Saturday, 30 March 2013

Alice in Wonderland Submissions - Ready for showcase

Carving the Mad Hatters Hat was very hard indeedy!  I did it though and it is my favorite kind of carve when it's hard.  My carving blade from ABIG didn't let me down.
Mad Hatters Hat - Comparison to ring finger.

The Background - Warped Checker board.   
Image taken from a waving F1 flag photo and manipulated on Photoshop.

The stamps mounted and ready to showcase.
I've tried to make the stamp appealing by making it for printing, tea party invites etc.  It was fun to do and I hope that I can take part in another showcase :)  It will be interesting to see what sort of exposure the Showcase Handmade UK ( will have for me and my Little Stamp Store. 

Here's a few pictures of the finished article.  Let me know what you think x


Monday, 25 March 2013

Alice in Wonderland Submissions - Sorted, Just the carve to do.

So going on with the 'What should I do?' dilemma, I'm really pleased with what I've come up with.  

On the search for party invite ideas, I googled High Tea images and found a chair that I could use for a stamp.  It wasn't quite what I wanted though, as half of it was missing and I'd have to create the rest of it.  

In the end, I'm not sure if 'Just a carver chair' would look like it had anything to do with Alice in Wonderland?

A beautiful take on the Mad Hatters tea party by Unknown.

See the chair at the far right? That's the chair I'd like on my invitations, but there's only half a chair.  Also the chair won't really represent the tea party to anyone else, so I wanted to make it more obvious. 

So I found a Mad Hatter's hat from the original drawings, I think.  I down sized it and played around on Photoshop to fit it onto the top of the chair.  Like this:

Next I needed to redraw the chair so that I could transfer a full image onto the rubber for carving.  So I had to decide what the rest of the chair would look like.  

I just drew how I'd like the lower half of the chair to look.

I then traced the image onto tracing paper, ready to transfer to my rubber.

Ta Na!  Ready to carve.  The words on the hat are crazy tiny, so a little nervous about that bit!  Wish me luck...

I'm really looking forward to playing around with colours in the last step with the stamps when they are ready.  I hope it represents Alice in Wonderland, I think it will all come together when I make an invite.  I may have to have a Mad Hatters tea party just to finish it off.

Recent Custom Orders - Pictures

Here are some of the custom orders that I do for work at the Little Stamp Store.

Alice in Wonderland Submissions - for Handmade UK Sellers

Ooops, I totally forgot about this entry but luckily did a lot of looking around when I first took part, so I knew that I would like to make a couple of stamps for a party invitation but not sure what.

I really like the chequered background and thought about bringing it up to date with all the chevron patterns that are about lately.  I was so set on that idea until I saw it on Pinterest, on an Alice in Wonderland invite.  Honestly! you think you have come up with a unique idea but there are so many people around having the same 'light bulb' moments, it's hard not to loose interest.  But in the end I thought I'll stick with the original chequered theme and make it dark.  So I'm going for a warped chequered background (with a possible cheeky Cheshire cat grin to add on top of the checked background). 

The other difficult bit is I am only allowed two submissions.  So I'll have to make a set of picture stamps in a box of it's own for the invite plus the warped chequered background.

Ok I'm off to carve a warped back ground whilst I ponder about what else to put on the invite.  I do like the idea of just a carvery chair that you would see sitting next to the tea party table.  Maybe I might do that instead of lots of other stamps.  That way the invite maker could add whatever they'd like.  A tea pot, a drink me bottle etc...   I will also make the warped background duck egg blue to bring it into the now.  I think this would also take away from the darkness of the warped black background and make it a playful and fresh for all the picture stamps to go on top.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Creating a Fabric Stamp - Continuation 2

*****I have finished the doily stamp ***** and I'm really pleased with how it prints.  I had a few last minute adjustments to the oak block that the stamp was to be mounted too.  Nothing too difficult but handy to know.

The holes that the screws were put into were sunken holes.  This was to allow the screws to get through the thick block.
Once the handle was screwed on, it left behind big holes.  This meant that the print wouldn't come out properly where you pushed down over them.  So I cut some rubber to fit in the holes and 'voila!'

Then I stuck on the rubber with glass glue and did my first print.

This was the outcome of all those little carved bits!  :)  It took a long time but I am 'Pretty' pleased.
The great thing about this huge stamp is that I can use it for so many things.  I had a quick go at putting a few labels/brown tags together and stamping all 6 in one go.  It came out like little vintage doily lookalikes on the tags and it looked pretty cool.

But more than labels I could use it for wrapping paper, greetings cards and even a wall paper stamp.  It would look pretty ace on a piece of living room furniture and waxed on top.  Hmmm, might try that when I re-do /up-cycle my unit in the front room. The stamp itself is 15cm square.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Girly Night In

View from Uncle Ian's house :) Scotland

After a lovely girly night in I have had time to reflect on the past couple of weeks.  I spent the night chit chatting with Monika from Wool Stories (, Lindsay Day from ( and Michelle Bilson from Button it (

We chatted about all sorts of things, craft things, current projects, selling on sites and facebook, post natal depression and mostly Monika's cake :) Yum yum...

But before I share and bare all about who I am and what eats away at me every day I just want you to know I'm ok and I'm a happy soul, most of the time.  I want to share because what I'm about to tell you always comes with a dark stigma that people like me are a bit bonkers.  Well I am but I like to think it's in a good way.  I just want anyone who feels this way to know that there is more than what the doctors offer.  People say when you are ready a teacher can be found.  I totally believe this phrase and I hope that I could offer just one other sole comfort in that I believe one day I will feel better.

After a very stressful couple of weeks what with my parents moving away five hours up the road to Scotland, my anxiety going through the roof with well my own anxiety disorder about just about anything.  Kids have illnesses, and time off school and it all leads to no crafting time, break downs, tears, tiredness and of course no stamp orders at all.  Saying that I've had a couple of productive days, like I'm catching up in mind and orders.

We left last Thursday to help my parents move house and well we didn't do very much to help at all.  Felt like spare parts that got in the way, especially with the kids running around and not really knowing what to un-pack and where. We spent some nice time with family members up there, Uncle Ian and Auntie Liz who cooked and looked after us for two nights and lovely it was too.  Managed to get a visit from my cousin Craig with his good lady.  He always makes me smile and I haven't seen him in the flesh since I was about 17 I think as I was learning to drive then.  I'm 34 now. 

Look too fast and you'll miss it, the remote control helicopter

Uncle Ian, showing the boys the solar system
On the way home we visited and stayed with my Auntie Deborah & Uncle Gary and I waffled on about stuff way too much like I always do!  And of course we were visited by my lovely Nana who lives just around the corner whilst we stayed in Lincoln and it's always nice to get a big warm welcoming huggle from her. Uncle Gary cooked a mummysday breakfast, yummy fresh eggs (from Scotland) scrambled with smoked salmon, bagels and fresh ground coffee bought from Stokes coffee 'I think' from Lincoln, yum yum.

On the Monday I broke down and I think it was from a loss and being tired from all the journeying around.  Mostly I just felt hopeless and helpless that Mum and Dad had gone.  I suffer from anxiety disorders brought on by 'Who knows!' Life's ups and downs, challenges, losses and stresses.  When I'm like it and in the thick of it I find it really hard to come through the other side or even think I'll feel normal ever again.  And with Mum & Dad gone, my life line when times are tough were no longer around to call on.  The doctors treat my anxiety like depression, same medication, same well more medication.  I went down the 'Mind' route and CBT myself.  I did go back to the doctors and well I was offered more medication.  Beta blockers, diazepam, sertralene, hormone treatment.  You name it! I've tried it, I'll give anything a go not to feel like this. 

I suffer with panic attacks, monophobia (being on my own) Agoraphobia (don't want to go outside) and crowded places, driving on my own, but mostly it's night time on my own, looking after the house and my two little boys and two little dogs.  I go like a startled deer and find myself in a locked frightened state and sometimes actually can't move.  This is the first time I've written this down and it's a little (well a lot) weird sharing it, as you might/will judge!

I'm seeing a therapist now and so much is becoming very clear about why I'm like what I'm like and what I can do to not be like it, although it's taking some time and some mind altering thought processes.  Mostly CBT, meditation & talking therapy. 

I don't take anti-depressants anymore as it never really helped, it just numbed it for a while whilst I couldn't cope.  I'd never say never though and if I was there again, I'd probably take it all over again.

I guess I'm saying all of this because, without my good friends and good guidance through MIND and books I would have thought I was going mad.  I believe I would have got lost in the system and turned to something greater than diazepam and beta blockers and sertralene because I just wanted to stop the feelings.  I didn't want to die but I didn't want to live either. and sometimes like this last week I'm right back there all over again 5 years later.  My anxiety comes in waves and sometimes it's too scary for words and sometimes it's just a little bit of a palpy heart that will pass.  Sometimes I'm actually bored! Well I've had one and it was AMAZING!  Oh to be bored!

That's enough for now and for those of you waiting to see how the doily stamp cushion project is going to turn out.  I've nearly finished it, the stamp that is, not the cushion :)

And on an even better note, I think we may have found our new favorite sausages 'Wee Willie Winkies' Apparently you can buy them from Tesco's in England but that's all ;)

Wee Willie Winkes