3/24/2013

spring is in my neighborhood.

when i was a little child...i hated my neighborhood...i really did because it was far away to go anywhere on foot or by bike...i had to walk 4km to school in the rain or in the snow getting soaking wet!!

then, all those things do not matter anymore and started realizing how peaceful and luxurious things i could ever have...the view has not really changed some decades...just a few small apartment buildings were build in the past 5 years but that is all. even my uncle decided to come back to make his birth house into his 2nd home after 60 years of not-turning-back-to-hometown moments!

here are some photos of my grandmother's cherry tree and some neighbour's ones. they are so lucky not being cut down. in japan, we don't have any council rules to cut those trees down...it is all depended on neighbors or land owners so many old trees were cut down due to the issue of car parking lots or cost of garden maintenance recently.

my grandmother's tree in spring is the moment for me to remember her where she used to sit down and do gardening...and i used to see that from my house window and was always relieved to see how well she was that day...or it seemed to be a good day to walk her house for a cuppa tea...or taking my dog to let her spoil him with her handmade doggie snacks. her tree always reminds me of her and her memories. these kinds of things means more and more when i grew older.

grandma's cherry tree.









neighbour's path between garden and farm. nothing is really special .


my neighbour's. they grow flowers for living.

3/23/2013

custom made rubber stamps

spring is here...yet...i have a hay fever so i mostly enjoy views from inside as i hate to have itchy eyes before carving rubber stamps! (bad eye sights will cause occupational hazard. e.g. cutting fingers!)

i made some custom made rubber stamps for 2 customers from australia and usa.


this watermark custom made rubber stamp is for pippiphooray based in melbourne.



this portrait custom made rubber stamp is for an actress based in texas usa.

3/08/2013

music:acid house kings

i have been a huge scandinavian pop like kings of convenience, etc.
many songs are easy to listen to, happy and cheerful like puppy dogs....

acid house kings is one of them! their songs are something i listen to almost everyday while i am working or just relaxing around the house. check their songs if you have not listened to them!


3/07/2013

how do i store handmade rubber stamps?

how to store your hand carved rubber stamps





1)find a place cooler/shady and not too humid...
these type of handmade rubber stamps do not like heat and sunny place in the house. they gets soft and in the worst case, they get stickier...i guess it might be chemical reaction with the heat and strong lights...

2)store each on the flat box...such as chocolate box or nice scarf box...or kitchen utensil container shown in the pic....plastic document filing folder. make sure to put paper lining before storing rubber stamps as to avoid rubber stamps sticking to the storage box.

3)please do not cram handmade rubber stamps all in one box like a child's toy box. they are delicately carved. so if each of them stuck together....they might destroy the design. each handmade rubber stamp block are made from slightly different rubber...so it won't apply with every stamp though.

4)cleaning each time after use also help the rubber stamp condition nicer and keep their quality as new as possible. then, storing them could be easier and neater!

anyway...i hope it helps!

how-to guide to keep your rubber stamps in good condition


Friendly guide
To maintain and clean your hand carved stamps.




CARE INSTRUCTIONS:
Your handmade stamp is made of rubber which can be damaged by heat, rough handling or harsh cleaning. Here are some tips for keeping your stamp in great condition. 

1) how to put inks on rubber stamps
Always handle stamps gently. Apply ink by pressing the ink pad onto the stamp. If you use water based paint instead of ink, use a sponge to dab the paint onto the stamp. Never rub the stamp on the ink pad or brush with coarse paint brushes – this will damage the stamp.

2) how to clean rubber stamps
The easiest way to clean your stamp is to wash gently in soapy water, rinse, and allow to air dry. 
If you prefer to use stamp cleaner or oil based make-up remover, apply gently with with the palms of your hands, soft tissue paper, makeup cotton pads/buds or soft fiber baby wipes. You could also use a kneaded eraser or stamp scrubber (with soft fluffy micro fiber). Rinse with running water, or by dabbing the stamp gently with wet tissue paper. Air dry. 

Never rub, scrub or wipe your stamp – the friction will damage the surface.
Some stains will probably remain even after cleaning your stamp, as the rubber absorbs some ink. Don’t worry – the staining is normal and won’t cause any problems next time you use your stamp.

some may use fabrics like old t-shirts or old kitchen towels. but i do not recommend to use at all. those materials are too hard and corse to clean our soft hand carved rubber stamps and cause the friction which could damage the surface. 



If you have any other questions about these stamps, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to seeing you at markets or on etsy stores. We also offer custom order stamps which have been one of our best selling products.
Happy crafting!!!

how-to guide to maintain and clean your felted items...

Friendly instructions to clean your hand felted items



Lucky, felt is quite strong, water resistant and flame retardant. However, it is an animal fiber so it may shrink if you accidentally put in your washing machine or hot water…All of our felted items which “talktothesun” creates are made from Australian fine (22micron) merino wool produced and made in Australia.


 


Here are several useful tips how to clean those handmade items.




Most of small stains can be cleaned rubbing gently with a wet sponge or towel.



To clean the whole felted piece, it is a good idea to wash by hand with cold water and a mild soap (olive soap is ideal.). Squeeze out moisture in a towel and hand out to dry. Please do not use a dryer. As we mentioned before excess heat will make wool shrink. Wash gently as much as possible, depending on how soft felt is made and what kind of fibers are used…



When an item becomes furry, you can rub with some soap water and dry. Otherwise, use a lint remover to get of pieces

  
Some of felted scarves can be ironed in a lower temperature.


If there are any holes or space where could be really difficult to clean or repair. Please do not hesitate contact us to get some ideas to clean or fix them. If you wish to leave them with us, there will be some additional costs to repair something.



how-to guide to make your own rubber stamps!!


How-to guide for making hand carved rubber stamps.





Making hand carved rubber stamps has been one of my passionate crafty projects for many years. As being a Japanese or having Japanese background, having paper – recycled or high quality paper in everyday life and having appreciation and respects with paper and related products like rubber stamps are put in my DNA. People in Japan love to make their own carved rubber stamps and enjoy using them as much as collecting and purchasing all the other cute stationeries…I hope this workshop will help to enjoy making rubber stamps that could be used directly into your dairy life.
(If there are any sentences are not easy to understand, please let me know. I will try to explain!)
Materials: rubber blocks, carving knives (it can be wood carving knives or linocut carving knives), cutter knives (there are various blades. 30 and 60 degreed blades are good for carving stamps), pencils, kneaded eraser, tracing paper, wet tissue paper, paper (a sketchbook to keep your original designs and final images as a rubber stamp, any kinds of paper can be used to make cards, etc), inks (there are various kinds of inks for paper, fabric, wood, metal, ceramics, plastics, etc. please find inks suitable for your projects), cutting board, fabric or other materials can be used!
While you are working: you can work anywhere really…as long as you are comfortable and hold a block and a knife properly. It is probably important to work at some sunny area protect your eyes. It gets quite exhausting!! I personally recommend changing places to work not to keep the same posture for long hours.
Designs: to start with, recommend to start from square shaped designs or circular designs first to get used to carve the rubber. There are lots and lots of hand carved rubber stamp craft books at the Kinokuniya bookstore in CBD so you won’t find it stressful to think of a design! Some people I know use their children’s drawings to make such wonderful interesting stamps. Please try that!
Process:
1. Choose a design
2. Trace the design onto a sheet of tracing paper
3. Clean the rubber block. There is powder coated to protect any damages at the factory. But this makes it harder to trace the design onto the block so clean the surface thoroughly. A wet tissue paper is useful.
4. Put very thin layer of ink over the block to help us to see which part is carved. This technique is especially useful when you only carve slightly.
5. Transfer design onto the block. Use your finger to press the tracing paper on the block. The pencil lines will be traced on it as a reversed image.
6. Cut the block carefully and make it into the size that is easier for you to hold and carve.
7. Start carving. One of the easiest ways to carve the block is using several different blades of carving knives. Hold the block on your left hand and hold the knife on your right hand. Also, ring and pinky fingers on the right hand could support the block when you are carving. Placing the block on the table could cause a serious neck and shoulders pain after working long hours. Therefore, I usually hold stamps on my hands and sit straight while I am carving stamps.
8. Test the stamp! Check any changes.
9. Finish! Take all bits of dust or pencil marks if needed with a kneaded eraser. Trim the edges of the stamp, etc.
Key points: Angles what you put the blade into the rubber are quite important. The angle cutting out 45 degrees toward outside to keep lines strong. (Please refer to the demonstration)
There are so many other ways to create hand carved stamps. The process I demonstrated today is one of many ways. For children and beginners, I usually recommend using regular carving knives as carving with a cutter knife could be quite frustrated sometime to keep concentrated.
Some put handles after that. I personally put handles when people requested it. Usually, the rubber blocks I use have 10mm thickness and it is not so difficult to press onto paper. Otherwise, you would be able to use stamp blocks just like linocut when print on paper.
Bits and pieces:
l Print on a piece of fabric? Use versa craft! That is the very best stamp inks I know in the world! Make sure you set the temperature of your iron properly and iron at least 15 seconds. Then, it will set permanently and become washable!! This stamp ink widens your crafty projects with rubber stamps.
l Print on a glass, plastic, wood, leather, glossy paper, ceramic or metal?? Stayz on inks are great for those materials!
l Please do not throw the little pieces! I usually use them to print and create organic shapes or random patterns!
l Be aware that rubber stamps are not eatable…some blocks look like a piece of chocolate or soaps…so please stay with your children if you plan to work with them!!
Thank you very much for participating my little workshop today. I do wish you all had fun working with rubber stamps. If you have any other questions, please contact me. I am also supplying tools, inks and other products designed and made in Japan for these kinds of craft projects.
Please spread the words about this wonderful ways of “handmade”!!