Baby Bonnets + Narwhal Block Prints

My friends are having babies. Babies upon a babies.

So I’m making baby stuff.

I like making stuff for kids — not only do I think the fabrics are cute, but baby projects can usually be finished within an hour, which is just my style.

This weekend it’s been bonnets. I made a variety, but this little narwhal is the only one I carved and fabric printed for the project.

Little narwhal Soft Cut linoblock
The bonnet from the top —
the lining is the same cream shamrock color.

The ruffled bonnet is reversible, though why you would ever want anything but the narwhal on the outside is beyond me. Size 6-12 months.

Fast by Permission

When you block print on old cookbook pages and then make crossout poetry from the remaining words, it gets a bit… steamy.

It’s been a long while since I worked in a restaurant — I did for awhile when I was starting my freelance business, but quit in 2010 to go full time — but some of the stereotypes are true. There was quite a bit of intrigue and lack of inhibition that comes from long, fast-paced nights, in and out of a hot kitchen. Especially when the owner is a bit liberal with the Italian wine.

Perhaps some of it is how visceral the process of making food is, so visceral that we’ve taken food words and sexualized them. Steamy. Simmer.

And in English we also use food words as terms of endearment — sugar, pumpkin, cookie, sweetie pie.

Food and Sex and Science

The pleasure from eating and the pleasure from sex are also very intertwined in the brain. They both light up our pleasure centers, engage all of our senses and cause an avalanche of hormonal and chemical responses in our bodies.

I’m sure there’s some scientific research to back up what I’m saying here, but googling it is giving me a bunch of listicles on what to eat for better sex and I’m getting a little depressed.

Rainbow in the Storm

Over the last year I have participated in John Pedder‘s truly fantastic #oneofmanypostcard project three times.

It works like this:

Artists from all over the world make a run of postcard sized art, which they offer to send for free, anywhere, on a specific date.

People can check out the hashtag on Instagram and request whatever pieces they may want, with one caveat:

In exchange for each piece of art, you donate what you would have paid to the charity of your choice. Donations of time are also welcome.

The goal is to spread a little good.

John is in the UK, so he chooses dates for the send that are related to Brexit… but it’s good for everyone, everywhere.

I think it’s a lovely project — and I also do well creating to a deadline — so this little “Stormy Rainbow” will be going out on October 31st.

Stormy Rainbow Linocut Block Print

It’s a two-layer, 5″x7″ linocut block print on 120gsm Strathmore printmaking paper. The inks are all Speedball, though I used a mix of their basic and professional lines.

I made a run of 24 prints but am only happy with about 15 of them…

And all 15 of my cards were requested within about 12 hours of posting, which was super nice of people.

I’m actually going to try to squeeze in a few more prints this weekend because I’m not great at saying no and promised about four more prints than I have.

Clunky Branding and Indecision

Last night I posted this to Instagram because I’m making some changes in my format there.

It explains some of my thought process right now, though, so it seems like a good idea to share it here as well.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve doodled several variations of this index card — my little monster robot that reads INDECISION, KILLER OF WORLDS — trying to decide what to do with my Instagram.

Well, my Instagram and several other areas of my life, particularly professionally.

I’m the kind of woman who tends throw herself head first into a creative project, then eventually I move on to focus on something else for awhile.

I never abandon anything completely… I tend to cycle from one creative project to the next and back again, often by season. But I lose interest in doing a lot of one thing for awhile and move on until I get excited about it again.

Something interesting has happened since I switched my Instagram “brand” to be entirely linocut, though…

I’ve stopped doing anything else.

And because it feels like too much of a departure, when I’m not really feeling the block printing process — and it is a process, a messy one! — I end up not doing ANYTHING because I start feeling bad about not doing the thing I’m “supposed” to be doing.

Oh, did I mention I’m a marketing consultant and I help businesses brand themselves and build sales funnels for a living?

So even though I spend my days building authentic brands for my clients, I find myself NOT being authentic here because I’m never quite sure what to do with this account… an account that started entirely personal and has now become a sea of block printed baby clothes.

So here we are.

I made a decision last week that I am going to start showing my work — both creatively and professionally — as a way to build a more conscious, flexible, authentic online presence.

That means some changes are going to be happening on my grid. I’m going to allow myself to post things that aren’t linocut… though I promise, this isn’t the end of the adorable baby clothes.

But I’m going to try to share more organically about my creative process, my work, what I’m reading, listening to and doing on this feed.

It’s cool if you aren’t here for this… feel free to unfollow my lame, oversharing butt. But I look forward to connecting with all of you in a new, awesome way. ?

Sweater Weather and Showing Your Work

We didn’t have much of a summer in the PNW this year. I’ve been missing Austin a bit, then I remember:

In Austin, Texas there is no such thing as a summer where you only have maybe 10 days where it gets over 90 degrees.

I owe that town (and the people in it) a visit… when it’s cooler.

Speaking of people in Austin, over the last few weeks I have been reading Austin Kleon’s books on art, writing and creativity. They’re pretty awesome, if I do say so myself (and I do).

I started with “Show Your Work”, which I plucked from a library shelf because I liked the title and the small square size.

Then I immediately checked out “Steal Like an Artist” and “Keep Going” because I have no chill… and bought the “Steal Like an Artist Journal”.

This year has been one of change, and one of the things I’ve realized is just how bad I have been at showing my work. Especially professionally.

Over the last 10+ years I’ve built dozens of websites, funnels, sales pages. Split test thousands of headlines. Sent millions of emails and newsletters. Written more copy than I can possibly remember. Created heaps of social media posts. Designed stacks of graphics, logos, banners, brand identities…

And yet all my public portfolio has in it is a handful of posts from nearly three years ago.

Today is the day I start to change that.

It’s time to show my work.

[IMAGE: Woodblock print in black on thrifted baby sweater vest. Carved and hand printed by me a couple weekends ago.]