…from jen, and it made my day.
archive for the ‘artists, creatives, crafters’ category
it’s the last friday of the month, which means today’s post is a part of merry go round, a group of 11 artists/craftwomen from around the world that gather to share their thoughts on the same topic. this month’s topic: do you ever take a holiday from your craft/art?
and i say: yes! if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that i really haven’t done much this year in terms of new products. i’ve been producing my tried-and-true, i’ve done some custom jobs, i’m still using my polaroid cameras… but i have taken a break creating new goods.
i do have ideas, but i haven’t had the time or energy to see them through. i hope that will change at some point, but until then i try to be gentle on myself and remind myself that it’s ok to take a holiday. and some nights, it’s nice to just sit outside and catch up on reading.
at the top of my pile? aimee‘s newest awesomeness: the stew book. she hand-lettered and doodled all the recipes from our october weekend in northern minnesota. and if you’d like the full recipe for my yummy egg bake dish, let me know. there’s lots of cheesy goodness within, balanced by a tomato or two to make it good for you.
see what everyone else has to say:
laura at blue terracotta
monika at red 2 white
ruth at birdland creations
kim at vilt a la kim
sara at crafts of texture
samantha at vintage is for lovers
mariana at florcita
agathe at le bar du vent
mitsy at artmind
bethany at dirksen dabbles
in the last year, i’ve become more and more curious about the national stationery show, and it seemed like it could be a next step for me. so i timed my spring new york trip to coincide with the show, and patricia and i made plans to go together last week, representing her red bow studio. but the morning we planned to meet it was raining cats & dogs, making it difficult for patricia to meet me, so i went solo.
it was interesting… i think that’s my word…
but first! minnesota, represent:
the first familiar face was allison’s of igloo letterpress. allison taught many of the workshops i’ve taken at minnesota center for book arts, and was one of my favorite instructors. she left minnesota for ohio around 3 years ago and this was the first time i had seen her since she left. it was really fun to catch up, but it’s also hard to chat because if anyone walks by that shows interest in the booth, you don’t want your friend to miss out on any opportunities.
allison does amazing work with wood and metal type, and makes bookbinding kits that i secretly wish i had created. the highlight for me was seeing the softcover letterpress brownstone journals: i’ve wanted one since chandler posted about the first batch last year. the illustrations are by chandler of anagram press, and printed & bound by allison. yum. i really hope the show brings good things to igloo.
my next stop: hungry dog designs, which is the work of my friend paula. i first met paula when we were in our teens, but we recently reconnected via handmadeMN when i recognized her name in the forums. i was excited when she told me she was participating in the show and that i’d be able to see her booth. she recently moved to bogotá, columbia with her husband and boston terrier (oscar!), so we’re not able to meet up for wine and conversations about making stuff anymore.
paula’s paper doll gift cards are so much fun! and i’m not just saying that — they caught my eye at a few local shops before i even realized i knew their creator. we had dinner together the night before i went to the show, so i already had the scoop on her experience from the first 2 days and could focus on her work and be a cheerleader. i really want paula and hungry dog designs to be a huge success, and i know she made great connections at the show. i hope that the exposure continues to bring her good things this year!
then there were some new names!
down the aisle from paula, i discovered designorange, which is the work of local designer jada schumacher. i walked up to her and i think i said something intelligent, but in my brain it was more like: “me jen. me also from st. paul. me like orange.” and i think i also expressed surprise that i hadn’t heard of her or her work before, but sometimes i forget that there are thousands of creative people in the twin cities and that i probably know of 1% of them. duh. but anyway, we had a nice chat and it’s always fun to meet other creative locals and talk “shop.” i hope our paths cross again.
and then… printerette press: the color and presentation of the booth was absolutely perfect. and i had another “how do i not know about this person?!” moment. i actually didn’t have a chance to meet catherine, the dynamo behind printerette, but since we are both in st. paul, maybe one day it will happen. until then, i’ll admire her work via the interwebs.
since the show, printerette has gotten some great press, and it’s fun to cheer on the hometown talent. whoooo!
i’m sure i missed other minnesotans… the show is enormous, and i got overwhelmed quickly. also, i had a retail badge, which made me feel like i was wearing a big red R. i felt like if i randomly started to talk to people they’d really think i was a retailer, when in reality i was a lurker. and my little blog is little… there were plenty of design blogs covering the event. so i tried to be low key. still, it was fun to see familiar names while wandering the aisles. the work and talent at the show sets the bar high, and i hope that all the independent designers there are wildly successful.
soooo… would i do it? i’ve got some ideas that i want to explore which might make me a candidate for the show in the future. but i really don’t know if i could smile and sell myself enthusiastically for 3-1/2 days. the thought of it alone sounds exhausting. i could possibly handle 1 day, but not much more than that. that could change (pharma?)… but now? nope. and it’s not a cheap endeavor.
and honestly? despite the beautiful work, i didn’t walk out of the show feeling inspired and full of possibilities. maybe it was the endless grey sky and rain that followed me to manhattan. maybe it was pms. maybe it was the wine consumed the night before. maybe tried & true is the way to go in this economy. i had hoped that i would leave the show bursting with creative energy, eager to get home and start designing and making… instead, when i walked out of the convention center, all i wanted to do was eat lunch.
and i think that’s ok.
last saturday 2 packages arrived in the mail. the first package was from florida, from miss carissa paige:
i never tire of her girls. (see more of carissa’s work in her etsy shop. go.)
she sent me a polaroid of the ocean, embellished in carissa’s way, and a vintage book about one of my favorite subjects.
and then, and then! there was a pack of 600 polaroid film. carissa sent me her film. i know she’s had it for a while. i know she’s been saving it, and she decided to send it to me. how i will repay this girl, i do not know. i’m thinking of ways, though, believe me.
the second package was from cindy in new york:
the present was too perfect to open! and cindy knows orange is my favorite color. hmmm… i wonder what’s inside?
color shade push! yay! it’s the newest color film from the impossible project. i’m really excited to try it — i have its predecessor but this version is really, really close to the real thing. yay!
thank you carissa and cindy, for keeping my sx 70 camera happy. and for making me feel loved. xo.
while in chicago, jackie and i stopped at a few stores and i perused the letterpress offerings. a theme became apparent:
crap paper source
a few months ago, i had intended to put a post-it note on my computer screen that said “w.f.h. friday” (working from home friday). the next morning a co-worker emailed me to ask why my post-it said “w.t.f. friday” and why was i upset at friday?! oops. so this card is for her.
denver sole [ sole mates ] nourshing notes
wtfwjd power & light press
what the f*ck would jen do?
happy f*cking birthday paper source
i’ll gift this to someone that loves the f word as much as i do…
happy april, happy weekend!
when i saw the copper hares fiona made, i wanted one of my own. i asked her to make me one (which i happily paid for!).
when it is the year of the rabbit, one should have a hare to hang around one’s neck.
last week i spent thursday thru sunday with seven other fabulous women in a cabin just steps from the shore of lake superior in northern minnesota.
it was an honor to be a part of the wild & nutty & wonderful weekend.
i am a very private person and at times felt out of place (a fish out of water?). and on the first full day there, i really didn’t know what to do with myself: it’s been a long time since i’ve had a day away from home without an itinerary…
but i got over it and i sewed some journals for the upcoming holidays. i read, i took polaroids. i went on walks and side trips with my weekend-mates. i taught everyone how to bind their own book. and we took turns cooking amazing and good-for-you but oh-so-yummy meals for each other.
for one entire day the dining table was full of supplies and words and crafts and color. for each meal we had to pull out the folding banquet table so we wouldn’t disturb the creating.
i re-learned how to do nothing and i listened to the wind blow and the waves crash. i watched a bald eagle fly along the shoreline before getting up from bed.
it was wonderful to solidify existing friendships and make new ones…
this week i received 36 wishes from jackie:
it’s so fun spinning the wheel…
and seeing the things that she knows i’d wish for…
it’s nice to be known so well…
or maybe i share too much on my blog! happy weekend!
last friday night i met sonya.
sonya was in town for the opening of metaphoric fibers at the the textile center. her piece was knitted silk covered with beeswax, and easily one of my favorites. anna and kristin were there, and all of us skipped the artist talk to make our own small talk. the entire night i debated taking a polaroid to mark the occasion. but then i remembered i don’t like my photo being taken, so i cannot ask that others comply. so instead, i’m sharing sonya’s wonderful palette for the evening… it was so vibrant and lovely: orange scarf. chartreuse t-shirt (not as garish as my scanner would leave you to believe). plum sweater, which was handknit. an amazing handmade tan skirt, with a doily screen print and white bird applique. and kick-ass red socks and boots.
i only wish that spring had been more impressive for my friend sonya — who is flesh and blood and not just is a figment of the interwebs — so she’ll want to come back to our funny little town.
i’ve been waiting for the post office to release their abstract expressionist stamps for weeks… i picked up 8 sheets last night after work, to make snail mail even more awesome.
a collaged bookmark. shocking! on the front, and on the back is a little story about frank, who can’t find his balls, which is forever going to be a juvenile joke between the two of us.
i’m diving into my reading pile with renewed enthusiasm just so i can keep opening my books to see my new bookmark!
on my last day in seattle, i met evalynn for coffee. she handed me a package. and within: a collage she created just for me. it has circles, the color orange, a fish, shredded office paper, and a message about happiness, which sometimes eludes me. i was floored — it could not be more perfect. i hung it immediately when i got home.
thank you, e, you are a rockstar!
was christmas really only 2-1/2 weeks ago? it seems like months have passed, which is good, since it stresses me out so much. it’s nice to have it out of my head. but it’s not all stressful: i am so fortunate to have friends that give me sweet, handmade gifts:
molly sent me a super-cute pouch, and my first batch of fat quarters. eeeee! (i haven’t gotten far with my plan to learn to sew this winter, but i live in minnesota and we have a months to go before spring makes an appearance.)
jackie made me granola and garland with blue-grey felt. i’m still snacking on the granola by the handful, and when it’s gone i’m going to make more using jackie’s recipe. the garland matches my new sofa, so it’s still up!
my sister gave me yummy things she canned: tart cherry preserves, spiced plum preserves, and spaghetti sauce. i think from now on, family christmas gifts should be food-related only.
and lastly, while technically not handmade, but still a great gift: jen put together some fun portland ephemera to entice me to come and visit. sold! when can i come?!
thank you so much!
it’s so wonderful seeing collaborations, especially when you have a tiny connection to the artists… chandler of anagram press and allison of igloo letterpress joined forces to create a wonderful line of holiday greeting cards that i adore. chandler used to work in minneapolis with my friend jenn, but she now lives in washington. and allison used to teach awesome classes at minnesota center for book arts (i think i took at least 4 of them with her), but now lives in ohio. i love that they are still in touch and collaborating.
photo credit: anagram press/igloo letterpress
earlier this fall, i received a little set of groovy doodle goods from the amazing aimee of artsyville… groovy doodle tags for when i give gifts. groovy doodle note cards for sweet little messages. groovy doodle wine tags to decorate my wine bottles. but the grooviest part? the magnets:
if you know me well, you know i have a potty mouth. i love the f word. and aimee’s spicy word magnets are the best! i probably shouldn’t admit this, but aimee got “aw fuck, i have no idea” from a facebook status written by me… written late on a friday evening after many, many, many glasses of wine… i got up the next morning, and discovered my drunken update, and was a little mortified. ugh. but it turned out to be an awesome magnet, so cheers!
you can get your own groovy goods at aimee’s artsyville etsy shop! she has stocked the shop non-spicy groovy doodle magnets, but if you’d like some spicy word ones, you’ll have to send her a note.
i’m taking the rest of the week off. have a groovy turkey day!
a package from my friend ayama was waiting for me at the front door on tuesday. what i did to deserve it, i do not know. she mentioned a belated birthday, but i swear she sent me something last april. but oh, her package was so timely because it contained this beautiful scarf:
winter arrived last weekend in minnesota, weeks earlier than normal. this scarf is so warm and soft! heaven. the crochet pattern is crazy. i love it. but that’s not all:
a book of japanese prints. i minored in art history, and the course i took on chinese and japanese art was one of my favorites. hiroshige… the wave. a recognizable and famous print, but it is still stunning every time i see it. there was also a linen towel, block printed with fish. ayama picked it up at the brisbane young designer’s market.
and there was more! a knitting magazine, and a necklace with a resin pendant containing a small paper koi. this gal makes my day. i’m now prepping a box of halloween for her — they don’t celebrate halloween in australia like we do. here’s to spreading happy! happy weekend!
fall blew in yesterday with strong winds that broke branches off trees, sporadic rain, and a drop in temperature. summer is officially over.
ok, ok, i will admit that i am looking forward to wearing sweaters again. and i love pumpkins and the smell of falling leaves. i have been prepping for fall’s arrival. and a recent “for fall” purchase is a wool seed handbag from the florcita dawanda shop. i’ve been reading marian’s blog for about a year now, and i just love what this argentinian-born holland-resident does with wool. i definitely needed to have one of her pieces. and my seed handbag (it’s hand felted!) is perfect.
yesterday after work i stopped at the .silvercocoon. trunk show preview party. i’m a big fan of .silvercocoon. jewelry, and its designer tia salmela keobounpheng is so sweet and such a joy! her most recent project is a collaboration on a catalog/photography book with local photographer paige dewees. there was a copy of the catalog at the show, and it really is more than just a catalog: it’s a wonderful representation of real women, photographed in real environments, wearing amazing jewelry. tia explains it so much better on her blog… and i think it’s going to be added to my library.
being that yesterday was my 9 week anniversary as a non-smoker, i treated myself to a .silvercocoon. bunch necklace. it matches my hollow_jumbo earrings, which i bought this spring.
the actual trunk show is this saturday, september 12, from 11 to 5, at danish teak classics in the northrup king building. go! and if you can’t go, there are goods in her etsy shop (and click around the links in this post, there’s so much to see).
and i can’t resist showing you this chair that i drooled over at the party:
it’s totally out of my price range, but oh-so-fabulous.