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Oh No, It’s Love Again

I have been packaging some photography that I have for sale.  I thought  it would be a good  idea to trace over some interesting shapes and lines in these photos before I sealed them in their sleeves.  With these pencil tracings on tracing paper, I can flip them over and RUB the tracing onto the very inexpensive product called Foamies.  Now Foamies makes their own shapes and sells them complete with adhesive on the back so you can make stamps, but I prefer to be more original and adventurous so I made mine from the plain sheets of foam and cut out my own shapes from a drawing or the shapes from my photographs.  The exciting thing about this type of stamp is that you can press into it with a pencil and create wonderful details…or not, as the case may be.  Your image can be as basic and primitive as you like it or more detailed.

Who doesn’t from time to time need the image of  part of an old building that looks like it is on a slope?

I take photographs of old barns and sheds with all of the lines of slats they have.  For instance…

…from this photo, I made a tracing of the doorway in the lower right hand corner, pressed it onto the foam, cut it out, and made pencil marks on the lines of the slats…

…to make this stamp

Results?

More stamps from drawings.

Distress ink is too wet and doesn’t stamp really well unless you want that kind of look.

You can create positive or negative images.  Foamies sheets are very useful tools.

My New Toys…

I got some new toys last week. They are called moldable foam blocks by PenScore. I have been wanting some of these for a couple of years.  I ordered these from Dharma Trading Company.

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They also come in other shapes and sizes.

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You simply heat the surface of the foam block with a heat gun.  You need 300 – 400 degrees.

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Then press the heated side of the foam block onto an item…such as Great Northern Beans…

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…or a pair of stork scissors…

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…this method of making a stamp makes a negative image, but it is loads of fun!

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If you tire of an image, you simply heat the block again; the block returns to a smooth surface, and you can make another image in its place.  How cool is that?

Catching Up…

Too many things scheduled for the weekend…and now I’m glad it’s  over!  My cookie exchange was Saturday morning.  Here is what remains of the oh, so delicious, chocolate mint brownines…no, I didn’t eat all of them.  This is what is left after sharing them around…and, well, eating a few.

dsc04161To update you on my sugar cookie dilemma…no one gave me any advice on my post, so I did a Google search.  It seems that once you ice sugar cookies, you have to leave them out at least 24 hours so that the icing dries thoroughly.  Do not pack them in anything.  One suggestion was also to pop them in a hot oven for a minute after they have set to make sure they are good and dry.  I also learned about Royal icing from watching a Martha Stewart video. (oh, how I love hi speed internet) I made the sugar cookies on Monday just to try out the recipe.  I figured I could make some more later in the week if needed.  On Thursday I iced them with a basic powdered sugar/water icing.  On Friday I had some of those little icing-in-the-tubes in different colors, so I then did some decorating and let them sit.  My husband kept eating them off the tray on Friday night.  On Saturday my guests remarked how good they were, so I tried one.  They were very delicious; the cookie was nice and crisp/tender, and the icing was just the right touch.  I was very pleased.  I forgot to get pictures of them all decorated and now most of them have gone to new homes.  I have two  left over sitting on top of the pretzels.  I like to have something pretty  for cookie trays at Christmas, so I know I will be making these again.

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After the cookie exchange was over, I left and drove about an hour and 20 minutes to go meet up with my friend SuznQuilts .  We ate lunch and she gave me my birthday presents.  Now I have new stamps in my collection.  She has kept a good eye out at yard sales and the like. The thing on the right is very old and we are not sure what it is exactly. However I do know what to do with it.

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The next item is very interesting.  It is an old wooden stamp and it  is Chinese.  Pretty cool, huh?!  We think it must be a chicken.

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Merry Christmas to all.  I hope your holidays are filled with peace and joy and love as we head into the new year of 2009.

I’m Baaaaack…….

Chicago Festival was wonderful as usual.  It was also tiring because I was working a booth, but then there are the perks.  I spent too much at one particular booth….thanks for all your stuff, Betty!  Embellishment Village is where I spent quality time.  I got to meet Kathy Arnett, Patty Van Huis-Cox, Judy Coates-Perez, Julaine Lofquist-Birch (hope I’m spelling that one ok), Mary Jo Lawrence, Jane Aldoretta, Gail Tyler and Mary Bajcz.  I met Peg Keeney and Desi Vaughn and they talked me into joining SAQA, which I had been thinking about anyway.  Some people I met at that booth where I spent so much money, some I met at the Quiltart/SAQA reception and some I met in the Make It and Take It University area where everyone was having so much fun learning something new. I met up with Virginia Spiegel again and Barb Parady.  I met new people while I was eating lunch.  I even chatted a bit with Laura Murray while she was on a much deserved break.  What a nice lady.  Everyone is quite nice.

But it’s good to be home.  I have been gone a week.  When we got back from Festival, I had a lecture/slideshow and workshop scheduled with the Heartland Quilt guild in Wood River, IL.  That went well and now I am back home with tons of things to do.

But first things first!!…Virginia showed me the correct way to use the linoleum cutter to make stamps.  I could not WAIT to get home and start making stamps.  So here is what I have been up to in the wee hours this morning.  Too much FUN!!!!

I like organic shapes, leaves, bushes, stems, trees, and geometric patterns like grids, but I like them a bit funky.  I am using my new acrylic paint dabbers by Adirondack in Lettuce and Espresso (yumm…) as well as some distress ink and my new Cat’s Eye ink stacks.

To close…the sunshine on a red bush in my neighbor’s yard caught my eye this morning.  View from my back patio door…hasta luego (see ya’ later)!