Monday, March 31, 2008

New Adventure in Gocco (West Coast)

This is my latest Gocco exploration. I had a day during the break last week that I was able to squeeze in some print time. I used an image from my letterpress plate that I have just ordered through Boxcar Press. I had planned to letterpress this, but I wanted to test out my new frost inks for the Gocco that I just got. I love the way the pink frost looks with the chocolate next to it.

To solve how someone might mail this dark envelope I picked up some mailing labels, and ran them with the same pattern, but with a light brown color. I am pleased with the result. What do you think?

My first letterpress plate will arrive here any day now, and I plan on having my first print session on my own letterpress later this week. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Finally Back in Business (Midwest)

Joey helped me lift and bolt my press back onto the old filing cabinet that it came with. I just finished a two hour print session and boy do I feel good. Whenever I finish up from printing (or life drawing or painting) I always get this mental after glow. I've posted about this before. I don't really know how to describe it. Mentally it's like the after effects of a good massage. My body isn't as relaxed, but my mind is. I think it comes from tuning out the world and focusing on something that doesn't stress me out. What would it take to achieve this state daily? Therapy? Exercise? Drugs? I guess I could start with some stretching and deep breathing exercises. Feels so good.

So, above you see some of today's prints. I ran more scribble birds as planned. Then, I threw some vintage cuts on press and used up some of the extra ink. Fun. Fun. Fun. I printed a few hits of this way scary wolf halftone block I got off eBay in a lot with some other things. It is too worn to get a great image from. But, it has this ghost image that would be interesting printed somewhere into an art piece.

Oh, and here's a photo of me in my ridiculous thrifted apron. I look like such of fool printing. I throw on old clothes, pin my hair (learned this is a must the hard way) and wear some sort of full coverage apron. I thought it would be interesting to do a self portrait. It didn't work so this is all you get.

Have a good week everyone!

Friday, March 28, 2008

PMS 628 (Midwest)

We collected eggs from the neighbors chickens when we were in the desert. I had to photograph them because they were so beautiful–a soft blue with a greenish gray cast. I've seen plenty of robin's eggs and their spectacular blue color, but I didn't know chickens could produce such pretty colors too. Wait. Maybe Martha Stewart has chickens that lay fancy eggs. Probably so.

I tried to match the color to my pms swatches and couldn't get find an exact match. Pms 628 was as close as I could get. Next time I print, maybe more scribble birds, I'm going to try to mix up a color similar to these eggs. This will be good practice for me. Usually I just mix ink on the fly with an approximate color in my head. When I get a pleasing mix on my palette I go with it. I guess the artist side of me likes the mystery of discovering the color, but the graphic designer in me (probably the stronger force) wants the color decisions made in advance.

I'm looking forward to a weekend at home. I need to kiss up to my husband so that he will make some time to bolt my press to my new work table. I can't print until it is secured more properly.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

And the Winners Are... (Midwest)

...Lindsey F., Louise R., and Laura Marie! Yippee! I am collecting addresses and will have your cards in the mail soon.

Thanks to everyone who participated. I'll probably be ready for another give away in July so check back soon.

Monday, March 24, 2008

We Survived (Midwest)

We are back from a very much needed family vacation to my parent's home in Arizona. This photo sort of sums up the desert experience. Hannah and Sophie were in discovery mode while Sam was in running mode. I just hung about and carried their stuff, fed them and was the go to person for prickers, fights, and requests for stupid things and things not allowed ("No! Of course you can't climb up that cactus"). I finally finished my book, Middlesex. I ate well. And, enjoyed watching my family. My parents live "in the middle of nowhere" so we occupied our days with leisurely things and had no deadlines. Sam of course adhered himself to a cactus in the first couple of minutes he was released into the desert. That's all it took, from there on he navigated around things very well. This did surprise me. I expected him to be a human pin cushion. Anyway, the vacation was good, my parents are good, and the desert is, well, hot, dry and prickly. We will go back again next year.

It is good to be back. I have several ideas floating around in my head that I need to get on paper. Today, I have to clean off my desk and do some organization for my busy design week upcoming. I had many responses to my card give away and will do a drawing today. I will probably be mailing 3 cards out. I'm thinking quarterly card give aways may be in order. :)

Ok. I'm off to see if there is anything edible in the kitchen.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Want a Free Letterpress Card? (Midwest)

It's been a year since I started selling my greeting cards and I'm so grateful to all those folks who have supported me. As a thank you I'm doing a card give away. Yay!

So, before I zip up my suitcase and load the car, I thought I'd post the details. I letterpress printed a very small run of these "scribble bird" cards. They are printed from my illustrations in a grey-blue ink on a soft white Luxe paper. Included is a kraft envelope.

Want one? Email me at with the subject line titled "card giveaway" and I will do a drawing from those who are interested. I don't care if you are family or stranger, in the U.S. or overseas. I have several to give away. When I return from Arizona on the 24th I will do a drawing and email the winners and then mail them out.

Happy Spring Break Everyone!

- Amy

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Before I Go (Midwest)

I'm feverishly trying to get some graphic design projects to good holding stages because we are going on Spring Break next week (see temporary Etsy avatar above). I'm excited to have nothing to do, but also wish I could be here working on things I want to do. I will probably need to have a few beers to ease my way into my leisure status. It will be hot in Arizona so maybe margaritas will be in order.

I was excited to learn yesterday that Amie of ploverwing has started a new lens on printmaking artists over at Squidoo and she put me on it.


I'm so grateful. But, I have to admit I didn't know much about Squidoo. Today I clicked around a bit. I was amused by the Squidoo Top 100. Coming in at number 9 is "Parrot Taming and Training Plus Teaching a Parrot to Talk" and then at number 13 there is "Making Lemonade". In between are more "serious" lenses addressing important topics like global warming, html programming, etc. Anyway, now I have a link to a place to search for artwork to purchase. I love the Internet! Thanks so much Amie.

Finally, I plan on posting Friday or Saturday with details about my card give away. Stay tuned for that one.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Terrace Town (Midwest)

I wanted to post about this last week, because it was such a positive experience for me. I'm finally getting around to it.

About a week and a half ago I chaperoned my third grader on a field trip to Terrace Town. Terrace Town is an exhibit hosted by Monona Terrace (Madison's Convention Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright). Several local elementary schools participate. A class of students work together to create their own box city. This year kids were challenged to design sustainable neighborhoods out of recycled materials. Hannah was lucky enough to be in one of the classes that participated. The city of Madison provided an Urban Planner who attended the classroom several times prior to start of the project. The class took a neighborhood walk to discuss architecture and community planning. Then they went about planning, designing and constructing their box city. The city was named "Blue River". It had commercial, industrial, and residentual districts. They had green areas, and a bus system. The hospital had solar panels. There were turbines to generate electricity, a couple museums, a natural foods store and many rooftop gardens. It was all to scale (1/8 inch = 1 foot) and quite amazing. I know it's so cliche, but I really felt the children are our future. I was so grateful to them for learning what they were learning. It was such a great day.

Well, I have a busy week already in progress. I'm working on a large project for The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation and finishing several small projects. I'm also figuring out how to do the card giveaway that I eluded to in a previous post. More on that soon.

Friday, March 07, 2008

I Snagged One (Midwest)

Quickly, because it's Sophie's 6th birthday, and I need to not be late collecting her from school today... I snagged a treasury spot this morning over at Etsy. I will probably mix up the images a little bit over the weekend just for fun. Of course the main theme would be my pool and red color combo, but this treasury has quite a bit of black and some good movement. It was hard to limit the list to 12 items. I could've doubled that!

Next week I'm planning on doing a card give away so stay tuned for more info on that.

Have a nice weekend all!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

New Etsy Shop (Midwest)

My client, friend, fellow craft fair buddy, Chrissy at Boh Bon Soap Co. has set up shop over at Etsy. I helped her with her packaging, shop banner and avatar. I think her shop looks very unified with the photography and signage all working within the graphic language we established with her packaging system. Go check her shop out. Her products are absolutely wonderful.

This is a timely post because just yesterday I sent off a 5x7 print of the Boh Bon soap packaging as my entry into a packaging design competition. Laurie and I have entered and been recognized in various competitions and design annuals over the years. I miss the prestige that comes with publication and plan to start entering contests as I start taking on more design work. I hope the judges like the packaging as much as I do. It's fun just to participate and put personal value on my design work.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Birds (Midwest)

Since birds are a recurrent theme in my cards and prints I was super excited to find this new font over at Check out the dafont website for oodles of free font downloads. They have been a great resource for me.