Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Making your own Mists and solutions

In the last month or so, I've had a few stamping and scrap-booking friends and customers approach me with problems they've had making their own mists and solutions....They've made their mist solutions with various companies inks, and encountered some problems....After the 6th person asked advice regarding the same problems, I thought that this is something I should talk about in my blog as I'm sure other stampers and scrapbookers may be have run into the same problems.

I was contacted a couple of months ago by a couple of gals, who had the same problem with their home made mists. They had made up their solutions and used it, and had some left over, so stored it in their craft room. A few months later when they used it again, after spraying their project, they found it developed a strange musty odor....The odor never left...Days later, it still 'stunk'. The problem was the water they used to mix with their dye ink (from re-inkers) to make the solution. When using water with any inks or mediums, you need to use distilled water, so it doesn't go 'bad'. Purified water won't work either...that I know from experience....One evening, when I needed to make up Walnut ink (I like using Walnut Ink Crystals), I ran out of distilled water, so for part of the amount of water I needed, I thought I'd try using purified water, thinking it was 'clean' and should work... after I was finished my project I had some Walnut ink solution left over....Like an idiot, instead of just putting it away, I decided I had enough left over to make different strengths of walnut ink. This is where I tripled my problem.... I poured half of my solution into another spray bottle...filling it half way full, then added the same amount of (wouldn't you know it)....Purified water.....I mixed it, and decided I wanted Three shades of Walnut, I took some of the half strength Walnut ink, put it in a bottle and then the same amount of Purified water...(again). About three months or so later, I decided to use the Walnut ink for a project....I always test my sprays on newsprint before I spray my projects...thank goodness....I sprayed, and it smelled moldy....I took the lid off the sprayer, and sure enough, the top of my solution was covered with mold! I then checked the other two bottles, and sure enough, the solutions in them smelled like mold too!.....I had some cleaning to do, trying to get the mold out of my bottles and sprayers. I used a half strength bleach solution to 'kill' the mold spores...and I haven't had any problems with mold coming back in the spray bottles. But now, I make sure I use nothing but distilled water when making mists and solutions.....I knew better, but I thought perhaps purified water would 'maybe' work...then again, 'maybe not'! lol...

Another gal contacted me, asking why her mica powder that she added to an ink and water solution would rub off her card, when it was done. She had made several cards, using this solution, and after they were dry, the shimmery mica powders just rubbed off the cardstock....After questioning her a bit, I found that she had, in the past been using Ranger's Perfect Pearls to add shimmer to her mists...but then she found a lovely color of Pearl Ex that she wanted to use...and she did...She made several cards using the Pearl Ex solution and these were the cards where the Mica Powder was rubbing off when dry. Ranger has put a binder in their Perfect Pearls. This binder is activated when it comes into contact with water...Pearl Ex needs an adhesive to bind it to the cardstock, so you need to include Gum Arabic in your water and Pearl Ex solution. You'll find it stays on your project with no problem...But, be sure you clean your sprayer/nozzle very well, or it will clog up from the Gum Arabic, which is an adhesive. After I've used my misters, I take them apart and insert the sprayer tube into a bowl of warm soapy water (not too soapy), spray a few times till I think it's cleaned out, then I spray clear water through, to make sure I get the soap out of the nozzle and tube.
But, I have to be honest, whenever I want to make up my own misting solution with Mica Powder, I'm lazy...I tend to use Ranger's Perfect Pearls, so I don't have to add anything else, and when I'm done, I just stick the tube into clear water and spray a few times, to clear the nozzle.
I use the largerJudikins spray bottles when I make up large amounts of solution, they gives a nice mist....but, my favorites are Ranger's Mini Misters. I find they don't clog up while I'm using them with a solution containing Mica Powders, and they provide a very fine big droplets of colors on my project, just a fine mist...It all depends on how fine you want your mist to be....If I want some larger droplets, I use the little 'travel' bottles you can buy at the drug store that have hairspray, etc in them......I don't use the hairspray for setting chalks, etc on my projects because I found after some time (a few months) it turned yellowish...But it does works great for applying metallic glitter onto large pillar candles....
HINT: after you've applied Ranger's Perfect Pearls to a project, spray a fine mist of water in the air and then hold your cardstock under the mist, so the mist gently falls on your project....This binds the Perfect Pearls perfectly! pun intended..

Another problem someone contacted me about was with a great product called 'Paper Glide' (I love it!). It's made by 'Inspired Crafts' for dry embossing, whether it be by hand with a stylus or by machine, with embossing folders, etc. Paper Glide is a spray, that is applied to cardstock by spraying in the air lightly, and then wafting your cardstock through the mist that is created. The company states it can be used on metal and plastic as well as paper, but I've only used it on Cardstock and Vellum. It creates a clear acid free-finish on your cardstock that reduces friction of your stylus on the cardstock (when embossing by hand), or helps your die cutting/embossing machine create a crisper, clearer, deeper image. One of the things I really like about it, is you can mist various pieces of cardstock when you have time and let them dry. You can use them a year later, and you will still get a clearer, deeper, well defined image. (If you find your cardstock curls, spray the other side also, that will straighten it out) The potential problem with this product, is the solution drying over the nozzle and plugging it....Paper Glide is a 'bonding formula' similar to hairspray or spray paint so you don't want it to dry over the fine opening in the nozzle. If it does clog badly you won't be using that sprayer again anytime soon '.....To avoid this, when you're finished with the spray, wipe the nozzle with a wet cloth to remove any residue and always replace the cap when not in use....also, and most importantly, the company advises putting a wet cotton ball inside the cap before you put the cap back on the Paper Glide. This will prevent the spray on the nozzle from drying and clogging..... Paper Glide really impresses me when I'm using brass stencils with my die cutting / Embossing machine. I found no matter what suggested 'sandwich recipe' I tried using, (and I think I tried over 50 different recipes that people suggested)...nothing really seemed to work for me, I just wasn't getting a nice clear, deeply embossed image on my cardstock. Over the years I've collected many brass stencils, and I wanted to use them with my Big Shot or Cuttlebug, rather than pulling out my light box and stylus...A friend and fellow stamper recommended spraying Paper Glide on the cardstock, and it worked like a charm!....The image was clear, and embossed much deeper than I was able to get it using various sandwich recipes. I used my Big Shot and Spellbinders Tan Embossing Mat, and sprayed my cardstock with Paper Glide, and it worked like a charm! Actually, I also find that if I run the cardstock through the machine twice, it works even better! I do that when embossing with both my Cuttlebug and Big Shot.

I've had several customers ask me where I got the large rolls of unprinted newsprint that I use to cover my large folding banquet table in my studio/shop. It's one of the best discoveries I've ever made! When we were moving to Medicine Hat from Regina, I needed paper to wrap dishes, etc and I had run out of newspaper (but my hands stayed black from the newsprint for a long time, giggle)...My husband suggested going to the Newspaper Office, maybe I could get some of their 'duds' or garbage paper. When we walked into the office I spied several large (in width) rolls of unprinted newsprint. Some were about 4 feet wide, some were 3 feet wide, and some wider still! These were 'Roll ends' (most of them had a heck of a lot of paper on the roll, at least 100 feet in some cases!)...Perfect for wrapping dishes when packing to move (no black newsprint on your dishes and hands)...and excellent for putting over tables while stamping and crafting!....your whole table is covered with one piece of paper. You just cut off the roll at whatever length you want for your table. The BEST part was the price...Between $2.00 and $3.00 got me a roll of newsprint that lasted me for months!
For inexpensive crafting table coverings, check out your local Newspaper office.

Also, I've found that unprinted newsprint, absorbs water and distress inks beautifully....I've crumpled the newsprint, then opened it, leaving the big wrinkles in it, then ran my Distress Ink Pad over the wrinkled newsprint. Then sprayed with water....The newsprint absorbs the water from the spray and the inks run and create beautiful designs...Hang the paper to dry, and you've got yourself gorgeous paper for covering books or doing whatever you'd like with it. In my online Catalog on page 2 of the Gallery you can see a Double Tunnel Book 'Tribute to Leo' that I made, using the newsprint to cover the outside of the book. One of the books was done using Fired Brick, the other a combination of Tattered Rose and Milled was stamped on with Vintage Photo. The stamps used were from the stamp sheet 'Leo's Art' by Time To Stamp. Here's the link to the page...don't forget, you can enlarge the picture by clicking on the image.

I saw this booklet online somewhere, years ago and fell in love with it, so I sat down and fiddled around trying to figure out how to make a double tunnel book, where both sides of the pages had 'openings and tunnels'.....Took a while to figure out, but I thoroughly enjoyed making it.
Here's the link to the page the stamp sheet 'Leo's Art' is on.
if this link is breaks, or doesn't work, here's a tiny URL to the page.

I hope that you find this information helpful, and if you have any stamping questions, feel free to contact me, I'll do my best to answer them for you.
Have a wonderful day!

1 comment:

saskalon said...

Thank you Elaine for all the great advice on this blog in respect to making homemade sprays and also using Ranger's Perfect Pearls. One of my friends had just told me days before to use hairspray on my Perfect Pearls to set it....but now that I know it will yellow over time I will use your suggestion!