Long-awaited Studio Tour

Remember when I promised you a studio tour approximately one thousand years ago? Well, I thought I’d finally make good! Here’s where I spend my days:

BDA_studio_officeDesk: Obviously a lot of my time is spent here: designing new letterpress imagery, working on freelance design projects, managing social media and of course blogging! I try to keep my desk fairly neat, but let’s be honest, there is usually a bit more clutter!

BDA_studio_deskdetailsEven though I have significantly fewer appointments these days, I still love my planner. I finally discovered the most perfectly designed planner four or five years ago and have ordered the same style online every year since! For lists that need to last more than a week, I prefer a small notepad—the one pictured here is a very fancy letterpress version given to me by a former intern.

The coffee mug was thrown by yours truly in college. I love drinking from a handmade mug, I always taper my mugs at the bottom so they’re perfect to wrap hands around. And I make them extra large so I only need a few refills each morning.

On the right are Bermuda stamps so I’m ready to send a card any time. I love the stamps here—they’re absolutely gorgeous.

BDA_studio_press BDA_studio_press2Now for the lady of the house: I’ve got Bess set up on a rug with a piece of plywood underneath to protect our light-colored tile floors and my feet. With my type cabinet on my left and a clean table to my right for finished product, I’m set up for maximum productivity!

BDA_studio_inkI keep my ink on my type cabinet, as that’s sort of the “dirty zone.” You can ruin an entire run with one inky finger leaving marks on your work, so it’s important to sequester ink and non-clean items in one area and wash your hands A LOT. When I was in my parent’s house that meant going upstairs every time I needed to wash up, so I feel downright spoiled that our kitchen is just 10 feet away.

Anyway, I mix my ink with a putty knife on a thick piece of glass; standard printmaking procedure. I currently use oil-based inks by Gamblin and Graphic Chemical and save my mixed colors in folded-up freezer paper (another product of my printmaking roots). And yes, I always label colors really specifically: robin’s egg, light orchid, plum, often with notes about consistency as well.

BDA_studio_typecase BDA_studio_toolsThe top of my type cabinet is quite warped (imagine that after a century or so), so I lock up my type on the dresser I use for storage (it belongs to our landlords, so I protect it with a plastic cutting board that just happens to match my yellow rug). I didn’t bring all my furniture (which is the wood blocks used to keep the printing plate or type tight in the frame), so I just keep it in a ceramic bowl I threw in college.

Other necessary printing tools: a ruler, screwdriver, masking tape and pencil hang out on the small side table of my press.

BDA_studio_finishingOver on the clean side of things: a small table to lay out freshly printed work, and my cutting mat for trimming and folding. I use a rotary cutter, thanks to my mom who is a quilter. I find that it doesn’t leave the dragging edge of an exacto knife and it’s much easier on your hands!

BDA_studio_dresserThe newest addition to the studio is this dresser, pilfered from the upstairs guest bedroom with Andrew’s help. I was trying to get by with just a few small drawers of storage and it just wasn’t working out. The room is much cleaner and more organized with it!

Above it, I decided to create a sort of inspiration wall. The alphabet was printed by Sugar Cube Press and purchased at Anthology in Madison before I moved. I’ve added other prints I’ve made, photographs, art pieces from my Australian penpal and others, and my own letterpress circle garland.

BDA_studio_dresserdetails

Turkey Day Leftovers

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I could eat turkey and dressing with a side of cranberry sauce for two weeks straight, but if you’re sick of dousing everything in gravy and throwing it in the microwave, here are a few creative solutions for the loads of leftovers!

 

Breakfast: Sweet Potato Hash

I make this hearty and nutritious breakfast all the time, but it sure is easier when you’ve already got most of the ingredients already prepped in your fridge!

Ingredients:
1-2 eggs per serving
Leftover roasted sweet potatoes, cubed
Leftover sausage or bacon, cooked and crumbled (I had bacon leftover from an appetizer, or turkey would work here too—dark meat would be best!)Fresh or leftover veggies—I love mushrooms, brussels sprouts would be fabulous as well. Toss in some onions and whatever else you’ve got in the fridge!

Throw veggies and meat in a hot, oiled frying pan. Heat thoroughly, making sure not to stir too often so you get some delicious caramelization. Portion onto plates, throw a little butter in the pan. Fry your eggs over easy or medium—you want a runny yolk to create a delicious sauce for your hash. Top each plate of hash with an egg or two and enjoy!

Want to make this dish but no cooked sweet potatoes to be found? Cube one up, cover with water and microwave for about 7 minutes, or until you can pierce the cubes with a fork. Much faster than the oven!

 

Lunch: Cranberry Turkey Panini

A little savory, a little sweet, all covered in melty cheese. What could be better? In my family, we make my grandma’s cranberry-orange relish from scratch, but this recipe might work even better with the canned stuff.

Ingredients:
2 pieces of bread, buttered
2 slices of cheese: whatever you’ve got hanging out in the fridge will work2 slices of turkey—I think I’d go light meat for this one
A hefty scoop of cranberry sauce or relish, drained of any extra liquid

Layer in a frying pan or panini maker in this order: Bread (buttered side down), cheese, turkey, cranberry, turkey, cheese, bread (buttered side up) to prevent the bread from getting soggy. You’ve made a grilled cheese, you know what to do.

Looking for a little more flavor? Try a smear of dijon mustard on the inside of the bread, or mix a little balsamic vinegar into the cranberry sauce (extra points if you cook it first to make a reduction).

 

Dinner: Turkey Tortilla Soup

My aunt gave me this recipe a few years back and I make it all the time. I usually pick up a rotisserie chicken because I’m too lazy to roast one myself, but you’ve already done the work so you can go scratch all the way after turkey day!

Ingredients:
2-4 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I use the pre-prepped stuff in a jar or tube, but garlic powder powder will NOT work here)
1 jalapeno, minced—WEAR GLOVES! I’ve burned my eyes more than once while taking my contacts out, several hours and several hand washings after cutting up a pepper
1 bunch of cilantro, plus more for topping
1/2 t. cumin (I usually eye ball it and end up using more)
6 oz. can of tomato paste
32 oz. (or more) chicken broth
Leftover turkey—I never measure the meat, but I basically pull a small rotisserie chicken. Dark meat is best in this recipe, so start with two drumsticks and add in some breast meat if you need it.

Toppings:
4+ tortillas, sliced and baked till crispy
1 avocado, cubed
shredded cheddarlime juice (optional, I don’t use it, but my mom says it makes the soup!)

In a large soup pot, saute the veggies in olive oil. When they’re soft, add the cumin and hit them with a stick blender to make a puree. Cook for another minute or two, then add the stock and stir in the tomato paste. Let it simmer for a bit, then add the turkey, continuing to simmer until it’s warm. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve and top with whatever ingredients appeal to you—but definitely tortillas and cilantro!