Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Warming Up (Midwest)

We finally caved and turned on the heat in our house. It's so nice to have warm feet again. Though, I have to say having the heat off was good for my Xmas knitting productivity (see above).

Regarding knitting, Joey and I spent part of our Monday date night at the bookstore (yes, you can call us nerds) where I leafed through some new knitting books. I was really intrigued by some of the projects in Luxury One-Skein Wonders. A small project with a fancy schmancy yarn might be what I need right now. I must remember the title (or remember that I don't have to if I remember to come back to this post) and look for it at the library. Also, I've been meaning to link to this knitting pattern. These are super cute and would make quick, fun and thoughtful Xmas gifts. They are sort of like these. Don't you think?

On the letterpress front, I've decided to run a monthly shop promotion over at my shop. I'm going to feature a card or card set each month, and list it at wholesale price. First up for November will be a 4 pack of Scribble Bird cards for 8 bucks. I have a smallish inventory of these left and figured why not try to liquidate them.

I took a new photo so I'm ready to list them on November 1.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mini Card Portfolios (West Coat)

It has been my goal since I started on this letterpress adventure, to sell my cards. I have been in search for a way to display them when I show them, and on a recent trip to my local art store I found these little mini art portfolios. They are 5" x 7", Itoya brand with black paper lined pages. I slip a sleeved card into each page pocket, and fill them with about 10 cards each. If I put more than that they look too bulky.

I have been working up the nerve to take them around to local shops. Today was the day. My first day. My response was good. I am really encouraged. I will go out again Wednesday and Thursday around my town, then next week head out a bit further. After years of working so closely with Amy with all things graphic, I am not used to doing things on my own. I have always had a sidekick to handle these stressful little situations. I was surprised by my lack of nerves when it came down to the actual moment of show and tell. Amy, your turn! Try it! It was actually fun, and rewarding!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christmas in October (West Coast)

It is getting close to Halloween, and my kids are definitely in the dress up mindset. Alan is working on a very cool costume for Katie, and Ethan is set with his ghoulish choice. They are all outside today decorating our house for next weekend. We live in a neighborhood that takes holidays seriously. We expect about 400 trick or treaters coming to our door Halloween night. We run out of candy each year, setting our budget for how much we will spend ahead, and closing up after we run out.

With all this going on it seems strange to be thinking ahead about Christmas, but as a crafter and printer, that is the mode I am in. I have been working on Christmas presents, and printing up holiday cards... This is my latest print run, and I really like the way the illustration came out. I am starting to box up some sets and will have them up on Etsy soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Warmth or Lack Thereof (Midwest)

Ok. It's frigging cold here. Outside. Inside. All over. I fear November, can't even think about December, and may have to move by January.

In an effort to save on our winter heating bill, I agreed to "wait" to turn on our heat. We've made a fire in the fireplace every night. We have a brand new high tech, mica space heater that moves about the house. But, mind you, it was 59 degrees in our dining room the other morning. 59! Joey says, "it's just a matter of putting on more clothes each morning". He and I will have to have a little "talk" tonight.

You can probably imagine why I am knitting fast and furiously. If I could knit wool long underwear I would! Leg warmers have been my thing. Here's a pair I finished in 5 days. I used up two balls of Noro kureyon yarn from my stash. They are super warm and I even had someone stop to ask about them at the grocery store. I'm pretty pleased with myself.

Ok. I will stop griping about the weather and get back to my son (the one who has frozen solid on the couch). I'll post in a day or two with photos of items to go up on Etsy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hey Y'All! (Midwest)

I'm home from my 5 day adventure in the Nashville area. I could probably blog several pages about the Franklin, Tennessee area and the things I saw, ate and did there, BUT, this blog is "supposed" to be chronicling my crafty-designy side so I will post something related to that.

I present to you Hatch Show Print. Hatch is an example of a successful letterpress business. Located right downtown, the Hatch people have been designing and printing show posters for Music City for quite some time. I think the business originally opened in the late 1800s creating advertising for local companies. Today you can come in and watch them work, pet their shop cat (if he isn't grumpy from being stepped on) and browse and shop.

The things I liked most in the shop were the postcards made from make ready sheets. I love that they don't let these practice prints go to waste. I bought several cards which I'm deciding what to do with. Maybe frame them as a set. The image below is a make ready sheet that they had woven into an interesting wall hanging. Very clever and fun to look at.

It's good to be home, but it's too cold here. Winter cometh.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I See Blue (West Coast)

OK. I am coming up for air. I have been under various projects, and haven't made time for blogging lately... Thank you Amy for picking up the slack. Love your photos that you have been taking. I am jealous of your lovely new camera, and your cool lens!

I have been busy with my needles lately, and have quite the stack of rags going... Amy and I started these back in Chicago during our cold wet craft show. I am on number six, but last week when I set up my little stack, I only had four finished. I love the colors of the yarn. It is the first time I have tried this out — new from Blue Sky Alpaca, it is called Skinny Cotton. Blue Sky always has such a pretty palate of colors to choose from. I have a few more skeins left, but I am itching to buy a few more... Always more possibilities to the color combinations.

I printed Monday morning, but I don't think I will be printing again this week. I am having ink troubles, and need to figure it out before I print more. My ink seems to be drying immediately. I am not sure why... I will try to post on Briar Press in the next day to see if anyone has any advise. It is late my time, and I need to get up early.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spectacular Fall (Midwest)

The tv weather liars said that today will "probably" be the last warm day we will have until April. Now, normally this news would depress me. I'm too smitten by the beauty outside to be sad. The trees are amazing. Reds, yellows, oranges. I love fall in Wisconsin.

It's hard to focus on indoor tasks when it's so wonderful outside. Here is my laundry list of goals for this week:

1. start knitting leg warmers in preparation for the cold weather
2. continue to shoot a photo per day to post in my group (so far so good)
3. letterpress on Wednesday
4. finish my a holiday design project for a client
5. go to Tennessee to see Joy on Thursday

I think I will wait until tomorrow's cold front to start attacking this list. :)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Bokeh Sunday (Midwest)

"Bokeh is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens using a shallow depth of field", as per Wikipedia.

You may have already figured out that I'm into bokeh since almost every photo I post on this blog blurs out. When I take a photo I'm purposely trying to use focus and depth of field to enhance my composition. So, in an effort to improve my photography skills I signed myself up for a self imposed photography project. I joined the 365 Bokeh flickr group. My task now is to shoot and post one photo per day for a year (gulp) that incorporates bokeh. Yes, I realize I may not be able to squeeze this into my busy schedule. I might even have to eliminate a boat cruise here a manicure there, etc. Oh wait, I don't get manicures or go on boat cruises. I'm good!

So today, besides shooting one photo, I need to make more of these notebooks for a wholesale order. Other than kid activities, those are the only things on my calendar. It should be a nice day.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Moving (Midwest)

No. I'm not moving. Been there. Done that. But, my good friend, Joy did. (Damn her.) As a good bye gift I offered to make up some letterpress moving announcements for her family. I printed them a few days ago and mailed them off to her today.

Here is a detail of the design. The left column has illustrations depicting her "old" life in Wisconsin and the right column is the "new" life in Tennessee.

I definitely have to go visit and while I'm there I hope to go here.