Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grandma's Rocking Chair - September 22, 2013 - Back to Basics

Grandma's Rocking Chair Question - How do I stamp?

Today at my class I had a couple of new stampers.  I love new stampers they are so excited when we do something.  We embossed a card and I heard the WOW look at that. We used the Big Shot, with thinlits and embossing folders and they couldn't believe it.  They used the Simply Score Tool to make a score to fold their cards and they were isn't that great a straight line. So I love new stampers.  I also love new stampers because it gets me back to the basics of stamping. Not just what size is a card, how do you make the card base,  how do you open a stamp pad, how do you clean the stamp and what I want to touch on today how to stamp.

Yes there are a lot basics to go over but today I want to touch on one that even made me want to stop stamping, and for a fact I didn't even want to try again because I could never get it to look right. My friend Dee, helped me learn the simple thing of how do I stamp.

Now there are a lot of reasons why something happens to make your stamping look bad.  It could be a really inky stamp pad, a dry stamp pad,an uneven stamping surface, a misaligned stamp.

For new stampers I do a few things at first.  One is I have them stamp a few images on scraps.  A lot of times there is no problems and they stamp just fine.  Though I do find a few main problems one is a pressure problem and the other is a moving, rolling problem.  I then explain to them that to stamp a clear crisp stamp there are a few things they should do to stamp.  One is to ink a stamp turn it over and look at it making sure that it is inked all over and not globed or over inked with ink on places it should not be. Second thing I tell them is to stamp straight down, don't rock and roll and don't push it through the paper but to keep the pressure even and firm. Then when they remove the stamp to bring it straight up. Then I have them practice again.

Here are a few stamping flubs.
The above can be caused by a dry pad but these were caused by other things  I made these to show what stamping mistakes you can do and then how to correct it.  These mistakes are mainly a pressure problem. 
The Top Left was uneven pressure - this is really common on large stamps since it is really hard to put even pressure on all the stamp at once.  Some folks can not put a firm pressure on the whole stamp so I tell them for large stamps they can do a few things. 
1) They can butt stamp. Put your paper down on the table then your stamp on top and then sit on the stamp.  This will provide firm even pressure.  If you can't get on top of the table try stamping on a chair.
2) Put the stamp rubber side up on the table then put your cardstock on it and if your cardstock does not cover your stamp a piece of scrap paper on top of your cardstock.  Then take your Brayer and rub it over you cardstock and stamp, making sure that you run over all the stamp.  Be careful of moving the paper especially when you run off the side of the stamp.

The Bottom is not enough pressure.  A lot of times this happens when you have applied to much pressure at first and get the halo affect (see Below) and you don't want to do it again, so you hardly press at all.  Just do it again and put a little more pressure on it. Practice is great just grab some scraps and practice.

The Top Right is a pretty good stamped image.

Now these I call my Rock and Roll problems.

The Top one is not a rock and roll, but could be.  It is one that is to much pressure and gives it a halo. A lot of this is caused by having to much ink on the stamp but even if you get ink on the rubber and not just the raised stamp you can still stamp it with out the halo.  You can also see that the letters are fatter and blurred.  I tell my folks to go with less pressure still firm but just don't try to stamp the floor and just the cardstock.

The Second one is a type of rock and roll.  This one I did by trying to see where I was going to stamp and started by putting the top of the stamp down first then rolling it up straight, then lifting it off.  It is very common when you want to make sure you are stamping in the exact spot you want it.  Very common when you punch first then stamp.  What I tell my folks who do this is:
1) If you have to have it exactly where you think it should be, use a Stamp-A-Ma-Jig.  Though I also tell them I never knew anyone who got a card to say Geez you didn't get it straight or right where it belongs. So they really don't have to worry about it.
2) Try stamping first and then punching out.  Turn your punch upside down and you can line it up to punch it perfectly.

The Third one is a good stamped image.  It had the same amount of ink on the rubber as the other so you can get a good image even if you have ink on your rubber.

The Bottom one is the real rock and roll.  It is caused by going straight down with the stamp and then rolling it back and forth to make sure that it is stamped correctly and fully.  It is a very common mistake and if you have some cheap stamps you may have to do this to get good coverage since at times the cheaper stamps are not all the height.  I think this is what caused me to stop stamping before I got some help. I hated that halo effect and could not get rid of it. What I tell my folks is that if they put it straight down make a firm pressure don't rock it, put it down and take it up straight up and down.  Some of my folks have a problem keeping the little stamps steady so I tell them to use two hands on the stamps and that really helps.  This is mainly a practice problem, so practice makes perfect for this one.  It is also a confidence problem not thinking it will stamp clearly, so again practice makes perfect.

I hope you have enjoyed this Grandma's Rocking Chair.  If you have any questions I can answer, or any reviews you would like me to do, you can leave a comment or send me an e-mail at marysstamping at

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Happy Stamping

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