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Print Block Workshop

Hi everyone.  This weekend my Mum and I attended a Print-making workshop at the Henderson Environmental Centre in North Beach, organised by the City of Stirling.  It was a lovely setting, nestled in native bushland, and the weather was gorgeous – sunny and warm but not too hot as to hinder creativity 🙂

There was a group of us – nine ladies, one hubby and two artists from the Beau Est Mien studio in Northbridge – and everyone seemed to have some sort of artistic background, or had at least “dabbled”.  Weirdly enough, the majority of us worked in – or had connections with – the Mental Health sector, so there was a lot of like-minded people there who were used to using art as therapy (whether for their clients or for themselves as respite!).

We were given very brief instructions about how to go about actually carving our little stamps before we all got stuck in.  There’s not much to know really – draw on a design and start carving!  Not a finger was harmed in the process (which is very impressive for me – you know how clumsy I am ordinarily!) and everyone made at least one thing they were delighted with.  The “kit” we got was such good value – card blanks and envelopes, a little draw-string linen bag for printing on, the rubber for carving, wood blocks to mount them on, a blank tea towel to decorate, a Beau Est Mien card, magnet and a discount coupon.  We also got lovely morning tea and could help ourselves to refreshments all through the day.

I lost the plot early on and, despite drawing some designs the night before, had trouble getting started.  I think I didn’t want to waste my pieces of rubber on a crappy design.  I really wanted to do a stag head, so I could use it on Christmas cards, but I didn’t feel confident starting on that, so I tried a sea anemone instead.  Which looks like a beach ball.  But never mind – it got me into the swing of the carving and how to use the tools for the result I wanted.

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Confidence boosted, I began on my next stamp – the stag head.  I am pleased with how it turned out (although I stuffed it up at the end and made his head a bit wonky and weird at the top) and will definitely use it on some cards and tags at Christmas.

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Next up, my little lizard!  He was tricky and I cursed his little toes while I was painstakingly cutting them out.  He did start off with five toes on his hands, but they got lopped off in error 😦   I’m quite happy with him – he’s not bad for my first day’s effort.

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The class made some beautiful designs – everything from dragons to plants and birds.  I desperately wanted to do a bird but just couldn’t get it right.  So I’m not showing you the one I did!   The lady opposite me did the most delightful wren (you can see her stamp in the photo below) – he was so cute and detailed!

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My Mum, of course, outshone me but pretended she wasn’t very good at the rubber stamp carving.  She is such a liar, ha ha!  Look at her lovely stamps! (below).  So pretty!  She’s all enthused now (I called her this morning and she was still super happy and “high” from the previous day’s creativity)

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So, all in all, SUCH a nice day.  I learnt new skills (well, I have done lino-cutting before but a million years ago in high school) and met some lovely people, spent quality time with my Mum and didn’t think about diets or anxiety or work for four whole hours.  Awesome 🙂 The best thing I heard all day was “Practice Makes Progress” – that nothing and no one is ever perfect, so we should just strive to make progress and improvements, rather than trying to attain perfection. Which is lucky, because I don’t think perfection is on the cards for me any time soon!

Hope you managed to “carve” out some time for yourself over the weekend x

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