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While checking emails from one of my online stamp groups, Maria Cottrell mentioned that she had compiled a list of 21 ways to use your SU! Many Marvelous Markers!!  You can find her post along with examples at the Stamp Lounge!  That is the name of her blog!  She has some really neat ideas there!  If you’re like my, my markers kind of get neglected!  After spending that much on markers, you’d think I’d use them more!! 🙂

Until Next Time….Happy Creating!!!

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Previously I had someone ask the question of how to stamp flowers well.  Flowers can be tricky to stamp and they can also be hard to line up the layers if you have a several part image.  I have a hard enough time with some of the 2-step stamp sets from SU, and there are some that you could add more than 2 layers!
Always remember to stamp the boldest stamp with the lightest color ink, and work the colors darker from there.  The outline stamp is usually the darkest color.
As far as lining up the images correctly, my greatest advice to you is to invest in a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig!  I did a little tutorial on this a while back.  See the Tutorial Here!
I know many of you are a big fans of the Roses in Winter set.  I posted a tip sheet on this set and you can find it here!  This set is beautiful, but I know I would have a hard time with it if I didn’t use my Stamp-a-ma-Jig!
I hope this has helped answer some questions about stamping flowers well.  If you have any other questions, please ask!

Until Next Time….Stamp Some Flowers!!!

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If you love to use acrylic stamps and are unsure about the inks to use, or have had trouble with some of your inks with the acrylic stamps, you need to check out this post from Nicole Heady.  It isn’t scientific research, just her honest opinion!

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I’ve had this information saved for a long time.  I still don’t have a coluzzle, but many of you do.  I thought that this info might be beneficial to someone reading today!  Of course I’ll have the file attached at the very end of this post!  Enjoy!

Easier
Coluzzle
To make it easier to identify which channel of your
Coluzzle you should use, mark every other channel of your template
with a permanent red marker. You can see at a glance which size you
want!
*************

The mat
that comes with the Coluzzle looks like white packing foam. I just got
mine today and then read your post. Is this really the mat they send?
Does it work ok? How about the blade it seems to wiggle a
lot?  Help   thanks
Yes, that is the mat. It
is a little compact piece of foam with little bubbles. It should be
the size of an 8 x 11 cardstock.  Stampin’ Up does not
have refills on the cutting foam, but AC Moore does and I think
Michaels does too. Even this little scrapbooking store has some.  So
it should be fairly easy to find  when you need to replace
it.   
The mat does work good. If you use something more
solid like cardboard… the blade will not glide and cut very good.
You would have a better chance of cutting your self if using
cardboard due to the resistance the blade is going against on the
cardboard.  But the foam mat gives enough spongy texture
for the blade to glide through while cutting your cardstock without
all the resistance.

The blade is a swivel blade. This makes
it much easier to go around different shape templates.  Everything
you got is normal for the Coluzzle kit and works great!

Make
sure the blade is not backwards when you cut… it can cause to break
the tip. IF that happens, just twist the top off… the blade will
fall out and it is easy to just drop a new blade into the tip of the
swivel blade holding pen. Just twist it back on and get ready to cut
again.

Most IMPORTANT…. just be sure to push your blade
down and have the metal pen up against the Coluzzle template. This
way it will glide smoothly around the template and you won’t cut your
self. I have not cut myself yet….I’m very cautious with
it.  But because the blade is swivel… every now and then
my blade was backwards and cut my cardstock on the dull side – not
the cutting side of the blade. The tip broke. Other than that…
these blades last a long time.  I cut over 500 pictures
plus cardstock matting with one blade and it is still sharp.

When
I first got my kit… I first practiced on a picture I was going to
throw away… it was blurry and bad shot… due to the sunlight. This
gave me hands on experience with cutting a picture and aligning the
template on it before I tackled my scrapbooking pictures.

Oh
yeah… one more tip…. do no cut more than one piece of cardstock
at one time. I did this by mistake.  I had my card folded.
I meant to only cut a circle in the front of the card for my gel
card…. but forgot to unfold my card. I cut through 2 quarter sheets
of cardstock and almost cut myself…. the resistance felt like I was
using cardboard again.
**************
Coluzzle Mat:
It’s a
tad bit bigger than a piece of cardstock. I think it was measured at
8.5 x 11.5 inches both ways. It is like a compressed bubbly mat. This
way when the Coluzzle blade cuts… it will be easier to cut into the
mat without cutting anyone or anything else. IF try to use the swivel
blade with cardboard as the mat… it would drag the blade and hard
to cut… I almost cut myself doing that.  I learned it is
better to get the original mat it comes with. I know AC Moore has
replacement mats for a couple or few dollars when the one in the kit
wears out. The mat is not pictured in the book that comes with the
Coluzzle kit. The black mat is completely different than the Coluzzle
mat.

I’ve even heard that when customers receive the
Coluzzle cutting system some don’t even realize that it’s a
mat……they think that it’s just packing material and have thrown
it away.

**********************

Coluzzle is a
cutting system.

It is fun to use for scrapbooking and cards.

This can be used in place of the Frame & Tags SU offers…
it’s a way to make your own.
It’s fun to use for Shaker cards,
window cards, goo/water cards and just for shapes larger than a punch
can do on a card. Also great for matting in shapes cards and
scrapbooks 🙂

The Coluzzle is a set consisting of
templates and a blade (in shape of a pen). The starter set also comes
with a cutting mat and protective carrying case (similar to SU 8×11
craft keepers).

The templates come in many shapes… circles,
ovals, and from other craft stores you can fine stars, triangles,
rectangles, squares, hearts, etc.

The template are plastic and
contain an average of  7-8 different "rings"
sizes for these shapes. This way you can cut pictures in shapes. This
would save scrapbooking space and it would cut the excess developed
film around the picture you don’t need. 

The blade
is interchangeable… it looks like the tip of a razor blade but fits
inside a pen. The bottom part screws off to change blades as they get
worn out or break.

The matting/foam is needed to make the
Coluzzle work.  The matting is on the bottom and the
cardstock or photos are in the middle and the templates are on top.
This way when the blade is pushed through the templates, the blade
will run through the picture easily and will cut into the foam
without messing up tables. If use cardboard instead of foam, it is
harder to cut…there is a resistence when trying to push down and
cut.

If you ever decide to purchase the Coluzzle… I picked
up a wonderful hint from another demo… off of the old SD
forum.

After peeling off the protective film from the
templates…. use Sharpie permanent markers to color each ring of the
shaped plastic templates. This way when a photograph is being cut you
can get the whole image you want without getting the rings mixed up.
This will prevent cutting off apart of an image you want to keep on
the photo … like a foot or top of a head in that
picture.

Also,  the blade is a swivel blade so it is
much easier to use verses the hobby blade.  If you do  get
one… one tip is to push the blade in the size ring you want (up
against the template) firmly then just move around the template.
There will be 2 small pieces that need to be cut but easy to do with
the paper snips offered also in the Stampin’ Memories
catalog.
**********
You would LOVE Coluzzle, if you had
one.  You can make your own apeture cards.  You
plunk down the template and cut your circle out (any size, any where)
in just 2 strokes.  Then you clip it with scissors and it’s
done. 

This is great to make a window on your
card.  It is also good for cutting out a stamped image in a
shape to layer on a card front.  It is also GREAT to matt a
stamped image on a card front.   You cut out the stamped
image in a circle, then cut out another layer in a bigger circle and
mat your stamped image onto the mat. 

You can also
do the cute spotlight stamp technique where you cut out a circle of
your stamped image, color it, and layer it over another copy of the
stamped image.  Very effective. 

Basically
anywhere you might want to cut a circle or oval and don;t have a
punch big enough, you will use the Coluzzle.

When the new
catalog comes out, you will find the Coluzzle in it.  It’s
a GREAT product.  It even wows the CM consultants who have
their OWN cutting system.  🙂

**********

It
is pronounced "Co-Luh-zle" to rhyme with "puzzle".  The
Coluzzle blade is different even from other swivel blades on the
market because it has a small piece of plastic between the blade tip
and the handle which prevents it from cutting through your
template.  They call this a "guarded swivel
blade".  The foam cutting mat is essential and it
lasts quite a long time.  I’ve had one for 4+ years and it
was still going strong until some folks cut right through it at a
class I was teaching at a local scrapbook store.  That
said, you can be gentle with the Coluzzle.  Hold the knife
upright (not like a pencil) when gliding around the channels and you
really don’t need to press down very hard to make it cut.  My
blades last quite a long time – I’ve maybe only changed them 3 times
in the 4+ years. 

You get better and better at
cutting the bridge section where the template doesn’t cut completely
around.  (They have to have that section, or the template
would fall apart and not be a template!)  I recommend
picking your item up off of the table and cutting along those two
areas with a small scissors.  It becomes second nature to
glide the scissors along the path that the blade has already cut and
snip that small area.  Also, I’ve numbered my channels,
from outside to inside, instead of color-marking them.  It’s
just a personal preference.

Once you become used to using the
Coluzzle to cut regular circles & ovals, you’ll find there are
tons of other things that you can do with it, too!  You can
cut half-circles, flaps, eggs (tops oval & bottoms circles),
etc.  The company has a nice idea book to flip through and
there are tons of other templates out there, too.

************

A
little tip that works well for finishing off the cuts…you can use a
snap knife.  It works better and you can’t see where the
ends meet.  Also, before I got a snap knife, I would turn
my template a little to where the uncut part was completely in the
groove and finished cutting it with the swivel knife.  You
have to be careful on the ovals though but it still works.  The
snap knife is still a lot better.
********
The template fits
between the handle and the blade and you just move along the
edge.  Makes a pretty good cut but takes some
practice
*********
Hold the knife strsight up and down.  Press
gently downward so that the blade sticks all the way down into the
template.  When I am ready to cut off the little tabs that
are still attached, here is what I do.  I do NOT try to cut
precisely while it is still attached.  I cut OUT AWAY from
the perfect circle part.  Then after it is detached, I go
in with my tiny scissors and round that little tiny section.  It
works BETTER his way.

Also, you can make this little bridge as
small as possible by cutting with the blade up under the edge of the
plastic bridge.  I run my Coluzzle blade up under the
bridge on both sides, which makes the bridge part REALLY
small.

****************
I’ve used our sanding blocks
after cutting an oval with the Coluzzle, i just sanded where i
clipped if it wasn’t quite straight.

~~~~~~~~~~~
I love the
Coluzzle, but definitely think it is something that takes a little
practice to be comfortable with.  You really have to let
the cutting blade "do the work".  At your
starting point make sure that whatever direction you will going, the
cutting edge is facing that way.  Push the point into the
cutting channel, down into the mat beneath.  I don’t think
you need a lot of pressure pushing the blade along.  And I
try to keep the blade handle perfectly upright.   The
circles and ovals are definitely easier than the different shape
templates you can purchase elsewhere.  It is difficult to
go around sharp corners.  I usually just pick the blade up
and reinsert it around the corner and keep going.
~~~~~~~~~~

Just
wanted to add a couple of other Coluzzle tips…yes, keep the handle
straight up and down when cutting.  Don’t hold it like a
pencil on an angle.  At first it may be difficult to tell
which way the blade is pointing, the cutting edge is the one on an
angle, so make sure that is facing the direction you are cutting in
the channels of the template.  Also, did you remove the
protective plastic from both sides before using the
templates??  That’s one step that many miss because it’s
not explained very well.

When you get to a corner, especially
a sharp one, you can twirl the handle of the knife to help guide it
around the corner and get the blade to swivel.  I hope this
helps.  Unfortunately, when you get the nicks in the edges
of the template, you can try to file them smooth with a coarse nail
file, or just vow to always cut against the imperfection in the
future.  There’s not much else you can do with it.

One
other thing you may want to be sure of, because this happened to me
too at first – be sure that you have peeled off that semi-clear
coating of plastic before you use it.  I tried to keep it
on, and it prevented the knife from flowing smoothly.  Taking
that off made a world of difference.  ALSO, be sure you’re
using the special foamy cutting mat that they include, because
regular cutting mats will inhibit the flow as well.

Download Coluzzles.doc

Until Next Time….Happy Creating!!!

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Roses In Winter….

Many of you LOVE the set Roses In Winter, but have a hard time getting a good rose impression.  I found this tip sheet that I thought I would share with you.

How
to Stamp a Successful Rose

With the
current promotion, many of us have been tempted to or have already purchased
Roses in Winter. I ordered the set. I had seen the beautiful creations that
others had made with this set. I thought, "This is going to be a piece of
cake." Well, if you have tried this set, you know that it isn’t as easy as
it looks.

Here are
a few tips that I have discovered to make my roses actually look like roses
instead of just smears of ink on the paper.

1. How
to choose your ink: Choose three shades of ink (light, medium and dark). Here
are some suggestions:

a.
Almost Amethyst, Pale Plum, and Perfect Plum

b. Blush
Blossom, Cameo Coral (stamped off once), Cameo Coral (full strength)

c.
Barely Banana, Yoyo Yellow, Summer Sun

d. Rose
Romance (stamped off twice), Rose Romance (stamped off once) and Rose Romance
(full strength) _ use this method with any of the really dark colors.

2. Stamp
your large image first.

3. Reink
your large image and turn it counterclockwise, almost a half turn, but not
quite, and stamp again. This makes the rose look very full and lovely. It is a
much nicer look than just stamping it one time.

4. Stamp
your middle image, same direction as you stamped the large rose the first time.

5. Reink
your medium image and turn it counterclockwise, almost a half turn, but not
quite, and stamp again.

6. Stamp
your small image, same direction as you stamped the large rose the first time.

7. Reink
your small image and turn it counterclockwise, almost a half turn, but not
quite, and stamp again.

8. Add
your leave stamps. I stamped in Mellow Moss (stamped off once) for the large
leaf and then stamped full strength Mellow Moss for the smaller leaf part.

9. If
you still have some empty spots and need filler, use the stem and the little
flower to fill in. I would stamp off before stamping because you don’t want
these images to be the focus, you just want them to be filler.

Other color combos:

· Rose Romance, Rose Red, Old Olive

· Real Red, Ruby Red, Baroque Burgundy, Old Olive

· Positively Pink, Pretty In Pink, Mellow Moss

· Rose Romance, Rose Red, Baroque Burgundy, Sage Shadow,
Forest Foliage

· Baroque Burgundy, Rose Red, Forest Foliage, Garden Green

· Barely Banana, Summer Sun, Mellow Moss

· Ruby Red, Baroque Burgundy, Mellow Moss

· Pretty In Pink, Rose Romance, Mellow Moss

· Almost Amethyst, Lovely Lilac, Old Olive, Mellow Moss

· Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, Mellow Moss, Old Olive

· Pretty In Pink, Rose Romance, Rose Red, Mint Melody, Sage
Shadow

· Barely Banana, Yoyo Yellow, Summer Sun, Gable Green, Green
Galore

· Barely Banana, Summer Sun, More Mustard, Mellow Moss

· Mauve Mist, Rose Romance, Rose Red

· Bliss Blue, Ballet Blue, Brilliant Blue

· Bliss Blue, Brocade Blue (stamped off once), Not Quite Navy

· Barely Banana, Cameo Coral, Summer Sun

· Pretty In Pink, Positively Pink, Pink Passion

· Positively Pink, Rose Romance, Rose Red, Glorious Green,
Forest Foliage

· Cameo Coral, Ruby Red, Mellow Moss, Old Olive

· Ballet Blue, Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Bliss Blue, Mellow
Moss, Old Olive

· Positively Pink, Rose Romance, Baroque Burgundy

· Mauve Mist, Pretty in Pink, Sage Shadow

· Pale Plum, Lavender Lace, Sage Shadow

· Barely Banana, YoYo Yellow, Summer Sun, Brocade Blue, Mellow
Moss, Old Olive

· Positively Pink, Gable Green

· Blush Blossom,
Rose Romance, Sage Shadow

  • Bliss Blue, Brocade Blue, Brilliant Blue, Sage Shadow, Garden Green
  • . Positively Pink, Pink Passion, Real Red, Glorious Green, Green Galore
  • . Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, Eggplant Envy, Mellow Moss
  • . Pale, Plum, Perfect Plum, Mellow Moss, Old Olive, Barely Banana (filler
    flower)

  • Barely Banana, Summer Sun, Mellow Moss, Garden Green

 

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Have you ever wondered what in the world you could do with the Wire Works?  Here are a few ideas!  You can also download this document at the bottom of this post!

The Many Uses for Wire Works!!!

How
do you curl the wire?
 Suggestions include twisting it on a lollipop stick, a small diameter
pencil or a small piece of dowel rod. Uses for the wire include: 

  • Basket
         handles
  • Wrapped
         around packages
  • For
         stringing PolyShrink and other charms on pencils, etc.
  • Jewelry
         making
  • Hair –
         make curly-haired images “have” curly hair
  • Use
         them as hangers for Christmas tree ornaments
  • Country
         styled items with raffia, Kraft brown paper, or with a corrugated layer
         are especially cute
  • For
         small, layered ornaments…Star Santa is way cute with the “floating” stars!
  • A
         really cute dragonfly shaped out of wire – or maybe a little butterfly.
  • Wrapping
         around a pouch for the Christmas card
  • Give a
         3-D effect to the swirls from Sketch it
  • Stems
         for some really whimsical flowers
  • Arms
         for snowmen
  • Use as
         the cord for a Christmas light stamp
  • Stamp
         a floral set then curl your wire around a narrow dowel rod and add it to
         the card. It will add a springy
         accent to an otherwise dull floral scene.
  • Halos
         for angels
  • Long
         & short curly-cues used to embellish any sets that have grapes,
         grapevines or other vines
  • Different
         colors of short curly-cues “exploding” from a gift box like confetti in a
         birthday set
  • Balloon
         strings on any set with a balloon. You can curl and bend them rather than drawing in the string.
  • Stamp
         and cut out a bee, small butterfly, or other bug (cute sets would work
         best). Attach a piece of the wire,
         which has been curled around into a “flight pattern” to the back of the
         bug and attach the other end to the card.
  • It
         could hold on a small tag or a small flat section of the wire could have a
         small, layered cardstock saying glued over top of it.
  • The
         kid sets would be great to use for curly wired hair.
  • The
         Smiley set (retired) is just begging for some fabulous and funky
         hairstyles for his bald little head!
  • Make
         little “Flower Power” rings to go with the Groovy set (retired)
  • Add
         beads and use as embellishment for
         ethnic sets
  • Green
         wire twisted and used with Grapes or other vine sets with cut out
         leaves, to look like the tendrils
  • Think
         of a few tight coils on a card with the Power Up! set
  • A
         tight coil of it would look like a spring. 
  • Same
         idea with the new frog set, with several frogs leaping out at
         you
  • Antennae
         for every bee, butterfly and bug out there
  • Spider
         legs
  • The
         list is endless – You are only limited by your imagination!

Download Wire_Uses.doc  There are page numbers in this document that do not relate to the current catalog.  Many of these examples are from retired sets, but it still gives you good ideas!!!

Until Next Time…..Happy Creating!!!!

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I love to use my Crystal Effects for a lot of things.  It is a clear liquid that dries clear and glossy!  You can use it for many things.  Here are a few ideas…

Crystal
Effects
(Also known as 3-D Crystal Lacquer)

Crystal Effects is water based, easy to clean up and is an easy way to enhance
any rubber stamped art project. Best of all you can apply Crystal Effects to
areas you would like to looked raised whether it be on paper or plastic!

Tips for using this product are:
* Prior to use, at least 5 minutes, I place the bottle upside down in a coffee
cup, letting all of the air bubbles rise to the top, which now is really the
bottom of the bottle.

* Once I start slowly applying the Crystal Effects, I try to NOT pick the tip
up off of my project until it is completely covered. Viola . . . no air
bubbles. For me, the key is move slooooooowly. It may take you a little longer
to get all of you work covered, but the outcome, to me, is well worth it!

Other Ideas for Use:
Besides using Crystal Effects straight from the bottle to give a raised effect,
there are other ways to use it.

#1: Layer it on with a paintbrush to give a smooth glass-like finish.

Spot Gloss: Apply a thick layer of Crystal Effects directly to the stamped
image with the applicator tip. Let dry completely (about 30 – 60 minutes)
before handling.

All-Over Gloss: Use a paintbrush to apply a thin, even coat of Crystal Effects
to the entire image. Let dry (about 3-5 minutes).

#2: It is just one of the products I like to use for sealing my Shrink Art
Pins.

#3: After applying it to an image, sprinkle a little Dazzling Diamonds glitter
on top. This is great for adding sparkle to candle flames or camp fires.

#4: To give it color, add a drop or 2 of a re-inker.

#5: Use it as glue for poly shrink plastic embellishments, beads, feathers, and
bows. It is very strong, great for adding hard to hold magnets, pin backs, and
wire to your stamped projects. Be sure to let it dry completely before
handling. To make marble magnets purchase those glass marbles/pebbles that have
a flat side to them. Then use the circle punch to create the perfect shape to
place behind these see-through marbles. Stamp desired image on the card stock
circle and color it in. Apply Crystal Effects to the flat marble and then press
onto the stamped circle. (Applying the Crystal Effects to the marble instead of
the stamped image will keep the image colors from smearing.) Apply a bit more
Crystal Effects to the back of the circle and then attach the magnet to it.

#6: Use it to glue vellum to card stock. It won’t show through. I’ve found the
best way to keep vellum from wrinkling or “popping up” after application of CE
is to apply it with a fingertip or Q-tip applicator in a very thin coat, not
just straight from the bottle.

#7: Make Glitter Gloss.
Materials:

Crystal

Effects, Ultra-fine Glitter, Old paint brush

Directions: Okay, this is really simple. Squirt out some Crystal Effects onto a
scrap of acetate or other non-porous surface. Using a toothpick, stir in some
glitter until you have the consistency you want.

To Use: Using a paintbrush, brush the glitter gloss onto your stamped art,
stamped tiles, polymer beads, etc. When dry, it gives a glossy and sparkly look
to your art. Try using this to add glitter to snowcaps made with liquid
applique, add highlights to ornaments, Valentine hearts, etc. Anywhere that you
want to add a bit of sparkle. You can also use this same homemade glitter gloss
on hand painted ceramics.

#8: Simulate dew on a petal by adding little droplets to flowers. You can also
add it to the petals of actual dried flowers or fake plastic ones. This really
does look like dew and you won’t spend a fortune buying designers ones from
stores.

#9: Use the applicator tip to apply a thicker layer of Crystal Effects to
"select elements" of your design to add emphasis. Apply a second or
third coat if your first layer was not standing up off your paper enough to
please you. Some ideas are to apply it to leaves, flower petals, insects,
teacup, umbrella, window, eyeglasses, Christmas ornaments.

#10: Highlight only special lines on an image such as the squiggle on Fruit
Medley. Use the Strawberry and stamp it in red. Stamp the inside of the
strawberry red as well. Use the Crystal Effects to outline the squiggle line
that is used to fill the strawberry.

#11: Use it to create a stained glass window effect. Stamp image on window
sheets, using AP pads (AP will dry on plastic without embossing), let dry
thoroughly (over night is best), then use the tip of the CE bottle to move it
(CE) around to cover each individual area with a thin layer of the CE. While it
is still wet, dump on glitter. Only do one color of glitter at a time. let each
area dry at least an hour before going to the next color.

#12: Use it for "fray check" on the ends of your ribbon after you
have cut them to the desired length.

#13: Place on top of Radiant Pearls and get a pearlescent shimmer and shine.

#14: Fill in things after you’ve embossed and colored for a real
"pop"!

#15: Use it to re-glue any stamps that have either come unmounted from the foam
or that you took off the wood block because you wanted to trim and re-mount.

**Most of all . . . experiment!!**

Cautions:
*The only complaint I have heard about this product from other stampers is the
air bubble that can happen when this product is not applied just “so.” To
alleviate this problem apply slowly and do not lift tip from surface during
application until you are finished. This way there are no air bubbles being
“blown in” to your work.

*Do not use heat tool to speed dry time. It becomes extremely “bubbley” and
unattractive.

* Tip may become clogged. To prevent this you can unscrew cap and rinse with
warm water, dry and replace cap. You can also use a piece of plastic coated
wire in the tip as you seal it. This will keep an open pathway and it won’t
clog. Be sure to wipe tip of the bottle first so the pin won’t be “glued in.”
Also be sure you don’t use a standard straight pen because over time it will
rust and color you CE to a wonderful “rust” color. (Unfortunately I learned
that the hard way.)

Download Crystal_Effects.doc

Until Next Time…..Happy Creating!!!

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