Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My ScrapRoom & Watercoloring!

I'm showing off my scraproom today, as well as letting you know a couple of useful storage tips & watercoloring tips for digistamp newbies! :) 

The simple but yummy candyjar above is decorated with washitape and string, and the image is a Sugarnellie rubberstamp by Leanne Ellis 'Cherub'. I wish to enter it into the following fab challenges: 

Eclectic Ellapu ~ Anything goes: using HEARTS [Sept.30th.]
Not Just Cards #1. ~
Anything goes [Sept.13th.]
Crafty Girls
#26.~ Anything goes [Sept.16th.]
Stamping Sensations ~ September: Things with Wings [
Craft my life ~
August & September: Non-card projects! [Sept.30th.] 

My Scraproom and some tips & techniques! :)

Now, I've been asked many a time about how I store my stamps, papers and ribbons. But how I watercolor & print my digi-stamps is most often asked, as many experience a lot of 'bleeding' from the black lines when they print with inkjet printers, and some even give up on digis altogether!
I mostly watercolor, both the rubberstamped and the digistamp images. Favourite medium to use are my Tim Holtz® Distress Ink (pads & markers).

As well as regular watercolor cubes and pens, I LOVE my Luminarte Twinkling H2o's Shimmering Watercolors! I have loads of fun stencils I use, with the Inkssentials Ink Blending Tool (& Mini Ink Round Blending Tool) and Foams. 

When I ink, I usually do several images at a time, in the same color theme ~ It saves time and you don't waste too much of your inks either, as you would if you did just the one image. Theese four digistamps to the left are from: A day for Daisies 'Music For Me' & 'Braid In My Hair'. MayzyArt 'Bibis Harmony'. Saturated Canary 'Fancy'.

The watercolored image up top I made this summer for an FB challenge this summer in the Simply B Stamps group. 'Chilin' Lola' digistamp with my own drawn n colored background! I was happy with my bat - not so much the crocodile, but it's been years since I used to draw!

... amazing artists about watercoloring & techniques

There are so many artists to get inspiration from, just type in watercoloring, or any other search words u might think of on youtube / google / or pinterest. I can spend hours watching amazing artists play on camera :)
For example... 
As you may or may not know ~ Tim Holtz is our crafty KING ♥ This is probably my most re-watched videos on youtube by ScrapTimeVideos ~ Tim Holtz Layering Stencils Part One & Part Two ♥ I really get my creative synapses firing away in my head while watching Tim do his thing! LOL :)
If you have time, you should also really check out this Comic book artist, Brett Weldele's YouTube channel. He's an amazing artist with an extraordinary technique, using both Tim Holtz DI markers, stains and pads when he paints!   

http://rangerink.com/category/videos/This demo is again with the Distress King himself: Scrap-Time's CHA demo med Tim Holtz - Distress Markers & Tim's Distress Marker Coloring, Distress Spray Stain & if you find you need even more of  Tim ~ put this ScrapTimeVideos playlist on: ♥ I love Tim Holtz! ♥ Or go to Ranger ink and see all the videos they got about techniques and how to use their products ~ like Dyan Revelay, Wendy Wecchi & Tim Holtz!

If you are brand new to colouring, Kit & Clowder is a great place to get alot of inspiration and knowledge ~ Everything you need to get started is here! There is a wonderful FB group to join, and Alyce of K&C also sell some awesome teaching classes if you need a real boost, mostly for copics and markers colorists, but she has one for distress inks and one for lightsources. I'm not in need of a class (I think lol) but for any beginner, it would be a great investment! Distress Ink Techniques is also a great group to check out on facebook :) And Craftsy.com has a neat list of various uses: 10 Creative Ways to Use Distress Ink.

I absolutely LOVE watercoloring! 
♥ Here are some of my favourite projects ♥
Digistamps from the left: 
Sassy Studio Design 'Buttercream Babes - Mad Hatter & Halloween', Scrappers Delights 'Cupid 2a', Lemon Shortbread 'beehive and roses', and Simply Betty Stamps 'A Gal with Brains'. 

The Mind of Watercolor is a very funny and great art teacher guy on youtube that I highly reccomend watching :)
Especially this video for both beginners and long time watercolorists ~ I for one got many 'a-ha' moments when watching How to Use Complementary Colors in Watercolor Painting! He's SO good at explaining! ♥ Now I know where I went wrong those times my colorings went all brown and muddied... ;)

Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire, Julia Altermann and Sandy Allnock (Getting Started: Basic Watercolor Techniques) are some of my fave crafty youtubers you really need go watch ~ such incredible cardmaking artists! For a beginners lesson into watercoloring an image ~ here is one by the fab Zoe from MakeitCraftyKatharina Frei from Whiff of Joy also have a YouTube channel using distress inks n H2O's for inking, as well as HeathersHobbieHavens video Ruby Water Coloring where she too uses the same way of watercoloring I like to do ~ distress inks + twinkeling H2O's! Many others like to use distress inks for coloring, like Irene Mendes (Rose Cake Tilda) and AnnieRoseMakesThings (Watercolor Demo Winter Fairy) ♥ ♥ ♥

And if you still have some hours (or days) to spare, spend it  watching some of my favourite tutorials and techniques on youtube, I have made a very big playlist with 300+ videos, with everything I find crafty and inspirational, or helpful in way of techniques ~ like this SimonSaysStamps video on 10 Ways to Ink Resist! I also keep a Pinterest board with Crafty Inspirations :)

My favourite watercolor mediums ♥ Tim Holtz
Distress inks & Twinkeling H2O's!

Storage tips...
I'm all about saving my inks, they are expensive enough to buy, so I want them to last as long as possible. I keep a white paper/cardstock inside a plastic bag, sealed with a tape. I use this as a 'palette' for blending my colors. You can also write ink-names/add a sample color on the paper first, before putting it in the plastic bag. The distress ink will dry on it, and reactivate when u want to use it again. Just store it dust-free ;) And if you have a laminate maschine/laminate pocket that would work fine as well. Actually, any clean smooth non-porous surface will do fine, even a ceramic kitchen tile. StampinStuff01 have a youtube video where she uses a kitchen tile for her coloring, and she uses a blendingpen along with markers :) 

I store some ink pads upside down to keep the ink on the surface of the pad, but only if they are old or start to dry up, in need of a re-inking. Always right side up if they are new and 'juicy'. Then storing them upside down can result in an inky mess for sure! :)
Never remove the inner plastic lid from inkpads that has them (staz-on for example) just put a gluedot inside the lid so the plastic inner lid gets stuck on it when u close it, that will keep the ink wet. The Distress inks have lids that go into a groove, so they keep fresh like .. forever! Unless u tend to forget to put the lid back on, or you use them SO much that they need re-inking. Also, Tim Holtz have said store right side up about his inkpads. 
On the topic of Ink Pads, I came across this fantastic chart by Sheelagh Tomsett on CardMaking Paradise: Ink Pads Explained.

This is my work space, and as you see I keep my H2O inks in a metal box, wich I've lined with strips of 3Dfoam, to separate the colors. And after coloring, if there is ink still left in my plastic sheet, I just store it on top of the H2O's in the metal box. If I have muddled the colors to much or almost used them up, I just spray a little water on it and dry off with a kitchen towel.

To keep my workspace bench clean (it's all white and I wish it to stay that way!), I use a wax tablecloth (?) which I cut to fit, and stuck to the table with washitape. The brown sheet is an invaluable thing to have ~ Ranger Non-Stick Craft Sheet. You can use your heat gun, spill inks and paint, no problem! Even alcohol inks, just rub off with some alcohol solution.

I am definitely a hoarder when it comes to stamps and papers.. You can see I have many ways of storage. The black albums are from Stamp n' Store, and store most of my EZ-mounts, Clearstamps goes in re-used plastic boxes, still smelling slightly of cookies ;) 
EZ-mount can also be stored in CD-cases & old VHS-tape covers. I also got A4 ring-albums where I've laminated sheets to adhere the stamps to. 

I probably own several thousand rubber & clearstamps, and it's the same with digistamps, they just don't take up as much space.. sitting pretty inside my computer.. and on a back-up harddrive, PLEASE remember to back up your files as often as possible, it is TERRIBLE when a crash happens o_O

I love to sort and label my stuff, everything has it's place!
Papers, embellishments, stamps, ribbons, fabric, tools.. If you have any questions on any of this, I'll try my best to answer :)

If you are unsure about how to download and use a printing program, there are loads of tutorials on youtube if you search for example for 'Digital stamp tutorial', coloring or 'printing digital stamps' or try writing digistamps etc. Not beeing able to create a video tutorial for you myself, I looked for the way I have done it for years using word, and I found a very good one by Jessica Griffin: How to use digital stamps in Microsoft Word

NB: For you copics/alcohol marker users ~ I'm sorry but my Rinse, Tap, Dry technique I write about below, will most likely ruin your speciality copic papers! :( If ironing/heatsetting the images don't work for you, try viewing this tut from The Paper Boutique: Printing and Coloring Digital Stamps without Smearing

my RINSE ~ TAP ~ DRY technique
for watercoloring inkjet digistamps! :)

I usually print my digi-stamps onto watercolor papers with my inkjet, and there is a great trick to making the ink set on the paper before watercoloring it! Ofcourse if you got an laser-printer you are all set!  
...Not always it seem ~ EDIT Update: cheap laser-printers ink might actually 'flake' off the paper, and smudge all over!!! as I regretfully discovered! So, if buying a laser printer, do get a quality one! And if possible make a test print before committing to buying it.

Good Laser-printers make the ink stay put, but if you got inkjets, there's very few that has permanent ink. This means that the images you print out will get 'bleeding' of the linesart and result in smudges and muddied black lines when you watercolor :(

You can reduce the lines bleeding by heatsetting the images with an iron (use copypaper between the iron and the watercolorpaper). Or heatset by heatgun - needs to be heated up several times, and cooled off completely. It generally helps big-time to just let the dry-off period be a couple of days :) However....
The very best technique is to just rinse the digistamp under water! Takes only a few seconds to run off any excess ink. It's VERY important that the ink of the digi is completely dry before u begin! Water temperature is no issue, just use luke warm so you don't get frostbite or burn ;) 
Immidiately after rinsing, turn the paper face down and tap off the water on kitchentowels ~ that sit on a flat surface ~ turn it over onto another kitchentowel which is dry still, and tap off again. Then allow to dry completely. (I usually sandwich between kitchentowels and a couple books to make sure they stay flat). 
Now the image is 99% non-bleed-proof! :)

Printing Digis:
When I've added my chosen digis to for ex. word, I print them out on Canson Montvale aquarelle paper (200 g/m coldpressed or hotpress wich tend to be smoother than coldpress), which is my preferred paper of choice - it fits fine in the printer without getting stuck.  
However, if I do use thicker paper, I would add a regular copy/printer paper underneath - taping the watercolorpapers end a centimeter above the bottom of the copypaper - then the printer drags the copypaper inside the rollers first, and the watercolorpaper doesn't get stuck! Just make sure there's enough space above the digis so you don't cut bits of them off :)

First of all though, you want to make sure you print using the black cartridge - forgetting this is the main reason why digis from different companies act so differently in this process. Some digis are actually not pure black, but a mix of colors - that appears black to our eyes, and the printer mixes it's colors to create the black for you. But I've found that the pure black sets better than using the color cartridges, so do try the 'print in monochrome / grey scale' option!

Just see how clear the lineart stays on this lovely ADFD digi, even with lots of watercoloring on the lines :) For creating good flow and even surface with the watercolors for the backgrounds, use a broad/flat brush or waterbrush. I also find that masking an image first (post-it's are super for masking) and then going over the image with distress inks, mists and spray of water or just the 'flick & swish with fingers' method, is an easy way of creating great backgrounds for your stamps. 
See examples of this technique on theese watercolor projects:
A Pirate's Life for me... Cogsley Copperpot SteamPunk Tag .. and example with use of stencils also here ~ Still inking with the Green & Blues!

Here are some links to some of my absolute favourite digi-stamp companies! (you find more in my sidebar) They all give excellent service and quality, tried and tested.

Awesome Digi stamp companies:...(some have now retired)
AuroraWings Bugaboo Stamps Saturated Canary Mo's Digital Pencil A day for daisies Kenny K. MayzyArt Tiddly InksOddball art co. The Stamping Chef Sassy Studio DesignsSimply Betty StampsMake it Crafty The Paper Shelter StitchyBear misc. artists Lemon Shortbread Rick St.Dennis Dustin Pike aka DoodleDragon Ching Chou Kuik Dilly Beans Faery Ink LOTV Scrappers Delights Nikki Burnette Whimsy stamps misc. artists.
... and theese are only but a few of my faves! (I got lots more listed in the right column of this blog ~ which I must really edit soon-ish, as some of the shops don't exist anymore!) 

NB: Many of theese has freebie digistamps to share from time to time, for example Bugaboo Stamps have one every friday! And it is an excellent way of trying out digis for free, before buying from an artist and finding out that digistamps are not for you.

Another EDIT to do a bit of shameless self-advertising ~ I have my own etsy shoppe now! Check it out here ~ Tindaloo's Digi Doodle Stamps Shoppe :) And do come back to my blog again, now and then  I'll have freebie n blogcandy to tempt you with ;) 

Make your own digistamps! 
If you have a talent for drawing, you could even create your own digital stamps! My method is doodling a sketch very softly with a pencil, go over it with a quality black pen (like a black felt fine-tip micron or staedtler pen), then erase the pencil-lines. Scan at a good size (300dpi) and clean the image up in a image editing program u like (I use paint and photofiltre). When you have saved your new files, they are digistamps that you can print out again and again on the paper you want, like aquarelle/watercolor papers!!! Have fun :)
You can also create your very own text digistamps, either by drawing or texts in Paint or other programs ~ for example like this Alice in Wonderland text, it took me no more than 5 minutes to do! :)

Always Watermark & Do NOT share stamps!
And a little reminder: Please remember to add watermarks to ALL your photos when posting your creations online.. and don't share digi-stamps with others.. Or illegaly scan rubberstamped images and upload to the web (like on pinterest and fb) for sharing .. This is a BIG no-no, please do protect the artists and yourselves! 
Search for freebies that are given away by the artists themselves instead! A good place to start is the Free Digital Stamps Blog. Read the artists copyrights and angel policies before using their stamps so you know what you are allowed to do with them. Some artists permit you to sell cards with their stamps on, others do not. Learn all about AngelPolicies at Stamp Out.

..and after all those neat photos of my craft room I feel like I need to show you how it looks like after each crafting session..

NB: This blogpost will be an ongoing project of mine, adding stuff and editing 
...so some old stuff ..some new, just so you don't get confused *lol*

...På norsk? Beklager, ikke denne gangen! Blir litt for mye å oversette... Men det ligger en 'Å skrive ut / Bruk av Digitale stempler ~ Tutorial!' (Forumet er desverre lagt ned nå) jeg lagde for noen år siden på Scrapping.no forumet. Med mange lenker om emnet :)


  1. Beautiful design and colours, absolutely perfect for our theme at Stamping Sensations, thanks so much for joining in and sharing your lovely work with us.

    B x

  2. Thank you for joining this week at Not Just Cards Good luck and We hope you'll join us again soon

  3. A really sweet creation, Hilde! A fab image to go with the yummy contents!!! Thanks for joining in at stamping sensations for our things with wings theme this month and good luck!

  4. Thank you for joining this week at Not Just Cards Good luck and We hope you'll join us again soon

  5. I'm loving this cute little sweety jar and that gorgeous craft room! Thanks for joining us at Stamping Sensations this month.

  6. Gorgeous little jar the image is adorable... Thank you for joining us at Craft my life... Hugs May x x

  7. Love your watercolouring :) Thanks for Joining us at Ecclectic Ellapu - Purple

  8. Thank you for your advice on digis bleeding and will try the tap water hint. Carol S.

  9. What a great, informative post. I am certainly going to try your 'rinse, tap, dry' technique for digi stamps.

  10. I came a little late to the party but I so enjoyed looking at your studio and storage techniques! All I can say is "WOW" and thanks for sharing.

  11. Fabulous post Hilde, thank you for all the helpful information!
    Crafty Hugs, Sherry xx
    Loose Stitches and Unraveled Threads

  12. Wow, thank you for all the useful tips on blending inks, and ink pad storage. I have a laminator and have never even thought to laminate a cardstock sheet for ink blending...or for storing my unmounted stamps. These two tips alone were worth the read! Your studio is wonderfully organized and full of so many intriguing supplies and products. My craft supplies aren't any where near as organized and my craft room is still a work in progress.


Many thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment, I so appreciate it and reading them is always a joy! ♥ Tindaloo aka. Hilde Larsen

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