Friday, February 22, 2019

Glue Sponge Tutorial

Hello and Happy Friday!

I hope that everyone's had a good week and has something fun planned for the weekend. Today I want to share a super simple tip that I hope some of you will find useful! I am often asked how I go about gluing some of the more intricate and thin layered die cuts that I use. And, while I am certainly not averse to Xyron, (always remember to Xyron your paper *before* die cutting) or the occasional use of liquid glue with a super fine-tipped metal nozzle, when you have a *lot* of items to adhere - for example, if you are batch making cards - I've found that one of the simplest and quickest ways to glue your layered dies is with the use of a good old glue sponge!

Materials Needed:

1 largish sponge
1 lidded container which will hold the sponge (Old cottage cheese tubs, margarine tubs, etc. work great for this!)
Your favorite water based glue (Tacky glue, Art Glitter Glue, etc. will all work - just remember, this only works if the glue is WATER based.)

Rinse and moisten your sponge with warm water, squeezing well to remove the excess. You don't want your sponge dripping wet - just moist. Add a very, very small amount of water to your chosen container, just enough to barely cover the bottom. Place your sponge in your container. Using a light hand, gently "dot" the top of your sponge with your water based glue of choice. Use your pointer finger to gently "tap" the glue into the sponge. You don't want to waste an entire bottle of glue here, so don't try to squish your glue all the way throughout the sponge. The sponge does *not* need to be fully saturated with glue. You just need enough glue spread on top of the sponge to create a thin, even layer.

Now it's go time! Gently place your detailed die cut on top of your sponge, top side up, and again using your fingers, gently tap your cut into the sponge a few times. Gentle is the key here, don't try to smash it all the way to the bottom. You only want to pick up a thin layer of glue, this isn't a decoupage project, after all! Position your now glue-coated die layer onto its base layer and blot away any excess glue with a kitchen towel / paper towel.

And, you're done! Instead of spending an eternity trying to peel off the backer layer from a Xyron coated cut, or turning your entire project into a gluey mess because of too much flow from a bottle application, you've created a streamlined tool that will allow you to assemble layered dies faster than Henry Ford could say "Model T."

One great thing about using this technique, in addition making your project(s) quicker, is that all you have to do is snap the lid on your container and it's ready to use again the next time you need it! When finished with your glue work for the day, simply flip your sponge over in the container to keep the top moist. Next time you need to glue teensy die layers, flip it back over again, re-moisten as necessary, add more glue as necessary, and you're good to go! 

Things to remember:

Water based glue only!
Having a damp washcloth nearby in case you need to wipe off your gluey fingers is strongly recommended!
This technique works best on standard cardstock, glitter card, and matte papers. It's very nearly impossible to keep lux mirror card and glossy papers completely glue free.

Until next time - happy crafting!

*Die featured in this tutorial: Egg 1 (DR-83) by Scrap Man.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Crafter's Companion Easter Bunny Card

Hello, Everybody!

It's no secret that I'm a massive Crafter's Companion fan. The quality, design, and value of *all* their product lines never fail to impress, and Sara Davies is simply amazing beyond words. As some of you likely already know, CC recently moved into a new US facility, and (hooray for us!) had a killer Warehouse Clearance sale. One of the great deals offered during this sale was a Mystery Bag Bundle filled will all manner of awesome CC goodies from across the various CC collections and lines. Many of my fellow crafters received sewing related products - and since not everyone sews - are a little stumped about what to do with them.

SEW...*snicker* I wanted to share this Easter card that I created with the CC Threaders Rabbit die! Using Heat-N-Bond, I ironed some scrap fabric (yes, I do sew) onto chipboard, then ran the primary bunny bits through my Gemini. For the accent bunny bits, I used the adhesive Hessian from the Rustic Wedding Collection. I hope that maybe seeing some "sewing materials" utilized in this non-traditional way might inspire a few of you to try something a little outside the norm as well!

Crafter's Companion Materials Used:

Crafter's Companion Threaders Rabbit Fabric Die
Crafter's Companion Daisy Rectangle Accordion Die Set - Scalloped Rectangle for Sentiment
Crafter's Companion Sara Signature Rustic Wedding Collection Hessian Pad
Crafter's Companion Basket Weave 3D Embossing Folder
Harmony Ink Pad in Seal Brown

(Materials from my stash: chipboard, scrap fabric, and Easter Egg dies from

Card Size: 6 inch square

Monday, February 18, 2019

Introduction Post

Hello, out there!

My name is Leslie King and I am a craft-o-holic. This blog is something that I have wanted to create for many years now, but only recently have I worked up the courage to do so! My sincere thanks to all of my family, friends, and the AMAZING members from the Fans of Crafter's Companion on HSN Facebook Group for your invaluable support and the encouragement to follow my dreams!

Now...a little bit about me. You often hear people say, "I've been doing this for my entire life." The statement is usually an exaggeration, but in my case, it is very nearly true. My earliest crafting memory dates back many, many years - before I was old enough to attend school. (We'll just say that I'm 40-something and leave it at that!) My grandmother was an incomparable hand quilter. She had an enormous window in her living room that she would sit in front of, in her rocker, to piece and sew her squares. When I wasn't rolling in the dirt with the dogs, digging in the garden with my grandpa, or playing with the numerous animals on their farm, I was at my Mamaw's feet. I would thread her needles for her in exchange for fabric scraps, which I then used to sew my own patchwork baby doll clothes. (I even talked her out of an old pair of nylons once that I stuffed with batting scraps and tissues, then knotted into a doll(ish) figure, à la balloon animal style - my mom still has the horrifying thing! LOL.)

Since those early days, I have tried my hand at just about every type of handcraft imaginable. My wonderful Auntie D. (also a craft-o-holic) taught me everything from knitting to my earliest attempts in papercrafting. My ridiculously talented Auntie B. educated me on machine sewing and painting. And my awesome mother, Joyce - who is STILL a better colorist than I am! - taught me the most valuable lessons of all: never stop doing what you love, never let disappointment or rejection smash your dreams, and - most importantly - NEVER GIVE UP! I was an incredibly lucky child to have been so surrounded by such creative, loving, and strong women!

Unfortunately, with the exception of a VERY lucky few, crafting does NOT a career make. So, for more than 20 years I channeled my inner creativity into my work as a Graphic Designer and Website Designer. (I've also held such illustrious positions as: bookstore clerk, AM Radio DJ, Tack Department Manager at a Western supply store, a FedEx name it!) I married a career Army man - who retired in 2012 after 21 years to make the enormous career leap to government contractor - so, until recently, permanency has been a rare and elusive thing for me. However, no matter how many times we moved, no matter what work I had to do for a *real* job, crafting has always been the one constant in my life. From the local County Art Show award I won in elementary school, to the card I finished last night, I have ALWAYS crafted. 

While I do still occasionally tackle sewing projects, (mostly home decor items) and I am always open to wreath-making, painting, woodworking with my husband - you name it - my primary craft focus for many years now has been card making. My first "grown-up" makes (meaning: something more than crayon or magic marker on construction paper as a child) that I actually felt confident enough in to send to people were done in (I believe) 1994 or 1995. I was a dirt poor Army wife who could afford to either buy Christmas cards or mail them - but not both. It was decades before I had a Gemini, a Cuttlebug, a scoreboard, a guillotine, a Cricut, cutting dies, embossing folders, or any other of a hundred things that I use and take for granted every single day now. I had a 4 pack of no-name dodgy discount edging shears, a single oval punch, and a single star punch. And maybe $5 to my name. I can remember getting to make the trip home to visit my mother over Thanksgiving and going down to the MJ Designs store that used to be near her house. (Those were a thing once upon a time, look it up.) Back then you could buy like 20 sheets of scrapbook paper for a dollar. I snatched up as many "Christmas Colored" sheets as I could afford while still having enough money left over for glue. Glitter was out of the question, surely a luxury only the rich were meant to possess.

Upon our return to our dumpy little house, in our dumpy military town, (which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) I sat down in our living room floor with my plethora of high end crafting supplies and cut. And cut. And cut. I honestly can't remember how many of these cards I made, but it was more than a lot. And when all was said and done, I was ridiculously proud of them.

I've come a long way since then - especially in the amount of crafting supplies I own! And I would love for you to join me on my continuing crafter's journey! I'm a firm believer in the old axiom that one should learn something new each and every day. And I promise to share with you both my successful, and not so successful projects. In the meantime, you can always find my most recent makes on Pinterest, and find me at Fans of Crafter's Companion on HSN. I sincerely thank you for the gift of your time. Until then...

Happy Crafting!

Leslie King