Art Break Wednesday: NEW “Book Nerd” Gift Pack

book nerd gift pack 1 with c

Greetings, Book, Letter, and Art Lovers!  Do you have a special bibliophile in your life?

As a new school year looms, I’ve got books, books, books on the brain.  How much does my family love books?  We are beginning to process of gradually relocating (more on that later), and pretty much the first things my husband has packed are boxes of books.  We need to donate some from our teetering stash, but how to decide?  I’m putting some of my zillions of children’s books aside for our oldest, who will be teaching young readers just two years from now (after she graduates and then completes her masters.)  We’ve already given our youngest some books to take to college, as if he won’t get enough there!

Well, if you know someone who can’t resist the turn of a page, the crisp smell of the latest bestseller or the musty aroma of a time-tested classic, the heft and weight of words in hands – all stitched up in a glorious volume of board, cloth, paper and ink – I’ve come up with a new gift package that might suit.

book nerd notecard angled with cFirst, a package of “Book Nerd” note cards.  I made the original design for these with my little book relief print carving and hand-stamped the words “BoOk NeRD” with vintage metal letterpress type, all on torn paper.  (The notecard reproductions suggest this texture, but are completely flat.)

These come in packs of eight cards, printed on premium cardstock from environmentally sustainable forests with gloss coating on the outside. White envelopes are included. (Packaged in clear, archival 2 ml polypropylene.)

Next is – what else?  A bookmark!  This design was made with the same vintage metal  letterpress type, and features a black relief print border.  It’s printed on premium cardstock from sustainable forests with a gloss coating, finished with a black ribbon and an antique brass-colored cord crimp.  It’s packaged in a cello nerd bookmark with c






Finally, who couldn’t use a fun magnet to keep track of all those reading lists?  A smaller image of the book design and stamped letters, printed on premium cardstock, is cut with a deckle edge and layered on a like-wise deckle-edged piece of copper cardstock.  These are collaged onto a 2″ X 2″ canvas board (painted black) and covered with acrylic gloss.  A strong 3/4″ magnet is secured to the back.

book nerd magnet 1 with c

book nerd gift pack items 2 with c

Each item is sold individually (just click on each picture if interested, and you’ll zoom over to the appropriate listing in my Etsy shop), but I’m offering a little bit of a break and a fun presentation for the whole bundle.  The cards, bookmark, and magnet, each wrapped in its own clear packaging, are placed in a clear cello bag with gold woven tissue. Gold and black raffia tie up the nerdy ensemble. book nerd gift pack 3 with c

Wishing you and yours a happy August.  I’ll be in and out of town, and working like crazy to stock up for the Decatur Book Festival street fair at the end of the month, so I’m declaring myself an honorary European and will take some of the month off re. blogging.  But only a couple of weeks –  I’ll see you back here before the festival!

Art Break Wednesday – Just My (Wooden) Type!


I love vintage wooden printing type.  The chunky solidness of each letter, the way a block feels in your hand, the patina of oh-so-smooth wood, ink long since seeped into its grain… ahhh.

S wooden letterpress blocks

My own collection began with a jackpot.  Rummaging in a local antique store early last year, I found a beautiful old printer’s tray and asked the proprietor if she had any typewriter keys.  No, she replied, but did you see the wooden type?  She took me to the back, back room (where I didn’t confess I’d already done some pretty thorough snooping).  Under a stack of boxes, she unearthed a few black plastic musty dusty trays, encrusted in years of delightful neglect. They were full of large wooden letterpress letters! “How much for all of them?” I asked.

“As you see, no one has touched them for a long time.  How about $20?”

I couldn’t believe my luck.  (And I’ve since discovered that letters like these easily command $5 or more apiece.)

They came home with me and mostly stayed in their trays for months, until not long ago I asked myself why I was keeping them hidden, when I’d love to look at them every day?  So my poetry books got moved from their narrow little bookshelf to a bigger bookshelf (their numbers had outgrown the small shelves anyway), and the vintage wooden shelf got moved into my office/studio, just behind the big old desk where I make most of my artwork. wooden letterpress bookshelf I enjoy the letters every day now, and I have easy access to them for projects.


I always keep an eye out for letterpress type when I’m antiquing.  (I have a good little collection of metal type, too.)  I’ve picked up some treasures, but I’ve also discovered that some letters are extremely hard to come by.  I didn’t have a single C or E, for instance. So I went on an Etsy hunt to splurge on a complete set if I could find one.


I fell into a shop based in India, Vintage Marvels.

Oh, my.  The hand-carved letters are beautiful and have a bit of an exotic flair compared to the standard fonts already gracing my shelves.  wooden letterpress 3With a specific project in mind in which I’ll hand-stamp their impressions (you’ll see soon – promise), I purchased TWO sets.  I just couldn’t decide, and I wanted the two different sizes.  The larger blocks are about two inches tall, and the smaller ones about an inch.

letterpress blocks 5

letterpress blocks 6

Call me obsessed, or a nerd, I don’t mind.  There’s something magical to me about the rich, dark lure of vintage letterpress.  And I’m sure the feel of the blocks harkens back to endless hours of playing with toy blocks that the lucky among us remember.  You could make words, villages, towers… whole worlds out of little wooden blocks.

Now I get to tap into this world of imagination and endless potential as a grown-up, too.

THANKS with watermark crop for blog

These letterpress-inspired cards offer a bold way to say Thank You! The original image was hand-stamped with vintage blocks. Click here for my Etsy shop listing – a pack of 8 cards/envelopes is $7.50 + shipping. :0)

Do you have some treasures that bring you joy tucked away somewhere?  Life is short – make them a part of your daily experience!



Art Break Wednesday: Decatur Book Festival, Here I Come!


BOOKZILLA interpreted by Dan Santat

BOOKZILLA interpreted by Dan Santat

July already!  I hope you and yours are enjoying a happy week celebrating Independence Day.  Today I’m directing you to all the info recently posted about the upcoming Decatur Book Festival – Aug. 30 – Sept. 1 on the beautiful Decatur Square in Atlanta.

I’ve participated in the festival in past years as an author, and even enjoyed a stint on the children’s stage in 2009 (following Jon Scieszka.  Really.)  This year, I’m thrilled that I’ll be one of the vendors among all those cool booths brimming with goodies for book lovers.  I’ll have my “literary art with a vintage vibe:” – mixed media pieces, relief prints and drawings, note cards, book marks, hand-stamped letterpress initials, and more.  I’ll have some books for sale as well. Please come by! (Thanks to Square, I’m happy to take credit card payments as well as cash.)

Fellow art critique group member and amazing artist Leighanne Schneider has participated as a vendor for several years.  I signed up before I knew this, but now I’m looking forward to hanging out with her all weekend, too.

Those dates again for this LARGEST INDEPENDENT BOOK FESTIVAL in the nation?  LABOR DAY WEEKEND – August 30 – Sept. 1, 2013.  See you there!