June 11, 2007

Deeply Etched Rubber Stamps & Paper Casting

Some stamps are better than others for paper casting from toilet tissue.

If you use a traditional rubber stamp like the one on the left, you'll get an image that is indented into the casting. If you use a stamp with an image that is etched into the background, like the one on the right, you'll get an image that is raised.

If you want to highlight just the raised part of an image, you'll want a stamp like the one on the right. However, this example is not deeply etched. While a fine stamp for stamping, this is not so good for this type of paper casting.

The After Midnight stamp on the left is deeply etched and is very good for paper casting. It's the stamp I used for the "Faux Antiqued Pewter" technique. Because the image is etched into the background, it resulted in a casting with the main imaged raised above the background. This made it possible to highlight just the flower.

Here's a link to the Faux Antiqued Pewter

Also, Tyra Smith has an excellent tutorial on her website for toilet tissue casting

June 7, 2007

Another Aquarium Gravel Experiment

I've become so enamored of the aquarium gravel projects that I decided to combine my technique with a Krafty Lady mold. You'll have to click the pictures to see the detail.

I started the same way I did my last experiment with aquarium gravel. If you've read that one, you'll recognize it at this stage.

The difference is that I added a paper clay cast made with a Krafty Lady cameo mold I purchased from After Midnight. It's mold number 291. These molds are an absolute dream to use.

I glued down gravel and the cameo with cheap white glue and let them dry. Then I painted everything, including the cameo, with brown acrylic paint. I wiped most of the paint off the cameo right away, leaving only enough to highlight the details.

Here's a closeup of the cameo after the paint is mostly removed.

When the brown paint was dry, I highlighted the peaks in the textured areas with Lumiere Super Copper paint. I put a very small amount on the tip of my finger and rubbed most of it off on a piece of paper. I then dry rubbed the textured areas very lightly, so only the peaks would pick up the paint. I did the same with the graveled areas.

Here are some closeup photographs of the details.

Faux Antiqued Pewter

I was cataloging my new stamps and decided to turn this one into a paper cast. It's a great stamp by After Midnight. Here's how I did it for those who haven't tried it yet.

1. Lay rubber stamp down on table.

2. Spray with water.

3. Lay a single layer of toilet tissue over the stamp. With a soft paint brush, gently push the tissue into the crevices on the stamp.

4. Mix white glue with water (I think I diluted it about 50-50).

5. Lay another single layer of toilet tissue over the first. Dip the paint brush into the glue-water mixture and gently push the tissue into the crevices.

6. Continue this process until it's as thick as you want it. There are 5-10 layers, on this cast.

7. After it is dry, remove it from the stamp. It may curl or warp a little.

8. Mount on a piece of mat board. I ran it through my Xyron adhesive machine, but you could use double sided tape or a glue stick. I think I would avoid a wet adhesive at this point.

9. Paint the cast and the mat with black acrylic paint. I just used inexpensive craft paint this time.

10. When dry, apply silver Rub 'n Buff. Let is set, then buff it with a paper towel.

Use on a card or on the front of a journal or on a paper mache box.

June 5, 2007

Aquarium Gravel Texture Art

After covering up the Garnet Gel in my last project, I decided to try to a similar texture with cheaper materials. I went to the pet store and got a bag of the smallest aquarium gravel I could find. Here's what I did.

Start with a piece of mat board. Apply a thick layer of white glue in a pattern of your choosing. Sprinkle fine acquariam gravel over the glue and gently push down on it to set it in the glue. After it dries, apply a thin coat of Golden Self Leveling Gel (or any white glue if you don't have gel) to set the gravel further and keep it from dropping out of the glue layer. To give the areas without any gravel some texture, apply a layer of Golden Soft Gel (Matte) with your fingers, like finger painting. Click on the picture below to see the texture created by the Soft Gel.

Paint it, rocks and all, with black acrylic paint. (I didn't paint the hot pink rocks before adding Opals and wished I had.)

Paint glue on places that you want to put Opals. Sprinkle Opals on the wet glue and heat with heat gun until Opals melt. Add pinches of other Opal colors. Spray black areas with interference Radiant Rains.

Unfortunately, these pictures don't begin to pick up the richness of the interference colors. Here are some closeups of the final project. Click on the pictures to see the detail.

June 4, 2007

Koolaid ATC

I've had some koolaid around for ages to try on paper. Today I decided to experiment with it. I wet an ATC size piece of watercolor paper and applied pinches of koolaid through the middle. Then I added Twinkling H20's to the rest. I salted the whole thing. When it was dry I scraped off the salt (it really sticks to the Twinks) and stamped with Ranger Archival Ink. I liked the color and the effect of the koolaid application.

June 2, 2007


I experimented with a technique created by Zeborah Loray. I started with a piece of heavy mat board and spritzed it with Radiant Rains. Then I slathered on a thick layer of Golden Extra Coarse Garnet Gel with a palette knife. It's hard not to put down a thick layer because of the size of the stones. I spritzed again and applied the Opals on the gel.

I'm still familiarizing myself with the colors of these products, somy color combinations are a little iffy. But I like the texture this created. I think I could have gone a little lighter on the Opals to take full advantage of the Garnet Gel's texturel. Next time I use Garnet Gel I'll apply the Opals like I would a pinch of salt.

June 1, 2007

Bleach & Paint Brushes

I had some friends over today and showed them how to do the bleach technique I blogged about earlier this week. I didn't have enough water barrel brushes to go around so I got out CHEAP Prang brushes that came with watercolors years ago.


Turns out they were natural bristle. They disintegrated right before our eyes. I was amazed at how quickly the bleach ruined them. Just ate 'em right up!!! And if that wasn't bad enough, the chemical reaction between the bleach and the dissolving brush kept the paper from bleaching out. So we not only wrecked the brushes, we wrecked the pictures!! Here's a before and after picture of the brushes.

So if you get cheap brushes for this technique, make sure they're also synthetic. Or use a Q-tip with a pointed end. They're available in the cosmetics aisle, along with that other useful craft tool, the cosmetic sponge.