Friday, April 17, 2009


So this is the book:

...and this is the emotion:

...and these are the cards that were accepted. Pages 68 & 69. Two full pages:

...there are lots of beautiful cards that are also represented.

alicia holland

karena colquhoun

foxy & winston

little anorak girl

meri meri

lizard press

joie studio

yee haw

yee haw

claire sun-ok choi

I am very very proud.

1000 Handmade Greetings available on

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Friends

One of the sweetest things about working at the Print Shop is meeting some incredible new friends. I often think that I have been so lucky with friends (most of my closest I've known for 15-20 years), that I don't need any new ones.....then I meet someone special.

Samantha - Though I haven't seen her in ages, Samantha is a kind, talented woman who makes me happy happy happy. She is an incredible artist with a great sense of style. That's her embroidery on the top of this post. She does paper cutting, immaculate sewing and is an amazing paper artisan. Here's a link to her work :

Taibi - She stops by every Sunday for our Make & Take craft project and each week she's wearing the sweetest outfit I've ever seen. Daisies in her pink hair, brocade car coats, embroidered hoop skirts and electric tights, Taibi lives in color. She works in the neighborhood at Firefly children's shop and makes the best decoupaged magic wands I've ever seen. Here's a link to her blog:

Last Tuesday this young Japanese woman came in and showed Nancy (kind volunteer at the Print Shop) and I her work. She also purchased a edger craft punch. Sachiko works in miniatures and I was shocked to see her croissants, black and white cookies and rolled buns - they are all smaller than a penny. Much smaller. She also makes tarte au pomme and cakes with fruits. Oh wow! Last night as I was closing up the shop, she and her boyfriend stopped by with a bounty of gifts - she made miniatures for me. Oh Sachiko!!! I will photograph them tomorrow and post them. She also works at How Sweet It Is - the bakeshop. Boy are they lucky to have her!
Here's a link to Sachiko's blog:

Sachiko's work in the Print Shop

Monday, March 9, 2009

Letterpress Progress

Last week I printed! I cannot describe how much I love the process of letterpress printing. There are so many steps to remember, there is so much room for improvement....egads, it's fantastic!

I completed two projects, one of which are notecards for my sister, who is attending the Winter Music Conference for the first time ever. Go on, sis! Robert helped me with the set up. We used a Latin Elongated and I found two flourishes that worked with her name. Since we were out of Transparent White ink at the shop, we figured it out with Rhodamine Red and a teeny bit of Opaque White. I love mixing the colors. The pantone books give you the recipe - genius.

All was well and I printed 50 cards. I'll ship them to her this week.

Working on the C&M Rotary Press was a bit of a challenge, there isn't a throw, so you can't push a lever if you miss putting the paper in the press. It took quite some time to get the press under control and for me to figure out how to slowly treadle the press. I lost 2 sheets of paper too. Robert is obviously concerned that I don't try to grab the paper when it falls....One false move and you could become a printer with only 8 or 9 fingers.

treadle, treadle, treadle

distribute the type after you're done...(put it back)

I have to bring my camera into the shop, the pictures I'm posting are a bit blurry (still haven't mastered the iPhone's camera).

Also inspiring was a stamp album Robert picked up in Asbury Park. It's filled with pages of cancelled stamps. I think he'll use some in his collages. Oh, and the man who assembled the book didn't glue them down! He tipped them in with little elbows of adhesive. Painstakingly beautiful, I think.

President Obama mentioned that we should all commit to higher education, either at educational institutions or apprenticeships. I love that he is challenging all of America. The page on the right has dozens of Apprenticeship stamps.


Last week Monday it snowed 10.5 inches in Brooklyn. By Saturday it was 70 degrees. NY never fails to surprise.

Our favorite corner of our apartment...Sapo palm, cushy armchair, a huge window and loads of books.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sources of Inspiration - Visual Artists

Oh those Oscars. That was the best show I've ever seen - normally I need to constantly pinch my arm to keep from falling asleep. The past two years, I could not make it to the best picture.

Hugh Jackman was really great, as was that Swarvorski curtain. Production design for live television - what a retro idea.

I still have many films to see, but I did enjoy The Visitor, Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, Wall-E, Tropic Thunder, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Doubt. I am looking forward to seeing The Garden, The Wrestler, Frost/Nixon, The Class, The Reader and Frozen River.

On the stage, my favorite dress was Kate Winslet's - it reminded me of a Tracey Reese dress I've been sweating for a few months. I love the gauzy one shoulder. I also loved Anne Hathaway's dress. Penelope Cruz is so much like a best friend, that I had to smile when she told the story of finally getting this vintage gown from the 50s. I am looking forward to the day that one of my best friends is on the stage at the Kodak Theatre and I'm cheering her on.

On the non-moving visuals, I saw this photo on Oh Joy's blog and I just love the feeling:

blues by Tim Walker, Vogue

It is a bit fou and reminds me of 37.2 degrees la matin (or Betty Blue). I finally finished the staggeringly tragic film about the life of the great chanteuse Edith Piaf. Marion Cotillard did a fine job. I will take from that film, the simplicity and honesty of Madame Piaf's newspaper interview and her, love, love.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Back from a break

I have been a bit incognito. Since starting at Bowne, I have been ensconced in the world of retail and 19th Century letterpress printing.

Then last weekend, I felt that urge to write. Inspiration was all over the place and I remembered my other life - the blog, the website, etsy - my work.

Lovely highlights of recent times
* I performed my third wedding ceremony - this was for my best friends Zetna and Victor. The entire evening was fantastic (in the truest sense of the word). Zetna was the most lovely bride - she looked like she was on the set of a film. They are so funny and full of love. They are one of my favorite couples on this pretty planet. It was a short ceremony as requested and there was plenty of laughter, lots of sangria, bossa nova, a few well known actors, family family family, salsa and these charming Spanish confections. It was a magnificent night. Together, they are a force. I love them dearly.
* At the New York International Gift Fair, we found some really good products. I can't wait to see them on the shelves and in the vitrines at Bowne. My favorites?


The ladies at sweetbella (especially Nina), stole my heart with their carefully curated leather items, I am in love for sure. Look at these vintage leather goods from Barbara Wiggins.

And my favorite Affaires du Jour books from O-check Designs. They look like a library book from the annals of a venerable university. Imagine pulling that out of your Lauren Merkin.

Robert introduced me to John Derian, which was a major highlight for me...They run a tight ship over there...when they enter a booth to purchase goods for their shop, they are no joke. How they manage to stay so upbeat and kind should be a lesson to all business owners.

I was also excited to see the Shinzi Katoh lines, though they have no place at Bowne - they will always occupy square footage in my heart.

We ordered from my beloved find Roost again and bumped into those hardworking loves at 9SpotMonk - that order just came in yesterday.

I am really gearing up for the Stationery Show in May, though. That's where the action will be and I am super excited. I hope to have a few new Babas2nd designs on the shelves at Bowne by that time.

I'm currently working on:
*A baby card
*Correspondence cards
*Personal stationery sets
*An African series

And, no more hours painstakingly sketching each card. I am moving into the 19th Century! All Babas2nd designs will be letterpress printed on a Golding Jobber or a C&P Pilot from the 1800s. Of course, I will rely on the kind tutelage of my friend, Master Printer, Robert to help me on this path. How very exciting!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ode To Uma

Uma Cortes 1995-2008

On Monday, 10 November 2008, after 13.5 years, we lost our great companion and friend, Uma. Some souls seem to transcend species and Uma was definitely one.

I met Uma in 1995, when she was just a few months old. I was working on the film "Let It Be Me" and one of the editors, Carol asked if anyone could adopt a dog - one of her friends found a dog in Central Park as a puppy and couldn't take care of her anymore.

That was our Uma.

She didn't get the name Uma until she moved in with us in Soho and our roommate Diana named her after the star of "Pulp Fiction". Tara and I didn't care about the name, we just loved her.

Uma loving the snow

I never had a dog and I didn't know how close you could become with another being. We understood each other; after years of adventures and interacting we knew each other so well. Uma was a great defender, a gentle and kind soul (she was so tender with children and babies, even during her rambunctious years), so very funny and absolutely graceful. Her long, white eyelashes were so beautiful. Her black ears stood at attention when she was alert or excited. What a beauty.

Beautiful long eyelashes


Moving to Brooklyn was interesting for both of us. We'd never been able to play off-leash, unless she was in the Hamptons. Fort Greene and Prospect parks allowed us to run around, have fun and provided us with the most stunning backdrop for our lives .

Uma in Fort Greene Park

Without Uma I would have never met Fernando. Walking to the park each day we passed the lovely cafe where he worked. I remember the first time he met Uma, he'd made a smoothie for me and she got so excited that she knocked it out of my hand and all over the sidewalk. She loved Fernando immediately - and she was the best judge of character.

I am so grateful that we became a family.

On our way to celebrate Fernando + my wedding anniversary in PA

Sweet pumpkin

Uma loved the beach and with much happiness, Fernando and I were able to take her back to Montauk two weekends ago. She walked in the grass again.

Happy in the grass

Fernando carried her down all the way down to the sand and we all sat there watching the waves come in.

A young lab and a couple followed us and they made their way to the log where we'd run around and giddily posed for photos three years ago. We watched them. We made sure Uma was comfortable.

Fernando and Uma

On the way back, we stopped to see our family and they each gave Uma their love. Her tail couldn't wag anymore but she was happy.

I am so honored to have known Uma and to have spent over 13 years by her side. I will always love her. She will always be a part of us.

Uma & Barbara - I miss them both.