It’s just fun fun fun when you’re house-sitting.

commercial for San Diego

The niece-com-poops are visiting and we are up to all sorts of no good. Blue pancakes in the morning, wild dress up parties in Annalie’s room, art projects galore and of course some outings to all the local tourist spots. Bethany‘s town has a lot to offer. You should come visit her.

kids

I’ve been running around after them, wildly trying to clean up. It’s amazing how much more mess three kids can make than one. But then they are the niece-com-poops so making messes sort of runs in their blood. Not to mention my mom is here and she’s been sewing up a storm so there is material and thread all over the place.

My mom sewed three skirts for me, a skirt for Bug, a hat for Bug and a skirt for Bug’s stuffed green bear all in one day! I think Bethany’s house brings out the creative juices in more than just me. CC has also been here sewing and even put up some cute pink skull coffee sleeve thingys in her shop.

I haven’t doing much besides yelling at the kids and cleaning up their mess. But that’s okay. I’ve had lots of time to be creative already. As you can see below:

Lefty Dog Mug

Lefty Dog Mug

I picked up the pottery we painted the other day. This dog mug is a lefty mug. It wasn’t supposed to be but when I painted a dog face at the bottom inside of the mug (not shown–see shop for details), I painted it upside down. So yay for lefties! Or yay for Marci who already bought it! Thanks Marci.

blue cat smudge plate

I also painted this blue cat plate but when I was in the drawing stages, I accidentally went to brush off my eraser shavings with a paper towel that had a bit of black paint on it. DOH! I wiped a big black streak around the middle. Thankfully, most of it washed off but as you can see there is still some residue on the left and over the cat’s head. I should have drawn something to incorporate the smudge but when it was all wet and covered in pencil marks, it was really hard to tell the difference between pencil residue and paint residue. Excuses, excuses…

What is it with me and messing up my pottery? It must be my signature. I think I’ve messed up every piece I’ve ever painted. Sure, it gives everything more character but it also makes it so I can’t sell them full price and since I haven’t figured out a way to buy bisque cheaper yet, that’s not really working out for me. But I can’t complain, it’s a hobby that almost supports itself. Which is a lot better than other hobbies I could take up. It’s in my shop for cheap, if you’re interested.

Blue Bear Bug Mug

Now here’s a piece of pottery that Bug and I sort of messed up on purpose. It’s a collaboration. First, I drew on the bear in pencil. Then she painted it with a flourish and then I outlined some detail over the top. I think it’s rather cute. It’s in our shop but if it doesn’t sell, that’s fine with me.

cousins

So that’s what we’ve been up to. Don’t come home, Bethany, we’re having too much fun. Just kidding. Hurry up and come home and join in the fun with us!

Discovering Gocco

loco for gocco

I bought a gocco printer off Etsy about a year ago but never got around to trying it out. So I brought it down to Bethany’s thinking I’d have a chance to play with it in her big rambling house. It’s a lot easier to craft down here with her big spacious kitchen table and her big bright windows. My house is nice and bright too but it doesn’t clean up as easily as Bethany’s does.

I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the light colored linoleum floors. Maybe it’s the acres of counter space. Maybe it’s the fact that there is a washer and dryer downstairs in the garage only steps away… Or maybe it’s just that I can let Bug wander the house and be as noisy as she wants while I craft because Toby is not here working in the next room. Whatever it is, it gives me a lot of freedom to be as crafty and messy as I want. And when I’m done, it’s a cinch to clean up!

sliding in the master

The other reason I was finally up to trying out the Gocco is that CC is here visiting and she’s very helpful in reading directions. I’m terrible about reading directions. I’m a speed reader and I tend to skip ahead when I get bored and I miss all kinds of important details. If I was doing this alone it would have taken me hours to figure out but not with CC around!

While I made up a design on my computer and then ran off to a nearby Kinkos to make a Xerox print (the Gocco only works with carbon print outs and my ink jet printer is not carbon) CC read the 20-or-so page manual.

crunch flash!

When I got back we attached the flash bulbs, burned our master print and then we were in business!

inking

There were a few kinks to work out of course like the fact that using two different color inks too close together can run into each other… But this is the best way to learn.

hmmmmm

I should have designed this differently with more space in between my color spots OR printed it in two passes. I’m definitely going to do another design with color spots on the first press and then detail on top on a second press. I’d have to burn two masters for that idea. Which is fine but masters are a bit expensive.

This probably makes no sense to most of you reading. When I do it again, I’ll do a step by step type post. Not that I need to. There are plenty of them on the web. But it’s fun so why not share?

production!

I decided to skip the two-color printing and just print in red. It was a lot easier. The ink is oil-based so clean-up can be a bit of a pain. Of course I didn’t have any paint thinner on hand so you can imagine me with smudges of paint all over and madly wiping it off on mountains of paper towels. Next time I’ll be way more careful and way more prepared. (Don’t worry, Bethany, your house is smudge free!)

But there will definitely be a next time because this was loads of fun. Stay tuned for some cards in my shop!