Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Towels Project

Towels ready to be giftedSilk screen printing cards was so entertaining that I decided to try silk screen printing towels. The idea was that printed flour sack towers might make good holiday gifts for the family. Printing trees on the towels went smoothly. I started with printing the design just twice, but quickly switched to printing it three times on each towel.

Printing the mushrooms turned out to be not so easy. I originally planned to print the entire trio of mushrooms on each towel, and spent a long time simplifying the design and carefully cutting out a stencil. But the stencil turned out to be a bit too big for my screen (I know, I am just brilliant), and it started falling apart right during the first test print.

Printed towelsAt this point I almost gave up, but then decided to block off the two most problematic mushrooms, and continue with one promising one. In the end, I think the tree towels look better than the mushroom ones, but hey, I think mushrooms are a very appropriate print for a kitchen towel.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Ryan's FrogWhile on vacation I spent a few hours sewing frogs. The Purl Bee pattern and instructions were very easy to follow. I embroidered the eyes instead of using beads, to prevent any babies swallowing any beads. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of filling the frogs with rice which rendered them unwashable. Not very smart on my part.

Ethan's FrogHopefully, I can find a more versatile next time I make baby toys. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Ryan's Frog Sitting Down

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I decided to explore silk screen printing. As a first attempt, I cut out a little tree design from regular paper, and taped the paper to the screen. Then I screen printed a few greeting cards.

Trees card
Lessons learned:
  • Regular printer paper is too thin--the paint started seeping through it very quickly. Next time I will use freezer paper instead.
  • I really should have fixed the placement of the screen on the card (just a few pencil marks would have been enough) before I started printing. Centering the screen on paper was very difficult.

Tree cards drying

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Patterns in Adobe Illustrator

After over a week of tinkering with shapes and rectangles, I have finally succeeded at creating a truely seamless pattern in Adobe Illustrator. (If you are wondering how the pattern in my previous post was created--by copy/pasting the shapes several times at regular distances.)

My pitfall was losing a few invisible rectangles. Let me explain. (If you are not an aspiring Adobe Illustrator amateurs like myself, the following details may not be particularly exciting.)

In order to define the bounding box for the repeating design, I had to create a rectangle that has no fill and border. Of course, you cannot see a borderless colorless rectangle unless you hover over its edge or select it. In the process of creating my pattern multiple times in the same document, I inadvertantly left a few of these rectangles behind. Since a design for a pattern can only have one bounding box, these multiple rectangles were no doubt confusing the tool. Last night as an act of desperation I started browsing through the layers in my pattern, and that is how I discovered that I had a few more invisible rectangles than I expected. Once I deleted all but one, my pattern generated correctly.

Friday, September 11, 2009

First Pattern Attempt--Sea Shells

Summer has been busy, and sadly I have hardly done any arts and crafts. But now I am trying to get back into the swing of things.

Since I LOVE looking at different patterns (e.g. fabrics, wallpaper, etc.), I decided to try and design one. I seem to be on an ocean/sea shell theme kick right now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mushrooms, Mushrooms, Mushrooms

Last week I spent time drawing a few mushrooms... Without any specific goals in mind...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

City Skyline

City Skiline
I went running along Charles River yesterday, and the view of Boston from the Cambridge side of the river inspired me to paint.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Little Flower Cards

Last weekend I stumbled across some blank card stock still left over from our wedding stationery. Oh, the beautiful soft textured deckle-edged Fabriano paper--I just could not let it go to waste. So I printed the cards using a small linoblock I cut back in December. I decided that these single cards would make perfect Thank You notes for all the gifts I received during the holidays. Coming soon to my Etsh shop.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hand Decorated Christmas Tree Ornaments

I lament the end of the holiday season. To help me (and you) transition into the regular work week, here are photos of some of the ornaments my super-talented cousin-in-law, Britney Drumheller, made for everyone in the family. Britney also designs clothing and jewelry.

Thanks, Britney!