A summer screenprint and a giveaway!

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Last summer, when my children were squared away in day camp for a few weeks, I decided to teach myself some printing techniques.  I had been admiring beautiful hand-printed tea towels on etsy and felt a persistent itch to try it myself.

I tried out a few different techniques and one of my successful projects was this wild oats print, made by screen print.

To teach myself, I watched what felt like a thousand youtube video tutorials. I wish I could point to one particularly helpful tutorial, but none stood out, though several were helpful. In the end, the clear, step-by-step instructions in the book Print Liberation helped the most.  Plus, the book is edgy enough that it made me feel just a tiny bit hip.

After creating my screen using a photo emulsion technique, I printed on newsprint, I printed on scraps of old sheets and finally, I printed on linen tea towels I had ordered online. None of my prints were perfect but most were satisfying to create.

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I printed these wild oats in perky spring green and some in a beautiful fall golden yellow, which some how escaped my camera. I washed, dried, ironed, folded and packed them away to be presents.

Now that Christmas is over, I have officially given them all away… except for one, which I now offer to send to a randomly drawn winner. To enter to win this 100% linen, hand printed tea towel, please leave a comment below. I’ll pick a winner next Friday, January 17th. On the off chance that I don’t actually know you in person or Facebook, please make sure you include your email address in the comment form so I can contact you. (It won’t appear online.) I’m pretty sure the competition will be sparse so give it a try! I can tell you from experience it’s a thrill to win a blog giveaway, no matter what the stakes. (Thanks, Kate at book nook!)

I’ll be posting a few more of my summer printing projects soon, though I can’t promise any more giveaways. In the meantime, my wild oats screen rests in the basement, waiting patiently until next summer.

P.S. I had to include this last photo too. In addition to printing, I was experimenting with staging photos a lot last summer. Those were peonies from my garden. I can hardly belive how dreamy they look! I can hardly wait to get back in the garden!

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Fancy Needlepoint Clutch

I’m not really much of a ‘fancy’ mom as my four-year-old would say. I spend many of my waking hours  in yoga pants and Dansko clogs, yet when I first saw this tutorial on making a needlepoint clutch, I knew I had to make one.

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I even bought new yarn, fancy yarn, made of silk and wool, rather than use the usual decades old wool I’ve inherited from my mother and a cousin. The beautiful feeling of the Silk and Ivory yarn inspired me to work slowly and carefully, to work to make something truly beautiful and finely made.

The stitching was quick, especially since I started with a long flat stitch (from this book) to form a lattice pattern. Then, the assembly took some time.

I contrived to install a magnetic snap closure and added a pocket for my phone in the lining. (The second time in recent months that I’ve made something special for my phone – what does this say about my relationship with that little device?)

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I will probably only use it rarely, but since my usual bag is more of a bucket riddled with loose change, cracker crumbs, and a few wadded up receipts, it will be quite a thrill. No doubt, it will make me feel elegant, chic and, downright fancy.

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Etsy Love: Giardino

This is a blog about making things – things I make and things other people make, books about making things, blogs about making things, and of course, handmade things themselves.

So its inevitable that I will post some of my favorite etsy stores – artists and artisans that inspire and delight. We’ll call this category etsy love, even if a few might not be etsy merchants or artists.

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I’ll start with Giardino, purveyor of hand printed, hand sewn table linens and pillows, among other things. I have loved this etsy shop for some time. I have even been inspired to dabble in hand stamping on fabric myself. (More on that another time.) Somehow, I feel she gets the scale, color and patterns just right. Sigh. Etsy love indeed.

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*** all photos in this post by Giordino.. of course!