Wednesday, December 23, 2009

of my winter trip (part 1)

The radio silence here is for a very good reason. I am in Texas for a bit, visiting family and friends and

making new friends of squirrelies

and ducks

trying to obey the rules (it is quite warm here- comparatively.)

In Lewisville I got my

kitty fix, and met up with an old (great) friend for fantastic veggie enchiladas.

Then in Austin I got my fill of

lust for midcentury furniture

arrogant driving dogs (they never obey the signals)

uppity (and urban) tweeter twits

and a sadly revised Austin skyline.

I still love it, though.

(edited 1/20) I just noticed that most of these photos are squashed. Well, I was working on Patrick's stupid pc laptop, and got the wrong dimensions. I'm leaving it to remind myself how much I like have my Mac and appropriate software. Sorry for the squish.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

so have a freebee

To celebrate my first sale, the upcoming holidays, and the fantastic sunny day we had today, I will be including a lovely free letterpressed bookmark in the orders that go out before the holidays. You can use this as a gift tag for any of your bookworm friends, or use it yourself (when you're reading Twilight on the airplane).

Monday, November 30, 2009

of my winter cheer

As promised I've added holiday designs to the shop- these are my favourites thus far! There are also gift tags to match the holiday cards. If these strike your fancy, be sure and order soon, as the shop will be closed Dec 15 - January 1.

So, There.

As of last night my shop- So, There - is up and running. Take a look! I'm excited by the cards, and the quality of the ink on the 100 percent cotton paper... It just can't be replicated.

I have two Holiday designs, in cards and tags, that will be going up on the shop this afternoon. I'll post more pictures soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I heart games.

Sorry I haven't posted in a little while- It's because the shop has been taking up all my time. (That's right, click on the link for a sneak peak before I start announcing it to the world.)

I had several setbacks in the shop setup, including the realization that my camera just wasn't going to cut it. So I got a nice, new Rebel, and now I get to figure out how to use it. Learning curve!

Last night I was playing games with Patrick and our friends, and I took this shot, which is OKAY... but it's gonna take some practice for sure.

Have I mentioned how much I love games? Maybe there's a future career there....

(Shot is my skyscraper on low-cost purples. Mega Monopoly is mega fun. Mrs. H does not agree. )

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

and I am getting organized

One of the most difficult and satisfying things I can do with my time is using it to get organized. When I finally figure out a method to keep up with myself, I usually get more done and forget less. I used to have a daily calendar at my day job, and I've been looking for a replacement to-do list. I tried a digital one, but that doesn't work for the day-to-day tasks I need to juggle.

So, voila, a little daily to-do pad. I printed out 26 weeks (half a year), trimmed, and stapled the pad.

Oh- and I've uploaded the file here, just in case it will work for you, too. (Click on your preferred color below to open the pdf.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

of paper scraps.

Have I mentioned I am unable to throw anything away?

After printing an trimming massive quantities of cards, I was left with a treasure trove of cotton, cover-weight paper strips.

I sat with them a while and made a couple of simple Christmas decorations, but, at the suggestion of my dear husband, quite a few of them turned into little critters and plants.

(click here to see it larger.)

My favourite part was finding a photo of something and trying to recreate it with the strips, using just glue and the natural resistance of the cover-stock.

I really like the way they all look laid out together. I've been really interested in patterning lately, and I think it was a nice exercise all-in-all.

Now what the heck am I supposed to do with them?

so here's a sneak peak.

I've been working working working over here, printing printing printing. Here's a sneak peak of what is to come.

I'm going to spend a little time getting my winter designs together, then someday soon the shop will open.


Monday, November 2, 2009

my Halloween meant fun with cats

With the absence of any other plans Halloween night, Patrick and I made our own fun. Namely, fun with cats and zombie shooters.
Doesn't Angel look fantastic in her costume? Let me tell you, SHE LOVED IT. She showed that love by trying to remove it at any cost.
Unfortunately, none of our other Halloween Night photos turned out, so we had a reenactment the next day.

This photo shows Angel in a more accurate light...

Jovi decided to be a princess. I think she liked all the feathers and tulle that she could attack.

Oh, I dressed as a housewife, and made this stew (minus the celery, gross.) It was FANTASTIC! (I made the pieces smaller so it would cook better.)
Hope yours was great, send me your dress up photos!

Monday, October 26, 2009

of this unremarkable photo that I am remarking on.

So I'm tired, and self-obsessing a bit. The result of this is the hunt for a new profile picture. For a while I've hidden behind the adorable, yet dated, photo of myself as a baby– but I am no longer sure that it sends the right message. (How can a baby write a blog? And who has ever heard of a baby graphic designer with issues?)

I think I have found a photo that will suffice, and in my 4AM delirium, I thought I would share its hidden depths.

Fig. A - The hair. Oh, the hair. The hair has a mind of its own. Where is it going? Who knows.

Fig. B - The eyes are some ambiguous shade that is not brown.

Fig. C - The smile says, "I am vaguely amused, but stop photographing me."

Fig. D - The strap across my shoulder belongs to one of my many messenger bags. I always have a messenger bag on, and it always contains a deck of cards, a pen, a pencil, 2 moleskine notebooks, and my ipod.

Fig. E - I am wearing black because I own a lot of black things. I like black clothes a bunch. Black.

Fig. F- I am in front Trevi fountain which is actually as blurry in real life as it looks in this photo. This shows that once I had my photo taken in Rome. This is important for everyone to know.

I hope that this has served to show all of you that I am not a baby writing a blog. I am actually quite grown up.

Monday, October 12, 2009

of technical difficulties

this is...

It's 50 degrees outside. There was frost on the ground this morning.
I am less than eager for the weather of the coming months- but every once in a while I see something like this lonely tree, and I'm a little less grumpy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

of Slide Sideways

Wow! Another give-away! This time it's a great little print from slide sideways. Click here to visit their blog for the details.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

of Camp Smartypants

Rachel over at Camp Smartypants is doing a giveaway of her awesome garland (shown here). Click here to go to the giveaway instructions on her blog.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I am NOT procrastinating

I'm doing a bit more research- because I need it. I've been going through videos on you tube and elsewhere, and it's reminded me of a couple of things

2) Anyone can try to fake anything.

But is that so bad? Obviously none of those are letterpress, they are "inspired by", but even if they are failed experiments, aren't they an exercise in expression? (The last link, is especially interesting - though far from letterpress.) I know scrapbooking is not the peak of art, but some people do it in interesting ways. I'd like to stand up and present everything I make as my own, and as authentic, but when it comes down to it, I'm not making my own envelopes, much less paper. (yet.)

Briar Press is an online community for professional and amateur printers, and in some ways it is a great resource - but the negativity in the forums- the constant bickering over what is the correct form for printing, what to use, how little impression to have...

well, it draws you in.

I just want to say - lets all do what we want. Let's express ourselves however, share our methods, buy from each other, and let the sun come out.

That's a bit of positivity to offset the weather and radio silence. Now I'm ready to go!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

of my impending adventure

There's nothing left to wait for.
I received my trusty polymer plates today (though UPS may have screwed up a good portion of it in transit), and now it's time to take some real letterpress strides.

There is the little matter of having to take my whole office apart for the window installation on Friday...

Friday, September 25, 2009

comma Spider Haters.

It's not what you think. I swear.
I have written before about how much spiders love me. Now, this love is unrequited, and so it would just be cruel to compound their disappointment by destroying them just when they come out to share their feelings.
Enter the Spider Box (Patent Pending). The Spider Box is any small box with a dark interior that has a lid that can be removed. It functions by offering a dark place for the critter to hide after you have terrorized it by chasing, by teasing, and with cats. Once it goes into the dark to hide, you can put the lid on and take the whole box outside. (The Spider Box works best when there is a man to do all this for you.)

This particular box was cramping my style because it was a highly branded, highly emo, ipod box with John Lennon staring at me. I could not, with good conscience, put a spider into that box, so I covered it with a sweet rendition of their MORTAL ENEMY– THE BIRD.
bwahaha- spider.

comma Ugly Books

This might sound ridiculous to you social butterflies, but I think my favourite part of London was a little chain bookstore in Victoria Station. The only thing that made the shop special (besides the fact that it was a glorious escape from the hideous bustle of the crowds outside) was that the books cover designs were fantastic. I was tempted to buy all the ones I thought were great, but was limited by funds and packing space (we were traveling with backpacks.) We ended up getting these two-
The first (I am Legend- which is nothing like the movie by the same name) is simple, strange, and features rounded corners.
The second was part of a set of Neil Gaiman's books, all published in matte black with foil icons. Someday I will either have millions of dollar to spend at my whim, or the moral flexibility and skill necessary to smuggle a whole set of books out the door. (It's about quality AND quantity.)
Out of context, maybe these aren't so impressive. Definitely not compared to these beautiful photos of the new Penguin Classics.

I thought I'd share a few more of my shelf favourites. They are a mixed batch, from old (Pride and Prejudice from '62) to new (don't you just love the red pages in Christopher Moore's book?), to more from overseas (my goal is to have each HP book from a different country, I'm nearly halfway through.)
Since you're reading, will you send me photos of your favourite covers?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

of trash painting

Jovi would like to show you what I've been up to today.
Since I am incapable of keeping anything alive (including my apple whose power cable just bit-it) and the season is about to change to fall (which is, coincidentally, what my spirits are doing- falling) I decided to use some of the trash I've saved to paint some little made-up plants.
This wood was the surface of my book cutter before it was left out in someone's yard. I love the way the wood weathered, and after a quick sand, it was easy-peasy to paint on. (I used gouache for the first time, and I may be in love.)

While Jovi is helping me style the trash-art, Angel is working on a plot against Apple. While I don't support her 100 percent in her plans (which could get someone hurt) I understand her motives. I mean, replacing a power cable for a laptop under warranty should be easier than
(a) driving to Bellevue tomorrow which is the earliest a genius can see me, to wait 20 minutes for them to get to me and say "Yep, the power cable is not working. You were right. Let me just disappear to the back for an hour and see if I can find one of the hundreds of replacements back there."
(b) waiting 5 business days for them to send the part to me. 5 days!
(c) or (this is my favourite) "You can come to the store in Bellevue, buy the part, use it till a genius can see you in a couple of days, then return it." Oh, did I mention they have a restocking fee?
It should be mentioned that Angel doesn't have anything in particular against Apple. She just needs a target for her kitty-rage; and I'm not even so mad anymore because really, what am I doing on the computer all day?
I should just paint more trash.

Friday, September 4, 2009

and you want an adhesive gun.

Trust me when I tell you that you really want one of these.
A Scotch ATG 700 puts down adhesive strips on the back of all your paper/object needs. It may look like a massive pricing gun, but really it's a thing of wonder that lives in one of my adhesive drawers.

That's how the adhesive (think the sticky part of tape) is laid down on your paper. It makes a pretty great bond. While the price of the gun is PRETTY high for a glue toy, the small cost of the massive refills makes up the difference.
I use it mainly for gluing things together, but it can also be used for closing envelopes, wrapping packages, etc.

(glam cats)

I tried out the Tombow Mono Adhesive (above) before I used my employee discount to invest in the ATG. It's nice, but the refills cost the same as the dispenser, and you get barely any coverage. (I keep it in my art bag now, so I can glue things into my books.)

**btw- I'm sorry if this entry is a little weirdly written, I'll probably rewrite it later, but I am working on day three of a massive migraine that I think has shorted out my brain a little.