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Ask the Artist


Our Artist in Residence, Dina Kowal, answers your questions


  • Submit your question to Dina
  • September 9, 2020
    Q: Sandy asks: "I'm new to stamping. How do I stamp an image on top of a background keeping the image white?"

    A: Welcome to a wonderful hobby! To make a card like you're describing, you'll need to stamp the focal image first. You'll stamp the same image again on thin paper (a sticky note works too), and then cut it out just inside the outline. Add a temporary adhesive if needed, and lay it right over the first stamped image to cover or 'mask' it. The paper mask will protect the image so that you can create your background, even inking or stamping right over the mask. When you remove the mask all of your background will appear to be behind the image you stamped at first. You can find a full photo tutorial with video HERE.


    September 2, 2020
    Q: Kimberly asks: "Do you have a box pattern for slimline cards? I normally box my cards in packs of 8 and sell them that way."

    A: Our tutorial for creating an A2 Box Card includes a formula for making boxes of any size! It's down below the video. For the box to accommodate 3.5" x 8.5" slimline cards with #9 envelopes, your base piece will be 7-3/8" x 12-3/8" scored at 1.5" on all sides. The lid will be 6-1/2" x 11-1/2", scored at 1" on all sides.


    August 26, 2020
    Q: Betty asks: "Years ago you shared how to use clear embossing powder and ink to color it so you didn't have to buy different colors. Would you share again?"

    A: Your best asset would be a MISTI. You would be able to make multiple impressions in the same place, using any colored ink, and then a clear embossing ink with the clear powder. If you don't have a stamp positioner, you can ink up your stamp with Versamark ink before adding dye ink - the Versamark makes the impression embossable, and the color of your ink will show through the clear powder. Learn more about the MISTI in our My Sweet Petunia forum.


    August 19, 2020
    Q: maslex asks: "What marker do you use for coloring an animal's eyes?"

    A: A fine black liner pen is great for giving an eye a deep black covering. Another option are black glaze pens - they are a deep black and have that little shine that will really liven up an image. For the little light-reflection dot, I've been using acrylic paint or gesso instead of a gel pen, and dotting it with a pencil point, pin, or tiny stylus.


    August 12, 2020
    Q: Shari asks: "What do you use clear gesso for?"

    A: Gesso is a primer, used to prepare a surface for painting. You can apply clear gesso to allow the original color, pattern or print of a surface to show through (like a book page, collage, etc). It also has a little grit mixed in, which makes it a good surface prep for dry media like pastels, pencils, etc. I've also used it to give a little extra 'tooth' to a pencil drawing so I could add a white highlight over a colored area.


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