Thursday, July 29, 2010

Drumroll, please.....

OH MY GOD. I dare you not to fall apart listening to this honest attempt at greatness.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Plant's Enlightenment

You will find this post boring if you're not a plant person. :)

I've had this darling little plant in my kitchen for years and years. A co-worker brought in a cutting for me one day and I took it home and once rooted, put it in a pot. Then that plant grew, I made more babies from it. During my hospital stay as a soon-to-be-mother, I brought a baby plant with me. That one got watered, but the mother plant left at home did not make it. So I brought the baby plant that survived with me int he hospital home in one arm, and Anton (my real baby!) in my other arm and we all started our new lives together.

I've always been curious about what kind of plant this was. I loved it for its little round leaves, flecked with white. I loved its reddish bark, the way it looked like lace reaching for the ceiling.

Two weeks ago I was browsing through Hastings and this plant stopped me in my tracks. It was MY plant, but now outside with not just white flecks, but PINK and lots of tiny new pink stems. I grabbed the closest person in a green apron I could get my hands on ask asked what this was.

"It's a Snow Bush, " he said, beaming. I just love plant people. "This is what happens to it when you bring it outside during the warm months. Its leaves enlarge, it turns pink, it gets 2 feet tall. It's a shrub in Hawaii!"

So now, my little house plant is outside, getting all the light it needs to flourish. As it grows, I'll keep enlarging its pot. I am so excited to have discovered its true nature.

Plants are just like us. Looking for the light. Pinkening when we find it.

PS: If I've given you a cutting or a potted baby of this plant, you know what to do! Take it outside!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Milo & Anton

Best friends sunbathing and enjoying ice cream, water and lots of giggles. Pure joy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Glorious Graphite

Last Friday's new opening of Monsters at the Kai Lin Gallery in Midtown was such fun. Over 500 people attended. We were there at the beginning and the energy was SO on. I made some name tags for artists participating in the show and for Shelley and Yu-Kai. A soft and lush pencil can be your best friend in the world.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mia and Anton

My niece Mia and her folks were in town this past week. She and Anton got to spend some time together. Anton's got a BIG crush on her and it's darling to watch them together. By the end of their last night together, she was helping him get dressed. And he was beside himself with happiness. :)

Here they are at the Frosty Caboose in Chamblee.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pink Salmon

Last weekend I had the pleasure of addressing pink salmon envelopes from the Paper Source for a bride's wedding invitations. Such fun in white ink! This bride is a fan of the flourish. I hope to be doing much more of these. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Help! Elser Binders classes begin this week!

Hi Friends,

I have three classes at Binders beginning this week.
None have made yet. We need at least 4 students for each.

Advanced Bookmaking 2: The Opened Book needs just one more person for the class to make.
It begins tomorrow night.

Calligraphy 2: Copperplate begins tomorrow during the day. No one has signed up yet.

Calligraphy 3: Advanced Calligraphy begins Wednesday night. We have one person signed up.

Summertime is usually very slow. Understandable.

But if you know of anyone who might be interested in the classes, spread the word!

Thanks in advance!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Under The Tree Case Bound Pocket Journal

Under The Tree Case Bound Pocket Journal


2.75 inches wide
4.5 inches tall
1 inch thick
280 lined pages

This lovely little pocket journal is case bound with a unique hand-made book cloth spine. Nice and sturdy at the hinges, the paper is lined with soft gray hairlines on creamy white stock. Also included are vintage children's work book pages on the outside of every signature. There is a sweet little boy in a man's hat on the front and a darling little squirrel on the back. Headbands are also custom made.

Made with lots of inquisitive love. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yummy words

Recent work done for a local vendor. The will be on a table labeling the yummiest of treats. This upright, casual and flirty version of copperplate makes my mouth water.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Gift of Chaos

I hate it when my world turns upside down. I resent how it disrupts the scaffolding I've so carefully constructed. Just now discovering the gift of the upset, I am trying to accept the flow, the new order of things in exchange for the release of all my pettiness.

Chaos always feels like failure. And it's always my fault, my making. But what of the "fault" was changed to the word "ownership?" Ownership means power and choice and a sense of purposefulness. It means there's a wisdom to the whole process of nature, of things seeming to "happen." The happening is of my own making. The happening has its own wisdom. And it comes from me because it surrounds me.

Chaos is a gift. It is part of invention's ingenuity. It is pure creativity. And the discomfort is divine. I give myself to the discomfort. I am my own god. I make myself. My own Maker, I send love to the cells of chaos.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fear's Wisdom

It never fails. The things I fear most mark my next step towards opening more. Though I may not like it and how uncomfortable it makes me - my finger that points and says ICK is the same finger pointing back at me. What I don't like is what I don't like about me. ICK marks my next step and I resent the wisdom it offers.

Time to be more uncomfortable. Time for change. Fuck you and thank you! Ugh!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Telescoping Box 2-Day weekend Workshop at Kai Lin Art

Kai Lin Art Presents Telescoping Box 2-day weekend workshop with Anne Elser on July 31st and August 1, 2010 from 10am-5pm.

Spend a Saturday and Sunday making your very own Telescoping Box: a box base with a separate custom-fitted lid. Great for storing pencils, art & craft supplies, trinkets, books, business cards, etc. A functional, yet decorative work of art, this box is made from raw chipboard and covered with imported handmade papers (Washi Paper.) First hour of class we will gather materials at Utrecht art supply, then return to begin our project. We’ll take a break to eat lunch and by the end of class, you’ll be very proud of your first beautiful, strong and functional box. Our workshops are fast and fun. You won’t want it to end!
Min. 4, max. 15 students. Pre-Payment of $140.00 reserves your spot.

Reservations: or call (404) 408-4248.
Refunds given no later than 24 hours before workshop. Lunch & supply costs are not included in tuition.

Shop with Anne the first hour of the workshop at Utrecht Art Supply in Midtown or in advance at Binders Art Supply in Buckhead.
E-mail her for supply questions:
Approximate supply cost: $60.00
Roll of Wax Paper
Lineco® bone folder
2-ply chipboard
Washi Paper
Mechanical Pencil
Exacto Knife & blades
12 x 18 Self-healing cutting mat
Stiff & springy glue brush
18 inch Non-slip metal ruler
8oz container of Acrylic Gel Medium

Friday, July 09, 2010

Calligraphy Three: Advanced Calligraphy

Calligraphy 3: Advanced Calligraphy with Anne Elser
Wednesday Evening
July-Aug 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 28, Aug 4, 11, 18, 25
Min4/Max 15

Calligraphy 3: Advanced Calligraphy with Anne Elser
Tuesday Afternoon
Oct-Nov 2010
Tuesday, Oct 26, Nov 2,9,16, 23, 30
Min4/Max 15

Calligraphy 3: Advanced Calligraphy with Anne Elser
Wednesday Evening
Dec 2010-Jan 2011
Wednesday, Dec 8, 15, Jan 5, 12, 19,26
Min4/Max 15

Calligraphy Three: Advanced Calligraphy with Anne Elser
Intermediate to Advanced | Fee: $140 | Min. 4/ Max. 15
Calligraphy 3 is an advanced calligraphy class designed for those who have taken Calligraphy 2 & 3 or who already know the fundamentals of any calligraphic hand and are ready for the challenge of applying the words and other elements to the page.

Whether you are addressing envelopes, designing a monogram, laying out a certificate, document or quote of any size, this class will help you understand the concept of hierarchy on a page, drama, stable compositions and balance of elements.

You will also be encouraged to take the plunge into the world of flourishing! Experimentation with color, gouache, inks and paper is also encouraged. Bring in your free spirits and lets have fun!

Instructor Bio: Atlanta native, Anne-Davnes Dusenberry Elser earned her BFA in painting and ceramics from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1991. She then studied Graphic Design at The Portfolio Center in Buckhead, where she has been teaching design classes for over 10 years. In 2003, she began teaching classes here at Binders. Anne makes her living as a painter, illustrator, bookbinder, designer and calligrapher. She is also an instructor in these fields. Her award-winning work has been featured in design annuals, books and magazines (Print, CMYK, Graphis and Communication Arts, Minimal Graphics, Then Is Now) and can be seen in several book jackets (Memory Of A Large Christmas, Storyville USA, Trickster Lives, Let Them Eat Data.) While Anne’s experience gives her classes real value, her candor and sense of play allow for a fun, friendly environment. She has two cats named Gunther and Olaf, a son named Anton (who is amazing) and a husband named Doug (who is also amazing.) She also can’t wait to meet you.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Neutral Nails

I'm big into painting my nails, getting them done professionally and mixing my own polishes. Students ask me all the time what I'm wearing and it dawned on me that blogging about this very important subject would make a lot of female thinkers happy.

So here goes. My favorite colors are all neutrals. Lots of warm and cool grays and they're sexy when short or long. I like to wear my nails pretty short. Recently started having a thin layer of liquid gel applied at the salon and it's made all the difference. Polish lasts FOREVER.

If you like to wear your nails short like I do, you just need to find a salon that won't apply too much gel too close to the cuticle. As your nails grow out, you'll see a ridge between the gel and your natural nail and this looks really artificial. The best salon out there for me is called Polished in Brookhaven. On Peachtree in between Dreseden and N. Druid Hills. Ask for Julie. She's amazing.

So here are my sexy neutrals:

Essie: Island Hopping
Essie: Mink Muffs
Essie: Chinchilly
Essie: Playa del Platinum

OPI: You Don't Know Jacques!

Ulta: Truth Or Dare


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Calligraphy Two: Copperplate

Calligraphy Two: Copperplate with Anne Elser

Callig #2: Copperplate With Anne Elser
Tuesday Afternoon
July-Aug 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 27, Aug 3, 10, 17, 24
Min4/Max 15

Callig #2: Copperplate with Anne Elser
Wednesday Evening
Oct-Dec 2010
Wednesday, Oct 27, Nov 3,10,17, 24, Dec 1
Min4/Max 15

Calligraphy Two: Copperplate with Anne Elser
Beginner to Intermediate | Fee: $140 | Min. 4/ Max. 15

This is an introductory look at Copperplate, an elegant and elastic hand frequently used for formal invitations, documents and bridal events. Completely enchanting, the dramatic thicks and thins of this delicate hand will make you swoon.

During the six week course, students will be given handouts and guide sheets, learning the upper and lower case characters. We will also address spacing and layout for addressing envelopes.

Calligraphy is less about pretty handwriting, but more about DRAWING each and every letter. Its about establishing a pacing and rhythmic motion as you write - giving you a consistency of shapes and letters, and spaces in between words and lines. It is highly relaxing and meditative. Like yoga for the hands.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bookmaking Two: The Opened Book

Hello Friends!

I've designed a new Bookmaking class just for students who have already taken bookmaking and want a closer look at developing a book or journal's interior. This summer in July and August, 2010 the journey will begin with Bookmaking Two: The Opened Book.

This class will also be taught twice more this year in the Fall and Winter. (Times stated below.)
Sign-up is available NOW for the Summer 2010 session.

Introducing Bookmaking Two: The Opened Book with Anne Elser

Tuesday Evening
July-Aug 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 27, Aug 3,10,17,24
Min 4/Max 15

Tuesday Evening
Oct-Nov 2010
Tuesday, Oct 26, Nov 2,9,16,23,30
Min 4/Max 15

Tuesday Afternoon
Dec 2010-Jan2011
Tuesday, Dec 7,14, Jan 4,11, 18, 25
Min4/Max 15

BOOKMAKING 2: The Opened Book with Anne Elser
Intermediate to Advanced | Fee: $140 | Min. 4/ Max. 15

If you've taken one or several bookmaking classes and are ready for the next step of creating content on those lovely hand-bound pages, join us in Bookmaking 2: The Opened Book.

Nothing can be more intimidating than a book of blank white pages. We will begin by creating signatures with a mixture of several different types, colors, ages and textures of papers - anything from vintage sheet music, magazines, lined or graphed paper, envelopes, postcards, etc. By alternating these pages with blank pages, you'll have a book that wants to be altered further: touched, written in, cut into, stitched, painted, repainted and filled with purposeful doodling, writing and drawing.

Working at your own pace, your book can be themed or worked into loosely. Set your sights on the color palette and theme of your choice and by the end of the first week, you'll have "accidentally" found a collection of things you're enchanted with to incorporate into your book. Bring all the scraps of fabric and paper you've been saving to incorporate into the covers or pages of your book.

The approach in this class from to the "treasure hunt" pasting, binding, working and re-working will be an intuitive one, with the correct assumption that as artists, we have all the answers inside and before us, even before we begin.

We will work in a relaxing, engaging and completely intuitive manner, while sharing each of our unique talents, discoveries, experiences and processes with each other. You won't want to miss a moment.

We will make at least one book and a box for your book to live in. And if you're really hungry for more - make two! Bring all your bookmaking supplies and at least one set of color paints/inks in the medium of your choice and a set of drawing pens/pencils/markers.

Monday, July 05, 2010

New Little House

Dear Friends and Family,

We're settled in nice and cozy in the new home.

Olaf still spends a lot of time in the closet
when guests come over pr when things get too noisy for him.
Gunther needed no transition time. At the ancient age of 19,
he walked right in and said "Oh, that spot right there looks cozy."

Anton calls this "our new cute little house."
Doug can mow the lawn in 10 minutes.
I have no need for an upstairs and downstairs set of chap stick and hand creme anymore.
Ahhh. One level feels soooo good. This is darling and could not be more perfect.
My commute to Buckhead and Midtown is a dream. Brookhaven is fabulous!

To view pictures of our first little party on the 4th,
please visit this link:

Elser's New Home

Our new address:
2368 Bynum Road, NE
Atlanta, GE 30319

And we all lived happily ever after.


PS: We have gardenia bushes in the back yard. SCORE!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Journal Inspiration

Since making my own books, using them as journals and teaching the craft, I've been tuned into this ancient form of self expression. Another quarter at Portfolio Center fat approaches. I am writing syllabi tonight before drinking heavily tomorrow. Hank sent me a terrific link about journaling. In Creative Strokes, we'll spend the first day making a Journal of YES, to be filled out with questions, longings, sketches, illustrations about the subject. We'll each be making a calendar with a different kind of YES illustrated with typography. Numbers and letters are first images before they are read. Can't wait to see the process unfold. Open to the yessness!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Three-Shelved Sweetness

I know, I know. Here we are still giving away furniture and throwing stuff to the curb to fit in our cute little house but we really needed this new piece.

Our fridge is teenincey. And my pantry is the size of my old bedside table. Really. So we bought this darling three-shelf cabinet to stand right at the fridge's side. It's our "junk drawer" and everyone gets a shelf. LOVE this thing. The asymmetrical doors really get me. It's narrow, it's lithe. It's loved and dinged up just like the velveteen rabbit. The top is perfect for my cookbooks, a plant and a set of car keys. And we got it at Goodwill for $14.00. Sweetness.