Friday, December 27, 2013

Keeping it real.

As well as buying the few presents that I do need from tiny indepedent traders and artists that we know, I also bought my Christmas cards (since family receive a non-corporate card as well as an official one) from fellow paper artist Su Blackwell (, and paper to wrap things in from Wrap, a tiny British company not unlike ourselves printing the festive designs of artists whose work they like. All the designs are printed on recycled paper using soya inks in the UK:

I couldn't ask for anything more, really!

Clay Magic.

Here are the charming Christmas decorations for my two best friends’ Christmas presents, hand-made for me by Caroline J. Allen. They came as a set of ten each and every one is completely unique. They feel biscuitty and light! So they won't weigh the tree down.

Knitted Christmas Joy!

My Mum (she of the woolly zombies) made me and my sister Joanne a really quite awesome knitted wreath each just before Christmas. 

Christmas roses, poinsettia, holly, mistletoe, berries and a sparkly bow were all improvised and adapted from two needles! I love it. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Kaleidoscope Gloop by Ed Garland.

How the Christmas cards were made!

This year's Christmas greeting was inspired by a seasonal story commissioned from Ed Garland, and written specially for us. When he wrote it I had no idea what I would do, but the words 'kaleidoscope gloop' leapt out and, inspired by an editorial piece I'd done earlier in the year about chemistry and their symmetrical, often tiny circular forms full of detail, the answer came joyfully and easily!

I knew I also wanted to fully indulge my love of print techniques this time and was in recent receipt of a new swatch from a paper company which had the most delicious new metallics. And my ever-patient and creative printer, who can do absolutely anything you ask (after a few practices, of course) got excited about this one.

Here's the original ink artwork for the four kaleidoscopes:
Doll feet, holly, snowflakes; parcels, skulls and ooze; 
Bows and rained-on cars;
Umbrellas, clouds, windscreens and mistletoe;
and finally the tangerines, books and Christmas trees, all key elements in the story.

Here's my mockup of the how the finished card would look:
And here, looking like the most exquisite piece of jewellery, is the block for the gold foil on the bauble. I was terribly excited by this.

Foiling tests:

The cards were printed 2-colour litho (some innovation was needed to print the gold on the brown board, because of its already-high gold fleck content):

Then the baubles die-cut:

Finally the cards threaded and three different colours of Swarovski crystal stuck to each one.
Address labels were sprayed gold before printing, stuck on to three shades of sparkly envelope, then the cards hand written with a message and sent out! Oof.

And here for the print lovers is the beautiful old Heldelberg creasing the cards. That’s the multi-skilled Roger supervising (and me chopsing). Just listen to those sounds! (you might need to turn up the volume).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Thursday, December 05, 2013

It's Time.

I always did think the white envelopes were a bit boring, so I changed them - they're now Gold! 25 designs to pick from including our 45rpm adapter Christmas Cards (not in the same offer as they're a different species altogether).

Designed by Graham Robson.

The Journal.

The Bernstein & Andriulli Journal arrived today, available in the US. A nice sturdy, well-design thing with great print. This one has my Male Me Heart piece in it. Designed by The Brooklyn Brothers.

Thanks to Aaron Barr at B&A for sending it!


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