Friday, July 29, 2011

hey friends...

So I've written, edited and re-writted 3 blog posts today and none of them made me very happy... I'm just hankering for some new inspiration.

It's the weekend and we are hoping to see you all out and about in the beautiful weather that is expected here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

In a perfect world... this weekend... I would...

Walk home under the lush tree tops and through the prickly, dewey grass:

Spend some time cooking in my beautifully broken-in kitchen:

Spend some time on the balcony painting views of this lovely roaring tide:

Take a soak in my beautiful bathtub:

And get to bed early:

Instead I'll be here:

photo courtesy of: HERE

Selling you fine folks some beautiful letterpress printed goodies, like this:

My real life is the next best think to my fake, dream-life.
I'm a real lucky duck :)
Love you!

(all other photogs courtesy of: HERE)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Logo Design: Paper Posy Designs

As most of you faithful readers know by now our very own Elizabeth Lapan has started a business! Liz began working for us in March of last year and immediately began taking over the design of our windows and in-store displays and did such an amazing job that Sam and I basically stepped back and let her run the show. It was obvious to us, our lovely customers and even to Liz that she had a real talent that went beyond just store merchandising. I'm honored to have been Liz's first "customer" last summer when she created an array of fabric flowers to decorate the cake table at my wedding as well as some adorable chalkboards that we hung on the back of our chairs. Since her first summer with us Liz has been creating paper flower wreaths, garlands of fabric flowers and numerous other beautiful decorations to dazzle the interior of our store and our customers have fallen in love. In fact they have been so smitten with her work that they basically forced Lizzy into starting a business so that they could buy her lovely goods! After long chats in the store and a huge brainstorming session between the 3 of us which included Sam - via text on a little vacay to NY - Paper Posy Designs was born.

I am so thankful that Lizzy chose me to design her logo and stationery suite because it has been my favorite branding project ever! Liz wanted something bright and playful but also sophisticated and beautiful. Her products are primarily used for wedding decor, but we didn't want her brand to limit her because every week she dreams up new ideas and projects. Her logo needed to be flexible enough to change with her as Paper Posy Designs establishes itself and grows. I won't go on and on about the thinking behind the final logo, but I will say that her colors, Warm Red and Purple (literally those are the PMS colors), are the most gorgeous duo I have ever seen.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the logo design process I have to say that creating her stationery suite was the most fun part. That I got to collaborate with Liz on this project only made it even sweeter. Below is a PDF showing the final pieces (from top left clockwise):
• 2 flat note card designs for sending lots and lots of snail mail
• my favorite: the swatch card so she can send color and fabric swatches to her clients
• folded note card with pattern lined envelopes for more note sending
• ridiculously beautiful business cards printed on duplex with edge painting in warm red
• die cut tags (circle and rectangle) to brand the finished products before heading to clients

Some beautiful photos of the finished products:

In case there are a few peeps out there who haven't had the pleasure of meeting Liz (you are really missing out) or didn't get the chance to stroll by our store windows over the last couple of months (also missing out), here are a few photos of the most amazing Paper Posy project to-date: Eleanor, the beautiful, paper flower wedding dress! Lizzy cut out each individual paper petal by hand (1,000+ petals) and adhered them to a dress maker's form. As with every project Liz takes on, Sam and I were worried when she told us her idea... but as with every project Liz takes on, Sam and I were blown away with the finished product. Our customers, retail neighbors and random people passing by would stop at the window, realize what they were looking at and pull out there cameras or phone to snap a picture - it was very cool to watch. We pride ourselves on our beautiful windows, but this dress and the stunning kraft paper flowers that littered the floor around it, will go down in our history books (we're working on volume 1) as the most creative and outrageously beautiful Gus & Ruby window EVER! Feast your eyes on Eleanor:

Thank you, Lizzy for all of the endless hard work you put into making our store beautiful. We are SO proud of everything you have accomplished in your few short months in business and can't wait to watch you blossom in the years to come. Don't forget about us when you're famous cuz it's gonna happen.

{Branding design & printing by Gus & Ruby Letterpress / photos by Brea McDonald Photography}

Friday, July 22, 2011

time keeps a-flyin'...

Hey there gals and pals!

Hope you're keeping cool and enjoying the ridiculously sunny weather we've been having here in New Hampshire! Wooty-woo for summertime... makes me wanna drink some lemonade and jump into a big body of cold water :)

We just realized how quickly our first birthday in the new space came and went... it's already nearing the end of July and before you know it we'll be singing feliz cumpleanos AGAIN - because we will have successfully hit the 2 year we-love-to-be-in-business mark! :) Can I get a second - woooty-wooooooo!!!

To make light of all of this crazy time-travel, flashing-at-the-speed-of-light stuff that's been going on, we thought we'd talk up our agendas on this lovely afternoon in July.

Sound good to you? Great. Because it sounds mighty marvelous to me!

We'll start off with our old-time fave, the MomAgenda. We carry both the MomAgenda desktop sized planner, as well as the MyAgenda mini planners - so there really is an option for all you lovely ladies out there. The reason this line has become an all-time fave of Gus & Ruby's is because these agendas are so thorough. They are sturdy, fun to look at, and have space on every pages for all of the little details that you might need to keep track of in the day!

Can you tell I love the new animal print jackets the best?

We also just re-ordered new binders and calendar inserts for our Russell & Hazel agendas. What is great, grand and wonderful about these agendas is that you buy them a-la-carte. So, if you already own a binder, you can fill it with whatever inserts you need, and then recycle the binder year after year. At Gus & Ruby you'll find the notepads and to-do lists, as well as address sheets with die-cut detail for business card organization, file folders and tab dividers, and the month & day outline sheets.

What I'm super thrilled to be sharing though, is that I just ordered us some super fun and funky new agendas from Jonathan Adler. We started carrying his designs last summer (a few fun pens and note blocks), just before our move to 29 Congress... but this year we decided that it made sense to really jazz things up a bit with his dog collars and leads, umbrellas, and home office supplies. It was about time for a re-order last week when their new fall catalog arrived in the mail (YIPPEEEEE!). So here they are - Jonathan Adler's 2011/2012 agendas. We'll have them in for mid-August (just in time for all your back-to-school needs!)

So as your brain starts to fill up with dates, and your desk starts to get covered with post-its, and you start to realize that missing appointments is just not how you want to keep going through life - come and visit us here at Gus & Ruby Letterpress. We've got all the tools you need to make it through another year... of dentist appointments... and birthdays... and physics exams... and cocktail dates ;)

Much love and many hugs comin' at cha XO

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Watermelon Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, folks! It's hot, hot, HOT here and it's going to get hot, hot, hotter in the next few days (hello 1st official heat wave of the summer!). In an effort to keep myself thoroughly hydrated in this heat, and also because I truly live for the stuff, I've been eating watermelon like nobody's business this summer. I just can't get enough; I've been going through a half a full-size watermelon every 3 days or so. Holy cow!!! And, while I'm a purist and mostly take my melon cubed and fresh, these watermelon recipes have been catching my eye lately and I think it's high time I threw a little soiree in honor of my favorite fruit.

Some of the recipes topping my list to try:

To get the party started - these watermelon-lime jello shooters are just too funny.

(photo & recipe from Sweet Tooth)

Or, maybe a fancy cocktail is more your style? I'm loving the mix of veggies and melon and spirits in the Lolita or this yummy watermelon margarita!

(photos & recipes from Post Prohibition and Crepes of Wrath)

Who wouldn't love a simple but delicious watermelon, feta and arugula salad? The sweet/salty combination just can't be beat.
(photo & recipe by Simply Delicious)

Or there's a refreshing watermelon, cucumber and mint chilled soup - the perfect 1st course for a summer party, don't you think?

(photo & recipe from Verses From My Kitchen)

Another mouth-watering appetizer recipe I can't wait to try is watermelon salsa! I love anything that I can dip a tortilla chip into so this is right up my alley :)

(photo & recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

Looking for something sweet? Simple watermelon sorbet. 'Nuff said.

(photo & recipe from Baltic Maid)

This is just too beautiful to pass up: two melon mousse. Can you imagine serving that to cap off a summer gala? I'd be impressed if I was your guest, that's for sure!

(photo & recipe by Raspberri Cupcakes)

Or even a watermelon cupcake, perhaps?!

(photo & recipe by Cupcake Project)

And then, there is pickled watermelon rinds. These make me think of my Nana, who I miss everyday. She introduced me to this odd delicacy as she used to make pickled watermelon rind wrapped in bacon for an appetizer every Thanksgiving. I'll tell you what - that is a SERIOUSLY good appetizer. Indulgent? Just a little :) But, everyone should indulge in life's good things with their Nana once in a while, right? I think so.

(photo & recipe by The Cilantropist)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I heart little Amelia

I know I say this all the time, but we absolutely L O V E designing (and printing:) birth announcements. The lovely Christina, a fabulous designer herself, came to us last September because she didn't want to deal with the pressure/stress/time-investment involved in designing for herself, or in this case, her soon-to-be baby girl. I completely understood where she was coming from after all of the designing that went into my wedding invitations and was jazzed to get working on designs for her and hubby, Andrew. We played off a couple of fabrics she had picked out for the nursery (sorry I don't have swatches to share) and a color palette of warm yellow and light aqua. After just a couple of rounds of proofs we settled on a super sweet design that incorporated a whimsical, hand-drawn pattern and my handwriting for the name.

I think my favorite part of the whole suite was the flat social note card we designed so that Amelia could send thank you notes (via mommy & daddy, obv.) for all of her new-arrival gifts. You're never too young to have personal stationery!

Ummm... I just had to share a few pictures of the beautiful Amelia. She is literally the cutest and coolest (see last picture) baby girl I have ever seen.

{Announcement photos by Brea McDonald Photography. Photos of Amelia by her super talented mommy, Christina Wnek}

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Current Obsession: Ebon Heath

I first heard of the type installations of Ebon Heath through the blog of our dear friend and uber talented designer, Amanda, the designer behind one of our most fave and best selling albums of invitations - Alee & Press. I've subsequently fallen totally head over heels in love with Ebon, his work, his mission and just about everything he's involved in.

His graphic design, type installation sculpture, jewelry and performance art will knock your socks off. A teeny tiny preview of his work:

And I can't stop watching this incredible video about his Typographic Ballet featuring the incredible Talib Kweli. Check it out on vimeo HERE:

Seriously, though, grab a cup of joe, put on your creative socks and cozy up on the couch, cause you're about to spend a serious amount of time on his website perusing all the amazing that is Ebon Heath. For serious, people, I'm obsessed. And inspired.

(all photos courtesy of Ebon Heath /