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.


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