"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Thursday, October 29, 2009

ho ho ho!


the weather in LA is changing. it is getting slightly colder every day and now, at the end of October, it finally feels the way it does in early September in Kentucky – like fall!

this makes me excited because Thanksgiving and Christmas are on the way. and without getting too Martha Stewart on you, i admit that the change in seasons makes me excited to do all sorts of crafty things around the house (mostly food-y things).

making apple sauce from fresh apples
pumpkin bread, muffins, and pancakes
acorn squashes!
cranberry sauce from scratch
gourd bouquets (so festive and rustic!)
eating lots of chicken (i'm putting on my winter weight!)

and lastly, and maybe most exciting: screen printing seasonal greeting cards!

every year, my dad goes up to the attic and brings down dozens of boxes of christmas cards (which my mom buys on sale from the year before) and takes over the entire dining room table for weeks writing cards to long ago friends (classmates from college or high school, distant family, old colleagues now retired or moved, the neighbors). this only happens twice a year: at christmas-time and in the spring, when my dad works on filing our family's taxes. it's fascinating and perplexing to watch how devoted my dad is to these two radically different tasks.

sadly, i never picked up my dad's dedication to correspondence. i used to write letters to my friends all the time, but when i finally started using the internet (in college), paper missives became impractical, slow ("snail" mail), and worse, wasteful (the takeover of digital media has been excused, even encouraged, in large part because of recent attention to reducing paper waste. letter-writing and personalized mail is now a lost art among many ppl my age, who view practices such as my dad's as strange).

so, this year, in an attempt to revive the forgotten art of creating beautiful paper mail to send to ppl, i think i will try screen printing greeting cards this year. i love book-binding and frequently do so to make cards for ppl (valentines, for example) but i've never screen printed my own posters or cards. i've been meaning to try it out for some time but never got around to it.

the silk screening process is pretty complicated and requires a lot of materials, but i'm opting for something real basic and easy to do at home. i have tons of left over transparencies from my first year of teaching, and i plan on using those to make my stencils. all i have to do is draw directly on the plastic sheet, and use an Xacto knife to cut it out. most of my prints will be single-color, so it's easier. for those interested, here's a run down of the much more complicated silk screening process, from my favorite DIY site, No Media Kings (i've been endorsing them forever! don't you check out my sidebar?)

as for patterns and design, i'm using these images as inspiration and points of departure:

i love the red pinstripe here:
i like birds on a secular card.
happy holidays! and happy crafting!

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