Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter 2011 Bookmaking Classes for PDX Kids

If you've been keeping up with my bog, you know I'll be offering six children's bookmaking classes at Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta, Portland, this winter! I am thrilled to continue working with this fantastic venue.

The focus this season will be movable structures. Classes start a week from today (Thursday, January 6th) with a pop-up structure.

We think about structure, content, literacy, and fine motor skills while making an awesome interactive works of art. Take home your creation and instructions to make more goodies.

Here it is on Green Bean's calender...

Read more on the bookstore's blog here, or click the image below for a full schedule (or rather, click, then click again to enlarge to a readable size).

We're accepting calls now to reserve spots (Jennifer at 503-954-2354); sign up for a few or as many classes as you like. Rolling admission takes place all through the season, but it may be best to call early to get the dates you want. Space is limited to ensure lots of space for our bookmaking.

Classes take place after school hours and are also a nice supplement to home schooling :)

Sarah (a degree-holding book artist and an early childhood educator!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A (Semi) Daily Painting

...of a mini cupcake!

acrylic on panel with super cute, 2010, 4" x 4"

Available in my shop. (But not before I took some pictures to make some giclees!)

Now to watch the rare Portland snow outside and make some lunch, which, unfortunately, will not involve cupcakes, mini or otherwise.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Revisiting Paris 800 Times

Yesterday I got a big surprise when I opened my email. Fifty messages from a website I had never heard of. Let me backtrack...

Two years ago I went to Paris for ten days with three wonderful friends. I took a frugal amount of pictures on my camera; my friends took more. After a couple of years, most of the pictures were exchanged, put online, etc, but many still were not. On his week off, my friend decides to share all of the photos I may not have seen with me by uploading them to a website ( and then notifies my via the website that there are pictures up for me to download at my leisure.

Well. Instead of sending one, or even ten, emails, the website (in what I can only imagine is a ploy to up hits and advertising dollars) begins sending me an email with a link for every single picture that has been uploaded. When I got up in the morning there were fifty; over the next twelve hours, over eight hundred emails steadily flowed into my mailbox.

It was mildly hilarious, but looking at the images was a wonderful revisiting of the trip. And few of them felt like duplicates--we just did so much! Here are some favorites.

Big thanks to M and J for all the beautiful shots! :)


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hi there.

A little something I've been working on in the printshop:

I set the alphabet in Univers 36 lead type, removed the "H" and the "I," filled in the gap with spacing, and printed the rest in a wine color I mixed up from our Pantone rubber inks on the Vandercook. I then removed the alphabet, replaced the "H" and "I" and printed a blind impression with a barrier paper in between to pick up the ink; all that printed on the card was the de-bossed (opposite of embossed) impression of the letters.

Getting the second run to line up correctly was heck, heck I tell you! But I am so happy with the results!

I printed the cards on Fabriano printmaking paper, which is soft and fluffy, and holds the blind impression really well. I like that you almost need to take a second look to see the message; understated yet playful.

A limited edition is now available at my etsy shop.

Definitely more experiments with blind impressions to come!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Happy Festivus to You All

Today, in many circles, from easy-going fandom to zealous cult, is Festivus: a holidy created on the television show Seinfeld over a decade ago.

For a little recap on the holiday, here is an excerpt from

"Every year on December 23 since 1997, "Seinfeld" fans and general humorists have gather around an unadorned aluminum pole; aired their grievances by telling others how they disappointed them in the last 12 months; eaten a meatloaf meal with no alcohol; and performed feats of strength by attempting to pin the head of the household.

What began as a lark by a character on the popular 1990s sitcom has now taken root in the real world, to what extent and for how long into the future exactly is still anyone's guess."

I admit, in high school, at the height of the show's popularity, I had my friends over on December 23rd where they were met with their presents sitting under a pole instead of a tree. We didn't so much do the meatloaf bit (looks like I have to watch the episode again...) but who could resist the jaunty greeting of "a festivus for the rest of us!" or being able to tell your friends "you suck." and pinning it on a mere celebration of the "airing of grievances?"

We met on December 23 more because we had family obligations on the 24th and the 25th, but it seems across the world, Festivus revelers have chosen the same day (which may or may not be mentioned in the show; to tell you the truth, I'm not even sure.)

As strange as it is, today, with many, it functions as a holiday in the real world. And Seinfeld was a darn good sitcom.

So of course, as I'm sure you know, I handcarved a pole out of a linoleum block, set some type, and leterpress printed a run of Festivus cards this year for my own nearest and dearest (who, uh, watch the show at least) and sold some at various fairs and etsy as well (some are available if you want to stock up for next year :)

My card was even featured today on gluejunkie's blog.

So, as I suppose one should say on Festivus: eat your meatloaf, don't drink, and be merry!

***UPDATE: Here's the story of the holiday in a succinct edit of the original episode on YouTube! (Thanks Rob for posting this)


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sweet Tooth Guide

I've been included in a few treasuries on etsy lately and thought I would share. Here's a delicious one called "The Sweet Tooth Gift Guide." (click to explore!)

In other etsy news, a couple more candy paintings are now available in my shop, and I just finished a print run on a couple of neat things! They'll be available after Christmas! (Granted, it would have been nice if they were available just before, but I had a little thing called finishing up my degree going on...)


Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's Easy to Buy Local When Your Friends Make Ice Cream

Today was a bit on an adventure... to find some locally made holiday cards (yes, I was bad and didn't get enough at Crafty Wonderland last weekend).

1) First stop: the Publication Fair downtown where local and independent publishers, printers, and galleries were selling an eclectic mix of bound, printed matter. Ran into some people, looked around--but we were in search of last minute holiday/new year cards, which this location didn't quite fill, so I moved on to...

2) The Portland Saturday Market, Portland's street fair of food and crafts which actually takes place every Saturday and Sunday. Though this particular market alluded to the approaching Christmas holiday by subtitle, "The Festival of the Last Minute," I didn't find a single (letterpress printed) card! (as a letterpress printer I like to buy work from other printers...)

3) Oblation Papers & Press, a Portland printshop and peddler of cards, papers, and knickknacks. I found some cards (by local artists), some new paper for my book and box making (OoOo) and while in the area picked up a PINT OF HOMEMADE ICE CREAM (Aztec Hot Chocolate) from my friend Anna, whose new ice cream maker has allowed her to add creator and proprietor of mini homemade ice cream business to her list of talents.

My paper.

The ice cream (yes, she even created the label stickers!)

Though it was a cold day to be out and about, it never occurred to me to drop by the local Target or grocery store to buy mass produced cards. I feel Portlanders are encouraged to buy handmade and local (and there are so many wonderful, talented, artisans in the Northwest). Speaking of buying local, I need to mention this program that encourages buying local.

Portlanders: have you heard of Supportland?!

Spend money at 70+s locally owned and stocked shops, restaurants, salons, etc. in PDX to receive points that can be cashed in at any of said participating shops, restaurants, salons, etc. for different rewards--from a free coffee or coupons to more unique deals. This program is launching in Portland first before (hopefully) moving to other cities across the U.S. Wonderful!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

New merch

Now available at the shop:

Cards inspired by The Office. Either you've seen the episode or you haven't ;)

Letterpress printed on Fabriano printmaking paper. A2 size. Limited edition.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Park Kitchen and Printing Surprises

Today was the last day of my curatorial internship at Portland's Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC), so the curator, Namita, took me and the two other curatorial interns out to lunch. We went just up the street to Park Kitchen. I hadn't been before, but I'm sure I'll be again soon... it was one of those wonderful places with organic, local cuisine and an ever-changing menu. I did find out that as of January 1st they will no longer be serving lunch... sad! I suggest all you Portlanders go there before they make the change (and maybe they won't have to do it!)

Afterwards I spent the late afternoon printing. All you fans of The Office out there... there will be ome fun things in my etsy shop come Friday morning! ;)


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

I am sorry I didn't paint as much as I was hoping last night. I was busy soaking my hands in a bowl of milk. I was soaking my hands in a bowl of milk because it is supposedly a cure for the capsaicin burns I acquired from the hot poblano peppers I was chopping up for dinner.

That is all. So much for trying to recreate all that great southwestern food from my trip to Santa Fe.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mini Books

On Saturday I grabbed yards of pretty blue and white checkered ribbon from SCRAP for a quarter. Problem was... the ribbon was wrinkled and crushed in the spool. 30 seconds inside the dry mount press at school's bindery (an iron would have worked, too) and good as new!

I used it to finish off my yellow and white mini accordion books. Good for stocking stuffers, wedding or party favors, mini thank-you cards or scrap books. I'm looking for a cute way to package them for future fairs. Due to the color palette and mix of designs, I think I will call them the "Weekend in the Country" series.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crafty Wonderland

So my fiance and I got to Crafty Wonderland at the Portland Convention Center at about 10:30 a.m., a half an hour before Exhibit Hall C, home of the fair, opened. I figured we'd be met with some kind of line, but was not prepared for the line of nearly 1,000 people snaking through the first and second floors of the Convention Center, nor the hired guards escorting newcomers to the end of the line and ensuring no one "cut." WOW. Would love to try to get a booth next year for sure.

Once the doors opened, everyone got in pretty quickly. I saw many of my favorite local etsy shops live, which was exciting. We snagged a few small items, then mostly took notes on display... I love to see how people display their work and clever ways they set up their booths. I also noticed trends...

1) Bunting flags. Yes, we all know they've been very popular in the craft world this year. Mostly they were used for display, but in some cases it was a game for crafters: how many materials can bunting flags be made from? Paper, fabric, wood, but my personal prize for creativity goes to Ta-Dah PDX with its stained glass buntings! I imagine one would be lovely in a vintage inspired kitchen somewhere.

Reclaimed Glass Buting from Ta-Dah PDX in partnership with Trillium Artians.

2) Fake mustaches. These have also been taking etsy and craft markets by storm this year. A half an hour after the fair opened, I saw one booth whose entire stock of felted facial friends on sticks was sold out. I know my friend Marisol of heart and sol has been doing well with her line in LA, as well.

They also come in glass form... like these pint glasses from Bread and Badger.

3) Bicycle stuff. Paintings of ike whels, bicycle seat covers, prints that say "I'd rather be biking"... We are in Portland, after all.

If I had a tree, I would have grabbed an Oregon inspired ornament from Paper, Flour, Water.

'Tis the weekend for craft fairs, too. I hear the LA branch of the Renegade Craft Fair is also being held this weekend. Renegade has been happening in Chicago, Brooklyn, and San Francisco for some years now during the holiday season, but from the sound of it, this is the first year it's happening in Los Angeles. Have a great weekend, shoppers! There is much handmade to be had!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wish Scrolls at Green Bean

Tomorrow's class at Green Bean is the last of our fall classes!

We'll be making Ethiopian wish scrolls (and containers to keep them in)

a variety of wish scrolls

The dates are set for winter bookmaking classes for Ks and 1sts! Class will meet every other Thursday, starting January 6th. Call Green Bean to reserve a spot, or check out Green Bean Books on the web.

Thanks to all who came by to make books with me this fall!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Small, cute things

Today, more stamps.

A teacup...

...and my namesake ;)

This time I carved freehand into the eraser, without drawing it out in pencil first. I like how organic it makes the stamp, and no pencil smudges on the eraser that don't seem to come off... how does one get graphite OUT of an eraser anyway?

Also starting on a dozen mini accordion books, while watching the French film Seraphíne (because netflix thought I would enjoy it, and who am I to argue?).

The end of the semester draws near, and with it the end of my fourth degree... just want to keep making while I'm motivated and in assignment mode!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Made some rubber stamps today. Hopefully they will be used at an upcoming winter bookmaking class at Green Bean.

I used a block of rubber eraser material and a combination of my Speedball linoleum block carver and my Olfa to carve out the shapes. They may not be the prettiest things to look at, but they seem to work!

I'm sure someone out there has a more elegant technique; I may go searching for tips.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Green or Red?

...Was the question I was asked most often this weekend, as in what kind of sauce did I want with my enchiladas/tamales/quesadillas.

Impromptu weekend trip to New Mexico? Sure! Some sunny Sata Fe and Albuquerque.