Rubber Finger Groomer Paint Tool

On Monday after my usual routine blood tests at the hospital we went to the large pet store in town to pick up some cat food and doggy chews for our fur babies, whilst pacing the aisles of the store I noticed this nifty little rubber finger groomer for using with small animals:



When you flip it over, this is what it looks like on the reverse side:


IMG_3343I’m always on the look out  for things I can use in my art so I decided to get one to experiment with and see what I could do with it, at the very least I figured I could use it to make multiple stamped dots on my handmade backgrounds.

Here are the results of my experimental dabblings:

First up I did some basic stamping with it, on the left I used an inkpad, and on the right I used acrylic paint:


The next thing I tried doing with it was creating scratchy puddles, to do this I first splodged the paint on the page like so:


Then using the tool I scratched the paint outwards to create a scratchy puddle:


I really liked the effect of this so decided to use it on one of my Dina Wakley stencil girl shapes below:



Once I’d scratched the stencil design onto the page I flipped the plastic stencil mask over to create a scratchy stamped mirror image as you can see below:


The picture below is just random scratching of the tool with paint to create marks on the page:


In all I really like this new paint tool I’ve found and can see me using it more often in my backgrounds and journal pages. If you would like to pick one up yourself you can get them from Pets At Home and possibly other pet stores too.

Since I’ve taken these pictures I have now cut off the key chain part and removed it from the tool as it was getting in my way when I was painting with it.


My First Set Of Grown Up Watercolours

Today is a big day for me; it marks the arrival of my first ever set of grown up watercolour paints!

In the past I’ve always used cheap craft or children’s paints; don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with these paints because I’ve been using them for years and have always managed to get by with them. Its just feels nice to have something grown up and adult for a change.

I’ve always longed for a set of watercolours pans but my sub-concious mind would never allow me to buy them because I always believed my inner critic when she told me I wasn’t worth it. That a set of paints like that would be wasted on me because I wouldn’t even know how to use them properly and to stick with what I know and continue to use the  el cheapo brand as usual.

Recently I rebelled against my inner critic and closed my ears to her put me downs and criticisms and decided enough was enough, Im 43 years old and think its about time I owned a good set of watercolour paints don’t you?

Just look at these new babies below:

Each one of the paint pans is individually wrapped in a paper wrapper and cellophane which immediately made me think of old fashioned boiled sweets! I felt like a kid again trying to get the wrappers of my new sweeties!!  Look there is even a space to put my favourite paint brush!!

After taking all the wrappings off it seemed a shame to throw them away, so instead I decided to use them and make them into an art journal page to celebrate the occasion which you can see below:

I cant wait to use these babies in my art work 😀

Letterpress Stamping Experiments

Yesterday I had a play with the letterpress kit with my Vagabond machine, I bought it cheap in the new year sales for only £9.99 and thought at that price it was worth a punt.

The stamps you get with the Letterpress are like solid plastic so they are not the same as rubber stamps, when you use them with your die cutting/embossing machine not only does the printing plate stamp, it also creates a slight debossed impression of the stamp too. Pretty cool effect I thought.

I didnt use the special ink and brayer to ink the stamps up that came with the letterpress kit, instead I inked the stamp with my inkpads by pressing them direct to the image and then stamped with the ink – it worked fantastically I must add!

Another thing I didnt do what I was supposed to do, was put the self adhesive sheets on the back of the stamps, instead I use a strip of double sided tape which I temporarily affixed to the rear of the stamp while using it and removed it easily after use – a lot cheaper as I buy my double sided tape in sets of 3 rolls for a pound in poundland.

Below are a couple of images I did using the Letterpress Kit and my Sizzix Vagabond Machine using Brilliance Inkpads:

Stamped on Matt Card:

Stamped On Gloss Card:

I tried the letterpress kit with my normal rubber unmounteds just to see if they would work or not, they do work but the impression isnt as clear as I hoped, but it would work for a grungey collage look where perfection isnt necessary. If you look at the photos below you will see the images I got from using unmounted rubber stamps:

This rubber stamped image below had a lot of open areas in it, as you can see the pressure from the Vagabond made the areas of the rubber stamp which arent normally stamped stamp, thus making a messier image transfer. I suppose you could still use it for collage work especially if you used another colour ink to stamp it with as it kinda looks as if its been coloured in.

The stamped image below didnt have much open areas in it as you can see, its completely made up of words which stamped in a kind of double ghosted effect when used with the Letterpress, again it could be used in collage style cards etc. I will probably use this image below even though it isnt perfect because I like the effect it gives.

I am wondering though if clear polymer unmounted stamps might work better with the letterpress? I didnt get a chance to try it out because I got too tired and had to put everything away, but next time I have the stuff out I will give it a whirl.

In conclusion, the Letterpress is quite a good tool to have, its not something I will use every single day, but then I dont use the Zutter or the Vagabond every day either!

I do consider it a good purchase especially as I dont have to use the special printing inks with it, but I dont think the kit is worth the full rrp of £40 odd quid, my advice is if you see it cheap for around £10-£20 mark then Id say go for it.

I wonder whether the new Sizzix Letterpress plates will work with it or not? Note to self – try it!

So there you have it, my thoughts on the letterpress Printing Kit for what its worth…