Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Learning the hard way

With every stamp I carve I learn something, usually because of the mistakes I make. For example, I forgot to take pictures of the first stamps that I gave away and stamp any prints either, which I now regret I little, because I would like to keep an ‘archive’ of the things I made. So when I made the stamp for Siep, I quickly took some pictures.

It gave me a good purpose for the ‘Floddertje’ notebook that my husband gave me a long time ago. (I will tell you about ‘Floddertje’ later). I can use it as an archive by stamping prints in it with every new stamp I make. My last post shows the prints I made with the Siep stamp.

As it turned out, you can make really nice patterns with stamps, another good lesson. I adore the Siep pattern. It looks like those little images they make for children to learn reading.
So yesterday I decided to make some patterns with the stamps that I have. Some turned out really nice, but I also learned another important leasson: don’t stamp on the backside of a page, because it will show through the paper. The Siep-pattern is ruined, but at least I learned a lesson!

Monday, 17 August 2009


Now my stamp-making skills have developed a little, I felt confident enough to make a stamp for a gift for someone who is not family. So for Siep, the new-born baby of my sailing loving friends a made this cute stamp. I had to make the whole stamp in one night, and by hurrying so much I cut a little too much off the 'e', but I still think it is very cute, and my friends, who love handmade stuff, really appreciated it. And that feels so good, when something that you have made by hand put a smile on someone's face.

Learning by doing

For two of my favorites stamps I preferred a better looking solution, so I sawed two blocks of nice wood, sanded it, stamped the picture on it and varnished it and this is the result. I think it looks much better than the previous ones, although I think I still made some small mistakes that I hopefully won't make next time.

Practical practise

I am still learning the basic techniques of rubber stamp carving myself, but I can tell you a little bit about the material by now.
here are different types of rubber. I use Staedtler MasterCarve, which is white, or Speedy Carve, which is pink. The white stuff looks and feels exactly like eraser. My experience is that the white rubber is more flexible than the pink rubber. The advantage of this is that it cuts more easily. However, there is also a little down-side. Because it is flexible (and thicker), it happens easily that the rubber twists or wobbles a little while stamping. On a stamp, there are always parts that have ink on it, but that are not supposed to touch the paper. But because of the twisting, it might just touch the paper and leave some marks. For me, it is part of the charm and character of stamping, those little carving lines, but too much is not pretty. Mounting the stamp on wood is a way to make the stamp less flexible and improve the stamp. So last week I tried this with some stamps I made earlier. I had done it before with stamps that I gave away, but I didn't have stamps mounted on wood myself. So this is how they look.
It is very practical, but it doesn't look very nice, so that is something to work on.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Dooo yooou speeaak whaalee?

Last summer I bought the book 'Softies' by Therese Lasky. Shorty after, i discovered stamp carving and never got to make one of the cute Softies. At least, until December, when i got a sewing machine for my birthday. Of course I had to try it immediately and I made this cute whale. I think it looks cute for a first project. The bird on his head was to small to sew with a machine, so I did it by hand and now it looks a bit like an old seagull, all battered and plucked. i am not sure if they are a happy couple, they seem to be on a different level...

Sunday, 2 August 2009

As original as can be

When I read the funny story about Nina’s seven Dala horses I immediately knew I wanted to make a Dala horse stamp. Later I learned Nina has one of those too. That made me doubt for a while if I still wanted to make one. But I guess this is what happens when you see a lot of creative work on the Internet, you learn soon enough that your ideas are seldom very original. And because I didn’t want to kill my renewed love for crafting even before it came fully alive, I carved my own Dala horse stamp. And while I was carving, I decided to make also a two sided ‘orange slice’ stamp and an ‘&’ stamp.

Since Ninainvorm inspired me anyway, I thought I could just as well try to make some little collages and so I did. I am quite happy with the result. My only handicap was that I had hardly any nice piece of paper in my house, so I immediately ordered some Japanese paper from CraftingBug on Etsy. They arrived this weekend and I am very happy with it.