So many crafty goodies this holiday – I am so excited!
Today, I finally got a chance to play with Papertrey Ink’s Type Strips mini alphabet stamps and die. I absolutely love it! I’m forever running out of letters in the right color and this set changes everything.
The process is very straightforward – stamp, then die cut. My new MISTI tool made things even easier. I have always been obsessed with getting even coverage. With MISTI and a few magnets, the solid stamp image comes out perfect each time. I haven’t had a lot of time to craft recently but I will definitely write up a review of the MISTI with some of my initial impressions soon.
This Papertrey Ink set will definitely be a workhorse for me, especially with project life. How awesome is it that I’ll now have an endless supply of vowels and all the other letters that always seem to disappear first on my sticker sheets! Love mini alphas!
I purchased the Pixscan sheet from DesignsbyMiriam. She had a great price, shipping was super cheap, she threw in a free sketch pen, provided tracking information, and was super responsive. Thanks Miriam!
Calibration was easy; however, as a Studio v3 nube, it took me a second to find the calibration test card. To print the calibration sheet, click on “Camera Calibration” and then “Show Calibration Test Card.” Once the dots show up, click print. To finish setup, I took a photo of the test card and then uploaded it by pressing “+.” After thinking for a second, it was ready! For those seeking more directions, I’ve read that the instructions are on page 35 of the Help section in Silhouette Studio. I just followed the helpful directions that the blogger at Paper Pulse Blog posted — below is a screenshot of the menu sidebar so you can see the button that needs to be clicked to show the test card.
Diecuts for Stamped Images
For my first test, I used some stamps I would never want to fussy cut. I like white borders around my images and the Pixscan feature worked brilliantly! As others have noted, once you have taken a photo of the image, you can save the cut outline and create diecuts for future stamping. The Pixscan is going to bring new life to my scraps because I can use any sized paper to stamp an image.
Diecut stamped images
Sketching on Paper Pieces
I was also very excited to try the sketching function on paper scraps and other assorted pieces. I’ve found some really neat fonts recently like La Chatte a Maman and have been looking for ways to incorporate them into my crafting. Recently, I purchased my first set of metal dies for thicker materials like the cotton paper I use for letterpress. I cut out a few too many the other day and have been wondering how I might use them. Using the sketch pen Miriam sent me, I typed out the word “laugh,” resized it for the shape, welded the letters, and then sent it to the Silhouette to sketch. I love how it turned out!
Cutting out Embossed Images
There aren’t a ton of reviews out there yet but a few have mentioned that Silhouette Studio needs a relatively dark line for the Trace function to work effectively. I decided to experiment with an embossed image and to add to the challenge by stamping on top of a lightly patterned paper. I had to play with the trace function for a bit to get a clean cut and then offset it. The outcome though was awesome. My friend and I worked on some Christmas cards earlier this year and it was such a pain to take delicate vellum diecuts, stamp them with Versamark, put on powder, and then heat set each tiny piece. With the Pixscan, I can definitely see embossing first and then cutting the embossed sentiments out en masse.
Diecut embossed image
One note – some of you may notice that the offset on the sun was almost perfect, while the camera offset is slightly off. This is the result of user error — when I took the photo, the paper wasn’t pressed down firmly enough and had a few bubbles. I only noticed after I imported the photo into Silhouette Studio and smooshed the paper down before I sent the cut file to my Silhouette without thinking. This error though gives you a sense of how accurately PIxscan captures the position of the image on the scan.
The first card I made with the sets combine the sentiments from Splendid and the Creative Cuts.
I’ve resisted buying die cuts for a very long time because most of the materials I used can be easily cut using my Silhouette. As I started using thicker weight materials — especially when letterpressing — the Silhouette wasn’t able to consistently deliver a clean polished cut. My first set of steel dies from My Favorite Things – the Circle Stax set – was so awesome, I decided to double-down and purchased the Mama Elephant Creative Cuts set. I also got the Cozy Christmas set (which I’d been eyeing since last Christmas) and the Splendid and Make A Wish stamps.
This is the first card I made using the sentiments and cuts.
I adore this 3D bow. I sprayed it with some Heidi Swapp Color Shine in Gold. Next time, I’m thinking teal with white polka dots!
A close up at how well the stamp works with the resist technique. Gah – so pretty!
A picture of my haul. Love Mama Elephant!
After binge reading Wilna Furstenberg’s blog and watching countless videos she’s posted online, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the Gelatos full set.
Before purchasing from Amazon — at the time of purchase, they had by far the cheapest price — I spent two nights deep reading about the “gelatos vs gel sticks” debate. For me, even if the quality is exactly the same, color choice was the determining factor. I use the Peach, Guava, Mango, and Lavender colors all the time and I simply would not have used the primary colors of the gel sticks. After playing with them for a few days, I know I made the right choice. Some swatches of the first row of colors below.
I’m watching many videos to learn how to control the intensity of swaths of color — the traditional watercolor look is easiest to recreate when I use swipe a wet brush against the stick. For more intense color, I swipe the stick directly on the water color paper a few times. Sometimes it blends smoothly but other times, it doesn’t work as well as I want it to.
I also read about using gelatos for stamping and creating both slightly embossed or water color effects. I’ve read that rubber stamps work better than acrylic or clear stamps — I’ve only tested it out on rubber stamps so far. The first example, I spritzed the stamp first then swatched the stick around like messy lipstick. It created a slightly raised impression.
With this stamp, I sprayed the stamp after I colored the rubber surface. Can you tell that this is supposed to a be a macaron? I bought this stamp on a whim when I had a class coupon from Paper Source.
Next up — I’m going to test it out on different types of paper.