Is a stamp company when there aren’t any stamps?

A lot of us are on e-mail lists for various stamp companies. There’s something akin to Christmas when you get an e-mail from a company you like that says, “New items!”

So imagine my glee when receiving a message from Memory Box and Poppystamps that their summer collections were available. I’ve been buying Memory Box stuff for um… well… a long time okay? I really like their stuff and so I wanted to see what was in it.

Now imagine my disappointment when the entire collection is just dies. I’m a stamper, not a die-cutter. I needs me some stamps.

Ahem, anyway, this made me think it odd that a company called Poppystamps didn’t actually have any stamps in their summer collection. I guess Poppydies sounds kind of ominous maybe?

I’m still going to look through the dies, of course. While I may be disappointed that there aren’t any stamps, these companies make nice looking dies and there may be something in there I can use my stamps with, after all.

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The joy of chaos

Normally, I lay out my card designs in nicely ordered fashion, but every so often you just have to be a little chaotic. For example:

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This was a card I made to send to a friend along with a letter and it’s a phrase she uses all the time and adores so when I remembered I had a stamp with that phrase I had to make a card for her using it.  The only thing I designed in advance was where to put the sentiment (in the center). The rest of it was happened by just going through my stamp collection and seeing if any particular image grabbed my attention and I threw it on there without too much thought as to placement.

Once I had finished adding stamped images, I colored in the individual images using Polychromos pencils, then stippled on some beige ink and then edged the card piece with brown ink and adhered it to the card. I think it came out pretty well. Not bad for chaos.

Try embracing the chaos once in a while in your own projects. You might like what you see.

Assembly line card making

I’ve been watching other YouTube content makers this week and noticed that there are several of them who make a lot of cards in a near assembly-line manner. They put all the stamps in the MISTI, then stamp a bunch of cardstock, color it all in one big session, then adhere it to the card blank and voila, a stack of cards.

So I tried doing that myself, and it actually made me not enjoy the process and I gave up after starting the coloring. To me, that took a lot of the joy and fun out of the process. I discovered while trying this process that I much prefer to sit at my stamp table, look at my collection and stamp where my heart takes me rather than design something and then make a bunch of cards in a row with the same design.

I actually envy the folks who can do that. I’m sure folks love getting a box of stationery from these stampers because it’s beautiful, hand-made stuff that just happens to look all the same, but I can’t do that.

How do you stamp?

In days of yore #2

Back in the mid 90’s, I was looking at unmounted stamps for the first time, but buying all sorts of wood mounts separately didn’t seem to be that cost-effective so I wasn’t doing it. That changed when HALOS (Hooked and Looped On Stamps) came up on the stamping mailing list I was on.

I had already tried using Velcro but found it difficult to use  and found that the stamps wobbled too much on the mount I had covered in hook tape and taking the stamp off required a lot of tugging. HALOS, on the other hand, sold acrylic mounts with channels ground into them so you had one, two or three strips of hook tape in the channels instead of all over the stamp. This allowed the stamp mounted on loop tape to stick to the mount, not wobble so much, and removing it was much, much easier.

I went crazy after that mounting things on this system and even converted a lot of my wood mounted stamps to this system. There were two major down sides to this, though. My KAI scissors would get gummed up with the ultra-sticky adhesive on the loop tape requiring frequent cleaning, and cutting the stamps out would create little fuzzies all over the place as some loops of the loop tape got severed from the tape. Had to do a lot of sweeping those days.

Eventually I started having trouble with the adhesive on the tape itself hardening and then turning to powder forcing me to remount a lot of my dies and I took a break from repositionable stamp systems.

Yes, I have cling mounted stamps as well, and have also had trouble with stamps sliding off the cushion as the adhesive degrades over time, so no system is perfect. But I still have some of these dies on Velcro that I haven’t remounted and really should at some point.

When stamps are like old friends

After my move I hadn’t done much scene stamping because I just didn’t feel like it as some of the stamps I have for this are large and can be hard to print on the table I’m currently using as I look for something more solid. But this week I just die cut a piece of Kromekote with a rounded corner square die and then took some Stampscapes to a hard surface and made something.

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I added three colors of ink using both a stipple brush and a Tim Holtz Blending Brush then adhered it to the card blank I had set aside for it.

It’s very simple but sometimes you don’t need complicated, multi-layer, sequin encrusted cards.

Tried no-line coloring for the first time

I’d read about no-line coloring in a couple of British publications and then saw a new stamp pad from Ink on 3 called Fadeout No Line coloring detail ink. This ink is designed to take on the color of whatever is put on top of it so the final product will look like it was hand drawn.

I didn’t order this particular ink though as I haven’t actually tried no-line coloring to see if I actually like it, so I thought I’d try it. In the following example I stamped the planet with a light beige ink and then colored with Polychromos pencils:

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This didn’t convert me to the concept, but it was a good start in my opinion. I’ll have to try it with other images and see what comes of it.

The astronaut was colored with Copics and the stars with Tombows. I then added some stippling and edged the card section with red ink.

All images by Lawn Fawn.

The way I used to stamp

Back in 1991, when I started doing this, I mostly stamped postcard scenes using all sorts of nutty images from Ken Brown, Rubber Stamps of America, Stampa Barbara, Leavenworth Jackson and Museum of Modern Rubber among others. So many stamp companies lost to the mists of time.

I was thinking about this today while I was sitting at my stamp area because I was not feeling the photopolymer love and I wanted to make something. I tried checking out the web sites and blogs that are fairly well known and that depressed me somewhat as the examples were mostly single images with a sentiment and that wasn’t what I wanted to do.

I took a poke through my stamps and found one I forgot I had from Beeswax and decided to put it on an ATC blank and then see if any other inspiration struck. I ended up with this:

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The grass, reeds and clouds were all from Stampscapes. After stamping the images, I took some Prismacolor pencils and added the colors in. I then stippled using Colorbox dye ink (Putty) and Memento dye ink (Toffee Crunch). The clouds were stamped using Memento (London Fog).

I’m still deciding if I’m going to just leave it as an ATC or mount it onto a card. But it made me think of those Carson Conventions I went to in 1992 and what my initial enthusiasm for the hobby was like. I need to reclaim that.