During the summer of 2007, I got a bee in my bonnet to have a go at linoleum block printing. I had my grandfather’s tools and fond memories of printing Christmas cards with my family as a kid, so I got myself a block and some new blades, and jumped into it.
The only problem was that my blades didn’t fit my older handle, so I wound up using the old dull blades at my disposal… guaranteed frustration. I put the project aside until I had a chance to get a new handle, not knowing that my attention would soon be diverted to the purchase and subsequent renovation of an old house.
It wasn’t until early this last January that I unearthed my half-finished block, got some new tools, and finished carving… and after a brief, unsuccessful trial printing session it took me another two months to regroup and made a proper go of it. Some notes:
I used some cheap (but acid-free) watercolor sketchpaper, which is heavy and textured. The recommendation I followed (I think I read it at briarpress.org) is to:
This worked beautifully for me; after a few hours the paper is only very slightly damp, but it makes a huge difference in terms of ink transfer.
If you’re using oil-based ink, one recommendation I saw in a clip on YouTube is to add just a drop of printing medium (or plain old linseed oil, which was what I used) to your ink, just to make it flow a little better and transfer more easily to the block and thus to your paper. Again, this was a definite improvement for me over my initial trial a couple of months ago.
Instead of stinking up your workspace with mineral spirits, try using plain old vegetable oil to get the worst of the ink off of your plate and brayer, then finish cleaning up with Simple Green. I didn’t even wind up staining my hands!
It’s 2010, nearly two years after the release of Drupal 6, yet there are still sites out there using Drupal 5. (We can’t all always be on the bleeding edge.) As time goes on, troubleshooting obscure problems gets harder and harder as new versions of old modules are released and discussed… so for those of you fighting the good fight to support a Drupal 5 project, here’s how I fixed some weirdness that I experienced with Drupal 5 CCK fieldgroups.
The problem I was having was that some grouped fields weren’t being themed with the standard <fieldset> tag wrapper when viewing (not editing) the nodes they belonged to.
I spent some time digging through my custom code, wondering what I might have done at the theme layer or in a hook_form_alter() to cause this weird, inconsistent behavior. I couldn’t find anything.
In a final act of headscratchery, I went back to the CCK ‘Display Fields’ form, where you can customize how your fields and fieldgroups get formatted when a node gets rendered for display. Everything looked normal, but just for the hell of it I switched the styling setting from ‘fieldset’ to ‘simple’ - that worked just fine. I then switched it back to ‘fieldset’, and re-saved. Suddenly the expected fieldset formatting kicked in for those misbehaving fields; I’m assuming there is a cache somewhere that simply needed clearing, and resubmitting the ‘Display Fields’ form did the trick.