Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sleigh bells ring...are you listening?

Well, my block printing obsession seems to be here to stay. After spending hours on a detailed pencil drawing, it's so satisfying to pull print after print off of a carved block. This little print is based upon this drawing of a sleigh bell from a few years ago. It was my first time doing a 2-color print that isn't a reduction print, so it was a bit tricky getting things to register.

 I was thinking that I'd do a separate block to print the red ribbon attached to the bell, but I ended up liking the image of the bell by itself. And I really liked stringing them onto festive string...

...and using them as tags on Christmas packages. Hmmm...maybe I'll make more and use them as garland next year!

I also wanted to do an original little composition of traditional red glass ornaments in a box. The possibilities are endless as far as printing options: varying the colors, etc.

It always takes lots of planning to figure out what prints where...!

I really had trouble registering this one; I ended up re-carving one of the blocks...ugh. I believe that I got one that turned out perfectly. But I love it and I think it will inspire a series of things in boxes...we'll have to see! In the meantime, happy, happy holidays from my house to yours.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A few of my favorite things: Acorns!

Prismacolor colored pencil on Stonehenge paper

As kids, we'd collect acorns in our yard and pretend we were making acorn soup, or we'd use the caps as whistles. Our acorns in the Midwest were the more rounded shape, but here in Northern California, these more elongated, pointy ones from the live oak are the norm. On one of our morning walks, my friend and I gathered a handful for a possible drawing. (Thank goodness they were in a plastic bag on my desk because they started to yield little piles of "sand"—they were inhabited!) It was hard to choose my final "models" with such a beautiful range of sizes and colors, but these caught my eye and looked like they belonged together.

The natural world provides an endless source of decorative images, but I have some definite favorites. One is the pinecone, another is the bee, (Click on those words in the labels on the right to see related posts.) but I'm crazy about acorns. Let's see—I have these felted acorns with their real acorn caps (bought at the fabulous Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco),

this card of adorable pewter acorn buttons hangs on my bulletin board, 

and I just purchased this nativity set from Simple Gifts Toys on Etsy!

Just in case this is my last post before Christmas, 
I, along with my acorn-capped wise men, wish you the very happiest of holidays!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Anniversary, Blog!

Four years ago today, I posted this drawing and wrote my first blog post!

I love the first day of December for other reasons, too:
the Christmas season is getting underway,
and we get to open the first door on the advent calendar.
(You can read about my obsession with advent calendars here.)

This year, I couldn't decide between this one 
from The Golden Cosmos, two designers from Berlin:

and this one by Eric Carle:

My solution? I'm using them both!

Happy December!!

Yikes! I'm over due in posting some of my latest pieces; check back soon:
 I have a long post coming up later this week!