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I haven’t written because I’ve been swamped with client work (don’t read that as a complaint, either). In addition to all the new work I have, I’m also knee-deep in writing a business plan for our letterpress shop. On top of that, even, I’m trying to clean up my portfolio site as well as combine that blog with this one. Oh, and redesign both sites to make room for all the new changes coming with the new year.

Fun times, right?

So, look out for some changes here (yeah, yeah … changes in activity, too). I’ll be redesigning this blog once I finish up Hello Nifty and put together a site for the letterpress print shop, Stubborn Press & Company, that we’ll be starting in 2012.

Enjoy a little sneak peak of my Hello Nifty update by looking at the logos:

It’s been an interesting year; I can’t believe I’ve been working for myself for almost an entire 12 months now. It hasn’t been easy. Finding a balance between working from home and enjoying my family was probably the most difficult part of it all, considering my husband and toddler and dog are all under the same roof while I’m working. It’s been worth every challenging moment, however—even the financially difficult months (and months and months), which unfortunately were more common than the financially easy ones. I’m glad that we waited until we had some savings before I started this adventure, but I will admit I naively thought getting the business ball rolling would be easier than it turned out to be.

Eleven months of stress and sweat and tears later and I can’t say whether or not I’ve entirely gotten the hang of things. I can say, however, that I look forward to what next year brings after all I’ve learned this year. I look forward to the new adventures of letterpress printing, too …

Oh, did you all know we purchased an old letterpress in August? I’m finishing up our business plan this week in hopes of getting a business loan to rent studio space and finish fixing up the old Chandler and Price New Series 10×15 printing press we rescued from being sold for scrap. It needs new rollers, feed/delivery boards, a foot treadle, and a bit of TLC. Since it’s too big to fit in our little townhouse, we also need some office space. We’re hoping to have everything ready for the new year so we can jump into wedding season with both feet. I hope to offer completely custom wedding stationery, announcements, and business collateral locally and sustainably printed on our C&P, affectionately nick-named the Mule.

Keep an eye out for more on updates on both Hello Nifty and Stubborn Press & Company.

If you’ve got a moment, you can even help me out with the logo design process, since I’m still in the drafting stage. I’m partial to the bottom two (the right is currently my favorite, but I’m really open right now). Check ’em out and please leave a comment:

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random saturday-ness

this week’s we scout wednesday from scoutie girl is about passing on creativity to those who come after us. it’s rather timely, considering my little man is officially seven months old today. it’s been quite the adventure, watching more and more of his personality peek through each day, being blessed to see him become an individual with his own wants and interests, even while still a baby.

he’s already a curious, spirited boy. he’s been curious since day one, always looking, always observing. now that he’s older and more mobile, he wants to touch, to experience. he’s into everything—nothing on he floor is safe from his unhindered investigation. this can be both good and bad. he’s learning new skills, but he also has no concept of danger. he’s fallen off the bed. he’s put electrical cords in his mouth. he’s poked the dog in ways the dog didn’t like to be poked. still, as parents, it’s been our responsibility to keep him safe. to set boundaries. to put things away that might be harmful.

still, even now, we want to encourage his curiosity, to grow it.

Elisha comes from creative stock, if you will—i’m a graphic designer and the hubbs is a musician and producer. the boy has both audio and visual influences in his very genetic code. who knows where it will lead as he grows? he already likes, no loves, music. it makes him dance as much as it lulls him to sleep.

we have a responsibility to leave his path open, to let him choose the direction in life he wants to take as he grows. it will be hard to be unbiased in our education of his artistic sensibilities. what if he wants none of it? we have to be accepting of that, too.

however, creativity isn’t limited to drawing or painting or playing an instrument. creativity is a process—one can be just as much a creative mathematician as they can a creative soccer player or a creative engineer. creativity is a state of mind, a way of living. it’s an appreciation for interacting with the world around us in a unique and special way. a perspective. a part of each of our worldviews that must be cultured and nourished.

i hope we can pass on the understanding that creativity knows no bounds, that no one needs to be pigeon-holed. i hope we can pass on the understanding that failure is okay through sharing our trials, our short-comings, and our solutions. i hope we can pass on the understanding that all good things take time, from the process of sanctification spiritually speaking to the making of a cake to the layout of a successful website to the score of a catchy tune.

my desire for Elisha, as well as his siblings who are hoped for but yet to be, is that he grows up in a home that values quality over quantity, contemplation over consumption, and creativity over conflict.

as a parent, i’m now responsible for how the “next generation” thinks and acts. i’m now part of either the solution to our current issues or part of the problem. it’s both a blessing and a burden, but one that’s made more beautiful by the snuggles and smiles of that future i’m investing in the shape of an adorable little boy.

Sleepy monkey

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tara from scoutiegirl asked her readers for this week’s we scout wednesday why we all choose to DIY. in light of our convenience-based, disposable culture, there are so many reasons why i choose to do things myself and buy handmade where i can. i will admit, i’m not perfect—there are plenty of things in my house that are (for the moment) not handmade and not made by me. however, making changes is a process, and a process i enjoy.

i love to make things. i’ve been drawing since i could hold a crayon. i’ve been building things, putting things together, taking things apart, figuring them out all my life. i love the work. i love learning. i love the result.

01-26 baby mobile

finished mobile

snowed-in sewing weekend

i didn’t always know how to sew. i didn’t always know how to bake. i didn’t always know how to write HTML/CSS. i didn’t always know Photoshop like the back of my hand.

i’m a hands-on person. in general, i tend to approach life hands first, though i’ll admit that doesn’t always go in my favor.

when it comes to doing things myself, from crafting to graphic design, i enjoy the creative process. that’s the challenge, the fun. it keeps me going. that spark of inspiration that turns into a baby mobile, a series of prints, a website, a drawing, a card, or a freshly baked loaf of bread.

02-28 almost done

i make things when i can because i believe i’m called to live a life that’s counter culture. i’m to be in the world, but not of it. i’m to respect the resources i’ve been given—my planet as well as my money, my neighbor as well as myself.

1 corinthians 13 prints

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there are some really great sites devoted to typographic theory on the web as well as in print. some sites address one over the other or both, but all of them are also great places to see examples of well-used typography:

five simple steps to better typography by mark bouillon, whose entire five-step guide is a good read:

type theory is a well-designed site with lots of great type resources:

five simple ways to improve web typography by webdesigner depot, which is an all-around nice resource for web design, not just typography.

12 examples of paragraph technology by jon tan, who always has great links and interesting articles.

i love typography is, obviously, for people like me.

typographic offers reviews of both type and books, interviews designers, and has its own foundry.

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from the day i went into labor with the boy, Elisha has never asked me—will never ask me—if i’m ready. i went into labor before i was even 40 weeks. he wanted his own birthday. he got one.

Elisha is crawling. the pediatrician says he might be an early walker. i don’t know if i’m ready for a walking baby. we’re hardly ready for a crawling one … he’s into everything, from computer cords to dog toys. anything and everything other than his actual playthings. i mean, he’s been looking at those for six months already … why look at them now? if he’s sitting still, he wants to be standing. he can’t pull himself up yet, but he’s working on it. walking early? oh my …

Elisha has two teeth. the bottom ones. and more on the way. he loves food, though he’d rather just shove the spoon in his mouth all by himself. finger foods, well, we’re working on that. i’m the one who’s behind. i’m a little nervous about just handing over little chunks of food, even if i’m darn sure my chewing, gumming, eager boy could handle whatever was put in front of him with a gusto that would put me to shame.

as i said last week, i’m the one who’s not ready. it’s going by so fast. and yet, there are things i think i’m ready for … or at least am ready to prepare for.

i still agonize over what i feel i’m missing, being away from home.

it’s my turn for my own baby steps.

tonight, i ordered a couple of books (this one, this one, and this one, too) that i’ve had on amazon for a while. books that should help me get a hold of the big cloud that’s floating over my head—all my doubts and fears about freelancing, about going it on my own … about working from home. sooner rather than later.

i’ve been thinking a lot about who i am. or who i want to be. or who i wanted to be. or who i’m going to be. i’ve been thinking about my niche. my target audience. those thoughts have consumed me a lot these past few days, though i’m not really sure what the answers will mean for my work or my blogging. i’m here on this blog just to be here, but i do genuinely want my work to speak to someone. i do feel the need to really push myself, to really seek the kind of community i know is out here in blogland. i want to find it, to help build it, to bring what i can to it. to whoever i can.

not just anyone, i suppose. although, i do believe that the Gospel is universal even when what i do is not.

it will mean a few changes, both in my writing and in my creating. i have a lot of stuff up my sleeves, but i just need to figure out how to put it all into action. it’s hard. i’m new to this.

i’m new to a lot of things. motherhood. self-employment stuff. planning. (i suck at planning.)

so, i’m taking baby steps. one step at a time over the next few months, steps that will hopefully be a move in the right direction for our family, for our future, for my husband, for me, and for our baby. i’m really just as excited as i am nervous. ever since graphic design school, i’ve had a dream to work for myself. it’s probably about time i actually get on that, isn’t it?

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