Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tutorial: Hot Stamping

After contemplating how to get my logo onto some wooden scoops I recently purchased (to go with an up and coming product), I came up with this little tutorial to show you how I turned an ordinary wooden scoop into a customized product.

The medium: wood
What I wanted to do: adhere my logo on each scoop

But how? I considered stamping, painting, and stenciling. Then I got the brilliant idea to wood burn the logo onto each one. So I went on the mad hunt for the long forgotten wood burner. When I found it I really started hesitating if I could work on such a small area, and my logo is fairly detailed at that tiny size. Then before I put it away I got to reading about the different tips and a little light bulb came on.


What you need:
Wood burning tool (bought at most hobby stores)
Hot stamp tip (it is round and flat)
Reverse Laser print out of image to transfer (very important this is laser and NOT ink jet and if you have any text or a non-symmetrical image to print it in reverse)
A little patience and cautious hands...it gets hot!

While your wood burner is warming up trim your image to fit the area to be stamped. I printed a whole sheet. Be sure to leave enough around your image so the burner tip does not touch the wood surface and so you have room to tape it in place.

Next, position and tape your image, ink side down, lightly on one edge so it won't slip while burning.

Now, while holding your image down firmly use the wood burner to impress the image into the wood. Use small circular motions, firm pressure, and check often for imprint (just flip your taped image up slightly and reposition if more heat is needed). Watch your fingers here. I was working on a fairly small surface so I had to be extra cautious. If you notice your paper is turning brown it's time to turn the burner off or you will end up burning through.

I did have to rock the burner around a bit because of the curved surface I was working on.

Once the image is fully transferred you can remove the tape and paper. Tada!

This was such a simple project and I love that I could do it myself. What are some other creative ways this technique could be used?

I'd love to hear your ideas and please stay tuned for coordinating soapy product!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Joy Moments

When I was a new mother, some nine and half years ago, everything was a wonder, a marvel. I remember relishing, delighting in every new thing my wee babe could do. And marveled in this small wonder who taught me so many things about love and life and moments. Yes, moments, tiny little moments to hold onto....babe spinning at sunlit window, transfixed by the dust particles swarming around him. And I laughed and cherished these moments. Simple joy in bubbles blown, leaves picked up, the scattering of hundreds of Cheerios. And I took photos, photo after photo trying to capture what my eyes were seeing in the here and now.

Somewhere as the years have crept along...sped along even....my boys have grown to the wise years of 6 and 9 and it seems that the wonder of this motherhood has escaped me. Not that they don't fill me with wonder, but there is this longing for that complete innocence of their baby sight, eyes still captivated in the marvel of sunshine, the distant sound of an airplane overhead. I quit seeing, quit capturing photo moments, moments in my mind, joy moments. And I don't know if it is these children growing before my eyes or this long winter stretched out before me, but I do know I want to hold it again, hold it close. The funny thing is I didn't see it slipping until I recently picked up a book (downloaded it onto the Kindle) on a whim. This reading has transfixed me, pulled at my deepest heart strings and brought back that joy and wonder and mystery of new motherhood to me.

The book is One Thousand Gifts: a Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. Her words are touching, heart felt, God-blessed. And I keep going back to find new treasures in her book, but most importantly I am finding new treasures right here, right in this mother-world I live in. And I've started my own Gift List...it is short and no where near 1000, but it will get there and beyond as I re-find the joy I knew as a fresh mother, in my children, in my daily duties, in the wonder of the world that touches me here. I will capture these moments, kid moments, life moments, God moments with eyes seeing deep, gifts given, gifts praised and I will be content.

12. Spring flowers peeking through Winter's last snow
11. Sunshine rainbows on dirty carpet
10. Quiet man's warm hands on days end aching muscles
9. Crumbs under chairs to be swept, they've never known hunger
8. Simple meal, no frills
7. Two voices singing in harmony, boys who are blessed with music, unseen mother audience

6. Indoor garden's beginning bloom
5. Hungry boys, growing still
4. Warm steamy shower warms cold morning skin
3. Little hands folded in quiet prayer over breakfast, unison voices
2. The smell of waking little boys from their slumber
1. Warm blankets wrapped around me in the morning

Friday, March 4, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mine...not so much right now, but I am longing for warmth and sunshine and dirt under my nails. There is something about that smell, the first shovelful of warm, moist, earthworm filled soil. To get the annuals set, to check on the perennials for signs of new life. I am ready to turn over the garden soil and have my little ones, who really aren't so little anymore, decide this years vegetables and plant little wild flower beds.

And at the end of the day I'll be tired, tired from work I've not done for months, and it will feel good! What Spring activities are you dreaming of? Have you begun already? or are you still buried under mountains of snow?