Changing gears – Stamping gear again

Cover of "Gay Purr-Ee"

Cover of Gay Purr-Ee

Sorry, I was tidying up my desk so I could doodle a bit more and got side-tracked by a few things.  This was one of them. I had dragged out an old stamp set that was completely unused.  I am so not a cat person, but the cats reminded me of the slinky city cats from a book I had as a child, called Gay Purr-ee.  I found that book in the garage at some point and must have bought the stamps soon after!

I had been playing with the gear and experimenting with more than one stamp on my home-made paddle, as well as multi-layered stamping, so while tidying, and just about to toss out a bit of leftover packaging, I had an idea.  So I did this quickly to demonstrate.

For my first round, I used both the cat and the text together on the paddle. They were just a bit too tall for the kit paddle.

catcardAfter stamping the first round, I wanted to add another round of the cats without the text, but needed to place them just so.


As the demos I’ve seen I could have cleaned and dried the stamp, then laid it on the sheet and pressed the paddle on to attach the stamp in the exact right place, but I was still worried if I used the same stamp any little smudge of ink left on it was going to mar the card.  Enter the packaging.  Stamp goes stamping area down on the packaging, perfectly placed, then the paddle into the gear over it to pick up the stamp.







I did this a bit on the fly, and the depth of the packaging was not needed.  I would say a better plan is to cut off the raised edging so the acetate part lies flat and you can get the notch in the paddle easier so you know you are going to be stamping in exactly the right place.

Here is the card:


Actually the whiskers are slightly too far left on the black cats – I put that down to the fact I didn’t cut the packaging down so it was flat.  To be fair, you could use just a scrap of transparency film, or even the scraps that the stamps from the kit are attached to, but the harder packaging is less likely to be thrown out by mistake!

I also quite like the yarn detail on the left.  Fraying the multi-strands looks bow-like but yarn and cats, well, they go together, don’t they, better than a ribbon bow?

Now my desk is pretty clear I have a few more doodle experiments to play with….


Stamping Gear Experiments, failed and otherwise

This is scheduled because I am doing laundry and packing (yes, still) and I thought three posts in one day was madness.  I wanted to share some of my other experiments that had limited success.

1. Just using a stirrer as a paddle:

Cutting a bit of thick acrylic packaging and adding it to the stirrer sort of works.



You do have to be sure to press quite firmly on the stamp part or risk a patchy image and be perhaps too careful with your positioning to make this really viable.


2.  Making fun foam stamps

Not a lot different.  I traced the paddle on sticky-backed foam, then stuck that to a bit of plastic report folder.

make4gear make4gear2

I cut some Spellbinder shapes and stuck them to the plastic. I did that because the slick folder will be easier to clean up but in the end I trimmed close to the foam shapes anyway. Stamped with dye ink.


I painted some Tack it! to the fun foam base and stamped around the small gear.  The samples were just experiments, so not great but you get the idea. The 2nd one was laying on my desk resting on a baby wipe – DOH! You can see how I trimmed the “stamp” and, that the dot I added is only on one side – that helps create the pattern where dots on BOTH sides would really show up any mis-print if they didn’t match up perfectly.

make4gearsample make4gearsample2

3. Die D-lights medallions

This was odd.  Used another (bigger) home-made paddle and a fun foam medallion.  Just stuck it to the paddle with Herma re-positional adhesive, maybe because I didn’t think it would really work and didn’t want to waste my Tack it! (or maybe I am just lazy…)


It actually stamped OK, with chalk ink.


So a few more experiments that you can either try yourself and maybe refine, or when you think I wonder what would happen if….? you at least see the pitfalls.


Using wood-mount stamps with the Stamping Gears

You did a double-take, didn’t you? Well it isn’t perfect, and if you are one of those I’ll do it 100 times until it is PERFECT stampers, look away now.  But if you are a bit more free-wheelin’ (and have loads of wood mounted stamps and don’t want to UN-mount them) this may suit you.  Sorry again (twice in one day!) for the loads of photos…

I had this sweet little image, perfect for a new baby card. The wood mount is about 1.25 inches square.

woodwithgearIt occurred to me that it was the coffee stirrer that worked as the nubbin to position things around the gear.  I saw no reason I really needed the paddle.  So then I just had to find an area of the mount where the stirrer would fit.


That is the first issue – there is little chance of there being space centred on the mount – but you will see that doesn’t really matter.  The spacing of the images is going to be the same, they just aren’t going to be centred under the notch.

Mark the stirrer for the length – I like to colour the extended bit with a Sharpie so I can re-use it and can see where to place it. I also mark on the mount where the stirrer fits.



I added a small piece of very strong double-sided tape to the back of the stirrer.  The tape will not adhere permanently to the wood, but if you didn’t care about keeping your stamps pristine, you could glue it to the mount.  I don’t think that would seriously affect its use later, so long as if you wanted to use it with a stamp positioner you rotated everything so you were positioning it on the bottom corner, away from the stick. It looks crooked here but it’s just the angle – trust me….


Now, you can stamp as you normally would, taking perhaps a little more care by positioning the stirrer extension in the notch and making sure the edge of the mount is hitting the gear on both sides of it. Not sure if this will help:


Stamp away.  As you can see it isn’t perfect (neither is my stamping, but then I am just showing my play, with no intention of these being used for a final project.


You should do what they tell you to do and rotate the paper rather than contorting yourself to stamp around – clearly I didn’t listen well…

Now, the other thing is it will seem that this will only work around the small gear.  Not so.  I think this will be hard to explain, but working in the inside of the big round gear, you may be able to see that the stirrer can’t actually fir all the way into the notch – the edges of the wood mount get in the way.


Thing is, that doesn’t matter.  So long as you make sure the edges of the mount are coming n contact with the edge of the gear, and that the stirrer is centred in the notch, you are going to get something that is acceptable – or is to me.


This stamp is much bigger, more like 2 x 2.25 inches.  Working around the small gear:


Working inside the big round gear (I think it was every other triangle marked notch although I think I lost track and stamped in the wrong notch there upper left)


and with a tighter spacing:


This means I can use all my odd-ball images happily.  I wonder if you wonder why I have a stamp of a bald – Bill Clinton?  Would it surprise you I have a bald Hillary on the flip side?


As you can see the coffee stirrer is mounted well off to one side, and still the circle effect is pretty OK.

Now, go off to play while I carry on with the packing and the laundry and the sorting out.  Have fun….