1348 pages of content created in 2015!

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  
116 pages  

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  
116 pages

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  
116 pages

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  
116 pages

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
384 pages

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 28: Jan/Feb/Mar 2016
116 pages

The new issue is mailing out to subscribers right now! It will be arriving in mailboxes in the next few weeks. This was the best year ever for Gift Subscriptions. Well done, Santa! Subscribe here. Cover of old bus tickets from the collection of Kindra Murphy.

UPPERCASE Creative Calendar 2016
32 pages

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
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.

Prints & Inks: Risograph Edition

Melanie Yugo

Melanie Yugo

Spins & Needles is a creative multidisciplinary studio based in Ottawa, Canada, specializing in independent cultural projects in shared settings. Their initiatives include a record label, print studio, events, workshops, site-specific installations and graphic art exhibitions. Creative director Melanie Yugo wrote the Risograph Resurgence article published in the current issue, #25.

Photos from Melanie's  Instagram .

Photos from Melanie's Instagram.

She was so inspired that they got their own machine!

Melanie got in touch to let us know about a new exhibition in Ottawa. "In researching and writing the Risograph article for the Printmaking issue of UPPERCASE magazine, I had the opportunity to connect with amazing artists, designers, studios and presses around the world who use the Risograph in their work," she writes. "Inspired by their work, I've organized through our creative studio, Spins & Needles, our celebration of print around the Risograph featuring some of the artists and presses in the UPPERCASE article. Prints & Inks 2015: Risograph Edition presents several emerging and established international artists, designers, publishers and studios who are pioneering and producing work on the Risograph, pushing the boundaries of print, and disseminating ideas through print in an affordable and accessible way."

You can also read more artist profiles on the Spins & Needles blog. The show runs until July 12.


Marthe Armitage: Making Takes Time

In a rather special corner of London next to the Thames is the home of Marthe Armitage, octogenarian wallpaper designer extraordinaire. An old red brick wall wraps around her home and continues on past other homes where some of her children live. Binker, a perky Jack Russell Terrier, scuttles between the family homes, keeping a weather eye on the whole.

In this somewhat idyllic spot, Marthe Armitage has lived, brought up her family, and designed and hand-printed wallpapers for many decades. She is now ably assisted by her daughter Jo Broadhurst. Marthe married architect Edward Armitage in the early 1950s when she was just 20. She soon had three small children and was feeling her way toward something that would satisfy her creatively—something that might fit in with the inevitably frantic and fluid hours that child-raising requires.

So begins our story about Marthe Armitage, beautifully written by Jane Audas and deftly photographed by India Hobson. "Sharing a cup of tea with Marthe, Jo, India Hobson (our photographer) and Binker was a time out of time," writes Jane. "Marthe’s house is a new build (designed by her son, another family architect) but is redolent of a life well lived amongst creative things. She has her own wallpapers on several walls, and her own oil paintings on top of them. It is an embarrassment of riches, really." 

I'm honoured that Marthe allowed us into her home. Although I wasn't able to be there personally, Jane and India did such a wonderful job through their words and pictures, that we can all share in an afternoon with a woman who has let creativity lead her through life.

Purchase the current issue here as a single copy or part of a subscription.

Barb Skoog: Clouds on Water

A Journey into the world of Marbling

Barb Skoog is one of 75 printmakers profiled in the current issue. When I was going through the many, many submissions (250!) to curate the content for this printmaking-themed issue, I was delighted to see a paper marbling submission. Barb generously donated a delicious stack of hand-marbled papers for subscriber copies (for those subscribed prior to the end of March).

It was tempting to keep this beautiful stack all to myself, but I know there are dozens of subscribers out there who now have the joy of holding her papers in person.

Barb is a Los Angeles-based artist specializing in the Turkish form of marbling called Ebru. She writes, "This centuries-old art form involves floating paint on thickened water, making patterns and designs using special tools, and then placing paper, fabric, wood, or other materials on top of the water where the image is immediately and permanently transferred. In addition to having my work featured in art and lifestyle magazines, juried shows, and galleries, my marbled pieces have been used in bookbinding, in mixed media, as fashion accessories (purses, scarves), as home décor, and more."

If you'd like to learn this technique, Barb has a freshly-launched eCourse. The video below offers a happy teaser on what you'll learn in the course. It looks like so much fun!

Barb has a special offer for UPPERCASE readers. Using the promo code UPLOVE, you can get $80 off the regular price ($259) and take the course for just $179 if you sign up by May 31. Class officially begins on June 8 (6 weeks guided instruction) but students have access to all info for six months.

Thank you to Barb Skoog for her support of UPPERCASE through a Calling Card. If you'd like to purchase a Calling Card ad for the next issue and for the blog sidebar, please visit this page for more details. 

Win a Printmaking Sampler!

The current issue features 75 talented printmakers from around the world.

Their work is diverse—from monoprints to linocuts to silkscreen to marbled paper and more... so it makes for a very informative and inspiring guide to the possibilities of printmaking.

Participants and some contributors for this issue were invited to submit samples of their work for insertion in subscriber copies of the magazine (for those who were active subscribers as of mid March).

From 10 art prints to letterpress editions of 300, the samples were sent to my studio over the course of a few weeks. I certainly made the postman work hard!

I kept a few samples (and saved a few of my favourites for myself) and consolidated the rest to send onwards to my printer for insertion. (A few other submissions arrived after I photographed these images, so not quite all of them are shown here.)

And now... the giveaway! I will be doing a draw for three Printmaking Samplers, assembled from a selection of the wonderful prints shown above. The winners will receive 40-50 prints and cards each.

1) One winner will be randomly selected from current subscribers.

2) One winner will be randomly selected from folks who became new subscribers April 26 through midnight May 1. So if you're not a subscriber yet, head on over here to purchase your subscription.  

3) Show your love of UPPERCASE magazine by posting an image of UPPERCASE magazine or books on Instagram using the hashtag #uppercaselove and one winner will be randomly selected from those submissions at the end of May 1.

Good luck!

And here's the full list of participants from the Profiles in Printmaking feature plus a few other fine folks who donated samples. Thanks for sharing your talents with us!

Featured Stockist: Tiny Feast

Instagram of the new issue by  TinyFeast

Instagram of the new issue by TinyFeast

The new issue is starting to make appearances! Winnipeg-based stockist Tiny Feast is always the first to receive their copies since the magazine is printed in that city. (Tiny Feast has a stylish Instagram feed, follow along!)

For other stockists, see the list here. (My apologies, the list is a bit out of date. It's on my very long to-do list, I promise!) Please inquire with the store first to see if they have what you want in stock. I expect most North American stockists to receive their copies of issue 25 by the end of the week. Due to overseas transportation times, shops in Europe, Asia and Australia and New Zealand will be receiving their copies of the new issue in about a month.

Single copes are also available in my shop if you don't have a stockist near you. If you'd like to carry UPPERCASE in your store, please get in touch or contact one of the distributors.

That's a lot of magazines.

Photo by  Chris Young

Photo by Chris Young

Since the previous issue is already down to just a few boxes, I upped the print run for issue 25... to 12,000 copies. I hope you guys love print on paper as much as I do, because that is a LOT of print on paper. This photo shows just a few of the subscriber copies that are on their way.

Subscriptions starting with #25 are available now, as well as single copies. Back issues are on sale for just $10 this week as well because with 70 cartons of magazines on their way to the warehouse, I need to make some room.

Thank you for all your support of UPPERCASE and everything I do. UPPERCASE readers are terrific.

For the love of printmaking

When I came across this print by Joey Hannaford, I just knew it would make an arresting cover. I love its graphic impact and the effect of overprinting the inks. The imperfection of the impressions shows off the beauty of wood type... and the XOX!? This issue is really "hugs and kisses" for the love of printmaking! 

The background pattern is always inspired by the issue's content, so I repeated a registration mark as the pattern motif. The bands of colours on the cover echo Joey's print, with the blue band and yellow band mixing together to create the green corner accent.

Here's an excerpt from the forthcoming article about Joey, written by Adrienne Breaux.

For Joey Hannaford, the printmaking process itself is a part of the exploration. All of her prints are monoprints—every piece is a single, solo, never-will-there-ever-be-another-like-it print. Because she inks the letters by hand, she claims she could not reproduce identical editions if she tried. She uses letterpress printing techniques not as a technical process to make reproduction easier, but as a vehicle for artistic expression. She sometimes refers to her work as “painterly letterpress prints.”

“I like the very accidental things that happen when I’m working iteratively. When I’m making the prints, it’s almost like a recording of the things I’m thinking about at that moment in time,” says Joey. “It’s using the printmaking process as an evolution of developing images rather than developing them to a certain point, ‘freezing’ them and then editioning them.”

Read more in issue 25.

Calling all Printmakers!

Photo by  Thomas-Printers

The response to the Printmaking open call has been terrific... so much so that I'll have to close the call early: this Thursday! I have limited pages and I don't want to have to reject more people than I have to. There is no entry fee and is open to everyone: students, hobbyists and professionals. Enter here.


NEW CALL: Make-Ready I'd like to feature some printmaking make-ready and printing tests in this issue as well. If you've happened on an amazing, serendipitous make-ready moment, please let me know by sending a jpg preview or a link to an image this week. It may be featured in the Sketchbook section in issue 25. Thanks!