Sunday, June 15, 2014

Washers, gears and whirly things

Greetings!  I recently joined my husband on a trip to the hardware store.  We went our separate ways at the door like we always do.  He heads for whatever he needs for the current Mr. Fix-It project he is doing and I go in search of crafting possibilities.  I've bought metal cogs, gears, washers and nuts before, but this trip I came across the rubber washers in the bulk drawers!!  My husband insists they are not stamps so I had to inform him that they are rubber so they qualify as rubber stamps!  Right?  Right!
My hardware store haul
Well, I brought these home and broke out the inks!  I thought these would really shine in neon!  So I got out my Tsukineko Radiant Neon ink pads.  I've been using these a lot since I got them.  I love the bright colors.  They remind me of my wardrobe in the 80s!  (Did I say that??)

I bought two different thicknesses of washer so I put 5 of the same thickness on an acrylic block and stamped them over and over again with Electric Coral.  When I had covered a space large enough for a background I stopped and heat embossed them using clear detail embossing powder.  Some of the ink was already starting to dry and didn't take the powder but that was fine with me.  I knew I had more layers of ink on the way!  After the coral, I used a solo washer and stamped it several times in Electric Blue, then heat embossed again.
My husband was going to throw this away!!!
At this point I decided that I was only going to use non-traditional items on the card.  Isn't that orange gear wheel delicious looking?  It is the empty wheel that held the cutting line on our weed whacker.  I rescued it!  My husband handed it to me and asked if I thought it could be recycled.  YOU BET!  I took it right down to my studio table where it has been recycled into an art tool!  I also used a pencil eraser, a square of spacer foam that came in my Tim Holtz embossing folders, the little wheel from an empty dental floss container and a metal pop bottle cap.  Each shape was assigned its own color from the Radiant rainbow.  Each layer was heat embossed before moving on to the next color to avoid blending.

And then I grabbed my black dye ink pad.  This technique works best with a really wet ink pad.  I placed the pad directly on the paper until the entire surface was covered.  Then I used a paper towel to clean off the embossed areas.  Don't use a baby wipe unless you want a muted look because it removes too much of the black.
I trimmed it down to panel size and reserved two whole shapes to be used on the final layer.

I used two different gear cutting dies on white paper and then gave them the same treatment as the stamped images.  Neon ink, heat emboss, black ink, wipe.

Next, the sentiment.  And got the same treatment.

Finally, I had the pieces all completed.  I attached the birthday banner at the top of the card and placed the two reserved gears next to the words.  After playing around with several different colors of paper, I decided that I really liked the yellow background.

Not your typical color for a card of gears, but it's totally me!  Like, totally!  (Yeah, it's an 80s reference.)  I hope you like it.  Make my day and drop me a note!  It's like getting happy mail.  Until next time, Happy stamping!

Inks used:
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Radiant Neon:
  • Electric Coral
  • Electric Blue
  • Electric Orange
  • Electric Yellow
  • Electric Green
  • Electric Pink
  • Electric Purple


  1. Great techniques and wonderful use of "non-crafting" items!

  2. Wowsers!! Love how you used all the great household and hardware stuff!!

  3. How wonderful. I love how you used the hardware store finds, too.

  4. Great idea -- love the Radiant Neon contrast with hardware items.

  5. Loving the hardware! When you let loose a 'crazy' artist Everything is fair game!!!