July 08, 2018
A recent purchase (Beautiful Flowers stamp set by Simon Says Stamp) has captured my interest more than most these days. The main flower grouping is really fun to experiment with and the detail is exceptional.
This time, I've stamped the image onto old book paper using brown ink. After it was fussy-cut, I mounted it on a background made with papers from the Wallflower Paper Stash and trimmed it with washi tape.
I filled in the embossed text with white Perfect Pearls and also dabbed it on the flower centers and some of the stamen.
July 05, 2018
I recently purchased a stamping platform and I am over the moon about it! Stamps I avoided in the past because they were difficult to use no longer scare me. And because I want to use ALL my stamps with this new tool, I have converted my collection of wood-mounted stamps to cling-mount.
I want to share some things I learned during the process to help others who might also want to do this. There is already a lot of information on the web but it didn't really prepare me for what I was up against.
You will need to purchase the cling mount sheets. I used a brand called EZMount and buyer beware, there are two sizes: Regular which is 1/8" thick and thin which is 1/16" thick. Go to the manufacturer's website (Crafter's Companion) and the product descriptions will explain the difference. I used 1/8" thick foam for all my stamps but your needs may be different.
This was a good time for me to purge some of my inventory and donate stamps I no longer care for, giving me a better idea of how much cling mount to buy. I only converted my favorites and didn't convert really tiny ones.
Make sure to measure out your stamps on the printed side with the stamp facing up and give yourself some wiggle-room with the margins. This is because it's tricky to lay the stamp down exactly where you want it during the final mounting and you'll be able to trim it more cleanly if you leave a little more room.
I didn't use scissors to trim the stamps. I used a utility knife instead and think it was MUCH MUCH easier. When I came to some curvy parts, I just made tiny stabs around it with the knife--no problem.
You may get some "sticky-stuff" on your knife blade or your fingers. I used paper towels to wipe off the knife blade and gel hand-sanitizer for my fingers. You don't want to transfer any of it to the image-side of your stamp so keeping things clean is kind of important.
Okay, that was the easy-part. The hard part?
Nothing I read on the web prepared me for the challenge of cleaning the stamp's backside once it was removed from the wood base. Each and every stamp came off differently and presented new challenges.
A few peeled off perfectly and required no additional effort--they were ready to remount. Most peeled off the wood base pretty easy but no matter how carefully I worked, remnants of either foam or dried glue or really tacky glue remained on the backside.
The cling-mount instructions state that this side should be clean before mounting and I accepted the challenge. Here are some examples:
In the photo above, the original glue (still VERY tacky) remained on this stamp and I only had to pick away at the few bits of foam, left the glue intact and it was re-mounted.
In this example, the stamp peeled fairly cleanly except for some foam areas and the glue holding it on was dried out and very hard. I used a grout saw which has a sandpaper like edge to scrape away the remaining bits.
Here's another example of what remained after a peel from the block only this time, the remnants (glue and foam) were still somewhat sticky and would be difficult to try to rub off (think price tag on plastic).
So I used a strip of high-adhesion masking tape, rubbed it down over the remaining bits and voila! It pulled off the glue and the foam easy-peasy (wish I'd thought of this sooner).
In my last example, the foam and glue that remained on the stamp was roughed up with my scraper first and then I used masking tape to pull off the loose material.
If you are still reading along, I'll end this post with a couple more tips/suggestions that you might consider:
- It will be tempting but don’t use "Goo-Gone" or "Goof-Off" or similar solvent-based products as they are not recommended for use on rubber and could damage your stamp.
- If your stamp is of a ruler or similar image where having a really straight edge is important, don't forget to mount it on the foam as straight as you can. The rubber is flexible and kind of floppy and that could work against you during your placement.
- Before remounting, it's a good time to give the image-side of the stamps a good cleaning and also to re-trim problem areas that the manufacturer may have missed.
- Do the easy, least favorite stamps first until you get the hang of it.
In the end, I am SO GLAD I tackled this and I can't wait to give new life to stamps that will shine under the control of my stamping platform.
My storage needs have changed and I plan to blog about a rather unique solution at a future date that you may enjoy reading about as well.
Until next time, Happy Stamping!!
July 04, 2018
June 24, 2018
A journal page to share with you today made for Simon's Monday challenge--this week's theme is "Transport It." It was a chance to embrace my passion for collage and to try out a new addition to my craft stash--Idea-ology Plain Collage Paper (Tim Holtz).
Over the years, I have amassed a sizeable collection of images taken from old picture books (no worries--they were destined for the trash) and it was a pleasure to find the material I used for the background.
I also used an image from the net that was fussy cut and pasted over the top. The foreground paper is from Tim's French Industrial paper stash. The text is a Tim Holtz Clippings Sticker.
The Plain Collage Paper was used to stamp the typewriter keys (Tim Holtz Documented) and also the postage stamp (Hampton Art 2010).
Here's a close-up view and you can see how transparent this collage paper can be. I find it superior to other tissue papers I have used in the past and know I will get a lot of use out of it. There are also printed versions with flowers, birds, and script.
In case you are wondering, a penny farthing is a high-wheeled bike and I suspect the driver of the motorcycle with sidecar may have been the photographer.
That's the Hammersmith Bridge, London in 1900. The city skyline is Florence, Italy, and the postage stamp and the stamped script (Inkadinkado) are French. Now that's traveling!
June 22, 2018
|Click on photo for larger, lightbox view|
Someday I should start saving all my tag experiments gone bad so that you can see how this format is really meant to be my chance to try new things and to learn from my mistakes.
Occasionally, I get it right (in my mind, anyway) and those are the tags I blog about. This one, in particular, is a good example of what I'm talking about.
The paint I used was initially transparent so variations in flower color are due to the background (an image transfer over a book page) showing through. I applied another layer of a more opaque color on the flowers near the top to achieve more uniformity.
It was easy to lift paint off the embossed areas even after the paint was dry and I'll definitely try this technique again.
I thought the play of text and page margin under the face would be interesting but it was too severe so I applied a strip of Tim Holtz Tissue Wrap along the edge to soften the contrast.
To balance out the bottom I added text with texture paste and a homemade stencil. The paste was white. I've learned from experience that it's almost impossible to tint the paste black before you apply it because the best you can expect is maybe a dark gray.
So I took a teeny-tiny paintbrush dipped in black ink and painted the texture paste after it had dried. I've never tried tinting the paste with ink instead of paint so maybe I'll give that a go on a future tag. I also wonder if there's a black texture medium that you can buy?
June 13, 2018
What to do, what to do...
I can't bring myself to use the papers included in this month's Simon card kit because they are just too pretty! Seriously.
And I couldn't bear to cover up the background of a tag made with a new embossing folder (Tim Holtz 3D Botanical) because it was just too pretty, too!
So I tried to think of a design where I could leave most of it showing and here's what I came up with.
I really played around with distressing the background. I embossed a rather thin piece of pink paper (after slightly damping it first) and then I gave it a coat of Krylon clear matt finish to seal and protect it.
Then I went crazy with gesso, inks, and paints--brushing on, wiping off (and even a little bit of sanding), just to see what worked the best to bring out those glorious embossed details.
Who could blame me for not wanting to cover this beauty up?!
The girls are Paper Dolls (Tim Holtz) and the butterflies came from the Graphics Fairy which I printed in miniature on vellum and then cut out.
Some tiny jewels (tinted with alcohol ink), a scrap of vintage sheet music, a Remnant Rub (text) and a border made with dots of Liquid Pearls were also used.
I tinted the Paper Dolls with transparent acrylic paint and the white of the pearls and lace were made with a Gelly Roll pen. I had a tiny butterfly that was just the right size for sitting atop the little girl's hair bow.
I'm linking this up to Simon's Monday Challenge Blog, this week's theme is Anything But A Card.
Now, what to do about those pretty papers...
June 07, 2018
This week I learned that "all things bright and beautiful" is the first line of a poem/hymn written in 1848 by Mrs. Cecil Alexander whose published work was called Hymns for Little Children.
I've also spent the week converting wood stamps to cling mount and testing them (a project not for the faint of heart).
So to take a break and to link up with Simon's Monday challenge, I used various stamped "test" remnants along with an old book page, a vintage photo and some washi tape to create a collaged journal page.
I also had to try a technique I discovered this week where you stamp with Distress Oxide ink and then smear it just a bit with a blending tool. The page border was created this way and I have Stacy Hutchinson (via Tim Holtz) to thank for sharing this tip.
Stamp credits: Inkadinkado, Tim Holtz, Penny Black
May 29, 2018
Embracing the old and the new and some extra-ordinary joy with this tag, made on-the-fly today because I could and I did.
I have a lot of side-projects going on related to reorganizing my crafting space. Like converting some favorite wooden stamps to cling now that I have a stamping platform. I tested one of them today (French Collage) using a Big & Juicy stamp pad (remember these?) on a manila tag. And I just couldn't leave well enough alone. So....
I curated a Found Relative (the latest release has new images) and fussy-cut it like I used to before there were Paper Dolls.
I cut out some images from a newly purchased stamp set called Stamp Collector, then foraged around for more paper bits and found the leaf/vine cutting and the polka dot paper (I save most of my scraps).
Put it all together with a glue stick, add some Remnant Rubs and Scribbles (the dotted border) and there you have it. Extra Ordinary Joy!
May 27, 2018
After working on this card, I now have new respect for the challenges that this art form presents and for the artisans who make it look so effortless.
Mixed-media? No problem--you can just paint over a part you don't like. Card making requires more planning and if you make a mistake sometimes you just have to start over.
But practice makes perfect, right? So I plan to do just that and purchased the June Card Kit from Simon Says Stamp. It features a lovely stamp set called Beautiful Flowers and I have used it for this card.
The kit came with three dots (red, yellow, blue) of an artist-grade watercolor paint from Daniel Smith and this was the only paint I used to tint this stamping.
Using the science of complimentary colors becomes critical in this scenario because you must tone down the primary pigments for the colors to look more natural.
The border was made with kraft paper using the new Tim Holtz 3D embossing folder called Botanical (also included in the kit) and machine-stitching provided some accent.
Otherwise, it's a bit of a plain jane but I didn't think it needed anything else since the flower image is such a show stopper. Thanks to this new stamp set, I now have some sentiment stamps that I was sorely lacking which will help me with my new quest in card-making.
May 24, 2018
Inspired by a song (this week's Monday challenge at SSS), here's a tag that celebrates the turn of the last century when everyone was waltzing to a popular tune called "Let Me Call You Sweetheart."
The background reminds me of a vintage tin ceiling tile. It was made using bronze metallic cardstock and the new Sizzix 3D texture fade (Tim Holtz) called Botanical.
The portrait is an image transfer using this photo. Because the original background was dark, I used the tip of an Exacto knife to scratch in lines to lighten it and create better definition.
The frame border was made with dots of 3D fabric paint called Scribbles.
The flowers and perfume label (Tim Holtz) were thinned-out and then fussy-cut to create a more delicate appearance.
I pasted a ribbon along the right hand side using fabric glue (works great and doesn't soak through) and my strip of text is from the Idea-ology Clippings Stickers collection.
And for anyone out there who's not familiar with the song that inspired me here's a link--take a listen!
May 17, 2018
After playing with numerous stencils to create this journal page, it became apparent that I must get them better organized. I've ordered some clear vinyl sleeves and plan to place them all in a 3-ring binder.
This way, I'll know what I've got and use them more often as they really are a "joy" to work with.
Stencil It is this week's theme at Simon's Monday Challenge Blog and except for the red stamped script, washi tape and minor line work, everything you see on the page was made with a stencil (some store-bought, some hand made).
After applying the stencils, I gave the page a light coat of gesso then began to bring out the lines in the large lotus flower with a Pitt pen.
The next view shows additional line work and the beginning of value adjustments to put back some color. The nice thing about stencils is you can line them up with the original printing to finesse them as needed.
I added additional stencils of tiny leaves and the large text, some washi tape and a bit more line work to balance out the page.
Here are some close-ups you might enjoy--the last one shows how I used a stencil to mask the original printing and went over it with a text stamp.
May 05, 2018
Time. Oh what a topic and such a precious commodity! It's the theme at Simon this week and here's what I made.
Crafted from some Idea-ology bits (pocket watch, flowers) and the new Worn Wallpaper, it was assembled with a homemade box and basswood strips. The support for the pocket watch is a small wooden tag turned upside down.
A vintage image was placed under the dome of the watch and I embellished it with a ball chain. The quote is an image transfer.
April 26, 2018
This moth was clipped from some vintage Tim Holtz kraft paper and it was labeled as a "Polyommatus Theo." Now you know.
It became a decoration for this greeting card made from other Tim papers as well as an old book page. I seldom add sentiments so I can use the card for any occasion.
The flowers (Stampers Anonymous Flower Garden set) had another life before they became a part of this card. When a tag I was working on turned south, I cut them off the tag and reused them.
I used a transparent white paint to fill-in the flowers and the Distress inks underneath bled through. This explains the coloring you see in the final piece.
The text stamp is Stamper's Anonymous Ledger Script and the dots are Perfect Pearls and there's also a bit of machine stitching (something you don't see on a store-bought card).
I'm linking to Simon's Monday Challenge blog for this week's theme which is Flower Power.