CTMH | Close To My Heart
Tips & Techniques
Blending Pen | Brayer | Cleaning Stamps | Embossing | Journaling Lines
Blending Pen: The blending pen from Close To My Heart is a must have. You can merge colors and it really adds a lot to your projects. The blending pen can be used to lighten colors or create a watercolor effect. The blending pen features 2 tips: a brush tip and a fine tip. This can be used with CTMH's markers, ink pads and re-inkers. My favorite way to use a blending pen is with the CTMH ink pads. What you do is keep the lid closed, gently squeeze the lid so that the inside touches the surface of the ink pad, open it up and use the blending pen to grab the ink color that is now on the lid side. Viola now blend away! To use with CTMH re-inkers: add a couple drops of the re-inker to either the lid of your ink pad or some other non-porous surface, use the blending pen to grab the ink color and blend away. If using with our CTMH markers: touch the blending pen to the tip of a marker to get some ink on the pen and blend away.
Brayer: Brayers have many uses. One way to use a Close To My Heart brayer is to create a reflection. After you have stamped your card, ink the stamp again and roll your brayer across it. Now your brayer is all set and ready to create a reflection/mirror image. Roll the mirror image right below the original stamped image on your card. Another way to use a brayer is to create backgrounds. You simply apply ink to the whole brayer, then use the brayer and roll it on plain cardstock. You can do this with one or more colors to create a multicolored look. You can create gorgeous sunsets with the brayer technique.
Cleaning Stamps: To clean your Close To My Heart My Acrylix clear stamps it is recommended that you clean the stamps immediately after use. If the ink stays on there too long it will be more difficult to remove. Close To My Heart Archival Ink and Staz On will permanently discolor the stamp image due to being pigment inks. To clean your stamps I strongly recommend using the CTMH My Acrylix Spritz and the double scrubber. Those 2 products are going to be your best bet and most effective for removing the residual ink without damaging the high quality My Acrylix clear stamps. FYI the double scrubber pads are removable and can easily be washed in the sink or thrown in the dishwasher. If you notice that your stamps become less sticky over time just rinse them off with dish soap and water and the stickiness will come back.
Embossing: Embossing is a great way to jazz up your stamped image and give it a nice classy look. The shiny, raised look always leaves non-stampers wondering how was that done but it really is an easy process. Simply stamp your image that you want to be embossed into versa mark and then sprinkle your CTMH embossing powder over the image. Make sure you covered the entire image, then remove the powder back into the container or on an extra paper, be sure to get all the excess powder that may be surrounding the stamped image by lightly tapping the paper from the bottom side. Now for the fun part... Turn on your heat gun and shine over the powder to give it that raised embossed look. Move it around until the entire images is raised be sure to not overheat as you may burn the powder and/or the paper. Viola.... you should have a gorgeous raised image now.
Journaling Lines: Want to know a trick to creating journaling lines? Simply grab a CTMH My Acrylix Clear Block, now using the straight edge of the block tap the block edge directly onto an ink pad, then stamp your lines right onto your paper. This will result in a nice solid straight line for journaling.
Liquid Glass: First off can I say that the Liquid Glass from Close To My Heart is an amazing product. I LOVE it! Liquid glass can be used to add shine, brighten, highlight, accent, and add dimension to your stamped images, embellishments and projects. To use it simply hold the bottle upside down and squeeze it onto your desired area. Viola... easy peasy! The drying time will vary depending on how much product you use. It could range from about 15 minutes up to an hour if you used a bunch. Don't touch it after you use it.. just let it dry. I would recommend rinsing off the tip of the liquid glass applicator prior to putting it away so it is not clogged the next time you go to use it. I've made that mistake a few times.
Masking: Masking is a technique that allows you to stamp several images without marrying them together. This makes images look like they are behind other images. Although its simple to do it takes a little time to do the cutting depending on your image. Many stampers love this technique to put flowers behind one another. Ok ready to attempt masking? First stamp your image on your paper (make it appear up front). Next, stamp the same image on post-it note or scrap paper, then cut out the image from the scrap paper. Do your best to cut right on the edge. This is now considered your mask... Place the scrap image (mask) over the original image on your paper. Now go ahead and stamp the next image to where it overlaps and covers part of the mask. After your done remove the mask and you'll see that it looks like the second image is behind the first one.
Placing Stamps on Blocks: If you're wondering what is the best way to place your CTMH My Acrylix clear stamps on your clear block your going to first want to find the appropriate sized My Acrylix block for your image. If you're using alphabet stamps and putting several on a block you can use the line guide that is on the block to help you align your lettering perfectly or you can scatter them depending on the look you're going for. I've yet to ever tear a My Acrylix stamp unlike other stamps I've used but if your worried about possibly tearing your stamps be sure and use your fingers to loosen all edges before pulling off the storage sheet or the block. As I'm sure you already know but My Acrylix clear stamps give you perfect placement everytime. You simply look through the top of the block, place the image where you'd like it to go, then apply pressure firmly. How great are clear stamps? :)The other cool thing is if you would like to give it a darker look just do the same thing again and place it directly over the last image by looking through the clear block.
Random Stamping: Random stamping is a fun technique which allows you to be able to create your own background paper in whichever colors you'd like. Here are some suggestions for random stamping... first find 3 different stamps that are 3 different sizes, then start with your largest of the 3 stamps, then to the middle size and last the smallest so you can fill in spaces. I recommend stamping off your piece of paper so it looks even more random and be sure to turn your image different directions while stamping.
Rock and Roll Stamping: Rock and Roll stamping can be used to produce a two-tone looked on your image or even to create shading. To do this with 2 ink colors you just ink a solid stamp in a lighter shade of ink, then use your darker ink color and roll the edges of the stamp gently and stamp as usual. You can also achieve the rock and roll stamping look with 1 ink color by inking your stamp, stamp a piece of paper once to get some of the ink off, then roll the stamp in the same ink again for a darker look around the edges, then stamp as usual. Viola! This technique produces such neat results.
Season Your New Stamps: This tip is great to get your new stamps ready to pick up ink more evenly. Seasoning is a process used to remove any residue that may have gotten on your Close To My Heart My Acrylix clear stamp during the production process. There are several ways to season your stamps. Here are a couple I've found to work great... Ink your stamp, then stamp on a scrap paper until the color eventually fades out (twist the stamp while stamping). The one I used most to season my stamps is to rub the surface of the stamp lightly with a CTMH rub & remove eraser. This will make the stamp have a slightly rough texture which will help to absorb ink more, but will not transfer to your stamping. You could even clean it before if you're concerned.
Second Generation Stamping: The Second Generation stamping is a commonly used technique. Once you learn it I'm sure you'll use it more and more. This is the perfect technique to add a bit of depth to your scrapbooking and card making projects by creating a darker and lighter shade of the same ink color. Here are some tips... First you're going to want to grab a stamp, ink it up good and stamp the image on the paper. Next you'll stamp it again onto your project without cleaning it off. The result is a lighter image. You can continue stamping if you're looking for an even lighter look which would be considered 3rd and 4th generation stamping and I would recommend you 'huff' (blow hot air) on your stamp to moisten it up again.
Solid Stamping: Basic solid stamping is how you'll want to stamp your images to create a nice crisp look. If you're using a new stamp be sure and season it first. Then when you ink up your image tap, tap onto your ink pad, then twist, twist it on the ink pad, then tap, tap it again on your ink pad. (some people do this 3x each, I usually just do 2x) Take a look at the stamp to make sure it looks even throughout. If it is go ahead and stamp the image onto your paper, press down firmly from the middle of the stamp without rocking or twisting the stamp. Raise the stamp up and you'll have a nice clear image. If you are stamping directly onto your project I would recommend that you first stamp onto a scrap piece of paper to see what the image looks like and get the feel of the stamp before putting it on your project. Be sure and place the foam sheet that comes with the CTMH My Acrylix clear stamps under your paper when stamping to produce a more crisp and even image. If you are using a large stamp it may be easier to lay the stamp/block upside down then tap the ink pad on the stamp instead of the typical way.
Stamp Kissing: The stamp kissing technique is one of my favorites. I love using this technique with the alphabet letters from Close To My Heart. To stamp kiss simply apply your ink onto a solid stamp (like an alphabet stamp), then grab a background stamp (one with dots, lines, checks, plaids, etc), place the stamp/block face up, next you'll want to take the solid stamp and kiss it directly onto the background stamp. Then stamp on paper for a textured version of your solid stamp. You could also use 2 ink colors when doing this by inking up your background stamp in a darker color and your solid stamp in a lighter color. When you stamp kiss the light to the dark background color the pattern will appear on the solid stamp in that color. Pretty cool!
Storing your Clear Stamps: When storing your My Acrylix Clear Stamps be sure and place them in a cool, dry place that is away from the sunlight. Each storage envelope is color coded if you prefer to store them by color theme. Check out the My Acrylix Organizer for durable storage that is a perfect fit for the Close To My Heart My Acrylix Clear Stamps.
Tinted Liquid Glass: The tinted liquid glass technique is the perfect one to add a hint of color and shine to your favorite embellishments. Simply pour about a dime size amount of liquid glass onto a non-porous surface, then add about 2 drops of CTMH re-inker, and blend them together with a toothpick. Viola! Now you can take tweezers and dip brads or other embellishments right into the tinted liquid glass. Be sure and give it some time to dry before adding it onto your project so they don't get messed up.