Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My first digital stamp


(9" x 4" greeting card created by me, using a digital sentiment stamp I printed out, Coluzzle-oval-cut and then colored with Copics (stamp is Beth Silaika by Papertrey Ink); birthday cakes are from the old diecut calendar; all papers are stash scraps; card base is Wausau 110# index card stock.)

So, I wander over to Nicole Heady's blog last night to see how her Papertrey Ink's 3rd anniversary celebration is going, and I have to admit, I was pretty surprised.

Pleasantly, that is.

For about 2 hours I was whisked away to pain-free land via exploring PTI's latest endeavor: digital stamps. They had a stamp designer team blog hop, where we could collect free sample downloads of each designer's newest collections. Yes, free pdf's - start right HERE.

Nicole and the team are also having a contest for those of us who can scramble to make cards with the digi stamps in 24 hours. Each entrant can make up to nine cards, one per sentiment, and multiple entries increase your chance of winning the top PTI stamp sets of 2009. Old slow-poke that I am, I was able to make the lone one I show above, only because I had to mail a birthday card today. So, I probably won't win any stamp sets (I bet there are several who have done all nine cards and posted and increased their chances to win tenfold), but I did enter and post! And I had fun playing around with my first digital stamp.

For those who are not intimately acquainted with them, think of a digi stamp as a crisp and clear stamped image saved as a jpg, a png or a pdf. That means no chance to mess up stamping it, and no ink (well, the printer needs some). A digi stamp can either be black and white or colored, and I prefer black and white, so that I can color it. It is a great way to use my lazer printer, too.

And while we are at it, I would like to say that as a consumer, I hope it becomes industry standard to have to offer the black and white image as part of the purchase, whether or not the seller wants to offer a colorized version. It's so much easier and cheaper for me to print them on my Laserjet instead of the ink-sucker aka inkjet printer. And as soon as I find some good little artsy ones, the solvent-based toner ink in the Laserjet will come in handy to do packing tape transfers (future lab experiment!).

When I shop for stamps, I'm always drawn to the sentiments, yet I resist many of them thinking I can just print out something instead, or use my rub-ons or stickers. I fear I may be tempted by the sentiment digistamps most of all now. It just makes it all a bit easier...and quicker.

It does bother me, the notion of calling this stamping, though, because digitally really isn't the real thing. There is a certain moment of risk when you press inked stamp to paper: of success or failure, when the rubber meets the road. Will the stamped impression be even, clear, crisp enough, and in the right place? Will I screw this up or save the day?

That's definitely missing with digistamps. So, inky-finger lovers may not be so amused. The convenience factor is tremendous, though, and undeniable.  I liked it. And I'll be back for more, but I'll also continue to buy "real" stamps because I love them and "real" stamping so.

Speaking of stamps, here is a stamp mystery that I need someone to solve, and if you do, there's a goodie bag in it for you. See the stamp of the woman looking at the wall in this 3x5 skinny:

I cannot find or figure out who makes that stamp! I have no record of ever having bought it. And all of my usual stamp vendors don't have it on their websites, which leads me to believe it was a freebie included in an order months or even years ago. It's a red rubber stamp, unmounted, and for the longest time I didn't even know what the image was because it's impossible to tell by looking at the stamp. One day a few months ago I stamped with it on some notebook scratch paper to see the image and I ended up saving that paper and using it here.

If you know who made this stamp, please email me or leave a comment and put me out of my misery! It's driving me nuts not knowing.

(3"x5" skinny card created by me, using stamps and distress inks and colored pencils; focal point stamp of woman at wall by unknown, piano music background stamp by I Brake For Stamps, fishnet background stamp by Cornish Heritage Farms, 'Admit One' ticket, 'concert' and 'entrance' all by Leave Memories, arrow stamp by Sassafras Lass; Fiskars corner punch, Paper Shapers ticket punch, Martha Stewart border punch.)
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