Guest Author - Sarah Roop
In part one I talked about the EZ mount system and Perfect Ink Refresher, both of which I use and love. This time I will be talking about more great rubber stamping tools which will make your art easier and more fun to do, as they will take away some of the frustrations which sometimes go along with stamping when your image does not quite appear as you want it to.
These innovative blocks are made to enable you to make the perfect stamped image almost every time. They work with both clear stamps (silicone) and traditional unmounted rubber stamps as well as the EZ Mount system stamps just as all acrylic blocks do. They are curved slightly and use a rocking motion to put the image to paper. I must admit I was more than a little skeptical of their capabilities but they are wonderful. I tested several types and sizes of stamps and was not disappointed in my images once. Since smaller silicone stamps have the tendency to give under pressure and give you a blurry image I tried using a little too much pressure. The block then rocked a bit and still gave me a wonderfully sharp clear image. Now I am not saying that you will never get a bad image if you use these, it is possible, but the make it much easier to get a clear, sharp image.
Distress Powder is another wonderful product from Tim Holtz. It is an embossing powder which comes in the same colors as Distress Inks. You use this embossing powder the same way you use other embossing powders, but when you heat it you will find it does not become shiny, as other powders do. For this reason you have to be a little more careful in heating and melting the powder. When you are done, let it cool then brush your fingers over the embossed area. Some of the powder will come off. This is supposed to happen. Brush off all the excess and you will be left with a rough texture that looks old and worn. After you brush off the excess throw it away, do not put it back in the jar with the powders as you do with the powder that has not been heated. The part you have brushed off will never stick to anything. You do not want to alter the mix in the jar or you will soon end up with powder that will not. It is a wonderful product, which gives versatility to the things you can do with embossing powders.
Bind it All
The bind it all is a small binding machine that enables you to make wire bound books and journals. It can cut through anything from paper to chip board as well as insert and close the wire. It comes in very handy for making family heritage journals, favorite recipe books, notebooks, anything you can imagine bound you can make with this handy little tool. The wire binders come in many different sizes and colors, but I usually buy the staples, white, black, and silver. The white and silver you can color with alcohol inks, alcohol markers, or even paint to match your project. While it is a bit pricey, averaging about $80, it is a very sturdily build little machine and should last you for many years.
Fiskars Stamping System
Fiskars has come out with a rubber stamping system which is basically a thin gridded acrylic sheet with 4 foam pad on the outer bottom corners. You can place several silicone or any stamps you can use with the acrylic blocks on it and then push straight down. The foam pads compress giving you the ability to stamp a larger surface than normal with several stamps at one time. This is especially handy when making invitations or Christmas cards and want to make several identical cards at one time. You can also use it with any large stamps, such as background stamps. While this is not a product you would use every day, it is a huge timesaver with those multi card projects.