1 Comment

Stamp carving

One of the lessons in Journal Petite is lesson 15 Stamped Surfaces. Some of that is stamping with random things and some of it is about making stamps. Lord knows I have made a lot of stamps, but while having a bit of a tidy up in from of the windows to make the circle curtain less blocked by piles of things, I unearthed my carving tools. And I had a pack or two of little erasers to play with as well!

Now, these were not great erasers. The resulting stamps were also not great.

Compared to one I carved a long time ago fro a Speedball block – a world of difference!

I do quite like the little scallop and the way it stacks. I just need a better eraser I think. And maybe a bigger one?

Other parts of the lesson are about making stamps out of things like fun foam (tick) and pencil erasers (tick) and cardboard. Hummmm. Never really done that. So I think I will have a bit of a play with that over the weekend and see if I make anything I like.

I have also worked a bit more on my page of RAGE.

So yeah, just a few lines, but every time I go back to it and add another thing, I am consumed with rage all over again. Ironic it is “Independence Day” when it feels nothing like that.


Should be a new Art Journal Journey prompt so maybe I can find something positive to work on. Or not…


More Nano tape play and a surprising result!

First, I gotta apologize for the lack of interesting photos with this whole Nano tape thing. It’s just hard to show and the photos aren’t exciting. But stick with me (see what I did there? LOL!) and I think it is worth it.

First, let’s wrap up the storage issues – Nano tape cling with a death grip to plastic packaging. But it holds and yet releases quite nicely when stored in or on plastic bags like sandwich bags. Leaving the Nano tape covered blocks on a baggie overnight and it still releases easily. So yeah, that’s my storage of choice.

I stored the two block I covered back to back in the baggie and it worked great. Still a little tricky to extract them from inside the bag cause it’s a tiny Snack-sized one, but it does release.

So two other ideas I wanted to play with. I thought MAYBE that you could stamp with the Nano tape, and you can, kinda, but it isn’t a super crisp image. I didn’t want to waste it so I was only playing with scraps from my block-coverage.

I also wondered if you could die-cut it. My idea was IF you could stamp and IF you could die cut, could you then die cut a STAMP to match said die? Yeah, nope. Didn’t snap a photo, but while yes you could die-cut a shape, if was stuck to paper (cause I knew the cover-film would not die cut with a traditional thin die) lots of the Nano tape squished out of the sides. It wasn’t pretty! I was curious, cause they sell about 2 inch wide Nano tape and that size seemed like it could offer up some interesting possibilities.

As I already had the tiny squares cut, I had a moment – was it possible that only a tiny square of Nano tape (rather than a fully covered mounting block) could work? I thought perhaps with a stamp mat it might, so I gave it a go.

It worked, kinda, but I smeared it by rocking the stamp. Not worth showing, but this very much is! I scattered the small squares on the block and used a stamp that I felt would be a bit of a challenge to stamp clearly:

Brace yourself. This really is a surprise!

Crikey. And here I wasted all that tape by covering the block! What I would say is this: you could easily try (on scrap paper, obviously) stamping with a single strip of Nano tape on a block and see if it works. If not, add more small squares in key areas (like for this stamp those pesky little pointy … feet? arms? whatever) and then peel off the tape and store it for re-use later.

I have to say I like the full-block coverage, as for maybe 85% of my stamps, the very small and medium size blocks I’ve covered will do the job. For any of the really LARGE stamps, I would use scraps or small pieces and def. use a stamping mat or something with a bit of give, like my cork tile pieces.

So one more experiment – I thought maybe I could mount the grey cling material to the Nano tape, cause I have a TON of the Tim Holtz stamps that nothing will bring back their stick. I wasn’t keen to have to coat the back of every one with Tack-It! so I had a go. Not a good idea. I know this is going to be nearly impossible to see, especially if you are on a phone, but yes, the grey stuff clings to the Nano tape. But when you are finally able to peel that sucker off, for me the Nano tape buckled and bulged.

To be fair, it was this exact buckle and bulge that made me carry on and test just the tiny squares – and I do believe a few squares might hold the grey clink stamps well enough to be able to stamp with them, but I have to put this aside for the moment and maybe have one last play later. If it works I’ll add it to my WOYWW post tomorrow.

I think there are potentially 100s of interesting uses for Nano Tape (not sponsored!) but this one seems like a universally useful for stampers one. What about using a tiny square or two to mount those lost-their-stick stamps in your storage system? Or sticking a ruler or a special pen to your desk? Temporarily mount some art to your wall? Hold your cranked knitting machine to the table so it doesn’t scoot about? I have to say I just love this stuff and I will keep a roll handy and reach for it often!

Woyww tomorrow!


Using Nano tape with unmounted stamps – or cling that have lost their stick

Nano tape is pretty cool stuff. I bought a pack of two rolls, one for the Hubster, cause I thought he might find some uses for it when mounting technology items in the car, and one for me cause I had an idea.

If you have read here for long you know I hate mounting unmounted stamps. But especially when requesting unavailable in the UK items to be shipped from the USA, unmounted stamps are a helluva lot cheaper to send. So I have a lot.

In the past I have used a hack that I loved (using the otherwise useless Creative Palette and Tack-It! Over and Over to create a mount.

And that does work well, but how many people actually have an old Creative Palette they can cut up and use? Probably not many.

Well, I had a play and Nano tape works just as well. I covered the mounting block with the tape then the stamps, both unmounted red rubber and clear cling that have lost their stick work perfectly well. Impossible in still images to demonstrate a non-cling cling stamp, but here goes…

My first instinct is with Nano tape you need to cover, pretty edge-to-edge, the mounting block. Obviously to get a good stamped impression you need uniform pressure, and I feared you won’t get that if you just added a strip of Nano tape in the middle of the block.

I figured using a small block to begin with, to work out the kinks, made sense. And it performed flawlessly!

The issues you can see with the paper (that black mark and the divots in the centre of the flower) are because it was a random scrap on my desk, not because of any stamping issues.

Now, there are a few things to note. I am testing to see if storing the Nano-tape coated block will work on a few things (a scrap of plastic packaging, a Ziplock/sandwich bag, one of the bags from the LFT test kits, even stuck to another block) and will report back. But as the tape is WASHABLE and REUSABLE it might matter less.

I feel like there is more experiment needed. I’m going to have a bash with a few things and see…Watch this space!

Leave a comment

Not sure what to make of this – Neuroart and Circle stamps?

I gathered up a bunch of my circle stamps to have a play with an idea that was buzzing about in my brain. I stamped some of them on a bit of cardstock

And then added the neurolines around and thru them

and added the rounded intersections as well as more stamped circles where they fit in

It’s an interesting process but feels slightly … out of control maybe? Not sure how I feel about the final piece

I had a play with another version, where I stamped and masked bits so the circles overlapped initially and I think I like that a bit better

I think the issue is you have to plan. With both if you just carry on willy nilly it all looks a bit of a mess. I think there is some merit in it, but I’ve yet to work out the best method. I’ll think on it a bit more. WOYWW tomorrow and I’m be at the hospital for my Rheumatology appointment today. Hopefully some good news for tomorrow…..

Leave a comment

A cautionary tale – and the beginnings of an Art Journal page

I think I mentioned I was feeling the pull of my art journal recently and over the weekend I decided to make a page. When I am in this place, a long time away and feeling out of practice, I do a warm up, using stuff hanging about on my desks. This time it was no different. Although, this is where the “cautionary tale” part comes in.

A wile ago I had bought some stuff from WISH. I got a set of stamps that I thought were cute. Some layered stamps with leaves on them and some useful card sentiments.

The while thing arrived quite crumpled but the stamps stamp just fine. So imagine my surprise to see what looked like a set of dies that would match! Except…they don’t.

This is, I’m sure, one of those cases of a knock-off. Sadly I am not super clued-in on the various brands, and I didn’t realize when I bought the stamps they were actually Alte New (Alte & New? I don’t even know that!) and should have been bought as a pair. So they aren’t horrible, I bet a lot of the miss-alignment is me having little experience with layered stamps or stamp+die sets. I wonder if the real Alte New version has registration marks or something to help you line stuff up correctly. Cause if they don’t I sure wouldn’t bother buying the stamps that fit!

So there you go. The page didn’t make a lot of progress as I fought to try to get the stamped image and the die to play nicely together. The germ of an idea was using my faux postage (and more on that another day) but I only got here:

before I had to move on to other household tasks, set up for the week to come. But before I go, one final stamp sadness. I have a stamp, one from my old job, where I was the classified documents librarian at a government contractor, that I used often in my art over the years. Sadly, it gave up the ghost, the rubber totally disintegrated and rubbed fell apart:

I think you can see how deteriorated the rubber is from the attempted stamping. Shame. It would have fit perfectly on the page I had in mind.


This and that – Saturday Play

Well I blew the idea that when my CK levels are high, my back is impervious to clenching up on me. I have been taking painkillers and lounging about since about Tuesday. Can’t tell from my posts because I had a few scheduled. Today I am able to do a bit, but not much as you will see from this post. Hopefully by tomorrow I will feel up to more.

I have been playing with some Lynne Perrella stamps and trying to work out what I want to do with them. The first play was comparing colouring with watercolours and with Copics.

Not a lot in it really, and both bleed outside the lines. Paints left, Copics right.

Then I tried stamping them on some Collage Collective paper. I had an idea but in the end I think I picked the wrong paper, because I think the cut-out words aren’t quite right.

I mean, they’re OK just not striking, or inspiring. I might finish them off, not sure yet. I want to play with stamping them on white card and colouring them then cutting them out. I’ll see how that works. I also wanted to show my version of the pressing device a lot of people use on stamping platforms to get good even pressure all over it. Mine is not as swish as some, no big doorknob or drawer pull on the top, just a simple block wth a furniture pad on it. But it cost me nothing, since I had both of those things hanging about.

Took me a total of 5 minutes to find the bits and assemble. And it works perfectly. I think the bit of the Grand Calibur embossing mat that I cut and stuck on my (cheap) stamp platform helps a LOT. I suspect sticky back fun foam would do similar.

That is a single pressing, not a double one. Not bad at all.

We’ll see what all of this play turns in to. Maybe nothing, maybe something. I’ll share if it’s something …


Art journal page – and a ripped clear stamp repair

I broke out a new-ish set of stamps to play with and had a LOT of fun with them. I had used a bit of one of the collage collective sheets of a bunch of circles on one of my single pages, but only two of them (although I punched another one out, I never used it) and had the rest of the page left. I had a go at stamping over the circles with the foliage stamp and even with the gaps of white between they still worked out pretty well! Three columns of circles, three fronds.

Here is the page – I was having fun creating so I didn’t take photos. I really must remember to do that.

I also used a stamp by Effy Wild (the Wild and Free one) and an old set of Autumn Leaves stamps. Quite annoyed that the E clear stamp ripped as I was trying to peel it off the backing. Honestly, so many of my cling mount stamps have had issues – the sticky goes and cannot be revived, the silicone deteriorated and the stamp crumbles and rips…just very annoying. Yes, I know these are cheaper than proper red rubber stamps (both cling mounts and wood-mounts) but you still expect them to last for more than a few years! I managed to “repair” it by sticking a bit of the red-line tape on the back, the sticky side holding the rip together, the backing left on. You can see it here, I hope.

The important thing is it still clings

and because of the nature of the letters, with the grungy edges, it still stamps well, especially over a chaotic background like the collage collective, but well enough to use on plain card:

Good thing, too, as it’s one of the most used letters in the alphabet. Worth remembering as a repair tip. Not helpful for super intricate or detailed stamps, but works well for ones like this.

And lastly, my next 100 days page:

Seems like my handwriting is degrading again, but overall I think I am happier sticking to black and brown ink. Note I used those magnetic stamps from the other day as well. Woo hoo!


WOYWW 611 – Too much sadness

This is scheduled as we have some other stuff going on at Chez Walters today.

I really can’t say Happy WOYWW this week, as I usually would. The news we lost Shaz Silverwolf to cancer, after she battled so long and mightily, made me so very sad. My heart breaks for Shaz and Doug both. I am thankful she was able to slip painlessly away – small mercies. She will be missed, every week. So I will just say It’s WOYWW.

I did manage to tidy up pretty well, just a good hoover left to be done. At the very least, a good, active, intense clear up helped take my mind off how sad I was feeling. Interestingly, I was doing more of a deep dive this time, actually sorting thru some of the boxes of old embellishments, rub-ons, stickers, etc. One box had a real surprise in it. Along with some debris from the WOYWW 6th annual crop ATCs I had made, I found a sheet of Tim Holtz birds I stamped. I am nearly 100% sure they must have been Helen’s and she was kind enough to let me stamp out 3 or 4 sheets of them. And there they have languished. I used some of the stamping on thin paper to cut pattern pieces, and assembled these little sweeties on the day (from what I recall – it has been, after all, from 2015 till NOW that I have seen them.) And of course that made me think of meeting Shaz at a crop and it made me sad all over again.

The other odd thing is also quite old, a JAVA conference notebook freebie from 2000. I am a hoarder. What can I say?

The plan is to use the boxes full of old scrapbooking embellishments, stickers and mini-paper pads to do the 100 Day project. I have been very inspired by all the WOYWW folk who have done their own versions of this, and things like INK-tober. I struggle to stick with long projects so I am determined to stick with this one. Today, I begin by making the cover. My plan is to do a few things. 100 days of diary entries. I tend to gravitate towards Caro (and other Deskers) who are doing bullet journals or Hobonichi style journals and this seems a good test. If I can manage it for 100 days, one of two things will happen – either I will be so relieved the 100 days are up I will know I will NEVER mange it, or I will love it so much, and the 100 days will produce something worth keeping, that I will then have the habit of daily journaling, so carrying on will be a breeze. We’ll see. I have messed up my desk for a final shot of the piles of stuff I have to work with. I am planning a collage-style page per day, also tied to a word – of encouragement, a goal or an aspiration, or just something positive. The more I can use up the better. I am so over hoarding the nicest things cause I don’t want to use them up – how could I? Just LOOK at how much I have!

I have pulled together a few things for page one, but I really want to begin with the cover, so that will be the task for the day!

I will do my best to get around to the desks, once the real-world obligations are dealt with.


Where I repair a ruined rubber stamp

Yeah. I am a bit chaotic with my supplies. And in the past I was not always very careful with them, either unknowing of the dangers or unmindful of them. I often used acrylic paint on my red rubber stamps and was not as careful as I should have been about cleaning them off. As a result, I have had this stamp, which I have always loved, sitting in my stamp drawer, unusable because of the blank spot that will not stamp:

It was really a combo of two careless events – one was putting the stamp away still choked with acrylic paint and the other was putting it in a drawer with another stamp’s wood block pressing down on the stamps surface. It left a visible dent and a blank spot in the stamped image.

No amount of pressure on the block would make that image stamp in that area! I could feel the paint crust on the surface and the dip in the etched rubber. First, I squirted a bit of alcohol on to the surface and gave it a good scrub. I could immediately feel a difference. Then I unmounted it form the wooden block, and washed the surface. I wanted to get ALL the alcohol off, lest THAT damage the rubber.

In order to give that dented area a better chance of stamping well, I stuck the now unmounted stamp to a bit of clear plastic and marked an X right where the stamp was still stamping fainter than it should:

Then, when stamping the image, I can put just a bit more pressure right behind the area that was dented – sadly removing the paint didn’t completely solve the problem – and get a good image.

Now, most likely this is a stamp I am going to use as a background text layer in my art journal, so it giving a pristine and clear stamped image isn’t critical, but solving the big gap in the image was. And I did. It is quite satisfying to bring something back from the dead and put what could have been the replacement cost towards something NEW instead. It really was an easy fix once I diagnosed the problem. What do you have in your stash you can revive? Maybe you are more respectful of your supplies than I was, but if not, maybe have a look and see what you can bring back to life! Then be sure to tell me what you fixed and how – I know I have other disasters that I don’t want to bin if I don’t have to!


Altering stamps for art journaling

Yesterday I shared a page I made with some Janet Klein images that were altered to make them more usable for art journaling. This is how they began life.

Cute, no doubt, but less useful (for ME) in my art journal. I love the technique that MANY people do, of creating figures with more “normal” heads but amorphous blobs for the body. I am a fan, but don’t have a ton of appropriate images. Plus, the journal I am working on at the moment is my very small one made from a free Roben-Marie class. The scale of many of the things one MIGHT use is all wrong. These stamps are just the right size.

While I love the faces and the body bits, those hats! Interestingly, I found that cutting them off produced what I needed. That little dip from removing the cup?

Perfectly filled by flipping the cup, minus handle upside down, creating a little hat.

And that technique works for a couple of them. The birthday cake, when cut away, leaves a hatless lady that can be used as such (see final page) but the hats can also be shuffled around to fit all of them.

And other hat or hat-like things can be brought in as well!

Nice! On the final page I also used a large flower stamp, stamped on deli-paper then coloured and coated (both sides) with GLOSS (not matte) medium on a non-stick surface, like a page protector, and left to dry. This creates what I have seen called crystalline paper.

You can sort of see the shiny translucent nature of the bits, and cut in a certain way they make nice butterfly wings!

I did say there were three things I altered, so lastly, and the most scary, I cut into a stamp set. Yep. I have this stamp and die set, but the dies actually don’t include the little words, and those words could be very useful in many other ways.

With micro-tip scissors I snipped away the text

and used it on the final page.

I think this cluster of figures idea is one that I will explore more. In fact, I had a book delivered that I want to play with, that has some tools (sort of) inside that I think will be useful in this.

Watch this space! And HAPPY NEW YEAR’s EVE! 2021 cannot come soon enough…