Christmas Traditions Past

It's Wednesday! This is my last blogging day before my Christmas break. Since I am feeling so in the Christmas spirit, I thought I would talk about some of my favorite Christmas traditions from when I was a kid.
  1. On Christmas Eve, everyone gets to open one present- a new set of pajamas that you wear to bed that night.
  2. The next morning, all the kids line up from youngest to oldest and march to the stockings.
  3. Next, we eat Icelandic pancakes (think crepes but thinner) for breakfast and anticipate running to the tree.
  4. Once we get the go-ahead, everyone runs to the tree to try to decipher which pile belongs to which kid.
  5. All the presents are passed out, and we go around the family (once again from youngest to oldest) opening one present at a time.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?


Easy Dipped Oreos

For neighbor and co-worker gifts this year, I decided to do something a little bit less stressful. This is a really easy treat to do because the cookies are already made(and delicious!).

Here's what you'll need:

Package of Oreo-type cookies
Dipping chocolate (I used white and milk; you can do any combination)
Sugar crystal sprinkles
A double-boiler pan
Wax or parchment paper

I don't have a double-boiler, so I used a saucepan with a plate on top. We have a set of plates that are almost bowl-shaped in the bottom (we call them bowl-plates), and it worked really well.

First, turn your water in the double-boiler on low, and put your milk chocolate in the top. Slowly melt your chocolate. Don't turn it up too high, or your chocolate will denature. Once it is all melted, start dipping your oreos and laying them out on the parchment paper. Sprinkle the sugar crystals on before the chocolate has a chance to harden, which should take a while, so you will have a bit of time to do this step.

Next, melt your white chocolate. I used another pan and plate and did the white chocolate at the same time as the milk chocolate, but if you only have one pan you will have to wash out the top. Put your white chocolate in a sturdy sandwich baggie, cut a hole in the corner of the bag, and drizzle the chocolate along the top of the dipped oreos.

Now, just wait for them to cool completely before you try to get them off the paper, or else the chocolate on the bottom of the cookies will be left behind.



Linocut Stamp Tutorial

This is an old favorite of mine: Making your own stamp from a linoleum block. I recently made my own stamp for item tags. I did my first lino print in 4th grade, and it's always been a favorite of mine. I documented the steps of my process so you can make your own.

1. Items needed:
-Linoleum block (found at Hobby Lobby or any other art supply store)
-Lino cutter (found at Hobby Lobby or any other art supply store)
-Mirror-imaged stamp design (very important!)
-Wide pencil (optional)
-Wood block for mounting (optional)
2. Shade over your design on the back of the paper. I used the wide pencil to make it faster.
3. Now flip your paper over (right side up) and trace over your design onto your block. 4. Use your Sharpie to fill in the design before the pencil smudges too much. Everything that is shaded black is where you don't want to cut.5. Now get out your cutter and cut away! Be careful with the cutter, because the blades are sharp, and you may cut more than you mean to if you're not careful. 6. Now test your stamp! If you see anything that you don't want stamped, get your cutter and take those spots off.7. Your stamp is done! You can glue the lino block to a piece of wood to make stamping easier and keep your block in good shape. Otherwise, it may crack in half after it has been used for a while. I haven't mounted mine, and it's still fine. I use a Speedball ink roller to print my stamp, and it saves a lot of time and makes it easier to get a good print.

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your stamp-making! If you have any requests for tutorials, leave a comment and maybe I can help!


Feature: HandmadebyAnnePotter on Etsy

Today's feature is a shop on Etsy called HandmadebyAnnePotter. I saw these papier mache snowballs and instantly fell in love. What a glorious idea! Never-melting snowballs! This is truly a creative twist on the process of papier mache.

I already love decorating with balls, but to have a bunch of lumpy, sparkly snowballs around that never melt would add such a unique touch to traditional Christmas and winter decor. This is the kind of snow that I can get used to! I was also glad to read that they are fairly child-proof, even if your kids really shouldn't be playing with them.

Other lovely holiday items to check out at Handmade by Anne Potter:

-Naughty Lumps of Coal

-Snowflake Fascinator Headband

Check back for more great Etsy shops and other finds every Tuesday and Friday.


Allgrey, Part #1

Here it is: our first two-color print, and our first messenger bag print!

It turned out pretty well. There are still parts of the process that need tweaking, but overall it was good. I will be listing the prototype on Etsy as soon as my camera battery charges and I can take more than one photo.


The Meaning of Audzipan

Everyone always asks me, "Where did you get that name?" Well, here's your answer. It is simply a nickname I acquired during my schooling years.

Start with my first name, Audrey. Subtract the end, and you have "Aud." Ok, that part is pretty obvious.

Moving onto the more mysterious part- "zipan". Many of you have probably stumbled across the website Homestar Runner. One of their characters is named Marzipan, just like the almond paste. My college roommate in 2005 had a friend named Mariah and frequently called her Marzipan. Since Mariah lived in another state, the moniker quickly passed to me, with a minor adjustment.

So, there you have it. Audzipan!

Progress Report: Our First Two-Color Process

We have been diligently working on our first two-color process! The screens have been exposed and rinsed; now we just need to calibrate and print. The screens turned out really well, even with the things that I thought might get in the way. Let's review:

1. Screens were coated with 6-month-old emulsion. Recommended shelf-life for emulsion once it is mixed= 1 month.
2. Screens have been coated and sitting in the cold storage room (aka darkroom) under a fleece blanket for 4 months.
3. I usually rinse out the unexposed emulsion using the garden hose with sprayer attachment in the backyard. This set-up is great in the summer. Under a foot of snow, not so much. Turns out, the sprayer attachment on the kitchen sink works just as well, if not better!

Overall, this round of screen-making was a huge success! Everything got blown out that was supposed to, but nothing that needed to stay. I couldn't have asked for more. 100% perfect.

And here's what you have all been waiting for: what is actually on the screen. I am not going to post the artwork, but it was all completely drawn by me in Adobe Illustrator, including the text. I will, however, describe in detail the design.

Picture if you will: a shield, topped with a crown, flanked by a unicorn and a stag with a mane, with a banner beneath that reads, "allgrey 2009". The shield (or crest) includes a sword, stripes, a four-pointed star, and double-layered stripes. Whew!

Can't quite picture all that? Don't worry, I will post photos of the final product. Printing will commence tomorrow.

Wondering what "allgrey" is? Allgrey is the name of my newest product line. Targeted directly to men, we are imagining sophisticated, classic, and simple, yet cool enough to wear!

Check back tomorrow to see the finished product, and another Etsy shop spotlight on Friday.


Feature: Fight Club Soap from ParadiseBodyShop

I recently purchased a bar of Fight Club novelty soap from Paradise Body Shop on Etsy. What a fun gift this will be! Product and shipping costs were very reasonable, and my order was filled very quickly. Overall, this was a wonderful transaction for me. I can't wait to see the reactions this fun little gift will bring this Christmas.

I also received a sample of their Orange Cranberry soap, and I am seriously tempted to go back and order that one too. Nothing is more fun than a great smelling soap!

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND Paradise Body Shop. Give them a visit!


Robot Tees

I thought for today I would share our most popular shirt, the Robot Tee. This shirt was designed and printed in-house. Currently, it is available as an unfitted adult tee (in black and brown) and a fitted women's tee(royal blue or peach). We are ready to start the photoshoot for kid's tees, which come in various colors of green and blue, ranging from size 24M to XXL in boy's. These t-shirts will hopefully be posted to our website during the week. We are also working on our first two-color process print.


The Audzipan Anthology

Welcome to the Audzipan Anthology.

Time to get the ball rolling on this blog! Audzipan Design has evolved into something that we like around here. We specialize in screenprinting our original artwork onto t-shirts, muslin covered wooden blocks, messenger bags, and pillows.

Our newest items will debut here, along with sneak peeks of the process and works in progress, spotlights of other artists/items we like, inspiration boards, etc.

We hope you enjoy reading!