Friday, September 26, 2008

Life at 3:15 AM - a Tutorial

It's scary. Humans were not meant to be awake at that time.

However, apparently cats are. Let me do a horrible reenactment for you...


Me: #$&^@&*^#)*&)($*@#!

Cats: Oh, what are you doing here? I think I'll jump on your head since you're up and everything.

Man and beast. Living somewhat peacefully together for thousands of years. Pretty sure this is why cave people invented weekends.

Anyway, if you're up at some ungodly hour after trying to keep two wild beasts from coming in the shower, biting through the hairdryer cord, or climbing up your bare leg to say hello by sticking a paw in your mouth or eye - I SUGGEST YOU STAMP!!!

So I did. The gruesome theme may reflect my complete lack of sleep, or just be due to the fact that I cannot get enough of Halloween!!

I'm going to do a combo tutorial/product review for you on masking with Eclipse Masking Tape.

Masking serves several purposes. It allows you to place images in front of and behind each other by omitting part of an image, giving the illusion of depth and perspective. It also allows you to sponge or brayer a consistent background behind a stamped image without getting color where you do not want it.

Since I'm all Zindorfed up, I thought I'd do an atmospheric background for my super scary Fredo image from Doodle Factory Halloween II.

To get started, I peeled off a little piece of Eclipse Masking Tape from the roll and cut it.

Opinion #1 - the fact that it is on a roll and not in sheets, leads to a little waste, IMHO. I had to cut a strip off, most of which I didn't use, because I was using fairly small images. The fact that I had extra creates a storage problem. I think you all know how I feel about storage problems.

First, I stamped my Fredo image on my cardstock in Memento Tuxedo Black. Wow is he scary and somehow huggable at the same time.

In order to be the most efficient blue chick possible, before I cleaned my stamp, I stamped it again on the piece of tape I had cut. You don't need a very clear image because you'll just be cutting it out. Waste not, want not!!

Opinion #2 - The tape is perfectly sticky - it sticks hard, which is an advantage over Post it notes. However, this means you need to pay attention when you're stamping your image because you don't want it to curl up and stick to itself. The tape is very thin - excellent quality in a masking material because it helps eliminate 'ghosting' - or that little white void around your masked images. Also, the surface of the paper is appropriately matte - Post its can be a little too slick, which keeps your ink wet and leads to smudging.

When you cut out a masked image, stay inside the lines - meaning, cut off a teeny bit of the border. You want your mask to be slightly smaller than the stamped image. Because you're adding another layer that you're stamping on, the paper is a little raised, which in itself can create ghosting - making your mask slightly smaller than your image helps overcome this. Before you put your mask on - do any coloring you need to do. I added some pale purple and blue copic shadows to my gravestones because I'm pretty sure that's the color they are when lightning hits Fredo!!

Place your mask on your stamped images and start creating your background. I started by brayering Pacific Point (hold your surprise!) Blue across the top part of the card, and Adirondack Lettuce (Thanks Vee!) across the bottom.

Now the brayer adds even more ghosting because it's such firm rubber. If you still get a little ghost, just come back in with a sponge beside your image. I touched these little guys up a bit - it just takes a second.

Afterwards you remove the mask for what Michelle calls "the big reveal. This is when the crispness of the image underneath the mask leads you to be really pleased with yourself and forget how mad you are at Maddie and Splotchy.

Almost forget.

I took my beloved white gel pen and added the lightning as a final touch. Fredo looks very electrified to me, like a cartoon electrocution from my childhood.


I cut off the edge of the Top Note sizzix diecut I stamped on, and then cut a second Top Note out of Basic Black. I stuck those two together and added that to the Ghostly Greetings Stampin' Up! Halloween DSP, and then mounted all that on Pacific Point Blue cardstock for the finished card. I used the Graveyard Sentiments set for the greeting, and I cut the words apart on this greeting so that I could use them separately. I stamped just "Happy" and punched it with my Stampin' Up! arrow punch. I added an Old Olive Stampin' up! brad, and hand trimmed the shaft of the arrow to fit. I stamped the rest of the greeting right on the card and then popped up the arrow with dimensionals. The top note is also adhered to the card with dimensionals.

Final opinion - Eclipse masking tape is much more effective than post it notes, and I would definitely recommend it. You can keep the masks and reuse them by sticking them to your case or the back of a wood mounted stamp. The thinness and the matte surface as well as the right amount of stick-em outweigh the waste issue, which I will work on solving. I read about it on Ellen Hutson's site, and I'm sure you can get it in lots of places. She ships extremely fast and includes a goodie in her orders, so I like her a lot, MHO.

Now, how can I take a nap at lunch?


  1. this has to be the most adorable electrocution ever! :) And hey, why not hide under your desk a la George Costanza or ust go home early. . it's FRIDAY, after all! I like the second option and think I'll do just that today!

  2. OMG! YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN ABOUT THE 3 A.M. HOUR!!!!!!!! I TOLD YOU NEVER GET UP!!!!!!!! hee hee!
    YOUR TUTORIAL WAS AWESOME!!!! I think I REALLY want to order that stamp set!!!!!!!!!
    Love It!


  3. tee hee I get an extra hour on you this morning before King decided it was time for me to get up. Right now he is insisting that I play and I have to get out and do the banking and also have direct orders " he needs more kitty litter" :o) Hope you get your nap at noon. I am surprised they let you go to work ha ha ha Hugs n' Stuff, Lynne

  4. A little someone was up here too from 4am to 7 am (twice this week already, argh) but he doesn't have much fur and was singing to us "bob the builder"... Ugh I feel like taking a nap too... ;-)

  5. 3:00AM!!!!Yikes!!! You are amazing, girl!!! I love the do such awesome work!!! Got my shirt, too...thanks!! I hope no one saw me leave your house without it...not a pretty site...heehee!!!

  6. I love that card!

    My two cats like to lay around the house all day like two fuzzy coma- lumps. In the evenings they're chill and relaxed, but as soon as the lights go off, their switches turn on and they race around the house like mad, with an extra fierce revival of spirits around the 3-4am hour. *sigh*

  7. I'm so glad I'm not the only one whos cats make all kinds of noise and then look at you with fake surprise when you open your eyes... like, "Oh, your UP!?.. Oh good, scratch my head now... and play with me"... CATS!!

    Love your card, too!

  8. this is why i have dogs.

    i hope you got a nap today, or took the other jenn's advice and went home early.

    have all my cards prepped for SAS tomorrow. now i have to get my shoulders to unknot so i can sleep. do your kitties do massage?

  9. LOVE this Lydia!! So cute! And too funny (sorry) about the cats.

  10. What a fabulous card ... love the vivid colors and fabulous halloween scene.

  11. Amazing tutorial.I loved it.

    image clipping services

  12. Absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this card! Fredo is probably my fave image from the new DF Halloween stamps!

    I also love the Eclipse tape and have a little tip - instead of cutting off a strip to use, I just unroll a little, stick it to my work surface and stamp. Then I do a rough cut around the image (since it's hard to do a nice cut while it's still attached to the roll) and roll back up the excess. I hardly have any waste that way. Hope that makes sense and hope it helps!

  13. OMG you crack me up!! And now I FINALLY know why they put a perforated line around the top note - SO WE CAN MAT IT!! YAY! LOL!

    Stay blue!


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