Prints & Recreation

Happy Galentine’s Day, dear readers! (Please tell me you totally got the Leslie Knope reference here.) Aaaaanyway all this romantic hullabaloo has me thinking about a Valentine making kit I had when I was young. It was filled with scraps of (fake) Victorian ephemera, little photos, pieces of lace and doilies and plastic rhinestones with adhesive on the back (way to be authentic, kit-makers).

This little seed has had me pondering ephemera and the ephemeral… after all, that is what I spend my life making these days. Ephemera traditionally refers to printed paper material—things that don’t last. Ephemeral essentially means temporary, but in an age of instant messages, facebook photo albums and email, almost everything stays digital—it’s the printed material that we hold on to and treasure. We only print the truly special photographs, or the important documents we cannot afford to lose in a cluttered inbox. Hand written notes get tucked away into secret hiding spaces to be pulled out when we need to feel a connection perfectly typed words can’t provide.

This is really just a long-winded way of saying now that the ephemera I make might be treasured years into the future, I totally overthink what I’m designing. Is it timeless? Will it feel classic or dated a decade from now? Does that matter? After all, we make Valentines with aesthetics that went extinct more than a century ago, we collect antique dishware and glorify the ‘60s and ‘70s, even though we wouldn’t be caught dead in Technicolor bell bottoms.

And maybe that’s part of the point—to capture a bit of the time period and remind us of what we thought was cool, even thought it’s not any more. (And who knows, if you wait long enough, it probably will be again! See: shoulder pads, neon, bow ties, mustaches…)

And so (here’s the part where I stop rambling and get to the point), with my new collection launching next week, I tried to design for how I’m feeling now, in early 2015, and not worry so much whether I’ll like these designs three years from now. And it feels like it worked. There’s a feeling of exuberance that my stationery hasn’t had up till this point. Letting go has released a sort of joy, which translates to the page, and is a good reminder for life. So while I’m still saving for retirement, I’m also trying to keep my mind in the present and live like life is ephemeral, because it is.

GIVEAWAY!!!!

Sorry for yelling in the post title, but I’ve got some pretty exciting stuff cooking over here in the studio. First and foremost, the Spring 2015 collection is very nearly finished, so check back for some thoughts on that and the big reveal next week!

In the mean time, I’m super excited to be hosting a big fat pre-V-day giveaway! If you want to get a bunch of free letterpress goodies, head over to 622 press’ Facebook page. Find one of the giveaway posts (it’s at the top of the page right now!) and tag a fellow letterpress lover in the comments. You must comment to be entered—simply liking the post won’t do the trick. Enjoy, and good luck!

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“I’m trying to grow stuff again”

That was the warning I gave my roommate/boyfriend last week after digging around in possibly-cockroach-filled potting soil out on our porch. You may remember at the beginning of my adventures in agriculture, I had a whole living room and porch full of lush green plants. The living room plants have fared pretty well, statistically speaking, the outdoor plants, maybe not so much.

So let’s start with the good news: Remember the avocado plants I grew from a pit? After months of growing in water (because I didn’t have a container for them yet), the healthiest one is thriving in a small pot. Despite the Jack-and-the-beanstalk perspective of this photo, it’s actually only about a foot tall.

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The tillsandia and my other no-name house plant are both thriving, despite forgetting to water them for weeks on end pretty consistently. Thank you 90% humidity!

My beautiful little succulent grew to monstrous proportions—so much so that it was top heavy and tipped over its ceramic pot—and then I accidentally dropped our blinds on it while it was sitting in the window, minding its own business. Shit. I was hoping its broken leaves might grow back, but instead, they sprouted roots! So I did a little research on propagating succulents (and by that I mean I looked on Pinterest, obviously), and apparently that’s how you do it! I planted the new babies from the blind-dropping incident, picked off the rest of the leaves and did away with the damaged overgrown mama plant altogether. Stay tuned.

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…And then there’s the porch inventory:

Cilantro: Dead

Chives: Dead

Thyme: Dead

Parsley: Thinking about making a comeback, but mostly dead

Basil: A little yellow, a little thin, but holding on!

Mint: Who knows! It wasn’t doing well at all, so I transferred it to a different pot where it thrived for a bit but now looks all spindly. I think the real problem is that I don’t use enough mint to trim it enough to encourage it to get bushy. I’m going to start paying attention to it though… Gotta get it healthy enough for mojitos in the spring!

Carrots: Sprouted, eaten by an animal just before the hurricanes. Also I’d like to clarify these plants are not in the ground, they’re on a second story porch. Who is taking bites out of them? Are there Bermuda winged rabbits no one has told me about?

Lettuce: Met the same fate as the carrots

Strawberries: This was perhaps the fruit I was most excited about. Homegrown strawberries! At Christmas! Obviously the little berries got eaten before they were even red and I didn’t get to taste the fruits of that labor at all! The plants are still holding on though, maybe they’ll try again?

Tomatoes: Ok, actually maybe this was what I was most excited about. I hate hothouse tomatoes. None of the plants I grew from a seed made it to adulthood, but the plant I purchased struggled through weather and critters to produce one beautiful little tomato for me while its leaves shriveled and died. And it was the most wonderful, most beautiful, most delicious little tomato I’ve ever eaten!

So the outdoor track record is not so great… and my neighbor’s thriving container garden does nothing but emphasize what a bad caretaker I am. I’m trying again… maybe I’ll get two tomatoes this time!

Mix a Six Pack

Shop Readymade

Don’t you love liquor stores that let you make your own six pack by picking your favorite bottles? One of these, two of these, never heard of this one but I’ll try it anyway…

I like that too, so I’ve decided to make a 622 press version of mix-a-six… with cards of course! And, they come at a discount of $3 per card. That’s cheaper than Hallmark, people! Visit the etsy listing to purchase, or shoot me an email.