Monday, February 04, 2008

Tech. Tuesday - Getting Started

For my first Technique Tuesday, I wanted to start off with some of the Basics that are needed when you start stamping. Yeah, that is pretty basic, but I really wanted to start at the beginning with this, as I know I have readers who are just starting out.

So this is some of the tools that I use to create and just to be upfront, I am not endorsing any companies. I also don’t have it ALL....this is just what I use and it works fine for me. There is so much out there that I can’t do it all.
ETA - I forgot my GLUE!!! I forgot my picture and info on Adhesive - it's added now! Enjoy!!


Of course you must start with the stamps right? Well there are wood-mounted stamps like these shown from Stamping UP! I first started stamping with SU! so most of my wood mounted stamps come from there. These are the ones you most likely fine in other stores too. In the last year or so, un-mounted stamps, either rubber or acrylics have become very popular. Stampers want to take up less space.
Un-mounted Rubbah like Bellas are just the rubber. You must either use as is, or purchase EZ mount foam, like you see on this Bella. Then you use an acrylic block like these from Close to my Heart to stamp with. I have found that going with out the foam doesn’t give you a crisp image when you stamp.

The one tool that I think you have to have is a good trimmer. I have had a few over the years, and I bought this one last year in Colorado for less than $10. It’s from Provo Craft and I got it a Hobby Lobby. I like it. Yes, you have to be careful when you are cutting that you don’t let it sway in the middle, but you can get good cuts out of it. There are many other pricier options as well. HOT TIP: One tip on cutting cardstock for a card....use the little ruler that pops out (some of these are hidden on trimmers) and measure your 8.5x11 CS to the 5.5” mark. Then fold in half for a perfect A2 size card. This is the normal size for cards made. I’ve seen a lot of people struggle with this measuring. If you find a mark setting that you like, use a Sharpie and mark it so you remember. I’ll post a layering/matting technique in the future.

OK, now I have my stamps and my card base cut, I need to stamp my image. So I need Ink. This is where you really have to see what you prefer, because there are so many ink choices out there that I have never even tried. I started out with SU! Classic Ink pads. They are a water based Dye ink. A good ink for using on basic projects. And they also come in Spots as you see the lil ink pad here. HOT TIP: That is a good way to build up a lot of colors for cheap. {I have 2 full color families that I got as a Hostess for free in the larger pads. That is always an option too.} They also make Craft Inks which are pigment inks for stamping on items like clothing, walls, etc.
I stumbled across Palette Hybrid inks this year, and I’ve been using the Noir Black ink pad quite often. I have to say I like the images that I get using this pad, and I am sure that the other colors work just as well. Then another new one is StazOn. This is more of a permanent ink but takes awhile longer to dry. However it stamps on materials like Acetate well and won’t smudge. I like to use it on Image Swaps. Another oldie is Versamark. This is like a water mark stamp, which you can see the effects on this card. It will bring out the color of the cardstock and make it brighter just to give it enough of a watermark look. You can also use Versamark for embossing (Watch for that tutorial next week!) And finally you see I have some distressing inks that you can use as stamp inks or for their intended purpose of distressing your artwork.

Once you stamp your image you will need to clean them. Using warm water and a damp towel works fine. I have the SU! Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist to clean my stamps, and I also use StazOn cleaner to clean off my stamps that I ink up in StazOn. HOT TIP: I also use it to clean off my blocks. It’s not uncommon to see stains on your stamps esp. when using black inks. That won’t affect future images or ruin other colored ink pads, as long as you did clean it.

Now, you need something to stamp on. White paper, where should I start? There is a lot of good quality White Cardstock out there. Some are thicker than others but I’m not going to compare them today. I have no favorites.

And I could go on and on for days on the Designer papers that is out there too. I use a lot of SU! colored cardstock in 8.5 x 11, however most come 12x12 too. I store them in this drawer in file folders labeled with their color name and color family. I store all my other Cardstock, which mostly comes 12x12 in this rack I got from the LSS. There is some full sheets of DP there too, and all DP that is less than 12x12 goes in this basket. Then I store all my kits (things that came together) in this tote. I store them by brand...SU!, CTMH, TAC, Other, THEMES, etc.

HOT TIP: Now, starting out, you may want to go wild and buy all kind of DP and CS. I can do that too. If it’s cute, I buy it. LOL.... However, it makes card making 100 times easier if your items match. That is one thing I love about SU! The color families make it so easy to match items. But you can learn how to do that elsewhere too. If you find some DP that you like, buy some matching CS and embellishments too. (I’m such an enabler huh?) Then when you sit down to craft you won’t get discouraged right away, b/c your paper doesn’t match.

I also store all of my scraps in these 2 plastic sleeves, one for cardstock and one for DP. They are in the front of my tote, so that I can search there first.

OK, now, I’ve chosen my stamps, got my ink out, cut my card base, picked out some matching papers, it’s time to color my images. This is exactly how I make a those steps. Sometimes I will pick DP and start there, but mostly it’s the stamp that I need.
I use ZIG markers and some Sugarloaf Whispers, as well as SU! Once again, could go and on for days about coloring mediums. (Oh, I forgot I do use Colored Pencils and a Blender pen too!!) Coloring takes practice and I LOVE TO COLOR!!! So I practice a lot. If you don’t like to color, then you will most likely buy stamps that don’t need to be colored in. It’s all good stampers!! I also remembered chalks too...see on and on!!!

Some how or another you have to be able to attach all these things together. This is where the adhesive comes in. Once again, there is so much out there. One thing that need to be aware of, esp. if using for scrapbooks, is the ACID FREE glues. If you are using your pictures, make sure your glue is Acid Free. Some of my favorites are Pioneer Extra Strength glue stick, foam tape and pop dots, and this Herma Vario Tab Despenser. I love the way it works. I've used other things, and these are the ones I love.

Now, time to top off the card and embellish it! I love ribbon and brads. Those 2 things can make your card beautiful. You can also add flowers, stickers, bling, glitter, hardware. I am sure that as you craft you will find all kinds of things.

OK, I think that is long enough for day one. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave me a comment and let me know. I also promise the other TT won’t be this long. But I wanted to give a crash course in getting started. I hope too, that I didn’t overwhelm you.

If you want to test the waters, I would seriously consider ordering one of SU! Simply Sent kits. They come complete with stamps, ink, CS, and more to create beautiful cards.

Here are some of the other tools that I also love to use. Enjoy!!



Kim said...

Wow Katie that's alot of great info in 1 place. Where did you get those cute little bottles with the wood tops? Thanks for sharing all that! MWAH, Kim luv2spendabella

Dana said...

great job! I love this! Now I know I'm on the right track! TFS!

SherryBee said...

Hi, Katie!
Thanks for taking the time to write and share all of this! I really appreciate it. I'm a newbie and it did help me. I hope you post next week that you have a new TT....

Andrea, said...

Great idea Katie

Lindsey said...

Thank you! I am one person that can benefit from this as a newbie card-maker. I look forward to future tutorials!

Lorie said...

What a great post rock!

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