Rainbow geometric wall hanging

Don't let the picture fool you. This is not a cat toy. I used my geometric ornament template to make a mobile as a baby gift. I combined the gift making with my current 100 Day Project by using my tangle pattern Onion Drops. For the colorful paper gems I used a watercolor wash.

Flip happy business card

Every few years I design a new business card for myself. See my social media callingrams here and my masking tape covered Shastablasta Wraps Presents Well blog cards here.

Personal business cards have always been a fun exercise for me to hand off a little of my personality alongside my contact info. A primary goal when I create a business card is always to make the receiver feel like they’re getting a little gift. Now that it's easy to put contact info in phones it feels especialIy important to make business cards more about the experience of meeting someone.

If this wasn't my own card I'd probably call it overkill. I know someday these cards are destined for the recycling bin but in the meantime I hope they bring some purposeful amusement to the recipient. 

Gelatin print American flags

I'm hooked on gelatin printing ever since learning the process from the book Playing with Surface Design. And this time of year I'm always inspired to play with the American flag. As I've explained in a previous post the gelatin is used as a printing base. It is not what is producing the color of the print... though I like to imagine these flags where made with the classic patriotic Jell-o deserts I never had as a kid.

  I cut out stars and striped paper masks to create the flag prints.

I cut out stars and striped paper masks to create the flag prints.

  Printing on colored paper

Printing on colored paper

  This flag really shows the paper strips I used to print with.

This flag really shows the paper strips I used to print with.

  A couple of my favorites

A couple of my favorites


Q. Explain the sun? A. Contrast

A few weeks ago I caught an installment of Science Friday on NPR. They announced a Science Club challenge to Explain the Sun. It was an open ended question that could be answered in anyway, about anything relating to the sun. The project sparked my interest and I instantly thought of explaining the contrast the sun provides. So the last couple weeks I've been creating images around that idea and the importance of the suns contrast to me personally. You may have seen them on my Instagram as part of my 100 Day Project.

I love the sun. For me the word contrast is a thread that explains much of the sun. There is of course contrast from day to night. There is the contrast when the sun is shining and shadows are cast. And there is contrast in mood as the sun is capable of bringing a shift, good or bad, to emotion. When it shines or is behind clouds my mood is magnified. I embrace contrast because without it there would be no measurement for contentment. 

I feel energized by the sun and often find myself having a very productive day indoors even when my internal logic would be inclined to go outdoors. 

ExplainTheSun_7263.jpg

Ironically San Francisco has been doused in fog most of the time I've been creating these little images.

The micro climates in San Francisco often mean fog blocks the sun. Sometimes I embrace the fog but if it's been hanging around for days (or even a whole day) I long for sunshine and the contrasting shadows it casts. Sometimes the sun/fog contrast is even more extreme and you can see a clear dividing line of fog layering one half of the city while the other is in full sunshine.

Lastly if we follow the thread of contrast to it's end, we get to, THE END. The sun is our star that we see shining (mostly) everyday. Many stars we see at night have long ago blinked out and someday our beloved sun will meet this same end.

Super simple printing method + GIVEAWAY

In this weeks post I've got a little update, instructions for a super simple + addicting printing method, and a book giveaway for you.

This past Monday (5/25) was day fifty of The 100 Day Project. I've got to say I am totally in love with my project (#100DaysOfDayBreakPlay) and plan on keeping some version of it on the other side of the project's completion. I have done less hand lettering than I expected. Instead it's been perfect for working on mini-projects like building a lego Sydney Opera House and making my Strike Away Show submission.

When I got an early release copy of Playing with Surface Design by Courtney Cerruti I knew it would play into my morning routine. You may remember me sharing the book Playing with Image Transfers last year, also by Courtney. Like the former, Playing with Surface Design is full of technique and project ideas. In the book she covers; gelatin printing, paste papers, mark making, and briefly touches on marbling. 

Because gelatin printing has been on my craft to-do list for awhile I jumped to try out that project first.

  One of my first prints using cuttings from my parents garden.

One of my first prints using cuttings from my parents garden.

  Leaves and lavender stems

Leaves and lavender stems

  Paper cut outs

Paper cut outs

  The second printing of paper cut outs and string after they've been removed from the gelatin plate.

The second printing of paper cut outs and string after they've been removed from the gelatin plate.

  Bubble wrap 

Bubble wrap 

  Strawberry baskets printed on blue paper

Strawberry baskets printed on blue paper

I can't stress enough how easy this printing process is. If you've been wanting to try any form of printing, try this first! It will make you feel like an instant success and is a good building block for understanding other printing methods. And if you have experience with any other kind of printing you will likely find yourself equally enamored with the jello print process.

As a printing method the cost of investment is very low, as little as $40. You probably already have some of the supplies needed.

Supplies
— Plain unsweetened Gelatin (not Jello, though it is fun to say Jello Prints!)
— A cookie sheet (you probably own that), or a disposable baking pan has more depth.
— At least two colors of water soluble printing ink
Rubber brayer
— Acetate or a smooth tile from the hardware store
— Paper (try starting out with card stock or bristol).
— Space in your fridge
— Two hours of time (1 hour for your gelatin to set-up and 1 hour to print. Though when you start printing you might not be able to stop)
— And of course, as a helpful resource the book, Playing with Surface Design

Basic Steps (more info in the book)
1. Make gelatin to fill a low wide dish. (This will be your printing plate)
2. Use your brayer to roll out ink color on hard surface.
3. Roll ink onto gelatin plate 
4. Place flat objects onto your inked plate. (leaves, string, paper shapes, or anything else you think of)
5. Lay a sheet of paper down on top, pressing firmly
6. Lift to see the magic.
7. Keep repeating the process to your hearts content. Add more depth to your prints with multiple layers of color.

One recommendation I have is to do your printing inside with moderate temperature. My first try at printing was outside in weather over 75 degrees which was a little too warm for a long print run.

GIVEAWAY
To enter for a chance to win a copy of Playing with Surface Design:
1. Head over to my Instagram and make sure you're following me.
2. Also be following @ccerruti
3. Tag a friend who you think would like the book in the comment section of the photo with the book cover. (Which will be posted the evening of Wednesday 5/27)
4. The winner will be chosen Sunday 5/31/2015. Winner must be in the Continental U.S. to win. As a bonus I'll also be sending the winner some gelatin prints to play with.

Full disclosure. I was given a pre-release copy of the book to promote. All recommendations are my own.