BornPrettyStore: Silicone Stamping Mat

So up for review today is this ‘Silicone Stamping Mat‘. It arrives in a cardboard tube, which is pretty cute but also handy as it will keep the mat dust and damage free. It’s not overly large, 21 x 15 cm, but gives you plenty of room to work on and it’s compact enough to be rolled out on a messy desk or even a lap tray.

BPSSiliconMatandBox

The mat is perfect for creating either hand painted decals or stamping decals due to it being made from silicone. This lets the decals be effortlessly peeled off and any residue removed with ease by nail varnish remover – which causes no damage to the mat!

To begin with you must apply some sort of base, be it clear coat or colour, as without one the stamped image has nothing to stick to. I chose to use a clear coat as this was in keeping with my design.

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Then it was time for the fun bit – making the decals! Previously I’ve made my decals on two or three stamper heads, it works but it’s a bit of a faff as I can’t make them all at once and there’s also the precariousness of them falling over at any point. The mat made it so much easier. With the mat, I was able to work on all the decals at the same time which meant less colour switching, less brush cleaning and less time spent on them in general. I chose to use an image from stamping plate ‘BP-80‘ (previously reviewed here).

StampingDecalPainting

Once you’ve painted all the parts and it’s dried a little, carefully peel off the decal with some tweezers and apply it to your nail. The mat allowed me to remove my decal so smoothly! (You need to have a tacky base on your nail for the decal to stick) Trim off any excess decal and use an acetone soaked cotton bud to create a clean edge.

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Which do you prefer, the gloss coat or matte nails? I’m not sure, the gloss really makes the colours pop but there’s something more delicate about the matte.

MatteVSGloss
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The mat cleaned up nicely, there was barely any polish left on it and the scraggly bits that were left, were easily cleaned off with an acetone soaked cotton pad. I then rolled the mat back up and popped it back in the tube.

Does anyone already own a silicon mat?

The mat, does come in different sizes and some slightly different styles, but I thought this one was a very practical size as it can easily fit decals for 10 nails with room for practice ones too. If anything in your Born Pretty Store order isn’t on sale, you can use the code ‘AZYW10’ to recieve 10% off those items. And remember free delivery!

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AZYW10

BornPrettyStore: Harunouta Plate L002

So today I tried out BornPrettyStore’s ‘Harunouta Stamping Plate L002‘, and boy is it a big one! It has over 36 images to use which is pretty darn impressive for one plate.

harunouta-stamping-plate-collage

How good does a new plate look! Immediately, and rather obviously, the idea came to do reverse stamping with the Kokeshi doll images so that’s what I did. The plate is smooth, the etchings are clear so I had no problem picking up the images.

ReverseStamping.JPGkokeshi-doll-harunouta-l002-plate

I had some slight smudging due to my top coat, grrr, but forgetting that the image lends itself perfectly to the reverse stamping/stamping decal technique! Next I decided to try out the blossom image. I had a little more trouble with this one, however I wasn’t sure wether it was due to the plate being new – sometimes they need a little bit of settling, or me not applying enough polish, or my stamper. However the image did pick up but can you see little sort of holes which became really obvious on my nails which was a shame. (Also, whoops at the smudged one and lack of extra pick up clean up!)

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I decided to try again with the blossom image, but this time show a little versatility by creating a christmas design with a clearly not-so-christmassy plate! I again went with the reverse stamping/stamping decal technique. What do you think of my Poinsettia?

poinsettia-hanurouta-plate

Okay, so unfortunately the holes in the blossom still happened. Anyone any ideas as to why that happens? The plate looks really well etched and the kokeshi doll picked up just fine. I mean this is under major scrutiny, at a distance where any normal person would be looking at your nails it’s barely noticeable.

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There’s so many great, usable images on this plate that I could have painted tonnes of designs! I hope I’ve managed to show you a few ideas on how to use it, and possibly inspired you on how to turn non-christmas related images into something with festive cheer.

If you fancy ordering the ‘Harunouta Stamping Plate L002‘ from BornPrettyStore, use my code AZYW10 to receive 10% off all full priced items in your basket and remember – free shipping!

AZYW10

kokeshi-dolls

BornPrettyStore: BP-80 Stamping Plate…

So I already own several BornPrettyStore stamping plates, as well some stampers/scrapers by them too, but today I have BP-80 Stamping Plate* to review! The plate includes some very pretty images and arrived in a little card pocket which is super handy if you don’t have a stamping plate holder as it will help protect the plate when not in use. As expected it comes with the protective blue film that all stamping plates seem to arrive with – for those new to stamping, and I’m not being patronising here, remember this needs to be removed before use.

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BP80Plate+Sleeve
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As you can see, the images are amazingly crisp and very well etched. I really couldn’t make my mind up as to what design I was going to feature, so I went a bit over-board. I used three different stamping techniques to create three different designs with four different images!

For the first, I used the reverse stamping technique with the larger bird and large lotus. I chose to use my clear stamper because you can see if you’ve missed parts or messed up the image by looking ‘through’ it. The image does look a little patchy, but I wasn’t too worried seeing as I was painting over it. I didn’t really take the time to properly break the plate in, as daft as it might sound I sometimes find stamping images pick up better after the 3rd or 4th time.

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BirdImageBP80ClearStamper2
I managed to smudge some of the detail (eye and neck feathers) when I was filling the image in but I’m sure you get the idea. I also feel that my pink base was way too bright, I was aiming for subtle but instead it’s ended up as a bright pink punch in the face!

ReverseStampingBP80BirdImage
ReverseStampingBP80BirdImage+Lotus
Secondly, I chose to do a multi-coloured scrape. The one where you blob on a few colours and then scrape over it a few times so the colours all mix up. I thought the cloud(?) image was perfect for this as it had a large enough engraved area for the colours to show. I think this kind of look would be great as a base, however maybe if I’d placed the image properly and covered my nail you could use it as a ‘full’ design. The polishes I used were not stamping polishes but this allowed for some layering, you can notice this more on my ring finger and in future I’d like to play about with that some more.

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BP80Multi-colouredStampingCloudImage
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Last but not least I chose to use the doubling up technique;  you stamp the same image in two different colours almost on top of each other. This has only really become possible with the clear stampers, otherwise it could look a little messy. I chose red and black purely because those were the two stamping polishes I had and the daisy-esk image. Stamping polishes certainly make a difference and as does a well etched plate – I mean look how crisp those edges are! The third picture looks way more vibrant, but that’s due to there being a top coat applied, for some reason the stamping polishes apply a little matte.

BP80DoubleStampingFlowersPlate
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BP80DoubleStampingFlowersCloseup
I hope that’s provided plenty of inspiration to get you going. Let me know if you order this plate (or already have it) and what you’d do with it.

Currently (13.05.2016) BornPrettyStore have BP-80 and a bunch of other stamping plates half price.  If you add anything to your basket that happens to be full price, use my code ‘AZYW10’ at the checkout to get 10% off those items. Are you still reading? You shouldn’t be, you should be shopping!

AZYW10

Shrimp Show…

So as you may or may not know I am an avid fishkeeper, this also includes the odd freshwater shrimp (nothing fancy just your usual). At the weekend, Scotland’s very first shrimp show was held so it was obvious I had to attend. It was actually in conjunction with a fish tabletop sale – think of a car boot-sale inside, on tables, for everything aquatic. I  actually picked up many a great bargain, but no fish as I was only in the market for tank decor, but anyway I’ve digressed. SHRIMP NAILS!

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Did anyone else eat those pink, foamy shrimps when they were younger? I swear that’s all I could smell whenever I looked at my thumbnail, it was so weird. I created these shrimps by using a hehe stamping plate, and using the ‘stamping decal/reverse stamping’ technique with my clear stamper from BornPrettyStore, it just makes it so much easier to see where you’re painting and where you’re placing.

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The Red Cat or The Blue Cat…

So what will you chose Neo?
CatDecalCollage
But seriously which do you prefer? Today was a day of experimenting with stamped decals. The plate itself is by he-he and also includes some Japanese fish flags, and babushkas.

hehe Lucky Cat Plate
I used my three different stampers – left is a clear jelly stamper from BPS, middle a stamper from Poundland, and right is a rectangular mallow stamper from BPS – as I was curious to see if they would affect the results. I used my Konad Black to stamp and they all turned out with mainly the same transfer. They all picked up well and I’ve put the slight smudges that are visible on the pink and white stamper down to myself not scraping the plate properly.

Stamper Collage
I then painted the backs of them with my white ‘nail paint’ (from my essential nails course) and a little bit of colour and then topcoated. Unforunately I managed to mess up my pink stamper by smudging it all over the joint so that cat was ‘put to sleep’ in a cotton pad of acetone.

PaintingStamp
The clear stamper was excellent to use; I could see where I had potentially missed parts or unknowingly smudged bits as there’s nothing worse than turning over your freshly made decal after 5 minutes of waiting to see that you’ve smudged it and rendered it useless.

ViewThroughClearStamper
Seeing as all the stampers technically worked, I wouldn’t throw any of them out. The mallow stamper is great for longer, full nail designs that some plates have. Whilst the clear stamper is the perfect tool for creating decals or layering stamping patterns over each other. The pink stamper comes in handy I suppose as an extra.

As for red or blue? I personally prefer the blue cat.

BlueLuckyCat
RedLuckyCat