Notes about Evernote

In late March, Kasey and Nick from Evernote came to Calgary to shoot a video about how I use Evernote to run UPPERCASE magazine. If you're not familiar with the service, Evernote's slogan "Remember everything" sums it up. With online, desktop and mobile access, you can create and categorize notes. Anything that you want quick and easy access to, from receipts to saved web images to writing to lists to audio notes, you can save to Evernote. There's a detailed post on their blog about how I use the service. The tool has been invaluable to me (I've been using it since issue #2) and I urge you to give it a try. It's free, though I use the premium version for increased storage and other useful features.

A few notes about the video:

0:03 My necklace is by Urban Legend. We're featuring jeweller Kateri Morton in issue #15.

0:05 Stockist The Daily Globe on 17th Avenue in Calgary

0:11 Scissor print by regular contributor Alanna Cavanagh

0:15 We moved the couch so that you can see the bookcase behind me.

0:16 I found this typewriter in my back alley in 2006. (I painted it orange.)

0:17 Flea market score: $10 typewriter! Works perfectly.

0:19 Ebay score: 1947 Hermes typewriter poster by Herbert Luepin, flea market paint-by-number kitten.

0:20 This doggie is Scooter, photo by Christine Edwards.

0:23 Yes, more typewriters! 

0:35 That's Eleanor. If you have questions about subscriptions or the online shop, she answers them!

0:55 I love my big big monitor. A must-have for publication designers.

0:58 That's The Shatner Show, the first book I published. 76 illustrators interpret the life and career of Canadian icon William Shatner.

1:05 Windchimes by Ceeglass, featured in issue #13.

1:20 Crayon cover by Diem Chau.

1:23 That's my storage space in the lower level of Art Central. Yes, I do heavy lifting, too.

1:38 For non-Calgarians, that's Stephen Avenue, a pedestrian street a block from my studio. I'm trying to walk purposefully and not look at the camera.

1:38 Astute viewers will note that I took a really weird route to get into Art Central, but a scenic one!

1:50 Eleanor and I are discussing the felt pennants we've ordered to coincide with issue #14. From The People's Pennant, more details on this coming soon...

2:07 Shoutout to Anthropologie!

2:11 When we went to The Daily Globe to shoot, UPPERCASE contributor Nikki Sheppy just happened to be there. Another serendipitous moment for UPPERCASE magazine.


When Chryssi Tsoupanarias emailed me this week I received a lovely surprise. "I've been an UPPERCASE subscriber since the very first issue, I love it! It's a really beautiful publication," she writes. A graphic designer for the Canadian furniture retailer Structube, Chryssi has made good use of her back issues: as attractive stacks of magazines in the photos for their latest catalogue. "We've used issues of UPPERCASE in some of the images for our Summer campaign—these will be on our website, in our catalogue (online and also printed in-store) as well as in ads featured in home decor magazines (such as House & Home, Style at Home)."

I love how edited the photos are and happy to see the magazine is appreciated in this way. I can see myself at this white desk, below, with my laptop...


Structube has stores in Quebec and Ontario and will be making their way into Western Canada later this year with a store in Edmonton.

(The cover of issue #14 would go really nicely with that grey couch and green accent pillow, too!)

Horn tooted

It's lucky that Janine has a team working with her now. It makes bragging about her nomination in the 2011 National Magazine Awards MUCH less awkward. Janine has been recognized in the Art Direction for an Entire Issue category for issue #9. The winners will be announced in Toronto on June 7

I know all of you know just how special UPPERCASE is. But, why not share this story with your circle of friends and tell them what you think of us. Or better yet, pick them up a copy.

Anthropologie virgin

I have a confession for you. I have never been to Anthropologie. I occasionally take a quick hit off their site-but only for a few minutes. I know I will love it and walk through buying things and being totally inspired. And I will come home with another addiction. Like coffee. Or chocolate. Or yarn. I just don't know how many addictions one can have. Following this same illogical logic, I have never eaten poutine.

But, now that Anthropologie has shown us some love, and since I know they stock UPPERCASE, I will go in. And, I think I'll come out with many things, along with this shower curtain.

Little ol' me

Back in December, I was asked by Avenue, a local lifestyle magazine, to create a self portrait for a series that runs on the last page of each issue. People don't often realize that UPPERCASE was a one-woman operation for quite a long time and are surprised when they find out. "How do you manage to get it all done?" is a common question. Struggling to do all of the magazine workload on my own and was getting pretty tired out. So I decided to clone myself: 

Glen took my picture against a white wall (Finley wanted to be part of the fun) and then I printed and cut myself out and went to work:

The image and brief article appears in this month's Avenue. And as regular blog readers will know, I now have three talented people working for UPPERCASE: Glen is a regular contributor, Eleanor manages the online shop and subscription queries and Erin is our new online editor. (So much better than clones!)

Love & Elephants from London

We noticed an interesting love note left for us on a blog out of London. It's from someone who has never seen, let alone read UPPERCASE. The mysterious figure behind Bakary Cafe had a friend scour Toronto for back issues and received them last week.

Bakary writes, "I got the magazines yesterday. They look as perfect and scintillating as I had hoped they would be. I'm an inquisitive being. Everything is an adventure. Colours, art, food, patterns, architecture, people."

After reading the blog, I noticed that Bakary has an elephant affinity.

"As for elephants...well...they're fascinating animals. They look so bulky yet they're so gracious. I don't quite know how it started. I've always liked them. Then one day I noticed that they were popping up in my life in unexpected places. Then I noticed them in more and more places. That's when I realized they are everywhere!"

So, to send some internet love back across the ocean, here's a picture for you Bakary.

Here's my photo of Spike, the Calgary Zoo's bull elephant.

Evernote was here!

It's odd for me to be on the other side of the camera.Kasey, Nick and a bit of meWe moved the couch so that you can see all the magazines behind me in the frame.Kasey asks the questions off-camera.Nick does the video and sound.Yesterday Kasey Fleisher Hickey and Nick Strayer of Evernote were visiting all the way from California to make a video about little ol' me and how I use Evernote as an integral part of UPPERCASE publishing.

I look forward to sharing the finished video with you, in which I explain in more detail how it is part of my creative and business life. If you're not familiar with Evernote, here's a little introduction:

I really can't recommend the service enough and my endorsement of the service comes very naturally. I've been using Evernote since issue #2, so it is an integral part of my creative and editorial process in the magazine development. It has been like an editorial assistant or second brain for me—I honestly couldn't get as much done and sorted without it and I have Evernote on my main computer, laptop and iphone. In addition to my ideas, inspirations and web links, all or your emailed suggestions, portfolio links and submissions get put directly into my Evernote database where I can easily access it and pull up content as I need it. 

Thank you to Kasey and Nick and the rest of the Evernote team for wanting to share my story.

Thank you to Eleanor for the excellent photos above!

My perspective, as an Instagram.

What a compliment!

The Society of Publication Designers is presenting a round-up of magazine art directors' favourite magazines: "We've asked a lot art and photo directors from around the world to tell us the magazines or apps that they really love. The ones they can't wait to get their hands on, the ones that fire their creative spirit: you know, the ones that make you jealous, or supremely happy, or both." 

Thank you Deb Bishop for selecting UPPERCASE (She designed Blueprint magazine and Martha Stewart Baby and Kids — remember those? So amazing! She's now at More.) 

I've chosen Uppercase because I love the whole package. It is playful and "up," without being over designed. I tip my hat to Janine Vangool who is the publisher, editor and designer. She has created a beautiful format and each page is kind of a feast for the eyes-- not just the design but the featured content. If you love "how-to," and are the "curious sort," about how beautiful graphic things are made it's hard not to enjoy this publication. This issue included intricately carved crayons and the art of paper cutting. Loved the "handy guides," collection.  I admit that I am seduced by the beautiful paper and even the smell of fresh ink when I open the package. In this time of troubled publishing it's nice to learn that this wonderful publication, is created by a small team (3 people I think!) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

Featured on Mom Inc Daily

I am happy to be featured on today's Mom Inc Daily, Cat Seto's blog. "Mom Inc Daily is a creative and business sanctuary for moms. Cat and her community of “Designing Moms” share their daily posts about their love for motherhood, design and the intricacies of running a creative business." Thanks, Cat and Annie, for asking me to be part of it.

I decided to provide a true-to-life snapshot of our living room. Although it is fun escapism to see perfectly presented homes, wouldn't you rather see what things are really like? I know I get frustrated by seeing "family" homes with nothing out of place, no clutter, no books, no mess. We certainly don't live like that!

Guest Blogger on Elements

photo from the Elements website
, a creative firm in Connecticut, recently invited me to submit some page layout examples from UPPERCASE magazine for a book they're working on for Rockport Publishing. They also invited me to be a guest blogger on their site and that post is up today. I invite you over to their blog to read a bit more about me. Thanks, Amy, Alysson and the Elements team.

Where the time goes...

Woah, things are busy around here! The past week has flown by, but not without a whole lot going on:

Last Thursday celebrated the release of issue #8 and the Letterpress Sampler — more pictures posted soon, I promise!

I'm reviewing the printer proofs of A Collection a Day, I got to see the printer proofs of the Shoegazing Notecard Set published by Chronicle Books later this year and Work/Life 2 is off to the printer in a matter of days.

The Elegant Cockroach by Deidre Martin and Stefanie Augustine made it to #3 on Calgary's Bestseller list! (hey locals, let's get it to #1!!! Check the book's page for local bookstores.)

Martha Stewart Living is hosting an amazing contest on their website, called Prized Collections, in collaboration with A Collection a Day: 

"In the February 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living, we celebrated the collections of some of our favorite tastemakers. We were especially taken with Lisa Congdon, whose assortment of midcentury kitchenware only scratches the surface of her passion for collecting. An artist and illustrator, Lisa spent 2010 blogging a new collection every day; in spring 2011, Uppercase will publish her book, "A Collection a Day." Now it's your chance to share your collecting artistry with us. Upload photos of your prized possessions by March 28 for a chance to win one of three line drawings from Lisa, plus a copy of her new book. The finalists will be featured on"

Tif Fussell's blog, dottie angel, got a nice mention in the current issue of the Australian magazine Inside Out. (Also exciting: the style director of the magazine will be featured in the next issue of UPPERCASE.) Tif has some really nice notebooks for sale in her shop. We also got some great news about the foreword to her book, but we'll save that reveal for later!

And on a personal note, at nearly 11 months old Finley is finally cutting his first tooth. Which means that I barely slept a wink last night, but at least he's feeling happy right now. He also began standing by himself this week.