Our Christmas Card 2011

319.365: the hand printed card

It was last Christmas when I gifted myself a copy of Print Workshop and the basic tools of a block-printing kit. Over the past year, I’ve made quite a few stamps using my trusty lino cutter, including a crochet-inspired one that I’ve been using on the envelopes for my Lace Love orders. I’ll share that one with you soon, but today I want to talk about my Christmas card!

I doodled this tree, inspired by a drawing in a children’s book, several times and knew I wanted to incorporate it into our Christmas card somehow. I cut a small version on a scrap piece of Speedy Carve and liked it so much, I began drawing it larger. When I was finally satisfied, I drew it directly on a linoleum block and began carving. I found some metallic Speedball ink on clearance at Hobby Lobby one day and took it as a sign. THIS needed to be on the front of my card! I got to work immediately and had my 30 cards printed in a few short hours.


Its metallic-y shiny goodness–which was surprisingly hard to capture in photos–is not the best part of the card. Nope. The BEST past of the card? The handsome little fellas on the inside:


Thrifted blazers, vests, cardigans, lollipops. Informal to the max, but just our style.

You want to see outtakes, you say? But, of course!








I took the outdoor photos first. There was more than one meltdown, I can promise you that. The black & white photo shows what a toddler looks like when his big brother tells him he WILL NOT hold his hand. Oh my word, the tears! I spared you the photo of them BOTH crying because I threaten their treat. When we finally came back in, they got their lollipop prize and were still so adorable, I HAD to take more photos. In our dining room. Lucky I did because I ended up loving one of those the most!

Did YOU take your own Christmas card photo? How did it go?? How did you “dress it up” for your actual card? I want to know!

p.s. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for 100 custom postcards I posted earlier today!

p.p.s. I totally forgot to mention I’m linking up with The Paper Mama’s Holiday Photo challenge!
The Paper Mama

It’s love.

13.365: it's love

Yes. It is.
And Nathan said he wants to give some to all the kids in his class for Valentine’s Day. He said he’ll write all their names on them. gah! Cute.


I’m going to need some more ink (in many colors!) for that endeavor.

A new hobby

(Like I need one?)

What did I buy myself for Christmas? Wait. First: do you buy yourself something? Like, a reward for surviving the holiday madness. A treat just for you for being so darn awesome? I do. I knew exactly what I wanted. I made the wishlist in November. I didn’t show anyone because I knew I wanted to get it for myself. Mid-December came and I realized I had yet to buy the stuff, so I did. A box from dickblick.com showed up on my doorstep the 23rd! What did I get? Amongst a few other things (it’s Blick, afterall! I wanted everything):

-This Speedball lino-cutter set
-Some Blick linoleum blocks
-A hard rubber brayer
-An inking plate and some ink

Basically, I made myself a little kit to get started with block printing! Around the time when I was ordering this stuff, someone on Twitter mentioned this book: Print Workshop. I checked it out quickly and ordered it right up. I didn’t even notice it hadn’t even been released until I was getting ready to check out. Oh well. It looked really nice and promising. It arrived on my doorstep a day ahead of schedule and that night I dove right in to reading.

Talk about inspiration! The book is chock-full of beautiful photos and ideas for hand-printing. I didn’t want to jump right in without KNOWING what I getting myself into, you know? I’m extremely glad I had this book to sort of ease me into the big wide world of hand-printing, specifically linoleum block printing.

That brings us to today. After a few weeks of tossing around ideas for my first stamp, I finally got the courage to put it on a block.

12.365: A new hobby

I took this photo in the afternoon. I’m proud to announce that I finished the block after my rather chilly walk to pick up my son from school. Nothing like coming home to a toasty home and a speedball cutter. My wrist is kind of sore, but nothing like the first time I experienced knitter’s elbow (HOLY MOLY). I’ll let you know when the courage works back up in my bones and I ink it up and actually start printing.