Posts Tagged tools & techniques
A PS Fan fan recently wrote in about a 4″ x 6″ booklet idea she was working on and, like many of us, the final execution of her project was unanswered – How was she going to secure the pages of her booklet?
Would it be snaps?
Could it be eyelets?
Or should it be brads?
Decisions, decision, decisions…
Sure, they seem too small for the fuss. But, take it from me, these embellishments add charm and function in their own unique way. To help her and others understand how and when to use each I created this quick-step guide.
Feel free to comment with other questions. I’ve tackled a lot of projects and have plenty of tips and tricks to offer the inquiring crafty mind.
Needle felting is a fun crafting technique that gets a little less of the spotlight than others. But there are endless possibilities to what you can make, once you know the basics. I learned this new technique making a soft sculpture using the beginners needle felting kit (Flower Felting Pin Kit). Then I transferred the knowledge into making a small family of birds. (But you can take this idea and craft whatever creature you like.)
Once I completed felting the birds, I found a piece of driftwood from the shoreline, and crafted a swing, simply by braiding pieces of string to each end. When the swing was assembled, the birds were then glued onto the piece of wood with PVA glue. And voila!…a cute family of birds who smell great!
That’s right, they smell ‘tweet’. One thing I’ve noticed about felt is that it holds smells very well. Simply spray or drop your favorite perfume/potpourri into the larger felt birds, and you’ve got yourself an adorable air freshener, as well as bragging rights. Hang it in your bathroom, car rear view mirror, or off your neck! Wherever it dwells, it has tweet smells.
In grad school I fell in love with “George”! He was older – a bit outdated for his time; he weighed 1200 lbs and smelled of inks and solvent. None of that mattered – George and I had a love-hate relationship from the start. To everyone else he was known as the Vandercook Universal. My romance with George included tediously hand setting tiny 10pt. lead type, adding even smaller brass and copper spacers, along with leading lines for sentences and breaks, etc.; chases locked (often “pied” when dropped on accident – heavy sigh!) with wood furniture. We had many long nights together, til the wee hours of the morning, with loud music and the smell of damp paper in the air. Yes, with this level of commitment and attention to George, everything letterpress, from that point on, was a thing to behold!
Here is a young “George” in a rare shot, all cleaned up for a photo! Next to him is the new lightweight at home letterpress machine, and what I might refer to as Mr. Epic!
But, alas not all love affairs can last… Read the rest of this entry »
Part of the fun of being creative is having the opportunity to play with some old favorites, but in a new way. Faber-Castell Aquarelle Watercolor Pencils have long been a favorite of mine and I was thrilled when we picked up this set of 12 colors. Here’s an easy way to create fun stationery or note cards with just a rubber stamp, ink pad, Aquash Water Brush and these colored pencils. The five quick steps below will show you how to make any ordinary image a bit more like magic.
1. Ink Your Stamp: Select a rubber stamp with some open space for fill in opportunities and room for things to flow outside the lines! This little Dandelion Rubber Stamp is one of my favorites. Ink up your stamp with Black Color Box Inkpad.
2. Create Your Stamp Impression: Stamp your design in a repeat pattern along the bottom of a card. I’m using our new paper bag note card. Remember you can stamp off the edge onto scrap paper for more layering. Heat set your image with a heat embosser to prevent the ink from bleeding too much.
3. Add Color with Pencils: Read the rest of this entry »
Like you, we know how much fun it is making cards for those special occasions, where your own imagination is the secret ingredient! This Thursday’s Creative Card Making Collection Workshop offers the perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and learn plenty of easy tips and tricks for layering, embossing, and fill-in ideas that will last you a lifetime. We’ll have an assortment of rubber stamps, ink pads, cards and envelopes to get you started – you’ll leave with a stash of cards and the skills to create even more on your own!
Here are a few card samples using some of our new bold colors along with card making techniques we’re sure you’ll love! Most of these designs sprang from the creative minds of our amazing sample making “dynamic duo,” Annie and Claudia, who never cease to wow me with their clean and playful style.
Sign up fast as seats are selling out quickly! Many stores are planning to feature this workshop again – if your store is already sold out for this week, call to find out when they might be hosting this class in the future!
Share photos of what you create on our Facebook page. I promise to let Annie and Claudia know how they have inspired you with their imaginations. Hmmm…I think I feel a card making throwdown comin’ on!
We reached out to you recently for guest blogger submissions and received many great stories about how you use your favorite crafting essentials. We’re thrilled to introduce our first guest blogger, Andrea Boudewijn, whose creative inspiration is simply delicious! Here’s her story:
Hi PS Fans! My name is Andrea Boudewijn and I’m a baker of wedding cakes and confections who loves to shop at Paper Source in Pasadena and Beverly Hills. As a cake maker, I’ve often looked to Paper Source for tools I can use on my cakes. I know what you’re thinking: What could a paper store offer that could be used at a bakery? More than you can imagine. Everything in the shop is an opportunity to get a creative edge on my cakes, but today I want to talk about a tool I reach for and use every single day: The bone folder.
If you’ve used one, you likely know its primary purpose: To aid in the clean, precise creasing of hand made notecards, origami, and other projects needing paper-folds. But in the shop, we use the comfortable, slightly-rounded face of this tool to smooth and heal our fondant and gum paste. The comfortable grip, organic feel and convenient shape allow us to rub out wrinkles, tuck fondant under a cake tier for a clean line, and on occasion texture the surface!
Once we have the fondant and gum paste smooth and perfect, we dig into our collection of PS rubber stamps to decorate. It makes an image so much more precise to use a stamp (with edible food coloring, of course!) then paint over or around it for the desired effect. We also use them in a repeated pattern to create unique texture on our cakes. It takes a steady hand and lots of math to get it exactly right, but that’s our kind of everyday creativity.
When we’re doing a suite of confections (‘sweet’ of confections? Blerrrg…), we love to Read the rest of this entry »
I love, love, love playing with new crafting tools and am so excited that we now carry one of my absolute favorites – the Silhouette SD Digital Cutting Tool. It’s similar to a printer in shape & size and connects to your computer, but instead of printing images, it uses a tiny blade to cut them out of your choice of media – paper, vellum, vinyl, oh-so-many options!
Our text weight paper works the best, and our cover weight paper and entire line of note cards can be cut with a little tweaking of the settings. It definitely takes a few practice rounds to perfect the art of placing the media in the right spot on the mat and finding the perfect the blade settings, but if you love card making, scrapbooking or just general crafting, this tool is a must have!
The tool comes pre-loaded with 50 shapes, and can cut almost any font you already have loaded on your computer. Additional images are available for download (iTunes style) on the Silhouette website. The samples shown here were created using Silhouette shapes. A patterned background and layered message (all cut out of text weight paper) make for a fun thank you card.
Floral cutouts xyroned to a brightly wrapped package with coordinating card create a fun gift presentation any girl would love! For those of you who want to take it to the next level, Read the rest of this entry »
For those of you who have tried it, you know, lining envelopes is oh, so satisfying! It’s an easy, instant upgrade to wedding invitations, stationery, and greeting cards, and even if you claim you’re not crafty, you will be able to do this. You can use almost any paper imaginable to make envelopes liners – solids, patterns, fine paper, newspaper, magazine pages, even photocopies of pictures.
When lining Paper Source envelopes, the trick is to use our Envelope Liner Template Kit, which comes with traceable plastic templates in 7 envelope sizes. Check out our How-to Video where our beloved founder Sue will show you how to make envelope liners, and keep you entertained along the way.
Enjoy, and, as Sue will remind you, Do Something Creative Every Day!
While it might seem obvious, cleaning rubber stamps does need to be done and with care to prolong the life of your stamps. Whether you’re an avid stamper or just a periodic user, you should learn how to clean rubber stamps.
A simple way to clean rubber stamps is by using a spray bottle with luke warm water. You don’t need to add soap to the water as long as you are using a water-soluble ink such as Color Box, Versa Mark, Versa Magic or Brilliance stamp pads. Spritz water onto the rubber portion of the stamp and dab with a paper towel. It’s important to dab at the rubber stamp, and not to scrub it – repeated scrubbing, even if not done aggressively may loosen the rubber from the stamp block. Although you can use water, do not clean your stamps by running water over them (e.g. in the sink) – too much water in contact with your entire stamp can degrade the adhesive that binds the stamp to the block eventually causing it to fall apart.
1. The Spritzer Rubber Stamp Cleaner is a pump-action spray cleaner that works perfectly with paper towels. Spritz some cleaner onto a rubber stamp (rubber side up in the direction of the spray) – be sure to spritz generously onto the areas that have been heavily inked. Once the stamp is moistened, gently dab (don’t scrub) at the ink with a paper towel. Repeat the dabbing process as needed until all the crevices are clean and clear of any residual ink.
2. Another great rubber stamp cleaning product is the Rubber Stamp Cleaning Pad by Rub-N-Scrub. This is especially good for lightly inked stamps. The surface of the cleaning pad is covered in soft bristles – dab your inked stamp against these (do not scrub or rub your stamp). We love this pad because it’s a green way of cleaning: the pad is removable and reusable, so you don’t waste paper towels as with other cleaning methods.
So, go forth and clean. Happy Stamping to all!