I wanted to go back to doing holiday stamps. I played around with reindeer ideas because today’s prompt is energy and a flying reindeer definitely has energy. This stamp was quick and easy, after drawing a bunch of jumping and flying reindeer in my sketchbook first.
This morning, I let the dog children outside so they could go potty. I saw movement over by our potted flowers when low and behold, I spotted a hummingbird! I couldn’t get close enough to see any details, but it was a busy little bugger. Last night we had Great Horned Owls hooting it up, today, itty bitty hummingbirds.
Any time I see a special creature in the wild, I am truly grateful for that gift of nature. Taking the time to notice one’s surroundings can be full if wondrous things. Today was one of those days.
I played around with a hummingbird design today in between painting and putting up holiday decorations.
I don’t know why it never occurred to me to draw a partridge in a pear tree. While I was growing up, we had these partridges and pears that we put on the Christmas tree every year. My mom had picked them up from Sears “on the Boulevard,” which was the flagship store in Philadelphia. I don’t remember which Christmas they first appeared, but I remember hanging the pears on the tree and using the wires built into the partridges legs to attach them to the tree. Most of the time, they would flip over and hang upside down so it took some creativity and multiple branches to get them to stay upright.
It’s funny what simple ornaments that you hang on the tree every year that invoke the strongest memories. Christmas is a time of traditions and customs. Like family gatherings, decorating the tree, making cookies, shopping for and wrapping presents. Holiday music and favorite holiday movies and big meals and celebrations.
And a simple partridge in a pear tree is a traditional member of the annual cast characters that pop up during the season
The only thing about doing stamps where I am trying to create a character or scene is, they take longer to make, because I have to keep making test prints to see how it looks. I did two pages of test prints before I made it to this stage.
Day 4’s prompt is “little.” I decided to make a little kitty based on one of my Kringle Kitty designs. I winged it, drawing the image directly on the Speedy Carve. The nice thing about these small carvings is they don’t take a lot of time. The hardest part of the whole process is getting past what I want to carve.
I used a small piece of Speedy Carve. I carved the image first and then I decided to remove the background. After stamping it a few times, I cut back the shape a little to minimize the carved background.
This was a delicate piece and the cutter slipped a few times so I had to make adjustments. I try to work slow but occasionally I knick the rubber which means that I have to make adjustments, especially on these smaller pieces.
The small stamps are really fun to make. If you think these are difficult, they really aren’t. The main ingredient is patience and not being hung up on being perfect. During December, they are especially useful as a meditative practice before I get to work on other things, like commissions.
Dotty is today’s prompt. I chose my design to give myself some practice with circles. I could have used a punch tool if I wanted perfect circles. But looking over the total pattern as a whole, I really like the wonkiness of the carved circles. They look like wet malformed snow flakes, lol. I may have to import this pattern into Procreate and use it for designs.
That is what’s really nice about Carve December. I can use my stamps to create all sorts of patterns and designs. Something to keep in mind for January after things calm down.
Here is my Day 2 Carve December stamp. The prompt is “metal” and my husband thought a chain shape would be cool. I sketched my shape first in pencil. The speedy carve was a weird shape that I utilized and incorporated into my design.
I realized, after I finished carving it, that I could “link it” to create a long chain pattern, which could come in handy for larger patterns.
It’s December 1 and it’s the beginning of a new month long challenge.
I like this challenge because I get to carve stamps and use them to create some fun patterns. Last year I made random Christmas cards out of bits and pieces of my patterns and stamps. Everyone received their own “one of a kind” art for the 2021 holidays. One of these years I want to carve the entire card.
Today’s stamp took me a while because I couldn’t get past the prompt until I decided to just take a random piece of “speedy carve” and just do the first thing that came into my head. in this case, a random feather shape. The prompt is gentle and this was the only thing that I could think of.
Today, John and I decided to get out of the house. I have been working on some ornaments over the past couple of days and John installed some sun shades yesterday for our patio. We really didn’t veg out too much yesterday so this morning we just sat outside and enjoyed our morning coffee. We try to leave the weekends open to just relax and, gasp! do absolutely nothing. After coffee and breakfast, we decided to get out of the house. We had no plan in mind until we drove past a new local coffee shop, just a few minutes from the house. After deciding to pop in to see if it was open yet, we were surprised to find that it was open! Apparently the shop is open every day from 7-1 every day and I was ecstatic because now we have two local shops to go to for coffee that are both in Jensen Beach and within biking distance.
After getting two iced coffees, we found a table in the shade. (Almost all the tables are under trees and in the shade, which is nice.) This shop is just across the road from the Indian River Lagoon, and beyond that, Hutchinson’s Island and the Atlantic Ocean. We couldn’t see any of the above because of all of the vegetation but we did enjoy the benefits of a lovely sea breeze.
I have been trying to get out of the studio and back in the habit of outdoor sketching so this seemed like a great opportunity for that. I love Bismarck palm trees with their blue green leaves, so I chose to do the one at the edge of the property, which had lights hanging from it. I pulled out a mechanical pencil and my trusty Lamy Safari sketched the scene. Then I added watercolor. I didn’t have a water container with me but I had water brushes. Unfortunately they chose today to make things difficult. The watercolors I used were a gift from a friend plus I also had use my mini palette, which has colors that I just can’t do without when painting anything green. The brushes were annoying but I managed to get by. (I’ll probably pull them apart after this to see why the water wasn’t flowing down to the brush from the barrel.)
This sketch is the end result of sitting outside drinking an iced coffee and dodging a rain sprinkle or two. It was a nice relaxing morning and John and I had a nice chat while I sketched.