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have a merry seamonkey christmas!

seamonkey
I haven't been very good about sending printed cards this year (I ran off a few on the photocopier for family, but that's about it.) So here's my Christmas card to all of you who follow my blog. Thank you so much for reading!



What have sea monkeys got to do with Christmas? Well, the sea monkeys won't officially come out in a book until next autumn. (Have a look at past artwork updates for Oliver and the Seawigs.) But the little blighters keep popping up EVERYWHERE. Worse than jumper-eating moths. They've already knocked over our Christmas tree and set it alight.

I created the artwork as a lino cut print, and here's a little peek into how I made it. First I started with a rough pencil sketch, then simplified it to make the picture easier to trace onto the linoleum square.



It's difficult to draw backward, so I scanned the picture into the computer and flipped it in reverse, so I could trace it backward. There's nothing worse than cutting a whole block, printing it and realising the words are all backward. I used carbon paper to trace it onto the blog, then these tools to cut out the bits I wanted to leave white.




Then I used a roller to roll ink onto the block, put paper on top of it and rubbed the back of the paper with a wooden spoon, to press the ink into the paper. (If you have a printing press, this is much faster, but I just have my spoon.)



And here's the final print! I let it dry, scanned it into Photoshop and added colour digitally. But I sometimes think I like the black and white version best.




And I printed one more monkey a smaller print, which I'm using as my Twitter avatar.



But what has the rest of the Fleece Station studio been up to this winter? Lots of exciting things! Have a peek over on the Fleece Station blog. Go on, right this way...

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