I sewed a lot last weekend. I covered our dining room table in fabric, thread, lint, scissors, and paper, and I have 8 stuffed birds and 10 bib fronts to show for it. However, le camera has not arrived yet and I cannot impress you with pictures of my productivity, so I’m going to give a sneak peek of my non-sewing project instead.
Last fall, I made about about a hundred cards with bird stamps and pieces of vintage fabric.
I thought they were really cute, and a lot of other people told me that they did, too. The only problem with the idea is that it turned out to be really, really time-consuming. Most of this had to do with the fabric: washing it, ironing on interfacing, cutting it out, stitching it to the card…and then I had a fair number of stamping mishaps that rendered the whole thing unsalable.
After taking my cards to a few craft fairs, I was also a little disappointed to find that people don’t want to pay very much for handmade cards. Tacky $3.50 wonders from Hallmark don’t make consumers blink, but $3.50 for something with fabric and thread and ink..? I know that venue probably had a lot to do with this (and that fact that I live in a little town, not a major city), but I found myself rather discouraged and decided that I wasn’t going to repeat the whole late-night-fingers-cramped-by-pinking-shears experience.
I’m still really intrigued by creating my own stamps/lino cuts, though, so I decided to try again with something a little simpler. My new goal is to make a set of entirely inked cards for the Farmer’s Market (with birds, of course). I wanted them to be a little simpler, without all the fussy feather details, and I wanted to fiddle around with the designs in Illustrator first. There will eventually be a set of four, but the quail and the chicken are my poster children and got first dibs.
For those of you who might be interested in the process, the sequence below demonstrates my design steps up to cutting out the print (just started on that last night). My drawings were based on the originals stamps, but I made them a little sleeker and taller to fit the vertical format better.
Before you ask, the blue stripes behind the chicken are supposed to be wood panels on the side of a barn and will get some wood grain details. Also, I know that these designs look a little cold now, but they’ll warm up with the inevitable imprecision of the stamp-cutting and printing process.
I’m hoping to finish the stamps and print a few samples tonight, so I might have some scans to show you tomorrow. I’m sure that some people will prefer the originals, but I’m pretty happy with the new designs and can’t wait to see how they look on paper. I am slowly inching away from heavy detail and hyperrealism, and all my steps are little ones. :)
[Note: You can look for the finished versions of these cards at the Farmer’s Market next Saturday. If you’re attached to the fabric version, there are still some left at the Ball & Cross Bookstore in Moscow.]
[2nd Note: I’ll probably start a whole new round of blog-banner changes when I get the new camera. Fabric birdies, anyone?]