Chloe & Vanessa’s Hybrid Wedding Invitations

Chloe and Vanessa got married today under a big old tree in Spring Green, WI. When we started talking about their invitations early this year, they wanted that beautiful tree to feature prominently in their invitations, and were drawn to the look of watercolor as well as the luxurious tactile quality of letterpress.

Although some printers have created a watercolor-like look via multi-color (read: expensive) letterpress printing, I knew a hybrid method of offset and letterpress printing would be perfect for this project!

The design began with an old botanical sketch of an oak tree, which I laid a green watercolor wash into for their invitation. The small informational text was also printed digitally to allow the couples’ names to be printed with a super deep impression in the gorgeous cream cotton paper.

We let the watercolor shine on the information-only enclosure—the couple decided online RSVPs were the way to go—and a hand-drawn map by the bride shows off well known artistic tourist attractions such as American Players Theatre and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin along with the wedding venue.

Congratulations Chloe and Vanessa, and thank you so much for making me a small part of your big day! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!

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!

mazel_6967

Happy Birthday Dirk!

A few weeks ago, a woman from California got in touch about custom letterpress coasters. She was throwing a 50th birthday party for her husband and was hoping to have a logo printed on them. She ended up not wanting to deal with the cost and time required for custom printing plates, but I presented her with several design options that I could do with what was already in my studio and decided to go with these!

personalized_beer_5818So today, somewhere in California, people are celebrating over custom coasters that I made and I love that! Want your own set? Order them here!

Why you always invite the crazy aunt to Thanksgiving

thanksgiving_4778Why, you ask? Because she brings a pie, and that’s one less thing you have to make! Evident from the barren wasteland that was this blog this week, I’ve been busy. Yesterday I hosted Thanksgiving for a group of our European friends here in Bermuda, and as it’s not a tradition they grew up with—and not actually a holiday here so they all had to work—(and maybe a little because I really like all my family recipes and couldn’t bear to eat stuffing or pecan pie that doesn’t follow my mom’s recipe) I made nearly every dish. Oh, and an extra pie for Andrew’s office potluck lunch.

pies_4793An acute case of homesickness struck me while I was making a pie from a recipe written in my mom’s handwriting, but the feeling of being on the verge of tears subsided by the time I was finishing up my grandma’s cranberry relish—a family favorite that I’ve inherited responsibility for as she’s aged. I love that my recipe box is filled with dishes that bring back childhood memories or make me think of old friends.

recipes_4835I had grand plans to document the day and did so on Wednesday and for about the first hour of cooking on Thursday… then I got too busy and too sweaty so taking pics fell by the wayside. It was a beautiful mid-70’s day here in Bermuda, but after having my oven cranked up for the better part of two consecutive days, I think I may actually prefer cold Wisconsin weather on days like these!

I may have forgotten to make gravy once the turkey came out of the oven (I blame the bartender who was an expert mixer of sazeracs and old fashioneds!), but dinner went incredibly well—I think I have a few new converts to the church of Thanksgiving-is-the-best-holiday. I am so thankful for good friends who have welcomed me with open arms and made this big huge move much easier. And it was wonderful to spend the day with that man I moved here for, who made a point to thank me for cooking him a real, American Thanksgiving meal, which he hasn’t had in three or four years.

thanksgiving_4795And finally after all this rambling, I’d like to thank you, my dear readers, for taking an interest in my life and work, and all your encouraging comments along the way. I promise next week things will be back to normal with an awesome behind-the-scenes studio tour and your regularly scheduled travel post! Have a great weekend and don’t forget to shop small!