1348 pages of content created in 2015!

The end of the year's always a time for reflection—and for making resolutions and plans! Please join me in looking at the past year at UPPERCASE... and find out how you can be in the magazine next year!

This has been one amazing year. It started with a lot of travel: In January I was in Austin, Texas to help judge hundreds of beautiful quilts in for QuiltCon. (That's me in a very cute fabric store in Austin.) It felt like I was barely home before I was on a 32-hour odyssey to Australia to speak at the Perth Writer's Festival and then the Creative Women's Circle in Melbourne. I spoke at the HOW conference in Chicago in May, I was in Toronto in June for the National Magazine Awards, onward to Portland in October... it's a wonder I got anything done this year with so much time away.

But now that I look at it all, it sure stacks up. UPPERCASE published a whopping 1348 printed pages of content in 2015. Thank you to all my amazing contributors—the writers and photographers and illustrators and crafters who make such inspiring content. Thank you to all the readers who submitted their work for inclusion. Thank you to Correy Baldwin for copy editing. Thank you to Chris Young at Prolific for handling the printing on all these projects (except for The Typewriter which was printed by Asia Pacific Offset). Thank you to my husband Glen Dresser for his assistance in writing The Compendium, his contributions to the magazine and for taking on customer service recently.

Let's see how all those pages add up:

UPPERCASE 24: January/February/March 2015  
116 pages  

If I were to play favourites, I'd have to say that issue 24 is mine—I love the illustration by Andrea D'Aquino and each of the 10,000 copies had a piece of antique feed sack fabric applied to the cover! The feed sack swatches were sent in by readers from all over and it was such fun to receive little bits of fabric in the mail. (This issue sold out quickly and will not be reprinted... however, a book project has emerged from this issue, it's in the very early stages and I look forward to sharing more! If you've got a feed sack collection, please get in touch!)

UPPERCASE 25: April/May/June 2015  
116 pages

This issue is dedicated to printmaking in all its forms. The cover is by Joey Hannaford. The Profiles in Printmaking section introduces dozens of talented readers who work in everything from monotypes to risograph to letterpress to collographs. Subscribers enjoyed a free printmaking sample inserted into their issues. Get issue 25 here. (Photo by stockist Tiny Feast.)

UPPERCASE 26: July/August/September 2015  
116 pages

I do love little bits of paper. And stamps? They tell such great stories. The cover is by Richard Benson and features fancy cancels. Subscribers were treated to a glassine envelope of vintage stamps inserted into their issue. Thank you to a dedicated group of stamp-sorting, envelope-stuffing philatelists who got thousands of envelopes ready for subscribers. Get issue 26 here.

UPPERCASE 27: October/November/December 2015  
116 pages

This issue has a focus on new illustration talent as well as articles about creative education, wonder and the secrets to longevity (in a creative field). Get issue 27 here (it's now listed as a back issue, so add it to your cart with other back issues and you'll pay less per issue.) Cover by Brian Hurst.

The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine
336 pages + 16-page insert

Of all the projects this year, this one was the toughest. I spent three years working on this epic visual history of typewriter ephemera. To say that I'm glad it's done is an understatement. The project certainly tested my stamina and "stick-to-it-iveness", but it got done! And now that I have a few months separating me and all the work, it feels even better. The book got a great full-page review in Canada's national newspaper. Purchase it here. (If you're in Europe, get the book through Central Books.)

The UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft & Creativity
384 pages

My most recent book project, it was exactly a year ago that this project began with a call for entries in my newsletter. Featuring 66 artisans, artists and craftspeople from around the world, the Compendium is look into what's happening in craft right now. I look forward to doing a second edition... maybe every couple of years? Order it here. (If you're in Europe, my distributor Central Books will have the book in about a month—ask your local bookseller to stock it through them.)

UPPERCASE 28: Jan/Feb/Mar 2016
116 pages

The new issue is mailing out to subscribers right now! It will be arriving in mailboxes in the next few weeks. This was the best year ever for Gift Subscriptions. Well done, Santa! Subscribe here. Cover of old bus tickets from the collection of Kindra Murphy.

UPPERCASE Creative Calendar 2016
32 pages

For subscribers as of December 17, you'll get a free insert of this fun and inspiring calendar. Keep your creativity on track everyday next year. (Subscribe here to be part of future subscriber-only benefits like this.) Cover by Tara Lilly.


With such a busy year behind me I'm really enjoying a holiday pace right now. I've been taking it slow and being crafty. My problem is that with more time to be contemplative and space to think... I keep coming up with new ideas! Three book ideas for 2016? The launch of Little U? Plus all the regular UPPERCASE magazine-y goodness? 

I can't wait to dive in!

2015 started out with quilts and fabric... and it has ended that way, too! With my very own collection with Windham Fabrics!!! Look for a sneak peek in issue 28.

I'm going to QuiltCon in February. Are you? I will be giving a 30-minute presentation... any suggestions? Want to meet up for an UPPERCASE event?

 

Calls for Submissions

There are two new open calls for the spring issue. I expect to get a lot of submissions on these topics, so the open call ends on January 15. 

Folded
Submit creative projects in which folds and folding are integral to its execution and design. Projects can be in any material, medium or scale. Submit here.

Book Arts
Book arts, unusual book designs, artist's books, intriguing book formats, books as sculpture, books that aren't books... projects in which the concept of a book is the starting point for creative exploration. Submit here.

Calling Card: A year-long online art class!

Carla Sonheim has opened registration for her 2016 year-long online class:

“Y” is For Yellow!
(And no, you won’t paint everything yellow!  )

Carla writes:

In this class we will march through the alphabet as a fun way to move through our year (“P” is for Picasso! “C” is for Collage!), while tackling the more serious question,

“How do you create a body of work?”

As mixed-media artists we are always trying new media and experimenting with new techniques — which is awesome! But what can happen is we don’t take the time to focus long enough on the things we really love so that we can create a cohesive series that is uniquely ours.

I have found a lot of value working in series over the years; choosing and sticking with one media/subject matter for a period of time really has helped me… and I will share with you what I can about the process.

Are you ready to work hard in a fun environment? Let’s refine, focus, and create a body of work this year!

In this class:

• You are encouraged to focus on your favourite media. (Don’t know what that is? That’s okay, there will be plenty of techniques to try with both the drawing and mixed-media lessons.)

• There will be 26 short drawing exercises, one for each of the 26 lessons. These are meant to be warm-ups to give you ideas on how to face the blank page. I’ll keep them fun!

• In addition, there will be 7 mixed-media lessons, 3 optional assignments, and 3 surprise lessons. They will include techniques (old and new!) in watercolour, acrylics, charcoal, and other media.

Class begins January 8, 2016. Cost is $198. Sign up here.

Thank you, Carla, for supporting UPPERCASE through a Calling Card ad. Look for her ad on the sidebar of the blog and in print in issue 28 coming out in January.

Jane Lui's year-long one-take wonder

Here's a fun submission I received this week, from Jane Lui a musician in Los Angeles.

Jane writes, "Long time reader and first-time subscriber to your magazine, so glad to be onboard with your empire. I'm a musician/songwriter who likes cardboard as a medium, and have spent most of the year building miniature sets for a one-take music video that we just released. Hot air balloon, forest machine (moves), city scape for aerial shot.... I like seeing evidence of the hand; this is my approach to life in general. it hasn't made me much money, but has made me very happy."

Here's Jane's video!

In perusing her site, I also enjoyed her cover/mashup of Pharrell's "Happy" — bonus that it includes a typewriter! "I'm classically trained, but like the alphabet, you learn it then throw the rules away to make it yours. I like music, but I love sound. It's really invigorating to find musicality in things not meant for music: handmade music boxes, typewriters, service bells, jugs, suitcases, books, glassware. Some will call it a carefully crafted sound, I think it's just obsessive because I know I'm neurotic. I try to make my stuff feel lovable, enduring, and usually think too hard doing so and forget to eat lunch 3 hours ago."

Calling Card: Inkello

Thank you to all the fine folks who sponsor the blog and magazine through their Calling Cards. For $400 Canadian, your ad will be on the sidebar from now until April 10 plus printed in the next issue (January-February-March 2016). If you want to have a seasonally-themed Calling Card for the blog sidebar now and switch the artwork in the new year, that's ok. Please see all the details here. I appreciate your support.

Christine Schneider is the proprietor of Inkello. Christine is a fourth-generation printer (she's also a designer and illustrator). 

InkelloStudioPic2.jpg

To print her letterpress goods, completely hand-powered, she uses a press from 1897. It is operated with a foot treadle and is distinctive for a big, blue flywheel. She also prints on a tabletop press with a hand lever from the 1950s.

Inkello has some fun and clever letterpresses items, like these triangular Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Booklets. "Ten pages inside, alternating between grape jelly and peanut butter-coloured papers. Set of two booklets accompanied by a small pencil. Details for curious letterpress enthusiasts: the crusts were printed using wooden furniture, and the texture in the bread was made using BBs glued to a wooden base!."

I'm also fond of their Heart Personalized Knitting Tags, which would be a lovely gift for prolific knitters. The finishing details and textures of Inkello's products are really well done.

What's your "one thing"?

In one of my newsletters last month I asked, "What if you found that one thing that you go to sleep thinking about, that you dream about, that makes you leap out of bed with excitement and anticipation?"

That one thing that brings you into an unknown world full of new challenges? That one thing that will involve lots of learning and test you in ways you can't even anticipate? What's that one thing that might make you scared and nervous, but you still want to see where it takes you?

I'm grateful that I've found my one thing in UPPERCASE. I asked readers, "What's your one thing?"

Dutch illustrator Yvonne Windhorst-Maaskant replied with this great series of images. Please click through to discover her "one thing".