What I Use

Please Note; I invested in one brand of card-stock, ink pads and re-inkers years ago. I still have them and have only re-ordered a few specific colors. However, I do cut my die cuts on the Silhouette in white layering weight cs and then color them, with various products. Plus, I trim my colored card stock sheets to A2 size and attach the color to only the front of my homemade white card-stock bases. I encourage you to use what you have and see how it works. Play is a good thing.

What did not work for me

  • Sharpie Paint Pens – Dry out too fast
  • Precision Pens – Also dry out before I could use them
  • Cosmic Shimmer Airless Misters – Clogged even though they were not suppose to
  • Mylar .007 for stencils cut on Silhouette – too thick. Have now learned the machine is optimal at .003.

Tips and Tricks

The following are some of the time tested ways of creating that work for me.

  • Webbing of adhesive from Xyron machine: Using the lightest pressure and rubber mat, run the piece through your embossing machine. This works really good on tiny or fine die cuts.
  • Heat Setting Embossing Powders: Use a piece of cork to heat your piece on and straight pens to hold in place. Hands free and the cork absorbs most of the excess heat.
  • Splatter tip: Tool of my choice is a splatter brush. I use a downward flick of the loaded brush by squeezing bristles of the brush behind the paint and let the bristles slide through your fingers. For black I use modeling paste that I dipped the tips of the brush to load it but then smear that on a stamping block that I spray with water to thin. I like the consistency of a thin gravy.
  • Die cut fun foam in curves: To get the adhesive to the foam I shaped the cut outs on glass mat and placed purple tape on top. Ran that through Xyron then removed the purple tape. Removed the words from the backing paper and placed on card. Took a little fussing but not too bad. Well worth the effort to get the effect of dimension and curve to the words.
  • Messy fingers: I keep small spray bottles on my work surface. One has water and the other alcohol. When I get too much ink on my fingers and I am about to ruin something I spray my hands with the alcohol and wipe clean with paper towel. If it is just water based products I use the water spray. This is also how I clean my stamps.
  • Try this before throwing in trash: Learned that white gesso is for covering when all else fails. I had sprayed the base of a die cut flower that was white with brown but got way too much spray. I thought it was headed for the trash but then remember the lesson above. Once coated lightly with thin white gesso it became quite usable. The other lesson about mixed media was that you are one more addition to perfection so don’t stop till you are happy.
  • Stencil material for Silhouette: My new found favorite stencil cutting material is a single layer of laminate pouches in the 5 mil type (separate the raw pouches without laminating). Silhouette cut quite easily and the finished stencil is sturdy enough. It allows sponging and texture pastes then cleans up without tearing. Maybe a little flimsy but it cuts very well and is re-usable.
  • Homemade Washi Tape: To make my tape I print the image on white tissue paper then ran it through the Xyron with reposition tape. Trimmed to the size I wanted, removed backing and placed on card front.
  • Improve ink flow when sponging: Add a tiny amount of glycerin to ink smooched on glass mat before picking up with sponging tool.
  • Sequins too large: I decided to see if I could trim them down. I placed them one at a time on purple tape and used a hand punch to reduce the size. Worked great.
  • How to print on tissue paper: Use reposition tape to hold the tissue to the copy paper. A piece that is a couple of inches long along the top then folded over is enough to hold the two together. Once printed remove tape to use printed image on tissue. When trimming to fit space use a watercolor brush loaded with water to outline the image then tear along the water line. This gives you a torn edge that feathers in when glued in place.
  • Marbled Paper: Wet glossy photo paper with alcohol, get it very wet. Drop in re-inkers and move liquid around either by tilting piece or use a buffer. Spread in perfect pearls from tip of paint brush.
  • Good Color Saturation: When using the smooching technique try adding your colors dark to light and allow to dry between additions.
  • Shimmer Butter as Gilding Wax: Add equal amounts of Stencil Butter, liquid glue and water to slick surface and mix. Apply with flat sponge dauber. The glue and water helps keep the medium loose for longer. As mixture dries and more water to keep working it. ONLY mix what you will use right away.
  • Envelope Glue:
    • 3 TBSP vinegar
    • 1 packet plain granulated gelatin
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp white sugar
    • Put the vinegar in a small container and microwave it until it’s hot, about 30 seconds. Add rest and stir. Let set 30 minutes before first use. Keep it in your fridge! It will last for several months. Whenever you need to use the glue, just put it in the microwave for ~10 seconds so it liquefies.