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!