Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hand Carved Stamps: Carving Blocks Review

So far I've tried: MasterCarve by Staedtler, Speedy Carve (also called Speedy Stamp?) by Speedball, and SpeedyCut by Speedball. Here are the results of my *very* beginning carving skills on the three different blocks.

A general review of the process: This is really hard! DANG! One tip: when making curves, turn the stamp and keep the cutting tool still. I'll post a tutorial soon.

Keeping in mind that I'm a beginner and carving for stamping, not for printing purposes AND that I'm not mounting these guys AND that the lino blocks seem scary to me, here is my review.

Review of the 3 blocks:


Cost: about $5.50 online for a 4x6 block.

Pros: very soft and easy to cut. Also, really thick. Some folks say you can carve on both sides. The white is pleasant.

Cons: too soft, really...not much crumbling but so easy to cut too much.

Speedy Carve by Speedball

Cost: about $5.00 for a 4x6 block.

Pros: harder to cut, but not too hard. Carvings came out better, maybe because I had more practice but I also felt like I had more control.

Cons: I don't like the pink and I don't like how thin it is. I felt like I might cut all the way through by mistake.

Speedy Cut by Speedball

Cons: So crumbly!

Pros: cheap! About 2.50 for a 4x6 block.

So that's what I've tried so far.

Digitized Cupcake Coloring Book Characters

Here we have the cast of characters for the Cupcake and Friends coloring book (in progress). Like the human race, the cupcake race has a diverse population representing the spectrum of cupcake experience. Included in this family are the Happy/Sad Conjoined Twins, Legless Cupcake on Wheels, Pirate One Eyed Pegleg Cupcake, X-Cupcake, and assorted other eatables.

Note: the call for coloring book illustration scenarios is still on! Today, I was offered: skiing accident, how cupcakes are born, and cupcake gangster initiation. Keep em' coming. If your is selected, you will be provided your own copy of the finished book! Yay CAKE!

By Popular Demand: Cupcake & Friends Coloring Book is in Progress!

Here are the sketches for the characters in my new coloring book, "Cupcake and Friends." I'm taking suggestions for scenarios to include in the illustrations. My mom suggested: cupcakes having a picnic, on a hayride. I'm thinking: botched bank robbery, adventures in the ER, etc. Perhaps there's a middle ground? Please post ideas for me! Any posters whose ideas are used will get a completed (professionally printed) Cupcake & Friends coloring book as a gift! xxoo melissa

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stamp Carving...

I acquired MasterCarve and Speedball Speedy-Carve pink stuff today, so tomorrow I'll hack into those guys and show you the results. If I can find EZ Cut, Soft-Kut, or PZ Kut. Plus I'll compare it to the Speedy-Cut results from yesterday and this mystery will be settled once and for all.

Carving Rubber Stamps and Scented Zip Pouches

I decided to try carving my own rubber stamps. It turns out, however, that I purchased (months ago) the one carving block that reviewers say is the worst. Ha! So I'm in experimentation mode for now. It's good to practice on a cheap carving block anyway, because it's a lot harder than it looks!

Here is a master stamp carver: Craft Pudding. Here is her etsy shop, and a few photos of her *so cute* stamps on flickr. I really love her designs! Her shop has some lovely items.

Also, thanks to the advice of Doctor Sweet Tooth, I now have the perfect linen spray for my zip pouches and they are officially cupcake scented! They're labeled "vanilla" because that is the major note (note??) of the fragrance, but it really smells like buttercream frosting. It smells really good, people.

Due to the fact that I'm completely busy with jobs 1, 2, and 3, for the time being I'm making zip pouches and tote bags on a by-order basis. I'll restock the store once I am finished preparing tote bags for an upcoming crafty art show.

I'll post the results of my carving experiments in a few days!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flickr + Blog Heaven = Beautiful Things!

Well, I spent half a day playing around on Flickr instead of doing things I'm SUPPOSED to do. But, I discovered a whole new group of talented crafters and artists, a half dozen new amazing blogs, and some highly-covet-able goodies. So here we go.

How is is that I always forget that I want to make a terrarium? These are for sale in madebymavis's etsy shop and they are so great. Terrarium love!

On flickr, there are many fellow vintage children's book fans with absolutely breathtaking images of their collections. For instance these two talented ladies have an amazing eye for composition.

This is just one example of the mind-altering photos by Picnic by Ellie. Her zillions of similar-themed compositions on flickr nearly made me catatonic with glee. It is the very definition of eye-candy. Send help!! She has a precious shop with good stuff!

For instance, this lunchbox killed me. It's not for sale, but...

These 2 are!

Another talented photographer had me freaking out with admiration when I came upon her flickr site today: Daisy's Little Cottage. Please try to comprehend the gloriousness of these images.

I have a new stack of children's books from ebay and a delish parcel from onecozynest that I'm dying to open but will wait until I can photograph it FIRST when there's light tommorrow. It's that lovely. The things I do for you people, sheesh! xxxooom

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vintage Airmail Stickers

Now in the shop! A set of 28 vintage airmail stickers! These guys are part of my vintage ephemera collection. They were scanned and printed on semi-gloss photo paper. Then, they were cut and run through a Xyron to apply re-positionable adhesive, and are now resting inside a cello envelope on coated paper. Delicious.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thrifted Finds and More Paper Goodies

This week I had a productive visit to Goodwill Blue Hanger, where I acquired the following treasures:

A huge set of old hymn books to add to vintage paper packages:

A gorgeous Peter Pan Pop Up Book. I haven't decided how to use this one yet.

The irresistible Barrel of Monkeys. These are going into the Fun and Games Paper Goodies packages as wells as the Goodie Jars that will join the shop in a few weeks.

Also, recently I began to love the illustrations of the old Whitman card games. Here are some examples. They will soon find a new home in the next round of Paper Goodies with a Storybook theme.

This super-cute Paperchase mug is at Borders right now for $1.35! Wah-hoo!

Chiquita loves to help with photography.

Also, 3 more sets of Fun and Games Paper Goodies are in the shop. Paper LOVE!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Paper Goodies are Now in the Shop

I've been collecting vintage board games and card games for months now. I have so many it's kinda embarrassing! I plan to use the boards for a project later this year. The game pieces and parts are just so fun, though. Because I've won some of the games as ebay lots, a few are really weird. For example, the Fall Guy board game and the Mork and Mindy game!

So I'm putting together little packages of papers and bits from all of the games I have. You can find this in the shop right now! WOWEE. This collection of vintage papers, etc. is called "Fun and Games." I had a fit of glee designing the label for it. I love JT Ringmaster font. I'm talking LOVE here.

Later, I'll be putting together another collection called "Storybook." to share some of my collection of vintage children's books. I'm spending my evenings cutting, cutting, cutting, in an effort to compile a lovely set of packages.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This was on etsy a few weeks ago, but it's sold now. If anybody sees another one out there, I WANT!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back to School Goodies

The back-to-school theme has been on my mind lately. Here are a few goodies that one can buy to equip herself for fashionable studying.
Clockwise from the bottom right: clips, gumdrop calculator, and scented highlighters at See Jane Work. Top right: scented erasers at Uppercase. With all of this cool scented stuff, I have to give a shout out to my beloved Smencils as well.

Also, this gorgeous collage by Holli Conger really captures the spirit of back to school. I love it. This image and the ones below are featured on the Uppercase site; I selected some of my favorite pieces from the Uppercase Gallery art exhibition and companion book called, "Old School."

Jen Gotch
(I have this exact style of lunchbox!)

These "Old School" artists are all super talented. Their pieces are for sale and their blogs are lovely. Show them some love.

Crab Apple on Cuteable!

It was so thrilling to see a mention of Crab Apple notecards on today's Cuteable Clinks! Lynsey was kind enough to mention that my cupcake notecard set is on sale in the shop. Thanks, Cuteable!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cupcakes for Cupcakes-a-Go-Go and a Sale on Cupcake Cards

The very generous Lorrie from Cupcakes-a-Go-Go found me and some other cupcake artists on Etsy. After some mentoring from Lorrie, we arranged a wholesale and a consignment order. These cuties in progress and are custom made for consignment in Lorrie's cupcake bakery and shop in Sarasota, Florida. What a cool idea - cupcakes all day, every day. Happiness. I hope my goodies are well-received by her patrons. More cupcake pouches will be headed for my etsy shop soon. And I do take custom orders!

My notecard sets will also be in the Cupcakes-a-Go-Go shop and are also available in my etsy shop. In honor of September being a major birthday month, these babies are ON SALE. Yahoo!

Since cupcakes are the theme of the day, these little cupcake magnet sets are also for sale in the shop. These can also be customized as pins, keychains, pendants. They're chunky, super shiny, and they make me happy.