Seeing the coffee cup stamps in the new Hero Arts Catalog sent me to my stash for similar stamps. I pulled out PTI's Warm Happiness and Faux Ribbon and started playing.
The first card I made actually had a colored base (I'll show it later this week), but I wanted to make a one-layer version of it. Here's my first attempt at one layer, which we can all agree has some areas for improvement:
The layout is nice and balanced, and I love how the ribbon stamp grounds the design, but notice how spotty the ink looks. I used SU cool caribbean and close to cocoa. Often I DO get good results with clear stamps and SU classic ink, but not this time. Not sure how that unevenness got into the bottom of the wide brown ribbon line. Also, the cool caribbean is so light that I couldn't really see well to line up the scalloped edge with the flat ribbon stamp, so there is a gap between the two on the left side.
On a heavily embellished card, such a gap might not be noticeable. But on a one-layer card, YIKES!
Simplicity Tip: The ONLY way to use these long, thin ribbon stamps is to use a gridded acrylic block. Lay the stamp face down on your worktop, and lower the gridded block onto the stamp. This way, you can use the lines on the block to line everything up straight. As the above card shows, this technique is not full-proof, but it will work most of the time.
It was worth the effort to try again with different ink. The second version uses VersaColor ink, which is thick and creamy and gives lovely impressions with clear stamps. I used a darker shade of teal (lagoon blue) so I could see the scalloped stamp as I put it down.
As you can see, my aim was much better this time with the scallops, and the colors are much richer and cleaner. The coffee cup is popped on dimensionals. I cut off the handle to give the cup cleaner lines, more like the coffee cup stamps in the Hero catalog. (And also because I'm lazy and it's tedious and hard cutting out the hole in the handle. Just keepin' it real on the ol' blog!)
Another difference between the two cards is how I stamped the steam. For the first, I stamped the very bottom of the steam stamp ON the coffee cup before popping it on the card, and on the second, I didn't. I simply can't make up my mind which version I like better, or even if it makes a difference.
The purpose of this post is to make you feel good about buying different types of ink for different purposes. I find the little cubes and dew drops are a very cost-effective way of getting lots of colors of different inks for different purposes. Of course, make sure you want to DO the different purposes before you invest in the ink, and you can always start small, with just a few pads, to experiment. For instance, I haven't bought any distress inks because I HARDLY EVER DISTRESS ANYTHING.
But I have dozens of VersaColor cubes, VersaMagic dew drops, and Brilliance dew drops. These work great every time with my growing collection of clear stamps, and because I often make OLC's with no colored cardstock, the issue of matching ink and paper doesn't often come up. When I need to be all matchy-matchy, I use SU.
Thank you for reading this long and rambling post. Hopefully, I've enabled you in a good way!