Thursday, 20 February 2014

Stamping Fun

This month was my mom's birthday and I had a perfect excuse to try myself at making stamps and using them on fabric. The idea was to use these colored foam sheets because they are really easy to cut with e-xacto knife or even scissors. I took a few photos while I was working so I’d be able to share this project with you and maybe inspire you to try it out as well. The possibilities are endless: tablecloths, tea towels, napkins, T-shirts,....


I made a round tablecloth which I had sewn by myself because they seem to be impossible to buy. For my design I chose flowers I “picked” up from my mother’s china. I photographed one plate, enlarged the design and printed it out. Then I cut out the flowers I wanted to make stamps of:


I took a soft pencil (2B) to outline the flower and then I pressed it on the foam to have a stencil to use for cutting:

Then I had to glue my cut-out shape to something solid to make my stamp. I wanted to use something see through so I'd have better luck with my positioning when stamping on the fabric. The only thing I could buy was this acrylic glass plate. I wish it were smaller but it served me well regardless.

I took my roller glue applicator and rolled the glue on the glass and then put my finished design on it:

For a smaller stamp I was able to use some wood left overs:

After the stamps were made it was time for some coloring. I used fabric colors and I though the brayer will do the trick but it didn't. It made a total mess so I had to come up with something else to use for applying the color to the stamps. Luckily I had some stencil foam brushes and I tried with one and it was perfect! You simply dab the color on the stamp and you can see it pretty well because it leaves tiny dots on the surface (with brayer, I had problems lifting the color up from the tray and leaving it on the stamp).

Time to start stamping:

After I was done with stamping the tablecloth looked like this:


It was a bit too plain for my taste so I mixed myself three more colors, took a tiny brush and added some detail to all of the stamped designs:

This was it. Pretty simple, a bit time consuming but one of a kind! And my mom loved it which made it all worth it (did I mention the sore muscles I had after all those squats because I had to work on the floor? :) )

I will definitely be using this technique again. I will however use double foam because the one I have is a bit too thin and it makes printing cleanly quite a challenge (there are many marks left from the acrylic plate because it touched the fabric). 

The foam can be gently peeled off from the acrylic glass and reused later (if the design is not too delicate because in this case it will probably tear apart). I need to find smaller pieces of acrylic glass or just go and buy some of those that are sold for stamping ;)  (a bit expensive though)


I hope this little tutorial will be helpful to you and that you will share your creations with me if you will try it out. Have fun and please share if you like it.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Journaling

Last year I decided to keep a small journal, the kind of pre-defined one with one week per spread layout. To write in only the most important things from the days and maybe add some mini photos and doodles. This came to be one of my best decisions.


Why? Because I forget stuff. I don't keep the ordinary events inside my head, I let them slip away so they don't clutter my memory. Or so I think because I can't remember any of the unimportant things. But forgeting about nice moments or good things is not what I'm proud of and this happens too.

So, having this little tiny journal and actually using it, made a huge difference with my noticing things and acknowledging them. I started to be a bit more present (which also has a lot to do with me being much more creative) and if I open a page and see what I wrote down I can recall things. I can do that when I look at the photographs too, but I don't take them that often, and especially not »just because«. So it became clear to me, that I will need to keep a journal from now on.

This year I got a little bigger one (for New Year, from my mom and because of Esther... thank you both!). It has the same layout as the last year one only a bit more space to write and draw and glue away. And it makes me happy to use it. 

But I sense I could do with a different layout, a day per page to have even more space to be creative. And I'll go for that next year. Seeing this video made me totally jealous of the man who has most of his life at the touch of his hand, to look at, ponder about and admire. I hope I'll have that one day as well. And you know what? It's never too late to start! :)


Do you keep a journal too? For how long and did it change the way you look and remember things? I'd love to read about it as this is quite fascinating to me.