Category: Paper Crafts

Tim Holtz Stamping Platform by Tonic – Craft Product Review

 What is the Tim Holtz Stamping Platform

The platform is made of very sturdy plastic and metal.  The base is very flat with rulers along two sides – these are in both inches and centimetres. The other two sides are flat so you can easily put large pieces of paper inside. The lid has a gridon it – this is molded on and will not be rubbed off.  It comes with two very strong flat magnets.  The overall feeling is that this is a very strong product that will last through many years of use.

  Using The Tim Holtz Stamping Platform

Using the platform is very easy.  You just remove the lid and turn it so that the right side is upright – one for clear stamps, one for rubber ones.  The options are very clearly marked and turning the lid around is quick and easy.  Magnetic hinges make sure it goes back in quickly and accurately.

You then place your paper or card on the base and lay your stamps on top, wherever you want them to be.  Close the lid and the stamps transfer to the lid.

Then ink up and close the lid again – simple as that.

And you have your stamped images.  If any didn’t stamp quite perfectly you can reink that area and close the lid again – very easy to get perfect stamped images every time.

Uses For the Tim Holtz Stamping Platform

The Tim Holtz stamping platform can help with multiple everyday stamping situations/issues.

1 – When stamping very large stamps it is easy to have part of the image not stamp properly.  Even with a clear stamp it is very difficult to stamp over the top to correct the error.  The THSP allows you to restamp in exactly the same location, again and again, until the image is perfect.  You can also do this to get a darker impression.

2 – The THSP is ideal for use with the new layered stamps from companies such as Alte New.  These require each layer to be lined up neatly with the layer below – something that can be quite tricky when stamping with traditional acrylic blocks.  With the THSP you can line the layer stamp up precisely on the layer below ready to print.

3 – The THSP really comes into its own when stamping multiple projects.  If, for example, you wanted to make a set of thank you cards, all the same, you can easily position each stamp and then stamp it on all the cards in succession, knowing they will all be in exactly the same location.  Very convenient.

4 – The very large surface of the THSP means you can lay out a large group of stamps and stamp them together.  This is handy for designing backgrounds and scenes as you can position the stamps and move them around without having to stamp anything first.

5 – If you shake or have poor hand control then the THSP makes it much easier to get the perfect stamp every time.  You can take your time positioning your stamps just where then want them then pick them up and stamp them without fear of misalignment or double-stamping.  This is also a handy feature for stamping onto acetate and other slippery surfaces.

6 – You can create corners and borders with the THSP.  Cut a square (or rectangle) of card and place it in the corner of the THSP.  Stamp and rotate the card to add all corners or border edges.  You could create all sorts of kaleidoscopic effects this way too.

7 – Many people are using the THSP as a general purpose work surface too.  The base is very flat and the included magnets are handy for holding work in place when colouring and other crafting.

Summary

I am very pleased I invested in this product.  I had seen a LOT of videos and reviews of the various stamping platforms currently available and felt that this particular one offered the best value for money.  Now I own it, I feel I was right.  It is very sturdy, easy to use and does its job very well.  It was also a very reasonable price compared to some of the other devices out there.

A Mermaid Engagement Card with Lawn Fawn Stamps – Tutorial

Today I am making an engagement card for a very special couple.  I am sure they will get lots of classy, sophisticated cards – so I am going for cutey and whimsical!

I got the new Lawn Fawn “Mermaid for You” stamps just before Christmas and they came with the perfect sentiment, plus who doesn’t love mermaids?

I took two sizes of circle dies from the  from Circles Nesting Die set by Presscut.  I placed the smaller one on a piece of Neenah Solar White cardstock and drew around it with a pencil, then cut it out with about half an inch extra all around.

Lawn-Fawn-Stamps

I used a mixture of the “Mermaid For You” and the “Fintastic Friends” stamps from Lawn Fawn to make a little underwater scene within the circle.  I stamped the sea weed with two shades of green Memento ink (Cottage Ivy and Bamboo Leaves) and stamped the rest in Tuxedo black Memento ink.

I then used the Tuxedo black ink to stamp two of the sweet little mermaids, the big rock and the seahorse onto more Neenah Solar White card.  I added the tiny starfish to the girl mermaid’s hair.

I coloured everything in with a mixture of Spectrum Noir, Copic and Promarker alcohol markers.  I used the clear blender pen to create a “scaly” look on the mermaid tails and the biggest fish.  I cut out the mermaids leaving a very thin white border because I rather like this “sticker cut” look.Coloured-Lawn-Fawn

Next I used both of the circle dies to cut a frame from Hunkeydory Gold Miri card.  To make this look a bit more like a porthole I added Bright Gold Dovecraft 3D Pearl Effects around the edge: they are supposed to be the rivets.MiriCardPorthole

I used the smaller die as a template to cut a circle from acetate (recycled from Christmas packaging) I drew around the outside of the die with a black Sharpy pen, then cut it out with scissors.  Some sorts of acetate will cut fine with dies, others just seem to bend and stretch rather than cut through.  Had this acetate been ok to cut, I would have done so using the larger circle die.

I used both of the circle dies to cut two frame shapes (exactly like the porthole one) from fun foam then glued them together with Anita’s Tacky Glue.  I then glued them on to the coloured scene circle.

For the “shakers” I used some Scatter Blue from My Village.  This is a product designed to go with Christmas village ornaments, to create fake water.  It is very tiny pieces of coloured transparent plastic and great for shaker cards. I added a few clear sequins too.  Then I glued the acetate to the back of the gold frame with the Tacky Glue, then glued this to the fun foam on the scene to finish the shaker part.

Handy hint – rub the inside side of the acetate with an anti-static bag or tumble-dryer sheet before gluing it in place, this will help prevent the sequins sticking to it.”

MermaidShakerCardThe base card is a white 5″ by 7″ side folding card from “The Works” – I bought some before Christmas as they are great quality and useful to have on hand.

I took the sentiment “We mermaid for each other” from the Lawn Fawn Mermaids stamp set and carefully cut off the word “we”.  I often cut stamps up like this, it won’t really harm them as it is easy enough to push them back together to stamp the whole thing again.

I stamped the “mermaid for each other” part of the sentiment on to the base of the folded card (I laid the shaker part on first to be sure I had it in the right place), then added the word “you” from the “sea you soon ” sentiment that is included in the same stamp set.  I used Tuxedo black ink for this too.

YouMermaidSentiment

Then I added the shaker unit to the card.  The reason I added this after stamping my sentiment was because there is always a chance that the stamping will go wrong, well there is when I am stamping, anyway!  So I prefer to stamp before adding the extra items to save having to cut things off etc if it goes wrong.  Once I am sure I have a perfectly stamped card, then I can add the rest.

I then added the rock, mermaid, merman and tiny seahorse to the frame of the shaker card.MermaidEngagementCard

These links lead items on Amazon.co.uk. If you purchase something from these links then I would get a small commission from Amazon for sending custom their way.

5 Fab Summer Journal Tutorial Videos – Summer Mixed Media Tutorials

It has been very hot here in the last couple of weeks.  Today though is much cooler, very nice, and I have been tidying my craft room and planning some new projects.

Here are some great summery mixed media journal tutorials from my favourite YouTube bloggers.  I hope they help inspire your own summer crafting creations.

Summer Cocktail Art Journal Page by Nika in Wonderland

Hello Summer Art Journal Page by Vicky Papaioannou

Endless Summer Art Journal Page by Rach0113

Magic in the Summer Art Journal Page by Colour Your Life

Love Summer Art Journal Page by Shel C

Mindfulness Colouring and Adult Colouring Books

It is very striking to see how many “adult colouring books” are available for sale right now.  My local newsagents have many titles (of varying qualities), and online shopping sites such as Amazon have many thousands of options available.

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My mum enjoys colouring geometric patterns.

Colouring is considered to have many benefits, especially in today’s busy world.  The act of colouring is calming and relaxing.  I try to do a little colouring every day and find it really does help me.  I colour when on the phone waiting for people to answer (those dreadful automated systems that companies insist on having now).  I also like to colour whilst listening to audiobooks or radio plays.

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These are my two favourite colouring books. There are Amazon links at the bottom of this blog post.

My father died last year and for a while I found it very hard to sleep.  I would colour and it helped me get through that very difficult time.  My mother did the same and has often said that her colouring books really helped her cope.

ThanksCardColoring
Colouring a printed “digi stamp” with alcohol markers. Stamp is from the Tin Teddy Victorian Fashion Stamps & Collage Sheets.

There are many economical colouring books available now, in every shape, size and subject.  I recommend checking that the paper quality is going to be good enough for the type of colouring tools you wish to use.  Coloured pencils will be fine of lower quality, rougher papers.  Felt pens need sturdier paper or the colours will bleed.  Some pens, such as alcohol markers, require heavier paper or the ink will just seep through to the other side.

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The “Mindfulness Companion” colouring book has relaxing exercises as well as beautiful images.

For colouring in books you don’t need expensive tools to get a good result.  I colour in my adult colouring books with cheap felt pens, glittery gel pens, assorted coloured pencils and even children’s crayons.  I keep my “good pens” for colouring images that I will probably use later on other projects.

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Millie Marotta’s images are very detailed. I use my Stabilo Point 88 pens in this book.

I particularly like my Stabilo Point 88 felt pens for colouring as they are economical to buy but give great results.  They are also very fine tipped and I like colouring tiny, intricate designs the most.

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Assorted stamped images, coloured with alcohol markers and ready for future use.

I enjoy stamping images on to high density white card (Neenah card from Crafter’s Companion) then colouring then with alcohol markers.  I store them in a folder for future use on greetings cards and Artist Trading Cards.

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Colouring a larger stamped image of a rose.

Just Doodle – creating doodle art for fun and relaxation – Zentangle and beyond

I do enjoy a good doodle.  Always have.  No doubt always will.

I doodled a lot as a child (often on things that I wasn’t really supposed to be doodling on), and still enjoy it as a way to relax.

Here are some of my more recent doodles, I hope they inspire you to do some of your own.

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I started by writing the word “flower” then just doodled around it. The biggest problem was knowing when to stop! The thicker outlines were drawn with a black Sharpy pen and the thinner ones with a Micron Uniball.

Over the last few years there has been a lot of interest in doodling, in particular with the introduction of the version trademarked as Zentangle.

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Official Zentangle Books – lots of ideas for “tangles”

I have quite a few Zentangle books, and have been very inspired by the beautiful patterns.  I like to use my favourites and combine them with my own to create “make it up as you go along” designs.

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One of my favourite Zentangle books. Click the image to read my review of this book.

I love creating ATCs – Artist Trading Cards, which are small pieces of artwork. Click this link for more information about Artist Trading Cards – Introduction to Artist Trading Cards.

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Two more ATCs. Here I have used bird stamps by Woodware and doodled inside the designs

Doodle art can be incorporated into all sorts of different crafts.

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I made this sampler in 1997. It is a form of embroidery called blackwork and dates back to Elizabethan times. Sort of doodling with threads.

Sometimes the doodling is the background and the main feature of the piece is actually a blank space.  This works very well for Zentangle-inspired art pieces.

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For this ATC I first drew the outline of the cat, then zentangled all around it with a fine black pen. This was part of a series of 4 cards, each with a different cat silhouette in the middle.

You can start the doodle off with an image.  Printed, stamped, die cut or collage pieces – there are many options for this.

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# For this ATC I used one of the Tin Teddy 1″ Photo Faces as a starting point, then added the tangled “arms” around.

There are many styles of doodling.  I rather enjoy the “kawaii” style that is based on Japanese and Korean characters.  These are very simple to draw but look cute.

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Another ATC. This time I wrote the word “Fun” in pencil then used a black Sharpy pen to draw random little characters all around it. Some overlap the word to make it look more like part of the image.

You can include doodling in journals, card making, scrapbooks and more.  It is such a versatile art form.

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This is a page from one of my art journals. I drew the tree freehand, divided it up then filled it with Zentangle designs from my books. The background is stencil in acrylics and the birds are from rubber stamps.

Combine Zentangle type designs with your own artwork to create original pieces that have extra impact.

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Another ATC. I sketched the mother and child in pencil then inked over it. I coloured the people with pencils and filled the background with assorted Zentangle type patterns.

Start your creativity with a simple stamped or sketched design and just start doodling.  Don’t worry too much about what goes where..just let the dots, lines and squiggles flow from your pen how they will.

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For this ATC on yellow card I started with a rubber stamp of a skull. I then doodled around it for a “Day of the Dead” themed result.

10 Tips for Using Your Silhouette Cutting Machine

1 Pesky Little Leftovers

The Silhouette machines are brilliant at cutting very intricate designs.  But removing all the teeny tiny bits of paper from the mat afterwards is a right pain.  I use the side of an old credit card to gently scrape the mat clean.  It can also be used to help lift off delicate cut-outs from the mat.

2 Clean that mat

It is not long before the cutting mat starts looking a bit sorry for itself.  Every time you cut, little bits of paper get left on the mat.  The build up of “paper fluff” make the mat less sticky and larger pieces can interfere with the cutting process of future projects.

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Cover your mat in strips of masking tape (very cheap and it has lots of other uses in the craft room).  Lay the strips so they slightly overlap each other until the whole mat is covered.  Now place the mat on a very flat surface and rub hard all over it – using a bone folder, side of a credit card  or a brayer is ideal.  Then pull off the masking tape and you should see a lot of the “gunk” come off with it – leaving your mat cleaner, smoother and stickier.

Eventually you will need to replace the mat, but you can get a bit of extra life out of it by using sticky spray such as Stick & Spray from Crafter’s Companion.  Just spray a thin layer on, wait a few minutes and apply your card or paper.

3 Testing..1..2..3..4..

The Silhouette software has a handy test cut feature that is well worth checking out.  When TTSilhouetteTestCutcutting a new weight of card for the first time, or a new type of media, you may not be sure exactly what set up of blade height and speed is best.  Use the test cut to try out combos before starting to cut the main design.  This will not only help avoid wasting precious card etc but will also save you time as the test cut is small and fast.

You will see the test cut options when you select the material you are going to cut.

When trying to work out the best combo remember that a quick search online may give you suggestions from other crafters who have already tried to cut the media you want to.  And the Silhouette settings are a great place to start.  I use their setting for vinyl (I use Cricut vinyl), the setting for chipboard for cutting Kraft card and Centura Pearl 300gsm, and the basic “card” setting for 150gsm coloured card.

4 Store that combo

When I first got my Silhouette I was a little worried about how I would know the best blade height/speed combos for different types of media.   I have found that I actually only need to use a few combos for all the different types of card, vinyl etc that I use.  When I am sure of the right combo I write it in my planner for future reference (see the tip above for how to find the perfect combos).  If the media is stored in a box or packet then I also write the Silhouette cutting combo on that too.TTPortraitControls

5 A clean blade is a happy blade

Paper dust from the cutting process can easily get caught around the tiny blade.  This will dull it and your cutting may start to look a little raggedy.  I remove the blade holder and blow hard over the tip of the blade (mind your lips, don’t get too close) after every cutting session.  After cutting very dusty media like Kraft card I unscrew the little end of the blade holder so the blade is exposed, then blow again.  This is worth doing every now and then.  Eventually your blade will dull and no amount of blowing will be able to solve that and it is time for a new blade.

Some people keep their old blades for use when cutting more forgiving media.  A duller blade may well cut thick card beautifully but chew up thin paper in a very alarming manner.

6 Pick a pen.. any pen…

The official Silhouette sketch pens come in a nice range of colours, including metallics.  But TTPortraitPensyour Silhouette machine can use a wide range of pens if you get an adaptor for it.  Using the adaptor is not quite as simple as one might assume and the instructions that come with it are not very clear.  There are video and other tutorials online (just search) and once you get the hang of it you will have opened up your options for crafty sketching.  I have had a lot of luck with simple ball points which draw like the Silhouette sketch pens do.  Sharpies work well but as they draw quite a thick line the sketch being drawn must not be too intricate.  Gel pens also work well and the metallic or light colours look amazing on dark card – but you do need to use a newer “juicy” pen.

7 More bang for your buck

The Silhouette Store is a fantastic resource for cutting designs of all types.  Whilst the designs are cheap anyway, you can save even more money if you have a subscription.  You don’t have to have a continual one, you can just join for a month at a time.  So, for example, if you wanted quite a lot of designs for doing your Christmas cards and decor, you may well find it much cheaper to buy a subscription for a month then buy the designs with this.  You can get different levels of subscriptions depending on how many designs you are going to want to buy at a time.

There is a free design to collect ever week, and lots of sales to snap up even more bargains.

SilhouetteStoreHeader

Another way to save some cash is to consider carefully which designs you buy.  I have bought quite a few cutting files for novelty greetings card such as tri-fold cards or pop-up cards.  Sometimes the designer of the card sells it in a few variations.  This might include the card on its own, in a new baby version, a birthday version and perhaps a wedding version.  As they are all the same price it makes financial sense to not buy the basic card but to get one of the other versions as this will include extra elements along with the card part that I want.  I would choose whichever version had additional elements that I thought I could use in some way.

An additional example would be when a designer sells a paper-pieced character as a stand-alone file, but the character is also included in another of their products as the topper on a card, or a box.  Again it makes sense to buy the card or box version as not only will you get the character you want but extra elements too.

8 – Even more bang… even less bucks!

It is very easy to create your own designs using the Silhouette Studio software.  There are loads of online tutorials and it is pretty intuitive to use.

Many types of crafters love to use stacking dies – metal dies that cut different sizes of basic shapes that you can then layer up to make mats, frame and borders.  These are great to create on your Silhouette as one can resize things so easily.  You don’t need to spend a penny to have sets of squares, rectangles, circles and other basic shapes – in an infinite range of sizes!

Creating word art is also very simple with the Studio software.  Just type the word you want then adjust the spacing so the letters overlap a bit.  Bingo, word art!  You can also tweak things to ensure everything looks just how you want.

Remember you can use all the fonts on your computer  – including WingDings!  Plus there are many thousands of free, funky fonts available online.

9 Fake what the cool guy’s are doing

It is a growing trend for stamp companies to offer matching dies to make it easy to cut out their stamp sets.  These are great and do indeed save on fiddly cutting out.  But they are pretty expensive, especially here in the UK.  And if it is a set of stamps that you may not use very often then having to buy dies as well as the stamps themselves can not always be an option.

But your trusty Silhouette can easily enable you to fake this die cut effect for those intricate stamps.

Just stamp the images onto plain paper with black ink.  Then scan them into your computer and load into Silhouette Studio.  Now give them a cutting outline, with a small offset – my tutorial for cutting out clip art images explains how to do this.  There are also many other tutorials online.

10 Keep clean, keep cutting out

Dust and dirt getting into your Silhouette can prevent clean cuts.  If you are not going to be using your machine for a few days then popping a cover over it, or putting it in a box, will ensure it is clean and fresh for the next session. You can buy ready made covers, or could make your own… you could even just drape a piece of cotton cloth over it!

Lindsay Weirich, the Frugal Crafter, has just done a great tutorial for a DIY dust cover on her popular YouTube channel.  Check it out here – DIY Dust Cover for Die Cut Machines and More

Cheap and Simple Stamp Storage Video

TTStorageBoxOver the years I have tried many different ways to store my rather large collection of stamps.  I have put them in drawers, and albums.  I have stuck them on sheets and hung them on racks.  But I was just never really happy with the systems and found that I was not using many of my stamps because I had forgotten what I actually had and could not remember where things were stored.

Early last year I moved over to a new way of storing the bulk of my stamps.  Most of my collection are small sheets of stamps.

Here is a short video showing the storage box I use and how I keep my stamps safe and to hand in it.

My wooden backed stamps are still in drawers, awaiting a better solution.  I also have a few A4 sized sheets of stamps, these are in a magazine file.  I have cut up a few bigger sheets to enable them to fit in the CD holders though.

After about 8 months of using this system I have to say I am very happy with it.  My stamps are divided by make and theme and I can easily find what I want when I want it.  I also can easily look through my collection when I want some inspiration.  Plus I know my stamps are safe and I am not going to lose odd ones that may come off their backing plastic.

I purchased my collapsible CD holders from a local discount store.  I have seen them in many different shops so they seem very easily available.  One could of course use a fancier CD box instead but I have found the collapsible ones to be very sturdy and despite my pulling them on and off the shelf every day, they are showing no signs of damage or wear.

Cheap And Easy Stamp Storage Video

 

Hints and Tips for Last Minute Christmas Card Making

Argh! Christmas is so nearly here and you haven’t finished making all those lovely handmade Christmas cards you promised yourself you would do this year!  Don’t panic.  There is still some time, and these handy hints and tips could help to save you time (and money too!).

1 – Make Multiples at Once

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Making 6 copies of a card does not take 6 times as long a making one would.. it is much faster than that.  Making small batches of each card design can save a lot of time.  Get all your equipment and materials ready, pop a good movie or nice album on.. and go for it.

It can also help to group tasks, for example do all your stamping at once, then later on do your colouring (I like to colour whilst watching tv).  Again this saves time as you don’t have to keep getting your gear out over and over. (more…)

Ten Great Christmas Card Tutorials on YouTube

Ten Great Christmas Card Tutorials on YouTube

Looking for some inspiration for your Christmas card making this year?

Check out these ten great Christmas card tutorials from my favourite crafters on YouTube.  Different styles, different techniques but all fun to watch and very inspirational.

Cute Penguin Christmas Card from Vicky Papaioannou

Vicky demonstrates some great techniques to get more from your stamps in this video.  And the result is such a sweet card.

Stamp your Own “Family Photo” Card from Sandy Allnock

These cards are so original and fun.. plus great for adapting to use whatever stamps you have in your stash.  Check out Sandy’s other videos for many more Christmas projects too.

Simon Says Stamp From All of Us from Nicol Spohr Magouirk

Sadly Simon Says Stamp products are really hard to get hold of here, in the UK.  But I love this video as Nichol uses a great technique for the background, and the finished card is so cheerful and inspiring.  Plus Nichol’s videos are always fun to watch.

Brayered Christmas Eve from ileana29

I love the gorgeous 3d effect on the trees.  This card looks so unusual and impressive.  Very inspiring indeed.

Colored Die Cut Inlay Card by Jennifer McGuire

A simple but really great technique in this video from Jennifer McGuire.  All Jennifer’s videos are very professional and full of great hint and tips for card makers.

How to Draw a Snowman for a Christmas Card from Shoo Rayner

I very much enjoyed watching Shoo draw and paint a cheerful snowman. He makes it look so easy!

Clean and Simple Christmas Card by Little Crafty Pill

Some rather good ideas in the tutorial for this very attractive card.  I love that edging technique and must try it with my own edge dies.

A Very Trendy Christmas Card – Two Ways! with Catherine Pooler

Two for the price of one here.  Some simple but very effective techniques are used to make these very elegant cards.

Winter Card from Vicky Papaioannou

Another one from Vicky, this time a shaker card.  This card could be easily adapted to use whatever lovely Christmas stamps you have.  I love the little cluster at the top of the card and the use of faux snow in the shaker.

Shape Stamping Christmas Card by Jennifer McGuire

Another great video by Jennifer McGuire.  Here she demonstrates how to create a unique designs using little stamps.  I found this idea very inspiring indeed.

 

If you are getting stressed and running out of time to make your handmade cards, check out my blog post – Hints and Tips for Last Minute Christmas Card Making

No-line watercolour stamps – an experiment

I have been doing the Watercolor for Card Markers course from Online Card Classes.  I particularly enjoyed the videos on using watercolor markers to colour in stamped images, a technique called no-line stamping.  Whilst I have painted stamped images, using permanent ink for the outlines, the no-line technique uses water based ink for the stamping too.  Ideally the lines are supposed to blend into the painting so you end up with a nice lineless, watercoloured effect.  In other words the finished result doesn’t look so much like a stamped image as usual.

When I first tried this technique on some 160gsm hot pressed (smooth) watercolour card, but I like to use quite a lot of water when painting and the card was not really taking it well.

I abandoned that card and swapped to my trusty 300gsm Bockingford NOT card.

I used the bear (and a random lion) from the adorable Carnival Cupcakes set by Mama Elephant.  I used Pumice Stone and Antique Linen Distress Inks for the actual stamping as these the two lightest ones I have (and were recommended in the course).

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For the actual painting of the images, I scribbled different colours of Distress Markers and Letraset Aqua Markers onto my acrylic stamping block, then picked the colour up with my brush,  exactly as if it were watercolour paint in a paint box.  I very much enjoy painting like this.

First I just stamped the image on to the card using the two light coloured Distress Inks.  This is called a First Generation stamping (just normal stamping).  I painted them with pink and purple Aqua Markers, then added their eyes and nose with the Black Soot Distress Marker once they were dry. I did not have a permanent black pen with me, or I would have used that instead, luckily they were definitely dry and the marker didn’t run.

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The outlines were quite strong, which meant I could easily see where I was colouring.  But they were still very visible at the end of the painting stage.  The results are not too bad, but look messy to me.

Next I tried stamping the image first onto a scrap of paper, then on to the watercolor card, without reinking in between.  This is called a Second Generation stamping.

I painted the image of the bear, but felt that the outlines were still too prominent.  They bled out a bit too this time, making them even more noticeable.

The upper image, using the Antique Linen, is the lion from the stamp set (I am sure you noticed this was not a bear).  I didn’t bother painting him as I doubted it would be any more successful than the bear had been.

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So then I tried a different approach.  What if I just stamped with the same colour (or a close colour) to the one I was going to use to paint the image?

I stamped the little bear using Peacock Feathers Distress Ink.  The first generation stamp is very strong.  I went to a third generation stamp this time, but decided to try painting the second generation one first.  I used my Peacock Feathers Distress Marker for the main bear, and Victorian Velvet for his nose, ears and paw pads.

And I really like the results!  The lines are visible, but because they are the same colour as the pen I used to paint the bear, they just match. For me, this is the best result by far.

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Whilst it would be harder to match the outline for a more complex stamp, for simple images like these this will be the technique I use in future.

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