After spending most of last week organizing the charm swap, I hope to now post more on the blog and to play a little.
Today I carved some stamps. I have always wanted to try this and was amazed at how easy it turned out to be. I used those really inexpensive pink erasers (remember those from school days?) and an Exacto knife. I drew a design on paper and then "colored" the solid areas in very heavily with the pencil lead. Then I turned the design right side down on the eraser and rubbed well with my fingers. (You can also do this with a fresh photocopy, laying the inked side on the eraser and rubbing with acetone or nail polish remover.) This transfers the lead to the eraser surface.
Then I carefully cut around the black areas (these will become the raised areas of your stamp and, thus, the design it will stamp) and cut away excess eraser. I found it easiest to chip away at the eraser with small cuts. The main "rule" is to not undercut (angling your knife toward the underside of the design) - you will not get good impressions from the stamp if you do.
I was surprised that the straight lines were actually harder to carve than the curves!