Friday, July 30, 2010

It's Friday evening and the sun has finally set on Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It was a lovely day today and downtown Porty was bustling with our favorite locals and visitors from afar. Thanks to everyone who swung by! I'd normally update you on product right about now... but instead I'm going to give you a little heads up for your weekend plans. Yesterday I put together a SALE table in the shop. Covered in all sorts of goodies, from note sets to fabulous J. Adler paper plates and nappys, we are sure you'll be able to find something special to take home. And at 20% OFF how could you resist really? Here's a pic to get your wheels a turnin'! Everything marked with a RED DOT is on sale. So come on by while the gettin's good... this is our end-of-our-first-year, happy-birthday-to-Gus&Ruby sale and it won't last long! YIPPEEEE!

Alright fine. Pull my leg why don't you! I guess I shouldn't break the trend of sharing sweet pics of newbies in the store that will make you shout "goodie goodie gumdrops" and "oo lala". But only because you begged and pleaded on your hands and knees and threatened to steal my falafel wrap!

Check this beauties out! Beautiful birdie prints for only $16 by Dutch Door Press.
I'd like one of each ;)

Oh, and one more thing! Uh... two more actually. Ta-Daaaaaaaa!

Yes, that is a metallic gold leather star hand stitched onto a white reclaimed sail bag with rope handles. Thank you Sea Bags, for both these images and for your initiative!

Big Hugs,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fugu Fugu

I'd like to start this blog out with a picture.

This is a picture of my mother and father, Christyne & Michael Lapan. When people tell me I look like my Mom I blush a little because I think she's a super pretty, super wonderful woman. And, when people tell me I act like my Dad I smile because I think he's just great - grounded, reasonable, and pretty darn crafty when it comes right down to it. I always wonder about my parents and what they were like during their youth - don't you?! I think this photograph paints a pretty picture of what that life must have been like (not that they don't live a youthful life now of course!). I like to think that back then, my parents would have sent cards like this to each other:

I imagine the messages inside these cards would have read:

"Dear Chrissy, You make the best shepherd's pie ever. I also really like how cute you look in your apron. Thank you for all of the hugs and kisses, and for always making me smile. I love you to the moon. XO Michael"

Or maybe:

"Dear Michael, When you go swimming in the pool, you remind me of a fishy. That is why I bought you this adorable card. Here's to all of the fish kisses we'll share together for the rest of our lives. Love you, Chrissy
P.S. I love to make you shepherd's pie!"

I also like to image that they'd have received cards like this:

Inside it would read:
"Dear Mike & Chrissy, Thank you for letting me sleep in your spare bedroom. You two are so great. I'm moving to a new town now because I got a new job. I am apologizing now for the waterbed that I am leaving with you. Best of luck moving that thing out of the house some day. Cheers! Uncle Paul"

Or maybe when my Mom was pregnant with me she would have gotten a card like this:

Inside this one would read:
"Dear Chrissy, You are so beautiful. But you are even more beautiful now that you are with child. Here's an excuse to eat lots of pizza and ice cream - and don't worry, when your baby gets older she won't crave pizza like it's going out of style. Take good care and stay warm in Minnesota! Love, Kath"

And just so you know, this is the card I'm going to send to my Mom & Dad next week with a lovely note inside that reads something like this:

"Dear Mom & Dad, I love you both sooo much! You two are the absolute best and I cannot image where I'd be without you. I cannot wait to see you again soon - and Mom, you seriously are SO pretty. Your loving daughter, LizzyLooLoo"

Now... to be honest, my parents probably didn't have a shop like Gus & Ruby's around when they were living in Minnesota. And I should also note that Fugu Fugu Press was not established in Pasadena, CA until long after the picture of my parents was taken, so it would have been near impossible for them to have sent these exact greeting cards to one another. But, I bet after reading this blog they will be thrilled about the idea of these Fugu Fugu Press goodies!

And that's that - over and out!
(Oh, and thanks for being a friend!),

*All images in this blog post (except the one of my parents) courtesy of Fugu Fugu Press. Please come check out these darling little snail mail possibilities at Gus & Ruby Letterpress soon!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sharing is Caring!

Sharing is caring, isn't that always what your mama told you? Here's what I have to share today - because I care. I really do - always remember that :)

I worked today, did you?
Work today was good.
Hope your day was good too!

While I was working I was thinking about all sorts of good things - inspirational things - summery things - lovely things. Wanted to share with you some of the things that have bobbled around my head all day... hope you don't mind.

1. Yesterday was a record-breaking beautiful day - beautiful and fabulous and everything you could ask for in a New England summer day. While driving around in the beautifulness yesterday I was listening to Sheryl Crow's latest cd and dreaming about what Ray Lamontagne's new release will be like in August. Today I did the same thing - except today it was a bit cloudy. Guess what though?! Sheryl Crow sounded just as marvey today as she did yesterday! Don't even hesitate, this stuff is good for the soul and great to sing and swing along to!

2. Check out these little gems:

(Photos courtesy of Once Wed)

These are at the top of my to do list. They're for Whit's wedding if you're wondering... I'm just trying to decide a color scheme. I'm thinking a garland of vibrant summer yellow, white, rosy pink, salmony-orange and plummy purple. Any thoughts? Yeh, I know - so pretty!

3. At Gus & Ruby Letterpress we have been getting all sorts of goodies in the mail. Wanna see a few cuties? I'm going to send one of each to my boyfriend. You should come in and create a little package to send to someone special in your life - because who doesn't love snail mail and squirrelly love??

(Photos courtesy of Enormouschampion)

**Please Note: The bottom image depicts what we here at G&R call lovey dovey squirrels. Cut from sustainably harvested wood, these two are getting close over a sweet little red heart. Good for desk tops, bureaus, mantels, and window sills.

4. I have been wanting a lemon ricotta cookie from Ceres Street Bakery in a big way today. Sam went to Ceres Street this morning and much to our disappointment they were all out. I need a recipe - like ASAP - because those cookies are literally THE BEST! Put them in the fridge for 20 minutes or so and you've got a cool lemony treat.

5. While the cookies from #4 are both summery and lovely - this divine twine is too good to be true (and will not ruin my P90X routine). See below: 100% cotton twine in an assortment of luscious colors like petal pink and sunshine yellow. I used to be a curling ribbon fanatic - but cotton ribbon and twine have stolen my heart and taken it hostage. I could wrap up oodles of goodies in craft paper and little plastic baggies full of cookies and then tie bows around them with this twine! You could too!!

6. I am going to try to use my mother's sewing machine to make this dress. Think it's a possibility? Then Samantha, Whitney and I are going to figure out how many projects we can concoct that could involve sewing up paper goodies for the shop. Aren't you excited? I sure am!

(Photo courtesy of Anthropologie)

7. I miss this place. This is my favorite place to go in the summertime - one of the first places Fran and I visited with our good friends Rob & Erin (who are getting married there in October! Yippee!) I would like to recommend that you each visit this place at some point in your life - camp there, bike ride around the grounds, and eat popovers there with blueberry jam. See below pictures from the album: Camping in Acadia, Summer 2009

The lovebirds Rob & Erin on our awesome bike trip through Acadia

Rob and Fran, my boyfriend, dancing.
Fran does not normally wear his track shorts from 7th grade - this was a special occasion.

View from our campsite, ain't it lovely?

8. Have you ever owned a birthday calendar? If you're saying no right now - we need to have a birthday calendar intervention. Birthday calendars are great because they are super pretty to hang in your office, kitchen, or studio, and they help you keep track of birthdays by month. Once you own one of these handy dandies you'll never have a loved one's birthday sneak up on you again, and you'll never have to transfer birthdays from one year's planner to the next! And while you're getting one for you, grab one for your grammy. Trust me - she'll thank you. You can fill it out for her and everything! Awesome, right? We certainly think so. Check out this newbie we have in the store now from Linda & Harriet. It's letterpress printed too - in beautiful colors. Love. Love. Love.

(Photos courtesy of Linda & Harriet)

Hope my sharing has inspired you! Be sure to enjoy your weekend. We'll be at the store this
weekend Saturday 10 - 8pm and Sunday 10 - 6pm and will look forward to seeing your smiling

Sending you much love and the greatest of inspirational vibes,
Lizzy LooLoo

Friday, July 23, 2010

You voted us "Best Shop for Invitations" in NH!

We're so honored to have been chosen "Best Shop for Invitations" by readers for the New Hampshire Magazine Best of Bride 2010 Issue! And, we have you, our lovely readers and clients and friends, to thank! So, Thank YOU!

It's a pretty wonderful feeling to be acknowledged for a job well done. We love what we do here and we hope it shows when we work with you. From the casual BBQ to the 300+ black-tie wedding, we love helping people craft invitation suites that perfectly reflect their style, their event and that fit within their budget. No project is too big or too small to deserve our undivided attention and care.

Thank you so much for this fabulous distinction and for letting us be a part of all your big days. We look forward to working with many more of you - we're adding to our line-up of amazing albums, perfecting the custom process and are continuing to refine all the delicious paper goodies that we offer.

Big thanks and big hugs,
Samantha and Whitney

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thank you, thank you VERY much!

So today was officially the first day of our second week here on Congress Street. Isn't that crazy?! The summer has been flying by, and before we get too far along, Samantha & Gus, Whitney & Ruby, and little old me (soon I'll have a pup to tag onto my name line too ;)) want to thank everyone who had a part in our move from lower Market Street to 29 Congress. It was a very important move for us, and it was inspiring to have such loving and supportive families, friends, and neighbors along for the ride. We are starting to feel more settled here and are certainly loving the variety of new and old patrons who come by the new space. Todays post will be an ode to you all - a collection of our new (and my most favorite) thank you notes! We celebrate you today for all of the support, love, and special things that you have done for us! Thank you for everything... from the bottoms of our hearts!

(Photos courtesy of Jack and Lulu)

Strike GOLD! These flat notes from Jack & Lulu are sold in sets of 10 with matching gold-lined envelopes. With no particular greeting implied, these are the perfect thank-yous for tennis partners and salty-sailor men alike (or just for your favorite friends and family, whichever you prefer). Take advantage of these before it's too late, because goodness gracious they've been flying off the shelves!

(Photos courtesy of Smock)

These clever little folded note sets are from Smock and have all the details that you should look for when buying paper goodies: great color, simple design, and just a touch of whimsy. How could you resist that beautiful little beluga whale? Or the koi fish.... that fun little fishy can be paired with some faaabulous wrapping paper for you thank-you gift-giving fiends! All of these thank-yous are letterpress printed on bamboo paper, and sold in sets of 6 or 8 with stunning lined envelopes to match. Yup, we know. You don't have to tell us twice - TOO GOOD!

I apologize for the following - for two reasons. Apology the first: my pictures of these lovelies do not do them justice. Apology the second: these beautiful bumbles will change your thoughts on summer bugs forever. Trust me. Below are the MOST GORGEOUS notes from Cheree Berry. Please check out the site because the custom invitations that have been printed on these suckers are drool worthy. But of course, you could use these for thank-yous, or personal stationery, or whatever you like.

Talk about striking gold! I love these notes because the gilded details are slight but perfectly incorporated into the overall designs! So there it is - my enthusiasm for our latest thank-you possibilities at Gus & Ruby Letterpress. To all of you reading and to all of you who have had a part in the past and have pushed us towards are bright and shiny future -

THANKS! Hope to see you all very soon.
Much Love and HAPPY WEEKEND,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hello Hello...

So there it is, my smiling face on Paper Hounds! And this is me, Elizabeth Liz Lizzy Lapan blogging for you for the first time ever. With all the hype and madness behind the move of Gus & Ruby Letterpress from lower Market Street to our FABULOUS new home at 29 Congress in downtown Portsmouth, NH, I have been wracking my brain as to what should be shared first. I know Samantha and Whitney have been feeding you tidbits of the G&R goodness for the past week on our facebook page, but we hope you have the opportunity to visit our new space soon! There is something so cheery and vibrant about 29 Congress Street - maybe it's the high ceilings, the lighting, or just the fact that we're now amidst the hustle and bustle of Market Square - but regardless of what detail makes it that much more special, we are SO thrilled that you, our beloved followers and patrons, are excited about our move too! It has been such a pleasure for me to take this step with the ladies, and so inspiring to be in the kind of environment where you can happily work away folding paper flowers for window displays with good reason :)

But besides the excitement around our new store, Samantha, Whitney and I have been overjoyed with the fact that more space = more new product! Like these beautiful, letterpressed notesets, packaged in their own little booklets from Albertine Press. Each design is inspired by textile patterns from locations across the globe, and have I mentioned how BEAUTIFUL they are?! There's just something about impeccable design and rich color on paper that makes my heart go pitter-pat (Samantha and Whitney are certainly rubbing off on me!). And maybe the best detail to share about these beauties is that they are printed in Sommerville, Massachusetts.

(Photos courtesy of Albertine Press)

Or what about these beautiful gift-wrapped packages Whitney put together for her flowergirlies. The double-sided sheets of wrapping paper she used are from Smock (one of our absolute favs), not to mention that the sheets are extra large so you can use one sheet for multiple packages and then wrap them together for an immaculate presentation! As you may or may not know, Smock is the first and only print shop in the United States to print on luxury bamboo paper. Yes, I said it - that huge and amazing industrial building in Syracuse, New York where Smock does it's printing is filled with stacks and stacks of bamboo paper. Talk about eco-friendly! And the colors and prints... I cannot even begin to tell you how beautiful they are. Perfect for all your giftwrapping, bookcovering, scrapbooking, and framing-to-hang-in-your-office-or-bedroom needs.

(Photos courtesy of Smock)

So we're in agreement then - you've got a handful of summer birthdays, weddings, and BBQs to attend and we've got all the fixings for tasteful and fun gift-giving! You can grab some fab new note sets and wrap them up in some bright and beautiful paper and be on your way. It's a no brainer! So we're in agreement then. I'll see you soon! And yes, that's 29 Congress Street - the new home of Gus & Ruby Letterpress.

This is yours truly, signing off!
Happy hump day :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Please meet Liz!

(Photo by the always incredible, emilie sommer of emilie inc. photography)

Amidst all the hustle and bustle and crazy organizing/cleaning/packing of moving, I thought I'd also take a moment to introduce the newest (and most rock-star-ish) member of the Gus & Ruby team: Liz!

Elizabeth Liz Lizzy Lapan has joined the G&R team as a part-time paper hound. She brings with her an impressive and varied amount of life experience including retail expertise (she managed Attrezzi, a fabulous kitchen supply, home gift, gourmet store on Market Street), an education in business and a serious passion for customer service. We are absolutely thrilled to have her and we can't wait for you all to meet her over the next few months.

So, with no further ado, meet Liz (in her own words):

I was raised in the beautiful town of Londonderry, NH... member of a family of 5, including two younger brothers and two AMAZING parents. I attended the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH and graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in Art History and a B.S. in International Business & Economics. During college I worked in downtown Portsmouth and absolutely fell in love with the lively and creative community there. When I graduated, it only felt natural to move to Portsmouth permanently in hopes of gaining a better sense of what I wanted to do with my future... and I can say with great certainty that the move was one of the smartest things I have ever done! If I had never moved to Portsmouth I would never have met Samantha and Whitney, or Gus and Ruby for that matter. The ladies (and pups) have literally been my across-the-street neighbors for the past year. From the get-go I visited them regularly as a customer, always looking for laugh-out-loud greeting cards and little gifties for my loved ones. But now... I'm so thrilled to say... I am a member of their amazing team! Three cheers for Gus and Ruby Letterpress! Hip, Hip - HOORAY! There is really something to be said for honest, hard-working, creative business owners in communities like Portsmouth, NH, and I feel so lucky to now have the opportunity to help Whitney and Samantha grow their already incredible business. My goal for the upcoming year is to take over some of the retail work here at the shop so that Samantha and Whitney can keep designing and working with you on custom projects. From in-store merchandising to our store-front windows I am hoping to present bright and beautiful displays that catch your eye and spark you imagination. I also plan on keeping my finger on the pulse of all things paper in hopes that I can convey to each of you the incredible art of letterpress printing and the positive effects of supporting your local artisans and American based companies. What else... hmm... CUPCAKE SATURDAYS! Yes I said it... outside of my regular duties as a Gus & Ruby shopkeep I plan on bringing you delicious, homemade, all-from-scratch cupcakes with soft buttercream frosting on Saturdays (prepare yourself, I'll update you on the start of our cupcake schedule :)). There's lots more about me that you'll get to know - my love of frozen junior mints, for example - but for now, just know that I'm super excited about this opportunity at Gus & Ruby Letterpress and I cannot wait to see you in our shop! Take good care, stay cool, and HAPPY SUMMER!!

Lots of Love,

Glad to meet

Slowly but surely, we're transforming the new space into OUR new space. While we're absolutely so excited to be moving, Whitney, Liz and I