Sunday, September 8, 2013

Maurice Sendak Posters to Promote Reading

I had a little staycation this weekend as my husband spent some concentrated time with our daughter. I spent the morning in bed, drinking coffee and reading Paul Yoon's gorgeous new novel, Snow Hunters.

I also came across this fun post by Brain Pickings, showcasing a series of posters by Maurice Sendak promoting reading to children. These are my two favorites:

Friday, August 9, 2013

The San Francisco Center for the Book posted this artwork on their Facebook page today. I love it.

Somehow, we're a third into August. That means I should be thinking about a Christmas card, as far as the letterpress is concerned. My goal was to open an Etsy shop in 2013 with at least a small inventory, so I have only a few months left to do so.

Speaking of a love rush, my time home with Isobel has been amazing and though it seems like I should have a lot of printing time, my days are mostly filled with play and meals, and my free time on freelance writing work, not to mention keeping track of the plethora of photos we've amassed in the past year. So, the printing days are out there, and I'll get to them, eventually.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

An Iconic Letterpress Moment

Also a mysterious one. My husband came across this image on Tumblr:

She's working on a floor model platen press (so, like mine, but bigger) and all I have to say is, Look at those shoes!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Crush on: Sugarboo Designs

It's always a pleasure to come across a new-to-me designer whose work I want to scoop up in large amounts, which is exactly how I feel about Sugarboo Design's vintage engraving-inspired notecards and postcards.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ocean Beach & Cliff House in 1930

There's this great blog I follow that's all about my neighborhood, and they recently posted this fun video of scenes from Ocean Beach and the Cliff House, back in 1930. Since I'm a fan of local ephemera, I thought I'd repost it here.

This might resonate a little extra for me because I used to live a stone's throw from Ocean Beach and the Cliff House, and also because my grandpa grew up in the Sunset and he or other relatives sometimes talked about the Playland at the Beach. I feel grateful to have experienced a little bit of history crossing generations, as when I lived in the Outer Richmond, the Musee Mechanique was still housed below the Cliff House. I often took long walks along the Great Highway that ended at the arcade, where I'd spend my spare change on Laughing Sal and the nickel and dime machines.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thank You Ladies of Letterpress!

As mentioned in my last post, I recently attended a workshop at the San Francisco Center for the Book.  The workshop was focused on tabletop platen press maintenance - which, for me, as a newbie, is really important. It's sort of akin to playing a song on a badly tuned instrument. Even if you've learned the song, it won't sound good unless the instrument has been properly cared for. I am very grateful to the Ladies of Letterpress for allowing me to attend this workshop as a recipient of their 2013 scholarship!

The workshop was held in SFCB's new location on Rhode Island St., and what a beautiful space. I loved the way their old space was ink-splattered and lived-in and smelled vaguely of chemicals, but their new building has a sort of calm, cool, spacious vibe which allows them, importantly, to house more presses. There is room to print, offices, classrooms, a gallery, and a very long worktable - and all impeccably organized.

As luck would have it, the workshop was actually cancelled at the very last minute - so last minute that I was already onsite. But since my husband was at home with our baby, I had the freedom and time to enjoy the exhibition I last posted about.

The reschedule was the following week, and though the class size had grown in the meantime, another strange turn of events made it so the other four students couldn't attend. This time, however, both the instructor, Alan Hillesheim, and I were there, and so I had a private lesson. It was fantastic.

The center has 2 platen presses that are similar to mine, which we were able to use as references. The workshop covered how to level the platen on its four axis points, as well as how to advance the entire platen toward the press itself, the importance of taping the rails and when to do so, oiling the press, and general tips about packing and inking. As I was the only student, I was also able to ask specific questions about my press and other printing-related matters. Needless to say, in three hours we covered a lot of ground. 

A big thank you again to Jessica and Kseniya and the Ladies of Letterpress!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SFCB: Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here

In light of the tragic bombings in Boston this week, I thought I'd share an exhibition I saw last week when I attended a workshop at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here is a collection of 55 artist's books that were created in response to the March 5, 2007 bombing of Baghdad's "Street of Booksellers." Each artist created three copies of their book, one copy of which will be donated to the Iraq National Library.

Needless to say, each resulting book was as unique as its creator. The photo quality is sorely lacking, but here are a few quick pictures I snapped:

Some books that were open to artwork included text excerpts on separate pieces of paper, so that you could sample the poetry or writing within, such as this:
It's Spring 
by Loretta Cappanera
Italy, 2012 

It was a clear morning, the first day of Spring. In the little flower pot on the bedside table was a bunch of violets, the white sheets, the hands placed one next to the other, tied to a blue thread. Those hands had accompanied mine when sketching my first designs and tenderly followed my first readings. There always was a book in his hands, even after a tiresome day. I wished to bind those hands to mine.
The day before, there had been a big demonstration in Rome against the war in Iraq. The thousands of people present had tightly held another's hands around an extremely long flag, bearing the colors of the rainbow and the writing, "It's Springtime."

The exhibition is open to the public. Just walk into the SFCB at 375 Rhode Island St., between 16th and 17th. Viewing hours are Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm and Saturdays from 10am - 4pm.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

May your Easter, or weekend, be a lovely one.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sneak Peek: Merci Beaucoup Notecards

I am slowly beginning to create designs and inventory for an eventual online shop, and as I am a bit of a Francophile, the first few will be in French. These flat thank you notes are printed on my favorite 100% cotton paper.

Monday, March 11, 2013

wanted: a map of the world

Thanks to brain pickings for the heads up about this book: A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers. Magical.

Vesa Sammalisto - Island of Manhattan
Dorothy - LA Film Map 
Vesa Sammalisto - Hartwall Lapin Kulta
Harriet Lyall - 3.2 Miles / 9 Bridges 
Masako Kubo - Kyushu Train All Stars
João Lauro Fonte - Boots Adventures in London (Converse)
These maps really underscore how many ways there are to view the world. They also remind me of Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City, in which she explores my hometown of San Francisco in 22 unexpected maps and 19 really wonderful essays.

Check out the post on brain pickings for a description and a few more striking image samples.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Kinfolk: ice cream + flowers

What a brilliant idea. I was at the San Francisco Ferry Building earlier today and checked out the latest issue of Kinfolk at the Heath outpost. I'm always in awe of Kinfolk's general beauty (Heath's too), but this ice cream/floral spread is exceptionally beautiful. I think the prettiest shots are not even pictured here.

All images courtesy of Kinfolk. Also, check out Amy Merrick's website and blog for more of her lovely floral stylings.

Floral Alphabet by Anne Lee

I love coming across cool stuff in the blogosphere, and in more recent months, via Pinterest. The latter is where I first spotted Anne Lee's Floral Alphabet. At first I thought it was a font, but no - even better - it's the real deal. Images by Anne Lee Designs.