Sunday, November 30, 2008

letterpress placecards

I also letterpressed these placecards when I was in Washington to use for Thanksgiving dinner. We ended up writing the name of each dessert on an individual card and placing it next to the dessert on the dessert table (I think we had at least 9 or 10 options including pumpkin pie, banana cream pie, apple pie, rasberry pie, pear crumble pie...)

To create:
- Create artwork in Illustrator and have a photopolymer plate made.
- I letterpressed the cards with a Vandercook SP-20 using Crane's Lettra Superwhite and dark brown ink.

thanksgiving table

I also got to help with the table for Thanksgiving dinner. We filled the length of the table with candles, gourds, pumpkins, leaves and berries and featured an arrangement of orange roses set in cranberries in the middle of the table.

thanksgiving menus

The cooking part of Thanksgiving doesn't interest me that much. I'd much prefer to focus on the presentation of the meal. Luckily, I have a mother-in-law who is a fantastic cook and a sister-in-law who asked me to help her with the table. We eat our meal in courses so she had envisioned a menu that could be sitting at each guest's place. I had exactly 18 dark brown Envelopments envelope pockets that turned out to be perfect. The front of the pockets have a flap that folds over to close the envelope. On this flap we wrote the name of each guest and used a QuicKutz leaf die cut to keep the flap closed.
The envelope opened up to the menu which was printed on white cardstock with dark orange ink and embellished with a bronze turkey die cut.

In the bottom pocket, a card was enclosed which asked each guest what they were thankful for. In addition, each card contained a piece of Thanksgiving trivia. In between courses, everyone had a turn to answer the question and also read their trivia aloud to the table.
Overall, they turned out nice and definitely added to the experience of the meal. Now we'll have to see what we can come up with for next year!

homemade halloween costumes

I know this post should have happened a few months ago, but right now it's better late than never for me.....My mom always made our Halloween costumes growing up. She is a great seamstress. I think my favorite costume was our "Daddy's Little Girls" cheerleader outfits. I wanted to follow in that tradition and make my kids' costumes, but unfortunately my sewing knowledge and ability is limited. Last year, I made my little girl a flapper dress. She was a lucky 6-month-old with enough dark hair to create a finger wave hair do to go with the dress. I made the pattern up so the workmanship was especially weak, but I was still happy with how it turned out.

Because of my schedule this year, I figured I would just have to buy her a costume while I was in China. Luckily, my mom volunteered to make her a costume that would match my little sister. They were both gyspys. This is the skirt my mom sewed. We paired it with a black leotard and a lot of plastic beaded jewelry and rings. She looked so cute!

go team

Before my trip to China, I flew to Washington D.C. and Auburn, Alabama to see my younger brother and sister play football and volleyball. My brother plays football for Southern Virginia University and my sister plays volleyball for Auburn University. For the games, I made my little girl personalized shirts to cheer on her aunt and uncle.

SVU shirt:

To create:
- I cut out the letters SVU in vinyl on the Silhouette and then adhered the vinyl to the shirt. I ironed on a piece of freezer paper to the inside of the shirt to prevent ink from seeping through to the back side of the shirt and then used fabric paint to paint in the letters. After drying, I removed the vinyl and freezer paper.
- I cut the numbers 55 out of a glitter material with the Silhouette and glued them to the middle of the shirt.
- I die cut a football on the Revolution tool out of felt in white, black and dark brown and glued to the bottom of the shirt.
Auburn shirt:
To create:
- Since it was October, I thought finding an orange shirt would be easy. However, there were no orange shirts to be found. The night before we left I found this shirt as part of a terrible tan corduroy overall set for boys. I decided to try and make it work, but the shirt definitely was not the cutest. It turned out okay, but I wish I would have had time to go get a different shirt.
- I cut out the letters in vinyl on the Silhouette and then adhered the vinyl to the shirt. I ironed on a piece of freezer paper to the inside of the shirt to prevent ink from seeping through to the back side of the shirt and then used fabric paint to paint in the letters. After drying, I removed the vinyl and freezer paper.
- I die cut a volleyball on the Revolution tool out of orange felt and a blue glitter material and glued it to the center of the shirt.

two kids, inc.

This is the business card I letterpressed on the Vandercook SP-20 for my little girl to hand out announcing the upcoming addition to our family (arriving May 2009). I'm really happy with how they turned out. Overall it was a fairly easy project. I found the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of the project was making sure the artwork was aligned correctly for printing.

To create:
- I designed the artwork in Illustrator and sent it to Boxcar Press in NY to turn the artwork into photopolymer plates for printing.
- I hand mixed the ink based on Pantone formulas to get dark brown and pink. The pink ink was difficult. I wanted a lighter color but the transparent white ink which I added to tone the pink down was not very tacky which made the ink spread easily and not print as well.
- I printed the image on Crane's Lettra Superwhite and then cut the business cards down to size.

finally...a post

17 days of travel (SLC to Washington DC to Alabama to Atlanta to Hong Kong to China back to Hong Kong to Washington then back to Utah), a cold, the flu and a new addition to our family (arriving May 2009) resulted in a unanticipated abscence from this blog. Fortunately, creativity was not completely lost during this time. The next several posts are catch up for the past month and may be a little outdated for this year, but I wanted to make sure I documented some of my recent projects including the great time I had letterpressing in Washington with my family and friend Rachel (see a sample in the next post).

The week in China was also a great time for creativity. In addition to getting to go to the Canton fair and see products for crafts, stationery, home decor, toys, furniture and tableware, I found myself being especially creative when it came to the food. Being pregnant and sensitive to smells, made meals like this especially interesting. Here are just a few pics of some of the dished I tried to creatively pretend to eat...
chicken: cold, rubbery, fatty and slimy with decorative head and feet

dessert: a sweet grean bean soup. one of three options served including warm chunky milk and warm chunky ginger milk.