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Ask the Artist


Our Artist in Residence, Dina Kowal, answers your questions


  • Submit your question to Dina
  • 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.


    November 25, 2020
    Q: Rebecca asks: "Can the Diamond Shaped Ornament be made into a gift box that also hangs on the tree?"

    A: It can! After you've attached two tabs, you can tuck a treat inside before adhering the last side - you might even want to add a little 'pull' tag to the adhesive on one of those last tabs. Unfortunately since it needs strong adhesive to keep it closed and hold the extra weight, it can't be used as an ornament after it's been opened.


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