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Best engagement photo shoot, ever.

8 Jul

The super cute blog (who also win for best wedding ever and best wedding video ever) spotlighted the best engagement shoot ever today, and I wanted to share it because it’s pure genius.

You Can't Be Serious engagement photos of Janet & Darrell

Images from You Can't Be Serious photography - Hailey and Andrew Bartholomew

I’ve always thought that engagement shoots were just an excuse for coupley glamour shots, but who can resist the infectious joy of giant bear heads? I’ve seen a few couples with giant blown up engagement or wedding pictures in their newlywed homes and it’s alway a bit…cheesy. But how amazing would the shopping cart or construction site look on a mantelpiece?

Go now to and bask in their creativity.



Ham & Pea’s Spell it with Pasta Collection!

5 Jul

Ham & Pea Design & Paperie is the work of Li-Ann Scott, over in Australia. One of the kindest and most open-minded people I know, Li-Ann also has the distinction of being the childhood friend that I’ve known the longest and it’s hard to reconcile the now busy and energetic mother of twin boys and with the Troll doll loving girl who would come to our My Little Pony-themed birthday parties. She’s always been super-creative and talented, sending us these elaborately drawn penpal letters with ribbons and stickers, so it seems only inevitable that she’d capitalize on that talent and launch a successful card and graphic design business!

I recently won a giveaway on Ham & Pea’s Facebook page for a collection of the ‘Spell it with Pasta’ greeting cards and was so excited when they arrived!

Ham & Pea Spell it With Pasta greeting card collection, wrapped

Perfectly packaged!

Ham & Pea Spell it with Pasta collection greeting cards

The collection

Ham & Pea Spell it with Pasta greeting card collection

Back of card detail

I really love this collection as it’s both cute and clever. The attention to detail is amazing, with the design theme of each card continuing on the back of the card, where it’s usually boring.

Ham & Pea Spell it with Pasta greeting card envelope

Even the envelope interiors are designed!


Prior to starting Ham & Pea, Li-Ann was also working as an architect in Australia. Architecture is often a thankless field and so it’s amazing to see how my friends in the industry have expanded their interests into other creative avenues.

Ham & Pea is having a sale this week only (July 6th – 12th), so head on over to their Facebook page for details and a sale album!


30 Jun

My lovely Gocco arrived a few weeks ago, and it’s been such a great tool to have. It’s so much fun and terribly easy to use that I’ve decided that it’s just about the best investment I could make for a tiny business’s printing needs.

Print Gocco kit

This is the kit I bought off eBay, image by eBay seller import_express445106

So far, I’ve printed tiny muslin bags, business cards and mini Moo-sized cards that will debut at Bloomfest on the 23rd. I’d like to purchase some kraft paper merchandise bags and print our logo and QR code, but that’s for a bit later.

Printing Orderly Civilians business cards on the Print Gocco

Printing Orderly Civilians business cards on the Print Gocco, front and back, two at a time

New Orderly Civilians business cards on chocolate cardstock

Finished business cards drying in the sun

Muslin bags printed on the Gocco

Mini muslin bags for rings and necklaces

Mini moo business cards

Moo-sized mini business cards

I’m really pleased that I decided to go with the Gocco over the Yudu as it’s much smaller and thus more suited to the items that I will be making. As I’m doing very repetitive projects, I also find that the stamping (or pressing down) action of the Gocco is much easier than repeatedly pulling a squeegee across a screen. I was also pleasantly surprised at the fineness of lines that is achievable on the Gocco which allows for beautifully legible type. However, (as seen in the image above) the screens tend to expose a little unevenly, giving an imperfect and distressed look, which isn’t all that bad in my opinion.

I purchased the PG-10 Super Gocco model because I liked the idea of a repositionable platten and the registration plate that it came with, which allows exact placement of multiple-stage prints and was cheaper than the PG-11, which has the same features plus a lamp housing that is supposed to be better angled to expose the edges of the screen. If you’re interested in purchasing a Gocco, here’s a great chart that breaks down the various models. Here’s a video that shows the registration process with the PG-11:

One of the cons of Goccos is that the master screens aren’t reusable and cleaning isn’t very easy. The inks require a special cleaner (although I’ve heard that one can use Goop hand cleaner or vegetable cooking oil, but I’ve not tried either) and it’s really not fun or easy as the screens are cardboard and hard to rinse out. I also tend to load up my screens so I can print multiple projects at different times with one master and the ink blocking that keeps colors separated tends to get saturated with ink and comes off in the cleaning process, which is a bit wasteful. I’ve also ruined part of a master by forgetting to put a piece on paper on the part of the sticky pad that I wasn’t using at the time, which led to the non-printing film on the mesh being pulled off the mesh and rendering that part unusable.

Here’s a great video on YouTube created by Etsy that shows how to use a Gocco for a simple, hand illustrated card:

I havent tried a hand-drawn print, yet and usually I lay out the screen in Adobe Illustrator before printing it out on a laser printer. The image to be exposed needs to be drawn with carbon-based ink, which most inkjet printers don’t use, although HP inks supposedly do contain carbon. I haven’t tried it out because our HP printer is quite old (8 years and counting!) and doesn’t like to print straight lines anymore, so it’s off to Kinkos I go.

What are you printing with your Gocco?

News of the day

12 Jun

We’re super excited to announce that we’ve been selected to exhibit at the Bloomfest LA music + street art + food festival on July 23rd! It’ll run from 2pm until 10pm and it’s free to attend. The theme of the fair will be sustainable urban living, and will feature “live indie music, great brews, good food, and eco-friendly fun.”

BloomfestLA Street art, music, food, arts & crafts


It will be held in the Downtown Arts District area at 3rd St. & Traction Ave. near Wurstküche, Zip Fusion Sushi, K-Town BBQ, Angel City Brewing, just east of Little Tokyo and adjacent to SCI-Arc. I used to work in the area and I’m thrilled to be back on my old stomping grounds for our first ever physical selling opportunity. We’ve been kicking around great ideas for booth decor and I really CAN’T WAIT.

To pile on even more win, one of my favorite local bands, Love Grenades, will be playing. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to check them out (I sortfof hope I don’t, because that means that we’ll be busy), but they’ve got a quasi-retro bossa nova-ish lounge/dance pop sound and I can’t get enough.

There’s so much to do before then, though, and I’m hoping to have at least 100 rings and necklaces done by then. I’m also developing some new items, but I’m waiting on supplies to come. Oh! I caved and bought a Gocco printer to print labels and business cards! I hope that it comes soon and in good condition, since it’s coming all the way from Japan.

Also, brilliant Michael has set up our domain to reroute to the Orderly Civilians Etsy store for the time being, so I’m pleased to announce that is now live! We’ll be working on a site that brings together our blog, store and catalog soon.

New globe microbead rings!

7 Jun

We’ve just added new summery pastel microbead globe rings to the Etsy store!

Summery pastel microbead globe rings

Summery pastel microbead globe rings now available!

Summery pastel globe rings

Summery pastel globe rings

And don’t forget to visit the lovely Janelle’s blog for a special 15% off discount coupon, good until August 31st!

OC a-Gocco!

3 Jun

After searching for a reasonably priced printer for garment labels today ($400+ for 1000 labels…what am I going to do with 1000 labels?), it occurred to me that I could invest those hundreds in a Gocco screenprinting kit and print my own labels on twill tape.

Print Gocco screenprinting kit

Print Gocco screenprinting kit image by Debi Cates

A Print Gocco is a compact Japanese printer that easily allows you to create multiple ink impressions of your designs. It’s similar to traditional screenprinting, but is much less complicated in that it uses pre-emulsioned master sheets that are ‘burned’ with the on board flash kit. It also has a much smaller platen, which seems much more manageable for smaller items. There’s also no squeegee-ing involved, which is great for me as I can’t ever pull it evenly. However, there’s quite a few negatives with Gocco as the flash bulbs are single-use and the Japanese company that manufactures Gocco, Riso, stopped shipping them around 2008. This means that a) the best source for supplies and the printer is eBay b) those supplies are going to be expensive c) one day, there will be no more supplies. There are movements for the saving of Gocco (such as, à la Polaroid), but the fate of Gocco beyond existing supplies is unknown.

I’ve been lusting after one for quite a while now, but it’s hard to lay down that much money for one as kits on eBay can run upwards of $175. To scrape by, I’ve been using cheap DIY methods like Mod Podge-ing organza stretched on an embroidery hoop, as shown below.

Embroidery hoop screen printing

Modge podge embroidery hoop screen printing by Scarlet-Begonias @

The Modge Podge method isn’t very reliable and makes pretty messy imprints, since it relies on how steady your hands are when painting in the image. Additionally, the Modge Podge has an annoying tendency to dry lumpily, which is hard to squeegee with and will lead to ink squishing out from between the gaps. I’d like to print logos with text, so this isn’t ideal at all.

Then there is the Yudu Personal Screen Printer, which has a much larger platen and can handle larger items like t-shirts or tote bags. It’s much closer to traditional screenprinting in that it requires squeegee-ing and drying and washing off of the screen, but still in a self-contained unit that incorporates the exposing light apparatus (second worst thing about screenprinting is finding lights to expose the emulsion) and screen dryer. It’s also still being manufactured, but the huge price drop on the kit since its introduction probably means that there hasn’t been as much positive response to it as they had hoped, so it may also be gone before long.

I’m still looking at the Gocco over the Yudu since it seems to be a lot less complicated to use and the scale is more reasonable for my purposes. I keep thinking of things that I could use it for (Thank you cards! Business cards! Labels! Artwork! Blergh!) to convince myself that $200 is a pretty good investment.

Any thoughts, Gocco owners and aficionados?


2 Dec

Edit: Whoops. Looks like the image links are gone awry. Hopefully they’re fixed now.

It’s not often that I come across things online that I want to instantly click “buy” on, but this is hands down, the most (relatively) affordable and amazing piece I’ve seen in a while:

Design Glut's World Link necklace $60


A+R’s online store has a bevy of great holiday gift ideas this season. Another favorite is the bunny tote:

Eding:Post's Picnica "Bunny" tote bag @ A+R $30 has a Holiday Coupon Book that will get you 15% off your order at A+R.

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