I thought I would give some tips that I have learned over the years that would simplify or make your stamping easier.
1) Keep a towel on your lap while stamping, so as you clean your stamps, you can dry them on your lap. I use a scrub top cleaner by Judikins. (www.judikins.com)
2) Use a lint roller to remove excess glitter on your work surface. Works great at picking up even other tiny scraps of paper and ribbon snippets left behind.
3) Use an ATG gun for all your adhesive needs. Makes a great glue dot to attach tiny bows, rubs off areas you don't want adhesive, works perfectly on vellum paper and can be used on any size piece of paper, even the skinny borders.
4) Keep markers in a can (metal pail) for easy access. I put my X-acto knife, hole punch and scissors there as well. Takes up less space and you can see all your marker colors.
5) Keep a cutting mat under your work surface for easy cutting access. You can also put a sketch pad on top for blotting your inks that are stamped off your card. You can easily move your pad and get to the cutting mat.
6) Keep the needle in your 3D Lacquer while stamping, if you plan to use it. It keeps the tip clear when you need to use it. Be sure to remove the needle and tip and replace the cap on for storage.
7) When tying a small bow to be attached to a card, tie ribbon while still on the roll and then trim edges after the bow is made. Saves on ribbon and easier to work with than cut ribbon.
8) Use the back side of X-acto blade for scoring tool.
9) Use a "dead" ball point pen as a stylus or scoring tool.
10) To achieve a watercolor look, stamp with Versafine pad. Color with the lighter shade and then go over edges of stamped image with darker shade. The Versafine pad is a must because it doesn't smear and blending is seamless.
11) Use Quickie Glue pen for embossing. Just draw on card or write with it, pour on Embossing powder and tap off excess and heat to melt.
12) Use Quickie Glue pen for foiling. Apply to cardstock (works best on coated paper), allow to dry and rub on foil for shine.
13) Use Mesh ribbon after you tie on a bow for your card. Simply cut off 12 in. of Mesh ribbon, curl with fingernail by running ribbon between your nail and finger. Adds a festive touch to your card.
14) Make a matching envelope by using corresponding paper that match the decorative paper used on your card. You can carefully pull apart and existing envelope to use as a template and trace pattern to cut into an envelope.
15) To make charms for your cards, punch 4 cutouts with the 1 in. circle punch. Stamp the circles and then apply ATG adhesive to the backs of the circles and put 2 back to back of the ends of the mesh ribbon that you attached to your bows. You will end up with 2 charms, one on each end of the mesh ribbon ends.
16) Use shredds between stamp layers. Just spread a sparse amount between stamping layers and mount the layers using mounting tape. The tape with go between the fibers and will hold the shredds in place while keeping the layers in place.
17) Use photos and cut out faces to apply on Mimi stamps on the stamped card. It personalizes your Mimi card with the face of the recipient.
18) For quick mounting tape use, remove liner from the mounting tape and tear the tape as needed. Saves from getting adhesive on scissors, and from having those tiny liners all over your work table. You only need a little bit to mount your layer.
19) Keep stamps rubber side up while working with them. That way if you are using the same color ink on your stamps, you don't have to clean them off in between uses for fear of getting them on your work space.
20) Wear an apron while working. If you are like me, you use lots of glitter. It minimizes glitter on your clothing (but not your face:) I also keep some essentials in my apron pockets, like gum, candies, phone, etc.
21) When rolling your ribbon to store, cut a slit on the card edge that the ribbon is on. You can slide the end of the ribbon on the card edge for easier storage rather than dealing with tape, pins, etc.
22) Stamp your stamps on sheets of 3 ring paper and you can categorize with dividers. It saves on the hassle of wondering if you have a particular design and it helps to see what size you have so you can buy coordinating images that are proportional together.
23) Start a blog and post your projects on there. That way if you wanted to show your family and friends, you don't have to try to describe in detail your project. A picture is worth a thousand words, really! www.blogger.com is a free one that we are currently using. It's a great way to track your projects and then you can freely give your cards away, because you captured a picture of it.
24) For drying your cards or moving them from your work surface, you can use a photo stand to place them in. It keeps your work area free of cards. If you are like me, the longer you stamp, the smaller your work area becomes:)
25) To keep static electricity to a minimum on your card, you can run a dryer sheet on the surface of your card, even a used one, before applying embossing powders and glitter.
26) You can sew a mini "pillow" and fill with chalk, the kind used by gymnasts, to create a static puff. To minimize static electricity. I heard you can also use cornstarch or baby powder for a similar result.
27) You can "huff" on your stamp after you stamp it once to get another stamping out of it. The second stamping will be more faint, but clear.
28) When stamping cutouts, stamp extra so you can make a quick card when in a pinch.
29) When making a card, stamp and extra or two. It will save you when you need a card in a hurry.
30) Design a birthday card for the year. Meaning, you give the same birthday card design to all your birthday people. It helps when you find yourself "dry" from ideas. You can always make an original one, but have a "fall back card" to always go to for that year. Make sure you change your designs every year, that way you don't have to wonder who you gave that card to.
I hope these tips were helpful. If you have tips to share, post them on your comment.
We will be exhibiting in Bellevue, WA this weekend for the Creating Keepsakes show. www.ckscrapbookevents.com Go to the website and download a discount coupon.
Hope to see some of you there.
Best to all,