Tools of the Trade Tips

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what is a Coluzzle?

The Coluzzle Cutting System

This cutting system consists of a special plastic cutting mat; a scalpel with a swivel blade; and a template. There are a variety of templates available, including many "nested" templates that allow you to create even borders around your shapes. They were first popular with scrapbookers, but are becoming more popular with rubberstampers as well.

   
What is dry embossing?

Dry Embossing Tools

To start off with dry embossing you will need a template, a stylus, and cardstock. Several items which can make your job easier are soap; wax paper; and a light box.

   
brayers?

What is a Brayer?

A "brayer" is a type of roller that spreads ink or other mediums onto card/paper stock. They can be either solid rubber or made of sponge. There are many brands and some even come with interchangeable rollers.

   
What tools do I need for stamping?

Self Healing Mats

A self healing mat is a protective surface for use with craft blades, rotary cutters, exacto knives, and certain circle/oval cutters. Less expensive than glass, easier to store, and your work is less likely to slip around on, self-healing mats can be found at most craft stores.

   
embossing?

What is UTEE?

UTEE is an ultra thick embossing powder. Rather than stamping an image and then shaking the powder onto it, you cover the entire surface with embossing ink and then ultra thick powder before heating. While the embossing powder is still warm you press an inked stamp into it to create an impression.

   
How can I cut my card?

Using a Scalpel and Cutting Board

A scalpel and cutting board is a cheaper alternative to a paper trimmer. Make sure you buy a metal edged ruler to use as a cutting line, and make sure you practice a few times so that you get the knack of not pressing down too hard. If you press down too hard you will blunt your blade very quickly, and possibly break the blade when turning corners.

   
What is a metal edged ruler?

Metal-edged ruler

A metal-edged ruler is a special ruler that is either made entirely of metal or is a clear plastic with a metal strip imbedded in one edge. These rulers are invaluable when cutting card with an exacto knife and self-healing mat.

   
What tools do I need for stamping?

Stamp Cleaning Pad

Stamp cleaning pad often look like ink pads, with a variety of materials inside. Dampen the inside material with water and use them to blot the ink off your stamps after use. The more highly textured the material will better clean ink out of the indentations in your stamps.

   
Embossing powder?

UTEE - the HOT POT

The "Hot Pot" is a piece of equipment for expanding the range of uses of UTEE. It is a small pot that heats the UTEE and allows for several application techniques. Visit Schmooze With Suze for some application ideas!

   
heat embossing?

Alternatives to Heat Tools

There is no real substitute for a good heat tool, but you can improvise. DON'T use a hairdryer - it will blow your powder all over the place. You can, however, use a toaster, oven or electric range to heat your image, if you use extreme care and constant supervision.

   
What is one of the easiest ways to clean my stamps?

Clean Your Stamps with Baby Wipes

A great cleaning tool is a box of baby wipes. Take a new box, remove all of the wipes and squeeze the excess moisture out of them. Replace in the box and pour a good stamp cleaning solution in. The box will last a long time, and the gentle moisturizers will condition your rubber.

   
blender pen?

Blending Pen

A blending pen looks like a "normal" felt-tipped coloring pen. Instead of having a colored ink, it has a COLORLESS ink. You can use this pen to "take" color from a marker, ink pad, pencil or other color source, and create a "wash" effect. You can also use it to blend colors together.

   
What can I use to cut paper?

Fiskars Paper Trimmers

The Fiskars Paper Trimmer comes in several sizes starting with an 8inch. The 12inch trimmer is probably the most popular for use by rubberstampers and scrapbookers. It is convenient because you can fit quite large pieces of paper into it.

   
How can I cut my card?

Using a metal-edged ruler with a scalpel

When you are first starting out in stamping you are likely to buy a simple scalpel for cutting. This is used in conjunction with a self-healing mat and a metal-edged ruler for cutting. The metal edged ruler is usually a clear plastic ruler with a metal strip imbedded down one side of it. When cutting make sure you cut using the metal-edged side of the ruler so that you don't carve the plastic side with your scalpel.

   
What is a waterbrush?

Waterbrushes

There are several waterbrushes available on the market now. Try Pentel. Pentel is an empty barrelled "pen" with a brush tip (synthetic material). You fill the barrel with water, blending fluid, or even bleach.

   
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Sheri Ann Richerson