Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hi Maura!!!

I am so excited to share these. It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get here, but guys, I AM PRINTING!!!! I know, I was already printing before, but that was just practice. Now I'm printing with confidence and knowledge and it is finally looking friggin' GOOD. Not perfect, but good enough that I'll actually share it here...

Not too shabby for one working roller, huh? Roller two has already been fitted with smaller trucks (the trucks that came with it were too large so it wasn't hitting the plate), and rollers three and four just made the long journey to Cali and back for some new rubber, so starting next week I will be printing like a ROCKSTAR.

I designed and printed these for my longtime friend and (sole) loyal reader Sarah who welcomed her little girl Maura into the world this September. I've always loved hand drawing text and since Sarah wanted to keep things simple I thought it would be a good time to indulge in my obsession. The frame around the photo is a nod to Sarah and Paul's (and my) history at a certain unnamed home decor company ;)

Printed in Strawberry ink on 110lb Fluorescent White Crane's Lettra ~ Blossom cardstock attachments cut with my Klik-N-Kut ~ Photo prints from SmugMug


Monday, November 8, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Beast in action!

Oh! And I've named the beast. Her name is Astrid. A name I've loved for years, but couldn't even consider using on a human just because, well, it has "ass" in it. Yes, I am that childish. (my apologies to anyone out there named Astrid who is offen....wait, who am I kidding, I have one reader and her name is Sarah!) But I figured since there aren't any other presses around to concoct ass-related nicknames, Astrid would be the perfect name for the Beast. It's strong. Bold. Yet capable of such beauty. And it has a nice Nordic ring to it, perfect for a press that has roots in Norway.

OK back on topic. Sesame Street. Letterpress. And can you believe I actually REMEMBER that dog drawing?!?! No really, I do. Vividly. I've had this red scribbly dog thing swirling in my head for YEARS, with no clue where it came from until I found this link. I literally had a mini panic attack because for a second I thought You Tube had found a direct line to my soul.

editors note: (ha! I'm an editor) Unlike the press in the video, my Kluge is missing the feeder, which is fine with me. I can't even get two rollers working at the same time yet, never mind that whole gripping/sucking contraption. So I hand feed, and quite enjoy it, so far.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Could she even pick up a form?!?

{photo courtesy: Stanford University}
  Most of you have heard about the recent passing of Gloria Stuart, the actress who portrayed, um, Old Rose in the movie "Titanic", but did you know she was also a  book artist? Yep, when she wasn't chucking huge diamonds into the ocean she was settin' type and takin' names, until she retired at the age of... 96?!?

And yes, I get all of my important news updates via dlisted and wikipedia. Deal with it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

From the Studio Saturday?

I need a weekly publishing goal. I'm thinking I'd rather set a recurring weekday post though, I like to keep my weekends relatively Internet free. Maybe next week I'll start with iPhone Phridays? A shot from the studio, taken every Friday, with my iPhone?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I haven't bought a font in a while, nevermind an entire family. I've already blown all my money on cast iron and motor oil, I need to cool it for a bit. Until this thing starts being lucrative I've told myself I need to stick to fonts I already have, freebie fonts, or if I'm desperate I'll just draw it by hand.

But for you, Geotica, I will make an exception.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

OK, maybe NOW I'll post more.

Bear with me... I'm trying out this mobile blogging app on my new iPhone in the hopes that I can bypass the whole actually-getting-pictures-off-my-camera-and-onto-my-blog problem I seem to be having lately.

So here's a photo (unedited, taken with my iPhone) of a blind impression done as part of a small demonstration I did for some of Jason's employees (which is HILAROUS given my current insane lack of knowledge on the subject of letterpress). Computer engineers actually get pretty excited about antiquated, completely inefficient machinery. Who knew?

The plate is from my collection of old cuts that I've been using to practice... it appears to be a kid sleeping at his/her desk? Strange, yet fitting for this time of year. Oh, and this is my first print on Lettra, which I am already liking way better than Holyoke, which was much smushier.

Wow that was a lot of thumb-typing!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Excuse me while I wipe the tea off my screen

A few weeks ago Jason commented on the fact that I still had this picture up as my facebook profile (ehm, I guess he hasn't seen my blogger profile lately), and pointed out that the wedding was over 4 months ago, and wasn't it time that I changed it? And I was all 'scuse me, but that is The Most Fabulous Picture I Have Ever Taken, and I'm milking this for as long as I can. In fact I may have it made into a button that I can wear on bad hair days.

So I'm just sitting here today, having my biweekly Killers morning, and what should happen to pop up in my google reader? Why, only The Most Fabulous Picture I Have Ever Taken!!! And where was it? BROOKLYN BRIDE!!

While I was planning the wedding I kinda always secretly dreamed of having our wedding featured on one of the numerous wedding blogs that I stalked for a solid year and a half (like Brooklyn Bride). But now that the wedding is over, I kind of don't give a shit. I mean, why would I want to sit down and organize all these photos, try to come up with a witty story on how we met (online), found our band (it was the only one that island that didn't suck), or saved money (um yeah, we failed miserably at that)? Just so some strangers can oogle at our photos? I have better things to do with my time. Like letterpress. And watch reruns of True Blood. Oh, and spend time with my HUSBAND. Well, it turns out Brooklyn Bride was doing a studio tour of  Clark+Walker, and they just happen to have a big ass canvas print of The Most Fabulous Picture I Have Ever Taken on the wall of their studio. So there I am, front and center on Brooklyn Bride, and I didn't even have to do anything! Oh, it's the little things....

{images from Clark+Walker}

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And I'm off!!!

I have two jobs in development already! Not paying ones, but jobs nonetheless. Gotta get my feet wet somehow!

Here's a few quick concepts I'm working up for baby Joe who was born May 15th. His family wanted to celebrate the fact that he is of the male persuasion, as he comes from a long line of female cousins (7th grandchild, first boy!!!)

Of course the gray square is where his cute little face will go! Mom's working on getting a shot of him snuggled up with his two older sisters.

My other job also involves a baby announcement. I think I'm starting to see a trend here... NO THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEAN.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Things I Learned Today

Water soluble oil paint does not make an adequate substitute for letterpress ink. You're welcome.

And wow, I already suck at this blogging thing. I've spent the last few weeks doing endless research, a little printing (!), and a LOT of thinking. Thinking about where I want this blog to go (a showcase for my work? a go-to source for all things letterpress? a random collection of verbal hemorrhages?), and thinking about where letterpress will take me. This weekend it's the National Stationary Show!!!

I've already been numerous times (for my day job) but this will be the first time going for ME!!! I'm excited to see it again though my own eyes, and not the eyes of what I think will please my bosses. I'm also hoping to meet some seasoned letterpressers and maybe pick their brains a bit, if they are not too busy.

I fully expect to be bursting with ideas come Monday. Yay!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Wouldn't this be a fabulous way to learn letterpress...

A week of classes in Italy?!? In the SUMMER!?! That kinda beats the hell outta tinkering for few months in my garage. Nevermind I've been dying for some time in Europe, I'm all Caribbean-ed out.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It just never gets old

That first really hot day. Hair up. Windows down. And this comes on the radio:

Hell Yes.

The press has arrived!

the press is home, safe and sound. yay!!!

me? ...not so much.

I am now short one third fingernail, thankfully NOT on my drawing hand, but more on that later.

Holy crap, moving a 1200lb press is HARD. The Beast was in a storage unit in Lynn, MA and needed to make the one hour trek to its new home in my garage. Thankfully there were no stairs or narrow hallways to deal with, but the job still required a moving truck, two pallet jacks, several dollies, a gate lift, and four grown men. Oh and me, having a bazillion panic attacks.

After calling 5 or 6 different moving companies for estimates, we hired Micheal's Movers out of Boston, MA. They seemed to know their stuff and happily worked to meet our budget. Three burly men (OK, one burly who looked remarkably like A-Rod, and two normal sized) met us promptly at the scheduled time of 8am. The men that Micheal's sent were fabulous, they cared about my press, were thoughtful and polite. The Beast loaded up and on its way by about 9am.

OK, I made that sound way too easy.... it wasn't. Every move had to be carefully planned out, even a 1 inch step was a chore, requiring multiple moves between the pallet jack and dollies. It took 45 minutes just to figure out how to get it on the gate lift!!

seriously... 45 min to get up that tiny little incline?!?

After getting The Beast onto the gate lift, the four men positioned themselves at the rear of the truck in press-catching position and I manned the control switch. Palms sweating, I hit "up", as the lift lurched into motion the top-heavy press started to lean backwards. The movers yelled for me to lower the lift so they could reposition and add more strapping. I hit "down". Nothing. For some reason (they blamed the cold) the down wasn't working, so we had no choice but to continue up, with the 1200lb press leaning over my husband and A-Rod and those other two.


Thankfully when we arrived home "down" decided to join the party, but then the pallet jack broke!! Our construction company owning neighbor was summoned to help. After some fruitless tinkering he suggested trying True Value for a rental and even offered to go get it with his ginormous truck.

yay for nice neighbors!

So with our SECOND pallet jack of the day we brought The Beast to what I learned would be it's final resting place, because my dear husband told me we are NEVER GOING THROUGH THAT AGAIN.
The nice moving men left, our neighbor returned home, and Jason and I we loaded the rented pallet jack into The Matrix (and added it the list of amazing shit I can fit in my car).

pallet jack, CHECK!

We arrived at True Value and as we lifted the pallet jack out of the back, that's when it happened. I was lowering my end to the ground and holy mother of god something just ate half my finger. I really don't know how it happened, maybe the wheel pinched it? All I know is that if anyone wants to clone me there is sufficient blood to do so located in the True Value parking lot.

So there you have it, the press is home, and I'm beyond excited. Unfortunately, I'm still nursing an injured finger that gets all angry and swells up whenever I bump it (which seems to be every time I set foot near the press) so things are progressing slowly. I think it's going to be a loooong journey to get printing.

And seriously peeps, what is up with the blogger editing? Things seem to just be magically moving and shifting on their own! Makes Holly ANGRY!!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oh, look, we're famous!

Clark+Walker, our fab wedding photographers, did a little advice column on Well Wed and used some pictures from our wedding!! Ah, what every bride dreams of... strangers drooling over your beautiful photos... kinda makes you feel better about the ridiculous amount of energy wasted on ONE FRIGGIN' DAY.

In unrelated news, we moved the press home on Sunday! It's a looooong post that I just don't have the motor skills to deal with right now. More soon!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Loving: Crate and Barrel Loopy Pillow

I'm into happy things. Even the name makes me smile.

The most exciting this about this letterpress adventure? It's mine. I haven't been responsible for most of my work for the past 8 years. That's corporate life (which I'm still in, but there's always nights and weekends!). Purchasing this press has given me the motivation to get back to the things I love: happy things, swirly things, simple things.

Hmmm.... seaside New England wedding invites (lobstahs!!!), birthday cards (balloons!!!). Focus, Holly. Must get press delivered in one piece first....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hi hi hi!

I just bought a 10 x 15 Kluge and have NO IDEA HOW TO USE IT.

Wish me luck.