Archives for posts with tag: 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!

andrew bird performing

i am a huge admirer of andrew bird. honestly, i think the man is a genius. every time i listen to his music i am in awe of his passion & brilliance. he’s one of those artists that makes me want to be better at my craft. his many layers of instruments, whistling & singing are mesmerizing. and if you’ve ever seen him perform live you will be amazed watching him loop little snippets with every instrument he has. it’s mind-blowing!

you may ask how does music inspire letterpress printing? his music is one of the main soundtracks of the studio when i have control of stereo. but i guess it’s more his personal drive & passion that’s inspiring. andrew bird makes me push a little harder, experiment a little more, challenge myself with projects i know will be difficult. he makes me want to explore my passion more. embrace it until i am exhausted. and for that, i thank him. plus, his music is a great comfort to me when flying…

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?