Sunday, November 27, 2011

Handmade Paper Cold

With the rain the temperature dropped about 30 degrees. And so I cannot breathe through my nose. But here are some final week countdown photos from the studio.

First, here is the paper made from things you sent me. The variance in color is due to the addition of white pulp. The paper was looking too dark to print on. I was wrong. The printing is done and they look great.

Megan Singleton has been helping me immensely in the paper studio. She lent me these plastic frames for drying paper to build the baskets for my hot air balloons.

And here is a close-up looking though a very large balloon.

Nobody likes a public sneezer. Time to go home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rainy Day

Flavored soy lattes have been my solution to the tired/stomachache problem. Still nothing for the backpain but hot showers. Enough complaining! I had a little time tonight to catch up on a few things I have been ignoring/forgetting so here is a little bit for you.

First, one of the last submissions to the Keep Writing number 29 batch of paper postcard. This is a postcard from Kathryn of the Jefferson Davis statue in New Orleans. Lasse actually sent his postcard just in time but I can's seem to find the photo of his fabric scraps. The paper is made. I made a base pulp with these t-shirts from Mark, but they looked a little like puke together. So I made a second base pulp, mixed the two, added all the stuff you sent me, and pulled large sheets that will be cut into postcards and printed this weekend. Somehow. (Read:coffee, whiskey and a late night at the printshop). They are currently in the dryer though I suspect nothing in South Louisiana is dry right now, the rain barely made it wetter. Will I ever re-acclimate to average to dry air?

Oh, and note that the photo of Mark's t-shirts was filtered through the new Cheapstamatic website. I liked the old site so much I offered to test the new one. Thanks, Mark. (Not Mark with the shirts, Mark in Sweden who makes the website).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Game On!

Phew! After a whirl-wind weekend trip to Tennessee to see my 95 year-old grandma, I am back. I sold out of two datebooks in two days before I left but my etsy shop is back up, online and stocked.

Along with getting ready for my show (less than 2 weeks!), and eating meals with Andy, I have been getting things together for my 4 months in Italy. There will be postcards from Italy so if you have a subscription to Keep Writing, you will continue to receive postcards. I am working out exactly how it will all work, but there will be some letterpress, and some other media. As of February 1 I will no longer have a "permanent" address but my sister has so graciously agreed to let me use hers. Stay tuned. I am going to try to focus on the present while eating candy cane oreos. Thanks to Daniel for this photo of his room displaying his collection of Keep Writing postcards!

Also, if you were looking for past postcards because you missed out on the first few years, Ms. Valerie Park Distro has purchased all the remaining cards and is selling them in assorted packs of ten. I assembled them so I know you get ten different cards in each pack!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Date Book Day!

I am not even sure I sleep in my sleep anymore. However, now is the time to finally share with you the finished collaboration between Gutwrench Press and Blackbird Letterpress. These datebooks are born of talk the perfect datebook, something flexible but accurate, sturdy but stylish, compact but room for all our ideas! We have spent months hand-setting type, printing on the Vandercook, buying books at used book sales, practicing our coptic binding, finally deciding to print the remaining pages with polymer plates, cutting, sorting and now you can have one! I had them at the New Orleans Bookfair two weeks ago but now we both offer them online on our separate etsy shops. Blackbird Letterpress also has a much better story about these lovelies on their blog. Check out their website to hear her side of the story, including a photo of the press bed with handset type, and to see her selection of covers. Each is unique. You can also see what I have here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


At the New Orleans Bookfair, some friends gave me this fortune which they have been holding onto for a few months. (ps my name is Hope not Gutwrench which is why this is funny). It is also funny because I have not been drinking so much coffee and I wake up early without an alarm, when I am not sick.

Down to business. Here is Keep Writing no. 35, BFA show card announcement and self-portrait postcard. If you want an invitation to my show and did not get on in the mail, contact me. The show will be December 3rd at the Ephemeral Gallery in Baton Rouge, located at Main St and North 18t, from 7-10 pm. There will be drinks food made from recipes from senders, prints, handmade paper balloons and, of course, postcards.

Also at the New Orleans Bookfair, my friend Case came by to hand deliver a few completed postcards only to realize they had fallen out of his backpocket somewhere in the Bywater. Amazingly, Sarah P. found one of them (without knowing their fate) dropped it in the mail and here it is. Case! I have your self-portrait! Thanks Sarah. Now it is Saturday night and I should be in the studio but I might stay home and study.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


The New Orleans Bookfair, tenth anniversary edition, was a success! One block of Chartres Street was closed to traffic, open only to pedestrians, and to one dude who didn't read the signs about the street closure. We watched him nearly back into our table, get out of a tight parking space and make a mom move her baby stroller out of the way so he could go uptown. Regardless, it was good to see lots of friends, sell zines and books, and spend the day with Ella, Rebecca and Becca. New Orleans folks got their postcards first this month, but the rest went in the mail yesterday. I will have a close up for you tomorrow. They are the show announcements for my senior show. Mark your calendars: Saturday December 3 from 7-10 pm at the Ephemeral Gallery in Baton Rouge. One night only.

This month's postcard is s request for a self-portrait, so that I can include your smiling facing in my show and give you, as contributors, credit. I have received my first response and it is...anonymous. But charming. I should be able to figure it out, right?

In case I didn't have enough to do, I will also be sitting in front of the LSU student union next week as part of the print club's Print Sale! Held in conjunction with the more organized and highly anticipated CASA Ceramics Sale, we printmakers will have blank books, handmade paper, cards, t-shirts and of course, prints, all made by LSU students for sale. Stop by! Half the proceeds help us bring visiting artists and maybe will help us go stay in New Orleans during the Southern Graphics Convention in the spring. The Print Sale will be November 14-17th, 9 am-5pm.

P.S. No cookie photos though I made lavender shortbread last week and I just took sweet potato blondies out of the oven for tomorrow. Both of these smell better than they look. Yum.