Achewood greeting cards

May 28th, 2008

These are pure genius, and I wish I had thought of each and every last one of them first.


  • I Am Sorry I Played it Huffy on the Phone / (inside) It’s Just That Society Did My Nerves Up Wretched
  • Baby Can You Please Check Your Makeup in the Car / (inside) We’re All Kinds of Late to This Thing

And the infamous “dude-to-dude” card:

  • Dogg It Must Feel Sick As Hell to Receive a Card From a Dude

Coming Soon! The 5th Annual Print Arts Fair at the Museum of Printing

May 13th, 2008

Despite the dearth of blog entries in the past several months, the Rainy Planet Press is still kicking. Well, maybe nothing so animated as “kicking” but we continue shuffling irregularly toward some unstated and frankly unknown goal, whenever we so please.

The big news, which I am very delinquent in announcing, is that we are again selling our wares at this year’s Letterpress Guild of New England / Museum of Printing fair in North Andover, Massachusetts. It’s on Father’s Day again, Sunday, June 15, 2008.

This year I’m coordinating the vendors, so if you are interested in selling your wares as well, be they printed goods, printing gear, or other related items, please contact me at for more info. Join the likes of the Albertine Press, Pressbound, The Press With No Name, Swamp Press, May Day Studio, Sea Dog Press, and more to come…

More soon!

Welcome Terri to the blog

February 29th, 2008

My Rainy Planet co-conspiritor, Terri, normally blogs over at The Shy Turnip about books, knitting, cats, The Comic Strip Presents, and all manner of fine things. But she’s also been posting great writeups of recent letterpress activities, like the Bazaar Bizarre, and our increasing involvement in the Letterpress Guild of New England. So I’m setting her up to write about them here.

Let’s give Terri a big ol’ Rainy Planet Blog welcome!

Portsmouth, 16 Feb 08

February 17th, 2008

Terri and I have traditionally taken a one- or two-day getaway sometime around Valentine’s Day or President’s Day, for a little romance and to help stave off the winter blahs. This year, just having come back from a pretty heavy-duty vacation in Germany and France in January for April’s wedding, we decided to keep it simple (and cheaper) and just make a day trip to Portsmouth, NH. Which as many know, is sort of a favorite T&E spot, having been the site of an early non-date and also where I popped the question.

arboretum.jpgSaw a couple of interesting things (but bought none) at RiverRun Books. Not so sure why I’m so into David Byrne lately, but happened upon Arboretum, a nifty short book of tree diagrams of… well, basically abstractions. Says Byrne:

I see recent news photos that (unintentionally?) mimic Caravaggios, others that look exactly like images from Star Wars, the body attitudes of the Loas of Vodou or of classical Greek sculpture. Postures, poses and perspectives keep recurring over and over. As if Jung’s archetypes—characters, relationships and stories imbedded in our thoughts—unconsciously urge us not only to psychologically label situations and relationships, but also to gravitate towards certain images and specific angles in our image choices. The picture editor in our heads. I don’t think every photojournalist, for example, has a childhood memory of classical art that they once saw on a school trip that they use as an unconscious reference, though some might. I think rather the journalists and the classical artists are more likely drawing on the same deep internal sources.

I ended up not buying anything. We walked around a little and ended up at the Portsmouth Brewery for lunch. I had a sampler paddle of beer because there were so many things on tap that I wanted to try. We stayed for a couple of rounds while Terri knit and I doodled for a potential Rainy Planet printing project.

odd showroomI sort of love the Odd Showroom on Market St, even though it’s mostly vintagey women’s clothes and original paintings that aren’t really my taste. The proprietress is usually sitting behind the counter with her sewing machine working up new originals. It’s not quite my aesthetic (lots of creepy doll heads with big eyes), but I get a charge out of going there; it’s always sort of fun to go somewhere where someone had a vision to do something and just did it.

elmer gnomeThere was a great little art show going on in a shop called Nahcotta which seems to be a gallery and designery home goods store. There was a show on called The Enormous Tiny Art Show. Some of my favorites were the Amy Ruppel paintings/beeswax etchings(?), Matte Stephens‘ very 60’s cartoony paintings (pictured is his “Elmer Gnome”), Rachel Austin’s paintings, and Scott Campbell’s “prison” paintings. prison2.jpgA lot of it was very cartoony and design-y (which is totally up my alley). So much good stuff that we decided to buy some original art. We did not realize, though, that most of what was still up was sold, including the small painting that we settled on after a great deal of time and handwringing. It was deflating enough that our first and second choices were gone that we ended up not quite being able to settle on anything. I feel a little bad that I enjoyed the show so much and didn’t end up bringing anything home, so that is why the excessive linkery here.

Somewhere in there we also ended up at Bull Moose music and I bought the extended edition of X-Ray Spex’ “Germfree Adolescents”. I’ve been making so many exceptions to my “I hate punk rock” pose lately that I probably have to finally suck it up and admit that I’ve been… less than truthful with myself.

Had a lovely dinner at the Blue Mermaid, and then coffee, knitting/doodling, and sitting-out-the-effects-of-the-wine at Popover’s, and then home.

Terri’s recap from the Bazaar Bizarre

December 21st, 2007

In case you missed Terri’s recap of our 2007 Bazarre Bizarre experience, check it out. our table at the bazaar bizarre

It was a fantastic event and once again we felt privileged and humbled to be a part of such a great show with so many creative folks selling their wares. It was nice to get a lot of repeat customers from last year, and some nice feedback (”I sent your cards out to a bunch of people and they loved them!” for one).

Some highlights were

  • trading some stuff to the Shelley of Albertine Press for one of her gorgeous letterpress + marbled paper 2008 calendars.
  • selling a custom moleskine that said “following my heart is my long term plan” to Ivana Clobber, founder of the Boston Derby Dames, who is quitting her job and driving across the country (several times over) and ending up in Kansas City, MO to go pro. It’s cool to think that she’ll be recording her adventures in one of our notebooks! (Even though I spelled “following” wrong on it. (Did I mention the light was sort of bad in our corner after sunset?))
  • selling a surprising number of Terri’s Ladybug, Ladybug (aka, “your children will burn“) cards. We sold three to a guy who said he was just denied tenure.

your children will burn

Bazaar Bizarre reminder….

December 8th, 2007

RPP  BannerDon’t forget to come early to the Cyclorama to catch us at the Bazaar Bizarre tomorrow (Sunday, Dec. 9).

Doors open at noon, and last year, the line stretched around the block until well after four.

Holiday Greetings

Come see us at the Boston Bazaar Bizarre ‘07

November 28th, 2007

The bad thing is that I’ve been a bad blogging doobie lately. The good thing is that I’ve been a bad blogging doobie because I’ve been a good printing doobie, and Terri and I have been creating fabulous new Rainy Planet creations in preparation for the Boston Bazaar Bizarre.

Come visit. We’ll be basically where we were last year, in the room to the immediate left as you enter the Cyclorama, just beyond the Boston Derby Dames.

The C&P has been fully operational for about a month now, thanks to Colin lending me his vise for an evening, so that I could bend a metal dowel to make a foot treadle hook for my DIY foot treadle (a.k.a. a 2×4).

We skipped participating in the Open Studios at Joy Street the other week, because when sign-ups were going on, we didn’t know if we’d have a functional press, and we didn’t have that much to show. But we did need the weekend to actually work, and people were not so cool about leaving us alone. Even though our door was closed, people kept just waltzing in, or following us in when we came back from a bathroom break. I totally had to just slam the door in one fairly annoying guy’s face. I guess there are worse problems in the world than people beating down your door to see what you have to offer, and I won’t be complaining when we do the open studios in the spring, but geez, it felt pretty invasive at the time.

Charley Harper

September 29th, 2007

I’m cleaning up our dreadfully dusty and cluttered bedroom, and came across a promotional postcard for Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life that I picked up at Book Soup in LA, when we were in Southern California in August for a friend’s wedding. I picked up the postcard to remind myself to blog about it, so here you go! The book is a huge oversized coffee table book, the kind that if I were wealthy enough that I never had to think about money I would be utterly unable to keep myself from. Borges fantasized about infinite libraries; I fantasize about infinite coffee tables.

Anyway, I was totally unfamiliar with Charley Harper, and just thought his illustrations were so creative and gorgeous, and totally evoked a particular time and spirit.

Design*sponge has a more informational post about this.


July 29th, 2007

A lot of changes have been in the works for the past few weeks, and then, suddenly, this week, everything became real.

The big change that pertains to this blog is that we have finally moved the 10×15 Chandler and Price New Style into the new studio space. By “we” I actually mean Rick and Dick from Shaugnessy Rigging and Transportation of New Hampshire.

Shelley, of Albertine Press fame, had recommended Shaughnessy to me. After doing some risk analysis of moving the press myself versus hiring professionals, I decided it was probably better to part with money than it was to part with life, limb, or the life and limb of friends.

C&P press partsOver the last week or two, I prepped the press as well as I could for the move. Removing the ink wheel and the ink wheel mount was easy. Removing the brake pedal and the throw-off lever were pretty easy. Removing the flywheel was sort of tricky because the key that holds it onto the crank shaft just wouldn’t budge. So, my only recourse was to remove it with the entire crank shaft. I removed the gear shield and, using some “liquid wrench” type spray stuff to loosen the key on the small gear on the other end of the crank shaft, used a gear puller to remove the small gear. Once that was off, I could pull off the whole flywheel with the crank shaft. I also took the opportunity to clean the press as much as I could in the time I had, since I figured that the studio’s ventilation isn’t as good as the ventilation in my garage, and I unfortunately really needed to use some nasty solvents to get rid of some of the decades of grease and rust. I still have some work to do in that department, even now that it’s in the studio.

There were two big hurdles that I figured we’d hit during the move. The first was the ramp to get from the loading dock up to the hallway. It was about a 25 degree grade, up about 3 or 4 feet. The second was just fitting it through the standard-sized door of the studio. I was pretty sure that that was going to be OK, though, since I took off the flywheel, and, based on my measurements, I had 4 inches to spare.

Rick, Dick, and helpful neighbor in the backgroundI was pretty much right. The guys got it out of the garage and onto the truck without much trouble, in under an hour. The drive there took longer than it should have because I unfortunately took my neighbor’s advice and tried a route that avoided some underpasses (which the 12′ truck would have had no problem with, in retrospect), but took about 15 minutes longer than it should have. Still, no big deal. The big problem was the ramp. After two unsuccessful attempts to get the press (on a pallette jack) up the ramp, with Dick pulling and me and Rick pushing, we ended up recruiting two guys from another business in the 86 Joy Street building to help us, and we made it up. It cleared the studio door with no problem.

Studio 105Since the move on Wednesday, I think I’ve probably been obsessing too much about getting the press cleaned up; I think I probably am at a point where it’s clean enough, and I just need to get it operational, and save my vision of getting it cleaned up enough to paint for the future. Terri has made some progress in setting up her corner of the studio.

There is much non-press-related going on, too, like getting a new job and quitting my current job, where I’ve been for 7 years. It’s a lot to take in! After our very brief trip to the studio today (I was exhausted after doing a ton of yard work from 9am - 1:30pm today), where we pretty much just dropped off some cases of type, we stopped at The Independent in Union Square and had a few glasses of wine and some fried almonds and stared out the big windows into Union Square. It felt like vacation. Much needed!

Galley Gab

July 23rd, 2007

Bieler Press points out Galley Gab, a monthly online publication on letterpress. It looks like the Rag & Bone blog mentioned it a few months ago, but I must have missed it. Actually, it looks like that Bieler Press mention is old as well, but my RSS reader just showed it again now, for some reason.


Galley Gab looks like it has great stuff!