Friday, December 21, 2012


I finished the second of the Alphabet Quilts yesterday and even got them both washed and ready to go.

We are having a get together with his family tomorrow, Saturday, and I will give them away.

For Hailey

For Jeffery

[the end of the story on the problem with the label is after I washed it there were stains on the label - not blood stains - it looks more like one of the fabrics bled through from the front, and I'm thinking it was because of the hydrogen peroxide I used trying to get the blood out...geez.  I haven't noticed any fabric-bleeding anywhere else.]

Happy Winter Solstice.

I'm always happy to see this day means the days will start getting longer and before you know it, spring will be here.

Saturday, December 08, 2012


Everyone makes it seem so homey having a cat hanging around in the studio.

But they don't mention the problems...

Bentley recently got into a scrap with, I assume, another neighborhood cat and came home with some serious wounds, which entailed an expensive trip to the vet, daily dosings of antibiotics and applications of topical ointments, most of which he didn't mind.  His back toe was the worst, and it doesn't seem to be getting better.

So, I recently came out to the studio to find that Bentley had spent the night on the quilt I had folded and set aside to work on later.  A little cat hair I can deal with, but not blood spots.

It looks like his toe was bleeding while he was encamped on the quilt and he left several little stains, one of them on the light yellow fabric of the label.  Arggh!


I was able to clean up the spots on the cheap background fabric, but, of course, it wouldn't come completely off the label.

After cleaning 

What to do, what to do.  

I could remake the label, take the back partially apart and re-piece the new label into it...that would be at least a half a day's work. The quilt was already pinned.   Man, oh man, oh man.

I set it aside for a few days, talked to my Mom about it (Mom's are great problem solvers and listeners), she suggested Oxyclean, she'd heard it was good at removing blood.  Cat blood?  I'd have to go to the store to get some.

A few more days later, Darrell came by as I was sitting there staring at it, thinking about how much work it would be to replace the label.  He said, "Cover it up."  Duh!  Of course!

And then it hit me...the fabric with the animals I used on the front...I could applique an animal over the spot.

Less than a half hour later, the problem was solved.

When I get it all quilted and completed, I'll wash it, maybe even with Oxyclean.  

You and I will be the only ones that know.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


It's that time of the year again, time to make a Christmas card.

In the past, it's always a problem trying to get a good print on heavy card stock, for several reasons. So, this year I'm making a print separate from the Christmas card, and then I'll attach it to the card in someway that it will be easy to remove.  That way, if people want to keep just the print, maybe even frame it, they can.

Its going to be a bird print, in honor of seeing my first Cardinal while we were in Kentucky this year.  Beautiful birds, and it should be easy to make a distinctive print.

Drawing is done (that was the hardest part) and transferred to lino-block.

Carving of the drawing is done.

Time to print.

I printed a few of the drawing block, cleaned it up a bit, then transferred it to another lino-block and carved out the 'color' block.

This will be the 'color' block.

Then I got out the inks and stuff.  I'm using Akua Intaglio inks.  I decided on the paper and cut out more than enough, I'm using a nice Japanese paper, Kozo.  I need to make enough prints so that after I winnow out the bad ones I still have enough for my cards.

After I got both blocks cut out and the registration more or less good, I started printing the first run, the color block.

I cheated a little by putting the red and the green on the same block, using a little shield over the green part while rolling on the red.  Then carefully putting on the green - it worked great, one less block to deal with (and all the registration issues that go with that).

A stack of about 66 prints,

End of day one, I've got all the first pass done, yesterday.

Got an early start today, but I had to stop after about 20 prints and go get some pain-reliever before I could continue.  My shoulders and neck are really sore from yesterday, and it was giving me a headache.  But, when the Aleve kicked in, I was feeling great.

I started out using the baren, but it was tearing up the back of the paper and when using a sheet to protect the back I had to press too hard (and my neck did not like that).  So I switched to a wooden spoon.  

This is many as I got done before I had to go get some pain-reliever.
A couple of hours later - I had the 66 prints all done. And I got them done in plenty of time to still be able to take a walk before lunch (in the rain).

Here they are - all done!