622 Studio is here!

While I was away, 622 press turned seven! This year to celebrate our birthday, I’ve launched 622 Studio: the digital version of the brick-and-mortar shop I want to have someday. Now, instead of just printed goods and stationery, I’ll be selling everything I create—textiles, art, crochet accessories, paper flowers and more—in my etsy shop!

The first new product line I launched last week are my new paper flowers! Each one is made from sheet of crepe paper that I’ve cut and molded into individual petals, then assembled around a wire stem. I add a sepal and wrap the stem with floral tape, sculpt the petals a bit more, and voila! A gorgeous flower that remains fresh all year long.

single_peony_7540I loved figuring out the structure of each different bloom and shaping the petals to be as lifelike as possible. In the shop you’ll find individual blooms (perfect for home decor and craft projects!), ready-to-go bouquets and home decor. I’ll also be offering wedding services soon!

small-bouquet_7172adventure_P30The other new product line I’ve launched thus far is digital art prints! I’ve shared a little bit of my watercolor work and hand-lettering here, and this is what it’s all been working toward. I scan the artwork from my sketchbook, do some photoshop and vector work and then combine them into a design I’d love to hang on my wall.

jetaime_P4The best part about these prints is that they’re inexpensive and instantaneous: All you have to do is purchase them in my etsy shop and either print the jpg that arrives in your inbox on your home photo printer or send them over to Kinko’s, Walgreens, etc., then pop them in a frame!


Life update

Hello dear readers, long time no see! I know I promised blog postS while I was gone and only delivered one, but sometimes life gets in the way of writing.

The cruise was just as relaxing as expected, although I’m not sure we’ll go on another one soon. Bermuda has definitely spoiled me for island life! We also had a touch of seasickness on our sea day especially, so I see staying on dry land in our future. We had planned to spend the weekend in Miami, but once I was back in the land of cell service, my sister told me our grandpa was not doing well.

I’m going to take an aside here to say something you’ve heard a thousand times before: Don’t smoke, kids. For years now, my grandfather has only been able to take short, shallow breaths, and the steroids he took to help him with those breaths deteriorated his bones so much that he had broken vertebrae that would never heal. Needless to say, he was in a lot of pain. It’s not worth it.

Back in Miami, after a little bit of crying in public, I decided going home for 30-some hours was worth it. Lots of flying and driving, lots of money, but so very worth it to be able to sit with him and hold his hand, see my dad, and hold my grandma while she cried. I got to say goodbye and tell him I loved him and I know how lucky I am to have that experience.

He died the following week.

I’ve written about it in my own journals, but I’m not quite ready to share. Do me a favor, though: Today, and as long as you can hold on to the feeling, be grateful for every breath.


New cards for people who are not me

Growing up in a homogeneous small town in a fairly homogeneous state, I wasn’t exposed to much in the way of diversity. Sure, I had a few (and I mean few) classmates whose skin was a different color than mine, but real differences—religion, culture, sexual orientation—were few and far between. Let’s just say it was easy to forget that not everyone celebrates Christmas.

congrats_WW_6128I grew up, met new people, made efforts to broaden my horizons. I strive to be more conscientious about being inclusive in life, and in my little corner of the letterpress world. You’ve seen my same-sex marriage cards for years now—those were easy to come up with—but it’s still hard to write and design greetings for occasions you personally don’t have the cultural context for. Lucky for me, I have friends who can fill in the gaps.

lchaim_6963So this year, keep an eye out for a more inclusive card collection! The cards pictured are all now available in my etsy shop, and please feel free to leave me a comment with a sentiment you’d like to see!


A real live vacation!

Right now, I’m on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico—without wifi! Thanks to the magic of WordPress, you’re reading what I wrote a week before we left.

We’re headed on a cruise to various islands, which seems a little silly since we live on an island… We’ve booked some “excursions” that promise to be fun and make some great memories, but really the thing I’m most excited about is actually that bit about no wifi! I can’t wait for the chance to unplug and reconnect with my partner—no online poker (him), checking social media stats (me), mindless facebook cruising (both), or any of the other things that allow us to miss out on really being with each other, even when we’re in the same room.

After we return to dry land, several house guests arrive and basically round out the rest of June! So you’ll probably hear less from me in the next few weeks, but I’ve got not one but TWO exciting announcements set for 622 press’s birthday on the 22nd, so make sure to stay tuned!