Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I've been busy as usual. But some cool things happened:


We made a library! We had this little alcove on the landing of our stairs, with an etagere and some knick-knacks on it, for so long. Finally we got sick of the etagere and decided to move some things around. Joe convinced me the landing was large enough for the bookshelf.... just! So now I cuddle up here with my super-soft woven cotton throw blanket and enjoy tea and books. Right under a lovely window, too. 



I learned to block print. It started with a Speedball linocut kit that we found on sale at the mall. For only $10, and I had wanted to learn block printing for ages. So for my first one I decided on something simple (yeah, right!) like a rhinoceros.

Meet Leonard:


Since my first linocut turned out so remarkably well, I ordered some pink Speedball stamp blanks on Etsy and once they arrived, I got to work:


On the upper left is a cafe racer that Love commissioned, then a couple goldfish in honor of my aquatic kids, a little girl in a rainstorm, and my very favorite so far, a logo for the Etsy shop!


It's actually about half this size, and I was astonished that it turned out so clearly, especially with all those tiny letters! I drew it by hand, reversed it onto the rubber and cut from there. The only thing that didn't turn out perfect - the N in the AND is backwards! Oops.

In other news, I bought some succulents for some ceramic planters in the house, and on the soil of one of them was a big patch of moss. So I bought a little hurricane jar and now, like every good Etsian, I have a moss terrarium.


We bought some bookshelves for the office, which is going through a mini-remodel right now.  There are notes on this picture - click to go to Flickr and see them! :)


And finally, I haven't been up to much on the book front lately. But I did manage to make this tiny spring book, with a cotton ribbon around the middle and a button closure.


I also went to the beach with my fabulous friend Ryan. Hilarity ensued.





That's all for now. Hope you're all doing well!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lots happening...

And so much to update about! 

Big news for the moment is that Pied Crow Press now has a Facebook page! I've just joined Facebook myself but of course once I found out you could create pages for businesses, I thought it would be too cool to have a page for the shop! So check me out! 

Pied Crow Press Facebook Page

It's quite bare right now but you can become a fan if you have a Facebook page, too, and you can post a review if you're a customer of mine! :D

Monday, March 9, 2009

Surprise Thank-yous


For the past few weeks I've been furtively collecting little goodies for thank-yous to 20 customers who really helped me get through the holidays on a tight budget. The sales from my two shops provided just enough money to allow me to buy nice things (mostly handmade, too!) for my family. It really made the holidays for us. Budgets were tight this year, but my customers came through. Hooray! 
So I wanted to send a very special thank-you to each of them. Something tailored to each customer, something cute and sweet and thoughtful. I spent my free time for the last two weeks sewing and binding and packing, and sent out 20 packs on Saturday. Full of goodies, as you can see:


That's a handwritten (and handstamped) thank-you note, a business card, a vintage vocabulary card, a handsewn fabric envelope pouch with a vintage button, vintage scrabble tiles that form a word, a handmade envelope of recycled paper containing poppy seeds (upon which I have painted poppies!), a handbound matchbook notepad with the customer's initial sewn upon the cover, and recycled paper gift tags. Inside a lovely muslin pouch. :D

I had fun with those scrabble tiles. I bought a lot of about 100 tiles, so with 20 packages, each got a four or five letter word, or two smaller words. Among my favorites were OOPS, ZOOM, IHUG, GEEK, READ and WOOF. Uh... yes, I did have a lot more vowels than consonants, haha! So most were double-vowel words. 



Each of the fabric pouches was different. I didn't have enough of any one fabric for any two pouches to be alike, not to mention I wanted them to be unique. So among the twenty, I rotated with a textured purple, red, brown, yellow, blue/brown striped, dark blue, spring green and white. Each with one color on the inside, one on the outside. They took a whole day to sew together on my somewhat broken sewing machine (the tension won't go high enough) but they came out so adorable. 


There's the whole pile all labeled and ready to go. Mostly US customers, except three international - one to Italy, one to Canada and one to Australia! 

The first two responses came today. Just the sort of reaction I was hoping for! :) I do love to make people smile. 

from metisRoss:
you you you! *flaps hands*

opening up my mailbox today, i did not expect to find the best thing to happen all week in there. :] you're so sweet it's giving me cavities. i hope you know those are expensive to fill. ;)

8] i'm glad to hear that you holidays were for the better because of the small things other people do. thanks for the thought, time and effort to send out something so completely unexpected. it just proves that the world is full of lovely things. thank you so much. :]

jesus, etsy is like the secret place where all the awesome people are. :]

from 4StarGalaxy:
Hi Iris, What a wonderful surprise!!!! I got your package today and have to say what a treat it was to get all the wonderful goodies. Thank you so much for being so kind and for putting that extra curve in my smile today. Sincerely, Roxanne

Hooray!! I have the sweetest customers. It makes me so very happy that they liked their packages so much.