Here at Mink, we are thrilled about the SCOTUS decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. We have always been delighted to work with our LGBTQ clients and same-sex couples, so nothing around here is changing as a result of the decision. The only difference is there will be more weddings (and more wedding invitations) which is great for our country and great for Mink as well. Until the day that it is clear and assumed that all companies are supportive and affirming of all people, we thought we would shout from the rooftops that we are invigorated by this victory. Love wins!
Mink Letterpress is honored to be included in the new Ladies of Letterpress book. It is big, beautiful, and each artist featured has a page of samples and a bio as well as a full page poster that can be torn out and framed. It is available for preorder – use the links below! Thank you to Jessica White and Kysenia Thomas for all of their wonderful work on this book, and on the Ladies of Letterpress organization as a whole.
It took me about 5 tries to log in to create this post, which I know means my blog has joined the thousands of others in Blog Heaven. Well, it’s calendar season, so I’ll resuscitate it temporarily to share preorder and giveaway opportunities for this year’s beauty, and then, inevitably, leave it neglected for another long year. Sorry blog… I’ve got a new man and his name is Instagram.
Professional pictures of the entire calendar will come when they are all finished, but for now here is a bad cell phone shot that will hopefully quench your thirst in the meantime. They’re going to be really pretty, promise! I’m terribly late getting these finished, as always, but they will be done in plenty of time for holiday gift giving.
Here’s the etsy link for preordering the calendar. Preordering really helps me a lot, and it helps you too! Free shipping!
BUT WAIT! There’s a GIVEAWAY OPTION!!! The first 10 people who share this preorder link on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (choose at least 2 of the 4) get a free 2015 quilt calendar (shipping included – $35 value). Be sure to include @mink_letterpress for Instagram and @minkletterpress for twitter as well as #minkletterpress #quilt #calendar #letterpress #giveaway along with this listing link in your posts. The first 10 people to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) the links to their posts along with their mailing address will get a free calendar when it is ready to ship (will be shipping in time to give as Hanukkah and Christmas gifts).
So it’s been a thousand years since my last blog post… but Mink is still cooking! Between work, raising a toddler, renovating our house, studios and office, blogging time is a little hard to come by these days. BUT wanted to give a little update on Mink HQ! Here’s the office, and will post about the studio soon(ish). This space will be used for designing, drawing, packaging and admin stuff.
Before: Alex shoveling out the previous owner’s junk, rat nests, dead birds, etc.
After: Still needs a few touches, like scraping off the excess paint from the windows, pulling down a few extra boards from the ceiling, decorating, etc. but it’s feeling a lot homier!
Claire Bailey started working with me in the studio this spring, and since then has become a great printer and friend. As someone who normally works alone and lacks regular adult human interaction, it’s so nice to have a funny, smart chick to hang out with in the studio from time to time. We were brainstorming over the summer about ideas for a calendar – and Claire thought of the idea of having one plate run through the entire year, with a new color added every month. I was instantly in love with the idea. I was super intimidated, however, of having a 12 color print at the end of the year. So, I designed this branch that slowly bloomed – it’s height in July – then withered back down to the bare branch. There are a few of the summer months with 6 and 7 colors, which felt like plenty. It also felt like it made sense – carrying us through the natural progression of the plant at roughly the right time in the year.
I studied painting in college and love it when I feel I can bring a painter’s sensibility to my print work. Normally, I’m focused on crisp lines and uniform planes of color. But for this project, I wanted to capture the ethereal nature of the branch and blooms with all of their subtle variations. I wanted it to feel like a series of watercolor paintings. When I print, I normally let the ink fully distribute on the ink disk and rollers before starting. For many of these prints, especially for the floral parts, I kept the ink disk from rotating so that the rollers would pick up patches of ink instead. When it inks the plate, there is a lot of gradation from color to color. The results are delicate, organic and down right gorgeous, in my ever so humble opinion.
Another thing I love about this calendar is that it embraces and showcases the printing process. Many people don’t know that with this type of printing, each color is run through the press separately. So, for the months with 7 colors, that single sheet of paper is hand fed into the press 7 times. Meaning Claire and I fed the cards through the press about 9000 times to yield 200 calendars. Despite being incredibly labor intensive, it was a whole lot of fun for a print nerd like me.
I hope you like them. I hope you want to gift them to your friends, family and yourself. I hope you embark on a year long journey with this branch as it comes into it’s own, like all of us do, blossoming and flourishing and then, inevitably, withering away. I hope it brings some beauty to your desk or your wall, and that it accompanies you through a wonderful and nourishing 2014.
They are available in my etsy shop, with free shipping until Saturday. Thanks for checking them out!
It’s almost their 1 year anniversary, so I figured it was time to finally post my friends Sarah and Bryan’s wedding invitations. They had an INCREDIBLE weekend mountain retreat, complete with camping, lawn games, lots of beers on tap, and incredible food. The setting was just perfect and made for a unique, highly personal event.
I was honored to make their wedding invitations, which were inspired by the event they had in mind. The cover depicts wheat and hops and the inside pages detail information about their events. Sarah and Bryan used the front inside page with their initials to write a personal message to each guest. Thanks Sarah and Bryan! It was so much fun to partner with you on this, and even more fun to attend your wedding!
It is with a bit of a heavy heart that I announce that I will be leaving my studio and starting fresh at a new home. For those that have followed my story, you know the excitement and anticipation that came with the decision to leave my job, build a studio at home and devote my working life to design and printing. You know the satisfaction I felt when the building process was underway, and the overwhelming feeling of having a dream come true when I began working in my studio full time. While my life as a working artist has really only just begun, I’m saying goodbye to this studio – which housed so many of my ideas, printing triumphs and failures, and dreams about what Mink Letterpress would someday become.
But fear not. Though I don’t make it’s presence well known in social media outlets anymore, Mink Letterpress is alive and well. I’ve come out of my first year of parenthood maintaining work and a steady flow of business. Now that the fog of Asher’s infancy is beginning to lift, my next goal is to grow.
My little family and I are moving a bit outside of town, to a beautiful piece of property with much more room for babies wearing only cowboy boots to run around. I see lots of tree houses, bond fires, fruit picking and bug bites in our future. While my current studio was my work-dream, this place is my life-dream. When choosing between the two, I go life-dream pretty much every time.
I will have a studio there – a garage space beneath a living area that Alex will undoubtedly help to make beautiful and functional. I anticipate some pretty dramatic before and after pictures, given the state that it’s in now. Because the space is a little smaller, my desk with my computer, design area, drafting table, etc. will be in a precious little “potting shed” outbuilding just by the print shop. Pictured below. Alex will also have a workshop there for woodworking, pottery and man stuff. He will finally have all of his tools, his wheel and kiln, his foosball table and his velour Kenny Rogers portrait all in one place. I’m super excited for him.
So goodbye studio – you’ve served me so well and I know you will become a wonderful studio/office/apartment/tai-chi room for your next owner. Thank you for giving me something to dream about while I withered behind a desk at a law firm, somewhere to house all of my beloved printing equipment and something to model a future workspace after. You will be missed.
While it’s always an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid, asking in writing will provide your bridal party with a special keepsake. This wasn’t really a thing when I got married and I never thought to do it! But I have been asked to be a bridesmaid in writing a couple of times since, and it’s just such a nice touch. I love that brides are doing this now. These “will you be my bridesmaid?” and “will you be my maid of honor?” notecards are available in the etsy shop, along with coordinating thank you notes.
Being that I’m on an apparent blog strike, I haven’t shared a number of things. We have a lot of catching up to do, you and I. For now though, on my anniversary with my baby boy aka his first birthday, I thought I’d share one of the many things I haven’t shown on here – his birth announcements. Now that he’s a year old, I think I have to stop using having a “newborn” as an excuse to not do things, like blogging. Please check back soon(ish) for more pictures of invitations and updates about the goings on in the studio.
I became a whole different person when I met him. I’m super emotional about him turning one – sad that my itty bitty baby is gone but so happy and proud of the little boy he’s becoming. I could go on and on (literally, I just wrote a 6 page letter to Asher about his first year) but for now I’ll just say that’s it’s been a heck of a year and I love him very much.
And my boy over the last year….
Thanks for indulging me.
2012 was a BIG year. There were some huge, earth-shattering moments. It was the Year of the Dragon, after all.
It was also a small year, because it feels like it lasted about 5 minutes. The first 6 months were spent furiously working in the studio and preparing for Asher’s arrival, with an ever growing watermelon under my shirt. The last 6 months were spent navigating the world of parenting, squeezing printing into any nook and cranny of the week, and taking 10,000 pictures of Asher a day – all with little more sleep than needed to live. So we floated through in a dream-like state, and blinked – and now we’re saying hello to 2013. Hello 2013! (Ok, so we said hello to 2013 a month ago…I’m a little slow in the “getting stuff done” department these days).
I’ll update you on the events I was looking forward to this time last year, and tell you about about some things I’m looking forward to now (though it’s hard to think a few hours in advance these days!):
1. Something that I didn’t know I was looking forward to at the beginning of 2011, but by the time it happened I realized I had been looking forward to it my whole life. Alex and I found out in early October that we are having a baby, due in late May, 2012. I’m just starting to feel the baby’s little kicks, and am fascinated and amazed everyday that there is a human life growing inside of me. I’m so glad that my studio will be fully set up at home, and that I’ll be able to work and be at home with the baby. This baby definitely tops the list of things I look forward to in 2012.
– Asher not only tops my list for 2012, I have a feeling he’s going to rank #1 for all my years to come.
2. having a busy spring filled with letterpress and design. Weddings, weddings, more weddings!
– Phew! That was a busy spring indeed. I got to work with a lot of really wonderful people and have some pretty invitations to show for it all (some of which I still need to photograph!). With all of the work and all of the extra weight I was carrying around, treadle operating my press was extremely exhausting and was causing some really serious foot pain. So we decided to motorize my C&P – which has been huge in terms of increasing productivity.
Since I didn’t know when the baby would arrive, all spring I felt I had a little ticking time bomb inside of me, and was terrified I’d be in the middle of a job and go into labor. I scheduled to finish everything 2 weeks before my due date, and fortunately was able to keep to that. Little did I know it would be a month still before I had my baby, but at least I didn’t get into a situation where I didn’t get someone their invitations.
3. Melanie and Scott’s wedding. Will be posting their save the dates and invitations!
It was beautiful! On the most mild, gorgeous day in June, my BFF married her wonderful love. I was terrified I might not be there (I was 3 days overdue with Asher) but he ended up holding off another 9 days… So I waddled down the aisle in my bridesmaids dress (fortunately she was a super chill bride and let us all pick our own dress and shoes) and got to see the whole thing in person as opposed to skype or later on video. I love these two so much and am so happy that Melanie and Scott have each other for life.
The beautiful couple. Also Asher’s godparents!
My BFFs – Melanie and Andrea. I get tired just looking at myself that pregnant.
4. a year full of firsts – first baby experiencing everything for the first time, watching my parents become grandparents for the first time, first full year being self-employed…
It’s amazing getting to experience all of Asher’s firsts along with him. He learns so much every day. I’m desperately clinging to this time with him that is slipping away all too fast. On his first day, my heart grew so much that it constantly feels like it’s going to burst.
Asher’s first day
Asher’s first party – his 0th birthday
First time sitting on Santa’s lap.
Asher’s first Christmas
In addition to Alex’s folks who were already incredible grandparents, Asher has made grandparents out of my mom and dad. It’s so nice to have them close (I couldn’t make it without them…like really…). Asher seems to have awoken something in them that they haven’t felt since my brothers and I were babies, or perhaps something that they’ve never felt before at all. My mom comes over most afternoons to watch Asher while I work. I can’t begin to express how thankful I am for all of her help and how incredible she is with this boy. He squeals with delight every time he sees her, and I think that says it all. I’m so thankful that Asher, like me, will grow up with the benefit of having been raised in part by my parents.
Asher’s first arrowhead hunting trip with his Boo.
Brand new baby boy with his MayMay.
My first full year of being self-employed was awesome! Admittedly, I thought that I would take a 3 month maternity leave then magically go back to work full time without giving up staying home with Asher. I’m not sure how I thought this was going to work – maybe I thought he’d take a few 3 hour naps consistently each day, or maybe I thought he’d play quietly and independently in my studio while I worked. Anyone who has kids knows that this is ridiculous. For now though, with a lot of help, we’re making it work. Although things are busy all the time, I’m so grateful I get to do what I love and get to raise Asher at home.
5. Moving into my new studio – photos and updates to come!
Dude, this place is the bomb.
6. Finding a second press?? I’ve been lusting over some Golding Jobbers that I’ve seen listed lately….
7. Finding out if we’re having a boy or girl – we’ll know in a week and a half!
Oh boy, I’m so happy to have a baby boy! No offense to baby girls, but boys rule. He’s the coolest dude ever.
Toasting our baby boy with blue champagne/sparkling cider.
8. Babymooning, and vacations with family and the new baby.
Fun fun fun!
Babymooning at Fripp Island and Savannah, GA.
Fripp Island with the Minkin clan.
Floyd, VA with family (my dad is taking the pic).
9. Spending another year with my wonderful husband. I can’t wait to see him step into his new role as a father – I know he’ll rock it.
I was in love before, but having a baby with Alex has taken our love to a whole new level. He’s so amazing and I’m so glad he’s mine.
Alex has always been a huge help around the studio – from cutting paper to running quotes to, well, building the studio itself with his bare hands. This past year though he started doing some printing – and made his first card. He designed, printed, scored and packaged it himself!
10. Launching my new website, which is in the process of being designed by Brendan English.
Here you are. What do you think? I think he did an amazing job!
11. Surviving the apocalypse.
Wow – we’re all still here!
12. Thriving in post-apocalyptic Asheville.
Sorry that was all about my baby. Thirteen things I look forward to in 2013:
1. Sleeping. We’re starting to get more sleep consistently, and I will never take 4 hours of continuous sleep for granted again.
2. Asher crawling, walking and talking. What???
3. Printing for work and for fun.
4. Hearing my brother Alex’s tales and seeing his pictures from China. He just moved there indefinitely to teach English in Xiamen. While this is also one of the things I’m least excited about in 2013 (I’ll miss him so much!), I’m very happy for him that he’s going on this adventure. I’m confounded by his bravery and think that this will transform and enlighten him in so many ways. Thank goodness for Skype!
5. Trip to the west coast to see the redwoods and San Francisco.
6. Alex’s 30th birthday.
7. Asher’s 1st birthday.
8. Seeing more of my brother Erik’s work on TV. He’s working for a company called Bento Box, and the show Out There that he’s currently working on is about to start airing. Can’t wait to tune in!
9. Celebrating Erik’s engagement to his lady, Emily. He just popped the question a week ago, and we couldn’t be happier for them!
10. Tye and Tim’s wedding. Tye is another super chill bride and I’m so happy I’ll be standing up beside them on their big day! Pictures of their save the dates and invitations to come.