Looking to make an impact in your art journal or current creative project? Think bold pattern! I love a strong pattern element as a background when I really want to grab attention. I like pattern so much in fact that a lot of my stamps are designed with that in mind. My Mini Fan foam stamp set is one example and a pretty fun set to play with.
The four different stamps in the set each have a different design inspired by historical architecture and interior motifs that have caught my eye through the years. (My Stroll Through the Hood series is where I get a lot of my inspiration for these types of things.) The set gives you choices and the chance to mix things up too. But first, let’s talk about pattern.
The overall shape of the Mini Fan stamps is designed to fit snugly together and make a continuous field of pattern. You can get wild with color and using all the stamps in the set.
You can also use just one for a bit of intricate pattern in a page. The above stamp is a sinuous, Art Nouveau style that it is just the thing when you want something lovely in there.
Layering the Mini Fan stamps in a more complex way is another approach. The “more is more” technique is a lot of fun to create and is very impactful with different patterns and colors peeking through. When to stop? LOL that’s the hard question ;)
When you do keep things simple though, these Mini Fan foam stamps are very effective. It’s not an instant pattern like a stencil, but it’s a methodical, zen-like building process that can be a refreshing creative break. And for a project like these Koinobori wind socks, you can’t deny the Mini Fans resemblance to fish scales!
I hope you give some of these ideas a try. Here are some supplies used in these projects:
The Triple Play foam stamp set was designed by myself, Marsha Valk and Birgit Koopsen – three artists coming together to make a 7 piece stamp set. Yup – 7 different stamps make up this nifty set. Originally we designed it to go with our Beyond the Paper online workshop (all about working on mixed media surfaces other than paper) but it turns out this set looks pretty fab on paper too.
We each designed two of the six different triangle stamps and then included the hex stamp too. I bet you can pick out my two designs but I’ll let you guess on the others ;)
As someone who loves playing with patterns, I reach for this set all the time. The triangles work together in so many ways and whether you stick with just one design or begin combining several, it’s a great way to build a background.
They almost make a kaleidoscope like effect and when you start stamping and rotating and stamping some more, cool things begin to happen with those shapes.
The triangle shape can disappear and the pattern becomes whole in the background, something new.
The geometry of Triple Play creates the versatility. And we kinda knew that going into the creation of it.
We also knew that we wanted a very adaptable and useful set. Each of us was to use it in our lessons in the Beyond the Paper workshop, so it had to be interesting enough to show it in action in a lot of different ways.
Once we started playing, it totally exceeded our expectation though – when you start playing with those patterns it is almost addicting LOL
We realized that the Triple Play set could be very bold or also used in very sensitive and beautiful ways.
It all depends on what mood you are going for in your piece. But in the end, you will have a lot of fun creating with them no matter what you do. Here is a link to learn more. Enjoy!
One of my favorite things about all of my Batik foam stamp designs is that every stamp has a few things going on. You can use the whole thing, but you can also just use one element if you need some interesting patterns or marks. My Batik Pattern 1 stamps are no exception, whether you reach for the full sized Batik Pattern 1 or the Mini Batik Pattern 1 version. Sometimes I need some border elements and the bottom half of the stamp is a go to. Other times I want a bold statement and I need some X’s to “mark the spot” so to speak.
Above all else, I reach for the stamp because it’s so versatile for mark making. Especially if you don’t stamp the full stamp perfectly, and you weave it into your layers, you can suggest all sorts of stuff like maybe it is hinting at hash marks, tallying, or keeping some sort of record.
Even though it looks bold at first glance, Batik Pattern 1 doesn’t have to be the focal point. Use a mellow color and it can blend in with layers and add to the complexity of your image without stealing the show.
It layers up nicely with other foam stamps or in keeping with a love theme, my Love Tag and Love Knots rubber stamps. The abstract marks of the pattern can blend in with backgrounds.
But if you do want to call attention to the design, I totally recommend adding some embroidery to highlight it. Whether you follow the design exactly…
Or maybe just use it as a jumping off point.
So grab your Batik Pattern 1 foam stamp or the cute Mini version, and get stamping – on fabric, in your art journal, or somewhere else that calls to you.
Here are some of the supplies used in these projects:
Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post and video from Riikka Kovasin who is sharing her project for our new monthly theme: A Tale of Two Colors – Think about two different colors, one you love using and one you find more of a challenge to work with. Use them together in a project and see what happens. Riikka is using my Grove Street foam stamps in her project today.
Those, Who Imagine
Hello there! It’s Riikka here today with my take on the month’s theme about colours. My current favourite was an easy task, but the other colour took me by surprise!
My “go-to” colour scheme is and has probably always been blues, teals, and turquoises. Those warmer blue tones, like summer sea. When I’m taking a class, I usually tend to use those colours as they are my safe zone. I used to dislike pink a lot but since my two girls were born, it started appearing to my projects and has stayed since then. Well, I did dress them in pale blue or other colours as babies, but when they were old enough to make their own choices, the colour started to please my eyes, too. Teals and turquoises are my usual “go-to”, like I said earlier, but lately I’ve been using more and more of a sapphire blue colour. Partly because of that, and partly to give myself a bit more challenge, I picked that as my current favourite.
When I was thinking about what colour I don’t use, I would have normally said bright red or yellow, but this year has been a bit strange as I’ve done projects using both! So, to see what colour I haven’t been using lately, I took to Instagram. By skimming through my profile, I realized that at least a yellow green, a lime colour was missing. So, I picked that for the other colour and like that I had my combo chosen!
I’m not actually totally sure how the idea of the pair of cards was born. Probably I was pondering what to do with the colour combo and Nat’s Grove Street foam stamps. But I actually draw a little sketch of the card for myself at some point. At that stage I was thinking of using an old button as the focal point, picked from my inherited stash, but when I then pulled the other materials to the work table, I realized I could make my own buttons!
This project was so much fun as I’d never have picked this colour combo otherwise! I did use quite a lot of white to make the end project airy as the colour combo is quite intense. I also wanted to use the stamps on different surfaces, to bring extra interest to the project with just two colours, so that’s why I picked not only paper for this project but also white cotton. For the buttons I used the shrink plastic as I could then use the Grove Street foam stamp in two sizes in a way. If you want to see how I made the cards, please see the video below.
I had more materials made but ended up doing just two cards – kind of mirror images of each other. The “left-overs” I then put in my stash and can use those later for a journal or another card project. So, don’t be surprised if you see a button like this in another project or a piece of that green and blue patterned piece I created as the first step! I often make more collage material than I use in the project I created it for. That makes creating another project then faster as I have the mixed media papers and embellishments already done!
As you could see from the video, I finished the cards with lines from an old book. This does bring a new color to the mix, but I thought it to be so neutral and such a small detail, that it’s ok. And it goes nicely to the warm green. I often do my projects in English, but I’ve been using more of my mother tongue lately. The other card reads “What’s the reason for this cause” or “Why such a goal” and the other “Those, who imagine”. I picked the latter also for the title of the video, because we all need to imagine to create.
Thank you for stopping by today! Wishing you a sweet May! Xoxo Riikka
Thank you Riikka – such a sophisticated combination of colors and I love how you repeated the Grove Street stamps in different ways.
Give it a try: you can find all my Foam Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to old book pages, here are some of the supplies Riikka used:
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I found this old photo of my view out of my old studio in Hamburg Germany and I was reminiscing about the different views I’ve had from my studio windows… often on the top floor, just like now again, but always different. All this while I was listening to a spotify play list …the modern version of a mix tape that a friend of mine just made for me with music he discovered during the pandemic and thought I would like. J. has always been my music guy since we both share a lot of the same taste, so I am excited! It also made me very happy and grateful for the wonderful friendship where someone takes the time needed and puts a tape together for you. Remember those olden times?
Anyway… LOL The background was stamped with Versafine ink with the wonderful Triple Play foam stamps Birgit Koopsen, Marsha Valk and I created for our workshop Beyond the Paper – check it out. I added some sun printed fabric which I show how to create in the workshop using the same stamp.
My Hydrant foam stamp just cracks me up sometimes. It’s big and bold and well… kinda cute. Is that possible for a hydrant? I don’t know but in this case I think so.
It’s one of those iconic sights on the street in the US and wow is it popular with four legged friends if you know what I mean ;) But it’s also a pretty interesting piece of equipment, always a bright color (usually red), and it makes me think of city neighborhoods, which I love.
It’s a little unexpected and fun to use it as a repeating pattern in my art journal…
…and in fact I also like the abstract shape that you can make by stamping the back!
Got some dog lovers you know? These cards by Creative Squad member Judi Kauffman are hilarious:
And then also this votive project was a pretty neat idea, especially when combined with a few of my other foam stamps. You can create a whole little illuminated streetscape:
It’s a unique foam stamp, but that’s probably why the Hydrant catches your eye and makes you smile. It’s a little different and that’s one reason I love it.
Today we have card making inspiration (Valentine’s Day is coming up….) from Creative Squad member Judi Kauffman who is using my LOVE foam stamp and some collaged paper bits to create cards and fun sleeved tags too. Check it out:
I glued torn paper leftover from doing some spray painting onto 8.5×11 red cardstock…
…then I stamped onto one of the sheets with the same metallic blue acrylic paint that I used on the envelopes (seen here).
I intentionally brushed the LOVE stamp with a thick layer of paint instead of using a brayer so I’d get nice thick shadowy textured edges on the letters. I used the tail end of that paint from the stamp on tan cardstock before washing the stamp.
Here is what I made with the cardstock:
Thanks for sharing Judi! I hope that gives our readers some nice ideas for Valentine’s Day wishes or just everyday reminders of LOVE.
I’ve got some exciting Foam Stamp News! I’ve designed a Limited Edition Foam Stamp for Creative JumpStart 2022 called LOVE. Our theme for CJS22 is Creating Connections and what better connection is there than love?
LOVE is of course perfect for cards. I mean, what more need I say? Ok, I did add a little bit more like my Love Knots rubber stamp, but really if you just want to get to the point, LOVE is all you need.
LOVE will be a limited edition release – only available through December 2022 so supplies are limited and when 2023 rolls around they will all be gone… so don’t miss out.
How would you like a little LOVE?
Foam stamps are so versatile – they rock when you need to churn out some quick cards or maybe do a repeating pattern for some giftwrap or a cool background… I especially love layering up two colors to get a nice offset print look.
They’re also excellent with fabric paints and even on the wall if you’re really ambitious. And we can’t forget the possibilities of just letting loose and working in an art journal. Who doesn’t LOVE that?