Starting with Stamping?

If you want to start out with stamping it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything there is. There are also lots of lists about the bare necessities when it comes to stamping. I’ll give you mine. But – decide for yourself if you want the brand stuff or want to try out with some cheaper stuff or things you allready own. Be creative! There are a few execptions though – ink, embossingpowder and chalk: cheap stuff shows and is not comparable to the “brand” stuff.

Basic needs:

  • stamps
  • ink
  • paper
  • (yes, it’s that simple.)

To be a bit more specific:

  • clear stamps + acryllic block that is large enough to fit the individual stamps. (also not too large!)
  • ink: depends on how and if you want to colour your stamped image. My preference is water soluble ink to colour with, waterproof ink to stamp with.
    • (Ranger distress ink is watercolour ink, Stazon is waterproof ink also suitable for glossy surfaces but not adviced for clearstamps. For clearstamps, versafine or maybe archival ink). (Ofcourse you could also stamp with the water soluble ink and colour with pencils.)
  • paper: try out different sorts of paper. There is special stamping paper but it’s more expensive. My advice for Dutch people: Get the correspondence cards from the HEMA and the unicolour karton. The cardboard is for the back of the card (although it’s a shame it’s not in white – that is my preference, but at least this is not expensive AND firm). Tip: Trim the correspondence cards before stamping to a slightly smaller size. This way, when you stick it to the folded bit of the card, there will be a margin around the correspondence card where the back card shows. It’s like framing the card.

So this is the bare basic list. But ofcourse there are lots of other nice things… I’ll show you my basic workdesk.

 

My workspace with a few basic items. First, you’ll need stamps. (Or do you? You could also make your own from potatoes, and use paint to stamp, or use other objects).

From left to right bottom row: clear stamp on acryllic block, foam (EZ-mount) mounted grey rubber stamp, foam mounted red rubber stamp, wood mounted red rubber stamp, pink rubber unmounted stamp, stampsheet, backside of an ez-mount mounted stamp.

These are clear stamps from HEMA. (A warehouse in the Netherlands). Clearstamps are easy for beginners as you can see where your stamp will be placed. The quality of clearstamp also ranges widely. Clearstamps generally are less detailed (less fine lines) then rubber stamps. In this package there is also an acryllic block included. The clear stamps will stick to that, and that is the way you stamp. The inkpads that are next to the stamps are cheap ones, I don’t use them anymore.

A side view of the foam mounted stamp. Foam mounted stamps save space and you can see the outline of the stamp. The colour of the rubber doesn’t indicate anything about the quality.

The EZ Mount foam is sold in sheets, you stick the rubber on it and cut it out (it is easiest with a special sharp and short scissors which are not visible in these pictures). Normal sciccors will do too but they cut less precise.

Next up is ink and the applicators.

Left is the distress ink – it comes in two sizes. The smaller ones are empty sooner (my big ones last LONG). Small is easy for travel and eh… well there’s fans of the small ones. They know more benefits. It’s just preference I guess, and I prefer the big ones. The distress ink isn’t so much ink to stamp with – it is more of a colouring medium to use for creating backgrounds or colouring images. For backgrounds, you need an applicator: You’ve got the ones with the handles and klitteband foam pads on them, but I prefer the make up wedges on the right. The triangular one is from the hema, and I prefer the rounded one which I haven’t found an equal of in The Netherlands. (Got mine from chocolate baroque in the UK.) The well known brand Ranger was about the first to come up with the applicators with handles but are a bit expensive. Now there are also cheaper tools that look the same.

Next is Versafine – it’s an oily ink and dries slower. Good for detailed stamping or usage with clearstamps. My experience with watercolouring over them is not great – the water does affect the ink. (Maybe doesn’t do that with other paper though). Because the ink dries slower it can be used for embossing powder as well (more on that later).

StazOn – stays on! It stamps on almost any surface. Does have a distinct smell and is not advised for clear stamps as the chemicals in the ink could damage the clear stamps in the long term. (Ofcourse I used Stazon on my clearstamp and haven’t noticed any deterioration of the stamps yet). (Oh ofcourse it will discolour the clear stamp! sometimes [often] even so much that you can’t see through anymore.)

A stazon all purpose stamp cleaner solution can be usefull if you want to use more colours of Stazon.  Distress ink can be washed off easily with water/ soapy water (use mild products).

Accesoiries:

Must have for finishing touches:

  • A white gelpen or sharpie (try out several, I still haven’t found my champion yet) (for highlights, adds dimension)
  • Waterbrush (although a dry brush and water will do too but this makes it sooo much easier to “watercolour”.)
  • Black waterproof fineliner (for definition, adds dimension to images)
  • A spray bottle. The regular spray bottles spray quite neatly with fine drops. For the aged and distressed effect you’d need a more coarse sprayer like the ranger spray bottle on the right.

Adhesives:

Glue and double sided gluetape. I actually don’t use this all purpose glue anymore, I use the white glue now: Aleene’s tacky Glue. Glues very well! I don’t reccommend sticks – they dry up brittle and the paper can seperate more easily therefore. For matting (layering) the card I prefer the tape. For sticking on diecuts I use glue or foam dots (not on the picture but easily available at e.g. Action)

 

Cutting tools:

  • A cutting machine makes life so much easier (as opposed to a ruler and cutting knife).
  • Paper scissors – I’ve got two types, one is too small (short blades) to my liking. The one on the picture is my favourite for delicate cutting.

A cutting mat, knife and ruler are still very usefull but I don’t use those a lot anymore for cardmaking.

 

I mentioned embossing powder before. This is not mandatory when you start stamping, it’s like the next step or addon.

Embossing ( making a depression in something) can be done cold and hot. Cold embossing is when you use embossing folders or the old-fashioned way and embossing mat and embossing pen. The paper is pressed (with the tool or a machine) into another shape.

Hot embossing doesn’t actually do anything to the paper – it merely adds plastic to it.I’ll explain.

Stamp with versamark (watermark stamp pad, it is a juicy slightly sticky pad. It is ment to leave a watermark or a thin layer to which other mediums can easily attach: powder. (Pan pastels (which are chalk powders, like eyeshadow) and embossing powder). Embossing powder is actually plastic powder which you pour over the stamped image (stamped with versamark). Shake off the excess (back in the jar) and melt the powder using a heat gun. Or melt it above your stove (though you have to be really careful when doing this). Also on the pictures is an anti-static dust bag (baby powder would do) which reduces the amount of embossing powder that sticks to unstamped parts of the paper .

 

Last: storage.

Ofcourse you don’t need to really think of this right away, but a good storage protects your stamp but also is easily accesible. I could spend a whole post about storage so not going to do that now. Also on the picture is an old cloth, stamp positioning tool and distress markers. Many people use baby wipes (without alcohol. Or lotion, I forgot, as I don’t use them). I’m quite environmentally aware so do not like to use up that many bleached disposable products. So also no kitchen towels for me – I just use old rages. Works fine, you can just wash them. Discoloration of that cloth (due to ink that doesn’t come off) doesn’t reduce it’s usefullness.

I almost forgot one of my best “friends”: the craft sheet! It’s basically a reusable baking (teflon) sheet in brown rather then black, so you can see the colours off it. Most stuff doesn’t stick to it. There are several brands, I prefer the one with a sticky bottom from Flexicover so it doesn’t move.

Flexicover craft sheet large.

Ofcourse you can also start with a non-stick cheaper craft sheet like ones found on craftsheet.nl

 

So my basic list with things that make it easier and finishing touches:

  • Stamps (clear stamps + acryllic block, wood mounted stamps, unmounted foam stamps + EZ mount / mounting foam + acryllic block)
  • Distress ink and Stazon
    • Versafine and Archival up next
  • Hema correspondence cards
  • A white gelpen or sharpie
  • Waterbrush
  • Black waterproof fineliner
  • A spray bottle
  • Tacky (white) glue,
  • double sided adhesive tape
  • A cutting machine
  • Paper sciccors
  • old cloth/towel
  • craft sheet

Thinking of you

Viva las VegasStamps, Cogs embossing folder from Tim Holtz. Not sure how I made it… looks like I embossed the paper, coloured it with inks (or couloured the embossing folder) then flattened the middle piece again by making a small rectangular stack. The edge is done with crayons and distress inks. A ghost image of the soldier and the dancing lady in the frame.

The question is, who is thinking of who? The soldier, masculine, “business” (as in, war, violence) or the dancer (love(r), emotion, pure). Is he in her mind of is she in his? Are they truely seperated in distance or are they separated in class? The soldier, following the laws and rules without question vs the gypsy, free thinking spirit. No matter what, they are longing for eachother.daqadoodles160606ma1641n7946

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Autumn again

Nothing to do with the cards, but the fact that time keeps moving relentlessly. Seem every autumn I’m spending more energy then I have – how I wished I could just take time off work from the 1st of October untill the end of january. Sort of a wintersleep. Alas, in modern day society taking such a time off is hardly possible. Not working is hardly possible – we could manage but would have to flip every coin twice. Don’t look forward to that, so I’ll just keep going on.

Eventhough I haven’t blogged, it doesn’t mean I haven’t created. It just meant I spent what little time I had on creating tangible things instead of some bits and bytes.
I do regret to say I haven’t had time to read other peoples blog either. So maybe I just did them a favour – I didn’t read theirs (yours?) but you wouldn’t have to worry about not reading mine as there was nothing to read. On to the cards now, as that is why you are here. (Right?)

 

Strength…

…is what the subjects of the next cards seem to have in common. Dragons, knights, godesses, pure and brave hearts.

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The first card, the dragon and t he knight, is an old one. I made it 3 years ago and had kept it as it wasn’t finished at that time. I finally framed it.
The cards are lying under a glass plate, to flatten them out a bit more.

I still have to take better pictures of all these cards and show them better, but there is one I’d like to show a bit more in this post as I’ve given it to someone allready. Daqadoodles160310do1110n7021

And that is the stamp Pearl Gazing, by a design from Renee Biertempfel, produced by Sweet Pea Stamps (now retired). It’s the bottom middle card. I have tried to copy the exact artwork there, I often do that the first time I use a stamp to get a feel of how to colour it.

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I didn’t take daylight pictures and then it was time to leave to the party… so just a quick picture. It was a double birthday, for a mother and daughter.

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My daughter also made cards 🙂

 

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This is a Santoro Mirabelle stamp.

 

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And last another zoomed in image of Pearl Gazing, as I really like how it turned out. Too bad I didn’t get a better picture of it, I guess I’ll have to remake it ;).

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Wedding card fifties style

Or rather twenties. I’m not good with years. I only got a feeling of old times when we got this wedding invitation.Daqadoodles150925vr140028122b

In case of birth announcements or wedding invitations I like to give a card in the same style. So for this card I used the same colour palette (with an added warm copper colour as they have sepia in the picture). After their wedding they would go on a honeymoon to Cuba. Her weddingdress was a fifties style dress, looked great! Totally not as on the card ;). Ofcourse I made this card way in advance and on time. (NOT! – probably was a day or two before…)

 

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Oh wauw I only just noticed that now it kind of looks like she has a bare bottom! I’ll just say it only looks that way on the pictures, not IRL…

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Bronze distress stickles as glittery accents and that pearl powder from ranger. Bronze coloured as well.

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Quite pleased with the result, it matched their invitation quite well (while not knowing the exact timeframe of their invitation).

Stencil is from stampinback.nl, Stamp is from Papermania Art Deco Tall Urban Stamps Charleston (PMA-907149)

Journey Border

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This card was made a year ago. Or a year and a half ago. I really liked this card so I wanted to make a good post about it. Perhaps sell the background digitally. Oh well, i let the dream of a webshop go, as it doesn’t fit my other ideals of less waste and less controbution to waste and posession in this world. I am kind of tired of things revolving around selling things people don’t need, just to make profit to grow bigger and to sell more… I do not want to empower that even more (I know I do by buying things, but hey, I’m trying hard on other areas in my life to be living a sustainable, ecofriendly life!)

Anyway, this wasn’t about the card. Or perhaps it was? In my mind the card was named Journey, as the little dots were making a journey across the card. Like microorganisms travelling. Oh this picture really doesn’t do it justice.

The background was made with the paint and kitchen foil technique, as mentioned here. It didn’t need much more, i didn’t want to cover this background a lot so I just made little dots with perlen pens and marbled those a bit.

The card needed a frame, but not an ordinatry one. It should fit with the journey/stone like feeling. So this was the start:

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Distress ink pumice stone and forest moss through the cell theory stencil of TCW. Then with the marker spritzing / airbrush tool from ranger add the specks to the stones while the mask is still laying down.

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I’m not sure anymore what I did here, but I know it involved clear embossing one layer. Eventually all layers were clear embossed but I can’t remember in which order.

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Below: After clear embossing the layers, add more distress ink.

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See how the center lights up? I loved this stoney effect of the border! Like an opening in  a strange cave you look into. Or out of.Daqadoodles140924wo124619

I tried this again on another piece of paper.

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Also made a a frame with modeling paste. Looked better on the other ” frame”  card then on the turqoise and violet/purple card.Daqadoodles140924wo121102 Daqadoodles140924wo121110

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So as often is the case, I made a less attention attracting border with distress ink and sponges and distress markers and the airbrush tool.

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Oh the card looks so.. different on the pictures. The dark purple spots look very random (they are), but the focus is on the little microbes and their journey. They change colour while travelling, as they encounter things that change them. Let’s see if I can find a closeup.Daqadoodles141026zo133103CU1

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That doesn’t help either. It’s just one of those cards you have to see in real life. And maybe to you it’s nothing special, to me it was.

Come to think of it… these pictures are taken 24th of September 2014, my niece was still in a coma after a severe accident in June where she suffered a major headinjury. She had had another major surgery two weeks before (a piece of her skull that had been removed in June because of swellings was placed back, so she was ” whole”  again), and I  think I was hoping that her cells were regenerating and filling the gaps. New connections being made. Lost connections being restored or regrown. We still didn’t know wether she would a.) wake up. and b.) if she did, would she be a “vegetbale”? How much of her was still there? My youngest son was 3 months old then, and he was growing. His cells were regenerating, dividing, expanding. I hoped hers  would too.  She did wake up, slowly, and slowly became more conscious of the world around her again. She couldn’t move a thing, could only watch. With extensive training she learned a lot again. Nowadays she’s in an electric wheelchair. The left side of her body still doesn’t function easily, and she hasn’t gotten her speech back yet, but lately she’s making more sound / saying words. We’ve got good hopes that she will speak again without a computer. See here for the Dutch episode of ” Geef om je hersenen”  for the Brainfoundation. From 36:00 there is a story about Vanja, it’s almost the same story as my neece her story, only she has rehabilitated more.

A journey. Through memories and emotions. A journey to healing, full of hope.

 

 

Banksy and more

It’s been quiet here, but luckily I occasionally find some time to craft.

Here are a few cards again.

The first few were made from a big background I had made maybe a year ago (See Goodbye Lullabye part 1 and part 2). As the colours are very bright it just laid there, me not knowing what to do with it. Adding another colour would not fit. Then I got some Banksy stamps from Vivalasvegastamps, and some Art Journey stamps – both are stenciled style stamps, very suitable for stamping in one colour.

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Background made with TCW cell theory 12×12 stencil. Text is from Indigo Blu and the painter is from Banksy via VivaLasVegaStamps.

The card isn’t rectangular, the lower right corner is 90 degrees, but the upper left is bigger.  I felt that fit the sentiment better then a straight card.

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Same background stencil (TCW cell theory 12×12). Droplet branches and girl with umbrella are from Art Journey. The text is probably from De-Stempelwinkel, I love this poetry /proza kind of text. Lets imagination roam freely.

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Oh this one isn’t finished yet. What I did here so far is add a layer of modelling paste through a TCW stencil. I stamped the Banksy girl onto regular tissue paper, carefully removed the upper layer of the tissue paper so there is only one layer left and then used decoupage glue on the card and carefully laid down the tissue on top of it and smoothed it out. It tears easily so be very carefull and accept a few folds here and there. To make the edges of the tissue paper less obvious, don’t use scissors to cut out the image but tear it out, the ragged edges blend better.

I’m back in a bit with more cards!

Déjà vu?

My computer gave up a few weeks ago and, after getting new parts, was restored to a point in january. I am sure I’ve posted some of the next cards allready, but can’t find proof… Then probably it was only on facebook. (Or just because they’ve been waiting to go online for several months?)

PC is fixed now, and in a better spot in my house which means I can sit rather comfortably behind it, and all the diseases are slowly diminishing.

I’ve visited the Art Specially Event in Nijkerk at the 10th of April, and ofcourse didn’t stick to my budget. Which means I now own a small round gelliplate and pan pastels. I couldn’t remember at the event WHY I didn’t get it before or what had put me off, but I did remember as I was playing around with them at home. It means a new range of products I am going to need to collect…. It’s probably my subconscious trying to keep feeding the addiction, as I have told myself I’ve got enough stamps and cannot get more. Still many many uses with the ones I’ve got. So I am only allowed to get materials that are used up. Like glue and the new distress inks, markers. I didn’t intend to get new media… really…

Ofcourse now you expect a post about my experiments with it – but alas, as I’ve said this is about older cards from before my trip to Nijkerk. (It was a strange trip. No constant talking in the car, no questions, no ” Mom,..Mom..Momm!). It was strange. I thought I’d love it, sing out loud with my music, feel “free”, but it wasn’t like that. The music didn’t do the trick. My mind was still going everywhere and nowhere. Probably because I had an extremely busy week I was a bit numb. The event was good, I participated in a take and make (gelliplate and pan pastels…) and got my mojo back. I hadn’t been crafting in a few weeks due to ” reasons”  (had moved my crafting supplies and wasn’t sure I liked the new storage, not used to it, not wanting to make a mess (tired), got a cold etc..)

I’m digressing, again.

Cards…

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Made with cutoffs from other cards. Glue them on cardstock, add some finish to it (I used Mod Podge decoupage glue) and stamp a sentiment on it.

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This one has been almost finished for a year or more. I had just the panel with the mermaid, not sure if I had put the dots (paper pen dots) in the swirls then, that might have been a later addition. All I did to finish it is (maybe add the dots and) frame it… Chocolate Baroque mermaid and Designs by Ryn swirls and School of Fish.

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Chocolate Baroque text and Sweet Pea Stamps (discontinued) Meredith Dillman’s Lady in Green. Stamped onto a background made with acryllic pewter paint.

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The reverse stamp of a stencil of Designs by Ryn onto glossy cardstock, and one of her Colibries.

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Also reverse stamp of a stencil (Hibiscus) onto clossy cardstock and a Hummingbird. Text is from the Boadicea sheet from Indigo Blue

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Text is from Quietfire Designs, background stencil is Japanese Anemone from Designs by Ryn, and the dove is from a dove/pear themed Chocolate Baroque stampsheet.

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Art Journey stamps against a pewter and silver acryllic paint mix background.

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Hmm I’ve shown this one, haven’t I? Or only on facebook? In that case: It’s the Queen of Hearts by Rachel Anderson from Sweet Pea Stamps (discontinued). Crackle backround is Indigo Blue. The pinkish background is a leftover piece from a year ago.

The leftover piece on which the queen of hearts is stamped is from this set of cards, I even mentioned in the post I saved it (it’s the piece of paper I cleaned my brush on…)

 

 

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Trying out that beautiful blending I see on many of the Lavinia cards. This looks quite ok but is not entirely right, it’ s missing a branch or something at the top. All stamps are Lavinia stamps, and the treetrunk is stamped twice to create a higher treetrunk (the stamp is only half the cardheight size).

And now, in gallery form and with some more detail pictures:

Rain

It’s raining again today. Very appropriate for the next watery cards.

Raindrops stamp is from Designs by Ryn, as are the mermaid, origami lily and crane. Backgrounds are made with TCW stencils in the first two cards. Not sure how I made the background in the last card, could be bister and a stencil. The text in the last card is from Indigo Blue. (I think, from the Boadicea set). Cards have a tiny bit of white gelpen and stickles accents

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Birth basket

Not sure what it is called in English, but these are gifts for a women who has just given birth. It’s not a national tradition / custom, just something some people do. You make a basket with gifts, I think it was originally one for each day the mother had to stay in bed. (used to be a week? No idea). Anyway, the gifts are for the mother, who has had both physical and emotional a major experience. So no or not only baby things that make the mother feel good. My friend lives at 3 hrs driving so I made her a nice package. Gifts included chocolate from a chocolatier (not sure if that is English), instant soup, lavender oil, olive oil soap, felted flowers and some more I forgot.

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