Sunday, January 27, 2008

Stampcritter Tips

Hello again,

I had a great day with my husband. He took me to the Olive Garden for lunch, a place he doesn't particularly like, to Joann Fabric's and then the mall (I didn't even ask to go to the mall). So we had a nice day.

I thought I would share with you just a few things I have learned so far about making the stamps.

First, when you make your artwork and print it on the vellum, you might want to use standard printing mode. I have an inkjet printer, and the instructions said you want a really dark print, so I set my printer to the "high" mode, which should give you the best printing. That was too much ink for the vellum paper to handle and it just smeared on the paper. Every printer is different though, so you might just have to experiment.

Second, watch as your vellum paper comes out of the printer. Mine started to curl up from the ink and it would mess up my artwork. So I would grab a hold of the vellum as it came out so it wouldn't curl, then I would lay it flat and put something on the corners until the vellum dried. If you have a laser, you probably won't have to worry about this.

Third, when you print text to make your stamp - DO NOT print the text in reverse or mirror image. If you do it will be backwards on your stamp. Ask me how I know.

Fourth, you will need some kind of software program you can use to invert your image. If you read my previous post on how to use the Stampcritter, you saw a picture of my negative. You will start with your image being black and the background white, then you need to invert your image so the background is black and the image is white. I used Photoshop elements 2.0. This is a very old version. To invert, you just open your saved image and press ctrl + i (thanks to Kim on SCS for the info). If you were just doing a text stamp, you could use word, make a text box and set the background to black and type your text in white.

Fifth, and I think this is the hardest part. You want to get the liquid in the polymer pouch distributed as evenly as possible. I have ruined a few stamps because of this issue, I would have a really good impression on half the stamp and the other half would be barely raised. I didn't receive my spacers (they are supposed to be on the way) with my Stampcritter though and this should help with this problem. If you view the video, you can see little dots around the glass as the guy is putting his "sandwich" together. I don't have those yet.

Sixth, the instructions will give you guidelines on the "baking" times. The recommended times are 35 seconds and 120 seconds. After I made my first stamp and had almost no raised image, I emailed tech support. He suggested I use 30 seconds and 120 seconds for my "baking" times.
This worked.

Lastly, and this isn't really a tip, just something you should know. Your stamp does not stick to an acrylic block. You will need to use some kind of adhesive to mount it to the block. I used temporary double sided tape. This worked great. Also, in my pictures of the stamp, they look really dark. This is because I used stazon ink and it stained the stamp. I have read that stazon should not be used on polymer stamps, but maybe someone else knows more about this kind of stamp than I do.

That's all for now, if anyone else has any tips, please email me and I will edit this post and add them on.


Stampcritter video

Ok, I only have a second because my husband is taking me out for lunch. Here is the link (I hope it works) to the video created by the Stampcritter people:

I was told you had to have internet explorer to view it. There is no sound on the video (I didn't want you to think you were having audio difficulties).

I think if you watch this video and read my instructions you will get a pretty good idea how it works. Just a note - when you see him pouring a bottle of water over the stamp, that is plain water, at this point we would be using our sinks to rinse the stamp off. Evidently they didn't have a sink handy.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Homemade Stamp - Valentine Bear Card

This was free clipart I found on the internet. I added our church name in the center of the heart. Our little kids are going to make Valentine's for the elderly in our church and community and I wanted something with our church name on it.


Pretty in pink paper, real red paper, regal rose paper, watercolor paper

Stampin Up markers, scallop punch, SU grosgrain ribbon, designer paper

First Card With My Homemade Stamp

This stamp was the first successful try at making a stamp with the StampCritter and this is my first card. The image is a puppet, which is why it is colored so brightly. The brighter and more colorful a puppet is, the more people like them.

I still need some practice with the StampCritter, but I hope I can get the hang of it.

RECIPE: All Products Are Stampin' Up

Bordering blue paper

Brocade blue paper

Real red paper

Watercolor paper

Markers: Brocade blue, Bordering blue, Real red, Yoyo yellow, Only orange, Green Galore, Going gray, Close to cocoa

Real red brads

Both Oval punches

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stampin' Up Cake

Thought you might like to see the really cool Stampin Up Cake we had our January Club night. The cake was brought by Mary Lynn who was the hostess that night. The cake was made by Kathy Warfel. Isn't it cute? Tasted pretty darn good too!

January 2008 Stamp Club

We kicked off the new stamp club on the 17th. All the ladies participating have all been in my previous clubs. Each month the ladies have a "homework assignment". This means they have to make a card for the next's month meeting following specific instructions or guidelines. If they do their homework, their names goes in a jar and at the end of the six months I draw a name and the winner gets a free stamp set.

This year, I had everyone bring a card to the first meeting and I told them we would start the club with a drawing for a free stamp set. This time though, everyone got to go home with a new stamp set. So their homework for next month is to make a card using their new set.

Here is a picture of the projects we did. We only used one stamp set to make all the projects. I wanted them to see how versatile this stamp set could be.

This year I am going to concentrate more on different products and techniques, rather than stamp sets. At last count, I was over 180 sets and even though I have a "stamping room", it's starting to get a little crowded in here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

StampCritter Sample

I'm such a dork. I just realized the picture you see of the "sandwich" in the previous post is not the same stamp as you see in the artwork preview. I'm sorry. I didn't take a picture of the correct "sandwich", but I think you get the idea.

Here is a sample I made with my new stamp. The top picture I used ColorBox ink which I was told on Splitcoast is the best ink to use with Polymer stamps. I didn't have black so I stamped it in blue. The bottom sample I used Stampin Up Classic ink.

I will try to do some more tomorrow night after church.


Hi everyone,

I finally got my StampCritter last Friday but I didn't have anytime to play with it until Sunday night. I made 3 attempts before I got a good stamp. I'm going to try and show you a little bit about how it works. This is not a complete tutorial, just a general run down so you will have an idea how this works.

First of all you have to mix up your chemicals. The instructions are included with your Stampcritter and are easy to understand. You will need (2) one liter containers to mix them in. I just bought two bottles of water and mixed the chemicals in that. You will mix more chemicals then you need to make a stamp so just store it in a dark place - in a cabinet or something.
The next thing you will need to do is to make your artwork. It also explains this in the instructions. I used Photoshop Elements 2.o. I scanned in a sheet of clipart I have had for years and used Photoshop to crop it and invert it. It looked like this:

Next print your artwork on the vellum paper that is included in your kit. I cut my vellum in half, that way if your printer smears you won't have wasted a whole sheet.

Now you will make your "sandwich" You layer in this order - glass plate, trimmed vellum art work (face up), polymer pouch (instaplate face up), glass plate. You need to make sure that the liquid in the bag is spread out evenly and that there are not any air bubbles in your artwork area. You will then take your clips and clip all the way around the "sandwich".

Warm your machine up by turning it on for 3 minutes. I do this while I'm putting my sandwich together. Then you will stick your artwork in the Stampcritter. The instructions say for 35 seconds, but it also says it may vary depending on your geographical area. I had to reduce my time to 30 seconds because on my first try the image was barely raised. After the time is up, you will turn the "sandwich" over and turn the Stampcritter on for an additional 120 seconds.

After your time is up you will take your "sandwich" apart, lay the pouch on a cutting board with "instaplate" facing down and cut away the 3 sides of the polymer bag that don't say "instaplate" then peel off the top layer of plastic. Don't worry if polymer stuff oozes out when you cut the pouch. I keep newspaper by the cutting board to lay the peeled away part on. The polymer is sticky, so I suggest using a cutting board that you won't be using for food.

After your stamp is exposed, you will put it in the Wash out solution you have already mixed up in the first step. You just pour enough of the solution in a plastic container to cover the stamp. At this point the size of the container isn't important as long as it is big enough for the stamp to lay flat in the solution while you use your brush that comes with your kit to wash off any gooey polymer. I do this for about a minutes as it states in the instructions. Next just rinse it in the sink under running water. I use warm water just because it is more comfortable for me. I don't know that it matters though.

Last step is to put the stamp in a container and cover with the post solution. This is important, the instructions say you need a container 6"x10"x2" high. After making a special trip to K-mart (40 miles away) after church Sunday to get the Martha Stewart containers that were suggested in the instructions, I ended up with rubbermaid containers because they didn't have any Martha Stewart containers. When I got home I found out the container would not fit under the Stampcritter. So after searching through the house, almost in tears, I found a plastic school box. My husband cut off the top and it works perfectly. Anyway, lay your stamp in the container, pour the post solution over it and put it back in the Stampcritter for 10 minutes. When time is up rinse off the stamp, dry (I used paper towels) and trim your new stamp.
Your stamp in now done. It's getting late and I have to clean up my mess. I will try and stamp some images before going to bed, but it will probably be tomorrow night before I can actually make a card with my new stamp.

This stamp is a puppet with binoculars. I picked this for a couple of reasons. I have been a director of a puppet team for church for several years and we are going to start a Children's program at our little country church called "Seekers". Binoculars are kind of our logo for the program and our verse is "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

I hope you enjoy this glimpse at the Stampcritter, the two people I have dealt with in purchasing this machine, Tim and Andrew, have been very helpful. They might even give me a "small token of their appeciation" if you buy this machine and mention my name.

Would you like my honest opinion of the machine? As someone on Splitcoast mentioned, there is a learning curve. You probably won't make a perfect stamp the first time (unless you learn from all my mistakes). Is it a tool you can't live with out? No, but neither is the cuttlebug or cricut, and a lot of us have both of them. Do I think it is fun? YES. There are so many sayings and verses and images I would like to have but can't find a stamp for it.

This is an inexpensive way to make your own. There is a big inital expense for the machine, but I do think the refill kits are reasonable. I don't think you could have a company make a stamp for you cheaper than you could make it yourself. For those of you who are blessed with artistic talent, you will have fun designing your own stamps. For those of us who were blessed with brains and beauty instead, we can use clip art, pictures from coloring books, we can even use our cricuts and cricut colors to draw our designs and turn them into stamps.

So that wraps it up. If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I will try and answer it. Please remember, I've only had this machine a few days, I'm far from an expert. Thanks for looking


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...