Tips, Tricks and Time savers

Baby wipes

If you haven't discovered the amazingness of these little godsends yet I urge you to get out and grab a few packages!

New technique tips!

Paper rolling- I saw this done on a much smaller scale in a book and thought it looked awesome so wanted to give it a shot! Simply cut slits into the paper you have chosen and roll them
to the desired length.

Crackle accents- I have had a bottle of this stuff for a little bit but have never used it. I don't know if its because I didn't know how to or if the opportunity just never showed itself. But the effect it lent to the clocks is amazing!
This product can be picked up at your LSS or AC Moore etc.
Beyond easy to use!

Cutting your image- This was something that I had used in college for scaling a photograph so you could redraw it with total accuracy. Although we were not taught to actually cut the photo for drawing I thought that to cut it and expand it would be a really unique way to showcase a picture. I love it!
All you have to do is figure out what size you would
like the portions of your photo be.
Lets say you want each piece to be 1" by 1"
Simply draw a 1" by 1" grid on the back of your photo and carefully cut the picture into the sections
Be sure to keep them in the order that they are supposed to be in!
Otherwise it will be a huge headache to get them in the right order.
Once you have them all laid out spread them just a bit so there is a slight space between each piece.
You can then adhere them all to your layout using photo mounting squares.
For my layout I wanted to add more dimension so for a few of the sections I
used pop dots to adhere them and got an awesome 3D look!

Storing your paper scraps

To store my various paper scraps ( and trust me I have created piles over the years )
I use a towered set of drawers that can be purchased at Wal-Mart or any store like it.
The two large bottom drawers are for warm colored scraps and cold colored scraps.
( Warm colors are based on yellows, oranges, browns, yellowish greens, orange reds, and the like. Cool colors are based on blues, greens, pinks, purples, blue-greens, magenta's, and blue-based reds. )
Above those drawers is reserved for my "themed" scrap bags.

I take any brand of large zip bags and write a category on each one with a sharpie.
Military, Christmas, Halloween etc, baby, girl, boy, vintage, birthday, outdoors, school, sports and so on. The bags are perfect because they are self contained, portable and best of all see through!!!
All of my scraps from the large to the itty bitty fit.
For those teenie tiny scraps, I just place them in a smaller baggie and into the big bag it goes!

I can personally say that this has not only made the organization and functionality of my paper scraps a trillion times better but it has cut the time I spend
searching for that perfect little piece of paper that I could have sworn I used some of 3 months ago virtually in half. Always a plus in my book!

These, even the cheap store brand kind, work WONDERS for cleaning your  stamps. Both acrylic and wood mounted! I have seen the stamp cleaning pads and sprays and the expensive MS brand wipes and I just cant bring myself to spend the money on any of it.I was told about this little secret by my Nana a while ago
and it was one of the best things that she has ever done for my crafty little life!

One or two wipes clean your stamp right up but they also will get any tacky glue off of your work space or mat
and work well to do a quick clean off of your space when switching between projects or for a quick tidying.

Cutting Mats for your Silhouette

 We all know that having to buy those replacement
mats for your Silhouette can be both a pain in the neck and pricey! Thanks to a good friend of mine I
stumbled across an ingenious idea for a solution. During the holidays especially, but any time of the year you  can go to Wal-Mart and find those plastic place mats for children that go on your kitchen table so they don't make a mess.

All you do is pick up one or two of these. Make sure that they are flat and smooth on the back side because this is the side that you will be using. Take them home and trace your actual cutting mat onto the table mat and cut it to size.

Then with a Sharpie marker simply make the markings for where you line it up in your machine to match the original. Next you are going to take a can of repositionable adhesive.

I prefer the Best-Test brand. I find that it provides you with a secure hold that also will easily let go of your card stock or whatever you are cutting when you are finished with it.

Then every now or then you can either wash your mat right in your kitchen sink with a bit of dish soap and some elbow work or just buy a new one for around a buck!

They will last forever before you have to replace or wash as well!