ASK THE EXPERTS
Got a crafty question? Let our team of experts answer it for you!
Our panel of crafting gurus solve all your card making questions and dilemmas
Let it snow
Q I’ve got lots of snowflake stamps but am running out of ideas for using them. Rachel Terence, via email
A Try cutting a simple paper mask shape to act as a stencil, then stamp through it with different snowflakes, filling the shape. Cut a bauble, holly leaf or Christmas tree, and then create a classic, one-layer design in any colour, or colours, of ink you like. Finish with a simple greeting and a little embellishment, for a card that’s easy to reproduce when batch making at Christmas.
Q Have you got any recommendations for how I can use up my stash of aperture cards? I used to mount iris folding designs, but I don’t do that technique any more.
Sandy Gibb, Texas, USA
Shaker cards are easily made A
with a pre-cut aperture, but another idea for making the most of these older supplies is to treat the aperture as a frame for a scene. Layer patterned paper or an ink-blended piece as a background sky and stick focal stamped, die-cut or other topper elements, inside the aperture, to fill the space. You can even add more to the front of the card, to get even more dimension. Here, our wintry landscape is an ideal project for Christmas, but it’s a versatile idea for all occasions.
Back to black
Q What’s the difference between all the black ink pads available on the market? Sheree McKay, Barrow-in-Furness A Although the colour is the same, ink formulas vary widely, so they’re useful for different situations. Memento Tuxedo Black ink by Tsukineko is a good all-round dye ink, and it’s water-resistant, so the stamped outline will not bleed when watercolouring. It’s also compatible with alcohol-based
markers, such as Copics. It’s not as deep as some blacks though, and not as even with solid stamps, so it’s more suited to outlines. Basic Black ink by Stampin’ Up! is another dye ink, but it’s slower to dry, and tends to be better for solid images. Black pigment ink, such as Versafine Onyx Black, is useful but isn’t fast-drying, so you need to heat-set before watercolouring. It’s handy if you want to heat emboss, before Copic colouring. The pigment formula gives a more vivid, intense shade, and it’s a fave for stamping fine details, such as sentiments. Hybrid inks, such as those by My Favorite Things and Tonic Studios, have a dye-pigment mix, but are designed to be versatile and fastdrying as well as waterproof and alcohol-pen friendly. As specialty inks, use Ranger’s Distress Ink Black Soot for ink blending, rather than stamping. For stamping on surfaces other than paper, such as acetate, StazOn Jet Black is a good option, as it takes well on porous and non-porous materials. Ranger’s Archival ink in Jet Black is good for acid-free usage in scrapbooking, for example. Being dye-based, Archival ink won’t bleed with water. It’s not possible to colour images with Copics though, and the permanent formula stains polymer stamps.
Add vellum behind your apertures to create a gorgeous ethereal feel
Below: Aperture card bases can be really useful for building up scenes, creatinga beautifully framed composition
Create a Christmas tree design with snowflake stamps
When it comes to ink, black isn’t just black!