Tag Archives: gus and ruby letterpress

A Peek Inside Gus & Ruby Windows: Colorful Wisteria

Summer is here, the gardens are growing and our windows are lush! This window was inspired by the beautiful booms I’m seeing everywhere and the buzzing bees, our little city is feeling so alive. Below I’ll explain how to make these hanging paper wisteria and watercolor honeycombs.

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For the blooms you will need:

  • Tissue paper (3+ colors per color palette)
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Watercolors, paint palette (or a plate) and a big fluffy paint brush

Below you can see the shapes I cut out to begin the process of creating the paper petals. You want them all to be a little different so there’s no need to get a template going for these. Just imagine you’re stretching out the shape of the number 8. I stacked about 5 pieces of tissue before cutting them to make the job go a little more quickly.

Cut out different sizes, you’ll end up forming them from the center, so again, it’s no biggie if they aren’t perfect. You could even just cut out a long oval shape if that’s easier for you! As you cut out the 3+ colors of your tissue paper, remember the lightest tissue should be the largest size and the darkest should be the smallest.

You’ll watercolor wash the lightest color tissue paper you’re using. I used the same light color for both color palettes, a color called French Vanilla. You could use white or any other light color that will pick up the watercolor pigment.

Grab a glass of water and your painting supplies. Decide which colors you’ll be using, I recommend sticking to either warm colors or cool colors. Pool some water on your paint palette and add color to create a wash to blot on the ends of the petal shapes. It will sort of flow towards the center as the tissue absorbs the water. Let these dry before you disassemble the stack of tissue, this is important! The tissue is super fragile when it’s wet, ya know? The other thing is that this part of the process is simply put, just not that pretty. Don’t fret, we’ll get to the beautiful blooms soon!

Just look at those scraps! -insert heart eyes emoji-

Once the water colored tissue has dried, gather it all up with the other colors. Sort everything out by size. Start with your littlest petal, take three pieces and stack them and rotate them form the center so you end up with a flower-esque shape. Pinch the center and twist to create your three-dimensional bloom. You can see what this looks like below.

Repeat this step with all of your petals, keeping them separated by size. Once you have a big ol’ pile of flowers in each size you can stop twistin’ and start stringing! String your needle and thread and make knot at the bottom of the thread so that the bottom bloom stays put. You might need to tie it a few times over.

Start by stringing the smallest and darkest blooms through the bottom (think of going in where you’d see a bumble bee buzzing). Add more of that color until you have a couple of inches. Begin adding the next color until you’ve strung about a foot and then finish it off with your water colored petals. Each long bloom should be different and unique! Add more of a darker color sometimes if you want, or make them all one color!

Below Samson-cat (my always-helper) is showing the blooms before they’re hung up. You can see some of the fun color fluctuation!

For the honeycomb you will need:

  • A sheet of foamcore
  • Watercolor paint and a brush
  • A pencil and ruler
  • Exacto blade and cutting mat
  • Needle a thread

First things first: go to town watercolor painting your foam core. I used lots of yellows and some orange. Let it dry, it might curl up on the sides when in dries. No biggie, you’re gonna cut it up.

Use your ruler and pencil to make a hexagon shape the size that you want each honeycomb to be. A hexagon is a 6 sided shape, a shortcut for sketching your own is to draw a quick circle and draw lines to create 6 even slices, then connect the outer lines: a hexagon is formed! …Or print this out.

Trace hexagons all over the backside of your foam core. Follow those lines with your Exacto blade until you’ve cut out all of your tracings. Make sure to protect your surface with your cutting mat.

Grab your needle and thread and stitch the honeycombs together. Hang then up each individually or from a dowel. Hello honeycomb wall, what a fun photo backdrop or party decoration for a summer event!

As always, it’s so fun to how you make these projects your own. If you instagram, hashtag #gusandrubyDIY so we can see your beautiful creations!

A Peek Inside Gus & Ruby Windows

At Gus & Ruby we adore all things beautiful. We love to focus on the tactile nature of the details, whether it’s the impression an inked plate makes into 100% cotton paper, or it’s a handmade bag where you can see the stitches that hold the fabric together. We fill the windows with our favorite products and custom work and we see the window displays as another creative venue, to make a beautiful space.

Lucky for me, it’s my job to execute the projects we daydream about installing in the windows. I wanted to start sharing this process in a new blog post that I’ll write after each new window has debuted. It’s so fun to connect with others who enjoy relishing in color palettes, textures, light, and beauty the way that I do. I can’t wait to hear from you about your own projects, tip, tricks, and things that you would love to see from us at Gus & Ruby!

One of my favorite things about dreaming up new projects for the windows is re-inventing things we use everyday, this time I used waxed paper and crayons. Below I’ll describe how to do it yourself!

You will need:
  • Crayons
  • Wax paper
  • Kraft paper
  • Iron
  • Scissors or a circle punch
  • Needle and thread
  • You will need a lot of crayons. I used 3 boxes of 100 crayons to fill our windows (keep in mind that you may only use part of the box of crayons). 
  • Pick out your color palette and take out all of those crayons. I chose greens and blues, but whatever palette you choose will end up looking lovely. Roughly separate all of your colors so that when you begin melting you don’t get a pool of brown.  
  • You will need to peel the paper off of the crayons and then break them down. There are a few ways to go about this. You could go for the tried and true pencil sharpener method, the chop on the cutting board tactic, or the easy way: the blender! Use your best judgement, not all blenders are created equal and I don’t want you risking your morning smoothie routine. 
  • I did use my blender (it worked like a dream) and pulsed the crayons for about 15 seconds and got a great powdery result.  I dumped all of my powdered crayons into the compartments of an egg carton for easy access later, but several bowls would do the trick!

Here’s when you start seeing what you’ll end up with!
  • Tear sheets of waxed paper into 6-by-16 inch sheets. Fold the sheet in half to make a 3-by-16 inch rectangle. 
  • Open your rectangle back up and sprinkle your crayon bits evenly across the wax paper. A little bit goes a long way, I used about 1/2 a tablespoon per wax paper rectangle. 
  • Fold your wax paper back to make a sandwich over the crayons, cover with kraft paper to protect your iron. Press the iron to melt the crayons. Let them cool and cut them into circles. 
  • String them together with a needle and thread and repeat!

And that’s it! The installed ‘curtains’ look so lovely with the light shining through. Stay tuned for the next window post. I’m so excited to continue sharing these oh-so-fun projects!

Summer Hours!

Hi Friends! Happy Friday!

Starting today, Gus & Ruby Letterpress will now be open until 8PM on Friday and Saturday evenings!

Come see us on your way to dinner, or on your way back from a drink on the decks. We’d love to see your bright and smiling faces. Happy start of summer!

Samantha is 30!!!

I am so happy to wish my dear friend and amazing business partner a happy 30th birthday! As you all know, Sam keeps things running smoothly at G&R and I honestly cannot imagine going through this journey with anyone else. She keeps me sane, makes me laugh, handles stressful clients with ease and enjoys scarfing down delicious food (like the milkshakes and fried pickles we are getting later today) as much as I do. Oh and she is as obsessed with Gus as I am with Ruby + Archie which makes me feel slightly less wacky. In other words, she might be crazier than I am and it’s always good to have someone like that by your side:)

Happy birthday, friend. I love you.

Here’s to the next 30!

All photos by emilie inc. photography except for the second to last one which is by brea mcdonald photography

BYOB: Meriwether of Montana

As the week winds down and we gear up for the last weekend before Christmas, we wanted to give you a few last retail updates so that you can put your best snow boot forward as you visit us downtown to shop. And of course, if you won’t be able to visit on foot, don’t hesitate to give a call and order your favorite products over the phone and we’ll send them via Santa express (his reindeer are ready and waiting!)

So onto the good stuff!

Today I wanted to share with you the story behind these awesome handmade beer carriers from Meriwether of Montana that have been rocking our beer-lovin’-socks since the start of November. Handcrafted in western Montana from local red cedar, each carrier is one of a kind and offers room for up to 6 bottles of beer. Fill yours up with a variety of local craft brews, or leave it empty and let that special someone fill at will! We love these as a gift for a group (a family of beer-lovers, perhaps), or for someone who you know loves to enjoy and share unique beverages at summer BBQs and wooded campsites. Just throw a big red bow on the handle and you’re off!