Amidst the snow, a pop of red. The single strand of thread binding the edges. Intentionally sloppy and delicate. That's real love. *this is a repost from 2/14
A bit of felt (or any fabric, really, but it should be made of strong stuff). A sweetheart template (you remember how to make a heart). Scissors, stuffing fluff, a needle and thread. A handful of buttons.
The template is pink for tenderness. Trim your fabric.
Begin the stitch, keep it close but messy, like real life. Stop a few inches before the end and examine it closely, just like a brand new baby. Fill it with soft fuzzy stuff.
Now stitch it safely closed and tie a love knot. Button it up to keep it cozy.
Put it in a little nest to keep it safe.
*Health note: I'm having my ovaries removed (preventive surgery) on Wednesday. My mom had ovarian cancer and after the November surgery and CA, we decided I'd be better off without them. Life continues. I'll be sure to pop in with an update. It's a simple surgery. I'm feeling lucky if not particularly happy.
Lisa Chin is a textile and quilting artist and I'm thrilled to host her work with hand-carved stamps here today. Here's Liss:
One summer at the state fair I discovered a cart selling pre-made stamps. After carefully looking over every inch of the merchandise, I finally purchased my first stamp: a set of lips. Fast forward many years, and the purchase of a lot of manufactured stamps, and I finally discovered stamp carving
The first successful stamps I created were made using copyright free silhouettes found online. Next I experimented with carving simple flowers and leaves I drew. With time I have been able to feel more confident with my carving and use my stamps in my surface design work. The inspiration for each stamp comes from many places, but most often from a need for an image I want to recreate over and over on fabric.
When I begin a stamp I trace the size of the stamp into my sketchbook, and if I don’t already have an image in mind I draw several ideas inside each shape until something strikes me. I purchased a large number of these oops erasers on clearance and found they carve nicely, but can be a little crumbly.* They are great for practicing on.
Another day I was determined to carve a dove with an olive branch in it’s mouth. I drew the image, transferred it to the rubber and started carving. I find it helpful to stamp the image as I carve if I am having a difficult time deciding what to leave in or out.
I created two stamps so that I could stamp the details over the silhouette. I wasn’t satisfied with either image at the time but looking at it now, I’m not sure what I was hating so much. Sometimes it’s best to step away for a few days and then when you come back you can say, “Wow! I made that? That is pretty cool!”
A week or so later I drew a new image, a little larger this time and added some words. I love this stamp and have been using it on the packages and letters I have been mailing.**
Thanks so much for sharing your process here, Lisa. One of the challenges I'd like to take on in February during my "Stamp Month" is the repeating pattern. Here is an example from Lisa:
I hadn't thought of using copyright images! So smart, Lisa. I can't wait to get carving.
*I'm not a fan of any of the pink carving material. It is very crumbly. There are white erasers that you can use or Speedball white carving material.
** Remember to reverse your image when transferring. There is info on it in this post.
They are all Japanese, all the time and let's face it: I don't think anyone makes pens like the Japanese people. The paints above are from the Gansai Tambi line. These are the metallics and I was very happy to find them singly at JetPens.*
I use the Field Notebook everyday. It is small-ish and fits perfectly into my planner. I keep all my notes in there.
Above are the three brush pens I reviewed. I've had the Pentel for some time now, It has a real brush instead of a nib. The Pilot and Sailor were new to me. The Pilot brush nib is firmer than the Sailor. If I had to choose just one, I choose that for a little more control.
The Ballsign pens were a fun surprise. I'll keep them with my handmade cards for writing on dark cardstock with a little color. The best white pen ever is that Uniball Signo Broad. I recently gave a friend the Angelic which has a super fine line and she loves it. The Uniball Blue-Black and Blue-Lavender are as expected: Just fab. Here's the video and the a supplies are listed below*.
*Supply List (some of these were sent to me from JetPens. Some I purchased. I am not affiliated with JetPens)
Last week I facilitated a Coloring Book program at my local library and it was a huge success. Around 30 folks joined in the fun. I want to share how things went and what I brought along. Maybe you'll call your local library and volunteer your services.
I brought a variety of coloring materials: colored pencils, spectrum noir markers, regular markers of every type, gel pens, colored pens. I put a set of each type of media in a cup. AC Moore had coloring books for 5 bucks each I grabbed a couple of those.
I cut the pages from the coloring books and as everyone was coming in they were invited to choose a page and a media.
Lots of people were very timid, wondering which media and page were best for beginners. Some folks had arthritis and I was glad to have the large markers for them. My facilitation was really just to encourage a relaxed attitude and give permission.
This little cutie pie needed no permission (she snuck in with her mom and aunt ;) and was an excellent example. Later in the class, I walked Susan's coloring (see the first photo) around and pointed out the different media she was mixing. It was important to show that Susan was not being "SUPER CAREFUL" and even went outside the lines now and then.
It was a fantastic evening. Everyone left feeling empowered about their ability to make a little art. You may be able to scrounge up the materials. I am wondering if your local library and art center could partner up to help you pull off a program. Talk to them. Make some community.
I am always cleaning up and organizing in the studio. It's a place where many profound messes happen while I (or we) are in the creative zone. I have a stack of baskets and bowls and even some silicone cupcake wrappers that help with tiny things while I'm working.
Mesh project bags from Alvin (available on either DickBlick, Cheap Joes or Amazon) are great for projects. As a project progresses to a more 3D stage (products needed are added), I transfer to either a basket or a plastic frame. I like the frames better but sometimes they are too shallow.
The really big AHA! came with the realization that you can put papers in folders and then a file cabinet! Wow. I was advised to label in pencil so that I can erase if need be. Here is a peek into my JetPens Haul video (coming next week).
For those of you who may do videos, here is a storyboard form I use to prepare for them. You can download it for your own use. Download StoryBoardMaster
I hope that some of this helps you get and stay organized. I find that it saves me so much time and frustration. Here's the video.
For Valentine's Day, I decided to challenge myself by making 12 cards; one for each household in my family. This is a re-post from last year. There is another fun Pop Up Woven Heart card video linked down below.
I designed the card in a thumbnail and then prepared all of the pieces of my card.
I chose a piece of art, reduced it in size, and printed a bunch onto good paper.
I piled all of the pieces into a basket so that I could put it in a central location and put everything together in snippets of time. I'm not very good on follow through on these things. But that's the challenge.
Here's the video ...
Let's see if they get mailed *by Feb 8 or 9. Can I do it? What are you betting? Are you making cards for Valentine's Day? How do you go about making multiples? This is a re-post from last year. There is another fun Pop Up Woven Heart card video linked down below. I made the deadline on this card :)
Learn to make a pop up heart cards for your Valentine Sweeties. Use simple supplies you have around the house and learn to make a woven paper heart embellishment for the front of your card. Your family and friends are going to love you back this year!
Basic supplies: Cardstock, paper, paper scraps, junk mail, glue, scissors, ruler. Glitter, gel pens, markers as desired.
The super clear instructions easy enough to do with kids you'll love them too! The finished card fits into a standard A2 invitation envelope. Or make your own.
Lesson run time is about 25 minutes. There is a PDF included with pictures and templates. The instructions are super clear and easy.
Forever access, as usual but this class will only be on sale until February 14 (end of the day for you last minute folks).
Drink London Fogs* whilst reading The Clock Winder by Anne Tyler, Artful Embroidery by Naoko Shimoda and Rebecca Ringquists's Embroidery Workshop. (I've been doing this since about 7:30 and am not really ready to stop. It's now 10:15)
Do a Dust Up (?)
Color Journal Gelli Print
Throw treats to Teddy so he can pretend to kill his Greenies
FINISH THAT EMBROIDERY I'VE BEEN WORKING ON FOR 2 YEARS
Drink more London Fog and read some more
I told my friend just last night that I'm just not a lister. Again, I prove myself wrong. I've gotten used to the feeling.
I think I'll call my brother ... Just because I made a list doesn't mean I have to do the things on it.
*London Fog recipe (my version):
Brew 4 Earl Gray teabags in 2 cups of water. Add about 1 tsp honey and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Fill a mug about half way with this mix and add hot milk (frothed if at all possible). We've concluded that a shot of brandy would be awesome but not, perhaps, at 7:30 am when one has a list.
I flipped through some old journals yesterday from 2009.
Isn't that funny! It really cracked me up. And so does this one:
Over the years, my critic (Stewie) has really taken on a full personality and is sympathetic in a way. Surprising. But really. Look at this guy! I also stumbled across some flowers that have been an obsession for a long time. I dreamed of a field of them once. They are Chiming Bell flowers and make lovely music!
I played with the Molotow Masking pen in this video. I am enjoying this pen. It's a very easy way to mask with much less mess than the liquid frisket. Here's the video.
Here are some of the supplies I used (affiliate links). I'll try to keep up over here but am working on another Curious class. It looks like I need to have another surgery and so am trying to meet that deadline. Thanks for all your support gang. You folks are the best.