Monday, March 2, 2015

Adaptation...for the Cost of Postage

Y'all know I enjoy looking at vintage/shabby chic designs...looking but not making. There's so much wonderful beauty and inspiration in those rich, layered, embellished styles. And that's why I've always loved Hero Arts postage stamp sets. Like this one.

Of course, using them effectively in my simple style presents a challenge, which is why I've been reluctant to spend money on them. Until they went of massive sale at JoAnn's.

Of course!

So I started playing around with them and am embarrassed to admit how much paper I wasted finding which inks work best with them and how I might use them CAS style.

It took a while to crack the code, but I finally realized that the jagged borders on the stamps were getting in my way...they're just too irregular for my particular brand of CAS. That's when I broke out these delightfully old-school scissors:

After trimming the jagged borders off the stamped images for London and Paris, I made these two cards.

LOVE!!! The scissors give a larger stamp edge for the mat of white on white. It's subtle, but cleaner. London is stamped in Memento espresso truffle, which looks better to my eye than the grey flannel I used on Paris. While smiling happily at these two cards, I wondered what would happen if I kicked these up a notch and added color. Some ink pads were too juicy and made runny images, some pads were too dry and left blotchy images, and some pads were juuuuuust right.

Like I said, I wasted a lot of paper playing around. Here are my favorite results:

Greece gets Memento Bahama Blue.

Love the dimensionals here.

Stonehenge in SU Old Olive

The Pyramids in Memento potter's clay...not quite as crisp
as I'd like it to be, but that's okay.

Italy gets the Memento rhubarb stalk treatment. Love this!
Though I do wish someone would straighten the leaning
Tower of Pisa. Seriously, doesn't that bother you?

The Great Wall goes with Ancient Page Henna. This image
is hard to work with...the level of detail is blurry on the stamp
itself, so the tower within the wall looks like a blob without
clear definition. Not my favorite.

To cut out the images, I used my quilting ruler and craft knife. If you haven't done this before, just remember to keep your fingers away from the knife when you slide it down the edge of the ruler! This has been my preferred trimming method for over 12 years now, but I still remind myself to be careful every time.

Now that I've typed that for the whole interwebs to see, I'm bound to cut off a fingertip. *sigh*

Anyway, I'm so glad these stamps were on sale because they were so much fun to play with! I can see framed art with the whole set of stamps, cards with a selection of stamps (esp. long, thin cards!), and all sorts of fun with colors.

PLUS, I used a pair of my deco scissors, which are definitely keepers on the Use My Hoard Challenge.

Yay, me!

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: various listed above
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: deco stamp scissors, dimensionals, glue


  1. Thank you for once again starting my day with inspiration. This REALLY speaks to me.

    After years of stamping, I have quite a few stamp stamps (hm-m-m). In addition, I have quite a few cut-apart stamps on designer papers. I even have the deco scissors--one pair left! I can imagine a notecard set, Christmas cards with my Santa stamp. Oh my!

  2. All kinds of recipients would love these. I love that CAS look that you achieved! So nice!

  3. Snap! I just bought this set on clearance too! Great ideas for using the images!!

  4. When I say these in your purchase photo a few days ago I questioned you getting this set - how would she use these? Well lookie at you figuring it out, and making such a fun set of cards! Bundle those puppies up and you have a great gift! Well done mf - well done.

    ps I do love this set of stamps too

  5. I think that trimming the ragged sides off and then mounting the images with dimensionals was genius! It makes the images feel like they are reaching out to you, saying "Come visit--you would love it here!" Much more of an impact on the viewer, in my opinion. :)

    Also, as a quilter who uses a rotary blade, I can very much relate to your constant reminder to watch those fingers! If I cut myself, I'd have to take time off to heal, and where's the fun in that?

  6. I have several sets of Hero Arts collage-type stamps, too but struggle to use them for the same reasons. Thanks for sharing some inspiration on this! I'm digging them out this week.

  7. They are beautiful, take care and keep your fingers safe sweetie.

  8. These are fantastic, and i love your adaptation. I like the espresso much better than the grey, too, and loved the blue and green most of all.


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