Featured How-to September 2009  

Designer: Judi Kauffman
Stampbord BLOCK - Lace Garden

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A Note From the Designer: As much as I like the idea of planting a summer garden, the weather is just too hot for me to be outdoors. But I love flowers, so I head to the air-conditioned studio where I can plant an alternative garden using rubber stamps instead of seeds and inks instead of a watering can.

This year, I chose a 6" x 6" Stampbord™ Block for my garden, though my "plot" could have been a rectangle or larger square or a box. This garden will bloom all year; it hangs on the wall. Friends who have seen it have been so enthusiastic that I'm already planning gardens to give as gifts. It's easy to customize the colors. I'm thinking about adding a clock face to one and it would be fun to add a few dimensional elements to others.

The rubber stamps I used can be combined in any arrangement. The two sheets include dozens of additional stamps, so your garden doesn't have to look just like mine. TIP: Stamp a variety of options on cardstock and experiment with colors before starting the Stampbord project. I made a batch of postcards before I worked on the Stampbord Block.

Step 1: Paint the sides of the Stampbord™ Block with Metallic Olive Green paint. Perch it on a can or box while the paint dries.

Step 2: Stamp the garden using Saddle Brown permanent quick-drying StazOn ink.

Step 3: Add color to your garden, working one color at a time. Allow the inks to dry as you go to avoid smudges. The small raised dots on the gold metallic portions of the garden were done with a Gelly Roll Glaze pen (3a). This is a thick ink that produces the appearance of embossing. The gold metallic and bright opaque colors were all done with Sakura pens (3b), the soft muted tones and background were added with Walnut Hollow oil pencils (3c). Doodle and draw around the stamped images as well as color inside the shapes.

Step 4: For added detail, use a Scratch Knife to scratch thin white lines into some of the leaves.

• Protect the surface with one or two applications of gloss or matte finish spray sealer per manufacturer’s instructions.
• Add a clock face, wooden block or ball feet.
• Embellish the sides of the Stampbord Block with additional stamping or dimensional elements.
• Create Stampbord jewelry using small Stampbord tiles, the smallest stamps and the same techniques (many of the stamps are well under an inch in size). Glue on earring posts or pin backs to make earrings or a brooch. For pendants, drill a small hole and add a jump ring.