grow books press

I always love to see how UPPERCASE pops up into creative projects. Alyson Beaton recently emailed to share images of one of her company's products—flat-packed mini play houses made from recycled paper board. Alyson writes, "I did an installation of the doll houses I developed at grow books press over the year and invited designers to decorate them for a showcase called "mini logan square" in Chicago. This is my office with none other than my UPPERCASE mags on the desk! Thank you for your continued work on your great mag, it inspires me everyday!"

I spy issue #7 on the desk!Grow books press was established in January of 2011 by Alyson Beaton as a publisher of printed matter for curious children. The goal of the press is to publish children’s books, printed matter and toys in limited quantities that focus on teaching current social issues with an urban emphasis along with a commitment to the environment.

Thanks, Alyson! These look like marvelous products.

New in the shop: Christmas Gift Pack + Subscription

It's really cold outside today and now it is snowing. The malls have their Christmas decorations up. Next week is American Thanksgiving. So I guess all signs point to Christmas! So in preparations for gift-giving season, I've uploaded a special item to the shop: an UPPERCASE Christmas Gift Pack + Subscription. This includes all available back issues (#7-#11) plus a subscription mailed to the USA or Canada for $150 (you save $20). I have VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES and once these are gone, that's it for issue #7; it will be sold out. (Issue #7 is only available as part of this pack. You might try the workroom for single copies of #7.) Please order your Gift Pack here.

Featured Stockist: the workroom online shop

the workroom in Toronto has been a wonderful stockist of UPPERCASE magazine since the beginning. They've recently launched a webstore and have some nice things on offer such as these curated colours of embroidery floss, sewing patterns, Japanese craft books and UPPERCASE magazine. They have issue 7 in stock (soon to be out of stock everywhere, get yours now if you want it!) as well as #8, #9 and #10.

Another reason to love Anthropologie!

Here's some great news: because of our Issue #7 feature of the extraordinarily talented painter Christopher Stott, the art director at commissioned Chris to paint five original works for their website. The paintings will be featured throughout the week.

Last year, the Frugal and Fancy feature on my friend Paige Smith also caught the eye of their buyer and her ring holders (below) are in stores across in the US and Canada. It's very exciting and gratifying to me that UPPERCASE magazine is inspiring such opportunities! And it just goes to show you how Anthropologie as a company embraces independent artists and designers.

I'm an avid Anthropologie fan and I know that many of my readers are enthusiastic customers as well. I would love to have my books and the magazine in their stores. Their curated selection of books is always smart, pretty and inspiring.

Fine handmade clothing


Our fall issue of UPPERCASE magazine has traditionally been the "gentleman's issue" (if you can base tradition on one previous issue!) The upcoming issue (at the printer in pre-press stage) continues that direction, covering a collection of a grandfather's clocks, a Portland distillery, jeans and canvas, scotch, suspenders and other manly pursuits. The other grand theme is the love of books: living, designing, creating, making, remaking books with the occasional crush on a librarian. It is a handsome issue and I look forward to sharing more images and content.

In the meantime, these two videos set the mood. {via A Continuous Lean: a great website that provided a lot of inspiration and links to explore during the making of issue 7.}

Lucky 7

Here's a look at the upcoming issue 7 cover, illustrated by Greg Morgan! (I'm finishing up the design files and this will be off to print shortly... but please be patient, it won't be ready for mailing until the start of next month.)

If you're a subscriber and have recently moved, please make sure you update your address here. Click here to become a subscriber, thanks!

Feeling Bookish... exhibition

Here's our wall of book cover self portraits! I'll post a few more photos soon. (But you'll have to see these reproduced in the magazine to appreciate their details!) I will email everyone next week and let you know if your work made it into the magazine feature.

It is going to be a laborious weekend, as I concentrate on finishing up issue 7 before it heads off to the printer!

It's First Thursday!

Hello there!

It's First Thursday and time to get back into a new groove. Although I haven't been in the gallery much these past summer months (our big road trip to San Francisco and the Renegade Craft Fair, working from home so that I can also take care of my baby), with the cool September air signaling the end of summer, I'm eager to return on a more regular basis to my lovely studio and gallery space in Art Central.

Due to the overwhelming success of our recent open call for submissions "Feeling Bookish", I've put together an exhibition of over 40 of the best designs sent in from both professional book designers and our readers at large. The brief was to design a cover that is a self portrait of your life, and as you can see by my design above, it has been a round the clock juggling act between being a new mom and a publisher! (Thanks to Conan O'Brien for the title phrase.)

Please join us this Thursday evening from 5-9pm for this interesting and personal exhibition and other fun activities in Art Central.

Please come by and say hello, we've missed you!

And for all our UPPERCASE friends from near and far, there are some really exciting projects that I'll be announcing in the next week, so please stay tuned to the blog. Not to mention issue 7 of the magazine is off to print this week as well!

All the best,


Creative Inc.

I'm happy to be part of the Creative Inc. blog tour organized by Chronicle Books. Co-written by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Cho, Creative Inc. is a guidebook for setting up your own creative enterprise. With a friendly and encouraging voice, the book is a great resource for those just starting out as a freelancer (designer, illustrator, stylist, photographer and other creative fields).

Even if you've been around for a while (like me) you'll find inspiration and motivation to keep forging your own path. One of the toughest things as a freelancer and entrepreneur is to keep positive, keep working, keep striving. It is nice to have mentors such as Meg and Joy in whom you can find such encouragement.

Chronicle Books sent me a review copy and I read it cover to cover this past weekend. It is an excellent companion to Meg's Craft Inc. (Leave a comment and we'll do a draw for a giveaway for the book. UPDATE: congrats Emily, we'll send you the book! Thanks for all your comments, everyone.)

I follow Joy's blog daily and so it is nice that we get to include her in the upcoming issue of UPPERCASE magazine. In the inaugural article for a new column entitled "Beginnings", Joy graciously found time in her busy schedule to speak with Erin Loechner (Design for Mankind) about how she got her start. It is an informative and entertaining read with even more great tips for creative business.

Please follow along on this virtual book tour:

8/23 Poppy Talk
8/24 Oh Happy Day
8/25 SFGirl By Bay
8/26 Mint Design
8/27 Wit + Delight
8/28 Cathy of California
8/29 Book By Its Cover
8/30 Not Martha
8/31 Frolic
9/02 Craft
9/03 Decor8
9/04 Kris Atomic
9/05 Grain Edit

Feeling Bookish...

I am so impressed! We have received about 60 submissions for the latest open call in which we ask our readers to interpret themselves as a book cover. This was a challenging concept, but you took me up on it and did an amazing job. The majority of them will be published in the forthcoming issue 7 of UPPERCASE magazine (alas, a few people forgot to follow our size requests or otherwise have unpublishable files—please note that when creating work that might be printed, it is important to build the file to the proper specifications: web resolution doesn't work for print. Print = 300dpi).

We invited some very talented professional book designers to participate as well, and I am thrilled with their work. I will be printing out the best of everyone's submissions for an impromptu exhibition in the gallery for the month of September, so please join us this First Thursday for the show!

Vancouver-based artist Andrea Armstrong did a great cover illustration and even made a mockup:

Andrea writes:

I am a picture book. Not too wordy; likes to hang out with kids; colourful but simple. The thing about a picture book is you can read the words quickly, but to get to know the story well, you have to keep coming back to it to spend time with its images.

I am a picture book about a girl and her chickens. The girl is an introvert; she would rather hang out with chickens than real people most of the time. She’s creative – now don’t laugh, but she invents songs to sing to them, and even wrote a poem about them once. She has a favorite chicken, whose name is, in fact, Favorite. And she’s a little bit odd (hello, she’s best friends with chickens and writes poetry for them.)

I am an autobiographical picture book about a girl and her chickens. True story.

There's a nice mix of illustrations, design and typography in the submissions. Great job, everyone!

By the way, check out Andrea's blog for some great depictions of a drawn version of herself interacting in the real world. Love it!