Questions about embossing powder, envelopes, and clear stamps

I asked for questions about crafting…any questions.  You responded.

Becky Bitting asked:

Make my own envelopes or purchase them?

Make my own envelopes or purchase them?

Sophie’s Choice asked:

HELP!  Embossing powders.

HELP! Embossing powders.

Karen Woolsey asked:

Clear stamp storage

Clear stamp storage

I had a couple birds help me with today’s video.  Thank you, Maureen Criss Mathis, for the long ago gift of the birds.  😀

Becky Bitting asked if I made my own envelopes.  My answer, in the video, is not really but I do.  I have the WeRMemory Keepers Envelope Punch board.  I have used it to make envelopes and the gift tote, for the 3 x 3 note cards I have been giving out to the medical staff helping me through my breast cancer.

Envelope punch board

Envelope punch board

Note cards with tote

Note cards with tote

Sophie’s Choice asked me about embossing powders.  She is considering these products to be her next purchase and wanted some advice.

Black embossing powder

Black embossing powder

My stash of embossing powders

My stash of embossing powders

Karen Woolsey asked me about my clear stamp storage.  There are a MILLION videos (well….that might be a slight exaggeration) on YouTube featuring various ways to store clear stamps.  Well, let’s just say that my method is not so original.

Clear stamp storage

Clear stamp storage

I don’t have many stamp sets.  Why, you may ask?  I am a terrible, horrible, absolutely worst ever stamper and I don’t enjoy the process.

While I was clearing out old files on my computer I found a photo you might be interested in seeing.  My craft room November 2003.  13 years ago next month.

November 2003

November 2003

September 2016

September 2016

Here is today’s video 😀

Freak Show! Crazy flower from fake leaves.

Crazy flower made from fake flower leaves

Crazy flower made from fake flower leaves

My last video tutorial in the series of “Heat Embossing Techniques” features using the leaves from fake flower bouquets.  I have created a flower that, most likely, is NOT “Mother Nature” approved.  😀

A freaky hybridized flower that no botanist would even consider a worthy species to replicate.

Species?  I’m not even sure what the classification would be for flowers.  Maybe genus?

Whatever the technical name for a flower classification is, I’m positive my featured flower would not be in any of either classification.  😀

Hey, I’m trying to show how you can repurpose things that would normally be tossed in the trash.  “Use what you have”.

I used VersaMark Embossing Ink on the green leaves and on some of the red leaves.  To get things moving along quicker, I used Glycerine painted on with a brush for a large portion of the red leaves.

Putting the thing together was accomplished with my most HATED tool in my craft room.  The Hot Glue Gun.  I HATE that thing!  Burns, hot glue strings like spider webs, blobs of glue dripping out everywhere.  That tool, I just don’t see why so many people use that confounded contraption in their craft spaces.  :/

You have about 20 minutes?  You can watch the video below on how I created this Freak Show.


Final Episode: Heat Embossing Techniques

At the request of one of my YouTube subscribers for information about heat embossing, I have created several videos on this subject.  Seems like nearly a bazillion of them 😀

When a person does a search on YouTube for heat embossing the resultant videos all show how to use rubber stamps with heat embossing powder.  Not every crafter has a stash of rubber stamps, more especially those that are just getting into this craft.

Give them six months to a year and their crafting space will look almost as bad as mine does.

This week’s set of four technique videos are all about embellishments.  Brads, plastic clear faceted items, chipboard die cuts with pre-printed sentiments and coloring, raw chipboard die cuts just waiting to be dressed up spiffily, and I even go so far as to do injustice to Mother Nature and create a hybrid flower from the plethora of leaves left on a silk flower bouquet after I’ve snipped nearly all the flowers off.

Next Wednesday a new series will begin.  What it will be about….I’m working on that one 😀


Heat embossing with stencils and templates.

I will have six videos up on my YouTube channel today.  Yes, I said 6!

In my small attempt at getting others to look into the depths of their hoard of paper, tools, and products I dug through my stash of brass, plastic, and decorative stencils.  Over the years I have accumulated quite a number of items that have been shoved into the deep dark cupboards in my craft room.

Each stencil I use in this quasi-educational series was, once upon a time, chosen because of its supreme beauty.

Being the type of person that I am….having the attention span of a gnat….the spell wore off shortly after I got that most prized piece home.  Doubts and fears overcame my adventurous side.  What am I ever going to do with THAT?  The end result was nearly forever darkness.

Time to do a “Haul”.  Get in my cupboards, bins, boxes, and drawers and “Haul” out all of my stencils and templates.  In my zeal to be a good teacher and inspiration I did a few things that will become a “cautionary tale” of what NOT TO DO and if you DID DO IT then what the remedy is.

I have a, newly acquired, brass butterfly stencil that I nearly ruined by my genius.  I thought it would be prudent to tape the stencil on a piece of paper and use several colors of embossing powder at one go.  Uhm, err, ahem….DON’T DO IT.  And if YOU DO here is what to do when you have a massive fail.

Rubbing Alcohol, or Surgical Spirits for those of you in Europe, is your friend.

Rubbing Alcohol or Surgical Sprits is your friend

Rubbing Alcohol or Surgical Spirits is your friend

Place the stencil in a vessel of your choosing.  Cover the botched beauty with rubbing alcohol or surgical spirits and leave to soak for 24 hours.  Trust me….this will do wonders to your stencil and your spirits.

The paper I had the stencil attached to did not release when I pried it up off the paper.  It was stuck on there good and tight.

Paper stuck on the back of the stencil

Paper stuck on the back of the stencil

After soaking for 24 hours in the rubbing alcohol, the paper easily came away from the brass.  No scrubbing, no digging, no damage to the stencil.

After a 24  hour soak the paper released easily

After a 24 hour soak the paper released easily

You can see the entire fail in this photo.  You will also see that the stencil was not damaged.

The mighty fail

The mighty fail

The heated embossing powder comes loose with a bit of scratching with your finger nail.  No other tools required to remove the stuck on mess.

Just like new

Just like new


To get you started….here is my “Haul” video 😀



Unconventional Tool in the craft room

My husband, Joe, is building a component for our Transport Trailer that requires him to solder wire gizzys into little holes.  He has, in the past, used his soldering iron to reheat the solder to remove a wire and place it in a different hole or replace a wire that has broken.  He found a tool on eBay that is used in the computer industry to make the process easier for him.

My husband is an “enabler”.  When he comes across something in his eBay searches that he thinks I can use he makes it a point to let me know.  One such item is a Bozan 858D+ SMD Rework Station.

Bozan 858D+ SMD Rework Station

Bozan 858D+ SMD Rework Station

He paid about $35 (shipping included) for this thing just for me.  I’ve used it and it is easy to use and did the job I needed it to do.  Check out the video below to see this thing work.


Sneak peek at next week’s tutorials for heat embossing.

Heat embossing with stencils

Heat embossing with stencils

What you see in the photo is just a SMALL selection of the stencils I own.  Over the past 10+ years I have acquired all kinds of things that, at the time, I thought I just HAD TO HAVE.

The newest acquisitions are the butterfly brass stencil and the Dylusions thing on the bottom right of the photo.  The rest have been hidden away in the deep dark recesses of my cupboards.

The two round stencils in the back?  Those are actually drain covers I bought from my local big box hardware store – Lowe’s – about 7 years back.

At this point….I have a, nearly, 3 hour “Show and Blab Fest” going on as I go through the various stencils and show you how to use them.  I have a LOT of editing to do on the video when I’m finished shooting.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 19th, 2015.  I’m POSITIVE you will search through your stash for the stencils you bought years ago.  “Come here my little friend”! 😀


My very FIRST “Finish It Friday” feature.

Usually….unless I have a gift making project….the “How To” video item gets tossed to the side, shoved into a box, hidden beneath a pile of other stuff, and generally is forgotten.

As a fickle crafter, always looking for the next fun technique or idea, I have amassed quite a stash of……crap…..

Seriously folks, I don’t think very far into the future as I create.  I get an idea for a technique.  Make a video featuring the technique.  The end.

These past two weeks I’ve been showing you how to heat emboss items without using rubber stamps.  Getting creative by using what I have on hand.  Saving myself money and time while trying to let you know that the online or walk in craft stores don’t have to be your go to place when you need something for a project.

If your craft space is anything like mine (after 10+ years of creating) you have a rich supply of paper, adhesive, dies, tools, equipment, and just a whole lot of cr….oops STUFF patiently waiting for you to remember them.

No matter your age as a new paper crafter, YouTube is a gateway to creativity.  It can also be a gateway to hell as you compare your work to others with more experience.  I might even go so far as to say quite a number of the 10 Commandments get mangled and abused in our my craft areas as we watch YouTube videos.

COMMANDMENT #1:   You shall have no other Gods before me.

I’m guilty of abusing this Commandment.  Tim Holtz, for example.  Wonderful man and teacher.  When he has a new blog post or video I am on it.  Reading every word of his blog or tweets.  Intently listening and watching his instruction as he creates his art pieces.

Tim Holtz is not the only one.  Stampin’ Up!, Graphic 45, Die Cuts With a View (DCWV), Michaels, Hobby Lobby to name a few.

COMMANDMENT #2:  You shall not make idols.

Yes, I’ve fractured this Commandment a time or two.  I’ve made a few things that I am particularly proud of and often look at the photos of my creations that have been passed on to whomever I made them for.

COMMANDMENT #3:  You shall not take the name of your LORD and God in vain.

Yep.  Smashed this Commandment on numerous occasions when a project or technique goes bad.  Hissy fit with a potty mouth.

COMMANDMENT #4:  Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

When I am in the creative zone one day runs into the next.  The only day(s) I don’t do anything creative are the days when my Mojo takes a hike or I am in a total funk.

COMMANDMENT #5:  Honor your father and mother.

This one gets trashed from time to time.  If I feel the need to speak about my childhood in foster care my father and mother usually get eviscerated in the conversation.

COMMANDMENT #6:  You shall not murder.

So far….I’m good on that one.  However, I am sorely tempted to act on this when I get a particularly nasty comment on one of my videos.

COMMANDMENT #7:  You shall not commit adultery.

I often wonder what my husband thinks as I babble on and on about Tim Holtz.  At least I only babble about him and don’t actively seek him out.  So…I guess I’m safe on this one.

COMMANDMENT #8:  You shall not steal.

Err, uhm, ahem.  I have stolen someone’s idea from a YouTube video and made it my own.  Not anymore though.  I have learned to give credit where credit is due.

COMMANDMENT #9:  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

I have not sullied this Commandment…..yet.

COMMANDMENT #10:  You shall not covet.

Guilty!  Totally guilty of obliterating this Commandment.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look at my craft room tour video if you have AN HOUR to kill and want to listen to my voice drone on and  on.

I’m going to Hell I tell you.

Before I go to Hell I want to share with you the newest video I have created.  It is a scrapbook page featuring all the heat embossing techniques I’ve shown you how to do.  It is a “Sampler” page or a reference.  I can look at this page and remember how I did any one of the techniques and use that on a card or another scrapbook page.

I hope this video helps you to be a bit more creative in your craft room.  Using what you have on hand and make others marvel at your genius.





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