Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nine Symptoms of Falling in Love

Photo series by Dan Estabrook, Nine Symptoms, salt prints with ink:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missoni for Target

I'll admit I marked my calendar even though I'm not always crazy about Missoni prints and apparently didn't even stand a chance...

I'm told the nearest Target was sold out by 8:15am, and was constantly down due to heavy traffic. Still, I found myself about a mile away from a Target after work and it was hard to resist seeing the devastation for myself. Indeed, there was little to be found. A few women were circling the store like vultures, grabbing at any rejects placed back on the shelves. It was rather frightening.

This collection has been hyped for a long time, and after checking it out online tonight, I have to say that it might be - to my surprise - my favorite designer Target collection so far. So I went pretend shopping. And I practiced using Photoshop, and this is what I might have bought.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Don't Break the Chain!

I was recently browsing the House of Vintage in Portland, Oregon and came across this postcard:

It was sent from one man to another and reads:
Hi Boy!

You should have come along like I said. - Nice scenery - especially thru the mts. - Utah, Nevada & Wyoming - Plenty of time to see it as this truck isn't very fast.

P.S. A man should consider if he follows thru on this chain he might be worse off.
Suffice to say, I've never seen a chain letter quite like this before. It's dated Sept. 27, 1954 and the was 3 cents.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Haute Paper Couture

I saw this video on my dear friend David's Google Buzz feed (originally from scene 360), and it's just too awesome not to repost.

C'est l'amour!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Color + Packaging: Opinel Knives

Over the weekend I ventured across bridge and bay to check out a warehouse sale of products made in France and came home with these colorful knives by Opinel. They are sharp(!) in more ways than one.

Aside from a nice block of kitchen knives we received as a wedding gift, we were still using a very dull set of table knives I bought at a discount store about 15 years ago, and had only one paring knife in constant rotation. We hardly need more kitchenware, but in this case there was no danger of buyer's remorse. Luckily, my husband likes the knives too. He said, "You should put those on your blog." So, here they are, cute as a knife can be (if you like cute knives).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Joyeux Anniversaire

One last post from the vintage paper fair:

This poem appeared to be penned from husband to wife on their wedding anniversary, and I found it, months ago, in one of the .25 bins. It seemed like it was worth more than that.

Today is my 3rd wedding anniversary, somehow. I visited my grandparents last night, and they said that they'll have been married 58 years this fall, and together for 68 years. She's put up with me that long, my grandfather said, smiling.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Greetings

A dear friend recently told me she thought of this time of year as a brighter kind of Thanksgiving. We were talking about Easter and Passover and, as it happens, this book I've been reading, about what it means to be lost, opened with a discussion of Passover:
"Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That's where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.... The important thing is not that Elijah might show up someday. The important thing is that the doors are left open to the dark every year."
I like this description too, very much. It's come up for me several times this week and last that sometimes questions are more significant than answers.


Photo by Jess Watson

This has little to do with letterpress, admittedly, but I am indeed feeling thankful this year, and open, I hope, to the dark.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ladies of Letterpress

I had an atypical St. Patty's Day this year. Instead of challenging my husband to see who was most thirsty (because he's been traveling), I attended a talk and exhibition by the founding members of Ladies of Letterpress at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Port and specialty font-shaped chocolate, from La ForĂȘt Chocolates of Napa, were a pretty good substitute for green beer.

The Ladies of Letterpress, of which I'm now a member (a little prematurely perhaps, but why not? Seize the day!), does accept lads, and is basically a social network of letterpress printers and suppliers (because I need another social network), and (in all seriousness) their site offers a wealth of information. It's always amazing to me how you can scratch the surface of some new fascination only to find a whole world exists there.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How the Light Gets In

This is lovely. But what I really love is the video.

Photo by danske

Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
that's how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen

Friday, February 25, 2011

Good to the Last Squeeze

Cutest ink packaging ever!

I was thrilled to learn I could buy ink by the quarter pound, in tubes. It's cheaper and space-saving, which is a consideration for the time being. Now, along with my larger supply of whites and black, I can begin mixing more nuanced pantone colors. These represent a lot of the standard pantone colors, and are a mixture of rubber, oil, and soy-based inks.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Baby, Are you Down?

Just because it's Valentine's day, some images I've slowly been collecting:

(1) From Dover Publications, free sample art (2) Found on a really lovely blog written in French that I can't read: gris-bleu (3) Admittedly, poached from my friend Nana's blog: sankofa (4) Image from NPR article: My Heart Will Go On

p.s. The post title is a reference to a song I really shouldn't admit listening to... like, thirty times last week.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Epistles of Love

Soon it will be Valentine's day, and I decided not to print valentines this year. In the meantime, here are some valentines or epistles of love from the long past:

In 1907 this was addressed to a Miss Ethel Loving.

In 1910, someone wrote on the back only: "Still am wondering."

On the back, this reads:

Dear Lizzie:
I wish you wealth.
I wish you health.
I wish you gold in store.
I wish you heaven after earth.
What could I wish you more
when the golden sun is setting
and your thoughts from care are free
when others you are thinking
will you sometimes think of me.

Be sure and bring your umbrella tonight.
Yours, write soon.

And, from the same hand to the same Lizzie:

Ah. Lizzie I caught you on last night by proper. Don't squeeze him so tight or you might take a button off. I received your P.C. (postcard?) alright which is very nice. Write soon.


Then there is a side note that says: Take off stamp.


Indeed, the stamp has been removed and underneath is written:


The scandal! The intrigue! The romance!

Also: Check out the top 10 words associated with Valentine's Day here. There are some surprising definitions and etymologies. For example, "romantic" derives from the conquering powers of the Roman empire and "amour" actually refers to illicit love affairs. And Adonis was basically a player.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CBS News: Handwritten Thank You Notes

Stationary is becoming a luxury instead of a staple. The advent of email, ecards and the like make it easier than ever to say thank you or happy birthday or "I've arrived safely" and so on, which is a good thing. Not to mention, greener.

So I'm not here to advocate or change anyone's mind about using paper stationary, but for what it's worth, here's a recent CBS News segment on sending handwritten thank you notes:

(As seen via @stationaryshow on Twitter; may not display properly on Firefox browsers)

Personally, I grew up writing and sending thank you notes for every holiday, gift, etc. and when I was a tween, I had something like 7 pen-pals, including one as far away as Russia, which was then still part of the Soviet Union. Besides my stock of Hello Kitty papers, I also had my great-grandmother's stationary, which was always tissue-thin, perfumed, scallop-edged, in pale pastels. There was some yellow stationary I remember well, printed with butterflies. It was lovely and I used it all.

Jane Austen once wrote to her sister:

I have now attained the true art of letter-writing, which we are always told, is to express on paper exactly what one would say to the same person by word of mouth...

My own opinion is that a hand-written thank you note is a nice gesture, but only if it's not completely generic. You can always recycle the paper afterward. Otherwise, maybe a simple thank you in some other form would be best, though I've recently heard that saying thank you publicly and online - on Facebook or Twitter - is not good etiquette because it lets your inner circle know what they've missed or were excluded from. That, too, can be argued in more than one way. It's tricky business, being modern.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lovely Ladies

It was a beautiful, clear - if not bitterly cold - Sunday in Golden Gate Park and it was hard not to be struck by the beauty, the activity, and the vibrance of life in the city... farmer's markets and street musicians, coffee shops and bakeries with lines out the door, steam or fog rising from a botanical garden, children running through it... and then inside the Hall of Flowers it smelled just like an old library book and there was this tangible evidence of other vibrant lives, in other places, in other times. I bought mostly postcards because they are small and inexpensive and because they are interesting. I found myself feeling glad that they hadn't been thrown out with the trash.

At $0.25 or a dollar per card, I bought anything (but not everything) I found inspiring in some way. Sometimes I bought something for what was written on the backside. Sometimes for the different phrasings of greetings from olden times. Sometimes for the humor, or beauty, or general weirdness. I was drawn mostly to the Victorian and the art deco.

One of my finds at the vintage paper fair, which seemed somewhat unusual, was this postcard of a typesetting room in another part of the world, a long time ago. This is very tedious work!

I'm not going to post everything I bought, and not all at once, but here are some lovely ladies I seem to have collected:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why the Devil Don't You Write?

I picked this up at last year's Vintage Paper Fair:

My intention at the time had been to send it to a particular someone - someone who, for some reason, has always tolerated this kind of behavior from me. But I never did send it, and now I don't think I'm likely to. I'm somewhat resolved to be less obnoxious and more of a grown up this year.

This postcard is undated, though it was sent from Harry to Ella (Miss Ella, I should say) and it seems that Harry was directing the question to himself. Postage at the time was 1 cent domestic and 2 cents foreign, and the backside was intended for the address only. This year I saw quite a few postcards aimed at goading a friend or relative into writing, though this was the only one to invoke el diablo.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Holla, 2011!

I am ready for a new year. For clean spaces, new starts, renewed vigor.

And I wonder if I had this this awesome golden recycled wooden sign (as spotted on sfgirlbybay) on my wall, if it would remind me to welcome things. Or be cheerful. Or keep a sense of humor.

A less room-altering start are these (more practical, less expensive) really cool downloadble desktop wallpapers I randomly came across while browsing through The Donut Project website:

Letterpress-related: Wood Type Alphabet

Practical Information in a Handy Form

I Work Because I Love This Shit