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Box card – SDC 151

OK so I am going to go out on a limb here and call this a BOX, for the purposes of the Stampotique Designers Challenge.  It’s been a LONG time since I did one of these but as I was using some Stampotique stamps I figured I’d check.  OK technically it may not conform to the ideal definition of a box, but what the heck? I’ve already done the definitive BOX for an SDC ages back anyway:

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That series of nested boxes was for SDC 9 (What Summer Means to Me) and can be seen more fully in my Stampotique menu at the top. THIS is for SDC 151!  Blimey.

Anyway, DS was after a card to give to his GF and wanted something complex and interactive.  He never asks for much…. so I had the idea to make one of the pop-up box cards.  As I said yesterday I was 90% done with it when I told him the quote I wanted to use: You’re my sun in the morning and my moon at night (from a Springsteen song but sung by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes) and mentioned it would have been nice had I thought to make it two-tone/double-sided.  DOH!  Me and my big mouth..

I had to then re-do the box part and add another side to the pop-up section.  I considered a number of option for the box itself, but wasn’t happy with one solid colour.  I wanted the Morning side to be light and bright, and the Night side to be dark.  Nothing for it but figuring out how to adapt the box.

I started with two pieces of A4 card – one black, one cream.

Each piece was 5 3/4 x the width of the card.  A4 is a bit narrower and a bit longer than US letter, but that is fine.  Each piece is creased at 1 inch, at 4 inches, at 5 inches and at 8 inches.

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On A4 card that leaves you with about 1/4 inch at the side.  US letter it will be more like 1/2 inch.

In order to join the pieces and to neaten up the slot that allows the pop-up, I cut down about 1/4 inch past the final crease. You can make your pop-up any size you want, but try to keep it to no wider than 3 3/4 inches so you leave about 1 inch on either side of the pop up.  Crease between the cuts.

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Fold back along the new crease line and stick to the back of the box.

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Your slot is now nice and neat and the side flaps can be joined to create a base with one side one colour and the other side another!

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You can obviously tailor this to whatever size you want, so long as you use the basic principles of having the distance between the edge and the first crease the SAME as the distance between the second and third crease, and the distance between the first crease and the second the SAME as the distance between the third crease and the last crease.

Creases:  1 inch (distance of 1 inch ) at 4 inches (distance of 3 inches), at 5 inches (distance of 1 inch) and at 8 inches (distance of  3 inches)

Keep in mind that is for 1/2 of the box base.  Frankly, I couldn’t have made one this big, where the box when collapsed nearly completely covered the pop-up, from one sheet without buying a HUGE piece of cardstock.  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

After that it is exactly the same as the basic card – I knew what I wanted to make, knew how to do it, but had NO IDEA what it was called!  After an unreasonably long hunt I found this tutorial.  She calls it a free-standing pop-up card.  Works for me… Obviously the tutorial is for a solid, one-colour cardstock base, far easier but smaller.

Here it is!

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Oh and just BTW, it looks like it would fit in a C5 envelope.  I didn’t have one, so I just collected the scraps from my desk and decorated an plain old mailing envelope.

MORNING side:

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and NIGHT side:

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You can see that the card is not totally flat.  When pushed flat-flatJust the heart shows.

Popped up:

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and

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The box-base allows the free-standing of the card, and the bits that are hidden provide a place for whatever sappy nonsense DS wants to add.

Phew.  Hope she likes it.  Given she spend an afternoon here playing with the Gelli plate with ME, and she is into art in general, I’m betting she will.

Hope it all makes sense but if not, feel free to ask and I’ll try to clarify if I can!

 


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More about pencil eraser stamps and placement

I still have DS in town (and still a list of things to do for him before he heads back, mostly clothing repair – you see? I just KNEW there was sewing in my future, I just hoped it would be quilting!) and DD is home sick from school, so this is just another quickie.

Following on from yesterday, I did eventually find my larger size punchinella.   I just KNEW the size was perfect to use as a guide for stamping a uniform pattern with the tiny eraser stamps, and I was right.

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The width of my punchinella is about 3 1/2 inches, but it is very very easy to reposition and carry on.  Even so, just a 6 inch (measured from one full circle to another full circle) length produces a grid of 3 x 6, which would still work widthwise for many cards.

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LOL!  My eraser carving is not expert but some of them I quite like.  Remove the punchinella and…

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I must have gotten a smudge of brown on the side of my finger cause there are some smudges there, but as this is a sample it doesn’t really matter much.  But it does show you the idea. Personally I think it’s a lot easier than drawing a grid, and a lot more reliable than eyeballing it. And you could perhaps pick out different patterns – I can see how you might make an arrow, or a chevron or straight lines or triangles…

But not a circle.  But as I mentioned yesterday,  other stencils work as well.  Not sure who makes this one, but someone will recognize it, I’m sure.

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For the outermost ring of stamping, there is PLENTY of room.  For the next one in, it’s a close fit, so a stamp like I’ve used (the starburst one) works, but the other one wouldn’t – anything that depends on the full diameter of the eraser to show the pattern won’t work.  Maybe another similar stencil will?  Nothing I have carved fit the tiny holes of the smallest circle but just a dot from a bullet-tip marker works.

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I think I really need to store these pencils someplace where I won’t forget I have them.  I tend to do that.  Now back to laundry and sewing.

 

 


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Mixed media – pre-prep homemade bits

I often start something without a clear idea of the final outcome.  I mean I have an IDEA, but not a vision of the final piece.  I tend to riffle thru my stash and the debris on my desk and that leads me where the piece wants to go.  Problem is I have a LOT of stuff, but I never seem to have EXACTLY what I see in my head.  For example, I like embossed resist papers – I don’t own a single one.  I love big swirls, but I’ve pretty much used up all the chipboard ones I’ve acquired over the years.  When I think Oh that would work there… I am then too lazy  or too engrossed in the process to stop, switch gears, and make something specifically for the piece I am working on.  And my pockets are just not deep enough to buy everything I would like to have on hand.

Thinking about stuff I wish I had, I thought I would take a day and MAKE things that I know I will use, get them all ready to go and then when I think a lovely swirl will fill that space perfectly… I just grab it.

So I did two things.  First I grabbed lots of plain white heavy cardstock.  I stamped a bunch of border stamps and embossed them with white embossing powder. I made a couple of sheets, mixing up thin and fat borders.

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Now, when I am layering up clusters of papers and embellishments, and I think a little embossed resist strip will add just the texture I want, I only have to grab the sheet, cut out one, spritz with a bit of ink to match….

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then maybe stamp over it with some Distress ink.  That whisks away from the embossing, and the strip is ready to tuck into a layered group.

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For a selection of swirls and some die cut border pieces (if I want more texture) I went to my Cricut mini and Craft room.  I figure as long as I am cutting, why not make a morning of it? LOL!

I set up the mat and went crazy.

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I also did a mat of borders and one of banners.  Then I thought to myself should I cut two of each to stick together, for a more chipboard-like piece?  When I mist or ink or paint these they are going to droop and flop, even out of heavy heavy card. I had an idea.  A bit like the acrylic medium technique for sealing things, I thought why not seal them with a coat of Gesso?  It will give them a little more body and then they will be ready for adding to mixed media style things in my file folder book.

I brayered the Gesso on to the Gelli plate and laid on the piece – yes, I know the bigger plate would make more sense, but the small one was what was on my desk.  Told you I was lazy….

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Brayering over the back coated both sides.  In the end I had a stack of them drying.

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I didn’t waste the Gesso either.  I pulled a print off the plate and used the spray inks on it. Cool.

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I like the shadow effect where there is no Gesso.  I’m sure I’ll find a use for it…

And I still have the waste from the cut-outs.  They will surely work for stencils and the cardstock is thick enough they will work with modelling paste as well, at least a few times as they are in no way washable!

I know it’s a calculated risk, cutting and stamping a bunch of stuff that I might not use, but I feel that by thinking thru my style, and my process , I’ve identified those things I most often wish I had on hand.  That makes it more likely I WILL actually use them.  We shall see.  I have plans for one of the swirls already and I’m interested in how the coating of gesso will affect it…

Oh and I forgot to mention…that doily sort of thing on the embossing sheet?  That is actually a cup coaster!

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It would have worked FAR better had I used a flat stamp mount (which it clung to perfectly) rather than the curved one that I grabbed cause it was on my desk (see? LAZY!) I’ve never gotten the hang of the darn thing and never get a good clean impression.  I think I got a set of 4 of these for a couple of quid.  It’s a little girlie for me, but it might work.  I may cut out the centre circle with the dots around it as that would make a cute stamp too on it’s own. …


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The next page…

I am really anxious to make enough pages on the file folders to get to the point I can test out the back-to-back construction.  I’m also wondering, like with an art journal, how unrelated pages will look side by side. So of course I had to make another one.

For this page, I also wanted and overall brighter look.  I went back to Bizous Zoo paper that I have had for YONKS.  I just couldn’t get enough of that line when it came out and still adore it. As the photo was B&W I could really use anything with it.

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I liked this paper as it had both great blocks of fab colour, but also the plain, misty bottom strip and some perfectly punchable flowers. I deconstructed it.

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Love this bit

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I took the bits and first played around with the layers to get a basic idea of the size and position.

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Of course it always changes.  I also wanted to look at how it would work with the other page. From there it’s just distressing and inking edges, adding the background texture and colour, then sticking it all down.

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I feel like it needs a little shot of something upper right, not sure.  I always look at the rubbish on my desk to see what I might be able to add.  For this, the black star is the mask from that Gelli print last week,  I also coloured a bit of the drywall tape with an ink pad.  And there was a long string from one side that stuck to the roll.  I peeled that off and coiled it (it sticks to itself! How handy – much better than string or thread) and spritzed it with ink.

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The ink sort of neutralizes (but to totally) the sticky on the top so I’m not worried about it sticking to the page on the other side.  Not sure about the title yet.  Maybe that will fill that top right corner and balance it better…..

Side by side:

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Part of the placement is dictated by where dimensional elements from one page will press against the other page when closed.  For the most part I am trying not to have something press against the photo, but other than that I’m not bothering about it.

I am having so much fun…..


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ATCs

Sometimes, you see something that is just begging to be used RIGHT NOW.  Sarah commented on by blog banner for WOYWW – apparently, the fact I had a Hunter S. Thompson quote on it almost made her head explode (her words.)

I sent her a link to one of my Stampotique projects that had many more HST quotes and she returned the favour by sending ME a link to her site with some cute/weird digi stamps.  After trolling thru her long list of them, and grabbing quite a few, a handful of them spoke to me so strongly I just had to do SOMETHING with them right away.

Now, when I want to do something creative but time is short, I tend to fall back on ATCs or tags – they are small, quick to do, and more often than not I can use stuff I have hanging around.  It has been a LONG time since I did any colouring in with my Copics and the images seemed to cry out for that – some of the areas are soooooo tiny, and my colouring skills are not the best, but I think they turned out OK.  I wasn’t even going to TRY to cut the thinnest areas so left a bit of a border.  Here they are:

ATCtrio

The backgrounds are all bits of Gelli prints, scraps leftover from other projects.  Here are the close-ups so you can read the text a bit better:

668 – the neighbour of the beast

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You’ll never find the answer to “What’s the right hat?”

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I think I need another hat on the left to balance it better.  I just need to find one more….

and finally, If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?

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That one is actually from their Christmas selection, in lieu of 3 French Hens, it’s 3 French Mimes.  The unfortunate placement of the last bullet hole stamp is due to the annoying habit of cling/clear stamps when the sticky is less than strong – they fall off the block and if they are already inked, well, you get the stamped image where it falls.  Vaguely anti-feminist, I think, but That one was the MOST, the fiddliest, colouring in and I am not going to re-do it, so I’ll live with it.

Have a gander at the others – you might find one that appeals.  I still have a Day of the Dead sort of image and one she calls The Patron Saint of Low Bandwidth (OMG do I need a patron Saint like that!) waiting in the wings….

Sad that after missing 2 months of crops the one that was meant to be this week ended up getting cancelled due to low numbers, and the one NEXT weekend may conflict with something.  Since it seems I never get around to making layouts unless I am at a crop, holding on to planned pages for that fun, communal time, I am feeling like I may have to clear the decks and just make a page, to scratch that itch.  But not today…


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Stamp-thru on a Gelli print

I have some stuff I need to do so I just thought I would add this thing I’ve been playing with – limited success, until I approached it logically LOL!

I used a stencil over a Gelli print, and stippled the black thru it, but there is no reason you can’t do the same thing when you have used a stencil to PULL a print.

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Once I had the black in place and it was DRY, I used my homemade white acrylic ink stamp pad (I had to slightly refresh it with a bit more ink last week, but it is still working well) to stamp text thru the stencil so it only appeared on the black.

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My problem was that the clear stamp was very fine, and although it sort of worked on my home-cut stencil, the raised text might not be deep enough to work with a commercial (thicker) stencil.

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Some areas worked better than others.

So I thought how I might solve that – it’s a trade-off really.  The thin text looks better on the thin lines of this stencil, but the thicker foam stamps give a much bolder impression.

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But with the bigger letters you lose the detail to the point you can’t tell they are letters.

So the solution is to use a stencil that has a much bigger area.  Shame I used the wrong stamp, the one with the letters reversed to use on the Gelli plate to remove paint.

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With that much black, even the clear stamp showed up well. As I’d messed up the stamping already I figured I might as well give it a go over LOL!  I may still find a use for it, but even if  don’t it was worth having a go.

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I def. like the effect so will be playing around with this a bit more, I’m sure!

 


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Fun Foam Stamp set

NOTE:  Just to add a link for you. The font I used is called Art Post and is free to download from daFont.

OK, so I know that I often do things that not everyone would bother with.  There are a ton of great alphabet stamp sets out there, and generally I think people are inclined to just buy one.  I often find fonts that I LOVE, would buy a stamp set from that font it one was available, but it isn’t.  What has held me back from making my own is either the font is too intricate to cut from fun foam or I can’t imagine a good way to store the stamps.  The thought of a box of loose stamps isn’t really appealing (although I do have boxes of foam stamps from back in the day that I still use, I really don’t need MORE boxes of them) so I usually resort to some other method – like printing the text and using it that way.

Today I had a lightbulb moment.

I printed the font I used yesterday for the word block (Art Post Black) and cut the letters from fun foam.  This is an easy font to cut, due to the blocky nature of it and the fact there are no “open bits” to the letters.

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It’s a perfect task for doing in front of the TV or while listening to Radio 4.

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So long as you print the font the right way around then mount the print to the paper covering over the sticky side, then letters will be the right way round for mounting.

I first thought they would be fine stuck to another but of foam, as it was quick and dirty, but DIRTY is the right word – the flimsy foam and the fact the stamps weren’t very thick meant getting a good impression was tricky.

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Even if I curved them a little I still got paint on the surround – plus the opaque back made it hard to place the stamp accurately.  Can you see that I often use my 6 x 6 Gelli pate as a stamp pad?  a little medium added to the paint lets it stay open longer so it doesn’t dry out too much.

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The give of the plate makes it better for getting a thin, even coat on a stamp than brushing on paint!  But the other issues left me with not a great result

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So two problems to solve.  The first issue – the fact the fun foam is fairly thin – was solved by sticking the cut letters to another sheet of fun foam and doing a rough cut around them.  It’s not necessary to cut the letters precisely – the second layer is more like a cushion, and as this is a grungy sort of font a tiny bit of overstamping is OK with me, but not as much as you see above!

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I took a piece of clear plastic packaging and using the grid on my mat, stuck the foam stamps to that – just to make sure they were straight – and cut them plastic into rectangles.  The key is to leave a good space at the top (or bottom) cause the solution to the storage issue is simple, effective, and tidy.  Punch a hole in the plastic – I just used a standard hole punch – and thread it on a ball chain!

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I used a longer chain that was strictly needed because I found I could load them on in alphabetical order and stamp with them without taking them off the chain that way.

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I did write the letter on the back of the plastic with a Sharpie (and for any future sets I think I might use something other than black foam, but that was what I had on hand) just so there was no way I would mistake the top for the bottom and stamp an upside down letter.  And you can see the stamping is MUCH improved, bit in neatness and placement.

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So now I have a custom stamp set of a font I love, that cost me the price of two sheets of craft foam, a bit of rubbish plastic, and no more than an hour of my time. Totally worth doing.  I still have the numbers to do – and one of the advantages of this is you do get both letters AND numbers, cause I hate it when I use a stamp set and don’t have the numbers to match – and I might do a couple of words in a bigger point size (this is 64 pt) just for fun.  And I have a couple of other fonts I am loving at the moment that might work well for this … and I have about 3 weeks of EastEnders to catch up on so that sounds like a match made in heaven….


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Homemade stamp pad and white acrylic ink

So there was a post on UKS about white ink.  A trick that was shown at CHA for stamping with the Dylusions spray ink came up.  Now, I had this on the way via mail order, but hadn’t received it yet, and I didn’t have a blank stamp pad (another new product) so, as is my way, I went on a hunt in my overstocked craft room to see what I could come up with.

I grabbed a few things:  a bit of Fun Foam, a bit of fabric store felt (not the thinner, less dense craft felt, although I have that too and it might work almost as well) and an old dried up stamp pad.  I peeled off the dried foam from the stamp pad. I cleaned it of old ink and dried it, then stuck a bit of the felt to a bit of the fun foam (I had high-tack spray adhesive for curtain making on hand, but other stuff might work too)  and cut it to fit the empty stamp pad.

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I stuck it to the empty stamp pad with low-melt hot glue – I thought the hotter glue might melt the foam, and the low melt version was already in the glue gun anyway.

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I thought having a lid MIGHT make this something I didn’t have to wash out after use. I may cut a piece of plastic to cover the pad, a bit like the plastic over a Staz-on, tho’ not so tight-fitting, to see how that works.

I squeezed a bit, maybe a dropper full, of the Speedry liquid acrylic ink onto the pad and stamped with it.  I didn’t bother with mounts for the stamps, and to be fair I think that might have given an even better impression, but for all the types I tried they ALL worked well.

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Here you can see the range

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Nice and white, I think.  So I tried two other things – first using the acrylic ink on a bit of Cut&Dry foam, and then on an off-cut of the fun foam & felt version.

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A couple of points here.  First, the Cut&Dry foam is really deep and it holds a lot of ink.  For me, that means you either need to be very gentle when “inking” the stamp so you don’t get too much of the liquid ink in the depressions of the stamp (making the text in particular less crisp) OR you need to be very sparing with the ink when loading it – and that balance can be tricky.

See the orange, done with the C&D foam VS the purple with the fun foam & felt?

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Now, as this IS acrylic you do need to be sure to clean your stamps…I’m just sayin’…

So then I got my order and had a go with the Dylusions white ink – I really should have turned the bottle a bit but you should be able to tell that is what it is:

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Taking into consideration I am NOT using the suggested blank stamp pad, I think it’s pretty good – white, fairly crisp (as crisp as a loose floppy stamp is ever going to be LOL!) and even the smallest text is pretty clear.

But here is where it gets interesting.  My annoyance with all things ink and the fact they bleed when you apply anything wet over them has been mentioned before (often? Perhaps….) so my next step was to check the permanence.  With the acrylic ink I didn’t just wet the paper, I saturated it:

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and guess what?  It made NO DIFFERENCE at all. But even wiping over the spray ink version with a baby wipe, you are left with this:

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Side by side:

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So there you go. I DID try Distress stain as well (can you JUST see the bottle top middle of the photo above?) but I might as well take a photo of a plain black piece of paper, it was so … nothing.

What’s left? Well, I should try washing out the homemade pad to see what happens to it, and likewise I should try leaving it with the lid on for a week or two and see if the ink stays wet. If it doesn’t, how the dried ink will affect the pad might be worth seeing.  But to be honest making the actual PAD is something I would only do for white.  For the colours, I think I would use a bit of the fun foam & felt just loose,  then rinse it out when I was done stamping whatever ink colour I was using.  I did try mixing colours on the pad, which worked but my camera died at that point, and with DD unwell and home from school, I now need to spend some Mom time with her.


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Gelli over embossing

This is decidedly weird.  Sometimes, I have an idea and it’s more about seeing if it works and then trying to figure out how to USE the idea in the most effective way.  I tend to share even the pure experiments before I actually work out the use of them.  This is one of those posts LOL!

I was thinking of the technique with ink where you emboss then cover the embossing with ink, then iron off the embossing to leave the bare card showing thru.  Usually it is done with clear embossing powder so I did that first:

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I have a couple of 6 x 6 inch background stamps so that made sense with the 6 x 6 inch plate.

I pulled a print onto the embossed cardstock

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Ironing it off worked, sort of, but my choice of stamp and Gelli print combo wasn’t the best – you can barely see the Gelli part. But the ghost print was interesting.  where the embossing touched the plate it sort of impressed the pattern of the embossing into it and left it, much like it does with a stencil ghost print!

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So I had a go with some gold embossing and a different stamp:

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Again, my choice of Gelli prints (bubble wrap) barely shows thru the embossing.  But when I ironed off the embossing powder it gave it a really pretty batik-like effect:

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The differences between the two are much more apparent in real life!

I tried a more bold Gelli pattern:

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but again, not totally happy with the combo.  What is left on the plate:

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and the ghost:

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I did try, but didn’t photograph, a couple of text circles, embossed, with a print behind.  Again, it was the combination of the embossed bit and the Gelli print that left me lukewarm. I think more experimentation is clearly needed – as with most things, I like to try a LOT of stuff then try to work out a set of “rules” that will give me the greatest chance of success.  So, single images v overall stamp&embossing? Small scale Gelli patterns v large-scale? Open areas v overall texture? These are the questions I need to answer!  Once I get a firm grip on how the combos are likely to work I will then know in future what will give me the effect I like.

I am also curious about embossing on deli paper and what effect THAT might give – and if the embossing, if left in place and not ironed off, will tear, for collage work, for example, of if breaking the surface tension (is that the right term?) of the embossing will cause it to chip and flake?

So many ideas, so little time to play….So if you have a play be sure to report back your findings.  I’ll be very curious to know what your experiments produce!


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Pipe Insulation Gelli tools

A few years back I saw something by Traci Bunkers about making stamps for printing.  One of the ideas was for using a soldering iron or wood burning tool to make incised pipe insulation tubes to turn them into rollers.  I always hankered after giving  it a go, but the only tool I could find had a US plug on it.  A couple of weeks ago I mentioned it to DH and he said we DID have a UK-plug soldering iron in the garage someplace.  I found it, but the tip was like a little bar, where what I wanted was a fine point.  I kinda gave up on the idea, but then, when trolling the wallpaper aisles I found this little roller set for like £2.  With no firm idea in mind, except maybe experimenting with wrapping the foam rollers with twine, wire, or string and using it to create a pattern (which does work, BTW)  I took it home.

pipetool

While tidying up (still am not done with that yet!) I found the tubes.  And all of a sudden I had two idea.  First, I could clearly see that the foam roller, if slightly stripped, would fit neatly into the hole in the pipe insulation.  As the rollers are meant to be interchangeable on the roller handle they would turn a series of insulation tubes into rollers.

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I tried carving (sort of) the insulation tubes by just cutting then with a knife and ripping out areas.  You can kinda see that above.  Once you get it started, the insulation material rips away easily.

3pipetoolSIMPLE patterns are best, blocks and lines.  With a decent woodburner and the right tip I think I could use the original idea and create “better” designs.

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The prints are cool – but do bear in mind I only had a short time to play, as the next 4 days or so are pretty chaotic around here. But this will give you an idea. One important thing to note – don’t be too heavy-handed with the paint!  And keep the roller handle fairly flat, ie parallel to the surface.  If you increase the angle to 90 degrees, or even 45 degrees, the roller will sort of skip/slide across the surface.  flat angle and it rotates/rolls

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Keep in mind once the roller is loaded it becomes a stamp – just roll the paint off onto another print.

So THAT got me thinking – could I make pattern rollers with Fun Foam?  Yep.

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and another:

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and a flawed one

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The issue with this is that text on the plate is problematic.  You have to choose if it’s more important to have the text right way or wrong way, as a “stamp”

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or a paint removal tool.

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Now if you limited your choice of letters, using ONLY those that read the same forward and backward V M o O Y…etc) than it would read right either use.  But might be sort of boring.  Still, it’s a thought.

Now, the fun foam sticks, but not permanently.  A few of the super-thin letter ended up in odd places (stuck to the hem of my shirt, on the toe of my boot…) and one I did with thin strips of fun foam curled into spirals worked fine but by this morning the spiral had come loose in areas.  Big circles slide along the plate more than I wanted.  So that is an idea to play with a bit more.

I really want to have the time to work with these to make actual useful prints rather than quick playtime samples. but not this week, that’s for sure.

Have fun.