Category Archives: invitations

hanging out to dry…

I have this very favorite paper/fabric cotton organdi…. It’s the perfect fabric for wedding invitations because it is white, starchy, sturdy, natasha wagner invitationtranslucent, and has just the perfect feeling… a little like tulle and a little bit like canvas… I  have been using it for years… (here is my first wedding invitation for Natasha Gregson Wagner using a cotton organdi belly band).

It comes in a few different colors but white always seems to be the best. However, sometimes white is toooooo WHITE. Blaring white is no good for organic handmade looking pieces.

What to do? What to do?!

dieandvatWell, DYE IT!! That’s the answer.

The last two times I used this fabric, I tea stained it with Lipton. Those turned out lovely but probably a little dark for my current client. She wanted something more in a “cream”… a little less orangey than tea stain…

So today, a super sunny Sunday afternoon in California, I mixed up the RIT – a little taupe and a little yellow – in a big vat and dyed all these sheets…. Now they just need to be pressed out flat again and they will be ready to go cut and wrap up a pretty warm white wedding invitation…

 

fabricWhat a nice way to get back to my country girl roots, hanging out clothes on the line for the sunshine to dry. It’s kind of zen, creates a perfect embellishment, and allows the sun to do the rest of the work… oh, it’s kind of green, actually!

Is it post-modern to blog about a blog about Tiny Pine?

My friend and one of my favoritest picture-makers Gia Canali has a blog and she just interviewed me a couple of days ago for it. I thought it would be fun to link to the blog because that would maybe become a blog vortex of clicking and no one would ever leave! yay!

It was actually really fun to do the interview. I did fell a little funny that my answers would be on the internet but I then i realized that I am already talking on the internet…. so I must be a little bit entertaining if YOU are reading this right now? right? Hopefully I can come across sort of knowledgeable too! (Don’t tell me any differently, please!)

I was a little surprised when I read back over my answers in some spots… particularly the Ugly Betty comments – you will have to read her blog to know what I am referring to – because I had just seen an episode a couple of days before and I felt maybe that I was misinformed about soy inks, or that the writers didn’t research very well… I think it was the latter.

here's the card i did for gia

Here's the card I made for Gia's Business

I loved talking about Verdie, my press, and I think I come off a little more chatty than I am on this blog about myself…. if you can imagine that. It’s easier sometimes to answer questions than to just make up what you want to say……..

But enough about me and Tiny Pine, let’s talk about GIA! She is a great photographer. We have both been apart of a couple of weddings as the vendors. She is super organic in her style and aesthetic. She uses both film and digital photography (kind of like how I use letterpress and laser or inkjet) and she does a variety of printing processes and treats her photos in lovely ways. I think we are sort of fraternal twins, maybe. We come from the same place but we do different things. (We were just talking on the phone about how we both are from the country and mountains and if that comes across in our work…)

Anyways…. I am so glad she decided to feature me in her blog…. I will do the same for my fraternal twin… Gia Canali is great. take a look at her site!

happy heart day!

Love letters are probably why I am in this business. I am sentimental and romantic and when someone puts love into a scrap of paper, whether it is only friendly or something more, I cherish it. Words, images, craftiness. I have a little box where I keep these little things… paper pieces from old romances – letters, postcards and notes. I think I have a piece of paper where an old flame had mailed something to me…. I cut my address out of the box, like when you have to send in the UPC seal of a product. I have that little memory of a thought.

So, it’s Valentines Day tomorrow, and all the little romantic bits of me are getting drummed up… That paragraph above is a perfect example! And all I can think about is writing love letters. It’s almost worth it to be far away from the person you love so you could send and receive love by post…. What’s so nice is that the words are very permanent and tangible. And then you can put them in a little box and one day someone will find them and isn’t that just romantic?

1

When I was working at soolip as a designer, we created a product with the perfect, I mean PERFECT love letter materials. I helped design it. It really has everything you need except a pen and nice thoughts. It has onionskin paper – which is not being made anymore – a handmade and printed shimmery and soft Dirty Byrd envelope (one of my bestest friends) AND one of my favorite things of all times…. Vintage Stamps. 

I swear, if someone gave me one of these, I would shower them with kisses. And I designed this thing. So. that should give a clue about how much I love the love letter kit…

You can order them from soolip.com, but really, you don’t need this kit to tell someone how much you care… so in lieu of time, get out a sticky note, a legal pad or the back of a bill and let them know!

If you haven’t posted your letter by the time you are reading this, you may be late and there may be an slightly sad or annoyed valentine on the other end…. so you better give that person some chocolates too… along with your love letter!

xoxo,

jennifer

Little Verdie in her New Home

In the past couple of weeks there has been LOTS of change at Tiny Pine Press because I moved my studio across town, from a becoming over-crowded space to a shared studio with lots more privacy, without shutting down production and even squeezing in jury duty throwing a baby shower for one of my best friends (who had her baby today!! and I got to be in the room for the birth shooting video and photos).

In that time, I moved Verdie, my Chandler & Price Pilot Press. I was so nervous about shifting her weight that I had my friend drive her separately, very very slowly in his ultra large SUV and daring him make any dramatic stops…. begging him to drive with ease and quiet through Friday afternoon traffic in Los Angeles, changing freeways 4 times…

littleverdie

She faired just fine, and I placed Verdie into her new home. I tested her out sans ink to make sure nothing shifted somehow – she IS held together by bolts. OLD bolts – and then I left her. 

She has a room with a view out the window in this new place. She has her own room. It’s sort of small but she is small (only 200 lbs.) She sits on her tiny table made of pine and just waits for me.

Tomorrow I am making the final move…. Putting all the computery things in the big office space section of the studio, and I am going to print 3 runs on Verdie and see how she likes her new space. I think she does… there is a little window that lets in a good amount of light and it is quite cozy in there with everything in reachable distance.

Here’s a picture of my little press, in her new space… Doesn’t she look so happy??

A Crow and a Swan

soy crow

These days I feel inclined to write a lot about ways to reuse or recycle things we sometimes think of as waste. Let’s talk trash!

I have always used soy-based inks for letterpress printing, except for the metallics which don’t come in soy. When I mix an ink color for a job, I try to only mix the right amount… you only use a teensy bit really to print. But sometimes it just happens that the ink blob gets bigger and bigger as you try to get the right shade of whatever. It just happens….

When I was working at soolip in west hollywood as the designer, the printer at the time, Joel Larson, would make crazy paintings with his leftover ink. They were beautiful abstract works that he would layer on to whatever scraps of paper he had lying around.

I took that as inspiration when I had extra ink to get rid of. So even though I tried only to mix as much as I need, there is always some leftovers and so I started making paintings of my own.

soy swan

These two birds are my favorites so far. Soy has a much faster drying time than most oil or rubber based inks for some reason. And what is cool and sort of unique is the way it dries when layered on the paper thick. It takes a sort of brainy texture giving the ink pile depth, almost sculptural.

Just a side note, the cardboard pieces are the packaging from the letterpress plate shipment. Making art from trash….my favorite thing!

Raised to Reuse

I am a real conservative when it comes to printing. Not conservative in a political or religious way… but in an environmental way.ziplock drying rack In my family we reused as much as possible. This is a photo of my cousin JC’s drying rack. He washes and reuses the ziplock bags multiple times (I love how he hangs them to dry) (the photos a little blurry). I try to reuse as much as possible. At work and at home. 

This week I got to reuse in the best way.

A client had sent out 150 save the dates. They were 100% tree free or recylced based on what we could get paper-wise because she has a big commitment to conservation as well.  Of those sent, she had the wrong addresses for 6 people, so the save the dates came back to her. Instead of resending out new save the dates, requiring me to make up some more from scratch, she brought the returned ones back to me and I printed new envelopes and reused those perfectly good save the dates. 

Now, I know that this form of reusing seems fairly simple and obvious. But I have been working at this career for 5 years now, and I can only remember a couple of other times when I did this. Sometimes reusing returns is necessary because we run out of whatever it is that is being sent (same as this case). But running out is actually directly related to being a conservative printer. I can’t stand wasting paper so I don’t usually print many over what is ordered.

And this client’s decision to bring the save the dates back so I could reuse them, well, that’s a testament to her commitment. 

For the record, when I do have extras, I try to reuse those as make-ready for letterpress or for the big scrap bin for making valentines, birthday cards or other crafty things. Here’s a photo from a mess in my apartment floor from the “sometimes annual pre-valentine’s day ice cream social” that I have so my friends can make art with the year’s printing leftovers.valentine making mess

Can you tell I was the president of the energy club in high school?? I also represented the energy club in the beauty pageant when I was 14. I am not posting that picture, though. No Way!

I will tell you that it was a really big pink puffy dress…. Someone should reuse that thing for a big tablecloth and matching napkins.

Vintage Stamps have Vintage Glue

stamps and envelopes and handsToday I had a project which called for vintage postage for the envelopes. It’s my favorite time of the design process. 

I get all stamp happy and pick out bunches to choose from and agonize over which ones are best suited in color, shape, value and theme. It’s a puzzle and I get to solve it. 

I design these stamp configurations with love, not logic, and then when it comes time to actually assemble them… Well, that’s when it gets interesting. Or when I get anxious. 

Everyone thinks that the final assembly of an invitation, the “stuff stamp and seal” is really fast and just the final bit of getting out the mail. But I am here to tell you today, friends, that one needs to allow a good amount of time for this process. Even if there is one stamp…. and especially if there are 10

 

bunches of stamps10 NON self-adhesive vintage stamps with vintage glue. That’s what today’s assignment was. Fortunately I have a crazy friend, Joanna, who LOVES sticking stamps. We had our mock-up and set out to stamp 130 envelopes – that’s 1300 individual stamps, if you want me to do the math for you. Together, it took us about 3 1/2 hours (so it would have been an entire day if it were just me and that doesn’t even include the sealing phase). She is typically employed as an illustrator/conceptual artist on feature films and I can’t afford that kind of help… but fortunately, she works for me in exchange for food… and then bought her own lunch! That’s how much she LOVES applying postage!

joanna with the finished product

joanna with the finished product

It is actually quite zen when you get into it. And only once in awhile did we go crazy and stick the same stamp on twice. and sometimes your fingers get coated in vintage glue. And then you are smiling cause you were smart enough to not lick the stamps. Do you know when they made 3 cent stamps? Well, they made them for a bunch of years, but it was awhile ago… and they don’t taste good.

Anyways… here are some photos. And no, I am not telling you where I get them. That’s my little secret……