Downtown Writing and Press



I’ve always said I print what is in my head. These days I’m thinking about peace. Rick Hanson, author, wrote in his recent newsletter:

“I’ve been reflecting about my tendencies to get attached to views and outcomes: to how I see things and what I hope happens. Normal, sure, but this attachment – this fixation, drivenness, holding on past the point of wisdom . . . no matter how subtle – is still a source of tension, stress, conflicts, and suffering for me, and often for others.”

I think that’s true for so many of us. I am working on being less in the past or future and more in the present. It sounds like such a cliche these days when it seems that mindfulness is so much in the news. But there is a calm truth about the benefits of staying in the moment.

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz”

 October 7th, 2015  
 letterpress, mindfulness  
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When I need to…


I know it’s because my heart is racing, or the breathing is shallow. I may not be consistent with yoga or meditation, but I’ve learned it’s my breath that I can always come back to.

And it works. Inhale slowly, hold, and exhale slowly. Within minutes, I can feel it.


 July 30th, 2015  
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Searching for Happiness

Well, I’m not searching, I’m happy.

But this post  makes me think.

Doland recommends taking one day every week or every month to simply observe yourself:

It’s about tuning in to what you are doing, who you are doing it with and how it makes you feel. How much worry, stress, anger, joy or contentment do you experience on a given day?

Your happiness audit should assess not only major elements of your life, like your job and relationship, but also seemingly inconsequential aspects like how you occupy yourself on your commute and what you eat for lunch. Check in with how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. You’ll find that certain, perhaps surprising, things give you more pleasure than others, just as some detract.

The solution, according to Dolan, is to deliberately make it very easy to do the things that make us happy. Dolan believes we can structure our time and design our surroundings in such a way that we can quickly make a habit out of doing things that make us happy. These changes are small and incremental, but this is precisely why he thinks they work so well.

Ya, makes me think.type

 May 19th, 2015  
 creativity, learning, letterpress, mindfulness  
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Untitled design-1

 April 12th, 2015  
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Finding Yourself, Losing Yourself, and Finding Yourself Again


It’s the end of the year, and I get introspective around this time.

I also get sad, but that’s another story.

When I was younger, I refused to get sad. I was a Pollyanna girl, sure that everything would turn out all right in the end. “I’m fine,” is our family mantra, and I lived that way a long, long time.

But I’ve been in a lost period for the last few years, trying to figure out who I am and what I want to be when I grow up. In the process, I’ve changed from Pollyanna to Eeyore. I’ve been whiny, critical, and gloomy, sure the next plane will crash or my business will fail.

Sometimes we’ll never figure out what sends us spiraling. But now, five years later,  I’m grateful to be seeing the light. I love working on my presses, sharing time with my young students, and helping to run Water Street Studio. The other day, one of my students stopped by with a gift (pictured above). I was touched he thought to create a framed set of type, including the word “write” and my initials. Seriously, touched.

These days, I’ve learned how little I really can control in my life. But giving in to that helps me appreciate everything else so much more.  Now I say, “What’s the worst that can happen?” And the answer is usually something I can live with.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be a Pollyanna again. Wedged where I am feels like a good fit-a little vulnerable, a little realistic, and a lot hopeful.

All righty, then. I have some wood type waiting for me, and my hands are too clean. Back to work.




 December 22nd, 2014  
 home, mindfulness, passion  
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Am I Screaming?

IMG_1137I was bemoaning to a friend in the shop yesterday that I hate “selling.”

“You have to yell this time of year to be heard,” he said.

I wonder. What happens to our minds in all of this loud noise? Can we filter?

I dislike filling the social media I handle with pleas for people to come see us (even though I love what we do). This time of year is crazy. Everyone wants to get their message out there.  And dealing with so many accounts (I volunteer with two organizations), I am proud that I’ve only put the wrong photo on the wrong social media twice in the last week.  Not bad, eh?

Seth Godin says, “the people who care are the people who will listen.” So, friends, here you are if you care to listen :)

In the meantime, I’m going back to my press for a while.


and my personal one!



 November 21st, 2014  
 learning, marketing, mindfulness  
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When the Words Won’t Come

UntitledI’ve been having a hard time writing lately. My dreams are of presses and type, my spare moments have me reading instead of composing. The words roll around in my head. Until they decide to take some shape, I will ignore the guilt.


Who knew?

Besides artist and author, Nin was also a publishing entrepreneur. In January 1942, she sets up her own small press in a loft on Macdougal Street, and soon set out to print and self-publish a new edition of her third book, Winter of Artifice, teaching herself typesetting and doing most of the manual work herself.

I totally get this:

You pit your faculties against concrete problems. The victories are concrete, definable, touchable. A page of perfect printing. You can touch the page you wrote. We exult in what we master and discover. Instead of using one’s energy in a void, against frustrations, in anger against publishers, I use it on the press, type, paper, a source of energy. Solving problems, technical, mechanical problems. Which can be solved.

 November 16th, 2014  
 creativity, mindfulness, writing  
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Do Better Tomorrow

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities
no doubt have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with
your old nonsense.

This day is all that is
good and fair.
It is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on yesterdays.



 June 11th, 2014  
 mindfulness, thinkingabout  
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No, I Can’t…

Worst meditation ever, as if to prove to me that everything is, indeed, a practice.

Saturday I visited Natalie Kay for another lesson in setting type. It was so helpful–and I realized how much I’d forgotten. And how much I still need to buy–more leading, more spacers, more type. Sigh. $$

But I love this…..

photo (51)


 May 19th, 2014  
 learning, mindfulness  
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Meditation Update: Yes, I can focus on one thing


I am in the second week of a 6-week meditation class with Bill Brooks. I’ve been working through meditation on my own (books, friends, podcasts), but I wanted something face-to-face with instruction.

Last night’s talk about our thoughts–and how our brain works–was fascinating. Bill shared ways of focusing and “coming back to the breath” when our minds wander. I know now that mediation is effective for many reasons, and I’ve seen proof in myself.  Learning the practice reminds me of running. I needed to start with running for 5 minutes, then 15, and on–until I managed to run a half-marathon. It took time and effort.

So does meditation.

Early on I found two minutes of sitting still hard. Now I can do 30 minutes without fidgeting too much:) Yesterday as I set lines of type, a process that can be tedious, I found myself in a zen state of bliss. Hmmm, perhaps all this effort at quieting the mind is finally working.

 May 14th, 2014  
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