Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sketches from a new project

This is a tease. But it's a big tease. I'm not even sure if I should post it, but here goes. Carrie and I are working on a new 2010 Letterpress calendar. I plan to have it out by (Gasp!) the first of October.

Unlike last year when I put it out the first of December. Not the best plan on my part.

So these are a few of the sketches. Some are Carrie's and some are mine. It's going to be knock-your-socks-off fantastic.

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:05 AM :: (1) comments

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


What's that you say? Actual stitching on Stitch.Rip.Repeat? That's right. I realize it's been a while since I talked much about sewing or quilting. That little letterpress is just a time monster.

What's that? I did take a few moments last weekend to work on my newest project. I set up my design wall in the studio, and stitched away.

I'm so anxious to see this done, but I'm having a hard time finding time to work on it.


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Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:16 AM :: (2) comments

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm in a Magazine!

First, I should mention why I didn't post all last week. My sister got married this past Saturday, and last week was a flurry of activity on my end. The wedding was a blast. I don't have any photos yet because I was the photographer's assistant, and he let me use his secondary camera. Oh, I was in love with that thing. More on that later when I have photos to show for it.

This week on newsstands is my first published quilt. It's in the September/October issue of Fons & Porter's For the Love of Quilting.

This is one of my landscape quilts that I did a few years back. I gave it to my dear friend Abby and it hangs proudly on her dining room wall when it's not being photographed for magazines :)

I'm still a little addle-brained from the party weekend. I hope to be back tomorrow with actual work and progress!

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:05 AM :: (5) comments

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Stuff in the Shop!!

Tree Rings card set here.

I've got a big showcase coming up on Papernstitch starting on Aug 24th. In an effort to get a nice variety of items, I've been ramping up production.

Carrie has added a bunch of new FANTASTIC items. I love how bright and colorful it's looking in there!

blue flowers cards here.

Feathers poster here. (I so want one of these)

And I've finished my Kentucky print...finally. I really struggled with the colors of the lettering, but I can now print YELLOW with my new rubberbased inks! This is a major development.


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Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:39 AM :: (3) comments

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More States Prints!! Finally!


I've had these drawings done for a couple of months, and I've been printing them during this time, too, but with the ink needing to dry between each round of printing, it has taken me a while to output these.


I'm very happy with Texas. Missouri may need a color change, but I love the design and drawing. Up next for states: California, Michigan, West Virginia, Ohio, and South Carolina.

Not because those are my next favorite states, but because those are states that people have requested.


You can see more pics of Texas here.

And more of Missouri here.

And don't forget Tennessee!

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:36 AM :: (3) comments

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's my Birt-day!

This post could also be titled "Why I Have the Best Husband Ever"

Take a look at my birthday present! (I'm apologizing for all the bragging right now. If you don't like it, just click yourself away!)

My Birthday Present

I have been the biggest fan of Nashville artist Trevor Mikula for years. Jason and I even went to a show with the intention of buying something, but couldn't decide which one to get, and walked away empty handed.

New Painting

Then this year for my birthday, I was convinced he was getting me an industrial sink, or an iPod. This, my friends, is way better than those two. Jason and Trevor had a long e-mail correspondence, and trevor sent him several paintings. I'm happy to say that in the end, Jason picked the one that I loved best out of those.

Trevor painting

I'm just in love with it. The best present ... I mean best HUSBAND... ever. I love it!

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:16 AM :: (3) comments

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend exhaustion

New Inks in Action

Why do I wear myself out so completely on the weekends? Jason and I got major house projects done. Namely, we changed the faucet out in the kitchen. Sounds easy, but let's just say I've now been exposed to every bad word in my husband's entire vocabulary. We determined that the old, leaky faucet was installed before the sink was in place on the countertop.

New Inks

I did LOTS of printing with my new rubberbased inks. I don't know if anyone reads SouleMama (and you should because it's great in so many ways) but I sold the lovely Mama/Blogger/Author a recipe card box and when she posted it on her blog, I immediately got 15 sales or so in a week! WHAT!?!? That is awesome, but I had to print all those cards!

Abby sewing away

Abby came over last night and we had intensive quilting time on her quilt. It's her first, and we now have the front and the back done and ready to sandwich up and baste. I'm so proud of her because it's her first quilt, and it looks stunning! I'll have to post some pics here when she comes back to baste it together.

Quilting Bee with Abby

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:42 AM :: (2) comments

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The county fair

Jason and I went to the county fair in our town tonight. It was like a reunion for me--I saw a few dozen people I know. It's still strange to go places and recognize people.


We stopped in the 4-H pavilion where all the 4-H kids enter their projects for the year. Last time I was in that building I was 13 and won blue ribbons for my gumball machine cake decorating, and for a red-white-and-blue basket.

There is an adult division too. I'm not sure what nationality this crochet doll is, but I love her.

I truly think 4-H is where I learned to be so crafty. I took classes in EVERYTHING. I'm sure my mom got sick of driving me around. I took photography, sewing, cake decorating (of course, that's the main event for all little 4-H girls) basket weaving, cooking, and strangely, childcare. I remember poring through the catalog of courses every year and wondering who I could find to teach me whatever outlandish thing I was into.

The main reason we went to the fair is because Jason wanted to see the demoliton derby. I was very wary, because I have a low tolerance for redneck crowds. My instincts were dead on in this case.

The derby itself was pretty fun, though.

You gotta love a good rattail.

And it's good to see the carnival prizes haven't changed much over the years. I bet this lady paid $5. Oddly, her daughter was married to and African American gentleman. I wonder how he felt about the rebel flag.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 6:47 AM :: (2) comments

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Things on walls

I've had a bumper crop of Etsy orders this last week, not to mention a lot of parties in my house on the weekend---a Briday Shower for my sister with my mom's family on Friday night, and a Bachelorette party for my sister on Saturday night. So pretty much I've been printing recipe cards, which you've all seen a million times, and hosting parties.

Living room wall

I did manage to get a few things hung on the walls before my house was seen by a few dozen people. I'm planning a massive art wall here. Hopefully all original (not digital) prints. Or other artwork. I don't have set rules, but for now it's all prints, some mine, some from Etsy, one from Bryce McCloud (amazing) in Nashville.

Studio wall

And just for fun (I had to blur the cake because this is a PG rated blog. I'm sorry. You just have to move past it.) Come on, it's a bachelorette party!

Allison's bachelorette party

Posted by Beth Howard @ 6:42 AM :: (3) comments

Monday, August 03, 2009

Invitations part II

These here invitations are for my mom's youngest brother and his fiance. It's been almost 20 years since anyone in my mom's family of 9 children has brought in a new sibling-in-law, and everyone is pretty excited.


I worked with them on making a hand-drawn design. My uncle is an engineer, so when I sent them the sketches with a four-petaled flower, he asked if it could have five petals to be more realistic. I love it! I also hand-drew their names.


I love how these turned out, and Pat and Cara love them too. That said, they were a bit of a problem. Printing hot pink and orange on my press in my acrylic letterpress inks is A NIGHTMARE. And because my press is so small, I had to print the top gray text on one run, the bottom gray text on another run, and the 2 orange flowers each on their own run. And I could not get the oranges to behave properly.

All this strife has caused me to change inks. I'm going rubber based. I've done a lot of research, and I think it's going to improve so many things for me. First I'll be able to print something with yellow in it. It's been breaking my heart that I can't really use anything with yellow--this means no orange, no limey greens, no nothing because the Daniel Smith relief printmaking yellows just stink. They get all sticky and clumpy on the press and ball up. No amount of water mixing helps, and you have to take the chase out and rework the ink every 5 or so impressions. It's terrible!

The other major bonus with rubber based is that you can print and immediately stack the prints. What? Yes. They dry instantly. The oh-so-kind Kathy at Boxcar Press assures me this is what they do all the time and when really busy, they print and ship in an hour's time.Now, I'm from the show me state, so I will indeed have to see this in action, but I'm super excited about it!

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:34 AM :: (6) comments