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.
- Papertrey Ink White Cardstock – This cardstock used to be my favorite before I discovered Neenah. It works pretty well with Copics and it is VERY thick. The reason I moved to Neenah was really a matter of economics.
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 both distress inks and Stampin’ Up! Classic 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 and Copic markers?
Stampin’ Up! markers are 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). They come in 38 colors, each with a broad and fine tip. Once applied to your cardstock, it’s permanent. They have matching cardstock and ink pads, and they are great for watercoloring. You can buy them individually, by color family, or the entire set.
Copic Sketch Markers are alcohol-based. They don’t absorb and 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 Stampin’ Up! markers. There are 358 colors!!
I can’t really say I like one better than the other. 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’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), 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 sister’s Stampin’ Up! store for purchase. She donates 20% of all orders to Foster Kids Charity, so please help her support these children in need. Thank you.
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!.
How do you make your card photos look so clean and clear?
Up until Christmas, I just propped them in front of a piece of patterned paper, shined an Ott-lite on it, and took the photo. No flash. Now, I use this photo tent, still with an Ott-lite (instead of the lights that come with the set). Still no flash. My camera is a Nikon D80. The D80 is old now – the new version is the Nikon D90.
What is your video recording setup?
I just purchased a new video camera – I got the Canon Vixia HF M40. I just started using it, but 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, it’s a makeshift setup that I created with things around the house actually! Awhile back I recorded a Craft Room Tour, which has my video setup at the end. After all this time, I haven’t found anything better, so I’m still using the same method.
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 stamps. Now, I’m talking about stamps that are completely clear – not the ones that are cling with red rubber. For some reason, I have gotten some mad people on YouTube arguing that this is not the case. If they are able to make it work, then I think that’s great. Personally, I do not get a good crisp image with this combination of products. For clear stamps, I recommend Colorbox Chalk Inks as well as Versafine Inks. They are almost like a craft ink (very thick and sticky) and work fantastic with these stamps. I’ve also used Memento Dye Inks and they work pretty well too.
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 still have a little bit of inventory left that I keep in my Etsy Shop. But, I’m not making any more of them for selling. I mail out every card that I make.
Can you post more than once a week?
I really appreciate when people ask me this question – it makes me feel wanted.
If at any point I get more time, I will! I’m overcommited at the moment with volunteer work and other things, so my husband says “post less!”. But, I love it so much – it’s one of my favorite things to do, so I’ll at least keep to once/week and try to do more when I can.
Thanks for visiting my FAQ’s. If you have another question, email me!