Friday, December 7, 2012

December's Postcard of the Month

This month's card is a variation on a theme I'm pretty fond of.
Here you see 'Winter VII', done 10 years ago:
And this is a panel of 12 of the 'Winter VIII' postcards - lent to me by collector friends for my 'Winter' exhibit.  Which still has legs!!  
Most of the 18 panels (a panel - of different size/number of postcards - for each year of 'Winter' cards) will be hung for a week at the end of January 2013, at a show at Barre's Studio Place Arts.  And when that show comes down, the panels will then be hung downstairs from my studio in Richmond, at Toscano's Cafe!  It was supposed to be a bit more serendipitously timed - I was supposed to hang the panels at Toscano's all of this month and January - KINDA PERFECT!  But!!!  They overbooked, and so the slot went to the watercolor artist they'd forgotten they'd already lined up...  :/
So then, last year, I made this 5' x 7' wall hanging for my mother's high-ceilinged apartment.   
 This is a detail of the Purple Finches in the center.
And, this past fall, I did this one as my entry in the Burlington City Arts Vermont Postcard Contest!
So, since production of December's cards was also going to be production of this year's 'Winter' cards, I needed to gather enough materials to make 150 cards this month. 

Here are 150 silver tissue paper mountains: 
150 Wasps' nest hills:
4 trees for each card = 600 trees! 
And I really wanted to make and use some of my own paper for the snowy foreground.  I have a tiny scrap of some very delicate, tissue-y paper that had beautiful little metallic bits in it, but not enough for 150 cards.  It took me a couple of tries, but this is the paper I came up with (still using a variety of embroidery hoops for screen frames, thanks to my friend, Karin!), and I am pretty happy with it:
I added some silk from milkweed pods, some tiny bits of metallic foil, some mica chips, metallic thread, and some wispy 'petals' (?) from this delicate viney stuff that my husband found down by the bee hive:

I also needed to rein in my propensity to keep adding elements/steps to the production process! And I did!  So, these fixin's represent a mere 12 steps this time: 
I ended up not using either the pretty brown rice paper, or the little bits of sheet music in my final version. 
This collage was my prototype:
Here's a photo of some of the 150 cards spread out on my studio floor - at Step 4:

Step 1 - white on white - rice paper
Step 2 - I had to switch to this gorgeous blue paper (no complaints) for the sky for all the cards, as my original choice of blue was not enough for all the cards.
Step 3 - These silver foil mountains were from foil I salvaged out of the many Salem cigarette packs that my neighbor (at the studio) last year saved for me, after I saw him smoking and asked him to.  I actually don't know that many people who smoke cigarettes any more, so I almost never come by any of these foils! 
 Step 4
Step 5 - Wasps' nest hills!  I used up almost my entire stash of loose sheets of Wasps' nest  - that I've accumulated over the years, thanks to my friend Andrea - and I really didn't want to break apart the stunning (and somewhat creepy - it does look like a head...) fully intact (minus Wasps) Wasp nest that I have hanging next to the masks on their mannequin heads in the studio.   My friend Barb does lots of surveying in the woods, and this nest was one of the many treasures she's brought me over the years.  So I just barely eeked out my 150th 'hill' piece, and was feeling a bit insecure about my imminent lack of supply!  I use this beautiful material A LOT.  But then!!  Husband, who's been off at deer camp, comes home with a whole new stash of nest!!  That he found laying in the driveway there at camp, right next to his truck!!  SO odd!  Magic.  :)
Step 6 - My beloved black 'lace' paper.  I just found the white version, so: BE PREPARED FOR NEXT MONTH!!
 Step 7 - Here's my own handmade white(ish) paper!
 Step 8 - beautiful woven gold paper 'tree':
 Step 9 - The other 3 trees are from a nice new marbled paper I just found:
Step 10
 Step 11
Step 12 - the final 'sprinkles' are minute pieces of metallic foils - several from Lake Champlain Chocolates - absolution of husband's sweet tooth!
And, 4 days after starting production, here are the weightiest tomes I could find to weigh down and uncurl (from the wet glue medium) the finished cards:
The dictionary alone weighs about 20 lbs!!

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