Saturday, January 31, 2009

How to- getting started

I have been asked by many of my new stampers where they should start and my seasoned stampers where I get and do with my ideas- so I thought I would start a How to Series - what would be needed- how to do some basic and advanced techniques- some ideas on how to get beyond what you see. I hope this is helpful to you- please leave me comments on any questions you have about anything I do here or techniques you want to see or questions you have about anything and everything and if I can, I will try to address it on the blog itself-

The basics: My go to tools- things I cannot live without
  1. Cutter/Scorer- you need this to cut and score paper- I have the SU fiskars
  2. Paper- basics- either whisper white or very vanilla; colorcardstock- choose a pack from one of the color families tthat appeal to you as you know they will coordinate (I have tried many different companies and SU stands up to the test every time- I do not skimp on my paper!)
  3. Glue- I cannot do without my Tombow double stick tape for most of my paper to paper adhesions; but it is also nice to have Sticky strip for any heavy duty taping (such as boxes or 3 D items you want to hold up to repeated manipulations); Dimensionals- for so little adds so much dimension to your project; Tombo Multipurpose Adhesive for gluing on beads or any 3 D item; Glue Dots for adhering buttons and other items that really need to stick
  4. Inkpad- this depends on what kind of stamps appeal to you: either way I cannot do without my Versamark pad- for embossing, popping pastel technique, resist, emboss resist and it makes a watermark on any colored cardstock so this is an easy way to make subtle background on any carstock without having to invest in gazillion colored pads. Basic Black Pad- for outline stamps and for stamping sentiments- absolute necessity.
  5. Scissors- a good pair to cut ribbon or cut out stamped images
  6. Stamps- Usually one sentiment set that has lots of versatile sayings and an image set:

If you are someone who is drawn to outline stamps then you will also need something to add color to the images- options include markers, inkpads, watercolor pencils, watercolor crayons, pastels to name a few- and depending on what you choose the tools to use it- such as aqua painter or blender pen. Right now I am gaga over the watercolor crayons.

If you find solid image stamps that appeal to you then you should consider some color pads- full size or stampin' spots- these are an easy way to try some on for size- markers although coloring in an entire image with markers can be tedious if it is large- or pastels with blender pen or watercolor crayons with spritz method to get that watercolor look, or versamark with sponge or daubers- sponges are very useful for antiquing the edges too- I have one sponge I cut into quarters and use the edges for different color families.

Everything else is just frosting on the cake- My upline Tami did this experiment on one of our get togethers where she gave people 3 sheets of CS and 3 photos and told us to create a scrapbook page in 15 minutes- we were all looking at each other and saying this is it? but when push came to shove we created some amazing pages that looked totally different from each others and taught us that you don't need a whole lot of stuff to make cards or scrapbook pages- just some noggin! When you have limited supplies I think you HAVE to be creative and in these economic times that is a good thing to remember. and because you will NEVER have as many tools as you think you need......or want.

Here are some examples using just the basic items discussed above:

Outline stamp colored with watercolor crayon using aqua painter- one color cardstock with scoremarks made with scorer.

These are made using solid image using different techniques- this is made with versamark pad with pastels and daubers technique called popping pastels.

This is just straight stampingpad using one tangerine and one kiwi pad along with the black. I snipped the corners with the scissors to make the step corner.

This is using the watercolor crayons directly on the rubber then spritzing it with a fine mist then stamping it on paper. This is what I do with the empty bottles of Stampin' Mist. It is perfect for this technique.

Extras: Nice to have but not absolutely necessary-

  1. Designer paper- you can use one sheet and make it go really far by using it as an accent
  2. punches- basic would be nested circles or squares but I use my scallop circle ALL THE TIME!
  3. Dazzling diamonds glitter with 2 way glue pen- I think if I had to have just one embellishment this would be it- it adds so much to so many different cards for so little- I think I still have the same jar that I got from a couple of years ago! Any glitter adds so much to a card....
  4. Stampin' Wheels- you can do miles and miles of backgrounds easy peasy with these- I love my wheels but that's a personal obsession.
  5. Other embellishments- Ribbons, Buttons, Brads- metal, colored, jeweled, the options are endless, chipboard letters, images, clips, tags, punched, diecut, and now even crocheted flowers and other shapes, stickers, rub-ons, need I go on?
  6. Stamp cleaner and stampin' mist- I spent a lot of moollah on stamps so I want to keep them in good shape- wash them off with warm soapy water and dry, use lanolin and alcohol free baby wipes, or use the good stuff- stampin' mist has a conditioner that keeps your stamps nice and soft- FYI- keep them also out of the sun- you don't want your rubber to get hard and not stamp well anymore.

I hope this helps those of you who are getting started or re-evaluating what you need. Leave me any comments or suggestions, I love reading what you have to say!


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