Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Pretty 5

Pretty view of pretty buildings from a pretty neat place.

Pretty presents for a pretty great nephew.

Pretty pictures for some pretty powerful and inspirational women (and men!).

Pretty cocktails on a pretty spring day.

Pretty baby on a pretty perfect partner.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My heaven if filled with letterpress

My heaven smells like thick ink that makes you high (on fumes and eye candy). My heaven if filled with handcut wood type. My heaven includes creamy vibrant colors. My heaven is filled with beard men and chickies who you immediately have a girl-crush on. My heaven if filled with knowledge passed down and items collected.

So my heaven pretty much exists at the Western New York Book Arts Collective. It's certainly not the only place where you can google over big presses and typeset - but it's a darn good one. An approachable one with very friendly people who you know are cooler than you, but who have an ability to dissipate your self-consciousness. Before you know it you're using the press. In front of people. People with cooler glasses and hairstyles than you. But you don't feel the slightest bit judged, in fact you oddly feel empowered.

My point is, if you haven't gone, you should go. It's a wonderful place - a place for everyone who loves all things printed. Matt and I were there for a showing of Sign Painters, which was fantastically charming - projected on a small gallery block with a mac. Seemingly perfect for the show.

We also pulled some goat prints. Learned about the presses. Breathed in the inky fumey goodness. Had a cup of beer. Rummaged through the drawers of press logos. Bought some prints. Walked in the warm Buffalo night air. And managed to catch my mom & dad for a crazy late dinner of souvlaki and eggs - something you can only do in Buffalo.

One of my favorite New Energy Works moments, with my work-husband Iain, was when I was first hired and designing the first draft of their print newsletter. It went something like this:
Me: "What is that?"
Iain: Scribbling on the draft while proofing "THAT is a giraffe traipsing through the Serengeti of your leading." 
Morrison-Iron, this picture's for you:

Anyway, if you haven't or didn't have a chance to visit WNYBAC supported Small Press Book Fair, put it on your radar for next year. It's a fantastic show of the best printy-goodness Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse-Canada has to offer. We saw Pisachio Press was a supporter (hint, that means it's good.)

Matt and I managed to leave a little pressie for a certain missy as we were causing debauchery around town. You know who you are and we love you very much. GOATS!

Friday, April 11, 2014

New Babies Mean Sewing

New babies in my world mean reasons to sew. One because what new momma doesn't love a handmade? And two because it's so darn easy! Baby items take little fabric and are usually easy to whip up. It doesn't take much to make them cute. So when my friends asked me to make a carrier cover for their new baby Grace, my yes was super quick. Straight lines, easy instructions, and the momma picked some really cute fabric - it was a breeze. We used Calli's pattern here and it fits like a glove.

There was leftover fabric - which I'm never one to let go to waste. So I made a quick drawstring bag for the cover (so they can keep it tucked away for a possible second little one?) and a last-name monogrammed lap blanket so that my latest favorite babe can travel in style.

Then my favorite baby thing to sew - bloomers. Heather Ross's Ruby's Bloomers are really the easiest and cutest bloomers out there. If you're looking for the pattern you can find them in Weekend Sewing. The darling Grace made her appearance right as the snow-drops and crocus started to peek through our yard, so it seemed to me she needed a spring-colored trio. I sorted through my vintage fabrics and found these three, I think they're Strawberry Shortcake in a cute way. I made them a bit smaller than the 6 month pattern Ross gives, coming in about a half-inch or so. I think they'll be quite perfect fit in a few weeks.

It's good to have some time again for these projects. Good to be settled in the house and able to sew with the window open and the birds chirping. Good to sew for a new little miss, who is so absolutely cute and cuddly - and good to sew for two great friends who are now three.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Speeding up and then slowing down

In a little more than three weeks my life becomes mine again and I am very excited to slow things down a bit and concentrate more internally than externally. This, by the way, is not an easy task for me. I'm a say yes, a sign me up, a give me a task, a let's start a major project, type of person.

What I've realized is that going at this speed for the past 4 years has gotten to me. I'm less healthy and certainly less grateful than I was when my life changed in 2010. I'd like to get back to that place of health and happiness that included things like picnics in the park, ukes, yoga, painting, and running. Simple things. Internal things. Us things. Me things.

I wouldn't change the last 4 years for the world. They were the path to my husband, my house, my cat, my ever-growing family, my job, my community, my travel memoirs, and my current definition of self. But now it's time to focus a little more on me, on us, and actually savor things in the same way you savor the last bit of a juice pop on a very hot day. Feel it, cool and wet, gritty and puckering as it drips, drips, drips, drips and you catch, catch, catch, - never wanting it it end.

Maybe it's my INFJ, maybe it's my Virgo, maybe it's my Varble - but just enjoying for the sake of enjoying is not a natural talent for me. I'm a make it better kind of person.

But sometimes in order to make things better you need to refill. Refill, refuel, refill. Savor, drip, lick, savor. Repeat.