Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The National Stationery Show!

It was my first time attending the National Stationery Show. Normally I would've attended under our company name, Babas2nd Design, but I was invited to represent Bowne & Co. I spoke with my friend Felicia and she asked "What are you wearing, because I know you've planned it out." It was like the first day of school for me - a formal introduction to the world of stationery.

The booths were incredibly designed and well thought out. I'm not sure if the companies hired designers or just let their imaginations run wild. My favorite flooring was in the Fugu Fugu booth, a leather rug, which felt fantastic after walking through the show.
photo courtesy fugufugupress.blogspot.com

We met in the cafeteria for lunch; Robert's friend Mary brought along an extra sandwich (perfect since I didn't have time to make lunch). Delicious Italian tuna with curry and micro greens on multi grain bread - yum!! I also met Jennifer, a very kind woman who also loves letterpress and book binding. She volunteers at Bowne & Co.

A few days before the show Robert and I assembled gifts for the exhibitors at the show. He printed a poem, a lovely notecard with an image of the Brooklyn Bridge (125 years old, this year) and lots of other goodies. With the gift packs in tow, Robert suggested that we all search the show separately and meet up at 4:00pm to discuss our favorite booths.

Here are some of my favorites:

Ink + Wit
photo courtesy Ink+Wit

Those orange elephants are so nice and who doesn't love this imagery.

(correspondence for the vagabond heart)

My favorites are:

Lisa's Little Birthday Book

You and Me card

I'm obviously partial to sketches of furniture (I can't stop sketching them on my cards).

2009 Wall Calendar
photos courtesy goodonpaper.com

Perfect holiday gift!

Lisa from Good on Paper was such a kind hostess, showing off her lovely creations with the enthusiasm of someone who hadn't just been doing this for 3 days straight. She was just so kind and we thought she was one of the best in show.

Angela Liguori
She wasn't in when I stooped by her booth, but her sweet boothmate was good enough to give me small samples of this gorgeous woven ribbon.

photos courtesy of papercupdesign.com

From Brooklyn - my favorites are the Silo Girls (especially the girl with the mantilla) and the totally cool Travel cards and Travel Journal

Fugu Fugu Press
photo courtesy fugufugupress.blogspot.com

The wife and husband team (there were quite a few at the show!) of Shino + Ken. Their designs are so heartfelt and sweet. Bowne & Co. will carry a selection of their cards in the future. They letterpress and design together - the results are fantastic!

photo courtesy Sub-Studio.com

Anna at Sub-Studio was another engaging and wonderful host. She took me though her collection - there were products that I'd seen online and been very curious about - let's say they are much more interesting in person. I love the metallic tint on the Hinge cards.

custom address labels.

getting a jump start on the holiday - thanksgiving place cards.
photos courtesy picapress.com

Make sure your Flash is updated and check out the well-designed Pica Press site. The ladies of Pica (Anna, Elisa and Susanne) were our favorites en masse! Anna and Elisa greeted Jennifer and myself - they gave us a really good tour thorough their product line (including an item that won't be released for a while, but had us totally salivating - oh yeah, this product will make you happy too). At the Supply Side, we bumped into them with Susanne, the captain of the Pica Press ship. They were so charming and kind and they gave us these fantastic Brooklyn Bridge bags. Wow - a gift for us?! Later in the week they came to Bowne & Co. to visit the shop! I wasn't in yet, but Robert was so happy to see the lovely ladies of Pica Press. You can see pictures on Suzanne's blog: www.doggedlydetermined.blogspot.com

Feliz Navidad letterpressed card

La Virgen Letterpressed

Fancy Luchador Calendar
photos courtesy Hammerpress.net

We met them twice - once in the middle of the day and they were peppy and full of good conversation. The second time was right at the end of the day and they were definitely in need of a cocktail or a disco nap. The men of Hammerpress were very nice and I loved their designs. Not all their designs are Mexi-centric - I just loved these the most! Finally a card I can send all my in-laws and friends.

Okay, once in a while you see something that is undeniably great. Molly Meng of 8mmideas wasn't in her booth during my first visit, but her very kind sister Kaari showed me the product. I was so excited to show her cards to Robert (collagists unite was what I was thinking)! Of course, they've known each other for quite some time. Robert already thought Molly was best in show - so we were in agreement. I was very happy to be part of the connection and guess what? After skimming through Molly's blog, I realize that she's also friends with Kelly Christy - the über-talented millener (previously from Elizabeth Street, but now on Spring Street in Soho). Small small world - thank goodness!

photos courtesy 8mmideas.com

PS - We also visited the EK Success booth to peruse the Martha Stewart Craft Collection. Very cool was seeing two shots that I styled on the signage. A few tools from the Crafting Collection will be on sale at Bowne & Co. this summer.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

nss to the tss to the... (national stationery show)

Today I'm going to the National Stationery Show! You don't know how amazing this is for me!!! I've wanted to attend for the past 2 years and I'm finally going!

The National Stationery Show (NSS) is the biggest stationery event in North America; with over 1,300 exhibitors the NSS's products range from social stationery to cards, scrapbooking (Aimée, I'm thinking of you). There are some amazing wrapups and ideas for booths to visit on some of my favorite blogs:

Has the most comprehensive posts about which booths to visit.

Oh Joy!
She is actually there with her Nantaka Joy line in the Mixed Co. booth and celebrated her birthday in her booth.

Also a list of booths to visit. I added a few to my list.

Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Well imagine my surprise when I showed up this week for my volunteer shift at the Letterpress shop and the amazing Robert Warner had a present for me - my own cards for Bowne & Co. Beautiful letterpressed cards with my name on them for the NSS!! Wow. He also offered me a part-time position at the shop. I thought I would faint, honestly. That made me sooooo very happy. Woo Hoo!

The Supply Side is the more secretive part of the Stationery Show. It is "an annual exhibition for suppliers to the social stationery, giftware and graphic arts industries). That'll be really good! The Accucut crew will be there also with their hand operated die cutting machines.

Wrapping It Up
The past few days have been really good - the whole Florida trip was really draining. Seeing most of the family was incredible and so uplifting, but there were a few elements and one family member that made the trip very difficult. Thankfully, I'm heading back on track and feeling like myself again. My sister is leaving NY (sigh), but we spent a lot of time together and that was really what I needed.

Yesterday, she stopped by the studio where we were finishing up the Martha Stewart shoot for Kmart Christmas (it looks sooo good as usual) and we realized that last year when she was in town she picked me up from the same shoot. I have loved working as a freelance stylist for Martha Stewart. The style department is really talented and quite generous. It's a small group but they are able to move mountains. I am honored to have worked for them as much as I have.

Yesterday's shoot was so inspiring and coupled with my time at Bowne, I am so grateful for my life and excited for my future. Also, I finally sent out a thank you to one of my closest friends Lynda, who sent a present for my father while I was in FL. That meant more to me than almost any gift I've ever received. Then last week, Sandi and I took her daughter for ice cream (mmmm...pralines and cream) - that was fun! I am so happy to have such incredible friends.

Till after the show!


Monday, May 12, 2008

just another letterpressin' day

Murakami at the Brooklyn Museum

Little Elly still does not have rollers. I priced some and they are $75 each - ouch! Well, at least I ordered her manual - that'll be great bedtime reading.

Cinco de Mayo was last week (as well as the birthday of one of my best friends - Toni). In case you need to brush up on Mexican history in 30 seconds - Cinco de Mayo is the day to commemorate the Mexican - French battle. May 5, 1862, 400 indigenous Mexicans fought against 600 well armed French soldiers in Puebla, Mexico. The 400 were victorious and today we continue to celebrate their courage.

My husband and I went to Brown Betty Cafe in Clinton Hill for an impromptu Cinco de Mayo party. Luckily for us, when Cynthia (the chef/owner) "throws" something together it is exquisite!!

from left to right
codfish fritters with habaneros, a vegetarian tostada,
plantain balls stuffed with cheese and chiptole-mango wings.

The company was equally delightful - we met the best people and had so much fun. Too bad Brown Betty doesn't have a dance floor - Cynthia's mix of music was sooo good (cumbia to rancheras).

Last weekend I was given a fantastic collage challenge. The prolific and all around amazing Robert Warner helped me understand layering/patterns and collage. The best part of the challenge was getting to work with the best ingredients. Ephemera from the 1940s, little letterpressed shapes, pictures of dogs and vintage wallpaper. A few items are for sale in the Etsy shop. The run is very limited though. In June I'll mail the Collage Art Cards to the BABAS2ND subscription participants. Here are some of the images - the rest are on our Flickr page.

I loved this exercise. Now I know how my good friend Lynda feels when she creates a new piece of art or a mask in her studio. Content.

Finally, my sister is in town!!!!! Woo hoo! She spent the night on Friday and the three of us had a sparkling rose that was so good from Olivino (our local wine shop). On Saturday we went to the Brooklyn Museum to see one of her favorite artists, Takashi Murakami. Last year was the first time I'd seen his work and this was such an massive show. I was definitely inspired by his use of metallics and the sense of scale. I plan on creating some new art cards very soon.

Friday, May 2, 2008

It's good to be back

The clock tower in Brooklyn - formerly the Williamsburg Bank..now luxury condos.

It is so nice to be back home. The trip to Florida had its ups and downs, but overall was as good as I could've hoped. My grandmother is sick and everyone flew in from their respective locales to wish her well. There are 4 of us grandchildren and it's been ages since we were all together. Some things don't change and loving your family is one of those things.

Flying back into the city is one of my favorite pastimes. You know how you sometimes get fed up with NYC? Well, the best cure for that is going away and flying back into LaGuardia Airport.

I figured it out on this flight; I sat on the left side of the plane by the window. It was around 8pm, so night was creeping across the horizon. The Mets were playing at Shea Stadium, so the stadium was so bright. I smiled when we passed the massive globe from the World's Fair and the Statue of Liberty. When we passed the City and I saw the Empire State Building I felt myself puff up with pride - I love my city, I love my New York!

While I was away - my vintage envelopes from our Etsy shop were featured on the front page in a treasury (a collection of Etsy items that someone curates). Very cool and just what I needed when I was feeling sad because of Grandma. So now we have over 40 people who heart our shop....baby steps, baby steps.

I sold the envelope pack and mailed them off to their new home in Chi-town, what a feeling! It may be only a $5 sale, but it made me sooooo happy.

Last night, I met up with some friends at Marshall Stack in the LES (Rivington and Allen). I thought there would be 5 of us, so I made each of them one of my new cards (Thank You Mr. Parmentier). Wasn't I surprised when there were like 30 people there!!! It was like a stylist meet-up and I was so excited to see an old girlfriend, who I haven't seen in 5 years! Also were some of my favorite people that I rarely get to hang out with. The crowd was heavily populated with Domino employees - they're a fun bunch.

I can't wait to get back into the letterpress studio in a few days! I miss working with Robert Warner and creating lovely things. Of course I'm sure he's probably created 500 pieces of artwork since I've been gone - hmmm...I'd better get cracking on my work! Florida afforded me a few hours of downtime on the plane. I reread sections of Twlya Tharp's book , The Creative Habit, and came up with several new designs. Promise I'll show you when they're ready!

Lotsa love,