Keuka Lake

Do you like your in-laws? I completely adore mine. Jake's family feels like my family and his cousin and aunt just sent us these great pictures of our trip. I look forward to this every year and I think this was the best trip we've had. The weather was 90-100 degrees every day with beautiful blue skies, a nice breeze and an almost entirely private pebble beach. If we had been in Rochester I would have been suffocating from the heat, but luckily we were 20-feet from the beach! We played euchre most nights after making smores by the fire. Every night a different group cooked dinner. We lounged the day away reading, swimming, canoeing, biking and hiking. It was heaven.

New projects

A week off was just what we needed. I feel like a totally different person. Even though we have another big to-do list, I still felt great coming back to the studio today. I didn't take many pictures this trip - Jake's family did a lot of that and will hopefully send some along so I can post a few.

I've been waiting to post some photos of recent work but I still have to photograph a lot of it. For now, here's a teaser. Two-color hand-cut folders, three-color invitations, and a really fun new design. More to follow shortly!

A week at the lake

The last few weeks (maybe even months) have been rough. We've been working non-stop and printing around the clock. I thought that after the stationery show things would slow down and the wedding jobs would thin out. I was wrong! We've been reprinting cards to fill orders from NSS and prep for the gift show in August and the wedding jobs have been flowing steadily for the fall wedding season. I am so grateful that we have such great clients and that business is booming, but 12-18 hour days take their toll no matter how much you love what you do.

So, last week Jake and I made the final push to print everything on our plate, package it up and take it to FedEx before leaving for a week-long family vacation at the lake. We ended up leaving a day late, but I can tell you that it was so worth it. Knowing that we were caught up when I stepped out of the car at the lake was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. This is the most relaxed I've been in at least three years.

The boxes above are from about four days worth of work before we left. I've never dropped off packages for FedEx on a Sunday, but this felt great :)

Flocked envelope liners

Our Classic  invitation suite has been on press quite a bit the past few months. Here's an awesome pairing of warm gray ink, rounded corners, and pink flocked envelopes. Love how they came together and the subtle vintage feel.

Recycling hound

Dolly found the recycling bin at the studio and wore herself out chewing bottles. Notice all of the Mountain Dew? We've been pulling some late nights lately.

Ending the week

Last night we hung out on the studio fire escape with friends and drinks and watched the sun go down. It was gorgeous weather and the perfect way to end the week. Today Jake's family came up and we spend the day at the market and hanging out on the front porch and just generally relaxing. I hope we can take this feeling into next week as we finish a bunch of jobs.

Custom work

Print Craft from Visual Inclination on Vimeo.

I just saw this video on A Fine Press's blog and thought I should share. No custom piece could be made without a lot of experience and a ton of steps.

Sure, it gets easier as you go, but that's only because you've made mistakes and learned a lot along the way. I feel like I'm constantly learning and trouble-shooting. And, as I try to impart on my students, the more strenuously we plan and meticulously organize for the actual production, the less likely it is that a mistake is made.

This is our general work flow for any given project. Obviously, each project is different and the amount of work in each step can vary.

*Meet with client (via email, phone or in person) to better understand the project.
*Send samples and discuss paper options and any limitations.
*Start the proofing process digitally, which can take anywhere from one to ten proofs (or more).
*Prepare files and send to the plate maker. The set-up here is key. An incorrect plate can ruin and certainly delay a job. This is even more important with multiple color files.
*Mix custom ink colors and trim paper to initial size.
*Register the plates, ink the press and print. Repeat for every piece in the suite and every color.
*Trim the pieces to their final size.
*Do any non-standard finishing work (like lining envelopes).
*Count each piece and package the job.
*Prepare shipping labels (and customs forms) and take package to FedEx.

It's odd, but I don't think that I've every written down how we do things around here. And we've been doing a lot of it lately!

ps-I think it's about time we watch this video again!

A steamer is worth it's weight in gold

We've been more than a little busy lately. Months of working non-stop has led to a messy house and an even messier studio. After four years of working from home and studio we are finally trying to move everything over to the studio and reclaim our house. Honestly, all of it has been overwhelming me (hence the lack of blogging and tweeting).

In the midst of my dis-organizational crisis my mom and sister just came up and helped us strip the wallpaper in our hallway and the last of the ugly border in our guest room. A border, by the way, which was installed over another border that was pained over. Thanks a lot previous owners. Finally, after six years, our house is wallpaper-free! Jake picked an awesome semi-dark gray for the guest room and a much lighter and really beautiful gray for the hallway. We have someone lined up to paint for us (I'm trying to let go) and we've moved almost all of our inventory from the dining room to the studio. The studio is starting to come together, too. My sister laid out her vision for the space before heading back to Florida and my interns have been making it come true. Pictures and sporadic blogging to follow :)