Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Experiment: paint chips, paint stix, inks and embossing plates

Just recently a friend of mine from Split Coast Stampers (Misstreez) had been using her Shiva Paintstiks and had wondered whether they could be used for stamping.  I have wondered this myself on a few occasions.  So yesterday I finally took out my Paintstiks for a bit of a mess around.  I haven't had them out for a while, so they were all dry and needed to be peeled.

For those of you who don't know, Shiva Paintstiks are like long fat crayons but are made of paint without much oil.  They are mostly used for rubbings for fabric and used in quilting.  The company that makes them has a website here.  This is what three of mine look like:
(They are about 12cm long)

(Photos can be clicked on for a larger view)

So to find out whether or not they could be stamped with, I took a brown one (not shown ) and scrapped a little onto a non stick surface and added a few drops of oil.  I used a wooden skewer to mix it.  It was thick and lumpy and even after a while of both stirring and leaving it sit to dissolved - it just stayed fairly thick.  More oil just made it more of the same and oily.  So really for stamping it was not very good -

You can see from the picture - the brown flower is the Paintstik stamped onto ordinary cardstock and the pink flower is the stamp with normal stamping ink and embossing powder.  Just too lumpy to be really effective as a stamping medium.  If I really want to stamp with paint, I can use my acrylic paints (which are better with foam stamps than rubber stamps) or just buy ordinary oil paint and go from there.

Now I have to say, this is not to denigrate Paintstiks in anyway, it is just that from this little experiment, I feel they are not useful for stamping.

So while I had them out, I thought about some earlier experiments I had done, by rubbing a Paintstik on the surface of an embossing plate and then putting cardstock onto it and running it through my Bigshot dye cutter and dry embosser.  Lately I have been collecting paintchips just for the heck of it, and playing with them.  So I lay one of the chips on a suitable coloured up embossing plate and look:

I love the effects - this one using a sort of cobblestone plate.  The pink being the Painstik colour and the lighter part being the paint chip.  The lighter part is indented.  I did a couple more because it is hard to wash off and so wanted a few more for some scrapbooking I will be doing later.

So because it is so difficult to clean off the embossing plates, I thought if I dry emboss and apply the stick after, what would happen?  This:

This was achieved by putting in the paintchips one up and one down and running through the Bigshot.  Then getting the paint stick and lightly running it over the ridges of the indentations.  This will make a nice fish or mermaid tail...

Hmm, so I thought dark on light is nothing unusual, but when using stamping ink, if you want light on dark, stamping ink doesn't work all that well, and you are better off using coloured embossing powder and Versamark/watermark ink.

So I grabbed a dark paint chip and whizzed it through, and hmmm....

So I think that the raindrops are a bit too far apart for this to be conclusive.  But I think both cases make the raindrops look dimensional which is a good thing.  It is a thing I will have to play around with a bit more.

Well, so then I thought I would play around with dry embossing the paint chips and patting over with inkpads.

Well the one thing I know about this, is that if you want the ink to sit only on the top of the thing and not down in the indentations - that means a fabric pad has to be used and not a sponge pad.  This is a bit disappointing to me because I love my sponge pads.  Nevertheless, it was a chance for me to re-acquaint myself with my Stampin'Up! inks and play with my few Distress Inks.

I have 20 assorted colours of the Stampin'Up! pads but only five of the Distress ink pads at the moment, so my colours for them were pretty limited.  the distress ink doesn't really sit well on the paint chips:

I heat dried these and the colour is blotchy.  I still like them, and they will end up on a scrapbook page...

But okay, my favourite pink is the SU! Pixie Pink and I had to use some.....

The colour is not very good in these photos; but the effect is quite nice.  I am sure I have some baby pics of one of my grand daughters that will benefit from these...

And one last crossover -

Okay, this is a paintchip that has been dry embossed, coloured over with a Painstik, then dunked into my clear embossing powder and heat embossed.  Where the other Paintstik chips are going to take a few days to dry - mostly because of the humid and wet weather, this is dry already, and shiny and lovely.  Of all the techniques I experimented with, I think I love this one the most.

Conclusions: In all I did 18 samples and I thought:  I should be doing more of this stuff, it is fun and has some good applications for both cardmaking and scrapbooking.  I should also be doing it on a larger scale than just paint chips.  These will all be used, as that is what I made them for, but I will be doing smaller samples for the technique journal I am keeping...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Twenty Twelve...

I promised a bunch of people I had two resolutions for this year, one is to blog more - and hopefully across all my blogs.  The other is to tweet the Apocalypse - because so many people think this year will be the end...

2011 was not a particularly good year overall.  I was too wrapped up in myself and my "problems" to see the broader picture, but a trip to Canberra last week to visit my sister and my father in his nursing home, as well as a few other things have helped put things into a bit better perspective.

I have done a few things craft wise, in the past few months, building on the Swaps for SCS I entered.  There was a caffeine card swap:

This is the basic layout of the six caffeine cards for the swap.  They ended up being 6 by 6 inches because the size of the coffee pot to make the other items have proportion.  The coloured paper is the tablecloth and was cut with my Nestibilities.  I used brown ink and fine embossing powder to make the brads brown from silver to look like coffee beans.

These are the remaining five.  Colouring that many coffee pots and cups took ages but I really like the effect.  I used copper coloured stickers to write the word "Coffee".  The colours are crap but clockwise from top left are pink, purple, orange, yellow and the one centre is blue.  Photos are taken with my mobile phone which seems to be not a good idea.

I received five lovely cards in return and I hope I will remember to photograph them soon.

There was a Christmas card swap:

 I nearly forgot this one, so it was a little bit of a rush job.  The photo again was from my mobile phone, so not the best colour wise, even though I put it through a colour "fixer".  The matt is actually a mauve colour.  The angel is also painted with blender pen and stamping ink, much like the Koi in the earlier post.

But I think my favourite had to be the four seasons ATC swap.  I made sixteen ATC's four for each season - and received 16 in return.  Again I will have to photograph the return ones because they are just so beautiful...

My cards :





Yes the winter is an actual knitted piece.  My thinking being that here in Australia we don't have snow, so snow themed card wasn't really appropriate.  However, like the Northern Hemisphere, there is always knitting.  So with some wooden skewers cut to size, topped with a card end.  

But, seriously, it is very expensive swapping and as things are at the moment I can't afford it.  I understand it is fair enough that we pay for our own postage, and I don't begrudge that.  I just can't afford it just now.

However, the items I received in return for my swaps have convinced me that I am not really much of a stamp "artist" - partially because I cannot afford, nor want some of the gizmos and gadgets  that are available to make cards look more "professional"...  I am happy where I am ...

I have some other craft items, but not yet photographed and many UFO's, all for another blog later....

Sunday, July 31, 2011


...I don't usually write about more personal stuff on this blog as it is for my main blog, however, since this one is linked to my SplitCoast Stampers' signature line, I am writing this here.

I was supposed to have the first part of my surgery last Friday. Two weeks ago, I had been to the pre Admission clinic and the anesthetists who examine your suitability for anesthesia both declared me high risk. Needless to say, that freaked me out. Mostly because it was only four weeks since I had quit smoking after 35+ years and I am seriously overweight. Of which, quitting smoking did not help me.

They ordered me to have a blood test at the pathology section of the hospital, which I did.

I was so upset by them saying I was high risk, I went to see a doctor on the Monday. My previous doctor had left at the end of March to take up lucrative lodgings on the North Shore as a private doctor. So I had to find a new doctor. Luckily for me I recalled that my medical office had sent me an SMS saying there was a new lady Doctor starting that very week.

Very nice, older lady. She listened to everything I had to say, because she realised I was very upset by then. She said that she would get some blood tests of her own done, that she knew of some medication I could take as a hunger suppressant and I could delay the surgery until I was less of a risk. Although the Specialist had informed me without the surgery I would die, this Doctor seemed very skeptical about that, which has cheered me up.

The following day the hospital rang, and said that the anesthetists wanted to see me again, in light of the blood tests I had had done. I asked the person who rang me if it was possible for them to postpone the surgery for three months, she said it was, so I am relieved about that.

When the Doctor got the blood tests back it showed that my blood sugar levels were very high. She immediately ordered a diabetic glucose test which I had the following Monday after a three day high carb diet over the weekend.

Well, it is not quite diabetes. But she prescribed the pills which are not on PBS and are extremely expensive. They are based on amphetymine (hence my daughter calling me a "crackhead" - in the blog title). I have been on them for three days now and waiting for my appetite to be suppressed.

Meanwhile, my daughter is again unemployed, thanks to her company closing its doors and she being only a casual employee. So I am making cards for swaps and will post photos of them quite soon.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Coloured image swap on SCS

This is one of the cards I made for the swap. It is the first card swap I have ever entered, so I was not sure if it was what they wanted. I guess since I have uploaded it to my gallery on SCS I will find out soon enough.

The fish image was stamped first and then coloured, I did a mask for fish and placed it over it and then coloured the water. I used a darker color around the fish to give it some dimension - but looking at the pic I am not sure howwell that worked. I added the pearls for air bubbles.

The shells and "seaweed" were stamped and coloured and cut out. The white edges of the card stock were then coloured so that it was more even. A small star fish bead seemed to let me finish the card.

Coming up with colours for the matt cards was a bit of a challenge, but I found a blue the same as the darker blue for the fish part of the card and felt the back ground was sandy enough to pass off as sand. I made a tiny horse logo with my name and year to stick on the back of the card.

Hope they like it...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

On being slow...

I have not been doing much of my paper craft things. I am slowly building the ugliest stationery box you are ever likely to see, and doing some cross stitch.

If you have read my other blog you will know that I have bones pressing on my spinal cord, causing mental depression and slowing some of my other faculties as well - or maybe old age is catching up with them. ;-) . So I find it hard to concentrate for very long on anything. Walking is becoming harder and harder for me. I will be having an operation, probably within 3 months and another one a month later which should remove the bones from my spinal cord.

After that I should be able to gradually build up and begin my crafting in more earnest. So I beg your indulgence for a few months that will be spotty to say the least.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Gosh, I hadn't realised it was so long since I had updated this site. So sorry. I thought that you might enjoy seeing a few things - first up being my bigshot. In my last post I had said that I didn't really feel I could justify the expense of having one of these. Little realising at the time that just before Christmas Lincraft would have them so cheaply it would impossible not to get one. Normally these retail above the $150 mark and hover around $200 but this one was on special for $99. I thought it would just be the body itself and not really worth it, but it included all the folders and two acrylic blocks for the sandwiches that are made for cutting and embossing.

Because of the width of this machine, I can use my embossing folders which up until now have been pretty useless because of their width. Now I can use them on appropriately sized paper and cardstock. I have three dies now as well, a flower, some leaves and a corner swirl. The dies themselves are relatively expensive, but if I get enough use of them, can probaby justify the expense. Tim Holtz has some dies and embossing folders that are, what seem to me to be, reasonably priced and hopefully I can get some from a Queensland retailer in the next couple of months. No holding any breath.

This is a photo that I recently scrapbooked - she is my cousin's daughter. The wedding was last year and she posted pictures to Facebook. I had been wanting to do it for a while and finally got around. This is one of what will hopefully end up being ten pages. I want to make a 12" x 12" album in the same way I made the last one, but with white wedding dress fabric that I have. When those are finished I will post them here too.

I have some medical issues to be taken care of over the next few weeks so maybe not post again for a while. Once those are out of the way, I will show you some other things I have been doing and talk more about the above photograph.

Leaving final word up to Starbug

Talk to the butt ...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Punches -vs- Dies ... and booty

These are some of my recent punches.

With Stampin'Up! recently bringing out the Big Shot to Australia, I have been thinking seriously about die shapes and using them for both paper arts and fabric arts. I already own an Accucut die cutter, and I could probably adjust it to take new dies. I also looked at the various large nesting dies, which are the shapes I would most likely use, because they are the most familiar and used dies. The nesting dies are very expensive in Australia; some recently retail ones I looked at were $182 for a set, of I think 20, in increments of about 5mm. The various shapes, squares, circles, hearts and scalloped versions thereof, along with a few other shapes add up to a fair amount of money if you were to buy them. I guess if I was having classes and charging commercial rates, I could probably justify a few sets, but when it is just me - it is a ridiculous amount of money. I would probably only use a few sizes suitable for cards and that would be it.

So I turn to craft punches; as you can see above. I have about four circle ones, and probably would use two more sizes, and I have about the same number for squares. I have a few other standard shapes, including a very nice, large dragon and these have gotten me by quite well. I have spent a few dollars buying them, but no where near as much as a few sets of the nesting dies would set me back. I will probably try to sell my Accucut. I can see the usefulness, but the expense isn't really justified for me.

These are new Japanese papers. Proper ones, not just some pattern I downloaded from the internet either. Eckersleys have them. There are about a dozen or so available, but they are not cheap, so I limited myself to four. They are A4 size, which isn't too shabby and I have some projects in mind for them.
Of the three books I ordered from Amazon, two are to do with my crafts, one is Making Hats from the 1920's and the other is Metric Pattern Cutting for Children's clothing. So I have plenty of things to keep me busy. If I can just get some time cleared away from everybody else's demands I will be fine. lol.
Sorry the picture quality is not the best, for various reasons I have had to use my phone cam, not the best, but I think you can get an idea.