Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Brooklyn time

So I'm staying in Brooklyn for the next couple weeks, enjoying some downtime between the NY Stationery Show and the upcoming Renegade Craft Show (June 6-7, McCarren Park). Mostly I've been walking around a lot and doing a lot of crossword puzzles and drinking gin and tonics, and I can't complain about any of those things.

But I've also been spending some time printing at The Arm, a great letterpress shop run by Daniel Morris. I always love stopping in for a visit to see whatever new press he's acquired and is fixing up. Right now, he's working on a Vandercook Universal I (I think) and then he's shipping it down to a guy in Texas. These days, Dan's got three Vandercooks up and running - an SP-15, a Universal I, and a giant motorized Uni III. He's also got an 8x12 Old Style C&P and a couple table top Pilots. It's a great set up for teaching and public use - he opens the studio up for workshops and also rents is out by the hour.

I've been renting the studio to finish up some jobs I didn't have time for before leaving Portland last week - some wedding invitations and business cards. I think they came out pretty sharp, if I do say so myself. The business cards still need to be die cut to mimic the shape of the blind embossed border. I'm loving the black-on-black:

Monday, May 18, 2009

The First Night

Things are looking good now, but we got off to a rough start, in classic Blue Barnhouse style. Our first night in town, we stayed late at The Jav to set up, and didn't leave there until about midnight. We stopped by our favorite local bar (Hudson Yards) to visit our favorite bartender (Barry) for a nightcap.

Four hours later, we found ourselves being asked to leave on account of Brandon running his mouth about one thing or another. The next thing either of us recall is Brandon shouting, "oh shit - it's 11am!". The show started at 9. Two hours late on the first day of the show. Oof.

New York Stationery Show

I've never had a harder time getting on the internet than I have in New York City.
I'm taking advantage of some cheap-ish margaritas at a bar that has wi-fi to post this.
We're normally able to pick up a signal at the Javits Center (from now on known as "The Jav"), but I think they're maybe cracking down a bit more this year.

We're on day two of the New York Stationery Show, and so far so good.
Blue Barnhouse is cleaning up, which is totally awesome and also to be expected. Buyers seek them out, and drop references to Brandon's personal life on account of the fact that his blog is technically about Blue Barnhouse, but is also riddled with fun facts about his personal life. Power and Light is putting forward a fair showing - completely satisfactory to me. I went into this with zero expectations, except I was hoping it might pay for my plane tickets. Check! So far I've gotten three totally respectable orders, and quite a bit more interest than I anticipated - leads I'll need to follow up on and keep my fingers crossed they go through, including one very promising national chain, which would really help launch me forward. We've got one and a half more days, and I'm feeling optimistic. Brandon's been a really great rep, and I pretty much have only him to thank for any success I might find in this show.

The show is much smaller this year than in years past - about 35% fewer exhibitors, which means that a lot of the crap has been weeded out. The smaller size, I think, makes it more managable for buyers to connect with the vendors they want, so hopefully it's a win-win for everyone.

I think Blue Barnhouse is probably doing a much better/more entertaining commentary on the show, so I will direct you there: http://bluebarnhouse.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 15, 2009

photo shoot with Melanie Brown

The lovely and talented Melanie Brown took some photographs of my work recently.
Just got the disc back - here are some of my current faves.

New York Stationery Show, ahoy! Part Two

This photo was taken yesterday, right before I realized I hadn't scored ANY of my cards.
"oh shit"
Cranked out a few stacks in the afternoon, but then just couldn't handle it anymore.

Even though I'll just need samples for the NYSS, I'm bringing a whole lot of everything so I can fill orders while I'm there, and still have lots of stuff for the Renegade Craft Fair in early June.
Three weeks in New York! I'm gonna need to get another job.

Monday, May 11, 2009

thanks for the press, BBH. Also, for the unsavory photos and anecdotes.

Many thanks (or something) go out to Blue Barnhouse for their recent post about Power and Light, particularly their links to photos from our hotel room at the 2009 Gift Show, which I will not, myself, link to in this post. All I can say is this: I narrowly avoided being ironed once, and I will not allow it to come that close again. Check out their post here:

New York Stationery Show, ahoy!

Hello reader(s?),

I was hoping to start updating this blog more frequently, and I was really hoping to start coverage of the "before" stages of the NYSS, but I quickly became aware that said "before" stages involved a whole lot of production time and very little assessment and reflection time. I've been trying to finish up a bunch of custom jobs and, while I still don't have a huge line of cards, I've been working on a few new designs, as well as figuring out packaging and presentation - I guess what you might call "branding", which, by the way, is perhaps my least favorite word in the English language. Even worse than "utilize" or "moist". One thing I have realized is that I use a lot of red and black in my work. For instance, in pretty much everything.

I had a great photo shoot last weekend with the very talented Melanie Brown - I haven't gotten the photos back from her yet, but I know there are going to be some beautiful ones. She set up all these great little moments around my house, using common objects as props. I loved seeing how these items - often so overlooked in our household - were transformed into the most lovely counterpoints to my printed pieces. Things like dried daffodils, stacks of LPs, tea cups, balls of yarn, and the wood pile became integral parts of these tiny poems she created. It was so inspiring watching her work. I'll post photos as soon as I get them back. I'm also working on setting up an actual website, which will largely feature the photos she took.