A warm welcome to all my visitors,

Thank you for taking the time to come and look at my blog, I really do appreciate it. I would love you to leave me a comment, even if it’s just to say Hi. It means I can come visit you!

All my designs are original, so copyrighted to me. If I have been inspired by someone elses work, I have named them in the post, and where able, I have provided a link.

Please feel free to use my designs for inspiration, I just ask you to credit me, and provide a link back to my blog.

Thanks, Shaz XX

Saturday 29 April 2017

Here it is- The Tonic/Tim Holtz Stamping Platform

Right then, freshly arrived this morning, the long awaited Tonic/Tim Holtz Stamping Platform.
 I had the email to say it was shipped yesterday, and was surprised to get it so soon, as I know in the USA people are still waiting- I think something to do with the Patent case being brought by Sweet Petunia re the MISTI.

Anyway, here first is the unboxing.

It came in a nice strong cardboard box, which was inside a polybag.
 Next layer was what you see above, which is a card sleeve, all inside a plastic layer.

 Remove the plastic and the sleeve, and you see a layer of foam above the tool, which is encased in a strong cardboard outer frame.

Remove the foam and you can see it is also sat on a layer of foam. So, so far, full marks for packaging and presentation.

And here it is out of the box. As you see it comes with two magnets to hold your paper/cardstock in place.

I also like that the hinge is a solid metal bar, and the slots the hinge fits into are also metal lined, so breakage/wear is not going to be an issue.

The lid lifts free, you can probably just see the red writing in the top corners, which tell you which side to use for either rubber or clear stamps.
 The top also has a grid moulded into it, but presents no difficulty for cleaning. The bottom is completely smooth, and again, cleans easily.

Flipped over, non-slip feet at the top, and a foam rubber mat. So, no slipping and sliding.

How well  does it work? I've selected some squares of hammer effect cardstock, which normally would give really poor print results.

Cardstock is held in place with two magnets, and you place your stamp face down on the cardstock, where you want the image to go.
 Close the lid down onto the stamp to pick it up, open up and ink your stamp.

This is the first imprint on the hammer effect cardstock. In honesty, I'd be happy with this as is, but I can simply reink the stamp, and stamp exactly over the top to darken the image.

The re inking has made her raised leg as dark as the rest of the image. By the way, at the moment I'm using Memento Luxe Tuxedo Black.

So, a solid silhouette stamp came out very nicely.

Next onto a stamp with more detail, a circle of stars. Both these images are from Lavinia Stamps.

The Memento Luxe is a foam type pad, so overinking your stamp is always a problem, especially if it has a large, open area like this one does.

 Plenty of overinking on the stamp, and onto the lid of the Platform.

No problem, it wipes straight off with a baby wipe, as does the bottom platform.

Close the lid, press down.......

.....and a nice clear image, with no evidence of all that extra ink. This too was the first stamping, I'm very impressed that I get a good image in one impression, so far.

So lets try out some smaller word stamps. This word circle is another from Lavinia Stamps. This time I've placed my cardstock in the top corner, and weighted it down.

First impression, and this one is a little pale. But still no issue with the over inked edges of the stamp.

So, just re-ink, then re-stamp.

Much darker the second time around. Still no smudges.

Okay, this time I've flipped the lid to the 'Rubber' side.
 Stamped twice to get the solid bars nice and black.

Another Rubber stamp, and this is after the first impression, still on the Hammer effect card, this time using Versafine Onyx Black.

I definitely would not be happy with that impression.
 So, re-ink and re-stamp.

Much better, lovely clear image.

I thought I'd do the same image using just the stamp on an acrylic block, then side by side compare.
The image on the left is with a stamping block, the right one I did on the Platform. Not a huge amount of difference, but there is definitely clearer detail in the Platform one, especially on the small butterfly.

A clear wording stamp, again Versafine Onyx Black. First stamping, and the image could be a little darker.

Re-inked, and a much darker image.

So, my thoughts.
 Very well packaged, I'm impressed to be honest.
The Platform itself is sturdy, as are the component parts.
 One side (right), and the bottom are open, so you can use any size paper/cardstock.
 The metal bar for the hinge is very solid & strong, as are the metal hinge linings. Good attention to detail, looks like this will last and last.
 The measurements along the top and side are in metric AND Imperial- which I love as I am totally still working in Imperial!
And they will not wear off either. It's not tape, or painted on, but moulded in black, with the numbers and increments the grey of the platform. Hard to show, but you can actually feel all the increments. Again, made to last.

 All surfaces wipe clean of ink with a baby wipe, even the grid lines moulded into the 'CLEAR' stamp side.

Am I happy with my purchase? Absolutely.
I see an end to accidental smudges from the edge of an over inked stamp, or those from inky fingers, which went unnoticed! As your fingers never go near the cardstock once you've inked the stamp, if this is something you get a problem with, then this Platform will be worth it's weight in gold for all the saved projects!
 I've never been one for making One Layer cards, as the risk of a smudge or blotch was always there, but no more. 😀
Quality- Full Marks, from initial view.
Price- Great value for money.
User Friendly- 100% yes.
 Would I recommend- Totally.

Thursday 27 April 2017

Emboss Resist with Teasels & Dragonflies

 So this is the result with the Teasels stamp from Woodware, and the Dragonfly Vine from Stampendous.

The teasel cards have been worked with Brusho's, which was not Plan A.

 I went off in a slightly different direction than I originally intended, sparked mainly by some inkpads I hadn't used in ages catching my eye.

 Anyone have, or remember these Blending Blox from Marvy/ Dee Gruenig? From a quick Google search, they don't appear to be available anymore.
 They are a square inkpad with 4 shades on separate pads.
Not sure how well that shows up, but when you originally got them, they had plastic strips separating the pads, which you can replace after use, but I never bothered.
 Anyway, cut to the chase. I remembered that when I bought them, they were being demoed very much like Distress Inkpads- on a craft mat & misted with water. So, fingers crossed they hadn't dried out- don't ask how many years ago I bought them, - I thought I'd try them out.

Tried out one called Shades of Sunset first, and pressed them onto my glass mat.

Quick mist with some water, and tried this first one on some scrap cardstock. I didn't want to waste the stamped images if they didn't work.

And to be fair, not a bad result. So that will go in my UFO box for another day!

This one used the Shades of Olive pad, and came out rather well.
 Looks like this may go better than I hoped.😀

Swapped to Shades of Gold for the next one. Same every time, pressed onto the mat, then misted lightly.

Came out well, and dried out nicely. Two for two, so far.

This time I thought I'd try two pads together, so used Shades of Sunset again, and added Shades of Periwinkle.

I like this one, and the ink almost seemed to have a pearlescent sheen to it, but they are just plain dye based inks.

This time I used Shades of Gold, and added Shades of Caribbean.

Not too bad, but not my favourite, either.I think I should have used different colours as the image was heat embossed with a Dark green/black Embossing Powder called Midnight Emerald.

Never mind, onwards.

Shades of Sunset and Shades of Mauve combined for this one.

That worked well, especially as the Dragonfly was heat embossed in a dark blue EP.

Shades of Caribbean and Shades of Gold for this one.

And again, not too sure about this one. Don't know why, as I love green, but this one doesn't really grab me.

Now I thought I'd try something else, and sprinkled some Brusho's onto the craft mat, then spritzed. I used Emerald Green and Violet, and I think that was maybe a mistaken choice. The finished piece is quite dark.

Mind you, looking at it now, it's growing on me!

This one was done the more traditional way of sprinkling on the powders, then spritzing. I used Lemon, Yellow and Orange.

The white embossing does get covered with the colour, but a wipe over with a damp baby wipe, then polish off with some kitchen roll, and it cleans up nicely.

 I'd done all the Dragonflies now, so swapped to the Teasels.

This one had Ultramarine sprinkled on, spritzed, dried, then a little more powder and spritz.
 You can see the colour on the baby wipe from cleaning the image!

Yellow and Orange here then spritzed, and then added a few sprinklings of black,spritzed a bit more, then dried.

Last one now, Violet and Purple, with some small sprinklings of Grey.
 This is still wet, and you can see how the colour sits on the heat embossed white image.

And here, dried, then cleaned up with a baby wipe over the image, then some paper towel to polish it up.

An End of an era

An end of an era

I write this with a broken heart, that only time can heal My beautiful, wonderful wifelet Shaz (Silverwolf) passed away peacefully in the ea...