Friday, February 22, 2013

Vendor Spotlight: Chewing the Cud

Afternoon Pals!

Liz here - how they heck have you all been?
Things have been crazy-daisy around here...
All sorts of good kinds of crazy, though... like fully booked weekends of wedding invitation consults and big letterpress studio movin' kinda coo-koo!
I'm headed out of town next week, Monday through Thursday, to visit the sunny state of California, and I have to admit, I'm jazzed about the prospect of some warm sunshine on my face. It has me thinking of pretty gardens and fresh veggies from the farmer's market (and hopefully a good scout or two for some new wholesale vendors for all of you Paperhounds to swoon over ;) In preparation for all that sunshine, I've been trying to freshen up the shop and really showcase some of my favorite lines that we'll be featuring new releases from, through the start of Spring and into Summer. A little re-merch is always a pleasant surprise for our shoppers, and for me, it helps to ascertain what we really could use a restock on.

I know that you all have heard of Chewing the Cud... it's a rare occasion that I'm not swooning over Viola's BEAUTIFUL patterns and fantastic recycled canvas storage buckets. There just isn't a bad thing to say about them. They're fun and playful - super easy to throw in the washing machine when needed - and they liven up just about any space.

And now, they come in three different sizes, small, large and EXTRA LARGE (which many of you snatched up around the holidays to use as hampers and toy bins for the kiddos at home). I obviously can't say enough good things about this line. It is everything a boutique retailer could want - sweetness, practicality, and GREAT quality - all packed into one!

After our Valentines day Pop-Up shop with Petal Floral, the lovely miss Becca was generous enough to leave me with a few of the house plants that we had leftover from the event. I've been taking very good care of them...

Watering them when they get thirsty...
Dusting off their leaves...
Singing them songs (when no one else is around... ;)

And of course I had to dress them up in some of our Chewing the Cud buckets...

I wanted to rant and rave about Viola's lovely goods this afternoon not just because I love these canvas buckets so much... but also because I am SO JAZZED about her NEW launch to the (already amazing) Chewing the Cud line this year!

Yes, those are table linens.
Can you say BEAU.TI.FUL?!
I cannot wait to get some of this lovely in this shop this Spring. Doesn't it just make you want to eat a Caprese salad out on the back deck in the late summer sun?! Sangria in hand, perhaps??

I know, you guys can't wait either, right?!

We're having a hard time deciding which patterns to carry, so any feedback you may have would be greatly appreciated :) I think a little mix'n'match action will likely be the avenue we take, but wanted to throw it out there because there are always favorite color palette and patterns that you guys respond to!

Lots of love and hope you all have been faring the snow lately.
It looks like there is more to come tomorrow but just keep in mind that soon - very, very soon - Spring will be here!

Xo Lizzy

Monday, February 18, 2013

Liz & Julian's nature-inspired invitations

Elizabeth and Julian first came to us almost 2 years ago (gosh! where does the time go!?) in search of some beautiful custom letterpress stationery for their June, 2011 wedding. A few phone consultations later (they live and work in NYC), and I felt like we were old friends; I loved hearing about Julian's work in the wine industry and was (and am!) totally fascinated by Liz's nutrition and holistic health business (learn all about it on her website, Dishing Well).

Liz & Julian were getting married on Martha's Vineyard and were looking for stationery that gave nod to the island's incredible natural beauty as well as their passion for local flowers and food. We opted for a playful, illustrated map of the island for their save the dates and you can see and read all about those on the Oh So Beautiful Paper blog.

For the invitation we wanted to keep things a touch more elegant. Using a rich palette of mossy green, plum purple and a deep raspberry, we mixed classic fonts, gorgeous hand calligraphy by Elizabeth Porcher Jones and lush botanical graphics for a nature-inspired and romantic look. Deep purple edge painting, some subtle blind printed pattern on the reply cards and colored backing papers for the festivities insert added pops of visual interest, as well. All the pieces of the invitation were bundled together by a layered belly band that was comprised of blind-printed cotton, burlap fabric and cotton twine with a flat-printed hang tag.  Each tag featured art from a variety of vintage seed packets as reference to the foodie couple. The little bundle perfectly set the tone for their gorgeous summer fete and we were thrilled to create many coordinating day-of pieces to keep the design cohesive.

Wedding day stationery (including program, escort cards, menus, and social stationery):

Design & Letterpress Printing: Gus & Ruby Letterpress
Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones
Photography: Brea McDonald Photography

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

We are opening a print studio!

We have BIG news, friends. Like REALLY BIG news! Last week Sam and I signed a lease on a space at the Dover Mills to house our new print studio! As most of you know I have been commuting to Wolfeboro 2-3 times a week for the last 3.5 years to use my dad's press and shop to do all of our letterpress printing. It was the perfect situation for us as we started our business and while I've thoroughly enjoyed printing alongside my dad and visiting with my family each week, it has been a stressful schedule for me to uphold. Since I am the only one who prints and I have only been printing 2-3 days a week we aren't able to turn jobs around as quickly as we'd like nor are we able to take on a large number of projects at once. With new employees and 3.5 successful years under our belts we are now ready to take this next step!

My dad's Chandler & Price letterpress will remain in his print shop so we've purchased 2 identical presses that are coming from Michigan. We have been very busy bees over the last 6 weeks as we've scoped out studio space, visited antique presses, shopped for a paper cutter and sketched and imagined the layout of our new space. We are super excited to join so many amazing companies at the Washington Street Mills including fellow wedding vendors, The White Apron, Rivermill and Wild Orchid Baking Company! While I will still be involved with all of the day to day activity at the Portsmouth store I will be spending most of my days designing and printing from our studio in Dover.

Thank you so much for your continued support! We promise to have an open house sometime this summer so you can get the grand tour and see some printing in action. Stay tuned for more updates but in the meantime take a peek at some photos of our new space and equipment!

This is the view from the door. Those lines on the floor were freestanding cubicles which we tore down. We will turn this space into the design area:

This is from the other end of the space looking at the design area and entryway:

This is looking at the area where the presses will go. That is my darling husband on the ladder painting trim. Super excited about this natural light:

This is one of our new old presses coming from Michigan! Needs to be dusted and wiped down with some WD40 but should be good to go:

 And here is a photo of our paper cutter:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Paper & Petal: A Valentine's Day Pop-Up Flower Shop

We are thrilled to announce that we'll be hosting Petal Floral Design in the shop on Thursday, February 14th from 10am-7:30pm for a Valentine's Day flower pop-up shop!

 All day, the lovely and crazy-talented Becca of Petal Floral Design will be in-store creating her signature romantic bouquets for purchase. And, of course, we're stocked to the gils with the best of the best Valentine's cards for your beloved.

So, stop by the shop next Thursday and pick-up all you need to woo your one and only (or your best friend, mama, sweet Aunt Cathy....or anyone you want to send some love to this Valentine's Day, really!). A love note + one of Becca's stunning creations will be just the sweetest combo for your Valentine this year!

All the love,
Gus & Ruby Letterpress and Petal Floral Design

Photos by the uber-amazing Hello Love Photography.  Thank you, Casey! 

Friday, February 1, 2013


Happy February 1st Gals & Pals!

You know what I was realizing this past week?
Next to Christmas, Valentines comes a close second in the "Most Rad & Awesome Holiday" category, for me.
It's always been that way.
Maybe it stems from the fact that my great aunt Pegs quilted hearts into all my crib bedding and so that shape has forever been etched in my subsconcious.

Or the fact that my mum used to draw hearts for me to color in with my pack of 96 Crayola brights. And I mean, would draw them DAILY because I was a crayon obsessed maniac as a child.

It could also be the fact that pink and red, together, are like sweet, sweet symphony.

I can tell that you totally get what I'm saying right now...

A lot of people dislike Valentines though. With a passion that's severe and kind of awful. And while I can appreciate that everyone has the right to think what they want, I like to think that Valentine's Day is a day that acts as a friendly reminder to share some love. Because sometimes we get bogged down in work and stress and we forget to tell those we love how awesome they are.

**Note I'm not saying the work and stress are excuses.
Because we can all do better.
I'm just saying that reminders are important.
Plus, let's face it... how often do you tell all the people you should, just how much you love them?

I'm right.
You don't say it enough...
And don't go pulling that, "well, if I say it too much it'll lose it's meaning"...
There's no pulling the wool over my eyes on this one peeps.
I've got you all figured out.

And so, in the interest of fun and fair competitive nature, I'm challenging you to give someone a Valentine this year who will not likely be expecting one. This goes out to all of you Valentines nay-sayers, too.
It's a healthy, good-natured challenge... and you'll feel great doing it.
Believe you me.

Come and see us at Gus & Ruby's and we'll hook. you. up.
You'll be passing out the BEST Valen-timesy love notes this side of the Piscataqua!
Because, you know, we don't mess around when it comes to gifties and love notes.
No Sir-ree, Bob. 

(just a small assortment of cards from Rifle Paper Co. available now at Gus & Ruby Letterpress)

Don't 'cha just love, love?!
xo Lizzy