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hello there.

Well, whaddya wanna know?  Here's the plain and simple truth:  My name is Rebekah Tennis and I love design.  I love paper, the way it feels, its weight and texture.  I love extra special touches on little things: homemade tags on gift-wrap, old stamps on an envelope, and twine on nearly everything.

My husband, business partner and all-around solid rock Matt would probably tell you that he likes tools - lots of 'em, finding the perfect way to do something, taking things apart, and precision in everything. 

So you might as well have guessed by now... we are the perfect match for an old letterpress studio. Together we farm rice and have three adorable and active boys ages 5 and under.  This keeps us fairly busy, but whenever we have a spare moment, we crank up our 102 year old Chandler and Price platen press and pull some prints, or whip out a card line on the Heidelberg. 

There's more, oh yes, there IS more - but that's what this blog is for.  Take a look around, get to know us, our great town of Chico, California and our beautiful presses.


an ombré booth.

It’s that time of the year again!! The grand National Stationery Show Extravaganza!! Time to see if all our hard work will pay off – we’ll see. I’m sure excited about the things we’ve made this year!

Kicking off the show, again, is our little booth. Remember the booth building tale from last year? Well, I’m pleased to report that the plywood walls weathered a year in storage happily and with no damage. So, we pulled them out and decided to give them a fresh coat of paint. But not just any paint. An ombré paint job. Ombré  refers to gradual tonal/color changes, it’s a fancy french word and my current interior design trend crush. What better place to indulge in a trend and follow a crush then a temporary booth display? Here today, gone tomorrow!

Let’s get down to business. Here is the before and after:

…I threw in last year’s gray chalkboard paint for good measure too. Well, what do you think?!? I LOVE it!

Let me start at the beginning. I searched the internet high and low for an “how to paint an ombre wall” post. Nada. At least not without glazes and a bunch of other nonsense. Nope, I wanted to keep it plain and simple.

So, I pulled together a test panel. Three cans of spray paint and one piece of plywood…

One layer at a time. Light to dark. It was actually surprisingly easy to achieve what I was looking for.

For the larger scale, however (our walls are 8 feet x 10 feet x 8 feet tall), we decided to use our paint sprayer. Matt’s always looking for an excuse to use that thing. ;-) It’s not an airless sprayer (although we have one of those) it’s one that you use with an air compressor to run it. It can do a very fine mist and the clean up is much easier than the airless.

These are how the walls looked fresh out of storage:

To begin with, I rolled the undercoat (the light turquoise):

Already looking happy and bright!

Then we lined them up on the bocce court:

And sprayed a little bit at a time.

It was very noisy, and involved a lot of “a little more here” and “a little less there” kibitzing from me (official art director, of course).

Layer upon layer (thin coats):

And then:

Voilà! It was done.

The entire project took us one Sunday afternoon. Not bad at all!

That is the tale… (a sequel) of a girl and her booth. Stay tuned next for a crate building recap and then the big new product line-up for 2012!!

 

May 16, 2012 - 4:11 am Whitney - Oh my gosh - AMAZING!!! Cannot wait to see it in person! Woo hoo! Safe travels and see you soon!

May 16, 2012 - 6:26 am Cyd - You know I am totally obsessed! Can't wait to see you!

May 16, 2012 - 7:47 am debbie - i am a HUGE fan of your work and have been following your blog since starting my own letterpress endeavor. your blog has been a wealth of insight! the walls look gorgeous and cannot wait to see them in person {i plan on stopping by and saying hello at the show}! all the best to you for another wonderful year at nss!

May 16, 2012 - 3:38 pm Tina Dahl - LOVE anything Ombre! Just beautiful Rebekah! Good luck at the show :)

May 17, 2012 - 6:27 pm Denise - Great Post!!! I am wondering if you can suggest where to get wood letters laser cut, I am in Colorado? Thanks + enjoy NYC

May 19, 2012 - 5:38 pm Print Matter - LOVE THIS!!! You will be posted on Print Matter on the 21st! Hope you have a great show! Print Matter

September 27, 2012 - 5:02 pm Patrick - Do you know exactly what paint colors you used and what brands?

October 4, 2012 - 10:36 am rebekah - Hi Patrick - I custom-matched the paint to the rustoleum spray paint that I did the test board with. Can't exactly remember the colors! Turquoise, mid-blue and dark blue - all in satin. The custom mix came from Sherwin Williams and was oil based. Hope this helps!

November 28, 2012 - 4:25 am Angela - This looks amazing, great colour choices! Wish I could pin it on Pinterest but there's no 'Pin' button and when I try to pin through my browser none of the photo options are of the ombré painting are available. Can you suggest a way that I can get it on one of my boards with a photo that shows the ombré?

May 4, 2013 - 12:15 pm Shelley - hi, I'm planning to paint a door in my house w the spray paint technique. could you give a bit more detail or any tips?? thanks!

May 15, 2013 - 3:47 pm rebekah - Just keep the spray even and light! Multiple passes. Be sure to roll the undercoat and let it dry first. Good luck!

March 16, 2014 - 10:39 am Joseph Rose - Hi. Could you explain a bit about how you attach the walls to the preexisting pipe frame at Javitz? Can we be fairly sure of what to expect from the pipes ahead of time?

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