Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Alternative Holiday Greeting Cards

Imaginative and very original these designs will surprise your recipients, who are expecting that boring holiday greeting card.

Each year I add a new design to the collection, that I mail out to those fortunate for that first sneak peak. They're all hand made using a carved linoleum block that prints the ink onto the cards. Due to the stamping process no two cards look alike.

Below are some more traditional designs to choose from that still have a special creative flair.

Each design is printed on a laid card stock with a deckled edge and comes with matching envelopes.

Some designs have special messages printed inside. The message is optional for an additional cost. If you're looking for a special design or message, I will take all requests. Get those orders in early as it takes some time in the production process. Thanks everyone and have a happy healthy holiday season! – Kevin Stoohs

Here's how to create your very own linoleum print
holiday greeting cards.

Things You'll Need:

• Linoleum Block Carving Tool Set
• Linoleum Block Inks
• Linoleum Block(s)
• Ink Roller
• Envelopes
• Blank Greeting Cards
• Burnishing Tool
• Clean Rags
• Paper Towels
• Soft-lead Pencils and Charcoal Stick
• Vellum Tracing Paper
• Flat Glass Baking Dish (to roll the ink in)

Follow these 10 easy steps to carve your block design:

  1. Check your design carefully - is it the right size? Check the spelling if there is text.
  2. Take the drawing, flip it over and charcoal the entire back –
    this ensures your type won’t be mirrored and read backwards.
  3. Lay your drawing onto your linoleum block so that the charcoal rub is face down on the block.
  4. Tape down the drawing if necessary. You want it to stay in place.
  5. Now trace over your drawing and make sure to go over every line, dot, and shading.
  6. Transfer each separate color to a separate linoleum block, if you're planning to print in more than one color.
  7. Lift your drawing off the block. The process of tracing should have transferred your design to the surface of the block.
  8. Lay the linoleum block on a stable surface, and hold it firmly in place with your free hand.
  9. Use the carving tools to shape the surface of the block. Use the edging tool first to outline any straight lines.
  10. Brush away scraps frequently to view your design clearly.

Now follow these 10 easy steps to print your block design:
  1. Make sure you have ample space to lay your cards for the drying time.
  2. Roll your ink in the glass baking dish. You should hear a tacky sound which tells you the ink is the right consistency.
  3. Roll the ink onto your block design covering the design evenly.
  4. Apply the block to the card firmly pressing down until the card sticks to your block.
  5. Use the burnishing tool, burnish down the corners and all other surfaces.
  6. Slowly peel your card from the block design to reveal your freshly printed card.
  7. Set each card aside for drying.
  8. By the time you finish printing and adding postage to your envelopes the first few cards you printed should be dry.
  9. Test them with a light touch of the finger, if they still feel tacky allow more time to dry.
  10. When your cards are dry you can repeat the process for a second color or sign and mail them.
Most important, have fun designing, printing and being creative!

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