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Ask the Artist

Our Artist in Residence, Dina Kowal, answers your questions

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  • April 2, 2014
    Q: cardmakinggram wants to know: "Is there a way to use an A2 embossing folder on a 5" x 7" card?"

    A: Try turning the folder sideways - if it's a repeating pattern that can be used horizontally, you can run the piece through twice. Line up the top edge with the side of the folder for the first pass. For the second pass, line up the edge of the folder with the edge of the embossing, or if the pattern repeats, overlap the folder with the embossed area slightly. Roll the folder sandwich carefully, just up to the edge, so that you don't flatten your earlier embossing. You may have a slight line at the joint, but you could cover that up with another layer or ribbon if it's very obvious.

    March 26, 2014
    Q: Kelly asks: "I am trying to find large brass or antique gold notebook rings. Is there a way to dye the easy-to-find silver rings?"

    A: Alcohol markers work wonderfully for coloring on metal and other nonporous surfaces. A dark yellowish-brown color works well for antique brass. To add a more antiqued texture, apply black alcohol ink to the corner of an old rag and dab it lightly onto the colored surface. A yellow marker can be used for the look of shiny brass.

    March 19, 2014
    Q: Kim wants to know: "When I make a card I try to get all elements straight, but when I am done they are a little off. I mostly see it when I take a picture for my files. Is there a way to get it straight every time? I want to someday sell my cards and I can't if they continue to be off."

    A: For me, rather than using adhesive that's stuck and done, I use Tacky Glue to assemble my cards - the glue gives me just a little bit of wiggle room if my initial placement isn't just right. It might also help to work on a gridded surface, or use a laser level to help you keep things aligned.

    March 12, 2014
    Q: Wendy asks: "I have printed designs on vellum paper and can't get the ink to dry. Is there anything I can put on it to stop smudging?"

    A: The best printer for vellum is a laser printer, but inkjet printers can be used successfully. Print using a draft setting to use less ink. Hand-feed one sheet through the printer at a time to avoid smearing. Try removing the vellum quickly from the printer and applying clear embossing powder to the wet ink, then heat emboss carefully (vellum tends to warp). If you're stamping images on vellum, StazOn® ink works well, as it dries quickly and permanently, and does not need to be embossed.

    March 5, 2014
    Q: Gran7 wants to know: "How can you apply gold leaf to a rubber stamped image?"

    A: To apply gold leaf to the outline of the image, stamp with an ink suitable for embossing, then apply sticky embossing powder to the outline. When heated, this powder melts to a tacky finish, and the leafing can be applied while it is still warm. Buff away the excess after the powder cools. To apply gold leaf to an open area of the image, apply adhesive to the area with a glue pen, or use the sticky embossing powder as above with a Versamarker. Apply the leafing, and allow the adhesive to dry completely before buffing the excess away.

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