What size are your cards?
Unless I specify otherwise, all my cards are 4.25” x 5.5”. You can make two of these out of an 8.5×11” piece of cardstock. It fits an A2 envelope.
What kind of paper do you use?
Let me first say that I haven’t tried every single paper out there, but here are the ones I know and love:
- Stampin’ Up! Whisper White Cardstock – This cardstock is perfect for Stampin’ Up! inks. The paper and inks are made to work together, so the result is much better than if you mixed brands. I stock up heavily on this white paper because I also use it for creating colored cardstock. I prefer to ink up a piece of white cardstock than buy a piece of colored cardstock… it’s a prettier, softer look. This cardstock is not for Copics.
- Neenah Solar White Cardstock – I use this cardstock for all Copic coloring. The colors blend very well and the cardstock is sturdy (sturdier than the SU Whisper White). I use this cardstock for colored pencils as well. I also use it for distress inks… not because it looks better than the SU paper but because it’s more economical. I buy the 250 page ream! I often use this cardstock as my card base – you’ll see me create a 4.25”x5.5” panel and adhere it to the front of this same-size folded card.
- Stampin’ Up! Basic Black Cardstock – I use black mostly for matting my card panels. So, I prefer something thick, but not too thick since it’s going to be layered with another piece of cardstock. Stampin’ Up! is the perfect thickness for this purpose.
- Hero Arts Black Cardstock – These are folded notecards that are black on the outside and white on the inside. No need to adhere your black panel to a white card!
What type of craft mat are you using?
I use an indestructible craft sheet made by Ranger. Inks and glues wipe right off. The only damage it cannot endure is scissors. Make sure you take it off your table before wrapping a present!!
What is that thing with the wooden handle you use to apply ink?
It is a Ranger Foam Applicator. I use it for all dye inks. It’s a great way to get beautifully colored cardstock with a little visual texture. I rarely use colored cardstock anymore.
What is the difference between Stampin’ Up! markers, Distress Markers, and Copic markers?
Stampin’ Up! markers and Distress markers are both water-based dye ink. They absorb into paper and dry fairly quickly, not giving you much time to blend two colors together. Because they are water-based, they will “pill up” your paper with too much application (think about putting water on your cardstock). Both come with a broad tip and a fine tip. Once applied to your cardstock, they are permanent.
Stampin’ Up! markers come in 38 colors. They have matching cardstock, ink pads, and embellishments so they are great for beginners who want to take the thought out of color matching. You can also use them to color the back of a stamp instead of using an ink pad. You can buy them individually, by color family, or the entire set.
Distress markers come in 49 colors. The biggest difference between these markers and the Stampin’ Up! markers is their ability to blend with water. You can do all sorts of different watercoloring techniques with these markers. However, they will also pill up your cardstock faster because they contain more water. I consider these markers to be something completely different from the Stampin’ Up! markers, so I own both sets.
Copic markers are alcohol-based. They don’t absorb or dry quickly, giving you time to blend colors on your cardstock. You can actually remove color after it has been applied by using the Colorless Blender. They bleed through to the back of your paper, so you’ll often need to layer it on a card. They are more expensive than water-based markers. There are 358 colors.
I can’t really say which type of marker I like better. They are completely different products with different advantages and uses. I have, however, figured out how to get Stampin’ Up! markers to blend a little more like Copics in THIS POST. I posted a brief overview on getting started with Copics HERE, including good inks, papers, and where to buy.
I posted a video comparing all of these markers HERE.
I’m just getting started with distress inks. What colors do you recommend I purchase first?
I would purchase one of all the basics. My favorites are Barn Door (red), Picked Raspberry (pink), Spiced Marmalade (orange), Scattered Straw (yellow), Peeled Paint (green), Broken China (blue), and Dusty Concord (purple). The neutrals I use most often are Walnut Stain and Antique Linen.
Why are you not a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator?
I was a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator for 2 1/2 years. In October, 2011, Stampin’ Up! demanded that I use exclusively Stampin’ Up! products on my blog or I would be forced to resign. I resigned. But, since I love Stampin’ Up! products, I still use them and direct readers to my friend, Michelle’s, Stampin’ Up! store for purchase. She donates 25% of all orders to Foster Kids Charity, so please help her support these children in need. Thank you. 🙂
What are the best products Stampin’ Up! sells?
I created a list of what I think are the must-have, uniquely Stampin Up! products. Check it out HERE.
Sometimes my Stampin’ Up! clear-mount stamps don’t stick to the acrylic block. Why?
Stampin’ Up! uses a special patented sticker on their stamps to display the image. This sticker, if dirty, will not cling to the block very well. There are three ways to solve this problem (it’s solvable!):
- Use water to clean off both the stamp (the part that adheres) and the clear block. If you’re using stamp cleaner, it can sometimes create a film on these surfaces, causing the stamp to lose its clinginess.
- Push the stamp into the block for at least 10 seconds. Many times I’m in a hurry and I expect it to stick after just 2 seconds. It just takes longer.
- Don’t apply the sticker to the stamp when you receive it from Stampin’ Up!.
- Watch this video on how to use Tombow Mono Multi Glue – works great!!
How do you make your card photos look so clean and clear?
I simply display them in front of a piece of patterned paper and shine an OttLite® High Definition Craft Plus 24W Floor Lampon it. No flash. My camera is a Nikon D3200, and I use a Nikkor 40mm micro lens. I wrote a post about how I take pictures and photos HERE.
What is your video recording setup?
I use a Canon Vixia HF M40 video camera. Honestly, the quality is TOO good for YouTube. So, I’m having to adjust it to record in lower quality so that I can easily edit and upload it. If you are buying a camera just for YouTube videos, I would go cheap. I am also using this camera for family video, so I needed something that had the ability to record in higher quality.
As far as setup goes, I used to have a makeshift setup that I created with things around the house, but now I have a tripod that faces my camera downward toward the work surface. You can see photos and an explanation in THIS POST.
What video editing software do you use?
I am a PC person. I use Adobe Premiere Elements and I love it. It’s very easy to use and very cheap compared to other software.
My Stampin’ Up! inks don’t work that well with clear stamps. Why?
Because Stampin’ Up! inks are water-based, they tend to bead-up on clear acrylic stamps that are lower in quality. They still work fine for me on clear photopolymer stamps and high quality acrylic stamps. For more information on dye inks and how they work on different stamps, see my Dye Ink Comparison.
I don’t live in the USA. Can I order Stampin’ Up! from you/your sister?
Unfortunately, Stampin’ Up! does not allow US demonstrators to ship outside the country. The only work-around is if you know someone on a US military base in your country. Shipping to a US military base is considered domestic shipping.
Do you sell your cards?
Back in 2009, I did a few craft markets under the name OnMeadersLane. I setup a booth with lots of handmade cards. I also setup a Web site and tried to market myself on Etsy. I wasn’t able to make it work. But, that’s just me – I’m not very talented when it comes to marketing and sales. I had a hard time finding people who were willing to pay for the supplies and effort that went into each of my cards. In the end, I got frustrated and decided that I would try blogging! I mail out every card that I make.
Thanks for visiting my FAQ’s. If you have another question, email me!