New Letterpress Cards!

Obscure holidays always get the short end of the stick when it comes to festive cards, so let's give them their chance! Talk Like a Pirate Day, Grammar Day, Tell a Lie Day, and Panic Day now have a voice. Made the old-school-icious (it's a word now...) way with handset metal type, I'm pretty fond of these little guys. Check out Plan B for more info.

For the next run, thinking up ideas for Skeptics Day and (belated) Procrastination Day. Any ideas?


Turkeys are done, people are finished.

The letterpress is back in action with a random holiday card series. First up, National Grammar Day on March 4. Proper English rules!

Next up, Talk Like a Pirate Day...


Love at first sound, love at first sight.

I didn't think my recent obsession with Grizzly Bear could get any worse until I saw this amazing video by CG wizard Gabe Askew. Anyone want to join me for Grizzly Bear at the Crystal Ballroom in October?

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.



Latest project for typography: Fizky. We have to create a logotype for this imaginary soft drink, choosing from about 10 different base font styles and modifying them in some way. Here are the tight roughs, to be narrowed down to three. And, yes, it's all hand-drawn.

And I leave you with the first biggie of our harvest (more garden pics at our house blog):


Who are you and what have you done with Portland?

(Our thermometer at the house says 107.)


I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called "mister", thank you very much.

In the current (rather pathetic) tradition of monthly posting, I'd better get one in before July is spent.

First of all, school's back in for me. I started an Associate's in Graphic Design at the prestigious Portland Community College and am loving every grid system creating, font characterizing, triangle and t-square using second. Here's a sample, based around the idea of creating a logo using a natural outline cut out inside a letter:

Next, first time ever to the beautious Crater Lake with loverly company to boot:

With the sad passing of Michael Jackson came a fantastic night of M.J. remembrance. Lucky for me, I went through a huge M.J. phase a couple weeks before he died and had the greatest video hits on hold at the library. A-mazing.

And lastly, the first harvest of my uncontrollably huge tomato plants (you think I jest, but these things are pulling up tomato cages.) The big guys are all over the place, but insist on staying green. At least the cherries are beautiful (and tasty!):


Don't even think about doing this...

My housemate, Molly, sent this to me. The secret's out: I'm a typography geek. And proud.

(Check out more of these witty little comics by clicking on the pic.)


Too much to handle.

So, a lot has happened since the last post...moved into a house, planted a 200 square foot garden, started going back to school full time, saw a handwritten illuminated manuscript of the Bible, decided it was time to reread all the Harry Potters...but instead of boring you with a big ol' exposition, let's start right from the present, shall we? How about a list of...

Fun things I'm working on:

1) The Garden. There are few things more exciting than watching a pile of dirt and chicken manure turn into a veritable jungle of edibles. We dug this puppy out with our own bare hands (holding shovels, of course), churned in the most foul smelling manure possible, planted the minuscule seeds, and waited with baited breath...for this!

And I must point out our a-mazing labels...made by super-crafty housemate Katie. Uber-cute, eh?

2) Linocut printing. So I'm not taking a lino class, although that would be incredibly fun, but this is actually the final project for my History of Graphic Design class. Instead of an essay, we make linoleum or wood cuts. Sweet, eh? Mine was inspired by my trusty muse, The Beatles. It says, "Good Day Sunshine" in the lovely font Caslon. I'm not sure how I'm managing to cut around all those little curves, but I know the x-acto knife is my friend. And for some masochistic reason I adore tedious detail work. Final print to come later!

3) Blog numero dos. I can almost hear the scoffs as you read this thinking, "She never even writes in this blog." Touche. However, this one is a joint effort between me and my housemates. It's called What we did to your house while you were away, and it chronicles the goings on of our house, mostly for our super-landlords and friends, Scott and Jojo, who are doing amazing things in Bangladesh right now. But you can see more of the gardening saga as well as the gorgeous gift our 3rd grade neighbor left on our doorstep.


Top 15 Songs EVER : part 3

9) Blue Rondo A La Turk : Dave Brubeck -- There was a time when I listened to Brubeck's album Time Out almost every day. I love a great jazz combo as it is, but jazz with odd meter? Sweet! It makes it all the more swingin' when the bust out in the standard 4/4 after the intro. And I love Brubeck's thick chords and Paul Desmond's tone on sax.

8) When the Levee Breaks : Led Zeppelin -- This is what I love about Led Zep: they can rock out so much but still have that bluesy, folksy feel. The drums are so heavy, and add that harmonica and the blues riff...it's just so gritty. I totally dig it. This album (IV) and Physical Graffiti just blew me away in high school; Led Zep rocks out like no other, while blending so many genres at the same time.

Because of insanely thorough copyright restrictions, I can't find a good version of this one anywhere. But, honestly, if you don't have Led Zeppelin IV, you need it. It's one of the best albums EVER! Most definitely on my top 15 albums. So just run down to Bog Bean or Everyday Music, or the record shop of your choice and purchase that sucker!

7) A Day in the Life : The Beatles -- Choosing a favorite Beatles song for me is like getting my wisdom teeth pulled and getting dry socket and being nauseous from the pain meds...alright, maybe not quite that bad (cause that was pretty bad), but I could hardly do it. This one is their opus of sorts...the perfect combo of story telling, instrumental layering, and recording manipulation that makes this album so great. And the build up and release at the end -- phenomenal.


Top 15 Songs EVER : part 2

12) Old Friends/Bookends Theme : Simon & Garfunkel -- Beautiful, poignant lyrics (as always with Paul Simon), lovely guitar work, and a string arrangement that images the words so wonderfully -- like that dissonant part in the middle, sort of soaring, but scary at the same time. The album that this is from, Bookends, is definitely on my top 10 albums.


11) Be Your Husband (Live) : Jeff Buckley -- The first time I heard this song, I freaked. The breadth and depth of the vocals, the breaths and falsettos...he's got this blues thing down. An inspiration to any vocalist. And all done a capella...flipping awesome.

10) Paranoid Android : Radiohead -- I know more than half of us probably have this on our top 15, so it basically speaks for itself: A-mazing.

Paranoid Android - Radiohead

What phenomenal music awaits us?!?! We'll find out in the next installment...


Top 15 Songs EVER : part 1

Alright, after a torturous process (as Kallie will attest), I've finally chosen my top 15 songs of all time. I tried to cave and add classical in there, but, frankly, it was just too hard. So here it begins, sans classical: the top 15.

15) Gobbledigook : Sigur Rós -- I was a little leery about adding this one because I've only lived with it since it came out last summer, but this song fills me with a kind of giddy joy that makes me just want to run and jump and dance. The percussiveness is so primal and powerful...it just makes me deeply, deeply happy.

"Gobbledigook" - Sigur Ros

14) Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours : Stevie Wonder -- There's no denying how much I love funk and soul; both definitely influence everything I do musically. This song is quintessential of both genres, and I am absolutely in love with Stevie's voice...he's basically the man.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered Im Yours - Stevie Wonder

13) Christmas Time is Here : Vince Guaraldi -- Yeah, you guys all knew this one would be on here. But if it's good enough for Royal Tennenbaum's, it's good enough for my top 15! I love Vince Guaraldi's lovely lyrical style, the brushes on percussion, and the overall melancholy feel of the song. And it's got all these happy, Christmasy, Charlie Browny, piano playingy memories attached, too. Not to mention, how sweet to have a children's cartoon all jazzed out in the soundtrack? That's genius on par with Mr. Rogers.

Christmas Time is Here -

More to come...


You know you're working at a call center...

...when more than one person thinks that your brown shirt with thumb holes is one of those carpal tunnel braces. I really got the pity vote for having to have them on both hands. Maybe I could trick them into giving me worker's comp, too...


Look out Wes Anderson...

...'cause I've got a letterpress and your font...well, it's really Spartan, but it sure looks a lot like Futura. This is the first run on the press since I've gotten actual type, and let me tell you, typesetting is not for wusses! There's definitely a lot to learn about how to get a clear print on all letters. These aren't perfect, but they were fun...perfection will come. Next run: invitations for Margo Tenenbaum's new play.


Woolly Brain, Batman!

"Psychiatrist kits anatomically correct woolly brain" = sweetest headline ever. And doesn't that little bundle of cerebral mass look cuddly? Read the full story here.