Hello, faithful WCS readers! This Amy Sorensen (one more time!) and I am coming to you today with a mystery. A stamping mystery, which is even more thrilling than your everyday, run-of-the-mill murder mystery, yes?
First, our characters:
An American Crafts stamp (pick your favorite)
A Close to My Heart ink pad (any color)
Now, the mystery:
Why do these two things not work together? I can use a CTMH ink pad on any other manufacturer’s stamp and it works perfectly. I can use American Crafts stamps with any other ink pad and, voila! perfect image.
Combine the two, though, and the result is a disaster. The CTMH ink just bubbles up in ugly blotches on the American Crafts stamps.
I asked my CTMH dealer (every good mystery needs a dealer, right?) about this once. She sort of gave me the stink eye and suggested just a little bit of brand loyalty. So then I felt guilty and bought a few stamp packages from her.
And another stamp pad that won’t work with American Crafts stamps.
So yeah: when it comes to stamping, ink/stamp incompatibility is sometimes a problem. And then there’s the cleaning of the stamps. And the fear of stamping in the wrong place, incomplete images, or smudges. Dried-out stamp pads. A missing exclamation mark in your favorite alphabet set. Owning every imaginable shade of green ink except the one you actually need.
And those inky fingertips!
Sometimes it’s hard to use your stamps.
But I am here today, all mysteries aside, to challenge you to use your stamps. Because in this month of using your stuff, the problem child of the scrapbooking world needs a little love too. Here are three stamping…well, they’re not really dares because they aren’t really very edgy. Stamping encouragements, then. A gentle nudge to get you to get out your stamps and get stamping! Ready?
1. Repeat just ONE stamp several times on your layout.
When I was writing the journaling for the following layout, I noticed I’d repeated the word “darling” twice. Usually my inner editor would require me to revise this immediately, but I decided to run with the “darling” theme and see where it would take me. Partly because I sort-of vaguely remembered one of my stamp sets including that word.
I’m glad I remembered correctly! (Even though it’s an American Crafts stamp! Sigh. I had to actually go out and buy a good, blue, non-CTMH ink pad to make this layout.)
It doesn’t have to be a word that you repeat though. Any image, especially one you really love or that goes extraordinarily well with your layout’s theme or topic. I stuck to one color (because, yeah, I only wanted to buy one more ink pad), but changing up the color of your repeated image would make it feel different. Here’s my layout:
To get the journaling into just the right spot to wrap around the stamped word, I took a quick picture of the stamp with my cell phone, and then inserted it right into my document. I changed the “Wrap Text” option to Behind. Then I used the enter, space, and tab keys to get the text in the right spot. So it looked like this:
Before I printed, I just deleted the images, leaving the white space behind that was exactly the right shape for the stamped word.
2. Use a stamp set you bought but haven’t, actually, you know, used on a layout.
I am so guilty of this! Even though I have become a more careful shopper than I used to be, I still get sucked into the oh-that-is-so-cute whirlwind of shopping.
I can’t be the only one, right?
So, here’s a little encouragement. Dig into your stamps, find one you haven’t used, and then use it. The whole set, or just one or two pieces, it’s up to you.
On this layout I used a Cocoa Daisy set I bought quite a while ago. These leaves are adorable—why haven’t I used them yet?
To make the stamped images and the die-cut title letters match, I used the same stamp pad I used to stamp the leaves, but I just swiped it across a scrap of white cardstock. Then I stamped some more leaves (yes, in the same color) right on top. This creates a subtle pattern that mimics the leaves. Once it was dry, I ran it through my Silhouette.
3. Mix an alphabet stamp and something else to make a long title.
I think of this as a mixed media title. Find an alphabet stamp that works well with your layout, and stamp some of the words in your title. Use alphabet stickers, rub-on letters, or die cut words for the rest.
I mixed an (ancient) CTMH alphabet set with some words I cut with my Silhouette. I like this because it helps me minimize my frustrations: too many die cut words and I get frustrated with my sticky fingers and glue blobs, too many stamped words and I’m bound to mess up sooner or later. Mixing = way less frustrating!
To help myself mess up less, I always write the entire title on a piece of scrap paper and then look at it about a million times as I’m stamping. Nothing’s worse than a misspelled word in your carefully-stamped title.
(Well, except for world hunger, environmental degradation, and crumbling financial markets of course.)