Sponge Daubers tips & ideas

Sponge Daubers are my little secret… but not any more!  Thank you to Fiona for your question about what you can use sponge daubers for, I’ve finally sat down and put my thoughts together in one place.  Also, Kim B you asked about pastels, you might find some more ideas here.  Karyn, you asked whether I use Sponges or Sponge Daubers, I much prefer sponge daubers – to get the colours blended in well I start with only a little bit of colour and work in small circles while adding more colour as I go if needed.  I love sponge daubers because before them I couldn’t get nice smooth and blended sponging, no matter what I used plus they’re so versatile.  These little beauties are always within arms reach on my desk.  So what can you use sponge daubers for? Here’s a list of Sponge Dauber ideas to keep you busy:

Sponge Dauber Ideas:

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Poppin’ Pastels.  Stamp with Versamark then use the sponge daubers to dab colour onto your stamped image and make your image pop.

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Double Poppin’ Pastels.  Sponge pastels/chalk onto the cardstock first, then stamp your image with Versamark then use the sponge dauber to add the same colour on top.

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Stenciling.  Use your sponge daubers with an inkpad and stencil to do stencilling.

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Pretty rainbow background.  Use your sponge daubers with a variety of coordinating onto glossy cardstock to give a dreamy background then stamp your image over the top of the background with dark ink.  Somehow I can’t photograph that stamped one to show the colours that well but I used the background in the first photo and stamped over it, so the background is green/blue/purple.

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Basic Colouring.  Stamp in a dark ink (black/navy/chocolate) then use sponge daubers with chalk to add colour to your image.

evening-trees

Colouring Emboss resist.  Stamp in Versamark, emboss in any colour and then add colour to your image with sponge daubers loaded with ink from your inkpad.

dotty-background

Fun Background.  Load the sponge daubers with chalk then use that to make a ‘dotty’ background.  Do that by pressing the dauber onto the cardstock then giving it a little twist. (that idea from my 11 year old daughter Jade, this photo is of Jade making the background in her favourite colour-combo: Pink Passion and Green Galore)

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Make customised coloured rub-ons! Apply white rub-ons then use a sponge dauber and chalks to add colour to the rub-on to change it from white to any chalk colour you like.  Use a small brush to dust off any excess chalk and an eraser to erase chalk from areas you don’t want it to be on.

Vintage Cards esme2

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Softening Edges of your cardstock. I use this method a lot!  I love the look of sponging around cardstock, either with a neutral cardstock like white or vanilla or sponging the same colour ink as the cardstock I’m using.  The cards and scrapbooking layout in the photo above all have sponging around the edges, in this case I’ve used three different colours to create a depth and interest. In the second card I’ve sponged blue cardstock with brown but only very lightly around the edges to soften the hard lines.  And in the third card I have sponged Olive ink on Olive cardstock then Ruby Red ink on Ruby Red cardstock to give the card some warmth.

ink-heart two-toned-heart

Multi-Coloured Stamping. You’ve got to try this, it looks absolutely awesome and nothing but Sponge Daubers will give you this smooth and blended look… trust me, I’ve tried many other ways!  Not sure if you can see the grading of colour in the heart but it’s really fabulous.  Ink up your stamp in one colour as usual, then use a Sponge Dauber to add a different colour around the edges to give a two-toned effect.

Sponge Dauber Tips:

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*  I keep one sponge dauber for each colour I use and label it so that I can use that same sponge dauber with either the chalk or inkpad of that colour.  The daubers are then all stored in a plastic Stampin’ Up! container that used to contain little stamps (I gave those stamps away).

*  You might prefer to keep one sponge dauber for each colour ‘group’ such as one for greens, one for yellows, one for reds, etc.

*  Sponge daubers can be washed with a little bit of dishwashing liquid and warm water.  That’s a bit of a hassle for me though which is why I keep one for each colour.

Okay that’s it.  I’m tired now after all that but feeling good that I have a heap of little bits and pieces of stamped and sponged cardstock that I have ready to turn into cards.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my Sponge Dauber ideas.  All the products I’ve used in this post (apart from the one feather stamp) are from Stampin’ Up! and are available for purchase through me at angelasargeant@gmail.com.  Email me now to get your own pack of Sponge Daubers!

Taking Care of your Rubber Stamps

stamp-sets

I’ve been moved to write up an information page on taking care of your rubber stamps due to the near heart attack I’ve suffered by seeing rubber stamps treated in all sorts of weird ways… especially in scrapbooking magazines.  Why are stamps stored in weird ways in Scrapbooking magazines? I’ve seen them shoved into jars and tossed into colanders to name a couple of stress-inducing examples.  So here’s a nice and easy “dos and don’ts” list, I hope it helps you to take care of your stamps so that they last you a lifetime.

Things you should do to look after your rubber stamps

*  Always clean your rubber stamps before storing away

*   Clean your stamps with a reputable rubber stamp cleaner.  I like to use Stampin’ Up!’s Stampin’ Scrub and Mist.  The Stampin’ Mist cleans and conditions your stamps, simply spray it on one side of the Stampin’ Scrub and then rub your rubber stamp over it.  After cleaning, dry your stamp by rubbing it on the dry side of the Stampin’ Scrub.

*   If you do not have a Stampin’ Scrub and Mist and cannot invest in one right away, then at the very least use an old washcloth.  Wet the washcloth and wring it out so that it is just damp and clean your stamps with it.

*  Store your rubber stamps flat or upright.  Stampin’ Up! rubber stamps come in clear storage boxes that are perfect for stacking.  If you do not have Stampin’ Up! stamps then I recommend that you keep them stored flat in shallow cardboard or plastic boxes, or drawers.  If you like to have your stamps on display then you can have them standing up on a shelf as you would any other ornament.

*  Store your stamps in room-temperature.

Things you should NOT do to your rubber stamps

•   Please please please do not use baby wipes to clean your rubber stamps.  I don’t know who started this idea but after years of listening to this wrong advice I have found my stamps that I was using baby wipes on for 5 years have become pale, dry and brittle.  It doesn’t matter whether the baby wipes you use are non-alcohol based or non-scented they still damage your stamps over time.

•   Do not wash your wood-mounted stamps under running water.  Washing your stamps under a tap will loosen the adhesive between the foam and wood and you risk your stamps falling off the wood.

•    Do not store your stamps in trendy but weird ways.  Storing your stamps in a colander, lolly-jar, wicker basket or any other way in which the stamps are pressing against each other or or pressing against metal, wood, etc.  This will leave dents in your rubber stamps which will then given you a gap in your stamped image.

•  Store your stamps away from direct sunlight to avoid them becoming brittle and cracked.

•   Microwaving your rubber stamps.  I ripped the rubber off about 20 of my wood-mounted stamps years ago and never again.  I know some people are happy to do this but I hated using my stamps unmounted.  If you really want to do this and need to loosen the adhesive in order to take the rubber off then microwave for only 5 seconds.  If the rubber isn’t coming off then try another 5 seconds.  Do not microwave your rubber stamps in 10 or more second blocks just in case the rubber melts.

I hope you have found this article informative.  If you would like any more information on this topic or anything else to do with rubber stamps or cardmaking please feel free to email me at angelasargeant@gmail.com

Ribbon Storage

Here I am again with my second favourite topic – Storage. In fact, I’ve decided to make a whole category for storage as I’ve talked about it in the past and no doubt will keep on talking about storage. There something just so fun about buying craft stuff then figuring out how to store it ;)

Ribbon Storage seems to be something that papercrafters struggle with. I’m not going to say that my system is perfect but it sure works for me. Maybe there’s something here that will work for you too.

This is a system used by quite a few people. It uses a metal rod and hanging basket by Ikea. The rod makes a great storage system for punches while the hanging basket can be used for ribbons or other items such as little bottles of embellishments. Now I just have to get back to Ikea for a couple more baskets for all the other ribbon spools I have!
ribbon storage

For shorter lengths of ribbon I find that the system shown in the next photo works best for me. I know some people like to stuff their ribbons into fancy jars and organise them by colour but I’d have to constantly dump out the whole jar of ribbons to search through the one I wanted if I stored my ribbons that way. So what I did was to get a really cheap storage box from Big W which already had some ribbon organisers in it then I wrapped all my short ribbon lengths on the organisers and filed them in the box by colour.
ribbon storage

When I ran out of ribbon organisers I made my own, like this:

ribbon organisers

The ‘ribbon organiser’ on the left is simply an old Manilla Folder I was throwing out that I punched with Stampin’ Up!’s Round Tab Punch. Because the storage box I was using was a little narrow, I just snipped of the left and right edges of the punchie with some scissors and that was then perfect size.

The last system I have is for the Stampin’ Up! Ribbon Originals ribbons that come in coordinating colours and wrapped around cardstock. These are all stored in a sturdy flip-top by from Smiggle.
ribbon storage

If you like this system, you can easily make your own lengths of card to wrap your coordinating ribbons around by cutting a piece of sturdy cardstock to the length or width of your storage box then punching out notches using square, circle and oval punches to hold your ribbons in place. I’d love to show you a photo of that, unfortunately the blog for some reason won’t let me upload any more photos so I’ll come back and add a photo later when I’ve figured out what’s wrong.

Eyelets & Buttons & Brads Oh My!

I’ve discovered magnetic tape! Yay! Although I had a very satisfactory storage solution for my Stampin’ Up! eyelets, buttons and brads, I ran out of room on my bookcase so I needed to find another way of storing things that I wanted to use often. My desk is already full with my iMac, two printers, a Inkpad Caddy and a vraiety of other things so looking around I noticed that the side of my filing cabinet which is right next to my desk was empty. Hmmmm. Out came the magnetic tape, I cut two pieces and stuck them on the back of each of the Stampin’ Up! containers and then arranged them on my filing cabinet. Here’s a photo:

accessory storage.jpg

The way they are arranged is that the top row has the Earth Elements colours then the next row has Soft Subtles, the next is Bold Brights, then Rich Regals and last are neutrals (metallic brads & clear buttons).

Now, I’d love to also do the same for my embossing powders and Dazzling Diamonds glitter – unfortunately the magnetic tape isn’t strong enough for that as the little pots are heavy so they slide right down the cabinet. Will have to investigate stronger magnets. ;)

I’ve got Nestabilities!

No doubt that sounds like a disease to non-papercrafters but for everyone else, you know what I mean. I bought these recently from Bizzy Becs – no affiliation whatsoever, just a happy customer. So as usual, new toys = storage dillema. Out came the magnetic tape along with some empty CD cases and this is how I’ve stored my Nestabilities (thanks to some of the ladies on my team who gave me this great idea):

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Then all the CD cases containing the Nestabiities are stored in a CD box care of Smiggle (again, no affiliation – just love the product).

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So I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest storage escapades – let me know what you think.

Edited to add: The CD cases a regular ones, I’ve just pulled out the black bit from the middle of them. They are also regular sized cases, the slimline one’s are too narrow for this purpose.

Inkpads and Storage

So what do I like doing other than buying stamping/art stuff and creating papercrafts? Apart from reading industry magazines (Stamping & Papercraft, Somerset Studio, etc.), I absolutely love sorting all my toys. :D Actually it’s probably more correct to say I have an on-going love affair with storage – and my lovely Tupperware lady (hi Kim!) would no doubt agree. LOL.

Lots of people have asked me about my storage preference, especially for inkpads and ribbons, so here’s a photo of some of my inkpads (some being the operative word). Note that the locker has been photographed open, there’s two slide locks on the doors to open close and they slide into the side of the locker when not being used, which is why you can’t see the doors in this photo.

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Note how wonderfully the Stampin’ Up! inkpads (only $9.95 ;)) fit into this great Inkpad Locker. Actually I have two of these inkpad lockers and I’m looking to buy a third one as they also fit Versamark, Brilliance, Adirondack, Memories and Tim Holtz inkpads too (you can just see the Adirondack pads up the very top of the photo in my second inkpad locker). The cool thing is in the top section of the locks there’s two trays which fit two packs of the Stampin’ Up! markers perfectly.

So where do you get it? I bought mine from Craftainers and if you look carefully on the right hand side of the photo you’ll see that I also have the ribbon locker too. The shelves on the ribbon locker are adjustable so you can use any size ribbon spool you have. Very cool. :D

Did I tell you I love storage? One day I might show you my shoes and boots storage. ;)

Anyone else out there with a storage fetish?

Edited 2 years later to add:  Please note that the manufacturering of this storage locker as ceased.  It’s been over a year since I’ve seen this inkpad locker sold in the shops.