Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Colophon ready to download


Colophon is defined as a brief description of a book to which it is attached. Traditionally, printmakers use the word colophon to describe details about a collection of prints, usually bound in a folio.

Our Fantastic Garden Colophon expands slightly on the information each participant received with their set of prints. I have heard word that our Garden has reached far across the globe already!
A large version of the print can now be seen online on the project page and you can download the colophon from the links on top of that same page:

The Book

I am also happy to report that the book is about two days of writing and two more days of editing away from being completed. It is looking to be around 150 pages, with a page dedicated to each participant, extended ramblings, a bit of history on the previous puzzle print projects (say that three times fast), images of the panels, process explanation and photos for those that missed the blog posts, and musings on gardening and printmaking. Will be available in about two weeks give or take from my various shops and on Amazon.com, both print and eBook formats.
Those of you that pre-purchased the book will receive notice of mailing around that time.

Without giving much of it away, here is a sample participant page:

Stay in touch!

Don't forget to stay in touch because once the ink dries on one project I start getting an itch to start another one. Keep an eye on the blogs or my Facebook page or my website: 
Maria Central 1000woodcuts.com

Fantastic Garden Headquarters: http://puzzleprints.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 24, 2013

They're all gone!

Done mailing

Preview of the book cover!
Quick post! Happy to report all the prints have been mailed. Yesterday I took the last truck load to the Post Office and then I took a long deserved walk in the nearby park.

Funny story about that, one of my neighbors saw me leaving the other day with boxes full of tubes and casually asked me if I was shipping my artwork. I said, yeah, 'tis the season... Well, yesterday again as I literally loaded 56 long triangular packages onto the back of my truck (don't worry, I live very close to the P.O.) he saw me again and said: "boy you sure sell a lot of art!"
I replied kind of casually, "yeah, not bad really, about 100 bucks a pop profit I guess". Then I left him standing there with his mouth wide open staring at my truck full of tubes. Har har!

Finances in good shape

Seriously now, the finances came in about right, although I always seem to underestimate some expenses. The only thing not accounted for is the printing and mailing the Growing the Garden book and that will be finished mid-November! About three months earlier than expected. I am pleased as pie.
Books will go out in about three weeks so you will have them in time for Christmas!

Share the fantasy!

Feel free to show your prints to everyone, post on social madness, er, media, and all that. Spread the word to all your printmaking friends and friends of friends, and that will help make the next puzzle print bigger and better!!! YEAH, I said bigger...

Fantastic Garden Headquarters: http://puzzleprints.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Announcement From the Shipping Department

Mail Room Stuff

After a particularly successful festival a few years back, I had to pack and mail several woodcuts, special orders, framing orders and such. A customer replied within days of my mailing asking me to please forward a note to the Shipping Department commending them for their careful and fast shipping. Funny how the web makes us look good sometimes, isn't it?

My studio is a mail room!
Stacks of prints, rejects toward the back, set ready to roll on the right.
Well, you will be happy to know that I authorized overtime pay for the Shipping Department and three quarters of the Fantastic Garden sets have already been mailed! I always start with the ones that will take the longest to get there so my world friends don't have to wait so long. Everyone should get an email with shipping and tracking/customs information in the next day or two.
With "the guys" in shipping working so hard, I predict all the prints will be mailed by tomorrow or Thursday.

I set up the stacks of prints so I can stamp the back with the official Fantastic Garden stamp. Then I turn each print over one by one, give it a last minute inspection, reject some particularly annoying ones and make a set. Roll the set between scrap paper, in this case architects proofs that I steal from the recycle stack of an architect's shop. Good proofing paper!

A bit of plastic protection in case of rain and into tubes they go, trimmed to fit the international 24 inch limit. Domestic sets I ship in USPS provided cartons, free with Priority Mail service. It's all very boring, really but I kind of get into looking at each set of prints as they go off into the world.
Tape gun (doesn't everybody have one?), scale, tubes...

Ready to fly to faraway lands!


Prints were mailed with an information sheet. An expanded Fantastic Garden Colophon will be available as a PDF download shortly.
I will make an announcement when it is finished.

The Book!

Growing the Garden is well under construction and should be available later this year, in about four weeks. The original estimate was to finish the book in January but I'm feeling industrious...or should I say, the Publications Department is feeling good!!!

Must be that second spring we get here in the desert about this time of the year, complete with purple sage and yellow lantana blooms and a tad of spring fever.

Fantastic Garden Headquarters: http://puzzleprints.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tidying up the Garden

Kickstarter Update

I just sent what may be the very last update to participants and backers of the Kickstarter Project that, well, kick-started the Fantastic Garden.
Here is the full text of the update with a yummy repro of the whole print:

List Getting Shorter

Here is my list of things to do from last post, with updates:

  1. Finish colophon of information to be sent to everyone with prints - CHECK Waiting for the printed info sheets to be delivered at my doorstep in two days.
  2. Have colophon copied 92 times CHECK! same as #1
  3. Finish putting together and formatting book (will take a while longer) - WORKING...
  4. Take better photos of finished prints for poster size rewards - CHECK
  5. Send pics to POD outfit for fulfilling rewards - CHECK Waiting for posters and other rewards to be delivered in about four business days
  6. Pack and mail 92 sets of prints - Tubes ready and waiting; Mailing list cleaned up and uploaded to my mail program.
  7. Pack and mail roughly 50 books and about 18 other rewards to backers of project
  8. Start new project - Oh dear, ideas are waaaay too many and jumbled right now but soon, my preciousssss, soooooon...

The Last Print Video

And last but not least, as promised, just got done editing the very sad video entitled Fantastic Garden: THE LAST PRINT :-)

Fantastic Garden Headquarters: http://puzzleprints.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

And then...SUCCESS!!!

The Garden is Printed!

Unbelievable but true, I finished all 440 prints today. Yes, I am tired, you bet. But happy tired.
I have a video or two of the last print being printed which I will upload shortly.

There is always more to do though. Aside from finishing up the "reporting" videography (wait 'til you see my exciting cleaning video!), the tasks left for the project are as follows:

  1. Finish colophon of information to be sent to everyone with prints
  2. Have colophon copied 92 times
  3. Finish putting together and formatting book (will take a while longer)
  4. Upload book and get proof copies, then publish
  5. Order roughly 50 books for participants and backers of project
  6. Take better photos of finished prints for poster size rewards
  7. Send pics to POD outfit for fulfilling rewards
  8. Pack and mail 92 sets of prints
  9. Pack and mail roughly 50 books and about 18 other rewards to backers of project
  10. Start new project MWAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

The prints

Here they are, the last two sets hanging peacefully in my very clean studio.
Am I the only one that really enjoys all those print edges hanging together? Hmmmm...

And here is a sneak peek at all the panels (yay!):

Fantastic Garden Headquarters: http://puzzleprints.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

And then there were two

Halfway there!

Progress comes to those who work and work and work and work. Here is a pic of three full racks of prints, labor of love for all my dear fellow fantastic gardeners.
After a looooong Monday, I confess I took the day off today to regroup and carbo-load, ready for another printing session tomorrow.

While I was taking the day off, I took the dry(er) prints down and stacked them to make room for the ones from the next block. Then I prepared the next block, which took a while longer than I expected. Seems I neglected to shave off the edges on this one and my own background carving was a bit rough. I cleaned up some backgrounds and such. I'm nervous about this next one because of some detail blocks but I trust the printmaking gods will watch over me and all will be fine.

I cleaned the press bed and the press, got the next batch of paper ready, straightened out the blankets and reset the pressure, cut some more newsprint and brought out the next can of ink (third one!).

Then some office work, I took pictures of the last two blocks and formatted them for the book and such, took pictures of the first two prints, updated the blog page with participant names and books pre-ordered, worked a little on the colophon design, worked a little on the book formatting, made a slide show of the garden growing with the last four added, and now I'm blogging.

Here is the short slide show, enjoy!

Fantastic Garden Headquarters: http://puzzleprints.blogspot.com