The way I used to stamp

Back in 1991, when I started doing this, I mostly stamped postcard scenes using all sorts of nutty images from Ken Brown, Rubber Stamps of America, Stampa Barbara, Leavenworth Jackson and Museum of Modern Rubber among others. So many stamp companies lost to the mists of time.

I was thinking about this today while I was sitting at my stamp area because I was not feeling the photopolymer love and I wanted to make something. I tried checking out the web sites and blogs that are fairly well known and that depressed me somewhat as the examples were mostly single images with a sentiment and that wasn’t what I wanted to do.

I took a poke through my stamps and found one I forgot I had from Beeswax and decided to put it on an ATC blank and then see if any other inspiration struck. I ended up with this:


The grass, reeds and clouds were all from Stampscapes. After stamping the images, I took some Prismacolor pencils and added the colors in. I then stippled using Colorbox dye ink (Putty) and Memento dye ink (Toffee Crunch). The clouds were stamped using Memento (London Fog).

I’m still deciding if I’m going to just leave it as an ATC or mount it onto a card. But it made me think of those Carson Conventions I went to in 1992 and what my initial enthusiasm for the hobby was like. I need to reclaim that.


The dreaded grammatical error stamp

I was looking at Simon Says Stamp’s new Mother’s Day stamp set (Mom’s Clematis) today when I noticed that the large block of text stamp in the lower left had a grammatical error. It’s a very minor error and one that I see every day. Specifically using the adjective “everyday” as an adverb.

While errors in stamps aren’t common, they do happen. I’ve seen a stamp that says, “Quit while your ahead.” I saw another that said, “Everything in it’s place.” I really feel bad when it’s a rubber stamp that has the error since I know that someone had to etch that mistake into a plate to make the mold. It’s not like photopolymer where you can fix the master art file before you do another print run. If you want to fix the error you’ll have to etch a whole new master and that’s the most expensive part of the whole process.

I’ve been asked, “Why do you care? It’s just a minor mistake! And language changes!” Well, I care because it’s me. You won’t find me banging on the door of a manufacturer’s office shouting, “YOU GOT IT WRONG, YOU KNUCKLEHEADS!!” but it does disappoint me when it happens.

In days of yore #1

Back when I first started stamping, pigment inks were still relatively new and almost all of the dye inks available to me were in pads that were flush with the edges of the container and had a hinged lid. The first raised dye pads were a few years off, so if you had larger stamps you couldn’t use dye ink with them.

There were some big stamps, too. Stampa Barbara had a candy box stamp that almost required you to step on it in order to get a clean impression. The local store in San Diego that I shopped at, Stamptastic, had a television stamp that was big enough to cover an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of cardstock. in each case, you had to stamp with pigment ink or spent a lot of time coloring with Marvy markers because you couldn’t use a dye pad on them.

This came back to me today when I was looking at some pads with pastel inks that came in a container with a hinged lid that didn’t fold back on itself (like the Versacolor pads) which made inking anything large a real problem.

That used to be the norm. It isn’t now, thank goodness.

When is a sale not a sale?

Today I received an e-mail from an on-line vendor who was offering a one-day sale on all items by a certain manufacturer. There were a few items that I really wanted from this manufacturer so I thought, hey, why not grab a few goodies at at least 25% off?

So I open the website through the sale link in the email and everything was already sold out.  The mail, when I received it, was only a few minutes old so either there was a run on everything in a short amount of time, or they were offering a sale on inventory they didn’t have in the first place.

Of course, there were no rain checks.

I totally understand not keeping an extensive inventory. It costs money and if things don’t sell you can’t order new products because you don’t have the storage space. Still, I’m annoyed that I get a sale ad only to find there’s nothing available and since it’s a one day sale there’s no way I can take advantage of said discounts.

Stick figure stamps?

One reason I use rubber stamps is that I stink at drawing.  I can’t draw to save my life and there are others who draw better than I do and then made these drawings into stamps for me to use for which I am forever grateful.

So once in a while I’ll run across a stamp set that leaves me scratching my head. In one case it was a bunch of stick figures. Now, if it had been an alphabet set of the Dancing Men cipher from the Sherlock Holmes story “The Adventure of the Dancing Men” I could understand that.  But a bunch of stick figures that I could draw myself and have them look as good as the stamped image? Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

But that’s what’s so great about this hobby. There’s room for all kinds of sets and just because I don’t find a use for it, it doesn’t mean that nobody else will find them valuable.

The end of March


This is the last of the March calendar that I did. I added the sentiment and then used an old Judi-Kins “scrunch” stamp to add the textured background. I bought this scrunch stamp way back in the mid 1990’s and have since unmounted it from the block and remounted it on repositionable cushion. Still works beautifully and creates really nice backgrounds. It’s made to mimic the texture you get from using a scrunched up paper towel or plastic wrap to add ink to a background.