Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I made this stamp!!!

This is NOT a perfect card. I'll be the first to admit that. But I had to show off a stamp I made with my new(ish) StampRite Home Stamp Making Kit. I've made three other stamps -- one I threw away (my first), one I accidentally tore in half while washing off (I didn't "cure" it properly), and one I kept but have no real idea what to use it for. THIS stamp, however, I am quite proud of!

When I was a little girl my mom used to read to me out of a book that had belonged to my dad called The Turned Intos by Elizabeth Gordon. It was all about a little girl named Jane Elizabeth who liked to play out in her garden, and who learned about all kinds of fascinating creatures (mostly bugs) who started out in life as one thing, then "turned into" something else (like a butterfly). I ADORED this book, and especially the illustrations. Even though Jane Elizabeth was presumably American, the illustrator's style had an Oriental flair to it. Of course, I didn't really recognize that then. I just knew that I thought Jane Elizabeth was the most winsome little girl ever, and I wished I could dress just like her. I didn't envy her meeting with the Trap Door Spider, but I didn't mind the Katydids and the Bees and the Lovely Luna Moth. I think I knew even as a child that Jane Elizabeth's world of the early 20th Century was so much simpler and sweeter than my world of the mid 1960s. So I have a very special place in my heart for Miss Jane Elizabeth! (Just so you know, the illustrator, Janet Laura Scott, apparently had issues with drawing hands, so the strange looking hands are not my fault!) And just so you know, I did quite a bit of research, and I do believe this book is now in the public domain, so I don't think I have any copyright issues with using the illustrations.

Anyway, it is really cool to be able to make my own stamps. I will say, though, that there is definitely a learning curve on this kit. Or at least there has been for me (maybe I'm just slow?). I'm also not convinced of the "inexpensiveness" of the stamps I'm making. Compared to having stamps custom-made, yes. Compared to buying pre-made unmounteds, definitely not. The Jane Elizabeth stamp cost me $10, and that's NOT counting the cost of the kit itself, just the polymer packet. So I don't quite get where the JustRite people came up with their "savings" numbers. But I've never been much of a math person so maybe it's just my numeric-ADD showing. I think I have kinda "lofty" ideas about what to make stamps of, too. The Jane Elizabeth stamp was definitely not easy to design, because it was a color illustration to begin with, and taking it down past grayscale to B&W was pretty difficult. I'm using PSE4, but I'm beginning to wish I could re-install our old PaintShop Pro program we used to use a few years ago. I think it had a "coloring book" option that kept the lines but took all the color out of an image. That's what I really need.

So, I'm quite proud of the way Miss Jane Elizabeth turned out, even if the card was a booger. (Hope that didn't offend anyone -- it's a Texas-ism, and in this case it doesn't mean the thing that comes out of your nose.) I had one mishap after another with this card! The worst was the giant blob of pseudo-Stickles that plopped itself right in front of JE's hands when I was trying to make sweet little sparkly bits coming from her hands. The bottle was almost empty, so I guess I was squeezing a bit too hard, so, SPLORT! No sweet sparkly bits, but a huge ugly BLOB! So I scraped it off, and ended up with just messy, gluey ick, and ended up with the butterflies and swirls. I like them, but in a way I think they're a bit much. Cool thing is, though, those are Japanese-style butterflies from Art Neko, and they look almost exactly like the illustrations of butterflies in the Turned-Intos book! So at least I had a little serendipity there. I won't mention the smeared pigment ink/Pearl-Ex combo on one of the butterflies, or the fact that I don't own Nestabilities, but I do have a pair of scallop scissors, and ... well, I just won't go into all the little things that made this "simple" card take HOURS to make! (Details: "Jane Elizabeth" stamp by Stacy's Stamp Loft (!); Swiss Dots Cuttlebug folder on SU Bashful Blue CS, swiped over with White Craft ink to make the dots stand out; multi-colored PP is CTMH; green PP is SU; butterfly stamp is Art Neko; swirl stamp is TAC; "joy" stamp is SU)

I gave the card to my mother, because she loves Jane Elizabeth, too, and somehow it just seemed a "Stacy's Mom" kind of card! She flipped over it. My mom rocks!

Oh, BTW, I did actually use this week's TechnoStamper Challenge as the pattern for this card. Here's the sketch:

Okay, enough for today! I also finished up a scrapbook layout this week, so I'll show that to you next time. Until then, stay cool/dry/whatever!


pdunbar9255 said...

Great card, I also have the stamp making kit and everything you said I also experienced. I threw away the first three I made due to it not curing correctly and I also agree not a huge money saver but it does work great if you need a stamp right away. I have photoshop CS3 so making the negative wasn't that difficult and the program that comes with the kit also works very well. thanks for sharing

Hetty said...

Wonderful stamp you made Stacy!! and the card came out real great.

Lesly said...

I think this is FABULOUS! I need to try and find this kit. It could be difficult living out in Rifle, Colorado. Where are you in the Hill Country? I just sent my boys to camp at Camp Stewart and my sister has a ranch in Wimberly.

Laura Solkey said...

What an awesome stamp! It is soooo cute! Great job! Great job on the card too!

Lynn said...

Great card, Stacy! The stamp you made is gorgeous....I love stuff like that. I still have some old books my mom used to have and I had as a child. I just love the pictures in them! A pat on the back to you!

MJ said...

Great job with the stamp and the card. Thanks for playing along. I was quite interested in your tale since I had looked at that kit and wondered if it would even work. Thanks for sharing.

njburk said...

I like the card and you have real talent with makign your own stamps!

Have you ever done any Letterboxing??? It's a great way for others to get to see your stamp firsthand & use it----I've got mine in boxes in parks for people to find through Letterboxing.or & Atlasquest and some have even gone through the mail.

Just a thought. Thanks for sharing, Nola (howling wolf)