Friday, May 30, 2008

I can see clearly now the rain has gone (Midwest)

Tis sunny. Was rainy. Was busy. Tis now not.

I've had a week like Laurie's out in California. End of the year is a busy time when you have school age kiddos. I didn't get to sketch or print. Not once. But, the weekend is upon us, and it will happen.

Big news here, I got my *new* camera this week. Purchased with my share of our economic stimulus check from GW. Yes. I invested in our countries' (and China's) economy. Anyway, I've been restricted from using it because it has been so rainy these last couple of days. Within the last hour it has cleared somewhat and I was out in the backyard stalking bugs, flowers and anything else that looked interesting.

Above you will see my first photo, shot number 0001 taken about 10 minutes after I opened the lens box yesterday. Those are my new glasses. I think they make me look smart.

This camera should be a nice creative outlet for me. And, it probably won't require a huge amount of extra time. I imagine stroller walks becoming more fun because I have a camera in tow. And, I look forward to photographing cards as they come off the press. Exciting stuff. Keep tuned.

Crazy Days (West Coast)

It is that crazy time of year again when we are cramming too many extra activities into our already overflowing schedules. Each day I start out with hope of getting more accomplished then I can realistically do. I have a few graphic deadlines looming, and my little press is gathering dust. Both my kids have June birthdays to plan. School is ending soon, and with that I look forward to having long days with my kids. But that means less time to print, and design. It is bittersweet. I placed an order for some new paper from Waste Not, and that arrived. I have been trying to find the time to come up with some new designs. I have some ideas, but not the time to execute things.

This weekend we are having a 10th birthday for Katie. We are planning a swim party with a Survivor theme. Both our kids are huge fans of the show. Alan has planned 5 challenges for the kids, and has been busy this week trying to get the props ready. I am responsible for the eating challenge, which will be pudding, gummy worms and cookie crumbs. I found some cool tropical decorations at the Dollar store to give the island theme a push. Very fun stuff.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day (Monday)

I am having an "I didn't accomplish anything" feeling about this weekend. I had high hopes for housekeeping and printing. Neither was checked off the list. Today is looking to be about 80 degrees here (super yay!), so it's not looking good, especially for the housecleaning part of my list. Oh well, it is a holiday weekend, right?

I have accomplished a few details, but they all involve spending money, so I'm not really feeling a sense of accomplishment here. Eagerness to receive purchases, yes. Guilt, yes. A little panic, maybe.

I did manage to deliver the above custom print job, a gift for Erica. The "E" is from my stash of vintage wood type. I mixed a metallic rose ink, and ran notes on scalloped paper and also a lilac, Indian paper with flower petals in it. The set looks very nice all wrapped with silver ribbon.

This week I plan to finalize my wedding invitation project, finish up some posters for MTHP and hopefully file bills and paperwork. This will clear my plate for preparation for the Craftacular at the end of June.

Happy Memorial Day All!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Motherload (West Coast)

My mother hit the motherload of printing blocks on her most recent antique buying trip. She has been an antique collector as long as I can remember, and now has a very successful antique jewelry business. This collecting takes her all over, and on her latest trip, I asked if she could look out for a few blocks for me. She phoned me from one man's booth at antique show, and she had a ball picking out a "few" blocks for me. Thanks mom! I can't wait to print them up!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Good & the Bad (Midwest)

Well, May is just cruising by. I'm stunned to look at my calendar and realize that it's the 20th already. Summer approacheth.

Our good news: Laurie and I received a convo last week from an Etsy admin letting us know that one of our cards (above) over at Lucky Bee Press was requested by a main stream magazine. We shipped it off and are holding our breath that it gets published. I'm hoping not to jinx it by posting, but this news is too exciting not to share. Also, I applied and was accepted for the next Craftacular, so I have a summer craft fair to look forward to. Here's a link to the vendor list. I just ordered two new folding tables and am thinking about sewing some sort of table cover. I'll have to look through my fabric stash and see if anything I have on hand will work. Also, I'm ordering some card display racks, and will make a sign.

Ok. Bad things, there really aren't any, I shouldn't complain. I guess my big issue is I have NO TIME to print these days. Joey is away on business, so I'm kinda busy with the kiddies. And, the free time I have fills up so quickly. I'm thinking that this weekend I'll get an opportunity. Laurie however has been giving her press a workout. Every time I talk to her she's printing. She is definitely the lucky bee at Lucky Bee these days. :)

Ok. I must dash off to run errands.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wanna Ride Bikes? (Midwest)

Joey and I just got back from dinner downtown. We had a sitter tonight so we biked to the Union and meandered around State Street. I rode my *new* birthday bike. It's much speedier than my old cruiser. And, very pretty, too. See?

Ok. Just a quick post here since I have to get ready for LOST tonight. I need time to dig the remote out from the couch cushions and find my snuggy jammies. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Low Tech (West Coast)

First, Happy Birthday Amy! I hope you had a fun day. It is fun to have a day to celebrate yourself, go out to lunch or dinner with family and friends. I hope you had a good one.

Second topic, is related to my Letterpress adventures. Drying space is scarce in our small house. Our garage is the safest place to dry my cards, however it is not the cleanest space. I have come up with a solution that is working for the moment. As long as there isn't a big breeze, or kids with balls nearby. I have been saving our crates from trips to Costco and I am using these to stack the cards in. They are portable, and usually pretty clean. Pretty funny to see them all laid out though!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day (Midwest)

It's a quiet day here. Joey took the kids swimming while I finished up some major filing, invoicing, printing, and posting on Etsy. It feels so good to clear off my desk.

Laurie and I are gearing up for the next market on Poppytalk, so I spent a good part of the morning photographing all the cards and tags that I printed Friday and Saturday. I even spent some time designing a new sleeve for our card sets. I had some kraft paper on hand which worked well with the cards I printed.

The color palette I'm working with was inspired by, of all things, Candice Olson from Divine Design, and her river rock wall mural. I printed a taupe with a slight metallic shimmer to it, on crisp white. Also a milky chocolate color on pool, and kraft. So soothing. Oh how I love my new ink tubes.

As you can see, I'm slowly migrating away from my favorite, repeated too often, color theme of pool and red. Notice I can't let go of the pool yet.

Have a good week folks.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Photography Lessons (Midwest)

I had the most fun day today. I went on a shoot with Kate. She let me use her fancy camera and lens. She even gave me a photography lesson and made me take notes! I felt fortunate to have her share her trade secrets with me. More than anything it was just fun to point, shoot and chat. The weather was beautiful and we had interesting subjects to photograph (our little boys).

I reviewed my shots as soon as I returned to my office. A good portion of them were over exposed or blurry, often both. But, there were some nice surprises in there, too. Here are some of my efforts.

Thank you Kate!!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Getting There (Midwest)

After a weekend bout of the stomach flu, a trip to the ER (Sam got two corneal abrasions - ouch), and a few too many extra curricular school activities, tomorrow I get back to my to do list. I'm almost done with my graphic design commitments for the MTHP. I'm even starting to see some pieces come back from the printer (see brochure above and invitation and program for an awards event below). I love an unwrinkled, unfingerprinted, still smelling of fresh ink, brochure. I also love the satisfaction of finishing a job that I know I worked for. All the details of the process become worth it when you have a finished printed piece. Physical evidence of work accomplished. It's so satisfying. Time to invoice!

It may rain tomorrow so I will probably go to the gym and finalize some other design work. I'm secretly (well not anymore) hoping that the girls soccer practices will be canceled. It would be nice to have a family dinner at home and a quiet evening. Sigh.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bazaar Bizarre & Maker Faire (West Coast)

Yesterday we headed out to the Bazaar Bizarre and the Maker Faire. A Craft and Make magazine sponsored fair. We had no idea how big it would be. The event was held in San Mateo, CA at the expo center and had a huge turnout. It was booth after booth of individual, and small companies that craft and make interesting things. Lots of home made electronic things—small robot type machines, yarn, felting, wood, plastics, and fabric... Music. Food. and a huge electronic moving giraffe. Oh, and giant cupcakes that a person could drive in. There were quite a few hands on booths where we could play around and make things. There were kits to buy (of the crafts showcased in various issues of the mags), and tables to work on your stuff with the people who came up with the kits. Pretty cool day. The kids both came home with bug kits, that have LED light up eyes. Next year, we will definitely go again, and stay for an entire day. There was so much to look at, and not nearly enough time!