Sunday, 31 May 2009

Shopping List Saturday

My shopping list is a bit late this week, in fact it is a Sunday Shopping list, but shopping is good any day of the week right?
first i am loving these beautiful glass straws by strawsbycarli, not only are they practical, grown-up and sophisticated, I think they would  look lovely as tiny pieces of art work!

I really fancy a handmade bag to carry my laptop in and this one by hierapparel looks so lovely.

And i can't help but feel these pretty wee crocheted flowers by suili would bring a smile to anyones face!

To view all the Saturday Shopping List's or to participate yourself pop over to Charlotte's blog at fancy picnic.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

This Fingerprint friday is for friends who are kind, generous, thoughtful, selfless and spiritual. Friends who i am very blessed to come into contact with especially since i can be careless with their feelings. 

"To have a friend, you need to be a friend"

for you : )

To view all of the fingerprint entries or to join in yourself please visit  Pampering beki

Two things that i love;
firstly sneaking away to the cinema in the middle of the afternoon when i should be doing something sensible, but better still,  going to the pictures and having the whole theatre to myself. I like to pretend that i am very wealthy and that i have purchased all the tickets for the performance.  Waaa hahaha
Coraline was enchanting, beautifully made,  a visual feast!
i recommend it 
*****    5 stars     ; )
Lovin the type face too.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Three book that i have read recently that i thought i might share with you. Firstly Zadie Smith, On Beauty, which, as always with Smith, is wonderful. I love the way she observes human nature in all it's flawed, weird, contradictions and weaves ordinary yet inventive tales. The second choice was a case of judging a book by it's cover, i was attracted by the cover illustration by Mary Evans. Mikhail Bulgakov's The Heart of the Dog, is a parody of the Russian revolution, retold as a witty, poignant tale.
And last but by no means least is the tremendous. The Moon is Down by the incomparable John Steinbeck. It is a "story" of the military occupation of a small village set in a fictional land but with strong overtures toward occupied Norway during WW2. It was published and circulated in secret through out Nazi occupied Europe and became a beacon of hope and a symbol of non-violent defiance. It is an awe inspiring novel and proof, if ever it was needed, that the pen is truly mightier than the sword!

These three i picked up recently in charity shops. I love old penguin novels with their colouful spines,  (all of these are orange) Again it is the cover illustrations that attracted me and i'll be glad to add them to my ever growing collection. The Little Man from Archangel dates back to the late 50's and the other two late 80's. 
Rebecca is one of my all time favourites so I was especially thrilled to find it, 
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

Friday, 22 May 2009

Fingerprint Friday

Just a simple Fingerprint this week. What else would God's fingerprints be but simple?
We have had glorious blue skies all week but it is the clouds that make me think, 
how great Thou art.

To view all of the fingerprint entries or to join in yourself please visit  Pampering beki

Linoprint Tutorial

And so we begin our Linoprint tutorial!
I have tried to illustrate each of the stages of printmaking with a photograph but if my instructions are not clear please feel free to contact me  : )
For this print i have used Linoleum substitute, it is a rubber substance which is very soft to cut and quite widely available, ( i think)
Firstly, cut it to size, ensuring that you retain or create a right angle at one of the corners.

Then transfer the image onto the lino, either by drawing it free hand or transferring it from my sketch directly to the lino using carbon paper. ( in this instance i drew it freehand).

It is important to remember that the image you create will be reversed when you print. This is particularly important if you are including  any type in your print, you will need to draw and cut it backwards.

Then using a series of lino cutting tools i carve into the linoleum.

 The important thing to remember at this stage is that where ever you cut/mark with the tools will remain white, so it is the opposite of drawing with a pencil.  Since when you draw with a pencil it is the marks you make which create the image  but with lino printing it is what you leave behind that make the image.  

Lino cutting tools come in two styles, a V tool and a gauge tool. As the name suggests the V tool makes V shaped marks and the gauge tool, U shaped marks. They come in a variety of sizes from tiny, little narrow to wide open tools and different patterns and textures can be achieved using a variety of tools

All that remains of the lino is that which will be inked up. 

It is not necessary but, at this stage i recommend a cup of tea : )

Using, linseed oil based, ink and a roller ink is then applied to the relief surface of the linoleum. 

At this point it is all to easy to "over ink" the lino.  This means that you have too much ink on the roller and you will flood the smallest of the  channels which have been carved into the surface, thus losing the details in the image. Although practice and experience is the simple way to combat this rookie mistake, my printmaking lecturer used to always say that when inking up your roller it should make a "hisp sound, like an egg frying in a pan"  when you roll it in the ink.

This the stage at which all your hard ,( but thoroughly enjoyable !) work  pays off. 

The lino must now come into contact with paper to create a print. 

Here is where you will use you registration board, tuck the paper into the top corner of the 2 L shapes  and secure with masking tape to make hinges, so that you can then "open" the paper back as though it were a book.

Tuck the inked Lino into the bottom corner.

Close the paper onto the lino and apply pressure to transfer the ink from the lino to the paper.

This can be done using a printing press or it can be hand burnished. 

Burnishing a print is a simple and affordable method of transferring ink to paper. You can do this in your own home, without a printing press. You can purchase burnishing tools for not to much but you can also pick up an old spoon in a charity shop for a few pennies. As you can see from the photos i am using an old spoon.

When you peel back the paper you will see the image transfered on to the paper. Repeat this as many times as you want copies of the print. After each colour is added to each print you need to then "strip back", no removal of clothes is necessary i promise. You simply use a sheet of paper, cheap paper like newsprint is ideal, and you place it on to the print and gently rub. This way you remove any excess ink which improves the aesthetic of the print and speeds up the drying process.

Clean the lino of any remaining ink and go back to cutting, Remember that every thing you now cut will remain the colour you have just printed.

An oil based ink will take at least 4 hours to dry, this will alter depending on the paper you use, but i advise over night to let it dry completely. Mix your next colour and repeat this process. Using your registration board will mean that every layer of colour lies exactly on top of each other.
Continue to print and then cut away depending on how many colours you want, this is a three colour print. In general, work from light to dark colours, so lightest colour first.
Phew this might be the longest blog entry i've ever made, i hope you can follow this but if i am not being clear enough at any stage please email me and i'll try to help ; )

The 2 previous post might also be of help.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Okay the only other thing we need to do before we get started on the print, is to make a registration board. A registration board will allow you to print each successive colour on top of the previous one(s) without having to guess where the lino should be placed in order to ensure the colours "register".

You will need a flat pice of board cut to a manageable size and light enough to be portable ( just for ease) then using double sided tape cut 2 strips of mount board approx 4" wide. Using your set square make an L shape with the two strips. The corner of the L will be where your lino sits so it is important that the corner is 45% so that it fits, the lino should also be 45%.
Then repeat this step but use 2" strips of mount board this time and again using double sided tape stick this "skinny" L shape onto the "fat" L shape. Use your set square again to make a perfect fight angle. This is where the paper will sit and why it is important to know which sides of your paper were machine cut, (see previous post)Make sure you align the bottom and the back edges of the Ls.
Lastly run a strip of masking tape along the length of the back (upright) of the L. 
Now you have  registration board.
Click here to see the image close up on flickr

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

This week i'm going to do a wee tutorial on how to create your own reduction relief print, with multi colours. But before that here is a list of all the materials you will need:
Pencil/pen, rubber (incase of mishaps), set square, paper, cutting mat (so you don't take gouges out of the table, i'm speaking from experience here), inks, roller, palette knife and masking tape, scalpel/scissors, cutting tools and linoleum/linoleum substitute.

The best type of paper to use for relief printmaking is one which has been hot pressed, this gives the surface of the paper a smooth finish. You also want an acid free paper, so that it will not yellow with time. I use Heritage paper.  When cutting paper to size i recommend using an old (slighty blunted) bread knife. The serrated edge of the knife will leave the paper with a rough edge, so that you can tell which edge of the paper was cut by you and which was cut by machine. The edges cut by machine will be at a right angle, your's (mine) might be a little off. It will become obvious later why right angles are important.
Click here to see these images in my flickr account, should you wish to view them a little closer.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Another blue treasury, it's not my fault really, it all began with that cupcake,  need i say more?

Saturday, 16 May 2009

This weeks shopping list is made up entirely of woodblock prints.

yellow apple, horse by amandakindregan

Damaged daughters- ooak print by Angels Simione on sale in littleblackfences' shop.

Tiger Sun original linocut print by magprint

For the Gifts handpulled prints from sheggestad.

To view all the Saturday Shopping List's or to participate yourself pop over to Charlotte's blog at  fancy picnic.

Friday, 15 May 2009

I met this little chap in a friends garden the other day and although i know that he has a tendency to munch his way through some of the  leafy plants in the garden I could not help but think ... all creatures great and small.     : )
To view all the participants in Fingerprint Friday please visit

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Please feel free to check out my lovely Bloooo treasury
all participants are members of the Scottish Etsy team, McEtsy

Saturday, 9 May 2009

There is an inexhaustible selection of wonderful pieces on etsy and i could quite easily go broke purchasing all that i want! Here are just few pieces;

i love this sculpture, by TinaFrancisDesigns it seems to be waiting to be award to the best dog, ever!

And this print by Wilkintie, is full of fun and i like the simple 3 colour pallette.

and just for shear silliness, if not cleanliness i love these wee soaps by foliage
To view all the participants of Shopping List Saturday or to join in yourself, please visit Charlotte @ Fancypicnic

Friday, 8 May 2009

Fingerprint Friday

Do toe prints count?
Friends do though, especially ones who paint their toes and yours too!

" To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world." Brandi Synder

To see all of the participants or to join in yourself pop over to Pampering Becki' s blog 

Thursday, 7 May 2009

New brooches made with vintage belt buckles!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

is a weekly showcase to exhibit some of the wonderful finds from etsy, this week i've gone all birdie.
The first is this beautiful white dove by Bultman Ceramics

The second, is a hand painted dove of piece made from recycled wood by recycledwoodart

And lastly this little bright chap is from CircaCeramics and comes in a host of colours.
To view all of the participants of shopping list saturday or to join in yourself please contact Charlotte @ Fancy Picnic

Friday, 1 May 2009

Fingerprint Friday.
It has been a few weeks since i posted a fingerprint but today i wanted to share with you all the colours of spring which are blossoming all around me. Pinks, purples, yellows,reds and I'm sure more shades of green than even the good Lord had anticipated! Some of them are quite small and some of them were hidden and some of them might be considered weeds but each of them beautiful in their own way.
(if you look carefully at picture nine  you will also see a tiny wee bird egg shell)
To view all the participants in Fingerprint Friday please visit Pampering Becki's blog.