Making ABC's Cool

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About to finish B.IMPRESSED's newest product today and I am so excited with how it has turned out. I will be giving it to my cousin's tomorrow at their shower and then they will be available for all of you who are dying to buy them. These cards were printed in a limited edition of 26 to celebrate all 26 letters in the alphabet, because I love them all. The cards are printed on recycled chip board and the alphabet is printed from vintage wood type. The type in red on the back of the cards is printed from 24pt Outline metal type that was all hand-set by yours truly. The images and what each letter stands for are inspired by a variety of antique printer's cuts, so expect some surprises. My intention was for the parents to enjoy the cards as much as the child. I mean I think at least one present should be for the parents, after all they are the ones with sleepless nights, crying and diapers to look forward to.

Congratulations to all of you who decided to have children. For now I am happy celebrating for you by making these letterpress cards.

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B is also for Baby

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Yes, babies happen. And when they happen in my family, B.IMPRESSED takes action to squeeze some letterpress into this kids life from day one. I began printing for this baby shower gift / a new addition to B.IMPRESSED yesterday at Interrobang Letterpress in Jamaica Plain (JP), MA yesterday. This will also be my first solo project to be printed at Interrobang, which I am very excited about. Michael Babcock is the owner & printer of Interrobang and I was lucky enough to be his intern during my last year at MassArt. I am so grateful he has continued to keep his door open to me and for all of his support with B.IMPRESSED.

Working in Michael's shop is truly a privilege. I am usually overcome by jealousy because just when I think I have a grip on all of the amazing type, equipment and other letterpress things he has I find something new. He has an amazing shop, as well as an extensive library nestled into his great house in JP which makes you feel at home when technically you're "at work". His location right of Washington St. is also a short walk away from Canto 6, which is great for coffee and has dangerously good pastry. Everything in Michael's shop is also incredibly organized, clean and perfectly laid out, making it a great space to complete a project. So for this baby B.IMPRESSED gift this was an ideal shop to begin. Day 1 of printing was a great success, finished printing the entire alphabet on the front of the cards in an edition of 26 with a couple extra just in case for each letter. I'm using wood type from a galley cabinet I got in Haverhill, MA and this is the first time I have seen the entire alphabet printed. There are definitely some gems like the "Q" that ended up amongst my favorites.

Overall a successful day printing with a visit to Canto for coffee and then making it back before the rain to finish up the alphabet listening to Black Sabbath in the basement of Interrobang Letterpress.

Am I breading future printers...? Stay tuned for the end of August reveal.

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Felt & Wire Feature

Lucky in Lead

One of the highlights of the Ladies of Letterpress conference in Asheville, NC was meeting Alyson Kuhn from Felt & Wire.  I have admired Felt & Wire since I was introduced to it a couple years ago. As a book artist and letterpress printer I've loved many projects they have done, because they always find a way to combine beautiful paper, great craft and notary causes in an attractive way.  An example is, Mohawk's Feedback Loop, where 25 letterpress designers/printers were able to make 50 journals that would then be sold through Felt & Wire Shop with all proceeds going to a youth mentoring program called School: by Design.

Meeting both Alyson Kuhn, a writer for the Felt & Wire Blog, and Allyson Van Houte, curator of the Felt & Wire Shop, at the Ladies of Letterpress conference was really amazing. Then when Alyson Kuhn called me about doing this feature it was the perfect ending to a great trip to North Carolina.

Check out the blog feature here.

Many thanks to Alyson Kuhn, it was a pleasure working with you.

Just leave me at Penland

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Woke up early again this morning to get on the road because it was time to visit Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. I decided to save the best thing for last, because I trusted Penland would be. After getting lost several times and Peb's "I hate the country" city diva anxiety attack, we found our way and were full steam ahead. The road up to the school confirmed that I would DEFINITELY have to board because I would only want to drive up and down that twice.

As I saw the sign and the main building I was already in love. If you've ever been to overnight camp, it feels kind of like this, mixed with a relaxed country club and a mountain artists community all rolled into one.

Without much time to explore, I went straight to the letterpress studio. The shop is in a newer building at Penland but was designed to fit with the mountain cabin feel of the rest of the grounds. Outside there is a student working, a picnic table and a dog lying on the sidewalk. Large windows surround the building are open for mountain air. To say the shop is amazing just can't justify it. Even after being told it's out of order because there benefit auction was the day before, it is still amazing. In the center of the shop sit four Vandercook proof presses, set up like a pinwheel, with Dr. Suess looking ventilation above them. Against one wall sit cabinets of type, two paper cutters and a countertop for ink mixing. Opposite this side are big white tables surrounded by large windows looking over the mountains. I mean I guess it's okay. The letterpress shop is adjoined to the printmaking shop with a connecting hallway. They share this beautiful, large, high ceiling, industrial feel building nestled in the center of campus.

After dying over the letterpress studio, we wandered around and found the book arts room and paper studio, both also amazing. One thing in particular I loved was off of the paper studio there was an enclosed outside space with clotheslines of felts hanging up to dry. This concluded our mini tour of the Penland studios.

Before we left we stopped quickly for coffee at the coffee house at Penland. We heard from someone at the conference that the coffee is really good and if you know us, you know we love coffee. Such a cute coffee house, with an array of delicious looking treats and lunch items. The blueberry muffin tasted like our mom had dropped them off at Penland that morning. Amazing food, amazing coffee, amazing everything. Quick stop back at the main building to get some letterpress cards and then it was time to go. Really wish I had somehow gotten stranded there. Cue Mazda breakdown.

Following Penland were roller-coaster style roads down the mountain for over 30 miles. So thankful we had beautiful driving weather today. Still on route to PA, long day of driving but in the end, totally worth it.

"Tomorrow we're going to move at NC pace."

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So tomorrow is today and at 1:22 it feels like we have already done so much. (or maybe just eaten so much) Great breakfast at Early Girl Eatery with our new NY friends Hannah and Elizabeth. Had delicious omelets and coffee talk. Next we walked around downtown Asheville, got a cute "Bb" t-shirt and ended up at The Gourmet Chip Company. This place is UNREAL. Not only are the potato chips amazing plain, you then choose toppings to coat them with. We went with the Tuscan - regular potato chips with thyme, rosemary encrusted goat cheese, truffle oil, and sea salt. oh.my.god.

Now we are in comfy chairs having iced Americano's with Almond milk. Almost like I'm in Boston, except everything is in slow motion.

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What's really good y'all

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Today was the final day of the Ladies of Letterpress conference in Asheville, NC : ( I promise I will write about it in detail, but there is so much to say that it will require a dedicated afternoon at Starbucks to do it justice. I am so grateful I was able to make it to the conference because it was an incredible past three days. Going home with LOTS of goodies, new contacts and encouragement to continue what I've started. To celebrate, Kate and I decided to try our third attempt at Tupelo Honey Cafe. This time at 4:30pm. Third time's the charm, and soon we had biscuits with homemade blueberry jam in front of us. Amazing meal here - heirloom tomato caprese salad, candied Ginger cornbread with peach butter, a great chicken sandwich and rasp. & peach iced tea. I haven't talked much about the food here, mainly because it's usually gone before we think to take a picture. However, I will say we have yet to be disappointed.

Walking around after dinner, we found a huge antique store off Lexington Ave, where Kate found rabbit fur mittens and a lunch-box style purse...bananas!

Enjoying our last couple days in NC and then heading back home to Boston with a quick stop in PA.

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Clues I'm definitely not in Boston.

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Parking garages cost .75 cents Lunch is at least an hour and a half long and you sit down to eat.

The streets are not litered with coffee shops.

When you ask at the hotel if there will be traffic leaving at 8am, they laugh at you.

There is only half & half on the bar at Starbucks.

Ma'am and Sir, always.

Left exits off the highway.

Masshole driving is excused without honking...so shocked about this one.

Restaurant next to our hotel closes at 8:30pm

Asked if we want one bill or two at every restaurant we go...Boston can we get on this?!

Trying to be Chameleons, but with Peb walking around, during the day, in four inch heels it's not going so well. Love you Boston but currently having an affair with NC.

Ready to move to Asheville

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Just left the Ladies of Letterpress reception at Bookworks in Asheville, NC and wanted to do a quick post before dinner. So imPRESSed : ) with everything so far, highlights include - Peb saying she wants to quit fashion and become a letterpress printer, coffee filter book at reception, and letterpress T's for babies, or cats...just sayin. More details later... Until then, Press ON.

Movie Night with Obama

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Peb & I only had about 12 hours to spend in DC, but we definitely made the most of it. After a tour of Daizy's awesome house in DC we headed downtown for drinks and dinner. The first stop had great $4 drinks, beerpong, and a photobooth that we took full advantage of. Next stop, Amsterdam Falafel, for falafel and fries. Good thing they plan on opening in Somerville because once you try it you're hooked. After filling up on falafel, we went to The Reef for another drink and we were happily surprised to see Strongbow on draft..2 please! Quickly we finished our Strongbow's to make it in time for movie night at Obama's pad. Movie playing - My date with the president's daughter, duh.

Our wonderful host's gave a midnight tour of the monuments, which I didn't think I would mind missing, until I saw them and had no idea what I was missing. Definitely planning on returning to explore DC further, 12 hours proved not to be enough time...dang.

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Time to take this show on the road

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I'm like seeeee ya Boston!

^ (said best by Annika Benitz. Maybe if you stalk her here and become bff's you will get the pleasure of hearing her say this)

In less then 48 hours I am hitting the road to drive to Asheville, North Carolina for the Ladies of Letterpress Conference. Not only will this be my first road trip, it is also the longest amount of time I have ever spent in a car. Unfortunately I do not get to take our dream driving machine the Dodge Shadow.

Luckily I have the best company joining me, my twin Peb (short for Pebble, real name Katie). Peb and I have in no way mentally prepared for driving, and will rely on my amazing playlist called Risk Taker & unhealthy amounts of coffee.

So excited to stay with our great friends Daizy & Juliana along the way and then post up at some various hotels in Asheville.

Special in Aisle B

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"You would look a lot busier without the coffee in your hand"

Custom printing is something I really enjoy doing, however the work I've done is not documented on the regular...until now. Here is a sneak peak of the most recent work I've done since graduating in May.

Out of the custom work I do, my preference is business cards. I enjoy designing small media and personal branding. Get business cards made from B. & then pass them out like candy.

Thank you, Thank you to all of my clients, you're the greatest!

Boston...lets get serious.

I'm ready to get serious.

After graduating in May 2011 I am now a homeless printer, posting up at whatever shops will let me print. MILLION thanks to the shops that have taken me in, however, instead of squatting forever or moving elsewhere, I have decided to set up a community print shop in Boston.  This next year I will spend traveling across the United States to research different letterpress communities, meanwhile reporting my findings here at Press ON : Boston. Having a community access shop in Boston is something I desire, and many printers and letterpress enthusiasts wish existed.  Follow me to read and see how other communities are making it happen and get inspired to make it happen here.