Monday, 22 February 2016

How not to treat your Silhouette stamp mat.

Today we have a lesson in how not to treat the stamp cutting mat.
I was concerned that the previous cuts had gone off the edge of the material sometimes. I got the "brilliant" idea to cut a piece of cardstock the same size as the stamp material and to cut that as a test before using the stamp material again. That is, with the stamp material design page setting but cardstock cut settings.

Well I did that and measured it up. My Silhouette Portrait machine cuts 7mm further to the left than it should. I can allow for that when laying out the cuts in future. Exactly why I don't know, maybe a software bug? I would be interested to here if others have the same problem...

But when I wanted to remove the card from the mat there was trouble, the card tore into layers instead of peeling off.  The mat adhesive was too strong. I worked at it for a while then decided I would have to replace the mat. Scraping too hard just removed the layer of adhesive from the mat.  My DH suggested soaking the paper off in warm water, as I was resigned to losing the mat anyway I tried it. My childhood stamp collecting experience came in useful here. Yes I am that old. Well the mess came off easily in warm water. And when the mat dried off it still worked!  Not perfectly, I think, because I had damaged the adhesive -  I cut a full sheet of flower shapes and one petal didn't cut right.  Also a couple of small bits of material came off during cutting, they seem to have fouled the blade because half of the flower they came out of wasn't cut. Looks like I will get that replacement mat. In the meantime I will try increasing the cut depth a teensy bit.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Silhouette Stamp Material and Candles

I trid a technique from a magazine, where you build up layers of UTEE (Ultra-Thick Embossing Enamel) and then stamp in it while it is hot.  The magazine suggested not using a clear stamp because it could melt.  Well the stamp material stamp worked fine, and didn't melt, I stamped so deeply it came off the block and I had to peel it out of the UTEE. The effect was a bit disappointing and won't  show up in a photo very well.
I think the stamp material is pretty heat resistant so I decided to try it out with molten candle wax. Now if you search the internet for stamping or embossing on candles, you get info on how to attach bits of stamped tissue paper onto candles. Who knows what chemicals are in the smoke if it burns down to the paper?
What I did was to melt a flat piece of candle with my craft heat gun and press the stamp into it. The stamp again came off the block but was easily peeled off. I got a deep impression as the wax came up through the holes in the design. So you can get a customised design on a candle without adding anything that might affect its safety. You can do this with bought stamps of course but it might be hard to clean any wax out of the indentations.
My next step will be to try attaching the stamp onto the inside of a metal candle mould and make a candle in the mould. If the stamp pieces come off the mould as the candle shrinks, it would work, I think.  The stamp material stamp will curve so I think it could be used in the inside of a soft drink can.  Its possible to cut open the can mould to get the candle out, especially if you use a thin cheap one.

more samples of Silhouette Stamp Material stamps with various stamp pads available in Australia

Brilliance stamped with an acrylic stamp
I also tried some other things.  Firstly Tsukineko Archival Brilliance Pigment Ink in the colourway Lightning Black This is a very attractive dark coloured ink with gold mica particles. Though I think of lightning as silver coloured more than gold...
Brilliance Pigment Ink stamped with the Stamp Material
Anyway it does not coat the stamp, but spread out fairly well when stamped on paper. As you see it isn't that great with the purchased clear stamp either.  Next I have an embossed sample, done with a Ranger Emboss IT Clear embossing ink pad and purple metallic  Zing! embossing powder purchased from Spotlight.  The Zing seems much less fine than embossing powder I have used in then past. I did not use an antistatic mat and my heat gun is not that great, it seems to blow pretty strongly.

Embossed with Zing
The yellow sample is  Fluid Chalk Ink Pad  Made in Taiwan from a Riot Art And Crafts shop. It stamps pretty well with the Silhouette material but it left a kind of faint halo around it on the paper, as though some oil from the stamp ink spread into the paper.  The same happened with a gray rubber stamp. I will try to get a better quality chalk ink.
Update: I got a different colour of the same ink and it didn't have that problem.
Riot Art and Craft Chalk Ink

Last we have  Tsukineko  Water Soluble Pigment Ink in Serenade.  I bought this years ago but it still works. By years ago I mean at least ten years, possibly many, many more.
old but still working Tsukineko Serenade