Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Creative Carving

I feel like a bad blogger, but I had Labor Day weekend to enjoy and car problems to deal with first. My mom says that I have "bad car karma." I am beginning to agree with her. I swear it felt like my car was possessed yesterday. The door lock mechanism went crazy, and I had to listen to "click, click, click, click, click...." as the doors continually tried to lock and unlock themselves. I heard clicking as I drove, and I heard clicking even when I turned off the car! Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Anyway, I had time tonight (after my enjoyable ride home sans clicking) to work with a stamp that I carved myself
Carving stamps is a weird thing for me. On the one hand, I LOVE having something that I made myself. On the other hand, I find the process of actually making the stamp tedious and stressful. My friend Michael claims that carving is very relaxing, but she is clearly insane.
To carve my own stamps, I buy the pink carving blocks at Michaels (carving materials are located in the art section next to the calligraphy supplies). There is a white block available that is cheaper, but I find that the white blocks crumble too much. If you do a lot of detailed carvings, you might want to get higher end carving blocks that allow for better shallow cuts, but for me, the stuff at Michaels works fine.
For my image, I either draw or modify clip art onto a piece of paper. Technically, you don't have to alter clip art to use it (no copyright), but I find most clip art needs to be simplified so that it won't be as hard to carve. I trace the image with a pencil and then place the image on top of the carving block (lead side down). I rub over the back of the paper so that the lead is transfered to the carving block. **Remember to reverse your image if you are carving letters** I then begin the process of carving around my lines. Some people like to leave a lot of stray carving marks in their piece so that it has that "carved" look. I tend to work hard to remove those lines.
For my dragonfly card, I embossed my image with clear EP and then colored it with Twinkling H2O's. If you click on the dragonfly picture, it will enlarge so that you can actually see the shimmer of the watercolor paints. It was a lot of work, but I love saying I made the dragonfly myself!
Ps...the saying is by Hero Arts. I'm crazy, but not crazy enough to carve that.


Jennifer said...

How impressive!

Anonymous said...

Love your dragonfly!!! Is this a "happy birthday season" card for me? Q

Michael said...

I'm so proud-- my little carver is all grown up.

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