Getting Festive

December, the final month of the year is upon us and it is already full of lights, festive garlands, bedecked trees, advent calendars, candles, bells, and, of course, shopping guides.

Giving gifts can simultaneously be a joyous occasion and one filled with stress. We think through so many aspects: the price, the size, the color, and most importantly, will the receiver like it??? After all, if our gift pleases then we are triumphant and known as good gift-givers. We reap the rewards of praise and affection.

With that in mind I’ve put together a few suggestions below. No matter what you give this holiday season I hope you are rewarded for the effort and thought with much praise and affection.

Enamel Owl Pin

Little Dinosaur Print

Kelpie Print

A Herd of Dalas

I’ve been printing up Dala Horse cards for the Mississippi Craftsman Guild shop! Though if you can’t make it to the shop to pick up a pack you can order them from the website shop. Chimneyville Craft Show is next weekend and I will not have a booth, but I will be around assisting my fellow craftsmen as a volunteer.

I’m starting to put together a list of shows to consider for 2022. If there’s a craftshow or market you particularly enjoy and would like to see me there, please let me know on Instagram! You can direct message me @hardpressedstudio with your suggestions. I look forward to reading them!

Playing with Color

All over social media posts lamenting the time change can be found from memes to our friends’ comments. Perhaps you’ve posted your own discontent or shared a meme about the lack of sun after 5pm. It seems every year that once we “Fall Back” the darkness of early evening suddenly feels like the deep velvet of late evening.

Despite the gloom we must find ways of making light.

To fend off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and generally brighten things up a bit I utilize a few tricks.
1. Sun Lamp
This simple device makes a big difference in my day, especially as we go into the heart of winter. I turn it on and journal next to it for 20 – 30 minutes in the winter mornings.

2. Forrest Walks
Really any walk outside helps. The crisp air, when possible, a bit of sunlight, and trees help lighten my mood. Studies have found that walking among trees helps the human brain feel happier and some have taken to adding some form of “forest bathing” to their routines.

3. Play with Color
Sometimes, especially after all the pretty colorful fall leaves have gone I need to add some color to my daily life. And sometimes the best way to achieve that is to break out the colored pencils, markers, paint pens, even the block inks!

How do you combat the gloom?

Art Festivals

The past two weeks have been full of re-stocking prints, cards, and making a couple new offerings. I’ve enjoyed seeing the drying space in my tiny studio fill up with rows of llamas, flowers, and woodland creatures in bright colors. Saturday April 26th I’ll be set up in booth 141 for Double Decker Arts Festival in Oxford, MS. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!

The next art festival will be in Baton Rouge, LA on May 10th. I’ll set up at the Mid City Makers Market portion of the art crawl from 5 – 10 PM! Excited to join such enthusiastic and wonderful vendors again in May. Unlike most of their monthly markets, this one is part of a larger art crawl in the area and so if you’re in Baton Rouge or plan to be, definitely add the art crawl to your plans!

Beyond May my traveling schedule is still undecided. Most art festivals and markets require editioned prints. I’ve got a series I’m working on now with a focus on birds. Look for pre-orders in The Print Shop or in my emails (scroll down to subscribe)!

Add a Touch of Handmade to Your Holiday

Throughout the winter holidays from Thanksgiving to New Years we gather together to share meals and exchange gifts. Picking up a gift card or buying all your decorations is certainly convenient, but may leave you feeling a bit out of synch with the holiday spirit.

Most of us don’t have the time or the skills to make every decoration or an appropriate gift for everyone. But most of us have a little time and a bit of creativity. Still not quite feeling like you can pull something beyond paper snowflakes together from scratch? Try starting with the craft equivalent of a box of cake mix. Kits provide a great boost to creating something of your own for the holidays while also relieving the pressure to create every aspect on your own.

Handmade Gift Wrap

Looking to add handmade frills without using your own hands? Check out my hand stamped wrapping paper! In December you can also download and print as much hand stamp designed gift wrap as you need from Hard-Pressed Studio on Etsy.

Handmade certainly makes things feel a bit cozier and personal. Indulge in a craft day with friends or family if you have the time and resources. If crafts just isn’t an activity you can enjoy, then consider taking advantage of handmade by other hands.

 

The Studio is Moving!

Over the summer I found myself day dreaming about moving the studio production back to my house. Realizing the day dream was actually a desire surprised me. Why did I want to give up such a great space? How would I continue offering classes? Where would I dry prints, towels, tote bags, etc? How could that move possibly work?

I began to address each question and found a solution to every one.  And as I thought through them, I became excited about the move. The negatives disappeared and my list of worrisome questions turned into a list of positive reasons to move.

Ultimately, by moving production home I’m going to better serve you with more colorful, fun, block printed goodness and classes. Production will be easier since everything will be in one place. I can offer classes by partnering with other local businesses to use their space. Without the burden of rent, I can explore more product ideas and craft shows. Like the hedgehog, I’ll be able to expand by shrinking first.

You can still find some of my work at Good Citizen in Olde Towne Clinton, so if you’ve enjoyed picking up birthday cards or pins from there don’t fret! You’ll be able to continue finding those items at Good Citizen.

 

 

September’s Second Wind

Who else is excited about Fall? A few weeks ago the low temperatures began dropping despite the brutal high temperatures remaining during the day. The breeze shifted and carried a different smell, and now, leaves are beginning to fall along with the daily high temperatures. Fall has begun its work on Mississippi.

Fall has also begun its work on me. Suddenly walking outside is a treat and my calendar continues to fill with markets, events, and outings. Gretchin Rubin’s podcast  recently touched on the second wind that September can grant us, calling it “a second January.” I’m certainly feeling that rejuvenated rush to tackle projects and gather dropped habits.

A few things you, dear readers and customers, can expect to enjoy from Hard-Pressed Studio this Fall:

More market opportunities to pick up an original print in person!
I’ll set up at The Market 39211 October – December.
I’m waiting to hear confirmation about Handworks Market in November.
I’ll have tote bags and project bags available at the Oxford Fiber Festival in January.

New Prints and Products:
As always, new prints are in the works. For the latest on those follow me on Instagram (@hardpressedstudio).

What would you like to see Hard-Pressed Studio offer this holiday season?

Are you feeling a second wind? Let me know if you’re looking forward to Fall and what projects you’re working on now!

Stickers and Banners, oh my!

The party animals print series has been made into die cut style vinyl stickers! You can pick your favorite to adorn your laptop, pelican case, or journal in person at Good Citizen in Clinton, MS or by following this link: Stickers. 

Similar to enamel pins, I enjoy using stickers to show a bit of personality. I find myself using it similarly to washi tape in my planner and journals. Personal books I can make even more personal by including a custom sticker or a promotional sticker from an organization I support. In cafes I’ve noticed that laptops seem to have replaced car bumpers to display opinions, brand associations, and fandoms. Stickers are definitely not just for kids anymore.

Banners

Enjoy personalizing your home decor or want a fun way to entertain children and decorate for the party? Check out these banner kits: Cactus and Birthday.

Each kit comes with enough pieces and colorful twine to create a handsome 12 foot banner. All the pieces are based off of hand carved linoleum block prints, which lends the finished product a folk art feel.
Use colored pencils, markers, pastels, or perhaps even paint to add your own color scheme to the cupcakes, balloons, and cacti. Perhaps add some sprinkles or spines too!

Want More?

All of the stickers and banner kits are made in the studio, so if you want stickers of a different print or something completely custom, please contact me directly at hardpressedstudio@gmail.com to discuss details.

 

April Market and Class

Market Day

Spring has sprung and with it the activity of those who know that soon temperature and humidity shall rise to the point of making so much activity a chore. Such is how we take advantage of Spring in Mississippi. Things kick off with the Spring into Green Market in Clinton and its accompanying Caterpillar Parade Saturday April 14th.

Along with the wonderful prints and cards available at Good Citizen, I’ll be set up with a booth along with my fellow artist Kathryn White (@bluecanarykit) in the market. Come by and visit us!

Book Binding CLass April 21st.

Spend the afternoon learning to bind papers into books! We’ll cover two methods that bind and decorate. Imagine being able to make your own unique journal or sketch book. You’ll leave with two of your own handmade notebooks!
Follow this link to reserve your spot: https://hpsbookbinding.bpt.me/

Location: Hard-Pressed Studio at Good Citizen
310 Jefferson St. Clinton, MS

Time: April 21st
1 PM – 4 PM

All materials provided along with water and coffee for refreshment. Age is limited to 12 years and older.