08 November 2009

Techniques of Stamping

Techniques of Stamping: video 3
United States - 1992
Director – George Ayrouth
Stampenous Inc., 1993, VHS
Run Time – 1 hour, 5 minutes

Terri Oulette anchors this third volume in the Stampendous Brand/Fun Stamps! franchise of instructional videos. I don’t know if she held ground on any of the other ones, I haven't seen them but when it comes to stamping, Stampendous has the market pegged and they have the experts under lockdown.

And Fran Seiford it would seem is such an expert. The co-host with the sheer grit and leathery skin to get through an hour sitting next to Terri whingeing and pandering in pancake makeup at her shoulder. We’re literally going to be playing around with Kleenex and sponges, you can make such cute patterns with the simplest materials. It’s just that the level of complexity that Terri is able to cope with requires some pretty severe couching. By stamping your card with a crumpled Kleenex you can get a new marbled look…. Did you use the rainbow pad on that Fran? My! That gives it a whole new look!

In an effort to distract Terri, Fran dives right into the complexity of overlapping patterns. We’re shooting for sheer busywork minutia here, a sort of magicianship. Snapping your fingers over to one side to draw attention away while the flip happens on the other.
Fran’s ability to play two instruments at one time is uncanny. She actually demonstrates the product (and really, this is just an infomercial,) and keeps Terri from licking the inkpads at the same time. She comes across as a zookeeper, carefully giving Terri enough leash to keep her entertained, but not enough to hurt herself. A special helper for Terri’s gushing duncity.

All things are “wonderful”, “neat” “beautiful”, “cute” or interesting. Almost near cracking, Fran remains polite, contrite and accommodating, smiling to every one of Terri’s knuckle chewing questions; “Oh, that’s a neat card, you make it look so easy. Can I try?” At this point we’re crossing the line between stamping and coloring. Fran is pushing this whole stamping charade beyond the limits of tolerance. She’s breached the definitional boundary in a valiant attempt to scramble Terri’s tiny cerebrum into silence.

Are you kidding me Terri, really?

It’s like having a Stepford-wife who thinks she’s you’re best friend. A benign parasite that is always around and always amenable to everything, unshakably accommodating but completely devoid of personality. You could sit and watch an irritating instructional film about decorative stamping and she would sit there quietly next to you, poised to agree with vapid eagerness with absolutely anything you might say.

"Wow, that's a neat technique!............I like that."