Saturday, November 6, 2010

art every day month #6: the horror corner surrenders my handmade stamps

art-journal-stamps

art-journal-power-paintbrush

Recently, someone in our house had an attack of clutter anxiety while I was out of town. He started with the spice cabinet and the leaky canola oil bottle. After that he forced open the drawer under the stove which had been stuck for two years, liberated everything in it, then did a clean sweep of the pot and pan cabinet so the innards no longer come crashing out when opened. Next came the bakers rack, then the crates of kids' books. But the best thing he took on was the Horror Corner in the kitchen that was once the girls' creative station. It had been on my to-do list for months but it was such an atrocious mess I kept ignoring it, hoping that a secret helper would show up and clean it for me. Now we all know that wishes do come true. And it looks better than I ever could have managed. There's a space and a place for everything now (what's left, that is), and so the kids are creating way more because it's all accessible. No more having to ask where something is. No more fishing for a glue stick and causing an entire stack of paper and scissors and old homework and bubble gum wrappers to tumble out of the layers. And no more excuses not to clean up.

One of the things the Horror Corner yielded was this collection of stamps I made a few years ago, when I first started art journaling. I made one alphabet set, one number set, and a bunch of simple objects and random geometric shapes. Since they had been buried for so long, it was like working with with something totally new. The girls and I pulled out some fresh paper and played around with them this week. I had forgotten how much I LOVE them for textured looks on journal page backgrounds. Plus, there's no way to get a perfect cut, so it helps get past that worry about perfection in the art journal. The result is wonderfully crude and imperfect.

They're very easy to make - all you need is a pack of fun foam door hangers, a bottle of glue and sharp scissors. The sheets of fun foam won't work for this because they are too thin. The door hangers offer just the right thickness. There are dozens of tutorials available on how to make foam stamps, so do a quick google search if you're interested in specific instructions, but really it's just as simple as cutting out random shapes and gluing them onto a flat piece of foam. Let dry for a few hours, and your new tools will be ready. They'll work well on anything papery - I think they'd make fun greeting cards and bookmarks - and they are sturdy enough I think they'd also work with thin layers of paint on canvas or wood. I'm super happy to have these stamps back. Thank you, secret helper.

> More Art Every Day
> Today's NaNoJouMo prompt
> A few people asked how I do my backgrounds
> I made a treasury this morning, inspired by a cast iron bathtub couch (!)

Happy weekend to you!

16 comments:

julie said...

This is fantastic! I also love the caption, "Nina - Power Paintbrush" !

Christine E-E said...

ohhh - i wish the secret helper would swooossshhhh through my garage. I've been tossing things on the floor for a month now... and making excuses about finding a new home for some of the items. BUT, my daughters & their boyfriends will be here for Thanksgiving so I will have to deal with it soon.
your blog makes me smile!

Christine E-E said...

can you leave your link for creating backgrounds again... I'm not able to get this link to take me anywhere...
thanks aimee...

aimee said...

thanks, girls! not sure what happened to that link, christine - it was working earlier and then it went poof! try again, i think it's working now!

Kristin Dudish said...

Yay! I'm so glad you found your stamps :)

I love making my own stamps... My husband still laughs about the absolutely giddy look I got on my face when we were first dating and he told me his Dad worked for a foam company! Hee Hee

Chel said...

can your secret helper come and clean out Gracie's half of the studio? ;)

Those stamps look marvelous. I want to make some right now... *adds fun foam door hangs to list of things to get next time at Michael's*

AG Ambroult said...

Love your super easy stamp making technique. No special equipment needed.
Glad the horror corner met its match.

ELLIE said...

absolutely love the foam stamp idea - I had forgotten all about those...

oneartistjournal said...

One order of secret helper for me please...

Hey I am going to make some stamps today at a class by Cara Stein...Looking forward to it...potatoes are still my favorite..
XOXOrly

Bella Sinclair said...

I'm a tad territorial, so I'm not sure how I'd feel about secret helper cleaning out my kitchen. But my garage? I need a small army, please.

Oooh, buried treasure! These look really kid friendly and fun. Glad they've been liberated once again!

peggyfussell said...

HA! I have a Horror corner over here that could use some attention! I wonder what I'll find....

Karen Blados said...

great idea! i've tried carving stamps out of erasers, but it's time-consuming. i'll have to give this a try.

Phoenix Peacock said...

I'm wishing your secret helper will come for a visit!

gypsy said...

Aimee, Yay! I can't wait to see what you do with your new|old handmade stamps. I love handmade stamps because of their imperfections as well.

Candied Fabrics said...

Hooray for secret helpers! It is amazing, though, how much more kids will play with/use things if they can find them...now if we could only teach them how to put things back so they can play with them AGAIN!

keepingthemistakes said...

Ewwww, I have one of those horror cupboards. I hate opening the door because stacks of paper, etc. fall out. Wish that secret helper would show up to clean it out (and off) for me!! Love the stamps. Might try those with my students!