For this months crusade Michelle Ward have been kind enough to send me a small package of printing block material to use when I carv a stamp!

Printing block material
Isn’t that girl the best?

You just can’t find this stuff here in Sweden, and I have wanted to try carving a stamp from soft printing block material for years now. I didn’t enjoy cutting linoleum very much when I tried that, it was too hard and I kept cutting my fingers. Cutting in this material is a totally different experience. It’s not like cutting butter but at least similar to carving in a soft sandwich. And saying it’s easy to make marks in the material is not saying it’s easy to cut shapes the way you want them to look. No way, that’s not at all what I’m saying.

Carving a heart

My Heart Stamp I wanted to cut out advanced ornaments and big swirly shapes, but discovered that the first shape I drew, a little heart, was almost too advanced for me already! I felt like my carving blades were too big and clumsy. Or was it me? In the end I was hacking out the shape instead of cutting it – and that’s probably why it looks a bit like breadcrumbs coming loose from the block!

Carving on my bird stamp

I decided not to be too disappointed that I couldn’t carve Michelle Ward masterpieces but go for small icons that I could use in my diary or make small prints with. I think that’s the right decision. I like all of the stamps I made, and I’m sure I will use them more than once. They are maybe looking infantile, but they are my hand carved stamps, made from my squiggly drawings.

Carving a bird stamp

The second one I carved was a long legged bird that is walking on the ground looking for something to eat. I’m going to use this one to make small prints and paint the ground and sky around him with watercolors. I bet that will be fun too. I really like carving stamps.

Carved stamp with a bird

I also made two different flowers, the second one almost freehand without sketching very much at all. Then I was too tired to continue cutting, so I sewed together a finished sweater in front of a movie instead of making art.

Next one: a flower

I got four pieces of this material
called Safety-Kut softoleum in 8 x 5 cm. I’ve only used one piece (!) for all of these four designs because I cut both back and front! So I will continue to sketch and look for designs to make into small stamps. I will continue to practice cutting and then using my stamps when I journal! One little bird already found his way to my diary! I think I will have to challenge myself even more and do image transfer too.

Now I’m going to take some time to surf the other members at the Street team and see what they’ve carved out for this crusade!

I think the most important thing when
you participate in these things is to visit the others and make comments of encouragement and tell others that you like what you see. Isn’t that why we send in our links? To be noticed and challenged and have fun? That’s what I’ve been trying to do, both at the GPP Street team and other challenges I’ve been apart off. My favorite used to be Studio Friday but it doesn’t exist anymore. Tine is having a baby soon!

So with Studio Friday gone I’ve joined the monthly challenge of the GPP Street team that Michelle Ward puts together. This month’s crusade is called Cut it out and it’s cutting your own stamps as you might have guessed by this post already?! Go check the others out and join in and show what you’ve carved out!

Second carved flowerLook at Michelle Ward’s stamps and read more tips from her. I’m putting up her rubber stamps on my wish list!

First I joined crusade #16 and made a timecapsual in my Art Journal but in February I didn’t take time to post about #17 – a travel kit for journaling, though I submitted two previous posts. (oh and since then I’ve found a art bag that I will need to fill and write about soon). The first post with my art kit is about journaling in Ardeche in France and my post Watercolor me now is about journaling outside. Some people kindly visited these posts and commented on them, I think that was awesome! It’s so much fun to get comments on your old posts as you then can re-visit them!

I’ve collected some links with even more information on carving stamps, if you’re not dead already!

Carving out some stamp making-links

Stamp Carving 101
Carved your own stamp tutorial by Alma Stoller
Hand carved stamp by Moki
The Carving category at Belinda’s blog
Carving how-to from Ruth

Have fun making it your own!