Monday, February 27, 2012

Getting Crafty

So part of this whole getting back in to the blog scene (or getting into it in the first place), started with a lot of blogging inspiration that I was seeing out there. I have a stressful job, one that I love none-the-less, but I am finding that I need to have an outlet and a way to cope with it all, otherwise, I think I might go crazy rather quickly, and then where would I be?

My family has always been artistic, and my house has always been filled with crafts, so there are often supplies lying around that can be used for something. Most of the things I've always created (lots of scrapbook type things and paper crafts) have been me just passing the time and experimenting with supplies and throwing stuff together and liking (or not liking) the finished product. With a few exceptions, I never really sat down with a full idea and said that "this is what I want to create" and then done it.   When I started reading other blogs online, I stumbled onto this little gem full of crafty inspiration, and thought that I'd better get started; this is my outlet - crafting. And from there sprouted "project DO SOMETHING!"
There are no goals to it yet. I'm still deciding if that's the way to go with it. But I do want to start tapping into my creative side more. It doesn't really have to be a craft. As you can see, playing my cello is on the list - I guess you can say that's one of the "big" goals. I think that getting started, posting, and finding more inspiration through blogs and magazines and people, will help with the whole stress building up thing, and help my find something that I am truly good at.

So project number one was inspired by a post on the blog I linked above, and also from my mom's small business Pomegranate & Eye. A few years ago she etched out a stamp with her logo on it. It was so cool to watch this image come out of a piece of rubber. We've had the supplies sitting around since (I told you!) and so I thought, "why not" and thus began Project 1.
I apologize for the poor photo quality. I need to work on how to capture these projects. But that's beside the point right now.  If you haven't been reading my other blog, or you don't know me personally, you might not know that I am getting married this year.  I thought that it would be neat to do some kind of stamp incorporating our initials, then I thought, why not do our initials in Armenian?  So what you see here is a drawing of an "Ah" and an "Eh" (for Ani and Eric) meshed together into one sort of symbol. You also see tracing paper, the carving block, and a linoleum cutter for carving (also used an X-acto knife for the fine details).

So I traced the image, thought I flipped it (because stamps have to be flipped in order to come out the right way), and started carving away. What I got was a not-too-shabby first attempt, but I really wasn't that happy about it.  Fortunately, I then realized, that I didn't really flip the image, and so (luckily!) I got to start all over.  Here's the first attempt.
I'm actually carving all this out on my lap, using my Smash book   as a cutting  board (probably not the smartest idea). Anyway, the stamp was cool, but I wasn't happy with the lines, I thought they should be thicker, and well, of course, the image should be flipped so that the whole stamp thing turns out right. So on to the next attempt.
I decided to thicken up the lines, but then to also get rid of the "+" in the middle. It was too hard to carve that small of a detail without potentially ruining the whole thing, so I nixed it.  After the practice of the first, this one was a lot easier to do, and I'd figured out how to carve out big chunks by scoring through the rubber to the edges when cutting the lines of the stamp. 
So there it is! My finished "A/E" stamp. Project #1 is complete, and honestly, I feel good about it. I know it's a small task, but I sat down and said, "this is what I want to do" and I actually did it, twice!  It's a good feeling to finish even the smallest task and feel productive.  I was even actually able to get up and out of bed at 8 this morning (unheard of lately) just to sit here and blog about it. So there you have it: carved stamping, project number 1 and a productive day!