Friday, March 19, 2010

My most often used paper crafting tool...is not what you may expect

Hi,
The other night I was cleaning up my table after making some cards, and as I was putting my tools and toys away I started thinking about how often I use, (or don't use) some of them....My Big Shot and Cuttlebug are left out all the time, as I often use them;..... as I put the last item away, I saw something else laying on my table, where it is always found when I'm playing... I use it almost every time I rubber stamp, scrapbook and create with paper....I use it so much that I take it for granted...But, if I lost it..I'd be upset, and frantically ripping the place apart to find it...I'd be 'lost' without it!
The funniest thing is, it's definitely one of my cheapest tools......(Cost less than $10.00, and that's including tax)...It's 8 years old, used a lot, as I mentioned before...and it's never let me down!! Have I got you wondering what this great little tool is? Before I tell you what it is, I'd like to tell you what I use it for....heat embossing, coloring with water-based markers and water colors, water color pencils, applying chalks and powders...and I use it to apply inks to create water color effects....Any ideas? Believe it or not, it's a lowly little black tube with a hole on each end.....a replaceable nib goes in one end....and a cap (for refilling) on the other...It's my Dove Blender Pen...that's right... an unassuming little pen! 
The Dove Blender pen is special for a number of reasons, but the one that impresses me, time after time, is the fact that I'm never stuck with a dried out pen... the nibs can be replaced and Dove Blending Solution can be purchased separately as well, so you can have it on hand and can refill the pen when necessary!! Since using my Dove blender I've never been stranded at 2:00 A.M. having my blender pen run dry, and being left 'high and dry'...(pun intended).   It seems if I'm going to run out of something, it's always during the night!  The refill bottles (one ounce) lasts forever, as you only need a few drops to fill the blender pen.  (I've got to be honest, I've often wondered how such a few drops can last that long in the pen....I use it a long time before it dries out again)
The fact that the Dove Blender pen can be refilled, and new nibs are available so the old one can be replaced if  gets 'the fuzzies', is only part of the reason I love this little pen... I also like the fact that the Dove Blender Pen nibs are firmer than the nibs on other blending pens, which gives you more control when doing detail work.  As well as using it to blend water-color markers (like every other blender pen will do), I also use it with water colors and water color pencils and crayons.   I use it to apply chalks (after stamping image with permanent ink (so it won't run), or stamping with pigment ink and heat embossing), I have found that when I apply Chalks or pigment powders (Perfect Pearls , Pearl Ex) I don't need to add a spray sealer after (as is normally required). The Dove Blender Solution contains a binding agent, so a separate sealer isn't necessary.  I put some of the pigment powder in the lid of the container and pick it up with the Dove blender tip and apply to project. Let project dry.

As well as using my Dove pen with powders, I also use it with dye inks to color images. Using a re-inker, drop a few drops onto your non-stick craft sheet, dip your Dove pen lightly into the ink, then 'color' your image. This technique works great for giving a 'water color' look, and is also one of my favorite methods of shading.  This technique is sometimes referred to as 'floating colors'.
NOTE: I have, at times not had the inker in the color that I wanted to use..so I then take an ink pad in the color I want, with the ink pad container closed, press down on the top of the case, which pushes the case (in most instances) into the ink, then I pick up the ink that is on the inside of the case lid. This doesn't work with all ink pad cases as some covers are too high. In those instances, I will pick up ink with the Dove pen directly from the ink pad. This is Not Recommended by ink manufacturers!  I try not to do this often, and as of yet had no damage to my ink pad... but this is a case of 'Do what I say, not as I do', you don't want to take the chance that you may ruin your ink pads!
I've tried using the same technique as above, using pigment ink pads and it worked well.  The metallic colors developed a very pearly appearance which I really liked.

I also use my Dove blender when I'm heat embossing. If I've heat embossed an image, and part of the image didn't have enough embossing or pigment ink on it, and there were parts that didn't have enough embossing powder on, I will pull out my Dove Blender, and lightly touch up the area, add more embossing powder and re-heat....It works great...Sometimes I have found on a solid image, that if I just apply my Dove blender to the areas that didn't get enough ink/powder, I can see a slight difference after I've re-heated it.  So, what I've then, is then, gone over the 'whole' solid image very lightly with the Dove blender, reapplied a light dusting of Embossing powder and heat set again.  That took care of any unevenness in the melted embossing powder.

The Dove Blender pen really 'shines' when used with Medallion Stamps.
I've created several cards over the years using medallion stamps from Sparkle N Sprinkle.  I've stamped the image, and heat embossed.  Then, to add some more great sparkle and color, I've filled in areas with my Dove Blender and sprinkled with sparkly embossing powder and heat set.  Because the Dove blender has such a firm nib, you can color in very fine areas.   The Dove Blender solution dries fairly quickly, so I try to do a small area, then sprinkle with embossing powder and heat; then: go on to the next area.  Here's a couple of cards I did using Sparkle n Sprinkle's Medallion stamps, and Hand Mixed Embossing Powders.
On the Silver Christmas card, I stamped and embossed the image with metallic silver embossing powder on black cardstock four times.  I then 'colored in' various areas with Dove Blender pen, and sprinkled with 'Silver Bells' (one of my personal favorites) embossing powder, and heated to add some glitz.  Silver Bells embossing powder is sparkly silver, but has very fine blues, greens, yellows, etc sparkles in it. On the stamped piece that I was going to use as the bottom layer, I used the Dove pen to pick up Rangers Perfect Pearls (pearl color) to give it a bit of depth.  I then cut the stamped and embossed medallions around the various edges to create layers, and used small pieces of foam tape to layer them.  Unfortunately you can't really see in the scan how sparkly and detailed the embossed medallions are IRL.
The Purple Birthday Medallion card was stamped and embossed with Royal Purple embossing powder. (this has some glitter in it).  I then took the Dove pen and ran it between the stamped lines and added more Royal purple EP....Of course, being the glitz lover that I am, I had to add more glitter, so I took a ( Ball point) EK success Squeeze 'n Roll glue pen and added glue in some areas, then added (another of my favorites) Fiery Fushia glitter, a deep, rich, purple glitter that is not as dark as the Royal Purple embossing powder.
   I've created links to my online catalog throughout this blog, You can find more products and ordering information here
I'd like to hear what your favorite rubber stamping tool is...something you can't do without.  Please leave a comment and let me know what tool or product you can't 'do without'
Have a wonderful day
Happy Stamping

2 comments:

Connie Paxman said...

great tips and beautiful images Elaine...I have one of those stamps and was pondering at it the other day.
thanks for the inspiration.
connie paxman

Connie Paxman said...

My most used tool...is my Heat Gun...take that and there will be trouble.
connie paxman