Making the Most of Your Firm-Foam Ink Pads

Classic-Pads-Banner

The newest Classic Stampin’ Pads are made with Firm-Foam instead of Linen-Covered Felt. The Firm-Foam gives you better ink coverage on your rubber stamps. The key to getting the coverage even is to tap the stamp on the pad. If you “grind” it into the pad, you’ll get ink all over the stamp and the least little bit of rocking will add unsightly ink marks to your image. The “grinding” worked fine with the old Linen pads, but the Firm-Foam pad has a lot more give. Just remember: tap-tap-tap!

You can see more tips about Firm-Foam pads in my article: Give Your Firm-Foam Classic Stampin’ Pads A Massage.

Got a question about a product or tool? E-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com or post your question in Comments. I’ll respond directly to your e-mail and post the answer here on www.3amStamper.com. If you need an answer right away, you may always contact my Help Desk at 3amstamperhelp@gmail.com.

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Need Help with Holiday Bills?

Business woman look up under money rainIf your household is like mine, the Holiday bills are starting to arrive. Wouldn’t it be nice to have help paying those little critters? How about owning your own stamping business and having extra cash every month?

As a Stampin’ Up!® Independent Demonstrator, you can make extra cash with your own stamping business and share your crafting talents while you’re doing so. You can work your business to fit your own schedule and lifestyle – and can even earn full-time pay for part-time work!

Have you thought about owning your own stamping business? Wouldn’t it be great to share your talents and pick up some extra cash as well? Those Holiday bills will not be a problem again! Click on the Join My Team Button in the sidebar to see some ideas. You can also see more in the Owning Your Own Business menu above. If you have questions or would like to find out more, give me a call at (707) 695-3571, or e-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com.  I’d love to chat with you about my business and talk about what the possibilities can be for YOU!

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Would You Like the Latest Craft News?

Feb-News-BitWould you like the latest news from the world of rubber stamping, scrapbooking and papercrafting delivered right to your inbox each month? That’s what you receive when you join my Mailing List! Every month, my Mailing List Subscribers enjoy my newsletter, 3am Thoughts, filled with the latest news, tips, and ideas… and it’s FREE!!

My newsletter typically includes 4 or 5 tutorials, worth between $4.95 and $7.95 each. News, tips, ideas, tricks and techniques are sprinkled throughout.

To join my Mailing List and receive my monthly newsletter, 3am Thoughts, filled with news, tutorials, tips & tricks, fill out the form at right. Be sure you click the link in your confirmation e-mail or you won’t be signed up! You’ll collect 2 free tutorials (valued at $7.95 each) when your membership is confirmed!

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Holiday Layout With Layered Elements

Holiday Layout with Framelits-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

On Saturday, I discussed Creating Layered Elements with Framelits™ Dies. I mentioned that I thought a 6” x 6” page would not leave much room for photos if you attached a layered element made with the size of Labels Collection Framelits™ Dies (125598) I showed. While this is true, I realized you could have a photo match the element by using the Framelit to crop it and make a two-page 6” x 6” layout.

I stamped the tree image from the Lovely As A Tree Stamp Set (128655, wood; 127793, clear) on a piece of Whisper White 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (100730). I used at least a 6” x 5” piece so the Labels Collection Framelits™ Die would fit around it. To get the two-tone colors, I inked up the image with the Garden Green Classic Stampin’ Pad (126973) and colored the trunk with an Early Espresso Marker from the Neutrals Stampin’ Write Markers (131261) collection.

Once the image was set, I tried out a number of Framelits™ Die Collections before settling on the Labels Collection. The tree is too tall for any but this set of Dies, since I wanted to layer the image on two larger die-cuts. The die that fit was the third largest in the Labels Collection. I used the second largest die to cut a layer from Garden Green 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (102584) and the largest die to cut the bottom layer from Gold Glimmer Paper (133719).

When you place your elements, offset them so you have room to journal. I used the Gold Stampin’ Dazzle Marker (133634) to write a word on the page to give you an idea. I won’t be writing more until I have the picture to talk about.  You can see how simple and quick it is to make this layout – you can easily use the elements on larger pages (and have room for more photos)!

To order what you need to make your own Holiday Layout with layered elements, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article. You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $30 purchased. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150.

 

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Creating Layered Elements

Hanukkah Treat Bag - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

When you use Framelits™ and your Big Shot™ Die-Cutting Machine (113439), you can easily create layered elements for greeting cards, scrapbook pages or packaging. I’m sure you can find a lot of uses! You may also want to check my post, Layering With Framelits™ Dies from last month for additional ideas. Many Framelits™ come in nested sizes, which is exactly what makes it easy…and fast!

On this Hanukkah Treat Bag, I used the Labels Collection Framelits™ Dies (125598) to create the element. First, I stamped the Happy Hanukkah (135782) image with a Pacific Point Classic Stampin’ Pad (126951) on Whisper White 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (100730). Then, I looked for the Label Framelit that was closest in size to encompass the image and die-cut it. I edged the die-cut with the Pacific Point Pad and a Sponge Dauber (133773), rather than cut another layer, since I knew I wanted to use a layer of Silver Glimmer Paper (135314).

I used the next size larger Label Framelit to die-cut the layer from Silver Glimmer Paper. My final layer was cut with the next size larger Label Framelit and Pacific Point 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (111350). I adhered all the layers together with Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026) and attached a Whisper White 5/8” Satin Ribbon bow at the top with Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430).

At the widest point of the bottom layer, the Hanukkah element measures 4-5/8”, which is wider than a standard greeting card front. It worked perfectly as the decoration on a Polka Dot Tag A Bag Gift Bag (135503). It would also make a great element on a larger card (7” x 5” for example) and on a 6” x 6” or larger scrapbook page. Personally, I would use 8” x 8” or larger with this size element as there won’t be room for photos otherwise.

Would you like to try out creating layered elements yourself with a group of your friends?  Let’s plan a PlayShop together (PlayShop stands for first we Play with my stuff, then we Shop!). You can earn free catalog merchandise (including exclusive hostess stamp sets and accessories) as well.   Give me a call at (707) 695-3571 or e-mail Mary Varley at mary@3amstamper.com and let’s chat. I look forward to tailoring the project to you! If you’re out of town, don’t worry, I also do Online and Teleconference PlayShops.

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Create Embossed Borders Yourself

Simply Scored Borders Scoring PlateThe Simply Scored® Scoring Tool (125624) is great for scoring straight lines and letting you create folds down to 1/8” deep. It also has accessories available that allow you to expand its uses and enhance your creativity.

One of these accessories is the Simply Scored® Borders Scoring Plate (126192). You can add a variety of designs to your project, including four styles of zig-zag and four styles of scallops. As you can see, you have a lot of choices!

The Borders Scoring Plate fits on the bed of the Scoring Tool. It includes a translucent vinyl over-plate that helps you guide your scoring. The over-plate lets you “see” where the grooves are so you can emboss them with the stylus. You may emboss any size of card stock or paper up to 12” x 12”. The over-plate helps hold the card stock or paper in place while you’re embossing.

For best results:

  1. Line up the Scoring Plate with the corner of the bed of the Scoring Tool. There are arrows on the back of the plate to help you make sure it’s lined up correctly.
  2. Place the material to be embossed wherever you want it on the Scoring Plate.
  3. Place the over-plate on top, making sure it’s lined up with the corner of the Scoring Tool.
  4. Pick up the Stylus and emboss!

The Borders Scoring Plate gives you a soft, shallow indentation. This keeps the paper or card stock from stretching as much. You can create embossed or debossed borders, or combine the designs into a variety of background patterns. Either way, you can create lovely borders for cards, gifts, pages or other projects!

Got a question about a product or tool? E-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com or post your question in Comments. I’ll respond directly to your e-mail and post the answer here on www.3amStamper.com. If you need an answer right away, you may always contact my Help Desk at 3amstamperhelp@gmail.com.

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Would You Like A Birthday Gift?

Birthday Club Certificate - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

My Mailing List Subscribers are the only ones who are able to join my Birthday Club. It’s free to join and on the first of their birth month, they receive a Gift Certificate to spend on any of my 3am Stamper products or on Stampin’ Up!® catalog products.

To join my Mailing List, which is also free, and sign up for my Birthday Club, just fill out the form at right. Be sure you click the link in your confirmation e-mail or you won’t be signed up and you won’t receive my Birthday Club invitation!

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Year-End Clearance Under Way

Embossed Mini Milk Cartons - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

Stampin’ Up!®’s Year-End Clearance is going on right now. It runs through January 5th or while supplies last.

Take advantage of savings up to 80% on both retired and selected current products. You can find Core’dinations Card Stock Assortments, which you can emboss with Textured Impressions™ Embossing Folders, then sand to reveal the lighter center. The Mini Milk Carton and Fun Flowers Bigz™ L Dies are on the list! The Core’dinations Card Stock and Mini Milk Carton Die were used in my photo.

Click on my Order Online Button in the right sidebar, then click on Year End Clearance or click the link to get directly to the Year-End Clearance!

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Complementary Red and Green in Designer Colors

Joy Ornamental Pine Card - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

Red and Green have become traditional Christmas colors and can turn into “Designer” colors with a move of a few degrees on the Color Wheel. Red and Green are complementary colors, which you may remember means they are directly opposite each other on the Color Wheel. If you move the wheel from Red to slightly toward Violet, you’ll get the Red-Violet that I’ve used in my example. Directly opposite that is the Green-Yellow I also used. It’s that easy to go from Traditional to Designer!

The card I made for this article starts with a base of Rich Razzleberry 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (115316), which is in the Red-Violet color group. The top layer is cut from Mossy Meadow 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (133676), which is a member of the Green-Yellow color group. I accented with Gold Foil Sheets (132622), Gold 1/8” Ribbon (134583) and Gold Stampin’ Emboss Powder (109129).

Other Supplies Used: Ornamental Pine Stamp Set (135104, wood; 135107, clear); Endless Wishes Stamp Set (136829, photopolymer); Embossing Buddy (103083); Heat Tool (129053); 1/8” Circle Handheld Punch (134365); Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026); Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430)

Would you like to try out Color Craft techniques yourself with a group of your friends?  Let’s plan a PlayShop together (PlayShop stands for first we Play with my stuff, then we Shop!). You can earn free catalog merchandise (including exclusive hostess stamp sets and accessories) as well.   Give me a call at (707) 695-3571 or e-mail Mary Varley at mary@3amstamper.com and let’s chat. I look forward to tailoring the project to you! If you’re out of town, don’t worry, I also do Online and Teleconference PlayShops.

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Make a Sea of Snowflakes

Sea-of-Snowflakes-Card

I’m sure no one is surprised that I’m having a lot of fun with Thinlits™ Dies. You may recall I posted Insider’s Secrets to Thinlits™ Dies a few weeks ago and last week I posted Thinlits™-Some More Tips. Today, we’re just going to play with Thinlits™ Dies and our Big Shot™ Die-Cutting Machine (113439).

I used the waxed paper technique to die-cut the words, snowflakes and scallops (the sea) from Silver Foil Sheets (132178). I used the Big Shot™ Magnetic Platform (130658) with Standard Cutting Pads (113475) to hold the dies in place from the Snowflake Card Thinlits™ (135855) so I could cut out the snowflakes and words all at once. The Magnetic Platform is also a great help when cutting the Striped Scallop Thinlits™ Die (133734) because you can cut the card stock or paper to fit, then line up the Thinlit how you want it and die-cut.

For this design, I used Adhesive Transfer Sheets (133722) to stick the Striped Scallop die-cut flat on the card front. I found that Glue Dots (103683) worked to hold the large snowflakes together, but tiny dots of Multipurpose Liquid Glue (110755) were best to use for the small snowflakes and the words. The Liquid Glue made it easy to offset the Silver Foil word from the Lost Lagoon 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (133679) shadow. And you really only need to use tiny dots!

Other Supplies Used: All Is Calm Specialty Designer Series Paper (135823); Pearl Basic Jewels (119247); Large Pearl Basic Jewels (now retired); Coastal Cabana Stampin’ Blendabilities Markers (131000), lightest; In Color 2014-2016 Stampin’ Write Markers (122654), Lost Lagoon; Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026)

This project is one example of the class material you may see as part of your Online Bonus Class when you join the 3am Stamper’s iClub.  Become a 3am Stamper’s iClub Member now and start with next month’s session.  Club orders are due the 10th of each month!  To find out more, just click on the preceding link or on the link in the drop-down menu on the navigation bar, “Events & Classes“.

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Do You Have a Crafting Question?

Question MarkI am looking for help with some questions to answer – anything about rubber stamping, scrapbooking, papercrafting, color and related subjects.  If you have a question you’d like answered, post it in Comments or e-mail me directly at mary@3amstamper.com.  I will answer you directly and may do a blog post, Facebook Status Update or tweet with the answer as well.

If you’re a Mailing List Subscriber, I’ll be sure and do an article in my newsletter for you!  It will be exclusive for subscribers, and will mention your name, unless you tell me to keep it anonymous.

So here’s what to do:

1.  Post a question in comments or e-mail your question to me at mary@3amstamper.com

2.  If you’re not already signed up, join my mailing list by filling in the form at right.  You’ll receive two free tutorials just for becoming a member!

Thanks for your help! I will have a thank-you gift for all questioners!

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Red and Green, the Complements

Season of Joy Card - Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

Red and Green come in a range of hues, tints and shades, but the colors are still complementary. In this example, I used Always Artichoke, which is in the Green-Yellow group, and Purely Pomegranate, from the Red-Violet group. These color groups are directly opposite each other on the color wheel, so they are perfectly complementary.

In a few days, we’ll discuss more about the Complements of Red and Green, so please check back.

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Coloring Basic Jewels

Joy Thinlits Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.comI love to color the Rhinestone (119246) and Pearl (119247) Basic Jewels to match or coordinate with my projects. My favorite tool for coloring these embellishments is a set of Stampin’ Blendabilities Markers. As there are only twelve sets in the Stampin’ Up!® core colors, I tried out a few techniques for achieving the colors I wanted.

The best technique made use of my favorite Stampin’ Blendabilities Markers. This works on any non-porous surface and is perfect for coloring the Basic Jewels.

It’s very simple:

  1. Color the Pearl or Rhinestone with the lightest Blendabilities Marker in the set that is closest to the color you want.
  2. Color over the Pearl or Rhinestone with the Stampin’ Write Marker that matches or coordinates with the color you want before the Blendabilities ink dries.
  3. Let the ink dry a minute and you’re good to go.

The Stampin’ Blendabilities Marker ink is alcohol-based and so will take a little time to dry. You still need to work quickly, but it mixes well with the Stampin’ Write Marker ink to leave a permanent color. In my sample, I used the Old Olive Stampin’ Blendabilities Markers (130999) with the Garden Green Marker from the Regals Stampin’ Write Markers (131262) to turn the Rhinestones Garden Green.

I first tried the medium Old Olive Blendabilities Marker to see if it would match well enough. I colored it over with the Garden Green Marker and was pleased with the result. The light Old Olive Blendabilities Marker would have worked better, but the coloring was done! You get the benefit of my experiment and can use the lightest Blendabilities Marker colors when you are coloring your Basic Jewels.

Note: You DON’T want to use the Color Lifter Stampin’ Blendabilities Marker (129369) when coloring your Jewels as it is designed to lift color away from the surface. Therefore, the ink won’t stick.

Got a question about a product or tool? E-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com or post your question in Comments. I’ll respond directly to your e-mail and post the answer here on www.3amStamper.com. If you need an answer right away, you may always contact my Help Desk at 3amstamperhelp@gmail.com.

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How To Take Your Stamping Business Anywhere

Girl World Traveler

A couple of months ago, I mentioned my colleague who moved her stamping business to her recreational vehicle. She’s doing really well, by the way! This brings to mind that, as a Stampin’ Up!® Independent Demonstrator, you can take your business with you wherever you go, whether you relocate or not!

For example: You’re going on vacation to some place with a lot of down time, such as camping. Take some of your projects along with you as well as some mini catalogs and business cards and hand them out to people who stop by to watch. Have them sign up for your mailing list while they’re at it! You can use this method at your kids/grandkids sporting events, too. Or even doctor’s waiting rooms! It’s a great way to pick up contacts… and you can even schedule parties, invite them to classes, or whatever, too.

Another example: You move to a new neighborhood. Once you are reconnected to the internet, e-mail all your customers with your new contact info, if needed. Otherwise, tell them your move is complete and you’re again available to answer questions. You might also ask them for referrals to people they know in your new area. Then, set up a free demonstration and invite all your neighbors, co-workers, etc. This will let your new neighbors and co-workers know about your business and let you pick up more contacts, schedule parties, invite them to classes, or whatever, as well.

These are some examples of how you can make your Stampin’ Up!® Independent Demonstrator business portable. I have ideas for several more based upon actual experiences from myself and some of my colleagues. You can certainly use me and my resources to design your own stamping business to go with you!

Have you thought about owning your own stamping business? Wouldn’t it be great to share your talents, pick up some extra cash and know you can take your business with you as well? Click on the Join My Team Button in the sidebar to see some ideas. You can also see more in the Owning Your Own Business menu above. If you have questions or would like to find out more, give me a call at (707) 695-3571, or e-mail me at mary@3amstamper.com.  I’d love to chat with you about my business and talk about what the possibilities can be for YOU!

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Handmade Christmas Cards Wanted

Holiday Card Sample-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

Addie Fausett is six years old and suffers from diffuse atrophy, a condition that means this may very well be her last Christmas. The only thing she has on her wish list is Christmas cards, preferably hand made.

Wouldn’t it be great to shower her with handmade Christmas cards? Look through your stash and see if you have one you can pull out and send right away. Address it to:

Addie Lynn and Sisters

P.O. Box 162

Fountain Green, UT 84632

You can see her story here: 6-year-old girl asks for holiday cards for her last Christmas

But don’t wait, send her a card right away. It will really make her day!

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Thinlits™ – Some More Tips

Joy Thinlits Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

I posted Insider’s Secrets to Thinlits™ Dies a few weeks ago and talked about the best ways to cut Thinlits™. Today I’m going to cover what to do once you have your Thinlits™ die-cut.

The card uses the Hexagon Hive Thinlits™ Die (132965) and Gold Foil Sheets (132622) with the Big Shot™ Die-Cutting Machine (113439) to create the top layer of the background. I used both waxed paper and multiple cuts for this piece, just to see if it worked better. It didn’t really make much of a difference. The waxed paper worked best.

The easiest way to adhere the die-cut to the card front is to coat the back with Adhesive Transfer Sheets (133722) and stick the die-cut flat. You can use rolled-up Glue Dots (103683) or tiny dots of Multipurpose Liquid Glue (110755), but it takes longer to attach everything and with the glue, you need to let it dry thoroughly before you do anything more.

I also used the waxed paper with the Wonderful Wreath Framelits™ Dies (135851) to cut “Joy” and the stars, but I didn’t really need it. Framelits™ tend to have less fragile designs, so the waxed paper isn’t really needed. I also used the Adhesive Transfer Sheets to adhere the pieces to the card front. This was particularly helpful for attaching the word, but the stars could have been adhered with Glue Dots or Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430) just as well.

I really wanted a nice, flat, mailable card, but the design needed a little something else. So, out came the Rhinestone Basic Jewels (119246)! The stars were large enough to accept the largest Rhinestone, so I colored them and put them on.

Other Supplies Used: Trim the Tree Designer Series Paper Stack (135824); Garden Green 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (102584); Old Olive Stampin’ Blendabilities Markers (130999); Regals Stampin’ Write Marker Assortment (131262), Garden Green

To order what you need to try out your own Thinlits™ Dies, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article. You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $30 purchased. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150.

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High-Contrast Color Scheme in a Craft Stick Snowman

Craft Stick Snowman-Visit http://www.3amstamper.com

The highest High-Contrast Color Scheme comes from placing Black with White. This is the most dramatic color combination and any other color goes with it. Black and White are favorites of high-fashion photographers and television camera operators. The colors are particularly flattering when worn near the face and are great for creating silhouette designs on cards, pages and other crafted items.

Black and White are naturals to use when creating a snowman design. You typically use White for the snowman himself, then Black for his hat, eyes and sometimes mouth.

In my Craft Stick Snowman card, I colored the craft sticks with a thick coat of ink from a Whisper White Craft Stampin’ Pad (101731), then embossed it with a Heat Tool (129053) set on the highest speed and Clear Stampin’ Emboss Powder (109130). This technique set and coated the color at one time, and it’s quite a bit faster than waiting for paint to dry.

I adhered the craft sticks together before I started coating to make it easier to work with them. I used a piece of Whisper White 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (100730) cut slightly smaller than the width of the craft sticks and about 1-1/2” wide. Then I glued the sticks, one at a time, next to each other on the card stock with Multipurpose Liquid Glue (110755), overlapping the edges so the card stock wouldn’t show.

For the hat area, I used a Basic Black Craft Stampin’ Pad (currently retired) and thickly coated one-third of the length of the craft sticks. I embossed this again with the Clear embossing powder.

I also coated a separate craft stick, but used Black Stampin’ Emboss Powder (109133) instead of Clear. I did not use Black embossing powder on the main piece because it’s too easy for flecks to escape and freckle the White area. The Embossing Buddy (103083) does not work as well to remove static on embossed craft sticks. When everything was set and dry, I glued the single stick across the join of the Black and White areas to create the hat brim.

You can repeat the process to make a back for the snowman and glue both pieces together with a ribbon or piece of twine in between to hang it up. I would use hot glue to adhere both sides together for an ornament as this will make it more secure. Add the face components and it’s ready to go!

Tip: Use the flattest, least-warped craft sticks to make your snowman. You want it to lay flat on a card or page, and you definitely want it to lay flat when you’re making your ornament.

This project is one example of the class material you may see as part of your Online Bonus Class when you join the 3am Stamper’s iClub.  Become a 3am Stamper’s iClub Member now and start with next month’s session.  Club orders are due the 10th of each month!  To find out more, just click on the preceding link or on the link in the drop-down menu on the navigation bar, “Events & Classes“.

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