Friday, May 4, 2012

More Fun with Envelope Pattern

Thanks for the warm response to Wednesday night's post. My apologies this one is late.

And no, Joyce, I am not kidding about standing on your big stamps. I actually prefer it to the inking-rubber-side-up method because it gets me moving and practicing balance. *snort*

Carol Duvall demonstrated standing on big stamps years ago, at a time when I was horribly frustrated by poor impressions and ruined card stock. My craft room had a carpeted floor, so I took a 12"-square piece of smooth plywood I'd had cut for an improvised book press, and used that to support the card stock. Worked beautifully, and I've done it ever since.

The other method came to my attention via some thread on SCS. It's slightly more time-consuming and can be prone to error if you don't rub the entire stamp well, but otherwise it's just as effective as standing. Someone suggested using a brayer to do the rubbing, which sounds like a great idea.

As for inking large stamps...I've read at SCS that some people use brayers to ink the stamps, but I've never really liked brayers all that much. I ink large stamps by placing them on the table rubber-side-up and holding the pad upside down. I get all obsessive about coverage (does that shock you? you must be new here) and tap the pads over the rubber repeatedly. It takes longer, but the little dew drop pads are easier to ink with than big SU felt pads, which I find sometimes don't give as good coverage for big stamps due to bowing of the felt...even on well-inked pads. I wonder if the new SU pads will work better, but the tiny pads give good control.

Enough chit-chat. Let's get to the card.

Yesterday's card showed the most obvious use of large stamps...all-over backgrounds. Today's card shows how you can use it for part of the background. I inked the stamp and then placed it so it would leave clean space on the right of the scrap of paper.

I should have taken a picture before I added the green hearts. The card didn't look at all unified until those three went down. The green hearts around the sentiment carry the green color over the baker's twine and help relate the two parts of the card. They also make three elements (hearts, envelope pattern, and card base) green. Three is a very good number.

Color is often a major contributor to a card's unity, so if you're working on a design and it's not coming together, think about how repeating color can help.

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Memento
paper: Gina K
accessories: baker's twine, dimensionals


  1. Beautiful card. The twine is perfect.

  2. I don't have any large stamps, but your post today and yesterday make me wish that I did.

  3. Those hearts are perfect - they make the sentiment fun and warmer as well!

  4. There is so little white space on this card that I want to call your house and ask if the 'real' Susan could please come to the phone! LOL The card is fabulous; simple, clean, unified and all elements are similar in style and weight. I love background stamps for their versatility. They can be the focal point, play a supporting role, add a layer (depth or colour) without adding paper, I could go on and on. Keep up the brilliant work; I'm looking forward to more tips and uses and beautiful examples.

  5. Love this card--and thanks for answering my question. I feel famous now(!) I never would have thought to do this with that stamp, but it is absolutely fabulous. Thanks for the tip about 3 colors. This week's MIM from PTI repeated the same point--I like yours because it's not so busy. Happy stomping.

  6. Envelope Pattern is probably one of my all-time favorite background stamps, next to some of the old SU textures like linen and canvas. Those diagonal lines add a bit of subtle movement to otherwise flat, simple cards. I love the way you paired it with that stacked sentiment and vertical twine.

    For pieces that need precice placement, like geometric patterns, I leave my background stamp face-up on my table so I can line up the paper just where I want it. But if the pattern is more random, I'll sandwich my paper between the back of an unused background stamp and the inked rubber of the background stamp I want to use, then step or kneel on the whole thing. It has the same effect as your plywood board, but doesn't require me to keep another tool in my craft room.

  7. And I can't believe I misspelled precise in my previous comment. Guess I'm a little too quick to hit the submit button. Color me ashamed.

  8. Beautiful card. Makes me want to drag out my background stamps. I sit on my large stamps.

  9. Love this card! Thanks for the great tips on stamping.
    Linda J

  10. My husband saw me standing on one of my big background stamps, thanks to your tip. He said, "Is that really necessary?" I was able to show him my previous, failed attempt where I just pushed down, and prove that yes, it really was necessary.
    I've also wanted that envelope pattern forever, and I just ordered it this morning.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Love the touch of hearts, Susan. I wouldn't have thought of that, but what I am even more appreciative of is the tip not to cover the whole layer with the background stamp! It was a slap-my-forehead moment when I saw it (which I do a lot), so thank you once again!

  12. Using a portion of the background stamp, of course! I like the red and green. To me, it’s a great "non-traditional" Christmas thank you. Simplicity at its best Susan!

  13. Thank you, Susan, for responding to my request for advice on inking up the large background stamps. I never thought of trying to do it with a dew drop but the rationale makes sense.

    I can picture the card you posted today without the little hearts - it just wouldn't have had the impact the finished card has. The twine is also a great touch.

  14. Love your explanation of why you put the hearts around the sentiment. Makes perfect sense. You explain things so well.

  15. Just got my envelope stamp in the mail this week! Thanks for the tips and perfect timing! =)


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!