Thursday, January 04, 2007

Stamping tips

Last week Gina K held a contest on her blog, the prize being a much-coveted and low-in-supply scalloped oval punch. In order to be in the running, one was required to post either a favorite color combination or a stamping tip before New Year's Eve. These punches from Marvy Uchida are all the rage right now and seem to sell out as fast as the stores can stock them.

I admit that it took me a while to think of something that hadn't already been mentioned, though there were variations on what I finally posted. A few people mentioned bookmarking favorite blogs or websites of card designs for future reference. I took that a step further:

I have three binders I keep close to my stamping space for inspiration. One is filled with SCS challenges -- color combo list, sketches, techniques, etc. The sketch challenge sketches are especially good starting points when you're struggling to create.

The other two binders are full of card ideas. Since you can't always have internet/computer access (my stmaping space and computer are in different rooms), I save 4 vertical or 6 horizontal cards I like to a sheet and print them off. I note stamp sets and colors used where possible, then when I'm looking for ideas I can pull out the book and look for a design or different way to use a stamp set I have, changing colors or embellishments to fit my own style and supplies. I also scan and then print out the cards I've created, too. That way I actually give them away instead of hoarding, but can look back and see what I've done before.

I should add that, I do NOT copy images from other peoples' galleries to post on my blog or to my personal gallery, they are solely for my own reference. Very rarely do I copy someone else's work outright (and if I did, I wouldn't try to pass it off as my own). Instead, I will take what I like about a card -- the colors, one or two of the images, the layout -- and add my own twist to it. I might not have the exact same set used in the original, but may have something similar, or of a comparable size, that would work with the overall design. Or I might like how something was embellished and incorporate my own trimmings. You get the picture.

Well, I didn't win the scalloped oval punch (sniffle), but I was one of three runners up who won a pack of envelopes (thanks Gina! *vbg*) -- and you can never have too many envelopes! Especially considering all the cards I make for friends and family, not to mention cards for troops. So yay me, and don't think I won't be trying should a third scallop punch be up for grabs. ;)

But back to the subject of stamping tips.... For a wide range of suggestions, I encourage you to hop on over to Gina's blog and read what people had to say. Lots of handy tips to pick up there! I know there were a few excellent suggestions I had not thought of.

And keeping on topic, this evening while browsing the SCS site I happened upon a discussion about how people keep track of their stamps. A few people mentioned copying the pics before mounting their stamps, or from the SU catalogs, to keep in binders for easy reference -- which reminded me of another tip I could have submitted to Gina's contest...something I do myself.

Though I don't copy every set I have for a binder index, I do copy pics from the catalog of stamp sets I have, then tape them inside the lids of the appropriate stamp set. When I get to working on cards, I tend to randomly grab stamps from this set or that and don't always remember where they belong when done. Having a pic of all the stamps that belong in a particular set helps me keep track of them, and is also a quick and easy way to see what's in a set at a glance. About the only sets I have not done this for are Small Script, Petite Patterns and Itty Bitty Backgrounds, each a set of only four stamps and easy to remember.

So...that's my tip of the day! Now aren't you glad you waded through all of that? ;)


Babe King said...

I just got your package today and it was lovely! LOVE LOVE LOVE the first moo-el. Very you-lol. The kids are into the cherries as we speak, and I'm putting the card away to bring out next year. You're so clever. I love all that hand made stuff. Thank you so much!

Heather said...

Oh, yay! Glad customs finally released it into your possession, LOL. I had a feeling you might get a kick out of the cow. *grin* As for should see the growing project list for this year. Oy! It just keeps getting longer!

Tracey said...

Wow - just found your blog - thanks for your comment on mine - and loving this - the tips are fabbo!

Heather said...

Welcome, Tracey - and thanks for such a nice comment! :)