Monthly Archives: March 2007

No excuses!

Whenever I hear someone say “You make such beautiful things! I could never do that,” I have to control my impulse to simultaneously explain how it was done, pontificate on my belief that anyone can be a stamper/scrapper, and roll my eyes on hearing that again.
Stamping is not rocket science, and scrapbooking is important. And yes, you can do what I do, you just have to want to do it.

Stamping is easy. There are a few basics you need to know, and the rest is experimentation–play time if you will. I will go into the details of various supplies and techniques as time goes by. For now, I’ll just try to give you some ideas of the variety of things you can accomplish with rubber stamps.

You can stamp on just about anything, with just about anything. As a fellow stamper once said, “I’ll stamp anything, as long as it holds still long enough.”

To begin, there are the standbys– the holidays and birthdays and special occasions you try to remember with a card. These require the standard card stock, rubber stamps and inks. These can be simple, or you can use these to experiment with new techniques, or to try out new supplies.

Then there are the home decor projects–usually done with acrylic paints, or various permanent inks designed for everything from fabric to glass. Make sure if you try one of these projects you allow yourself to experiment. The first time you do something is rarely picture perfect.
Curved surfaces can be tricky to work with, and paints are slipperier than inks, so are easier to smear when lifting the stamp. I used foam stamps on the pots, and a nice sea sponge to make the clouds in my son’s room.
I’m rather pleased with how each of these projects came out, and the pots are holding up surprisingly well, considering that they were painted over seven years ago, were not sealed, and have been exposed to the elements pretty continuously.

You can also use stamping for wrapping and gift boxes. These are papiermache gift boxes that were painted and then stamped and embellished, as well as a handmade take out box. They make great little presents in and of themselves.

Lastly, try making your own party and holiday decorations. Here, I’ve used stamps to embellish plain Christmas ball ornaments, and to decorate a simple glass. Once again, take your time when doing things like this–curved surfaces require more care than a simple, flat piece of paper.

So, go for it. Try to bring a little art into your life. You don’t have to be an artist to make things that you find beautiful, you just have to be willing to get your hands dirty.

I find few things as satisfying as ink-stained hands and completed cards, projects, and pages.

In the beginning….

There was paper, and it was good.
Then ink was discovered, and words and images flowed from the pen, and it was good.
Then came rubber stamps,
embossing powder ,
water color pencils and crayons,
mica powders,
chalk inks,
Oh you get the idea.

I like paper crafting. I’m learning more each day, and having fun while I’m at it.
Rubber stamping is coloring for grown-ups. It’s zen meditation for those who don’t like standing on their head. It’s art for those who appreciate beauty, but couldn’t draw a house to pay their rent.

So here’s the beginning of my public journey through papercrafting and life in general. Be gentle with me, I’m not good at speaking in public.