I'm really supposed to be on a working "vacation" re-organizing the smART workspace instead of stamping and blogging, but Trish's tea party from last week got me playing with the bird silhouette image from WD-198 Small Things, and I've found it really difficult to stop... Too many "what ifs."
What if I use that color instead of this one?
What if I pair it with that saying?
What if I incorporate a different punch?
What if I add embellishments?
I thought, however, besides sharing the card, I would also share some of my tried and true tips for working with silhouette stamps because over the years, I've heard at least a dozen stampers say how they love the look of silhouette images, but won't buy them due to a lack success in stamping with them...
Yes, I agree, using a silhouette stamp can be a tad tricky, especially if you think of it as just another stamp, but if you alter your perception a bit, and equate silhouette images with mastering a technique, I think success is more easily achieved:
Before using a silhouette stamp for the first time, rub an eraser all over the rubber's surface, then brush off the eraser "crumbs," and wash the stamp.
This helps remove any "pressing residue" which can interfere with ink adhesion --I know some people say to use fine grit sandpaper, or a nail file for this, but beware,these methods may mar the rubber.
My favorite eraser? Magic Rub by Sanford.
Use a "juicy" ink pad.
Many times, if I know I want to do silhouette stamping, I automatically re-ink my pad...
Use smooth cardstock.
One matte cardstock that works very well is Beckett Expression Cover from Marco's Paper. (Marco's shipping charges are on the hefty side, so you might want to check and see if this paper is carried by your LSS.)
Apply the ink to the rubber as heavily and evenly as possible.
Tilting the inked stamp toward a light source should show how well this is being accomplished.
When putting the stamp to the paper, hold for a full count of ten.
Remember, doing this gives the paper time to absorb, or "suck" the ink off the rubber.
Before stamping on your project, do a test image on a scrap of the same type of paper you will be using --
Results vary ink to ink, paper to paper... Change one of these variables, and the outcome might be different.
Doing a test image also acquaints you with areas of the image which may require more or less pressure.
For some inks, a small paintbrush (or even a cotton swab) can be used to fill in "voids."
Stroke the brush's tip along the ink pad, dab off excess ink onto scrap, then use small circular motions, and apply ink to the stamped image where needed.
This takes a bit of practice, and a measure of patience because it has to be done slowly, using almost a dry-brush technique... If you apply too much ink at a time, the image will end up looking "patchy."
Black inks that work really well for this - Versafine, and Brilliance.
Give the stamped image time enough to dry before handling (or heat set).
You've applied lots of ink to a rather small area, so you can't expect it to dry as quickly as usual. If handled too soon, your fingers will inevitably pick up some of the ink, then leave unwanted smudges.
Remember, the expert at anything was once a beginner who practiced.