Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Gift Guide: For Him

We're back! And, today, we're talking about gifts for the fellas. Guys can be so tricky to buy for, so we've done the dirty work and sniffed out all the best gifts for the men in your life. From the entertainer to the artist to the man's man, we've found the perfect thing to brighten his holiday.

(click to enlarge photo)

1. "Quality cuts of meat" place mats - set of 4 different butcher diagram place mats ($45)
2. Letterpress printed correspondence set (various styles, $20)
3. "Good Grief" glass tumblers - set of 2 ($30)
4. Retro 1951 classic rollerball pens (various colors, $24)
5. Old Man Drinks book of recipes and lore ($14.95)
6. Pantone ceramic mugs (various colors, $16)
7. Denim laptop case by Thomas Paul ($68)
8. Print Workshop: Hand Printing Techniques book ($19.99)
9. Triple-milled, fragrance free oatmeal soaps & ceramic soap dishes (various styles, $20)
10. Cardboard animal busts by Cardboard Safari (various animals, $62-$65)

And, of course, there is so much more. We really did some serious hunting this year to make sure we had goodies for all our favorite guys in addition to our favorite gals. So, be sure to stop in soon to find the perfect goodie for the lad on your list!

Monday, November 28, 2011

2011 Gift Guide: For Her

Hello lovelies! Happy Monday.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be posting our fabulous Gift Guides to help you find the perfect present for all the friends and family on your shopping list.

To kick things off, let's talk about gifts for the women in your life! From wife or girlfriend to mother, daughter or lovely office-mate, these goodies are sure to delight the gals in your group. Better yet, ladies, help out your loved ones and send them in with some notes or directions to chat with us (we love to help with shopping needs!), and we'll be sure to point them in the right direction to fill all your Gus & Ruby desires.

(click photo to enlarge)

1. Sea Bags - totes and clutches made in Portland, ME from recycled sails (variety of sizes/styles $26 - $195)
2. Botanical wall calendar ($23)
3. Heirloom hand-turned wood recipe box with recipe cards ($130)
4. Rob Ryan cut-paper-inspired set of 4 plates ($44)
5. Aquiesse hand-poured soy candles (variety of sizes/scents $22 - $40)
6. Decorate: 1000 professional design ideas for every room in your home ($35)
7. Freya Art prints ($48-$76)

Of course, this is just a SMALL sampling of the many fabulous gifties we have in store; so, be sure to stop in soon for the full shopping experience! We are happy to take phone/email orders and ship product, too, so phone is fine :) Hope to see you soon and stay tuned for more gift guides and holiday ideas!

The Gus & Ruby gals

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thank You!!

So just a quick little post for today pals, because the shop has been busy busy!! But I wanted to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to all of the vendors who participated in our Black Friday and Small Business Saturday giveaways! We had such a blast getting these giveaways pulled together, and I can't even explain how awesome it was to watch all of our lovely customers today win big!! Their smiles and laughter made the work (and the donations) feel so worth it.

We constantly rave about how great you all are (because you're the best!!) - but today, we send our amazing vendors a very special thanks for taking such incredible care of all of us! Without you, the shop would not be what it is, and without all of you, there would be a lot less beautiful stuff out there in the world! Keep doing what you do best - dreaming, creating, and inspiring! We love you from the bottom of our hearts!!

100% hand-poured soy candles from Aquiesse
Letterpress printed holiday greeting cards from Dee & Lala
Metallic holiday gift tags from Fig. 2 Designs
Page flags from Girl of All Work
Hand-printed red sparrow ornaments from Hammerpress
Orla Kiely notebooks and pencils from Libretto
Boxed holiday cards and letterpress coasters from Mr. Boddington's Studio
Gift tags and holiday greeting cards from Rifle Paper Company
Boxed, letterpress printed holiday cards from Smock
Letterpress printed holiday greeting cards from Sycamore Street Press
100% cotton twine from Whisker Graphics
Holiday greeting cards from Yellow Owl Workshop

We're trying to dream up how we could possibly top these giveaways next year :) it'll take some real brainstorming on our part, for sure!

Happy Friday - and here'e to the rest of this beautiful holiday weekend!
See you around,
xo Lizzy

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

So much to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love this holiday because it rings in the holiday season -my favorite time of the year, as most of you know! - and, more importantly, reminds me how much I have to be thankful for in my life. Also, it's all about food. And, I can really get behind a food-based holiday.

Whitney, Liz and I would like to take a moment today to say a truly heartfelt THANK YOU to all our dear customers, clients, fans, families and friends near and far. We are continuously humbled and inspired by your incredible friendship, creativity, and support. Thank you for giving us amazing ideas, for encouraging us and for continuing to shop local and supporting small businesses like ours. We are amazed at our incredible community who comes together for so many important causes throughout the year and who show what they are made of during trying times. It's pretty incredible what our community can do.

We are wishing you all a most joyous Thanksgiving full of comfort, coziness, delicious food, raucous laughter and lots to be thankful for. Thank you, again, for everything. We are so lucky to have you all in our lives and we truly appreciate your support and business.

Gobble, gobble!

Samantha, Whitney, Liz, Gus & Ruby

PS: We hope to see you this weekend for our Black Friday /Small Business Saturday Event (check out details HERE) and throughout the season!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

poisonous leaves...

Just a little tidbit for you all - we just received our shipment from Set Editions, a new line of products by the lovely and talents Alison Riley. The company was founded in 2004, and offers letterpress printed cards, foil stamped postcards (which are DIVINE) and all sorts of other goodies! What we love about Set though, is how amenable Alison's designs are to the everyday snail-mail sender (because for us, that's what good stationery is all about!)

How can you not adore that foil stamping on chipboard?!

And who doesn't want to receive a quick and informational greeting card that demonstrates poisonous leaves found in the woods? :)

Set Editions also came up with these clever rocks glasses that we'll be carrying for the holidays. What a perfect gift match up with our Old Man Drinks and Art of the Bar (not that anyone is thinking about holiday shopping just yet ;)

Hope you guys are all gearing up for an awesome Thanksgiving! We're really excited about the upcoming week and have big plans for you on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for updates on our facebook page and blog!

Big hugs and loads of turkey-lurkey love!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Season Kick-Off: Black Friday & Small Business Saturday at Gus & Ruby!

(Photo courtesy of Mark Davidson Photography)

Join us the weekend after Thanksgiving as we kick-off the holiday season! Both days, we'll be giving away AMAZING, super-stuffed goodie bags to 15 lucky customers**. Trust us when we say that you will definitely want one of these goodie bags. Our favorite vendors went above and beyond in helping us fill these with incredible paper goodies!

Black Friday:
- We'll open early at 9am and will have coffee, donuts and holiday treats for you early-bird shoppers
- 10% OFF your entire purchase when you mention our email, Facebook, Twitter or blog posts about the event.*
- The chance to win one of 15 super, stocked goodie bags full of G&R favorites and holiday treats.**
- Receive a 15% off coupon to use throughout the season.
- Fabulous gifts, stocking stuffers, holiday cards and lots of good cheer!

Small Business Saturday:
- Use your AMEX card on Saturday, November 26 at any small business/local shop and AMEX will give you a $25 statement credit (that's FREE money!) Register your card and read details HERE: and
- 10% off your entire purchase when you mention our email, Facebook, Twitter or blog posts about the event.*
- The chance to win one of 15 super, stocked goodie bags full of G&R favorites and holiday treats.**
Receive a 15% off coupon to use throughout the season.
- Fabulous gifts, stocking stuffers, holiday cards and lots of good cheer!

We ho-ho-hope to see you there!!

Glad tidings,
The Gus & Ruby gals

*Excludes custom/special orders and gift certificates.
**1 chance to win per customer, per day with purchase.

Friday, November 11, 2011

cripsy crunchy...

So today was it folks - mother earth's reminder that the summer is officially gone. The wind was crisp and tunneled through town tossing all of the crunchy leaves around at people's feet. The sun poked through the clouds though, and reminded us that we still have a few bright days before winter really sets in. I love it - I live for this weather, for the turn to winter, and for the holidays. Something about the excuse to walk around the house in bulky wool sweaters and striped socks... my Minnetonka moccasins... the way the sun sets in the stark new england sky. Yup yup yup, it's my jam for sure!!

When this time of year rolls around though, I start to think about holiday plans and which of my friends and family I'll be seeing. What mom will be making for Thanksgiving dinner, and what little presents I can send to those who I love who won't be around Londonderry for the holidays. Lucky for me, the shop is an awesome place to collect those kind of goodies. Check it:

What mom or g-ma wouldn't love for you to bring placecards for the Turkey-Lurkey dinner table? These adorable designs from Mr. Boddington's Studio are some of my favorites (I especially love the chevron detail to the turkey's plumes!)

Of course there are also the sweet designs from Rifle Paper that could add a special touch to your feast too! My pops is probably getting the "Give Thanks" card because he's the best and deserves a thank you every day for always being such an incredible handy-man and role model. Plus, without his craftiness, the ladies would still have an un-wallpapered, epoxy covered back room :)

When it comes to hostess gifts though, I love to be practical about things. A beautiful card with a little note... of course! And a primly wrapped package with something delightful inside - like a candle they can burn that day, or a tea towel to help with the feasty clean-up. Or a flask to keep them going through the festivities!

hand poured, 100% soy from Virigina

Letterform Foodie Tea Towels & Greeting Card sets

Izola Five and Three Ounce Flasks

So pull your thoughts together, get your plans arranged and come buy some gifties with us! We'll even wrap 'em up all pretty for you, it is holiday time after all!

Have a great weekend pals, and we'll see you around.
xo Lizzy

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Restaurant Week 2011

Happy Thursday! As most of you know, last weekend through the end of this weekend is Restaurant Week here in Portsmouth. As most of you also know, dang do I love good food! And I love this town. So, it is only natural that I'm a huge fan of Restaurant Week! So far this week, I've had the great pleasure of eating at Mombo and Brazo and tonight I'll be dining at Cafe Mediterraneo. I'm a lucky duck, aren't I?

Folks from near and far have been coming into Portsmouth this past week to enjoy incredible fixed-price meals from the areas best restaurants. At $16.95 per person for lunch and $29.95 per person for dinner for a 3-course meal, it's a pretty awesome deal and a great reason to try some of those restaurants you haven't tried just yet.

When I first moved up to Portsmouth from Boston/Cambridge four years ago, I feared that I'd miss my foodie hangouts in the city. But, let me tell you, the caliber of cuisine in and around Portsmouth is truly spectacular. I'm consistently surprised and delighted with the inventive food and drink available here in our wonderful town. So, yourselves a favor and get out to a restaurant this weekend for some yums.

Also - we are staying open late (till 9PM) tonight, tomorrow and Saturday nights as are many other fabulous stores in town. So, have some good food and do some shopping. It's the right thing to do :) More info on Restaurant Week HERE.

Bon Appetit!

Oh, one more thing. How delicious does this Fall inspired cocktail sound? Must try soon!

(Pumpkin & Apple Cider Fizz - from Kitchen Konfidence)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dylan & Kristy's super rad, type-driven invitations

Here at Gus & Ruby Letterpress we LOVE designing and printing custom wedding invitations for our super awesome clients, but we also enjoy letterpress printing for many of the super talented designers that reside in the greater metro Portsmouth area. It is so much fun collaborating with artists as they dream up designs for their very own wedding invitations knowing that we get to make the finished pieces come to life for them! 

The first couple we ever collaborated with was the fantastically rad duo of Dylan Haigh & Kristy Martino, known now simply as HAM (Haigh and Martino), who moved to Portsmouth in 2009 on a bit of a whim after leaving their design agency down south. I was obsessed with these two immediately, mostly because they seemed so cool in their skinny jeans and retro glasses, but also because the colors they had chosen for their wedding invites were warm red and yellow with pops of black and teal. Nobody E V E R picks colors like that for wedding invites. They even brought Pantone chips with them. Enough said. The two were working on designs for their save the dates "together", which hilariously consisted of them each arguing their case as to why their design was better than the other's. Yet there was no arguing. It was kind of mind blowing. 

Anyways, I could go on and on about these two, but I'll get right to their awesome designs. We printed on 220# duplex in fluorescent white to make their bright colors pop as much as possible. I honestly can't remember who's design "won" and/or if the final designs were truly a collaboration of both of their talents, but it doesn't really matter because they were super duper awesome and pretty cool to print.

Here is a detailed shot of the save the date (how flippin' cute is that?):

Full shot of the No. 10 (approx. 4x9") save the date:

Here is a pic of the whole suite:

Custom gatefold printed in black ink on kraft paper that housed the invite and reply card: 


Outer envelope:

 Love the reply postcard:

Super bright envelopes! Wouldn't you love receiving this in the mail?

Not quite sure what this is, but I like it:

Whole suite:

Pretty cute right? Dylan & Kristy saved money by printing each piece in 1-color, printing their own gatefolds and stickers and using a reply postcard rather than a reply card and envelope. Since joining their lives together in holy matrimony, the two have founded their own design agency, appropriately named, HAM. Check out their work and musings:

Haigh & Martino Website
HAM Blog

All photos by HAM
Design by HAM, Letterpress printing by Gus & Ruby Letterpress

Friday, November 4, 2011

the dirty life...

Afternoon folks....

I told you I'd be back :)

I was feeling compelled to share a little more product love for you today, but to give you a bit of backstory on my inspiration for this post...

For the past two weeks I have been reading a book called The Dirty Life and it has me all in a tizzy. It's got me thinking about organic food, about the idea of farming as a lifestyle choice, and about the talent that it takes for a human being to write such a beautiful and enthralling story about refocusing their life and finding a new calling.

If you haven't heard of it already, I would highly recommend it. The author, Kristin Kimball left her life in New York after meeting the man who would become her husband and right hand man (or more appropriately, she became his right-hand-woman) on Essex Farm in northern New York. The story really pulls you in as you have the opportunity to read about how their relationship started, why she decided to leave her life in the city, and the struggles she and her husband went through to turn a huge piece of land into a living and breathing farm that now supplies 150 humans with delicious, organic produce, meat, grain, and dairy products. Isn't that incredible to think about? They have become an all natural food market for 150 human beings. 150!

(photos courtesy of Kristin and her husband, Mark, working the land on Essex Farm)

But anyways... the reason that I brought up the book, and my interest in it, is because we have some new goodies in the shop that sort of relish in the same vein. Us girls here at Gus & Ruby Letterpress, we really love the idea of buying local - we jump at the opportunity to take a trip to the farmer's market for fresh produce, and adore the fact that we can buy products for you kind folks that have been made with lots of love here in the US of A, by talented craftsmen and designers. So when we came across Further, Claudia Pearson Illustration, and Simrin, we had to take advantage of the incredible work they do and get their goodies in the store ASAP!

Further is a new line for us and the story behind the product is a really incredible one that involves a man named Marshall who drives a bio-diesel fueled automobile. Marshall spends his days collecting depleted waste grease from some of Los Angeles' fanciest restaurants, and originally was converting it into bio-diesel for his car. Pretty clever guy... right?!

Well one day, Marshall's wife caught him in the garage at his make-shift laboratory and told him that things had to change - the byproduct of the distillation of the grease that Marshall was working on was building up in barrels. But this byproduct, glycerin, still hadn't seen it's shining day because it wasn't until Marshall's wife put the kabosh on his utilization of their garage space that Marshall decided to take things one step FURTHER... (get where the bizzy name comes from?!)

Marshall started bottling the glycerin as hand soap (with the lovely addition of natural oils like bergamot, olive and exotic grasses), and returned it to the restaurants from whence the depleted waste grease came. Now the restaurants had soap to wash their hands - and Marshall's wife had a clean garage!

Now we're carrying Further hand soap, hand lotion, and candles, and we LOVE THEM! The simple packaging and lovely scent that they emit is just right - not too floral, and not really spicy either.

I just love this stuff - it's the perfect fit for any kitchen or bathroom (and I think a great gift for Moms & Dads who so lovingly spend their time making us delicious meals when we go home to see them!)

And maybe you should pair the soap with a lovely little tea towel?

Claudia Pearson Illustration is one of my all-time favorite lines that we carry in the shop! (I feel like I say that a lot - but I suppose that that's a good sign, right?)

This year, we will have Claudia's hand drawn lovelies in calendar form, but also in these super sweet tea towel sets. I think that her work is so playful and bright - it's just the best!

Claudia also came up with this super-adorable collection of hand-drawn recipe cards. As a set of 12, these are such a great gift for the food-lover in your family! Each one has a unique design printed on the front (with matching recipe on the back), and the quality of Claudia's work is definitely frame-worthy! The assortment and color palette would work as a great little installation of artwork in your kitchen, and all of Claudia's designs are focused on buying seasonally and locally!

And we know it's a bit of a stretch for our usual offerings, but we fell in love with these hand-screen printed jute placemats from Simrin. This time of year, everyone is getting geared up for family and friend gatherings around the house, and I think that either of these place mat sets could be an awesome touch of whimsy with your regular holiday decor!

These could be the perfect little bundle to stick in your daughters stocking for her college apartment, or first home! Just roll the set of 4 up with some red satin ribbon, and you're good to go!

Well, I think I've rambled on for long enough today. I hope you all are gearing up for an awesome weekend (complete with a trip to visit us at the shop to see some of the newbies we chatted about today!)
Enjoy this lovely sunshine, take care of yourselves, buy local... and come out for Portsmouth Restaurant week!

Lots of love -