Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tips and Tricks

(from my old website)

Here are some tips and tricks that I've found and used, as well as some that have been submitted. I'll add more as I think of them.
If you have some that you would like to add, please email me. As I get more I will add them to new blog posts.

Note: Each tip is copyrighted and held by each individual person who supplied the tip. Please do not distribute or re-publish, in any form, any of the tips shown on this page. I do not require tip submissions to include an email address so I have no way of obtaining permission from the tip supplier. Submission of a tip implies permission for me to post it on this, and only this, web page. Thank you!!

If I ask at Walmart, Kmart, drug stores, any place with cards (not Hallmark), they give the old envies to me. I am very friendly & ask if they are going to throw them away before I ask for them for myself. Very rarely I might find someone who is saving them for another lucky stamper. I just thank them & try somewhere else. The best time is the day after a holiday, Easter, Halloween & Christmas are the best for me. Some people will tell me what time is best as they work many stores & may not always get to a specific store on the day after a holiday. Now I have enough that I have shared with friends & won't go looking for a long time! (submitted by Brenda~April 20, 2002)

To store the roller type stamps,use the tall potato chip cans covered with paper using the stamp to print on the outside. That way you can identify your stamps easily. Six rollers will fit in each can. (submitted by Sue)

You know those stands that porcelain dolls are secured on... buy one at a cheap shop and use it to hold your heat gun. Works great (submitted by Donna)

I put embossing powders and glitter in individual sandwich containers. To emboss...just use a business card to sprinkle the powder over the card...then dump the leftover powder right into the sandwich container. No waste! No mess! (submitted by Wendy)

If you have a Xyron® machine, you can run a fun foam sheet through it, front and back, and cut little pieces whenever you need "pop dots". (submitted by "stampin") *excellent idea!!*

If you have a stamp that you want to trim more of the rubber off so it stamps a better image or if it was mounted a little crooked on the wood, put it in the microwave, rubber side up for 10 seconds. The rubber and foam cushion then peel right off and you can trim it or mount it straight and then it sticks right back on. Depending on how much you trimmed off, you may want to use Goo-Gone® or something similar to rub off some of the sticky parts from the wood. I read this idea from somewhere else, so don't credit it to me! (submitted by P.J.)

Purchase a styrofoam cone, run a dowel in the center and store ribbon on it for easy access. (submitted by Anaka)

Roll extra bits of ribbon on paper clips and tape end to save space and be able to view easily. (submitted by Anaka)

Buy mini zip lock bags 2x2 or even snack size bags to store little things in. It saves space and doesn't make a mess. I punch a hole in the top of each bag with a hold punch and use a wire I made U shaped and hang this to see what I have! (submitted by Anaka)

Don't forget all the art stuff you learned in Elementary school! Rubbing, potato art etc. Leaves, feathers and fabric rubbed make neat backgrounds. Take any object such as cotton ball, lace, bottom of cup dip in ink and press to paper for neat back ground. (submitted by Anaka)

Go to Salvation Army or Goodwill. Buy dresses for next to nothing. ($1.00-$5.00) cut apart and use fabric for layering. (submitted by Anaka)

Eyeshadow and blush work well as Pearl-ex®. (submitted by Anaka)

Place old (clean) tooth brush in ink. Take your finger to bristles to fling ink off and you have made a splattered background! (submitted by Anaka)

Remember those wiggle eyes? They can be purchased in many sizes and make great surprise eyes on animals. (submitted by Anaka)

Craft pom-poms make great 3-d balls for juggling clowns balls. (submitted by Anaka)

Tacky Glue works as well as a glue gun, dries fast, safe and no stringy glue! (submitted by Anaka)

Those area business magnets? The ones from pizza companies with phone numbers? Stock up on them and glue stamped images to them to make beautiful magnets for small gifts. (submitted by Anaka)

Jar Candles. Stamp an image, cut to shape, apply to jar with Mod Podge® and it make's it a one of a kind. You can also use this to make tin cans beautiful storage containers. (submitted by Anaka)

2 glasses left from the set of 6? Emboss on vellum, place vellum around glass, tape seam closed with a double sided tape. I prefer Clear Funky Film®. Place tea candle in glass and you have a beautiful candle holder. (submitted by Anaka)

Card shops! People who purchase cards sometimes forget to take the envelope or the companies send extra envelopes to the stores. Ask store managers to sell you the unused unmatchable envelopes! You can get great deals! (submitted by Anaka)

Tin foil! Off the roll or from candy is a great back ground. You can even crumble it and flatten again. I purchased craft foil and everyone thought I'd used a Hershey® wrapper! I found a use for my children's sweet teeth! (submitted by Anaka)

How I use watercolor pencils or pastels: Color just inside the image lines. Using a Dove® Blender or a wet paintbrush, go over the color until it's smooth, then blend inward.

When matting (layering) cards, I mount each piece before trimming the edges of the piece under it. It's easier for me to trim evenly than to try to glue the top piece in the center. Then I mount the layered section to the main card, doing my best to center it.

If you use a Xyron® machine, you've probably noticed how your machine and scissors or cutters get gummy. I clean them with a cotton ball soaked with Un-du®. It takes the adhesive right off.

Using Pearl-Ex®: I stamp the image with a watermark pad and let it dry slightly. Then, using a soft paintbrush, I brush Pearl-Ex® over the image. Gently (to avoid smearing) brush off the excess

For embossing, I like to use colored pigment ink with clear powder whenever possible. It eliminates those embossing powder specks. When using colored powder, I use an anti-static bag (made for this purpose) first. Just wipe it across the paper before stamping the image.

Use a damp carpet sample to clean your stamps. Simply rub the stamp over it. (submitted by Anaka)

Brush clear nail polish over your wood mounts. It keeps ink from staining the stamp, and it keeps your stamps looking new. (submitted by Anaka)

To make envelope glue, bring 6 tablespoons white vinegar to a boil. Add 4 ounces unflavored gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Brush on envelope flap [let dry]. Store unused glue in a sealed container. (submitted by Anaka)

To make embossing ink, mix 1 part glycerin and 2 parts water. [Apply with a makeup sponge or put ink in a blank foam stamp pad]. (submitted by Anaka)

Dove® Blender refill solution: In a one ounce bottle, place 1 part glycerin, 2 parts distilled water and 1/4 teaspoon rubbing alcohol. (submitted by Anaka)

Place your embossing powders in salt and pepper shakers. You get better control and just unscrew the lid and place the ep back in. If you have to travel with your ep's, just place tape over the salt and pepper shaker holes, remove the tape when you are ready to use. (submitted by Susan)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Safer Crib Sheet instructions

These instructions were on my old website. Since I got a lot of hits on it, I decided to repost it here for anyone who is interested in making them. The instructions are for an envelope style crib sheet with a flap at one end. I apologize for my crude drawings. I made this page when I first got a computer and didn't have any programs to make graphics so I used paint.

Materials needed:

3 3/4 yards woven cotton fabric-45" wide
1 1/8 yards of 3/4" wide elastic
21" of 3/4" or 1" wide velcro®

Cut two pieces of fabric 35 1/2" wide by 57 1/2" long.

Cut one piece of fabric 23" wide by 17 1/2" long.

All seam allowances are 1/2" unless noted otherwise.

1. With right sides together, stitch the two large pieces of fabric together, stitching up one long side, across one short side and down other long side.

2. Press the open edge under 1/4", then press under again 1" to form a casing. Stitch close to inside fold, leaving an opening to insert the elastic.

3. Fold the corners as shown, so that the seams line up. Mark a line, as shown, 3" from the corner. Pin to hold in place and stitch across along line. Trim 1/2" away from stitching, cutting corner off. (Do not cut stitching off!)

4. On small piece of fabric, hem the short sides by turning under 1/2" twice and stitching close to the inside fold. Hem the long sides by turning under 1" twice and stitching close to the inside fold. Stitch the loop (softer) part of the velcro® to the wrong side at one long edge, stitching along both edges of the velcro®.

5. Pin the small piece (flap) to the large piece (sheet) as shown, with the wrong side of the flap against the right side of the sheet, pinning only through one layer of the sheet. The flap should be centered on the sheet. The edge with the velcro® should be away from the sheet as shown, with the opposite edge placed about 2 inches away from the casing stitching line. Stitch along the edge of the flap and again about 3/4" away. This side of the sheet will be on the top of the mattress.

6. On bottom of sheet, on the right side of fabric, mark a line 9 3/4" away from the folded edge of the casing. Pin the hook side of the velcro® so that the edge is against this line. The velcro® should be centered across the sheet. Stitch along both edges of the velcro®. (You may want to try the sheet on the mattress before stitching, to be sure the velcro® is in the correct place.)

7. Mark the elastic at 38". Place it around the mattress to make sure it will stretch enough to go around. Cut elastic 1" longer than measurement. Using a large safety pin, thread elastic through the casing. Lap ends 1" and stitch securely. Stitch the opening in the casing.

8. Place mattress in sheet as you would place a pillow in a pillowcase. Fold the flap to the underside and secure the velcro®. When washing the sheet, secure the velcro® to prevent the sheet from twisting and to prevent the velcro® from sticking to the rest of the laundry.