If you've yet to visit their challenge blog Stampotique Designers Challenge, you're missing a treat as their quality wooden stamp range is very diverse and I love all the marvelous inspiration and ideas that come from their very talented design team.
For my first project I've created a Mayan Circus.
Now who knows whether or not the ancient Mayan's ever had circus events and truly, we in the land of Shiny don't actually care because you're very unlikely to find any historical accuracy here.
But this was great fun to dream up.
It's 12 inches square and you can click on any picture to make it bigger.
It's all made of cardboard and white card.
One of Stampotique's stamp designers is Amy Wilson Wellenstein and she has drawn some Mayan Images and the one that caught my eye was the
7124 Mayan Background #2
that has so much versatility not only as a background stamp but for each element of the design on it's own. It even has 4 crown's of 3 different sizes, Uri Gellar's bent forks (all the better for scooping out your heart my dear) and all sorts of fashion design accessories that Spanky coveted immediately and some interesting potential building blocks that I had my beady eye on.
Now Spanky went to town on dressing all the Torrente characters up in their finest Mayan fancy dress gear.
If you are lucky enough to get to attend a Mayan Circus you really must dress up to the nine's Mayan Style.
In the following close up's of the audience, anything yellow/gold is part of the Mayan background stamp. I stamped the background stamp multiple times onto white card and cut out all the individual elements of the design and Spanky stuck them onto the people artistically - ahem.
I used Versafine black ink for all the stamping.
White PVA craft glue for all the glueing and Derwent pencils from their Inktense range, watercolour range and Coloursoft range.
Working from Left to Right. First we have my favourite Torrente character
6057 Heart Throb Bless him - he thought he would manage just fine on his own without Spanky's help styling his costume... although there is something to be said for the appeal of a man with a tattoo on his forehead and forks through his ears. Quite what that appeal might be, I'm not sure but for every old sock there is an old shoe.
6022 Sheer Gotta admire a gal who isn't afraid of her own cleavage. (Spanky has a ginger cleavage - nuff said.)
6047 Glimmering Hope When you dress with style who needs legs?
6048 Moth Fab The more I work with these characters the more I realise that clashing colours work really well in their outfits.
6104 Eric How about those Dennis Healy eyebrows and deeley boppers?
6011 Girl with Lunchbox The poor girl doesn't have a name! How did this happen??? She looks like a Davina to me...
6051 Prom Queen
6059 Bowtie Now I think the Mayan's missed out on a real fashion statement by not utilizing the accessory power of The Sporran. Perfect for your small change, lipstick or as the indomitable posing pouch.
6080 Topknot Is this a dagger which I see before me? Topknot is a Sporran wearing Mayan Norman Bates tonight. We all go a little mad sometimes.
6052 Stitch Now Stitch was the last character I coloured and I choose colours that I thought couldn't possibly look nice together but it turned out to be my favourite colour scheme by far. Edward scissor hands? Pah! He's been usurped by Stitch the Knife Slayer.
6102 Dweeze Looking mighty fine in his kipper tie.
6104 Eric again, you can't keep a good man down.
6045 Newt with lunchbox
6071 Perl This is the first time I've given Perl brown hair and it just doesn't look right, she's a blonde through and through, but I thought blonde hair would detract from the gold forks or even (heaven for fend) clash with them.
6059 Bowtie again. Oh my, oh my what a splendid costume. I just hope your not behind him because you'll never see a thing with that huge headdress in front of you.
6025 Gooseneck. Not quite playing spoons on a wash board but very close.
6115 Weasel Aha, Weasel looks like he has nefarious plans for poor old Two Barrettes.
6024 Two Barrettes Who proves that Yes, bobby pins work well with crowns but they provide absolutely no protection from knife wielding Weasels.
6021 Girl with heart purse Another girl with no name! Poor Tink.
So onto the floor acts.
First we have 6026 Heart Boy the lion tamer holding one of the 9179 three chairs (designed by Janet Klein) controlling a very fierce 6105 Puss Puss.
He's holding a whip made out of embroidery floss and I used a section of his arm for the handle.
Then we have the amazing Chick riding cat jumping fences. The chick is one of the 4 chicks on the cube 9111 Chick shapes riding 6096 Kitty and the fence is made up of the elements of the Mayan background stamp. More embroidery floss for the reins and another element from the Mayan background to form the chick's wing (so she can hold the reins).
Followed by the wondrous chick riding cat balancing act. We have another chick from the cube 9111 Chick shapes riding another 6096 Kitty balancing on further elements from the Mayan background stamp.
And finally we have the balancing quails from the 9211 Quails cube
with 6105 Puss Puss balanced precariously on the top.
A brief look at how I made it. 'Cos you're ready for a cup of tea now aren't you?
I cut a very strong box like this. Remember you can click on any photo to make it bigger.
You can cut your supports for your freestanding characters one of two ways.
The one on the left (Heartboy) is a single layer of card with the support cut and divided up the centre and the sides folded back opposite each other.
The one on the right is made of a double layer of cardboard, glue only the stamped section together and fold back the supports opposite each other.
To decorate the floor I stamped the Mayan Background stamp in it's entirety using Antique Linen Distress ink.
My Top Tip:- Now Distress Inks are great but if your paper or card is at all porous or loosely woven then the ink will bleed and fuzz when stamped. To avoid excess bleeding, ink your stamp using a brayer to apply the ink. (If you ink the stamp directly with the distress pad you will get unwanted bleeding.)
I cut incisions in the floor where I want the images to stand. Feed the image support through the incision to the back and open up the folds. See the chair and cat in the photo.