We are Darren and Rachel and we have a curious, organizing, goofy two year old named Archie, Archer Louis to be exact :). Join us as we document our journey starting a letterpress business, Paravel Press. Will we succeed? Will we fail? We don’t know, but we do know that we want to create a more seamless life for our family. A life where our life is our work and our work is our life. Bottom line: we want to be together more! Additionally, we will be sharing a glimpse into our lives as we navigate life, faith, culture and everything that goes into nurturing a close-knit family.

What’s in a name, you say? Recently we came across the quote “Excuse the mess, but we live here.” We thought it was very representative of our marriage and our family. You may feel the same. We’re not messy people, but we’re okay with putting messes aside and putting other things first, like having fun, spending time together or just relaxing. Additionally, Excuse the Mess has a couple of other meanings for us. The work God does in us isn’t usually through a series of quick, easy, neatly packaged events, but through situations that may take years– and is often messy resulting in something beautiful. Finally, letterpress is messy, literally messy, with all the ink, paper scraps, grease and oil from the press, etc. We’re excited for this adventure and we hope you’ll enjoy following along.

Twenty questions:
  1. What are some of your favorite books?

    Rachel: Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry, The Great Divorce by CS Lewis, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers and The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry.
    Darren:  Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller, Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour, Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, CS Lewis’ Space Trilogy, and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.

  2. What’s your favorite kind of day?

    Darren: A summer day spent with Rachel and Archie doing fun adventurous things and eating good food.
    Rachel: Eating, exploring in the sun, laughing, and resting.

  3. What makes you laugh the most?

    Darren: Rachel and Archie both make me laugh a lot and poop jokes.
    Rachel: Darren and Archie.

  4. Where did you grow up?

    Darren: I moved around a lot growing up, but spent most of my childhood in Montana. My family has been in western Montana since I was in the 8th grade.
    Rachel: In a Southwest suburb of Minneapolis.

  5. What is your favorite movie?

    Darren: Into the Wild.
    Rachel: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.
    Darren and Rachel: Nacho Libre

  6. How do you take your coffee?

    Darren: I recently started drinking coffee for the first time in my life. That being said, I take 2-4 raw sugars depending on the size and a little cream.
    Rachel: I recently started drinking coffee too because I am not a morning person, but was forced to wake up early with Archie. Haha. I like my coffee black.

  7. Favorite things to do in Minneapolis?

    Darren: Biking/walking/running the many trails, going to concerts, eating at the many great restaurants, exploring new areas.
    Rachel: Walking on the Stone Arch Bridge, the Mill City Farmer’s Market, going to the Salvation Army/Target Thrift store, driving along the Minnehaha Parkway and Birchwood Cafe.

  8. What are some of your favorite bands/artists?

    Darren: Thrice, blink-182, Brand New, Bon Iver, Jonsi, Eisley, Prissy Clerks, Jenny Lewis, Sufjan Stevens, Laura Marling, Jon Foreman, Page CXVI.
    Rachel: Bon Iver, Jonsi, …pretty much all the bands that Darren listed minus Blink 182.

  9. Where did you go to college?

    Darren: I went to Montana State University Northern in Havre, Montana.
    Rachel: Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN.

  10. Name a favorite place you liked to visit growing up.

    Darren: I loved going to my Grandparent’s farm, I still do.

  11. Siblings?

    Darren: I have one sibling, my sister Stephanie who is eight years younger.
    Rachel: I have two younger brothers.

  12. What’s your favorite way to wake up and what’s the first thing you do?

    Darren: I like to wake up on my own and the first thing I do is go pee… then find some food.
    Rachel: I like to wake up after having good dreams, and the first thing I do is put lotion on my hands.

  13. Your favorite item of clothing and why?

    Darren: I have black Further Seems Forever hoodie with a red butterfly on it. I don’t know why I like it, I just do… it’s me.
    Rachel: Currently my one pair of skinny jeans that fit really well. Lately I have been wearing them like 4 days a week.

  14. What’s your favorite sport to watch?

    Darren: Tennis.
    Rachel: Downhill Skiing

  15. What’s the best live concert you’ve been to?

    Darren: Here are a few, Anathallo at the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown, Jonsi at the Pantages in Minneapolis, Bon Iver at the Orpheum in Minneapolis. Other great live bands I’ve seen: Thrice, Jimmy Eat World, Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, and mewithoutYou.
    Rachel: Pretty much what Darren said 🙂

  16. What’s your favorite mode of transportation?

    Darren: I don’t really enjoy driving and hate flying. Biking and walking are nice and I like trains.
    Rachel: Hmm, biking is most ideal, but I drive most of the time, and have realized driving more than 10 mins stresses me out.

  17. What’s your favorite season?

    Darren: I like them all, but I’m partial to summer.
    Rachel: Fall, if only it could last a smidge longer each year!

  18. If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be?

    Darren: If they were completely tame as a dog I’d love to have some sort of bear as a pet. Polar bear, grizzly bear, panda, etc…
    Rachel: I’m not a big animal lover, so that wouldn’t be very fun for me, mainly because I am allergic to a lot of animals.

  19. Who inspires you creatively?

    Darren: Growing up my Mom was a big inspiration creatively. Design wise Rachel is a big inspiration, I love her design and she’s a big encouragement to me as I explore my creative side. Some other designers and artists I’m inspired by: Ben from Studio on Fire, Jessica Hische, Jon Klassen, CB Sherlock and Jon Contino.
    Rachel: Children’s book illustrators from the late 1800’s, Katie Daisy, old floral fabric, Meg Gleason from Moglea, and Anna Bond to name a few.

  20. Why letterpress?

    Darren: I’m a detail-oriented person and tend to be mechanically minded. I enjoy working with my hands, fixing things, and problem-solving. Additionally I have a creative side and have had a desire to express that more. Letterpress is a perfect mix of my mechanical side and my creative side.
    Rachel: It’s neat to work with something so tactile in the Digital Age. I love combining the old with the new. I am not a purist…I like designing on the computer and then transferring that to these old machines. The result is very satisfying. And more than anything I like the fact that we have found something to share and hopefully build a future with. The goal of letterpress is to build a more seamless life, where our work is our life and our life is our work.


2 thoughts on “About

  1. laura vannoord

    And now I get to know you both all the more =) I’m excited about this new road you are taking…love you three!


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