Sunday, December 05, 2010

Handmade Christmas Cards

When I try to come up with a block print design, it never works. Ever. Joe kept hassling me to get the Christmas cards done, but every time I sat down I ended up hating what ended up on paper. Until today, when I was trying to do other stuff and of course that's when inspiration struck. Never fails.


The bird with the word bubble didn't turn out, which was fine because I see birds everywhere and frankly I didn't want a bird on the card. I don't really like traditional Christmas images and I can't draw for shit, so of course I wanted something designy. So this morning I was thinking about the mirrored tree from my last post and knew exactly what I wanted to do. Simple, graphic and bold- exactly what I'd set out for in the first place (without realizing it at the time).

So I sat down, drew it out & then carved it. Super simple and just what I wanted. Next up was the test print, but first I had to wash my inked palate & tools. I am notorious for leaving my printing tools to dry before finally getting around to washing them. Don't ask me why. I enjoy cleaning up before starting a new art thing and I hate cleaning up at the end, so I just go with it the backwardness. 

Whenever I do a test print, I always under-ink. I don't know why, I just do. Maybe it's because then the real thing is even more satisfying. Who knows. I ended up carving the trunk on a separate piece, which was partially because I carved the design too close to the edge of the rubber. It ended up being okay because then it gave Joe something to do- he printed the stems trunks while I did the trees. Oh. He did do one tree...but thankfully only one because he was too slow (sorry, Joe) and our house is on the dry side, which is not favorable for doing this sort of thing.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use pink ink because I got aqua colored envelopes and pink & aqua is a favorite combination of mine. I am happy with the way they turned out. We printed 24 and ended up with 20 that passed the erin inspection. All about the quality control...drives Joe nuts...but I'm not about to send somebody a sad tree. It would be one thing if I was giving these to people I didn't like- then they'd get the screw ups. But I'm not, so those ones will be cut up & used in my new journal for 2011. More on that later. Anyway, I need to get 25 more envelopes & cards for a second run. Together we have 41 people on our to-send list. Hopefully run #2 has the same success ratio as #1, otherwise we're in trouble. Actually, no, it has to be even better. Looks like somebody might get a screw up after all. I'll have to look back on 2010 and think about who's deserving of the golden ticket.
Side note: I stopped at Target before work yesterday for you know what. If you don't know what, read my last post. I got Joe to say that we could get two more without him knowing that he was agreeing to anything. That's usually the preferred method. Otherwise, if I can't get him to agree and it's something I will lose sleep over if I don't have (within reason, obviously), I introduce 2 or 3 beers to him and then casually bring things in from the car. Works like a charm. Sometimes I keep things in the car for like a month until the time is right. But this only happens about one or two times a year. I don't do it often. Only when it's necessary.

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