Friday, 18 September 2009

Why Whisper White is Wonderful and Well Worth Whacking on your Wishlists!

In the tradition of Stampin' Up!'s colour name alliteration theme, welcome to my post on the wonders of Whisper White fine stamping cardstock!

The issue of getting a great stamped image has come up several times since the launch of the new catalogue, and I think it is in part due to the set shown here, Upsy Daisy, although what I am sharing here has always applied to all stamping, particularly solid stamps.

Upsy Daisy is a complex yet solid stamp - it has lots of detail, and how well it appears is dependent on good coverage of ink and good ink transfer to the paper.

In the image above (click the picture itself to see an enlarged version) you will see the same stamp and same ink applied to four different cardstocks.

Upper left is Tangerine Tango Dye Ink applied to white Bazzill canvas textured cardstock, and it looks pretty patchy. You might be wanting this distressed kind of look, and if that's the case, go right ahead! So, WHY does it look this way? The textured surface of the canvas cardstock is preventing the whole film of ink on the rubber image from being transferred, despite applying significant pressure. The surface of the cardstock is also not very absorbent, so the ink does not transfer well from the stamp.

Under this at bottom left, we have the same ink applied to the best non-Stampin' Up! white cardstock I have been able to find. It's a good heavy weight, so it is great for card bases. That's where I believe its uses end! This particular Upsy Daisy stamp is well 'broken in' so it has no residue from manufacture, and the surface has been gently keyed with repeated use and cleaning on the microfibre pads of the Stampin' Scrub. So, this image quality is as good as you are going to get on this cardstock. Again, it's quite mottled and patchy. The surface of the 'other white cardstock' is not as smooth as Whisper White. So, the ink transfer is relatively uneven, leading to the blotchy look. I have also tried it on a few other white cardstocks I had lying about, and they are even worse than this, in addition to having a greyish or bluish tone to them that I don't find appealing.

At the top right, I have used Whisper White, and the same simple rub/tap application of ink as used with the other samples. I think it is quite obvious that the intensity of the image is better, and sharper, the ink has transferred evenly onto the cardstock and given a clear impression. The colour is also a nice clear neutral white, with no overly yellow, blue or grey tones. The supersmooth surface means there is excellent contact between the rubber and paper. The weight is a little lighter than other Stampin' Up! coloured cardstocks, but it can be used for card bases with no problems. If you prefer a stiffer card base, try applying a coloured mat over the card base (like in the just beachy/dear dad fathers day card below), or build your card base from coloured cardstock, but stamp your images using Whisper White and mount them as a separate layer.

At the bottom right is another sample of Whisper White. Here, I have used a rubber brayer (p156 IBC, 102395 $23.95) to apply the ink to the rubber. This gives the most perfect ink application possible, with no streaks or marks that you may get with the rub and tap method. Simply roll the brayer repeatedly over the inkpad, and then onto the rubber, as if you were painting a wall. You will be able to feel the ink cling to the rubber stamp, and will see a perfect ink film on the surface. Brayers are also excellent for inking up background stamps and several other techniques, why not add one to your wishlist?

Whisper White cardstock is specially designed for stamping on, and has very tightly packed paper fibres and an ultrasmooth polished surface with even absorbency. I think the benefits are clearly seen in the photo above. Additionally, it is economical! You can find it on page 130 of the IBC, and it costs $13.50 for 40 A4 sheets , around 34 cents per A4 sheet.
So, in summary, to get a good stamped impression from your stamps, especially solid images, try these tips:

*Clean the stamp thoroughly using Stampin' Mist and Stampin' Scrub before use, to remove residue and prepare the rubber surface for accepting an ink film

*Stamp using Whisper White (or the almost as great Very Vanilla)

*Hold the stamp in contact with the cardstock for a moment or two, to get great transfer

*For the best application, use a brayer to apply ink to the stamp.

I hope that helps you get the best out of your stamp collection, and I look forward to helping you with your Stampin' Up! wishlists!

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