CUSTOM RUBBERSTAMP SEAL WINNER!

I do declare this here stamp makes me so happy. Simple + sweet, I love it!  Of course the winner of this stamp may be off on some fabulous 4th of July week-long, island vacation and this post may be for naught, but I was too excited not to show it off. The winner of this stamp is Katie & Thomas M.  I love how the stacked double ‘M’ (for their last name of course) can be used to create different looks. With the peachy pink hue shown here it’s sheer and girly, but stamp this with navy or black ink and you have some seriously elegant stationery.  After I received this sample I promptly ordered myself one as well, can’t wait to stamp the double ‘B’ on everything.  If you didn’t win and would like one for yourself use the coupon code SS04 at checkout to get your very own stacked initial seal stamp (or SS04) for 50% off.  Congrats Katie!

HOW-TO INK A RUBBERSTAMP (PROPERLY)

Many of my clients for Besotted Brand are fairly novice to the art of hand stamping.  Maybe they have done it in passing in middle school or had an eccentric aunt whom was a rubberstamp hoarder/craft maven that had no interest in sharing her ‘secrets’, but they really haven’t played much with the idea of using a rubberstamp in their d.i.y. life since.  My stamps are on the diminutive side which also means that the traditional stamp pad would engulf the design and perhaps be more messy than one would like.  I found the best way to ink the stamps is to take the ink to the stamp.  This is good practice two fold 1) I can make sure my entire stamp design is inked and 2) I can control the amount of ink on my stamp.  You want to have a nice even layer, not too thick, not too thin. I will do a whole post on ink types another time as that seems to be another can of crafting worms but for now let me concentrate on the inking.
Pressure is everything in hand stamping and that includes the inking of the stamp, you need a light hand but not so light as to not transfer any ink. I just go around my stamp with the ink pad making little taps–lifting + inking until I have the entire design covered.  This may seem more tedious than just plonking your stamp on a stamp pad, but the results outweigh the inconvenience. You can achieve truly professional printing results by taking the extra time.  With any new skill don’t expect to be the greatest hand printer on your first try.  It takes practice, lot’s of practice. With any printing method your results will vary with each ink (even color) and the substrate you are printing on, not to mention the surface.  Don’t expect awesome results if you are stamping your blank cards on top of carpet, but I didn’t need to tell you that, right?  I like to think of my stamps as miniature printing presses, it’s as labor intensive as letterpress, with a smaller footprint + less of a learning curve. You can achieve beautiful results and you are only limited to your imagination.  So go out there and get to printing! If you have any questions feel free to send me an electronic mail, I always love hearing from you!

VIRTUAL POOL PARTY

It has been surface of the sun hot here on the East coast.  Yesterday, when I went to the market it was so hot one of the stores was handing out gratis Sno-Cones, in which I gladly accepted my icy, syrupy mess; I think the bottom of my flip flops melted on the way to the car. When I looked at the temp on the dashboard it read that it was 109 degrees farenheit. Last weekend we were invited to a pool party, I didn’t go swimming because I would have rather melted than show my bright white thighs to the public. Ask me today if I would be willing to go into that pool, white thighs and all? For me and all those other folks that may not have access to a pool on this sweltering day, I give you the virtual pool party above.  C’mon in & enjoy your Sunday!

STUDIO GLIMPSE:: NO. 01

I thought I would share a quick glimpse (emphasis on the quick) of the new studio.  With 8 nearly floor-to-ceiling windows I have tons of natural light pouring in which makes my obsessive photo taking self just giddy with opportunity.  These boxes are from the container store and after the cross country move didn’t fair as well as I would have liked. I considered changing these out for a kraft storage system but I am partial to white-on-white. I have the new Ikea Expedit in the high-gloss which I was worried wouldn’t work with my natural history + modern industrial vibe I have going on in the studio but it reflects light beautifully and really disappears into the surroundings. It’s not an all white wall, I do have colored books (organized by hue).  I am not crazy about too much color in my work space (unless it comes from flowers, art or people).  I prefer a neutral palette, textures and the occasional kiss of nude or blush. I may consider covering all the books in glassine, white kraft, or? and trying to hand letter the titles on the spines, but I need to improve my lettering first. I did sign-up for Melissa Esplin’s Modern Calligraphy course and am out of my mind excited.  I just want to jump to the point that I can actually do it and not have to be at the very beginning of this journey. Word of warning, in my complete haste and excitement to get started I did not think to buy the supplies for class first, big mistake!  I am sure she tells you to buy them prior but I don’t read when I can do. Not a good thing. The class is available for 30 days so I need to get my supplies a.s.a.p. if I want to get started on practicing.  I have some pieces from my other calligraphy kits, but her supplies are different and were put together with her course in mind to ensure success for her students.  Little did she know that she would have a spastic, ‘put the cart ahead of the horse’ pupil in one of her inaugural classes.  So far I am loving her easy going teaching style which is packed with information, but never feels overwhelming and Melissa has the cutest personal style (you should see her sewing + fashion posts). The above boxes don’t have labels, because I am waiting to be awesome (in the hand lettering department of course).  If that doesn’t happen I will need to decide on a nice + pleasant font, or a numbering system or?  There goes my inability to make a decision.  For now I rely on my memory to find what I need.  I think it’s a good exercise for my aging brain, it’s like a masochistic game of memory.

FAVOR BOX D.I.Y. :: GILDED RACING STRIPE

This tutorial seems so silly in its simplicity, but even the most simple projects can be wrought with disaster–I know this from first hand experience.  Our favor boxes are made of a recycled kraft material that is more heavy and dense than the average kraft box so it can take paint, glue, stamping, etc. pretty seamlessly.  I can’t promise you will have the same results if you used a different substrate but you can try (never any harm in trying, right?).  I used a gold paint, but you could use neon pink (super trendy right now), white, black, aqua, etc.  It’s the little shot of color that keeps this project from looking too ‘crafty’; I love crafts, but I don’t like when things look too crafty.
Your supplies will be:
-Substrate (in this case the Besotted Brand favor boxes)
-Martha Stewart multi-surface gold paint
-Foam brush or small flat edged paint brush
Usually I would say that most supplies could be easily substituted, but I tried masking, artist and green frog painters tape for this supposedly simple project and each one stuck to the top of the box and ripped when I removed the tape. The washi tape was amazing, it came off no problem and had the perfect amount of staying power so no paint seeped underneath–love this stuff! Martha’s new multi-surface paint is amazing truly and the gold has a beautiful sheen to it.  I tried using a liquid gold leaf (extravagant) but it just seeped into the fibers of the box and looked like I picked it up with greasy hands after devouring a bag of French fries. I would suggest a flat edged paint brush over the foam brush (I have SO many of the foam brushes I wanted to use at least one). The flat edged brush offers a more even and opaque coverage.
All you need to do from here is start painting!  The paint will dry fairly rapidly, but since I am the most impatient individual ever I put the boxes in front of a desk top fan and they dried in minutes.
Done & done.  You have a simple + modern unique box to house your favors, gifts or even supplies!