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Tag Archives | Julie Campbell

Rock-A-Blocks Stamp Mounting System

Reported by: Julie Campbell


Today, I would like to talk about one of the newest tools that has hit the shelves in the stamping market – the ‘Rock-A-Block’ stamp mounting system by Crafter’s Companion. I decided to purchase these blocks a few weeks ago after becoming frustrated when I was unable to get a nice, crisp stamped image using an acrylic block. I was wasting a lot of time and money, and no matter what technique I tried, my image came out looking like this:
The second image is what resulted after replacing my acrylic block for a Rock-A-Block. I used the same stamp, ink, paper, and stamping surface. I think the result speaks for itself!
You may think that all stamping blocks are the same, but there are quite a few features that make Rock-A-Blocks very innovative. The Rock-A-Blocks come in a package of four.

  • Extra large block – measures approx. 6″L x 4″W
  • Large block – measures approx. 6″L x 1-1/4″W
  • Medium block – measures approx. 4″L x 3″W
  • Small block – measures approx. 1-1/2″L x 1″W

As soon as you pick one of these blocks up, you will notice how light they are! I weighed an acrylic block and a Rock-A-Block of the same size, just to give you an idea of what I mean. The acrylic block was 4 oz. & the Rock-A-Block was 1.5 oz.

To help you center your stamp, guidelines are etched vertically and horizontally on the top of the block. The blocks are curved and you’ll notice that there are raised ‘gutters’ on the right and left of the block. These gutters help to eliminate those extra ink marks that sometimes get stamped onto our projects if any ink gets on the surrounding rubber. Only the raised, inked image can touch your paper. (To better understand what I’m trying to explain, you can watch this video.)

To stamp your image, simply place your stamp onto the curved block surface. Any clear stamp or unmounted rubber stamp can work with this stamp system. The stamps will cling and hold tightly in place until you pull them off. Just hold on to the sides of the block and rock the stamped image onto your paper. Make sure you only make one pass. Rocking back and forth will make a blurry, double image. The design of the block helps keep an even pressure so that all of the ink is distributed evenly.


I think this product would be especially helpful for those who have limited wrist movement or hand strength. The block is so light, and the rocking motion eliminates the need to press firmly to get an even stamped image.

Stamps by: Papertrey Ink

I think that Rock-A-Blocks are great tools to add to your stamping collection. I will definitely turn to these when I’m using a detailed image or when I’m stamping onto expensive paper. I’ll still use my straight acrylic blocks when I need a perfectly aligned sentiment or when I use a stamp positioning tool. The Rock-A-Blocks just aren’t as easy to use when it comes to precise placement, and the shape of the block isn’t compatible with tools such as the Stamp-a-ma-jig.

Pros:

  • Kit comes with multiple sizes of blocks and works with almost any size of stamp.
  • Blocks are light weight and do not require much pressure when used, making it perfect for those with arthritis or limited strength.
  • Blocks make clear, even images – eliminating paper waste.
  • “Gutters” help eliminate ink marks outside of your stamped image due to over-inking.

Cons:

  • Rocking motion makes precise stamp placement difficult.
  • The shape of the blocks make them incompatible with stamp positioning tools (such as the Stamp-a-ma-jig).

The Rock-A-Blocks stamp mounting system retails for $19.95. I purchased mine from All That Scraps, but it can also be found in the following online stores: Papertrey Ink, the HSN, & Stamping Bella (for you Canadians).

Have you tried the new Rock-a-Blocks? If so, I’d love to hear what you think about them! Leave us a comment and let us know!

Sakura Quickie Glue Pen

Reported by Julie Campbell

Sometimes the simplest tools can pack a big punch! Today, I want to share with you one of my favorite products – the Quickie Glue Pen by Sakura. I love this pen because it allows me to place adhesive with precision in even the tiniest of spaces. The glue glides on smoothly with it’s 0.7 mm tip. It’s the perfect tool to apply small amounts of glitter or flocking, and works great with tiny paper pieced projects. I also love using this product to adhere small gemstones and embellishments to my cards or scrapbook pages.

The Quickie Glue pen can be used for permanent or temporary adhesion. When the glue is first applied, it is tinted light blue. While the glue is this color, it will produce a permanent bond. If you just want a temporary bond, wait a few moments and the glue will turn clear. This will give your projects a light tack and will allow you to reposition your pieces repeatedly.

In the project below, I cut tiny blades of grass that I wanted to adhere to my card front. The glue pen was just the right tool for the job!


I also used the pen to adhere the tiny pink flowers in my tree branch. I love using this tool when paper piecing small areas! To add dimension to the skirt, I applied adhesive with the glue pen to the top of the skirt and added a couple of foam dots to the bottom edge.

Stamps by: Sugar Nellie


I wanted to show you how easy it is to add glitter to tiny spaces using the Glue Pen!


As you can see below, I traced over the stripes of my bird image using the Glue Pen.


While the glue was still wet, I applied glitter over the entire area.



I tapped off the excess glitter and my project was finished!

Stamps by: Hero Arts


Pros:

  • Tip is small (0.7 mm) and is the perfect tool to use in small spaces.
  • Glue glides on smoothly and evenly. No need to squeeze or tap pen.
  • Glue can be used for a permanent or temporary bond.
  • Product is inexpensive and lasts a long time.
  • This is a perfect tool to add glitter, flocking, or even small gemstones to projects.

Cons:

  • Does not work as well for large projects.
  • For permanent bond, you must work quickly before glue turns clear.


The Sakura Quickie Glue pen is a great tool that you’ll find yourself reaching for time and time again. The pen retails for around $2.50 and will last a long time. You can find these pens at your local craft store or on any of these online retailers: Eclectic Paperie, All That Scraps, & Gina K Designs (just to name a few).

Have you tried the Quickie Glue pen yet? If so, I’d love to hear about the clever ways you’ve used this product!

My Timeless Templates for Papertrey Ink

Reported by Lauren Meader

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is in just a few short weeks! As a paper crafter, I love making home-made gifts, and am always on the lookout for fresh ideas. Sometimes the simplest gifts can become a treasure just by the way that they’re packaged. But what do you do when your gift list is long, money is tight, and time is short? Let me introduce you to My Timeless Templates!

My Timeless Templates is a line of printable templates created by Lauren Meader for Papertrey Ink. Each month, Papertrey Ink releases two new template designs available for purchase on their website. These templates are a building block for you to create unique gifts and packaging out of basic paper crafting supplies.

Each template comes in the form of a PDF file which is downloaded to your computer and viewable using Adobe Reader. (If you don’t have Adobe already on your computer, there is a link on Papertrey Ink’s website for a free download.) The templates are designed to print directly onto 8.5 x 11″ cardstock, complete with cut and score lines. Some of the templates give you the option of printing the templates without the score lines so that the dashed lines won’t show on the inside of your packaging. Once downloaded, the templates can be printed as many times as needed.

Each downloaded template comes with a full-color, high-quality PDF document that includes six exclusive project ideas along with supply lists. These projects are all made by Papertrey Ink’s talented designers and are the perfect way to get your creative juices flowing. The great thing about these templates is their versatility! Once you get the basic idea of how the template goes together, it’s easy to modify it for any occasion.

For those of you who are still a little uncertain, Papertey Ink has two FREE templates available for download right now. I really loved the unique folds of the Recipe Wrap-Up and wanted to make a coupon organizer with it.

(Stamps By: Cornish Heritage Farms)

As I mentioned before, each template is very customizable. I printed the template directly onto Kraft cardstock and then added stamping and scrapbooking supplies to the cover.
The design is very easy to assemble. Each template has basic assembly instructions printed on the side (such as how many sheets to print and where to adhere). Beginning next month, each PDF file will also include thorough instructions on basic assembly, for those who are new to template designs or for when things get a little unclear.
I added a small notebook to one of my panels and used a large office supply paperclip to hold the book closed when not in use. (The original design includes markings for ribbon placement, but I thought that might get a little time consuming for what I was using it for.)
And here is the book when it is fully expanded. The template comes with these cute little pockets that were perfect for organizing my coupons!

Another of my favorite templates right now is called All Boxed Up.

My mom is always asking me for home-made cards for her to give away, so I designed this box for her to store them in.

(Stamps By: Cornish Heritage Farms)

This time, because my cardstock was so dark, I printed the template onto plain printer paper. I placed the paper on top of my cardstock using removable tape and trimmed and scored the design.
I customized this template and created a pocket on the side wide enough to hold my envelopes. Once you’ve worked with a couple of templates, customizing becomes really simple to do.


My Timeless Templates are a great resource to add to your paper crafting! Each download costs only $5 and the files are available instantly on your computer. You can purchase these templates from Papertrey Ink and new templates are available on the 15th of each month. The quality and resources that come with these templates makes this an incredible value.

Pros:

  • Templates are a perfect way to create beautiful gifts and packaging.
  • Each template can be printed over and over for a lifetime of use.
  • Templates are designed to print directly onto 8.5 x 11″ cardstock.
  • Templates can be customized to expand their use.
  • Each download comes with 6 exclusive project ideas.

Cons: (or, more accurately, Helpful Tips:)

  • Make sure your printer settings are set for NO scaling. This will alter the dimensions of your template and make it more difficult to use.
  • The proper adhesive makes a big difference on how well your project will hold together. I recommend using RedLine tape, Score Tape, or and ATG gun.
  • The templates can be a little confusing for those who are new to this type of paper crafting. However, Papertrey Ink will be including full instruction sheets in all of the templates to follow.

As you can probably tell from my article, I am a big fan of My Timeless Templates. These templates are a perfect way to create that special, one-of-a-kind gift this holiday season. Once you start using them, you might want to make something to keep for yourself! The templates are very customizable and can be used for any occasion.

Have you tried My Timeless Templates yet? If not, I encourage you to try out one of the free templates available on the website. I’d love to hear what you think about this new product! Or, maybe you’ve come up with a creative use for one of the templates. If so, please leave us a comment!