Sunday, December 7, 2008

Simply Stamping

Browsing my mind
I’ve been a bit out of focus all week. There are all these things I want to work on, and I don’t seem to get any of them done…While browsing a thrift store Friday with my friend Jill I picked up a 2001 Stamping book called GREAT Rubber Stamping by Judy Ritchie and Jamie Kilmartin. I confess to adoring and hoarding arts and crafts books—I appreciate them all, even if I don’t want to do the techniques.

I’ve only flipped through the first few pages of the book, but it reminded me of a great concept--:simply stamping. Lately I feel like every thing I make has to have dozens of textures, layers, and techniques. I’m frozen looking at all my supplies and tools.

My “new” book led me to some important conclusions:
Set priorities—in my case the priority was thank you notes to family for a great holiday visit.
As I say in my classes, “it’s not rocket science.” A simple card with a simple image is still lovely to give and receive.
Creativity heals the soul and art de-clutters the mind.

I grabbed a few images and a couple word stamps off my giant wall of wood mounted stamps that I hadn’t visited lately because my unmounted stamps are closer. I sat down determined to use only products within my reach which is still a substantial amount of stuff.

In just over an hour, I created these four cards using some tried and true techniques and products. Even though I was working with simple stamping in mind, my style is not clean and simple. Therefore, my cards still have that collage look I tend to favor. Click to enlarge all images.

The How-to
The base paper for all stamped images is photo paper. I keep scraps of it from trimming photos for my scrapbooks. On the Sea Faire card I used a Memories™ multi-color ink pad in summer shades. I matted in turquoise and put a turquoise ribbon behind it all before securing to a dark purple card base.

The other three stamped images were created by making an inked background on the photo paper. I just swiped the ink pads directly on the paper using Tim Holtz Distress Ink™ in Concord Grape and Linen. Next the Tim Holtz™ stamps were layered onto the background using rich black ink from Ranger™. All three cards also use strips of scraps for design elements and there is copper metallic thread wrapped around one strip.

Edges everywhere are inked either liberally or scantily depending upon my mood for a nice finishing touch. I like using dark cardstock for card bases in fall and winter to add to the design. Inside writing can be done with a gel pen or just glue a piece of cardstock inside.

Now I have the thank you notes I wanted plus I have a renewed sense of wonder for my art. Turns out you can go back to basics or renewal in a lot of things. Now if I could just recall basic house cleaning….

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