Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stamp Storage and Labelling

Gm Everyone!!

So by special request, this post is moved from Monday to Sunday. Since hubs is away for the day, I was able to sit and type it out!

So after my ink swatch book, I took on my stamps in the organization mode. I had been running out of space to keep them in my files. Files were getting bulky and cumber some.

Pic Source - Jennifer Mcguire.
This was an older Jen Mcguire method. It worked for a while and then I ran out of space. 
They could only expand so much and I had no more room for files.
So I decided to go the newer Jennifer Mcguire way. You can see her  original video here

Now I could find the exact same things here, but they cost a bomb. And I'm all for alternatives. I would not pay 600 bucks for 25 plastic sleeves, when I can find an alternative that gives me 100 bags for 100 bucks!

I kept searching for an option for Avery Elle storage sleeves. I did think of using plain plastic sleeves, cutting the top and making flaps. But I was not convinced the flaps would stay closed. And one of my blog buddies just convinced on that part. She needs to use a glue dot or a velcro sticker to keep the flaps closed. They don't seem to stay tucked in.

So my option was the ziploc bags. The size you need to look for is 6x9 size. Look for a good thickness. It will fit a stamp set easily and will fit into the storage box easily. It even fits the long MFT stamp sets. It won't fit the 8x8 stamp sets from fiskars or Altenew layering stamp sets. For that, I have to go and check other bag sizes. It's still a work in progress.

Then comes the labelling part. I was not going to spend 4k on a label maker and another 2k on its refill tape. I cannot simply justify that cost. Plus with my own label sheets, I can use whatever font I want!! :D

 I already had some A4 size label sheet. It was just one whole sticker sheet in A4 size. So how to go about creating those perfect looking labels that you saw on my post! Or you could buy the sheet that has 84 labels precut on it. But it comes in a pack of 100. Maybe you could divide with a friend??? I'm linking all the products I've used below. 

Go to this website, Tech Nova Imaging .Go to this page. On the right top side is a download button. Click on that and download the template. Open that template in Microsoft Word.

Something like this will open up in your MS word screen. Start typing the names in the template. And put your sticker sheet either the precut 84 or A4 sticker sheet and print.

NOTE - If you are using the A4 sticker sheet, type two lines less than what is on the template. This is because, the A4 sheet is smaller than the 84 sticker sheet.  
Hope fully this should work on the 84 sticker sheet. I will be getting one soon and trying it myself. But it works perfectly on the A4 sticker sheet.

If you are using the A4 sticker sheet, you will have to cut the labels with your trimmer. That is a 5 minute work. Which is what I did. And stick.

Finally the dividers. Ran to my stationary shop and bought some cheapo Solo files and cut them up. There were some plastic pockets inside which I ripped out. You should have seen my husband's face. "You brought them up to cut them up??What is wrong with you!!"
Sigh!! Who will explain to these men how far our obsession will take us??

And finally my storage box. It fits 50-60 stamp sets easily. I have a few rubber background and other cling stamps to do. Which should be this week.

Sorry for the weird lighting on the photographs. Its a dark hazy day today.

So I really hope it helps those who are planning to organize. Trust me, if you see it , you use it. 

Product links (Affiliate links used, helps me earn a little extra something so I can do better research)

Lock&Lock Fashion Basket, Gray (HP265)
Solo CC- 101 Conference Companion (With Pen and Pad) A4 - Blue
NOVAJET 1 Label (Per A 4 Size Sheet) Multi Purpose Self Adhesive Labels (100 Sheets)
NOVAJET 84 Labels (Per A4 Size Sheet) Multi Purpose Self Adhesive Labels (100 Sheets)
 Plain SOLO CC-101 Files (set of 3)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

White Cardstock Comparision

Hello Everyone and Welcome to a long long post today!

Well, a few weeks ago Neha Gala (A-one craft) asked me if I could review some  white cardstock she had..and well that set the ball rolling. I already had a review of  Neenah white cardstock pending ( so Sorry for the delay Priya!)... so I combined all the white cardstock that I own.

Note- I am not including any watercolor paper in this review because, well those are completely different papers. And I am not trying any coloring with water because none of these papers are meant to hold water. They will all curl, wilt and lose shape if I use water with them.

So the papers I have with me are

 Neenah Solar White 230-250 gsm (not sure)
Brustro Sketching papers 200 gsm
Iris 170 gsm
Iris 270 gsm
Ivory Smooth 300 gsm

I will talk about individual papers at the end of the post. 

So whatever techniques I've tried, I've tried equally with all the papers. I have used the supplies which every beginner could have. I did not try Copics, Bic-it Markers, Prisma Pencils because not everyone has them. If you want I can do a separate comparison later on.

1. Distress Ink Blending

So far I used to use Brustro Papers for creating my inked backgrounds. But couple of people told me to try Iris paper for ink blending. So finally I gave it a go...And what amazing results. You can see for yourself.

The Iris paper 170 gsm was a little hard to hold down while blending, but 270 was just perfect. Out of the other 3, I think Neenah blended better than even Brustro.  Ivory was just okay.

So for ink blending, I will whole heartedly recommend to go for Iris Paper or Neenah Solar White.
One thing to remember though, Iris paper being a coated paper, will not absorb ink. So it takes a long while to dry. I suggest over night drying time, And it will go one shade lighter as it dries.

So if you want a dark background, go one shade darker than you want because overnight as the ink dries, it will go one shade lighter. As you can see the color difference between Brustro and Iris papers. Same colors, Same ink foams.

2. Stamping And Coloring.

Being a stamper, this was my foremost requirement. The Paper had to stamp well. So I tool 4 kinds of inks and went to town stamping with them. And here are the results.

I used Versafine Onyx black, Memento Black, Memento Ladybug red and Distress ink Abandoned Coral.

The top red ink is Lady Bug Memento and bottom is Distress ink. As you can see, most of the places it smeared and gave splotchy images. Distress ink is anyways not meant for stamping, You will always get a splotchy effect, unless you want that kind of a result or are trying a technique, avoid stamping with Distress ink.

The stack of books was with Tuxedo black. On the Iris paper, you have to be careful while stamping  else the image shifts while stamping. (see last paper) Since its a slick surface.
(Click to see image in detail)
Rest all inks stamp exceedingly well on every paper. Neenah Solar White had more crispness to it than others.

This is with Versafine Onyx Black on all the papers.  (Click to see image in detail)

Versafine did not dry quickly on Iris papers. Since its a coated paper, even after 24 hours, I could not get it to dry on Iris papers. I did not use a heat gun or heat emboss it. You can see the shine on the image below. This is after half an hour of stamping.

I have used my favorite medium to color here... the Faber Castell Bi-Pencils. And I love blending with my blending tool and Odorless thinner. If you want to know how to use it, I do have a video showing how exactly I use these. These are fabulous colors and work exactly like Prisma Pencils. And easily available in every stationary store! :D Click here for the video

Neenah was the best in giving me an effortless blending. Followed by Brustro. But Ivory was a little tough to blend..but not impossible. It just took a little more time.
But But But, Iris didn't so well. Being a coated paper, the ink sat on top of the paper, and when I blended with the solvent, the ink itself smeared.
So Iris Paper + Versafine ink + Odorless thinner = smeared image.

However, if you stamp with Memento Tuxedo black on Iris paper and let it dry for a while and then used the same method to color it. No smearing!! So you can try that if you wish.

3. Flower Shaping

     Lastly I decided to see if I could die cut these papers and shape them into flowers. Die cutting is easy on every paper. Ivory takes a bit of extra pressure since its thick, but cut out well anyways. But when it came to shaping, it just fell apart. That's why you only see four samples below.

Aren't they just gorgeous???  Even in creating these flowers, I found Neenah and Brustro to be the best. Iris shaped well, but it wouldn't take on the darker shade. No matter how much ink I applied, after every half hour, it would turn a shade lighter. So I left it at that. That will be my go to paper when I need pastel flowers.

Phew!! So that's how I did it. Now to summarize in terms of the paper...

Right off the bat you can see that Neenah Solar White is the only true white among all the samples here.
Rest all are a pale cream.

  • They are the best for distress ink blending.
  • You can shape them well into flowers, but colors of inks may be subdued. You can try with non-distress inks and see how they do.
  • the 170 and 270 are excellent for die cutting as well. 
  • I wouldn't recommend them for exclusive coloring.
  • Few things to remember, it is a slightly coated sheet of paper. If you hold it to the light, you will see slight shining areas on it. That coating is what makes the distress inks move so well on it. But because of the coating, no ink will dry on it quickly. 

  • Ivory paper doesn't blend ink well, nor does it shape well into flowers. 
  • It is a somewhat hard paper to color on. 
  • BUT BUT it is an excellent base for your  CARDS with multiple layers, SCRAPBOOKS and EXPLOSION BOXES. I scored it multiple times and absolute no cracking of the paper. They Ivory I used to buy, used to crack on every score line and eventually the paper used to tear. I am so glad this paper does not crack...And it is fabulous thickness!! 
  •  Blends well with distress inks
  • EXCELLENT for shaping the paper into flowers as well.
  • Perfect White to be used as a card base, (though a higher GSM would be better, say 280gsm)
       Quick peek of some earlier bookmarks. All coloring on Neenah Classic white

  • Good for blending distress inks but needs a bit of effort. 
  • EXCELLENT for coloring images. 
  • Die cuts superbly
  • EXCELLENT for shaping into flowers. 
  • Good for solid image stamping (sorry did not click any pictures, but all my ink swatch images on this post are stamped on Brustro paper)

So that's it. Hope this review helps you to make a choice when you are deciding papers for your next project.

One paper will never do everything. Know what you want to do in your project and select your paper accordingly.

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