Ooh, baby, baby!

baby_congrats_4957I’m to the age where everyone around me seems to be having babies. A few weeks ago, I somehow I ended up taking charge of the décor for a friend’s baby shower (no idea how that happened…). I found the cutest marquis letters at Target, added in some Martha Stewart party decor and handmade bunting and flags. I also made a diaper cake—from scratch!

My etsy customers must be in the same life stage as I am, because recently I had a woman buy all the remaining “Holy Crap you made a tiny human” cards. At one of my wholesalers’ request, I reprinted them in pink and blue—for her shop and mine! I love these cards so much and I’m overjoyed to see them flying off the shelves.

holycrap_pink_blue_8725I finally got around to printing my icon congrats cards in light pink and blue as well—plus the gender-neutral yellow at the top of this post.

Don’t worry, though, we’ve got more than cards! Of course you should pick up an everlasting bouquet for the new mama, but what about a little art for when she gets home? I just love these ABC and 123 prints in a nursery!

ABC_ecru_P10 123_P35And of course, if you’re running behind or the baby was early, just grab one of these digital downloads, send it over to your local photo center and have a print in hand this afternoon!

All_Creatures_P30 loveliveshere_P33Sleep_under_the_Stars_P30 jetaime_P4 adventure_P30

Beer here!

beer_4766With all the new wood type I’ve added to my studio lately, I’ve been wanting to create more type-based prints. I started with this fairly simple beer print last week and I love it! It was a huge challenge to get it locked up in the press, but totally worth it!

It was also a huge challenge to get all the different fonts to print evenly. I wanted some paper show-through to give it a vintage feel, but some letters were so worn they didn’t print at all on the first few passes. Lots of extra packing behind the letters and some careful balancing later, voila! My new favorite print. Available in the shop—perfect to give that man in your life this season!

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Each print in the limited edition of 14 is numbered and signed by yours truly!

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Making the best of it

As promised: My latest print! While not quite the way I imagined, I’m really excited about it because of what I’ve learned in the process of creating it. First of all, the type: this is the first time I’ve locked up a mixed type layout this large and it went pretty well! It’s also helped me determine what typefaces I need to add to my collection.

The design: I always love letterpress prints with a lot of depth created by overlapping transparent imagery. My inks this time around weren’t as transparent as they should have been–I’m learning just how much tint base medium I need mixed into my pigment. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the outcome and I know exactly what direction to pursue in future work.

“Be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle.”

–Plato

I believe human nature is inherently good. Why is it so easy to allow greed, carelessness and, perhaps worst of all, wanting to be right to get in the way of our nature? This last year has been a period of introspection and personal growth, and I think one of the most important things maturity teaches us is that our struggles are no more difficult than anyone else’s. Everyone has their own cross to bear; whether it’s an ailing loved one, a failing relationship, a never-ending to-do list, or financial woes. Yours is no more important than your neighbor’s, theirs is no more important than yours. With a little compassion we might just all make it through unscathed.

Be kind to each other. There are more important things than being right, looking better or getting people on your side. Treat those you encounter with kid gloves, you never know what’s just beneath the surface.

New Embroidery

Sorry guys, I’m officially out of clever puns for posts about embroidery at the moment. But I have been stitching furiously!

I think my stitcher’s block earlier this month stemmed from not having an image of the final product in my head before I began. So lately I’ve been creating free form designs—no drawing on the fabric before hand, no tracing a sketch. I’ve been experimenting with new stitches and techniques, all the while just adding whatever I feel like in the moment. I love the way they’ve turned out, expect more of these in the future! Of course, these are all available here.

An old soul

My sisters like to call me an old soul. I wouldn’t define my style as retro by any standards, but I do like old things: Bess, my press, old houses, repurposed furniture, and lately, heirloom crafts. In the last couple weeks, I’ve rediscovered my love for embroidery. I’m not going to lie to you—it’s putsy and incredibly slow, but there’s something lovely about single strands of glossy thread laying just right against a fabric. Plus, I’ve been trying to pare down the amount of stuff I own—and this is the perfect thing to create so as not to accumulate even more!

This morning I thought I’d share a few of the embroiderers who are inspiring me—enjoy, and look for new work from yours truly soon!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: I’m a typography nut. Typography-inspired embroidery has been my latest project… and while I’m still working out the kinks, I love it! Look for new work in the shop soon, otherwise I found the examples above on Pinterest!

I always admire artists who can create something truly abstract, as that’s something I struggle with. I beleive art has to be made with purpose in order to be art, so I have a difficult time just working with pattern or texture and no subject. I love this simple color progression from Sometimes I Swirl. I say simple because the design is clean and modern and the stitch is repetitive—but after my recent projects, I know this took a lot of work!

There’s something weird and wonderful about a technical drawing reproduced in thread—or any unexpected medium really. Why wouldn’t you want a 9 inch illustration of a Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion Car on your wall? I can’t think of a single reason.

Last but not least, something a little more traditional. I love simple and clean traditional motifs—they always look modern but can work in with any decor style. This miniature version in the form of a brooch by Skrynka is a great example. I told you I was an old soul!

And finally, my own embroidered wallhanging was included in several treasuries not too long ago. Thanks to Lotus and Janneke Hoekstra for the inclusions!