Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Undeniable Enthusiasm

It's hard to believe an entire year has gone by since we offered our very first introduction to letterpress workshop. Since then, our participants have included everything from scientists just looking to get out of the lab, to die-hard letterpress fans ready to start their own business. No matter the case, every participant has shown undeniable enthusiasm. It has been a true pleasure imparting my knowledge and encouraging the revival of this otherwise dying craft.

The first workshop for 2011 is scheduled for Sunday, January 23. Please visit the Modus Paperie & Press website for information on how to register.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Echo Park Paper

I may have mentioned in the past that I am a shameless sucker for packaging and gift wrapping is certainly no exception. Not only does Echo Park Paper have ridiculously cute designs, they've taken it one step further and created themed collections complete with stickers and tags so you can wrap like a pro. (Or in my case, hoard it like we're running out of trees!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Modus Featured in CRAVE Vancouver!

The CRAVE Vancouver "Urban Girl's Manifesto" is the most unique and stylish guidebook for entreprenesses that showcases some of the most creative, interesting, and gutsy proprietors throughout the city. Modus Paperie & Press is proud to be selected as one of only 150 businesses featured in the latest edition of CRAVE Vancouver!

What is CRAVE? CRAVE Vancouver is the resource that connects urban gals to the sassiest, gutsiest, most inspiring people they need to know in Vancouver. In addition to the guide, their modern marketplace of soirees, gatherings and online networking serves as your ambassador to everything there is to CRAVE in our city.

We have a limited quantity of guides in stock. To take advantage of our half-off promotion, please email us today!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Creative Genius?

A while back, my eldest sister posted this photo on her facebook wall. A message from her 13-year-old son. Is he a creative genius? I think so!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last workshop of 2010!

We have one last workshop scheduled for 2010 on November 28th! Over the course of the 1-day, introduction to letterpress workshop you'll learn to set lead type, print from plates, mix ink, trim paper on an antique gillotine cutter, and of course, operate the 100-year-old press.

During the workshop you'll create a set of 12 greeting cards with your very own hand-set credit on the back. How you use them is up to you – mail them out to your friends and family or package them up into sets and give them as gifts!

These workshops have been filling up fast so to avoid disappointment, please visit the Modus website today for information on how to guarantee your spot!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ellen's Frightened Writer!

Recently, Ellen sent her writer, Amy, through a scary Hallowe'en maze at Universal Studios Hollywood. This is seriously one of the funniest videos I've ever seen! Thanks for making us laugh, Ellen!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Invitation Buzz

To celebrate the Hallowe'en season, our friends at Invitation Buzz out of Maine assembled a "Fabulous Lineup" of black cats and ours made the cut! Check out their blog for all things stationery.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Workshop Review from Edmonton

If you've been considering taking one of our workshops, you may want to have a peek at Melissa from Wedding Obsession's review of the September workshop. Here's a snippet: "Sure, people question why we’re turning to an ‘old’ and ‘ancient’ way of printing, but it’s so thrilling to see the final product and the steps that went into it." Click here for her full entry.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Call for Entry

The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada British Columbia Chapter and proud sponsor, Hemlock Printers, established the Jim Rimmer Community Scholarship for Design to honour Jim Rimmer, a local industry icon and pivotal influence in Canadian letterpress and private press.

The Scholarship is awarded annually to two students, or student groups, who demonstrate the use of design thinking to benefit their community and effectively communicate a message, affect action and promote change. Invited to apply are students as individuals or in groups who are currently enrolled in an accredited design program or have graduated within the past year from a post-secondary institution within British Columbia.

Deadline for application: November 8, 2010
For more information, visit the GDC/BC website.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Coffee & Letterpress

On a recent trip to Chicago, we discovered this fantastic coffee bar on our way to visit the Chicago Museum of Art. Our first clue that Intelligentsia had great coffee? No free seating at 8 o'clock on a Saturday morning! (We ended up at fabulous Caffè Baci instead.) Fitting to their urban yet down to earth brand, they chose to use letterpress – white ink on a coffee bean brown card stock – to print the tent cards on their table tops. I didn't want to impose my camera on the locals' morning ritual so that means no photos, but I'm sure you can use your imagination with this one!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mighty Mouse Surgery

I'm happy to report that my once mighty Apple Mighty Mouse is once again, mighty! After being faced with roller-ball failure on a second Apple Mighty Mouse, I decided it was time to operate. One knife, one screw driver, one damp cloth and two pieces of tape later, it was all fixed! Avoiding a triplicate purchase at the Apple Store was certainly gratifying but in the end, what I really appreciated most was being reminded of how much fun it is to take things apart and see how they work!

Here's a short photo essay on my experience as a Mighty Mouse surgeon.

My Apple Mighty Mouse about to have an operation.

The mouse on its back in preparation for surgery.

With a thin instrument, I carefully pried off the outer ring. The ring was glued down so I had to gently wiggle it loose in order to remove it without breaking the plastic. (If you choose to use a knife like I did, please wear protective gloves and be very careful!)

This is what it looked like with the outer ring removed.

The next step was to remove the inner grey ring. It wasn't attached with glue so it was much easier to lift off – shown here. (In hindsight, I'm not entirely sure this step was necessary.)

Once the grey ring was off, I gently pried up the bottom of the mouse at the end where the cord feeds in. There was a hinge mechanism on the other end, so once the cord end was free, I unhinged the other end with a little squeeze and a wiggle.

Once that was done, it looked like this. There were a couple of thin electronic pieces that connected the top and bottom of the mouse – I left those connected and was very careful not to damage them.

Inside, there was this little black box with three little screws that I carefully removed.

The contents of the little black box looked like this. Once it was open, I could clearly see the problem – check out all those dust particles – eew!

I noted the shape of the white plastic piece, knowing it would be key to putting the roller-ball mechanism back together again.

After I had very gently removed the white plastic piece, this is what it looked like. All the little pieces inside were free so I had to be careful not to lose any. (When you do this, if any of the pieces fall out, you can use this photo as a reference for putting it back together again.)

With the little grey ball out, this is what I was left with. Can you see the four tiny black and white pieces with the dust particles stuck to them? One-by-one I removed and cleaned each of them with a damp cloth, and while I was at it, I also cleaned out any other particles from the inside of the mouse. After everything was dust free again, I put everything back together by simply repeating the steps in reverse. To make it easier to clean in the future, I decided against gluing the rings back on and opted to tape the rings in place instead

I hope this inspires you to explore the insides of your own malfunctioning electronics instead of feeling like you must resign them to the landfill. With nothing to loose, you might as well go for it, right?!

NOTE: Please be sure to exercise caution by wearing protective gloves and glasses and heed all (if any) warnings noted on the casings.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Letterpress Enthusiasts from the North East

In the September workshop we hosted Melissa of Wedding Obsession and her friend Ashley who came all the way from Edmonton just to learn letterpress! They exercised great patience in hand-setting their bugs and locked up like experts in one shot. The plate printing went as smoothly as we could have hoped – registration adjustment, roller alignment, rail balancing and voilĂ  – perfection! Now Melissa and Ashley can say they've learned the basics (and a few intricacies) of letterpress in theory and practice.

Hand-set type – Helvetica & Murray Hill – all locked up.

Perfect impression.

A cheerful cardinal.

Ashley & Melissa showing off the fruits of their efforts!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fall Workshops

A little update on the fall 2010 workshop schedule at Modus Paperie & Press:

AUGUST: Summer Hiatus
SEP 18th: Sorry - Class Full!
OCT 16th: Now Booking

The fall sessions are filling up quickly so to avoid disappointment, please book early!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Shop Direct!

In addition to our exciting news on July 28th about our products being carried by Favourite gift boutique, we are also happy to announce, you can now make secure online purchases directly through our website. We are continually adding to our collection so please check back often for hot-off-the-press items!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Find us at Favourite!

You can now pick up all your favourite Modus greetings, gift tags and limited edition prints at Favourite gift boutique in the Lonsdale Quay! Favourite is a delicious little shop and the Lonsdale Quay Market is as vibrant as ever. If you don't live on the North Shore, don't fret, it's easy to get there! Just make your way to the Seabus terminal, enjoy the crossing... hop off on the other side, and you're there!

Favourite is located on the second level. It's just at the top of the stairs and overlooks the bustling market.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Fun Continues...

This weekend marked the 3rd installation of our Introduction to Letterpress workshop at the Modus studio. This time around we added to our barrel full of sock monkeys and transformed our California poppies into a beautiful rich red variety with crisp black stems. Oooooh-ahhhhh. And as promised, I remembered my camera this time!

Who doesn't love printing sock monkeys!?

Monkey plate.

Printing poppies.

Locked up hand set type.

Finished product!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Some Lovin' for Sock Monkey Love

I recently discovered that back in January, our work was mentioned in a Valentine's Day feature on the popular style blog Platinum Blonde Life out of New York. See our "Sock Monkey Love" up in the top left corner? Thanks for the shout-out Platinum Blonde Life!

Image: Platinum Blonde Life

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sole Mates

My friend Illene is Queen of all things innovative. In fact, she should really be contributing to this blog on a daily basis but since she insists she is a designer not a writer, I will post this for her!

You finally found the perfect shoe to go with the perfect outfit, what more could you ask for? Sole Mates! – little caps that you clip on to the heels of your stilettos to save them from grass, mud, cobblestone and sidewalk cracks. Well, how about that... you don't have to sacrifice your favourite pair of shoes for your best friend's garden wedding!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Upcoming Letterpress Workshops

I'm happy to report the March workshop was another great success! This time our solo student produced a beautiful set of 12 greeting cards. The next workshop is coming up on April 24th and this time I'm hoping to have the foresight to bring my camera and show you all what we're up to!

Monday, February 1, 2010


Yesterday we held our very first workshop at Modus Paperie & Press. When all was said and done, we sent home some beautiful turquoise business cards that were hand-set in lead type, and an adorable set of "Bee Mine" mini-broadsides perfect for spreading some Valentine's Day cheer. We certainly covered a lot of ground in a day and had loads of fun in the process but don't take my word for it, check out Lemmonism, the student's blog post on her experience with letterpress!

If you'd like to join in the fun, visit our website for more information on upcoming dates and registration.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

UPDATE: Letterpress Classes Scheduled for 2010

Class size: minimum of 1, maximum of 2
Suggested Theme: Valentine's Day
Hours: 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM (with a 1-hour lunch)
Cost: $240 CDN (includes all materials)
Registration Deadline: CLOSED

MARCH 6 & 7
Class size: minimum of 3, maximum of 4
Suggested Theme: Easter
Hours: 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM (with a 1-hour lunch)
Cost: $240 CDN (includes all materials)
Registration Deadline: February 26th

APRIL 24 & 25
Class size: minimum of 3, maximum of 4
Suggested Theme: Mother's Day
Hours: 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM (with a 1-hour lunch)
Cost: $240 CDN (includes all materials)
Registration Deadline: April 16th

For more information or to register, email Modus Paperie & Press or call 604 313 6954. Payment is due at time of registration. (Paypal, Canada Post Money Order or Cheque)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Learn Letterpress!

I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday, is well rested and ready to charge forth into 2010! I've never been an active participant in proclaiming New Year's resolutions but I've always felt that January is a great time for change. Rework priorities. Set new goals. Learn something new!

In keeping with that theme, the creative minds surrounding Modus Paperie & Press came up with a great idea — share our knowledge with our wide-eyed fans and offer letterpress printing workshops to all!

In our first session, we'll follow a century-old tradition and you'll make your very own valentines on our 1913 printing press! Over the course of the 2-day workshop, you'll learn to set lead type, print from plates, mix ink, select paper and, of course, operate the press! The cost is $240 (CDN) and includes all materials. Class size is limited to 4 for optimal press time so contact us today to reserve your spot... the class will fill up fast!

WHERE: Modus Paperie & Press
ADDRESS: 316 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
DATE: January 30 & 31, 2010
TIME: 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM (with a 1-hour lunch break)

For more information or to register, email Modus Paperie & Press or call 604 313 6954. Payment is due at time of registration. (Paypal, Canada Post Money Order or Cheque)