Saturday, October 1, 2011

Everyday inspiration

You never know where inspiration will strike.  
I'd like to say I've recently been inspired by masters of fine art, or the glory of nature, but I'd be lying.  This time it was Target.

There I was, minding my own business, with my mundane cat-litter-and-laundry-detergent kind of list, when these napkins practically ambushed me.

Those colors!  Those patterns!  I immediately wanted to go home and carve some stamps.

It's been a while since I've carved stamps, and I've mostly done small, simple ones using cheap white polymer erasers:

Today I got more ambitious; I wanted a large stamp of this flower:

so I used a piece of "speedy-carve" (made by Speedball) which comes in 4"x6" blocks.  I cut in half to make this stamp.  The first step was to trace the image onto the block.  Then I started carving away anything that wasn't a black line.  (I gotta say the pink rubbery block kind of creeps me out because it reminds me of the molds my orthodontist would make of my teeth. *shudder*)

This is what it looked like when I finished carving.  I stuck it to a square of foam core board so that it would be easier to handle.  (the carving block is only about 1/4" thick and flexible - very hard to get a good stamp impression if it's not mounted to something stiff)

Here's the first image I made using a stamp pad.  After the initial stamping it's easy to recognize the high spots and carve them away.

I'm pretty happy with the results.  I started stamping it on all kinds of things that I had laying around.  This one is a combination of StazOn ink and acrylic paint:

These were all stamped on various pre-painted index cards that were piled on my work table.

I was feeling very satisfied and accomplished, but I was still feeling inspired by those napkins!   
I wanted to do something with this palette of colors 

I found similar colors amongst my many bottles of cheap acrylic craft paint:

And painted and doodled on a bunch of index cards

Now what to do with them?  I have this calendar-journal with a cute, but store-bought cover, maybe I should personalize it?


Boy, do I LOVE Saturdays.


  1. wow, I love your napkins and love more what you did from your inspiration! Gorgeous stamps.
    I love taking napkins and putting them on my art, they can be so wonderful that way.
    Thank you for the inspiration and where to find cool napkins.

  2. I LOVE the stamp! I recently invested in all of the supplies for block printing, but I have yet to start anything - fear of the unknown, perhaps.

  3. So glad that I started following you. Awesome inspiration!!! The reason I read the blogs to begin with!! Thanks for sharing this...

  4. I like this post. I have been threatening to carve a stamp. I have a block that is calling me. I also love how you found inspiration from something as simple as a napkin and created your own designs from it. I tend to always use my scrap papers in work but it would be fun to be inspired by my papers instead.