Archive

Domesticity + Craft

franz-josef-sketch

Here’s another look at some of the sketches in my journal from traveling in New Zealand. (view my Australia sketches here)

Franz Josef Glacier: I drew this on the hike out, sitting on a rock, looking back at the glacier. It was a very peaceful moment for me, and super satisfying to be traveling alone, able to hike as fast as I wanted, and stop for as long as I wanted to sketch in the sun.

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French Ridge Hut: drew this at twilight sitting outside on the kea perch between the outhouse and the hut. Colored it inside as it got too cold! We were looking at the map in the hut’s kitchen as I colored and at first thought a bit of Mount Avalanche was East Peak. The hut sits at 4,856 feet above sea level, which was an all-fours advanced tramp up 3,508 feet of elevation in just 4.5 miles from the Aspiring Hut in the Matukituki Valley floor, just outside of Wanaka near Rob Roy Glacier. This is one of the most rugged and magical places I’ve ever been. 

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Gebbies Valley: I drew this sitting in the front paddock of the farm I WWOOFed at on the Banks Peninsula just outside of Christchurch. I don’t love how the recently sown paddock came out; kinda wish I’d left the field white. In person, it was super cool looking with lines of new green sprouts. But this sketch does give a good sense of the happiness and home this land meant to me.

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A sampling of some of my crafted gifts this Christmas: (above) pine cone made out of shaved almonds and marzipan for Grandma Daisy; blooming cactus stationery for my mom; embroidered llamas as a gift to myself (he he); and block printed mountain goat towel for Grandma Daisy. (below) Christmas sugar cookies for everyone; embroidered panda bandanna for Alanna; block printed cow, mountain goat, and llama kitchen towels for friends; mountain goat bib for Grandma Daisy; and embroidered bandanna for Max.

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I also made some little herb packs from sage, rosemary, thyme, and oregano that I picked from the Udsen garden and neighborhood streets in Templeton and then dried—forgot to take a picture though! Max made an epic craft gift for his friends, old books turned into succulent planters. Mine, pictured below, is in an old Reader’s Digest anthology.

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Hello world, my little postcard printing business has doubled, ha! I’m now selling my hand-carved and printed designs at Dudleya Studio in Atascadero on California’s Central Coast near Paso Robles. Two of my new designs (blooming cactus and thank you mountain goat, pictured above) are for sale there. Dudleya is the cutest little shop with art space for classes like felting, which Max recently surprised me with a private lesson in! We made miniature felted llamas of course (ironically, with alpaca wool). Here’s a picture of my postcards on the rack at Dudleya:

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And of Max and I in action felting:

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llama-postcard

I have a new llama block print that I whipped up the other night. I modeled it after the profiled cow stamp I made some years ago, and really like how it turned out despite some issues with my carving tool/material (see crumbles on the stamp below), overcarving a few areas, and a general lack of planning on the design. Sometimes it’s good not to be a perfectionist and just go with what you end with! The finished postcard is printed on French Paper’s Speckletone Kraft cardstock.

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This new postcard design and the cow it’s modeled after are available for purchase at Riverside Studios in Truckee.

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Max and I collaborated on a project for Castoro Cellars’ Beaverstock music festival in Templeton (Central Coast, California), and I’m so very excited on how it turned out. I made a bunch of postcards that we put on display in the artist lounge area. Festivalgoers could fill one out for free, place it in the mailbox, and then Max mailed all 300 of them out after the festival. It was a huge hit – I was out of postcards in the first few hours of the festival so had to restamp to resupply the booth. I made two versions: one a spinoff on the Tahoe state stamp I do, with the Castoro Beaverstock beaver with sunglasses marking the spot where Castoro Cellars is on the map; and the other a replica of the Castoro winery logo.

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I also spent some good time creating a tumbleweed (from my postcard paper scraps) with my friend Brittney for our campsite, which had a saloon theme. A lot of heart and soul went into creating this little guy, who we leashed to our “covered wagon” tent so he wouldn’t tumble too far!

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One of my recent carvings was a gift for the Udsen family of Castoro Cellars down in Paso Robles — a hand-carved stamp of their winery’s beaver logo. I made it into patterned postcards, and then handed over the stamp for them to take over. Check out Castoro next time you’re on the Central Coast and look for my beaver stamp in action at the upcoming Beaverstock music festival, September 13-14, 2014. I also just finished a quick proofreading project for their wine club newsletter… gotta keep their grammar sharp like beaver teeth!

llama-courtshipIn the spirit of love this Valentine’s Day, I sent some of my friends a selection of llama print postcards. I call this series “llama courtship,” ha! I carved the stamp at Bona Fide Books’ monthly Print Club. I am going to work on more of these prints with llama groupings as I love how these turned out.

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My latest block print design is the outline of Lake Tahoe filled with a Christmas sweater pattern. I drew it all by hand, and carved it on a linoleum block. I printed the green trees separately from a free carve quick-cut on Speedball EasyCut rubber. Due to the detail in the design, this takes much longer to print successfully, but I love the result! Pick this design up in postcard form at Riverside Studios in downtown Truckee.