Creating love

Though the artist may have the inspiration, it is the artist's arsenal of tools that shape the creative idea.  I thought I would share two of my favorite tools with you...both of these tools were instrumental in making my valentine collages...and though both are vintage, they do show up at flea markets/garage sales/thrift stores from time to time...so I'm giving you a heads-up...if you see either of these, grab 'em!

As I have mentioned, corrugated cardboard has become my foundation of choice - its free, its sturdy, its thick enough to withstand painting and sanding and it gives great background color and texture. 

But I can't cut it with my Fiskars paper cutter...instead I need to use this beauty...

A guillotine paper cutter...with a solid wood base and a sharp steel blade...I've used this to cut corrugated cardboard, artist mat board, even lightweight galvanized metal sheets...its a real workhorse!

After I had all of the cardboard cut to size, I painted most pieces...creamy white on one side, light teal blue on the other.  I love the combination of bright red with pale teal...offset with a little white, a little gray...a simple color palette.  I find that when I'm working on several pieces at once, it helps to keep a simple color palette...as well as using the same design motifs (but re-combined in different ways) so that I don't need to re-think my approach with each one...the composition/construction is more fluid (and more time-efficient!) 
Right after I had completed my valentines, there was a terrific blog post on Cloth Paper Scissors about this identical process...you can read that article here...

Adding text was the last component to these love collages...
I used this letter set to give the perfect vintage vibe...

I know that there are current rubber stamp alphabet sets...but there is something about this older version...maybe its the font...that just seems to add that older look to my work.  Old stamp sets can still be found at flea markets and antique stores...always a fabulous find when you find one intact with all the letters. 

This set I have had for over 40 years...I don't remember my exact age but probably around 10 years old...during the summers when I was a child, there was the occasional treat to spend a couple of days at my grandfather's house...along with one or two of my siblings, we would pack up a duffel and off we would go to Grampa Pete's for a visit.  The visit always had a special air to it...my father's father was from France...he still spoke with an accent...he drove a Peugeot (a car no one else had!)...he always had a glass of Sauterne before dinner...he was married to a tall, aristocratic looking woman who we called Granny Jo...breakfast was fresh eggs fried in butter with raspberry jam on toast...and they had a Chemex coffee maker which always fascinated me.  During one of these summer visits, we made a trip to the store...and this was the one thing I picked out...this alphabet stamp set...which I still use to this day...

and which gave the final touch to this valentine given to the Southern Man

Hoping all of you had a great valentine's day...and that, whatever you create, you create with love...

linking up to Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special focusing on antique tools as the theme...I'm pretty sure that my vintage paper cutter qualifies...


  1. gorgeous card!
    and I love your paper cutter and stamp set - very retro - you'll have those for a lifetime!

  2. I enjoyed hearing your story of these stamps, what a nice memory you have and to still have and use this set is just wonderful!

  3. I think older things were just made better. Love your post.

  4. Very nice! I hope you saw my valentine?

  5. I love your paper cutter....I have on JUST like it actually!
    Your stamps are dear as is your card.


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