Thursday, August 25, 2011

a break

Hello friends, this is the last blog post from me a a few weeks. We are currently on route to Perth for a family function and in two more weeks time we have another function to attend in Sydney. With all the who-ha which has been happening around here of late, adorable Mr. H has booked a surprise Asian getaway (the above photo is a little hint) between our two commitments on other sides of the country to go relax, rest and take a much needed break. We will be back in the studio from the 12th of September.

Whilst we are away business as usual will continue at the studio. The wonderful Louise is in full production mode at the moment and the amazing Megan will be looking after all the admin and design side of the studio. You can pop her and email at our usual email address, I am sure she would love to say hello!

See you again soon sweet friends!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

samantha & benjamin :: letterpress wedding stationery

Yesterdays sneak peak into the studio were photos taken during the production of Samantha and Benjamin's stunning letterpress wedding stationery. Earlier this year we showed their save the date stationery here. Like their save the date Stationery Melissa from Bullet Creative excelled her self in the design of this stationery suite.

With a continuation of the save the date design this stationery suite featured a hand drawn passionfruit vine illustration, hand lettering and classic yet still modern typography. Printed in a combination of three colour ways - purple, green and blind impression (printing with no ink).

The complete suite included a letterpress invitation (plus a second invitation for Italian guests), reply postcards, lunch card, gift details card, directions and map card, thank you cards, gift tags for the reception and lined and printed envelopes to suit. We are also currently working on Order of Service booklets and menus to complete the stationery suite.

We absolutely adored working with Melissa on the production of Samantha and Benjamin's stationery - it was a joy to print for such a lovely designer, on behalf of such a lovely couple. We wish them all the very best, a magical wedding day and a lifetime of love, laughter and happiness together!

Monday, August 22, 2011

love :: envelope liners

Envelope liners would have to be one of my greatest loves. After letterpress of course, the introduction of an envelope liner to a stationery suite can really take a lovely letterpress package and turn it into a stunning suite.

Our linings are all designed to suit each wedding - like our invitations we don't have a catalogue of standard designs, we design these to suit the letterpress wedding stationery. Designing our liners is usually one of our last steps in the design process - I quite like working this way as I think it allows the lining design to really evolve to suit the stationery perfectly.

Once we have designed our liners we print them on our 100% cotton stocks and each liner like our invitations each liner is cut by hand. We then hand insert into the envelopes and adhere using special adhesive tapes. Stuffing envelopes with linings is probably one of our most fun jobs here in the studio. I know that both Megan and Louise who assist in production love lining time, we sit, we stuff, we tape and we chat away. It really is quite lovely in so many ways.

Friday, August 19, 2011

new stockist :: follow

It is no secret that I have long had a love affair with The Finders Keepers. In my role as Brisbane Market Coordinator of the Finders Keepers here in our home town, it has been such a joy to work with the beautiful girls that make all the magic happen - Brooke and Sarah. I was quite giddy with excitement when they let me know sometime ago that they would be opening their very own Bricks and Mortar store in Sydney's Surry Hills called "Follow" - a design concept store to promote Australian and international design and a big sister to the beautiful markets. A place where beautiful things made by beautiful people could be found in the most beautiful of stores.

Last Saturday saw them open their doors for the very first time and oh how I would have loved to been in Sydney to attend. With over 40 independent designers from Australia and abroad currently stocked we are very excited to know that a section of our letterpress cards, tags, gift wrap and prints are gracing the amazing walls and cabinets in their store - The building is heritage listed with original pharmacy fitout from 1898.

You can visit their new website and blog here and the store is located at 380 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills. The opening hours are Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm and Sunday 11am – 4pm.

Congratulations ladies, another wonderful, exciting and inspiring adventure!

tamlyn & sidney :: wedding stationery

Today we have another lovely Spring time wedding invitation to share with you. Tamlyn and Sidney are a Brisbane, Australia based couple who are celebrating their wedding this coming October. We received the most gorgeous inspiration images from them to help explain their day (if you know the source of these images, please do let us know so we can give full credit). They are planning a day full of old world charm, a hint of fresh yet elegant country styling.

With such a beautiful theme we designed quite a number of initial invitations for Tamlyn and Sidney to choose from. As per our last wedding featured here on our blog we also commissioned custom hand lettering to reflect the elegant country styling of their wedding day.

Their chosen design was centrally aligned and this beautiful hand lettering was the key focal point of the design. To inject a little of the beautiful country florals with Tamlyn loves we illustrated by hand a bunch of lavender tied with string. This was coupled with a vintage serif, and elegant script and letterpress printed in our vintage brown ink on ivory 100% cotton paper.

The suite also included an information card and envelopes printed with their address details.

We absolutely love this wedding suite - the strength of one colour printing is so perfectly suited to letterpress and really highlights the strong and beautifully crafted typography. One colour invitations are also the most cost effective option as they only require one set of printing plates and one hand feed through the press. But the end result is lovely is so many ways.

We wish Tamlyn and Sidney a very beautiful day, we have no doubt that with their gorgeous styling their wedding day is bound to be simply spectacular!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

katie & mark :: wedding stationery

Recently we had the absolute joy of working with Brisbane based Katie and Mark to plan, design and letterpress print their wedding stationery. We have worked with Katie's sister Victoria from The Little White Wedding Co. on quite a few occasions and we love Victoria's fabulous sense of style and unique concepts in which she plans for her wedding couples, so it was quite no surprise that Katie also has some of this fabulous style! We had a great lovely time planning with both Katie and Victoria (and Mark too!) to build a gorgeous design style for their day.

We designed their letterpress invitation suite to feature custom hand lettering which we commissioned for their stationery. This was coupled with vintage inspired letterpress typography printed in a botanical green ink on our white 100% cotton stock. With a underlying wheat theme for their very personal and unique wedding location we subtly included this in the design as a blind impressed pattern.

To inject a little of their rustic outdoor styling we packaged their set in brown kraft envelopes and lined these with a beautifully fun and colourful envelope liner printed in shades of oranges, watermelon and botanical green. Just lovely!!

You can also view this stationery over on the Little White Wedding Co blog here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

in the studio

Have I ever told you how the Little Miss follows the sunshine around the studio? For a Canadian dog she sure does love the sun. She works her way around the office and letterpress studio to ensure that she is always in the prime position for a good dose of sunshine. I really don't know how she could cope frolicking in snow and sleet and swimming in icy rivers as her northern hemisphere brothers and sisters do.

In fact every day, 11am on the dot she takes herself out to the very same spot on the grass next to the path for a good half an hour of sunning. Every single day, without fail, she gets a good 30 minutes dose of UV rays. I almost feel I should offer her a towel, prop up a deck chair and really let her get her sun on.

susie & matt :: wedding stationery

Do you remember the gorgeous save the date cards we did for Susie and Matt? We completed these late last year and featured them here on our blog. They are planning for an amazing wedding here in Brisbane Australia this Spring. If only we could make that amazing sing and dance and have more impact then simply an italic line of text, as their day sounds so beautifully perfect, slightly extravagant, and very much a reflection of this beautiful couple.

Earlier this year we continued to work with Susie and Matt to further expand upon their save the date design into stunning printed letterpress wedding stationery. With a black and white theme, we letterpress printed two hits of black into onto their invitation. The background pinstripe pattern was printed in our first hand feed, followed by the typography. This ensured that we were able to get solid areas of black ink without jeopardising the beautiful letterpress impression achieved. Finished off with scalloped corners, a sweet reply card and lined envelopes this really was a stunning invitation set.

Sharing this journey with Susie and Matt really was such a special and lovely time. It was one of those moments when their stationery was all printed and delivered that we get a little sad that the journey is over and our time with this beautiful couple has come to an end. Susie sent us a gorgeous email, so we know that they felt the same way too.

We wish them all the best and we have our fingers crossed that they will let us share with you some photos of their amazing day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

thank you xox

Lovely friends thank you. Last week I was feeling very down, and without a doubt I was really over being heart broken in so many ways. Your beautiful emails, lovely comments, tweets and facebook messages really warmed my heart. How beautiful you all are.

Even little Ruby Tuesday had been feeling down. But over the weekend we took some time for some cuddles, and even a very small walk to the beach (our first in months). It did wonders for the soul.

Running Bespoke, printing letterpress and being the very best designers and printers we can possibly be, sure is an all consuming task. The last five printing years (and all those design years before that) really has been such a hard, expensive and tiring journey, but all your lovely messages reminded me, that you really can touch and feel the love and passion with which we print with. And at the end of the day, love is all that really matters.

Lately we have not shown much of our work as often we show it and then months later find the copies online elsewhere, but from now on, the new attitude is screw it, we have the law (and some great legal advice) on our side. So for those who want to copy us, try and steal our business, sneak behind our backs, or feign friendship, we really have had enough. Our consolidation is that if you have to copy creativity, then you quite clearly should not be in a creative business, and at the end of the day, there is only so far that faking it can take you.

It has been so hard not to get down by all the rubbish which was going on in the back ground of late, but your love, comforting words and support of our little letterpress studio by the sea really brightens my days again. So thank you so much, where would I be without all of you by my side.

So onwards and upwards, and back to getting inky again!


Friday, August 12, 2011

excuse me while I rant...

Hello friends, usually our blog is reserved for beautiful things, lovely letterpress images and sweet stationery. But today I really feel the need to rant.. please don't hold it against me.

I have such a deep love and respect for letterpress. It was this huge love which lead me on a path of many years of hard work, sweat, plenty of bloody knuckles to become the very best possible letterpress designer and printer as possible. This journey was never for money, it was never for fame or successes, it was to fulfill a deep burning yearn that this is what I should do. There was never any question, I believed in my heart that this was my calling.

This journey has been a bloody hard one, there is no doubt that this life is not an easy one. Day in, day out, I work from 10am to 1am, every single day. My arms are usually bruised, my knuckles caked in ink and grime and my body aches, every single day.

Every waking moment I am striving to become better and better, I am aiming for perfectionism. I do not take weekends, I do not take days off, I must admit, I don't even take Ruby out for a walk. Every moment is consumed in this land of letterpress. However I don't feel that I am missing out on things, as I am filling my days with what I absolutely love and adore. I could not imagine any other path for my life, but lately things have really been getting me down.

It pains my heart over and over again to see my designs being copied by other letterpresss studios. Myself and my lovely little team work so hard to ensure that we are not influenced by other letterpress trends, and that we are always paving our own path. We design and print with so much love and heart felt emotion, to have this then stolen and replicated is like breaking off a little piece of my heart one at a time.

But even more so lately it has pained me when people pretend to be friends to suck up as much information as they can, to run away and wham without any experience suddenly they have set themselves up as a fully operating letterpress studio. It makes me feel so exploited.

I feel that the only way in which I could have become the best possible letterpress printer was to embrace this choice, start from the very beginning and over the course of many years build in my knowledge and experience. I believed in the journey and followed it with all my heart and soul, it took many years before I could call myself a letterpress printer and offer my services. To master this craft I had to follow the right learning process.

But these people pop in and out of my life and before you know it they have bought a beast of a press and are advertising themselves as a letterpress printer. This hurts me more then anything, it is a total disrespect for this craft, and in my opinion has only been done to fulfill a current trend or financial gain. I don't know what hurts more, the fact that I have been used, or the fact that they will sending substandard letterpress work out into the world.

I think my problem is that I love this too much. My heart and my soul is injected into every little bit of cotton paper that I print, all my emotions, all my love, all my happiness is surrounded into this land of letterpress. I work so hard to be perfect at this, I try to stand with broad shoulders and wear all the burdens, I try to juggle it all and not let things get me down. I strive to be the very best that I can be. I want to be able to look back and see that I have done good things for the preservation of letterpress, I want this all to be worthwhile.

If only Charlie, Herbie and Helga could talk, I wish they could tell me that it is all okay, that I am doing a good job and that everything will be alright.


Monday, August 8, 2011

featured wedding :: fiona and troy

Do you remember the gorgeous Telegram stationery which we printed for Fiona and Troy earlier this year? Well this super sweet and loved up couple and now officially married and we were super excited to see some photos of their gorgeous whimsical day on the ever inspiring Polka Dot Bride website. Make sure you pop by (view here) and have a little looksie... such a gorgeous couple and a beautifully styled day. I just love a gorgeous wedding don't you?

in the press :: adore magazine

Whilst we are talking about gorgeous swoon worthy online magazines, do you read Adore? As Australia's first online home and lifestyle magazine, it is right up their on my list of favourite online reads!

We were chuffed to see that our letterpress swing tags had been featured in one of their spreads in the latest issue (you can read it here).

There is so much that we love about this Vintage and Industrial spread - we have recently bought the the Leather Butterfly Chair from Urban Outfitters, I couldn't help but stock up the vintage black industrial type characters from etsy, and for sooooo long I have been eyeing off Chez Mois amazing type based cushions. Not to mention the stunning sofa, oh my, must convince Mr H this is a vital purchase one day. My goodness, I do think they may have designed this one very spread just for me.

Make sure you do pop over for a read here, although be careful, you might just end up doing some online shopping at the same time!!


Friday, August 5, 2011

love :: paper runway

Have you heard that the latest issue of Paper Runway Magazine is now available? This fabulous online mag is dedicated to the beautiful world of all things paper, and we are terribly excited to hear that issue number 2 is now available to read here.

We are super chuffed to have been interviewed in the latest issue (page 45 to 49), our Alliance letterpress print (illustrated by the amazing Bec Winnel) has been featured on the cover, our "You're a whole lot of lovely" print and typewriter swing tags have been featured on the gorgeous yellow spread, and to top it all off you can win three of our limited edition prints by entering the giveaway on page 67. Oh my, so much letterpress love... we are blushing!


Monday, August 1, 2011

new instore :: 5 pack vintage map envelopes

Do you remember our Hello notecards with vintage map envelopes? Ever since we have listed them in our online store they have been running out the door quicker then we can print them off the press! Due to many requests to be able to buy our vintage map envelopes by themselves, we are now pleased as punch to let you know, that yes, indeed you can.

Our envelopes are made from the original pages of vintage atlases which have been die cut on Herbie our 1973 Heidelberg Platen into beautiful envelopes complete with scalloped flap and an adhesive dot to seal. Our envelopes have been folded and finished by hand and each and every envelope is one of a kind.

Each 5 pack of envelopes features a sticker on the front packaging which outlines the original atlas which has been used to form each pack of envelopes. The examples shown are from a 1968 Readers Digest Atlas of Australia. Each pack will vary dependent upon the original atlas the pages have been sourced from, and this will be outlined on the front sticker.

The envelopes measures 11cm wide by 14.5cm high which is a perfect size to fit standard cards. They are $12.95 and are available for purchase while stocks last via our online store here.

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