Today is the next in my Twin Post series with Dina of Secretary's Nail Art. This week we're on Cheeky 50, and we agreed to use the tree image on that plate.
I pulled out this plate as usual, put on my polish, scraped, and...disaster. I tried again; no better. I tried scraping harder, scraping several time, applying less polish--still a complete disaster. I started to get...annoyed.
Then I took a moment and looked at my plate. It was etched far too deeply.
Now, I've used all of the other plates in this set with absolutely no problems, so I had no reason to believe there would be a problem with this one. But it goes to show that even when all of the other plates in a set are good, you might get one that's defective. So for all you novice and not-so-novice stampers out there, this is a good reminder to check each and every one of your plates in a set.
I decided to make lemonade out of lemons with this, and use is as an example of how you can tell if you have a plate that's etched too badly, and how you can tell from your stamped image that there may be a problem. First let me show you the defective plate next to a well-etched plate:
Take a look at the flower image and the lantern image in the plate above. See how you can clearly see the deep etching on the flowers, but the lantern image seems much more flat? Yeah, if you have a plate that's closer to that flower image, you probably have a plate that's etched too deeply.
Here it is at another, more realistic angle. See how you can clearly see a ridge on the flowers, but not really on the lanterns? And See how I can get my nail right down into that flower? Not good. If you run the pad of your finger over your image, you should just barely be able to feel that there is differentiation between the edges of your etching. If you can clearly feel the edges, and it feels almost pitted? Almost certainly etched too deeply.
And a last final shot to compare the tree image I'll be using to the lantern image I'll be using. I've taken a darker shot to really highlight the depth, but believe me, it's this noticeable when you see it in person, as well. Point is, I has a sad face.
But I do not give up! I tried all my stamping tricks and produced two decent images for you on my manicure to compare to the crappy images if you just stamp normally. So let me show you the actual manicure, and then I'll give you some tips below.
I started with a base of Zoya Nihdi, which I showed you a few posts ago, but here is the base swatch to refresh your memory (I forgot to take one this time). I wanted to use a red base because the tree design reminds me of some I've seen on Asian prints, so I wanted to go with some traditional Chinese colors:
|Zoya Nidhi, artificial light|
Then I stamped with my evil, defective plate using China Glaze Passion. Then, on the accent nails, I stamped with Bundle Monster H15, from their new Holiday collection; I used Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris:
Okay, let's take a look at the stamping now. I stamped as-is on the middle and pinky finger, to show you how our image is going to stamp when you have a badly etched plate. Your images are going to be clumsy and smooshy, not crisp and defined; they will look like you used too much polish. This is because, in essence, you have--when you scrap the top, because the etching is so deep, there is too much polish there when you press your stamp down into it. And most often, you'll get images that are even more blotchy than this.
Because the results are similar to when you use too much polish, it can be easy for people new to stamping to wonder if they have defective plates or not, when they've just used too much polish and/or not scraped enough. So here's how you can tell, if this happens to you:
(1) Use less polish, and importantly, only put it over half of your design. Then when you scrape, scrap so the excess polish from your painted half runs over the half you didn't paint. This will help ensure you don't have too much. If that's your problem, this should probably fix it. If your plate is etched too deeply, it won't. If this doesn't work, try:
(2) Use more pressure when you scrape; scrape harder. If this doesn't work, try:
(3) Try scraping twice. This will almost always get rid of excess polish. If you're scraped twice and you're still getting blobs like my fail nails above, you probably have a defective plate.
If you've tried all of these things and are still getting blobby images, you probably have a defective plate. Check it against a plate that you know works well; this side-by-side should instantly clarify for you. Also, run your finger over the plate. If it feels more like a cheese grater than a mostly-smooth plate, you probably have a problem. If you don't have a plate that you know works, compare it to my pictures above. If it looks more like the images on the left, you might want to get the company to replace your plates.
These days, it's very rare to get a defective plate, so don't let this post panic you! But it can happen, and I'd hate for anyone to think a defective plate is representative of normal stamping.
Now go take a look at Dina's manicure, and see what the image should look like when stamped--and see how it makes even my 'good' version look not so great!
Thanks for reading! Hugs and loves. :)