Of course we are finding it so hard to drag ourselves away from the Olympic TV here (the UK has 24 LIVE Olympic TV channels to choose from), so we are supporting both team GB and Team NZ. Everyone is doing so well, it's wonderfully inspiring to watch!
Here at PA HQ harvest started late yesterday on the farm, so we are in a dust storm every 20 minutes when the harvesters come back around in front of the property. So far the wind has been taking the worst of it away from us. Unusually its a foggy start to the day, so I expect we have a few hours before things dry out enough for them to return. It's set to be a scorcher (finally after 10 days of greyness) this afternoon, so we are up early making stamps before HQ temperatures get to 35 degrees with the machinery up and running.
This quick post is to let you know we have 7 new Lynne Perrella stamps available online in the shop now.
And yes of course we will be exhibiting this Sunday at the Stevenage 'Stamperama' show, so if you can make it, come and have a look around. It is a stamp-specific show - all the exhibitors are only allowed to take brands specific to their stand, so there is not a lot of double up across the stands, which makes for great variety on offer and there are always lots of demos to see too. Stevenage is up the A1 from the M25, once on the A1, its only about a 20-25 minute drive north, so its not as far from the M25 as you think. The Stevenage Arts and Leisure centre is easy to find on the dual carriage way way in front of a huge Tescos. Plenty of parking, and easy to get to from the train too.
Don't forget to also check out the new Hot Picks (sewing, ephemera and Halloween) are in the shop too, Portfolio Oil Pastels are back in stock.
Lastly we have added quite a lot of new Ink and the Dog style minis. These are credit card sized stamps, and we have been getting many requests for more script style background images in particular, but we have also added stamps that fit in with new themes from recent releases, haberdashery for example.
When I list all the new stamps we have created in recent weeks, I now understand where all out time has gone! Something for everyone I'm sure, and we will have them all on the stand at Stevenage this Sunday!
Lastly, a note about ink. We often get asked about whihc ink we reccomend to use with our grungey stamps. We rand a bunch of test recently, and we discovered the ink whihc performed the best on our stamps are those which cover the rubber with a nice even coverage. In general dye inks are quite thin, and pigment inks are quite thick. Permanent inks fall somewhere in the middle.
The ink that did the best job on our smoothy stamping paper with Lynne Perrella images was Versafine Onyx Black. The black was much blacker than any other ink, the detail of the images was much sharper, and the coverage of ink on the rubber was beautiful, not too thick and not too thin. The other thing i liked was once the image was stamped, there was no 'bleed'. Some of the thinner dye inks keep travelling on the paper/ card after the image has been stamped, which can make the image look bit blurry.
Versafine was originally developed back in the day for photographic stamps that were all the rage. We often would apply the ink to the stamp with a small brayer, this way the ink did not collect in the texture of the rubber stamp, and you got a nice even layer of ink. Versafine has a reasonable amount of oil in the ink, which makes it slow drying, and so it can be clear embossed as it will stay wet long enough for you to do so. It also might smoke a bit as you dry it off with your heat gun...I am told that is due to the oil in the ink. And it may take longer to heat-dry than other inks, but the Onyx black is particularly jet black.
So dig out your ink pads, and you do your own tests, let me know what you think - we all have our favourites.
I know a lot of you will say what about StazOn? It is a solvent based ink designed for smooth shiny surfaces where a quick dry is required (metal, acetate, acrylic, shrink plastic, ceramics etc) and loads of people use it on paper not realising this - read the label on the back! It is a very thin ink, and so it can bleed through on paper, you don't get the coverage on grungey detailed rubber stamps when inking them up, and the solvent base from which it is formulated is not very good for the longevity of clear stamps, they will deteriorate really fast with regular use of a solvent ink. Rubber can tolerate a solvent ink no worries as it is very hardy, but I try to stick to using stazOn for smooth and shiny surfaces.
Hope to see many of you at Stevenage!