Fall Collection: New Prints, Cards & Paper

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It’s been a crazy busy fall at Off You Go.  This business is getting busy, and I am so grateful for the support!  Thank you!

In between processing new orders and managing social media, I have, in fact, found my way to creating.  There are several new works up in the shop now that I am super excited about…This bright blue number is one of them.  Please visit the site to check out what’s new.  You’ll notice I have added to the black & white collection as well and have added the first of a series of nudes…

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Side note: Those birds are super curious!

Greeting cards are coming soon!

I just received my first print run of my first card design and I have to confess…I’m super excited about it.  Art prints re where the core of my paper business lives and I am so excited to be painting on a smaller scale and bringing my art to a new medium.  I’m currently sourcing high quality envelopes, and as soon as I land on that, I will be launching them on the site & stocking them in local retailers.

Notes on Paper

A few weeks ago I received a criticism of my work.  Which I appreciate because understanding art and creativity involves getting everyone’s opinion and knowing how it affects them.  This particular critic, did not have many nice things to say, but only one of the points stung…he (or she) accused me of using photocopy paper!  ACCCKK!  I will not tolerate it 🙂 Just kidding, but it did give me the idea that I should share a little about the paper choices I make outer here at Off You Go and how they impact the final product.

In defence of copy paper, many of the worlds largest moments have been recorded, printed, created and shared on copy paper.  J.K. Rowling printed her manuscripts on it, leaders of countries use it to draft laws and my kids print their homework on it. Copy paper is, in fact, the stuff of everyday operations around the world, but I do not use it for my art or prints.

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I paint my watercolours on heavy weight, cotton rag, because I love the way the paint folds over itself, the way the absorption rate works with colour overlays and the depth of texture. I also love the way it works with my brushes and that it will hold onto brush strokes. I use a lot of water when I paint the washes and the heavy weight paper is block moulded so it doesn’t warp.

When I paint with India Ink, I use the same heavy paper as with watercolours, but with graphite, charcoal & pencil, I use a smoother art paper with a brighter finish that lends itself to blending and smudging and letting the light through in darker areas. When I make my prints, and now cards, I want them to look as much as possible like the original — scanning and paper choice make all the difference here.

I use a professional scanner to create my digital images, then have them professionally printed on Epson Hot Press Bright Fine Art Paper. This paper is heavyweight, archival, and lightly textured so your print looks as much as possible like the original.  You can actually see and feel the quality of this paper, even from behind a glass frame. Using this paper cuts deep into my business margins, but it is very worth it to be sending out a product that meets the highest standards of quality possible.

Thanks for checking in,

xob

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Art Prints, Turkish Towels & More Home Decor

The Off You Go Paper Co. shop has some new items on the menu!

In addition to our colourful Print Shop, we now have Home Decor Shop.  I’ll be adding items to this sections slowly, as I discover the perfect, colourful, high quality, fantastically designed items that I can support and be proud to sell.   In the meanwhile, our inventory is limited but awesome. I am so excited to selling these amazing Turkish towels.

illusion 4You know that thing that you find when you travel that you absolutely fall in love with and then can’t find it when you get back home? Well, for me that thing I found is Turkish Towels. I first discovered them while traveling in the south of France, where they are common, and for good reason.  We were guests at a lux private club buried in the hills behind Aix.  While lounging on the grassy poolside we noticed that every person there (aside from ourselves) was using one of these beautiful towels.  I immediately fell in love with the aesthetic, and later with the functionality.

Turkish towels, or peshtemals,  are extra-large (70″x40″), 100% cotton towels. They’re light weight, quick to dry, easy to wash, and very versatile. In Europe they are used as towels for home, beach and pool, throws, wraps, and even tied as a sarong when the event calls for it.  Turkish towels traditionally feature a striped pattern woven into neutral ecru shades.  Today they are available in a vast array of patterns and colours.  I bought three towels at a market in Aix-en-Provence and two more in Paris.  Not all towels are created equal, of course, the towels bought in Aix have survived years of frequent washes and use at chlorine pools, but the Paris variety did not hold up so well.  Even still, after  using them for several months, found myself wishing I had bought a lifetime supply.

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I began to search for them in Vancouver only to find that they were very hard to come by, and when I did find them, they were very expensive (I’m not OK with paying $100 for a towel!)  I can be quite determined when I want something, so I sourced the towels from Turkey, tested several makers products to see if they met the quality of those I found in Aix, and am pleased to have finally found a product that fits the bill.  I’ve imported them for sale in the shop (at a much more reasonable $35 CAD). These towels are excellent for the home and great for travel.  They look beautiful and are incredibly durable, believe me, I gave them a good run through! I snapped this image at Kits pool this summer…mid-point quality test! IMG_6770

A few testing discoveries:

  1. They don’t collect sand! (YAY)  Unlike a terry towel, the fibers do not retain sand, one shake and the sand stays with the surf, not in your car or beach bag
  2. They dry fast and don’t get too heavy when they are wet,
  3. They roll up very small to fit in a pack ( I could easily fit three in my shoulder bag & still had room for snacks for the kids)
  4. The cotton becomes softer and more absorbent with each wash.
  5. They are large enough to wrap around your body for private poolside changing (a skill I learned from the French mamas)

The Off You Go decor shop carries Turkish towels in an array of fun and modern colours as well as the traditional three stripe pattern that’s popular with the luxury spa crowd.  We’ve added hand towels, bath mats and these fantastic robes too:

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In the near future, I plan to add more home decor items, but they have to be things that I am madly deeply, head-over-heals, in favour of.  So I am going to take my time, and do it right.  Have a peek at the selection & let me know what colour is your favourite in the comments.

Cheers,

Britt