21 January 2010

cute factory

Somewhere in that holiday fair mayhem, I managed to squeeze in a workshop at Home Ec, which was so so fun. Home Ec, if you have not been there, is a super dangerous place, and basically my version of a candy shop. Jenny has amazingly reliably amazing taste, and everything in the store--fabric, buttons, books, craft kits, aprons, cards, etc--is beautiful and tempting. PLUS she has room/facilities for after-hours workshops, and I was lucky enough to land a spot in the roster.

I wanted to do a printing workshop, but cooking one up that will produce solid results in a mere few hours was a challenge. My solution was to do a class in 'hand carved stamps'. I'd picked up a number of stamping books in Japan last year (wait: two years ago. jeez.) and had been chomping at the bit to make more stamps, plus, it seemed like a quicker/more portable version of the relief printing that I do at Krank.

The class went blazingly well, and as Alex observed when he dropped by, it was a "cute factory." I supplied a sheet of ideas, as well as a number of pre-carved stamps, but everyone rocked a shocking amount of splendid looking stamps in a super short amount of time. Here are a selection of shots--my apologies for the dim lighting, but it was late in the evening...

I'll be teaching the class again at the end of the month--we printed gift wrap (simple folded japanese bags, tags, wrapping paper) and will use the same materials again this time, but now with an emphasis on valentine's day.

20 January 2010

holiday mayhem pt 2!

The second fair we did was Renegade SF, right before the holidays. We *almost* didn't make it, due to horrendous time-management on my part (have I mentioned that I bought myself a small library of time-management self-help books over Christmas?), but due to extreme level-headedness and late-night-driving-willingness from Alex, we made it up to SF in time for the fair.
It took place at Ft. Mason, which was meaningful for two reasons. 1) My aunt Priscilla, who has always been one of my craft heroes, had her weavings in a show there almost precisely thirty years previous, and 2) while taking a fantastic architectural daylighting class in grad school, from another hero, Cris Benton, my group project was to build a large model of this precise building to use as a basis for daylighting analysis. So I was very, very familiar with the building, having once built every truss by hand...

We were blessed with fantastic, entertaining neighbors (Christine from Chocolate and Steel, who I've been lucky enough to sit next to at a previous fair and new friends Papaver Vert and Jen Hewett. I gave my mom a pincushion/bowl from Papaver and I think it was my favorite gift--with the possible exception of Alex and my new membership to the Society for Industrial Archaeology--and if I had nieces instead of nephews I would have given them Jen's Michelle Obama paper doll book, so instead I bought one for myself.) And yet again Alex (migraine or no migraine)and Lucy (and all the vegan snacks she brought) pitched in while I recovered from sleep deprivation.
Many bay area friends, some from the grad school way-back machine, stopped by, including my two favorite twins, Aurora and Amalia, who I tried to teach some bookbinding skills:

In contrast to the warmth and fuzziness inside the fair, it was cold and rainy outside:

and I was so, so glad to have my brand new (some might say overkill but I say: just right!) very warm mega-parka along for the trip:

After the fair we headed east to Carson City to see Alex's mother. I was finally able to pitch in on the driving, and we made it over the pass *just* before they started enforcing chains. By the time we got to Nevada it was beautifully wintery, and we had a nice time staying in casinos in the snow.

We hit one of our favorite birding spots, between Carson and Reno, and it was pretty much frozen over. Not as many hawks as usual, but the whiteout made it easier to spot/enjoy the few that were out and frolicking in the snow.

and may I say yet again how happy I am with my new parka.

holiday mayhem!

This was a super busy holiday season here at Krank Press. I was basically in produce-calendar-reprint-mode (and, er, wedding planning mode, but that is another story) all fall & was always a little behind the eight ball leading up to the two big holiday fairs. The first fair was Unique LA:

This photo is misleading: A) I was always so sleep deprived that I never really manned the booth myself, generally out-muscled and out-brain-powered by Alex and Aandrea "Sell! Sell! Sell!" Stang. and B) This photo makes the fair look a little lonely and gloomy--it was nothing of the sort! very cheerful and busy and we had an awfully good time meeting people and seeing familiar faces. But if you look carefully in the back, you can see what I was doing during most of the fair: collating! I even brought the wire-binding machine along, that's how last-minute this entire fall was.

18 January 2010


I was very honored, this holiday, to receive one of my sister-in-law Laura's new creations, a beet bag from her new enterprise GLITTERSWEET. It is one glittery bag (this photo doesn't really do the glitter justice) but also one sturdy bag! The intent was to use it for the farmer's market, but since I have been printing a lot more than I have been cooking lately, it has mostly been put to the test toting loads of packages to the post office, probably more than should have been stuffed into it, and still it looks and acts brand new.

Laura has been a sewing monster all fall (5 machines at last count?) and we have been commiserating/cheerleading about the insanity/joy of retail crafting. I was also lucky enough to print her cards. It is hard to match the glitter magic in paper form, so we did the next best thing--silver ink on bubblegum paper.