Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Prints ahoy

Today I got my new printer. It's an Epson 3800 and I finally have a reliable way to print professionally on my own (when flat printing is needed). Now I just need my husband to come home so he can help me lift it onto my desk. I've just removed lots of clutter to make room for it and am excited to try it out! Not much new going on to report as I've been very busy with wedding mania. It's a busy flurry of activity, which is good. I've noticed it is hard to keep track of and remember everyone's little details. I keep a folder for each client and put all the notes and emails for their project in there and somehow I still manage to feel overwhelmed by information. One tip that helps is a list (whether on a chalk board or notepad) that breaks projects down by chunks. It shows what I need to be working on NOW (not the things I need to do later). Taking things one bite at a time can really help keep confusion to a minimum and keep things more organized. I check in with myself a few times a day to keep things updated and moving. And then, that night, I make a new list for tomorrow! For fun, here's a picture of Maren as she waits outside of my office one evening. She wanted so badly to come in...just peering in at me with a sad face. She kept glancing up at the door handle knowing it may have well been a mile over her head. She's so small she can barely see in the first lowest window pane. hee hee...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday, Friday

Not much new going on here! Just working and the same ol' stuff. We've been cleaning up the house as we prepare for a friend to visit; I can't wait! I found out that I will be finding out the results from all my blood tests, etc. on Valentine's Day. So, I'll be really excited to know if anything is going on or not within my blood/chromosomes. So, I'll be sure to let you all know then what we find out. As I write this, Maren is running around with a new little fleece stuffed dog toy that is a mini slipper. She's in love with it and I'm happy that it's keeping her busy. She keeps proudly trotting around the house as she makes it squeak...then she violently shakes it...then she lays down lovingly with it to snuggle. This dog is too cute. I hope you all have a great weekend and I'll be sure to show some more recent work next week. Be well!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy MLK Day!

Today is Martin Luther King Day...many people have the day off. My husband doesn't, so I am working as well. Although I'm updating my 2007 tax spreadsheets (FUN!!!!) and filing papers from a huge stack (a mini Mount Everest of receipts and paid bill stubs). Ah, the glamorous life of self-employment...where every scrap of paper is scrutinized with the question: Can I write this off?
I've managed to complete a stack of work for my greeting card/stationery company client by today's deadline. The next deadline is coming up quick, so I'm catching my breath. I spent the weekend working on that and printing envelopes for a bride-to-be. A good portion of Sunday found me watching the NFL playoff games. Go Patriots!!! No, I'm not a football fan. But I was determined to sit still on the overstuffed chair for a long period of husband had the games on and I was determined to be lazy. It worked out.
Today's images are from a Save the Date folded card I designed last was digitally flat printed with a local vendor. The bride-to-be wanted something very preppy and beach-y since she is getting married on The Cape. She wanted to include a message to her guests and also the hotel options in the area, so I thought a folded card would be a good way to fit all of her requirements in and still be easy to save in a drawer or tack to the fridge. She sent the card in a bright green envelope that coordinated perfectly. A fun project for what will be a fun wedding! See y'all in this space later!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sick day...

I'm sick! I've got the killer cold that's going around. Blaaahhhhhhh. So, things are on hold today while I hack and cough and sneeze... I hope everyone is doing well today; I'll be back soon with some more design stuff. Today's pic is of Maren as she patiently looks at me from my office door.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

In dreams...

Hello everyone!
Things are still busy over here. For the past while I've been working on some exciting projects. A major stationery/card company had approached me and asked me to do some freelance design work for them. Of course, I jumped at the chance. So, I've spent lots of time brainstorming, sketching, and trying to articulate what my brain sees into actual designs. This has always been my dream and its actually happening. I keep having to pinch myself. Sometimes I worry that a lot of what I like, the company might not want since it may not be right for their brand. But I know that all I can do is my best and just see what happens. In the meantime, I'm loving it! I've also got work of my own in regards to birth announcements and weddings so I find I'm having to juggle lots of little things...and that's a great way to keep my mind focused and off the roller-coaster of my journey to have a child. One thing I've learned though: never let work become your respite or focus of distraction. It turns work into more stress than it already is. And soon, you wonder where the fun in your life went. This is particularly true for those who work for themselves doing their passion. While it is ok to have fun with your job or hobby, remember to take time out for just plain non-hobby or non-job-related fun. (sledding, movies, shopping, dancing, dinner, sewing lessons, singing lessons just for fun...whatever...)It will revive you and refresh you when it matters...and keeps life from becoming the same ol' thing day in and day out. I need to remember this all the time, and want to make this concept a bigger priority this year (once I get through these deadlines I have).

For today's pic I thought I'd show you a few inspiration wires that hang in the corner of my office. I'm making use of a little corner behind a chair...thought it would be more interesting than just hanging one framed picture. And this way, I get to easily change it whenever I want. Hope everyone is having a great day...I'll be back tomorrow with some more design-y things I've been up to.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Don't mess with the T

Hello! Well, the doctor who did the procedure on me yesterday called me back. He couldn't give me specifics since he's not officially MY doctor. But, here's some quotes of what he said:
1. "generally speaking, women with a t-shaped uterus have poor pregnancy outcomes"

2. "many women with the t-shape go on to eventually have a healthy viable baby

3. "many miscarriages before 10 weeks aren't because of the t-shape...the t-shape tends to cause later miscarriages" (this did not feel good to hear at all!!)

4. "looking at YOUR x-rays, I would say you have a slight t-shape. It's there, but not bad. I've seen much worse cases. I would guess that you should have a positive outcome at some point. Of all the t-shapes, this one is a better one to have."

So, I guess it's not all bad news. It's possible. I will find out more details in a few weeks when I get to meet with my actual RE to go over all the numerous results from all my testing. The bottom line is: I have to keep trying. And there's nothing I can do to control the outcome except for trying to relax and not obsess (that's a knee-slapper).
This next project was for a client as a gift to his wife for Christmas. They were small folded notecards using his requested scallop shell as a motif with her name on the bottom. Very simple, printed with blue ink on 100% cotton Crane's Lettra letterpress paper. He emailed me to say that the cards were a hit, so I'm glad it worked out! The simple designs seem to be a bit in fashion right now. I am currently working on some designs for generic folded notecards that have more interesting designs on them as a change of pace and more fun for me. But I'm buried with work lately (a good problem!) so my personal projects for sale have been a bit on hold. I'll talk more about that tomorrow! Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

free to bee?

Hello! Well, holy hell... today's test hurt so badly. UGH! It seemed like it was ok during the procedure...just very uncomfortable. But the pain I felt afterward had me in some tears and a bit of writhing and gnashing of teeth ensued. I feel much better now and am happy it's done. The doc there at the hospital said my tubes are free-flowing and clear! No blockages or issues there. But (of course there's a "but") my uterus is "a bit T-shaped." (his words). He went on to say "But it shouldn't be too much of a problem." Well, I hadn't realized it COULD be a problem. So, of course I got home and googled it...and didn't see much by way of good news for the condition. It seems, though, to explain the ectopic pregnancy and miscarriages. So after a lot of tears and stress, I've left a message with my RE hoping she would call me back once she gets the official results from the hospital...rather than me waiting a few weeks to see her in person. I'd like to be able to, you know, SLEEP tonight knowing what she thinks in terms of MY situation. Googling OTHER people's situations doesn't help because their "T" might be more "T-like" than mine. Or perhaps their uterus looked more like some other letter of the alphabet...or a wingding symbol you get when you hit lots of key combinations together on the computer. I know I shouldn't panic when I don't know the details. But that's why I panic. And I can't help it. So that's that. We'll see what happens!
The pics above are of some stationery I made for my Mom for Christmas. Growing up her nickname in her family was "queen bee" since she was the only little girl amongst many boy cousins her same general age. So her stationery has a bee at the top. I know it's obvious, but only to her I think. I'll be back tomorrow with more design fun!

Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm looking over a 4-leaf clover

Hello! Sorry I've been so absent! It's been hard finding the time to update while watching a wild puppy and get my work done. I just took a bunch of pictures of some recent work so I can use them through the week and update more regularly. We are having a Nor'easter snow storm right now and we are absolutely buried! Again! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine had a little bit of work and a little bit of fun mixed in. My husband and I went to see Juno...I loved it. He thought it was ok. I found it to be touching and funny...though not quite as funny as I thought it would be. I also went out with friends Saturday night into Boston for dinner, drinks, and some dancing. It's been so long since I've been to a club...and I had a lot of fun. Definitely not something I could do several times a week like back when. I have no idea where I got the energy for going out all the time back then. It must have come from some secret energy reserve I don't know about...if only I could tap into it now and fuel my car for much less money. I spent Sunday recuperating from Saturday night and I also spent the day catching up on a bunch of work I had intended to do on Saturday. The pics above are from some flat notecard stationery I made for my mother-in-law for Christmas. I know she wanted an Irish theme to the card and something simple, so that's what I did for her.
Tomorrow I have the HSG test with a reproductive endocrinologist (I mentioned in the previous post). They are injecting dye into me and checking out my uterus and tubes via an xray to make sure there is no damage or cysts, etc. that might be causing my miscarriages. It is supposed to be quite painful during the procedure, so I'm nervous. But I am happy that I'm getting so thoroughly checked out. Soon I will have a complete picture of what may or may not be happening with me and that's a good feeling. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. And, of course, show some more letterpress fun. See you soon and wish me luck!

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Hello! It's the weekend! Too bad I'm working through most of it...but I'll be sure to take lots of time to read some new favorite magazines and watch some tv. We watched the movie "Superbad" last night...I thought it was hysterical. Just something fun to get lost in while having the puppy sleep in our laps. I'm proud I made it through would have been my due date from my pregnancy back in April
I was sort of dreading how I would feel at this time ever since it happened and it wasn't as bad as I thought. Of course, running around watching the puppy and working for much of the day kept me good and distracted. I can say I feel much more at peace now about the whole event and am excited for the future. We visited a reproductive endocrinologist a few weeks ago after my latest miscarriage and they ran tons of tests on my blood looking for clotting disorders and chromosomal abnormalities. I have more tests coming up this month and am hoping to get to the bottom of what has been going on. It feels good to take action rather than wait around for bad things to just happen TO me. Even if they find out nothing is wrong...I will feel good knowing that it's just up to nature and that's all there is to it. And if there IS something wrong...well...we can work to fix it and hope for the best. It's all we can do with anything, right? So, that's that. It's hard to feel sad anyway when you get to look at this:
She loves to sleep on my husband's legs and nestle right in there. Happy weekend everyone! I'm off to pray for some wedding design magic. I'll see you soon with some more recent projects....thanks everyone for your kind words on my last posts. It feels good to know I have such a great group of people out there who support me and my work. It's so thanks!! You make my day much brighter!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Holiday Birth Announcement Design

Hello! Today I thought I would show a fun recent letterpress printing and design project I was hired for: A holiday card and birth announcement combination! My client happened to be my sister-in-law and it was a dream from start to finish. She came to me looking for something preppy, girlish, with a holiday element to it. It was a fun challenge trying to create something that feels babyish and holiday-like at once. The baby wasn't born during the holidays so I didn't want it too close to that theme either. She suggested using elephants or whales or polka dots. After some designing, we landed on using the whales as polka dots using a magenta and green to evoke the holidays without being to "Christmas color-y". We decided to do 2 cards tied together with a ribbon at the top. In this way, either card could be displayed by itself by taking off the ribbon. The baby's photo is attached with removable glue dots so that photo could be taken and kept in a frame or wallet if desired. My sister-in-law assembled them by putting in the pictures herself and tying them together with matching ribbon she found. I'm happy with the results and am honored she chose me for this project. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Happy New Year! I know I'm a few days late, but thought I'd say it anyway. I won't go into big resolutions I'm planning for the year and I won't reflect on the year behind me. I will say that I'm looking forward to this year and the fun it will bring. I hope it is a peaceful and home-oriented year. I've been very busy as of late with weddings and stationery projects and it feels good! Today, I thought I would show my latest limited edition print up for sale on my shop. It's called "Homecoming." It's about a family going about their daily routine...and one member has been away and is suddenly returning. In this time of war, I think not only of the fallen soldiers and their families (I pray for them every day)...but also of the soldiers who get to come home yet must start anew with all of things that hang heavy in their hearts and minds. There's a bright and shiny yellow moment when you return to a place you feel loved and safe...where things have a sense of normalcy. Anyway, the print is 5 x 7" and letterpress printed by me (and illustrated by me) on my antique platen letterpress. It's a bright sunny yellow ink and printed on thick 110# pillowy soft cotton Crane's Lettra paper. The impression is deep...each print is signed and numbered by me...there is only 21 prints in this edition. Well, gotta get back to work! Maren is fast asleep in my lap at the moment and I'm not sure how long that will last! See you tomorrow!