The Artful Journey

Exploring my self and the world through art.

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Daisy Yellow Creative Experiment #11: Hand-carved stamps. Lots of ’em.

Okay so yeah, last night, inspired by Daisy Yellow’s Creative Experiments Challenge, as well as Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Kristin Norton’s super fast youtube video and the ebook she wrote, I broke into my Speedball Kit and made some stamps while Shan watched the Olympics.  I couldn’t believe it when I shot the photos, but I made 14 stamps!  This is SO MUCH FUN.  If you haven’t tried it, DO IT.  I’ll bet you could even start with one of those cuticle trimmers that you can get at the Dollar Store, along with a white plastic eraser you can get at the Dollar Store.  Or you can buy a kit.  I am going to upgrade to the Speedball Linoleum Cutter Assortment myself, now that I know how freakishly fun this is.  It’s like 12 bucks, as opposed to the ten I paid for this kit, and it’s safer, has more tips, and you can store the tips in the handle.  Plus it’s pink.  I really should have heeded the signs and got it first.

This is one of February’s Creative Experiment Challenges:  CE #11: {up to 4 points, 1 point per stamp} Make hand-carved stamps to use in your art journal.

I totally earned my 4 points on this one, baby.

I started with a star, my number one symbol.  Then I put a simple box on the back of that.  I did this page in my journal, first stamping with watercolor paint, which I wasn’t thrilled about, then using a Distress Ink pad in Worn Lipstick.  I did a quick wash with some watercolor paint, then I just did journaling with black pen and black brush pen.  About how now I need ink pads.  I’ve never been much into rubber stamps, because they were too generic, and all I have is Staz-On ink, which will ruin these, and a couple of Distress Ink pads.  So I need normal, non-solvent-based ink pads.


Then I decided I wanted to make my most desired stamp, a key, so I sketched out some ideas.  Then I realized my tool isn’t sophisticated enough to do that fine work, so I did a simplified version, with the teeth spelling TRUTH.  I.  Love.  This.  I can’t wait to get the finer tools to make finer keys.  Anyway, so yeah, then I did 11 more stamps.  Here is a spread in my journal where I stamped each design and numbered it.


Omigod how in love am I with that chain link?  It’s my own idea and it totally works!  I love love love chains!  That and my truth key are my absolute favorites.  Here are some of the pages and papers I used, including the Evidence Journal, where I planned and tested the designs:



DSCN1970 DSCN1969

And here is the spread, but with the actual stamps on the right.


Wow these are some funky-looking stamps when they’re done.  Most of them are two-sided, so you can only see one design.  And that pink is actually even MORE pink in real life, life chewed bubble gum or sunburned baby flesh.  I told you, really freaky.  I’ll be relieved to move on to carving white erasers, I think.  But I still have a chunk of this stuff left to use, so more freaky-awesome pink babyflesh bubblegum stamps are on the way.


Daisy Yellow Creative Experiments Challenge, January Catch-up

I’ve decided to add another project.  My life is all about art right now, and trying everything to figure out what to keep and what to toss, both supply and idea-wise, so I’m dabbling in all sorts of inspirational offerings right now.  I decided to do the Daisy Yellow Creative Experiments Challenge, which started last month, so I’m a month behind.  Each month has a list of Creative Experiments designed to infuse your creative life with organization, focus, preparation, and inspiration.  I may be behind on joining, but I’ve also been doing a lot of this on my own, so I’m claiming the points for it!  Yes, you get points for each of the activities you complete.  I’m not a ‘points’ person, but it’s crazy, because I feel guilty about focusing so much on art, buying art things, reading art books, making time or space for art, doing art…and now this is giving me POINTS for indulging in what feels like a guilty pleasure.  So I figure, what the hell, let’s see how this might change the energy around it all for me and get those points!

Creative Experiment #1: {1 point} Make a plan for making art this month.

Well, I’ve been organizing, re-organizing, shopping, organizing again, and basically my whole life revolves around my art, so yeah, I’ve definitely spent the last month planning for some serious art-making.  I even bought a great new art desk a few months ago which is my altar to what I consider my sacred creative practice.


Sometimes it even looks that neat.  No, really.  Just…not right now.  Anyway…making time is not an issue for me, since I’m living with chronic illness (bipolar disorder and severe anxiety, or first-wave ascension symptoms, whichever you prefer) and at least for now, am pretty much disabled, but space is THE issue.  I’m living in a small 2-bedroom apartment with my partner and daughter, so my planning is ALL about making my current space meet my needs.  And I have done that and continue to do it, so 1 point for me!

CE #2: {2 points} Do a new-to-you creative technique or project.

I have totally been doing this and have even blogged about it.  From watercolor crayon backgrounds to ink wash over gesso, and last night I embarked upon the world of hand-carved stamps!  But I’m saving that one for another point because it counts later on.  In any case, I’ve been trying new things, so 2 points for me!

CE #3: {2 points} Make something to use “in” your art journal or mail art.

This is where I’m counting my carved stamps, especially since it was this prompt that finally kicked my butt into gear and made me sit down and try it!  Last night, I broke out my new Speedball Stamp Making Kit and made some truly awesome, amazing, magical hand-carved stamps.

OH how I love this.  I love the carving, I love the personalization, I love the EASE, I love doing a craft that has a very practical purpose afterwards.  I don’t actually love and recommend this kit, though.


I’m going to buy one with more tips.  They’re not anymore expensive, they just don’t come with the rubber, but it’s the same stuff those erasers are made of, and you can get those anywhere.  This one is too simple, just two big blades,  and they just stick in the wooden holder through force, which isn’t safe.  For ten bucks, it was certainly worth it to try, and I got a block of Speedy Carve rubber which is worth more than half that, so I’m not exactly complaining, but I wish I’d gotten a bigger kit and then just bought erasers to carve.  Anyway, I’m going to do a post on this separately, but I’m sure as hell gonna claim my points now, so 2 for me!

CE #4: {2 points} Create a series of 5 mail art postcards and mail to artsy friends.

Okay, so I’m nervous about this one because I haven’t really done mail art except for some craft swaps on Craftster, but I want to do it.  I followed the links on the page and joined Mail Me Some Art, which has a list of addresses of artists who will send mail art to you if you send some to them, so I’ll start there.  If you want to exchange mail art with a newbie, please leave me a comment and we can exchange contact info!  I can’t claim any points here at all yet, but I’m working on it.  I’m even picking up new postcard stamps today, since postage rates went up a couple of weeks ago!

CE #5: {1 points} Make a list of creative books that you plan to read in 2014.

Well, I have a huge wish list on Amazon, does that count?  I’m certainly going to buy them as I can afford it, so I think it should!  If they were all here with me now, I’d totally read them.  I need NO encouragement to buy art books.  None at all.  I’m obsessed with them.  Giving me a reward for wanting to read more is like rewarding me for craving Oreos.  I just don’t need the encouragement.  So I think I deserve this point!  This is the one I’m reading right now:


I have no real verdict on it yet, though.  I am planning on doing a bunch of book and supply review videos, so I’ll include this one when I do.  For now, I’ll say that I paid a PENNY plus $3.99 shipping from Amazon, so I can’t possibly complain anyway, and so far, I’m really enjoying this book and getting some new perspectives and inspiration, which is what I look for.

CE #6: {1 point} Make coffee, tea or espresso stained papers.

So I stopped writing this post and went and did this one with this morning’s coffee and tea.


I had black tea, English Breakfast to be exact, and I rubbed the tea bag over the left page.  Shan had coffee, and I took my favorite, super-ugly mug whose handle fits my hand “just right” that I got at a yard sale, and I dipped the bottom in a plate with some coffee in it and made the rings on the right.  It’s a subtle effect, but I’m LOVING it.  It makes me want to drip coffee all over the place, but I’m so far abstaining.  I think I am going to journal with my brown fountain pen which should be COOOOL.  1 point for me!

CE #7: {2 points} Start a journal or notebook to capture colors, ideas, patterns & images that inspire you.

Yeah, so I totally was inspired by this prompt and did this yesterday and blogged about it!  Yay me!  2 points.

Thank you thank you thank you Tammy, aka Daisy Yellow, for the wonderful encouragement and inspiration.  As you can see, I truly made use of your project!  Now on to February’s list…

Oh, and just so you know what I mean when I mention living at the foot of sacred Mt. Shasta…this is what she looks like this morning, photographed out my bedroom window:


Just…whoa.  Ya know?