Back To Stamping And Swaps

I’ve been trying to finish up final classwork as the semester winds down, so I haven’t had as much time for any major craft projects over the last few weeks. It doesn’t help that I hurt my back while lugging my laptop to class (to work on digital art), so I’ve been trying not to sit for too long since that makes it worse. That doesn’t really work well with any sort of crafting unless I want to stitch while pacing around the apartment or down the street. ;)

In between all the classwork and back pain though, I’ve started getting into stamping again, little by little. I think going to the South Bay Stampers meeting really got me going, especially since I got to poke around all of the supplies in the studio we met in.

I decided to give heat embossing a try first, since we’re going to have a demo at our next craft group meeting. I had actually bought a heat gun and embossing powder several years ago, but I never had the time to actually try it out for myself. I eventually sold off these items, so I had to buy all new ones this time around. Here’s my first go at it:

Purple Bunny PostcardPurple Bunny Postcard - Detail

Not perfect, but a good first try. I’m not sure what caused the little pocks (air bubbles?) in the surface, but it might have been a problem with ink coverage. It was a lot easier than I thought to do it, but it looks like it’ll take more work to improve how I do it.

I’ve been stopping by the few stamp stores in the area (Stamp On Over and Only the Best mainly) on and off to look at what stamps and supplies are out there these days. The basic supplies are fine, but I haven’t found very many stamp images that I like enough to buy. I even stopped by a used stamp sale at one of the “crafter’s malls” nearby, but only left with a vintage stitching kit I found inside the rest of the store. I think I need to try making more of my own instead, and here are a couple I carved the other day, after finding a neat popsicle pattern on some scrapbook paper:

Popsicle Stamps
Otherwise, I’ve only been making a few envelopes here and there, and just trying not to overdo it with my back. Hopefully it won’t be hurting me too much longer, because I really need to get going on a bunch of swaps I signed up for. I sent off my end of an envelope swaps I organized on Craftster, but now I have three color-themed swaps and a handmade postcard swap (via Swap-Bot and Flickr) to get going by the first week of July. I’ve done a bit of shopping for the color theme ones, but they all require handmade items, and all I’ve put together so far are these envelope sets:

Mini Envelope/Card Sets for Color Swaps
I need to get some sewing done and pack everything up, as soon as I finish one last class assignment. The heat is on though, since I already received my things from my partner in the Turquoise Swap. Jen, the organizer, sent me some really lovely things, including cards she designed herself and some actual turquoise earrings:

Turquoise Swap via Swap-bot
I only hope I can whip up something that my partners will like just as much as I’ve liked what I received so far. :)