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.

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.