Liesel writes, "The Bhoomies are little earth spirits that live in total unison with nature. They grow an inch on the inside every day and take life as it is: beautiful, extraordinary, light, easy and joyful. They are ambassadors of happiness and support all earthlings to live their lives whilst believing in possibility." Through her 2015 calendar, one can spend every day in the presence of these fairy creatures.
The patterns are printed on the back of every calendar page, "to give the calendar a second life as gift wrap," says Liesel. She has also compiled a playlist for the calendar, giving this project a unique sensory experience.
Thank you to Liesel for placing a Calling Card in the forthcoming issue.
It was my pleasure to be invited as a guest on Grace Bonney's (Design*Sponge) radio show / podcast After The Jump today. Along with Paul Lowe and Paul Vitale of Sweet Paul magazine and Michele Outland of Gather Journal, we discussed the future of print media and what it's like to be a small publisher today.
I'm working on the 24th issue of UPPERCASE magazine. TWO DOZEN ISSUES! That's over 2700 pages of content that I have designed over the years. This next issue will be released early in the new year and it felt like it was time to do a bit of a design revamp. It's easy to keep doing the exact same thing over and over, but I'm a graphic designer by training and getting to design my own magazine is the fun part of independent publishing. The underlying grid and basic typography is staying pretty much the same, but I'm introducing a new font family to keep myself challenged and to see each layout with fresh eyes.
In previous issues, I was using Bodoni Poster Italic for some of the headlines, but overall I was tiring of how bold it was. The new selection really isn't all that different—it is the Bauer Bodoni family. It's kind of funny that I've selected a typeface design from 1791, but it's a style I've always loved. My design intention with this revamp is to make the spreads feel a little bit lighter overall, a bit more sophisticated but still playful. More places to breathe, little typographic details to delight the eye, some fun typographic touches... all the things that I love about design.
I agonized over which font to purchase (there are so many permutations of Bodoni and of Didone-style typefaces), but now that I've had a few days to get to know it, I am happy with the decision. It works really well with all the existing fonts I use (Sentinel, Tungsten, Neutraface) and with various weights plus roman and italic, there is a lot of possible variation. Certainly room to grow!
Throughout my career as a graphic designer, the typography has always been front and centre to my design process and inspiration. I posted the image above of a page in progress on Instagram and viewer Samantha Epstein commented, "everything about this makes my heart sing". Her comment made me so happy! Yes — beautiful typography does make the heart sing!
And not only is the typography beautiful, the content in this issue is overwhelmingly so! I can't wait to show more as I progress through the design.
It goes to the printer on the 15th of December, so it is going to be one marathon effort over here to get through the design while filling orders and managing customer service. But I'm energized by the new design direction and look forward to each new page.
Jennifer Joanou is one of those multi-talented artists who finds a way to express themselves no matter what the medium or the method. The first iteration of her creative career was as a fashion designer in Los Angeles; her work was popular in Hollywood and was sold in Barneys. Then about ten years ago, she began art journaling and found that it encompassed all her loves: fabric, photography, paper and paint.
Postcards and stickers of her journal pages are available in her shop. Gift them as a set, send them to friends or tack them to your inspiration wall as incentive to start your own journal in 2015.
Thank you to Jennifer for supporting UPPERCASE magazine through the purchase of a Calling Card. I'm pleased to report that the Calling Card page for the forthcoming issue is now full, but if you're interested in being part of the spring issue, spots are now open.
Since the $10 back issues were so popular and I'm getting emails from folks who missed the sale, I'm trying something new in the shop. As you add more back issues into your cart, the per-issue price will be lowered. So you can still get all available back issues for just $10 apiece.
1 - 2 $18 CAD per back issue
3 - 5 $15 CAD per back issue
6 - 7 $12 CAD per back issue
8+ $10 CAD per back issue
Shop for back issues, subscriptions, books and papergoods here.
A Gathering of Stitches is offering some amazing retreats next year! Participants will have the opportunity to work intimately with some really talented and generous teachers in 2015.
The dynamic trio of Carolyn Friedlander, Chawne Kimber and Rebecca Ringquist take up residence at the Medomak Retreat centre in Washington, ME, in August, for a long Slow Stitching weekend. Slow down and connect to needle and thread or floss in a summer camp setting with a small community of stitchers.
Thank you to Samantha Lindgren for her support of UPPERCASE magazine through the purchase of this Calling Card ad.
Thanks for all your orders through the weekend and Monday. Since I'm still hearing from folks with questions or who may wish to return to their carts, the sale price on back issues will continue until midnight December 2 MST. If you've just heard about the back issues sale, at $10 apiece, it is a great way to catch up with all things UPPERCASE.
For those of you on my newsletter list, I won't be sending a newsletter today since I sent the "Make Something Monday" one yesterday. I will be sending out renewal notices, though, to subscribers whose subscriptions have lapsed or will be ending soon.
Not on my newsletter list yet? Sign up here for a special welcome gift.
If you have any questions about your subscription or purchases, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is going to be a long-term project, but I finally started making a braided rug! I've wanted to give this a try for months and months—nothing like declaring a day called Make Something Monday and hashtagging it on social media to get me motivated! Now that I've started, it will be fun to braid a few feet here and there when I have time.
Happy Monday and Happy December 1st! There's no denying that the end-of-the-year rush is on. Today, let's just catch our breath and get back to doing what we love... making things!
Today's the day to create a good old-fashioned made-by-hand gift. It doesn't have to be something complicated, just something simple showing your recipient that you took some time. Time is precious; showing someone that you took time out of the busy season to make something heartfelt is powerful and will be appreciated.
Create something that comes from YOU. It could be a handwritten card, a little embroidery on a hankie, some cookies made from scratch, a simply sewn pin cushion, an ornament made from found objects, a collage of pretty pictures, a finger-painting made with your child, a handmade notebook of blank pages with a found-paper cover... just take a look at an issue of UPPERCASE and I'm sure an idea will come to mind.
Stay away from DIY posts and Pinterest! These days, it is too easy to get bogged down into the perceived perfection of Pinterest and the tyranny of step-by-step craft instructions. Today's the day to unplug from these distractions. Comparing yourself to others and following directions can be so detrimental to genuine creativity. Use your own ideas, your own resources, your own ingenuity... you will make something that is from you and your heart.
Make something out of nothing. Be experimental. Be silly. Creativity comes from letting yourself go a little bit. If you worry about stitching a straight line, today's the day to zigzag. Just gather up all your creative supplies onto the table and see what emerges.
Enjoy the process. Making things is a lot of fun! Share what you're up to on Twitter and Instagram #makesomethingmonday #uppercasereader.
A huge thank you to UPPERCASE reader Lisa Courtnage for the beautiful quilt block made of vintage feedsacks. She writes, "I saw your request for feedack fabric on your blog. I found a vendor while at the International Quilt Festival in Houston who was selling charm squares of feedsack fabric (5 inch squares) so I snagged a few packs. I have enclosed 419 one-and-a-half-inch squares. Also made a mini-quilt block with the leftover scraps... that is how quilts were made back in the day!" Once again, I'm amazed and inspired by the generosity and talent of UPPERCASE readers. Thank you, Lisa.
My son was with me at the office when I received Lisa's package of feedsacks. He was instantly enamoured with the quilt block and wanted it for his teddy bear. I have other plans for the block, so I suggested that we make teddy his own special blanket. All my sewing supplies are here in the office so Finley selected a favourite feedsack square from Lisa's packet and we went to work. My mother-in-law had recently downsized her fabric collection and I acquired some of it, so the blue and white fabric was at-the-ready. The train fabric was purchased from a thrift store on a car trip home to Saskatchewan some summers ago. Finley helped by sitting under the table and pushing on the sewing machine pedal or by taking out the pins as needed. Within an hour, we had a cute but wonky tiny blanket and a happy mother and son. We'll both cherish the blanket for the stories of how the fabrics were chosen and the fun we had putting it together. I think teddy liked it, too.
Speaking of quilts, I'm excited to tell you that I'll be one of three judges for next year's QuiltCon! I look forward to spending three days surrounded by beautiful quilt designs.
Have a lovely day making something!
Look at all the work I've done over the years! How time flies when you keep yourself passionately busy.
All of my babies are available to enjoy while inventory lasts (issue 10 and 11 are running low at this point). On sale for just $10 apiece until end of day Monday, I'd suggest getting one of each. Subscribe starting with #23, the current issue, and you'll be all set for an inspired year ahead.
p.s. Use the code "thankyou" for another $15 off orders over $80.
Happy Thanksgiving, American friends!
(I'm enjoying seeing all the handlettered b+w messages in my Instagram feed today!)
Alice Young remembers the first time she picked up a professional ink pen. "I was captivated. Ink is alive—flowing and liquid—with an independent will and life of its own." Though she does her daily work as a graphic designer, her after-hours passion is calligraphy. "When I'm tired of being slick and sensible," she says, "'The Other Alice' emerges."
"In my calligraphy, I strive for a high level of craftsmanship, but I am wary of the trap of perfection. Hand lettering should retain the human touch, which has a natural rhythm and imperfection."
The Other Alice's Etsy shop offers a selection of calligraphy-based artwork printed on high quality cards with white and coloured ink on premium recycled stock (Neenah Environment).
Thank you, Alice for supporting UPPERCASE magazine through this Calling Card.
Karin Eriksson and Camilla Engman have a new collaboration:
"To mark our ten year anniversary as friends, we – illustrator Camilla Engman and ceramicist Karin Eriksson have created a set of cups in Karin's design with Camilla's illustrations on them. The cups come in a beautiful handcrafted paper box. We haven’t made a limited edition this time, but if you want the cups to arrive in time for Christmas you shouldn’t wait too long."
Above is a spread from the book that I published all about Camilla Engman. It's from 2009 but still oh so inspiring. The Suitcase Series: Camilla Engman is available in the UPPERCASE shop — just 144 copies left of this gorgeous book. Here's the video I made from my wonderful trip to Scandinavia to visit Camilla:
"These earrings are made from tiny denim shards are cut into 2x2 cm squares and placed by hand onto ear wires to create these stunning and light weight earrings. Trashn2Tees has diverted more than 476,000 pounds of clothing with our designs and established nationwide clothing recycling drop offs across the United States."
The next challenge:
With the holidays coming, we always seem to end up with a lot of catalogues. We might flip through the catalogues a few times but eventually they end up in our recycling bins within a pretty short time frame. Let's see how creative we can get by recycling these catalogues into something useful or beautiful. Here a few ideas from Pinterest to get those creative ideas flowing.
To enter the challenge, please email good quality digital photographs of your creation (800 pixels wide at 72 dpi) to email@example.com. Entries must be submitted on or before January 30th to qualify for the challenge. Entries must also include your name, contact information and a brief description of your creation. If you have any questions about this challenge, please direct them to Solita at the email listed above. UPPERCASE is not involved in the administration or adjudication of this challenge.
Solita and Reworks has a Kickstarter campaign on now to create a maker space within their shop which is in the heart of Calgary's Inglewood community:
We are carving out the back third of our shop to provide a maker space to supplement our artists' existing home studios. The space will be available for makers to meet, share ideas, and develop in a common space. They will have access to higher end tools such as a Janome serger, air compressor, and upholstery stapler that are often beyond the means of a single individual, but which become so useful in the hands of many people in the right environment.
Their products are always carefully selected and they really excel at COLOUR. Beautiful colour combinations showing real sophistication—subtle differences in shades, beautiful gradations, unexpected pairings... the Purl Bee, their inspiring blog, showcases various projects using Purl products and for those of us admiring and shopping from afar, offers an up close appreciation of their fabrics and yarns through great photography and really accessible patterns. Here are some simple striped patterns that are easy for beginners and meditative and satisfying for expert crocheters and knitters.
On a cold winter's day, I'd love to be encircled by this gradient cowl.
And I'll curl up under a striped blanket... or perhaps I'll just snuggle up to these skeins of yarn that look warm and inviting just like this:
It is my great pleasure to unveil the cover of the next issue! Featuring a collage by Andrea D'Aquino, I am overjoyed with this design for an issue that will explore the modern quilt movement plus the creation and modification of surface through tattoos, weaving and more.
See that swatch of patterned fabric on the right? That's going to be an actual piece of vintage feedsack fabric hand applied to each subscriber cover. Be still my beating heart!
I can't wait to see how the collage changes a bit with each different piece of fabric. It will be delightfully random. Thanks to the many wonderful readers who have sent in feedsack swatches! If you're planning on sending some, the details are here. If you could also please send me an email with the quantity of squares you're sending so that I can keep a tally that would be helpful. We're pretty close to the goal of 10,000!