February 26, 2011

Think Ink

So I've spent a good portion of the day today messing around in my studio and what started out with intentions of having fun, turned into a day of studying.

Studying? Yah.

Here's the back story. I bought some paper and matching embellishments. I fell in love with it on a lunchtime trip to Joann's about a week ago. It's called English Moss by Colorbök - a bright green, light greenish-blue, black and cream. Things have been a little hectic at work so I just haven't had the time to do a whole lot with it yet so I was really looking forward to today to see what I could challenge myself with.

Instead, I sat at my desk wondering where to start. I knew who I wanted to make the next card for (and why). I had all the pieces. I just didn't know how to put them all together. I didn't have a plan. So I stumbled into ink. And that's where the study began. (I do have a project that I'll be posting on my next blog that will show the final product but you'll just have to come back sometime in the next couple of days to see how it turned out!)

I've read a lot on the various types of inks. Honestly, I didn't know there were so many choices - brands, colors, drying times, techniques, etc. My best resource has been Jennifer McGuire. She's a real pro! Between her blog and the series of videos on YouTube called Thinking Inking, I have enough techniques and products to try to last me a year or two. I've purchased a few different products to figure out what I like (VersaMark Dew Drops - Turquoise Gem & Tea Leaves upper left hand corner, ColorBox Chalk Cats Eye Queue Ice Jade from Misty Meadow upper right hand corner, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Walnut Brown lower right and Stewart Superiors Memories Dye Apple lower left)

I started with the clear stamps themselves. I decided to trim some of the excess off so I could tuck the word "TRUE" closer to "LOVE".

It helps if you use a pair of small scissors. I like these ones I stole from my cross stitch kit. One day I'll replace them (when I start cross stitching again.)

I love using these clear blocks from Fiskars with the grid on them. It makes lining up letters and patterns a little easier. (The clear stamps I used on this project are also from Fiskars.)

I've read on other blogs and stamping sites that if you stamp on a mousepad, it makes the image stamp a little clearer and more evenly. I tried it. I believe it. So I've "borrowed" my husband's mousepad indefinitely. I stamped on Neenah Solar White cardstock.

Here's the results of my little study. The ColorBox Ice Jade was too light, seemed a lot lighter than what it appeared to be. I like the density of the VersaMark Dew Drop inks. I probably could have done a better job inking them up but I liked them the best. They're vibrant, more true to color, clearer and more evenly solid. The Memories dye was vibrant but it was splotchy.

Then I used the Walnut Stain Distress Ink over all the stamped images. And the Memories Dye ink started to grow on me. I don't know if the ink had a little more time to even out or if I was changing my mind but I think I'll have to give this one a second chance on another project.

After I stamped the color and they had a chance to dry, I went over part of each one with the Tim Holtz Distress Ink. The light shade didn't survive.

So now onto finishing the project. Keep your eyes peeled!

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