There has been a steady "hum" surrounding the La Blanche stamps and being one who loves to try new things I decided to venture into the mix and explore these beautiful stamps. I had never seen or used a silicone stamp before and when they arrived in the warehouse on Friday I knew I just had to "test" them. Isn't it wonderful that I have a valid excuse for needing to stamp?!? :-D
Today I would like to share my discoveries with you in hopes of answering some of the questions you might have about these stamps.
The amazing detail in these stamps is what struck me most!
There was a bit of a learning curve for me with these images, due to the way they are designed. I hope that by sharing my findings with you it might help you stamp a beautiful image without a lot of need to experiment.
The backing on this stamp is foam, with white silicone covering the entire base. I found it very important to do my best to keep ink off the edges of the perimeter of the base. I seemed to transfer the ink to my paper if I was not careful when inking the image.
The easiest method of applying the ink was to place the stamp - image side up on my work surface and then tap my ink pad to the surface of the stamp as shown above.
As you can see there is an ink spot on the lower right hand corner in the photo above. It is this ink that I seemed to transfer to my stamped image, so it is best to make certain your base is clean around the edges before you stamp.
You want your surface to be evenly inked with no ink around the edges. I kept a paper towel handy to remove any excess ink that strayed onto the base once I realized I was not going to be able to stamp cleanly otherwise.
ETA: To clean my stamp I have been using Ranger's CleansIt and fresh water.
To evenly distribute the ink on my paper and capture all the detail I carefully "walked" my fingers over all the details of the image as shown above.
Yes, it is the detail in these images that is incredible!
There has been a lot of talk about paper - which one is best, what should I use, etc. I have shared two examples above - the image on the left is stamped with Jet Black Archival on Neenah and the one of the right is Jet Black Archival on X-Press. X-Press is definitely a smoother paper and so the detail reads differently on this smooth surface, but I must share that they both are absolutely lovely! My opinion is that I LOVE the different looks that different papers can provide - so try them on all your favorite papers - I don't think that it makes that much difference.
I decided to also test different inks. In the video I observed the beautiful work created by using Distress Ink Pads and Cut n' Dry nibs so I wanted to try that, but I also wanted to see how Copic Markers would work and so I tried both Archival ink and Memento inks. Archival inks work fabulously with watercolor products and techniques, whereas I prefer Memento ink when coloring with Copics. The hardest part was taking a photo that would be accurate - LOL! As you can see the results are all beautiful and I can hardly wait to have more time to do entire images with various coloring methods!
Utilizing the lightest selection of green I colored in the entire leaf.
Following the "shading" of the stamp I then added a more citrusy ink color for the highlights and a darker, mossy green in the shadows. This helped to add dimension to the coloring.
One of the perks of the colored images on the website is the ability to refer to them as a guide. To add warmth and dimension to the sparrows I opted to utilize a little pink in addition to the browns. I love how they turned out.
To create the soft, blue sky-like background I used a foam ink blending tool and the beautiful Soap Powder ink pad.
Due to the intricacy of the design I wanted to keep the card simple. I decided to create a stucco like wall and die-cut a window to look out on this gorgeous natural scene.
I first painted some Neenah Solar White paper with a combination of Painterly Pink and Altered Orange allowing it to dry.
To create the "stucco" I simply mixed some Gesso together with Studio Paints as shown in the picture above.
Adding a little Rust reinker helped to add intensity to the color.
Place a template, in this case I used the Crafter's Workshop harlequin pattern, over the painted background and use a Craft Scraper to add the gesso.
My mixture was a little more liquid than I had initially thought and so it oozed out beneath the stencil, but I have to admit that I love the effect and so rather than rework it I just went with it. Allow the gesso and paint mixture to fully dry and then cut the window. Distressing this image slightly with an ink blending tool and Vintage Photo distress ink helps to age it even further.
Stamp, color and fussy cut the birds, then pop them up off the image to create a striking focal point.
My opinion is that you will be able to use these images with many different types of papers and inks --- it all depends on the type of look you would like to create! Experiment and play with the different colors and textures of papers and inks.
stamps: La Blanche Two Sparrows
accessories: Studio Line - Gesso, Painterly Pink, Altered Orange and Traditional Tan; Adirondack Rust Reinker; Crafter's Workshop Harlequin Template, Craft Scraper, Tim Holtz Mini Cabinet Card together with Base Tray, Cut n' Dry Nibs, Ink Blending Tool