For our second attempt at screen printing (the first being our wedding invites, which I’ll probably post someday), Sam and I decided to tackle another large project- cd covers for the debut album of Sam’s band Yellowbirds. Now that cds have lost pretty much all value in the wake of mp3s and the resurgence of vinyl, we surmised that the only hope for moving these units was in making something unique and tactile. We both love the character of silkscreened artwork, and figured this would be the most fun and effective way to go. We divided the work up between myself (design) and Sam (implementation) and got down to business.
I took the collage Sam made for the cover of the vinyl version of the record and simplified it to be appropriate for the smaller format. After reading many tutorials (here, here and here) I set out to make my own color separations. Our wedding invites were much simpler because they were just two solid colors getting printed, whereas the cd covers required halftone separations in 4 colors in order to create a more complex and dimensional image. There was a lot of trial and error involved in the actual exposure of the screens, but once we had 4 solid screens to work from, Sam buckled down and printed away. He made about a dozen color palette variations, ranging from primaries to metallics to neon, and they all look amazing! They are only available at Yellowbirds shows, so if you’re itching to get yourself a copy, check out the YBs website for more info (shameless plug, I know).
I have always been drawn to letterpress. The instant charm and character bestowed upon any piece of paper printed this way is undeniable, and I’ve dreamt for years of having access to a press myself. A friend at work told me about the magical place that is The Arm, and I jumped for joy.
Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, The Arm has about a dozen different presses available to rent by the hour Wednesday through Saturday. They also offer an introductory class which I skipped over to a few Saturdays ago. I was surprised by how simple the presses actually are to operate, and totally enamored with the sounds of the machinery and the peaceful repetition of printing. Perusing through the drawers of type and actually setting each letter by hand was especially thrilling after so many years of using exclusively digital typography for my work. I highly recommend this class to anyone who loves letterpress. I can’t wait to have an excuse to go back and get printing!
I picked up Heather Ross’ book Weekend Sewing a while ago and have been eyeing it on my bookshelf with guilt ever since. When my beautiful baby niece was born, I was excited to have an excuse to crack it open and attempt my first project. I’ve actually never sewn from a pattern before, but luckily I had veteran sewer SY to guide the way. Thankfully the pattern for baby bloomers was simple enough for a beginner, and paired with some adorable fabrics from Purl, they were such a success that we considered scaling the pattern up to an adult size….
There are so many baby bootie patterns online and in books that anyone looking to make a pair has about a million possibilities to choose from. When I was hunting for a pattern to make for my expecting friend, this one in particular stood out to me for it’s simplicity. I like that you can easily adapt the pattern for any size yarn and foot, and they can take as little as 15 minutes per bootie when you use chunky yarn.
When I stumbled upon this beautiful rug at Ladies and Gentlemen, I immediately fell in love. Crocheting is really easy and enjoyable, and it’s so exciting to take it to a level beyond afghans and potholders. Inspired, I ordered myself some cotton rope and decided to give it a shot. The rope that I guessed would work was a little larger than what would have been suitable for what I set out to make (a giant granny square rug), so I scaled back a bit and made a simple double-crochet pattern. I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and it feels great to stand on it with bare feet! This was an encouraging first foray into larger-scale crocheting, and I’m looking forward to attempting more complicated patterns in the future.