Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Peek Inside Gus & Ruby Windows: Indigo Dye Kit

When Yellow Owl Workshop's new Indigo Dye Kit arrived in the shop a couple of weeks ago we were all abuzz with ideas of things to dye: tea towels, onesies for the littles, a tote to debut when the farmer's market starts back up. Then the 'ah-ha!' moment happened, a mini tee-pee tent to go in the window. Here's how to make your own.

You will need:
  • Yellow Owl Workshop's Indigo Dye Kit (includes the dye, gloves, instructions, and a scarf)
  • The usual things: a ruler or tape measure, pencil, scissors
  • Six 5' long PVC pipes (if you want a taller tee-pee, get longer PCV pipe)
  • A drill with 1/4" bit
  • A sewing machine, a needle and thread, or a friend who can sew
  • White cotton fabric, we used 3 yards (our friend who sews studied fashion design and is a fabric whiz, so you might need a little extra fabric if you want wiggle room or are making a larger tee-pee)
  • Cardboard or wood cut into about 6" squares
  • Rubber bands, a good handful
  • A bucket or another vessel to dye in
  • 18" of jute twine or another type of hearty string 
  • Washi tape

  • Mark and drill two holes in the PCV pipe about 6" from one end, try to keep them even on either side so that it's easy to string your twine through the holes.
  • Line the pipes up so that you can string the twine through each pipe. Roll the pipes together to create a loop with all of the holes and tie your twine tight.
  • Prop your tee-pee skeleton up (as shown below with my sweet Samson cat dancing inside). Make each side as even as you can. Measure the empty triangle spaces and find an average of your lengths. You'll want to give yourself about 1" extra on all sides for your seam allowances. The drawing to the right shows the shape you'll be measuring, the dotted line being that extra 1".
  • Sew each panel together side by side so that you end up with a shape resembling a semi-circle, you don't need to sew the two ends together at this point.
  •  Now you get to break open that dye kit! Yellow Owl Workshop gives great dying instructions so be sure to read through those. Simply put: soak your fabric, dye it, and let it dry.
  • This post from Design*Sponge gives excellent directions for a few different dying techniques, I used the square accordion fold. This is where those 6" wooden squares come in. If you're trying out a different technique, you may just use rubber bands.
  • Wring out your soaked fabric and lay it flat to begin folding. I started by folding the first three panels on top of the others, then folded each panel on one another again to work with the shape of just one panel. Fold that shape into the longest rectangle you can, then zig-zag the folds back and forth and sandwich them between the two pieces of wood. Rubber band the whole thing together tightly.
  • You can go about dying in two ways. The first option is to use the dye dauber in the kit to draw on the exposed bits of fabric. I tried this option first and it worked, but the ink didn't flow as well to create the softer look I was going for. I then tried a more traditional dying method, filling a bucket with a mixture of dye and water and let my fabric and wood sandwich sit in the bucket for 20 minutes. You can pop the top of the ink dauber off to pour the dye into a bucket. For a lighter indigo use more water, for a more bold color use less.
  • Once you've finished dying the fabric unfold and let it dry. Don't do any rinsing, it will desaturate the dye. While you're waiting for it to dry, use colorful washi tape to cover any bits of PVC pipe that will be exposed (we have all sorts of colors and patterns and even glitter tape at the shop).
  •  When your fabric is dry, wrap it around the PVC and sew the end panels together from the top of the tee-pee. We sewed about the foot so that we had a wide opening, if you want a smaller opening just sew further down. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the final tee-pee!
I added a fun starry touch the windows below. They are so easy to make and you could make a mobile with them or decorate for your next dinner party, maybe even hang them above a table for a fun seating chart.

You will need:
  • Foam core
  • Utility knife
  • A cutting surface
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Kraft paper or paper bags
  • Needle
  • Fishing line
  •  Cut star shapes from the foam core with the exacto knife. They don't need to be perfect. I love the way they look when they're all a little different. I also made a moon by tracing two different sized plates.
  • Paint each star front and back. Roll out some kraft paper so you don't paint the floor. I used a matte black paint for a sort of chalky look but you could really use any color.
  • String them up with the needle and fishing line. Now you have your very own starry night!
This window brings so much fun and whimsy. It makes me want to go camping in my living room with a thousand pillows and watch Moonrise Kingdom with my brother and sister. There's always something so great about remembering all of the little things that can bring such joy.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Gus & Ruby Letterpress at BHLDN Wedding Fair!

Next week, we'll be packing up lots of beautiful invitations and heading down to BHLDN Chestnut Hill to join some of our favorite industry friends for their annual Wedding Fair. We are just thrilled to be involved (you know we are BHLDN-aholics!) and can't wait to chat with brides and grooms about all things wedding. We'll have lots of beautiful samples to show you, a fab DIY stationery bar where you can create your own noteset and an INCREDIBLE giveaway contest that you won't want to miss.

Visit here to register for the event - you won't want to miss it. See you soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Peek Inside Gus & Ruby Windows

At Gus & Ruby we adore all things beautiful. We love to focus on the tactile nature of the details, whether it's the impression an inked plate makes into 100% cotton paper, or it's a handmade bag where you can see the stitches that hold the fabric together. We fill the windows with our favorite products and custom work and we see the window displays as another creative venue, to make a beautiful space.

Lucky for me, it's my job to execute the projects we daydream about installing in the windows. I wanted to start sharing this process in a new blog post that I'll write after each new window has debuted. It's so fun to connect with others who enjoy relishing in color palettes, textures, light, and beauty the way that I do. I can't wait to hear from you about your own projects, tip, tricks, and things that you would love to see from us at Gus & Ruby!

One of my favorite things about dreaming up new projects for the windows is re-inventing things we use everyday, this time I used waxed paper and crayons. Below I'll describe how to do it yourself!

You will need:
  • Crayons
  • Wax paper
  • Kraft paper
  • Iron
  • Scissors or a circle punch
  • Needle and thread
  • You will need a lot of crayons. I used 3 boxes of 100 crayons to fill our windows (keep in mind that you may only use part of the box of crayons). 
  • Pick out your color palette and take out all of those crayons. I chose greens and blues, but whatever palette you choose will end up looking lovely. Roughly separate all of your colors so that when you begin melting you don't get a pool of brown.  
  • You will need to peel the paper off of the crayons and then break them down. There are a few ways to go about this. You could go for the tried and true pencil sharpener method, the chop on the cutting board tactic, or the easy way: the blender! Use your best judgement, not all blenders are created equal and I don't want you risking your morning smoothie routine. 
  • I did use my blender (it worked like a dream) and pulsed the crayons for about 15 seconds and got a great powdery result.  I dumped all of my powdered crayons into the compartments of an egg carton for easy access later, but several bowls would do the trick!

Here's when you start seeing what you'll end up with!

  • Tear sheets of waxed paper into 6-by-16 inch sheets. Fold the sheet in half to make a 3-by-16 inch rectangle. 
  • Open your rectangle back up and sprinkle your crayon bits evenly across the wax paper. A little bit goes a long way, I used about 1/2 a tablespoon per wax paper rectangle. 
  • Fold your wax paper back to make a sandwich over the crayons, cover with kraft paper to protect your iron. Press the iron to melt the crayons. Let them cool and cut them into circles. 
  • String them together with a needle and thread and repeat!

And that's it! The installed 'curtains' look so lovely with the light shining through. Stay tuned for the next window post. I'm so excited to continue sharing these oh-so-fun projects!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring is here and it's time to dye some Easter Eggs!

Happy Spring Everyone!

We have this great all natural egg coloring kit in the shop, made in Portland, ME. It includes a few eco-crayons to try out relief coloring, 3 colored dye packets (with instructions to create up to 3 more colors), and a wire egg dipper. The natural dyes are made from gardenia flowers, curcumin, annatto seeds, beets, red cabbage, and purple sweet potato. We gave if a whirl and it was so fun and easy. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Facebook giveaway happening now!

Holy cow - we reached 5000 likes on Facebook! You guys are the best! 

To celebrate and say THANK YOU to all our amazing fans, we're holding a giveaway! 

Warm weather is approaching and that means it's time for adventures! One lucky person will win this fun striped weekend duffel bag- perfect for all the Spring and Summer trips to come! 

To enter all you need to do is visit our Facebook Page and add a comment to this post telling us what you like most about spring. And if you share this post you'll be entered twice! Giveaway ends Saturday March 7th at 11:59pm. We will announce the winner Monday March 9th!

Friday, February 27, 2015

New Arrivals from your friends at!

Is the never ending winter for 2015 finally driving you mad? The calendar says Spring is under a month away, we all know it is going to take a lot longer to actually start feeling that way outside. While I can't do anything about the weather, I do know something that is going to help your mood. 

It is nearly impossible to feel gloomy with this fun spring collection for! This design group for L.A. is inspired by disco balls, confetti cannons, and fizzy cocktails and it shows is everything they make. They do girly-girl to the extreme and remind you to have fun, ok?

Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you have to carry boring accessories! 

This stripy duo is perfect for a weekend getaway or a day at the beach! 

keep your phone, sunglasses, and lip balm all save in one place

Clockwise: phone case for iphone5/5s or 6, seafoam pouch, pencil pouch, lilac pouch


26 rose gold bobbies in cute travel case...a girl can never have enough bobbies, ever.

koozies & tumblers for all the tastiest drinks of summer

you'll never be lost in a crowd with this canvas heart weekend duffle

iPhone 6 case and iPhone 5/5s or 6/6+ backup phone charger so you keep you instagram update 24/7

(above photos courtesy of

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Let's getaway!

We don't know about you, but here in Portsmouth it's safe to say we'd all leave the snow behind if we had the chance! Whether you're day-dreaming of a swift jet-set, planning your upcoming spring break or you're just going to take advantage of your next free weekend, we collected some of our faves for your next vay-cay.

The Escapist
From top left to right:
  • Rhodia leather-bound notebook in iris: a lovely spot to write all about your adventures. 
  • Peter Pan: this cloth-bound gem is an excellent and quick read... perfect whether you are jetting off or simply letting the classic tale take you away on an adventure of imagination! 
  • Laney lunch tin: pack up lunch and set off on a living-room picnic.
  • Forestbound's Escape utility tote: if you are, indeed, setting off for adventure - this new bag is sure to set the tone for travels abroad.
  • Yellow Owl Workshop camera pennant: this snappy necklace hangs at 30", is made of 22k gold and is a perfect accessory to the real deal. 
  • Social Preparedness Kit: with 6 blank cards and 6 thank you notes with envelopes, this kit has everything you need to thank your hosts, nice-to-meet-ya to new pals, or to write home to your BFF if she isn't already adventuring with you!

From top left to right:
  • Hand-in-Hand lip balm in sea salt: super hydrating lip butter from a stellar company (they save 50 square feet rain forest, give clean water and a bar of soap to children in need with every purchase). 
  • Herbivore Botanicals sea clay soap: so you'll smell absolutely divine as you sail off. 
  • Baggu nylon dopp kit: a jazzy catch-all for all your little things. 
  • Sea Bag whale tote: the best easy-breezy ocean-going tote made of recycled sails.
  • Mast Brother's sea salt chocolate bar: for energy, of course.
  • Star chart matches: to light your way!

The Day-Tripper
From top left to right:
  • Porcelain geode necklaces: stunning gold-dipped necklaces that you'll want to wear your whole trip. 
  • Herbivore Botanicals lip butter in blood orange: refreshing and yummy balm made from the best ingredients to cure those Winter chapped lips.
  • The Hive Studio's calligraphy kit: the perfect new project to undertake on your getaway!
  • Dotted cross-body bag: a hand-silk-screened canvas bag with a leather strap that is oh-so-comfy and the ideal on-the-go bag. 
  • Shinola notebooks: the best place to practice your calligraphy or jot notes from your day out. 
  • Kinfolk: always good for inspiration or to curl up with at your local coffee shop.

Tell us where you're going next; we want to hear all about your adventures!

Monday, February 9, 2015

We're having a Valentine's Day pop-up Candy Shop!

Valentine's Day is coming right up (it's this coming Saturday, folks!) and we can't wait! This year, we're having a pop-up candy shop full of all your favorite penny candy, darling letterpress tags and beautiful ribbon. Stop in and fill a bag with sweets for your sweetie, grab the perfect card and top it off with a thoughtful gift and you'll certainly give Cupid a run for his money. 

The pop-up shop will take place Friday and Saturday (10am-6pm) so whether you're a plan-ahead type or a last minute kind of Valentine, we've got you covered!

Check out a few of our favorite Valentine's Day cards and gifts below and check out more cards HERE. We hope to see you soon!

The perfect card: 

(Cards, top image to bottom image: Oddball Press, Gus & Ruby Letterpress, Sugar Paper, Rifle Paper, Mr. Boddington's Studio, The Social Type)

And some lovely gifts
 For an at-home spa day:


For a romantic meal: 

For a cozy weekend in the mountains: 

(Gifts, top image to bottom image: Herbivore Botanicals, Hand in Hand Soap Co., Kinfolk Table, Mason Shaker bar set, Baggu weekender, Rifle In Bloom books)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Be Mine, True Love, I like-like you...

Do you know what day is right around the corner? February 14th, the most loveiest day of the year! (If you guessed Friday the 13th you were correct but until someone makes a card that say "Sorry that black cat crossed your path this morning" cards I don't think I'll be writing a Friday the 13th blog post)

Gus & Ruby has all the "loves" covered: true love, platonic love, i like-like you, we've been together for way too long love, making sure you didn't just accidentally say i love you for the first time on a card love.
Our Valentine's Day cards have been arriving for weeks now and its been so hard to not show them all you until now. Since February is only a few days away I thought it was finally time.

First off, how great are these tattly love notes for kids to give to all their classmates! 
(above photos courtesy of Tattly)

We have a few more sets in the store as well, like these great postcards, sweet heart noteset, and tiny love notes to say "I Love You" every day!
  (above photos courtesy of Rifle)
(above photos courtesy of Rifle)

(above photos courtesy of Smock)

(above photos courtesy of Emily MeDowell)

For your Valentine
(above photos courtesy of Rifle Paper)

(above photos courtesy of Sugar Paper)

(above photos courtesy of Sugar Paper)

(above photos courtesy of Rifle Paper)

 (above photos courtesy of The Social Type)

 (above photos courtesy of The Social Type)

(above photos courtesy of Dear Hancock)

(above photos courtesy of Smock)

(above photos courtesy of 9th Letterpress)

(above photos courtesy of One Canoe Two)

For your Love
(above photos courtesy of Smock)

(above photos courtesy of Hartland Brooklyn)

(above photos courtesy of Moglea)

(above photos courtesy of 9th Letterpress)

(above photos courtesy of Idlewild)
(above photos courtesy of Hartland Brooklyn)

(above photos courtesy of Sugar Paper)
(above photos courtesy of People I've Loved)

(above photos courtesy of Ladyfinger Letterpress)

(above photos courtesy of Banquet)

(above photos courtesy of Ladyfinger Letterpress)

For Laughs and Friends
(above photos courtesy of Emily McDowell)

(above photos courtesy of Emily McDowell)

(above photos courtesy of Emily McDowell)

(above photos courtesy of Smock) 

(above photos courtesy of One Canoe Two)

(above photos courtesy of Dear Hancock)

(above photos courtesy of People I've Loved)

(above photos courtesy of Moglea)

(above photos courtesy of One Canoe Two)

(above photos courtesy of Idlewild)

(above photos courtesy of Bench Pressed)
(above photos courtesy of Hartland Brooklyn)

(above photos courtesy of Ladyfinger Letterpress)
(above photos courtesy of Sapling Press)