slightly wonky

Slow progress
December 29, 2010, 9:20 am
Filed under: printmaking

As this is a holiday week, I haven’t been able to do too much new stuff.  I’ve read 3,015 Richard Scarry stories, built 247 block castles, and prepared numerous meals and snacks for my son.  Did I mention cleaning up at all?  Probably not, as I’m not very good at that.

I’ve been working on another linoleum print.  Here it is so far.  I kind of thought that I would add another layer, but for some reason, I only imagined it with these colors.  So, now I am stumped.

I also did some sketchy prints…

These were kind of quick, but fun.  I like the second one much better than the first.  Live and learn.

Here is also one of the numerous castles that my son and I built this week:

Please excuse the general mess.  You’ll notice that he’s munching on an apricot.  Every day, he asks if we have any peaches.  Peaches??? Nooooooo.  So, I managed to get apricots, as a consolation prize.  Still tasty.  Wish me luck getting anything else done this week!


Christmas cookies
December 24, 2010, 3:39 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , ,

My son, stepdaughter and I were making Christmas cookies with the Trader Joe’s sugar cookie kit.  This is actually the third batch that I’ve made with my son. SO GOOD!  I truly have to restrain myself from eating ALL of them.  Especially with a nice cup of coffee.  I highly recommend that you rush out now and buy all of these kits, plus all of the peppermint Jo-Joe’s.  Those are also amazing.  Don’t get me started on the chocolate covered ones.

This is a fun Christmas for me, as my son is turning three tomorrow!  Christmas has taken on a new meaning now that I’m a mom…and it’s his birthday.  I’m excited for him.  We bought him a couple of nice trucks, and I can’t wait to see his face when he opens the presents.  Beyond that, though, I feel lucky to have such a lovely family.  My husband has been slaving away in the basement, trying to “finish” it in order to have some more breathing room around here.  I think that he should win the “husband of the year” award, for all the work that he’s done on this project.  I am very grateful.  Actually, he should win “husband of the year” award, as he is the one that suggested I quit my job.  Our quality of life and parenting won out over our financial, and my career, needs.  It was very hard to do, but it has been very good for all of us.

I am also grateful to have three, very fun kids.  Sometimes a little TOO fun, and then I need to hide.  Otherwise, they have a great time together, and generally make me laugh.  My son regularly comes out with statements that are hilarious.  Like when my DH asked him to stay downstairs, instead of following me upstairs to the bathroom…my son barked at him, “DAD!  Don’t make things complicated!!!”  Seriously.  He’s two.  At least he hasn’t started rolling his eyes at us yet.  I’ll cry the day that he won’t let me hug and smooch him on the cheek.

Sigh.  I think that I actually love Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day.  Is that terrible to say?

Have a lovely holiday!!!

This stuff is not making me happy
December 23, 2010, 1:38 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , ,

Okay.  Today, I’m not liking how anything is turning out.  Sigh.  I have visions of grandeur, only to be squashed by reality.  I’m still working with these new, water-based inks.  I only have three colors, so I’m finding the palette to be a bit limited.  I know…I should be able to mix ANY color from yellow, red and blue.  This is probably true, but I can’t seem to do that.  So, if you wonder why the color palette with all of these is similar, this is why.  I can’t tell if I should list the images from bad to worse?  Perhaps not.  Maybe I’ll put the worst one somewhere in the middle, in an attempt to “bury” it.  I’m putting this ink away for the time being…until I feel that I can muster the strength to possibly produce more ugly things.

This one is a composite of the previous prints…I just started looking the shapes, and decided to make a “collage” of them.

and a detail:

Now, some of the more recent (icky) prints:

And the “ghost” print:

I know.  Blech.  Here the WORST one:

I know.  Why bother?  SERIOUSLY.  It’s hard to bounce back from some of these prints.  At least the next ones are kind of punchy/fun:


And the other one:


Lucky for me, I’m taking some printmaking classes next year.  Thank goodness!!!  Do I need help, or WHAT?  Not that these teachers can be miracle workers, but I have high hopes. 

 Tomorrow is going to be Christmas Eve craziness around the house.  Makes me want to hide somewhere…with a latte.  Okay.  That sounds rather scrooge-y.  I’ll think positively, and hope that I can somehow get a nap in tomorrow…AFTER my latte.  

I’m going to check out Keri Smith’s blog now, as her stuff always is funny and inspiring.  You should look at it too!  Especially those of you who feel that you may be in some kind of rut…she’ll give you lots of ideas to try something different.  YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE OUT THERE! 😛

Another one
December 21, 2010, 1:43 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , ,

Okay, so here is another one in this series.  I like this, as I both changed the paper, and I tried to have more ink.  These are reductive prints, meaning: I start out with the plate fully covered with ink, and then I wipe away the areas that I don’t want to have color.  Messy!  So, this last time, I tried to leave more ink on the plate.  Better.

New ink
December 21, 2010, 11:31 am
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: ,

So, I’ve got some new ink.  I like it!  It’s this non-toxic stuff that cleans up pretty easily.  Which is good, as I tend to get it all over my hands.  I’m pretty good about wearing gloves for awhile…but then I always end up throwing them on the table and just getting my hands inky.  So, as I’ve mentioned previously, I have a hard time keeping my hands looking somewhat reasonable.

This is sort of an odd, cartoonish series.  Not sure where I’m going here.  I was thinking of children’s drawings, but then with an adult mind and the heaviness that it brings.  I may try a different paper, as this one is quite bumpy (toothy?)  Hmm…I was initially thinking that these were neat, but now I’m not so sure…

Tree again!

So, in spite of the fact that I think that we have a very cute tree…not all of my family members will recognize it as a “tree”. Sheesh!  Don’t you think that it looks cute?  I’ll admit, it doesn’t have the “home-made” look…with ornaments made in kindergarten, etc.  I like those kind of trees too.  BUT, this tree has a certain exuberance, that I think makes it fun.  I mean, it’s like a mini fireworks display in our dining room!  Okay, I’m clearly biased.  Don’t worry…next year is the other tree’s turn…a real one.  Remind me to ask for a mini vac for Christmas.

this is how my son’s decorating went:

little book
December 17, 2010, 4:09 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: , , ,

Okay, so I started another lino print. This one was less abstract…and I like it much less.  The ink is a dark blue/black.  I intend to color in the white areas, when the ink dries.  Sigh.  I’m trying not to let this get me down.

Then, as I was inspired by yesterday’s mini books…I decided to make another!  Yes, this one is totally handmade, so it looks…well, less polished.  I had fun doing it.  I may be on a book making binge, as this one was fun too!  I like being able to work as I go along, and not have to plan too much along the way.  Unlike the linoleum print, where one has to plan out a little…this book had no plan at all! MUCH more fun.

Now, inside:

And the cover:

And some close ups:

I’m happy with it.  I know…WHAT is it, really?  Who knows.  Like I need more books in the house?  Hmm…like I need more of anything in the house?  I’ll have to purge some of someone else’s books to make room for these.  JUST kidding!

Slight improvement
December 16, 2010, 8:07 pm
Filed under: Felting, printmaking | Tags: , , , , , , ,

So, I finished the lino prints last night.  I added the third color.  You can see it below:

I think that it turned out pretty well.  I did manage to jab my thumb with the tool used to cut the linoleum.  I know…cut AWAY from yourself.  My thumb didn’t seem to be anywhere near where I was working, but my hand slipped.  I need to get some of those oyster shucking gloves.  Or, I just need to pay more attention.

I also worked on a fabric composition:

and a detail:

This is a bunch of different fabrics/yarns, etc merged into one fabric through needle felting.  You basically use a barbed needle to poke through the layers, and fuse them together.  It’s pretty interesting how different fabrics behave when felted like this.  I have no idea what I’m doing with this thing, but I’m just going to keep adding to it.

I also made two tiny little books!  Here they are:

Aren’t they so cute?  There are only twelve pages in each book.  I got this little kit from the local art store to make them.  I’ve never made/bound a book before, but it was surprisingly fun!  Somehow, it never seemed very interesting to me.  Okay…a blank book…yawn.  But, when you make it yourself, It’s so fascinating how it all comes together in such an intelligent manner.  This wasn’t even any type of fancy binding, but they still turned out well.  Hmm… I may make more of these.  I have no idea why I would need a collection of tiny books with only twelve blank pages, but I’ll find some purpose.  Grocery lists?  Profound thoughts? (hmm…no, I want to USE these books)  Maybe I’ll just keep them as mini sketchbooks, to draw tiny things in.  Any other suggestions?  🙂

Less than successful…
December 15, 2010, 2:03 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , ,

Okay.  So, I tried a new ink & technique for printing today.  I was hoping that it was going to be fabulous.  Unfortunately, it turned out horribly.  Big fail…waaah!  I like the layered colors, but for the life of me, I could not get the middle part to print as dark as the edges.  I have NO idea what I was doing wrong.  I would love to blame the press, or the ink, but it was surely my fault.  sigh.  It’s always frustrating to spend time on something that does not turn out well.  I tried to revive it along the way, but no luck.  I may email my printmaking teacher to ask her for suggestions. [update: I think that I needed to add “retarder” to my ink.  This modifier slows down the rate of drying.  So, my ink was drying out before I had a chance to print it.  I’ve used that modifier for other inks, but I somehow thought that this ink didn’t need it.  I was wrong.  SIGH.  The inspiration (if that’s what I should call it) for the print came from seeing my recently planted bulbs dug up out of the garden by some critter.  The sad bulbs were lying on the soil, pale and bare.  I wanted to replant them, but I thought that this would just be futile.  So, no springtime flowers for me! DRAMATIC SIGH]

I also have a lino print (one of four copies) in process.  I used some oil based ink, which was so much better for printing than the water based.  Unfortunately, I have been waiting AGES for it to dry.  I could probably keep printing, even though it is still tacky, but I’m worried that I’ll mess it up somehow.

I haven’t gotten much done lately.  Holiday stuff…trying to purge excess stuff (primarily toys and clothes)…etc.  The basement renovation is progressing.  I’m looking forward to having some space to work and leave things in process.

Comments welcome!  Or if any of you are into printmaking, please feel free to give me some pointers.

I’m going to go and eat a cookie now…

Why not hot pink?
December 10, 2010, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: , , ,

So, I finally finished my blob serigraphs (screenprints).  Here is the step right before completion:

And here is how they turned out:

A single print:

And a detail:

So, what do you think?  Thumbs up, down, or no comment? 

I also worked on some monoprints today.  I forget if they are “monoprints” or “monotypes“.  Clearly, a novice printer.  See my color theme?:

And a detail:

Are you bored yet?  I get tired of putting in these photos.  Well, I had fun doing these!  I also have a picture of something that I got at Boston’s Bazaar Bizarre, made by Raeburn Ink:

Isn’t it so neat?  I love hot pink, and this squishy scarf had hot pink puffy clouds silkscreened onto it.  MINE! (hmm…should have used the fuzzy filter in photoshop elements…need to hide the scar on my chin…)

Needless to say, I went to the craft show today for the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston.  SO RIDICULOUS.  The stuff was INCREDIBLE.  I cannot emphasize that enough.  SUCH beautiful things.  All the ladies that lunch were there buying $600 shawls.  I was envious, needless to say.  I walked out with a book.  You know that you can’t afford anything when each booth has small signs in a corner showing you the meager “UNDER $100” items.  Sigh.  Seriously, this show is at the cyclorama in Boston through the weekend.  Really REALLY amazing stuff.  Just take out a loan, if you plan on purchasing anything…but the prices were completely justified.  The works were so beautiful.  Anyone planning on going?

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