These are my ruminations on life, design, and the pursuit of happiness…


Results of the Color Wheel Challenge


After several delays, I am happy to share the results of the Color Wheel Challenge begun way back in February (!) They will be listed in order of appearance.


My former student (FS) Andrea Ueda (who’s genius started it all), had the first submission.


The supremely talented Nancy Chiu (FS) posted this loveliness.


Then my son Theo’s submission, from his matchbox cars.


And my daughter Sadie made a colorful spiral out of squishies.


Mine was all Pup & Pony Press, I just had to come up with 2 new illustrations. Can you figure out who is new?


And Jonathan Torres (FS) had a disco moment with this submission.
(But Torres, we’re still waiting for that piñata to dry)


Ivan Lopes (FS) sent this colorful flock of owls.


Torres (FS) once again teased us with promises of piñatas.


Wilmer Gonzalez was my hero as my only current student to step up to the challenge!


My friend Linda Mank recently moved away to Seattle, and unpacked a box of books for this challenge.


Lizzy Duke and David Tucker combined their talents for this tasty “Color Wheel Frittata”

It was even more colorful before cooking!


Remo Bangayan (FS) sent another scrumptious color wheel.


And last but never least, former student and fellow designer/letterpress printer Cat Realce put her design books to work. I believe Cat also moved to Seattle recently. Interesting. Seattle=Books?

What did I learn from hosting this challenge?
1)It was fun for me, I like a challenge.
2) Sometimes people have better intentions than follow through. (T, K, A, J, A, M, I, L & B, I’m talking to you!) It’s OK, life gets busy, I know.
3) I’m still waiting for the Piñata.

Thanks to all who played along!

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Paper Marbling


The Color Wheel Challenge has been extended, so here is a little paper marbling to stay in the color theme.

My friend Karen from the International Printing Museum is learning to do paper marbling, and let me come watch (and try out) the process.

You start with a shallow tray, that you fill with carageenan, a seaweed extract that is somewhat gelatinous.

Then using a whisk, you spatter the marbling paint onto the carageenan sizing. She was taught to start with black, and then red, and then move on to whatever other colors you want to add.





When the color is layered in the pan, a bamboo stick is pulled back and forth across the pan. This creates a git-gel pattern. Then you can pull a needle rake through the surface. The needles in the rake are about 1/4 inch apart.



After this a nail rake can be used to swirl the paint into other patterns. (This is the nail rake in an earlier blue marble)


When the surface is as you wish, a paper that is treated with alum (to bind the paint to the paper) is carefully laid down in the pan, and then pulled up and rinsed under water.



Hopefully you then have something beautiful like this:

On my first attempt, I was feeling pretty good about my lay down of color, and did a good job with the rakes.
(Karen said it was “Beginners Luck”)


Then I laid down the paper and went to rinse it at the sink, and this happened.

My alum treated paper was upside down, so all the ink washed down the drain. So much for luck.

Even though my first attempt was a fail, it was great fun, and mesmerizing just to watch. I can’t wait to try it again!

Have any of you tried this? How did your first experience go?

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2012 Pinewood Derby


Last weekend was Theo’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. Last year he won a trophy for the “Most Realistic” car, so this year he decided he wanted a bit of a Steampunk look. After sketching it out on paper, he spent several days carving and sanding it out of the wood block. Then with his dad’s help, he covered the exterior with copper and silver tape. “Rivets” were added with a punch, and the dome was made from a plastic spoon.

Here is the result:





And the final result? Best Of Show!

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