.crafty tips.

Looking for some inspiration? Are you brand new to cardmaking? Want to level up your coloring or watercoloring skills? Need tips on working with digital stamps? I’ll post my favorite tips and tricks, designers, products, and tutorials here! Do you have a question or topic that you don’t see covered? Please let me know!

Brand new to stamping? Here are some tips I wish I had at the very, very beginning.

  • Prime new stamps for a clear, stamped image: Jennifer McGuire video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl41WW5VHTg
    • I personally use a white, pencil eraser over new stamps and rub with my palm. Also stamp a few times on scratch paper. Works perfectly. There are stamp conditioning tools out there as well, but I have not tried them.
  • Adding dimension to cards: Jennifer McGuire video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWYtapqDllw&t=0s.
    • I personally use both tearable foam tape and foam tape sheets, and I also use craft foam sheets. I use foam tape and craft foam for smaller pieces and for dimension behind stamped, die cut images. For card panels, I use foam sheets (which can be pricy over time) or craft foam. I LOVE the Spellbinders craft foam.
  • Questions about ink?? Please start here! Julie did a fantastic job summarizing about many different inks! It’s a fantastic post.
  • Black ink: There are many great black inks depending on how you want to use them. Here are some of my favorites. I recommend heat setting all black ink to prevent smearing.
  • Colored Inks: There are soo many blogs and videos on this topic. Inks are personal preference, and there are so many great ones on the market.
    • My go-to inks are from Catherine Pooler. Her dye inks are the only inks that I own every single color. I love my Tim Holtz/Ranger distress oxides as well. They just have a different look and purpose.
    • Other ink brands I love are Pinkfresh Studio, Concord and 9th, and Pigment Craft Co. The Pigment inks are truly unique and fill a gap in my current color selection. I also own inks from Hero Arts, My Favorite Things, Scrapbook.com, a few others here and there. The Hero Art ink collection is great as well!
    • Ask yourself: what do you want your ink to do, what techniques will you use, what colors do you need or want, how much do you want to spend, and what design teams are you on or potentially want to be on? Hopefully this helps in aiding you decide on which ink line to invest in. I really don’t think you can go wrong.
    • Don’t forget that several inks come in mini or ink cube format so you can try them out before investing in the larger pad. Also, you can stamp a single ink color multiple times to get a darker tone. Any questions, please message me on IG!

.copic markers.

I learned early on that I love to color, but I had a hard time knowing where to start because there was so much information. In my mission to become proficient in alcohol markers, I’ve compiled a list of resources that I frequently use. These are truly resources that I love and use often, so I thought it would be helpful to share. I’ll add to this list if I find others. I am not sponsored by any of the below, though I may have an affiliate account.

Youtube accounts

Online classes

Online retailers

.digital stamps.

There are so many digital/digi stamp companies who have amazing designs. To help any beginners feel more comfortable with digital stamps, I wanted to share some info that I’ve learned along the way while working with digi stamps. Some of this guidance will reflect my own personal trial and error and some I have learned from our amazing crafting community members. Feel free to leave a comment below or message me via IG if you have any questions or useful resources to add!

These are the programs I always use when working with digi stamps:
– Adobe Illustrator – resize and place digi stamps before printing. I have created templates (.ait) in Illustrator for A2, mini slimline, and slimline cards. My current printer does not print to the edge, so I add a 0.5 inch buffer on each side.
– Adobe Lightroom – photo editing (what I use if I need to add a watermark too)

There are other programs that work and everyone’s process may be different. I’ve included a few YouTube videos that I found helpful:

  • A thread on printers in Alex Syberia’s Facebook group: https://m.facebook.com/groups/alexsyberiadesign/permalink/317930422822469/
  • A response to a question I asked to Amber Rain Davis about printer recommendations: “Here’s a link to the supply list that includes my printer. https://ldli.co/e/d2xjqd If you’ll be printing on thick cardstock or watercolor paper, I recommend getting a printer with a manual feed that pulls the paper in the front and straight out the back, vs. spooling it around the automatic feed. I prefer color laser printers for digital stamps so I can drop in digital backgrounds behind the stamps. Laser printers do well with alcohol markers and watercolor. If you have an inkjet you may need to heat set the ink but that’s doable.”
  • I bought a Canon Pixma inkjet printer (Canon PIXMA TS9520 All In one Wireless Printer) and I love it! I can print on a variety of paper weights, even watercolor paper using the manual feed from the back of the printer. I do recommend waiting a couple days before watercoloring an image to prevent any smearing.

    Paper
  • With my laser printer, I use Hammermill Cover Stock, 60lb to color with copics and Strathmore Mixed Media this paper for images I want to watercolor. When I use the Hammermill paper, I get little to no stray marks in the printing process, which is great. With the Strathmore paper, I get a lot of stray marks so I usually have to print the same image multiple times to get a good print. I can also print well on Neenah Exact Index, 110lb and vellum. I also get little to no stray ink marks on vellum. One plus for using toner printers is that they are useful for foiling images. I have not had any success printing on any other paper that I own (Neenah 110lb Solar Crest, Bristol Smooth, Catherine Pooler white cardstock, Ranger Heavystock, Ranger Watercolor paper, Arches Coldpress, Accent Opaque white)
  • With my inkjet printer, I am not limited by paper choice and can print successfully on pretty much everything I have in my stash.

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