Thursday, December 8

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I woke up this morning and decided to be productive. Shouldn't every day start off that way? Well, I intend to every day, but things don't always work out like that. TODAY, they did. I finally got some signs edited, printed, and laminated for the silkscreen studio at Fleisher, and then headed over for a day of printing. When I'm working in the silkscreen studio I always marvel at how much I can get done. It's the accomplishment that comes with the mentality of "going to work", which I lack when I'm working on art at home. Ah if only I could afford a real studio- imagine what I could get done!
 After finally finishing up the Y and K layers of a print I've been working on a 4-color process image I decided to make my Christmas cards as well! I cut down a sheet of 30x22 Rives BFK to get 20 pieces of 5x6. The final card dimension is 3x5 to fit into envelopes I already had. I made a simple flat stencil from contact paper to print a snowy hill on the inside of the card. I drew the 3 trees for the outside and wrote out the lyrics of "In the Bleak Midwinter" (my favorite Christmas hymn) for the inside on 2 pieces of duralar to use as photo stencils. I was a bit impatient on my emulsion, but it turned out okay with some masking tape fudging. (that's why they call it "masking" tape!)
The printed cards were folded in half, and the silhouette of the tree was cut away to reveal the inside hill. A final touch up of glitter glue for the snow and they're done! Of course, after writing out a list of recipients I'm wishing I'd made more than 20.... c'est la vie.
In other craftiness, I've started my annual snowflake ornaments. This year it's white cross-stitch and rice stitch (a big x with crossed legs that ends up looking like 5 crosses) on black aida cloth. There's no pattern- I'm just improvising as I go, and want every one to be different. I might look up a Quaker pattern later to make one for my grad advisor (remember my Quaker needlework paper last year? she loved it.) Freehand embroidery patterns kind of bother me- I see lots of embroidery patterns for sale on-line, but I don't see the appeal. Find any picture you want and trace it onto fabric with some carbon paper- Voila. Cross-stitch when it's linear is kind of easy to figure out. It's only the multi-colored ones you've got to get a pattern for and I would say get the software to turn your own images into patterns for cross-stitch. If you can figure out the pattern from my pictures you're welcome to it- better yet pick up some aida and some thread and play with vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines until you get a snowflake-looking thingy. Sorry about my horrible photography lately- I'm stuck with the flipcam photo option. If Santa wants to get me a digital camera I will be most appreciative! You can still get the idea though:

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