Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm okay, really I am.

Anyone looking at these two etegami might think that I was having a bit of a dark spot in my life, not true, it is just that having taken up the challenge to make a year of the snake etegami it just snowballed.
Then, up came Halloween so that begged this Mexican themed card.
I have always been fascinated by Memento Mori and this card which has that theme, was sparked by the gift of a skull necklace from my granddaughters when they returned from California. I made the stamps and impressed them using acrylic paint, this allowed me to colour without bleeding of the black and yellow as I am still having trouble sourcing waterproof stamppad inks.

The snake refers to new year's resolutions where we strive for perfection, hence the Enso, and inevitably fall short of the mark. Better perhaps to have more modest goals?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Etegami call, Year of the Snake.

Some etegami in response to Debbie's call for traditionally drawn cards to mark the year of the snake (which is coming up all too soon).
Debbie has kindly pointed out that the the characters on the first one are not correct, the last two make up one character and should be side by side. I was trying to say "Enso" which is the Japanese for circle but the word embodies much more in the world of Zen and embodies the idea of completeness. I try to allude to this idea in the others by citing the Ouroboros (a snake swallowing it's own tail) which in western iconography occupies a similar place.

The gold, traditional on New Year's etegami does not show up very well in the scans, I really like this subject, so much more fraught with meaning and lore than the wishy washy rabbit or many of the other signs of the Oriental Zodiac.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Takin' it greasy...

Recently some of the members of the etegami Fun Club have been using a grease pencil to draw their cards. It acts as a kind of resist, the paint floating over it. Using a pencil makes drawing the image a lot more fluid and direct than the wobbly lines of the brushed on sumi ink.
I thought that I would try this method on a few different cards and the result is not too bad, satisfyingly direct and dark but it is only another weapon in the arsenal to achieve the "perfect" etegami.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Yes my inherent Scottish thriftiness has reared it's ugly  head again and I have eschewed 'store bought' goods for something a lot cheaper, free in fact.
A trawl 'round the internet alerted me to the fact that some folk have been making stamps out of the styrofoam that comes as packaging for many of our foodstuffs these days. What better than to use them to make etegami where the nature of the imperfect line they print suits the genre? The line is almost as wobbly as that made by my increasingly unsteady hand!
Anyway, the weather has turned cold again and this was a great indoor project to distract me from the sound of weeds pushing their heads above the soil in my garden.

 And my ever present obsession with cicadas...


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Closing the circle.

I am by nature, a rather tidy person, not necessarily where housework is concerned but I do like what is popularly called closure.
A couple of days ago I did an etegami for Fumiko using a blank fan shaped card sent to me by Debbie. So now in order to close the circle I am sending one to Debbie on a handmade blank card from Fumiko. I am content!

The cards are super absorbent as they just inhale the ink, lovely to work on. I did another drawing of a cicada (you can never have too many cicadas right?), enjoying the flow of the ink from the bamboo pen.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Yep, after a few nice mild, "wow isn't it great to be out in the sunshine" days, the hot weather has arrived and with it a general lassitude, nay, more of a torpor. I don't do well in hot weather and my creative juices dry up. Consequently I do fairly mindless repetitive tasks (No, not housework) like knitting bunnies or filing my nails, and etegami is neglected. A big shame on me as I owe heaps of people cards in response to ones they have sent me.
A very nice surprise this week was a wee package full of lovely handmade goodies from a new etegami friend "Blorgie" who runs an interesting blog and who lives virtually next door in postcard-sending terms. The package contained a cloth decorated with Sashiko (Japanese stitching) and a delightful funky keychain dangly thingy. As you can see from the photo I couldn't wait to get my keys on that thing fast enough!
A big thank you Carolyn. Sometimes I think that I must have been through all my beetley, crawley reincarnations already as so many nice things happen to me and I am getting so much good Karma.

Time to dig out the fans and cool off so I can get down to some serious stuff!