I guess the title of this post is a little misleading--it's not my very first printing project ever, just the first one in about five years. I took several printmaking classes in college and loved it. I can't really explain why it's taken me this long to try it again, but so it goes.
I already had all of the materials I needed from taking the classes (and a few purchases made right after graduation with the intent of doing more of it), which was quite helpful in motivating me to try it again.
I printed out an image of the outline of the United States (stay tuned for the idea behind this image), traced it with charcoal, and then transferred it to the linoleum by rubbing it with a bone folder.
I found that the techniques needed to carve the block came back to me pretty naturally, though I will admit that it's not an extremely detailed image (thus a good start).
Not bad for my first try in more than five years. We'll see how the actual printing goes.