Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Let's talk about Stamps

This week at The Scrap Heap I have a Product focus on Stamps. So let's talk about stamps!

If you are a seasoned crafter you probably know all this anyway, but lets make this nice and simple for the newbies.

There are a few different kinds of stamps available. And MANY accessories that go with them! I'll start with the stamps and then touch on the accessories.


Traditional wood -mount stamps are where you have a foam and rubber stamp adhered to a wooden block. Wood-mount stamps are fantastic if you like your images permanently mounted for quick stamping. I am going to be honest and tell you when I first started scrapbooking Stamping really scared me. I was always afraid of stamping in the wrong place and stuffing it up. Block mounted stamps, in my opinion, are not always the easiest to use. I have become much more confident with these stamps after a bit of practice though.
I have a few different Hero Arts block mounted stamps for sale in store
Check out the Facebook page HERE to see.

Clear stamps are very easy to use and my personal favourites!

Clear stamps are usually acrylic. They are clear so you can see right through them. The stamps are slightly tacky allowing them to be adhered to a stamping block for use. The bonus of clear stamps is that you can see exactly where and what you are stamping, there is a lot less margin for error, and this is especially good when you are stamping with alphabet stamps.
I have a large range of clear stamps in store (see HERE) The brands I stock are Kaisercraft, My Minds EyeInkadinkado, My Favourite Things and more.

I also have a range of mounting blocks in store.


Cling stamps are very much like clear stamps apart from the fact that they aren't clear and they are usually rubber, so they are a cross between the block mounted rubber stamps and the clear ones. Does that make sense?!? hehe Clings, like the clears, are unmounted and need mounting blocks.
In store I have Hero Arts and Penny Black Cling Stamps.

Soo what can you do with stamps?
I think the easier question is what CAN'T you do with stamps! I have seen them used on so many different mediums it is difficult to name them all. Ranging from paper to cookie dough the possibilities are endless!

I will give you a few of my favourite examples of how I use Stamps.

Stamp an image onto cardstock, cut around image, using foam tape attach to page as an embellishment.

Stamp your image directly onto your layout

This Butterfly was stamped with black Stazon Ink onto acetate then coloured with pens . I then cut it out and heated the wings with a heat gun until they curled a bit.

I Stamped the background of this layout.

There are many stamp accessories. 

There are so many different kinds of ink that it is impossible to tell you about ALL of them!! I have Versacolor, Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Stazon in store at the moment. All of them have different uses with stamps and I might go into those in more detail at a later time. I also have blending tools which go with the Distress Inks.

Lots of stampers colour their stamped images. The pens I have in store which are perfect for this job are called Spectrum Noir pens. They come in an amazing range of beautiful colours. The pens are also great for other scrapbooking related pen work! They come with a thin and fat nib (one on each end) and you can also buy replacement nibs.

Embossing powder is a fast melting powder that can be applied on top of the stamped image to create a raised image. The powder works by applying heat. Embossing powder can be used to add color and texture to your image. You can buy heat guns, but I have heard of people using a toaster to emboss!! I have a few embossing powders in store.

It is important to take care of your stamps. One of the most important things in my opinion is to keep your stamps clean. Most inks are really easy to clean off your stamps. Soap and water works well. My favourite thing to use are baby wipes. You can also buy specialised stamp cleaning products. I only use these for my Stazon Inks as they are fairly expensive and there are other much cheaper methods to clean your regular inks. Stazon is a solvent ink designed to stick on surfaces regular inks don't, so soap and water doesn't wash it off!

There is sooo much more to stamps than I have said here. This has really only just scratched the surface of the world of stamping!!!

Next week I will be holding a Stamping class where I will be showing you how to make a Stamped background LO and a stamped card

Check in on my Facebook page or the Website for more details soon.
Feel free to ask any questions or pop in store for a play with the shop supplies!!

And If you have any awesome stamping projects you have made I would LOVE to see them! Come share them with us on Facebook!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Scrapbooking ... Art? Storytelling? Preservation?

For some reason today I have been thinking about why I scrapbook. What is the purpose for me?

I think back in the day when Scrapbooking hit the popular "thing to do" section of the crafting world it was all about preserving your precious photographs for generations to come. That was back in the good ol' days when we had cameras with negatives and there was no such thing as printing photos at home.

Now days, in the world of digital photography,  it seems to have become much more a form of art. Where pages have become amazingly detailed with an amazing amount of product and embellishments attached. With very little if any focus on the photograph or story behind it.

I came to the conclusion that scrapbooking has become for me, all about storytelling. It has never been about preserving my photos for my Great great great great Grandchildren.  It is something that me and my children can look back on and remember the good times we had as a family. Journaling on my pages is very important for me. It says the things the photos don't say. How we were feeling, what the weather was like, any background story. I have always been a diary/journal writer for as long as I can remember, so for me that part is very important.  And of course it is a form of art. Because of course we want the page to look pretty!! (Or cool, depending on gender hehehe) And there is a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment in creating things. Call it therapy, or time out. I use my scrapbooking time as a time to reflect too.

Of course Scrapbooking is a personal thing, so I am going to appoligise in advance if I upset or offend anyone with this post. That is definitely NOT my intention. I am expressing MY opinion on MY thoughts. You are welcome to comment with your thoughts too.

Now for me Scrapbooking focuses on the photos. But have we gone too far into Art with our scrapbooking and are we beginning to lose the focus?  I see scrapbook pages where you have to search for the photo. I see pages where the photo is covered up with so much product you can hardly see it. And I see page after page with no journaling at all.

I am beginning to think, should these people be calling themselves scrapbookers any more? Should they instead be calling themselves artists?

Don't get me wrong the pages I see are stunningly beautiful (most of the time!) but is it really scrapbooking any more, or is it just beautiful artworks? Or has the focus of scrapbooking changed so dramatically that so long as it has a photograph on it you can call it scrapping?

I'm certainly not saying this is a bad thing. But lately, especially since opening my shop, I have been thinking about what is popular in the world of scrapping. Do I need to stock this if it is popular even if I don't like it? Can I sell a product I wouldn't use myself, or can't stand the sight of?  When I do classes can I make things that are the 'in' thing to do but isn't my style? So many things to consider and wonder about.

So what are your thoughts? What is the reason YOU scrapbook? What does it mean to YOU?
I would love to hear what you think.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I don't know if it is ironic or coincidence. Or even nothing at all.
But reading my last post after the week I've just had it feels like it should be one of those things up there.

Last Friday night my 87year old Grandma passed away.
It was very sudden and fairly unexpected. I had talked to her that very same morning.
She wasn't ill. She was still doing all the things she normally did. It happened pretty much the way she would have wanted. Quickly.

Abbey & Her Great Grandma February 2012

My Grandma had 7 children. 6 girls and 1 boy. 13 Grandchildren and 16 Great Grandchildren. I feel blessed that my children had a chance to know her.
She lived a very full life. Apparently there were only two things that she hadn't crossed off her bucket list.

At 87 she was still living in her own home. She was still driving. She was still very involved in various community groups and organisations. 

I am very sad to have lost her from my life. I will miss her very much.

Four Generations of Girls
Mum, Me, Grandma and Abbey
February 2012