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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cool Tool - Precision File Set

When cutting out non-traditionally shaped ATCs by hand, you might end up with uneven edges.  Also, when you glue them together they might not match perfectly.  I use sandpaper to even things up and to make minor adjustments.  In addition to the sandpaper, I use a filing tool set made by Basic Grey.  It comes with 5 different files that make it easy to get into small spaces.  The set is available at many online stores.
Precision File Set by Basic Grey

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tutorial - Hinged Canvas Book

This is an easy project where you hinge two artist canvases together to create a book with inside niches.  

You’ll need two canvases the same size.  The number and size of the hinges you need depends on the size of the canvases you choose.  In this example, my canvases are 6” x 6” so I used one hinge.  You can use more hinges for esthetic purposes.

  • Before you attach the hinge or hinges decorate your canvases on all sides, inside and out.  In the example, I painted, crackled, collaged, and embossed the canvases. Wait to add chunky embellishments until you have attached the hinge or hinges.
  • Make sure you use screws not nails to attach the hinge as nails will not hold over time.
  • Hold the two canvases together with the niches facing each other.  You can see in the example photo below there is a gap between the canvases.  The bulk of the inside canvases and any decorating you do causes a slight cap.  That’s ok, without the slight gap the canvases won’t close properly. Mark the placement of the hinge or hinges by making marks in the holes then attach the hinge or hinges.
  • Now you can add chunky embellishments to the outside and to the inside niches.

Friday, November 5, 2010

TUTORIAL - Creating a Stained Glass Look Using a Glass Slide

This example ATC contains a glass slide that has been stamped, embossed and painted with alcohol inks to create a stained glass look. 

What you will need:
·        Cardstock
·        Decorative Paper
·        Glass Slide
·        Ranger Alcohol Ink
·        Paintbrush
·        Rubber Stamp
·        StazOn Stamp Pad
·        Clear Embossing Powder
      ·        Heat Gun

Step 1 – Choose a glass slide and a rubber stamp
·    In the example I used a 3” long by 1” wide glass slide.  You can use a different size as long as it is smaller than the card.

·    Make sure the stamp you choose is one that gives you crisp edges when the design is stamped.  Embossing the design creates ridges that look like the dark soldering in a piece of stained glass.  The ridges also help to keep the ink in place when you paint.

Step 2 – Stamping and embossing the glass slide

Use a StazOn ink pad for stamping as it sticks to glass or plastic and just about everything else.  In the example I used black.  When stamping the glass, ink-up the stamp and place it on its back, then press the glass onto the stamp.  For me this seems to work better than the traditional way of stamping by pressing the stamp onto the object.

·        Ink up your rubber stamp
·        Gently drop a glass slide onto the inked stamp

·        Press the glass slide into the stamp with your fingers.

·    To remove the glass slide use the tip of an X-acto knife to gently lift the slide as  suction is created between the glass slide and the rubber stamp.
·    Once apart immediately sprinkle the glass slide with clear embossing powder, tap off the excess and emboss with a heat gun.

TIP:  If you don’t like the way you stamped or embossed the side use a razor blade and Windex to clean the slide and start over.

Step 3 – Painting the glass slide
·    Use Ranger Alcohol Inks to paint the slide as they are translucent and give the slide the look of stained glass.  Once you use a paintbrush with alcohol inks you can’t use it for other purposes, so just plan on dedicating a brush or two to just using inks. Decide on how intense you want the color to be. You can use Ranger Alcohol Blending Solution to dilute the color.  In the example I did not dilute my inks.  To clean your brush between colors you can use the Alcohol Blending Solution but I also use rubbing alcohol.  It doesn’t do quite as good a job as the Blending Solution but it is much cheaper.

Other options:  I also use Lumiere Paints by Jacquard in conjunction with the inks.  Lumiere paints are metallic but are not translucent.  I add a touch here and there as an accent.  You can also add rhinestones and metal findings to the glass slide as I have done in the example.

Step 4 - Cutting cardstock and decorative paper

Once the glass slide is painted, you need to embed the glass slide in cardstock.  The cardstock needs to be the same thickness as the glass slide. 

·    Cut multiple pieces of cardstock to the standard ATC size of 2 ½ x 3 ½.  In the example I needed 4 pieces of cardstock to match the thickness of the glass slide. The amount you need depends on the thickness of the cardstock.

·    Next, cut holes in the cardstock the same size as the glass slide.  In the example the holes are 1” x 3”.  Decide where you want to embed the slide (right side, left side, middle, etc.)  Make sure there is at least ¼ inch between the edge of the hole and edge of the ATC.

·    Cut two pieces of decorative paper ATC size (one for the front of the card and one for the back).  Cut the holes slightly smaller than the glass slide.  Cutting the decorative paper slightly smaller keeps the slide from falling out. Make sure you cut the holes in the same place as the ones you cut in the cardstock.  If you are collaging the paper, stamping, embossing etc., do this before cutting the holes. Bulky embellishments can be added later. In the example, I decided to cut the hole in an oval shape rather than a rectangle.
Step 5 – Assembling the card
·        Glue the pieces of cardstock together. 
·        Insert the slide in the cardstock.

·        Glue the decorative paper to the front and back of the cardstock.

I purchase my Glass Slides, StazOn Ink, Alcohol inks and Lumiere paints from

The metal scroll on the woman’s head came from CollageStuff