Our First Live Print

Charlie has been talking about live printing for a while now and how much fun it would be. I was a little nervous about the "fun" of it because our Green Machine 4 color press is not super portable. Also, besides the insane heaviness and fact that the top of the press swivels every time you move it, there were other logistics to consider. 

Who is our audience? What will we print? How will the flash dryer cure ink if there is a breeze or if its cold? What if its so crazy busy that we cant keep up and I start crying in a heap on the floor and Charlie runs away? We had a lot to think about before we actually kicked this into gear. So, when I had a friend approach me about an event she would be attending, I thought, "Ok, this is low key and sounds super fun." I emailed the event director for Centennial Sk8 Fest and for a small fee we were all set up to either sink or swim!

We had 2 images of Sasquatch that we really liked so we had our friend, Jake, design another. Since Sk8 Fest was a series of long board races we decided to have him sketch out, Sasquatch on a long board. It turned out really great and we had our 3 squatch images. I ordered our royal blue Gildan soft style and we were ready. Well, I had done my part. We decided to wait until literally, the very last minute. Charlie grabbed all the gear and boxed it up about midnight the night before and the next morning we were throwing everything we might possibly need in the truck. Navigating the press was the hardest. It is awkward and super heavy. while the top swivels as I mentioned earlier. We managed to not get smacked in the face and/or drop it on our toes while putting it in the truck bed. 

I took the car and the kids and we met at Haller Park in Arlington last Sunday. It was a gorgeous day and the vendors were all setting up. We made sure we could connect to power, for our flash dryer and this super nice kid offered to help us carry the press to our booth. We set up and I realized that our tattered and ink splattered table looked really embarrassing next to a beautiful handmade soaps woman's booth and across from a shabby chic knitting booth. While Charlie tried to figure out the right heat for the flash cure, my daughter and I ran up to the Dollar Store and bought a blue table cloth and some paper bags that I put Blue Jay stickers on. We eventually got all settled in. We made some sales and passed out or card and people seemed legitimately interested in our craft. Its always really fun watching Charlie explain how things work and when we get to talk to people and meet the community we live in. 

The Green Machine worked beautifully and the prints turned out really great. It was a little slower than we would have liked but it was a really exciting learning process. I think we will try live printing again for sure!

Blue Jay Roots

As a family, we take great pride in making sure our children and us, get the opportunity to enjoy all that the Pacific North West has to offer. We love the beaches, even though they're rocky, hiking, even though Charlie likes to take us on 90 degree inclines, and we love to ski up at Stevens Pass, well, most of us. Our son Steve started on a snowboard when he was 4 and has since switched over to ski's. He goes to Clancy's Ski School every year and we have put our daughter, Summer, on skis as well. Our love for Stevens Pass starts with Charlie and his love started with his Dad, Steve.  

Charlie started skiing at the ripe old age of 2. They would spend countless afternoons after work and school, tearing up the slopes, oftentimes in nothing but jeans. Their favorite run together was the Blue Jay Chair.

The Blue Jay double chair lift was installed in 1956 and served many years until about 1993 when Stevens Pass added a new quad chair lift. 

Well, it just so happens that the Winter season of 1993 would be an inspiration for us later, the inspiration for our company. Charlie, his Dad Steve, Step-Mom and Sister were all in their huge white Ford Truck after spending the weekend skiing, when Steve spotted something. A pile of Blue Jay Chairs was sitting in a heap next to the road. Steve thought for a brief second and shouted, "We're taking one!" He jumped out of the truck and with some help, shoved it into the back of the truck and took off down the road. 

It stayed at Charlies house until Steve passed away in 2000 and was moved to his Step-Mom's, Brother's house. Charlie grew, went through difficult times and eventually came out the other side, settled down and started a family. The chair stayed in its place on his Uncle's 5 acre lot, getting lost in the overgrowth, covered up by blackberry bushes and tarnished with rust. Then, in 2014, we finally decided to throw down some roots and buy a home. A home where we could finally bring the beloved ski chair. Charlie and his uncle spent the better part of a day, hacking out a path to the chair and when they finally got to it, it looked a little worse for wear. A year earlier Charlie had gotten a wild hare to start a clothing company. When we were sitting in our new home, thinking about our future and what we wanted from it, the chair was front and center. We wanted a company that we could run from home and be able to ski in the winter, making memories with the kids, just like Charlie and his Dad. The only natural name for this new dream was Blue Jay. It sat in the bushes collecting rust, waiting for us to come and get it, to be our inspiration. We love you Blue Jay Chair. Thanks for waiting around for us. 

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