accessories, etsy shop

Welcoming an Outta This World NEW Project

Happy Saturday! Here is a sneak peek of new items from Pink Toe Press! These cute little hair bows are made from my (obsessive) collection of fabrics. Many fabrics are hard to find, vintage, or out-of-print.

These bows are made with Retro-Styled Space Kid fabric. I love the bright, bold colors and the lovely sky blue background. These would pair well with a summery dress in blues or reds.

bow_rocket3

They are hand sewn and folded. Each bow has an alligator clip on the back, but I am happy to customize with French Clips or even a pin. If you order them from my Etsy Shop, you can choose the backing that is right for you!

bow_rocket2

Great for little ones and adults. They’re bound to turn heads!

Artwork, Screen Printing

The Process of Screen Printing

I’ve been printing a lot of new tote bags lately! They are currently available for purchase in my Etsy Shop! I thought it would be interesting to share some of my process photographs with you. It is important to show the polished final product. But with something as hands-on as screen printing, I think it is important to show the process as well!

Screen printing process: tote bag
Carefully pulling the ink through the screen to make the print on canvas. 

It’s important to have your inks mixed before you start printing. You can either buy ready-made ink colors or mix your own! This red-orange ink was made from a pre-mixed orange and process red. I’m using my smallest squeegee to make sure I get the right coverage and pressure with each print.

All that careful work paid off! Look at that beautiful print! Since I am only printing with one screen today, the printed bags can be hung up to dry right away. On to the next bag!

Screen printing process: tote bag
The finished print: Looking GOOD!

When it’s time to change a color you need to wash the screen out COMPLETELY and let it dry. There is a chance that some of the ink from the first color would pass through with the new ink color if you are not careful, and that will muddle your colors or, even worse: dry in your screen.  Between colors (multitasking while waiting for the screen to finish drying) I heat-pressed the first set of bags so that the colors be permanently on the bag and will not run if the bag gets wet!

Screen printing process: tote bag
Back in black! The black ink is a little thicker than the orange ink, so it takes a little more ink to print the same design in black.

 

Some of my new tote bags are made from brilliant colors of cotton canvas. Black looks best on them, so I changed ink colors to black.

Screen printing process: tote bag
Carefully lifting the screen away from the bag. This is one reason why it is called “pulling” a print!

Screen printing process: tote bag
Go Green! This bright green canvas is one of my new favorites!

More colors of tote bags coming soon. I am in the process of MAKING MY OWN TOTE BAGS out of 100% cotton canvas made in the USA to ensure the quality and colors are up to my high standards! New colors include yellow, natural canvas, and avocado.

Screen printing process: tote bag
I am even offering small purse-size (or kid-size) tote bags! They are 9 x 12 inches and are a really great size!

All of these amazing tote bags are available in my Etsy Shop!

Artwork, Cats, Screen Printing, Travel

Spilling the Beans: Inspiration Post Rocket Dog and Cat

I’ve had a lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration from. That is a hard question to answer for many artists and, many times, one illustration can be inspired by many different sources. I know some people who make work about their own experiences, others who are inspired by the programs and movies they watch, the foods they eat, and the list goes on and on. Many of my pieces are inspired by my love of animals and nature, history, food, and, well, my list goes on and on too! Today I thought I’d share my inspiration for my Retro Rocket Dog and Cat Prints.

Rocket Dog Tote Bag

Cat Rocket Postcard

When I was in college, my senior thesis project was inspired by vintage postage stamps and match boxes. I did a lot of research and made a series of prints featuring extremeophiles (animals and insects that can live in extremely hostile environments). My favorite extremeophile, the Waterbear, is able to survive in space! They are able to go in to a state of extreme hibernation and are able to be revived back to life by a drop of water. No kidding!

waterbear

The famous Waterbear!

In researching other space-traveling animals, I found inspiration in Laika the Soviet Space Dog. She was the first animal to orbit the earth on November 3, 1957. She sadly died due to overheating of the spacecraft, but her story lives on in stamps, sculptures, books and more!

laika-stamp

I love the idea of making a print inspired by a real animal who helped advance our knowledge of space travel and its effects on living things. I also love the design of old space crafts, so that was a no-brainer for me to design a print inspired by those. I’ve been hand-drawing retro-rockets on bags at my other job for over 3 years, making a screen print is the logical next-step!

Candy shop bag

Candy Bags make everyone smile, young and old! Every purchase comes in a hand-drawn rocket bag!

Hungary-1963-Space-Laika-Dog-Gagarin-Rockets-Stamp-on-Stamp-12v-set-n24046

Retro-future rocket stamps!

Sputnik 2 was eye-catching, but I wanted something more flashy, so I gave my “Puppy Stardust” a different rocket inspired by retro-future illustrations of the late 50’s and 60’s. There were many designs I liked that were memorialized in stamps and postage, but my favorite rockets are the old Tin Toys that I’ve always coveted. Hoping that kids would like my design, I drew inspiration from those toys: their simple shapes and bright colors.

Retro Rocket Space Ships

Space-Z-Rocket-Blue-Wind-Up-Tin-Toy-in

An assortment of retro Tin Toys.

And now you know where I got the hair-brained idea to make a Rocket Dog and Rocket Cat. I don’t know of any cats who orbited space, but as a Cat Mom of two silly cats, I thought it would be unfair to leave them out. The “Rocket Cat” design is inspired by my cat Ferdinand who, I think would make a fine AstroCat.