Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I've been having a blast in another on-line class with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. This time I'm taking Stamp Carving 101 and learning all kinds of tips and tricks about carving my own rubber stamps. This is the journaling I did for January 24th and 24th about stamp carving and the good time I've been having with the class as I learn new techniques and materials to use that are different this time around.

I really had to chuckle inside as we worked on the first lesson. It was just like teaching beginning machine applique. We started with an open heart so we could learn how to do inside and outside points and inside and outside curves.

I did some hand carving of rubber stamps years and years ago. I found a few of those stamps while unpacking boxes (yes, I'm still unpacking boxes - a job that will probably haunt me for the rest of my life) while I was looking for texture stamps for creating backgrounds for my pages. I was also looking for alphabet and number stamps. Now the funny thing about that is, just a short year ago when Eryn was here we went through some boxes and I gave her any of the alphabet stamps sets she wanted because my thought was, "When will I ever be using or needing these stamp sets?"  Just goes to show, you never know what lies in the path ahead.

On with Lesson Two of the class ... we worked on creating interlocking or nesting stamps. These stamped images were like mirror images. We carved stripes in the block and then carved an identical block removing the opposite strips.

And last week we worked with a project Julie calls "contained chevrons." Doesn't this create a cool pattern. I love using it for a tag design and will be making some tags with this stamp to send out in "Happy Mail" packages to my Book of Days friends.

I added a few more carvings of my own just for fun and extra practice. I like the texture created with the rounded rectangle shapes that look like a remote control to me. I tried carving a Queen Anne's Lace flower stem. It's not light, airy, or lacy like the real flower is, but I rather like the primitive nature of this image.

And then I carved a word. Sentiment stamps can be fun but I think you must be careful with the frequency of use. Another words, you don't want the same message coming up on every project you create. However, I figured the word "enjoy" would have enough places or times it could be used to justify the time spent carving. So meticulous in design and execution ... I worked like a master. And then I was ready for the first test stamping. OOPS ... forgot about reversing a directional or word design ... sigh ... note to self ...

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