I cannot wait to send these cards out (now that all the fun part is complete, I have to find the time to address all of them and mail them out)!
I actually found some time this year to do one of my absolute favorite kinds of art....block printing. It is a really great way to bring handmade to the realm of the annual christmas card.
When my kids were very small, I made cards similar to these and sold them at a local shop for extra money (nothing like mouths to feed to inspire the artist within). I've been hooked ever since.
If you like cutting things up, and design, this might be a fun project for your cards this year if yours aren't made/sent already!
Speedball Ink (water based)
Printing paper cut to size
Linoleum cutting tool
Think of a design and draw it out on some paper within the correct size of your block (remember that anything you print, like a word, needs to be designed backwards).
Using the cutting tool, carefully cut into the block, removing all negative space from the design.
Apply some ink to your palette (I use a piece of cardboard) and evenly distribute it to the brayer. Too much or too little is no good, so just do some practice prints until you figure out the consistency.
Roll the ink onto your block.
Carefully lay your printing paper with the absorbant side down onto the block.
Using your spoon, rub (burnish) the printing paper onto the inked block so the paper absorbs the ink evenly. Make sure you 'burnish' all areas.
Lift the paper from the block and enjoy your work!
I like to wait until the ink is tacky dry and add iridescent powder to key points of the design, which you may or may not be able to notice in the photos.
Are your cards in the mail? What card traditions do you have?