Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Carving, Cutting & Coloring By: Judi Kauffman

I devoted a recent blog post to stamp carving and printing onto envelopes. This time I’m going to show how to use that same carved rubber block in a very different way: Instead of simply stamping and coloring, it’s time to stamp, cut and paste and combine, scan or photocopy, re-size, and color! It’s so much fun and the possibilities are endless. 

You’re welcome to print a copy of my flower and carve your own version of it for your personal use, or create your own unique stamp block. As shown, the carved stamp measures a mere .75” x 2.75”. Though my projects are predicated on flowers and leaves, yours does not have to stick with the same theme. 

The key is to see in a new way, to find surprises by cutting something up and reassembling the pieces! This could be done with a whimsical animal, a plant, or anything else that has multiple elements within the whole.

Please do not use a commercial rubber stamp for this project because copyright rules prohibit electronic reproduction (unless you own the copyright). By using your own original carved stamp, or mine with the permission I’ve given for personal use, that is not an issue. Alternatively, choose something that is offered as copyright-free. If you are new to carving, a quick Internet search will offer many stamp carving tutorials, classes, and books to consider.

1. Stamp the block dozens of times on thin paper. I chose off-white newsprint to show the process more clearly, but would recommend plain white copier paper.

2. Cut the stamped images into small sections and glue the pieces together to create individual flowers, flower clusters, frames, or whatever you want. A glue stick is perfect for this step. All of my new creations fit onto one piece of paper measuring 8.5” x 11”.
3. Scan the page and adjust the contrast so you have strong black on white images as shown in the photo below (printed on 8.5” x 11” computer paper). Option: If you do not have a scanner, go to a local copy center for steps 3 and 4. Contrast can be adjusted on a photocopy machine; images can also be easily re-sized.
4. Crop and enlarge sections of the scanned images so that when you print them they will be big and easy to color as shown in the photo below. Sizes range from about 2” to 6”. I printed onto lightweight cardstock and colored and doodled with my favorite markers and pens (see supply list). Choose traditional colored pencils, pastel pencils, watercolor pencils, watercolors or acrylic paint if you prefer. TIP: Though it is a bit more challenging to fussy-cut thicker paper, if you are using wet media you will need to print onto watercolor paper or heavier cardstock.

5. Cut out the flowers, leaves and frames that you’ve colored and use them for cards, calendars, art journals, or other projects. Alternatively, instead of fussy-cutting leave them within a rectangle, square, oval, or circle and color the background.

6. As you can see, I stuck to cards and fussy-cut all of the focal images. The samples above and the ones that follow will give you some ideas. Mix in patterned papers, sentiments (peel-offs and die cuts), ribbon and beads, gems, or whatever else suits your project. I die cut the words Hello and Friends from adhesive backed velvet sheets for a tactile touch. 
7. Pick the appropriate adhesives: Use paper glue to secure the paper layers in your cards and gem glue to secure the flat-back gems. My cards range in size from 5” x 7” to 8” x 8”. Size your projects as you prefer. Use foam tape if you want added dimension.

  • Markers
  • Sakura of America – Gelly Roll Medium in White
  • Carving block, bench hook, and carving tools
  • Scanner/printer/copier
  • Other – Gem glue, paper glue, glue stick; assorted scrapbook papers, lightweight white paper; white cardstock; black ink pad; flat-back gems; iridescent beads; sheer ribbon; corner and word dies; foam tape; Glitter Dots peel-offs (Elizabeth Craft Designs)

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