Thursday, July 31, 2008

Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

Last night I got lucky and got a treasury on Etsy. In case you haven't experienced the crazy world of tresuries, it is essentially kind of like a lottery. People can pull together curated selections of items that they like (often around a theme or colors) and then you have to wait until a magic moment when the number of existing lists drops below 333 and if you click in a box at the right time you get to post your treasury for other people to view. It is a nice way for Etsians to promote each other. And of course my dream, like the other hundreds of people creating treasuries, is for one of mine to make it to the Etsy "front page" one day. The front page is the entry to the Etsy site and having an item on the front page, or curating the treasury on the front page can generate hundreds of hits in a matter of minutes.

So here is my treasury (you will recognize some of my favorites!). It is up until Saturday evening. Click on this link to get to the actual treasury and to see the items:paper wren's treasury. I have my husband to thank for the treasury title.

I don't want to wish away summer but I am excited about autumn and apple picking, pumpkins, mums, brisk air and the like.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

This Little Bird Says Hello

I was finally able to print my chartreuse bird cards. I was initially inspired to make these because I wanted to do something with a monochromatic pattern and then remembered a friends brocade wallpaper and started there. Since a lot of people wonder about my Gocco and the process (one friend thought my Gocco was a helpful little crafty bird, which is actually kind of fitting), I thought I would show some photos of the Gocco in action.

This was a two layer print. Above is the first layer being printed. You can see the ink and the pattern on the top part of the Gocco. I had just pressed it down (it is like a big clam shell) to create the brocade background.After the first layer is dry, I can print a second ink color and image over the first. You can see the bird and text in the brown ink in this image.

Here are the final cards hanging to dry. Next time I print, I will show how I created the image in the screen since I forgot to take pictures of that this time around. I have really been digging the rounded corners lately. this is the first time I have rounded the corners on a folded card and my little hand punch is working overtime on these. I still have a lot to do but can only do a few at a time before it runs out of steam or I run out of steam.

You can see the final product (rounded corners and all) posted on Etsy in my paper wren shop.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My New Favorite Color

I mixed some ink tonight. I hope to print tomorrow after work. I never thought I would use so much chartreuse in my life. I only learned what it looked like 2 years ago when I commented on the wall color of a restaurant and my husband told me it was chartreuse.

Gocco ink is different than traditional screenprinting ink. It is much thicker, like frosting. I actually use cake decorating bags to put mixed ink onto the screens. It looks delicious.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Arctic Tern in July

So I didn’t get to print over the weekend, but I did comfort myself by looking at my new purchase and fantasizing about how to make use of the great color scheme it employs. I found this Audubon reprint of an arctic tern (sterna arctica) at an antique store in New Hamshire last weekend. I love the blue, orange, white and grey. And the dynamic yet awkward dive and stormy ocean skies seal the deal.

Oddly, the view outside my window one afternoon mimicked the sky behind the tern (or the other way around?). It has been a summer of intense and fast moving storms, endless lightning, and blinding downpours. Part of me doesn’t mind because it is still as exciting to watch as it was when I was young and would go out to the porch with my mom to watch the thunder and lightning when it woke us up in the middle of the night. But the heat and stickiness that comes with the storms doesn’t make for good sleeping weather. An arctic tern would feel nice right now...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Art in the Park - Worcester

I went to a great public art exhibit tonight in Elm Park in Worcester, which was organized by the Worcester Cultural Commission among others. All of the art was really high quality. These are two of my favorite pieces. The first is Tidal Project (Floating in Mere Pond) by Worcester artist Lynn Simmons. The second is C.M.Y. by Natick artist Linc Cornell.

I also learned about a huge arts festival that will take place in September called stART on the street, which I hope to check out.

I always like going back to Worcester to visit my old haunts from my brief time living there. It is a relatively vegetarian friendly city. I got a black eyed pea and rice salad at Living Earth and then was surprised to find Buddha Hut, and offshoot of my old favorite Quan Yin selling delicious vegetarian Chinese food at the concert at the Park. So I had dinner number two. I left with a belly full of food and art. Not a bad night all in all.

The not so lazy days of summer

With summers off a distant thing of the past, I am adjusting to what summers look like now. I have been busy at my full time job, and busy working on custom orders at home. I love the custom jobs I have been doing, but I am also excited to get a chance to work on a few of my own designs as well.

I have some designs that are ready to print. The challenge (as always) is getting the idea in my head to materialize in the real world on paper. This is one of my electronic drafts. I did some test inks on the chartreuse papaer and realized the paper is much darker in real life than in the electronic version and none of my inks give quite the effect I am looking for. I will need to mix some ink and try again. But when? That is the question. With my weekends spent away from my Gocco visiting my husband at his summer teaching job an hour away, I have temporarily lost my prime Gocco time. I miss summer vacation...