Monday, May 13, 2013

Pretty in Pink Conditioning

I wanted to experiment with the lovely tree from Waltzingmouse's Blessed by You set. It sorta kinda worked and shows the importance of conditioning clear stamps before use with dye inks.

I inked up the whole image in a pale brown from Memento and then used a Pretty in Pink marker from StampinUp to color the leaves. I was going for the blooming tree effect I was seeing all over town that was making me happy and sneezy at the same time.

The light brown was light enough to be covered by the pink nicely, but as you can see if you click on the image to see it bigger, it's a bit blotchy.

This is why it's important to condition stamps before using them. Fresh from manufacture, both clear and rubber stamps can have a film on them that makes ink pool, like water pools on your freshly waxed car. To strip off this film, you can use either a soft emery board or a white eraser. Then clean the stamp well, and it's good to go.

Some people like to ink their clear stamps with VersaMark ink (which is colorless and clear) first, then dye inks, to prevent pooling.  This works, but I've always found it annoyingly two-step. VersaMark and other sticky inks (VersaMagic, VersaColor, Brilliance, pigment, etc.) rarely if ever pool. Runnier inks like SU classic, Memento, and Memories are much more likely to pool.

Some people like the distressed look of pooling ink. Generally, I'm not one of them. But this time, I make an exception. It's a sweet and dreamy look on this particular card.

But you can bet I conditioned this stamp after I made the card.

That's the kind of neat-freak I am!

stamps: Waltzingmouse Blessed by You
ink: Memento and SU marker
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: ribbon, half pearls


  1. This is gorgeous....I have this set and don't use it enough, and it is just divine in pink.
    If I were to do two colors, I would ink up the whole image in pink first, then marker over the tree trunk in brown...that has worked well for me. Just an idea. But I agree, your dreamy colors work fine here!

  2. The pooling effect definitely works on this card. I have to say, though, it's never worked for me.

  3. Was it by accident you realized the pooling happened to unconditioned stamps? Did this stop the new Memento colors from pooling also? I'll try it since I am still having the problem.. Thanks for the hint :)

  4. Super pretty! I DO love pink and this is just gorgeous!

  5. I think this card is gorgeous and that the pooling/blotchiness adds to the total effect. I doubt I would have thought to do it in pink, but it is lovely and serene and happy in all its pink deliciousness.
    I hope the new pencil will make your son happy. It would make me very happy to send him one from Georgia if you think he'd like it.

  6. I rather like the pooling effect you achieved, whether by accident or intentionally. It sort of looks like things are actively growing. As far as conditioning stamps, I've seen people condition them by just rubbing them on the back of their forearms. It looks like it works fine. I haven't tried it because I haven't bought any new stamps in a lllooonnggggggg time. It seems much easier than pulling out emery boards, erasers or off-stamping several times. I did try an emery board once and managed to miss the mark and slice off a big of the stamp’s edge. I’m dangerous that way.

  7. Sooo pretty in pink, Susan ... I love the dreamy look of your blooming tree ... just delightful! Anita :)


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