Around Here: November 2019
Art Supplies Used to Restore Art

#CarveDecember 2019

In case you don't know what #CarveDecember is, here's the gist:

WHAT: Every day in December we carve a stamp and post it online.

WHO: Everyone is welcome to join. New stamp carvers will develop their skills quickly and experienced stamp carvers will sharpen those skills. Everyone will connect with new friends!

HOW: Post a photo of the stamp you've carved to your instagram account. Use the hashtag #CarveDecember so that everyone in the group can find what you've done. In my experience, the #CarveDecember crew is warm and generous.

Here's a quick list of things you can do to have a great #CarveDecember experience:

Gather Your Supplies

When working on a daily project, I find it easiest if I have all the supplies I need right at hand so I can sit down and get to work.  Even if you don't have a dedicated art space, you can quite easily fit a stamp carving kit into a shoebox or a tote bag.  I take my stamp carving supplies all over the world with me -- just remember to pack your blades in your checked luggage.  Even if you're traveling during December, you *can* carve a stamp every single day!  All you need is your kit and a table.

Here's what's in my carving kit (links to brands I use):

Plan for Success

I like to make a plan.  But I also like to remember that it's okay to deviate from the plan.  The plan should be helpful, and not feel like it's strangling or constricting you.

Some things to plan:

  • Pick a time of day to carve.  For example, I do best if I get it out of the way first thing in the morning.  Other people have told me that they like to do it as an after dinner activity or a lunch break activity.
  • Make a list of stamps you'd like to create. What's on your list of "stamps I'd like to own?"  Write them down so you have some ideas for what to carve.  Nothing is worse than sitting down to create and not having any ideas.  
  • Gather inspiration. Start a Pinterest Board dedicated to #CarveDecember.  (You can see mine here.)  Or go analog and start collecting images from magazines, taking photos, or even starting with some sketches.  There's nothing wrong with copying as long as you site the source of your inspiration.
  • Plan ahead for the hard days.  December is a busy month.  But some days are busier than others.  When I know that I have a crazy day coming towards me, I grab my list of quick and easy stamps.  Generally speaking, these are stamps that are small -- about an inch -- and simple -- stripes, dots, etc.  They still look great, but I can get them done from carve to print in less than 15 minutes. 

No Experience Necessary

If you want some help with stamp carving, these are resources I offer:

You can also visit YouTube for tons of FREE video tutorials on stamp carving!

I really hope you'll join us for #CarveDecember!  It's fun and easy and you end the month with an amazing collection of unique hand carved stamps, whether you carved every day or just a few days!

Are you planning to join in this year?  Let me know!

REMEMBER: You do NOT have to carve every single day to participate.  Even if you just get in 1 or 2 stamps, you are most welcome!

My goal with this project is not to put anybody through a painful bootcamp. Rather, I want to show people how easy and fun and quick stamp carving really is!  In fact, I've been wavering back and forth on whether or not #CarveDecember is a plausible exercise this year.  After some discussion with my family and some personal introspection, I've decided to give it a go.  Personally, I'm going to keep the parameters super tight for myself: tiny simple stamps only.  I want to be able to carve and print and post in less than 30 minutes a day.  I think it's the only plausible way to do this project with a brand new baby.  I think it's possible?

During last week's YouTube Members Livestream, I talked about it a bit and then I demo carved and printed this stamp:

Took me about 10 minutes to carve and print.  So, I think my goal is do-able and I'll end up with a collection of very simple but functional stamps.  What do you think?  Am I crazy for thinking of attempting #CarveDecember with a new baby in the house?

Thanks for stopping by!