Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Typography Tuesday: Found Type

Saw this up in the Heights the other day. I held up traffic to get a picture with my phone.  I'm THAT girl. But look at that hand painted lettering!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gallery Wall

My man and I moved into our home almost 2 years ago, and when I say we've taken our time re-doing the place I mean it's been a slow crawl.  I'll admit I have commitment issues with hanging photos, as I have a habit of rearranging furniture, which leads to needing to rearrange photos.

So the walls remain naked, or frames remain propped up on top of shelves. The kitchen is the easiest place for me to commit to hanging things, likely due to the permanence of arrangements in there. 

All of this makes Jeremy crazy. He thinks a home doesn't look like home 'til there's things up on the walls. So this week I tackled a gallery wall in the staircase. 

Here's the before.

First I selected all of my pictures and got them into frames, most of which I had already collected.  Most of the frames were either black or white, and the photos were either vintage family photos in faded tones, or recent photos in black and white. I then cut a piece of paper the same size as the frame and labeled it with who the picture was of, and what direction was up, and the color of the frame.  And then I went to arranging them on the wall using scotch tape. I didn't have a system or plan for this. I just sort of eyeballed it, trying to keep the bottom frame eye level to whatever step I was standing on.  

I put mirrors at the bottom by the front door, 'cause y'know, you've got to check yourself before you head out to greet the world. 

Have you ever seen stairs wrapped in carpet this way? It looks like moss growth or something. It's awful.  Wishing I could rip it all up and put risers like Centsational Girl did with her stairs. 

I then just hung the frames over the taped up paper, pulling the paper off once I was satisfied with the placement. 

A few of the frames were not originally intended for wall hanging, as they only had the stand on the back for sitting on furniture (or wherever you choose to place your frames), so they required self-leveling hooks or these handy dandy 3M command strips velcro thingys. I am in love with these. I kinda wish now I'd found these before I started the whole project, they were SO easy! (and no they're not paying me to say this)

Like this one stubborn ikea frame that WOULD NOT hang straight. I just cut one of these velcro things in half longwise, or hotdog style if that makes sense to you in a middleschooler kind of way, and viola! 

That is a a picture of my folks the day they eloped.  They called their friends and said they were going to be at the riverhouse (a family vacation home on the San Bernard River) at 10 AM the following morning, and everyone was welcome to join.  My mom's dress was $13 and my dad's boutonniere is made out of artificial flowers. Their cake came from Safeway. And they're still married today 30 years and counting.  I love that photo and I love that it's one of the first things you see when you walk in the house. And I love that  I have a place for a lot of our family photos for everyone to see. I think it adds so much character and warmth to the stairway. Don't you? 

The color on the walls is Wood Smoke Gray by Glidden, and I think it is the perfect gray.  I'm absolutely dying to paint the front door. What color should I go for? Glossy black? Or something more adventurous?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Press Progress

So I've done a little work on the press recently and thought I'd give you a little update on where we are, what needs to happen next, etc. So I meet with a group of printers at the Printer's Guild at the Museum of Printing History Houston. Some of these members are older guys who were pressmen for a living, or have been doing this a long time, and they are a wealth of knowledge and a great resource. In talking to them about my press the consensus was that I should remove the automatic feeder.

The press I have is a Chandler and Price which was outfitted with an automatic feeder made by Kluge, probably around 1939 (according to the serial number.) The automatic feeder would be incredibly handy in that I could set it up, and let it run, and it would hypothetically be able to do all the printing for me. It would pick the paper up, put it in the press, pull it off, etc. I would not have to hand feed it into the press, which is how a lot of other presses work.

The problem, however, comes in getting it set up. The vacuum pump which runs the suction needs restoration (or replacing), and setting up the feeder is a fickle thing. Unless I was doing large production runs, by the time I got the thing set up and adjusted for each individual job, I'd have been able to hand feed it through myself. I was discouraged the first time I heard this. I sought other opinions and they all agreed. The feeder should go. Unless I had bought a turn key operation in pristine condition, I was setting myself up for frustration. So off it came!

Here is the before.
And here is the after.

There are still some small components that need to come off, but otherwise the automatic feeder is laying on my garage floor waiting to be taken to the scrap yard. I feel like a weight has been lifted! 

So my to-do list (that I know about) to get the press printing is:
remove automatic feeder
re-wire and mount new motor and phase drive
build and mount a new feed table
general spit shine/cleaning/oiling
build caster cart
general supplies gathering (ongoing)

I can't wait to get this thing up and running! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


As if the title isn't interesting enough. I actually grabbed the book because of the interesting cover. I haven't read it yet. I'm hoping it is as "fascinating and stimulating" as Cyril Connolly says.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


There's two things I hate in life.

1. Hypocrites

2. People who don't update their blogs

More on this later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lost Arts

The longer I go without blogging, the more pressure I feel to post something AMAZING, but alas, I have nothing amazing to post. But I want to post SOMETHING.

I hear a lot lately about the importance of passing on "lost arts." I learned the "art" of canning yesterday with my mother. OK, really I participated in it. It'll take a few rounds before I feel like I really have it down. Relish preservation really is a tedious thing!

Anyway, this "lost arts" of course falls in line with letterpress, learning a craft rendered obsolete by modern printing techniques. I'm excited to carry that torch, because I know modern techniques just cannot replicate the gorgeous tactile product produced by kissing ink to paper with metal plates driven by hundreds of pounds of cast iron. It's history and it is messy, tedious, cumbersome, and slow, and I love it.

This guy is keeping the art of calligraphy alive, which is awesome, because every good stationer needs a good calligrapher. Did you know they aren't even teaching cursive in school anymore? I was indignant when I found this out. INDIGNANT!

Seriously, go check out this video. Maybe it will inspire you to keep calligraphy, or some other lost art from falling to the wayside.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Etsy shop

I was so inspired by Betsy Dunlap's post showing all her Valentines she'd sent out with all these lovely vintage stamps. Just look at how striking they are.

I've seen them around everywhere too! You can't look at a wedding website showing custom designed stationery wardrobes without the custom matched vintage stamps to compliment the carefully chosen hues. Who wants an ugly ole' forever stamp on their wedding invitation?

So I'm making it easy for you to find these gems. I would like my ephemera offerings to include vintage stamps in my Etsy shop So I only have one listing so far, but believe me I have hundreds of stamps I just need to sort and list! I'm having a hard time not keeping them for myself!