Going through the collection #4

Back when I started down the rubber road, I ran across some really beautiful images from a company called Stampscapes and bought a lot of them. I hadn’t used them in a long time and while I was unpacking I thought that I needed to grab a few and try them out again. This is what I have so far:


The scene is actually comprised of seven separate images, two of which were repeated. Remember when I said don’t be afraid to repeat yourself? Anyway, at this point I would add color with either the tonal applicator stamp (sort of looks like a pear shape made of a lot of tiny dots) or a stipple brush. Since I was stamping on Kromekote I decided against using one of the Tim Holtz ink applicator tools because the foam of the tool will not glide easily against coated paper like this and makes awful squeaking noises.

This will eventually be a postcard and will be mailed to someone. Some folks call this “only ink and paper” stamping “naked stamping” but I prefer to call it basic stamping or core stamping because it requires a thorough knowledge of the core concepts of using rubber stamps.

By the way, have you considered just stamping a postcard, writing a little note, and mailing it? You’ll be surprised how much you’ll make someone’s day with this simple act. Try it some time.


Fussy cutting?

If you cut out an image with scissors or an X-Acto knife instead of using a die cutter, this has somehow gotten the name “fussy cutting” which I find kind of irritating. I don’t know why this annoys me.

I’m guessing it’s because “fussy” has a negative connotation in English. It makes me think of colicky babies and people who are micro-managers and hover over you insisting you do it their way down to the most excruciating detail.

I personally call this “close cutting” or just “cutting by hand” which seems very neutral to me. I don’t do it often as my stamp art tends towards scenes or coordinating images on the same plane, so cutting them out doesn’t fit my style right now. Talk to me next year; my style might have changed.

Still, I’m not the craft police and if you like calling it “fussy cutting” then please continue to use that term. Just make sure you craft and create.


Create a rainbow

Since I wasn’t stamping anything, I had to turn to my old reliable Johanna Basford to do some coloring and practice. This is from (obviously)¬†Ivy and the Inky Butterfly where I decided to do a rainbow in the main circle in the drawing. This is how it turned out:


I liked how this turned out especially since I didn’t really have a plan of which colors to use when i started. I used Polychromos pencils here and just did a bunch of overlapping gradients to create this. The transition from orange to yellow isn’t as gradual as I’d like so I’ll probably go back and touch that up.

Are you still creating, crafting or coloring? Can you do it for five minutes? If you can, do it. It’s worth the time.


Stamping memories: 3D stamping

Twenty-five years ago I attended my first Original Rubber Stamp Convention in Carson, California. I was fairly new to it and this was like visiting Disneyland. When the show opened I made a beeline for the Stampa Barbara booth, for example. This was the rubber promised land and I had two hundred dollars in cash.

One of the things I bought was a stamp set that came with two inks, a stamp and a pair of anaglyphic 3D glasses. The two inks were a dark reddish color and a light blue. There was also a set of instructions on how to use the inks and how to position the images to end up with an image that would appear to either float in front of the paper or in the paper when the anaglyphic glasses were worn.

I went nuts with this thing. One image I can remember doing was a standing Spock from Stamp Oasis with a grass skyline with the Space Needle way in the background. It was amazing. You put the glasses on and Spock stuck way out of the page and floated there.

Eventually the pads ran out of ink and the company that made it had stopped making it so my adventures in the stamped third dimension were over. But boy, was it fun when it lasted.


Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself

I made a birthday card recently where I used the same two stamps repeatedly in different colors in order to create the overall effect I wanted. Since they were branches, I stamped them in three shades of green going from light to dark:


Notice also that I went off the sides of the card. None of those plant stamp images are fully on the card. Also, I changed the direction of how I was stamping each time I re-stamped so it wasn’t the same image facing in the same direction each time. This creates more of a wild effect which I like.

Take one of your favorite images and try using it repeatedly in different colors. You might like what you end up with.


The State of March 2018

I bought a calendar from Impress in Seattle late last year and while January and February I planned out a bit, I decided from here on out, I’d just leave it open on the craft table and occasionally add to the month every time I sit down to work. Here’s what I have so far:


Yes, it’s silly. Yes, it’s random. But I love it for exactly those reasons.

Have you done anything random lately in your crafting? Try it some time! You might like what you get.


One closed store diminishes us all

The last time I was in San Diego I wanted to go rubber stamp shopping and had read about this amazing store in Temecula called Stampin’ Post. During my trip (August 2017) there simply wasn’t a chance and I didn’t have any room in my carry-on anyway so I just made a note to look for it when I was in town next.

Fast forward to February of 2018. I have moved to San Diego and finally have the time to look at the stamp stores only to find that Stampin’ Post has apparently closed up shop. I’m so sad since this is a fairly well populated craft hobby but stores seem to sometimes disappear with the wind and that means fewer ways for us to browse and find that one perfect stamp image that we didn’t know we needed.

Love your stamp store. Buy from your stamp store.