It was with great interest that I learned the story of Cornish Heritage Farms (CHF) and the details regarding their backgrounders. My little discovery in backgrounder history started about a year ago. It has been an absolute privilege and delight to be able to work with and get to know Richard and Liz Pomeroy, the owners of this family owned business, over this past year. I am VERY much looking forward to meeting them at CHA in a couple of days! I hope that you enjoy the tale of the road to backgrounder discovery that I have followed.
I fell in love with background stamps as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. It was one of my passions to "collect" background stamps and use them to create distinctive papers and looks. I do believe that I owned almost every Stampin' Up! background available - LOL! One of the details that intrigued me greatly was the discovery that SonLight Impressions was the manufacturer of the first background stamps that Stampin' Up! carried. When Stampin' Up! grew they decided to open their own plant and manufacture their own backgrounds. DId you already know this? It was one of those "duh" moments for me - no wonder I loved the CHF backgrounders! Backgrounders were actually "the" first backgrounds created - LOL!
CHF purchased SonLight Impressions in 2005 and they have strived to provide their customers with well-made, high quality products at fantastic prices and with great service. There are little details that we as consumers don't really pay much attention to, but it is this attention to detail that makes a deep-etched red rubber stamp completely distinct from acrylic stamps or lesser quality rubber stamps.
So what makes this difference? It all begins with a metal master plate which is usually made by an engraving company. This is typically done with a chemical etching process - the deeper the etching the higher the rubber image will stand up away from it's background. This is where the "deep etched" part comes in to play. It costs more to make a deep etched master plate, but the difference truly shows in the detail. Cornish Heritage Farms uses this deep etch process to create their stamps.
Then the metal plate is used to make a matrix board. This is a negative plate of your images. There are different materials used to make these matrix boards - some withstand a little pressure and others withstand a lot. Well, CHF wants their images to stamp with precise detail and therefore they use the materials that will withstand a lot of pressure.
The rubber comes on big rolls. Guess what - there are different types of rubber. The denser the rubber, the better your stamped image detail will be. This of course costs more as well, but CHF continues with their pride in quality by selecting the densest rubber available. This rubber is cut to fit the plate size and put into a vulcanizer with the matrix board which has the stamp images impressed into it. Heat and pressure are applied. The greater the pressure, the greater the certainty that the rubber will get squeezed into each and every crevice of the matrix plate.
Therein lies the beauty of a red, rubber stamp - detail. Detail that will not be lost or damaged when the stamp is inked repeatedly or heat is applied for special background techniques.
I believe that Cornish Heritage Farms has achieved their mission and so it has been with great delight that I accepted their invitation to be a part of educating, selling and using backgrounders on a daily basis. Their new designs continue to be innovative and current - I am thrilled to be able to work with CHF!
Yesterday I shared the first of my new Lockhart image designs - today I wanted to share another new design and a different way to use your background stamps.
I began by coloring the image of the Leaves Backgrounder with Lyra Watercolor Crayons. Stampin' Up!s Watercolor Wonder Crayons are the exact same and I believe that Lyra probably makes them for Stampin' Up!
I then use a Mini Mister filled with water to lightly spritz the surface. The fine mist from this spritzer seems to be perfect for use in creating special effects when stamping. Next I placed my cardstock face down on to the colored stamp and rubbed my hand evenly over the entire surface. The look that results reminds me a little of those tie-dyed/marbled Easter eggs that Katrina likes Ü
This is where I decided to try something a little different - I wasn't certain if it would turn out, but I thought I will never know if I don't just try it. The jury was definitely still out once I had stamped the image, but after watercoloring in the cute little carrots and composing my card - I think I like it!
It is difficult to see in this photo, but the image from the background stamp is ever so light in behind the colored in pattern of the carrots. It really is ubber-cool in person!
Once again I selected an idea from Dave's book when composing this card - this one is from page 43. So many of you have purchased this wonderful book and I really want to help you put it to good use - thus the page references for you to be able to see his original idea and the twist I have used with his design. I am hoping to encourage you to begin looking at ideas you see in a new way.
Below is another sketch for you to try. Each of the little circles represents an embellishment, with the focal point layer separated by a small "gap".
OK - so what is with the bright red lines on this sketch? I wanted to share with you how it is that I select the positioning of my focal point when designing a new layout. Many times I use the rule of thirds. Divide the project into thirds both vertically and horizontally with "X" marking the spot where you are trying to lead the viewer's eye. This is the approximate position that you should try to place your focal point image.
This will be my last creative post for a few days. I will try and find some time to log on from Anaheim. I have so many thoughts I have wanted to share with you regarding trends, what I think will be new, yada, yada, yada. Why is there just not enough time in the day (or night) to do all of these things? Here's to hoping for a few minutes here and there to bring you some of the fabulous creativity that will be my viewing pleasure over the next few days!