AE January Theme Challenge - Moon

And the first month of 2019 is in the books! And a wild one it's been...I spent the first week of it in the UK, celebrating the New Year with my family at the Ceilidh under the Castle as part of Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland. I also went to Billings, Montana for a few days, then got trapped in Chicago on my way home because of a snow storm. And this week we're experiencing insane low temps. My entire month has felt very scattered as I travel, shovel snow almost every day, and try to work on various adulting chores that need to be done, so I needed to keep my participatin in the Art Elements theme challenge SIMPLE. 

Lindsay selected moon as our theme to work with, which is a very inspiring theme. Just this month we got to witness the spectacular total lunar eclipse of the super wolf blood moon, which I peeked at very quickly when I left the airport in -7 degree actual clue what the windchill was I wasn't about to sit around to see how quickly I froze in place (funny story-when I told my 17 year old, via text, to take a look at the super wolf blood moon eclipse, she responded with "haha. Super wolf blood moon. Funny mom" because she thought I was making stuff up again. This time I wasn't. But it's on her to figure out when I am. Good luck with that one, kid.). 

I spent some time looking through art beads and components that I have and briefly considered using one of those, but nothing came to me quickly enough to do any of those amazing things justice. Then I remembered among the few goals I have for 2019 is to more consistently do lino carving (I use speedball speedy carve) and to improve my skills with that. I also kept thinking about how when I was a kid, I thought the moon was made of cheese. I don't remember why. Perhaps an adult in my life thought it was a good idea to tell me that ridiculous story and I was young and gullible enough to believe them. So I decided to attempt to carve a cheese moon that has been partially eaten because cheese is amazing and something I crave almost every day. 


I started out by drawing a circle around the bottom of the Diet Coke can I was drinking from, which because the bottom is beveled, is why my circle is a bit...messy. I drew in some swiss cheese "holes" and some bite marks. I wanted it to be shaded like it was actually in the sky. So I drew that in as well. Then I started carving. I prefer to carve sitting at our kitchen island and turn on the lights, which is why the color is so funky gross looking in some of the photos. 

Here you can see I'm working on the shading. 

Below are my various tests to see how it looked and how much more I needed to do. 


Carving in progress

Final result. However, I may tinker with the shading a bit more because that's what I do. 

This really didn't look anything like cheese...LOL! What's interesting about when I carve a stamp is that my family is super impressed and thinks it's really cool. No matter what else I make, they are just kind of "Eh. You made something. Cool." about it. But when I carve a stamp, no matter how simple or complex, they are amazed like it's some kind of voodoo magic trick. 

This is a challenge with many participants. Please take a look at what everyone else has come up with and make sure to leave a comment. I can hardly wait to see. 

















Art Elements Crew:








Jen <------you are here! 





I. LOVE. THIS. I remember doing lino carving in junior high art class, and it was so much fun. Your details -- craters, shading & bite-mark -- are perfect. Now I want to try it again, so maybe I'll get supplied-up and we can have a carving party! I'll bring the cheese & crackers.


You did a great job with this one. If I hadn't known about the cheese, that wouldn't have been my first thought, but knowing about it makes it even cooler. The idea that the moon is made of cheese is known through many cultures, by the way I remember knowing someone who often told his employees "if I say the moon is green cheese, you believe it" (and I'm in Germany). So you are not alone with that!

Susan Kennedy

I love it too - I am also really impressed with your carving! I love how it looks, even though it may not look like cheese. Impressed with your list of goals, look forward to seeing more!

Laney Mead

I love seeing your lino printing pieces, I would love to have a go you make it look like such fun!


I remember being told that the moon was made of cheese too. I love seeing the progress of the carving - that is so fascinating on how you do the shading. I love how it turned out!

Kathy Lindemer

I think it is amazing that this stamp is hand carved. I love stamping and I have never tried carving one. You may have given me an idea for me for a future challenge.

Evia Ballard

Making stamps look so fun! You make it look so easy which I'm sure it is not. Your moon turned out so cute.

Cathy Mendola

I LOVE this moon! You did a fabulous job of carving to depict craters and bite marks and shadows. Perfect even if it doesn't look like cheese.


Cheese moon.... cheese...

*goes to the kitchen*
*sneaks out some cheese from the fridge*
*eats it*
*sneaks out some more*
*comes back*

...where was I? Oh yes, your cheese moon! I love the final result! And family is weird like that. I made super complicated chocolate pralines as a teenager for my family... reaction was... nice... (and they were good, I had so many test runs until they were perfect!)... another teenager made some easy melted chocolate sweets and family flipped out! ;) I was like "doh".

Being older now I know that my family loves my "stuff" but also that they give the most attention and validation to the one who needs it the most. Took me just some decades to realize that ;)

Hope Smitherman

I love this stamp! First, yes, cheese is the best food ever.
Second, your carve is so great! I like to stamp carve too and while my family doesn't think it's anything special, I'm always a little surprised by the number of other crafters who are amazed at the results. I only do super rudimentary carves, so yours is pretty amazing to me. And, I use erasers from the dollar store. Ha! I would probably carve better if I would actually use the lino stuff as you do. Great job with the inspiration. Oh, and I've heard the moon is made of cheese thing before too. (I used to think, "what a waste of cheese")

Lindsay Starr

I wish my silly brain worked in 2-d art. I've always adored linocuts and hand cut stamps, and really wanted to get into them more...but I just can't translate ideas into subtractive carving! I'm so jealous of anyone that can. I love your moon! I see the cheese moon! Or the giant cookie in the sky that cookie monster just took a bite out could to either way!


Ooo I love this! I think you're making everyone in the blog hop crave cheese now, and stamp-carving. :) Lol at the bit about family - mine is like that too, tepid reactions to something that I'm super-proud of, but wows all around at something that I want to throw away.


Voodoo magic trick! LMAO. This looks fabulous. Im trying to carve each theme too - I say that here and give you permission to nag me. I think your shading looks good - and I love the craters. Now I want to see Gelli prints with that....

Sarajo Wentling

OMG... I'm laughing so hard at your teen not believing you about the super wolf blood moon, LOL. I love your cheese moon! I remember my cousins telling me that the moon was made of cheese... and also that there was both a man in the moon and a rabbit. Go figure. I'm like your family and am super impressed by your stamp carving voodoo magic.


I love the depth you get to your carvings, the shading and lines are amazing! I believed the moon was made of cheese when I was younger too... I always wanted to go there!


Isn't it fun to keep the kids guessing? I love your stamp, and thinking of the cheese moon, NEVER would have thought of that!! I like the choppy inside look, like maybe someone took a bite out of it. I'm a cheese lover ... living in France, I've sampled many ... the smellier the better too! Really!
An FYI ... Emmenthal, the world's classic 'Swiss Cheese' is nowhere near as tasty as Gruyère or Appenzeller (two that are used in Fondue) ... Yummmm. Will have to go to store tomorrow and find some. Alysen.

Sarah Raines

Oh wow - what an incredible skill you have with carving your own stamps! I loved seeing your process photos and your final image is amazing with its crispness and detail. Well done.

Tammy Adams

Well, it is some kind of voodoo to be able to carve stamps with that kind of detail. Having carved a total of four stamps, I know first hand that it isn't as easy as you've made it seem here. Also, cheese moon! I love cheese (wish I didn't) and I also remember being told that's what the moon was made of. Which confused me because I was also told about the man in the moon and the cow that jumped over the moon. Was the moon cheese supposed to be made of milk that the moon man got from the cow as it jumped over?! I love your stamp; it's amazing.


I remember reading these science fiction books as a kid that had outlines of heavenly bodes. Your moon may not look like its made of cheese but it did remind me of the illustrations in science fiction books in early 90's

Melissa Trudinger

Love the stamp's inspiration! We always used to say that too -- the moon is made of green cheese (why green? the moon is white!).

Rozantia Petkova

OK, it looks like cheese and apparently it tasted like cheese - I see an alligator bite there (one with a mutated round muzzle) :) Good for you having your family think you make cool stuff :) That shading is perfect!

Niky Sayers

I LOVE your cheese moon, I love the idea behind it and that it dose look like a wheel of cheese with a big bite out of it AND yet it looks just like the moon! Stamp carving maybe one of your many super powers!


What a fun stamp, so organic and fab.

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