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Ask the Artist

Our Artist in Residence, Dina Kowal, answers your questions

  • Submit your question to Dina
  • January 6, 2021
    Q: kazeka posted: "I've been having a problem with my cling mounted rubber stamps - since they aren't clear, I can't tell if they are straight, or where they are exactly in relation to other images. I have a MISTI, but when I actually stamp the placement is always off. Is there a way to avoid this?"

    A: I have a piece of acetate that fits in my stamp positioner, as well as a gridded vinyl sheet. Once I get my stamp visually straight, I can lay either clear sheet over my card panel and stamp to see if the positioning is correct. The lines on the gridded sheet are especially helpful for stamping sentiments. If the positioning is a little off, I can either adjust the stamp and do another test print or shift the card base to align with the stamp, keeping the clear sheet lined up in the corner.

    December 23, 2020
    Q: Karen wants to know: "What do you do with narrow paper scrap strips?"

    A: Some of my favorite backgrounds have been made from strips I piled together while I was cleaning my desk, or strips that collected next to my guillotine cutter. There have been some really unexpected color combinations too! I like to use label sheets to create my backgrounds - I have the 1/2 sheet labels for my business, and I keep a stack of 'messed up' ones just for these kinds of backgrounds. I cut them to quarter sheet size, peel the liner away, and I've got a full sheet of permanent adhesive to play with.

    December 16, 2020
    Q: Kathy asks: "Do you have a recipe for a homemade stamp cleaner?"

    A: I  have to be honest - I don't use a cleaner, and typically just wipe ink off with a dry rag. However, there are lots of suggestions and recipes in this thread from our forum members! (If anyone else has a tried and true recipe that isn't listed, please share it there!)

    December 9, 2020
    Q: Gerre asks: "On making the Pinwheel Card, I do not have a diagonal score plate. How do I score it diagonally without one?"

    A: I didn't have one either, so this is what I did: I marked the paper at 3" from each corner, then aligned the square panel on my scoring board with opposite points up and down. I scored down from each 3" mark, using a ruler to make sure my stylus stayed in the right groove. Once those steps are done you can continue with the instructions in the tutorial.

    December 2, 2020
    Q: Ramona asks: "How do you store your cardstock?"

    A: Letter size sheets of cardstock are stored in hanging file folders, one for each color family. I've got a packet of card panels and smaller scraps sorted in each folder for easy access as well. Full 12" sheets and pads are stacked on a shelf - I don't have a good system for those at the moment. My smaller paper pads and sheets are standing up in a plastic tote where I can flip through them easily.

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