First quick impression

I remember as a child seeing a set of these nesting dolls and really wanting to have them, alas I never did get any but when I saw these stamps all the memories of how exciting I thought the real dolls used to be, came back to me. I very much liked the look of the stamps, particularly the design of the mother doll. There is a set of Dies to go with the stamps but as the designs have such bold outlines I will not need to try them as the ScanNCut will take care of the cutting out for me. Let’s see how I get on using them.

Testing the Stamps

Living Creatively with Fibro | Regulars skip on you know how I test my stamps

To test out new stamps I always use my Tim Holtz Stamping Platform. I know there are other platforms available but when I came to the point that I knew I needed one I did a load of research into the different features of them all and decided this was the right one for me. You can read my post about it.  Why did I need one? With the Fibromyalgia (not to mention a bonus gift of some Arthritis in my hands) I could no longer rely on my hands to get a clean even print with stamps. I was increasingly finding I was not getting good results, even with the Rocker Blockers which always guaranteed this before. The benefit of a stamping platform is that for whatever reason you do not get a clean impression you can simply re-ink and go again and you are guaranteed to be exactly in the same spot. Even the best eyes can be slightly off and then you risk shadowing.

I also always use Archival Ink to test stamps that come as free gifts with magazines. They are usually made from a different material to the one used by a lot of the major brands which means that if you use a dye based ink like Memento the ink can pool on the stamp and give a really bad impression.  You can see exactly what I mean in this test of a fairy stamp. Archival Ink does not pool like this and I get to really test the stamp properly.

Famility Ties Nesting Dolls Stamped

Stamping Verdict

As usual, I tried to stamp all the images at once, some of them came out perfectly in the first impression most notably the mother doll. Some of the more intricate parts of the design needed tow or three goes. Finally, I was left with about three stamps that were stubbornly missing parts. It was not until I removed the word stamps from above that the father doll finally had a top on his head!   It was only after I had removed everything that I realised that a couple of the words were a bit patchy, fail! I was a bit surprised that although there were masculine dolls there were only feminine words I do feel Father and Son should have been included as the set could have been good for scrapbook pages as well as cards.

Colouring the Dolls

I thought I would have a bit of fun here and use different colouring mediums on each.

For the Boy

I used my latest purchase some Stabilo Colour Parade pens. It is only a set of 20 so my options were limited but other than leaving the majority of the face white, I am quite happy with how these turned out. The pens have a nice fine nib and produce a good even colour.

For the Man

This time I used my gel Pens from the glitter section. Once again I didn’t really have a suitable colour for skin but otherwise, I was happy with the choice of colours I had. I especially liked the coppery brown and the dark blue shades. The only downside was that my hand was killing me, especially after doing the larger sections due to how thin the pen barrels are.

For the Woman

Finally, I broke out my Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers to colour the woman. Of course, I had a complete range of colours to work with this time, including skin tones. I also had the ability to blend colours together like I did for the face. The Stabilo pens were purchased for mindfulness colouring when I do not want the bleed through that you always get with alcohol markers. It is fair to say that when it comes to projects like this the alcohol pens cannot be beaten for colour blend quality. An added bonus was the larger barrel which meant that my hand was not in pain (although I did have to really concentrate to not go over the lines – so I guess this was mindfulness colouring too! )

Here are the coloured images which have been cut out with my ScanNCut.

Family Ties coloured

Completed Card

Well, there would be no point wasting these dolls so let’s see what I can come up with shall we? The first task was to have a delve through my paper offcuts box to find a suitable backing paper. I used the logic that two of the dolls were male and one female so I could address the balance with more feminine shades…. The sentiment was created with Serif Craft Artist using the Bambino Thoughts Digikit, the colours work well with the coloured images. I decided to add the doily for some added texture and interest and finished things off with five pearl gems in the corner. Here is the completed card.
Family Ties Completed Card

The Verdict

Looking at the completed card, especially the mother doll who was coloured with a whole range of alcohol markers to choose from. I was really pleased with the end result. You know that feeling when you see an item of clothing hanging on a rail in a shop and you think that’s lovely but it won’t suit me? I had a bit of that feeling about this stamp set to begin with. I really thought I would give it a go and decide not to keep it in my craft stash, however, once again I have tested a product and decided that it has earned its place in my stash. Note to self, remember you are meant to be reducing your stash as well as organising it…

What do you think? Have you got these stamps and what projects have you come up with? Do drop a comment in the section at the bottom of the page.

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