Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gion's Valentines

Before we all forget holiday season 2011 ever happened, I want to finish up my holiday craft posts.

My mother-in-law loves sending cards to people (mostly her sister and a few close friends) for several holidays, including Valentine's Day and Saint Patrick's Day. So when I saw this idea and this idea on Pinterest, I knew I had a potential Christmas gift on my hands.

I love the idea that such a simple process can produce such beautiful results. And I'm drawn to the natural, free look of the work. No need to labor over crisp, clean perfection.

I used both celery and napa cabbage to make the prints (I just found the original post, and now know good ol' Martha Stewart used Treviso radicchio—so glad I didn't know that. I wouldn't have been able to find that around here!).

I dusted off my acrylic paints to use as "ink."

I thought I would put the paint on a plate and dip the veg like a stamp, but it worked much better to use a paint brush, and apply the color directly.

It was a fun and easy project. And would have been even easier if I wasn't trying so hard to make it look nice—like if I was working with kids.

I covered the box with paper I had practiced stamping on and some cards that got "messed up."

The box was harder to make than I expected. I actually used a card box my in-laws had given me—Impressionist cards from The Huntington Library. I didn't anticipate the paper I covered it with making it too thick to close easily and the Mod Podge making it a little tacky. So I squeezed in the corners of the bottom box and taped the inside (with clear packing tape) to keep the pinch and the outside edge, to increase the sliding (no more Mod Podge edges rubbing on each other).

Of course the box was harder to make than the contents—the actual gift!

Hooray for homemade gifts!

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