Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Printed wedding invitations with custom calligraphy

I don't often print wedding invitations, but every now and then I'll take a job that intrigues me. This was a commission passed on to me through the Penland Gallery, from a couple who were interested in having everything handmade by people associated with Penland School of Craft.

I'm really pleased with how these wedding invitations turned out. They're meant to have a slightly rustic look, to match the surroundings of where the wedding will take place - a wooded valley in western North Carolina. I printed them in a warm gray on cream-colored handmade paper by Twinrocker. The custom calligraphy is by my friend Cheryl Jacobsen, who, as you can tell, is a master at her craft. What you see here are the invitations, reply cards, and reply card envelopes. Still to come are wedding program covers and matching thank-you cards. Click on the images for a closer look.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wasabi mashed potatoes

I have a bunch of uber-talented culinary friends that really know their way around a kitchen, and I love seeing what new delicious goodness they're whipping up. I'm not quite as talented, but as a small offering of thanks for sharing their recipes, I'll post this one, one of my most favorites foods - wasabi mashed potatoes. Here are the steps:

1. Make mashed potatoes

2. Add some wasabi (as much or as little according to your own taste)

3. Mix it up

4. Eat it up, yum!

5. Repeat

Friday, June 18, 2010

a big stack of papers, a giant book

A couple of months ago my friend Frank said, "You'll feel much better once you start making paper again." I wasn't convinced, but got started cutting down rags anyways in preparation. Last week I spent about seven days elbow-deep in a vat of pulp, and loved every minute of it. Frank was right - I'm feeling much better, and two years is just too long to go without making paper! I ended the first session with about eighty sheets of 11x17, forty sheets of 16x20, and forty sheets of 18x24, all made from cotton rag foraged from West Asheville thrift stores. I spent one last weekend making a cotton/abaca blend, and finished with about eighty sheets of 18x24 as well. Here's just half of the finished stack (the other half is still in the stack dryer):

We're exchanging ideas now about creating our own 'micro-pulpery', following the tradition of Asheville's famous micro-breweries, and going into paper production on a small-ish scale. I want to create a 'seasonal menu' of papers for sale, based on what we find at the thrift stores, and once that paper is sold out, it's unlikely that you'll see another stack of paper that excaly the same on our shelves. Hopefully we'll have a small sampling of this ready at the upcoming BookOpolis in September.

Once I finished the big stack of papers, I got to work on a commission: a giant book, made for Dragonfly Forest, an organizational that helps kids with physical disabilities and serious illnesses have a fun night of camping out. This will be a record book for the kids, so it needed to be BIG, bright, easy to clean, and tough. I actually had to talk them down from a 2' x 3' book to this one that's 18" x 24", a size that can be reasonably handled and not fall apart. It also turned out to be quite heavy, so I hope they weren't planning on carrying this book around on their camping trips!