Wednesday, December 22, 2010

the storm before the calm

...so, we're apparently in foreclosure, according to our lender. The lender called a few days ago (despite having been told during three other phone calls that they do NOT have permission to call us, and having been directed to call our attorney) and informed me that our status is now foreclosure with no sale date. They can't put a sale date on the house until sometime in February. I of course sent a panicked email to the law office and was reassured yet again that this is just part of the process and that they will NOT let us lose our home. It's nice to hear those words. I very much hope they are true.

Meanwhile, we finished the print job I wrote about a few days ago, and delivered the goods to our friend in Santa Barbara yesterday morning. Glad we made it through that with relatively few mistakes! We also gained a little more experience. I really like the process of screenprinting, actually. It's so satisfying to squeeeeege that ink through the screen, then lift it up and see the print. The cleanup is sucky, though.

Today I plan to start making some polymer stamps with my new machine, so this could be an exciting day. Or it could be another day of shit fits and meltdowns if I run into a bunch of learning curve issues. I've found that I REALLY fall apart when these things happen. I guess I've always been this way - but haven't had Jim at home to notice it (and point it out) before. What I mean is, I can't just try something, fail, take a deep breath and try again. When I fail at some attempt, I apparently need to get extremely pissed off and let loose a torrent of appalling language, as well as rant about how I'm NEVER going to get this right and I might as well go get a job at McDonald's or something. Then I usually try it again, figure it out, succeed, and skip around like a happy first-grader. It's all part of the process.
I hope today brings more skipping than melting down.

12 comments:

Candice said...

I started making polymer stamps a few months ago. I basically built my own unit and am doing the liquid polymer way. It's very messy! But I tried the packets and could never get the timing right. I'm still not totally happy (I have to treat the finished stamp with mica powder to take down the stickiness) but it's working alright. What type of unit are you using, if you don't mind me asking?

sugarskull said...

I started out using the liquid polymer too - yuck. Messy, problems with bubbles, etc. I'm now using the Imagebox made by Photocentric. I love it. I had a couple failed attempts due to timing issues and negatives not being dark enough, but once I got it down, it's easy! They've been great so far - great customer support, great product!

Candice said...

That's cool. I actually used their pacs with my own unit and it was ok, but weird that the substrate sheet stays on, so you can't use them with acrylic blocks. Also, I found those come out too sticky too. Do you find they aren't too sticky when used with the actual Imagebox?

sugarskull said...

There are different types of packs. The ones I use do not keep the substrate on the back, they are cling. They also have a de-tacking salt that you mix into the water during the hardening stage. They come out clingy on the back but not tacky on the front - perfect! I've worked through some timing/exposure issues and now I've got it down. :)

Candice said...

Thanks for sharing. I may have to give the pacs another try. I do have the drying salts, but it's not working, but it may very well be that the unit I've made isn't close enough to the water tray, thus not giving enough light to harden properly. I shall experiment more (the liquid is killing me!)

sugarskull said...

There's a clamp they have that goes with the packets, are you using that? They do seem to need to be compressed and I LOVE their clamp. Really well made. Are you using a round (lightbulb shaped) uv bulb?

Candice said...

I made my own clamp with glass and it works really well, with the liquid and when I tried it with the pacs. The bulb is a long one that I attached to a wood unit my husband made. It makes the stamp really well, it's just staying sticky around the floor of the stamp, and the stamping surface is slightly sticky as well.

I saw someone selling the unit online and it's tempting, but I've already put so much money into what I've got going. It is cheaper to do the liquid part, but the time and messy saving would make the pacs more worth it.

sugarskull said...

You probably need the bulb to be closer to the water (maybe put the container on a raised surface) and maybe longer exposure time during the hardening process. Also be sure you're really washing out all the extra liquid polymer before hardening, otherwise the floor will stay really tacky.

G said...

I just purchased the stampmaker but haven't tried it out. Was there a reason why you picked the Imagebox over the stampmaker? Just going back and forth if I made the right choice choosing the stampmaker over the Imagebox. They said stampmaker takes 5 minutes and the imagebox takes 20 minutes.

sugarskull said...

I chose the Imagebox because you can make larger sheets of stamps with it. Yes, it takes a bit longer, but in 20 minutes or so I can make a sheet of a dozen stamps (more or less depending on their size). The thing has already paid for itself, I love it!

Creative said...

I tried the stampmaker but only got it to work with their sample transparency since I used a laser b/w printer, it wasn't dark enough. I tried using 3 copies taped together and still didn't work...it came out like a blob...not even harden. What printer do you suggest to use since it seem like their transparencies are more expensive for ink jet compared to laser printer!

Also I tried to see if I can exchange and bad news is they will say that they can't sell it if it's been use and only offer $80 off...Also looking at the result being pinkish, I really wish I would have just gotten the bigger one!

Thanks so much for your response - I like to read your blog now cuz I'm cheering for your house situation to resolve in your favor!!!

sugarskull said...

Yeah..the hardest part about the whole thing (aside from getting the exposure times down) is getting a good negative. I use an inkjet printer, but the one we have now is SUPER expensive because we're using it for other things (art prints and heat transfers for tshirts). It does REALLY dark ink prints. Back when I first tried the polymer process (with liquid polymer) I used an HP laserjet printer and just taped two negatives together and laminated them. If you're using a laserjet, you can also buy a spray toner enhancer that will darken your prints. Sorry you're having trouble. :(

About Me

Hippieville, CA, United States
This is the story of life after losing the "real" job and the house, trying to find the middle ground between making a living and actually living.