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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stamp Happy

I use stamps on just about all my projects - on cards, scrapbook pages, gift wrap, clothes for the kiddos. . .

Recently, I've started altering some of my less-than-favorite stamps to make them more useful. Here's some stuff I've done that I've been happy with:

1. Use markers instead of ink pads. You can use just part of the image. I like the "thanks" in this stamp and wanted to use it on a card, but I didn't like the first part of the phrase. (A thank-you card is pretty much everybody's way of saying thanks. . . It seemed silly to claim that it was my way.) So I just colored in the "thanks" with a brown scrapbooking pen and stamped before it had dried. I really like this because I have a lot more pens than I do ink pads - lots more colors to chose from.

2. Another thing I've done is cut up clear stamps. I liked the owl in this one, and it was on sale, so I couldn't pass it up. I would never have an opportunity to use the stamp as is, so I just cut off all the words. I think he makes a pretty cute card.

3. The last thing I've done to alter my stamps is slice off the edges of messy rubber stamps. You know those rubber stamps that don't have very deep images, and it's really hard to get a clean picture with them because the edges always get ink on them and then show up on the paper? No? Just me? Okay, I had that problem with some cheap Christmas stamps, so I just took a craft knife to the edges and sliced off everything that had leftover ink on it. It cleaned it up nicely! (No pictures, you just have to take my word on this one.)

I love stamps. Have I said that? I've ended up collecting lots of stamps, some of which I use, some of which are collecting dust. My favorites are these clear swirl stamps from Oriental Trading Company.
I use them on all sorts of projects, mostly as background decoration. Here are some bags I made, where these stamps sort of ground other images and just provide some texture.

Here's a shirt I stamped for P. It was a white shirt that ended up with stains on it, so I dyed it and stamped some swirls around the neck and down one side.

Here's a card where I cut a swirl out of patterned paper - the swirl stamp just adds another layer of swirliness. (The spell-check wants me to change "swirliness" to "surliness." That's not something I try for in my cards.)

And here's a bonus picture of Mr. Man before I go.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

I love my little necklace holder. It's hanging in my closet, and it makes me smile every time I see it. I'm a big fan of necklaces and earrings and, well, anything shiny, and even though I don't wear very much jewelry (occupational hazard) it makes me happy to just see it. I didn't have any drawer or countertop space I could use for jewelry, so I wanted to make something that would hang on the closet wall, out of the way. I used a serving tray with shallow, straight wooden sides and just screwed in some little hooks along the top.

I nailed a couple of those saw-tooth hangers into the back so I could hang it on the wall with two nails. Now my necklaces have a pretty little tray to hang out in - it takes up absolutely no space, keeps my necklaces tangle-free and on display, and the tray is a lovely backdrop for my necklaces. (I put a shallow shelf just below the tray to set a small jewelry box on - that's where my earrings live - so all my jewelry is in one place. The shelf is also home to my Precious Moments figurines that I can't display anywhere else but that are, well, precious to me.)
And speaking of things that make me smile every time I see them, here's our new little guy:
Ah, so thankful to be home with him and have all of us together! He's awesome!