Sunday, June 14, 2009

Finally! A Decision!

Some of you probably know that I'm working on a Masters in Library and Information Science. It's a field that interests and excites me and I love it!

However, long story short, some issues have come up with the program I'm currently in. I'm not going to go into all the frustrating details, but it's something that's been stressing me out since February. It's been a lot of "wait-and-see-what-happens" and worrying. A month or two ago, I started to seriously look at transferring schools and UW-Milwaukee topped my list. Turns out that the school I'm currently at decided to partner with UWM and make it easy for those interested students to transfer to UWM's online program while still keeping a lot of credits. I went to an informational meeting on Wednesday about the deal the two schools came up with and finally came to a decision-I'm transferring.

I filled out the applications this weekend and just have to drop off one of them at my current school so they can forward all my application information and transcripts to UWM. I'll be giving up the face-to-face interaction and since I have 21 credits and they'll only take up to 18, I'll lose a class, but I think it will be a better fit with me personally and I won't run the risk of not receiving an ALA accredited degree and won't have to wait years until I'm finished.

It's amazing how much better I feel now that a decision has finally been made and I've taken action. Granted, I'm still stressed since I'm not technically accepted as a UWM student and it'll be hard turning in the application at my current school and saying "I don't want to go here anymore", but at least something is being done.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Favorites, Card 2

"The Raven" was made for one of my Quickie swaps, in which the participants have a week to make a card and send it in the mail. You can only use stamps that are already carved and materials that you have lying around the house.

This stamp is kind of a spoiler. I originally carved the image for a box in North Carolina (it's missing last I heard), but I loved the image so much that I carved a smaller version and made it into a hidden in plain sight box. My cat broke the "in plain sight" part, so it might be retired unless I can fix it.

The background is just black cardstock with handpainted swirls in a metallic green paint. Each card is (obviously) a little different. I love that paint. I can't use it often because I'll start looking around for things to paint. Very dangerous.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I've been feeling very uninspired and, well, blah lately. I haven't been happy with most of the cards I've been making and I've been feeling that they aren't "good enough" (for lack of a better phrase).

So I'm going to go through cards that I've made and point out a few of my favorites. Maybe that'll get me going again.

The one in this entry is my favorite of my cards. It's "Eilwynn" from an Amy Brown swap. I love carving fairies and I absolutely adore carving Amy Brown fairies (I have one of hers sitting in my "Images I really want to carve" file that I really want to do this summer. It's kind of dark, but it fits my mood right now).

Anyway, this is Eilwynn. The scan doesn't do her justice. I saw this image and just fell in love and I'm very glad that my stamp is pretty close to the original. The colors are gorgeous-shades of brown and a beautiful light blue. It took forever to color all of the cards, but it was worth it. The ribbon is a sheer, irridescent blue held on with brass brads. The main part of the card is just cardstock (I think the name of the color is "mink"). This card is different than what I usually do in that it actually has some embellishment. It's still simple. I usually don't have the patience to deal with fiddly-bits, but sometimes I suck it up.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Speaking of Letterpress...

I love carving letterpress images. They're usually elegant and look fantastic as stamps (as well they should, since they start out as a kind of stamp). This card, "By the Light of the Moon", was made last September in preparation for Halloween (my favorite holiday). It's a layered stamp. The first layer is the blue/teal color, then the yellow moon and the black outline is last. It was my first three layer stamp (up until then, I had only done two layers) and I like the way it turned out. The design is also very forgiving if you don't line up the pieces exactly right, which I always like. The stamps are on white copy paper and then just attached to a piece of grey cardstock. Simple, like all my cards.

The stamps were hidden in Bloomington, MN for my annual Fall/Halloween gathering. Unfortunately, it might be missing. *sigh* I haven't had a chance to go and check on it and don't know when I will between the crazy overtime at work and school. Ah well.


As frustrated as I am right now with my MLIS program, it has given me some fabulous opportunities and taken me to fantastic places. The latest is The Nomadic Press, a letterpress business that's in St. Paul. It's a one-man outfit in an old storefront just across the river from downtown. The first floor is the printing business and the second is his wife's graphic design office. My professor for the class I'm in right now is friends with the owner, so he arranged for us to get a peek at how presses work.

The Nomadic Press has three presses-one from the 1800's, one from the 1920's and the "newest" one is from the 1950's. The oldest one is a hulking beast that actually seems alive. It can feed its own paper and will "breathe" when it grabs a new piece. We saw the one from the 1920's in action. You have to manually feed in the paper and it's very easy to see how dangerous presses are. Too slow and you can get your fingers snapped off!

We actually got to print something using the one from the 1950's. The owner had a collection of old print blocks that date back to the early 1900s and later and we each got to pick one. I, of course, gravitated towards one of his oldest blocks. It's a little fairy (she didn't scan very well) that's about an inch high. Since it was so old and worn, there was a lot of adjustment that had to be done with the bed of the press, which I got to do (with supervision, of course)!

The entire shop was littered with fonts and frames and ink and gouge carving tools and I couldn't help but think of letterboxing. There is a lot of overlap, from the setting of type so that it prints correctly to the creation of new printing blocks/stamps and selecting the right ink, etc, etc. Maybe this summer I'll ask the owner if he would be open to having a letterbox in his shop...

If you ever have the chance to get a tour of a letterpress business, I would highly recommend it. And if you're in the Twin Cities area (or even outside Minnesota), definitely check out the Nomadic Press if you need invitations, business cards, etc printed. He does fantastic work!

Monday, February 23, 2009


This card was created for Esmerelda's "It's All Greek to Me" swap, which was Greek gods and goddesses themed. I had to do Persephone. I love myths and legends and the story of Persephone has been a favorite of mine since I was little. She was a fertility goddess and at the same time, the goddess/queen of the Underworld. This dual nature has always intrigued me and over the years, she's become one of my favorite goddesses. For more information about Persephone, check this site out.

For the card, I wanted to bring out her two sides, but I couldn't figure out a "cool" way to do so. I ended up using some spring wrapping paper that I ripped and then taped to a dark colored cardstock. Persephone is heading towards the dark side of the card (representing the Underworld) and looking back towards the earth (the wrapping paper). I don't know if anyone caught that, but it was the best I could come up with. I wasn't terribly happy with it when I first made it, but now that a few months have passed, I really like it. The wrapping paper is so vibrant and I think it contrasts nicely with the dark cardstock.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ugh, How Ugly!

Once upon a time, there were two LTC swaps in which the participants were to use the ugliest paper in their collections and to just cut it up and stamp it. No embellishments. Participants in each swap would vote on the ugliest card in each swap and the winners would receive a special, one of a kind LTC as a prize.

Group 1 winner: Pink and Green Psychedelic Vomit by The Red Cat
Group 2 winner: Hey, Who You Callin' Ugly? by FreezyCat of Bikercats

We decided to have a little friendly competition and see which paper the LTC community thinks is the ugliest. We both think our respective cards are eye-searing, but here's a chance to let your opinions be known!

Here they are in no particular order:

Hey, Who You Callin' Ugly

Pink and Green Psychedelic Vomit

So, which one is uglier?