Here are some latest versions. I am experimenting with placement of the text. I have a few qualms but they are minor. Such as faintness of the "pittsburgh, pa" stamp. I realized after looking at a few other save the dates that I should include our names and our location. Otherwise people would not know who the weird bird cards are arriving from!
Now I have to figure out what goes on the other side :)
Here are some reflections on the process. I carved this design last year because it is 'somehow' involved in the invitations as well (secret.). I liked it so much I decided to use it again. Besides, it will provide thematic continuity. Actually I put a lot of thought into the meaning of the design too but that is a story for another post.
I use a speedball linoleum carver both for my eraser stamps and for linoleum. I use erasers because I found a whole bunch of them really cheap at a miscellaneous chinese store, but otherwise there are specific stamp blocks that can be used (pictured left).
Then I mix up the ink on a plate of plexiglass (from Home Depot) with my trusty squeegee. This is my favorite part because you never really know what color you'll get. I am not particular about getting the shade right; I usually like to be surprised and mix colors based on how I feel at the moment. The second batch of these that I printed had some lovely pink and mint shades.
When inking the linoleum, the trick is to thin out the ink until the consistency is right. The first few prints are always too inky for me. The last few prints are underinked. I'm sure master printmakers have this all sorted out, but I'm happy with I can get doing these by hand. When I was in high school we had this amazing printing press and made huge prints. Nowadays I am content with my little card-sized prints.