Quick & Easy Projects: Ink for Planners

by Marcie McCabe

In today’s post, I will do a quick review of our ink brands and discuss the best inks for the thinner pages of journals and planners. If you are a planner addict or simply would like to craft some fun “goals” pages for the New Year then check out what we have to say about the best planner inks for 2020!

VersaFine + StazOn

One of the unique qualities of planners is the thin pages on the inside. These thin pages are designed to be flexible and lightweight so journals remain easy to use and at a low cost. If you like stamping inside your planner then getting a great inkpad is crucial. Let’s start with VersaFine Clair in Nocturne! VersaFine is a solid ink for making cards, but on thin pages, it is going to show through on the following page. StazOn Jet Black is an excellent mixed media ink and will stamp on nearly anything, yet again it shows through on thin paper. So these two inks I would save for cardmaking.

VersaMagic + Memento

VersaMagic is a highly pigmented chalk ink. The Midnight Black stamps well and does not bleed through the paper as heavily as other black inks. I vote YES for this ink on thin pages. Memento Tuxedo Black is a water-based dye ink that is an excellent ink for cardmaking and using with other inks such as alcohol markers but has a heavy bleed through on the thin pages. In my observation, it bleeds through the most.

What about grey?

If you really like a certain inkpad brand and feel you still want to use it on your planner or journal pages then you can try a lighter shade. Although Memento Tuxedo Black is too heavy for thin pages an alternative is London Fog. The grey tone is light enough for the journal page. I was inspired to try VersaFine Clair in Morning Mist, but again the tone of grey is too dark and the VersaFine showed through again. It is not an issue of the ink formula but rather the color hue of this particular grey.

Final Thoughts

When looking at different inks for journal pages consider different colors within a brand or brands with unique pigment qualities. The winners of this stamping-on-thin-pages test are Memento in London Fog and VersaMagic in Midnight Black!! Thank you and Happy Planning!

5 Next Level Heat Embossing Techniques with Mboss

by Jessica Lin

Six greeting cards made with different heat embossing techniques using Mboss embossing powder by Imagine

Hi everyone! Today’s video is all about heat embossing—from stamp layering with embossing powder, creating a faux branding iron look, to stenciling with VersaMark… these techniques really take heat embossing to the next level. If you like heat embossing and are eager to learn new tips and tricks, this video is a must-watch!

Supplies

Imagine
  • VersaMark – ink pad, VersaMarker
  • Mboss – Gold, Clear, Shimmering Night Sky, Birthday Party, Hologram, Lucky Stars
  • Craft Mat
Other
  • Stampin’ Up – Flourishing Phrases Bundle, Watercolor Wings Bundle
  • Stampers Anonymous – High Society Blueprint
  • Stamplorations – Kathryn’s Rainbows
  • Crafter’s Workshop – Stencil Template – Raindrop
  • Tim Holtz – Holiday Knit Stencil
  • Stamparatus or other stamping platform
  • EK – Anti-static Powder Tool
  • Wagner – Heat Tool
  • Acrylic block
  • Cardstock – colors of choice
  • Watercolor paper

 

Learn how to use StāzOn Pigment Ink with different substrates and mediums

by Lori Warren

Hello all, I am sharing with you some of the great benefits of using the new StāzOn Pigment ink. I really love this ink and love how it works with different surfaces. Before I get into demonstrating several options available, let me cover the basic information that Imagine has provided about this new product.

StāzOn Pigment:

  • Dries quickly on most surfaces
  • Works on all surfaces that original StāzOn does: paper, acetate, metal, glass and more
  • New felt pad produces crisp stamped images
  • Vibrant and opaque inks – these colors really pop!
  • Ergonomic, easy-to-open, air-tight case

StāzOn Pigment ink is available in 12 colors

With the basics out of the way, let’s move on to see how well StāzOn Pigment ink works with other Imagine products as well as with different substrates and mediums. To best explore the crafty possibilities of this ink, let’s embark on a variety of explorations using StāzOn Pigment ink with different substrates and mediums. The 6 explorations below outline the manner in which StāzOn Pigment was applied, the different substrate(s) and medium(s) used, as well as provide a photo capturing the result.

Exploration 1 – Paper

StāzOn Pigment: Stamped flower with Piano Black and saying stamped with Peacock Feathers.
Substrate: Strathmore Mixed Media Paper, vellum surface, 185 lb.
Medium(s): Watercolor with Memento Dual Tip Markers.
Additional Medium added, Sheer SHIMMER Craft Spray – Sparkle

Artist Observations: The StāzOn Pigment ink did not smear with the application of the wet watercolors, nice! Plus, the crisp stamped image really helped the image stand out.

Exploration 2 – Canvas

StāzOn Pigment: Stamped flower image with Piano Black.
Substrate: Flat panel canvas, pre-treated with gesso
Medium(s): DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics

Artist Observations: The StāzOn Pigment ink produced a vibrant stamped image that held up well against the acrylic paint. With the rough surface of the canvas, I found that a well-inked stamp and a little extra pressure was required to get a clean stamped image.

Exploration 3 – Wood

StāzOn Pigment: Stamped flower image with Piano Black.
Substrate: Untreated wood plaque
Medium(s): Fabrico Dual Makers with a DecoArt DuraClear Matte Varnish finish

Artist Observations: The StāzOn Pigment worked great on wood and didn’t smear with the application of the Fabrico markers.

Exploration 4 – Glass

StāzOn Pigment: Stamped flower image with Piano Black. Floral image colored with Snowflake, Chocolate Brown, Lemon Drop & Shamrock Green using Doodlestix Mixed Media Tools.
Substrate: Glass
Medium(s): irRESISTible Pico Embellisher

Artist Observations: I love the permanency of StāzOn Pigment on the glass and the application of the ink with a DoodleStix Mixed Media Tool was super easy and effective. The challenge came with working on a slick surface; I had to keep a steady hand when stamping to obtain a clean image.

Exploration 5 – Tumble Stone Tile

StāzOn Pigment: Stamped flower image with Piano Black.
Substrate: Tumble Stone Tile
Medium(s): Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pens w/DecoArt DuraClear Matte Varnish finish

Artist Observations: The StāzOn Pigment ink worked beautifully on the tumble stone tile. There was no smearing with the application of color with the Artist PITT pens or with the use of the varnish sealer.

Exploration 6 – Metal & Glass

StāzOn Pigment: Stamped images with Piano Black. Peacock Feathers, Shamrock Green & Snowflake ink sponged onto surfaces with InkBlushers.

Substrate: Metal & Glass

Artist Observations:  Sponging and stamping onto Metal with StāzOn Pigment ink worked like a dream. Vibrant color and crisp images resulted in a beautiful project!

As these explorations demonstrate, StāzOn Pigment ink works very well on a variety of substrates resulting in crisp stamped images that dry quickly. It also holds up to different mediums without running or smearing. Not only can it be used as a staple ink to stamp images on a variety of surfaces (to be treated with different mediums), it works well as a strong stand-alone ink that you can use to create entire projects with (see Exploration 6 – Metal & Glass).

For a paper project using StāzOn Pigement as a stand-alone ink, visit “Create a Stamped Collage Using StāzOn PIGMENT Inkpad”.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • DecoArt DuraClear Matte Varnish
  • DecoArt MEDIA Fluid Acrylics
  • Faber-Castell PITT artist pens
  • Lori’s Cards & Creations Stamps, Cone Flower & Sketchy Rose
  • Echo Park Paper Co. Eat, Sleep, Craft Stamp
  • Water brush
  • Hobby Lobby Galvanized metal sign
  • Glass
  • Tumbled stone tile
  • Flat Panel Canvas
  • Wood plaque
  • Strathmore Mixed Media paper

Announcing Sheer Shimmer Stix

We are so excited to tell you about a new product that will be hitting the market soon—not only is Sheer Shimmer going to be available in Rose Gold, but also in an all-new easy applicator! Sheer Shimmer Stix can be held like a pen to swipe the dauber top applicator over a project surface to effortlessly and cleanly apply the elegant sheer shimmer you already love.

Sheer Shimmer Stix Color Swatches:

Quick Facts about Shimmer Stix

  • Same elegant Sheer Shimmer effect as the sprays
  • Swipe-on application for controlled results
  • Stix dauber top allows for quick, uniform, large surface area application

Keep your eye on the blog all month where our artists are going to show you some awesome technique ideas for this new product and the announcement they are ready to order!

Learn How To Create Cards With Versatile Vellum

by Elina Stromberg

Learn How To Create Cards With Versatile Vellum

As a paper crafter, I’m sure you’ve come across a material called vellum. Hundreds of years ago ‘vellum’ was used to describe a thin, yet durable paper made from calf’s skin, but today this translucent, parchment resembling specialty paper is made from cotton and pulp. Vellum is usually white, but it is available in various other colors, too. Vellum’s unique characteristics have made it a popular material among paper crafters. However, some crafters consider vellum to be a bit tricky material to work with and knowing a few tips and tricks may help in the process. The best way to get familiar with the versatility of vellum is just to start playing and experimenting. Let me share with you a couple of ideas of how I like to use this great material.

Layering vellum on patterned paper

Vellum is translucent so it can be placed over a patterned background without completely hiding the underlying pattern. This characteristic is a great way to calm down a busy background, and if you place other elements on the vellum layer they will not blend into the background pattern.

Layering vellum on patterned paper

Transparency of vellum has its pros and cons. The background pattern will show through, but so will most of the adhesives that you need to use for attaching vellum on the background. However, lightweight vellum does not require too much adhesive to stay in place, and the trick is to use glue only on spots that you can cover later with other elements like frames, cut-out images or sentimetns, flowers, sequins, enamel dots, buttons etc. For some projects, a stapler is a good option for fastening, and on other projects, a metal brad will do the trick.

In my card sample, I die-cut a paper frame that I used for hiding the glue marks.

In my card sample, I die-cut a paper frame that I used not only as a fun layout element, but also for hiding the glue marks where the vellum is attached to the background.

 

Heat embossing

Vellum is a great material for heat embossing. Same supplies (VersaMark and Embossing Powders) can be used for vellum and for paper, and the melted powder will stick as it does on paper.

Simply heat emboss the text on a piece of vellum and attach the strip on the card.

Translucent vellum takes heat embossing to a new level, providing new possibilities to layer stamped elements. This is especially the case with stamped sentiment texts that in some cases are tricky to position on a card. Simply heat emboss the text on a piece of vellum and attach the strip on the card. While the vellum will highlight the raised text, its translucent background will let the underlying pattern to show through too.

Coloring with inks or watercolors

Vellum can be colored with markers, pencils, paints, inks, and watercolors. Vellum does not absorb wet media too well and a watercolor painted vellum surface may start to curl. However, this vellum characteristics can be utilized for creating beautiful vellum flowers where you can use the curling as an advantage:

I started with stamping and heat embossing simple flower images on a piece of vellum.

I started with stamping and heat embossing simple flower images on a piece of vellum.

 

I colored the flowers with All-Purpose Ink in Cherry Pink, adding with a water brush quite a rich amount of water on the petals

I colored the flowers with All-Purpose Ink in Cherry Pink, adding with a water brush quite a rich amount of water on the petals. While vellum was still a bit moist, I cut out the flowers and dried the color with a heat gun.

On this card the background is heat-embossed also, using clear embossing powder.

Using the heat gun to dry the wet inks curled up the flower petals, and by layering two stamped flowers I created a beautiful 3-dimensional flower to be used on a card.

If you are not big on heat embossing, Delicata and Brilliance inks will dry on vellum without heat embossing. Remember though that it will take longer to dry on vellum than on standard cardstock.

Dry embossing

Vellum has a smooth finish that can easily be dry-embossed. The result looks amazing, as the embossed lines turn from frosty white to bright white. If you’re using embossing folders and a die-cutting machine, make sure that you’re applying as little pressure as possible on the folder. A detailed image and heavy pressure will easily break the vellum. I prefer using a stylus for dry embossing vellum. In this technique, I place the piece of vellum on a surface that is a bit soft, like the Imagine Craft Mat or a mouse pad, and trace the lines with a stylus. It’s important to apply just enough pressure to change the vellum from translucent to white, as a stylus can also tear or punch the vellum if too much pressure is used.

With a stylus, you can write texts, doodle swirls or draw

With a stylus, you can write texts, doodle swirls or draw. Instead of free-hand drawing, you can also use a stencil as your guidance. Just place a stencil on the vellum and trace the pattern with a stylus:

Instead of free-hand drawing, you can also use a stencil as your guidance.

I attached the vellum panel on the card with a few stitches on each edge as I did not want to frame it for this layout. Instead of hand-stitching, I could have used a sewing machine for attaching; it works just as well!

I used this dry-embossed vellum background for a simple card project. The dry embossed pattern adds a whimsical element that does not compete with the bold sentiment.

Hope these ideas inspire you to use vellum on your craft projects. I’m sure you will love the versatility of it!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • American Crafts – Vellum
  • Stamps: Carabelle Studio – ‘Little girl with ball’, Visible Image – ‘Somewhere In Time’, Honey Bee – ‘Congrats’, Stampin’Up! – ‘Diagonal Stripe’, Jasmine Jones+Studio Calico – ‘Happy Birthday’, Altenew – ‘Freeform Greenery’.
  • Other stamps: “Thanks” sentiment, Flowers
  • Sizzix – Nesting dies
  • Fiskars – Stylus
  • Dot stencil
  • Water brush
  • Cardstock
  • Card bases
  • Embroidery yarn & needle

Mythbusting – StazOn Ink & StazOn Cleaner with Clear Stamps

by Nadine Carlier

StazOn ink is a solvent ink that can be used on plastic, glass, metal, paper, and a host of mixed media surfaces and ephemera. So it is natural to assume that it might damage your stamps. We asked Nadine to talk a little bit about why StazOn is totally safe to use with any stamp set!

Supplies

Other