Happy to be Stuck with You - Using a MISTI to Shade Stamps

Happy Tuesday!  It's another week and another color challenge at CAS Colours & Sketches.  This week features a gorgeous color combination (thank you Samantha!)
The colors this week are:
I decided to use this cute cactus set that was a freebie last month from My Favorite Things.  I used my stamping platform and masking to align everything.  Stamping platforms have really changed the way I create.  Five years ago I would not have wanted to try to shade the edges of stamps by stamping over what I just stamped using a handheld positioner.

Now it is so easy.  To get the shading on the gray pots I stamped the pots using my mini-Misti, then used a sponge dauber to put ink on the left side of each stamp and re-stamped.  I did the same to get the shading on the cacti using either the same color or the Coastal Cabana.  I show the technique in detail on this post.  I now use three different platforms - Stampin' Up! Stamparatus, Original Misti and a Mini-Misti.  All three have their own advantages.

This set doesn't have coordinating dies and I'm not much of a fussy cutter so I used Wacky Stitched Rectangles to cut them out.  Since the rectangle was fairly close to the size of a couple of the images I first cut one from velum.  This allowed me to see where to place the die so I wouldn't get too much stitching over the image and the placement was fairly centered.
To align the images on the card itself I used a clear ruler.  When aligning I always find it easiest to do the center image first...

...then the left and right side.  For me the real trick is the clear ruler with the horizontal as well as vertical marks.  You can see that you have the ruler aligned on the bottom of the card and each side and not slightly angled.

Stamps: MFT September Freebie
Dies: Cottage Cutz Wacky Stitched Rectangles

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