Dispatch from London: Anne Smith

This morning I took the tube to Anne Smith‘s studio on the South side of the Thames. Anne did the perfect pigeon illustration on the cover of issue #12, so I couldn’t come all this way and not meet her!

We had some tea and a nice chat about books, the realms of online and offline community, the creative drive and inspiration… so nice. Her studio had lots of books—I saw many that are common to my shelves at home. With nice light diffusing in from windows on two sides, it was a really fresh and inspiring studio.

See a few more images in the flickr set. Thanks, Anne!

Paper sown

Valentina’s planted issue # 12 insert.

Valentina, a subscriber from Argentina, sent in pictures of her planted insert from issue #12.

Valentina writes, “I’m so in love with the magazine! When it arrives home I jump all over the place (literally)!”

Go to nature


Subscriber Elaine Eppler shared this image of the issue #12 subscriber insert on her blog.

I stumbled across this quote on Elaine’s blog which felt right for this lovely Spring day.

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs

w.i.p.s: EG Forge Studio

Eric is busy getting ready for the launch of his Spring/Summer Collection tomorrow.My neighbour Eric Goodwin is launching his Spring/Summer collection of bags, belts and watches at tomorrow’s First Thursday celebrations in Art Central. He let me snap a few details of the preparations. Eric was including issue #12 (which is nearly sold out, by the way!); I’ll share his article below.

EG Forge: Canvas Bags Made by Hand
by Eric Goodwin

Nestled into one of the studio spaces in downtown Calgary’s Art Central building (and a neighbour to UPPERCASE!) is EG Forge Cases and Baggage. Every day, proprietor Eric Goodwin is busy in his studio, designing and sewing.

“When I design a bag, I always like to think that it will be taken on adventures like glacier crossings, safaris and expeditions through the rainforest. Even though in all likelihood they will never be taken to places like these, I still design every bag so that it could. I design every bag to be as durable and functional as possible, and I don’t consider the form and style of a bag very much when I design it. I think that the style and form of a bag will come naturally if it’s designed well. This is what sets EG Forge bags apart. I don’t put fake buckles on a bag for style, I don’t use plastic in any of my bags and I add things like finger loops for snaps so you don’t crush whatever is inside the pocket.

Apart from the actual design of the bag, I use materials that are durable and strong, yet classic and stylish. I use waxed canvas, which is waterproof yet supple and develops an amazing patina over time; oil tanned leather, which is soft and flexible to the touch and waterproof as well; and I use antiqued brass hardware that will never rust, chip or lose its finish. I really design every bag to be as sturdy and durable as possible so it will never fail when you need it.”

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Come on out to Art Central tomorrow from 5-9pm for this and other fun and creative events. (UPPERCASE is having a party! Try your luck at games of change, indulge in Crave cupcakes and marvel at the sparkling new issue #13.)

Guest Post: Crafter-noons and a suitcase full of paper

Skye writes:

“I began scouring the internet for anything ‘paper’. And immediately felt totally intimidated! If you look at the back of PAPER BLISS there are a wealth of ‘inspiring sites and people’ to look up. And these, among many more, have been my inspiration. But you know, you do what you do. We each have our own abilities and aesthetic, and what made me feel confident was that I was just like so many other people: unsure of my skills, uncertain of how projects might work out once I’d thrown myself full throttle into them. So, I have no idea how to construct paper couture, or minutely fanned and intricately folded origami sculptures. But, I consoled myself, I have my own, somewhat ‘shabby’ aesthetic, and that, my friends, would have to do! There was no turning back.

Skye’s friend Mimi waving the tissue petals dry after painting their rims pink.

And I did what I always do: had madcap ‘crafter-noons’ with friends where we sat around my outdoor table and ate nice food and drank tea (and maybe some wine) and got to making something from the stuff that was in front of us. It was amazing to see people’s skills revealed in this way! It taught me much, which I was keen to pass on as tips throughout the book.

 Skye during a crafter-noon.

I also went on holidays with my paper! Much to my boyfriends bemusement, I took suitcases full of paper bits away with me. Clothes would come a very poor second or third, after inspiring books and yards of interesting papers to construct things from. At the airport, I scurried through the people scanner, wondering how I might explain it all should I be asked to open my bulging bags.”


Next up: A paper baby.


Guest Post: Using technology to mock up a book about paper.

Skye’s early mock up of Paper Bliss.

Skye writes:

“Not surprising, perhaps, for someone so visually orientated, I started with a visual representation of my idea. I gathered images from the net and from things I’d made over the year and plonked them all in a desktop folder called ‘Paper Book’. I then did a rather bad mock-up I now realise (though I am a designer in many senses of the word, I am no book designer!), scattering a myriad of images that took my fancy around square pages in INDESIGN, which I use despite not really knowing an awful lot about it, technically speaking!

I had this 20-odd page document printed onto lovely heavy-weight paper, spiral bound it and wrote an introduction and a few sample projects, plus a contents page. I pretty much made that up, as I wasn’t sure yet which projects would make the cut or not. The ideas I had for things to make were really rather a ‘wish list’…I’d find out if I could do them afterwards (I’m a cart-before-the-horse kind of person!).”


Next up: Crafter-noons and a suitcase full of paper



Monday Guest Post: Inspiraton for Skye

Skye writes:

“I got the idea for Paper Bliss from having so much paper around me all the time! I was on the lookout for things to do with paper and card samples that I would otherwise put in the recycle bin. It was this, but also a strong desire to ‘go deep’ into something…and to find an excuse to spend time physically making things rather than on the computer so much. A book allows an immersion into a subject that not many other things do: it’s kind of like doing a Uni (college) degree (I never did one, so it’s my kind of University degree!)…or a thesis of some kind.There were also a plethora of cool, how-to crafty type books being published in Australia and I wanted to join the fray!”


Next up: Skye talks about the process she used to create Paper Bliss


Guest Post Monday: Skye Rogers

While you are waiting for your favourite postal person to deliver issue #13, we thought we would share recent work from one of our previous contributors. Skye Rogers shared stories of her life with paper in issue #12.

Skye has been an illustrator for a good part of her adult life. But the long apprenticeship to her career was her childhood passion: she has been drawing on, cutting up, stamping on and pasting bits of paper together since she was very young.  

Her book, Paper Bliss was released on April 1st.

From the publisher:

PAPER BLISS has fantastic paper craft projects for all levels: from those at ′infants school′ and only at paper-aeroplane level to more advanced projects for ′paperians′ to get their teeth into, to those at paper high school who want to advance their skills with some more complex and elaborate projects. With some easily sourced items: scissors, cutting blade and mat, glue, fancy fasteners, paper punches, needle and thread and some found, pre-loved, new, hand-decorated, plain or recycled paper, there are hours of fun to be had with these projects. Whether it′s the simple completion of something that inspires you, a gift for a special friend or spending part of a day with the kids away from more pressing demands, you might be surprised by what you find.

Next up: Sky shares her inspiration for the project.

Monday is guest post day on UPPERCASE. If you are interested in participating, please contact Erin.

Weekend Reading: issue 13


Issue 13 is making its way around the world to subscribers, stockists and our distribution warehouses. Start your subscription today and issue 13 will be sent out asap.



Issue 12
is nearly sold out! I have fewer than 200 copies available, also on their way to the warehouse. Issue 12 is available here along with other back issues and will ship once it gets to the distribution warehouse next week.

Creative Adventure with Camilla Engman

illustration by Camilla EngmanAngela Ritchie’s Ace Camp is heading back to visit Camilla Engman (Gothenburg, Sweden) for the third time!

“The group will be staying at Hotel Flora and will have time to explore Gothenburg together and on their own. Camilla will lead a 4 day workshop and take us to her inspirational places in Gothenburg. This Ace Camp will include an excursion to the west coast archipelago and the town of Marstand where you will collect your imagery in sketchbooks and transform them into a painting in the studio. Artists of all levels, from beginner to experienced are encouraged to participate. May 13-20, 2012” For full details and registration, click here.


(Please note that the 2-colour art print is sold out.)



If you can’t make the trip, the The Suitcase Series: Camilla Engman that Camilla and I made a few years ago will immerse you in her art, craft and culture. The book is available for purchase here.