Personality Through Style

You don’t need to be an archaeologist to appreciate how the things that we wear, use to decorate our house, and generally associate with help us convey our personality to others. Isn’t it funny how something designed and made by others can resonate so well with you? Then there are the items we accumulate to communicate to others like that book that always seems to be out on the coffee table when guests visit. Then there are items that truly make us feel connected to other people like a family heirloom.

Two items come to mind for myself: a unique side table that belonged to my maternal grandmother and a silver Celtic hound bracelet made by Michael Hayman a Louisiana craftsman. The table, part of my grandmother’s belongings as long as I can remember, helps me feel connected to her legacy and helps me remember a loving household in my past. The bracelet connects me to a skilled person and an old tradition of jewelry making that utilizes lost wax casting and Celtic motifs. It taps into my love of the long durée.

The way we craft our surroundings keeps us connected to others and our own history while also communicating parts of that history with those we meet. What items keep you feeling connected?

Happy New Year!

For most of us the beginning of the new year brings reflection on the outgoing year and hope for the new one. Hopefully you reflections contain happy memories of adventures and loved ones. Perhaps wonderful hosts and gift-givers filled your holiday season as well. Why not start the year with gratitude? Whether thanking someone for a thoughtful gift or a wonderful meal a handwritten thank-you note always delivers your gratitude right to their heart.

Particularly now that most of us read as much or more on our digital tablets as on paper a handwritten letter truly stands out as something special for the recipient. Don’t be daunted by writer’s block. A simple sentence stating your thankfulness for their kindness should get the ballpoint rolling.

Helping your kids create this generous habit? Make it a craft party! Help them make their own thank you cards as well as write the notes. Decorate blank card stock or take advantage of a DIY card kit like the cat themed kits in the shop.

What are you grateful for this January?

Spooky

I’m absolutely loving the Fall decorations in the Good Citizen shop. Anna and her intern have done a fantastic job combining traditional pretty fall themes with pop culture whimsy that only we Millennials might relish. I feel lucky to be in this shop and see my prints in such good company.

Friday night we are hosting a community Bring Your Own Pumpkin (BYOP) Pumpkin Carving Party! We couldn’t let an October Friday the 13th go to waste. We’ll have sharpies for everyone to use to draw their design and a carving station where adults can carve out the patterns. Naturally there will be refreshments, a few trick-or-treat goodies and old scary movies playing in the studio. If you’re near Clinton, MS this Friday then come by with or without your pumpkin and join us!

Don’t worry, Olde Towne is actually quite pretty right now.

A Garden of Inspiration

Flowers can really brighten the day. One of my favorite spots in the Jackson, MS metro is the Mississippi Museum of Art. The works displayed inside are amazing, and the garden outside is a relaxing delight. Various ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees, and blooming plants envelope you along paths with benches and water features. All of it inviting you to explore and then sit and stay a while. I hope all of you enjoy a similar garden from time to time.

    

I’ve enjoyed drawing and carving and printing blooms all over everything the past couple years. You can find prints of chrysanthemums, sun flowers, and coffee flowers in the shop. Each with its unique form and variety of color. Of course the other plants like ornamental grasses add an intriguing mix of texture and color to compliment the blossoms.

 

                 

Spider Lilies currently dot yards here, adding a pop of color to the green grass and the first felled leaves of Fall. Perhaps I’ll soon add those to the print bouquet. What blossoms would you like to see added to the printed garden?

Join me for Summer Workshops!

June 24th I’m offering a Kitchen Lithography workshop. This uses household items and is a kid-friendly event. We’ll meet in the class space at Good Citizen and you’ll get to print your own lithograph. You can sign up here: http://hard-pressedstudio.brownpapertickets.com/

 

July 29th You can come learn to make your own notebook or rebind a book using Japanese Stab Binding. This class is limited to people ages 12 and up due to the sharp objects required. Come create your custom notebook and learn a new craft:
http://hardpressedstudiobinding.brownpapertickets.com/

I look forward to meeting you and creating with you!

First Press

I’ve been hand printing for over a year and decided that before 2016 ended, that I should build a press. A fellow craftsman made the suggestion in 2015 and now, a year later, I’ve taken that advice.

I put together a simple bottle jack press based on the instructions from Charles Morgan of Mossworks Studio. His design has two things going for it. First, his design is simple. Second, he is a professional printmaker. However, even if you are just wanting to print as a hobby, building this press is a good choice.

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Nurseries, Nostalgia, and Knitting

Many friends and family members are welcoming new lives into the world now and many others stop by the booth at markets in search of nursery decor. Well friends, I will soon have more to offer you! Keep an eye out on the shop or Etsy or Amazon Handmade for unique nursery themed prints.

Pink Chrysanthemum

One of the many joys of being an aunt is sharing the things you enjoyed about childhood with your nieces and nephews. For about two weeks my brother and I reveled in playing Pong on our dad’s Atari. After about two weeks the machine died, but those were a fun two weeks! My brother’s kids are a bit young for controllers or joysticks at the moment, but I can at least start familiarizing them with the concept.

Atari

A last bit of inspiration comes from a new hobby with which I’m completely smitten: knitting. That people figured out a way to weave a string with two sticks so that it becomes clothing just sets my imagination on fire. Until you cast off, the entire work can unravel and yet, once you pull that last loop through it stays fast. How fantastic! Then there is the whole business before knitting that goes into making the yarn…I’ll spare you that rabbit trail for now. Sheep and spindles and stitches will undoubtedly make their way into the blocks.

Knit Love

Where are you finding inspiration? Join the conversation on Twitter (@hardprsdstudio)!

Stay Awesome!

Hello World!

That’s what most programmers have their program say for the first time. I guess that is what my blog should say for the first time since this week it launches into my news feed.

This page will provide you with studio news for the most part. If you want to know more about the studio, happenings, and printing then please sign up for the newsletter.

Those of you following me for a little while now know that I just finished a one wall show at a local coffee shop. Those matted and framed prints are now available online. They’re ready to hang with you!