Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stamping 101

Yesterday we discussed the "Myth's" of Acrylix Stamps and I posted a stamping flip chart that shows about 10 different stamping techniques but what if you just need a stamping refresher course?

When I first started scrapbooking I was not a stamper - not at all.  Then I signed up to be a CTMH Consultant and still did not want to be a stamper.  I remember telling my husband that I would only sell the paper and stickers.  Then I saw my first Acrylix Stamp set or Clear Stamps as they are sometimes referred to.  My world opened up by just being able to see where I was going to place the stamp.  By being clear the stamp was automatically user friendly or as we say in my house "Jenny Friendly".

Not long after I started my stamping education I found a stamp care article online from a sister consultant (Lisa Stenz) I not only saved it on my computer but I printed a copy for my own personal use.  

Disclaimer:  I will be using information from Lisa's original online article and from CTMH online education.   

Stamping 101:

1.  Always use your foam insert

What is the foam insert?  It is that 6x6 foam sheet that comes with every new stamp from CTMH.  Do not throw this away - it is there for a reason.  The foam insert replaces the cushion that traditional wood stamps have between the rubber and the wood.   Place the foam insert under your scrap paper, then place your project paper on top of both the foam insert and the scrap paper.  

If you are like me, you will NEED the scrap paper to keep ink off of your work surface.  The foam sheet will insure a more even stamp image.

2. Use the correct size blocks

Use a block that fits your image.  Using a block that is too big or too small will give you more problems that you want.  If the block is too big then ink will smear on the sides when inking the stamp or if the block is too small you will not be able to give even pressure for sharp images.  You do not need every size out there but you do need enough to get a good variety.  If you buy good quality blocks then you will not have to replace them.  I am still using the blocks that I bought 9 years ago and they look great. 

3. Ink your stamps properly

Tap, Tap, Twist, Twist two times to get really good ink coverage on your stamp.  Ink and stamp a couple of times on a scrap sheet of paper to make sure the image will look the way you want it before stamping on your project.  

4. Do not slam your stamps 

Now you are looking at me like I have two heads... what do I mean by do not slam your stamps.  Do not hit the ink pad then the project paper with a pounding force.  

When you stamp you should press straight down, with even pressure and pick straight up.  Do not push down and rock back and forth because this will give you shadowing and ghosting images and may even give you a broken image.  A broken image is when only have of the ink transfers to the paper leaving half an image. 

5. Clean your stamps

If this was a perfect world I would tell you to clean your stamps immediately.  But we all get busy with our projects and get excited when it is starting to look "just right".  

Clean your stamps ASAP.  

There are some inks that need to be cleaned immediately such as Pigment Inks or Staz - On but most water based inks will be ok while you are still working.  

Clean your stamps with a stamp cleaner solution (CTMH My Spritz Cleaner)  or if you are in a pinch a dab of soap and plenty of water.  Do not use baby wipes or paper towels because they can leave lint or fibers on your stamps that will be difficult to remove.  When I have a heavy stamping day I will clean all of my stamps with the soap and water and just let them air dry - then put them away.  

If your stamps start to loose their tack or stickiness the soap and water cleaning will restore them to like new stickiness.   You can also wash your blocks and carrier sheets with this method if needed.  I found that air drying is best for me. 

As I stated in the "Myth's"  post some staining may occur and that is just fine.  There is nothing wrong with the stamp, it just likes the ink.  I like the staining because it makes it easier to find the stamp image if I drop it.  

I have some stamps in my stash that came with my original Consultant kit and most of my blocks are at least 9 years old.  With proper care your stamps should last for many enjoyable crafting years. 

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