Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Cards

I finally bought a print gocco machine a couple of months ago. It seem like they really are completely discontinuing them and they are really not available in any american online shops or brick and mortar stores anymore. I bought a used B6 machine from japan on ebay. I guess the B6 is the old version of the PG5 but is basically the same and was going for way less than new PG5's on ebay. Mine was $99 I think but I was seeing some PG5's go for more than $300. Anyway I figured this was my last chance to get a gocco so I went for it.

Mine was used so it was missing some screens and bulbs and I was afraid to waste what I had just playing around with it. The bulbs and screens are also being discontinued but I was able to find a US based art supply store that still had some so I stalked up a little bit.

The first thing that I printed were Christmas cards. I used this tutorial on the small object blog. It was one of the few ones I could find for the B6 model and my instructions were all in Japanese so I really needed it.

I thought I was all prepared. I had drawn a picture, photocopied and reduced it at work to the right size, and was ready to start printing. Then I red that if you use a photocopy you need to used the blue filter so you don't get too much carbon on the screen. I searched and searched but my used model didn't seem to still have the blue filter. There was another option though. I could use the carbon pen instead of a photocopy and then I wouldn't need the blue filter. So I retraced my picture with the carbon pen and tried out the machine. It worked sort of but some of the lines blured together and the solid black areas were splotchy. I also thought I had had red ink but didn't so I used green which turned out kind of odd. Here is the result.

I wasn't too happy but I was paranoid to waste another screen on the same christmas card if it still wasn't going to turn out. I did some research and found redid the image so that there weren't any more solid areas and the lines were spaced farther apart. I photocopied it again and decided to not worry about the blue filter.

It turned out much better. Not quite perfect but pretty good. I printed them in black and then water colored in the had and crab in red.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

New Prints

Wow, I really haven't updated my blog in a really really long time.  I just wanted to share some screen prints that I have made since my last post.  Some version of all of these are available in my etsy shop. 

First is my newest which I'm kind of obsessed with the cuteness of right now.  My platypus.  I've made a couple of shirts so far but he is actually a little big for the dishtowels I usually use.  I hope to print him on different dishtowels and possibly an apron soon. 

Next is the love bugs.  I made this print from a watercolor sketch I made actually several years ago.  They are these cute true bugs that look like they have little hearts on their backsides.

These two I first made to print on these onesies for my friend who just had twins.  She is kind of a country girl and lives way out in the high desert so I figured her boys needed something both cute and prickly.  The first is a roadrunner with a prickly pear cactus and the second is a pygmy owl with a saguaro cactus. 

I should really update more frequently.  I've just gotten out of the habit.  Possibly sometime soon I may post pictures of our new (rental) house.  We are just about done unpacking and decorating and I have gotten a few good shots so far. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Garland

Since we are having a BBQ the day before St. Patrick's Day I decided that our house needed some St. Patrick's Day decorations. Well maybe just one St. Patrick's Day decoration.

I made this garland by ironing two different types of green fabric (crabs and dragonflies) together with fusible interfacing. Then I cut the fabric into strips and folded it into squares. I cut out the clover pattern so that the leaves would connect and form a fabric paper chain. Then I sewed the shorter chains into one long chain. I also made one into a four leaf clover. Hum, now I'm thinking I should cut the four leaf clover out separately and have all the three leave clovers the same color and the four leaf the opposite.

I guess since I'm putting um St. Patty's Day decorations I should take down the paper chain
garland I made for Nate for Valentine's day. It's cute though. I'll probably save it for next year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Squid Fork

A couple of years ago I bought myself a really cheep wood burning kit at Michael's hoping to make stuff in the vein of the beautiful sticks furniture I had seen at a couple of different art galleries and fell in love with. I tried a couple of things that didn't really turn out and then put it away and never really thought about it much. I was looking at craftster the other day though and saw this post by Annie-bleam of some really cool looking wood plaques, including one of a raven, she had wood burnt and then painted with acrylics. When I was at Ikea the other day I noticed these really plain sets of wood utensils and thought they would be the perfect useful but cheep thing to try wood burning on.

Here is my first result, a squid pasta fork. I still need to draw designs to fit on the spoon and that thing with the holes in it. I have no clue what that is called or what it's for.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Good Thrifting Luck

For about one week, maybe a week and a half Nate and I had about the best thrifting/alley scrounging/garage sailing luck I've had since about 1997 when my mom and I found a Saarinen Tulip Armchair at a church rummage sale for $5. Supposedly that chair had been on the set of AM Northwest the local ABC station's morning talk show which I'm sure made it all the more valuable.

So our good luck started one morning when Nate called me at work to tell me that he had found an actual nice looking piece of furniture in the alley. There are frequently pieces of furniture in our alley but rarely are they any good. Usually they are old peed on couches or falling apart book cases. I am a great coinsurer of alley furniture but since we moved to Hermosa our alley hasn't produced anything worth scrounging except for a few plant pots and a cool stain glass window that is sitting in our garden because I still don't know what to do with it. Anyway I immediately told Nate to get it and put it in the yard, who cares if we don't have any room for it. If we can't find a place for it or I decide it's ugly we can just return it to the alley from whence it came.

We managed to move a few things around and find a good place for our new alley buffet. I made a runner for it from a couple of tenugui dish towels and I now have room for my formerly overcrowded dishes and for future thrifting finds.

Speaking of things to fill the new buffet with, at a thrift store in Solvang I found these saucers with the same pattern as a creamer I bought myself a couple of months ago at the local antique mall. I have no clue what the pattern is called or who the maker is but I love the Scandinavian looking stylized leaf pattern. These were only 50 cents a piece. I also found one of the elusive ceramic deer that I was looking for right before Christmas. I knew that cute ceramic deer would be all over the place once I wasn't looking for them anymore but I couldn't resist this one for only 25 cents.

Last but certainly not least Nate and I were walking back from the beach over the weekend (I guess this was actually the weekend before last) and I looked across the street and exclaimed "There's an Eames chair on the sidewalk!" It turns out it wasn't an actual Eames chair but a fake one made in the 70s by a company called Plycraft. Even these fake ones sell for a lot of money on eBay and we definitely got this one for a steal since the owners were moving to Ibiza, Spain and had to get rid of all their stuff quick. I won't tell you how much but it really wasn't much. Less than what I'm hoping to get for my old too big and not too comfortable Ikea chair that it is replacing.

The good luck definitely came to an end the day after with a couple of failed estate sale attempts (wrong address listed in the pennysaver) and another one last weekend that had the perfect coffee table but it was already sold. I think that like love great thrifting/alley scrounging/garage sailing finds really come when you are aren't really looking for them.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Paper Cut Valentines

Even though Nate doesn't believe in Valentines Day and thinks it is an evil corporate holiday I decided I needed to make him something. These are papercut valentines made with pinking sheers and an exacto knife.

This one is of our imaginary future cats that are going to be named Peanut Butter and Anjelly.

And this one is of our imaginary future french bulldog named Zidane Cousteau. A combination of Nate's two favorite French people the soccer player Zinedine Zidane and Jaques Cousteau.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I've been making a lot of these aprons lately. I finally worked out a design that is fairly simple and easy to recreate but well made and I think really cute. I like that I can combine my screen printing and sewing and also use up my ridiculous stash of tenugui dish towels from the Marukai 98 cent store. Each apron uses exactly one tenugui for the pocket and the ties.

On the etsy storque page they have had a series of articles lately about improving your etsy shop. I've been trying to think of ways to make it look more visually consistent. I think one thing that would help is to sell the same item with different designs as well as different items with the same design. By this I mean I would sell say just aprons, t-shirts and bags each with either an octopus, blowfish or snails. That probably won't happen though, I'd get bored making the same things over and over.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy 2008

Happy belated New Year. I was pretty sure I lost my camera on New Years Eve, but really just left it at home, so I didn't manage to upload any pictures of Christmas and New Years until today.

I wanted to show off the cute '08 pizza Nate made for the potluck New Years party we went to. It was a big hit and pretty tasty too even though it was a bit burnt on the bottom from being reheated in the oven at the party.

I also wanted to finally post a picture of the Christmas cards I made this year. They were linoleum block prints that I initially started printing in oil based ink. I wanted to be able to paint the berries in watercolor without having them bleed. But after attempting to clean up after the I made the first batch of cards I realized that oil based ink is evil and I will only use it when absolutely necessary. The second batch of cards printed in water based in turned out just fine since the tiny area of the berries didn't really have much space to smear.

Anyway, I think they turned out pretty good. This one is not one of the better ones, just one of the few I had left over when I finally remembered to take pictures of them. I think I see a couple of thumb prints in the corner.