Every so often, I get hit with the urge to carve myself some stamps. I've been making them for years, and seem to have gotten the hang of it, though it could be that my just don't strive for perfection ever since That Time I Got So Frustrated I Chucked Things. I think you just have to let things go when you're creating stamps - if you want perfect ones, then there are many, many stamps available for purchase (including my own set).
No, I like the slightly off marks of someone who could sit and do detail, but just wants to have a bit of fun and then stamp the journal page. I'm not making perfect Impressions here, just getting some imagery or pattern from in my head onto the page. They're bound to be imprecise.
I did this little page in the Red Storybook to try them out and try to push my gouache past what I usually use it for, striving for a smoother imitation of my current painting style. Plus, I love random stamps, if you can tell from all those bits in the backgrounds of my regular journal pages. There's just something about how these black impressions look on the page, nestled between paper and paint, a hint peeking out. I love it.
(I also love being able to say the pages and canvases are ALL mine, including th stamped bits.)
The bird was copied from one of my favorites, Making an impression by Geninne Zlatkis. It's a book I go to again and again, finding something new each time. (And the back is full of templates you can trace and tweak and practice with.)
the other book I like, of course, is Julie's Carve Stamp Play. Her's is a bit more for art Journalers, and has great alphabets, but I just about died when I was able to make tiled pattern stamps and oh, man, you should grab this book, too!
Stamps really are one of my great pleasures. Many of th stamps from my own stamp line were created from hand made ones I had in the studio. It's nice to have some on-hand when creating in your art journal. There's just nothing like them, and the pride you feel when they look so good on the page.
(Granted, of course, you let go of perfection and just play.)