your ink pad is less juicy.

Until next time, happy crafting!



Coordinating Colors

Here is a quick reference to help you to come up with new and fresh color combinations for your projects. Simply start with one color, find it on the chart and see what’s immediately surrounding it.  Try 2 or 3 colors up & down, right & left or on the diagonal from that one color.  If at the end of a row or column, you can try colors on the opposite end. Combinations are endless

2016-17Colorcoordinator (1)

Here is a quick guide for matching the ink colors from your computer printer to Stampin’ Up! colors – both current and retired.

2008-17SUColorConversions (1)

Until next time, happy crafting!


Add Interest with Specialty Papers

Stampin’ Up! catalog has many beautiful colors of cardstock and designer papers, but did you know that we offer specialty papers?  In fact, the catalog offers ten specialty papers to add different finishes, textures and interest to your projects.  

Here’s a quick rundown these papers:

  • Glimmer Paper –  this paper is embedded with small pieces of glitter and is great for adding accents and bling to your project.
  • Watercolor Paper – this 140# color press paper is a special cotton paper that is ideal for watercoloring.
  • Shimmer Paper – this paper has a delicate shimmer on both sides with a smooth coating that works great for watercoloring.
  • Vellum – adds a thin delicate paper or translucent overlay.  It can be die cut, inked and embossed.
  • Foil Sheets – this paper makes foil accents with this one-sided shiny foil paper.
  • Kraft Paper – This cardstock is heavier than our regular cardstock making it an excellent choice for 3-D projects.
  • Glassine sheets – This paper is translucent and smooth that can be stamped, die cut and dry embossed.  Some sheets are plain; some are printed with a delicate white flower.  The paper is a cross between wax paper and tissue paper that is food-safe for treat bags.  
  • White embossed paper – This white cardstock has a white embossed design that shows when paper is inked.
  • Foil Designer Acetate – acetate sheets with gold foil on one side that looks silver on the other side to provide two different looks.
  • Window sheets – clear acetate sheets that can be used to make windows in boxes and cards, use with Shaker frames or cut clear accents with die cuts.  It can also be stamped on with StazOn inks.

All of these products can be purchased using my on-line store.  Just click on the SHOP tab above.

Until next time, happy crafting!


Cardstock & Papers

I absolutely love Stampin’ Up! cardstock!  In fact, it is the only cardstock that I buy and here’s why:

  • It is has an ultra smooth finish that accepts ink well and provides a crisp stamped image.
  • It is dyed with pure color all the way through so there is no white core.  This means that the cut paper edges have a neat, finished look with no white edges.
  • It is acid free and lignin free which means it is safe for memory keeping.
  • It is an excellent, sturdy choice for a card base, but not too bulky for accents and layering which does not require extra postage for mailing.
  • It comes in 8.5″x 11″ sizes and some colors are offered in 12″ x 12″ which provides lots of options for crafting, gift giving and packaging.

Stampin’ Up! offers Designer Series Papers which it a double-sided paper that comes in many different patterns and beautiful designs, and which coordinates with other products and Stampin’ Up! colors in the catalog.  

paper weight chart

Plus, there are many specialty papers which add different finishes, textures and interest to your projects.  I’ll have another post that will discuss the features of these in coming weeks.

All of the above mentioned products can be purchased using my on-line store.  Just click on the SHOP tab above.

Until next time, happy crafting!




Practical Tip: Color Code Your Glue Dots

We’ve all got them – glue dots – super sticky, instant dots of adhesive.  They are very handy because they require absolutely no drying time.  Glue dots come on identical cardboard rolls, but in various sizes – small, medium and larger.  This makes it quick and easy to attach anything from tiny sequins, small bows and even larger 3-D items.

But when you have two or three rolls of glue dots sitting on your craft desk, can you tell which size is which?  This drives me nuts – not that that’s a long trip – but inevitably, I grab the wrong roll at the least opportune time.

A while back, I saw a brilliant blog post from another demonstrator – I wish I could remember who – with this practical solution.  Using some pieces of ribbon – in various colors and widths – I color coded my rolls.  Now, when I want a small glue dot, I grab the roll with the thin red ribbon.  If I want the larger 1/2 inch glue dot, then I grab the roll with a wider green ribbon.  You get the idea!  This is such a simple and elegant solution!

I hope your find this tip helpful.  If you know the original poster of this brilliant idea, I hope you’ll let me know.  While copying and case-ing are a high form of praise, I always wish to give credit when credit is due.

Until next time, happy crafting!




Video – Comparing Three Black Ink Pads

During my February stamp camp, I realized that I needed to order another black ink pad.   While this seems like a simple task, I quickly realized that I needed to do a little homework to select the right ink for my purposes.


Here is my first video — it’s about 6 minutes and it compares StazOn Jet Black, Stampin’ Up! Archival Basic Black and Memento Tuxedo Black ink pads.  All three ink pads were brand new, just out of the wrapper.

Click here to see the video.

These days, the Stampin’ Up! catalog offers three different black inks because the different black ink formulas offer unique advantages which better support our crafting needs.  Here is a quick summary of what I learned about the advantages of each type of black ink pad:




Basic Black is rich bright ink, while Memento has a softer gray tone.  Note:  the Memento Ink started to bleed when water was applied with an AquaPainter.

Basic Black Archival Ink

  • Special solvent-based ink formulation that is acid-free, archival-safe and water-proof
  • Permanent  Ink (so while it will stain your stamps, this does not affect their performance)
  • Works amazingly well with both photopolymer stamps and red rubber stamps
  • Recommended when using embossing powder
  • Heat setting is recommended or allow a little extra time to air dry
  • Recommended for water-based techniques like water coloring, and when using AquaPainter, Stampin’ Write markers or other dye, water-based markers
  • Easy clean up using Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist
  • Of the 3 black ink pads, this is the most bright, true black color
  • Not recommended for Copic or other alcohol-based markers because the colors will bleed

StazOn Jet Black Permanent Ink

  • Solvent-based ink when stamped, shows the fine details of a stamped image 
  • Permanent ink (so while it will stain your stamps, this does not affect their performance
  • Acid-free, archival-safe and water-proof
  • Perfect to stamp on designer paper and cardstock (it is absorbed into the paper)
  • Works great on non-porous surfaces like:  glossy papers, Window Sheets/acetate, glass, metal, vellum, wood, plastic, laminated paper, cellophane bags, polymer clay, terracotta, ceramics, buttons, foils, leather, etc.
  • Heat setting is recommended as the drying time may vary based on the stamping surface and the humidity.  The manufacturer suggests air drying stamped paper for 3 minutes or other surfaces for 5 minutes to avoid smearing the wet ink)
  • Recommended for water coloring with AquaPainter, Blender Pen or watercolor brush
  • Needs to be re-inked more often as solvent-based formula tends to evaporate quickly (this is why the stamp pads have an inside plastic liner)
  • Requires a special StazOn cleaner.  Because the cleaner is oil-based, it is best to wipe off the cleaner with paper towel and then clean your stamp with your Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist Cleaner to remove any oily residue and to protect and condition your stamps
  • Not recommended for photopolymer stamps
  • Not recommended for Copic or other alcohol-based markers because the colors will bleed

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

  • Water-based dye ink that is perfect for most stamping projects
  • Great for sentiments and images
  • Recommended when working with Blender pens, Copic markers or other alcohol-based markers
  • Fade resistance and acid-free
  • Fast drying ink
  • Easier to use with the Stamp-a-ma-jig positioning tool
  • Easy to clean using Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist
  • Not recommended for water coloring (not water-proof)

Bottom Line:  Eventually, you probably will want to own all three ink pads because of the extra flexibility in your crafting.   However, if you only want to purchase one at a time, here are some quick tips to help you prioritize your purchases:

  • Purchase the Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad if you mostly use photopolymer stamps
  • Purchase the Basic Black Archival ink pad if you like to color with your Stampin’ Write markers
  • Purchase the StazOn Jet Black ink pad if you like to watercolor.

And… matter which ink pad you decide to purchase, it is always best to purchase a matching ink refill at the same time.

I hope you enjoyed the video.  Until next time, happy crafting!


Want Squeaky Clean Stamps & Fingers?

Try The Absorber!  I first learned about this amazing product from Amanda Fowler at InspiringInkin.comI was intrigued by her 10-minute video which showed how well The Absorber worked on cleaning all kinds of stamps:  clear-mount, wood-mount and photopolymer stamps. Best yet, the Absorber is re-useable and will not transfer the wiped ink back to your hands. It cleans your stamps with just water, so nothing harmful will come in contact with your stamps.


Needless to say, I had to try it and … I loved it!  While I still use my Stampin Scrub to clean and condition my stamps, the Absorber is very convenient for wiping ink smudges off your acrylic blocks, your MISTI, your hands or your crafting table!  It is lint-free, so it is really wonderful for cleaning and drying your photopolymer stamps so they won’t lose their cling quality.

The Absorber is a synthetic cloth that stays damp when stored.  After a busy day of crafting, it may dry out sitting on your craft table.  Simply wet it under the sink faucet and squeeze out the extra water, and it is ready to use again!

Heeding Amanda’s warning to not waste my money on other similar products, I ordered The Absorber from Amazon because my local Wal-Mart did not carry it.  The cloth measures 27”x17”, which I easily trimmed into eight handy-sized pieces (about 7”x 8” each).  One piece is ready to use and is stored in a small plastic container on my desk.  The other seven pieces are stored in the original plastic tube for future use during a workshop.

I would certainly recommend The Absorber for your craft room.  It is so convenient and it eliminates the waste of baby wipes.  If you try it, leave a comment and let me know how you liked it!

For February orders, please use Hostess Code:  PUYMV63Y

Until next time, happy crafting!


P.S.  A big thank you to Amanda Fowler at for graciously allowing me to post her wonderful video!