Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hello, Baby Girl!

Our first birth announcement is for Carrie's new niece. Carrie drew out the flower design and the writing and with the help of our new Pantone color formula book, we mixed the ink and printed them on Saturday.

I gotta say, this Crane's Lettra is pretty much a dream. We like to print on French paper a lot, but the Lettra just gets such a beautiful impression.

I just kept thinking that they were so pretty! We hardly ever do such girlie and delicate work. I'm pretty sure we've never printed anything pink. Pretty exciting!
The photos will be attached by Carrie's sister-in-law, so I didn't have a perfect photo.

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Posted by Beth Snyder @ 6:36 AM :: (3) comments

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A new project!

We spent a record 11 hours in the barn printing yesterday. We printed some birth announcements for Carrie's niece, which I'll post here later in the week, and we started printing our new "Things That Are Round" series on coasters AND 16x20 posters.

We were pretty excited to print in some colors that we haven't tried out before. Pretty much every color in the rainbow, actually.

And, we bought some silver metallic ink for the tin can image. Super exciting!
Anyone have any suggestions about what else we could use silver for?

Here's Carrie's cousin, Ian being our wheel turner for the posters. We hand fed 42 of them, so it will be a VERY limited edition.

We still have 3 more of the 9 designs to print, which we will probably do next Friday, so you'll have to wait a week or so for the full reveal.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:02 AM :: (3) comments

Friday, March 26, 2010

what we're printing this weekend

I usually try to keep our printing projects in the closet until they're ready for the shop. And indeed, we're printing a new project this weekend that is pretty bad@$$, that I'm probably not going to show you until it's done.

BUT we're also printing some birth announcements and business cards that I don't have any problem showing you.

Exhibit A: This is Carrie's design for her new niece. The big block in the middle is for a photo.

Exhibit B: business cards for this great Columbia, Missouri photographer.
We're excited to try out the blind embossing

And we have more printing than we have time for coming up on Saturday! I'll post some photos when these are all printed!

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Posted by Beth Snyder @ 6:37 AM :: (1) comments

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The thought process of a doodler

I'm working on several wedding invitation designs at the moment. The last couple of days have been so beautiful that I've gone to the park on my lunch break with my sketchbook and nothing short of 6 different black ink pens to doodle some flower designs.

Here's the progression of drawings. I FINALLY got it drilled into my head: "pencil first. then ink" by my smart husband. Things do turn out so much better that way.

I forced myself to try to squeeze whatever I was drawing into a square, then erased the lines after it was done. This is what I learned from quilter Jane Sassaman. She taught me how to draw!


The moral: 2 hours of drawing, and a few that are okay. I really like one of them for the invites I'm working on right now. It's going to be a graphic element at the top of the invitation.

Posted by Beth Snyder @ 7:42 AM :: (1) comments

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Press, Twitter and Gals about Town

We're on Apartment Therapy! Sweet Kimber from the DC staff wrote a great little piece about us. Check it out here.

And we're reluctantly joining Twitter. I would complain more, but we've already got some custom orders out of it, and Julia Rothman follows us. She is pretty much my illustration idol.
Follow us here. I can't promise lots of tweets, but it's pretty fun, actually. I've certainly seen some great links from other people, and it's nice to be able to chat back and forth with people I have so much in common with. And okay, so I might follow @johncmayer. Sue me.

Here's the link for our Twitter feed.

Finally, we're gals about town...or world. Universe is next! Here are all of the brick-and-mortar stores where you can find 1canoe2 goodness!
--Little Otsu, San Francisco
--Greenwich Letterpress, New York City
--Ephemera, Des Moines
--Paper Love, Brooklyn
--Cube Marketplace, Los Angeles
--Papel Paper & Press, California

and we're working on more! I have an order from a store in England right now, and inquiries from all over--Germany, Texas and beyond!

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Posted by Beth Snyder @ 8:15 AM :: (8) comments

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pros and Cons of Running a Letterpress in a Barn

First of all, there are mostly pros.
Second: this is our motor. It's older than anyone at the barn has ever seen. And that's pretty old, because farmers are expert mechanics. Especially these guys.

So a couple of weeks ago, Carrie and I walk in to find our extension cord missing. This is not unusual because, as my co-worker says, extension cords are like socks for a farmer.

What was out of the ordinary is the length the robber went to to get to our brand-new extension cord. See, our motor, being ancient, had a plug that was hanging on by a thread. Eventually, Carrie and I had to duct tape it, vice grip it, and then duck tape again to the the connection to stay in place. The actual prong was in the extension cord and not attached to the cord from the motor.

Needless to say, we were none too happy. There are about 7-8 guys who work out of the barn, and I have one prime suspect. The rest of them have been questioned and have been relatively believable when declaring their innocence.

But for the most part, they're super helpful. Especially Carrie's dad and Chris, the fix-it guy. Last weekend, Carrie's dad helped us find all the (37+) oil points and get it all greased up. "Girls, this is how you take care of a machine like this. You don't want metal touching metal because it will wear it out. It takes 2 hours to oil up a combine every morning, but you gotta do it."

Here's a link to the Chandler & Price Oil chart.

Well, turns out we greased it so well that even on it's slowest speed, it was cranking too fast for us to print!! And here we thought we had really gotten good at printing pretty fast. So then the guys took the motor partially apart, and now the whole thing runs backwards! Apparently, that's okay, but it seems pretty weird to me.

I guess if/when it does go out, we'll be in good hands to get it fixed. Let's just hope it doesn't happen during planting or harvest.

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Posted by Beth Snyder @ 10:21 PM :: (1) comments

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Etsy Happiness

For a Thursday morning:

I'm super proud of this treasury! doesn't it just make you happy?

Posted by Beth Snyder @ 6:41 AM :: (1) comments

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Wedding Invitations!

Last weekend Carrie and I printed another set of wedding invitations! I think we're working our way up to doing our own design, but this time the bride, Jill, did the illustrations.

Aren't they great? And she did the lettering too. Black prints so beautifully. It's the best behaving ink by far. Nothing like the original, I guess.

We printed them on more of the Cranes Lettra 220 lb paper, which takes an impression like a...like a...memory foam mattress? Like mud? No, not quite. Anyway.

Chad and Jill were thrilled! They actually came to the barn to see us print, so that was fun. We could ask them if such-and-such was okay, and then adjust accordingly.

I'm not sure what we're going to print this weekend, but I'm thinking it will be the Home Sweet Home print, because we're selling them like hotcakes!

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Posted by Beth Snyder @ 7:25 AM :: (2) comments

Sunday, March 07, 2010

School turned into a Loft! (Fulton, Missouri)

Just for all of you out there who thought Fulton, Missouri was not a cool place to live:

Exhibit A: an old school turned into apartments. Very cool apartments.

Our friends Justin and Cori moved into the coolest apartment in town. I had to take a moment to still my beating heart when I saw both of these apartments. And with rent around $500, it's just pretty disgusting all around, don't you think?

First, Justin's original apartment on the 2nd floor:

It was an old classroom, and still had the blackboard, and also a dry erase board, which I doubt was original.

I love that light fixture. Those are so popular and in style now, but this place is just rockin' it old-school.

Now for the new, huge apartment. It used to be the auditorium. Yes, really. Now the bedroom is up on the stage. That's all I'm gonna say about that.

The natural light in this place alone is just breathtaking. Yeah, so the view might be of the back of an Autozone and Movie Gallery, but still.

Again with the light fixtures, and look at that bar! It came out of a saloon in Kansas. For real.
I asked the owner of the building, Mr. Lee, and he said that his contractor found it.

Oh, to have such natural light! Jealous doesn't even cut it really. On the way home I was having serious "we could sell our house" thoughts. Why did we buy when we could have rented such greatness?

Again with the light fixtures, and check out the built-ins put in by the owner.

The apartment also comes with Mr. Lee's adorable pajama-clad children.

And the tile work!
Oh, the opportunity for greatness that lies in this place.

In honor of the Barenaked Ladies:
If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)
I'd buy this old cool school (and all the windows that go with it)
If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)
I'd have this natural light (no more 8ft dark room ceilings)

Posted by Beth Snyder @ 8:28 AM :: (2) comments

Saturday, March 06, 2010

My Etsy Favorites for a Saturday morning

You all know the best way to find the good stuff on Etsy? Find a seller whose work you like, then go look at their favorites. They've already done all the work for you by curating! Then you can hop from seller to seller via favorites. I've found my favorite shops this way!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Posted by Beth Snyder @ 8:13 AM :: (1) comments

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Letterpress Neighborhood: the Process

It took us 2 months from concept to packaging to make our Chandler Lane Letterpress Neighborhood. It all started over a sandwich at Uprise Bakery in Columbia. (serious yum).

We started sketching ideas, then having meetings to practice folding and trying things out.

There were so many decisions to make along the way: paper, size, would they fit in our mailers? How many houses? Really the easiest part was the drawing. Carrie and I split up the drawing--she did the background, I did the foreground, and we each did a house and she did the trees.

This is my first drawing for the cape cod house. After I had all of this done---I decided it was too much detail and that I needed to redraw it. Because these were so tiny, we were worried about the tiny details showing up.

We also decided to move away from solid areas of color like you see above here. We wanted a lot of white, so that it really resonated with letterpress lovers, since so much of that is about lines and crisp white paper.

Here's one of our testers: Caroline.

One of many non-registered houses. We used these for test-folding. Overall, we are pretty excited about how well we can register things now. About 375 of 400 prints are perfect.

After we were done with all the sketching, planning, digitizing, printing and testing, we had to make a package. It now looks like a real "thing"! Our moms both came to the barn to help us package. Gotta love free laborers!

Now we're in the marketing phase, which is probably the least exciting, but oh-so necessary part of the job. We got on Scoutie Girl today! And I could have gotten us on Design*Sponge, (she said she really liked them!) but I jumped the gun and submitted it to other blogs at the same time. Even though we hadn't actually GOTTEN on those other blogs, they didn't want to risk not having the exclusive scoop on our project. I have mixed feelings about that. I understand her wanting to be original, but it's hard not to try to market to as many (quality) blogs as possible.

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Posted by Beth Snyder @ 8:38 AM :: (1) comments