#363 - THANK YOUS (7)

The Walsh Clan is going down in a ball of fury!  First my son, then my husband…now me.

My throat hurts, my body aches and I just want to spend the rest of the week in bed.

I was so proud of myself for staying healthy during the Christmas season.  Stress always gets me sick over the holidays and I thought tanking up on vitamin C was going to see me through.  However our house has been full and sharing a bed with two sicklings was more than my body could take.

Did that stop me from trudging on with my creative 365?  Nooooo.

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South County Art Supply had given me this rubber stamp block for carving.  It’s super soft as opposed to carving in linoleum which is hard. I thought the size seemed perfect for creating thank you cards. Don’t we all have someone to thank this time of year?

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Let’s just say I figured out how to use the material after I was through with it! Meaning, these didn’t come out all too well because I was learning along the way.

This is what I learned:

First, when creating a design, you really must consider the spacing between objects.  I didn’t leave enough and lost most of my design, especially the lettering.  Second, I started carving with an Exact-o Knife which was not the correct tool for this rubber block.  The Exact-o Knife stabbed too deep, did not make uniform marks and made the rubber stamp crumble.

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Half way through the process I figured this out and pulled out my Speed Ball linoleum carving tools.  THEY WORKED PERFECTLY. Unfortunately I didn’t have any large rubber blocks left to apply what I learned!

I had a smaller block which I only used the carving tools with. See how the lines are a lot cleaner.

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It’s really not my favorite activity to try something, mess up and have to post it on the world-wide web, but hey I’m honest, I should at least get points for that!

If I were to try this again, I would spend way more time on a well conceived design and I’d only use carving tools. I could see using this technique for only one large object per block. Maybe a bird, sunflower or I thought of doing a flying pig!

Of course my daughter wants to try this now.  So we will be picking her up a rubber block to create what else? None other than a platypus!


OK.  My back is killing me, my glands are soar…I’m crawling into bed now… :(

Two more days…two more days until I take a long winter’s nap! I desperately need one!

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After reading my posts for a while, you’ve probably come to recognize I am no English major!

However, this vision of a forest wrapped around a little child flashed through my head and I felt like I needed to create a proverb to explain it.

The child of course, represents the “inner child” in all of us.  The forest represents that in our adult lives which we are too afraid to “go for”.

I can’t tell you how many people I know, who aren’t doing what their soul yearns to do, because of the great “WHAT IFs”.  Here are some of them:

What if I leave my cushy job. How will I pay for x y & z?

What if my partner thinks I’m a total lunatic?  What if they disapprove?

What if I fail?

What if I waste time?  I don’t have that kind of time…

What if something happens and I don’t finish?

How will I tell the world that my life is a lie?  That I really am not happy and I really am not doing what I love? If I haven’t told everyone up until now, doesn’t that sort of make me a fake? an imposter?

Sometimes our fears and insecurities can keep us from ever even trying.  The forest may be intimidating, but our thoughts can be way worse, they can deem us immobile.

Well, my biggest fear was putting myself out there artistically.  I wouldn’t want anyone to see something I was working on until it was perfect…and guess what? Perfect never came.

In some ways you can say my fear is facing the world and being brave enough to stand up and introduce myself the way my “inner child” would.

Blogging is a way I can face this fear head on.  Whether I am happy with the outcome of a days work or I simply want to cringe, I am still decreeing to the world, that I want to be AN ARTIST!

When I put my life in that perspective and I ask myself “Did you show up today?  Did you try something new? Did you try your best? Can you now let go of your ego and put something out into the world?”  -when I answer these questions, then I know I am in the forest.

Here are my answers to the questions:

I am no longer playing it safe at a job that simply creates income.

I have declared to the world my most inner wishes and desires.

I fully embrace failure.   Now I see that learning everyday, practicing, trying my best to work toward my goal far surpasses failure.  It makes me strong.  It makes me true. These are qualities I admire.

The only time I considered wasted, were the thirty years that came before this year.  The years I spent playing it safe and talking myself out of EVERYTHING!

Even with this 365, I still have constant worries.  “What if I break my wrist? What if my child needs me? What if I cop-out? What if my family doesn’t support me? What if I over sleep? What if I spill coffee on my last 6 hours of work???”

The answer to all these questions is that you stay present.  You deal with every potential problem as it comes.

Today, I have absolutely no idea where I will find the time to create something tomorrow.  Seriously no idea.  I gently dismiss this fear and I have faith that something creative will come my way.  Tomorrows time will present itself.

So far, It has gotten me to Day #312.

  The better question to ask myself, is what would this year have looked like if I didn’t personally challenge myself to be creative?  It would be a pretty empty and boring year filled with obligations that always got in the way of what I truly wanted to do.

So here is my reminder, to all of us, myself included.


Be brave enough to show the world who you really are.

Do it EVERY day.

I promise you, your soul will rejoice!

#308- Back to stamping (4) #311- The TREE THROUGH THE FOREST (5) #311- The TREE THROUGH THE FOREST (2) IMG_7532


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Almost there on this piece…I have a little character to add tomorrow.


Today was spent completing the tree stamps.


I also added another layer to the background of the forest.


After that, I began to add the colorful top layer of trees. I wanted the look of a complicated, entangled mesh of trees; a thicket I guess.


It was tough, by the time I painted one end of these 18 inch stamps, the other end was dry.  I had to work super fast!

Tomorrow I will add the finishing touches and explain what this painting is about.

Thanks for bearing with me!

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#310 -DOES IMAGINATION Grow on trees (2)

If you haven’t guessed it, I’m creating a wild forest!

Check Post # 308 -Back to Stamping to see what this project is all about.

  These pieces of tracing paper were my final sketches before beginning on the outer layer of forest.  Monday, I created black & white stamps that would serve as the background trees. Today’s stamps are more elaborate because they will stand in the foreground.  I am creating 18″ tall stamps out of craft foam and corrugated cardboard.  I usually make them with a wood base, but the cardboard will be good for such a large stamp.  I can put more physical pressure on the inside of the stamp which I could not do if it were wood.

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So after I figured out exactly what size I wanted each tree, I then got to have fun coming up with the patterns and textures.

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The second stamp I made today is the one all the way to the left.  I scrapped it because it looked too much like a court jester’s hat!  Strange how those things slip into your subconscious somehow.  I replaced it with the curvy striped tree of the same shape.

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My third stamp I created today sort of reminds me of the gingerbread house from Hansel and Gretel or maybe even the Queen of Hearts from Wonderland?

Either way, creating these crazy concoctions is pure child’s play.   I just have so much fun putting all the pieces together.

OK. Three more tree stamps to create tomorrow and a few other things you’ll see when I get to them.

Rome wasn’t built in a day you know…

One more thing…

If my tree stamp falls off the table tonight and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Oh, bugger I must be getting tired…time to force myself to bed!

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#308- Back to stamping (5)

I have enjoyed making hand-crafted stamps so much, I felt the urge to make more!

I’m just in love with the imperfections, the pattern & texture I can create, the layering, the hardness of some of the lines.  It is one of the most primitive ways of creating a print and I’m simply in love with the technique.  here are some custom stamp prints I’ve made thus far.


I usually tell you what I’m up to on the first day of a project, but with this one, I feel like it would be more fun to describe my logic after I get everything down on  paper.

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I started out with acrylic paints on 140 lb cold-press paper.  I wet the paper with water, added some dabs of blue, yellow and white and began to mix the colors with the brayer. This gives the paper a smooth yet choppy texture with hash marks throughout.

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Next, I created some templates for future stamps.  I used tracing paper to map them out. They will be trees that curve around each other. I sort of needed to see where they were going to go. I then put them aside for another day.

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After that, I began to create tree stamps that will be in the background of the painting.  I decided to paint them black and white.

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Here are some of the trunk patterns.  In theory, only a small bit of these trees should show.  I plan on adding another layer over them.


So, this is all that I am willing to divulge at the moment!

I have pottery tomorrow, but  I will continue this painting on Wednesday.

Until then, TTFN!

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