September 2012: Linda Black

How long have you been stamping?

I started in 2008 totally by accident.  I was looking for an iris folding kimono template that I could only access if I joined OSA.  I had no intention of really involving myself in the group but then I started receiving group emails showing the beautiful work members were doing with stamps so I gingerly dipped a toe into one or two swaps.  I’m still gingerly dipping a toe but I have learned so much from everyone here and have made some delightful contacts that I’m glad I joined.

What is your favorite technique?
Is there such a thing? Basically anything that produces lots of colour.  I love colour!

Favorite stamp company?
I use AAA a lot because Annette is so generous with her specials and give aways.  However any company with beautiful stamps will attract me and any spare cash I have hanging about.

Favorite Asian stamps?
I love plant and animal stamps so if they are Asian they are likely my favourites.  Though I’m not a real fan of cute so Hello Kitty wouldn’t work.

Favorite stamping accessory?
My small quilting square.  I love that thing.  It helps me line up my pieces of paper so they are relatively straight and because it’s transparent I can really see what I’m up to.  I’ve even had occasion to use the 45 degree angle aspect of it for cutting bits and pieces.  And of course paper.  Lovely, exotic, textured paper or plain jane paper, it doesn’t matter I love it all.

Your favorite embellishment to finish a card?
Can’t say that I have a favourite.  That said I really like glittery things, paper cutting and mizuhiki cord so the potential to have one of those on my cards would be possible.

What is the one tool you couldn’t live without?
Again another difficult choice.  I would have to say my Xacto knife.  I use it for cutting, obviously, but also for lifting the backing off double sided tape, nudging bits into place, scraping gunk off of things etc.  More useful than I thought!

Any helpful tips for the group?
You’ve heard most of them before and they are still worth remembering.  Go outside your comfort zone, use colours you’ve never used or have seen other members use that appeal to you, check out the galleries.

As a member of OSA why do you like stamping in the Oriental theme?
I like and appreciate the skill of some artists to evoke an image with a minimal number of strokes.  The simple lines make it look so easy but my mind and skill level can’t achieve it.

Is there any one place or city you’d like to visit to find rubber stamps?
I would like to attend one of the big stamp shows that go around, something like the Heirloom one.  Though I think I’d burn out from stamp overload pretty quickly and I doubt my wallet would be full for long.

What other stamping lists or local clubs do you belong to?
OSA is my one and only stamping list.   I’m not much of a joiner and what I’ve experienced with the members here is wonderful.

What favorite stamping magazines would you recommend?
I have a number of Nancie’s VSN magazines that are full of great information.  The other magazine I refer to often is Return to Asia by Stampington and Company.

Published in any magazines?  If yes please list.

Any other hobbies, talents or craft interests?
I am all over the map when it comes to paper craft interests though currently paper cutting is a highlight.  But origami, paper quilting, paper quilling, iris folding (which is how I found OSA originally) are all interests.

I used to sing with an a capella vocal jazz group which was a lot of fun but due to life changes for a number of the members we disbanded.  I would love to teach my 2 Alaskan Malamutes how to mush but have not found a teacher as yet and as I’m pushing 60 I want them well trained before I head out on the road.  I don’t wish to find myself heading into a ditch when the dogs spot one of the numerous bunnies we have around here.

Photography is another interest and I’ve even liked some of the shots I’ve taken.  I especially like close ups.

What inspires you to be creative?
Nature plain and simple.  I love the change of the seasons, the wealth of natural objects that make themselves available for arts and crafts, the colours, the textures, the beauty.

Art background?
None at all.

Have you used any unusual item in your stamping that wasn’t necessarily meant for stamping?
Birch bark, arbutus bark, moss (which, depending on the type of moss, makes great under sea kelp for cards).

Any favorite websites you would recommend for inspiration? 
I like Stamp Zia, Michelle Zindorf, The Born Doodler, Fred Mullett and  will always check out anyone recommended by the group.

Do you have a day job when you’re not stamping?
I do.  I work part time as a Registered Massage Therapist.  I’ve been a RMT for 27 years and part time is just perfect for me now.

Tell us about your family and where you live.
Family consists of my DH and DD.  My DH and I live on 2.5 acres of woods and pasture on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada.  It suits us to a T. We have abundant bird life, a wide variety of trees, and a really good life.  Our daughter is 27, works down island in the capital city of Victoria and has mad skills in the kitchen and with a camera.  Our household includes our dogs, Rune and Lodden, and our 2 sister cats, Andromeda and Celeste.  We are also constantly visited by our neighbour’s 2 sweet and friendly hens whose names, if they have any, are unknown.

I like the intention behind prayer flags and wanted to use them in my SAM project.  It’s thought that the prayers on the flags are carried by the wind and anyone touched by that wind is touched by the prayer, extending happiness, good will and peace.  I would like to think that not just people are affected by those prayers, that the greater natural world is affected as well.  With that in mind I made prayer flags for the Western concept of the four elements earth, air, fire and water (the Eastern concept is five elements – water, wood, metal, earth and fire) and all the creatures that come into contact with themPlus it gave me a chance to use some of my larger stamps. ;o)

Here’s a link to the prayer flag project if you would like to view what others have done and their reasons for making them.

The finished flags are approx. 5×8 inches and you will need to add an inch or so for making the sleeve it’s hung by.  I used an old sheet for my material – 50/50 cotton/polyester.  I cut my pieces longer and wider than the 5×8 so that I had room to make mistakes. (Lots and lots of mistakes)

The central area where the main image is measures 6.5 inches x 3.5 inches with a half inch border all around.  This leaves a quarter inch edge of bare cloth around the border.

I stamped using a black dye ink and coloured with acrylic paints and acrylic pearlescent inks.   In some cases I stippled, for the dragon I used gel pens to colour with and in one I simply used a flat brush to apply the paint.  Whatever works for you is what’s best.  I then went back and, using a fine tip Sharpie, highlighted aspects of the stamped area to give it a little more definition.  I placed a 3.5″x 6.5″ piece of cardboard over the main area and used a regular tip Sharpie for outlining the border, measured half an inch from that border line and drew the outside edge.  Leaving the cardboard in place to protect the image I then placed a strip of paper on the outside edge of the border so I could stipple my colours on,  stay within the lines and not make too much of a mess.

The kanji for the elements were found online and copy and pasted into a word file, sized to my needs, and printed off.  I then taped them to some heavy card and cut them out with an Exacto knife to use as stencils.  Again using a stipple brush I coloured them using from one to four colours.  The borders I used on these are from a stencil I bought at a garage sale.

Stamps:  Feather, Fish and Grass – Fred B. Mullett.  Dragon and chops – Blockheads Stamps
Acrylics: FW Pearlescent by Daler&Rowney,  Apple Barrel or whatever was on hand
Gel pens
Sharpies both regular tip and fine tip in black
Fabric: Cotton based for better unravelling
Cardboard: for stencil making and covering image
Border stencil: Corners ‘n Borders by Creative Memories (1999)
Brushes:  Stipple, small flat and pointed chinese brush.
Exacto knife
Fusible web, needle and thread or sewing machine
Cord to hang your flags on

The order of flags is fire, air, earth and water.  The other photo shows paper mock ups, mistakes and some finished products.


10 Responses to September 2012: Linda Black

  1. Minda O-T says:

    Linda, this is such a great project! Thank you so much for sharing it with us, both the finished product and the story behind it. Congratulations, and thank you for being our SAM for thismonth.

  2. Ruth C says:

    Congratulations Linda! Fabulous project. Enjoy your month as SAM!
    Big Hugs!

  3. Emilie Boyd says:

    Really glad you found osa you are an asset to the group. Love your project.

  4. Barb I says:

    Congratulations, Linda. What an awesome project. Love the idea of prayer flags. Amazing talent!

  5. thefrugalcrafter says:

    beautiful project Linda, congrats!

  6. Bonnie Belk says:

    Lurking, briefly, I found this today. I’m not at all surprised by your wonderful project. Nor am I surprised by how perfectly and meticulously you created each piece. I’m definitely not surprised to find you Artist of the Month – I’m just surprised that it took so long for you to be here. Your art is always innovative and thoughtful, creative and beautiful. Your posts are informative and entertaining. You are a really special jewel among the many who make up the OSA family. I shall watch the trees, and go outside to capture a breeze. And I’ll find your prayers on it, I’m sure; and I’ll smile.

  7. Carolyn says:

    Linda, your prayer flags are amazing and beautiful and are the perfect project for September when fall approaches and the winds flutter gently. I was excited to read about your project and how you created your individual flags. CONTRATULATIONS!

  8. Anne says:

    Wonderful project Linda and so inspirational! Very beautiful indeed! Congratulations on being this months SAM, it’s lovely to see your work on the homepage! Bravo!

  9. Jan Castle says:

    WOW! What inspiring project(s)! Innovative to say the least…beautifully done. I know you will enjoy your month as SAM…paper hugs coming your way!
    Jan Castle in Salem, OR
    PS would love to see some of your iris folding…it’s one of my favorite techniques!!!

  10. Suz says:

    Hi Linda:
    Sorry for my late Congratulations. I am getting back into sharing with the group and I was so happy to get to know you more and see your lovely project.
    I like to think of good prayers on the wind for all creatures.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful project.

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