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I recently got a new watercolor palette that allows you to see the color you’re mixing exactly as it will appear on paper–it makes it easier to prevent muddiness, and most of all makes the palette look so pretty. I’ve been having fun mixing colors and transferring the results to small scraps of paper.

Studio playtime: palette prints

Studio playtime: palette prints

Studio playtime: palette prints

I’m still experimenting, and haven’t yet found a way to get exactly the results I want–generally the colors are blending together more than I want once they hit the paper, or not transferring enough because they are too dry. Any suggestions?


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Linocuts

A few years ago (yes, years) I bought a linocut making kit, and over the weekend I finally got around to using it. Apparently, it takes me that long to settle on a design worthy of carving into linoleum. Guys–it turns out carving chunks of linoleum with a knife is SO fun and therapeutic, plus you get a pretty printmaking tool when you’re finished. For linocut number one, I went with a Striped Cat portrait, naturally.

Linocuts

I also picked up a blank rubber stamp and another linoleum block. I used the rubber for some simple patterns, and carved these fish into the linoleum because I never can get enough fish motifs. I found that the linoleum is physically harder to carve, but easier to create a detailed design with clean edges. Does anyone have experience making stamps, and do you have any tips? I’ve gotten better at controlling the knife, but my hands are sore! I’ve also decided that using stamp pads to ink the linocuts seems to have better results than a brayer, as the ink doesn’t go on too thick and fill in fine lines, although it takes some time to make sure the stamp is coated–as you can see, it took some practice to transfer the entire fish image to paper.

Linocuts

Linocuts

Linocuts


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Have It: J.Crew Gallery Tees

So far, April has been an exceedingly busy month–thus no new have it/need it yet. Rather than doing an item for just two weeks, I thought I’d wait until May to introduce a new must-have and instead share what I’ve been wearing the most lately: J.Crew’s selection of graphic tees. I love fashion, so my wardrobe is of course not limited to tees–but deep down I’ve always been a t-shirt girl, so I’m definitely embracing their resurgence in popularity (thanks normcore!) Sometimes I find myself choosing my outfit for the day based on where I remember wearing it–thus the city names labeling the shirts below. The grey and navy-barred tee, especially, will always be tied to my road trip last summer, and especially to the day and a half spent in Marfa, TX.

All but the third tee pictured are old, but you can still find plenty of great ones at J.Crew. Believe me, their current t-shirt selection would be sitting in my wardrobe right now if there were any room (yeah, I need to clean my closet.)


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On an 8 mile long hike around a somewhat slippery mountain, there’s nothing like a dog fetching a tennis ball in the lake to keep your spirits up. Could that scenario be any more idyllic? A mountain in Georgia, some variety of gun dog, and a lake to play fetch in–if I didn’t know better, I’d say someone set up the scene with me in mind.

Dog Stalking 53 / Floyd

If you love Dog Stalking, grab a custom portrait of your own fur baby right here, and see the rest of the Dog Stalking series here!


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Make It: Personalized Kites

Have you seen the kites Haptic Lab created recently? Their ship kites are the stuff of fantasies, obviously, but I can’t help but be impressed by how inspiring they’ve managed to make simple diamond kites–cool, modern, not a bit childish.* You can consider them a cousin to these kites I painted last month: grown-up, designer-friendly, but still playful toys at the end of the day. The perfect way to welcome spring kite weather, right?

http://www.hapticlab.com/products/rigel

You can replicate these at home easily with a trip to the fabric and craft store, and this website full of kite patterns–you just need patterned fabric (a half yard makes one kite), dowels to make a frame, and paint or ink. If you have a sewing machine you can break it out and finish the edges of your kite and add pockets to each corner of the kite’s back, which the frame will fit into. If you’re limited by a simple sewing kit I’d hand sew the pockets on the back and leave the kite edges raw–this is kind of a boho project, so trust it will still look fab!

http://www.hapticlab.com/products/rigel

I decorated with a couple of my go-to lettering phrases and flower designs. You can get intricate and detailed if you wish, but I’m not used to painting on fabric or with a medium as thick as the fabric ink, so I embraced the chaos and let me brush strokes stand out. And, yes: these will fly! You may need a little more wind to get them in the air than a traditional kite made with rip stop nylon would take, but regular quilting weight fabric will still float!

*Sadly most of these are sold out, including my favorite. But there are a couple left, and I’m kind of hoping more will show up sometime!


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Rock Collection by Kate Wong / Striped Cat Studio

I have a handful of projects I should be beginning, but this weekend I couldn’t resist finishing up the mineral paintings I started last weekend. This time, warm shades!

Rock Collection by Kate Wong / Striped Cat Studio

 

Rock Collection by Kate Wong / Striped Cat Studio

 

Rock Collection by Kate Wong / Striped Cat Studio

 

Rock Collection by Kate Wong / Striped Cat Studio

These will be available on Etsy as prints soon! You can check out last week’s rock collection right here.

Since rocks are fun to paint and I don’t need dozens of them, I’ll also be selling originals soon–sound good?


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Cat Stalking 10 / Violet

This week has been incredibly busy so far, but I forced myself to squeeze in a pet portrait yesterday night! Our family friend’s cat Violet is an enormous Maine Coon, and as you may be able to see here, looks quite strict. In case you’re not familiar with the breed, Maine Coons are so gigantic they make Striped Cat look normal sized. Imagine the bruises after one jumps into your lap!

If you love Dog Stalking, grab a custom portrait of your own fur baby right here, and see the rest of the Dog Stalking series here!


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