Art and Craft News / useful information

How to Trim Darkroom Door Stamp Sets

I love Darkroom Door stamps! There are so many ways to use them - as backgrounds of cards, featured in journals, added to a mixed media canvas, used on a scrapbook page - anything at all.

The quality of these stamps is superb. Every image is easy to ink up and prints beautifully every time, just as designed - not squashed or missing fine details like some clear stamps do (for me).

I may appear a bit biased as I sell them, but I do love them (which is WHY I choose to sell them).

Gorgeous handmade greeting card by Godelieve for Darkroom Door

The gorgeous green card above is by Godelieve Tijskens of Stamping Mathilda, talented artist and designer for Darkroom Door. Big thank yous go to Godelieve and Rachel Grieg for the use of this image :)

The only thing I've heard is tricky is trimming around each image or word. While the quotes, background and eclectic stamps by Darkroom Door are ready to use straight out of the packet (apart from taking off the paper backing), the stamp sets require a little preparation before use.

Click this link for my FREE Stamp Trimming Service!

How to Trim Your Darkroom Door Stamps...

Step 1
I prefer to use my Tim Scissors (Tim Holtz Tonic Serrated Scissors). They are sharp and strong, great for the stretchy rubber - plus the serrated blades grip the rubber as you cut, allowing you to cut closely with precision.

Step 2
Leave the paper backing on and with the image or stamp facing you, cut carefully around all the elements or just the element you require.

Step 3
The excess I find quite useful as it can be cut into shapes like squares, triangles, circles, polygons and anything else - shapes are great to use either featured (with doodling) or in backgrounds. Let your imagination be your guide!

Step 4
Next, peel off white backing paper and place stamp onto a clear acrylic block of a similar size.

Step 5
Colour the image with Distress markers, ink, stains, paints or press into texture paste or gesso. Be sure to wash straight away so the pastes don't dry onto the stamp.

Step 6
Store your stamp set in the handy storage case provided with each set.

Click here to see all stamps by Darkroom Door
Click here to see the Tim Scissors aka Tim Holtz Tonic Scissors

Example of trimmed stamps

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Chameleon Pens - How to Refill Your Marvellous Markers

Discover how simple it is to refill your Chameleon Pens and Mixing Chamber. Its really easy once you know how!

Contact me if you need help or have questions :) 

Video content © Chameleon Art Products 2015

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Tim Holtz Distress Paint - Information and Shop Update


I'm aiming to have all the treasures in my shop to have FREE postage (Australia wide) enabled... I'm slowly getting there. I'd say about half is marked as free postage by now :)

Today, I've updated all the Tim Holtz Distress Paints to show what's in stock, what's out of stock and how many of each :) Plus, you'll notice that when you add these to the shopping cart, you won't get charged extra postage unless you choose Express. Marvellous!

With that fab news, I'll move on to adding the few colours that are missing but in stock - Shaded Lilac, Wilted Violet, Ground Espresso, Carved Pumpkin, Lucky Clover and Candied Apple.

Distress Paint is designed by Tim Holtz and manufactured by Ranger.

Distress Paint is a waterbased acrylic paint that at times, acts like watercolour. Tim calls it water reactive - a bit of water splattered on its surface creates amazing textures! 

Its a fluid paint, able to adhere to most surfaces, permanent when dry and once dry (allow at least 24 hours) it can be doodled over with your favourite marker - Fudeball, Sharpie, Graphik, just to name a few :)

Originally created with a sponge dauber top and screw on lid, it is fantastic for quick backgrounds or large areas. Once dry, spatter with a sprinkling of water and watch the magical bubbles appear! Love it :) Ranger have designed a new lid for all the Distress Paint bottles - a flip top lid. And soon, you'll be able to buy the bottle with the flip top instead of the sponge dauber.

To look after your sponge daubers, simply spritz with Distress Ink Refresher after your day of painting. This will help stop the sponge from drying out.

If you need more information about these paints or questions about anything else arty, write to me anytime and I'll help you.

Happy Creative Day!

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Texture in Art Using Different Techniques and Mediums

So many different techniques for getting texture into your art.

When I was young, I used to use leaves and the ground to get great textures for my drawings. I simply placed the leaf under my paper and rubbed over with a pencil or crayon. Using another pencil, I'd enhance the leaf shape by drawing it in another colour (usually white or dark brown). Then I'd lay the paper on the roughest ground or fabric I could find (jeans are great!) and rubbed other colours for the background.

These techniques works well with anything and everything that has a surface or texture.

I never worried about what colours went together or how it was going to look when it was finished - I just did it because I loved it. The creation of art is what heals our hearts and calms the mind, the finished piece is a byproduct! A nice byproduct and most of the time its either beautiful and or useful :)

Now you can get texture pastes and mediums for nearly everything - clear, white, gloss, matte, black lava, glass beads, tissue, stringy, matte, gloss, clear, thick, thin, rigged, flexible, smooth, rough - the list goes on.

Many of which you can create yourself using either white or clear texture paste with things like beads, sand, clay, tissue, stamps, paper mache, papers, fabrics, string, ribbon, leaves, branches, feathers, pebbles or stones and even the ground!

If it has any kind of surface or texture, it can be used for art. Just make sure they're clean unless you're not concerned about the dirt in your art. One advantage to the shop bought ones, you don't need to wash the sand or sweep the ground!

Ranger's texture paste has been developed to be used with all water-based inks and paints like Dylusions Ink Sprays and Distress Paints. It behaves as just another part of the paper rather than a semi-resist.

screenshot from Tim's video about using Texture Paste
From the video of Tim Holtz using Ranger's new texture paste.

Most texture pastes appear to have a plastic finish to them, even the matte ones. This is great with acrylic paints but with inks, stains and sprays that don't have the same pigments as acrylics, the colour just sits on the surface.

In this video from Noell Hyman, Tim uses the white texture paste and explains it all. You can see how the ink and texture paste behave together - its fantastic! Enjoy the video :)

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Giveaway (March 2015) - Easter Card Making Kit

Until the end of March, I'm changing the Thank You gift with each purchase at my online shop to an Easter Card Kit. Simply add your own embellishments and colour to make it unique to you.

Every order until the 31st March 2015 will receive this little pocket of fun. It includes everything in the photo except my frog who held everything in place while I took the photo (and obviously not including my Cutterpillar or the Ranger ink in the top left corner! lol).

advert for FREE Easter Card Kit with every purchase at Art by Jenny Online Shop

I do love my little frog. My brother gave a pair of them to me - its actually a little torch keyring that croaks! So cute! It carries a distressing thingo on its keyring (you know, the thing we use to scruff up the edges of cardstock) so its easy to find on my art table :)

Anyway, the Easter card kit includes an A5 cream card folded to A6 (approx 4" x 6"). The stamped images are in Ranger Pigment Ink (black) on a beautiful smooth white cardstock. You also receive a piece of ribbon, twine and 4 pieces of cardstock or paper. All you need to do is add your own personal touch or even re-gift it to someone who loves bunnies (sadly, I don't have a bilby stamp... am working on it).

Don't forget to show off your card at either Pinterest or Facebook so we can all admire your artwork!

I love this new pigment ink from Ranger - it dries fast; faster on matte cardstock. Its opaque, permanent on both gloss and matte cardstock, and available in black or white. Their 'cousins' the Ranger Dye Ink Pads I haven't tried yet, but they say the same things on the lid "waterproof when dry, fast drying, great for all surfaces".

Ranger really have fantastic quality control for all their products. You can use either watercolour or solvent based markers with the Ranger Pigment Ink Pad. I've tested it with Distress Watercolour Markers, plain water in an aquabrush and the Chameleon Pens... works perfectly with both types of marker. I even wet my finger and attempted to smudge the ink... didn't budge! Marvellous :)

An inhouse test and review of Ranker Pigment Ink vs Hero Arts Hues

The white is great too, not quite as white as a Sharpie, but it's opaque and sets evenly. If you use a stamp positioner kit (like a this one) then you could easily stamp twice in exactly the same place, enhancing the white. Or simply do as I do and use a white pen or Sharpie to tangle over the stamped image.

The other white in the picture is Hero Arts Hues. Its a nice white opaque ink but thick and sticky. On the matte card it took a few minutes to dry, but on gloss it took 3 days. Imagine waiting 3 days to do the next layer on your project? Fine for art journaling but then, it's not permanent and if you rewet the dried image, it smears (whether you use solvent or waterbased markers or ink).

I like to use many layers, colours and textures in my artwork (cards, canvas and journaling) therefore, as lovely as this particular Hero Arts ink seems (the packaging is lovely), its not suitable for me. I'll stick to the Tim Holtz Distress inks, Ranger Archival and the new Ranger Pigment and Dye inks.

I'll still order it in if you'd like it as it might be suitable for you. You could always use a fixative over the top before adding new layers.

Just a reminder...
If you would like any brand or item not on my website, just get in contact. I can order nearly anything (stamps, dies, stencils, punches, tools, accessories, paint, etc) in our art and craft world (its a bit dangerous and exciting!). I simply send you a Paypal invoice after we work out what you'd like, order it in and post it to you as soon as it arrives.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you have a wonderful, happy and creative day!

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