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Organic Compostable Recycled Stamps

I had seen this crazy idea in a magazine once, quite a long time ago.  It was creative ways to do things with your kids, or some other idea like that.  They had taken apples and cut them in half and used the inside as a “stamp”.  Not a stamp on an envelope, but a stamp that you use with a stamp pad.  Only they used paint.  I thought it was weird, but creative and inventive.

So that was what flew through my head the other night as I sat cutting up the yellow squash for dinner.  I always stop a little way up the crooked little “neck”.  That part usually ends up in the compost.  I know its edible and perfectly fine to use, I just don’t like to mess with it because it is so small.  My husband is looking at me and he asks. “Okay, so what are you trying to crank out?”  He could see the gears turning in my head.  I went and got a paring knife and I started cutting a small, simple design in the flat end of the squash neck.  Then I got the paint and a piece of paper.  By now, I am pretty sure my husband was ready to call the people with the white coats.  But—- it worked!  It worked so well, I saved the necks and I did it again the next morning with more designs.  The kids and I drive tested several patterns and found that for such a small work space on the squash, very simple things work best.

The sun we tried — not so much.  The cross was okay, but I didn’t do a good job carving it.  It might be that the yellow my son picked just wasn’t a rich enough color to show the details.  We tried a total of 6 patterns and 3 worked very well.  I found that for some designs, carving off the edges works better.  That will make more sense when you see the picture below.

This kind of craziness is exactly what my husband says I should share with the world.  Well, okay not the world, but you get my drift.   The blue roses I did without taking off the edges of the squash to make each petal stand out.  The red roses, obviously I carved out the edges, which I think looks much better.  It was also a better carving.  I learned that cutting the lines a little wider than the knife blade width helped the detail show up better.  The last one is the “logo” that will go on the back of our homemade birthday cards.  Which is what we use the stamps for.

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