Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Stamping on Die-Cut Shapes

Yesterday I needed to make 40 kits for this little candy topper for a Make-It project.  Luckily, my friend Barbara was willing to loan me her Frosty Fun stamp and die, but the idea of stamping and die-cutting 40 snowmen was still a bit daunting, especially since I was having a pretty hard time lining up  the die with the stamped image and keeping it in place while running it through my Journey Grand.
Then I remembered a YouTube video I had seen about using a stamp positioner to stamp AFTER cutting, and decided to try it with the home-made positioner my husband made for me.

First I cut the snowman shape out of a scrap piece of card stock and put it into one of the corners to act as a placement template for the blank die-cut pieces.  The red showing through is a sheet of fun foam that cushions the metal back of the positioner, and the card stock is held in place by magnets.

Next, I placed the stamp right into the cut opening so it fit perfectly, and closed the acrylic door of the positioner so the stamp stuck to the door and would stamp in the same place every time the door was closed.

Here's my first try.  Every now and then part of the image didn't stamp perfectly, so I just re-opened the door, made sure the die-cut shape was still in the template's opening, re-inked the stamp, and stamped again.

And here are a few of the finished snowmen.  I was able to use my card stock much more efficiently by cutting blanks, and this was MUCH faster and easier than stamping, then placing and cutting, then doing it over and over again.  This is a technique I'll definitely use again, especially with images that are a little difficult to line up in the cutting die.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October Technique - Bleach

 This month's Technique Club uses common household bleach. Remember to be very careful with bleach, not to spill it or get it on your skin, clothing, or other surfaces.
Before starting, I decided to experiment with different types of black ink for my base image.  Some sources I looked at said to use Staz-On, others suggested heat embossing the image first, and still others didn't stipulate any particular ink.  (Oh - one more thing!  It's a GOOD IDEA to wear an apron!!!)

Memento Tuxedo Black was the least successful.  The bleach lightened the black lines, and the image looked smeary.  I think the VersaFine Onyx Black probably came out best, but Staz-on Black and FunStampersJourney Black Licorice Fusion worked well also.

Step 1:  Stamp image on colored card stock.  Different colors will yield different results.  I test the bleach on a corner of the colors I'm thinking about using first.  The dark blue and red I tried bleached to an ivory or yellowish color.  I didn't try black, but I think that would give a rather striking effect.

Step 2:  Using a small paint brush (not one of your GOOD ones!!) or a cotton swab, lightly paint the areas you wish to lighten.  I found I have more control with a brush...I go out of the lines more with a swab.  As the bleach dries, the color lightens.  For lighter color, go over the area again after it dries.

Step 3:  This may be as far as you want to go, but if you want to add a bit of color, I recommend wax-based colored pencils.  I think the bleach might continue to work on markers or watercolor, but not sure.  That's an experiment for another day!  Here's my final sample, using a touch of green on the leaves:

Bleach can also be used to stamp with, using a "stamp pad" made of bleach-moistened folded paper towels on a saucer or other non-porous surface.  Clean your stamps well with water after stamping with bleach.