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Old 01-20-2013, 04:04 PM   #41
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This is such a wonderful thread. I am finding it so encouraging to hear people whose work I have admired in the Gallery talk about their frustrations learning one thing or another! It's so easy to think that everyone else can just do anything right off! It makes me look at my own struggles with a bit less angst!
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:19 PM   #42
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This thread is hilarious cause I would have to say, as someone already did, that no matter what I try, the first few times with a new technique ends in the trash. But the two that cause me most grief are stamping with an ink and using black em. powder...it just is everywhere no matter what I try to do to prevent it. Now having given up, I use the color ink I want and just put clear over it. The other technique that I am having a hard time with is coloring with alcohol markers or any marker to be quite honest here. I have such dreams....then I try it and it turns out ugly. Oh, and another thing is getting ink on my hands and accidentally touching some part of the cardstock that needs improvisation to cover. I get tired of putting flowers over spots instead of where I originally wanted them. How do I keep the ink off me???? Oh, the woes and learning curves to card making! But, having said all this I am still thrilled with what I CAN do to produce a pretty card!
HAHAHAHA! I have the same problem with ink! What about forgetting to clean your mat and moving your card over it. Then you have ink all over the back. For my fingers I try to keep scrap cardstock to rub my fingers on, however it doesn't always work. One time I even got ink on my arm, then I started seeing it on my "white" desk, my card, everywhere! I didn't know where it came from! What a sad cardmaking time.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:27 PM   #43
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This is such a wonderful thread. I am finding it so encouraging to hear people whose work I have admired in the Gallery talk about their frustrations learning one thing or another! It's so easy to think that everyone else can just do anything right off! It makes me look at my own struggles with a bit less angst!
I kind of thought this thread would get some comments. We've all had a mistake! From burning the floor with a heat gun to burning cardstock while soot stamping. LOL!
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:45 PM   #44
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I got such a chuckle out of your post! The inky finger syndrome- OH yes. That one I know well. It's not bad early in the project but JUST when you are almost done- there it is. That ugly black something that you didn't put there! TOO funny. You wash your hands about a hundred times but that blob comes from nowhere anyway. I agree with the flower and label thing. Just once I wish I didn't have to do that.


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This thread is hilarious cause I would have to say, as someone already did, that no matter what I try, the first few times with a new technique ends in the trash. But the two that cause me most grief are stamping with an ink and using black em. powder...it just is everywhere no matter what I try to do to prevent it. Now having given up, I use the color ink I want and just put clear over it. The other technique that I am having a hard time with is coloring with alcohol markers or any marker to be quite honest here. I have such dreams....then I try it and it turns out ugly. Oh, and another thing is getting ink on my hands and accidentally touching some part of the cardstock that needs improvisation to cover. I get tired of putting flowers over spots instead of where I originally wanted them. How do I keep the ink off me???? Oh, the woes and learning curves to card making! But, having said all this I am still thrilled with what I CAN do to produce a pretty card!
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:47 PM   #45
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I can't heat emboss acetate at all. It melteth. I tried doing an ornament that needed the acetate to be heat embossed after it was stamped and colored. Stamped it just fine. Colored it rather nicely, and then melted it trying to heat it. That sucketh.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:48 PM   #46
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I can't heat emboss acetate at all. It melteth. I tried doing an ornament that needed the acetate to be heat embossed after it was stamped and colored. Stamped it just fine. Colored it rather nicely, and then melted it trying to heat it. That sucketh.
Ah - some acetate is not heat-resistant and some is. Anything that is designed to go through a laser copier should be embossable with no problems, but some of the stuff sold as covers or clear cardstock isn't. I have had some success heat-setting inks with a hairdryer on regular acetate, but I don't think that would be hot enough for embossing .


I did read a thread before Christmas where someone (Chautona, I think ??) had some success embossing with regular acetate and doing it in 30 second blasts. I need to get ready for work, so I can't look back to find that post just now.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:53 PM   #47
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As of this evening, I apparently do NOT know how to use a plain and simple die. It's a large pattern, but it will only cut certain portions of the design, and less and less of this with each pass through the machine. I am trying to resist the urge to toss the useless die AND the die-cutting machine into the more-than-plentiful snow outside. On days like this, I have NO idea why I like and spend a fortune on this hobby.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:35 AM   #48
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Colouring with Distress Inks - can't show you a sample because I recycled it - it was AWFUL!

And distressing, shabby, vintagey cards - you know where you ink the edges of your image with Brown ink and rough up the edges of everything so it looks a little torn and you add seam binding ribbon that is a bit crinkled or tea-dyed lace? Love what others do but mine always looks like something I either dragged out of the compost bin from last century or stepped on with a very muddy shoe. Just can't get my head around it.

Also not very good at doing different folds of cards other than the standard fold in the centre. I feel so boring but I just seem to get confused with following directions for Tri-fold shutter cards or Gatefold cards etc. and end up scoring them in the wrong place and waste the cardstock. So frustrating! Please tell me I am not alone..........
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:36 AM   #49
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What a great thread.. I kept looking for the "like" button on each and every post. In 5 years of trying and one of my very first techniques was using the color box tool on glossy - Stampscape style. On and off for 5 years I have tried but my success rate is near zero. After several attempts I may get a monochromatic tone on a one stamp scene. If I try composition and multi colors- well- it's not going to happen. Kudos to those who can do it. Maybe some day I will.
I tried for years to work with the color box tool and I finally sold the handles and sponges as I could never get it right. Now I use a stipple brush and I have so much more control. I also like using the round tan sponges (I cut into four pieces).

What I've found with most techniques is just how much am I willing to practice before this technique is not worth it for me. When I started stamping I had no art/craft experience and I've spent hours learning how to use pencils, markers, watercolor, etc. I teach a monthly papercrafting class and I tell my class that they can't expect to get perfect results unless they want to practice when it comes to some of the techniques but once you figure out what works for you, it's so much fun.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:40 AM   #50
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As of this evening, I apparently do NOT know how to use a plain and simple die. It's a large pattern, but it will only cut certain portions of the design, and less and less of this with each pass through the machine. I am trying to resist the urge to toss the useless die AND the die-cutting machine into the more-than-plentiful snow outside. On days like this, I have NO idea why I like and spend a fortune on this hobby.

Have you heard about the metal shim? It's the only way I can cut the intricate dies. There are several threads on here about what works for different machines but for me it solved all my problems with the thin dies.

You like this hobby because when it works it is so much fun...
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:41 AM   #51
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anything that involves an brayer and multiple colors of ink pads... can you say MUD???
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:25 PM   #52
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I haven't heard of that before. Maybe I better research it. I use a Big Kick machine, in the event that any of you know which one is a good one to use. What I really don't understand, is why it worked very briefly, (2 times) and now won't do a thing.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:44 PM   #53
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Angie, if it is a Spellbinder die, call them. I had a die that would not cut completely and I called and the woman said to run it through, give it a quarter turn and then run it through again, and that if it still didn't work, they would replace it. But turning it did the trick.

Even if it isn't a Spellbinder die, I would call the company and tell them what is going on. Let them make a suggestion or offer to replace the die. There may be something wrong with it. If they suggest shimming, then fine. I'm just very cautious when it comes to shimming. If you overdo it and loosen your machine, there's no fixing it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:09 PM   #54
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HA! My least successful technique.... how about my most successful? Using a bone folder. Everything else... well. I bought Pro Markers - that was a mess. I bought the expensive pencils and the mineral spirits, I watching a thousand videos. Still, I'm a mess. You would think with all the years experience I have all all the supplies I have that I would make pretty things. Well my friends, this is the year, I WILL learn. I WILL follow directions properly. I will not give up!
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:44 PM   #55
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anything that involves an brayer and multiple colors of ink pads... can you say MUD???
Oh yes, I can certainly relate to that. And not just a muddy piece of cardstock - but MUDDY ME too And the technique looks so simple in the videos I have watched...........
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:17 PM   #56
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Rachel,

Thank you for the suggestions. I think it is a SpellBinders die, and I plan to contact them. I don't think the store I bought it at will do a refund, as it was a final sale. However, if the product they sold was defective, I'm not sure what their policy is. So far, they seem to be a great store.

Okay, can somebody please explain what a shim (metal or otherwise) is? And what is swimming? And how can it possibly wreck your die-cutting machine?
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:24 PM   #57
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QUOTE=Angie1974;19955912]I haven't heard of that before. Maybe I better research it. I use a Big Kick machine, in the event that any of you know which one is a good one to use. What I really don't understand, is why it worked very briefly, (2 times) and now won't do a thing.[/QUOTE]

I have to ask but I'm sure it's a silly question, since it doesn't cut at all you are placing the sharp cutting edge against the cardstock, yes?

I have to BS as I teach classes and each machine is a little difference. Some things to note:

Over time, your BS will loosen up, it's the nature of the machines.

Shims don't hurt your machine but trying to put a sandwich that is too thick will break your machine.

Cutting plates get thinner and warp with use. Be prepared to replace them, but I use mine until they break. If needed I'll add a shim.

You don't get the exact results with a die unless you are always using the same paper weight. Be prepared to do a little testing.

Not all dies are created equal. Some cut better than others, even within the same brand. If you can't get a good cut, call the company, you may have a "bad" die.

The more intricate cuts the more difficult it may be to get a good cut. Using the metal shim has solved any problems I had. Some people are using metal flashing from the hardware store but I haven't tried so I can't say if they work or not.

Check out this thread for a discussion on metal shims

With all the variables (differnt machines, different paper, different dies) it's hard for a company to make the perfect die. Be prepared to test and then write down what works. I have 8-10 differnt shims I keep on hand. They range from thick chipboard to printer paper but my fav is the metal shim.

I hope some of this helps.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:20 PM   #58
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Here's the metal shim I use: Big Shot Adaptor Plate - Cheery Lynn Designs
When it first came out, it was called a "Cuttlehug" because it was made for the Cuttlebug. Now they have one a bit larger for the Big Shot, but my Cuttlehug works just fine in my Big Shot (or at least it will until I need to cut something wider than 6").

Angie, I assume you meant "shimming" - it's adding layers to your diecut sandwich before running it through your machine. Sometimes you need as little as a sheet of copy paper; sometimes you need a several sheets or a piece of cardstock or cardboard.

I started out with a Cuttlebug; I've never broken a B plate, but did break a "C". Can't remember what I was trying to emboss, but it wasn't working; so I turned the entire sandwich around leaving the A plate on the bottom, then the B, embossing mat, paper and my die, with the C on top. CRACK! So glad I had an extra on hand.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:28 PM   #59
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Me and my spelling, LOL. Thank you for the explanations. Question-if I try to add more layers, they have to go under the die, right? Otherwise the machine will "think" I want it to cut through all that material. And yes, I am using the die blade-side up. I know that I'm never buying an intricate die again. What a nuisance. I also have a few other dies that do the same thing. And they are not all that intricate. Anyway, I will have a go with trying to add some cardstock layers. I suspect part of the problem is that the die doesn't want to lie totally flat. So maybe the cardstock will work.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:40 AM   #60
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RachelRose, try watercolor pencils, or even just straight up color pencils. They are very forgiving. Get a white eraser to go with, and use your finger to smooth them out till you are ready to try working with a stump.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:12 AM   #61
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This is great! Love this conversation! I'm with the failed brayer artists. What a mess -- and I've wasted too much time and c/s on this technique. No more! For those of you with pilling c/s: have you tried the extra thick c/s from Canadian Scrapbooker? It will take all the techniques you can throw at it
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:52 AM   #62
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That happened to me once and it was because I had cut another die in between the thin die cuts and had forgotten to change the platform back for thin dies.
It is a surprise when the die sandwich comes out and nothing has happened. Funny in hindsight, but puzzling at the time.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:43 AM   #63
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Angie - If you have no luck with shimming, contact Spellbinders. Go to their site and the number is there. Don't bother with the store where you bought the die. Spellbinders will replace a defective die.

Cakhuxel - I'm starting to practice with my Prismas and I think I am improving a little. I got the softer stumps from Taiwan, and I also found that plain mineral oil seems to be better than baby oil. Go figure. Baby oil is merely mineral oil and fragrance. But to me there seems to be a difference. And it's nice not to have to deal with the fragrance when I'm bent over something, coloring.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:25 AM   #64
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When I saw Phantom's response about soot stamping I almost jumped up and down screaming - YES! That's so my nemesis. Only thing is I doubt I'll ever be patient enough to get it to work. Love the look people who do it right get instead of the burned mess I get.
A trick for soot stamping, use an oil lamp and turn up the wick to make it smoke. LEAVE the lamp part on if your afraid of fire! You have to clean soot out of the lamp but it will work. If you don't have a lamp, leave the wick LONG on your candle, that makes them smoke more. Good luck
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:04 AM   #65
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As of this evening, I apparently do NOT know how to use a plain and simple die. It's a large pattern, but it will only cut certain portions of the design, and less and less of this with each pass through the machine. I am trying to resist the urge to toss the useless die AND the die-cutting machine into the more-than-plentiful snow outside. On days like this, I have NO idea why I like and spend a fortune on this hobby.
I've found the problem i have is not with the dies but with the condition of the cutting pads and/or needing an extra sheet of CS under the plates as a shim. I know my top cutting pad is getting pretty dinged up and that may affect how some more detailed dies cut.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:38 AM   #66
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A trick for soot stamping, use an oil lamp and turn up the wick to make it smoke. LEAVE the lamp part on if your afraid of fire! You have to clean soot out of the lamp but it will work. If you don't have a lamp, leave the wick LONG on your candle, that makes them smoke more. Good luck
I'm kind of glad I'm not the only one who has issues with fire and paper .

Thanks for the tip on the oil lamp - I just may try that or your other tip on the long wick!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:06 AM   #67
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Soot stamping is my nemesis! Much paper was flaming every time I tried this. I'll try again when I am in a patient mood.
I have found that if I put my candle (about 5" long and skinny) in a stand made from a block of wood with the right size hole drilled in the center, it allows me to hold the card in one hand and the knife in the other and manipulate them to get a nice overall coverage and not worry about controlling the flame as it is stationary. I love the soot technique---both the positive and the negative processes.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:43 AM   #68
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Mine is the Waterfall card. It always looks very handmade by someone that doesnt know what she is doing.

Any tricks?

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Old 01-23-2013, 01:09 PM   #69
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Mine is the Waterfall card. It always looks very handmade by someone that doesnt know what she is doing.

Any tricks?

Bonnie K
Scoring very well before adding the picture panels!
Do you sew on your cards ? - I've found sewing all round the edges is a great way of attaching the small strip that holds the waterfall strip to the card base.
I love waterfall cards - probably the first really fun technique I learned, and what brought me to SCS.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:15 PM   #70
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Mine is the Waterfall card. It always looks very handmade by someone that doesnt know what she is doing.

Any tricks?

Bonnie K
Hmmm I'm not certain I have seen a Waterfall card that doesn't look handmade. That really isn't a bad thing though.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:47 PM   #71
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I guess "homemade" was not a good word. Forgive me if I offended anyone. I was talking about my own skills not being up to par

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:48 PM   #72
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It's amazing how each of us have things that make us a little crazy. I used to teach a technique class to a group of ladies. If they wanted something that I didn't know I learned it. Luckily they never asked for egg shell or soot. My biggest issue is when there are many folds. Even with my score tool I slip or don't make an accurate fold. I find that a wet ink pad works best with my brayer and start rolling off the CS so you don't get a line.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:19 PM   #73
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I guess "homemade" was not a good word. Forgive me if I offended anyone. I was talking about my own skills not being up to par

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I'm sure your skills are great! That's why I said it because I love the look of a waterfall card but I really haven't seen one that looks anything but something handcrafted. I think it is just in the whole technique of it. TBH it would be great if someone pointed out one that excedes my expectations!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:19 PM   #74
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Fire...paper....smoke alarm...
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:43 AM   #75
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Well, I have to say, I've been stamping for 25 years and tried many techniques. Soot stamping has never worked for me. I can never get enough soot no matter what I try. I like the look when others do it, but not enough to make myself crazy. Then there was a technique on the forums here using Oxi Clean (which I bought a huge container of to use) and that came out sucky. Never was sure what I did wrong, so I was uncertain what to change if I tried it again. I probably should since I don't know what else to use that container for. Also I have trouble with any card that requires lots of measuring and cutting, so most of my cards are simple A-6 cards. I am good at most coloring technique, but watercolor is not a stong medium for me. My watercolor attemps look like they were done by a five year old.

Now for hint: My best hint is for blender pens with pastels or ink pads. Stamp your image and then use a matt paper fixative spray to spray the paper. Let this dry and then use your blender pens. It gives a smooth surface that allows the markers, pads and pastels to float and blend beautifully without the paper pilling.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:12 AM   #76
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Oh, and another thing is getting ink on my hands and accidentally touching some part of the cardstock that needs improvisation to cover. I get tired of putting flowers over spots instead of where I originally wanted them. How do I keep the ink off me???? Oh, the woes and learning curves to card making! But, having said all this I am still thrilled with what I CAN do to produce a pretty card!
I have trouble with this, too. I keep an old hand towel hanging on the back of my chair and put it in my lap when I stamp. I wipe my hands on it almost without thinking about it, and I am not messing up near as many cards with stray ink now.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:14 PM   #77
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The technique that always frustrates me is probably an older one - you use 3 different re-inkers and a baby wipe. Drip 2 or 3 spots of each re-inker onto the wipe - the colours should run into each other and make a unique "stamp pad". I learned to do this at a workshop - ordered the re-inkers and the stamps we used - and have NEVER been able to reproduce those results - it always ends up being a blotchy, yucky mess.
For the people having problems with watercolouring - I use watercolour paper, a damp to wet fine paintbrush, and a stamp pad. With the pad closed, squeeze the lid down onto the ink pad. Open the stamp pad up, and you should have a pool of colour on the lid. Dip your paintbrush into the ink and go about "painting" - you can adjust the depth of the colour by how much water you use for your brush. HTH!
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:20 PM   #78
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The technique that always frustrates me is probably an older one - you use 3 different re-inkers and a baby wipe. Drip 2 or 3 spots of each re-inker onto the wipe - the colours should run into each other and make a unique "stamp pad". I learned to do this at a workshop - ordered the re-inkers and the stamps we used - and have NEVER been able to reproduce those results - it always ends up being a blotchy, yucky mess.
For the people having problems with watercolouring - I use watercolour paper, a damp to wet fine paintbrush, and a stamp pad. With the pad closed, squeeze the lid down onto the ink pad. Open the stamp pad up, and you should have a pool of colour on the lid. Dip your paintbrush into the ink and go about "painting" - you can adjust the depth of the colour by how much water you use for your brush. HTH!
This is what I do for watercoloring, but use an aqua brush instead. It is much easier to control the water to make it lighter and darker to have highlights and shadows. I don't do much coloring on stamped images, but when I do this is how I do it or use watercolor crayons.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:40 PM   #79
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The technique that always frustrates me is probably an older one - you use 3 different re-inkers and a baby wipe. Drip 2 or 3 spots of each re-inker onto the wipe - the colours should run into each other and make a unique "stamp pad". I learned to do this at a workshop - ordered the re-inkers and the stamps we used - and have NEVER been able to reproduce those results - it always ends up being a blotchy, yucky mess.
....
I remember this technique! Called the baby wipe technique? I did try it several times and have a few samples in my gallery - from way back in 2008 (this one is my favorite). I wish it was more fresh in my mind so I could offer some good tips, but this is what I remember.

In the description for the one linked above, I actually had a sheet of glossy paper under the baby wipe and then used that as the ink pad.

What I do remember very clearly is that I did not drop the ink onto the wipe randomly. I looked at the stamp as I did it and to some extent put the colors where I wanted them.

I think it also helped to find baby wipes without a pattern on them and very little texture. And I used the technique with regular cardstock - I think this one was SU's natural confetti.

And I know I used two layers of baby wipes and put them on a plastic bag (when I didn't accidentally put them on glossy cardstock ) - that way the ink couldn't soak through and more was available for the stamp.

Hope that might help. Thanks for reminding me of this fun technique. It works better with more silhouette-style stamps so I'll have to pull some out and try it again.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:40 PM   #80
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Also not very good at doing different folds of cards other than the standard fold in the centre. I feel so boring but I just seem to get confused with following directions for Tri-fold shutter cards or Gatefold cards etc. and end up scoring them in the wrong place and waste the cardstock. So frustrating! Please tell me I am not alone..........
My first time trying a tri fold shutter- with directions RIGHT in front of me that i had just read and then read again- I promptly scored and then cut in the wrong places. Immediately! Still have not tried it again although oddly enough I was thinking about it just today.
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