Before we get to today’s post, we have our randomly selected New Product Launch winners. Both of these lucky winners will receive $100 Vouchers to the MFT boutique.
from Stephanie’s blog: Linsey Heraty
from Keeway’s blog: Dana M
Congratulations to you both! Linsey and Dana, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize. And thank you to everyone that commented on our Design Team blogs — we appreciate you all!
If you love detailed, step-by-step instructions and photos to recreate some of your favorite MFT projects, Techniques & Tutorials is just for you! Our designers are going the extra mile with a collection of projects featuring more in-depth direction to help you achieve a similar look.
The two-step Adorned Ocean Friends makes quick work of ornate multi-colored fish for your underwater scenes but Melania has stepped up the look by adding multiple colors to the intricate overlay image. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about her technique!
You can find tutorials from Melania and Inge on their blogs — we hope you’re inspired to enjoy a weekend full of the things you love!
Our Tips & Tricks feature challenges our designers to share ideas for combining products, techniques for using new release items more easily or efficiently, and unexpected out-of-the-box ways to put your stamps, Die-namics, and stencils to use. Basically, they’re here to share clever uses for your brand-new MFT purchases to really stretch your stash.
Want to learn more about Barbara, Amy, and the rest of our team’s Tips & Tricks for our June Release? Head to their blogs for the full details!
We so enjoy our Release Countdown each month – our team never fails to inspire us and we love seeing your enthusiasm and reading your ideas for using the new collection. We want to extend that excitement past release night with even more opportunities for the designers to blow us away with their creativity and ingenuity.
So many of our stamp sets feature images that invite color — from markers and pencils to watercolors, our designers are itching to show off their coloring prowess and innovative techniques.
Toucans conjure vibrant, fruity colors (okay, that may be my inner child talking…lovingly recalling favorite cereals from my youth ;)) and Donna’s version of Toucan Do It brings those colors to the forefront.
It’s no surprise that fish and birds are ripe for vivid color — our designers went above and beyond bringing these creatures to life with their coloring skills this month. Rachel’s Gill Friends feature rich depth thanks to intense shading and contrasting color choices.
You’re already feeling inspired, right? Brace yourselves because we have so much more to share! Check out what the rest of the team has created in response to our Just Add Color challenge below!
It’s time for our monthly Artistic Expression with Jane Allen feature. Have you implemented any of the techniques Jane has shared? We’d love to see your projects! Be sure to tag #mftstamps on social media so we can appreciate *your* artistry as well.
Hello, Jane here with another Artistic Expression feature. Today I am going to share with you how I coloured this image:
Let’s take a look at the cactus:
I started by deciding where my light source was coming from. In this instance, the light is coming from the right so I mapped out all the shadow areas with my lightest colour, YG61.
I then coloured in some additional shadow with YG63.
Finally, I added a small amount of the darkest green YG67 to intensify the shadows a little more.
I then blended the dark YG67 with a small amount of YG63 to help ensure a smooth, line-free blend.
With YG61, I blended each lobe, incorporating the existing Copic to ensure a smooth blend. As you can see, this softened the colours slightly and gave the cactus some dimension.
I felt that I had lost some of the dark shadows in the blending process, so I went back with YG67 and added a little extra colour to the base of the lobes.
The cactus spines were drawn back in with YG63, using a steady hand and the tip of the brush nib. If your pen control is not great, then, by all means, add the spines at the end of your project with coloured pencil!
I approached colouring the flowers in pretty much the same way as with the cactus. I marked out the shadow areas with my lightest colour — in this instance Y11.
The colour was intensified with a touch of Y15 added to the base of the flowers and the petals in the back.
As a final touch, I added a smidge of YG61 at the base of the flowers and a tiny bit of W1 for the shadows.
And there you have it, one prickly cactus!
All that was left for me to do was to colour the pot and background. As a finishing touch, I used a white gel pen to add a few highlights to some of the spines.
Cactus: YG61, YG63, YG67
Flowers: Y11, Y15, YG61, W1
Pot: E11, E13, E15, E17, W3, W4, W6
Background: B000, C00, C1, C3, C5
The card itself was created with Smooth White Card Stock. When making a fancy shaped card, as long as you are careful when placing your die, it is quite easy to keep the stitching detail near the fold. I personally tape it down to ensure the die does not move whilst running it through my machine. To provide additional detail, I cut out the largest Linked Octagon Frame from the appropriately named Cactus Card Stock and adhered it to the card base with Multi Medium Matte. Finally, the image was affixed to the card base with foam tape for added dimension.
So there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that you find it useful.
Over the course of the past few days, we’ve covered organization tips for inks, stamps, Die-namics, and paper storage. What’s left? Stencils, embellishments, and all of the various tools that are essential to achieving your favorite techniques. It’s no small feat trying to optimize space while keeping a variety of sometimes oddly-shaped supplies and tools accessible but our team has some great ideas for you!
Let’s start by taking a look at a couple of areas of Julie’s space — you’ll find lots of great ideas for displaying your collection in a way that is appealing and accessible…the best of both worlds! Clear storage bins and large jars provide for portability and visibility. You can also see a peek of the card stock storage we featured yesterday.
This longer shot shows her ink and Copic storage, and in the background you can see her set up for taking photographs of her projects.
Take a look inside one of her clear storage units and you’ll find a variety of embellishments — this one holds all of her MFT shaker pouches.
Speaking of shaker pouches, Stephanie keeps hers in labeled pockets in a drawer along with a selection of coordinating dimensional embellishments like mazes and filler options.
Inge keeps her stencils within reach and easy to flip through by slipping them into 6″ x 6″ page protectors. Adding binder rings keeps the collection contained.
A clear bin holds Barbara’s stencils as well as a variety of compatible products like texture and modeling pastes. If pulling out a multitude of products dampens your desire to experiment with messier techniques, storing like products together may encourage you to play more!
Ink blending is a versatile technique but figuring out how to manage your tools is a cumbersome affair. Amy keeps her pads, sorted in color families, in a clear, lidded plastic container. Small daubers and blending tools are held in the same drawer.
Keeway has a fantastic tiered storage solution for her blending tools. You can see on the front right tool that she’s labeled them with the corresponding ink color.
Taking labeling a step further, Stephanie has labeled the top of her blending tool handles with the color name but has color coded them as well to help her narrow her search even more quickly! Her divided storage keeps the tools neat and compartmentalized.
A pegboard creates fantastic opportunities for organizing a variety of supplies. The ability to rearrange the pegs and to store things vertically is the ultimate space saver. Keeway stores indispensable tools — scissors, adhesive, and her scoring and stamp positioning tools readily accessible in this way. Pegboard accessories like compartmentalized trays allow you to store your most-used embellishments within arm’s reach too.
Another option for embellishment storage is a rolling cart like Debbie’s. Designating and labeling each drawer allows you to aggregate similar products together and a cart like this gives you the ability to remove the drawer completely to make it even easier to peruse the products to find just the right solution for your design needs.
With the introduction of our cross-stitch products, you may find that your assortment of embroidery floss is multiplying. Julie has her collection neatly wound and labeled on plastic bobbins and arranged (in rainbow order, natch!) in a storage box.
Are you a heat-embossing fanatic? Stephanie’s collection of embossing powders are carefully stored in secure containers with a designated spoon tucked into each. A label on each identifies the color and manufacturer to make it easy to restock as necessary.
Vika demonstrates that repurposing pretty packaging is a great way to store and display collections of supplies. The next time you receive a sweet little gift bag, consider how you can use it in your own space to store treasured embellishments.
Phew — what an incredible amount of information! We certainly hope the past five days have provided valuable ideas for getting your stash under control. If you use any ideas our designers have shared, or have some great ideas not mentioned, tag #mftstamps to share! We’re always on the lookout for inspiring new ideas.
We’ve covered inks, stamps, and Die-namics, and now it’s time to attack your card stock, patterned paper, and felt. These cardmaking essentials probably represent a large portion of your stash so having a plan in place for managing them will definitely help keep your space, and sanity, in check.
Before we jump into today’s photos, how about a quick reminder of the resources we have available to help you in your quest to organize. You’ll find a wide array of printable charts to compare MFT colors and track your card stock and felt stashes HERE. Our Patterned Paper Reference Guides, found HERE, make it easy to color-match card stock to patterned paper and are designed to fit your collection of 6″ x 6″ paper pads perfectly.
Stephanies picture-perfect card stock storage features ROYGBIV organization that is ever-so-satisfying. There is nothing wrong with your stash doubling as colorful “art” in your craft space!
You’ll notice Stephanie has each color tabbed with the color name — Joy uses a similar technique shown more closely in the photo below.
Inge’s card stock organization features magazine holders positioned horizontally. This is a great method if you would prefer your collection to be slightly more portable — sort color families into specific file boxes to grab a selection of similar colors before fine-tuning your choices.
Julie has a large rack designed for letter-sized paper storage. This allows her to quickly grab her desired color and the flat storage method prevents the paper from bending or warping. You’ll see she’s also designated slots to specialty papers like different weights of watercolor paper.
Hanging file folders stashed in a cabinet ensure Barbara’s collection stays safe and secure. Using a scrap of card stock for the file labels makes quick work of locating the perfect shade for your next project.
A ring of card stock samples makes it easy for Inge to see the entire range of colors as well as mix and match complementary colors before pulling out full sheets or packages of paper. She’s labeled the back of each sample with the name of each hue for quick reference.
Have you grown a collection of MFT patterned papers? Storing the pad in a sleeve protects the pad as well as any loose sheets or scraps you accumulate. You’ll see Amy has also tucked the reference guide for each pad into the same sleeve to make card stock selection a breeze.
When we talk paper, we can’t forget the envelopes! With such a wide range of coordinating colors, easy access is a must. Inge has her collection neatly tucked into small storage boxes.
Our line of felt is brand new but already well-loved. The 5″ x 18″ sheets come in a roll — Debbie has taken advantage of this packaging by storing them upright in a clear bin. It’s easy to see each color and the bin allows her to keep a color chart tucked in front as well.
Barbara’s felt is protected by nestling the pretty rolls in a set of clear drawers. You’ll see she’s sorted them by color family so she knows exactly where to find each shade.
While storing your felt in the rolled form it arrives in is perfectly fine, Stephanie has opted for a different method. She cuts the sheet in half to 5″ x 9″ and stores them flat in a storage pocket. This allows her to quickly flip through them and makes them more manageable when it’s time to run them through the die-cutting machine. You’ll also see she’s customized her color chart by cutting small squares of each color to adhere to the chart.
Wow! Lots of fun ideas to get card stock, scraps, patterned paper, and felt under control. We hope you’ll find some time to tame your own stash this weekend…you never know what you’ll discover during your organizational adventures!
Some of us prefer working in a bit of chaos (creativity can be influenced by working within the constraints of our mess, er, situation, right?) while others need a neat and tidy space before starting a new project. Eventually though, we all have to address the mess and straighten up. Having a system in place helps streamline that process and clean-up time can be reduced immeasurably leaving you more time to craft!
Today we’re tackling Die-namics. While it’s a pretty standard technique to store dies with their coordinating stamp sets, what about all of the other designs in your stash? As you strategize your organization, don’t forget to start by printing your labels (find them HERE) and also, if desired, our monthly shopping lists — the perfect way to track your purchases and avoid duplicate items.
Isn’t Inge’s set up pretty? Her shelving unit houses a collection of Die-namics, neatly displayed in clear storage boxes, in addition to a number of other essentials and inspiration pieces. The snap-shut lids protect her investment and keep them portable without fear of an “oops” spill.
Debbie’s idea for storing indispensable tools (snips and label maker chief among them!) with her dies means she has no excuses when it comes to properly categorizing her new additions on arrival.
Stephanie’s storage features a sleek and orderly feel with deep-level categorization for easy retrieval of her most sought-after Die-namics.
Categorized storage binders provide a colorful vertical solution for Melania’s collection. We mentioned it yesterday but we love the idea so much we have to point it out again — check out how she notates the number of dies in each set to verify that she’s collected them all before storing…simple but brilliant!
Collecting small, similar dies in a single pocket is a smart way to minimize space and view a number of similar designs in one fell swoop. Here you can see how Vika stores word dies and border dies together for quick retrieval.
If you don’t like the idea of single dies floating around in a pocket and would prefer them to be more secure, check out how Keeway adheres a small magnet to card stock inserts to prevent them from slipping and sliding.
Julie takes a visual approach by adding a printed representation of the dies included in the set — it’s a great method that allows you to eyeball your collection to quickly find the perfect solution to fill your project needs.
If you’re interested in more details about any of the solutions shared today, or want to learn about even more of our team organization techniques, be sure to click through to our team blogs!
Wrangling your inks and coloring mediums is a rather daunting task — we hope our introduction to organization didn’t overwhelm you! It’s a process that can take some time…just know you can always come back here for more ideas as you work your way through your space.
Let’s jump into day two of our series: stamps. This may seem like a straightforward topic but with so many different types, sizes, and themes, things can get a bit more complicated. If you’re ready to tackle your MFT stamps, the first thing you need to do is immediately download our label files — fast, easy, and critical to labeling your stash. The next step is determining how you’d like to categorize them — by theme, manufacturer, a simple alphabetization…so many options! It may take some trial and error to determine which system is most intuitive to your process. You’ll see a significant overlap in how are team manages their stamps and Die-namics. With so many coordinating dies, it just makes sense to keep them together!
Shall we take a peek at some of the ways our team manages their stamps?
Julie’s stamps are meticulously labeled and neatly collected within the ubiquitous clear storage bins that have become an essential tool in the crafting universe (Thanks, Jennifer McGuire!) Our line of clear storage pockets feature different sizes to accommodate a variety of stamp sets — you can see how the top flap tucks neatly inside to protect and contain the stamps and dies within. Crisp dividers separate designer sets while labels on each pocket list the contents (particularly helpful when storing a stamp set and Die-namics that complement each other but don’t share a common name.) Julie’s inserts feature the stamp images as well as provide the stability that keeps the enclosure sturdy no matter the contents.
Debbie’s storage is similar to Julie’s with a couple of notable differences. She’s incorporated color and pattern with her divider tabs and to her paper inserts, she’s also added the release date for each set. It’s a great quick reference tool. Printing our monthly shopping lists (find them all HERE) allows you to track and cross-reference your stash as well. You wouldn’t want to inadvertently purchase a set twice, right? I’m sure none of us has ever done that 😉
Melania’s system is simple but effective. In addition to dropping her stamps and Die-namics into the same pocket, with a simple white insert to divide them, she also notates the number of dies in the set — what a great way to quickly determine if you’ve safely stowed your dies.
While some of us like to be able to see our stash out in the open, Inge has hers categorized and allocated to labeled boxes. That neat row of clean white boxes is so inviting!
If you have a handful of sets you’d like to keep front and center, take a cue from Vika and employ some hanging clips to display your favorites.
A simple white basket is Keeway’s preferred method of displaying her collection of background stamps. Use pockets to label them or, if you’d rather store them without pockets just add your label to the back of the stamp. Keeping them out in the open encourages you to dig through them to find just the right pattern for your next project.
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more ideas about
Craft supply organization — it’s something that’s ever-changing and always evolving. From the smallest nook to the most expansive dedicated craft room, we all are faced with the daunting task of organizing it all. For some of us, keeping our supplies in check is half the fun! For the rest of us, it’s a struggle that we’re forced to address. Regardless which side you fall on, I think we can all agree that having a method to the madness makes our precious crafting time a lot more fun and productive.
We’re not all fortunate enough to have a dedicated space so creative and accessible storage solutions are essential. The next five days are dedicated to providing tips, tricks, and ideas for making your stash the best stash it can be no matter your space!
Each day we’ll be focusing on a different component of your crafty stash — ink, stamps, Die-namics, card stock, stencils, tools, and embellishments…we’ll cover it all.
There are an endless variety of coloring mediums available to us. Ink pads and refills, markers and pencils, paints, watercolors, and crayons are broad categories that just skim the surface of the true diversity of supplies available to us. Having a system in place for storing and tracking your supplies prevents the need to pull out your entire collection at the onset of each new project.
We’re so envious of Julie’s storage system. With slots to store both ink pad and coordinating refill, everything is in its place. Punched circles of coordinating card stock help to visually identify the colors and match refill to pad. Additional slats hold her marker collection as well as an assortment of other ink options.
Joy’s MFT stash is neatly labeled and stored on their sides to keep them compact and maximize her storage space.
Amy’s MFT ink pad collection is easily accessible in a drawer. Her wooden trays feature channels sized to contain her ink cube stash to perfection.
Mini ink cubes, like our collection of ink cube sets or the Tim Holtz line of distress inks, are stored neatly within tins sized to fit in Joy’s craft room. Notice how she tucks the corresponding blending pad into the base of each color to make it quick and easy to access the designated pad as needed.
Julie’s collections of watercolor supplies and Gelatos are neatly contained in easy-to-remove storage containers stowed neatly within her shelving. Simply slide the appropriate container from its spot when needed!
Keeway’s Copic insert slides perfectly into the top tier of her rolling cart for easy accessibility. That orderly rainbow of color is positively irresistible!
Vika stores her Copics in a handy bag. The markers are corraled, easy to see, and instantly portable for on-the-go coloring!
I know you’re ready to jump into the fray and start your own organizing efforts but FIRST, head to our team blogs for a more in-depth review of their storage — you won’t be disappointed! When you’re ready to work on your own inks and coloring mediums, grab our printable ink labels HERE, and ink charts to track your collection HERE. Happy organizing.
One way to add interest to a basic, masculine design is to get creative with color and texture. Our cross-stitch products provide a way to integrate fiber into your designs but as a stand-alone element, they also provide texture and some peek-a-boo color. Some inventive double die cutting results in a standout stacked sentiment in our final May Release class — a fun way to recognize the dads in your life!
Download the class PDF HERE. Watch our the release class video Stacked Sentiments on Youtube or by clicking below.
We’ve been sharing daily release class videos here on our blog, our Youtube channel, and our Facebook page for the past few days — have you caught them all? If you’re in the mood for loads more classes from our previous releases, find them all HERE. Whether you prefer printed directions or are a more visual learner, we’ve got you covered. We know you’ll continue to be as inspired by our team as we are!