Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Could be the best gift idea ever

 Like so many of my journeys, this one started by accident and veered off in a direction that I never expected but that totally delighted me.

I went online to order a new return-address rubber stamp for us.  See, I can't grasp (nor apparently spend time prepping for) Thanksgiving next week, but I was thinking that I was going to need that updated return address stamp for my Christmas cards. Yes, I am crazy. It's ok.


I often find myself kind of sucked in by those offers where if you *just* spend a little more money, shipping is free. So I got the address stamp all settled and realized that I could upload ANY image to have a rubberstamp made -- didn't just have to be text -- and that since the money I'd spend on shipping for the ONE stamp would practically cover the cost of the second stamp (and really, there went the afternoon)....

I have always loved this photo of my dad (yes! there is a connection!), taken in about 1934:
He's clearly just so happy, and just so loved -- his homemade little cowboy outfit melts my heart. He was the kind of boy who loved stories, who loved to hear them read to him, who loved listening to radio programs, who fell in love with all those cowboy heroes of his childhood. 

I opened the picture in PhotoShop, and slowly and carefully removed the background:

 You just need to work slowly, work with the image really really large so it's easy to cut out the background -- and of course you'd want to start with something that's really sharp and that can in fact be removed from the rest of the photo cleanly.  (If you want to try this, and I hope you will, feel free to ask me for some more tips on how to do it in less time than it took me initially.)

I uploaded it to this company's website:

Again, if you're going to do this, I can give you a couple of hints that would have saved me a lot of aggravation, but you're probably better at this sort of thing than I am and maybe what wasn't obvious to me will be clear-as-day to you.

And for less than $11 and in only about two days (with free shipping!) I got this:

A deeply etched rubber stamp, with a wooden handle, and my image is actually engraved into the wood on the top!  This is 3" x 1.5".  You could use a photo, or artwork -- you see, don't you, how the possibilities are endless and the cost is pretty darned low?

Now I just need to keep myself from making a lot of gifts for ME.  Go ahead.  Make a custom rubber stamp for someone you love, and for you, too.

Sunday, November 11, 2012



Almost time to go get dinner into the oven, but a moment here first. The days, weeks, months fill more quickly than I can grasp; I know it is the result of my own choices, of our choices that we make, and that for now I don't seem to have a better idea of what to do with my time.

We continue to settle in to our place. I'm struck by how, as we have our first each of the holidays, we figure out how to make this our home. There weren't as many ways to use our Halloween luminaria (one), so I bundled them onto our windowsill and we luxuriated in their glow.  Snow has fallen already (two), but with warm sunny days since that hardly seems true. The soccer season has ended, and now with the way high school sports work there won't be a competitive spring season (he'll play recreational soccer at school); I loved the aerial look to the game that day (three)....

And four. Four. No more leaves (the hurricane took care of that), heavy, substantial clouds hang low, warm sunny afternoons get cold quickly -- as soon as the shadows fall.

Still surrounded by boxes, at least in the private spaces -- here I am at this moment (forgot how much fun PhotoBooth is!). Someday this will really be study? studio? When, I suppose, I decide it's important enough to spend time and a little money on getting it together. Not sure what I'm waiting for.