Category Archives: techniques

Let’s Talk Diamonds

Let’s Talk Diamonds

Diamond shapes, to be specific. The gemstones are a little too expensive for this blog, and well, baseball is not anywhere within my wheelhouse. I’m actually not a fan, if you can believe that! I blame my little brother’s Little League games.

So, how about creating diamond shapes for our scrapbook pages? That’s something we can do, right? Certainly!

Our inspiration piece was this gorgeous illustration:

mag ill by Cruschiform

Illustration for magazine Revue XXI no. 23 by Cruschiform (Fukushima)

The primary part I liked was the overlapping diamonds. To create diamonds on my layout, I started with a scrap piece of copy paper. I freehanded the diamond, and fiddled with the drawing to try to get even sides and angles. Don’t do that!

This method just occurred to me last week, and it’s a much better way to get an even diamond. Fold the paper in half lengthwise, and make small creases at the top and bottom. (You don’t need to crease the whole page, just the edges.) Fold it in half widthwise and make two more small creases, one on each side. Or, if you have a centering ruler, use it to mark the center of each side.

The next part will require a decision on your part. Do you want your diamond to be long and thin or short and squat?

You are going to make a dot a specific distance from the top edge of your paper, and the same distance from the bottom of your paper. You will also make dots from each edge of the paper. Those will need to be the same distance from the sides, but they can be different from the top and bottom distances.

You will need to decide on the distances yourself, based on how you want your diamond to look. If you want it to be short and squat, make the top and bottom distances bigger, and the side distance smaller. Reverse that for a long and thin diamond.


Next, connect the dots to draw your diamond, and cut out along the line. An exacto knife, metal edged ruler, and cutting mat are better tools to use for this than scissors, since you want to be able to use both parts. Ta-da! You’ve now made two masks!


We’re going to start by making the diamonds. I used distress inks, but if you have an ink you like better, feel free to use it. Distress inks are nice for this sort of project since they are dye inks that are formulated to take a little longer to dry, which gives you more time to work with them.


Start by taping (I used washi tape) the open diamond over the background paper. Start adding color with a sponge in a circular motion to prevent a lot of overlap marks. Use darker colors and more layers towards the edges, and lighter colors in the middle. Do the two end diamonds first, then the center diamond.


Next, it’s time to add the stamped images. Use the same inks you used to color the diamonds. Use the open diamond to protect the background, and the center piece to cover the center diamond when you work on the two end diamonds.  You’ll only need the open piece to protect the edges of the center shape.


To stamp the background edges, use an ink similar in color to your paper, or if you want a more subtle pattern, use Versamark, which will give you a watermark look. I had scraps of the background paper, so I experimented with various inks I had on hand before settling on using a silvery Encore ink. Use the center piece of the mask you created to protect the colored diamonds. If there’s a chance you might get ink on a second diamond, just use the edge of the background mask to protect it.

good days ||

After you’ve inked and stamped to your heart’s desire, use it to create a page. I kept this very simple, with a title, some journaling, and a few hearts punched out of washi covered scrap paper.

When you’ve got a technique as interesting as this one, you don’t really want to overdo it with embellishments!

What do you think? Do you think you could use this technique on a page? What other shapes do you think would work with this idea? Go make something and show me what you’ve got!

I’ve got to go clean off my desk now.

A Sticky Situation

A Sticky Situation

I’ve been playing with some of my oldest supplies–A huge bottle of Judikins Diamond Glaze (a dimensional adhesive similar to Tim Holtz’s Glossy Accents) and Dr. PH Martins Hydrus watercolors.

As well as a few items not quite as old– Tim Holtz’s Fragments, and some embossed rose paper from the Paper Source.
Embossed rose paper from paper source

Why, you ask? Because I have way too much Diamond Glaze, and I’d like to use it up within my lifetime. (When I first discovered Diamond Glaze, I bought the big 8 oz. bottle because I was sure I would be using it a lot. And then I bought myself the 16 oz. refill bottle at a stamp convention. Because I was still convinced I was going to be using it all.the.time. I’m still working on emptying the original 8 oz. bottle. Fifteen years later.)

This is a fun little technique that you can use with any dimensional adhesive. I used Diamond Glaze. For, you know, reasons.

Take about a tablespoon of dimensional adhesive and add one to three drops of Doc Martin’s Hydrus watercolors. One drop will give you very translucent colors. Three drops, as I used here will give you very deep, almost opaque color. You can mix them in a small disposable cup. If you’re covering a large area in one color, you can pour the colored adhesive on your surface and use a toothpick to spread it out evenly. Or, you can do what I did, and use a toothpick like a teensy tiny brush and use it to color smaller areas.

rose notebook ||

This mini book was made with the back side of the embossed rose paper, so the lines of the roses acted as basin edges to hold the dimensional adhesive in place. Leave yourself a lot of time between colors, so the glue dries. Diamond Glaze takes quite awhile to dry when it’s applied this heavily. The cool thing about Diamond Glaze is that it’s pretty flexible when dry, so I was able to fold the paper to make the cover for this little book. It’s got 10 half sheets of graph paper folded inside to make 20 pages. Thin baker’s twine was used to sew the pages to the cover, with a long tail left on to add beads to make a built in book mark.

glittered fragment ornaments ||

I had a little of the blue dyed glue leftover when I finished the cover, so I dug out some Tim Holtz fragment charms, and spread the rest of the glue on one side. I quickly added some tinsel glitter, spread it around and let it dry overnight. Once it had dried, I added another layer of clear glue over top of the glitter, to make sure the glitter wouldn’t go anywhere.

I love playing with dimensional adhesive. Do you have any craft supplies hanging around at your house that you’ve been neglecting? Play with them! Show me what you make!


Techniques to Play With

Techniques to Play With

This past April, there was another True Stamp event, with lots of information about techniques you can use when stamping. Now all the classes are available for sale individually, and are discounted for the month of June!

One of my favorites was the class from Raisin Boat, where they used a bunch of products to add texture to their stamped images. Raisin-Boat-Sneak-Peek-labeled

I loved their use of new to me products as well as their innovative ways to use items I already have in my stash. Now I’m definitely going to be adding pearl pens and puff pens to my repertoire! Techniques from this class will definitely be showing up when card month comes around again this fall. (In November, I make cards all month long, and then send them out to my mailing list. You should definitely be on my mailing list if you like getting snail mail.)

Another must watch class is the class sponsored by Paper Smooches.Paper-Smooches-Sneak-Peek-labeled

Not only is it filled with fun techniques, but it’s a great lesson in how to practice. The most important thing in any creative endeavor is the willingness to experiment and make mistakes. Kim’s class is a great example of learning through experimentation. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The rest of the classes are similarly wonderful, and I’ll tell you more about them as the month goes by.

Now, a few details about the sale for you. These classes usually go for $12.95 a piece. For the month of June, they are on sale for $9 each. Plus, if you decide to get all six classes, you can get them for an additional 33% off! That’s right. 6 classes for $39. That works out to what? $6.50 a class? That’s awesome. Seriously.

So head on over to the True Stamp sales page, and get yourself a deal!

An Artful Mess

An Artful Mess

The little art pieces I made for the ladies at Lain’s crop at the beginning of March have been getting a lot of comments and questions on how they were created from fellow ScrapHappy members. Rather than keeping those details just with my ScrapHappy friends, I thought you all might appreciate some information about how to make your own little art pieces as well. (Lots of affiliate links coming your way!)

tulip photo transfer art ||

First of all, the base is watercolor paper. It’s a bit heavier than cardstock and holds up well to wet techniques, which this is.

Next came the background creation. I used stencils from Martha Stewart Crafts, Heidi Swapp, and The Crafter’s Workshop (mostly Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s line) to spray mist a couple layers of color. I originally used some of Dyan Reaveley’s Dylusions, but those are very water reactive, so they moved and smeared when I applied the gel medium. You could use other mists–think Mr. Huey’s or Fireworks— to get less smearing.

black eyed susan photo transfer art ||

Then came a paint layer (liquitex basics), either with another stencil, or some recycled materials like bubble wrap or mesh, and a sponge to apply it. For some backgrounds, I also used stamps and pigment ink, and then heat set the whole background before moving onto the transfer stage.

If you’re feeling unsure about how to create a background, any of these True Scrap classes are full of ideas and techniques: Project Miscellany with Stephanie Ackerman, Memory Minutes with Tammy Tutterow, Doris Sander with Four Stencils, Four Ways. Those are just a handful from the True Scrap back in October. There are a lot more that would provide lots of inspiration and instruction if you’re still looking for something fun. (And True Stamp is coming next weekend. If you haven’t signed up for that yet, why not? So much inspiration! So many fun people! It’s definitely worth every penny. You can sign up for the live event here, and then have access to the tutorials whenever you want.)

hydrangea photo transfer art ||

The photos I used are just some of the pictures I’ve taken over the years of flowers I’ve found or grown. If you want to use any of them with your own transfers, you can buy a print over at Redbubble. The method I used was taught in this class from last October’s True Scrap 5. Stephanie Hamen shows three methods for making photo transfers. I used the gel medium method.

aster photo transfer art ||

After doing the transfer, I added a few more stamps and stenciling over top of the image, especially on the edges. I found some great quotes to use from Cosmo Cricket, and cut them up a bit. Then I got out my pitt pens and white gel pen and did a bit of doodling and zentangling. This book is a great resource if you’re interested in learning to zentangle.

The cool thing about doing these was that, even though it was a pretty long process, no one part of the process took very long, which means I could sit down for ten minutes and do one part, and then go do something else while that step dried.

sedum photo transfer art ||

So what do you think? Want to try to make one of your own photo transfer art pieces? They’re a bit addicting. 😉

If you have any questions, drop them below in the comment section, and I’ll answer them as best I can. Don’t be shy!


Getting Crafty at the Crop at Lain’s

Getting Crafty at the Crop at Lain’s

Last weekend, I spent Saturday at a crop at Lain Ehmann’s. I’ve known Lain for years, and take advantage of any opportunity to visit, since it’s always a fun time.

I’ve been to enough local crops recently, that all my easy, journaling-light projects are all up to date. So what to work on? Granted, there was sure to be lots of chatting going on, but what’s the point of going to a scrapbooking crop if you don’t make SOMETHING, right?

So then the wheels started turning, and I decided that maybe it was time to play with a technique I’ve done before, but this time use a few different materials: image transfers. I’ve done image transfers before, but with self-stick acetate, not multi-medium.

After re-watching Stephanie Hamen’s True Scrap 5 class (affiliate link), I gathered my photos and materials, and packed everything up for the crop.

Flower pics ||

One of the things I wanted to do was start with a messy background before adding the image transfer over top. The idea I’m going for is a bit messy and multi layered.

This is what I got done on Saturday:

watercolor paper image transfers ||

These were done on water color paper that had been misted and painted. The ones below are on some canvases I had painted years ago, and when I didn’t like how they were turning out, shelved for a while.

pre-painted canvas image transfer ||

You can see that some images transferred better than others, and that others are still not completely paper free. But these are off to a promising start. They definitely need a bit more layering and such. Hopefully they’ll turn out interesting enough to share with you!

Do you have any photos that you’d love to turn into art pieces? What are you going to do with them?