Darling Dots Under Control

Stampin up darling dots rockabilly envelope

Want full "cooperation" from your solid image stamps?  I used my ladybug stamp from Darling Dots (Hostess Level 1) for the first time today, coloring it directly with my Stampin' Up! Basic Black and Real Red Markers (for a 2 color image).  I saw the little droplets of ink forming on the rubber and knew a little "conditioning" would take care of things pronto.

Stampin up darling dots sanding block

TIP:  To condition solid stamps, take a Sanding Block (featured above) and rub the stamp surface briskly in all directions for a few seconds.  Clean thoroughly and try coloring/stamping again.  The "after" results are impressive and I took a before and after picture to show you the difference. 

Stampin up darling dots before and after

My color inspiration (Barely Banana, Basic Black and Real Red) is from the Color Throw Down Challenge #39.  The Real Read card base is 4.25 x 5.5 and scored at the top.  The sentiment is from Hidden Garden Rub-Ons.

TIP:  The squares were cropped and layer perfectly using 1 1/4 and 1 3/8" Square Punches.  I love these little power horses!

Stampin up darling dots ladybug You can earn the Darling Dots stamp set free (plus other fabulous choices and more free merchandise) beginning with a Stampin' Up! product order of $150.  Team up with a friend to maximize your freebies.  All benefits are available with an on-line order

Click here to learn more about the Stampin' Rewards Program

Combine Stampin' Rewards with the Get Connected Campaign and get even more free products.  NOTE:  The Get Connected Campaign ends 4/30!


To Order Stampin' Up! Products On-Line 24/7, CLICK HERE!

Stamp Set:  Darling Dots (113708, Hostess Level 1)
Paper:  Rockabilly Specialty Designer Series (114039), Barely Banana Textured (108695), Basic Black (102851), Real Red (102482), Whisper White (100730)
Ink:  Barely Banana (101170), Real Red Marker (100052), Jet Black Stazon (101406), Basic Black Marker (100082)
Cool Tools:  1 1/4" (104400) and 1 3/8" (103375) Square Punches, Sanding Block (103301)
The Perfect Touch:  Circle Rhinestone Brad (109110, Fire), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430), Hidden Garden Rub-Ons (111414)

Envelope:  Whisper White Medium (107301), Rockabilly Specialty Designer Series Paper (114039)

Darling dots  


  1. Mary your card is so cute – love it.

  2. What a darling card! Thanks for playing the Throwdown!

  3. Super cute card! I found your site yesterday thru your submission to Color Throwdown … I love your Gallery, how you are utilizing your blog for your SU business, and your stamping space.

    You are definitely making the blog roll on my blog. Thank you for sharing, you are a great inspiration.

  4. Card is absolutely beautiful. I love the colors. Thanks for the Tip on using the sanding block. Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful cards that you make.

  5. Cute card! Thanks for playing the Throwdown–hope to see you again next week!

  6. Well that makes me feel better, I have had that problem a few times and thought it was something I was doing wrong……thanks..love the card……..patm

  7. Crystal Czarapata

    That is a great tip, I always wondered how to colve that problem, and what a big difference it made. But I have to ask, where did you get your sanding block? Is it the same as this one: http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat3113&PRODID=prd48951 ?

    Hi Crystal:

    Thanks for your comment on today’s card. I used Stampin’ Up!’s Sanding Blocks. $3.50 for 2 with just the right amount of roughness. (p. 189, Item #103301).

    Hugs, Mary

  8. Great design on this!! Thanks for playing!

  9. The picture tells the story… I can’t believe the difference it makes! I usually go for the eraser myself because I am a little worried about doing some damages with the sanding block, but either way, conditioning definitely is needed, especially if you are going to color with markers, or else the lines really show!

    Cute project you turned your Polka Dot set into! I don’t have that Hostess set yet, but I think I’d like to get it before the catalogue is over. The ladubug and cupcake are so adorable!

  10. What a great tip about sanding stamps that need ‘treating’; I always thought it was just me who had trouble with some solid image stamps. Thanks, Mary!

  11. Thanks for sharing such a helpful tip! I’d heard about using an eraser on clear stamps to condition them, but I wasn’t aware of having to condition rubber stamps. What a gorgeous card — the layout is so cute!! As always, thanks for sharing your creativity and knowledge!

  12. my ladybug has yet to see any ink…great job. you did a great job with the color challenge!:) and i too love the punches…such a great tool!

  13. Lisa Cardenas

    Hi Mary, Wow… i never knew you could sand the rubber on a stamp if it wasn’t stamping clearly. And how do i know if i need to do it? If the image wont turn out solid like its supposed to? Wow! I’m so excited to know that! 🙂 Ive had that happen before and thought, i must not be putting enough pressure on it, or there wasn’t enough ink… maybe instead it was just too new? 🙂

    Hi Lisa: I could tell right away when I started to color directly to the rubber with my markers because the ink was beading. Once I sanded with the sanding blocks, the markers covered smooth and even.

    Hope this helps! Hugs, M

  14. Love that polka dot paper with your color scheme. Thanks for the tip too!

  15. Thanks for the tip. I love to use solid image stamps a lot.

  16. Beautiful card! Great tip!

  17. I am such a fan of polka dots – I just love this card and the color combo!

  18. Keep the great tips coming! I love this card! Great color combo – who would have ever thought of a black leaf? Not me! Keep being amazing

  19. colleen kramer

    As always, great photos and directions! Conditioning stamps is inexpensive, easy to to do, and provides such a great end result (as so clearly demonstrated here!:) Wonderful layout to help showcase smaller images. FUN!

  20. I will certainly try the conditioning tip today on some of my stamps. The card is so cute. Thanks

  21. Thanks for the tip on conditioning stamps! I have had that problem many times and I get so frustrated. I will give it a try!

  22. Mary, This is one of those tips that makes me want to cheer and dig out old stamp sets that I could never master. Thank you sooo much!! Mary Jo

  23. such a cute card and helpful information! i will try the sanding block technique the next time i stamp. mahalo mary!!

  24. I used this set today and my image looks like the yucky one. thank you very ,very much for sharing this tip. Tomorrow I will try again after conditioning my stamps. Should this be done with most stamps?

    Hi Jeanette:

    It really makes a difference. I often end up sanding my solid image stamps. Rarely need to on my line image stamps.

    Good luck . . . I’ll be curious to know if it helps.

    Hugs, M

  25. Darling card- thanks for the conditioning tip! I never would have thought of it!

  26. Amazing tip, I haven’t been able to figure out what I’ve been doing wrong…now I know how to fix it!

  27. Great tip! Now I have some extra work to do!! Thanks again for sharing.

  28. Thanks for the great tip! I always thought it was because I had too much or not enough ink. I guess I’ll need to get one of those sanding blocks…….

  29. Love this as I always love your creations! thanks for sharing!

  30. Another great tip from you and a beautiful card. Love following your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  31. So Beautiful! You are so amazing! 🙂

  32. Mary – I love the color scheme you used here. As always the cards you make are darling and I look forward to your postings.


  33. OMGosh … I saw this card on SCS and I loved it. It’s SO cute!

  34. Mary! Thanks for playing with us this week! Your card is darling and what a great tip on the sanding! I know I have had issues with bold-image stamps and this will help a lot! Thanks for passing the word around and come visit us next week!

  35. I’m sending this link to Diana. She had asked me about this and I said I think it’s something to do with sanding? Now I’m sure! Thanks, Mary!

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