Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stamp out the heat wave

Last weekend, when it was too stinking hot to sit in my art room, I was looking for a project I could do at the air-conditioned dining room table.

I decided to carve some stamps.

I've been wanted more postal-themed stamps to use on outgoing envelopes.
I currently have my make-shift post mark stamp:
made from the inside of a roll of scotch tape and a carved eraser

And I have these sweet little envelope stamps I got in a swap from JaniceMarie:

But I wanted more!
I used my "cheater" method of stamp carving in which I find clip art images and transfer them onto the carving block so I don't have to try drawing anything.
Here's what I came up with:
(I love Mr. Zip!)
And here they are, put to use on my outgoing package to the lovely Gina Visione:


The box is wrapped in original blueprints from my old junior high school, rescued from the building before it was demolished earlier this year.

What was inside that package to Gina?
More carved stamps, of course!
Gina is a lover of all things vision related, so I carved her these eye stamps.
 (I forgot to photograph the actual stamps, but these are the test prints I made)

Here are the backs of a few postcards Gina made with the stamps that show them to greater effect:
Swap-bot Eyes
original mail art by GinaVisione.  Go check out all her great art at Flickr.

A few weeks ago, Gina surprised me with this custom stamp:
(MMSA=Mail Me Some Art)
How cool is that?
I've been stamping it on everything in sight.
It gives that nice satisfying "thunk" when you press it.
It makes me feel so official and important.
Plus, with a stamp like this, you can look busy all the time.
(thanks again sweet G.)

Finally,  when I was at Michael's last week, I found this bag of foam shapes for $2.
Apparently they are meant to be an educational toy, not a craft supply....

But with my heat gun and some texture plates, they have been turned into wee stamps.
The blocks are 1 inch cubes

I first learned this moldable foam stamp technique in Traci Bunker's wonderful "Print & Stamp Lab" book.
(I love this book.  I've had it for years and use ideas from it all the time.  I haven't read it in a while and found is totally worth revisiting with an eye toward texture-making ideas for gelatin prints.)

Here are images from some of the stamps I've made so far:

And here are some of the stamps put to use on index cards:

It's going to be really stinking hot again all next week, so there may be even more stamps in my near future.

In the meantime, I'll be running around the house, stamping "confidential" on everything that doesn't move, and singing this song in my head.


  1. MMSA mistress??? hee hee.. I guess it's better then Stamp Slut...

    But seriously, all of your carvings and bitty stamps are awesome!

    1. HA! now I think I need to go carve "stamp slut" right away.

  2. OMGosh, one more thing I want to stuff in my brain when I have time! :D I am just now (seriously, just bought the new ones yesterday!) throwing out a pair of flip flops - gotta go rescue them before they go in the trash bin! :D
    You go, "SS!" (& Mille Grazie over and over :D)

  3. Good Stuff!! love the mail truck loosing all that mail out the back-- woohoo!!!

  4. Great post, Karen, great stamps, wonderful ideas!

  5. My mind is racing with the HUGE list of stuff you've inspired me to do. I need at least 48 hours per day.

  6. I love the letters flying out the back of the mail truck. Keep singing and stamping, they make for good art and a fun post--mail and blog!

  7. Great post with so many great ideas! Thank you!

  8. My mouth is still hanging open! These are AWESOME! How the heck did you get them so smooth and straight?! And I loved all the mail related one...I feel a new obsession coming on! Great ideas!!!

  9. Oh yes!! I agree awesome and I want them all. You know how I am. When I am too hot I go sit down and read but you carve stamps!!!! Love them.

  10. If a heat wave causes all this wonderful creativity then I say bring on the heat! I love Mr Zippy and the mail truck. What a great idea to use clip art for the designs.

    Try to stay cool, my friend...I completely understand about too much heat.

  11. Brilliant post, I loved it all!!!

    Your stamps are all FAB!


  12. MMSA mistress eh! Ah that clever Gina....Fab stamps all around. I have that book too and she has some great ideas in there. xox

  13. Love all your ideas! Mr.Zippy is one of my favorite mail symbols :) The confidential stamp was a sweet and generous giftie from your friend! Enjoy your new toys!

  14. Wow, wow, wow! Your stamp-making is awesome...I LOVE all the postal themes. I can't believe what you did with those foam blocks; I am definitely going to have to keep that in mind. (Now to get some texture plates....)

  15. These are fabulous! I adore your eye stamps...I covet the middle one.

  16. Great stamps - love the eye with the circles around it! Great!

  17. AMAZING! You make some pretty cool stuff, Karen. Mr. Zip! I wanna carve one.

  18. Awesome! I think I have a crush on Mr. Zip.