Growing stamp collection.

2015-01-10 all stamps small

Since having a go at carving stamps with my x-acto knife, I received a set of carving blades that were much better for what I wanted to achieve. It’s much easier to get smaller details and not destroy the rubber whilst cutting it.

I’ve made seventeen stamps in total (but the photo is only of fifteen) with varying degrees of success. The first four on the separate sheet were made whilst I didn’t have the new blades, but I cleaned them up as much as I could before taking the photo haha. The most recent is the lil’ star, which was made from the remaining parts from the newer NO. stamp.

All of the actual stamps shown above are erasers that I bought from WHSmith’s (people were giving me strange looks when I bought twenty more today ;o;) but I have a few types of larger blocks that are meant to be used for carving (I think??). Some of them are super thin and soft, so the blades slip really easily on them. I’m going to attach the stamps to wooden blocks (hopefully 9mm plywood, but we’ll see) so it will be easier to stamp and ink them.

I really love the fish bone stamp and the heart in the speech bubble one – which ones do you like? ‘v’

Happy new year.

Wow, 2014 sure passed by quickly (I’m one of those people who still think it’s 2013)!

Anyway, time to say goodbye to 2014 and look forwards to 2015 and breaking some New Year’s resolutions. This year, I’ve decided to be more positive and happy in general and I’m going to try to not worry or stress about the little things. Basically to loosen up and enjoy the year more ;v; I feel as if it’s a more attainable goal than, for instance, going to the gym every week (pah).

I made a summary of art for 2014 and spent a while deciding between pieces for each month. Some months I literally only drew one or two things but in june/august I did so much digital art that it became quite a job to choose the best. In the end, I went for a mix of the ones that I was most proud of and the ones that were more popular. I feel like I’ve improved, but definitely not as much as I hoped or would have liked to. 2015 will be the year of improvement, for sure. *clenches fist tightly*

2014-12-20 aiden secret santa no bg

2014-12-30 kaneki jaegershark fullbody

My digital art folder for December contained a selection of two images. That really isn’t a lot. I feel ashamed but at the same time, ridiculously happy because I love how the two pieces turned out. ‘v’ I discovered how fun it is to colour skin (huehue) while drawing a character of @celesta15‘s. The second drawing is of @jaegershark‘s adorable Kaneki (the giraffe). I seriously need to work out how to draw people in more dynamic poses with different expressions though.

Happy New year to everyone and thank you for all of the support in 2014 ! <3

SNUG hand warmers.

snug preview 1small

This year I decided that I would make an effort with Christmas presents for friends and ended up making nineteen hand warmers. Yes, that’s right, nineteen. Considering how long each one took (no, I didn’t time it, shoosh), I’m surprised I actually managed to get them finished and handed out within the few days I had to make them. I looked at at least twenty different websites that had tutorials on how to make the lil’ hand warmers and ended up not using them (well, apart from the microwaving instructions).

The hand warmers all were filled with about 35 grams of rice and made from various fabrics (I’ll list them at the bottom of the post). The sewing gave up on me on day two, refusing to move the needle and ending up being taken apart. Turns out it only needed a bit of oil (pheww) and we had the right sort on hand anyway. I got through three bobbins of thread, but I guess that was because I unpicked some of them so many times that it was ridiculous.

The night before I had to give them all out, I had this crazy idea of branding them all. Or rather, making labels to go with each one. I was super scared that everyone would break their microwaves or something and I didn’t think I could explain how to do it properly to all of the recipients. Since it was all a bit of a rush, I ended up using the font alright scrapbooky instead of handwriting it out on the computer. It turned out looking really cute and professional though c:

I didn’t manage to get many good photos of them, so my friend sent me a photo of the one she received (thanks so much!).

fariha hand warmer

They were all extremely satisfying once I had finished them, but the process of actually making them required so much attention and concentration (two traits I lack somewhat) it was almost ridiculous. And the rice got everywhere, as did the open box of pins I knocked off the table (luckily I had my trusty magnet at hand). But I guess it was all worth it, and I hope everyone liked them! ;v;

Merry Christmas !! <3

Fabrics used (I didn’t buy them from these sites but from John Lewis, but their about the right price here anyway):
http://www.burdastyle.co.uk/tula-pink-acacia-racoon-sky
http://www.burdastyle.co.uk/fabric/fabric-by-designer/amy-butler/cameo-harriet-s-kitchen-sugar
http://www.eternalmaker.com/baby-geo-dusk-fox-field-tula-pink-free-spirit-fabrics
http://levencrafts.co.uk/product/henna-pop-orange/

Stamp carving.

ily stamp edit2small

I’m really interested in making my own custom stamps and I have been for quite a few months (well, pretty much since I got my craft knife last summer).
I took a look at a few tutorials on various blogs and sites before giving it a go. I procrastinated for longer than I feel is humanly possible before actually starting. Months of actively avoiding doing something definitely cannot be healthy.

Anyway, I decided to just use an old eraser which I bought while visiting some old castle years and years ago. I have a snazzy putty rubber now, so there is pretty much no need for the average crumbly eraser. Bear in mind: crumbly rubbers and erasers will not work out well if you’re carving stamps from them. Since I am a definite beginner in the world of intricate designs from just a craft knife, I reckoned that if I chose a few letters that weren’t too difficult to cut then nothing could go pear-shaped (how wrong I was).

The first stamp I made was the word ‘NO.’ in block capitals. Let’s just say that it wasn’t a pretty sight. And it wasn’t nearly big enough (5x3cm) to make a big impact if I stamped it on someone/something. I cut the ‘O’ really badly and I’m sure that the stamp won’t last long before breaking. I then went for a slightly larger eraser and cut out ‘ILY’. I think it turned out okay, considering it was only my second attempt.

ily stamp edit1small

So I’m basically going to be using the ILY stamp everywhere. Nothing is ILY free. I stamped my friend’s birthday card envelope (as you can see) and went a bit crazy on a sheet of paper (as you can also see). I also managed to score my white table because I forgot to put my cutting mat down at first and got black ink everywhere across it. I have a few ink pads from Hobbycraft that I will use religiously (black, dark and light purple). I’m sure my ink and stamp collection will grow. Stamps are actually addictive.

I’m probably going to invest in a larger block for carving rubbers (maybe this one) because I now only have putty rubbers and bad quality erasers that aren’t worth carving. And possibly some different knives and carving tools so that I can get more details into my stamps. Whale stamps are going to happen, for sure. But in the meantime, I’ll be cutting away at potatoes and corks to see what else works.

Thirty days.

2014-11-13 lullaby relines

November was great – full of deadlines and stressful typing through the night. What am I talking about? NaNoWriMo, of course. It happens every year in the eleventh month (and sometimes in the summer months too) and the aim is to get creative and produce at least 50,000 words (yes, you read that right: fifty thousand) to create a novel. Within one month. That’s not even fair – I’m pretty sure that everyone who takes part has a life to get on with during those arduous thirty days. There is no time to write 50k words and succeed. At least, that’s what I thought until I won.

Yes, I won. It was my third attempt at NaNoWriMo, and definitely my finest. My first try at NaNoWriMo went well up until I hit 30k. I distinctly remember my laptop giving up on me then me giving up on my laptop and using that as an excuse for my lack of motivation and laziness. I actually had a plan that year (something about chess pieces, magic powers and a war) and stuck to it fairly well. Last year’s wasn’t so successful. I don’t think I even reached 10k, what a fail I was. Then we come to this year.

I convinced a friend to struggle through the month with me (they won too!) and soon realised that my vow to plan out my novel for this year (that I had made in August) had been broken. I decided to wing it completely and write whatever came into my head, hoping for a flash of inspiration each day. Anyway, I hit the 50k word count just after midday on the 30th of November. I think I danced around the house naked, but I can’t really remember.

The plot of my novel was awful – to be honest, saying that it has a plot is probably being too generous. Something about two people (Nox and a still unnamed girl) who lost their memories and have problems with certain limbs and their hairstyles (and names too, after I was criticised by many people about how corny the name ‘Nox’ is). So basically a novel full of rants, endless adjectives and adverbs, much dialogue and pretty much no action. It’s not completed yet, so there is still hope.

More to the point, the novel (currently named ‘Suppressed Memories’) included several creepy creatures that had tentacles, gnashing jaws and tufts of bloodstained fur. This was loosely based on a sketch I drew sometime last year on the front cover of a book. Since then, it has been scanned in and edited a couple of times. This was the first version; it has more details than the final one (which is at the top of the post).

creepy-creature

I don’t know which version I prefer – I like how clean the final is, but I feel as if the first version is nicer to look at. I entered the final version into my local arts and crafts exhibition anyway, after deciding that the first version needed a bit of tidying up (which turned into a complete redraw). I won first prize in my age category, but that was because no one else entered (I had a table to myself).

The creature is the cause of the loss of one of my character’s arms. Metal teeth mixed with soft flesh wasn’t ever going to end well, I must admit. It wasn’t too gory, but such fun to write anyway. So there, that was my November: thirty days of hunching over my laptop, sacrificing my real life in an attempt to beat NaNoWriMo.