Wednesday, September 29, 2010

new book

yesterday afternoon, i had an idea for a small, simple as soon as i got home, i made one.




i was thinking of introducing this as a new product at the upcoming art show - sold as singles or in packs of three. they would all be different and bright :) what do you think?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

its official..

i will be starting classes in DECEMBER!!!

honestly, i'm a little scared & excited all at the same time. this program is a pretty big commitment for the next couple of years. sending in the first payment actually had my heart rate speed up...

but these classes are a step in the right direction, a start to having a solid foundation in the digital world. i'm looking forward to some new tools (hardware & software), trying something new, and taking some classes (which i haven't done in 6 years).

i'm excited at the prospects & opportunities this will bring me down the road. now i just have to stay focused on the tasks at hand...the upcoming art shows!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

i'll be famous...

late last night, we received an email from christine at pobke photography...and she said our wedding is going to be featured in a bridal magazine!!! WOOT! so we're going to be all famous now. i'll just sit back and let the modeling contracts roll in...haha yea right.

i'll be getting a copy of the magazine once it comes out, but in the meantime, i have to send christine some details about our wedding. awesome.

in other news, fall is here in alaska and it's freaking freezing (almost).

have a wonderful weekend...hopefully next week, i'll have some orders in with new paper for the upcoming shows!

Friday, September 24, 2010


for quite some time (years actually), i've been looking into taking some online graphic design courses. i've dabbled with photoshop & illustrator over the years and realized that i needed a foundation with these programs (plus others) in the world of digital art.

my college training was focused on traditional methods of work (meaning no computers allowed) and the head of the art department at the time did not embrace the idea of learning digital methods of creating art. this left me with a pretty big handicap when it came to working & manipulating my images on my (old) laptop...

letterpress printing has gone from traditional hand set lead type to photopolymer plates...and, with that, the possibilites for letterpress printing have expanded to a whole new exciting level! and because photopolymer plates are the direction i want to go with my printing...i've decided to do something about it and take some classes.

i won't plan to start until december, but i'm getting signed up pretty soon. with this new adventure, i'll also be purchasing a macbook pro (YES!!!) and adobe software (YEA for student discounts!!) i'm just waiting on some answers to a few last minute questions before i sign up...wish me luck :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

produce, the noun

hubby and i have been talking for months about ordering produce from Full Circle Farm, an organic farm in washington that delivers fresh, nutritious produce in their home state and in alaska!

with the long, cold, dark winter steadily approaching, we alaskans don't have a whole lot of options for fruits & veggies. we figured this is a good option because it's convenient & will give us an opportunity to try some new food that we wouldn't normally buy...hence, new recipes to try...and a better, more well rounded diet.

so if you are interested, check out their website here!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

little big planet 2

i'm not big on video games...mostly because i'm not good at them. and shooting games really don't do it for me...i'd much rather be on the range, shooting bad guy targets with my wilson in real life.

anyway, there are a few games that have caught my eye over the years...and little big planet was one of them, thanks to hubby. if you haven't played it, you should - it's a ton of fun. you run around a magical world as a sack person that you can dress up in costumes and you get to put stickers on everything! hard to explain, but fun to play. as an artist, i'm so impressed with the design & color & texture of everything in the game.

soooo of course i just heard that LITTLE BIG PLANET 2 is coming out!! AAAH!! maybe i will buy it as a gift to myself after i make it through the art show season :) do i sound like a nerd? yeaaa probably. but i don't care.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

sanrio shoes of awesomeness

when i was in high school, i had a pair of dr marten boots that had black & white faces all over them. they were awesome. actually i still have them. people would ask - are those the beatles? who are they?! and i got them for $20 when i lived on guam. seriously, the best shopping purchase ever.

also, when i was growing up, i LOVED hello kitty. i had an obsession with hello kitty. before the whole sanrio thing became popular in the states, my grandma would bring me tons of goodies direct from Japan. now, i still love hello kitty and her pals...

so when i saw these dr marten boots, featured on, i just about passed out (ok not really):

all pics from sanrio's site here

they are sold out on dr marten's website, and only have a size 11 on nordstrom & sanrio. if they were available in my size right now, i would buy them. in a heartbeat. i'd use savings money. i MUST have a pair of these. i would willingly trade some handmade tama press items (journals, box set, photo albums, etc) for these shoes. anyone up for it??

p.s. i wear a size 6 in dr martens (7.5 in us sizes)
*updated* 9/21/10 - i had the wrong size!! i checked my boots - size 5 in dr martens!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

custom photo box

here it is! the custom photo box i've been working on, in all of its finished glory!

here's the story - my client went on an incredible trip to japan and had a ton of pictures that she wanted to store. rather than sticking them in albums, she preferred to store them in a photo box.

she brought back the luxurious red & black cherry blossom paper from japan for me to use for the outer sides of the box & the photo separators.

i used black (with mohair for texture) japanese book cloth to cover & line the lid and the inside of the box.

i had to hand cut the file separator tabs

so who else wants a photo box? anyone? i was really happy with how this project turned out - i love how dramatic the paper is. next projects: rebinding a giant, ancient shakespeare book and prepping for art shows...have a great weekend!

Friday, September 17, 2010

hyperbole and a half

a friend of mine showed me this post from hyperbole and a half:

"At some point during my childhood, my mother made the mistake of taking me to see an orthodontist. It was discovered that I had a rogue tooth that was growing sideways."

read the rest of the story here. trust me, it's worth it.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

business reading

the last week or so, i've been doing a surprising amount of reading (partially because anything else makes me cough a lot).

i just tackled the work chapter in gretchen rubin's the happiness project (here's an earlier post on this book) which went right along with this book:

and this one:

while i have a long (LONG) time until i can run Tama Press full time, i've been inspired lately to get off my butt and start making plans. business plans. projections. marketing ideas. line sheets. you get the picture...even though i can't jump head first into my art and throw caution to the wind, i CAN start preparing and taking baby steps for the future.

and here's one more book i would like to start (it's gotten rave reviews):

creative, inc

what am i really enjoying about these guides is that they are not overwhelming, have helpful advice, and break things down step by when i grow up, i CAN be an artist (not the starving kind) :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

catch up

over the weekend, we hosted a small barbecue for our alaskan friends who couldn't make it to the wedding. we had hoped to have this get-together sooner, but things have been so busy since the wedding - i don't think we've had one weekend open! we had WAY too much food (yay for leftover cupcakes). it was really nice to see everyone.

i also heard from my friend christine, who was also one of our wedding photographers, and our wedding pictures are finally ready!!!! they are currently making the long trip from australia to alaska and i can't wait to see them!! check out christine's new website: pobke photography. and if you go to the weddings section here, you'll see a couple pics of me & hubby :)

i've also been working on a long overdue project for a very patient client & am almost done with it. i'll post pictures later in the week - but i have to say, the finished product is going to be very chic.

more soon!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

masons boys

early last week, our friend's brother-in-law passed away suddenly. he was only 32. he left behind a loving wife and three little boys under the age of three.

a family friend set up a website ( to honor mason's memory & provide a way for others to help this devastated family during a very difficult time. if you are interested in helping or just want to send some encouragement their way, please visit masonsboys.

also, if you remember from a couple weeks ago, we were pet sitting for a friend who had two dogs & a cat. the cat, nala, was sadly laid to rest due to being sick a couple days ago. RIP nala.

so much tragedy makes my heart hurt.

Friday, September 10, 2010


after six weeks and two doctors visits.....i'm still sick. actually i think i'm worse. i feel a cold coming on, to add to the longest lasting most annoying cough ever. that being said, i'll be back next week with more posts & hopefully a stronger immune system.

see you then!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

lost lake hike

the scene: alaska wilderness on labor day weekend (aka the last weekend of summer)

we prepared for our trip friday night, keeping the knowledge of the weather forecast in mind: 90% chance of rain. i, of course, assumed that the forecast would be wrong, because there is a 90% chance that it will change. sadly, i was wrong. the hubster, friends jamie & cole, 4 furry kiddos, and i drove two hours south (in 2 cars) to the start of the lost lake trail. i rode with jamie and we took turns talking to our guys on the walkie talkies. actually, it was more like they were backseat driving...even though they were in the car ahead of us :) silly boys.

we unloaded the gear and the guys set up the cars at two parking lots. the cool thing about this particular hike is that you can hike in from one spot and the trail goes all the way through, which means no doubling back & no repetitive scenery. just as we all slung our packs on and headed towards the trail....the rain started.

rain, drizzle, rain, pour, rain, drizzle...somehow the rain always came down in the direction of our faces.

okay okay, it wasn't as bad as it sounded - it was wet, but not super cold. and the dogs had a BLAST! we got such a kick out of them running up and down the trail. mia would always run & check on the last person in line. vito wore in his new pack and it did well - he even went swimming with it on!

i unfortunately did not get a ton of pictures because it was raining...but here's a few from the morning we were hiking out, when it stopped raining!!
awesome views

see how the leaves are ALREADY changing?!

lost lake in the distance

jamie & cole

hubby & cole discussing important man stuff

bear & gauge (the good dogs)

mia licking her lips

vito looking handsome with his pack

overall the hike was a lot of fun. it was refreshing to get out of town for a couple of days, even if it was raining.

p.s. if you even plan to do an overnight hike with a 40 pound pack, i would highly recommend training for it first. because i could barely walk the following couple of days.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

studio reorganization

i hope everyone's holiday weekend was fantastic! the long weekend flew by for us. we went on a long (16 mile) hike for a couple of days...but that'll be in tomorrow's post.

after weeks of procrastination, i finally got started on my studio reorganization! my wonderful hubby helped move all of the furniture in my studio and set up the awesome flat file he built for me! it isn't quite finished yet (we didn't paint it) but i was impatient and wanted to start using it.

i've started putting things in their new homes, and cleaning stuff out. we just received our recycling bin, so i'm separating the recyclables as i go...and wow there is a lot of stuff that can be recycled! makes me feel a lot better about getting rid of those tiny scraps of paper, knowing that they will be put to use.

i would show you a before pic of the studio, but quite frankly it was such a disaster, it's embarrassing. so i'll hold off until the renovations are complete :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

business cards

i've been in the process of changing my name during the last month or so...and let me tell you, it's a long process. most of my list is complete, however, i'm now trying to tackle all of the items i need to adjust regarding my business. i had new stickers printed for packaging (which i'm honestly not terribly pleased with) and am working on a new design for my business cards. i am going to print in two colors (light blue/green & plum) on stardream chiara cover in aquamarine - i really love the sparkly shimmer of this paper.

here's what i came up with:

thoughts? reactions? comments? let me hear them! have a wonderful long weekend!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

the best?

i've been reading gretchen rubin's "the happiness project" and it got me thinking the other often do i do my best? my absolute, all out best? is it all the time or sometimes? (sometimes) and why is that? why do i cut corners & half ass some of the things i do?

well, i figured that sometimes i'm trying to be efficient. but i can still be efficient with half assing something.

another reason, and probably the more accurate reason, i discovered is that i'm a little afraid. what if i do my absolute best and i fail? fall flat on my face and completely utterly fail. well, that would suck, wouldn't it.

it's easier to half ass stuff and have it be "good enough" than to put forth the energy necessary to be great.

what are your thoughts on doing your best?

Thursday, September 2, 2010


we've been busy keeping an eye on some pets for a friend of ours - two little (hilarious) dogs named miley & mozzy and a very tolerant cat named nala. here's some pics:

miley the mom

mozzy the spunky daughter

here comes trouble :)

nala the extremely patient cat

alaskan eye candy

here's a video of miley begging while i was eating lunch. she kept talking to me so i tried to capture it on tape...she says something at the end but it might be hard to hear.

all three of these sweet pets are looking for new homes due to an unforseen tragedy that our friend is recovering from. miley & mozzy are looking to move to their new home together. the dogs are very sweet and loving, definitely enjoy attention, and are lap dogs. nala is a sweet kitty and one of the friendliest cats i've met. she likes attention too and purrs a ton. all three of them will try to sit on your lap at the same time. and the dogs will clean nala's ears like crazy. so if you live in the anchorage area and are interested, send me an email: stephanie(dot)tama(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

adventure gear

over the weekend, hubby & i perused the sale at REI, specifically for a pack for me. a big pack. so we can go CAMPING. he jokingly said that i don't need a big pack because it's not like i'd carry anything anyway. *AHEM* we loaded up pack after pack, adjusted & yanked on a million different straps, and kept coming back to this one (of course it's blue):

i was amazed at how different packs fit - and how none of them seemed to fit me just right, with the except of the ridgeline. we loaded it up with weight, strapped it on, and then i wandered around the store for a while to test it out. i've been wanting my own pack since the last long trip we went on (long = overnight). soooo now i suppose it's time for another adventure!