June 2014: Fran Nikides


How long have you been stamping?
I lost count!  Maybe 10 years???

What is your favorite technique?
I love to color. I have various brands of watercolor pencils and water pens to blend them. This all stems from that box of 64 Crayola crayons with the built in sharpener I got as a kid. Give me a coloring book and crayons and I couldn’t be happier. (Well, I could be happier if a dog was laying next to me while I colored.)
What are your favorite colors to work with?
I gravitate towards pinks and greens but when I stamp Asian themes I go for bolder complementary colors. I did a challenge last year using analogous colors and I want to try more of that.

What are your favorite Asian stamp images?
Anything I can color, nature scenes, geisha, flowers.

Favorite stamping accessory? (Such as scissors, etc.)
The Fiskars cutter with the guide wire, since there are times I can’t even cut a straight line with a cutter!

What is the one tool you couldn’t live without?
A sharp pair of small scissors

Any helpful tips for the group?
If creating feeds your soul, try to make the time to create. I have not yet succeeded at this, but I’m trying!

As a member of OSA, why do you like stamping in the Oriental theme?
I have always been enamored of Asian art. I am drawn to its intricate simplicity. Whether an Asian brush painting or the vibrancy of a kimono, I find them inspiring.

What favorite stamping magazines would you recommend and why do you like them?
I don’t subscribe to any magazines. I browse OSA, Splitcoaststampers and Pinterest if I want to learn something. If I purchased magazines this would take time away from stamping.
Published in any magazines?  If yes, please list.
I’ve never submitted anything.

Any other hobbies, talents or craft interests?
I make jewelry, love to cook, garden and I am owned by 2 Jack Russell terriers who compete at trials.

What inspires you to be creative?
If I see a color combination that delights my eye, the ideas start tickling my brain.

Art background?
I took a drawing class in college, but that is about it.

Any favorite websites you would recommend for inspiration?
OSA, Splitcoaststampers and Pinterest (I forget that Hanko and About Art accents have galleries!)

Do you have a day job when you’re not stamping?
According to my dogs,  I am their personal valet, doorman, cookie dispenser, etc. They believe that during their waking hours I should be “on call” at the drop of a toy.

Tell us about your family and where you live.
I am married and have my fur kids. I grew up on Long Island, but I am happier in the quiet and slower pace of Connecticut.

FYI: When I leave a comment in an OSA album I am a1terriermom, I sign my cards philsmom, I may have an album lurking out there as bacismom. This was the result of my getting hacked, so I had to change user names and passwords. It has been brought to my attention that people didn’t know I was a1terriermom .




I recently learned of an art form called Kintsukuroi and I was also inspired by a Henry David Thoreau quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” So inspired, I purchased Framelits Die Set 4 Pack with Stamps Frames by Graphic 45.

This is excerpted from Why the Word “Kintsukuroi” Means So Much To You:

“Kintsukuroi (keen-tsoo-koo-roy) is the Japanese art of repaired pottery.
But it’s something more than that. An important something.
When a potter makes a bowl, he makes it by hand with malleable clay.  The bowl is formed to the potter’s liking, then fired to a couple thousand degrees.  Afterwards, it is finished and presented as a true work of art.

Now, let’s say the bowl broke.  Would you even consider repairing it, let alone consider it more beautiful for having been broken?  Of course not!  We (especially in the Western world) demote and dishonor it, throwing it out in the trash.

But others would not only repair it, but also elevate it to a whole new level of appreciation.

The Origin of the Repaired-Ceramics Artform

We’ll have to go back to mid-1500 Japan for that.  The story is told of a bowl that was much loved by a military ruler. One day during a gathering, a servant accidentally dropped the bowl, which broke into five pieces.  Everyone paused, fearing for the young man as the military leader was known to possess a quick,  harsh temper.  Then one of the guests improvised a comic poem about the incident, provoking laughter all around and restoring the leader to good spirits.

 This story goes on to say that instead of the break “…diminishing [the bowl’s] appeal, a new sense of its vitality and resilience raised appreciation to even greater heights.”  The bowl had become more beautiful for having been broken.  The true life of the bowl “…began the moment it was dropped…”

From that day onward, mended bowls have been used and cherished for generations.  In Japan, cracks in precious bowls are often filled with gold.  The Japanese believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.”

My homage to kintsukuroi because it’s not what you look at that matters, it is what you see.

Materials Needed:
•Black, white, and pink cardstock
•Gold embossing powder
•Clear embossing powder
•Black pigment ink
•Gold pigment ink
•Dauber for gold ink
•About Art Accents “Beautiful” sentiment
•Stampabilities Scratchy Texture
•Stampabilities Orchid Greetings
•Oval die or punch
•Fleur de lis die
•Watercolor pencils or markers

1. On black base layer stamp in Brilliance Galaxy Gold, Stampabilities Scratchy Texture and emboss with Ranger Queen’s Gold embossing powder.
2. Cut pink layer.
3. Cut black layer.
4. On white layer, stamp Stampabilities Orchid Greetings in Versafine Onyx masking the pot. Emboss with clear embossing powder.
5. On a scrap piece of white cardstock stamp the leaves of the orchid plant and emboss with clear embossing powder.
6. After coloring cut out the leaves that would be obstructed by your cache pot.
7. Sponge Gold ink around perimeter of white cardstock.
8. Using an oval die cut out a cache pot in black and use a scrap for its base.
9. Mask some of the Scratchy Texture stamp and stamp on the cache pot in gold and emboss with Gold embossing powder.
10. Cover cache pot with Clear Glossy Accents.
11. Stamp in black and clear emboss on white your sentiment.
12. Cut aperture with Fleur de lis square for the sentiment.
13. Color image and layer the cardstock as you’d like.

12 Responses to June 2014: Fran Nikides

  1. Carla vdMS says:

    Hello Fran,
    Congratulations on becoming SAM of June 2014, enjoy your month of fame ;o)

    I really like the story of Kintsukuroi and the card with the ‘mended crack’ is just wonderful, never heard of this story before.
    mmmmmm….this could be a topic for a mingle in the future.

  2. Dragon Lady says:

    Fran, this is a lovely work of art. Thank you for sharing your talents for all to see. Enjoy your month! Annette “:O)

  3. Marlene says:

    Very pretty . LOve the story. Marlene

  4. Peg Klitch says:

    Congratulations Fran on being our SAM for June! What a wonderful history Kintsukuroi has and your art work is lovely. Your coloring is the best! Enjoy the month. Peg

  5. Barb I says:

    congratulations, Fran. Love the story about Kintsukuroi; hopefully, it will be a swap/mingle in the future. Beautiful project.
    Barb I

  6. cbsumm says:

    Absolutely stunning art, Fran. I’m delighted you were selected as SAM for June to share your talents and provide a history lesson on Kintsukuroi.

  7. Ruth C says:

    Congratulations Fran! Your project is beautiful and I loved learning about Kintsukuroi.

  8. Mary waspe says:

    Congrats Fran, your project is divine..love the story too.

  9. Trixiegirl5192 says:

    Lovely, lovely project, Fran! You rocked it! So enjoyed reading your bio and learning more about you! Enjoy your month in the limelight!


  10. Janet Castle says:

    TFS and Congratulations on being SAM…know you will enjoy your well deserved month! Your project is STUNNING, and I thank you for the inspiration and Kintsukuroi history!
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan Castle

  11. Shaz in Oz.x says:

    a very interesting bio, Fran!! and also interesting to read of the the broken being elevated in Japanese thought, rather Scriptural actually… love both cards shown simple but beautiful work! thanks for sharing your talent and ideas, Shaz in Oz.x

  12. Terry Meyers says:

    Fran, your cards are lovely. You do such beautiful and clean work. It’s nice to be rewarded for good work. Terry Meyers

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