Friday, November 18, 2011


You know, Pocketeers, sometimes things just don't work.  I have been struggling with some of the most basic of stamping skills, and it's driving me crazy.  But I realize that sometimes there's just something that is jinxed and you should be able to do it but it just won't come out right, so I have decided to share mine with you so maybe you won't feel so bad if/when that happens to you.

It all started with this:
I embossed the leaves using Gathered Twigs Distress Ink and clear embossing powder, then inked over it with Ripe Persimmon Distress Ink.  Now, look closer:

 The embossing powder refused to cooperate.  I tried everything.  I polled the GPP Street Team group on Facebook.  I took their advice.  I used a little brush to wipe away stray grains outside the stamp.  I wiped it with a dryer sheet before stamping to avoid static cling.  Nothing worked.  Eventually, I found one discussion forum that talked about having no end of trouble with the particular brand of embossing powder that I was using, so I decided it must be a powder problem and accepted it.  I inked the orange on first, dried it with a heat gun, let it sit overnight to be good and dry, and did my stamping over it.  The result:  little orange stray embossing dots.  Better than off-white at least.  And my background is finished.

That was last week.  This week, I'm still having trouble with the embossing powder not distributing evenly, but at least it's not clinging everywhere it's not supposed to.  But there is of course a new problem.

Ladies and gentlemen (do I get any gentleman readers?), meet my Nemesis:
I love these stamps.  They're the "Pumpkins & Flourish" set from Inkadinkado.  And when I ordered them I couldn't wait for them to come in.  Now I am about ready to throw them out the window.  I love clear stamps.  I love the designs that come in clear stamps, I love that they're so compact, I love that I can see through them to position them exactly where I want.  I do not love that my Distress Ink beads up on them more than rain beads on my Rain-Ex coated windshield.  Because then you get this crap:
See how bubbly that looks?  What The Fruitcake?!?!  Even with the awful embossing, the regular rubber leaf of last week at least took the ink evenly.  Without embossing, this is some of my copious amounts of testing:

(Ok there's a little embossing on the right side of this image)
That damn leaf will NOT come out solid.  Not in this color, not in these colors:

Incidentally, Archival Ink works just fine:

Again I turned to the intarwebz.  Taking advice from various online sources, I tried letting Archival Ink dry on its surface (FAIL - all it did was come off with the Distress Ink), I tried using an eraser to clean the manufacturer's finish off of it, I tried sanding it lightly with an emery board, I tried washing it with soap and water... All I got was a big bucket of FAIL.  The best image I got at all with the inks I wanted to use was this:

Still not solid, still not crisp.

On a whim, I experimented with Distress Clear Embossing Ink.  The stamp finally seemed to like that and gave me a clear, solid image.  So I tried a different embossing powder.  

It's obnoxiously perfect.  So I guess all I have to do is not use Distress Ink in any sort of color on my clear stamps.  Which is extremely frustrating.  I use those inks because I love the colors!  So I can either continue to beat my head against the wall (figuratively) by trying over and over again, or I can limit how much I can use in my work.  

I don't like those options. 

Stupid stamp.


Uncle Big Steve said...

I read it. Not always, I'll admit, but I did read this one. Until I read what you did to the stamp, I was thinking that there must be something on the surface of it that makes the ink bead up. So much for that idea.

BTW, I bet lovely hubby reads it too. Or doesn't he count? :)

Parabolic Muse said...

Wow. This canvas is beautiful, and I love orange. But I know what you mean about getting clear, crisp embossings. I happen to like different kinds of effects, but NOT when my aim is for a specific effect! I really like those stamps. Halloween is my favorite holiday so I'll have to find these. I've had pretty good results with Ranger embossing powders, but I do find that they smell a lot more than the inkadinkadoo powders. I can't remember the other brand of powder I have but my favorite says Stampendous on it. Maybe that's the brand, or maybe that's an inkadink product...