I have a fun project to share today! Sizzix released Stand-Up card dies, which cut and score a 5.5" square card base. What's neat about the Stand-Up dies is that they have a center cut shape that makes for a very fun, folded card.
I put together this cute seasonal project using the Circle Stand-Up card for the base of my project.
Here is a view of the backside, so you can see how the card is cut and scored. There's even a little "kick stand" type cut in the card base to hold the card upright as shown. Let me show you how I completed my project.
First, I die cut the base of my card and all of the shapes and parts I thought I would need for my card. I cut lots of pumpkins and leaves, knowing that I could always save the pieces I don't use on this project for future projects. I cut two birch colored trees and two black trees. I also stamped out the images I knew I would want to use, giving me space to cut them out as planned.
I adhered the trees together, as shown. I off-set them just a bit, so the black trees were just barely showing from behind the birch colored trees. Not only did this give the birch colored trees a nice shadow effect, it also provided a bit of stability to the trees. I adhered the circles together, giving the yellow circle a nice orange border.
Using a long blade scissor (a pair of scissors I've had for eons!), I cut some gentle hill shapes from a light green paper. I used my tracing wheel to add a detail line along the top edge of each shape.
I started by adhering a couple of pumpkins in place, and then adding the small raccoons so that when I added more pumpkins to the scene, they would look like there were popping out of the pumpkin pile to say hi!
I added more and more and MORE pumpkins, using white glue, and even some foam adhesive when I wanted pumpkins to pop up a bit from the ones behind. I also added a couple of apples to the pile as well.
Stamps: Raccoon2Love (The Stamps of Life)
Dies: Circle Stand-Up (Sizzix), Birds & Tree Framelits and Clear Stamps (Sizzix), Pumpkins (The Stamps of Life), Circles (Spellbinders)
Paper: The Stamps of Life, Stampin' Up, Paper Source, Paper Accents, Neenah
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: CG.5, CG1, CG3
Other: Memento Black Ink, tracing wheel, twine, button
If you're a stamper or scrapbooker, you probably own (or are at least familiar with) white storage cubes similar to these. And if you own these kinds of storage cubes, you're probably also familiar with the horrible SQUEAKING the drawers sometimes make.
The squeaking drawer is usually the bottom drawer of the unit. In a three-drawer unit, the top two drawers have a nice plastic rail they slide on when you open and close the drawer. But the bottom drawer slides against painted wood, and that is what causes the squeak.
Because I can't stand that squeaking noise, and because I bet you can't stand it either, I thought I would share my quick, easy, and inexpensive way to silence those drawers!
Add a layer of 1/4" dry adhesive (like score tape or redline tape) to the back corners of the drawer's base, along the left and right sides of the drawer. I added about 5 inches of adhesive to each side of this drawer. I've found that you don't need to cover the entire length of the drawer sides - just a few inches will do.
When I saw the gum4backgrounds stamp from The Stamps of Life, it immediately made me think of a fun technique called emboss resist. So, I thought I would use the large background stamp to share with you a photo tutorial on how to do the emboss resist technique using the Stephanie Barnard color sprays.
You can use white or clear embossing powder, or even a clear based irridescent powder. The powder I chose is irridescent and has a bit of sparkle to it as well. Beautiful, and really adds to the "bubble" look of the stamp image.
Spray your waterproof craft surface with a couple of spritzes of each spray color, overlapping them slightly, but not completely. I chose to use two different blue sprays as well as a bit of purple, for a nice complimentary color palette. Spray water onto the colors until your colors start to form slightly larger pools of color.
Next, lightly spray the embossed side of your watercolor paper with water. This step preps the paper fibers for absorbing the color sprays. Once your paper is dampened with water, set your watercolor paper (embossed side face down) into the pools of color. Press the paper onto the crafting surface so you get color on the entire surface of the paper.
To add more color, tap the dried paper down into the remaining pools of color, adding a random assortment of spots to the surface of the paper. Tap randomly, into big spots and little spots. When you're happy with the additional splotches, heat set your paper again to dry the ink.
The Stephanie Barnard sprays have wonderful, intense color payoff, and blend together beautifully! I was thrilled by how they took to the watercolor paper. I trimmed my dyed paper to size and assembled my card.
One more thing ... you could simply clean up your craft surface with paper towels, but don't let that left over color on your craft surface go to waste! Use the left over color to make hand dyed ribbon! This is white seam binding ribbon that I used to wipe up my crafting surface after I was finished coloring my paper. Once I had the ink all wiped up with the ribbon, I gave the ribbon a couple spritzes with water to help soften the edges of the inks, and then set the ribbon aside to dry. Now I have some beautiful hand dyed ribbon to use on future projects.
I hope you try out this technique. It's super easy, and so FUN to watch the color transform the white paper (and ribbon!) into a beautiful, one of a kind, surface.
Stamps: gum4background and bubblegum4me by The Stamps of Life
Ink: VersaMark, Black StazOn, Stepanie Barnard Color Sprays in Blueberry, Sky, and Grape
Paper: Fabriano Watercolor Paper, Neenah
Other: bakers twine, button, tracing wheel, Stampendous Kaleidoscope Transparent Embossing Powder, heat tool, craft mat, white seam binding ribbon
Earlier this week I posted this "four cute chicks" card and wrote about how I was able to create the various body shapes for the chicks. Since then, I've had several questions and requests for more details on how I was able to create the various body shapes using the same stamp, so I thought I'd put together a quick "how to" in photos. Hope this is helpful!
For my supplies, I'm using the Eggs4Easter set by The Stamps of Life, a clear block, an image mask (made from a sticky note), and ink for stamping.
What makes this shape changing technique possible is the unique way the chick stamp was made. The center of the stamp is not filled with polymer, which allows it to be shaped differently than it's original shape. If the stamp's center was filled with polymer (like most clear stamps are), it would not be possible to change the chick's shape.
Let me show you how!
Place the chick stamp on a clear block, ink the image, and stamp the chick in it's original shape. Also stamp the chick on a sticky note and cut it out to create the image mask needed for the next steps.
Adjust the shape of the chick on the clear block and ink it for stamping. See how the open area in the center of the chick's body allows the reshaping? If this area was filled in with polymer, the body shape would not be able to be changed.
With the sticky note mask placed over the first stamped image (mine is white with a red and yellow dot), stamp the second (taller) chick in place. By covering up the first stamped image with the image mask, you are preventing the ink of the second image from overlapping the first image.
Finish building your chicks with other stamp images provided in the set, masking as needed. I masked their bodies while stamping the legs, so I could adjust the length of the legs and not risk getting ink in their bodies.
On my original card I used this technique to stamp an original shaped chick, two tall chicks, and added a fourth plump chick that was stamped on a separate sheet of paper, cut out, and adhered to my card using foam adhesive for a bit of dimension.
While it's not always possible to reshape stamps like this since most of the time the centers are filled edge to edge with polymer, keep your eye out for possibilities of when you can! Sentiments are easily changed from straight lines to curves, so keep that in mind, too!
Stamp: Eggs4Easter by The Stamps of Life
Ink: Black Memento, Antique Linen Distress Ink by Ranger, Dusty Durango by Stampin' Up!
ShinHan Touch Twin markers: Y36, YR31, YR32, R3, R2, GY175, 0, CG.5
Paper: Neenah, Bo Bunny
Other: Prismacolor Pencil (Kelp Green), button, baker's twine, tracing wheel
Here you go! Click on the image for a larger view. My pencil treat box template is slightly different than others I've seen. I wanted to maximize my cardstock, so I chose to only make my box 5.25 inches tall (which requires a 5.5 inch piece of cardstock). Not only does this allow me to get more boxes out of one sheet of cardstock, but it also allows more of the cute pencil designs to show! You can make four boxes out of a single sheet of 8.5x11 cardstock using these dimensions.
The designer paper layer I adhere to the front is cut 5.125 x 1.125 to allow a nice frame around the edges.
I added an optional step to the template. Before you fold the box together, you can use a 1" circle punch to cut a half-circle out of the front of the box top. This is a cute way to accent the pencils inside. Also, if you plan to stamp on your cardstock, best to do that before you do your scoring and folding.
For future reference here are links to my projects using this template:
High Hopes Rubber Stamps is releasing new holiday images on Thursday of this week (tomorrow), and today the designers are giving you a look at them. I chose to use this cheery Christmas Joy snowman, dressed up in his finest star buttons.
If you liked the Piggly Wiggly coloring video I shared earlier this week, then I've got a treat for you! I filmed myself coloring this image, too! (Still no music on the videos...)
Oh, and like always, if you have trouble viewing the video here on my blog, you can check it out here on my YouTube channel.
Snowman: High Hopes Rubber Stamps
Memento Black Tuxedo Ink
Paper: Neenah, Memory Box, black cardstock
Markers: Copic (0; C1; W1, W2, W3, W4, W5; E9, E31, E35, E37, E44, E53, E99; BG93, BG70, BG72, BG96; Y17, Y26, Y28; YR14, YR24; R01)
I get asked frequently if I'll demonstrate how I color or paint the images I use on my projects. So I took a video of the process of me coloring this image, and making the card. The video doesn't have any sound (don't have music files to add to videos), so hum your own tune while you watch. *grin* Also, it's in 3x speed, so not to take up too much of your time!
If you have trouble viewing the video here on the blog, you can check it out here on my YouTube channel.
PS: Let me know if this is something you'd like to see more of.
- Hamselot (#CT073): Whipper Snapper Designs
- Sentiment: Garden of Friendship cling set, Whipper Snapper Designs
- Memento Black Tuxedo Ink
- Paper: Neenah, October Afternoon
- Markers: Copic (0, R11, R20, B93, B95, B97, E13, E15, R37, R39, R59, C1, C2, C3, YG03, YG23, YR21, YR24 -- hope I didn't miss any!)
- Colored Pencil: LYRA Pompeian Red 600-91
- MISC: Seam binding, tracing wheel, Tombow Mono Multi glue, antique button, twine, Stampin Up foam dimensionals, Gamsol and paper tortillon for blending
- Smudge on camera lens: Baaaaad Boxcar Betty
I wrote a tutorial on faux stitching that is posted on the High Hopes blog today. Check it out!
Last night I decided to make some cinnamon applesauce ornaments. I used to make these as a kid, and they were always fun to do. If you've never made them before, you should, at least once. The recipe is simple ... equal parts cinnamon and applesauce, with a bit of white glue (mix the glue with the applesauce before adding the cinnamon). I add in just a bit of ground cloves and nutmeg too, because I like the extra zip they add to the scent.
Keep extra cinnamon and extra applesauce handy, in case you need to add a bit more of either one during the process. While the recipe is easy, working with the "dough" can be a challenge. If it's too applesaucey, you'll have a hard time picking up the cut ornaments, and if it's too cinnamony it will be very crumbly and hard to roll out. Patience is most certainly required. But the results are fun, and your home will smell soooooo good!
Mix the dough really well with your hands, then roll it out to about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Cut out with 2"- 4" cookie cutters. You can use a drinking straw to cut holes in the dough for hanging, or you can wiggle the flat end of a toothpick to create a hole. Just be careful! You can easily split the dough. If that happens, press the crack in the dough together gently. The glue in the dough should keep it from cracking once dry. For drying, you can either let them sit out for a few days, turning often, or you can dry them in a warm oven (200* or less), turning at least once per hour, until they're dry. The results are a rustic and very scented holiday ornament perfect for hanging on the tree, or adding to the top of a special gift. I added a bit of glitter to mine once they were dry, and the effect is perfect.
Google "cinnamon applesauce ornaments" and you'll find all kinds of info online about making them (and probably other recipes, too).
Now for the extra crafty goodness I have to share with you!
I wanted to make a gingerbread shaped cinnamon ornament, but I don't have a gingerbread boy cookie cutter. So, I got to thinking .... I do have a Sizzix die cut in the shape of a gingerbread boy, the perfect size for a cinnamon ornament. Normally, I adhere glitter to die cuts using glue, so I thought I would try adding cinnamon to the die cut shape with glue to see if it worked. Guess what! It did!
I do have some recommendations for you if you try this for yourself. First, since the cinnamon doesn't adhere thickly to the glue, I found that it's best if you either use dark brown chipboard for your shape, OR ink it a dark brown before you add your glue and cinnamon. You'll get a much more realistic looking shape than if you leave the chipboard a pale color. Also, don't forget to ink the edges of the chipboard shape! Cute as can be, and he smells divine! This little guy is decorated with a red (hard to tell it's red) button and two holly leaves. Since he's not as delicate as a real applesauce cinnamon ornament, he'd be perfect worn as a little pin on a scarf or hat. Glue a pin to his backside, and you've got the perfect holiday scented pin!
For those who've sent me emails wanting more info how how to paint solid areas using craft/pigment ink pads ... here you go!
This is the first "tutorial" type of video I've ever done (so be kind!) ... hope it gets the job done! Enjoy!
If you're not able to view this video here on my blog, you will find HERE on YouTube.
I absolutely love that I have the opportunity to work my photography into illustrations for Whipper Snapper. Having my photos turned into rubber stamps that other artists can use to express their creativity is cooler than COOL!
I created this card using simple stamping, sponging and masking. First, I stamped the Cowgirl on Horseback image in Timber Brown StazOn on Whisper White paper from Stampin' Up.
Once the image was stamped, I adhered post-it notes around the image to protect the border, so that I had a nice white edge around the image. I added color around the image using sponge applicators and various colors of Distress Ink from Ranger.
When I was done applying color to the image, I removed the post-it notes to reveal a nice, CRISP white border. I trimmed the image down a bit, to reduce the amount of white border. Once I started putting the card together, the white was a little too stark for what I wanted, so I sponged a little around the edges to break up the stark white edges. I added some machine sewing and assembled the card.
And if you're curious, here is the original photograph I took of a young woman on her horse as the sun was setting. Silhouetting her against the evening sky created a moody photograph that I'm pleased to have in my portfolio!
And the stamp is pretty DANG fun to use, too!
Edited to Add: Wow... there's some serious COLOR in these photos! Those PINK post-it notes really scream PINK!
This is just a plain white snowflake. I added some Matte Accents by Ranger for my adhesive, but you can use the liquid glue of your choice, as long as it dries clear. I never apply the glue very evenly, and it seems to work just fine.
Drop the snowflake into your glitter. I'm using Diamond Dust Glitter (search ebay - there are several listed). Gently press the snowflake into the glitter. NOT TOO FIRMLY, or you'll have glitter MASS and it's not all that pretty. A light touch is best.
Like with the snowflake, place the shape into the glitter and GENTLY apply pressure. Notice the Blu-Kote stain on my finger. Blu-Kote is an antiseptic spray used to treat wounds on animals. I had to apply some to a couple of the chickens today who have a couple broken tail feathers that the other chickens find way too fascinating to leave alone. Blu-Kote stains a deep violet color, as you can see.
I spent some time putting together this little tutorial on how to make the 4x4 lidless box I used for my be warm drink gift set. I wasn't able to find just the right sized container, so I decided to make my own! Have fun with it!
What you need:
2 - 4"x9" rectangles
2 - Just-shy of 4" squares
4 - 1.5"xJust-shy of 4" rectangles, complimentary color
2 - 1.5"x12" rectangles (some will be trimmed as excess) OPTIONAL
Embellishments, scissors, adhesive, etc.
Overlap one of the 1" sections with one of the 4" sections with good adhesive so you have four 4" squares in a row, and a 1" rectangle at one end. I like to use a liquid glue for the gluing process so I have a bit of time for wiggling things into place.
Embellish as you'd like! I used the 1.5"x12" strips of patterned paper around my box. I did end up trimming off about 7" or 8", but it was just easier to start with two full length 12" strips and trim them down as needed.
Today's sketch challenge on SplitCoast is one of my favorites, so of course I had to play along! The image is by Penny Black. The green layer was scalloped using my Fiskars scalloped scissors. The stitching on the white layer is real ... the stitching everywhere else is faux stitching - I dig it. I watercolored the image, and then added Stardust Stickles on Santa's hat and beard for sparkle. I used a fine dusting of Pearlescent Pebble Chalks on the other parts of the image for a little festive shimmer.
I've received emails from people asking how I take my photos, and since a friend and I were just talking briefly about it last night, I thought I'd take a quick photo and show you just what I do. It's certainly NOT fancy, but for quick photos of cards it's fine.
I use a natural light bulb in a desk lamp tilted down so it shines on the face of the card. Sometimes set up sheets of paper to block out the mess on my table, and sometimes I don't even bother with that. This process needs to be quick and easy for me. I don't have a space were I can set up and leave a photo station, and this set up works just fine for me. Easy peasy!
I've been asked many times how I color images, so I thought I would put together a visual guide, along with some thoughts I have on coloring stamped images. The techniques I use most often are watercoloring, and Prismacolor pencil with Gamsol (a technique sometimes referred to as "magic pencil"). This post is specific to Prismacolor pencil with Gamsol. (Click here to read my tips on watercoloring, posted earlier this month.)
Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol (a brand of odorless mineral spirits) is one of my favorite ways to color stamped images. One of my favorite papers for this technique is Pearlized Shimmery White cardstock. When I'm not using Pearlized Shimmery White cardstock, I use Stampin' Up's Whisper White or Very Vanilla cardstock. But I also find it fun to experiment on other types of paper as well. Paper with a bit more "tooth" than Whisper White and Very Vanilla colors a bit differently than smoother papers. While it's possible to use other brands of colored pencil for this technique, Prismacolor artist colored pencils are soft but heavily pigmented, so I've found they work the best for blending.
To blend my colors, I use inexpensive paper stumps, or tortillions. I buy all of my pencils and paper stumps at dickblick.com. Gamsol (or other brands of odorless mineral spirits) can be found at local or online artist supply stores. It typically comes in either a tin can with a pour spout, or in a glass jar, and is primarily used by oil painters. I've found that the best container to use for this technique is a small double-walled plastic jar, similar to a nail polish remover jar. I cut a regular yellow sponge to fit inside the jar, and pour the Gamsol onto the sponge until it is just saturated, but not floating or beneath the surface of the Gamsol.
I stamp my images on my paper with Black Stazon ink. Stazon is an acid free, archival, fast drying solvent-based waterproof ink and can be ordered through Stampin' Up, found in local craft stores, and lots of online stores. (You might also have good success with various other inks as well, such as Memento, Palette, etc.) Then I start adding color to the places color would be the darkest - usually the edges.
I dip my paper stump onto the Gamsol sponge and begin blending the colors in a small circluar motion towards the center of the image, pulling bits of color as I go. You can leave as little, or as much highlight area on an image as you'd like. By simply not adding as much color to the edges, or not pulling as much color towards the center of your image, you'll be able to have a bigger highlight area. (See my two pears card for another example of a highlight area.)
It's always better to start with LESS color and add more as you need it, than to start with too much color. But, another great thing about working with colored pencil is that you will be able to erase a bit of color, creating a highlight spot if you lay down too much color. You'll never be able to erase the color completely, but you can pull off just enough of the pigment to create a lighter colored area. I use white Hi-Polymer Erasers by Pentel for this process (which can be found at local and online craft or office supply stores).
As you color your image, you'll be able to see where you'd like to add darker shades of color in places you want to emphasize color, or create shadows. Always start with your lightest colors and work with your darker colors sparingly once your lighter colors are in place. Gamsol tends to really make colors pop, so it is quite easy to add too much color to an image by using too dark of a color too quickly while you work. But don't be afraid to use color! How you use color gives images life.
I hope you find these tips helpful! I'd love to know if this has helped you, and would love even more to see some of your work while you try out some of these ideas.
The flower stamp used in this project is by Whipper Snapper Designs, designed by me!
I've been asked many times how I color images, so I thought I would put together a little visual guide, along with some thoughts I have on coloring stamped images. The techniques I use most often are watercoloring, and Prismacolor pencil with Gamsol (sometimes referred to as "magic pencil"). This post is specific to watercoloring, but I'll do another post all about Prismacolors soon!
Watercoloring is my favorite way to color stamped images. I prefer to watercolor on really good watercolor paper and not ordinary cardstock. I think the end result is rich looking, and I think it's easier to control the water and colors when good watercolor paper is used. I buy watercolor paper tablets at artist supply stores or online at dickblick.com, and cut the pages down to the sizes I want to use on my projects. I also use a good water brush (aka Aquapainter). Stampin' Up sells a great quality brush set (2 per package), but you can also find other brands just as easily which are typically sold individually in various sizes. I prefer the medium size for most card-sized projects. I bought one of my water brushes at an artist supply store in Oregon, and I purchased my other water brushes from dickblick.com.
I stamp my images on the watercolor paper with Black Stazon ink. Stazon is an acid free, archival, fast drying solvent-based waterproof ink and can be ordered through Stampin' Up, found in local craft stores, and lots of online stores. Once the image is stamped, I put a dot of Stampin' Up re-inker color in the lid of my Stampin' UP stamp pad. While I use the lids of my ink pads, you could just as easily use a small plastic watercolor palette, an old CD, or even a plastic lid. But a little ink goes a LONG way, so I use the lids of my ink pads. The drop of ink will remain useable for months and months in the closed ink pad lid. With just a damp water brush (it should not be dripping wet, or dry) I pick color from the lid and begin filling in the stamped image, starting at the place color would be the darkest - usually the edge. Allowing colors to dry completely before adding colors next to one another helps keep the colors from flowing together. But, if you'd like a blended look, add additional colors while the base colors are still damp. I use both techniques, depending on the look I'd like the finished art to have.
It's important when coloring to determine a light source direction and paint your entire image using that light source as the direction light touches your subject. It doesn't matter which direction you choose for your light, as long as you're consistent in your coloring throughout the entire project. In this image, I wanted the light to look as though it were coming through a window to the left of the vase, and fade into the color of the wall as it got closer to the vase. I almost always paint the focus image first, before painting in the background. This helps me determine what colors to use, and where to place saturated color areas on the background once the main image is dry (while always keeping my light source in mind).
My last step is to add darker shades of color to places I want to emphasize shadow (or lack of light - in this example, less light from the window), which also gives a more three dimensional look to the colored piece.
For this colored image I used the following Stampin' Up re-inker colors: Old Olive (stems and leaves); Cool Caribbean, Not Quite Navy, Buckaroo Blue (vase); More Mustard, Really Rust, Close to Cocoa (flowers); So Saffron, More Mustard, Really Rust, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip (background). Flower stamp by Whipper Snapper Designs, designed by me!
The best advice I can give to someone looking to improve watercolor skills is practice. Find examples you like, and figure out what it is about them that makes the image interesting to you. I think you'll find that it's usually light and color and how they're used that makes an image really stand out. And my last bit of advice is don't be afraid to use color! How you use color gives images life.
I hope you find these tips helpful! I'd love to know if this has helped you, and would love even more to see some of your work while you try out some of these ideas.
Prismacolor pencil and Gamsol tips coming soon!
I placed an order the other day from PaperAddict.com and when the box of paper came, it was like Christmas! So many wonderful colors and textures and patterns! This paper by Wild Asparagus was some that I ordered. I love the vintage fabric look to these papers, and the texture of the paper. Inking around the edges creates a warm, aged look that I really like. Another nice thing about this paper is that it's double sided, so it was easy to coordinate all of the papers into one design.
Have you seen these wonderful Prima flowers? I received this flower from a friend (thanks Viv!) and wanted to feature it with this paper. I like how the coppery-gold shimmery ribbon softens the line between the paper and the flower. I added some glass leaf beads to this card as well. They're tied to the birthday tag using the organza ribbon.
As I was making this card, I thought I'd put together a visual aid for those of you who've asked me how I sponge the edges of my cards. (Thanks for the emails, by the way!)
I start with my paper layer cut to size. With a wooden handled sponge dauber, I pick up color off my ink pad (don't over-do it - a little goes a long way). I usually use Walnut ink by Ranger, but most dye inks will work with this technique.
While holding the paper with my left hand (not seen in this photo cause it's holding the camera) I begin to pull ink across my scrap paper onto the paper's edge. Start a good distance from the edge of your paper layer to avoid hard-lined edges from the sponge. Starting at a distance also helps you pull the ink more smoothly. Continue to pull ink onto the paper around all the edges of the paper, until you've got a nice even layer of ink. I usually go around the paper layer two or three times for a really nice even edge.
Because these sponges are so inexpensive compared to SU daubers or other brands, I keep a small drawer just for inky daubers. I use one color with each dauber, and only toss them out when I've worn most of the sponge off of the wooden handle. They take a beating, that's for sure!
Some poeple like using "bingo" ink bottles, but I find those to be nothing less than irritating. So, I came up with my own storage container solution.
I use a double-walled plastic jar that I found at the craft store for around .70 cents. I also bought a new yellow sponge (probably found in the same isle as the jar) and cut it to fit inside the jar without being "squished" in the jar. I keep just enough Gamsol in the jar so that when I press the tip of my paper stump into the sponge the Gamsol moistens the tip of the stump just right.
I've found this method to work perfectly! If you're having troulbe with your current storage container, give this a try!