Monday, August 20, 2018

Heart Origami, mail art

heart origami, snail mail


Lately I've been watching origami art tutorials on Youtube.  This heart letter is on its way to my sister. See the youtube tutorial at the end of this post.


wax seal with a shank button heart


And I continue to have fun with using buttons to make wax seals. View more on my previous post: http://www.juanaalmaguer.com/2018/08/wax-seals-using-buttons.html.



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

wax seals using buttons

wax Seal using a shank button


Recently I bought a couple of seals from letterseals.com along with some wax. Those seals are in the upper left corner of the photo below. I also discovered from various websites that I could use buttons for stamping designs into wax. So I have been combing through the button collections at my local thrift shop. I found several that work wonderfully for stamping into wax.

wax seals


I used all types: shank, flat, domed, and the type with holes in the middle. I am pretty happy with the results!

wax Seal using a shank button


wax Seal using a shank button


Later, if I want, I can attach each button to a cork. The stamping seemed to work fine without the attached "handle." And without the handles, storing buttons takes less space.


Are you wondering how I got the gold highlights on the sun? The video below from LetterSeals explains how to highlight the wax seal.




I'll post more later with photos of how I use these wax seals.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Fern Linocuts

Linocut, Three Ferns, 8 x 10




I completed three fern linocuts last week. Above is printed on an 8 x 10 inches sheet of paper. The image is about 5 x 7 inches.

It always feels relaxing to do the linocutting. All the work comes before the cutting and involves sketches then transferring the chosen drawing to the block.

ferns, fern linocut, and fern print (8 x 10)


Rather than cut all three ferns into the same block, I cut each one as a single fern. This way I can arrange them in different ways or pair with another element.

It was a beautiful, summer's rainy day when I printed these, so I'll end with Sylvia Plath's words:

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born.
The odd uneven time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Bird drawings and linocut

journal page and Howard Nemerov poem


The swallows have been coming by lately with their fledglings and that inspired me to draw some birds, read poetry and start a new letter series. The Howard Nemerov, Blue Swallows, is from a book I have with collected poems on birds: On Wings of Song. The poem in my journal begins with the word Across and reads to the right, clockwise. The last paragraph of the poem begins with O Swallows.

bird sketch 
bird sketch


Based on my journal drawing, I decided to do a linocut and the journal drawing morphed into different line drawings which morphed once more on my Lino block.

bird linocut

The linocut bird puts a smile on my face every time I see it. I'll have this linocut listed soon. In the meantime, the above linocut will be included in my new letter series until what I've printed runs out.

In the past, I have put all my thoughts into zines under a given topic. This latest letter series is similar but with a 2 page limit. Each letter will be a photocopy of the original and will include other odds and bits, perhaps a bookmark, a quote, a short poem, … a surprise nonetheless. The letter will be folded, the odds and bits tucked between the pages, and all placed in the hand-decorated envelope. Can you guess what the current letter is about? That's right: birds!


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