March 17, 2014

Kiss Me I'm Irish

Ahhh... St. Patrick's Day is upon us. A day where everyone is Irish, the elusive shamrock is everywhere, and the Guinness flows like wine. Like our beloved St. Valentine, the real St. Patrick spent many years in captivity and survived awful conditions. The lore that follows is an amusing leap and here we are. All kissing aside, it has me thinking of bookbindings, and celtic type.

Here is a page from the very famous Book of Kells:


The Book of Kells is a group of illuminated manuscripts. Created by Celtic Monks in (a very debatable) 800 AD., it is a true masterpiece and is considered the pinnacle of Insular Style.

The manuscript was hand-written primarily in an insular script, which greatly influenced modern Gaelic scripts and typography. It has been noted that since the scribes were writing primarily from memory, there are a few instances between the text and the accepted Gospels. Aesthetics definitely took priority over utility or fact.

Here is a close-up of a decorated initial:

To say this is a lavish work of art is an understatement. If you ever find yourself in Dublin, please make way to Trinity College to see this amazing feat for your own eyes. There is so much information about it on the web, as well. It's worth a few hours if you have the slightest interest in art, history, and design. Erin Go Bragh!

December 5, 2013

Baby It's Cold...

I know "weather talk" is about as boring as it gets, but for us Cream Puffs in the Bay Area, it is COLD out this morning! But alas, it's the perfect segue to talk about an upcoming Art Show that is happening next Friday:

As an irregular writer, if you have found me here chances are you've found me on Instagram (click). This is definitely my favorite outlet for social networking—it's a platform for people to take and share pictures of things that interest them, work they're doing, or really—just about anything. You can follow people (much like twitter) and with time, one might gather a group of really inspiring strangers.

Such is the case with fellow letterpress printer and sign painter Colt Bowden (click). I have been admiring his Colstagram for awhile, and have been wanting to purchase his 'zine, "How to Paint Signs and Influence People" (click). I first learned about him and his work through a fellow student at a sign painting class I took this Fall at New Bohemia Signs. Find him, follow him, adore him. He seems like such a nice guy.

Also curated by sign painter Ken Davis (click)—he is clearly a very talented guy to boot. I met Ken briefly at pal Nat's Bloom Screen Printing Shop, and I have been a fan ever since.

Lastly, The Pre-Vinylite Society (click) is a feast for the eyes and a great way to soothe your over-computed soul.

See you at the show! xo Victoria

December 2, 2013

Season's Greens

Like many of you, I cannot believe that December is here already. But alas, we are here and it's already that time of the year to start giving thanks for all that we have and all that we have been fortunate enough to do. I personally love to take stock of where I've been and where I'd like to be going (artistically-, spiritually-, and physically-speaking), and am going to enjoy the last month of the year to figure all of this out.
In the meantime, here's my version of super-holiday-cheer. Can't live without one of your own? You can find it right here (click). And with me, it's Cyber-Monday all of the time (free shipping).
xo Victoria

November 19, 2013

Falling For Autumn

Hello All!
I hope this finds you all well, and that you're enjoying my very favorite time of the year—Fall!
Having grown up in the Sacramento Valley, the heat wreaked havoc right to my very core. Endless dry, hot (!) Summer days would finally give way to a slight crispness in the air before the leaves started to change color. Ahhh... I could breathe again and this was my cue that Autumn had arrived.
While I was always jealous of you East Coasters's vivid color shows, the effect of cooler days was enough and is still that way for me now.

This Summer came and went. It was a busy time for me at the Press, and it always feels so fleeting. Deadlines come fast and furious and I've moved on to the next project before being able to sit with what I'd just finished. Truly not complaining—but I do like the contemplative space that shorter days/longer nights seem to give me.

One of the things I'm most excited about this Summer, was that I finally took some time to focus on more lettering work. Mine, specifically. If you ever saw my handwriting, you would know why I became a printer: it's terrible. But I really, really love letterforms. I get them and between my work as a bookbinder and designer/printer, I have been staring at them for decades. To give myself the time/space to sit down and try to create them has been amazing. To start it off, I took a class at the Makeshift Society from my dear friend, Maybelle Imasa Stukuls. She is a very accomplished calligrapher who is now pursuing her new adventures as a teacher. It was really great to sit and just write. The scratchy-scratch of the pointed-pen on paper is really one of the greatest things ever.

Another class I finally took was a weekend workshop at the renowned New Bohemia Sign Company. Oh how I love these people. Anyone who knows or follows me knows that I love hand-painted signs. I love the craft and the tradition, and the folks here Do. It. Right! It was such a whirlwind weekend and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have taken this. I'm practicing and have great respect for them for keeping this tradition alive.

This is really the bulk of where I've been. Printing, Sign Painting, a little Calligraphy, and we'll see where it all lands. In my perfect world, I will start combining all of these facets. And more perfectly, people will start seeking me out to do all of these things.

While I'm at the tail-end of my catch-up post, I wanted to post a close-up picture of a collaboration I did with the Fabulous Leigh Wells, and the Incredible Karen Templer. Just look at that tactile-yumminess! Karen runs a business called Fringe Supply Co. If you are a knitting-enthusiast, you must seek her out. With our latest project, she combined Leigh's illustrations with her design, adding my letterpress printing to produce a small edition of really great prints. They are now live and for sale on her website, so please click here. 

Thanks for checking in, and I hope to be back here soon. xo Victoria

June 28, 2013

Milkfed Press Trunk Show at Cypress Tree Studios!

Hello All!
I'm very excited to be a part of the Cypress Tree Studios Open House tomorrow! My friend, the insanely talented Leigh Wells (click) invited me to come and set up shop. As you can guess, I rarely get out these days, so I jumped at the chance. Hanging out all day with artists, music, hot dogs and an adult libation? Are you kidding me?!

I've been printing some fun, very limited edition goods to bring for your shopping pleasure:

Please click right here to get directions, and see the super talented people who will be there! I hope to see your face! xo Victoria