Sunday, January 27, 2008

And the winner is...

Me! Hooray! I won an Emmy ( to be specific, in the Graphic Arts Category, in the MidSouth Region).

I don't have pics of me on Emmy night right now because I was so excited that I didn't take any photos with my camera.

But you can go to this link to see the speech--it's not that exciting. It's toward the end, and I'll tell you that Jason makes a cameo appearance! Oh, I can't really make that work on my Mac, it's super frustrating. I guess stay tuned for images.

Here is the Schermerhorn Symphony Center as we entered:

Posted by Beth Howard @ 6:40 PM :: (4) comments

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I would like to take this opportunity to debut my very first successful print with my new (old) buddy Chuck. That font is Caslon outline with in favorite variation--Small Caps. I LOVE small caps. That's when the lower case letters are just well, smaller caps. But perfectly proportioned to the biggies.

It only took an hour and half to layout. Dang! That is a big old pain in the butt. I now understand why we do things on computer. I mean really!

On Tuesday my rollers finally came in from NA Graphics in Colorado. I promptly set about printing. Jason came down and took these pics. He's so sweet not to have told me I had ink under my nose. And through hysterical laughter he couldn't tell me where to wipe my face.

These prints did not turn out so well. I had the letters all kinds of crazy up and down, so some didn't ink up at all. After consulting my guru Shona, I learned my lesson just in time to crank out some birthday gift notecards. I don't think Wendy reads this blog, so I guess I'm safe in posting the pics.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:55 PM :: (3) comments

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Creative Acts in Sugar

Have I ever told you it's my secret idiotic wish to make a wedding cake? Yeah. I'll stick to baby showers and bar mitzvah's.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 10:09 PM :: (2) comments

Monday, January 21, 2008

Here's to Happy Friends

Here are me and Jenn working on a little freehand machine quilting lesson. I WILL turn the whole world onto quilting. I WILL! Shona, Heather, Jenn and I had a loverly crafty day all day Saturday. I was in such a great mood afterward. We'll do it again soon!

I realized in '07 that I was surrounding myself with people with whom I have nothing in common. And on top of that, they were bringing me majorly draining stress.

2008's main resolution is to hang out more with people who 1) aren't manipulative 2) who actually give a crap about me 3) bring something to the table--like humor or creativity. and 4) do not bring DRAMA. Frankly, I just don't have time to care who hates who.

Bring on my crafty gals. We love each other and are pretty hilarious! Here is what we did this weekend. Heather, Shona, and Jenn (from Fayetteville and Van Leer Auction Fame) packed up their various textiles and fiber art (mainly knitting and quilting) and came on over. I made a pot of soup and set out all my fab craft books and magazines. I don't think there was one quiet minute for 8 hours straight.

Shona posted lot's o pics and the full tale. I couldn't say it better myself, so I won't. Please go check it out!

Go find yourself some friends who energize you!

Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:36 PM :: (2) comments

The woman behind the curtain

I have SO not felt like blogging. I take that back. I have SO not felt like exercising. But that is what has taken the place of my early morning blog posts.

I have much to post about. Lots of freelance type work. Some paid, some not. I'll have to show you a couple of things. First, here are some sketches for a logo that has just been completed. I'll post the final logo here:

I think it's really interesting to see how a logo evolves from the sketch stage to the end. Those first few ideas were really very me--hand drawn and organic. The final logo is a complicated mix between me, the client, and the marketing person. Ultimately, I hope to see these on some real estate signs around town! And maybe I'll use some of those sketches for something else in the future.

Here's to a more bloggy week. I swear I'm not going to be one of those people who never blogs. I swear. On chocolate. That's how serious I am.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:15 PM :: (3) comments

Friday, January 11, 2008

Back to School!

Hey everyone! I've gotten several questions about my "It's Sew Easy" Class at Watkins. And Yes! I'ts back! It starts up again on Feb. 14th. We had such a blast last session. All very fun girls, lots of great projects were completed, and some sewing machine demons were exorcised!

Here are the stats:
Wednesday nights, 6-9pm
Watkins College of Art and Design (Click there for the link)
6 weeks long
We finish one project per class period, and they include aprons, simple tote bags, zippered pouches and more! You'll come away with written instructions and a set of sewing skills to get you started on a million projects!

Here's the link to a post about the last class.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:22 AM :: (3) comments

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The very first print!

Well this is it. Chuck is no longer a virgin press. (Let's be honest, he'd been out behind the middle school long before he came to me from that pimp eBay.) Oh, I just forgot my mom and surrogate grandmother read this. Sorry for the vulgarity!

I just inked up the plate the old fashioned way with a brayer, then printed. Not exactly technically stellar, but I'm hoping that with the delivery of my rollers I really be in business. The most important thing I learned is to turn my quoins (the little locking wedges) much tighter. Hulk smash!

I'm in a rare mood tonight--sitting in a coffee shop waiting for freelance meeting number 2 for the evening. Meeting number one went really well, so I'm in a good mood. That, and I havd at least 4 Diet Cokes while talking. And my favorite--Pizza Marguerita!

When it's all said and done I'll have to post the logos I did for them. Let's just say it's really my style. I need to re-do my own website, but it's just so much work to define who I am as an artist. I mean really! But I can't imagine leaving it up to anyone else either.

That's all for now! I'll probably be buried in freelance for the next couple of days, but I do have other stuff to show you. I've been in a very printy mood lately. I screened a bunch of stuff this weekend that I can't wait to show you!

Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:00 PM :: (1) comments

Saturday, January 05, 2008

In the beginning

There was a press. There was a girl without enough good sense to be intimidated.

I hope that someday I look back at this post and am embarrassed. You see, I've never set type, and all I know is what Shona has shown me. (Don't you dare laugh at my chase there, Shona! I need your help!)

I went to SOS Linotype here just outside of Nashville. the owner, Jerry Spurlock was super nice and helpful. One of my friends said it must be like a kid in a candy store. And it really was. I was in a rush, so I didn't get the chance to dig through his many, many, many cabinets of type. But I did choose this one. It's Century Schoolbook, size 24. Quite an admirable first font. My boss thought it was really humorous that I could only buy one size. I think it's just the concept that I do high-tech stuff at work, high-definition, etc, and I'm going so far backward in technology to do stuff on this press. It is pretty ironic if you think about it.

So I bought a little furniture (the stuff that fills up white space and locks type into place), some quoins (they wedge into the frame and lock to keep things snug), a composing stick (to hold your type while you're laying it out), and this font. Jerry gave me this Christmas cut with Santa as a customer appreciation. And I also got those little cuts out of the drawers and drawers. That place is like stepping back in time.

So check out all the dust in that type case there. Yuck. I spent a couple hours last night cleaning it, and that was pretty gross. It's still not done, but it's on its way. I feel like it's a kind of penance or dues-paying to take time and take good care of my new old stuff. It's such a tradition, I can't go and defile it by not respectin'.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:01 AM :: (7) comments

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A fresh book

There's nothing so lovely as a fresh new sketchbook--right? Well, maybe a new box of 96 crayons ready for you to arrange in rainbow order. Well, I'm a huge fan of simple, grab the time when you can journaling or sketching.

I've had so many diaries over the years that I've written 2 entries in, then quit. What I do seem to be able to keep up is my little purse size sketchbooks made by me. Sometimes they're hand-bound with hard covers and button closures, and sometimes I just staple them pages to a cover.

I made a couple of little books last night. I prefer them to have just enough pages to really contain something, but not so many that it's intimidating. Also, it takes me a while to fill it up, and frankly, I'm sick of the covers by the time a month rolls around.

This book is posted up on Etsy. I made 2 as part of my goal for more efficiency. Plus, it's pretty darn cute, I think.

A little about the process: Just like the bookies, I'm taking fabric and ironing it to a cardstock cover with fusible web (like wunder under) and then handstitching the text block in. The awesome thing about this book is the papers on the outside of the text block--a recycled bit of my big calendar from yesterday. This black sheet came with it I guess to protect it in shipping. Score for me!

Here's the Etsy link for this journal

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:55 AM :: (3) comments

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Viva 2008!

Happy New Year to all of you! I wish you a year of highly creative and fun endeavors! Resolve to try something new! I need to resolve to finish some projects and do less. We rang in the new year with some new toys--like the Nintendo Wii.

I scored that Stendig Calendar from the Crate and Barrel after holiday sale. Turns out, even though it's sold in the MOMA store, it's printed here in Nashville! It's a full 48"x36". Perfect for my red couch and otherwise black and white living room.

Jason cleaned the house for me yesterday since I had to work and there were people coming over. It was SOOO nice today to have the house clean, and just relax. Well, I did spend a couple of hours cleaning the studio. Boy, oh boy was it T-rashed! I'm just a messy person who really hates the mess. Sounds strange, but I think my mind doesn't think in terms of picking up after myself. I make a mess, then I totally forget that the natural order of htings is to pick it up. I'm usually a thousand miles away on the next project. Unfortunately, I HATE to even be in the studio when it's a mess. During show-prep time I just try to deal and fold fabric as much as possible. But otherwise, who can think about visual stuff with a huge mess around?

I'm sort of holidayed out, and I have to weigh in with the WATCHERS tomorrow--it's not going to be pretty. But what the heck. I have been looking forward to those white chocolate covered pretzels and homemade fudge since I started the Watchers months ago.

Here's to more blogging and more artsy craftiness in the New Year!

One of my lovely Christmas gifts and some of my attempts to draw more.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:50 PM :: (2) comments