Thursday, February 25, 2010

What to Do with the Crossword Stamp, Part 1

Several people have requested that I play around with the Hero Arts Crossword background stamp. Apparently, it's intimidating to more people than just me! I love this stamp, but my initial playing around didn't yield much to be happy about, so I have tackled it again.

1. Using it as a whole image does NOT, in my frustrated experience, work for my clean style. I tried using shadow inks (very light), black, and bright colors, but every card I made, no matter how simple, definitely did NOT look clean. If someone out there makes a clean card with the whole image, please share it with the rest of us. 'Cause I cry uncle. For those of you who enjoy making more elaborate, embellished cards, the whole image may prove quite useful, though.

2. Cutting parts of the image works much better for a clean-and-simple style so that's where I concentrated my efforts. I had some success with strips of the image, creating a sort of border/focal point/sentiment all in one.

All the straight lines and right angles made me want to soften the image with some swirls, so I combined the crossword stamp with SU's Baroque Motif. This first card is very flat for easy mailing. Because the three flowers are stamped in a triangle around the words, the eye moves across the strip more easily, but without the added bulk of the next card.

The second card isn't as clean, but it is happy and fun. The colors are so cheerful, don't you think?

This technique works great for any short saying. Happy birthday; wishing you well; a word for you; an apple a day (with tiny apples insead of flowers!); make love not war; frankly, my dear...; Mr. Darcy Lives! Okay, I'm getting silly, but you get the idea. You could really personalize your message for a close friend or loved one with inside jokes, word association, favorite book or movie titles, favorite flowers, a Bible verse, etc. The possibilities are endless. *giggle*

Tomorrow, I'll show you my favorite use of this stamp so far. It's clean and versatile and--dare I say it?--EASY.

Footnote: ChristineM asked if I would sell stamps overseas. The answer, sadly, is no; I will only ship in the US via USPS. I will, however, be doing some give-aways starting next week for ten days in a row. Hee, hee! Can't wait for a base-ten love-fest! I will ship up to three of those packages overseas.


  1. I think you did a great job of using that could always check out the Hero arts flickr can usually find something there...

  2. Thanks, Karen! Didn't think of that. I'm so used to SCS, which doesn't highlight hero as much, and I forget there are TONS of resources at Hero Arts beyond the blog. Gotta check it out.

    Also, as I was proofreading today's post, an idea popped into my head for the whole image that I'll try later today. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't, but it sure is cool IN MY HEAD! LOL!

  3. what a great idea, love both these cards! I would have never have thought of using this way. I saw this stamp and thought it was a cool stamp but not one that worked with my "non defined" style. I couldn't think of a way to use it at all!! I see Kwerner doing lots of background areas with it but not actually using it to put letters/words on, just as background fill often done in white ink on kraft, her signature style.

  4. Very nice way to use this stamp! A friend recently bought it and after one look my brain said, "what in the world could you do with that?" Now I see! Can't wait to see if your idea for the whole image works.

  5. Thanks for using this - I forgot that I bought this specifically for my mother's birthday card- her birthday is tomorrow, so I'll bring it out today!

  6. I'm the friend Wendy knows with this stamp! I've been playing with it for a week, and I've just used parts of it as well. White ink on kraft paper looks good too.

    Love your cards! I may have to steal your ideas to make some cards for OWH this weekend! I need to put some upbeat cards in these boxes I'm shipping.

    By the way, I've recommended your blog to many OWH card makers for inspiration!

  7. I ordered this stamp. I didn't know how I'd use it, but I liked it. Thanks for the great ideas!

  8. hi susan!
    wow. i work my three 12 hour days in a row, and when i come back to simplicity land, i feel like i've been gone for ages!! really miss your cards, humor, and insights.
    love these cards and what you have done with this stamp. i, too, have this stamp and am still planning in my head. or just postponing using it. you have given me great ideas!!
    marty ferraro

  9. Both of these cards are super, Susan! I love the way the swirls come out from behind - very cool!

  10. Great idea to incorporate flourishes with the crossword!

  11. At last a use for a crossword stamp. I had one years ago that I got rid of because I didn't like anything I tried. I think the squares were smaller anyway. Thanks for persisting!

  12. You done good, Girlie!
    I've got 2 sheets of this image as cardstock. For a nephew's B'Day card I decided to make my own crossword for him by spelling out my sentiments. He loved it! I had to fiddle a lot to find the right amount of light vs dark and had to try and make words fit. It was a challenge, but a great one! I only wish I had taken a pic :(
    Sometimes we do have to think outside the box-lol!!

  13. Hi Susan, liking your cards. Unusual stamp :o)

    Warmest regards

  14. Putting flourishes with a crossword puzzle seems sort of like wearing rhinestones with a hunting jacket. BUT I'll be darned you pulled that off to great beauty. Now I have to get out my flourishes and rethink what goes with them!!!!

    "I resemble Marty's remark"...... even one day away from here seems long, like there's so much to catch up on.

  15. I saw this again in the catalogue today and wondered if I would REALLY use it if I bought it. Designs and colours are great as always... Thanks for the Mr Darcy bit.

  16. :( about the shipping! I shall just have to forgo the frisson of holding & using a stamp set that once belonged to the (in)famous Susan Raihala ;)
    Last time you made wonderful cards with this stamp I knew I was in the presence of a genius and these two prove it. I would never have figured out how to use this image if I had forever (which I don't!).
    You are just too clever (only joking) but you really are the business.

  17. Oh...I love this idea as well!! The swirls really add a whole lot of pretty, and I love the tiny flower too!!

  18. These turned out very cute. Thanks for re-visiting this stamp.

  19. How very clever to use just parts of this large stamp. I never think of those things myself. These are both bright and cheery.


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