Back to paper

I don't just read books. I devour them. I fall into them. I mourn their end. Someday I'll have a library with floor-to-ceiling shelves and a sliding ladder. But, until then, I live in a tiny 1950s house with three other people and a 65 pound black lab named Tinkerbell. Consequently, I was an early adapter in the e-reader craze. Sure the balance is a bit off when reading in bed. And there's no new book smell. But I fell hard for my e-reader.

Lately I have been missing the tactile experience of a book. Last night I started and later finished reading the Camilla Engman edition of the suitcase series. I found that intimate feeling I have been missing. You or someone you know may be an e-reader junkie too. But, thankfully, we have a cure.

Creative Adventure with Camilla Engman

illustration by Camilla EngmanAngela Ritchie's Ace Camp is heading back to visit Camilla Engman (Gothenburg, Sweden) for the third time!

"The group will be staying at Hotel Flora and will have time to explore Gothenburg together and on their own. Camilla will lead a 4 day workshop and take us to her inspirational places in Gothenburg. This Ace Camp will include an excursion to the west coast archipelago and the town of Marstand where you will collect your imagery in sketchbooks and transform them into a painting in the studio. Artists of all levels, from beginner to experienced are encouraged to participate. May 13-20, 2012" For full details and registration, click here.


(Please note that the 2-colour art print is sold out.)



If you can't make the trip, the The Suitcase Series: Camilla Engman that Camilla and I made a few years ago will immerse you in her art, craft and culture. The book is available for purchase here.

In tribute to Morran

Camilla shared the sad news of her dog Morran's passing. This little dog has entertained and amused so many people over the years, and most recently Camilla started a book project with illustrators from around the world contributing portraits inspired by the pup.

Morran has been such a large part of Camilla's life and career; so much so that when we created The Suitcase Series Volume 1: Camilla Engman, we had to recognize Morran in some way. So I wrote a little storybook about Morran, illustrated with Camilla's photos and drawings. It is a separate little booklet, inserted into the larger book. I decided to share the booklet story with you here, in tribute to the little Swedish dog with a big imagination. The story seems fitting, a metaphor for life.

Thank you, Morran, we will miss you.

Art School Girl

Put the school back in Art School Girl from artschoolgirl on Vimeo.

Congratulations to Art School Girl on her successful Kickstarter project to learn from Camilla Engman in a recent Angela Ritchie Ace Camp. The Suitcase Series 1: Camilla Engman is featured prominently! (Had I known about this earlier, I would have definitely posted it—if you have a project that you'd like to have highlighted on the UPPERCASE blog, please just email or send it as a suggestion.)

More Weekend Reading: Camilla Engman

Camilla has some free Christmas tags for download on her site!

Many thanks to Julia Rothman's Book by its Cover! The Suitcase Series Volume 1: Camilla Engman has been named Julia's #2 favourite book of 2010 and the reader's most popular pick for #1, based on number of comments. That's stupendous, thank you!

Enter the code "bookbyitscover" for 10% off your purchases of The Suitcase Series or anything else in the shop. Please note that if you're ordering a gift to arrive before Christmas, see the following postal deadlines:

regular shipping within Canada
(items ordered this weekend are ok and will be shipped Monday morning)

Xpresspost shipping within Canada

regular shipping to USA
7 (ended, please select Xpresspost or courier options)

Xpresspost shipping to USA

ended DECEMBER 6
Click here to order in Europe.

Oh, the excitement!

Although I do love summer—gardens, blue skies and road trips—when the temperature dips and we cross the long weekend into September, my heart flutters with anticipation: back to school! I confess it has been many years since I was a student and I won't be teaching at the college this year, but I still love that feeling of starting a new "school year": a year marked by new things to learn, new projects and new friends.

And so it is with that sense of wonder and excitement that I happily announce the projects that are going to be on my syllabus for the next while:

The marvelous Lisa Congdon and I are turning A Collection a Day into a book! Wow! It is going to be a beauty. Lisa will continue to post her collections through the end of the year and we will be working on the book behind the scenes so that it can be released in March 2010. To find out more about our book project and pre-order information, visit the book's web page.

But wait, there's MORE amazing news to share...

The first volume of The Suitcase Series was all about Swedish artist Camilla Engman. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Camilla (and visit her in Sweden). Many of you have inquired (and volunteered!) to be the next featured artist. Through serendipitous connections, the next artist in the series is Tif Fussell (known for her blog, dottie angel). Although she lives in Seattle, which is a little closer to my home, she hails from ol' blighty and inhabits a mossy shed where objects such as cameras and sewing machines are named Carlos and Miss Ethel. And there are chickens! I look forward to meeting Tif and her family soon as we begin work on her book. (To be released June 2011.) So very peachy!

Early next year I am also publishing Work/Life 2: the UPPERCASE directory of international illustration. A group promotional effort, the book is a source of inspiration for creatives and a compendium of talent for hire. I'm getting the list of participants ready to publish online. In the meantime, there are a few spots left if you'd like to apply to be in the book. It'll be released next February.

And, as previously announced: The Elegant Cockroach by Deidre Anne Martin and illustrated by Stefanie Augustine is set for a book launch in October!

If you are as excited by these great books as I am, we are offering an UPPERCASE Book Bundle that includes these four titles: The Elegant Cockroach, Work/Life 2, A Collection a Day and The Suitcase Series: Dottie Angel. They will be mailed to you as they are published and you save on the cover price as well as shipping. The Book Bundle orders and pre-orders will include special touches, goodies and packaging.

I am sincerely grateful and honoured to work with such creative women such as Lisa, Tif, Deidre and Stefanie and in awe of the talent in Work/Life 2. I'm so excited that it is hard not to put an exclamation point after each sentence! (oops, there's another one.)

! ! ! !

Thank you, Marilyn Patrizio

When I was working on the pages highlighting the many products that incorporate Camilla's drawings, I was looking for a photo showing her decals (made by Third Drawer Down) in use. Marilyn Patrizio had just the perfect image in her flickr stream! Since it was only low res, she was nice enough to reshoot the image for the book. That's one of the many stories of generous, collaborative and thoughtful people involved in the making of the book.

Marilyn has received her copy of The Suitcase Series: Camilla Engman and has shared images on her blog and flickr. Visit her Etsy shop So Softies for cute crochet characters and illustrations, and spend some time admiring her photographs of her apartment and its brightly coloured treasures in the Shelter set.

Thank you, Maria

My sincere thanks to Maria Alexandra Vettese (aka Mav) for writing a wonderful foreword to the book. When I think back to how I first discovered Camilla's blog and artwork, I'm pretty sure Maria, through her blog for Port2Port Press, was one of the main connections. I have enjoyed seeing their printmaking and illustration collaborations over the years and have been inspired by both of their unique creative paths.

Maria's spirit of collaboration can be appreciated in her multitude of projects: Lines & Shapes, periodical publications of visual delights, co-founded with Lena Corwin; 3191 miles apart with Stephanie Congdon Barnes; and More, a studio workspace with Christopher David Ryan.

Maria is a great photographer and I enjoy her photo styling and flickr stream.

Visit the Lines & Shapes bookshop for great book bundles Christmas gifts.

Camilla connections

Thanks to Amy Ng at Pikaland for participating in the Connections section of the book! (see also the Pikaland flickr for more images and to read her contribution.) We asked some bloggers and collaborators from around the world to write a bit about their appreciation for Camilla's work. Thanks also to Jan Halverson of Poppytalk, Victoria Smith of sfgirlbybay, Julia Rothman of Book by its Cover, Abigail Crompton of Third Drawer Down and Erin Loechner from Design for Mankind.

From Sweden to you!

Camilla has updated her shop and if you were planning on purchasing some of her prints and 2010 calendar, you can now order the book as well. (Photos above by Camilla.) For those of you in Europe who haven't already ordered through UPPERCASE and want a book before Christmas, this is the quickest option. Shipping deadlines from Camilla's shop are:

From Sweden to Europe: December 16
From Sweden to Sweden: December 21

regular shipping within Canada

Xpresspost shipping within Canada

regular shipping to USA
ended DECEMBER 4

Xpresspost shipping to USA

Select Xpresspost by DECEMBER 7
(regular shipping options won’t get it there in time for Christmas)

Camilla's book launch

Here are some images from the exhibition. Since Camilla was very busy painting for her current show in Gothenburg, I decided to display images from the book, artifacts, and artwork owned by local Camilla fans. It is exuberant and was fun to put together. I'll post more images to flickr.

Thank you to everyone who attending the launch! (Camilla, here are some snapshots of Calgarians.) It was a lovely First Thursday event.

Thank you to all the online customers as well! I wish I could thank you all in person for your support of this project.

Camilla, Morran and the books

The books have arrived in Gothenburg! To see Camilla (and Morran) with the finished project is just lovely. We all wish we could celebrate together in person.

I'll post images of the show and book launch later today.

SHIPPING: today is the last day for regular shipping to the USA to get your orders before Christmas! Orders received today before 3pm will be shipped today. Orders received after that time should upgrade their shipping to Xpresspost and these will ship after the weekend. Canadians still have time (see shipping dates posted on the home page of the shop.) Orders to Europe and Australia who select surface shipping will not get there in time for the holidays. However, European customers can purchase books from Camilla; she'll be adding them to her online shop this weekend.

Camilla's book!

I received a preview sample copy and it looks amazing! The book will be arriving tomorrow and then we'll need some time to insert all the goodies (postcards, art print, luggage tag, stretchy band!!!) The books will begin to ship to their new homes mid next week. Thank you to all of you who have preordered the book. Click here to see more about the book, peek inside and to order. There's so much goodness to share that I had to design a big new page to accommodate the images.