I've got this...we all have this! This stamp set just may be the most popular stamp set from the new catalog. It was available during the pre-order, and at the time I resisted. But...since I love flowers (especially peonies) and the large, cross hatch background that comes with it is so awesome...I knew I wouldn't be able to hold out for too long! Yes, I am weak!
So I sat down to play with it the other night looking for the easiest way to use the background behind the flower image. I experimented with a few different ways of doing this, and I thought I'd share because you might find it helpful.
For the middle flower I did exactly as with the first one, only this time I stamped a second flower head, painted it with Lost Lagoon ink and my Aqua Painter, then I carefully cut it out.
For the third flower, I cut a mask by stamping the flower head on a post it note and carefully cutting just inside the outline of the flower. (I didn't bother to mask the stem & leaves) Hint: cut 2-3 layers of post it notes at the same time so you have more than one mask for future projects. I store mine in the stamp case so it's handy for next time. Now back to the stamping...I stamped the full flower image in Black Stazon. Then, placed the mask I created over the flower head and stamped the cross hatch background over the flower image. Since the back ground is so large and fairly solid, I found the easiest way to do this is to ink the stamp by laying it face up on my desk then laying my image on top of the stamp, cover with scrap paper and run my bone folder over the top to be sure the image gets uniformly inked.
Once the mask is cut, you can use it over and over so in my opinion that is probably the easiest way to get a good result in the truest colors using this stamp set. However, using a couple different colors in the new firm foam pads to ink the back ground had less than stellar results. Even after working the inks deep into the pad, some of the detail was filled in. That wasn't too much of a deal breaker, but I also had issues with large gaps of white space all around the image, even though I inked it in the same manner as I had with the old style Crumb Cake pad. I didn't take any photos of those results, but I'll try again next time I stamp using this set to see if I get a better result.
Obviously the steps taken to create the flower in the middle took the most time because it would have to be fussy cut each time, but since I did take the time to cut it out I figured I'd make a card with it before the flower got lost in my stamp room! lol
If you are looking for any retired stamp sets, you should check out my Retired Stamps for Sale page...I just updated it yesterday.
Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend! It's supposed to be beautiful!