While I understand the conventional wisdom that Christmas cards are a postal-service-propping hassle, my good lady Lilly and I do like the annual excuse to put our tiny letterpress through it’s paces.
Like every year, we try and make the card vaguely thematic to an event from our own past-twelve-months, and this year’s standout event was Lilly showing how excellently she does something when she turns her hand to it – she won the World Bread Award for her home-baked wild-yeast bread this autumn!
Alas, we don’t even have a garden for a wood-fired stove, but Santa’s affinity for chimneys made it a good way to link the season with the achievement. Like one of Lilly’s loaves, the card came out great!
This weekend’s project was an upgrade of sorts for Speakerbot, the little robot that lives beside my turntables.
He originally came to be because my speakers sat on different shelves that weren’t the same height in an old apartment. Of course the way to remedy that was to make a robot to bring one speaker up to the right height. Here was my original illustration of the idea:
A couple of days later, he emerged from the cardboard
Then he had a well-received lick of paint
About five years later, the cardboard was starting to get a little soft and wobbly, so this weekend I rebuilt him out of MDF. Who knew cardboard could be so human-like?
An upgrade was done to his electricals, including some new switches on the light-matrix and a new meter that can just-about be hooked up to the music to display its current.
He stands a lot firmer now, and will hopefully last longer than the cardboard incarnation did!
Last year was my first year selling my letterpressed christmas cards, and in hindsight, it was a bit ambitious to try and sell every single design I’ve done all at once when I was printing them on demand. To keep things simpler, particularly under the time constraints, I’m just going to be printing and selling the one design this year, which you should be seeing a mockup of above.
This year was the year of the bicycle for me – Lilly and I got bicycles for the first time since we were teenagers, and spent the summer cycling around Hertfordshire, so we decided to reflect that in this year’s design. In developing the illustration, I tried to put Santa on a variety of bicycles (he looked particularly ridiculous on a racer bike!) and found he fit best on a slightly beach-ish cruiser.
As ever, these cards are being hand-letterpressed onto high-quality 300gsm Somerset card stock, and they will come with appropriately-sized envelopes. This year the envelopes are made of recycled paper, which is a big look!
Cards will be pressed and sent out to you during the first week of December, so they arrive with you in good time to send out to your people. It’s a small selling window, so get yours now!
Would you like some to send to your nearest and dearest? Go and get some here!
Lilly's brother Michael decided he wanted to motivate his troops with a trophy that can be passed around his team whenever anyone does anything sufficiently awesome. He had the idea of a trophy jackalope. Despite this being America we're talking about, his colleagues were a bit squeamish about the idea of taxidermy, so he asked me if I had any ideas.
A plush jackalope seemed to be the logical solution, so while I was stateside this winter, I got to work. As accosting a sewing machine is much more my idea of fun than getting sloshed and/or cold, I spent my New Year's Eve wrangling with a handsome 1970s Kenmore:
...Well, you wouldn't want to be kenless, would you?
The antlers are the coolest thing about him - I stuffed each branch with pipe cleaner, so they can be bent into any shape and will stay there.
He's hardly perfect - his head is too big, backside too small, and due to my low-rent sewing skillz, he is a bit twisted around, kind of reminiscent of the dramatic squirrel. I'm happy with him regardless, as he does actually look like a jackalope, and it always pleases me when the things I create end up looking like they're meant to!
I named him Treehorn, and got plenty of photos of him before I left Americaland, including a full 360° of him. Try dragging or doubleclicking the above photo to see!
This was going to be my creative activity for yesterday, but it ended up taking me a little bit longer to make than I was expecting, so it counts for the whole weekend! It’s a paper TV set for an iPhone!!
I’m not sure where I came up with the idea of making a little TV set to slot an iPhone into, but the thought came into my mind to use a magnifying glass lens to give it a nice curved CRT-like look to the screen. I copped this ramshackle bargain off eBay (complete with vital safety instructions) to make it out of.
The iPhone slots into the side like so:
And to prove it really works, here it is playing the title sequence to M*A*S*H, the only TV show Lilly has on her iPhone. The show happens to have post-it-yellow titles anyway, which matches the TV set rather nicely 🙂
Happy December, internet folk! After a few weeks of tinkering, begging for supplies, doing test prints, whittling and re-engineering, Lilly and I have finally made our first useable letterpressed product- some christmas cards to send to friends and family!
A week or so ago, I made these! It is a dodecapus (it has twelve tentacles, see), and a portrait of it, painted on the same fabric it was made of. Cool! If you have been following my Flickr, you should have seen it already, but if not, here it is! 🙂