Friday, 14 September 2012

First Time Stamp

This is the theme for the September ATC swap over on UK Stampers.  We were supposed to use stamps that we had never inked before, but that isn’t strictly possible for me, as I always try out any stamp immediately I get it.  I like to check whether its going to give a good image, whether I like it (or hate it!) and whether parts of it could be used for something else.  So for these ATCs, I decided to use stamps that I have never used on a project before.

Apart from the alphabet, all the stamps are freebies from Craft Stamper magazine.

I stamped the cockerel in black Memento and coloured it with Promarkers.  I hung the word part of the stamp off the edge of my acrylic block, and covered the words with paper while I inked it, but I still had to try 5 times to get a decent image without a ghost of the words!  I doubt if I shall use this stamp again, except for the tail feathers.  To cap it all, I dropped a Promarker on the card when everything was complete, so I had to put dots all over the background to hide the mistake.  Grrrrh!!

I don’t “do” cute, so the rabbit stamp will probably also never see ink again.  It is too small, so I cheated on the theme a bit and used my old alphabet stamps to fill in the space.  I used the Octopode castle stamp to make the bunting – another cheat, as I have used it this way before, but I have never used the stamp as a whole image.  I did the stamping with black Memento and coloured with Promarkers.

The “Visage” ATC is an extension of an experiment I have been doing, based on the “Art de Fleur” article by Helen Chilton, in the October issue of Craft Stamper.  After 1 utter failure, I managed to make 2 fairly successful tags, so I decided to use the technique on this ATC.  Helen's words “let the ink dry” led to hours of frustration and to finding out that Stazon is not permanent on top of my oil pastels!  The stamping wiped right off my first attempt!!  In trying to do the embossing, the card kept moving inside the folder, so the Stazon and the pastel transferred onto the plastic, which took a lot of cleaning.  I found it very difficult to do the partial embossing, as my Bigshot is electric, and I couldn’t stop it in the right place.  Frustration led me to putting the whole of the 2nd tag into my “wood-grain” embossing folder, which rubbed off almost all the Stazon!  Grrrrh again!!!!  And more cleaning!  The ATC was easier to make, being so much smaller, but the Bigshot still bent the edges, and I managed to mar the stamping slightly before I remembered my can of fixative spray.  When it came to the final embellishments, I don’t have any Fran-tage, so I dripped ink onto some silver-coloured mica flakes on my craft mat, mopped up the excess with kitchen towel, then zapped the flakes with my heat gun.  It worked quite well, as the ink stuck the flakes to the mat, and very few blew away.  I shall have to remember that trick!  I stuck the flakes onto the ATC with PVA glue.

As usual, getting the photo right was a nightmare, as the adjustments that suited the white ATCs didn’t suit the pink one.  The white is too green and the pink is too purple.  I suppose I should have photographed them separately, but everything is easier in hindsight, isn’t it?


  1. These are lovely.Look forward to seeing one of them in real life!

  2. Sounds like you had a catalogue of challenges there - well done on persevering. I did some of the Craft Stamper makes for that cockerel stamp - I just cut the words off the bottom and used them separately as I didn't like the off-centre alignment! I think the background dots actually work really well on that ATC even if it was a case of covering up an accident!

  3. It's always good to experiment and try new things. I really like the visage one.