Thursday, November 10, 2011

Make Your Own Christmas Cards - Rubber stamp set tutorial


I am so excited about these new stamp designs - all you need to get super crafty and DIY this Christmas! Today I will share with you how I have created a multi-colored impression with my favorite inks by ColorBox.


The petal-point set of ink pads is the best because you can pull each ink pad out. I began with the light blue to ink the bird, lightly tapping the ink pad evenly over the surface. The rounded end arches in such a way that you don't have to get any ink on the tree but obviously, the border gets inked. 



I wiped the ink off of the border with slightly damp tissue paper.


I used the pointed tip of the green to do the top of the tree and otherwise used the rounded edge to my advantage working within the border. Follow up with red around the border, and you're ready to stamp!



The matching little bird stamp works the same way - starting with the blue, wiping it away, and then finishing it off in red. Of course, the colors you'd like to use are up to you - I just happen to love this color combo!





All green looks cute too - I imagine simple black on brown kraft paper would also compliment the folksy design.


Here's the little bird on the back of an envelope. I can see it used on stickers and gift tags as well as making your own gift wrap.



Following the folk art feel, this leaping reindeer stamp is going to be a big star in my own handmade Christmas crafts this year!



Nothing says Christmas like red and green, but I also love the look of cool winter blues and purples. This stamp set includes three snowflake stamps and a large "happy holidays" stamp - imagine the possibilities! Click on the photos/links below to be taken to each Etsy listing for sale.



















HAPPY HOLIDAYS SNOWFLAKE SET

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Custom Stamps

One of my favorite aspects of being a stamp carver is when someone contacts me to create a custom stamp. Sometimes the customer knows exactly what they'd like, other times they have an idea of what they'd like and then I work up several sketches to choose from.

This stamp was probably one of the most challenging ones I've had to carve. It was an extra large logo stamp that came out even better than I had hoped for! My customer blogged about her purchases on her super fun and crafty blog - after you've read this post, but sure to check out her other posts for lots of crafting ideas and projects!


All of my stamps begin as a sketch that will be transferred to the rubber to carve.
This one was on par with the Lime Riot stamp as far as difficulty. Sometimes I feel like I'm holding my breath until the last bit is carved away. One wrong move, and all of your work is for naught, so patience and concentration is key! This design came from my customers wedding invites - the large stamp will be used on her envelopes and other wedding related items.

For this customer, they found my calla lily stamp but wanted it to arch to the side with leaves. She approved one of the sketches I made up for her and that's how these two (one big, one small) stamps came to be.

This was for a friend from my hometown. Wings are her favorite symbol, having wing tattoos and being engaged (now married) to a rock and rollin' musician. I actually carved two of these, facing both directions, and they used one on the table cards for women and the other on table cards for the men. They also had a huge projection on the wall of the reception hall of the wing - which was very cool to see! I can thank facebook for that sneak peak into their big day. :)

This was for a lovely fellow Etsian who wanted a unique way to package her beautiful jewelry. This stamp is to be used on the gift boxes she packages her wares in. You can find her shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/taradawn.

If you are interested in commissioning a custom stamp from me, please feel free to contact me on Etsy in my shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenGardenStamps or email me directly at jtorrant@aol.com.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

HOORAY FOR GIVEAWAYS!!

Personalized hand carved rubber stamp

I'm celebrating my birthday with a give-away! Everybody loves free stuff, right? I'll be getting spoiled on my bday (May 12th) visiting with my best friend, so why not share the love? Here's how you can enter to win either of these stamps. The heart stamp will have whatever two initials you'd like.

* Leave a comment here on the blog saying which stamp you'd prefer - 1 entry
* Follow the blog >>> - 1 entry
* Follow Green Garden Stamps on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/GreenGardenStamps - 1 entry

In your comment, let me know if you also followed the blog and/or my facebook page. If you are already following either, let me know and that will still count as extra entries. For each of the above, I'll include your name in the hat. So let's say you do all three, I'll put three slips of paper with your name on it into a hat. You can better your odds of winning by doing all three.

PLEASE NOTE: I'll need some way to contact the winner, so please include your email or a way to contact you (for example, if you have an Etsy shop you can leave that link and I'll send you a convo through Etsy).

I'll choose the winner on May 13th and I'll let you all know here who the winner is. Best of luck and spread the word to your crafty buddies!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Etsy Recommedations - Rose of Sharon Acres


As a new series for the blog, I will be sharing some of my favorite Etsy shops from the perspective of a buyer. Rose of Sharon Acres is still on Etsy, but the bulk of their products are on their personal website roseofsharonacres.com. I discovered Rose of Sharon Acres a couple of years ago when looking for a natural alternative to cortisone for a patch of eczema on my arm. That is when I found their tea tree/lavender salve which immediately worked wonders, as well as smelling so lovely.

I branched out to soaps, like the lavender soap seen above which is DIVINE and great for your face and body. The bars last a long time and, in my opinion, are unparalleled. I have tried other soap makers on Etsy, and though I've had mixed experiences from great to not so great (no naming names here!) I haven't found anyone that makes a product as natural, healing, great smelling, and long lasting.

I've also tried their tooth chips (soap for teeth) which admittedly take a little getting used to, but I swear your teeth will never feel cleaner! Rose of Sharon Acres offers a wide range of natural products, including luxurious lotions that make your skin feel like silk and smell great. As for the smell of all of their products, it's just how I like it - NATURAL. The rose smell smells like a real rose, the lavender is real lavender - no chemically or sickly sweet "fake" smells here!

Edited to add: How could I forget my most recent purchase - their blemish balm! Yes, I'm in my mid thirties and still get the occasional pimple. *sigh* I've tried so many over the counter products that typically just make the matter so much worse. But now, at the first sign of a blemish, I put just a little bit of balm on that spot and it goes away without blossoming into a full-blown monster. I bought one tin of it (I see it now comes in chapstick containers - brilliant!) and it's still more than half full after using it for quite some time. I highly recommend this product for folks dealing with adult acne or for teens struggling with clear skin.

The products are fabulous, the customer service is top notch, and I just can't say enough great things about them. In fact, you can read my testimonial I wrote years ago on their website - mine is the one next to the salve that begins "At the risk of...". (By the way, I no longer have eczema!).

Visit their shop today and buy with confidence!
http://www.roseofsharonacres.com
http://www.etsy.com/shop/roseofsharonacres

Friday, April 22, 2011

Signs of Spring

This new stamp of a bouquet in a vase was inspired by this hand built, raku fired vase I made in art school. I've always been a far superior 2 dimensional artist, and most of my efforts in 3 dimensional art ended in disaster (you don't even want to know the ridiculousness I produced in my sculpture class). But this vase, out of all of my pottery work, was and still is my pride and joy. I love it most when it is filled with forsythia which happens to be in full bloom!

The lady slipper is one of my favorite flowers because it is so elusive. Spotting one in the woods feels like discovering a rare prize. This lady is a true independent spirit - try and transplant her out of the woods and into the garden and she'll put up a fight (or downright refuse).

Along with the forsythia and the lady slippers (who are quietly emerging in woodlands unseen by human eyes), the daffodils and hyacinth are up, the crocuses are singing, the robins have returned and the peepers peep at night. Spring has really sprung - it's official!

Visit the shop for more hand carved rubber stamps at http://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenGardenStamps

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Crafty Customers - Kay's Kreative Korner

Kay of Kay's Kreative Korner is what I would call a "master scrapper". Some people (who don't know much about it or how it has evolved) might still be thinking of scrapbooking as a kitschy project to do in a weekend. A few photos here, a few stickers there, some pretty background paper and you're done. Well, not Kay. Her designs are truly inspired works of art. She sells scrapbooking embellishments in her Etsy shop like these gorgeous butterflies you see below.

Butterfly Embellishments Moonlight Serenade

In her latest blog post, she shares with her readers this remarkable layout featuring her adorable dog Toby who is, apparently, quite the bird chaser! There are so many design elements and techniques used in this one page that I encourage you to read her blog post to find out more about her process.


Kay purchased several of my DIY flower garden stamps including this pretty petal stamp.

Large striped leaf or petal stamp

Below you'll see a close up of how she used this stamp. Isn't it gorgeous? Here's a bit of information about how she used the stamp in her own words...

"I stamped the petal stamp with Staz-On ink on a transparency, cut it out & then with a white gel pen I added white dots along the inside flower design. I then cut the petals in a bit more & bent them upwards for added dimension. I finalized the flower by adding a black Sultan Gem by Prima in the center. I also tucked a bit of dried copper baby's breath--also known as gyp underneath my flower embellies."

I can't wait to see what other creative expressions she comes up with in the future with the other stamps she purchased! Many thanks to Kay for being such an inspiration and for being a great example of how scrapbooking has exploded into an intriguing and stunning mixed media art form.

Please visit Kay's shop for scrapbooking supplies and embellishments and be sure to visit her blog to see her latest creations.

Etsy - http://www.etsy.com/shop/kaylori77
Blog - http://kayskreativekorner.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April Showers


This time of year, I welcome the rain because I know it's setting the stage for healthy, vibrant spring gardens in May! There's just nothing like the first inklings of spring - the tranquil sounds and moodiness of rainy days, the daffodils and hyacinth blooming, and the robins fluttering about.

To purchase any of my individual stamps or rainy day sets, please visit my shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenGardenStamps.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Etsy Favorites - SeasonsGleanings


"Farm fresh card designs" is SeasonsGleanings tagline, and their garden inspired greeting cards are just too cute and clever to keep to myself! I love this shop for a variety of reasons. The first is obvious - I have a love for all things gardening and the beauty of the harvest. The second is because I've always loved playing with natural materials and making patterns. Be it at the beach with shells and different colored sand, to quiet woodland moments arranging leaves, acorns and twigs in various patterns. The desire to arrange natural forms really resonates with me. I also appreciate this seller's efforts to be green, not only with their thumb ;) but with their packaging and processing. Be sure to check out their shop and buy a card or two for the green thumb in your life! http://www.etsy.com/shop/SeasonsGleanings



In their own words: "While growing up, my mother never had to coax me to clean my plate. Never a picky eater, I was BORN loving food! I'm particularly fond of all types of fresh produce, whether growing it, preparing it, sharing it, eating it or photographing it; I am unabashedly obsessed with garden and farm grown food! I've grown much of our own food for over 30 years, and worked on several organic farms in Whatcom County in Northwest Washington state for the past 15.

A slight detour from farming during those years led me to start a local gleaning effort, which turned into Small Potatoes Gleaning Project, which I ran for about 8 years, after which it became a program of the Bellingham Food Bank. This combination of experiences inspired me to create unique card designs using fruits and veggies to spell out messages for all occasions.
Season’s Gleanings cards are inspired by the vibrant diversity of crops that grow in Whatcom county in northwest Washington state.

Designs are created using fruits, vegetables, and other gathered plants from forest edge to river’s bank, then photographed to make cards that bring delight to young and old, for any occasion, all year round! I use the greenest materials I can find, including 100% green energy in our home office where my cards are made, and strive to use as many local services as possible in the production of my cards. The messages of Season’s Gleanings cards are enduring, and made with joy and a deep reverence for the planet that sustains us, along with the hope that cards will be kept or shared for years of continued enjoyment. Season’s Gleanings is committed to food justice and donates a percentage of profits to local projects working to strengthen our food system so that all may be nourished."


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nate Luke's 2011 Seed Promo



I am in love with this amazing seed promotional package put together by the fabulous photographer, Nate Luke. You'll see he used my string beans stamp and, in the video, you'll see my carrot stamp was used on a muslin bag. I always love seeing how people use my stamps and this was a wonderful discovery! He was also featured on No Plastic Sleeves.

Seed Promo 2011 from Nate Luke on Vimeo.