July 28, 2018

Christmas in July


Simon's Monday challenge was prompted by a special blog hop and a chance to win some crafting goodies, but Christmas in July--really?


While it was hard to "get in the spirit" when we've had record-breaking high temps this week, I accepted the challenge and here's my entry.


My card may be a little unconventional so I thought you'd appreciate a peek at the main ingredients before I applied a wash of gesso and then Distress Oxide (Peeled Paint) to create the background.


It would be difficult to pull this off without using a strong backing so I pasted the collage onto some thin packaging material which would be cut to size near the end.


Some Liquid Pearls (Ranger) were dotted around the oval, the backing was trimmed and then I pasted brown mulberry paper (because it's thin) on the back to frame it. Before mounting on folded cardstock, I stitched around the border.

The poinsettas were cut out of Graphic 45 Winter Wonderland, the bird is from Wallflower and the calendar page is from Tidings (Tim Holtz Paper Stash).

I used a glue stick for everything except the poinsetta (attached using spray adhesive) and the final mounting (double-sided cellophane tape).

July 27, 2018

Minnie Nolan's Boarding House


My grandmother had a habit of writing on photographs of family members. While maybe not great for the appearance, I do appreciate the documentation.

This photo was the kind that is printed on a postcard. It was identified as "Minnie Nolan's first boarding house in Kansas City."

I used the actual photo (rather than a copy) with its wrinkles, writing and a missing corner and applied a thin wash of off-white acrylic paint to block out the background.

It was mounted behind an Idea-ology Collage Frame dressed up with various pieces of Tim Holtz paper stash (the vines were cut from Wallflower).


The polka dots (Tim Holtz Dots & Floral) were stamped on his new Plain Collage Paper and layered over the upper left corner. I made dots around the oval with Scribbles (3D fabric paint) and distressed some metallic numbers to blend in with the overall color scheme.


I cut a piece of book board to cover the back and painted the edges. I trimmed the frame's border with lines of black and gold metallic inks.


The butterflies are some digital clipart that I printed on vellum and cut-out. The word "legacy" is a Remnant Rub.

I don't think Grandma Nell would mind what I did with her photo, it's better preserved now and her notes have been transferred to the back of the frame.

July 16, 2018

Tell Your Story


Hours have gone by with no end in sight. A work in progress just won't come together and I needed a break. So, I made a tag with random bits from previous pieces and I feel better now.

It's a lesson in remembering to let go of control, to trust your instincts and to embrace the process instead of the end result.

July 08, 2018

Beautiful


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

Stamp Conversion


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