Deja vu? Yes, you may have seen this photo a week or two ago, when this book arrived in the midst of *CRE* (Craft Room Excavation). I like this book, it provides a graphic contemporary take on traditional quilt blocks. This was the start of my little creative meander, because it got me stirred up about quilting again. So to supplement my quilt fabric stash, which was sorely lacking in the solids category, I went to JoAnn's, where the Kona cottons were on sale. And I collected a lovely little stack of blue-aqua-green half yard pieces at bargain prices.
Off to the checkout... JoAnn's cleverly places their magazine section right up front by the checkout line. And they cleverly staff the registers minimally, so that you (or at least I) inevitably need something to look at while waiting in the checkout line.
A new Artful Blogging issue! I leaf through quickly and find it checkout line browseworthy. Most often lately, I only browse these mags at the store, but this one looks like a keeper, so when I finally make it to the register, it comes home with me. And then I read it again and again and again.
And here is why:
"One Thousand Words": page 96, an article by & about blogger/artist Gennine Zlatkis. Gennine draws and watercolors beautiful images, especially her birds. She takes wonderful photographs. She creates awesome journal doodles. She has incredible color sense. And...
(see top right of above photo) she carves her own stamps from erasers! Something I have always wanted to do, and have actually tried to do in the past, with not so great success. But now I'm freshly inspired to try again.
So this must be fate... because during the *excavation* I happened to rediscover my several-years-old box full of pristine erasers, eraser-like carving material and carving tools. And I thought, I really should try eraser carving again sometime.
It's so weird and wonderful when stuff like this happens.
Now, after a week of fiddling anew with eraser carving, I'm finally starting to get it down.
Above, my essential items: firm white erasers or Staedtler Mastercarve blocks; Speedball linoleum carving tool with #1 and #5 blades (and the others if possible); Exacto knife with a very sharp #11 blade; Tweezer Bee super-pointy springy tweezers (designed so "tips together" is their default position, great for removing tiny slices & crumbs); fine pencil or fineline Sharpie for drawing/tracing the image to be carved; and a medium color Staz-On inkpad for coloring the surface of the eraser pre-carving (using this just makes it easier to see your contrasting white carved edges as you cut your lines; however, Staz-On IS a permanent ink, which I don't mind, as my stamps never look pristine after use anyway).
And these are the fruits of my carving labors so far: one full alphabet set, based on a computer printout of a favorite font; and some flowers, leaves and birds, mostly taken from my old sketchbook doodles. In addition to using these directly for stamping on paper or fabric, I can also stamp my own images or words and scan them into Photoshop to use digitally in my inkjet fabric collages. A whole cool new idea to play with there!
So maybe this means I should excavate the craft room more often... just to see where my discoveries might eventually lead me.