Monday, December 24, 2012

a merry little (handmade) christmas

Though working long hours has left me with little time for blogging or anything else, I did manage to relish my favorite season here and there with some additional handmade projects . . .

This banner sort of just came together one Saturday a couple weeks ago. I like its sweet simplicity, and that it took next to nothing energy-wise for me to make it.

I started by covering some mini clothespins in shimmery washi tape.

The knit cord was left over handiwork from our time in Abu Dhabi. 

A couple pushpins and several craft paper letters later, and voila! Easy, chill Christmas decor.

I wish I could say this year's cards were also that simple. 

But NO. They most definitely were not. I should've known I was on dangerous terrain when I started hand-carving the lino block for the text back in early November. In my mind, the cards HAD to have white ink, and for some reason block printing seemed like the best option at the time. Let me just say: IT WAS NOT. Next time, I'm sucking it up and buying the at-home screen printing kit. While I did have fun making them (for the most part), they ended up being pretty time-consuming. 

I ended up using an oil-based watermark ink pad with white embossing powder and a heat tool to get the look I was going for with the text. It took FOREVER to get enough clear, relatively consistent prints to do even the bare minimum number of cards. 

As for the interior text, I just hand wrote it with a marker. As a former handwriting nerd/addict in my elementary school years, this was probably the easiest and most enjoyable step of the entire process.

I ordered all the photos through Postal Pix and attached them with glue dots. All other materials came from Paper Source.

Oh, except for the Nepalese paper I used to line the envelopes. (WHO DOES THIS?!? Crazy people, that's who.) That I picked up at Anthro.

In the end, I love how our cards turned out, and other people seem to enjoy them too, which counts for a lot! After all, the goal was to bring a smile to the faces of our friends and family, and I think these cards did the trick (even if I did want to stab myself in the hand with my Xacto knife on more than one occasion).

Speaking of cards, we have definitely been enjoying any and all that have come our way! They hang on the wall above the entrance to our apartment. and I love seeing them as I pass by. Joy indeed :)