Saturday, December 27, 2008

Joie Studio's 2009 Calendar in the LA Times Today!!!

Picture taken from Los Angeles Times

Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Joie Studio's 2009 Letterpress Desk Calendar is featured in the Home section of the Los Angeles Times today! It was very very exciting to go and get the paper from my doorstep this morning and open it up and see my very own creation staring back at me!

I'm so excited! Check it out, and if you haven't gotten a calendar yet, go to Joie Studio's Online Letterpress Shop and pick one up!

Congratulations, too, to Christine of Flora & Fauna (who we had the pleasure of meeting at Bazaar Bizarre in May) and Krank for their inclusion in the same article!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

Okay, so today is Christmas eve, and I figure I would give my blog readers a little gift. Here is a video that I took recently of a print run of envelopes so you can see what the printing portion of letterpress entails. In this video (it's all of one minute, 46 seconds), you'll see me feeding envelopes into the press. It was actually a lot more effort than I thought it would be to take a video of myself. I had to find a tripod and set everything up so you can see what I'm doing. One of these days I'll do one where I'm actually talking, but for now, I hope you enjoy!

What I'm printing are envelopes for a recent custom letterpress order for Bourbon Steak Washington, DC. The press is running at my "usual" speed, and every now and then, you'll see me use the throw-off lever to throw-off the impression - usually when I misfeed or I'm "off-time." The plate, in case you're interested, is a magnesium plate mounted on wood, and the ink is a metallic bronze color. The envelopes are a gorgeous gold metallic.

Let me know if you have any questions! Happy holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Last Minute Gifts...Joie Studio Style!

To help out last minute holiday shoppers, I'm offering free gift wrap on our 2009 letterpress menagerie calendars! So you can grab a calendar, sans gift wrap, which looks like this in all its packaging glory:

OR you can order it gift-wrapped, in your choice of gold foil or metallic green, complete with your choice of one of our letterpress gift tags:

The calendars (gift wrap or no) are available in both the Joie Studio Letterpress Shop and the Joie Studio Etsy shop.

I'm also offering exclusively in the Joie Studio Etsy shop Menagerie notecard gift sets, which are a set of 8 notecards of the animal of your choice, boxed in a sturdy kraft gift box. Here they are in an open box:

If you're sending the box set as a gift, I can close it up for you and add a letterpress holiday tag for the finishing touch, like so!

And, if you like the letterpress holiday tags, they are available all by themselves, in a variety pack of 4. I'm unsure I will reprint these, so get them while they're around!
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Monday, December 8, 2008

Survey: Which Animal is Next?

Okay, so those of you who were at Felt Club and Bazaar Bizarre know that the baby monk seal is the next letterpress card in the Menagerie collection. But we had so so many requests for other animals in the 2009 Menagerie desk calendar to be made into cards, coasters, etc. So I put a survey up on the right here on the blog for my readers to choose the next animal to get its own letterpress card.

Here are the contestants:




Let me know what y'all want to see next, and I'll get started! Democracy works - vote!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Back in La-La Land!

Whew! We're back in Los Angeles! Bazaar Bizarre was a blast on Sunday! Thanks so much to the organizers for putting on such an awesome event. Dena and I had a blast in San Francisco! We went to the CLOCK BAR Saturday night, which, as you might remember, Joie Studio made the pre-opening reception invitations for, and had the most delicious truffle butter popcorn there. It's a super fun place right across from Union Square -- check it out when you get the chance!

Now for some exciting news! You can now find Joie Studio products in the Bay area at the following locations:

Indie Industries
218 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133

Studio 4 Art
1133 Grant Ave.
Novato, CA 94945

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bazaar Bizarre This Sunday!

Joie Studio will be along one of the walls in the Gallery at Bazaar Bizarre this Sunday! Dena and I are leaving tomorrow morning for San Francisco. We're going to celebrate my birthday (again) up in San Francisco and hopefully meet up with a couple of our San Francisco friends and family members after dinner Saturday night, and we're all yours Sunday morning!

It should be a doozy! We're lugging our entire holiday collection up, and we'll also have show specials and sales, so look out for them! See you at Bazaar Bizarre!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving Day Thanks

To all my friends, clients, readers, supporters, and customers,

It's the day before Thanksgiving, but tomorrow my family will be here, so I want to take this chance now to do my own thanks-giving to you.

First and foremost thank you to all my great clients and customers. Your incredible support and word of mouth has sustained my little studio and allowed it to grow. I feel so enriched by meeting so many wonderful people and companies through Joie Studio. It's a trip to see companies that I've worked with in magazines and clients I've worked with on TV. I get giddy seeing my clients' wedding pictures, knowing that Joie Studio was a part of their special day. I was so sad when Prop 8 in California passed because I just knew that it was because the majority of Californians who voted for it didn't know people like Jack and Paul, whom I had the privilege to call my clients and make their wedding invitations. And it's so much fun to meet people who read my blog at events! So thank you all, because Joie Studio would not exist without you.

Thank you to the greater design community! I am so excited whenever I see a post about Joie Studio on any blog! I cannot believe the incredible exposure hapa hale, Decor8, Poppytalk, Paper Crave, and others have given to Joie Studio. Throughout this last year, it's been so so great whenever I see a post about Joie Studio, and the response from your blog readers has been so awesome!

And last but not least, thank you to my friends, new and old. To my good friends and collaborators Michelle from Shop Toast and designer Matt Cox, your designs are awesome and I can't wait for future collaborations! To my friends and family, thank you for your incredible support -- from showing up to craft events to helping pack cards and man booths, I really could not do it without you! And to all my letterpress friends, thank you for your support. I love that letterpress is a collaborative community !

Love, Tina

PS Here's a little thank you coupon to help you out on this great shopping weekend! It's good Thanksgiving Day through Sunday at Joie Studio's online store!

They're Baa-aack! Nice & Naughty Snowmen...

Joie Studio absolutely sold out of these cards last year, and so this year, we've brought them back, better than ever! We sold out of all the sets we brought to Felt Club, so I encourage you to grab them while you can. We have packaged more but I'm done printing holiday cards this season so get them while they last. They're in the Joie Studio Store and will be available on November 30th at Bazaar Bizarre!

I *heart* this print job so so much. It doesn't look that different from last year, honestly, but it's just little things about this print run that makes me realize how much I've grown as a letterpress printer. First telltale sign is registration and spoilage. Last year I had a spoilage rate of about 20-25%, which on a handfed motorized platen with 3 color registration honestly isn't that bad. This year the spoilage on these cards was about 4-5%. Second is ink distribution and coverage. Solid forms like that are honestly problems on antique platen presses, especially a smaller one with less impression strength like the Golding Pearl. I didn't have as much of a problem this year as I did last year, which I attribute to the change to honeycomb base, the new roller bearers, and better ink handling by yours truly. I honestly learned a lot printing the Love Fruits, which has the largest solid area of anything I've printed. Third, the impression on the snowmen is just awesome. Crisp lines all the way around and the best part is that the little buttons pop out thanks to the beauty of letterpress. I took a closeup picture but it's not the best picture in the world:

This design is a collaboration between Shop Toast and Joie Studio, which we hope will last a very very long time because I *heart* everything we've done so far.

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Long and Lean: Merry Ornaments Holiday Cards

Here is Joie Studio's 2008 signature design on a gorgeous #10 sized folded card! I did two different colorways here. This first is in mandarin orange, fire red, and sakura pink:

I also wanted to print this card with green as the primary color, and eventually decided on green, true blue, and metallic gold. Here it is!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our Eco-Friendly Cards: Holiday Sparkle!

These gorgeous cards are based on Joie Studio's company card last year! These cards are super special because these cards are the first cards that I printed using only vegetable oil inks, making them our most eco-friendly letterpress cards to date! These letterpress cards are printed in all metallic inks -- metallic gold, metallic silver, and metallic red on 100% luxurious cotton (tree-free) cardstock. We've paired the cards with gorgeous metallic gold envelopes.

Here it is a closeup:
And here is the card in box:
A note on vegetable oil inks: I've done a lot of research on eco-friendly inks and there is a lot of controversy about the environmental impact of soy-based products. We'll just avoid the whole issue by offering vegetable oil based inks as an eco-friendly alternative to rubber based inks. We've been working with a local mom-and-pop ink company here in Los Angeles where they use vegetable oil as their oil base and custom mix (by hand!) our inks to order. That way, we reduce transportation costs, support our local economy, and utilize what we believe to be the best oil-based inks around.
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Our Square Holiday Cards: Merry Ornaments!

Introducing Joie Studio's first new holiday design -- Merry Ornaments! We have this design on 4.75" square cards in two different colorways and on #10 in two other colorways which I'll post separately. For the square cards, I handset "season's greetings" in gorgeously fun P.T. Barnum antique type. I *heart* this new font I acquired. How fun is it to have a font that was made for the circus?

Anyhow, here it is in hot pink, purple, and metallic gold:

And here it is in ice blue, metallic silver, and metallic gold:

We're starting to do these fun labels (above) on our letterpress products. It's a slow conversion as everything is being labeled by hand with love, so it's new products first, old products next.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Menagerie 2009 Calendar

Here it is - Joie Studio's 2009 Calendar in all its glory! This year, it's animal themed after Joie Studio's Menagerie collection.

You can also check out all the different months up close here:

The calendars are limited edition, so get them while they last!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Coming Out of Hiding...

Hi everyone!

I'm so sorry for being so quiet lately! I haven't stopped letterpress printing or designing or anything. Late September I found out something exciting, scary, and special:

Yes, I'm pregnant! The ultrasound above is from last Friday at 12 weeks 1 day. Needless to say, October was not a good month for me personally, with the onset of "morning" sickness and unbelievable fatigue. You shouldn't operate a platen press if you're not feeling 100%, so letterpress printing was severely reduced in October.

Then there was the issue of cleaning the press while pregnant.

Now, I am not a fan of using cooking oil or shortening on the press for a couple reasons. One, vegetable oils leave a residue that become gummy and nasty over time if improperly cleaned off. Think accumulated kitchen grease. Eww. Now think of old cruddy kitchen grease accidentally getting in the gears of an antique press. Not good. Two, it just doesn't clean off inks as well, requiring that you use more oil, more rags, and more elbow grease. I am not a fan of slaving to get ink off the press. Three, and this is actually kind of not the greatest reason, you lose street cred with the old-time printers when you say you use cooking oil to clean the press.

So I've been using California Wash, which is not the best smelling thing in the world. I figured if you can get high off the stuff, it's probably not good to be around when pregnant. I mean, the stuff smells like paint thinner, even watered down. The guys at Kelly Paper here in Pasadena were really nice and got me a bunch of solvents to try out (free samples!), and I've actually been using the samples, which are all environmentally friendly with little to no VOCs. I definitely have my favorites, and they are all non-petroleum based ultra low VOC eco-happy products! I'm going to go back to Kelly to get the spec sheets on my favorites so I can tell you more about them.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and said hello at Felt Club yesterday. It was a tremendous success and we send all our love out to the Felt Club organizers for such a great event. I debuted the 2009 Joie Studio desk calendar yesterday along with our holiday collection. They will be up online as soon as we can get the pictures taken. And speaking of calendars, thank you especially to my good friend Dena, who you might meet at craft fairs with me. Not only is she a great ambassador for Joie Studio, she also helped me tremendously by trimming and packing (they are hand packed with love, she explains) 150 calendars Saturday night to get them ready in time for Felt Club. I would not have been able to get the calendars (or half the cards, for that matter) done in time for the holidays without her help!

Be prepared for an awesome 2008 holiday collection!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our Newest Friends...and Our Newest Addition!

I'm sorry I haven't posted lately. My world has been just one hot mess! But I think we're almost back on track.

First, and most exciting, is Joie Studio's newest friends Fugu Fugu Press. I met Ken and Shino back in May at the National Stationery Show and loved talking with them. They are also based in Pasadena, which made it exciting. When I was looking for space for Joie Studio's newest addition, I approached Ken and Shino, and they were so nice as to let me plop our newest acquisition in their shop:

It's a Vandercook 4! Notice the cabinet doors in front? It makes it an "Old Style" Vandercook 4. Later models have open shelves and drawers on the bottom. An interesting thing about this press is that it is a factory rebuild, as evidenced by the "99-" in the serial number.

More glamour shots of the Vandercook:

Notice the delivery tray in the bottom left corner of the last picture? I need to go get some nuts to secure the delivery tray onto the Vandercook. Did you see Fugu Fugu's cards in the background?

Here are some pictures of the Fugu Fugu shop:

There's an awesome vintage gas station outside the shop, and in the shop, Fugu Fugu prints everthing on a black ball Heidelberg and a 12 x 18 C&P. More pics of Fugu Fugu Press can be found on their website.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Woo Hoo! Holiday Event Schedule!

I just got word tonight that Joie Studio has been accepted into Felt Club: Holiday 2008 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. That, combined with Joie Studio's glorious return to San Francisco for Bazaar Bizarre, makes a pretty darn nice holiday fair schedule thus far. I'm very very excited about this lineup because it has been a goal of mine for Joie Studio to have a booth at Felt Club, and I am in absolute L-O-V-E with everyone I met up in the Bay area at the last Bazaar Bizarre and have been itching to go back for the holiday show.

I've posted the event schedule on the right here on the blog and will add to it if I decide to do another show.

Yay! I'm so excited!

(Image taken from Felt Club)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Congratulations Cheryl and Andrew!

A couple months ago, Cheryl approached me to letterpress her wedding invitations that she drew and designed herself. There were several unique features in this project. First, Cheryl wanted to get open-end envelopes for her letterpress wedding invitations. As luck would have it, my friendly neighborhood paper supplier had just begun stocking open-end Crane's Lettra envelopes. Second, she wanted the invitation and the enclosure card to both be #10 sized, and she wanted guests to be able to perforate part of the enclosure off to use as a reply postcard. And of course, all the corners were rounded by yours truly. The result is gorgeously textured with a deep blueberry blue color atop the ecru colored cardstock. I also love that the enclosure card perforates and guests keep a part of the enclosure as the map.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Floral Accents

With floral centerpieces in the studio, I decided to use it as props for some of our past projects. From top to bottom, it's my own business card, a letterpress baby announcement card, and LUXE letterpress' Siena letterpress invitation.
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