Video tutorial: How to refill Waterbased markers and WOYWW

Edit: I added a typed recipe with exact measurements under the video ūüôā

My obsession with wanting a new brand of water based markers (you all know of the ones of which I speak) had me looking at my tired old watercolor markers. Some were well-loved and drying out, others never seemed that juicy to begin with and some were still pretty darn great! So I decided to revive my tired old markers and show you how too. Here is an image I colored with my freshly reinked LePlume, Whisper & Tombow markers:


Not bad considering that I got many of them for 10 cents at a yard sale a few years ago LOL! Here is a quick 5 minute video on how you can do it too!

I got a lot of comments asking for the EXACT recipe so here it is! 1 Tablespoon water, 1 Tablespoon glycerin¬†and one teaspoon gum arabic. If you don’t have the gum arabic you can leave it out and it will still refresh your markers. The gum arabic makes the ink glossier¬†and more blendable¬†like the Tim Holtz Distress markers ūüėõ Thanks to DeeAnn for that tip!

I am posting my workdesk¬†a day early because I have a busy week. I am getting ready to go to a rubber stamp convention¬†and I need to have a really condensed¬†stamping-to-go bag. I was pulling some mini ink pads that I want to¬†bring but I got distracted making¬†bookmarks and reinking my markers. Still, not a bad way to spend a rainy day! I’ll have to pack tomorrow ūüôā

You can see other creative folks’ desks over on the Stamping Ground blog, home of Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Happy Memorial Day!

Howdy folks! I know it is late, we had a busy¬†day today with all the kids marching (or scooting¬†rather) in the parade. The kids and I made some fancy shirts to wear today, don’t we look stylish…and yes, I am rocking a fanny pack LOL! C’mon, they are so practical, can’t we forsake fashion and bring back the fanny pack?!?


Incase you want to make some of these star-spangled shirts I made a video…not one of my best but hey, that can’t all be perfect (heck, who am I kidding, I’ve NEVER shot a perfect video…OK it’s probably par for the corse) so if you have 17 minutes to kill have a look ūüôā

Basic T-shirt instructions: You will need white t-shirts (you can use ones with stains on them, it is a great way to revamp your wardrobe or get a 3 pack of white tees from a department store, the ones I got for the kids were youth large from Hanes, $5.47 for 3) and spray fabric paint. I used this set from Oriental Trading or just mix acrylic paint with water (the consistency of whole milk) and put it in a dollar store spray bottle and you are good to go. You will need masking tape and contact paper for the stencils.

  1. Place a large piece of cardboard inside your T-shirt to make it flat and to keep paint from leaking through to the back.
  2. Cut stars from contact paper and stick them to your shirt. Stick strips of masking tape where you want stripes.
  3. Spray blue paint or dye on the stars and red dye on the stripes.
  4. Remove the tape and stars and let dry.
  5. Repeat on the back side if you like (we did and it looked great!)
  6. Rinse the nozzles of the spray bottles  in cool water, spritz some clear water through the pump to prevent it from clogging.

Well. that was easy, I guess I did not need to make a video LOL! ūüėÄ Here is a look at the shirts and shoes we made. I found plain white and black canvas shoes at Wal-Mart and they are as fun to paint on as…well, a blank canvas!


And I painted my nails for the holiday, how fun! I am so amused by the little things.


Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!


When embossing goes bad…

Happy Sunday folks! Today I am going to share a card with you I made earlier this week with my homemade stain daubers. I was experimenting with embossed resists,¬† technique I have done many times with good results BUT this time I couldn’t get a raised image (!?!) my powder kept melting into the paper.


I was stumped. Why does bad embossing happen to good people? ūüėÄ So I posed my question to the experts on the OSA yahoo group I belong to and they had some ideas why all of a sudden my embossing powder might be giving me grief:

  1. Old powder. This could definitely¬†be a culprit, I have picked up EP at yard sales and on clearance¬†and honestly my powder stash is likely¬†to be between 5-15 years old. I heard-tell that EP is only good for 2 years BUT I think it has to do with the metals oxidizing and tarnishing¬†in the metallic powders. I really don’t think plain clear or colored powder would be affected.
  2. Overheating the embossing powder. I think this might be the problem. If you ever do the “faux batik” technique you emboss a design, color the paper then iron off the embossing powder. That is what this reminds¬†me of. I wear out my heat guns after a few years because I use them daily. Also I noticed a little paper scorching the other day and I was using the gun as I always had.
  3. Moisture in air/paper. My dehumidifier had been kicking on a lot this week, it has been very damp and I craft in my basement. Could the damp paper be soaking in the ink/powder?

BTW I have a quick tip, If you are trying to punch a shape from paper (or use deco scissors) and the paper wants to snag or is getting stuck¬†in the punch blast the paper with the heat gun for a few seconds¬†to remove any moisture and it will punch perfectly. If your punch is jammed shut with paper stuck inside place in¬†the freezer for a few moments and it will release. Don’t just randomly jab sharp objects at the bottom of the punch hoping to dislodge the paper, you will only end up injuring yourself…don’t ask me how I know that.

Have a great Memorial¬†Day (in the US) and be sure to check back this week, I have lots of fun projects planned, from calligraphy to Father’s¬†Day to fun¬†summer projects with the kids, check it out! Til then happy crafting!

Buy new or make do? {I think you know the answer!}

I have been drooling over the new Tim Holtz Distress markers since I saw a video of him demonstrating them at CHA. I really WANT them but I don’t NEED them with all of the supplies in my craft room. So I was brainstorming a way to try some of the techniques that he does with the markers with something else. I have other brands of water-based markers and while they are great for coloring the rubber and stamping with they don’t blend like watercolors (or the new TH markers) but then I remembered my well loved watercolor crayons! I love the result! BTW if you do not have watercolor crayons you can use watercolor paint and a brush to do the same thing!

If you want to learn how I made this card and stamped with the watercolor crayons check out this video. You might want to click on the fullscreen button to see more detail. Please note, I moved my water bucket out of the way but I still dipped my crayon on the water each time I colored with it. I just didn’t think it was fun looking at my nasty water bucket for the entire video ūüôā

I used the sketch at Oriental stamp Art to make my card. BTW, if you want to join a wonderfully supportive stamping group and you happen to like Asian art you should check out the Oriental Stamp Art Yahoo Group. I love the window, it is a fun touch, I love how it reveals a surprise on the inside. I stamped and blended with my watercolor crayons and then stitched a layer of vellum over the inside panel, filled it with glitter and stitched the rest up. I used double stick tape to adhere the panel to the inside of my card so the stitches wouldn’t show.

I hope you enjoyed the video and you will see what you can do with the supplies you already have:)

BUT, if you are itching to spend some money you can check out the 50% off sale I have in my shop now through Saturday (nice segue huh?) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

More Stain Dauber Fun & WOYWW!

Have you made any stain daubers yet? Here are two more techniques you can use them for:

Inking up a rubber stamp. Both the background paper and focal butterfly were stamped by using the dauber to color the rubber before stamping-I used 3 colors on the stamp lightest to darkest. You can spritz between colors to get a lighter image:


And you¬†can use the daubers¬†to color clay embellishments. The big butterfly was made with my homemade clay and a Martha Stewart¬†mold, I let it dry and “painted” it with my daubers. I love the look! The small butterfly was made with Martha’s clay, I tinted it before molding it, I don’t care for that look as much.


Ans since it is WOYWW {Wednesday} here is a look at my workdesk:


But here is a secret, I cleaned it up and organized it after that! My¬†work-desk¬†is clean….no, really it is! Oh and that reminds me {shameless plug} my new article on cheap and crafty storage is out in the July issue of Scrap & Stamp Arts so snag your copy now!

SSA July 2012


Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

It ain’t no big thing…..

Nope, it’s a small scrapbook page, or three really! I really want to get on board with “Project Life” but it just seems like more work, not less. Not to mention that I don’t want to scrap all of the boring tidbits of my daily life (no offence to any project lifers out there) so I found a happy medium by making 4″x6″ mini pages here and there using the pre cut paper and tags I prepared from this post.


I like that I can print a sheet of pictures out and cut them apart and quickly dash out some journaling and use up some stickers I bought¬†BDC (BDC-before die cutter) and have a moment recorded. OK, that sounds just like project life…huh, how about that…please disregard this post ūüôā BTW check out how I drew on a white button with a Sharpie to make a baseball, I am amused with that ūüėČ

Well, that’s all for today. Jon me tomorrow for WOYWW¬†and some more stain dauber fun, until then happy crafting!

A Colorful Card {for your Monday!}

I was playing around with my homemade stain some more and made this card:


The tips on my homemade daubers are a little less than a half inch wide so coloring in the blocks on the embossed design was a snap! I also dyed the seam binding with the homemade stain!

Have a great Monday and til next time happy crafting!

DIY “Distress” Stain!

OK, I have been keeping way too clean this week with the knitting so today I just had to get inky and make my own version of Distress Stain. Here is my first project with my homemade stain:


The only thing you need to get to make the stain is the bingo-dauber top bottles. If you play bingo you might be able to reuse actual bingo daubers but I don’t so I found this set of 12 dauber top bottles at Oriental Trading Company for $7.50, they are good quality and refillable! I also got their mini mister bottles that are wonderful and half the price of the ranger ones. I just did not want to recommend either of them until I had the chance to use them but they both get 2 big thumbs up from me! ūüôā


The homemade stain is so easy to make and you can use the supplies you already have. Simply fill the bottle 2/3 full of water then I added some cheap student grade watercolor paint in it. I used a whole tube per bottle but the paint was cheap: $7 for all 12 paint colors. Try the Reeves brand, they have it at AC Moore. But you could also use reinker, gouache, liquid watercolors or even fabric dye! I actually used a bit of reinker to adjust the colors a wee bit. ūüôā I will say that the student watercolor paint will not stain your hands like reinkers do!


You can see how vibrant the stain is I made. Since I used a tube of cheap watercolor in each bottle the color is semi-opaque (cheap watercolors are more opaque than artist grade due to the chalk filler they use but still, the paint will not fade as dye or ink is wont to do.) If you want a more transparent stain stick to reinkers or dye. I love how you can scribble on the color like I did under the sentiment or smack down the tip on the paper for a starburst effect like I did on the background paper. Yep, I got good and inky today! 

You can also use this to dye¬†fabric, ribbon, crochet flowers…you name it! I have some other cards I’ve been working on with these stains and I’ll share them with you later, til then happy crafting!

My new knitting project {and a paper-crafty one too!}

I had a hankering to start a sweater project after finding the most yummy 55%/45% bamboo/wool yarn at Mardens¬†last weekend. I couldn’t pass it up because they had a bag of¬†three 175 yard balls for $3.99! I got two bags and realized that I had to knit it up or I would forget I bought it and that would be a shame because the yarn is absolutely scrumptious! I have a rather sordid past with sweaters, I am horrible at knitting them, mainly because I am too lazy to check my gauge, I just¬†jump right in and make that sweater. Needless to say I had to give away my previous sweaters because they turned out too big.

FYI-a little info about me, I do not check gauge, I do not rip out stitches, I just keep on Forward progress only! ūüôā¬†

So I was thrilled when I found a one-size-fits-all shrug pattern on the Lion Brand site for free! Feel free to knit along with me if you like! We can keep each other honest ha ha, no UFO’s here! There are no fancy stitches and I think my 6 balls of yarn will be just enough to complete it. If not, well, it will be a sweet baby blanket LOL!

See that yarn, isn’t it a lovely color, it is super soft too!

Anyway, I wanted to make a little notebook to jot pattern ideas down in so I covered a mini composition book with pretty paper and did some stamping and viola!


I was thrilled to find that a ruler rubber stamp I owned was standard scale so I made up a few bookmarks to share with the girls in my knitting group. They can write their names in the “Hand knit by” space:


On the back of the bookmarks I stamped a name/date line so they can record the name of a project and when they started/finished the piece. It will feel nice to see a list of completed projects while the bookmark¬†keeps their place in their pattern book. Most of the girls in my knitting group are beginners so seeing a list of completed projects is a real confidence boost and they will be quite talented by the time they have 3 projects under their belt! Also since he ruler is to scale they can check gauge (ahem…theroretly for me of course ha ha…) or just measure a cuff or whatnot.


Here is a list of the stamps I used:

Name/Date, Hand Knit¬†By (Stampin¬†Up!), Ruler (Pink Persimmon from the “Hello Vintage Girl” set), Button card and Buttons (Papertrey¬†Ink), Other Knitting Sets by¬†(TPC Studios-I got them at JoAnns for 40% off and I think they are still on sale!)¬† BTW you might wonder what’s up with the thank you card…well, rather than file away the scraps on my desk I made a card…no big whoop.

Thanks for stopping by. If you want to attempt¬†this project with me let me know by leaving a comment. I really recommend the patterns over at the Lion Brand Yarn website. I have knit and crocheted a few of them and they have all turned out well and they are free! You do need to register but it only take s a second and I have never gotten spam from them and I’ve used the patterns for years, check it out! Til next time happy crafting!