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....