Our first workshop at John Lewis in Bluewater was last Thursday, 5th September. I had a great time, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, the John Lewis Events staff were very helpful and it was lovely to see a couple of people I hadn't seen since I moved from Swanley. All the planning and fretting paid off, I didn't forget anything (well nothing vital) and 2.5 hours was just about right for making the three cards.

Stamps_Paints_and_Dies

We used Pixie Powders and the Multi-Surface Paints from Pink Ink Designs as well as their lovely stamps. Their stamp designs are super,however,they are very large so you need a large acrylic surface or block to use with them.

We used two styles of stamping tools in the workshop, the Stampeazee, which is a large acrylic plate with a grid printed on it to help with alignment and a thick foam pad in each corner. The foam pads allow you to move the plate over your card and make fine adjustments to the positioning without the risk of accidentally touching the card. It also helps you to get a good impression when you press down and a clean release as it pushes the stamp away from the card. It is a very nice tool at a very good price.

The other style is the Press to Impress which has a platform for your card and a hinged lid for the stamp. Put your card on the platform, position your stamp on the card (before inking it). Close the lid to pick up the stamp, ink it and then close the lid back down to stamp the card in exactly the position you wanted. It's more expensive but a good investment if you do a lot of stamping. 

There's quite a few of this type of stamping tool available and I have accumulated a bit of a collection so we had a variety of makes in the workshop. I like the Press to Impress as it's a good size and is open on one side so less restriction on card size or layout.  To switch from using clear stamps to thicker unmounted rubber stamps you just need to remove the foam sheet from the platform.

We had a few problems (all of our own making) with one of the other makes. No matter what we did, we could not get a complete impression. For some reason, it wouldn't stamp the giraffe's left ear! It was a bit of a mystery as there's not much that can go wrong with any of these. Then we noticed that the lid had 'Rubber' printed on one side of the lid and 'Clear' on the other. You guessed it. It was one of the designs where you detach the lid from the hinges and turn it over for clear or rubber stamps. We just had to flip the lid.

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