12.29.2009

(500) Days of Summer

Rent it. Watch it. Listen to it. (Then don't forget to return it. Blockbuster changed their grace period for a late return. Bitches.)

A sampling of the soundtrack. I'm diggin it. Cheers!





You HAVE to love this next song. And check out those sweet pics of Hall & Oates.






I've always loved this song...






teeny tale: i see me


why are you putting up pieces of paper over your mirror? she asked. because i want to see myself better, she said. well that seems a little ironic, doesn’t it? & over the next few days she rediscovered her love for words. & a piece of paper came down. she wrote “words” on it. in the weeks that followed she found making flowers from fabric scraps brought together scattered pieces inside of her. two pieces of paper came down for that. “creating.” “giving.” then there was the joy she felt from the simple things, like a warm pair of socks, a cup of hot cocoa, seeing snow fall, a hug. each piece that came down, was given a word, signifying its worth. & as the pieces were taken down, one-by-one, she saw a little more of herself. months went by and the friend didn’t understand why there were still strips of paper on the mirror. i still don’t get what you’re doing with this, she said. & i don’t expect you to. besides it doesn’t have to do with you, it’s about me. well, it’s about me when i come over and can’t see myself in your mirror, she said. let’s just say that that mirror in particular isn’t for you to see yourself in, it’s there to help me see myself in. i want to make sure that i know the person staring back at me in the morning; i want the parts i can’t see to match the parts i can. & eventually, when the final piece came down she wrote the word “me” on it because it was the piece she had been trying to find all along. & she put all of her pieces in a box so that if she ever lost herself again, she could easily recall the parts that had helped lead her back before.


12.21.2009

Back to the Basics

The smell of peppermint hanging in the air, small talk with Mom, splattered cookie batter and the jingle jangle of Old Saint Nick humming in the background -- these are "the basics," and they are the things we need to get back to during this holiday season.


This past month has been spent discussing gifts for A, B and C: "What are you getting her?" "How much did you spend on him?" The ordering online, receiving of packages in the mail, the lists made to check, the quick bursts of shopping errands, and the random phone calls to talk over gift ideas -- reconfirming or dispelling what one thinks is that perfect item for that certain someone -- are the things that have come to consume these dark days of December. I, however, was lucky enough to evade all of that for a few short days, and right before the heat of the holiday week, with an event that brought it "back to the basics."


A wedding. An exchange of vows -- both traditional and original. Dim lighting. A close-knit group of friends, family, strangers. Tears. Smiles. Laughter. Excitement. Honor. Promise. The marriage took place in Grand Pacific Junction, Olmstead Falls, Ohio. It's a historic town with commercial storefronts dating back to the '20s; the place, David Stearns, the second settler in 1816, described as having "four general stores, two drug stores, one tailor shop, one broom factory, one felloe (wagon wheel) shop, and one lumber yard." And I don't believe too much has changed. The beautiful history of the area, along with the decor of lights for the holiday season, and the group of people gathered for this special occasion made for a night that one can easily imagine Norman Rockwell would have loved to get his hands--or brushes--on. 


A candle-lit service ending with the chiming of bells, settles in quiet rejoices. Coats make their way to bare arms and ladies clasp the crooks of gentlemen's arms. A small, huddled mass of cheery guests, and  bride and groom--tulle in tow--lead each other in heels and dress shoes through a dusting of snow, down the sidewalk, over the train tracks into the warmth of a cozy restaurant, whose "Comfort food with a twist" description suites it handsomely. Good conversation, great food, wonderful drink, congenial company, loving words and the purest of gestures round the day and evening out. Departing with the exchange of loving wishes and tender hugs, I realize, I have been brought back to "the basics."


I'm returning "home" shortly for the holidays; however, I have yet to wrap a single gift. Instead, I've been making some gifts, with the help of some fabric and buttons, needle, thread and my own two hands. I'll eventual wrap the gifts I bought, but it's the gifts I'm choosing to make that I'm most eager to give. They won't be wrapped. Instead they will adorn the glossy packages -- the ones wrapped to conceal their identity and evoke surprise. Call them decoration, call them a token of my appreciation to the recipient, or see them as a reminder of the simple acts that aren't always so simple as they appear. An act from the heart involves giving some part of yourself to another, which isn't always the easiest thing to initiate or even follow through with, but they are the ones that feel the best to give, and receive. They're the ones that mean the most and the ones that hold us together, as individuals, and together, as friends and family, which are the greatest gifts we have to share this holiday season.






Not Your Everyday Christmas Carol

A few unconventional Christmas tunes to move your holiday days along...and hopefully in the right direction. ;)











These songs and more can be found on NPR's Holiday Music Mix '09.

And a holiday bonus:

12.01.2009

teeny tale: press play

oh, there it is, she said. there's what? i knew i had left it behind this morning, and right next to the coffee maker of course. but i don't see anything beside the coffee maker, what did you forget? he asked. it's not that i forgot anything, it's just that the thing beside the coffee maker, was left, flipped from "on" to "warm," when i walked outside this morning. i'm not following, he said. i'll give you a hint she said, it's the thing that i look forward to picking back up the most when i get home. your coffee mug? he asked. hmm, well, although that's a good guess, that's not it, she said. then what is it? you really want to know? she asked. he nodded. and she said, it is the life i live beside you. that's what's left beside the coffee maker in the morning, and that's what i look forward to picking back up the most when i return. and you are the thing that i adore most, he said. and it was then that he made a mental note to never get rid of their coffee maker...

11.26.2009

who said you shouldn't play with your food?

I found it necessary to document the fantastic food fro my strawberries were rockin'.
(A fro could not be fully appreciated unless my strawberries had faces...so....)


11.24.2009

'cause music is all i got.

work, sleep, work, play, work. it's been busy. i pick my book up on a good, silent night...only for a few chapters. but music. music is what i've got every day. it happens no matter how busy i am. it provides the respites i look forward to during this insane time of the year. there will be fun ahead, time to play, but for now, it's just been my eyes, my pen, my computer, and my music. (hence the multiple posts on music and nothing else.)

some tunes for your turkey holiday travels. cheers!



Sunday Morning, Wednesday Night - Spoon











11.19.2009

wild one.


These shots were taken while traveling in London. As you can see, this theater wasn't showing the 1961-Audrey-Hepburn version.

This past week, as mentioned in my previous post, I've been hit with one of the many "bugs" going around during this pre-holiday season. It's been tolerable, but annoying: I hate being sick, yet at the same time welcome being forced to rest, as I'm always on the go. With that said, I did some movie watching--this part of being sick I like. It gets better. Not too long ago it was discovered that, although the cable I have is the king of basic, an HD box gets you access to "On Demand" stations. What does this mean? Umm, it pretty much means I don't need to leave my abode to rent movies, I can just surf through a bunch of "Movies On Demand" channels and find something that fits my fancy. Brilliant! I went for the classics and Breakfast at Tiffany's is the little 115 minute gem I found. The past year or two I've been revisiting the classics, book and movies alike. So this was a fitting choice.

Depending on what era you found yourself in those oh-so-terrific high school drama days, you may very well be tempted to begin singing "And I said what about 'Breakfast at Tiffany's?' She said 'I think I remember the film, and as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it. And I said 'Well, that's the one thing we've got." Don't be too ashamed if you do, but call yourself lucky if you don't. Regardless of the one-hit-wonder tune you may have playing inside your head, don't mix it with the splendor of this movie. It was pleasantly not so sweet and fluffy as I had thought it would be. To put it bluntly, Audrey "Holly Golightly," being one of her many names, is a sweet bitch. Yes. That's what I said, a "sweet bitch." There are moments when Hepburn's character does an engaging and amiable act, one that almost seems above her, only to then quickly tarnish said shining act while showcasing another side of herself, one that seems more fitting to the character that is her character: it's an incredibly unattractive side, despite her wide eyes, pink lips and petiteness. Of course after just saying that, I'll add that I found her character relatable. "Holly," has become something, someone who she thinks she knows, the person she thinks she wants to be, but with a little help from a friend, finally understands the person she really is: I'm a firm believer in that the people you surround yourself with, help create the person you become and bring the parts of you that are truly you to the surface.
If you haven't seen it, make a point to. And don't wait for a sicky day; however, a rainy day would work nicely ;)

I found the following song on...errrr...stereogum...maybe? I was looking at NYMag's 40 Songs That Define The Brooklyn Sound yesterday, so I can only assume that I found this song, most likely, by looking up one of the songs listed in this article. Regardless, it's a fun list, one worth taking a gander at. And this song would be the song I'd pair up today with the Breakfast at Tiffany's of yesterday.
Update: The song was from here: Indie Rocks! A Benefit Album For Malaria No More.



Warning: After watching the movie, you may be inclined to add "baby" after everyone's name.

11.17.2009

tylenol mixed with a mix.

regardless of my not-so-well state, i ventured out to see metric begin their U.S. tour right here in my fine city, the city of b-lo. a london-based band, the band of skulls, began the night with some old school rock sounds. a classic trio: a bassist (who's a chic, which i love), a guitarist, and a drummer. as we entered the town ballroom i could hear "i know what i am," a song that i feel is completely jam worthy, barreling down the corridor.


Band of Skulls - I Know What I Am

Band of Skulls | MySpace Video


then emily haines and her boys took to the stage and rocked out some of my fav metric tunes...










and just a favorite...



what i learned at the show: tylenol with a rum and diet gives a surprising buzz (this combo was not created for said effect, it's just the facts), the band of skulls' guitarist has want-to-be-kurt-cobain hair, and emily haines is crazy and is down with flaunting back cleavage--probably because she has none to offer in the front (again, just the facts folks, besides who doesn't know these things about her?).

from one good time to another...cheers!

11.14.2009

teeny tale: excuse me excuses

excuse me she said. oh, sorry, i didn't realize i was in your way. um. yes, you are. but you could easily just walk around me, he said. or are you just making me an excuse for why you can't move forward. well i'd have to squeeze my way around you, it's not that easy, she said. and i can't get over you. and asking to go under you is just silly. so i'm asking to move past you, and as nicely as i can. why are you making this difficult? well if you move past me that means you'll be behind me, too. and?, she asked. well, i'm hesitating because i didn't know i'd have to make that decision today, and so quickly, he said. please? she asked. and as he took a step back and to the side she looked down. she had won, but it didn't feel the way she had expected: it felt funny stepping forward. he looked just as nice from behind as he had from the front. now back to back, they headed in opposite directions. with no more excuses left in the way.

11.12.2009

music coma...

i'm hearing songs. they sound familiar. i ask myself where did you hear this before? i come up with no answer. was it spinner, vimeo, npr, pitchfork? blllaaaaaah. does it really matter? no.



Pearl and the Beard

Listen to "Oh Death."
 (I really don't remember if it's the stereotype of British speaking folks or whether they really did use the word "bloody" while I was in London that makes me what to add a "bloody" in between "Oh" and "Death.")



Apparently these subway riders aren't amused by the live entertainment. For the record, I would have been...and I would have clapped at the end, too.








Listen to "Mostly A Friend" by Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez

11.11.2009

orphaned thoughts...finally punctuated.




On November 23, 2008 I wrote my first blog post here.
An excerpt from that post:
Thoughts Punctuated will be my digital version of the little floral notepad with elastic closure I stow away in my shoulder bag until something unexpected and new brings me to pull it out and jot or draw something down. A documentation of a memory I hope to never forget. A new word that hasn't yet made it to my internal vocab. list. Or words to a song, that song, the song that keeps flashing itself at me without revealing who and what it really is. But with the lyrics scribbled haphazardly upon those little nude pages, I know a Google search of the lyrics will connect us...finally.





It’s neat to go back and read about what thoughts I had on this whole “blogging concept” and review what in fact has filled these electronic pages. And I’m pleasantly gratified knowing the ideas I had for this little experiment have fleshed out. With that said, I turn back to that floral notepad, still floating among the chaos that exists within my handbag. It’s soiled with coffee stains, worn on the edges and now contains some loose pieces of paper within it’s pages: folded yellow lined paper with a grocery list written on one side (Gum, Rice Cakes, Toothpaste, Mouthwash, Puffins, High Tech Floss, Kashi Trail Mix bars—had I recently gone to the dentist?) and “The National” (band name) written on the other side; ticket stubs (from the Zoo, City and Colour concert at Chop Suey, and a play at Shakespeare’s Globe); a business card for Hotel Chelsea in NYC; and a smaller, folded, lined white paper scrap with NYC restaurants and directions on it. What I’m realizing is that I’ve written things down, things to remember, things to look up and explore; however, I haven’t revisited the pages since said scribbles were created. If they go unread, what’s the point? This post's purpose is to make that point for these orphan thoughts. Maybe I’ll adopt them, maybe you will, either way, they’ll be given more of a life than they currently have sitting on the pages of my “Plate 5, ‘Poppy’” notepad.

Here we go…

  • To do: Bread and Ink — It's a cafĂ© in Portland, OR that I didn’t get a chance to go to but apparently should go when I return—I’ll have that opportunity to do so this coming June!
  • “Funny how things sometimes take so long to click together, and how something like that sign can hang unnoticed right next to your head for so many years; yet you have to be beat across the knob with it before it starts to dawn just how much it was noticed, whether you knew it or not.” A passage from Ken Kessey’s “Sometimes a Great Notion” – A book I began but found difficult to get into. Maybe I wasn’t in the right state of mind. Maybe I should revisit those pages, too.
  • Point State Park – Pittsburgh 2010 bike trail: Pitt. To D. C. – WHAT? A Google search revealed this: Bicycle over the rivers and through the sites along the Heritage Trail. I remember this now and thank myself for writing it down: it's something I def. want to do. (Love when this happens.)
  • “Nell” Yering Station Chardonnay 2006 – Apparently I enjoyed that one.
  • A Post-It note with “Don DeLillo PS3554.E4425 F36” – One of the DeLillo books I’ve taken out from the library, but which one? Possibly “The Body Artist”? (I did a Google search and found that it was "Falling Man," and also that I know NOTHING about call numbers: I found multiple libraries that held the same call number for this book; I had always assumed they (the call numbers) were somehow unique to each library. Oy. It’s just something I always took for face value, never questioned why, and as a result never cared to learn more about. Now I do. And did. And so can you.
  • Charrette: The intense effort to complete an academic architectural problem within a specified time (or the intense effort to finish a design project). – One of the many vocab. words scrawled across the pages.
  • Movie: Clockwatchers (1997) – I have no idea where this rec. came from, but I have it and suppose I should find out if the rec. I was given is in fact good.
  • William Blake. Paradise Lost. Water Colors. John Milton. Avant-garde Poet. Blake’s concept of the marriage of heaven and hell: "Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy. Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell." – I had visited the Tang, Skidmore College’s art gallery in March 2009, where they had the works of Blake and Milton on display. This was part of Blake’s “Proverb of Hell.” I found it insightful. I wrote it down.
  • Les Bookinistes, Left Bank (cauliflower soup) – A restaurant and dish recommendation from the owner of a French Restaurant in Saratoga Springs, NY to me and my partner when we mentioned our plans for traveling abroad. (We never went there. Next time.)
  • “Plane of three rows. Blankets. Pillows. Earphones. Flight attendants dressed in apple red complete with a cherry top hat, which sat at a playful angle. Languages of the world crossed and meshed in the semi-stale air. Cool air rushing in from above. The people are more put together: they dress well, are nicely groomed, they are handsome (men and women)…and they read.” – The quick notes I took to remember flying to London.
  • “Believe in Make-believe.” “Eyelash Wishes Do Come True.” “Keep Your Eyes Open. Catch the Good Parts.” “Sprinkle Your Life with Happiness.” (Include an image of ice cream with sprinkles.) “Letters Make Words. Words Create Meaning.” – Ideas for my letterpress workshop that went unused; however, I'd like to do something with them still.
  • The Sartorialist, Scott Schuman – A photographer who captures street fashion in New York, Paris and Milan. A friend rec. this blog.



So there you have it, a sampling of my scribbles. It was an enjoyable little exercise, one I'll have to remember to repeat at a later date. I say, if nothing else, adopt the wine orphan: it involves little thought; requires nothing that resembles commitment, as one night (one hour at that) will take care of it; and you each will gain comfort – a warm, fuzzy feeling in your chest and head for you, and a new home inside your belly for it.

11.08.2009

what do you miss most?



is it the seasonal fruit, the freedom to cruise the steets on two wheels, the alfresco meals, or the trading in of bare legs for cover? the time has come again for that seasonal shift most of us endure. from summer to fall and fall to winter, there are things i miss, but at the same time, what's given up is replaced by something gained.
i welcome layers. i prefer boots. i enjoy being cozy warm on bone-chilling days. i can do without fresh strawberries. i can make picnics inside and i can cruise the streets on my own two feet--or with my two cc skis and pair of poles when called for. but the one thing, the lone pleasure that the warm weather offers, the something that i let go of hesitantly and wish to hold on to, is something so basic, so simple, but so contentful: hanging my laundry on the clothesline to dry. one rope. multiple wooden pins. i like my clothes dried with a kiss of sun. i like the smell of the outdoors mingled within their threads. i enjoy enjoying the little things.
what is it for you?

for your sunday morning.





11.03.2009

11380


"This evening, I sat by an open window and read till the light was gone  and the book was no more than a part of the darkness.
 I could easily have switched on a lamp,  but I wanted to ride this day down into night, 
to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page  with the pale gray ghost of my hand."
Ted Kooser

10.30.2009

teeny tale: contagious

i think i’ve caught what you have, she said. really, i didn’t know i had something. what do i have? he asked. how am i suppose to know, you had it first. oh, he said. you mean the shakes & those stomach pains i told you about? yeah, i’m not sure what that is. the funny thing is, is that i thought i caught it from you. why is that? she asked. well, because i only started feeling this way after i met you. that’s strange. because i only starting feeling sick after meeting you, too, she said. hmm. so we’re sick from each other? i guess. well i’m okay with that, she said. as long as it’s not the flu. no. i don’t think that’s it, he said. good. whatever it is, at least we both have it, right? this way we don't have to avoid each other. no, he said. i like being beside you. good, she said. me, too. & the longer they sat side-by-side the better they began to feel.

10.28.2009

i'm a roadie.

yeah, so i've been waiting for this freaking movie, The Road...waiting...waiting for quite some time now. i get excited, only to find that the release date has yet again been pushed back. what gives? and now it's set to open on thanksgiving day? seriously? the tryptophan will have me comatose on Nov. 25. i suppose it could be a great day-after-thanksgiving activity, but with everyone off for the holiday, the theaters will be packed and i'm not a fan of packed theaters. i suppose i waited this long though, what's another few weeks after the release date? i'd prefer to have some elbow space than to be one of the first to see it; however, I may end up buckling...

watch the trailer and get hooked.*
*you should only watch the following trailer if you've already read the book. if you haven't read the book...oy. do yourself a favor and pick 'er up. k? why read the book before even watching the trailer? because the book allows you to exercise your imagination; the trailer could take that all away from you. and that would just be criminal. plus, i personally enjoy creating my own characters in my mind: mentally shaping their facial features, dressing them, creating an original voice and gait, etc. the worst thing for me is seeing a movie, then reading the book and only being able to picture the faces of the actors and actresses that played said characters. ugh. it can ruin an otherwise gratifying experience. if you choose to watch it, regardless of what i've mentioned, don't say i didn't warn you...

10.27.2009

an absurdly beautiful tiny desk concert upon my very own tiny desk.

I think this is by far the most people I've ever seen packed into the NPR Music office. It's an absurdly beautiful little show they put on. Singer Jade Castrinos just freaking made me giggle out loud, yes, at work of all places. But who cares, everyone could use a little more giggle in their day if you ask me. Take a listen. Spread the giggle. Enjoy.




Smacked in between the songs "Janglin" and "40 Day Daydream" (shouldn't there be a hyphen between "40" and "Day"?--whatever) is the ooie gooey song "Home." It's like the creamy filling found between two perfectly baked (soft, yet slightly crunchy) chocolate chip cookies: I want to eat it right up. There's no repeat button, but I'm going back in for another nibble.

Update: So I've had "Home" stuck in my head for the past day and a half, and surprisingly I haven't grown sick of it yet. Anyway, I wanted to know more about these guys and found an interesting write-up that sheds some light on the bands name. For the record, Edward Sharpe is NOT a name of a band member. Find out who's name it is here.

Side note: I find the chat about the "0" on Ebert's chest adorable.

Final addition: In the album version of "Home" the talking part at the end goes like this:

(Talking)
Him: Jade
Her: Alexander
Him: Do you remember that day you fell outta my window?
Her: I sure do, you came jumping out after me.
Him: Well, you fell on the concrete, nearly broke your ass, you were bleeding all over the place and I rushed you out to the hospital, you remember that?
Her: Yes I do.
Him: Well there's something I never told you about that night.
Her: What didn't you tell me?
Him: While you were sitting in the backseat smoking a cigarette you thought was gonna be your last, I was falling deep, deeply in love with you, and I never told you til just now.



And of course now I'm left wanting to know if this is true...but I'm not going to try to find out if it is; I'd rather just sit and listen to this set again. (I'm seriously going to kill these songs, but I don't care, because I know when I let them go later this week, I'll pick them back up in a few months and enjoy 'em all over again.)

10.22.2009

the warmup.



(Spinner.com has been streaming this beauty for the past week. The link I'm providing will most likely be out of commission in a few days, maybe as soon as tomorrow. Regardless, I had to share.)


Dear K of C:
Your D of D did the trick: You warmed me up. If it weren’t for you, my new name would be Mrs. Cold. I was just about to reach my breaking point; I even threatened to throw a Riot on an Empty Street the other day. And the idea was starting to sound good, being the little Renegade that I am. Right before I heard your new album I was a Second to Numb. The vulgar thoughts had begun to pile up, I was ready to fight; however, your tunes found me and asked for forgiveness. I wasn’t going to give in-- I’m more of the Peacetime Resistance type--I mean, did you really have to wait so long? It's usually easier for me to stay mad. But there’s something about the lack of percussion that really must have eased me up. Nicely done. I’ve taken on a new mantra: be your own Freedom and Its Owner. It feels good. I’m not sure what carried me to this point. I suppose the voyage isn’t as important as the fact that I’m finally here, besides My Ship Isn’t Pretty. There’s a part of me that feels the need to thank you. Your words put down a path for me to follow, like Scars on Land leading me in the right direction. Now I’m not so sure I’d go as far as to say your words Rule My World, but they do rock my world, that I’ll agree to. Will you walk ahead with me? I think we could be something great. You have to admit, you see a little of Me in You, don’t you? I’ll leave my Boat Behind and we can finish this journey out on foot. I’m not sure where I’m headed. I sort of believe in the Power of Not Knowing. Knowing too much can be dangerous. So what do you say? It’ll be fun. I promise. And I’ll even let you when in the game of your choice along the way, but maybe only by a point: 24-25. Deal? You let me know.


XO,
J

10.21.2009

the relief type.



Me testing my newly acquired skills. (Photo by S.K.)

Someone's cancellation became my fun-filled Sat. afternoon. I received an e-mail notifying me of an open slot at a letterpress workshop I'd expressed interest in...months ago; it was a pleasant find in my in-box. The workshop is run by Shelly Kuzniarek, the owner of French Press, a local letterpress and design studio. I arrived, surprisingly right on time (I'm never, ever, on time for anything, ever), at the fully renovated TriMain Center, a building with an exterior that's telling of its industrial origins and an interior filled with beautifully unique spaces boasting high ceilings and the kind of natural lighting you can't help but to stop and appreciate. Letterpressed signs accented with penmanship hinting at an affable creator, directed me to suite 507. This scavenger-hunt-link start put a skip in my step as I walked through the metal doorframe.

The class reviewed two different types of presses: a platen letterpress (circa 1920s) and a Vandercook No. 4(circa 1950s). Shelly demonstrated the printing process of each, which included the use of magnesium and polymer plates; setting up the chase (the rigid frame which holds your plate or composition) and tightening it with furniture (blocks of wood) and quoins (toothed angular blocks); the amount of ink needed (about a quarter size) to get the rollers covered; the type of ink she uses (rubber based); paper stocks; and how she uses Pantone swatches to derive the makeup of a color. For example, if the breakdown says something like 52% blue to 46% red for a purple hue, she starts mixing close to equal parts blue ink with red ink with a metal putty knife on glass, stopping to do a color check on a scrap of white next to the pantone chip. I told her it looked like fun, the whole mixing colors together, so she stopped on a dime and ordered me to get myself a pair of the rubber gloves from under the table and go at it. And I was right, it was pretty fun. (Thanks Shelly!)

After our introduction to both presses we were off to lunch, a break before we were to return to put what we had learned to test...





Printed pieces for the class to check out so we could get a look and feel for letterpressing.




That, my friends, is "furniture."



And a taste of some of the letter blocks we had at the tips of our fingers.







The lighting in Shelly's space is just brilliant.




The platen press.






After digging through an antique wooden tool box, with drawers full of metal pressing trinkets (mostly of text used for setting advertisements: "Clearance," "Sale," Reduced Price!"), I resurfaced with a "Now.." (it was missing an ellipsis), and a plate set with two hands holding an open box, which I decided to fill with narrow type to spell "Click!".



I had no idea how difficult it would be to set up the "simple" piece I had put together. I decided to capture my valiant efforts at arranging furniture around my composition to lock it up for print (above left). It was seriously like some strange Jenga jig-saw puzzle. (Note to self: start doing more jig-saw puzzles.)



We made 15 prints each: a copy for Shelly, a copy for each classmate, and the rest to take home.








The finished product!

At the end of the seven-hour day, my appreciation for letterpressing went up tenfold: I had never comprehended the amount of prep time needed to set up a job. Maybe it's the thought of the more you put into something the more you'll get out of it, but I can really see how it would be more personally gratifying to produce work this way, i.e., over an offset lithographic press or flexographic press. Then again, if I had a job requiring thousands of prints...I'd probably have another opinion.

Letterpress Resources:


Shelly posted some shots she took of us hard at work, including a few of the shots I took during class: French Press blog