Thursday, April 2, 2015

April's Postcard of the Month

All the little lambies goin' bleat-bleat-bleat.  :)

Well, it's not quite come in like a lamb this year, but, a few years ago, on an early April day, I was driving along - in my town - and saw a spring-green hillside covered with a flock of little frolicking lambs.*
And I started crying!  
Not that I'd never seen sheep on a green hillside before, but there was something about how it struck me at that particular moment - right here - where I live - such an iconic representation of new life.  It was profoundly moving and so surreal.  

So, I've been thinking about those little spring lambs for a few years.  And had even gone so far as to make a whole sheet of 'sheep':
Which I made by dipping the tips of this piece of plastic detritis in white paint:
and printing on green tissue paper.  
Which then turned into:
And, for these cards, I made another 'sheep' sheet:
(photo is totally inaccurate re: actual color of tissue paper)
Which all eventually became these little 'flocks'.  :)
And then - I'd picked up this little book at our beloved Richmond Food Shelf & Thrift Store **
It is an old-ish book, printed in Holland, and has some very appealing graffics:
I'd used geese from this book for last year's April postcard:
So here was the first throw-down:
Then I had the idea that maybe I'd cut out 'sheep' shapes:
from magazine graphics:
But my original 'sheep' (sans 'faces' in this one) won out, and this became the next prototype:
I really wanted to use those little puffs of this nice, heavy, opaque white rice paper, 
but I never really figured out how to work them in, in a way that I was happy with... 
But, otherwise, the final drafts were pretty much this design, with some minor tweaking.

One of the major challenges while I was prepping materials for this month's cards was 
!!!>>> STATIC ELECTRICITY!! <<<!!!
Every little bit of paper - especially all the lighter tissue and rice papers - just kept clinging to my fingers, or each other, or pretty much anything that kept them from staying in neat little piles!

So, here they are 
(minus some dark green fields of sheep, and still showing the rice paper sheep 
that I never figured out how to fit in):

The Fixin's

The Steps

First >>> The Movie:

Step 1

Step 2 - Two of my favorite rice papers
Step 3 - white lace paper 
Step 4 - Had just enough of this nice yellow rice paper for 21 cards.
Step 5 - Plain  ol' tissue paper.
Step 6 - Tissue paper.
Step 7 - Tissue paper.
Step 8 - Tissue paper.
Step 9 - This little jewel-like piece of waxy tissue paper must have come from florists' wrapping. 
 Step 10 - New aqua rice paper.
 Step 11 - Some of the pale yellow paper I'd made a couple of summers ago.***
 Step 12 - Another piece of white lace, to soften the seam of the 2 blues in the 'sky'
 Step 13
 Step 14 - I hadn't planned it, but, yup, sure does look like the shape of Vermont
Step 15
 Step 16 - Here come the lambs!!
Step 17 - More lambs!
 Step 18 - And some shiny stuff. (Easter) candy wrapper foils.
 Step 19
Step 20
 Step 21
 Step 22
 Step 23 - Now a couple of the more fiber-y 'laces'.
 Step 24
Step 25 - Here they are!
 Step 26 - I don't know how I ever did collage without these fiber-y 'laces'.
 Step 27 - Smooth black 'lace' paper.
 Step 28 - Fiber-y black 'lace'.

Panel of 21 of April's Postcards of the Month:

*Neither of these lamb photos are mine, and I neglected to get the credits when I first found them, and I haven't been able to find them online again!  The sheep painting is: Kathryn Trotter Art.
**Where I've 'worked' as a volunteer on Saturdays for 6 or more years, and 'work' is hardly the right word!

Addendum I - Tree Booty

As I'm writing up these notes, we are in our third day of boiling down the sap:
 from our lone Maple tree, that I encouraged Mule to tap:  
First batch yielded @ a cup:

Cooked down from @ 1.5 gallons of sap.
But I'd cooked it too long, so it pretty quickly crystalized! 

2nd night's yield of @ 1.5 cups:
was boiled down from nearly 2 gallons of sap. 
Oh it is GOOOOOD.  Tree Booty.  :)

Addendum II - Wildlife on the move

10 deer spotted out back late yesterday afternoon:
And several large gaggles of geese spotted near the Winooski River this morning: 
Spring's springing.  :)