Friday, August 30, 2013

Carving Away at My Fears

While I had my tools out and in the mood to make some handmade stamps I faced my fear of carving a stamp of my own. I say "face my fear" because I've had the supplies for a long time but I've been too afraid to try it. I guess I thought it would be too hard to make anything worth using. The video I've watched makes it look so easy but I wasn't convinced that I could do it. I kept getting in my own way of just trying it.

So.....I faced my fear.....and I was completely surprised!! It is so fun and easy!! I am hooked!



This is my first try at carving a stamp and I love the cuteness of it! Mama Bleu in rainbow colors! I'm itching to make some larger stamps now that I know it's really not that hard at all!!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Sketch, Print and Stamp

So guess what?  I finished all my orders!!
Guess what else? I didn't do any of the things that I thought I'd do with my time!

I told a friend that I'd help her with a sketch for her etsy shop banner before she is opens the shop this coming weekend. With the extra time at hand I did a few watercolor sketches and finally came up with one that I was happy with. It is based on a digital image that she emailed me. I think he came out pretty cute!


We spent Saturday evening with family to celebrate my mother-in-law who is turning 85 this week. One of the sweetest parts of our time together was sharing with her how she has blessed our lives! As my sister always tells me.....I have the best mother-in-law ever!

When Sunday morning came I woke up feeling a bit under the weather. I guess keeping up that crazy pace for work has caught up with me. I don't know how I got so side tracked after a late morning nap but instead of getting my paints out I decided to create some stamps (using techniques from this book) that I can use during my painting process. It was fun and took me all afternoon but it's something that has been on my "to-try" list.


LAB 12


LAB 20


LAB 38



LAB 40





While I was creating these I remembered when I was investigating free motion sewing. It was a technique that I wanted to try but I wasn't sure what would become of it in relation to my art. Fast forward a couple of years and here we go.....Mama Bleu Designs is all about free motion stitched illustrations! Not that I think these stamping techniques are going to replace any of that in my business, but I was learning so much today.

The one tool that has been sitting on my shelf for years is my wood burner. I can't even remember why I purchased it. I know I had a project in mind but it has long slipped my mind. I was a little nervous using it on the foam pieces today. Since I wasn't familiar with this technique I thought I'd be dealing with a big mess of dripping rubber. That wasn't the case at all.

Another thing.....I didn't do the assignments exactly the way they describe in the book. I didn't want to purchase anything so I used what I had. I know that is the intention of the book.....to reuse and recycle household items. In fact, I didn't have any wood dowels to use for Lab 40 so I dug through some PVC plumbing parts that were in the garage.

Now...... I can't wait to get them full of paint and share the results with you!!


Monday, August 12, 2013

DIY: Fingerprint Art

In preparation for a yard sale in a few weeks I went through cabinets and drawers to collect things that I don't need or use anymore. In doing so, I came across my collection of rubber stamps and ink pads. I haven't used any of them for a very long time so I put a handful of them on the project table for my grand kids. When I introduced these art making supplies to Micah and Kyla they literally spent most of the day creating their own little picture art.


I usually supervise their activity to curb any disagreement over sharing but walked out the room for a few minutes after I saw that they were playing well together. When I returned I found them poking their little fingers in the colored ink and dotting everything with their colorful fingerprints. My first reaction was to put a stop to their art play but decided to redirect it instead. What happened next was pretty fun and a nice surprise for me.




I remembered a time, years ago, when my sister Julie was a preschool teacher and she had showed me some fun ways to turn fingerprints into art. So that's what we did! Micah and Kyla placed tiny fingerprints on their paper and we turned them into bugs!! We also played with some dot printing with a pencil eraser that we turned into flowers. They turned out so adorable I just had to share.









And by the way.....there is a whole book or two filled with ideas for fun fingerprint art!!