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OK – I am NOT tooting my own horn, here. I don’t like to do that and I cringe when other people do it. What I’m talking about here is the loveliness in something – anything – that is so clearly made by hand. Yes, I did some illustrations for Wendell August but their artisans turned them into something really worth putting on your tree. I was happy with the photos I saw in their catalog and online but when I received the samples in the mail this past week, I loved what I saw. You can tell, looking at each ornament, that someone – a real, live person, touched every piece of pewter and softened the rough spots and polished the surfaces. Each piece is stamped on the back and – gasp – the stamps aren’t uniform! I love it. I am so thrilled to be a part of this great group of people in Western PA that appreciate the value of the handmade.


After the big push to get TO the National Stationery Show and then get home FROM the show and unpack, decompress, etc, we then hopped a plane to Boston and spent some time exploring much of what New England has to offer. My baby brother tied the knot (I was a groomswoman!) in New Hampshire and then the entire crew went to York, Maine for a day trip to unwind. After that we headed to a college-friend’s farm and hung out with her family which includes two horses, six guinea hens, a herd/school/smack/murder of ducks, a dog and a cat. Three days of bird calls, owls at night, fresh air and good sleep = delight. AND I have a huge new crush on the Maine coast.

Now we’re home and the reality of filling all those awesome orders from the Show is setting in. I also have some projects that I really want to dig into while it’s still 2011. We’ll see how it all plays out. In the meantime I just got word that one of the projects I worked on a few months back is set to launch imminently. I was hoping to have some behind-the-scenes photos and all sort of good details on said project but life got in the way. I’ll have to sit on my hands and wait to see what the company rolls out.

Until later.



Happy holidays, all.

Merry Christmas to you!

Please take a moment in this hectic holiday season to place a memory in a Moment Jar.  I am so honored to have been included in this wonderful collaboration (in its eighth year!) with some of my favorite people on the planet.

Have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family.

This is it – tomorrow is the big day. It’s time for another Handmade Arcade and I can’t wait. Hours and hours of meeting new people and being surrounded by so much handmade awesome. I’ll be at the L2 Design Collective booth showcasing our holiday cards and banners, totes and gift tags and whatever else we happen to make today (this morning I’ve just put the last coat of varnish on these little test print boxes, for instance).

Stop on by (and I wouldn’t be too too upset if you brought a cup of hot chocolate with you) and say hey.

And here’s one more little idea – this Christmas when you’re thinking of how to spend your money, think handmade.

I love printing. Screenprinting. Blockprinting. Etching. Potato printing. Whatever. If it involves ink and something to put the ink down with, I love it. I don’t do enough of it and I’m hoping (begging, praying, rain-dancing, holding my breath, everything short of reading “THE SECRET!”) to make it happen soon. We have a huge basement that’s mostly filled with junk but there is ample space for a terrific screenprinting studio. I have 99% of it already done…for real. I can’t seem to get the last 1% done but one of the brothers is arriving in less than two weeks and, since he helped build the darkroom, wants to see a return on his investment. 

In the meantime, I did a little block print for the holidays and then printed it on anything I could find that would accept ink. I put the box on etsy and will use the envelopes for all the gift cards I will give out this year (sorry to ruin the surprise). 

Merry Christmas, all.