Archives for category: a. favorite design

potential storage solution

work has been incredibly busy. we’re growing by leaps & bounds. it’s wonderful! along with all this growth has come some storage challenges. i’ve spent years collecting wonderful, unusual, vintage shelving & items not normally used in a shop as our storage. it makes for a very fun working environment. however, it also limits space. and many of the items were hand me downs that i used only because they were free. we’re in a place now where we can invest some money into a few more efficient storage items. i have a limited budget & space but am determined to find some attractive, industrial storage solutions. perhaps an old factory cart or shelving. maybe a wall of basket lockers. we’ll see but let the treasure hunting begin!

packaged cards

wilamina's counter

packaged cards

it’s been over a month since my last post. it seems august came & went in the blink of an eye & september quickly followed. fall is here & our beautiful garden & flowers are starting to show signs of less sunshine & cooler temperatures. the studio has been hustling & bustling filling holiday orders, designing & printing valentines. since march wilamina (my 1913 chandler + price printing press) & i have printed over 100,000 impressions. in fact, this week i think we’ll hit 150,000. i’ve had a month & a half filled with wonderful adventures both at home & work. i’m hoping i can spend some time in october blogging about them.  stay tuned!

tom adjusting paper feeder

in august of 2009 i had to move my studio. i had purchased a 1946 craftsman automatic chandler price printing press & my current studio didn’t have a floor sturdy enough to support both my original press & the new (to me) press.

so i moved. i moved all my stock, my paper cutter, my 1913 platen press, several work tables, envelopes, packaging material, bookcases, desks, a type cabinet, two marble top tables, an inking station & numerous other printing & business supplies. all in all it took about three weeks to move and maybe one full week of down time for my business.

tom adjusting paper

i had the press moved from a basement in elgin, il to my new & improved studio. i was in the midst of holiday printing & order fulfillment so the press sat. she sat several month before tom & i tried to get her up & running. we poured over the manual, i wiped all the oil & dirt off of her. oiled each of her 100+ oil holes & fired her up. she worked for a few minutes then wouldn’t feed paper anymore. we poked & prodded & adjusted for hours only to realize she had a broken ratchet that advanced the feed bed.

celebratory tom!

it took nearly 2 years to get this part fixed. that’s right. almost two complete years. but she’s fixed. and tom & i spent the majority of our saturday trying to get her running. after a few hours of reading, experimenting & adjusting, we got the press to feed 8.5 x 11 cardstock. it was exciting! the possibilities felt endless.

then, after a celebratory lunch, we came back to try to print. i inked up the press only to realize after another several hours, we couldn’t get the 9.5 x 12.5 sheets i always print on to feed. boo! more reading & experimenting. stay tuned for updates…

paper feeding & delivery!

tape graveyard...

there are many tools in letterpress printing. i have a whole peg board filled with composition sticks, quoins, keys, mallets, wrenches, scissors, screwdrivers, ink knives, pantone formula guides & several other odds & ends. however, none of those is the tool used most when printing. when i print i use masking tape. lots & lots of masking tape. i have a dispenser next to the motor controls at all times. it’s so close i don’t even have to look to grab a piece. i use this magical tool for every print job. i can’t say the same for all those more expensive & sought after tools i’ve acquired through the years.

86° in the studio today

it’s stifling outside. npr just reported 100° at the lakefront & 97° inland. the studio air is cranked yet the ink is runny, i’m sweaty & it’s feeling stuffy. it’s hard to stay busy without doing much physically. i have lots of printing to be done & find myself again daydreaming of my studio space. dreaming of central air and perhaps something with warm, deliciously colored wood floors. and lots of windows… maybe facing east so i won’t fry in the sun like my current space…

former paper boy sorter

former paper boy sorter

more treasures from paper boy arrived this past weekend. i am the proud new owner of a metal paper sorter! as well as two mail bins and one bank table, photos of that beauty coming soon, i’m still making space for it. but here’s a preview of the other goodies. i’m interested to see where it will eventually end up in the studio & just how much we can put in it. what is it about heavy, industrial, metal stuff that attracts me?

2011 holiday printing

2011 holiday printing

i’ve been in holiday mode since february. i tried really hard to release my new styles at the 2011 national stationery show. unfortunately, life had another idea & i had lots of family tragedies that took priority. so deadlines shifted & i finally created my newest holiday line in june. i thought i would be done printing the line beginning of july at the latest. instead, it is now mid-july & i just finished. i’m hoping my wonderful stores will think they are worth the wait. here’s a little behind the scenes peek at the first colors on piles & piles of paper. and soon enough i might even share a seek peek of a few of the mentioned designs.