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!

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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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DIY printing plates

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Before the big move, I picked up a couple linoleum printing blocks at an art store in Madison. The printing plates I order from Owosso are expensive and getting pricier all the time, so I thought carving my own would be a great way to save a little money on simpler designs.

One of the components of my new collection happened to be perfectly suited to hand carving, so last week I sat on my porch with my Dremel and went at it! Below is the before and after—can’t wait to see how they print!

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A Reluctant Quilter

About a year and a half ago, I sent my mom a text that began “Hell has frozen over, I have a question about quilting….” Marge has always been a sewer—from her childhood Barbie outfits to both her and our clothes a few decades ago, not to mention countless projects around the house, prom dress hems and more. I’d be willing to bet my parents’ house has more than one quilt in every room. She was our 4-H leader for sewing and owned a sewing machine shop for a while as well, which I worked at part-time in high school.

So in short, I’ve always been a sewer as well. But, as I’m sure you can tell by now, I’m not much of a pattern-follower, so quilting didn’t appeal to me. But here’s the big secret, readers: quilt squares don’t have to follow a pattern.

When I got a hankering to start a quilt, I just started sewing triangles together. I knew the feel I wanted, so I picked up 8 fat quarters (which are quarter-yard pieces that are more square-shaped than long and skinny like they would be off a bolt of fabric) and cut angular pieces that I simply sewed together into interesting arrangements. Once I ironed them flat and trimmed each into a 6-inch square—voila! Quilt squares!

quilt_4436Now to assemble: I got 50 squares out of my fabric, but didn’t like the shape when I arranged them 5 wide by 10 tall. So, I nixed two of the squares and went with a 6 by 8 quilt. I wanted to use some fabric I already had for the strips between squares, so I did some math and figured out that I had enough fabric for 2.5″ strips. One more afternoon of sewing—assembly-line style—and I have my quilt top finished!

quilt_4439I still have to do the actual quilting of the blanket, but I’m waiting to buy batting in the U.S.—it’s just too expensive here. Either way, I’m excited to be in the home stretch!

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Ruffle Crochet

I like ruffles. Just ask my coworkers—I don’t think more than a day or two goes by that I don’t show up at the office in them. It was one of the things that drew me to this blanket, which I’ve made much progress on over the last few months! I’ve experimented with different techniques and I think I’ve finally figured out what works the best: Once you have your first row of stitches (in a circle), do two or three more rows at a two-to-one ratio—or even triple it if you want a lot of fullness—stitches, then finish it off with a one-to-one ratio of stitches in each row. Once you like the size, gather up the edges with a row of single crochets and you’re set!