Monday, January 24, 2011

"It's Fun to Have Fun....

My first carved stamp - Fleur-de-lis!
The second was the leaf motif.

...But you have to know how!"

The quote is from Dr. Seuss' The Cat In The Hat book, and could not be more right. I was reintroduced to the quote reading Gretchen Rubin's blog, The Happiness Project, with a book by the same name. This particular post deals with what we think *should* be fun vs. what is really fun to us as individuals. The two are not necessarily the same thing.

On Friday, I had an opportunity to meet up with a friend for lunch. One of the first fun things I've done in the last two weeks. Those weeks have included technology nightmares along the lines of hard drive disk failure....while talking, the realization crystalized before my eyes that I hadn't been having much fun lately! (Gosh, really?! Sometimes it takes a smack from the obvious for me to take notice of said obvious!)

Since it was Friday and I was going to be without my computer for a while, I decided I needed to have some "fun." Oh my goodness....I was rather lost. What was fun? What did I want to do? I had no idea! I retreated to the office and got on the (old) computer and started surfacing the 'net. Fun? No. Procrastination.

I stumbled across a post by Aimee of Artsyville about carving inexpensive erasers from the dollar store into stamps and thought, "Hey, that sounds like fun!" Almost as quickly I dismissed the idea as I don't really use stamps in my artwork. What caught and held my attention was her comment about needing a mindset switch. Something totally different from what I normally do. And a switch it definitely was!
More stamps carved from erasers from the dollar store!

Long story made shorter, I needed to go to the library on Saturday...the dollar store was on the way....so now I had the erasers. I already had several Xacto® knives so I was good to go. When Chris saw my project he mentioned an Xacto set he'd given me some time back that had carving tools in it—score! I was set to carve my heart out and I did!

The other thing that started me on this path was my recent trip to NOLA....I brought back a wine cork from a bottle of wine Kathy of Catching Happiness and I shared while there. I had the wild idea of turning it into a stamp.....and I did! With a NOLA motif, no less....(KJ, one of these is for you!)
The two fleur-de-lis stamps are from the same cork.
The bird on the right is the first synthetic cork I carved.
The swirls on the bottom stamped bird were done with a gel ink pen.

Well, one fun idea leads to another and another and soon I was carving more wine corks except these were the synthetic corks made from a thermoplastic elastomer. Such fun! I had three of these synthetic corks and all had slightly different properties that gave varying results!

I have to say this was great fun and it felt good great to fill the "well" rather than to constantly draw from it. Next, I'll be to integrating some of the designs into my sketchbooks! More fun!
Two more synthetic corks with their carvings

So what do you find fun and do for fun—just for you?!! Please sure....I need to have more fun!

P.S. If you decide to try this, be very, very, very, very careful with sharp instruments.....just sayin'......

13 comments:

  1. Ut oh.... I have to go fetch last night's cork from the trash!! This is such a timely post - in many ways :)

    I've also been wanting to create a particular stamp with not a clue what to use. Thanks!!

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  2. Pam, there are a number of videos out on YouTube as well if you want to see hands on work!

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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  3. Funny you should do this. I was thinking about a stamp I would like and of course they don't sell many stamps here in the stores. My DB said I should make it. Ha.. He can be brilliant sometimes. However I moved on to sculpting some heads in Sculpty clay that has been around here for awhile. That was fun too.

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  4. Love your stamps, Laure! I have a whole drawer full of some I made some time ago, and they really ARE fun, aren't they!? I need to figure out how to make better stamp pads that are varied in colors--I could do this kind of thing all day. You did great!!

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  5. What a good reminder to enjoy the simple things in life and have fun!@

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  6. Oh, how FUN! One of the (many) things I like about you is that once you decide you're going to do something, you DO IT. Often, right away. I am so sloooowwww to follow up on many of my intentions, even the fun ones. Your stamps are so cute (and I'm excited that one is for me--thank you!)--I can seem them being terrific additions to journal and sketchbook pages and who knows what else.

    Yay for fun!

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  7. How fun, these look really great!

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  8. Cute cute cute...I always find something fun and interesting to read here. I love the bird with the heart in it. I also love the flower. I can see it would take lots of patience for something like this.

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  9. Great stamps. I love how you put the gel pen swirls in the bird. I never thought to do something like that with my solid stamps. I don't use them too much either. What am I doing for fun? Knitting socks! It's time consuming and makes me sleepy sometimes but I really do enjoy the picking out of the yarn, the feel of it as I knit and then the wearing or gifting of the finished pair. It's a long-time pleasure but for quick fun - well, I'm not so sure what to do. It's late tonight. Maybe tomorrow I'll try a stamp. I've been meaning to make one for a long time and keep procrastinating - oh yes, that net surfing can really waste some time I could be doing something else.

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  10. oh what fun!!! these are amazing!!!!

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  11. Laure, these are really cool! You really carved these yourself? Yet another new talent! Very Nice!

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  12. Does look like fun! Really cute...make great embellishments on envelopes and such.

    What do I do for fun? Sing, dance, eat chocolate and drink wine. Take your pick. Or do all four at once ;-)

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