I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Mine was pretty hectic {3 houses on Christmas Eve and 6 on Christmas}, but we got to spend time with all of our families. I'm looking forward to spending the next few days getting organized and recuperating from all of the craziness of the last few weeks.

In addition to a fantastic dishwasher {can't wait to have it installed}, I got some great handmade gifts this year!

Wishing for the New Year

I just put together quite possibly my last treasury of 2007. I'm hoping to buy at least a few of these things in the new year {or maybe my husband will buy one or two for my birthday, hint, hint}. Check out these great shops while you're finishing all of your Christmas shopping.

Definite Obsession!

This coral-colored bouquet ring is from Zakka.

And this lovely chartreuse cocktail ring is from Starry Configurations. I have been wishing for this for a while now.

I'm not sure if it's the rings I love or the awesome set-ups!

A tiny secret

Ok, so I feel like I have a slight ring obsession right now. I think this little leaf ring by Amanda Conley is lovely. It's like wearing a secret...Others may not notice how cute it is because of it's size, but you'll know the whole time you're wearing it!

I love, love, love this ring from Hester Zagt Sieraden {found via Bloesem}! I tried to find more information on her, but alas, I only speak English. Hester has more rings like this on her website, and many other beautiful pieces. I can't decide what my favorite color is for this design...maybe I would pick white...

Wall Paper = Love

I was in Nook yesterday doing some holiday shopping when I found the book Wall Paper by Lachlan Blackley...instant love! Needless to say I now have another early Christmas present from myself. I frequently use wallpaper and patterns in my work and I think this book will be a great source of inspiration. There are interviews with 50 designers and beautiful images of their work. "The new wallpaper is blurring the line between art and interior decoration".

Now that I have a good wireless connection at home I can work in front of the tv, which isn't necessarily a good thing. I get sucked into watching pointless shows like Deal or No Deal and I feel like I'm going to puke the whole time! I always hope that the player "wins" and the suspense kills me. Good thing I usually only see the last 10 minutes. Ok...back to grading!

I can't seem to help myself from buying fabric from Lara Cameron, owner of Kirin & Co. Lara's hand screen printed designs are so beautiful and impeccable! The photos just don't do the designs and printing justice. My only problem is that I'm afraid to cut into the fabric, although the vision of awesome throw pillows in my bedroom might just be the kick I need!

New prints available

Shop update: I'm out of calendars, but Tara has a few more. I can't believe how well they sold. Thank you to everyone who purchased one (or two)! I do have some prints from the calendar for sale. These make great holiday gifts and are super easy to frame.


In addition to feeling a little overwhelmed, I've been quite productive lately. I even had a chance to finish my ornaments for the Holiday Ornament Swap. Here's a sneak peek of my ornament (four-sided letterpress) and some tree decorating from this weekend.


This was a busy weekend. The Holiday Gala at my studio was Friday and Saturday. I sold a good amount and purchased a good amount {some gifts and some for myself}. I bought a beautiful "sketch" by Colleen Buzzard, whose work is pictured above.

Saturday night I went to Buffalo to see Andrew Hershey's amazing exhibition at Big Orbit Gallery. I went to grad school with Andrew and it was great to see him and his new work. I am still impressed with how well his work fit in the gallery. Usually Big Orbit has sculptural or installation-based pieces, but Andrew's work made the space a bit more quiet and better for contemplation.

On Sunday Jake and I picked out our Christmas tree! This is the third year of our tradition of brunch and tree-buying with friends Sara and Ben {and Marni this year}. Snow had covered all of the trees and we had a snow-ball fight in the midst of the trees. And rounding out my weekend was a night of editioning for my book exchange between my class and Abbey's class. It turned out quite nice and I'll post pictures of the book ad the tree soon.

Time to cast your vote

Congrats to Abbey! Her house was chosen as a runner-up in the Domino Decorating Contest. She could win $1000 to make more improvements and all you have to do is cast your vote. I can vouch that her house is unique and beautiful in person and truly reflects her family. Go ahead, vote right now! And tell your friends.

Playing Tag

I was tagged by Megan, so here are five random things you may not know about me.

1. I love popcorn from the movies. I love it so much that I bring my own seasoning to the theater and if I have leftovers I eat them for breakfast the next morning.

2. I have an obsession with 80's pop music and I play it while I'm teaching (which amuses most of my students).

3. This may not be a secret to some of you, but I can't stop myself from making piles. If there is a clean flat surface in my house or studio I cover it with paperwork, cards, prints, junk mail...you get the idea.

4. It takes me forever to compose email. I blame this on a job related to copy editing. I proofread even the most simple email several times and read it aloud to make sure it makes sense. I've been trying not to obsess about it so much!

5. I am one of those crazy-obsessed dog people who dress their dogs in clothes and send out holiday cards with pictures of the dogs. I never thought I'd be one of these people, but I guess I am. My hope is that acknowledgment of this fact will somehow make it ironic and not creepy.

I tag Abbey, Lindsay, Kris, Nicole, and Erin.

The rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


If you're in the Rochester area you should check out Happier, and exhibition by Abbey and Phil Hendrickson. The show is at the Art & Music Library Gallery through December 28, so you have plenty of time to see their amazing drawings!

{photos by Abbey Hendrickson, top image is Phil's work, bottom image is Abbey's}

Cyber Monday

Ok, so I've been a pretty bad blogger these last few weeks. But, that just means that I've been working hard and trying to catch up with family during the holiday! Jake and I went home for a few days and made the rounds with everyone we haven't seen in a while. We did go to the mall on Black Friday, but I've taken the handmade pledge, so we mostly just watched the other shoppers and ate pizza! In honor of Cyber Monday and the handmade pledge (which you should join if you're reading this), here is one of my favorite necklaces, made by Kim Eichler-Messmer.


Calendar printing is done! Lindsay and I made the final push last night and printed for 16 hours...holy crap! Saturday consisted of about 3000 pieces through the press, a few Mountain Dew breaks, some minor irritability from both of us, lots of dance music, and a chance to see the sun rise as we drove home (singing loudly, of course). I can't tell you how awesome the pages look and how happy I am that everything registered so well. It's been so amazing to work with Tara on this project and her designs look like they were made for letterpress. This week we'll be collating and packaging calendars to send out.

Michael Bosworth

I wish I was going to be in town tonight. There is an artist talk by Michael Bosworth at Rochester Contemporary at 7 pm. I missed his opening las week because I was printing and I'll miss the lecture tonight because I will be printing! Oh well, that just means I might have to take one of my classes to the gallery :)

I was taking a break from work and found these amazing chairs. I wish I could buy a set for my dining room, since I hate the chairs we currently have!

New threads

I love this shirt and it totally loves me!

Wouldn't it look perfect under this jacket? Too bad we don't have an Urban Outfitters anywhere near here! And too bad I'm feeling broke.


The calendar is coming along well! Here is a detail shot of the month of May. We will only have 200 limited edition calendars. The size is 4.25" wide by 11" tall. The calendar is printed on Crane's Lettra paper in fluorescent white, which is 100% cotton and makes a beautiful impression! Each piece is hand printed on a Vandercook printing press.

Pre-order a calendar (or two) right here.

My day in pictures

1200 pieces printed yesterday, 800 printed today, craft fair tomorrow. Massage tomorrow night?


Well, today was a long, long day of calendar printing. I'm totally exhausted, but I'm still a bit wired. Tomorrow I'll have to remember not to drink so many Mountain Dew's. I'm also quite inspired. I got to see Abbey's new work this afternoon and it's awesome. She's been working on several huge drawings for an upcoming show and is almost finished with them. The image above is from her new work, but you have to see it in person to really take in all of the layering and meticulousness. Also, make sure you check out Abbey's recent interview in Book by it's Cover (hooray!!!).

2008 INK+WIT Pistachio Press wall calendar

I am so excited to announce that Tara, from INK+WIT, and I have collaborated on this new 2008 letterpress calendar {above is the sneak peek, see Tara's Flickr for more images}. Tara designed and illustrated the calendar and I will be printing everything. These will be available on INK+WIT as well as our Etsy sites mid November. We will have 200 limited edition pieces. I'm going to start printing this weekend and will post updates when I can. Contact us for more info or to place a pre-order!
I bought an amazing guillotine cutter from Genesee Book Arts on Saturday. It had to be moved up from the basement of the center with a refrigerator dolly and loaded into my friend Sara's van, which took four strong men. Then today Jake, Luke, and I moved it from the van and into the studio. It was a bit harder with only three of us, but we managed to get it in place and I have already trimmed 800 sheets of paper! It's soooo awesome. I'll post pictures soon. In the meantime, our dogs just laid around and loved each other all weekend :) And after seeing the Simpson's movie Jake played "Spider Sue" with Susie.

I also made another treasury this morning. I like making these lists because it helps me find more work to be inspired by, like this great piece from Michele Maule. She has a beautiful color palette and I love the subtle line work in the background.


I love the work of Matthew Vescovo, creator of Instructoart. His illustrations are hilarious {mainly due to his dry humor and slightly uncomfortable subjects}. His work is especially interesting to me because I love his use of simplified line, which is something I try to use in my own work.

The Dissident

Last night I took my drawing class to an incredible lecture by Nell Freudenberger. She read a passage from her new book, The Dissident. I am rarely so fixated when hearing speakers read from their books, but Nell was a wonderful speaker and the passage she shared was beautiful {about a Chinese political artist who was awarded a residency to teach at a private high school for girls}. Obviously, her novel is on my nightstand now and I'm looking forward to some good reading.

Sucker for stationery!

I did the impossible...I made a treasury of my own! Spots for the treasury are usually impossible to snag since everyone wants to make one. But...I was up late working and decided to check the treasury on Etsy and lucked out. Check it out {right here} and buy some awesome stationery!

Total slacker

Arrrg. So it appears that I've been quite a lame blogger lately. But, this is only due to the fact that we've been pretty busy around here...

We've repainted the bedroom. Again. Finally. For the last time! I love the new blue {very soothing} and I made the curtains from fabric from a recent Ikea trip. Gone forever is the green apple paint and the wicked-old pink curtains. That green had been an overcompensation from the avocado green I had painted the bedroom when we moved into the house. Third time's the charm!

Apple picking {my first time} for Kelly's birthday, followed by ice cream and Mexican food.

We also had a very fun Sunday a few weeks ago. We met my dad in Geneseo for lunch and then went Geocaching in Letchworth Park. This is the first time we've gone where I've actually found the cache. The other times the cache was missing or we gave up!

Hi, my name is Rachael...

I am so addicted to making piles that Jake sent me this web comic the other day! I even have virtual piles on my computer and constantly hide all of the crap on my desktop in new folders. I wish there was a super fast way to get organized, but I haven't found it yet!

For Blog Action Day, this post is dedicated to recycling old papers and reducing waste. I'm going to try my best to stop collecting stuff I don't need and live a clutter-free life. I'll keep you posted on how this works out :)

Another treasury

One of my cards made it into another treasury. It's not on the front page, but it's a great grouping of work. Here's the link.

{And here's another one. Treasuries are so fun!}

Contemporary Landscape

Here's a great drawing by artist Caroline Falby. Her work is currently on display at the Tower Gallery in an exhibition titled The Contemporary Landscape. You know that I've been interested in the idea of landscape, so I was very excited to see this show open! Caroline's work looks even better in person and I really love her use of repetition and muted color palette. I'm a sucker for pattern (duh!) and can appreciate her use of decorative paper elements, like the tree in this piece.

Lisa Kokin

Trophy, image (c) Lisa Kokin

I just came across Lisa Kokin's work and I love the detail in her books. I'm especially drawn to this piece, which combines my love of text, old photos, and the line work from sewing. I really want to gush about all of her work, so it was hard for me to just post one image!

Happy belated...

I forgot to post about some great puppy news from the last few days. Cassie celebrated her second birthday yesterday and Susie finally got her splint off. What a great day!

A fun surprise

Today I Googled Pistachio Press {don't act like you don't Google yourself, too!} and I found that the press had been blogged about by someone I don't know! Thanks Cher Ami, I'm so excited about this :)

I'm also waiting for this beautiful anne:made shirt from anniecarter to come in the mail. This is my first Etsy trade and I really can't wait to wear it. The pattern is paint-by-number birds!

Poppytalk Online

Poppytalk Handmade is now up and running. I hope you'll visit my page and then check out all of the other wonderful vendors! I'm already thinking about buying Christmas goodies for everyone {and myself}.

Front page!

I was checking Etsy this morning when I realized that one of my cards {the blue birds} is on the front page! I've never been included in a treasury and this one made it all they way to the main page! I've seen some treasuries that aren't that great, but I really do love all of the items in this one, which makes everything even more exciting. This totally makes my day :)

She had always preferred plaid.

It's been a while since I posted any of my work. This is a screen-print that I finished at the beginning of the summer and finally got around to scanning. Although work has been slow around here, I'm pretty sure that this is the new direction my work is going to take {using patterns as more than wallpaper to create "landscapes" and continuing with silhouettes}.

I'm looking for artists who use landscape as a base for their work {and a bit non-traditionally}, so please send interesting links my way!