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I like to give credit where it’s due. Sara Lomas of Laments and Lullabies is definitely due some credit, but today it’s not for her more profound or hilarious writings — no, I’m afraid Sara deserves the shout-out for a post that was about making do and making awesomeness with a little styrofoam, paint, and moxie.

This now-classic post captured my attention because I like making stuff. And owls. Also, it’s funny, like most things Sara writes. Admittedly, there’s not much evidence of my love of making stuff on this blog, but I thought I’d share a couple projects that were made possibly by Sara and her funny how-to instructions.

When I graduated from DBT, I decided to give everyone in the group a small gift. And for once, I knew just what it should be: a print inspired by my DBT doodles on the “Wise Mind” Venn diagram. I drew stems on the circles for “rational mind” and “emotional mind” and turned them into flowers. When I made them into prints, I discovered that if I turned them upside-down, they became fruit! Is that awesome or what?

If you turn your computer upside-down, you'll see how very fruit-like my flowers can be!

If you turn your computer upside-down, you’ll see how fruit-like my Wise Mind flowers can be!

I tried using some old copper metallic paint that was lying around, but it was lumpy. The acrylic paint leftover from turning our house from a beige eyesore into a brightly-colored nest worked much better. Lesson learned: use paint that doesn’t suck. Needless to say, everyone at DBT loved the prints! I still have a few left, if anyone wants a copy enough to send me a mailing address.

Over the recent Thanksgiving holiday, I got predictably bored, so I made holiday cards to send out for 2013. The effort was inspired in part by the acquisition of an envelope-making template, which I used to make pretty envelopes out of freebie calendar pages. Better to reuse that Sierra Club calendar before recycling it, right?

So I enlisted Mr. Chickadee to cut and fold cardstock into blanks, and then spent the weekend making prints. Toward the end, I got fancy and even tried a two-tone version, but most of those didn’t come out all that well. On the whole, the cards were a success — my mother-in-law said they looked “special” and asked if they were handcrafted, and Sara Lomas herself seemed pretty darn pleased. :D

The design is a "Holly Hornet" -- a pair of holly leaves for wings with "berries" making up the hornet's body.

The “Holly Hornet” has a pair of holly leaves for wings with “berries” making up the hornet’s body.

The styrofoam “block” is shown at bottom left, next to my original sketch, which I simplified for the final product by omitting the legs. However, Sara mentioned one tip that I have yet to figure out how to follow — avoiding getting paint into the cut edges of the master to keep the lines clean. I just can’t seem to get that to work out, so I still have a pretty high failure rate of unacceptable prints. Nonetheless, I’ve been pleased with my handicrafts, which have been well received, and will likely ply my hand at printmaking again in the future — all because of Sara Lomas.

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