Platemakers and fishing line

This past weekend was pretty exciting for us, and not because of the Oscars. On Saturday, Jake and I drove to Massachusetts to pick up a platemaker for the studio! I'm going to be buying an imagesetter from a friend who just happened to have one that wasn't being used. I'm sure there will be a bit of a learning curve, but hopefully we'll soon be able to process plates anytime we want!

I had been resistant to this for a while, but my good friend Amber finally talked me into it (and found it for me). I was worried that it would be one more thing that we'd have to do, but when I calculated the cost savings I came around to the other side. We're in the midst of prepping for our accountant and the amount I spend on plates, paper and my studio shocks me every year. Most of these costs are fixed and I'm not about to switch papers, but finding a way to cut costs seems imperative, especially when Jake's current job is only contracted to last six months.

After we loaded the platemaker into the car we drove to Mass MoCA and spent a few hours wandering the galleries. If you haven't been there before, the space is just awesome. The galleries occupy old factory buildings and are HUGE. Over the next few days I'll post pictures from some of the exhibitions. Today I wanted to show a piece by Tobias Putrih, which was made from fishing line and a spotlight. Jake and I spent a lot of time with this piece. It was disorienting when we first walked into this gallery but once we figured that there was a "notch" in the piece, we were able to walk under the piece until it lowered into the floor.

Four years

I just realized that I missed my four-year blogging anniversary. I can't believe it's been that long and I have an even harder time believing that so much has happened in that span of time. In this relatively short amount of time I started Pistachio Press, we lost our old dog Tipper and then adopted Cassie and Pancake Sue, we started fostering Dolly, we've gone to weddings and funerals, we spent almost three weeks in Italy, we have painted and repainted rooms, we've met awesome new friends, we've exhibited at trade shows, we drove down the California coast, babies have been born, presses have been moved, my students have made some great work, Jake has written two novels, and mohawks have been shaved. I'm looking forward seeing what happens in the next four years!

Tradeshow Bootcamp

When I started Pistachio Press I didn't know how little I knew about running a stationery business. I barely knew what wholesale was and I certainly didn't know what a trade show was. Even after I walked the National Stationery Show for the first time I didn't think I'd ever exhibit at a show myself. Well, a lot has changed since then! I've exhibited at three trade shows, I work with 50 retail shops, and I have enough work to keep myself, my husband and two interns busy. I'm proud to say that when other stationers email or call me with questions about trade shows I can actually give them useful answers.

I am quite excited that I'll be discussing booth logistics as a panelist for Tradeshow Bootcamp on March 10th. Tradeshow Bootcamp was created by Kelp Designs and I seriously wish I had the opportunity to take a workshop like this when I was first contemplating exhibiting at a trade show!

From the official website:

"Tradeshow Bootcamp is designed to give stationery manufacturers an open, honest and informative inside look at what goes into preparing for and exhibiting at large tradeshows. In addition to hearing candid feedback from stationery manufacturers about booth logistics, prepping products and marketing, we’ll also hear from retailers, press and sales reps in the industry to understand what they look for when roaming the tradeshow floors. Each workshop will consist of a one-hour teleconference call chalked full of info then finished off with an open Q&A session."


Casteller from Mike Randolph on Vimeo.

A few nights ago I had an anxiety dream. I won't call it a nightmare because it wasn't that scary. Honestly, it wasn't scary at all, it just made me feel nervous and inadequate. I had to find a new job and I was taking a test (aka face-off) to become a hairdresser. Part of the test was for three of us to wash and cut a client's hair in the shortest time. Well, in an hour and a half I had not quite managed to wash my friend Sara's hair while she laid on a couch. Do you know how hard it is to wash someone else's hair while they are laying on a couch?! A couch that you can't get wet. Using a garden hose. A hose that you have to turn on by crawling all the way under the couch. Well, in my dream is was way hard. Obviously it's a good thing we never made it to the hair-cutting part since I think the introduction of scissors might have been a total disater.

What does the human castle video have to do with my dream? Not really anything. But the anxiety I felt watching this reminded me of my dream and I thought it was only fitting that I share both with you.

Telegram in one-color

Our Telegram invitation has been doing great this season. I especially love printing them when they're paired with kraft paper envelopes.

Dogs at work.

I know, I know...two posts in one day?! My sister just sent this video to me and I had to share. Our dogs need to up their A-game. Pancake Sue, I'm looking at you!

Valentine's Monday

Happy Valentine's Day! I like holidays that are on Mondays - they generally seem like a good way to start the week. I'm so excited because I just saw that I won a beautiful hand-painted Valentine from Aesthetic Outburst's 20 in 20 project! Isn't it sweet? I think I'm going to hang it in my home office, although it may end up at the studio above my desk. Thank you, Abbey!

I also got the most beautifully calligraphed Valentine from the talanted Grace Edmands. I LOVE getting mail from Grace! Truly, I just adore the little hearts and arrow. Thanks Grace! This was the perfect pick-me-up :)

It's a full day.

Partial to-do list for the day
  • Take new plates, envelopes, packaging supplies to the studio.
  • Package all of the new cards (or as many as possible).
  • Photograph new cards and add to the shop.
  • Finish rounding corners on thank you cards for client.
  • Print three weddings and an order of jewelry tags.
  • Follow up with nyigf contacts.
  • Get receipts and records in order for taxes, ugh!
  • Start grading student projects.
  • Order more plates.
  • Work on new proofs for clients.
  • Massage.

Amazing rings by Satomi Kawakita

I have been in love with Satomi Kawakita's textured rings for quite some time. For the last 14 years I have worn the thinnest candy-store rings on my right had and after they broke a few months ago (they were 25-cents) I knew I wanted a few of Satomi's rings. Lucky for me, I got to meet Satomi and see her gorgeous rings in person at the gift show. And...I have some coming to me in the next few weeks! I'm so excited. They're a birthday present to myself (partly with birthday money from my parents). They're are so delicate and amazing. I got three tiny rings (both of the top images) and some day, when the business is booming, I'll splurge for the tourmaline ring on the bottom. Thanks Satomi!!

Business cards

Looking back over my blog the last few months I realized that I haven't shown many of our printing jobs. Well, my hope is that I can start posting completed jobs more frequently, starting with these business cards that I printed for alice g At Home. Betsy and Kathleen were so awesome to work with and I love how their cards turned out. I pretty much always think blind debossing is hot.

Back from the show

It was a long week, but we made it through. The booth looked great when I got to the show and we picked up some awesome new shops. I'll be adding them to our website listing this week and we'll be shipping orders as fast as we can.


I thought you'd like to see the behind-the-scene's carnage that comes with trade shows. On the last day of the show the union workers start to assemble on the edges of the show. The exact minute the show officially ends the lights dim to half and the electricians start taking down the spots. The carpets get pulled up within 20 minutes and fork-lift operators skillfully deliver empty crates. Exhibitors frantically pull out boxes from behind displays and pile product in boxes. Booths that took days to set up are dismantled in a matter of hours. I can't tell you how seriously organized the entire take-down is. Our booth is so easy to take down that I prefer to just sit around for a little while and watch the chaos. It took us about an hour to break down. And then we return the next day after everyone has left and load up the car.