Ceci Bowman Holiday Paper and Journal Designs

I always design a small collection of paper products for the Holiday Sale I do at the Ames Gallery in Berkeley. The best part of making repeats for wrapping paper is I can then use the paper to make fun products. I’ve always wanted to make a “Clothing Journal” aimed at people like myself who really like clothes. As a child I spent a lot of my time making paper dolls and drawing outfits and ideas for clothes and accessories. I admit, that thinking about clothes and putting them together in creative ways is still one of my favorite past times. My original paper design was inspired by a Macy’s advertisement many months ago.

Inspiration for Clothing Wrap

So I took repeat design and made it in several different color ways.

The clothing repeat was fun to draw. I sold it at the sale as a flat paper and people bought it for wrap. I bought the blank journals at Target. Ideally they would be blank and made out of a really nice drawing papers, but these are on  lined paper instead. I would love to produce the clothing journals with vellum so the doll could be traced on every page.  I also added sticker pages and put them into a pocket in the back.  The idea is that as you go through your catalogues and magazines you cut ideas out and put them in the journal. Then you can label the photos and drawings with the stickers and draw your own additions. I printed out my color designs at the local copy store. Then I cut them to size for each journal and glued in the end pages and pockets. I love to cut an paste, but obviously this is not the most efficient way to produce a  bunch of journals. But they did sell well at the sale, and I hope to make more soon. It was a great way to do a test run on the product.

I really do think part of the fun is just thinking about clothes. I do love to shop, but more than that I love to create. But honestly I can’t sew. I just want to encourage people to be creative and have fun thinking about their own sense of style. Tweens and teens seemed to like them the best at the sale.

I also wanted to make some journals for my baseball collection. So using the vintage style repeat that I had already created, I printed out labels and put together these journals.
I really love to draw my three boys and their teams when they play. I also purchased new at-home Letterpress Machine. This letterpress machine  comes from and started playing around with it for my holiday card designs.http://www.craftcritique.com/2009/07/cha-coverage-lifestyle-crafts.html.Honestly ,I bought it on a Monday and I wanted to create my cards right away because my sale was the following weekend.
I think it is a great machine and I have quite a lot to learn!
I did know that I wanted to use my own designs instead of the one that comes with the Epic Machine and  I did not have the two weeks it requires to make the custom plates off the Epic website. However, I decided to wing it using our local Berkeley Rubber Stamp Company. They whipped out my stamps over one night and I picked them up the next day. I designed the clothing stamps, baseball stamps and kitchen stamps using the repeats that I had already developed for the journals.
The real 

The Epic Six


I know that the real plate for this machine are made of a harder plastic  than the rubber stamps that I had made.  I’m sure that they would do  a better job, but these still gave the “impression” of that deep black vintage printing quality that I wanted.



The Epic Letterpress  is fun, and it  worked really well with the smaller baseball stamps that I had made. They had that really deep black quality that presses down into the paper.  I loved them without  any color, but I could also do a little watercolor on top to spice things up.
Recipe journals were fun to make as well. I used a paper cut repeat that I had made in several different color ways. I also did some letterpress recipe cards to use with them. I love the idea of using the paper cut images that I used for the original artwork and then bringing them into stamp form. The possibilities are endless!
I really love this letterpress, but I do have to do some more experimenting with color and texture.  I plan on uploading some images to the real website to have custom plates designed. I have a feeling they will work even bettter.  http://lifestylecrafts.com/customPlates/
That’s all for now. I’ll keep you posted!

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