Sunday, July 29, 2012

How To Stamp Artwork-Part 2 of 4

Now that I own a CTMH stamp, how do I get started?

This tidbit of information will show you how to mount and “prime” your stamps.

First I must tell you that I’m a very “wordy” person.  In my last blog when I said this is not “hard” and doesn’t take a lot of “work”; I meant it!  This looks like a lot, but I’m trying to give step by step instructions, so it appears to be a lot of work, but it really isn’t.  You’ll see!

First, you need an acrylic block.  Size doesn’t matter as long as it’s big enough for the stamp you are using.  Meaning, you don’t have to own 10 different block sizes, just as long as you have a large enough one to accommodate the largest stamp you have.  You can always mount a small stamp on a big block, but you can’t fit a big stamp on a small block.   I recommend 2 different sizes to get started; 2x2 (click here)and a 3x3 (click here).  If you have larger stamps, we also have a variety of other block sizes (click here).  I recommend the small one because although you could put the small one on a bigger block, it is easier for leverage of the block to not have a lot of extra space.  But make no mistake, if a 4x4 or bigger is all you have, it CAN be doneJ

Next you need your stamp set.  Remove your chosen stamp image and mount on the block.  If you look close, on the bottom edge of the block by my left thumb is a line for a guide to ensure you mounted it straight.

I learned some awesome tricks on how to “prime” my stamps.  This is something you can do for all stamp types.  I wish I could remember my fellow CTMH sisters that posted the information to give her/them credit.  SorryL  What is “priming” your stamp?  Well, if you stamp your image, and you wish it would be just a little “bolder” or “solid”, you prime it.  There were many suggestions of how to do this, but the one that works best for ME is:  Mount your stamp to the acrylic block and rub it on your arm.  This will help smooth the image and allow the ink to give a “bolder more solid” look to it.  **Just make sure you prime it BEFORE you ink it.  LOL.  If not, YOU will be pretty colorfulJ

Another good trick is to take a small sanding tool and “buff” the stamp(click here)

You can also use an eraser

Below is a picture of a stamp I had not used yet.  The stamp worked great right out of the package, however, if you look at the letter "U" and around the "squiggle" on the bottom right, you can see where the ink didn't cover.

Below is a picture of the same stamp used after "priming" on my arm.  Full coverage.

You are now ready to stamp.  Happy StampingJ

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me via email at or call me at 614-725-9677.

Stay tuned for my next lesson:  What type of ink should I use?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

How To Stamp Artwork-Part 1 of 4

I’ve met many scrappers that think stamping is “too hard” and “a lot of work”.  I’m here to show you that it’s not either “hard” or “work”.  For those that think it is, have you ever had a non-scrapbooking friend look at your work and say “I’m not crafty like you, I wouldn’t be able to do that”?  Do you tell them, “You’re right, you wouldn’t be able to do this.”?  I think not!  Most of us scrappers want to show anyone that’s willing to listen about our hobby.  We want to show how easy it can be to embellish a picture and make it unique to your style. 

Scrapbooking is an expensive hobby; don’t let anyone tell you different.  However, if you’re already scrapbookers, then you already have spent a small fortune, I’m sure.  Many of us have had to increase our homeowner’s insurance!  It would cost more to replace my scrapbook stash than it would to renovate my kitchen (with top of the line appliances, cupboards, flooring…)  Shhh, don’t tell Bill; I told him maybe the cost of the living room.  Ya know, maybe a new couch, carpet, couple of end tables, and some lamps.  Ok, he doesn’t “buy” it for a minute, especially since I’ve taken over 2 rooms in the house, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to itJ

There are so many different types of stamps, what’s the best type to use?

I’m glad you asked.  There are 3 types of stamps out there that I’ve used; I’m sure there’s more.  Let me tell you a little bit about each stamp and you can decide for yourself.  Of course, I will share my opinion of which stamps are best to use and why.  Please remember, my goal with sharing my opinion is to point out the pro’s and con’s to the different stamps so you don’t spend money on a product and then never use it.  That’s why I have 2 scrapbook rooms. 

  1. Rubber stamps
·         These stamps are typically mounted to a wooden block.  Usually the block has a picture of the image on top so you know what the image is.  I own a TON of rubber stamps; my husband calls it my “lumber”.  LOL 

          Above is a picture of CTMH stamps from years ago…keep reading to #3 and you will see the benefits to our new stamps!

·         Stamps a clear and solid image.
·         Easy to clean

·         Can be difficult to see where you are stamping.  If you are stamping random images on a piece of paper, this is not a big deal.  However, if you are trying to stamp with alphabet letters or stamp a scene, it is very difficult to see if you are lined up with the last image you stamped to have it straight and spaced correctly. 
·         Are the most expensive to buy of all stamp types
·         Very bulky to store; not top choice for those with limited work/storage space

  1. Rubber-self mounting stamps
·         These are rubber stamps and are not mounted on anything.  You mount them yourself on a clear acrylic block when you want to use it and then remove it to put back in the container. 

I don’t have a picture to show you because I don’t own any.  These came out after I started using Close To My Heart clear acrylic stamps, and those are the only stamps I use now.  I have a friend that owns some and of course I had to try them out. 

·         Stamps a clear and solid image
·         A little easier to tell where you are stamping because you have a clear block to help see through to your paper. 
·         Easy to clean
·         Takes up less storage space than the wood mounted rubber stamps

·         Because the stamp is not clear, it can still be difficult to completely tell where the edge of the image is; again for spacing and lining up with previous stamped images.
·         Less expensive than wood mounted rubber stamps, but still more expensive than my personal choice of stamp sets explained below.

I saved the best for lastJ

  1. Close To My Heart clear acrylic stamps
·         These stamps are acrylic, not rubber and they are clear…see through.  These are not mounted and require a clear acrylic block to stamp the image. 

·         Stamps a clear and solid image
·         Able to see exactly where you need/want to stamp because you can see exactly where you are going to stamp your image 
·         Easy to clean
·         Least expensive of all stamp typesJJJ
·         Takes up very little space for storage.  Perfect for those with small work/storage space.  Even better if you have lots of work/storage space because you can own a bunch of em’ like me. 
·         Can’t think of any…I love these stamps!  I’m being very honest when I say I can’t think of any con’s; I would restate the pro’s, but I’d be repeating myself and I’ve overloaded you with enough information.

I hope this helps you in your decision to try stamping and how to know which one will work best for you.  If you would like additional information on CTMH acrylic stamps, visit my website ,email me at, or call me at 614-725-9677.  Happy stampingJ

Next tidbit of info will be:  Now that I own a CTMH stamp, how do I get started?