So, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone, art-wise. I discovered art journaling about a year ago, but I remember thinking, "Why the heck would I want to make art in a journal when I could put it on canvas and display or sell it???"
Obviously, I was stupid. Well, not really, but I just didn't get it.
Art journals are a wonderful way to express one's self, but for me, they're a great way to "practice" my art. Now, don't get me wrong. When I create a beautiful page in my journal, I think to myself, "Crap. I could have put that on a canvas." Oh, well.
I'm also learning to let go of my perfectionism. Of course, nothing I do is perfect, but I would like to think it is. I'm trying to let go of straight lines, perfectly washed out brushes, and a pristine canvas.
Enter hand-carved stamps.
I love them.
Absolutely love them.
They are fun.
They are whimsical.
And there's no way they could be perfect.
I started out with my linoleum cutters. This set belonged to my MIL. I'm not sure what she used them for, but I inherited them. Yay for me.
The tips are interchangeable.
I find that for stamp carving, I use the tiny one more often than the others.
I started by purchasing a Speedball Speedy Carve Carving Block. Then I quickly discovered:
1. I LOVED making them.
2. That I'd go broke soon, and my daughter would have to drop out of college because I couldn't afford to send her there anymore because I was buying too many blocks.
So, I found a much cheaper alternative. MUCH cheaper. Stay tuned....
This was my first attempt with the expensive block. I really like the rustic, non-perfect look.
Then, I read on the "interwebs" (as HubbyDoc would say), that you can use dollar store big erasers.
Can you say
I was skeptical at first, but then I took my tools to the rubber, as they say.
Well, "they" really don't say that.
I love the erasers because I can make about 4 small stamps (2 on each side), and I can use the sides as well.
I just draw the shape I want and cut it out. I does help to do a little planning, and you can color in the areas that you definitely want to remove (keeping in mind that that's the part that will be light and not inked), but I just eyeball them.
There are a few things to keep in mind.
1. ALWAYS cut away from your body and your hands. I just had to say it.
2. This isn't a children's craft, for obvious reasons.
3. The tools are sharp. Or they should be. You should use gentle pressure. If you have to press hard, your tool isn't sharp enough and it's time to buy a new one.
I tend to turn my rubber instead of turning the tool. I think you have better control that way.
Here's one of the slanted ends. I just stuck my small tool slightly into the rubber and twisted it around, essentially gouging it out. See. It isn't perfect. Yay.
Ink your stamp up really, really well. I find that the eraser stamps don't take the ink quite as easily as your regular store bought rubber stamps. So, just ink well.
These stamps aren't super pliable, so I like to press the paper onto the stamp instead of the stamp on the paper.
Here's a sample of the difference. On the right, I stamped the rubber to the paper. On the left, I stamped the paper to the rubber. Of course, I'll still be able to use both. If you're using your stamp on a canvas project, keep in mind that you might end up with the look on the right, which in my opinion, is part of the "charm", as "they" say.
Then after I stamped the flower, I realized the center was too dull, so I changed it up.
I took a piece of cut out chevron plastic from a one of my tag stencils.
Then I traced it with a pen and cut it out of the thick end. You can play with how you want it to look. Think positive and negative space. You could just carve out the lines, or carve out sections. I decided to do sections.
And, here's what it looks like, stamped with some acrylic paint.
If you don't like the "leftover" lines, then just carve them away. I think they provide a rustic look.
Here's a brick wall design. Notice, all I did was carve lines. No rocket science here, Peeps!
I stamped it with distress stain. You can see the chevron on the side. Gotta make use of ALL surfaces since I'm
Here's a little fox. She was a little more intricate, but I like her. Remember to take away as little as possible, stamp with it, and then you can see what you don't like and take more away. You can always cut more, but you can't UNCUT!
Here are all of my stamps so far. I stamped them with archival/permanent ink onto dried out teabags, naturally stained, of course. The one on the bottom left is a border that I made from leftovers of the key stamp. GOTTA USE ALL SURFACES, PEEPS!!! ;)
I believe this is a new
Just think of the possibilities! Gesso, molding paste, Gelatos, inks, paints, gouache, etc., etc. etc. You'll be able to actually use all of your
Thanks for stopping by, Everyone!