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Thursday, October 27, 2011

10 ways to Improvise

I do intend to publish some of my own ideas on the blog but I have recently found a stack of magazines and would like to share some of the wonderful articles from those.  The magazines are Scrapbook Answers, which is no longer in print.  It was a wonderful how-to type magazine that came with a disk with videos, fonts and lots of other great scrappy goodness.  This article is from the October 2005 edition, their very 1st magazine.


1.  Ad Hoc Setting Mat
     An old mouse pad makes a great surface for poking embellishments through your paper.  It's also a good protective surface for punching holes in paper when doing stitching or faux tin work.

2.  Bling-Bling Thing
     Place a pea-size piece of polymer clay on the end of a pencil for the perfect pickup stick for sparkly beads, jewels, and other tiny pieces of bling.  The cly has just the right amount of stickiness to hold onto the jewel until you place it on the adhesive, which pulls it right off the stick.

3.  Sorry, Idaho
     Remember making potato stamps in preschool?  Leave the potatoes for baking and use other equally common (but less biodegradable) household items to make your own stamps.  An eraser makes fabulous geometric stamps: Use the end as is for rectagles, or cut for squares or thin stripes.
     You can also transform wine and champagne corks into stamps.  Glue an ornate button to one end and stamp away for a vintage or grunge effect.
     Tami Mayberry of Lonedell, Missouri, reminded us of another fun sourse of stamp shapes: the bottoms of bottles and other common household containers.  Tami suggests using the bottom of a round or oval-shaped nail polish bottle.  We've also used soda bottles and cans, unusually shaped perfume containers, or those quaint octagonal metal tea canisters.

4.  Sew Easy
     For easy stitching, use a glue pen to lightly adhere items like ribbon or fabric strips to your page before you sew.  This makes machine stitching easy, and it won't gunk up your needle.

5.  Fast Match
     Cut down on design time by choosing from coordinating lines of paper like those by Making Memories, Scrapworks, Daisy D's, Karen Foster Design, K&Company, Chatterbox, (CTMH) and others.  Many manufacturers even have coordinating embellishments.

6.  Unstick Trick
     Out of UnDu?  Swipe waxed dental floss underneath photos you want to remove from the yellowed pages of magnetic albums.

7.  Smart Spool Storage
     Use K'nex (from your kids' toy box) for ribbon-on-the-spool storage.  take one long piece of K'nex and attach small v-shaped pieces at the ends.  For legs, add small straight pieces to the v-shaped ones so it stands up.  One long K'nex holds about 10 spools of 3/8-inch ribbon.  The pieces snap apart easily so you can add or remove spools.

8.  Quick Stitch
     Silver or white pen dashes on dark cardstock look like machine stitching.  Use a ruler to make your "stitches" straight and even!

9.  Extra Adhesive
     When using foam adhesive dots, don't throw out the leftover sheet.  Simply cut up the "negative area" as needed and use the pieces the same way you use the precut dots.  they don't have to be dots to make your projects pop!

10.  Let It Go
     There is no tricky formula or special technique (e.g. time travel) for finishing more pages in less time.  Just go for it!  Let go of the quest for perfection on every page.  Scraplift ideas from designers whose work you like- including that of your friends.  And remember: Have fun!