It seems like just yesterday that I was a beginner stamper. There are so many little things I have learned along the way which make the difference between creating a good card and creating a great card! One of my favorite sayings is "It's the little things that make life big!" This is true in relationships AND stamping! Today I would love to share some of those little things which I incorporate into my work.
When others ask advice about paper-crafting, here are the most common suggestions I give:
*Always measure and cut accurately;
*Unless you're going for a distressed look, always trim off any paper shreds from the cut edges;
*Never glue any pieces together until you know for sure what the finished project will look like;
*Take your time when assembling your project to make sure things are lined up straight.
The most common question I get is "How do keep your paper piercing so straight?" Here are a few pics and some paper piercing tips:
Number one tip: Never assemble your project and try to paper-pierce afterward....it is nearly impossible to get straight lines and your paper will most likely crease on the edge. To get the best visual effect from paper piercing, I always adhere each panel to its mat before piercing. It is a little more difficult, especially if you have more than two layers to pierce through, however, it gives a more dramatic look. If you pierce a layer and then adhere it directly to another, the backs of the holes may smash back in and won't be as visible.
This photo shows my stamped/embossed layer already adhered to the white mat. Most of my paper-piercing is done with a template I got from Stampin' Up when I first started stamping. I use a standard paper-piercing tool and the foam mat is an Ornare Piercing Mat which I bought to use with some Ornare templates....I like this foam mat since it is a larger size. Line up the corner guide of the template with the edges of the top layer.
Once you start piercing, go very slowly and press down on the template at all times. As you are piercing, the template has a tendency to shift. Every few holes, make sure that the guidelines are still square.....otherwise, your pierced line will not be straight. As long as you cut your paper at 1/8" increments, the piercing should come out perfect at the next corner. Please note: Since I rounded the corners on this card first, I usually leave three holes un-pierced on each corner (the corner hole and one on each side of it). You can either pierce two holes by hand to round the corner or strategically place a pearl or embellishment in the corner instead.
I also pierce by hand when I use Spellbinders which are shaped other than a square or rectangle. When piercing a circle or oval, I usually start at top center and "eyeball" the spacing, trying to be consistent as possible. When you are coming close to the top on the other side, it does take a little planning to make them come out without having obvious space differences. When piercing around shapes that have "corner points" as the "Curved Rectangles" below, I usually pierce each point first, then carefully "connect the dots" per se! It does take a little practice, but just take your time....you can do it!!
Usually the back sides of any project are not a pretty picture, but thought it might be helpful to show a "behind the scenes" shot of what most of my cards look like before I adhere them together. When I use paper -piercing, I usually will pop up each pierced panel......the shadow from the space between gives a greater visual of the pierced holes. To make sure that your mailed cards don't come out lopsided or smashed, use plenty of foam tape around the edges. When using ribbon, I always adhere my ribbon before applying the foam tape, to keep it from being lumpy.
Here is my finished card, which features the new Brocade Borders Set, the custom-made Brocade Borders Cutting Dies, the Brocade Background stamp clear embossed with Ranger Clear Embossing Powder and SEI chalk ink, and the "Peace" set from the "Full of Grace" line. I used a Bow Easy to tie the May Arts Embroidered Satin Ribbon and the pearls are by Hero Arts.
One of my absolute favorite challenge blogs is The Shabby Tea Room.....their DT is fabulous and so are their challenges! This week's challenge at the Tea Room is to use the color green or nature on your project....I was happy to oblige!! Check out their challenges.....you'll love 'em!!
As always, thanks so much for stopping by! Many blessings to you!!!