Announcing our Kickstarter Collaboration with Portland-Based Cartoonist Lucy Bellwood!

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(Cover Art by Lucy Bellwood)

I’ve been keeping this one under my hat for a little while now, friends, because I didn’t want to get super-excited (and, in turn, get you super-excited) until I knew for sure that it was a for-really-reals real thing.  Today, however, I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I will be collaborating with Portland-based Cartoonist, Lucy Bellwood, on one of the rewards for her upcoming Kickstarter project (set to launch this coming Monday, July 20th) which will help fund the publication of her newest book: “Baggywrinkles: A Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea”!

Lucy is an amazing artist and storyteller who I met through my involvement in the dance community, and have had much excitement about collaborating with for quite some time!  Her first Kickstarter-funded project, and first full-length comic, True Believer, which can now be downloaded and enjoyed digitally for free (woot!) touched a special part of my heart the first (and several subsequent times) that I read it, as it’s a very real story about what it means to be an artist today, and how it feels to muster the courage to do what you love.  Her comics, in general, are witty, poignant, and so incredibly real-to-life-stab-you-in-the-heart-and-soul-with-all-the-feels good (whew, that was a lot of hyphens, but seriously check out these recent ones: Salt Soap and Dance Yourself Clean).  Prior to publishing True Believer, though, Lucy has authored and illustrated a short, ongoing, comic-series, entitled Baggywrinkles.  From Lucy’s blog:

What is Baggywrinkles, you ask? Why, it’s my educational, autobiographical comic series about living aboard an 18th century tall ship! You can read the first five issues online for free, and check out new content from the series every week on Patreon. I’ve been working on these short stories intermittently since 2010, and I’m finally ready to bring the whole bundle together under one cover.

The Baggywrinkles book is going to be a 6″x9″, softcover collection featuring her already published issues 1-5, the never-before-seen-in-print Issue 6 (all about the history of scurvy), and a host of other exclusive goodies, one of which is the new limited-edition letterpress print she’s collaborating with us on! I couldn’t be more excited!  At one point, Lucy created a giant guide to sailors’ tattoos for the Vancouver Maritime Museum, which you can see her standing in front of in the photo below, and we’re going to help her turn it in to a limited-edition 2-color letterpress print!  It’s going to be so cool!!

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(Photo by Erika Moen)

If you are interested in obtaining one of these fine prints for the comics, tattoo and/or sailor-lover in your life, the only way to do so is by going over and supporting Lucy’s Kickstarter campaign.  To find out more about the campaign, keep an eye on Lucy’s website, blog, or other social media of your choosing (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram).  I’ll also try to keep you abreast of what’s going on with this project, ’cause if you couldn’t tell already, I’m a bit excited!  Thanks, Lucy!  Can’t wait!

From the Mailbox | Awesome Wedding Bag from Erica & Noah

From the Mailbox | Awesome Wedding Bag from Erica & Noah

It’s really fun to open your mail and receive something other than bills and junk, and I wanted to let you all know, I got something totally awesome in the mail today!  Last spring I worked with a couple in New York, who were married in June, on an awesome set of wedding invitation booklets that were letterpress printed on wildflower seeded paper and hand-bound by us.  These invitations were featured on our blog here, back in May and they were one of the most complex (and beautiful) suites I’ve ever designed and produced, that utilized the talents of not only myself, but a couple of my other favorite artists/calligraphers/designers, Crystal Kluge and Fran Heider.  You may recognize her invitations from another well-known wedding site, WeddingBee, if you had seen them before, but not from us.  Erica is Mrs. Hermit Crab.  Erica and her husband, Noah, were two of my favorite clients last year, and so it was awesome to receive some mail from them several months after their wedding had passed.  They sent me the cute postcard that you see above with a photo of them on their wedding day, and the lovely blue canvas bag that you see below.From the Mailbox | Awesome Wedding Bag from Erica & Noah

Erica’s postcard explained that she and Noah had had these bags printed for their out-of-town guests who were attending the wedding.  The bags featured the same hand-drawn map by Crystal Kluge that they had commissioned for their invitation suite.  I thought this was a cute idea, plus, I’m super-excited to have a bag of my own!  If you wanted to see just a glimpse of what their invitations were like, you can below.  The image on the left is of the actual invitation page in their booklet and the image on the right is of their map in the booklet.  If you’d like to see more photos of their invitations and read more about them, click on the link above to go to the full post!

From the Mailbox | Awesome Wedding Bag from Erica & Noah

Thanks so much again Erica and Noah!  You two are too sweet!  All the best!

Happy New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year's Eve! (Image Source)

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!  I had been contemplating doing a “Best of 2010” sort of post for today on the blog, but quite frankly, in looking back over all of the jobs I’ve done this year, all of the photos I’ve taken of wedding invitations we’ve created, baby’s births that we’ve announced, and other awesome business and personal stationery we’ve designed and printed this year, it was just too hard for me to pick out “Best of’s”.  If I had, this post would be as long as my leg, and as much as I know you love looking at pretty pictures, I’d rather give all of the jobs featured here their moment in the spotlight, rather than lumping them all together.  And, honestly, I have loved just about every client and every set of stationery we’ve done this year.  Of course, I do have some favorites, but the vast majority of customers I worked with this year were just too cool, that I don’t want to single anyone out (or forget anyone that was totally awesome).  So instead, I present you above with a photo from the first ever New Year’s celebration held in Times Square in 1904, courtesy of everyone’s friend, le internet.

2010 has been a wonderful year for Twin Ravens Press, and I feel so fortunate that I get to get up every morning and come to work doing something that I love.  Without all of you, this wouldn’t be possible.  Thanks for helping to make my love of great design, beautiful printing and century-old antique machinery into a career.  I couldn’t have done it without you.  Happy New Year’s Eve and I’ll be seeing you in 2011!

Sew in Love: Bridal Shower Cocktail Napkins

A couple of weeks ago, we printed a set of adorable, letterpress cocktail napkins for a bride-to-be named Ellie who is currently living in Portland.  Ellie was having a sewing-themed bridal shower in California and wanted some cute cocktail napkins for her party.  Ellie chose a light, tangerine-colored napkin and had us print the words “Sew in Love” on them in bright pink ink!  Sew in Love: Bridal Shower Cocktail Napkins

Sew in Love: Bridal Shower Cocktail Napkins

Aren’t they just adorable?!?  Letterpress printed cocktail napkins are a really fun addition to any wedding, shower, party or other celebration!  Check out a couple of our older posts here and here to see some other napkins we’ve printed in the past.  Thanks Ellie!

Stayin' Alive

Alright, I’ll warn you now that this post is way out of left field, and really has nothing to do with letterpress, but bear with me.  With the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup going on down in South Africa, I’ve found it difficult to stay fully on-task, all day long for the past week or so without periodically checking my iPhone or the internet for updated soccer scores.  Along with this, I’ve also been checking in periodically on the blog of the one South African artist I know of, Heather Moore of Skinny Laminx, hoping to see some photos or updates from someone who’s actual right there where the World Cup is happening.  (If you’re curious about Skinny Laminx, go check out Heather’s Etsy Shop.  I’ve purchased her tea towels and aprons before and trust me, they are awesome).  Heather hasn’t posted much about the World Cup on her site, but as I was catching up on her blog this morning, I did run across a pretty awesome bicycle video.

Cycling is another sport that I can get behind, as much as, if not more than, soccer.  I love riding my bike places instead of driving, and quite frankly, Eugene/Portland/Oregon in general are some of the most bike-friendly places I’ve ever lived in or been to.  Bicycling is pretty much a culture in and of itself up here.

Anyway, The Bicycle Portraits Project, which takes viewers on a bike-themed tour of South Africa, one of which is set to the most unusual version of the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive” that I’ve ever heard is being funded through Kickstarter Funding, and I think it’s a pretty nifty project.  I’ve reposted the videos below, so go check it out!

Thirty-Three Pounds of Awesome.

Thirty-Three Pounds of Awesome.
Hi all! I must apologize again for my lengthy absence from the blog world. I returned from my trip to Minnesota last Monday (I’ll have some awesome things to share about my trip here soon) , and it’s been pretty much non-stop ever since I got back. I’m working on some truly awesome stuff though, so keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks if you want to see some of the awesomeness I’ve been working on. And, speaking of awesome things, I received, literally, 33 lbs. of awesome in the form of handmade, wildflower seeded paper from Porridge Papers last week shortly after my return. The awesome paper maker out there that I’ve been working with, Samantha, even dubbed it so on the outside of the UPS box. She doesn’t lie. The paper we received and the project we are in the midst of printing with it, is indeed, 33 lbs. of pure awesome. More on that soon!

Out of Town | Minneapolis, Minnesota

Out of Town | Minneapolis, Minnesota
To all of my wonderful clients and readers: I wanted to let you know that I am going to be out of town this week, Thursday (today) through Sunday. I am traveling to Minneapolis to go to one of my younger cousin’s weddings. This trip is both kind of exciting and making me a little nervous, because I haven’t seen this particular part of my family for 15 years. I spent a little bit of time last weekend going through some old photos and found the photo at the top of this post. This photo was taken during the summer of 1995, which was the last time that I saw any of them in person. I’m the girl in the pink shirt on the far right, and was 11 years old at the time. My cousin Heidi who is getting married on Saturday is the one standing right behind me in the plaid shirt and overalls. She was 9 when this photo was taken, and the other three girls are also cousins who are in Minneapolis, who I will get to see at the wedding.

Aside from seeing my family that I haven’t seen in a while and attending Heidi’s wedding, I’m hoping to do some awesome Minneapolis work-related things while I am there, including meeting the uber-talented calligrapher/illustrator/designer, Crystal Kluge, in person. Crystal and I have been working together for a little while now on a few different collaborative projects including a few wedding invitations suites and some really cute holiday gift tags this last Christmas, but have never actually met in person, so I’m super-excited to finally meet her! (Click on the tag at the bottom of this post to see some of these projects! They are awesome!) A trip to one of the letterpress studios that I idolize, Studio On Fire, may also be in order, as they are located in Minneapolis as well.
If any of you out there are waiting to hear back from me on a print job or design work, or have recently made an inquiry about my services, I will be back to work on Monday morning (March 1st) and will answer your e-mails as soon as I can! Wish me luck and have a great weekend!

Bummer.


Bummer.
Hi all! If you’ve been following this blog for a little bit, you may have noticed an extreme lack of blogging this week. I’m so sorry! I totally didn’t intentionally leave you hanging. So, where have I been, you ask?

I had a little accident last Sunday. I’ve tried to tell all of my clients this personally, but I know I’ve missed at least a few of you, so if you’re waiting on a print job, or on design work this is why.
Last Sunday, my good friend Hollie and I decided to go hiking on Spencer’s Butte, which is a really nice hike that’s not too far of a drive from where I live in Eugene. We left the house in the afternoon and hiked all the way to the top of the Butte. January in Eugene is often really rainy and grey outside, but last Sunday it was really nice, fairly warm, sunny for most of the day, and not raining out – the perfect day for a hike. The photo at the very top and these below, are some pictures I took with my iPhone from the top of the Butte.
Bummer.
Bummer.
Bummer.
I feel so lucky to live in such a pretty place, where I can hike and see this not far from my home. Here is Hollie at the top:
Bummer.
And she and I together (sorry that we’re not completely in the frame – taking photos of yourself with the iPhone isn’t the easiest thing ever). If you don’t know me personally, but are reading this blog, if you ever wondered what I look like, I’m the one on the right. We were having fun!
Bummer.
Bummer.
We hung out up there for a little while, then decided to hike back down. As you can see from the photos, it wasn’t raining that day, but it had rained the night before. On the way back down the trail, I was talking and not paying the closest attention and I stepped wrong on a wet, muddy, mossy log and slipped. I tumbled to the ground and heard a snap, like a dry tree branch breaking as I fell. At first I thought I was okay, but when I went to stand up, my right leg wouldn’t bear weight.
Hollie, a very nice stranger named Katie who we ran into on the trail, and a couple of other guys, whom I didn’t get the names of, as well as my partner, Alex (who had rushed up from our house when I called), took turns carrying me down the hill and back to the car the rest of the way. A trip to Urgent Care and a few x-rays later, showed that my leg was broken about 2-2.5 inches above the ankle. Lame. They put me in a cast, and I have crutches, and will have them for the next 5-6 weeks, or longer. Here’s what I looked like shortly after I got home, Sunday night.
Bummer.
I wasn’t able to really get a good look at my leg until earlier this morning, but I took the cast off briefly and here’s what it looks like (if photos of nasty-looking injuries, make you squeamish, look away now).
Bummer.
Bummer.
Bummer.
As you can see, six days later, it’s still really swollen and very bruised. It is feeling better though, somewhat.
This post isn’t meant to be a pity post in the least, and if you are currently working with me, or have recently e-mailed requesting a quote or more information about my services, trust me, I fully intend to get back to you in a timely manner. As letterpress printing requires being on your feet quite a bit, as well as some moderate lifting, needless to say, the production side of TRP has been a little slow this week. I really appreciate all of your patience and well wishes, and if this is news to you – I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you first in person. I also want to send a HUGE thank you out to my wonderful friends and volunteers who have come by this week and helped me finish printing a couple of jobs that needed to go out, as well as a big thanks to those who just came by to say hi – you all mean the world to me.
On a happier note, I was recently interviewed by the lovely S. Jane of S. Jane Craft here in Eugene. Sarah is a good friend and makes really awesome stuff and is featuring a different artist every Monday on her blog. If you’d like to read my interview to find out more about me and Twin Ravens Press, check it out here. Thanks Sarah!
There will be much prettier pictures of stationery and business cards soon! Thanks for your understanding!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all of you out there had a wonderful New Year’s Eve last night and are looking forward to the year to come!

Twin Ravens Press has quite a few new and exciting things in store for you this coming year and I can’t wait to tell you all about them! However, as good things come to those who wait, I’m not going to tell you about all of them in full detail this morning, but I will give you a smidgeon of a sneak-peek into what I have in store for you for 2010! Here it goes:
• First off, there are going to be some brand new greeting card designs for Valentine’s Day coming out in the next few weeks. They will be available in our Etsy Shop. I already have a few very sweet V-Day designs listed up there already, so if you’re planning ahead for Valentine’s, go check them out!
• Over the last few months I’ve been working with an awesome web programmer in Tucson, Arizona. Said programmer is creating an awesome and much more bona fide website for us, and I’m really excited about it! Version 1.0 of this site should be up and running this month. Don’t worry – you’ll still be able to access this blog and our etsy shop from the new site, this will just be a great way of getting everything all in one place.
• For my lovely retailers out there, Twin Ravens Press will be releasing our first ever (!) printed greeting card and stationery catalog this spring. Normally I’ve sent out catalogs in .pdf form only in the past, but this spring we will actually have our first ever printed one. It’s pretty exciting! If you are already a Twin Ravens retailer, you will be sent one of our catalogs automatically once they are out. If you have been following this blog and are a retailer who is considering carrying my products, send me an e-mail if you’d like to receive a wholesale catalog!
• Speaking of the catalog, it’s going to be showing off a couple of expansions to two of our lines that have been pretty tiny until now. For 2010, our baby & child stationery and greeting card line, as well as our small gift tag/gift card line will be growing! Both lines will be featuring both some brand new products and brand new designs! The new stuff will be in the catalog and will also be up on this blog when they come out. If you are giving a gift in the near future or are having, or know someone who has a new baby on the way, check back to see the new, cute, letterpress printed goodness that is coming!
• All of this expansion and newness has recently got me thinking about trade shows. TRP hasn’t attending a large wholesale show yet, but I’m thinking that 2010 might be the year for it. Research is currently under way into all that this would entail. I will keep you posted on which show(s) we decide to attend, if we attend them this year!
• Last, but certainly not least, I’m very excited to announce that we will be offering a new technique to custom clients very soon to add a little extra-special touch to your letterpress printed pieces. I won’t reveal what this new technique is yet, but I can tell you that I am doing it for a current business card client and the results are looking awesome!
So, there you have it! All of this and more is what I have in store for you for 2010. If you have any questions about any of the above, or about working with us, please don’t hesitate to contact me! Have a wonderful weekend and a very Happy New Year!

Happy New Years Eve!

Happy New Years Eve!

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! The above image was a behind-the-scenes photograph of New Year’s Eve in Times Square in 1907. I love old photographs just as much as old printing presses, so I figured it a fitting image for this blog post.
Anyway, what to say about 2009. It’s really a difficult thing to try and sum up in a short blog post, especially when it’s been a year filled with both awesome and tough things all at once – but I suppose all years are like that really.
Probably one of the most major events of 2009 was the inauguration of the United States’ first ever African-American President, Barack Obama. As my friend, Joe, wrote in his blog post today,

“Yes, there’s lots of problems with the health care legislation, and no, Obama didn’t magically fix everything with his ultra-charismatic Jesus-like wizardry, but it’s still fantastic that the U.S. elected a black dude. And, despite Proposition Eight passing in California [in 2008], gay people are getting married in the U.S., and we will have it sooner or later. There’s gay marriage in Iowa! That’s pretty amazing…” – Source

Along with this we’ve made amazing advances in technology over the last decade. Think about it: when my mother was in college a computer was an enormous and highly-specialized machine that ran off of paper punch cards. Today the computer is something most of us have at least one of at home, possible along with our other handheld devices which we use to do business, connect with the world, educate ourselves, record our thoughts, and create and share a plethora of amazing things from videos, to websites, to printable art, all at the touch of a few buttons. It was kind of fascinating when I was traveling through airports earlier this week, on my way back from my holiday break, that nearly everyone at the airport had either a laptop, iPod, iPhone or other device. We are all connected, and computers aren’t the only thing; other technologies have advanced substantially over the last decade as well. Lasers for instance – once a subject of science fiction films, we can now do everything with laser technology from performing heart and eye surgery, to scanning barcodes, to cutting out intricate designs, patterns and shapes in wood, plastic, metal and paper. It’s really all pretty cool. Go us.
Along with the good of the year and decade though there always has to be some not-so-good. The main complaint I hear most people talking about these days has to do with the recession, and I agree, it’s not something to be taken lightly. We may be in the worst recession we’ve seen since the 1930s, but as awful as it is for a lot of Americans, at least we don’t have people standing in bread lines or trying to sell pencils in the street. We’ve been through a long, crushing recession, and in spite of it all, we’ve managed to avoid total destitution, which, in and of itself, is really pretty great. Despite financial hardship, many of Americans are still doing amazing things, starting businesses, and volunteering for the causes that matter to them most.
For Twin Ravens Press, 2009 has been a great year. I feel so very fortunate that I’m able to get up in the morning and do something I love for work everyday. When we’re living in an era where the majority of employed people don’t actually like their job and where there’s another hefty percentage of people who aren’t employed at all, I feel amazingly fortunate to do what I do. I was able to help over 75 couples announce, invite and celebrate their weddings with lovely letterpress printed stationery this year, along with also creating paper goods to celebrate births, businesses, holidays and other celebrations. That’s pretty cool. I’m already working with several new couples who are getting married in 2010, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them and everything else I have in store for you this coming year. 2010 is going to be fantastic!
As Carl Sagan put it, “We live in an extraordinary age.” He wrote this back in the eighties and it’s just as relevant now, if not even more so, than it was then, and it’s getting even better all the time. So to everyone out there, have a very Happy New Years Eve, and here’s to 2010!