Category Archives: Art

What Not to Do: Yudu Screen Printer Edition (…and a Cute Baby)

Two significant things happened yesterday:

1. I finally unpacked my Yudu machine and gave it a whirl (I think I’ve had it over a year now), and

2. Keani Kai (9 months old now) ate curry.

Item #1: If you’ve ever heard anything about the Yudu machine, you’ve probably heard that you will mess up the first 2 emulsion sheets which are included with the machine. I was determined not to let that happen to me under any circumstances, so I read the manual (twice), watched the instructional DVD (twice) and then watched a few user-created videos on YouTube for good measure.

So, I wet down the screen, applied the slightly annoying sheet of emulsion, and took a good look. It looked weird. I smoothed it out with the squeegee. It still looked weird. “Oh well,” I thought, “it’s not changing any no matter how much I smooth it out, so I’d better dry it now.” I put it in the machine and started the “Dry” cycle.

Then I sat down to watch more YouTube videos. When I got to this video, Kendra-the-Cricut-Lady explained in detail how to make sure the emulsion was properly adhered to the screen. When she held it up and said “It shouldn’t look like this,” I knew I was in trouble because that is exactly how mine looked. So, what did I do? Genius that I am, I ran over to the Yudu, pulled out the half-dry screen, and re-wet it, trying to get it to go on right. It started coming off. Yep, the emulsion started washing right off, so I stopped, stuck it back in the machine, and put it through another drying cycle…and another…and another…and another… after about 2.5 hours, I was tired of waiting, so I just pulled off the protective plastic coating, and big wet gobs of emulsion came off with it. It was too bad. I wanted to get to the printing part.


Emulsion coming off a Yudu screen because it was not dry enough
Emulsion coming off a Yudu screen because it was not dry enough

The two pieces of text I had prepped were small, so I fit them into some undamaged areas on the emulsion, and exposed for 8 minutes. I should have done 10. Anyway, at the end of 8 minutes, I went to rinse off the unexposed emulsion, and this happened:

A ruined Yudu screen
The ruined "Team Baby" Yudu screen

Yep. It all started coming off.

Lessons: Get the emulsion on right the first time, then leave it alone. Make sure the emulsion is totally, completely dry before messing with it. Expose for 10 minutes.

The good news is that this experience was very liberating, and I am now ready to experiment and play with my Yudu machine. I went at it with an uncharacteristically laid-back attitude because I realized that the reason I’ve let it sit in the box for a year is that I was afraid I’d mess up. I wanted to wait until I was a pro before using it. Duh. How will you ever be a pro at anything without making a bunch of mistakes first? So I went for it. And I messed up. I completely wrecked my first project. And now I can get on with perfecting it.

As for the baby eating curry, well, I took some curry, turned it to mush in the Magic Bullet, and fed it to him. The look of delight on his face after the first bite was priceless. It was as if he were saying: “Mom, are you sure this is for me? It’s delicious!” It was kind of like this, but a little more on the tickled pink side:

Baby Boy looking up with a puzzled but happy expression
Baby Boy looking up with a puzzled but happy expression

And now, as I type this, he has pulled one of the air tubes off the breast pump and is trying to learn everything there is to know about it. So, until next time…

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2012 Morro Photo Expo: More Than Just Birds and Sunsets

One of my best shots from the 2012 Morro Photo Expo- model Michael Marrero at the "It's All About the Light" Workshop. I was standing on a chair and couldn't get a wider angle to get his elbows in! But still, I like it. (Photo credit: Sarita Li Johnson)

Have you heard of the Morro Photo Expo?

I couple of years ago I was walking down along the Embarcadero just before sunset, and a man with a pretty cool DSLR (that’s a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera, in case you’re wondering) asked for a restaurant recommendation. Conversation ensued, and he said he was here in Morro Bay for the Photo Expo. Interesting, I thought, and then never thought about it again…

…until the following year. I saw the posters, remembered the guy with the cool camera, got the impression that it was all about nature and bird photography, and never thought about it again (again)…

…until this year.

This year I joined the Morro Bay Art Association, and (somehow, I’m still not sure how) became half of the newsletter committee. (Well, there are only two of us, so in that sense I’m half, but workload-wise, I’m really only about 10%.) Anyway, in the process of researching the Photo Expo for a possible article, I discovered that there is a lot more to it than nature photography! So, I just spent three days running around Morro Bay photographing people. I learned SO MUCH in those three days.

See the participants’ best shots here, in the Morro Photo Expo “Give Us Your Best Shot” Flickr Contest.

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Portrait or Landscape?

Yesterday I joined Barbara Renshaw and about a dozen others for a Sketch Walk at Marina Point in Morro Bay.

Although it’s November, it was about 60 degrees in town, and I didn’t expect it to be SO COLD out at the point! The wind was bitter, but I would have loved it if I had dressed for the occasion. As it was, I was in jeans, a cotton tank top, and a light corduroy blazer. I was freezing!

We ventured out in a pack, but as people found scenes they wanted to sketch, the wandering group got smaller and smaller. We walked on the path, through mud puddles and brush, onto the salt marsh (which I was very excited about– I’ve always wondered how people got out there!), and I did find a magnificent view of Morro Rock but I had to keep going to find shelter from the wind. Finally there was a pretty good view of Hollister Peak, but it was just not inspiring me. I’m really not a landscape person. I needed a little more drama, so I found a huge conifer that was drooping down and almost forming a cave, a little secret spot with a view of the Peak peeking through the branches.

“This is cool,” I thought. So I sat down to sketch. I pulled out my 6B pencil and my drawing pad and I made some lines. Ugly lines. Lines that represented the tree branches and the peak, but ugly lines no less. That’s when I remembered why I don’t do landscapes: I don’t like them. Still, it was a pretty cool view, so I decided to take a photo of it. Unfortunately, I had left my camera in the car, but I hey, I had my cell phone camera! I took two photos and the memory card was full. Just not my day.

I decided to use the time to make a texture study, and drew some bark. I was not really excited about that either, so I drew a plant that was poking up through the pine needles. Then I blacked out the background, and the less realistic it looked, the more I liked it.

Sketch Walk November, originally uploaded by LandlockedSailr.

I started back toward the marina and a beautiful little ketch with dark green sail covers caught my eye, but the sun was so bright and the wind was so cold and my eyes kept stinging and burning, so I took some quick notes and headed back to the car.

Overall I was pretty disappointed in how the day turned out, mostly due to my own lack of preparation! Next time I will remember to bring:

    1. More layers
    2. My camera!
    3. A stool to sit on
    4. Scarf, handkerchief, hat
    5. Contact lenses and sun glasses

If you’re in the area, come join us!


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Tiny Ocean Mat

Tiny Ocean Mat, originally uploaded by LandlockedSailr.

The Bosun made this tiny Ocean Mat the other day. He intended it as a mock-up of the larger mats he’s making for household use, but I can’t get over its adorableness!


I think it would be great as a door mat on a doll house or on the miniature Westport, WA Maritime Museum. I could also add it to a headband or hair clip, or use it to embellish a handbag.


What do you think? What would you use this tiny sailor art for?


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