Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paper = Fun

27 rue Laffitte 75009 Paris
Neighborhood: 9ème arr.

I didn't have time to visit all the super museums across the city this time around (what a pity), but I did make it into a stationary shop, Papeterie Laffitte. There were tons of beautiful totes, framed artwork, leather diaries and boxed stationary with lined envelopes of quality made paper, but my main objective was to get a notebook to scribble in while at the letterpress workshop I was attending the next day.

I found a great little piece by Letterbox-Paris called "absolute note book". The outside paper cover seems to be made of wood and the title was in thermographic print. I took the plunge and spent a whopping 4.50 euros, but I'm happy with one of the very few things I brought back with me, and served its function for scribbling notes inside of.

Their online catalog is full of fun stuff too from the Paris metro map to metal boxes to scratch and sniff adhesives to posters and pulp impressions all with a vintage flair.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cabbage // Workshop in Paris

I had the great chance to do a workshop with Thomas Gravemaker in Paris this last weekend. What an international affair as he's Dutch and I'm American crossing paths in Paris. Here's a pretty photo of experimental printing done with a piece of cabbage (yes, a cabbage!) by a gentleman he had learned from.

I'll be posting some instructional photos and videos soon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fête: DIY Hosting A Gourmand Baby Shower

In February I hosted a baby shower for ex-pat Kate. The theme of the party was inspired by Kate’s hobbies, like entertaining, cooking and photography. I thought a “GOURMAND” THEMED BABY SHOWER would be perfect.

I first designed a plant seedling as a logo and then decided to get a rubber stamp made for it (as I didn’t have my press at that point). I knew I wanted something more personalized than a digital print up. I mixed an antique rose with acrylic paints (it’s a girl) and applied the stamp to small envelopes filled with seeds to plant that spring. Finally, this envelope was put onto the cover of small kraft style notepad for guests to write down notes during the event.

Other stationery (that doubled as PRIZES) included DESIGNED RECIPE CARDS with Kate's favorite's like "Easier than Julia Child's Caesar Salad" and "Spinach Artichoke Dip,1960's Style". Another prizes included MATTED FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY of homemade pasta, fresh beans or nashe (a hybrid of pear and apple) by Kate. These matted pieces were then attached with a favorite quote and wrapped up with rustic string printed on cardstock.


I kept DECORATING SIMPLE and made about a dozen of the queen of DYI Martha Stewart's paper pompoms...a nice background effect inside barrel vault brick ceilings. The catering was done by La Bottega Errante  which supplied simple finger foods and local bottled wines.

THE GAMES kept the party fun and full of laughs. These included the classic blindfolded type games as: FIND THE BABY PENS IN A JAR OF RICE, FEED THE BABY (beware, this one can get very very messy--best to wrap a trash bag around person getting fed as the person feeding the “baby” is blindfolded), TOSS THE BABY WATER BALLOON (another messy one--decorate it with your baby’s face and you and your partner are more likely not to drop it)! 


proud parent winners

The GUESSING GAMES were interesting too...make a list of little know facts about the guest of honor and find out just how well her friends know her...

party photography by Maria Zanon and Roxy

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Black Corsair (part 1)

My exciting adventure in letterpress has begun before beginning. In reality, I've been looking for a press since October 2010. In the north of Italy where I live nestled near the foot of the Alps.

After finishing up my thesis (How To Make A Band Dangerously Cool), having had it printed on a laser printer, I was left a bit unimpressed at the quality of the print. But it was my only option unless I had a small fortune to get 500 copies of my thesis run on an offset press. So my search began in October 2010 by doing the obvious searches on Google, eBay and Briarpress. There's not a tremendously open and easy market here in Piedmont for that sort of thing, but I have found tons of table top presses in nearby Germany where I almost attained one from Berlin. It was all packed and ready for delivery until the darn little press had it's rollers stolen and other titbits just before shipping day.

Since then, I've been in touch with tons of people from Europe and America, because at that point it wasn't just about finding a press, but finding "the" press. I've come across a very helpful community of people who know tons about presses, and have been great help in whittling away the good from the bad. One of my very helpful contacts gave me a lead. It turned out to be a German tabletop Hohner (apparently a doozy), and is being fine tuned before I go and pick it up in April...

It's been a sweet chase for this press which has entailed some travel (one of my absolute favorite things to do), and meeting interesting people whom I never would have met had I not undertaken this challenge.