Thursday, January 26, 2012

Belated Gifts & Delayed Holidays - Xmas Crafts by Alex & Xtina

Being married can get complicated during the holidays, especially when you're not wealthy enough to travel without booking your holiday-time flights 6 months in advance. I for one am rarely able to plan that far ahead. This year was supposed to be our year to visit my family in sunny gorgeous Florida, but due to financial constrains and massively expensive plane tickets, we spent the holidays with Alex's family in Baltimore. Since we crafted nearly all our gifts this year and started a little late, I didn't get any good photos of the gifts we made for his family. (Fortunately, such photos can be easily obtained.)

We started making linoleum prints a few years ago, together, as our gifts for friends and family for the holidays. This has expanded into a whole extensive line of husband and wife crafting projects, which this year included sets of blank cards with our lino cut designs on the front and a custom AleXtina stamp on the back, jewelry, hair pieces, and more.

My family received their holiday gifts about three weeks into January, so I had plenty of time to photograph their hand-crafted presents. Here are some of them.

Alex's design on the right, or front of the blank cards
of a tree and it's roots, with an interesting play on the negative and
positive blank spaces. Our custom stamp on the back.

Close up of our custom stamp, made with 2 lino blocks layered
on top of one another. First we printed the infinity symbol in a turquoise blue,
then lined up and layered the "AleXtina" type over top.

A shot of our workstation, mid printing.

This is the feather hairpiece I crafted for my sister, using
hot glue to attach the feathers to the base cardboard covered in fabric.

A shot of the same hairpiece and a pair of feather earrings I crafted for what
ultimately turned out to be for myself. My mom revealed to me half way through
the crafting process that she wasn't really interested in anything
containing feathers, so I made her a necklace instead.

This is the necklace I made for my mom.

Don't tell anyone, but I was inspired to make this after checking out a bunch of craft projects on Martha Stewart's website. (I must admit, some of them were actually pretty cool.) This was my spin on a "beaded bib necklace" - I basically loosely went with the pattern suggested on her site and added my own twists and flair to make it my design. Thank god, my mom loved it.

A close-up shot of the same necklace.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oh! The Places You'll Go!

(At Burning Man.)

If you know me or have been yourself to the magical desert world that is Burning Man, you will probably appreciate and possibly LOVE this video as much as I did. It combines footage from this past year of all the colorful beautiful people reciting lines from Dr. Seuss's last book, "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"

My personal work has taken a back seat, temporarily (though it's almost over) to other projects and I am behind in posting pictures of said projects (... because they are still going on.) I saw this video today, and for what a rough start this year has had, it made me happy to the point that I got, admittedly, a little teary-eyed and wistful for that special far-away place and from the simple wisdom that was Dr. Seuss. I also sent it immediately to my mom, since she is a preschool teacher and was the most relaxed and unsurprised of both our sets of parents when my husband and I announced in 2010 that we were trekking out to the desert for the burn. (I think her exact words were... "Burning Man? Of course you are. You both belong there." Something like that.)

We are just getting started, this year and I, so expect great things soon. I promise. If a silly video showing a bunch of costumed dusty hippies reciting Dr. Seuss can make my crappy week better, I have high hopes for the rest. <3