The Loft

Posted by SWEET
/ /
Comments Off on The Loft

Our next big studio project to deal with is the loft. We’ve got a nice raised storage area in the back of the space but it’s a little unsightly – with pipes, a heater and some sort of water tank. And that’s before we add all our junk! Also, there is currently no way to get up there. Um, minor problem. We’ve been borrowing a tall ladder from the florists next door when needed, but this is definitely not a permanent solution.

So, we set 3 plans into motion: 1. Have a simple ladder built 2. Put some solid organization systems in place up there and 3. Find a way to partition it off so we don’t have to look at all that business up there.

We found a great carpenter on CraigsList who whipped up a ship ladder for us in a flash. He was so efficient and reasonably priced that we also decided to have him put in a partition wall to separate my desk from the utility sink/fridge area (a major plus).

Here is the space mid-process. (Pardon the mess!) Once the ladder and wall are painted white, they blend nicely with the rest of the space, maintaining the open, airy feel in the room. You can see I had started getting organized up there at this point – with some clean white dressers from Target and white filing boxes – but it still isn’t looking so great. Plus our shipping supplies (to the left) are re-purposed from inbound deliveries so they are all different shapes and sizes and, therefore, always look a little unruly.

As luck would have it, we ended up having a good bit of white fabric left after having the curtains for the front window made. While those puppies were too big and precise for my limited sewing skills, I felt pretty confident that I could figure out this loft thing. Enter my very neglected sewing machine from my Grandma. After spending WAY too long figuring out how to thread the darn thing, I was in business. I cut seven panels and made pole pockets at the tops and bottoms of each.  I had already gotten wood dowels and S-hooks at Home Depot and had the dowels cut so they would cover the entire width of the room on top but would leave an opening for the ladder on the bottom. The S-hooks up top loop right through the chicken wire that covers the ceiling and the lower dowels just rest on the loft with a couple nails here and there to keep them in place. Now, this was definitely one of the worst sewing jobs in history but because of the way the curtains are pleated and hanging behind an I-beam, it really doesn’t matter.

Feels kinda like a night club, right? Of course, we’ll need to find a new solution when winter hits because our heater is back there (sigh) but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Read More

Look Away From The Light

Posted by SWEET
/ /
Comments Off on Look Away From The Light

One of the major assets to our new studio is the wall of  large west-facing windows. We were ecstatic to get in there and enjoy slow summer sunsets over the Rocky Mountains. What a life. Well, this feature also has its drawbacks – the stifling heat and blinding sunlight in the late afternoon – which made window coverings our first priority after move in.

Did I mention that the glass facade is over 10 feet wide and 15 feet high? Covering an area this large could get very costly and finances were tight after the move. We thought about blinds – ideally the fancy ones that open from the top and bottom. But even with a friend’s designer discount, plain old mini-blinds were looking like a small fortune.

As luck would have it, the next door neighbor was moving. She happened to have a massive supply of a cheap white polyester fabric that was semi-opaque. Even at retail, it was pretty affordable and she just wanted to get rid of it and it was a real steal. So we decided to go Miami style and make some looooong billowing white curtains. We got weights and crinoline at JoAnn’s, a curtain rod, brackets and clips at Target and voila!

Read More

The New Studio

Posted by SWEET
/ /
Comments Off on The New Studio

For months, I walked by my dream studio. Each time I would leave my cluttered shared office and walk across our industrial development to the small dark press room, it would catch my eye.

It had been over a year of a “split space” working situation – I would work away at my computer in the corner of an interior design studio, Matthew would call me for a press check, and I would scurry through the parking lot. We survived with some envelopes here, some there; proofs in my office, plates in the press room. Not incredibly efficient but that’s just the way it was. Did I feel scattered, frantic and disorganized? Indeed. Did I keep my head down and just deal with the growing pains? Yup.

That is, until our studio-to-be opened up. It had been a mechanics shop that the landlord converted into a clean-lined spacious artists studio. Frequently, I would cup my hands to the glass of the giant front windows and imagine the presses on one side, my design studio on the other. I could see myself sitting at a beautiful desk with a fresh cup of coffee, creating inspired new work with the humming presses behind me. I can’t tell you how many times I did this before I actually considered that this space could be ours. For one, it was obviously more expensive. But the real issue was access. The only entry was a 36″ glass door. The C&P could be disassembled (though this idea scared me) but our flat files, paper cutter and future Windmill would be more trouble.

So for months it was vacant, and for months we lusted after its black cement floors and high ceilings. I’m not sure what made us finally decide to call the landlord and ask if he would be willing to let us put in double doors, but that got the ball rolling.

The space has a large glass facade and, in the end, the most cost/time efficient option was to simply take the glass off, move everything in, and then put it back on. Sure, this seems a little insane but it allowed a tractor to drive right in and delicately place the Windmill and C&P down exactly where we wanted them.  Thankfully, we had an amazing space planner who had it all marked out in masking tape and the move was smooth as silk.

There were still a few pieces of the puzzle to be figured out, and I’ll share those soon enough, but we are in and loving it!

moving-windmill

Read More

May Madness is here.

Posted by SWEET
/ /

Sweet Letter 2010 business card

Every year, the National Stationery Show brings out the crazy. It’s an industry fact.

We’ve been pretty darn busy in the print shop over the last couple months. March and April were chock full with wedding invitations and we are just now scrabbling to generate some new product for the show (which is, ahem, next week). With a fairly elaborate wedding set still left to print before we fly on Thursday, the window is closing fast and Manny can only chug so fast.

So here’s my big crazy for this year – I decided we needed some new and improved business cards for the show (not too crazy) but I also decided that they needed to be 2 over 2 with a die cut and a full flood on the back. And in order to have a good stash for the future, we decided we needed 900 cards per name. Needless to say, this has put quite a damper on product output. But really, who will buy our goods if we don’t have a killer b-card to back it up?

Happy spring everybody, I look forward to sharing more (and sleeping) after the show!

Read More

Happy Birthday 2 Us!

Posted by SWEET
/ /
Comments Off on Happy Birthday 2 Us!

Wow, am I the worst blogger ever, or what? It’s been over 2 months since my last confession, I mean blog entry. It has also been over a month since the SLP birthday party which I meant to tell you about ages ago. Sigh. Better late then never, right?

Well, it was just over two years ago that we booked our first really real letterpress job. So on October 23rd, we celebrated turning 2 with an open studio event.  It was a lot of work getting the studio into “party mode” but it was well worth it!  We had a  stroll down memory lane as we pulled out samples of past jobs and strung them up around the room. We installed fresh track lighting and had beautiful fresh flowers from our friends and neighbors Brighter Day Floral.  I was especially proud to be wearing a hand-painted SLP shirt, created by our talented friend Summer, of Summer House Studios as well as an amazing corsage sent by the sweet peeps at Wordshop in Denver.

Matthew had the press running and each guest left with a commemorative “Happy Birthday” card.  The guests did some early holiday shopping and we gave away a bunch of prizes including a portrait package from fabulous photographer Maureen Sullivan (Sullivan Studios), another neighbor from the Nobo hood. The playlist was just right and there was carrot cake for all. What more could you ask for?

Read More

NSS Booth Part 3: The nitty gritty

Posted by SWEET
/ /
Comments Off on NSS Booth Part 3: The nitty gritty

Details, details, details. It seems like every step of the booth design process requires numerous decisions and just as many tedious tasks.  I won’t bore you with the details, you can just look at the photos!

Read More

It’s official

Posted by SWEET
/ /
Comments Off on It’s official

Sweet Letter Press began as a concept when we (Elizabeth & Matthew) designed the invitation for our October 2006 wedding. We got great feedback, and had a lot of fun, so we started researching the world of invitations and letterpress as a business concept. After a year of projects for family and friends, we are happy to report that we now have our first paying wedding job. This makes October 2007 the official birth month of Sweet Letter Press. Yippee!

Read More

Farewell NYC, hello Boulder, CO!

Posted by SWEET
/ /
Comments Off on Farewell NYC, hello Boulder, CO!

We have left Brooklyn on the looooong cross country trek to Boulder, Colorado. NYC was good to us but it’s time for more space and sunshine. The moving truck is packed to the brim. The few chosen house plants that didn’t go to Grandma’s are squished in the climate-controlled cab with us. Outside it’s hot, very hot. Every detour from the highway results in much bickering over the parking of the mongo truck. We’ve set our sights for Louisville, KN where we’ll see some other NY expatriates in their new habitat. Can’t wait to get to Boulder and find a home for our print shop.

Read More