Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happie Stamps!

You know, I told myself that I absolutely, positively, was NOT going to write this review until after Christmas/New Years. Until I ended up waking up at five a.m. in the morning on Christmas Day. Now, you guys don't know me that well yet, but sleep is a serious hot commodity. Typically, I have to put myself in a medicated coma (sort-of. Don't worry, not Micheal Jackson status.) to sleep but I went to sleep last night at a decent hour (11 p.m.) which is absolutely AMAZING for me as I normally go to sleep after 1 a.m., and what happens? I WAKE UP AT FIVE IN THE MORNING! So frustrating! And my poor tortoise is probably freezing his little shell off, even with his heat lamp on! My room always hasn't had the best ventilation so the 'heater' sometimes puts out coldish, we had another hard freeze here in California tonight and I heard the temperatures dipped down to the 20's or so. By the way, said tortoise really isn't that small. He's about 6 pounds. ANNNYYYWAAAYYYS, onto the review! *puts on glasses*

Tommie of HappieStamps seriously makes some amazing stuff, guys. Like, it's awesome. I am ALL FOR handmade, but can you get any better than HAND CARVED?? I've always wanted to try stamp carving but I've been such a chicken! Anyways, all of her stamps carved and sold are one of a kind, not mass produced, so COMPLETELY handmade. She doesn't outsource her carving to any commercial companies, nothing. Awesome, right? She takes custom orders as well, but she is only able to do doodles and names and whatnot. Her name stamps are TO DIE FOR, by the way! As you can see below, she does several types of personalized name stamps. I would really, really like to get one of these for myself!

She even makes custom wedding/couples stamps! Um, hello? Hedgehogs. Need I say more?

Tommie was kind enough to send me a couple of her mini stamps to test out and I was so excited to ink them! Speaking of ink, don't be alarmed if there is already ink on your stamp when you get it in the mail! Tommie sometimes needs to ink and stamp the stamp while she is in the process of carving it just to make sure it comes out perfect!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to photograph the envelope she sent me in, but it lovely! She covered it in her own stamps and it was fully wrapped in packing tape. In her store notes, Tommie specifically mentions:

I try my best to use recycled/up-cycled materials, such as shipping boxes.

Great, right? She even has a blog that shows you how to use her stamps and how to get creative with them! There are TONS of great ideas on there! Here it is.

Now! Onto the stamps!

I was sent five tiny mini stamps. An adorable bird, a 'lovely' coffee cup with a heart in the middle of it, a snowman, a cherry (I think?), and my favorite, A TURTLE!

Super cute, right? Those photos were of the stamps before I used them, so you can see the small amount of ink left on them after she is finished carving them. These guys are carved fantastically out of pink rubber and usually mounted to a wooden handle/block when you purchase them, however I went for unmounted stamps.

Want to see what the stamps produce? Here you are, folks!

Isn't that coffee cup adorable? I love them all!

Also, have you seen the detail in her stamps? It's quite incredible. Here is just one stamp that I thought was really detailed and lovely.

Inside the envelope she sent me, she included the following list of instructions/tips:

For longer use, please note:

1. After using the stamp(s), avoid rubbing to wipe/clean. Instead, pat on tissue to get rid of ink.

2. Please avoid storing the stamp(s) in the sun/hot place.

3. The ink that is already on the stamp(s) is there because I stamp as I carve them to make sure they will look like my original design. Thank you for understanding.

Little tips:

- Dab the ink pad onto the stamp instead of dabbing the stamp onto the ink pad.
- If you warm the stamp with your breath after use, you can get another image without more ink.

I wanted to test out that last bit, so I did, however I didn't warm the stamp with my breath. No, I didn't do it for some fancy scientific blogging reason...I just forgot. So, below, you'll see just how many stamps (and what they look like.) that I got out of ONE ink application. Of course, I used the turtle. ;) Hopefully, you can count, but if you can't, that is SIX visible stamps from one ink application!

Tommie's stamps really are great. Very handmade, very unique, and very well made. She even made some that would be put to great use in our snail-mailing community! Check it out! I'm hoping to purchase some of these as well as a custom name stamp sometime in the near future!

Now, would you like to get to know Tommie? It's always nice to hear a little something about the person making the things that you love so much. And trust me, you'll adore her stamps! Here is a mini-interview I held with her!

Tell me a bit about yourself. Hobbies, where you're from, etc.

My name is Tommie Tillery and I hand carve rubber stamps. I just love what I do.
I am a Mommy of a 2 yr old too, so being able to work from home is a dream job for me! I am IN LOVE with handmade stuff. It is a joy for me to be able to produce things with my own hands, instead of machines.

Why did you choose to make this type/genre of product?

One day in 2008, when I was having fun carving my own address stamp, My Hubby told me that I should start my own business. Back then, I just laughed and called him crazy. But after thinking about it over night, I said why not give it a try! Since then, I have been carving away!

What are your favorite materials to work with?

Other than the rubber stamps, I like beautiful paper. I swap my paper art with other artists around the world. I enjoy making matchboxes, inchies, and ATCs ( Artist Trading cards). I also like to sew, knit, and paint. (*note frome me: Can you say well rounded crafter? WOW!)

Favorite characters to work with?

This is a hard question….. I think I like to include animals in my designs.

The Hedgehog I have in my shop is a good example. I often use him for event stamps, such as Wedding, Holidays, and The New Years.

What inspires you?

Anything and everything in my life.

Do you plan to create things/own your own business as your life career?

Yes I would love to expand Happie Stamps. My dream is to write a children’s book and illustrate by using my hand carved rubber stamps.

Time for some things I have to say about Tommie and her work! She was an absolute joy to work with! Tommie is super prompt in returning any messages you send her and she is a seriously awesome lady and crafter! Like I said, I plan on heading back to make a few purchases and I high suggest that you do, too!


TMC said...

They're all so cute, I could scream! I've favourited her store on Etsy and will definitely be heading back to see what goodies I can find to buy. Thanks so much for introducing me to these great stamps.

Lady Kay said...

You are so welcome! They are absolutely adorable, aren't they?

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