Thursday, 14 July 2016

I Love Stamping, by Ishtar Olivera. Review.

I Love Stamping
Over 100 Cute Japanese-inspired Designs to Carve, Ink and Stamp
By Ishtar Olivera
Quadrille 2016
Paperback, £12.99
ISBN 978-1-84949-785-5

Star rating: ****

This is a charming project book featuring “super-cute” Japanese-inspired hand-carved stamps. Most of the (over 30) projects are stamped on paper, but a few are stamped on fabric. There are over 100 traceable design motifs (stamp templates are full-size).The author, Ishtar Olivera, channels Japanese appreciation of beautiful simplicity – and “kawaii” – the “super-cute” into her elegant and sweet designs –  both the stamp motifs and the crafty projects. 

The section of the book about stamp-carving techniques is ace – lots of helpful tips. There is lots of very specific info about using lino-cutting tools to carve stamps.  But - there should have been more information about sourcing stamp carving blocks, and more info about ink pads – and types of ink pads. Since this book is intended for newbies, you’ve got to assume they won’t know about this stuff!

Many of the projects are simply irresistible – examples: the Kokeshi (Japanese wooden dolls) Thread Holders – these provide wrap-around storage for baker’s twine; the Tea Bag Envelopes; the Money Envelopes (off-centre design); the Plum Blossom Garland. The makes are all super-simple so the stamping takes centre stage.

Projects are beautifully photographed, and the step-by-steps are stylishly illustrated – by the talented  author herself.