A Daring Adventure

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This week, we head out on a daring adventure: to Chile! Ever since I saw a friend’s photos from Easter Island a few years ago, it’s been on my short list, so when Andrew proposed taking a real vacation this year, it was one of the destinations I was rooting for.

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There will be plenty of photos and a travel post to come, but in the mean time, I’ve checked another shop update off the list! Three sizes of cotton archival prints turn one of my digital downloads into a museum quality piece! Browse all the sizes here and stay tuned for new prints soon too!

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Limited edition watercolor & letterpress prints

Lately I’ve been feeling artsy with a capital A. I think it’s a reaction to the heavy production cycle I just finished, but I’ve had the urge to get my hands dirty for a few weeks now.

I’ve also been experimenting with creating limited edition prints with some of the new printing plates I created for the new collection (catch it here if you haven’t seen it yet!). I had sketched out the overall design of each print, I just couldn’t seem to find the right color combination to make them jive. I actually printed a few in silver and a few in gold, but didn’t love them… and then I had the idea to keep the ink neutral (black and white) and use bright watercolor washes for the backgrounds!

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The white ink ended up being a little more transparent than I expected, but I still really love the results. And I love how each one is absolutely unique—the cross between painting and print really speaks to me right now. quotes_5501

I printed 14 of each design and they’re available as a set of three in the shop—enjoy!

Old New Again

It’s no secret I have a slight fascination with typography. My collection is constantly being added to and a steady stream of new work from Old New Again is doing nothing to help curb its growth. I first fell in love with the ampersand above: a well-design letterform—YES!—painted and distressed wood—YES!—oh, and proprietors Liz & Rick are from Wisconsin—YAY!

Liz took a moment to share a little bit about the pieces they make, the lifestyle they live and what it’s like to have an etsy business as your livelihood. Enjoy!

Tell us about your work—why do you create what you do?
I’ve always loved wood and that sort of old primitive look, but wanted something “fresher”… so I came up with our style. Rick lost his job a few years ago, so it all just sorta worked out beautifully! Now it is our only source of income, and we are so blessed!

How did you learn your craft? Tell us about your process—start to finish.
I grew up in an art family. My dad has been a full-time artist since I was a child. My uncle taught college art. My brothers are both artists. So I can’t really say when it started, because I never remember it starting. It was there from the start.

Where do you work? What type of environment stimulates your creativity?
We have a workshop that’s about 7 miles away, in the country. While it’s lovely to work there in the summer, it is very cold in the winter (it’s heated, but it’s a big place so it isn’t the warmest). And in the winter there’s no natural light (in the summer we open the huge overhead door).

I do all of my computer work and shipping in our basement. Some day I would love to have a great big shop with lots of light year-round, where Rick can do his “dirty” work (cutting, sanding, staining and varnishing) and I could have a separate area to do my work.

How has your work evolved?
I try to watch trends and see what I can tweak. My biggest challenge is finding time to do new items. We are so busy that I don’t get as much time as I’d like to do new things.

What inspires you?
Everything! I love color and texture. I am constantly thinking in these terms. When I go to the pet store and see an amazing little hamster with the most beautiful brown and white fur… I think WOW I LOVE THAT BROWN!

What’s your favorite piece or use and why?
I adore our long skinny 6 hook shelves! We have them all over, as our house is pretty small and we have two children (Molly is 17… not a child anymore and Samantha is 9). I am all about functional pieces that look great and help me keep things organized.


Tell us about your start on etsy and any beginner mistakes.
I found etsy from an amazing artist, Jenn (www.noodleandlou.etsy.com). We got to know each other on ebay when we were selling our ACEOs. Beginner mistakes: hmmm…. that’s hard to say, because all the mistakes are just sort of stepping stones. Sounds cliche, but it’s so true.

What advice do you have for new etsians?
My advice would be to focus more and not try to try too many different things at once. My second bit of advice would be to initially spend 90% of your time on getting your pictures right and making sure they fit in well in treasuries.

Where can readers find your work?
We are exclusively on etsy! ♥