Monday, July 7, 2008

Stencils and Stamps (cont)

Here are a few simple examples of how to use stamps and stencils together. This is a great way to create background textures. There are always rubber stamps on sale in craft stores. You don't even have to like the individual design. Think how it will look as a texture.

1. Stencils don't have to be complicated. If you create stencils to stamp over you just have to make sure they are strong enough to take the pounding. Take a regular sheet of copy paper and cut out random holes. That's all it takes to create a stencil.
2. Lay the new stencil over a painted surface and take any rubber stamp and stamp rapidly over the stencil. Stamp one direction and then rotate the stamp 90 degrees. You want the individual image lost in the pattern. If your stamp says, "Happy Birthday" you want to stamp it in enough directions that your viewer doesn't know the stamp ever said "Happy Birthday."

3. Same as number one only I used the inside of a CD (the round hole in the middle) to draw the same sized circle all over my paper. I cut those circles out with an X-Acto knife. Work on an old phone book. Be careful when working with an X-Acto knife.

4. I placed my stencil and pushed a small stamp pad over the dots for solid color dots. I then shifted the stencil and pattern stamped. I shifted the stencil several times to make sure I covered the page evenly.

When you're done using your paper stencils they will be works of art themselves. Tear them up or use them whole.

(Back to CraftAmor)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Conscious Creation (continued)


These numbers don't come without a cost. Chemicals get into water supplies and into the air. The World Health Organization (WHO) found that every year 20,000 people die due to pesticide poisoning in the third world.

Once my future blue damask print is out of the soil and in adoring homes across the nation in the form of shirts, skirts and lovely name brand prints, it may not be there long. The the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Solid Waste found that each of us here in the US is responsible for 68 pounds of clothing and textile waste every year. That means at 27 even if I take away my first 10 years (such an unfashionable youth), I am still responsible for 1156 pounds of fibers in my local landfill.

As fabric admirers, we have options. Support organic. Only 0.03% of the world's cotton is organic but it will have less pesticides used on it during its rearing. Stores touting beautiful organic cottons are popping up all over the internet. Earlier this month one of my favorite design bloggers, Grace Bonney at Design*Sponge, highlighted Plover Organic, a company focusing on linens made with organic cotton. Companies such as Plover Organic are quickly creating amazing options for our homes and (with a little creativity- they have some fabrics by the yard) our craft closets.

An even better alternative is to recycle. Take a trip to your local Goodwill or second hand store. I was surprised to find that my Goodwill actually has a big section dedicated to fabrics. If yours doesn't have a fabric section, every shirt, skirt, bedspread and table cloth could be a future card, collage or assemblage piece. I always hesitate when I grab a lovely print cotton shirt for it's pattern because I think, "Someone might actually wear this and I'm going to CUT IT UP." It seems almost sacrilegious. But if it's the difference between that shirt and new fabric, cutting up an old shirt keeps 1/3 of a pound of pesticides out of everyone's air and water. I'm sure in light of that the would be wearer won't mind.

I love the inspiration that comes from browsing the bolts in a fabric store: so many possibilities. I'm not about to give up new, non-organic fabric completely, but I am going to change the way I look at fabric. I want my art to say something about me, and when I can, I want the products I use to make a similar statement.
Images credits:
Cotton Plant
Plover Fabrics
Recycled Bedspread Napkins - Check out the other neat (and tasty) things at

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quiz: Toyota's Previous Life (continued)

B) Looms

Toyota began as Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. by Sakichi Toyoda. His son, Kiichiro Toyoda would branch his father's company into today's Toyota Motor Corporation. In homage to their weaving beginnings, Toyota still has a museum with some of the first looms at its original site.

(source: "Handwoven," March/April 2008.)

Back to CraftAmor.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Well Hello Lisa Engelbrecht (continued)

(previous page)
What I really enjoy about Lisa Engelbrecht's article is how she speaks about the emotional qualities that go into a piece. Yes she talks about the technical (color washes, letter and shapes, etc) but it's the paragraph titled, "Wordless Faith" that really captures my attention. Lisa writes, "Hope is also not a matter of words. Hope makes the impossible seem possible, I guess like wordless faith." A somewhat challenging and beautiful sentiment when accompanying a piece of art that is all about words.

It's fun to read Lisa's first hand account of her own process because after filming and then editing her DVD, "Hand lettering on Bali Lantern" I can see that process as I read her words. Lisa was a delight to film. She is really quiet funny and it was hard to not talk on set. She is a person you want to ask questions. You want to engage. I think this comes across equally as well in "Hand Lettering."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Work Day (continued)

(previous page) .... meeting where all of us (customer service, editing, marketing, managing, and web) can gather in a room and hack it all out. It was both frustrating and extremely fun. We all bring SUCH different perspectives to any given question and it's creative and a lot of hard work. The small company factor also means that everyone has equal weight in discussions. That's just sort of how we are here at CCP. Lynn and Jim have the final say because they are the CEOs and founders, but we all are equal when it comes to suggestions. Both Lynn and Jim are completely open to seeing new ideas. Some of the ideas I put out there today might get implemented. They might make this company a small bit better...and as a worker that's really exciting.