Category : Way Cool Stuff

Vermont Fall Open Studio Weekend – Montpelier/Calais Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo

Vermont’s Fall Open Studio Weekend is this weekend (October 6 & 7)! If you’re planning on visiting my studio (and you totally should), you can visit other great artists within a 20-ish minute drive of here.

There are 8 studios in the Montpelier/Calais area. Artists are offering exhibits and demonstrations of furniture, hooked wool rugs, sculpture, painting, photography, banners, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide. There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

I created the map below to help you plan your travels (here’s the printable version). Because the studios are so close to each other, you can visit quite a few of them within a short period of time.

Have fun (and come here)!

Make that map bigger!

I am @thisisvt

@THISISVT Twitter page

My life has become very strange, very quickly.

Last week, I heard about the Vermont Department of Tourism‘s new marketing campaign. Following Sweden’s example, Vermont will have a different Vermonter at the helm of its Twitter handle @ThisisVT each week.

They hope to show the State’s flavor through the eyes of those who live there. You can read more about it in this VPR article.

So I had one of my “I wanna do that” moments and filled out the nomination form.

I got a call the next day. They wanted me to do it.

What else was I going to do but say yes?

Next thing I knew, my name was in the New York Times and I was on a local news program. I didn’t anticipate how big this story could be. It’s overwhelming.

I just survived my first day. I can’t say it was smooth sailing, but it was lots of fun – people in Vermont are nice! Some of my tweets made it on to today’s broadcast of The :30. Check out the show (and my embarrassing tweet) below.

Why couldn’t they have shared my tweet about my dog barfing instead?

Epilogue: The Future of Print

Logo for documentary "Epilogue: The Future of Print"I was delighted to come across a documentary by Hannah Ryu – Epilogue: The Future of Print. I’m convinced that my discovery of this film was a result of having read Requiem for a Book by Llewellyn King (read my reaction to the article).

The film makes a strong case for how print and the book will not become extinct, as has often been predicted.


Hannah’s words:

This documentary is a humble exploration of the world of print, as it scratches the surface of its future. I consider this a work in progress. It is built upon interviews with individuals who are active in the Toronto print community and questions whether or not they expect to see the disappearance of the physical book within our lifetime. The act of reading a “tangible tome” has evolved, devolved, and changed many times over, especially in recent years. I hope for the film to stir thought and elicit discussion about the immersive reading experience and the lost craft of the book arts, from the people who are still passionate about reading on paper as well as those who are not.

While watching the film, I could smell the scent of paper and ink in the air – now all I want to do is run downtown and go book shopping.

It really is a beautiful film and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Letterpress orientation at Darmouth College

Tonight I attended the second of two letterpress orientation sessions at Dartmouth College – they have an amazing letterpress studio. I was really lucky when someone gave up their spot at the last minute and I was able to snag it!

Folder from Dartmouth letterpress workshop

Once you take the orientation, you’re able to attend the open studio sessions (if you can get in). The open sessions allow you to work on your own projects using the studio’s type, ink, and paper (for limited runs).

Letterpress type

I loved digging into the type. We were given a map of how the alphabet was laid out in the tray and it took me a while to remember the location of some of the more common letters.

Letterpress type

We had to bring a poem to use for our first layout and much to my dismay, I was the slowest person in the class. I’m not big on poetry, so I picked the first poem I could think of, i carry your heart with me by E. E. Cummings. I love this poem, but it took a long time to set the type for it.

My poem ready for letterpress printing

Had I thought it through some more, I probably would have picked something shorter – probably something by Shel Silverstein or Dr. Suess.

Letterpress type in the press

It was so satisfying to pull that first print out of the press!

Pulling printed page out of the letterpress

Completed letterpress-printed poem

I loved the process. I wanted to learn letterpress for so long and now (more or less) I know how to do it! Being me, I immediately started researching the cost of letterpress equipment.

Not that I have anywhere to put it.

Not that that’s stopping me. 🙂

Worktable Wednesday

A whole lot of nothing happened in the studio today – I am sickety sick sick! When we go for walks, I keep telling Wiggum that mommy is sick and can he please pee and/or poop faster, but it doesn’t seem to be having any effect.

I hope I’m well enough to get my Improv book done this week. I’m starting to get nervous.

I do have something to share today – Sarah-Lee Terrat of YeloDog Design gave me this gorgeous Underwood typewriter!

Underwood typewriter

Holy crap! Am I right? The thing is a beauty.

I am beside myself over Sarah-Lee’s generosity and I’m on standby in the event that she wishes to take it back (and she should). I really suck at accepting gifts from people.

I have wanted a typewriter so I can type labels for my three library card catalogs. It seems only right to not use technology on this job. In fact, I’m loving the idea of making artists’ books with typed pages. Now I just need to buy a ribbon…

Artisans Hand annual winter sale

The holiday season may be long gone, but it’s never the wrong time to get in some shopping!

Starting today, Friday, January 20th and lasting through January 29th is Artisans Hand Craft Gallery‘s annual winter sale. The gallery exclusively features work created by Vermont artisans. The sale offers items from 10% – 20% off, with each artist setting their own discount.

All of my work in the gallery will be offered at 20% off during the sale.

In addition, artists have brought in their seconds, experiments, and discontinued pieces and are offering them at discount prices during the sale. When you look at the seconds, you really can’t even see any defects (they’re more like birthmarks). This is your chance to get fabulous work at even more fabulous prices.

I’ll be heading there tomorrow…maybe I’ll see you there!

Artisans Hand Craft Gallery
89 Main Street, City Center
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 229-9492

Help me get to the gallery

The Paper Place and their 2nd annual rocking giveaway

Big fat paperHere we go again…let the paper dreams begin.

Mine mine mine please.

The generous folks at The Paper Place are giving away (for the second year) a super fat sample pack, which includes an 8.5″ x 11” sheet of every Chiyogami paper they carry – over 700 patterns!

Enter the giveaway here.

If you’ve never worked with Chiyogami paper (a.k.a. Yuzen) before, it’s just fabulous. I’ve often referred to the stuff as the butter of paper – it just behaves so well.

Compliant paper makes me happy…it’s so dreamy!

The Paper Place is located in Toronto, Canada…luckily within driving distance for me. In addition to their fabulous Chiyogami selection, they also offer workshops, art & papercrafting supplies, and gift items. You can even shop online if you can’t tolerate a trip out of the country. Just to tease you, they now carry Divine Twine.

So if I haven’t been successful in enticing you to enter this giveaway, all I can do is leave you with the following image:

Pile of Chiyogami paper

If that doesn’t motivate you, then are made of some seriously strong stuff.

Worktable Wednesday Giveaway!

Welcome to Elissa’s shamefully backdated Worktable Wednesday!

So craft show season turned into a bit of an organizational smackdown and I lost. As a result, I’ve been blog-neglectful. The timing couldn’t have been worse, because last week marked the one-year anniversary of Worktable Wednesday. I wish I had been more on top of things!

I have decided to mark the occasion by hosting a giveaway, one which showcases one of my other hobbies.

I like to get free stuff.

I use a combination of sales, coupons, rebates, cash back, etc. to get goodies for free – and sometimes I get paid to buy stuff. I have a very modest stockpile, one that is affectionately known as the “Campbell Commissary”.

This giveaway is going to focus on the “work” in “worktable”. Even if you’re not an artist, you still have a worktable of some kind – a desk, dining room table, or kitchen counter. Since I’ve had lots of luck in acquiring freebie office supplies, that’s what’s going into this box o’ fun.

A whole bunch of office supplies

So here’s what you get:

There are several ways to enter – feel free to do as many as you like:

  1. Leave a comment below = 1 entry
  2. If your comment lets me know about which of my handmade books on Etsy is your favorite = 1 additional entry
  3. Add my shop to your favorites on Etsy = 1 entry
  4. Spread the word about the giveaway via Twitter or Facebook = 3 entries each
  5. Mention it in a blog post = 5 entries
  6. Become a fan of Blue Roof Designs on Facebook = 1 entry
  7. Follow me on Twitter = 1 entry
  8. Add me to your circle on Google+ = 1 entry
  9. Send me a picture of you with one of the books you bought from me (send via Email) = 10 entries
  10. And the biggie – if you’ve purchased work from me and feel moved to write a testimonial (send via Email) = 50 entries

If you choose any of options 3-8, let me know by adding a comment below. It’s tough for me to keep track of those things without a head’s up.

The contest will run from December 6th – December 16th, 2011. I’ll announce the winner on December 19th.

Good luck to everyone!


Craft Vermont 2011

Craft Vermont 2011 logoThis weekend marks the 59th annual Craft Vermont, a craft show hosted by Vermont Hand Crafters (a.k.a. VHC).

This will be my 8th year doing the show! I started thinking about annual wedding gifts, since this is an anniversary of sorts. Here’s what I found:

Modern: Lace/linen
Traditional: Bronze/pottery

So what does this mean? Maybe I’ll get something for myself at the show to commemorate my 8 years…as if I need an excuse to buy something handmade. 🙂

You should definitely come to the show and stop by to check out my new work – I’m in booth #34 in the Emerald Room. The VHC website has an exhibitor list you can check out to help you better plan your shopping. And you can save $1.00 on admission to the show by downloading a coupon.

I set up an event for the show on Facebook and I’d love to know if you’re coming. And while you’re at it, let your friends know that there’s some great shopping waiting for them this weekend!

Here’s the scoop on the when:

Friday November 18, 2011: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday November 19, 2011: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday November 21, 2011: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

And here’s a map to help you get there:

Make that map bigger!

I hope to see you there!

Artisans Hand annual sale

ahgoudylogomid2It’s that time of year again!

Starting on Friday, November 4th and lasting through November 6th is Artisans Hand Craft Gallery‘s 33rd annual birthday sale.

Everything in the gallery will be 20% off during the sale.

This is a great time to get a jump on your holiday shopping – the prices on my work at the gallery will be lower than at any of my shows this season. If you’ve seen something on my website and they don’t have it at the gallery, let them know and they can put in a special order for you.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, once upon a time, Artisans Hand took a chance on a curly-haired bookbinder and became the very first gallery to sell her handmade books. The gallery is nestled in a very warm place in my heart. I love that the gallery is located in Montpelier, VT, where I live and work. The staff has always been very good to me and I feel like I’m at home whenever I visit there.

In addition, the State of Vermont has designated the gallery as a Vermont State Craft Center. This honor is given by the state to craft galleries and education centers that meet a strict set of standards for quality and diversity of crafts.When you buy work at Artisans Hand, you are selecting from work that’s among the best the state has to offer.

Be sure to stop by the gallery and pick up something made lovingly by hand.

Support Vermont artists!

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