Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Indian Block Print Stamps - Bunta

Every time I go to Santa Fe there is one store that I just can't wait to visit.  The whole time I am there I feel unsettled until we visit Jackalope.  They have all sorts of goodies from inexpensive chotchkies to extremely expensive antique furniture from all over the world.

During this past trip I came across two giant bowls of Indian block printing stamps.  From what I can gather they are called Bunta and are traditionally used to hand stamp patterns on fabric.  As soon as I saw them I was drawn to their beautiful worn wood.  I would love them just to have around the house, but the idea that I could actually use them was extra exciting to me.  The sales woman must have thought I was crazy because I had to look at each and every block.  She even offered me a pair of gloves, but by that time my hands were stained black from handling all of them.

After much internal debate I came home with the three stamps you see above.  I often buy items such as this and they sit in my craft room for years collecting dust or shoved away in a closet or trunk. I also had my doubts as to whether these things would even work.  But I finally made my way over to Michael's a couple weeks ago and bought a large stamp pad.  I then procrastinated a couple more weeks because it's always hard to start a brand new project that has a high likelihood of failure.  But one day last week I spread out some newspaper, found some fabric scraps and opened my new stamp pad and lo and behold look what happened!

I was super surprised by how easy it was and how great it turned out!  Nothing is ever that easy!  As usual my euphoria lasted about 10 minutes until I realized that I needed a larger stamp for the project I had in mind for these.  I can't wait to blog about it, but it's not quite ready yet.  So check back soon because I have become a BuntaBlockaholic!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunflower Bud

Today I was sitting on the porch and noticed how striking the colors looked in the flowers we get each week from our CSA.  In addition to vegetables we get a small bouquet of flowers each week. 

Today, the zinnias and sunflower were starting to wilt, but I noticed this amazing bud.  If you look at it close up (click the image to enlarge) you can see all the little hairs on the sepals surrounding the center.  And just look at how each petal appears to be bending over to tend to the precious seed cargo inside!  Pure joy!  I am constantly amazed at the marvelous things we can see all around us if we only take the time to look.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Man of La Mancha Logos

My in-laws are members of the Mclean Players and they asked me to work on a logo for Man of La Mancha.  These are a few of my first round ideas for the logo.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Last week I stayed with my Dad and there is a vacant lot next to his house that is chock full of chicory so I wandered over to take a few photos.  Whenever I see this flower I think "cornflower blue"  - is it purple or is it blue?  Either way I love seeing this beauty on the roadside in the summer. 

According to Wikipedia it is toxic to internal parasites and is often used as a coffee substitute.  I remember my advisor in graduate school used to drink chicory coffee and it tasted bitter and awful!  No doubt his worm burden was extremely low.  I think I much prefer admiring its beauty externally!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guitar Bandanas

I recently decided to make bandanas for my two favorite guitar-loving boys.  I wanted to make them something for their birthdays and then I received the July issue of Martha Stewart and was inspired by their bandana article (you can see some of it here.) 

I designed the bandanas to fit two across on Spoonflower's quilting weight cotton which is 42'' wide.

I got a lot of practice using my rolled hem foot.  Again, they weren't perfect, but I have learned to let that go.

I couldn't resist printing these labels for their bags.  I can't wait to give them their gifts.  Happy Birthday to my Guitar Boys!