More Summer Making–a Stamping Project

Coffee and a bowl of cherries, a slingshot of birch, farm eggs, a quick trip to Vermont and . . . carving stamps with my co-maker & 11-year-old niece. So many pleasures during a busy and un-busy July. Our printing project was surprisingly rewarding. We weren’t so sure we’d like the results because we thought our carving was clumsy and far from perfect. Luckily printing is a forgiving craft–lopsidedness and splotchiness only add to its charm.

This is how our project went:

  1. We sketched our designs on paper. Then simplified, simplified, simplified when we realized how tricky the carving would be.
  2. We transposed our designs by drawing directly on our Speedball 2 3/4 x 4″ Speedy-Cut carving blocks.
  3. We carved with Speedball linoleum cutters. Number 2 and 3 cutting blades made easy, chunky lines. A number 1 blade makes a delicate line but we learned not to carve deeply with it because pressing it too far into the block shreds and rips the surface a bit.
  4. We used a brayer (the rolling thing) to apply the ink, rolling the ink on paper first to distribute the ink evenly before applying it to the block.
  5. We placed the paper on top of the inked block and rubbed with the back of a big wooden spoon.

We were delighted & made a bunch of prints for cards and postcards!

Round Up: Summer Crafts

Summer! I’m thinking of strawberries, popsicles, and dipping my toes in the lake. Also, making stuff. Here’s my summer craft round up from Pinterest.

1. Mini arrow embroidery kits from Miniature Rhino, available on etsy–these looks simple, plus they make great decor from the cottage or camp.

2. Vintage bikini rubber stamps from Talk to the Sun, available on etsy. Or it might be fun to carve your own summery stamps).

3. Graphic Box offers graphic files of these hand-drawn watercolor flowers, but I hope to get out the paint box and create originals, maybe with a little help from this A Piece of Rainbow DIY.

4. Is tree weaving on your summer To Do list, too? This image is from A I A Gart.

5. Time to build a tree house with step-by-step instructions from Apartment Therapy!

6. Jigsaw puzzles and paint-by-number kits are synonymous with rainy lake days. SF Girl By Bay posted this alpine scene from amy gieske art + photography. I’d love to paint a New Hampshire scene–maybe a customized paint-by-number landscape from Easy 123 Art?

7. How about fresh summer linens? The Purl Bee offers instructions for sewing pillowcases.

8. I have an old warped, wooden tennis racket that is just calling out for this treatment (yarn bomb instructions from Bloesem Kids).



Summer Craft Camp

School’s out! (In 9 days–but who’s counting?) My list of summer hopes & plans grows with each passing minute. First on my list?  Something frivolous & impractical that I can do with my kids like . . . build this children’s summer teepee by Courtney Cerruti from Creativebug! Creativebug offers online D.I.Y. tutorials for a fee, but this summer the site is featuring family-friendly “craft camp”–free video workshops of stuff to do with kids. Other workshops include making clothespin dolls with Amy Karol or Shrinky Dink earrings with Nicole Blum.



Cottage Part 1: Patchwork Tablecloth

The clouds are cumulus. The sky is robin’s egg blue. The kids are at home asking about what to do next. Must be summer.

I, for one, am dreaming of lake days at my cottage. Did I say my? I meant at your cottage. Feel free to invite me.

This patchwork tablecloth made out of colorful bandannas is a fun project from Aesthetic Nest. The AN version looks like perfection, wafting in the breeze. Mine less so. As AN points out in the instructions, not all bandannas are made to the same size. I found that the white ones are the runts–an inch smaller all around, making things a little more irregular.

But the imperfection is what I like about the project–it doesn’t require seamless seams to look breezy, whimsical, and summery.

I made a square of 4 bandannas to cover the little table on my back porch.

And a larger square (3 by 3) for my mom’s table at–you guessed it–her summer cottage. Not that I’m hinting, Ma, but my bags are packed.

P.S. I bought the bandannas at Play Time Crafts in Arlington Center–a place intimately known to any Arlingtonian who has shepherded a kid’s school project. But if you’re from close by and haven’t been, you should check it out. If the teetering aisles of crazy inventory don’t charm you, the sweet-and-sour staff will win your loyalty.)