Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Alphastamps Penmanship stamps

We recently received our lovely package from Alphastamps and now it's time to do something with it. Leslie from Alphastamps included some totally gorgeous stamps to do with pens and writing. Most of them were clear stamps that self-cling to acrylic blocks. Wonderful. And of course, being clear also meant that you can see exactly where to place the stamp. These stamps are now available from Alphastamps here!

I set to work and made one of my fabric/paper collages. Before I started I grabbed my piece of calico (muslin in US), ironed it, and stamped onto it using all the clear stamps we were given. I used Versacraft ink-pads in black and blue. Normally I would let the stamps dry overnight but this was a rush job so I only left it for an hour before I heatset the ink. This is VERY IMPORTANT, as I was going to use wet thinned down PVA glue while making the collage and if you don't heat set properly, all the ink will run (and this is the voice of experience speaking!). So iron your stamped fabric everywhere for at least 3 minutes. This takes time and it's a good idea to err on the side of caution and do it for much longer than you think is necessary.

This time I had no problems when I covered the background with the diluted PVA. I then added vintage images and text and pieces of torn up paper napkin (which had an ABC theme). Use only the top layer of the napkin so it's semi-transparent and you can see the background through it.
Make sure the collage is totally dry before ironing it flat using an ironing sheet to protect the surface!

I cut out a section I really liked, about 6" square. I layered this with craft felt by straight stitching around all the edges.
I added the image of the boys writing in the bottom right corner (from Alphastamps Chalkboard collage sheet, coming soon) which I glued down. The text: The Pen is mightier than the sword, was made using a Dymo writer. The Dymo prints onto a self-adhesive transparent background but I also sewed several times around the text and added tiny (size 15) blue seed beads.

I added pieces of Black Felt Fusion from Alphastamps in 3 of the corners. This too is self-adhesive and oh so convenient!

One of the vintage papers I used to make the background was the initial P which ended up on the left hand side of the piece. I wanted to emphasize the leg of the P and so I stamped the pen image onto a transparent sheet (using black Staz-on) and sewed this in position.

Finally I mounted the whole piece onto heavy watercolour paper and machine zigzagged around all the edges using a variegated machine thread.
At the same time I also made an ATC for the January Lot-o-Rama on the Alphastamps Yahoo Group because as they say for the UK Lottery: You've got to be in it to win it. There are several gorgeous ATCs there already and I would be over the moon if I could add them to my collection. So I used another piece of the same collage , again layered with felt. I used the one unmounted stamp we received Principes d'Ecriture and stamped this onto an acetate sheet, cut it out and sewed it onto the background. I added a little stick pencil on the left hand side which I couched on by machine (with a great deal of trouble!!!). I added the text: The Scratching of the Pen, again using my faithful Dymo writer. This too was mounted on watercolour paper and zigzag stitched around the edges.

When it came to scanning this card I had an awful lot of trouble as the pencil threw the rest of the card out of focus so in the end I had to macro photograph it!

1 comment:

Lenna Andrews said...

Oh, how I love your new art, Frieda! So much fun to be working with the same items as a fellow Alpha Stamps design team member . . . and see what YOU do!

I really like how you stamped the pen on a transparency - it looks fab on top of your fabric collage. "The pen is mightier than the sword" is perfect for this!
: ))) lenna


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