Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend Harvests

My friend Carrie drove all the way down from Mid-Missouri just to get a crack at my letterpress. Well, and to see me also.

So after chatting all day at MamaMade, we packed up and headed back home, anxious to get started printing.

Carrie has an incredible knack for simple, beautiful drawings. I had her do some sketches and send them to me, then I cleaned up the edges and sent them to Owosso for magnesium plates. You can see those in the previous post. Designs include pine cones, sea shells, and a spindly flower. I'm still sort of getting used to the press and troubleshooting, but toward the end we were getting some pretty great results.

Here are the pine cones which are waiting to be made into some cards and envelopes.

We have plans to water color the sea shells for original artwork prints. And keep your eyes peeled (what does that mean, anyway?) for a new joint etsy shop. As soon as we can think of a brilliant name, we'll put it up. Suggestions welcome. Speaking of Etsy, I'm putting up my recipe cards with handsewn bags in just a minute.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:40 PM :: (1) comments

Friday, April 25, 2008

Get Excited!

I'm so happy with the way my be-labored recipe cards have turned out. They dried just in time, and I got some little drawstring bags sewn for them, now I just have to put a price tag on the extreme amount of labor that went into them from the carving to type setting to registration and paint color mixing. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to turn much of a profit, but I love them so much that I think it's worth it. Plus, it was a good starting project for my press.

My dear friend Carrie is coming down for the weekend, and after MamaMade (9am-2pm at Lillie Belle's Teahouse in Franklin!!!) We're going to put ole' Chuck to work. Carrie is an incredible talent. It makes me a little sick, honestly. But it's benefitting me, so it's okay.

I had her do some little line drawings and I cleaned them up, sized them, and sent them to Owasso to have plates made. It was all I could do not to work on them last night, but I had to work on recipes and getting ready for tomorrow.

I'll definitely post the results after the weekend is over. We've got some serious plans, Mwahahahaha!

And here are a couple more items I'm going to have at MamaMade: Large Bookies--and can you see the cover stock? Yup. Original Hatch Show Print posters from the rummage pile cut up and made into bookies!

Can't wait to see you in Franklin tomorrow! And check out the Main Street Festival too--tell you what. Bring me a funnel cake and get a free prize!

Labels: ,

Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:56 AM :: (3) comments

Thursday, April 24, 2008

MamaMade Spring Market THIS SATURDAY!!

Come out and see some amazing hand work by moms, and a couple of non-moms (Myself and Freshie) in Franklin! It's also the fabulous family fun Franklin Main Street Festival, so you can make a day of it!

I've put the press back up in production and think I may have solved some of my problems with ink--I think it just needed to be watered down a little. These recipe cards--in my favorite rainbow colors--are hopefully drying and getting themselves ready for the show. I have a lot of stuff to do before Saturday--not the least of which is cleaning the house for a very special house guest. (Carrie, I'm sorry, but the shower is pretty moldy, and I have literally mountains of laundry to do, and they just might not get done.)

Labels: ,

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:46 AM :: (2) comments

Monday, April 21, 2008

Save the Dates Round 2

Much better! I'm still having ink problems with my linoleum plates, but I like the look of this. I worked on the carving a little, and re-did the borders.

I forgot to say earlier--but THANK YOU so much for all the kind comments. I felt so much better after reading them!! It's so easy to second guess yourself when you have so many ideas. I actually think the land of blogs makes things more complicated. My lovely friend Jenn came over for some wedding brain dump on Friday night, and she talked me down from totally changing colors and hating my dress and on and on. I know you only get married once (hopefully) but contrary to popular belief, this is not the end all and be all of my public display of artistic talent. It's gonna be fine. It's gonna be fine. It's gonna be fine.

This is the major accomplishment of my weekend. Otherwise, lots of plant and seed purchasing, walking outdoors and dinner with friends.

Here is why the FIT is so great--a 37 x 74 inch mirror : 1, human cargo: 2.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 10:09 AM :: (4) comments

Thursday, April 17, 2008

STDs (Save the Dates, silly!)

I'm having a major change of heart. Probably the first of many. Here is my grande idea for Save the Dates, and I feel strongly about sending out STDs (hehe) since it will be a travel wedding for so many of our friends and family.

I spent 2 evenings carving this thing out, and now I only feel so so about it. Maybe it's just that the test print doesn't look great. I didn't want to ink up the whole press rig, so I just used my little hand press. And honestly didn't even try very hard at that.

Now I'm waffling about several things:

1) this is SO different from my ideas for the invitations. Is that okay? Is it too rustic?

2) I wanted to print light ink on dark brown paper, but also want to include travel info on the back. I've never printed light on dark, so I have no idea if that's going to work or not.

3) I want it to be a mailable postcard, but don't know if I can print the light ink in tiny print for the back side.

This is the way I'm torturing myself lately. It's probably not a big deal, but you know how it is--you feel the pressure to do things EXACTLY the way you want. I think this is exacerbated for people like me who design things the way everyone else wants all day long. I've looked forward to designing things for ME for so long, I want it just right. My inner perfectionist is coming out, and I think she's not so friendly. Look out!!

Please feel free to weigh in about these problems--you guys always seem to have either a solution or a reassuring word. And I will honestly not mind someone saying "chuck it and start over."


Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:34 AM :: (14) comments

Monday, April 14, 2008

Centerpieces!! And Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial

After a most productive trip to Ikea (the happiest place on Earth), I now have everything I need for centerpieces. Well, almost. I do need candle holders, since I can't really use my high ball glasses. I have a brilliant idea about wedding stuff: there should be a craigslist site for weddings only. We all buy 20 white vases, use them one day, then what? Well, actually, these are flower pots, so I'll probably use them for planting but still. I'm sure there are thousands of brides out there with votive candleholders and nothing to do with them. I'm just saying. I wish I was a programmer. Or had the money to invest in that.

So anyway, here are the flowers, and the kit I got from Martha Stewart's aisle at Micheal's. It set me back $20, but now I know how to make them myself and it will be sooo much cheaper than live floral centerpieces. The orange ones are the designs on which I went renegade. Plus, I really like how the light shines through the tissue paper. Does anyone have a good source for all shades of tissue paper?

Here's how this works. The Martha kit has several other designs with stamens, etc. so it might be worth it to get the package, at least as a starter kit. (p.s. It's not that I'm vain, but my PhotoBooth application made the photos very easy for this lazy girl)

1) cut a rectangle stack of about 6 sheets of tissue. Then fold in half and cut the edges in a scallop or point, or whatever you like. These will be the petals.

2)Fold the stack of paper accordian style

3) wrap a small piece of floral wire around the folded stack. The fold will the top, the flat side will be the sides.

4) Take the top tissue layer and pull it up toward the center. Work your way around and continue pulling those sheets up until the flower is all done!


Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:57 AM :: (4) comments

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Better than Pottery Barn

Ever since my polymer clay business in high school, I've loved Old Time Pottery. I used to buy bulk glass vases and laminate slices of polymer patterns to them and sell them at a boutique.

Now I live in Nashville, the home base for Old Time Pottery, and it's glorious. Imagine Pier 1, World Market, and Garden Ridge all in one huge wal-mart size warehouse. Yeah. Pretty much heaven.

Especially great for centerpiece type items. I'm looking heavily at those brown squares right up there. They're only 3.99, and I think will look good with the brightly colored flowers I'm planning.

OTP also has a fantastic selection of dishware, serving ware, glassware, pretty much any kind of ware you could need. I wish I could register there, because I want to do all white dishes, and they have the best deals!

They also have tons of baskets, lamps, mirrors, frames, silk flowers, actual pottery for outside, and tons of garden stuff. At the flagship in Murfreesboro they even have plants! Don't expect a luxurious showroom, but if you're serious about you want to buy, this is the place to go.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:17 AM :: (4) comments

Monday, April 07, 2008

Location, Location, Location

Special Wedding Agent Jamie and I made a very quick scouting trip to Missouri this weekend. It was originally going to be a dress shopping extravaganza, but since I walked in and bought my dress off the rack last weekend, we were free to do other fun stuff.

Of course, Jason wasn't there, so we weren't making major decisions, but I really just needed to see the place in person. This is Summit Lake Winery just outside Jefferson City, Missouri, which is the state capitol. It sits high on a hill overlooking the highway and also the state capitol building. While it's rather brown here, I think it will be gorgeous in late August.

We decided that it was better to start out with a nice location, so we don't have to decorate quite so much. I mean, twinkle lights in the Elks Lodge only go so far.

Here's the inside and Janice, the caterer. She is a hoot and very organized. We talked about the flow of the wedding and reception--things I had no idea about.

I'm not so sure about those pizza hut style chairs, but I'm not sure if I can afford to rent the covers for them either. Any (inexpensive) suggestions?

After all the wedding stuff, we headed to Central Dairy for a taste of the local specialty. As a kid we always wanted to stop here on our way home from Grandma's. Most of the time we didn't. Mom told us it was closed on Sundays, which we now know to be untrue. Oh well. There's my dad after the fruitful trip.

Central Dairy is the local dairy which still has a storefront, when most dairies closed up shop long ago. It looks just the same as it did 20 years ago, and probably more, but I only remember back 20 years.

Mom is simultaneously eating her ice cream and disapproving of the sugar and fat content of the afternoon. Hey, we walked for an hour at Memorial Park right after this, so we worked off at least one of the scoops!


Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:09 AM :: (3) comments

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The real reason I want to get married

You are all very sweet! You asked for it, so get ready. I'm visiting the venue this weekend, so I'll post about that next week.

Now that I have some of the big things out of the way, I don't feel so guilty turning my attention to the real excitment: invitations. You know they are going to be awesome. At least, if all goes according to my vision.

Today I bought a new calligraphy nib, on the recommendation of my college graphic design professor Deborah. Back in school, I somehow talked the administration into letting me take a 3 hour calligraphy class instead of drawing. Between you and me, I probaby could have used the drawing. I really wish I had taken illustration. Instead, I'm trying to practice, practice, practice on the back end. Oh well. Now I can hand-letter my own invitations!

I've been seeing some fantastic invitations and calligraphy samples from my favorite blogs--StyleMePretty and Brooklyn Bride. Check out this gal!!

My goal with the wedding, and specifically the calligraphy on the invites, is to be loose and arty. In general. When it comes to me, put a big checkmark by the "loose"! Ha! Your MOM's loose! Burn!


Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:17 PM :: (3) comments

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I'm not a superstitious person. At all. Now, I'm not going to show you my wedding dress. I mean, some things need to be kept sacred. And a surprise. Speaking of surprises...look at my wedding shoes! I just love them! They're not super comfy, so I have a feeling I might be looking for some dyable ballet slippers, but they are the perfect color!! For something blue, doncha know.

I realize that I'm really skipping ahead. I realize now that I haven't really mentioned much about the wedding here. I think I feel a little shy about it, and also I know that not everyone wants to hear about it all the time. I'm so surprised when people are excited to talk about it with me. I'm trying unsuccessfully not to be bride-brained. I think deep down I'm too proud to admit that I am prissy enough to be concerned with all the frou-frou details that go into a wedding. All this from someone who thinks spending that much money on ONE DAY is ridiculous, and soooo not my style. Then you get sucked into the "Well, when else can you wear a white full length dress." and "People are coming from a distance, so it better be a sit down dinner."

I found myself standing in a bar with my friends both male and female and when we got to the 7-minute pause that supposedly happens in conversations, I absentmindedly say "So, do you think I can have brown bridesmaids dresses and black suits?" I promptly had an out-of-body experience and shook my head to clear away the tulle from my brain.

I will try to write more on here about the wedding process, because I hope every little bit will help other people be more sane about their weddings.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 6:07 PM :: (7) comments