Go for the glitter

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I missed out on a few destinations during my quick 3-day trip to San Francisco. One such place was Tantrum, a gift shop with lots of interesting items for children and grownups. If you need some Valentine's Day gifts, there's lots in store from classic children's books to contemporary prints. They have these fun glitter alphabet stickers by Meri Meri if you're in DIY card-making mode.

Show and Tell: thank you!

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The ideas, projects and creative passions that were shared at the Show and Tell event at 3 Fish Studios on January 30 were outstanding. Not only was the evening really enjoyable and entertaining, it resulted in this week-long series of posts about the individuals who braved a few jitters to publicly present their work. I look forward to following along on their various blogs and sites and Instagram accounts and hope to meet these friends of UPPERCASE again the next time I'm in San Francisco. We may see some of the participants profiled in more depth in future publications!

Thank you again to Annie and Eric for providing the perfect venue and being so welcoming to all. If you've fallen in love with California, visit their shop and you'll find something fun or endearing to adorn your walls.

Show and Tell: April V. Walters

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"Donuts of the Bay Area" is quite the best title I've seen for a calendar. Even better, it is filled with watercolour portraits of donuts (or doughnuts, if you prefer) spotted and, I assume, consumed in the San Francisco vicinity.

For more delectables, visit April V. Walter's Etsy shop, look through her website to get to know April and then read her entertaining illustrated blog post about 21 days served on jury duty. It's one of the best and original blog posts I've read in quite a while.

Show and Tell: Georgia Hodges

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Ceramicist and multimedia artist Georgia Hodges presentation was heartfelt and memorable. She brought in some simple cups with earthy glazes as well as a large bowl with organic and draped textures. She spoke about life as process and finding satisfaction in the unfinished. From her artist statement on her website, Georgia writes:

My art and my daily life are fully intertwined. Life without a creative practice feels empty, and a creative practice without a purpose feels lost. A successful day is one that is rich with artful moments. Where all tasks feel relevant.

Show and Tell: Jim Vanides

For Jim Vanides' Show and Tell, I will present in full his submission for the "I Love Notions" open call I had for issue 20. You can see the published version in the current issue. Jim read his poem for our event.

Jim is a technologist, educator, and photographer in Silicon Valley. As an educator, his passion is working with teachers to use technology to create powerful learning experiences for students—experiences that help more students succeed. As a photographer, he enjoys still life and landscapes, but most of all, capturing memories of children caught in the act of just being themselves...

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Dear UPPERCASE, 

Thank you for the invitation to think about notions! Who would have guessed that your invitation to would inspire me to stop and reflect on what really matters in life—and what it is that we leave behind. 

Perhaps it was no coincidence that we recently found our daughter’s first pair of baby shoes, and all 32 years came flowing back as if they were an instant. Or perhaps it was my grandfather’s pocket watch, sitting in our cabinet of family “treasures” (complete with the key to his tailor shop in New York, circa 1925) that prompted me to think about the real meaning of “treasures”. 

The feeling, all combined, was the unmistakable thread of time that linked my grandfather to my daughter—more significantly, the thread of love that will outlast time itself…. 

So thank you for prompting my memories and my conviction that “only love is timeless…” 

Warm regards from California, 

Jim Vanides 

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Threads of Love 

Time is a thread 
That connects us to our past 
And leads us minute by minute 
To our Future 

Time, wrapped in Love, 
Is the greatest gift 
We can receive 
And share 

For all the gifts we give and receive 
Only Love is timeless 
Only Love will remain… 

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A nice note: Jim's daughter is Joy Deneen, a talented calligrapher and the author of our Garbage Beauty article in the current issue. I didn't find out until later that two generations of a family are published in the same issue!

Show and Tell: Courtney Cerruti

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Here's a face you've just seen on the UPPERCASE blog: Courtney Cerruti works at Creativebug appearing on camera as well as setting the stage for other artists and she does even more: she is also an instructor at the San Francisco Center for the Book, an author with a new book by Quarry called Playing with Image Transfers, she's active on Instagram, was formerly a display coordinator at Anthropologie... the list is so long that "maker extraordinaire" is the best all-encompassing description!

Show and Tell: Amani Weusi

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Amani Weusi wore the jewellery that she designs — wire-wrapped healing stones that show us how nature can assist us and help us be the best we can be. Some pieces are for sale in her Etsy shop, Sourceolight. About the piece shown directly above, Amani writes:

"Two of the birthstones for the sun sign Sagittarius, both are energetic power houses.
Both have very powerful metaphysical and spiritual healing properties. Turquoise can, increase Intuition, wisdom, happiness, serenity, creativity; empathy, positive thinking and sensitivity. Onyx, connected to the earth and lower chakras, balances masculine and feminine polarities. Activates the memory and helps one understand the reality of the moment. Onyx helps one have self control. Black onyx is very helpful with focusing energy in positive ways."

Show and Tell: Anna Conti

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Pretty amazing talent at the UPPERCASE Show and Tell at 3 Fish Studios last Thursday, don't you think? It was really a special event with an wonderful combination of people—different creative styles, different paths, but all with a common passion for their craft and the joy of sharing creativity with others.

Anna Conti brought in an original painting that is part of her Ship Spotting project. As she explained, there is so much activity and traffic happening out in the bay, but most people don't know what kind of boat it is or what its specific task may be. Anna aims to create a guide, similar to a bird-watching guide, but in this case it would be to identify the marine traffic on the San Francisco Bay. Get to know Anna and her work through this video portrait:

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See more of Anna's paintings on Flickr.

Show and Tell: Frances England

Frances England is a singer-songwriter who RSVPd to the Show and Tell to just "watch and listen", but when I saw and listened to her website, I was bold enough to ask her if she'd like to share a song. I'm so glad that she agreed! Frances has a lovely voice with sweetly melancholic songs for children and families... and she has just released her first "grown-up" album as well. I was also impressed with the collage artwork on her website and on her album covers—that is her handiwork as well. I've posted her lettering for her new album "Paths We Have Worn" so that we can appreciate that she cut those out by hand (no photoshop).

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It is wonderful to find out that UPPERCASE can connect creativity in unusual ways. In perusing Frances' website, I watched the video, above, about a boy who has a great friend in an oversized Donna Wilson creature. I emailed Frances to tell her about our mutual fondness for Donna's creations and Frances wrote back:

"I am such a huge fan of UPPERCASE and you are the reason I found Donna Wilson. I saw the feature you did on her last year and the minute I saw her "Big Ted" knit creature, the idea for my "Tell Me It All" video popped into my head.  And she was kind enough to let me use him for it—so thank you for that connection.  I'm sure UPPERCASE is responsible for plenty of those kinds of artistic connections!"

How lovely! Thank you, Frances for your beautiful singing and providing a lovely interlude at the Show and Tell.

Show and Tell: Cleomade

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I was happy to meet Cleo Papanikolas in person: Cleo is one of the artists in Work/Life 3 and also created the great hat illustrations in our current issue. If you want to be astounded by her prolific creativity, spend some time on Cleo's blog: she has created a long list of intricately illustrated downloadable projects based around her paintings. Scroll through her Tiny Paintings Project, visit her Pinterest boards and purchase craft kits from her Etsy shop.

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Lehmann Label and Lithography Company

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When visiting the Letterform Archive, the piece-de-resistance was this collection of food labels, one of Rob Saunders recent acquisitions. Not the lithographed finals, this collection is comprised of the artist mockups of label designs. Accomplished with fine brushes in gouache and the occasional metallic, these miniature pieces of art were incredible to inspect in person.

The images below were photographed by 42-line, a San Francisco company that specializes in digitization of rare papers, manuscripts and books.

"Lehmann Printing & Lithograph Company of San Francisco, founded in 1911, was one of the largest manufacturers of labels in the world. Labels were created individually for product containers by Lehmann’s permanent staff of artists who provided the illustrations, hand lettering, and designs. The sketches in this collection are hand painted in gouache by an unknown artist, are from 1920–1930 and are sized to fit the bottle, jar or can." 

A calendar of this label artwork can be purchased from 42-line's website.

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Rob Saunders' Letterform Archive

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The Letterform Archive is a digital gallery of designer, publisher and educator Rob Saunders' extensive collection of printed ephemera. Though Rob has been collecting for decades, the Letterform Archive is a new endeavour, launched last year. Items for the archive are not scanned; they are precisely photographed at high resolution in excellent lighting so that we may enjoy the nuances of the paper and the textural detail of the print.

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I was fortunate to see a teaser selection of the archive in person. Visit the website and start browsing... new images are uploaded on a regular basis and you may purchase their 2014 calendar while supplies last. If you'd like to make an appointment, see here. Thank you, Rob, for an excellent visit and for participating in our Show and Tell event as well.

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Show and Tell: Sugarcane Toddler

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Ria Faust's company is Sugarcane Toddler. Her first mini collection of clothes will launch soon. There was an audible "awww" from the audience at 3 Fish Studios, registering their approval of the cuteness factor of Ria's clothing designs!

"Sugarcane has teamed up with Anthill Fabric Gallery for fair trade of native Filipino textiles. Anthill fabrics are intricately woven on wooden looms by artisan mothers, supporting their families and preserving their craft. These days indigenous fabrics see little use. In order to preserve the art of hand loom weaving, Sugarcane is exploring a new way of using traditional textiles with kids' clothes."

Ria's daughter Amelia (below, in the yellow dress) didn't quite have the stamina for the whole Show and Tell evening, so unfortunately Ria had to leave quickly after her presentation. Read Ria's post about her Show and Tell experience on the Sugarcane Toddler blog. Thank you, Ria, for an excellent presentation and lovely clothes.

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3 Fish Studios

Located just steps from the beach, 3 Fish Studios is a welcoming storefront and working printmaking and painting studio.

Located just steps from the beach, 3 Fish Studios is a welcoming storefront and working printmaking and painting studio.

Annie Galvin chats with a guest.

Annie Galvin chats with a guest.

That's Annie's show-stopping large-scale print of a California bear hug. (Prints available in their online  shop .)

That's Annie's show-stopping large-scale print of a California bear hug. (Prints available in their online shop.)

Robotic inspiration for Eric Rewitzer's  linocuts .

Robotic inspiration for Eric Rewitzer's linocuts.

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Eric Rewitzer

Annie's painting area, nestled on the second floor overlooking the shop.

Annie's painting area, nestled on the second floor overlooking the shop.

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3 Fish Studios was the perfect venue for the UPPERCASE Show and Tell. Annie and Eric were generous hosts and their studio was amazing. Formerly a neighbourhood grocery store, and then a dance studio, now the main open area is their gallery and printing area. In the back is a small kitchen that leads out into a covetable garden space. Although it was too chilly to hang out in the backyard, with a large state of California-shaped table, it would be great for a gathering. Upstairs, Annie has a painting studio along with a computer office area and a table for preparing prints. There was a small window peering over the shop area which would have made for a great photo of the Show and Tell proceedings, but I was a little too busy with that to steal away for a picture. I took photos and notes of all our presenters and I'll share them on the blog throughout the week. Lots of great creativity to share!