Monday, November 14, 2011

Can I Stamp Your Passport?

When I first was faced with the concept of making passports I was so excited (read all about that here) that I didn't give much thought to the making of the stamps. I have never made potato stamps before, well, never isn't entirely true, I think I made them once when I was in elementary school but my memory of it has been erased and filled with other memories. 

My littles and I decided that we should make stamps for the places we had already been, because if we were planning to make them for the upcoming destinations then it really wouldn't be entirely representative of where we had been to leave out the six countries that we've already "visited". We made a plan of what would go on each stamp and sat down with our supplies. 

Before committing 100% to potatoes, I contemplated other mediums. I really hate to waste good potatoes by cutting them up and putting ink on them only to throw them in the compost bucket minutes later. I thought about the styrofoam trays that our avocados used to come on, but  after several people including me complained, they switched those trays for compost-able ones. That change was a huge thing that I was very excited about, but I didn't hang on to any of the old styrofoam on the off chance that I might want to make stamps out of them someday. So, potatoes it is. 

My littles sat so patiently with me while I carved out potato #1. They waited patiently as I discovered that even a paring knife was really just too big and went in search of a teeny tiny screwdriver (which works perfectly by the way). They even waited patiently when I decided to add lines to each page of the passports so that we can get two stamps per page instead of one. As we were about to stamp the first page with our very first potato stamp, I was hit with the idea that maybe I should do a test run, I mean it looks great without the ink.

It looks beautiful with the ink but I just wanted to test it out first, to be sure that it was going to look perfect.

Doesn't it look GREA..... whoa! Wait... what? It's backwards!?!?!?
You can't even imagine how incredibly stupid I felt at this moment. Of course it's backwards. I felt slightly better when I told my friend that I had done that and she said that she would have done the same thing. Since I now knew that at least two otherwise reasonably smart women would make this mistake, I decided to share with you, in the hopes of saving you the same frustration if you choose to make potato stamps. Not that I think you wouldn't know that already, I'm just saying, the excitement of potato stamping can get pretty overwhelming and make you do some silly things (obviously).  

At this point, my patient littles had completely lost interest in the potato carving and ran off to play. After carving the second stamp for Greece, this time the right way, I called them back to stamp their own passports.

By myself, I continued on making potato stamps and stamping the passports for all of us. After completing the fourth stamp I realized that it was dinner time and I still have way too much to do in preparation for my oldest little's birthday party, so the last two will have to wait for another day. 
Greece 2011 with an Olive Branch, Morocco 2011 with a Cobra (Aiden had that idea), The Netherlands (NL)  2011 with a windmill, and Australia (AU) 2011 with a kangaroo (cliche I know, but I'm working with a 4 and 6 six year old here).
I hope that you have understood that the moral of this story is, even when you think and think and think about a project there could still be an aspect that you forget about. Always do a test run and if things come out wrong, clean up the mess and start over. 

Coming Soon: See how we celebrated Aiden's birthday. Also, the globe has been spun and we are gearing up for our next destination. 


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