Something that makes me about as happy as anything else in the world is stamping.  It is my business, but with having a child in school (and volunteering a huge amount at the school), I have less and less time to do it.  But when I do it, life is good.  It is sublime.  All my cares and stresses go away.  It is the best therapy I can imagine.


So it is only natural that there will be a stamping post here from time to time.


The first rubber stamp I owned came my way in 1985.  It came because it was a frog, not because I was a stamper.  I would not become a stamper until 1996.  (Story for another day.)  But the point is that I have been making things using rubber stamps for more than twelve years.  And as I mentioned, my “job” is even about stamping.


When I started stamping, there were not a lot of resources for ideas.  This meant that I came up with my own ideas for things to stamp.  And THAT meant two other things:  1)  I spent way too much time coming up with ideas (not my forte), and 2) the things I stamped were not nearly as cool as they could have been.


As time went by, there were more and more resources for ideas which saved me loads of time and allowed me to copy some of the coolest things in the world; most of my stamping projects are inspired (a little or a lot) by things other creative people have designed.  (In the stamping world we call it C.A.S.E.—Copy And Share Everything.)  Don’t get me wrong, I am a good stamper.  I have done it long enough that I am fast and good at it.  But to come up with the ideas?  Well, why bother most of the time?


Today’s creation is out of my own head, however.  Sort of.  It is not the latest technique or coolest idea out there; usually I make much more elaborate cards than this.  But I love this one anyway.  Why?  Because I was inspired on my own to do it!  And what’s more, when I saw the inspiration, I wanted to make the card, knew how I wanted to do it and had everything I needed to do it.

Some images © SU! 2007


There are a lot of things I love about stamping, but one of the big ones is that I have so many stamps and accessories and tools that I can pretty much do anything I want.  Although this card is simple, it is exactly what I wanted.  (And it looks so much better in person, but you will have to trust me on that.)


Now here is the best part.  The thing that inspired me was this picture.  It was taken by  Tom Wigley from Welcome to Wigger’s World.  (Thanks, Tom, for generously letting me use this.)  He hosts Sky Watch Friday every week where you can find some absolutely incredible pictures of the sky.  There are a lot of wonderful things to see there, but this one just caught my eye.  Maybe because when I saw it, I knew I could do a close duplication.  Maybe because I love flowers and sky.  Maybe because it looks like Queen Anne’s Lace in the silhouette (though I don’t think it really is), and I love Queen Anne’s Lace (which we don’t have here in the desert).  I don’t know why.  But I loved it.  And it inspired me to go stamp something from my own head. 


I had no idea this blogging thing was going to inspire me so much!


By Louise Cannon


Note:  For those non-stampers out there, the technique used to get the background “clouds” is called “Polished Stone.”  There are many ways to do this, often involving alcohol inks.  I do not own any alcohol inks, but I do this by putting a generous amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball, then putting 2-4 drops each of 2-3 colors of ink on the cotton ball, then daubing it all over glossy cardstock.  When it dries it can look like many things including marble and clouds.  Different colors create vastly different results.  By the way, I use inks made for stamping, not just any ink.  Any ink might work in one way or another, but time to experiment is something I do not have.

When Mrs. G asked the question about where the heart of our homes was, I had to think a moment.  The answer came flying into my head immediately, but I had to make sure it was right.


It could be the dining room.  Our family has a meal there together at least once a day—sometimes more on the weekends.  We spend a lot of time there talking, laughing, sharing.


It could be my bedroom.  Due to a surgery nearly 3 years ago where I was on the completely inactive list for 10 weeks, I slept in most days.  My daughters would actually wake up before I got out of bed, and I would allow them to get into bed with me.  That ritual has never died on mornings that are lazy for me.  My husband takes a picture of “all the girls” (which includes one of the cats) every New Year’s morning.  We have tickle parties there.  We read stories there.  We talk there.


But in the end, my first thought was right.  The heart of my home is my stamping room.  It is the largest room of the house and was intended to be a family room when built.  But until we move away, that will never be its purpose. 


It is the heart for many reasons.  It is where I spend more time than any place else.  My business is run from this room.  Classes are taught here.  Gifts and cards are made here.  I stamp with friends here.  My daughters enjoy stamping with me here, too.  The computer is also here in the corner which works as an office which means that I spend even more time here checking my e-mail, paying bills, and now, blogging. I am in this room a lot.  But just my presence does not make this room the heart of my home.


This room is joined to the kitchen as one giant room.  So when I cook (which gets equal to or more time than stamping), I am still a part of the room.  And the whole family is here as well.  There is the lunch/art table for the girls, where they do all kinds of projects whether I am cooking or stamping.  Here is also where the “clubhouse” is, an area under a work table that I have curtained off with old fabric.  And there is again, the computer, where my husband can unwind while playing silly computer games, surfing the internet and reading all the blogs that I tell him are funny or really good.  All-in-all, the whole family spends more time here than anywhere else.  It is creative time except for the video games and fun time.


A few months ago I bought some nifty storage units to organize this jam-packed room a little better.  It made me almost as happy as stamping does.  Everything is neat and organized (except for the desk which will never be is not even close to that state), and there is more room.  Of course that means more room for Pollys and Barbies and all manner of toys to be left to trip over, but that is part of what makes this room the heart of our home.


by Louise Cannon


Note:  For those of you who know me, do not for one second think I will be regularly posting this frequently.  This is a fluke, and I do not think I can keep up if it happens again!


About a year ago I heard the term “blog.”  I thought it was silly.  I do not like slang.  I did not think about it again.  (Mind you I knew about blogs before that, but did not know they were called “blogs.”)

Almost six months ago, my cousin started blogging. So I started reading it. I really liked reading her blog; she is an excellent writer. And she’s funny. And she spends every second more time than I have the patience for finding cool, current things to write about. She has great links and images and YouTube stuff. Really, she blows me away. She mentioned that her sister, Ducky, would help me get started blogging, too. I laughed. I laughed HARD. There was no way I was going to blog. I did not have time. I barely had time to read my cousin’s blog. I just. couldn’t. do. more.

Then I started reading a few other blogs. Most were linked from my cousin’s, but I found a few others by following those to other links.  THEN MY COUSIN E-MAILED ME HOW TO USE GOOGLE READER! Amazing! I no longer had to hang out on her website to find the trails to the other sites I liked. It would just tell me when there was something new! It saved so much time! It was so exciting! I thought, “Maybe, I can avoid more work and household chores handle this.”

There has been a struggle in my mind as to why would I want to blog? What do I have to put out there that anyone has not already seen or would even care about seeing? I cannot write poetically like my cousin. I cannot be absolutely hilarious with illustrations like June Cleaver Nirvana has. I cannot have the most sage and intellectual viewpoints like Mrs. G doles out. I cannot make potty training and sports hilarious even to the Girliest Girl Mom like Laid Off Dad does. I do not have deadpan humor and heart-wrenching thoughts like come from Madge. I cannot BEGIN to write like (or have the “interesting” experiences) of Awalkabout. And I certainly cannot be witty and take such amazing pictures AND post something like 4 times a day like Authorblog is/does. And then there are the photography blogs.  I am not even close to being in the league of a lot of those.

So why am I doing this???? The answer is still completely beyond my comprehension a little fuzzy. I know I like to take pictures, and I like for people to see them. I know I love to rubber stamp (mind you, get my ideas from other people’s designs, but still make incredible things), and I like to show people. And I like to write. Even though I will likely never write like the people on many of the blogs I read, I still like to write when certain things move me to do so. In fact, one of the reasons I went ahead and took the leap into blogging is because of Weekly Anamnesis. When I am short on blog fodder, that will be an easy way to come up with a topic.  Ducky (thanks, Ducky!) let me use her blog to make an entry, and there are several more from Weekly Anamnesis I want to do, so now I can do it here!

This blog will have photos and memes and rubber stamping projects and stuff I just feel like talking about. (Aren’t you on the edge of your seat wondering what those things will be?) And maybe as I go, I (and it) will grow.

So what should the first entry be about, other than to give a little explanation as to why I am doing this? I had lots of ideas, but again, inspiration came from my cousin with a Flickr mosaic meme. Her’s was really cool.  My husband made me asked me to do one for myself. So I did. (By the way, I do not even know what “meme” stands for. I know what it IS, but I do not know from where the word (acronym?) originated.  If anyone is reading this and would choose to comment why it is called a “meme,” please do not hesitate to enlighten me!)

Here’s how this meme works:

Answer each of the questions below.

  • Surf over to Flickr (set up an account if you don’t have one–it’s quick and easy) and type your answers (one at a time) into the search bar.
  • From the choice of pictures shown only on the front page, click on the one that moves you.
  • Once the page with your picture opens, copy the URL.
  • Surf over to the Mosaic Maker, set up your mosaic, and paste your URLs.
  • Click “Create!”

The Questions:

  1. What is your first name?
  2. What is your favorite food?
  3. What high school did you attend?
  4. What is your favorite color?
  5. Who is your celebrity crush?
  6. What is your favorite drink?
  7. Where would you go on your dream vacation?
  8. What is your favorite dessert?
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  10. What do you love most in life?
  11. Choose one word to describe you?
  12. Your Flickr name?

Mine looks like this:


1. one with the sea, 2. Cherry Tomatoes and Shallots, 3. P1010131, 4. Morning Best Wishes, 5. Daniel Craig, BAFTA 2007, 6. A Glass of Water, 7. Bridge of Sighs, 8. homemade apple pie, 9. We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is a real friend., 10. Sunny Side Up, 11. (0395) Giza Plateau Egypt, 12. Take me! Take me!

And just so you know, the answers to questions 9, 10 and 11 are not at all clear by the pictures.  But I like the pictures, so what do I care if there would be no way to tell the answers by looking at them?!

Come again!

by Louise Cannon