Noble flower 2

Susan Robinson
October 11, 2021

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In my last post, I told you of one way to colour stamp designs which have a lot of rubber area. Here is another way, using a Ranger product called ‘Cut-N-Dry’. It comes in felt or foam pads. The felt one is for using with dye (water) based inks, and the foam one is for using with pigment (embossing) inks. It is basically a way for you to create your own custom design ink pad. I used the felt pad, as am colouring with dye inks.

  • 1. first, cut a piece from the felt pad to fit the exact size of your stamp.
  • 2. stamp your image onto the felt pad (the cotton side) with a StazOn pad, so that it won’t bleed when you apply the other inks over the design.
  • 3. the instructions say to apply the different coloured inks with a paintbrush, but I found this method didn’t soak the pad with enough ink to give a good stamped out impression, so I ended up pouring the inks direct from the bottles onto the pad. The newer bottles have a needle point nozzle which made it easier. The inks will spread, but don’t stress, as that’s nothing to be concerned about.
  • 4. I applied green ink over the leaves, and yellow, orange and pink ink over the flower part.
  • 5. then you line up the stamp over your custom ink pad and stamp out your image! It doesn’t matter if the inks have bled out, as the rubber will only touch in certain places and pick up the ink underneath it.

The beauty of this technique, is that you can mass produce cards with the same coloured image, over and over again, rather than painstakingly colouring it by hand each time. Great method to employ for Christmas cards, when you have a lot of cards to make of the same design. When you have finished with your custom pad, store it in a self-sealing bag to keep the inks moist, and you can re-use it again down the track. If the inks have bled out a lot and it’s hard to see the design, write the details on the back of the pad. I always also mark the top left corner too, so I know which way is up and makes it easier to re-align the stamp.

(left) using direct from bottles to ink up pad (right) using paintbrush to ink up pad

Now, as I explained in step 3. above, when I used a paintbrush to apply the inks to the pad, it didn’t make it wet enough, so my stamped image was quite pale (see image at right).

So rather than waste it, I cut the flower out using it’s matching die, re-inked my flower stamp, then lay the cut-out over it. I placed an acrylic block over the top so I could better apply pressure without risk of the paper moving.

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Noble flower 1

Susan Robinson
October 8, 2021

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Sometimes when you have a solid stamp design with a lot of rubber area, such as this one, stamping it out in black is not a good option (see sample at right). It’s just too heavy and dominant.

So what ARE your options?

One method is called the ‘direct-to-rubber technique’, where instead of using an ink pad, you simply colour the rubber area with texters. Two things to be aware of: 1. only use water based texters, never alcohol based ones (such as Copic or Spectrum Noir pens) for this method. 2. Make sure to use a painty nib (soft pointy nib like a paintbrush), as the bullet style nibs are hard and may scratch your rubber, therefore effecting further stamp outs.

Because it may take you a while to colour in the whole stamp, huff your breath over it to re-moisten the inks, before stamping out. I stamped onto gloss card, which will take a moment for the inks to dry, but makes the colours more vibrant.

stamps: Noble 4377K by Penny Black; Art washes by Hampton Art

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Seahorse in Autumn tones

Susan Robinson
January 19, 2021

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My third and final seahorse card in this set. The Alcohol ink background was leftover from a batch I did for my “Orange Poinsettia” Christmas cards a few posts back. I turned it upside down so the blue was at the top. I didn’t use this particular piece as there wasn’t much green on it and the red was more a murky orange colour. The gold embossed red leaves were left over from the actual poinsettia’s of those same cards.

I cut the seahorse die out of Two-sided sticker sheet. I peeled off the back and stuck it onto some dark brown paper, then cut around it. I then peeled off the front and lay some Copper Fab Foil over.

I used light green & blue Chalks to colour brown segments of the seahorse and Black Accent for his eye. After cutting out some coral & seaweed dies, I glued them at base of card with the leaves, and Magic Mounted the seahorse over, with a piece of weed entwined through his tail. The ‘Happy Birthday’ is a gold sticker I stuck onto a strip of alcohol coloured card.

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Seahorse in Spring tones

Susan Robinson
January 16, 2021

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Keeping with the seahorse theme for one more post before we get onto more Australian subject matters. The seahorse cards all have Alcohol ink backgrounds, this one using Sunshine Yellow, Raspberry & Pool, on Gloss Card. The green and purplish tones were created where the colours overlap. I stamped the image onto the left side of the coloured card, which had more of the blue tones, and will save the other half for another project.

After I coloured in the top shell (as shown in RH photo), I didn’t like it, so stamped the image out again onto white scrap card (as I did for the seahorse), cut it out and re-coloured it lighter, then Magic Mounted it into place. The white Sharpie pen I used around the inside perimeter of each bubble, and to add lines to the circular coral. Apart from watercolour pencils to colour, I used Gold Liquid Pearls and Distress Glitters (White Picket Fence on shell, Wild Honey on Seahorse) as highlights.

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Seahorse in Summer tones

Susan Robinson
January 12, 2021

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Summertime, and I’m enjoying my swims! How lucky I am to be living in this beautiful country, with this fabulous weather, so close to the beach and having the time to visit it every day. Counting my blessings.

Shell Pink, Cloudy Blue & Hazelnut Alcohol inks on Yupo paper created the background for this card. Not the usual colour combination for underwater scenes, but I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. Probably because it has my favourite seahorse die (Sammy SD365) from Joanna Sheen in it. Below is how it all began. Reminded me a bit of a shell, so that’s what I started with, playing with shell shapes.

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Gelli Babies

Susan Robinson
November 4, 2020

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Slowly getting the hang of how to use this gelli plate. I am not very good at layering, so am a bit out of my comfort zone. Out of the 50 prints I have taken so far, I like maybe six. Anyway, I did a few leafy prints that I was quite happy with, so will share them with you now. [Please note that the below photos were taken after I made these 2 cards. This is using a 3×5 inch plate].

Took me a few goes to get my head around it, but the idea is that the first colour/colours that you lay down on the gelli plate, will be the colour that stays underneath the plastic area of your stencil. The second colour of paint that you lay OVER the stencil, will be the colour that goes into the holes of the stencil pattern.

So choose your stencil pattern wisely, depending on the result you’re trying to achieve, as some stencils have a lot of plastic area with small holes, and visa versa. Those stencils with very delicate patterns, may be hard to brayer the paint over to get into the holes, so you might have to sponge it on instead. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more cards in the near future with backgrounds designed on my gelli plate.

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Yellow Flowers

Susan Robinson
August 17, 2020

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Stamping over alcohol inks can sometimes be a bit tricky, colouring the image in can be trickier! If you’re not feeling brave enough, there are other options. Obviously die cuts are an easy out. But if you want more depth, you could always stamp onto a separate white card, colour in, then fussy cut out and glue image into place.

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Leaf Relief

Susan Robinson
August 13, 2020

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This alcohol ink background seemed a bit too busy to stamp over, but makes a stunning backdrop for this simple leaf shape (by Alexandra Renke) cut out in gold card. I used gold stickers for the Happy Birthday, and stuck some amber rhinestones on to finish. Simple but effective.

Below is another card I made using the ‘outside’ of the same die. I didn’t bother putting some of the tiny pieces back in. Was wondering whether to add some tiny pearls or not though? Hmm…

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Embossed Leaves

Susan Robinson
August 9, 2020

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“We live for the bounties of Fall, but the harvest of Friendship is blessed above all”.

After running this rather bland green and silver alcohol ink background through the Big Shot inside an embossing folder, I sponged a darker green ink over the top to highlight the raised pattern of leaves. (Make sure you use an Archival ink).


embossing folder: Endless CO723294 by Couture Creations

stamps: Autumn Leaves CR-03870 by Just Rite Papercraft; Single Leaf 2468C by Stamp-it Australia

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Relax Cowboy

Susan Robinson
August 7, 2020

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A way of adding interest and dimension to an otherwise boring alcohol ink background, is to run it through an embossing folder.

This would be a good card for Father’s Day. Sadly my father passed away a few years ago so I don’t make those cards anymore.

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