Monthly Archives: February 2012

Gorgeous Art Deco Buildings in Los Angeles

The stunning entrance to the Eastern Columbia Building.

Walking around downtown Los Angeles, the amount of stunning Art Deco buildings is really quite amazing. It seems nearly every other building is a testament to the energy and optimism of the jazz age. What I also find particularly interesting is many of these buildings seem to be rather uninhabited. They are frayed, either abandoned or under utilized. However, strangely enough, this makes them even more interesting to me for a couple of reasons…

I live in New York City. Of course, there are a great many beautiful Art Deco buildings in Manhattan as well. However, for the most part, they are used, lived in and have pretty much always been since their construction. In Los Angeles, this downtown is a place of such potential, whereas Manhattan already seems so done, so developed. Here, there is so much possibility. At night it is rather desolate here, downtown. The streets are rather bare, save for the handful of people sleeping on them. However, there are signs of small cafes, independent book stores, restaurants and little galleries popping up. People are seeing the beauty of these buildings and slowly moving back into them and creating something new where there was once just a boarded up shell. It is great to see a downtown in such transition, especially one with such beautiful architecture.

Anyway, here are a few photos from my wanderings around the city. Don’t be surprised if some of these patterns pop up in our designs in the near future.

Also, be sure to check out our FREE LETTERPRESS WEDDING INVITE GIVEAWAY!

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrookyn.com

The clock tower on top of the Eastern Columbia Building. The blue terra cotta tiles are beautiful!

Love this tile pattern. Have no idea what building this is.

Another unknown deco building.

An Art Deco building located on Broadway.

There are a number of Art Deco movie palaces lining Broadway. Most of them have seen better days.

Another movie palace.

A building that is neo-gothic in style. I would imagine it was built around 1915 or so, or right before Art Deco. It is a great example of a lovely building that seems rather empty now but has so much potential.

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Travel

New Letterpress Wedding Invite Giveway & Winner Announcement From Our Last Wedding Giveaway!

Our Mayfair invitation. The next design we will be giving away to one lucky winner! Pictured here is a flat print version of the design.

First off, a big thank you to everyone who entered our competition! We continue to be thankful for all the support we have gotten as we start out and grow our letterpress business.

Second, to everyone else who entered our contest, don’t despair, WE ARE HAVING ANOTHER GIVEAWAY!!! So, please re-enter. To enter the giveaway please email your name to caroline@pressedinbrooklyn. In fact, we will be having quite a few giveaways as we need to letterpress all of our designs for samples.

Third, we have a winner. Congratulations, VERONICA M. We look forward to creating beautiful invitations for your special day!

This time round, we are offering our Mayfair design. Classic and clean, it is named for and inspired by an upscale neighborhood in London. Same as last time, we will be giving away 20 free letterpress invitations and 20 free letterpress RSVP cards. Envelopes will not be included. However, we will provide you with the dimensions and a link to where you can purchase matching envelopes. We plan to letterpress this invitation on bright white, 118lb Savoy paper, with black ink. The name of the couple and RSVP will be in the ornate script as shown in all the photos. However, we have yet to decide if we will print the small text in the ornate font as shown or in the more modern, sans-serif  AnoHalf font, which can be seen as font Sans 1 in our Wedding Invitation Catalogue for reference. Also, same as before, the invites and RSVP cards are totally FREE, the only cost will be shipping. The only catch? You need to be ok with us photographing the invitations for use on our site. Of course, if you require more than 20 of each item, you can certainly purchase more. Also, we have been experimenting with the use of Swarovski crystals on this design. This giveaway does NOT include the crystals, but if you would like to upgrade and purchase the crystal option, you will certainly have that option.

The deadline for entering this giveaway is March 20th and we will announce a winner on March 23rd. We will go to press at the beginning of April, so the winner will receive their invites by mid-April.

– Caroline & Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

The names on the invitation.

The Rsvp card.

Our Mayfair invitation with hand-applied Swarovski Crystals. The winner will have the option to upgrade and purchase this option, if desired.

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Filed under Crystals, Letterpress, Love, Uncategorized, Wedding invitation, Weddings

Gold Letterpress Haiku and Font Design

Our Half-Serif Font.

This past year has been a rather challenging one for me…for a number of reasons. Whenever I would fall down, whenever all seemed stacked against me, I would always think of a Haiku written by the Japanese poet and samurai, Masahide:

since my house burned down
i now own a better view
of the rising moon

This one Haiku, has helped me see all that occurs in life in a different way. That events that seem so absolutely terrible can lead to moments of such beauty. The worst in life can sometimes lead to the best. On a side note, when I first shared this design with Caroline, for her to letterpress, she took a look at it and said, “Wow! That’s beautiful….but what if I’m inside the burning house?” Spoken like a true New Yorker, I suppose!

Anyway, I was inspired enough by this Haiku to design a font for it. I couldn’t decide between a serif or sans-serif, so I made a combination. I added a serif feature in odd places to an otherwise minimal and sans-serif font that I drew. I think it still needs a little refinement. I went ahead and called it Half-Serif, but was kind of debating calling it Mullet font. You know, business in the front, party in the back. What’s life without a sense of humor.

After the design was set, Caroline printed it on our 118lb Savoy paper and used gold ink. We are thinking of maybe making this into a poster for framing, with a slightly different layout. Would love to do this in actual Japanese script, too!

– Caroline & Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

A detail of the font.

Another view.

The moon. To draw this, the serif detail from the fonts was just made into a repeated pattern.

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Scenes from LA – a Mexican Market and Quinceanera Dresses

Little dried silver fish at Grand Central Market in LA. What type of dish are they used in? I have to look that up...

During the day I am forced to entertain myself while my husband is at work. I’m not from LA, I’m here for a month and don’t know anyone. However, since I tend to be somewhat socially awkward, I really don’t mind exploring the city on my own. We decided to stay downtown, the thought being that I could take public transportation to other places, much the way we do in NYC…I quickly realized though that this is a city of cars and there is not much use of the subway system in LA. So, I mostly just walk.

Yesterday, it was beautiful out so I decided to stop by Grand Central Market. I was amazed by all of the fresh Mexican spices, fish, baked goods and sweets. Most of these items I have never seen before. I would love to know what the Charal Pequeno are used for, not that I am much of a cook (although I love food). My most recent attempt at rice, I forgot I was boiling it and burnt the bottom to a crisp. It was pretty embarrassing, I think even my dog was disgusted with me.

Near the market were many shops selling highly embellished Quinceanera Dresses. The area surrounding the dresses was rather industrial in look and feel, metal gates over the shops, unkept sidewalks, store fronts that had dulled with age. I couldn’t help but notice the contrast between these ornate, pristine and brightly colorful dresses as compared to their frayed surroundings.

So, following are a few photos from my visit.

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

Dried and seasoned shrimp. It was hard for me to resist buying these, even though I had no idea what to use them in!

All types of seasoned meats and chorizo.

I have never seen so many types of Mole before!

Different types of Mexican spices.

Mexican cakes. I had to buy some of these, they were amazing.

A lovely dress in pale pink.

Another dress in bold blue.

Bright pink!

I noticed a lengthy line for auditions for "America's Got Talent." I briefly toyed with the idea of standing in line and auditioning myself. However, the only thing I really excel at is procrastination...

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House – aka the Blade Runner House

The Ennis House, large and imposing, set atop a hill in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

This weekend my husband and I also explored the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. I have to say, I absolutely loved this area. Set on the hills, the houses are all so lovely and quite charming, which made the Ennis House stand out even more. Most of the houses appeared to be built in the 1920s to the 1950s. As much as I love living in Brooklyn, I think I could be very happy in a place like this, too.

So, here are a few photos we took of the Ennis House. Some of you might recognize it as the house featured in the Sci Fi classic, Blade Runner. Seeing the house on a bright and sunny day really gave it a very different vibe than it was shown to have in the movie, where it was depicted as dark and cold. Quite a difference to see the house in real life.

The Ennis House as shown in Blade Runner, dark and dreary.

It was built in 1924 for retailer Charles Ennis and his wife Mabel, the Ennis House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by his son, architect Lloyd Wright. It is the last and largest of the elder Wright’s four Los Angeles-area “textile block” houses, which feature patterned and perforated concrete blocks that give a unique textural appearance to both their exteriors and interiors. The house spans 6,200 square feet and is constructed of more than 27,000 concrete blocks; all made by hand using decomposed granite extracted from the site.

Unfortunately, the house was not open for tours, although I believe it is during certain parts of the year. However, we still enjoyed walking around the area and taking some photos.

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

Another view of the house.

A view from in front of the house. A number of people were taking photos.

A beautiful and ornate gate. There was an amazing view of the city beyond.

A close up of one of the concrete blocks. Notice the block on right is cracked and it can be seen there is some damage to the blocks in the other photos. This is due to deferred maintenance, the 1994 Northridge earthquake and record rainfall in 2005.

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A memorial to Michael Jackson and Bubbles – an afternoon at LACMA

Michael Jackson and his companion, Bubbles the chimp. A dazzling memorial in gold! Ceramic by Jeff Koons.

On Saturday, my husband and I explored LA a little more. One of our stops was LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A great museum. Currently they have an exhibit, California Designs,  that is certainly worth checking out. Looking at all the mid-century design was inspirational and gave a small window into the ideas and concerns facing the people of that age. Of particular note to me was the board game on display, “Boom, or the Golden Age.”

Boom! or the Golden Age...Endorsed by Atomic Scientists!

At this point in time, the threat of nuclear war was certainly on the minds of people in the Unites States. I suppose what really got me was the fun and innocent way in which this whole concept was presented on a board game, with a Leave-It-To-Beaveresque young woman smiling on the cover.  To see the the very real fears of the era, juxtaposed with the glossy and prim varnish common of this time period, was perhaps one of the more eye-opening parts of this exhibit for me.

Following are a few more photos from our trip there.

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

St. John the Baptist by Jeff Koons.

Louis by Jeff Koons.

A rather uncomfortable looking bed by Robert Therrien.

This large race track (Metropolis II) reminds me of LA traffic, except it moves faster.

Another view of the race track.

It was huge and watching it was hypnotic.

A view of the city from the roof.

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A Day in the Little Tokyo Neighborhood of Los Angeles

A confection made of bean paste and wrapped in a cherry blossom leaf. The pink is sweet and the leaf is salty. Being a huge chocolate covered pretzel fan, I loved these. This particular sweet is seasonal and only available in January and February.

My husband was recently assigned to Los Angeles on a rather large project his office is working on. As I have never visited this city before, I thought this would be a great opportunity to visit and take a look around.

Yesterday, I wandered to the Little Tokyo neighborhood, located in downtown. I had read about the Japanese American National Museum and decided to stop by. It is a rather small museum but very well put together and certainly worth visiting. It focuses on the contributions of Japanese Americans, as well as the experiences of  Japanese immigrants to this country. One part of the museum showed a particularly dark moment in US history, the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII.

After touring the museum, I wandered around all of the wonderful shops. The weather out was perfect, not a cloud in the sky and in the 70s. Made me feel a little sorry for my friends back in NYC…but not that much!

I made a point to stop in Fugetsu-Do Confectionery. This little shop has been around and selling Japanese sweets since 1903. Everything looked so lovely, it was hard to pick. I love Japanese sweets, each one is a little piece of art. So, before I tore into them, I thought it might be nice to take a few photos.

– Stephanie, www.pressedinbrooklyn.com

This one was gone in seconds! One of their most popular it is mochi with a strawberry bean paste inside and a chocolate decoration on top.

Not exactly sure what this one is. But I really liked the clean lines and the square shape contained within the round shape.

No idea what this is either, but it seems almost too pretty to eat.

A display of sweets at Fugetsu-Do. I'll be back!

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