Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dawn's Decorations

One of the other things I made for Dawn's wedding was a boxful of origami cherry blossoms for the centrepieces. The idea came from The Flirty Guide, but I changed it a little by making the flowers out of a few different papers and in a few different sizes. I made about 210 total, then we glued them on sticks and added them to the vases.

Here's how they looked when they were done.

And an action on the big day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flowers in Winnipeg

Here are a few of the photos I've taken lately while wandering around Winnipeg.

I think this one is my favourite.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dawn's Wedding Present

I usually give people a painting for their wedding, so I had Dawn send me a photo she liked. She actually sent me four photos that she had taken in a photo booth. This is the only one that turned out at all. It's watercolour, but done just in shades of blue and grey because the original photo was in sepia-tone and somewhat blurred.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Guestbook for Tep

The second wedding I'm going to is my sister's, and her colour is navy. She sent me a photo of what she liked and I sort of did something similar. I found a really nice heavy white silk (in lieu of the silver she wanted and was unavailable) for the cover, and then used some ribbon as contrast. Apologies for the photos! I need to get something set up here so I can take some good ones.

The original book had beads along the ribbon so I sewed a few along the wider one, nice little ones that really catch the light, even if the photo doesn't show it.

I'm a little low on paper right now, so I had to do a bit of improvising for the endpages. I only had enough blue paper for one side of the ends instead of both, so I used it on one side only and then added a sheet of transparent white mulberry paper with little bits of gold in it. Very bridal!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Guestbook for Dawn

I'm about to set off on three weeks vacation in BC in order to be Matron-of-Honour at both my best friend's and sister's weddings. This guestbook is for the first wedding. Her colours are red and black, and I found a terrific paper, sort of like a thick mulberry paper that's red on one side and black on the other. The black sort of shows through and it looks terrific. The black stripe is made of silk and I like the contrasting textures. I used a coptic stitch on it, but unfortunately because I was recycling a sketchbook the original holes were a little off and it shows a lot more than I though it would. Still, it'll look great and has lots of room for signatures, and that's what we need.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Old Things are Beautiful

Here are few more photos of my exploration of Winnipeg. I was also experimenting with the Hipstamatic app on my phone (yes, I'm not really a photographer). These were taken with the Lucifer VI lens and Float film, if you're interested in trying out this particular filter.

I like this one because it combines my love of exploring the city, old books, and all things map/globe related.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nijmegen T-shirt Design

This is a t shirt design I did for the Nijmegen team at CFB Winnipeg. The team is training for a four day march in Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and will be doing 40km per day, totalling 160 km. I had to drop out of the trainnig because of scheduling conflicts unfortunately, but I'm still working on the design (mostly so I can get a shirt!). Check out the March's website for more information.

Canada has been participating in the March since 1953, so I wanted a vintage feel for the design. I started with the old RCAF crest and manipulated the orientation and banner, and changed the wording to reflect the occasion. I took the maple leaves that were around the roundel and alternated them with tulips to represent the Netherlands, and after that drew in all the swirls, which are loaded with more maple leaves and tulips. I used the wartime crest with George's crown to keep with the vintage feel, but we're switching it to Elizabeth's for the final print.

I'm going to find somewhere to print it now, in white ink on Air Force Blue or maybe brown.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Old Montréal Street - Part 3

Here's the final product. I wish there was a little more of the dark blue on the left hand side, but over all I think what's there really makes the image cohesive and gives it the neccessary depth. I'm also pleased because I think if I keep working on these I may have some less expensive pieces to sell. I started with 12 prints, and 7 ended up looking good enough for me to admit to them. If I divide up my time and the cost for materials I can sell them for about $45 (matted) and still feel I've come out ahead.

In no particular order here's what I've learned about print making after my first-ever attempt.

1. The correct amount of ink to put on the block is a skill that will take a huge amount of practise to master.

2. The registration will make or break the final product. The more anal I am about it, the better.

3. A little planning goes a long way.

Old Montréal Street - Part 2

Here are the next three layers of my Montréal print. This layer (layer 3) actually starts to bring this whole thing to life. It was hard imagining where this was going, so it was good to see some recognizable detail.

Contrast at last! I taped off a few sections so they wouldn't print and I wouldn't have to go over any more than necessary with the following colours.

Sorry about this one, I didn't realize the photo was blurry until I'd printed the next colour and it was too late to take another picture. It's was about this stage that I realized I should have kept some more of the lino on the sides. The left area of the print could really use a bit of depth. But I'll work with what I've got! I'm just too used to painting and being able to go back and forth and change things as I go - trying to see six steps in the future is a whole different way of thinking. Normally I would have figured all the stages out in Photoshop, but I'm posted in Winnipeg, home is far away, and my computer is inaccessible. So I just went ahead and tried to do it the old-fashioned way.

Old Montréal Street - Part 1

I took this photo when I was wandering in Montréal at Christmas, as reference for later projects. I've been thinking quite a bit about attempting printmaking because I could make multiple editions of books, or smaller art pieces that would be considerably cheaper, and hopefully, therefore, easier to sell.

Naturally, of course, I couldn't just try a simple print. I decided to try a reduction lino cut, which involves taking a single piece of lino and carving it repeatedly. It starts with large light-coloured area for the first layer, then is re-carved for the second layer and so on, moving to smaller and darker sections (because they're printed on top of the preceding colours, similar to the way watercolour works). This destroys the lino block as you go, so once you've moved on to the next colour you can't go back and print any more. No pressure on a girl who's never done this! The photo above is the lino block with the image (mirrored because it'll reverse itself when printed of course) drawn in permanent marker so that it won't transfer with the ink.

Here is the first layer. I cut out very little to remain white - a bit of snow and some windows. I was using the corner of my desk to align everything, to varying degrees of success, but mostly it worked quite well. I marked where the block was to be replaced after each time it was carved, slotted the paper into the corner, and then transferred the ink. I made a few on newsprint to practise and check the registration before using the nice paper. It took a couple times to get used to how much ink and pressure to use - an ongoing learning process I think! One of them turned out with a really spiky texture because I had far too much on the block. Oh well! I made extra, and I'll get used to it.

Once that was printed I carved out everything I wanted to remain light blue, then printed over it in tan. I'd had a bit of a debate with myself before I started as to whether I should do the blue or tan layer first, since the blue covered a larger area, but the tan was a little lighter. I'm not entirely sure I choose correctly, but I think it turned out fine in the end.

I didn't just make a simple reduction print either - there are still four more colours to go! I'll post more photos soon.