For a daily dose of handcrafted coolness, how about a letterpress calendar for the new year? As a new generation of artisans gives traditional crafts a contemporary spin, the old-fashioned technique is an increasingly popular way to create cards, coasters and, as shown here, 2009 calendars with a thoroughly modern touch. A bonus: All of the following are made in L.A.
Joie Studios Menagerie calendar comes in a CD-size acrylic case that flips back to display a different animal each month. The cards are beautifully colored (Februarys peacock), cute (Junes fox), cool (Octobers octopus) and impressively detailed (Novembers owl). $18, www.joieletterpress.com (click on Holiday 2008). (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Christine Brandt runs her letterpress in downtown Los Angeles, turning out custom invitations and greeting cards as well as this space-saving calendar, which gives a quick look at three months on every page. The April-to-June page shows a canine in the country, July-to-September is a seaside scene and October-to-December features a travel trailer being pulled through a forest in fall splendor. $20, www.floraandfaunapress.com. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
The Odd Birds of L.A. calendar from Krank Press features a different exotic avian oddball each month, be it a black-necked stilt or a long-billed curlew. As rendered by the Krank team, even the common raven looks anything but ordinary. Our favorite? Its September: the red pyle old English game red pyle bantam cockerel. The calendar includes a rundown of where and when to see each one. $15, www.krankpress.etsy.com. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)