Hello my wonderful friends!
I had an amazingly fun time in Utah this past week... Seeing family, eating "escargot" (the kind made of candy), and of course, shopping at the Scrapbook USA expo!
I'll be completely honest, crowds aren't my thing. In fact, they make me super nervous... However, it is worth braving the crowds for the deals, ideas, and awesome product!
A big THANK YOU to Kristin, the amazing vendors, and all the fabulous people who work behind the scenes to bring the expo to life each year!
I must admit, it is wonderful to be back in my own studio again... after getting everything put away, all my new stamps, tools, papers, and embellies tucked away in their new homes it was time to dive in and get inky. :)
Today I want to share a secret with you....
Rubber stamps scare me... or at least they used to. When I started stamping (years ago), the first clear stamps were just starting to come out. They weren't the best quality, you didn't get very detailed images, and lines weren't very crisp... but I decided to start my stamp collection with clear (almost exclusively).
The main reasons:
Space: back then almost all rubber stamps were mounted on wooden blocks. That requires lot of storage space!
Price: You paid for that wooden block.
Fear: How do you stamp anything where you want it??? Everything is guessing. With clear, I could see right through it to place it exactly how I wanted it. No guessing, just consistent results.
Ok... fast forward to now...
A lot has changed. I design for Unity Stamps (who only makes rubber!!!), my collection has a good amount of rubber mixed in with the much higher quality clear, and I'm not afraid to use it!
Well, let's look at the reasons...
Space: rubber stamps can now be found in cling mount (sticks to acrylic blocks) so they take up much less space than before... what is still wood mounted can be unmounted and converted to cling. LOVE.
Price: with cling, I'm not paying extra for a wooden block I don't want. I've also come to accept that cheap isn't everything... quality counts.
Fear: this has been overcome somewhat by the confidence that comes with practice, also, I have learned to use a stamp positioner... no more guessing, just consistent results. :)
So... For those of you who don't know about stamp positioners, let me open your eyes to a tool that has the ability to change the way you stamp with rubber....
This is a stamp positioner... there are multiple brands of these, mine happens to be from Art Impression.
You will notice there are 2 pieces. The first one is a thick L shaped block. The second is a thin clear block.
It is really simple to use... let's get started!
Step 1: move your thin block so that it is snug in the corner of the L block
Step 2: Ink up your rubber stamp with permanent ink... I like using Memento dye ink for this because it stamps nicely on the plastic, and wipes off easily when I'm done. Line your mounted stamp up so it is snug in the corner of the L block, and press. You should now have your image stamped on your thin positioning block.
*tip: if you are using a stamp that doesn't have a clear 'this side up' like I am, put a little washi tape on your block with an arrow to remind you which direction goes up. This will ensure you are stamping the right way every time for perfect positioning.
Step 3: Move your thin positioning block onto your project and move it around until you are happy with the placement.
*tip: this is also a great tool for designing... you can see what an image will look like on your card/page before committing to it in ink.
Step 4: Move your L block so that it is snug against the corner of your thin block... Make sure you use the same arrangement you did when you originally stamped your image... If you had the L in the upper left corner, that is where it needs to go every time.
Step 5: carefully remove the thin block without moving where the L is. Ink up your stamp with desired ink. Line your mounted stamp so it is again snug in the L (with your arrow pointing up), and press down. Make sure you go straight down and straight up to avoid smearing.
Step 6: repeat steps 3-5 as often as you like to...
build a border...
(Unity "Build a Damask")
stack your borders...
use multiple images to create a scene... like a bird on a string...
(Unity "Precious Little One")
Use it to align sentiments....
or parts of a sentiment like I used for the inside of this card...
There are TONS of uses!
Do I always use a positioner to stamp with rubber stamps? No. But it is one of those tools that changed stamping for me, and in my opinion, well worth the $17 spent on it.
This month, "Happy 29th birthday.... again" will actually apply to me for the first time... I thought it was funny. :)
Paper: card stock
Ink: Distress Ink, Memento
Stamps: Unity "Build a Damask" & "Happy 29th birthday...again"
Dies: Quickutz "Nesting Ovals"
Other: Studio Calico wood veneer flowers, Rock Candy Glitter, ribbon