Sunday, 30 November 2008

Halfway there

Letterpress printing is always slow, but sometimes it's really slow. Especially when you create the design yourself, from scratch. I've been working on this project since early October, and I still only have one of the two colours printed.

These berries were pretty enough to be inspiring, so I made several sketches of them one sunny afternoon.

Berry helped by bringing out her crayons and working alongside me. "You drawing a plant, mum-mum? That pretty."

Several weeks passed while I refined the sketches, scanned them, created the final design in Illustrator, and sent the separations away to have plates made.

I needed the berries again to mix the right shade of ink. I got it, even though it looks orange on the press!

Each colour has to be printed separately on the press, with a complete cleaning in between runs. I've only printed the red berries so far, and I'm still looking for enough time to print the leaves – so I can't show you anything!

I promise when they're finished, I'll share.


Friday, 28 November 2008

Quote of the day

Berry, standing at the top of the driveway in her white mary-janes, naked as a jaybird: "Hey guys! Let's go for a walk!"

Monday, 24 November 2008

Look out here we come

Just when you're noticing motherhood is a whole lot of lather-rinse-repeat, the baby sprays Gerber pears in your eye and you think, "Well, that's something different."

Kickbaby has just turned six months old, and it's like a little milestone alarm has gone off in his head. First tooth: check. Sitting up unassisted for long periods: check. Wanting solid foods: check. Making valiant efforts to crawl: check.

Yesterday I sat him on his duckie blanket in the toy room and stepped around the corner to unload the dishwasher. When I checked on him a minute later he was on the other side of the room, lying on his tummy and playing with Berry's musical Dora van, calm as you please.

I missed it that time, but I've seen his vigorous commando-style floor scooting several times since. He's very efficient with it, which means (alas! alack!) I'll have to keep a much closer eye on him from now on. And, like, pick small stuff up off the floor.

At his six-month well baby appointment today he weighed 21lbs 4oz (9.65kg; 95th percentile) and he measured 28in long (71.25cm; 95th percentile) and he tore all the paper off the examining table in a delighted frenzy of crinkling. He loves paper, and his spoilsport mother never lets him play with it. Something about a choking hazard.

Oh, and his head measures 18.5in (a whopping 47cm, and way off the top of the chart). That point of interest is for Jules and Mark, two boys with "good-sized heads", as my Nanna liked to say. Kickbaby has a very good-sized head.

He talks now, too. His favourite (well, only) words are "Ba! Ba!" and "Dada". The latter, of course, is to thank Nathan for the endless hours he spends pacing the floor with Kickbaby in the middle of the night.



Thursday, 20 November 2008

Une petite fille...

Here's a custom baby shower invitation I just finished. I loved this job – one of those times where everything just clicks. Of course by the time I was done I wanted to leap on a plane to Paris....

(Oh – the mama-to-be is an amazing musician who lives in Paris... I wasn't just applying random Frenchness!)


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Great artwork of the '70s

I was busy beating my head against a little late-night creative block when this popped up in my in-box. Under the subject line "Great artwork of the '70s", my mum scanned in this Red Riding Hood drawing I did when I was in grade one (that's five years old, for the Americans).

Note that every hand is determinedly depicted with five fingers, despite the fact they end up looking like baseball mitts. Accuracy, ah yes.

The wolf says "Mm", Red Riding Hood says "Ooo", and that, I think, pretty much sums up the story...


Saturday, 15 November 2008

Winkin Wogs

Berry got a set of Lincoln Logs for her birthday, but she's sure they're called Winkin Wogs. She plays with them constantly, usually leaving it looking like a tiny colonial village has exploded on my studio floor.

I had both kids in the studio while I was working the other day and (cue "should've known better"-type music) I turned my back for a few seconds. Almost immediately, Kickbaby gave a startled yowl.

"I did poke him in the head," Berry said matter-of-factly.
"I did poke him in the head with a Winkin Wog."

Of course. Clarification makes it all better.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Good mamas like parties, don't they?

I don't care what anyone says – kids' birthday parties are sent to test us. Even the best of them are noisy and tiring and full of little battles. They hurt. They make me want double espressos and wine and a quiet corner, and perhaps a sleep.

The fairies and princesses were cute though. And everyone was gracious enough to put up with Kickbaby's sporadic teething-related yowls. But oh, afterwards I just wanted to hurl myself into bed.

(Before you feel sorry for me, I wasn't even the one hosting the party.
I know.
I really am that fragile.)


Monday, 3 November 2008


Chantal and Dave tied the knot on Saturday – hooray!

I've been working on custom-designed pieces for their wedding all year, and now that they're married it won't spoil any surprises to show you some of their stationery here.

Chantal chose peonies as the inspiration for her entire wedding stationery suite, with her wedding theme colours of fushcia, navy and lime.

The picture above shows the wedding invitation and RSVP card... they were enclosed in navy folders along with menu selection cards and direction cards. Here is the menu...

It's so long that I didn't manage to fit the end with all the cakes in the photo!

Above – the escort cards... and here's the wedding program...

... the peony design extends on to the back cover, and the text inside is navy. And here's the sign for the groom's chair:

(There was also a Bride sign, which was much more ornate!) The sign below invited guests to write down their best advice for the newlyweds on small notecards...

The table numbers (below) were framed ...

...and Chantal had a brilliant idea for a "Vice And Nice" table, with cognac, cigars and chocolates. The sign below was framed and placed on the table.

There were Welcome stickers and Thank You stickers (I don't have pictures of those) as well as these little notes for the welcome baskets...

...and finally, the brunch invitations!

Hopefully when Chantal gets back to D.C., we can show you some pictures from the big day...


Sunday, 2 November 2008

Tigger and Owl's Unbouncy Halloween

I'm ashamed to admit I tried to get Berry to be something frilly for Halloween, like a fairy or a princess. Last year she was a forest fairy, and I suppose I pushed the fairy theme two years running because my own childhood suffered from a serious lack of tulle.

But no, Berry was hellbent on being Tigger. Occasionally she toyed with being a monkey, but mostly it was Tigger. She and Nathan are slowly making their way through my Winnie The Pooh Complete Collection of Stories each night, so Pooh, Piglet, Roo, Eeyore, Christopher Robin, Owl and Tigger are her stars.

So I found her an excellent Tigger costume and, since Kickbaby can't push his own agenda yet, I made him be Owl. That's what he gets for looking so serious.

Sadly – and unbeknownst to us – both kids were coming down with a big old dose of the flu, so we found ourselves with a listless Owl and a decidely un-bouncy Tigger on our hands.

Berry made a big effort to rally, though, and a little while after we got back from trick-or-treating she came out of her playroom and said, "Thank you, guys."

"For what?" Nathan asked.

"For Halloween," she said, and wandered off with her pumpkin.


Saturday, 1 November 2008

Oh, O.

Less than 90 hours until the election and there's still time for me to completely lose my mind. Unless, you know, that happened already.

We haven't talked about the election to Berry (what possible interest could a barely three-year-old have, right?) but there are signs she might've picked up on the vibe around here. She pointed to the paper yesterday morning and said, "Who that, mommy? That Ba'ack Obama. I do love him. He a good man."

Bless her little accidentally-indoctrinated heart...