Two weeks ago I had the first session of my second round of letterpress class at Atlanta Printmakers Studio. (You can read all about my initial adventures in letterpress printing here.) It’s the same idea as the first — letterpress basics — but I’ve got a different teacher and the studio has made some upgrades in the meantime. This is the kind of press I did most (all?) of my work on last time:
Our first printing assignment was to set our names in metal type and make some stationery. Easy peasy, right? I found a cool typeface to use (Twentieth Century Medium, 12 pt) and set it in the composing stick,
then I mixed a lovely grey,
inked up one of the Vandercook presses and locked up the form,
futzed with the registration and cranked out about 75 notecards.
I started running short on ink (somebody else had cleaned it up before I was finished), so I have a few duds in the pack, but on the whole it was a successful run. I feel way more comfortable with the Vandercook already. I’m not sure what my future projects will be, but I’m planning to try printing in multiple colors and/or with tight registration — and I definitely want to make some coasters. More on this to come!
Today I’m starting a new thing that may or may not become a regular feature: mirthmobile must-haves! These are things that are super awesome — and even sometimes super useful, as is the case with this inaugural endorsement. Without further ado, I give you the BAGGU bag:
(photos from baggubag.com)
I first came across BAGGU some years ago online via some blog or other. I know that I briefly entertained getting these for my bridesmaids as part of their gifts (they come in so many fun colors!) but ended up going another direction. Back in the fall of this past year I happened upon BAGGU bags again. Perusing their website, I discovered an alpaca-print bag; I immediately placed an order for three, to be Christmas stocking stuffers for myself, my sister and my mom.
(Sidenote: these things are so hip now that J. Crew is selling them in exclusive colors, and Madewell carries them too. They’re all the rage!)
I’ve been big on reusable grocery bags since my year in Germany. I’ve used several different kinds, and BAGGU is by far the most convenient and cool. I keep mine in my purse at all times, because it takes up hardly any space; it’s also handy to not have to remember to take something into the store with which to tote my groceries, because it’s always with me. It folds up flat back into its pouch, so I just stash it in my purse again as soon as I unpack it at home. (I also get lots of compliments on it from grocery store cashiers.)
Anyhoo, go forth and check out baggubag.com. There are multiple sizes and shapes, and even a few in leather for you high-rolling style mavens out there. You’re welcome.
In the space of the past two weeks, I’ve purchased not one, not two, but three new pieces of printed art for our apartment. Fortunately, we have plenty of wall space; unfortunately, what we have on the walls doesn’t necessarily play well together with all this. Not that we’re tastefully coordinated by any means… which is why I feel free to buy awesome stuff now and plan to make it work later on.
The first thing I picked up on impulse was a print you’ve already seen here by German illustrator Katrin Wiehle. I stopped by Young Blood to pick up some cards a week and a half ago, and a lone copy of this print was set out right next to some t-shirts that caught my eye, as if it were waiting for me. I took it as a sign and spent the rest of my Christmas Visa gift card to get this for my kitchen:
The next print was a mutual pick — an excellent tour poster for a kickass band by Syracuse-schooled illustrator Nate Duval. (Fun fact: we’ve already got one of his posters on our wall, from the concert at which we got engaged.) Punch Brothers haven’t come through Atlanta yet on their tour, but we will be there when they do! Nate had a free shipping offer on his website, and I figured we might as well get the limited edition artist’s print now so we don’t have to worry about a) missing the poster (because it’s cool) or b) crushing it at the concert in April.
Last but certainly not least is the most-repinned item I’ve ever shared, a print from a letterpress outfit of displaced Southerners by the name of Old Try. It’s called General Manners No. 1. These colors happen to match the vague color scheme I have going on in my kitchen, but, really, I just think it’s great, and that’s the only justification I need right now. I’ll find a spot for it.
Someday our eventual house is gonna be full of REALLY DAMN COOL stuff. We’ll be the hippest, most stylish folks on the block. All in good time…
It still feels like it’s way too early to have Valentine’s Day stuff out in stores, but in fact it’s only about a month away… which is to say, I feel OK posting about this now. This is probably the best thing I saw today (to borrow a tag from the excellent Eight Hour Day blog): kid-style perforated letterpress valentines!
design, printing and photo by Dolce Press
I’ve always loved the cheesy, tiny tear-apart valentines, and these are a million times more awesome than anything Target has to offer. They just make me smile. You really can’t go wrong with letterpress, or that color pairing, or those designs. Dolce Press, you are brilliant! I totally need these to give to my friends, right?
Greetings! I’ve been back from Idaho for almost a week now and I’m still sort of getting myself together. I want to write a little bit more in-depth about my trip when I have more time, but, for now, I thought I’d reveal the result of the thrilling and controversial Georia License Plate Contest. Dun dun DUNNN!
Ok, so it’s not really thrilling. It’s more annoying and disappointing, as most things involving government and anything vaguely to do with the arts, culture or just plain good taste tend to be. But I digress! If you’ve been around these parts for the past month and change, you’ll remember my previous posts about the contest and ensuing controversy; the long and short of it is that they scrapped the results of the first vote and put it to the people again. These were the new three finalists. (Interestingly, tags 1 and 2 were in the first round of finalists.)
Slim pickins, am I right? Yeesh. To my mind, the best possible outcome here would have been tag 3, in spite of the Harry Potter font. Less is more. Unfortunately, the fine folks in the governor’s office don’t think that way. We Georgians will soon be uglifying roadways the country over with this tag:
BLECHHH. I’m surprised they didn’t try to shoehorn peanuts, Coca-Cola and James Brown in on there somewhere too, or add the state bird for good measure. Was this a contest to see how much you could fit on one license plate?
The press release accompanying the announcement reveals that the winner carried the vote by a wide margin, and also that the no. 2 plate was designed by the same artist — she’s done murals for the Department of Corrections and other public and private organizations. Harry Potter Font didn’t stand a chance.
So, there you have it. I’ll be hanging onto my current metal tag as long as I can (they’re going to flat plastic), and maybe someday I’ll cough up the extra money for a specialty plate with a cute kitty or a wildflower or some deer on it.
While visiting my favorite local shop, Young Blood Gallery & Boutique, the other day, I came across a brilliant line of cards called (and by) Kate Funk. They feature Kate’s cat AC photographed in festive and funny settings. Check it out!
I love the mug shot! And I’m amazed at how tolerant this cat is of being dressed up and photographed. (Of course, I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes at these photo shoots…)
For those of you not fortunate enough to have a Young Blood-esque retailer in your area, you can pick up the entire Kate Funk line on Etsy (where all of these photos were obtained). Here are some of my other favorites from her shop:
Really, I could probably post a dozen or more of her cards that I love, but I’ll let you go poke around and see for yourself. She covers all sorts of occasions! (If you have one coming up, now you know who the cat card came from.) There’s also a pretty awesome 2011 calendar with AC the cat reenacting famous movie scenes. If only I could get Little Man to be so cooperative, he would be an Etsy star too! (all photos from the Kate Funk Etsy shop)
It should go without saying that I think this bowl, which I spotted in the latest Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, is pretty frickin’ awesome:
photo from Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2011
When it’s filled with liquid (soup? after-cereal milk?) you can see the silhouette of a cat! How cool is that? And when it’s empty, it just looks like an artsy bowl. Win-win! (The bowls also come in bird and wolf shapes, if cats aren’t your thing.)
These were designed by Geraldine de Beco, a young French designer, for Bernardaud, a fancy French porcelain manufacturer. So fancy, in fact, that one of these lovely pieces will set you back $189. MS Weddings has this in the morning section of its all-day registry guide — I’ll stick with my $4.95 cereal bowls from Crate & Barrel for the time being. If I hit the lottery, though, and have any left over after paying off our household educational debts, Little Man is definitely getting a matched set of swanky magic cat bowls to eat and drink out of. In the meantime, if any of y’all are feeling frivolous and spendy, you just let me know.
I’m headed to Memphis this afternoon for the wedding of a college friend — actually, both the bride and groom went to Northwestern, so it will be a very (NU) wildcat wedding, I’m sure. This is the first Jewish wedding I’ve gone to, which I’m excited about — I love learning about other wedding traditions firsthand. Abby and I are also bunking together for the weekend. Guaranteed good times!
Today’s post is, appropriately, on the topic of wedding cake. The latest Martha Stewart Weddings magazine featured some gorgeous ones! If I had preferred or budgeted for a fondant-covered cake, I would have definitely wanted something like these cakes with simple stitching patterns on them. How beautiful are these?
As pretty as the cover cakes are, the ones inside, covered in white fondant with the stitching detail in color, are my favorites. I like the front three-tier cake best:
photos from Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2011 via here and here
I’ll report back on this weekend’s wedding cake — it’s always one of my favorite parts of these shindigs. Have a great weekend, y’all!
Earlier this week I posted about art inspired by state mottos and symbols. While my mind was on the topic, I remembered a few state-related things I’ve come across that are not only fun to display but also functional. As a fitting bookend to my slim-pickins blog week, here are a couple of excellent geographic gifts (for yourself or others), courtesy of Etsy.
First up is the State of Affairs pillow from Etsy seller diffractionFIBER. I think an Etsy email led me to this shop, and when I saw these I knew I had to have a set. At the time we were registering for wedding presents, so I added these to our wishpot.com wish list.
While I was waiting for someone to pick them up, I decided some of my friends who were helping out in our wedding and who had recently begun school in various non-Georgia locations across the country would be getting hometown pillows as their gifts from us. They loved them, as I love ours, which did eventually arrive courtesy of my college roommate:
Moscow, Idaho, for my man and Atlanta for me. (The stars are optional and can be placed wherever you like in the state.) Seriously awesome and happy-making. I get a ton of compliments on them! They add a lot to my grandparents’ orange burlap couch, don’t you think?
This next item I don’t own (because at this point I think it might be overkill), but I’m keeping it in mind for the right person or occasion. The AHeirloom shop on Etsy sells cheese/cutting boards in — you guessed it — the shapes of all 50 states. Colorado and Wyoming sort of look like cutting boards to start with, so they’re not very exciting; states with squigglier borders benefit from the precise digital fabrication methods the creators use. The boards come sans city marking, but you can add a star or heart wherever you like, as seen on Kentucky, below:
While I don’t think I’ll pick up a state cheese board for myself anytime soon, I just may have to spring for the Germany one in tribute to my time abroad. Think it’ll help bring back my German vocabulary? At this point anything’s worth a shot…
Tonight I stopped by Young Blood Gallery & Boutique, my favorite store in all of Atlanta and my go-to place for gifts for any occasion, to pick up a few cards. After I picked those out, I took a look around the rest of the shop and happened upon the most awesome t-shirt in the history of t-shirts. Bonus! Check it:
I’m totally psyched about this shirt! Wayne’s World reference* aside, it’s just plain badass: you may not be able to see it in the photo, but the design is made to looks like it’s knitted (see detail photo here).
If you’re not fortunate enough to live but a mile away from Young Blood (or in Vermont, where the designers are), you can find this and other hotness on Etsy in the New Duds shop. They’ve got a blog too if you want to learn more. Hooray for crafty brilliant people!
*Wayne, on Cassandra: “She’s a fox! In French she would be called ‘la renard’ and would be hunted with only her cunning to protect her.”