Recently, I celebrated another year of life and had a very small gathering for the event. I made up a lino cut for the invites.
The process was something I played with this time. I wanted to see if I could get a freer, more lino-flavored expressiveness from the carving. Usually, I draw the design, scan it into PhotoShop to fix any massive errors, (but mostly to have a digital reference for the future) and print it out, transfer to the lino with a quick acetate wash and carve pretty much around the lines. This time, I drew, scanned and didn’t print; except the text – I hate fucking up text, so I printed and transferred that bit. I kept the drawing up on my screen and made a few reference marks in Sharpie to keep me aligned, then carved it mostly freehand – the same way you would look at a subject and draw it, I looked at my drawing and carved it. I’m not exactly displeased with the result – it is definitely freer, looser, more expressive in a lino fashion, but it doesn’t click for me like other carvings have. I will do this again and play around in different ways to see what I come up with.
I printed the unbacked lino onto black cards, freehand with light gray and silver Golden Acrylics. The sparkle level was good. I printed the interior text onto some amazing silver sparkle paper and pasted it inside.
When I was done, I had a lot of paint left over. Looking around, I found a scrap piece of crappy black cotton. It is crappy because it has a low thread count/ loose weave/ thin threads. It was clearly salvaged from a trash stack, or purchased before I found and became an adherent of Kona cottons. I squirted some textile medium into the paint and used up some of the mixture on this cotton. I didn’t have a plan, but it was fun to print onto fabric with this size of lino, instead of little pieces like I’ve done before.
After two days of drying, heat setting, and wondering what I was going to do with them, I decided they’d make decent little baggies. Birthday parties often have favor bags, so that’s where I was going with my idea. However, the cotton was low quality, as mentioned, so the domino chain of idea progression began there. The prints became patches onto better cotton, then pockets, the flat simple bags became drawstring bags, lined with double-brushed flannel, with grommets for the double drawstrings, with generous boxed bottoms.
The front of the bag, showing printed pocket.
Because I was working late at night and tired, I made a mistake in the order of assembly (even though I wrote out the steps in order, I was sleepy and ignored my own list – at my peril!!) and the fix doubled the work I had to do in the end. Because of that, these ended up taking some effort, instead of the quick, cleverly designed bags I intended. They came out nice, though.
Seven finished, empty bags. Now what to put in them? It would be too much candy to fill up with. I decided on sharing some of my favorite things. I put in black Sharpies, washi tape, glue, sparkly star and gear stickers, MineCraft and Star Trek toys, cat stamps, Japanese cat erasers, etc. and of course some chocolates.
I like things that glow in the dark, stars and skulls, so I found a way to combine them through glow in the dark skull and star beads. Interspersed with black and a few colors I found in my stash, they made a few kiddie-summer-camp-craft type bracelets. The beads glow well. And I did trim the ends of the cords later, this shot was mid-creation.
Being a moderate dinosaur fan, everyone got a couple tiny toy dinos. They are so small! That makes them even better, I think. And Legos. I split up a couple boxes of Legos to make little baggies for everyone to play with.
This project also spurred a bag making fit. I made a sample to start, then afterwards made a few different styles of bags since it was on my mind already. Now I have five varieties of bags around the workshop, only two have been filled yet. With the bag making finally out of my system, I got back onto my Maker schedule. One secret project is done (soon to be shared here) and next up is finishing that triangle quilt at last, before this quarter is closed. Fingers crossed that I make it!