Sunday, November 2, 2014

November's Postcard of the Month

Potent Postcards!!  
I think my use of 'sticks' 
in this month's design might have helped summon back old Stick*, itself!!
I haven't been as enamored of the past two years' November postcards as I like to be - 
the first one just seemed so densely dark:
My cute little punched Maple leaves didn't really show up...
And last year's:
Well, I've never really been reconciled with that choice of wash for the sky...
So, this November, I was determined to make a collage that I would be much happier with.  
And I am.  :)

But it did take some evolving to get there:
First one:
Then, I changed the music:
Then, I thought I'd like more squares:
But maybe smaller ones?
Which still didn't pull together quite like I wanted, so....
Added some verticals.  :)
Much better!
And then a few more squares:
 And, on my way to the studio the next day,
 I thought this tree silhouette right outside looked pretty cool:
So, I had the idea that I'd like to stamp this tree:
right above the big yellow square on the right:

 (and the dead Queen Anne's Lace-y stuff stamp, lower l. )
But it just looked like a mess of dots (although I sort of liked it), 
so that eventually evolved into something else (see Step(s) 38 below).
And then, I decided to add the '11':
(which Susannah said she loved.  :)  So: keeper.)

And re: materials: 
I always look forward to using some of the yummy browns in November's card, 
and I'd just found a nice new, dark brown paper:
As well as this amazing, speckled rice paper, which I couldn't wait to use:
And I had some gold marbled paper:
 I still have a nice stash of marbled papers, 
but these 3 - the gold, red, and blue - are the last pieces of my favorites.
So, Paper (and paper-like) options :
And, I have this strange little roll of very brittle (tan?) tissue paper, that I seem to recall my old pal, Marilyn, giving to me 30+ years ago, which I thought would work nicely as the basic background:

The Fixin's

This is the mass of materials - too many for the usual, smaller prep set-up!

The Steps

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3 - A couple more nice, speckled rice papers:
Step 4
Step 5 - This just reminded me of the Morning Glory 'eye'**
 that I saw by the deck railing one day recently.
Step 6 - Here come the 'sticks'!
Step 7
Step 8 - This is where I (momentarily) considered stopping this time!
Step 9
Step 10
Step 11 - Here's the new brown paper.
Step 12
Step 13
Step 14
Step 15
Step 16 - A small piece of that new beautiful, speckled rice paper.
Step 17 - And another piece.  :)
Step 18
Step 19
Step 20 - I used a different brown for the rest of the cards, and wasn't as happy with it, 
so then I added this brown back, on top of it, which muted its nice ruddy-ness...
Step 21 - First piece of the gold marbled paper.
Step 22
Step 23
Step 24 - Another, tiny piece of sheet music.  I wish the notes had been more distinct.
Step 25 - Second piece of gold marbled paper.
Step 26 - I added a tiny piece of leaf skeleton here -
 though the placement was elsewhere on the rest of the cards.
Step 27
Step 28
Step 29 - Tiny piece of Wasps' nest paper here.
Step 30
Step 31
Step 32
Step 33
Step 34 - This little piece of white 'lace' paper ended up in a different place with all the other cards.
Step 35
Step 36
And then the dilemma: Queen Anne's Lace?? 
OR >>  Turkey tracks**??!  Mule's great suggestion.  These were stamped on a different card - 
(and you can see where the leaf skeleton piece was repositioned here) - 
and I reduced the number to just 3 prints on the rest of the cards.
Step 37 -  Well, I ended up going for both!!  Can you see the 3 tracks? 
Step 38 (and 38a, b, and c... I skipped a few steps' photos...) 
I just couldn't give up the little tracks - after all,  it IS November's card, 
AND I was in production right in the middle of (Moose) hunting season (see Addendum III)...
And there was my little ridged plastic (probably cut from one of my rice cracker containers) stamp - 
I really love that basic little effect.  
Plus,  the little lock washer 'stamp'
(upper middle, between the brown square and the copper square) 
that got buried with the addition of  >> The Sprinkles!  :)
Step 39 - I decided that the copper in the middle of the big brown square needed more depth, 
so I added a final little black square in the middle.
I am happy with this month's cards.  :)  
Panel of 21 of November's postcards:


* After being missing - FOR A YEAR!! - Stick was returned to me on the day I mailed out this month's cards!  It went missing last fall, right during the time I was getting my snowtires put on - entailing various switcheroos with vehicles.  But, despite retracing every minute of the time between last Stick sighting and awareness of its absence >> NADA!  Oh, I felt quite bereft, believe me!  We'd been companions for a LONG time.  
But, life went on, and, happily, Stick's stand-ins were pretty cool in their own right.  :)
One was my retractable stick: 
which I used to use when getting off the motorcycle - handy for stashing in saddle bags.

And the other was a stick that my father had first used for hiking in Wales, 50+ years ago.
It has a nice sod-gripping spike on one end, and this nifty, fold-down seat on the other!  Very handy little invention!  I'd 'borrowed' it shortly before loosing Stick, thinking that I might be going on a (rather lengthy for me) mushroom foraging outing (didn't happen), but since Dad didn't need it back...  :)

AND THEN!!  >> A couple of days ago, just as I was leaving my local Hannaford's - where I've been doing the weekly grocery shopping for over 20 years, and where I'm on a friendly, first-name basis w/many of the weekday morning staff  - "Scott', who's on the registers, says "Hey!  Wait up!" and leaves his customer and rushes off to the customer Service area, and as he's doing this, I'm thinking "NO!!  Could this possibly BE???!!" And I'm thinking, "No. Probably not.  It's probably just something I've asked them to order or something like that" - which doesn't really jive with his level of enthusiasm and the sense of urgency he is imparting to whatever has struck him to show me RIGHT NOW, while he remembers!  And sure enough - LO AND BEHOLD!! Stick's been behind the CS counter at Hannafords THIS WHOLE TIME!  I KNOW I called to ask them if it had shown up (wouldn't have been the first time I'd left it in a cart...), but I must have called before it had been turned in!!   Why it took Scott a year to remember/reunite us isn't exactly clear, but my face is still sore from grinning.  :)  


*** Oh I felt so bad!  I totally robbed us of the step-by-step reveal of the 3 Turkey tracks!!  I'd taken the cards home, and was finishing the stamping there, and just lost track of my step/photo routine!  :/  
Also - I thought I was pretty clever re: solution to not having an actual Turkey track stamp: 
I used the tiny 'Y' from a set of letter stamps: 
and then just added the middle toe/talon with a pen.  :)


I - Mushrooms

Finally (not much mushroom action on our property this year) found some edibles a few weeks ago. 
Little Puffballs:
Taste-wise: not much to 'em.  But texture-wise?  Kinda gross!  
They were nice and crispy on the outside, but inside was like wet scrambled eggs.  :/  
Later in the same week, neighbor/pal Peter brought us some delicious Oyster 'shrooms 
that he'd come across, so that rewarded the mushroom palate nicely.  :)

II - Minimalist graphic

Once again, I'm tempted to stop at one of the early steps, and just leave everything very minimal!
But I didn't.  :)  They probably just have this nice graphic effect as multiples.  
I always want to translate these graphic panels (without the more developed middle image)  
into fabric designs.

III - The Hunt!

'Twas a success!  
As of weigh-in (@ 1/2 way through Moose season), Mule's team's moose weighed in as the 
SECOND LARGEST yet bagged in the state this season - at 768lbs., dressed out (gutless)!! 
They estimated it was close to a 1,000lb. moose.  And it was a healthy one too.  @ 4yrs. old. 
Apparently, it went text-book perfectly - with the horse hauling it out of the woods before dark, 
saving them from having to spend the (cold, damp) night in the woods guarding it!
You can bet they are some happy fellas!  
In honor of such a momentous occasion, I swallowed a fingernail-sized bite of moose meat - 
only my second (intentional) eating of meat (the other was deer venison, 36 years ago) 
in the 43 years that I have NOT eaten meat.  It was quite delicious and not at all game-y.  
Thank you, Moose.  :)