Jan 30

Bird Book Cover

bird book coverbird book back

This book started out being my favorite one, and ended up being my least favorite. I had a scrap of simply printed white and  taupe on blue calico. Perfect for this modern-retro simple-chic aesthetic which I know well but haven’t got the right name for. I have some splendid butterfly and moth stamps, and it’s nothing at all to mix up acrylic paint to match the simple palette of the calico.

Using masking tape and cut circles, I wanted simple shapes of off-white to mix up the cloth’s pattern. This is where things started to go wrong. As with housepainting, masking tape is a mis-named “tool” that deludes painters into thinking it will function for its intended purpose. It lies. Masking tape is good for lifting freshly applied paint, and for allowing paint to seep under its edge.

Well, with no end goal other than “make it look interesting and pretty if possible”, mistakes aren’t as crippling. I painted over some of the worst mistakes with more opaque acrylic off white paint, and printed the moths and butterflies on. Then I decided to draw something. How about a bird? Birds go well with butterflies, and with a smooth acrylic  background, you can draw without ruining a sharpie.

I printed a bird with one of my linoleum stamps, but it was too faint, so I decided to outline it with marker. As usual, I hated the bird as soon as I drew it. Lines too thick, and the wrong color. Clunky and clumsy and out of line with my aesthetic.  Fix it somehow. What for the front? A shrinky-dink token. I’ve got some multi-colored shrinky-dink packages, and the illustrations on the cover show layering opaque wiht translucent shrinky-dink to make jewelry that even a 7 year old girl with no fashion sense my hesitate to wear. but whatever. Perfect for my book.

Except that it should more likely be called “shrinky-curl.” Shrinky-dinks are great for making small charms of less than an inch finished size, but if you want something larger, you’re in for a difficult time. Three times, the painstakingly printed (have to use solvent based ink on glossy surfaces, which is a pain to clean) trimmed shrinky dink curled up on itself then adhered to itself. As for fusing it cleanly with the opaque backer sheet, forget it.

I did have one successful, semi-translucent shrinky-dink. The semi-translucent with the rough surface works far better than the glossy sheets. I sewed it onto the cover with the holes I’d punched, and called it done. If it weren’t for my ugly bird, I’d call it a win.


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