December 30, 2010

Tribute to the End of an Era- Simon, Garfunkle and the Kodachrome

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:35 pm

This moment cannot go unmentioned.  Today is the last day that Dwayne’s Photo, in Parsons, Kansas will run the last roll of Kodachrome.  Dwayne’s is the last lab in the world to run the Kodachrome process.  Read more about the auspicious occasion from the New York Times story, here.  We found this touching version of Simon and Garfunkle’s classic song, Kodachrome, here.  Take the phone off the hook, sit for a bit as we prepare for the new year, and enjoy the song…  and think for a minute of all the memories that came from Kodachrome.

-Ted Dillard

The New Year, Sisyphus and the Perfect Storm- Looking Forward (Dept. of Hope and Determination)

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:54 am

First, as we raise our glasses to toast in the New Year, all of our longtime loyal clients and our enthusiastic new friends and clients are first in our hearts!  Although the times have been tough for many, and the challenges of the economy and business in recent years forced everyone to rethink their basic assumptions of running a business, we’ve enjoyed a strong support of all of those people we’ve tried hard to serve – and to you, a hearty “Here’s to YOU!” (tink tink, sip sip)

In my travels on the webernets, I happened upon this post from a great blog called Coconut Headsets, called Sisyphus for Startups. Sisyphus, if you’ll remember back to your Greek Mythology class, was that dude who was fated to forever roll a stone up a hill, only to have it roll back down, and have to start over.  Sound familiar?  The post was written from the perspective of the “startup” entrepreneur, but can apply to just about anybody running a business – small or big.  Just ask GM CEO Dan Akerson if you have any lingering beliefs that it just applies to the little guys.  Rather than being discouraging, Rob May’s post was inspiring:

“So if you really want to be a successful entrepreneur, maybe instead of trying to be as smart as Bill Gates, as good a presenter as Steve Jobs, or as lucky as that Plenty-Of-Fish dude that so many startup gurus tell you emulate, you should really try first and foremost to be as persistent as Sisyphus. Push that rock, but don’t just push it when you feel like it. Push it when you are tired, push it when you feel bad, push it when other people tell you that you are wasting your time. Don’t expect pushing the rock to be easy. If it was, everyone would do it.”

The economy, global politics, and even the climate has all combined to hand us what amounted to the “Perfect Storm” of a business climate.  Many companies have failed, but despite what you hear on the news, most have survived.  Those that have, did so by responding to their market, shedding waste and indulgence, and concentrating on their core market and services.  We’ve done that here, and you, our clients, have done the same.  This past year showed us a leveling off, and a start of a recovery, made even more poignant by the many times we saw our clients as committed and determined to see this through to the other side as we are.

From our perspective, everywhere we look we see opportunity.  As more people understand what our Cruise Scanner can do for them, coupled with our “Grand Format” Epson 11880 printer, we’re partnering with more museums, artists and galleries to create new revenue streams.  We’ve released a new, exciting Fine Art Watercolor media- Angelica Bright White Velvet II, and if you liked our old version, you’ll be amazed at what the new paper looks like.  Printer deals continue, and we’ve had an unbelievable run of printer sales and installations over the last quarter.  Above all, the technology continues to improve, run better and more profitably for anyone running a scanning or printmaking studio.  Most importantly, we see more and more people emerging from “triage” mode to looking ahead to a positive, brighter, and more profitable year.

So as we tink our glasses tomorrow night in gratitude for your loyalty, we’re also keeping an eye on the year to come…  a year promising to see us all breathing a little easier, and enjoying the fruits of our labors a little more.  We’re a team, we’re all in this together, and we all owe each other a good pat on the back.

“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
– Thomas Alva Edison, Harper’s Monthly (September 1932)

-Ted Dillard

December 22, 2010

Printing What, You Say? Wallpaper?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:33 pm

Yes, indeed…  anything you can print on a large inkjet printer you can also print as wallpaper!  Real, live, highest quality wallpaper!

One of our little-known media is a product that’s a bright white, opaque, water resistant, latex reinforced wet strength paper. It has a high white point giving you a wide color gamut similar to many photo-quality media. It’s a matte surface, and it’s water and scratch resistant and will last longer than the wall it’s on… and it can be applied to walls with standard wallpaper paste or adhesive.This media stands up to the highest standards of photo reproduction – yet, is a match for even a premium wallpaper stock.  Except, you create the pattern…

This sample shown is a project we did for a very exclusive interior designer scanned on the Cruse from an irreplaceable vintage fabric fragment.  The homeowner collects historic and vintage textiles, and it was a perfect way to display one of her most cherished pieces without compromising the original…  we can’t wait to see the foyer of the house it’s going up in!

Another project we had was to scan and print an original sample of wallpaper from the 1930s for a child’s nursery- again, a small fragment, now faithfully reproduced and there for generations to appreciate.  In this case the original was a hand-stenciled piece with the actual texture of the paint visible on the paper.  As you’d expect, the Cruse scanner lighting captured every nuance.

Not all our wallpaper projects are vintage historical pieces, though- remember, virtually anything that can be scanned, photographed or rendered digitally can be reproduced this way.  Drawings, photographs, samples, even the work of the artists of the preschool set can create their own, unique patterns!

If this gets your creative juices flowing, let us know, drop us a line.  There are some tricks to putting together a pattern that will hang and match correctly, but we’ve got plenty of experience working out the details.

-Ted Dillard

December 2, 2010

ParrotTalk News – Tuesday November 23, 2010

Filed under: ParrotTalk News — admin @ 11:03 pm


Parrot Holiday Schedule

We wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season. Please note that Parrot will be closed for the following days:

Thanksgiving: Thursday November 25th and Friday November 26th

Christmas Eve: Friday December 24th

New Years Eve: Friday December 31st


Introducing: Mary Dawley

We’re really excited to introduce Mary Dawley, and welcome her to the team here at Parrot as a Representative of Imaging Services. Mary has a rich background overlapping with our own- she has been a marketing professional to the interior design community in Boston for more than 20 years. Interior designers came to rely on her sharp sense of pattern, design and color and in the past few years, those talents have evolved into her also providing fine art solutions to these clients for their projects.

We met Mary through her company Chestnut Design, which has primarily focused on identifying and procuring art that ranges from unique commissioned pieces to tasteful prints based on the needs and budgets of her clients. She came to us with a unique project that her client needed our help with – the opening of the new Heywood Hospital in Gardner, MA. Scanning a collection of historic photographs and painting by talented artists from the region, we reproduced several of the pieces at over 5’ x 8’; not something that can be done on a conventional wide-format printer. Combining the capabilities of our Cruse Scanner and our Epson 11880 64” printer, we were able to give her client exactly what they wanted: Grand Format painting reproductions.

We knew a great team when we saw it.

Mary saw this as an opportunity to bring our unique services to her existing client base, as well as joining our amazing group of artists, museums, galleries and interior designers to bring them, as well as their clients, the benefits and capabilities of our Imaging Services. We see this as a chance to offer more personal attention, service and Mary’s unique talents to all of our current, and new Imaging Services clients… You can contact Mary directly at Drop her a note and say hello!


The Springfield Museums

We like to call attention the special places we see in our travels, and new home of the Indian Motocycle Museum, long a labor of love for a private Springfield couple, and the most complete collection of Indian Motocycles in the entire world (yes, “Motocycle” is the correct spelling of the original company) now in its new home in a brand-new building at the Springfield Museums certainly fits that description.

The original collection was housed in a private building on Hendee Drive in Springfield, at the site of the original Hendee Manufacturing factory and the original Indian plant. Until 2007 it was presided over by Esta Manthos (shown here), who, at 91, donated her entire collection of over 54 motorcycles and memorabilia to the Springfield Museums.

The exhibit is simply breathtaking to anyone who is a fan of motorcycle history, but also to those fascinated by the rich history of manufacturing, invention and ingenuity that found its home in Springfield. There’s another factor at play here too. In these times, when money is tight and patrons are hard to come by, the Springfield Museum was able to see the importance of this remarkable collection and not only house it, but erect an entire building to give the collection its rightful place.

The Springfield Museums have a lot to offer – it’s actually a collection of six museums: The Wood Museum of Springfield History, the Springfield Science Museum, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Connecticut Valley History Museum and the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, all on one connected campus – including none other than the wonderful Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. At about a 90-minute drive from Boston, it’s one of the best day-trips around, and, if you include the Basketball Hall of Fame, also in Springfield, a great weekend museum jaunt.

The Springfield Museums site is here:

Additional information on the Indian collection can be found here, at

and photos of Esta and the actual move can be found on


Coming Soon! David Saffir Media Evaluation

David Saffir has been working on an evaluation of some of our favorite media. His preliminary post is here, on his photography blog:

…and after a conversation with him today, his enthusiasm for our paper is truly inspiring! His favorite, at this point, is our Angelica Natural White Textured. He said it fills a gap left by all the other fine-art watercolor papers, and that he simply loves working with it, especially for his Black and White images.

Fine Art paper is, if nothing else, an intensely personal choice. We like to compare it to matching a fine wine with a wonderful meal: there’s no right choice, there’s the choice that’s right for you, for your image, and for your audience. It’s wonderful to be able to see how an artist like David responds to some of our favorite selections. Look for an update within the next few weeks with more information from David.

December 1, 2010

Adobe Releases Printer Utility- Fix For Printing With “No Color Management”

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:58 pm

Not long ago we talked about trying to print for building profiles out of Photoshop CS4, and a somewhat kludgy workaround- printing from an old version of PS CS2.  That post is right here: Printing With “No Color Management” with the Epson 11880 (PS4 and Leopard) The short version of the story is that between Adobe, Apple and Epson, they messed with the color management of the application and drivers to the point that you could not print with the “No Color Management” selection in Photoshop.

Adobe stepped up and FIXED THE PROBLEM!  How?  By incorporating some wonderful upgrade into Photoshop CS5?  By running some sweet upgrade of Photoshop CS4 and above?  Naaaah.  That would be too awesome.  Instead what they did was to build a dopey little application, the Adobe Printer Utility, that simply prints without Color Management.  Sweet.

Go here and download it.

When you start it you get a screen like this:

I know.  What?

Anyway, open the file and you get this:

It’s awesome, isn’t it?  Then it just goes into the standard Epson/Leopard-SnowLeopard driver dialog where you turn the Epson Color Controls off.

If I may.  This is probably the lamest “fix” for an obvious and well-documented bug I’ve seen in the decade-and-a-half I’ve been playing this digital imaging game.  Please.  Spare me.  Oh wait.  According to this thread on Luminous Landscape, it’s buggy.  Resizes the image, so you can’t read them.  Never mind.  Forget I even mentioned it.

We’ve got to assume that there’s some Cold War of Pixels going on between Epson, Apple and Adobe for something this pathetic to come out of Adobe after the release of CS5.  There’s no other explanation that I can think of…  other than some engineer is having a tantrum and taking it out on all of us.  Thanks Adobe, I’d been tossing and turning at night trying to decide if I was going to spring for CS5…  think I’ll pass.

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