May 31, 2010

Our Friendly Surtex Neighbors Part 1: Sandy and Abby Gervais

Posted by Ellen Heck

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One of the best parts of our Surtex experience this year was being able to meet and become friends with the artists in booths adjacent to our own (we felt so lucky to have such a nice “neighborhood” there at the cross section of 500 and the 50s), so we’d like to spend a few posts featuring these kind creatives with whom we spent a hard-working, but rewarding four days.  We are their newest, biggest fans.

First in this series, we are pleased to introduce you to Sandy and Abby Gervais, another mother-daughter team who were next to us on the left.  We were not only impressed by their ability to stay flexible and smiling during an initial printer error (which was eventually resolved, and their booth looked great, by the way), but that they were headed directly from Surtex in New York to go set up for the Quilt Market in Minneapolis the same day – with not even a nap in between!

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Sandy has been designing quilting fabric collections for Moda since before they became one of the go-to producers of high-quality on-trend quilting materials.  She also designs quilt patterns under the company name Pieces from my Heart, and is set up at the Quilt Market across from Moda fabrics to display her most recent quilt designs. Soon, I am guessing there will be photos from the event on her blog.

Abby, her daughter, was there helping her with both shows and we were able to get some great recommendations from them about where to find their great clothes, Boden, their funky glasses, The Limelight Marketplace, and where to stay in New York if you don’t want to be charged for having boxes shipped to your hotel, The Holiday Inn Express.

We also thought that her row of paint bottles there along the top of the desk was pretty fine.  It was great to live next to this team of designers for a week and we’re looking forward to the next time our paths will cross.

May 27, 2010

Surtex Scrapbook, Part 2: Our Booth

Posted by Cathy Heck

To continue with our Surtex saga: When we arrived at Jacob Javits, we went straight to our booth and were delighted to see this: Our boxes!

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And from these boxes we were able to do this on the first set-up day:

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Above from top left clockwise: 1. Cathy pulling out our pre-made ready-to-hang presentation boards  2. Ellen examining Jim’s very clever hanging system, hint: wire coat hangers  3. Ellen attaching Jim’s even cleverer shelf system for displaying product  4. Ellen preparing the fabric samples for mounting.

For the second day of set-up, we were able to add the finishing touches, and meet our Surtex neighbors.  We’ll have more about our great new creative friends in the next post.

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Above from top left clockwise: 1. Cathy adding tiny velcro sticker-onners to our 3d products so they wouldn’t fall on any of our licensees  2. The flowers arrived, which I had ordered a few weeks ahead from the official Surtex-approved flower purveyor, Big Apple Florist, and they were even prettier than the photo example I had sent with the “gift bag vase.” If our Welcome Home Noah gift bag had been available in England in the early 1900’s, I’m pretty sure Eliza Dolittle would have carried her flowers in one. 3. Ellen just couldn’t get excited about these large black stools that came with our booth, so we took a little trip to the SoHo Crate and Barrel and found …  4. these!  And we were able to amazingly fit them snuggly into the trunk of a taxi and get them to our booth.  So voila, there you have it: Surtex Booth #550.

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Above: Our finished booth. Sort of feels like opening your summer lemonade stand – on steroids.  Below: Showing new work to one of our favorite clients.

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Below: Cathy and Ellen and some of our studio friends saying thank you to our visitors, and we’ll see you next year.

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Categories: trade shows Tags:

May 24, 2010

Surtex Scrapbook, Part 1: Getting Ready

Posted by Cathy Heck

Whew!  We are back from Surtex in New York.  Surtex is a trade show held in the Jacob Javits Center, where surface designers and illustrators show their work to companies who need artwork to adorn their products.  You might wonder where a surface artist’s art finds itself … well, look around … Are you wearing a t-shirt?  Art. Are you wearing shoes? Art again. Are you drinking from a coffee cup? More art. Do you have a dog? Okay, well he’s not actually a surface for art, but his collar is!  Art.

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So, as you can see, lots of surfaces need art and lots of companies make products with surfaces that need art, so I better get back to work.  But, first, we thought you might like to see a mini-blog-scrapbook which illustrates our Surtex preparation and finished booth. And, if you are an art student wondering if there is room for another artist out there, the answer is YES!  Keep drawing!

Getting ready for Surtex in the Austin studio:

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Above from top left: 1. Printouts ready for gluing  2. G is for Giraffe and G is for a lot of gluing 3. Cathy placing and gluing  4. Jim created a great system for hanging our boards in our pretend Surtex booth in the studio. Below: Many hands make small work. (My family just loves it when I pull out an inspiring quote like this.)  :-)

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Above from top left: 1. My wonderful Mother’s Day present from Margaret: six hours of press kit gathering 2. Margaret’s tidy stacks 3. Press kits ready to go 4. Boxes ready to ship (with crossed fingers hoping they make it in time!)

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Above: Jim and Margaret overacting and giving me a hard time for shooting pictures of them cellophaning the press kit sets … hey, I was just trying to document my fun Mother’s Day!
So that was our final prep week in Austin of taping, gluing, gathering, labeling, tying, and shipping lots of art to New York City.  And since you might be as worn out reading this post as we were preparing, I’ll save the final booth set-up for next time!

May 7, 2010

T-1 week to Surtex

Posted by Ellen Heck

CathyPreparingforSurtex In one week, we should be in New York, setting up our Surtex booth and celebrating the completion of a few months of preparation, form-filling, printing, pasting, cutting, mocking-up, folding, sealing, and fantasizing about sleeping.

We’re pretty excited about the booth.  We will be residing in the most beautifully-decorated 8′x10′ melamine cubicle available – booth #550, if you happen to find yourself in the Javitz Center next week.  We’re featuring 7 of our most requested collections, along with the introduction of Welcome Home Noah, which is debuting at the National Stationery Show right next door.  We will also be showing many projects that are currently in the works.

A fun twist to our booth will be a chance to win a full set of personalized nursery art from our new interactive site, for which I will include a link right here just in case you are suddenly in need of some adorable one-of-a-kind art for a cute baby you know.

And here is a link to our licensing website just in case you are suddenly needing to license some best-selling artwork.  Write us here if you would like to set up an appointment during the show.

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Here is a photo from Surtex-work-week-#2, two weeks ago, when we were together in Austin.  See the calm and relaxed way in which we are making color decisions?  We still look that refreshed, right Mom?

The Austin studio is also working on a super cute snack-giveaway, which I think we’ll feature separately another day since it deserves its very own post…

We’ll see you in the Big Apple…

May 3, 2010

Birch Sap

Posted by Ellen Heck

The season for tapping birch sap is very short, but we were in Lithuania when it happened.

I don’t think I had ever seen the sap of a tree before – not in its watery-state, at least.  In California, we have eucalyptus trees that ooze crystals of red amber and make the sidewalk sticky, so I suppose I imagined that all trees have a thick-bodied circulatory system – that maple trees are filled with syrup – but apparently this is not the case!

Birch sap, I have learned, tastes (to me) like a very green version of those new flavored-water energy drinks with no calories that come in hi-tech bottles.  Here is some real information about it.  So, even if you are a city slicker like I am, if you happen to have a birch tree in your back yard, it might be a fun project for early spring…

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Here is my husband inspecting the sap bucket, and a quick watercolor of the glass mason jar after it had been filled.  Happy memories.

Have a great week!

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