Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stamping

I substituted yesterday's trip to Camberwell for stamping books! I have 3000 books to stamp by hand. Lucky for me I have a super "istamp80" which is filled with ink and is capable of thousands of impressions. The whole process would be lots slower if I had to re-ink on an ink pad before each impression. I was a bit concerned that by hand stamping each book myself, there would be plenty of room for mistakes. So far I have stamped my way through about 1000 books and only stamped one book upside down! Not bad at all! I am actually really enjoying stamping each book, I have found a nice rhythm . So this is what I have been doing....

(with the help of my furry side kick of course)










Bags made from corn! Yum Yum


This is a post to share a great thing I found! I have been itching to include greeting cards in the Ask Alice range since the beginning but haven't done so until now because of the grim packaging options out there. Greeting cards are usually sold in a polypropylene clear sleeve or a cello sleeve. These two materials are not great materials for our planets eco system. Cello bags do break down over time (lots of time) but the process used to make a cello bag requires nasty chemicals. I found several alternatives that were biodegradable and tick all the eco boxes but they look pretty crud... they are smoky and crease easily. Fortunately, I did find an excellent option that does exactly what I want it to do... It is crystal clear, it doesn't mark or crease easily, it is biodegradable and the process used to create it is totally A-OK environmentally. The bags are so good that they are even made from my favourite food - corn!! If I had to choose one plant to take on board the Ark before the big storm, I would totally take corn. It does so much good for us! So anyway, if you make greeting cards, or notebooks, or art prints or photos or anything that you currently package in clear bags, the chances are those bags are Polypropylene. My recommendation is corn bags! They are not really called corn bags, the material is called PLA and you can buy all kinds of bags made from PLA here:

http://www.clearbags.com/bags/eco



Think of it this way - How long will your product be around for? 50 years perhaps? Doesn't it seem crazy to package it in something that will remain on the planet infinitely? Here, maybe a cute video will convince you....



I fisrt saw that wonderful video on the wonderful meetmeatmikes.blogspot.com

Saturday, August 21, 2010

6 days late!!

Last week, not only did I go to Camberwell, but I had a stall of my own! I was selling old clothes with one of my sisters. It rained all morning, so it wasn't really the best Sunday to have a stall, but we still managed to sell all our junk. I tried not to visit other stalls because the aim of the game was to make money, not spend it. Instead of spending it, I did a trade. Some t-shirts for these awesome little needlepoint matryoshkas. I particularly love their little feet! Perhaps hand made by someone's grandma once upon a time?...






I'm Back!


Wow! Talk about being snowed under! The past 3 weeks I have been buried under an avalanche of work! It has been such a full on month. Week 1 of my 3 week stint was dedicated to "tradefair preparation". I was running around like a busy rabbit picking up things, delivering things, printing things, making things, eating things.... The trade fair all came together wonderfully though and we had such a fantastic reaction. We exhibited at the Reeds Gift Fair and released all the new Ask Alice products. The trade fair went so well, that now I am even more snowed under with work than I was before the fair! Here are some pictures from the fair...










Monday, August 2, 2010

Factory Field Trip


Today at 8am I drove to Mt. Waverley to sign off some samples for the new release of Ask Alice. Eeep... it's just a few days 'til the release and I am still signing off test prints?! It's not as bad as it sounds. 4 of my 5 new releases are on the shelf ready to go, but these little fellas - the hard back books... they took some extra time. My fabric and foiling came all the way from Europe. The fabric arrived with no problem, but because this is a bit of a tricky job, I require a special foil that also comes from Europe. It comes in 2 colours, black or white. I need black, by crikey... the sent white. An express parcel arrived on Friday afternoon with the right foiling, so the ship is sailing smooth again. I really enjoy my factory visits. I deal with small manufacturers who are always nice enough to give me a tour... I love factory tours! I have so many questions about the machinery. Strangely enough, I think if I wasn't designing stationery, I might be working in a factory making it. I love all the different machinery, especially the old clunky machines. Today was my first trip to a foiling factory. Usually I use a printer, so I have had no need for a foiling factory. The books I am having foiled are covered with a nice textured linen, so this time I need foiling. The foiling machine is rad! Super fast and precise. All the covers are now foiled and have crossed over to the other side of Ferntree gully road where they will now have pages put in them. I can't wait to see them!!

Sunday's Finds...


I got soaked to the skin on Sunday, braving the storms to find some trash. When it's raining there is less shoppers at Camberwell, but also less stalls. I quite enjoy it in the rain, I've always loved being in the rain. My little doggy doesn't feel the same though, so I had to did it solo. Here is the glorious crap that I filled my car with this week...

An old school desk for $15, a great lightbox for free (if it works ok I owe the stall holder $10 next Sunday) and a bag of clothes for $10. Who ever said Camberwell Markets are dead?