Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Korean BBQ and Metal Stamps

Did you know I have a little sister? Well, not really little anymore... or even that much younger than I am (we're a year and a half apart), but she's the baby of the fambam. She's the one who calls me "Ahtee."

My Kuya John, Michelle (the baby sister) in blue, and that's me in back. Oh. and the little guy? That's Kai. This was in Hawaii almost 5 years ago.
We have our ups and downs... a lot of downs lately but we're trying. Anyway, she came to visit me yesterday.

We had Korean BBQ. So. Good. Expensive but when do we ever get to hang out like we used to? There was a book store trip and a Hobby Lobby exploration as well. I had a good time and she said she did too so a successful visit, I think.

Speaking of Hobby Lobby...

Remember when I bought these?

I looked up "metal stamping" on youtube the day after I bought these stamps and found some videos by Lisa Niven Kelly that explained the basics of stamping. I also picked up Lisa's book at the library (goodness, libraries are a book lover's best friend when they're broke)... I just need to read it :P

But I'm still missing tools (like a torch for annealing or something to darken letters). So, when I decided to give it a go, I really didn't see results that made me happy...

See! Or well... maybe you can't. Lol. Those two pieces of metal are supposed to say "AHTEE." On the brass square, you can (just barely) see how the last 'e' is up higher than the rest of the letters. Well, I didn't know that these stamps were going to come oiled and the stamp slipped. Oh, the frustration.

I thought maybe I needed to anneal the metal. I thought maybe my stamps were SO CHEAP they wouldn't stamp anything right. I thought I was a complete klutz and not meant to stamp metal.

I wrapped my stamps up in paper towels and let them sit on my desk for a while... intending to wait until I could afford a torch and try again...

But. You see. Today. My anvil was out on the table with the stamps and something clicked in my brain. Lisa says in one of the videos that she doesn't like anvils because they're higher up than a regular bench block and don't have a big enough surface area so when I tried out my new toys, I used my RUBBER bench block. Well, I whipped out the first letter I could find and tried out the anvil...

This picture shows the difference between the rubber bench block and my anvil. The letter came out cleaner! WOW! Then I moved the metal blank to the rubber bench block to try it again and sure enough, it did not work (see purple arrow... yes, the 'b' is on it's side :P).

Oh, the happiness I felt. I'm not a klutz! And the paper towels got rid of all the oil! And I don't need a torch right now! YAY! *happydance!*

By the way. My solution for the height of the anvil and small surface area?

Turn the anvil on it's side. YEP! Still not perfect letters but I'm getting better. For some reason, my hammer strikes have resulted in a deeper indentation at the bottom of the letter than the top. I'm going to try and work on that. Maybe tilt the stamps a little? I dunno yet.

Any new techniques you're working on right now?

PS. The metal blanks? From Michaels. YEP! MICHEALS. They've been getting a ton of new tools making it easier for people to get new tools to give techniques a try. I even saw a disc cutter for $50. When a good coupon comes out, I'm going to grab one. I'm lucky I have a Michaels, JoAnns, and Hobby Lobby all in one county. AND 3 or 4 bead stores I love. Happy girl.


  1. SUch fun!!! I also noticed a LOT of new tools at Michaels. And before I forget...they DO have a 50% off coupon this week!

  2. I ran and bought the earring punch you told us about here, love it, now I don't have to use a push pin. Also, got it with a coupon with app. on my iphone the cashier told me about...the Michaels app. is free, no more printing coupons...you ladies must check it out.

  3. I am DYING to try the metal stamping, but it just seems like a lot of money to put out for something I might stink at!

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  5. For now you can use a Sharpie to darken your letters. Just wipe away the excess and your letters will stand out.

  6. lol I was just gonna say that you can use a marker to darken your letters, but Sandra beat me to it ;) lol Once you get the hang of stamping, you should look into patina - here's some do it yourself recipes http://anvilartifacts.blogspot.ca/2012/04/patina-recipes.html