scrappystickyinkymess


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Where I repair a ruined rubber stamp

Yeah. I am a bit chaotic with my supplies. And in the past I was not always very careful with them, either unknowing of the dangers or unmindful of them. I often used acrylic paint on my red rubber stamps and was not as careful as I should have been about cleaning them off. As a result, I have had this stamp, which I have always loved, sitting in my stamp drawer, unusable because of the blank spot that will not stamp:

It was really a combo of two careless events – one was putting the stamp away still choked with acrylic paint and the other was putting it in a drawer with another stamp’s wood block pressing down on the stamps surface. It left a visible dent and a blank spot in the stamped image.

No amount of pressure on the block would make that image stamp in that area! I could feel the paint crust on the surface and the dip in the etched rubber. First, I squirted a bit of alcohol on to the surface and gave it a good scrub. I could immediately feel a difference. Then I unmounted it form the wooden block, and washed the surface. I wanted to get ALL the alcohol off, lest THAT damage the rubber.

In order to give that dented area a better chance of stamping well, I stuck the now unmounted stamp to a bit of clear plastic and marked an X right where the stamp was still stamping fainter than it should:

Then, when stamping the image, I can put just a bit more pressure right behind the area that was dented – sadly removing the paint didn’t completely solve the problem – and get a good image.

Now, most likely this is a stamp I am going to use as a background text layer in my art journal, so it giving a pristine and clear stamped image isn’t critical, but solving the big gap in the image was. And I did. It is quite satisfying to bring something back from the dead and put what could have been the replacement cost towards something NEW instead. It really was an easy fix once I diagnosed the problem. What do you have in your stash you can revive? Maybe you are more respectful of your supplies than I was, but if not, maybe have a look and see what you can bring back to life! Then be sure to tell me what you fixed and how – I know I have other disasters that I don’t want to bin if I don’t have to!


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Altering stamps for art journaling

Yesterday I shared a page I made with some Janet Klein images that were altered to make them more usable for art journaling. This is how they began life.

Cute, no doubt, but less useful (for ME) in my art journal. I love the technique that MANY people do, of creating figures with more “normal” heads but amorphous blobs for the body. I am a fan, but don’t have a ton of appropriate images. Plus, the journal I am working on at the moment is my very small one made from a free Roben-Marie class. The scale of many of the things one MIGHT use is all wrong. These stamps are just the right size.

While I love the faces and the body bits, those hats! Interestingly, I found that cutting them off produced what I needed. That little dip from removing the cup?

Perfectly filled by flipping the cup, minus handle upside down, creating a little hat.

And that technique works for a couple of them. The birthday cake, when cut away, leaves a hatless lady that can be used as such (see final page) but the hats can also be shuffled around to fit all of them.

And other hat or hat-like things can be brought in as well!

Nice! On the final page I also used a large flower stamp, stamped on deli-paper then coloured and coated (both sides) with GLOSS (not matte) medium on a non-stick surface, like a page protector, and left to dry. This creates what I have seen called crystalline paper.

You can sort of see the shiny translucent nature of the bits, and cut in a certain way they make nice butterfly wings!

I did say there were three things I altered, so lastly, and the most scary, I cut into a stamp set. Yep. I have this stamp and die set, but the dies actually don’t include the little words, and those words could be very useful in many other ways.

With micro-tip scissors I snipped away the text

and used it on the final page.

I think this cluster of figures idea is one that I will explore more. In fact, I had a book delivered that I want to play with, that has some tools (sort of) inside that I think will be useful in this.

Watch this space! And HAPPY NEW YEAR’s EVE! 2021 cannot come soon enough…


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WOYWW 604 – altered stamps

Happy WOYWW to all – and creeping closer to the final days of 2020. They cannot come soon enough for me.

I finished an art journal page that I quite like. It is what is on my desk today:

Yes, careful watchers will note that I now own a set of Janet Klein images. I have commented for many weeks on WOYWW how tempted I have been by them. Mostly I have seen the little people with flower eyes, which I like well enough, but when I saw these, I just couldn’t resist.

Ignore the rubbish stamping – it was more for demonstration purposes than for use in the final page above! I almost passed them by, because of the head-toppers. I have been wanting images that will work as collage-y figures in my art journal but oh my, that fruit bowl! Anyway, once I got them in my hands, a little knife work and they were transformed. I ended up using them exactly as I intended when they fell into my basket.

A few posts back I mentioned I was on a mission to find supplies that could be used in different ways, to make standard issue items more unique to me. There are three things on that page that have been altered or used in a different way. I wonder if you can spot them all? I have a few step-by-step sort of photos to take but I will be sharing probably tomorrow.

Hope you all had the best socially-distanced Christmas that you could – we are still working our way thru family Zooms, cause if Thanksgiving taught us anything it was that massive multi-houshold Zooms are rarely satisfying. I prefer smaller groups, so that means many more Zooms!

I have not made it thru the list from last week, as of today as I type, but expect to do so by the time WOYWW posts tomorrow. Here are a few more can’t comment links that I like to add to let people know that I visit even if I can’t leave a comment to prove it! ~Stacey had a great idea for using monogram letters as gift tags! I will totally do this next year. Dorlene is another who often posts scrapbook layouts that I love seeing and can never say so.

See you in 2021!!


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Art Journal text for not very confident writers

Well, that sums me up in a nutshell. I love adding text to my pages, but my lettering is not great. I know I should be fearless, like I keep telling myself, but I am just not. I also know with time it is likely I WILL get better. But what to do in the meantime?

I am always finding things when I am tidying up and organizing. I found a ton of old scrapbooking frames and journaling spots and I thought how can I use those in my art journals?

Turns out, LOTS of ways. Even the journaling spots, which I thought might be a bit useless, actually work well. Hands up if you have a ton of these and haven’t used them in ages?

They work well if you stamp them with some sort of very light ink, then use the lines as guides.

And then cut them out to add them to a page. This is just the block, plunked down on an old page, to show you how it might look:

I love that I can make 50 samples if I need to and stick the best one on the page – and all that practice has to help me improve!

The frames offer many more options, I think. Just filling the space with quirky lettering looks cute.

A little not-perfect drop shadow looks good. You can also stamp on old gel prints, watercoloured backgrounds, whatever.

Drawing a few curved lines, you can do some funky lettering inside the frame

Then cut it out to stick to your page

And if you REALLY are scared about lettering, you can add pre-printed bits of text (either with the blank paper inside the frame or you can cut that away, leaving the page to show thru)

Or you could stamp the letters within the frame – helpful if your stamping is dodgy or your placement is, or if you want to alter the stamping – like maybe stamp one word on each line, rather than the way it is laid out in the stamp:

Or use simple stamping as a jumping off point and do that thing where you make the ends into triangles, to funkify the text a bit. I have plain letters in many sizes, and there are LOTS of ways to alter plain letters – bullet journal lettering tutorials always seem to have a ton of simple ideas.

This is so photo-heavy, sorry, but there were a lot of samples. I am not so much altering these old supplies, and I am only sort of using them in a non-traditional way. – a frame is a frame, a journaling spot is well, a journaling spot for keeping text aligned. It’s more about looking at my stash of stuff and finding a way to use them TODAY. And the practice I get taking the time to make something a little better than just my writing on the page is a bonus!


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Altering common art journal supplies to make them yours

Merry Christmas! Hope you all had a good one. I am excited cause I found a few new art supplies under the tree and I have been playing with them. Well, between all the holiday movies my darling daughter has insisted we watch, and all the cooking that we have had to do. Seems like the fact Christmas was not the usual affair didn’t sink in till we were faced with a very full fridge and a dawning realization that we were only THREE people this year. So my holiday goal is to not shop till after New Year and I think I can do it!

Anyway, back to the art. I have mentioned that I tend to watch a LOT of art journaling videos while I walk on the treadmill. I have my favourites, and they all have their favourite supplies. Some of them (a LOT of them) are sponsored videos, or monetized in some way, so I always watch them with that in mind.

I have resisted, mightily, buying a Dina Wakely face stamp. Don’t get me wrong, I love them SO much, but I just felt like every page I used them on would be more about HER art and less about MINE. But in the end I caved. I bought one.

I like the words too, and that was probably what swung me towards this one over another. Well, that and availability LOL! I wanted to figure out a way to alter it to make it more useful to me, to make it look more unique. I liked the different halves of the face and that was what gave me my idea.

I started my masking off the mid-line of the face and stamping just half on deli paper.

Then, I inked the same half and turned the deli paper over. with the stamp on the desk I lined up the midpoint as best I could and pressed the deli paper on to the stamp.

Not perfect, but then on the right (forward facing) side, I drew over the face stamped on the back and fixed any little issues with alignment

Not bad, if I do say so myself. As it is on deli paper, over a background, it all melds together even better.

And adding the catch lights makes it even better. Ages ago, I saw Teesha Moore do this with her collage images (Good lord! I just checked – that video was from 2009! Crikey) and I was reminded of that trick when I saw it again it on a few more recent videos. It really makes a difference, don’t you think?

What’s more, I also have the OTHER side of the face that I can mirror, so I get two versions with one stamp!

I think by masking off, for example, the squiggle over the eyebrow on one side it could make it all look less symmetrical. And this technique would ALSO let me stamp on the reverse to use the half-face along the edge of the other side of a page. So stamp a right-side image then reverse it so I get the half I want along the right edge of the page rather than the left edge.

It is a small thing, but as my proficiency in drawing faces is, well, pretty much non-existent, this lets me use the image in a way that is unique to me. Well, until someone reads this and does the same LOL! This is one of my goals in 2021 – find as many ways as I can to make mass-produced supplies my own. I like the challenge and while I may falter after a month (because I mean really? how many options are there?) I will give it my best shot and see how it goes. And I suspect future purchases might slip into my basket only after I have considered how appropriate they are for altering…


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In limbo…

Well, the election results are still up in the air. Nothing else to say till they count all the votes.

To keep my mind and hands occupied, I made a little art journal. I have finished the basic construction of the Amazon packaging one, and made the signatures. The watercolour sheets I had were too big, but with careful planning, I was able to get the signatures for that larger journal (pages are 6×10 inches) AND signatures of 6 x just shy of 5 inches so I decided to make a smaller journal too. My plan is for this to be a use-it-up journal , where I can offload extra paint, stencil-stamp, roll off a brayer, etc.

The construction of the journal itself was prompted by some little 5×7 inch canvas-covered boards. I suspect I bought them eons ago for my daughter to paint on and I had a few unused ones. With a bit of canvas I was able to make a cover.

The canvas sheets I had were not big enough so I had to overlap them.

Lots of clamps of many different kinds held it in place – I used strong PVA as the adhesive. 

I used the bookbinding cradle I made for punching the signatures and I have to say I am super happy with how it worked. 

The cover ended up looking like this – really, there are no amazing techniques here, just paint and water and stencils and stamps.  OK, well there was ONE thing, my substitute for nickle Azo gold, which I don’t have, that worked out pretty well.  I’ll explain in another post.

The little skull beads are from knitting stitch marker making – I have loads of them. The inside looks like so – the first signatures is full of paint leftovers so I never have to begin with a blank page, and all the colours are the same as the cover.

The deli paper prints  on the inside of the covers are from that other page in my big journal.  Still love them! The back cover gives a hit that I am not yet successful in pushing the election out of my head!  The phrase is a riff on the thing they say at the end of campaign ads in the USA, My name is XXX and I approved this message. I thought it was pretty appropriate.

My stamping of single letters wasn’t too bad – ever so slightly wonky but overall pretty good. 

I guess I will have to make more of that deli paper – really, I can’t even say how much  love it and how many ideas I have for how to use it.  And it was so easy too! 

What I used up that was old or has been languishing in my stash:

  • the canvas boards
  • the canvas sheets
  • Pearl-ex in Aztec Gold
  • stamps bought on sale for about £3, never used
  • little skull beads
  • black baker’s twine
  • a Gelli print from at least 5 years ago
  • and used up the last of my deli paper prints from last week
  • needle tip bottle still filled with black paint, still flowing freely

All in all that was pretty good! I have managed to resurrect my bottle of crackle paint, and tested it – it still cracks!  I have four more bottles, all but one still factory sealed, and all dry as bones in the desert.  I will perform the same operation on them and then share how I did it.  I will def. use that on my next cover or page!


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WOYWW 596 – am I good as hell?

Happy WOYWW y’all.

Well, I am pre-typing this cause it is likely I am going to be up all night watching election results, just to get an idea of where things are heading. The election isn’t over until all the votes are counted, so unless the results are overwhelmingly obvious, by the time this posts I’m not sure I will know if I am, in fact, Feelin’ Good as Hell or not. I prepped a stencil just in case.

and closer – can you tell that is actually Lizzo?

The only difficult part was adding all the bridges to ensure the text didn’t have big open areas – which I like for some things, not for this. I am in process, testing a few stencils. I have about three stencil books – this one was a tip off from a WOYWW desker, but I’ve forgotten who now. This stencil might be the other option if things go the wrong way… 

I am testing the image on deli paper so I can lay it on a page to check for size, etc. and also testing a stark white and subtle shading effect. I also cut a few other stencils – cause I am still on the look out for the best face.  This one is stark and simple and might fit the bill:

I have had this next image for a while and at this point have no idea where it came from – it might have been from a now defunct stencil site or just some random image I liked.  But I do like it – a lot.

Not sure if I will add them on the deli paper, or book paper or if I will stencil directly on a page.  I also snapped a photo of the deli paper page from the other day, all stuck down.  I almost hate to cover it with anything, it’s so pretty!

And very lastly, I have some stamps I ordered from the USA.  Sadly, no UK seller has them and and no one was willing to order them for me.  Luckily the seller, Rubber Moon, does ship internationally.  It took about a week or maybe 10 days to get here.  I can’t wait to use them.  I add the ink pad so you can see they are actually pretty big stamps!

So that’s me for this week.  Hope you are all weathering the lock-down OK and are keeping your spirits up and still making art.  I’ll be making my visits, as many as possible, today.  Looking forward to both the distraction and the inspiration in equal parts!

(and ps. At the moment I am most definitely NOT feelin’ good as hell…)

 


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Mount for unmounted stamps – my best use for the Creative Palette (and a cheap alternative)

So there is history here.  You might like to go back and read a few previous posts (or not, as you prefer.)

  • My review of the CP v the Gelli plate and where I die cut it with my Sizzix

That last link is full of warnings – press the stamp HARD onto the CP.  Don’t use it in this way if you worry about messing up whatever you are stamping on to. Shake the mount.  Wash the backs. blah blah blah.

I kept finding that, with every use, the CP surface got less and less sticky and washing it was too much of a bother if I had to do it every time I wanted to stamp an unmounted stamp.

I store most of my unmounted stamps like so:

In binders, and then in baseball card sleeves:

I have not ever wanted to go to the expense of mounting all the stamps, and bulking up the binders.  So over the years I have come up with a few different methods that work for me.  Generally, a strip of strong double-sided tape on a clear mount will do the trick.

I bought a bottle of Aileens Tack It (over & over) cause lots of people recommended it as a good way to make the red rubber, unmounted stamps into “cling” stamps.  It works, sure, but then you have to store all these sticky backed stamps. Ah … No.

Fast forward to the post of CP as mount and….an idea!

Yep.

Why this works – first, the CP is just a bit spongy.  Not too spongy, but enough that it acts as both the mount and the cushion and gives a nice image (might have been nice had I actually shown that – sorry, I’m out of practice at blogging) especially when stamping on to my cork-floor-tile-in-a-big-ziplock-bag stamping mat. Second, there is only the couple of CP chunks that are sticky. Easy to store.  I keep a lot of plastic packaging.  This is from a Spellbinders die.  I just flipped the halves so rather than tightly encasing the die, there is a slim open area that fits two of the sticky CP bits.

Perfect fit.

Now, this makes sense for me because I already own a (mostly useless for the kind of monoprinting I like to do) Creative Palette.  But the CP is not widely for sale anymore (or not that I could find) and if you don’t already have one, this is not a good enough reason to go buy one.

As a cheap alternative, I had a go at coating a piece of sticky-backed fun foam with the Tack It.  It worked just fine.

There is a slight issue with the fun foam being quite thin.  When you press to stamp the sticky surface can just grab the paper – I found this to be most problematic with tissue paper, not at all an issue with a paint-coated journal page, for example.  I did not find it as much an issue with the CP-as-mount.

In hunting for my CP package, I unearthed a nice gelli-print, so I can add at least one decent looking image for you LOL!:

Now I must decide what to do with it.

If you have a Creative Palette gathering dust, why not turn it into a set of stamp mounts? If you don’t have one, try the sticky-backed fun foam.  Let me know if it works for you!


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Gelli plate play – it’s been tooooo long

NOTE:  Might be worth reading the next post before you embark on the stamping technique!

I have not really felt up to much crafty play for quite a while.  BUT I have been dreaming about the Gelli plate and remembering how much fun it was to play with.  I watched a video – well more than one, I’m sure – about resist transferring of a magazine image on to the plate, which you then pull off by doing a basic, heavy-bodied paint pull.  This one is the first one I saw, I think.

There was mention in some videos about the combination of the ink and glossy paper quality making a big difference.  Looking thru may magazines, which are mostly scrapbooking ones, I came across my ancient Rubberstampmadness mags.

The paper seemed thick and glossy and it also seemed that the image weren’t fashion shots but art and stamp samples.

There are a lot of stamp catalogs full of cool images, and some printed art work, like the BEAUTY image here that would all make very cool prints or additions to other art.

 

And guess what?  They worked a treat.

One video mentioned that some people had success with printing on an ink jet printer and doing the same process.  I did not.  I tried printing on pain paper, photo paper, on coated matt cardstock, on sticky label paper, etc. etc.  and nothing worked.

So that gave me a bit of an idea.  If I stamped on to the glossy paper, might that transfer? I experimented with about 8 different inks and a stamp.  The ones I had the highest hopes for (Archival Ink, Clearly Better clear stamp ink, Staz-on and Memento) were all fails.  Not expecting much I tried Distress ink, Distress Oxide ink, Adirondack and Kaleidoscope.  Also all fails.

Just on a whim I tried PIGMENT ink.  Crazy, but it worked.

I did have a few fails using cheaper paint but the Basics was good pretty much every time.

The process is simple.

1. Stamp the image using pigment ink. Get a good coating of ink on the stamp.

Sorry for the poor quality there – I had already used the image before I realized the photo was crap.  Doh! I suspect things like Versamagic or maybe even chalk ink MIGHT work, and COLOUR pigment ink will add a different dimension to it if it works! – I’ll try that next and see. But this is very generic black pigment ink.

I let the image dry but when I tried to dry it with the heat gun then transfer it, it didn’t work.  So I think the ink needs to by dry-ISH but not super dry.

2. Roll the paint onto the gelli plate.  I find the darker colours work best for this stage. You need a thin coat but not too thin.  Press the stamped image into the paint – I burnished one with a teflon spreader. one with my fingernail, one with a spoon.  Just make sure you get good contact.

LET IT DRY.

Remember the old Creative Palette that I hated?  I used one of the bits to roll out the white paint and get a thin coat on the brayer.  But you can also load the brayer by rolling in in paint on scrap paper.  Not too thick a coat.

As mentioned in a few of the videos, if you can SEE the image slightly, it’ll be a good print. Pull it.  Give the back a good rub.

And the coolest thing is that the text from the magazine transfers too!

I am so happy to have had a play.  It was seriously fun.  And now I know I can use my stamps as well as magazine images I am looking forward to more playtime!

Maybe even more regular blogging?  Maybe…..


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My ATCs done!

Boy, am I out of practice!  But I managed to finish my ATCs so I am happy.  And I not only used and old tool that I thought was only fit for the bin (the Creative Palette) but I used something I bought and had not used yet.  It is a little stamp set from Tiger that cost me all of £3 and is so useful.  Doubly so since I bought two, recognizing that it would be useful to have multiples of letters and more than one upper case set.

You can see it comes with both a circle and a flat piece.  What I love is that the flat piece can be arranged either in a long strip of in two or more lines.  I may even get a third set to extend the amount of typesetting I can do.  To be fair, the font is dead simple, not anything to add any real style, and since I stamped the text then cut it out, printing the text would have worked as well.  But had I decided to stamp directly onto the background I could have.

You can see a couple of the ATCs – here is the whole set:

You can see I added a few little resin dots here and there.  I actually really like them! And it got me doing SOMETHING creative so for that it is all good.

Now off to help clear the dining room and hubby’s office – having one hardwood floor sanded and oiled, and a new wood floor added to make hubby’s home office warmer in winter.  The cold air actually BLOWING up from below the floor made working in there a challenge.  Also, dearest son will be visiting from tomorrow, as he breezes thru Europe on his way back to LA.  So I may be otherwise occupied and back to not crafting for a few more days.  Oh well, it was fun and I’m sure I’ll get back to it soon….

fingers crossed…