Have you heard of MoYou-London's stamping plates?
I'm pretty sure you have, because they've been getting a bit of exposure lately, and they're awesome. I was just able to place my first order of MoYou-London plates, and I wiped out my Christmas present money doing so, before I even got it.
But I don't regret it. I love the style of so many of the images, but more than that, I adore the innovative direction they're taking with their plates--by creating a wide variety of what I'm calling 'collage-style' plates.
Before I say more, here is the video I made of Christmas 01, from their Festive collection; I talk more in the video about the ways I think these plates can be used and why I love them so much:
Okay, so, now back to why I think the collage-style plates are the next new direction in stamping. When you first look at them, especially if you're fairly new to stamping, I think they can be wildly intimidating, so I want to walk you through some reasons why you should love them and pet them and kiss them and hug them. Wait, that's kittens. But you get my point.
Here is what the plate looks like:
And a little closer up:
Scary, right? It's okay, I know what you're thinking. Yeah, that's cute and all, but it's not like I can get the collage onto my fingertips. That gingerbread house wouldn't fit on my whole hand! How could that possibly be useful??
I would like to convince you that not only is this just as useable as a regular plate, it actually offers you a bunch more possibilities than a regular plate. The main skill you need to use this style of plate effectively, other than just the basic scrape-and-stamp skill, is the ability to isolate images. I have a tutorial on how to isolate images that you can find here. I have that tutorial condensed into a single image here. And if you'd like to see my tips on aligning stamps you can find them by clicking here.
So what can you do with them? Among other things you can:
1) Isolate images, for example, those cute little presents up there, or that adorable little gingerbread guy.
2) Build scenes that are in perfect proportion, for example, have Santa and his reindeer flying across your nails, or have a snowman at the north pole scene.
3) Select areas of the collage for full-nail patterns, for example, the stars in the sky or the trees on the gingerbread house.
4) Select areas of the plate to stamp that have two images and create a patchwork look in a single easy stamp; for example, you could stamp the area of the house that has the snowflakes and the chevrons for one nail, the trees and the chevrons for another, etc.
5) In the case of this plate, you can use the border to make candy-cane stripes across your nails (how cute would that be for French tips?!):
Different collage plates have different opportunities for play, but you get the idea. And I'm sure there are tons more besides these.
What's that you say? That it sounds good in theory, but you don't believe it can actually happen? Well, let's take a look at two looks I threw together quickly for you. I literally threw some stamping over the polish I was wearing (Shirley Ann Nail Lacquer Not Your Mama's Cranberry Sauce) in a few minutes, so imagine what you could do if you were being careful, lol... :)
For the first look I did a simple stamp with China Glaze Passion (a gold polish), using the image from the center of the Christmas tree. This one took under a minute to stamp, no lie:
As you can see, in my hurry, I actually picked up my image too closely to the edge of the tree--there was plenty of room for me to have avoided that--and I got tree edge on my nails. However, as you can also see, it really didn't make too much of a difference, and next time I'll just be a bit more careful. :)
For the next look, I first used the snowflake images (the ones above the reindeer on the plate), and then stamped Santa and his reindeer over them. Notice that there isn't enough area where the snowflakes are to get a single image of them that will cover the whole nail; so I had to stamp each nail twice to cover them. Too much work, you say? It still took me only about 3 minutes to do the entire manicure:
(As you can tell from the index finger, I initially tried stamping Santa and his deers in gold, but it didn't show up very well...grrr...)
So there you go, two fun, cute manicures in no time flat!
The moral of the story is, don't let these collage-style plates frighten you away. If you can do even just basic stamping and you can use my technique for isolating an image, you can do tremendously cool things with these plates. And of course, if there are any questions you have about them or any tutorials you want me to do with them, let me know. :)
I hope you've enjoyed this, and that I've taken at least a little fear out of these sorts of images for you. :)
Hugs and love,
(The plate in this review was purchased with my own money.)