I have been to rubber stamp stores all across the country. I have shopped in them, schmoozed in them, taught in them, had book signings in them. I have been to ones on the East Coast and ones on the West Coast. We’ve walked into shops like Violet’s Rubber Stamp Inn in Ventura, California (gone, sadly), and had people recognize us immediately (you think it might have been the hair?). We made a pilgrimage to Stampa Barbara (also gone) and ran into Kathy Lewis and Gary Dorothy, luminaries in the old school rubber stamp world, standing out on the sidewalk. Overwhelmingly, the people were wonderful.
It’s kind of universal, you know? Stamp people have always, for the most part, been Just the Best. Oh, sure, there was the local stamp store owner who sat in on my class so, she told me, she could teach it herself and save the money, and there was the store that hosted a book signing and then, at the end, seemed to forget the promise of a meal and a night’s lodging, leaving us to fend for ourselves 1500 miles from home. But they’re way, way in the minority. Most of the stamp and mixed-media art people are just a delight.
And the best of the best has always been Stamp Antonio. It’s gone through a couple of owners and several new locations over the years, but we’ve always been welcomed enthusiastically and treated like family. I especially like the shop because it’s always carried a lot more than just stamps and paper and ink. If you’re a book binder, you can find book binding tools. If you love paper, you’ll salivate over the handmade papers. Vintage glass glitter? Got it. Brass stencils? Yep. I personally get a little giddy over the selection of charms. Think milagros. Think letters and numbers.
So that’s where we’ll be tomorrow night at 6 pm. I can’t wait to see everyone again, and I can’t wait to see Stamp Antonio’s new home–we were last there for a signing two years ago, and they’ve recently moved. As always, though, it will feel just like home. If you’re anywhere near the heart of Texas, come say hi~~
Ricë also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.
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