Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year (West Coast)

As 2009 comes to an end, it is time to reflect a bit around here.  Time seems to be moving at a record pace around here.  School and work seem to dictate most of our schedule, and the year is zooming by.  For Ethan, third grade is half over, and Katie is halfway through her first year of middle school.  First dance, check.  Cell phone, check.  So many things are just around the corner.

The upcoming year for me is already looking full.  Amy and I are heading to New York in May for our first Stationery Show.  From now until then we will have a lot of planning and prep work to do.  Fun and exciting.  We will be sharing a booth with some great letterpress gals.

My resolution for the next year is to try to slow it down a bit, and really enjoy the little things that can often go unnoticed.  What's yours?

P.S. Thanks to the gals over at etsystalker!  We were stalked!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Colors (Midwest)

A big thanks goes out to The Perfect Palette for featuring one of my cards on their blog this week. They highlighted the colors red and gingerbread. Lovely combination don't you think?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

New Shops (West Coast)

Saffron & Gennevieve

Atomic Garden

You can find Lucky Bee press in two more shops in the bay area this week. The first is in my neighborhood, Saffron and Genevieve. If you are in Santa Cruz, come by and check it out. The shop is a unique collection of furniture, and smaller items, both old and new. Perfect for gifts or doing something special for your home. The owner Colleen is an interior designer, and has amazing taste. The second new to us shop is Atomic Garden in Oakland. They have a unique mix of clothes and nik naks.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Success! (Midwest)

Last Saturday I participated in the only craft fair I have scheduled for this Holiday Season. It was probably one of my best fairs thus far.

I decided to limit the merchandise on my table and to restock often when things were sold. I also pre-wrapped products for instant gift giving.

I don't know if this was the reason for my stellar sales or if it was the beautiful sunny weather. Maybe the Craftacular folks promoted more this year? Maybe the economy is rallying? No matter. I was pleased to delete some inventory and to chat it up with shoppers and crafters.

This week and next I'm on deadlines for two new graphic design projects. So, I must post and run...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quite Quiet (Midwest)

I've been a quiet blogger as of late. I thought I'd better post a little "me" update...

Here is the laundry list of my life's current events...
- 4 business trips since September (Oy)
- weekly freelance projects (I'm so happy to be working)
- 2 week family battle with H1N1 (all 3 kids plus Joey, I was spared)
- approaching winter and cold (we are outside as much as possible for now)
- jury duty (I was excused after one day)
- camera love (I'm back to daily photo taking and so happy about it)
- Craftactular this Saturday!

Today I print and get signage ready for this weekend's craft fair. I will take the camera so that I have some things to blog about next week. :)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Loving Black! (West Coast)

Color is funny. I totally have my favorites, and tend to print things in a palate that stays pretty consistent. Today I opened my black ink, and everything looked great in it! I probably went overboard, but I had so much fun printing common designs in an uncommon color for me. I tend to stick with somewhat bright and cheery colors, but somehow today, everything looked good in black! I really like the high contrast, crisp lines I got. BTW, these items will be up in our esty shop today! Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Hedgehog Goodies (West Coast)

These came out really cute. Last week I had an order to put together some wedding favors for a customer who really likes hedgehogs. She wanted to put together a greeting gift for her out of town guests so when they check into the hotel, they will know how much she appreciates their coming all that way. I paired the blank hedgehog notes and hedgehog coasters, then came up with a hangtag to match. We did sample size packs of each to keep costs down.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DIY Best of Show! (West Coast)

DIY magazine did a special section in the winter issue of the magazine devoted to small time crafters. Lucky Bee Press was included in the mix of letterpress crafters! Thanks DIY! Congrats to all the hard working crafters who also were listed—about 50 in all! And a special praise to the other letterpress gals! Yeah letterpress!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

New Plates! (West Coast)

I can't resist the call of new plates and blank stock. It seems to call me every time I walk by, and even when I am not that close. COME PRINT, COME PRINT, JUST A LITTLE, JUST SEE HOW I LOOK!!! Today I have a major deadline, and have not one extra second of time to print, but I couldn't resist. I lost, I skipped making dinner tonight and slapped on some ink! Los Gallos here we come!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Where is fall? (Midwest)

I know I shouldn't grumble, but sheesh it's cold out. It is in the 40s and rainy. Brrr...Brrr...and...BRRRR! Why, just a week ago it was in the 70s. What happened to fall?

I guess it's perfect time to pull out another winter themed design. This is "wee snow girl". She has her warm hat and coat on, so she's not cold. Actually, I think she quite likes winter. I have decided to follow her lead, and smile as we head into the next season. At least for today.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Yea, Bazaar Bizarre! (West Coast)

I woke up this morning to note from Bazaar Bizarre that Lucky Bee Press will be at their holiday show! We can't be more excited! It is still a few months out, but we are really excited to be going this year! Amy and I have been busy planning goodies for the shows we are doing, paper is ordered at both locations, and we can't wait to get printing.

On another note, good luck Amy at your show today!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

News and Notables (West Coast)

This Apple Picking Cardigan from Anthropologie would be a great addition to the working wardrobe. Amy and I were having a conversation about the lack of inspiration in our daily clothes. This sweater paired with a cute blouse might add that extra flair that we need... And so would that shopping trip over to Anthropologie!

Thank you Jodi at the Creative Jar and Cassadra at Metallo Bianco for including us in your posts today! Also, Cassandra let me know that the new issue of DIY Magazine is out, and it includes a feature on etsy and it's sellers is the winter issue. I haven't seen it yet, but we were featured as one of the sellers in their "Best of Show" section. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Look on The Bright Side (West Coast)

Lucky Bee is sponsoring a give-a-way over at "The Bright Side Project". If you haven't heard of this site, it is worth checking out. They offer freebies to contest winners each week. It is a creative idea, and it is a great way to see who is doing what out there in the cyber world. Like this cute shop who went before us... figs and ginger. They have some really cute jewelry offerings! I especially like the circle bird necklace... Me and birds. By the way, these cards are one of the items we are giving away, along with the matching notepad, and hangtag/bookmarks!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Roll Me Over (West Coast)

This week I opened a special package containing new rollers and trucks for my Chandler and Price. It is sort of like Christmas in September, without the any needles to vacuum up. I have been running my press with two older composite rollers and I finally decided to take the plunge, and splurge on some new rollers. While I was spending anyways, I thought I would just be brave and purchase the third roller that has been missing on my press since I purchased it earlier this year. With all this came the need for the additional trucks too. I decided on composite rollers for my press. I have been using them for the past few months, and they seem to work really well in my climate out here. I had tried rubber rollers before, and they caused me a lot of grief. So I am now operating with new rollers and trucks. Pretty cool!

Some birdy treats for my shop. I have been working on keeping some sets of notecards in the shop, and decided to do a themed set of goodies. Mini notepads, cards and hangtag/bookmarks.

One more thing, thanks to Paper Crave and Paper*Cakes Finds for the nice write ups!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Banner (Midwest)

A quick post here to show off my new 2 1/2' x 4' banner for my Renegade Chicago booth. I put grommets on it today and had it hanging on my screen porch for inspection. Hopefully, it will be easy to hang in the tent. Oh, and let's keep fingers crossed that the Windy City is sans wind for the Renegade weekend.

Caffeine Fix (West Coast)

Coffee is a big topic in my house, as I am married to a real coffee head. If Alan doesn't have his daily doses at regular intervals, he can be a bear! Lucky for me one of my favorite clients is a local coffee roaster. Lulu Carpenter's has three shops, with a fourth named Coffee Cat. They are roasters of fine beans, and specialty blends. I just finished up new packaging that we are getting ready to roll out in the next few weeks. These bags are hot off the press! I really like the way the matt and gloss varnishes work together. I think they will pop off the shelves at the local grocery stores! Buzz buzz!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Coasters (Midwest)

Recently, I bought a small amount of blank coaster stock to play with. I slapped some of the stock on press last week. Voila. Coasters! I have a few for sale here.

I'd like to order more stock and print up a larger inventory, but they are a bit of a space hog. I'll wait to see if they sell...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Christmas in August (Midwest)

I have loved having a regular babysitter this summer. I have been able to take on a few extra freelance design projects. I'm caught up on my invoicing. And, I've been printing!

This is the first year where I have had all my Christmas cards designed and mostly printed by the end of the summer. I have one more design to print and I'm ready for the Holiday Season. Here is a look at a card I designed last year, but never got around to printing.

I'm happy to have some more typographic designs in my card line.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Work Space (Midwest)

Don't let the title confuse you. This is not a Midwestern Work Space. This is pure West Coast. You can't tell, but there are eucalyptus trees nearby and not a holstein in sight.

I thought it might be fun to give you a little peek at Laurie's home office. I snapped a few photos when I stayed with her last month. Her office is cheerfully filled with inspiration boards, family photos, artwork, crafty bits, etc. It is colorful, but not chaotic. Everything has it's place. It's fun isn't it?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Yee! (Midwest)

Our entire family is finally finished with the summer swim team season. This year our pool hosted the end of season All City Swim Meet. All City is the largest swim meet in the Midwest and one of the 5 largest in the country. Almost 2000 kids competed!

The entire meet was run by parent volunteers. Each family was responsible for 4 half day shifts. I was the person in charge of taking photographs for the website. This was a great gig. I got to view the event from right up front. I had access to the entire venue, even the hospitality suite! It was exhausting, but I really feel like I got to see the magic of the meet.

Here is a (chronologically backward) slide show of my photos from the event. There are almost 200 of them!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Peculiar Craft Fair (Midwest)

I am back in Wisconsin after spending a few days in the Bay Area with Laurie. We participated in our second joint craft fair - Renegade San Francisco.

You may recall my first ever craft fair. No? I blogged about it here. The highlight of that fair was the ever popular, and so affordable, lawn spinner. I've been trying to come up with the must have craft item from RSF and am coming up blank. Was it the Rebe coats? Maybe. Was it the stuffed organs and glands? Could be. Or, the scuba kitty t-shirts? Hmmmm...

The thing that I think stood out at the fair was the attendees. Oh, we saw your run of the mill pierced/tattooed people. And, the mandatory crafty artsy fartsy types. But, this fair had something extra special. There was just a little more flair. I'll give you a little taste and you decide...

First we have this dude. I think he is a super hero. Though, I'm not sure which one and I'm certain that crime fighting isn't his expertise. He kept yelling "RUTH! Want a rematch!?!" O...K...?

Here is a vendor who I will call I. Scream.

This guy was just too good. Can you hear me now?

Lastly these chicks kind of summed up the fair mood for me. Bright and fun.

So, here I sit back at my computer with fond memories of chatting with Laurie and Janice. It was a weekend to remember for many reasons!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Errr...Um...??? (Midwest)

Joey has been out of town for 4 days and I've been flying solo with the kids, which I hope explains this photo...

Today I had a sitter for 1 hour. I put some stuff for Goodwill in the car and zipped off to the grocery store. When I got there I realized that not only was I wearing my right flip flop on my left foot, but on the right foot I had on a completely different sandal. I debated going home and heading straight to bed, but decided to forge on and do my shopping. I even faked a limp in the cracker aisle to make my shoe attire look more appropriate to the cute doctor in scrubs assessing my feet. (Ha. Crackers. Coincidence? I think not.) Should I be concerned?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Getting Organized (Midwest)

I completely blew off celebrating the Nation's birthday this year. Why? My little people and my husband went up North and I stayed home to finish up some work and letterpress details. I spent 8 hours in my office yesterday and today, so far, I'm at 7 hours. I designed, invoiced, printed, stuffed envelopes, babysat the neighbors cat, went for a run, photographed new products, reorganized my Etsy shop and cleaned my office! It feels so good to get organized. This week all I need to do is find a big box and ship my wares to California and then I'm all ready for Renegade.

Speaking of Renegade, I believe I now have 7 new products to display there. I have scads of new mini notepads:

And, I have other goodies fresh off the press already listed in my Etsy shop.

I can't wait to travel back to my old digs and hang with Laurie.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Moo! (Midwest)

I don't know if any of you know this, but June is Dairy Month in Wisconsin. Do you care? Probably not. But, for me growing up in the country in Southern Wisconsin, it was a big deal. Ok. Not a big deal. But, an excuse to eat more ice cream, and celebrate cows. For many more years than I care to admit my dad wore a different cow t-shirt each day in June. (Just re-reading that sentence makes me groan a little bit).

It seems appropriate somehow that I participated in a photo shoot last week that involved cows. I know. Glamorous. Yet, fun. My main purpose was to do some business portraiture and a few shots of people doing what they would be doing if they were a consultant, a vet, a farmer and some cows in a barn. (I'll leave that up to your imagination.) The clients were fun and it was a good experience for me.

This week I'm going to finish up a few letterpress projects to ship to California for Renegade San Francisco. I can't wait to journey back to the Bay Area and to hang out with Laurie. Hopefully, I will have some brand new journals to debut.

Happy June, people. Drink some milk!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Moonlighting (Midwest)

Last Sunday I assisted my talented friend and mentor, and photographer extraordinaire, Kate on one of her family photo sessions. I think this is the sixth time I've helped her do her thing. As you can see from Kate's photo above I'm having a lot of fun. I did some kid wrangling, reflector holding and a lot of picture taking.

I really enjoyed the family we were shooting. They have 5 kids and they are so incredibly sweet with each other. Being the oldest of 5 kids I'd like to say I can relate, but I remember one too many battles from my childhood.

Anyway, since I have my camera with me most days I get a lot of "are you a photographer?" questions and I never really know what to say. I have finally come upon the right answer which I feel fits me. I respond by saying something to this effect,

"Well, I'm a graphic designer, but I occasionally moonlight as a photographer..."

So there you have it. That answer makes me feel better about spending too much money on camera lenses and it keeps me from feeling guilty about not taking on more graphic design projects.

Here are a few of my photos from Sunday's shoot.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Yea, It's Friday! (West Coast)

Today has been one of those days. I am glad it is nearing cocktail hour out here, because I am ready! I started out my day putting together mini rat coffins with my friend. Yes, I know. Sounds funny. Long story. Next, after lunch, we were rear-ended on the freeway after running over a mannequin. Yes, I know. Even stranger. Luckily we are both fine, and able to laugh about it.

The week was pretty successful in printing. I was able to just about finish up my line of six new spring cards. I am happy with the outcome, and already have sold a few on etsy. I am gearing up for another big week of printing, and getting ready for summer. School is almost out and I am more excited than the kids! I can't wait to skip the alarm!

Well that is the bell, it is time for that drink! Have a good weekend all!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blooms (Midwest)

As summer approaches I'm taking so many flower photographs for my photo a day project that I think it's transferring to my letterpress work. It seems like all the cards I'm working on have some sort of floral element to them these days. Can you see what I mean?

These cards are from my flower illustrations, but I'm still trying to find a way to incorporate elements of my photographs directly into my letterpress prints without re sketching. I must deliberate that some more and get back to you...

I hope everybody had a nice Holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Voila! (Midwest)

I had some time Friday to get on press and finalize a few letterpress cards. I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I created these cards with my "new" vintage wood type. I really enjoy printing with wood type. The impression is smooth, yet textured. And, setting the type in the chase is so satisfying. It's like doing a jigsaw puzzle. Well. Sort of.

I'm planning on offering this design as a personalized folding note set. I pre-printed the chocolate layer that says "a note from _______ (pencil icon)". I chose the chocolate because it's such a versatile coordinating color. I ran the sample in red ink. Laurie and I have been discovering that people like red. Now my task is to finalize a quantity to offer and find some packaging.

Here's the final result!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

PMS (Midwest)

I'm checking in with nothing super new to report. I'm almost finished with one of my big freelance brochure projects, and the second one is well under way. I'm hoping to have printed pieces to show you soon.

Busy day today, my brother is in town from Cali with his group and my mom is around, too. Gotta run.

Oh. This photo is one of my new mugs from the Museum Shop at the Art Institute in Chicago. I wish I had bought a couple more colors, but they were very pricey.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Efficient Weekend (West Coast)

Hot off the press this evening, I finished up printing the last of my new line of cards. I am pretty excited about the cards, and especially this one with very tight registration. I was a bit nervous about printing it, but with my new Kort Quads it worked out quite easily. I am happy I took the plunge and purchased my new guides. I had been using photo corners to hold my paper in place, but my new Kort Quads are much more efficient. The paper truly stays in place. : ) These will be up in my Etsy shop in the next day or two.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Stuff (West Coast)

I have been busy printing on my new press, and this is one of the first of my new card designs to go up in the shop. I am very excited with the new look, and will be posting more this week as I finish them up. Hopefully I will have time to get on press this week!!!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

More Corners (West Coast)

The search for a perfect solution to rounded corners has kept me up lately. I know it is sad, but my favorite pre-cut paper has been discontinued, and I have been at a loss to how I am going to cope without it. One of my best selling cards prints on this nice rounded corner stock, that I have been buying pre-cut. Both Amy and I have been looking at corner rounders, and the result has been OK, but I really like the angle of the original diecut card.

I found the perfect solution, and it even cuts multiple cards at once! I purchased this Lassco corner rounder, with the 1/2" die. It is a perfect match! Today, everything on my desk has rounded corners, including my test stack of cards! The ivory stock is the diecut card, and the white stock is the Lassco cut card. Pretty cool! It even catches the corners in a handy little trash area.