Friday, September 25, 2015

Follow-Up on Tools Post and a Birthday Inspiration

Curious reader Laura emailed me to ask what ThreatCon Alpha and Bravo mean. For those of you unaccustomed to military lingo, ThreatCon is short for Threat Condition, which is how the military ranks the level of threat in the war on terror. Alpha is the lowest level of threat, and Bravo designates a medium threat. Two higher threat levels--Charlie and Delta--are nothing I would joke about. If you're really curious for details, here's a link to an article in the Dayton Daily News.

Now, I used the first two ThreatCon levels as metaphors for needing to clean stamps because dirty stamps represent a threat to my mild OCD. No stamp cleaning situation EVER warrants Charlie or Delta. Those are serious situations, not be be made light of. Alpha and Bravo, however, don't really involve much worry for your average military person other than occasional long delays getting onto base and the weirdness of having a humvee with an active machine-gun turret aimed directly at your vehicle as you drive through the gate onto base.

My husband tells me that to be scrupulously correct, I should tell you that the military changed the name from Threat Condition to Force Protection Condition, or FiPCon, some time since he retired, but in ordinary conversation, most folks I know still use the old verbiage. Keeping up with military acronyms takes far more effort than my retired-military-spouse brain cares to exert.

Anyway, I want everyone to know that our United States military personnel are amazing and work extremely hard to keep us safe and secure and able to fret about things like dirty stamps whether the official FiPCon is Alpha or Delta. They have my respect and admiration and eternal gratitude for their hard work and sacrifice.

Hope that helps explain my military metaphor!

Now, there were several suggestions in the comments on the clean-your-stamps post that I'll share right here so you don't miss them. They are THAT good.

1. Use a toothbrush to get ink out of tiny grooves on detailed stamps.
2. Sponges and absorber cloths work well, too.
3. Instead of stamp cleaner, you can add 2-3 drops of Dawn Dish Detergent to a spritzer bottle of water.

Whew. I'm finally ready to talk about today's card. Thank you for enduring my wordiness today! This card's color scheme was inspired by THIS PIN on my Color My World Pinterest Board.

There's no way I would have thought of this color scheme on my own, and please note the use of six colors (with the addition of dark brown) on a card by me. Seriously. But I love how it turned out, and the chromatic chaos is contained to a tidy strip on the card, with plenty of glorious white space left over.

What a happy birthday card! I hope you all have a happy weekend!

stamps: My Favorite Things Label Maker Sentiments and Party Patterns. 
ink: Hero Arts soft pool, butter bar, pumpkin pie, soft wheat; SU marina mist; VersaMagic jumbo java
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals


  1. Cool card Susan... I'm getting back into stamping after taking a break. I took your advice and bought a teflon bone it and I got some of those Delicata inks - gold and silver -- love how they stamp with photopolymer. And I have a question... what ink do you prefer for photopolymer? I was trying to stamp a rather solid image from a PTI set and right now all I have is Distress Ink... the image was blotchy...and inisght?

    1. I'm not Susan but I'd suggest trying pigment inks for a large solid image. Also, be sure you've prepped the stamp with an eraser first. That will help too.

    2. What Martha said. Fast-drying pigment or chalk inks generally yield good results with clear stamps: Brilliance, VersaMagic, Impress Fresh Ink, Memento Luxe, and similar.

  2. Susan, I look forward to your daily emails. For more cleaning tool options, I use a child's battery operated toothbrush, a mixture of Simple Green & water, and most of what you use. Thanks for sharing your talent!

  3. You make me laugh! Today it was because of your amazement at using so much color, but then "containing" it!! Thanks!!


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