Continuing with Kodomo

Perhaps the most beautiful stamps in the Kodomo line are those created by artist Zigen Tanabe, a Japense-born freelance illustrator. It’s not just the images that are lovely — it’s the entire stamp! The colored indexing shines through the acrylic block, making these stamps worthy of tabletop display. Take a look:

Zigen Tanabe images in beautiful color on acrylic mounts. Shown are Blooming Iris, Folded Cranes, Autumn Pagoda

Zigen Tanabe images in beautiful color on acrylic mounts. Shown are Blooming Iris, Folded Cranes, Autumn Pagoda

Here’s a sample made with the Blooming Iris, colored with Twinking H2Os:

Blooming Iris

Blooming Iris

See more of these images at

And check back later for more Kodomo info!

Kodomo means playtime!

Asian designs have a tranquil beauty and simplicity that I’ve always admired.

This week I’d like to spotlight Kodomo, which not only offers a beautiful supply of Asian images, but offers them in several styles, from wood mounted and clear to foam and acrylic mounted. 

Kodomo plum flower

You’re probabling thinking, “Foam stamps? Ew!” But these foam stamps, which use a rubber image, are firm and cut so nicely they are a delight to hold. The above card was made using Sakura III, which is a foam mounted stamp. (Sentiment by Hero Arts, border punch by Fiskars.)

Here is another:

Black Bird Wishes

Black Bird Wishes

(Same Sakura III set; bird punch by McGill; border punch Martha Stewart)

Kodomo was founded by Hisako Nakamura, who worked in the Japanese toy industry before creating her own gift company in 1983. The company name was taken from the Japanese expression “Kodomo No Kao,” which, the company says, means “the look on a young person’s face when they are absorbed in play.” What could be more suitable for a rubber stamp enterprise?

 The stamps merge traditional Japanese designs with American styles. But Kodomo is not just stamps. Their beautiful kimono fabric ribbons have a soft, textured feel, and the unique sticky-backed washi tape adds a fun accent. The tape is made from washi paper and the adhesive is not permanent, so it’s easy to reposition.  (Watch for samples later this week.)

Another fun product is the Edo Ori Bako set, which are small boxes made from thin sheets of clear spruce. The surface is smooth and readily accepts paint, ink or paper. The boxes also include wooden “tiles.” (I’ll show some samples later this week.)