How to make your own monogram rubber stamp

Last year I started venturing into the art of stamping and I was delighted about it. I started practicing with rubber erasers nicked from my husband’s school supplies and I got really hooked. My kind-hearted friends, seeing how hard I tried my hand at carving, sent me rubber stamps. I think it’s their way of saying my carving skills suck, lol. But anyway, I love the rubber stamps that I made myself, regardless of how rough,  unpolished, or amateurish they may be.

stamping for fun

No fuss. Very simple monogram rubber stamp. The banners are also made and hand-stamped by me.

I take really great pride in what I have made. So, here is one of my finished rubber stamp, a very simple monogram. I wanted to make something that I can use in making personalised cards and tags for family and friends.

While some people might be turned off at how “crude” and unrefined this looks I do not give a hoot at all because I think it adds more to the charm of a hand-stamped monogram, hehehe. Besides I’m only a beginner. Not bad, eh?

Materials and tools used: ordinary rubber erasers, a cutter, a heavy-lead pencil (for tracing), and a stamp pad.

How to do it? Here’s a very simple tutorial:

First things first. I created my monogram, letter “Z” using a pencil. You can either do it free-hand (like I did) or on your computer (and then print it out).

For some reason I shaded the hand-drawn monogram before tracing it face down on the eraser block. In this way, the “shade” is transferred on to the eraser block, see pic below.

transfer monogram to eraser

Next, with a cutter, I cut out the outer pencil lines to form the shape of the monogram and sliced the unnecessary parts. Since I do not have the right carving tools, I made do with the cutter. It was not easy but very doable. After a few minutes of slicing and cutting — voila!

cutting the outer lines of the monogram

Now, to see if the finished monogram is alright, I pressed my monogram stamp on on the stamp pad and … voila! My monogram rubber stamp is good to go 😀

stamping for fun

This is actually my second attempt in making my monogram rubber stamp. It looks neater and cleaner, actually. Practice does make it perfect.

Here are some of the rubber stamps I made out of ordinary erasers:

carving rubber erasers for fun

Practicing my carving skills on rubber erasers was fun! You can make anything if you let your imagination work.

Maybe you are wondering why I’m using ordinary erasers instead of rubber stamp blocks. Well, my friends, they are not available here in Phnom Penh. Besides, purchasing them online is also very costly.

Show-Off-Your-Shell-Button

Creative Craft Thursday

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Monday Mellow Yellows: Tapes and paper punches

Some crafting tools and materials I ordered online arrived recently and I’m excited. I don’t have any projects in mind yet but I’ll just play with them for awhile while researching for craft ideas online.

Since there are a lot of yellows in the lot and in many of my previous projects, I am joining the Monday Mellow Yellows photo meme every week. This is my first entry:

bee happy

Washi and fabric tapes and shaped paper punches. The brown kraft mini-envelopes were freebies from the seller. How nice is that?

I still have a lot more in my to-buy list. They are hard to find here in Phnom Penh so I resort to shopping online. I find the prices to be okay but the shipping cost is a bit problematic. I think it will take me several months again to be able to save enough to pay for the shipping 😛

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Creative Crafts Thursday: Hand-stamped Christmas card

Wow, time flies really fast! It’s been a month since I last posted here and right now we are right smack in the middle of January. Unbelievable.

I have a lot of catching up to do so here’s my entry to the Creative Crafts Thursday meme.

Here’s another card I made. The first batch I did were crocheted but due to eye and back problems I managed to make only a few. So I made some more but preferred the easy to make ones using rubber stamps I bought at Etsy. I was relieved that the parcel arrived earlier than anticipated so I was able to use the stamps for this card and have them sent in the nick of time.

Using only a yellow card stock, animals and seal rubber stamps, this is what I came up with:

homemade christmas card

My hand-stamped Christmas card (foreground), Christmas 2012. Behind’s the birthday card my in-laws mailed for my husband.

I used the seal stamps as the centre of the card with the hand-stamped animals around it. I coloured bits of the animals and added broken lines on the border to give it the illusion of a hand-sewn card.  Then I wrote the texts using a metallic gold pen to complete the card.

It’s just a simple card but while making this, a childhood memory suddenly came rushing to my mind, of me and my younger siblings sitting in our dining table busy making our own Christmas cards. I remember the chatter, the mess everywhere, the paste all over the table (even our hands and arms were not spared) and my mother telling us all to be careful with the scissors. I also remember how fun it was despite the chaos. How about you? Are there any  memories that remind you of when crafting?

Do you have some exciting crafts to share? Come join us at Creative Crafts Thursday by clicking the badge. See you next time.

Creative Craft Thursday

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A handmade Christmas card

With all the free time I have ever since quitting my job, I am in a kind of mission to do anything and everything handmade.

You can call me a DIY-warrior (more like a trying-hard DIYer, snark.) So I told myself that, this year, I am going to make my own Christmas cards to be sent out to our family and close friends. Never mind that I announced this some months ago, I am always sure I’d end up to be down the wire anyway.

In as much as I wanted to make the cards look like Christmas in Cambodia, I failed to really come up with something bearing Khmer influences. Maybe because Christmas is not officially celebrated here. Or perhaps I am beginning to get lazy again. Lame excuses, I know 😦

So here’s what I can only come up with:

This is the first "output". I have yet to put the finishing touches.

This is the first “output”. I have yet to put the finishing touches.

With a made up pattern, I crocheted what looked like a holly wreath with faux pearls accent and red crocheted ribbon. I used a light green cardstock and added a darker shade of green washi tape. I glued the crocheted holly wreath on to the cardstock using an ordinary glue (I could not find any fabric glue here) and utter a little prayer that they remain stuck to the card, lol.

I also made use of my metallic pens to write on the card. However, as you can see in the picture, my handwriting is awful so I’m using alphabet stamps instead. I will post the final version here next time.

I am only making a few for our family and closest friends – I finished 8 holly wreaths. I have yet to do the cards and the messages on them. My poor eyes could no longer endure the long hours of crocheting they easily tire and tear up from eye strain. And don’t get me started with the backaches! Lol. I am sounding like a very old woman, eh?

As painful as it sounds, I am determined to make handmade Christmas cards a yearly tradition for me and my husband. You see, I’m like that. I like torturing myself over and over again.

P.S. This is my first entry to Creative Crafts Thursday. Come join us by clicking the badge.

Creative Craft Thursday

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Fab prizes from Papemelroti for the best ATC!

Yes, you heard it right! I’m taking a breather from a hectic routine just to bring you this news from Papemelroti. It’s an exciting opportunity to win products from my favourite hobby shop in the Philippines.

ATC is the acronym for Artist Trading Cards. Basically, they are miniature art and they are made for swapping, collecting or trading with other ATC makers. So now, Papemelroti is hosting an Artist Trading Card-making contest and the winner gets to bring home this fantabulous scrapbooking set. And here’s a look at the prize:

win a scrapbook set from Papemelroti

These are half of what’s for grabs at Papemelroti!
P.S. Please take note that this is not a paid post. I’m simply sharing this exciting opportunity/ good news from them. Oh, and this photo is nicked from Papemelroti’s website.

So what’s in the prize pack? A LOT!!!

10-compartment organizer

Each Moment Handcrafted Tags

3-drawer Adventure Box

Bless this Earth Rubber Stamp

Adventure Notebook

Friend Sticker

Quotes Sticker

Adventure Bookmark

Adventure Bound Notebook

Always Remember Scrapbook Ornament

Assorted Craft Cut Pieces

Ellipse Scrapbook Ornaments

Adventure Spiral Notebook

Believe Craft Cut Sheet

Today Craft Cut Sheet

Cutout Kraft Letter Sheet

Adventure Medium Scrapbook with Matching Paper Bag

All of these Papemelroti products are made with 100% unbleached recycled paper. For more details about how to win this prizes, all you have to do is make your own ATC out of any materials you can use.

There is a big community of collectors/swappers/traders out there. I think it’s a fantastic way to express one’s artistic and creative sides and also a great venue to meet other people with similar interests and forge new friendships.  Don’t know how to make one, DON’T WORRY. Papemelroti will teach you how!

So why don’t you go and visit Papemelroti now to learn more about ATCs and how to win the cool prizes!

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Halloween is here!

Are you up for it?

Although it is not a holiday here, Halloween and Halloween parties are becoming popular every year, largely attributed to the huge expat community in Phnom Penh. It is basically an American holiday and, mind you, the parties are really the talk-of-the-town the morning after.

Anyways. I could not let this pass without making something. I made some Halloween gift tags and treat bags!

Halloween tags, perfect accessory for the Halloween treat bags.

Aren’t they spook-tacular? Lol. Sorry, can’t help it.

The treat bags are so easy to make.
I used the glassine paper which was bought last year. Glued the sides and used scalloped scissors to cut the edge for a more decorative look. I printed the jack-o-lantern and coloured it with a colouring marker. Then I used three different coloured yarns to tie it up. For the other treat bag I used a black card stock as a band. The “trick or treat” were handwritten, so were the little bats, using my metallic pen. Looks good, isn’t it? I love the black cat and the decorative border! I guess orange works great with black.

So tomorrow, the treat bags will be in use. My husband’s class requested to do a Halloween “special” class and it would include a “trick or treat portion”. Hopefully, the kids will like the treat bags as much as what’s inside of them 🙂

Happy Halloweeeeeeen!

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Stamping practice

In March, I received my first Papemelroti rubber stamp from my good friend GingMaganda. Since then I’ve been trying to set aside some time to practice stamping but I haven’t really found time to do so as I got preoccupied (again) by a short consultancy gig the past few months.

So over the Pchum Ben holidays here (it’s the Buddhist’s equivalent to the All Soul’s Day of the Christians), I took this opportunity to practice and put together simple stuff that are worthy of posting here, like these simple tags here 🙂 So, what do you think? Puede  na?

Ang taga-harana (the one who serenades). The baker’s twine is from Swann&Smerlin.

I think I’m going to colour the barong Tagalog next time. It will give a really different result. I wonder what the result would be if I stamp directly on a photo? The ink I’m using now may not be the right kind so I’m going to find a suitable one.

Stamps are so much fun and you can use them in different ways – for cards, scrapbooking and journalling, embellishing an otherwise plain gift wrapper, and so much more. I figured I need some more stamp designs so I hollered to my sister to send me some more. She lives in Angeles City where there is a mall that houses a Papemelroti shop. I can hardly wait for the stamps to arrive!

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Ring-a-ling! Wedding bells are ringing.

I’m back.
Finally, I found some time to come up for fresh air and post an update.

My younger brother is getting married in December and I’m really happy for him. I still remember when we were kids waking up in the morning earlier than usual to help him get dressed for school. He was just in kindergarten and I in the sixth grade and now he is an adult and marrying the girl-of-his dreams.

This being a church wedding everyone in our immediate family is expected to go home to attend the ceremony. Knowing my brother, and his girlfriend, the wedding will be a traditional affair. The wedding is set in December and I’m making their invitations. This will be my first time and my Photoshop skills will be put to use, hah.  My credibility will be at stake. Ngak. But I do love the challenge and the opportunity to be able to do something creative with my own hands. So, yeah, bro. No pressure. Your wedding invitation will be awesome!

I do not have any finished mock ups yet  because other wedding details aren’t finalised yet.  I’m playing with the colours and fonts for now. I’m also glad that a friend of mine is helping me out. This will be a perfect opportunity for us to work together as we are planning something out in the coming days. I’ll post the design here as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, when my brother went home last month, I sent several balls of yarn – through him – to my sister  who’s back into crocheting again. She’s currently making granny squares to make a sofa cover {ambisyosa!} and pillow cases.

I found some really nice yarns at the Psah Thmey {Central Market}. They are a bit over-priced compared to the ones available at O’Russei  market, where I usually go, but I was pressed for time that I decided to go to the nearest, i.e., the Central Market. So here are the stuff I got, aren’t the colours pretty?

Several balls of yarn in solid colours.

Mixed-colour yarns for only over a dollar each.

And a double-headed crochet hook, 7mm and 5mm at opposite ends.

Please excuse the dirty fingernails, hahaha.

I’m currently working on some tags in Halloween theme. These tags and cards are hand-stamped and coloured by yours truly. But that’s going to be in another post.

See you next time!

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Giveaways from Kayni and Kepi!

I love making all sorts of paper crafts – greeting cards, gift boxes/wraps, scrapbooking, etc. —  especially for my friends and loved ones but,  living in Phnom Penh where craft shops are next to non-existent, I am always frustrated that the materials I need are not my preferred kind, if not nowhere to be found here.

So I regularly check online stores and marvel at the wide array of supplies available.  When my friend Kayni announced that she’s opening her own online store {Kayni and Kepi} specialising in handmade cards and craft supplies, I just have to go and have a look.

How I love the assortment of washi tapes in her store!  WASHI tapes, not WASABI which I wrote before in one of her posts – I must have been too excited, silly me, hihihi.

Anyways,  here is a short list of my favourite things from Kayni and Kepi {I hope my fairy blogmother is reading this!}:

A kawaii tape-dispenser!

This Little Red Riding Hood tape-dispenser is  made of wood. I can totally imagine showing off my washi tapes “housed” in this pretty dispenser. I hope to win this one *fingers crossed*

Next…  the Thank You Owl and Clock Matchbox Stamp Set.

Thank You Owl and Clock Matchbox Stamp Set

Yes, my wishlist is not complete without rubber stamps. I’m the crazy rubber stamp lady, you see.  I have a few in my possession and waiting to buy some more for quite awhile now but I put if off because I’m still doing some experimentation.

Last,  but not the least, washi tapes. I’m a big fan of washi and deco tapes. They’re so much fun to use. In Kayni and Kepi, they come in pretty variations and here’s some of them:

Washi Masking Tape Blue Striped Wide

Washi Masking Tape Confetti Wide

Washi Masking Tape Dark Purple Date Planner

I still have a few rolls of tapes that I bought when I went to Tokyo a few years ago and I need to get more before they’re gone. I used them mostly for wrapping presents and scrapbooking and I tend to use them sparingly since they are hard to find here.

So there you go… If you are crazy about these, too, check out Kayni and Kepi’s shop and have a chance to win exciting stuff. All it takes you is a few minutes of your time to enter. You can also find Kayni’s Shops on Facebook and Etsy. Deadline is on Aug 31 so hurry up.

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Hey there, I’m back online

So, drumrolls, please ^_^

First, let me just say that I am so flattered that two of my favourite artistic and creative people in the whole wide world, IMHO, have responded to one of my blog posts. I can’t stop grinning ear to ear when I read the comments of peggy APLseeds and the sketchingbackpacker, aka, the lovable Kuya Robert, here. They are two of the five talented Alejandro siblings; the “Pe” and “Ro”, respectively, in PAPEMELROTI, my favourite hobby/specialty shop in the Philippines. If that doesn’t make you excited or if you don’t know what PAPEMELROTI is, then, you must be living under a rock, lol.

Oh, but wait. Because of the lack of posts here you probably think it was I hiding away under a rock somewhere. That is not the case. I’ve been remiss the past few months because my Internet has been in and out of commission and the electricity was out several hours in a day every day during the summer (that’s April-May here on my side of the world).

Anyhoo, so what’s news?

Well, my husband bought us a vintage Singer sewing machine –  how cool is that? I just wanted something basic to use for general sewing for hemmed skirts and pants. But I also have this secret dream (well, not anymore) of making fancy bags and wallets and passport sleeves as well as altering thrifted dresses, especially vintage ones 🙂

Here are some pictures I took while we were looking for The One:

Vintage sewing machines. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many shops here in Phnom Penh selling them.

Janome brand. I like the pastel colour 🙂 Notice the knob.

Now these are the type of Singer machines that my grandmother and aunts used when I was younger. One of them was passed down to my Mum.

There are a lot of other brands available at the shops and they come as pedal-powered or electric ones. It’s literally a block of shops selling vintage sewing machines! And here’s the lucky one we brought home, it came with a new sewing table (not the original wooden table or case).

My first Singer sewing machine.

I love everything vintage and this is a cool machine. It is still in excellent shape and runs well. It came with free needles and bobbins and other stuff that I don’t recognise (but my husband does) so I’m all set except that I’ve never done any major sewing with a machine before.  But, I can teach myself how to and there’s always the dependable YouTube for video tutorials.   I’m very sure I’m going to have fun using this.

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