Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stamped Thank Yous

By-Jenny2

Dear Angel, we have SNOW!!!! It's crazy here in Seattle, well in the whole Pacific Northwest really. After Snowpocalypse 2010 (remember when I was due with Henry and freaking out about all the snow?), I think everyone has been on edge and they've been prepping us with the forecast for over a week now. Well the winter storm is here and, wow. We're going to make a fabulous snowman later today! And cookies! And hot chocolate!

Here are a couple of snowy shots from this weekend (before and during a mini-blizzard):

snow day 7

snow day 22 snow day 15

But let's talk craft stuff. I wanted to show you the Thank You cards we made recently.

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

I like to hand-make cards to thank friends and family for gifts and kind gestures, and have shared some here before (look how teeny tiny Ben was!). I find it makes the whole "thanking" thing much more thoughtful. It's also fun to involve Ben and hopefully soon, Henry too.

This time, I decided to use the stamp carving tools my mom got for me ages ago. Aside from that, my supplies were: paper and pencil, tracing paper, 4 x 6 inch foam block from the art supply store, acrylic paint and a foam brush, and some 5 x 7 inch blank cards.

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

I drew a large "thank you" on paper, traced it on tracing paper and then backwards onto my foam block, then carved the design carefully. It took me a couple of tries. I abandoned the first side of the block because it looked too crappy, and tried again on the reverse side with better results. This was my first time carving a stamp and I really should have practiced the technique on something else first. But, for a first try, it turned out okay!

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

Also the carving process is not for children, so during that phase, the kids were busy doing their own thing next to me...

stamped thank you 10 stamped thank you 11

I used some regular acrylic paint. We squeezed some into a paper plate and used a little roller to apply it to the foam block, then changed to using a foam brush which worked much better. Stamping the cards was fun and so easy! I wish this had been a more kid-friendly process though. I had to do the stamping to keep it relatively neat and not slide the stamp and paint around the paper.

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

Ben was a great helper with lining up the cards to dry on the floor. He also squeezed new paint in the plate when we were getting low, which was a great way to learn color mixes.

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

The result is pretty cool. I am seeing the potential for some really cool stamping in the future, with more intricate carving, etc. I would like to experiment with paint too, I am thinking I may need to invest in some good stamping paint or figure out the right ratio of paint to water for regular acrylic. We tried various thicknesses of paint and some cards were really goopy and messed up. But, most turned out okay!

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

Jenny: Stamped Thank You Cards

I think we got a good amount of decent cards we can actually send. Now, the writing of the thank yous... Oh boy, let's hope we have them out before January is over!!

Dear readers, have you experimented with stamp carving before? Do you have tips and tricks to share? I'd love to hear all about it!

6 comments:

  1. Very nice! I can't wait to receive mine... Because I get one, right? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Mom! You will be getting one in the mail when we actually get them writte and sent. The "making" of the cards is unfortunately a lot more fun (and fast) than the "writing" of the cards.

      Delete
  2. I still have a linoleum block I carved at some summer camp. The blocks aren't expensive, I don't think. And actually easier than foam, because they don't break. --jensings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jen, I actually have some linoleum blocks too and those are next on my list to try out. I don't know why I chose the foam block for this project. I did think it was close to breaking a couple of times when I peeled it off the paper. Good tip, thank you!

      Delete
  3. Jenny I am impressed by this project! I bought some lino blocks before the holidays with many grand plans, and I slowly ruined each one with my poor carving skills. These really turned out well, you are so good about Thank You cards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angel, I totally ruined the first side with poor carving! I then figured out I had to flip the carving tool over (which was very counter intuitive) and then it was much easier. I have a long way to go before producing something smooth and "professional" though. However, I think the little imperfections in the carving are what make the prints kind of cool too.

      As I told my mom above, making the cards is a lot more fun than actually writing them. But now that I have cards, I have no excuse, right?

      Delete

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