The end of the year's always a time for reflection—and for making resolutions and plans! Please join me in looking at the past year at UPPERCASE... and find out how you can be in the magazine next year!
This has been one amazing year. It started with a lot of travel: In January I was in Austin, Texas to help judge hundreds of beautiful quilts in for QuiltCon. (That's me in a very cute fabric store in Austin.) It felt like I was barely home before I was on a 32-hour odyssey to Australia to speak at the Perth Writer's Festival and then the Creative Women's Circle in Melbourne. I spoke at the HOW conference in Chicago in May, I was in Toronto in June for the National Magazine Awards, onward to Portland in October... it's a wonder I got anything done this year with so much time away.
But now that I look at it all, it sure stacks up. UPPERCASE published a whopping 1348 printed pages of content in 2015. Thank you to all my amazing contributors—the writers and photographers and illustrators and crafters who make such inspiring content. Thank you to all the readers who submitted their work for inclusion. Thank you to Correy Baldwin for copy editing. Thank you to Chris Young at Prolific for handling the printing on all these projects (except for The Typewriter which was printed by Asia Pacific Offset). Thank you to my husband Glen Dresser for his assistance in writing The Compendium, his contributions to the magazine and for taking on customer service recently.
Let's see how all those pages add up:
UPPERCASE 24: January/February/March 2015
If I were to play favourites, I'd have to say that issue 24 is mine—I love the illustration by Andrea D'Aquino and each of the 10,000 copies had a piece of antique feed sack fabric applied to the cover! The feed sack swatches were sent in by readers from all over and it was such fun to receive little bits of fabric in the mail. (This issue sold out quickly and will not be reprinted... however, a book project has emerged from this issue, it's in the very early stages and I look forward to sharing more! If you've got a feed sack collection, please get in touch!)
UPPERCASE 25: April/May/June 2015
This issue is dedicated to printmaking in all its forms. The cover is by Joey Hannaford. The Profiles in Printmaking section introduces dozens of talented readers who work in everything from monotypes to risograph to letterpress to collographs. Subscribers enjoyed a free printmaking sample inserted into their issues. Get issue 25 here. (Photo by stockist Tiny Feast.)
UPPERCASE 26: July/August/September 2015
I do love little bits of paper. And stamps? They tell such great stories. The cover is by Richard Benson and features fancy cancels. Subscribers were treated to a glassine envelope of vintage stamps inserted into their issue. Thank you to a dedicated group of stamp-sorting, envelope-stuffing philatelists who got thousands of envelopes ready for subscribers. Get issue 26 here.
UPPERCASE 27: October/November/December 2015
This issue has a focus on new illustration talent as well as articles about creative education, wonder and the secrets to longevity (in a creative field). Get issue 27 here (it's now listed as a back issue, so add it to your cart with other back issues and you'll pay less per issue.) Cover by Brian Hurst.
The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine
336 pages + 16-page insert
Of all the projects this year, this one was the toughest. I spent three years working on this epic visual history of typewriter ephemera. To say that I'm glad it's done is an understatement. The project certainly tested my stamina and "stick-to-it-iveness", but it got done! And now that I have a few months separating me and all the work, it feels even better. The book got a great full-page review in Canada's national newspaper. Purchase it here. (If you're in Europe, get the book through Central Books.)
The UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft & Creativity
My most recent book project, it was exactly a year ago that this project began with a call for entries in my newsletter. Featuring 66 artisans, artists and craftspeople from around the world, the Compendium is look into what's happening in craft right now. I look forward to doing a second edition... maybe every couple of years? Order it here. (If you're in Europe, my distributor Central Books will have the book in about a month—ask your local bookseller to stock it through them.)
UPPERCASE Creative Calendar 2016
For subscribers as of December 17, you'll get a free insert of this fun and inspiring calendar. Keep your creativity on track everyday next year. (Subscribe here to be part of future subscriber-only benefits like this.) Cover by Tara Lilly.
With such a busy year behind me I'm really enjoying a holiday pace right now. I've been taking it slow and being crafty. My problem is that with more time to be contemplative and space to think... I keep coming up with new ideas! Three book ideas for 2016? The launch of Little U? Plus all the regular UPPERCASE magazine-y goodness?
I can't wait to dive in!
2015 started out with quilts and fabric... and it has ended that way, too! With my very own collection with Windham Fabrics!!! Look for a sneak peek in issue 28.
I'm going to QuiltCon in February. Are you? I will be giving a 30-minute presentation... any suggestions? Want to meet up for an UPPERCASE event?
Calls for Submissions
There are two new open calls for the spring issue. I expect to get a lot of submissions on these topics, so the open call ends on January 15.
Submit creative projects in which folds and folding are integral to its execution and design. Projects can be in any material, medium or scale. Submit here.
Book arts, unusual book designs, artist's books, intriguing book formats, books as sculpture, books that aren't books... projects in which the concept of a book is the starting point for creative exploration. Submit here.
Look at this incredible sight! This week, the hard workers at The Prolific Group have been wrapping each book with yarn... all 3000 copies. Isn't that amazing? When I dreamed up the concept of the multiple dust jackets tied with yarn, it's of course easy to make a simple mockup (as shown in the bottom picture)—but to make that a reality x 3000 books... that's a whole other matter! Thank you to Chris Young and the team at The Prolific Group for making my ideas happen.
And thank you to everyone who submitted work to The UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft & Creativity, the 66 featured artists and to all of you wonderful readers who shared my excitement for the potential of this book project and put in your preorders. Just over a thousand books are already spoken for and will be packed up and mailed next week.
If you'd like to purchase The Compendium, that would be great!
I’m an optimist. UPPERCASE magazine is a celebration of beauty and creativity and joy. Within its pages, I’m able to construct an idyllic experience of a curated and edited point of view, a place and experience that my readers and I love to escape into.
But we are not immune to the realities of the world. When tragedy strikes afar or hits closer to home, we feel it. In harsh realities, we’re exposed, raw and uncertain.
It's during these hard times that we really need the softness of craft. To be wrapped in the embrace of grandmother’s quilt, to feel protected from the elements in a hand knit sweater, to caress a mug thrown by someone else’s hand on a potter’s wheel. These simple things reconnect us to our humanity and remind us of the goodness and potential of people.
I don’t think it is naive to turn to crafting and making or seeking out beauty. It is vital.
Piecing a quilt isn’t just about sewing fabric, it’s time to process emotions and patch together our feelings. A knitted sweater is an entanglement of love that our child wears when we can’t always be by his side. These things matter deeply. One stitch at a time, we can shape our surroundings.
We can control what we make — and what we do with it.
The talented and hard-working folks at my printer, The Prolific Group in Winnipeg, have been busy! Here's a finished, bound Compendium! Next up, they'll be folding the dust jackets, putting them on the book and lacing them up with yarn. I'm finalizing the first round of mailing data on Monday, so November 15 is the last day for preorders. Preordered books are mailed directly from my printer to you, so that's the quickest way of getting a copy.
After that, additional orders for the book will be shipping from my fulfillment company at the end of November.
Thanks for your support of this project! I can't wait for you to see it in person.
November 15 is the last day for Compendium preorders. Preordering is the fastest way to receive your copy—preordered copies are mailed from my printer directly to you. If you order after November 15, your book will be shipping via a fulfillment warehouse in late November or early December. Either way, there is ample time for the book to arrive to North American addresses before the holidays.
Etsy Canada has reached out to offer a gift card valued at $100 Canadian to one of my readers! To enter to win, please click on the shops above discover some of the Canadian Etsy talent profiled in the UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft & Creativity. Leave a comment below (make sure you include a contact method or link) to enter to win. Contest closes on Friday.
I'm in a sweet spot in my creative projects right now. For ongoing projects, it means that the momentum of being nearly finished motivates me to get them done. For new projects, there's the excitement of seeing something that was in my mind start to be made real on the page. And best of all, there's room for new ideas to emerge and future projects to dream about!
The fall content is assigned and so in the hands of others momentarily, Glen and I are writing the Compendium profiles and are about halfway, I've got the book design and page layout underway (I bought a new font for this project, it's always fun and inspiring to work with a new typeface), a still-secret project is incredibly exciting, the granny square blanket I've been working on for SIX YEARS needs just a dozen more squares...
Everything is ticking right along, but none are so demanding that it is becoming overwhelming... yet! I know it's the calm before the storm because a week from now the fall content starts rolling in, The Typewriter book preorder data needs to be compiled and the Compendium will be in full production and my projects will shift from creative bliss to "what have I gotten myself into!?"
So I'm definitely going to enjoy the time right now.
This is a snapshot from surface pattern designer Sophie Stock's inspiration board, one of the recent submissions to the Compendium. I hope you'll be just as brave and enter your creativity into the UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft and Creativity.
The entry form for this book project closes in a few days: Tuesday, March 31 at midnight MST.
You've got the rest of the weekend to pull together your images and answer the questionnaire. You can do it!
Read the latest news about the Compendium and get to know Sophie here.
I've been practically around the world and back since I last sent or posted a message about the UPPERCASE Compendium of Craft and Creativity, but now that I'm back from Australia, I'm in full design mode to get the next issue of UPPERCASE off to print. Which means... I'm keeping the Compendium entry open until the end of March since I won't be doing final reviews until April anyway! So please take a chance, gather your images, and submit to the Compendium today!
I just sent out an email sharing more of Elyse Wigen of Prim Society's submission (sent to those who have expressed specific interest in receiving emails about it. You can sign up for those emails here or on the sidebar. To read more about Elyse and see her beautifully made children's products look here.