Monday, December 31, 2007

happiest happier happy

Happy new year!(scene on my fire escape at 1 pm today...had to clear off the 3 or so inches of snow to get this shot!)
It's snowy and wonderful in Montpelier today. I wish you could all be here to see it. I'm sending my best wishes for the new year out into the blogosphere (and the webworld at large)--and directly to you.

I'll be taking a week or so off after the holiday to get my end-of-year business stuff in order, but after that, watch out for:
*new letterpress workshops*
**more blog posts, more of the time**
***fancy new stationery sets***
****an etsy shop full of may day goodness****
*****my original artist's books (available soon!)*****


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

riot-grrl crafty style

My housemate Tara just ran out the door, but before she left she titled this photo "riot-grrl crafty style, or sixth-wave feminism makes me cranky." Really, it's just me wanting to show off the gift certificates I made for one lucky lady to receive under the tree this year: a day-long letterpress workshop with me! I used vintage wood type, crane's lettra in ecru (offcuts from another job) and Van Son scarlet red ink. I think it's a little less scarlet and a little more va-va-va-voom lovely. What do you think?

Need a few last-minute gift ideas? Here are a few of my favorite things this year:

(left) Limited Edition (and now on sale!) Hand-marbled, letterpress 2008 Calendar by Albertine Press. Even more beautiful in person. Buy it here.
(right) Prints by Swallowfield. I bought (ahem) a few of these as gifts for the holidays. This is my favorite, but shop for them all here.

(left) Merit Badge sets by Pod Pod Post. For the printers, binders, and zinemakers in your life. (I'm hoping that a set of these will be in my stocking this year...)
(right) Thank You notes--essential for after the holidays. Mara and Anna were, once upon a time, my bosses back in San Francisco. Now they run a little something called Dutch Door Press, where they make many more pretty things than I could list here. Shop here.

(left) One-year subscription to Ker-bloom letterpress zine. It's thoughtful, and funny, and made a few times a year with handset type and offcuts of paper. Totally Brilliant. Check out artnoose's etsy shop here.
(right) Not many of you know this, but I grew up in a little town in San Diego (California) county. A few months ago, several wildfires devastated the area, causing massive evacuations, and resulting in a whole lotta nothing but charred brush for many, many miles. My family's entire town was evacuated. Their home was unharmed, but others weren't so lucky. Many families lost homes, jobs, schools, cars, pets, and hope--all in 72 hours. Click here to choose a charity to donate a few dollars to. Please.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

weekend wrap-up: sunday

On Sunday morning I was a tired bunny. I woke up rather early to head down to Somerville, MA, for the Albertine Press Paper & Chocolate Trunk Show. Shelley had mentioned that she expected a fair number of attendees, given the numbers from previous events. What she didn't expect was over 600 (600!) folks clambering for magical hot chocolate from Taza Chocolate and press demonstrations by Shelley herself on the Vandercook. The folks were prompted a bit (I'm sure) by sweet mentions on Daily Candy Boston, decor8, and the Boston Globe online. Here's Shelley taking a rare break from her press duties to pose for the camera.

My table...before the crowds hit.
Shelley's beautiful and decadent 2008 was in high demand...but I received one as a thank you. (Thank you, Shelley!) Below is a closeup of my favorite marble pattern. (Buy the calendar here before they're sold out!)
Angela and I traded: one Bingo Book for one artist's book. I don't know who made out better! My treasure is an accordion book called The Owner of the Bow, illustrated by Guido Scarabottolo. Emily's lovely deer print was behind me on the wall for the greater part of the afternoon...and by the end of the day I knew I needed to take it home with me! Take a peek at her sweet business card, too.

It was such a busy afternoon that I didn't get to take pictures of Angela of Carta, Inc., or Becca's prints and artist books, or Melissa's pocket journals and book-structure-explorations. Everyone was so nice to talk to, and it was a pleasure to be among such talented artists! Read more about paper & chocolate at edizioni and hot off the press.

After Paper & Chocolate, I ran off to Wellesley for a private trunk show at my friend Katie's house. There were only a few other artists there: Carrie and Laurie of Two Trick Pony (my new limited edition two trick print is below), whose prints will be available as part of Design Nearby at the pink comma gallery.Other artists I met at Katie's shinding: photographer Leah Cornwell makes the world look quieter and crisper than it really is. She has several striking collections--check them all out! And designer & goldsmith Ilah Cibis brought a small selection of her artisan jewelry...if I had the money, I would have taken this piece home with me. I also loved these earrings, but there were so many appealing pieces there I couldn't have decided if I tried.

Thanks to all the wonderful folks I met this weekend, and those who bought (or bartered) may day goodess, and to the weather for holding off the snow until Monday. And now I'm back to work!

weekend wrap-up: saturday

Saturday was the Queen City Craft Bazaar in Burlington...and the first of three (yes, three!) craft shows I participated in last weekend. It was a very blustery day out, which may have prevented the foot traffic from getting all the way down to us at the waterfront. The booths all looked fabulous, though. Here's a shot down my aisle on the ground floor. (Check out the new table sign. What do you think?)

Below are some new displays--for Bingo Books and for the complete holiday card line.

The best part of any show has to be meeting people. And, of course, scoring cool stuff in trade. Saturday was no exception. I met Victoria, whose husband makes lovely pottery here in Montpelier (if you need a sake set, check his out!), and Sarah, whose recycled and vintage-inspired home linens are right up my alley! (As a sidenote, Sarah's husband Richard is a world-renowned papermaker. He stopped by to check out my wares, and we had a lovely talk about handmade, local, and letterpress. I'm hoping to take a visit to his studio--Langdell Paper--this weekend as part of the open studios in Topsham.)

Mandy makes yummy yummy bath treats in the next town over, and will be carrying a selection of my gift cards in her online shop. Next to me was Loretta, who was showing her collection of drool-worthy and oh-so-functional pottery. Those are my new tumblers below!

Thanks to Sara and Kacey for organizing the bazaar!

Monday, November 26, 2007

handmade holidays

First, a little bit of sad news: last night I received an email from Sara at Made Boutique in Burlington, letting all of her consignors know that Made will be closing as of December 16. And with the very recent closing of Studio STK, where are the masses going to buy their handmade goodies and gifties?
Well, start in Burlington, VT, this Saturday at the Queen City Craft Bazaar. It's a juried show, so you know everyone there is pro. (I'm not rhyming on purpose, I promise.) Don't forget to stop by my table and say hi!Or if you're down in the Boston area, take a trip to Somerville on Sunday for the Paper & Chocolate open house and trunk show. Shelley at Albertine Press (and her neighbors across the hall, Taza Chocolate) have thrown one or two of these now, and in the spirit of the holidays, they've invited a few friends along for the ride. You won't regret it, I promise.

And if you haven't yet stopped by, do so now! Make the declaration, and tell the world why you will only buy handmade gifties this year.

Thanks to Sage and Amanda and Will at STK, and Sara at Made for great conversations and rockstar support. I'm sad to see your cool places vanish, but I wish you all the best of luck in the future!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

i'm dreaming of...

...a white holiday season. And it's coming true. Today it's snowing in Montpelier--only an inch or so, but it looks white-white-white outside. But that's not really what I want to blog about...

Last weekend's holiday card workshop was a blast! Rik, Asma, and Jenevieve (my fourth student was stuck in the first snow of the season in Ithaca) totally took my hazy outline of the day and ran with it. But don't listen to me, check out the photos for yourself:

Asma jumped right on to the Vandercook to print the first lockup of her four--that's right, 4--step card. She used the Vandy for her wood type "XMAS" before moving on to the Kelsey to finish up the last three lockups.

In the meantime, Jenevieve got busy with her two-color cards, and found the time to print little gift tags for all of us, too.

Rik said that he was trying to avoid the "holiday-ness" of holiday cards, but I think these are pretty traditional....

Rik also found time to make a wood type exclamation-point sculpture to print on the Vandercook. It was a pretty challenging lockup, but Rik pulled it all together and came up with an awesome little decorative print!

Ah, the happy class. It was a full day's worth of work, but I think these three could have printed for another 8 hours if I'd let them. Thanks for the good work--it was a great first class! Check out the rest of the day's adventures here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

monday monday

How's this for the breakfast of champions, eh? Coffee and kettle stitch.

I'm up a bit later than usual today, having picked up my housemate Tara at the airport at 1 am. So I'm having my coffee and working...and listening to old Prairie Home Companion podcasts. Happy Monday!

P.S. I'l post photos from this weekend's letterpress holiday card workshop later--there are a lot of photos to go through!

Friday, November 16, 2007

week(s) in pictures

I'm finding it hard to keep up with the blogging lately. This is my first "busy season," and while I'm not totally unprepared, I am a bit underprepared. And very nearly out of time.

Here are a few shots from the past few weeks:
That's new friend Emma and old friend Meagan having a private bookbinding class in my studio. Here're the finished products:For Meagan's book, she brought fabric that she'd silkscreened, and Emma chose from my voluminous stash of pretty papers.

Last weekend's "Experience" workshop was a lot of fun! Sina, Jinkyung, Jenn, and Sarah were very laid back, and ready to experience whatever the day had to offer.
Sarah getting up close and personal with the Nolan proof press.Sina experimenting with layout on her prints.
Jinkyung, Sina, and Jenn locking up chase after chase after chase...

I stayed late after class to try to get the Vandercook #4 ready to print for this weekend's workshop: success!!
And while all that was going on, I got my first custom order on etsy--and it was shipping to Australia!
Two Bingo Albums, to hold 100 photos each...they're quite fat little books!

Coming up this week: Holiday Card workshop, printing my line of holiday cards, more prep for the Queen City Craft Bazaar and Paper & Chocolate trunk show, and hopefully not flubbing my first day as film projectionist at the Savoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

procrastination station

(view from my living room window)
So there you have it. I've been stuck at procrastination station for a few weeks now. It could be the weather, as it's been gray and yucky here in Vermont--welcome to fall!

Or that it's just starting to dawn on me: the enormity of the preparations that I need to be making for the holiday season. I've been accepted as a vendor at the Queen City Craft Bazaar's holiday event (December 1) and Shelley at Albertine Press is having another Paper & Chocolate event on December 2, and has invited Angela at Carta, Inc., and me to participate in a little trunk show. It's going to be a busy weekend! Not to mention that I have workshops to teach between now and then, holiday cards to design for myself and few friends, and lots and lots of books to make!

Back here at procrastination station, I've been, well, procrastinating. And finally getting around to:
(a) making pretty things to hang on the wall (from purl soho's the purl bee, via little ida)(b) posting pictures of my most recent workshops, and two amazing groups of new letterpress junkies (click here to see the September class, and here for the October class)and (c) finding new blogs to get hooked on. Read the new letterpress blog of Chrysanthemum Press (by my student Sarah) and the blog by veteran bookbinders Rag and Bone. And don't forget to get yourself some patches! I saw these on the Green Chair Press blog, and was delighted to find that Ms. Jennie Hinchcliff (a super cool, creative chiquita, who I met at the San Francisco Center for the Book) has launched a project called PodPost--and is making grown-up Merit Badges for the Girl/Boy Scout in all of us. As a 12-year scout, and former GS leader, it's about time to update the sash. And now you know what to get me for Christmas!

Friday, September 21, 2007

new shops and nice words

The summer has been a slow selling season, I can tell you that. But when followed up by a busy fall, I have no cause for complaint.
First of all, Montpelier finally has an indie-handcraft boutique. Super-crafter Emily moved to town only a few months ago, and got to work while the rest of us just kept talking. The result: Swingin' Sphere! It's a pretty little space, and the photos on the site don't do it justice. While they're officially open now, the grand opening is September 29, and Emily says to "make sure to stop by for a cupcake and a free gift with every purchase from our lovely consignor Melissa of Honey Bee Herbals."

Second is a double-whammy: my first wholesale order, and my first international shop. You heard me right! Arthur's Circus is a new shop opening next week in Melbourne, Australia. Natalie saw my Bingo Books on etsy, and emailed me straight away about having a few for her vintage-inspired shop. Read what she has to say on the shop's blog, and be sure to look at what she got in the mail this week! Thank goodness I'm nowhere near Melbourne, otherwise I'd need these and these right now.

And now for some nice words:

May Day Studio got a little bit o'love over the summer on Apartment Therapy: Chicago's regular Scavenger feature. Click here for the full post.

After delivering new books to new shops in Burlington, I found these lovely and flattering blog posts from Sara at Made Boutique and Amanda at Studio STK. If ever you find yourself in Burlington, I highly recommend checking out both places!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

catching up part two

Here they are, the real reasons I've been offline for the last few weeks:

one: a custom portfolio for Boston designer Deborah Wieder.

Deborah wanted to give her client, a local synagogue, a book both tangible and meaningful to hold her design work. The logo is raspberry and ochre, so Deborah found a lovely deep pink bookcloth, and I used several colors of linen thread--white, tan, ochre, and maroon--as accent. The binding is a kind of modified Japanese 4-hole binding, with a separate spine-pleat and hinged covers. The four threads gather together at the top station, and are simply knotted to make eight strands, as a reference to the tzitzit on traditional Jewish prayer shawls.

two: a custom wedding album for an old friend

Courtney wanted to give her newlywed-friends a handmade gift, and so approached me about creating a one-of-a-kind album or scrapbook for them. I'm sure I overloaded her with ideas, but she was definitely excited about the process, so played along. She found the cover paper--an indigo, carrot leaf-print lokta--and we settled on the buttonhole stitch for binding and Stonehenge for the pages. The result is a huge book: 12" tall x 12-1/4" wide x 1-1/2" thick. And it weighs almost three pounds! The buttonhole stitch is unique in that there's a hole in the spine, where the folds of the signatures show through. I like it because the thread binding the book together draws the eye from top and bottom to the exposed folds. It's a book that will cry out to be taken off the shelf!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

catching up on old times

It's been a killer couple of weeks, and I don't have much energy today, but I did want to catch up (as it were) on a few letterpress events from the summer.

one: the Printing Arts Fair at the Museum of Printing in North Andover, Mass. (I dare you to say that three times fast!)
That's Shelley (of Albertine Press), Mr. Benjamin Franklin, and I in front of my table. Mr. Franklin actually has a handpress, and in addition to being an 18th century historian, gives walking tours around the Boston area. (His real name is Gary, and he was amazing to talk with.) You can click on the picture to see more from the day, or click here to see Shelley's slightly more timely recap.

two: summertime workshops at Letterpress Things

On the left are Janet and Emily, testing out the Pilot. They spent the day working on thank-you notecards. Emily was a real trooper, working in a shop designed for folks a little bit taller and a little bit stronger. It was great to see a younger person get so excited about printing...and pick up techniques and terminology with such ease.

On the right are Tim and Erin, a carpenter and printmaker, respectively. We had a mostly quiet day, and they set a whole lot of type and printed pages pages for our little chapbooks. It was a nice to take it easy and focus on the process of printing...they left me with a lot of food for thought about the workshop. Click on the photos to see more, and click here to read about upcoming workshops.

three: the Letterpress Guild of New England's annual WayzgooseThis event was just last Saturday (my, how times flies!) at Firefly Press in Allston, MA. That's John Kristensen (Firefly's proprietor) demo-ing the Vandercook SP-20. Click on the picture to see more of the event. All told, it turned out to be a lovely day of talking, printing, and meeting new people!