Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cant. Bring. Myself. To. Blog,

So instead, I'm sending you to the loverly loverly world of the Tokyo Quilt Show. Thank goodness for flickr!!!

Taken by Tempusmaster

I'm obsessed with Japanese quilts--they just have a boldness and complexity to them. I think it's all in the color choices. I also love Japanese craft books, but living in Middle America, have a hard time getting my hands on them.

I have some very exciting packages coming my way, and hopefully I'll be able to post about them on Friday or Saturday. Let's just say this: Last week I had 50+ pounds of paper delivered to me from French Paper, and it's itching to be printed on!!

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:48 AM :: (1) comments

Monday, February 23, 2009

Good idea!

My friend Dani lives in Portland, and sadly, I haven't seen her house, but she posted some pics of my letterpress calendar on her flickr page!!

And here's what my friend Nick did with his (taken on an iPhone)

Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:58 AM :: (2) comments

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What I do at work all day

I realized I haven't really said anything about my new (now 6 month old) job on the blog. So here's a rundown: I'm the art director for Farm Journal Magazine. We have a circulation of around 450,000, which seems like a lot to me. This is my first job in magazine, though, so I don't really know the circ numbers for anything else.

I take the stories given to me by the managing editor, then I look for photos, or adjust the photos provided, layout the page, and send it back to Katie, the managing editor. We publish around 13 magazines a year, and I probably layout around 30 pages for each issue.

I LOVE layout design. I find logo design so very very hard, but I could sit an tinker with layout for days on end and be happy. So the job suits me pretty well. The long hours this winter almost killed me, but I've been told numerous times that the summer is much much more laid back. I think I'll believe that when I see it.

The scariest part of the job is that I'm the last one to see a story before it goes out the door, and I never feel like I'm enough of a perfectionist to be doing that. It's a real struggle to be that anal retentive for me. But I try!

This is something I'm particularly proud of--I actually drew and watercolored this illustration. We didn't have any visuals for the story about a researcher making a discovery in the sour milk from his fridge, so I drew it! And you know I'm not really a very good illustrator, but I just went for it, and I love the way it turned out.

You can even see my name on the credit! My married name. Still not used to it.

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:36 AM :: (8) comments

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The lovelieness of a 3 day weekend

...and I didn't even do all that much productive work. Instead I went on some scouting missions, spent time with friends and family, and watched some Netflix stuff with Jason. Lovely.

Jason and I went to Kansas City which is 2 hours away to go to the Nelson-Atkins museum where I was ecstatic to see 2 of my favorite artists' work--Wayne Theibaud and Joseph Cornell.

Jason was not really impressed by the contemporary wing and all the intellectual types talking about art theory. He rants about it here on his blog. I on the other hand, LOVE contemporary, post 1950s art, so I was in heaven.

While in KC, we also stopped by Paper Source, of course, and Utrecht, where my husband bought a canvas that was so big it almost wouldn't fit in the car. We even tried the larger size, and it wouldn't fit! So we now have a 36x60 inch stretched canvas in our living room, and J-man has a lot of work ahead of him.

These are a bunch of drawings I did yesterday with a new calligraphy nib. I just went through the trash can looking for the package so I can tell you what it is and be able to find it next time, but it's gone, of course. Oh well.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:53 AM :: (1) comments

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Making Sushi

In our magazine, we talk a lot about "Farmer Ingenuity". I think Midwesterners are especially good at this way of thinking--and so are crafters from around the world.

So when I got a strong hankering for sushi--and trust me, there is none within lunch distance, I had to resort to my own powers. The local Wal-Mart does, however carry these little hand-roll sized nori sheets. And wasabi. Strange, and I have the feeling that I'm the only one buying them, but oh well.

Last time I made sushi it turned out--as my loving husband put it--tasting like a sock soaked in vinegar. And it really kind of did. This time I skipped the vingear. I used simple shrimp, avocado and a tiny tiny sliver of cream cheese (which I'm pretty sure is not on the Japanese diet, but I like it, so there.)

I bought my little rolling mat at the "Oriental Foods" (That's the name, I'm not being politically incorrect) store in Columbia--thank God I live near a University town!

This was delicious, and pretty cheap, and only took about 30 minutes, including the rice! Last time it took like 4 hours! And I'm so thrilled that I can now make my own. That soy and wasabi combination immediately puts a smile on my face.

Here's a YouTube Video tutorial--it's pretty easy!!


Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:31 AM :: (3) comments

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CRAFT: Magazine is Dead. (Sort of)

This so totally sucks.

I just got the subscription for Christmas, and only got 1 issue!! They're giving refunds, but I DON'T CARE. I want the real, paper deal. Advertisers, you suck. Print production people, you suck. I'm mad and I don't care.


Okay, so I let my temper get the best of me. Here's the real deal: CRAFT: will no longer be printed. According to the note written by Dale Dougherty, CRAFT: will continue as an online entity.

Here's what I want to know: will it be as in-depth as the current print articles? I rely on to digest happenings from the craft blogosphere, but I also want the high-quality original content that came with the print issue. I want a REAL Online publication, not just blog posts. I want layouts that are well designed and dynamic (I probably care more about this than most people, considering my day job).

I hope that it's simply the paper book that is going away, not the quality of journalism and the amount of true content. Please read Rachel Hobson's comment below:

Hey there, Beth! I read (and enjoy!) your blog. :) I can absolutely understand your sadness, frustration and disappointment over the end of the print version of CRAFT. There is something reassuring and comforting about holding a great print mag in your hands and curling up on the couch to enjoy it. However, CRAFT is far from dead. Our transition to an online publication is a great way to serve our growing online crafting community, and we are all very excited about the move to a completely digital format. So please help spread the word that we are not dead, and that our future is bright and exciting as we embrace this change.
Thanks so much for your loyalty!

Rachel Hobson
Contributing Writer

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:06 AM :: (3) comments

Happy Childhood Memories

Remember seeing this? I found it on YouTube and it totally took me back. It was one of my favorite episodes. I still like seeing factories and how things are made. I especially enjoy all the different colors dispensing into one box of crayolas. Why didn't they put them in in Rainbow order? I guess I just have to do it myself.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 6:11 AM :: (2) comments

Monday, February 09, 2009

Desperately seeking craft time

I finally did squeeze in sometime to print this weekend. Can you guess what it's going to be?

Shona is the ultimate selfless friend--she sent me the rules (the metal bars that make lines in letterpress) so I could make a proper recipe card. I was never really thrilled with the way the first one printed.

I mean, I think they're really cute, but my 5x8 Kelsey can't print such a large area evenly. Now that I know so much more, I'm trying again.

My eyes are strained from going through pied type--and it was a 12 pt. script!

Sorry this is short, but I gotta get ready for work!!


Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:56 AM :: (1) comments

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Saturday morning smile

This is for all my friends in Nashville, who can now enjoy the goodness of TJs, without me. I'll just have to make a quick 1.5 hour trip to the grocery in St. Louis for some Figments (which I think they don't have anymore.)

Found via Slashfood.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:20 AM :: (2) comments

Friday, February 06, 2009


My husband (I'm finally getting used to calling him that) is a really talented artist. We've discussed this several times here on this blog. He has a new venture, though. For Christmas this year, he painted 2 paintings, and he made his New Year's resolution to make a finished piece of artwork every single month. And to get him motivated, and keep him on track, he started a blog.

Here's the address: I'm not really sure what the title means, and it's probably a PG-13 rated dialogue on there--just to warn you. Also, there's a lot of talk of ninjas, zombies, and ass-kicking. Enjoy! :)

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:45 AM :: (0) comments

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Lunchtime diversion

I haven't done any crafting since Saturday, just boring computer work. So I'm going to tell you what I do at lunch.

I actually have a lunch hour at this new job--and I agonize over how to utilize it to the fullest. Unfortunately, Mexico, Missouri doesn't have a lot to offer. There's a quilt store, but those ladies look at me weird because I always come in when they're eating lunch together. There's a scrapbooking store (random!) , but the sales people are so helpful that I can't just go in and browse. A simple "just looking" works for 30 seconds, then they're trying to show me some new technique. I really just want to scream "I HATE SCRAPBOOKING AND JUST WANT TO SEE IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING COOL FOR REAL ART HERE." That would be rude, though, and they're just trying to help.

Then there's the local library which is VERY lackluster. I do, however really like these stairs. But there's a lot of wood panelling everywhere else.

A lot of times I go out and just walk around the block, go to the antique store, or go walk in the park. Here's what my dad left me one day this week when I was out. My bosses' 2 year old thought this was hilarious:

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:41 AM :: (4) comments

Monday, February 02, 2009

Christmas Presents come to fruition

Remember my little wall-drying rack? I finally got it shipped to me last week, only 2 months after it was ordered by my incredibly thoughtful husband. Oh well.

I strung it up onto my wire shelf with copper wire--very low-tech.

Shona's computer went on the fritz, and she says she's been incredibly creative in the wake of less convenient blog reading. I totally understand. The more work I don on my computer, the more I feel the urge to do something "real" with my hands. So I've been printing.

My latest great idea with the letterpress is to create a series of backgrounds and foreground elements that I can mix and match as time goes on. Here is the first example of that. I'm sure these will end up in the shop sooner or later...


Posted by Beth Howard @ 10:18 PM :: (3) comments